Sunday, November 29, 2009

Peter Hitchens displays his ignorance

Peter Hitchens in the Mail today plugs Chritopher Brooker's new book on global warming denial.
In the course of his article, he makes three statements:

Hitchens: Recent studies show that most polar bear populations are rising.

Fact: Arctic ice is definitely retreating. Arctic ice is the polar bears' habitat. Loss of habitat will force them to migrate and adapt.
A WWF report says: Satisfactory monitoring information has been delivered for fourteen of the twenty populations of polar bears in recent years (see Table 1, page 12). Of these, ten are showing stable population numbers, two seem to be increasing, and two are decreasing.

Hitchens: The world was warmer than it is now in the early Middle Ages.

This is not true.

This figure was prepared by Robert A. Rohde from publicly available data. Source

Hitchens: The most important greenhouse gas by far is not CO2 but water vapour, which is not influenced by human activity at all.

While it is true that water vapour has a stronger effect than CO2, since its effect increases with temperatures, and since temperatures are influenced by fossil fuel CO2, human activity does have an effect on water vapour.


Rob Stanley said...

Is it true that artic ice is now reforming and that antarctic ice is increasing?

Simon said...

Rob of course there is still seasonal increase and decrease in the Artic and yes in certain areas in the Antartic ice is increasing as the Polar vortex is sucking moisture down that used to fall as rain in Australia. Which I think itself was supposed to be a sign of Global Warming in the short term. Nonetheless other areas of the Antartic are warming up.
Not to forget this is all happening during a solar cooling cycle, things shoudl really get interesting when we come out of it.

Rob Stanley said...

My question was referring to the reported 2007 30 year low which was blamed on man made global warming.Is the overall trend of the disappearing ice caps reversing and if so why?I believe most scientists who support AGW think solar cycles and sunspot activity are irrelevant.

DocRichard said...

Thanks Simon; I have been unable to use blogspot in the last few days, nice to know that I have cover in my absence.

Link to arctic ice

Antarctic ice: the Southern Hemisphere is warming more slowly than the northern hemisphere, possibly because of less land mass. Factors including warmer seas surrounding Antarctica are causing more precipitation in some parts, with increasing ice sheet depth.

Antarctica is indeed warming

I'm not quite sure what you mean by "the reported 2007 30 year low".

Re solar cycles, I am inclined to think and hope that the solar component may be stronger than some climate scientists think. If so, great - it gives us more time to decarbonise the global economy before things get really serious.

Many thanks for commenting.

Rob Stanley said...

The reported 2007 30 year low I am referring to is the NSIDC report headlined'ARCTIC SEA ICE SHATTERS ALL PREVIOUS RECORD LOWS'. They go on to say that during the 2007 melt season arctic sea ice levels plummeted to the lowest levels since records began in 1979.They conclude by saying that sea ice cover is in an alarming downward spiral and may have passed the point of no return.They also say that their scientists agree we may see an ice free arctic ocean in summer within our lifetimes.While these chilling predictions were widely reported, over 500 studies published by scientists about record ice levels in the antarctic were ignored.Does this mean antarctic ice levels are irrelevant?The truth seems to be that mainstream media is biased so the public are unable to develop a truly informed opinion.

DocRichard said...

Hi Rob


Interesting link.

Could you give a link to the 500 studies published by scientists about record ice levels in the antarctic please?

Antarctic ice levels are not in any way irrelevant.

The mainstream media is a law unto itself. We Greens have had three decades of being ignored by and misreported, we know how it can feel. They find it very hard to report science, because every journalistic article has to have an "angle" - which is already a mild form of bias.

The thing is, the politicians have been fully briefed about climate change, and have rightly taken it on board. I don't think that journalists have been so briefed, so they have gone along with the politicians, although many of them are now wobbling, and joining the sceptics.

I will not answer for the media, any more than I would answer for Al Gore. The facts are all we need, and the picture that they form is robust. We need to decarbonise. Big time. It can be done, and in doing so, we can solve a lot of economic and social problems.



Rob Stanley said...

I'm not too good with a computer so a click on link is beyond my capabilities but the article is found in the canada free press dated sept 13 2007 however now that I check it,the 500 published articles are not about record antarctic ice levels but about questioningt AGW generally so I'm sorry for the mistake but my point remains that media coverage is biased towards AGW so I ask myself what do the people who own the mainstream media stand to gain from this?Are they also involved with companies that will profit from carbon taxes like Al Gore?So this unfortunately leads me down the road of conspiracy therories which connects back to my origional email to you where I state my belief that the green movement has been hijacked by people with their own agenda which is nothing like saving the people and the planet.

DocRichard said...

Well Rob, I have addressed the matter of conviction by the scientific facts.

There is a battle going on between the science of atmospheric compostiton, which requires a co-operative economic response, and the free market fundamentalists, who realise that a response to AGW will need a guided market, not a free market. This leads them to try to discredit the science that leads us to believe that we have to decarbonise. It is well established that Exxon have funded the deniers big time.

DocRichard said...

The 1990 report is nearly 20 years ago. That is a long time in science. I think I know the image you mean, I have it on my computer.

Christopher Monckton uses a brown image showing the MWP as warmer than today. It is very old science, like a doctor offering to bleed you with leeches to cure your pneumonia.
Follow my FAQs and you will see the new images.

I agree that the media are often misleading, but this does not mean that they are always misleading. Sometimes they report things as they are. But now we don't need media - we can get the science from the scientists direct.

To give a link, all you have to do is go back to the page you saw it, select and copy the URL (http://www &c) and paste it into the comment slot here.