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Climate Models Have Been Predicting Too Much Warming

May 24, 2019

By Paul Homewood



John Christy has a new paper out about climate models are predicting too much warming:



Below is the GWPF press release:


Leading scientist warns that computer simulations are unreliable

A leading climatologist has said that the computer simulations that are used to predict global warming are failing on a key measure of the climate today, and cannot be trusted.

Speaking to a meeting in the Palace of Westminster in London, Professor John Christy of the University of Alabama in Huntsville, told MPs and peers that almost all climate models have predicted rapid warming at high altitudes in the tropics:

“They all have rapid warming above 30,000 feet in the tropics – it’s effectively a diagnostic signal of greenhouse warming. But in reality it’s just not happening. It’s warming up there, but at only about one third of the rate predicted by the models.”

A similar discrepancy between empirical measurements and computer predictions has been confirmed at the global level:

“The global warming trend for the last 40 years, starting in 1979 when satellite measurements began, is +0.13C per decade or about half of what climate models predicted.”

And Dr Christy says that lessons are not being learned:

“An early look at some of the latest generation of climate models reveals they are predicting even faster warming. This is simply not credible.”

A paper outlining Dr Christy’s key findings is published today by the Global Warming Policy Foundation.

  1. May 24, 2019 8:32 am

    climate models are predicting too much warming:

    It was ever thus. No evidence that any ‘enhanced’ CO2 effect on water vapour exists either.

  2. Ian Magness permalink
    May 24, 2019 8:47 am

    I went to this meeting. Professor Christy was brilliant. It’s hard to fathom how anybody who saw that speech (and indeed listened to the questions and answers afterwards), or studies the UAH work he does with Roy Spencer, could be anything but deeply sceptical about AGW.
    It was so sad to see him describing how he has sat in front of governmental level bureaucratic committees, explained his painstaking research and findings in detail, explained why, therefore, the models are wrong and why no AGW of any significance to mankind or the world is happening, and then seen his contributions totally ignored.
    We all believe that we will this argument in the end but, oh boy, it isn’t going to be easy.

    • Pancho Plail permalink
      May 24, 2019 9:02 am

      What was your view of the audience (fanatics, sceptics, undecided) and what impact this had on them?

      • Ian Magness permalink
        May 24, 2019 9:12 am

        It was a GWPF lecture, so if there were any AGW believers, it wasn’t obvious. In truth it was the most technical GWPF meeting I have ever been to and there was a high level of discussion afterwards with contributions and questions from, inter alia, physicists and other scientists, many from the upper tier of British universities. It was a serious and educational discussion.

    • Pancho Plail permalink
      May 24, 2019 10:03 am

      Thanks Ian. The article above referred to MPs and Peers in attendance, but from what you say, I guess not many.

      • Ian Magness permalink
        May 24, 2019 10:40 am

        You always get a few peers and MPs at a House of Commons/Lords GWPF meeting but I would think the great majority of the audience were plebs like me. The GWPF and its meetings are open to all.

    • Phoenix44 permalink
      May 24, 2019 10:52 am

      Politicians continue to believe that (i) they will be the ones to save the world (always an attraction for most politicians) and (ii) supporting climate change is a vote winner (or perhaps not supporting it is a vote loser).

      Under these circumstances, nobody will listen to a sceptic.,

      • May 24, 2019 1:05 pm

        Not a vote winner in Australia last week.

      • Gerry, England permalink
        May 24, 2019 1:59 pm

        (iii) Politicians are too stupid to understand anyway.

    • Harry Passfield permalink
      May 24, 2019 5:32 pm

      Ah, but do you think he knows more than, or could change the minds of sainted Greta, AOC, or Caroline. Oh, not forgetting Emma and David? /s

    • May 28, 2019 12:46 am

      You can’t win an argument against someone who is part of the Climate Cult and is effectively brainwashed to believe in “catastrophism”.

      Or to be more exact – it’s very easy to win the argument against alarmists – but all that does is to make them retreat further into their insane cult.

  3. George Lawson permalink
    May 24, 2019 9:37 am

    Has anyone seen reference to the lecture on the BBC or in the main media generally?

    • May 24, 2019 10:29 am

      No, but I heard expert John Humphries this morning on Radio 4 say that anybody with more than six brain cells knows we face a climate crisis.

      • Ian Magness permalink
        May 24, 2019 10:41 am

        …rules him out then..

      • Phoenix44 permalink
        May 24, 2019 10:56 am

        Yet where is the crisis? It’s simply a forecast based on computer models. And forecasts of non-linear, complex, chaotic systems of any kind have zero skill.

