Climate Change: The Reality


For a number of years now a group of distinguished and independent scientists, headed by my old friend Professor Fred Singer, have been shadowing the work of the IPCC.  Rather cheekily, they call their group the Non-governmental International Panel on Climate Change  — NIPCC – but I think of it as “Not the IPCC”.   The next IPCC report, expected shortly, has been widely trailed, and is expected to moderate its estimates of the climate’s sensitivity to atmospheric CO2.

Getting in ahead, the NIPCC has just launched an up-date of its own, very thorough and detailed critique of the IPCC’s interpretation of the science.

Too often we hear Warmists claiming that sceptics never quote peer-reviewed papers.  The NIPCC cites dozens of peer-reviewed papers, and indeed uses some material already cited by the IPCC, but reaches different conclusions.  I’d like to quote extensively, but even the Executive Summary at 24 pages is far too long to quote, while the whole report is a door-stop.

So I’ve selected a list of findings from Figure 1 in the Executive Summary.  If you want the justification and background for the statements below (which will come as a surprise to those who get their news from the BBC), check the whole document at the links above.

Atmospheric carbon dioxide (CO2) is a mild greenhouse gas that exerts a diminishing warming effect as its concentration increases.

Doubling the concentration of atmospheric CO2 from its pre-industrial level, in the absence of other forcings and feedbacks, would likely cause a warming of ~0.3 to 1.1°C, almost 50% of which must already have occurred.

A few tenths of a degree of additional warming, should it occur, would not represent a climate crisis.

Model outputs published in successive IPCC reports since 1990 project a doubling of CO2 could cause warming of up to 6°C by 2100. Instead, global warming ceased around the end of the twentieth century and was followed (since 1997) by 16 years of stable temperature.

Over recent geological time, Earth’s temperature has fluctuated naturally between about +4°C and -6°C with respect to twentieth century temperature. A warming of 2°C above today, should it occur, falls within the bounds of natural variability.

Though a future warming of 2°C would cause geographically varied ecological responses, no evidence exists that those changes would be net harmful to the global environment or to human well-being.

At the current level of ~400 ppm we still live in a CO2-starved world. Atmospheric levels 15 times greater existed during the Cambrian Period (about 550 million years ago) without known adverse effects.

The overall warming since about 1860 corresponds to a recovery from the Little Ice Age modulated by natural multidecadal cycles driven by ocean-atmosphere oscillations, or by solar variations at the de Vries (~208 year) and Gleissberg (~80 year) and shorter periodicities.

Earth has not warmed significantly for the past 16 years despite an 8% increase in atmospheric CO2, which represents 34% of all extra CO2 added to the atmosphere since the start of the industrial revolution.

CO2 is a vital nutrient used by plants in photosynthesis. Increasing CO2 in the atmosphere “greens” the planet and helps feed the growing human population.

No close correlation exists between temperature variation over the past 150 years and human-related CO2 emissions. The parallelism of temperature and CO2 increase between about 1980 and 2000 AD could be due to chance and does not necessarily indicate causation.

The causes of historic global warming remain uncertain, but significant correlations exist between climate patterning and multi-decadal variation and solar activity over the past few hundred years.

Forward projections of solar cyclicity imply the next few decades may be marked by global cooling rather than warming, despite continuing CO2 emissions.

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24 Responses to Climate Change: The Reality

  1. I don’t think anybody could, factually, dispute all that as being reasonable.

    The BBC, being legally required to be a “balanced” news source and not simply a wholly corrupt, totalitarian fascist propaganda organ will doubtless give this as at least close to as much coverage as they give the openly political IPCC one.

    Or not as the case may be.

  2. Senzar says:

    Maybe you should have a word with this chap:

    I wouldn’t bother reading the comments though as it’s a (loss making) Guardian Troll fest.

