BBC notices that the world is not getting warmer

posted at 9:30 am on October 12, 2009 by Ed Morrissey

When global-warming skepticism reaches the BBC, then it has become a major issue.  This weekend, the BBC asked the question, “What happened to global warming?”, and then answered it with a balanced article that reported on the response from both sides of the debate to the fact that the Earth has cooled over the last eleven years, despite an increase in carbon dioxide release.  Skeptics point out that the models never predicted it, while advocates say that massive warming is still just around the corner:

For the last 11 years we have not observed any increase in global temperatures.

And our climate models did not forecast it, even though man-made carbon dioxide, the gas thought to be responsible for warming our planet, has continued to rise. …

So what does it all mean? Climate change sceptics argue that this is evidence that they have been right all along.

They say there are so many other natural causes for warming and cooling, that even if man is warming the planet, it is a small part compared with nature. …

In addition, say Met Office scientists, temperatures have never increased in a straight line, and there will always be periods of slower warming, or even temporary cooling.

What is crucial, they say, is the long-term trend in global temperatures. And that, according to the Met office data, is clearly up.

For the sake of argument, assume that the last statement is true.  That in and of itself proves … nothing.  It proves that the Earth warms at times, and cools at others.  The question isn’t really whether the Earth has warmed over the last several decades — the question is whether that warming is anthropogenic, or man-made, through the release of carbon dioxide into the atmosphere.  Clearly, as the modeling of the advocates has failed to predict a cooling cycle, the answer appears to be no.

Besides, weather cycles of this sort do not move in decades.  They move in centuries, or millenia, or eons.  Fluctuations from one decade to the next would be akin to determining that a hurricane is approaching because the wind shifted direction over the space of a few minutes.  Meteorology is at best an inexact predictive science even at its basic level, precisely because the weather gets impacted by myriad factors whose interaction dynamics cannot be predicted easily.

Global-warming advocates have used higher temperatures in the 1990s as a “sky is falling” data point, but have been thoroughly unable to connect that to carbon dioxide release as a primary or even minor cause.  Their predictive computer models have failed to predict actual temperatures for the last eleven years, which for any other “science” other than that which means tons of government cash for scientists and state control of energy production would mean the discrediting of the models and the hypotheses of their authors.  Even the BBC has begun to notice that global warming, like its predecessor hysteria The Coming Ice Age, is little more than hot air from environmental activists.

Update: Just in case you thought Saturday was a fluke:

Update: Here’s the second clip I took this morning, and finally figured out how to upload in HD. This is the view from the back yard:

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Displacing hundreds of millions of people from coastal areas around the globe has a tremendous economic as well as human cost, far more than the cost of lowering CO2 emissions.

starfleet_dude on October 12, 2009 at 3:47 PM

Since this isn’t going to happen, why should we count it as a cost. Even if it did happen, it would happen over hundreds of years, so the movements could easily be taken care of as part of normal migrations of people. That is, new houses are being built all the time. Older houses being torn down all the time. Stop building new houses near the ocean, build them inland, then as existing housing stock near the oceans wear out, don’t replace them. Populations move, cost zero.

MarkTheGreat on October 12, 2009 at 5:02 PM

Most of the world.

Asia, Europe, South America, lots of cities in the Rockies get their water supply from rivers that are formed by run off from Glaciers.

Holger on October 12, 2009 at 4:04 PM

In a word, bull droppings. The vast majority of rivers come from springs, that are renewed by annual rainfall. The vast majority of rivers form nowhere near glaciers. Regardless, the runoff from all the world’s glaciers wouldn’t even form one medium sized river.

MarkTheGreat on October 12, 2009 at 5:04 PM

FWIW on the economic cost of reducing CO2 emissions: four research groups have modeled global scenarios that lead to 350 ppm CO2.

starfleet_dude on October 12, 2009 at 4:07 PM

Of course our understanding of how economies work is even weaker than our understanding of the climate.

The fact that you will believe anything that reinforces what you wish to be true is quite obvious.

MarkTheGreat on October 12, 2009 at 5:06 PM

I have a finance-business background and tend to view these problems in terms of risk management and believe that we’re making a mistake by arguing over scientific minutiae instead of examining global warming from the standpoint of risk management.

bayam on October 12, 2009 at 4:12 PM

Since all of the reasonably expected consequences of global warming and enhanced CO2 are good, why should we spend any money stopping it?

