As the worlds politicians gather in Bali to set ever more unrealistic, economically crippling and outright dangerous targets for CO2 reduction (but see UPDATE001) a new research paper was published, showing the models used to predict greenhouse gas effects to be off the mark.
In the International Journal of Climatology a paper appeared by David H. Douglass, John R. Christy, Benjamin D. Pearson and S. Fred Singer, rather dryly entitled “A comparison of tropical temperature trends with model predictions” (abstract) in which they conclude:
Model results and observed temperature trends are in disagreement in most of the tropical troposphere, being separated by more than twice the uncertainty of the model mean. In layers near 5 km, the modelled trend is 100 to 300% higher than observed, and, above 8 km, modelled and observed trends have opposite signs.
Which in more common English means that in the layers around 5 km high the models predicted a warming which was 1 to 3 times as high as the observed values. In layers above 8 km the observation was a cooling trend, while green house models predicted a warming trend.
What this all means is explained in the press release from the Science & Environmental Policy Project (emphasis mine – KV):
Climate scientists at the University of Rochester, the University of Alabama, and the University of Virginia report that observed patterns of temperature changes (‘fingerprints’) over the last thirty years are not in accord with what greenhouse models predict and can better be explained by natural factors, such as solar variability. Therefore, climate change is ‘unstoppable’ and cannot be affected or modified by controlling the emission of greenhouse gases, such as CO2, as is proposed in current legislation.
These results are in conflict with the conclusions of the United Nations Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) and also with some recent research publications based on essentially the same data. However, they are supported by the results of the US-sponsored Climate Change Science Program (CCSP).
I can’t stress this enough: The current climate panic is in no small part fueled by climate models that the above mentioned paper showed are wrong. Not marginally wrong, but producing estimates that are 1 to 3 times higher then the actual value or even predicting trends that are the opposite of what is observed. In other words: they are completely wrong. What decent policy can ever be based on such information?
Last word is for Fred Singer, quoted by Newsmax:
Our research demonstrates that the ongoing rise of atmospheric CO2 has only a minor influence on climate change. We must conclude, therefore, that attempts to control CO2 emissions are ineffective and pointless — but very costly.
[UPDATE001 12-12] At least there is a team of skeptical scientist, led by Lord Monckton, who are on Bali asking politicians to have the courage to do nothing:
“Climate change is a non-problem. The right answer to a non problem is to have the courage to do nothing,” Monckton told participants.
“The UN conference is a complete waste of our time and your money and we should no longer pay the slightest attention to the IPCC (Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change,)” Monckton added.
[UPDATE002 12-12] Even the Pope is unconvinced.
[UPDATE003 14-12] The full paper can be viewed or downloaded here (pdf). Most telling is Figure 1 from the paper (see below). Red lines show the averaged trend predicted by 22 commonly used models (plus uncertainty), blue lines show the observed trends (courtesy of Science and Public Policy Institute)