Climate science does an about-face: dials back the ‘worst case scenario’

Opinion by Anthony Watts

A surprising comment published January 29th in the leading scientific journal Nature said; “Emissions – the ‘business as usual’ story is misleading – Stop using the worst-case scenario for climate warming as the most likely outcome — more-realistic baselines make for better policy.” This has thrown a monkey wrench in hundreds of studies and media stories that previously predicted dire climate consequences in the future due to increased carbon dioxide (CO2) in our atmosphere.

The consequences were predicted by a computer model called Representative Carbon Pathways (RCP) and the worst case scenario model, RCP8.5 had been cited over 2500 times in scientific journals and in hundreds of media stories as the primary need for “urgent action” on climate. Predictions from RCP8.5 model suggested maximum global temperature increases of nearly 6°C (10.8°F) by the year 2100, shown in Figure 1.

clip_image002Figure 1 – Image Credit: Neil Craik, University of Waterloo

But, in the original scientific paper, RCP8.5 had just a slim 3% chance of becoming reality. Since climate alarmists (and some climate scientists) prefer to preach future doom in order to spur action, the predictions of RCP8.5 have become known as the “business-as-usual” scenario, even though it was nowhere close to that.

In a stunning walk-back, climate scientist Zeke Hausfather of the Breakthrough Institute, bucked the climate consensus and said that the RCP8.5 worst case scenario is unlikely to happen. The reason? We can’t get there given how much fossil fuel is being used now. The model assumes a 500% increase in the use of coal, which is now considered highly unlikely since coal use has dropped significantly, as seen in Figure 2.

clip_image004Figure 2 – Image credit: United States Energy Information Administration (EIA)

So with is new information that excludes the worst case RCP8.5 scenario, rather than predicting a future world that warms by 6°C (10.8°F), they’ll go to the next lower scenario RCP6 with warming by 2100 around 3°C (5.4 °F) .

However, in typical climate alarmist fashion, the two authors of this Nature article are pointing out that the lower temperatures due to this drop-off of coal use and the exclusion of RCP8.5 aren’t guaranteed.

The reason? Scientists are still uncertain as to how sensitive global temperatures are to a doubling of CO2 in the atmosphere. The value, known as the Charney Sensitivity still isn’t known for certain, over 40 years after it was first introduced in 1979 by the United States National Academy of Sciences and chaired by Jule Charney. He estimated climate sensitivity to be 3 °C (5.4 °F), give or take 1.5 °C (2.7 °F).

Without knowing the true climate warming response to increased CO2, essentially all climate models become a crap-shoot. It is a glaring illustration of just how imprecise climate science actually is.

But, get this; new climate models are being used for the next set of major projections due from the IPCC next year known as AR6. Those models are said to show that temperatures are more sensitive to CO2 than previously thought.

So, with AR6 the higher numbers of the worst-case scenario are likely to be back on the table, along with continued calls for climate action in the form of reductions, alternate tech, and carbon taxation.

Inconveniently, there is another fly in the ointment. Even if the atmosphere turns out to be more sensitive to CO2 than they think, it is unlikely that the world will ever get to a doubling for CO2 in the atmosphere – the level on which climate sensitivity estimates are based. It turns out, based on a new calculation estimating if the world will get there, the answer is probably “no”.

Climate scientist Dr. Roy Spencer did a model calculation the same week as this new Nature article was released and discovered something totally surprising. Using data from the EIA projecting that energy-based emissions of CO2 will grow at 0.6% per year until 2050, he plugged that data into a climate model. With the reasonable EIA assumptions regarding CO2 emissions, the climate model does not even reach a doubling of atmospheric CO2, but instead reaches an equilibrium CO2 concentration of 541 ppm in the mid-2200s.

Spencer writes: “[T]he result is that, given the latest projections of CO2 emissions, future CO2 concentrations will not only be well below the RCP8.5 scenario, but might not even be as high as RCP4.5, with atmospheric CO2 concentrations possibly not even reach a doubling (560 ppm) of estimated pre-Industrial levels (280 ppm) before leveling off. This result is even without future reductions in CO2 emissions, which is a possibility as new energy technologies become available.”

The RCP4.5 scenario suggests a range of warming of about 1.7 to 3.2°C (3-5.8°F) which doesn’t constitute a “climate emergency” and may even be beneficial to humankind. After all, humanity didn’t do well during cold periods in history, and another global ice-age would certainly be ruinous.

With this broad uncertainty about what the future climate will be, the bottom line on climate science predictions is well-served by the great Yogi Berra who famously said:

“It’s tough to make predictions, especially about the future”


Anthony Watts is former television meteorologist and Senior Fellow for Environment and Climate for The Heartland Institute. He operates the most viewed website on climate in the world, WattsUpWithThat.com

122 thoughts on “Climate science does an about-face: dials back the ‘worst case scenario’

  1. With the advent of Greta, and groups such as XR, the realisation comes to the vast number of apparatchiks who make their daily bread from CC, that there’s a danger of the Danger being over egged, resulting in credibility loss for the whole shebang.

    So quite reasonably (from their perspective) they want to dial back the potential horror. Such a move will not please the growing army of middle class climate warriors, so expect disharmony in planetary awareness land. 🙂

    • If the true aim of the climate crusades is a major new tax on a growing global economy for whatever assorted uses come to mind for new and existing programs, the climate extremists are indeed an existential threat to that orderly treasure hunt for the revenue El Dorado. Claim jumpers will be shot.

      • The occupation of scaring people to hand over money always needs to be carefully managed, lest the payers decide the risk of the consequences is less than that of continuing to pay. 🙂

    • A day or so ago on WUWT:

      Ross Mckitrick observed:

      “There have long been three groups occupying the climate issue. To avoid pejoratives, I will call them A, B and C.

