Tuesday, October 23, 2007

The wrong kind of evidence

Carbon dioxide concentrations in the atmosphere have been rising more rapidly than most forecasts predicted. The Times reports:

An international team of researchers has found that, since 2000, the rate at which CO2 has been pumped into the atmosphere is 35 per cent greater than most climate change models have allowed for.
Since the year 2000. OK. What has the temperature been doing? Well, since the year 2000, global temperatures have levelled off. This year is a case in point. As recently as April, the Met Office forecast:
The latest seasonal forecast from the Met Office issued today, reveals that this summer is, yet again, likely to be warmer than normal.

Following the trend set throughout 2006 and the first part of 2007, seasonal forecasters say there is a high probability that summer temperature will exceed the 1971-2000 long-term average of 14.1 °C.

They also suggest the chances of temperatures similar to those experienced in 2003 and 2006 are around 1 in 8.

The forecast for rainfall is less certain, and currently there are no indications of an increased risk of a particularly dry or particularly wet summer.

The Met Office forecast of global mean temperature for 2007, issued on 4 January 2007 in conjunction with the University of East Anglia, stated that 2007 is likely to be the warmest ever year on record going back to 1850, beating the current record set in 1998.
In fact, this happened:
The main feature of the summer was the high rainfall experienced in many regions especially during June and July. It was the wettest summer for the whole of the UK since the rainfall series began in 1914. For England and Wales as a whole the summer has been the wettest since 1912. However, parts of north-west Scotland have been drier than normal.

The UK mean summer temperature was 14.1 °C which is the same as the 1971-2000 average. The UK average daily maximum temperature was just below average, whilst average daily minimum temperatures were just above average. It was the coolest UK summer since 1998.
Remember, too that the 1971/2000 temperature average is that of a rising graph - it was colder in 1971 than in 2000. Simply equalling this average is, for the year 2007, a significant drop in the temperature graph, not a levelling as one's intuition at first suggests.

To summarise, the prediction was that rising CO2 levels would generate rising temperatures. CO2 levels have risen significantly faster than expected. Temperatures have levelled off and started to fall. You don't suppose there's anything wrong with the models that predicted the temperature rises, do you?

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

Maybe the temperature rise is a cause of the CO2 rise, rather than a result?

If you look closely at Mr. Gore's charts, this is what you see, even while he stands in front of the same chart and says the opposite.

But then he's a politician.

Dogs bark, ducks quack, etc.