VOL 1 NO 1 of a new journal, Nature Climate Change, arrived in my mailbox today. While clearly in the Warmist camp, it was refreshing to read the first paper Overstretching attribution. It starts off by giving Richard Lindzen credit for being “a bona fide climate scientist who rejects the scientific consensus that current climate warming is largely caused by human emissions of greenhouse gases”. With seeming approval, they quote Lindzen’s pithy comment:
Climate change is the norm. If you want something to worry about, it would be if the climate were static. It would be like a person being dead.
Not only that, they have the audacity to tweak the IPCC a bit:
Is it fruitful … to continue to pursue deconstruction of biological responses into those due to natural or anthropogenic climate change?
The IPCC believes that it is, and advocates an ever-more-detailed approach to attribution. We disagree. We argue that ‘chained-attribution’ assessments from greenhouse gases to climate change to biological change, as called for by the IPCC are largely inappropriate, principally because our understanding of the biological impacts of climate change cannot aspire to the level achieved in physical climate science. This is not simply a matter of further research, for there is no common biological response to a single climate driver, and no simple biological metric analogous to global temperature rise. Each ecosystem, species, or even population can respond differently to climate change, and there are an estimated 30–100 million species. Thus, we are far from being able to achieve realistic coupled climate–biological models, and in an attempt to reach this goal, we risk taking research effort away from the critical issue of adaptation.[My emphasis]
They report the news that the past century or so has seen a modest increase in mean temperatures. They correctly note that many species have adapted by relocating the extreme edges of their habitats polewards by a handful of kilometers per decade. They identify the real issue as “assessing the extent to which observed biological changes are being driven by greenhouse-gas-induced climate change versus natural climate variability.” As for other human effects, such as land use, they even report the good news that the map butterfly (Araschnia levana) has also stretched its habitat equatorwards “contrary to expectations”, apparently due to mowing along roads.
All-in-all, a welcome change in tone by at least one influential part of the Warmist camp.