The Faith Component of Global Warming Predictions

Reposted from Dr. Roy Spencer’s Blog

September 8th, 2019 by Roy W. Spencer, Ph. D.

Credit: NBC News.

Credit: NBC News.

It’s been ten years since I addressed this issue in a specific blog post, so I thought it would be useful to revisit it. I mention it from time to time, but it is so important, it bears repeating and remembering.

Over and over again.

I continue to strive to simply these concepts, so here goes another try. What follows is as concise as I can make it.

  1. The temperature change in anything, including the climate system, is the result of an imbalance between the rates of energy gain and energy loss. This comes from the First Law of Thermodynamics. Basic stuff.
  2. Global warming is assumed to be due to the small (~1%) imbalance between absorbed sunlight and infrared energy lost to outer space averaged over the Earth caused by increasing atmospheric CO2 from fossil fuel burning.
  3. But we don’t know whether the climate system, without human influence, is in a natural state of energy balance anyway. We do not know the quantitative average amounts of absorbed sunlight and emitted infrared energy across the Earth, either observationally or from first physical principles, to the accuracy necessary to blame most recent warming on humans rather than nature. Current best estimates, based upon a variety of datasets, is around 239-240 Watts per sq. meter for these energy flows. But we really don’t know.

When computer climate models are first constructed, these global-average energy flows in and out of the climate system do not balance. So, modelers adjust any number of uncertain processes in the models (for example, cloud parameterizations) until they do balance. They run the model for, say, 100 years and make sure there is little or no long-term temperature trend to verify balance exists.

Then, they add the infrared radiative effect of increasing CO2, which does cause an energy imbalance. Warming occurs. They then say something like, “See? The model proves that CO2 is responsible for warming we’ve seen since the 1950s.”

But they have only demonstrated what they assumed from the outset. It is circular reasoning. A tautology. Evidence that nature also causes global energy imbalances is abundant: e.g., the strong warming before the 1940s; the Little Ice Age; the Medieval Warm Period. This is why many climate scientists try to purge these events from the historical record, to make it look like only humans can cause climate change.

I’m not saying that increasing CO2 doesn’t cause warming. I’m saying we have no idea how much warming it causes because we have no idea what natural energy imbalances exist in the climate system over, say, the last 50 years. Those are simply assumed to not exist.

(And, no, there is no fingerprint of human-caused warming. All global warming, whether natural or human-caused, looks about the same. If a natural decrease in marine cloudiness was responsible, or a decrease in ocean overturning [either possible in a chaotic system], warming would still be larger over land than ocean, greater in the upper ocean than deep ocean, and greatest at high northern latitudes and least at high southern latitudes).

Thus, global warming projections have a large element of faith programmed into them.

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103 thoughts on “The Faith Component of Global Warming Predictions

  1. Dr. Spencer

    “I continue to strive to simply simplify? these concepts, so here goes another try. What follows is as concise as I can make it.”

    Great post…

  2. Dr. Spencer

    “I continue to strive to simply simplify? these concepts, so here goes another try. What follows is as concise as I can make it.”

    Great post…

  3. As far as I know UHI is the only known and measurable affect on temperature caused by man. Very localized and consistent throughout the world.

  4. Thanks Dr Spencer for putting it into words even the Political Scientists can understand. Of course for many, theirs is a faith based belief which includes a vision for the world much starker and darker than the one we live in today. There faith will not be shaken by real science.

  5. “Thus, global warming projections have a large element of faith programmed into them.”

    Which is why I have no confidence in anything with significant faith required.

    • Every time you sit on a chair you are exercising significant faith in the continued integrity of that chair. And you do so without much thought. So much of our behaviour is faith based.

        • Many materials have age-depending properties, so faith is necessary, not to speak of fatigue in metals.
          One hunderd loadcycles does not guarantee the behaviour of the next cycle. Faith!

        • In that each ‘sit’ is performed without a moment of assessment or reflection, it is complete faith. The trustworthyness of what you put your faith in doesn’t negate what is. Your faith in your trusted spouse may be based on years of faithfulness, but a betrayal hurts BECAUSE the faith was real. The human brain is wired to ‘believe in’, whether in science, religion, relationships or chairs, based on both experience and the word of those we trust.

