Nogle foreløbige reaktioner på IPCC’s tilbagetog

Akademia, Diverse, FN, Grøn energi, IPCC, Klima, Pressen, miljø, venstrefløjen — Drokles on September 18, 2013 at 11:56 am

FN’s klimapanel IPCC barsler med en ny rapport, der skal tjene beslutningstagere over hele verden, som en vejledning i hvilken trussel menneskeheden står overfor og subsidiært hvorledes vi kan beskattes for at kunne beskyttes. Men 17 år uden global opvarmning, uden mere ekstremt vejr og uden en eneste klimaflygtning har sået tvivl i de ellers ubetvivlelige konklusioner. Ross McKitrick skriver i Financial Post

Everything you need to know about the dilemma the IPCC faces is summed up in one remarkable graph.


The figure nearby is from the draft version that underwent expert review last winter. It compares climate model simulations of the global average temperature to observations over the post-1990 interval. During this time atmospheric carbon dioxide rose by 12%, from 355 parts per million (ppm) to 396 ppm. The IPCC graph shows that climate models predicted temperatures should have responded by rising somewhere between about 0.2 and 0.9 degrees C over the same period. But the actual temperature change was only about 0.1 degrees, and was within the margin of error around zero. In other words, models significantly over-predicted the warming effect of CO2 emissions for the past 22 years.

Chapter 9 of the IPCC draft also shows that overestimation of warming was observed on even longer time scales in data collected by weather satellites and weather balloons over the tropics. Because of its dominant role in planetary energy and precipitation patterns, models have to get the tropical region right if they are credibly to simulate the global climate system. Based on all climate models used by the IPCC, this region of the atmosphere (specifically the tropical mid-troposphere) should exhibit the most rapid greenhouse warming anywhere. Yet most data sets show virtually no temperature change for over 30 years.


To those of us who have been following the climate debate for decades, the next few years will be electrifying. There is a high probability we will witness the crackup of one of the most influential scientific paradigms of the 20th century, and the implications for policy and global politics could be staggering.

Roy Spencer siger på sin blog

For the last 10-20 years or more, a few of us have been saying that the IPCC has been ignoring the elephant in the room…that the real climate system is simply not as sensitive to CO2 emissions as they claim. Of course, the lower the climate sensitivity, the less of a problem global warming and climate change becomes.

This elephant has had to be ignored at all costs. What, the globe isn’t warming from manmade CO2 as fast as we predicted? Then it must be manmade aerosols cooling things off. Or the warming is causing the deep ocean to heat up by hundredths or thousandths of a degree. Any reason except reduced climate sensitivity, because low climate sensitivity might mean we really don’t have to worry about global warming after all.

And, if that’s the case, the less relevant the IPCC becomes. Not good if your entire professional career has been invested in the IPCC.

But forecasting the future state of the climate system was always a risky business. The Danish physicist, Niels Bohr, was correct: “Prediction is very difficult, especially about the future.”

Unlike daily forecasts made by meteorologists, the advantage to climate prognosticators of multi-decadal forecasts is that few people will remember how wrong you were when your forecast finally goes bust.

Yet, here we are, with over 20 years of forecasts from the early days of climate modelling, and the chickens are finally coming home to roost.

I’m sure the politicians believed we would have had new energy policies in place by now, in which case they could have (disingenuously) claimed their policies were responsible for global warming “ending”. Not likely, since atmospheric CO2 continues to increase, and even by the most optimistic estimates renewable energy won’t amount to more than 15% of global energy generation in the coming decades.

But it’s been nearly 20 years since Al Gore privately blamed us (now, the UAH satellite temperature dataset) for the failure of his earliest attempt at CO2 legislation. Multiple attempts at carbon legislation have failed. The lack of understanding of basic economic principles on the part of politicians and scientists alike led to the unrealistic expectation that humanity would allow the lifeblood of the global economy — inexpensive energy — to be restricted.

Tyske Fritz Vahrenholt siger i et interview med bloggen No Tricks Zone

It’s now obvious that the IPCC models are not correctly reflecting the development of atmospheric temperatures. What‘s false? Reality or the models? The hackneyed explanation of a deep sea warming below 700 meters hasn’t been substantiated up to now. How does atmospheric warming from a climate gas jump 700 meters deep into the ocean? If you consider the uncertainties in the Earth’s radiation budget measurements at the top of the atmosphere, and those of the temperature changes at water depths below 700 meters, where we are talking about changes of a few hundredths of a degree Celsius over many years, such a “missing heat” cannot be ascertained today. The likelihood is that there is no “missing heat”. Slight changes in cloud cover could easily account for a similar effect. That would mean the end of the alarmist CO2 theory. Perhaps this is why we’ve been hearing speculation about the deep ocean.  On the other hand, perhaps this discussion tells us that the alarmist faction needs to deal more with oceanic cycles. It is possible that this is a step in recognizing the central impacts of the PDO and AMO on our climate.

