The Santer Clause

By John McLean

When the IPCC’s in a hole and doesn’t have a paper to cite, who’s it gonna call?

(All together) BEN SANTER!

Santer, Wrigley and others, including several IPCC authors, fixed it for the 1995 report with a “miracle” last-minute paper that claimed to have solid evidence of the human influence on climate. The paper had been submitted and not even reached the stage of review when it was included in the IPCC report. At the instigation of the IPCC Working Group I head, John Houghton, the whole pivotal chapter was revised to accommodate it. And all this happened after the second expert review but before government representatives got together to decide what should be said.

About 18 months later the paper was finally published, citing the IPCC report that cited it, and was laughed off the stage. Never mind. It had served its purpose of manipulating opinion about manmade warming and convincing the new-formed UNFCCC that it didn’t need its own subsidiary organization to fiddle science to support the UNFCCC’s claims; the IPCC was perfectly capable of doing that.

Roll forward about 20 years. The IPCC’s 2013 report showed (text box 9.2) that climate models were rubbish at predicting average global temperatures with 111 of 114 climate model runs predicting, for 1998 to 2012, greater warming than the HadCRUT4 temperature data indicated, which was in fact statistically indistinguishable from zero.

What 5AR didn’t make clear was that climate models are run with and with greenhouses gases and the IPCC blames the difference in the two sets of output on manmade warming. (It’s a completely specious argument unless it can be proven that climate models are 100% accurate when it comes to algorithmically including every climate forcing, which of course they are not. The comparison study in fact shows nothing more than the sensitivity of the models to the inclusion of greenhouse gases.)

With climate models poor at making prediction it also follows that they are poor at estimating the influence of greenhouse gases on climate. If the public becomes aware of this then the ground is cut from beneath the UNFCCC’s claims, which means the Paris Climate Agreement will be seen as the farce it really is and all that rearrangement of the global economy to suit UN socialists won’t take place.

There is simply no way that IPCC 6AR can be allowed to continue to cast doubt on climate models because it might mean that end of both the IPCC and UNFCCC, not to mention the incomes and reputations of so-called climate science experts taking a sharp nose-dive.

So who’s the IPCC gonna call? Ben Santer!

This time around the paper has been published so that it complies with rules set down after the 1995 fiasco and can be cited. Being published of course doesn’t mean that it’s any good.

One of its key sentence is ” “None of our findings call into question the reality of long-term warming of Earth’s troposphere and surface, or cast doubt on prevailing estimates of the amount of warming we can expect from future increases in (greenhouse gas) concentrations.”

I’m going to call this the Santer Clause because the last half of it is about as real.

Even the first half is interesting because anyone can shift the goal posts and start the trend in whatever year supports their argument. Select the year carefully and you’ll find that temperatures have risen since then, select another year and they’re flat, select
another and temperatures have fallen.

The other important sentence in the Santer et al paper is ” We conclude that model overestimation of tropospheric warming in the early twenty-first century is partly due to systematic deficiencies in some of the post-2000 external forcings used in the model simulations.” So it’s not climate models that are wrong; it’s the data put into them, in other words it’s the weather.

Talk about climate denial.

There’s no concession that a more plausible explanation is that climate models are nonsense, as IPCC 5AR showed, and that for the 1980s and 1990s the output of the models looked approximately correct because greenhouses gases were exaggerated while the real drivers of climate, the natural forces and internal variability, were underplayed.

The frequency of El Nino events has slowed since the late 1990s and the dominance of such events over La Nina events has weakened, meaning that warming and cooling episodes are tending to balance and that temperature trends remain flat.

The gap between what the models predict and what the data shows would be smaller if the algorithms in the models were corrected. Of course that’s unlikely to happen because the whole notion of significant manmade warming would implode and the IPCC and UNFCCC disappear. The IPCC will now cite this Santer fantasy to try to ensure that doesn’t happen.

It’s a sobering thought that if the implosion doesn’t happen now and the disconnect between the belief and the reality continues to increase then it’s probably only a matter of time before countries start fudging temperature data, to make it show warming that isn’t happening. They have millions or even billions of dollars at stake if the myth collapsed and surely it’s too big a carrot to give up without a fight.

When the reputation of climate science ends up in the gutter as a result of all the nonsense let’s just hope it’s not Ben Santer who’s called to fix it.

See also here.


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