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April 16, 2013

Global Walkback: "Scientists" Struggle to Explain Why Their Theories About Global Warming Are Failing

"Struggling."

Bit of a preamble here: The IPCC offered its nonsense "consensus" prediction that the earth would warm 3 degrees to 6 degrees Celsius over the next century, or even warmer. All their scariest predictions were based on the "six degrees or warmer" range of predictions.

For the past 15 years, there has been next to zero increase in temperature, despite ever-rising CO2 production.

Now, CO2 is not a strong global-warming gas. It's one of the weakest ones, actually. Their claims that CO2 would jack the earth's temperature up by 6 degrees C or more were based on the notion that rising CO2 would create positive feedback loops -- CO2 pushes more water vapor into the atmosphere, for example, which in turn really warms the earth -- that amplified the direct contributions of CO2.

Things they didn't consider, or at least gave short-shrift to: That any positive feedback may come along with a negative feedback (that is, a temperature-lowering feedback). For example, while water vapor is powerful greenhouse gas, and thus may increase temperature, water vapor may also result in increased cloud cover -- and clouds, having a high albedo ("albedo" is a scientific term meaning "white and fluffy"), reflect away a lot of solar energy.

They had no science on this (no one understands how clouds work yet) so they just assumed an impact of zero. Because assuming things is fun and easy.

At any rate, due to the complete non-warming of the earth for a decade and a half, scientists are now questioning this 3 to 6 degrees or even more prediction, and asking if 3 degrees isn't much more likely than 6, and in fact... if three degrees would represent the actual upper bounds of likely warming, with the average of all likely scenarios being something more like 1.4 degrees.

Which you wouldn''t even notice. And neither would the Arctic ice cap, and neither would the polar bears.

So the diehards, the bitter-enders, the one who've gotten easy undergraduate pootie-tang* for 20 years based on their bullshit models, are now scrambling for a paradigm in which bullshit is actually sort of scientifically heroic.

Scientists are struggling to explain a slowdown in climate change that has exposed gaps in their understanding and defies a rise in global greenhouse gas emissions.

Often focused on century-long trends, most climate models failed to predict that the temperature rise would slow, starting around 2000. Scientists are now intent on figuring out the causes and determining whether the respite will be brief or a more lasting phenomenon.

...

Theories for the pause include that deep oceans have taken up more heat with the result that the surface is cooler than expected, that industrial pollution in Asia or clouds are blocking the sun, or that greenhouse gases trap less heat than previously believed.

The change may be a result of an observed decline in heat-trapping water vapor in the high atmosphere, for unknown reasons. It could be a combination of factors or some as yet unknown natural variations, scientists say.

Note how arrogant they were before when they were making predictions -- overwhelming consensus, the science is settled, "global warming deniers," etc. -- and how modest they appear now. Now everything's all about "unknown factors we don't yet understand" or "perhaps we overestimated the actual warming factor of CO2."

The Economist -- a famous, fatuous magazine for people who want to think they're smart -- has already noted Global Walkback, and this writer from the Financial Post welcomes all the newfound skeptics into the reality-acknowledging community.

* Corrected: I originally wrote the archaic "poontang."


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posted by Ace at 02:40 PM

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