      The A group are the doubters. They don’t believe greenhouse gases (GHGs) do much harm and they don’t support expensive climate-policy interventions. If we must choose between climate policy and the continued use of inexpensive fossil energy, they readily choose the latter.

      The C group think the opposite; they fear a climate catastrophe, they foresee a crisis and they want urgent action, regardless of cost, to stop it.

      The B group are in the middle. They believe, or say they believe, that GHG emissions are a problem and must be reduced. They are vague on the question of how much and when, but in general they try to balance environmental goals with the provision of inexpensive energy and robust economic growth.”

      In Australia, as in Canada and the US, we have watched the C’s walk all over the Bs. It may be too late but the Bs may be see their comfortable gravy train threatened by the crazy Cs. It may now be that:

      “Emissions – the ‘business as usual’ story is misleading – Stop using the worst-case scenario for climate warming as the most likely outcome — more-realistic baselines make for better policy” directly challenges the Bs long term industry and income.

      So now is the time for us As to fight back against the crazy Cs.

      It may well be that the Cs can be hoist on their own petard – on ‘ ….the science’.

      Apparently many people are ‘science deniers’ and the science is so central to the Cs worldview that to deny it will soon be a criminal offence, if they get their way.

      We currently have a live e-petition in Australia to back Alan Kohler’s call for a Royal Commission to review evidence on Climate and Energy Policies.

      The ‘science’ is so central and important to the Bs and Cs that no one among the public, the parliamentarians, the policy-making ministers, the bureaucrats, the corporate and management class, the public intellectuals, or indeed our journalists, has ever seen or understood the empirical evidence in support of Catastrophic Anthropogenic Global Warming (CAGW).

      Why do the climate scientists believe in CAGW? Is there any empirical evidence or is it just models? Can we see this evidence? What due diligence has been done so far?

      Who amongst the lawmakers in parliament can answer these questions? On my reckoning only one will speak out.

      The public only ever hear or see people, including scientists and politicians, giving their opinions on climate change.

      But opinions are not evidence and ‘climate change’ is not defined.

      Alan Kohler called for a royal commission to ‘review the evidence’ on Climate and Energy Policies to conduct:

      “… a review of the evidence on (climate change and energy) in which everyone is required (under oath) to tell the truth.”

      UNDER OATH

      Alan is an honourable high profile journalist, investment guru and businessman who believes the evidence of the 97% of scientists (without questioning truth to power?). Quintessential B spurred on uncomfortably into C territory.

      Alan and I may differ on what we believe will be revealed in such a Royal Commission review but we do agree that we all need to see the evidence, the impact and the timing, so we can have a better idea of what we all need to do, first for the people of Australia, and for the people of the world.

      This is possibly the first time the As and Bs and even some Cs seem to be on the same page in having a Royal Commission, where each wants the evidence tabled to convince all of the need for action.

      Please bring this Media Release below to your friends’ and family’s and social media’s attention and if they happen to be Australian – urge them to sign this e-petition.

      It could be that a strange and unlikely alliance of As and Bs and Cs, like ducks on the smoke filled water laden winds of Australia have lined up in the same direction, with a common purpose – to have a Royal Commission for “… a review of the evidence on (climate change and energy) in which everyone is required (under oath) to tell the truth …”, to the surprise of everybody.

      Imagine, what this would mean for the CAGW hypothesis if we can get this Royal Commission up.

      Imagine the 97% and the 3% of scientists all telling the truth under oath to give all, assurance that quality due diligence is applied to underlying science-based assumptions, data collection, technological developments and evidence based public policies.

      Please read and sign House of Representatives e-Petition EN1231

      https://www.aph.gov.au/petition_list?id=EN1231

      Chris Dawson

      • This is vitally important. Please keep us up to date on this—and ask JoNova to devote a thread to it, if she hasn’t already.

        If Trump gets re-elected, maybe he’ll green-light Happer and Koonin’s red-team suggestion.

      • I’m in Group D, I don’t believe we have any where near enough data to make any predictions, not sure we are even measuring the right things, nor do we even have a responsible goal.

        One can’t manage what you can’t measure (not sure who said that). And, if in our infinite humanistic hubris, we think we can manage this system – to what goal? Why is a return to whatever “pre-industrial” state a goal? Do we even know what that was? How many people did that state feed and clothe?

        Why not an optimal 1200ppm and a two degree warmer, wetter world feeding 10B people who live well with cheap energy as our goal?

        Why isn’t the geoengineering goal saving life as we know it? What entry state do we need to be at to keep above CO2 starvation when this interglacial end and how do we get there?

        Climate science needs a complete reset, the name itself may compromised. We may need to start over with a new discipline.

        • This is closer to the truth. The reality is we really don’t know much about the temperature of the world. Before the 70’s we have much less of an idea. This whole scam is a Socialist endevour to take control of the means of production. It will be economic disaster, as Socialism always is. The response to the disaster will be evermore coercive actions to control those who do not comply but meanwhile, as people get poorer, the Socialists will offer up ever more government spending to “balance” the field. Bernie Sanders is the usher to the West becoming Argentine, Venezuela, Zimbabwe, etc. The future.

        • Salute!

          Thanks, Jean, somehow the “scientific method” got thrown out.

          Secondly, what in the hell is the optimum global temperature we are basing all the horror, gloom and doom about? It sure cannot be an arbitrary 30 year period that the so-called climate scientists choose, huh?

          Why not demand the climate science folks define the “optimum” environment for whatever their measure of merit is? And it may not be simply to the benefit or comfort for we humans, huh? Wouldn’t that be the pits?

          I continue to whine about the arbitrary charts and graphs and such using “anomaly” and at the same time defining the baseline for measuring and predicting variations from that baseline.

          BEAM ME UP!!!

          Gums sends…

          • Looking at the comments on “modelling” husband and I both from IT, he being much more across the insides and workings of computing, had a discussion on FB the other day with a, self professed, climate modelling software engineer. Unfortunately by the time the conversation finished the (not so) gentleman who professed to know everything about computers proved only that he has not had a successful modelling and; as my husband noted from his claims – floating point issues were his problem.

