A Weblog monitoring coverage of environmental issues and science in the UK media. By Professor Emeritus Philip Stott. The aim is to assess whether a subject is being fairly covered by press, radio, and television. Above all, the Weblog will focus on science, but not just on poor science. It will also bring to public notice good science that is being ignored because it may be politically inconvenient.

Monday, March 13, 2006

A Monday must read (and wash day).....

Richard S. Lindzen, Professor of Atmospheric Sciences at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT), brilliantly washes global warming's dirty linen and hangs it out to dry: 'Understanding common climate claims' (Draft of a paper to be published [.pdf]). Here is the Abstract:
"The issue of man-induced climate change involves not the likelihood of dangerous consequences, but rather their remote possibility. The main areas of widespread agreement (namely that global mean temperature has risen rather irregularly about 0.6C over the past century, that atmospheric levels of carbon dioxide have increased about 30% over the past century, and that carbon dioxide by virtue of its infrared absorption bands should contribute to warming) do not imply dangerous warming. Indeed, we know that doubling carbon dioxide should lead to a heating of about 3.7 watts per square meter, and that man-made greenhouse heating is already about 2.7 watts per square meter. Thus, we have seen less warming than would be predicted by any model showing more than about 0.8 degrees C warming for a doubling of carbon dioxide. This is consistent with independent identifications of negative feedbacks.

Alarming scenarios, on the other hand, are typically produced by models predicting 4 degrees C. After the fact, such models can only be made to simulate the observed warming by including numerous unknown factors which are chosen to cancel most of the warming to the present, while assuming that such cancellation will soon disappear. Alarm is further promoted by such things as claiming that a warmer world will be stormier even though basic theory, observations, and even model outputs point to the opposite.

With respect to Kyoto, it is generally agreed that Kyoto will do virtually nothing about climate no matter what is assumed. Given that projected increases in carbon dioxide will only add incrementally to the greenhouse warming already present, it seems foolish to speak of avoiding dangerous thresholds. If one is concerned, the approach almost certainly is to maximize adaptability."

Thank goodness for a voice of reason and for some sound, common sense science. How we need to heed this in the UK.

1930s mangle.Philip, it's time for 'global warming' to go through a thorough Monday wash, with hot tub, heavy beating and wash board, hard soap, Robin starch and dolly blue, mangle, and washing line (we have already had too much spin). "Ee Owr Philip, bring yon wash tub oot onto t' flags." Coffee first, of course (though it would have been tea in my mother's day). "Rub-a-dub-dub/Give 'global warming' a scrub!" [A note for non-Brits: up to the 1950s, Monday was the traditional wash day thoughout the back yards of industrial Britain, with wash tub, wash board, hard soap, dolly blue and Robin starch, the mangle (opposite), the washing line, gradely cups o' tea, and much gossip o'er t' wall.]

[Above right: a 1934 mangle, courtesy of Wikipedia - image under the GNU Free Documentation License, Version 1.2]

[New counter, June 19, 2006, with loss of some data]

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