Climate Change, U.N.'s Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change
The Global Warming Guessing Game
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Less than a week after UN Secretary General Ban Ki-moon urged developing nations to commit billions of dollars to fight the effects of climate change, the U.N.‘s Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) released a well-timed preliminary report that basically said its climate models were fairly useless at the moment. In the process, they also threw out basic scientific principles by stating that extreme weather events would become more common, and that its climate models didn’t have practical predictability.
If it sounds like the IPCC wants its cake without it melting first, you’d be correct. Keep in mind that the next official release from the IPCC (and its myriad working groups) isn’t until 2014, but that hasn’t stopped the bureaucrats who run the IPCC from issuing a report that backs up the claims made by the UN Secretary General.
So how did the IPCC come to these conclusions? The following admission by Chris Fields, a co-author of this recent report, comes from a Reuters news article:
Sceptics have questioned the models the IPCC uses to make its climate predictions, but Fields defended the science: “There are many cases in which just from observations, we’ve seen a change,” he said.
“Climate models are only some of the tools used to make future projections. Some ... are based on projecting historical data forward or what we know about the physics of the system. Lots of observations are built in for us to test how they work.”
Keep in mind that the theory of anthropogenic (man-made) global warming is just that: still a theory. Fields does not elaborate on what these other “tools” are, only that observational testing is built into proving the IPCC’s theory correct. Dr. Roger Pielke provides insight into the failure of Global Multi-Decadal Climate Models.
I completely agree that we should rely on observational data as a tool. Compare what the computer models predicted 10 years ago to what has actually been observed in the global temperature records, and something remarkable occurs. They aren’t very accurate.
With that in mind, let’s see how well the computer models predict the next ten years based on what we observe (which requires patience and waiting), and we’ll have twenty years of projected data by computer models versus real-world data.
Alarmists have already stated that it’s too late anyways, so before we throw money, resources, and unproven technologies at a problem that’s still, from a scientific standpoint, still theoretical, 10 years of gathering data coupled with the previous ten years seems reasonable, at least to me, to both sides of the debate.
What we do know is that we are still in a natural warming trend that started in 1850 after emerging from a cold spell known as the “Little Ice Age.” This four-hundred-year-long atmospheric drop in temperatures is recognized as having occurred by the IPCC, NASA, and climatologists.
Whether the post-1850 warming is due to man-made, cyclical, or natural incidents is simply unknown. Global temperatures considered remotely reliable, uniform, and accurate have only ‘come of age’ in the last thirty years. Some say only 10. Others say we still have a long way to go. I tend to agree with the latter.
For those who remember last year’s New England winter, the brutal cold, the almost-weekly snowstorms, it came as a surprise when climate alarmists said it was a result of global warming. More CO2 in the air means more water in the air means more snow [As an aside, I remember my high school science teacher teaching us that the colder the air, the less moisture it can hold].
From the same Reuters article we learn that, “There is medium confidence that droughts will intensify in the 21st century ... due to reduced precipitation and/or increased evapotranspiration…” Evapotranspiration is simply the process by which water is transferred from the land to the atmosphere by evaporation…
The report also states, “It is likely the frequency of heavy precipitation ... will increase in the 21st century over many areas…” Confused? Don’t be. It simply means, at least according to the IPCC, that you can now blame any extreme weather event on global warming.
These conclusions are guesses, probabilities, computer model predictions, and it urges that countries make disaster-management plans and risk assessments - just as Ban Ki-moon urged less than a week before. In marketing parlance, this is known as a promotional tie-in.
My opinions about the future of the climate are no more accurate than the IPCC’s. The hysterical alarmism promoted by environmental groups, the media (we read and watch and glorify death and destruction; it’s human nature), politicians, governments,and litigators do more harm to the planet than any amount of CO2 could ever do.
You would never take a medication unless it was put through unbiased double-blind clinical trials, the results duplicated by a disinterested party, and then gone through the FDA’s rigorous testing and screening process. And even then, it may get revoked by the FDA because it wasn’t living up to it’s intended purpose.
Why should we believe in the future, predicted severity of the climate and how it will affect us twenty, thirty, even a hundred years from now when the “accepted” climate research has been so muddled, biased, non-reproducible, and worse, disproved repeatedly by disinterested climatologists?
I’m afraid we may never know the answer until enough time has passed where we can look back in hindsight at our collective folly so as not to repeat the same mistakes. But in the meantime, we can all take our best guesses. Just like the IPCC.