This post is directed at the ABC News (Aus), ‘Drum Opinion’ post of the same name! Ref: http://www.abc.net.au/unleashed/2761976.html
Reference ‘The Conversation’ website: Part Three: Speaking science to climate policy.
The foregoing comments in previous parts apply to funding and other influences. James admits that he receives funding from CSIRO and from various government R&D funding schemes. It is also appropriate to iterate that addressing one side of an issue is not “clearing up the debate “, which is why this blog is attempting to address the “other side”.
“CLEARING UP THE CLIMATE DEBATE: CSIRO’s James Risbey explains why it’s not “alarmist” to describe the threat of climate change to the public and how the climate system will respond to half measures.”
Reference James’ comments:
“With many issues to be considered in setting a climate policy one can end up wondering what the role of climate science is in all this.” Initially we start with an agenda to set a policy, thus the reason for the policy is established. The agenda exists, it is based on the idea that CO2 controls are needed. This is not clearing up the debate, this is assuming the debate is settled. Well may James ask what the role of climate science is, when the decision has been made and the science hasn’t been agreed to.
“Climatology can tell us, however, what is likely to happen if we don’t act, or if we don’t act with sufficient speed to keep total emissions within specific carbon allocations.” This implies that climatology enables forecasting of future climatic conditions that is sufficiently accurate to act on, to attach an urgency level to and to base changes to, and control of, national and international economies.
” There is no single threshold above which climate change is dangerous and below which it is safe. There is a spectrum of impacts. But some of the largest impacts are effectively irreversible and the thresholds for them are very near.” So it is claimed that climatology can, with relative confidence, define boundaries of climate parameters that result in thresholds for catastrophic and irreversable impacts.
“In particular, the melting and breakdown of polar ice sheets seems to be in the vicinity of a couple of degrees warming. This expectation is based on current high rates of mass loss from the ice sheets compared to relative stability through the Holocene (the past 10,000 years) and on past ice sheet response in periods such as the Pliocene (a few million years ago) when the Earth was a couple of degrees warmer than preindustrial times (and sea level up to 25m higher).” For an assessment of this conclusion we need to call on other opinions. The following graphs are courtesy of http://wattsupwiththat.com/reference-pages/sea-ice-page/
What I see from these is that each year there is a consistency of recurring levels occurring twice each year and some variations of maximums and minimums. If there is a statistical decrease in ice levels that in any way relates to rising atmospheric CO2 levels, it is not obvious.
Difficult to see any trend relating to serious melting of ice here.
The following graph adequately shows the flattening of the warming trend. A far cry from the IPCC projected upturn in warming, and proof that the modelling is a failure.
This graph courtesy – http://joannenova.com.au/2009/07/the-unwarming-world/
Regarding the 2degC suggested “limit” as a goal, more needs to be said.
Global Warming proponents claim that this ‘imminent crisis’ will cause a massive rise in sea level which will drown many of the worlds largest cities and displace hundreds of millions of people. In his Academy Award winning ‘documentary’ Al Gore claimed that if either the West Antarctic Ice Shelf or the ice sheets around Greenland melt the mean global sea level will rise by 20 feet! Greenpeace claims that GW will “result in a catastrophic global sea level rise of 7 meters. That’s bye-bye most of Bangladesh, Netherlands, Florida and would make London the new Atlantis.”
Likewise the WWF claims“If the Greenland ice sheet melts, sea level could rise by as much 25 feet. Today there are 17 million people living less than one meter above sea level in Bangladesh, while places like Florida and Louisiana in the United States, Bangkok, Calcutta, Dhaka and Manila are also at risk from sea level rise.” This threat of ‘catastrophic sea level rise’ is a mantra constantly repeated by GW alarmists and forms the heart of their demand for urgent drastic action. But is this ‘threat’ well-founded or just fear-mongering by those pursing the Global Green Agenda? Below are a temperature graph and extracts from scientific papers and articles that provide a very interesting insight into the recent history of Greenland’s climate.
In AD 1000, the Earth was experiencing an episode of climate warming similar to that of the present day. Temperatures in many parts of the world seem to have risen by at least two or three degrees Fahrenheit. Although the scale of this “global warming” may seem small, its effects on human societies were profound. In Europe, several centuries of long hot summers led to an almost unbroken string of good harvests, and both urban and rural populations began to grow. These centuries are known as the Medieval Warm Period. One of the more dramatic consequences of the Medieval Warm Period was the expansion of Viking settlements in the North Atlantic. From their Icelandic base (established in AD 870), the Norse people began to move west and north to Greenland, Canada, and eventually above the Arctic Circle.
