Thursday, July 17, 2008

The American Physical Society Changes Stance on Global Climate Change

Read: Scientists want to act like scientists. Questioning hypotheses, testing new ideas and basically telling Al Gore and the IPCC to fuck off, errr it's time to have the courage to not do anything crazy (like S. 3036) and wait until we have the science right. In other words - look before you leap. Be sure to read Monckton's paper (at least abstract and conclusions below).

In a posting to the APS forum, editor Jeffrey Marque explains,"There is a considerable presence within the scientific community of people who do not agree with the IPCC conclusion that anthropogenic CO2 emissions are very probably likely to be primarily responsible for global warming that has occurred since the Industrial Revolution."

The APS is opening its debate with the publication of a paper by Lord Monckton of Brenchley, which concludes that climate sensitivity -- the rate of temperature change a given amount of greenhouse gas will cause -- has been grossly overstated by IPCC modeling. A low sensitivity implies additional atmospheric CO2 will have little effect on global climate.

Larry Gould, Professor of Physics at the University of Hartford and Chairman of the New England Section of the APS, called Monckton's paper an "expose of the IPCC that details numerous exaggerations and "extensive errors"

In an email to DailyTech, Monckton says, "I was dismayed to discover that the IPCC's 2001 and 2007 reports did not devote chapters to the central 'climate sensitivity' question, and did not explain in proper, systematic detail the methods by which they evaluated it. When I began to investigate, it seemed that the IPCC was deliberately concealing and obscuring its method."

According to Monckton, there is substantial support for his results, "in the peer-reviewed literature, most articles on climate sensitivity conclude, as I have done, that climate sensitivity must be harmlessly low."

Monckton, who was the science advisor to Britain's Thatcher administration, says natural variability is the cause of most of the Earth's recent warming. "In the past 70 years the Sun was more active than at almost any other time in the past 11,400 years ... Mars, Jupiter, Neptune’s largest moon, and Pluto warmed at the same time as Earth."

The shame everlasting for this organization is that they were led by the nose (and pocketbook) by non-scientist bureaucrats into a mini dark age of science.

The scientific method works.

Here is the landmark paper.

Climate Sensitivity ReconsideredEmail | Print

By Christopher Monckton of Brenchley


The Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC, 2007) concluded that anthropogenic CO2 emissions probably caused more than half of the “global warming” of the past 50 years and would cause further rapid warming. However, global mean surface temperature has not risen since 1998 and may have fallen since late 2001. The present analysis suggests that the failure of the IPCC’s models to predict this and many other climatic phenomena arises from defects in its evaluation of the three factors whose product is climate sensitivity:

Radiative forcing ΔF;
The no-feedbacks climate sensitivity parameter κ; and
The feedback multiplier ƒ.
Some reasons why the IPCC’s estimates may be excessive and unsafe are explained. More importantly, the conclusion is that, perhaps, there is no “climate crisis”, and that currently-fashionable efforts by governments to reduce anthropogenic CO2 emissions are pointless, may be ill-conceived, and could even be harmful.

The context

GLOBALLY-AVERAGED land and sea surface absolute temperature TS has not risen since 1998 (Hadley Center; US National Climatic Data Center; University of Alabama at Huntsville; etc.). For almost seven years, TS may even have fallen (Figure 1). There may be no new peak until 2015 (Keenlysideet al., 2008).

The models heavily relied upon by the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) had not projected this multidecadal stasis in “global warming”; nor (until trained ex post facto) the fall in TS from 1940-1975; nor 50 years’ cooling in Antarctica (Doran et al., 2002) and the Arctic (Soon, 2005); nor the absence of ocean warming since 2003 (Lyman et al., 2006; Gouretski&Koltermann, 2007); nor the onset, duration, or intensity of the Madden-Julian intraseasonal oscillation, the Quasi-Biennial Oscillation in the tropical stratosphere, El Nino/La Nina oscillations, the Atlantic Multidecadal Oscillation, or the Pacific Decadal Oscillation that has recently transited from its warming to its cooling phase (oceanic oscillations which, on their own, may account for all of the observed warmings and coolings over the past half-century: Tsoniset al., 2007); nor the magnitude nor duration of multi-century events such as the Mediaeval Warm Period or the Little Ice Age; nor the cessation since 2000 of the previously-observed growth in atmospheric methane concentration (IPCC, 2007); nor the active 2004 hurricane season; nor the inactive subsequent seasons; nor the UK flooding of 2007 (the Met Office had forecast a summer of prolonged droughts only six weeks previously); nor the solar Grand Maximum of the past 70 years, during which the Sun was more active, for longer, than at almost any similar period in the past 11,400 years (Hathaway, 2004; Solankiet al., 2005); nor the consequent surface “global warming” on Mars, Jupiter, Neptune’s largest moon, and even distant Pluto; nor the eerily- continuing 2006 solar minimum; nor the consequent, precipitate decline of ~0.8 °C in TS from January 2007 to May 2008 that has canceled out almost all of the observed warming of the 20th century.

