Human Exceptionalism

Radical Environmentalism: Global Warming Stalls–Live by the Computer Model, Die by the Computer Model

Global warming has apparently stalled, and the usual media suspects are getting restless. First, there was the heresy from the BBC, and now a major German news magazine is showing some sign of coming out the reverie. From the story in Der Spiegel:

Climatologists use their computer models to draw temperature curves that continue well into the future. They predict that the average global temperature will increase by about three degrees Celsius (5.4 degrees Fahrenheit) by the end of the century, unless humanity manages to drastically reduce greenhouse gas emissions. However, no one really knows what exactly the world climate will look like in the not-so-distant future, that is, in 2015, 2030 or 2050.

This is because it is not just human influence but natural factors that affect the Earth’s climate. For instance, currents in the world’s oceans are subject to certain cycles, as is solar activity. Major volcanic eruptions can also curb rising temperatures in the medium term. The eruption of Mount Pinatubo in June 1991, for example, caused world temperatures to drop by an average of 0.5 degrees Celsius, thereby prolonging a cooler climate phase that had begun in the late 1980s. But the Mount Pinatubo eruption happened too long ago to be related to the current slowdown in  global warming. So what is behind this more recent phenomenon?

Did you get that? The long term models tell us that we’re in a crisis!!!!, its just the short term ones, uh, seem to be off. Please. If the short term models have gotten it so wrong, there is no reason for us to change the entire economies of the world in reliance on computer projections that will be even more subject to error due to the vicissitudes of the sun, currents, volcanoes, etc.

But “the scientists” refuse to revamp their game to reflect a more moderate and reasonable approach:

Despite their current findings, scientists agree that temperatures will continue to rise in the long term. The big question is: When will it start getting warmer again?

If the deep waters of the Pacific are, in fact, the most important factor holding up global warming, climate change will remain at a standstill until the middle of the next decade, says Latif. But if the cooling trend is the result of reduced solar activity, things could start getting warmer again much sooner. Based on past experience, solar activity will likely increase again in the next few years...The Hadley Center group expects warming to resume in the coming years. “That resumption could come as a bit of a jolt,” says Hadley climatologist Adam Scaife, explaining that natural cyclical warming would then be augmented by the warming effect caused by anthropogenic greenhouse gas emissions.

How about adding a third dimension to the discussion–that is, whether it will occur.  Until that is understood to be as legitimate an area of scientific research in this field as the UN-favored end-of-the-world approach, climate change will continue to be more ideology than science.

Still, I am hopeful that reason may be starting to prevail.  Wouldn’t it be delightful if in the next few years Al Gore became the new Charlie Brown, all alone on the pitcher’s mound in a pouring rainstorm asking where everybody went.

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