After 24 Years, What’s Happened to the Global Warming Rate?

In Climate Change, Energy, Environment, Politics, Science, Technology, The Big Picture by E. Calvin Beisner0 Comments

An article in the prestigious scientific journal Nature reports that the most comprehensive, reliable method we have of measuring global average temperature reveals a decadal warming rate of just about 0.09C per decade. That’s about half the rate predicted by the computer models on which the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change and various government agencies rely for their predictions of climate doom.

Why’s that significant? Because it undermines the models’ credibility—and the models are the only basis for predictions of future temperature, which are the only basis for policies meant to mitigate future warming.


That article appeared in Nature 24 years ago—January of 1994. And it covered a trend spanning only 15 years, which is pretty short to carry any great significance.

So climate alarmists can heave a sigh of relief, right?


Because a new article, by the same two authors, published yesterday in the Asia-Pacific Journal of Atmospheric Sciences, found essentially the same thing: a warming rate of 0.095C per decade, this time spanning not 15 but 38 years.

That’s still half the rate predicted by the models.

In other words, after spending billions of dollars on research and refinement, the models are no more credible in their predictions than they were 24 years ago.

The typical response of alarmists is to blame the data, not question the models. The authors of both these studies—John R. Christy and Richard T. McNider—conclude this year’s article with a gentle rebuke of that unscientific method:

this result … suggests many explanations including the possibility that that the average feedbacks of the CMIP-5 generation of climate models are likely skewed to favor positive over negative relative to what is present in the actual Earth system. As noted, we cannot totally discount that natural variability or errors in forcing might also account for the discrepancy between modeled and observed TTCR. However, given the facts that the processes controlling the uptake of energy by oceans and the transfer of heat in the tropical atmosphere are largely parameterized, it is not scientifically justified to dismiss model error, possibly substantial, as one source of the discrepancy.

Featured Photo by Loren Gu on Unsplash.
Dr. Beisner is Founder and National Spokesman of The Cornwall Alliance; former Associate Professor of Historical Theology & Social Ethics, at Knox Theological Seminary, and of Interdisciplinary Studies, at Covenant College; and author of “Where Garden Meets Wilderness: Evangelical Entry into the Environmental Debate” and “Prospects for Growth: A Biblical View of Population, Resources, and the Future.”

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