Received from Angela Kelly May 15 2005
The Sunday Times – May 15, 2005
“Wildlife groups axe Bellamy as global warming ‘heretic’”
AK) After reading this article I asked independent scientist Dr Jack Barrett for his expert opinion on climate change and global warming –
a subject that he has studied in depth for many years.
This is what he sent me:
From: Dr Jack Barrett
(Chemist), Scientific Alliance.
Coming well after water vapour, carbon dioxide is the next most effective greenhouse gas.
Greenhouse gases slow down the cooling of the Earth's surface by acting as a blanket.
Current estimates of the global warming that we enjoy [or suffer if you are Sir David King] are that of the 34 degrees Celsius,
water vapour is responsible for 26 degrees, carbon dioxide 7 degrees and the remainder [1 degree C] is provided by methane nitrous oxide
and a few other very minor components of the atmosphere.
In terms of the blanket analogy, the carbon dioxide blanket is now so thick that an extra layer will not cause a large temperature rise at the surface.
Using the IPCC figures [much exaggerated in the opinion of many scientists] the rise in carbon dioxide in the last century [of about 30%]
has caused an increase in surface temperature of only 0.25 degrees C, an amount which would be very difficult to detect.
That the surface temperature rose about 0.6 degrees C in the last century cannot be explained in terms of the increase in carbon dioxide,
but it can be explained in terms of an increased activity in the sun, particularly in the last twenty five years.
PS. Scientists who disagree with the IPCC are invariably accused of being in the pay of the oil industry – I, like many others, am still waiting for the said remuneration!
AK) Chris Landsea in his letter of resignation (attached) from the IPCC said that ”Differing conclusions and robust debates are certainly crucial to progress in climate science.” Many independent scientists now describe the climate change debate as ‘political science’ because it is not permitted to counter
the ‘politically correct’ consensus on global warming.
The Danes, with an economy heavily dependent on the export of wind turbines, aptly describe windpower as ‘political electricity’.
Howard Hayden, professor emeritus of physics at the University of Connecticut summed it up thus: “In recent years, the little country Denmark has gained a certain amount of fame with its wind turbines. No, they don’t get much electricity from them. They sell them to suckers.”
The Sunday Times - Britain
May 15, 2005
Wildlife groups axe Bellamy as global warming ‘heretic’
Jonathan Leake, Environment Editor
PROFESSOR David Bellamy is likely to lose his role as the figurehead of two leading wildlife organisations because of his refusal to believe in man-made global warming.
The television presenter and conservationist is the president of Plantlife International and of the Royal Society of Wildlife Trusts. Both organisations have given warnings that wildlife faces a catastrophe because of global warming.
NI_MPU('middle'); They have been acutely embarrassed to discover that while they have been campaigning to raise awareness, their president has been leading seminars and writing articles in science magazines declaring that man-made warming is a myth.
Last week Plantlife International, Britain’s leading charity dedicated to the conservation of wild plants, wrote to Bellamy to say that his term of office would end in the autumn and he would not be asked to renew it.
His presidency of the Wildlife Trusts - which has 562,000 members and manages 2,500 nature reserves - also ends in the autumn and is unlikely to be renewed.
Stephanie Hilborne, chief executive of the Wildlife Trusts, confirmed that Bellamy’s position was due to be discussed at a board meeting at the end of this month.
“We are not happy with his line on climate change. It is a very serious situation and there is a lot we need to talk about,” she said. “Our views certainly differ from our president’s and that is not a good situation to be in.”
Both organisations paid tribute to Bellamy who, they said, had put a huge amount of time and effort into supporting their other work.
Bellamy, 72, a former botany lecturer at Durham University, endeared himself to generations of youngsters with a series of popular wildlife programmes that ran from the 1970s through to 1999. He has also written many wildlife books.
He won respect from hardline environmentalists with his campaigns to save Britain’s peat bogs and other endangered habitats. In Tasmania he was arrested when he tried to prevent loggers cutting down a rainforest.
In January he gave a keynote speech at the Royal Institution in London which was hosting Apocalypse No, a conference organised by the Scientific Alliance.
“Global warming is a largely natural phenomenon. The world is wasting stupendous amounts of money on trying to fix something that can’t be fixed,” he said.
Last month he made similar assertions in New Scientist magazine when he claimed that glaciers were expanding because the world was getting cooler rather than warmer. The claim contradicted recent scientific studies that found 85% of the world’s glaciers are in retreat.
Bellamy said this weekend: “If an organisation asked me to stand down of course I would, if they actually think I’m doing more harm than good.”
He added: “The climate-change people have no proof for their claims. They have computer models which do not prove anything. When I say that they say “You must be in the pay of the oil industry’. I’m not. I’m not in the pay of anybody.”
Additional reporting: Chris Whyatt
International Panel on Climate Change - Chris Landsea resigns.
“I have decided to withdraw from participating in the Fourth Assessment Report of the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC)”
“I personally cannot in good faith continue to contribute to a process that I view as both being motivated by pre-conceived agendas and being scientifically unsound. As the IPCC leadership has seen no wrong in Dr. Trenberth's actions and have retained him as a Lead Author for the AR4, I have decided to no longer participate in the IPCC AR4.”
Sincerely, Chris Landsea.”
This is an open letter to the community from Chris Landsea.
After some prolonged deliberation, I have decided to withdraw from participating in the Fourth Assessment Report of the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC). I am withdrawing because I have come to view the part of the IPCC to which my expertise is relevant as having become politicized. In addition, when I have raised my concerns to the IPCC leadership, their response was simply to dismiss my concerns.
