Q: What Do You Do With A Broken Hockey Stick?

A: Move the goalposts. How's that for a mixed sports metaphor?

The U.N.’s International Panel on Climate Change and Climate Change scientists have waaaay too much invested in Anthropogenic Global Warming to walk away from it based on mere data. Data, for example, that demonstrates that despite the dire warnings of steadily increasing temperatures, global temperatures are actually cooling, and have been for 10-12 years.

In other words, the Hockey Stick is broken. (Temporary) Global Cooling is seeing increasing acceptance among some in the Climate Change community, but they remain True Believers in Anthropogenic Global Warming.

This cooling trend is causing some consternation. None of the whiz-bang computerized climate models (which were the basis of the IPCC reports and the subsequent policy initiatives from Kyoto to Cap and Trade and Green Jobs) predicted the dip in temperatures that we’re experiencing now. That should be enough to call the whole business of climate modeling into question. As many critics have pointed out, the global climate system is too chaotic and too dependent on many poorly-understood, interdependent processes to lend itself to accurate (and precise) computer modeling. And the first tenet of computer modeling is that a good history match is no guarantee of a reliable forecast.

Even if the models were to be believed, the dip makes forecasting a lot more dicey. Early in my engineering career, I learned from a mentor (only half in jest) that much of the process of making a good forecast involves plotting non-linear data in such a way that it can be projected as a straight line. This temperature dip means that any forecast of increasing temperature is no longer a linear projection of a stable system; now it is completely dependent on the accuracy of the computer model, which has been demonstrated to be poor.

So now the line is: “Forget all the computer forecasts we tried to scare you with over the last 10-20 years. Now we have a really good model, so you’d better do what we say!” Skeptics are still labeled deniers, even though the reason for the skepticism has been reinforced.

Lorne Gunter, an article in the National Post, points out that the Emperor of Climate Change is wearing no clothes:

[W]hy was a speech last week by Mojib Latif of Germany’s Leibniz Institute not give[n] more prominence?

Prof. Latif is one of the leading climate modelers in the world. He is the recipient of several international climate-study prizes and a lead author for the United Nations’ Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC). He has contributed significantly to the IPCC’s last two five-year reports that have stated unequivocally that man-made greenhouse emissions are causing the planet to warm dangerously.

Yet last week in Geneva, at the UN’s World Climate Conference — an annual gathering of the so-called “scientific consensus” on man-made climate change — Prof. Latif conceded the Earth has not warmed for nearly a decade and that we are likely entering “one or even two decades during which temperatures cool.” [emphasis added]

So is Prof. Lotif ditching the Theory of Anthropogenic Global Warming? Not a chance.

Prof. Latif says he expects warming to resume in 2020 or 2030. “People will say this is global warming disappearing,” he added. According to him, that is not the case. “I am not one of the skeptics,” he insisted. “However, we have to ask the nasty questions ourselves or other people will do it.”

Mr. Gunter continues:

How can Prof. Latif and the others state with certainty that after this long and unforeseen cooling, dangerous man-made heating will resume? They failed to observe the current cooling for years after it had begun, how then can their predictions for the resumption of dangerous warming be trusted?

My point is they cannot.

It’s true the supercomputer models Prof. Latif and other modellers rely on for their dire predictions are becoming more accurate. A major breakthrough last year in the modelling of past ocean currents finally enabled the computers to recreate the climate history of the 20th century (mostly) correctly.

But getting the future equally correct is far trickier. Chances are some unforeseen future changes to real-world climate or further modifications to the UN’s climate computers will throw the current predictions out of whack long before the forecast resumption of warming.

H/T The Cooler Heads Digest, Competitive Enterprise Institute

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