On March 31st the UN’s Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) released its latest report: Climate Change 2014: Impacts, Adaptation, and Vulnerability. You probably read something about it in your paper; almost certainly, you heard about it on the evening news from ABC, CBS, or NBC. But, why pay attention to the small fry, like Diane Sawyer or Brian Williams? The Secretary of State, John Kerry, tells us that “the costs of inaction are catastrophic.” Mr. Kerry apparently still believes “climate change” is the greatest weapon of mass destruction we face.
This report was brought to us by the same people who, last September, admitted their climate models tremendously exaggerate warming, as shown in the below graph.
There are thousands of balloon observations of the atmosphere daily, going back to the 1950’s. Since 1980, there have been millions of satellite measurements of the temperature of the mid-troposphere (15 – 30,000 feet). And, as the IPCC (and NASA, and NOAA, and the UK Meteorological Office) admit, there has been no global warming for over 17 years.
Think about that. Science is based on formulating a hypothesis about the cause of a phenomenon in nature, conducting an experiment to test that hypothesis, and then modifying or rejecting, or – rarely – accepting the original hypothesis (at least until you can conduct a more definitive experiment).
UN “climate scientists” – the sort accepted by the UN and John Kerry – have been observing an ongoing experiment in the atmosphere for over seventeen years. Throughout that time, the amount of carbon dioxide (CO2) has been increasing, by about 10%. The hypothesis is that CO2 “traps” heat in the atmosphere and warms the Earth. But no warming has been observed. How to explain this? Other than to admit the experiment demonstrates the hypothesis is false?
I personally accept that the hypothesis is false. In a previous article, I pointed out that, of infrared radiation emitted from Earth, and absorbed by a greenhouse gas (water vapor or CO2), at least half is re-radiated toward space. The other half (or less) is radiated downward; that’s the “greenhouse effect.” It acts like the insulation in the roof of your house, which helps the furnace keep the house warm, but it won’t set fire to the house. It won’t even heat the house by itself, in the absense of a furnace. You can live in a house with a furnace and no insulation, but a house with no furnace and lots of insulation will still be cold – at least some of the time.
But there are several excuses on offer for the lack of warming, such as the sun is getting colder, or the missing heat is hiding in the oceans, or there’s a lot more volcanic dust in the atmosphere than we thought, or oceanic winds are stronger than modelled, or we just don’t have enough observations in the right places….all excuses that were never mentioned before. Until the last six months, carbon dioxide was the one and only climate control. Now the story is changing; the models were just incomplete, and, as soon as they get their models improved (i.e., keep the “climate scientists” funded), they will figure out what the climate is really doing.
You should not believe this argument, for a fundamental reason. Models of the atmosphere are not reliable beyond about a week. A year? A century? Give me a break! Not a chance.
I’ve been musing over this for a couple of days – the impossibility of modelling the climate. I’m pleased to see that Lord Monckton of Brenchley has written on the same topic. You can read his description of why climate modelling is impossible as well – or you can simply write or call your local weather forecaster. None of this is a secret.
I became a student of meteorology in 1962, at Florida State, and I learned that scientific meteorological forecasting was becoming possible, through the ability of smart meteorologists (i.e., my professors) and the advent of very high-speed computers. The smart meteorologists would write the necessary non-linear partial differential equations in spherical coordinates on a rotating earth and initialize the boundary conditions from the thousands of surface and upper air balloon observations (with satellite observations yet to come) and run (i.e., find the solution that satisfied) the equations and out would come the forecast. Note the word initialize.
The next year, 1963, it all went to Hell. A very smart meteorologist, Ed Lorenz at MIT, started his computer and stepped away for a cup of coffee. When he came back, to his annoyance, he found the computer had stopped for some reason, only part way through. No reason to redo all the calculations, so he restarted the computer, and initialized the calculations with some of the values partway through. This time the calculations ran as far as he wanted, several days into the future. Much to his surprise, when he compared his partial results with the full results, they were very different. Much to everyone’s surprise, the solution to a set of deterministic non-linear partial differential equations depends very much on the initial conditions. Slightly – I mean infinitesimally – small initial condition differences can lead to wildly different forecasts. As Lorenz phrased it, “the flapping of a butterfly’s wings could lead to a tornado in Texas.”
So, how does a meteorologist know the initial conditions – always a little uncertain – won’t turn the forecast into nonsense? The National Meteorological Center runs the model several times, with small random variations in the numerical values of the initial conditions, to be sure the forecast doesn’t change drastically. But, over a few days, the inevitable errors – noise – in the initial value data will swamp the valid solution. The forecast always goes wrong.
As I said, every forecaster who has to face real customers in TV land, or the newspapers, or at the airport, or in the Air Force or Navy, is aware of this. That’s one of the reasons most real weather forecasters don’t believe the ivory tower “climate scientists” who offer prognostications of the climate a century from now. Have you noticed the “climate scientists” don’t bother to offer a forecast for next month? Or next year? Gee, I wonder what their verification statistics would look like?
Ed Lorenz discovered a new field of mathematics, called Chaos Theory, a major scientific development. It also includes fractals and fractal art, such as the Mandelbrot set. And the drip paintings of Jackson Pollock (I’m told) contain fractal characteristics. I guess meteorology’s loss is art’s gain. If you wish to know much more about Chaos Theory, The Great Courses (www.teach12.com) offers a very nice 24-lecture course by Professor Strogatz of Cornell.
Breaking news: the propaganda campaign to control your life and take your money, in the name of saving our children from climate change, will get a fresh hour of nonsense from Ann Curry (NBC News) on Sunday evening, April 6, 7p/6c. Curry will assure us that 2013 was “a year of extremes” that proves …well, I’ll wait to see.