            If we have people like this doing the modelling – we are doomed. Add to that that meteorological data has been compromised because of either; corruption of carried over data, or deliberately changing data to suit the scenario. As a for instance: Meteorological office confirmed they had changed past data because of new buildings built close to data collection/temperature reading equipment. AN ABSOLUTE MESS. Temperature does play a part in the data used for these reports, it only takes one component to be wrong to wreck the whole thing.

  2. The authors of this paper will be accused of having sold out to the fossil fuel industry and will henceforth be ignored and referred to as deniers. Can’t have them contradicting the narrative, after all.

  3. 541 ppm CO2 by mid- 2200 according to Dr.R.Spencer is agronomically interesting. Sort of puts the damper on people’s expectations plants outdoors will sometime in the future be performing like commercial greenhouse indoor plants bring currently administered super high CO2 ppm. Also intriguing for relevance of plant comparative CO2 enrichment study results, where most tested/testing done higher than 541 ppm CO2 vs. the control plant at “ambient” ppm CO2.

    • “Climate scientist Dr. Roy Spencer did a model calculation the same week as this new Nature article was released and discovered something totally surprising. Using data from the EIA projecting that energy-based emissions of CO2 will grow at 0.6% per year until 2050, he plugged that data into a climate model. With the reasonable EIA assumptions regarding CO2 emissions, the climate model does not even reach a doubling of atmospheric CO2, but instead reaches an equilibrium CO2 concentration of 541 ppm in the mid-2200s.”

      Why should we believe that climate model?

      • Why believe any models? Nothing wrong with the climate to begin with, just doing what it has been doing for a very long time.

      • You question, while appropriate, is valid for all models. Why single out the model discussed by Dr. Spencer.

        • “You question, while appropriate, is valid for all models. Why single out the model discussed by Dr. Spencer.”

          I do question all the climate models. But in this article, Dr. Spencer’s is seemingly held up as more useful for some reason.

          • I think Jeff Alberts is missing the point of what Dr Spencer did
            The way I read it is that Dr Spencer put into one of the GCM”s relied on by the IPCC to urge climate action a more realistic rate of growth of atmospheric CO2
            By doing that he was able to show that even by the line of analysis used by the iPPC the rate of growth of global temperatures is unlikely to be high or cause for concern

            Another way of looking at this issue is to say it has taken about 100 years for the global temperature to rise one degree c so why should we believe it is going to rise by a further 2-5c in the next 80 years.
            The “answers” by IPCC logic is either by very high feedback -which does not seem to be occurring- or by rapidly increasing rates of CO emissions -which Spencer debunks

  4. What astounds me about those ‘prominent scientists’ who pontificate about future manmade climate scenarios is their determined certainty about their numbers, down to tenths, even hundredths of a degree.

    And why do “journalists” never question the provenance of the numbers?
    Because they’re being spouted by “scientists” (who these days it seems, have inherited the papal cloak of ‘infallibility’)?

      • Or, sadly, they are scientists who have a poor grasp of concepts like accuracy, precision, error propagation etc

        • The journalists are suffering from ‘white coat syndrome’.
          Anyone wearing a white coat is a scientist and is always telling the truth.
          Whereas so often it is a case of ‘the truth is what I say it is!’

    • The errors are so seemingly in one direction and simple that one begins to question motives. Do we need scientists and journalists to provide financial disclosure statements?

  5. So, just who has been going into these dark, smoke filled rooms and slapping the crap outa these Doomcriers? No way they are going to willingly change their tune.

  6. It’s winter, so ‘dialing back’ is an understandable fall-back; come summer time, the CAGW narrative will be resumed … understandably. Unless, of course, Mother Nature pulls a swifty in the form of a big volcanic eruption or whatever.

  7. I was heartened by the earlier WUWT story about the Chamber of Commerce stating flatly what will happen if the Democrats get to ban fracking. link We also have the Democrats becoming ever crazier. I hope that President Trump can take advantage of the threat of stupid climate action and win another four years. My guess is that, in four years time, most folks will understand that the threat of CAGW was always overblown. The hope is that the Democrats don’t get to totally destroy the economy in the mean time.

  8. The RCP4.5 scenario suggests a range of warming of about 1.7 to 3.2°C (3-5.8°F) which doesn’t constitute a “climate emergency” and may even be beneficial to humankind.

    How dare they putting the screaming ‘HOW DARE YOU’ Greta out of business.

  9. Predictions about the future it is pretty safe to make:

    1. The US Presidential Election will not give the people the choices they want to have.
    2. Coronavirus Wuhan Strain will not cause a pandemic.
    3. US foreign policy will not change quickly enough to stop the world uniting against it.
    4. Bankers will continue to launder global drug cartel cash.
    5. Asymmetric morality standards will continue unabated.
    6. Mozart’s music will still be liked in 2050.
    7. Politicians will still tell lies to get elected in 2100.
    8. Babies will continue to be born.
    9. Billionaires will try to impose technology relevant to interplanetary travel onto those wishing to stay here on earth.
    10. No-one will tell the truth about what the private sector is doing to the ionosphere.

    • Rhys,

      You were coming across as somewhat sane and rational up to your #9.
      You should have stopped there.

      • Joel O’Bryan
        After 2022 #10. IS where the changes are going to take place , when particle physics and the global electric circuit will take centre stage. The sun and the solar wind has always been the major driver for natural climate on Earth , Summer, Autumn, winter and spring.
        https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=TV-347eJdP0

        But man has also learnt to use electricity for wireless comm’s and remote sensing . When you force electricity through the atmosphere you get electrical resistance and the bi-product heat. Man bounces radio waves of the ionosphere and creates hotspots throughout the atmosphere, and it’s that process that’s creating disruption to weather patterns.
        http://www.qrg.northwestern.edu/projects/vss/docs/Communications/1-what-are-radio-waves.html

      • None of his bullet points are particularly sane.

