Another ‘worse than we thought’ study: Warming to be 15% worse than worst case scenario

From the ‘scare tactical modeling’ department comes this press release today, which has been circulating to news media until the embargo lifted this morning. You’ll see all sorts of caterwauling from the usual media outlets about how global warming is even worse now, and the future looks grim.

Of course, the back story is pretty much the business as usual scenario; activist scientists, in this case Patrick Brown and Ken Caldiera, who work for the think tank Carnegie Institute have taken the Representative Concentration Pathways (RCP) climate model set, tweaked it a bit with some observational data from the CERES dataset, and declared warming is going to be worse than even the worst-case RCP 8.5 model, which is quickly losing favor as being out of sync with reality.

Basically, it’s a headline-grabber paper.

You can read more about the ‘nightmare scenario’ that is RCP 8.5 here.

Here is the press release:

Climate science: Warmer future forecast

The global warming projection for the end of the twenty-first century could be about 15 per cent greater than the steepest emissions scenario from the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC), reports a study published in this week’s Nature.

Climate models indicate that human-caused emissions of greenhouse gases will continue to warm the global climate. However, the projected warming varies extensively among different climate models, complicating efforts to mitigate and adapt to climate change.

Patrick Brown and Ken Caldeira assess the many available climate models and constrain them with observational data of the energy budget at the top of Earth’s atmosphere. Focusing on those that realistically simulate observations, the authors find that the observationally informed warming projection to the end of the twenty-first century for the steepest emissions scenario is about 15 per cent warmer than reported by the IPCC and the uncertainty of the previous projections is reduced by a third.

The results add to a broadening collection of research indicating that when models are constrained by observations, they tend to project more global warming for the remainder of the twenty-first century. Therefore, achieving any given global temperature stabilization target will require steeper greenhouse gas emissions reductions than previously calculated.

The paper:

Greater future global warming inferred from Earth’s recent energy budget


Climate models provide the principal means of projecting global warming over the remainder of the twenty-first century but modelled estimates of warming vary by a factor of approximately two even under the same radiative forcing scenarios. Across-model relationships between currently observable attributes of the climate system and the simulated magnitude of future warming have the potential to inform projections. Here we show that robust across-model relationships exist between the global spatial patterns of several fundamental attributes of Earth’s top-of-atmosphere energy budget and the magnitude of projected global warming. When we constrain the model projections with observations, we obtain greater means and narrower ranges of future global warming across the major radiative forcing scenarios, in general. In particular, we find that the observationally informed warming projection for the end of the twenty-first century for the steepest radiative forcing scenario is about 15 per cent warmer (+0.5 degrees Celsius) with a reduction of about a third in the two-standard-deviation spread (−1.2 degrees Celsius) relative to the raw model projections reported by the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change. Our results suggest that achieving any

given global temperature stabilization target will require steeper greenhouse gas emissions reductions than previously calculated.

My commentary:

First, a definition:

Climate sensitivity is the equilibrium temperature change in response to changes of the radiative forcing. … The climate sensitivity specifically due to CO2 is often expressed as the temperature change in °C associated with a doubling of the concentration of carbon dioxide in Earth’s atmosphere. -Wikipedia

I have to laugh at the phrase in the abstract “When we constrain the model projections with observations…“. What the authors are really saying is that they are using the CERES data to create a greater feedback in the model, and thus increase the worst-case scenario by 15%. “Constrained” should actually be “amplified” but in the double-speak of climate modeling, the choice of words is all about making you think they are being conservative with the numbers. In figure 2, note the “observationally informed” plots of the model spread and the Equilibrium Climate Sensitivity whisker plot which suggests an ECS of about 3.7C. Note also the red line in figure 2, which is what their paper predicts.

They say:

We find that the observationally informed ECS prediction has a mean value of 3.7 °C (with a 25–75% interval of 3.0 °C to 4.2 °C) and that 68% of the observationally informed distribution of ECS is above the raw model mean of 3.1 °C (Fig. 2e).

3.7C is well above many other observationally-based estimates of ECS, but then again Caldiera is well-known for being a climate alarmist.

