This a direct response to the Newsroom article ‘Human civilisation has never existed in a climate this hot’ by Marc Daalder, first published 9/8/21. I will dissect without mercy!
by Martin Harris 14/8/21
First, some background context.
Cast your minds back to 2019, before COVID-19 took the spotlight. The IPCC had egg on it’s face over two claims, subsequently and quietly withdrawn from usage: “There is a 97% scientific consensus that human activity is the primary driver of Climate Change” and “the science is settled”. Both statements were used freely by the mainstream media and used to stonewall any questioning or opposition.
Putting the ‘con’ in consensus; Not only is there no 97 per cent consensus among climate scientists, many misunderstand core issues
Like so much else in the climate change debate, one needs to check the numbers. First of all, on what exactly are 97 per cent of experts supposed to agree? In 2013, U.S. President Barack Obama sent out a tweet claiming 97 per cent of climate experts believe global warming is “real, man-made and dangerous.” As it turns out, the survey he was referring to didn’t ask that question, so he was basically making it up. At a recent debate in New Orleans, I heard climate activist Bill McKibben claim there was a consensus that greenhouse gases are “a grave danger.” But when challenged for the source of his claim, he promptly withdrew it.Fraser Institute
In fact, according to one study, the percentage of agreement could be a staggeringly low One Point Six Percent!
So 64 out of 11,944, or 0.5%, take the view that humans are the main cause of global warming. But that includes all abstracts, including those that did not take a position. It would be nice to take the 64 as a percent of those that did take a position. Unfortunately, in their data set, Cook et al put 4a, those that do not address the cause of global warming, with 4b, those that express the view that humans’ role in global warming is uncertain or undefined. It would be nice to separate them, but we can’t unless we have the even rawer data. So let’s generously conclude that everyone in category 4 has expressed no view. That’s a total of 7970, leaving a total of 3,974 that have expressed a view. The 64 who think the main cause is humans is, drum roll please: 1.6%.https://www.econlib.org/archives/2014/03/16_not_97_agree.html
1.6% is pretty different from 97%, don’t you think?
So what does this “97%” figure really represent?
Environmental scientists? Meteorologists? Climatologists? A specific group of Climatologists?
Actually, the answer is “None Of The Above”.
Several studies of the consensus have been undertaken. Among the most-cited is a 2013 study of nearly 12,000 abstracts of peer-reviewed papers on climate science published since 1990, of which just over 4,000 papers expressed an opinion on the cause of recent global warming. Of these, 97% agree, explicitly or implicitly, that global warming is happening and is human-caused.https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Scientific_opinion_on_climate_change
Analyze that statement carefully. Only a third of the abstracts of papers reviewed were found to express an opinion. Not solid conclusion, just an opinion. Even then, the 97% agreement is a combination of explicit opinion and “implied” opinion. Starting to look awfully shaky, is it not? And this is the most often cited (therefore presumable most favorable to the cause) of “several studies”. One wonders what the other studies look like.
So, then; 97% of a third of all the abstracts of all the peer reviewed papers on climate science study done in 2013 contain an opinion, which could be merely implied (according to whose interpretation?), that global warming specifically (not climate change generally) is human-caused.
Bear in mind, those papers do not necessarily represent individual authors, but most likely a relatively small team of prolific authors churning out multiple papers.
The 97% figure has nothing to do with the number of scientists agreeing on anything at all!
It is pure fabrication.
Cook is careful to describe his 2013 study results as being based on “climate experts.” Political figures and the popular press are not so careful. President Obama and Secretary of State John Kerry have repeatedly characterized it as 97% of scientists. Kerry has gone so far as to say that “97 percent of peer-reviewed climate studies confirm that climate change is happening and that human activity is largely responsible.” This is patently wrong, since the Cook study and others showed that the majority of papers take no position.
Questions must be asked: Who really forms a near-100% consensus on human-caused climate change being the primary mechanism behind climate change…or global warming?
In 2012 the American Meteorological Society (AMS) surveyed its 7,000 members, receiving 1,862 responses. Of those, only 52% said they think global warming over the 20th century has happened and is mostly man-made (the IPCC position). The remaining 48% either think it happened but natural causes explain at least half of it, or it didn’t happen, or they don’t know. Furthermore, 53% agree that there is conflict among AMS members on the question.
So no sign of a 97% consensus. Not only do about half reject the IPCC conclusion, more than half acknowledge that their profession is split on the issue.
So it would seem that not even meteorologists form anything close to a consensus on this matter. In fact, only the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change; the IPCC, forms a consensus on human-induced activity being the primary driver of climate change or global warming.
