Tuesday, 8 September 2009

The science is not settled

Politicians relying on scientists’ climate models to back up their warnings about what “will” happen if “we” don’t act should be aware of a sentence buried on page 805 of the IPCC’s last, 2007,  wad of documents on global warming -- a proviso about the efficacy of the climate models on which the politicians are relying. Says the IPCC:

“The set of available models may share fundamental inadequacies, the effects of which cannot be quantified.”
- IPCC, Climate Change 2007: The Physical Science Basis (Contribution of Working Group I to the Fourth Assessment Report of the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change). Cambridge, UK: Cambridge University Press, 2007, p. 805

Naturally, that sentence never made the executive summary of the last report. So naturally, the politicians never read it.  Nevertheless, as more and more scientists and science writers see a whole decade of temperatures refusing to rise in accord with the models’ predictions, they are starting to wonder just how fundamental these inadequacies are. Houston Chronicle science writer and former card-carrying warmist Eric Berger is one:

    “It seems pretty clear that the models forecast a steady upward trend in global temperatures as long as carbon dioxide levels rise. (Which they have). Yet according to satellite and surface temperature measurements the global average temperature has essentially remained flat for the last 12 years. This strikes me as somewhat curious.”

Sure is. As Texas A&M professor of Atmospheric Sciences & Oceanography Gerald North points out, “There are pitifully few ways to test climate models.”  The only sure way of course is with reality – and on that test, as Berger summarises, they’ve failed:

    “But a funny thing happened on the way to the end of the world: hurricane activity on the global scale is near historical lows. And the Earth seems to have, at least temporarily, stopped warming.
    “This, despite the fact that some of the country’s leading climate scientists say there is unequivocally a link between major hurricanes and climate change. And despite the fact that other leading climate scientists predicted 2009 or 2010 will go down as the warmest year in recorded history. Either prediction, if true, would be alarming.
    “Yet both of these predictions seem, at the present moment, to be off.”

Off?  Well off.  German climate scientists are now saying we could be about to enter “one or even two decades during which temperatures cool.”  And their colleagues are saying it might take “more time, maybe a decade” before they know why.

“For a long time now, science reporters have been confidently told the science is settled,” points out Berger.  Time for the science reporters to point out that it’s not – and for the politicians who read them to listen.


  1. http://www.newscientist.com/article/mg20327246.100-13-more-things-eocene-hothouse.html....hmmmm soon climate change believers will be made to look bloody stupid.....

  2. It has always been a mystery to me how a science, largely based on opinion - with little experimental validation - can ever be considered "settled".

    Perhaps this is some peculiar, idiosyncratic version of the word "settled" of which I am unaware.

  3. You fools! It may still happen. We can't take a chance since the whole world is at stake. The time is now to pass laws removing 70 percent of all income from the first world and giving it to the third world and also friends and relatives of presently elected politicians.

    Do it now before it's too late!

  4. MacDoctor

    That's easy. It's not the science you need to consider at all. Look to the opinions. The opinions are settled.



  5. What will Al Gore invent to save us?


1. Commenters are welcome and invited.
2. All comments are moderated. Off-topic grandstanding, spam, and gibberish will be ignored. Tu quoque will be moderated.
3. Read the post before you comment. Challenge facts, but don't simply ignore them.
4. Use a name. If it's important enough to say, it's important enough to put a name to.
5. Above all: Act with honour. Say what you mean, and mean what you say.