WUWT Contest Winner, Professional, 2nd Place – ‘Is there really a climate crisis?’

I’m pleased to publish our second place contest winner in the professional category,

Topic: Is there really a climate crisis?

Write the best arguments against the theory of man-made catastrophic global warming that would convince your neighbors that there is no climate crisis.

I present “Is there really a climate crisis?” Congratulations to David Hammond. Look for more winning essays this week, and runners-up will be published next week. -Anthony


Is there really a climate crisis?

By David Hammond Ed D

The short answer to this question is no, since there is no official data that shows an increase in the frequency or intensity extreme weather events. Nor is there any empirical evidence to link CO2 emissions to increased temperatures, although CO2 is a greenhouse gas (GHG) and does cause a modest amount of warming in the atmosphere.

The warming is expressed as how much temperature will increase if CO2 doubles and is known as the Equilibrium Climate Sensitivity (ECS) but, according to the IPCC, it relies on positive feedbacks (i.e. anything that amplifies the initial warming such as an increase in water vapour) to have a major impact. There are also negative feedbacks which have a cooling effect. The IPCC estimates the sensitivity as between 2 and 5 degrees C and estimates the positive feedback to be about 300%. Whilst no body disagrees with the basic premise of CO2 warming, there are questions to be asked about the sensitivity, the effect of feedbacks and the way the IPCC arrive at their figures.

We can see from the graph below that the only correlation between the CO2 and temperature is between c.1975 and 2000.

Figure 1. HadCRUT4 global mean temperature vs. Atmospheric C02 1850-present.

Indeed, this graph (Figure 1) in itself should be enough to convince anybody that CO2 does not drive temperature rises

which have been described by the alarmist camp as unprecedented, using Michael Mann’s Hockey Stick graph to prove it. But the Hockey Stick graph is now discredited and without it we are left with the temperature record below (Figure 2) which clearly shows that the temperatures at the end of 20th C are not unprecedented.

Figure 2. From: https://friendsofscience.org/index.php?id=706#Lead

So, what is the alarm?

The fundamental basis of the IPCC approach and which distinguishes the warming of the late 20th C from natural fluctuations are computer models but these can only be validated if they are able to replicate past fluctuations of temperature, (Taylor 2009, Sangster 2018).

The IPCC maintain that the spike in temperatures from 1975 – 2000 cannot be simulated in their models without GHGs and when they input GHGs their models simulate observed temperatures from 1975 – 2000 accurately. However, when CO2 was not abundant enough to drive temperatures (1910 -1945) the models cannot reconstruct the temperatures as accurately which suggests that something else was driving temperatures at that time.

Figure 2
Figure 3. Bob Tisdale, available at: https://wattsupwiththat.com/2013/04/20/model-data-comparison-with-trend-maps-cmip5-ipcc-ar5-models-vs-new-giss-land-ocean-temperature-index/

The graph above (Figure 3) shows that not only do the models not replicate early 20th C warming but they cannot explain the ‘dimming’ from 1945 – 1975. To explain this, and to explain why models were running hotter than observed temperatures during the pause in warming from c.2000, the modellers included sulphate aerosols from fossil fuel emissions into their models.  In 2013 the IPCC estimated the possibility of sulphates counteracting warming was from -0.4OC and -1.40C which essentially meant that any value in this range could be put into the models depending on their sensitivity. If the sensitivity of a model was too high this could be offset by increasing the amount of sulphates and vice versa. Climate models vary greatly in in estimating the ECS and only ‘replicate’ late 20th C temperature ‘by inferring whatever aerosol cooling effect is necessary’ (Johnston 2010 p.21).

The falsity of the sulphate cooling has been highlighted by Bjorn Stevens who compared the northern hemisphere and southern hemisphere temperatures rises from 1850 to 2010 and found they were very similar but he explained that the sulphate cooling should affect the northern hemisphere more as this is where most of the sulphates were produced. No such differential was observed. Stevens estimated that sulphate cooling was too large which is why models can’t get the cooling of the mid 20th C right.

