The Incredible Story Of How Climate Change Became Apocalyptic

Reposted with permission from Forbes

Roger Pielke

Roger Pielke

Energy

In recent years the issue of climate change has taken a decidedly apocalyptic turn.  Earlier this week United Nations Secretary-General António Guterres warned, “If we don’t urgently change our way of life, we jeopardize life itself.” A group of scientists writes that we “might already have lost control” over “tipping points” in the Earth’s climate, warning that the “stability and resilience of our planet is in peril.”

It’s true that apocalyptic narratives have always had a place in discussions of climate. In 1989 the United Nations warned that the world had “a 10-year window of opportunity to solve the greenhouse effect before it goes beyond human control.” But the escalation of apocalyptic climate rhetoric in recent years is unprecedented. The drumbeat of doom has led some prominent figures to turn on the mainstream climate community, complaining that “climate scientists have been underestimating the rate of climate change and the severity of its effects.” In reality, climate science has not just accurately anticipated unfolding climate change, but has done so consistently for the past 50 years.

There is thus an inconsistency here. Discussions of climate change have become more apocalyptic, but climate science has not. I have been working hard to understand this inconsistency, and while I don’t yet have all the answers, I have identified a big part of the puzzle, which I can report here for the first time.

Discussions of climate change are directly and indirectly shaped by the work of experts who work under the umbrella of the U.N. Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change or IPCC. The IPCC was established in the 1980s to assess and summarize climate science to inform policy makers, and since then has produced five major assessment reports, along with periodic topical assessments.

I have testified before the U.S. Congress on multiple occasions on the critical importance of the IPCC. The IPCC plays such an important role that if it didn’t exist, we’d have to invent it. Research on climate change results in a large and varied literature that would be impossible to comprehend without expert assessments like those of the IPCC. The IPCC thus serves a crucial role at the intersection of science and policy.

Human-caused climate change is of course real and a significant concern. I have argued for decades about the importance of policies to mitigate carbon dioxide emissions and the need to better adapt to climate variability and change. But effective policy making is presently threatened by the apocalyptic turn in the climate debate.

Decisions made within the IPCC have contributed to the apocalyptic turn in discussions of climate, moving us away from constructive discussions, scaring children and contributing to overheated rhetoric. To understand the role of the IPCC in in recent rise of climate doom requires understanding how the body performs its assessments.

Underpinning everything that the IPCC does in its scientific assessments are scenarios of the future. Such scenarios are used to project future climate change, to project the impacts of such change on society and the environment, and to project the costs and benefits of mitigation action intended to reduce those impacts.

In order to produce such projections, in its scenarios the IPCC has long differentiated between “baseline scenarios” of the future which describe where the world is headed in the absence of climate policies and “mitigation scenarios” which describe a world where climate policies are put into place. Baseline scenarios are often referred to as “business as usual.”

The rise of the new climate apocalysm can be traced directly to an consequential but little appreciated change in how the IPCC presents its scenarios. The consequences of this change have reverberated through the scientific community, media reporting, policy discussions and civic advocacy.

Almost two decades ago the IPCC developed a set of scenarios as the basis for integrating the work of its three working groups on science, impacts and mitigation. The scenarios were created to serve as the basis for projecting future climate change, the impacts of climate change and the consequences of mitigation action. Such coordination across the assessment work of the IPCC makes obvious sense.

At the time the IPCC recognized that “the future is inherently unpredictable and so views will differ as to which of the storylines and representative scenarios could be more or less likely. Therefore, the development of a single “best guess” or “business-as-usual” scenario is neither desirable nor possible.” Based on this perspective, the IPCC developed a set of scenarios for our collective futures but did not identify any of them as more probable than another, explaining that, “the term “business-as-usual” may be misleading” and “most climate scenarios considered in this report can be regarded as exploratory.”

The result of this approach was that projected futures in the absence of climate policies encompassed a very wide range of possible outcomes. The fourth assessment report of the IPCC published in 2007 acknowledged this wide range of futures, “There is still a large span of [carbon dioxide] emissions across baseline scenarios in the literature, with emissions in 2100 ranging from 10 GtCO2 [billion tons of carbon dioxide] to around 250 GtCO2.”

In other words, when it came to carbon dioxide emissions from the burning of fossil fuels and the associated climate consequences, the long-term future included possibilities that spanned from the highly optimistic (the 10 billion ton scenario) to the highly pessimistic (the 250 billion ton scenario), and everything in between. Climate change was not necessarily apocalyptic, but possibly could be if we made decisions leading to bad outcomes.

An enormously consequential change in approach occurred from the forth IPCC assessment report in 2007 to the its fifth in 2013. The IPCC abandoned its earlier acknowledgement of fundamental uncertainties and ignorance about the future and instead fully endorsed the notion of choosing a “business as usual” scenario for the future. The “business as usual” scenario adopted by the fifth IPCC assessment was associated with one of its most extreme scenarios of the future.

The fifth IPCC assessment report states that while future greenhouse gas emissions were uncertain, “between 1970 and 2010, emissions increased 79%, from 27 Gt of [greenhouse gases] to over 49 Gt [billion tons]. Business-as-usual would result in that rate continuing.” An increase of that rate to 2100 would result in 189 billion tons of greenhouse gases being emitted at the end of the century, which is in the 99th percentile of all scenarios included in the database of reference scenarios of the fifth assessment report.

The fifth assessment report went further and explicitly identified a subset of reference scenarios that characterized where the IPCC believe the world was heading in the absence of climate policies. The IPCC fifth assessment report’s range of 2100 carbon dioxide emissions for “business as usual” is 50 GtCO2 to 106 GtCO2 (which it describes as the 10% to 90% percentiles of its scenario database). The report went further and identified a single scenario as “business as usual” with 2100 carbon dioxide emissions of more than 80 billion tons of carbon dioxide (this scenario is called RCP 8.5).

From the IPCC’s fourth to fifth assessment report our collective future, as envisioned by the IPCC, changed dramatically. The world was no longer heading for a wide range of possible futures, conditioned on enormous uncertainties, but instead was heading with some certainty toward a future characterized by an extreme level of carbon dioxide emissions. Quantitatively, futures with less than 50 billion tons of carbon dioxide emissions in 2100 simply disappeared from the IPCC scenarios and the focus was placed on a “business as usual” scenario of more than 80 billion tons of carbon dioxide emissions in 2100.

The apocalypse had been scheduled.

The decision by the IPCC to center its fifth assessment report on its most extreme scenario has been incredibly consequential. Thousands of academic studies of the future impacts of climate change followed the lead of the IPCC, and have emphasized the most extreme scenario as “business as usual” which is often interpreted and promoted as where the world is heading. For instance, so far in 2019 two new academic studies have been published every day that present this most extreme scenario as “business as usual” and predict extreme future impacts. Journalist promote these sensationalist findings, which are amplified by activists and politicians and as a consequence climate change becomes viewed as being more and more apocalyptic.

