There is little evidence of the climate becoming more adverse or more harmful. Small changes in, for example, extreme rainfall or storms, are not discernible above the noise of natural changes in the weather.
However, as everyone knows, climate scientists say we should still be frightened, because of what they learn from their climate models. These giant computer simulations of the atmosphere and ocean are at the centre of the global warming scare, and are behind every claim that droughts will get worse, storms are caused by SUVs and that we are all going to hell in a handcart. We are told, endlessly, that we should trust these prognostications because the models are ‘based on basic physics’.
But what if that wasn’t strictly true? What if climate models were actually junk? A new paper from Net Zero Watch shows, somewhat alarmingly, that this is indeed the case.
The author, Willis Eschenbach, is an experienced computer programmer and a long-time writer on all things climate change. His paper, entitled Climate Models and Climate Muddles, reports on what he found when he examined the computer code inside NASA’s Model E climate simulation. It is positively astonishing. While programmers have indeed attempted to base the model on basic physics, time and again they have run into problems. For example, Eschenbach describes the problems they have had with polynyas, pools of meltwater that sit on top of the polar ice caps. These are important in determining how much of the sun’s heat is reflected straight back out to space again, and thus how much global warming affects the earth’s temperature.
Being made of water, polynyas should of course freeze once temperatures fall below zero. However, the code reveals that, in the artificial world of the simulation, they failed to freeze even at temperatures far colder! Imagine that – fresh water that refuses to freeze. However, instead of working out what was wrong with the physics, NASA’s scientists simply decided to insert some code that forced it to freeze if the temperature fell too far below zero. So, in this area at least, the model is not based on physics so much as on fudge.
The problem with the polynyas is just one example. Eschenbach shows that in another area of the model scientists were forced to insert code that dealt with the problem of cloud cover becoming negative. Clearly, if a model can have less than 0% cloud in some parts of the world, the physics on which it is based is very faulty.
In recent years, we have seen the difficulties into which politicians can get when they trust scientists’ models unquestioningly. We are still dealing with the consequences of SAGE’s eccentric guidance and Professor Ferguson’s prognostications of doom from 2020. We still do not fully understand the cost to society.
But we do understand that the trust that the Government placed in the experts at the start of the pandemic was wholly mistaken. If the terrible dark cloud of the Covid disaster is ultimately to have a silver lining, then it must come from our politicians learning the necessary lessons: that they have to question the guidance of experts and that they should seek a variety of opinions. And above all, that they must instinctively distrust anything that comes out of a computer model.
Andrew Montford is Director of Net Zero Watch.