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Dr David Evans: born-again ‘alarmist’?

A few weeks ago, self-proclaimed “rocket scientist”, Dr David Evans, wrote an Opinion Editorial in The Australian, which was widely circulated across various email distribution lists (I got send the link a couple of times, asking whether what he was saying was valid. I passed them on to these two pieces from Deltoid). But it spawned a life of its own in the non-greenhouse theorist blogosphere, and also drummed up strong support among other Op Ed writers, which have also been thoroughly dissected.

In particular, Dr Evans made some very strong statements about the robustness of climate science, including the claim that there was a missing hotspot in the tropical atmosphere, which therefore invalidated the greenhouse theory (and therefore presumably required the development of a new branch of physics). For instance, Dr Evans said:

If there is no hot spot then an increased greenhouse effect is not the cause of global warming. So we know for sure that carbon emissions are not a significant cause of the global warming. If we had found the greenhouse signature then I would be an alarmist again.

However, Dr Evans must have been unaware that: (1) the hotspot was not a signature of the greenhouse effect – it is a signature of warming from any source, and (2) that the hotspot is not actually missing

The hotspot is there!
The hotspot is there! (see post #137 here for more details: http://www.realclimate.org/index.php/archives/2008/07/aerosols-chemistry-and-climate/)

Despite this revelation and other careful countering of his claims, Dr Evans chose to simply ignore these corrections and repeat himself on ABC 891 radio in Adelaide. This led me to a point-by-point explanation, on the same radio show, the next week, describing where Dr Evans was in error. Both interviews are podcast here for audio download.

Surely then, Dr Evans must now, in his words, once again “be an alarmist again instead of a skeptic” (apparently there is no middle ground). No? Unsurprisingly, he deploys the standard non-greenhouse theorist approach of yet again blithely ignoring any refutation and simply repeating the exactly the same arguments again in a third forum. So, yet again, a climate scientist had to patiently refute this.

Perhaps Dr Evans doesn’t understand that whilst everyone is entitled to their own opinion, they are not entitled to their own facts.

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By Barry Brook

Barry Brook is an ARC Laureate Fellow and Chair of Environmental Sustainability at the University of Tasmania. He researches global change, ecology and energy.

114 replies on “Dr David Evans: born-again ‘alarmist’?”

If global warming is real then it stands to reason that all nations should at the very least look into plans for coastal evacuations and updating and maintaining storm warning systems to be able to adequately warn of impending storms due to warming oceans, much as we have now and at least have a contingency plan for taking care of the masses. If however climate change is just not standing up to scientific debate then what. I have worked in the coal fired power generating industry for 14 yrs and I can safely say that these places are not the pinnacle of industrial cleanliness. I hope that we can agree that there is a better way than coal, oil and natural gas. With the intellect that you men have it seems to me that while you may disagree about wether or not global warming is real you can surely agree that to look to nature and harvest the energy of the sun is something that everyone should be able to agree on. Coal receives billions in tax incentives to off set its cost and this is not propaganda, this information comes straight from the DOE. If not solar then maybe something else, just don’t throw the momentum of unseating coal out the window, please believe me when I say these places are horrible and the mark that they are leaving on our world is just that horrible. Please debate climate change until the cows come home, it seems to be a hot topic, just please remind people that wether or not this issue has real merit it is still smart to do whatever it takes to conserve energy. I think its safe to say no matter what you do to protect our economy we are hell bent on having more than we need or can pay for, so you might as well be moving toward energy independence and if you think Jesus won’t stand behind that i’ll eat my own hat.

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“The bottom line is that the observations may well be closer to the model data than preliminary analyses suggested but that the structural uncertainty remains high. Coming to dramatic conclusions based on any of this remains unwise.

and

“The new analysis adds to the growing body of evidence suggesting that these discrepancies are most likely the result of inaccuracies in the observed temperature record rather than fundamental model errors.”
http://www.realclimate.org/ 8th Dec 2009

Climategate over and over again.

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Perhaps, this Dr. David Evans is genuine but he needs to get his views published in at least an International peer-reviewed conference and later into a scientific journal. Without, this his ideas can be crap.

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(Comment deleted. BNC no longer posts or discusses denialist arguments against the scientific consensus on AGW/CC.)

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(Comment deleted. BNC no longer posts or discusses denialists arguments on the scientific consensus of AGW/CC. Please check the Comments Policy on the About page before commenting again.)

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(Comment deleted)
MODERATOR
BNC no longer posts or comments on climate change scepticism.See BNC Comments Policy on the About page.

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BNC no longer posts or discusses comments denying the scientific consensus of AGW/CC. Please check the Comments Policy on the About page for further information.

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I just wanted to confirm that the hot spot exists. This has been shown in a number of recent satellite analyses, weather balloon analyses, and temperature re-analyses. In fact, that hot spot has been found since at least 2004. Here’s a run-down of some of the relevant papers that found the hot spot, along with the data sources these papers used:

In satellite data:
#1 : “Contribution of stratospheric cooling to satellite-inferred tropospheric temperature trends”
#2 : “Temperature trends at the surface and in the troposphere”
#3 : “Removing diurnal cycle contamination in satellite-derived tropospheric temperatures: understanding tropical tropospheric trend discrepancies”, table 4
#4 : “Comparing tropospheric warming in climate models and satellite data”, figure 9B

In radiosonde (weather balloon) data:
#5 : “Internal variability in simulated and observed tropical tropospheric temperature trends”, figures 2c and 4c
#6 : “Atmospheric changes through 2012 as shown by iteratively homogenized radiosonde temperature and wind data (IUKv2)”, figure 1 and 2
#7 : “New estimates of tropical mean temperature trend profiles from zonal mean historical radiosonde and pilot balloon wind shear observations”, figure 9
#8 : “Reexamining the warming in the tropical upper troposphere: Models versus radiosonde observations”, figure 3 and table 1

In re-analyses:
#9 : “Detection and analysis of an amplified warming of the Sahara Desert”, figure 7
#10 : “Westward shift of western North Pacific tropical cyclogenesis”, figure 4b
#11 : “Influence of tropical tropopause layer cooling on Atlantic hurricane activity”, figure 4
#12 : “Estimating low-frequency variability and trends in atmospheric temperature using ERA-Interim”, figure 23 and page 351

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