The problem with the extreme “business as usual” scenario of the IPCC’s fifth assessment report is that it is already out of date. For 2020 the scenario wildly overstates emissions, and has been critiqued in the academic literature as a highly unlikely if not impossible future. The International Energy Agency has proposed scenarios for the next several decades that diverge greatly from the favored scenario of the IPCC. It is of course possible that the world will collectively choose to emit massive quantities of carbon dioxide, which would require a massive increase in coal burning. But that scenario is certainly not preordained, and other futures are certainly possible.

Remarkably, the IPCC is set to repeat its reliance on extreme scenarios as “business as usual” in its forthcoming sixth assessment report, even though these scenarios are already out of date.

I will have much more to say on this subject in coming columns, as this topic is an active focus of my research. The bottom line for today is to understand that a fateful decision by the IPCC to selectively anoint an extreme scenario from among a huge range of possible futures has helped to create the climate apocalypse, a scary but imaginary future.

Follow me on Twitter @RogerPielkeJr

120 thoughts on “The Incredible Story Of How Climate Change Became Apocalyptic

  1. Roger, mitigation of climate change is just as possible now as it was in the time of Noah. Mitigation of UHI effect is possible, but it makes more sense to burn our municipal wastes for cheap electricity and just increase the air conditioning, especially in places with winter extremes where UHI is a winter blessing.

  2. Consider the way the IPCC works. “The IPCC does not carry out research nor does it monitor climate related data. Lead authors of IPCC reports assess the available information about climate change based on published sources.” (cf. Wikipedia) Take note: lead authors do not do their own research. They use the research of others, many of whom rely on the reports of the IPCC. This sort of circular literary firing squad is not only unscientific and probably unethical, but it leaves our children directly in the line of fire, at the mercy of the unthinking, uninformed alarmists.

    • Don’t forget that the IPCC is required to look only for a human source of global warming.

      And I would say that the correct term to describe what is happening now is ‘hysteria’.

      Given that the IPCC is a discredited political organisation I can’t see any reason for inventing something so bad if it didn’t exist.

      • Gerry, that was my first thought when I saw Roger’s quote ‘ The IPCC was established in the 1980s to assess and summarize climate science to inform policy makers‘. What you’re looking for can have a big impact on what you find, especially when your income depends on it.

        • Yes, it’s the same approach that Los Angeles or San Francisco use to address homelessness, consuming huge amounts of resources with the result being the problem has been made worse.

      • I think Greta represents an abused child, and some day she will wake up and figure out who stole her childhood, and she is going to be angry. I feel sorry for her and those like her, maybe she would be better off wearing sack cloth and smearing her face with ash.
        Meanwhile i talk to my 10-12year old girls often to ensure they maintain critical thinking

      • Fixed it for them:

        “The IPCC was established in the 1980s to assess and summarize [Human-caused] climate science to inform policy makers,”

        The IPCC was tasked, and is being paid, to find human-caused climate change, and that’s what they found: A money-filled future promoting human-caused climate change.

    • Since observed reality over the last 40 years brings the inevitable conclusion that CO2 is NOT the driver, at ALL, of the minimal warming that then flatlined for 18 years even as emissions doubled, NONE of their concocted scenarios have a leg to stand on.

      Why don’t the nations who fund this BS machine (mostly US) just pull the financial plug already? The UN has obviously long outlived its purported mission and is worse than useless–it’s DANGEROUS.

      • Do you guys not get tired of this circle-jerk where you all agree with each other about how climate change isn’t happening and CO2 doesn’t cause it?

        • Here is a new child on the scene claiming skeptics deny climate is changing, when there have been many times skeptics have stated openly all over the place that climate changes. Doesn’t everyone here get tired of the lies made by people such as Tierarzt?

          • I think he has climate change confused with human-caused climate change.

            Skeptics don’t argue that the climate doesn’t change (within certain bounds), what Skeptics are skeptical about is whether humans are causing the climate to change in unprecedented ways, or in any way at all. To date, there is no evidence showing CO2 is having any effect on the Earth’s climate. If it is, it is so small that we haven’t been able to measure it.

            No evidence. Just pure speculation on the part of alarmists..

        • Tierarzt,
          Our circle-jerk requirement is simply that you supply us with a peer-reviewed paper that argues convincingly and by replicable means that CO2 causes climate change!

          You seem to be convinced; now convince this audience!

          Come on, dear fellow, out with it!

          Where is it?

          Note that your lack of a response is the one thing on which we all agree!

          And now you can agree with us, too!

  3. when did it become apocalyptic….

    When they compressed the X axis…and stretched the Y axis in little 1/10th degree increments…making a fraction of a degree look scary

    …you can jiggle around with those two and make the line go straight up

    • When they zoomed in with an exquisite focus on anomalies and observed trillions of dollars in redistributive change. Perhaps it’s secular greed. Perhaps it’s noble cause corruption. Perhaps it’s an imperfect compromise, another wicked solution, to an albeit hard problem.

  4. “climate science has not just accurately anticipated unfolding climate change, but has done so consistently for the past 50 years”

    Climate science anticipated change or changes over a 50 year period? Predict? The cooling, the warming, the irregularity, the evolution? Local, regional, global? With or without adjustments?

  5. The UN Sec-General and EU Commission wish a foist a fake global crisis to scare-up more power to their hierarchy and the IPCC is the quasi-scientific looking fig-leaf cited to pretend-one upon the young and the dumb who know no better, and who are actively encouraged not to and remain in the church. Excommunication and shunning must this be the ultimate ‘social’-media shame.

    Experienced older people are much too knowledgeable, experienced and resistant to political lies and imposition of a fake-‘crisis’ for political ends, to fall fro their Climate-Crisis™ fable, or to be phased by guilt ‘shaming’ on social media.

    Climate-change is of course real but it’s just more-or-less irrelevant to modernity because it takes hundreds of years to see any unambiguous change in global climate trend. And that’s politically useless for generating fear. Whereas if you start to pretend prosaic weather changes are actually UN-Climate-Change™ then you can scare-up more global political power and wealth from the young, poorly-educated and not accustomed to observing or thinking for themselves.

    What is a State school if not the ultimate expression of wrote group-think in action? That’s what gets shoveled into University Science Departments these days. Combine it with social-media guilting and shaming and you have a code-able ‘woke’ authoritarian control mechanism.

    The young make the best zealots and foot soldiers, the older not so much, so who would you direct a lie campaign at?

    Which is what aspiring rising authoritarians always do.

      • Roger Pielke say:
        “The IPCC was established in the 1980s to assess and summarize climate science”

        I say:
        Close and defund monster shop

        Roger Pielke say:
        “Human-caused climate change is of course real and a significant concern.”

