After 30 Years Of Data, Global Warming Alarmism Is Proven False

While there has been a modest increase in world temperature, the alarmist predictions have failed.

It has been 30 years since the specter of global warming began to loom before the world. It was 1988 when James Hansen, a scientist at NASA, first testified before Congress about the supposed link between the greenhouse effect and observed global warming. Al Gore was late to the party when he released his Oscar-winning movie, “An Inconvenient Truth,” in 2006. With three decades of predictions about warming to look back on, we can now assess the accuracy of those early claims about global warming.

I am old enough to remember the dire predictions of the late 1990s and early 2000s. There were predictions of coastal cities being flooded and drastic temperature increases that would destroy crops and cause millions to become climate refugees. Weather site compiled a list of “Bad Things Attributed to Global Warming” that ranges from acne to zoonotic diseases.” A lot of severe problems were supposed to have happened by now.

Writing in the Wall Street Journal, Pat Michaels and Ryan Maue of the Cato Institute’s Center for the Study of Science note that back in 1988 James Hansen presented three possible scenarios. The first scenario was “business as usual,” which showed emissions accelerating at a rate typical of the 1970s and 1980s. Hansen estimated that the current trends would cause the earth to warm by 1° Celsius by 2018. Hansen called the second scenario “most plausible.” This assumed that emissions would increase at the 1988 rate through today, which would cause the earth to be 0.7° warmer. The final scenario was constant emissions after the year 2000. This scenario would warm the earth by a few tenths of a degree before 2000 and then temperatures would level off. Hansen considered this unlikely.

As it turned out, the third scenario was the one that became reality. For almost a decade now, writers in the Journal have reported on a global warming pause. In 2014, Matt Ridley described how the pause in increasing temperatures had continued “for 16, 19 or 26 years—depending on whether you choose the surface temperature record or one of two satellite records of the lower atmosphere.”

Michaels and Maue point out that several of Hansen’s other predictions missed the mark as well. There was no “greater than average warming in the southeast US and the Midwest” in the late 1980s and 1990s as Hansen predicted in his Senate testimony. In 2007, he predicted that melting ice would cause sea levels to rise by 23 feet over 100 years. Subsequent research proved this to be impossible. In 2016, Hansen forecast stronger hurricanes, but there is no evidence of relationship between storm strength and global temperature. Hurricane damage as a percentage of GDP has also not increased.

If forecasts by Hansen and organizations such as the UN and the IPCC have been off base, the wilder predictions of Al Gore and other alarmists have had worse results. In 2006, the former vice president predicted a tipping point where global warming would be irreversible within 10 years. The United Nations warned of tipping points three times in 1989, 2007 and 2015. Decades later there is still little evidence of catastrophic warming.

Gore and climate scientists also made alarming predictions of rising sea levels that range from a few inches to more than 20 feet. Climatologist Judith Curry points out, “Sea level has been overall rising since the last ice age, with some ups and downs. Sea level has been rising for the past 200 years…. Humans are not going to stop sea level rise on the time scale of a few centuries by ceasing emissions of CO2.”

Regardless of cause, sea levels that increase even a few feet could be catastrophic for very low areas. The problem is that cutting emissions won’t stop the rising seas if the end of the ice age is to blame.

What about the polar ice caps? In 2016, Peter Wadhams, a Cambridge University scientist and an expert on Arctic ice loss, told The Guardian, “Ice-free means the central basin of the Arctic will be ice-free and I think that that is going to happen in summer 2017 or 2018.” Wadham’s prediction was obviously incorrect.

The predictions of the experts have been off base for decades. Michaels and Maue say that the reason is that most scientific models do not include the effect of aerosols in countering the warming caused by greenhouse gases. “Several newer climate models account for this trend and routinely project about half the warming predicted by U.N. models, placing their numbers much closer to observed temperatures,” they write.

For whatever reason, the global warming forecasts have not been accurate for the past 30 years. The scientific method says that when a prediction based on a hypothesis is not correct, then it’s time to reevaluate the hypothesis. In this case, most scientific models have been observed to be inaccurate and fail to explain the pause in global warming.

