By Larry Bell, Forbes, 9/10/13
Bummer! Now, just before members of the U.N.’s Church of the Burning Planet are scheduled to finalize their latest hellfire and brimstone sermon, a chilling development has occurred. A flood of blasphemous reports circulated among ranks of former faithful parishioners are challenging human-caused climate crisis theology.
On September 23 through 26, representatives of the world’s Environment Ministries will meet in Stockholm to agree on the final draft of a key portion of the latest Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) Summary for Policymakers gospel which is expected, once again, to keep the political climate cauldron steaming. This Fifth Assessment Report (AR5) is intended to be used by international ministers working to devise a new global treaty by 2015 to curb “climate change”.
Remember that really scary “hockey stick” graph IPCC used to show that rising atmospheric CO2 concentrations would send global temperatures soaring? And recall all the ballyhoo about CO2levels reaching a 400 ppm record high? Yet last February even IPCC’s chairman Rajenda Pachuri has admitted that world temperature data has been flat for the past 17 years. And that was after the British media reported that the UK Met Office was projecting a 20-year standstill in global warming by 2017.That goal is certainly no trifle, given that dramatic climate changes have been occurring over many millions of years, although lately…not so much. Therein lies the big rub. How can ministers conjure up a newsworthy sequel to previous knuckle-biting prognostications when all evidence suggests that the prophesies, and the scriptures they were based upon, were proven wrong?
You certainly know the jig is up when the New York Times finally recognizes that the feverish climate fervor is overheated. They reported on June 6 that“The rise in the surface temperature of Earth has been markedly slower over the last 15 years than in the 20 years before that. And that lull in warming has occurred even as greenhouse gases have accumulated in the atmosphere at a record pace.”Reporter Justin Gillis went on to admit that the break in temperature increases “highlights important gaps in our knowledge of the climate system”, whereby the lack of warming “is a bit of a mystery to climate scientists.”
Where, Oh Where, Has that Global Warming Gone?
One highly plausible answer to this mystery is that the climate models upon which IPCC’s failed projections are based exaggerate climate sensitivity to CO2, underestimate known natural forcings, and simply don’t understand how to factor in and calibrate other influences such as ocean cycles and solar activity. Numerous recent scientific papers suggest that overestimation of sensitivity by at least 30% may account for much of the problem.
The IPCC has crudely estimated an approximate 3.0o to 1.5 o C /decade mean global temperature increase in previous reports. Assuming a sensitivity of 3oC, that each 1ppm of CO2 will add about 1oC (at current saturation levels), and that CO2 has accumulated at about 2ppm/decade, then temperatures should have risen about 3oC during the past 15 years. If so, a reduction of 30% would still leave 2oC of missing heat which must still have been offset by natural cooling.
After all, the importance of those natural influences shouldn’t be that surprising given that history shows that temperatures have been higher when CO2 levels were lower, and vise versa. In fact, the past century has witnessed two generally accepted periods of warming The first occurred between 1900 and 1945. Since CO2 levels were relatively low then compared with now, and didn’t change much, they couldn’t have been the cause before 1950.
The second possible very small warming, following a slight cool-down, may have begun in the late 1970s lasting until 1998, a strong Pacific Ocean El Niño year. Yet even if global temperatures actually did rise very slightly during that second period, the U.K. Hadley Center and U.S. NOAA balloon instrument analyses fail to show any evidence, whatsoever, of a human CO2 emission-influenced warming telltale “signature” in the upper troposphere over the equator as predicted by all IPCC global circulation models. In fact, about half of all estimated warming since 1900 occurred before the mid-1940s despite continuously rising CO2 levels since that time.
So Maybe the Models Are Broke…Not the Climate After All!
According to a recent Opinion & Comment piece titled “Overestimating global warming over the past 20 years” that appeared in Nature Climate Change, the model-based fear and loathing attached to global warming may be substantially overheated. Notably, Francis W. Zwiers, one of the three authors, is a vice-chair of this relevant section for AR5. The writers observe that whereas the global mean temperature over the past 20 years (1993-2012) rose at a rate of between about 0.14o–0.06oC per decade, average temperatures computed by 117 simulations of 37 climate models predicted a surface temperature rise of 0.30o-0.02o C per decade. The observed rate of warming was less than half of the simulated rate.
The inconsistency between observed and simulated warming was even greater over the past 15 years (between 1998 and 2012). Here the observed trend was 0.05o-0.08oC per decade, vs. the average simulated trend of 0.21o-0.03oC. The observed trend was four times smaller. The divergence began in the early 1990s. Accordingly, evidence indicates that the group of model simulations do not reproduce observed global warming over the past 20 years, or the slowdown over the past 15 years.