This changing of a particular parameter (in this case sulphate aerosols) in the models which keeps the ECS within an ‘anticipated acceptable range’ is confirmed by an article entitled The Art and Science of Climate Model Tuning in The Bulletin of American Meteorological Society (March 2017). However, this optimising of models to perform better on a particular metric related to specific goals is not how science should be done or how models should be evaluated according to Legates, (Heartland Conference, You Tube 2021). Legates adds that because the models are used like this, the response of temperature to CO2 is NOT based on physics. It is subjective with modellers choosing what they want to get the right output.

A doubling of CO2 does not double temperatures or cause temperatures to rise linearly because of the structure of the CO2 molecule which affects temperature logarithmically. There comes a point where adding more CO2 to the atmosphere has no more ‘warming power’ (Taylor 2010 p.42). The work of Jack Barrett at Imperial College, London, determined how much infrared radiation will be absorbed and transmitted at specific wavelengths and a doubling of CO₂, according to Dr Barrett’s calculations, will result in an increase of absorption by CO₂ of just 1.5%. This would suggest that the values in the IPCC General Circulation Models of between 2 – 5 degrees C are much too high.

Similar conclusions have been drawn by others with expertise in spectroscopy. Using an increase in atmospheric CO₂ concentration from 290 to 385 ppm between 1880 and 2010, Professor Laubereau and Hristo Iglev calculated a temperature rise attributable to CO₂ of about 0.26 °C. When the feedback effect of atmospheric water vapour was included, they concluded that CO₂ contributed somewhat less than 33% of its reported contribution to global warming.

The ECS not only depends upon a doubling of CO2 but relies on positive feedbacks to amplify an initial small temperature rise due to a doubling of CO2. That is to say, as temperatures rise due to increases in CO2  more water vapour will be produced and because this is a GHG, it will amplify the initial temperature rise. This is known as a positive feedback but it is unproven and indeed, Dr. Richard Lindzen has argued that more vapour in the atmosphere will lead to more clouds which can have a cooling effect.

The question then becomes how big are the positive and negative feedbacks? The IPCC calculates positive feedbacks to be 3xs but there is no scientific or theoretical basis for this assumption. It is only what is thrown up out of the models. However, there is huge uncertainty about negative feedbacks, particularly the role of clouds which is still not understood fully.

Climate models are the basis of the IPCC work but are unreliable in predicting future temperatures. Johnston 2010 cites research by Roe and Baker who show that high temperature increases are not an output of climate models but are in fact an input – a direct consequence of the assumption of a large positive feedback.

Tisdale (2015) cites the Summary for Policymakers 5th Assessment Report:  

No best estimate for equilibrium climate sensitivity can now be given because of a lack of agreement on values across assessed lines of evidence and studies. (IPCC  2013)

The ECS is the basis of the alarm that has swept the world but remember that if models cannot replicate earlier climates, they cannot predict future climates and cannot be verified and are therefore invalid and on these two factors the models fail.

The inadequacy of the models is also seen in discrepancies between them and observed temperatures, not least the hiatus or plateauing of temperatures after c.1998 until the present (2021). Many people will be surprised to hear that there has been no significant rise in global surface temperature for 20 years (until 2021) and this is not predicted in any model.

Discrepancies between models and observations was first raised with regard to temperatures in the tropical troposphere where due to the lapse rate (rate of cooling as moist air rises), according to the models, surface warming should be amplified in the troposphere and this is one of the ‘central empirically testable propositions generated by climate models’ (Johnston 2010 p.19).  However, no such rise in the tropical troposphere temperature has been observed and the IPCC has admitted that the reasons for this discrepancy are ‘elusive’ (IPCC 2013).

Another discrepancy is that computer models are also programmed to predict a constant water vapour relative humidity in the upper troposphere (8 –12 km) above the tropics as CO2 increases. Observations show that relative humidity in the upper troposphere above 8km has fallen by 9% since 1960 and this would mean the feedback effect on temperatures from a doubling of CO2 would be significantly less that the models predict.

The following graph from Dr John Christy and published on Dr. Roy Spencer’s website shows how wrong the models are.

Figure 4. 73 models versus satellite and weather balloon observations in the tropical mid-troposphere. Graph originally by Dr. John Christy. Published by Dr. Roy Spencer: http://www.drroyspencer.com/2013/06/still-epic-fail-73-climate-models-vs-measurements-running-5-year-means/

Dr. Roy Spencer noted:

Now in what universe do the above results not represent an epic failure for the models? I frankly don’t see how the IPCC can keep claiming that the models “are not inconsistent with” the observations. Any sane person can see otherwise.

