Doubling down on climate change and censorship

By Caleb Rossiter and Patrick Michaels

A year ago, we showed in a Washington Examiner op-ed that the mathematical computer models used to promote global warming fears had been, for years, systematically overpredicting the rate of warming in the tropical lower atmosphere, typically by a factor of three. This touched off a hysterical response, starting with censorship.

Facebook “fact-checker” Climate Feedback labeled our opinion piece “false,” which blocked its distribution on the social media giant. Tech mogul Eric Michelman has for over a decade funded efforts to end debate on climate change, saying that “the science is settled.” In 2015, he founded and funded Climate Feedback and staffed it with the very climate modelers whose work we criticized in our op-ed.

We and the Washington Examiner appealed to Facebook, providing a detailed basis for our opinion, and Facebook removed the label, which again allowed our piece to be viewed and advertised.

We were referring to the tranche of climate models that formed much of the basis for the most recent U.N. “Assessment” of the state of climate science from 2014. The next one, due out in 2021, features a new generation of models. According to Ross McKitrick at the University of Guelph and John Christy at the University of Alabama, all of the new models that were available to review are now overpredicting globally, and they are even warmer than the last batch. Their article will soon be published in the peer-reviewed journal Earth and Space Science.

The new set of models keeps growing, and the Department of Energy now lists 40 centers worldwide running their own models. Each one costs a fortune. If “the science is settled,” then why do we need so many models solving the same problem (and getting different solutions)?

Further, a landmark encyclopedia-length study of the climate’s “sensitivity” to changes in atmospheric carbon dioxide, just published in Reviews of Geophysics, repeatedly notes that these new models aren’t reproducing the observed geographic patterns of warming. For example, they predict substantial warming to be occurring in the Southern Ocean surrounding Antarctica. It’s not; in fact, many parts of it are cooling. The lead author, Australian Steven Sherwood, wrote that the warming of that ocean will “likely [take] hundreds of years or more” to appear and that the models’ behavior “may call into question their ability to accurately simulate the long-term pattern of warming.”

Nonetheless, the study raised the lowest expected warming for doubling atmospheric carbon dioxide from the United Nation’s current value of 1.5 degrees Celsius to 2.3 degrees. This change would roughly equal the total warming from the year 1900 to 2100, though ascribing the earliest warming, 1910-1945, to carbon dioxide is debatable because emissions had barely risen by the time it began. Sherwood also noted discrepancies between the new climate models and the early warming.

It remains to be seen, given the public’s new understanding of how incorrect assumptions drove COVID-19 modeling to scary heights, whether the U.N., in its upcoming report, will accept this raising of the floor.

Consider that many of the new models, about 15, depending upon where you look, predict more warming for this century than their predecessors. However, when run as historical simulations, all of these hot models predict more, sometimes much more warming to have occurred in recent decades than what has actually been observed.

As the alarmist E&E News has candidly admitted, “climate models … are the foundation for policies used to craft many carbon regulations.” It appears that the newest latest-greatest ones not only get the magnitude of observed warming wrong but that they also put it in the wrong places.

It’s hard to figure how Facebook’s climate squad is going to come down on us for merely opining on the new models and the Sherwood opus. But bigger names and tons of money have joined the censorship bandwagon. Now, we have Tom Steyer, Stacey Abrams, the heads of 17 of the biggest green lobby groups, Sen. Elizabeth Warren, and three of her colleagues all calling on Facebook to ban us and our alliance of 55 climate scientists and energy economists.

Newer models that have increased errors shouldn’t be the basis for jettisoning the health and environmental benefits of our fossil-fueled energy or for censoring informed scientific opinion.

Caleb Rossiter, a former professor of statistics and modeling at American University and the University of the Western Cape in South Africa, is the executive director of the CO2Coalition. Patrick Michaels, a former president of the American Association of State Climatologists, is a senior fellow at the CO2 Coalition and the Competitive Enterprise Institute.

This article appeared on the Washington Times website at https://www.washingtonexaminer.com/opinion/doubling-down-on-climate-change-and-censorship


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