Geologist Dr. Sebastian Luning and chemist Prof. Fritz Vahrenohlt have recently looked at the so-called climate “Tipping Points” hypothesis, one that is heavily promoted by the alarmist Potsdam Institute for Climate Impact Research (PIK).
The idea of the climate irreversibly tipping into something completely different and potentially hostile once certain thresholds are reached is one often put forth by PIK head Prof. Hans-Joschim Schellnhuber, architect of the proposed “Great Transformation of Society“.
Good bye “Tipping Points”?
By Sebastian Luning and Fritz vahrenholt
(Translated/edited by P Gosselin)
Do you recall the horror reports of imminent climate tipping points? They are often used to paint doomsday scenarios:
Figure: The tipping elements of the world’s climate, Source: PIK
A requirement is that critical thresholds be surpassed, due to the warming of the planet, and thus lead to a tipping of the climate system. This would be similar to the transition over to a new quality from the piling up of smaller quantities, as postulated by Karl Marx in his 3rd Development Law Of Dialectical Materialism. But there is one problem with this assertion in climatology: even the IPCC models (in the last report the CMIP5 models) aren’t playing along. They are forecasting (at least until 2100) more of a linear, steady development. The proponents of the catastrophe theories in fact use simpler modeling constructs for underpinning their Cassandra proclamations: most of them have been energy balance models showing a “catastrophic” shifting over. However, recent scientific studies have been published and they clearly refute the “tipping” claims. In the case of India’s summer monsoons it is written in the conclusion of a paper by Wiliam R. Boos of Yale University, PNAS:
Thus, outside of a theory that omitted a dominant term in the equations of motion, we know of no evidence supporting the idea that monsoons will shut down in response to anthropogenic forcings. Monsoons may have a strong response to anthropogenic forcings, but current theory and numerical models indicate that this response will be nearly linear.”
In another case concerning the “death spiral of Arctic sea ice” another published paper reached a similar conclusion: simple models exaggerated the possibility of a non-linear tipping point:
This result may help to reconcile the discrepancy between low-order models and comprehensive GCMs in previous studies. Specifically, it suggests that the low-order models overestimate the likelihood of a sea ice “tipping point.”
Authors Till J. Wagner and Ian Eisenman of the University of California also concluded that the non-linearity (collapse) of the AMOC (see our post here) was a mere artifact of an overly simplified model.
In another case depicted in the figure above we can also see that one tipping point theory predicts that from one year to the next only El Nino conditions will prevail in the Eastern Pacific. Look at the following figure: Nino 3.4 shows a trend of zero and the observation of sea surface temperatures has not diverted from the trend.
Figure: Monthly Nino 3.4 index
There’s no need to expect a shift over to some new quality, and thus follow in the footsteps of Karl Marx, who was accurate like no other in his analysis of society. His predictions failed spectacularly!