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"Pacific islands are not suffering rising sea levels from man made global warming, but often from a combination of natural erosion (see the life cycle of coral atolls) or human stupidity, such as dynamite fishing in the coral lagoons a few decades ago that seemed like a great idea at the time but which killed coral and destabilised the protective reef structures, allowing tidal surges to hit the fragile islands.

Also not to mention.

Yet another Inconvenient Truth. Some Pacific Island Nations rather you didn't know.

Dredging Coral for roading material!

Pattrick Smellie

Ian, as one of the journalists in the room, I was delighted you were shut down and am quite certain in my own mind it was a merciful accident, given the shocked look of the operator when it happened. I predict you would have hogged an enormous amount of time with your crackpot posturing. As you said in your chat exchange, you had eight more questions. Hey, well, so did I buddy, and I got two away, just like you.
Pattrick Smellie


Patrick...they've already admitted they muted me. Go back to your liberal chardonnay set handwringing. Being attacked by you is like being savaged by Noddy.

Mobile email sent via Palm Treo


And Patrick...perhaps before you go you can demonstrate how informed you are on climate change by answering the questions above

Mobile email sent via Palm Treo


And Patrick...on second thoughts before you decamp you can demonstrate your superior knowledge of climate science by answering those questions above. That'll determine whether you are a hack or a journalist.

Mobile email sent via Palm Treo



Fancy someone accusing you of crackpot posturing!

Reminds me of Michael Drake's article in the latest Infestigate Magazine!!

Ha Ha Ha!!!


Why is it generally these media leftists who want to believe in such things as global warming? Being journalists, you'd think they'd know when they're being bullshitted to; surely they're not that gullible? Or does the charisma of Obama and his ilk hold them in such a sway as to blind them?

I just don't get it. God, guys, open your eyes and do some actual investigative journalism instead of sucking down and reporting everything you're given in your press releases, otherwise you're just drones repeating what you've been spoon-fed.

The mainstream media just LOVES disaster. They love it when someone dies, or a little girl gets trapped in a storm drain - and don't deny it. They love the 'Breaking News' and the worse the better.

Maybe that's why they love AGW - it's the fairy tale disasters are made of.

As Don Henley once sang -

'We got the bubble-headed-bleach-blonde who comes on at five/
She can tell you bout the plane crash with a gleam in her eye
Its interesting when people die-
Give us dirty laundry'



"They love the 'Breaking News' and the worse the better."

Yep, then they can hop on a plane and burn some carbon.

My impression is, there are not too many 'investigative' journalists left.

And with the massive budgets available to powerful people to fight the few who don't just copy and paste Reuters, it's amazing how well and how often "Infestigate" gets to the nub of the matter.



"crackpot posturing!"

Anyone who uses as many exclaimation points as you do - and yet say so little - could surely be accused of this... ;-D


"Yet another Inconvenient Truth. Some Pacific Island Nations rather you didn't know.

Dredging Coral for roading material!'

We can also add to that.

Dredged Coral aggregate.

And this admission in a Joint Japan/Fijian Climate Change Report on the Pacific Islands.

Addressing Climate Change and Sea Level Rise in the Pacific Islands

lResearch Center for the Pacific Islands, Kagoshima University
Kagoshima 890-8580 Japan
2School of Marine Studies, Faculty of Islands and Oceans,
University of the South Pacific, Suva, Fiji
3Institute of Marine Resources, Faculty of Islands and Oceans
University of the South Pacific, Suva, Fiji

Hard structures also change the nature of coastal processes and often have to be used around the whole island. On Nukufetau, Tuvalu for example, the construction of seawall on one end of the island eroded the other end completely. The construction of the causeway on Tarawa, Kiribati interfered with the natural flow of currents and was blamed for the disappearance of Bikenman, an islet opposite the causeway.