NTZ: Hans von Storch confirms that 98% of the climate models have been wrong so far. Do you think the directors of world’s leading climate research institutes risk damaging the once sterling reputations of their institutes if they do not soon admit there’s a problem with climate science?

FV: They certainly find themselves in a serious jam. That‘s why they are now trying to gain time by claiming that the models first become falsified if there has been no warming over a period of 30 years – never mind that the warming of 1977 to 1998 was only 22 years and deemed to be long enough to “prove“ the CO2 theory. A few years ago climate scientist Ben Santer said only 17 years were necessary before we could talk about a real climate trend. Now that reality is pulling the rug from under models, some scientists are having misgivings. Some are praying for an El Nino year, which would allow them to beat the drums of fear again. They’ll hype up every single weather effect to get attention.

NTZ: Some prominent climate experts have been expressing second thoughts about the seriousness of man-made climate change, e.g. Hans von Storch, Lennart Bengtsson. Do you expect more scientists to follow as more data come in?

FV: Certainly. That’s what’s so fascinating about science. It proposes theories. And when they don’t fit reality, they get changed. The chaff gets separated from the wheat.

NTZ: Spiegel for example has been publishing some articles critical of alarmist climate science. Do you expect the rest of Germany’s media to soon follow and to start taking a more critical look?

FV: This process is fully under way. But it’s going to take a long time because an entire generation has been convinced that CO2 is a climate killer. But the shrill tones have been quieting down.

NTZ: What danger does Germany face should it continue down its current path of climate alarmism and rush into renewable energies?

FV: Twenty billion euros are being paid out by consumers for renewable energies in Germany each and every year. Currently that amounts to 250 euros per household each year and it will increase to 300 euros next year.

Worse, it’s a gigantic redistribution from the bottom to top, from the poor who cannot afford a solar system to rich property owners who own buildings with large roof areas. The German Minister of Environment fears a burden of 1000 billion euros by 2040.

It is truly outrageous that 1) 40% of the world’s photovoltaic capacity is installed in Germany, a country that sees as much sunshine as Alaska, 2) we are converting wheat into biofuel instead of feeding it to the hungry, and 3) we are covering 20% of our agricultural land with corn for biogas plants and thus adversely impacting wildlife. We are even destroying forests and nature in order to make way for industrial wind parks.

On windy days we have so much power that wind parks are asked to shut down, yet they get paid for the power they don’t even deliver. And when the wind really blows, we “sell” surplus power to neighboring countries at negative prices. And when the wind stops blowing and when there is no sun, we have to get our power from foreign countries. In the end we pay with the loss of high-paying industrial jobs because the high price of power is making us uncompetitive.

The agitators in climate science here in Germany have done us no favors. Renewable energies do have a big future, but not like this. It’s been a run-away train and it’s too expensive. We are putting Germany’s industry in jeopardy. In reality there really isn’t any urgency because the solar cycles and nature are giving us time to make the transition over to renewable energies in a sensible way.

NTZ: Has the weather become more extreme? Why are we getting bombarded by scary reports from the media – even after a normal thunderstorm with hail?

FV: Extreme weather is the only card they have left to play. We see that Arctic sea ice extent is the highest since 2007. At the South Pole sea ice is at the highest extent in a very long time, hurricanes have not become more frequent, the same is true with tornadoes, sea level is rising at 2-3 mm per year and there’s been no change in the rate, and global temperature has been stagnant for 15 years. Indeed we are exposed to bad weather. And when one is presented with a simplistic explanation, i.e. it’s man’s fault, it gladly gets accepted. CO2 does have a warming effect on the planet. However, this effect has been greatly exaggerated. The climate impact of CO2 is less than the half of what the climate alarmists claim. That’s why in our book, The Neglected Sun, we are saying there is not going to be any climate catastrophe.

NTZ: What do you expect from the soon-to-be-released IPCC 5th Assessment Report?

FV: It is truly remarkable that some countries are urging IPCC 5AR authors to address the reasons for the temperature hiatus in the summary for policymakers. Dissatisfaction with the IPCC’s tunnel vision is growing. But let’s not kid ourselves: In the coming days and weeks the media are not going to be able to refrain from the IPCC catastrophe-hype. However, what will be different from the previous four reports is that the hype will die off much more quickly. Those who ignore nature and its fluctuations will end up on the sidelines soon enough. I think this is going to be the last report of this kind.

Og Roger Pielke Jr. kommer med en venlig opsang til

More seriously, rather than engaging in proxy wars over media reporting and the short-term PR spin associated with it — which may in fact just make things worse — it would be in the long-term interests of the climate science community to take a step back and consider the role of their spokespeople (official or otherwise) in aiding and abetting the skeptics, deniers and other nefarious evil-doers.

