Piers Forster

Piers Forster, Climate Change Professor at Leeds University, said:

‘The fact that global surface temperatures haven’t risen in the last 15 years, combined with good knowledge of the terms changing climate, make the high estimates unlikely.’ –David Rose, Mail on Sunday, 17 March 2013

Dr [of sport] Benny Peiser would have us believe climate scientists are seeing the error of their ways and concede AGW isn’t actually CAGW. so what is Piers Forster’s stance on climate change? He certainly does not deny that AGW is happening and is serious but his comments can be interpreted by others for their agenda.

The BBC and the Guardian quote IAGP’s Prinicipal Investigator Piers Forster’s reaction to the leaked IPCC report. In his response to the recent posting by a blogger of the WG1 draft report Piers comments,

“Although this may seem like a ‘leak’, the draft IPCC reports are not kept secret and the review process is open…..I think we as scientists need to explore how we can best match the development of measured critical arguments with those of the Twitter generation.”

http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/science-environment-20726355

http://www.guardian.co.uk/environment/2012/dec/14/ipcc-climate-change-report-leaked-online

On the United Bank For Carbon website dedicated to saving rainforest for which Piers is a trustee, it says

He was one of the principal authors of the 2007 United Nations Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) that was a co-recipient of the 2007  Nobel Peace Prize. He is also a lead author for the next IPCC assessment report, due in 2013. He currently leads a large research team, researching various aspects of climate change, principally investigating the multiple causes of climate change and possible climate mitigation strategies.

His research has convinced him that rainforest protection should be the first priority of any successful mitigation strategy. ["]Due to increasing CO2 levels in the atmosphere, rainforests around the world are actually growing more and more vigorously – this increasing growth rate actually removes around a quarter of the CO2 mankind emits every year. Yet we are still deforesting at an alarming rate. Research at Leeds has shown how this deforestation leads to both increased CO2 emissions and widespread climate effects, such as a reduction of rainfall in tropical regions.

Between 1990 and 2005 the world has lost over 10 million hectares of rainforest (an 8% reduction of rainforest area). And this deforestation itself emits more than a billion tonnes of a carbon annually, accounting for around 12% or more of current global carbon dioxide emissions. If we succeeded in stopping all deforestation tomorrow we would instantly cut our global emissions and make sure rainforests can continue protect us from the worst of climate change going into the future.["]

The statement that: Due to increasing CO2 levels in the atmosphere, rainforests around the world are actually growing more and more vigorously – this increasing growth rate actually removes around a quarter of the CO2 mankind emits every year. will delight deniers who constantly refer to CO2 as plant food.

Other references to Piers Foster such as the link of black carbon to warming are also seized on by deniers. From The Guardian

“There are exciting opportunities to cool climate by cutting soot emissions, but it is not straightforward.

“Reducing emissions from diesel engines and domestic wood and coal fires is a no-brainer, as there are tandem health and climate benefits.

“If we did everything we could to reduce these emissions, we could buy ourselves up to half a degree less warming – or a couple of decades of respite.”

However, curbing the impact of soot may not be a simple process, the researchers pointed out. Typically soot was emitted along with other particles and gases that may actually cool the climate.

Organic matter in the atmosphere produced by open vegetation burning may have an overall cooling effect, for instance. But other reduction targets are likely to have a clear benefit, say the experts.

“One great candidate is soot from diesel engines,” said Forster. “It may also be possible to look at wood and coal burning in some kinds of industry and in small household burners. In these cases, soot makes up a large fraction of their emissions, so removing these sources would likely cool the climate.”

Tackling soot would have an almost immediate effect, because of the short amount of time it stays in the atmosphere.

While the leading greenhouse gas carbon dioxide remains in the atmosphere for long periods, soot emissions are washed out within a few weeks and then replaced.

“Soot mitigation is an immediate effect but helps for a short time only,” said Forster. “We will always need to mitigate C02 to achieve long-term cooling.”

Rose also quoted Myles Allen -professor of geosystem science in the school of geography and the environment and department of physics, University of Oxford- “David quoting me in the Mail on Sunday as saying that “until recently he believed that the world might be on course for a catastrophic temperature rise of more than five degrees this century” and “adding that warming is likely to be significantly lower“.” Myles recounts his misquoting in The Guardian. The quote by Piers also seems to be from a direct conversation with Rose- so far Piers has not responded to the wording: however the terms of science- i.e. high estimates which would lead to near extinction of humanity in 100 years does not negate the seriousness of IPCC low estimates. 2c increase is just an unknown change as 5c!

Climate deniers will happily mis-quote, quote out of context, lie etc any apparent voice that supports their opinion. Climate change is complicated and will have genuine voices of descent with regards to process and conclusions, it is the true scepticism of science, denialism however, will seize on anything and polarizes any minor differences and uncertainties. Because of the nature of the internet the words of Piers Forster will be around for decades as will Myles Allen and will be quoted by those who share none of the other views of the scientists and will dispute CO2 as a GHG.

 

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  1. 1 Another Week of Climate Chaos News, March 24, 2013 – A Few Things Ill Considered

    [...] 2013/03/22: CDL: Piers Forster [...]




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