A physicist supports sound climate physics
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To the Institute of Physics, United Kingdom:
I am an elected Fellow of the American Physical Society and a co-organizer of a Petition drive to the APS Council to modify or withdraw the published APS Statement on Climate Change [see Nature 460:457, 23 July 2009]. Some 250 members and Fellows of the APS have now joined in signing this Petition, including members of the US National Academy of Sciences, a Nobelist, and many other prize winners.
I urge you to ignore all of the insubstantial criticisms leveled against your submission to the House of Commons’ inquiry into ClimateGate. All scientists should applaud your call for openness and sharing of data – even without the legal requirements of the Freedom of Information Act, and regardless of one’s position on the causes of global warming. To echo Margaret Thatcher’s admonition to President George Bush: “Don’t go wobbly!”
It is strange that such fierce criticism of the IOP submission has come mainly from avowed promoters of the anthropogenic global warming (AGW) myth, who have attacked the IOP as “misinformed and misguided.” (Some have even advocated breaking the law by ignoring the “Freedom of Information Act.”) But why should there be any connection between the sharing of scientific information and the cause of GW?
Your submission criticized the practices of the climate scientists at the center of the Parliamentary inquiry. These include primarily Dr Philip Jones, director of the Climate Research Unit (CRU) of the University of East Anglia (UEA) and Dr Michael Mann of Pennsylvania State University. The submission of the Royal Society of Chemistry says “that a lack of willingness to disseminate scientific information may infer that the scientific results or methods used are not robust enough to face scrutiny.” So what are they trying to hide? We have yet to discover just how Jones et al managed to produce a substantial surface warming [between 1979 and 1997] when satellites showed practically no tropospheric warming – a disparity which is in conflict with every greenhouse climate model.
You state that the Institute “has long had a clear position on global warming, namely that there is no doubt that climate change is happening, that it is linked to man-made emissions of greenhouse gases, and that we should be taking action to address it now.” However, I know of no valid evidence to support such a position and would urge you to carry out an independent investigation. In due course we may learn how the temperature data underlying the IPCC conclusions have been manipulated. In the meantime, I would caution you against relying on the IPCC.
I am aware that the UK Meteorological Office has published a review of the latest climate-change science. Their report says it is “very likely” that man-made greenhouse-gas emissions are causing the climate to change and that the changes bear the “fingerprint” of human influence. But as far as I know, the fingerprints point the other way and suggest that the human contribution is only minor. In other words, the empirical evidence contradicts both the IPCC and the Met Office. [See here the reports of the Nongovernmental International Panel on Climate Change, 2008 and 2009, at www.NIPCCreport.org]
The most direct way to resolve this obvious disagreement might be for the IOP Science Board to arrange one or more debates and scrutinize the evidence presented by both sides. I have no doubt whatsoever that they will agree that Nature rules the climate, not human activity.
S. Fred Singer
Professor Emeritus, University of Virginia
Former director of the US Weather Satellite Service