Guest Essay by Dr. Norman Page
1.The Demise of the IPCC and the CAGW Delusion.
In the AR5 Summary for Policymakers the IPCC glossed over the developing cooling trend in global temperatures and so lost the last vestige of its scientific credibility and any claim to be a source of useful guidance on future climate trends for policymakers. The IPCC’s remit was never to study climate objectively but to support the proposition that anthropogenic CO2 was the main climate driver and that increasing emissions would produce warming with catastrophic consequences by the end of the 21st century. To their eternal discredit too many of the Western scientific establishment abandoned common sense and scientific standards of objectivity and prudence in order to accommodate their paymasters.
The entire vast UN and Government sponsored AGW behemoth with its endless labyrinthine conferences and gigantic schemes for UN global control over the World and National economies is a prime example of the disasters Eisenhower warned against in 1961 he said :
“In the same fashion, the free university, historically the fountainhead of free ideas and scientific discovery, has experienced a revolution in the conduct of research. Partly because of the huge costs involved, a government contract becomes virtually a substitute for intellectual curiosity. For every old blackboard there are now hundreds of new electronic computers. The prospect of domination of the nation’s scholars by Federal employment, project allocations, and the power of money is ever present and is gravely to be regarded. Yet, in holding scientific research and discovery in respect, as we should, we must also be alert to the equal and opposite danger that public policy could itself become the captive of a scientific technological elite. “
Politicians were willing to forgo the trouble of thinking for themselves and forming their own commonsense views on climate so long as their paid scientists gave them scary forecasts to use to regulate economic activity [via carbon taxes EPA mandates, etc]. This symbiotic relationship enabled politicians to reward themselves, their political friends and corporate sponsors while at the same time feeling righteous about “saving the world”.
Thus, with the enthusiastic assistance of the anti-capitalist movement and a supine or agenda driven MSM, the CAGW delusion took over much of the Western world as a quasi religion which will not easily fade away even though, as the AR5 science section shows, it has no connection to reality.
b) What’s wrong with the science?
The CAGW meme is built on the outputs of climate models. Many of the modelers and IPCC and Met Office scientific chiefs had a background in weather forecasting In spite of the inability of the weather models to forecast more than about 10 days ahead, in an act of almost unbelievable hubris and stupidity, the modelers allowed themselves to believe, or at least proclaim, that they knew enough about the physical processes and climate driving factors involved to forecast global temperatures for decades and centuries ahead.Indeed, many establishment scientists appear to think that humanity can dial up a desired global temperature by keeping CO2 within some appropriate limit. What arrant nonsense!
In practice the modelers have known for some time that their models have no skill in forecasting and have indeed said so in the WG1 reports. The IPCC AR4 WG1 science section actually acknowledges this fact. Section IPCC AR4 WG1 8.6 deals with forcings, feedbacks and climate sensitivity. The conclusions are in section 8.6.4 which deals with the reliability of the projections. It concludes:
“Moreover it is not yet clear which tests are critical for constraining the future projections, consequently a set of model metrics that might be used to narrow the range of plausible climate change feedbacks and climate sensitivity has yet to be developed”
What could be clearer. The IPCC in 2007 said itself that we don’t even know what metrics to put into the models to test their reliability.- i.e. we don’t know what future temperatures will be and we can’t calculate the climate sensitivity to CO2.This also begs a further question of what erroneous assumptions (e.g. that CO2 is the main climate driver) went into the “plausible” models to be tested anyway. This means that the successive SPM uncertainty estimates take no account of the structural uncertainties in the models and that almost the entire the range of model outputs may well lay outside the range of the real world future climate variability. By the time of the AR5 report this is obviously the case. Here are two examples
Fig1, (IPCC Fig 1.4 2nd Draft)
The key factor in making CO2 emission control policy is the climate sensitivity to CO2 . By AR5 – WG1 the IPCC is saying: (Section 188.8.131.52)
“The assessed literature suggests that the range of climate sensitivities and transient responses covered by CMIP3/5 cannot be narrowed significantly by constraining the models with observations of the mean climate and variability, consistent with the difficulty of constraining the cloud feedbacks from observations “
In plain English this means that they have no idea what the climate sensitivity is and that therefore that the politicians have no empirical scientific basis for their economically destructive climate and energy policies.