MarkTheGreat on October 12, 2009 at 5:08 PM

But which water source does large scale food production use now?

Do Indian, Iranian, Pakistani, Turkish, Chinese and South American farmers pump water up from the ground for their crops or do they divert it from a glacier fed river such as the Indus, Ganges or Yangtze?

Holger on October 12, 2009 at 4:57 PM

Frankly I don’t know and will try to find out. I do know that a very large percentage of the worlds food supply comes from Canada and the US. Using ground water.
All that is besides the point with regards to why I felt compelled to post. To wit this outragious scare quote: “And if glaciers continue to melt, then most of the world’s fresh water supply will literally vanish”. Yes if the glaciers all sudenly melted ~69% of the worlds supply would vanish but it’s not a viable source of usable water at this time.

oldernwiser on October 12, 2009 at 5:11 PM

Glaciers store about 75% of the world’s freshwater. Operative word there is “store”

oldernwiser on October 12, 2009 at 4:46 PM

Furthermore, better than 90% of the frozen water on the earth is stored in Antarctica and Greenland. Last time I checked, not too many people lived in either of those places.

Additionally, Greenlands glaciers are holding steady, and Antarctica’s are growing.

About another 5% of the frozen water is in the arctic, once again, not too many people living there either.

All three of these places, what ice does melt each year (melts summer, grows winter, science 101) goes directly into the oceans anyway.

MarkTheGreat on October 12, 2009 at 5:13 PM

So much for libtard sites having a monopoly on idiots…

Dark-Star on October 12, 2009 at 4:48 PM

Since you’re here, we already knew that.

MarkTheGreat on October 12, 2009 at 5:14 PM

It isn’t likely we’ll see as much precipitation in the U.S. West as the Earth warms, and that’s going to have significant economic and human consequences, for both the U.S. and Mexico.

starfleet_dude on October 12, 2009 at 4:50 PM

As usual, you manage to get nothing right. As the earth warms, evaporation increases, as does precipitation.

MarkTheGreat on October 12, 2009 at 5:15 PM

If the earth warms isn’t very likely that we’ll see more rain? Think about it.
Oh, how much of the Rocky Mountain run off makes it to Mexico? (percentage please)

oldernwiser on October 12, 2009 at 4:54 PM

These days, right about 0%. But that’s because of all the American cities that are tapping it.

MarkTheGreat on October 12, 2009 at 5:15 PM

MarkTheGreat on October 12, 2009 at 5:13 PM

The part I can’t figure out…

If the glaciers stop melting… where does the fresh water then come from?

After all… Ice only gives water when it Melts…

Now…. here in Denver, where I live… its all about the Snow pack… ie how much snow drops in the mountains, and how late it melts… and that is hugely affected by El Nino, and Arctic Cold Air Fronts… as we don’t have sufficient Dams to store the run off to use it in efficient ways…

Romeo13 on October 12, 2009 at 5:18 PM

Holger on October 12, 2009 at 4:57 PM

Even assuming you were right, and we stopped the earth from warming, then the glaciers would stop melting and these rivers would stop flowing.

BTW, only a tiny percentage of the water in the rivers that you mention come from glaciers. The Ganges alone dumps more water each year than is contained in all of the Himilayan glaciers.

MarkTheGreat on October 12, 2009 at 5:18 PM

Romeo13 on October 12, 2009 at 5:18 PM

The whole idea is to scare you into doing something stupid. They don’t want you to stop and think.

MarkTheGreat on October 12, 2009 at 5:20 PM

MarkTheGreat on October 12, 2009 at 5:15 PM

Yep and the Colorado is the only major flow from the Rockies to Mexico and it passes through a very small part of the country into the Gulf of California. In other words another stupid argument shot full of holes

oldernwiser on October 12, 2009 at 5:20 PM

MarkTheGreat on October 12, 2009 at 5:20 PM

LOL… yeah, I know… I grew up in Central California… I well remember the droughts in the 70s and 80s… skiing was pretty bad for a few years…

If you look at the historic record, South of San Fran, California is either a feast or famine type of place… depending on the El Nino… it either gets LOTS of water, or very little… and it has always been that way.

