Hans von Storch: “Serious Problem” For Climate Research If Temperature Doesn’t Change In The Next 5 – 6 Years!

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Von StorchThe print edition of Spiegel today has an interview with Prof Hans von Storch, the outspoken leading climate scientist often aims criticism at both sides of the climate debate.

Not that von Storch is sort of a provocateur, rather he only speaks his mind, which at times for some means a message they’d prefer not to hear. He has something for both sides today, but moreso for the alarmists.

What follows are some excerpts that appear at von Storch’s Klimazwiebel site on the Spiegel interview and from the interview itself.

Less climate hysteria today

On the climate aspects of the flooding that has just occurred in Germany, HvStorch:

In my view the climate hysteria has decreased. There are still people who with every natural catastrophe are ritually calling out: ‘You see, it’s climate change’s fault!’ But indeed many more people are talking about the real causes of the flooding, like covering the ground with asphalt and concrete and the disappearance of natural flood plains. That’s good.”

Models facing a serious problem

On the current temperature stagnation while CO2 is rising, Klimazwiebel quotes HvStorch: “We face a puzzling problem. Only 2% of the models foresaw this, and if nothing changes in the next 5 to 6 years, research will be faced with a serious problem as not a single model projected that.”

SPIEGEL asks:  “That’s pretty dismal for your colleagues when they have to go back to the drawing board to adjust the models to fit reality…”

HvStorch: “Why? That’s how the process of science works. In science, also in climate science, there is no last word. We never deliver the truth. Rather we deliver the closest approximation of reality. It’s just that this often gets forgotten in the public perception and communication.”

HvStorch adds, “the mistake is that science often produces the impression that it is the keeper of the truth.”

Expect more surprises

Later in the Spiegel interview, HvStorch also believes that the global temperature will eventually resume its rise and may even exceed 2°C, depending on how emissions develop. He thinks so because that is what his instincts tell him, he says. He elaborates further:

Other climate scientists probably have another instinct. Our models do make lots of assumptions that are highly subjective. You can calmly expect more surprises.”

Ocean acidification makes HvS nervous

When asked about his fears on the consequences of climate change, HvStorch replies:

The possible acidification of the oceans from CO2 in the atmosphere. For me that is a phenomenon that is really scary – maybe because I understand too little about it. If marine life was no longer able to adequately form shells and skeletons, that would disrupt the marine food chain. That indeed makes me nervous.”

Photo source: http:institute/coastalresearch.en.

 

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30 responses to “Hans von Storch: “Serious Problem” For Climate Research If Temperature Doesn’t Change In The Next 5 – 6 Years!”

  1. Juergen Uhlemann

    That’s still not enough for the 30 year requirement of the climate science.
    Fingers crossed and in 5-6 years we might see, at least, some climate scientists with red face. I can only wish 😉

  2. Mindert Eiting

    His first remark makes sense. Next, “We face a puzzling problem. Only 2% of the models foresaw this, and if nothing changes in the next 5 to 6 years, research will be faced with a serious problem as not a single model projected that.”

    That means that he wants a zero Type 2 error rate. He admits that the error rate is two percent. Nothing puzzling. Because in significance testing the Type 1 rate is five percent, it’s over: the model concept is falsified. I keep repeating this. It is a basic chapter of inferential statistics that is kept closed by the alarmists.

  3. DirkH

    His instinct tells him temps are gonna rise by 2 deg C? Now that’s scientific.

    “HvStorch: “Why? That’s how the process of science works. In science, also in climate science, there is no last word. We never deliver the truth. Rather we deliver the closest approximation of reality. It’s just that this often gets forgotten in the public perception and communication.”

    HvStorch adds, “the mistake is that science often produces the impression that it is the keeper of the truth.””

    Has this government scientist forgotten that the very purpose of the IPCC, populated by people like him is exactly to produce said alarmist impression? And that the summary for policymakers has in one instance been rewritten by his colleague Santer? Oh, we got the impression they mean it, and now it’s our fault?

    Adding insult to injury. Live off taxpayer money and then call them stupid.

    1. goldminor

      Right, he conveniently overlooks that the current government policy of many nations around the world are being influenced by the 98% of bad models. I can understand how you would add to a model over time to improve the ability of the model to forecast, but when your models show such far away from the mark values, using those models in realtime is not justified.

  4. Harry Dale Huffman

    This is just another form of avoidance behavior, from just another climate scientist who refuses to face the fact that the basic climate physics is not just “unsettled” or “exaggerated”, nor even just wrong, but incompetent. At this point, I am not assured that their measurement of the “global mean surface temperature” is what they say it is (and there appears to be clear ongoing fraud in the US temperature record).

