A science presenter, writer, speaker & former TV host; author of The Skeptic's Handbook (over 200,000 copies distributed & available in 15 languages).


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New Science 19: The invisible nameless model that controls the whole field of climate science

Don’t underestimate the importance of the nameless basic model. It sounds small, but in the culture and philosophy of climate science it’s bigger and carries more weight than the massive hairy GCMs. Like an invisible gossamer web, it’s overarching. It spans and defines all the other models. When they produce “dumb” answers, the basic model holds them in, for thou shalt not stray too far from the climate sensitivity defined by the basic model. It defines what “dumb” is. (It’s just “basic physics” after all.) One model to bind them all. What could possibly go wrong?

A lot, apparently. The physics might be right, but the equations are calculating imaginary conditions. The answers might be arithmetically correct but useless at the same time. They miss the real route that energy flows through to space.

By definition, as long as the basic model is wrong, the GCM models can never  get it right.

It’s not like climate scientists consult the oracle of the basic model every day, or even once a year… they don’t need to. They were taught it their climate larval stage, often long before they’d written one paper. The basic model shows that the warming of [...]

New Science 16: Building the alternative model and why it solves so many major problems

In typical style I looked at this draft and told David that the second half of his post should be at the top (that’s where he discusses how his model solves so many problems). He replied that the equations were the most important part, and he wasn’t going to flip them around. So, for readers who don’t speak mathematica-lingua, all I can say, is don’t miss the second half below.

Also in typical style, David prefers this picture he’s just drawn in his diagramming software, to my cartoon in the intro to post 11:


In this post, David combines the two smaller models to make one basic climate model (that’s the sum-of-warmings and the OLR models). Unlike the mainstream conventional basic model that underlies the entire establishment culture and philosophy, the alternative model uses more empirical data (and from the real world too, not just the lab). It’s also less reliant on hypothetical partial derivatives. Plus, in the alternate model, different forcings can cause different responses. In the conventional model, the architecture assumes the climate responds to to all forcings the same way.

CO2 has a warming effect on the atmosphere, rather than just on the surface, and [...]

New Science 7: Rerouting Feedback in Climate Models

Conventional models assume increasing atmospheric CO2 warms the surface, then apply the feedbacks to the surface warming. But if feedbacks start up in the atmosphere instead, everything changes.

This is a post with big potential. A feedback the other climate models miss?

All the establishment models assume carbon dioxide warms the sky, which leads to the surface warming*, and the feedbacks then apply to the surface warming. It’s in the model architecture, the models can’t do it any other way. But what if the feedbacks don’t wait — what if the feedbacks start right away, up in the atmosphere? What if, say, CO2 warms the air, and that affects humidity and or clouds right then and there? These would be feedbacks operating on tropospheric warming, and they can reroute that energy.

Potentially, this blows everything away. If the energy blocked by increasing CO2 is merely escaping Earth through emissions from another gas in the atmosphere, like say, the dominant greenhouse gas, water-vapor, then could this explain why the effect of Co2 has been exaggerated in the conventional models?

We call this the “rerouting feedback” because when it’s harder for energy to escape to space through the CO2 pipe, this [...]

New Science 5: Error 2: Model architecture means all feedbacks work through the surface temperature?

And the series continues, poking another hole in the models, with bigger holes to come.

See the larger version in the post below

What if CO2 caused more greenery, which produced more volatile organic gases, which increased rainfall and changed cloud cover? The models would be blind to it. They’re “supercomputer-complicated”, but miss many of the feedbacks on Earth. The only feedbacks the models consider are ones that occur because of changes in temperature. And worse, it’s not just changes in temperature, but specifically, changes in surface temperature.

If, say, cosmic rays caused a change in cloud cover, or the Sun influenced ozone which in turn caused the jet streams to shift closer to the equator, there are no feedbacks worth mentioning according to the large GCM models. The conventional basic model assumes, is built on the idea that nothing causes changes to Earth’s climate unless it works through surface heating — and the GCMs have the same architecture. Cloud cover does not change ice cover. Ocean currents don’t change cloud cover. Changes in biology don’t change clouds. Only changes in surface temperature changes cloud cover.

It’s a good place to start looking for missing negative feedbacks (though, [...]

New Science 3: The Conventional Basic Climate Model — In Full

Read the post to see it properly.

A feast. A feast!  For those who want the meat, the math and the diagrams (don’t miss the diagrams). As far as we know, this is the first time the architecture of the basic climate model has been laid out in one place on the Net. This is the most math heavy post this series, but it has to be done, and properly. This is where the 1.2 °C direct effect of doubling CO2 gets amplified to 2.5 °C with fairly basic physics. If the equations are not your forte, look at the “the Establishment Case” below the equations to get some idea why establishment scientists find it mind-bendingly hard to imagine how climate sensitivity could possibly be much different.

For commenters who know there are problems with this model (don’t we all), one of the points of doing this is to get through to the establishment leaders — to speak their language instead of having separate conversations. Of course, for some minds it will not matter what skeptical scientists say, but for other, key people, it will. We would expect seeing the flaws laid out so clearly will undercut the implacable confidence [...]

