Tuesday, August 7, 2018

Thirty Years On, How Well Did Global Warming Predictions Stand Up? -- August 7, 2018

From The WSJ: James Hansen issues dire warning s in the summer of 1988. Today, the earth is only modestly warmer. From June 21, 2018. Number of comments, so far: 1,454.
Thirty years of data have been collected since Mr. Hansen outlined his scenarios—enough to determine which was closest to reality. And the winner is Scenario C. Global surface temperature has not increased significantly since 2000, discounting the larger-than-usual El NiƱo of 2015-16. Assessed by Mr. Hansen’s model, surface temperatures are behaving as if we had capped 18 years ago the carbon-dioxide emissions responsible for the enhanced greenhouse effect. But we didn’t. And it isn’t just Mr. Hansen who got it wrong. Models devised by the United Nations Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change have, on average, predicted about twice as much warming as has been observed since global satellite temperature monitoring began 40 years ago.

As observed temperatures diverged over the years from his predictions, Mr. Hansen doubled down. In a 2007 case on auto emissions, he stated in his deposition that most of Greenland’s ice would soon melt, raising sea levels 23 feet over the course of 100 years. Subsequent research published in Nature magazine on the history of Greenland’s ice cap demonstrated this to be impossible. Much of Greenland’s surface melts every summer, meaning rapid melting might reasonably be expected to occur in a dramatically warming world. But not in the one we live in. The Nature study found only modest ice loss after 6,000 years of much warmer temperatures than human activity could ever sustain.
Several more of Mr. Hansen’s predictions can now be judged by history. Have hurricanes gotten stronger, as Mr. Hansen predicted in a 2016 study? No. Satellite data from 1970 onward shows no evidence of this in relation to global surface temperature. Have storms caused increasing amounts of damage in the U.S.? Data from the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration show no such increase in damage, measured as a percentage of gross domestic product. How about stronger tornadoes? The opposite may be true, as NOAA data offers some evidence of a decline. The list of what didn’t happen is long and tedious.
This, more recently, from today, from Watts Up With That?
It has been 30 years since the alarm bell was sounded for manmade global warming caused by modern industrial society. And predictions made on that day—and ever since—continue to be falsified in the real world.
The predictions made by climate scientist James Hansen and Michael Oppenheimer back in 1988—and reported as model projected by journalist Philip Shabecoff—constitute yet another exaggerated Malthusian scare, joining those of the population bomb (Paul Ehrlich), resource exhaustion (Club of Rome), Peak Oil (M. King Hubbert), and global cooling (John Holdren).
Consider the opening global warming salvo (quoted above). Dire predictions of global warming and sea-level rise are well on their way to being falsified—and by a lot, not a little. Meanwhile, a CO2-led global greening has occurred, and climate-related deaths have plummeted as industrialization and prosperity have overcome statism in many areas of the world.
Take the mid-point of the above’s predicted warming, six degrees. At the thirty-year mark, how is it looking? The increase is about one degree—and largely holding (the much-discussed “pause” or “warming hiatus”). And remember, the world has naturally warmed since the end of the Little Ice Age to the present, a good thing if climate economists are to be believed.
Turning to sea-level rise, the exaggeration appears greater. Both before and after the 1980s, decadal sea-level rise has been a few inches. And it has not been appreciably accelerating.
“The rate of sea level rise during the period ~1925–1960 is as large as the rate of sea level rise the past few decades, noted climate scientist Judith Curry. “Human emissions of CO2 mostly grew after 1950; so, humans don’t seem to be to blame for the early 20th century sea level rise, nor for the sea level rise in the 19th and late 18th centuries."
Temporary, at best.

By the way, the tea leaves suggest there is simply a (relative) lull in advocacy for green energy in the United States.  Once Trump is out of office, either in early 2021, or 2025, the US will return to the global warming fold. The Walmart story at this link is part of the tea leaves.
Walmart has now become a huge consumer of green power, getting about 28 percent of its electricity from renewables. It’s the eighth largest corporate buyer of wind and solar power worldwide since 2008.
Walmart’s pledge to almost double green usage, unveiled by current CEO Doug McMillon, means using 15.7 billion kilowatt hours of wind and solar energy in 2025. That would exceed the levels set by 140 companies that have also committed to switching to green power. And for comparison, that extra power would be about the same amount consumed by the entire nation of Turkmenistan (pop: 5.4 million) in 2015.
The campaign comes as the cost of wind and solar is plummeting. So Walmart’s efforts aren’t all altruistic, of course. It won’t discuss its energy costs or how much it saves, but notes that in many places renewable energy is cheaper than electricity from fossil fuels.

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