Climate worst-case scenarios may not go far enough, cloud data shows

The Guardian publishes another classic: “It’s worse than we thought” story.

Modelling suggests climate is considerably more sensitive to carbon emissions than thought


Worst-case global heating scenarios may need to be revised upwards in light of a better understanding of the role of clouds, scientists have said.

Recent modelling data suggests the climate is considerably more sensitive to carbon emissions than previously believed, and experts said the projections had the potential to be “incredibly alarming”, though they stressed further research would be needed to validate the new numbers.

Modelling results from more than 20 institutions are being compiled for the sixth assessment by the United Nations Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change, which is due to be released next year.Football pitch-sized area of tropical rainforest lost every six secondsRead more

Compared with the last assessment in 2014, 25% of them show a sharp upward shift from 3C to 5C in climate sensitivity – the amount of warming projected from a doubling of atmospheric carbon dioxide from the preindustrial level of 280 parts per million. This has shocked many veteran observers, because assumptions about climate sensitivity have been relatively unchanged since the 1980s.Advertisement

“That is a very deep concern,” Johan Rockström, the director of the Potsdam Institute for Climate Impact Research, said. “Climate sensitivity is the holy grail of climate science. It is the prime indicator of climate risk. For 40 years, it has been around 3C. Now, we are suddenly starting to see big climate models on the best supercomputers showing things could be worse than we thought.”

We’re doomed!

Worst-case projections in excess of 5C have been generated by several of the world’s leading climate research bodies, including the UK Met Office’s Hadley Centre and the EU’s Community Earth System Model.

Timothy Palmer, a professor in climate physics at Oxford University and a member of the Met Office’s advisory board, said the high figure initially made scientists nervous. “It was way outside previous estimates. People asked whether there was a bug in the code,” he said. “But it boiled down to relatively small changes in the way clouds are represented in the models.”

But but but…uncertainty?

The IPCC is expected to include the 5+C climate sensitivity figure in its next report on the range of possible outcomes. Scientists caution that this is a work in progress and that doubts remain because such a high figure does not fit with historical records.

Catch the full article here

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June 14, 2020 2:15 pm

Somehow, having more sunshine doesn’t strike the fear that an invisible-to-the-naked-eye virus creates. Especially after being forced indoors for months.

Ron Long
Reply to  cedarhill
June 14, 2020 6:01 pm

Especially since more sunshine means more vitamin D in your system and more resistance against Corona virus. Don’t stay in your house, go outside and get some vitamin D. Use some common sense and don’t get sunburn. Stay sane and safe.

June 14, 2020 2:16 pm

“has shocked many veteran observers”

Like Claude Rains in the Casablanca movie?

Reply to  Ralph Dave Westfall
June 14, 2020 2:58 pm

Nice. Funny how they never, ever, ever say, “it isn’t going to be as bad as we thought.” Never.

Bryan A
Reply to  Adam
June 14, 2020 8:04 pm

Modelling suggests climate is considerably more sensitive to carbon emissions than thought

Modelling suggests climate is models are considerably more sensitive to carbon emissions than thought

Fixed it

Pat from kerbob
Reply to  Bryan A
June 14, 2020 9:33 pm

Weasel words like “caution” and “doubt” from the last excerpt shows they know this is likely complete garbage but they will publish it now so it becomes part of the trend.
Same concept as creating the idiotic RCP 8.5, porn for the climactically insane

Reply to  Bryan A
June 15, 2020 1:51 am

Bryan A



Reply to  Ralph Dave Westfall
June 15, 2020 5:04 am

And I keep saying if they’d just get their mouths and noses sewn shut, that would eliminate a HUUUUGE carbon load from the atmosphere.

Poof! Worries over! Threat is gone!

(Sigh) It seems they’ll never learn that the answer to their problem is visible in a mirror….

Greg Cavanagh
June 14, 2020 2:23 pm

“But it boiled down to relatively small changes in the way clouds are represented in the models.”

This statement exemplifies the complaints against the climate models all along. They are so close to realising this, but just refuse to accept the conclusion?

Reply to  Greg Cavanagh
June 14, 2020 4:38 pm

But it boiled down to relatively small changes in the way clouds are represented in the models.

This might need re-writing as follows: But it boiled down to relatively small changes in the way clouds are INCORRECTLY represented in the models.

But, as written, how clouds are represented in models could not possibly be wrong.

Bryan A
Reply to  Robert Kernodle
June 14, 2020 9:32 pm

Rows and flows of angel hair
And CO2 it fills the air
While Greta sees it every where
They looked at clouds that way

But now they more than block the sun
and rain and snow on everyone
So many models would have done
But clouds got in their way

They’ve modeled clouds from both sides now
From up and down and still somehow
It’s model delusions they recall
They really don’t know clouds at all

Reply to  Bryan A
June 14, 2020 11:41 pm



Reply to  Bryan A
June 15, 2020 1:40 am


Reply to  Bryan A
June 15, 2020 11:40 am

you created sunshine on a cloudy day.
they’re thoughts are scattered and they’re cloudy.
thanks just awesome

D. J. Hawkins
Reply to  Bryan A
June 16, 2020 7:10 am

Well done sir, well done!

Reply to  Greg Cavanagh
June 14, 2020 6:26 pm

When a modeler tacks on code for handling cloud cover to his already existing code, without starting from scratch … the results are even more susceptible than the original code — which may not be saying much when considering how divergent their modeling is from reality — and also saying the obvious in view of how modelers themselves are so adverse to reality.

Reply to  noaaprogrammer
June 15, 2020 1:49 am

Couldn’t agree more. Time and again I have encountered serious process control problems on engineering systems due to the software engineers not setting out in chart form representing the very many operating scenarios and required system responses prior to starting any coding. Instead they do what I call sequential engineering: they start coding for one scenerio/functional requirement and then continue by simply patching on code for all the further functional requirements. Inevitably, when fired up, the systems generate unforeseen and often dangerous or damaging responses.

