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All IPCC definitions taken from Climate Change 2007: The Physical Science Basis. Working Group I Contribution to the Fourth Assessment Report of the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change, Annex I, Glossary, pp. 941-954. Cambridge University Press.

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How reliable are climate models?

What the science says...

Select a level... Basic Intermediate

Models successfully reproduce temperatures since 1900 globally, by land, in the air and the ocean.

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)

At a glance

So, what are computer models? Computer modelling is the simulation and study of complex physical systems using mathematics and computer science. Models can be used to explore the effects of changes to any or all of the system components. Such techniques have a wide range of applications. For example, engineering makes a lot of use of computer models, from aircraft design to dam construction and everything in between. Many aspects of our modern lives depend, one way and another, on computer modelling. If you don't trust computer models but like flying, you might want to think about that.

Computer models can be as simple or as complicated as required. It depends on what part of a system you're looking at and its complexity. A simple model might consist of a few equations on a spreadsheet. Complex models, on the other hand, can run to millions of lines of code. Designing them involves intensive collaboration between multiple specialist scientists, mathematicians and top-end coders working as a team.

Modelling of the planet's climate system dates back to the late 1960s. Climate modelling involves incorporating all the equations that describe the interactions between all the components of our climate system. Climate modelling is especially maths-heavy, requiring phenomenal computer power to run vast numbers of equations at the same time.

Climate models are designed to estimate trends rather than events. For example, a fairly simple climate model can readily tell you it will be colder in winter. However, it can’t tell you what the temperature will be on a specific day – that’s weather forecasting. Weather forecast-models rarely extend to even a fortnight ahead. Big difference. Climate trends deal with things such as temperature or sea-level changes, over multiple decades. Trends are important because they eliminate or 'smooth out' single events that may be extreme but uncommon. In other words, trends tell you which way the system's heading.

All climate models must be tested to find out if they work before they are deployed. That can be done by using the past. We know what happened back then either because we made observations or since evidence is preserved in the geological record. If a model can correctly simulate trends from a starting point somewhere in the past through to the present day, it has passed that test. We can therefore expect it to simulate what might happen in the future. And that's exactly what has happened. From early on, climate models predicted future global warming. Multiple lines of hard physical evidence now confirm the prediction was correct.

Finally, all models, weather or climate, have uncertainties associated with them. This doesn't mean scientists don't know anything - far from it. If you work in science, uncertainty is an everyday word and is to be expected. Sources of uncertainty can be identified, isolated and worked upon. As a consequence, a model's performance improves. In this way, science is a self-correcting process over time. This is quite different from climate science denial, whose practitioners speak confidently and with certainty about something they do not work on day in and day out. They don't need to fully understand the topic, since spreading confusion and doubt is their task.

Climate models are not perfect. Nothing is. But they are phenomenally useful.

Please use this form to provide feedback about this new "At a glance" section. Read a more technical version below or dig deeper via the tabs above!

Further details

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 Hindcasting. 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 shown 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. Sea level rise is a good example (fig. 1).

Fig. 1: 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. A 2019 study led by Zeke Hausfather (Hausfather et al. 2019) evaluated 17 global surface temperature projections from climate models in studies published between 1970 and 2007.  The authors found "14 out of the 17 model projections indistinguishable from what actually occurred."

Talking of empirical evidence, you may be surprised to know that huge fossil fuels corporation Exxon's own scientists knew all about climate change, all along. A recent study of their own modelling (Supran et al. 2023 - open access) found it to be just as skillful as that developed within academia (fig. 2). We had a blog-post about this important study around the time of its publication. However, the way the corporate world's PR machine subsequently handled this information left a great deal to be desired, to put it mildly. The paper's damning final paragraph is worthy of part-quotation:

"Here, it has enabled us to conclude with precision that, decades ago, ExxonMobil understood as much about climate change as did academic and government scientists. Our analysis shows that, in private and academic circles since the late 1970s and early 1980s, ExxonMobil scientists:

(i) accurately projected and skillfully modelled global warming due to fossil fuel burning;

(ii) correctly dismissed the possibility of a coming ice age;

(iii) accurately predicted when human-caused global warming would first be detected;

(iv) reasonably estimated how much CO2 would lead to dangerous warming.

Yet, whereas academic and government scientists worked to communicate what they knew to the public, ExxonMobil worked to deny it."

