Staggering Concessions By Austria’s National Weather Service: “Natural Factors Substantial…Models Inadequate”!

A November 11, 2013 press release by Austria’s national weather service, the Zentralanstalt für Meteorologie und Geodynamik (ZAMG), somehow got by me. And not surprisingly it was completely ignored by the German-language mainstream media. It’s titled: “Slower temperature increase: climate models under scrutiny“.

In the introduction the ZAMG writes:

If one compares the temperature development of the last 15 years to the simulations from the new climate model generation, then one sees a substantial deviation between reality and model: the so-called temperature hiatus.”

Air temperature is the preferred parameter that experts use to gauge climate change. On the hiatus the ZAMG writes, “In the last 15 years there has been a clear weakening in the global temperature rise; only 3 of 114 climate model simulations account for it (Figure 1).”


Figure 1: Change in global near-surface temperature relative to the 1986–2005 period from observation data (black) and model simulations (coloured) (IPCC 2013).

As possible causes for the unexpected temperature hiatus, the ZAMG cites: 1) the 11-year solar cycle, 2) volcanic activity, 3) internal climate variability and 4) man-made aerosols. Keep in mind that man-made aerosols have long been dubiously used as the preferred wild card to explain away deviations between models and observations. If there’s a misfit, no problem! Just adjust the aerosol weighting in the model until it there’s a fit! Never mind small details like reality.

Interestingly, the ZAMG also brings up global winter temperature trends and provides the following chart.

Winter termp trends ZAMG

Figure 2: Winter linear trends of near surface temperatures for the period 1987–2010 from CRUTEM3 data in in degrees C per decade (Cohen u.a. 2012b).

Note how the northern hemisphere winters are cooling dramatically. Ed Caryl recently wrote a piece on this and a couple of readers got a bit pissy about the claim wintertime temps are cooling. Well, here’s more proof that they indeed really are cooling. What more do you want?

So why are the models deviating so starkly from reality? The ZAMG writes:

Why the global climate models are by far over-estimating the current temperature development – and thus obviously are not taking the processes behind it correctly – is the topic of discussion and is now the subject of ongoing research. According to the latest expert report, it could be an error in missing or incorrect radiative forcing, or a false reaction by the climate model to external drives. Moreover, some of the climate models are likely reacting too much to the concentrations of greenhouse gases.”

In layman’s terms: The modelers have no clue what’s wrong, and they are not even close to properly modeling the climate. The sheer simplicity of their models, when compared to the enormous complexity of the climate system, is a joke.

The Austrian ZAMG concludes:

The research results of the last year make it ever clearer that natural fluctuations in climate are substantial. The current temperature hiatus shows that the climate system is not understood in its full complexity and that the climate models still are not adequate.”

Really makes you wonder about the scientists who claim to be 95% certain. That 5% uncertainty is looming larger than ever.


28 responses to “Staggering Concessions By Austria’s National Weather Service: “Natural Factors Substantial…Models Inadequate”!”

  1. Ben Wouters

    Problem with the models is that they try to let the atmosphere warm the surface.
    In the real world the atmosphere consumes on average roughly 160 W/m^2 just to stay “in the air”. Without a warm surface the atmosphere would be on the ground, like dry ice, but consisting of oxygen and nitrogen.

  2. A C Osborn

    Pierre, this kind of admission needs more exposure, I hope you don’t mind if I tout it around the other blogs.
    I notice that their list of possibilties did not include the “Quiet Sun”, very odd.

    1. G Mitchell

      This ‘kind of admission’ is released every single day by major scientific research institutes. But you won’t catch them if you spend 24/7 on denial blogs.

      1. DirkH

        That might be so. Then how does the IPCC arrive at their confidence? Do they spend their whole time on alarmist blogs?

        1. G Mitchell

          They acknowledge the limitations of models while at the same time recognizing these need (and are) improved upon as time passes.

          What the ZAMG press release refers to is basically the same as what is mentioned in the IPCC’s AR5 report (“Climate Models and the Hiatus in Global-Mean Surface Warming of the Past 15 years”). So much for the ‘staggering concessions’.

          1. DirkH

            G Mitchell
            28. November 2013 at 13:25 | Permalink | Reply
            “They acknowledge the limitations of models while at the same time”

            …being 95% sure that the planet is going to hell in a handcart… (Up from 90%! New! Improved! Get the new IPCC report! 50% reduced uncertainty from the last one!)

            The IPCC is a lame old joke produced by lame old cronyist cretins who managed to pretend they’re scientists.

      2. Alice Finkel

        Not bloody likely, and I see you fail to support your claims G Mitchell. Typical.

        Blustery overshoot is the mark of modern political climatology. The Austrian release is a welcome divergence.

  3. G Mitchell

    Contrary to your claim, ZAMG’s report is NOT titled ““Slower temperature increase: climate models under scrutiny“. A correct translation would be “Temperature Hiatus; Climate models capture temperature variation inadequately”.

