Climate Change

Published on September 25th, 2015 | by Guest Contributor

64

Exxon’s Global Warming Projections Were Nearly Spot On In 1981

September 25th, 2015 by  

Originally published on ScienceBlogs.
By Greg Laden

Exxon_1981_graph-590x510

Look at the graph at the top of the post.

This is a graph from the now famous Exxon documents that date to 1981, explaining how Exxon scientists were projecting global warming with continued release of the greenhouse gas CO2 into the atmosphere. There is a lot written about that work which remained secret until just a few days ago. The timing of this expose is interesting because it comes at about the same moment as a call to use US RICO laws to investigate and possibly prosecute those who seem to have been conspiring for a long time muddy the waters about the science of climate change in order to put off taking action that might financially hurt Big Petrol. (See also this.)

There are several interesting things about this graph. First, it was made in the 1980s, which proves that an IBM Selectric can make graphs. But never mind that. The graph shows the range of global surface temperature (vertical axis) over time (horizontal axis) in the past and future. If there was no effect from the human generated greenhouse gas CO2, global surface temperature would range, and had previously ranged, between about a half a degree C (Kelvin in the graph, but one degree K is one degree C) above and below a hypothetical baseline. However, given the influence of human generated greenhouse gas, the temperature rises.

When I saw this graph, I was reminded of several other graphs, such as the current surface temperature graphs showing rather shocking warming over the last few decades (since the Exxon graph was first typed). I was also reminded of the IPCC projections for warming, and the Hockey Stick graph of Mann, Hughes and others. It is notable that Exxon scientists, even before the marriage of the increasingly refined paleo-record with the increasingly detailed instrumental record that clearly demonstrated global warming, essentially had it right.

So I decided to see how right they were. To do this I made a graph that I’ll call a “Thumbsuck Estimate” (a phrase I picked up working in South Africa) of what the instrumental record of global surface warming, the IPCC projections, and Exxon ca 1981 indicated. My source graphs, other than the one shown above, included a graph of NOAA’s instrumental record (moving 12 month average) put together by my colleague John Abraham to include the most recent data:

NOAA_Data_John_Abraham-610x384And the graph found in Michael Mann’s book, “Dire Predictions” showing the instrumental record and the various IPCC projections.

Dire_Prediction_Mann_IPCC-610x799For all three graphs, I estimated the center line of the variation indicated (the midpoint of the range shown on the Exxon graph, the midpoint of the range of IPCC estimates, the midpoints of relevant clusters of observed temperature values from NOAA) using simple interpolation with the help of a graphic application with moveable guides. I then recorded the available numbers (using years that matched across the graphics) in a spreadsheet, and specified for each data series a second order polynomial. The reason I used the second order polynomial is simply that the data consist of two parts, the background (roughly, pre-industrial though not quite) variation in surface temperature, and the upward swing of surface temperatures under anthropogenic global warming. By using the polynomial I’d get a curve that approximated this transition without using fancy statistics. Thumbsuck methodology.

This is the graph I got:

Comparing_Exxon_IPCC_NOAA-610x506Notice that Exxon 1981 had it right. The revelations of the Exxon research, and the fact that it was kept secret and all that, is an interesting story. And, that story will develop over coming days, week, and months. But I don’t want to lose track of the other story, in some ways even more interesting. How surprised should we be, after all, that a major corporation would both look into and ignore, possibly even repress, the science associated with their primary activity? Not at all, really. But what is surprising is that we (and by “we” I mean scientists who have studied climate change) have understood the basic problem for a very long time, and decades of research have confirmed early findings, and of course, added important details.

With respect to the existential nature of global warming, we knew then what we know now, in broad outline.

There are some great uncertainties associated with anthropogenic climate change. For example, we don’t know how much sea levels will ultimately rise, or how long that will take. We don’t actually know in detail what will happen to specific coastlines that are inundated. We don’t know everything we need to now about how weather, especially as it relates to important endeavors such as food production, will change. We know it has already changed and will change more, but we can’t at this point confidently predict exactly what will happen, where, and when. And there are other things we don’t know.