Exxon climate graphics from Supran et al 2023

Fig. 2: Historically observed temperature change (red) and atmospheric carbon dioxide concentration (blue) over time, compared against global warming projections reported by ExxonMobil scientists. (A) “Proprietary” 1982 Exxon-modeled projections. (B) Summary of projections in seven internal company memos and five peer-reviewed publications between 1977 and 2003 (gray lines). (C) A 1977 internally reported graph of the global warming “effect of CO2 on an interglacial scale.” (A) and (B) display averaged historical temperature observations, whereas the historical temperature record in (C) is a smoothed Earth system model simulation of the last 150,000 years. From Supran et al. 2023.

 Updated 30th May 2024 to include Supran et al extract.

Various global temperature projections by mainstream climate scientists and models, and by climate contrarians, compared to observations by NASA GISS. Created by Dana Nuccitelli.

Last updated on 30 May 2024 by John Mason. View Archives

Printable Version  |  Offline PDF Version  |  Link to this page

Argument Feedback

Please use this form to let us know about suggested updates to this rebuttal.

Further reading

Carbon Brief on Models

In January 2018, CarbonBrief published a series about climate models which includes the following articles:

Q&A: How do climate models work?
This indepth article explains in detail how scientists use computers to understand our changing climate.

Timeline: The history of climate modelling
Scroll through 50 key moments in the development of climate models over the last almost 100 years.

In-depth: Scientists discuss how to improve climate models
Carbon Brief asked a range of climate scientists what they think the main priorities are for improving climate models over the coming decade.

Guest post: Why clouds hold the key to better climate models
The never-ending and continuous changing nature of clouds has given rise to beautiful poetry, hours of cloud-spotting fun and decades of challenges to climate modellers as Prof Ellie Highwood explains in this article.

Explainer: What climate models tell us about future rainfall
Much of the public discussion around climate change has focused on how much the Earth will warm over the coming century. But climate change is not limited just to temperature; how precipitation – both rain and snow – changes will also have an impact on the global population.


On 21 January 2012, 'the skeptic argument' was revised to correct for some small formatting errors.

Denial101x videos

Here are related lecture-videos from Denial101x - Making Sense of Climate Science Denial

Additional video from the MOOC

Dana Nuccitelli: Principles that models are built on.

Myth Deconstruction

Related resource: Myth Deconstruction as animated GIF

MD Model

Please check the related blog post for background information about this graphics resource.

Fact brief

Click the thumbnail for the concise fact brief version created in collaboration with Gigafact:

fact brief


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Comments 1126 to 1150 out of 1331:

  1. Rupisnark @1125 ,

    I would be grateful if you would clarify your first paragraph.  Specifically: "Is the heat content of the earth rather than the ocean relevant?"  

    Possibly you were aiming to cut corners, to shorten your post.  But the effect is both extraordinary and ambiguous.   ~What do you mean by "the heat content of the earth" as opposed to the concept of OHC (Ocean Heat Content) ?    Are you referring to totality of radioactive molten core & mantle etc., or referring to surface rocks/soil ocean and air . . . or some subcomponent?

    The relevance of the OHC is so hugely important to climate, that, in comparison the tropical tropospheric Hot Spot [per radiosonde measurements, rather weaker than many climate models had projected] is  verging on triviality in the overall context of AGW.

    Almost needless to say, the climate models' crucial aim is to predict/project future climate (as it affects our biosphere) of land, ocean, and lower troposphere ~ and "not so much" the 200-300mB high altitude atmosphere of the tropical zone (as Dr Christy seems to focus on).

  2. Eclectic @1126

    Sorry, all I was trying to do was get a response to my post @1120 where the point refering to the 6tr has not been answered (and I presumed the answer would have been a simple one). Obviously the Ocean Heat Content is important, the question is looking at the effect of that vs the heat content of the entire Earth.

    If Christy were correct about the high altitude atmosphere of the tropical zone it would lead a reasonable person to believe that changes may need to be made to climate models and to understading of what is going on overall.


    [PS] Questions about the "hot spot" should be addressed here. See also comments and papers here. Good review of controversy here. Basically Christy's methodology is inadequate for observation he is claiming whereas hotspots shows as per model in better methods. Further confirmation in recent works (eg here). Christy is practising on the unwary and is notably absent from addressing the issues raised in the peer-reviewed literature as far as I am aware. Any further discussion should be on thread indicated.

