The Global Emissions Experiment: A 33-Year Audit

The Global Emissions Experiment: A 33-Year Audit

By Christopher Monckton of Brenchley

Almost a third of a century has passed since IPCC issued its First Assessment Report in 1990. How, then, have the excitable predictions of the profiteers of doom panned out during the 33-year experiment in ever-increasing emissions of CO2 and other greenhouse gases? Here is a brief audit of that continuing experiment.

First, how much global warming did IPCC predict in 1990? Its predictions were grouped under four emissions scenarios A-D. The anthropogenic forcings from 1990-2020 predicted under emissions scenario B in Fig. 2.4B of IPCC (1990) are very nearly identical to the forcings in Fig. A.15,in which IPCC assumed that annual anthropogenic emissions in each year from 1991-2020 would be equal to emissions in the year 1990:

In reality, however, anthropogenic emissions rose from 1991-2020 in line with IPCC’s CO2 prediction for the business-as-usual emissions Scenario A, which is, therefore, the scenario closest to outturn.

Emissions rose very sharply from 32.5 billion tonnes CO2 equivalent in 1990 to almost 50 btCO2e in 2019, as the global-emissions graph from Our World in Data shows:

Accordingly, scenario A, the business-as-usual scenario, is what has transpired since 1990. The reason is that some 70% of new emissions are arising in Paris-exempt developing countries (such as China and India):

 IPCC (1990) predicted about 1.9 W m–2 anthropogenic forcing on Scenario A, but little more than 1 W m–2 has occurred in the 33 years since the prediction was made.

Here is a facsimile IPCC’s Scenario A global warming prediction made in 1990. Note in particular that the emissions scenarios are just that – emissions scenarios. Note also that IPCC made a prediction and not a projection.

However, since the observed 1 W m–2 forcing was little more than half the 1.9 W m–2 predicted by IPCC (1990) for emissions under Scenario A, the 0.13 K decade–1 warming rate since 1990 (UAH) was well below half the 0.3 K decade–1 midrange decadal warming rate predicted under Scenario A.

To summarize: IPCC correctly predicted the business-as-usual emissions in Scenario A, but predicted almost twice as much consequent anthropogenic radiative forcing as has occurred since 1990, and more than twice as much decadal warming as has occurred since.

IPCC’s original Scenario A prediction provides a useful rule of thumb: predicted equilibrium doubled-CO2 sensitivity ECS (the standard metric for climate-sensitivity studies) is ten times the predicted decadal warming rate: 3 K ECS against 0.3 K/decade. Let us call this rule of thumb the tenfold rule.

Given the factor-2 excesses of predicted forcing and predicted warming compared with outturn since 1990, a scientific (as opposed to merely political) body could, should and would have reduced its ECS prediction in line with observation. Following the tenfold rule, instead of predicting 0.3 [0.2, 0.5] K decade–1 warming and consequently 3 [2, 5] K ECS, IPCC should now be predicting 0.13 K decade–1 warming and consequently 1.3 K ECS.

As I showed in a recent posting, Monte Carlo distribution based on mainstream values for the five variables informing the energy-budget method, which depends far less on models than IPCC’s method, indeed indicates 1.3 K midrange ECS, cohering with observed warming.

The first question arising is how climate scientists could have been so wrong in their predictions of the forcing arising from the business-as-usual emissions that have occurred since 1990, and in their predictions of the consequent global warming.

The second question arising is why, faced with the plain evidence set out here to the effect that the original predictions were grossly exaggerated, IPCC persists to this day in following the tenfold rule as applied to its 1990 prediction, in that it continues to predict 3 [2, 5] K ECS, in line with its 0.3 [0.2, 0.5] K decade–1 business-as-usual prediction in 1990 for medium-term warming in the following decades.

The third question arising is why, given the above proof of the disastrous and costly failure of climatology’s original predictions, the models on which IPCC relies continue to predict even larger warming even than IPCC. The CMIP6 models predict 3.9 K midrange ECS, exactly thrice the rate they should predict in accordance with the tenfold rule.