In conclusion the basis of predictions of climate catastrophe are based on models with built in assumptions about feedbacks which have no scientific base. Models must be verified and validated against physical evidence. The ability of a model to recreate the late 20th C warming does not show us that the model has accurately measured feedbacks that will determine the ECS to increases in CO2 and their predictions are meaningless unless they are confirmed by physical evidence which has not yet been done. Further, it must be emphasised that there are no statistical links from official datasets that connect extreme weather and CO2 emissions or increases in the intensity or frequency of droughts, floods and hurricanes. Climate crisis? What climate crisis?


References

Johnston, J.S.  (2010) Global Warming Advocacy Science: a Cross Examination. Research Paper 10-08. Available at: http://ssrn.com/abstract=1612851

NOAA GFDL (2019) Transient and Equilibrium Climate Sensitivity. https://www.gfdl.noaa.gov/transient-and-equilibrium-climate-sensitivity/

Sangster, M. J. (2018) The Real Inconvenient Truth. Its warming but it’s not CO2. Printed in the USA

Spencer, R. (2013) STILL Epic Fail: 73 Climate Models vs. Measurements, Running 5-Year Means http://www.drroyspencer.com/2013/06/still-epic-fail-73-climate-models-vs-measurements-running-5-year-means/

Taylor, P.  (2009) Chill. A reassessment of global warming theory. Clairview Books, East Sussex

Tisdale, B. (2015) On Global Warming and the Illusion of Control. Part 1. Advance Pre- Edit Copy.

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Tom.1
March 9, 2022 11:11 am

Well done David. Thank you. I think the contest winners are proving to be some of the best posts I have seen in a while.

Nelson
March 9, 2022 11:16 am

Why people use the Hadcrut4 adjusted temperatures is beyond me. Anyone who believes 1921 was cooler than the 70s doesn’t know much about world history. !921 was hot in Europe, the US, and China according to historic records.

DiggerUK
Reply to  Nelson
March 9, 2022 11:54 am

The 1970’s was the coolest decade ever.
I know its true, I lived through it…_

Tom Abbott
Reply to  DiggerUK
March 9, 2022 6:04 pm

The U.S. chart above shows the cold.

Tom Abbott
Reply to  Tom Abbott
March 10, 2022 6:28 am

Below, now.

Mike
Reply to  Nelson
March 9, 2022 3:35 pm

Yep, it’s utter fantasy. People use it because they have seen it so often they believe it to be accurate. – Conditioning.
1960 and 2000 were the same temperature globally.

Tom Abbott
Reply to  Nelson
March 9, 2022 5:55 pm

“Why people use the Hadcrut4 adjusted temperatures is beyond me.”

Me, too.

Any chart that doesn’t show the Early Twentieth Century warmings as being as warm as today is a distortion of the temperature record.

HadCRUT4 is a bogus, bastardized, instrument-era Hockey Stick chart that does not represent reality. If your computer model successfully hindcasts HadCRUT4 then your model is on the wrong track. It is hindcasting science fiction.

Note that the HadCRUT4 chart (Figure 1) shows the 1880’s and the 1930’s as being equally warm.

A true representation of the temperature record would put the 1880’s, the 1930’s, 1998, and 2016 all on the same horizontal line on the chart. They were all equally warm. That means we are not experiencing unprecedented warming today even though there is much more CO2 in the atmosphere today than in the past. This means CO2 is a minor player in the Earth’s climate and does not require government regulation.

Here’s the real temperature profile of the Earth (Hansen 1999):

comment image

The 1880’s and the 1930’s were just as warm as today. CO2 additions to the atmosphere added no increase in temperatures.

Last edited 3 months ago by Tom Abbott
Burl Henry
Reply to  Nelson
March 9, 2022 6:18 pm

Nelson:

You are correct that 1921 was hot in a band from the US to Europe to China in 1921, but the 1921 Hadcrut5 average anomalous Jan-Dec global temperatures were (-) 0.24 deg. C for 1921, and (-) .085 for 1970, making 1921 cooler, on average, than 1970.