In summary the projections of the IPCC – Met office models and all the impact studies which derive from them are based on specifically structurally flawed and inherently useless models. They deserve no place in any serious discussion of future climate trends and represent an enormous waste of time and money. As a basis for public policy their forecasts are grossly in error and therefore worse than useless.
2. A Simple Rational Approach to Climate Forecasting based on Common Sense and Quasi Repetitive- Quasi Cyclic Patterns.How then can we predict the future of a constantly changing climate? A new forecasting paradigm is required .
It is important to note that it in order to make transparent and likely skillful forecasts it is not necessary to understand or quantify the interactions of the large number of interacting and quasi independent physical processes and variables which produce the state of the climate system as a whole as represented by the temperature metric.
When, about ten years ago ,I began to look into the CAGW – CO2 based scare, some simple observations immediately presented themselves.
a) Night is colder than day.
b) Winter is colder than summer.
c) It is cooler in the shade and under clouds than in the sun
d) Temperatures vary more widely in deserts and hot humid days are more uncomfortable than dry hot days – humidity (enthalpy) might be an important factor. We use Sun Screen against UV rays - can this be a clue?
e) Being a Geologist I knew that the various Milankovitch cycles were seen repeatedly in the Geologic record and were the main climate drivers controlling the Quaternary Ice Ages.
f) I also considered whether the current climate was unusually hot or cold. Some modest knowledge of history brought to mind frost fairs on the Thames and the Little Ice Age and the Maunder Minimum without sunspots during the 17th century . The 300 years of Viking settlements in Greenland during the Medieval Warm Period and viniculture in Britain suggested a warmer world in earlier times than at present while the colder Dark Ages separate the MWP from the Roman Climate optimum.
g) I noted that CO2 was about 0.0375% of the Atmosphere and thought ,correctly as it turns out, that it was highly unlikely that such a little tail should wag such a big dog.
I concluded ,as might any person of reasonable common sense and average intelligence given these simple observations that solar activity and our orbital relations to the sun were the main climate drivers. More specific temperature drivers were the number of hours of sunshine, the amount of cloud cover, the humidity and the height of the sun in the sky at midday and at Midsummer . It seemed that the present day was likely not much or very little outside the range of climate variability for the last 2000 years and that no government action or policy was required or would be useful with regard to postulated anthropogenic CO2 driven climate change.These conclusions based on about 15 minutes of anyone’s considered thought are, at once , much nearer the truth and certainly would be much more useful as a Guide to Policymakers than the output of the millions of man hours of time and effort that have been spent on IPCC – Met Office models and the Global Warming impact studies and the emission control policies based on them. However it is necessary ,of course, to go beyond this level of understanding.
Over the last 25 years an immense amount of valuable instrumental and proxy temperature and possible climate driver data has been acquired and it turns out that climate forecasting on the basis of recognizing quasi cyclic - quasi-repetitive patterns in that data is fairly simple and straight forward. Interested parties should take the time necessary to become familiar with the general trends in both the instrumental and proxy time series of temperature, forcings and feedbacks.
Central to any forecast of future cooling is some knowledge of the most important reconstructions of past temperatures after all the infamous hockey stick was instrumental in selling the CAGW meme.
Here are links to some of the most relevant papers-starting with the hockey stick.
note Espers comments on the above at
and see how Mann’s hockey stick has changed in later publications
an important paper by Berggren et al relating solar activity to climate is
and another showing clearly the correlation of the various climate minima over the last 1000 years to cosmic ray intensities -( note especially Fig 8 C ,D below ) is: Steinhilber et al – 9400 years of cosmic radiation and solar activity from ice cores and tree rings:
for Holocene climate variability in general there is much valuable data in Mayewski et al :
Of particular interest with regard to the cause of the late 20th century temperature increase is Wang et al:
A review of candidate proxy data reconstructions and the historical record of climate during the last 2000 years suggests that at this time the most useful reconstruction for identifying temperature trends in the latest important millennial cycle is that of Christiansen and Ljungqvist 2012 (Fig 5)
The shape of the curve of Fig 3(Fig 5 Christiansen) from 1000 – the present should replace the Mann-IPCC hockey stick in the public consciousness as the icon for climate change and a guide to the future i.e. the temperature trends from 1000- 2000 will essentially repeat from 2000- 3000.
The recurring millennial cycle is also seen in the ice core data.
