Scientists Advocate Climate Realism at Heartland Institute’s ICCC-8

Published January 15, 2013

The scientific method prevailed against shoddy science as The Heartland Institute hosted its Eighth International Conference on Climate Change, Nov. 30 and Dec. 1 in Munich, Germany. 

The European Institute for Climate and Energy (known by its German acronym, EIKE) co-hosted the conference, which attracted nearly 200 attendees and continued ongoing global momentum in favor of sound science and against factually unsupported alarmism.

Nature Driving Temperatures

American atmospheric physicist S. Fred Singer explained how natural variance accounts for most of the global warming of the past century. Presenting objective data of temperature changes in the lower atmosphere, Singer demonstrated United Nations Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) computer models predicting substantial global warming are failing to accurately reproduce real-world temperatures.

The best available real-world data, Singer explained, show humans are having little influence on global temperatures.

Sea Level Claims Debunked

Nils-Axel Morner, former head of the Paleogeophysics and Geodynamics Department at Stockholm University, documented a dramatic deceleration of sea level rise during the past 40 years. Morner showed global sea level has risen minimally since 1973 and most of the sea level rise asserted by global warming alarmists is produced by data adjustments, not real-world sea level measurements.

Role of Cosmic Rays

Nir Shaviv, professor of astrophysics at the Hebrew University of Jerusalem, showed how cosmic rays likely account for much recent global warming. Scientists have documented how cosmic rays seed cloud formation in the earth’s atmosphere. When the sun is undergoing periods of increased solar output, cosmic rays are more efficiently blocked from reaching the earth’s atmosphere. The resulting decrease in cloudiness enables the sun to more efficiently warm the earth.

Shaviv showed how global warming alarmists are ignoring the impact of solar variance and cosmic rays on the earth’s climate, and are therefore erroneously assigning too much recent warming to carbon dioxide rather than enhanced solar output.

IPCC Incompetence, Bias

Investigative journalist Donna Laframboise documented a pervasive lack of expertise and rampant bias among IPCC participants. Laframboise identified several persons who are IPCC lead authors despite not having a Ph.D. or a Master’s degree in their asserted area of expertise. Invariably, these unqualified lead authors are global warming alarmists, while more qualified “skeptics” are not invited to participate in the IPCC process.

Similarly, Laframboise showed IPCC frequently defies its own standards for peer review in order to misleadingly present non-peer-reviewed materials as compelling scientific evidence. Laframboise documented approximately 30 percent of IPCC citations are to non-peer-reviewed materials, even though IPCC claims it only considers peer-reviewed studies. Nearly half the chapters in IPCC’s most recent assessment report (21 out of 44 chapters) cited peer-reviewed materials less than 60 percent of the time. Many of these citations were to advocacy papers authored by environmental activist groups.

Laframboise created a stir among the audience by documenting a glaring lack of objectivity among IPCC lead authors. Laframboise showed how staffers from environmental activist groups such as Greenpeace and the World Wildlife Fund (WWF) have editorial control over IPCC reports. One IPCC lead author, Laframboise observed, is currently running for political office in Canada, representing the Green Party.

Modest, Beneficial Warming

The conference’s central theme was the scientific evidence is woefully short of supporting alarmist assertions that humans are causing a global warming crisis. To the extent the scientific evidence leads to a particular conclusion in the global warming debate, it is that humans are modestly enhancing a natural warming cycle that fortunately rescued the planet from the depths of the Little Ice Age.

Several scientists pointed out that during most of the past 10,000 years, the time period since the last full-blown ice age glaciation ended, global temperatures were warmer than today. Global warming may be occurring, the scientist noted, but global temperatures are far from surpassing the warmth experienced for much of the past 10,000 years.

The scientists documented how warming and cooling spells, many of which were more dramatic than our recent warming, have always occurred during the earth’s history. The mere fact that our present-day climate shows a “climate change” of modest warming is far from unusual. 

ICCC-9 in 2013?

“This conference shows that a growing number of people are challenging global warming alarmism even here in Germany, where alarmism is most deeply entrenched,” Wolfgang Müller, the EIKE point person for the conference, told Environment & Climate News. “Every year the conference grows in size and political impact. The government hates us for it.”

Müller encouraged The Heartland Institute to work with EIKE to present another International Conference on Climate Change in Europe during 2013.

James M. Taylor ([email protected]) is managing editor of Environment & Climate News.