A CNN article claims feedback responses to rising temperatures caused by rising carbon dioxide concentrations could lead to deadly, permanent changes in Earth’s climate. The article provides no evidence to support this alarming claim as there is no real-world data to back it up. The only climate tipping points that we can be sure exist are in the climate models themselves. While cosmic and natural cyclical patterns have occasionally made dramatic changes throughout history, there is no evidence that carbon dioxide levels are considered the tipping point for such events served.
In the CNN article, “Nearly 30 Dangerous Feedback Loops Could Permanently Change Earth’s Climate, Scientists Say,” says author Laura Paddison, “Dangerous climate feedback loops are amplifying global warming and risking a permanent departure from Earth’s current climate. according to a new study.”
The problem for CNN’s report starts with the title. The source for CNN’s claims is not a “study” but a “commentary” titled “Many Risky Feedback Loops Reinforcing the Need for Climate Action” published in the online-only journal One-Earth, seen in the screenshot is below (author’s yellow emphasis):
First, “comment” is just another word for an opinion piece. Opinions are not science. Second, as confirmed by the editor in the screenshot below, the article didn’t actually do any new science; it produced no new data, no formulas, no methods:
The “Commentary” is nothing more than a compilation of what the authors claim, a list of 27 climate feedback loops that are said to cause dangerous permanent changes in Earth’s climate, listed in Table 1 of the publication.
Reading the article, it becomes clear that it is not an academic article, but an advocacy article. The title itself betrays this fact; “Many risky feedback loops reinforce the need for climate action.”
Here are some other examples of advocacy under the guise of science:
A targeted expansion of research and an accelerated reduction in emissions are required to minimize risk.
As we increasingly view climate change as a series of catastrophes in the short term and a major threat in the long term, many government agencies and scientists around the world have declared a climate emergency.
Based on our compilation of numerous and potentially risky global warming feedback loops, we call for immediate simultaneous changes in both (1) climate research and (2) climate policy that should inform and guide each other strategically.
Transformative and socially just changes in global energy and transportation economies, short-lived air pollution, food production, conservation, and the international economy, and population policies based on education and equality are needed to address this immense problem in both the short-term and the long-term.
The entire article is peppered with such calls-to-action and “equity”-style language. It is long on proposals for action but short on any scholarly discussion or defense of the problematic “feedback loops” that authors claim deserve political action. Instead of proof, the authors commit the logical fallacy of appealing to authority. No data, methods, calculations and formulas are presented to justify claims that dangerous feedback loops exist and that turning points are imminent. Instead, what we have here is a comment from some climate advocates.
Regarding the list of “risky feedback loops,” nothing the commentary mentions is new in and of itself, as these have all been studied by scientists for years, even decades. The list of purported climate feedback loops includes many that have been shown to be unproblematic, such as: B. Ocean circulation, which science cannot even decide whether it will increase or decrease in any given decade. Another reason is sea level rise, which, despite wild claims of acceleration, has actually been unchanged and steady since the 1850s. The acceleration is contradicted by actual data, and is nothing more than an artifact of measurements from different satellite data being combined. The authors also ignore existing data on wildfires to claim that climate change is causing them to become more frequent or more severe. The available data clearly refutes this claim. The list goes on and on as seen in Figure 1 of the One Earth article.
Figure 1. Feedback loop map
Finally, the One-Earth “Commentary” mentions climatic “tipping points” or some variation no fewer than seventeen times. In the final summary, the authors say, “…if the worst-case risks have been underestimated by feedback loops and tipping points, the future of a hospitable planet Earth may be at stake.”
The authors clearly believe that the end of the world is on the near horizon. Perhaps they never got the memo that the worst-case climate models like RCP8.5 have recently proven to be too hot, producing “incredibly hot projections of future warming.” Many of the worst-case feedback scenarios are based on simulations that only exist in climate models and are impossible to obtain in the real world.
Apparently, CNN overlooked all of this, thinking this was real science going on. CNN promoted the clearly labeled “comment” as if it were a scientific study. Additionally, CNN embellished the headline, perhaps to make it more alarming, citing “nearly 30” dangerous feedback loops instead of the 27 identified in the One Earth commentary.
This is a shamelessly incompetent piece of so-called journalism on the part of CNN, but unfortunately incompetence in today’s journalism, particularly when it comes to climate science, seems to be more of a trait than a flaw.
Originally) released on climate realism
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