In an op-ed piece, English Viscount Matt Ridley questions why global warming has apparently taken a pause for more than a decade. He may have wanted to maintain anonymity when submitting the piece to the Wall Street Journal, as the president of the British Science Association just recently said that climate skeptics should be “crushed and buried.“
The global warming “pause,” a trendless subset of the global temperature database HadCRUT4 beginning in 1998, was recently brought to the world’s attention by the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change. Although some science journalists reported about the pause previously, but many rebuked their concerns.
As Phil Jones of the University of East Anglia in Britain, wrote, “The scientific community would come down on me in no uncertain terms if I said the world had cooled from 1998. Okay it has but it is only seven years of data and it isn’t statistically significant.”
Now that the global warming pause has entered the point of being statistically significant, the IPCC has downgraded its estimates for how much the Earth will warm in the 22nd century. Matt Ridley uses these events and other theories about the pause to say that the urgency behind global warming is being exaggerated. Quickly earning himself the title of “climate change delayer” from a variety of news outlets.
Critics point out that newer models, which factor in more variables such as El Nino effects, vindicate the threat of man-made greenhouse gas emissions on the global system. And that sea levels have continued to rise for the period in question.
His most controversial remarks center around the UN meeting on September 23rd. As Ridley starts his piece saying,
“Leaders from China, India and Germany have already announced that they won’t attend the summit and others are likely to follow, leaving President Obama looking a bit lonely. Could it be that they no longer regard it as an urgent threat that some time later in this century the air may get a bit warmer?”
Critics have also been quick to point out that Germany in particular has rolled-out an incredible system of renewable energy to meet global warming reduction targets. And China has made aggressive investments of its own to enhance its own renewable energy sources.
But the most controversial section of all is the closer, as Ridley says,
“Let’s hope that the United Nations admits as much on day one of its coming jamboree and asks the delegates to pack up, go home and concentrate on more pressing global problems like war, terror, disease, poverty, habitat loss and the 1.3 billion people with no electricity.”
The full op-ed piece about global warming can be found here.