So quite often we get a torrent of completely pointless comments on Climate Shifts (e.g. “Don’t bother with the next scare of “Oceans going acidic, shock – horror” that one is dead in the water…. Get real, the AGW scare is gone forever. Climategate, glaciergate, amazongate, yawn, it goes it just goes on and on……” and “The public will determine policy based on preception so kiss AGW good bye baby! The skeptics have won. It’s over, go home.”). Other times, we get the usual “THE EARTH IS COOLING SO CLIMATE CHANGE IS ALL A LIE” approach. Here’s a comment we got this morning from Andrew Burns (unsurprisingly from this story) which seems to fit the usual template:

There’s thousands more scientists who have woken up to the global warming scam … and even more who look at the facts:

1. Warming since the Little Ice Age
2. A DECREASE in the rate of warming after 1945, when man’s CO2 output increased 1200%.
3. No warming in the past 15 years
4. No evidence that man’s CO2 has contributed to warming
5. Lots of faked temperature data (eg Darwin)
6. Oceans cooling for the past 5 years.
7. Sea levels rising for the past 6000 years with less increase in recent years.

Should we post comments like these? It’s pretty clear from above that it’s a deliberate campaign of disinformation. Instead, let’s dismantle this meme piece by piece (thanks in large part to Skeptical Science):

There’s thousands more scientists who have woken up to the global warming scam … and even more who look at the facts:

More often than not, these comments always appeal to the “facts” with zero evidence. So exactly who are these scientists? What is the scam they’ve woken up to? See these links for discussion on “Is there a scientific consensus on global warming?” and “Do 500 scientists refute the consensus?“. Here’s a challenge for you Dr Burns: name some of these thousands of scientists?

1. Warming since the Little Ice Age

Here’s one I never understood. Why do skeptics assume that all warming is anthropogenic? Anyhow, here’s what the science says:

“The main driver of the warming from the Little Ice Age to 1940 was the warming sun with a small contribution from volcanic activity. However, solar activity leveled off after 1940 and the net influence from sun and volcano since 1940 has been slight cooling. Greenhouse gases have been the main contributor of warming since 1970.”
(Read more)

2. A DECREASE in the rate of warming after 1945, when man’s CO2 output increased 1200%.

Where does this figure of 1200% come from? Why is 1945 significant? Who knows? Either way, this seems to be a new spin on the same recycled argument. Here’s what the science says:

Early 20th century warming was in large part due to rising solar activity and relatively quiet volcanic activity. However, both factors have played little to no part in the warming since 1975. Solar activity has been steady since the 50′s. Volcanoes have been relatively frequent and if anything, have exerted a cooling effect.
(Read more)

3. No warming in the past 15 years

The ‘it hasn’t warmed since 1998′ meme has been recycled and debunked more times than I can count:

The planet has continued to accumulate heat since 1998 – global warming is still happening. Nevertheless, surface temperatures show much internal variability due to heat exchange between the ocean and atmosphere. 1998 was an unusually hot year due to a strong El Nino. (Read more)

Empirical measurements of the Earth’s heat content show the planet is still accumulating heat and global warming is still happening. Surface temperatures can show short term cooling when heat is exchanged between the atmosphere and the ocean, which has a much greater heat capacity than the air.
(Read more)

Globally-averaged annual mean temperature anomalies in degrees Celsius, together with 11-year unweighted moving averages (solid lines). Blue circles from the Hadley Centre (British). Red diamonds from NASA GISS. Green squares from NOAA NCDC. NASA GISS and NOAA NCDC are offset in vertical direction by increments of 0.5°C for visual clarity.

4. No evidence that man’s CO2 has contributed to warming

On the contrary, there’s plenty of evidence that CO2 is contributing to warming:

Direct observations find that CO2 is rising sharply due to human activity. Satellite and surface measurements find less energy is escaping to space at CO2 absorption wavelengths. Ocean and surface temperature measurements find the planet continues to accumulate heat. This gives a line of empirical evidence that human CO2 emissions are causing global warming.
(Read more)

5. Lots of faked temperature data (eg Darwin)

I don’t know where to start here. Darwin ‘faked’ temperature data?

6. Oceans cooling for the past 5 years.

Another debunked meme:

Early estimates of ocean heat from the Argo showed a cooling bias due to pressure sensor issues. Recent estimates of ocean heat that take this bias into account show continued warming of the upper ocean. This is confirmed by independent estimates of ocean heat as well as more comprehensive measurements of ocean heat down to 2000 metres deep. (Read more)

7. Sea levels rising for the past 6000 years with less increase in recent years

What was the rate of sea level rise for the past 6000 years? Without this we can only guess what was meant, but either way, the science is clear:

Sea levels are measured by a variety of methods that show close agreement – sediment cores, tidal gauges, satellite measurements. What they find is sea level rise has been steadily accelerating over the past century.(Read more).

