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Why India Should Ignore Climate Alarmism

June 30, 2019

Sanjeev Sabhlok: Why India Should Ignore Climate Alarmism

  • Date: 29/06/19
  • Sanjeev Sabhlok, Times of India

The problem with climate “science” is that the data – which are telling us to relax – fly in the face of the strong tendency of its advocates to bully us into a panic.

Sanjeev Sabhlok

We are asked to drop all common sense and to accept that CO2 – a monumentally insignificant fraction of the air – is the control knob of the climate.

I consider climate science’s recommendations to be less worthy of acceptance in comparison with those of biotechnology for five main reasons.

First, established physics theories are precise and have a single set of equations but we have over a hundred different climate models. One can understand different parametric estimates for sensitivity analysis but when hundreds of different sets of equations purport to forecast the future we know that the science is not settled.

Second, the average predictions of climate models have grossly exceeded observed temperatures. This has been found not only in James Hansen’s model but in charts in the IPCC’s own 2013 report. A paper by Fyfe, Gillett and Zwiers in Nature in 2013 showed how badly climate models have performed. John Christy’s subsequent comparison of model predictions with satellite temperature measurements has come to the same conclusion. The Economist magazine said it well in 2013 that “If climate scientists were credit-rating agencies, climate sensitivity would be on negative watch”.

In addition, Roy Spencer’s analysis of ocean warming, using data in IPCC’s own report shows much lower climate sensitivity than even in the moderate IPCC scenarios. Recently he mentioned a 2018 peer-reviewed paper that re-confirms this. And I don’t even want to start off on the tens of false alarms that have splattered newspapers over the past century.

Third, the suggested strong correlation between CO2 and temperature simply does not exist. I looked at IPCC’s first report and found no correlation at all: (a) there were extensive variations in the climate over the past few thousand years despite CO2 remaining pretty much constant, and (b) when CO2 actually started increasing rapidly from 1950, the temperature plummeted for three decades. At that time, in the 1970s, climate scientists scared us about an impending Ice Age.

Many independent and bigger underlying natural causes than CO2 are at work including forces that pulled us out of the Little Ice Age (c.1400 to c.1800). One of these causes relates to the Atlantic multidecadal ocean oscillation that  Judith Curry and other scientists have studied. Her study of the oscillation’s effect on Arctic ice is illuminating.

Such forces add sinusoidal and non-linear overlays to the trend of recovery of temperatures from the Little Ice Age and explain not only the significant warming of the first part of the 20th century (which took place without any CO2 emissions) but the subsequent cooling till the late 1980s and the small subsequent warming surge followed by a pause over the first twenty years of this century.

In fact, the increase in temperatures in the past thirty years is principally no different to the increase of the first half of the 20th century except that it comes on top of a higher base because of the longer-term trend since 1800. Yes, the climate is changing and yes, the greenhouse gas effect is rock-solid science but the observed sensitivity of the climate to increases in CO2 is very low.

Fourth, I want to briefly touch upon data quality since no science can succeed without high quality data. The reader will notice I have deliberately cited the first IPCC report’s charts, not its recent reports informed by a controversial (and arguably defective) study. Geologists who have studied this issue tell us that there definitely was medieval warming and a Little Ice Age – there is too much circumstantial evidence to “disappear” them.

It is concerning that IPCC has tried to erase both these well-established periods. More problematically, we see regular reports in newspapers that physically measured temperatures of the past are being changed to fit the “panic” claims. The book “Evidence-Based Climate Science”, edited by highly respected scientist Don Easterbrook and published by Elsevier, contains a chart at page 130 that confirms these suspicions.

I have come to the view that we can trust only four pieces of data: temperature measurements by satellites – particularly of the troposphere, sea level measurements (which are getting better due to satellites), ocean temperature measurements and counts of extreme events and their intensity over the past 100 years. All four of these measures provide strong assurance that the planet’s sensitivity to CO2 is extremely low.

  1. Gamecock permalink
    June 30, 2019 1:55 pm

    ‘Climate change’ isn’t measurable.

    ‘I have come to the view that we can trust only four pieces of data: . . . ocean temperature measurements’

    Okay, the MEASUREMENTS are probably pretty accurate. But they provide no worthwhile data. Each Argo buoy represents 50,000 square miles, and only the upper strata of the oceans. We really don’t know ocean temperatures at all.

  2. June 30, 2019 2:13 pm

    Reblogged this on ajmarciniak.

