Seismic shift in climate thinking

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by Ben Webster of The Times
Wednesday, September 29, 2010, 22:09

The Royal Society, bastion of conventional thinking on global warming, is about to announce a change in its thinking! What a glad day. I cannot wait to read their whole statement.     – Richard

Here’s the full story:

Royal Society Bows To Climate Change Sceptics

Britain’s leading scientific institution has been forced to rewrite its guide to climate change and admit that there is greater uncertainty about future temperature increases than it had previously suggested.

The Royal Society is publishing a new document today after a rebellion by more than 40 of its fellows who questioned mankind’s contribution to rising temperatures.

Climate change: a summary of the science states that “some uncertainties are unlikely ever to be significantly reduced”. Unlike Climate change controversies, a simple guide — the document it replaces — it avoids making predictions about the impact of climate change and refrains from advising governments about how they should respond.

Is this criticism I detect?

The new guide says: “The size of future temperature increases and other aspects of climate change, especially at the regional scale, are still subject to uncertainty.”

The Royal Society even appears to criticise scientists who have made predictions about heatwaves and rising sea levels. It now says: “There is little confidence in specific projections of future regional climate change, except at continental scales.”

It adds: “It is not possible to determine exactly how much the Earth will warm or exactly how the climate will change in the future.

“There remains the possibility of learning something…”

“There remains the possibility that hitherto unknown aspects of the climate and climate change could emerge and lead to significant modifications in our understanding.”

The working group that produced the new guide took advice from two Royal Society fellows who have links to the climate-sceptic think-tank founded by Lord Lawson of Blaby.

Professor Anthony Kelly and Sir Alan Rudge are members of the academic advisory council of the Global Warming Policy Foundation. They were among 43 fellows who signed a petition sent to Lord Rees, the society’s president, asking for its statement on climate change to be rewritten to take more account of questions raised by sceptics.

It’s not a complete return to reason

Professor John Pethica, the society’s vice-president and chairman of the working group that wrote the document, said the guide stated clearly that there was “strong evidence” that the warming of the Earth over the past half-century had been caused largely by human activity.

Meanwhile, the Government is planning an exercise to test how England and Wales would cope with severe flooding caused by climate change. Exercise Watermark will take place in March and test emergency services and communities on a range of scenarios that could occur.

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Mike Jowsey
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Mike Jowsey

Yes, we hope the hubris of the science establishment is slowly abating in the face of the few who were brave and impassioned enough to stand against the ‘consensus’ and demand proof. At least they are now saying that the proof is difficult to provide. Here’s hoping they will continue to adopt a more scientific, independent and dispassionate view of climate change. Maybe in time even Prof. Pethica will climb down off his high horse.

Is there any chance that such a turn-around will have a ripple-effect down to the RSNZ?

Richard C
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Richard C

A paucity of proof – the “strong evidence” is noticeably absent . 13 authors, 7 reviewers and 11 contributors to produce a lightweight report “Climate Change: a summary of the science”. 2 PhD’s made a better effort with NIPCC 2009. My Alarm Uncertainty Indicator returns a mildly alarming AUI score of 8 (could 5, may 3) so maybe this is progress. Most of the points have already been raked over ad infinitum so just a few comments will suffice. The carbon cycle and climate 31 Once atmospheric CO2 concentrations are increased, carbon cycle models (which simulate the exchange of carbon between the atmosphere, oceans, soils and plants) indicate that it would take a very long time for that increased CO2 to disappear; this is mainly due to well-known chemical reactions in the ocean. Current understanding indicates that even if there was a complete cessation of emissions of CO2 today from human activity, it would take several millennia for CO2 concentrations to return to preindustrial concentrations. Cohenite comments on this in his inimitable style at JoNova: “Climate sensitivity, equilibrium [ECS], the delayed sensitivity, and transient sensitivity [TCS], what is happening now. ECS depends on… Read more »

Richard Treadgold
Guest

That graph on lifetimes of CO2, showing the IPCC’s preference for alarm, should be in every school in the country. On the AUI: outstanding work, Richard C! I’m laughing all over the place (LAOTP).

Richard C
Guest
Richard C

“When the modeling dunces run a natural forcings only simulation, the only forcing they use is solar,” On reflection, this hastily written (with some exasperation) lunchtime line could have been better. The point here is that running a natural forcings only simulation where the only natural climate driver is the solar forcings dataset (contentious in itself) that is used in the anthro forced simulations negates the expectation of any meaningful result. The Royal Society (and IPCC) say: 34 Natural forcing due to sustained variations in the energy emitted by the Sun over the past 150 years is estimated to be small (about 0.12 Wm-2); But solar influence is far more complex than that (including cloudiness variations and solar influence in combination with other climate driver hypotheses) as this paper by Dr Theodor Landscheidt shows SOLAR ACTIVITY: A DOMINANT FACTOR IN CLIMATE DYNAMICS http://www.john-daly.com/solar/solar.htm Excerpt “Variations in radiation are not the the sun’s only way to influence climate. Between energetic solar eruptions and galactic cosmic radiation modulated by the solar wind on the one hand and electric parameters of the atmosphere on the other, exist couplings, the strength of which varies by 10% in… Read more »

Richard C
Guest
Richard C

The Royal Society’s Toned Down Climate Stance

http://wattsupwiththat.com/2010/09/30/the-royal-societys-toned-down-climate-stance/#more-25613

Some cynicism in the comments – can’t think why.