The direct warming that the models predict in response to doubled CO2 is just 1.2-1.3 K, which is consistent with the observed 0.13 K/decade warming. However, the models multiply that direct warming, or reference sensitivity, by about 3 to allow for temperature feedback, chiefly from more water vapor in warmer air. But, as Professor Lindzen says in his recent interview with Jordan Peterson (watch it now before the climate Communists in control of YouTube censor it), the le Chatellier principle would lead us to expect that under anything like modern conditions feedbacks would be more or less self-canceling.

Any rational government, on conducting a similar audit, would conclude that the original fears of rapid and catastrophic global warming have proven entirely groundless, and that, given the plummeting annual death rate from weather-related events, the mild warming we may well continue to cause will continue to be as net-beneficial as it has been until now. There is certainly no conceivable justification, on the evidence that has accumulated since 1990, for any action whatsoever to mitigate future global warming. There will not be enough of it to do anything but good.

Mathematical footnote

It is interesting to derive the interval of absolute feedback strength Λ2 implicit in the projected ECS ΔE1 on 3 [2, 5] K; doubled-CO2 forcing ΔQ1 on 3.93 [3.46, 4.4] K; and Planck parameter P on 3.22 [3.4, 3.0] W m–2 K–1 (IPCC 2021).

Where (1) gives doubled-CO2 feedback response ΔB1, and where (2) gives the total feedback response B2 following a doubled-CO2-equivalent forcing compared with 1850 given the fraction H2 of equilibrium temperature represented by B2, (3) gives the absolute feedback strength Λ2, here derived by Monte Carlo distribution from IPCC’s intervals of ΔE1, ΔQ1, P, starting with the 287.5 K global mean surface temperature in 1850 (HadCRUT4) and the 20 K total feedback response B1 in that year.

One final question arising. Does anyone seriously imagine that a feedback-strength interval as narrow as just 0.05 W m–2 K–1 can be reliably diagnosed from the outputs of the general-circulation models? All attempts at deriving ECS by feedback analysis, including all attempts at diagnosing feedback strengths and consequently ECS from models’ outputs, are doomed to failure, since the underlying data are far too uncertain.

That is why the energy-budget method, which is not dependent upon feedback analysis, is prefereable. However, in paper after paper it shows a far lower ECS than the models do – indeed, an ECS so low as to be, on any view, harmless to humanity and to the planet.

Is there not one single Western government scientifically literate and politically courageous enough to face down the climate Communists and to reject in toto and latae sententiae the egregiously exaggerated claims and manifestly bogus mathematics of the screeching profiteers of doom?

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Alastair Brickell
January 10, 2023 10:23 am

A very interesting summary. I did not realise that Russia was exempt from the Paris agreement…how did that happen???

Reply to  Alastair Brickell
January 11, 2023 8:09 am

Everybody is exempt
It is a voluntary agreement
and I think the US is the only nation meeting its target (or at least had been) so far, from using less coal and more natural gas.

January 10, 2023 10:25 am

“Is there not one single Western government scientifically literate and politically courageous enough to face down the climate Communists”

The Western governments accompanied by the main stream media are part and parcel of the climate communists.

Ron Long
Reply to  Ron
January 10, 2023 12:04 pm

Ron, here’s another aspect of the driver for continuing bad behavior, in extremely corrupt countries the problem is that more people want to participate in corruption than want to stop it. the whole CAGW, Carbon Credits, Paris Exemptions, etc, nonsense is because a majority of idiots support the whole scenario (and benefactors donate dark money to help along the idea).

Reply to  Ron
January 10, 2023 12:42 pm

“We’ve arranged a global civilization in which most crucial elements profoundly depend on science and technology. We have also arranged things so that almost no one understands science and technology. This is a prescription for disaster. We might get away with it for a while, but sooner or later this combustible mixture of ignorance and power is going to blow up in our faces.” – Carl Sagan

Reply to  sskinner
January 11, 2023 8:15 am

People have been living with global warming since 1975 — that’s their whole life if they are under age 48. If they have not yet realized that global warming is beneficial, not harmful, they never will. You don’t have to be a scientist to observe the climate you live in.