Below, I’ve added the Brown-Caldiera ECS estimate to the collection of ECS estimates that we have previously published on WUWT, with a hat tip to Pat Michaels at CATO who originally started this graph:

The important thing to note about the above graph is that it represents a range of opinion. Clearly, climate science doesn’t know exactly what the response of the atmosphere is to a doubling of CO2, but we have a range of opinions published in the literature.

Dr. Benny Peiser of The Global Warming Policy Foundation commented on this paper prior to publication:

The flood of conflicting global warming predictions for the 21st century — from harmless to alarmist — is evidence that climate modellers remain divided over the issue of climate sensitivity. Empirical observations are our best guide. They show that the warming trend over recent decades is much lower and much slower than models have predicted. As long as climate models fail the test of time and fail to replicate reality, they should be treated as GIGO.

Nic Lewis, who authored papers on ECS, shown in the above ECS chart, had this to say:

I am doubtful whether the predictor measures they use are that relevant to the multidecadal warming that they are seeking to predict. They use mean climatology, the magnitude of the seasonal cycle, and the magnitude of monthly variability. The last two are both short term measures, and it is well known that such short term behaviour is not a good guide to longer term warming behaviour under greenhouse gas forcing; or is mean climatology of direct relevance to it.

Their statisitical methodology is quite complex and it is possible that it may not be appropriate.

Of course, the caveats to the headline and headstrong ECS estimates are buried in the paper, and the paper is behind a paywall thanks to Nature. Don’t look behind the curtain!

From the discussion section of the paper:

The constrained global warming projections presented here come with a number of important caveats. First, the unconstrained model values of Δ T do not span the complete uncertainty range. This is because there is a finite number of models, they are not comprehensive, and they do not sample the full uncertainty space of physical process representation. For example, a rapid nonlinear melting of the Greenland and Antarctic ice sheets has some plausibility but is not represented in any of the models studied here and thus it has an effective probability of zero in both the raw unconstrained and observationally informed Δ T distributions.

Furthermore, the models used here cannot be considered to be independent and thus the effective number of models in the suite is less than the nominal number. Because of these considerations, the raw Δ T model spread is best thought of as a lower bound on total uncertainty and thus our observationally informed spread represents a reduction in this lower bound rather than a reduction in the upper bound. Second, the model suite used here is diverse in terms of the level of sophistication of the simulation of, for example, atmospheric chemistry, carbon cycle processes, vegetation dynamics, and so on (Supplementary Table 1). This makes it more difficult to pinpoint the reasons for the spread in Δ T than it would be in a documented perturbed-physics-like model ensemble where only one aspect of model structure is altered at a time. Our statistical results suggest physical mechanisms (as discussed above), but these mechanisms should be interpreted as speculative rather than definitive. Third, the CERES satellite observations used here to constrain the Δ T projections were used to some degree during the model development process.

Ideally, observational data used to evaluate models would be completely independent of any data used in the development of the models. Unfortunately, owing to the limited length of high-quality observations, this is generally not possible for climate model evaluation. Thus, the model spread in the predictor fields may be artificially small owing to explicit efforts to reduce discrepancies between models and observations. Nevertheless, the model spread in the simulated climatological energy budget components is much larger than observational uncertainty (Extended Data Fig. 2), indicating that it is possible to distinguish statistically between models that perform well and poorly.

The above caveats notwithstanding, our results indicate that observations of several diverse attributes of Earth’s global energy budget indicate both individually and collectively that global warming is likely to be greater than that suggested by the unconstrained model suite. In particular, we find that the observationally informed end-of-twenty-first-century warming projection for the RCP 8.5 scenario is about 15% warmer with a reduction of about 33% in spread relative to the raw model projections. Another implication of our observationally informed projections is that the emissions associated with the RCP 4.5 scenario are likely to produce global warming more in line with that previously associated with the RCP 6.0 scenario (Table 1).

Finally, it is sometimes argued that the severity of model-projected global warming can be taken less seriously on the grounds that models fail to simulate the current climate sufficiently accurately. Our study confirms important model-observation discrepancies, indicating ample room for model improvement. However, we do not find that model errors can be taken as evidence that global warming is over-projected by climate models. On the contrary, our results add to a broadening collection of research indicating that models.

The take-away lines are these:

Finally, it is sometimes argued that the severity of model-projected global warming can be taken less seriously on the grounds that models fail to simulate the current climate sufficiently accurately.