        It is literally insane to make such claims based on such forecasts. it is no different from sacrificing a chicken and reading its liver. The accuracy is the same.

  4. May 24, 2019 9:48 am

    Reblogged this on Climate- Science and commented:
    The temperature of the Earth has held for two decades but the climatemodels continue to predict accelerated warming.These climate model predictions seems to give many climate activists the illusion that they are prophets. Anyway they don`t scare me.

    • Harry Passfield permalink
      May 24, 2019 5:33 pm

      The models might not scare you but the activists scare me!

  5. May 24, 2019 10:29 am

    In his Wiki entry-
    In a 2009 written testimony to the U.S. House Ways and Means Committee, he wrote: “From my analysis, the actions being considered to ‘stop global warming’ will have an imperceptible impact on whatever the climate will do, while making energy more expensive, and thus have a negative impact on the economy as a whole. We have found that climate models and popular surface temperature data sets overstate the changes in the real atmosphere and that actual changes are not alarming.”
    British Steel is perhaps the first of many casualties.

    • Broadlands permalink
      May 24, 2019 1:23 pm

      The actions being taken are storing CO2 in the millions of tonnes annually while the need is in the billions of tonnes. One ppmv of carbon is 2.13 gigatons and almost eight gigatons after oxygen is added. Imperceptible indeed. An expensive geo-engineering venture doomed to failure.

    • Gerry, England permalink
      May 24, 2019 1:53 pm

      Fly BMI was the first global warning / Brexit casualty. Since 1 January the EU has suspended emissions credit payments to the UK – basically a magical Ponzi scheme where businesses are fined for carbon emissions and then given the money to pay the fines. With no payments forthcoming they must pay the fines. The British Steel bill was £120m. Greybull Capital has a poor record running companies but it is difficult to see how anyone could have navigated their problems. I am surprised there is any steel production in the UK given the government imposed costs.

  6. Joseph Sharp permalink
    May 24, 2019 11:04 am

    According to John Humphrys on the Today programme this morning, “Anyone with six brain cells can see there is a climate crisis.” Harrumphrys.

    • quaesoveritas permalink
      May 24, 2019 11:16 am

      As I posted on “about”:
      In an interview with the Labour education secretay on the Today programme about including “climate change” as a core subject in the National Curriculum this morning, John Humphries said:
      “Everybody, at least everybody with six brain cells, understands that there is a climate change crisis.”
      Well John, maybe those with only six brain cells “knows” that, but people with more than six, who actually check the facts, think otherwise.
      The problem is, everyone at the BBC, has so isolated themselves from the sceptical side of the argument, that they are totally unaware that there is another, valid, point of view.
      About 77 minutes into the programme.
      Have emailed Humphrys via the website and asked for evidence:

  7. Tom Taylor permalink
    May 24, 2019 11:13 am

    Perhaps, if you have more than six brain cells you can see there is no climate crisis!

  8. Phoenix44 permalink
    May 24, 2019 11:15 am

    I think there is a deep dishonesty amongst some of the climate modelling community about their models and a deep anxiety amongst the rest because of the way their knowingly skill-less models have been used.

    The large, complex models have no chance of being right because they have no chance of knowing all the starting conditions from which to run their models – and you need them if you want to run complex, large models. So they start out as wrong literally from the very first moment they simulate.

    More importantly, they try and produce a climate sensitivity figure from first principles by running vast simulations – but that cannot work either, because of the reasons they try and do it. If they compute sensitivity from first principles in simple models, that produces a number that is clearly wrong – far too high. So instead they introduce complexity into the models because that allows them to fudge everything in order to at least hindcast accurately.But insufficient complexity is not the problem.

    Rather, complexity attempts to disguise the fact that the first principles approach does not produce the right answer – which mean we don’t understand enough about what is going to make any kind of useful forecasts. Adding complexity to incorrect first principles cannot possibly solve the first principles problem.

    As my first boss said when I added lines to a forecast of the copper price over 20 years, i was simply adding “spurious complexity”. I had no way of forecasting the price, and adding forecasts of supply and demand and other factors did not improve the accuracy of the forecast by one cent. If we understand climate, we must know the sensitivity. If we do not udnerstand climate, no model can tell us the sensitivity. This is the inherent and unavoidable paradox of comupter models.