But the basic relationship between greenhouse gasses and surface temperature rise, given a certain (not small but not huge) amount of variability, is something we do have a good idea of. Our knowledge of this problem predates concerted efforts by science deniers to distract, ignore, and avoid the science. The actual amount of surface temperature increase given a certain amount of CO2 and other greenhouse gasses added to the atmosphere is of course subject to multiple variables, and I don’t want to give the impression that we know the precise march of surface temperatures over time. But if you stand back a way, squint just a little, and look at what science could have said in 1981 and what it says now, they are pretty much the same.

See also this from Weather Underground

Reprinted with permission.


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  • Bart_R

    Interesting to note; practically every working coal mine today is new since this information was available in the 1970’s.

    No one in the industry alive today started to sink costs into the ground without certain knowledge of unlimited harms.

    That’s far more than RICO.

  • Geoff Flight

    I briefly wondered why there was 100% support for the AGW scam on this site and then I found out why.

    Anything that doesnt support the religious position of alarmists GETS DELETED.

    This comments sections has all the validity of the comments on the “google pays me $97 an hour…”

    Take a clue from an actual marketer. When your ‘testimonials’ section has nothing but glowing praise and rigid adherence to your viewpoint, people will ignore it and treat it as a scam. Because it usually is.

    • Bob_Wallace

      No, Geoff, it’s not that there’s 100% support for “the AGW scam” on this site.

      It’s that there is 100% support for science and facts on this site and when one supports science and facts then climate change is part of the package, just like the Earth being (sort of) round.

      Let me copy over you the salient part of the site’s commenting policy when it comes to climate change….

      “CT respects the 97.1% of climate science peer-reviewed papers which have established a position on global warming and the 98% of climate scientists who have stated their position, agree that global warming is real, caused by humans and extremely serious. The only real debate is what to do in an attempt to minimize the harm, which is a primary focus of this blog. Global warming denying comments are always irrelevant on CT and will be removed.

      Global warming denier sites are not reliable sources. If they make a point and reference a peer-reviewed study published in a reputable journal or industry document, reference the study or document directly.

      If you repeatedly violate commenting rules then you will lose the privilege of commenting.”

      http://cleantechnica.com/cleantechnica-comment-policy/

      Consider yourself adequately informed.

      • Geoff Flight

        This is not my first time at bat. ‘denier sites’ are routinely identified by people such as yourself as any site that questions the belief of AGW including those that present contrary scientific data. Essentially all you do is reject any commentary not in line with your belief, the absolute antithesis of the scientific method which welcomes criticism and correction. By rejecting criticism all you do is make yourself less of a scientist.

        The consensus claims that you make above are bunkum and have in fact been show to be so by a peer-reviewed survey. But you continue to quote them.

        There is a litmus test for this kind of discussion that I would like to invoke. The Hockey Stick.

        The hockey stick has been repudiated and rejected the world over by reputable scientists. Would you care to let me know if this site and its adherents blindly swallow the pseudoscience that is the Hockey stick? If yes, then I will leave you to your consensus of ignorance. You will note that I haven’t told you what I would do if you said no. I suspect that is a waste of time.

        Over to you.

    • Joseph Dubeau

      Don’t you get it, nobody believes you no matter the website.
      There is a difference between facts and opinion.

    • Bart_R

      Hey Geoff. I’m an actual marketer too.

      You know one thing we don’t do in marketing where I’m from?

      We don’t libel identifiable groups by calling the product of their professional work a scam.

      We don’t insult religion. And we don’t give the impression we think less of the religious by throwing the word around like it were an insult.

      In short, you’re a lousy marketer.

      Is it possible you mean you’re a propagandist?

    • Epicurus

      “the AGW scam”

      Yeah, it’s just like the “smoking causes lung cancer” scam.

      But I’m not sure every national scientific society in the world like our National Academy of Sciences and Britain’s Royal Society (founded in 1660) has taken a position on smoking and lung cancer as they have on anthropogenic climate change.