Andy
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Andy

Off topic, have you seen the latest splatter movie from the 10-10 campaign?

http://wattsupwiththat.com/2010/09/30/o-m-g-video-explodes-skeptical-kids-in-bloodbath/

The WUWT article links back to our old friend Hot Topic, no doubt pushing up its hits.

I am speechless; this video is beyond the pale.

Ron
Guest
Ron

unbelievable, what a massive own goal.

Hub Bakker
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Hub Bakker

Great graph Richard! I’ll be sure to use it in my next talk.

Huub Bakker
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Huub Bakker

(If I could spell my name right people wouldn’t be so inclined to mispronounce it!)

Richard C
Guest
Richard C

Gareth says a sense of humour is required.

I guess he condones the actions of Stalin, Mao and Pol Pot too – the end justifies the means.

Or James J. Lee’s hostage taking at Discovery, protesting over-population (got himself shot – too funny).

Now we have official approval and promotion of the anti-human motives underlying Green-Leftism.

If climate change was just a scientific argument, it would never have got this far. But when this imagery comes along, it’s not about the science anymore – it’s about propaganda and indoctrination. These were “the rules of the game”

http://klimakatastrophe.files.wordpress.com/2009/11/rulesofthegame.pdf

Looks like they’ve got new rules now.

Richard C
Guest
Richard C

Nope – same rules.

5. style principles

17. Use emotions and visuals
Another classic marketing rule: changing behaviour by
disseminating information doesn’t always work, but emotions
and visuals usually do.

Huub Bakker
Guest
Huub Bakker

Huh, my original post (in which I misspelled my name) disappeared, making my last post somewhat cryptic.

Anyway, I thanked Richard C for his reference to the graph of CO2 residence times in the atmosphere with the IPCCs as a rank outlier; I shall use this in my next talk on global warming.

Richard C
Guest
Richard C

Garreth’ s now (in)famous on WUWT, video’s gone viral, Delingpole’s weighed in – oh dear

Hot Topic on WUWT
http://wattsupwiththat.com/2010/10/01/1010-exploding-skeptical-children-video-disappears/

Delingpole – ‘Go green or we’ll kill your kids’ says Richard Curtis eco-propaganda shocker
http://blogs.telegraph.co.uk/news/jamesdelingpole/100056510/go-green-or-well-kill-your-kids-says-richard-curtis-eco-propaganda-shocker/

Huub Bakker
Guest
Huub Bakker

I have just sent the following email to the New Zealand contact for the 10:10, nz@1010global.org. Feel free to do the same. 🙂 Hello, I write to you as someone with a doctorate as a Chemical Engineer and as a senior lecturer at Massey University for more than 20 years. I have the training to intelligently analyse the issue of anthropogenic global warming and have spent hundreds of hours doing so. My conclusions are that there is no direct evidence for AGW and that the null hypothesis that AGW does not exist has not been disproven. The hysteria that attends this issue is therefore entirely unwarranted. I have further found that the actions suggested to curb AGW will have no significant affect, even if the hypothesis of AGW was shown to be true. I have also discovered that the costs of such actions would be much more than the costs resulting from AGW, even if true. Most disturbingly, the failure of the scientific, political and journalistic spheres to admit the glaringly obvious forces me to conclude (as many others have) that there are vested interests at work with political, financial and ideological reasons… Read more »

Richard
Guest

A hard-hitting letter, to be sure, and you’re still ever the gentleman. We’re honoured to share a blog with you, Huub, thanks.

Richard C
Guest
Richard C

Australia’s Climate Change Minister has adopted a talk-to-the-hand, hear-no-truth, see-no-truth, speak-no-truth, ostrich-stance in response to the Royal Society report, I wonder what Nick Smith’s response will be? From The Australian “Top science body cools on global warming” http://www.theaustralian.com.au/news/nation/top-science-body-cools-on-global-warming/story-e6frg6nf-1225933012675 Climate Change Minister Greg Combet said the Royal Society’s switch would not have any influence on the government’s push to put a price on carbon. “The government accepts the climate science,” Mr Combet said. “The debate has moved on. “We must now get on with the job of reducing carbon pollution and reforming our economy.” A comprehensive thwacking Of the Royal Society by Indur M. Goklany at WUWT. The Royal Society: Still Embarrassing Science http://wattsupwiththat.com/2010/10/01/the-royal-society-still-embarrassing-science/ With special attention reserved for the models APPENDIX A: IPCC Models Have Not Been Validated The Royal Society are still taken in by the semblance of science in the models: Modelling the climate system 19 ……….From such simulations, one can derive the characteristics of climate likely to occur in future decades, including mean temperature and temperature extremes “derive”? or guess? Given that the models are hard-wired to return nothing other than warming scenarios, a guess based on current model output… Read more »

Richard C
Guest
Richard C

I think you’ve spoken for a good number of us Huub.

