Professor Steven Sherwood’s newest climate crystal ball foretells that unless something drastic is done, terrible things are going to happen to our climate. And like in the regular fortune-telling business, there are plenty of customers just slurping it up.
Professor Sherwood of the University of New South Wales and a team of scientists now claim that climate models have underestimated global warming. Because clouds have not been correctly taken into account, the globe will likely heat up by close to 3° instead of 1.5°C by the end of the century. Study here.
But hyped climate fortune-telling is nothing new. The media love it. Early in the 20th century scientists had also warned of melting ice caps and rapidly rising sea levels, before warning of ice ages and extreme weather in the 1970s. And every time the scientists were almost certain and insisted action was paramount. And every time they were proved wrong.
The problem lies in that Sherwood’s claims are based on computer climate models, models that are chock full with assumptions (guesses).
Why climate models are unreliable for predicting the future of a non-linear chaotic system that is as variable as the climate is succinctly illustrated by Prof. Christopher Essex (photo right) in a presentation which I commented on here.
Because of the huge uncertainties involved in climate modeling, Prof. Essex, a leading international expert in computer modeling, calls projections for decades and centuries ahead using even today’s state of the art “Welcome to Wonderland”. The climate system is just too complex and it would take even today’s most powerful computer billions of years to run through a proper algorithm.
The results that today’s models put out are based on the crude assumptions that get fed in. When a model maker guesses that the globe is going to heat up, then that’s what his model will show.
Not only do modeling experts scoff at the claimed predictive powers of climate models, but so do some advisers to decision makers. Prime Minister Tony Abbott’s top business adviser Maurice Newman, for example, once said the world “had been held hostage by climate madness.”
In the UK Telegraph here, Newman is quoted as saying:
…the climate change establishment, led by the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change, remained ‘intent on exploiting the masses and extracting more money’.
‘The scientific delusion, the religion behind the climate crusade, is crumbling,’ he wrote in The Australian. ‘Global temperatures have gone nowhere for 17 years… If the IPCC were your financial adviser, you would have sacked it long ago.”
Global warming activists fired back, calling Newman and Abbot flat-earthers for not having faith in climate model prophesies.
All climate models projections are diverging from reality. Chart from Prof. John Christy, U of Alabama.
Yet, when one takes a closer look, the only thing that’s been flat lately are global temperatures (see chart above). Every model, most costing millions, failed to predict that global temperature would remain stagnant for almost two decades. Now it becomes obvious why experts like Essex describe them as “Welcome to Wonderland”.
Sherwood’s latest claim is in truth a profound departure from reality. In fact datasets are now even showing a slight decline underway over the last 6 to 8 years. The exact opposite is actually occurring. One has to ask what world scientists like Sherwood are really living in.
Naturally, one cannot exclude the possibility that Sherwood’s prediction may end up being right. As everyone knows: Even a broken clock is right twice a day.