  3. Rupisnark, thank you for that reply.  But you still ought to make clear your thinking re "entire earth" ~ for it is (IMO) difficult for readers to understand the central thrust of the ideas being put forward, where brevity and possible ambiguities impede the communication.

    Brevity is the soul of wit.   But not always the soul of clear & transparent communication.   Perhaps you are not meaning to: but in the present case you seem to be giving the impression that you are striving at "the Hot Spot gnat" while disregarding the main substance i.e. the overall context.

  4. rupisnark @1125/1127,

    You ask if "the heat content of the Earth rather than the ocean relevant?" The short answer is neither of them as a 'total' heat content. The change in ocean heat content is relevant as this is by far the biggest thermal lag holding back global warming and a measure of it gives the easiest measure of the global energy imbalance. Note the change in Ocean Heat Content doesn't relate usefully to 'total' ocean heat content.

    But we haven't really the first idea about what Christy is measuring in his talk with the 750M & 6T. Let us assume it is some or other total heat content (down to absolute zero) in joules per square metre of surface and then divided by 3.4 (for his '100 unit' measure although those 'units' are an energy flux not an energy content). It is then as I set out @1119 with the total heat capacity of the atmosphere  roughly (mind these are seriously back-of-a-fag-packet-type calculation) equal to 750M. An equivalent value for the oceans would be 80x too small for the 6T value and the planet weighs 4,400x the oceans and is perhaps 10X as hot so the 6T would then be something like (44,000/80 =) 550x too big.

    @1125 you asked if such a total heat capacity of the entire Earth was relevant to the climate system. A heat capacity for the atmosphere is relevant because the best part of the atmosphere will be warmed pretty-much by the same amount as any surface temperature increase. This is not the case for the oceans. The ocean depths will warm very little relative to the surface and even in the ocean surface mixed layer there will be less warming than at the surface. And the bulk of the planet is very well thermally insulated from climate with the sort of temperature increase that would be catastrophuic at the surface unable to make any significant difference to the temperature gradient through the Earth's crust.

    These figures of Christy's, whatever they ar meant to be, should not be presented in the manner Christy does. They are nought but nonsense eye-candy.  Bad Christy!!

  5. I note that the Gentlemen Who Prefer Fantasy liked Christy's little talk on May 8th so much that they have published the guts of it as GWPF Note 17 - 'THE TROPICAL SKIES - Falsifying climate alarm'.

    (It was actually published 23/5/19 prior to their publishing the transcript of the talk 18/6/19, with the Gentlemen posting it under the headline - "Climate Models Have Been Predicting Too Much Warming")

  6. Response by [PS] re @ 1127
    Thank you for referring to more info on the hotspot issue. The point I am driving at (my questions on which were not answered by anyone) IS a modelling question. It boils down to the point that IF the models predict a hotspot and IF the hotspot is not there, does that not suggest a problem with the models?


    [PS] If you looked at papers, you would see hot spot is detected as expected. Christy is not using method able to detect. 

  7. Eclectic @1128
    On the “Hot Spot Gnat” as you call it. I am only trying to ask basic question of whether the models actually work. The last time I ignored a little gnat in the context of a heat transfer problem, the little gnat proved to be the essence of the problem.
    If the models are making erroneous predictions the little gnat may be anything from a minor model error to a disastrous flaw.

  8. Response to @1131 . I did read the material you sent, although I will review again to see what I missed, but the abstrat in the paper you included above says " shown in previous studies, tropospheric warming does not reach quite as high in the tropics and subtropics as predicted in typical models."

  9. Rupisnark @1132 ,

    Sometimes a cigar is just a cigar . . . and a Gnat is just a gnat.

    I salute your persistent wielding of the magnifying glass — but on this occasion the gnat is simply a gnat.

    While all around you is a stampede of elephants      ;-)

  10. Is someone claiming that models cant be improved? There are numerous problems with the models - the range of sensitivies; lack of decadal level skill; cloud predictions; terrible regional skill; - the list goes on and on. And funnily enough a lot of effort goes into improving them especially as computer power improves.

    However, none of the issues in any way supports inaction on climate nor challenges the fundimentals of climate theory. Furthermore, the models have demonstrable skill at climate level prediction. (See the IPCC chapter on model evaluation). For all their warts, they remain the best tools we have for predicting future climate. If you arent comfortable with the model skill, what are you proposing as an alternative?