I know anything from me to 10:10 would only dilute the effect of your well reasoned message – a hard act to follow.

Flipper
Guest
Flipper

Sorry folks. This is lengthy. But Rupert Wyndham, one of the most respected UK critics of AGW rubbish, sums it up nicely: ************************* Little Killivose, Killivose, Camborne, Cornwall, TR14 9LQ Tel: 01209 610104 Mbl: 07775605116 & 07732491781 E-m: rupertwyndham@gmail.com & lizzieglynn@gmail.com 02 October 2010 Lord Rees President The Royal Society 6-9 Carlton House Terrace London SW1Y 5AG. Dear Lord Rees Let me begin by quoting in part a letter from you to me dated as long ago as 20 April 2007. You wrote: “We have on our website a detailed response to some of the comments made in the Channel 4 programme last month. The issues are sufficiently important that they deserve wide discussion, but this should be on the basis of the best scientific evidence.” During the intervening three and a half years, in essentials, “the best scientific evidence” has changed hardly at all. In colloquial terms, a trace gas, amounting to less than 1/400th part of a single percentage point by volume of the atmosphere, continues to be branded as “the Great Satan”. As such tens, nay hundreds, of billions of taxpayers funds in consequence continue to be squandered. So, there’s… Read more »

Ron
Guest
Ron
Richard C
Guest
Richard C

Missed this on the next slide. [SLIDE 21] Furthermore, models match the observed changes in temperature separately on every continent. This was a relatively new result in the period between the third and the fourth assessment by the IPCC. The results from AR4 2007 are to 2005 (it’s now 2010) but note that the model results can only mimic the observed condition (which series, GISSTemp?) by using a mean of 59 simulations from 14 models. But even then the mean does not track the warming from 1930-1945. If they can’t track past warming when they are warm-biased, what chance of simulating even the near future? Or cooling? They were only able to hind-cast cooling because Agung, El Chichon and Pinatubo were introduced to the models for AR4, hence Holdren’s “new result” for AR4 – nothing noteworthy about that. http://www.ipcc.ch/publications_and_data/ar4/wg1/en/faq-8-1-figure-1.html The apparent CO2/temp correlation has been broken since 2000. From now on the models won’t have the benefit of hindsight or the apparent correlation. We are only looking at the warming phase of the earths natural warming-cooling cycle in that plot, the models won’t be so lucky when the cooling phase really kicks in.… Read more »

Richard C
Guest
Richard C

Not too long at all.

“There is also the acknowledgment that any warming “trend” seemingly represented by the 80s and 90s has ceased during the past decade.”

“Furthermore, even now, it continues to peddle falsehood. In relation to climate models, for example, its stance continues to be predicated on their essential reliability, when it is abundantly clear that they are even now highly subjective, and have been in the recent past manifestly fraudulent. As much to the point also, of course, is the fact that the IPCC has publicly acknowledged that general circulations models are unreliable”

Pity Rupert didn’t cc Nick Smith.

Richard C
Guest
Richard C

Smack down – reality checks everywhere today.

Huub Bakker
Guest
Huub Bakker

On the contrary Richard, every email sent is another vote of support for our stance. The public thinks that we are few and unimportant. It behooves as many of us as possible (including those that read blogs like this but do not wish to post) to make our numbers manifest. On the political front, numbers will change politicians’ minds, nothing else.

Richard C
Guest
Richard C

Okay, point taken.

I’ll try to compose something another day, with a fresh mind, from a different angle, same disgust.

Andy
Guest
Andy

Wow, Anthony Watts gets stuck into poor old Gareth.

This 10-10 story certainly has hit a few nerves.

Australis
Guest
Australis

One argument used by the then Labour Government for introducing the world’s only national ETS was that it would bring certainty for business and encourage investment.

But the (UK) Royal Society says:
“There remains the possibility that hitherto unknown aspects of the climate and climate change could emerge and lead to significant modifications in our understanding.”

How long will the ETS last after the first modification of the previous ‘consensus’?

Richard C
Guest
Richard C

“There remains the possibility that hitherto unknown aspects of the climate and climate change could emerge and lead to significant modifications in our understanding.”

I wonder if their modified “understanding” will include natural climate cycles?

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