Reply to  Ron
January 11, 2023 8:12 am

Several western governments ARE the climate communists.
The actual communist governments could not care less about Nut Zero.

Almost every government is not meeting Paris (or Nut Zero) targets and
CO2 emissions are rising faster than ever. It seems like COP parties and climate agreements CAUSE faster CO2 emissions!

January 10, 2023 10:42 am

They’ve had 30 years to say something about the widening discrepancy

Result? An interview with Ehrlich – and few are more wrong than he is

January 10, 2023 10:47 am

Thank you for the post, Christopher.


PS: But you caused me to look up a Latin term: latae sententiae. I haven’t had to deal with Latin since the early 1960s. Sheesh!

Monckton of Brenchley
Reply to  Bob Tisdale
January 10, 2023 12:22 pm

Bob, – How very kind you are. It’s worth keeping Latin alive: it’s a strictly logical and economical language that encourages rigorous thinking.

John Hultquist
Reply to  Monckton of Brenchley
January 10, 2023 1:27 pm

My Latin came from a nun with a wooden ruler.

Reply to  John Hultquist
January 10, 2023 1:44 pm

A ruler? Only a ruler, John?

At the grammar school I went attended, Sister Mary Corporal Punishment had a yardstick.


Bryan A
Reply to  Bob Tisdale
January 10, 2023 2:50 pm

I’ve learned the hard way that Corporal Punishment can be a Major Pain in your Private Parts

Keith Woollard
Reply to  Monckton of Brenchley
January 10, 2023 4:34 pm

My high school discontinued geology because only three people enrolled, but allowed Latin with two. I learnt most of my Latin from “Life of Brian”

January 10, 2023 10:48 am

Activist government employee fired after disrupting the AGU December meeting.

misused government resources by engaging in a personal activity”

An important precedent.

David Dibbell
Reply to  JCM
January 10, 2023 11:07 am

Wow, that is good news for the citizens. (Abramoff being let go.)
Just went to Twitter to read Peter Kalmus’ tweet about this. So far, it appears he is still employed.

Last edited 2 months ago by David Dibbell
CD in Wisconsin
January 10, 2023 11:06 am

“Is there not one single Western government scientifically literate and politically courageous enough to face down the climate Communists and to reject in toto and latae sententiae the egregiously exaggerated claims and manifestly bogus mathematics of the screeching profiteers of doom?”


At present, it appears that there is not. If there is one somewhere on the horizon, I would like to know who it is. Judging from his first term in office, I don’t know if Trump is.

Joe Gordon
Reply to  CD in Wisconsin
January 10, 2023 12:44 pm

Trump has the attention span of a chipmunk, unfortunately. I don’t know what it will take to find someone with both Trump’s ability to laugh at the Cheerleaders for the Climate Apocalypse and the ability to calmly look at this issue and lead.

So, no, we have to wait until Germany or the UK (or both) is so heavily crushed by economic failure that even the EU second-guesses the unelected communist leaders in Brussels – and if it’s the UK, they’ll probably blame it on Brexit, so Germany it is.

In the meantime, prepare for expensive utilities and less reliable energy.

Fifty years from now, we’ll be talking about the great Chinese automakers: BMW, Volkswagen and Daimler.

Reply to  Joe Gordon
January 11, 2023 8:17 am

“Trump has the attention span of a chipmunk, “

Funniest line in my first three hours of reading today !

January 10, 2023 11:40 am

Any rational government..

Which one is that?

