Following a 15 minute presentation each by Mann and Ekwurzel, the audience was allowed to ask questions by writing them down on index cards. No verbal questions were permitted from the audience. My question was the only "skeptical" question from the audience of about 150 mostly elderly academics & a few UCLA students, and was directed to Dr. Ekwurzel by the moderator:
Q: Why does satellite data show that global warming has stopped or "paused" for more than 18 years, despite climate models predicting continued warming from increased CO2?The UCS chief of climate science education, Dr. Ekwurzel, answered the question by denying that there was any "pause" of global warming, falsely claiming that the reason satellite data shows no warming for the last 18 years is that "things were forgotten when the early satellite data was collected," and that after these "forgotten" things were corrected, the satellite data allegedly shows no pause in warming. She claimed that these "forgotten things" included not distinguishing temperatures collected at night vs. daytime, degradation of the sensors on the satellites, and degradation of satellite orbits.
This is blatantly false information. The fact is both the RSS and UAH satellite datasets have corrected for all of these not-forgotten things, and after all of these corrections, still show a clear "pause" of zero warming for 18+ years. The satellites are equipped with laboratory-calibrated platinum resistance thermometers, which have demonstrated stability to thousandths of a degree over many years, and which are used to continuously calibrate the satellite instruments once every 8 seconds, and thus provide far more accurate and complete temperature data than surface thermometer data. In addition, there are over 50 papers published in the climate literature acknowledging the "pause" or "hiatus" of global warming and attempting to explain it, but apparently Dr. Ekwurzel hasn't gotten around to reading any of those. As Dr. Judith Curry notes, "pause denial is getting more and more difficult with time."
It was difficult keeping up with the additional litany of misrepresentations from Dr. Ekwurzel's presentation, but here are a few:
- Said she knew AGW was real when she went on an Arctic expedition and saw an area of open water, which she photographed from a helicopter. The ice-free area was only about 1000 feet in diameter, based upon the size of the ship shown in her picture. This proves nothing, and is certainly not unprecedented or unusual in the Arctic.
- Claimed there is "strong evidence" that heat waves, drought, extreme precipitation, and floods have increased from AGW. In fact, there is no such evidence, and much opposing evidence.
- Claimed the California drought is unprecedented and caused by AGW. In fact, California mega-droughts were far worse in the past.
- Claimed recent California fires were caused by AGW. The data instead shows a decrease in wildfires.
- Claimed AGW is causing "higher tree mortality." The data instead shows significant global greening from CO2 and warming.
- Claimed California citizens voted to approve California's cap and trade law. In fact, California bill AB 32 was passed by the legislature and never voted on by California citizens.
- Claimed CO2 lifetime in atmosphere is 800 years. This is slightly higher than the 14 year lifetime proven by the bomb tests.
- Claimed CO2 levels with business as usual will double before 2100. At current business as usual rate of increase of ~2 ppm per year, doubling of CO2 would require 200 years. Although the CO2 level data is very slightly exponential, extrapolation of the slight exponential component still places doubling well beyond 2100.
Esteemed Union of Concerned Scientists member Kenji would not be proud of Dr. Ekwurzel's highly misleading presentation.
The presentations were recorded on video by the UCLA Hammer Museum, and hopefully will be posted on the internet soon.