Channel 4 I fear: here is there prog page. I’m not going to see it (lacking a tv). It says (you can practically write this stuff in your sleep): The film brings together the arguments of leading scientists who disagree with the prevailing consensus that a ‘greenhouse effect’ of carbon dioxide released by human activity is the cause of rising global temperatures. Instead the documentary highlights recent research that the effect of the sun’s radiation on the atmosphere may be a better explanation for the regular swings of climate from ice ages to warm interglacial periods and back again.
So this is presumably Svensmark and Calder with a book to promote, I’m guessing.
It is rather funny that their sidebar on GR links to Global warming is arguably the most pressing issue we face today. For the first time in our history the whole human species is under threat from the alarmingly powerful forces of climate change. Will we be able to make the changes needed to save future generations from the ruinous chaos of a shifting climate?. So C4 don’t believe their own prog, which is sensible of them.
What else? The film argues that the earth’s climate is always changing, and that rapid warmings and coolings took place long before the burning of fossil fuels. Well yes, the climate changes, what is unusual about this one is the rapidity and likely future size. There have been rapid changes before, but those were before human civilisation, so its not clear they were relevant. What next: The earths crust was once molten, so clearly anything less that 3000K is quite safe?
The film features an impressive roll-call of experts. Aha! Argument from authority. Excellent: then IPCC clearly wins, as it has far more than the 9 experts these people claim. Who are these experts? Tim Ball – hardly impressive as a start. Next, John Christy – now Christy is a genuine expert, albeit one who has made some mistakes. But what does he have to say? ‘I’ve often heard it said that there is a consensus of thousands of scientists on the global warming issue, that humans are causing a catastrophic change to the climate system,’ says John Christy, Professor and Director of the Earth System Science Center, NSSTC University of Alabama. ‘Well I am one scientist, and there are many, that simply think that is not true.’ Disappointing – the old “catastrophe” strawman. Does Christy not engage with the causes, which is nominally what this prog is about. Most likely, though, they will just go for scattershotting stuff in the hope of confusing. Then Eigil Friis-Christensen, fair enough, though hardly a world-leader. Clouds and cosmic rays, of course, and we’ll neglect the lack of an 11-y solar cycle on any recent increase in solar. And finally Ian Clark, Professor of Isotope hydrogeology and paleoclimatology at the Dept of Earth Sciences, University of Ottawa explains: Solar activity over the last hundred years, over the last several hundred years, correlates very nicely, on a decadal basis, with temperature. Well no it doesn’t; and of course we don’t have solar records anyway; but never mind. So that seems to be it from the experts, unless they are waiting to spring out others as a surprise on the night.
Oh, I missed the experts in the film argue that increased CO2 levels are actually a result of temperature rises – gosh, are they really dumb enough to argue that CO2 isn’t anthropogenic. Maybe they are – who knows. [Or maybe they mean this? -W]
[While we're on cosmic rays, Nexus6 has a nice link to Arguments against a physical long-term trend in global ISCCP cloud amounts; Amato T. Evan et al, suggesting that trends in ISCCP cloud are an artefact of satellite changes -W]