On models such as these climate models, for very complex and often not well understand sub-systems, they really should start again from scratch whenever such a previously not adequately understood or allowed for component such as cloud effects has to be introduced and accommodated.

Louis Hunt
Reply to  Greg Cavanagh
June 15, 2020 1:11 am

The only way the output of their models could have changed that much after making “small changes” in the way clouds are represented is that they programmed in the positive feedbacks clouds provide and ignored the negative feedbacks. I wonder what incentive they had to do that? Oh yeah, they needed to scare more politicians into sending more grant money their way.

Dodgy Geezer
Reply to  Greg Cavanagh
June 15, 2020 5:58 am

“It is difficult to get a man to understand something, when his salary depends on his not understanding it.”

Upton Sinclair

Jamie Moodie
June 14, 2020 2:23 pm

There has never been a correlation between C02 levels and warming and the human influence on C02 at 3.5% of 3.5% atmospheric C02 is insignificant.
This scam perpetuated by the IPPC charlatans is farcical.
More C02 is welcomed, as all plants and food benefits from much higher levels, although we can’t influence levels, if we could it would be for 10 x higher.
The calving of ice sheets has nothing to do with temperature and everything to do with the pressure of the weight of new ice sheets pushing ice out into the sea.
when will these infantile believers and charlatans be stopped from creating economic damage the like of we’ve never seen?

Reply to  Jamie Moodie
June 14, 2020 3:46 pm

CO2 and temperature correlated well from 1975 to 2020 if you ignore yhe flat trend from 2003 to mid-2015 … and also ignore the prior 4.5 billion years.

Jamie Moodie
Reply to  Richard Greene
June 14, 2020 4:10 pm

Bollocks. The C02 levels rose following slight warming from 1945 when it was 280ppm to todays 410ppm
You carefully avoided the point that humans, according to all scientists produce 3.5% approx of all C02 so as C02 is approx 3.5% of all gasses in the atmosphere and a fraction of the reasons weather continually changes, how the hell does a minor shift of .001225% in C02 cause any change in weather?

Reply to  Jamie Moodie
June 14, 2020 4:42 pm

Jamie M,

You just have to make the y axis have very large intervals, compared to the x axis, and then those hundredths of a degree will truly shock you, as intended.

Glad I could set you right on that.

Richard (the cynical one)
Reply to  Jamie Moodie
June 14, 2020 4:46 pm

That one critical human caused molecule is the straw that broke the camels back, that pushed us over the threshold of disaster onto the slippery slope of doom, (sorry, DOOM!), that was the tipping point on the fulcrum of extinction, and now it is too late, we are finished, Cassandra Thunberg was right all along, woe is me!! Nothing to do now but crack open a cold one and expire in style.

Jamie Moodie
Reply to  Richard (the cynical one)
June 14, 2020 5:17 pm

Yes! nothing else matters or contributes to atmospheric variances. Silly us, Im having a cold one now 🙂

Bryan A
Reply to  Richard (the cynical one)
June 14, 2020 8:28 pm

Careful, those “Cold Ones” often release “Hazardous” gasses as their bubbles rise 😉

Reply to  Richard (the cynical one)
June 15, 2020 12:48 am

Bryan A June 14, 2020 at 8:28 pm

Careful, those “Cold Ones” often release “Hazardous” gasses as their bubbles rise 😉

And even more hazardous gases when they come out the other end.

Curious George
Reply to  Jamie Moodie
June 14, 2020 4:53 pm

“C02 is approx 3.5% of all gasses in the atmosphere.” It is 0.04%.

Jamie Moodie
Reply to  Curious George
June 14, 2020 5:15 pm

You are correct, I stand corrected.
So it’s even more insignificant that most assume and our contribution and change in our contribution massively more insignificant.

Bryan A
Reply to  Curious George
June 14, 2020 8:29 pm

Even less significant

Reply to  Curious George
June 15, 2020 11:01 am

The human share of CO2 in the atmosphere is 3.5% i.e. 3.5% of 0.04% is 0.0014% of the atmosphere is of human origin.

F. Ross
Reply to  Jamie Moodie
June 14, 2020 5:01 pm

then convert to %
(not even close to 3.5%)
or is my math faulty?

Jamie Moodie
Reply to  F. Ross
June 14, 2020 5:24 pm

You are correct, my typo in my enthusiasm to educate the numpty suggesting this is in some way significant.

Soon they will be taxing and banning welding (Argon 0.93%)

John Dowser
Reply to  Jamie Moodie
June 14, 2020 11:18 pm

Argon is a noble gas so by definition doesn’t do much.

CO2 is a greenhouse gas definitely on any testable smaller scale and a known plant food for the whole planet even at 0.04%. What could live seriously from just 0.04% right?

The theory goes that adding CO2 at the steady rate humans did last 150 years cannot be digested by the carbon cycle fast enough. This increase of a few percent (lets say 3.5%) of emissions would then change the energy exchange between oceans and air. In small scale experiments and inside models this indeed happens. Not with Argon.

alastair Gray
June 14, 2020 2:25 pm

“Scientists caution that this is a work in progress and that doubts remain because such a high figure does not fit with historical records.”
Change the historical record then. Everybody else does in Climate cucckoo land. Honestly why do Swe give these guys grants if they can’t seemlessly fudge like my friend in Penn State – The Mann with a van full of Hockey sticks

Tim Gorman
Reply to  alastair Gray
June 14, 2020 3:40 pm

“Scientists caution that this is a work in progress and that doubts remain because such a high figure does not fit with historical records.”

This is such a damning statement that I simply cannot believe the climate alarmists don’t realize it!

