Climate claims fail science test

Climate sense

Climate sense

A must-read article in The Australian from Monash University professorial fellow in geosciences, Michael Asten. Again, it deals with the key factor in climate models: feedback. We know that the effect of a doubling of CO2 in the atmosphere will produce a negligible increase in temperature, but such increase may trigger “positive feedbacks” which will amplify the warming. Equally possible, however, is that the warming will trigger “negative feedbacks” which will work to counteract the warming.

Guess which one the IPCC chooses? Correct, but because the science on feedbacks is woefully incomplete, current climate model projections are next to useless. Two pieces of research seem to indicate that the feedbacks are no where near as strong as the IPCC models claim, leading to a huge overestimation of future warming:

Building on a methodology published 15 years ago in Nature, climatologist and NASA medallist John Christy and colleague David Douglass studied global temperature impacts of volcanic activity and ocean-atmospheric oscillations (the “El Nino” effect) and separated these from global temperature trends over the past 28 years.

The result of their analysis is a CO2-induced amplification factor close to one, which has implications clearly at odds with the earlier IPCC position.

The result was published this year in the peer-reviewed journal Energy and Environment and the paper has not yet been challenged in the scientific literature.

What this means is that the IPCC model for climate sensitivity is not supported by experimental observation on ancient ice ages and recent satellite data.

So are we justified in concluding that the concentration of atmospheric CO2 is not the only or major driver of current climate change? And if so, how should we re-shape our ETS legislation?

I don’t know the answer to these questions, but as Nobel prize winning physicist Richard Feynman observed: “It doesn’t matter how beautiful your theory is, it doesn’t matter how smart you are. If it doesn’t agree with experiment, it’s wrong.”

Read it here.

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