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Latest Faulty Arguements from the Global Warming "Skeptics"

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  • Mike Neuman
    First they took on the environmentalists. Then they took on the IPCC scientists and UK s chief scientist Sir David King. Now they are after the scientific
    Message 1 of 1 , Dec 9, 2004
      First they took on the environmentalists. Then they took on the IPCC
      scientists and UK's chief scientist Sir David King. Now they are
      after the scientific journals themselves.

      Could it be that U.S. Senator Joe McCarthy has returned from the
      grave to peddle for the fossil fuel industries under the guise of the
      global warming "skeptics"?
      Nature Lays An(other) Egg

      We'll grant the editorial staff at Nature this: They never are
      about printing really loosey-goosey stuff whenever the United Nations
      Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) needs a boost or on
      the eve of another glitzy UN confab to discuss global climate change.
      Who can forget Nature's 1996 gaffe timed in conjunction with the
      meeting in Geneva, Switzerland that gave rise to the Kyoto Protocol?
      Nature published a paper by various federal climatologists intended
      to demonstrate how upper-air data from 1963 through 1987 was in synch
      with gloom-and-doom generated by various climate models.

      As our long-time readers will recall, the researchers failed to use
      the complete temperature record — a record that actually spanned
      through 1995. Once the long-term record was plugged in (sometime
      after the conference) all correspondence between the climate model
      results and climate reality evaporated. It turns out 1963 (six years
      after the starting point of the available data) was very cold thanks
      to eruption of Agung, a very large volcano. And it hardly was a
      coincidence that 1987 (a point eight years shy of the available
      record's end) was unusually warm because of an El Niño event.
      The use
      of a foreshortened record of course results in a projection of robust
      global warming whereas the overall record shows no dramatic trend.

      But that was then and this is now — a time when things really are

      British Prime Minister Tony Blair shortly will assume a year's
      presidency of the G-8. He's already spoken of his two top
      global warming and terrorism. Is that really the order of precedence?
      It seems to be. Blair's science advisor, Sir David King, is
      hopscotching the world and telling anyone who will listen that global
      warming is a far greater threat than international terrorism.

      It's no surprise, then, that Nature is willing to oblige
      political agenda and publish yet another we're-all-gonna-die
      pegged to Europe's 2003 summer heat waves, citing them as
      that such a thing can be expected to happen every other year by mid-
      century, according to researcher Peter Stott.

      And how might Stott know this? A climate model tells him so, of
      course — a climate model that factors in a 0.83 percent per year
      increase in the atmosphere's carbon dioxide concentration. This
      is an
      intriguing assumption in light of the fact the actual increase was
      0.39 percent in the 1970s, 0.45 percent in the 1980's, and 0.42
      percent during the 1990s. The last three decades, in other words,
      average something like half what the climate model (and Stott)

      Climate models largely are linear with respect to the warming they
      project related to increasing carbon dioxide. As a consequence, the
      model that is the basis for this particular Nature article over-
      predicts warming during the next several decades by the same 50
      percent! It can't help but to do so.

      We want to be clear about this. We're not claiming that the
      concentration of CO2 won't rise during the next fifty years.
      the trend, after all. But assuming that it already is happening at a
      pace that will result in a 0.83 percent per year average increase for
      the next 50 years simply has no basis in fact, which should in and of
      itself invalidate the published result. This becomes especially true
      when one realizes that the time that it takes a carbon dioxide
      increment to fully express itself in terms of increased surface
      temperature is several decades (at least). In other words, the
      concentration of CO2 in the atmosphere, today, will have more
      influence on surface temperature in 2050 than will the atmospheric
      concentration in 2025.

      CO2andClimate Alert senior editor Patrick J. Michaels confronted
      Myles Allen (listed as third author of the new Nature article) with
      this climatologic reality when they appeared together live on BBC-TV.
      Allen's defense? They use the wrong number because, he says,
      the number the UN uses and it is a respected scenario. Later, under
      the glare of the studio lights, Allen admitted that if one were
      to `tune' their model with a realistic CO2 rise instead of
      looney 0.83 percent scenario, the result would be exactly the amount
      of warming Michaels has projected for years — a mere
      of a degree rise per half-century.

      So which do you trust, reality or a made-up scenario?

      What is particularly galling about Stott's and Allen's paper
      is its
      use of blatant political polemics masquerading as science. Nature
      routinely requires a first paragraph intended to function much as an
      abstract of a science paper, an opening paragraph distilling the
      relevant research findings into something that people who are too
      busy to read the details can quickly grasp. In other words, the
      opening paragraph (abstract) is supposed to reflect the research
      paper's content. Consider, then, the first sentence in this
      particular article's first paragraph, "The Summer of 2003 was
      probably the hottest in Europe since at least A.D. 1500, and
      unusually large numbers of heat-related deaths were reported in
      France, Germany and Italy."

      If `death' were the key word used to search the four-page
      article for
      additional relevant detail, what would the reader find? Nothing. Not
      one occurrence. A better teaser for Stott's article might have
      been, "Sir David King, Prime Minister Tony Blair's science
      wants you to believe global warming is a greater threat than
      international terrorism, so consider this: The summer of 2003 was
      probably the hottest in Europe since at least A.D. 1500, and
      unusually large numbers of heat-related deaths were reported in
      France, Germany and Italy."

      In greater service to Sir David, Stott et al. go on to write:
      "…it is
      difficult to avoid the conclusion that potentially dangerous
      anthropogenic interference in the climate system is already under
      way." We'll give Stott and his co-authors this much credit,
      didn't go on to write, "…and as the climate warms, people
      are so
      stupid that they will choose to slowly fry and expire, rather than
      adapt to this gradual change" (although the implication is
      Writing something like that would have been exceedingly absurd
      because that hypothesis has been tested. The results were reported by
      the International Journal of Biometeorology in what was
      awarded "climate paper of the year" by the Association of
      Geographers. What that prize-winning research found was that, as
      urban climates slowly warmed for causes not related to global
      warming, heat-related deaths became more infrequent. In fact, in some
      cities, such deaths could no longer be statistically located. Yet
      Stott et al., brandish the future prospect of hundreds of thousands
      of heat-related deaths in front of Tony Blair and can't bring
      themselves to cite an article you can read more about at

      Stott, P.A., Stone, D.A., Allen, M.R., 2004. Human contribution to
      the European heatwave of 2003. Nature, 432, 610-614.

      Davis, R.E., Knappenberger, P.C., Novicoff, W.M., Michaels, P.J.,
      2003. Decadal changes in summer mortality in U.S. cities.
      International Journal of Biometeorology, 47, 166-175.



      -----Original Message-----
      From: Ned Leonard [mailto:wcr@...]
      Sent: Thursday, December 09, 2004 10:08 AM
      To: CO2andClimate Alert
      Subject: CO2andClimate Alert - December 9, 2004.

      The Clinton/Gore Administration offered up plenty of examples
      of `political science.' Now, as British PM Tony Blair
      prepares to
      assume chairmanship of the G-8, Nature provides science in support of
      politics. Blair's science advisor believes global warming to be a
      greater threat today than international terrorism. Something needs be
      cooked up to advance that absurd assertion and Nature is pleased to
      comply with a paper rooted in an absurd premise and sporting a
      peculiarly European twist. Read about it in our latest CO2andClimate
      Alert. You'll find it at


      Ned Leonard

      Executive Director

      Greening Earth Society

      333 John Carlyle Street, Suite 530

      Alexandria, VA 22314

      (703) 684-4748 Phone

      (703) 684-6297 Fax
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