Richard S. Lindzen – The Climate Science Isn’t Settled


An excellent, clear and concise piece that explains much of the actual current situation with research and conclusions on ‘climate change’. Related to what ‘climate scientists’ have been scamming in Climategate.

————————————

Excerpts from
The Wall Street Journal: The Climate Science Isn’t Settled
By Richard S. Lindzen

The main statement publicized after the last IPCC Scientific Assessment two years ago was that it was likely that most of the warming since 1957 (a point of anomalous cold) was due to man. This claim was based on the weak argument that the current models used by the IPCC couldn’t reproduce the warming from about 1978 to 1998 without some forcing, and that the only forcing that they could think of was man. Even this argument assumes that these models adequately deal with natural internal variability—that is, such naturally occurring cycles as El Nino, the Pacific Decadal Oscillation, the Atlantic Multidecadal Oscillation, etc.

Yet articles from major modeling centers acknowledged that the failure of these models to anticipate the absence of warming for the past dozen years was due to the failure of these models to account for this natural internal variability. Thus even the basis for the weak IPCC argument for anthropogenic climate change was shown to be false.

The notion that the earth’s climate is dominated by positive feedbacks is intuitively implausible, and the history of the earth’s climate offers some guidance on this matter. About 2.5 billion years ago, the sun was 20%-30% less bright than now (compare this with the 2% perturbation that a doubling of CO2 would produce), and yet the evidence is that the oceans were unfrozen at the time, and that temperatures might not have been very different from today’s. Carl Sagan in the 1970s referred to this as the “Early Faint Sun Paradox.”

For more than 30 years there have been attempts to resolve the paradox with greenhouse gases. Some have suggested CO2—but the amount needed was thousands of times greater than present levels and incompatible with geological evidence. Methane also proved unlikely. It turns out that increased thin cirrus cloud coverage in the tropics readily resolves the paradox—but only if the clouds constitute a negative feedback. In present terms this means that they would diminish rather than enhance the impact of CO2.

There are quite a few papers in the literature that also point to the absence of positive feedbacks. The implied low sensitivity is entirely compatible with the small warming that has been observed. So how do models with high sensitivity manage to simulate the currently small response to a forcing that is almost as large as a doubling of CO2? Jeff Kiehl notes in a 2007 article from the National Center for Atmospheric Research, the models use another quantity that the IPCC lists as poorly known (namely aerosols) to arbitrarily cancel as much greenhouse warming as needed to match the data, with each model choosing a different degree of cancellation according to the sensitivity of that model.

What does all this have to do with climate catastrophe? The answer brings us to a scandal that is, in my opinion, considerably greater than that implied in the hacked emails from the Climate Research Unit (though perhaps not as bad as their destruction of raw data): namely the suggestion that the very existence of warming or of the greenhouse effect is tantamount to catastrophe. This is the grossest of “bait and switch” scams. It is only such a scam that lends importance to the machinations in the emails designed to nudge temperatures a few tenths of a degree.

The notion that complex climate “catastrophes” are simply a matter of the response of a single number, GATA, to a single forcing, CO2 (or solar forcing for that matter), represents a gigantic step backward in the science of climate. Many disasters associated with warming are simply normal occurrences whose existence is falsely claimed to be evidence of warming. And all these examples involve phenomena that are dependent on the confluence of many factors.

Our perceptions of nature are similarly dragged back centuries so that the normal occasional occurrences of open water in summer over the North Pole, droughts, floods, hurricanes, sea-level variations, etc. are all taken as omens, portending doom due to our sinful ways (as epitomized by our carbon footprint). All of these phenomena depend on the confluence of multiple factors as well.

Consider the following example. Suppose that I leave a box on the floor, and my wife trips on it, falling against my son, who is carrying a carton of eggs, which then fall and break. Our present approach to emissions would be analogous to deciding that the best way to prevent the breakage of eggs would be to outlaw leaving boxes on the floor. The chief difference is that in the case of atmospheric CO2 and climate catastrophe, the chain of inference is longer and less plausible than in my example.


8 Responses to “Richard S. Lindzen – The Climate Science Isn’t Settled”

  1. Al Gore: I invented Global Warming after I invented the internet, right Jon Stewart? « VotingFemale Speaks! Says:

    […] Patterico’s Pontifications: East Anglia CRU Chief Steps Down (For Now) BUUUUURRRRNING HOT: Richard S. Lindzen – The Climate Science Isn’t Settled Le·gal In·sur·rec·tion: Comparing Obama To Brezhnev Moonbat Patrol: Just In Time For Christmas […]

  2. Between 100,000 and 200,000 doctors officially reject ObamaCare « VotingFemale Speaks! Says:

    […] non-response Patterico’s Pontifications: More Self Defense in Texas BUUUUURRRRNING HOT: Richard S. Lindzen – The Climate Science Isn’t Settled Le·gal In·sur·rec·tion: AARP Rides To Obamacare’s Rescue, Again Texas For Palin: Good […]

  3. Mad Bluebird Says:

    Climategate perhaps one the biggist most controvercial acts of lies and decite being played about the worlds citizens by a handful of underhanded scoundrels who deserve the electricy chair

  4. CBC Threatens ‘Actions’ against Obama over unemployments; Pelosi claims Socialism’s failures are Bush’s Fault! hahaha « VotingFemale Speaks! Says:

    […] Patterico’s Pontifications: Rick Santelli Not Welcome at the White House BUUUUURRRRNING HOT: Richard S. Lindzen – The Climate Science Isn’t Settled Le·gal In·sur·rec·tion: Comparing Obama To Brezhnev Texas For Palin: Perry not a presidential […]

  5. Pavlovian Left Wing Loon Baiting, an Artform of exploitative takedown « VotingFemale Speaks! Says:

    […] Mean Things” Vs. “My Intent Governs” — Which Concept Should Win? BUUUUURRRRNING HOT: Richard S. Lindzen – The Climate Science Isn’t Settled Le·gal In·sur·rec·tion: I Cannot Believe What She Just Said Texas For Palin: Sarah Palin: […]

  6. Climategate bigger than Watergate; Al Gore’s Credibility is Permanently Destroyed « VotingFemale Speaks! Says:

    […] Pontifications: Obama “Safe Schools” Czar’s Reading List BUUUUURRRRNING HOT: Richard S. Lindzen – The Climate Science Isn’t Settled Texas For Palin: Crowd of 1,250 cheers Sarah Palin as she arrives at Fort Hood (Updated) […]

  7. Saudia Arabia drops ClimateGate Bomb on Copenhagen « VotingFemale Speaks! Says:

    […] Michelle Malkin: The EPA’s war on carbon and 56 Chicken Little newspapers on climate change and The power of ClimateGate: Al Gore forced to sacrifice Copenhagen cash cow Patterico’s Pontifications: Newspapers Agree on Climate Change BUUUUURRRRNING HOT: Richard S. Lindzen – The Climate Science Isn’t Settled […]

  8. EPA to Attack US Economy by declaring CO2 toxic; without CO2, all plant life would die « VotingFemale Speaks! Says:

    […] Michelle Malkin: The EPA’s war on carbon and 56 Chicken Little newspapers on climate change and The power of ClimateGate: Al Gore forced to sacrifice Copenhagen cash cow Patterico’s Pontifications: Newspapers Agree on Climate Change BUUUUURRRRNING HOT: Richard S. Lindzen – The Climate Science Isn’t Settled […]

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s


%d bloggers like this: