Mark Maslin And His Junk Science

By Paul Homewood 


Prof Mark Maslin featured heavily in this moan about critics of his being allowed on Twitter. We have come across this guy before.

Two years ago, he published his new book, How To Save Our Planet.  According to Maslin:


The climate crisis is no longer a looming threat – people are now living with the consequences of centuries of greenhouse gas emissions. But there is still everything to fight for. How the world chooses to respond in the coming years will have massive repercussions for generations yet to be born.

In my book How to Save Our Planet, I imagine two different visions of the future. One in which we do very little to address climate change, and one in which we do everything possible.

This is what the science suggests those very different realities could look like.

Year 2100: the nightmare scenario

The 21st century draws to a close without action having been taken to prevent climate change. Global temperatures have risen by over 4°C. In many countries, summer temperatures persistently stay above 40°C. Heatwaves with temperatures as high as 50°C have become common in tropical countries.

Every summer, wildfires rage across every continent except Antarctica, creating plumes of acrid smoke that make breathing outdoors unbearable, causing an annual health crisis.

Ocean temperatures have risen dramatically. After repeated bleaching events, Australia’s Great Barrier Reef has been officially declared dead.


Maslin and his fellow climate scientists would like you to think that all of their science is black and white, so how dare we sceptics argue that 2+2 don’t = 4!

But this absurd claim of his has nothing to do with science. It is simply unsubstantiated scaremongering. Worse still, he says that we are now living with the consequences of “centuries of greenhouse gas emissions”. Does he seriously believe we are worse off than our ancestors a couple of hundred years ago? Or for that matter, is the world’s climate any worse?

Quite clearly, Mark Maslin is not somebody who should be treated seriously.


It was also Maslin who, in 2019, co-authored a paper claiming that the Little Ice Age was due to European colonisation. According to the BBC:

Colonisation of the Americas at the end of the 15th Century killed so many people, it disturbed Earth’s climate.

That’s the conclusion of scientists from University College London, UK.

The team says the disruption that followed European settlement led to a huge swathe of abandoned agricultural land being reclaimed by fast-growing trees and other vegetation.

This pulled down enough carbon dioxide (CO₂) from the atmosphere to eventually chill the planet.

It’s a cooling period often referred to in the history books as the "Little Ice Age" – a time when winters in Europe would see the Thames in London regularly freeze over.

"The Great Dying of the Indigenous Peoples of the Americas led to the abandonment of enough cleared land that the resulting terrestrial carbon uptake had a detectable impact on both atmospheric CO₂ and global surface air temperatures," Alexander Koch and colleagues write in their paper published in Quaternary Science Reviews.



As I wrote at the time:

For a start, the Little Ice Age did not start in the late 16thC, as the paper implies.

HH Lamb, along with many other climate historians, is quite clear that temperatures began to decline from the High Middle Ages as early as the 13thC. This cooling trend began in the Arctic, but soon spread elsewhere in the 14thC.

Where you demarcate the end of the MWP and the beginning of the LIA is of course academic. But the decline in global temperatures was an ongoing process from the 13thC to the late 17thC, when temperatures appear to have bottomed out. (Following a small amount of warming, temperatures again dropped to low levels in the mid 19thC).

Whatever caused this long term trend of declining temperatures, it certainly was not colonisation that started 300 years later!

This global cooling would be enough to explain the drop in atmospheric CO2 concentrations, without the need for any man-made involvement.

In any event, the authors reckon that this great dying reduced CO2 by a tiny 7 to 10 ppm. This, even by IPCC standards, would be fat too small to have a measurable effect on global temperatures.

According to the paper, their theory only accounts for a cooling of 0.03 to 0.08C during the 1500s and early 1600s, which would not be enough to account for the climatic changes observed during that time.

Lamb reckoned that English temperatures  were 1.5C less than the early 20thC during the coldest phase in the 1690s. And the abundant evidence of massive glacial expansion throughout the world indicates that this was not just a local phenomenon. 


And in 2017, Maslin co-authored another study, “Changing climate shifts timing of European floods”. It claimed that:

The biggest changes are seen along the western edge of Europe, from Portugal up to Southern England. Half the stations recorded floods at least 15 days earlier than previously. A quarter of the stations saw flooding more than 36 days earlier than in 1960.

In these regions, the issue isn’t snow melt – it’s more about saturated soils. Maximum rainfall tends to occur in the autumn and gets stored in the soils. Heavier and earlier rain means that the groundwater reaches capacity earlier.

In southern England, it has been raining more, longer and more intensely than in the past. This has created a rising groundwater table and higher soil moisture than usual and combined with intense rainfall this produces earlier river floods.”

In effect therefore, they are claiming that autumns are now wetter in southern England. But what do the facts say?


Whatever Mr Maslin’s models might say, the actual data shows that there has been no long term change in autumn rainfall trends, merely the usual ups and downs we always see from year to year with English weather.

Why Mr Maslin thinks he should be able to get away with junk science like this, and not be challenged about tells us a lot about the state of climate science.


May 17, 2023 at 08:50AM

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