It’s like saying “Our models don’t match reality but we believe them anyway!”. It’s like saying “yeah, I see the tractor-trailer rig coming at me but I believe I am invulnerable!”. For the climate alarmists its all about “believing”, not about reality. It’s a religious belief in other words. You have to have “faith”!.

Reply to  Tim Gorman
June 22, 2020 1:58 pm

No models work! Everyone should know this by now. Right? Maybe one model in Russia. Why do we let those ruskies beat us with climate? Maybe because of the extremely cold, dark -60 weather for months on end, or is Siberia ice/snow free now? I’ve never been there.

June 14, 2020 2:28 pm

WUWT: where skepticism, crtitical thinking and thoughtful responses are sacrificed for schoolyard sneering. Only here could worse than expected be thought of as funny. SMFH

(The article still got posted here, which allowed people to read it for themselves, did it bother you that this blog did that?) SUNMOD

Reply to  Loydo
June 14, 2020 3:01 pm

Because it’s funny to observe, what so called scientists are “modelling” to demonstrate the coming doom, and all know, it’s BS.
Btw, your posts are funny too, all, without exeption 😀

Tom Abbott
Reply to  Krishna Gans
June 15, 2020 5:59 am

“The IPCC is expected to include the 5+C climate sensitivity figure in its next report on the range of possible outcomes. Scientists caution that this is a work in progress and that doubts remain because such a high figure does not fit with historical records.”

That’s why we sneer, Loydo

We all know what the IPCC is saying is BS(Bad Science). They start out the BS with outrageous climate computer models that are not fit for purpose, and now that their past scaremongering doesn’t seem to be getting people motivated, they feel like they need to double down on the BS scaremongering with new, scarier climate computer models.

So we sneer at their feeble efforts to scare people.

Meanwhile, it looks like fair weather ahead. Nothing scary out there weatherwise. All the historical records say there is nothing unusual going on weatherwise.

The IPCC is “crying wolf” when there is no wolf.

B d Clark
Reply to  Loydo
June 14, 2020 3:03 pm

Do you not yet understand , what a vicious circle is , or as uk car dealers call it a “ring”

The authors of the IPCC 6th assessment are by the vast majority paid by governments ,who in turn as world governments commission the IPCC for reports on all aspects of climate and the environment,

Grant’s are awarded for climate mitigation criteria, your unlikely to get a grant awarded if you dont follow the climate agenda, how do I know this loydo, because my partner is a senior researcher in a UK university,

Can you see the ring I mention loydo, or to put it another way a self fulfilling agenda were the government pays the people who submit the science via a 3rd party who have been commissioned by the same government, the 3rd party act as senors , in any private industry eg the housing market this would be classed as a ring and illegal.

Jim Gorman
Reply to  B d Clark
June 15, 2020 5:55 am

That “ring” is a nose ring, used to control unruly and dangerous animals.

Reply to  Loydo
June 14, 2020 3:03 pm

When I look at the Polar Amplification, and I look at the gigatons of snow falling on Greenland in June, yes, thats funny 😀

Reply to  Loydo
June 14, 2020 3:04 pm

Are those your only complaints (sneers)?

Gregory Woods
Reply to  Loydo
June 14, 2020 3:04 pm

Yes, Loydo, you are even funnier than we thought…

Reply to  Gregory Woods
June 14, 2020 4:10 pm
Reply to  Scissor
June 14, 2020 6:34 pm

Not as funny as CNN adding Greta Thunberg to expert panel on “What It’s Like being Black in America.” Greta Thunberg is neither black nor American but CNN producer Willie Chitbranz claim that Thunberg, “actually knows more about

– Almost had me there…

Greg Cavanagh
Reply to  yirgach
June 14, 2020 7:54 pm

Yea, I couldn’t stop laughing, then I noticed the other articles below this one and laughed harder still. I finally caught on.

Reply to  Loydo
June 14, 2020 3:09 pm

As I told yesterday in the respective thread, we know that even the Doom Boss Rahmstof states in public, the modesls in questiion are running to hot. Than reading the Gualridians BS is not funny ? 😀
Loydo, Loydo,you are so disappointing……

Hari Seldon
Reply to  Krishna Gans
June 15, 2020 2:07 am

Mr. Rahmstorf’s position concerning climate models: (from 1:48 will be very interesting).

Any more question?

Reply to  Hari Seldon
June 15, 2020 5:45 am

No, but if accepted, that models are n o t able to make projections for the next 10 or 15 years, why sell these “scientists” their scenarios as projections as settled science ?
They are all scammer, the one as the other.

Hari Seldon
Reply to  Krishna Gans
June 15, 2020 6:48 am

In the meantime Mr. Rahmstorf tries to sell projections for the year 2300 (additional 280 years). Eventually it is a good strategy, because none of us will live in 2300, und the “results” of his projections can not be checked. Typical “No risk only fun” situation. Mr. Rahmstorf has learnt from Mr. Al Gore, that 5 years projections could be checked (Mr. Al Gore stated in December 2018 in Munich, that the entire north polar cap will be gone in 5 years, but in December 2013 was more Arctic ice than in 2008). Mr. Al Gore was paid 180 K€ for his presentation including the statement on the Arctic ice. So a time horizont of 280 years is much more better.

B d Clark
Reply to  Loydo
June 14, 2020 3:11 pm

Only here could worse than expected be thought of as funny. ”

Do you not read before you indulge yourself, lloydo”worse than expected ” we have been told to expect for 30 years and nothing has happened, so how can it now be worse than expected,

Richard (the cynical one)
Reply to  B d Clark
June 14, 2020 4:55 pm

The worst thing the doomsters like Loydo could experience would be for nothing disastrous to happen, and since that is what will be, of course it’s worse (for them) than expected. And then to have to put up with the ridicule! Just because his position is ridiculous! That’s worse than expected too.

Reply to  Loydo
June 14, 2020 3:31 pm

Project much? I suppose mindlessly blaming CO2 emissions for every world problem, and offering up taxes and world governance as the only solution is more thoughtful?

