When Al Gore said last week that scientists now have "clear proof that climate change is directly responsible for the extreme and devastating floods, storms and droughts that displaced millions of people this year," my heart sank.
That would be the heart of Myles Allen, an author of this recent paper. His sentiment is candidly expressed in this Guardian piece published today, which is headlined:
Al Gore is doing a disservice to science by overplaying the link between climate change and weather.
This is not the first time that Allen, a card-carrying member of the climate science fraternity, has pushed back on what he considers an overhyping of the climate/extreme weather link not just by Gore, but by some climate scientists as well. Then again, John Nielsen-Gammon contends:
Leading climate scientists clearly have different opinions on relating global climate to current or future local events. I don't think it's a matter of overhyping, just an honest difference of opinion. On the other hand, I don't think the public is generally aware of this difference of opinion.
It looks like Myles Allen is intent on raising that awareness. In doing so, I think he's going to give climate advocates heartburn. UPDATE: In the comment thread at his Guardian column, Allen takes issue with the subhead:
Apologies, I've been doing my day-job all day (as one does), so only just seen the secondary headline, which (as OPatrick picked up) is wrong. It should read (like the article) "To say that we are causing weather events that could not have occurred without human influence is just plain wrong." As you probably know, contributors don't get to write the headlines.