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Study shakes foundation of climate theory! Reveals UN models ‘fundamentally wrong’ – Blames ‘Unknown Processes’ — not CO2 for ancient global warming

A new peer-reviewed study may shake the foundation upon which man-made global warming fears are based. The new study discovered “something fundamentally wrong with the way temperature and carbon are linked in climate models.”

The study, which was published on July 13, 2009 in the peer-reviewed journal Nature Geoscience, found CO2 was not to blame for a major ancient global warming period and instead found “unknown processes accounted for much of warming in the ancient hot spell.” The press release for the study was headlined: “Global warming: Our best guess is likely wrong.” (Full paper avialable here.)

“In a nutshell, theoretical models cannot explain what we observe in the geological record,” said oceanographer Gerald Dickens, a co-author of the study and professor of Earth science at Rice University. “There appears to be something fundamentally wrong with the way temperature and carbon are linked in climate models.”

The study noted that the same climate models the UN IPCC uses can only “explain only about half of the heating that occurred during a well-documented period of rapid global warming in Earth’s ancient past.” The study concluded that “something other than carbon dioxide caused much of the heating during the PETM (Palaeocene-Eocene thermal maximum of 55 million years ago) and “unknown processes account for much of warming in the ancient hot spell.”

“No one knows exactly how much Earth’s climate will warm due to carbon emissions, but a new study this week suggests scientists’ best predictions about global warming might be incorrect,” noted the press release from Rice University about the new study.

“Some feedback loop or other processes that aren’t accounted for in these models — the same ones used by the IPCC for current best estimates of 21st Century warming — caused a substantial portion of the warming that occurred during the PETM (Palaeocene-Eocene thermal maximum of 55 million years ago)”, oceanographer Gerald Dickens, a professor of Earth science at Rice University and study co-author said.

“The study found that climate models explain only about half of the heating that occurred during a well-documented period of rapid global warming in Earth’s ancient past. The study contains an analysis of published records from a period of rapid climatic warming about 55 million years ago known as the Palaeocene-Eocene thermal maximum, or PETM. “During the PETM, for reasons that are still unknown, the amount of carbon in Earth’s atmosphere rose rapidly. For this reason, the PETM, which has been identified in hundreds of sediment core samples worldwide, is probably the best ancient climate analogue for present-day Earth,” the release noted. For full press release see here:

The study was co-authored with Richard Zeebe of the University of Hawaii and James Zachos of the University of California-Santa Cruz. [Update: Co-author Zeebe says results may possibly mean “future warming could be more intense.” “If this additional warming which we do not really understand, was caused as a response to the CO2 warming, then there is a chance that also a future warming could be more intense than people anticipate right now,” Zeebe told Reuters.]

This new study comes on the heels of several new developments in climate modeling and global warming.

Scientist: ‘I don’t think we can say much about what the humans are doing’

Dr. Anastasios Tsonis co-author of the UW-Milwaukee peer-reviewed paper in March 2009, touted as a study which ”Could Realign Climate Change Theory“. See: “Scientists Claim Earth Is Undergoing Natural Climate Shift“.

“If we don’t understand what is natural, I don’t think we can say much about what the humans are doing. So our interest is to understand — first the natural variability of climate — and then take it from there. So we were very excited when we realized a lot of changes in the past century from warmer to cooler and then back to warmer were all natural,” Tsonis said. Tsonis said he thinks the current trend of steady or even cooling earth temps may last a couple of decades or until the next climate shift occurs.”

Other scientists have echoed these conclusions.

“Over geologic time. there has been 15 to 25 times more CO2 than current concentrations; the claim that this time we will reach a tipping point is alarmist, ludicrous, and totally without foundation,” declared atmospheric scientist Robert W. Endlich on July 12, 2009. Endlich tests weather software at the Physical Sciences Laboratory at New Mexico State University, and is a former weather officer with the U.S. Air Force who has published papers in the technical literature.