However, we do not find that model errors can be taken as evidence that global warming is over-projected by climate models.

You have to admire the sheer chutzpah of such a statement, while at the same time shake your head and laugh about it. Thank goodness these guys aren’t modeling mission-critical structures like bridges.

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December 6, 2017 10:02 am

Oh good Lord, we’re all gonna burn up in a pile of rotting, stinking flesh! And it’s all because I started up my car and burned fossil fuels! Lunatics….

Pop Piasa
Reply to  John
December 6, 2017 12:48 pm

That is only if the opportunistic academic grandstanders don’t kill us with depression first.

Pop Piasa
Reply to  Pop Piasa
December 6, 2017 12:52 pm

There’s been a flood of this fad garbage hitting lately. Time to cut the funding.

Reply to  Pop Piasa
December 7, 2017 4:30 am

Kind of like the last years of the Soviet Union for propaganda disconnected from reality…

December 6, 2017 10:08 am

Surely the take-away lines are what a skeptic rather than a denier would expect – the models might be wrong but that would imply they could under estimate global warming as easily as they could over estimate it. Unless you have some other reason for not believing in global warming errors in the models mean that things could be a lot worse than predicted which is what this paper is saying.

Reply to  Germonio
December 6, 2017 10:34 am

The other reason for not believing that things could be worse is called observation. You should try it sometime. It’s a great ride…


Caligula Jones
Reply to  ripshin
December 7, 2017 10:34 am

“we do not find that model errors can be taken as evidence that global warming is over-projected by climate models.”

…”because we didn’t look”.

There, fixed it.

Reply to  Germonio
December 6, 2017 10:47 am

Unless you have some other reason for not believing in global warming errors in the models mean that things could be a lot worse than predicted

The models have been overestimating warming but they could underestimate it at any time? And I could win the next Miss USA pageant after arriving there on my flying pig.

Bryan A
Reply to  RWturner
December 6, 2017 12:17 pm

I always thought you were a Mr Turner. But the Miss USA statement makes me rethink that you might be a Miss Turner.
Unless of course you really are a Mr Turner then the likelihood of you winning the Miss USA pagent probably are still better than any of the RCP projections coming to fruition.

Walter Sobchak
Reply to  RWturner
December 6, 2017 5:30 pm

Brian, if he says he is a woman, who are you to say that he isn’t.You sexist pig. Do you hate LGBTQI2S people?

Reply to  Germonio
December 6, 2017 10:59 am

Models do not ‘might’ be wrong, they overestimate warming plus get it distributed wrongly and attributed to wrong physics. Models don’t even agree with each other. I really have hard time understanding the whole card house of climate alarmism. It appears if you’d be very smart, yet you just leave me every time less convinced of the boiling seas. How do you do it? How the funk you punk the science so that the credibility of a 30-year science career is lost in some cheap political activism?

Besides, models can’t be wrong, since it’s all settled, right? Mann did it and got a Nobel, huh?

Bryan A
Reply to  Hugs
December 6, 2017 12:18 pm

Perhaps a Novel Prize

Reply to  Hugs
December 6, 2017 12:52 pm

Now Bull actually.

Reply to  Hugs
December 6, 2017 2:04 pm

“I really have hard time understanding the whole card house of climate alarmism.”

Follow the money… then you’ll understand.

Reply to  Hugs
December 6, 2017 2:09 pm

I’m fairly sure it was not a ‘No Bull’ prize . . .
Doesn’t the great Mr. Mann also have a cycling proficiency certificate?


Reply to  Hugs
December 6, 2017 4:50 pm

Business Climate Leaders (BCL), June 2017

‘Carbon Pricing Supporters’

Follow the money.

Supporters at:

Reply to  Hugs
December 7, 2017 11:06 am

Follow the money?

“Energy subsidies are projected at US$5.3 trillion in 2015, or 6.5 percent of global GDP, according to a recent IMF study. Most of this arises from countries setting energy taxes below levels that fully reflect the environmental damage associated with energy consumption. “

Tom Halla
Reply to  postkey
December 7, 2017 12:00 pm

That three trillion is pulled from the advocates metaphoric nether regions. First one comes up with a modeled “harm” caused by fossil-fuel use, and then come up with an equally problematic “cost” for that “harm”. Scary stories like that upset my pet unicorn, so I get to bill the advocates for the veterinary bills for the homeopathic treatment?

