Seismic shift in climate thinking


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.

Views: 337

27 Thoughts on “Seismic shift in climate thinking

  1. Mike Jowsey on 01/10/2010 at 9:08 am said:

    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?

  2. Richard C on 01/10/2010 at 1:04 pm said:

    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 either storage of the heat so that it can’t be measured now by the designated internal state variable of temperature, which is both impossible and not happening, or that long-term, lags in the climate system are created so that the effect will not be realised for centuries. ECS is usually associated with the alleged long life, or retention of ACO2 in the atmosphere. But ACO2 is not long-lived in the atmosphere:

    Clearly the IPCC views about the long-life of ACO2 is an outlier.”

    In view of the graph he links to, note the masterful understatement in his observation.

    Attribution of climate change
    38 When only natural climate forcings are put into climate models, the models are
    incapable of reproducing the size of the observed increase in global-average surface
    temperatures over the past 50 years. However, when the models include estimates of
    forcings resulting from human activity, they can reproduce the increase. The same
    result is found, albeit with a greater spread between different models, for the simulation
    of observed surface temperature changes for each of the habitable continents


    When the modeling dunces run a natural forcings only simulation, the only forcing they use is solar, so what did they expect? Where is the influence of competing climate driver hypotheses?

    Yes, simulations using human-influenced forcings mimic the 1975-2000 warming but they DON’T mimic the subsequent flat trend for the next decade nor even the 1930’s warming. They assume a CO2-Temp correlation based on an apparent 1975-2000 correlation but correlation does NOT prove causation.

    How many times do these points have to be made before the penny drops?

    39 When known uncertainties in both observed trends and climate models are taken into
    account, the observed vertical and latitudinal variations of temperature change are also
    broadly consistent with those expected from a dominant role for human activity. There
    is an ongoing controversy concerning whether or not the increased warming with
    height in the tropical regions given by climate models is supported by satellite

    Ah! The “missing hotspot” and thence the “missing heat”

    I have heard that the Marianas Trench is quite deep. Have they looked there?

    Future climate change
    42 Even in the extremely unlikely event that there is no further increase in climate forcing, a
    further warming would be expected to occur as the oceans slowly respond to the
    existing climate forcing, amounting to a further few tenths of a degree centigrade by
    the year 2100.

    Ocean Heat Content (OHC) has been falling since 2004. It is now 2010. Please keep up with the science.

    BTW. My Beta version of the Alarm Uncertainty Indicator produces an interesting phenomenon from initial usage of this useful tool in the fledgling stages of this emerging field of scientific endeavour.

    Trial runs indicate what I suspect to be a threshold (“tipping point” if you will), beyond which the Degree of Desperation (DoD) goes into runaway.

    Further research analysis from a sample selection of Greenpeace and IPCC reports is necessary to confirm this hypothesis but current constraints (computer power, life expectancy) have halted progress in this important work. The situation could be resolved however, by the transfer of a large amount of research funding into my account. I suggest a sum in excess of seven figures should be sufficient.

    • 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).

    • Hub Bakker on 01/10/2010 at 10:14 pm said:

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

    • Huub Bakker on 01/10/2010 at 10:15 pm said:

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

    • Huub Bakker on 02/10/2010 at 1:02 am said:

      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.

  3. Richard C on 01/10/2010 at 7:11 pm said:

    “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


    “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 the course of days, years, and even decades [113]. The most important change is to be found in the downward air-earth current density, which flows between the ionosphere and the surface. R. Markson and M. Muir [71] have shown how this affects the thunderstorm activity, while B. A. Tinsley [113] assumes that electrically induced changes in the microphysics of clouds (electrofreezing) enhance ice nucleation and formation of clouds. These approaches have the advantage to be independent of dynamic coupling between different layers of the atmosphere, since these variations affect the whole atmosphere. Therefore, IPCC scientists who allege that there are not any physical explanations of a solar impact on climate change must be unaware of the relevant literature.”

    I note that Claes Johnson makes a rather more scathing assessment of the RS report

    “So what do we then find in the new guide? Is it different from the old guide? We read:

    * There is strong evidence that the warming of the Earth over the last half-century has been caused largely by human activity, such as the burning of fossil fuels and changes in land use, including agriculture and deforestation.
    * The size of future temperature increases and other aspects of climate change, especially at the regional scale, are still subject to uncertainty.
    * Nevertheless, the risks associated with some of these changes are substantial.

