Wednesday, October 4, 2017

GWPF Newsletter: Climate Scientists Mislead The World About Great Barrier Reef

Chief Science Adviser Attacks Scientists’ Political ‘Arrogance’

In this newsletter:

1) How Climate Scientists Mislead The World About The Great Barrier Reef
GWPF Science, 1 October 2017
2) Reminder: Activist Scientists ‘Exaggerated’ Coral Bleaching
GWPF Science 4 June 2016 

3) Arctic Sea Ice Remarkably Stable Since 2007
Ron Clutz, Science Matters, 1 October 2017 
4) Chief Science Adviser Attacks Scientists’ Political ‘Arrogance’ And Academic ‘Over-Hype’
Times Higher Education, 29 September 2017
5) Matt Ridley Welcomes Climate Climb-Down
Julie Kelly, National Review, 28 September 2017

Full details:

1) How Climate Scientists Mislead The World About The Great Barrier Reef
GWPF Science, 1 October 2017

Reports by scientists that climate change has damaged the Great Barrier Reef beyond repair have been greatly exaggerated. Once again, climate alarmists have ignored the science of coral bleaching which is a regular El Niño-linked occurrence and regularly leads to post-El Niño recovery.

Optimism is rising among scientists that parts of the Great Barrier Reef that were severely bleached over the past two years are making a recovery.

Scientists from the Australian Institute of Marine Science this month surveyed 14 coral reefs between Cairns and Townsville to see how they fared after being bleached.

The institute’s Neil Cantin said they were surprised to find the coral had already started to reproduce.

“We’re finding corals that are showing early signs of reproductive development, really visible eggs that we can see under the naked eye,” Dr Cantin said.

“[It’s] very surprising as previous studies have shown a two-to-three year delay in reproductive activity following bleaching events.

“It means they have enough energy, they’ve recovered the zooxanthellae and the symbiosis and they even have energy to invest in reproduction and egg development.”

Nearly two thirds of the Great Barrier Reef was affected by bleaching in 2016 and 2017, killing up to 50 per cent of coral in those parts.

Dr Cantin said scientists found eggs at most of the reefs in the Cairns region, including at Arlington Reef and Fitzroy Island.

“What it means is the corals along the entire Great Barrier Reef, are survivors that are going to reproduce earlier than expected which could help drive quicker recovery if we don’t see another heat stress this summer,” he said.

“This is a positive news story for a change for the Great Barrier Reef. We’re seeing eggs and we hope those eggs will lead to somewhat of a successful spawning season this summer.”

Full story

See also — GWPF coverage of coral bleaching hype and hysteria
2) Reminder: Activist Scientists ‘Exaggerated’ Coral Bleaching
GWPF Science 4 June 2016 
Graham Lloyd, The Australian

Activist scientists and lobby groups have distorted surveys, maps and data to misrepresent the extent and impact of coral bleaching on the Great Barrier Reef, ­according to the chairman of the Great Barrier Reef Marine Park Authority, Russell Reichelt.

A full survey of the reef ­released yesterday by the author­ity and the Australian Institute of Marine ­Science said 75 per cent of the reef would escape unscathed.

Dr Reichelt said the vast bulk of bleaching damage was confined to the far northern section off Cape York, which had the best prospect of recovery due to the lack of ­onshore development and high water quality….

Dr Reichelt said there had been widespread misinterpretation of how much of the reef had died.
“We’ve seen headlines stating that 93 per cent of the reef is prac­tic­ally dead,” he said.

“We’ve also seen reports that 35 per cent, or even 50 per cent, of the entire reef is now gone.

“However, based on our ­combined results so far, the overall mortality rate is 22 per cent — and about 85 per cent of that die-off has occurred in the far north ­between the tip of Cape York and just north of Lizard Island, 250km north of Cairns. Seventy-five per cent of the reef will come out in a few months time as recovered.”

Full story

3) Arctic Sea Ice Remarkably Stable Since 2007
Ron Clutz, Science Matters, 1 October 2017 

Arctic ice extent has been fairly stable since 2007 and is now 500.000 square kilometres (193,000 sq miles)  higher than 10 years ago.


September daily extents are now fully reported and the 2017 September monthly results can be compared with years of the previous decade. MASIE showed 2017 exceeded 4.8M km2  and SII was close behind, also reaching 4.8M for the month. The 11 year linear trend is more upward for MASIE, mainly due to 2008 and 2009 reported higher in SII.  In either case, one can easily see the Arctic ice extents since 2007 have not declined and are now 500k km2 higher.

In August, 4.5M km2 was the median estimate of the September monthly average extent from the SIPN (Sea Ice Prediction Network) who use the reports from SII (Sea Ice Index), the NASA team satellite product from passive microwave sensors.

The graph below shows September comparisons through day 273 (Sept. 30).


Note that starting day 26 2016 had begun its remarkable recovery, and is now well above the 10 year average, nearly matching 2017. Meanwhile 2007 is 1.1M km2 behind and the Great Arctic Cyclone year of 2012 is 1.4M km2 less than 2017.  Note also that SII is currently matching MASIE.

The narrative from activist ice watchers is along these lines:  2017 minimum is not especially low, but it is very thin.  “The Arctic is on thin ice.”  They are basing that notion on PIOMAS, a model-based estimate of ice volumes, combining extents with estimated thickness.  That technology is not mature, and in any case refers to the satellite era baseline, which began in 1979.

The formation of ice this year does not appear thin, since it is concentrated in the central Arctic.  For example, Consider how Laptev and East Siberian seas together added 180k km2 in the just the last ten days:

Click on image to enlarge.
4) Chief Science Adviser Attacks Scientists’ Political ‘Arrogance’ And Academic ‘Over-Hype’
Times Higher Education, 29 September 2017 

The chief science adviser to the prime minister of New Zealand has accused scientists of “hubris” and “arrogance” when they comment on government policy.

Chief Science Advisor, Professor Sir Peter Gluckman
Sir Peter Gluckman, who also chairs the International Network for Science Advice to Governments, levelled a series of sharp criticisms at researchers and science organisations during an event in Brussels that debated the role of policy and evidence in a “post-fact” world.

He argued that scientists needed to appreciate that politicians made their decisions based on values as well as scientific evidence.

“Individual scientists, professional and scientific organisations too often exhibit hubris in reflecting on policy implications of science,” Sir Peter told delegates at “EU for facts: evidence for policy in a post-fact world”, held on 26 September.

“This arrogance can become the biggest enemy of science effectively engaging with policy – the policy decisions inevitably involve dimensions beyond science.”

Scientists needed to appreciate that political ideology, financial and diplomatic constraints, and “electoral contracts” also had to be taken into account by politicians, Sir Peter said. “It is important that [scientific] knowledge is provided [to policymakers] in a way that does not usurp the ability of policy process to consider these broader dimensions: otherwise trust in advice can be lost as it becomes perceived as advocacy,” he argued.

He also said that he avoided using the “somewhat arrogant” term “evidence-based policy”, preferring “evidence-informed” instead. Meanwhile, “too often academy reports are focused on academic demonstration rather than meeting policy needs or answering an unasked question”, he added.

Similar warnings have come from other figures in science. Last year, Jeremy Berg, the editor-in-chief of Science, said that academics have too often ventured into giving policy prescriptions rather than just explaining the evidence, for example in the area of climate change.

Although he named no names, Sir Peter also warned that “individual scientists” were now using their “scientific standing” to make claims “well beyond the evidence and their expertise”. Universities may also “over-hype” their science, he added….

At the same conference, Carlos Moedas, European commissioner for research, science and innovation, argued that to combat a “crisis of confidence” in science, there needed to be online “places of trust for scientific advice”…

Full story

5) Matt Ridley Welcomes Climate Climb-Down
Julie Kelly, National Review, 28 September 2017 

It seems like Matt Ridley’s timing couldn’t be better for him and worse for the CO2-is-poison crowd.
He calls himself a “lukewarmer” on climate change.

The author of several scientific books — including The Rational Optimist, his paean about how human grit and ingenuity have historically prevailed over a harsh natural world — Ridley acknowledges that the greenhouse-gas effect is real and humans have caused most of the warming over the past 50 years:

“I just don’t think it will ever get dangerous, and if it does, by that time, we will have had plenty of time to adapt to it with new technologies,” he told me from his home in northern England.

