Putting Climate Models On Trial

By I & I Editorial Board

It’s hot. A number of North American cities have set record-high temperatures. But this is summer and that’s not indisputable evidence that man’s use of fossil fuels is overheating the planet. No matter what the Democrats say, how much the media nag, and how loudly zealots screech, the issue is not settled. There’s still enough doubt about the entire enterprise to fill the yawning gap between Earth and some far-away galaxy.

If climate models were on trial – and they should be – that doubt would be magnified by a new post from the Cooperative Institute for Research in Environmental Sciences (CIRES) at the University of Colorado Boulder, which confirms “models may overestimate warming.”

“Today’s climate models are showing more warmth than their predecessors, forecasting an even hotter future for the same rise in atmospheric carbon dioxide. But a paper published this week highlights how models may err on the side of too much warming: Earth’s warming clouds cool the surface more than anticipated, the German-led team reported in Nature Climate Change,” says CIRES.

Jennifer Kay, a CIRES fellow and an associate professor of atmospheric and oceanic sciences at Colorado University, says “the increase in climate sensitivity from the last generation of climate models should be taken with a huge grain of salt.”

The paper itself suggests that “reliable climate model projections” need improvement and ought to be “guided by process-oriented observations and observational constraints.”

Bad news for the New Green Dealers, good news for reason and science, which is obviously never settled. The findings should force researchers to reevaluate, because …

“Climate modeling has arguably been worse than nothing because false information has been presented as true and ‘consensus,’” says Robert Bradley Jr., author and American Institute for Economic Research fellow, who spotted the paper and wrote an interesting analysis of its overall point.

“Alarmism and disruptive policy activism (forced substitution of inferior energies; challenges to lifestyle norms) have taken on a life of their own. Fire, ready, aim has substituted for prudence, from science to public policy,” he continues.

“Data continue to confound naïve climate models. Very difficult theory is slowly but surely explaining why. The climate debate is back to the physical science, where it never should have left.”

The inadequacy of climate models is not a new discovery. Even though they’ve been the cornerstone for a host of public policy decisions, especially in California, it’s been known for decades that they are unreliable.

In the late 1990s, Gerald North, a Texas A&M University climate scientist, said “we do not know much about modeling climate,” that modeling’s results “could also be sociological: getting the socially acceptable answer,” and that “there is quite a bit of slack here (undetermined fudge factors).”

Since then, the models have not improved. The Economist, certainly not a conservative or right-wing publication trafficking in “misinformation” (as defined by left-wing social media hall monitors), said in 2019, in a story headlined “Predicting the climatic future is riddled with uncertainty,” that “models are crude,” and can miss “much detail.”

“Building models is also made hard by lack of knowledge about the ways that carbon – the central atom in molecules of carbon dioxide and methane, the main heat-capturing greenhouse gases other than water vapor – moves through the environment.”

In that same year, Japanese scientist Mototaka Nakamura wrote a book about “the sorry state of climate science.” Its title? “Confessions of a climate scientist: the global warming hypothesis is an unproven hypothesis.”

Uncertainty was fueled again last year, when a pair of “peer-reviewed papers from independent teams” argued “that climate models overstate atmospheric warming and the problem has gotten worse over time, not better.”

Somewhere we read a comment that said, and we liberally paraphrase, the alarmists are rushing policymakers into doing something, anything about warming before it becomes universally obvious that nothing needs to be done. That’s exactly why the models need to be put in the dock.

— Written by the I&I Editorial Board

This article appeared on the Issues & Insights website at https://issuesinsights.com/2021/06/28/putting-climate-models-on-trial/


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