Climate change models


Last Friday's papers had blanket coverage of the latest government-sponsored projections of climate change in the UK. Summers, particularly in the South East, are set to get hotter, and winters generally wetter. London will become (even more) unbearable in summer, coasts will erode faster than ever and hundreds of thousands of homes will be at risk of flooding. However, although this is put forward as authoritative research, it is actually just the revised projections of computer models. In the world of climate science, hard evidence is replaced by computer output.

These models, flawed and incomplete as they are, are compromised further by being fed with doubtful input data. In particular, unrealistic assumptions are made about the amount of oil, gas and coal likely to be economically extractable. By some reckoning, even the most conservative of the IPCC's scenarios assumes cumulative fossil fuel use by 2100 of greater than the likely reserves; the more extreme scenarios project their use still to be accelerating at that point! If reserves really are effectively limited, there is simply insufficient oil, gas and coal available to raise average temperatures by more than 2° Celcius, even using the IPCC's assumptions for climate sensitivity. And if so, the projections for the UK's climate are simply nonsense.

For more detail, see the latest Scientific Alliance newsletter.