Global warming alarmism is predicated not on observation and empiricism, but on models and religious faith. The problem is that the models have now been around long enough to be either confirmed or falsified, and they are refuted by observation. The alarmists have tried to blur this fact by surreptitiously changing land temperature records to make the past look cooler and the present warmer, but this is at best a holding action.
Our one accurate, transparent and un-tampered with set of data–satellite temperature measurements–is now 37 years old. That is enough time to test the alarmists’ models, which rely on fanciful positive feedback effects to magnify the small and almost certainly beneficial consequences of increased atmospheric CO2 into a nightmare scenario. So how do the alarmists’ models stack up against observation? Let’s go to Ken Haapala of the Science and Environmental Policy Project:
In his written testimony submitted to the US House Committee on Science, Space & Technology on February 2, John Christy of the University of Alabama in Huntsville presented the results of a basic empirical test. Do the climate models simulate what has occurred in the atmosphere since the advent of comprehensive satellite measurements of atmospheric temperatures in the last few weeks of 1978 – the only comprehensive global measurements of temperatures existing – and independently supported by four datasets from weather balloons, which are not comprehensive. The test period includes the entire satellite record from 1978 through 2015 – 37 years.
As Christy wrote:
I was able to access 102 CMIP-5 rcp4.5 (representative concentration pathways) climate model simulations of the atmospheric temperatures for the tropospheric layer and generate bulk temperatures from the models for an apples-to-apples comparison with the observations from satellites and balloons. These models were developed in institutions throughout the world and used in the IPCC AR5 Scientific Assessment (2013).
There were a total of 32 models represented in these 102 simulations. Of these 32 models only one tracked well against global mid-tropospheric temperature variations – the Russian INM-CM4. On average, the models overestimated global warming by 2.5 times that measured.
When comparing mid-tropospheric temperature variations as simulated by the 32 to models with actual observations in the critical tropics, the models did worse. On average, they overestimated warming by 3 times that measured. Again the Russian INM-CM4 outperformed the others.
As Christy fully recognized, such a test is not suitable for prediction or for public policy. For example, the results from the Russian INM-CM4 model came from one simulation. Multiple simulations may produce different results. The model may not capture the various influences on climate correctly, and may fail in the future. But the test clearly shows that long-term projections/predictions from the group of models, ensemble, are unsuitable for public policy that has a dramatic, destructive effect on the economy as proposed by many western governments. Conversely, the Russian model is a start.
It will be very interesting to see how this model performs in the future. As to the bulk of the other models, waiting for an ensemble of models to perform well may be as futile as waiting for an ensemble of questionable musicians to perform the Beethoven’s 5th beautifully, without a conductor.
All you need to know about the catastrophic anthropogenic global warming theory is summed up by Richard Feynman, one of the world’s most eminent scientists:
In general we look for a new law by the following process. First we guess it. Then we compute the consequences of the guess to see what would be implied if this law that we guessed is right. Then we compare the result of the computation to nature, with experiment or experience, compare it directly with observation, to see if it works. If it disagrees with experiment it is wrong. In that simple statement is the key to science. It does not make any difference how beautiful your guess is. It does not make any difference how smart you are, who made the guess, or what his name is – if it disagrees with experiment it is wrong. That is all there is to it.