Costing the Earth resumed normal service at the BBC this week, with a panel of six adherents to the Working Group I orthodoxy discussing, erm, the Working Group I report. Featured voices were Julia Slingo, Mark Walport, Bjorn Lomborg, Mike Hulme, Mark Lynas, and Tony Grayling, Head of Climate Change and Communities at the Environment Agency. The decision to invite
- Walport, whose every appearance in the media in recent days has featured a regurgitation of the same somewhat irrelevant talking points, making it sound as if he is simply repeating the contents of his introductory briefing paper on climate, and
- Lynas whose claims to fame seem to revolve around having been wrong about nuclear, GM and the pause
... look kind of weird when viewed in the context of their decision that Nic Lewis was unworthy of consideration for any media appearances, either because (like Lynas) he is not an academic or because he was (like Slingo) mentioned in a David Rose article.
Here are some choice quotes from the show:
Slingo: We are ...increasingly confident that.. a fairly significant part of that [increase in heat] is due to our activities...we are beginning to talk about...the increasing number of extreme events and the increasing evidence that human contributions have played a part in that.
Walport: If you look at each of the last three decades, each of them has been successively warmer...that 30-year period was very likely the warmest such period of the last 1400 years.
Slingo: When you look at model simulations, they simulate periods of slowdown, pauses in warming which you can tie very clearly to the Pacific Ocean Circulation...[the failure to predict the pause] is not the fault of the models.
This last point - that the models can predict pauses, but not their timing seems to be becoming a major line of argument, particularly from Met Office people. I find this hard to reconcile with von Storch's paper which suggests that pauses of this length are virtually unheard of in climate model runs.
I was also interested in the wide agreement that we will soon be suffering droughts in the UK.
Katabasis's report from the Royal Society meeting suggests that among themselves, scientists are much less gung-ho on global warming. This makes it seem as if what we are getting in the media is the version spun for public consumption, the version that will help politicians achieve their aims. The truth is out there, but not on Costing the Earth.