Analysis: UN IPCC Climate Models Grossly Exaggerate ‘Global Warming’

Several recently published studies have provided methodological objections to alarmist IPCC global climate models that predict catastrophic global warming will result from anthropogenic CO2 atmospheric concentrations from burning hydrocarbon fuels. These studies indicate that a more accurate reading of the earth’s surface temperatures suggests global climate warming over the next few decades will be moderate. The studies further indicate that more precise surface temperature readings would seriously dampen the hysterical mass media demand for radical public policies requiring radical decarbonization to achieve Net Zero Emissions (NZE) as quickly as possible.

In November 2022, meteorologist Roy Spencer, Ph.D., a Principal Research Scientist at the University of Alabama in Huntsville, published a ground-breaking study demonstrating that 36 climate models used to guide national policy may have exaggerated “global warming” over the last 50 years by as much as 50 percent. Specifically, Dr. Spencer utilized “a relatively new global dataset of urbanization changes over the previous 40-year period, 1975-2014, based on Landsat data to determine the average effect urbanization has had on surface temperatures.”

Spencer devised a methodology “to compute the magnitude of the Urban Heat Island (UHI) effect on temperatures using the example of summertime early morning 09 UTC (early morning) Integrated Surface Database (ISD) hourly data (mostly from airports) over the period 1973-2022.” (“UTC” stands for Universal Time Coordinated, formally known as Greenwich Mean Time (GMT).) His goal was to compare “urbanization differences to temperature differences from closely spaced weather stations.”

Image: Putting out the “earth fire by Andrea Widburg, using a rawpixel image and a Racool_studio image.

Using this methodology, Spencer’s results were astounding: “The results for the U.S. lead to a 50-year warming trend 50 percent less than that from the official National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) homogenized surface temperature dataset.” (Emphasis added.)

Spencer’s research shows that increased urbanization, not increased CO2, is responsible for exaggerating the temperature measurements recorded in the NOAA homogenized surface temperature dataset. In other words, Spencer’s point is that observed increases in temperature result from the greater heat urbanization generates, not from increased CO2 concentrations generated in the atmosphere by burning hydrocarbon fuels. Spencer was able to achieve this result by eliminating the negative Urban Heat Island bias from the NOAA temperature database to get more truthful readings of the CO2 heat forcing effect.

Remember, the core “global warming” argument is that CO2 alone is the earth thermometer that controls whether earth temperatures are hotter or colder on average. As Spencer has said, “Given that U.S. energy policy depends upon the predictions from these models, their tendency to produce too much warming (and likely also warming-associated climate change) should be factored into energy policy planning.” Spencer has also charged that “climate change exaggerations (are) routinely promoted by environmental groups, anti-oil advocates, the media, the politicians, and most government agencies.”

Spencer is not alone in pointing to corrupt data. In August 2022, meteorologist Anthony Watts found that 96 percent of the temperature stations in the United States used to measure global warming and climate change did not “meet what the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) considers to be ‘acceptable,’ uncorrupted placement.”

To reach this conclusion, Watts “compiled satellite and in-person visits to NOAA weather stations” that provide “official” temperature data. His visits revealed that these stations are corrupted by localized effects of urbanization—producing heat-bias because of their close proximity to asphalt, machinery, and other heat-producing, heat-trapping, or heat-accentuating objects.”

The study concluded that placing NOAA temperature stations in such urban settings “violates NOAA’s own published standards, and strongly undermines the legitimacy and the magnitude of the official consensus on long-term climate warming trends in the United States.”

There’s more. In August 2022, Nicola Scafetta, at the Department of Earth Sciences, Environment and Georesources, University of Naples, Italy, a perennial critic of the United Nations Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change’s (IPCC) methodology for measuring earth surface temperatures, published a new paper questioning IPCC alarmism over climate models predicting catastrophic climate change.

Scafetta applied various temperature-measuring methodologies, including satellite measurement of the lower troposphere global temperature record, to IPCC surface temperature measurements, including the NOAA surface measurement data. Scafetta found that IPCC Global Circulation Models (GCM) of earth’s oceans and atmosphere that predict Equilibrium Climate Sensitivity (ECS), i.e., the global warming effect of doubling CO2 atmospheric concentrations, over-estimated earth temperature outcomes.

Scafetta concluded that if the satellite-measurement record is accurate, the IPCC surface-based temperature readings “appear to exhibit a significant warming bias.” Scafetta stressed that if the UAH (UAH satellite developed at the University of Alabama, Huntsville) MSU (Microwave Sounding Unit radiation measurement) record is accurate, “surface warming from 1980 to 2021 may have been around 0.40°C (or less), that is up to about 30 percent less than what is reported by the surface-based temperature models.” Scafetta concluded that correcting IPCC over-estimating global surface temperatures suggests “the projected global climate warming over the next few decades could be moderate and probably not particularly alarming.”

And there’s still more. In September 2022, Wallace Manheimer published a paper in the Journal of Sustainable Development asserting that no climate crisis exists. Manheimer holds a Ph.D. in physics from MIT. He is now retired from a 50-year career in nuclear physics, including work at the Plasma Physics Department at the U.S. Naval Research Laboratory. Manheimer explained:

Radiation forcing calculations by both skeptics and believers show that carbon dioxide radiation forcing is about 0.3 percent of the incident radiation, far less than other effects on climate. Over a period of human civilization, the temperature has oscillated between quite a few warm and cold periods, with many of the warm periods being warmer than today. During geological times, it and the carbon dioxide level have been all over the place with no correlation between them.

He concluded that it’s not climate change that will end civilization but, rather, enforcing Net Zero Emissions (NZE). Writing about wind and solar power, he argued it would be “especially tragic when not only will this new infrastructure fail, but it will cost trillions, trash large portions of the environment, and be entirely unnecessary. The stakes are enormous.” (Emphasis in original.)

Manheimer stressed that modern civilization “needs energy.” He argued that before hydrocarbon fuels were widely used, “civilization was a thin veneer atop a vast mountain of human squalor and misery, a veneer maintained by such institutions as slavery, colonialism, and tyranny.” Indeed, hydrocarbon fuels have “extended the benefits of modern civilization to billions.” But he added that “there are still billions on earth who derive very little benefit from this power source, and billions more who derive only minimal benefits.” Thus, Manheimer insisted that spreading “the benefits of modern civilization to the entire human family would require much more energy, as well as newer sources of energy.”

To conclude, Manheimer explained that he still holds to his views from thirty years ago. Then, he envisioned the spread of hydrocarbon fuels “to be gradually replaced by nuclear energy, to be fueled at first by mined uranium, and then by breeding fissile material, either by nuclear fission or nuclear fusion and possibly even by fusion itself.”

Since 2004, Jerome R. Corsi has published 25 books on economics, history, and politics, including two #1 New York Times bestsellers. In 1972, he received his Ph.D. from the Department of Government at Harvard University. He currently resides in New Jersey with his family. His current book, The Truth About Energy, Global Warming, and Climate Change: Exposing Climate Lies in an Age of Disinformation, was published on June 28, 2022. Dr. Corsi’s new website,, is now on the Internet in its first phase of development.