SEPTEMBER 28, 2022
By Paul Homewood
A fundamentally flawed study claiming that scientific evidence of a climate crisis is lacking should be withdrawn from the peer-reviewed journal in which it was published, top climate scientists have told AFP.
Appearing earlier this year in The European Physical Journal Plus, published by Springer Nature, the study purports to review data on possible changes in the frequency or intensity of rainfall, cyclones, tornadoes, droughts and other extreme weather events.
It has been viewed thousands of times on social media and cited by some mainstream media, such as Sky News Australia.
“On the basis of observation data, the climate crisis that, according to many sources, we are experiencing today, in not evident,” reads the summary of the 20-page study.
Four prominent climate scientists contacted by AFP all said the study—of which they had been unaware—grossly manipulates data, cherry picking some facts and ignoring others that would contradict their discredited assertions.
“The paper gives the appearance of being specifically written to make the case that there is no climate crisis, rather than presenting an objective, comprehensive, up-to-date assessment,” said Richard Betts, Head of Climate Impacts Research at Britain’s Met Office.
The authors ignore the authoritative Intergovernmental Report on Climate Change (IPCC) report published a couple of months before their study was submitted to Springer Nature, Betts noted.
“Human-induced climate change is already affecting many weather and climate extremes in every region across the globe,” the IPCC concluded in that report.
“Evidence of observed changes in extremes such as heatwaves, heavy precipitation, droughts and tropical cyclones, and, in particular, their attribution to human influence, has strengthened” since the previous report eight years earlier, it said.
“They are writing this article in bad faith,” said Friederike Otto, a senior climatologist at the Grantham Institute for Climate Change and the Environment.
“They do not have a section on heat waves”—mentioned only in passing—”where the observed trends are so incredibly obvious”, Otto said.
Richard Betts, more than most people, should surely realise that this is not how you do science. If you disagree with a particular scientific study, you challenge it on a factual basis and point out exactly where it is flawed.
There is a well established method of doing this, which is to ask the Journal to print response to the original article. Normally the paper’s authors would of course have a right of reply. That is the way the real facts are established.
To simply demand that the Journal withdraws the paper is the worst sort of censorship, and reminds us all of the dark days of Climategate, when such practices were rife whenever anybody dared to challenge the climate establishment’s agenda.
The study they complain about, Alimonti et al, was covered by me here, and was actually a pretty level-headed, uncontroversial assessment of the actual data:
Betts refers to the IPCC, but despite the hyperbolic headlines of the Summary for Policymakers, there is actually nothing in last years AR6 which contradicts anything in this latest study.
It is ludicrous of Friederike Otto to highlight heatwaves, but not to acknowledge the corresponding reduction in extreme cold weather. Why do more heatwaves make a climate emergency, when more cold waves don’t?
Let’s look at some of the other “emergencies”, which Betts seems to be imagining:
1) Heavy Precipitation
It is generally accepted, and emphasised by the IPCC, that globally precipitation has increased since 1950, and this is recognised by the new paper:
But far from this being a bad thing, in many areas of the world it has actually served to relieve drought, for instance in the US, India, China and Central Asia.
In terms of floods however, the IPCC can find no evidence that they are getting worse, merely the usual regional changes we expect to see over time:
As you might expect from increasing global precipitation, Alimonti et al find no evidence of increasing drought, indeed the opposite is true:
3) Tropical Cyclones
According to the IPCC themselves, there are no long term trends in TC activity, something which most hurricane experts agree with.
Betts is not in line with the science, if he maintains otherwise.
4) Weather Attribution Models
With all of the data contradicting claims of a climate emergency, what do Betts and co resort to? None other than those thoroughly discredited weather attribution models, which Otto herself is in charge of! (Otto, by the way, works for the The Grantham Institute for Climate Change, well known for stoking climate alarm, and has even written a book, “Angry Weather”, which purports to “link” bad weather with global warming!)
Who to believe? Computer models or the lying data?
What Climate Emergency?
Alimonti et al don’t deny that the world is a little bit warmer than a century ago, nor that the climate has been changing.
But after analysing the official data, they failed to find any evidence of a climate crisis. This is from the paper’s summary:
“On the basis of observation data, the climate crisis that, according to many sources, we are experiencing today, is not evident”
Betts and co may disagree, that is their prerogative. But if they do, they need to present the facts why, instead of blackmailing the The European Physical Journal Plus into withdrawing the paper.