At last, the NZ Climate “Science” Coalition publish their response to the Royal Society of New Zealand’s recent statement on climate change. As I predicted, they’ve made my day. Let’s consider the circumstances. We have the nation’s leading science organisation, and a panel of the nation’s leading climate scientists – including a few Nobel prizewinners – presenting the evidence for climate change. And then we have the Climate “Science” Coalition:
It beggars the imagination that an expert committee can launch a public statement about climate change that is so partial in its arguments and so out of date in its science.
Yeah, right. It “beggars the imagination” that a bunch that seriously believes it has a chance of influencing public policy can issue a statement so seriously factually incorrect and so deliberately misleading.
The NZ C”S”C’s statement is long on bombast and short on reality. Let’s look at our tame cranks’ conclusions:
In particular, the statement makes no mention of three critical facts:
(i) that the best available extended atmospheric temperature record (based on weather balloon radiosonde measurements) shows no warming since 1958;
Pardon? No warming since 1958? Now this is a remarkable assertion that I’ve never heard before – and for something this original to emerge from the NZ C”S”C is indeed a novelty. What on earth are they on about? Perhaps it’s this graph (hat tip: Sam Vilain)? Unfortunately it shows that stratospheric temperatures have cooled since 1958 (which we expect), and that over the last 50 years the lower troposphere (where we live) has been warming. Did one of the “independent climate scientist rationalists” make that basic an error? Certainly looks like it.
(ii) that all global temperature indices show cooling since at least 2002; and
It’s good to see the “cooling since 1998″ lie make an appearance – I’d expect nothing less. Unfortunately for our rationalists, if you look at the figures for the ten years up to 1998, and the ten years since, you find that the world’s warmed up. Climate is measured on decadal (preferably 30 year) timescales – unless you’re a climate rationalist, in which case it can be measured by the month.
(iii) that the quiet period between solar cycles 23 and 24 continues to extend, pointing to greater near-future cooling as it does so.
Ha! It’s the sun what done it. Another sceptic trope makes its appearance. I suppose it’s inevitable, because earlier they’ve announced:
The RSNZ statement commences with the bald, and wrong, statement that â€œThe globe is warming, because of increasing greenhouse gas emissionsâ€.
They want to rewrite physics. Good luck to them.
In the meantime, a word to the wise. If you want to influence public policy, it helps to at least pretend to be credible. With this latest release the New Zealand Climate “Science” Coalition reveals itself to be so divorced from reality that it descends to the level of comedy. And that would be funny, if the problem weren’t so serious.
[Update: within minutes of posting, I find that the blogger formerly known as Tamino has weighed in on the Dalton Minimum (a period of low sunspot numbers fro 1790 to 1830 that's often associated with "global cooling". Here's his conclusion: "Honestly, I havenâ€™t yet seen any reliable evidence to indicate that solar output is headed for another Dalton-like minimum, just groundless speculation by those who desperately want to deny the influence of greenhouse gases on climate. But even if the sun does go through another Dalton-like minimum, based on past observations I donâ€™t expect much impact on global temperature." ]