  11. The 'models' have been 'improved'?

    “… Incredibly, at least eight of the latest models produced by leading research centres in the United States, the United Kingdom, Canada and France are showing climate sensitivity of 5°C or warmer.
    When these results were first released at a climate modelling workshop in March this year, a flurry of panicked emails from my IPCC colleagues flooded my inbox."

  12. Postkey,

    That is a very discouraging link.  We will all have to work harder to get change adopted as soon as possible.

  13. MA Rodger @ 1129 and @1119
    I asked Dr. Christy by email about the figures and he said: “ The units in the “atmosphere” are joules, not w/m^2. I had sent a correction … but it didn’t make the publication. “
    ”The 6 trillion is the number of joules in the ocean column below the surface.”
    “However, the 0.5 is still very small compared to the fluctuations of the 100 units or so in the other flows of energy - the critic …misses the point. Indeed the response of the atmosphere (from measurements) indicates the atmosphere loses heat readily to space with … extra forcing. The 54 million joules is not being retained in the system each year as the critic implies.”

  14. Eclectic @ 1134
    Given the way the climate models are constructed, if they are make incorrect predictions, then they are not necessarily reliable.

    When an editor of this blog pointed me to several sources and the first says:-
    “That is to say, is the troposphere actually warming as expected? Unfortunately, the answer to this is much less cut and dry” and the third (the paper by Steven C Sherwood and Nidhi Nishant) says “ shown in previous studies, tropospheric warming does not reach quite as high in the tropics and subtropics as predicted in typical models” then it is clear that this is more than a gnat.

    “ the gnat is simply a gnat…While all around you is a stampede of elephants “. If the climate change hypothesis is wrong and policies are followed that reduce global growth by >1% pa as is being proposed, it will cost millions of lives, so perhaps your analogy suggests that it is climate scientists stampeding people to cause (indirectly) millions of deaths?


    [DB] Sloganeering snipped.

  15. Rupisnark , the presence (or absence) of a "gnat", does not somehow abolish the herd of rampaging elephants [melting ice, rising sea-levels, rising temperatures, ocean acidification].

    To continue the metaphor — a policy of ignoring the elephants is exactly the policy which will result in the unnecessary death of millions (mainly the poor) and in unnecessary damage to our world economy.

    Your rhetoric is seriously misplaced.

    And the good Dr Christy is being disingenuous with his audience.  His comments are akin to saying: "Oh, we humans have only changed the atmospheric composition by one part in 10,000 . . . such a tiny figure could surely, surely, surely never alter the climate, eh?"

  16. rupisnark @1138,
    I'm not sure how helpful Christy's responses are other than to demonstrate again how error-prone Christy is.

    Up-thread I branded Christy's talk as error-filled and we do get Christy admitting to one error. In so doing he demonstrates a few more errors.

    He admits the "atmosphere" units needed correcting. I assume this "atmosphere" concern the 750 million figure. (Note, this issue can now be retrieved from your long grass @1117 as I see Christy quotes the figure in GWPF Note 17 linked @1130.)
    The "atmosphere" units are obviously in need of correction but the corrected units are not "joules" as Christy says. The units are 1 unit≈3.4 j/m2 globally. This is something understood back @1113 so this should come as no great revelation. And of course this 750 million units is a measure of the total thermal heat content of the atmosphere down to absolute zero, as assumed @1113. It is a rather silly comparison. Perhaps a better comparison would be a value of the atmosphere's changed heat content that would entirely stuff the climate for us, say an ice age of -6ºC globally (or AGW of +6ºC) which would require losing (or gaining) 20 million of Christy's units in the atmosphere.

    The 6 trillion figure appears solely within the talk transcript. "About £47 comes into this bank account (down at the surface). By the way, that account has about £6 trillion in it right now. So we’re talking about small numbers compared to the vast reservoir of these energies." The "£47 com(ing) in" is 47 x 3.4 = 160Wm^-2.
    Up-thread @1119, I put this 6 trillion figure as being 80-times too big for the total ocean heat content (down to absolute zero). That 80-times estimate was in error. Totting it up again, perhaps it could be 0.6 trillion. But it is an absurd quantity to be wielding. The oceans, as oceans, have a lot less heat content before they freeze down to the sea bed and cease being oceans. Indeed almost half my estimated 0.6 trillion is the melt energy. And in a sensible comparison (ie the +/-6ºC one) the ice melt/freeze becomes even more the dominant factor, 0.002 trillion warming/cooling water & 0.004 or 0.008 trillion melting or freezing ice.

