Top Climate Alarmist: Computer Models Wrong, Skeptics Right on “Pause”

The New American
by William F. Jasper



Count on the Fake News media to ignore a huge admission by a Climategate scientist that there has been no measurable global warming over the past 20 years — something he has previously vociferously denied. The admission by Dr. Benjamin Santer, a top global-warming alarmist, should have made headlines — but, of course it didn’t.

Santer was a leading “pause denier,” a climate alarmist who refused to accept the growing scientific consensus — based in this case on solid, verifiable evidence — that global surface temperatures have remained essentially stable for the past two decades, since at least 1998. Yes, despite the non-stop activist screaming and media handwringing about alleged approaching doom from anthropogenic (human-caused) global warming (or AGW), the global satellite datasets show that the gradual temperature rise during the 20th century stopped in the 1990s, right as the AGW bandwagon was kicking into high gear. This has been especially troubling for the alarmists, since they have been claiming that man-made CO2 is responsible for global warming (which isn’t happening), and the “pause” or “hiatus” has been ongoing, coincident with huge new inputs of human-generated CO2 and other greenhouse gases.

Publicly confronted with the data, some of the top AGW propagandists — Michael Mann, Phil Jones, the British Met Office, and The Economist, for example (see here and here) — felt compelled to concede that, indeed, the pause is real. Nevertheless, they warned, the planetary fever would start again, so the fright-peddling and political pressure had to be maintained, in order to guarantee support for the UN’s Paris climate agreement. 

But Santer had remained one of the “deniers” who refused to believe the satellite evidence, preferring instead to explain away the hiatus by using surface temperature data sets, weather station siting changes, temperature proxies, dodgy “adjustment” methodologies, and novel interpretations of the satellite data to make the evidence fit the politically desired global-warming scenarios. So it was that, in November of 2011, Santer, in a press release from Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory, insisted that a mere 10-12-year hiatus since 1998 was not a long enough period to judge the computer model predictions deficient; a longer period was needed.

“Looking at a single, noisy 10-year period is cherry picking, and does not provide reliable information about the presence or absence of human effects on climate,” Santer claimed. How long a period is needed? According to Santer, “tropospheric temperature records must be at least 17 years long to discriminate between internal climate noise and the signal of human-caused changes in the chemical composition of the atmosphere.” Seventeen years was a rather arbitrary number with no peer review or consensus, but it served to kick the can down the road — until new excuses and models could be produced.

However, once we had crossed the 17-year marker that Santer had set out, he determined it was time to change the argument; it was time to “adjust” the satellite data to fit the discredited computer models. That’s what he’s up to now. Nevertheless, his recently published works amount to a huge admission that vindicates the AGW skeptics whom Santer has previously vilified.

In a recent paper published in Nature Geoscience on June 19, 2017, Santer led a team of activist authors (including Michael Mann and Al Gore of “Hockey Stick” infamy) who make the startling admission that alarmist computer model predictions (including many they had been pumping themselves for years) greatly overestimated the actual observed global temperatures. That’s what they are confessing, but they do so in a very convoluted manner designed to hide the confession. Here’s the opening sentence of the abstract of their article: “In the early twenty-first century, satellite-derived tropospheric warming trends were generally smaller than trends estimated from a large multi-model ensemble.” They go on to write: “Over most of the early twenty-first century, however, model tropospheric warming is substantially larger than observed…. We conclude that model overestimation of tropospheric warming in the early twenty-first century is partly due to systematic deficiencies in some of the post-2000 external forcings used in the model simulations.” Translation: “Oops! Our computer models were way off … but, no matter.”

Where are the “watch dogs” of the media who should be all over this story? Why no curious reporters from NPR, CNN, the New York Times, or Huffington Post asking probing questions of the befuddled climate “experts”? It’s hardly surprising that they’re AWOL on this issue, especially since serving as lap dogs for the AGW consensus chorus for more than two decades.

The ever-busy Santer co-authored a similar paper in Nature on May 24, 2017, with a different team of climate activists which attempted to spin the discrepancies between the raw data and the computer models in an AGW face-saving direction. The embarrassing discrepancies, said Team Santer, are

due to the combined effects of multiple factors: the anomalous warmth at the beginning of the last 20 years (arising from a large El Niño event in 1997/98), the shift from a warm phase to a cold phase of the Interdecadal Pacific Oscillation in the late 1990s, changes in other modes of internal variability, a succession of moderate volcanic eruptions in the early 21st century, a long and low minimum in solar output during the last solar cycle, and an increase in anthropogenic sulphate pollution.

