Sir James “Make It Up As You Go Along” Bevan

By Paul Homewood

Sir James “It’s The Climate Stupid” Bevan has been up to his tricks again!

 image

It is an honour to speak to an organisation as prestigious and historic as the Royal Society. So historic that some would argue than when it was founded in 1660, we were in a previous epoch – the Holocene – to the one we are in now, the Anthropocene.

New epochs don’t come around that often. The Holocene began more than 11,000 years ago after the last glacial period and saw the dawn of human civilisation. Before that the Pleistocene lasted for 2.5 million years. It saw both major climate change and a massive extinction of life forms: those two facts are connected.

The Anthropocene – the epoch which started when humans first began to have a significant impact on Earth’s climate, geology and ecosystems – is itself a much-contested concept. There’s a live debate about when it started. Some argue that we should go as far back as 10,000 or so years to the shift from hunter-gatherers to settled farmers. Others say the Anthropocene truly began about 250 years ago with the industrial revolution, as the western world’s new fossil fuel-powered economy began to drive up global temperatures. And there are those who prefer to wait until the 1950s, when the acceleration of fossil fuel use, deforestation, ocean acidification, urbanisation, industrial-scale agriculture, habitat destruction, species extinction and wide-scale natural resource extraction made it finally incontestable that we had now significantly modified our planet. But whenever the Anthropocene did start, what no-one seriously contests is that we’re in it now.

https://www.gov.uk/government/speeches/drought-risk-in-the-anthropocene-from-the-jaws-of-death-to-the-waters-of-life 

 

He starts by discussing the “Anthropocene”, a concept that most serious scientists think is a joke.

He then goes to simply make up his own “facts” about what the impacts of a changing climate are::

The impacts of the changing climate

We are seeing that change in the climate already.

Temperatures are rising. The 21st century has so far been warmer overall than any of the previous three centuries. The UK’s top 10 warmest years since records began have all occurred since 2002. Those rising temperatures are causing rising sea levels as glaciers and the ice caps melt. And they are causing more extreme weather, including more violent, frequent and longer lasting rainfalls, droughts, fires, flooding and coastal erosion.

In England, three of the five wettest winters on record have happened in the last eight years. In the last decade our winters have been 12% wetter than they were in the three decades from 1961 to 1990. In the storms of 2020 and early 2021, water levels on many of our major rivers smashed previous records. Which is why on 16 February 2021, the Environment Agency had more flood warnings in force (594) across the country than ever before. Meanwhile in other parts of the world this summer we’ve seen further violent weather, with catastrophic flooding in Germany that killed some 200 people, deadly Hurricane Ida in America and devastating wildfires in Siberia, Canada, Greece and the United States.

Drought risk is rising

Climate change is also increasing drought risk, the subject of our debate today.

In England, May 2020 was the driest on record The Environment Agency’s estimate is that summer rainfall is expected to decrease by approximately 15% by the 2050s in England, and by up to 22% by the 2080s; and that by 2100 in the south-east we will increasingly see temperatures above 35°C, and sometimes 40°C.

Hotter drier summers and less predictable rainfall – two effects of a changing climate – plus over-abstraction of water for industry, agriculture and the public water supply as the population grows, is a toxic combination.

It means that if we don’t take action, by 2050 the amount of water available in England could be reduced by up to 15%; that some rivers will have up to 80% less water in summer; and that we will need around 3.4 billion extra litres of water a day to meet the needs of people, industry and agriculture. Welcome to drought risk in the Anthropocene, UK-style.

We can safely ignore the nonsense about extreme weather, something which even the IPCC have been unable to identify. But let’s take a closer look at his specific claims for England:

 

In England, three of the five wettest winters on record have happened in the last eight years. In the last decade our winters have been 12% wetter than they were in the three decades from 1961 to 1990. In the storms of 2020 and early 2021, water levels on many of our major rivers smashed previous records. Which is why on 16 February 2021, the Environment Agency had more flood warnings in force (594) across the country than ever before.

His claim that three of the five wettest winters on record have happened in the last eight years simply is not true. According to the Met Office, only one of the five has occurred recently, that was in 2013/14. The other four occurred in:

1876/77

1914/15

1989/90

1994/95

Moreover, the 10-year averages are no higher now than in earlier periods, notably the 1910s and 20s, and 1990s. The 1961-90 period, used by Bevan for comparison, was an unusually dry interval.

image

https://www.metoffice.gov.uk/pub/data/weather/uk/climate/datasets/Rainfall/date/England.txt

He also claims record numbers of flood warnings. But this simply reflects modern EA working practices, just as “record river levels” have more to do with concreting over of natural drainage systems than climate change.

 

He then goes on to discussing summer droughts:

Climate change is also increasing drought risk, the subject of our debate today.

In England, May 2020 was the driest on record The Environment Agency’s estimate is that summer rainfall is expected to decrease by approximately 15% by the 2050s in England, and by up to 22% by the 2080s; and that by 2100 in the south-east we will increasingly see temperatures above 35°C, and sometimes 40°C.

Quite what one month, May 2020, tells us about “climate” is beyond my simple mind. May 1895 and 1896 were virtually as dry, and overall it is evident that there is no trend in May rainfall:

https://www.metoffice.gov.uk/research/climate/maps-and-data/uk-temperature-rainfall-and-sunshine-time-series

But what about summer as a whole? Far from getting drier as he claims, English summers are wetter now than in the 1970s to 90s.

He also claims that summer rainfall is “less predictable”. This is an absurd comment, even by James Bevan standards. As the Met Office chart below shows, English summers have always swung from very wet to very dry. The idea that the Met Office has ever been able to predict summer weather in advance is ridiculous.

 

https://www.metoffice.gov.uk/research/climate/maps-and-data/uk-temperature-rainfall-and-sunshine-time-series

How on earth the head of the Environment Agency can keep getting away with making up facts to suit himself is a mystery.

via NOT A LOT OF PEOPLE KNOW THAT

https://ift.tt/3ptT6G5

December 27, 2021 at 06:06AM

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