Miliband and Humphreys in a Muddle
Time for a Basic Science Lesson
When interviewing Ed Miliband on BBC Radio 4 this morning, John Humphreys challenged the Minister about his use of ‘flat earthers’ to describe climate sceptics.
What followed was a ‘comedy of ignorance" where Miliband justified himself with the claim that the basic science was simple and well proven, despite admitting he was no scientist. Meanwhile, Humphreys failed to push the point due to his own lack of scientific knowledge, muttering something about "water vapour feedback effects" which he admitted he didn't understand.
“What a farce,” said ABD climate specialist Paul Biggs. “Miliband is taking an aggressive position in a debate he admits he doesn't understand. His interrogator is no better. It's not hard to comprehend the issues around climate science if you put a little effort in, but our politicians and media seem incapable of doing this. Let the ABD help!”
Miliband got one thing nearly right — the only important question is whether mankind's emissions of carbon dioxide has caused some or all of the 0.7 degree warming. But in his ignorance, he regarded this as obvious given the basic physics of the greenhouse effect.
“If it was this obvious, then the IPCC would know exactly how much hotter the world would get as CO2 levels rose,” continued Biggs. “Humphreys should have asked why the IPCC quote a range of possible warming from 1.1 to 6.4 degrees — clearly the link between CO2 and warming isn't so readily predictable. Next time, John.”
The reason for this is feedback effects, which are simple enough to understand but very hard to measure. Let's look at Ed Miliband's basic physics. If you warm up the air near the surface of the ocean through the greenhouse effect you will get more water evaporating. Water itself is a greenhouse gas, and the more extreme of the IPCC's theoretical projections depend on water ‘multiplying’ the effect of CO₂ in this way.
However, more water vapour means more clouds, and, as we all know, clouds have a big effect on surface temperatures — when it's cloudy it's much cooler when the sun is shining but much warmer at night. The IPCC in their summary for policymakers admit that they don't understand and can't yet predict the effect of clouds on their warming projections (Page 12).
“That wasn't so hard, was it,” concludes Biggs. “Massive uncertainly around the effect of CO₂ on global temperatures and no solid answers from the alarmists. Why can't someone put these simple points to them on air so we can hear their answers?”
Watch this space for more on the Government's misrepresentation of climate science....