    • Epicurus

      “Exxon’s Own Research Confirmed Fossil Fuels’ Role in Global Warming Decades Ago”

      http://insideclimatenews.org/news/15092015/Exxons-own-research-confirmed-fossil-fuels-role-in-global-warming

    • Rick Kooi

      I had the SAME experience with Right Wing/Pro Oil/Coal news sites…BreitFart etc.

      The huge amount of deception and hate comes from the PRO OIL/COAL/GAS allies….is beyond belief!!

      A
      couple of decades years ago, a University of Wisconsin Agriculture
      Professor gave a lecture on the future of Agriculture and the Family
      Farm (in Wis. that is a big deal).

      After his lecture, he took
      questions and one of the last was “what has changed, besides the
      machines, in agriculture in Wisconsin.

      His response was to point
      out that the department’s detailed records indicate that in the Fall,
      The 1st HARD Frost was just a little over 3 weeks later…the the LAST
      HARD Frost in the Spring was just under 3 weeks earlier than a century
      ago.

      He drew NO causation conclusions,
      his point was that many farmers were able to get a 2nd harvest off the land which has aided profitability.
      …but which also caused big money’s interest in industrial farms threatening the family farm.

      Now THAT is a pretty harmless conclusion.

      ….the phone calls to his home and office were numerous and all threatening.
      …”how dare he spout ‘global warming crap science’.
      …does he want to ‘keep his job’.
      …’do you have children?’….etc…..
      The police were involved.
      …the
      Sheriff said he was amazed at the attacks when his review of the
      recording verified that NO Mention was made of ‘global warming’.

      There are literally thousands of similar reports…many investigated by newspapers etc.

      Don’t take my word for it,
      though. Be skeptical,
      but practice skepticism in the modern sense, which, according to Michael Shermer, publisher of Skeptic Magazine,
      “is the rigorous application of science and reason to test the validity of any and all claims.”

      Not all of us have the wherewithal to do that,
      but
      if a person tells you they don’t “believe” in global warming or think
      it’s a hoax, *****feel free to question their thinking,
      sources of data and qualifications of people they quote.
      *****These are the sorts of questions I’d ask:

      – Why have Arctic average temperatures increased at least 4 degrees since the mid-20th century?

      – Why have global average temperatures increased by 1.5 degrees since the 1960s?

      – Why has the Arctic ice pack volume decreased 40 percent since 1979?

      – Why are almost all major mountain glaciers receding at a rapid rate?

      – Why is Greenland’s ice cap shrinking?

      – Why has the frequency of extreme weather events (floods, droughts,
      wildfires, major storms) been increasing since the mid-20th century?

      – Why is sea life in the Atlantic Ocean migrating to higher latitudes?

      – Why are global temperatures increasing while the energy output from the sun is actually decreasing?

      The list could go on and on
      (I’d be happy to provide literature citations for all the above assertions, by the way).

      There
      are still a small number of climatologists who are not convinced that
      global warming is a problem. They mostly question the validity of
      climate models, but not, to my knowledge, the observed data.
      *******
      Headlines:

      “Friday, Jun 19, 2015 10:39 AM CDT
      Alaska’s climate hell: Record heat, wildfires and melting glaciers signal a scary new normal
      The Arctic state is battling two major blazes against a backdrop of rapid warming”
      ….
      “Pull
      back a little further, and we all have reason to be concerned, not
      least because Alaska is, as Holthaus puts it, “a canary in our climate
      coal mine.” In a study out just this week, scientists with the
      University of Alaska at Fairbanks reported that the state’s glaciers
      lost 75 gigatons of ice per year between 1994 and 2013,

      meaning
      the region alone has likely contributed to several millimeters of sea
      level rise over the past two decades. They concluded that “Alaska will
      continue to be a primary contributor to global [sea level rise] through
      the end of this century.”

      “The record heat and low snowfall
      experienced this winter, again, is making a bad situation worse. “The
      lack of snow means that the glaciers can initiate melt more rapidly,”
      study co-author Anthony Arendt, a research scientist at the University
      of Washington in Seattle, told the Washington Post.