    What is more interesting than Christy's silly use of big big big numbers is Christy's description of 'the missed point'. Actually it has not been 'missed'. As set out up-thread, I am well aware of the point he is trying to make. His 0.5 units is small in comparison to the other numbers he chooses to wield as he wishes to diminish the importance of the 0.5 units..
    But in this 'correction' his reply to you is riven with error. (He can't even get a correction correct!!)

    "The 0.5 is still very small compared to the fluctuations of the 100 units or so in the other flows of energy."

    This is poorly written but does imply the "fluctuations" are "100 units or so" which is again absurd. And it is not what he says in either his talk or GWPF Note 17.

    "...we have hundreds of units going back and forth, and varying by much more than half a unit over time. In other words, evaporation might be 24 one month, but it might be 26 the next. Radiation from the surface might be 105, or it could be 102. So now you see that 0.5 of a unit is almost in the noise level of what happens."

    The constant 0.5 imbalance is "almost" (Christy also says "much more" which is a poor description - "more" yes, "much more" no.) the same size as the occasional fluctuations, his examples being monthly wobbles of +/-1.0 & +/-1.5. Christy is wrong with his comparison of the 0.5 with 100. He is also wrong to compare a constant effect with occasional wobbly ones.

    And he is also wrong in stating "The 54 million joules is not being retained in the system each year as the critic implies."
    I assume I am the critic and that the "54 million" originates @1113 which says:-

    "But 0.5 'units' would amount to 0.5 x 3.4 x 8766 x 3600 = 54 million j/sq m in a single year. It would take a bit of a fool to dismiss this as "small numbers", but then we are talking about John Christy."

    Christy is wrong to say I "imply" the retention of the 0.5 units flux. It is Christy's diagrams that imply it. Yet in both his talk and GWPF Note 17 Christy even manages to deny that any of this 0.5 unit is retained. "Note that the surface is in balance too, with the number of incoming units equal to the number outgoing." Of this 0.5 units (1.7Wm^-2) of climate forcing, the imbalance is 0.2 units (0.7Wm^-2 = 22Mjm^-2/yr) and this flux is "retained" energy. The source Christy uses to get his numbers ("Values per AR5 Fig. 2.11") makes the existence of that 0.2 units (0.7Wm^-2 = 22Mjm^-2/yr) quite plain, at least plain to the whole world but not to John Christy who appears to inhabit a different planet.

    So a sensible comparison of that 0.2 units of global imbalance (or 22 million jm^-2/year) would be a comparison with the climate-busting AGW of +6ºC. That would require perhaps 68 million jm^-2 (3 years' worth) to warm the atmosphere and perhaps 20,000 million jm^-2 (a thousand years' worth) to warm the oceans and melt the global ice.
    Taking the current rate of AGW (0.019ºC/yr) as being the product of the 0.2 units of global energy imbalance and we are 300 years away from +6ºC of climate-busting AGW, or should that be 250 years as we have managed +1ºC already.

  17. The following article debunks IPCC claims and their climate models by using physics and math. Interesting but very scientific article. I'm not expert in physics and I would like to hear your comments about the subject.               

    Climate change and use of fossil fuels

  18. onhannoita...  Wow. Two people with no published research in any climate area have disproven 150 years of scientific research? 

    I guess that's possible but certainly not very likely. It might be worth a few chuckles to go through their "analysis," if you can call it that.

    Just an FYI: a real scientist who thought they'd found an error on any climate topic would write up their research and get it published in a prestigious journal, and then let the broader scientific community hack away at it. 

  19. ^ Yep, I know the normal approach in scientific research, peer reviews etc. According to the authors the article has been sent to some well-known climate scientists in Finland but authors have not yet received any response. Will wait and see what happens. The reason to post article here was just to get some comments from readers who understand physical theories presented in article when debunking IPCC claims better than me :-)           

  20. The article linked @1143 runs to ninety-three pages and is the work of a couple of rather old Mechanical Engineering Professors, Pertti Sarkomaa & Seppo Ruotu (whose surname translates as 'Swedish'). Their work in thermodynamics explains their easy use of maths.

    At first glance, their modelling does not appear to address the mechanisms of AGW so if they conclude that increased CO2 is not an agent of warming, that would be no surprise. The article is not well presented with presumably some of the problem resulting from language difficulties.

