Tuesday, 27 December 2011

Site Comments

This is where you can comment on our site. Is there other data you would like to see? Do you have comments on the data we have presented or the way we have described it? Have you found and errors in the data, And, of course, words of thanks or encouragement would also be appreciated.

At the RealClimate blog blog there have been comments on this site. Whilst I have addressed many of them as comments in that blog, to deal with them fully needs more space than the moderators are likely to allow. So I am addressing them here. The thread was essentially about the analogy between convincing people about the reality of a heliocentric universe and that of convincing people about the reality of climate change. I commented that it could be instructive to study why once widely accepted scientific views fell into disregard. Another commentator followed the link to this site and a discussion about this site then ensued.

Two of the commentators felt that the aim of this site was to promote a 'sceptical' agenda. I disagreed. The site has no 'agenda' but is rather an examination of data surrounding climate.

Comment#67 said:

";[the site is ] not about ‘climate change’ and promoting a particular perception of it
It seems to be about obscuring a particular perception, rather.
I’m just poking at one of the blatant issues, not reviewing the whole site, which as others noted has pages and loads of subtle spin and distortion.
You claim that if you knew the Milankovich contribution it might change how you think — but you know the Milankovich forcing is trivial compared to CO2 and you omit that.
How do you justify not informing people about the rate of change?
Would you provide the relevant information if that were professional work? Surely how fast a change happens and how large it is relative to other changes would be important information to provide."

It is widely accepted the earth moves out of an ice age when the coincidence of cycles gives a maximum of solar radiation at 65 degees north in July. There is however no generally accepted theory of why this should be so. It is of course true that the changes in radiation linked to the Milankovitch effect, over millennia, are in no way linked with current climate change, over decades. However the increase in temperatures observed by thermometers over the last century and a half does not follow a smooth trend. Sixty five degrees north is a band of latitude where a higher proportion of the earth’s circumference is covered by land than elsewhere. It is also covered by boreal pine forests which have a high difference between summer and winter albedo and is a band where melting permafrost releases methane. Understanding these issues in relation to Milankovitch cycles could clearly lead to a better understanding of climate change.

We do of course provide information on the rate of change of temperature (and snow cover, sea level, cyclones etc.)

Comment#68 said:
"You say these days everyone is either sceptic or warmist and go on to say that you are no sceptic (because you do not falsifying data, although you do come to some contrarian conclusions).
Your website however is strongly sceptical. Whether its ‘climate data’ or ‘climate change,’ its still sceptical. If the views expressed there reflect your own, then you are indeed a sceptic. Giving primacy to WUWT in your climate blog search function, using PIPS to underplay the loss of Arctic sea ice, presenting graphs & text on snow cover that a sceptical propagandist would be proud if. Those were the three pages I visited earlier that rang alarm bells. Elsewhere I note that your only concern with burning fossil fuel is in not running out of the stuff. In my book, that’s a bit of a clincher.
You may deny being a sceptic but I see scepticism as being in denial about a whole lot of stuff, so denying being a sceptic would not come as that much of a surprise."

WUWT is at the top of our list as it happens to be currently the most popular.

In the description of ice thickness using PIPS I comment on the fact whilst the ice area rebounded after 2007 the thickness and volume did not and this gave credence to those who pointed out that whilst the ice area may have recovered it was 'rotten'.

I preset a graph of long term Arctic ice estimates from 1870 which shows a steady decline since the 1960s. I also make it clear that whilst Antarctic sea ice is increasing the decrease in Arctic sea ice is larger. The graph on global snow cover, which you specifically object to is, as far as I can tell, an accurate reflection of the global picture. That snow cover is reducing at a steady rate.


Anonymous said...

I find your site interesting and enlightening. I hope you will continue your work without being influenced by the comments that came from an unnamed climate site. I seek facts and truth too and hope those remain your goals. I find those who are quick to label another are those who seek only to turn the conversation into an ideological argument.

Administrator said...

Thanks for your comments. Knowing that there are others who are interested in a balanced view is valuable.