So if the models are so hopelessly riddled with errors and uncertainty that an anthropogenic radiative forcing signal cannot be distinguished from noise, or if the total magnitude of the warming attributed to humans is one-tenth to one-hundredth of the error or uncertainty ranges, why are those who dare question the degree to which humans affect the Earth’s climate branded as “deniers” of science?

Kenneth Richard,

Sunday, 12 February 2012

Testing the Sagacity of the Royal Society: more grist for pupil projects on climate variation

In November last year, a couple of multi-year projects were suggested: monitoring reports of sea level changes, and reports about the Greenland and Antarctic icecaps.  To add extra interest, these reports and regularly updated charts on the classroom wall, would be considered against the heartfelt, but now tempered, claims of the Royal Society in each of these areas.  These would mostly be relevant to geography classes, although science teachers could also make use of them to help motivative their pupils by linking to topical issues.  Now we have the possibility of extending the appeal to include classes in modern studies, wherever political wheeling and dealing and the interface with science is on the curriculum.

Source: NoFrakkingConsensus
  A new report by Andrew Montford called Nullius in Verba describes how a series of presidents of the Royal Society used their positions to promote a speculative theory of impending climate doom.  This theory is so poorly supported, and often contradicted, by observations of the climate system that it is forced to lean heavily on the more readily manipulated virtual world of computer models to gain some credence - at least among the gullible or among those who see advantage in taking the theory as incontrovertible fact.

Another fine resource for both teacher and pupil interested in the Royal Society has just been posted on Bishop Hill.  The Royal Society is often quoted, along with the IPCC, as an authoritative body we should trust.  Donna Laframboise's book has revealed the IPCC as being far from trustworthy, Andrew Montford's pamphlet has revealed the Royal Society in the hands of irresponsible politically-motivated alarmists, and now we have the words of a Fellow of that Society courteously demolishing any residual respect a naive observer might have clinged to out of deference to such a body.  Here is a small extract, put in italics and partly emboldened by me for display here:

'Although I am not a climate scientist, I am sufficiently conversant with the climate science literature to be able to assess the issues accurately. My conclusion is that the case for catastrophic warming induced by man-made CO2 emissions is extremely weak ...

The case for catastrophic warming rests solely on the sign and magnitude of the feedbacks. As has been often said, “Extraordinary claims demand extraordinary evidence”. The potential of catastrophic AGW is an extraordinary claim, but is without compelling supporting evidence. Because of the way that the AGW issue has been politicized together with the behavior of certain climate scientists, the reputation of science and the institutions that support it have suffered. Further, were catastrophic AGW to join the dreary parade of alarms that have punctuated the recent history of affluent societies, the consequences to science and the Society could be severe. It may take a long time before reputations are restored. It is, therefore, imperative for the Society to stay away from politics and advocacy of AGW or any other science based issue, no matter how beguiling the prospect may seem...'

See the post at Bishop Hill for the rest.  This is a very useful introductory overview of many of the reasons why intemperate alarm over the climate is out of order. Links are provided to back up the letter-writer's concerns.


  1. I've just read that post and the comments. One of those (from Anthony Hanwell) is also excellent, and I've saved the complete page, just in case.

  2. I'd say the "case for catastrophic warming" rests solely on manipulated temperature data. I've just posted on the extraordinary "adjustments" GHCN has made to the temperature records for San Francisco and Los Angeles. Zero warming trend from 1881 to present has been morphed into a surprisingly similar 1.61°C/century rise. How they get away with this is beyond me. Perhaps GHCN stands for Global Hyper-inflated Climatology Network.

    That's an excellent piece at Bishop Hill.The whole IPCC edifice is not just on shaky ground, it has feet of clay too. (That's a few too many metaphors, I know, but I luv 'em).

  3. Dave - I have added to two letters, which I now deem as open letters, to my Page on Climate Wisdom

    MostlyHarmless. Data quality control seems to be a major weakness in the alarmist case, as is of course their ability to predict or even match existing data with their models. Some data adjustment is not out of order, but the convenient adjustments of such as GISS and others does, in these poisoned circumstances of undue alarm and political exploitation, seem worthy of critical review.