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July 15, 2009

Shocker: "Global Warming: Scientists' Best Predictions May Be Wrong"

Science, settled, is. Some assembly required.


No one knows exactly how much Earth's climate will warm due to carbon emissions, but a new study suggests scientists' best predictions about global warming might be incorrect.

Stop. Crazy-talk.

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 July 13, 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."

The deuce you say.

What could possibly account for all that warming that can't be explained by Carbon Dioxide ("The Invisible Killer")?

Oh, who knows. As my all-time favorite comment has it, "If only there were some... natural mechanism by which to explain variations in global temperature. It would have to be massive, though. On the scale of our own Sun."

During the PETM, for reasons that are still unknown, the amount of carbon in Earth's atmosphere rose rapidly. For this reason, the PETM, which has been identified in hundreds of sediment core samples worldwide, is probably the best ancient climate analogue for present-day Earth.

Reasons unknown = reaction to rising temperature. In the temperature records -- most of which are inconveniently from pre-industrial and even pre-human times, with no factories or cars -- temperature rises first, and then carbon dioxide rises.

Why? Well, I don't really know, but as the eminent Princeton physicist always notes, carbon dioxide levels spike every year. In the autumn/winter. Because vegetation that has been bottling up carbon dioxide as part of their composition suddenly dies, liberating that "stored" carbon dioxide back into the atmosphere as it all decomposes.

Does something like that happen when the temperature gets warm, thus increasing vegetative cover, which then pumps CO2 in the air when the excess vegetation begins its inevitable die-off? I don't know and neither do "scientists" because they won't entertain the possibility that temperature variations is due to anything except cars.

In addition to rapidly rising levels of atmospheric carbon, global surface temperatures rose dramatically during the PETM. Average temperatures worldwide rose by about 7 degrees Celsius -- about 13 degrees Fahrenheit -- in the relatively short geological span of about 10,000 years.

But CO2 levels rose only 70%, not nearly enough to explain the warming.


The conclusion, Dickens said, is that something other than carbon dioxide caused much of the heating during the PETM. "Some feedback loop or other processes that aren't accounted for in these models -- the same ones used by the IPCC for current best estimates of 21st Century warming -- caused a substantial portion of the warming that occurred during the PETM."

I don't know if you've seen it, and it's kind of old by now, but the EPA hushed-up a report that greatly undermined the theory of "climate change" and forbid the writer to mention it and took him off all activity having to do with the subject. They suddenly decided he should just initial grant applications, a fairly unskilled task, so unskilled, in fact, that even Barack Obama was able to manage it while at the Annenberg Challenge.

The report is here.

The left claims his report shouldn't be paid any mind because "he's not a scientist, he's an economist." And: The report contains "no original research."

First: He is a scientist, having graduated college as a physicist. His graduate work is indeed in economics -- but his undergrad degree is in physics, which makes him a scientist. And far more of a scientist than most of the people the left insists we must listen to, such as Al Gore.

Second: Economics is in fact the most relevant skill in these analyses.

Why? Because the case for global warming is made not through any particular science or study but by crunching huge data-sets from lots of different studies using the basic economic device of regression analysis to spot driving factors. The paper that pushed the "hockey stick" model of global temperatures contained no original research, either. What it did was feed lots of data into a regression analysis computer to plot temperatures.... and got it completely wrong, by the way, something now acknowledged. Quietly.

Had the guy running the program actually been an economist trained to do such statistical crunching he might have noticed his program was flawed and would make virtually any data-set fed into it into a hockey-stick.

You know those "models" we're always told "prove the case"? Same thing economists do every day. (And just as accurate in their forecasts, too!)

Third: One of the guy's biggest complaints is that the EPA has done no research of its own on this topic, but instead simply accepts the findings of outside groups (the IPCC, mostly).

Given his complaint is that the EPA has done no original research before announcing its conclusions, it seems awfully strange that the big knock on this guy is that he hasn't done any "original research."

In addition, the man was given four or five days to write his report. What "original research" did they expect?

The research he noted wasn't his, but greatly undermined the case for carbon-induced "climate change."

One problem the left just can't get around: CO2 levels have not only risen but accelerated in their rise for 11 years, but temperature has dropped from its 1998 peak, pronouncedly in the past year.

None of their vaunted models predicted this before it happened, and, even after the data is in, their vaunted models still fail to explain or duplicate what happened in real life.

They shrug this off as if it's no big deal. Even after the actual data comes in and rubbishes their predictions, they still can't get their models, even retroactively, to produce the temperatures actually observed.

But this is science, and it's quite settled.

Thank you drive through.

Thanks to Dave @ Garfield Ridge.

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posted by Ace at 03:15 PM

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