Reply to  Germonio
December 6, 2017 11:00 am

Of course, but the error bars are so big, ie several magnitude larger than the most extreme ‘trend’, that the whole thing is nothing more than a ‘random walk’; of numbers. Its utterly meaningless in the real world, its rubbish.

Stu C
Reply to  Germonio
December 6, 2017 11:03 am

If the models “could under estimate global warming as easily as they could over estimate it” exactly what use are they? BTW it’s projected warming not predicted.

Gary Pearse.
Reply to  Stu C
December 6, 2017 11:10 am

Yeah but they mean you to think it predicted. Otherwise it isn’t logical to believe it’s going to get so warm to start with. They are asking ‘how warm’ not will it warm.

Pop Piasa
Reply to  Stu C
December 6, 2017 1:01 pm

Right Stu C, a group of models that predict everything are only useful for purposes of scientology-based socialist propaganda. They are the only “evidence” to back the “consensus” and must be defended fiercely vigorously by the climate aristocracy.

Reply to  Germonio
December 6, 2017 11:06 am

Right. So if I make a wrong model that says that tomorrow the global pseudo temperature will be one gazillion pseudo-degrees warmer than today, it could as well be wrong by underestimating the warming? It could actually be two gazillion pseudo degrees tomorrow?

Reply to  Germonio
December 6, 2017 3:17 pm

Fascinating. The mere fact that over the last 50 years, the models have been consistently warmer to way warmer than reality, means nothing to the troll.
He still holds onto the hope that the models might actually be too cold.

December 6, 2017 10:14 am

It is easy to spend more if the results protect your family, job, country. What they want in is only 10% of the 73 trillion world GDP, we should give them the money and thank them.. /sac

charles simkins
December 6, 2017 10:21 am

The question is, as always, what would be the temperature in any location chosen, absent human intervention; even starting with the industrial revolution.

Pop Piasa
Reply to  charles simkins
December 6, 2017 1:36 pm

That would vary widely, depending upon the specific location. Urban heat islands differ greatly from cabins in the Canadian Shield. Croplands that used to be forest or jungle are also ways humans change the weather tendencies around them. Has man changed the surface temperature of the oceans? Highly unlikely.

Reply to  Pop Piasa
December 6, 2017 2:20 pm

Locally, there might be small effects on SST. Small ones.
Localised, small, ones.

Think offshore of a conventionally-cooled power station.

Think also areas which have been dredged to accommodate the large ships of the last half-century – drafts [= draughts] increasing from 14 metres to about 29 metres for oil ports – and container ports now needing to accommodate ships with drafts of 15 [or a bit more] metres; in the 1970s, likely less than 10 metres.
deeper water – more thermal capacity – so modestly slower cooling/warming.

Perhaps offshore of a river where flows are managed for hydro-electric generation reasons.

Maybe the wind-slowing – through energy extraction – in wind farms, may change the temperature a little bit. Possibly.

The new Chinese islands in the South China Sea – regardless of your view of their legality – will affect temperatures locally, I guess.

But larger scale – oceanic – temperature changes – no.
“Has man changed the surface temperature of the oceans?” No.


Pop Piasa
Reply to  Pop Piasa
December 6, 2017 5:42 pm

I remember working at the Wood River IL power station on the Mississippi river in 1979 when unusual cold and winds turned the top 5 feet of the river into needle ice. Our condenser effluent water was warm enough to stay liquid but was downstream of the intake screens, which were clogged with slushy ice which hardened at as it was packed against the screens. We tried to poke holes in the ice with old condenser tubing from the float across the intakes but had to keep dropping load to keep the poor vacuum caused by cavitating pumps from tripping the units. Finally, the dispatchers were able to contact the pilot of a barge tow that was moored a little ways from our crib house intakes and they unhooked from their tug and used the screws to keep the slushy water flowing into plant. All this time, the water leaving the plant was steaming in the sub-zero cold but was soon mixed into the slush of the half-mile wide river.

December 6, 2017 10:22 am

“Climate models indicate that human caused emmissions of greenhouse gasses will continue to warm the global climate.”

Link to observations that confirm this?

Thought not.

