The Today programme this morning suspended rules of impartiality once again when it came to the climate change debate. There was no spokesman to put a sceptical view. The interviewers were all primed to constantly repeat the assertion that climate change scientists (unspecified) are now 95% certain -which is apparently “more” certain” – that most global warming (recent presumably) is man made. Past prolonged periods of global warming were clearly not man made.
The scientists they interviewed were not repeatedly interrupted as politicians are. Nor were they asked the same question more than once when they failed to answer. They were allowed to say that they should not be expected to have to face a critic or enter a debate about the “science” because the “science” was 95% settled. No-one asked where the 95% figure came from. It is 100% certain that global warming prior to the last few centuries had nothing to do with man made CO2. What is the 95% certainty about recent years based on? Why has it risen 5% since last time? What has happened to the forces of nature that caused global warming prior to mankind’s arrival?
They do now accept that the warming has slowed in recent years. They claim this is due to the warmth being absorbed by the oceans, something they did not forecast before. According to the BBC they also now forecast that whilst the world as a whole will get warmer, the UK is going to get colder. They tell us warming will shift ocean currents, so we will no longer get so much benefit from a warm current.
It strikes me that this change of forecast for UK weather is another hostage to fortune. It was not so long ago some were forecasting hot dry summers and droughts for the UK, with mild winters. This proved wrong in the short term. We had a series of cool wet summers and cold snowy winters. Given the variability of the climate we may now experience a milder winter or two. It is fascinating that the scientists are said to have nailed their colours to a new mast, and threatened us with colder winters from here. We will watch with interest to see if these latest forecasts work better than the last lot.
As they now think that ocean currents and ocean warming and cooling are more important influences on climate than before, will they be changing their climate forecasting models to take these factors into account?