      “So if it’s a warm summer this will be a pretty bad year for the glaciers in Alaska.”

      “About
      those wildfires, by the way: Alaska’s been seeing more and more of them
      lately. According to a recent study, total acreage burned in the state
      has increased fivefold since 1943, an increase attributed to human
      activity like logging and development, but also to the broader shift in
      climate.

      “And there’s reason to believe that those fires, by
      speeding up the thawing of the permafrost and thus releasing trapped
      greenhouse gases into the atmosphere, will end up contributing to more
      climate change. Experts call that a

      “positive feedback loop.”

      It’s best understood, though, as a disaster in the making.

      • Epicurus

        These people won’t accept any scientific findings unless they read them on a denier site. They are incapable of critical thought.

    • Epicurus

      Intelligent wingnuts are no longer denying the science. They accept the overwhelming evidence that CO2 emissions from burning fossil fuels are changing the climate. They argue now that it is too expensive to do anything about it.

      In other words, they claim that it is too expensive to keep the planet habitable. That argument is totally false as well.

      Try to keep up.

  • Others

    Stop buying Oil from Exxon or Mobil gas stations. If you have a flex fuel vehicle, then buy E85. As long as oil companies have fat profits, they will spend their money to spread the misinformation that “Global Warming is Hoax”.

    • Larmion

      In fairness, all major oil companies admit anthropogenic global warming (Exxon was one of the earliest to do so, actually).

      Their main argument now is that while global warming is real, we can simply adapt to it as it happens. That’s technically true, but they forget to mention that the cost of adaptation is up to an order of magnitude higher than the cost of mitigation.

      • Rick Kooi

        but who cares about the 150 million people who live within 3 feet of sea level.
        The ports
        The Port cities
        RR
        etc.

  • Harry Johnson

    VW has proven to the world that making people sick for the sake of profits is what even the most respected corporations willingly embrace. Why should Exxon or the Koch Brothers be any more charitable to our environment and future when there is so much money to be made right now.

    • Epicurus

      Corporations are indeed artificial persons–artificial sociopaths to be exact. All they care about is their own immediate self-gratification.

  • Steven F

    using weather station data to measure global temperature is difficult. Many weather stations don’t regularly calibrate there instruments. We have very limited weather station data for most of the world oceans, About 2 or 3 weatherstations for the south pole and none for the north pole. So weather station surface data will never be as accurate as we want it to be.

    In contrast to surface measurement since the late 70s satellites have been monitoring the earths temperature. Satellite data provides equal coverage of the poles oceans as well as lang surface temperatures. The satellite data agrees with weather ballon data.

    The link below shows a graph of 35 years of satelite data:
    http://www.drroyspencer.com/global-microwave-sea-surface-temperature-update-for-feb-2013/

    The data is dramatically different then the model forcasts and the anomoly data Noa generates with surface data.

    • Joseph Dubeau

      You can’t accurate measure surface temperatures with a satellite.

      • Rick Kooi

        Actually satellite measure very precise temps.
        …but at several hundred feet.
        …the reason science want those measures pooled with tens of thousands of ‘thermometer’ readings.
        …is that 3 people a sat. center do the Interpolating of data sets, then interpret those results and finally temps are tickled out of the noise…..all done by 3.

        A little too limited oversight.

    • eveee

      Take your baloney elsewhere. It FUD pure and simple. This subject has been dredged ad nauseam elsewhere and debunked. Weather station variations have been accounted for. They don’t even affect the outcome.

      Myths number 7 and 52.

      “since this question was first raised, research has established that any error that can be attributed to poor siting of weather stations is not enough to produce a significant variation in the overall warming trend being observed.”

      http://www.skepticalscience.com/surface-temperature-measurements.htm

      Stop spreading rumors and cite the source. At least cite the source of your rumors before spreading them.

      One more thing. Roy Spencer has screwed up satellite data and had to recant because of his mistakes.

      http://www.nytimes.com/2005/08/12/science/earth/errors-cited-in-assessing-climate-data.html?_r=0

  • go2green

    Do you think the Exxon scientists came to their conclusions to get grant money?

