It’s Time to Stop the Climate Scare Stories
Editor’s note: This article was originally published to the ACC’s online magazine website (www.acclive.com) in October, 2014. It has been moved to the Coalblog as part of our redesign of our online publications.
Using faulty computer models to forecast climate chaos condemns millions to untimely deaths
By Willie Soon and Christopher Monckton
Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi sensibly refuses to attend yet another climate summit — this one called by UN Secretary General Ban Ki-Moon in New York for Sept. 23, under the auspices of the United Nations, which profits handsomely from the much-exaggerated climate scare.
Environmentalists have complained at Mr. Modi’s decision not to attend. They say rising atmospheric carbon dioxide (CO2) will cause droughts, melt Himalayan ice and poison lakes and waterways in the Indian subcontinent.
However, the UN’s climate panel, the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC), has already had to backtrack on an earlier assertion that all the ice in the Himalayas would be gone within 25 years, and the most comprehensive review of drought trends worldwide shows the global land area under drought has fallen throughout the past 30 years.
Mr. Modi, a spiritual man and thus down-to-earth, knows that a quarter of India’s people still have no electricity. His priority is to turn on the lights all over India. In Bihar, four homes in five are lit by kerosene.
Electric power is the quickest, surest, cheapest way to lift people out of poverty and so to stabilize India’s population, which may soon overtake China’s.
The Indian-born Nobel laureate in economics, Professor Amartya Sen, recently lamented: “There would appear to be an insufficient recognition in global discussion of the need for increased power in the poorer countries. In India, for example, about a third of the people do not have any power connection at all. Making it easier to produce energy with better environmental correlates (and greater efficiency of energy use) may be a contribution not just to environmental planning, but also to making it possible for a great many people to lead a fuller and free life.”
The world’s governing elite, however, no longer cares about poverty. Climate change is its new and questionable focus.
In late August, the Asian Development Bank, for instance, based on UN IPCC rising CO2 scenarios, predicted that warmer weather would cut rice production, rising seas would engulf Mumbai and other coastal megacities, and rainfall would decline by 10 to 40 percent in many Indian provinces.
Droughts and floods have occurred throughout India’s history. In the widespread famine caused by the drought of 1595-1598, “Men ate their own kind. The streets and roads were blocked with corpses, but no assistance can be given for their removal,” a chronicler in Akbar’s court reported.
Every Indian knows that too much (or too little) monsoon rainfall can bring death. That is why the latest computer-generated, doom-and-gloom scenario by the Asian Development Bank is not merely unwelcome — it is repugnant. Garbage in, gospel out.
In truth, rice production has risen steadily, sea level is barely rising and even the UN’s climate panel has twice been compelled to admit that there is no evidence of a worldwide change in rainfall.
Subtropical India will not warm by much: advection would take most additional heat poleward. Besides, globally there has been little or no warming for almost two decades. The models did not predict that. The UN’s climate panel, on our advice, has recently all but halved its central estimate of near-term warming.
Sea level is rising no faster than for 150 years. From 2004-2012 the Envisat satellite reported a rise of a tenth of an inch. From 2003-2009 gravity satellites actually showed sea level falling. Results like these have not hitherto been reported in the mainstream news media.
More than two centuries of scientific research have failed to make the duration or magnitude of monsoons predictable. Monsoons depend on sea and surface temperature and wind conditions in the Indian and Western Pacific Oceans, timing of El Niños in the equatorial Pacific, variations in Eurasian and Himalayan winter snow cover, even wind direction in the equatorial stratosphere.
Earlier this year, the Indian Meteorological Department predicted a one in four chance that the 2014 monsoon rainfall would be below the long-term average, leading to a year of drought.
The prediction was wrong. Widespread floods in northwestern India and Pakistan have killed several hundred people. Many environmentalists and governmental officials are now insisting that rising atmospheric CO2 is the culprit. Yet the one cause of the recent floods that can be altogether ruled out is global warming, for the good and sufficient reason that for 18 years there has not been any warming.
Worse still for CO2 alarmists: 20th and 21st century warming did not occur in the western Himalayas, and paleo-temperature records from for the last millennium confirm no exceptional recent warming in this region, although the Medieval Warm Period was warmer than today almost everywhere else.
Regardless of the numerous political manipulations of fact and reality, the scientific problems of forecasting monsoon self-evidently remain unsolved.
In 1906, the forecasts depended on 28 unknowns. By 2007, scientists from the Indian Institute of Tropical Meteorology were using 73. So insisting that just one variable — CO2 concentration — will drive future monsoons is unscientific.
Professor Nandakumar Sarma, vice-chancellor of Manipur University, recently confirmed “even supercomputers cannot predict what will happen due to climate change within 10-20 years, since there are millions of variable parameters.”
Models said monsoons would become more intense. Instead, they have weakened for 50 years.
As for the floods in the northwest, a study of three major rivers floods in Gujarat by Dr. Alpa Sridhar confirmed that past floods were at least eight to 10 times worse than recent floods such as that of 1973. CO2-based climate models have been unable to “hindcast” or recreate those floods.
Models also fail to replicate the 60 and 200-year cycles in monsoon rainfall linked to solar cycles detected by studies of ocean sediments from the Arabian Sea.
A new study led by Professor K.M. Hiremath of the Indian Institute of Astrophysics shows the strong, possibly causative correlation between variations in solar activity (red curve) and in monsoon rainfall (blue curve) in Figure 1.
The red curve is actually the result of a simulation of the Indian monsoon rainfall for the past 120 years using solar activity as a forcing variable. The sun is visibly a far more likely influence on monsoon patterns than changes in CO2 concentration.
Governments also overlook a key conclusion from the world’s modelers, led by Dr. Fred Kucharski of the Abdus Salam International Centre for Theoretical Physics: “The increase of greenhouse gases in the 20th century has not significantly contributed to the observed decadal Indian monsoonal rainfall variability.”
Not one climate model predicted the severe Indian drought of 2009, followed by the prolonged rains the next year — up by 40 percent in most regions. These natural variations are not new. They have happened for tens of thousands of years.
A paper for Climate Dynamics co-authored by Professor Goswami, recently-retired director of the Indian Institute of Tropical Meteorology, shows why the models relied upon by the UN’s climate panel’s recent assessments predict monsoons inaccurately.
All 16 models examined had the same fatal flaw: they made rain too easily by artificially elevating air and water masses in the atmosphere.
Models are not ready to predict the climate. Misusing computers to spew out multiple “what-if” scenarios is unscientific.
Most fundamental problems in our immature understanding of climate have remained unresolved for decades. Some cannot be resolved at all. The UN’s climate panel admitted in 2001 what has been known for 50 years: because the climate is a “coupled, non-linear, chaotic object,” reliable long-term climate prediction is impossible.
Misuse of climate models as false prophets is costly in lives as well as treasure.
To condemn the poorest of India’s poor to continuing poverty is to condemn many to an untimely death. Mr. Modi is right to have no more to do with such murderous nonsense. It is time to put an end to climate summits. On the evidence, they are not needed.
Willie Soon is a solar physicist and climate scientist at Cambridge, Massachusetts, USA. Lord Monckton was an expert reviewer for the Fifth Assessment Report (2013) of the UN’s climate panel, the IPCC.