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When the history of climate modeling comes to be written in some distant future, the major story may well be how the easy, computable answer turned out to be the wrong one, resulting in overestimated warming and false scares from the enhanced (man-made) greenhouse effect.
Meanwhile, empirical and theoretical evidence is mounting toward this game-changing verdict despite the best efforts of the establishment to look the other way.
Consider a press release this month from the University of Colorado Boulder, “Warmer Clouds, Cooler Planet,” subtitled “precipitation-related ‘feedback’ cycle means models may overestimate warming.”
“Today’s climate models are showing more warmth than their predecessors,” the announcement begins.
But a paper published this week highlights how models may err on the side of too much warming: Earth’s warming clouds cool the surface more than anticipated, the German-led team reported in Nature Climate Change.
“Our work shows that the increase in climate sensitivity from the last generation of climate models should be taken with a huge grain of salt,” said CIRES Fellow Jennifer Kay, an associate professor of atmospheric and oceanic sciences at CU Boulder and co-author on the paper.
The press release goes on to state how incorporating this negative feedback will improve next-generation climate models, something that is of the utmost importance given the upcoming Sixth Assessment of the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC). But will conflicted modelers and the politicized IPCC be upfront with the elephant in the room?
Strong positive feedbacks from the release of carbon dioxide (CO2) and other manmade greenhouse gases (GHG) are what turn a modest and even positive warming into the opposite. The assumption has been that increased evaporation in a warmer world (from oceans, primarily) causes a strongly positive feedback, doubling or even tripling the primary warming.
In technical terms, water molecules trap heat, and clouds or vapor in the upper tropical troposphere – where the air is extremely dry – trap substantially more heat, thickening the greenhouse. How water inhabits this upper layer (≈30,000–50,000 feet) to either block (magnify) or release (diminish) the heat is in debate, leaving the sign of the externality unknown for climate economics. And it is the upper troposphere where climate models are data-confounding.
Assuming fixed relative atmospheric humidity allows modelers to invoke ceteris paribus against altered physical processes that might well negate the secondary warming. This controversial assumption opens the door for hyper-modeling that is at odds with reality. (For economists, the analogy would be assuming “perfect competition” to unleash hyper theorizing.)
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Theoreticians have long been at odds with model technicians. MIT’s Richard Lindzen, author of Dynamics in Atmospheric Physics, has advanced different hypotheses about why water-vapor feedback is much less than modeled. Judith Curry, whose blog Climate Etc. is a leading source to follow physical-science and related developments, is another critic of high-sensitivity models.
“There’s a range of credible perspectives that I try to consider,” she states. “It’s a very complex problem, and we don’t have the answers yet.”
And now we have way too much confidence in some very dubious climate models and inadequate data sets. And we’re not really framing the problem broadly enough to … make credible projections about the range of things that we could possibly see in the 21st century.
Climate scientists know that climate models are extremely complicated and fragile. In What We Know About Climate Change (2018, p. 30), Kerry Emanuel of MIT explains:
Computer modeling of global climate is perhaps the most complex endeavor ever undertaken by humankind. A typical climate model consists of millions of lines of computer instructions designed to simulate an enormous range of physical phenomena….
Although the equations representing the physical and chemical processes in the climate system are well known, they cannot be solved exactly. …. The problem here is that many important processes happen at much smaller scales.
The parameterization problem is akin to the fallacies of macroeconomics, where the crucial causality of individual action is ignored. Microphysics is the driver of climate change, yet the equations are unsettled and sub-grid scale. Like macroeconomics, macro-climatology should have been highly qualified and demoted long ago.
My mentor Gerald North, former head of the climatology department at Texas A&M, had a number of observations about the crude, overrated nature of climate models back in 1998–99 that are still relevant today.
We do not know much about modeling climate. It is as though we are modeling a human being. Models are in position at last to tell us the creature has two arms and two legs, but we are being asked to cure cancer.
There is a good reason for a lack of consensus on the science. It is simply too early. The problem is difficult, and there are pitifully few ways to test climate models.
One has to fill in what goes on between 5 km and the surface. The standard way is through atmospheric models. I cannot make a better excuse.
The different models couple to the oceans differently. There is quite a bit of slack here (undetermined fudge factors). If a model is too sensitive, one can just couple in a little more ocean to make it agree with the record. This is why models with different sensitivities all seem to mock the record about equally well. (Modelers would be insulted by my explanation, but I think it is correct.)
[Model results] could also be sociological: getting the socially acceptable answer.
