Guest essay by Dr. Norman Page
1.The Problems with the IPCC – GCM Climate Forecasting methods.
Harrison and Stainforth say in: http://onlinelibrary.wiley.com/doi/10.1029/eost2009EO13/pdf
“Reductionism argues that deterministic approaches to science and positivist views of causation are the appropriate methodologies for exploring complex, multivariate systems … where the behavior of a complex system can be deduced from the fundamental reductionist understanding. Rather, large, complex systems may be better understood, and perhaps only understood, in terms of observed, emergent behavior. The practical implication is that there exist system behaviors and structures that are not amenable to explanation or prediction by reductionist methodologies … the GCM is the numerical solution of a complex but purely deterministic set of nonlinear partial differential equations over a defined spatiotemporal grid, and no attempt is made to introduce any quantification of uncertainty into its construction … [T]he reductionist argument that large scale behaviour can be represented by the aggregative effects of smaller scale process has never been validated in the context of natural environmental systems .”
The modelling approach is inherently of no value for predicting future temperature with any calculable certainty because of the difficulty of specifying the initial conditions of a sufficiently fine grained spatio-temporal grid of a large number of variables with sufficient precision prior to multiple iterations. For a complete discussion of this see Essex:
and for a detailed discussion see Section 1 at
Section IPCC AR4 WG1 8.6 deals with forcings, feedbacks and climate sensitivity.It recognizes the the short comings of the models.The conclusions are in section 8.6.4 which 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 it doesn’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 any way.
Even the IPCC itself has now given up on estimating CS – the AR5 SPM says ( hidden away in a footnote)
“No best estimate for equilibrium climate sensitivity can now be given because of a lack of agreement on values across assessed lines of evidence and studies”
Paradoxically they still claim that UNFCCC can dial up a desired temperature by controlling CO2 levels .This is cognitive dissonance so extreme as to be irrational.There is no empirical evidence which proves that CO2 has anything more than a negligible effect on temperatures.
Equally importantly the climate models on which the entire Catastrophic Anthropogenic Global Warming delusion rests are structured without regard to the natural 60+/- and more importantly 1000 year periodicities ( observed emergent behaviors) so obvious in the temperature record. The modelers approach is simply a scientific disaster and lacks even average commonsense .It is exactly like taking the temperature trend from say Feb – July and projecting it ahead linearly for 20 years or so. The models are back-tuned for less than 100 years when the relevant time scale is millennial.
Fig1 (Amended ( Green Line Added) from Syun-Ichi Akasofu)http://www.scirp.org/journal/PaperInformation.aspx?paperID=3217
Figure 1 above compares the IPCC forecast with the Akasofu paper forecast and with the simple but most economic working hypothesis of this post (green line) that the peak at about 2003 is the most recent peak in the millennial cycle so obvious in the temperature data.The data also shows that the well documented 60 year temperature cycle coincidentally peaks at about the same time.
The temperature projections of the IPCC – UK Met office models and all the impact studies which derive from them have no solid foundation in empirical science being derived from inherently useless and specifically structurally flawed models. They provide no basis for the discussion of future climate trends and represent an enormous waste of time and money. As a foundation for Governmental climate and energy policy their forecasts are already seen to be grossly in error and are therefore worse than useless.
A new forecasting paradigm needs to be adopted.
2. The Past is the Key to the Present and Future . Finding then Forecasting the Natural Quasi-Periodicities Governing Earths Climate – the Geological Approach.
2.1 General Principles.
The core competency in the Geological Sciences is the ability to recognize and correlate the changing patterns of events in time and space. This requires a mindset and set of skills very different from the reductionist approach to nature, but one which is appropriate and necessary for investigating past climates and forecasting future climate trends. Scientists and modelers with backgrounds in physics and maths usually have little experience in correlating multiple, often fragmentary, data sets of multiple variables.
It is necessary build an understanding of the patterns and a narrative of general trends from the actual individual local and regional time series of particular variables. Earth’s climate is the result of resonances and beats between various quasi-cyclic processes of varying wavelengths.
It is not possible to forecast the future unless we have a good understanding of where the earth is in relation to the current phases of these different interacting natural quasi-periodicities which fall into two main categories.
a) The orbital long wave Milankovitch eccentricity,obliquity and precessional cycles which are modulated by
b) Solar “activity” cycles with possibly multi-millennial, millennial, centennial and decadal time scales.
2.2 The Present Warming in Relation to the Milankovitch Cycles.
Fig. 2 (From Wiki-Milankovic)
We are past the peak of the latest interglacial warming ( Fig.2) with a declining trend for the last 3500 years. (Fig 3)
2.3 The Quasi – Millennial Solar Cycle -Periodicity.
Fig 3 (http://www.climate4you.com/) -(See Humlum’s overview section)
Note the peaks at about 10,000,9000,8000,7000,2000,1000 BP and then the latest peaks seen more clearly at about 990 in Fig 4 and about 2003 in Fig 5.
