That old canard that “97% of scientists support Anthropogenic Global Warming (AGW)” is cropping up again in social media, parroted cheerfully without critical analysis, so I’ve been drawing attention to my rebuttal on the subject. This was based on Lord Monckton’s painstaking analysis of the original study on which the 97% claim is based. It seems that those who produced the 97% figure cheerfully assumed that any paper that failed to deny AGW outright was supporting it. Far from 97% backing the theory, Monckton showed that less than 3% of the papers cited specifically endorsed it.
Yet the 97% claim keeps coming up, just like the “3½ million jobs at risk if we leave the EU” claim, which is equally fraudulent.
Of course the Warmists are in disarray because all their climate models predicted rising global temperatures based on increasing levels of atmospheric CO2, yet for seventeen years there’s been no further warming. Here we have the classic scientific method: make a hypothesis (AGW); make predictions based on the hypothesis (the computer models); then test the predictions against the real world. We’ve done that, and the predictions have failed. Therefore we have to reject the hypothesis.
Rather than reject their cherished mythology, however, they’ve chosen to come up with ingenious ad hoc explanations of why the models appear to be wrong. Lord Lawson’s Global Warming Policy Foundation has been keeping tabs on these explanations (or as some would describe them, “Just So Stories”) and has counted over 30 so far.
The latest idea is that the world is indeed getting hotter, but because of the circulation of ocean currents, the extra heat is hiding away in the deep oceans, and will come out again in a couple of decades to bite our ankles. You have been warned. The Warmists don’t seem to have realised that if you need to introduce a new and previously unknown concept to explain the failure of your original models, you are simply admitting that the models themselves were wrong, wrong, wrong. The need for major post-facto tweaks is an admission of failure. At the very least, they are admitting that the climate system is far more complicated, and the future trajectory of climate far less certain, than they would have had us believe. Yet they still want us to mortgage our children and bankrupt our grandchildren on the strength of their predictions.
Of course no one disputes that CO2 is a greenhouse gas — if we had none, the world would be frozen. But its effect is governed by a negative logarithmic relationship — a law of diminishing returns. From where we are now, further increases have little effect, and anyway man-made emissions are small compared to the natural CO2 cycle (wait for the next Icelandic volcano!).
The IPCC gets its alarmist results by assuming an exaggerated climate sensitivity to CO2. It justifies this by postulating “positive feedbacks”. But these feedbacks are neither proven nor demonstrated, and many scientists point to negative feedbacks (greater cloud formation and higher albedo, for example) and believe that the balance of feedback effects could be negative.
In any case CO2 is just a single factor amongst many that influence a highly complex climate system that is poorly understood (witness the Warmist need it invent Just So Stories when their predictions fail). Clearly the largest influence on terrestrial climate is the Sun, and well-established, long-term climate cycles are clearly driven by the Sun and other astronomical factors.
The slight warming since the late 18th Century is entirely consistent with the long-term cyclical pattern (like the Mediæval Warm Period and the Roman Optimum). And the historical record clearly shows that CO2 level changes come after temperature changes (since temperature drives the CO2 balance between oceans and atmosphere). The slight recent warming predates the industrial revolution, and the current increase in CO2 is therefore likely the result, not the cause, of the warming.
So let’s stop panicking, and start worrying instead about the damage which “green” policies are doing to our economy.