A difficult question for the climate science community is, how is it that this broad community of researchers — full of bright and thoughtful people — allowed intolerant activists who make false claims to certainty to become the public face of the field?

Joanna Nova tror ikke at klimamiljøet tager imod sådanne gode råd og minder i stedet om at  ”They offer no credit to those who were right”

We are over the peak. Years late, the IPCC concedes some territory and wears headlines they must hate (“Global warming is just HALF what we said“, “We got it wrong on warming“), but PR still rules, and in the big game, this will quickly spin to a minor bump. It’s a classic technique to release “the bad news” before the main report, to clear the air for the messages the agents want to stick.

Since 2007 they’ve burned through their credibility in so many ways:  think Climategate, and getting caught pretending activist material was science, being busted for 300-year-typos like the Himalayan Glaciers, plus 15 years of no warming, no hot spot, models being wrong, droughts ending, and ice returning, all the while pouring scorn and derision on anyone who questioned them. The IPCC were being hammered and they had to change tacks. Now, for the first time, the IPCC is making a serious retreat, presumably in the hope of being able to still paint itself as “scientific” and to fight from a different trench. Anything to continue the yearly junkets and to save face. What they hope is that no one will notice that the deniers were right and the experts were wrong, and the “government panel” has helped governments waste billions of your dollars.

They were 90% certain in 2007, which was never a scientific probability, but a hands-up vote. Now, in the most meaningless of ways, they are 95% certain of something more vague: the range has gone from 2°C to 4.5°C, to 1°C to 6°C. (See Matt Ridley in the Wall St Journal). They just made the barn door even wider. In years to come this allows them more room to pretend they hit the target, without acknowledging that they missed it for 23 years. And even that new supersize barn door may still not be wide enough.

Og nu Joanna Nova anbefaler Matt Riddley, der kalder bortforklaringerne af den manglende varme for “a cottage industry in climate science“, i Wall Street Journal

A more immediately relevant measure of likely warming has also come down: “transient climate response” (TCR)—the actual temperature change expected from a doubling of carbon dioxide about 70 years from now, without the delayed effects that come in the next century. The new report will say that this change is “likely” to be 1 to 2.5 degrees Celsius and “extremely unlikely” to be greater than 3 degrees. This again is lower than when last estimated in 2007 (”very likely” warming of 1 to 3 degrees Celsius, based on models, or 1 to 3.5 degrees, based on observational studies).

Most experts believe that warming of less than 2 degrees Celsius from preindustrial levels will result in no net economic and ecological damage. Therefore, the new report is effectively saying (based on the middle of the range of the IPCC’s emissions scenarios) that there is a better than 50-50 chance that by 2083, the benefits of climate change will still outweigh the harm.

Og han fortsætter

Yet these latest IPCC estimates of climate sensitivity may still be too high. They don’t adequately reflect the latest rash of published papers estimating “equilibrium climate sensitivity” and “transient climate response” on the basis of observations, most of which are pointing to an even milder warming. This was already apparent last year with two papers—by scientists at the University of Illinois and Oslo University in Norway—finding a lower ECS than assumed by the models. Since then, three new papers conclude that ECS is well below the range assumed in the models. The most significant of these, published in Nature Geoscience by a team including 14 lead authors of the forthcoming IPCC scientific report, concluded that “the most likely value of equilibrium climate sensitivity based on the energy budget of the most recent decade is 2.0 degrees Celsius.”

Two recent papers (one in the Journal of the American Meteorological Society, the other in the journal Earth System Dynamics) estimate that TCR is probably around 1.65 degrees Celsius. That’s uncannily close to the estimate of 1.67 degrees reached in 1938 by Guy Callendar, a British engineer and pioneer student of the greenhouse effect. A Canadian mathematician and blogger named Steve McIntyre has pointed out that Callendar’s model does a better job of forecasting the temperature of the world between 1938 and now than do modern models that “hindcast” the same data.

The significance of this is that Callendar assumed that carbon dioxide acts alone, whereas the modern models all assume that its effect is amplified by water vapor. There is not much doubt about the amount of warming that carbon dioxide can cause. There is much more doubt about whether net amplification by water vapor happens in practice or is offset by precipitation and a cooling effect of clouds.

Forleden sagde Connie Hedegaard at selv om videnskaben skulle være forkert er politikken stadig rigtig. Selv om patienten alligevel ikke var syg var det rigtigt at operere? Selv om den anklagede alligevel var uskyldig…. Mon ikke absurditeten i at underkende præmissen for en beslutning vil fremstå mere tydelig for selv de definerende klasser de kommende år?

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