        I say:
        Are you saying climate did not change before humans?

        Roger Pielke say:
        “The IPCC plays such an important role that if it didn’t exist, we’d have to invent it.”

Close and defund monster shop

“everything that the IPCC does in its scientific assessments are scenarios of the future. Such scenarios are used to project future climate change,”

        I say:
        Are you for real, they can predict future 50 -100 years away.
        You really believe in wrong religion man.

        Roger Pielke say:
        “The rise of the new climate apocalysm can be traced directly to…”

        “The whole aim of practical politics is to keep the populace alarmed (and hence clamorous to be led to safety) by menacing it with an endless series of hobgoblins, all of them imaginary.” – H. L. Mencken

        Roger Pielke say:
        “At the time the IPCC recognized that “the future is inherently unpredictable…”

        I say:
        future is unknown —Oh my god do you need Phd for that.

  6. As bad as the IPCC choice of emissions schedule is its persistence in assuming the emissions are controlling global temperature is far worse. The central hypothesis of the activists led by the IPCC is this unverified and hotly contested assumption. Salby, Berry ,and Harde have all shown with first principles that emissions barely effect CO2 in the atmosphere. Munshi has demonstrated that the data agrees with these scientists and not the IPCC. It is high time the IPCC look at this important work that falsifies their central assumption.

  7. Whether you agree with the message or not, the tone of this message (with “acknowledgement” that AGW is real) is important because “true believers” will read this & not dismiss it out of hand as a “denialist” point of view. And if they are really reading, they will be moved closer to the skeptic or at least “lukewarmer” point of view … which is a win for all.

    • Perfect is the enemy of the good, thus political compromise. With diverging perspectives, perhaps that’s the best we can expect, when overlapping and converging interests are first-order forcings of consensus.

  8. “Fateful”
    Ian Kershaw wrote a book, 483 pages including another 113 pages of “Notes, List of Works cited and an Index.
    The book is titled:
    “Fateful Choices”
    Subtitle:
    “Ten decisions that changed the world, 1940-1941.”
    ================
    Never pick a fight with a country that has almost unlimited resources.

    • Susan, that is indeed the question we need to be asking.
      Exposing exactly who is responsible is the next phase of the work that needs to be done so that we can prevent this sort of massive deception from happening in the future. We also need to identify and expose all institutions, governments and media sources who act as ‘echo chambers’ and amplify the alarmism.

      • I’ve just been looking at the IPCC website. One would presume that the Executive Committee, consisting of the IPCC chair and vice-chair and chairs of various other sections, would be the decision-makers but their role is nominally ‘strengthening and facilitating’ the work of the other sections. It is all very circular, but I see that the Secretariat controls the budget which may be a guide to where the power lies.
        Do we have no one who actually knows about this?

        PS they have plenary sessions once a year with hundreds of people from all over the world attending. Carbon footprint ??

        • To save the planet certain sacrifices will have to be made.

          Thank you in advance for your acquiescence and unwavering subservience.

  9. Having been taken in previously by the IPCC, & leading climate scientists, [hide the decline], I would today trust a used car salesman in preference to most climate scientists.

    Rather than needing to invent it, I think we should de-fund & shut down the IPCC, & the leaches on society associated with it.

    Perhaps you can give me a new reason for it’s existence, but you will have to be good.

    • I think it’s OK for it to exist, participants should just be required to sail from meeting to meeting like Greta, without the use of modern carbon fiber hulls, components, sails and engines, etc.

  10. “climate science has not just accurately anticipated unfolding climate change, but has done so consistently for the past 50 years”

    If you have numerous models that predict all outcomes, of course you’re going to have some that are right. Fifty years ago, many models were predicting global cooling.

    I bet $10 Donald Trump will either get a second term as president or he won’t get a second term as president. Any takers?

    • How about a third term? You know, seeing as how his first term has been hobbled by the lunatics on the left.

      • Everybody knows that the limit on presidential terms was only meant to apply to politicians, and Trump never claimed to be a politician.
        (Channeling my inner left winger.)

      • How about Melania for the first woman President? Two for the price of one? That would drive leftwingers stark raving mad, and twist liberal feminists into pretzels.

  11. So let me get this straight. So far every assessment of climate change has been wrong. Further in the last 50 years the climate has not gone out of control in any fashion. But it is believed that someone should be in charge of controlling CO2 in the hopes that it has something to do with the climate that we do not understand. In my world of programming where results count (financial) none of these people would be allowed to be in charge of anything. Too much government with too much money to squander.

  12. “climate science has not just accurately anticipated unfolding climate change, but has done so consistently for the past 50 years”

    If you have numerous models that predict all outcomes, of course some of them are going to be right. Fifty years ago, many models were predicting global cooling.

    I bet $10 that Donald Trump will either get a second term as president or he won’t get a second term as president. Any takers?

  13. “Human-caused climate change is of course real and a significant concern.”
    Wrong. There is nothing “of course” about it. There may be some slight human effect on climate, but it most certainly is of no concern. Pielke is on the side of pseudoscience. He doesn’t get a pass just because he “sounds reasonable”.

    • I used to think Pielke talked sense but this offering has me thinking again. Talking in billions of tons of CO2 is meaningless but sounds scary.

      To take a practical example … imagine the atmosphere as a football field (conveniently around 100 meters long which makes for easy calculation). 100m=100*100*10=100,000mm

      Nitrogen accounts for the first 75 meters, oxygen for the next 20 — in round figures. CO2 at 400ppm would represent 40mm in our example or 4cm.

      (My maths is a bit rusty these days so where I go wrong I’m sure someone will tell me!)

      Already it is difficult to wrap one’s mind round the idea that that 4cm can have a major effect on the remaining 9,996 but it gets worse. There are various estimates of what the human component of that is but one figure I’ve heard is 3%. So our addition to this two-dimensional atmosphere is a strip about 1.5mm wide.

      The doomsayers, who Pielke seems to have joined, are going to have to go some to convince me that that 1.5mm can under any conceivable circumstances have a significant effect on the world’s climate and even if my calculations are out by a factor of 10, can he or anyone else explain why that 1.5cm has become significant when the 4cm strip, even when it was a 10 or 20cm strip never was in the past several million years?

      • “I used to think Pielke talked sense but this offering has me thinking again.”

        If you read any of his stuff, he still thinks CO2 is a problem. I’ve pointed this out in the past.

        It’s odd, as someone else pointed out. Roger doesn’t subscribe to the “extreme weather getting extremier” meme, nor catastrophic sea level rise. So I wonder why he’s concerned at all?

      • Pielke, Jr. is only figuring out now that a political body with an agenda and lots of visibility is a primary cause of extremism?

