Why is there so much preoccupation with atmospheric CO2 concentrations and reducing anthropogenic CO2 emissions when it is well documented in the peer-reviewed scientific literature that the CO2 contribution to the overall greenhouse effect is so weak that it can be easily supplanted by small changes in clouds and water vapor, or natural climate-changing constituents?
Sunday, 9 January 2011
Climate Scaremongering Antidote: Fisking fearful, false, and facile alarmism in the mass media
Here is an extract:
'Michael Steketee, writing in The Australian in January 2011, echoed the BBC (whose journalists’ pension fund is heavily weighted towards “green” “investments”) and other climate-extremist vested interests in claiming that 2010 was the warmest year on record worldwide. Mr. Steketee’s short article makes two dozen questionable assertions, which either require heavy qualification or are downright false. His assertions will be printed in bold face: the truth will appear in Roman face.
1. BASED ON PRELIMINARY DATA TO NOVEMBER 30, SEA SURFACE TEMPERATURES AROUND AUSTRALIA WERE THE WARMEST ON RECORD LAST YEAR, AS WERE THOSE FOR THE PAST DECADE.
The record only began ten decades ago. As for sea temperatures, they are less significant for analyzing “global warming” than estimated total ocean heat content. A recent paper by Professors David Douglass and Robert Knox of Rochester University, New York, has established that – contrary to various climate-extremist assertions – there has been no net accumulation of “missing energy” in the form of heat in the oceans worldwide in the six years since ocean heat content was first reliably measured by the 3000 automated ARGO bathythermographs in 2003. This finding implies that the amount of warming we can expect from even quite a large increase in CO2 concentration is far less than the IPCC and other climate-extremist groups maintain.
2. THE WORLD METEOROLOGICAL ORGANISATION SAYS THE YEAR TO THE END OF OCTOBER WAS THE WARMEST SINCE INSTRUMENTAL CLIMATE RECORDS STARTED IN 1850 – 0.55 C° ABOVE THE 1961-90 AVERAGE OF 14 C°.
It is easy to cherry-pick periods of less than a calendar year and say they establish a new record. The cherry-picking of the first nine months of 2010 is particularly unacceptable, since that period was dominated by a substantial El Niño Southern Oscillation, a sudden alteration in the pattern of ocean currents worldwide that leads to warmer weather for several months all round the world. The last few months of the year, carefully excluded from Mr. Steketee’s statement, showed the beginnings of a La Niña event, which tends largely to reverse the effect of its preceding El Niño and make the world cooler. Indeed, the calendar year from January to December 2010, according to the reliable RSS and UAH satellite records, was not the warmest on record. Besides, what is important is how fast the world is warming. In fact, the rate of warming from 1975-2001, at 0.16 C° per decade, was the fastest rate to be sustained for more than a decade in the 160-year record, but exactly the same rate occurred from 1860-1880 and again from 1910-1940, when we could not possibly have had anything to do with it. Since late 2001 there has been virtually no “global warming” at all.'
The remaining 22 pieces of sophistry addressed are:
3. THE LAST DECADE ALSO WAS THE WARMEST ON RECORD.
4. THE WORLD IS NOT COOLER COMPARED TO 1998.
5. THE TRENDS HAPPEN TO FOLLOW CLOSELY THE PREDICTIONS OVER THE PAST 40 YEARS OF TEMPERATURE RISES RESULTING FROM INCREASED GREENHOUSE GAS EMISSIONS.
6. MOST SCIENTISTS AGREE THAT DOUBLING THE CARBON DIOXIDE IN THE ATMOSPHERE IS LIKELY TO LEAD TO WARMING OF 2-3 C°.
7. WARMING OF 2-3 C° RISKS SIGNIFICANT ENVIRONMENTAL AND ECONOMIC DAMAGE.
8. GREENHOUSE GAS CONCENTRATIONS ROSE BY 27.5% FROM 1990-2009.
9. ARCTIC SEA ICE SHRANK TO ITS THIRD-LOWEST AREA IN THE SATELLITE RECORDS, OFFSET ONLY SLIGHTLY BY GROWTH IN ANTARCTIC SEA ICE.