    • Bob_Wallace

      I’m sure that they did exactly that.

      After all the thousands of others who study climate science sold out. Why wouldn’t the Exxon scientists also take the money that, er, ….

      Who exactly has the money to buy off thousands of scientists?

      • Epicurus

        My understanding from PBS Frontline is that, notwithstanding the fact that they were employed by Exxon, the scientists who began the Exxon climate research in 1977 had the professional integrity to report the truth to management–that more CO2 in the atmosphere would lead to higher temperatures.

        The problem was that Exxon management decided to hide the truth from the government and the public.

        • Bob_Wallace

          I suspect you missed the snark exchange that was ongoing…

          • Epicurus

            Oops. So I did.

      • Rick Kooi

        Except that the EXXON conclusions were well earlier than the issue

  • Simple INDIAN

    O God , we really F**Kd up now.

    Just one company researched and suppressed it. Other oil companies (Extractors and Refiners) are adding refined fuel to the fire.

    Now how many concerned citizens of planet earth will reduce consumption crude and its all other derived products.

    • Epicurus

      People would be flocking to plug-in vehicles if the government would provide the right incentives, as they are doing in Norway right now.

      Most people in the U.S. don’t even know plug-ins exist or that they can be “filled up” for the equivalent of 60 cents to $1 a gallon of gasoline.

  • Geoff Flight

    And if you believe that the range of natural variation in temperature is +/-0.5 degrees then you will believe anything – and apparently do. The MVP was 3 degrees higher than now and the LIA 2 degrees lower. The top graph is amateurish nonsense.

    The current warming pause is so dramatic that its continued existence is a huge embarrassment to the doom-and-gloom peddlers who need research money to survive. So lo and behold out comes the debunking articles based on dubious statistics and far worse, historical revisionism of data so they can re-establish a warming trend that is non-existent.

    I look forward to ten years from now when the pause is in its 28th year and to see what kind of shenanigans will be pulled to keep telling the world that we are still warming even when we aren’t.

    • eveee

      We don’t need your opinion about facts from scientists. Yours doesn’t count, because you don’t know what you are talking about and are not a qualified climate scientist.

      When it comes to global warming, space flight, etc. I will take NASA over your opinion, thanks.

      2014 was the hottest year on record. Pause my foot.

      http://ds.data.jma.go.jp/tcc/tcc/products/gwp/temp/fig/aug_wld.png

      https://www.nasa.gov/press/2015/january/nasa-determines-2014-warmest-year-in-modern-record

      If you are waiting to see an increase in temperatures, you better not bother. You already missed it.

      • JamesWimberley

        Good smackdown. Note to denialists: your ignorant opinions are worthless recycling of disproved and paid-for talking points, and will not be treated with the respect due to reasoned differences based on evidence.

      • Epicurus

        The denialists actually believe that NASA–the people who put men on the moon–and all other scientific orgs around the world have been bribed to lie to the public.

        I always ask them how one would go about doing that.

        No reply so far.

        • Bob_Wallace

          Ask them who is providing the money.

          It would take an immense fortune to buy off everyone at NASA, every climate scientist, and everyone at hundreds of global scientific organizations.

          Who could possible justify spending the trillions of dollars it would take? How could they possibly make that money back?

          • Epicurus

            Facts and reason bounce off these people like superballs off a concrete wall.

    • GCO
      • JamesWimberley

        Way to go!

      • Rick Kooi

        The huge amount of deception and hate comes from the PRO OIL/COAL/GAS allies….

        A couple of decades years ago, a University of Wisconsin Agriculture Professor gave a lecture on the future of Agriculture and the Family Farm (in Wis. that is a big deal).

        After his lecture, he took questions and one of the last was “what has changed, besides the machines, in agriculture in Wisconsin.

        His response was to point out that the department’s detailed records indicate that in the Fall, The 1st HARD Frost was just a little over 3 weeks later…the the LAST HARD Frost in the Spring was just under 3 weeks earlier than a century ago.