December 6, 2017 10:25 am

…I guess they didn’t get the memo
in the mean time…..might as well fake it all

Tidalgate: Climate Alarmists Caught Faking Sea Level Rise

Steve Case
Reply to  Latitude
December 6, 2017 11:23 am

Beat me to it

Tom Halla
December 6, 2017 10:35 am

No! Global warming is caused by Donald Trump and Scott Pruitt holding fell rites invoking the evil spirit of Exxon-Mobil. . . And there is about the same probability that is true as RCP8.5 coming to pass.

Hokey Schtick
December 6, 2017 10:40 am

Quick send funding

Aaron Watters
December 6, 2017 10:54 am

This probably parrots something I read here earlier, but…
The best evidence that the climate is not that unstable is: we’re here reading about it.
If the climate was that unstable, large animals like us would have never evolved on land.
Unstable in the “hot” direction, I mean — I think there’s some evidence the climate has been more
unstable in the cold direction in the past.

December 6, 2017 10:59 am

However, we do not find that model errors can be taken as evidence that global warming is over-projected by climate models.

An admission of evidence denial?

Gary Pearse.
December 6, 2017 11:04 am

The frenetic stuff since Trump cancelled CAGW reminds me of geological survey days when boiling up bog water for tea in the 1950s-60s. The billy pail scoop of amber water included a variety of aquatic bugs that when put over the fire began swimming crazily, seeking diminishing funds of convecting cooler water until finally they ceased. A small handful of tea thrown on the steaming brew took them down to the bottom.

My assistant asked me if we were getting any useful protein out of it and I responded “Not such that you would notice.”

December 6, 2017 11:05 am

I smell fear! Obviously sign of desperation as their government funded world starts to contract around them. It’s all they’ve got to try and combat the impending famine as the Federal tit starts to dry up.

December 6, 2017 11:07 am

You wonder if the constant barrage of doom and gloom articles starting a few weeks before the Bonn conference, and especially the “it’s even worse than we thought” articles since are acts of desperation with the realization that natural cycles may in fact dictate a cooling period starting within the next 2-3 years. Gotta secure the funding before the inevitable becomes obvious.

December 6, 2017 11:09 am

“The results add to a broadening collection of research indicating that when models are constrained by observations,…”

However models have failed to correctly simulate past natural warming. And supposedly the models were already constrained by the settled physics of CO2 back radiation. When those models fail, its pure political theater to cover their arses and say oh it must be worst the the physics suggested.

It is more likely models constrained by observations have aliased natural climate change and incorrectly attributed natural warming to CO2.—part-2.html

Reply to  Jim Steele
December 6, 2017 11:35 am

From what I’ve seen the models they produce/use have never been constrained by observations of the actual climate past or present.

Louis Hooffstetter
Reply to  RAH
December 6, 2017 5:10 pm

If any real scientist were to constrain the models with observations of the actual climate, he/she would then quickly throw them all in the garbage.

December 6, 2017 11:11 am

This paper has a significant big picture logic problem. A very very big problem providing an easy paper take down.
The main Ceres instruments were launched in 1999 and 2002 according to NASA’s CERES website. Therefore Ceres data products cover mainly the pause, plus the now cooled 2015-16 El Nino blip. During the Ceres period, about 35% of all the increase in atmospheric CO2 since 1957 occured, yet temps did not rise as modeled. Ceres data does not ‘constrain’ the Cmip5 models. It invalidates all but INM-CM4.
Impossibly bad statistical contortions to say ‘observationally constrained’ models should run hotter, not colder, as Nic Lewis suspected.
Looks like more warmunist desperation because the takedown is so easy.

Reply to  ristvan
December 6, 2017 11:38 am


How on earth do you know all this stuff?

From what I can gather, you have a variety of qualifications, have worked in a number of senior positions, and you now live on your own farm, or ranch, or in the woods, or something like that.

What will really tick me off is that, about the only thing I can do is make a shelter from a roll of string and some chewing gum, not very well though, and I just know you’re going to tell me you perfected that art 40 years ago whilst studying, working and bringing up kids.

And I’ll bet you wife is gorgeous as well!!!!