10. GLOBAL SNOW COVER IS FALLING, INFERENTIALLY BECAUSE OF MAN’S INFLUENCE.
11. GLOBAL SEA LEVELS ARE RISING, INFERENTIALLY BECAUSE OF MAN’S INFLUENCE.
12. MUNICH RE SAYS 2010 SAW THE SECOND-HIGHEST NUMBER OF NATURAL CATASTROPHES SINCE 1980, 90% OF THEM WEATHER-RELATED.
13. THE TEMPERATURE OF 46.4 C° IN MELBOURNE ONE SATURDAY IN 2010 WAS MORE THAN 3 C° ABOVE THE PREVIOUS HIGHEST FOR FEBRUARY.
14. IN MOSCOW, JULY 2010 WAS MORE THAN 2 C° ABOVE THE PREVIOUS TEMPERATURE RECORD, AND TEMPERATURE ON 29 JULY WAS 38.2 C°.
15. THE HEATWAVE AND FOREST FIRES IN CENTRAL RUSSIA KILLED AT LEAST 56,000, MAKING IT THE WORST NATURAL DISASTER IN RUSSIA’S HISTORY.
16. IN PAKISTAN, 1769 WERE KILLED IN THE COUNTRY’S WORST-EVER FLOODS.
17. THE HURRICANE SEASON IN THE NORTH ATLANTIC WAS ONE OF THE MOST SEVERE IN THE LAST CENTURY.
18. EVEN CAUTIOUS SCIENTISTS TEND TO SAY WE CAN BLAME MANMADE CLIMATE CHANGE.
19. CLIMATE CHANGE HAS CONTRIBUTED TO THE 20% DECLINE IN RAINFALL IN PARTS OF SOUTHERN AUSTRALIA OVER THE PAST 40 YEARS.
20. THERE IS STRONG EVIDENCE THAT “GLOBAL WARMING” MADE THE BUSH-FIRES AROUND MELBOURNE WORSE.
21. THERE HAS BEEN A SUCCESSION OF EXTRAORDINARY HEATWAVES, WITH BIG JUMPS IN RECORD TEMPERATURES, STARTING IN EUROPE IN 2003 AND CONTINUING ALL AROUND THE WORLD, CULMINATING IN RUSSIA LAST YEAR. MORE THAN 17 COUNTRIES BROKE THEIR MAXIMUM TEMPERATURE RECORDS IN 2010, AND “YOU REALLY HAVE TO STRAIN CREDIBILITY TO SAY IT HAS NOTHING TO DO WITH CLIMATE CHANGE.”
22. FOR 20 YEARS MORE HOT-WEATHER THAN COLD-WEATHER TEMPERATURE RECORDS HAVE BEEN SET.
23. EVEN IF GREENHOUSE-GAS EMISSIONS WERE TO STABILIZE AT LITTLE MORE THAN TODAY’S LEVELS, 2 C° OF FURTHER WARMING WILL OCCUR – FOUR TIMES THE INCREASE OVER THE PAST 30 YEARS.
24. ADAPTATION TO THE CONSEQUENCES OF “GLOBAL WARMING” WILL GET MORE DIFFICULT THE LONGER WE DELAY.
There is every chance that each and every one of these will be repeated one way or another by other 'eco-journalists' hellbent on their campaigning. How many are already in school textbooks or other educational media?
Note added 10 Jan 2010: Steketee makes a pretty feeble reply to Monckton here: http://www.theaustralian.com.au/national-affairs/climate/mike-steketees-response-to-christopher-monckton/story-e6frg6xf-1225985171179 His arguments are mostly to the effect that the sources he quotes uncritically in his piece (e.g. WMO) are not him, yet he used them in support of his alarmism. At best he is naively relaying misleading information, while refusing any responsibility for doing so.
Later on the 10th: Australian Climate Madness plots a middle course, and thinks Monckton over-reacted in some of the points: http://www.australianclimatemadness.com/2011/01/moncktons-own-goal/
Late on the 11th: Monckton responds to ACM. Truly Steketee is in over his head, and ACM blundered too ('So, Simon-from-Sydney, take some trouble to get your facts right before you accuse me of scoring an own goal. You say you don’t think I should have responded to Steketee’s nonsense at all: however, it is precisely because he and his ilk have been peddling trashy, largely truth-free extremism for years that so many feeble-minded governments have bought into the climate scare. Sometimes it is necessary to hit back with the facts, even if those who got them wrong then complain - quite inappropriately - that they were "misrepresented". – Monckton of Brenchley'): http://www.australianclimatemadness.com/2011/01/lord-monckton-responds-to-acm/