Look Climate Change Issues in Indian Perspective Rather Blindly Following IPCC

Oct 8th, 2013 | By | Category: Advocacy, Capacity Development, Climatic Changes in Himalayas, Development and Climate Change, Financing, Government Policies, India, Information and Communication, International Agencies, Resilience, UNFCCC, Vulnerability

94012053-chart-andAllvoices: Renowned environmental activist and Convener, Forum for a Sustainable Environment Dr. S Jeevananda Reddy suggested that there is a need to look in to climate change issues in Indian perspective rather than blindly following Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) model based hypothetical studies with low scientific integrity, which have their vested interests.

In a letter to the Indian minister for environment Mrs. Jayanthi Natarajan, he cautioned that if we go on concentrating our research on IPCC type research in our Indian institutes we achieve nothing except waste of public money

In this regard he discussed on two argicles published with regard to IPCC release its brief on AR-5 report -2013. He referred to Krishna Kumar Kanikicharla, climate scientist at Pune’s IITM and one of the drafting authors of the IPCC report, told TOI there was “growing evidence” of the impact of the climate change on monsoons in South Asia and the tropical cyclone system in the Bay of Bengal.

Kanikicharla, said: “There is strong hint that the duration of the rainy season would increase due to early onset of monsoon. The quantum of rainfall will also increase during the later part of this century.” He said though the Indian summer monsoon circulation will weaken, rainfall will increase due to higher atmospheric moisture resulting from a rise in temperatures. In its projection for South Asia, the technical summary of the report clearly points at “enhanced summer monsoon precipitation and increased rainfall extremes of landfall cyclones on the coasts of the Bay of Bengal and Arabian Sea”.

Prashant Goswami, chief scientist at Bangalore’s CSIR Centre for Mathematical Modeling and Computer Simulation and one of the lead authors of the IPCC report, admitted that these conclusions were based on climatic projections that were not as firm as those made at a global level. “These uncertainties increase as you go to smaller scale (from global to regional or from regional to sub-regional levels). But one has to have an element of faith in these conclusions which are based on well-defined scientific methodology,” Goswami told to TOI,. As far as global temperature is concerned, the summary report said it was likely to rise by 0.3 to 4.8 degrees Celsius by the end of the century. Sea levels, it said, could rise by 26-82 centimetres by the end of the century.

As Unnikrishnan, chief scientist of the National Institute of Oceanography, Goa, said policymakers would have to rely on the global sea level rise projections to draw up their strategies to deal with the emerging scenarios. [This is Report 2 given below]

Dr Jeevananda Reddy said that his observations run like a street vendor’s pep talk. It says the temperature may go up by 0.3 to 4.8 degrees Celsius and sea levels may rise by 26-82 centimeters asking us to have faith in those conclusions. Science does not work on faith but survive on facts and figures. You can see the range of variations in temperature and sea level rise. It is un-natural way of telling as for as science is concerned. This has no significant meaning. Also, they clearly accepted this by saying that “these conclusions were based on climatic projections that were not as firm as those made at a global level”. This has no scientific sanctity.

As for as Indian Monsoon is concerned, he said, they follow a systematic variation and thus, with this temperature and agriculture follows [see my book published in 1993 “Agroclimate/ Agrometeorological Techniques: As applicable to dry-land agriculture in developing countries” and later written for India on the request of a publisher “Dry-land Agriculture in India: An Agro-climatological and Agro-meteorological perspective” in 2002 and “Green” Green Revolution: Agriculture perspective of Climate change published in 2011. Let me give few points here:

  • From my paper published in IMD Journal in 1975 – the dates of onset over Kerala Coast present a 52 year cycle – see figure given below;
  • All-India Southwest Monsoon data from 1871 to 1994 [published by IITM] showed a 60-year cycle – see given below figures. The same is evident in USA Hurricanes data – Typhoons of Pacific Ocean present opposite pattern. Anybody can check this by simply plotting ten years averages;
  • Cyclones in Bay of Bengal follow 56 years cycle similar to Andhra Pradesh Northeast Monsoon rainfall [Southwest and Northeast Monsoons rainfall follow opposite pattern but annual rainfall presents a 132 year cycle];
  • North India’s temperature in summer and winter follow the Western disturbances pattern – I published an article in IMD journal in 1978;
  • Finally, all the conclusions drawn by IPCC are of hypothetical in nature.