        1) The left always assumes that an unrigged system will deliver the results that they want.
        2) Possibly true, however it will be because people used science to make sure it didn’t happen.
        3) Really, outside of the various totalitarian states (all left wing by the way) which countries are lining up against the US?
        4) Accepting deposits equals money laundering. Got it.
        5) That’s true, the left is always whining that other people shouldn’t be allowed to do the things leftists do.
        6) Mozart will be liked, however Elvis will still be more popular.
        7) But for some reason only the lies of the right will get people like Rhys upset.
        8) Not if the left has anything to say about it.
        9) This has got to be the stupidest thing written at WUWT this week. How does 1 or two billionaires investing in something get transformed into (imposing it on those who don’t want it). Last time I checked, the number of people being force marched into rockets was zero.
        10) Somehow government owned rockets don’t do anything to the ionosphere, only privately owned ones are dangerous.

        Rhys, your paranoia is nothing if not predictable.

  10. The RCP8.5 scenario was written and then specifically pushed as BAU to do exactly what happened. Grant hungry researchers in far flung fields used its consequences in their studies to show an impact and get published. Like everyone in academic science, its publish or perish. RCP6.0 and the others simply don’t have the temperature/climate impacts to show statistically significants effects in most studies. So RCP8.5 was used by necessity to publish.

    Knowing this and into this need, the IPCC scammers fed a RCP8.5 forcing scenario. Then a few called it “Business as Usual” in a few [prominent publications, to corrupt the masses of scientists in far flung fields to get them to ride the climate gravy train.

    Now that its becoming unavoidably clear of the sheer Unreality of RCP 8.5, some of these past climate-drug peddlers like Zeke are getting cold feet because the climate chickens are coming home to roost soon on the climate scam.

    • You are being unfair to authors of RCP8.5 who were essentially given the task of producing scenarios to be used as upper bound and derived it to be representative of the highest concentrations being used in the literature at that time. It was published in a paper entitled “RCP 8.5—A scenario of comparatively high greenhouse gas emissions”.

      This is not unreasonable as an exercise in understanding the range of responses to ghgs. RCP2.6 performed the same role in the other direction.

      The authors of RCP8.5 have subsequently expressed their discomfort with the BAU tag, perhaps regretting their use of the of the phrase “a relatively conservative business as usual case”.

      • It was the few prominent climate pseudoscientists who then labeled RCP8.5 as BAU. They knew exactly what that would do.
        That BAU tagging gave license to an unrealistic forcing scenario to be used across all the fields of marine science, ecology, forestry, agriculture sciences to push the narrative of the impact of AGW/Climate Change.

        The climate drug peddlers needed to have the rest of science academia climb onboard their Climate Magic Bus and add their voice to climate scam with the irresistible lure of publication success of their research. Mission accomplished with Legions of addicted scientists to the scam.

  11. Will Nature now reject papers papers based on RCP 8.5? Nature stopped allowing comments on articles January first 2019 so impossible to know reader reaction. I’ve seen the online Feb 6 edition. No correspondence about it

    • “Will Nature now reject papers papers based on RCP 8.5?”

      Will previous studies using the unrealistic RCP8.5 be withdrawn or modified?

      The first question that should be asked about future studies is: Which RCP was used to get these results?

  12. > in the original scientific paper, RCP8.5 had just a slim 3% chance of becoming reality.

    In the years since, the data have proven RCP8.5 is wrong. Any models predicting RCP8.5 should be deleted from any discussion. It doesn’t even matter if temperatures start rising dramatically up into the vicinity of RCP8.5, that’s mere coincidence at this point. The models don’t work and need to be retired.
    And never forget. At most 1 of the 104 ensemble models is correct. Would you drink something 1 part medicine 103 parts poison?

    • It’s actually a piece-wise ensemble of models, with missing links and liberal infusions of brown matter. That said, they need to operate within a limited frame of reference that is the scientific domain, or expand the envelope of plausible to be inclusive and consistent, albeit with less information.

    • You misunderstand. RCP8.5 isn’t a prediction, its just an assumption used to create projections from climate models. The question is “is it a reasonable assumption?” If not projections based on it likewise become unreasonable.

    • At the most 1 of the models is correct. At the least 0 models are correct.

      The real truth of the matter is: Even the model that tracks reality the closest over time (at least 5 decades) will do so ONLY BY COINCIDENCE. The internal circulation patterns of exactly none of the models reflects reality to date. The “winning” model (if there is one) will be shown to to have parameterized variables that have little to no relationship to reality.

      The very idea that the averaging divergent model runs should somehow arrive at the truth is irrational to the point of being ridiculous. All but the 2 or 3 model runs whose error bars come closest to reality should have been tossed already.

      The whole clinate modeling exercise to date has not been totally worthless. New knowledge of relationships has emerged indicating paths of future scientific inquiry…but as a Climate Prediction exercise it has no proven value. The only real value the models have is for propaganda which is exactly how they are being used.

  13. Without knowing the true climate warming response to increased CO2, essentially all climate models become a crap-shoot. It is a glaring illustration of just how imprecise climate science actually is.

    Most of the CO2 is produced naturally, with the atmospheric levels set by the ocean temperature, with no equilibrium set point, so man-made emissions (MME) aren’t so very important.

    This means the Charney estimate is a non-sequitor – a moot point, the same for Roy’s recent CO2 model.

    The sensitivity of CO2 to sea surface temperature is 2.34 ppm/C (year).

    https://i.postimg.cc/MGtX0bmx/CO2-v-SST.jpg

    No doubling of CO2 will drive temperature higher, however, higher ocean temperatures will lead to higher CO2, and would eventually double the CO2 in time as long as the temperature keeps rising as assumed.

