Matthew England will talk about climate models this Sunday 23rd August in the Powerhouse Museum as part of the Ultimo Science Festival. The press release says:

Climate modeller challenges skeptics

With the Government’s emissions trading legislation now delayed, one of Australia’s leading climate scientists, UNSW Professor Matthew England has thrown down the gauntlet to climate skeptics to update their thinking.

“Those that deny basic climate science question climate modelling and fundamental climate physics. But each of their arguments is wrong, outdated, or irrelevant. Most of their claims have long been refuted by the scientific community, the national academies, and so on. Others need no refuting: they fly in the face of basic geophysical measurements, or they are so appallingly wrong they go against simple high-school physics,” England says.


The award-winning oceanographer, who is co-director of UNSW’s Climate Change Research Centre, will discuss the whys and wherefores of climate modelling and provide the most up-to-date climate predictions out to the year 2100 (since the IPCC report of 2007), at the Ultimo Science Festival on Sunday.

“This talk will show the step by step of how the models work, how they have evolved over the past 50 years, where they can be trusted, and what their uncertainties are. I will also address many of the skeptics’ claims and show why they are wrong,” England says.

But the latest research is not a pretty prediction, according to England.

“We need a fairly dramatic change in the way we power this planet, away from the old carbon-intensive technologies and into a new era of clean energy. We need to do this very quickly to give us any chance of staying below a net 2 degrees Celsius global average warming.

“Alarmingly, even at that level of warming we will lose most of the world’s coral reefs and around 20 to 30 per cent of species will face potential extinction. The Greenland ice sheet is likely to disintegrate completely if we warm in excess of 2.5 degrees C, that’s a seven-metre sealevel rise” he says.

England says we have already emitted half the greenhouse gases we can if we are to have a reasonable chance of staying below a net 2 degrees Celsius global average warming.

“Every year that there is inaction, this locks in a greater level of climate change. Climate change is now unavoidable, but we can determine, to some extent, what level of change we are prepared to commit to,” says England. “If we care about minimising the impact on heat extremes, bushfires, human health, our ecosystems and our capacity to produce food and have a secure freshwater supply, greenhouse gas emissions need to peak in the next decade and then decline rapidly.”

Comments

  1. #1 J. de Viana
    December 10, 2009

    There is a lot of Science talked about. What about History?

    The Earth is colder today than 1000 years ago. The Romans grew grapes in England where they won’t grow today.
    The worst drought identified in Australia was in the 17th century . Greenland is still colder today than when it was colonized by the Norsemen. The Medieval warm period was a prosperous time
    The worst Cyclone in Australia was in 1899, Cyclones are not increasing in intensity or frequency.
    In the UK 2 years ago a hot dry summer was predicted. Iwas record cold and wet!
    There was an ice free nothern passage during the warm period. Hands up those who want another ice age.
    Some of our Scientists should be replaced by Historians.
    The above are facts . If weather predictions are wrong for a few months ahead do we really believe then 100 years hence
    Please tell us how to reduce CO2 emissions by 60% in the Mineral industry -SHUT IT DOWN?
    The questions are endless but must be answered

  2. #2 Janet Akerman
    December 10, 2009

    J. de Viana,

    What about evidence?

    Your assertions don’t equate to evidence.

  3. #3 Janet's too lazy to look it up, so it isn't true.
    December 13, 2009

    Janet Akerman, you ask (of J. de Viana): “What about evidence?”

    You know, you could get off your ample & spreading buttocks and look up, e.g. an economic history of Roman Britain, or whatever. It’s all there, in various libraries, in black & white, entirely unrebutted: Scotland exporting wine in the Middle Ages; the violence and extent of the 1960s hurricane seasons off the US coast, etc. — an endless parade of Flies In The Ointment, all of them making a mockery the ‘global warming’ dogma that (to quote Dr. Mann, from one of the now infamous leaked CRU e-mails) must be “contained”, i.e., “adjusted”, i.e., lied about, right there in the models. Like this …

    From the leaked programming file called “briffa_sep98_d.pro”:

    >yyy=reform(compmxd(*,2,1))
    >;mknormal,yyy,timey,refperiod=[1881,1940]
    >;
    >; Apply a VERY ARTIFICAL correction for decline!!
    >;
    >yrloc=[1400,findgen(19)*5.+1904]
    >valadj=
    >[0.,0.,0.,0.,0.,-0.1,-0.25,-0.3,0.,-0.1,0.3,0.8,1.2,1.7,2.5,2.6,2.6,$
    >2.6,2.6,2.6]*0.75 ; fudge factor
    >if n_elements(yrloc) ne n_elements(valadj) then
    >message,’Oooops!’
    >;
    >yearlyadj=interpol(valadj,yrloc,timey)
    >;
    >

    Those “adjustments” show (the negatives near the start) a suppression of the Medieval Warm Period, and (the positives towards the end) a gross, parabolic exaggeration of the climate data from the more recent dcades. In other words, to distort the actual climatic evidence. By intent. By design. To support the warm-mongers’ conclusions.