Global mean sea level from 1870 to 2006 with one standard deviation error estimates

Thanks to Dr Andrew Burns for allowing us to correct his misunderstandings! Thanks too for Skeptical Science, check out their new iPhone app:

 

7 Responses to Debunking the climate change myths of Dr Andrew Burns

  1. David Horton says:

    “I don’t know where to start here. Darwin ‘faked’ temperature data?” – um, this is the city of Darwin. A regular meme in the last year or so is that all of the heating of the planet in the last 30 years was faked by moving a thermometer (or something) in Darwin. But maybe I’m wrong, maybe this actually is a direct linking of creationism and denialism. In the mad world of these people anything is possible.

  2. Neil says:

    I think “Lots of faked temperature data (eg Darwin)” refers to this post at Watts Up With That.

  3. McHarris says:

    Great Article.

    The THEORY of AGW is just that…… the arguments for and against sould continue to flow, and no one should take it for granted that the debate is over.

    Chip Knappenberger tells us Recent events have shown, rather embarrassingly, that the IPCC is not “the” consensus of scientists, but rather the opinions of a few scientists (in some cases as few as one) in various subject areas whose consensus among themselves is then kludged together by the designers of the IPCC final product who a priori know what they want the ultimate outcome to be (that greenhouse gases are leading to dangerous climate change and need to be restricted).
    http://just-me-in-t.blogspot.com/2010_03_01_archive.html

    • admin says:

      Hi McHarris,

      The THEORY of AGW is just that…… the arguments for and against sould continue to flow, and no one should take it for granted that the debate is over.

      I agree with this to an extent, but what interests me is the complete lack of scientific coherence in the denialist camp. It’s easy to throw stones at a house, but less easy to build one.

      Chip Knappenberger tells us Recent events have shown, rather embarrassingly, that the IPCC is not “the” consensus of scientists, but rather the opinions of a few scientists (in some cases as few as one) in various subject areas whose consensus among themselves is then kludged together by the designers of the IPCC final product who a priori know what they want the ultimate outcome to be (that greenhouse gases are leading to dangerous climate change and need to be restricted).

      Sorry, but this is completely delusional. If you believe this, you have little to no understanding how the IPCC process works.

      Unsurprisingly, i’ve never heard of Chip Knappenberger before, but in the interests of transparency, SourceWatch has a great article on him and his work.

  4. Phil M says:

    McHarris

    Funny how the majority of the worlds scientific & climate institutions back AGW & the IPCC & none back the deniers….none. Whereas the deniers have blogs, opinions, petitions & lobbyists & you dont see anything wrong with that picture?

    The bloggers are trying to save humanity from the evil scientists who are all banding together across the globe in some coordinated conspiracy eh?

  5. Greetings from Ethiopia!
    Okay!!!!!! I have something on the current Climate / Earth Change and positional influence of Nibiru (Planet X), Electromagnetic field, Sunspot
    Of course, this agenda is bizarre for most people but very interesting as well in regard to our planet Climate / Earth Change.

    Yahagere sew hoy!! Ketensa ayeker tekit yemenakewn yahel bibal ayekefam, Ayedele???? (It is Etopic Language) Endaygermachihu!!!!) I say something in relation to what is going on around the world currently. The earth quake, flood, ice melt, volcano including comet rain and the inner earth vague entities bla bla; are the foundation for this piece of writing.

    Yes!, not only the earth quake, flood, volcano etc…are manifestation for this days climate change, to express directly and clearly these phenomenon collectively we need other term. There are also various calamities that are yet to come on this planet in the coming few years, is it “climate change!!???” I am not sure!!
    Any way, before going to in detail I have to define what climate change means in scientific terms,
    “Climate Change” is any long-term change in the statistics of weather over periods of time that range from decades to millions of years. It can express itself as a change in the mean weather conditions, the probability of extreme conditions, or in any other part of the statistical distribution of weather. Climate change may occur in a specific region, or across the whole earth.

    In other term, like that of crest and under ocean volcano, and whirlwind like that of cyclone, hurricane etc, ocean tide, mountain slide, storm, flood, large scale pollution, global warming, comets rain and varity of mayhem in the ecosystem and magnetic field unrest as a whole here and there in unusual way, is it really climate change???

