Doomed Planet

Relax, We’ve Already Seen the Worst of Global Warming

A friend of mine, Geoff Hogbin (Free to Shop, CIS, 1983), made an incisive throwaway comment some time back which has stuck with me. How would the climate models do he said, sceptically, if they were required to perform across data from the end of the Industrial Revolution; from say the mid-nineteenth century. Of course, there is a data problem. Or I imagine that there is.

The official atmospheric concentration of CO2 measured at Mount Mauna Loa in Hawaii goes back only to 1958. HADCRUT temperature data on a global scale goes back to 1850 but you have to ask how consistent are the temperatures recorded in the 1850s with those in the last ten, twenty and fifty years? Satellite temperature data which is probably more reliable than land and ocean-based measures only goes back to the end of 1978.

If it were possible, I would like to see the climate models applied to separate sub-periods, at least back to 1850, to see how they perform. I will guess. They wouldn’t do too well. But my prejudice is showing.

When, four decades ago, I dabbled in econometrics, an important test of a model calculated over a whole data series was to see how it performed using only the first half of the data set and then separately the second half. Was it good for all seasons? Usually it wasn’t. Conclusion: throw it away and begin again.

Almost all of the climate models have over-predicted global temperatures. Or, again, I think that they have. It is easy to find commentaries which say that they have a pretty good record overall, as it is to find the opposite. Hard for us ordinary punters to get a handle on it.

Personally, I think it best we all do our own simple research and cling to hope that it is not simplistic. I mapped HADCRUT4 data from 1958 across CO2 data. Without wishing to be boring, I normalised the data and compared least square lines. A first thing to note is that the trend of CO2 is much steeper than temperature. A second thing is that an inflection point occurs at about 2008 as the CO2 trend line increasingly leaves behind the temperature trend.

I checked this result using normalised satellite data from end 1978 (UAH6). The graph is reproduced atop this post. A different but comparable inflection point occurs roughly during the period 2006 to 2008. From there the temperature has trended up but very slightly while CO2 bounds on ever upwards.

Now the theory is that CO2, as greenhouse gas, will have a direct warming effect which will become less and less pronounced. Most of that warming has occurred. I believe this to be generally acknowledged among climate scientists. If anything can ever be found which is generally acknowledged.

However, alarmists – for want of a less-loaded term – believe that the effect of CO2 is being, and will be, net reinforced by other factors contingent on CO2 warming. These include increases in water vapour (a powerful greenhouse gas) and the effect of reducing ice cover lessening albedo; the fraction of solar radiation reflected back into space by the Earth’s surface. There may be others. I don’t know, I am not a climate scientist; thankfully. Honest and your sacked.

Some climate commentators (scientists?) have suggested that we may be approaching a tipping point when warming will start running way. But if you look at my graph you will see, comfortingly, that since 2008 the temperature is behaving as you would expect if the CO2 greenhouse effect were dwindling. The reinforcing factors do not appear to be having their wicked way. If they were, we should see temperatures at least keeping pace with CO2, I would think. I believe we can relax.

All this, as well, assumes that man-made CO2 is responsible for the recorded rise in atmospheric CO2 and that this, in turn, has caused much of the warming evident since the end of the little ice age. If these assumptions are baseless, as they might be, there is even more reason to relax. Relaxing is not the preferred position of Extinction Rebellion (ER) co-founded by Roger Hallam.

I heard Hallam being interviewed on the BBC though a link on this site’s ER (Essential Reading). I have to say I like him. He is committed. Unlike many so-called conservatives on Q&A, not the least bit pantywaisted. We are going to die unless we act now. Nothing that governments have done or are doing comes remotely close to being effective, he said with vehement conviction.

And he is right; absolutely right. You could be forgiven for thinking that governments are relaxed. If they were not thousands of nuclear power plants would have been already built worldwide since the ‘crisis’ was identified in the 1980s and yet many more would be under construction.

But, of course, no one outside of the ER crowd, David Attenborough and other assorted hysterics is really that concerned. It’s no more than a virtue-signalling game to Australian teachers encouraging their pupils to skip school to engage in pointless, purposeless, posing. Do you think any of them think that we only have ten to twelve years left to act – whatever ‘act’ means. Of course not.

God forbid we have a real global crisis to deal with. Either we won’t believe it after suffering this present hoax or we’ll think that the equivalent of building some windmills will solve it. What global warming / climate change/ climate emergency (choose your favourite) has shown is that large sections of humankind are susceptible to hysterias promoted by elitists; and that governments are singularly incapable of acting resolutely to combat crises to which they say they subscribe. Surely God exists. Better than this there must be.

10 comments
  • Biggles

    Peter, You are flogging a dead horse. You could do us a far better service by investigating the Grand Solar Minimum and its potential effects on mankind.

  • ianl

    As well:

    http://www.globalwarming.org/wp-content/uploads/2016/02/Christy-modeled-versus-observed-temperatures-mid-troposphere-just-trends-1979-2015-Jan-2015.jpg

    The activists really dislike this one. Google et al are busy trying to remove it from net searches. All the rebuttal comments are ad homs, *not* data-incisive. [Reliable satellite data commenced in 1979, and for that reason so does this graph].