The reason for the high temperatures areas in 1921.was that there had been no VEI4, or higher, volcanic eruptions in the 5-year period between 1919 and 1924, and temperatures always rise after 2-3 years with no such eruptions. This is because their dimming SO2 aerosols have settled out of the atmosphere, cleansing it enough to increase temperatures..

Really no reason not to use the Hadcrut data set, their adjustments are not as extreme as NASA/GISS.

March 9, 2022 11:23 am

“…IPCC can keep claiming that the models “are not consistent with” the observations. Any sane person can see otherwise. ”

Remove the word ‘not’?

JonasM
Reply to  Wayne Raymond
March 9, 2022 11:52 am

The actual quote should be:
models are “not inconsistent with” the observations.

Janice Moore
Reply to  JonasM
March 9, 2022 3:31 pm

Suggestion: edit as Wayne Raymond suggested, i.e., leave out “not.”

A double negative is much less readable than simply leaving out the “not.” Unless there is a need for hair-splitting precision, double negatives are usually simply confusing/irritating/unwise.

John Francid
Reply to  Wayne Raymond
March 9, 2022 3:50 pm

The sentence in the paper completely destroys its thesis, but how unfortunate a typing or copying error.

Tom Halla
March 9, 2022 11:48 am

Nice review.

DiggerUK
March 9, 2022 11:52 am

The idea of a climate catastrophe isn’t all that scary when you realise that a nuclear war doesn’t give us long anyway…_

Eric Vieira
March 9, 2022 12:14 pm

One can also add that since the IR absorption of water vapor is highly saturated (as with CO2, see Happer & Wijngarten) any “feedback” mechanism involving water vapor increase would not lead to any significant increase of IR absorption, and thus to only minor increases in temperature.

Tom.1
Reply to  Eric Vieira
March 9, 2022 1:58 pm

I might depend on what the feedback mechanism is, but IMO, the idea of a climate with feedbacks lying in the weeds waiting to get triggered does not make much sense. A feedback does no care what the change is that puts it into action; it just acts. If the feedbacks were waiting to happen, they would have happened before now.

David Dibbell
March 9, 2022 1:07 pm

Good summary of reasons to reject the crisis claims. Thank you.

“The ability of a model to recreate the late 20th C warming does not show us that the model has accurately measured feedbacks that will determine the ECS to increases in CO2 and their predictions are meaningless unless they are confirmed by physical evidence which has not yet been done.”

In my sense of the issues with models, there will never be a “confirmed by physical evidence” moment for the large-grid, discrete-layer, step-iterated, parameter-tuned simulations. The obvious differences to how the real atmosphere operates (e.g. no directly-computed thunderstorms) are sufficient to disqualify them as having any diagnostic or predictive authority in respect to GHG concentration or emissions. Pat Frank has shown this formally, beginning with cloud fraction error, and one can conceptually see the critical problem with iterative computation – the buildup of uncertainty from any and all of the modeled processes. Performing tuning trials to achieve stability, then applying a set of conditions to produce “forcings,” simply predetermines the outcome.

It’s like a doctor examining me with different colored spectacles until he finds a pair he likes, and says, “You look feverish to me.” Even if I did have an elevated temperature, what good was his diagnosis?

Last edited 3 months ago by David Dibbell
billtoo
March 9, 2022 1:17 pm

uh, yeah. the malthusians control the levers of power

Doc Chuck
March 9, 2022 1:49 pm

Let me get this straight —- the mere prospect of an increase of a degree or two in temperature averaged across our entire world without reference to whether the averaging truly reflects prolonged elevation of daily high temperatures themselves rather than conceals beneficially moderated daily lows instead, and furthermore comes on the heels of several earlier rather colder centuries experienced in the northern hemisphere constitutes a momentous freak-out demanding the boundless expenditure of treasure and restricted personal freedoms for remediable measures that are themselves of questionable efficacy. I get it! Just another instance of innumerate human floundering throughout all our history.

Rud Istvan
March 9, 2022 2:14 pm

Nice essay. I appreciate the significant degree of ‘local sourcing’.