How many members are there on this panel?
The IPCC currently has 195 members. Thousands of people from all over the world contribute to the work of the IPCC.https://www.ipcc.ch/about/
“thousands of people” Not scientists take note, just people. Even if all those people are scientists from one discipline or another, it’s still a drop in the scientific ocean:
How many scientist are there really, of all disciplines, in the world currently? Hard to be precise, but H Chris Ransford Karlsruhe Institute of Technology says: “Allowing for attrition (the above count includes people who have since then passed away) and extrapolating, taking into account both like and unlike educational systems and demographics worldwide, this indicates about 15 million or so scientists in the Western World, and probably 30 million or so worldwide, again depending on where certain bars are set.” (Source: Researchgate)
That was 2019. So here we are in 2021, and the IPCC is essentially up to its old tricks, presumably relying on the theory that most humans have short memories. This human, your author, has a pretty good memory.
Let’s get down to fact-checking Marc Daalder’s article, starting with the statement in the heading:
‘Human civilisation has never existed in a climate this hot’ NIWA principal scientist Olaf Morgenstern
First we need to be clear about the statement’s wording: “Civilisation”. Humans have thrived in far hotter climates than the current average global climate, obviously. In any timeframe, humans thrive in any environment from permanently frozen, to searing hot desert. According to orthodox science, we emerged from the African savannah, and successfully thrived during the Ice Age. Adaptability to environmental extremes and radical changes of climate is one of the prime reasons for the success of humans as a species.
But what about during known and recognised civilisation? Has it ever been hotter within this qualification. Yes, it has.
That settles the matter. A mere thousand years ago, well into the age of “civilisation”, temperatures were considerably warmer than they are today, despite the IPCC’s attempt to hide the fact. We have barely climbed out of the Little Ice Age.
The latest report from the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) reviewed 14,000 scientific papers, handled more than 80,000 comments and questions from other experts around the world and had to be approved during a lengthy summit involving representatives of 195 national governments.
While it didn’t produce new research, the study assessed the existing scientific consensus.‘Human Civilisation Has Never Existed In A Climate This Hot’ | Newsroom
The “new” study echoes the techniques and alleged findings of the previous study, (previously debunked as above!) and adds nothing new.
“… other impacts of climate change, like sea level rise, can no longer be reversed”
This statement rests on the preposition that sea levels are rising as consequence of human-induced climate change. It also suggests that there was a point where we had the ability to reverse sea level rise. The former is highly debatable, the latter is an absurdity.
Sea-level reconstructions over the past two millennia provide a pre-industrial context to assess whether the magnitude and rate of modern sea-level change is unprecedented. Sea-level records from the Indian Ocean over the past 2,000 years are sparse, while records from the Atlantic and Pacific Oceans show variations less than 0.25 m and no significant negative excursions. Here, we present evidence of two low sea-level phases in the Maldives, Indian Ocean, based on fossil coral microatolls. Microatoll growth is constrained by low water levels and, consequently, they are robust recorders of past sea level. U–Th dating of the Maldivian corals identified lowstands at ad 234–605 and ad 1481–1807 when sea level fell to maximum depths of −0.88 m and −0.89 m respectively. These lowstands are synchronous with reductions in radiative forcing and sea surface temperature associated with the Late Antiquity Little Ice Age and the Little Ice Age. Our results provide high-fidelity observations of lower sea levels during these cool periods and show rates of change of up to 4.24 mm yr−1. Our data also confirm the acceleration of relative sea-level rise over the past two centuries and suggest that the current magnitude and rate of sea-level rise is not unprecedented. Two intervals of distinctly lower Indian Ocean sea level during the last two millennia occurred during times of relatively low incoming solar radiation, according to an analysis of U–Th dated coral microatolls in the Maldives.
In case you missed it:
Our data also confirm the acceleration of relative sea-level rise over the past two centuries and suggest that the current magnitude and rate of sea-level rise is not unprecedented.
The acceleration of sea level rise over the past 200 years is due to the fact that it was falling and then static during the Little Ice Age lowstand before it started rising. It’s not a recent feature. It began in the early 1800’s.
Furthermore, neither the rate nor the magnitude of recent sea level rise is unprecedented.
Underscoring the serious threat posed to coastal cities and communities in the region, the ongoing study, which began in 2017, further suggests that if such acceleration continues over the next century, sea levels in the Indian Ocean will have risen to their highest level ever in recorded history.