Reply to  HotScot
December 6, 2017 11:53 am

HS, no magic. Wrote three ebooks on climate and energy and related themes like internet nonsense. All available iBooks and Kindle. All I had to do for the comment was look up the exact Ceres launch dates from NASA. Was pretty sure it was ~2000,but had not previously checked personally. The Wisconsin farm is not my permanent residence—that is on the beach in Fort Lauderdale in retirement, giving more time to think before commenting.

Reply to  ristvan
December 6, 2017 11:58 am

OK, now off to slash my wrists.

Where did I go wrong?

Reply to  HotScot
December 6, 2017 1:12 pm

He’s just smarter than the average bear boo boo………

John F. Hultquist
Reply to  HotScot
December 6, 2017 7:04 pm

HotScot asks “Where did I go wrong?

Let me guess: Women, wine, fast horses, and bird dogs.
Might not cover all your issues, but maybe 97% ?

Reply to  HotScot
December 7, 2017 10:21 am

John F. Hultquist

I need to stop visiting the blog, I have obviously revealed to much of myself.


Reply to  ristvan
December 6, 2017 12:47 pm

On the face of it, Rud’s reaction seems logical, but the paper is likely to have an easy ride in the media. I expect Nic Lewis will have a really good look at this and it will be interesting to see what he comes up with. He’s good at picking out weaknesses in this kind of work and he can handle the stats pretty well.

Caligula Jones
Reply to  ristvan
December 7, 2017 10:37 am

I’ll take “start and end date bias” for 1,000 Alex…

Joel O’Bryan
December 6, 2017 11:30 am

We’ve got to use their own words and statements against them to show their double-speak and and their nested scientific dishonesty at play in today’s mainstream climate science.

Here’s an example:

“Because of these considerations, the raw Δ T model spread is best thought of as a lower bound on total uncertainty and thus our observationally informed spread represents a reduction in this lower bound rather than a reduction in the upper bound.”

What that says is the total uncertainty upper limit may be much higher than they would like. In other words they use a scientific language of obfuscation to tacitly admit that high total uncertainty makes any claims of the future total junk from a scientific standpoint. They are merely expressing opinions, and not very sound opinions based on science, of what they think will happen. It is simply a use of alarmism to keep the grant money spigot turned on.

Another example of how the very substance of their claims is junk comes from a Science magazine In Depth essay about climate model tuning that quotes a number of modellers and their subjective Art of Tuning models to get what their bias believes to be correct a sensitivity.

Climate scientists open up their black boxes to scrutiny

“Recently, while preparing for the new model comparisons, MPIM (Max Planck Institute for Meteorology) modelers got another chance to demonstrate their commitment to transparency. They knew that the latest version of their model had bugs that meant too much energy was leaking into space. After a year spent plugging holes and fixing it, the modelers ran a test and discovered something disturbing: The model was now overheating. Its climate sensitivity—the amount the world will warm under an immediate doubling of carbon dioxide concentrations from preindustrial levels—had shot up from 3.5°C in the old version to 7°C, an implausibly high jump.

MPIM hadn’t tuned for sensitivity before—it was a point of pride—but they had to get that number down. Thorsten Mauritsen, who helps lead their tuning work, says he tried tinkering with the parameter that controlled how fast fresh air mixes into clouds. Increasing it began to ratchet the sensitivity back down. “The model we produced with 7° was a damn good model,” Mauritsen says. But it was not the team’s best representation of the climate as they knew it.”

The above, in their own words, is a clear example of how flawed the climate models are from the basic fundamental processes they do not understand. Yet they try to make climate models based on assumptions that are almost certainly deeply flawed. Every model uses numerous parameters for very important convective energy transport and cloud processes for which they have to adjust and adjust and adjust to get the output sensitivity to CO2 that they “expect.” They use tuning to get whatever sensitivity number they want. And model outputs are only compared to other “endorsed” model outputs in the IPCC intercomparison projects.

Any model group that doesn’t play along with the CO2 climate sensitivity charade doesn’t get “endorsed”, and likely loses funding. This approach ensures conformity to their confirmation bias at play in mainstream climate science.
(see for example this latest exercise in GroupThink: )

Current day climate modellers’ work is no different than continuing to attempt to shoehorn-in more epicycle tweaks to make a Ptolemaic, Earth-centric solar system model approach observation. These climate modelers assume from the get-go a CO2-centric climate system and build a model accordingly that produces appropriately high CO2 sensitivities. That they then have to tweak, re-tweak, and then re-tweak the re-tweaks to approach a 20th Century calibration should come as no surprise. By such an approach, the modellers are employing circular logic to build in near 100% CO2 attribution for late 20th Century warming to their output projections for the 21st Century. Dr Richard Feynman called this kind of junk science stuff “Cargo Cult Science.”

