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Climate Change Science Not Settled



By Thomas Tucker

August 8, 2017 - My letter noting that “Climate Alarmists” have finally admitted that their computer models are “systematically flawed” was published in your paper on July 11, 2017. These models predict rapid increases in the earth’s temperature and are the primary basis for predictions of catastrophic, human-caused, global warming from which the whole “climate change” movement developed. This movement has been used by liberal politicians to attempt to kill the carbon-based energy industry and to regulate our lives.

In your July 30 issue, George Bakken responded to my letter. He says that I told how I had discovered a scientific paper that found “some flaws” in climate models and that I implied that “a modest correction” means the models are junk. He asserts that I am all wrong because the ice caps are melting.

First of all, the publication I noted is authored by 16 leading “Alarmists”, including Michael Mann, the father of the “hockey stick” graph which was used by Al Gore to stir up all the panic. These leaders of the “Climate Change” movement are admitting that their “large multi-model ensemble” (more than 70 computer programs) has “systematic deficiencies”. In fact, these models on average predict earth temperature increases that are too high by a factor of more than three. No “modest correction” can salvage these fatally flawed models. I’m sure Professor Bakken, would throw out a student’s model of a theory that was off by a factor of three.

As regards the ice caps, satellites have been measuring the presence of ice since 1978, and the stories for the North and South are quite different.

In the North, when the satellite measurements began, temperatures were the coldest since the 1920s and the Arctic sea ice extent was anomalously high. By 2007 there was about a 1.5 million square Km decline. In 2007 the decline ceased and there is evidence of subsequent thickening. Even the UN has agreed that natural variability played a major role in the North ice cap reductions in the late 20th century.

In the South, satellite data has shown a steady upward trend in Antarctic sea ice ever since measurements began.

The late 20th century decline in the North and its cesession in 2007 are consistent with predictions and the earth’s temperature history, but the rise in the South is not. I think it can be forcefully argued that the science in this field is not settled and contrary to Bakken, it is not correct to say, as he did, that it is something “that anyone with time and money can observe”.

The entire second half of Bakken’s response concerns a computer program that was developed by a “non-white immigrant from Taiwan”, who spent decades fixing flaws in the program of the kind Bakken must think are in the Climate Modes I addressed in my letter. Bakken believes that this immigrant’s efforts may well have a positive impact on our lives and concludes that this makes obvious the folly of the Republican and Trump racist immigration policy and attacks on climate research.

What is obvious is that Bakken doesn’t know the difference between the multi-model ensemble of programs that predicted catastrophic global warming and the weather models used to predict storms and help Jesse Walker with his nightly TV show. He certainly doesn’t appreciate the implications of “systematically deficient” flaws and “modest corrections” as related to global warming models.

I think I’ll just let the racist accusation drop of its own weight.