Following the agreement on so called "Loss and Damage" compensation to developing nations at the Warsaw Climate talks, SCEF have welcomed the agreement as "kicking any decision into the long grass until 2020." The talks have produced a rather loose road-map toward the demands that countries like the UK pay $100 billion annually by 2020. However without even a mid-term peg this effectively puts further agreement on hold for another seven years.
Speaking on the outcome of the talks, Mike Haseler Chairman of the Scottish Climate & Energy Forum said:
"Negotiators are in a difficult position. They know the climate scientists at the Met Office have failed to predict the climate, so no one in their right mind would risk furthering public anger by increasing climate taxes. But, the climate scientists at the IPCC are still saying their forecasts must be believed, so they cannot pull the plug. This toothless agreement was the right deal."
Climate: What we know and what we don't
Professor Salby giving his presentation on 7th November 2013
to the Scottish Climate & Energy Forum.
produced by Mike Haseler BSc. MBA
In order to understand the importance of the evidence presented by Salby it is necessary to understand the case for attributing the recent rise in CO2 to human emissions. This starts with the assertion that man-made, rather than natural, emissions of CO2 can be shown to be the cause of the recent rise in atmospheric CO2 because:
The recorded rise in CO2 from 1958 of about 100ppm is larger than anything apparent in the proxy record. This “unprecedented” rise is seen as a fingerprint of recent human activity
The ratio of carbon 13 to carbon 12 in the atmosphere has decreased since 1830. This was thought to be due to the burning of fossil fuels which have a lower ratio of carbon 13. As such the reduction in the ratio was thought to be the “fingerprint” of man-made emissions.
And then it is argued that this rise in CO2 is causing global warming because:
CO2 and temperature move together in an apparent relationship in the proxy records
In his lecture Salby showed:
Whilst there is a good fit in the ancient record from proxy ice-cores, the measurements of recent global temperature is poorly correlated with the measured level of CO2.
Instead, net emissions of CO2 (not the level) is more closely related to temperature.
If we model surface conditions with temperature & humidity in the atmosphere:
net emissions of CO2 can be predicted from surface conditions
net emissions of Methane can be predicted from surface conditions
net emissions of Carbon 13 can be predicted from surface conditions
Evidence shows that the sources of atmospheric CO2 (as shown by areas with highest concentration) are not related to man-made emissions from burning fossil fuels.
The evidence shows Carbon 13 is not a fingerprint of human emissions.
The IPCC are wrong to say: “all ... increases [in CO2] are caused by human activity.” or “the increased atmospheric CO2 concentration is known to be caused by human activities”.
In significant part, changes in the level of CO2 are controlled by global temperature.
Furthermore he proposed a mechanism to explain the anomaly between the behaviour of CO2 in the actual atmosphere and that seen in the proxy record from the ice core. This was that there was a non-conservative damping mechanism such as diffusion or loss in removal of the ice core.
Non-conservative influences would cause past atmospheric CO2 to be significantly underestimated, so it is likely that the recent rise in CO2 is not unprecedented.
All the recent history of CO2 can be explained from surface conditions alone.
Response to the IPCC report from Mike Haseler Chairman of the Scottish Climate & Energy Forum.
The IPCC now admit that their temperature forecast was wrong. They predicted it would warm during the last 15 years and it has not. Their climate models are now highly suspect, as are their assertions that human activity is causing climate change.
But their latest report says that they are more confident than ever of manmade global warming. Why? Because it would be inconceivable to have three hot decades in a row by pure chance. Really?
The climate varies naturally: it always has done and always will.
Natural variation comes in many forms and climate & weather varies also vary naturally. We are familiar with the day-to-day variation of weather, but the climate also varies naturally over longer periods. For example we all know of the long periods of cold called ice-ages where the climate remained cold for millennia. But there have also been shorter periods like the medieval warm period and little ice age where for a few decades or centuries the climate is generally warmer or cooler.
Whether it is the way a high pressure gives us a few days of sunshine or the longer periods, natural climatic variation is rather like a natural landscape. Where we are on a high bit of ground, we expect the ground around us to be high and similarly if we are in a valley, the land around us will be low. Whilst sudden dramatic changes over short periods (as the IPCC suggest should have occurred) can happen, they are extremely rare and a gradual upward or downward slope is more likely.