Is the last sentence in the paper:
Collectively, our coral evidence suggests that rates of recent sea-level change are not unprecedented over the past two millennia. However, these rates of rise set a sea-level trajectory that will exceed the elevation of the late Holocene high-stand in the Indo-Pacific in the next century.
(1) Climate-forced sea-level lowstands in the Indian Ocean during the last two millennia | Request PDF. Available from: https://www.researchgate.net/publication/337953634_Climate-forced_sea-level_lowstands_in_the_Indian_Ocean_during_the_last_two_millennia [accessed Jan 02 2020].
The full text of the paper is available to Researchgate members. Their data indicate that sea level was 0.5 m higher than it is today during the late Holocene high-stand. The “serious threat” alleged by SciTech Daily is that Indo-Pacific sea levels will rise by a bit more than 20 inches over the next 200 years.
Kench, Paul, Roger McLean, Susan Owen, Emma Ryan, Kyle Morgan, Lin Ke, Xianfeng Wang & Keven Roy. (2019). “Climate-forced sea-level lowstands in the Indian Ocean during the last two millennia”. Nature Geoscience. 1-4. 10.1038/s41561-019-0503-7.
A scientific paper published by a team of Australian researchers has revealed a startling find: Scientists at the Permanent Service for Mean Sea Level (PSMSL) have been “adjusting” historical data regarding tide levels in the Indian Ocean. Their “highly questionable” activities have depicted rapidly rising seas – but the truth is that there is no reason to be alarmed at all. Scientists have found that sea levels are stable – and have been for the entirety of the 20th century.
To put it simply, these PSMSL “scientists” have been arbitrarily changing their data in order to create the illusion of a problem that doesn’t actually exist.
According to the Australian research team, sea levels in the Indian ocean have remained stable for decades. Dr. Albert Parker and Dr. Clifford Ollier recently published their astounding research in the journal Earth Systems and Environment; their extensive research gives an in-depth look at how this massive deception was undertaken.
PSMSL “realigned” stable sea level trends
As the researchers report, there are multiple lines of evidence that show sea levels in the Indian Ocean are completely stable. Further, the scientific duo explains that the data-adjusters at PSMSL were taking “misaligned or incomplete” sea level data (which showed no rise in sea levels, or even decreasing sea levels) and “realigning” them.
As Parker and Ollier contend, “It is always highly questionable to shift data collected in the far past without any proven new supporting material.” But what makes the PSMSL’s data shifts even more questionable is the fact that older datasets were adjusted to look lower while all newer sets of sea level data were re-configured to appear higher. When these arbitrary adjustments are taken together, it creates the appearance of a significant and concerning rise in sea levels – one that is entirely artificial.
The sea levels in India, including Mumbai, and in Karachi, Pakistan, have been recently analysed and discussed in Parker and Ollier (2015) and in Parker (2016). In both cases, it was shown that the latest positive trends in the PSMSL RLR [revised local reference, adjusted] data are only the result of arbitrary alignments, and alternative and more legitimate alignments reveal very stable sea-level conditions.
Further, the researchers state that there are even greater concerns regarding the PSMSL’s so-called findings. They wrote:
What are more dangerous are the corrections recently introduced to the past to magnify the sea-level trend or the acceleration. As shown in the prior section, the adjustments introduced by PSMSL to make the RLR [revised local reference, or adjusted data] are arbitrary in Aden, Karachi, and Mumbai.
In one instance, Parker and Ollier referenced a 1991 study which showed that sea levels in Mumbai were falling by an average of 0.3 millimeters per year between the years of 1930 and 1980. The duo states that in PSMSL’s latest report, they declare that sea levels in Mumbai were rising by 0.52 millimeters per year during the same time period.
In other words, PSMSL completely changed data collected decades ago to show an increase in sea levels, rather than the decrease that was actually reported at the time.
To sum it up, Ollier and Parker have found there is no reason to believe that sea levels are rising – and that PSMSL has been wantonly adjusting sea level data to create the appearance of a problem that doesn’t actually exist.
Scientists use real data to show sea levels are stable
The Australian researchers declared in their paper, “Contrary to the adjusted data from tide gauges and the unreliable satellite altimeter data, properly examined data from tide gauges and other sources such as coastal morphology, stratigraphy, radiocarbon dating, archaeological remains, and historical documentation indicate a lack of any alarming sea-level rise in recent decades for all the Indian Ocean.”
In other words, a non-biased look at the original data from the tide gauges indicates that there is nothing to be worried about; current sea levels are well within “normal” ranges. In fact, the pair states in the conclusion that sea levels across multiple sites of the Indian Ocean have been stable for “all of the 20th century.”