BTW, did you notice that CO2 levels have continued to go up despite mankind emissions plummeting to a fraction of previous levels. A critical thinker would pause and question whether mankind is truly the driver or not of atmospheric co2 rise, and look for some other cause, like maybe the oceans.

Tim Gorman
Reply to  Loydo
June 14, 2020 3:42 pm

Critical thinking?

“Scientists caution that this is a work in progress and that doubts remain because such a high figure does not fit with historical records.”

It’s critical thinking to believe in a model that doesn’t match reality?


Reply to  Loydo
June 14, 2020 3:51 pm

Loy-doh…. (Snipped)

Reply to  Loydo
June 14, 2020 4:01 pm


(Lets back off on the sneering, if you have a counterpoint to make, do that instead) SUNMOD

Anthony Robb
Reply to  Loydo
June 14, 2020 4:02 pm

From what I can see human emissions of CO2 amount to about 40,000,000,000 tonnes annually. The atmosphere contains 5,500,000,000,000,000 tonnes of mostly nitrogen and oxygen. This amounts to a mole ratio in the region of 1:200,000 per year.
Loydo and his ilk claim that this is significant enough to have a devastating effect on the climate but have yet to provide any hard empirical evidence for such an astonishing claim.
Am I sneering at their unscientific models and outlandish predictions?
I am disgusted by them and fear for the future of science.
Real scientists aren’t merely shaking their heads at the shenanigans of alarmists they are appalled by it all.

Mickey Reno
Reply to  Loydo
June 14, 2020 4:23 pm

Along with all those things YOU claimed are present on WUWT, I’d add that we also have a smattering of cult-like credulousness, alarmist propagandizing, slavering worship and sycophancy to an entrenched orthodoxy/dogma created and maintained by class of self-serving public sector bureaucrats and academics.

Having made my point, this is the place where I usually add “hi Griff” to emphasize my meaning. But it seems much more appropriate in this case to say “hi Loydo.”

Reply to  Loydo
June 14, 2020 4:49 pm


I feel your pain [not really], because you have not fully realized that, at some level of being impervious to reason, critical thinking is just not appropriate anymore, while schoolyard sneering becomes the only way that sane rational minds can respond to that level of irrationality. In short, it’s the only intelligent response to a joke.

Carlo, Monte
Reply to  Loydo
June 14, 2020 4:56 pm

What is the optimum concentration of carbon dioxide in Earth’s atmosphere?

Reply to  Carlo, Monte
June 15, 2020 8:30 am

My guess would around 2000ppm.

Reply to  Loydo
June 14, 2020 7:22 pm

Poor Loydo, she gets so upset when her religion gets ridiculed.
Only Loydo and the rest of the climate clowns actually believe the scare stories being put out.

What’s funny is the constant stream of “oh no, it’s worse than we thought”, everytime people stop paying attention to the climate circus.

Al Miller
Reply to  Loydo
June 14, 2020 8:25 pm

LOL, imagine being accused of not believing the unicorns are worse than we thought…
The gig is up, AGW always was pure unadulterated horse manure invented by the likes of Maurice Strong to try to scare people into submission- after global cooling failed to do so of course.
Sucks when you are confronted with an incontrovertible fact I bet.

Reply to  Loydo
June 14, 2020 10:08 pm

The article still got posted here, which allowed people to read it for themselves, did it bother you that this blog did that?

Posting and sneering are different. Repost Gavin Schmidt’s well-informed opinion on the matter if its all about “allowing people to read it for themselves”.

(Edited to show you were quoting someone from this thread, don’t fail again) SUNMOD

Jamie Moodie
Reply to  Loydo
June 14, 2020 10:49 pm

You need to grow up and stop being lead like and infantile adult, stop believing in Santa, fairies and the bogey man.

Reply to  Jamie Moodie
June 15, 2020 8:32 am

Have you noticed that Loydo never actually defends the climate myth. She just insults those who don’t worship as she does.

Jamie Moodie
Reply to  MarkW
June 15, 2020 2:00 pm

Good observation. It’s unsupportable as they know, but liberals have no relationship with the truth so they can’t debate anything for very long.

Joel Snider
Reply to  MarkW
June 15, 2020 3:49 pm

Exactly – he’s here as an antagonist.

Reply to  Loydo
June 15, 2020 1:04 am


Have you noticed when you post here people will generally tolerate your comments and try to engage with you? On the rare occasion that somebody gets banned or censored on WUWT, it is because they are abusive, not because they have a different opinion.

Realclimate on the other hand has “the borehole”, a place where comments the “scientists” don’t like are banished to.

Read through these comments and explain why they were removed from RC.

Many years ago my comments have been deleted from RC (and SkS), ironically for disagreeing with how clouds were dealt with in the climate models.

Reply to  Loydo
June 15, 2020 8:32 am

Once again Loydo defines “well-informed” as “agrees with Loydo”.

Doesn’t matter how often they are wrong, as long as the stick to the script.

Reply to  Loydo
June 15, 2020 8:47 am

Loydo, you and the other warmunists have been telling us for 40 years that the “science is settled”.
Now in a single day, the ECS get’s bumped from 3C to 5C. So much for settled science.

If that isn’t worth ridicule, what is?

Michael Jankowski
Reply to  Loydo
June 15, 2020 10:09 am

Gavin Schmidt’s well-informed opinion on climate models is that they are always wrong.

He tempers his comments to support “the cause” and defends climate models when arguing with skeptics, but every once in awhile he’ll let the open and honest fact slip that they are merely useful.

Reply to  Loydo
June 15, 2020 12:24 am


Regarding your response to Loyodo,


I’d love to see him try to post a negative AGW/CC comment on Skeptical Science.

