Modeling for global warming: Never mind!

posted at 5:30 pm on July 15, 2009 by Ed Morrissey

While Congress debates a cap-and-tax proposal that will kneecap the American economy and drive jobs overseas, the so-called scientific consensus for global warming took a shot to the solar plexus.  USA Today reports on a new study that calls into question the entire basis for the modeling that drives the “greenhouse gas” theory of climate change.  In fact, its co-author says that climate change modeling is “fundamentally wrong” and that carbon alone did not drive the the rapid warming of the Earth 55 million years ago (via Yid with Lid):

Could the best climate models — the ones used to predict global warming — all be wrong?

Maybe so, says a new study published online today in the journal Nature Geoscience.  The report found that only about half of the warming that occurred during a natural climate change 55 million years ago can be explained by excess carbon dioxide in the atmosphere. What caused the remainder of the warming is a mystery.

“In a nutshell, theoretical models cannot explain what we observe in the geological record,” says oceanographer Gerald Dickens, study co-author and professor of Earth Science at Rice University in Houston. “There appears to be something fundamentally wrong with the way temperature and carbon are linked in climate models.” …

The conclusion, Dickens said, is that something other than carbon dioxide caused much of this ancient warming. “Some feedback loop or other processes that aren’t accounted for in these models — the same ones used by the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change for current best estimates of 21st century warming — caused a substantial portion of the warming that occurred during the PETM [Palaeocene-Eocene thermal maximum].”

The climate models use the PETM as a major source of data for their modeling.  The predictions of disaster come from the rapid warming seen in that period, applied to today’s data.  If the models assigned too much reliance on carbon emissions as a cause, then their predictions for future temperature increases become completely unreliable.  Since anthropogenic global warming has to this point only occurred in the models, that would be a huge problem for the global-warming industry.

The purported link between warmer temperatures and carbon emissions has been proven wrong just from the temperatures over the last ten years.  In 1998, temperatures peaked, and have declined since.  The level of carbon emissions hasn’t decreased to any significant extent, which hysterics like Prince Charles note when they claim that the Earth only has 96 months left before disaster strikes.  Actual scientists would look at those data points and presume that any linkage between carbon emissions and temperature increases would be flimsy indeed.

Thankfully, some actual scientists have finally begun doing actual science, rather than political hackery in pursuit of government funding.  Maybe the best way to prevent anthropogenic global warming is to destroy the only environment where it takes place — in the flawed models used by hysterics.

Update: Anthony Watts noted this yesterday.  The comments section there is enlightening, especially this comment:

So, geologic record says…

70% increase in Atmospheric Carbon…
…with a 7 degree C temperature rise.

Today we have a 33% increase in Atmospheric Carbon…
…with a ~1 degree C temperature rise…?

This is clearly “worse/faster than expected.”

Unless the global warmists are arguing a logarithmic effect for carbon, that also seems to spike the notion that carbon is driving warming.  In fact, as many of the commenters note, it’s probably a warming cycle that tends to release more carbon naturally, rather than the other way around.  This comment in particular hits that nail on the head:

everyone assumed that CO2 was driving temperature in the vostok cores until they examined them on a decadal level and realized that in every glaciation, temperature started rising 6-1200 years before CO2 did.

increased CO2 is a RESULT of a warmer world. this is very well understood chemistry. heat water and it can hold less dissolved CO2. so when the world warms, oceans outgas. note that mistaking an effect for a cause can ofter look like positive feedback.

THAT is the real problem with the current models. they assume that CO2 drives climate in a meaningful way. this has NEVER been proven or even demonstrated. CO2 is a lagging variable to temperature on any reasonable timescale. the mid troposphere (where the greenhouse effect takes place) has warmed less than the surface in direct contradiction to all of the predictions of these GCM’s. the “fingerprint” that was expected has been shown to be absent by both satellites and radiosondes.

Be sure to read through them all.