The pair of scientists also state in their paper that all key data collection points have shown a sea level rise of 0.0 millimeters for at least the last 50 years – which is an indicator of stability in ocean levels.
A recent report by NASA even showed that sea levels are actually taking a downward turn for the last few years – findings that lie in stark contrast to PSMSL’s alarmist report on sea level data.
There has been much controversy and fanfare over the alleged threat of rising sea levels, but it seems that much of this excitement is based on fiction rather than reality.
Ultimately, Parker and Ollier concluded that sea levels are, and have been, quite stable during the past century.
On a NASA page intended to spread climate alarmism (https://climate.nasa.gov/vital-signs/sea-level/), NASA’s own data reveal that world-wide ocean levels have been falling for nearly two years, dropping from a variation of roughly 87.5mm to below 85mm.
These data, of course, clearly contradict the false narrative of rapid, never-ending rising ocean levels that flood continents and drown cities.
Check out the sea level chart for yourself, showing the downward trend across 2016 – 2017:
Even in the worst case, sea levels will only rise about a foot in a century
Global warming alarmists might say this is only a “pause” in the rising ocean levels, and that the long-term trend is clearly in the direction of rising oceans. However, these people wildly exaggerate the degree of ocean level increases to the point of absurdity.
If you zoom out on the NASA chart, you’ll see a long-term trend of sea levels rising 3.4mm per year on average, according to NASA’s own analysis. This means that over an entire century, the oceans would rise 340mm, or 13.4 inches … a little over a foot.
That’s about one foot in a century, a far cry from the doomsday predictions of “science scaremongers” like Al Gore who depict entire cities inundated with a 20-foot wall of water where millions of humans drown to death.
Returning to Daalder’s statements:
“Other impacts of climate change include a likely increase of rainfall, increases in ocean acidification and ocean salinity, global retreat of glaciers and ice sheets, reduced snow cover in the Northern Hemisphere, more frequent extreme heat events, higher sea levels and a likely increase of major tropical cyclones.
Some of these impacts will continue to intensify even if warming is halted. Sea levels, for example, will rise by two to three metres even if warming is limited to 1.5 degrees. If warming is stopped at 2 degrees, sea levels could rise as high as six metres, while 19 to 22 metres of sea level rise would be locked in at 5 degrees of warming.”‘Human Civilisation Has Never Existed In A Climate This Hot’ | Newsroom
Speculation misrepresented as fact. Daalder says “likely” and then repeatedly states “will”, the reverts to “could”. Everything stated here is based on projections which, to repeat, are speculative and based on projections that are far from certain. We have already briefly addressed the “sea level rise” issue. The reader may be interested to know that most Pacific Islands are in fact growing, not sinking, thus negating any potential sea level rise.
Research conducted in 2010 by Arthur Webb and Paul Kench used aerial photographs and satellite imagery to show that 23 out of 27 Pacific Islands were either unchanged or had actually grown.
Webb and Kench reported:
“That rather gloomy prognosis for these nations is incorrect … It has been thought that as the sea level goes up, islands will sit there and drown. But they won’t. The sea level will go up and the island will start responding.”
They specifically pointed out that the islands of Tuvalu are among those that have grown, assisted by accumulated coral debris and sediment. They noted:
“We have now got the evidence to suggest that the physical foundation of these countries will still be there in 100 years, so they perhaps do not need to flee their country.”
The evidence from Webb and Kench is supported by evidence from other experts on sea level such as Dr. Cliff Ollier who says:
“Graphs of sea level for twelve locations in the southwest Pacific show stable sea level for about ten years over the region. The data are compared with results from elsewhere, all of which suggest that any rise of global sea level is negligible.”
Professor Nils-Axel Mörner is arguably the world’s foremost expert on sea-level measurement with around 650 publications on the topic. He headed the Paleogeophysics and Geodynamics Department at Stockholm University and has studied sea level throughout his long career.
In an interview with science reporter Alex Reihmuth, Mörner said:
“Climate and sea level science has been completely politicized and hijacked by an activist agenda and has become a “quasi religion”.
He added: “Over the past 200 years the sea level has not changed very much. Over the past 50 to 70 years it has been absolutely stable”.WORLD Leading Authority : Climate and Sea Level Science Is A “Quasi Religion” Hijacked By An Activist Agenda
The above plot shows best estimates of post-glacial sea level rise, deduced from various localities around the world.Understanding Man’s Role In Sea Level Rise
After observing how the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) has systematically abused climate science for its political/ideological ends, Mörner called into question the IPCC’s prognosis on future sea-level rise and how this contradicts what recognised experts in the area, with no vested interest, have documented.