        He drew NO causation conclusions,
        his point was that many farmers were able to get a 2nd harvest off the land which has aided profitability.

        …but which also caused big money’s interest in industrial farms threatening the family farm.

        Now THAT is a pretty harmless conclusion.

        ….the phone calls to his home and office were numerous and all threatening.
        …”how dare he spout ‘global warming crap science’.
        …does he want to ‘keep his job’.
        …’do you have children?’….etc…..
        The police were involved.
        …the Sheriff said he was amazed at the attacks when his review of the recording verified that NO Mention was made of ‘global warming’.

        There are literally thousands of similar reports…many investigated by newspapers etc.

        Don’t take my word for it,
        though. Be skeptical,
        but practice skepticism in the modern sense, which, according to Michael Shermer, publisher of Skeptic Magazine,
        “is the rigorous application of science and reason to test the validity of any and all claims.”

        Not all of us have the wherewithal to do that,
        but
        if a person tells you they don’t “believe” in global warming or think
        it’s a hoax, *****feel free to question their thinking,
        sources of data and qualifications of people they quote.
        *****These are the sorts of questions I’d ask:

        – Why have Arctic average temperatures increased at least 4 degrees since the mid-20th century?

        – Why have global average temperatures increased by 1.5 degrees since the 1960s?

        – Why has the Arctic ice pack volume decreased 40 percent since 1979?

        – Why are almost all major mountain glaciers receding at a rapid rate?

        – Why is Greenland’s ice cap shrinking?

        – Why has the frequency of extreme weather events (floods, droughts,
        wildfires, major storms) been increasing since the mid-20th century?

        – Why is sea life in the Atlantic Ocean migrating to higher latitudes?

        – Why are global temperatures increasing while the energy output from the sun is actually decreasing?

        The list could go on and on
        (I’d be happy to provide literature citations for all the above assertions, by the way).

        There
        are still a small number of climatologists who are not convinced that
        global warming is a problem. They mostly question the validity of
        climate models, but not, to my knowledge, the observed data.
        *******
        Headlines:

        “Friday, Jun 19, 2015 10:39 AM CDT
        Alaska’s climate hell: Record heat, wildfires and melting glaciers signal a scary new normal
        The Arctic state is battling two major blazes against a backdrop of rapid warming”
        ….
        “Pull
        back a little further, and we all have reason to be concerned, not
        least because Alaska is, as Holthaus puts it, “a canary in our climate
        coal mine.” In a study out just this week, scientists with the
        University of Alaska at Fairbanks reported that the state’s glaciers
        lost 75 gigatons of ice per year between 1994 and 2013,

        meaning
        the region alone has likely contributed to several millimeters of sea
        level rise over the past two decades. They concluded that “Alaska will
        continue to be a primary contributor to global [sea level rise] through
        the end of this century.”

        “The record heat and low snowfall
        experienced this winter, again, is making a bad situation worse. “The
        lack of snow means that the glaciers can initiate melt more rapidly,”
        study co-author Anthony Arendt, a research scientist at the University
        of Washington in Seattle, told the Washington Post.

        “So if it’s a warm summer this will be a pretty bad year for the glaciers in Alaska.”

        “About
        those wildfires, by the way: Alaska’s been seeing more and more of them
        lately. According to a recent study, total acreage burned in the state
        has increased fivefold since 1943, an increase attributed to human
        activity like logging and development, but also to the broader shift in
        climate.

        “And there’s reason to believe that those fires, by
        speeding up the thawing of the permafrost and thus releasing trapped
        greenhouse gases into the atmosphere, will end up contributing to more
        climate change. Experts call that a

        “positive feedback loop.”

        It’s best understood, though, as a disaster in the making.

  • eveee

    They can secretly predict GW accurately, but every projection of renewables growth they ever made was laughably incorrect. And public estimates of crude oil production and reserves were equally unreal.

    • GCO

      There is a fundamental difference between these forecasts: only one of them, global warming, is based at least in part on science: warming is tied to how much CO2 is in our atmosphere, which itself is directly related to the amount of fossil fuels getting burned. One would still need to guess how much the industry would produce, but apparently, internally, Exxon had a pretty damn good idea about all that.

