Bad Science Bait & Switch Climate Change Non-Science

State of Emergency

Image Credit : Rahmstorf et al. (2007)

When is Gordon Brown, the British Prime Minister going to appear on TV and tell it to us straight ?

Climate Change is real, and it’s happening now, and the sceptics, deniers, delayers and cynics are all wrong. And somebody with some kind of respect needs to be saying that, regularly, with backup, in all the media channels.

It’s time that scepticism, denialism, delayism and cynicism were ruled out of order.

“…It has almost reached the point at which Energy and Climate Secretary Ed Miliband could state that the colour red has a wavelength of about 650 nanometres and a large group would immediately rise up to contradict him. And the regular mention of higher levels of green taxation doesn’t help – it just emphasises that the battle against climate change seems to be quite closely associated with giving governments more control over what we do and how we do it…Whether we like it or not, we will not get substantive action unless the growing scepticism in the electorate is addressed. This means a much greater willingness to engage in debate and discussion…”

I don’t think there’s room for debate or discussion.

You can’t have a debate with a Climate Change sceptic, as they won’t see reason, as they most often don’t know anything about the science, only some psychological gameplaying they picked up off the Internet, or the TV or a tabloid newspaper they found discarded on a train.

The Media isn’t helping as they continue to give a platform to Climate Change sceptical views, not knowing the fallacies on which they are based. Because they don’t hire journalists with a science or engineering background. Journalists are, on the whole, great with wordplay, but hopeless at spotting when they’re been hoodwinked.

I wouldn’t trust a bunch of ideas that principally come from Fossil Fuel industry sponsored doubt manufacturers, but journalists do, because they can’t tell the difference between an authentic factual statement and spin on science. And neither can their editors. It seems.

For example, a relative of mine pointed me to this today :-

“A changing climate : SIR – Indur Goklany questioned whether global warming has caused an increase in droughts and floods (Letters, October 10th). In fact, the answer is already well settled. That question was examined thoroughly by the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change. In its 2001 report, one chapter, titled “Has climate variability, or have climate extremes, changed?”, concluded that there was no discernible increase in storms, hurricanes, floods or droughts. A re-examination of that issue therefore seemed unnecessary in the IPCC’s 2007 report. Concerning rising sea levels, this is a more complex issue since a natural increase of 1-2mm a year has been occurring for many centuries. However, over the past few decades no anthropogenic signal in sea-level changes has been detected. This is firmly backed up by precise satellite altimetry. Meanwhile it was just last month that Professor Mojib Latif of the University of Kiel in Germany, a renowned climate expert and IPCC author, presented his latest work at the World Climate Conference in Geneva. His findings show that the mean global temperature has actually declined since 2001. Moreover, his computer models predict a further temperature drop over the coming decades. All of this beckons the question: just where are the supposedly detrimental effects of anthropogenic CO2? Horst-Joachim Luedecke, Retired professor of physics, Heidelberg, Germany”

My relative was a bit confused, thinking that there was some foundation in the retired physics professor’s views.

Fact check it.

Let me start with sea level rise :-
UNFCCC IPCC AR4 WGI Technical Summary : see Table TS.3

“…January 2004 to December 2007…we find that the sum of steric sea level and the ocean mass component has a trend of 1.5 ± 1.0 mm/a over the period, in agreement with the total sea level rise observed by either Jason-1 (2.4 ± 1.1 mm/a) or Envisat (2.7 ± 1.5 mm/a) within a 95% confidence interval….”

“A 20th century acceleration in global sea-level rise : John A. Church and Neil J. White : Received 6 October 2005; revised 22 November 2005; accepted 1 December 2005; published 6 January 2006. Multi-century sea-level records and climate models indicate an acceleration of sea-level rise, but no 20th century acceleration has previously been detected. A reconstruction of global sea level using tide-gauge data from 1950 to 2000 indicates a larger rate of rise after 1993 and other periods of rapid sea-level rise but no significant acceleration over this period. Here, we extend the reconstruction of global mean sea level back to 1870 and find a sea-level rise from January 1870 to December 2004 of 195 mm, a 20th century rate of sea-level rise of 1.7 ± 0.3 mm yr-1 and a significant acceleration of sea-level rise
of 0.013 ± 0.006 mm yr-2. This acceleration is an important confirmation of climate change simulations which show an acceleration not previously observed. If this acceleration remained constant then the 1990 to 2100 rise would range from 280 to 340 mm, consistent with projections in the IPCC TAR. Citation: Church, J. A., and N. J. White (2006), A 20th century acceleration in global sea-level rise, Geophys. Res. Lett., 33, L01602, doi:10.1029/2005GL024826.”

“A Semi-Empirical Approach to Projecting Future Sea-Level Rise : Stefan Rahmstorf : A semi-empirical relation is presented that connects global sea-level rise to global mean surface temperature. It is proposed that, for time scales relevant to anthropogenic warming, the rate of sea-level rise is roughly proportional to the magnitude of warming above the temperatures of the pre–Industrial Age. This holds to good approximation for temperature and sea-level changes during the 20th century, with a proportionality constant of 3.4 millimeters/year per °C. When applied to future warming scenarios of the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change, this relationship results in a projected sea-level rise in 2100 of 0.5 to 1.4 meters above the 1990 level.”

That’s a bit different from the last few centuries. I wonder why that is ?

And as for Mojib Latif’s comments, try this :-

I showed this video to my relative who said “The sceptics can’t read graphs”.

So there you have it. Easily nailed.

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