He also said that marine scientists warned on Thursday that our oceans are declining more rapidly than previously thought — becoming ever warmer and more acidic and losing oxygen at an alarming rate. “It is the simultaneous occurence of the ‘deadly trio’ of acidification, warming and deoxygenation that is seriously affecting how productive and efficient the ocean is”. It also warned of a fast drop in dissolved oxygen in seawater — with predictions of a 1-7 per cent decline by 2100 caused by the effects of global warming and nutrient runoff into the sea from agricultural fertilizers and sewage. The new report said the average upper ocean temperature has increased by 0.6 degrees Celsius (1.08 deg Fahrenheit) over the last 100 years. Further warming will likely cause the disappearance of Arctic summer sea ice, further oxygen depletion and the release of Earth-warming methane trapped in the Arctic seabed.

He said that from this it is clear that the oceans are declining rapidly due to three reasons – global warming, pollution caused by runoff from agriculture fields, and Arcatic sea ice loss.

Dr Jeevananda Reddy said that global warming in the last 17 years is lull. The sea temperature and carbon dioxide present a systematic variation [see figure given below] with the time like Sunspot cycle see my book “Climate change: Myths & Realities” (I-2008 & II-2010). So, warming and cooling of ocean water is a natural phenomenon operating over centuries. If we look at the data of seasonal variation of sea ice year by year at Arctic [North Pole] and Antarctic [South Pole] the year to year variations of seasonal trends are above the average at Antarctica and below the average at Arctic in the last decade. They fall within the long term standard deviation limit except 2012 Arctic seasonal pattern that falls below standard deviation shade. In statistical terms even up to twice the standard deviation the extremes occur. The main issue that needs more study is the pollution impact on oceans. With the green revolution technology of chemical inputs, runoff from agriculture farms entering oceans and creating dead zones – zero oxygen – like thousands of square kilometers in Gulf of Mexico. Also there are several other sources of pollution contaminating ocean waters.

Before IPCC AR-5 report briefing/press release another report executive summary on “Climate Change Reconsidered II: Physical Science (CCR-II) was released by NIPCC – Non-governmental International Panel on Climate Change — at a news meet in Chicago on 17th September 2013. He said that before release they asked his comment on the report and after release they asked his comments on three queries which they consolidated from observations on their on line post in a Canadian Newspaper. He responded on the two. They are as follows:

1. “According to the Commonwealth Scientific and Industrial Research Organization, sea levels on average have been 20 centimeters higher than they were in the 1880s. Water levels are rising at 3.2 millimeters per year, which is double the 20th century trend.”

His response: In the past on several forums I made the following observations but nobody come forward to respond my question: (1) San Francisco Airport is in the Ocean waters. Was there any rise in sea water level at this point? — so far no change [I visited several times]; (2) In Italy along the coast, traditional and historical wells showed no change in sea level; (3) It is generally argued that the sea level raise submerged the Sundarbans at the mouth of Ganga River in the Bay of Bengal and villages along Bramhaputra River in Bangladesh — all this is inaccurate statements. Here the silt deposition from these two mighty rivers causing the submergence of Mangroves and hutments; (4) Also, destruction of Coastline for commercial activities and destruction of Mangroves allowed sea water entering into nearby villages and thus people are attributing it to sea level rise; (5) In several parts, sea sand is lifted for other uses and thus causing the sea water entering in to nearby areas; and (6) Boston area was filled [artificially built] and with the storm surges it looks something happened.

Also, sea temperatures are higher in some places and some other places they are cool associated with general circulation patterns existing generally in those zones. These infect the sea level temporarily — natural variations. Unless we analyze region-wise by taking into account on ground variations in the light of general circulation, natural variations & physical impacts, all model estimates are speculative in nature and create sensation that pickup media.

2. “ocean acidification [due to higher CO2 levels] and warming are causing species like jellyfish to overrun other species in the sea and bleaching and decreasing growth of coral reefs”

His response: In the oceans, temperature change and along with carbon dioxide change is a historical fact. They clearly indicate a clear cut cyclic variations — I put this in my book “Climate Change: Myths & Realities” published in 2008. As this is not new the life in the ocean automatically adopt to these variations. There is a need to look into other man induced pollution factors in to ocean waters angle to understand their impact on coral reefs as well other species in the ocean. Our research, therefore, must direct to understand the cause and effect mechanism. With the preconceived ideas we go nowhere. This is exactly what is happening now. This is bad science — though many a times such studies are published in reputed journals, as editorial boards work “you scratch my back and I scratch your back”.