      Estimates intended for the public were probably more a marketing exercise, geared towards pleasing investors, support lobbying efforts, etc.

      • Rick Kooi

        And all that activity funneling huge amounts of money into a wide assortment of 100+ bogus ‘think tanks’ and over 1000 web sites and blogs with ONE primary goal….deception about SCIENCE.
        THIS Deception in NO small way aides a great many anti-science groups..
        ..anti-vaccination groups for Children, even though we know those vaccinations have saved thousands of lives.
        ….Anti-Flu shot groups….even though the same benefit is obvious…..

    • JamesWimberley

      To be fair to the oil scientists, the government agencies got it wrong too, and the EIA still do. It’s a funny world where Greenpeace was the best forecaster.

      • onesecond

        Only goes to show that the government and its agencies are controlled by the oil lobby.

    • Steve Grinwis

      … You have no idea how well they predicted it, then chose not to share that information to the public.

      It is to their advantage to tell the public that renewables will come slowly, but it is also to their advantage to know the truth, and prepare for it.

    • Rick Kooi

      I am sorry you feel that way…since this article and many others from the Wall Street Journal, Forbes Business and others….clearly PROVE you dead wrong.

      Time to update your sources of information!

      Climate Myth…
      “Models are unreliable”

      “[Models] are full of fudge factors that are fitted to the existing climate,
      so the models more or less agree with the observed data.
      But there is no reason to believe that the same fudge factors would give the right behaviour in a world with different chemistry, for example in a world
      with increased CO2 in the atmosphere.” (Freeman Dyson)

      “Climate models are mathematical representations of the interactions between the atmosphere,
      oceans, land surface, ice
      – and the sun.
      This is clearly a very complex task, so models are built to estimate trends rather than events. For example, a climate model
      can tell you it will be cold in winter, but it can’t tell you what the
      temperature will be on a specific day
      – that’s weather forecasting. Climate trends are weather, averaged out over time
      – usually 30 years. Trends are important because they eliminate – or “smooth out” – single events that may be extreme, but quite rare.

      “Climate models
      have to be tested to find out if they work. We can’t wait for 30 years
      to see if a model is any good or not; models are tested against the
      past, against what we know happened.
      If a model can correctly predict trends from a starting point somewhere in the past, we could expect it to predict with reasonable certainty what might happen in the future.

      So all models are first tested in a process called Hind-casting.
      The models used to predict future global warming can accurately map past climate changes.
      If they get the past right, there is no reason to think their
      predictions would be wrong.
      Testing models against the existing instrumental record suggested CO2 must cause global warming, because the models could not simulate what had already happened unless the extra CO2 was added to the model. All other known forcings are adequate in explaining temperature variations prior to the rise in temperature over the last thirty years,
      ” while none of them are capable of explaining the rise in the past thirty years.
      ****” CO2 does explain that rise, and explains it completely without any need for additional, as yet unknown forcings.

      “Where models have been running for sufficient time, they have also
      been proved to make accurate predictions.
      For example,
      the eruption of Mt. Pinatubo allowed modellers to test the accuracy of models by feeding in the data about the eruption.
      ****The models successfully predicted the climatic response after the eruption.
      ****Models also correctly predicted other effects subsequently confirmed by observation,
      **** including greater warming in the Arctic and over land,
      *****greater warming at night,
      ****and stratospheric cooling.

      The climate models,
      far from being melodramatic, may be conservative in the predictions
      they produce.
      For example, here’s a graph of sea level rise:

      Observed sea level rise since 1970 from tide gauge data (red) and satellite measurements (blue) compared to model projections for 1990-2010 from the IPCC Third Assessment Report (grey band). (Source: The Copenhagen Diagnosis, 2009)

      Here, the models have understated the problem.
      In reality, observed sea level is tracking at the upper range of the model projections.
      There are other examples of models being too conservative,
      rather than alarmist as some portray them.
      All models have limits – uncertainties – for they are modelling complex systems. However, all models improve over time, and with increasing sources of real-world information such as satellites, the output of climate models can be constantly refined to increase their power and usefulness.

