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Viscount Monckton gives a presentation during the 2007 Conference on Climate Change
"Considerable presence" of skeptics


Updated 7/17/2008

After publication of this story, the APS responded with a  statement that its Physics and Society Forum is merely one unit within the APS, and its views do not reflect those of the Society at large. 


The American Physical Society, an organization representing nearly 50,000 physicists, has reversed its stance on climate change and is now proclaiming that many of its members disbelieve in human-induced global warming.  The APS is also sponsoring public debate on the validity of global warming science.  The leadership of the society had previously called the evidence for global warming "incontrovertible."

In a posting to the APS forum, editor Jeffrey Marque explains,"There is a considerable presence within the scientific community of people who do not agree with the IPCC conclusion that anthropogenic CO2 emissions are very probably likely to be primarily responsible for global warming that has occurred since the Industrial Revolution."

The APS is opening its debate with the publication of a paper by Lord Monckton of Brenchley, which concludes that climate sensitivity -- the rate of temperature change a given amount of greenhouse gas will cause -- has been grossly overstated by IPCC modeling.   A low sensitivity implies additional atmospheric CO2 will have little effect on global climate.

Larry Gould, Professor of Physics at the University of Hartford and Chairman of the New England Section of the APS, called Monckton's paper an "expose of the IPCC that details numerous exaggerations and "extensive errors"

In an email to DailyTech, Monckton says, "I was dismayed to discover that the IPCC's 2001 and 2007 reports did not devote chapters to the central 'climate sensitivity' question, and did not explain in proper, systematic detail the methods by which they evaluated it. When I began to investigate, it seemed that the IPCC was deliberately concealing and obscuring its method." 

According to Monckton, there is substantial support for his results, "in the peer-reviewed literature, most articles on climate sensitivity conclude, as I have done, that climate sensitivity must be harmlessly low."

Monckton, who was the science advisor to Britain's Thatcher administration, says natural variability is the cause of most of the Earth's recent warming.   "In the past 70 years the Sun was more active than at almost any other time in the past 11,400 years ... Mars, Jupiter, Neptune’s largest moon, and Pluto warmed at the same time as Earth."



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RE: While I do agree...
By Hoser McMoose on 7/18/2008 9:28:46 PM , Rating: 4
1998 was indeed an abnormally warm year, just as 2008 has thus far been an abnormally cool year. However single years are meaningless within the discussion of average global temperature changes over a period of time. Really you can't get any meaningful measurement until at least 10 years, and even then it's extraordinarily limited.

Expanding the study to 50 years is more of a starting point, but ideally you want to study the world for millions of years.

If one does just that, we can see that the earth has gone through a LOT of temperature cycles, most of which were clearly NOT man-made. That's not to say that anthropogenic greenhouse gas emissions aren't contributing to our current climate, more simply that climate DOES change and our impact is only going to be one of MANY factors involved. Trying to figure out just where we fit in to that whole equation is a matter of importance to science.

Are we just a tiny spec in a giant sea of things or a dominant factor? And will cutting GHG output by 20 or even 50% do much of anything? Those are questions I couldn't answer myself, but fortunately there are a few good scientists left working on the problem. Sadly many otherwise good scientists have been taken in by one of two competing religions and are so firmly entrenched in their beliefs that they refuse to do their jobs properly for fear that it will either prove or disprove (depending on which religion they follow) global climate change.


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