The IPCC 5th assessment (2013), the “official” or mainstream report, recognizes fundamental uncertainty while accepting model methodology and results at face value. “The complexity of models,” it is stated (p. 824), “has increased substantially since the IPCC First Assessment Report in 1990….”
However, every bit of added complexity, while intended to improve some aspect of simulated climate, also introduces new sources of possible error (e.g., via uncertain parameters) and new interactions between model components that may, if only temporarily, degrade a model’s simulation of other aspects of the climate system. Furthermore, despite the progress that has been made, scientific uncertainty regarding the details of many processes remains.
The humbling nature of climate modeling was publicized by The Economist in 2019. “Predicting the Climate Future is Riddled with Uncertainty” explained:
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[Climate modeling] is a complicated process. A model’s code has to represent everything from the laws of thermodynamics to the intricacies of how air molecules interact with one another. Running it means performing quadrillions of mathematical operations a second—hence the need for supercomputers.
[S]uch models are crude. Millions of grid cells might sound a lot, but it means that an individual cell’s area, seen from above, is about 10,000 square kilometres, while an air or ocean cell may have a volume of as much as 100,000km3. Treating these enormous areas and volumes as points misses much detail.
Clouds, for instance, present a particular challenge to modellers. Depending on how they form and where, they can either warm or cool the climate. But a cloud is far smaller than even the smallest grid-cells, so its individual effect cannot be captured. The same is true of regional effects caused by things like topographic features or islands.
Building models is also made hard by lack of knowledge about the ways that carbon—the central atom in molecules of carbon dioxide and methane, the main heat-capturing greenhouse gases other than water vapour—moves through the environment.
“But researchers are doing the best they can,” The Economist concluded.
Climate models, in fact, are significantly overestimating warming, even by one-half. And the gap is widening as a coolish 2021 is well underway. And as for the future, anthropogenic warming is constrained by the logarithmic rather than linear effect of GHG forcing. The saturation effect means that as the atmosphere contains more CO2, the warming increase becomes less and less. The warming from a doubling of CO2, in other words, does not reoccur at a tripling but a quadrupling.
The mitigation window is rapidly closing, in other words, explaining the shrill language from prominent politicians. But it is the underlying climate models, not the climate itself, that is running out of time.
“Unsettled” Goes Mainstream
The crude methodology and false conclusions of climate modeling is emerging from the shadows. Physicist and computer expert Steven Koonin, in his influential Unsettled: What Climate Science Tells Us, What it Doesn’t, and Why It Matters (chapter 4) explains:
Climate modeling is central to climate science…. Yet many important phenomena occur on scales smaller than the 100 km (60 mile) grid size (such as mountains, clouds, and thunderstorms), and so researchers must make “subgrid” assumptions to build a complete model….
Since the results generally don’t much look like the climate system we observe, modelers then adjust (“tune”) these parameters to get a better match with some features of the real climate system.
Undertuning leaves the model unrealistic, but overturning “risks cooking the books—that is, predetermining the answer,” adds Koonin. He then quotes from a paper co-authored by 15 world-class modelers:
… tuning is often seen as an unavoidable but dirty part of climate modeling, more engineering than science, an act of tinkering that does not merit recording in the scientific literature…. Tuning may be seen indeed as an unspeakable way to compensate for model errors.
Climate modeling has arguably been worse than nothing because false information has been presented as true and “consensus.” Alarmism and disruptive policy activism (forced substitution of inferior energies; challenges to lifestyle norms) have taken on a life of their own. Fire, ready, aim has substituted for prudence, from science to public policy.
Data continue to confound naïve climate models. Very difficult theory is slowly but surely explaining why. The climate debate is back to the physical science, where it never should have left.
New Conservative Network Seeks Crowdfunding Help
They say we have to go big or go home. We’re trying to go big and bring the patriotic truth the the nation, but we need help.
Readers may or may not realize that over the past year, we’ve been bringing more conservative news and opinion outlets under our wing. Don’t take our expansion as a sign of riches; all of the “acquisitions” have been through sweat and promises of greater things to come for all involved. As a result, we’ve been able to bring together several independent media sites under a unified vision of preventing America from succumbing to the progressive, “woke,” Neo-Marxist ideologies that are spreading like wildfire across America.
The slow and steady reopening of America is revealing there was a lot more economic hardship brought about from the Covd-19 lockdowns than most realize. While we continue to hope advertising dollars on the sites go up, it’s simply not enough to do things the right way. We are currently experiencing a gap between revenue and expenses that cannot be overcome by click-ads and MyPillow promos alone (promo code “NOQ” by the way).