Reply to  dk_
January 11, 2023 10:57 am

The government of Kramolia
Led by the Grand High Exalted Mystic Ruler:
Ralph Kramden


It doesnot add up
January 10, 2023 12:10 pm

Story tip

The Ozone hole is getting bigger, but it’s really getting smaller and that means we can and must pursue climate change measures…

Natural weather patterns in the Antarctic also affect ozone hole levels, which peak in the fall. And the past couple years, the holes have been a bit bigger because of that but the overall trend is one of healing, Newman said.

“Ozone action sets a precedent for climate action. Our success in phasing out ozone-eating chemicals shows us what can and must be done—as a matter of urgency—to transition away from fossil fuels, reduce greenhouse gases and so limit temperature increase,” World Meteorological Organization Secretary-General Prof. Petteri Taalas said in a statement.

Executive summary:

Note: no references to the underlying work are offered – just a list of authors who comprise a large gravy train.

Reality: There was an anomalously low hole in 2019, since when hole sizes seem to have returned to the level of the past 20 years.

comment image

It doesnot add up
Reply to  It doesnot add up
January 10, 2023 2:03 pm

Not sure why this should attract downvotes. The point is that the UN is pushing out an overtly false narrative to try to support the climate change agenda. Par for the course. And equally unrealistic.

Reply to  It doesnot add up
January 10, 2023 7:17 pm

It looks like the top half of a sinusoidal oscillation. In my opinion, the whole thing is just a natural grow/shrink business. Nothing to do with human emissions at all, but a practice run for the largest scam in scientific history.

It doesnot add up
Reply to  Hivemind
January 11, 2023 3:00 am

The chart ends at 2020, since when “the past couple of years have been a bit bigger”. There is probably a reason why they were omitted from the chart.

Reply to  It doesnot add up
January 11, 2023 10:58 am

The ozone hole killed my dog !

January 10, 2023 12:21 pm

On the chart showing deaths from weather v natural causes, why isn’t there a prominent rise following the 2004 Indian Ocean tsunami?

I would have thought that 200+ thousand deaths would have raised that curve a little more than shown.

Reply to  Eng_Ian
January 10, 2023 2:25 pm

The deaths are decadal averages. The hump to about 50k between 2000 and 2018 would reflect the 220 to 300k lost to the Indian Ocean 2004 tsunami.

Reply to  RickWill
January 10, 2023 4:18 pm

Thanks for that, do you know what caused the rise in the late 70’s? Seems to be a slightly higher magnitude than the early 2000’s.

AGW is Not Science
January 10, 2023 12:48 pm

Annual WEATHER related deaths!

PLEASE stop feeding their nonsense!

Floods, droughts, hurricanes, tornadoes, wildfires, etc. are WEATHER related. THEY ARE NOT “climate events.”

January 10, 2023 1:45 pm

anthropogenic forcing on Scenario A, but little more than 1 W m–2 has occurred in the 33 years since the prediction was made.

Do you understand how this value of 1W/m^2 was arrived at? Before you repeat such nonsense from the IPCC you should do some investigation. It has nothing to do with CO2 or burning fossil fuels

The imbalance is derived from the temperature measurements taken in the deep oceans. That is how the net flux measurement is calibrated. The problem is that nothing happens in the deep oceans inside hundreds of years due to surface radiation imbalance.

The linked paper gives an idea of the transit times for deep ocean heat transport:

The mean transit times Γfrom the North Atlantic surface into the PSZ are about 1700 years, roughly 300 years older than the mean transit time from the North Atlantic into the PAZ, which underscores the fact that (as quantified below) roughly half the water last ventilated in the North Atlantic that enters the PSZ does so by diffusing up into the PSZ while traversing the PAZ. By the same token, the mean transit time from the Antarctic margin, where AABW forms, to the PAZ is around 1100 years, but to the PSZ it is 1400–1500 years. Mode/intermediate waters from the subpolar Southern Ocean reach the mid-depth PSZ on average in 1000–1200 years, which is roughly 200–400 years more quickly than their mean transit into the deeper PAZ (Fig. 3g, i). There is less geographic variation in the mean interior-to-surface transit times Γ

Heat being retained in deep oceans over decades can only be due to changes in evaporation. MORE heat retained means LESS evaporation from less heat uptake. This is a consequence of the water cycle slowing down, on average, as evidenced by the reduced runoff from land.