3. “The physical principles behind climate change are simple, well known since the 1800s, and won’t wait for this fake debate to end.”

His response: This point I did not understand, here climate change means a de facto global warming or all issues pertaining to changes in climate. As per global warming there are no clear cut physical principles. We can see in the literature every other day a new issue comes up. Now, even IPCC also changed and telling urban-heat-island affect also contributing to global warming by about 10% — initially they did not accounted this –. There are several other issues like natural variation component, solar components, ecological changes components [that influence local and regional climate], physical impacts on ecological sensitive zones like ice, etc. It is not clear on the link between carbon dioxide and temperature. It is a statistical link. It varies with the accumulation of data series period and it does not explain the physical relationship.

The main component that at present influencing climate and extremes is the natural variations — systematic & irregular variations — and ecological changes such as changes in land use and land cover — effect local and regional climate and thus change the natural variations to that extent. At Antarctica the sea ice melt in the last six years is above the mean while it is below the mean in Arctic area.

The following are few other issues presented at international forums:

Why don’t they just show the annual temperature graph? They always thought it most appropriate in the past. Why do they begin this graph in 1850? Anthropogenic Climate Change, according to their report, could not have started before *19* 50 (a hundred years later). So why isn’t the chart, and all the ballyhooed temperature increase, started in 1950? If AGW didn’t start (couldn’t start, actually, as we hadn’t yet added the CO2 to the atmosphere), what caused the temperature rise starting in 1890? Whatever that cause is, what made that cause stop and suddenly change to CO2 -caused in 1950?

Models present a monotonic increase as the models are built with some preconceived notions — that means what you are able to think only goes in to the model.

Nature in fact acts differently based on several unknown and known factors. So, the real pattern goes on changing with the time. However, this is affected by scientists’ manipulation of data and changes in land use and land cover as weather is highly sensitive to such variations. Also, we are experiencing changes due to man’s physical actions and manipulation of terrain. These changes are alarmingly increasing with population growth and changing technologies to meet their lifestyles and needs. In global models such factors taken in to account rarely. Also natural disasters do change the terrain conditions. And above all, the natural variations are not the same over different parts of the globe. Instead of talking on a generalized term “global warming”, it is more appropriate to use the term “regional climate changes”. This is more useful in regional planning. Global temperature data is manipulated, global carbon dioxide data is manipulated. Meteorological data collection is changing with the time over land and in/on oceans with network and instrumentation changes. Satellite data is highly manipulated!!!

In 70s & 80s, before encroachment of global warming in to climate studies, before starting analyzing rainfall data by clubbing the rainfall of different rain gauge stations, we used to homogenize the rain gauge stations in terms of rainfall patterns. This helped to understand the climate of different parts in a region. This helped better interpretation of the results so analyzed in terms of agriculture or water management. It appears this is lacking in IPCC studies and counter positive and negative trends giving false notions or predictions.

Other important issue is, IPCC talks of probability. Probabilities relevance with data but not number of people accepted it. This is bad science. In science the phrase 70% probable or 90% probable had definite meanings. They imply controlled trials, they imply numerical quantitative information objectively assessed. If you ask the IPCC they will tell you that when they use the term 95% probable it is based on the expert opinion of a group of people gathered around a table. It is completely wrong to use probability terminology to describe what is albeit an expert opinion.

The global yearly temperature pattern presents a 60 year cycle — sine curve with 30 years above the average and 30 years below the average — varying between -0.3 to +0.3 degrees Celsius superposed on a linear fit – according to this by 2100 the rise is around one degree Celsius – see figure given below. However, year to year variations, known as irregular variations are common. Anybody can try this. Nothing is secret here. Look at WMO (1966) Manual “Climate Change”. You can take the published temperature data.

The linear part consists of several components that are influencing globally. Here you get good probability unlike IPCCs probability based on number of persons agreed. We must not forget the fact that when we talk of precipitation, we must first demarcate homogeneous zones in region based on individual rain gauge stations data. In a homogeneous zone the rainfall presents similar patterns. If we mix non-homogeneous zones and take the average, the average patterns do not reflect the realistic pattern and mislead the interpretation and the consequent impacts. Take for example: Durban in South Africa, Mahalapye in Botswana & Catuane in Mozambique — all the three present W followed by M pattern of 66, 60 & 54 year cycles. When we add these three get meaningless result for agriculture purposes. I did homogenization studies for few countries including Brazil.



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