Earth a little more resilient than computer models

posted at 9:10 am on March 23, 2008 by Ed Morrissey

The Australian reports a few inconvenient truths regarding global climate change that have yet to receive much attention from a media sold on global warming. Not only has the Earth cooled since its peak year in 1998, not only are oceans cooler than predicted, but new NASA data shows that the computer models that predicted runaway global warming were based on a fundamental error. Rather than having clouds and water vapor amplifying the warming effect of carbon in the atmosphere, it turns out that they compensate for it (via Memeorandum):

Last Monday – on ABC Radio National, of all places – there was a tipping point of a different kind in the debate on climate change. It was a remarkable interview involving the co-host of Counterpoint, Michael Duffy and Jennifer Marohasy, a biologist and senior fellow of Melbourne-based think tank the Institute of Public Affairs. Anyone in public life who takes a position on the greenhouse gas hypothesis will ignore it at their peril.

Duffy asked Marohasy: “Is the Earth stillwarming?”

She replied: “No, actually, there has been cooling, if you take 1998 as your point of reference. If you take 2002 as your point of reference, then temperatures have plateaued. This is certainly not what you’d expect if carbon dioxide is driving temperature because carbon dioxide levels have been increasing but temperatures have actually been coming down over the last 10 years.”

Duffy: “Is this a matter of any controversy?”

Marohasy: “Actually, no. The head of the IPCC (Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change) has actually acknowledged it. He talks about the apparent plateau in temperatures so far this century. So he recognises that in this century, over the past eight years, temperatures have plateaued … This is not what you’d expect, as I said, because if carbon dioxide is driving temperature then you’d expect that, given carbon dioxide levels have been continuing to increase, temperatures should be going up … So (it’s) very unexpected, not something that’s being discussed. It should be being discussed, though, because it’s very significant.” …

Duffy: “Can you tell us about NASA’s Aqua satellite, because I understand some of the data we’re now getting is quite important in our understanding of how climate works?”

Marohasy: “That’s right. The satellite was only launched in 2002 and it enabled the collection of data, not just on temperature but also on cloud formation and water vapour. What all the climate models suggest is that, when you’ve got warming from additional carbon dioxide, this will result in increased water vapour, so you’re going to get a positive feedback. That’s what the models have been indicating. What this great data from the NASA Aqua satellite … (is) actually showing is just the opposite, that with a little bit of warming, weather processes are compensating, so they’re actually limiting the greenhouse effect and you’re getting a negative rather than a positive feedback.”

Duffy: “The climate is actually, in one way anyway, more robust than was assumed in the climate models?”

Marohasy: “That’s right … These findings actually aren’t being disputed by the meteorological community. They’re having trouble digesting the findings, they’re acknowledging the findings, they’re acknowledging that the data from NASA’s Aqua satellite is not how the models predict, and I think they’re about to recognise that the models really do need to be overhauled and that when they are overhauled they will probably show greatly reduced future warming projected as a consequence of carbon dioxide.”

Hmm. How many have actually heard that the NASA Aqua satellite returned this kind of data? I searched the New York Times and found nothing since 2006 on Aqua — and that was just an announcement that NASA would launch more satellites to study weather. The Washington Post reported on ice loss in the Arctic just this week, but noted that Aqua shows an ice increase in the Acrtic this winter, but never reported on the other data that throws cold water on global warming.

So far, no one asserts that we have produced less carbon in the atmosphere. Global-warming activists continue to make Chicken Little predictions of catastrophe based on increases in carbon releases, especially from China and India as they modernize and industrialize. If carbon releases resulted in global warming, then the rate of increase should be constant; there definitely should be no decrease, especially given the theoretical amplification of water vapor.

Apparently, though, both assumptions have either proven incorrect or far too simplified to explain the actual impact of carbon on global temperatures. That’s not surprising, especially given the previous global-cooling scare of the 1970s and how baseless that theory turned out to be. What’s surprising is the utter lack of coverage that the new data has received. Why haven’t the same media outlets that relentlessly cover global-warming advocacy reported on the appearance of contradictory data?

Perhaps because global warming is more advocacy than science.