  5. Fred Colbourne

    Some of these comments are unfair to von Storch. He is one of the least dogmatic of all scientists who comment on climate change.

  6. John F. Hultquist

    “The possible acidification of the oceans from CO2 in the atmosphere. For me that is a phenomenon that is really scary – maybe because I understand too little about it. ”

    About 3 years ago I spent several hours searching for and reading a dozen articles on the pH of ocean water. HvS should do the same. That he has not makes me question his instincts and his qualifications for commenting on the topic. Perhaps he is Paul Ehrlich’s twin?

  7. Peter Wilson

    “Only 2% of the models foresaw this”

    So is there any reason for not discarding the 98% of models that have been falsified by observations?

    Remember we have been told by the IPCC that the reason we should accept that CO2 is driving warming is that these models will not reproduce recent warming without including the co2 increase. We have further been assured that the reason we can have confidence in the models is that they can accurately hindcast temperature evolution over the past century.

    In light of the admitted fact that most of these models are completely wrong, where does that leave these lines of argument?

  8. PeterF

    “…acidification of the oceans from CO2 in the atmosphere. For me that is a phenomenon that is really scary”

    Is he moving on to the next scaremongering topic? How inconvenient then, that a paper gets published, showing “…the oceans are a net source of CO2 “, i.e. the oceans are not acidifying, but alkalizing (if that is the word, pH moves to more alkaline values away from acid) here on Hockey Schtick: http://hockeyschtick.blogspot.de/2013/06/new-paper-finds-oceans-are-net-source.html

  9. stephen richards

    P Gosselin
    17. Juni 2013 at 21:40 | Permalink | Reply

    But it’s enough to test the models. Yes, there are going to be lots of red faces. I expect the temperature to change, but not in the direction most people think.

    Pierre, the models are already tested. If only 2% projected the current pause/plunge that’s no better than a bad guess and we have paid billions for that guess.

  10. Willy Wacker

    They have been lying the last 20 years, so you guys really think it is a problem for them to lie 10 more years?

  11. BobW in NC

    “…acidification of the oceans from CO2 in the atmosphere.”

    For something like this, my biology backgroound takes over…

    CO2, when dissolved, forms carbonic acid, a very weak acid.

    I have heard (but cannot confirm) that ocean pH is generally taken to be ~8.1, slightly on the alkaline side, and that the increase in atmospheric CO2 has reduced that by 0.1 units to 8.0, still well on the alkaline side. Moreover, sea life is supposed to have relatively good tolerance for pHs in the range of 7.5–8.5. Further, the ocean is supposed to be a very good buffering system, so minor changes would be difficult to achieve with minor amounts of carbonic acid. [Caveat: these are only assertions I have heard and cannot verify, which is frustrating. Any corrections would be greatly apprediated!]

    So, to those who claim anthropogenic (!) CO2 is “acidifying” the oceans, where are the observed data to support that claim? More importantly, how much CO2 would have to dissolve in the oceans to achieve a shift of pH of >1.5 units for the oceans to actually become acidic (e.g., in the 6.5 range or lower)? Given that the aqueous solubility of CO2 (and other gasses) is temperature (and pressure) dependent, would not this shift be found in colder Arctic or Antarctic waters, but certainly not in warmer equatorial waters on coral reefs as claimed?

    To those who support the assertion of CO2 increases as a driver of global warming leading to ocean acidification, please help me. Maybe I’m just confused.

    1. John F. Hultquist

      I had a bunch of chemistry classes in the 1960-65 era. Not much biology. When I encountered this “acidification of the oceans” story my reaction was something like yours – that can’t be right, can it? That’s why (as mentioned in my comment above) I went searching for articles on the issue. While the subject is complicated (especially by many local episodes), your recollections seem correct. 97% of folks have no idea of the concept of “buffering.” Okay, I just made that number up – more likely it is closer to 98.9%. Those that promote the acidification of the oceans scare are most surprised that many hard shell organisms inhabit slightly acidic freshwater environments. Told that, they sputter and mumble. Anyway, check out the topic. You will find some very interesting material.

  12. Jimbo

    Hans von Storch
    The possible acidification of the oceans from CO2 in the atmosphere. For me that is a phenomenon that is really scary – maybe because I understand too little about it. If marine life was no longer able to adequately form shells and skeletons, that would disrupt the marine food chain. That indeed makes me nervous.”