        So far behind he thinks he’s ahead.

  14. AGW hysteria is progressing according to the UN plan regardless of the nuggets of information in the assessment reports that say it’s impossible to predict the future of a chaotic non linear system. The IPCC is nothing more than an artifice of the UN and the the UN has openly proclaimed that they are the choice to lead the One World Government that is necessary to save the world from people. The enemy isn’t fake science, it’s the UN. Mr Pielke is naive to believe science is driving AGW.

  15. Why the climateers are always castigating Roger Jr. is beyond me. He always has been a warmist, eventhough he’s apparently aware of the fabricated catastrophy data, the gatekeeping, boycotting and intimidation of scientific journals, felonious machinations revealed in climategate…

    Roger illogically reports that there are no concerning trends in weather related events of any kind hurricanes, floods, tornadoes, drought, rainfall etc. Pray sir, just what have we to worry about? I’m confused. The only unequivocal sign of climate change is massive growth in greenery, bumper crops, associated enhancement of habitat, deserts being vegetated and plants becoming drought resistant. Absent is the warming.

    Roger is an economist or some such and not a scientist at all, but gee, how is he so certain that we have to take urgent measures to fix … the problem???

    • He can’t bring himself to admit it’s all just an enormous economic scam driven by an immense pile of scientific fraud. It’s eventual and certain collapse will be one for the ages, in the same way economists of today talk of the Dutch Tulip Bulb bubble of yore. A cult mania of Group Think driven by greed and lust for fame.

      • His career has been damaged by sometimes telling the truth even though he is almost as left leaning as those who have done the damage to his career, at least within the university.

        He prefaces his talks sometimes with his allegiance to the democratic party, and yet they still hate him.

  16. Some folks think the shadowy person who started CAGW was Maurice Strong. His idea was to create a climate crisis which could be used to implement global socialism Marxism.

    It’s not about the science. It was never about the science. If Pielke Jr. really thinks it’s about the science then he’s just a useful idiot. The people, Strong included, who started this mess were up front about what they were doing. It’s documented in their own words. No conspiracy theories necessary.

  17. Today’s BAU scenario of the future is actually quite easy to identify. The BAU scenario is whatever the most extreme, unlikely case that can be presented within that gray area, borderline between reality and science-fiction. The line blurs frequently.
    Rod Serling called it the Twilight Zone. The BAU is pretty much that place of mind and imagination where every climate doom vignette leads to The Twilight Zone.

    • Indeed as I thought about what I posted, I realize the IPCC’s next AR6 should carry a
      Main Title: “To Serve Man(kind),” in honor of Rod Serling’s prescience TZ episode.
      https://youtu.be/Zp_EhjlLGkQ

      “It really doesn’t make much difference, because pretty soon we’ll all be on the menu. All of us.”

  18. Climate change activism is a death cult. In an academia that has become the priesthood of this ghastly religion, a regime of catastrophist necrophilia now rules and death is the only phenomenon a scientist is allowed to observe. It is forbidden to observe life without saying that it’s being destroyed by humans and changing climate. Most of the time this is false, it is a mental disease manifesting as a compulsive obsessive necrophilia.

    Looking at life they see only death.

    The German philosopher Nietzsche accidentally became the father of 20th century fascism, now recycled as ecofascism. His “death of God” became inverted into the “God of death”. Worship of death characterised the Na3is in Germany and also the Nipponese Emperor worship and military fanaticism. The same death cult is now back as climate activism. In fact all political activism has a strong flavour of Nietzsche about it.

    Nietzsche presents an iconoclastic philosophy which goes beyond the traditional boundaries of western thought, particularly the boundaries of western thought as they have been shaped by the Christian religion. The son of a Lutheran clergyman his philosophy has the air of an individual who wishes to get away as far as possible from his own roots. Nietzsche’s philosophy will forever be associated with the undermining of religious belief and the notion of the ‘death of god’. In place of God Nietzsche puts the active human will which has, in his view, the capacity in the very few to shape a world of its own. Because of its identification with the decline of religious belief and any absolute presuppositions, Nietzsche’s philosophy is often identified as an important starting point for postmodernism. Nietzsche’s view of experience is radically centred upon the human individual. As Warren puts it, ‘he reconceives central ideals of modern rationalism, especially the ideal of humans as agents with capacities for freedom, sovereignty, reciprocity and responsibility’.1 With Nietzsche freedom, sovereignty, reciprocity and responsibility are not grounded in any metaphysical belief or in a conception of an interpersonal reason. They derive solely from the life of self-conscious, active individuals.

    Thanks buddy. A post-modern Nietzsche-world rejects absolute morality and right and wrong. In it’s place is an anarchic marketplace of activists and the triumph of the loudest mouth. For some reason, absent a respect for the infinite and divine, this jungle of loud-mouths always leads societies to a Nietzsche-like fixation on death. The climate religion is perhaps the most perfect death cult yet – a monstrous edifice of necrophilia that the 21st century can be proud of.

    • I’ve frequently said here in WUWT comments that the coming atrocities the Progressives of the 21st Century, armed with their claims of noble cause and climate religion, are setting-up to commit will make the 20th Century atrocities and genocides look like a warm-up round. The 20th Century can be measured in hundreds of millions of murders and war dead. The 21st Century is setting up for billions of dead with the Progressive’s anti-fossil fuel agenda set to bring energy poverty and thus famine to us billions of Les Deplorables. Amazingly, the Progs never seem to imagine themselves in that group.

      And it is all rationalized on a relative moralism. Relative moralism is that flexible “end-justifies the means” rationalization of corruption and deceit – all for the Noble Cause. Relative morals though ensure that the activists eventually “eat their own”, like they did to Roger. He wasn’t pious enough for them, then he became a denier to be sacrificed on the altar of climate purity. They always end up eating their own as the revolution continues.

  19. I disagree with Dr. Pielke’s opinion that under any scenario, man made CO2 emissions pose any serious global warming threat.

    CO2’s forcing effect is logarithmic, which means for every incremental increase of CO2, there is less and less CO2 warming… For example, CO2 induced warming per CO2 doubling from the pre-industrial level of 280ppm to 560 ppm, would be around 0.6C~1.2C, and the next doubling from 560ppm to 1,120ppm would generate the same amount of warming—0.6C~1.2C…

    Since we’ve already burned roughly 1/3rd of all fossil fuels reserves since 1850, and put about 750GT of CO2 in the atmosphere, which increased CO2 levels by 120ppm (400ppm -280ppm), if we burned ALL fossil fuels (which is economically impossible), we could only raise CO2 by a total of 360ppm (120ppm x 3) to around 640ppm (280ppm + 360ppm), which would have a total CO2 warming effect of around 0.7C~1.4C, which isn’t a problem.