          • You can’t convince them Robert, what people call faith these days is actually “blind faith.” Faith that isn’t blind is based in trust so I agree with you that it is a large part of our lives, even science would crumble without faith, after all we place so much trust in the process and the people performing it. Alas faith is misunderstood even as we all practice it so vigorously. Right now I have no faith in the political or climate science establishments.

      • Societies don’t force a change in the practice of sitting because they have faith that the chair will or will not support the sitter on the next effort.

        Building confirmation bias into computer programs to support a hypothesis that CO2 is solely responsible for the complex system of earths climate…now that is significant Faith. Sorry Richard your analogy is beyond sophomoric. Its Thunbergian.

        • Lol! I like that term, Bill. “Thunbergian.” I may expropriate the term in discussions with friends and relatives. It’s okay, I’m (almost) 65, and I don’t much give a hoot if they are peturbed or offended by use of the term.

        • Sophomoric, and then Thunbergian! You haul out the big guns! Your response carries such antipathy toward the concept of faith or trust one would think it is an emotional reaction.

  6. “When computer climate models are first constructed, these global-average energy flows in and out of the climate system do not balance.”

    Must have missed something then. Fudging parameters won’t find it.

    • “Fudging parameters won’t find it.”

      Oh yes, easily, change any of:

      Cloudiness
      Type of cloud
      Altitude of clouds
      Albedo of the ground (land and/or sea)
      Aerosols
      Convection

      • Tuning the “precipitation rates” parameter is a key part of the model cults’ go-to tuning strategy to get the results they need.

  7. GIGO GCM computer gamers commit the logical fallacy of begging the quesyion, ie assuming what they aim to “prove”.

    • The logical domain where humans cannot observe, replicate, and employ deductive reasoning to reach conclusions, without assistance, thus faith or trust.

    • Faith in receiving more grant money drives the congregation at Model Fellowship of Mann, the rest of the Church of Omnipotent Greenhouse in Carbon has faith in humans accidentally wresting control of the firmaments away from God…

    • “Faith”.
      Faith and believing in the Bible (KJV and others) are both translated from the same Greek work, “pistis”.
      What information do you accept as true?
      The climate models have been programmed to accept that an increase in Man’s CO2 will increase Global Warming because the programmers “believed” it will.
      Is there some experimental evidence to give them the information that CO2 is a green house gas? Sure.
      Has that bit of evidence been exaggerated and used as an excuse by some to control all Mankind or, in the short term, profit from Man’s CO2 emissions?
      Absolutely.
      Look at some of the quotes of those that have jumped on “The Cause” whether or not they believe in it or not.
      It’s a lever to power and big bucks.
      Water vapor is a more powerful green house gas than CO2. Why don’t they want to ban cappuccino machines?
      If the same global control enthusiast had the same control of information that they have now, they would have been out to ban the steam engine because of its “water vapor” emissions.
      What is the motive behind the programmers and those who decided the past records need to be adjusted?

    • ““Faith” is a rather slippery term in and of itself, which definition are we speaking of ?”

      “Motivated reasoning” is a synonym.

  8. “Global warming is assumed to be due to the small (~1%) imbalance between absorbed sunlight and infrared energy”
    In one sense that is true – if a temperature is going to rise, heat has to come from somewhere. But in a more important sense, it isn’t. Warming is a rise in temperature at the surface. It happens because there is more resistance to IR outflow. If you put an extra blanket and get warmer, it isn’t because you have changed the flux balance. There will be a temporary change, but it will settle back to the outflux balancing the heat your body produces. You are warmer because the extra blanket places thermal resistance, and hence a greater temperature gradient, in the path.

    GCMs do work from the basic principles of conserving mass, momentum and energy. TOA balance is part of that, and it is entirely appropriate that they should ensure that it is zero for equilibrium solution. That is just part of the calculation.

    • “In one sense that is true – if a temperature is going to rise, heat has to come from somewhere.”

      It doesn’t rise or fall uniformly everywhere. The heart can come from somewhere else that cools, and vice versa. It doesn’t have to be heat added to the system.

      • Yes, but those are transient issues. What people are mostly trying to calculate with GCMs is equilibrium warming – how much warmer would it be when fluxes are back in balance. Or, more exactly, what will be the increase in long term mean temperature, even if it never in exact equilibrium.