    It’s called the logical fallacy of begging the question.

    It’s called fraud.

    And, whatever else it is, it isn’t “science”, climate or otherwise.

    So … “Your assertions don’t equate to evidence”??

    You write that, as if the internet weren’t awash with “a few e-mails” (nice minimizing language there, Associated Press) [which Al Gore deceitfully assures us are "ten years old" -- actually, the most recent dates to Nov. 12, 2009], which are unambiguous, admitted evidence by the CRU, IPCC, et al., that they were simply pulling their “evidence” out of their posterior bodily orifices.

    And even then, they had to “hide the decline” … See, e.g. http://wattsupwiththat.com/2009/11/28/how-the-trick-was-pulled-off/

    “Evidence”?

    Who’s “in denial”, now, Janet?

  4. #4 dhogaza
    December 13, 2009

    all of them making a mockery the ‘global warming’ dogma that (to quote Dr. Mann, from one of the now infamous leaked CRU e-mails) must be “contained”, i.e., “adjusted”

    Yawn, if you’re going to lie, can’t you be a bit more creative? “contain” as in “container”, as in the reconstructions didn’t go far enough back to include the entire MWP, Mann wanted to push back proxy reconstructions far enough back in time to contain, include, the entire MWP rather than just the latter part of it.

    The rest of your post is equally dumb, stupid, pathetic, and dishonest.

  5. #5 dhogaza
    December 13, 2009

    Those “adjustments” show (the negatives near the start) a suppression of the Medieval Warm Period

    So the early 1900s were part of the medieval era? Maybe where you live, which might explain your ignorance …

  6. #6 Marco
    December 13, 2009

    @J. de Viana:
    Indeed, how about historical data!
    1. I wonder then what all those vineyards (almost 400!) are really doing in England and Wales. Growing fake grapes?
    2. Worst drough in Australia in the 17th century, you claim. But where’s the evidence? It must be indirect evidence, considering Australia wasn’t really colonised until the end of the 18th century. I can’t find *any* information that backs your claim.
    3. Greenland still colder, you say. Your evidence being?
    4. The Medieval warm period a prosperous time? Your evidence being? And *where* exactly was it a prosperous time?
    5. The worst cyclone in Australia *in terms of casualties* was in 1899. Making the statement more accurate suddenly alters a lot.
    6. The prediction said a warmer summer, not a dry summer. And guess what, it may have been record wet, but *not* record cold! It was below the long-term average, that’s all
    7. You claim there was an ice-free northern passage (which one?) during the warm period (I guess you mean MWP). Your evidence being what, exactly? If you were referring to the Northwest and Northeast passages: those have been navigated even during the LIA. But ice-free they were not…
    These are the historical facts.

  7. #7 Barbara
    January 7, 2010

    Post: “I really do apologize to everyone here before hand, but I would prefer not to accept climate models as such empirical evidence. Is there any other corroborating source of real world evidence? I’m open minded and I just want to be convinced, as a layman”.

    Reply: Why should we do your homework for you?

    And what do you think the alternative is, that thousands of climate scientists around the world are just making shit up?

    Good on you for apologizing in advance, because the apology is deserved.
    Posted by: dhogaza | August 20, 2009 4:57 PM

    This is exactly why people are turning against the ‘warmers” theory. When we ask a simple specific question there is no proper answer forthcoming and no links or references provided. We are not helped at all. All that comes through is immense arrogance. “The only thing more dangerous than ignorance is arrogance.” — Albert Einstein. I think the ‘warmers’ are showing both ignorance and arrogance combined by their attitude.

  8. #8 Bruce Sharp
    January 7, 2010

    Barbara, Deltoid’s not a very friendly place for people who are new to the topics being discussed. For better or worse, there’s a long tradition of that on the Internet: you were expected to RTFM (“read the f#@*ing manual”) BEFORE you asked questions. When someone believes that the only evidence for global warming comes from models, they clearly have not RTFM.

