Study: No speed-up in global warming, Earth less sensitive to CO2

Here is a setback for climate hysterics who say the Earth is warming catastrophically and drastic action is needed to save us.

A new study by the University of Alabama in Huntsville (UAH) shows that the planet is warming at a much slower rate than believed previously, and the atmosphere is less sensitive to rising levels of CO2 than predicted.

The exhaustive study indirectly confirms recent research that shows that a jump in the amount of CO2 in the atmosphere has had little effect on rising temperatures.  This contradicts climate models that predict that rising levels of CO2 lead directly to rising temps.

Anthony Watts:

Mathematically removing the natural but transient climatic effects of volcanoes and El Niño/La Niña Pacific Ocean warming and cooling events leaves an underlying climate trend, all or some part of which might be attributed to human causes – including enhanced greenhouse forcing caused by rising levels of CO2 and other manmade greenhouse gases in the atmosphere.

At present, however, there is no accepted tool or technique for confidently estimating how much of the warming in the past 38+ years might be due to natural causes.

The Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change – the U.N. agency tasked with studying global warming – believes that 50% of warming is due to human industrial activity.  While some scientists claim there is an observable difference between naturally occurring CO2 and that generated by burning fossil fuels, those methods are in dispute, which makes any statement regarding how much of the rise in temps is due to humans unreliable.

The UAH paper destroys the models that predict rising temps that correlate with rising CO2 levels:

For the purposes of this research, we assumed the climate was stable during that time, that the natural climate trend would have been zero," Christy said. "If the natural trend was zero, then the climate models say the atmosphere is more than twice as sensitive to CO2 as the data might suggest.

Of course, if the natural trend was greater than zero – if the natural climate was warming even a little bit – then the models have the atmospheric sensitivity to CO2 even further out of whack than that.

This has always been the skeptics' chief complaint about using predictive climate and atmospheric models to develop public policy: the models' gross inaccuracies.  How can a responsible government develop policies to address a problem that no one knows the extent of – or if it really exists?

Reliance by scientists on ground-based temperature data has always been questioned by skeptics.  This study shows why:

Other researchers have tried to calculate the climate's sensitivity using temperature data collected at the Earth's surface. But that data lacks complete global coverage, especially over the oceans. Changes in the character of the land surface near thermometers (such as paving and urban growth) and changes in the thermometer instruments over time also add uncertainty to the data.

"Additionally, surface temperatures used for tracking climate change use the average of daily maximum and minimum temperatures," said McNider, a distinguished professor emeritus at UAH. "Those minimum nighttime temperatures reflect only the temperature of a shallow layer of air near the surface and not temperatures in the deep layer of the atmosphere."

Not only are the conclusions being drawn by global warming hysterics wrong, but their methodology leaves a lot to be desired.  It should be no surprise, then, that if you put bad science in, bad science will come out. 

If climate change were an ordinary field of science to study, this paper would be major news.  But the issue of global warming is so wrapped up in politics and business that any objective look at the claims made by other scientists is either dismissed out of hand or buried.

Here is a setback for climate hysterics who say the Earth is warming catastrophically and drastic action is needed to save us.

A new study by the University of Alabama in Huntsville (UAH) shows that the planet is warming at a much slower rate than believed previously, and the atmosphere is less sensitive to rising levels of CO2 than predicted.

The exhaustive study indirectly confirms recent research that shows that a jump in the amount of CO2 in the atmosphere has had little effect on rising temperatures.  This contradicts climate models that predict that rising levels of CO2 lead directly to rising temps.

Anthony Watts:

Mathematically removing the natural but transient climatic effects of volcanoes and El Niño/La Niña Pacific Ocean warming and cooling events leaves an underlying climate trend, all or some part of which might be attributed to human causes – including enhanced greenhouse forcing caused by rising levels of CO2 and other manmade greenhouse gases in the atmosphere.

At present, however, there is no accepted tool or technique for confidently estimating how much of the warming in the past 38+ years might be due to natural causes.

The Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change – the U.N. agency tasked with studying global warming – believes that 50% of warming is due to human industrial activity.  While some scientists claim there is an observable difference between naturally occurring CO2 and that generated by burning fossil fuels, those methods are in dispute, which makes any statement regarding how much of the rise in temps is due to humans unreliable.

The UAH paper destroys the models that predict rising temps that correlate with rising CO2 levels:

For the purposes of this research, we assumed the climate was stable during that time, that the natural climate trend would have been zero," Christy said. "If the natural trend was zero, then the climate models say the atmosphere is more than twice as sensitive to CO2 as the data might suggest.

Of course, if the natural trend was greater than zero – if the natural climate was warming even a little bit – then the models have the atmospheric sensitivity to CO2 even further out of whack than that.

This has always been the skeptics' chief complaint about using predictive climate and atmospheric models to develop public policy: the models' gross inaccuracies.  How can a responsible government develop policies to address a problem that no one knows the extent of – or if it really exists?

Reliance by scientists on ground-based temperature data has always been questioned by skeptics.  This study shows why:

Other researchers have tried to calculate the climate's sensitivity using temperature data collected at the Earth's surface. But that data lacks complete global coverage, especially over the oceans. Changes in the character of the land surface near thermometers (such as paving and urban growth) and changes in the thermometer instruments over time also add uncertainty to the data.

"Additionally, surface temperatures used for tracking climate change use the average of daily maximum and minimum temperatures," said McNider, a distinguished professor emeritus at UAH. "Those minimum nighttime temperatures reflect only the temperature of a shallow layer of air near the surface and not temperatures in the deep layer of the atmosphere."

Not only are the conclusions being drawn by global warming hysterics wrong, but their methodology leaves a lot to be desired.  It should be no surprise, then, that if you put bad science in, bad science will come out. 

If climate change were an ordinary field of science to study, this paper would be major news.  But the issue of global warming is so wrapped up in politics and business that any objective look at the claims made by other scientists is either dismissed out of hand or buried.

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