Global Warming has “paused” and climate change forecasts are “flawed”

The Times They Are a-changin’

1. The UK Met Office is an ardent follower of the Global Warming Doctrine but even they have had to now admit that global warming has “paused”.

“Two research papers shed new light on why the upper layers of the world’s oceans have seen a recent pause in warming despite continued increases in greenhouse gases.”

But the religion of global warming need not worry. The pause is – conveniently – only due to “natural variability”. The Met Office does however admit that the science is a long way from being settled and that with more measurements (and perhaps with a little less slavish acceptance of model results) “it would be possible to account for movement of heat within the ocean and do a better job of monitoring future climate change”.  One can hope that they may be returning to a science based on observations leading to models leading to further measurements to validate the models , but religions are not cast aside so easily! 

The independent studies from the Royal Netherlands Meteorological Institute (KNMI) and the Met Office show how natural climate variability can temporarily mask longer-term trends in upper ocean heat content and sea surface temperature.

The upper 700 metres of the global ocean has seen a rise in temperature since reliable records began in the late 1960s. However, there has been a pause in this warming during the period from 2003 to 2010. The papers published this week offer explanations for this.

Climate model simulations from KNMI show that such pauses in upper ocean warming occur regularly as part of the climate system’s natural variability. … A different set of model simulations from the Met Office supports the idea of heat moving to the deeper ocean explaining the recent pause in upper ocean warming.

The same research also suggests that with deeper ocean observations it would be possible to account for movement of heat within the ocean and do a better job of monitoring future climate change.

GRL website (KNMI paper)(Katsman, C.A. and G.J. van Oldenborgh)

GRL website (Met Office paper) (Palmer, M. D., D. J. McNeall, and N. J. Dunstone)

2. In the meantime a study at Lancaster University charges that “inaccurate climate forecasts costs the world considerable money” and “the overwhelming focus on limiting green house gases alone may well be mis-guided”.

Climate change forecasts used to set policy and billions of pounds in investment are flawed, according to new research from Lancaster University Management School (LUMS).

Complex climate models have been used by scientists to reach a consensus (through the International Panel on Climate Change, the IPCC) of global warming of 0.2 °C per decade. But this fundamental finding for governments and the global population continues to be fiercely contested by sceptics of the role of human activity in climate change. The competing interest groups involved have led to a decline in confidence generally in the wake of claims of manipulated data from the University of East Anglia, and incorrect projections – such as Himalayan glaciers disappearing by 2035 .

The new study by Robert Fildes and Nikolaos Kourentzes at the Lancaster Centre for Forecasting applies the latest thinking on forecasting to the work of climate change scientists, in a bid to make 10 and 20 year ahead climate predictions more accurate and trustworthy for policy-makers, and help address growing doubts over the realities of climate change. Such decadal forecasts have the most relevance to current thinking and policy plans and if they are to be credible and useful, they need to demonstrate their accuracy.  But the forecasts produced by the current models do not achieve this.

The authors set out a new basis for ‘decadal’ forecasting which is to be a major component of the next IPCC assessment report. Using a combination of models, with statistical  benchmarking as checks,  current forecasts prove almost certainly less accurate than they could be. Inaccurate climate forecasts costs the world considerable money. The implication is that the climate modelling community needs to open up its research agenda. As yet it has not demonstrated that it can produce better forecasts than simpler statistical methods. A consequence of this, explored by Fildes and Kourentzes, is that the overwhelming focus on limiting green house gases alone may well be mis-guided. The hydrologist Keith Beven’s work on modelling carried out in the Lancaster Environment Centre leads to the same conclusion. In short, eclectic forecasting methods and a wide range of policy responses are what is needed if we are to overcome the problems of emerging warming. 

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One Response to “Global Warming has “paused” and climate change forecasts are “flawed””

  1. New computer simulations to find new excuses for recent lack of global warming « The k2p blog Says:

    […] lack of any global warming over the last decade while carbon dioxide emissions have been increasing is extremely worrying to the global warming […]

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