    What is then the strong evidence? Yes, of course the greenhouse effect:

    * The surface is thus kept warmer than it otherwise would be because, in addition to the energy it receives from the Sun, it also receives infrared energy emitted by the atmosphere. The warming that results from this infrared energy is known as the greenhouse effect.

    So there we have it! Take a close look at this amazing statement produced by the combined brains of RS:

    * The surface receives IR energy emitted by the atmosphere!

    The cold atmosphere thus heats the warm surface, by IR energy! Once this is understood the strong evidence is completed by making CO2 equal to clouds and water vapor:

    * in addition to clouds, the two gases making the largest contribution to the greenhouse effect are water vapour followed by carbon dioxide (CO2).

    This is a stunning collapse of science”

    I would add that LWIR back radiation from CO2 is unable to heat the ocean. This is described in detail here

    Why Greenhouse Gases Won’t Heat the Oceans

    Now might be a good time to revisit “The Thermostat Hypothesis” Guest Essay by Willis Eschenbach at WUWT

    I prefer a steam boiler blow-off valve analogy but I’ll settle for thermostat. The process is also described in NIPCC 2009

    2.1. Clouds
    Based on data obtained from the Tropical Ocean Global Atmosphere—Coupled Ocean-Atmosphere Response Experiment, Sud et al. (1999) demonstrated that deep convection in the tropics acts as a thermostat to keep sea surface temperature (SST) oscillating between approximately 28° and 30°C. Their analysis suggests that as SSTs reach 28°-29°C, the cloud-base airmass is charged with the moist static energy needed for clouds to reach the upper troposphere, at which point the cloud cover reduces the amount of solar radiation received at the surface of the sea, while cool and dry downdrafts promote ocean surface cooling by increasing sensible and latent heat fluxes there. This “thermostat-like control,” as Sud et al. describe it, tends “to ventilate the tropical ocean efficiently and help contain the
    SST between 28°-30°C.” The phenomenon would Climate Change Reconsidered 28 also be expected to prevent SSTs from rising any higher in response to enhanced CO2-induced radiative forcing.

    Synopsis. The tropical cumulus towers punch up through the GHG layer, releasing latent heat of evaporation as sensible heat at the top where is is free to dissipate to space but the GHG’s (including CO2) have NO INFLUENCE ON THIS PROCESS WHATSOEVER.

    Hurricanes have a similar effect, like giant vacuum cleaners sucking the heat from the upper ocean layer and sending it space-ward. The path of hurricane Igor to the east of the Caribbean is still visible on this sea temp anomaly plot:

    The earths albedo (reflectivity) reduced in the early 90’s due to a reduction in cloud cover (caused by what?). This let in more solar radiation to heat the ocean and subsequently the atmosphere in the late 90’s. But was this process modeled as a natural forcing? Nooooo of course not, the warming was attributed to CO2 (maybe I will stick with the dunce line).

  4. Richard C on 01/10/2010 at 8:01 pm said:

    The Royal Society’s Toned Down Climate Stance

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

  5. Andy on 01/10/2010 at 8:02 pm said:

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

    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.

    • Richard C on 01/10/2010 at 11:09 pm said:

      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”

      Looks like they’ve got new rules now.

    • Richard C on 01/10/2010 at 11:15 pm said:

      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.

    • Richard C on 02/10/2010 at 10:30 am said:

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

      Hot Topic on WUWT

      Delingpole – ‘Go green or we’ll kill your kids’ says Richard Curtis eco-propaganda shocker

    • Huub Bakker on 02/10/2010 at 10:54 am said:

      I have just sent the following email to the New Zealand contact for the 10:10, Feel free to do the same. 🙂


      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 for supporting this charade, of which the environmentalists are by no means in the background.

      As an academic of a university, and as a Professional Engineer and member of my professional body, IPENZ, my duty is to make this information available to the public. I have been doing so whenever the opportunity arises.

      I wish to inform you that the truly disgusting movie that is the subject of this email, and produced by your organisation, sends a clear message of what 10:10 stands for, even if that message is unintended.

