In a story running in parallel in the Sunday Times and EU Referendum, Raj Pachauri is linked directly to a new set of erroneous statements in the IPCC reports. This time it's African rainfall they've been misleading us about. Since Pachauri is the author of the relevant part of the report and has repeated the claims elsewhere, he will find it harder to absolve himself of responsibility this time. Commenters noted a recent study that found that there has been a massive recent greening of the Sahel, with temperature rises leading to higher rainfall.
EU Referendum has picked up on this last story and expanded on it.
No sooner is the Africagate piece up then Bishop Hill comments on it. That brings up further comments which identify this article from the National Geographic News.
Confirming the observations of the Tunisian government in its "initial national communication" (where it suggested that rainfall might increase), the National Geographic article is headed: "Sahara Desert Greening Due to Climate Change?"
It states that, contrary to the picture painted of "desertification, drought, and despair" by the IPCC, emerging evidence is painting a very different scenario, one in which rising temperatures could benefit millions of Africans in the driest parts of the continent.
Scientists, we are told, are now seeing signals that the Sahara desert and surrounding regions are greening due to increasing rainfall. If sustained, these rains could revitalize drought-ravaged regions, reclaiming them for farming communities. Furthermore, it seems, this desert-shrinking trend is supported by climate models, which predict a return to conditions that turned the Sahara into a lush savanna some 12,000 years ago.
Of course, climatology is not an exact science—which is just one of the reasons that the phrase "the science is settled" always worked me up into an incandescent rage. Added irritation was introduced because we knew damn well that not even the climatologists thought the science was settled—something that was confirmed by the CRU email conversations.
Haarsma now says that satellite confirms that during the last decade, the Sahel is indeed becoming more green. Nevertheless, as one might expect, climate scientists don't agree on how future climate change will affect the Sahel: Some studies simulate a decrease in rainfall. "This issue is still rather uncertain," Haarsma says.
Max Planck's Claussen says North Africa is the area of greatest disagreement among climate change modellers. Forecasting how global warming will affect the region is complicated by its vast size and the unpredictable influence of high-altitude winds that disperse monsoon rains, Claussen adds. "Half the models follow a wetter trend, and half a drier trend."
There! How's that for settled science?
That precisely reflects the uncertainty projected by Professor Conway [PDF] and others, and completely contradicts the doom-laden certainty offered by Dr Pachauri and his IPCC colleagues. More to the point, since Haarsma was carrying out his studies in 2005, when the IPCC was in the throes of writing up the Fourth Assessment Report, it could or should have been aware of the work.
Instead, it relies on a secondary source written by an obscure Moroccan academic, and published by an advocacy group, which did not even accurately reflect its own primary sources.
Once again, the IPCC has been cherry-picking data in order to paint the blackest picture possible—in order, presumably, to scare the shit out of the politicians and to ensure that the great big Green money-go-round continues to drop manna into the lap of Pachauri and his corrupt cronnies.
But, to return to the science aspect, there is a wider point to be made here...
One of the most extraordinary claims of the CACC lobby is that warming will lead to disaster. In the Northern Hemisphere, all of the evidence points to warmer climes being a good thing: the Mediaeval Warm Period showed a massive increase of wealth and population supported, amongst other things, by far higher crop yields. It was only when the Little Ice Age hit that people started to starve by the thousand.
Mind you, we really need Ed Cook's words from one of the CRU emails illustrate the position. [Emphasis mine.]
Without trying to prejudice this work, but also because of what I almost think I know to be the case, the results of this study will show that we can probably say a fair bit about <100 year extra-tropical NH temperature variability (at least as far as we believe the proxy estimates), but honestly know fuck-all about what the >100 year variability was like with any certainty (i.e. we know with certainty that we know fuck-all).
Let me just parse that for you: for anything outside the tropical Northern Hemisphere, the climatologists know "fuck-all" for anything over one hundred years ago. There just isn't that much data for the Southern Hemisphere because—should you go and examine a globe rather than a Mercator projection map—there's remarkably little land.
In any case, even my A Level science tells me one basic thing: if you heat up water, you get greater evaporation and thus, eventually, greater precipitation. The problem is, given the wind system and other chaotic factors (such as mountain ranges), where that precipitation eventually occurs.
It is also the case, however, that deserts are not caused simply by a lack of rain, but also by a lack of plants to hold the top soil, etc. This lack of plant life often contributes to a fall in precipitation and so it goes in a vicious spiral.
Anyway, the Sahara seems to be getting substantially greener—for whatever reasons—and this can only be a good thing. Let's hope that the people living there take advantage of this fact and act to increase that trend.
And now, in a piece reminiscent of the televisual news, your humble Devil presents the amusing and quirky "and finally" piece...
THE scientist at the centre of the “climategate” email scandal has revealed that he was so traumatised by the global backlash against him that he contemplated suicide.
Professor Phil Jones said in an exclusive interview with The Sunday Times that he had thought about killing himself “several times”.
This is the same Phil Jones who wrote, when sceptic John Daly died, 'In an odd way, this is cheering news!' Further, of course, one might point out that millions have gone hungry, and starved, and died, because of measures taken under the auspices of the lies and fabrications peddled by Phil Jones—with the doubling of basic food prices because of the land being turned over to biofuels being just one of those.
So—with all due respect, i.e. none—why don't you just fuck off, Phil?