With all the climate hysteria in the news stemming from the recent IPCC report, I wrote to Prof. Christopher Essex to ask about his views on the 1.5° C  issue and what it would mean to me.  Here’s what he replied. – Michelle Stirling, Communications Manager, Friends of Science


Dear Michelle,


They don’t mean 1.5 ° C. They don’t mean that the weather will always be 1.5° C hotter everywhere. Somedays it will be cooler some of the time and in other places it will be warmer some of the time, and sometimes a little bit of both here and there. No one really even cares about such a small difference anyway. Most of us will be hard pressed (outside disputes with your spouse over the correct setting of  your  thermostat) to sense a change of 1.5 degrees, especially if humidity, cloud cover and wind can vary too.
What people care about is if the weather is different. God only knows how to determine “different” about something that changes every day and even every hour anyway. Oh yes, its the average weather—whatever that means. You can forget about models telling you about average weather. All observational meteorological phenomena are below their resolution for very basic reasons. They are famously wrong on what they come up with. Similarly all climate energetics in the vertical are also below their resolution, for similarly basic reasons. In those below-resolution domains they use fake physics, which is politely called parameterization. Mathematically speaking that can mean anything at all. What 1.5° C really means scientifically is nothing.
But that does not stop the cultural momentum desiring  tax policy  to control the weather.
Let’s put this into a proper perspective. I don’t mind large amounts of snow. When it is fresh, white and fluffy it is kind of pretty. But damn, it falls on roads and sidewalks. Do you think that we can have an international treaty requiring that snow not fall on roads or sidewalks? I am sure that policy people and ideologues will come up with something if asked as long as someone tells them that experts told them that particular ideological political policies will achieve that. There is no danger that they will use common sense. No normal person will believe that policy will have any control over where snow falls, only ideologues and academics could be bamboozled into that.
I don’t see that 1.5°C is any different.
Dr. Christopher Essex,
Department of Applied Mathematics
the University of Western Ontario