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I should say that the solar cycle was at an interval of 11 years when sunspot activity was high, however with the lower sunspot activity upon us the cycle quite possible to last in the 13-14 year interval. I cannot remember where I read this info.

larvcom on July 15, 2009 at 9:50 PM

As far as the Gorecle is concerned, he and his ilk don’t understand the effect of gravity on a rock that hit them on their head. It was just bad luck to be standing there after tossing that rock in the air and failing to note the rock’s returning trip.

larvcom on July 15, 2009 at 9:55 PM

Thankfully, some actual scientists have finally begun doing actual science, rather than political hackery in pursuit of government funding. Maybe the best way to prevent anthropogenic global warming is to destroy the only environment where it takes place — in the flawed models used by hysterics.

More like scientists are realizing that the days of “while you’re up, get us a grant” are well and truly over, and with no government money to chase the only thing left is to try and regain our lost credibility. Which is a pain in the tail for those who never sold it, but for letting the charlatans claim the title of scientist, them’s the breaks.

Blacksmith on July 15, 2009 at 10:29 PM

This is Gores MO. Swift Boat ads was true. I remember Al Gore and other guys testifying about horrors our GIs was doing to Vietnam people. Many of those testifying was later shown to not seen any combat, they were support logistics guys. Al Gore wanted to be president early on, thats why he went to Vietnam to become a war hero. When that didn’t work out he became prince war protester to launch his political career, never mind trashing the Vietnam Solder. To this day people have this idea of the Vietnam solder as some kind of monster that never was. Vast majority of our guys were heroes, one not being Gore. Gore should be made to eat his vomit lies.

Ed Laskie on July 15, 2009 at 8:39 PM

Are you confusing Al Gore and John Kerry?

KW64 on July 15, 2009 at 10:51 PM

Since anthropogenic global warming has to this point only occurred in the models, …

I should think that statement alone pretty much nails it.

AZfederalist on July 15, 2009 at 10:54 PM

For the sake of argument let’s say we can actually affect the temperature of the earth and can actually stop or reverse warming or cooling trends. How do we know when to stop? Who decides on what temperature to make it? The Thermostat Czar? What if I am too cold and want it bumped up a little? I am starting to lose sleep over this.

TexAz on July 15, 2009 at 11:09 PM

Among all the other facts that completely disprove every aspect of AGW,I read today that the sub-surface ocean temps. have increased more than surface temps.If AGW is real,this,along with the tropospheric data proves that heat does not rise,it sinks.
Looks like we going to have to change all the fifth-grade science books.Oh well, they did it to the history books,so why not?

DDT on July 16, 2009 at 3:06 AM

Are you confusing Al Gore and John Kerry?
KW64 on July 15

It’s an honest mistake. It’s just they all look alike!

DSchoen on July 16, 2009 at 4:56 AM

Algore struggled in his college science class. He can’t debate. It would bring out his deepest and darkest fears. Even more fear than a global meltdown.
He just took his agenda back a few years just this week in Australia. They didn’t drink the kooolaid.

seven on July 16, 2009 at 9:30 AM

New sunspot cycle just started… like last week. We were in a period of almost no sunspots for quite awhile… but were due to start a new cycle.

Romeo13 on July 15, 2009 at 6:10 PM

Maybe we have, maybe we haven’t. Won’t be able to say for sure for several months.

We had an uptick in sun spots around August of last year as well. Then the sun went quite until two months ago. Last month there was a slight drop in sun spot activity. July has been relatively quiet so far.

Here’s a site that tracks solar activity. It gets updated once a month.

http://www.swpc.noaa.gov/SolarCycle/

Here’s another site for day to day tracking

http://www.solarcycle24.com/index.htm

It’s been 5 days since the last sun spot.

What’s really interesting is watching the Ap index. (I’m not sure exactly how it is defined, but it has something to do with the sun’s magnetic field.) This value fell off the shelf back in 2005 and has been getting lower since.
(In 2005, the current slide in temperatures began in earnest.)