    Yeah, it makes me nervous too. Specific locations in the ocean vary regularly by a whopping 1.4 pH. Acidification is part of ocean life. Hans von Storch needs to get his feet wet more often. 🙂 Ocean acidification will actually NEVER happen, the oceans will always be alkaline.

    “New paper unexpectedly finds CO2 and ‘acidification’ dramatically improved fish reproduction ”
    http://hockeyschtick.blogspot.com/2013/05/new-paper-unexpectedly-finds-co2-and.html

    “In CO2-rich Environment, Some Ocean Dwellers Increase Shell Production”
    http://www.whoi.edu/page.do?pid=7545&tid=3622&cid=63809

    “Scripps blockbuster: Ocean acidification happens all the time — naturally”
    http://joannenova.com.au/2012/01/scripps-blockbuster-ocean-acidification-happens-all-the-time-naturally/

    1. DirkH

      Thanks for the links. The last one really destroys it.

  13. Jimbo

    Hans von Storch must have missed adaptation. Isn’t that why sea life survived when atmospheric co2 has been 3 or 4 times higher than today?

    Natural variation and the capacity to adapt to ocean acidification in the keystone sea urchin Strongylocentrotus purpuratus

    …However, nearly all of this work has focused on the effects of future conditions on modern populations, neglecting the role of adaptation…..These results suggest that spatially varying selection may help to maintain genetic variation necessary for adaptation to future ocean acidification.
    http://onlinelibrary.wiley.com/doi/10.1111/gcb.12251/abstract

  14. Vier redenen voor 100% duurzame bioenergie bij 1000ppm CO2 - Climategate.nl

    […] op aarde gehouden want letterlijk aarde omspannend: stijgende CO2 bij een inslapende zon. Volgens Hans von Storch en onze eigen Bas van Geel (zie actueel Elsevier) weten we bij aanhoudend stijgende […]

  15. Yoron
  16. Yoron

    Here are some of the evidence collected, of Anthropogenic (made by man) CO2, stored in ocean sinks.
    http://www.pmel.noaa.gov/pubs/outstand/sabi2683/sabi2683.shtml

    I think NOA is doing invaluable work there, assembling information and research from all over the world.

    And here is about the Notth Atlantic. Not as easy to digest, from 2012.
    “Detecting anthropogenic carbon dioxide uptake and ocean acidification in the North Atlantic Ocean” http://www.biogeosciences.net/9/2509/2012/bg-9-2509-2012.pdf

    If you read the the abstract it says “Here, we show the longest continuous record of ocean CO2 changes and ocean acidification in the North Atlantic subtropical gyre near Bermuda from 1983–2011.”

    1983 to 2011 right? A lot of the science made is new, some records are a lot older, as those showing the impact of the industrial revolution on our environment. There we have around 250 to 300 years of data available, but when it comes to measuring acidification the statistics are fairly new. Climate is a fairly new science as a whole, and as inall types of science there are no set truths, only what we know at that moment. We do know that global warming is here, what we don’t know yet is how the planet, animal and marine life, ecology and oceans, will act and react. No one is stupid enough to demand a TOE from physics, but when it comes to climate science all seem to expect it?

    Quite weird.

  17. Yoron

    Here are some of the evidence collected, of Anthropogenic (made by man) CO2, stored in ocean sinks. http://www.pmel.noaa.gov/pubs/outstand/sabi2683/sabi2683.shtml personally I think NOA is doing invaluable work there, assembling information and research from all over the world.

    And here is about the Notth Atlantic. Not as easy to digest, from 2012. “Detecting anthropogenic carbon dioxide uptake and ocean acidification in the North Atlantic Ocean” http://www.biogeosciences.net/9/2509/2012/bg-9-2509-2012.pdf

    If you read the the abstract it says “Here, we show the longest continuous record of ocean CO2 changes and ocean acidification in the North Atlantic subtropical gyre near Bermuda from 1983–2011.”

    1983 to 2011, right? A lot of the science made is new, some records are a lot older, as those showing the impact of the industrial revolution on our environment. There we have around 250 to 300 years of data (statistics) available, but when it comes to measuring acidification most statistics are fairly new.

    Climate is a fairly new science as a whole, and, as in all types of science, there are no set truths, only what we know at that moment. We do know that global warming is here, what we don’t know yet is how the planet, animal and marine life, ecology and oceans, will act and react. No one is stupid enough to demand a TOE from physics, but when it comes to climate science all seems to expect it?

    Quite weird.

    1. DirkH

      Well I sure don’t demand a toe from a physicist. What a bizarre idea. What are you, a cannibal?

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