Guest essay by Eric Worrall
Does record breaking winter cold cast doubt on climate predictions of milder winters? Could ANY weather or climate shift cast doubt on the dominance of that wicked little trace molecule? Apparently not, according to leading climate explainers.
It’s cold outside, but that doesn’t mean climate change isn’t real
Sammy Roth, USA TODAY Published 5:13 p.m. ET Dec. 28, 2017
This week’s cold snap has brought record-low temperatures, freezing rain and heavy snow to much of the United States. But 2017 is still on track to be the second- or third-hottest year ever recorded globally — and scientists say climate change is to blame.
Even this week’s cold weather is probably being caused at least in part by global warming, said Jonathan Overpeck, a climate scientist at the University of Michigan.
The Arctic is warming much faster than most of the planet, leading to a dramatic decline in the amount of sea ice that covers the region each winter. That loss of ice has allowed more heat to transfer from the ocean to the atmosphere, causing a weakening of the polar vortex winds over the Arctic. Those winds usually “insulate the rest of the Northern Hemisphere” from freezing Arctic temperatures, Overpeck said. But as the winds have weakened, it’s gotten easier for freezing Arctic air to swoop further south, he said.
“That is due to the warming of the Arctic, which in turn is due to human emissions of greenhouse gases and primarily burning of fossil fuels,” Overpeck said in an interview.
Arctic warming may also be contributing to the long-term drying of the U.S. Southwest, although the science on that front is less certain, Overpeck said. Unlike most of the rest of North America, the Southwest is warmer than usual right now, and 2017 will “without a doubt” go down as one of the region’s hottest years ever measured, Overpeck said.
“This is contributing to our record wildfires in California, and the drying out of vegetation that’s leading to those wildfires, and the drying out of the Southwest’s water,” he said.
So what happens if global temperatures take a real plunge for a sustained period? Don’t worry, the explainers have that one covered as well – James Hansen, former NASA GISS Director, published a paper which suggests global warming will trigger a short ice age in the near future (see the graph at the top of the page).
… Global temperature becomes an unreliable diagnostic of planetary condition as the ice melt rate increases. Global energy imbalance (Fig. 15b) is a more meaningful measure of planetary status as well as an estimate of the climate forcing change required to stabilize climate. Our calculated present energy imbalance of ∼ 0.8 W m−2 (Fig. 15b) is larger than the observed 0.58 ± 0.15 W m−2 during 2005–2010 (Hansen et al., 2011). The discrepancy is likely accounted for by excessive ocean heat uptake at low latitudes in our model, a problem related to the model’s slow surface response time (Fig. 4) that may be caused by excessive small-scale ocean mixing.
Large scale regional cooling occurs in the North Atlantic and Southern oceans by mid-century (Fig. 16) for 10-year doubling of freshwater injection. A 20-year doubling places similar cooling near the end of this century, 40 years ear- lier than in our prior simulations (Fig. 7), as the factor of 4 increase in current freshwater from Antarctica is a 40-year advance.
Cumulative North Atlantic freshwater forcing in sverdrup years (Sv years) is 0.2 Sv years in 2014, 2.4 Sv years in 2050, and 3.4Sv years (its maximum) prior to 2060 (Fig. S14). The critical issue is whether human-spurred ice sheet mass loss can be approximated as an exponential process during the next few decades. Such nonlinear behavior depends upon amplifying feedbacks, which, indeed, our climate simulations reveal in the Southern Ocean. …
Global warming is an infinitely flexible, unscientific, unfalsifiable theory which can be stretched to accommodate any observation. Some Climate Scientists even shamelessly reject the very concept of scientific falsification with regard to the conduct of climate science.
1. Methods aren’t always necessarily falsifiable
Falsifiability is the idea that an assertion can be shown to be false by an experiment or an observation, and is critical to distinctions between “true science” and “pseudoscience”.
Climate models are important and complex tools for understanding the climate system. Are climate models falsifiable? Are they science? A test of falsifiability requires a model test or climate observation that shows global warming caused by increased human-produced greenhouse gases is untrue. It is difficult to propose a test of climate models in advance that is falsifiable.
Science is complicated – and doesn’t always fit the simplified version we learn as children.
This difficulty doesn’t mean that climate models or climate science are invalid or untrustworthy. Climate models are carefully developed and evaluatedbased on their ability to accurately reproduce observed climate trends and processes. This is why climatologists have confidence in them as scientific tools, not because of ideas around falsifiability.
No matter what happens to the weather, the climate explainers shamelessly cobble together an explanation which blames bad weather on your sinful lifestyle.
Whatever the observation, the climate explainers have their theory – their infinitely adaptable theory, which they claim is science. Warm weather confirms their worst fears. Cold weather is waved away. Whatever the observation, the explainers shamelessly adapt their theory to provide an explanation, based on their “scientific” theory which cannot be falsified by any conceivable observations, event an abrupt plunge into a new ice age.