BBC Science Correspondent David Whitehouse, in the New Statesman, observes that the key problem with the theory of Global Warming and climate projection models is that Global Warming has stopped, and the theory and the models can’t explain why.
‘The fact is that the global temperature of 2007 is statistically the same as 2006 and every year since 2001’
Global warming stopped? Surely not. What heresy is this? Havenâ€™t we been told that the science of global warming is settled beyond doubt and that all thatâ€™s left to the so-called sceptics is the odd errant glacier that refuses to melt?
Arenâ€™t we told that if we donâ€™t act now rising temperatures will render most of the surface of the Earth uninhabitable within our lifetimes? But as we digest these apocalyptic comments, read the recent IPCCâ€™s Synthesis report that says climate change could become irreversible. Witness the drama at Bali as news emerges that something is not quite right in the global warming camp.
With only few days remaining in 2007, the indications are the global temperature for this year is the same as that for 2006 â€“ there has been no warming over the 12 months.
But is this just a blip in the ever upward trend you may ask? No.
The fact is that the global temperature of 2007 is statistically the same as 2006 as well as every year since 2001. Global warming has, temporarily or permanently, ceased. Temperatures across the world are not increasing as they should according to the fundamental theory behind global warming â€“ the greenhouse effect. Something else is happening and it is vital that we find out what or else we may spend hundreds of billions of pounds needlessly. …
It was a pity that the delegates at Bali didnâ€™t discuss this or that the recent IPCC Synthesis report did not look in more detail at this recent warming standstill. Had it not occurred, or if the flatlining of temperature had occurred just five years earlier we would have no talk of global warming and perhaps, as happened in the 1970â€™s, we would fear a new Ice Age! Scientists and politicians talk of future projected temperature increases. But if the world has stopped warming what use these projections then?
Some media commentators say that the science of global warming is now beyond doubt and those who advocate alternative approaches or indeed modifications to the carbon dioxide greenhouse warming effect had lost the scientific argument. Not so.
Certainly the working hypothesis of CO2 induced global warming is a good one that stands on good physical principles but let us not pretend our understanding extends too far or that the working hypothesis is a sufficient explanation for what is going on.
I have heard it said, by scientists, journalists and politicians, that the time for argument is over and that further scientific debate only causes delay in action. But the wish to know exactly what is going on is independent of politics and scientists must never bend their desire for knowledge to any political cause, however noble.
The science is fascinating, the ramifications profound, but we are fools if we think we have a sufficient understanding of such a complicated system as the Earthâ€™s atmosphereâ€™s interaction with sunlight to decide. We know far less than many think we do or would like you to think we do. We must explain why global warming has stopped.