While most reasonable people would agree with his logical and hopeful approach to potential global catastrophe, the irrational pessimists leading the international climate-change crusade consider it heresy. Many have smeared Viscount Ridley, who is also a Conservative-party member of the House of Lords, as a climate “denier” and targeted him for professional destruction.

“I’ve written about many controversial issues during my career,” Ridley said. “Never, have I ever experienced anything like what happens when you write about climate, which is a systematic and organized attempt to blacken your name rather than your arguments, and to try to pressure any outlet that publishes me into not publishing me any more.”

A group of activists and scientists is urging the Times (U.K.) to stop publishing a regular column authored by Ridley because his views often challenge the climate tribe’s reigning dogma.

Fortunately, none of this seems to have dampened Ridley’s good humor or self-effacing manner. Quite to the contrary: This rational optimist is now talking about the benefits of rising carbon dioxide emissions.

In a speech last year at the Royal Society of London, Ridley presented the evidence on global greening, which is the spread of green vegetation around the world over the past 30 years. It is called the “CO2 fertilization effect” and is caused by elevated carbon dioxide levels in the atmosphere.

Ridley cited a 2016 study authored by scientists from China, the U.S., Britain, and several other countries that showed a 14 percent increase in green vegetation between 1982 to 2011; 70 percent of that lush growth is attributed to higher concentrations of CO2. Zaichun Zhu, one of the study’s co-authors explained that “the greening over the past 33 years reported in this study is equivalent to adding a green continent about two times the size of mainland USA and has the ability to fundamentally change the cycling of water and carbon in the climate system.” We have more croplands, grasslands, and forests now than we did in the 1980s.

“Frankly, I think this is big news,” Ridley told the audience. “A new continent’s worth of green vegetation in a single human generation.” […]

“This is a huge global phenomenon, which is bringing enormous financial benefits to agriculture,” Ridley told me. “That means we have a genuine benefit to carbon dioxide that surely must be taken into account if you are calculating the social cost of carbon. Given that we are not seeing any clear impact on droughts, floods, or storms, it is very hard to argue that there have been net negatives to carbon from climate change so far. In fact, there have clearly been net benefits.”

Grain production worldwide hit an all-time high in 2016, with global cereal production 5.5 million tons higher than the peak year of 2014, according to the United Nations.

It seems like Ridley’s timing couldn’t be better for him and worse for the carbon-is-poison crowd. Last week, the scientific establishment had a bench-clearing brawl over a new climate study that suggests we have a much bigger “carbon budget” to burn before we reach the danger zone in global temperatures.

Several climatologists authored a paper published in Nature Geosciences indicating that, despite the desperate warnings from the climate tribe that it’s too late to save the planet, we can continue to emit carbon at current levels for the next few decades and still remain within the Paris Climate Accord range of a 1.5°C increase in global temperatures from the late 1880s to 2100.

The reason? Climate models projected that rising CO2 levels would result in warming about 0.3°C higher than it actually is. In other words, CO2 did not have the heat-inducing effect that climate scientists warned it would…

Ridley told me he welcomes the climb-down:

“This is a long overdue public concession by mainstream climate scientists — though the IPCC [Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change] has also admitted it in somewhat obscure language two years ago — that the models they rely upon have been running too hot, predicting too much warming. They now admit that the 2°C threshold, which is when climate change is expected to do net harm, will not be reached at this rate for 80 years, roughly the end of the century. I would be amazed if the much richer people of the later 21st century have not cracked fusion or some other efficient source of low-carbon energy by then.”

Climate scientists, environmentalists, and politicians here and abroad could use a healthy dose of that kind of rational optimism. Instead, they will no doubt continue their scare tactics, push their unattainable and punitive zero-emissions goal, and bully any “denier” who doesn’t capitulate to their political agenda. Too bad we don’t have more Matt Ridleys on this side of the Atlantic.

Full post

The London-based Global Warming Policy Forum is a world leading think tank on global warming policy issues. The GWPF newsletter is prepared by Director Dr Benny Peiser - for more information, please visit the website at

No comments: