The Current Wisdom is a series of monthly articles in which Patrick J. Michaels and Paul C. “Chip” Knappenberger, from Cato’s Center for the Study of Science, review interesting items on global warming in the scientific literature that may not have received the media attention that they deserved, or have been misinterpreted in the popular press.
Question: How long will the fantasy that climate models are reliable indicators of the earth’s climate evolution persist in face of overwhelming evidence to the contrary?
Answer: Probably for as long as there is a crusade against fossil fuels.
Without the exaggerated alarm conjured from overly pessimistic climate model projections of climate change from carbon dioxide emissions, fossil fuels—coal, oil, gas—would regain their image as the celebrated agents of prosperity that they are, rather than being labeled as pernicious agents of our destruction.
Just how credible are these climate models?
In two words, “they’re not.”
Everyone has read that over the past 10-15 years, most climate models’ forecasts of the rate of global warming have been wrong. Most predicted a hefty warming of the earth’s average surface temperature to have taken place, while there was no significant change in the real world.
But very few people know that the same situation has persisted for 25, going on 35 years, or that over the past 50-60 years (since the middle of the 20th century), the same models expected about 33 percent more warming to have taken place than was observed.