        • And the higher the ECS the longer to equilibrium. For policy it’s TCR, the 80 year time scale is the relevant number.

          And the residence time of CO2 is far shorter than the IPCC claims. The additional CO2 above a natural equilibrium will be on a half-life of like 10 years once we run out of readily available fossil fuels and anthroCO2 emissions from FF ceases.

          That gives us a window of about 50-80 years to get our nuclear act together and bridigng with natural gas until then. The hard part will be the alternative to petroleum-based liquid fuels for transportation.

        • Nick misses the point of the article. The method employed assumes earth’s average annual temperature is constant and unchanging so that any change after CO2 is added must be due to CO2. That’s fine from a modeling point of view, but to then say that *observed* warming must be due to CO2 is illogical, unless the models can be shown to be able to model multidecadal natural variations that we know exist, such as the warming to the 1940’s and the cooling thereafter. As far as I know, they cannot.

          • “The method employed assumes earth’s average annual temperature is constant”
            What method? Not GCM’s. The first thing you do with a GCM is a control run – see how things run with no perturbation.

            So who do you think “assumes earth’s average annual temperature is constant”?

          • Nick, are you saying that UN IPCC climate model control runs accurately follow the ups and downs of the historical temperature profile, however determined (paleo, early thermometers, etc.)? In any case, it appears that the UN IPCC climate models run 2-3X “hot” compared to observations, depending on whether comparisons are made to bulk atmosphere or surface estimates of average global temperature.

            I did note the “begging the question” graphical presentation in the UN IPCC AR5 of UN IPCC climate model outputs of average global temperatures, both with and without assumed historical forcings. As an experienced modeler, I became quite angry when I saw that political drivel.

          • I agree. Nicks analysis does not seem to leave room for past cooling periods and then eventual heating up. There has got to be other factors in play that come along from time to time that have an impact and we just don’t know enough about all these variables to make valid models. I suspect nature has its own systems in place. It is ridiculous to think we can dictate what natures “proper” temperature should be.

          • “Nick, are you saying that UN IPCC climate model control runs accurately follow the ups and downs of the historical temperature profile, however determined (paleo, early thermometers, etc.)?”
            No, and they probably wouldn’t. Historical profiles usually are in a period of some forcing, even if small, and the published ones include that. And then they do follow quite well.

            “In any case, it appears that the UN IPCC climate models run 2-3X “hot” compared to observations, depending on whether comparisons are made to bulk atmosphere or surface estimates of average global temperature.”
            Just untrue. In fact, such a measure only makes sense when applied to a temperature difference over time, and for CMIP there isn’t enough time elapsed to give a significant result. But Hansen’s predictions have run for about 30 years now, and while people argue about just how good they were, they certainly aren’t 2-3X hot.

          • Well, Nick, let’s see: UAH6 runs for about 40 years and its trend is about 3X less than the UN IPCC climate models.

        • Nick, your analogy is exactly wrong.

          The earth and its atmosphere are a closed system, EXCEPT for incoming and outgoing radiation into the vacuum of space. No imbalance in radiation, then no net warming (or cooling) to the system.

          If I am sleeping in a giant bedroom with air below my body temp, then covering me with a blanket will warm me, but not affect the average temperature of the room at all.

          If I am sleeping in a coffin, then covering me with a blanket does not change my body temperature at all.

        • Modellers make adjustments to force initial conditions balance but since modellers have many parameters which they can adjust, there are many ways they can make initial conditions balance. All but one of those ways more or less by definition will be wrong (since there is only 1 “correct” solution). We all know about 2 or more errors which appear to cancel each other out but in some cases add. The fact that adjustments are necessary means we do not have full knowledge of the system so we rely on opinion and hunches (extremely fertile ground for unintentional or even deliberate bias).

          Models are great if we have full or at least very good understanding of the system such as is the case in say modelling electronic systems (yet even there one single tiny unappreciated parasitic capacitance somewhere can result in wildly wrong answers- been there done that). They are absolutely NOT an alternative to acquiring full system understanding, they are a very useful tool when you have full understanding and wish to apply it to a new topology.