    The RCP8.5 scenario is driven by an unrealistic repeating SC23 solar forcing forecast:

    https://i.postimg.cc/8CHXNjnk/RCP85-unreal-solar-forcing.jpg

    • The problem with ocean out gassing CO2 is the puny heat capacity of water. Water has around 3000 times more heat than an equal volume of air. So the transfer of heat from air to water leads to a negligible temperature rise in water . Hence very very little out gassing. The ocean temperature record since 1960 bares this out 0.1 C change.

      • That’s not how it works. The highest partial pressure for CO2 is along the tropics, where the majority of CO2 outgassing occurs, sinking elsewhere where the partial pressure is negative:

        https://www.nodc.noaa.gov/ocads/oceans/ndp_101/NDP_101_map.jpg

        In order for the atmospheric CO2 from land sources to drive the highest ocean-air partial pressure for CO2 over the tropics, would require the CO2 to diffuse from everywhere into against the tropical gradient, while normally convection is moving clouds of water vapor away from the tropics. That is a tall order.

        Since the temperature of the troposphere is offset -0.22C from the ocean (HadSST3 v UAH LTv6) with a two-month lag, the ocean is clearly driving the air temperature:

        https://i.postimg.cc/4NGJRSDj/UAH-LT-v-Had-SST3.jpg

        The net heat vector is therefore outward from the ocean, as is the net outgassing vector, although not everywhere positive or equally. CO2 dissolving into the ocean happens outside of the tropics, where the pCO2 gradient is negative, and the high pCO2 at the tropics indicates outgassing CO2 from the increased ocean temperature and pressure, both conditions working according to Henry’s Law of Solubility.

        It is the positive-going part of the CO2 annual pulse that peaks every year in May that supplies sufficient CO2 to push the ML trend higher; not from MME. That pulse is responding to the annual insolation warming of the southern ocean (and over a longer view, to higher solar activity), via Henry’s Law:

        https://i.postimg.cc/HnRtZKPP/Annual-CO2-Cycle-driven-by-Sun-and-Ocean.jpg

        It must be recognized that natural laws still work in spite of MME.

      • Air does not pass heat into the water, it slows down how fast the heat put into the water by sunlight is able to escape.

        The error bars on the measurement of ocean temperatures are 1 to 2 orders of magnitude greater than 0.1C.

      • Mike, was will uns der Künstler damit sagen

        – what does the artist mean by that.

        If oceans’ and atmosphere’s heat capacities were in imbalance

        – oceans would boil or

        – atmosphere were frozen.

        Neither one happening. At the moment.

  14. Anthony, you say “ and the worst case scenario model, RCP8.5 had been cited over 2500 times in scientific journals”, but when I followed the link it appeared to be to the paper describing ALL RCP (including RCP 2.6, 4.5, and RCP 6.0)

    I like your work, but my concern is that misquotes or typos like this make it too easy for global warming church member to dismiss your piece. They will find ANYTHING they can, one single line in a 3,000 word article and use it to discredit.

    • Bruce calm down,

      when the highbrows won’t find ANYTHING they WILL find other playgrounds to meddle around.

  15. “…more-realistic baselines make for better policy.” When did scientists start thinking that they were smart enough to make policy? Forever, probably, but seems like the number (of administrative types at least) has been greatly increasing and failing to understand that when they do they lose their credibility like an umpire changing the rules with every pitch. The Editor in the From the Editors column of the current issue of American Scientist starts with the headline “Making Results Actionable. ” This is in the first paragraph. “For instance, there have been decades of research of climate science, but there has not been a proportionate implementation of the findings.”

    They should be careful what they wish for. Their second paragraph is about ethics. Most of the articles are still good science, but one review wants to change government. The cover has “How can climate data be turned into widespread action?”

    • HDH, your American Scientist begins with

      How Climate Science Could Lead to Action

      BY SAMANTHA JO FRIED:

      Institutional context and history have led to top-down knowledge dissemination.

      “CLEAR and Public Lab present us with fruitful imaginaries for grassroots engagement with climate change through Earth remote sensing technologies, I know these efforts will look different when applied to a variety of geographic, political, and sociocultural needs. I also know that they would morph and mutate when members of such communities began to express needs around them. But this variation would be a very good thing. As Levine writes in his book We Are the Ones We Have Been Waiting For, “People often don’t know what they want until they have communicated with others.”

      Despite the necessity of this variation, I’ve come to see that the uncertainty of these kinds of endeavors often keeps them from gaining traction or becoming funded in predictable ways. To have more initiatives like CLEAR and Public Lab, we will need to reconfigure our relationships to public funding structures, philanthropic engagement, institutions of higher education, and more.

      When framed this way, climate change becomes a slow, long-term engagement for which data collection is only a tiny piece. What is required is a complete reorientation of the ways in which we create knowledge, conceive of our livelihoods, and consider each other.”

      He calls for “public funding structures, philanthropic engagement, institutions of higher education, and more.”

      :: dreams of funding.

      ____________________________________

      But there’s hope for American Scientist SAMANTHA JO FRIED:

      James T. Wilson papers 1940–1978/Bentley Historical Library, University of Michigan

      Willow Run’s earliest project was related to the V-2 missile. “V-2” stands for the German word vergeltungswaffen: waffen meaning weapon, and vergeltung meaning retaliation. These retaliatory weapons were semiautonomous missiles, capable of vast amounts of destruction. Germany deployed these weapons toward the end of World War II, in an attempt to gain some momentum despite an impending loss. After the war, Allied powers including the United States feared the destructive capabilities of the V-2. So the U.S. Department of Defense supplied a great deal of funding to laboratories such as Willow Run to create more advanced missiles capable of shooting down the V-2.

