Watts Up With That?
Friday, Feb 13, 2009
During the past few weeks, there have been several warnings of apocalypse from noted scientists. Dr. Hansen warned in The Guardian that President Obama has “four years to save the planet.” James McCarthy, head of the American Association for The Advancement of Science (AAAS) made a similar statement. Nobel Prize winning scientist Al Gore is going to take it a step further at next week’s AAAS meeting. Steven Chu, President Obama’s Secretary of Energy, warned that California will no longer be able to support agriculture or cities due to drought caused by global warming.
Then something remarkable happened.
Today’s Guardian has a lead story unlike anything we have seen before.
‘Apocalyptic climate predictions’ mislead the public, say experts’
Experts at Britain’s top climate research centre have launched a blistering attack on scientific colleagues and journalists who exaggerate the effects of global warming. The Met Office Hadley Centre, one of the most prestigious research facilities in the world, says recent “apocalyptic predictions” about Arctic ice melt and soaring temperatures are as bad as claims that global warming does not exist.
Nobody has been pushing the global warming story harder than the Met Office and The Guardian. Whom could they be referring to in this passage “scientific colleagues and journalists who exaggerate the effects of global warming?”
Some more quotes from the article.
Pope says there is little evidence to support claims that Arctic ice has reached a tipping point and could disappear within a decade or so, as some reports have suggested. Summer ice extent in the Arctic, formed by frozen sea water, has collapsed in recent years, with ice extent in September last year 34% lower than the average since satellite measurements began in 1979. ”The record-breaking losses in the past couple of years could easily be due to natural fluctuations in the weather, with summer ice increasing again over the next few years,” she says.
“It is easy for scientists to grab attention by linking climate change to the latest extreme weather event or apocalyptic prediction. But in doing so, the public perception of climate change can be distorted. The reality is that extreme events arise when natural variations in the weather and climate combine with long-term climate change.”
The criticism reflects mounting concern at the Met Office that the global warming debate risks being hijacked by people on both sides who push their own agendas and interests.
The Met Office has been badly burned by their seasonal mispredictions of warm UK weather, particularly during the current winter and the last two summers. But particularly interesting to me are the comments about Arctic Ice. I was about to write an article forecasting the return of the Arctic to near normal ice conditions this summer, based on the light polar drift this winter. It appears that The Met Office agrees with that prognosis.
The walls are tumbling down in the UK. President Obama promised to align with the Europeans about global warming. Will he keep his promise?
All in all you’re just another brick in the wall
This article was posted: Friday, February 13, 2009 at 4:53 am