The Santerites apparently forgot to mention other pesky “factors” that may account for their data dilemma: toenail fungus, barking dogs, bovine flatulence, sleep apnea snoring, skateboarders, ISIS, Al-Qaeda, Trump, etc.

Few people outside of the “climate science community” and their alarmist media choir have heard of Ben Santer, but he has had an enormous impact on the planet (and all of us living on it) nonetheless. This is the same Ben Santer who was formerly with Britain’s discredited University of East Anglia’s Climatic Research Unit, where he was a central character in that institution’s infamous “Climategate” e-mail scandal. He left UEA-CRU and continues his climate crusading from the Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory in California. He also has been working with Dr. Carl Mears, the chief scientist with RSS (Remote Sensing Systems) in Santa Rosa, California, one of the principal providers of satellite climate data. Santer and Mears appear to have created some new “adjusting” methods that they are employing to make the “pause” disappear in the RSS data (but more on that in a moment).

As British journalist James Delingpole noted recently, “in the mid-90s this climate modeling nonentity was somehow placed in the extraordinary position of being able to dictate world opinion on global warming at the stroke of a pen.”

“He achieved this in his role as ‘lead author’ of Chapter 8 of the scientific working group report on the [the UN Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change’s, IPCC’s] Second Assessment Report (SAR),” Delingpole writes. “Nothing to write home about there, you might think, except that Santer was personally responsible for by far the most widely reported sentence in the entire report: the one from the Summary for Policy Makers (the only part of the IPCC’s Assessment Report most people actually bother to read) claiming ‘the balance of evidence suggests that there is a discernible human influence on global climate.’”

Delingpole then asks the crucial question: “But was this line actually true? Was this really a fair summary — the kind of summary the IPCC purports rigorously and definitively to give of us — of the general state of scientific understanding at that particular moment? Er, well not according to some of the scientists who’d contributed to that chapter of the report, no.” Delingpole reminds us of the fantastic deception that went into confecting this false IPCC “consensus” which has been used as a battering ram to demolish opposition to the AGW agenda. He writes:

The original version of the chapter — as agreed on and signed off by all 28 contributing authors — expressed considerably more doubt about AGW than was indicated in Santer’s summary. It included these passages:

“None of the studies cited above has shown clear evidence that we can attribute the observed changes to the specific cause of increases in greenhouse gases.”

“No study to date has positively attributed all or part (of the climate change observed) to (man-made) causes.”

“Any claims of positive detection and attribution of significant climate change are likely to remain controversial until uncertainties in the total natural variability of the climate system are reduced.”

“When will an anthropogenic climate be identified? It is not surprising that the best answer to the question is ‘We do not know.’”

“Strangely,” notes Delingpole, “none of these passages made it to the final draft.” Down the Orwellian memory hole they went, victims of Santer’s quest for “consensus.” His Summary for Policy Makers not only did not represent anything close to the oft claimed “scientific consensus,” it egregiously, intentionally misrepresented the widespread non-consensus among the participating scientists on this important question. When challenged on this obvious fraud and censorship, Santer and his allies have defended this indefensible malefaction as the completely innocent and normal process of “peer review.”

Now it appears that Santer and his colleague at RSS, Dr. Mears, are collaborating to carry out a similar operation to bring the dissenting satellite data into the AGW faux consensus. In March of last year, meteorologist blogger Anthony Watts warned that Mears and RSS were engaged in “Karlization” of global temperatures. The reference was to Dr. Thomas Karl of the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, who was caught adjusting NOAA’s past temperatures down so the present would appear warmer, apparently to aid the Obama-UN Paris agenda. (See here and here.) Watts showed that RSS had made a “massive upwards adjustment.”

Then, in October, 2016, Watts directed readers to RSS data showing that the outfit had slipped in an unannounced and unexplained stealth adjustment to their data that is obviously calculated to warm the temperature record.

But don’t expect to read or hear about any of this from the Washington Post, MSNBC, CNN, or any of the rest of the Fake News media.

The New American