Yesterday I posted my blog piece reviewing Steve Goreham’s book “Climatism!”. And the same day we heard about a new report, apparently prepared jointly by our own Met Office and the US National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA), which claims to offer “unequivocal evidence of global warming”, and states baldly that “the world has been heating up since the 1980s”.
How do we square this with Goreham’s scepticism?
Dr. Peter Stott of the Met Office (and a notorious Warmist) says “It is glaringly obvious that greenhouse gases are the explanation” – although naturally he doesn’t say why it is glaringly obvious. Dr. Stott is one of the lead authors of the IPCC’s 2007 4th Assessment Report. He was also one of the recipients of one of the CRU’s leaked e-mails, from another IPCC author, sent in October 2009, which said, inter alia, “We can’t account for the lack of warming at the moment, and it is a travesty that we can’t … our observing system is inadequate”. You may have thought that science fearlessly sought the truth, but it seems that Warmist scientists merely seek confirmation of their prejudices.
The irony is that no one I know questions that there has been some warming in the last thirty years – although not much. In fact only about 0.7 deg C in the last hundred years. So the fact of warming is not in dispute. The spin of the Warmists, however, is evident in their insistence on 1980. Over the last 30 years, there is a superficial correlation between the increase in temperatures and the increase in atmospheric CO2. What they don’t want you to know is that the current warming trend started around 1850 – that’s 160 years ago, not 30. And they don’t want to air that point, because significant increases in CO2 did not occur until the mid 20th century – a hundred years after the current warming trend started.
It is perfectly obvious, therefore, that the trend is not cause by CO2, but is simply a long, slow recovery from the Little Ice Age. As I say so often, it is consistent with well-understood, long-term, natural climate cycles. Dr. Stott offers no evidence that CO2 is a factor. He merely states that it is “glaringly obvious”. But science needs evidence, not mere assertion.
At the same time, Nature reports that global warming could be wiping out phytoplankton – tiny marine organisms that play a vital role in the oceanic food chain. And we are all familiar with the threat to corals from ocean warming and acidification (caused by CO2), and the threat to all hard-shelled sea creatures which will dissolve in an acidifying ocean. Never mind the polar bears.
But we can sleep easy in our beds. If you believe that climate started in the 1980s, you might be concerned. But the earth, and the climate, have been here for 4.5 billion years. During that time, temperatures have often been higher than today, and atmospheric CO2 levels very much higher indeed – as much a ten times as high. So today’s species – or their ancestors – have survived much more rigorous conditions than we see today. Corals have survived for millions of years, as have other hard-shelled marine species. And polar bears survived the Holocene maxima, the Roman Optimum and the Mediaeval Warm Period, and in fact their numbers are increasing quite strongly today, despite Al Gore’s worries.
The Warmists are very good at scary stories to frighten the children, but their propaganda doesn’t stand a moment’s analysis.