MarkTheGreat on July 16, 2009 at 10:11 AM

damn my silly fingers keep hitting the wrong keys

chemman on July 15, 2009 at 7:13 PM

It’s not your fault.

The keys keep moving.

MarkTheGreat on July 16, 2009 at 10:36 AM

The problem with the Venus model is we simply don’t know for sure what Venus used to be like; was it ever like earth with all that water to absorb or release CO2 depending on conditions? Was their photosynthetic life on land and sea on Venus?

Dr. ZhivBlago on July 15, 2009 at 7:56 PM

I read a study recently that claimed that Venus never cooled off enough for liquid water to form. As a result, all the water has always been in the atmoshpere.

Another interesting thing about Venus, is that when you get high enough in the atmopshere so that the pressure drops to one atmosphere (The pressure at sea level here on Earth),
the temperatures are pretty close to what you find on earth at sea level. Despite the fact that Venus is closer to the sun.

MarkTheGreat on July 16, 2009 at 10:40 AM

If global warming were such a dire concern for all the alarmist, that spew the rhetoric, and the fate of the earth were at risk….then I’d have no doubts, those so called do gooders would put tarps on every vehicle, car, plane, boat, etc…and stop using anything that requires fossil fuels to power them.

Do they? Ask Al Gore. This is bogus, and he knows it. All this is about, as with cap, and tax, and health care, it’s about power, and control, and most importantly, even though they espouse the evils of it….Money!!!

capejasmine on July 16, 2009 at 2:36 PM

Global warming has been a joke for years the science is so bad. I can’t believe we still talk about it. Wait, actually its now ‘climate change’ because the earth is actually getting cooler right now.
Follow the money and this stuff is easy to figure out. What a hoax.

indyrowe on July 16, 2009 at 4:11 PM

n 1998, temperatures peaked, and have declined since.

This statement is completely false. Temperatures have risen over the last ten years. 1998 was a very hot year and was an outlier (something the hysterical environmentalists ignored at the time). Saying it’s cooler now that it was in 1998, therefore global warming is mythical would be like saying the stock market is down from it’s 2007 peak and therefore stocks are always a losing investment. You’re cherry-picking.

Analysis of temperature trends is not based on *one year*. It’s based on *all* the available data. If you look at the trend over the last 30 years, over the last 100, it is a steady, if erratic, rise.

I am, however glad to see that the more hysterical models are falling out of favor. Maybe if we get more of this the debate will move to a more sensible paradigm.

Hal_10000 on July 17, 2009 at 12:27 AM

I should say that the solar cycle was at an interval of 11 years when sunspot activity was high, however with the lower sunspot activity upon us the cycle quite possible to last in the 13-14 year interval. I cannot remember where I read this info.

larvcom on July 15, 2009 at 9:50 PM

Not to mention (and I apologize for not using scientific language to explain this) but there also seems to be a ‘cycle of cycles’ where the 11 year cycles increase and decrease in sunspot intensity. This ‘Cycle of cycles’ seems to repeat itself every 1000-1100 years or so.

Chaz706 on July 19, 2009 at 6:59 PM

Global warming has been a joke for years the science is so bad. I can’t believe we still talk about it. Wait, actually its now ‘climate change’ because the earth is actually getting cooler right now.
Follow the money and this stuff is easy to figure out. What a hoax.

indyrowe on July 16, 2009 at 4:11 PM

I thought it was a hoax since the age of 12, when I was sneaking around in Grandpa’s basement and found a whole bunch of books published in the 70′s about the great crisis of ‘Global Cooling’.

Global Cooling? That was rubbish I thought. Everyone ‘knew’ now the real problem was global warming.

It was only a few months until I put 2 and 2 together.

30-40 years ago everyone ‘knew’ the world was going to freeze to death. 10 years ago everyone ‘knew’ the icecaps were going to melt and flood the world.

Imagine what ‘they’ will ‘know’ tomorrow.

Chaz706 on July 19, 2009 at 7:01 PM

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