Does anyone wonder where all the global warming destruction is? After all, the media are unrelenting in telling us how much climate change caused by man is affecting us. Yet no existential threat has emerged. There’s something off with the story.
The climate alarmists have based their predictions of doom on computer models that have been projecting global temperature increases, the likes of which, they tell us, are unsustainable. We must cut our carbon dioxide emissions, even if (actually, especially if) it hurts developed world economies.
This is the narrative we’re bombarded with on a daily basis. And it’s wrong.
Those models that have been used to fuel the fright are, without a doubt, unreliable. According to a recent story published in Nature magazine written by a group of climate modelers, “a subset of the newest generation of models are ‘too hot’ and project climate warming in response to carbon dioxide emissions that might be larger than that supported by other evidence.”
The authors, though, are careful to preserve the narrative, warning that “whereas unduly hot outcomes might be unlikely, this does not mean that global warming is not a serious threat.” They can’t help themselves.
While the modelers in the Nature article point specifically to problems with “a subset of the newest generation of models,” it’s obvious that the older models are no better. Last fall we covered a ScienceDaily report which noted that some researchers had concluded “a possible flaw in climate models” had been exposed, as the models failed to reproduce an observed event.
“When the history of climate modeling comes to be written in some distant future,” economist Robert L. Bradley Jr. wrote some months ago for the American Institute for Economic Research, “the major story may well be how the easy, computable answer turned out to be the wrong one, resulting in overestimated warming and false scares from the enhanced (man-made) greenhouse effect.”
Despite claims of models’ near infallibility, their record is tainted:
- Two years ago, a University of Michigan study found “that some of the latest-generation climate models may be overly sensitive to carbon dioxide increases and therefore project future warming that is unrealistically high.”
- In 2017, economist David Henderson and consultant Charles Hooper wrote under the headline “Flawed Climate Models” that the “elaborate computer models that use physics to calculate how energy flows into, through, and out of our planet’s land, water, and atmosphere” have “serious limitations that drastically limit their value in making predictions and in guiding policy.”
- Eight years ago, Reason’s Ronald Bailey wrote about “Ugly Climate Models,” noting that the United Nations Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change was unable to “explain the last 15 years.”
“Most temperature records show that since 1998 the models and observed average global temperatures have parted ways,” Bailey wrote. “The temperatures in the models continue to rise, while the real climate has refused to warm up much during the last 15 years.”
- Simply averaging the many climate models “to come up with the forecast for warming in the 21st century,” as has been done over and again, is a poor practice, because “there is now evidence that giving equal weight to each available model projection is suboptimal.” The modelers behind the Nature article made the same point three years later, emphasizing that it’s appropriate to give “more weight to those that agreed with historical temperature observations.”
- A decade ago, Richard Lindzen, then the Alfred P. Sloan professor of meteorology at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology’s department of earth, atmospheric and planetary sciences, said real-world observations and the models were not in sync. “We’ve already seen almost the equivalent of a doubling of CO2 (in radiative forcing) and that has produced very little warming.”
The hot models have contributed to a hot mess of climate predictions, which is more feature than bug for the alarmists, who long ago reached the point that they would say anything to further their agenda.
— Written by the I&I Editorial Board