The simplest working hypothesis for forecasting future climate is that the change in the temperature trend from warming to cooling in 2003 (Figs 6 and 7) marked both the change in the PDO phase and the peak in the 1000 year cycle.
Furthermore Fig 8 shows that the cosmic ray intensity time series derived from the 10Be data is the most useful proxy relating solar activity to temperature and climate. - see Fig 3 CD from Steinhilber
NOTE !! the connection between solar “activity” and climate is poorly understood and highly controversial. Solar ” activity” encompasses changes in solar magnetic field strength, IMF, CRF, TSI ,EUV,solar wind density and velocity, CMEs, proton events etc. The idea of using the neutron count as a useful proxy for changing solar activity and temperature forecasting is agnostic as to the physical mechanisms involved.
The trends in the neutron count over the last few solar cycles strengthens the forecast of coming cooling made from projecting the PDO and Millennial cycle temperature trends.The decline in solar activity from 1990 (Cycle 22) to the present (Cycle 24) is obvious.
It has been estimated that there is about a 12 year lag between the cosmic ray flux and the temperature data. see Fig3 in Usoskin et al
With that in mind it is reasonable to correlate the cycle 22 low in the neutron count (high solar activity and SSN) with the peak in the SST trend in about 2003 and project forward the possible general temperature decline in the coming decades in step with the decline in solar activity in cycles 23 and 24.
In earlier posts on this site http://climatesense-norpag.blogspot.com at 4/02/13 and 1/22/13 I have combined the PDO, Millennial cycle, and neutron trends to estimate the timing and extent of the coming cooling in both the Northern Hemisphere and Globally.
Here are the conclusions of those posts.
1) The millennial peak is sharp – perhaps 18 years +/-. We have now had 16 years since 1997 with no net warming – and so might expect a sharp drop in a year or two – 2014/16 -with a net cooling by 2035 of about 0.35.Within that time frame however there could well be some exceptional years with NH temperatures +/- 0.25 degrees colder than that.
2) The cooling gradient might be fairly steep down to the Oort minimum equivalent which would occur about 2100. (about 1100 on Fig 5) ( Fig 3 here) with a total cooling in 2100 from the present estimated at about 1.2 +/-
3) From 2100 on through the Wolf and Sporer minima equivalents with intervening highs to the Maunder Minimum equivalent which could occur from about 2600 – 2700 a further net cooling of about 0.7 degrees could occur for a total drop of 1.9 +/- degrees
4)The time frame for the significant cooling in 2014 – 16 is strengthened by recent developments already seen in solar activity. With a time lag of about 12 years between the solar driver proxy and climate we should see the effects of the sharp drop in the Ap Index which took place in 2004/5 in 2016-17.
4/02/13 ( Global)
1 Significant temperature drop at about 2016-17
2 Possible unusual cold snap 2021-22
3 Built in cooling trend until at least 2024
4 Temperature Hadsst3 moving average anomaly 2035 - 0.15
5 Temperature Hadsst3 moving average anomaly 2100 – 0.5
6 General Conclusion – by 2100 all the 20th century temperature rise will have been reversed,
7 By 2650 earth could possibly be back to the depths of the little ice age.
8 The effect of increasing CO2 emissions will be minor but beneficial - they may slightly ameliorate the forecast cooling and help maintain crop yields .
9 Warning !! There are some signs in the Livingston and Penn Solar data that a sudden drop to the Maunder Minimum Little Ice Age temperatures could be imminent – with a much more rapid and economically disruptive cooling than that forecast above which may turn out to be a best case scenario.
How confident should one be in these above predictions? The pattern method doesn’t lend itself easily to statistical measures. However statistical calculations only provide an apparent rigor for the uninitiated and in relation to the IPCC climate models are entirely misleading because they make no allowance for the structural uncertainties in the model set up.
This is where scientific judgment comes in – some people are better at pattern recognition and meaningful correlation than others. A past record of successful forecasting such as indicated above is a useful but not infallible measure. In this case I am reasonably sure – say 65/35 for about 20 years ahead. Beyond that certainty drops rapidly. I am sure, however, that it will prove closer to reality than anything put out by the IPCC, Met Office or the NASA group. In any case this is a Bayesian type forecast- in that it can easily be amended on an ongoing basis as the Temperature and Solar data accumulate. If there is not a 0.15 – 0.20. drop in Global SSTs by 2018 -20 I would need to re-evaluate.