John L. Daly
If ever a case of bad climate science needed to be demonstrated, one would not need to go any further than the latest effort by Tom Wigley, chief scientist of the National Center for Atmospheric Research, Boulder, Colorado, USA. At issue is the question as to why global warming has fallen so far short of what computer models say should be happening by now.
Even when measured against the suspect data gathered from surface thermometers in towns and cities, the warming is still well below that which models say should have happened by now. When compared with the more accurate and global satellite temperature series since 1979, the gap between theory and reality is even wider.
In a `peer reviewed' (by whom?) paper published, not in a scientific journal, but by the rich environmentalist `Pew Center on Global Climate Change', titled "The Science of Climate Change: Global and U.S. Perspectives," Tom Wigley repeats a, by now, lame excuse to explain away the lack of warming so far.
The critical issue is Sulphur Dioxide (SO2), a common byproduct of fossil fuel burning in older combustion systems. These `sulfates' are blamed for acid rain and newer combustion systems extract sulfates before they escape to the atmosphere. As the newer technology spreads in usage, sulfate levels in the atmosphere can be expected to fall.
That's good news of course.
But is it?
Several years ago the Greenhouse Industry siezed on a theory floated by prominent US greenhouse skeptic Prof. Patrick Michaels, namely that the presence of sulfates in cloud formations made them brighter to sunlight. Brighter clouds would make them more reflective, thus tending to cool the earth, partially countering the warming effect alleged from carbon dioxide (CO2).
While Michaels originated this hypothesis, he was also very prompt in discarding the theory when it was clear that observational evidence did not support it - as any good scientist would. But the Greenhouse Industry is not inhabited by good scientists. They saw in Michaels' sulfates theory the excuse they needed for the lack of significant warming to date. Rather than pay heed to the mounting physical evidence that the sulfates theory was a non-starter, they instead incorporated the theory into the climate models, making it a dogma of faith among environmentalists and even the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC).
But Wigley has given the sulfates theory an added twist in his latest paper. Having claimed that sulfates have been applying a cooling brake to global warming, he then went on to claim that global warming would accelerate even faster than expected once the sulfate emissions were wound back!
"If we save the world from acid rain, we might exacerbate the global warming problem, and the United States will get hotter faster than the rest of the globe," he says. He further predicts that "A wide swath of northern states should see temperatures go up 60 to 80 percent faster than the rest of the world in the winter and 40 to 60 percent faster the rest of the year."
Apparently, we are damned if we do, and damned if we don't.
It is little wonder that western public opinion is increasingly ignoring the incessantly pessimistic propaganda of the Green movement, a movement Wigley has clearly tied his flag to, given the Green bias of the Pew Center who published his paper, with much media flourish.
But this depressing scenario by Wigley only holds good if the sulfate theory is sound. It is not, and here's why -
Most fossil fuel emissions, including sulfates, occurs in the northern hemisphere (NH) which contains over 90% of the world's population. The southern hemisphere (SH) by contrast is 80% ocean, 5% ice, and only 15% land, most of that sparsely populated. In other words, sulfates and acid rain are NH problems, not SH ones. The air in the SH is very, very clean when compared with the NH.
By Wigley's scenario, this means the SH should be warming more sharply than the NH, due to the lack of sulfates to cool the southern atmosphere against the rising CO2.
But if we look at the physical evidence, two charts of global temperature, as measured by NOAA satellites since January 1979, we find that the Northern Hemisphere has seen a decadal warming trend of +0.113°C. whereas the southern hemisphere has cooled -0.01°C per decade!
That contrast in hemispheric temperatures is absolutely conclusive. There is no sulfate cooling effect. It's an entirely unproved assumption that Greenhouse scientists doggedly cling to with no physical evidence to support such wild assumptions, let alone base public policy upon them. It's a dead theory, having long outlived its use-by date, but the Greenhouse Industry still needs it as a prop to explain why the climate has failed to warm in the way predicted by their models.
Promoting the defunct sulfate theory at this time is primarily a political act designed to alarm the public, having failed to create the desired atmosphere of alarm with earlier predictions. Public confidence in science must be in a state of confusion when scientific calls several years ago for the elimination of acid rain , is now presented as a threat to our climate.
When it comes to climate change issues, we are clearly not dealing with scientific issues any more, but mere partisan opinions by scientists acting, speaking and writing in support of Green agendas, much of it financed from the deep pockets of the Pew Center.
(15 July 1999)
Date: Thu, 22 Jul 1999 09:54:42 +0200
From: email@example.com (P. Dietze)
(re.) your new paper (above) critizizing Wigley's Pew Study http://www.pewclimate.org/projects/env_science.html. You are mostly right, but you forgot to mention a most important clue: Sulphur aerosols are not only supposed to cool, but they have been used by IPCC (because ignoring the secondary solar impact) to considerably boost the (questionable) GHG doubling sensitivity - let us say by a factor 4 from ~0.9 via 2.5 to 3.6°C, see my solar fraction paper http://www.john-daly.com/fraction/fraction.htm.
