Monday, 7 January 2008

Global warming again

recent days in Poland were rather cold (-10C) with wind chilling us to the bone. In such a weather it is quite strange to think about global warming, but still...

I have found recently the following paper:
Douglass, D. H.; Christy, J. R.; Pearsona, B. D. & Singer, S. F.
A comparison of tropical temperature trends with model predictions International Journal of Climatology, 2007.

The article compares several General Circulation Models (GCMs) with observations. And, not surprisingly for a topic of my blog, it finds some discrepancies.

In the summary of the article, the authors state
We have tested the proposition that greenhouse model
simulations and trend observations can be reconciled. Our
conclusion is that the present evidence, with the application
of a robust statistical test, supports rejection of this
proposition. [...] On the whole, the evidence indicates that
model trends in the troposphere are very likely inconsistent
with observations that indicate that, since 1979, there
is no significant long-term amplification factor relative to
the surface. If these results continue to be supported, then
future projections of temperature change, as depicted in
the present suite of climate models, are likely too high.

Now I do not have the time nor the knowledge to follow my usual advice and to go for the sources. But the paper, with its controversial claims, has been published in a peer-reviewed journal of the Royal Meteorological Society. Presumably these people know what they write about. Or can anyone tell me that they are wrong?

The World Climate Report blog
discusses the paper and and the opening comments are quite important. I think anyone who wants to discuss the Global Warming should remember that the scientific research on the matter is far from over, and that giving politically motivated Nobel Prizes does not settle the discrepancies between observations and predictions.
Over and over, we hear that the global warming debate is over, the science is settled, and it is time to move past the science and turn the focus onto the policy side of the issue. Anyone who suggests that the science is not settled and the debate is still alive is immediately accused of being heavily funded by industry and discredited by the mainstream scientific community. Who could forget the August 13, 2007 Newsweek issue with its cover suggesting “naysayers” are well-funded by industry and apparently unaware that the Earth is becoming the red planet.

Anyone who reads World Climate Report regularly is aware that the debate is very much alive and well in the major scientific journals related to global warming. We find numerous articles each year presenting results that are clearly at odds with the popular predictions and claims of the global warming advocates.

By the way, I am not funded by the industry in writing this blog. Anyone willing to change that?

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