From a review of Skeptical Science;

” The abuse and censorship does not pertain to simply any dissenting commentator there but to highly credentialed and respected climate scientists as well; Dr. Pielke Sr. has unsuccessfully attempted to engage in discussions there only to be childishly taunted and censored, while Dr. Michaels has been dishonestly quoted and smeared. The irony of the site’s oxymoronic name “Skeptical Science” is that the site is not skeptical of even the most extreme alarmist positions.”

Mickey Reno
Reply to  KcTaz
June 15, 2020 7:54 am

Let’s not forget Steve McIntyre. Many years ago, I was permanently banned at RealClimate (not just relegated to the Borehole – my posts go directly to the bit bucket) for pointing out hypocrisy of the moderators in censoring CAGW skeptics and suspected D Nye ers for “terms of service” violations that the moderators and favored sycophants violated routinely against Steve McIntyre. My offending post argued in favor of Steve’s integrity and honesty and for the good sense it would represent at RealClimate to pay attention to what he was saying and consider carefully that he might be correct. Needless to say, very few people ever saw this argument, no one ever knew that I had defended Steve, except perhaps the moderator(s) (I suspect it was Gavin) who read it and made the hair-trigger banishment decision. The funny thing is, Gavin has made so many decisions on censoring the things he doesn’t like, I bet he would not have the slightest idea of who I am. Nor would he seem capable of understanding how his own credibility was damaged in my estimation, to the point where I now want him to NOT be paid by my tax dollars, and for why I say for his entire unit ought to be disbanded and defunded, and the name of an esteemed science and engineering hero of mine, Robert Goddard, ought to be disassociated from the laughable pseudo-science and tea-leaf reading being done by the tendentious CMIP climate modelers at NASA GISS.

Here is my favorite part of RealClimate’s entire blog, which remains to this day, on why CO2 MIGHT be responsible for de-glaciation warming in spite of the 800 year lag:

This is an issue that is often misunderstood in the public sphere and media, so it is worth spending some time to explain it and clarify it. At least three careful ice core studies have shown that CO2 starts to rise about 800 years (600-1000 years) after Antarctic temperature during glacial terminations. These terminations are pronounced warming periods that mark the ends of the ice ages that happen every 100,000 years or so.

Does this prove that CO2 doesn’t cause global warming? The answer is no.

The reason has to do with the fact that the warmings take about 5000 years to be complete. The lag is only 800 years. All that the lag shows is that CO2 did not cause the first 800 years of warming, out of the 5000 year trend. The other 4200 years of warming could in fact have been caused by CO2, as far as we can tell from this ice core data.

The 4200 years of warming make up about 5/6 of the total warming. So CO2 could have caused the last 5/6 of the warming, but could not have caused the first 1/6 of the warming.

As if that clarified anything. I’ve often marveled at how similar a thought-process produced this magical bait-and switch as produced Michael Mann’s rationale for tree rings suddenly not working in 1960, but the part that now shows a flat hockey stick-handle where a MWP and LIA had formerly been are okay to use.

So, Gavin, if I hear you, a process that has been working for 800 years, which is only guessed at and is weakly understood at best, somehow magically winks off and MIGHT BE replaced by CO2-based warming? And then the lame-o (Loydo) explanation doesn’t even attempt to address how the cooling cycle begins when CO2 is at it’s peak period subject to the same 800 year delay. These RealClimate men are sad jokes, and cult leaders, not climate scientists. Loydo, run away from them as fast as you can.

Reply to  Mickey Reno
June 15, 2020 8:40 am

The argument demands that one believe that whatever started the warming just happens to drop away to nothing whenever CO2 starts to accumulate. If it didn’t, the warming caused by CO2 would add to whatever started the warming and the rate of warming would accelerate.

No such acceleration appears in the record.
Warmunists tie themselves into all kinds of logical knots in order to preserve their belief in massive warming caused by CO2.

Reply to  Loydo
June 15, 2020 3:03 am

See Tim Gorman’s comment above yours, Loydo, and Adam’s further up the page.

Does it never occur to you that mockery and cynicism are the only sensible response to the insane belief that models provide “proof” or “evidence” of anything and that after 30 years of trying the modellers have still never got it right and are never ever likely to because “the climate system is a coupled non-linear chaotic system, and therefore the long-term prediction of future climate states is not possible.”

And always the sub-text is “give us some more money or a bigger computer and we might get it a bit more right the next time”. And since it has been well established over millennia that “carbon emissions” — which in itself is so unscientific a phrase as to call into question the competence of any “scientist” that uses it — are not the cause of temperature changes their whole argument is based on a fallacy.

Chris Wright
Reply to  Loydo
June 15, 2020 3:09 am

“Only here could worse than expected be thought of as funny.”
Are you serious? Can you be that ignorant?
Are you not aware that the phrase “worse than expected” has been a joke among sceptics for years?
That’s because climate alarmists use the phrase endlessly when making more ridiculous and extreme claims. It’s because they think that, when they state their findings were “worse than expected”, it gives the nonsense a veneer of plausability. In short, it’s a trick. A similar trick is to say that “we were surprised by the result”.

Do you seriously think that magically changing the figure almost overnight from 3 degrees to 5 degrees has anything to do with science? Apart from anything else it means the models have been hopelessly wrong for the last 50 years, something which most sceptics have been saying for a long time.

The peer reviewed science shows that estimates for CO2 sensitivity have been falling for some years, and many are below one degree. There seems to be a massive disconnect between the modellers and the science.

Also, the long term predictions by the models have been too high by a factor of around 3, so they already predict far too much warming. If there was any integrity at all in the modelling community they would be significantly reducing the predictions. But it seems there is no integrity at all in the modelling community, and very little integrity in much of climate science in general.

This nonsense is a total corruption of science for political gain and green extremism. It is a crime against humanity. If it goes unchecked, in the long run it will cause far more human misery and destruction than the covid 19 virus could ever dream of.