      ____________________________________

      OK. Let’s wish American Scientist SAMANTHA JO Fried will find HIS

      Wernher von Braun, American-German aerospace engineer

      to solve his tasks regardless off lavish funding.

      https://www.google.com/search?gs_ssp=eJzj4tDP1TewMDWoMGD0Ei4zUijKT85OLVEoTs5MzSvJLC4BAItmCfc&q=v2+rocket+scientist&oq=v2+rocket+&aqs=chrome.

  16. Climate change disaster is being sold on the basis of risk. Risk is roughly described as the product of a harmful event happening times the severity of the damage it would do. For example, there is considerable risk that your house will burn down. It is unlikely that it will, but the damage to your finances that would transpire if it did would be great. So you buy fire insurance for your house, even though the probability that you will ever draw on it is low.

    The dire projections of what will happen if the Earth warms can be taken as evidence that the people making the projections understand that they are unlikely to happen. There is an actionable probability that, if the world warms, there will be more droughts. There is no significant probability that Miami Beach will be flooded by the Ocean by the end of the century, but the calibre of disaster if Miami Beach was inundated is so great that the risk is cast as actionable. What this means is, the more preposterously dire the prediction of disaster from climate change, the more useful it is as a political narrative.

    Exaggeration to the point of deliberate lying is all but guaranteed.

    • With “Open” questionnaires where the responses are not listed (as one of the answers), the “Climate” almost never shows up as a major concern.

      When people see Climate on a questionnaire list many of them think…..oh yeah….Climate….we are supposed to be concerned about that too.

      Nobody…and I mean nobody is living or acting like they believe Climate Changes is a threat to their wellbeing… let alone a threat to their very existence.

      These people will not tolerate 2 to 3 times higher energy costs or unnecessary energy shortages.

  17. Any real climate science about-face would entail publicly admitting they are 100% wrong about CO2.

    The standard line amongst the CO2 intelligentsia is most of the atmospheric CO2 is man-made now, especially since the late 1800’s when it was supposedly sent off-balance, out of equilibrium by man-made emissions as the human population grew by several doublings, and that it causes warming by amount which keeps differing groups in battleline stances against each other duking it out over [false] estimates.

    I challenge the entire premise that atmospheric CO2 has the ability to perform physically literal miracles.

    How far should we go back before we consider most of Mauna Loa CO2 as man-made? 50-60 years?

    That means the carbon in our bodies is from exhaust pipes, the food we eat, the animals and the food they eat, all the trees, the grasses, the biosphere that grew by leaps and bounds in leaf area since 1980’s is according to CO2 theory mostly from our exhaust pipes and power plants.

    While the tiny atmospheric CO2 fraction handles all that, it supposedly warms the air, which then is supposed to warm the ocean, driving evaporation and atmospheric rivers, hurricanes and tornadoes, all manner of extreme events, and after that, the CO2 is supposed to get partially dissolved into the ocean causing ‘acidification’, with plenty leftover in the atmosphere to increase the ML trend every year.

    It’s a miracle. The real miracle is this upside-down theory has survived this long. It survives because people can’t face the fact that they were wrong, en masse, in almost every opposing and supporting group.

    Here it clear the man-made emissions (MME) follow ML CO2 by several years

    https://i.postimg.cc/Ss1m27JG/MME-vs-ML-CO2.jpg

    The green line is also shown in the next link, showing a real ‘adjusted for inflation’ decline in CO2

    https://i.postimg.cc/RVkVLRGs/Departure-from-Average-of-Detrended-Integrated-Annual-Change-ML.jpg

    https://i.postimg.cc/hjvBBzpQ/MME-vs-ML-CO2-derivatives-and-trends.jpg

    MME isn’t driving ML CO2, so why worry about MME.

  18. Weather is a given. Climate change is real. Anthropogenic climate change is debatable. Perhaps if they constrain their frame of reference. Catastrophic anthropogenic climate change is preposterous… implausible… improbable.

  19. The vote is in from the plants, they want more CO2, up to 1,200 ppm if possible, please. Give real proof that they are not right. Mother Nature continues to defy the Climate Alarmist predictions of the end of the World.

  20. If decisions were based on the worst case scenario you would never leave your house, as worst case you would get hit by a car.

  21. It’s all such utter cr..

    R. W. Wood explained it best in his Note on the Theory of the Greenhouse:
    “Is it therefore necessary to pay attention to trapped radiation in deducing the temperature of a planet as affected by its atmosphere? The solar rays penetrate the atmosphere, warm the ground which in turn warms the atmosphere by contact and by convection currents. The heat received is thus stored up in the atmosphere, remaining there on account of the very low radiating power of a gas. It seems to me very doubtful if the atmosphere is warmed to any great extent by absorbing the radiation from the ground, even under the most favourable conditions.”

    “Wood’s patents and theoretical work inform modern understanding of the nature and physics of ultraviolet radiation”

  22. Luckily we have measurements of historical sea level rise and temperatures to help extrapolate a possible future scenario.

    Based on the 27-year linear trend of sea level rise, 3.1 ± 0.4 mm/yr, by 2100 sea level will be .31 meters higher than the 1986-2005 average, which is in the RCP2.6 range (0.25 to 0.55, mean of 0.40).

    Based on the UAH 40-year linear trend of global temperature, 0.13° C/decade, by 2100 it will be 1.3° C warmer than the 1986-2005 average, which is also in the RCP2.6 range (0.3 to 1.7, mean of 1.0).

    So RCP6.0 is also bogus.

    Clearly, Charney sensitivity is too high and the models are too hot, but alarmist scientists have their egos so wrapped into their theory that warming is all about CO2, the whole CO2, and nothing but the CO2, that they are incapable of doing science anymore and revisiting their theory and adjusting Charney sensitivity and the models. Instead they keep inventing new ways to account for the “missing heat”.

    • “…their theory that warming is all about CO2, the whole CO2, and nothing but the CO2, that they are incapable of doing science anymore …

      And that is all they have. A stupid supposition with no real world evidence — all belief and no substance.
      As some once said “Where’s the beef!” (probably a nonPC phrase today!)

