Monday, May 20, 2013

Science in the Dock: Experts, Climate Change and Evidence

Some facts that get in the way of climate change alarmist thinking:

Not Warming: The Hadley Centre/CRU records show no warming for 18 years (v.3) or 19 years (v.4), and the RSS satellite dataset shows no warming for 23 years (h/t to Werner Brozek for determining these values). This is accepted by the Chairman of the IPCC as reported here.

Not Warming as Much as Anticipated: “The earth may warm at a slightly slower rate in coming decades than scientists were predicting six years ago, according to a paper published on Sunday by researchers from Oxford university, Nasa and nearly a dozen other institutions.” See review here.

Rate of Warming Due to CO2: Many peer-reviewed scientific papers have been published lowering the so-called 'climate sensitivity' to CO2 to a mere 0.5-1.6C per doubling of CO2, less than half of what was previously believed.  Thus, at the current rate of CO2 increase, it would take 200 years for CO2 to double for a mere 0.5-1.6C warming, which is nothing to worry about and likely beneficial.

Good News About CO2: Many peer-reviewed scientific papers have also demonstrated that CO2 is greening the planet. One published recently noted an 11% increase in green cover over arid areas due to CO2 fertilization over the past 30 years.

Sea Levels Not Rising: According to the NOAA 2012 sea level budget, sea levels are rising at a mere 1.1-1.3 mm/yr, less than 5 inches per century, less than the average rate of rise over the past 18,000 years. According to a paper published in the Journal of Climate by JM Gregory et al (with 14 other top international sea level experts) in Dec 2012, there is no evidence of an anthropogenic (man-made) influence on sea levels, and no evidence of any acceleration of sea level rise over the 20th century.

Sea Levels Not Rising 2: There has been no acceleration the rate of sea level rise. Sea level has been rising for centuries. But the rate of the rise has not changed a whole lot. Both tidal stations and satellites show no increase in the historic rate of sea level rise, in either the short or long term.  Up until about the end of 2004, there was little change in the rate of sea level rise. Since then the rise has slowed down. The average (dark blue line) does not stray far from the trend (black line) up until 1994. Since then, it is well below the projected trend (gray line). We were supposed to be seeing some kind of big acceleration in the sea level rise caused by increased CO2. Instead, we are seeing a decrease in the rate of sea level rise. So the first claim, that increasing CO2 will cause increased rates of sea level rise, is not supported by the evidence.

Extreme Weather Not Linked to Climate Change: The UN IPCC SREX report concluded that there is no evidence that warming is increasing extreme weather, droughts, floods, hurricanes, etc. and no evidence of a human fingerprint on such extremes. In fact, the data shows such extremes have decreased.

Small Islands Growing Not Sinking: A recent study of small islands in the Pacific, which you can read a summary of here, the islands are growing not sinking with many increasing in size significantly. Of the 27 islands studied, only four had diminished in size. Some are expanding to the point at which new airports are being built.

Climate Scientists Challenge Climate Scientists: The following statement is made by a lead author for the IPCC, Hans Von Storch:

“Unfortunately in climate science there is a tendency to proclaim absolute truths and to link these immediately to instructions on actions to take,’ von Storch said. ‘The climate pope tells us what has to be done, and for the people it’s: keep your mouths shut. Scientists have been taking over the roles of medicine men and priests. That’s not the job of scientists. Science is supposed to help understand problems, show the possibilities that exist in dealing with them. The best is to show many possibilities. Then the political process has to decide the path to take.’

But some of his colleagues in science like to use ‘stories that point to a catastrophe,’ said the professor of meteorology. One example was the assumption that our region would see ‘murderous violent storms’. But there was no data showing this. ‘It all has a cultural, anthropological background’ . ‘If you sin, then you will be punished. And the punishment always takes on an environmental dimension which also included storms in the past. In former times it was God’s punishment. Today it’s punishment by Nature. Nature is to keep man in check. And for this we see idiotic films like ‘The Day After Tomorrow.’’

With ‘snappy’ and short statements like ‘snow will be a thing of the past’, the loud speakers among the scientists are putting the credibility of science at stake.’”

More info on Hans von Storch here. He also runs the climate and is co-author of the recently released book: The Climate Trap: The Dangerous Proximity of Politics and Climate Science.

When we start to unpick all of this, we are back to my concerns about "experts" - see the blog post earlier this week about experts - and the nature of science.

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