Fig 4. ( Christiansen and Ljungqvist 2012 (Fig 5) http://www.clim-past.net/8/765/2012/cp-8-765-2012.pdf )
From Figures 4 and 5 the period of the latest millennial cycle is from about 990 to 2003 or 1,013 years. This is remarkably consistent with the 1,024 periodicity seen in the solar activity wavelet analysis fromhttps://epic.awi.de/30297/1/PNAS-2012-Steinhilber-1118965109.pdf
It is of interest that the quasi millennial peaks in Fig 3 are from Greenland while the 1024 year periodicities in Fig 6 are from Antarctica.
2.4 The Quasi-Millennial Temperature Cycle – Amplitude
A useful empirical estimate of the amplitude of the NH temperature millennial cycle can made from the 50 year moving average curve (red) of Fig 4 above.It is about 1.7 degrees C from the 990 peak to the LIA minimum at about 1640.This is consonant with the estimate of Shindell, Schmidt,Mann et al Solar Forcing of Regional Climate Change During the Maunder Minimumhttp://pubs.giss.nasa.gov/docs/2001/2001_Shindell_etal_1.pdf
2.5 The Solar Driver.
.The most important factor in climate forecasting is where earth is in regard to the quasi- millennial natural solar activity cycle which has a period in the 960 – 1024 year range. From Fig 4 above it is trivially obvious that the earth is just approaching ,just at or just past a peak in the millennial cycle.
The best proxy for solar activity is the neutron monitor count and 10 Be data.
The general increase in solar activity which accounts for the temperature rise since the Little Ice Age is obvious in the ice core 10 Be flux data between about 1700 and the late twentieth century.
Fig. 7 ( From Berggren et al) http://www.eawag.ch/forschung/surf/publikationen/2009/2009_berggren.pdf
My view ,based on the Oulu neutron count – Fig 8 combined with Figures 4,5, 6 and 7 above is that the solar activity millennial maximum peaked in Cycle 22 in about 1991.
There is a varying lag between the solar activity peak and the corresponding peak in the different temperature metrics. There is a 12 year delay between the solar activity peak and the millennial cyclic temperature peak seen in the RSS data at 2003.( Fig 5 above )
3.1 Long Term .
I am a firm believer in the value of Ockham’s razor thus the simplest working hypothesis based on the weight of all the data is that the millennial temperature cycle peaked at about 2003 and that the general trends from 990 – 2003 seen in Fig 4 will repeat from 2003-3016 with the depths of the next LIA at about 2640.
3.2 Medium Term.
Looking at the shorter 60+/- year wavelengths the simplest hypothesis is that the cooling trend from 2003 forward will simply be a mirror image of the rising trend. This is illustrated by the green curve in Fig,1.which shows cooling until 2038 ,slight warming to 2073, then cooling to the end of the century.
3.3 Current Trends
The cooling trend from the millennial peak at 2003 is illustrated in blue in Fig 5. From 2015 on,the decadal cooling trend is obscured by the current El Nino. The SOI peaked in late 2015.Temperature peaks usually lag the SOI peak by 6-7 months so there may be further modest warming through April 2016. Thereafter during 2017 – 2019 we might reasonably expect a cooling at least as great as that seen during the 1998 El Nino decline in Fig 5 – about 0.9 C
It is worth noting that the increase in the neutron count in 2007 seen in Fig 8 indicated a possible solar regime change which might produce an unexpectedly sharp decline in RSS temperatures 12 years later – 2019 +/- to levels significantly below the blue trend line in Fig 5.
To the detriment of the reputation of science in general, establishment climate scientists made two egregious errors of judgment in their method of approach to climate forecasting and thus in their advice to policy makers in successive SPMs. First, they based their analyses on inherently untestable and specifically structurally flawed models which included many questionable assumptions. Second they totally ignored the natural, solar driven , millennial and multi-decadal quasi-cycles. Unless we know where we are with regard to and then incorporate the phase of the millennial cycle in particular, useful forecasting is simply impossible.
It is fashionable in establishment climate circles to present climate forecasting as a “wicked” problem.I would by contrast contend that by adopting the appropriate time scale and method for analysis it becomes entirely tractable so that commonsense working hypotheses with sufficient likely accuracy and chances of success to guide policy can be formulated.
If the real outcomes follow the near term forecasts in para 3.3 above I suggest that the establishment position is untenable past 2020.This is imminent in climate terms. The essential point of this post is that the 2003 peak in Fig 1 marks a millennial peak which is totally ignored in all the IPCC projections.