By Christopher Monckton of Brenchley
On the UAH data, there has been no global warming at all for very nearly seven years since January 2015 of 2015. The New Pause has lengthened by three months, thanks to what may prove to be a small double-dip la Niña:
On the HadCRUT4 data, there has been no global warming for close to eight years, since March 2014. That period can be expected to lengthen once the HadCRUT data are updated – the “University” of East Anglia is slower at maintaining the data these days than it used to be.
Last month I wrote that Pat Frank’s paper of 2019 demonstrating by standard statistical methods that data uncertainties make accurate prediction of global warming impossible was perhaps the most important ever to have been published on the climate-change question in the learned journals.
This remark prompted the coven of lavishly-paid trolls who infest this and other scientifically skeptical websites to attempt to attack Pat Frank and his paper. With great patience and still greater authority, Pat – supported by some doughty WUWT regulars – slapped the whining trolls down. The discussion was among the longest threads to appear at WUWT.
It is indeed impossible for climatologists accurately to predict global warming, not only because – as Pat’s paper definitively shows – the underlying data are so very uncertain but also because climatologists err by adding the large emission-temperature feedback response to, and miscounting it as though it were part of, the actually minuscule feedback response to direct warming forced by greenhouse gases.
In 1850, in round numbers, the 287 K equilibrium global mean surface temperature comprised 255 K reference sensitivity to solar irradiance net of albedo (the emission or sunshine temperature); 8 K direct warming forced by greenhouse gases; and 24 K total feedback response.
Paper after paper in the climatological journals (see e.g. Lacis et al. 2010) makes the erroneous assumption that the 8 K reference sensitivity directly forced by preindustrial noncondensing greenhouse gases generated the entire 24 K feedback response in 1850 and that, therefore, the 1 K direct warming by doubled CO2 would engender equilibrium doubled-CO2 sensitivity (ECS) of around 4 K.
It is on that strikingly naïve miscalculation, leading to the conclusion that ECS will necessarily be large, that the current pandemic of panic about the imagined “climate emergency” is unsoundly founded.
The error is enormous. For the 255 K emission or sunshine temperature accounted for 97% of the 255 + 8 = 263 K pre-feedback warming (or reference sensitivity) in 1850. Therefore, that year, 97% of the 24 K total feedback response – i.e., 23.3 K – was feedback response to the 255 K sunshine temperature, and only 0.7 K was feedback response to the 8 K reference sensitivity forced by preindustrial noncondensing greenhouse gases.
Therefore, if the feedback regime as it stood in 1850 were to persist today (and there is good reason to suppose that it does persist, for the climate is near-perfectly thermostatic), the system-gain factor, the ratio of equilibrium to reference temperature, would not be 32 / 8 = 4, as climatology has hitherto assumed, but much closer to (255 + 32) / (255 + 8) = 1.09. One must include the 255 K sunshine temperature in the numerator and the denominator, but climatology leaves it out.
Thus, for reference doubled-CO2 sensitivity of 1.05 K, ECS would not be 4 x 1.05 = 4.2 K, as climatology imagines (Sir John Houghton of the IPCC once wrote to me to say that apportionment of the 32 K natural greenhouse effect was why large ECS was predicted), but more like 1.09 x 1.05 = 1.1 K.
However, if there were an increase of just 1% (from 1.09 to 1.1) in the system-gain factor today compared with 1850, which is possible though not at all likely, ECS by climatology’s erroneous method would still be 4.2 K, but by the corrected method that 1% increase would imply a 300% increase in ECS from 1.1 K to 1.1 (263 + 1.05) – 287 = 4.5 K.
And that is why it is quite impossible to predict global warming accurately, whether with or without a billion-dollar computer model. Since a 1% increase in the system-gain factor would lead to a 300% increase in ECS from 1.1 K to 4.5 K, and since not one of the dozens of feedback responses in the climate can be directly measured or reliably estimated to any useful degree of precision (and certainly not within 1%), the derivation of climate sensitivity is – just as Pat Frank’s paper says it is – pure guesswork.
And that is why these long Pauses in global temperature have become ever more important. They give us a far better indication of the true likely rate of global warming than any of the costly but ineffectual and inaccurate predictions made by climatologists. And they show that global warming is far smaller and slower than had originally been predicted.
As Dr Benny Peiser of the splendid Global Warming Policy Foundation has said in his recent lecture to the Climate Intelligence Group (available on YouTube), there is a growing disconnect between the shrieking extremism of the climate Communists, on the one hand, and the growing caution of populations such as the Swiss, on the other, who have voted down a proposal to cripple the national economy and Save The Planet on the sensible and scientifically-justifiable ground that the cost will exceed any legitimately-conceivable benefit.
By now, most voters have seen for themselves that The Planet, far from being at risk from warmer weather worldwide, is benefiting therefrom. There is no need to do anything at all about global warming except to enjoy it.
Now that it is clear beyond any scintilla of doubt that official predictions of global warming are even less reliable than consulting palms, tea-leaves, tarot cards, witch-doctors, shamans, computers, national academies of sciences, schoolchildren or animal entrails, the case for continuing to close down major Western industries one by one, transferring their jobs and profits to Communist-run Russia and China, vanishes away.
The global warming scare is over. Will someone tell the lackwit scientific illiterates who currently govern the once-free West, against which the embittered enemies of democracy and liberty have selectively, malevolently and profitably targeted the climate fraud?