    Still, the issue is long removed from any scientific basis. It’s now a political given.

  • Alice Thermopolis

    One only has to read a few pal-reviewed papers to see some of the dark secrets in the CC attic. One of my favourite: “Challenges in combining projections from multiple climate models: by Reno Knutti et al in the Journal of Climate (2009).

    Ever wondered why they need so many climate models – at last count 40+ globally, I think – if the truth about CC is known with such trumpeted certainty?

    What a surprise to learn (from the Abstract) there is actually “little agreement on metrics to separate “good” from “bad” models, and there is concern that model development, evaluation and posterior weighting or ranking are all using the same datasets. While the multi-model average appears to still be useful in some situations these results show that more quantitative methods to evaluate model performance are critical to maximize the value of climate change projections.”

    Well, we’re still waiting a decade later.

    In what other field could one say – seriously – that because we can’t distinguish “good” from “bad” models, let’s just mix them all up, take an average and hoodwink the public into believing the result is a good approximation of the planet’s future climate? (Econometrics?)

    Another quote: “the degree of confidence we place on model results, however, essentially depends on whether we can quantify the uncertainty of the predictions and demonstrate the results do not depend strongly on modeling assumptions.”

    They couldn’t then and still can’t today.

    Meanwhile, Peter, stay away from NYC this week. Denying the existence of fictional “tipping points” is as risky as standing between a climate bureaucrat and pot of gold. You won’t hear such heresy uttered at the Climate Summit, especially by Our Littler Lady of the Apocalypse, Saint Greta. Another desperate attempt to extort more billions from West by the developing world on the pretext of “climate reparations”.

  • en passant

    I just walked away from watching SBS ‘news’ where Frank Fiji was sticking out his hand for more Oz gold. He didn’t even bother to wear a mask as he roughed up and insulted Scott and Australian deniers. Today’s mendicants don’t even have the decency to grovel, instead the harangue and bully-boy their cowering clown into handing over OUR cash as if THEY owned the place.
    I heard some greenfool pontificating that we MUST reduce our emissions by 45% by 2030 or …. what?

  • Alice Thermopolis

    A world where Fiji Frank and his foul-weather friends occupy the high moral ground is indeed drowning in something, but it’s not sea water.

    As for their raucous climate-angst, some facts::

    Kiribati (population 106,000 (2013), 78,000 (1995); area 800 sqkm) has become a poster-child for climate alarmists in recent years; as has Tuvalu, the world’s fourth-smallest country (26 sqkm) with about 11,000 inhabitants. Both are members – together with 36 other countries – of an activist group, the Alliance of Small Island States. Formed over two decades ago, its mission remains to “address global warming”. Today it accounts for a surprising 20 per cent of UN votes and hence has become a crucial player in climate politics.

    Kiribati’s “initial communication” to the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change was in September 1999. It continues to be “extremely worried and also scared by the potential for the sea level to rise as a result of the enhanced greenhouse effect.” In an address at the UN on 28th September, 2013 – six years ago -His Excellency Vete Palakua Sakaio, Tuvalu’s Deputy Prime Minister, reiterated AOSIS’s cri de coeur – to an audience of about 15 – that “It is humanity’s security issue……..The world must save Tuvalu – and save the whole planet – from climate change and sea-level rise.”
    How many will turn up this week to hear it again?

  • Biggles

    To summarise these comments: ‘Give us money or we will either drown, fry or die’. We can only hope so; the lying bastards.

  • Rob Brighton

    I dont think we have seen the worst of global warming as the warming part isn’t the worst of the climate panic, the people are.
    I was accosted on the waterfront in Airlie last night by extinction rebellion representatives who failed to see the irony in handing out leaflets to save the world while in bare feet and clothing that did not appear to have benefited from a washing machine for some period.
    If they cannot manage their personal hygiene how can they expect to run the world?
    I tried talking to them, he was determined and a believer she was as dumb as a bag of rocks.
    Neither could accept that I might hold a different view and regrettably, the conversation did not end well with her screeching “denier” at me loudly and pointing at my wife and I.
    So that’s the worst of global warming, the rude narcissistic idiots involved.

  • Mike O’Ceirin

    There has been a lot of money spent on reducing emissions in western countries. We have been busy destroying our reliable electrical networks and patting ourselves on the back for what we have done to save the planet. The graph you show which I have seen many times of CO2 shows it has all been futile. The labgree here in Canberra will be trumpeting shortly how they are 100% renewable. This is been done by buying enough generation capacity outside of the ACT. A significant part of that will be Hornesdale somewhere outside of Adelaide. It’s a cheat because we will rely on coal in the Hunter Valley for stability.

  • Alice Thermopolis

    Regarding climate-hysteria about temperature rise (of another 0.50C) to 2C by 2050 or whatever, heard the following comment this week:
    “I experienced a greater change in temperature this morning while eating breakfast than I have from climate change in 80 years of life.”

  • John Reid

    See my peer-reviewed paper:

    Reid, J. (2017) “There is no significant trend in global average temperature”. Energy & Environment, 28, 3, pp 302-317 doi: 10.1177/0958305X16686447

    which can be downloaded from

    http://journals.sagepub.com/doi/abs/10.1177/0958305X16686447

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