Tim Gorman
Reply to  Chris Wright
June 15, 2020 5:53 am

Loydo and the climate alarmist crowd also need to define exactly what WARMING means!

The meme of “the globe is warming and we are all going to die” carries with it the assumption that maximum temperatures are going up. Yet the “global AVERAGE temperature” simply can’t tell you whether maximum temperatures are going up or whether minimum temperatures are going up. BOTH have exactly the same impact on the global average temperature but have far different impacts on the CLIMATE.

Saying that the average going up means the maximum data values are going up is a failure in sixth grade math.

June 14, 2020 2:54 pm

An old question… Why is it when the models diverge from observational data some people want to ignore the observed data in lieu of data generated from the models?

M Courtney
Reply to  ScienceABC123
June 14, 2020 3:35 pm

And that is the key point.

This isn’t “Climate Sensitivity to CO2 is higher then we thought”.
It’s “We have already over-estimated what could happen so how can we keep people interested now?”

We haven’t warmed as much as the models thought we should have so let us bin those models.
And double-down on the errors.

Moderately Cross of East Anglia
June 14, 2020 3:01 pm

The more hysterical and exaggerated the claims that the climate modellers make the better – it just shreds what little remaining regard that they are held in by ever growing numbers of a sceptical public. Having survived a real global crisis in COVID and with the realisation that much worse virus pandemics might occur in the future is going to be on most sensible people’s agenda in the future; not the ever more absurd wailing of the weather séance holders.

Funny that we don’t hear so much anti-plastic rhetoric since disposable safety aprons, gloves, test-kits, etc became so necessary. Must be getting really difficult being one of the very greens.

Reply to  Moderately Cross of East Anglia
June 14, 2020 4:55 pm

In climate “science”, we must, therefore, refer to the hysterical record — that’s hystErical, not “historical”.

Reply to  Moderately Cross of East Anglia
June 15, 2020 12:32 am


Yes, that is an interesting point. What I do find amusing is that a great many people are apparently trying to dispose of their masks and plastic gloves by flushing them down their toilets–with the expected results. Why do I suspect that the same people howling about plastic straws are the same ones who are so dumb that they don’t realize a toilet is not a great disposal unit for gloves and masks?

Reply to  Moderately Cross of East Anglia
June 15, 2020 4:46 am

A very good point regarding the sudden cessation of the war on plastic, East Angular. I noticed that too.

alastair gray
June 14, 2020 3:14 pm

Lighten up Lloydo. In my schoolyard I developed critical skills in BS detection and I would sat that the caveat that our “scientists” use in their article, and which I highlight, is a self administered broadside at the credibility of their model. You may well disagree if your schoolyard was less enlightened than mine

June 14, 2020 3:18 pm

Didnt seem to be overly sensitive during the recent plummet in man made CO2, but then of course we made zero difference didnt we.

June 14, 2020 3:40 pm

My climate dream team of perfessers AOC, Al Gore, and Greta Thunberg assured me that the future climate would be WORSE than worse than we thought.

Worse than we thought was 2018.

Those who don’t want global warming please send it here to Michigan — we want more global warming here.

Reply to  Richard Greene
June 14, 2020 4:14 pm

Real Spartans and Wolverines don’t need it to be warm.

Reply to  Richard Greene
June 15, 2020 12:40 am

Very recently I saw on the internet the weather for Phoenix, Az. The weather people were saying that the “cool” 95 degrees was soon going to give way to an increase in temperature to 108 and it did. It’s all a matter of perspective.

Yes, everyone seemed to survive 108 and it will get much hotter than that in Phoenix as summer progresses. However will they survive? Probably as they always have and, those with any brains, will and do thank the good Lord and inventors for A/C and fossil fuels and the nuclear plant in Yuma, Az.

Mike Maguire
June 14, 2020 4:04 pm

This is what they’ve been saying would happen for over 3 decades based on models.
Now, we are supposed to believe that it will be even worse than that???

While deciding on what level of apocalypse to dial into the next political narrative by way of manipulating equations in the computer simulations of the atmosphere going out for the next 100 years, they should consider the previously predicted disasters that never happened and at least………….wait for those disasters to catch up to the busted forecasts for them before making it worse.

U.N. Predicts Disaster if Global Warming Not Checked

Since life has been enjoying a climate optimum, with the best weather/climate during the last 40 years on this greening planet since the Medieval Warm Period and still it’s not nearly as warm in the higher latitudes of the Northern Hemisphere as the Holocene Climate Optimum just over 5,000 years ago. We still have many Climate Optimum decades to go before the warming becomes a climate crisis……if ever.

But it might eventually turn out to be a climate crisis many decades from now…..maybe as we approach the year 2100 for instance. If the authentic science finally does actually show that, then what will the warnings be then?

If we already killed a greening planet with a booming biosphere and most life flourishing several times over, what will be the new warning for a real climate crisis that will distinguish it from the decades of warnings about the FAKE climate crisis?

Not Chicken Little
June 14, 2020 4:04 pm

These people are NUTS! Or they are scammers. The only difference I can see between them and the crazy guy on the corner with a sign THE END IS NEAR is that the crazy guy isn’t making any money off his shtick…it doesn’t seem to matter that the end never comes, no predictions ever come true. ”

“Modelling suggests climate is considerably more sensitive to carbon emissions than thought.” Modelling is trumped by reality, I don’t care what it “suggests”. CO2 has gone from 280ppm to now over 400ppm and the result over several centuries has not been catastrophic in the least. In the real world things just keep getting better…

Jamie Moodie
Reply to  Not Chicken Little
June 14, 2020 4:17 pm


And human contribution is 3.5% of atmospheric C02 which is 3.5% approx of all atmospheric gasses, so how does a minor change in 0.001225% of atmospheric gasses do anything at all.

Answer – I bloody doesn’t!