New Science 2: The Conventional Basic Climate Model — the engine of “certain” warming

This is the most uncontroversial post ever put on this blog — it’s everything the IPCC would agree with and the key to their unshakable confidence.

This post is for the independent thinkers, the brains that want to know exactly where the famous, core, 1.2 °C figure comes from. That’s the number of degrees that a doubling of CO2 would bring, and it’s a figure that underlies decades of research and the figure that the big models are built around. Here, as far as we know, is the simplest, accurate reference to that reasoning and their maths. We have always assumed the 1.2 °C figure is correct, and focused on questioning the feedbacks that are assumed to drive that base figure up to  3°C (or 6°C or molten-Venus-here-we-come!)

We are not criticizing the estimate here, but this is so key and central to the whole climate-clean-green industry, and the models, it has to be laid out. This is the source of “implacable confidence” among the leading thinkers of establishment climate science. It is long past time that skeptical scientists put these details — warts and all — out in public. Dr David Evans is laying out the foundation for [...]

New Science 1: Pushing the edge of climate research. Back to the new-old way of doing science

For those of you who are die-hard puzzle solvers here to spar about cutting edge research: good news, here’s where we begin the long awaited update to Dr David Evans’ climate research. There are a few surprises, sacred cows, we did not expect we would need to challenge, like the idea of “forcings”.

Government science is stuck in a rut, strangled – trying to capture the creative genius of discovery and force it through a bureaucratic formula, like it can work to a deadline or be judged by the number of papers, or pages, or citations, or by b-grade officials. Blogs are new, but this form of independent scientific research, done for the thrill of discovery, outside institutions and funded by philanthropists, is the way science was mainly done before WWII.

For the first time we are going to explain the architecture of the inner core of the climate models, the small model at the center that the big GCM’s are built around. It is mostly a physics model, and it’s mostly “basic” and mostly right. It’s the reason for the implacable confidence of the establishment in the climate debate. But there are a couple of big problems… [...]

What’s really warming the world — NASA has no idea (Not the Sun, Never the Sun!)

In the twit-world, it’s being called Bloomberg and NASA’s “proof” that man made CO2 is causing global warming.

But it’s just a zombie rehash of the same-old routine I described in How to create a crisis graph in 6 simple steps. It’s all in the art of what you don’t say and the things you leave off the graph. This is a “NASA” graph that reduces everything about the sun to one single temperature. As if the magneto-nuclear-dynamo 1.3 million times the volume of the Earth would have a weather report that just read “still hot”. Nothing to see here…

Want to scare people with graphs? Pretend your climate models work. Ignore the missing hot spot, the pause, the record antarctic sea-ice, the lack of accelerating seas, and the utter failure of climate models to model anything before the last 150 years, as well as stuff like “rain[1]“, “ drought [2]” and “humidity[3]“. Include all the factors you can think of that don’t explain the latest bump in the squiggly line. Ignore all the factors that might like cosmic rays, solar wind, solar magnetic effects, solar spectrum cycles, lunar effects on our atmosphere, and who knows how many other potential [...]

Relentlessly shrinking climate sensitivity estimates

Remember how all the news stories keep telling us the evidence is growing and getting stronger than ever “against the skeptics”?

David Stockwell has done a beautiful graph of the value of climate sensitivity estimates that of recent climate research that Steven McIntyre discussed in detail.

The trend looks pretty clear. Reality is gradually going to force itself on the erroneous models.

Indications are that around 20202030 climate sensitivity will hit zero. ;- )

The red line is ECS — Equilibrium climate sensitivity — which means after the party is all over in years to come, in the long run, this is how much the planet responds to a doubling of CO2.

The blue line is TCR — Transient Climate Response — is an estimate of what happens in the next 20 years. It’s a short term estimate.

Obviously the big question is: What happens when climate sensitivity goes negative?

Check out NicheModelling, Stockwell’s great blog, it deserves more attention.

h/t David, Lance, Ken

Maurice Newman knows more about climate models than the BOM’s Dr Rob Vertessy

In the topsy turvy world of modern science, big-government has strangled science to the point where bright outsiders know more than the fully trained “experts”.

Maurice Newman, the chairman of the P.M’s business advisory council, daringly wrote in The Australian:

“It’s a well-kept secret, but 95 per cent of the climate models we are told prove the link between human CO2 emissions and catastrophic global warming have been found, after nearly two decades of temperature stasis, to be in error.”

In Senate estimates, a Greens spokesperson asked Dr Rob Vertessy, Director of the Australian Bureau of Meteorology (BoM) on his view of this. “That is incorrect,” he said, showing how little he knows about climate models, where everyone (even the IPCC) is trying to figure out excuses for their failures. Some even invent time-travelling climate models that can finally “predict” today’s climate correctly a decade after it happened.

If Maurice Newman was wrong, he was far too generous to the climate modelers. Instead of a 95% failure rate, it’s well up over 98%. Hans von Storch et al published a paper nearly two years ago comparing models and observations of a 15 year long pause. Statistically von Storch [...]