End-of-world warnings are as old as civilization itself. Of the thousands of charlatans who have prophesized end-of-world scenarios over the past thousands of years, none obviously have come true.
So isn’t it only natural that sane people today would be a little, if not very skeptical of new announcements of a coming climate Armegeddon?
A few days ago I posted here how Prof. Dr. Marc Salzmann of the Institute for Meteorology at the University of Leipzig found in a study that “climate change so far has not had an impact on the average global precipitation amount” but that “this could change by the end of this century“. In a nutshell, climate doom gets postponed again!
His results of course point to that the many projections of doom from intense, global-warming fired storms are totally overdone and so, admittedly, I took the opportunity to chide climate science a bit.
My post did catch Salzmann’s attention and it obviously hit a raw nerve. In a comment here, he wrote:
You posted your own translation of a German press release on your website. It says: ‘It is also known that as a consequence of climate change, there are heavy rainfalls more often.’ In other words, the frequency of heavy rain events has already increased. The translation also says that ‘the Arctic is melting, temperature and sea level are rising, and every year a new record is reached with CO2 in the atmosphere’and that ‘precipitation has increased in some regions of the earth, but at the same time it has decreased in others.’ Yet, none of this worries you. Instead you take comfort in the finding that the global mean precipitation has not changed much. But you just hear what you want to hear and see what you want to see. In a few decades from now people like you will probably say that nobody had told them.”
I accept differences, but strange here is that Salzmann exposes some dogmatism he has concerning climate outcomes of the far future. In science everyone knows that dogmatism and excessive certainty concerning specific outcomes in complex, chaotic systems – decades out into the future – has in fact nothing to do with science. It’s crystal-balling. He gives the impression of being sure about a particular outcome for 2050 and beyond, i.e. things are going to get much worse. Nowhere does he mention nature’s cycles.
The other point I found peculiar is that he got emotional, and scolded me for being skeptical of the science and the dire projections of outcomes that are supposed to take place “in a few decades from now“. Salzmann obviously was perturbed that someone would have the audacity to play down the significance of short-term climate data, and ridicule projections decades in the future. For him it’s about faith and belief, and not about science.
Overall my advice is that Salzmann should focus more on his meteorology, first improving 7-day or 10-day forecasts, and leaving the 50-year climate crystal balling alone. In the least, he ought not lash out at those who doubt long-term predictions that greatly resemble religious prophecy.