          To use models as reliable predictive tools for complex systems where we have at best limited and incomplete knowledge of the system breaches all principles of good scientific practice. To then go further and insist on massive societal changes based on such model outputs is utterly inexcusable and in my view such actions should be held accountable by society.

          • “Modellers make adjustments to force initial conditions balance”
            No, they don’t. Initial conditions don’t balance; that is why they have a “wind-up” period to let everything settle down.

            “The fact that adjustments are necessary means we do not have full knowledge of the system”
            Well, we don’t, else we’d have exact weather forecasts. But we have good weather forecasts. What we do know is that momentum, mass and energy must be conserved, and we use those principles to solve locally. Local velocities are “adjusted”, if you like, to get a solution that conforms. Overall conservation gives extra relations that can be used to determine other things.

          • good weather forecasts?…just because we can see a front and how fast it’s moving?…and project it out a day?

            …I had no idea the bar was that low 😉

          • Latitude
            We have geosynchronous satellites, Doppler radar, and instantaneous communication of temperature, winds, and barometric pressure. Fifty years ago we did not have the satellites or Doppler. It is my impression that weather forecasting is not significantly better today. We don’t do too bad on temperatures, but then we could do almost as well from historical records.

          • Bick writes <blockquote<No, they don’t.

            Yes they do. Explicitly. The adjust parameters until the imbalance is what they want. Its clearly and unequivocally stated in Mautitsen.

        • On the planet I live on, there is no such thing as thermal climate equilibrium. There are only transients induced by numerous cyclic processes – 24 hour daily diurnal cycle, annual seasonal cycle, AMO, PDO, ENSOL tides, orbital effects, etc., oh and something we call “weather”. If average global temperature is an acceptable measure of climate, then climate can only do three things – cool, warm or stay constant. The one thing the historical temperature data records prove (adjusted or not) is that climate does not remain constant. It is either warming or cooling over any time scale. This is evidence enough that equilibrium is not a real physical property of earth’s climate. There there must surely always be an energy imbalance in the system. Given the chaotic nature of the system, a perfect balance has an effectively zero probability of occurring for more than a few micro seconds during transitions between positive and negative imbalance.

          Does atmospheric CO2 concentration affect air temperature? Sure, probably, just as the number of fleas a dog has must affect its apparent weight. Does it matter? Not any more than the dozens of other factors that matter just as much or more. Can we do anything about it? Fleas, yes — climate no.

        • Nick Stokes,

          I appreciate your comment confirming Roy Spencer’s description of the models being initialized to no trend before adding an effect of CO2.

        • Nick writes

          What people are mostly trying to calculate with GCMs is equilibrium warming – how much warmer would it be when fluxes are back in balance.

          Which could only only happen once the earth has accumulated sufficient energy to warm the oceans sufficiently to maintain warmth throughout the entire atmosphere establishing a new ERL in balance.

          Is it possible you’ve misunderstood the nature of AGW all these years?

    • NASA claims 0.8 degrees in 140 years, right?

      ….that’s 0.057 degrees a year…..57/10,000th degree a year, right?

          • Yes, and Australia (for example) cutting it’s emissions to zero will have a MONUMENTAL impact on those figures! 🙂
            I think I remember working it out to about 37/10,000ths of a degree over 20 years if emissions were halved which works out to 0.000185 degrees/year of cooling!
            I can feel the cool breeze already!

    • “work from the basic principles of conserving mass, momentum and energy.”

      Fair enough (though not quite true) for mass and momentum, but there is no reason to believe that the energy content of the Earth is constant at any particular point in time, in fact it is highly unlikely that it is.

    • “It happens because there is more resistance to IR outflow.”

      Or because there is more or less inflow of energy from the Sun (albedo changes) or the heat flow from the ocean to the atmosphere increases or decreases, or there is a change in the amount of water in the atmosphere (enthalpy). All these will cause changes in the surface temperature.

      • “…or the heat flow from the ocean to the atmosphere increases or decreases,…”

        I would submit that is the proverbial elephant in the room which little attention and investigation is given, i.e. not the CO2 issue.

    • Again, Nick, you pull the old rhetorical switcheroo. Dr. Spencer’s point was that the models assume, after equilibrium, that all warming is driven by Man’s emission of GHG’s. They ignore natural changes in average energy fluxes. And Dr. Spencer obviously understands the physics and radiative properties of GHG’s that you so gratuitously cite.