With this open letter to the community, I wish to explain the basis for my decision and bring awareness to what I view as a problem in the IPCC process. The IPCC is a group of climate researchers from around the world that every few years summarize how climate is changing and how it may be altered in the future due to manmade global warming. I had served both as an author for the Observations chapter and a Reviewer for the 2nd Assessment Report in 1995 and the 3rd Assessment Report in 2001, primarily on the topic of tropical cyclones (hurricanes and typhoons). My work on hurricanes, and tropical cyclones more generally, has been widely cited by the IPCC. For the upcoming AR4, I was asked several weeks ago by the Observations chapter Lead Author - Dr. Kevin Trenberth - to provide the writeup for Atlantic hurricanes. As I had in the past, I agreed to assist the IPCC in what I thought was to be an important, and politically-neutral determination of what is happening with our climate.
Shortly after Dr. Trenberth requested that I draft the Atlantic hurricane section for the AR4's Observations chapter, Dr. Trenberth participated in a press conference organized by scientists at Harvard on the topic "Experts to warn global warming likely to continue spurring more outbreaks of intense hurricane activity" along with other media interviews on the topic. The result of this media interaction was widespread coverage that directly connected the very busy 2004 Atlantic hurricane season as being caused by anthropogenic greenhouse gas warming occurring today. Listening to and reading transcripts of this press conference and media interviews, it is apparent that Dr. Trenberth was being accurately quoted and summarized in such statements and was not being misrepresented in the media. These media sessions have potential to result in a widespread perception that global warming has made recent hurricane activity much more severe.
I found it a bit perplexing that the participants in the Harvard press conference had come to the conclusion that global warming was impacting hurricane activity today. To my knowledge, none of the participants in that press conference had performed any research on hurricane variability, nor were they reporting on any new work in the field. All previous and current research in the area of hurricane variability has shown no reliable, long-term trend up in the frequency or intensity of tropical cyclones, either in the Atlantic or any other basin. The IPCC assessments in 1995 and 2001 also concluded that there was no global warming signal found in the hurricane record.
Moreover, the evidence is quite strong and supported by the most recent credible studies that any impact in the future from global warming upon hurricane will likely be quite small. The latest results from the Geophysical Fluid Dynamics Laboratory (Knutson and Tuleya, Journal of Climate, 2004) suggest that by around 2080, hurricanes may have winds and rainfall about 5% more intense than today. It has been proposed that even this tiny change may be an exaggeration as to what may happen by the end of the 21st Century (Michaels, Knappenberger, and Landsea, Journal of Climate, 2005, submitted).
It is beyond me why my colleagues would utilize the media to push an unsupported agenda that recent hurricane activity has been due to global warming. Given Dr. Trenberth’s role as the IPCC’s Lead Author responsible for preparing the text on hurricanes, his public statements so far outside of current scientific understanding led me to concern that it would be very difficult for the IPCC process to proceed objectively with regards to the assessment on hurricane activity. My view is that when people identify themselves as being associated with the IPCC and then make pronouncements far outside current scientific understandings that this will harm the credibility of climate change science and will in the longer term diminish our role in public policy.
My concerns go beyond the actions of Dr. Trenberth and his colleagues to how he and other IPCC officials responded to my concerns. I did caution Dr. Trenberth before the media event and provided him a summary of the current understanding within the hurricane research community. I was disappointed when the IPCC leadership dismissed my concerns when I brought up the misrepresentation of climate science while invoking the authority of the IPCC. Specifically, the IPCC leadership said that Dr. Trenberth was speaking as an individual even though he was introduced in the press conference as an IPCC lead author; I was told that that the media was exaggerating or misrepresenting his words, even though the audio from the press conference and interview tells a different story (available on the web directly); and that Dr. Trenberth was accurately reflecting conclusions from the TAR, even though it is quite clear that the TAR stated that there was no connection between global warming and hurricane activity. The IPCC leadership saw nothing to be concerned with in Dr. Trenberth's unfounded pronouncements to the media, despite his supposedly impartial important role that he must undertake as a Lead Author on the upcoming AR4.
It is certainly true that "individual scientists can do what they wish in their own rights", as one of the folks in the IPCC leadership suggested. Differing conclusions and robust debates are certainly crucial to progress in climate science. However, this case is not an honest scientific discussion conducted at a meeting of climate researchers. Instead, a scientist with an important role in the IPCC represented himself as a Lead Author for the IPCC has used that position to promulgate to the media and general public his own opinion that the busy 2004 hurricane season was caused by global warming, which is in direct opposition to research written in the field and is counter to conclusions in the TAR. This becomes problematic when I am then asked to provide the draft about observed hurricane activity variations for the AR4 with, ironically, Dr. Trenberth as the Lead Author for this chapter. Because of Dr. Trenberth's pronouncements, the IPCC process on our assessment of these crucial extreme events in our climate system has been subverted and compromised, its neutrality lost. While no one can "tell" scientists what to say or not say (nor am I suggesting that), the IPCC did select Dr. Trenberth as a Lead Author and entrusted to him to carry out this duty in a non-biased, neutral point of view. When scientists hold press conferences and speak with the media, much care is needed not to reflect poorly upon the IPCC. It is of more than passing interest to note that Dr. Trenberth, while eager to share his views on global warming and hurricanes with the media, declined to do so at the Climate Variability and Change Conference in January where he made several presentations. Perhaps he was concerned that such speculation - though worthy in his mind of public pronouncements – would not stand up to the scrutiny of fellow climate scientists.
I personally cannot in good faith continue to contribute to a process that I view as both being motivated by pre-conceived agendas and being scientifically unsound. As the IPCC leadership has seen no wrong in Dr. Trenberth's actions and have retained him as a Lead Author for the AR4, I have decided to no longer participate in the IPCC AR4.
Sincerely, Chris Landsea.