Two years ago I posted the latest plot of global temperature, and argued that if trends continue, as they are likely to do, the Great Barrier Reef has little chance of surviving beyond 2030 as more than a sad remnant in its southern reaches. Even if we suddenly got serious about reducing greenhouse gas emissions the warming will still continue for 2-4 decades, and the damage would only be deferred.
The greater danger is that the warming will tip into being irreversible if it is not soon reversed. In that case our grandchildren would inherit a very different and hostile world.
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.
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.
Two good recent discussions of views on climate change are reproduced under the new AGW tab, above.
The main tab preserves the recent post “The productive way to address global warming”. The tab will allow me to avoid the post discussions becoming cluttered with sceptic distractions. Distraction and confusion are, of course, the primary weapons of the professional deniers (those who work for fossil fuel industries).
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).
Here is a graph I’ve wanted for a long time. It shows how you can get the answer you want out of the global temperature data series. Just pick the right start and finish point and, presto, the temperature is rising, or falling, or flat.
It’s why denialists keep insisting that global warming stopped in 1998.
Recently climate sceptics Anthony Cox and David Stockwell published an opinion piece on the ABC’s The Drum claiming climate scientist James Hansen had “admitted” climate models have been wrong, and that human-caused global warming was therefore in doubt. The article contains basic misrepresentations of Hansen and of the substance and implications of a draft paper by Hansen.
The Hansen paper does not weaken the case that humans are the main cause of global warming. On the contrary, it suggests we have unwittingly and temporarily shielded ourselves from the full effects of our activities.
As the national election campaign approaches its climax, with global warming all but ignored by the major parties, the Australian Academy of Sciences has issued a report summarising the current state of climate change science. Its conclusions are clear and concerning. Global warming continues to occur, and the evidence is now strong that human emissions of greenhouse gases are the main cause. The evidence supporting supporting climate sceptics is melting like the Arctic snow.
[Updated 21 July 10.] One of the most frequently and loudly repeated claims of climate sceptics is that the Earth has cooled since 1998. What the data have actually been showing is a pause similar to pauses in the 1980s and 1990s. The likely cause of the recent pause has been the El-Niño-La-Niña cycle. So far 2010 has been the hottest year on record, so the pause is over. Let’s see if false claims of global cooling also cease.