American Association for the Advancement of Science forgets the Science

The American Association for the Advancement of Science (AAAS) and affiliated professional societies just shot themselves in the foot with the letter to U.S. policy makers. Dr. Judith Curry explains on her blog why this is both foolish and unscientific.

AAAS say: “In a consensus letter to U.S. policymakers, a partnership of 31 leading nonpartisan scientific societies today reaffirmed the reality of human-caused climate change, noting that greenhouse gas emissions ‘must be substantially reduced’ to minimize negative impacts on the global economy, natural resources, and human health.”

Curry counters: This statement is a blatant misuse of scientific authority to advocate for specific socioeconomic policies. National security and economics (specifically called out in the letter) is well outside the wheelhouse of all of these organizations. Note the American Economics Association is not among the signatories; according to an email from Ross McKitrick, the constitution of the AEA forbids issuing such statements. In fact, climate science is well outside the wheelhouse of most of these organizations (what the heck is with the statisticians and mathematicians in signing this?)

The link between adverse impacts such as more wildfires, ecosystem changes, extreme weather events etc. and their mitigation by reducing greenhouse gas emissions hinges on detecting unusual events for at least the past century and then actually attributing them to human caused warming. This is highly uncertain territory – even within the overconfident world of the IPCC. And the majority of the signatories to this letter have no expertise in the detection and attribution of human caused climate change.

The signatories whose membership has some expertise on the detection and attribution of climate change are only a few: American Geophysical Union, American Meteorological Society, University Corporation for Atmospheric Research, Geological Society of America. The rest are professional societies who are not involved with the physics of climate but explicitly profit from the alarm.

Interestingly, since January 2014, 770 peer-reviewed scientific papers have been published in scholarly journals that how unsettled the “consensus” science is regarding claims that anthropogenic or CO2 forcing dominates weather and climate changes, or that non-anthropogenic factors play only a relatively minor and inconsequential role.

Instead of supporting the “consensus” science, these 770 papers support the position that there are significant limitations and uncertainties apparent in climate modeling and the predictions of future climate catastrophes. Furthermore, these scientific papers strongly suggest that natural factors (the Sun, multi-decadal ocean oscillations [AMO/PDO, ENSO], cloud and aerosol albedo variations, etc.) have both in the past and present exerted a significant influence on weather and climate, which means an anthropogenic signal may be much more difficult to detect or distinguish as an “extremely likely” cause relative to natural variation. Papers questioning the “common-knowledge” viewpoints on ocean acidification, glacier melt and advance, sea level rise, extreme weather events, past climate forcing mechanisms, the “danger” of high CO2 concentrations, etc., have also been included in this volume of 770 papers. (Source)

In 2014, there were almost 250 papers that may support a skeptical-of-the-consensus position. see here.

In 2015, there were over 280 papers that may support a skeptical-of-the-consensus position, see here.

240 papers already in 2016

Now updated for the first 6 months of 2016, a review of the literature has already uncovered a list of 240 papers published in peer-reviewed scholarly journals that support a skeptical-of-the-consensus position, see here.

UPDATE 07-21-16:
The latest ”Consensus” Letter on Climate Change, allegedly signed by leaders of 31 scientific organizations and published on the websites of the AAAS, AGU, AMS, and others, appears to be a forgery. The letter consists of few sentences of alarmist “content” (which is beyond the scope of this paper) and the names of 31 organizations, printed at the end of the letter and having the appearance of signatures. The press release and the accompanying article , published on June 28,
2016, stated that the letter was signed by all 31 named organizations. In fact, some of the listed scientific societies did not sign the letter prior to its publication, and their alleged signatures on the letter were forged. This forgery was revealed by some routine fact-checking the author conducted, which this paper details. See analysis by Ari Halperin.