“If climate scientists were credit-rating agencies,” the environment editor for Australia's largest newspaper quipped March 30, “then climate sensitivity — the way climate reacts to changes in carbon-dioxide levels — would be on negative watch but not yet downgraded.” The Australian for March 30 concluded that “the fact that global surface temperatures have not followed the expected global warming pattern is now widely accepted.”
The Australian was reacting to an article published the same day in the British magazine The Economist, which quoted David Whitehouse of the pro-regulatory Global Warming Policy Foundation as admitting that “If we have not passed it already, we are on the threshold of global observations becoming incompatible with the consensus theory of climate change." Whitehouse's statement means that even the hyper-regulatory zealots are now admitting their apocalyptic models are exaggerated.
According to The Economist, the growing gap between predicted global warming in computer models and a flat average global temperature means the scientific “consensus” manufactured by the United Nations' Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change may have been wrong all along:
The IPCC’s estimates of climate sensitivity are based partly on GCMs [general-circulation models]. Because these reflect scientists’ understanding of how the climate works, and that understanding has not changed much, the models have not changed either and do not reflect the recent hiatus in rising temperatures.
The mismatch might mean that — for some unexplained reason — there has been a temporary lag between more carbon dioxide and higher temperatures in 2000-10. Or it might be that the 1990s, when temperatures were rising fast, was the anomalous period. Or, as an increasing body of research is suggesting, it may be that the climate is responding to higher concentrations of carbon dioxide in ways that had not been properly understood before.
The stable temperature of the Earth since industrial era highs in the 1990s — despite increasing CO2 emissions from virtually every country (and especially from developing economies) since then — has also meant increasing skepticism from within the scientific community. Back in February, James Taylor of the Heartland Institute stated in Forbes magazine,
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