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Johan Klaus on March 24, 2008 at 2:00 AM

Sorry, Klaus, but skeptics need to have more than “but it’s just a theory!!11!!!!1!” THAT’S a creationist argument, taken right off the blog for “Expelled: No Intelligence Allowed”. Theories do not magically become facts. That’s not how science works.

Math_Mage on March 24, 2008 at 2:04 AM

Sorry, but that was not from a blog. In my business we deal only with facts. When we have a theory, we test it scientificly and when it is proven sound we implement it into the design. I meet with scientist every day and some are arrogant to the point of having a closed mind. Progress can never be accomplished when there is no open debate.

Johan Klaus on March 24, 2008 at 2:23 AM

There is a big difference between academia and the real world.

Johan Klaus on March 24, 2008 at 2:25 AM

Our engineers are from the best universities in the world and they all have to go through on the job training for one year, before they do any designing. Yes, even the Phd.’s.

Johan Klaus on March 24, 2008 at 2:31 AM

Sorry, but that was not from a blog. In my business we deal only with facts. When we have a theory, we test it scientificly and when it is proven sound we implement it into the design. I meet with scientist every day and some are arrogant to the point of having a closed mind. Progress can never be accomplished when there is no open debate.

Johan Klaus on March 24, 2008 at 2:23 AM

Ok. “Proven sound” I have no problem with. A theory can be proven sound without being “proven” correct. It’s just that your earlier post seemed to the subscribe to the “theories aren’t facts, therefore the name “theory” means it’s not yet sound” school of thought.

We’re essentially on the same side here; I’m a global warming skeptic too. That’s one reason why I’m especially careful to try to stay away from arguments that lead down the path to creationist arguments, and to watch out for that tendency in other skeptics. I get a little paranoid. Sorry.

Math_Mage on March 24, 2008 at 3:25 AM

Speaking of proving things sound, I seem to recall that the AGW hypothesis predicted increasing temperatures tracking or following CO2 increases, and increased hurricane activity.

I also seem to recall something vague from all those “sciencey” kinds of classes about how important it is that a hypothesis correctly predict the outcome of the event in question.

I leave the rest as an exercise for the reader.

In the interim, were I in climate science, I’d be working on a new hypothesis that better matches the observed data, rather than calling people names to assuage my bruised ego and cover my ass funding.

Merovign on March 24, 2008 at 5:28 AM

My understanding is that there are several aspects on heat trapping is the atmosphere of the affects of water vapor/water droplets in the atmosphere which have been in dispute for over a decade. One of the several has to do with the formation of droplets, which involves a nucleating particle around which water condenses. Just in the last month some research was presented which indicated that the nucleating particle is frequently and maybe dominantly a bacteria. I bet no one predicted that one. Formation of droplets is of seminal importance to the understanding of clouds and of their relevance to climate.

The controversy concerning the sign of the feedback is also of long standing. The warming enthusiasts have just been able to shout louder because they have the big bucks.

burt on March 24, 2008 at 6:22 AM

That could be true, but before billion of dollars is spent to fight it we need to have facts not scientific consensus.

OK, I’m done here.

freevillage on March 24, 2008 at 8:47 AM

Hey Ed, I hope you don’t mind, but I submitted this as a Slashdot story. I basically used your opening paragraph for the story summary, and credited you for it. I included a link to the story in the Australian, and a link back to this page as well. It probably won’t get posted, what with the crazy lib editors there, but I felt it should be submitted anyway.

wearyman on March 24, 2008 at 9:55 AM

Here’s what the debate is about. The overwhelming scientific consensus is that there is global warming and men have contributed to it.

freevillage on March 23, 2008 at 9:10 PM

Always a little hedge.
The real debate is how much is contributed by man? Most scientist are now moving towards very little, almost immeasurable. And the amount, if measurable, has no effect.
Since you say you are from MIT, then you have with you the most respected person in the field on your campus…Richard Lindzen.

The conclusion of the late climate scientist Roger Revelle—Al Gore’s supposed mentor—is worth pondering: the evidence for global warming thus far doesn’t warrant any action unless it is justifiable on grounds that have nothing to do with climate.