Finally, there is this jewel from the same Science quoted above article:

For years, climate scientists had been mum in public about their “secret sauce”: What happened in the models stayed in the models. The taboo reflected fears that climate contrarians would use the practice of tuning to seed doubt about models—and, by extension, the reality of human-driven warming. “The community became defensive,” Stevens says. “It was afraid of talking about things that they thought could be unfairly used against them.”

It is not “unfairly” being used against them. Fairness has nothing to do with it. Actual science is be able to withstand harsh criticism. The climate model community can not with stand harsh criticism because their methods are pseudoscience junk, not science. And any result they produce is also junk.

Reply to  Joel O’Bryan
December 6, 2017 11:56 am

See my previous guests posts here ‘The Trouble with Models’ and ‘Why Models Run Hot’ for extensions to your excellent comment.

Jacob Frank
December 6, 2017 11:32 am

I swear if I hear the words “much worse than originally thought” one more time!! They sound like faith healers trying to pay the rent weeks after their gay meth sex scandal has broken.

December 6, 2017 11:55 am

So we won’t go back into a glacial period? Wonderful news. Less crop failures, less starvation and death. Fantastic. /sarc

Keith J
December 6, 2017 12:08 pm

The problem is one cannot model chaos. Convection dominates surface to tropopause.

Joel O’Bryan
Reply to  Keith J
December 6, 2017 7:37 pm

Completely agree. But the modelers model ever onwards regardless.

Convection and its associated microphysics parameters are so poorly constrained by observation the modelers can adopt whatever values they need to meet a desired CO2 sensitivity output and still not raise any parameter error flags. They in essence tune to a CO2 sensitivity target.

Climate modeling is Junk science no matter how you look at it.

Joel O’Bryan
Reply to  Joel O’Bryan
December 6, 2017 7:44 pm

Of course the begged question is “why would they engage is such scientific sophistry?”

A: Their model “industry” has become so large and bloated, with so many mouths to feed, that to pull back and cancel the alarms would of course result in a major pull back of scarce government dollars. Climate model teams teams (dozens and dozens) would go out out of business, people would get laid off, and decades of reputation and work down the drain by the PhDs. Flushed.

But make no mistake. Climate modeler groups are living now on the edge of that reality. On borrowed time. About to fall. About to fail.

December 6, 2017 12:23 pm

As Anthony suspected in the lead post, WaPo has misreported and Google news is carrying the WaPo misinformation as a top news story. Lead: “ Climate change simulations that most accurately capture current planetary conditions also make the most dire warming predictiins”,or some such nonsense as paraphrased.

Andy Pattullo
December 6, 2017 12:36 pm

Is it too much to ask that their paychecks be withheld until their predictions/projections/tea leaf interpretations/dumb-assed guesses are supported by real observable outcomes?

December 6, 2017 1:14 pm

The Models are at least 15% worse or hotter than Reality. It is going to get worse too in the future as the oceans cool due to lack of solar activity. The misinformation is continuing to support Grants and Salaries.

Zum Bom
December 6, 2017 1:54 pm

Just wait for next week when the AGU echo-chamber is running on +11! Basically catastrophe fans must raise ECS to a value so that the “model effects” affect people in 5-years not 80-years when everyone alive now will be dead or mostly such.

The other thing is that NSF Obama Vietcong will in the next 3-years be winnowed out. This calls for urgency in NSF-grant writing to squeeze out what money can be squeezed out. So it is now Make It or Leave It time!

Ha ha

Steve Zell
December 6, 2017 2:11 pm

Since Brown-Caldeira has the second-highest average climate sensitivity of 20 papers listed in the chart, shouldn’t it be considered an outlier, even among those using computer models to estimate the future response to increasing CO2? It doesn’t fit the “consensus” because 95% of the other models are predicting a smaller temperature rise than Brown-Caldeira.