    Apart from that there’s a typo in the phrase “In the last 125 years there has been a clear weakening…” which should state “In the last 15 years…”.

  4. Craig King

    It is good to see these cracks in the AGW edifice appearing. Whenever I get the opportunity I point out that the models encapsulate everything the climate scientists claim to know about the climate but the models don’t align with each other let alone reality.

    There is something seriously wrong with the climate scientists stated understanding of how the climate works. Tying climate change to man made CO2 is just not viable in light of the discrepancy between the models and reality.

  5. Dave Richardson

    There have been a few people developing exit strategies. Some are quite subtle and they retreat again when subjected to the usual bullying.

    I can’t make my mind up whether the dam will give way all at once or just slowly leak more with time? I think maybe the latter since too many people have huge vested interests now in keeping the scam going.

    I have a feeling that if it becomes impossible to deny the obvious flaws in the cAGW theory (say we do get a real cooling event) then the politicians will attempt to save themselves by sacrificing Climate Scientists and the wilder Greens.

  6. Mindert Eiting

    Note that they call it a temperature hiatus, that should be explained. If you test a hypothesis and it proves to be false, nothing has to be explained. Your hypothesis is wrong, which is the fate of almost all human inventions. The models are complex hypotheses all sharing the assumption of a positive CO2 climate sensitivity. Set that value at zero and try it again. In Dutch we say that lazy doctors make stinking wounds.

    1. Bernd Felsche

      The language used is “interesting” in that it implies that warming will resume as (previously) predicted. Unfortunately for them, there is no plausible physical mechanism to explain a “hiatus” or “pause” and none of the models predicted it; nor do they predict a resumption of warming after a pause.

      Unlike computer models, nature’s rules don’t change for the convenience of researchers and their motivators. The rules remain at best, clearly visible from a distance but as one approaches to inspect the detail, appear to become more muddled and convoluted.

      Ockham’s Razor, sharpened on the whetstone of simple observation of the (so far) unpredictable cyclic fluctuations of “climate”, says that we’ve reached Peak Warming in a cycle, are in for some cooling and perhaps some greater warming in future decades.

      1. MikeO

        You may understand peak warming well but I would like to clarify. My difficulty is with what you mean by cycle since my idea of cycle spans thousands of years. The peak was 8000 years ago it then peaked again at 3500 (Minoan wp) 2000 (Roman wp) and 1000 (Medieval wp). The trend is all down and heading towards a well overdue ice age. The current time looks like a very minor blip in the overall trend.

        I started developing computer software in the mid seventies. I have seen much and learnt much on how my profession bamboozles the public on the abilities of computers. When I read about climate model I was intrigued and immediately suspicious since you can almost smell flim-flam in your own profession. Here was a group of people from government and universities saying they could and had created a virtual reality model of the Earth’s climate system. Even more astounding for me it was then claimed and believed that could be used to predicate the future climate till the end of this century.

        After much study I have an understanding of what is being done. In essence they break the Earth’s atmosphere up into a small number of cells (less than 10000) apply all that is known about climate to each cell. A time step has to be chosen and then the interactions between the cells must be considered. You need the most powerful computer obtainable to do the processing. As a research project such things have been done many times and are probably worthwhile but a very big mistake has been made. The output has been sold as fact! To model reality and get output that can be relied on you must actually know in detail how it works. Computer models can be made of jet engines since the physics is well understood. Even so things are physically tested and fail because of errors and unknowns.

        So many reputations and sources of funding are now under threat the climate models can not be scrapped and the research started again. When the pretence or should say belief system will break down is difficult to know but it gets closer all the time.

        1. DirkH

          The lie is in their ridiculously high confidence stated for the year 2100.

          I’d grant them a predictive skill 10 days into the future. Being generous there.

  7. lemiere jacques

    models are right or “good” so it is another proof global warming had made nature go wrong or bad…mother earth is even not able anymore to know what she should do.


  8. stefanthedeniers

    ”reality” is that: nobody is monitoring on the whole planet evenly; ”OVERALL” temp is always the same! Monitoring only on few places, only for the hottest minute in 24h, and ignoring the other 134o minutes, is cherry picking:

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  10. Walter K. Clark

    Since climate change is dominated by natural, not man-made factors, there is no United Nations agreement that will have a measureable effect on Earth’s climate. There is no corporate policy that will have a measurable effect on icecap size, sea level rise, the frequency or intensity of hurricanes or storms, droughts, or floods. No UN policy, however broadly endorsed by nations and companies, will have a measurable effect on global temperatures.

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  12. Mike

    Does anyone know how much money is spent on climate change each year? I have read that it is 10’s of billions.

  13. Dolf
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  15. MikeO

    There is a simple answer to all this obviously the planet is wrong and should be censored for misleading the public. While we are at it since the Sun is not a significant factor let us switch it off.

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