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  • 10-Apr-10 Holes in Climate Science
  • SCIENCE EDITORIAL #11-2010
    (in TWTW Apr 10, 2010)

    S. Fred Singer, Chairman and President , Science and Environmental Policy Project (SEPP)

    Holes in Climate Science

    Apr 10, 2010

    A recent News Feature in 2010 Nature [pp 284-287] discusses what it calls "The Real Holes in Climate Science." The problem is that it misses the "real holes" and therefore echoes the IPCC mantra that warming in the last thirty years is anthropogenic.

    The author, Quirin Schiermeier, bases his views on the 'RealClimate' blog and some of its authors. Needless to say, he has not talked to any climate skeptics. To give a better view of his bias: In his opinion, the leaked CRU emails do not challenge the scientific consensus on climate change but only show rude behavior and verbal faux pas. The holes he identifies are the conventional ones:
  • Regional climate prediction - although this does not stop alarmists from attempting to publish such predictions that promote catastrophic futures
  • Precipitation - everyone would agree that this is a real hole in climate science -- difficult to fill until we understand better the formation of clouds
  • Aerosols - even the IPCC admits there are huge errors when assessing particles such as sulfates, black carbon, sea salt and dust, all of which have different optical properties and can also produce indirect effects on clouds
  • The tree ring controversy: QS brings back the hockeystick and blithely ignores the fact that it has been thoroughly discredited. He still insists that the 20th century is unusual in terms of temperature rise. He asserts that the emails that mention hide the decline and Mike's Nature trick merely refer to the divergence issue between tree ring data and instrument data. He says that "many scientists are tired of the criticisms" - perhaps because they have run out of excuses.

    He finally quotes Susan Solomon, the former co-chair of the IPCC 2007 Science Team, as claiming that "multiple lines of evidence support AGW" - without listing any.

    QS tries to dispose of what he calls Enduring climate myths [by skeptics] - which all happen to be facts:
  • Climate models cannot provide useful information about the real world
  • Global warming stopped ten years ago
  • Temperatures were higher in pre-industrial times
  • Temperature records taken in the lower atmosphere indicate that the globe is not warming
  • A few degrees of warming are not a big deal
  • Measured increases in temperature reflect the growth of cities around weather stations rather than global warming

    But the real holes in climate science are these facts, never mentioned by QS or by the IPCC:
  • The absence of 'fingerprint' data that would indicate a substantial warming from CO2
  • The absence of data for positive feedbacks that might amplify the effects of greenhouse gases like CO2
  • The empirical evidence that shows the control of climate fluctuations on a decadal scale by solar activity by way of cosmic rays.

    View The Week That Was in which this editorial appeared.

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