EARLIER this year four leading Italian scientists published a major review of historical climate trends titled A critical assessment of extreme events trends in times of global warming, and concluded that declaring a ‘climate emergency’ is not supported by the data.
The authors do not deny that the world is a little bit warmer than a century ago, nor that the climate has been changing. But after analysing the official data they found no evidence of a climate crisis.
The study looked at various indicators of extreme weather such as temperature extremes, heavy rainfall, hurricanes, floods and droughts. It also reviewed trends in food production and yields. It concluded: ‘None of these response indicators show a clear positive trend of extreme events. In conclusion on the basis of observational data, the climate crisis that according to many sources we are experiencing today is not evident yet.’
The scientists suggested that rather than burdening our children with anxiety about climate change, we should encourage them to think about issues like energy, food and health with a more ‘objective and constructive spirit’ and not waste limited resources on ‘costly and ineffective solutions’.
There really was little that was controversial in the study. A succession of reports from the IPCC, the UN climate panel, essentially have all come to similar conclusions once the political spin was taken away.
Any changes that have affected the climate have been slight and often undetectable. Moreover many of the changes have undoubtedly been beneficial; for instance drought is now much less common and severe in many parts of the world, such as India, Sahel and the US than it used to be in the past. It always was absurd to maintain that global warming makes everything worse.
No matter that the study was well written by highly respected scientists, factually based and peer-reviewed, its message did not fit the narrative. It therefore did not take long for the climate mafia to demand that the paper should be withdrawn by the European Physical Journal Plus which published it in January this year.
According to Phys.Org: ‘A fundamentally flawed study claiming that scientific evidence of a climate crisis is lacking should be withdrawn from the peer-reviewed journal in which it was published, top climate scientists have told AFP [the Paris-based news agency Agence France-Presse].
‘Appearing earlier this year in the European Physical Journal Plus, published by Springer Nature, the study purports to review data on possible changes in the frequency or intensity of rainfall, cyclones, tornadoes, droughts and other extreme weather events.
‘Four prominent climate scientists contacted by AFP all said the study – of which they had been unaware – grossly manipulates data, cherry-picking some facts and ignoring others that would contradict their discredited assertions.’
We are of course used to the climate establishment trying to censor heretical views. The Climategate emails a few years ago uncovered many such attempts, some even threatening journal editors. And it is worth noting the use of phrases such as ‘fundamentally flawed’, ‘manipulating data’ and ‘cherry-picking’ in an attempt to destroy the study’s credibility. Yet none of these critics are able to back up any of these claims with actual facts.
Doing science is all about facts. If you disagree with a particular scientific study, you challenge it on a factual basis and point out exactly where it is flawed. There is a well-established method of doing this, which is to ask the journal involved to print a response to the original article. Normally the paper’s authors would of course have a right of reply. That is the way facts are established. Simply to demand that the journal withdraws the paper is the worst sort of censorship.
Perhaps worst of all is the fact that the attack on this study was led by Richard Betts, Head of Climate Impacts Research at the UK Met Office. As an employee of a taxpayer-funded agency, Betts has more obligation than most to be unbiased and open-minded.
He and his supporters may disagree with the European Physical Journal Plus paper: that is their prerogative. But they need to present facts instead of trying to force the journal into withdrawing the paper.