Izaak Walton
Reply to  Rud Istvan
March 9, 2022 8:03 pm

Isn’t that called “preaching to the choir”. Telling people what they want to hear in their own words might flatter the audience but is unlikely to lead to sound arguments.

Tom.1
Reply to  Izaak Walton
March 10, 2022 5:46 am

There is a fair amount of “preaching to the choir”, but just because you are does not mean that what you are preaching isn’t true. That said, there is way too much of it that is either not true or totally lacking in substance.

Steve Case
March 9, 2022 2:36 pm

 “…although CO2 is a greenhouse gas (GHG) and does cause a modest amount of warming in the atmosphere.”

“So, what is the alarm?”
_______________________________________________________________

So how much is that? If you’re going to convince people that you’re painting truthful picture, you need to pony up to bar and say what that modest amount is.

Some time back, someone here at Watts Up With That pointed out that the alarm is false on it’s face because a warmer world with more greening caused by CO2 is mostly a good thing. Referring to the of the various optimum warm periods on that graph above, it should be pointed out that there’s good reason they are called optimums.
________________________________________________________________

If there’s one thing that Catastrophic Anthropogenic Global Warming is, it is that it is propaganda and shows all the signs of being exactly that. There’s a lot to choose from: Unsupported media headlines & stories, misdirection, cherry picking, rewriting historical data, marginalizing opposing viewpoints, erasing unfavorable data, creating expensive one sided government web pages, one sided curriculum in public schools, the ridiculous annual COP meetings. It’s a long list of transgressions, and it needs to be pointed out.

An essay with footnotes and quotes from PhDs most people never heard of makes one’s eyes glaze over, and an essay really isn’t enough. A good readable book with lots of chapters on everything . . .

OK, enough rambling and yeah, I know the mice wanted to bell the cat.

Jeff Alberts
Reply to  Steve Case
March 9, 2022 4:40 pm

Unsupported media headlines & stories”

Come on man. Media headlines and stories are supported by other media headlines and stories. It’s like a media centipede: Each media outlet has its collective head up another media outlet’s hindquarters.

Matt Kiro
March 9, 2022 2:55 pm

Very nicely written and presented.

“Nor is there any empirical evidence to link CO2 emissions to increased temperatures, although CO2 is a greenhouse gas (GHG) and does cause a modest amount of warming in the atmosphere.”

I would say however that CO2 does not lead to increased maximum temperatures, however it does slow down cooling at night, which seems to be where the average temperature change is coming from.

leitmotif
March 9, 2022 3:42 pm

Nor is there any empirical evidence to link CO2 emissions to increased temperatures, although CO2 is a greenhouse gas (GHG) and does cause a modest amount of warming in the atmosphere.

Bit of a contradiction there.

so no empirical evidence to link CO2 emissions to increased temperatures – true

but does cause a modest amount of warming in the atmosphere – no empirical evidence

Whilst no body disagrees with the basic premise of CO2 warming, there are questions to be asked about the sensitivity – so not empirical evidence for atmospheric warming so let’s go on to another evidence free hypothesis, the ECS

There comes a point where adding more CO2 to the atmosphere has no more ‘warming power’ – so CO2 gets a break?

Nice little lukewarmist essay.

You’ve done your bit to keep the debate going on how much warming CO2 contributes to.

The difference between lukewarmists and warmist alarmists is basically the alarmist bit.

The similarity is that they are both wrong.

Graham
Reply to  leitmotif
March 9, 2022 6:42 pm

I take issue with you.leimotif.
You cannot argue that CO2 is not a green house gas .
CO2 and other very minor gasses such as methane are green house gases .
The whole argument is about further warming from increases of these gasses in the atmosphere or positive feed backs .
It is a scientific fact that the effect of CO2 on temperature is logarithmic and that has been understood for over 100 years .
Any further warming will be minor or non existent as the wave lengths are all but saturated .
As for positive feedback’s they have never been proven to exist and the theory of global warming depends on the tropical hotspot which has never been found .
Any one who follows WUWT can soon come realize that this so called crisis was dreamed up by UN politicians to change the worlds governments to socialism .
Of course a lot of useful idiots have swallowed the constant propaganda that climate change is real and the end of the world is near if and when runaway warming takes over .
Climate change is the biggest scam ever attempted , the worlds population has to wake up and say NO MORE.

