There is a climate crisis. Deniers commonly have one or two facts that they claim show the scientists are wrong: the climate has always changed, carbon dioxide is only a tiny fraction of the atmosphere, and so on. They have an endless supply of supposed justifications for doing nothing.
Evidently the deniers imagine the climate scientists never thought of these objections, never investigated them. Well, they did.
The Great Barrier Reef is unlikely to survive as more than a small, sad remnant of its past glory. The reason is straightforward. It is well known in climate science that even if we stopped harmful emissions tomorrow global warming would not peak for another several decades. By then most of the reef will be long gone.
This is not pleasant news, and clearly many would prefer it was not said, but there it is, the argument is simple and the conclusion is difficult to avoid.
[ The first part of this post is an article I’ll peddle around the traps. After that I provide some more detail, which is quite illuminating, especially a changing gif and a video. I was alerted to all this by Grist. ]
Perhaps in this season of heat and fire we might finally stop listening to climate denialists, the vast majority of whom are not scientists. Their only remaining argument is a grand conspiracy theory. Despite what you hear in mainstream discussion, the evidence supporting the conclusions of climate scientists is very strong, and just gets stronger.
Take, for example, the claim that global warming has stopped. This claim has been around for quite a few years now, but it got a bit of a boost recently when that well-known bastion of sober scientific analysis, Britain’s Daily Mail, interrupted its usual fare of tits, celebrity scandal and tits to misconstrue a UK Met Office report, claiming the report showed there has been no warming for 16 years. The claim is bunk, and a debunking is provided by the website The Carbon Brief, among others.
Meanwhile a careful analysis of the recent record of global warming that came out a year ago has made little or no impression on public discussion. It shows very simply and clearly that global warming has proceeded steadily for the past thirty years.
I have decided it’s past time to stop humouring climate skepticism and denial by allowing their “debate” on my posts. Why? Because tolerating it only helps to perpetuate the myth that climate scientists are divided and there’s a lot of doubt about the cause of global warming. It feeds the trolls.
The AGW menu and submenu lists items related to global warming that are archived here, so I don’t have to keep repeating the same arguments to sceptics who keep repeating the same old arguments. I just updated the AGW tag with the following.
On Tuesday January 8 Australia’s Bureau of Meterology released the 7-day projection for the continent shown below (top panel) for Monday January 14. The purple patch, about 250×350 km, is above 50°C. It has since been superseded by slightly lower projected temperatures, but the heat wave is continuing, being one of the longest and hottest on record.
The bottom panel is to put this in perspective. So far we have had about 0.8°C of global warming since 1900. I can say the climate projections are for 4-6°C of warming, but perhaps the picture brings it home rather more directly than words.
The IPCC (InterGOVERNMENTAL Panel on Climate Change) cops a lot of stick for allegedly being radical, part of the great climate-science-greenie-leftie-jewish-commo conspiracy, etc. But in fact it is too slow and conservative, witness the world is tracking on the high side of its projections.
One IPCC habit that annoys me is running projections only to the year 2100. We know warming and its consequences won’t stop there, so the choice is pure bureaucratic nonsense.
Here is a rare example of a more useful graph, showing warming continuing for more than a century beyond 2100. God knows what sort of world our great- … – grandchildren would be contending with.
You may have read or heard that the shrinkage of the Arctic sea ice recently smashed the previous 2007 record low. You may not have heard of a new study that says we might, just, still have a chance of keeping global warming below 2°C. You may or may not have heard that some prominent climate scientists, including James Hansen, think 2°C is too high, and we need to keep warming below 1.5°C or even 1°C.
All this means we might still have a chance of avoiding “dangerous” global warming, but the chance is already small, and diminishing very rapidly. It also means we are not doing nearly enough to reduce greenhouse gas emissions, even though there is a great deal more we can do at quite modest cost to our economies.
In a previous article on The Conversation, Stephan Lewandowsky asked, why do people reject science? I’m going to take a slightly different angle and consider how people are able to reject climate science in the face of strong evidence.
My previous post showed how you can get a series of downward trends in global temperature data, even though the overall trend is clearly upwards (courtesy of Skeptical Science.
The most frequent false claim about the data is that there has been no warming since 1998. For a long time I’ve wanted to demonstrate explicitly the cherry-picking behind this claim. Now here it is (taking advantage of some free plotting software I recently downloaded, and generating an animated gif at a free online site).