  3. catalanbrian says:

    Professor Singer is a well known science maverick who seems to have allowed his libertarian ideology to somewhat cloud his vision, so he comes up with a list of views that are considerably outside the mainstream. At the very least he can be described as a controversial character who has some pretty unusual opinions (passive smoking does not lead to lung cancer, for example which was funded not unsurprisingly by the tobacco lobby). It has been suggested that Professor Singer is a “hired gun” prepared to endorse any climate change scepticism.
    Here is a short extract from an article on Professor Singer that was published in Rolling Stone magazine in 2010

    “A former mouthpiece for the tobacco industry, the 85-year-old Singer is the granddaddy of fake “science” designed to debunk global warming. The retired physicist — who also tried to downplay the danger of the hole in the ozone layer — is still wheeled out as an authority by big polluters determined to kill climate legislation. For years, Singer steadfastly denied that the world is heating up: Citing satellite data that has since been discredited, he even made the unhinged claim that “the climate has been cooling just slightly.” Last year, Singer served as a lead author of “Climate Change Reconsidered” — an 880-page report by the right-wing Heartland Institute that was laughably presented as a counterweight to the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change, the world’s scientific authority on global warming. Singer concludes that the unchecked growth of climate-cooking pollution is “unequivocally good news.” Why? Because “rising CO2 levels increase plant growth and make plants more resistant to drought and pests.” Small wonder that Heartland’s climate work has long been funded by the likes of Exxon and reactionary energy barons like Charles Koch and Richard Mellon Scaife.”

    The Heartland Institute is an organisation funded by organisations and individuals who have financial or ideological interests in denying that there is any climate change
    Nature magazine wrote of them
    “Despite criticizing climate scientists for being overconfident about their data, models and theories, the Heartland Institute proclaims a conspicuous confidence in single studies and grand interpretations….makes many bold assertions that are often questionable or misleading…. Many climate sceptics seem to review scientific data and studies not as scientists but as attorneys, magnifying doubts and treating incomplete explanations as falsehoods rather than signs of progress towards the truth. … The Heartland Institute and its ilk are not trying to build a theory of anything. They have set the bar much lower, and are happy muddying the waters.”

    So I suggest that one should take anything that they publish with a very large pinch of salt.

    I have to say that it does rather worry me that one of our MEPs, who has been elected to represent the interests of the people of Europe is prepared to listen only to those who clearly have interests in maintaining a discredited view on matters such as climate change. Yes, be sceptical if you so wish, but surely any sceptic should listen to all sides of the argument rather than getting himself led astray by the lunatic fringe.

    • David H. Walker says:

      Catalanbrian, Fred Singer is at least as credible as Albert Gore, Maurice Strong, Michael Mann and the band of geniuses at East Anglia, and all the others who demanded we “act fast” to stop climate change — as if man can keep the climate from changing. To their credit, however, they appreciate the ups and downs of temperature oscillation, hence the demand we “act fast”.

      The context that man’s CO2 production will cause an imbalance so severe as to break the Earth’s climate, and that redistributing trillions of dollars away from the productive, knowledgeable classes to the establishments in industrial and developing nations, may be the most corrupt and juvenile undertaking of our time.

      No one with any brains will deny that the global warming/climate change/climate disruption is about creating the perception of crisis in order to define who gets rich, and who pays, by government force. It’s roughly the same Marxist-socialist-corporatist scam that gets trotted out to destroy individual liberty, freedom, property wherever it thrives. If only people would stop submitting themselves to fear and, instead, live by faith.

      Fred Singer’s reputation does nothing to diminish the lights now shining on the crisis construction, the racket.

    • rfhmep says:

      And it bothers me, Catalanbrian, that you seem to be prepared to listen only to the arrant propaganda of the climate lobby, who make a great deal more money out of the climate scam than Professor Singer ever made out of the tobacco industry. One small piece of work decades ago on a tobacco project, and it’s brought up to discredit him every time his name comes up (although I can’t see why he shouldn’t do such work).

      I know the man. He works his socks off, and largely finances himself. I have also, of course, talked with many other scientists who share his view. Brian, don’t join those who seek to shout down the voice of common sense.

      • catalanbrian says:

        Roger. I have listened to both/all sides of the argument and I have concluded that I am still with the majority view until such time as the climate change deniers can produce satisfactory, non politically biased, evidence to the contrary.

        As for you, neilfutureboy I am afraid that your use of the terms “econazi” , “murdering econazi” and your comment “I note your refusal to condemn econazis who are behaving hundreds of thousands of times worse than you dishonestly claim Professor Singer is as representing the very highest standard of honesty you, or indeed the murdering ecconazi community ever aspire to and that it could not h been said by anybody who was not an, at least, 99.999% corrupt lying murdering Nazi.
        I note calling ne (sic) a “lunatic” as representing the very highest standard of honesty, or decency you ever aspire to, or apparently which any member of the ecofascist community not willing to denounce you as the obscene wholly corrupt fascist liar you clearly are. Or. perhaps you will now tell as you do psychiatry on the side too.” do all add up to the writings of a person who is suffering from extreme and rather worrying paranoia.