Mörner reported to the UK House of Lords how genuine experts on sea level refuted IPCC claims of rapidly rising levels and that island nations could be inundated. Mörner said:
“There is a total absence of any recent ‘acceleration in sea level rise’ as often claimed by IPCC and related groups … So all this talk that sea level is rising, this stems from the computer modeling, not from observations. The observations don’t find it.”
There are 34 peer-reviewed, published papers that point to little or no sea level rise detection and no indication of an anthropogenic/carbon dioxide signal. These can be located at:https://notrickszone.com/skeptic-papers-2016-2/embed/#?secret=B4BSBKTEui
Research by Webb and Kench also found that Tuvalu gained 73 hectares of land and, of the 101 islands, more than 70 had actually grown.
Despite media hype about rising sea level and vanishing land, observations by Dr. Gennadii Donchyts from the Deltares Research Institute in the Netherlands show that:
“Between 1985 and 2015 around 173,000 square kilometers (67,000 square miles) of water were transformed into land and 115,000 square kilometers (44,000 square miles) of water shifted to dry land. That’s a net gain of land area the size of Lake Michigan.”
Daalder’s article again:
Even more drastic events, like the collapse of Antarctic ice sheets contributing up to 2 metres to sea levels by 2100, or the abrupt collapse of the Atlantic Meridional Overturning Circulation which redistributes heat around the world, or the self-reinforcing dieback of the Amazon rainforest which stores 76 billion tonnes of carbon dioxide, “cannot be ruled out”. While they are not likely to occur under current projections, if the climate turns out to be more sensitive than anticipated and global warming exceeds the anticipated range for a given emissions scenario, these low-likelihood but high-risk events become more likely.‘Human Civilisation Has Never Existed In A Climate This Hot’ | Newsroom
VERDICT: Speculative alarmism
As highlighted in bold by myself, Daalder himself admits these nightmare scenarios are highly unlikely. The only reason he would include such scenarios in his article is sensationalism and alarmism. In short, this is scaremongering.
There is no evidence whatsoever that the Antarctic ice sheet is in any danger of collapsing, nor of “self reinforcing dieback” of the Amazon Rainforest, which is noted for its rapid and voracious growth, as evidenced by the remains of entire former civilisations swallowed up by the jungle growth in a matter of a few hundred years.
Despite the overwhelming number of popular news reports to the contrary, studies of ice sheets melting over the past century show remarkable ice stability. Using the proper scientific perspective, analysis of ice-melt rates and ice-mass losses show the ice sheets will take hundreds of thousands of years to melt, assuming the next glacial period doesn’t start first. An application of basic physics shows that for every 1 °C of atmospheric heat exchanged with the ice sheets we get a maximum 0.4 inches of SLR and a correspondingly cooler atmosphere. Over the 20th century, we observed a worst-case 4:1 ratio of consumed heat to retained atmospheric heat. It is proposed that this ratio can be used to assess potential ice-melt related SLR for a hypothetical atmospheric temperature increase scenario over the current century. Using a reasonable range for all of the variables we can estimate an SLR of between 1.4 – 6.4 inches, but our current observations support the rise being toward the lower end of that range.
The atmosphere and oceans do not show the increase in energy necessary to cause catastrophic SLR from rapidly melting ice. Humankind does not possess the technology to melt a significant amount of ice because the energy required is enormous and only nature can meter out this energy over very long periods. With the proper scientific perspective about the amount of energy required to melt ice, it should be much more difficult for Climate Alarmists to scare the public with scenarios not supported by basic science.
While the average melt rate for the whole of the 500,000sqkm of the Ross Ice Shelf is about 0.1m a year, in the north-western sector it is above 1m a year. Melt rates in the area studied were about three times faster in summer than the rest of the year. Despite that, for now the RIS is considered to be near equilibrium. That meant the amount of ice being lost was being balanced by the ice flowing off Antarctica and snow falling on top of the shelf, Williams said.https://www.stuff.co.nz/science/112311916/sunwarmed-surface-seawater-drives-fast-melt-in-ross-ice-shelf-region
The sky isn’t falling guys. And nor are the Poles melting, nor will Waterworld become a reality any time soon.
The IPCC is up to it’s old tricks, with nothing new to add. And mainstream news outlets like Newsroom are right behind them, beating the drum with the same old easily-countered alarmist statements and claims. Those who follow Uncensored regularly hardly need the reasons, the motives, or the agenda explained. Think for Yourself!