      [“Where’s the chemically and industrially processed vegetable derived proteinous substance designed to appear as beef!” somehow doesn’t cut it.]

    • “they are incapable of doing science anymore and revisiting their theory and adjusting Charney sensitivity and the models.”

      If they do that then they won’t have anything with which to scare everybody.

    • “So RCP6.0 is also bogus.”

      Two down, two more RCP’s to go.

      Settled Science. Such a joke.

      Cracks are starting to appear publicly in this CAGW dike/meme. Crakcs big enough that a politician could use them as an argument against CAGW.

  23. I am pretty sure we are near the peak of the interglacial period, so any warming we can cause on our way toward glaciation would be appreciated (speaking for my great, great….grandchildren). In any case, “Wackeem” seems to think we should all eat grass, so that might help there also. I am heading out to build a fire and do my part now.

  24. Oh come off it, AGW is going to burn us up and cause the extinction of everything in about 12 years. There’s no hope, no way out, life on the planet is toast!
    Greta know it, Mann knows it, so as I march through my twilight years having survived not being blown-up by A-bombs, and 1960-1970 ice age hysteria, its comforting to know that this generation will die from being mildly warm surrounded by greenery.
    Alternatively maybe those solar observers are correct and a big freeze will get them… Who knows? Certainly not those who follow the ‘Climate Models’ and the fantastic virtual reality
    they portray based on ‘best guesses’.

    • I had a look over on the realclimate site, and it had a link to Michael Mann’s blog. He is in Australia at the moment. I try to keep an open (skeptical) mind and was interested to see he had commented on his website in the last week about RCP 8.5 as reported on WUWT in the article: Climate science does an about-face: dials back the ‘worst case scenario’.

      His comment was:

      “Finally, let’s not forget that even a 3C warmer world would be catastrophic. Here in Australia, we’re already seeing the catastrophic impacts of less than half that much planetary warming.” I am an Australian citizen, and have spent 6+ decades here – Michael Mann – probably not six months.
      Australia has bad bushfires because it is a very dry country.
      It has always been dry.
      Look at the history of bad bush fires here:
      1851 Black Thursday 12 lives lost
      1926 Black Sunday 60 dead 1,000 bldgs.
      1939 Black Friday 71 dead 5,000 bldgs.
      1967 Black Tuesday 62 dead 1,300 bldgs.
      1983 Ash Wednesday 75 dead 3,000 bldgs.
      2009 Black Saturday 180 dead 3,500 bldgs.
      There were bad bushfires, long before global warming started. Also, in 1960 the population was about 10 million. In 2019, the population is about 24.6 million.
      We have also in the last week had large downpours, with Sydney’s Warragamba Dam filling almost 30% in a week and extinguishing almost all the fires.
      The Australian Bureau of Meteorology reports that it is all down to the Southern Indian Dipole ( a multi-decadal weather phenomenon) They (BOM) state: The IOD affects the climate of Australia and other countries that surround the Indian Ocean Basin, and is a significant contributor to rainfall variability in this region.
      Having observed and noted all that has happened in my lifetime, and then to see a tourist scientist come here and make such an ill-informed proclamation, I must agree, he has seriously discredited himself, in my view.

    • “strategic retreat”

      Well, I dont know what Zeke’s motives were, but it is definitely a CAGW retreat. A public CAGW retreat, followed up by a retreat by the science publication, Nature. I don’t see how the alarmist community is going to revive RCP8.5. They are going to have to publicly admit errors in this “settled science” of theirs which will cast doubt on their other claims, as it should.

      This will be good practice for the alarmists for the future, since they will eventually be admitting to many more errors as their CAGW predictions fall by the wayside.

  25. “The model assumes a 500% increase in the use of coal, which is now considered highly unlikely since coal use has dropped significantly, as seen in Figure 2.”

    But that figure is only for the U.S. Isn’t the drop in the U.S. being offset by the growth of coal consumption in the 2nd and 3rd worlds?

  26. “The consequences were predicted by a computer model called Representative Carbon Pathways (RCP)”

    It is NOT a computer model. I mean unless some manually flicked together assumptions and data are a “Computer Model” because it was done with the help of Excel.

  27. At this point, I just have to quote the UK’s late, great, master of the one-liner, Bob Monkhouse…

    ‘I went to see my doctor – and he said: I’m sorry to tell you that you’ve only got ten…..’
    ‘I said ten – what..? Weeks..? Months..?
    ‘Nine…… Eight……’

    (He also said: ‘I would never divorce my wife – I LOVE my house….’
    and: ‘Sex at seventy-four is great – and as I live at seventy-eight its not far to go…’)

  28. One effect of this should be to bring the global surface temperature observations into closer alignment with the model projections. Many (including Bob Tisdale here) typically compared observations against the very high RCP8.5 data. It now seems that RCP4.5 would be the more appropriate data to use for comparison.

  29. Off topic, sorry- but not sure where to post this.
    So, what’s with the following web site: https://skepticalscience.com/ ???
    An aggressive bunch over there. They seem to think if you’re a climate skeptic- you’re automatically an ignorant “denier” who blindly believes crazy stuff from denier web sites and that you hate real science, blah, blah. Their mantra is that they are skeptical of climate skeptics. Some months ago I posted a comment- asking if it’s good to be skeptical of people who are skeptical of climate skeptics but that got me a warning that with that kind of talk I might be locked out! So, I just went there again and posted the following- my quote at the beginning was from an article about the evils of climate skeptics. Anyone know of a deconstruction of the entire site run by some guy named Cook?

    ***** “Climate ‘skeptics’ vigorously attack any evidence for man-made global warming yet uncritically embrace any argument, op-ed, blog or study that supposedly refutes global warming.”

