Climate Change Believers Agree — Their Models Don’t

By:  Michael Tennant
12/07/2011
       
Climate Change Believers Agree — Their Models Don’t

Much of the alarmism about alleged climate change is predicated on computer models purporting to demonstrate that global surface temperatures are rising at an alarming rate and are certain to cause all manner of disaster, from droughts and frigid winters to floods and scorching summers. But how reliable are these models and their forecasts?

Not very, says the BBC’s environment correspondent, Richard Black. He maintains that the models currently in use offer wildly divergent forecasts of Earth’s climatic future, particularly when it comes to “precise indications of what the future holds for your farm, your street, your village” — so much so that, regardless of one’s climate-change persuasion, he can find data to support his position.

 

Much of the alarmism about alleged climate change is predicated on computer models purporting to demonstrate that global surface temperatures are rising at an alarming rate and are certain to cause all manner of disaster, from droughts and frigid winters to floods and scorching summers. But how reliable are these models and their forecasts?

Not very, says the BBC’s environment correspondent, Richard Black. He maintains that the models currently in use offer wildly divergent forecasts of Earth’s climatic future, particularly when it comes to “precise indications of what the future holds for your farm, your street, your village” — so much so that, regardless of one’s climate-change persuasion, he can find data to support his position.

For instance, the United Kingdom’s national weather service, the Met Office, recently published a study based on 21 computer models that purports to show what effects climate change will have on 24 countries around the world. While the center-right Daily Telegraph reported on the study with the headline “Climate change will be good for Britain’s growers says Met Office,” the left-wing Guardian’s banner read “Met Office warns of UK climate risks,” specifically “water shortages and flooding.” Both conclusions — that farming will improve and that droughts and floods will increase — can plausibly be derived from the study, albeit with differing degrees of confidence.

Black writes:

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