If you have the credentials to debate Lindzen, then good luck. Just because you can measure CO2 production from man, does not mean it has any effect. There has never been a link between man made CO2 and global warming…and I venture to bet never will be. We just produce so little.
However, if you are the mindset that eclipses are from an “angry God”, or that pictures “caputure” a mans spirit, or earthquakes are a sign from God that he is angry, then I can understand how you think that Mother Earth is revolting against our “mindless production of CO2″.
*
Here is a way for you to counteract the process, form a drum circle on a moonless night, paint peace signs on your forehead, chant “We are sorry Mother Earth”, if all of the leaders on earth did that their would be peace, harmony, and and an “Earth in Balance”. Peace be with you brother…

right2bright on March 24, 2008 at 9:56 AM

The warming debate is the old science fiction story where time travel is discovered and you could only go so far into the future because the earth was destroyed by a giant ray. A mass mobilization followed to avert “doomsday” and a massive weapon was installed on the moon to repel the alien invaders who were believed to be responsible. In a time paradox it turned out the there were no alien invaders and what destroyed the earth was the weapon built by man to save it. A cautionary tale for our time.

Rumpole on March 24, 2008 at 10:45 AM

Here’s what the debate is about. The overwhelming scientific consensus is that there is global warming and men have contributed to it. It can easily be demonstrated with a list of references in peer-reviewed journals. People who claim otherwise don’t know anything. At all.

freevillage on March 23, 2008 at 9:10 PM

I see, so you won’t bother with facts. And its interesting that you don’t have, or won’t use FACTs, to “dismis” the arguements of us poor unelightened non academics.

I also maintain that by calling us Insane, and crazy, somthing that none of us have done to you, you worship at the Gloabal Warming alter.

We get it, you have “faith” because word has come to you from the “GREEN BUILDING”! It was given to you from on high (the 18th floor)!

As to your “Peer Review”? You do know they will no release how they are “correcting” the temperature Data? They modify it every day, and will not release how they are modifying the data they are collecting? Peers CANNOT Review what is not RELEASED.

You do know that the famous “hockey stick” graph had a mathematical flaw in it? But because he wouldn’t release the program it took YEARS to find? All the while misleading the entire world with that famous graph?

Peer review? Yeah right…

Romeo13 on March 24, 2008 at 10:47 AM

Rumpole on March 24, 2008 at 10:45 AM

Little early to be breaking open the bottle…

right2bright on March 24, 2008 at 10:48 AM

freevillage on March 24, 2008 at 8:47 AM

You still have not explained the olive trees in Northern Germany in the middle ages.
There also was scientific consensus about the make up of Neptune and Saturn, before we sent probes to observe them and the consensus was almost all wrong. Check NASA’s statements following some of the missions.

Johan Klaus on March 24, 2008 at 1:08 PM

According to the Aqua site, they haven’t issued a press release since 2006, which is probably why the press hasn’t reported on them. So the real question is why haven’t they announced their findings? Didn’t HA link to an article last week where a scientist claimed NASA was suppressing his finding because they contradicted the GW narrative? What’s going on at NASA?

Spolitics on March 24, 2008 at 1:22 PM

A NASA spokesman, following probes sent to Neptune and Saturn, said ” almost everything that we thought about the planets was wrong “. That quote may not be word for word, but that is my recollection.

Johan Klaus on March 24, 2008 at 1:30 PM

Ok. Global warming is a big scam to put billlions into the Goracle’s pockets and to increase the size of government drastically….the question is: what is the best way to completely crush the global warming movement and end the “debate” once and for all??

SaintOlaf on March 24, 2008 at 1:37 PM

Make that: “. . .really interested only in promoting socialism”

What makes you think McCain isn’t?

MarkTheGreat on March 24, 2008 at 1:38 PM

Too many variables (solar activity, ocean temps etc) to make a model around which to build a solid theory.

Not just too many variables, but the relationship between too many of those variables is just plain unknown.

bucko36: Nice attempt at diversion. Nobody denies that more CO2 will warm the atmosphere. The question has always been. How much?

There is not, and never has been any evidence that the IPCC’s disaster scenarios have any basis in reality.

MarkTheGreat on March 24, 2008 at 1:41 PM

The problem with computer models is that if there is any error in the program it can drastically change the results. Try a half of a degree error in a vector for five hundred miles and check the results.

Johan Klaus on March 24, 2008 at 2:52 PM

You can have the fastest most powerful computer in the world, but if your models are wrong then your simulation isn’t worth the processing power you have.