    ***** That’s a bit severe. Other sciences don’t have vast political implications as climate science does. Hence, little need for the general public to be concerned about the work of chemists and physicists. Many climate skeptics DO NOT “vigorously attack any evidence….”. And many do NOT “uncritically embrace any argument….”. So, describing all climate skeptics this way isn’t helpful nor will it convince skeptics that non skeptics are playing fair. It’s also the fact that not all skeptics are deniers which seems to be the belief of this blog. I find it also severe that this site implies all skeptics are fools and ignorant.

  30. Yet the Climate gang continue to claim their vast models that need to be tweaked to hindcast can te the thing they need to make their models run accurately!

    If they need huge models to work out ECS, then they can never get an accurate ECS, because (i) all models are only simplified approximations of reality, (ii) we do not know initial conditions for any model and (iii) the physical processes being modeled are not sufficiently well understood.

    Any one of (i) to (iii) makes it impossible to get ECS out of the models. All three make even any estimate utterly useless as the error range will be so vast. The models might be interesting ways of looking at what might happen but as a means of producing an accurate ECS they are simply not capable.

  31. Wow, what a surprise! Assessments that CO2 sensitivity is *higher than previously thought* is complete BS, made up to protect IPCC and AGW hysteria from bad media reports that – for once, ‘its NOT as bad as previously thought’.

    These climate clowns just never let you down, do they?

  32. I am starting to feel – let the brainwashed have their way you cannot beat bullshit
    because bull shit baffles brains. I’m nearly 72 and another 8 years will probably see me out
    so let the dumb generation on facebook, twitter and their naive supporters reap what they sow….

    Why do people believe in fictions? One reason I believe is – that their personal identity is built on the STORY.
    People are taught to believe in the STORY from early childhood, just look at the demonstrations and the age of some of
    the children being pushed forward by adults… Greta Thunberg..???

    They hear it from their parents, their teachers, their neighbours, media and the general culture long before
    they develop their intellectual and emotional independence necessary to question and verify such
    STORIES. By the time their intellect matures, they are so heavily invested in the STORY that they
    are far more likely to use their intellect to rationalise the STORY than to doubt it.

    Most people who go on identity quests are like children going treasure hunting. They find only
    what their parents, teachers, the media etc have hidden from them in advance.

    The story here is Anthropological Global Warming but there are many other stories riding on a sea of
    fiction, the world flows on an ever increasing stream of deliberate fiction and stories. Some look behind
    the storey and make their own judgements – others just well, believe everything no matter how preposterous
    as long as it supports the STORY.

  33. Needless to say

    So with is new information that excludes the worst case RCP8.5 scenario, –> So with this new information that excludes the worst case RCP8.5 scenario,

  34. “But, get this; new climate models are being used for the next set of major projections due from the IPCC next year known as AR6. Those models are said to show that temperatures are more sensitive to CO2 than previously thought.”

    ____________________________________

    Make that “But, get this; new climate models are being used for the next set of major projections due from the IPCC next year known as AR6. Those models are said to show that temperatures are more sensitive to CO2 than usual models.”

    and there’s the evidence that “models” aren’t worth their money.

  35. “I hope that President Trump can take advantage of the threat of stupid climate action and win another four years. My guess is that, in four years time, most folks will understand that the threat of CAGW was always overblown. The hope is that the Democrats don’t get to totally destroy the economy in the mean time.”

    commieBob. What. Meantime.

  36. The long version – https://www.americanscientist.org/article/how-climate-science-could-lead-to-action

    HDH, your American Scientist begins with

    How Climate Science Could Lead to Action

    BY SAMANTHA JO FRIED:

    Institutional context and history have led to top-down knowledge dissemination.

    “CLEAR and Public Lab present us with fruitful imaginaries for grassroots engagement with climate change through Earth remote sensing technologies, I know these efforts will look different when applied to a variety of geographic, political, and sociocultural needs. I also know that they would morph and mutate when members of such communities began to express needs around them. But this variation would be a very good thing. As Levine writes in his book We Are the Ones We Have Been Waiting For, “People often don’t know what they want until they have communicated with others.”

    Despite the necessity of this variation, I’ve come to see that the uncertainty of these kinds of endeavors often keeps them from gaining traction or becoming funded in predictable ways. To have more initiatives like CLEAR and Public Lab, we will need to reconfigure our relationships to public funding structures, philanthropic engagement, institutions of higher education, and more.

    When framed this way, climate change becomes a slow, long-term engagement for which data collection is only a tiny piece. What is required is a complete reorientation of the ways in which we create knowledge, conceive of our livelihoods, and consider each other.”

    He calls for “public funding structures, philanthropic engagement, institutions of higher education, and more.”

    :: dreams of funding.

    ____________________________________

    But there’s hope for American Scientist SAMANTHA JO FRIED:

    James T. Wilson papers 1940–1978/Bentley Historical Library, University of Michigan

    Willow Run’s earliest project was related to the V-2 missile. “V-2” stands for the German word vergeltungswaffen: waffen meaning weapon, and vergeltung meaning retaliation. These retaliatory weapons were semiautonomous missiles, capable of vast amounts of destruction. Germany deployed these weapons toward the end of World War II, in an attempt to gain some momentum despite an impending loss. After the war, Allied powers including the United States feared the destructive capabilities of the V-2. So the U.S. Department of Defense supplied a great deal of funding to laboratories such as Willow Run to create more advanced missiles capable of shooting down the V-2.

    ____________________________________

    OK. Let’s wish American Scientist SAMANTHA JO Fried will find HIS

    Wernher von Braun, American-German aerospace engineer

    to solve his tasks regardless off lavish funding.

    https://www.google.com/search?gs_ssp=eJzj4tDP1TewMDWoMGD0Ei4zUijKT85OLVEoTs5MzSvJLC4BAItmCfc&q=v2+rocket+scientist&oq=v2+rocket+&aqs=chrome.

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