Global Warming? Not a Snowball’s Chance in Hell

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By "global warming", I mean, of course the kind of runaway, unprecedented, catastrophic warming which George Monbiot et al have been bleating on about for the last two or three decades. And by "not a snowball’s chance in hell", I mean, that the likelihood of such a thing occurring is now roughly on a par with Elvis being discovered alive and well and living in Bolivia and ready to rush record a new album just in time for Christmas. (Cue: a stampede to the record stores by Michael Mann, Al Gore, the Prince of Wales, Tim Flannery, and the rest of the climate fool gang).

How can we be so sure? Because this is what the weight of evidence tells us – as Matt Ridley explains in the Wall Street Journal. He has been talking to Nic Lewis, an expert reviewer of the recently leaked draft of the IPCC’s WG1 Scientific Report.

Mr. Lewis tells me that the latest observational estimates of the effect of aerosols (such as sulfurous particles from coal smoke) find that they have much less cooling effect than thought when the last IPCC report was written. The rate at which the ocean is absorbing greenhouse-gas-induced warming is also now known to be fairly modest. In other words, the two excuses used to explain away the slow, mild warming we have actually experienced – culminating in a standstill in which global temperatures are no higher than they were 16 years ago – no longer work.

In short: We can now estimate, based on observations, how sensitive the temperature is to carbon dioxide. We do not need to rely heavily on unproven models. Comparing the trend in global temperature over the past 100-150 years with the change in “radiative forcing” (heating or cooling power) from carbon dioxide, aerosols and other sources, minus ocean heat uptake, can now give a good estimate of climate sensitivity.

The conclusion – taking the best observational estimates of the change in decadal-average global temperature between 1871-80 and 2002-11, and of the corresponding changes in forcing and ocean heat uptake – is this: A doubling of CO2 will lead to a warming of 1.6°-1.7°C (2.9°-3.1°F).

This is much lower than the IPCC’s current best estimate, 3°C (5.4°F).

Ridley says it’s "dynamite." Well, possibly. It’s definitely one in the eye for climate catastrophist establishment.

To understand why, let’s remind ourselves of what constitutes the disputed territory in the great global warming debate. For many years, scientists on both sides of the argument have agreed that if atmospheric CO2 doubles from pre-industrial levels – as it will before the end of the century – its "forcing" effects will result in between 1.1 degrees C and 1.2 degrees C of global warming.

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