We call that GIGO – Garbage In Garbage Out

Kini on March 24, 2008 at 3:27 PM

freevillage on March 24, 2008 at 8:47 AM

Without even answering my question about whether you know Kelly? Harsh. Plus, you’re the only intelligent dissenter this post has.

Math_Mage on March 24, 2008 at 6:30 PM

Is he going to have to return the NobelPrize?

drjohn on March 24, 2008 at 6:38 PM

Dr. John, are you a chemical engineer in Houston,Texas?

Johan Klaus on March 24, 2008 at 7:12 PM

Without even answering my question about whether you know Kelly? Harsh. Plus, you’re the only intelligent dissenter this post has.

Sorry. I barely know people next door.

freevillage on March 24, 2008 at 10:18 PM

right2bright on March 24, 2008 at 9:56 AM

You didn’t even understand the quote you posted or anything I had written above.

freevillage on March 24, 2008 at 10:21 PM

Global Warming Change!

They chicken-littles are one step ahead of you…

DANEgerus on March 24, 2008 at 10:22 PM

Global Warming Change!

They chicken-littles are one step ahead of you…

DANEgerus on March 24, 2008 at 10:23 PM

You still have not explained the olive trees in Northern Germany in the middle ages.

I have no idea what you’re talking about. I don’t have to. You can choose to talk about climate, running a big business or how to run a marathon in 2 hours. Knowing nothing about any of these subjects I will still take the word of scientists’, CEOs’ or world class athletes’ over yours.

Read my lips. Q-u-a-l-i-f-i-c-a-t-i-o-n-s. OK?

Bye.

freevillage on March 24, 2008 at 10:25 PM

freevillage, still asking why it’s so inconceivable for temperature to be governed by negative feedback loops, as is suggested above, rather than by positive feedback loops. Le Chatelier’s principle doesn’t strictly apply to anything other than reaction equilibrium, but it would still be reasonable for an analogue to be responsible for Dr. Marohasy’s comments above.

…don’t block this one with qualification arguments, please; it’s merely based on Dr. Marohasy’s comments, and I doubt you can cast serious aspersions on her credentials.

Math_Mage on March 24, 2008 at 10:49 PM

In—- the—- middle—- ages—- olive—- trees—- grew—- in—– the—- Ruhr—- valley—- in—- Germany. It—- is—- now—- too—- cold—- for—- olive—- trees—- to—- grow—- there. Do I detect condescension?

Johan Klaus on March 25, 2008 at 12:25 AM

Again, I’m not trying to be mean but I think it’s ridiculous for me to try and argue something that I have no qualifications for. I know the majority of global warming truthers here assume I’m somehow emotionally invested in pushing forward the theory of anthropogenic global warming. I’m really not.

I mean, isn’t it obvious? If you’re a software engineer and I told you: your code sucks, wouldn’t your reaction be “Really? And who tf are you?” It’s a natural response and it’s not totally without substance.

The answer to your question is: I don’t know. I think it’s totally conceivable that there’s no global warming – it just seems like all the evidence shows there most likely is. BTW a brief research of her quotes (http://www.sourcewatch.org/index.php?title=Jennifer_Marohasy ) doesn’t suggest she’s not so totally on the truthers’ side. She’s mostly concerned about senseless government policies, which I am too!

freevillage on March 25, 2008 at 12:28 AM

freevillage on March 24, 2008 at 10:25 PM

Of course is only the scientist that you select.

Johan Klaus on March 25, 2008 at 12:29 AM

doesn’t = does… sorry, sloppy editing.

freevillage on March 25, 2008 at 12:30 AM

I have no idea what you’re talking about. I don’t have to. You can choose to talk about climate, running a big business or how to run a marathon in 2 hours. Knowing nothing about any of these subjects I will still take the word of scientists’, CEOs’ or world class athletes’ over yours.

Read my lips. Q-u-a-l-i-f-i-c-a-t-i-o-n-s. OK?

Bye.

freevillage on March 24, 2008 at 10:25 PM

This is the written equivalent to putting your fingers firmly in your ears and saying, “La la la la la la la la la”.