    Moreover, the earth is still starved of CO2 so this added CO2 is a boon for all plants and animals. Over the past 500 million years when complex life evolved, the average CO2 level has been around 1,000ppm, so it’s great CO2 levels are reaching safer/normal levels.

    BTW, at the end of the last glaciation period 12,000 years ago, CO2 levels dangerously reached a low of just 170ppm, which was just 20ppm away from an extinction event (photosynthesis shuts down below 150ppm…).

    We should be delighted man’s CO2 emissions have added a buffer because another glaciation period will likely occur in about 2,000 years due to natural Milankovitch Cycles.

  20. Getting this stuff recorded is useful for future historians. So Roger should be thanked for that, even if some disagree with a few of the opinions therein.
    However, regarding the “drumbeat of doom” or the popular vision of apocalyptic collapse of civilization – that rocket has already reached escape velocity.

    • Change is the only constant in nature.
      Climate Change is not to be feared.
      Climate Change policy is the real threat to humanity and the environment.

      • Joel O’Bryan … at 9:39 pm
        Climate Change policy is the real threat to humanity and the environment.

        Bingo!

  21. why it becomes scarier, and will be scariest in the future?

    The public is getting accustomed to the scare and the politicians may turn their attention somewhere else. Ramp up the scare machine, create more anxiety and more hysteria. The money is not coming in anymore as projected. The money models are turning like the climate models. The money flow is not on hockey stick projections. There is a haitus in the amount of money coming in. The public are getting wiser. They have started to understand after climategate that the scientists behind AGW are not doing science .

    So shift the gears in media campaign to emotions. If anybody used to disagree the main rebutting points are those guys are not scientist (if they dont agree persons who spent their life time on climate science are not a scientists but they are scientists if they agree even if their degree is in theology ) or 97 per cent of the scientists agree , or 1000 scientist (including Mickey mouse) signed the petition. Forget about facts and data.

    Get to the bottom of basic human emotion—and what better way than to strike at the strongest and most basic of human instinct —-that is to protect future generations. No need to award Greta a PhD in climate science although some universities right now might be edging to give her an honoris causa in climate science as long as she could whip up the emotions, the anxiety and hysteria.

    What is the motivation for IPCC to change they way they treat the scenarios from just scenarios to something that look like reality?

  22. It first was Global Warming and the globe stopped warming .
    It then changed to Climate Change but the climate always changes .
    Climate optimums to ice ages, MWP to the Little Ice Age.
    Every storm and drought is blamed on Climate Change.
    Its now Climate Emergency and that’s really scary for any one that has not seen storms floods and droughts.
    I hope I live long enough to see some sanity return as there is no proof that CO2 is no more than a very minor player in climate and methane has almost no effect on climate .
    I ask one Question and those pushing this scam cannot answer.
    How did biogenic methane from livestock get included in with fossil fuel combustion ?
    If any climate scientist took 5 minutes to think they could see that biogenic methane is a closed cycle and over any period does not add one atom of carbon or an molecule of CO2 or Ch4 to the atmosphere.
    Do we breathing out 4% carbon dioxide count as emitters ?
    Why not?
    Because it is a cycle and does not add one atom of carbon to the atmosphere.
    Biogenic methane was introduced at the Kyoto Climate Accord by activists who hate farmed animals and all farmers.
    The even wrote a study Livestock’s Long Shadow in an attempt to vilify farmed animals .
    This has never been challenged and that shows what a crooked show that the UN is running.
    This has not been challenged as the UNIPCC is a corrupt arm of the UN that is being used to form a Communist World Government by declaring an emergency and sovereign governments will pass their responsibilities over to the UN because that is what happens when a world wide emergency is declared .
    Graham
    Proud to be a farmer feeding the world with milk and beef.

    • Gwan wrote: “It first was Global Warming and the globe stopped warming . It then changed to Climate Change”

      This opinion is widely held but what I see is that that both phrases were used in the Callendar 1938 peer review process and continually since then with the logic being that co2 causes warming and that warming in turn causes climate change. Thus not a case of one or the other but both.

      • Sorry, in the 70s CO2 was thought by some to be causing Cooling, until it wasn’t. Then it went back to Warming.

        • It is true that many people in the 1970s were concerned about the coming ice age, but there were many others concerned about global warming. I don’t know of any data showing the relative numbers in each camp. It would be an interesting study, however.

          • My recollection is that Global Cooling was predominant as far as articles in periodicals of the time (the 1970’s) were concerned. After temperatures started warming up in the early 1980’s, Global Warming started being emphasized and Global Cooling fell by the wayside.

          • “It would be an interesting study, however.”

            A good resource to use would be the index of the weekly Science News publication. It reported weekly on all the lastest scientific things going on in the world. I don’t know how far back in time it goes but it was being published in the 1970’s, and is still being published today..

          • Hello Kevin:
            This paper has a good summary of a literature survey showing the numbers of cooling, warming and neutral papers from 1965 to 1979.

            “journals.ametsoc.org/doi/pdf/10.1175/2008BAMS2370.1”

            Also interesting is the “1965 President’s Science Advisory Committee Report on Atmospheric Carbon Dioxide”. You can find it at climatefiles.com

  23. Mr Pielke…’they’ won’t love you…even if you pander to them by declaring your acceptance of CO2 Global Warming.
    You won’t get invited to their parties or lauded by their media…in a cult you’re either in or you’re nobody.
    And your refusal to admit that any warming effect is effortlessly offset by Water Vapour means that we’re not entirely sure about you either!

  24. — climate science has … accurately anticipated unfolding climate change … consistently for the past 50 years.

    Is this a joke?

  25. Roger, please provide the evidence to support this statement: “Human-caused climate change is of course real and a significant concern. “

    • Roger can’t provide any evidence that Human-caused Climate Change is real or is a concern.

      It is not scientific to make claims for which you have no evidence.

      Roger has no evidence of Human-caused Climate Change, yet he makes this claim. Roger is no different than the IPCC who he criticizes for exaggerating things about CO2 and the Earth’s climate. Roger himself is exaggerating CO2’s effects, without any evidence, just like the IPCC. Roger, heal thyself.

  26. An increase of that rate to 2100 would result in 189 billion tons of greenhouse gases

    Assuming world population growth continues to decline and level off, that would result in an economy massively bigger by order of magnitude than the one we have now on an absolute and per person basis. The only way the economy could get that big and produce that much CO2 would be if it was NOT constrained by climate change…

    The problem is not that the IPCC cleverly switched the definition of BAU to RCP8.5, but that they envision an economic output that is impossible if the negative effects they claim will occur actually happen. By claiming an economy of that size is possible, they’re basically admitting that climate would have little effect on it.

    They’re predicting end of life and an order of magnitude increase in the economy at the same time? GUFFAW!