    An account of their work more easily understood is presented in a blog on the site that holds the up-load of the article linked @1143. (Its comment thread may be worth examining.) Of course, the blog-page is in Finnish but that is no great barrier in this day & age. The blog runs to 700 words, not an impossible length for an SkS thread. A translation of it runs:-

    Professors: The IPCC Climate Hysteria is a religion without logic

    Professors Pertti Sarkomaa (Professor of Heat and Flow Technology and Combustion Engineering) and Seppo Ruottu (Professor Emeritus of Technical Thermodynamics) approached the Rural Media and sent their thoughts on the IPCC report, the IPCC Climate Hysteria. In their view, the IPCC's climate change projections are based on completely erroneous calculations.

    IPCC calculations are based on climate models

    The calculations in the IPCC monitoring reports are based on climate models that use heuristic parameters such as radiation constraint, cloud feedback, and climate sensitivity that have no physical equivalent or objectively correct value and are not known, required, or permitted by the exact laws of flow and thermal dynamics. The use of said heuristic quantities in climate models is in itself a fatal mistake and indicates that their users do not understand flow and thermal dynamics.

    The meteorological scientific community recognizes that, despite decades of research, there is no certainty about the hallmark of cloud feedback. Every common sense person understands that even if the sign of a key parameter of a mathematical model is unknown, the results produced by the model are incorrect. Because cloud feedback is a heuristic that has no physical equivalent, there is no objectively correct value that can be determined. The decades-long study of Cloud Feedback is the most incomprehensible blunder in modern science.

    Positive cloud feedback values have been used in the calculations accepted by the IPCC so that a staggering increase in carbon dioxide concentration from 300 ppm to 600 ppm, which would not actually occur, would increase the global mean global equilibrium temperature generated by the calculations by 2-5 ℃. Meteorologists call this change in temperature sensitive to climate sensitivity.

    With positive cloud returns from calculations approved by the IPCC, the sensitivity of the climate is two to five times the warming of the lower atmosphere caused by the actual increase in atmospheric carbon dioxide from 280 ppm to the present 410 ppm. So climate sensitivity depends entirely on the cloud response you choose.

    It follows from Planck's Law and the equation for spectral radiance that the effect of increasing atmospheric carbon dioxide on global temperatures is asymptotic, not progressive. If the atmospheric carbon dioxide concentration were to increase by the next 130 ppm, the effect of the increase on global average temperatures would be smaller than the increase that had already occurred. The climate sensitivity of the IPCC calculations is completely unrealistic.

    Clouds are known to reduce the average solar energy flux on the Earth's surface by about 100 W / m2, so negative calculations should have been used instead of positives in calculations approved by the IPCC. Thus, the IPCC's climate change projections are based on completely erroneous calculations. When the effect of carbon dioxide on global average temperatures is calculated in accordance with the laws of flow and thermal dynamics, the effect is found to be insignificant.

    We have provided our calculations to leading Finnish meteorological experts and asked them to prove their potential errors. No errors have been addressed. Nonetheless, the meteorologists who have committed themselves to the IPCC claim are categorically dogmatic, ”say Finnish professors Pertti Sarkomaa and Seppo Ruottu.

    Carbon dioxide has no effect on global warming

    The climate has changed during the Earth's existence and in the future. It is affected by a plurality of randomly variable quantities with their mutual random interconnections.

    According to our research, the effect of atmospheric carbon dioxide on surface and ground-level temperature is insignificant, even if the atmospheric carbon dioxide content doubles compared to the present one. The change would be only a few hundredths of a degree Celsius.

    According to our understanding, e.g. The IPCC climate models that underlie the Paris Climate Convention and the climate projections and key measures to "save the world" derived from them are both erroneous and illogical.

    The efforts of the IPCC to minimize carbon in the natural cycle and the atmosphere and to switch from fossil fuels to electricity and mechanical energy generation to biofuels will lead to a reduction in energy and food production and biodiversity. Long-term adherence to the IPCC's aspirations and recommendations will lead to mankind's disaster as fossil fuels run out over the next 100 years.

    Therefore, the remaining fossil fuels should be used in such a way that, when depleted, the Earth's carbon cycle, which sustains life in the world, produces the greatest amount of biodiversity-compatible biomass.

    In Lappeenranta 03.08.2019, Best regards. Pertti Sarkomaa Seppo Ruottu - Professori, TKT.