The Medieval Warm Period was a time of warm weather around 800-1300 AD, during the European Medieval period. Initial research on the MWP and the following Little Ice Age (LIA) was largely done in Europe, where the phenomenon was most obvious and clearly documented. The Vikings took advantage of ice-free seas to colonize Greenland and other outlying lands of the far north.
“The climate at this time was very warm, much warmer than it is today, and crops were able to do well. It seems likely that the name “Greenland” was given to the country, not just as wishful thinking, but because it was a climatic fact at that time. The mild climatic period was fairly short-lived in geologic terms – by about 1200 AD, the ever-increasing cold was making life extremely difficult, and some years no supply ships were able to reach Greenland through the ice-choked seas. During this period, Norway had assumed responsibility for supplying the Norse settlers in Greenland, but as the climate worsened it became a very difficult task.
“At that time, the inner regions of the long fjords where the settlements where located were very different from today. Excavations show that there were considerable birch woods with trees up to 4 to 6 meters high in the area around the inner parts of the Tunuliarfik- and Aniaaq-fjords, the central area of the Eastern settlement, and the hills were grown with grass and willow brushes. This was due to the medieval climate optimum. The Norse soon changed the vegetation by cutting down the trees to use as building material and for heating and by extensive sheep and goat grazing during summer and winter. The climate in Greenland was much warmer during the first centuries of settlement but became increasingly colder in the 14th and 15th centuries with the approaching period of colder weather known as the Little Ice Age.”
The Medieval Warm Period coincides with the Vikings’ settlement of Greenland, Iceland and possibly North America. Farmsteads with dairy cattle, pigs, sheep and goats were prevalent in Iceland and along the southern coast of Greenland. Even England was able to compete economically with France in wine production. On the other hand, agriculture steadily declined at higher latitudes during the Little Ice Age, while mortality rates and famines increased. By 1500, settlements in Greenland had vanished and the inhabitants of Iceland were struggling to survive.
During the 9th & 10th centuries the Vikings reached Iceland and Greenland during the milder condition that prevailed during Medieval Warm Period. Norse settlers arrived in Iceland in the 9th and Greenland in the 10th century with an agricultural practice based on milk, meat and fibre from cattle, sheep, and goats. The settlers were attracted by green fields and a relatively good climate and driven there by population pressures in Scandinavia. They were able to sail to Iceland and Greenland as well as Labrador because of a decrease in sea ice in the North Atlantic.
This information from: http://green-agenda.com/greenland.html
There is little to be concerned about according to this. Certainly no indication anywhere about tipping points. CO2 has risen well above the current levels or even projected levels in the distant past. Relativity to global temperature is variable.
I suggest that our climate issues are far more a matter of nature than mankind’s pollution or his attempts to understand, model and control them. Picking a 2degC rise as a potential tipping point for runaway or irreversable climate warming is a brave move, not supported sufficiently by scientific evidence of a conclusive nature.
By all means control pollution if it provides cleaner air for man, animals and all biological welfare. But forget about CO2 being a pollutant. It is likely that BP’s Mexican Gulf pollution, the current increased volcanic emissions, together with Japan’s TEPCO’s ionising radiation are, by orders of magnitude, a greater concern than CO2.
Carbon trading has yet to be proved necessary and the motivation has yet to be made clear to the public. I contend that it is “alarmist” to browbeat the public into actions that are not justifiable, not effective and that are seriously detrimental to public well-being.
This post is obviously not a complete, scientific treatise on the subject. It is however, a guide to the reader to indicate that the ‘warmist’ papers are not to be taken at face value. They need to be analysed and proven to be above question before acceptance, because they are agenda-driven and might cost you your lifestyle and maybe even your freedom.
The other series articles will be addressed, in turn.
Comments on “open letter” are Part 1: “Conversations: Climate change is happening” Part 1.
Comments on “greenhouse effect” are Part 2: “Conversations: Climate change is happening” Part 2.
Climate change: Why is it a hot topic? (donovanhand.wordpress.com)