      **********”Climate models have already predicted many of the phenomena for which we now have empirical evidence. Climate models form a reliable guide to potential climate change.”

      • eveee

        You misunderstand. You are mistaking me for a climate denier, which I am not.

        I was speaking of Exxon’s ability to accurately predict carbon in the atmosphere, just as the rest of climate scientists did, while endeavoring to keep that knowledge from the public.

        So I am not saying

        “Models are unreliable”

        And Exxon did make miserably incorrect projections of renewables growth.

        (to suit their bias and PR campaign)

        All true.

        • Rick Kooi

          and how could one predict “renewable” growth when that very growth is DEPENDENT upon politics….who could predict that the Oil/Coal industry would ramp up a BILLION dollar campaign per year to defeat a renewable surge by any means necessary….disinformation, defamation of Scientist character, death threats, etc.

          • eveee

            True. The oilcos response was predictable. And also true that renewables growth and everything else for that matter, is dependent on politics to a degree. All the more pertinent then, that renewables smashed through all projections… save one. Greenpeace.

  • Martin

    Very interesting article. Now what to do next with all that info, RICO sounds like a very good plan/action to get fast results!

    • GCO

      Indeed. I look forward to the fossil fuels interests facing their “tobacco industry” moment.

      • Simple INDIAN

        “TOBACCO INDUSTRY MOVEMENT” ok.

        But vehicle are used by more people than smokers.

        Passive smoke from VW is also another cause of concern.

        • GCO

          I was alluding to how it eventually became clear that the tobacco industry knew very well and early on how addictive nicotine was, but perpetuated for the longest time lies about it.

          NOx from VW diesels are a drop in the bucket. As unacceptable as it is, this manufacturer’s cheating absolutely pales in comparison of the decades-long deception Exxon and surely others appear to have been pulling of.

          • Steve Grinwis

            While in general I agree with you, but I do want to present this for a sense of scale:

            11 million vehicles world wide produced as much NOx pollution as roughly 500 million vehicles should have been allowed to had they complied with EPA emissions.

            There are only a little over 1 billion cars in the world.

            VW has done a truly massive MASSIVE amount of damage.

          • Martin

            One thing what everybody appears to forget is the damage by remote car starters and all the people who idle their sets of wheels for long periods of time.
            Like the guy I saw yesterday having his truck running in a parking lot of a store while on his smart phone and was still on it with the engine running some 20 min later when I left!

          • tmac1

            Could not agree more
            He is not paying for externalities
            He is paying too little
            Federal gas tax is very low
            Slap 5 cents per year x 10 years and joe public would buy smaller trucks and turn them off

        • Rick Kooi

          Interesting that we STILL subsidize Mitch McConnell’s tobacco donors….VOTE REPUBLICANTS……Pro Life…unless you are actually alive….then it is survival of the fittest…and screw the rest of YOU> TRUMP is the embodiment of Survival of the Fittest!

    • Ross

      I was just looking at DeSmogBlog. They’ve been gathering info on the deniers for 10 years so future generations will know the names of those most responsible for AGW.

      • JamesWimberley

        ‘ …future generations will know the names of those most responsible for AGW.” Ross, Martin, GCO, Zach, Bob, Larmion, James.. we did it all together. The contribution of the denialists was to keep us in the hole and in the dark for as long as possible. It’s too late for them now, most of us have wised up. But while they kept is in the dark, we did make the hole deeper.

      • Great site.

      • Karl the brewer

        We should crowdsource a nice,big, shiny, long lasting block of marble. We should then find somewhere important and visible to put it and upon it we should carve the names of those who deny climate change.

      • Harry Johnson

        The Fossil Fool Hall of Shame

        • Rick Kooi

          “Friday, Jun 19, 2015 10:39 AM CDT
          “Alaska’s climate hell: Record heat,
          wildfires
          and
          melting glaciers signal a scary new normal
          The Arctic state is battling two major blazes
          against a backdrop of rapid warming”

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