Heck…. here in Denver this summer I only had to run my water sprinklers FOUR times total!… other years I’ve had to run them 3 times a week…

Its called Weather… it varys…

Romeo13 on October 12, 2009 at 5:25 PM

Since you’re here, we already knew that.

EmperorMarkThe’Great’ on October 12, 2009 at 5:14 PM

Oh so very clever…not.

Seriously, this is as bad as some leftie kook site like Reddit – dare to disagree and I get a horde of rabid lemmings on my @$$.

OK. You get credit for not insinuating it. Now, stop using their propaganda.

blink on October 12, 2009 at 5:21 PM

So showing a website detailing some severe water issues we have that shows it’s sources is propaganda. Got it. I’ll try not to disagree with the right-wing hivemind next time.

Dark-Star on October 12, 2009 at 5:26 PM

In a word, bull droppings. The vast majority of rivers come from springs, that are renewed by annual rainfall. The vast majority of rivers form nowhere near glaciers. Regardless, the runoff from all the world’s glaciers wouldn’t even form one medium sized river.

MarkTheGreat on October 12, 2009 at 5:04 PM

Really?

Glacial run off from the Himalays and the Tibetan Plateau service nearly half the world’s population and its accompanying food production and industry.

Ditto for major Rivers in Europe and South America. Even the Mississippi has its origins in the remnants of a Glacier.

Melting water from the Rockies feed how many millions of people through agriculture?

Holger on October 12, 2009 at 5:35 PM

It’s only called Weather when temperatures are cooling.

It’s called climate when temperatures are warming.

blink on October 12, 2009 at 5:27 PM

But.. but… the IPCC admitted it will probably cool over the next few years…

So is that weather? or climate? I’m all consfuseled now…

Romeo13 on October 12, 2009 at 5:35 PM

MarkTheGreat on October 12, 2009 at 5:13 PM

couldn’t have said it better myself :D

oldernwiser on October 12, 2009 at 4:46 PM

oldernwiser on October 12, 2009 at 5:36 PM

Holger on October 12, 2009 at 5:35 PM

Have you ever actually followed a river to it’s source?
Even if the ‘technical’ source of a river is a glacier,that source quanity might be just a trickle. River sources are usually just that, a very minor component of the whole. The major flow is from runoffs further down river.

oldernwiser on October 12, 2009 at 5:59 PM

blink on October 12, 2009 at 5:37 PM

I know the difference. The two are unrelated exactly how?

Holy crap, Both are frozen water. And by gosh, both often form in high mountains. Who would’ve thunk it.

I guess if there is no seasonal melt because of temp or lack of snow and ice to melt it is no biggie. Farmers will just pray to Obama and there will be enough rain to go around.

Holger on October 12, 2009 at 6:04 PM

Are you seriously asserting that global warming will prevent any seasonal snow pack accumulation at high altitudes?

blink on October 12, 2009 at 6:29 PM

That would depend on how warm it gets now won’t it?

A degree or two difference will likely turn the world’s mountains into Tatooine-like landscape, but enough warming will make anywhere snow-free.

Dark-Star on October 12, 2009 at 6:34 PM

…will not likely turn…

Gah.

Dark-Star on October 12, 2009 at 6:34 PM

I am not a scientist. I do watch them on discovery and History Channel though. And for those that believe in evolution (the same that believe in man made global warming) explain how dinasaurs ruled the world for thousands of years until an asteroid or meteor hit the earth and caused the ice age.
Well my theory from watching these shows for so long is…if the object is so big as to cause a global ice age, what if it was so big it caused the Earths orbit to change and to wobble, like a top that has been tapped while it spins? This wobble may be the reason for seasons.
Logic also says the earth is no longer exeriencing an ice age, so what if the sun’s gravitational pull is causing earth to correct its orbit and earth’s climate is slowly changing back to pre-ice age weather, where I am not sure but i don’t think they say any glaciers existed.
But, like I said, I am no scientist

lwssdd on October 12, 2009 at 6:40 PM

You never miss your water, ’til your well runs dry:

Study calculates warming threat to Colorado River – July 22nd, 2009

BOULDER, Colo. — University of Colorado researchers say global warming increases the chances that the Colorado River system’s reservoirs could be depleted by mid-century.