      I assume CliSci practitioners ignore natural changes because they can’t figure them out. I believe that until they do understand natural climatic changes, all modelers are doing is practicing cargo cult “science” to affirm their biases. The modelers’ acknowledgement that they adjust various parameters to get an ECS that “seems about right” should be enough proof for an average person to understand they are only affirming their biases.

    • If only things were really that simple, Nick…
      Where does (just for instance) convection fit into your story about the TOA and it’s relationship to surface temperatures?
      Who has empirically measured the actual conservation of MM&E by GCMs in the atmosphere and proven that any (if not all) of them are not dominated by the cooling effects of water vapor?

    • Also, your “Warming is a rise in temperature at the surface.” seems to be physically incorrect based on my understanding of the physics. GHG warming occurs in the bulk atmosphere; it is reflected to the surface. The modelers program in greater warming trends in the atmosphere than the warming trends at the surface.

      • “Also, your “Warming is a rise in temperature at the surface.”

        That’s Nick’s way of trying to downplay and cast doubt on the UAH satellite temperature readings, which, according to the UAH website, calculate the temperatures from the Earth’s surface to the upper atmosphere. Nick wants us to believe that UAH does not calculate surface temperatures.

        Balloon temperature data, measured from the surface to the upper atmosphere, agree with the UAH temperature data, which necessarily means the Balloon data does not agree with the fraudulent Hockey Stick chart temperature data Nick prefers.

    • A blanket that covers 1% of your body isn’t going to warm you much. Stretch it out to cover all of you and it would be more like a piece of gauze that also wouldn’t warm you…IMHO

    • “GCMs do work from the basic principles of conserving mass, momentum and energy. TOA balance is part of that, and it is entirely appropriate that they should ensure that it is zero for equilibrium solution.”

      It is totally inappropriate to have a supposedly realistic model of a system exhibit an equilibrium solution when the system it purports to represent has no known equilibrium states. That’s Dr. Spencer’s entire point. The assumption that an equilibrium state can be reached is at best both unproven and unprovable, and in fact no evidence whatsoever exists to support it.

    • “GCMs do work from the basic principles of conserving mass, momentum and energy. ”

      I didn’t want to dilute my original comment by addressing this. I would say that the formulation of GCMs starts by writing down these basic principles, which is why climate modelers can claim they are just based on physics. The problem is that once turbulence is introduced, the Navier-Stokes equations become non-physics based. The Reynolds stress tensor introduces more variables than there are equations, and there are no more independent physics-based equations to introduce without making the number of variables even greater. Instead, turbulence “models” are appended which are simply additional algebraic or differential equations which keep the total number of variables constant while adding just enough equations to close the problem.

      There are additional “adjustable parameters” in these equations, not “variables.” That’s the trick. The cost is that they must, for any real problem, be determined by test. In a wind tunnel program, one can take enough measurements in the turbulent regime to “anchor” the CFD model by tweaking the adjustable parameters. It’s a very, very expensive exercise in curve fitting. And it doesn’t apply very far outside of the range of initial conditions of the problem at hand. But the CFD analysis is now anything but a physics-based analysis from first principles. It’s more like the myriad plots of dimensionless groups from scads of empirical measurements, where the curves have very nicely defined equations, but the data points are a not-very-dense cloud around them (on log-log paper, to boot).

      There is no possibility of ever closing the CFD on a GCM by actual measurement. These models are completely “open loop” from the standpoint of physics, thermodynamics, and fluid mechanics. They cannot be verified and validated against actual data, any any screwing around with adjustable parameters to make them fit over a short period mean nothing – as evidenced by the fact that they do not fit reality over even a brief period into the future.

      • Michael S. Kelly
        The real situation is that while the models incorporate “physics based calculations,” the models don’t rely on first principles alone. Adding the parameterization of clouds is basically adding a SWAG, which becomes the weakest link in the chain! They are the equivalent to what engineers commonly call “Fudge Factors.” And, I’m being charitable by assuming everything else is correct.