    I would rather like to use the term “Earth Changes” than “Climate change” because the earth along with other planets sooner or later will go through a series of cataclysmic events. As the same time which will be the cause for major alteration in human life and brain or consciousness, ecological system and change on the planet itself.

    This natural calamitous such as pole shifting of the planetary axis, major volcanic eruption, earthquakes, melting of the polar ice caps, ocean tides, outlandish rainfall, seasonal shift, climate change or weather disturbance, temperature increment, storm, strong whirlwind, land slide, pole shift as well as varied changes of local, regional and global social and political systems including human consciousness variation would be a phenomenon due to the combined effect of earth’s electromagnetic field alteration, the planet X or “Nibiru” (a planet that is part of our solar system with an orbit beyond that of Neptune; NASA named it “Planet x”) positional influence in this solar system and sun spot / radiation and solar variability.

    Yet again; strongest impact of the sun’s activity on climate change is a direct connection between cloud coverage and cosmic rays. This primary variable also depends on the flux of solar energy. The same applies to variations in the energy flux caused by the sun’s varying activity. In addition to this, there are, in fact, pronounced connections between our sun’s changing energy outputs and earth’s climate, better to say earth’s nature……..

    If the causes are anthropogenic, over the past few hundred years like that of greenhouse gases emission, deforestation activity we can mitigate the problem with strong efforts. There has also been a continuous change of climate on our earth’s history it is clearly confirmed by Dendrochronology or tree-ring dating, however, the past climate changes have never been disastrous as the current/ coming one when we compare with. Scientists and professionals are convinced that human activity has not as much of contribution to this all inclusive and enormous changes.

    Moreover; in other word one can find that, Nibiru has been mentioned in the Book of Enoch (Henok Ethiopian Orthodox Church Canon), Enoch’s visits on the Planet of the Cross – Erisn / Nibiru. It is also well known in Sumerian, Assyrian, Egyptians, Mayan, Cherokee, and Judaic cabalists of olden day’s wisdom.

    Based on modern astronomy and this primeval knowledge, both scientists and wise men can read the earth’s Akashic record (a theosophical term referring to the universal filing system which records every occurring thought, word and action). (Me ‘at chemere lawora alfelegem, yalewn/ yawokut yalugnen enji, Etopic langu).

    All these strange circumstances are playing collective and complimentary role from different directions. At present time, these phenomenons are continuing in a smooth manner on our earth and in solar system as a whole until the early 2012 – 2013.

    It is still amazing that; according to Henoch / Henok “And it came to pass after this that I saw another host of wagons (UFO Flying Saucers), and men riding thereon (Alien race) … And the noise of their wagons *(disc and cigar Saucers) was heard, and when this turmoil took place the holy ones from heaven remarked it, and the pillars of the earth were moved (Pole shift) from their place, and the sound thereof was heard from the one end of heaven to the other,(throughout the galaxies) in one day (The Book of Enoch, chapter LV).

    As far as we are considering the aforementioned cases / phenomenon as real and fact, we couldn’t be in a position either to mitigate or to adapt this EARTH CHANGE / chaos, and on the other hand, if the cases are anthropogenic and CLIMATE CHANGE we may well mitigate and adapt smartly and fashionably.

    Therefore, in order to mitigate these predicaments and tribulation the whole world has to pay the resources that the world has as one and single and work in a cooperative manner rather than in a competitive style.

    Eshi!!! yehea agenda will help everyone to cooperate and work mutually both the have and not have without border and map, because it is our small and suitable, appropriate and bountiful home with abundant and too much resources, we haven’t other shelter in this gigantic universe. Challenging days are coming
    It is too much for our first discussion

    BY MY SIDE
    I GAVE ALL TO GOD, THE CREATOR OF THE KNOWN AND THE UNKNOWN!!
    GOD BLESS.

    Endatferu (Etopic langu)!!!
    Kassahun Mammo
    + 251 911 137361, Addis Ababa, Ethiopia
    kassmatt2002@yahoo.com

  6. Eshi!!! yehea agenda will help everyone to cooperate and work mutually both the have and not have without border and map, because it is our small and suitable, appropriate and bountiful home with abundant and too much resources, we haven’t other shelter in this gigantic universe. Challenging days are coming
    It is too much for our first discussion

    BY MY SIDE
    I GAVE ALL TO GOD, THE CREATOR OF THE KNOWN AND THE UNKNOWN!!
    GOD BLESS.

    Endatferu (Etopic langu)!!!
    Kassahun Mammo
    + 251 911 137361, kmammo2010@yahoo.com, Addis Ababa, Ethiopia,

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