  21. onhannoita... I'm sure climate scientists everywhere get submissions from all sorts of cranks claiming almost everything under the sun. Most are going to straight to the cylindrical filing cabinet (aka, trash can). 

    Here's one that should be fairly straight-forward: water vapor.

    "Claim 1.4: Water vapor is not a greenhouse gas

    The claim 1.4 proves unfathomable ignorance on radiative heat transfer of the thousands of authors of IPCC’s assessment reports. Even though water vapor differs from all other gases of the atmosphere by its thermostatic properties it is by far the “strongest greenhouse gas” of the atmosphere. In the lower atmosphere, mean linear emission coefficient of water vapor is about 27 times the linear emission coefficient of carbon dioxide.

    Water is not only by far the “strongest greenhouse gas” but also by far the strongest “greenhouse liquid” and “greenhouse solid”. In the lower atmosphere, sum of the linear emission coefficients of water droplets and particles is at least as large as the linear emission coefficient of water vapor. Everybody knows that during cool nights, when linear emission coefficient of water vapor is small, air temperature may vary up to 10 oC, depending on cloudiness. Because the existing data is deficient, in the calculations of Appendix 4, the Authors have applied minimum realistic estimate of 1 m2/mole for the mean molar emission area of liquid and solid water. Even with this minimum value, water in its three entities dominates fully thermal and solar radiation to the ground and thus the thermodynamic mean temperature of the ground."

    As far as I can tell, this is borderline word salad. I mean, "greenhouse liquid" and "greenhouse solid"? It's not even clear to me what they're claiming. Are the claiming the IPCC doesn't consider WV a greenhouse gas? (Which would clearly be wrong.) 

  22. Or, here with the following passage...

    "Claim 1.5: Carbon dioxide in the atmosphere may increase the thermodynamic mean temperature of the ground by 2.1-4.1°C

    According to the claim 1.5 increase of carbon dioxide in the atmosphere causes progressive increase of the global mean temperature of the lower atmosphere (the hockey stick theory). The hockey stick theory proves unfathomable ignorance on radiative heat transfer because influence of increase of linear emission coefficient on radiation isn’t progressive but asymptotic."

    Again, maybe it's just the translation but this comes off as word salad.

    1) What's the point of continually repeating the phrase "thermodynamic temperature"? Ironically, they state on page 8, "It is undisputable that increase of the thermodynamic mean temperature of the ground (hence forward the Temperature)..." but then continue to use the full phrasing another 30 times over the following 85 pages. In fact, their only use of the term "thermodynamic" comes when they use the full phrase "thermodynamic mean temperature." It's just weird.

    2) 2.1-4.1°C isn't "ground temperature" it's surface temperature. Yes, there's a difference because surface includes sea and land, but "ground" would only refer to land. But maybe that's a translation issue.

    3) The hockey stick isn't the same as greenhouse gas theory. The hockey stick is merely a graph of the past 1000+ years of global temperature.

    4) "[The] influence of increase of linear emission coefficient on radiation isn’t progressive but asymptotic." This is gibberish to me. 

  23. Looks to me like they made no serious attempt to understand the greenhouse effect or even radiative transfer and so in the familiar territory for deniers of attacking a strawman. They are either unaware or have ignored direct measurements of the radiative properties in the atmosphere.

    "4) "[The] influence of increase of linear emission coefficient on radiation isn’t progressive but asymptotic." This is gibberish to me. "

    Translation is tricky but I am guessing this some acknowledgement of logarithmic relation to CO2 concentration rather linear. In assuming that this is news to physicists, they are demonstating they dont understand it all.

    I cant imagine any real physicist spending more than a few minutes looking at this before binning it. If you really want to disprove GHE theory, then your replacement theory has to reproduce the spectra of radiation measured both at top of atmosphere looking down and at the surface looking up as GHG concentrations in the atmoshere change. Current theory matches the observations with exquisite accuracy. (see papers in article here.) Or recent very direct measurement here.

  24. Scaddenp @1148 ,

    The Finn language is somewhat of an outlier from the mainstream European languages, so it may well be that an automated translation falls short of clarity.   Still, the technical word "asymptotic" is hardly likely to be mis-translated.

    Could it be that these two authors are holding on to the Climate Myth of CO2 "saturation" ?

    It might explain some of their failure to understand the basic physics of GreenHouse Effect.