  9. Good points, how about an update on “Clouds Dominate CO2 as a Climate Driver Since 2000” from 2010. Were you correct another decade later in your analysis of the IPCC “verging on incompetence” ?

  10. Post-normal science is characterized by conflation of logical domains, liberal assumptions/assertions, inference, appeals to empathy, and [social] consensus.

    • Don’t forget post-normal science’s establishment of indisputable authorities, engaged in a lock-step, activist march to redefine the world order.

  11. Always overlooked is the amount of CO2 attributed to humans – the number is 5%. The other 95% has always happened naturally. Thus, the computer models must ignore the 95% that is natural and instead focus on the 5%. If they were to do that, no one would believe any of it. Does ANYONE, ANYWHERE think that measly 5% is responsible for any kind of climate change? Really??

      • Clyde Spencer,

        It does not matter if “accounting in the Carbon Cycle is done poorly” or well when the inherent errors of the estimates of CO2 sources and sinks are greater than indications of the accountancy.

        The IPCC admits their estimate of increase to natural emissions (i.e. 29.3 GtC/yr) has uncertainty of more than ±20% (i.e. more than ±5.86 GtC/yr ) which is a range of uncertainty of more than 11.7 GtC/yr. In other words, the IPCC admits the range of uncertainty in the IPCC estimate of increase to natural emissions is much greater than the IPCC’s estimate of 8.9 GtC/yr emitted from fossil fuels and land use changes.

        This fact alone is sufficient to discredit any attempts to account sources and sinks as a method to deduce anthropogenic contributions to changes.

        Richard

        • Richard
          Your point is well taken. But, between knowing that estimates of identified sources and sinks are highly uncertain, and that many natural and anthropogenic sources are not even taken into account, it reinforces the fact that any attempt to attribute warming to anthropogenic emissions yields a highly uncertain quantity.

  12. Dr Roy writes, “1. The temperature change in anything, including the climate system, is the result of an imbalance between the rates of energy gain and energy loss. This comes from the First Law of Thermodynamics. Basic stuff.”

    Yes, but… we have a complex system of systems (a many on many problem) with multiple heat sinks operating within there own internal heat sinks all at wildly different temps and salinities (oceans, deep oceans) all with multiple overlapping, overturning cycles operating on many different time scales. So knowing what temperature changes are arising from internal changes (ocean cycles cycling chaotically in- and out-of-phase with each other, along with sea ice levels changing albedo and polar seas heat loss controlled by ocean current temps reaching the polar regions on unknown system time delays) and external forcings (insolation – which itself is a combination of orbital changes and solar output changes, GCR-cloud modulations, changing GHG partial pressures) demands that the system behavior is impossible to predict. And then there is emergent behavior properties that probably arise, Lindzen’s Iris hypothesis comes to mind, can produce a emergent property dominant negative feedback that regulates and damps the entire system flows of heat energy.

    That’s not “basic stuff” in a many bodied, system of systems. Modeling Earth’s climate on a global scale with a super computer given our limited knowledge of so many important factors is simply a bad joke on rational reasoning. I know you know that Roy. But using simple systems analogies are what gave the biggest scientific fraud in human history, that is this climate alarmism scam, its running legs in the first place.

    Also Roy wrote, “This is why many climate scientists try to purge these events from the historical record, to make it look like only humans can cause climate change.”

    Well Mann and his co-conspirators who tried to erase the LIA and MWP are NOT scientists. They are propagandists. They are hacks. They are Cargo Cult pseudoscientists. And they are unethical manipulators.
    But they are definitively not scientists.

  13. Editor: in the article, “to simply these concepts” should probably read “to simplify these concepts”.

  14. Amazingly, I had not heard of that particular piece of warped science before. I guess that it is new to others as well, so re-posting was not a waste of time.

    These people call themselves scientists! In legal terms it is called tampering with the evidence.

  15. Thanks Roy for a clear explanation. The system aka atmosphere is not closed like a greenhouse. CO2 reradiates the absorbed energy almost immediately. Therefore some of that energy goes into space. Am I correct? The modeling is so simplistic it’s easy to see why they are not predictive.

