David Kirkpatrick

January 21, 2010

More climate change shenanigans

I’m not a global warming skeptic — the science on post-industrial CO2 levels and overall global temperature is very clear — but, I have a real problem with the politics of anthropogenic climate change and how science is being regularly twisted into something of a policy battering ram that demands ideological purity and a lack of continued rigor on what is going on. With that, it should go without saying I question the extreme doomsday predictions coming from those ideologically pure AGW cassandras.

News like this does nothing to make me feel any better about the complete lack of real science behind a lot of AGW claims, and it does nothing to help brush back those idiotic total global warming deniers who point at every record cold temperature and snow storm across the middle of the U.S. to “prove” their point.

Realistically we have some very bad science and bullying politics on one side, fingers-in-the-ears yahoos on the other, and an actual issue that deserves and needs addressing stuck in the middle. You know, if you think about it the entire AGW debate is a pretty good summation of politics in the U.S. right now.

From the second link:

One of the most alarming conclusions from the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC), a widely respected organization established by the United Nations, is that glaciers in the Himalayas could be gone 25 years from now, eliminating a primary source of water for hundreds of millions of people. But a number of glaciologists have argued that this conclusion is wrong, and now the IPCC admits that the conclusion is largely unsubstantiated, based on news reports rather than published, peer-reviewed scientific studies.

In a statement released on Wednesday, the IPCC admitted that the Working Group II report, “Impacts, Adaptation and Vulnerability,” published in the IPCC’s Fourth Assessment Report (2007), contains a claim that “refers to poorly substantiated estimates. ” The statement also said “the clear and well-established standards of evidence, required by the IPCC procedure, were not applied properly.” The statement did not quote the error, but it did cite the section of the report that refers to Himalayan glaciers. Christopher Field, director of the Carnegie Institution’s Department of Global Ecology, who is now in charge of Working Group II, confirms that the error was related to the claim that the glaciers could disappear by 2035.

The disappearance of the glaciers would require temperatures far higher than those predicted in even the most dire global warming scenarios, says Georg Kaser, professor at the Institut für Geographie der Universität, Innsbruck. The Himalayas would have to heat up by 18 degrees Celsius and stay there for the highest glaciers to melt–most climate change scenarios expect only a few degrees of warming over the next century.


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