But forget about statistics when the purpose is to out-scare the other scaremongers. Just push the GoFundMe button to prevent the world from cooking in the next century!

Reply to  Steve Zell
December 6, 2017 2:37 pm

I was curious about Yale Tan 2017. Had not seen it. It is actually a paper from 2016 by Tan and a group of more senior Yale alarmists. It is bogus. It studied CERES and found that CMIP5 had TOO MUCH cloud ice (high cirrus) and thus ‘understated’ warming and ECS. This is, to be polite, scientifically bassackwards nonsense. Not just an outlier. Wrong basic physics.
Ice is near transparent to SWR and near opaque to LWR. More high cirrus warms, not cools, by further retarding LWR escape to space, hence cooling. Known since Lindzens 1991 BAMS paper on the adaptive infrared iris caused by warmer tstorm rainout causing less cirrus. And when Mauritsen put an adaptive iris mechanism into a climate model, sensitivity came DOWN.
See Judith Curry and my companion posts on adaptive iris a couple of years ago at Climate Etc. for details. Triggered by the Mauritsen paper.

Jacob Frank
December 6, 2017 2:23 pm

CO2-Centric globe, can’t wait to ask my MD warmunist brother at Christmas if he still believes in a CO2-Centric universe.!!! That one will have him grinding gears till next thanksgiving lol.

Doc Chuck
December 6, 2017 2:28 pm

Let’s cut to the (paper) chase on modern human motives. Basted in self-esteem by my those who raised you to the extent that your ‘meritorious’ works have come to give life a meaning that is otherwise elusive, you’ll proudly want to “make a (historic/utopian if you please) difference” that might be engraved for all to see on your tombstone.
As a knowledge worker (and therefore terrified of dementia) who doesn’t actually make anything, your economic rewards are dependent on institutional support, leaving you constrained to do their bidding. Leadership similarly has schemes to make quite an expansive difference (that all assume will be for the better, don’t you know) while they remain alive and kicking, raising the urgency for the desired outcome. It’s “Hope and Change” all the way down.
Now to the matter at hand: Houston, we have a problem. Earthly temperature observations have not tracked with soaring computer model expectations during the initial decades of this century, which is embarrassing to our confident sense of competence to the extent of undermining our reason to be. So we have little alternative to just ‘doubling down’ on our original bet for end of century warmth and asserting that the trendline there from here will be alarmingly steeper yet. Simple really.

Jacob Frank
Reply to  Doc Chuck
December 6, 2017 4:14 pm

Or 97% of scientists are retarded communists take your pick

michael hart
December 6, 2017 3:00 pm

Last time I looked, the error bars on the Earth’s measured energy budget were horrendous.
Sure, it is the number everybody would like to know, accurately. Everybody. But nobody does, at least not within a narrow enough range to draw any confident concrete conclusions. At least, not proper scientists.

Doc Chuck
Reply to  michael hart
December 6, 2017 3:20 pm

As I indicated, they don’t want to know. Counter-evidence is actually an existential threat. Hence the call to avoid exchanges with, silence, jail, or even somehow disappear its messengers.

December 6, 2017 3:15 pm

Someone was paid to write and publish this?

December 6, 2017 3:16 pm

Does this include the latest negative feedback that we discussed yesterday?

Gary Kerkin
December 6, 2017 3:41 pm

Thank goodness these guys aren’t modeling mission-critical structures like bridges.

Or employed by Space-X.

December 6, 2017 5:44 pm

Will Mark Jacobson be willing to praise this paper by Caldeira?

December 6, 2017 7:54 pm

Well, I would laugh about it, except these people are causing massive damage to people’s lives.

December 7, 2017 1:29 am

1) i disagree strongly at calling this “scientific literature”. there is nothing scientific in this. Just literature.
2) the interesting thing is not so much their +3.7K , it is that they claim to be able to reduce standard deviation to 0.6K, meaning a 97% chance of a result above +2.5K. I say LOL.

December 7, 2017 9:35 pm

Paraphrasing, “The fact that climate models do not work, does not undermine our faith in the near-to-come end of the world.”


December 10, 2017 1:01 pm

I hope that the facts about the arctic warming and the influence of “human interference” is rebutted to the BBC in its series ” blue planet”. The damage the BBC does needs bringing to the attention of the World at large.

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