A study released this week says that if global warming cuts the river’s average flow by 10 percent, the chances of draining the river’s reservoirs by 2057 is 25 percent.

The researchers say a 20 percent drop in stream flow translates to a 50 percent chance of draining the reservoirs by that date.

The Colorado River travels nearly 1,500 miles from Colorado to the Gulf of California, feeding more than a dozen reservoirs and supplying drinking and irrigation water for about 30 million people.

starfleet_dude on October 12, 2009 at 8:19 PM

This weekend, the BBC asked the question, “What happened to global warming?”, and then answered it with a balanced article that reported on the response from both sides of the debate to the fact that the Earth has cooled over the last eleven years, despite an increase in carbon dioxide release.

It’s called back-pedaling and hoping that people forgot that they once proclaimed AGW to be settled science. Had they been honest, they wouldn’t need to change their position.

AH_C on October 12, 2009 at 8:25 PM

You never miss your water, ’til your well runs dry:

Study calculates warming threat to Colorado River – July 22nd, 2009

BOULDER, Colo. — University of Colorado researchers say global warming increases the chances that the Colorado River system’s reservoirs could be depleted by mid-century.

A study released this week says that if global warming cuts the river’s average flow by 10 percent, the chances of draining the river’s reservoirs by 2057 is 25 percent.

The researchers say a 20 percent drop in stream flow translates to a 50 percent chance of draining the reservoirs by that date.

The Colorado River travels nearly 1,500 miles from Colorado to the Gulf of California, feeding more than a dozen reservoirs and supplying drinking and irrigation water for about 30 million people.

starfleet_dude on October 12, 2009 at 8:19 PM

Dude, you’re getting your Captain Kirk underoos in a twist over Ifs and maybes; give it a rest.
The loyal posters have disproven you time and again; time to stick a fork in it and ride off into the sunset.

mad scientist on October 12, 2009 at 8:26 PM

Before we go any further, many of you need to learn the difference between glacier run off and seasonal snow pack melt.

blink on October 12, 2009 at 5:37 PM

Spring runoff; ask my friends who used to live in Breckenridge, CO.

mad scientist on October 12, 2009 at 8:27 PM

Ya know, regional droughts have been a problem since the begining of man.

blink on October 12, 2009 at 5:17 PM

Exactly. Rainfall varies; weather patterns change, then hurricanes or shifts in the jet stream throw a monkey wrench into any semblance of conformity in the whole pattern.

mad scientist on October 12, 2009 at 8:31 PM

Lest we forget, many of the “leading” Global Warming Theorists were “New Ice Age” theorists a few short decades ago; right in the middle of the highest temps in decades.
Time to cut the bull and admit we really know very little about long term weather patterns and the variation in cycles.
Rivers? They have been running for a lot longer than we have been around and without our expertise or interference.

mad scientist on October 12, 2009 at 8:39 PM

Well you’re the warming theorist. You tell me. Consult your beloved models.

blink on October 12, 2009 at 6:58 PM

No I’m not, wingnut.

IF the globe is warming, glacial melting will depend on how much warmer it gets. Wether or not the globe is warming is very much in debate, as well as the question of is manmade activity the cause? It COULD be…we can’t just spew off millions of tons of gases (CO2 and otherwise) and expect nothing to happen.

But the jury is still very much out on the whole thing. And besides, I don’t think there’s been an argument that can made on this subject that somebody hasn’t cooked up a list of canned responses for. Xp Might say it’s a ‘hot topic’.

Dark-Star on October 12, 2009 at 9:35 PM

It is snowing here this morning in the lakes region of New Hampshire.
GLOBALONEY

mountainmanbob on October 13, 2009 at 8:05 AM

Really?

Glacial run off from the Himalays and the Tibetan Plateau service nearly half the world’s population and its accompanying food production and industry.

Ditto for major Rivers in Europe and South America. Even the Mississippi has its origins in the remnants of a Glacier.

Melting water from the Rockies feed how many millions of people through agriculture?

Holger on October 12, 2009 at 5:35 PM

100% of the water from all of those rivers comes directly from a glacier?

