Websites With Climate Change Discussions
All four websites reviewed in the current paper are united by a common topic of climate change. Thus, the first article under consideration is entitled “Ross McKitrick’s Presentation to FOS” and was posted by Anothony Watts on the website “Watts Up With That?” that boasts of being the best source of information about climate change and global warming. This source focuses on the presentation of Dr. Ross McKitrick during the annual luncheon of the Friends of Science in Calgary in 2014. The main thesis of the presentation is that currently used climate models seem to be highly inaccurate and not sensitive to CO2 emissions with a tendency to overstate their effects on global warming (Watts, “Ross McKitrick’s Presentation to FOS”). Besides, none of the current climate models can explain the recent pause in the global warming that has already lasted for 16 years and is predicted to last further; that is why greenhouse gases emission policies fail to reflect the reality and should be modified. The article contains an embedded video of the presentation, as well as links to the meeting agenda and PowerPoint presentation of Dr. McKitrick that offers a lot of graphs and schemas to prove his point and present evidence that global warming supporters have no justified reason to claim that this trend continues at an alarming rate. Overall, the article and video have been enlightening since they suggest not merely a populist statement that global warming has stopped, but on the contrary analyze the situation relating to climate change from the diachronic perspective and try to ground bold assumptions in solid data. I have enjoyed tremendously watching the video and though I may not fully understand all the graphs, I realize that they are convincing and scientific as well asthat Dr. McKitrick is right in his assumptions that current climate models and policies have to be revised and improved.
The second article under review is entitled “The Yamal Deception” and was published by Andrew Montford at the Bishop Hill blog. This article exposes a long-fought battle between Keith Briffa and Steve McIntyre with the latter exposing a fraud and deception in the research of the former, but being ignored for many years till recently. The matter is that Briffa and his colleagues manipulated available data obtained from tree cores so that there would be a hockey stick spike at the end of the 20th century with respect to temperatures (Montford, “The Yamal Deception.”). This was done to prove the conventional idea supported by many climatologists about the global warming tendency. The Yamal data allowed them to do that due to a limited number of analyzed trees and lack of correlation with the region in general (Montford, “The Yamal Deception”). This case would not have been a deception if Briffa had no access to other data or merely had not seen them before. However, McIntyre has proved that Briffa had all available data from the region surrounding the Yamal and even had calculations that refuted the message he had been intending to convey and prove all along. Therefore, he decided to hide these calculations, but thanks to persistence and diligence of McIntyre the deception has recently been uncovered. The article resembles a fascinating detective story full of twists and deceits; however the sad fact is that it concerns real life and data that could have probably had a significant impact on decade-long researches and respective policies. Besides, this source is revealing in terms of how scientists are willing to manipulate data to prove their opinions even if they are wrong and far from the reality.
The above incident has resulted in the so-called “Climategate” affair encompassing the entire field of climatology and related sciences, which is described in detail in the article by Marco Evers, Olaf Stampf, and Gerald Traufetter that is entitled “Climate Catastrophe: A Superstorm for Global Warming Research”. This article published in Spiegel Online International is a revealing account of how the scandal and affair have been developing, resulting investigations, participants’ reactions, and implications for the science and the world in general. Personally, I suppose this article to be a high quality and superb source of information about the current state of climatology and reactions of scholars to fraud allegations since the authors have managed to present a huge amount of information from various perspectives in a concise way. Its key idea is that although many climatologists, including the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change have truly turned out to be deceitful and manipulated with data as to prove some peculiar points about the oncoming global warming catastrophe, this scandal should not become the end of climatology per se (Evans et al., “Climate Catastrophe: A Superstorm for Global Warming Research”). Even sceptics acknowledge that there have been errors and inaccuracies within the field, but the science is important and should merely acknowledge errors, revaluate data, and become more transparent rather than returning to a supposition that environmental protection is unnecessary. The authors emphasize that this field of knowledge is among the most politicized, which may have been a reason of all these manipulations and deceits. Yet its value for the humanity should not be underestimated as it attempts to understand climate process and what the future holds for the planet Earth.
The fourth and final article chosen for the review in this paper is entitled “The Skeptics Case” and is based on the research by Dr. David Evans. It does not refute the fact that the climate really changes, but doubts conventional assumptions and climate models, indicating that the latter are not about science and truth, but more about power and politics (Watts, “The Skeptics Case”). Hence, the article presents graphs and calculations of climate skeptics that prove unsubstantiated nature of traditional climatologists’ disastrous predictions. The worst case scenario offered by skeptics does not coincide even with the best one of classical climate models. However, the reality has failed to prove predictions and calculations of the latter from the 1980s and afterwards, thus proving their completely flawed character. Therefore, the article emphasizes that it is necessary to withdraw politics from climatology and revise old climate models with account for all available data, as well as laws of nature and physics in order to receive an accurate picture. Personally, I agree with the sceptics and find arguments provided in the article very convincing. Besides, I have been impressed with evidence that politics is such an influencing factor in the climatology, which is also proved in this article.
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Withal, all four articles under consideration concerns climate skeptics’ proofs that current climate predictions favoring disastrous outcomes for the humanity are highly exaggerated and inaccurate. since they are based on fabricated and manipulated data and flawed models. Therefore, a review of methods and standards is necessary with a view to producing accurate results and predictions. Besides, it is of utmost importance to make politics and climate studies separate since the former have an immense impact on climatologists’ researches and tends to make them biased and deceitful in many cases.
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