Why climate models are misforecasting climate change

One undeniable fact in the data surrounding the study of climate change is that the models that have been designed to predict global temperatures have consistently gotten it wrong. That is, they consistently over predict the amount of warming that actually occurs. A new study in the climate journal Remote Sensing, by Spencer and Braswell, has provided research from satellite temperature measurements, arguing that the earth releases excess heat much more efficiently than any of the models assume. A press release from the University of Alabama at Huntsville, where the researchers are based, states the following:

Data from NASA’s Terra satellite shows that when the climate warms, Earth’s atmosphere is apparently more efficient at releasing energy to space than models used to forecast climate change have been programmed to “believe.”

The result is climate forecasts that are warming substantially faster than the atmosphere, says Dr. Roy Spencer, a principal research scientist in the Earth System Science Center at The University of Alabama in Huntsville.

The previously unexplained differences between model-based forecasts of rapid global warming and meteorological data showing a slower rate of warming have been the source of often contentious debate and controversy for more than two decades.

A test of whether the climate modelers are true scientists or simply environmental zealots will be whether or not they adjust their models’ assumptions in the coming years to reflect the results of this research (given that it holds up).

Roy Cordato / Senior Economist and Resident Scholar

Roy Cordato is Senior Economist and Resident Scholar at the John Locke Foundation. From January 2001 to March 2017, he held the position of Vice President for Research at the ...

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