      From your founder:

      “Doing nothing about climate change is still a fairly common affliction, even in this day and age. What to do with those people, who are together threatening everybody’s existence on this planet? Clearly we don’t really think they should be blown up, that’s just a joke for the mini-movie, but maybe a little amputating would be a good place to start?” […] “We ‘killed’ five people to make No Pressure – a mere blip compared to the 300,000 real people who now die each year from climate change”
      —Franny Armstrong, founder of 10:10

      If you wish to justify the worth of this video because the end justifies the means, then you place themselves on the same level as the witch-burners of Salem, the inquisitors of Spain, the final problem-solvers of Germany and the suicide-bomber organisers of Islam. This truly is the work of eco-facists, no joke. Believe or die.

      Thank you so much for making clear to people what you stand for and making my task so much easier.


      Dr Huub Bakker, Senior Lecturer

    • 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 on 02/10/2010 at 12:26 pm said:

      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.

    • Huub Bakker on 02/10/2010 at 4:05 pm said:

      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 on 02/10/2010 at 4:27 pm said:

      Okay, point taken.

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

  6. Ron on 01/10/2010 at 8:52 pm said:

    unbelievable, what a massive own goal.

  7. Richard C on 02/10/2010 at 12:12 pm said:

    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”

    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

    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 is like a coin toss with a double headed coin.

    Meanwhile, Obama’s science czar is working hard on his own perculiar version of the “science”

    [SLIDE 18] So do we have good reason to believe that humans are causing this primarily? Yes, we do. This is the IPCC’s assessment in the 2007 report. No part of this has been called into question by the way

    An incredibly superficial analysis of natural versus human climate forcing (with a sprinkling of science to impress the unwary and ignorant)

    [SLIDE 18] ………..The best estimates of the forcings – literally how hard we’re pushing on the climate over the period from 1750 to 2005, both human causes and the principle known natural caused changes in the amount of sunlight reaching the earth over this period – overwhelming the human causes are prevailing. The human causes are both positive and negative. Reflective particles and the cloud-forming effects of particles have an overall negative effect which masks part of the warming from the greenhouse gases and absorptive particles, but the warmth is winning over the cooling as has long been understood and expected. And if you compare the warming influence of the human-caused greenhouse gasses and the absorbing particles, it’s over this period about 30 times the warming influence of the estimated change in input from the Sun. If you look at the recent data where we have particularly good satellite measurements of what the Sun is doing, there is no increasing trend in the solar output to explain the rapid, recent increases in surface temperature of the Earth.

    Then there’s the apparent ACO2/Temp correlation (no causation proof of course – just assumption).

    [SLIDE 19] We also know that the key greenhouse gas increases that generated these forcings were caused by human activities. We have a couple of ways of knowing that. Here are the plots for carbon dioxide and methane, the two most important anthropogenic greenhouse gases over a 10,000 year period on the big scale and over the last couple hundred years on the small scale. And you see on the long time scale, there’s this utterly sharp turn where, with the industrial revolution and the large-scale influences humans in other ways of the surface of the earth, you find this extraordinary rate of increase. But we also know that humans are responsible for the CO2 spike because carbon dioxide from fossil fuels lack carbon 14, and when you dilute the atmospheric carbon dioxide with fossil carbon dioxide you can actually see the signal of the declining fraction of carbon 14 in atmospheric CO2.

    No mention that the “utterly sharp turn” and “extraordinary rate of increase” is due to the Mauna Loa data spliced on to the end of the long-term data. And who cares that humans are responsible for carbon emissions when we can produce umpteen peer reviewed papers to show that CO2 does not have the causative effect that Holdren assumes.

    But you don’t need to be a climate specialist to understand the concepts

    e.g. this essay “CO2 is a bit player in Global Warming” by an Electrical Engineer:

    Or this by a Solicitor “Greenhouse Gases Can Cause Cooling !”

    Then there’s the amazing, mesmerizing “state of the art” climate models.

