Tuesday, 17 July 2007

10 More Questions For Climate 'Scientists'

Following on from the ABC's profoundly biased, unscientific hatchet job on The Great Global Warming Swindle I would like to ask another 10 questions to add to the previous 10 asked a couple of months ago.

1. If 'the science is settled' then why does the United Nations' IPCC need 17 climate models when just one should do? (Do I really need to ask 9 more questions after this one?)

2. If 'the science is settled' then why don't the 17 climate models deliver anything close to the same result?

3. If 'the science is settled' then why do the 17 climate models predict a 21st century temperature rise ranging from 1.1C to 6.4C rise? That's between 50% and an amazing 765% greater than the warming observed in the 20th century.

4. In the ABC's unbalanced discussion on The Great Global Warming Swindle, presenter Tony Jones got stuck into Martin Durkin for including a graph that ended in the late 1980s showing the correlation between solar activity and the earth's climate but excluding the subsequent divergence. Why do the graphs the IPCC produce also exclude the divergence between rising CO2 levels and falling temperatures in roughly the same period?

5. Climate models predict that warmer air will hold more water and thus the climate will become drier and surface winds will be weaker leading to less water evaporating from the ocean, which counteracts the effect of warming. Models predict that worldwide precipitation — which must match the amount of evaporation — will increase by only 1-3% for each degree of future global warming. However, satellite data for the period 1987-2006 shows that the amount of water in the atmosphere, evaporation and precipitation all increased at the same rate, by about 1.3% per decade — or about 6.5% for every degree of warming. Surface winds increased, not decreased, with warming. Given that water vapour is the largest greenhouse gas (95%+) and is the most important feedback mechanism in models, what does the climate models' inability to predict precipitation mean for future temperature predictions?

6. If the world started heating up at the end of the Little Ice Age in around 1850 (before the introduction of anthropogenic CO2) then obviously some forcing agent is at work. Why is that forcing agent not represented in climate models? Excluding whatever this background forcing agent is means that all of the 20th century warming is ascribed to CO2 and compromises models' ability to forecast accurately.

7. Why is there no skill in climate model forecasting?
In 2007, the IPCC’s Working Group One, a panel of experts established by the World Meteorological Organization and the United Nations Environment Programme, issued its updated, Fourth Assessment Report, forecasts. The Report was commissioned at great cost in order to provide policy recommendations to governments. It included predictions of dramatic and harmful increases in average world temperatures over the next 92 years. Using forecasting principles as our guide we asked, are these forecasts a good basis for developing public policy? Our answer is “no.”

8. Climate models predict that both Greenland and Antarctica should be losing ice mass, leading to rising sea levels. How is it, then, that both are increasing in ice mass?

9. Land use changes are logically going to have a large impact on climate, as they have the potential to alter surface temperatures, humidity, and energy fluxes, particularly during the warm, dry summer months. Land clearing is obviously the cause of Mt Kilimanjaro's shrinking snow cover. Why do climate models not include land use changes and a prediction of future land use change?

10. And finally - and most importantly - why are climate models unable to predict past climate remotely accurately even when the rise in 20th century temperature is known?


pommygranate said...

Two more;

i) why is belief in AGW directly proportional to hatred of capitalism?

ii) why do the most passionate greenies all live in towns?

Jonathan Lowe said...

the answer to no. 10 is because they don't want to as shown here:

Problem with Climate Models: in Short

Anonymous said...

Do you have a referrence to the 7 models and other items in you post. Thanks.

Jack Lacton said...


You can read through the IPCC's Fourth Assessment Report section on climate models on their site.

kipwatson said...

Prof Bob Carter, on the ABC forum for TGGWS gave some very good replies to a large number of questions.

One in particular was a classic, when he described modelling by the IPCC as being based on the premise that 'the average of all wrong answers is the right answer, rather than just the average wrong answer'.

Anonymous said...

Surely the reason IPCC have 15 models is no matter what happens at least one of the models will be correct and IPCC will be able to say I told you so.

This is all about marketing stratagy and has nothing to do with science. Our consumer driven society is brainwashed that more equates with better. So the more climate models you have the better the results must be. After all 15 models must be better than one.
Whatever else they may be the GW lobby are not stupid. You only have to look at how successful their marketing has been.

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