The most significant increase in temperature anywhere on Earth is occurring on the Greenland Plateau in winter. This has northing to do with CO2. By contrast the Antarctic plateau is actually cooling. Again this has nothing to do with CO2.

Richard M
January 10, 2023 4:06 pm

The UAH global temperature has risen from 0.04 C in December 1990 to 0.05 C in December of 2022. Doesn’t look like much of a problem.

When you use radiation model output you miss how the rest of the atmosphere influences the temperature. There is zero radiative forcing because it is all snuffed out by boundary layer feedback and internal atmospheric processes.

Last edited 2 months ago by Richard M
Reply to  Richard M
January 10, 2023 5:34 pm

When you use radiation model output you miss how the rest of the atmosphere influences the temperature. 

I agree with the general observation but this statement is too kind. These silly radiation models only exist in climate phiisics. More accurately stated:
“when you use radiation models you ignore the real world”. Such things as “greenhouse effect” altering the energy balance only exist in a fantasy world.

Gary Pearse
January 10, 2023 5:58 pm

I hope someone is working on tallying “Climate-Policy-Caused-Deaths”. It won’t be reported on by the perps – heads of state, UN, WEF, universities, the world’s Institutions or and mass media…

Globally, from the middle class down everyone is a victim of the perpetrators of the brutal combination of rampant inflation in prices of essentials like food and fuel and rapidly shrinking disposable income to pay for it. This is NOT the “too many dollars chasing too few goods” type of inflation. I fear the toll in lives lost will challenge those of 20th century “Gov Policy” casualties.

I fear also that it will happen in silence. We know that the climate and covid spinsters spun the ‘data’ they wanted you to see. Two thirds of Sri Lanka’s 22 million are hungry. The perps are spinning stories of Sri Lankan corruption as the cause, eventhough the cause was reported in advance at UN’s Glasgow climate show as a climate policy initiative.

January 10, 2023 6:35 pm

“Is there not one single Western government scientifically literate and politically courageous enough to face down the climate Communists”


January 10, 2023 6:40 pm

however, anthropogenic emissions rose from 1991-2020 in line with IPCC’s CO2 prediction for the business-as-usual emissions Scenario A, which is, therefore, the scenario closest to outturn.”

As I told you when you posted this before it isn’t true.
CO2 is below Scenario A, methane is more like Scenario C, N2O is closest to B, and CFCs are about D.

Monckton of Brenchley
Reply to  Phil.
January 10, 2023 8:57 pm

The article explains why Scenario A is closest to what has occurred. Read it before parading your sullen prejudice.

Reply to  Phil.
January 11, 2023 8:19 am

Give me four guesses and I can predict the future climate too !

Last edited 2 months ago by Richard Greene
January 10, 2023 9:21 pm

The IPCC is a political organization created to scare people about the future climate. The IPCC does not do this for scientific reasons

They use models programmed to generally match the ECS predicted in the 1979 Charney Report. A few years ago they arbitrarily changed the Charney ECS wild guess, eliminating the lowest ECS (+1.5 degrees C.) of the range — the only ECS that seemed within reason (as the upper end of a guessed ECS range)

The deaths from climate chart is irrelevant
A small change in the climate since 1850 could only be a minor explanation for the decline. That chart is a false argument.

I usually get annoyed when Monckton says “climate Communist”, because it is a distraction from the science. In this article, there was not much science, so I wanted more about the politics of climate scaremngering.

The “science” in this article is this:
— The IPCC tries to scare people about the future climate by making scary climate predictions that are always wrong (since 1988). Those predictions are made by scientists, paid by governments to make scary predictions, but those predictions are not based on science.

