Friday, May 17, 2024

Barry Brill: 'Greenhouse Theory’ is Threatened by the Confounding 2023 Warmth

In March 2023, sea surface temperatures in the North Atlantic began to shoot up.

By June the extent of sea ice around Antarctica was by far the lowest on record. Based on the 30-year midwinter trend, a patch of sea-ice six times larger than New Zealand was suddenly missing.

At that time, there was no El Niño. There had been nothing unusual in the slow build-up of greenhouse gas emissions

For the next nine months mean land and sea surface temperatures overshot previous records each month by approximately 0.2°C – a massive margin, that is roughly equivalent to 20 years of normal warming. The global heat build-up continued and, by year’s end, 2023 turned out to be the warmest year in possibly the past 100,000 years.

This phenomenon has left climate scientists utterly flummoxed.

Dr Gavin Schmidt, director of NASA’s Goddard Institute and probably the world’s best-known climatologist, has authored an important Nature article under the heading:

“Climate models can’t explain 2023’s huge heat anomaly — we could be in uncharted territory"

Dr Schmidt observes:

“It’s humbling and a bit worrying to admit that no year has confounded climate scientists’ predictive capabilities like 2023 has.

Prevalent global conditions one year ago would have suggested that a spell of record-setting warmth was unlikely. The Pacific Ocean was just coming out of a 3-year period of La Niña cooling. Drawing on precedents when similar conditions prevailed, several climate scientists including me put the odds of 2023 turning out to be a record year at just one in five (ie 80% unlikely).

El Niño - the inverse of La Niña - causes the eastern tropical Pacific to warm up. But El Niño did not arrive until the second half of the year and the current spell is milder than similar events in 1997-98 and 2015-16.

So, what might have caused this heat spike? Atmospheric greenhouse gas levels have continued to rise, but the extra load since 2022 can account for extra warming of only about 0.02°C" [less than 3% of the actual 2023 warming].

The author goes on to discuss the January 2022 Hunga Tonga - Hunga Ha’apai eruption, the most explosive volcano the world has seen since Krakatoa in 1886. That event sent thousands of tons of sea water into the stratosphere increasing the water vapour content of the global atmosphere by 10-15%. And we know that water vapour is the greatest of all greenhouse gases.

Somewhat surprisingly, Schmidt discounts this cause, citing a September 2023 paper which theorises that Hunga Tonga’s warming impacts could have been fully offset by its cooling impacts.

Another possibility is the new environmental regulations requiring the shipping industry to reduce the sulphur content of its hydrocarbon fuels. But preliminary estimates put the impact of this change at only a few hundredths of a degree.

As compiler of the NASA GISS temperature record – and successor to Dr James Hansen, “the father of global warming” – Gavin Schmidt is arguably the world’s most authoritative spokesperson for the orthodox Enhanced Greenhouse Theory that is relied upon by climate modellers throughout the world.

It is a matter of huge consequence that Schmidt fears the 2023 figures might have disproved the predictive capacity of climate models:

“The heat spike greatly exceeds all the predictions made by statistical climate models that rely upon past observations.

In general the 2023 temperature anomaly has come out of the blue, revealing an unprecedented knowledge gap perhaps for the first time since about 40 years ago, when satellite data began offering climate modellers an unparalleled, real-time view of Earth’s climate system.

If the anomaly does not stabilise by August – a reasonable expectation based on previous El Niño events – then the world will be in uncharted territory.

It could imply that a warming planet is already fundamentally altering how the climate system operates, much sooner than scientists had anticipated. It could also mean that statistical inferences based on past events are less reliable than we thought, adding more uncertainty to seasonal predictions of droughts and rainfall patterns.”

Dr Schmidt concludes by facing up to the implication that this 2023 heat spike is simply incompatible with the orthodoxy that has been pushed by the UN for over 30 years:

“Much of the world’s climate is driven by intricate long-distance links – known as teleconnections – fuelled by sea and atmospheric currents. If their behaviour is in flux or markedly diverging from previous observations, we need to know about such changes in real time.

We need answers for why 2023 turned out to be the warmest year in possibly the last 100,000 years. And we need them quickly.”

As Benjamin Franklin is quoted as saying: “One of the great tragedies of life is the murder of a beautiful theory by a gang of ugly facts.”

Barry Brill OBE JP LL.M(Hons) M.ComLaw is a former MP and Minister of Energy, Petrocorp director, and chair of the Gas Council, Power NZ, ESANZ, and EMCO. He is presently the Chairman of the New Zealand Climate Science Coalition. This article was sourced HERE


Rob Beechey said...

So it’s back to the drawing board Barry and bin 40 years of theory. It’s a subject that challenges the most gifted minds in their search for truth. Little do these brilliant scientists realise that they need only ask the Christchurch city council’s climate alarmist experts or any number of politicians and school teachers for the facts they desperately seek.

Anonymous said...

A very interesting article and worth reading in full, even though it is commentary and not peer-reviewed. It is open access – web search doi:10.1038/d41586-024-00816-z

BB has quoted the key passages well, and yet BB seems not to have well understood Schmidt’s reasoning. Schmidt isn’t abandoning established climate science on GW, even though none of the potential forcings (GHG, volcanic, solar, pollution aerosols) nor the El Niño weather pattern appear to account for the anomalous warming in 2023. Rather, Schmidt is concerned that the 2023 increase above expected global temperatures modelled based on historical data may be an indication the climate system has tipped into unprecedented settings and also compromised scientist’s the ability to predict future trends.

Schmidt calls for urgent scientific action to understand earth’s climate changes better and track the factors influencing global climate more rapidly.

Also well worth watching is an hour-long interview of Schmidt on YouTube discussing the science around his article in more detail and in a broader context: web search "NASA's Gavin Schmidt explores off-charts heat and climate science gaps"
– A couple of points stood out for me: (1) 2023 global temperatures are still within the predicted range in long-term climate models and (2) scientific understanding of AGW is still robust enough to promote policy and investment action in reducing human GHG emissions.