Charlatans have their hands on the purse strings and control of the MSM


Reply to  Jamie Moodie
June 14, 2020 6:16 pm

you need to check your calculations… CO2 is 0.04% of all atmospheric gasses

Jamie Moodie
Reply to  Slyrik
June 14, 2020 6:19 pm

Yes you are correct, in my excitement at refuting an advocate of climate change I put in the wrong figure

Thanks, your the third reminder 🙂

Wolf at the door
Reply to  Not Chicken Little
June 19, 2020 5:39 am

Actually,this is very serious.Not the prediction ,which is demonstrably nonsense,but the fact that the alarmists are obviously “winding up” for the next IPCC report,which will play to the gallery of Extinction
Rebellion,Greenpeace,and all the usual suspects of the media-theBBC being probably the worst.Remember,theIPCC have this cute trick of releasing the summary well before their actual “science.” So that the real scientists can’t challenge their junk science , exaggerations and nebulous predictions.
The real defenders of science,like Anthony,John Christy,Roy Spencer,Richard Lindzen and co must be ready .This will be crucial.

4 Eyes
June 14, 2020 4:38 pm

“Recent modelling data”. Real scientists don’t describe the output of models as data. This is charlatans corrupting language to make their point.

Reply to  4 Eyes
June 14, 2020 4:57 pm

It’s synthetic data. They just leave out that important adjective.

Jim Gorman
Reply to  Robert Kernodle
June 15, 2020 6:12 am

Commonly known as “results of calculations”.

June 14, 2020 5:19 pm

“Modelling suggests climate is considerably more sensitive to carbon emissions than thought”

“worse than previously thought” does not mean that they were even more right than previously thought. It means that they were wrong. And if you add up all those worse-than-previously- thought” claims by climate science what you get is a picture of the three stooges and the ugly reality that poorly informed and poorly educated climate scientists are demanding a costly overhaul of the world’s energy infrastructure with unreliable information.

Mike McMillan
Reply to  Chaamjamal
June 14, 2020 6:09 pm

If you look closely, you can tell that some of that was Hollywood special effects. Especially the banana cream pies.

John Bruyn
June 14, 2020 5:52 pm

Research climatologists are always happy to scare people with things they don’t know and don’t understand to get more money for research to show that all along they had it wrong by not considering solar system influences on Earth’s climate instead of a Horace de Saussure hotbox. You’ll find more of what I have to say about that on Quora.

Chris Hanley
June 14, 2020 6:10 pm

“Scientists caution that this is a work in progress and that doubts remain because such a high figure does not fit with historical records …”.
Not a problem, historical records are there to be adjusted to suit.

Robert of Texas
June 14, 2020 7:10 pm

“OMG!” (Running in circles, my hair on fire…) “It’s worse than we thought!”

Let’s go model this new thing called clouds and see if they have any affect on weather! Send us more money, we’ll send you more alarming stuff! (Reminds me of an episode of The Angry Beavers)

(Meanwhile, back at reality, projections are on course for about 1.5C warming…unless someone gets out there and pro-actively adjusts the data some more.)

June 14, 2020 7:19 pm

We adjusted the models to make them more sensitive to increases in CO2.
The models increase their predictions of temperature rise.
This constitutes proof that both the models are correct and we are all going to die unless we turn over control of everything and everyone to the UN.

Pat Frank
June 14, 2020 9:27 pm

Cloud cover isn’t observable to better than about ±10%.

There’s no way modelers can use short term weather forecasts to calibrate model cloud simulations to the resolution needed to detect a CO2 effect on climate.

The necessary observational and simulation resolution limit to detect a CO2 effect is about 0.1% change in cloud cover. Fat F-ing chance.

They see the danger of CO2 in their model, as though the model were the reality. Meanwhile, Earth goes sailing merrily along, showing no sign of anything unusual.

These people have no clue.

Reply to  Pat Frank
June 15, 2020 4:38 am

“They see the danger of CO2 in their model, as though the model were the reality”

This weakness of climate science creates confirmation bias and makes it hard for them to separate theory from empirical test of theory.

Tim Gorman
Reply to  Pat Frank
June 15, 2020 6:00 am

The map is *NOT* the territory. The territory is far more complex than any map can ever show.

This is just as true for “climate” maps as for surface maps.

June 14, 2020 10:54 pm

For the past week the temperatures have been comfortable with a good mix of sunshine and showers.
The only problem is that only on two of the seven days has the wind been producing up to 10 GW, and for the other five days it has been next to nothing.
At present it is 0.17 GW. = 0.76% of demand.
How big a battery should I order?
Or would it be better to spend the same amount of money on nuclear generation?

Ben Vorlich
June 15, 2020 12:12 am

Once again Mandy Rice – Davis and Private Fraser apply

Vincent Causey
June 15, 2020 12:59 am

I thought the summary for policy makers came out last year, but the full report won’t be ready till next year? How can they have a summary two years before the report?

John in Oz
June 15, 2020 1:00 am

They say that relatively small changes in the handling of clouds makes things ‘worse than we thought’.

How do they know that ‘relatively small’ errors in their parameterizations of clouds, ENSO and other unknowns are not causing totally incorrect outcomes from their models?

Climate believer
June 15, 2020 1:52 am

Wouldn’t it be great if one day a model actually predicted future climate accurately…..
Sorry, I know it’s easy to mock, but come on all you climate model fanboys/girls chuck a bit of reason at the question.

Have predictions by these models in the past accurately predicted where we are now today? (give or take a year)

HadCRUT4 temperature data plotted against CMIP5 mean on the same graph reveal the answer. NO.