        You can believe what you will about me, but if you think that I would be stupid enough to expose myself to a person as deranged as you appear to be from your writings you had better think again. It is clear that a rational discussion cannot be had with you. Whilst I disagree with much of what Mr Helmer writes and stands for I believe that he does at least honestly hold his views. I am not so sure about you, neilfutureboy.

  4. This is worth a watch if you have the time. These are lunatic fringe members of UK Parliament.

    This is also worth a look for the laughs. Report from 40 years’ ago.

    Here’s the cost analysis of trying to address AGW (which is impossible in any case).

    Finally a scientific debate with credible speakers, old but really good and balanced.

    You keep playing the man and not the ball Brian. As is the norm for you and your comrades.

  5. catalanbrian says:

    Playing the man not the ball rather appears to be exactly what the deniers are doing. Personally I stick with the majority of experts, rather than the lunatic fringe.

    • ex - Expat Colin says:

      You mentioned further up something about going with a majority view and again the majority of experts here. Please discuss…..relate to evidence that you can produce and that can be easily verified,

      Your audience is waiting for quite some lengthy piece. Use more pages as required.

    • Tom Collins says:

      The Climate Change/Global Warming scam is based on Computer Projections.
      Now THERE’S where we should be looking. You only get out, what you put in!

      • Agreed Tom Collins…… 30+ years in IT and its still as true now as it was when I started way back in the early 80’s….GARBAGE in, GARBAGE out…computers only do what WE tell/programme them to do and react to the data WE input….end of story….just like statistics, given a required result, anyone can make a computer “prove” it 🙂

  6. I note Brian having denounced Singer purely on an allegation that Heartland money is biased, and being, at least to some extent, honest has also here spent thouanbds of times more denouncing “Albert Gore, Maurice Strong, Michael Mann and the band of geniuses at East Anglia” who are state funded and, since he has been caught here repeatedly being untruthful and has refused to say who funds him, himself.

    Oops no – got that wrong – he hasn’t. Who would have expected that?

    • catalanbrian says:

      I don’t need to take issue with those people as I am not relying on them to support the thrust of my argument. Roger Helmer raised Prof Singer and I felt it important to draw readers attention to the facts surrounding him and the organisation Heartlands. As for me being untruthful, no repeatedly untruthful; that is an unnecessary and untrue allegation and in normal circumstances I would request an apology, but don’t as I know that this will not be forthcoming from the biased and lunatic neilfutureboy, as he has previous form on this. I do find it rather odd that you so called libertarians need to support every issue that supports your ideals, not because it is right but because you are ideologically wedded to it. Why can’t you realise that sometimes the opposition may be right? Then you need to embrace that, however much you might prefer the truth to be different and move on.

      Finally be aware that I am funded by nobody, other than my earnings from my farm and my small private pension.

      • You made the claim about the farm previ8ously Brian but refused to support it and proved to have a remarkable degree of ignorance on the subject.

        I note your claim that apologies should be made for rudeness as representing the very hghest standard of honesty you aspire to.

        I note your refusal to condemn econazis who are behaving hundreds of thousands of times worse than you dishonestly claim Professor Singer is as representing the very highest standard of honesty you, or indeed the murdering ecconazi community ever aspire to and that it could not h been said by anybody who was not an, at least, 99.999% corrupt lying murdering Nazi,

        I note calling ne a “lunatic” as representing the very highest standard of honesty, or decency you ever aspire to, or apparently which any member of the ecofascist community not willing to denounce you as the obscene wholly corrupt fascist liar you clearly are. Or. perhaps you will now tell as you do psychiatry on the side too.

        However if you care to prove your identity or apologise for your gratuitous insults I will accept them.

        Or, to prove I take no unreasonable offence, alternately can you name any warming alarmist whose is at least 999 times more honest than yourself. My guess is you can’t.

