Royal Society Media Garbage

[ UPDATE : MARTIN ROBBINS, WRITING IN THE GUARDIAN, SUMS UP THE PARLOUS STATE OF SCIENCE JOURNALISM BRILLIANTLY…BY PARODY : http://www.guardian.co.uk/science/the-lay-scientist/2010/sep/24/1?showallcomments=true : “This is a news website article about a scientific paper” ]

Predictably, sadly, Niall Firth writing for the Daily Mail, appears to have read a press briefing from Nigel Lawson’s Global Warming Policy Foundation, and proceeds to repeat errors :-

http://www.dailymail.co.uk/sciencetech/article-1316469/Royal-Society-issues-new-climate-change-guide-admits-uncertainties.html

“Royal Society issues new climate change guide that admits there are ‘uncertainties’ about the science : By NIALL FIRTH : 30th September 2010…”

First up, the reporter documents the false claim that the Royal Society was “forced” to make changes to its public guidance on Climate Change science because of the views of the sceptic-deniers. Nothing could be more flimsy an assertion :-

“…The UK’s leading scientific body has been forced to rewrite its guide on climate change and admit that it is not known how much warmer the Earth will become. The Royal Society has updated its guide after 43 of its members complained that the previous version failed to take into account the opinion of climate change sceptics…”

Well, actually, the reason the Royal Society has been persuaded to issue new Climate Change guidance is because people (including Niall Firth, apparently) do not appear to have understood the science of Climate Change, as they have been listening to the inaccuracies put forward by the sceptic-deniers.

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Royal Society : Progress By Degrees

The Royal Society today publishes its latest layman’s summary of Climate Change, and thankfully manages to avoid several representational pitfalls that sceptic-deniers could have leapt on and said “See ! We told you !”

http://royalsociety.org/climate-change-summary-of-science/

Unfortunately, to my mind, it still has a few chinks in the door that should have slammed shut and permanently sealed off the sceptic-denier “contributions” on the subject.

Let’s look at the Royal Society narrative of progress by degrees, for example.

In section 28, “Aspects of climate change on which there is wide agreement : Climate forcing by greenhouse gas changes”, it reads :-

“…Application of established physical principles shows that, even in the absence of processes that amplify or reduce climate change […], the climate sensitivity would be around 1 degree C, for a doubling of CO2 [Carbon Dioxide] concentrations [in the atmosphere]…”

The related material in section 36, “Aspects of climate change where there is a wide consensus but continuing debate and discussion : Climate sensitivity”, goes on to talk about how global warming causes changes in the hydrological cycle, and how water vapour builds up in the atmosphere because of global warming, leading to further global warming :-

“…The more complex climate models, supported by observations, allow climate sensitivity to be calculated in the presence of processes that amplify or reduce the size of the climate response. Increases in water vapour alone, in response to warming, are estimated to approximately double the climate sensitivity from its value in the absence of amplifying processes. There nevertheless remain uncertainties in how much water vapour amounts will change, and how these changes will be distributed in the atmosphere, in response to a warming. Climate models indicate that the overall climate sensitivity (for a hypothetical doubling of CO2 in the atmosphere) is likely to lie in the range 2 degrees C to 4.5 degrees C; this range is mainly due to the difficulties in simulating the overall effect of the response of clouds to climate change mentioned earlier…”

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Flogging a Dead Non-Scandal

Despite the fact that Robin McKie killed off Climategate on 1st August 2010 in his article for The Observer (thankfully, Will Hutton was away, allowing Robin McKie to venge forcefully) :-

http://www.guardian.co.uk/commentisfree/2010/aug/01/climate-change-robin-mckie

it seems that the Climate Change deniers simply cannot let go of the dead story and bury it. Benny Peiser of the adroitly named “Global Warming Policy Foundation” (suggested motto “We want policies to guarantee Climate chaos” ?), is to publish a report at the end of the month written by Andrew Montford, of Bishop Hill web log fame :-

http://www.thegwpf.org/climategate/1204-investigation-into-climategate-inquiries-announced.html

Sorry to say, but this will be a “we told you so” affair :-

1. We told you so here first – it will be roundly criticised by those who are expert in the subjects of Climate Change and environmental policy.

2. We told you so here first – it will contain a number of significant Scientific claims that will not stand up to close scrutiny.

3. We told you so here first – it will sell.

Continue reading Flogging a Dead Non-Scandal