Sunday, February 14, 2010

Hmmm, is that scientific consensus maybe not such a consensus after all?

You know how all skepticism about anything relating to global warming is dismissed with the put down about how we shouldn't ignore scientific consensus about man-made global warming? Well, lookee here at who is acknowledging some counter evidence to the whole anthropogenic global warming hypotheses - Phil Jones, the former head of the CRU who is at the center of the climategate scandal.
Professor Jones also conceded the possibility that the world was warmer in medieval times than now – suggesting global warming may not be a man-made phenomenon.

And he said that for the past 15 years there has been no ‘statistically significant’ warming.

....He also agreed that there had been two periods which experienced similar warming, from 1910 to 1940 and from 1975 to 1998, but said these could be explained by natural phenomena whereas more recent warming could not.

He further admitted that in the last 15 years there had been no ‘statistically significant’ warming, although he argued this was a blip rather than the long-term trend.

And he said that the debate over whether the world could have been even warmer than now during the medieval period, when there is evidence of high temperatures in northern countries, was far from settled.

Sceptics believe there is strong evidence that the world was warmer between about 800 and 1300 AD than now because of evidence of high temperatures in northern countries.

But climate change advocates have dismissed this as false or only applying to the northern part of the world.

Professor Jones departed from this consensus when he said: ‘There is much debate over whether the Medieval Warm Period was global in extent or not. The MWP is most clearly expressed in parts of North America, the North Atlantic and Europe and parts of Asia.

‘For it to be global in extent, the MWP would need to be seen clearly in more records from the tropical regions and the Southern hemisphere. There are very few palaeoclimatic records for these latter two regions.

‘Of course, if the MWP was shown to be global in extent and as warm or warmer than today, then obviously the late 20th Century warmth would not be unprecedented. On the other hand, if the MWP was global, but was less warm than today, then the current warmth would be unprecedented.’

Sceptics said this was the first time a senior scientist working with the IPCC had admitted to the possibility that the Medieval Warming Period could have been global, and therefore the world could have been hotter then than now.
ANd he's just blaming his own personal sloppiness for why he hasn't shared data or has lost critical data.

This sounds a whole lot less settled scientific consensus than global warming advocates were sounding when they issued their Nobel Peace Prize-winning IPCC report in 2007. Jones still believes 100% that the earth is warming, but he's a bit more equivocal when it comes to blaming human activity for that warming.
Several questions later, Jones was asked by the BBC interviewer about his confidence that global warming has in fact occurred and that human activities are the case. Here is his response:

"I'm 100% confident that the climate has warmed. As to the second question, I would go along with IPCC Chapter 9 - there's evidence that most of the warming since the 1950s is due to human activity."
"There's evidence" is not the same as being "100% confident." I wondered if he had that same total confidence in some of the other conclusions from that IPCC report that have since had to be withdrawn.

If the science isn't settled, it doesn't make a whole lot of sense to adopt the stringent programs that could paralyze economic growth that so many of the advocates would like to see adopted.