In their mad dash to prove their global warming bona fides, major media have simply thrown skepticism out the window. What’s left is climate religion.
Everyone makes mistakes, but some mistakes are bigger than others. That’s the case with a recent study based on a climate model that claimed the oceans had retained 60% more warming than previously thought. It made headlines around the world with its alarming conclusion.
The study itself, by no fewer than ten authors, made sweeping claims. The authors wrote that the study held “implications for policy-relevant measurements of the Earth response to climate change, such as climate sensitivity to greenhouse gases and the thermal component of sea-level rise.”
In other words, this study is a game-changer that policy makers ignored at their own — and our — peril.
Media around the world seized upon the report as yet another indicator of climate-change doom and runaway global warming. No surprise, since most of the media faithfully adhere to the Holy Church of Global Warming.
The only problem: The study made a crucial math error, something that happens often in published reports. Its alarming conclusion was all but invalidated, as The Daily Caller’s Michael Bastasch reported.
We’re not ripping the scientists for this. They made math mistakes, which were pointed out by skeptical British climate scientist Nicholas Lewis. His review found “serious (but surely inadvertent) errors” in the study.
After their own review, to their credit, the authors concurred.
“When we were confronted with his insight it became immediately clear there was an issue there,” Ralph Keeling, a climatologist at the Scripps Institution of Oceanography and one of the co-authors of the study, told The San Diego Union-Tribune. “We’re grateful to have it be pointed out quickly so that we could correct it quickly.”
He added: “Our error margins are too big now to really weigh in on the precise amount of warming that’s going on in the ocean. We really muffed the error margins.”
Spoken like a true scientist. And no, we’re not being snarky. That’s how science gets done. When someone finds error in a study or paper, the authors should double-check their work and correct it. That’s what happened.
But there are two huge problems with this.
One, the media — including the Washington Post and the BBC — that so enthusiastically covered the initial release of the paper will not give the corrections of their mistaken reports nearly as prominent display as the original. So, for many readers, the mistaken impression of a world undergoing dramatic warming will linger.
Math Is Hard
Two, this study isn’t the only one containing a major math error. Indeed, such mistakes it turns out are shockingly common. And in truth, many papers on global warming aren’t “science” at all. They’re little more than fanciful extrapolations from statistical models.
As we’ve seen over the years, few if any of the models hold up when it comes to making climate predictions.
The United Nations Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC), which has issued a number of alarming reports on global warming over the years, has used literally dozens of different models to confirm their dire forecasts. The models are different in some respects, but all share one big problem in common: They can’t even accurately predict what has already happened, much less forecast what will happen in the deep future.
Scientists know this, but the media mostly ignore it.
“(Climate models) are full of fudge factors that are fitted to the existing climate, so the models more or less agree with the observed data,” wrote Nobel Prize-winning physicist Freeman Dyson. “But there is no reason to believe that the same fudge factors would give the right behaviour in a world with different chemistry, for example in a world with increased CO2 in the atmosphere.”
A study by Lewis and climate scientist Judith Curry in the American Meteorological Society’s journal estimated that a doubling of carbon dioxide in the atmosphere would result in temperatures of anywhere from 30% to 45% below UN estimates. In other words, no global warming crisis exists.
Global Warming: Skepticism Needed
Other peer reviewed articles by climate scientists have likewise knocked down the doomsday scenarios of the UN’s IPCC. But the media ignore those studies that convincingly show little or no warming. Or they criticize the authors of the studies as “skeptics.”
Aren’t all scientists supposed to be skeptics? It’s the very basis of science. In their mad dash to prove their global warming bona fides, major media have simply thrown skepticism out the window. What’s left is climate religion.
As yet another study shows, we should all be skeptical.