Oct 06 2013
Apparently, Climate Armageddon has been scientifically called off.
Throughout the day though, having read through the SPM a third time, and taken in more layers of official IPCC positions I became increasingly conscious of the greatly diminshed role of feedbacks. I checked through the SPM one more time, looking at each reference to “feedback”. No I wasn’t imagining it, it is very muted. Suddenly the focus of almost every presentation on predictions for the year 2100 made more sense. We’d previously been promised fire and brimstone long before that. The IPCC it seems, was actually climbing down from this position, though I didn’t quite grasp how profoundly until the final talk by Matt Collins on ‘What is the chance of abrupt or irreversible changes?’
Matt Collins began his talk disarmingly by saying that it could well have been very short – he could have just got up on stage and said “we don’t know”. I’m glad he didn’t because otherwise I would not have been made aware of Table 12.4 in the draft report. It lists all of the catastrophic scenarios that many of us have become used to hearing wailed over by the media and associated directly with the notion of “strong positive feedbacks”. Collins showed us the table and went through the details of two of the entries as examples of just how uncertain this area was (go to original article to click image for full size).
What? Yes that’s right. The real story may not be in the IPCC rowback on temperature ranges, or its cack-handed “explanations” for the stalling temperatures. It may in fact all be in this table. Be sure to look for yourself. Every single catastrophic scenario bar one has a rating of “Very unlikely” or “Exceptionally unlikely” and/or has “low confidence”. The only disaster scenario that the IPCC consider at all likely in the possible lifetimes of many of us alive now is “Disappearance of Arctic summer sea ice”, which itself has a ‘likely’ rating and liable to occur by mid century with medium confidence. As the litany of climate disasters go, that’s it.
I find this quite stunning. Even if the Earth warmed since the Little Ice Age, and even if humans activity drove some or much of the recent warming, the end result is …
Which makes total sense, since nature experiences more warming in 20 minutes every morning and evening than the Earth has warmed in a century (on average), and seasonal temperature swings are in the tens of degrees, not tenth’s of a degree. One is, therefore, not surprised to learn all this drama is much ado about nothing.
The IPCC now has formally admitted as much. I wonder what this revela1tion will do to Carbon Futures and government plans to control CO2? Scientifically, there is no need for these things anymore. The IPCC says so!