While there has been a modest increase in world temperature, the alarmist predictions have failed. Scientists owe it to the public to tone down the apocalyptic rhetoric until they can develop models that accurately account for what is happening in the real world.

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@mudskipper wrote:

"o "Hurricane damage as a percentage of GDP has also not increased." This is an exceedingly indirect way of measuring the strength of hurricanes. We have objective scales for hurricane strength, and by these scales, the number of category 4 and 5 hurricanes have increased over the last three or four decades."

The increase in GDP has been accompanied by an increase in development in hurricane-prone areas - there is now more wealth & more population prone to such damage, such that the effect you posit would be cancelled out (Eg, if Katrina had hit New Orleans in 1905 instead of 2005, damage would have been less in dollar terms because there was less to damage).

Beyond that, we only have accurate hurricane strength data for a very short window of time, so it's rather hard to say what is or is not normal - something that doesn't stop the chicken-little crowd from calling a Cat 1 hurricane a 'Super Storm' simply because it does what hurricanes do every 100yrs or so & hits NYC - and so on.


@mudskipper I feel a need to reference this from time to time. This is one of those.

The internet makes too many people believe they are experts and doubt those that actually are.


@BillRitter: Yes, the earth's temperature has varied over the eons. Although you seem to think we don't know this since you keep repeating it, it is common knowledge among the educated.

So do you think that vast majority of PhD climatologists, who are convinced human-driven climate change is real, somehow missed out on this common knowledge somewhere along the line? Did they somehow skip en masse the graduate courses in their field that go over the earth's climate history? Do they not talk to their paleoclimatologist colleagues? You know, the folks responsible for much of our knowledge of the earth's climate history?

Here's the thing: they undoubtedly know much more about our climate history than you or I. And yet they still believe that we are looking at an unprecedented rate of change in the climate, largely due to human activity.

And by the way: it isn't true that the majority of geologists laugh at climate change and consider it nonsense. The leading geological societies in the US and the UK both have taken the position that human-driven climate change is real. Here's the lead-in from the latest statement by the UK Geological Society:

"Since our original 2010 statement, new climate data from the geological record have arisen which strengthen the statement’s original conclusion that CO2 is a major modifier of the climate system, and that human activities are responsible for recent warming."

@BillRitter - What am I wrong about? Those photosynthetic life forms REQUIRE COLD. They have adapted specifically for life at the poles. When the caps melt it's not like the oceans will be warm enough to support photsynthetic life other than that which has thrived there for millions of years. It will be too warm for those that currently thrive there but too cold for most other types. Yeah, eventually (100s of years) photosynthetic life that likes warmer water will take some of the load. But it will never rebalance what has been unbalanced completely and it won't happen IMMEDIATELY which is what needs to happen.

All the life you point out that exists today in that region cannot survive without the cold. It has evolved to live in a very specific environment that is COLD. That is a fact.

It doesn't matter if life on earth has already done this before, you are ignoring HOW LONG THAT TOOK TO HAPPEN. We also didn't exist when that happened so there was no rush.

You're the one who doesn't understand basic biology.


Some people must have flunked basic biology. Algae only requires sunlight, water, and CO2 to grow and produce their waste product - Oxygen. Plankton consisting of free-floating algae, protists, and cyanobacteria. Phytoplankton form the beginning of the food chain for aquatic animals and fix large amounts of carbon. Algae and cyanobacteria have survived and thrived in some of the most temperature extremes. There was a great picture showing algae growing on a snow bank in the arctic. Also it cyanobacteria grows at the edges of ponds around geysers.

It was blue green (cyanobacteria) bacteria that converted the earth's early atmosphere from a CO2 rich, no free oxygen to an oxygen rich atmosphere.

As to data points. What is the normal temp of the earth? We had a period from 180 million years ago to 250 million years ago where the earth's temp was 10 degrees warmer than it is now. In more recent times we have cycles of cooling and warming, these occur at different places on the earth at different times. The best indicator is sea level rise and it hasn't deviated from the historic trend.