On Friday, September 27th, the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) will release Climate Change 2013: The Physical Science Basis, Part 1 of its Fifth Assessment Report. The actual report will be available here on September 30th.
In the run-up to its release, climate zombies around the world have been in panic mode, spreading disinformation, lies and nonsense in an attempt to confuse you as to the clearly established scientific truth about climate change. Warning: do not be fooled by these false reports. They are dangerous to your mental health, and to the health of the planet. More....
Here is the BCSEA’s Climate Zombie Defense System, consisting of foolproof defenses against the main nonsense with which the Climate Zombies are attacking you.
Climate Zombie Attack #1: “The world is no longer warming” and/or “There is a hiatus in global warming” and/or “It hasn’t warmed since 1998”
Here are your defences:
1. The world IS still warming, alas. The first decade of the 21st century was the warmest on record. Globally, the hottest 12-month period ever recorded was from June 2009 to May 2010.
2. 90% of the ‘new’ heat being trapped in the atmosphere is going into the oceans, where it is causing the melting of the Arctic sea-ice, the migration of fish north and south from the tropics, and increasing acidification of the ocean. Only 10% of the heat warms the air. The upper half of the ocean is gaining heat at 6/10ths of a watt per square meter, which is the staggering equivalent of 400,000 Hiroshima bombs being exploded in the ocean every day.
3. In the period 1991-2005, the global land/sea surface temperature warmed by 2/10th of a degree per decade. In the decade 2000-2010, the rate of surface temperature warming slowed to 1/10th of a degree, due to the effect of El Nina and reduced solar activity.
4. There is no hiatus in global warming. The claim that there is comes from a misunderstanding of how the ocean-atmosphere system works, the current standstill in surface/air temperature, and cherry-picking of the data to ignore the long-term warming trend.
Climate Zombie Attack #2: “The Arctic is not melting”
Here are your defences:
1. The data shows with disturbing clarity that the Arctic is losing more summer ice every year, in both extent and thickness. This year, the summer ice decline was not as sharp as last year, making it the sixth lowest on record, instead of the lowest:
Arctic sea ice "recovers" to its 6th-lowest extent in millennia. Guardian, Sept 19, 2013.
2. Climate Zombies claim that the decline in Arctic sea-ice is being balanced by the increase in Antarctic sea-ice. It is true that Antarctic sea-ice is increasing: this is being caused by severe ozone depletion that creates stratospheric cooling, causing more wind and therefore more open water that can be frozen. Antarctic is losing land-ice, however,
Arctic sea ice delusions strike the Mail on Sunday and Telegraph. The Guardian, Sept 9.
Climate Zombie Attack #3: “There is no consensus”
Here is your defence:
There may be no consensus among the climate deniers, some of whom accept that climate change is real but is being caused by the Sun, while others deny that it is happening at all. 98.4% of the world’s climatologists, however, accept the consensus position that climate change is happening, and that it is being caused by human activity.
A study by the Skeptical Science team of over 12,000 peer-reviewed abstracts on the subjects of 'global warming' and 'global climate change' published between 1991 and 2011 found that of the papers taking a position on the cause of global warming, over 97% agreed that humans are causing it (Cook 2013).
Climate Zombie Attack #4: “The climate has always changed”
Here is your defence:
Of course it is true that the climate has always changed. The Earth has had eras when there were two kilometres of ice about our heads, and eras when crocodiles flourished in the Arctic. The changes have been caused by variations in Earth’s orbit, known as the Milankovitch cycles, after the Serbian geophysicist who pieced it together while in internment during World War 1.
Following the physics of the Milankovitch cycles, and leaving aside our modern human influence, Earth is in a warm period which will continue for a further 23,000 years.
When climate scientists look at the recent dramatic sudden in temperature, however, and take every possible explanatory factor into account, there is only one model which fits the observed data, which includes the warming effect of increased CO2 and other heat-trapping greenhouses gases resulting from human activities during the industrial age, and the recent massive burning of ancient fossil fuels. During the last 150 years atmosphere greenhouse gas levels have increased by 40%.
Climate Zombie Attack #5: “You don’t understand very much about the climate, so we're going to confuse you some more.”
Your best defence is to increase your understanding of climate change!
There is a great opportunity coming up starting September 30th: A free 10-week MOOC (Massive Open On-Line Learning) from UBC and Coursera: Climate Literacy: Navigating Climate Change Conversations
Best Global Warming Websites
Best Books on Global Warming
I have given their Amazon listings, but these are also available in good local bookshops, and 2nd hand through www.abebooks.com
The Weather Makers, by Tim Flannery
Keeping Our Cool: Canada in a Warming World, by Andrew Weaver
Hell and High Water, by Joe Romm
Six Degrees: Our Future on a Hotter Planet, by Mark Lynas
Climate Cover-Up: The Crusade to Deny Global Warming, by James Hoggan
Heat: How to Stop the Planet from Burning, by George Monbiot
Now or Never: Why we Need to Act Now to Achieve a Sustainable Future, by Tim Flannery
The Climate Challenge: 101 Solutions to Global Warming, by Guy Dauncey
Best YouTube Lectures
James Hansen: Why I must speak out about climate change. TED Lecture, Feb 2012.
Slaying the "Zombies" of Climate Science: Dr. Marshall Shepherd. TEDxAtlanta.
Climate Change 2013: Greenland Ice Sheet & Northern Polar Jet Stream. Peter Sinclair.
Climate Science Lecture - The Basics of Global Warming. Prof. Stefan Rahmstorf.
Climate Science Lecture - Impacts of Global Warming. Prof. Stefan Rahmstorf.