THE recent prevention of the publication of a scientific paper, by eminent climate scientists, on “climate change” matters, on the grounds that its “sceptic” view was “unhelpful”, calls for some clarification of the “sceptic” position.
Scientists not holding the conventional “carbon dioxide causes runaway global warming will result in climate change of a disastrous nature” view are at the moment demonised. But why?
They do not dispute that, historically, and currently, global climates are changing; as they always have done. Global temperatures also have a geologically long history of variation.
Disagreement arises with the explanation of these phenomena; they do not accept, without irrefutable factual demonstration on a scientific basis, that man-made carbon dioxide is the sole, or even principal, cause of the current climate variation. They do aver that, in spite of rising CO2 levels, the global temperature has not risen for more than 16 years. They also recognise that the major greenhouse gas in our atmosphere is water vapour, some 60 times more prevalent than CO2.
There are no calls, on the part of the “Save our World” lobby, that control of atmospheric water vapour is of vital importance. But there is no money under that flag either.
IN AN echo of the infamous “Climategate” scandal, a leading academic journal, Environmental Research Letters, has rejected the work of five experts on the say-so of an alarmist staffer.
The research paper challenged the suggestion by the United Nation’s Climate Panel that global average temperatures would rise by up to 4.5C if atmospheric greenhouse gases doubled.
It is now widely accepted that the climate is much less sensitive to greenhouse gases than the IPCC claims and it has been under pressure to submit a more realistic figure.
This is a stark reminder of the evidence uncovered by a whistleblower in 2009, which showed that data had been manipulated and critics suppressed before the Copenhagen conference.
Climategate proved a turning-point and the conference was a disaster from which the IPCC is still struggling to recover but this current episode shows lessons have not been learned.
The lead author, Professor Lennart Bengtsson of Hamburg’s Max Planck Institute, said no-one doubted emissions increased global temperatures but the key question was how quickly.
Dr John Cameron
St Andrews, Fife