Are you incredibly stupid, or do you just like appearing that way to impress your mother.

BTW, not one drop of water from the Mississippi comes from a glacier. Of the others, at most 1 or 2 percent does.

MarkTheGreat on October 13, 2009 at 8:07 AM

Time out.

Before we go any further, many of you need to learn the difference between glacier run off and seasonal snow pack melt.

blink on October 12, 2009 at 5:37 PM

He also believes that it doesn’t rain in India, or any other place in the world. Or if it does, that the rain evaporates immediately and doesn’t flow into rivers.

MarkTheGreat on October 13, 2009 at 8:09 AM

lwssdd on October 12, 2009 at 6:40 PM

The asteroid that killed the dinosaurs had nothing to do with the dozen or so ice iges that have occurred in the 64 million years since the asteroid hit. BTW, ice ages didn’t start occuring until something like 20 million years ago.

MarkTheGreat on October 13, 2009 at 8:12 AM

starfleet_dude on October 12, 2009 at 8:19 PM

It’s amazing how he finds worthless studies by alarmist groups and tries to convince himself that the science is settled.

MarkTheGreat on October 13, 2009 at 8:13 AM

Yeah. It could be. Or it COULD be that CO2 is harmless.

Even more likely, it will turn out that enhanced CO2 is extremely beneficial.

MarkTheGreat on October 13, 2009 at 8:15 AM

This weekend it is forecast to be in the 30s for the greater Atlanta area. Can a brutha get some of that global warming out this way?

angryed on October 13, 2009 at 8:16 AM

October 12, 2009 at 9:32 AM – October 13, 2009 at 8:16 AM

Okay kids, that’s how long the the comments have been running on this thread. Please, tell me, has anyone obtained a convert? Anyone? Bueller…Bueller?

No? Wow! What a friggin’ surprise.

Doorgunner on October 13, 2009 at 9:04 AM

University of Colorado researchers say global warming increases the chances that the Colorado River system’s reservoirs could be depleted by mid-century.

A study released this week says that if global warming cuts the river’s average flow by 10 percent, the chances of draining the river’s reservoirs by 2057 is 25 percent.

starfleet_dude on October 12, 2009 at 8:19 PM

Is common sense a requirement to become a researcher at UC?
or maybe a lack of?
If the world’s temperatures do increase( I hope so!) rainfall will also increase. Unless, the researchers have discovered a new natural principle that shows how increased temps will decrease evaporation.
If global warming is a fact, it is something that will happen over a period of decades,if not centuries. Changed weather patterns will mean changed local conditions around the world leading to population shifts. The denizens of this planet have been dealing with that since the beginning.
The scare mongers are motivated by an over whelming fear of change. If the worlds climate is indeed changing what is need is not hair brain schemes to stop what is a natural phenomenon, rather well thought out ways to deal with it.

oldernwiser on October 13, 2009 at 2:10 PM

CO2 Gooood! Plants need CO2 for survival. If we reduce CO2 by too much, we have no plants to feed all of the animals living on our planet and thereby will have no food for ourselves. Why are all of you “OH MY GOSH THE WORLD IS HEATING UP!!!! WHAT ARE WE GOING TO DO????” nervous nellies totally ignoring the fact that the world outside of the nutballs in the US are waking up to the fact that maybe Global Warming, Global Change, whatever, is just Chicken little crying the sky is falling? Why is it we’re the only ones fighting to hold onto a false scientific doctrine? And it is a false doctrine that Gore spread around to the world and the UN has sopped up with a loaf of french bread and a nice glass of Pinot Noir. A British court found 9 FALSEHOODS in the movie “An Inconvenient Truth.” I’m sorry for all you who are fans of the former VP. One falsehood makes the whole postulate a gross error. Many many people who are already wealthy stand to make a whole lot of money off of this man-imagined crisis. Good for the BBC. Now, how about let us here at home try questioning all of the tripe we’re hearing from EVERYONE with a mouth and a microphone. The earth has weather cycles the same as the earth has seasons and these cycles are affected by things outside of our atmosphere! To think that humans can control ANYTHING that the earth does or is influenced by is vastly stupid and very arrogant.

Driefromseattle on October 14, 2009 at 3:22 AM

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