Recently Dr. Volz told me, he attended to a German geologist meeting where MPIM modeller Dr. Cubasch spoke. He said, now all institutions with big computer models tend to even higher warming projections - many people laughed at him. Aerosols are so useful that they should have been patented for IPCC. They make up for model errors, they boost the climate sensitivity and guarantee great future disaster - alas, mostly as we follow clean air regulations (and phase out nuclear as well). So (IPCC+Kyoto) power two or three and more funding is required to make the stunning world believe what we should expect if we go on prospering.
Re aerosol effects you should read as well the paper "Climate forcings in the Industrial era" [J. Hansen et al., Proc. NAS 95, 12753-58 (Oct 1998)].
Best regards, Peter Dietze
Subject: Re: Greenhouse
Date: Thu, 22 Jul 1999 14:27:24 +0100 (BST)
From: firstname.lastname@example.org (COURTNEY)
I agree with everything you say about the anthropogenic aerosol, but this issue is even more serious than you suggest. And I am publishing a paper concerning it in 'Energy & Environment'. The matter is as follows.
Following the GCM warming predictions of IPCC 1990, it soon became apparent that the rate of global warming was much less than the GCM models had predicted from enhanced greenhouse effect induced by increased concentrations of atmospheric greenhouse gases (GHGs). Also, warming was not occuring in the places (e.g. polar regions) that the GCM models had predicted. Negative forcing of anthropogenic aerosol was a possible explanation for these GCM errors, and this 'aerosol hypothesis' was falsifiable.
The magnitude of the negative forcing from anthropogenic aerosol has very high uncertainty (see IPCC 1994). But it is not necessary to know the magnitude of the negative forcing for a test of the 'aerosol hypothesis' because the pattern of the aerosol emissions over the Earth's surface is known. If these emissions were providing the error to the GCM predictions, then their global cooling effect must equal the magnitude of the error to predicted global warming. So, the GCMs were modified by providing a pattern of negative forcing over the Earth's surface. This pattern was set so it matched the pattern of anthropogenic aerosol concentrations over the Earth. The total magnitude of the negative forcing was set to provide global cooling equal to the degree of anticipated global warming that had not happened.
The above procedure was a very reasonable modification to GCM radiative forcing models as a test of the 'aerosol hypothesis'. If the aerosol cooling is responsible for the observed GCM errors, then the modified GCM models should predict a pattern of temperature changes over the Earth's surface that agrees with observations of temperature changes at the Earth's surface. If the modified GCMs predict a pattern of temperature changes over the Earth's surface that does not agree with reality, then this demonstrates the anthropogenic aerosols are not the cause - or at least not the only cause - for the failure of the unmodified models.
The modified GCMs do not predict patterns of warming that agree with reality. Indeed, they predict very different patterns. For example, they predict that central Europe cooled more than anywhere else this century when in reality central Europe has warmed more than anywhere else this century. Simply, the modified models do not correctly predict the pattern of temperature changes across the Earth's surface, and this erroneous prediction of temperature-change patterns demonstrates that the anthropogenic aerosol is not the cause of the failure of the unmodified GCM models.
At this point the modellers had a problem. They had clear, unequivocal evidence that their GCM models do not work as accurate and reliable tools to predict climate change from altered atmospheric GHG concentrations, and they had no idea why the models do not work. Their only available explanation for the failure of their models was the 'aerosol hypothesis', and they had themselves demonstrated that this hypothesis is not the reason why their models don't work.
The response of some GCM modellers to this problem was - and is - disgraceful. They proclaimed that the modified models showed changes to mean global temperature that agree with observed changes to mean global temperature. Well, of course the modified models do this. The degree of total cooling input to the models was deliberately fixed to make the models match mean global temperature. The agreement of the modified models with mean global temperature is an input to those models. Indeed, it is the most important input to the models in terms of the purpose of the modofications as a test of the 'aerosol hypothesis'.
IPCC 1994 and IPCC 1995 both imply that the agreement of the modified models with mean global temperature provides confidence in the ouputs of those models. Such a claim is scientific fraud. An input to a model proves nothing except what the modeller did. The ouputs of the modified GCM tests demonstrate that the GCMs don't work for the purposes of IPCC predictions, and those outputs demonstrate that anthropogenic aerosols are not the reason why the GCMs don't work.
All the best
Subject: Re: Greenhouse
Date: Fri, 23 Jul 1999 09:22:36 +0200
From: email@example.com (P. Dietze)
To: firstname.lastname@example.org, Courtney <email@example.com>
Dear John and Richard,
yesterday we got an excellent extension to the aerosol story from Richard. These are sensational, revealing and defeating statements about IPCC's climate models (and their junk-scientific practice). I suggest that these facts (apart from my same day contribution re boosting CO2 sensitivity) should either be incorporated in the ~daly/sulphur.htm paper or simply be appended on a comment page.
Best regards, Peter
http://science.nasa.gov/newhome/headlines/ast22jul99_1.htm (NASA solar physics) http://www.zew.de/flex_mech/frameset.html (ZEW-Symposium in Germany) http://www.unfccc.de/sessions/index.html (COP fifth session 25 Oct - 5 Nov 1999, Bonn)
Return to "Greenhouse Hall of Shame" page
Return to "Still Waiting For Greenhouse" main page.