Izaak Walton
Reply to  Graham
March 9, 2022 9:38 pm

Graham,
Just the other day W. Happer posted here an article claiming that a doubling of CO2 is likely to increase the temperature by between 2.2 and 2.6 degrees depending on assumptions you make about the change in humidity. Which is hardly “minor or non existent”. Have a look at
https://wattsupwiththat.com/2022/03/07/infrared-forcing-by-greenhouse-gases/

I would be curious to see your rebuttal to his paper.

leitmotif
Reply to  Graham
March 10, 2022 5:32 am

You cannot argue that CO2 is not a green house gas.

I didn’t say it wasn’t. I didn’t query that part of the sentence only its conclusion.

It is a scientific fact that the effect of CO2 on temperature is logarithmic and that has been understood for over 100 years .

No it isn’t.

Any further warming will be minor or non existent as the wave lengths are all but saturated .

No evidence for that.

As for the rest of your post, I agree.

That’s why I called the article a nice little lukewarmist essay.

Did you miss my point?

mkelly
Reply to  Graham
March 10, 2022 5:51 am

Graham fights a straw man. Leif never said CO2 was not a greenhouse gas. He did point out contradictions by the author.

The author says there is NO evidence that CO2 causes temperature increase. You say that it is scientific fact that CO2 has an effect on temperature.

So to me the real question has to do with whether you or the author is correct. Your argument is with author not Leif.

You should provide us with your evidence.

Mike
Reply to  leitmotif
March 10, 2022 3:20 am

I agree with all that except for.. ”The similarity is that they are both wrong.”
There is no empirical evidence showing they are both wrong…nor that one is right.
Therefore, to conclude ”co2 emissions have lead to increased temperatures” is a leap of faith. Faith in the mathematics. We all know that the math is only as good as the understanding of all the mechanisms involved. The understanding of all the mechanisms involved is not understood. Regardless of the claims.
At this point, isn’t science supposed to say ”this is what we think” but also ”we don’t really know? In the end, climate change from AGW is based on not much more than feelings.

leitmotif
Reply to  Mike
March 10, 2022 5:36 am

There is no empirical evidence showing they are both wrong…nor that one is right.

It is nobody’s responsibility to provide evidence that they are both wrong.

It is, however, for anybody who claims either to be true to provide evidence for that claim.

So far nobody has.

Burl Henry
Reply to  leitmotif
March 10, 2022 11:41 am

Burl Henry:

Read “Climate Change Deciphered” for evidence that they are both wrong

https://Osf.io/j27rp

Janice Moore
March 9, 2022 4:08 pm

Again, congratulations, David Hammond.

Your graphics were well-chosen: accurate, high-quality, and persuasive.

Jeff Alberts
March 9, 2022 4:33 pm

We can see from the graph below that the only correlation between the CO2 and temperature is between c.1975 and 2000.”

Any graph that presents a single line, purportedly representing “global temperature”, doesn’t convince me of anything.

Allen Stoner
March 9, 2022 7:45 pm

I think there is a cooling effect from CO2. It spreads the heat around the global atmosphere and causes more radiation to exit to space than would otherwise escape. There is ALWAYS a greater exposure to space than there is to the ground for random photons to be released towards as the earth is curved.

griff
March 10, 2022 1:11 am

Is there really a climate crisis? YES!

do I get a prize in the scientific accuracy section?

leitmotif
Reply to  griff
March 10, 2022 5:38 am

do I get a prize in the scientific accuracy section?

If this were the Guardian, griff, you would have won first prize.

Tom Abbott
Reply to  griff
March 10, 2022 6:37 am

“do I get a prize in the scientific accuracy section?”

No, but that unsubstantiated assertion about a climate crisis makes you eligible for the unsubstantiated speculation and assertion prize.

Reply to  griff
March 10, 2022 9:07 am

Is there really a climate crisis? YES!

Well, then, prove it. Present your best evidence in an essay submission to WUWT, and be especially sure to explain how you prove PhD-level climatologists / atmospheric physicists and other experts on topics related to the issue are not only wrong, but are paid industry money to spread information they know is wrong.

Don’t be all show and no go on this matter, stand and deliver.

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