  16. The methods used by the establishment climate science community are not fit for purpose. A new forecasting paradigm should be adopted. See
    https://climatesense-norpag.blogspot.com/2019/01/the-co2-derangement-syndrome-millennial.html
    “…….The reality is that 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.
    When analyzing complex systems with multiple interacting variables it is useful to note the advice of Enrico Fermi who reportedly said “never make something more accurate than absolutely necessary”. The 2017 paper proposed a simple heuristic approach to climate science which plausibly proposes that a Millennial Turning Point (MTP) and peak in solar activity was reached in 1991,that this turning point correlates with a temperature turning point in 2003/4, and that a general cooling trend will now follow until approximately 2650.
    The establishment’s dangerous global warming meme, the associated IPCC series of reports ,the entire UNFCCC circus, the recent hysterical IPCC SR1.5 proposals and Nordhaus’ recent Nobel prize are founded on two basic errors in scientific judgement. First – the sample size is too small. Most IPCC model studies retrofit from the present back for only 100 – 150 years when the currently most important climate controlling, largest amplitude, solar activity cycle is millennial. This means that all climate model temperature outcomes are too hot and likely fall outside of the real future world. (See Kahneman -. Thinking Fast and Slow p 118) Second – the models make the fundamental scientific error of forecasting straight ahead beyond the Millennial Turning Point (MTP) and peak in solar activity which was reached in 1991.These errors are compounded by confirmation bias and academic consensus group think.
    See the Energy and Environment paper The coming cooling: usefully accurate climate forecasting for policy makers.http://journals.sagepub.com/doi/full/10.1177/0958305X16686488
    and an earlier accessible blog version at http://climatesense-norpag.blogspot.com/2017/02/the-coming-cooling-usefully-accurate_17.html See also https://climatesense-norpag.blogspot.com/2018/10/the-millennial-turning-point-solar.html
    and the discussion with Professor William Happer at http://climatesense-norpag.blogspot.com/2018/02/exchange-with-professor-happer-princeton.html

  17. “Science” hasn’t seen such dark days since Galileo ….
    I would wager that in several hundred years from now, that us skeptics will be “the Galileo’s” of our age and that current times will be viewed as as a “dark age” of science, fostered by complicit media, social media, and grants / government / political money.
    Let’s hope that real science can prevail for the sake of all who will suffer if it doesn’t …

    • “I would wager that in several hundred years from now, that us skeptics will be “the Galileo’s” of our age and that current times will be viewed as as a “dark age” of science, ”

      I’m betting on within five years.

  18. The elephant in the room is water vapour feedback which is supposed to triple the effect of CO2 change. It can never be scientifically tested and it’s never been adequately explained why positive feedback doesn’t cause thermal runaway.

  19. On a completely non-scientific note and a faith-based note, I also have to say the image at the top of the article is disturbing … I am seeing way too much worshiping of “the Creation” vs “the Creator”. Zero faith in the resources which have been provided to us are good. Humans by definition are flawed but it is a shame to see CAGW corrupting the Faithful to worship the Creation vs the Creator. Nothing short of Evil at work in the World with blinders on most to see it – they don’t see how this CAGW agenda hurts people – it is the definition of an anti-human agenda.

    As a geoscientist with knowledge of CO2 vs geologic time, what is clear is that CO2 has been depleted from the biosphere system over geologic time – sequestered in carbonate & hydrocarbon systems. This sequestration continues over time. What is clear is that if the sequestration trend continues, plants die. If plants die, animals die. We all die. Without re-liberating CO2, life on Earth is doomed , and on a geologic time scale, sooner than later.

    In short, nothing could be worse , long term, than not re-liberating the CO2 so life on this planet can continue. Anyone making efforts to stop this are agents of evil, whether they know it or not.

  20. Well, this is what I have been arguing for a couple of decades: IF our contributions of CO2 result in increasing the temperature x degrees, the most you can say is it will be x degrees warmer THAN IT WOULD OTHERWISE BE, but we have no idea what that is.

    If we can’t predict climate with a stable CO2 level, we clearly can not predict climate with an unstable one.

  21. As stated “Nobody knows for sure”. In 2010 we became determined to find a way to help the coal mining community because they were losing their jobs and communities over this CO2. We did it and brought our Carbon Capture Utilization System to the DOE Clean Coal Division in 2014. wrong administration. The story is bigger, but that is for another discussion. Youtube: The time of clean coal is now here
    We are not scientists, but we do know that we can take out of the combusted exhaust over 90% of the CO2, and turn that CO2 into good paying full time jobs and money.