Figure 1

Mean global surface temperature anomalies (°C), 2001-2008

Since the phase-transition in mean global surface temperature late in 2001, a pronounced downtrend has set in. In the cold winter of 2007/8, record sea-ice extents were observed at both Poles. The January-to-January fall in temperature from 2007-2008 was the greatest since global records began in 1880. Data sources: Hadley Center monthly combined land and sea surface temperature anomalies; University of Alabama at Huntsville Microwave Sounding Unit monthly lower-troposphere anomalies; Linear regressions – – – – – – –

An early projection of the trend in TS in response to “global warming” was that of Hansen (1988), amplifying Hansen (1984) on quantification of climate sensitivity. In 1988, Hansen showed Congress a graph projecting rapid increases in TS to 2020 through “global warming” (Fig. 2):

Figure 2

Global temperature projections and outturns, 1988-2020

Hansen (1988) projected that global temperature would stabilize (A) if global carbon dioxide concentration were controlled from 1988 and static from 2000: otherwise temperature would rise rapidly (B-C). IPCC (1990) agreed (D). However, these projections proved well above the National Climate Data Center’s outturn (E-F), which, in contrast to the Hadley Center and UAH records (Fig. 1), show a modest rise in temperature from 1998-2007. If McKitrick (2007) (G,H) is correct that temperature since 1980 has risen at only half of the observed rate, outturn tracks Hansen’s CO2 stabilization case (A), although emissions have risen rapidly since 1988.

To what extent, then, has humankind warmed the world, and how much warmer will the world become if the current rate of increase in anthropogenic CO2 emissions continues? Estimating “climate sensitivity” – the magnitude of the change in TS after doubling CO2 concentration from the pre-industrial 278 parts per million to ~550 ppm – is the central question in the scientific debate about the climate. The official answer is given in IPCC (2007):

“It is very likely that anthropogenic greenhouse gas increases caused most of the observed increase in [TS] since the mid-20th century. … The equilibrium global average warming expected if carbon dioxide concentrations were to be sustained at 550 ppm is likely to be in the range 2-4.5 °C above pre-industrial values, with a best estimate of about 3 °C.”

Here as elsewhere the IPCC assigns a 90% confidence interval to “very likely”, rather than the customary 95% (two standard deviations). There is no good statistical basis for any such quantification, for the object to which it is applied is, in the formal sense, chaotic. The climate is “a complex, non-linear, chaotic object” that defies long-run prediction of its future states (IPCC, 2001), unless the initial state of its millions of variables is known to a precision that is in practice unattainable, as Lorenz (1963; and see Giorgi, 2005) concluded in the celebrated paper that founded chaos theory –



Even if temperature had risen above natural variability, the recent solar Grand Maximum may have been chiefly responsible. Even if the sun were not chiefly to blame for the past half-century’s warming, the IPCC has not demonstrated that, since CO2 occupies only one-ten-thousandth part more of the atmosphere that it did in 1750, it has contributed more than a small fraction of the warming. Even if carbon dioxide were chiefly responsible for the warming that ceased in 1998 and may not resume until 2015, the distinctive, projected fingerprint of anthropogenic “greenhouse-gas” warming is entirely absent from the observed record. Even if the fingerprint were present, computer models are long proven to be inherently incapable of providing projections of the future state of the climate that are sound enough for policymaking. Even if per impossibilethe models could ever become reliable, the present paper demonstrates that it is not at all likely that the world will warm as much as the IPCC imagines. Even if the world were to warm that much, the overwhelming majority of the scientific, peer-reviewed literature does not predict that catastrophe would ensue. Even if catastrophe might ensue, even the most drastic proposals to mitigate future climate change by reducing emissions of carbon dioxide would make very little difference to the climate. Even if mitigation were likely to be effective, it would do more harm than good: already millions face starvation as the dash for biofuels takes agricultural land out of essential food production: a warning that taking precautions, “just in case”, can do untold harm unless there is a sound, scientific basis for them. Finally, even if mitigation might do more good than harm, adaptation as (and if) necessary would be far more cost-effective and less likely to be harmful.
In short, we must get the science right, or we shall get the policy wrong. If the concluding equation in this analysis (Eqn. 30) is correct, the IPCC’s estimates of climate sensitivity must have been very much exaggerated. There may, therefore, be a good reason why, contrary to the projections of the models on which the IPCC relies, temperatures have not risen for a decade and have been falling since the phase-transition in global temperature trends that occurred in late 2001. Perhaps real-world climate sensitivity is very much below the IPCC’s estimates. Perhaps, therefore, there is no “climate crisis” at all. At present, then, in policy terms there is no case for doing anything. The correct policy approach to a non-problem is to have the courage to do nothing.

No comments:

Post a Comment