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 18: Finally climate sensitivity calculated at just one tenth of official estimates.

Image: NASA

In years to come it may be recognized that this blog post produced the first modeled accurate figure for climate sensitivity. Equilibrium Climate Sensitivity sounds dry, but it’s the driving theme, the holy grail of climate science. The accurate figure (whatever it is) summarizes the whole entirety of  carbon dioxide’s atmospheric importance. That number determines whether we are headed for a champagne picnic or a baking apocalypse.

To calculate a better estimate, David identified the flaws of the conventional basic model, and rebuilt it. The basic climate model is the top-down approach looking at inputs and outputs of the whole system. It defines the culture and textbooks of the modern global warming movement. GCMs (the big hairy coupled global models) are bottom-up approaches, doomed to failure by trying to add up every detail and ending up drowning in mile-high uncertainty bands. But the GCMs are ultimately tweaked to arrive at a similar ballpark climate sensitivity as the textbook model for the “basic physics” dictates. Hence this core model is where the debate needs to be. (Everyone knows the GCMs are broken.)

For decades the world of conventional climate research has been stuck in a groundhog day [...]

Using IPCC numbers we can expect only half a degree of warming this century. Time to Panic?

Christopher Monckton calculates below that even if we assume the IPCC and mainstream estimates are right, the warming from here to 2100 is likely to be a minor half a degree. (He doesn’t even bother to argue about whether this would be beneficial or not). Monckton just makes the point that for all the scare campaign about preventing a “two degree” apocalypse, what we are really talking about is a half degree in the next ninety years with some theoretical further warming in the centuries after that. The “two degrees” of fear is measured from the bottom of the Little Ice Age, as if that was the ideal “pre industrial” climate that we somehow want to return to.

As usual, everything about the Great Global Warming Scare falls apart under the most cursory glance, yet the billion dollar PR truck rolls on. The climate sensitivity of the IPCC dropped in Assessment Report 5 to about 2.2 C as it slowly is dragged toward a more realistic number.  The data coming in tells us that the climate feedback factors are likely net negative, so climate sensitivity is below 1°C. Hence even a  “half a degree” due to [...]

Major 30% reduction in modelers estimates of Climate Sensitivity (Skeptics were right)

Finally the modelers are catching up with the slow-down or pause in global warming over the last decade. Where the best estimate for the IPCC was 3.3 degrees C with a range of 2.0 to 4.5C, Otto et al have revised the best estimate to 2C, with a range of 1.2C – 3.9C.

Effectively the power of CO2 to warm just got 30% less, according to a team of researchers, many of whom have in the past have published more alarming papers.  Remember “there is no debate” and “global warming is a fact” a lot “like gravity”. (And that gravitational constant g could be revised by a third soon, right?)

The Australian writes it up as “TEMPERATURE rises sparked by increased carbon dioxide levels will be lower than previously thought, an international research team has found”. The Age tells us that disaster is still coming but it will be slower. “Warming to take longer in reaching forecast levels”.

Otto et al looked at the global energy budget which means adding up atmospheric, ice, continent, and ocean energy. They compare it decade by decade since 1970, and argue that the long term equilibruim temperature response need to be revised down. The [...]

Man Made Global Warming Disproved

 Joanne Nova and Anthony Cox

The theory that failed

It takes only one experiment to disprove a theory. The climate models are predicting a global disaster, but the empirical evidence disagrees. The theory of catastrophic man-made global warming has been tested from many independent angles.

The heat is missing from oceans; it’s missing from the upper troposphere. The clouds are not behaving as predicted. The models can’t predict the short term, the regional, or the long term. They don’t predict the past. How could they predict the future?

The models didn’t correctly predict changes in outgoing radiation, or the humidity and temperature trends of the upper troposphere.  The single most important fact, dominating everything else, is that the ocean heat content has barely increased since 2003 (and quite possibly decreased) counter to the simulations. In a best case scenario, any increase reported is not enough. Models can’t predict local and regional patterns or seasonal effects, yet modelers add up all the erroneous micro-estimates and claim to produce an accurate macro global forecast. Most of the warming happened in a step change in 1977, yet CO2 has been rising annually.

Observations from every angle point to a similar conclusion [...]

Last 30 years shows climate feedbacks are zero (at best)

Let’s be as generous as we can. The IPCC say feedbacks amplify CO2′s warming by a factor of about three.

Without the amplification from positive feedback there is no crisis

So being nice people, let’s assume it’s warmed since 1979 and assume that it was all due to carbon dioxide. If so, that means feedbacks are …. zero. There goes that prediction of 3.3ºC. Feedbacks are the name of the game. If carbon dioxide doesn’t trigger off powerful positive feedbacks, there was and is no crisis. Even James Hansen would agree — inasmuch as he himself said that CO2 would directly cause about 1.2ºC of warming if it doubled, without any feedbacks (Hansen 1984).