    • Mervyn Hobden permalink
      May 24, 2019 12:03 pm

      Back in 2015, I entered into an argument with AGW camp that the mathematical methods used in computer based climate models were incapable of predicting a final outcome. This is because both weather and climate are non-linear and therefore cannot be subject to the ‘smoothing function’ based approximations used to avoid the inadequacies of linear algebra. As is well understood, linear modelling suppresses some types of model behaviour, in particular fractal supperposition of events, In truth, the only thing that can be rigorously proved with linear algebra, is the theorems of linear algebra!
      Mandelbrot, in his last book of 2010, dealt with the inplausibility of market predictions based on simplistic linear algorithms – there is no way such models can reliably predict outcomes. As you rightly observe, to understand a complex physical situation, you must first understand the mechanisms that drive it, which Professor Christy and Roy Spencer have tried to do. The current data from weather shows increased short term turbulence of greater magnitude, the inevitable result of a non-linear systems response to perturbation as it seeks a new equilibrium, However, the exact mechanisms driving that increased turbulence are not properly known and a blanket statement that it is down to ‘global warming’ tells us nothing. The increased turbulence in the lower levels of the troposphere was not predicted by the early climate models and it is extremely likely that Dr Spencer’s insistance on the role that clouds play and the mechanisms that alter their formation, play a primary role, So the turbulent behaviours in the lower troposphere deserve more close attention – it appears there is little based on the upper troposhere that can provide any explanation!

    • Eddie P permalink
      May 24, 2019 6:16 pm

      Or more simply put as with all computers – garbage in = garbage out.

  9. Athelstan. permalink
    May 24, 2019 11:18 am

    Paul – it is most likely that you have but, in case, you seen this?

    Delingpole: Mass Species Extinction Is Fake News, Says Greenpeace Co-Founder Patrick Moore

  10. May 24, 2019 11:56 am

    Computer modelling was in its infancy when I was working on my MA in botany at The University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill in the late 1960’s. When I returned to work on my PhD in the early 1980’s, it was in full swing.

    I have noticed that, from those bottle & diaper days of the ’60’s until the present, models are highly flawed and unreliable. There are just more of them. Increasingly, botanists do not know their plants and even refer to them as “A,” “B,” and “C” which is an incredibly unwise approach.

    It reveals that people are in labs behind computer screens instead of out in the field making actual observations and collecting data. It causes their models to be highly flawed, but open to their preconceived, agenda-driven conclusions.

  11. sean2829 permalink
    May 24, 2019 12:52 pm

    So John Christy says the models run too hot and Judith Curry says the volume of CO2 in the business as usual calculations forward looking calculations are are impossibly large. Nice combo for fear promotion.

  12. May 24, 2019 2:02 pm

    I have read John Christy’s work for awhile now. He makes sense.
    I think what is going on here is the money coming from all the different green organizations that is feeding political influence. The money is promoting green energy , solar and wind.In Canada these green companies all come from off shore. German wind and South Korea solar.
    One province in Canada ,Alberta, is trying to identify these so called charities What they are finding is that our own government is contributing to these organizations .
    It is interesting that the green companies and the green alarmists do not have the same influence in China,India and Russia.It makes me think that money is flowing to politicians in the UK, Canada and other developed countries.Trump has pushed back against the green movement. Australia has bucked the trend. Canada could be next ,come October

  13. May 24, 2019 2:39 pm

    Paul, thanks for passing on this link and info.

    By the way, have you or anyone here noticed that HadCRUT4.6 is running very late? I just checked and March data have still not been posted … almost a month late now. I’m curious why it’s running so late. I see nothing about it on the website. Maybe they are getting ready to release a new “improved” version?

  14. David Kendrick permalink
    May 24, 2019 3:13 pm

    I remember that models had uniform global warming due to CO2 on both sea and land, where IR radiation on water cannot penetrate 1mm beneath the surface and some 30% reflected by waves & ripples, the ocean is only warmed by sunlight in the visble spectrum, or as Piers Corbyn would point out, its the sun stupid. The models therefore are 2/3rds innaccurate inserting CO2 warming which is not there. The Ocean does not trap IR radation but we have a lot more Solar radiaton in the visible spectrum than first assumed and that Medieval warming period has come back in 500 & 800 year deap sea ocean cycles.

  15. May 24, 2019 3:33 pm

    These models fail to take into account the thermodynamic processes involved in the generation of the Latent Heat of water responsible for large transfers and movement of energy irrespective of radiation influences; as it takes place at constant temperature.
    This results in an overestimate of the Climate Sensitivity.
    In fact the science shows that water generates a negative feedback to the greenhouse effect of the above is taken into consideration.

  16. May 24, 2019 8:23 pm

    Reblogged this on Climate Collections.

  17. May 26, 2019 10:53 am

    Two major alarmist climate predictions have failed spectacularly this decade:

    Biological predictions have been even more nonsensical, such as no more phytoplankton, no more polar bears, no more bees 🐝 and even (beyond absurd into the territory of the surreal) no more insects 🐜 .

    The people making these predictions are not scientists.

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