Bluefield Daily Telegraph, Bluefield, WV

Columns

December 24, 2013

NIPCC report disputes the conventional wisdom about climate change

— — The Nongovernmental International Panel on Climate Change (NIPCC) is a panel of scientists organized in 2003 by Dr. S. Fred Singer and the Science and Environmental Policy Project. Unlike the better-known Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC), which is a government-sponsored and politically motivated group with a man-causes-global-warming bias, the NIPCC receives no funding from government and does not share the IPCC’s predisposition that climate change is manmade and therefore requires a United Nations solution.

Hence, Dr. Singer’s group, which consists of some 50 independent scientists from universities and private institutions around the world (the U.S., Australia, New Zealand, Germany, Norway, Canada, Italy, the U.K., France, Russia, Denmark, Sweden, Estonia, Spain) who disagree with the IPCC’s theory, “seeks to objectively analyze and interpret data and facts without conforming to any specific agenda,” according to a summary of the 1,200-page report “Climate Change Reconsidered II: Physical Science” that was released in September of this year.

Most of what we read, see and hear from the media is the opinion held and promoted by the United Nations’ IPCC. No matter what your opinion about whether or not human activities have a significant effect, or any effect, on the earth’s climate, it certainly cannot hurt to have available the analysis of a group of scientists — the NIPCC — that believes the data show a different reality than that promoted by the IPCC.

Among the group’s findings are:

• Atmospheric carbon dioxide is a mild greenhouse gas that exerts a diminishing warming effect as its concentration increases.

• Earth has not warmed significantly for the past 16 years despite an 8 percent increase in atmospheric carbon dioxide emissions, which represents 34 percent of all extra carbon dioxide added to the atmosphere since the start of the industrial revolution.

• The causes of historic global warming remain uncertain, but significant correlations exist between climate patterning and multidecadal variation and solar activity over the past few hundred years.

• The overall warming since about 1860 corresponds to a recovery from the Little Ice Age modulated by natural multidecadal cycles driven by ocean-atmosphere oscillations.

• Carbon dioxide is a vital nutrient used by plants in photosynthesis. Increasing carbon dioxide in the atmosphere “greens” the planet and helps feed the growing human population.

• No close correlation exists between temperature variation over the past 150 years and human-related carbon dioxide emissions. The parallelism of temperature and carbon dioxide increase between about 1980 and 2000 could be due to chance and does not necessarily indicate causation.

• The causes of historic global warming remain uncertain, but significant correlations exist between climate patterning and multidecadal variation and solar activity over the past few hundred years.

The summary also presents key facts about surface temperature that argue against the U.N. IPCC’s position, a few of which follow:

• Whether today’s global surface temperature is seen to be part of a warming trend depends upon the time period considered.

• Over (climatic) time scales of many thousand years, temperature is cooling; over the historical (meteorological) time scale of the past century temperature has warmed. Over the past 16 years, there has been no net warming despite an increase in atmospheric carbon dioxide of 8 percent.

• There was nothing unusual about either the magnitude or rate of the late 20th century warming pulses represented on the HadCRUT record, both falling well within the envelope of known, previous natural variations.

• No empirical evidence exists to support the assertion that a planetary warming of 2 degrees centigrade would be net ecologically or economically damaging.

These findings by this group of international scientists that contradict the positions of the IPCC gain strength from the evidence of fraud among scientists at the Climatic Research Unit at Britain’s University of East Anglia, many associated with the IPCC. Emails exchanged between these scientists obtained in 2009 demonstrated fraud, dishonesty and errors in the arguments supporting the theory of man-made global warming.

As reported in Human Events online edition, some of the emails revealed contempt for disagreeable scientific data and a “slavish devotion to the climate change political agenda pushed by the politicians and government bureaucrats funding their research.”

In the report’s conclusion the authors say: “Few scientists deny that human activities can have an effect on local climate or that the sum of such local effects could hypothetically rise to the level of an observable global signal. The key questions to be answered, however, are whether the human global signal is large enough to be measured and if it is, does it represent, or is it likely to become, a dangerous change outside the range of natural variability?”

The conclusion includes a quote by British biologist Conrad Waddington from 1941: “It is ... important that scientists must be ready for their pet theories to turn out to be wrong. Science as a whole certainly cannot allow its judgment about facts to be distorted by ideas of what ought to the true, or what one may hope to be true.”

Those scientists who believe that man’s activities harm the planet should take this good advice to heart.

Merry Christmas to all!

James H. “Smokey” Shott, a resident of Bluefield, Va., is a Daily Telegraph columnist.

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