It is hard out there for climate scientists trying to make the case for 'climate change'

Francis Menton:

As hard as they may be to get right, predictions about the future are the core of the field that goes by the name of "climate science." Because of predictions about the future by climate scientists, everybody knows that human burning of fossil fuels will cause world temperatures to increase by multiple degrees over the coming century, leading to a series of calamities ranging from sea level rise to droughts to floods to hurricane and tornadoes. After all, the climate scientists have sophisticated computer models! If you don't believe the predictions of the models, you must be a "science denier." The predictions of significantly rising temperatures are so certain that you are to be required by government coercion (unless President Trump can head it off) to dramatically reduce your use of fossil fuels and restrict your lifestyle.

You and I are not going to be around in 2100 to see if any of these predictions about the future have come true. But meanwhile the climate alarm crowd obliges us with shorter term predictions to help us get some handle on how reliable they are. Unfortunately, nobody seems to be doing a very good job of keeping track of these predictions and seeing how they are turning out. So once again it falls to the Manhattan Contrarian to do some leg work. On this subject, I am assisted today by some very useful work from my friend Benny Peiser and the Global Warming Policy Foundation in the UK.

For example, there was the prediction that our national weather bureaucracy (NOAA) came out with back in October as to the severity of the upcoming winter. How do they come up with that prediction? Eric Niler at Wired wrote a post on the prediction on October 29 that revealed that the seasonal predictions rely on models using the same theories of "heat trapping" greenhouse gases as they use for the longer-term models:

NOAA climate scientists incorporate heat-trapping carbon dioxide levels when they run the models that produce their seasonal climate predictions.

So what was the prediction?

Warmer-than-normal conditions are most likely across the southern two-thirds of the continental U.S., along the East Coast, across Hawaii and in western and northern Alaska.

Oops! For those who haven't checked up on the weather on the East Coast of the U.S. lately, it's been record-breaking deep freeze around here for the last week, and expected to go even lower over the approaching weekend. It has snowed as far south as the Florida panhandle. Well, fortunately, the NOAA guys were ready with plenty of hedging language when Niler asked about their official prediction:

Mike Halpert, deputy director of NOAA’s Climate Prediction Center [said], “There is a lot of natural climate variability in the system that can trump any kind of background signal.”

Or in other words, predictions are hard, especially about the future. At least when the predictions are for a short enough term that anybody might check up on them.

And here's a related question: Have you heard much lately about how the polar bears are about to go extinct due to global warming? No? Better check up on that prediction and how it has turned out.

Crockford also points to scholarly articles, particularly by a guy named Steven Amstrup, predicting rapid decline of polar bear populations if sea ice levels reach . . . levels that they actually did reach in years including 2012. But unfortunately, from Crockford's blog on December 21:

This is the truth the world needs to hear: the experts were wrong. Polar bears have not been driven to the brink of extinction by climate change, they are thriving. This is the message of each of my two new books.

And from Crockford's blog on January 4:

Polar bear experts who falsely predicted that roughly 17,300 polar bears would be dead by now (given sea ice conditions since 2007) have realized their failure has not only kicked their own credibility to the curb, it has taken with it the reputations of their climate change colleagues. This has left many folks unhappy about the toppling of this important global warming icon but ironically, consensus polar bear experts and climate scientists (and their supporters) were the ones who set up the polar bear as a proxy for AGW in the first place.
Most of the projections for a rise in temperature have also been higher than the actual recorded temperature.  As with all projections that are not met, it is because one or more of the assumptions used in the projection proved invalid.  Those making the projection have not been able to identify which of their assumptions was wrong, but it can be argued that they are putting too much weight on rising CO2 levels and teh atmosphere has not responded as they expected.


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