The models are running hot, this is not a right wing conspiracy, and now they’ve apparently made them even hotter.
There is, to my humble reckoning, just too much divergence between observed temp and model prediction for me to reason that models are revealing any truth about our climate future. Predicting weather >10 days is a 50/50 guess still.
Call me a Luddite if you want, but I don’t understand the amount of faith that is exerted on these things.
I mean look, this is what the IPCC says about them (models):

“Climate models of today are, in principle, better than their predecessors. However, every bit of added complexity, while intended to improve some aspect of simulated climate, also introduces new sources of possible error (e.g., via uncertain parameters) and new interactions between model components that may, if only temporarily, degrade a model’s simulation of other aspects of the climate system. Furthermore, despite the progress that has been made, scientific uncertainty regarding the details of many processes remains.”

Tom Abbott
June 15, 2020 5:12 am

From the article: ” Modelling suggests climate is considerably more sensitive to carbon emissions than thought


That made me bust out laughing! “Oy” is right!

Tom Abbott
June 15, 2020 5:27 am

From the article: “Recent modelling data suggests the climate is considerably more sensitive to carbon emissions than previously believed, and experts said the projections had the potential to be “incredibly alarming”, though they stressed further research would be needed to validate the new numbers.”

I got some more good laughs out of this paragraph.

Let’s see: “Modelling suggests” and “projections had the potential to be “incredibly alarming”.

The background is the Alarmists at the UN IPCC are trying to hype the “danger” of CO2 by adjusting their computer models to project even higher temperatures than they did in the past, if nothing is done to reduce CO2.

So it’s no wonder their new computer models “suggest” CO2 will raise the temperaptures higher than thought in the past and that these projections are incredibly alarming. That’s the whole point of the exercise for them.

The Alarmist computer modellers are projecting what they want to happen. Just because the models are getting more extreme doesn’t mean the Earth’s weather is getting more extreme.

The old, less extreme climate computer models were not even close to reflecting reality, so I wonder how the alarmists think making even more extreme projections is going to help their case.

The more extreme models will just be farther off the mark, than the old extreme models. What’s the upside? That they give new propaganda material to the Leftwing Media? That’s the only benefit to them I can see. Which is a considerable benefit to them, we have to admit.

Tom Abbott
June 15, 2020 5:39 am

From the article: “The IPCC is expected to include the 5+C climate sensitivity figure in its next report on the range of possible outcomes. Scientists caution that this is a work in progress and that doubts remain because such a high figure does not fit with historical records.”

Almost none of the IPCC projections fit the historical records.

If we proceeded using historical records, there wouldn’t be an IPCC because it would be plain that CO2 is not the control knob of the Earth’s climate. It was just as warm in the Early Twentieth Century as it is today, and it was even warmer in the Medieval Warm Period and other warm periods in history, where the CO2 levels were lower than today.

Just about any regional Tmax chart will show it was just as warm in the recent past as it is today, which means CO2 is not a major player in the Earth’s climate, but the IPCC and other alarmists choose to ignore the historical record because it doesn’t fit their “hotter and hotter and hotter”, and “hottest year ever” narrative.

The IPCC is making it up for political/monetary/power purposes. And as their narrative falls apart, they double down on outrageous projections with their new climate computer models. Their models are tuned using politics. Reality is nowhere to be seen.

Charles Martel
June 15, 2020 5:46 am

Here’s the one that got me:

“Now, we are suddenly starting to see big climate models on the best supercomputers showing things could be worse than we thought.”

So big and fast means more accurate?

June 15, 2020 8:23 am


Walt D.
June 15, 2020 8:42 am

The worst case scenario is occurring in a model.
To make a rational decision, we need to assign a probably to this scenario actually occurring in the real world. (Based on the current track record of these models, this probability would be 0. (Note that probability = 0 is different from impossible.)
If we made decisions on the worst case scenario
a) We would never drive a car.
b) We would never take a flight.
c) We would never buy stocks.

Bruce Cobb
Reply to  Walt D.
June 15, 2020 10:09 am

d) We would never leave the house, or in fact, get out of bed.
e) We would never go to bed in the first place (you might never wake up).

Paul Penrose
June 15, 2020 9:50 am

At least they got one thing right: models can only “suggest” things. They do not produce data, as commonly defined, and they aren’t oracles that can see into the future.

June 15, 2020 11:25 am

Shall we cut to the chase here?

IPCC *know* ECS isn’t high and *know* low ECS is climate Kryptonite to AGW. Hence, this make-it-up-as-you-go-along ‘study’, designed to generate implausible but deliberately scary headlines. It’s smoke and mirrors all the way down.

(The game is given away in the final sentence where ‘caution’ and ‘doubts’ remain the order of the day. Nice bit of covering your a**e there, lads! )

Sören F
June 15, 2020 12:56 pm

I get it we’ve seen this slight brightening, still enough to “explain” global warming via albedo. With mechanism behind undetermined, it would lower CO2 sensitivity if nevertheleless well worked into modeling as e.g. solar-induced. If the brightening is worked into modeling with instead CO2 somehow causing it, sensitivity comes out raised – right?

The development would seem to highlight processes behind albedo variability.

June 15, 2020 2:26 pm

The only thing the “proper understanding of clouds” will cause is the end of the GHE hoax. As all the data clearly show, clouds are warming Earth and thus put “GHGs” into a marginal role in terms of climate. All GHGs together warm Earth by no more than 5-6K, CO2 itself only about 1K.

Here is the ground breaking analysis of northern pacific weather records – a region that is supposed to have a negative CRE (cloud radiative effect) of some -50W/m2, according to some NASA models (ERBE, CERES). Note: this is there very foundation of the “GHE”. Real life data show a totally opposing picture.

Seasonal CRE:
comment image

Annual average CRE:
comment image

Even in the northern pacific (like anywhere else) the CRE is strictly positive.

June 16, 2020 7:37 am


Modelling suggests……………….
considerably more sensitive to carbon emissions than previously believed………….
incredibly alarming……………
shocked many veteran observers…………
That is a very deep concern…………….
way outside previous estimates………..

This is science? It is just puerile scaremongering.

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