  27. Assumptions of the RCP 8.5 projection are becoming more and more unlikely. See the book : “Empty planet, the shock of global population decline”: https://www.amazon.com/Empty-Planet-Global-Population-Decline/dp/1472142969/ref=sr_1_2?crid=2GXB1B1LZXTJO&keywords=empty+planet+the+shock+of+global+population+decline&qid=1575788382&s=books&sprefix=empty+planet%2Caps%2C269&sr=1-2

    Changes in the US energy sector will be followed around the world. Projections of the emissions are too high. Estimates of the climate sensitivity are decreasing.

    Climate is a complex adaptive system that has natural unpredictable cycles. Current warming trend can end without any clear cause.

  28. What’s the BS about climate models from 50 years ago being validated. The consensus, as Steven Schneider put it, was an eight fold increase in CO2 levels was needed for a 2 degree rise in temperatures. I’m sure one out of the many came close but I strongly suspect the GTA has been massaged to look like the old Calendar projections.

    And a half a degree ride should have been expected just from AMO (at least the North Atlantic that dominates the GTA). That’s more than the Schneider Rasool prediction.

  29. Pielke: “Human-caused climate change is of course real and a significant concern. ”
    There is no evidence for any global human-caused climate change, because there is no evidence that CO2 emissions are causing global warming. It is the opposite; natural global warming from the Litle Ice Age, caused by absorbed solar radiation, is causing some beneficial warming, and CO2 is following, check Henry’s Law.

    • CO2 is following? Following from where? What are you talking about? CO2 is being released in vast quantities from burning previously sequestered reserves of hydrocarbons.

      • Tierarzt December 8, 2019 at 1:48 pm

        CO2 is following? Following from where? What are you talking about? CO2 is being released in vast quantities from burning previously sequestered reserves of hydrocarbons.

        ____________________________________

        Tierarzt wenn du oder deine Hunde ausatmen dann folgt der CO₂ Level in deiner Praxis einem Anstieg von 400 ppm auf 40,000 ppm.

        OTOH, wenn du schon so besessen von Beweisen bist

        1. beweise dass Du ein Tierarzt bist und

        2. beweise dass das irgendjemanden hier interessieren muss.

      • Tierarzt, der ganze thread hier triggered by R. Pielke und diesem “Rotter”, wie der Name schon sagt, is utter drivel und pure Zeitverschwendung.

        Aber du scheinst dich wohlzufühlen. Feel comfortable, have a good time.

  30. It is clear that the author ascribes to the idea that CO2 emissions drive the climate, like all contributors to the IPCC reports. He is wrong. It is only a minor player in the energy budget of the planet. Stating that climate science accurately predicted climate change over the past 50 years is like the statement that science accurately predicts that if I drop a stone it falls. The climate always changes and always did. It would be intersting to see what measures of ‘climate change’ were so precisely predicted half a century ago.

      • Tietarzt where is your proof that the climate of the earth is being influenced by a small insignificant increase in a trace gas .
        The earth was always going to warm as the Little Ice Age ended .
        The world has been warmer than present at least 3 times since the end of the last major Ice Age 12 thousand years ago .
        Where is the scientific proof that the warming we have experienced is not natural climate variation
        We here at WUWT are not the deniers but scientists deny history and that the last three climate optimums never happened or if they did they were not as warm as our present temperatures .
        The Vikings farmed in Greenland a thousand years ago and left at the onset of the Little Ice Age.
        The Romans grew grapes in Britain 2000 years ago but because this does not fit the story these scientists deny that these things happened
        You ask where is our evidence but where is the evidence for wide spread alarm and why do you think that those calling for drastic cuts in energy use have any proof to back up their claims .
        I presume by your facetious comments you have swallowed the climate scam hook line and sinker .
        The theory of global warming /climate change relies on the tropical hot spot that has never been found.
        Sound science has calculated that the world temperature would rise no more than .6 C six tenths of one degree Celsius with a doubling of atmospheric CO2 .
        Any projected temperature rise above this level can only happen with a positive water vapour feedback.
        This is still a great unknown as water vapour forms clouds and clouds both warm and cool the earth .
        At this time scientists have not been able model clouds adequately to make sound decisions on the whether water vapour is a positive or negative feedback.
        It is complete speculation and consensus is not proof .
        I posted here yesterday and and you can read what I wrote about biogenic methane and how it is an absolute non problem .
        I will state here that CO2 is a very minor problem and I cannot understand how so many intelligent people have been hoodwinked .
        Graham

        • You’re stating that CO2 is a minor problem based on what? Why is it a minor problem? Surely if you sequester vast amounts of CO2 away from the atmosphere underground for millions of years (over which the atmosphere cools) then release that CO2 in the space of 100-200 years, you will warm the atmosphere back up.

  31. Translation: “They’re on to us. We have to crank the BS to 11 and just hope it sticks because it’s just not working anymore. All the polls show the same thing: Nobody cares. Climate Change is consistently last in the list of Top Ten Concerns. All our funding is at risk. Our JOBS. Our PENSIONS. Thank Gaia for AOC. We have to protect our phony baloney jobs, gentlemen!”

  32. It must be so embarrassing, for the leaders of the UN to be beholden to the funding nations for its survival and thereby, control its global influence. Whet they would much prefer, is the right to tax all global citizens as a precursor of their longer term ambition of global control.
    With that ambition in mind, they came up with climate change crisis. Via that imaginary crisis, they advanced the need to tax carbon (dioxide). They concluded, (rightly) through that unavoidable taxation route, would come the ongoing funding they needed for their future global authority. They would no longer have to listen, to the dissenting independent voices, that have held them back all these years.
    While the UN’s own prodigy, the EU will always support its totalitarian ambitions, it is finding the other big players China, Russia and the USA, are not prepared to give over their internal affairs to a collective of nobodies, sitting in the UN building on comfortable fat salaries. The big three independents, have watched what happened in Europe via the EU. They will not go down that road, or allow any bureaucrat to take them there.

  33. I, too am a bit concerned about the claim: “Human-caused climate change is of course real and a significant concern.”

    With regard to whether it is real or not, there is no conclusive evidence as far as I am aware. Warming certainly has taken place but there is no way of telling whether it resulted from natural or man made events. The current rate of warming does not justify a climate crisis. The models are not fit for purpose for a growing number of reasons.

    I would say that human caused climate change is a likely possibility but there is conflicting evidence, difficulties in deciding attribution and no evidence for alarm at this time.

