Wednesday, January 30, 2013

Evidence counts against climate change alarmists

Published in the UK Financial Times, January 30, 2013 11:27 pm:

Evidence counts against climate change alarmists

From Lord Turnbull.

Sir, Edward Luce (“Obama must make up for his carbon omissions”, January 21) writes that “the reality of global warming is starker than four years ago – in most respects alarmingly so”. The evidence points in the opposite direction. Since the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change produced its last report in 2007, global temperatures, as measured by the HadCRUT3 series, have not increased but have moved sideways, extending the standstill in temperature to more than a decade.

Since carbon dioxide concentrations, seen as the driving force of global warming, have continued unabated, it suggests that something else is at play: the link between CO2 and temperature may not be as strong as assumed in the IPCC model, or other factors such as the sun, oceans or clouds are having a greater influence. Either way, it must call into question the confident assertions based on the prevailing assumptions. As for Arctic ice, its coverage is now back almost exactly to where it was in January 2007.

All this suggests that our climate continues to warm gradually, as it has done since early in the 19th century (which is long before CO2 concentrations started to rise). It may be more plausible to conclude that global warming is around 1°C per century with periods of faster and slower growth fluctuating around the trend, rather than the 3°C predicted by the IPCC. If so, what is happening is interesting but it hardly justifies the epithet alarming.

Andrew Turnbull, House of Lords, UK

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