The IPCC are trying to suggest that because because we have seen about three decades in a row that are high that somehow this is significant and demonstrates that we must be on a "man-made" hill. This is quite indefensible and is akin to claiming that any hill in the countryside must be man-made because no natural process would possibly produce a location with an area of high ground (commonly called a hill).
Indeed, such trends and periods of warmth are common even within the last 150 years of accurate temperature records. Between 1910 and 1940 we saw precisely the same scale of warming as we saw in the period between 1970 and 2000. The IPCC cite this latter period as "unprecedented" and attribute it to rising levels of CO2. But sequences of warming or cooling extending over several decades are perfectly normal for the climate. The IPCC is simply wrong to say it must be man-made.
The Sceptic view is the final statement published 6th May 2012 prepared after a discussion on the blog Scottish Sceptic by a number of regular contributors to that blog as well as others who participated from Wattsupwiththat , Bishop Hill and other blogs. It was an agreed statement by those participating in the discussion. As such it represents the most authoritative statement of the views of Climate "Sceptics"/"Skeptics" as of May 2012.
The Sceptic View (Rev. 0.5)
cartoonsbyjosh.com (click to enlarge)
Sceptics value diversity of views and there are many strands. As one contributor said:
Climate scepticism isn’t necessarily about what we agree upon, it’s based upon how many questions go unanswered. More, it’s about how many lies that have been told, whether directly or by omission. The greatest liberator of mankind so far – fossil fuel – has been tried, found guilty and condemned without ever being allowed to publicly mount a defence. (TinyCO2 )
Many have passionate views based on the evidence:
As far as I’m concerned I see absolutely no unambiguous empirical evidence that CO2 has any discernible effect on climate whatsoever. It may possibly have an influence but I’m damned if I see it anywhere. (cerberus)
Although there is no single sceptic view, most** sceptics broadly agree with the following:
- Carbon Dioxide (CO2) has been increasing. In 1960 it was 0.032% of the atmosphere, today it is 0.039%.
- There has very probably been warming of average global temperatures in the last 150 years.
- There is a greenhouse effect and CO2 is a greenhouse gas. The best scientific estimate of this effect (for doubling CO2) is about 1C warming.
- People think there are mechanisms that could increase warming further than the direct effect of CO2. This is not supported by the evidence.
- Current estimates of about 0.8 C temperature rise in the past 150 years are very likely too high. There is compelling evidence of malpractice, urban heating and poor instruments & siting. A figure of 0.5-0.6C warming appears more likely.
- Man-made sources have increased global levels of CO2, however scientific analysis shows part of the increase is natural and no one is certain how much or little of this rise is man-made.
- Water in the atmosphere is far more important than CO2 in determining global temperature.
- The harmful effects of warming have been exaggerated as shown e.g. by the absence of substantial evidence for increasing weather extremes.
- Known benefits have been hidden. It is estimated there are more than 20,000 extra winter deaths each year in the UK and increasing fuel costs will make this worse. CO2 is essential for plant growth and increasing levels are beneficial to plants.
- Even under the worst case scenario warming, when the usual method of comparing the cost and benefit of policy is used, it is more cost effective to deal with any problems that occur than to pay to try to stop them.
- Climate proxies are not reliable. If we consider all the evidence including historical records, the evidence suggests the world was warmer during the “medieval warm period” as well as being cooler during the “little ice age”.
- Climate varies naturally. Most of the CO2 rise occurred in the latter half of the 20th century. If this change were man-made the global temperature change for the early and latter 20th century should be very different. They are not. This suggests a natural cause for much of the 20th century warming.
- In 2001 the IPCC stated with a high degree of confidence that global temperature would warm. It has not. In science a theory is not valid unless the data supports it. Climate scientists must accept this theory is not validated and acknowledge that the IPCC confidence in warming was greatly overstated.
- We condemn the many instances of malpractice seen in climate science and those who condone them.
**We encourage debate based on scientific evidence. We particularly abhor any dismissal of potentially good science based on the preconceived prejudice that has dominated climate science and prevented debate. Those who did not agree with the above seemed to do so for the following reasons:
- Some sceptics reject any interpretation of the data beyond a minimal assertion of the facts.
- Others question the validity of isolated surface stations as representing a global temperature.
- A vocal group of sceptics look to other planets as a model of the earth’s climate and argue that the temperatures seen on these planet contradict the theory on which greenhouse warming is based. We think such ideas and theories deserve consideration and require effort to substantiate or refute them based on the evidence.