    [SLIDE 20] This is one of the busier slides here but I think is also one of the more compelling. I call this the fingerprint; in some presentations, I call it the smoking gun. What one has in the top panel is a plot for the period of the thermometer record – roughly from 1880 onward – of our best estimates of the known forcings of greenhouse gasses, solar output, volcanoes. The blue line that goes periodically downward in spikes are the cooling effects of volcanic eruptions which inject reflecting particulars into the stratosphere that stay there for two or three years. The red line at the top is the greenhouse gasses. And what you see at the bottom is what happens when you feed a state of the art climate model of those forcings and say, given these forcings, what should the climate have done over the last 125 years, and you see the various runs and then the observations in blue. The match is very good. It’s not perfect. We would never expect it to be perfect because the climate is a noisy and in some respects chaotic system. But the fit is very good. It’s very hard to look at this diagram and conclude we don’t fundamentally understand what is being done to the climate and by whom.

    No the match is “not perfect” John Holdren (and this is the past we’re talking about) and not even “very good” when it comes to the last and most important decade (2000-2010) where the models have veered off at a tangent from the observed condition (as they are initialized and formulated to do – can’t blame the models for that).

    • Richard C on 02/10/2010 at 1:54 pm said:

      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.

      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.

      From AR4

      “Nevertheless, models still show significant errors. Although these are generally greater at smaller scales, important large-scale problems also remain. For example, deficiencies remain in the simulation of tropical precipitation, the El Niño- Southern Oscillation and the Madden-Julian Oscillation (an observed variation in tropical winds and rainfall with a time scale of 30 to 90 days). The ultimate source of most such errors is that many important small-scale processes cannot be represented explicitly in models, and so must be included in approximate form as they interact with larger-scale features. This is partly due to limitations in computing power, but also results from limitations in scientific understanding or in the availability of detailed observations of some physical processes. Significant uncertainties, in particular, are associated with the representation of clouds, and in the resulting cloud responses to climate change. Consequently, models continue to display a substantial range of global temperature change in response to specified greenhouse gas forcing (see Chapter 10). Despite such uncertainties, however, models are unanimous in their prediction of substantial climate warming under greenhouse gas increases, and this warming is of a magnitude consistent with independent estimates derived from other sources, such as from observed climate changes and past climate reconstructions.

      “Despite such uncertainties, however, models are unanimous in their prediction of substantial climate warming under greenhouse gas increases”

      That was their lucky break – now a reality check.

  8. Flipper on 02/10/2010 at 1:24 pm said:

    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: &

    02 October 2010

    Lord Rees
    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 the background. Now, though, from the Royal Society, we have this morning the following:

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

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

    In reaction to its freshly acknowledged epiphany, the new RS guidelines also note:

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

    “There is little confidence in specific projections of future regional climate change, except at continental scales.”

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


    Hitherto, you wrote to me as follows:

    “The point on which we, at the Royal Society, are very firm is that the science, despite the wide range of uncertainties, gives sufficiently strong evidence of the likelihood of drastic climate change that the way to deal with it should be high on the political agenda.” [My underlining]

    Inconsistencies can be allowed to speak for themselves. In any event, however, whilst the change of tone may warrant a tepid welcome, it should not be forgotten that, for years now under your stewardship, the Royal Society stands accused of having done everything in its power to obstruct legitimate questioning of AGW orthodoxy and to stifle debate surrounding the science. 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. Malign human influence on climate remains the theme, but actual mechanisms are carefully skirted.

    In my reply to your 20 April 2007 letter, amongst other things, I wrote as follows:

    “An important cause is at stake here, and it is not global warming. It is nothing less than the truth allied to the integrity of the scientific endeavour. It may surprise you to learn that there are people in the world outside of science, as well as inside (pray God!), who consider that to be quite important.”

    Three and a half years later, I see no reason to alter a syllable of that conclusion.

    Yours sincerely

    R.C.E Wyndham

    Cc: Prime Minister Deputy Prime Minister Mr. C. Huhne MP Lord Lawson Lord Leach
    Archbishop of Canterbury Bishop of London Archbishop of Westminster Lord Sachs
    As the spirit moves

    • Richard C on 02/10/2010 at 2:16 pm said:

      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 on 02/10/2010 at 2:22 pm said:

      Smack down – reality checks everywhere today.

    • Andy on 02/10/2010 at 4:35 pm said:

      Wow, Anthony Watts gets stuck into poor old Gareth.

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

  9. Australis on 06/10/2010 at 1:36 am said:

    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 on 06/10/2010 at 9:23 am said:

      “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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