David Wratt

Ian: To repeat my earlier point: the time a given individual CO2 molecule remains in the atmosphere (the “exchange lifetime” of my previous post) is not the appropriate timescale for determining the influence on climate of anthropogenic carbon dioxide emissions, for the reasons I have already outlined. What is important is the length of time for which atmospheric concentrations of carbon dioxide remain elevated. If the “exchange lifetime” were the determining timescale then we would not now have atmospheric CO2 concentrations 37% higher than pre-industrial levels.

Regarding the paper by Knorr on the airborne fraction of CO2: This is not a personal area of expertise for me. However from my reading, the appropriate section of the IPCC Fourth Assessment (WG1, Section does not claim that the airborne fraction should have exhibited a significant trend through the 20th Century. What it points out is an expectation of a higher fraction in the atmosphere by the end of the 21st Century (e.g. WG1 Fig 7.13). Knorr et al’s paper is an analysis of past values of airborne fraction, not a prediction of how the fraction would change under significantly warmer temperatures in future.

David Wratt

Ian: One further point before I move on to your other questions: You say in your blog that the briefing said that “the IPCC’s next report, AR5, will see an increase in its sea level predictions by 2100 from an upper limit of 60cm to more than 90cm and possibly 1.5m”. We did not claim to know what the AR5 will say – that will depend on the evolving scientific literature, the lead authors’ assessment of it, and the consideration of review comments. What we did was to point out some developments in the literature regarding dynamic ice processes in Antarctica and Greenland since the Fourth Assessment, and their implications for future sea level rise.

David Wratt

Ian - A response to your next question - "Does the Steig et al study of Antarctic Temperature contain errors?": These authors published a corrigendum in the 6 August issue of Nature, providing corrections to the confidence levels on the trends published in their original Nature paper, and noting there was a typographical error in a supplementary table of automatic weather station locations. However they conclude that “The corrected confidence levels do not change the assessed significance of trends, nor any of the primary conclusions of the paper.”

Steig et al’s conclusion statements include: "Mean surface temperature trends in both West and East Antarctica are positive for 1957–2006, and the mean continental warming is comparable to that for the Southern Hemisphere as a whole. This warming trend is difficult to explain without the radiative forcing associated with increasing greenhouse-gas concentrations".

Regarding your related question - "Do satellite records show a cooling over Antarctica since 1980?" No, not for the average over the whole continent of the surface temperatures. NASA has produced a map of surface temperature trends over Antarctica based on satellite skin temperature measurements from 1981 to 2007 – see . The text accompanying this map states: “Across most of the continent and the surrounding Southern Ocean, temperatures climbed”.

Johansen and Fu (Geophysical Research Letters, Vol. 34, L12703, 2007) analysed satellite temperature trends through the Antarctic troposphere from 1979 - 2005 ( the Steig et al paper and the NASA map above consider only surface temperatures). They find variations across the seasons: cooling of tropospheric temperatures in summer and fall, warming in winter and spring.

David Wratt

Ian - Your next question claims of me that "You’ve stated there’s been a temperature increase of 0.5°C between 1980 and 1999 globally". I do not recall ever having stated that – and I would certainly not have implied that anthropogenic effects had caused 0.5°C of global warming over two decades. Regarding your question about the 1998 temperatures being pushed up by an “exceptional” El Niño: Yes, they were. When I show a global temperature plot I usually make the point that we appear to be seeing a combination of natural variability (e.g. El Niños, La Niñas) with an overall upwards anthropogenic trend. The 1998 El Niño is why that year was a little warmer than subsequent years

David Wratt

Ian: Regarding your next question - "Did any of the GCMs used by the UN IPCC forecasters predict the specific temperature deceleration that has occurred since 2002, despite rising GHG emissions?": These models did not set out to predict exact temperatures in particular years. As I’ve stated above, we appear to be seeing a combination of an upward trend from anthropogenic effects, with natural year-to-year variability superimposed. The models analysed for the Fourth Assessment set out to provide projections for the overall temperature trend for a range of possible greenhouse gas emissions, together with an estimate of the size of the “band” of year-to-year variability around this. Regarding your comment on “temperature deceleration”: As you seem to imply in your previous question (where you question the use of “ten or twenty year cycles as proof of global warming”), I would caution against the use of just a few years of temperature observations to decide whether temperature is “decelerating”

David Wratt

Ian: Regarding your question about the implications of the airborne fraction findings of the University of Bristol (Knorr) study: As I point out above, Knorr et al’s paper is an analysis of past values of airborne fraction, not a prediction of how the fraction would change under significantly warmer temperatures in future.

