In REPLYING to my letter that criticised Mr Anderegg’s own (23 May) and his unusual method of trying to assess scientists’ opinion on climate change, he quotes another attempt claiming that a further 12,000 climate scientists now believe in a human contribution to climate change.
But what is there left to believe in? The Global Circulation Models that excited so much early attention by claiming climate temperatures rising 3-6C as a consequence of mankind’s production of carbon dioxide are all flawed. None predicted – with very substantial error – the present 16-year stasis in climate temperature. And, if the Met Office is to be believed, this stasis will continue for at least another three to four years. There are aspects to the climate temperature that are either not known or not understood or parameters incorrectly assessed. Unfortunately, faulty predictions have misled governments, populations and sometimes given rise to hysterical attitudes.
The more recently-derived Energy Balance Models rely almost entirely on straightforward observation and are thus more credible. These project a much lower future climate temperature. The last in Nature Geoscience, written by 14 well-established Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change and other scientists predicts only a 1.3C rise by a doubling of CO2 and 2C as the final equilibrium position. This scenario, if correct, is likely to be beneficial to many parts of the world. On that basis, there is no justification for the attempts to decarbonise the economy here and throughout Europe, crippling its competitiveness.
As a scientist, I don’t find the dichotomy of models, or the uncertainty it creates, surprising; the behaviour of such complex systems is often counter-intuitive.
Mr Anderegg uses the word denier to describe those that disagree with him. Its use is, frankly, childish, something that I expect from ideological green organisations, but is unworthy of someone at one of the primary universities in the United States.
Prof Tony Trewavas
Scientific Alliance Scotland