To overcome our revenue gap and keep these sites running, our needs fluctuate between $3000-$7000 per month. In other words, we’re in the red and hemorrhaging.
The best way you can help us grow and continue to bring the truth to the people is by donating. We appreciate everything, whether a dollar or $10,000. Anything brings us closer to a point of stability when we can hire writers, editors, and support staff to make the America First message louder. Our Giving Fuel page makes it easy to donate one-time or monthly. Alternatively, you can donate through PayPal as well.
As the world spirals towards radical progressivism, the need for truthful journalism has never been greater. But in these times, we need as many conservative media voices as possible. Please help keep NOQ Report and the other sites in the network going.
Thank you and God Bless,
Most “Conservative” News Outlets Are on the Big Tech Teat
Not long ago, conservative media was not beholden to anyone. Today, most sites are stuck on the Big Tech gravy train.
I’ll keep this short. The rise of Pandemic Panic Theater, massive voter fraud, and other “taboo” topics have neutered a majority of conservative news sites. You’ll notice they are very careful about what topics they tackle. Sure, they’ll attack Critical Race Theory, Antifa, and the Biden-Harris regime, but you won’t see them going after George Soros, Bill Gates, the World Economic Forum, or the Deep State, among others.
The reason is simple. They are beholden to Big Tech, and Big Tech doesn’t allow certain topics to be discussed or they’ll cut you off. Far too many conservative news outlets rely on Google, Facebook, and Twitter for the bulk of their traffic. They depend on big checks from Google ads to keep the sites running. I don’t necessarily hold it against them. We all do what we need to do to survive. I just wish more would do like we have, which is to cut out Big Tech altogether.
We don’t get Google checks. We don’t have Facebook or Twitter buttons on our stories. We don’t have a YouTube Channel (banned), an Instagram profile (never made one), or a TikTok (no thanks, CCP). We’re not perfect, but we’re doing everything we can to not owe anything to anyone… other than our readers. We owe YOU the truth. We owe YOU the facts that others won’t reveal about topics that others won’t tackle. And we owe America, this great land that allows us to take hold of these opportunities.
Like I said, I don’t hold other conservative sites under too much scrutiny over their choices. It’s easy for people to point fingers when we’re not the ones paying their bills or supporting their families. I just wish there were more who would make the bold move. Today, only a handful of other major conservative news outlets have broken free from the Big Tech teat. Of course, we need help.
The best way you can help us grow and continue to bring proper news and opinions to the people is by donating. We appreciate everything, whether a dollar or $10,000. Anything brings us closer to a point of stability when we can hire writers, editors, and support staff to make the America First message louder. Our Giving Fuel page makes it easy to donate one-time or monthly. Alternatively, you can donate through PayPal or Bitcoin as well. Bitcoin: 3A1ELVhGgrwrypwTJhPwnaTVGmuqyQrMB8
Our network is currently comprised of nine sites:
- NOQ Report
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- Truth. Based. Media.
- Freedom First Network
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- Uncanceled News
- American Conservative Movement
- Conservative Playbook
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We are also building partnerships with great conservative sites like The Liberty Daily and The Epoch Times to advance the message as loudly as possible, and we’re always looking for others with which to partner.
Some of our content is spread across multiple sites. Other pieces of content are unique. We write most of what we post but we also draw from those willing to allow us to share their quality articles, videos, and podcasts. We collect the best content from fellow conservative sites that give us permission to republish them. We’re not ego-driven; I’d much rather post a properly attributed story written by experts like Dr. Joseph Mercola or Natural News than rewrite it like so many outlets like to do. We’re not here to take credit. We’re here to spread the truth.
While donations are the best way to help, you can also support us by buying through our sponsors:
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- MyPatriotSupply: Stock up on long-term food, survival gear, and other things that you’ll need just in case things don’t recover and we keep heading towards apocalypse.
We know we could make a lot more money if we sold out like so many “conservative” publications out there. You won’t find Google ads on our site for a reason. Yes, they’re lucrative, but I don’t like getting paid by minions of Satan (I don’t like Google very much if you couldn’t tell).
Time is short. As the world spirals towards The Great Reset, the need for truthful journalism has never been greater. But in these times, we need as many conservative media voices as possible. Please help keep NOQ Report and the other sites in the network going. Our promise is this: We will never sell out America. If that means we’re going to struggle for a while or even indefinitely, so be it. Integrity first. Truth first. America first.
Thank you and God Bless,