Temperatures Defy Global Warming Predictions

Temperatures Defy Global Warming Predictions
November 9, 2011

James M. Taylor, J.D.

James M. Taylor is managing editor of Environment & Climate News, a national monthly... (read full bio)

Activists at the MIT Joint Program on the Science and Policy of Global Change predicted in 2009 a better than 50-50 chance of global temperatures rising at least 5 degrees Celsius by the end of the century. Moreover, the activists predicted a 9% chance of temperatures rising more than 7 degrees Celsius, but less than a 1% chance of temperatures rising less than 3 degrees Celsius this century. The activist scientists received a great deal of media attention for their predictions, which were accompanied by a spin-the-wheel pie chart designed to reinforce the assertion that humans are gambling with a global warming crisis by emitting carbon dioxide into the earth’s atmosphere.

Last week, the U.S. Department of Energy reported that global emissions rose 6% from 2009 to 2010, representing the largest one-year increase in recorded history. Accordingly, temperatures should be rising even faster than the MIT activists predicted (0.5 degrees per decade) if carbon dioxide emissions are indeed the sole or primary cause of global temperature change. According to the real-world data, however, global temperatures have risen merely 0.2 to 0.3 degrees Celsius during the past third of a century, and have not risen at all during the past decade.

Giving global warming activists the benefit of the doubt and assuming the recent pause in global warming is a mere temporary condition, the earth is still on a pace for less than 1 degree of warming during the 21st century, despite the scientist-activists assigning a greater-than-99% chance of at least 3 degrees warming by century’s end.

Until and unless global warming activists can explain why real-world conditions do not match their computer models, they will continue to have a difficult time persuading the general public that we are indeed facing a global warming crisis.

I discuss this issue in-depth here at Forbes.com.

James M. Taylor, J.D.

James M. Taylor is managing editor of Environment & Climate News, a national monthly... (read full bio)