  25. I had a second, more focused look at Sarkomaa & Ruottu (2019) and find it a worthless piece of work.

    Clouded by ♥ a confusing use of English & ♥ not-scientific presentation, these elderly Finnish professors provide an account riven with ♥ unsupported but controversial assertions, ♥ silly mathematical constructs and ♥ mathematical models that entirely fail to capture the workings of climate (let alone AGW).

    Such a conclusion does need some further demonstrating.


    ♥I don't think their poor use of English needs demonstrating.

    ♥The lack of scientific presentation is shown many times. As an instance, they insist (p6) that:-

    "If all linear radiation coefficients of clouds are set zero, the SRclimate model of Appendix 4 [and of their design] calculates about 100 W/m2 increase of solar energy flux to the ground and about 13 °C increase of the mean temperature of the ground. This agrees with the generally known fact that when cloud comes in front of the sun temperature decreases. Thus, IPCC’s climate change claim should be based on calculations with negative, instead of the positive cloud feedbacks."

    Their "generally known fact" is of course simplistic nonsense and the absence of "general agreement" is all too evident in Zelinka et al (2017), a reference cited by Sarkomaa & Ruottu. Yet this diparity is not addressed by Sarkomaa & Ruottu who instead treat us to mention of a peurile interchange with Finish climatologists (p6).

    ♥The lack of science extends to a large number of obviously unsupported controversial assertions. An example:-

    "Figure 1[*] Figure shows that the mean temperature of the ground has been always varied and it is sure, that the variation is going to continue. During the latest 50 thousand years the mean temperature of the ground has increased about 6 ºC and that the increase is going on. On long term decreasing trend can be noticed which is due to inevitable decrease of nuclear reactions in the sun. The hundreds year trends are due to variation of surface temperature of the sun. These variations have nothing to do with CO2 concentration in the atmosphere."

    [* on Page 20. Figure plotting global temperatures of last 2Myr based on Snyder (2016), Zachos et al (2008), Lisiecki & Raymo (2005) and 800kyr of Vostok ice core data scaled at 1:2. These first two references contradict the "nothing to do with CO2" assertion.]

    ♥The nonsense is aided by the use of silly mathematical calculations presented seemingly for no reason. Their equation 4.16a p52 presents an easily understandable example, it being a formula for an average global temperature for time t=0 to t=a obtained by integration over the surface of a sphere. Quite how anyone would obtain formula to use in such an integration of average temperature of a planet (Sarkomaa & Ruottu describe it as being "entirely impossible") or for what purpose they present the formula is not explained.

    ♥Perhaps their main conclusion is expressed within their blog commentary of their analysis which translated @1145:-

    "It follows from Planck's Law and the equation for spectral radiance that the effect of increasing atmospheric carbon dioxide on global temperatures is asymptotic, not progressive."

    Here Planck's Law is what within AGW is usually expressed in climatology as the Stefan-Boltzmann relationship although here its exact application is not entirely clear.
    "Spectral radiance" is described as "The basic physical concept of radiative heat transfer" (p66) and the "asymptotic" level (which is found to be 288K, the average global temperature which the modelling is set to) appears to be the equilibrium temperature which, of course, will be arrived-at in a manner "asymptotic, not progressive" (as in their eq 5.1) as the equilibrium temperature is approached. The modelling is then used to demonstrate that there will be no significant increase in surface temperature if there is more CO2 in surface air. The result should actually be zero because the air has not been allowed to increase in temperature (the AGW effect is not driven by surface phenomenon) and so cannot have any extra radiative effect to warm the surface. All that happens is the IR path-length decreases within the CO2 absorption bands at the same rate at which the amount of CO2 emiting this IR increases - thus zero effect.
    Sarkomaa & Ruottu actually report that in the absence of other GHGs, the "increase of carbon dioxide concentration has strong influence on the mean temperature of the ground." Their Fig 5 p73 is missing the 0.0005 'multiplier' plot but the other plots would suggest a 'climate sensitivity' of 1.0ºC at 0.0005 but this value for 'sensitivity' looks to be increasing exponentially as the 'multiplier' decreases. So if the 'multiplier' were reduced to zero, climate sensitivity (for a CO2 doubling) would be infinite.
    But with the 'multiplier' at 1 and GHGs properly represented in their model, the "increase of carbon dioxide concentration has practically no influence on the mean temperature of the ground." Yet, as stated above, given what they are apparently modelling (which is not climate sensitivity), the answer should be zero.

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