Now is no time for climate change scepticism

This graph, as compiled by Dr Ed Hawkins (Reading University/Met Office), featured in an article by Damian Carrington, on the Guardian website yesterday, which highlighted the fact that: 2014 will be the warmest year in Central England for over 300 years (since records began) (From where the above image has been copied.) However, the article also highlights many other pertinent facts, such as: — The whole world has had a warm year and global data, released later on Wednesday, is likely to indicate a new record. — The likely record warmth in 2014 would end a period of relatively slow rises in global surface temperatures (which has been portrayed by climate sceptics as a halt in global warming). — Greenhouse gases, however, continue to trap heat with over 90% of it being absorbed by the oceans. In addition to all of this, it is worth noting that NASA has calculated that global average monthly temperatures have now been above their 20th Century average values in every month since 1985. There is, therefore, no longer any excuse (other than ideological blindness) for being sceptical about either climate change or the reality that what is now happening is primarily caused by the burning of fossil fuels. Given the accelerating effect of all the positive feedback mechanisms we can now see (i.e. such as the melting of terrestrial ice and the release of methane from thawing permafrost), there is no longer any excuse (other than what Herman E. Daly called “growthmania”) for delaying the rapid phase-out of fossil fuel use in every context where this is now technologically possible. In most contexts, humanity has alternatives to fossil fuels. What we seem to Altman is an industrial elite willing to admit that burning all the Earth’s fossil fuels (simply because they are there) is likely to wipe out a significant proportion of all life on the planet (because climate change is now accelerating faster than many species can adapt to it). Above all, now that historically-rare weather events of all kinds (i.e. hot, cold, wet and dry) are occurring every year, we need to stop talking about “natural climate variability” and start talking about “unnatural climate change” (and what we are all going to do about it before it is too late). Is it too much to hope that our supposed world ‘leaders’, currently meeting at the UN’s COP20 summit in Peru, will actually stop listening to industrial propaganda (that there is no need for radical policy change); and start acting on the implications of the scientific consensus (that there is an urgent need for radical policy change)…? See also: — A summary of the ‘Climate Departure’ research of Mora et al. (11 October 2013). — Climate change is here and now (31 March 2014).

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About Rick Altman

Possibly just another 'Climate Cassandra' crying 'Wolf' in cyberspace. However, the moral of the old children's story is that the Wolf eventually turned up!
This entry was posted in Anthropocene, Climate Science, Environment, Growthmania, Politics, UNFCCC and tagged , , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

8 Responses to Now is no time for climate change scepticism

  1. pendantry says:

    The likely record warmth in 2014 would end a period of relatively slow rises in global surface temperatures (which has been portrayed by climate sceptics as a halt in global warming)

    Tamino (who has also had a hiatus, on the blogging front) posted an article today that does a great job of debunking the deniers on their ‘pause’ nonsense: A pause or not a pause, that is the question.

    Is it too much to hope that our supposed world ‘leaders’ […] will actually stop listening to industrial propaganda (that there is no need for radical policy change); and start acting

    Since you ask for my opinion: Yes; ideology trumps all. The God of Small Change will ensure that homo fatuus brutus is hell-bent.

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    • Rick Altman says:

      I refer you to my previous response.

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      • pendantry says:

        You mean “Positive thinking is certainly better than the alternative.”? Well, yes, of course I agree with that. But I agree with the implication of your rhetorical question, which implied the opposite. It is, indeed, too much to hope that our ‘leaders’ will stop a lifetime of habit and start behaving sanely. If there’s going to be any action, our ‘leaders’ will need to be led to it.

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    • catweazle666 says:

      ” the deniers on their ‘pause’ nonsense” Those deniers presumably include Kevin Trenberth and Michael Mann, as they are but two of the 60-odd climate scientists who have published papers attempting to explain that ‘pause nonsense’. Meanwhile, global sea ice coverage is at an all time record for satellite era measurements…

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      • pendantry says:

        Crawl back into your hole, denier.

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      • Rick Altman says:

        There may have been a pause in the warming of land surface temperatures. The nonsense part was mainly to claim that overall warming had stopped. Semantic arguments do not change the radiative energy imbalance that is the main driver of warming oceans and rising global average temperatures.

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      • anotheralionel says:

        “Meanwhile, global sea ice coverage is at an all time record for satellite era measurements…” A dubious claim if ever there was one but your qualifier ‘for satellite era measurements…’ is noted. Only the Antarctic is showing any recent, and maybe brief, growth in sea ice but there are a number of factors, and processes involved here and none involve a Altman of warming. Have look at this, select anomalies and then cycle through the other options SS Temperature, Precipitation, Snow and Sea Ice these latter two being particularly informative when centred over Antarctica: Climate Reanalyzer

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  2. anotheralionel says:

    Cat’: “Those deniers presumably include Kevin Trenberth and Michael Mann,” Not so but YOU are included by self ownership of the title: I’m a denier at ATTP but then you will claim that is just irony. But we know different, you check your facts from polluted sources.

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