  7. ex - Expat Colin says:

    Experts…suppose that includes the economists and loose mouth journalists? It is indeed the money honeypot that attracts the experts, but the term itself is very wide. Seems anybody with an interest is in the range. Or is that a Vested Interest?

    No problem with listening to both sides of any argument, but have to get off the wall at some point, and could jump to the other side where solid, verifiable, repeatable evidence emerges in this complex case. Guessing with a poor model or set of models and input/output scenarios should definitely not drive policies that seem intent on bankrupting us. Such models might inform, but I don’t think they do as compared with a simple set of historic records. We shall perhaps see on the next IPCC deliverable…tuned up or down?

    And now Pachauri infoms us that cooking in India is nipping off the Alpine Glaciers, thats apart from choking/killing Indian women/children badly – perhaps that last bit is not important?

  8. Richard111 says:

    Excellent post. Thank you. Here is my layman’s view from trying to study the physics on the internet.
    Carbon dioxide CAN absorb energy from sunlight in the 2.7 and 4.3 micron bands. This warming that goes into the atmosphere did not reach the ground. The claim is half of will reach the ground. Even if that were true, HALF of the energy DIDN’T reach the ground! If we go into deep physics it is possible to argue that NONE of the energy reached the ground at levels that would provide any warming. By that I am talking about the 15 micron band. CO2 in the atmosphere will be radiating furiously in all directions in the 15 micron band. Quite probably filling in some of the 13 to 17 micron band as well. But photons in the 13 to 17 micron band can’t warm up anything that is already much warmer than about -60C, 213K.

    It boils down to how much warming is fed into the atmosphere by the sun via CO2 to how much energy is radiated by CO2 to space from the atmosphere which is a continuous process.

    I have yet to see any paper that explains the physics in detail as to how CO2 in the atmosphere can ‘trap’ heat and warm up the world. Just endless prattling about imaginary temperatures.

  9. 1957chev says:

    How do you tell the difference between a climate alarmist, and a jackass…..No, really….how do you?

  10. One of the big problems is that very few people either know what the global temperature trends are, or how to find out. As a result they suck up BBC propaganda and think temperatures are rising faster than ever.

    This also applies to most journalists. I’ve lost count of the number of times they cut’n’paste warmist propaganda, without actually thinking that maybe they ought to check the facts first.

    Only this the Sunday Telegraph stated that “warming had slowed down since 1998″. It has not “slowed” it has stopped, as anyone familiar with the numbers has known for sometime.

    All the four major global temperature datasets are updated monthly, and I report on these with graphs each month as well. You can find it here.

    I am also going to do a post in a day or two, outlining the longer term trends.

    We really do need to get the message across that global warming stopped about 15 yrs ago, and that this fact comes from the official datasets, and not some sceptical blog.

    • ex - Expat Colin says:

      Paul – I agree with you. Many people have been frightened by the threats and behavior of western governments in this context. In the extreme some have lost their livelihood having disagreed to some extent. No wonder the Nazi thing appears from time to time. Be careful what you say/write.

      The election turnouts (local/national) are very low in UK and I continually wonder. Are we a nation of about 50% fools or exactly what. So much for the great British public? Individuals, yes…big group…nope.

      I have witnessed UK Gov (red/blue) over many years fail on computing systems procurement…that goes through Military projects/ Civilian ATC and more. No surprise to me to see NHS IT failures (any OGD stuff). Some of it hobbles along now but could have been developed correctly if procured and developed under competent control. It appears that nobody/few amongst us can or is allowed to competently manage such projects. So expand that out to anything else Gov attempts to do. Result will be pretty much weak or inevitable large money lost – generally a forgone conclusion. The EU project takes that a massive step further….so that we in Europe will not get punchy again?

      Major failures on a large scale at every turn it appears. To overcome what is reported (journalists with big debts?) and to reach those who perhaps do not understand is nigh on impossible I think. The weak will remain weak and likely vote Labour – thats good for a big blast and to hell with the consequences.

      I wish you well in your endeavor.

  11. Hugo Miller says:

    About three years ago I watched the 6 o’clock news on ITV; the headline, boomed out loud and clear, was this; “The debate is over. Climate change IS happening and WE are to blame.” At that point I knew we were dealing not with science, but with a pseudo-religion.

  12. Pingback: Renewables Or Subsidy, It’s Still A Silly Climate-Denialist Question. | TheCritique Archives

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