I think Monckton could write a great article on how climate scaremongering is used to create fear, and that fear is used by politicians and bureaucrats to increase their power over the private sector. Sounds like slow motion communism to me.

There is no need to mention science in such a political article. Because always wrong wild guesses of the future climate are NOT science. Wrong predictions are never science. But wrong predictions ARE the climate change movement. That’s all they have” A fake climate crisis that they have not let go to waste in their effort for fundamental transformation to fascism (already here), eventually to the last stop of Marxism (aka The Twilight Zone).

Reply to  Richard Greene
January 10, 2023 9:30 pm

If any of you are interested, I will soon have five books for sale on climate change. They will hopefully make me rich and famous. I am already lighting my cigars with one-dollar bills. Someday I hope to be using twenty-dollar bills to light better cigars. That’s what rich people do with their extra money.

There’s money to be made from climate change, and I want a piece of the action. Why should leftists make all the money from the climate change hoax? We conservatives should get our share. “Scientist say” is a good start for a book title — leftists will believe ANYTHING that follows “Scientists say”.

These are the titles of my five upcoming books:

(1) Scientists say climate change will kill your dog !

(2) How to fight climate change by living in your car trunk

(3) The myth that Mothers in Law can not be harmed by climate change.

(4) How to make a really scary climate prediction, and not burst out laughing

(5) How to increase the range of your electric vehicle by mounting a large sail on the roof

Last edited 2 months ago by Richard Greene
Tim Gorman
Reply to  Richard Greene
January 12, 2023 6:43 am

Fear, uncertainty, doubt – FUD

Modern usage was pushed by IBM marketing to keep customers from going to other platforms like DEC and Amdahl.

It’s a well-known tactic used as far back as the 17th century at least.

It’s always been used to gain and retain power. That’s what it is being used for today.

Joe Born
January 11, 2023 4:02 am

I had wondered what the shelf life would be of Anthony Watts’ promise that “this will be the very last posting on [temperature feedback] from [Joe Born or Christopher Monckton].”

The “mathematical footnote” and “one final question” above repeats in different notation an error to which this site has dedicated something like twenty head posts.

Before the reader allows himself to be taken in he may want to consider my Refutation of the Forgotten-Sunshine Theory and in particular its “The Third Row” and “Not Very Nonlinear” sections.

January 13, 2023 10:06 pm

How do the bad scenarios exist? Simple.

When faced with a multi variable problem, in which X leads to Y and Y to Z, butX, Y and Z are determined by different actors, each variable has a recognized positive and negative possible range. Which do you choose? If you are proposing a profit producing project, you look to the upside of profit and downside of cost. Maybe there are 5 such variables. Each actor is keen on the project’s potential, but doesn’t want to be too optimistic: 10% optimistic is good. So profits are up 10% on source price, concentrate price and market price, while 10% low on extraction, concentration and marketing costs. Your cprojected costs are now 73% of what they actually turn out to be, and revenues 33% more than they turn out to be. Your project is now easily 50% less profitable, or not profitable at all. Like wind and solar projects

But nobody was “unreasonable”. They were just optimistic and keen for something good to happen.

Climate change: the assumption for all of the researchers is humans are doing bad things that will lead to worse things. [IPCC prediction!] Any uncertainty they make will goes to the worst, because nobody wants to make a mistake and the planet dies.

So each possibility is erred on the worse side. More CO2 IR absorption. More H2O feedback. Less CO2 removal in the oceans, labd or plant growth. Less cloud effects. Whatever mitigates disaster is weighed less because nobody wants to misread a disaster approaching.

But nobody was unreasonable. They were just pessimistic and worried about something bad that might happen.

So the climate researchers end up with predictions of disasters that don’t come. Like profits that wind and solar farms don’t bring.

BTW I saw it over decades of projects in my profession . The smarter managers applied negative fudge factors of 40% just to approve a project. Those companies worked. Later, it was the salesmen and stockbroker managers who took them at face value. Those companies failed (but the executives bailed early and got rich, like AL Gore …)

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