    I don’t think a harsh attitude toward (ostensibly) innocent questions is necessarily a good thing. I’m just saying that you shouldn’t be surprised by it, for exactly the reasons dhogaza explained above.

    If you want to learn some of the basics about the debate in an easily accessible form, I’d suggest looking at some of [Peter Sinclair's "Climate Crock" videos](http://www.youtube.com/user/greenman3610) on YouTube.

    Also, about that quote: it doesn’t particularly sound like Einstein. If you can provide a citation, terrific. Otherwise, it seems like you’re just parroting something you saw somewhere else, and that doesn’t make a good impression when you’re trying to convince people that you really have done your homework.

  9. #9 Betula
    January 7, 2010

    Barbara 2207…

    You are dead on about the arrogance on this site. Don’t be discouraged by it, as Albert Einstein said…”The important thing is not to stop questioning”.

    Bruce can look it up himself.

  10. #10 bluegrue
    January 7, 2010

    >Also, about that quote: it doesn’t particularly sound like Einstein.

    Bruce, I concur.

    Google finds (as of now) only 48 hits for [_Einstein "The only thing more dangerous than ignorance is arrogance."_](http://www.google.com/search?q=%22The+only+thing+more+dangerous+than+ignorance+is+arrogance.%22&start=50&sa=N), a lot of them on denialist sites like climatechangefraud.com; actualy, adding [_climate_ as a search term](http://www.google.com/search?q=%22The+only+thing+more+dangerous+than+ignorance+is+arrogance.%22+climate&start=40&sa=N) returns 38 hits.

  11. #11 luminous beauty
    January 7, 2010

    Incurious Betula misrepresents Einstein through selective quotation. The whole quote is:

    >The important thing is not to stop questioning. Curiosity has its own reason for existing. One cannot help but be in awe when he contemplates the mysteries of eternity, of life, of the marvelous structure of reality. It is enough if one tries merely to comprehend a little of this mystery every day. Never lose a holy curiosity.

    Einstein also said this:

    >A human being is part of the whole, called by us “Universe,” a part limited in time and space. He experiences himself, his thoughts and feelings as something separated from the rest – a kind of optical delusion of his consciousness. This delusion is a kind of prison for us, restricting us to our personal desires and to affection for a few persons nearest to us. Our task must be to free ourselves from this prison by widening our circle of compassion to embrace all living creatures and the whole [of] nature in its beauty.

  12. #12 Bernard J.
    January 7, 2010

    Luminous Beauty’s [second quotation](http://scienceblogs.com/deltoid/2009/08/matthew_england_challenges_the.php#comment-2188854) from Einstein is especially salient, as it describes well the state of mind/understanding underpinning the limited thinking of the Denialists.

    It fascinates (and horrifies) me that almost to a person the Denialists are scientifically illiterate or semi-literate people who believe that they have an understanding that has escaped tens of thousands of appropriately qualified/trained/otherwise experienced professionals. One way in which this Dunning-Kruger phenomenon dominates is their impression that they have an operational understanding, of complex systems and interactions, that is more advanced than that of the real experts.

    If such people lived a few centuries, or a millenium or several ago, they’d be the crowd insisting that the earth is flat, that light rays are emitted from the eyes, that life could arise by spontaneous generation, that a unicorn’s horn is proof against all poison, and other such scientific nonsense that was empirically disproved at the time, but about which the believers remained blithely ignorant.

    Move them forward to the nineteenth century and they’d be the folk who claimed that rain follows the plough…

    Whatever the pseudoscience of choice, with respect to the current crop of climate science denialists who cannot accept the physics of ‘greenhouse’ gas action, or that humans can affect an entire planet, I would add a quote myself to LB’s above, this time from Francis Crick:

    And so to those of you who may be vitalists I would make this prophecy: what everyone believed yesterday, and you believe today, only cranks will believe tomorrow.

  13. #13 Betula
    January 7, 2010

    LB,

    The expansion of Einsteins quote only enlarges the point about questioning….also be curious.

    For example, I’m curious about how many polar bears have died from global warming….

    As for the second quote, thank you for your embracing me, I didn’t think you had it in you.

  14. #14 Bernard J.
    August 31, 2011

    For those who didn’t get enough the first time ’round…

    18 months later, and [Tamino has had a Wormtongue infection](http://tamino.wordpress.com/2011/08/12/learning-from-bastardis-mistakes/).

    Damn, my borderline Asperger’s just cottoned on to the fact that we didn’t make it to 2222…

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