Moving on to your next question - "The new study suggests terrestrial ecosystems and oceans “have a much greater capacity to absorb CO2 than had previously been expected”. Doesn’t this prove that the science on CO2 is nowhere near settled and in fact our understanding in the IPCC reports may be utterly wrong?" Answer: I cannot find the quote you give anywhere in the Knorr paper. Some relevant words in page 4 of Knorr’s paper are “It is difficult to rate this as a strong indication that land use emissions are systematically overestimated, as it depends on the validity of the statistical model”. This very cautious statement in one paper seems rather underwhelming evidence on which to base your assertion that the IPCC reports “may be utterly wrong”.

David Wratt

Ian: Regarding the last question in the list you posed for me: "How much confidence can the media have in this presentation , when its data conflicts with two peer-reviewed studies in the past week suggesting emissions from deforestation have been grossly estimated by the IPCC – in the words of one study “by at least a factor of two”?" - Response: I assume you are referring to the paper by Knorr (which I have discussed above) and the paper by Van der Werf et al (Nature Geoscience, Nov 2009). From my reading, the words you have quoted (“by at least a factor of two”) do not occur in either paper. The emission estimates which Knorr shows in his figure 2 as giving the best “optimisation including statistical predictors of interannual variability”, scale land use emissions down to 82% (ie reduce them by 18%). The paper by Van der Werff et al suggests updated rates of CO2 emission from deforestation and forest degradation are 23% less than those given in the 2007 report of IPCC Working Group 1. However, that report states (Section that “the land use carbon source has the largest uncertainties in the carbon budget”, and the estimates from Knorr and from Van der Werff listed above are within the ranges of uncertainty listed in IPCC Working Group I Table 7.2.

I don’t see any conflict between Werff et al and our presentations last week. Werff et al state that: “reducing fossil fuel emissions remains the key element for stabilizing atmospheric CO2 concentrations”.

Ian Wishart

David, I'm on print deadline for Investigate so cannot respond in detail until later this week.

However, you have queried a direct quote of mine in relation to the Knorr study, and you suggest I am wrong in my interpretation of Knorr.

Let the record show that you'll find that direct quote in the second paragraph of the University of Bristol news release that accompanied the study last week:

The study says exactly what I suggest it did.

Having said that, it is a matter of logic as much as anything else, that if human CO2 emissions have gone from 2 Gt a year to 35 Gt since 1850, yet the fraction has remained the same, then obviously the biosphere is soaking it up.

Nothing "historical" about it really.

David Wratt

Ian: What I said was that I could not find the quote you referred to anywhere in Knorr's paper. It is the paper which has been peer reviewed - not the press release.

What the biosphere is "soaking up" is a fraction of the emissions - not the whole lot. That is why we've experienced the 37% increase in atmospheric CO2 concentrations
since pre-industrial times, which I referred to earlier tonight.

Regards - David Wratt

Ian Wishart

I should add, the quote about emissions from deforestation that you also query appears in the same news release, and its full context is this:

"Another result of the study is that emissions from deforestation might have been overestimated by between 18 and 75 per cent. This would agree with results published last week in Nature Geoscience by a team led by Guido van der Werf from VU University Amsterdam. They re-visited deforestation data and concluded that emissions have been overestimated by at least a factor of two."

Without rechecking the audio, I'll take your assurance for now on the 0.5C issue and assume that someone coughed at a crucial point - the phone audio was muffled at times when people turned away from the microphones.

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