|Image cherry-picked from Open Parachute: |
"No cause for alarm if you cherry-pick."
I happen to know this because a climate change denial Facebook page I “like” was eager to trumpet it – well, to trumpet select tidbits, as we'll see:
Added Storch (who is one of many dozens, if not hundreds, of IPCC lead authors): "Similarly, space scientists should chill, cop a smoke, check their Facebook page, when an asteroid as big as the one that killed off the dinosaurs is hurtling toward our planet and assure people it's not definitively as bad as it sounds - there's up to a 5% chance the asteroid will miss."Moments later the cheekily named Friends of Science (an Alberta-based group teeming with oil-patch scientists and, at least in the past, oil-patch money) added an update:
(It seems to me most ‘warmists’ are acting like it's a crisis, but on with the story...)
As you can see if you read the post yourself, it's a series of short excerpts from the Der Spiegel interview. They all cast von Storch in the inspirational light of an expert who's losing his climate change consensus religion. And not just any expert: the IPCC's “lead author,” as Friends of Science’s sloppilly- or deliberately-worded description would lead its less sophisticated readers to believe.
Hans von Storch, as cherry-picked by Tom Nelson – a couple of examples:
Storch: So far, no one has been able to provide a compelling answer to why climate change seems to be taking a break.
Storch: If things continue as they have been, in five years, at the latest, we will need to acknowledge that something is fundamentally wrong with our climate models. A 20-year pause in global warming does not occur in a single modeled scenario. But even today, we are finding it very difficult to reconcile actual temperature trends with our expectations.The excerpts made me very curious to read von Storch's comments in context. As anyone who has spent much time fact-checking deniers of anthropogenic climate change will know, their soundbites and talking points almost always depend on the reality distortion field produced by cherry-picking data. To blogger Tom Nelson's credit, he made it easy to click right through to the full interview – no need for Google.
As I read the interview, even I was surprised by the degree to which the German climate scientist's take on the question du jour had been misrepresented by Nelson's excerpts, by “Friends of Science” and, I'm sure, by dozens more likeminded blogs and Facebook pages.
To make my point, I cherry-picked a very different series of excerpts and posted them as a comment under the Friends of Science update:
Syd Baumel And now for some key excerpts from the interview that didn't make it into Tom Nelson's blog:
SPIEGEL: But it has been climate researchers themselves who have feigned a degree of certainty even though it doesn't actually exist. For example, the IPCC announced with 95 percent certainty that humans contribute to climate change.Twenty-four hours later, Friends of Science was mute on my cherry-picking challenge. But one of the page's regulars had upped the ante by cherry-picking from my bunch of cherries.
Storch: And there are good reasons for that statement. We could no longer explain the considerable rise in global temperatures observed between the early 1970s and the late 1990s with natural causes. My team at the Max Planck Institute for Meteorology, in Hamburg, was able to provide evidence in 1995 of humans' influence on climate events. Of course, that evidence presupposed that we had correctly assessed the amount of natural climate fluctuation. Now that we have a new development, we may need to make adjustments.
SPIEGEL: In which areas do you need to improve the models?
Storch: Among other things, there is evidence that the oceans have absorbed more heat than we initially calculated. Temperatures at depths greater than 700 meters (2,300 feet) appear to have increased more than ever before. The only unfortunate thing is that our simulations failed to predict this effect.
SPIEGEL: That doesn't exactly inspire confidence.
Storch: ....It's not a bad thing to make mistakes and have to correct them....
SPIEGEL: Does this throw the entire theory of global warming into doubt?
Storch: I don't believe so. We still have compelling evidence of a man-made greenhouse effect. There is very little doubt about it. But if global warming continues to stagnate, doubts will obviously grow stronger.
SPIEGEL: Do scientists still predict that sea levels will rise?
Storch: In principle, yes. Unfortunately, though, our simulations aren't yet capable of showing whether and how fast ice sheets in Greenland and Antarctica will melt -- and that is a very significant factor in how much sea levels will actually rise. For this reason, the IPCC's predictions have been conservative. And, considering the uncertainties, I think this is correct....
SPIEGEL: Despite all these problem areas, do you still believe global warming will continue?
Storch: Yes, we are certainly going to see an increase of 2 degrees Celsius (3.6 degrees Fahrenheit) or more -- and by the end of this century, mind you. That's what my instinct tells me, since I don't know exactly how emission levels will develop. Other climate researchers might have a different instinct. Our models certainly include a great number of highly subjective assumptions. Natural science is also a social process, and one far more influenced by the spirit of the times than non-scientists can imagine. You can expect many more surprises.
SPIEGEL: What exactly are politicians supposed to do with such vague predictions?
Storch: Whether it ends up being one, two or three degrees, the exact figure is ultimately not the important thing. Quite apart from our climate simulations, there is a general societal consensus that we should be more conservative with fossil fuels. Also, the more serious effects of climate change won't affect us for at least 30 years. We have enough time to prepare ourselves....
SPIEGEL: Are there findings related to global warming that worry you?
Storch: The potential acidification of the oceans due to CO2 entering them from the atmosphere. This is a phenomenon that seems sinister to me, perhaps in part because I understand too little about it. But if marine animals are no longer able to form shells and skeletons well, it will affect nutrient cycles in the oceans. And that certainly makes me nervous.
Greg Mee “By doing so, we have gambled away the most important asset we have as scientists: the public's trust.” Yep, and they worked very hard to lose that trust.To which I could only reply with another bunch of cherries:
It's nice to see that Storch isn't in the hysteric crowd.
Syd Baumel von Storch: "We still have compelling evidence of a man-made greenhouse effect. There is very little doubt about it....Yes, we are certainly going to see an increase of 2 degrees Celsius (3.6 degrees Fahrenheit) or more -- and by the end of this century, mind you....[I]f marine animals are no longer able to form shells and skeletons well, it will affect nutrient cycles in the oceans. And that certainly makes me nervous."Here's where to go if you'd like to stay tuned.
Doesn't that also make von Storch a “hysteric” in your book, Greg?