  34. Okay, okay, okay. Pielke says Humans cause climate change. Flat statement with no backup.

    We’re in a solar minimum. Not only is the Sun sleepy, but the solar wind has slowed and shrunk somewhat since the Pioneers and Voyager crossed the termination shock line: https://www.centauri-dreams.org/2019/12/04/new-horizons-a-slowing-solar-wind-far-from-earth/

    If it’s shrunk as much as the article says it has, is that not sufficient to support the “idea” that the Sun has an effect on the solar system (which does include Earth whether those bozos like it or not) ? I realize that such esoteric notions are beyond the capacity of the apparatchiks at IPCC to absorb, but since they’re only after money and power, it is far past time to cut them off. They need their own planet, too. Let’s find one for them. I believe there’s a rocky semi-Earth-type planet in the Alpha Centauri system. Couldn’t we just send them there? Isn’t that what England did with criminals, once Australia had been discovered? Something about “flying Mother Nature’s silver seed to a new home in the sun…”

    What? I can dream, can’t I?

    How long has this nonsense been going on, anyway? I was first ware of it when I stumbled across Mikey Mann’s hockey stick twaddle on a blog that someone set up to worship him. That was 14 years ago. It has grown into an amorphous, wiggling entity populated by greed and slimeball politicians who are attempting to rule the world and control everything including what you think and say, when they can’t even control their own GI tracts. Occurrences like this have a life span. That they have to ramp it up to make it scarier every time they find out that fewer people are listening or paying attention means that they are getting weaker and weaker and – well, such things have a lifespan, as I said.

    So why don’t we start pounding that part about how removing all CO2 from the atmosphere (impossible) will throw off the atmospheric gas levels balance that has been in place since before the dinosaurs roamed and allows life to exist? Someone should point out that not only will throwing off this balance destroy everything but bugs and plants, but those IPCC bozos will be gone, too.

    Rant over. Thanks for the article. Best to keep ourselves informed, so that we know what is going on. And Nietsche may have said “God is dead”, but now Nietsche is dead, so-o-o…..

  35. Please keep pounding the IPCC. The smoke and mirrors crew LOVES you and wants you to continue. That way, no one ever sees what is really fueling this. The CAGW crowd thanks you and asks you to keep up the good work, Roger.

    (This is why John Cook is winning, people.)

  36. CO2 has no significant impact on the climate. That was clearly proven by Miskolczi. It’ now almost 15 years since his groundbreaking work became public and his empirical analysis that shows constant atmospheric depth has yet to be falsified!

  37. I’m still trying to figure out how getting the earth’s temperature back up to where it has been for most of the last 10000 years is supposed to be some kind of crisis.

  38. In assessing the contribution of the UN IPCC, where is the statement that all of their work is based on a falsehood, namely, that there is no such thing as a Greenhouse Effect except inside a garden greenhouse and that has nothing whatsoever to do with radiative atmospheric gases?

    The radiative gases absorb photons in discrete energy bands. The energy is then emitted at the same or lesser energies or passed on as kinetic energy to surrounding atmospheric molecules. No energy is emitted at higher frequencies – shorter wavelengths so the emitted radiation cannot cause an increase in temperature of the source, ie the Earth’s surface. That can only happen by receiving energy from a source of greater temperature, that is of a higher frequency – shorter wavelength, than that being emitted from the Earth’s surface.

    If radiation from objects all at the same temperature could cause them to increase in temperature then all of the content of the Egyptian pharaohs’ tombs would have been burnt or melted eons ago. Being deep within the pyramids, the tombs have been at a stable, constant temperature. Each of the content and the walls of a given tomb have been emitting radiation of the same frequency – wavelength spectrum towards everything else in the tomb. This has clearly not caused the interiors to continuously increase in temperature as the Greenhouse Effect predicts as the tombs are been there for thousands of years.

    The UN via the IPCC has been promoting the greatest fraud in the history of mankind. Of course the standard reply from the ‘experts’ is that it will happen in the ‘future’.

    • Most people here are not saying that there is no GH effect, just that it is not fully understood, especially in relation to mechanisms of heat transfer and natural variation. In short, CO2 is not the control knob for temperature.

      • Apology for the poor wording. The lie is that ‘the Earth is warmed by a Greenhouse Effect’. There is no such effect other than in a greenhouse.

        Radiant energy is not additive. 5 Watts per square metre of energy from a light bulb is totally different to 5 Watts per square metre from an X-ray machine. The UN IPCC diagram showing the addition of energy from the Sun at 5770 degrees K with energy from the Earth’s surface at 288 degrees K, back radiated by the radiative gases in the atmosphere, is totally wrong.

    • The heat transfer to the atmosphere is indeed slowed by the extra CO2. The surface of the earth moves to a slightly higher temperature, but H2O evaporation, conduction, convection and radiation in the IR window also increase.

      The NET change in surface temperature is NOT to be calculated by the SB equations alone.

      I have never seen a direct measurement of the NET change in temperature. Is it possible to do it in a massively big and tall lab/building?

      We measure GAT which includes natural variations due to a dozens different factors, with zero ability to separate and compute them all.

      That is the great fraud. The “experts” give us simple stories, and the truth is that they are wasting our money trying to solve a chaotic system. Its a make work project.

      Dr. Happer might be right with his 1.1 C or so of warming. I doubt it. I think it might be as low as a tenth of that.

  39. I’ll begin to take seriously those who have the apocalyptic perspective- if and only if they personally, drastically reduce their carbon footprint. If they really believe the apocalypse is coming and they continue to NOT drastically reduce their personal carbon footprint, then they’re either idiots or hypocrites or both. Yes, when Ale Gore, Bill McKibben, Bill Nye, Barack Obama, Michael Mann, and those scientists on the IPCC along with all the academics and media writers who support this theory- personally prove that they’re convinced of this apocalypse, and move into a tiny house, only drive tiny car, and stop buying anything that required any fossil fuels in production- I’ll be happy then to follow them. Until then, I already have a rather low carbon footprint due to poverty.

  40. There is thus an inconsistency here. Discussions of climate change have become more apocalyptic, but climate science has not. I have been working hard to understand this inconsistency, and while I don’t yet have all the answers, I have identified a big part of the puzzle, which I can report here for the first time.

    Dear Dr. Pielke:

    I will take the opportunity to commend your efforts towards trying to keep the Climate Change (aka: Global Warming) discussion, shall we say, “coloring between the lines” as delineated by the science. While I don’t share your conclusions on certain points, your contributions have been honest and robust to the debate.

    I was going to criticize your characterization of a “first report”; but, I then considered that you wrote for an audience at Forbes and not WUWT where frankly your observations would be filed under Bleedin’ Obvious. For that venue, this indeed might be a first report.

    I will take issue with your assertion in that climate science has not embraced the apocalyptic. Perhaps you don’t consider those recent, most dubious papers to be science; however, the journals seem to consider them as such. If they were sincere about fostering a robust debate, they would be more accepting of papers not aligned with the orthodoxy. The shameful conduct of the editors at Nature Communications among others speaks otherwise.

