Climate alarmists' desperate misrepresentations
So what do they do? Resort to even more desperate misrepresentations, which, let's face it, are bordering on outright lies. Let's pick them apart.
- The global average temperature has increased by about 0.8 degrees since 1850, with most of the increase occurring since 1950. The warming varies among decades because of natural fluctuations but the overall trend has been inexorably upward.
- Warming is evident in other indicators, such as rising sea levels and reduced sea-ice and snow cover.
- Of these, the most important measure is the extra heat in the oceans, which is steadily rising.
The article then moves on to other "conclusions":
The second conclusion is that the dominant cause of the warming since about 1950 is the increase in the atmospheric concentrations of greenhouse gases released by human activities, of which carbon dioxide (CO2) is the most important.
This critical conclusion is based on several independent lines of evidence, including basic physics, studies of climate changes in both in the geological past and in the industrial era, and finally – but far from solely [yeah, right - Ed] – from the predictions of climate models. Together, these provide an overwhelming case that increasing greenhouse gas concentrations cause warming, and that CO2 is the largest contributor to the current warming trend.
No explanations why they conclude this, you will note. Just accept what we say, peasants, and don't ask difficult questions. They also avoid the tricky subject of why the planet has cooled since 2001 with ever increasing CO2 emissions.
The third conclusion is that warming will increase in future, if emissions of CO2 and other greenhouse gases maintain their present paths. "Business as usual" scenarios for future emissions lead to likely global temperature increases of up to six degrees above present temperatures by 2100.
Where do they get this figure from? The same flaky models, despite them being only used as an afterthought, apparently. And then, just to ram home their desperation further, the usual "it's all happening faster than we thought":
New findings suggest that the situation is, if anything, more serious than the assessment of just a few years ago.
The heightened concern among climate scientists arises from a growing realisation that climate change can be accelerated beyond current predictions by reinforcing "climate feedbacks", which contribute to climate change and are accelerated as it occurs, thus causing climate change to feed on itself. When these feedbacks are sufficiently strong they become "climate tipping points" which can flip the climate into a new state with essentially no way to recover.
And this is the trump card the alarmists love to play - the "tipping point". The planet has been warmer in the past, and, strangely, there were no climate tipping points then. But the whole idea of a "point of no return" is such a useful tactic for the alarmists to scare the unwitting public that they aren't going to drop it in a hurry. In their view, the climate is balanced precariously on a knife edge, and the slightest prod, whether from man or natural causes, will send it spiralling into oblivion. This is despite no evidence of this ever happening in the past (and please don't quote the planet Venus at me, there are so many differences that it isn't the slightest bit analogous to Earth).
And no mention, you will notice, of the possibility of any negative feedbacks, such as increased cloud cover or precipitation, which may transport energy away from the planet or reduce incoming solar radiation, to push the climate towards its original starting point. Feedbacks, in the alarmists' minds, are always positive.
That's enough. I can't stand any more. Here's the last paragraph, the usual call to immediate action, no matter what the cost:
All of these concerns are firmly grounded in science. They have led the great majority of climate scientists to conclude (paraphrasing the summary of the Copenhagen conference) that rapid, sustained and effective emissions reductions are required to avoid ‘‘dangerous climate change’’, regardless of how it is defined.
Here's the rogues' gallery of authors, so you can keep an eye out for them in future:
- Michael Raupach and John Church, CSIRO
- David Griggs, Amanda Lynch and Neville Nicholls, Monash University
- Nathan Bindoff, Antarctic Climate and Ecosystems Co-operative Research Centre
- Matthew England and Andy Pitman, University of NSW
- Ann Henderson-Sellers and Lesley Hughes, Macquarie University
- Ove Hoegh-Guldberg, University of Queensland
- Roger Jones, Victoria University
- David Karoly, University of Melbourne [über-alarmist extraordinaire]
- Tony McMichael and Will Steffen [Penny Wong's climate advisor], Australian National University.