In addition, further evidence that the science of CO2 climate forcing is still “unsettled“ came on July 13, 2009. The University of Colorado was awarded a $42 million NASA contract to study the sun’s radiation. “In order to quantify the anthropogenic influences on climate, we need accurate measurements of the natural climate-forcing agents, the most important of which is the sun,” associate professor Peter Pilewskie said.

Former NASA Climatologist Dr. Roy Spencer, now with the University of Alabama in Huntsville, also challenged today’s climate models.

“I do not believe we can determine — with any objective level of confidence — whether any of the current model projections of future warming can be believed. Any scientist who claims otherwise either has political or other non-scientific motivations, or they are simply being sloppy,” Spencer wrote on July 12, 2009.

‘Climate model software doesn’t meet the best standards available’

Earlier this month, Climate Depot reported on a U.S. Government Scientist who admitted that “climate model software doesn’t meet the best standards available.” Gary Strand, a software engineer at the federally funded National Center for Atmospheric Research (NCAR), admitted climate model software “doesn’t meet the best standards available” in a comment he posted on the website Climate Audit.

“As a software engineer, I know that climate model software doesn’t meet the best standards available. We’ve made quite a lot of progress, but we’ve still quite a ways to go,” Strand wrote on July 5, 2009, according to the website Strand’s candid admission promoted WattsUpWithThat’s skeptical Meteorologist Anthony Watts to ask the following question:

“Do we really want Congress to make trillion dollar tax decisions today based on ‘software [that] doesn’t meet the best standards available?’”

Climate models made by unlicensed ‘software engineers’

The credibility of these computer model predictions — used by governments to determine global warming policy based on future climate risks — have been under increasingly intense scrutiny for years.

In June 2007, Dr. Jim Renwick, a top UN IPCC scientist, admitted that climate models do not account for half the variability in nature and thus are not reliable. “Half of the variability in the climate system is not predictable, so we don’t expect to do terrifically well,” Renwick conceded. (LINK)

Another high-profile UN IPCC lead author, Dr. Kevin Trenberth, echoed Renwick’s sentiments in 2007 about climate models by referring to them as “story lines.”

“In fact there are no predictions by IPCC at all. And there never have been. The IPCC instead proffers ‘what if’ projections of future climate that correspond to certain emissions scenarios,” Trenberth wrote in journal Nature’s blog on June 4, 2007.

Trenberth also admitted that the climate models have major shortcomings because “they do not consider many things like the recovery of the ozone layer, for instance, or observed trends in forcing agents. There is no estimate, even probabilistically, as to the likelihood of any emissions scenario and no best guess.” (LINK)

IPCC reviewer and climate researcher Dr Vincent Gray, of New Zealand, an expert reviewer on every single draft of the IPCC reports going back to 1990, author of more than 100 scientific publications and author of The Greenhouse Delusion: A Critique of “Climate Change 2001,” declared “The claims of the IPCC are dangerous unscientific nonsense” in an April 10, 2007 article. (LINK) & (LINK)

“All [UN IPCC does] is make ‘projections’ and ‘estimates’. No climate model has ever been properly tested, which is what ‘validation’ means, and their ‘projections’ are nothing more than the opinions of ‘experts’ with a conflict of interest, because they are paid to produce the models. There is no actual scientific evidence for all these ‘projections’ and ‘estimates,’” Gray noted.

In addition, atmospheric scientist Dr. Hendrik Tennekes, a scientific pioneer in the development of numerical weather prediction and former director of research at The Netherlands’ Royal National Meteorological Institute, recently compared scientists who promote computer models predicting future climate doom to unlicensed “software engineers.”

“I am of the opinion that most scientists engaged in the design, development, and tuning of climate models are in fact software engineers. They are unlicensed, hence unqualified to sell their products to society,” Tennekes wrote on February 28, 2007. (LINK)

For more on climate models, see Climate Depot’s July 6, 2009 exclusive report the shortcomings of climate models:

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