    I must regret to inform you that Climate Change is no longer a science but rather a collection of disparate groups with different agendas looking to utilize the crisis. Since many of the parties have radical, far-reaching and stunning goals, then it has become necessary for the “science” to deliver the crisis worthy of the goals. Truth is only useful if it is “fit for purpose”.

    As you noted, the scientists at the IPCC did their best to oblige and turned that dial up to cringe-worthy settings. However, that sacrifice of integrity has not proven adequate, so the Climate Change community has discarded any pretense of truth and embraced a myriad of tactics (denouncements, exaggerations, data tempering, etc.) in the attempt to tip the balance in their favor. Sadly, many people who were once scientists have fallen into line with the malfeasance.

    For myself, the best example of the abandonment of logic and honesty is renewable energy. The WUWT Bleedin’ Obvious drawer has a bulging folder of the problems: cost, reliability, environmental impact, and suitability to purpose. The experiences of Germany, Australia and the UK should serves as a warning to others, but so far there has been little diminishment of enthusiasm for renewables.

    Why? People can be misguided, but the level irrationality about renewables is hard to ascribe to normal human stupidity (Einstein’s observation noted). My theory is that the irrationality is attributable to an inversion (perversion?) of Pascal’s Wager.

    One must believe in renewable energy. Without a workable alternative to fossil fuels, all the grand plans of the Green New Deal and Energiewende are just the roads to Perdition. Governments are having enough trouble with carbon taxes. I don’t care to speculate their fate if it was proposed to return to a pre-industrial revolution existence.

    So, there is little room for either science or truth on the pro-CAGW side of this dust-up. There are places that still embrace that ideal, but it’s hard to host scientific debate in a venue where there shall be only one side to the argument. I will, however, encourage you to keep up the good work. Your time will come.

    Best Regards.

  41. The CERES satellites currently in operation continue showing that the Earth is almost in the state of thermal equilibrium. The thermal energy input (solar) exceeds the Earth output back to space by less than 1%.
    Consequently, a less than 1 deg Kelvin increase in the Earth global average temp will suffice to reduce that very small advantage of heating over cooling.

    For an inexplicable reason, the above CERES results – the good news that we spent millions of dollars to acquire – get hardly any attention. WHY???

  42. A fleet of satellites known as CERES now operate and continue measuring the Earth thermal energy input (Sun) and it output to space by long wave radiation (also know as the Earth shine). These measurements that started with the previous generation of satellites ERBS (for Earth Radiative Budget Satellites) operated in 1970-1990 confirmed that the Earth thermal input exceeds the output by less than 1%.
    All the data are public and can be found by GOOGLE search for ERBS and CERES.
    It means the planet Earth is almost in a thermal equilibrium.
    Any object global average temperature rises with the thermal energy input (heating) exceeding the output (cooling) and vice versa (a pot of water on the stove…). The mathematics of converting the thermal energy input/output ratio to temperature change is well established.
    Per above data, the temperature of Earth increment by less than one degree Kelvin (1 deg C) will suffice to equalize the above input and output already nearly equal..
    As a disclaimer, this reasoning applies to the global, average planet temperature and does not exclude possibility of local temperature variations
    caused by a variety of reasons that are complex and intertwined and make climatology a challenging science it is.
    Nevertheless, the data quoted above and their interpretation are very good news that we spent millions of dollars to acquire. For inexplicable reasons, this information that belongs in paragraph one of any climate change serious debate remains totally ignored in public discourse worldwide.
    Why???

  43. This is SOP for the left. Whether it’s DDT, AIDs, hunger, (fill in the blank). Everything’s a crisis that requires extreme actions NOW so you have no time to investigate/analyze/evaluate.

  44. Human-caused climate change has more to do with fudging weather data. The Bomb-spike of 1963 shows the half-life of CO2 in the atm has been consistently ~5 yr for decades and presumably that is the normal condition. Since human emissions since 1750 must persist with a half-life of 30 to 50 years to account for the observed rise in atm CO2, human emissions can’t be the cause of this rise.

    These alarmists one day will be viewed as fools or scammers, but not heroes. Snake oil of our time.

  45. Re: “In reality, climate science has not just accurately anticipated unfolding climate change, but has done so consistently for the past 50 years.”

    Their expectation that rising GHG levels would cause warming was about the only thing they got correct. The early models greatly overestimated the magnitude of that warming.

    For instance, on the basis of NASA GISS’s GCM Model II (a predecessor of the current Model E2) Hansen et al 1988 predicted “warming of 0.5°C per decade” if emissions growth was not curbed (though their graph showed only about 0.37°C per decade):

    https://sealevel.info/hansen88_predicts_warming_of_0.5C_per_decade.png

    That was their “scenario A,” (“business as usual”) which they described as follows: “Scenario A assumes that growth rates of trace gas emissions typical of the 1970s and 1980s will continue indefinitely; the assumed annual growth averages about 1.5% of current emissions, so the net greenhouse forcing increases exponentially.”

    Under their “scenario A,” emissions would have increased by 1.5% per year, totaling 47% in 26 years. In fact, CO2 emissions increased even faster than that. CO2 emissions increased by an average of 1.97% per year, totaling 66% in 26 years. Yet temperatures increased nowhere near as fast as their “scenario A” prediction.

    Here’s reality (HadCRUT4 and UAH6) graphed vs. the predictions of Hansen et al 1988:

    http://sealevel.info/HADCRUT4_1988-2019_woodfortrees18.png

    As you can see, even though CO2 emissions increased faster than they anticipated, they nevertheless overestimated the resulting temperature increase by 200-300%. That is not what I would call “accurate anticipation of unfolding climate change.”

    Nor was that all that they got wrong. Another part of that same excerpt from Hansen et al 1988 was obviously nonsense even when they wrote it. The major GHG, CO2, has logarithmically diminishing effect, so an exponential increase in CO2 level causes only a linear increase in forcing. Yet they wrote that it would cause greenhouse forcing to increase exponentially. It boggles my mind that none of those eight illustrious authors noticed that monumental blunder!

    Plus, the fact that they conflated emissions growth with concentration growth means they completely failed to anticipate the accelerating rate at which negative feedbacks like “greening” and ocean uptake would remove CO2 from that atmosphere.

    Plus, by 1988, CFC (Freon) emissions were already slated to decline, because of the 1985 Vienna Convention for the Protection of the Ozone Layer and the 1987 Montreal Protocol on Substances that Deplete the Ozone Layer. So, building an exponential increase in those emissions into a “business as usual” scenario was just plain dishonest.

  46. Technical correction:

    I wrote, “…CO2, has logarithmically diminishing effect, so an exponential increase in CO2 level causes only a linear increase in forcing.”

    I should have written, “…CO2, has logarithmically diminishing effect, so an exponential increase in CO2 level causes a forcing that asymptotically approaches linear, rather than exponential.”

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