  3. Nick! permalink
    June 30, 2019 2:13 pm

    I’m sorry, this is scientific claptrap and mumbo jumbo
    Saint Greta knows much more and she is only 14!
    Proving my point!
    Nick (age 13 1/4 – currently at Glasto and on sytrike later in the weak!)

  4. Ariane Loening permalink
    June 30, 2019 2:48 pm

    Science and temperature measurements have always detracted attention from the real issue which has (since the anti-CO2 campaign began in the late 1970s) been the environmentalist ideology/obsession with halting econnomic growth.
    IPCC scientists like Ben Santer were terrified that this ideology would take away scientists’ authority (and funding) so came up with a computer model showing a ‘human fingerprint’ causing increased warming.
    There has never been any science, only computer models, behind the anti-CO2 campaign.
    Thank you, Dr.Sabhlok, for reminding us that atmospheric CO2 is tiny, but let’s never forget that the real issue is not science, but environmental ideology.

  5. Robert Christopher permalink
    June 30, 2019 3:01 pm

    This article comments on Zharkova’s paper, published last week in Nature, that finds that the current warming of 0.5 C° per 100 years can be explained by solar forcing. It would mean that we don’t need to label carbon dioxide malevolent. There is also a link to the paper itself.

    It also predicts that the next 35 years will be much cooler, like the Maunder Minimum, but because of the 0.5C° per century heating it will not be quite as cold.

    We easily have the technology to surmount any problems, but that will be difficult to solve if governments are still worshiping at the CAGW shrine, and the BBC will not allow any discussion on the subject.

  6. June 30, 2019 3:44 pm

    When will people realise that any CO2 reduction policy should also be seen in a longer-term context:
    · The modern short pulse of beneficial Global warming stopped 20 years ago and recent global temperatures are now stable or declining.
    · According to reliable Ice Core records the last millennium 1000 – 2000 AD was the coldest of our current Holocene interglacial and the world had already been cooling quite rapidly since before Roman times, in fact since ~1000 BC.
    · At 11,000 years old, our Holocene interglacial, responsible for all man-kind’s advances, from living in caves to microprocessors, is coming to its end.
    · The weather gets worse in colder times.
    · The world will very soon, (on a geological time scale), revert to a true glaciation, again eventually resulting in mile high ice sheets over New York.

    The prospect of even moving in a cooling direction is something to be truly scared about, both for the biosphere and for man-kind.

    Spending any effort, let alone GDP scale costs, trying to stop the UK’s 1% of something that has not been happening for 3 millennia seems monumentally stupid.

  7. June 30, 2019 4:30 pm

    Reblogged this on Climate- Science.

  8. Frank Everest permalink
    June 30, 2019 5:20 pm

    What’s really galling for me is the likelihood that the AGW brigade will claim that the reductions in CO2 emissions in the last 20 or 30 years (and probably into the future also) have resulted in the falls in temperature (or the “hiatus”) we’re already seeing starting.
    They will then argue that the falls in temperature justify ever-increased efforts to reduce CO2 emissions further!
    How will sanity return?

  9. June 30, 2019 5:33 pm

    When enough shallow climate propaganda has been exposed as hogwash, perhaps.

  10. Vernon E permalink
    June 30, 2019 7:10 pm

    Frank: it won’t – not in our lifetimes. it took 2000 years to see through the con about the guy who could walk on water – same difference.

  11. Alan Shields permalink
    June 30, 2019 9:55 pm

    Well said Sanjeev, India will do well not to follow the climate hysteria of the west.

  12. July 1, 2019 3:52 am

    Why doesn’t this article get published world wide. It makes sense to me.Someone has to stop the alarmists before it is too late

    • Ariane permalink
      July 1, 2019 9:55 am

      Sensible articles don’t get published worldwide BECAUSE they are sensible. Like, in the 1980s, the research of scientists who did not agree with the man-made-CO2-causes-global-warming non-science did not get published in scientific journals or the press. Some even lost their job.

  13. swan101 permalink
    July 1, 2019 10:23 pm

    Reblogged this on ECO-ENERGY DATABASE.

  14. jack broughton permalink
    July 2, 2019 1:19 pm

    A frightening development in the meja control of the Green-blob is that even technical magazines like Power Engineering are giving fake news. They have an article in the current edition that says that the G20 countries are subsidising coal to the tune of $63.9b / year. They believe any investment in coal is a subsidy and get away with publishing such junk.

    However, the brainwashing is relentless and very few of the brainwashed editors allow any reply to the junk. (The editors tend to be pure scientists rather than engineers in most cases).

    • Ariane permalink
      July 2, 2019 6:02 pm

      Certainly not the first time scientists allowed rubbish to be published.

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