Unwilling to do any of your own research, you blindly accept someone with ‘qualifications’? It’s certainly your choice to make. But I question the wisdom of such a choice.

techno_barbarian on March 25, 2008 at 12:42 AM

I think that I will drink a Dunkelweizen and go to bed. Goodnight folks.

Johan Klaus on March 25, 2008 at 12:51 AM

You didn’t even understand the quote you posted or anything I had written above.

freevillage on March 24, 2008 at 10:21 PM

Well then I guess that takes you off of the “I’m intelligent” list.
But then,I can understand how someone like Richard Lindzen could confound someone like you…I will put it in simple terms and type real slow for you… Lindzen… says… there… is… no… known… correlation… between… man… and… global… climate… change…
Now, please don’t ask who Richard Lindzen is, please…
*
So, how many rooms at MIT do you clean in a day?

right2bright on March 25, 2008 at 9:06 AM

Unwilling to do any of your own research, you blindly accept someone with ‘qualifications’? It’s certainly your choice to make. But I question the wisdom of such a choice.

Once you’re done with your independent research on meteorology, here’s another problem to ponder: “Given aviation fuel does not burn at high enough temperature to melt steel, please can someone explain how the steel columns of the twin towers melted?”

A quick search on the internets will get you entire teams of unabashed fellow explorers.

Well then I guess that takes you off of the “I’m intelligent” list.

:)

freevillage on March 25, 2008 at 9:17 AM

it just seems like all the evidence shows there most likely is. BTW a brief research of her quotes (http://www.sourcewatch.org/index.php?title=Jennifer_Marohasy ) doesn’t suggest she’s not so totally on the truthers’ side. She’s mostly concerned about senseless government policies, which I am too!

freevillage on March 25, 2008 at 12:28 AM

This is who you quote as an expert.

Batchelor of Agricultural Science to a Bachelor of Science and enrolled in everything from ethics to plant taxonomy.

I am paid for some of the columns and opinon pieces that I write for various newspapers and I charge a fee for some of the speeches I give.

This is your “climate expert”, and down the hall you have Richard Lindzen the most noted in his field, the most respected…and you choose her to quote, unbelievable.
Here let me use your line…qualifications…Richard does, she doesn’t, she is an “expert” in political environmental issues (like Gore only on the other side of the political spectrum), not a scientist.

right2bright on March 25, 2008 at 9:24 AM

I am very willing to let the the debate or polemic around man-made global warming to run its course and let the data pile up on one side or the other. However, people are insisting on Actions to solve this Problem. Can’t we insist that any actions taken near-term be both transitive and reversible? If you want to tax my carbon emissions to reduce warming, I should be allowed tax credits for the same or more emissions when we again notice global cooling. The very worst ‘solutions’ are those proposed regardless of the temperature tendency: jet planes are bad, they emit carbon dioxide [global warming!] — but also — jet planes are bad, they cause contrails [global cooling!].
The ‘keep it transitive approach’ should rationalize out the folks with a cause [jet planes are bad] who attach their solution to any handy issue.

LaMonte on March 25, 2008 at 10:49 AM

Gore akbar!

Johan Klaus on March 25, 2008 at 12:36 PM

right2bright on March 25, 2008 at 9:24 AM

Are you on some medication? Seriously. Is someone looking after you? Because it’s getting frightening, actually.

I was quoting her because I was told earlier in this thread that she was a prominent skeptic of global warming. I did a quick search and found evidence she wasn’t so much critical of the idea of global warming as she was of the policies intended to mitigate its effect.

Lindzen isn’t the only faculty member here. I have already stated that there is no dispute some number of well respected scientists are skeptical of the idea. The overwhelming majority isn’t. BTW, Lindzen also thinks smoking doesn’t cause lung cancer.

freevillage on March 25, 2008 at 4:13 PM

Sorry, Klaus, but skeptics need to have more than “but it’s just a theory!!11!!!!1!” THAT’S a creationist argument, taken right off the blog for “Expelled: No Intelligence Allowed”. Theories do not magically become facts. That’s not how science works.

Math_Mage on March 24, 2008 at 2:04 AM

But that is all the global warming zealots have. They have no data that supports there contention of CO2(man made)induced global warming. The Earth warms and it cools from time to time. So what. There is much more benefit to mankind with warming than cooling.

Dasher on March 25, 2008 at 4:24 PM

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