A recent paper published in the esteemed scientific journal Nature Geoscience is creating quite a ruckus. The gist of the study is that humanity may have a few more decades to deal with catastrophic climate change than previously thought.
One of the authors, a professor of international energy and climate change at University College London, Michael Grubb, said in an optimistic tone to The Times that “Pacific islands are less doomed than we thought[.]”
However, behind that confident facade is a grim recognition and confirmation that the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) models were running too hot in the last few decades. Consequently, the climate predictions must be cooled down.
In short, they admit they were wrong.
The climate bubble deflating?
To be fair, they do not adjust their predictions by much, but it is the first major mainstream step in the direction of deflating the climate bubble. Not only does this study firmly acknowledge the so-called “hiatus,” a period of little or no global warming over the last two decades, but they also openly accept the consequence that the models need to be adjusted downward to fit those lukewarm observations – precisely what climate skeptics have been touting for years.
In fact, well-known global warming skeptic Ross McKitrick quoted climate scientist Hans von Storch on the following prediction in 2014:
“If things continue as they have been, in five years, at the latest, we will need to acknowledge that something is fundamentally wrong with our climate models. A twenty-year pause in global warming does not occur in a single modeled scenario.”
McKitrick also quoted climate scientist Judith Curry in a similar prognosis:
“If the twenty-year threshold is reached for the pause, this will inescapably lead to the conclusion that the climate model sensitivity to CO2 is too large.”
That prediction turned out to be far more accurate than the established models of pending doom. For the science-savvy reader, Ross McKitrick’s 2014 presentation about the pause at Friends of Science could be of interest.
What about the sun?
For many years, a minority of scientists have been promoting an alternative explanation of global warming. They say that carbon dioxide plays a far less important role than the IPCC believes and that the real culprit is the sun. The Danish scientist Henrik Svensmark produced robust experimental evidence that cosmic rays, which are modulated by solar activity, may strongly influence cloud formation.
Coincidentally, we will soon find out if Svensmark is correct, as the sun is about to go into a prolonged period of unusually weak activity. The last time the sun was as inactive as it will soon be was the Maunder Minimum, also known as the prolonged sunspot minimum, which occurred from about 1645 to around 1715.
Earth had already entered a period of cooling known as the Little Ice Age, which began in the 14th century. During this time, extreme winters struck Europe and Londoners held frost fairs on the frozen river Thames, sometimes for weeks. The Little Ice Age was further aggravated towards its end by the 1815 eruption of Mount Tambora, which brought about volcanic winter in the year 1816, also known as the “Year Without a Summer.”
Considering the other climate factors that occurred along with the Maunder Minimum, a new period of decrease solar activity may not have Londoners skating on the Thames again. However, if Svensmark is correct, the world is in for a definite cooling period.
If the sun is a dominant factor in climate change, we will know it for sure by 2025. Then the IPCC models need not only be tweaked but be scrapped altogether.