Anthony Watts over at Watt’s Up With That? reports on a new study published in Natural Geoscience that shows conclusively that the models used by such groups as the UN’s IPCC that predict the dire temperature increases are flawed beyond any reasonable measure of reliability.
No one knows exactly how much Earth’s climate will warm due to carbon emissions, but a new study this week suggests scientists’ best predictions about global warming might be incorrect. The study, which appears in Nature Geoscience, found that climate models explain only about half of the heating that occurred during a well-documented period of rapid global warming in Earth’s ancient past. The study, which was published online today, contains an analysis of published records from a period of rapid climatic warming about 55 million years ago known as the Palaeocene-Eocene thermal maximum, or PETM.
“In a nutshell, theoretical models cannot explain what we observe in the geological record,” said oceanographer Gerald Dickens, a co-author of the study and professor of Earth science at Rice University. “There appears to be something fundamentally wrong with the way temperature and carbon are linked in climate models.”
Emphasis mine and it’s something I’ve emphasized before. The facts that have come forth from any true scientific effort show that CO2 increases follow temperature increases, not precede them. Simple chemistry shows this mechanism: heat a volume of water and it reduces the water’s ability to retain carbon dioxide dissolved within it. In short, if the oceans heat up, they outgas CO2 which is then present in the atmosphere in greater concentrations.
The study focused on the models used as applied to the historical record of the PETM and determined that, if the models’ assertions about CO2 being the driving factor of temperature increase that is claimed, the temperature increases would have been about half of what is shown to have happened. In short, the models can only account for half of the increase. Something else, not accounted for in the IPCC’s models, was at work to produce that temperature increase thus rendering the models suspect, at best.
We need to get this nonsense of the “we’ve-got-to-shut-off-all-the-lights-now” mentality out of the way and start talking about a reasonable path to cutting our dependence on fossil fuels, something sustainable that won’t cripple us. We can’t have that discussion so long as people are screaming in our faces that we’ve got to take action – action that will hamper our abilities to come up with real solutions – this immediate second.