What does the Australian Academy of science think their role should be? To inform or to frighten? To elucidate public policy issues from a scientific viewpoint? Or to indulge themselves in scaremongering so unsupported by facts that it borders on irresponsible?
Their latest climate-alarm pamphlet contains appalling rubbish, including claims that the world will warm by up to 7° C in the next ninety years! This goes beyond marketing (for their research grants) and beyond beyond rational science.
“Climate models estimate that, by 2100, the average global temperature will be between 2°C and 7°C higher than pre- industrial temperatures, depending on future greenhouse gas emissions and on the ways that models represent the sensitivity of climate to small disturbances.” Extract from The Science of Climate Change
The scientists of the Academy must be aware that, as forecasts, the IPCC models are bunkum: they are “scenario projections” not initialised to observations of the climate as Kenneth Trenberth, one of their chief defenders, acknowledges. In other words, they have a tenuous connection with reality; they are nothing more than policy ‘what-ifs’ not the basis for any realistic ‘estimates’ such as the Academy pretends.
The models exclude details of known key drivers of the climate such as clouds (!!), aerosols, albedo and (any mention of) the Pacific Decadal Oscillation that is known to have a significant effect on medium-term variability. For the Academy to base alarming ‘estimates’ of a 7° C increase in temperature on the IPCC models, as they have done would be nothing more than laughable spin if it were not for the fact that we are supporting these people with public funding. This pamphlet damages their authority and their credibility.
Even when they stick to the facts, the Academy can’t resist breathless alarm Here’s what they have to say about sea-levels
The rate of rise increased from the 19th to the 20th centuries, with the result that ocean levels are now more than 20 cm higher than in 1870
Wow! Really?! That’s 20cm in 140 years? That’s about 1.4 millimetres a year during a period when the world warmed by about 0.7° C. … Um, hold on! Is that really something to worry about? 1.4 millimetres is thinner than a paddle-pop stick (with a big margin for error). Nope, no cause for alarm. We’re talking about a paddling depth sea rise over the next century at best.
And, as for their incessant claims, echoing the IPCC, that it is ‘most likely’ that carbon emissions are the cause of warming, the Academy has not addressed the ordinary implausibility of the case. Carbon emissions show no correlation with the warming trends over the past century and a half. As the graphic from the official US source shows, hey have grown rapidly since about 1945, accelerating all of that time. Before 1920 they were negligible.
Yet global average terrestrial temperature trends — here represented by the UK’s HADCRUT series — have followed a very different path. They have grown overall since 1850 at a steady rate of about 0.5° C per century but with marked oscillations (about 30 years duration) around the main trend (possibly due to the PDO cycles). The temperatures were rising at this rate in the period before there were any man-made emissions (up to, say, 1920). Temperatures have ceased to rise since about 1995 (see CRU’s Phil Jones’ acknowledgement that, statistically, there has been no warming since 1995). Temperatures have been flat or declining slightly since 2001, even as carbon emissions continued their rapid climb.