Dec 28 2010
The mythology of runaway global warming is being given the full Al Gore effect this Christmas – what with the historic blizzard that just walloped the center of liberal ‘thinking’ on America’s East Coast. As President Obama’s administration make one more attempt to uselessly raise the price of energy and line left-wing pockets by going after the gas we breathe by pretending it is a poison to life (as opposed to literally being ‘the oxygen’ to all plants on Earth), Mother Nature (a.k.a. Gaia) is out in force reminding puny humans to be humble in the face of forces we cannot yet grasp, let alone predict.
My friend Don Surber took a nice jab at the lame excuses coming out of the left wing regarding the last 15+ years of flat or cooling climate:
Blizzards across the northern hemisphere and a white Christmas in Australia do not disprove global warming. The lies from the researchers, as disclosed in Climategate, already did that.
Actually, the researchers themselves already did the disproving. One thing to remember is that all this science has been put to the test for the last twenty years. For two decades we have scientific predictions on what was going to happen to Earth’s climate due to CO2 levels rising slightly (from a historic perspective, Earth is at a severe low point in the all important CO2 levels). The classical scientific theory is generally made up of the following steps:
: Postulate the theory: In the global warming arena this was done by first trying to reconstruct the Earth’s temperature over the last 130 years for which there is some measured (if not very spotty) temperature record, and then using proxies to determine temperatures back 1,000 years. Both efforts have serious flaws and enormous error bars – well beyond the published detected global warming. The fact the theory was based on shoddy math and science has only become know in recent years, but that is not the end of this sad tale. But that was the theory – a dodgy modern temperature record mated with dodgy historic proxies concluded CO2 levels would lead to runaway global warming.
: Use the postulated theory to predict an unforeseen outcome that will prove the theory is sound. This step may not prove the theory true, it may just be close to right and not totally right. But if the prediction fails to come true, then the postulated theory is deemed wrong. That is the final judgment without any caveats or limp excuses or twisted logic. If the predictions fail to work, the theory is a failure – just one more way not to invent a light bulb, as it were.
In the last few years we have learned that the error bars around all the hockey sticks are so large we have no idea if we have experienced historic warming or cooling recently (an admission made by the hockey stick creator himself). And one of the conclusions of the UK’s so-called investigations into CRU and Climategate led one of the investigating team leads to admit today’s global temperature is impossible to measure even in the 21st century with the kind of accuracy that could detect sub-degree changes over a decade or century. We also learned tree rings actually do not mirror global temperature via the temperature the decline measured in the last 60 years that had to be covered up by IPCC scientists so no one would realize the proxies don’t work. After all these errors in the theory have been discovered and the Climategate emails exposed the charade, the final nail in the coffin of global warming is still going to be the scientific method.
I went back to the 1990, 1995 and 2000 IPCC reports to find what these ‘scientists’ had predicted would happen if their postulated theories were actually correct. Here is what I discovered:
- 1990 IPCC Report: Temperature will increase 0.3°C every decade and result in an increase of 3°C globally by the year 2100. Claimed error/uncertainty per decade was -0.1° to +0.2°C
- 1995 IPCC Report: Temperatures will increase 0.2°C every decade and result in an increase of 2°C globally by the year 2100. Claimed error/uncertainty per decade was -0.1° to +0.15°C
- 2000 IPCC Report: Temperatures will increase 0.3°C every decade and result in an increase of 3°C globally by the year 2100. Claimed error/uncertainty per decade was -0.17° to +0.15°C
Now forget about the fact there is no way to measure global temperature even today with the accuracies claimed (sub-degree changes over decades with a fraction of a degree accuracy). Let’s just see if all that faux precision actually was even accidentally to be right. The first graph I created compares the IPCC estimates to reality (click to enlarge):
Using the predictions of the three IPCC reports, I compared them with the NCDC record of global temperature anomalies. Starting with the 1980 NCDC global temp anomaly value, I added the predicted decadal increases from each IPCC report to obtain a predicted anomaly number for 1990, 2000 and 2010 (the orange and red lines). I then compared the predicted to the actual (blue line). Since 2010 has yet to end, I used the average of the NCDC 2008 and 2009 values (2010 will definitely fall within that range). For the 2000 IPCC prediction, I began extrapolating from 1990 and not 1980.
The uncertainty bars, as lame as they are, came from the IPCC reports. They are statistical confidence levels, not actual global temperature or prediction uncertainty levels. As we have learned from Climategate, the global temperature record of the CRU (and therefore the IPCC) is on the order of 1-3°C, not .1°C as published in the IPCC reports (click to enlarge).
But be that as it may, the real reason the IPCC’s theories about global warming are losing credibility is because the predictions of what would happen to our climate are proving to be sadly wrong. Look at the blue line through 2010 and compare it to where the 3 IPCC reports predicted we would be. Since 1980 the average decadal increase has only been 0.11°C – so far in the noise of measurement accuracy it is basically no increase at all. And if I ignore the fact most scientist predict 2 more decades of global cooling to come and simply keep adding the 2000-2010 delta to the NCDC record, we discover that by the year 2025 the actual temperature increase from 1980 will likely be significantly below the IPCC predicted levels from all three reports (years marked with a *). The 1990 IPCC report boldly predicted 2025 would be 1°C above the 1990 level – a prediction that looks down right goofy at this point in time.
So this myth is busted. The acid test of global warming is to see rapid increase of global temperature as CO2 levels rise. No such things is happening. In fact, if I continue my little extrapolation to 2100, and I assume that global warming will kick back in after 3 decades of flat temps, we find the predictions of the IPCC are way overblown (click to enlarge). Here I assumed the 2000-2010 delta would kick back in for the last 7 decades – a more realistic if not completely unfounded assumption to maximize the chance of significant warming hitting in 2100.
With 3 decades of flat or cooling temperatures already in the record, it is hard to see how all the doom and gloom will come to pass. What we do know is this: the Christmas blizzard of 2010 was not caused by global warming or CO2. There has been no significant warming, so there can be no effect from significant warming. And while we sit here experiencing subzero temperatures, pining for summer days that average about 40°C warmer, we can all agree a change of 0.1°C is not going to have any impact on any living organism on this planet. They experience more than that in a year, a month, a week and a day.
Furthermore. If you look at the pristine temperature records from around the world, before they are ‘adjusted’ to give an impression of global warming, one realizes that over the last 130 years there has been very little change in global climate. The 1990-2005 warm period is the same (statistically) as the 1930-1940 warm period.
I look forward to the congressional hearings that will come. I only wish I could participate in the shredding of the myth of global warming. We have discovered so many problems and holes with the theory of global warming it now exists as nothing more than a belief, a near religion that has no evidence to support it. To read more on how this charade came about I suggest reading this essay at WUWT. Well worth the time.