The article puts what sounds like spin on a lot of quotes, and claims that Dr. Phil Jones, at the heart of the so-called climategate controversy, is "finished."
What magazine has the right to condemn that way?
After all, he was exonerated this week by a report commissioned by the House of Commons, which concluded:
The report states that “the focus on CRU and Professor Phil Jones,
Director of CRU, in particular, has largely been misplaced,” and that
Dr. Jones’s actions were “in line with common practice in the climate
science community,” and the CRU’s “analyses have been repeated and the
conclusions have been verified.” [my emphasis]
In other words, the consensus stands.
But for the sake of argument, let's assume that Jones is a villain, and well-known skeptic McIntryre a hero, and believe every grain of salt the piece attempts to throw on the consensus.
Still, if you read it, it's a fact that in the end it stands behind the reality of global warming. Yes, there will be winners as well as losers, and northern Germany might stand to benefit in some ways…just as Southern California will lose in a lot of ways. But that doesn't change the big picture.
Despite the controversy, most climatologists agree that in the end the
general view of climate change will not have changed significantly.
Almost all share the basic conviction that we are headed for warmer
Meanwhile, satellite observations indicate that the rate at which the
ice is melting has increased. Glaciologists speculate that parts of the
Western Antarctic and, to a greater extent, Greenland, are melting more
quickly than initially assumed.
But many scientists are reluctant to make new predictions, because
the inner processes in the gigantic ice caps remain insufficiently
understood. Reliable data on the behavior of calving glaciers has only
existed for about 10 years. Greenland's glaciers are currently spitting a
particularly large amount of ice into the ocean.
Nevertheless, a clear trend is emerging in most simulations. "In places
where it already rains a lot today, it will rain even more," says Erich
Roeckner, a veteran climatologist who has spent years simulating changes
in precipitation in a warmer climate. "And where it's dry today, it'll
be even drier in the future."
It will become more arid, however, in many subtropical regions.
Industrialized nations, which bear the greatest culpability for global
warming, will be most heavily affected. The new drought zones will
probably lie in the southern United States and Australia, as well as in
South Africa. In Europe, Mediterranean countries like Spain, Italy and
Greece will struggle with even drier climates than they already have
Since the first rough estimate was made, many other good reasons have
emerged to support the two-degree target, says Schellnhuber. At the
same time, however, the constant appearance of new studies has also made
the picture significantly more complex.
Coral reefs, for example, could already be doomed if the oceans heat
up by 1.5 degrees Celsius.
“Two degrees is not a magical limit — it’s clearly a political goal,”
says Hans Joachim Schellnhuber, director of the Potsdam Institute for
Climate Impact Research (PIK). “The world will not come to an end right
away in the event of stronger warming, nor are we definitely saved if
warming is not as significant. The reality, of course, is much more
Catch that second-to-last sentence? The two degrees Celsius limit could be too high to save us?
Is this not what James Hansen has been saying, and what the 350.org climate change activism group have been advocating for — not merely an upper boundary on CO2, but a reduction of CO2 in the atmosphere?
Perhaps the world will survive a 2C warming without trauma. Perhaps not. Perhaps we should prepare?
That's what those who are concerned about global warming want — global action to make the best of a big change, to increase resilience, and limit our chances of disaster. And that's what deniers refuse to admit: It's a problem.
In the end, there's none so blind as those who will not see global warming.
[In a perhaps vain attempt to open some eyes, the piece includes a picture of Venice, one of many cities around the world — including New York — that will be stressed by the expected rise in sea level and the inevitably stronger storm surges that will result.]