Science tempers fears on climate change
The world’s top climate scientists have cut their worst-case forecast for global warming over the next 100 years.
For the first time, scientists are confident enough to project a 3C rise on the average global daily temperature by the end of this century if no action is taken to cut greenhouse gas emissions. …
In 2001, the scientists predicted temperature rises of between 1.4C and 5.8C on current levels by 2100, but better science has led them to adjust this to a narrower band of between 2C and 4.5C.
So, the band is narrower but Warren just focuses on the the top end. This naturally feeds into a deceitful editorial in The Australian that completely ignores the bottom end:
In other words, according to the IPCC, the planet is heating up – but nowhere near as much as once thought or feared. The report is particularly valuable as a rebuke to that radical and disproportionately loud fringe of greenies and leftists who treat environmentalism as a religion for whom humanity’s sinful, decadent ways threaten to bring down the wrath of nature or the gods and must be changed.
As John Quiggin puts it:
The Australian’s coverage of this issue has been a disgrace. As a paper, it cannot be taken seriously on any scientific issue.
Actually, The Australian is worse than Quiggin thinks, because Warren has confused climate sensitivity (how much warming will eventually occur if we double CO2) with projected 21st century warming. The narrower band of 2-4.5 degrees in the new IPCC report is for climate sensitivity, not projected warming. In the IPCC’s Third Assessment Report the band was 1.5-4.5. So the band got narrower but the top end did not go down, only the bottom end went up. That’s something you’re unlikely to see reported inThe Australian. Gavin Schmidt at Real Climate has more on Warren’s screw-up.
And to prove that Warren’s spin on his reporting of the IPCC report was no accident, here’s what he has further on his story:
A recent Australian Bureau of Agricultural and Resource Economics report on the cost of cutting greenhouse gas emissions estimated Australians would incur a fall in real wages of about 20 per cent if the nation was to unilaterally cut greenhouse gas emissions in half by 2050.
Hands up everyone who thought that Kyoto treaty said that Australia was the only country which had to cut emissions? Of course, as you’ve probably guessed Warren cherry picked the scenario which had the worst result in terms of real wages. If you are choosing which policy to adopt to drastically reduce emissions, do you choose the one that has the highest cost, or the one with the lowest cost? If you look at the report, you will find that, for example, scenario 2a reduces CO2 by 46% at cost of 2.5% to GDP, i.e. we’d have to wait till 2051 to get the same GDP we could have had in 2050 if we had not taken action to decrease emissions.
And if you thought that story was bad, Warren has another one mainly devoted to presenting the global warming sceptic’s position. Did you know that sceptics about global warming outnumber mainstream scientist? Well, they do in Warren’s story. And here’s his take on the NRC panel report:
Eventually the US Congress bought into the dispute and commissioned an independent review, which found that Mann’s statistical work was flawed and unable to support the claims of the hottest century, decade and year of the past millennium.
Most other observers seem to consider that report a vindication for Mann.
In other global warming news, Andrew Bartlett reports reports that there was a screening of “An Inconvenient Truth” put on by the government’s Parliamentary Secretary for the Environment, so there is hope that the Australian government will treat the issue more seriously than the The Australian.
Update: Now Matt Drudge is pushing Warren’s bogus claim.