Lukewarming – A Consensus on Global Warming?

I have blogged on global warming in Jan 2016 and continue to follow the subject with interest. So I was very interested to hear what Viscount Ridley had top say in his lecture to The Royal Society on 17th October. The full text is here, and I strongly encourage you to real all of it.

The central thesis of his talk is that Global Warming can be real but not dangerous, saying:

Suppose they do indeed experience carbon dioxide levels of 600 parts per million or more, but do not experience dangerous global warming, or more extreme weather, just a mild and decelerating increase in global average temperatures, especially at high latitudes, at night and in winter, accompanied by spectacular global greening and less water stress for both people and crops.

He does not even mention “the pause” in global warming – no increase in global temperatures from 1998 to 2016. Instead he says:

I am not claiming that carbon dioxide is not a greenhouse gas; it is.

I am not saying that its concentration in the atmosphere is not increasing; it is.

I am not saying the main cause of that increase is not the burning of fossil fuels; it is.

I am not saying the climate does not change; it does.

I am not saying that the atmosphere is not warmer today than it was 50 or 100 years ago; it is.

And I am not saying that carbon dioxide emissions are not likely to have caused some (probably more than half) of the warming since 1950.

The implications for energy policy are huge.

Also, I was delighted to find a piece of relevant science that was completely new to me. CO2 is proposed to have a direct effect and an indirect effect in raising global temperatures. Matt Ridley accepts the former and reject the latter. There is supposed to be threefold amplification of carbon dioxide’s warming potential, principally by extra water vapour released into the atmosphere by a warming ocean, and accumulating at high altitudes. However, NASA’s CERES data shows that there is a strong and significant, negative correlation: that higher temperatures lead to more cloud cooling.

There is so much more in this article, and I hope you will take the time to read it.