Wednesday, July 15, 2009

Climate Models Are Not So Hot

It looks like the scientists who have predicted unending global warming caused by CO2 emissions may be in serious error.

No one knows exactly how much Earth's climate will warm due to carbon emissions, but a new study this week suggests scientists' best predictions about global warming might be incorrect. The study, which appears in Nature Geoscience, found that climate models explain only about half of the heating that occurred during a well-documented period of rapid global warming in Earth's ancient past. The study, which was published online today, contains an analysis of published records from a period of rapid climatic warming about 55 million years ago known as the Palaeocene-Eocene thermal maximum, or PETM.

"In a nutshell, theoretical models cannot explain what we observe in the geological record," said oceanographer Gerald Dickens, a co-author of the study and professor of Earth science at Rice University. "There appears to be something fundamentally wrong with the way temperature and carbon are linked in climate models."
If this study holds up we are going to be wasting vast sums of money (robbed is a better term) if Waxman-Malarkey passes the Senate.

This is nothing new for regular readers of this blog. I have thought for a long time that the models were not well connected to reality. What is new is that the nails are getting more frequently pounded into the AGW coffin. People are starting to lose faith - especially considering the cold summer we have been having in much of the USA.

Consider a couple of books that have come out in the last year:

Air Con: The Seriously Inconvenient Truth About Global Warming

Heaven and Earth: Global Warming, the Missing Science

It seems that the faith is starting to lose adherents. It seems that the science is not so settled.

Even the guys at Real Climate are starting to hedge their bets.
Nature (with hopefully some constructive input from humans) will decide the global warming question based upon climate sensitivity, net radiative forcing, and oceanic storage of heat, not on the type of multi-decadal time scale variability we are discussing here. However, this apparent impulsive behavior explicitly highlights the fact that humanity is poking a complex, nonlinear system with GHG forcing – and that there are no guarantees to how the climate may respond.
Say, weren't they very big promoters of "the science is settled" meme. Yes they were. I guess that now a days the science is not so settled. Some one call Al Gore. Stat.

H/T VG at Watts Up With That

Cross Posted at Classical Values


rumcrook said...

it makes me so sad that these false bullshit theories are used to limit freedom and increase statism.

Neil said...

The smarter climate scientists are hedging their bets now. Any idiot can see that the data from the last 12 years invalidates the models that showed catastrophic warming. The other climate models show only small effects from human GHG activity, and even that's not a sure thing given natural variability.

On top of that, if you're a politically savvy scientist (which the successful ones are, in fact--that's how they get research grants), you've got to be looking askance at the Waxman-Markey bill. That turkey may fly, but it won't go far. If it passes, there's going to be hell to pay for anyone even tangentially connected to it.

rumcrook said...

im not sure I beleive that thier will be hell to pay. they are using this as an excuse to cement permanent powers and increased taxes and programs and I dont think in the end it will matter if thiers hell to pay because the damage will be done and we will be moving closer to soft tyranny. closer to control over our lives exorcised by international powers as hoped for by algore.

M. Simon said...

Rep. Mark Kirk (R- Illinois 10th) is drawing lots of heat.

He is considered the 219th vote (although 7 other Rs could be in the same boat).

Heck I've even done bits on him and I don't live in his district. He was planning a run for Obama's old seat. I don't think he is looking good for that now.

Neil said...

There will be hell to pay.

In order to keep the grid going, we need to start building large amounts of new generation capacity NOW, to replace the coal and nuclear plants that are going off-line in the next five to ten years due to age. As best I can tell, Waxman-Markey creates an effective deterrent to replacing them (as was the intent). Natural gas peaking plants would help a lot, if the cost of gas were kept low, but from what I can tell Waxman-Markey essentially prohibits development of the new gas fields available in the U.S.

The big problem is that solar and wind, in order to effectively replace base-load generation, require truly massive investments in new transmission capacity. Something on the order of the ENTIRE stimulus package spending would be a small down payment on the required capital investment.

Unfortunately, like President Obama says, "We're out of money".

The result is that within five years we will probably be seeing scheduled brownouts during peak demand periods, like in California. Waxman-Markey even implicitly admits that there will not be enough electricity to meet demand, as it contains regulations to allow the power company to remotely shut off air conditioners, heaters, and other large power draws at the point of use (that means "in your home").

This is going to suck. There will be hell to pay.