Real Climate posted a weblog on June 21 2009 titled “A warning from Copenhagen”. They report on a Synthesis Report of the Copenhagen Congress which was handed over to the Danish Prime Minister Rasmussen in Brussels the previous week.
Real Climate writes
“So what does it say? Our regular readers will hardly be surprised by the key findings from physical climate science, most of which we have already discussed here. Some aspects of climate change are progressing faster than was expected a few years ago – such as rising sea levels, the increase of heat stored in the ocean and the shrinking Arctic sea ice. “The updated estimates of the future global mean sea level rise are about double the IPCC projections from 2007″, says the new report. And it points out that any warming caused will be virtually irreversible for at least a thousand years – because of the long residence time of CO2 in the atmosphere.”
First, what is “physical climate science”? How is this different from “climate science”. In the past, this terminology has been used when authors ignore the biological components of the climate system.
More importantly, however, the author of the weblog makes the statement that the following climate metrics “are progressing faster than was expected a few years ago” ;
1. “rising sea levels”
NOT TRUE; e.g. see the University of Colorado at Boulder Sea Level Change analysis.
Sea level has actually flattened since 2006.
2. “the increase of heat stored in the ocean”
NOT TRUE; see
Their has been no statistically significant warming of the upper ocean since 2003.
3. “shrinking Arctic sea ice”
NOT TRUE; see the Northern Hemisphere Sea Ice Anomaly from the University of Illinois Cyrosphere Today website. Since 2008, the anomalies have actually decreased.
These climate metrics might again start following the predictions of the models. However, until and unless they do, the authors of the Copenhagen Congress Synthesis Report and the author of the Real Climate weblog are erroneously communicating the reality of the how the climate system is actually behaving.
Media and policymakers who blindly accept these claims are either naive or are deliberately slanting the science to promote their particular advocacy position.