  22. In addition to not knowing how much warming CO2 causes, we do not know what other effects are triggered off by increased CO2 like the effect of increased warming on clouds and increased vegetation cover from increased CO2 which may stabilise temperature. One source of warming which we do know accurately is UHI which is easily measured and is used by the Warmistas to adjust apparent warming temperatures upward by taking measurements from the many weather stations located in UHI areas. Rural area temperatures are then ‘homogenised’ upward to match these UHI area measurements.

  23. I agree. Nicks analysis does not seem to leave room for past cooling periods and then eventual heating up. There has got to be other factors in play that come along from time to time that have an impact and we just don’t know enough about all these variables to make valid models. I suspect nature has its own systems in place. It is ridiculous to think we can dictate what natures “proper” temperature should be.

  24. The fact that the climate simulations have warming caused by increased amounts of CO2 hard coded in means that they beg the question as to whether CO2 causes warming. So in trying to answer the question, does CO2 cause warming, the simulations are useless. They are of no value.

  25. Well said Dr Spencer.

    Another way of saying it:

    Climate sensitivity to CO2 is an input to the climate models, not an output.

    The models don’t provide any real insight into our climate system. They simply tell us the planet will get warmer if we assume that CO2 causes warming and then we add lots of CO2. Isn’t climate science wonderful?

  26. I think Dr. Spencer’s article outlines the uncertainties of current day climate science very well.

    We shouldn’t be spending Trillions of dollars to fix a CO2 “problem” with this level of uncertaintly as to whether it is a problem or not.

  27. “The temperature change in anything, including the climate system, is the result of an imbalance between the rates of energy gain and energy loss. This comes from the First Law of Thermodynamics. Basic stuff”

    Basic stuff. Still FALSE. The first law of thermodynamics is about energy, not temperature. Confusing temperature with the total energy is so typical for climastrology.

    One can have an isolated system, no energy gain, no energy loss, which has a change in temperature. It can be a chemical process inside the system, for example, that does it.

  28. “And, no, there is no fingerprint of human-caused warming. All global warming, whether natural or human-caused, looks about the same. If a natural decrease in marine cloudiness was responsible, or a decrease in ocean overturning [either possible in a chaotic system], warming would still be larger over land than ocean, greater in the upper ocean than deep ocean, and greatest at high northern latitudes and least at high southern latitudes”

    The models themselves have been shown — positively and without any doubt whatever — to produce chaotic output when run over 50 or 100 year time scales. The paper proving this is from NCAR/UCAR . I wrote about this at Climate Etc. A model run 30 times, “[T]he scientists modified the model’s starting conditions ever so slightly by adjusting the global atmospheric temperature by less than one-trillionth of one degree”…. and produced 30 hugely different, contradictory, 50 year projections of North American winters. See image here.

    The climate, as a physical system, is and has been known to be “a coupled nonlinear chaotic system” as acknowledged by the IPCC.

    It is exceeding difficult (approaching impossible) to quantitatively tease out tiny contributing effects — such as the influence of increasing atmospheric CO2 or that of ocean overturning or changing marine cloudiness — from such a system.

  29. How odd that, as skeptics, we find ourselves identifying with the Imperial Officer here. And, as we’ve seen, if you question the dogma, your “lack of faith” will be punished by the establishment.

    rip

  30. Forgive me if this is nonsense. Dr Spencer’s recent post on GCMs
    https://wattsupwiththat.com/2019/09/08/the-faith-component-of-global-warming-predictions/
    claims that when the models are first constructed a multiplicity of energy imbalances lead to warming or cooling. These are “processed” so that over, say, a hundred years they result in net zero change. Then the CO2 warming is introduced. Clearly the processing removes competing effects and makes all warming due to CO2.

    This is obviously not science as we know it. Could Dr Frank’s approach show what happens when the CO2 signal has to compete with all the other imbalances including the uncertainties about their magnitudes and influences? Could Dr Spencer’s point be that this uncertainty does not arise with GCMs because they are processed to neutralize effectively the imbalances that inconveniently interfere with the CO2 alleged dominance?

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