Consider the warming from1979 to 2007, when we measured temperatures using satellites and not corrupted and adjusted land thermometers. Douglass and Christy (2008) point out that, given how much CO2 levels increased in that time, the warming only amounts to what the IPCC scientists predict we should get from CO2 alone, from the direct effect of CO2, and not from the effect of CO2 plus positive feedbacks.

The warming trend expected from CO2 without any feedbacks at all is 0.07 ºC/decade. The trends [...]

Idso 1998 – eight different ways to show CO2 will have little effect

Here’s a forgotten paper that deserves more attention: Idso 1998.

Rather than using an enormously complex global circulation model (or 22) to come up with a figure for climate sensitivity, Sherwood Idso does calculations from eight completely different natural experiments which all arrive at similar figures. In short, he reviewed 20 years of work to arrive at a prediction that if CO2 is doubled we will get 0.4°C of warming at most, and even he admitted, it might be an overestimate. Basically by the time CO2 levels double, he says we ought expect 0 – 0.4°C of warming, after feedbacks are taken into account. Idso started off assuming that the feedbacks were largely positive, but repeatedly found that they were negative.

Idso’s approach was novel. Instead of climate sensitivity to CO2, he estimates the sensitivity of the Earth to any factor. He calls it the “surface air temperature sensitivity factor“. Once something known heats or cools the Earth, how much do the net feedbacks amplify or dampen that initial change? Rather than trying to measure and capture every single feedback and process, and then calculate the end results, Idso finds situations where he can isolate a factor and calculate [...]

The IPCC exaggerate: Monckton calculates how much

Following on from blackbody discussions, here is Christopher Monckton’s simple account of how we know the IPCC is exaggerating climate sensitivity. This comes from page 12 of Moncktons: Regulation without reason  (on the Canadian coal regulations.)


Guest Post: Christopher Monckton Are the IPCC’s global-warming projections proving accurate?

IPCC (2007, scenario A2) expects 3.4 C° manmade global warming to 2100. The calculations so far in this paper have assumed that the IPCC is right. Environment Canada does not ask any questions about the IPCC’s global-warming projections. Officials should have made some allowance for IPCC overshoot.

Since 1750, whence IPCC dates our influence on climate, a recent study (Blasing, 2011) shows 3 W m–2 of forcing from our greenhouse-gas emissions, less –1 W m–2 from non-GHG influences (IPCC, 2007). Global temperature had risen by 0.5 C° from 1750-1983 (Hansen, 1984), with a further 0.3 C° since (HadCRUt3, 2011). Of this 0.8 C° warming, 50 to 100% may be manmade. Thus, the 261-year transient climate sensitivity parameter is (0.4 to 0.8)/(3 – 1) = 0.2 to 0.4 C° W–1 m2. Multiplying by the forcing at CO2 doubling, i.e. 5.35 ln 2 (Myhre et al., 2001, cited by IPCC, 2001, 2007), gives [...]

(Un)Skeptical Science uses unmeasureable fudge factors

A comment from Tel late last year was so surgically cutting, it’s worthy of it’s own post.  Un-Skeptical Science was trying to explain why climate sensitivity is high. The post includes formula’s and fancy graphs, and looks authoritative — yet underlying everything are errors of reasoning that nullify all the points that rest upon them. Things like assumptions about linearity (which means more or less, they make the mistake of assuming that all forcings and feedbacks operate at similar ratios and strengths when the planet is an iceball as they do when Earth hits a rare warm phase). An unmeasureable variable is the telltale signature of a fudge-factor. It is what you make of it. Fits better in a course analyzing postmodernistic intertexuality of Swahili neo-linguists.

Guest Post by Tel

This “Skeptical Science” post is an excellent choice to show how little credibility there is in the whole feedback house of cards:

It’s important to note that the surface temperature change is proportional to the sensitivity and radiative forcing (in W m-2), regardless of the source of the energy imbalance. The climate sensitivity to different radiative forcings differs depending on the efficacy of the forcing, but the climate is not [...]

Monckton replies to Prof Andy Pitman


Prof Andy Pitman

Prof Andy Pitman, lead author for the IPCC and Co-Director of the Climate Change Research Centre at the University of New South Wales, claims skeptics are winning because they are so well funded and tell lies. (And don’t we Australian taxpayers feel good about funding his career so he can throw baseless insults at polite volunteers?*) The ABC Interview is here. Case Smit took issue and wrote to Pitman in reply:

” I am one of the two retirees organising the Australian Tour of Lord Monckton. We receive not one dollar of funding from corporations or government! Nor have any other sceptics (true scientists) that I know.

We have underwritten the tour with our own money and are in the process of recouping the costs with donations which, so far have come from individuals who, like us, look into the science of global warming nd have come to the conclusion that humankind’s carbon dioxide contribution has nothing to do with it. Donations are coming in from as little as $10 from supporters of the Tour.

I could write a lot more, but I’m busy organising Monckton functions which [...]