Pope Francis: Before One Can Know What is Moral, He Must Know What is True

Published September 23, 2015

As predicted in an article I wrote last week published inThe Federalist, Pope Francis is making climate change a signature issue during his visit to the United States. This morning, in remarks presented at the White House, Pope Francis commenced his U.S. tour by proclaiming “climate change is a problem that can no longer be left to a future generation,” thereafter complimenting the Obama Administration for the policy prescription it advocates in addressing the issue (i.e., reducing CO2 emissions).

However, as noted in my Federalist piece, neither the Pope’s concerns, nor the Administration’s alarms, over potential global warming are based upon the best available science. The biosphere is not spiraling downward toward planetary Armageddon and policies designed to deal with the subject are, quite frankly, nothing more than a recipe for social and economic disorder and disaster. And in support of this position, our Center is releasing today a massive new report exposing the pathetic house of cards upon which the entire global warming movement is founded — global climate model predictions.

The new report, titled Mathematical Models vs. Real-World Data: Which Best Predicts Earth’s Climatic Future?, presents a thorough and careful scrutiny of hundreds of peer-reviewed scientific publications evaluating the accuracy and capability of climate models to simulate the response of a number of important climatic phenomena to rising atmospheric CO2concentrations. In short, this treatise provides the proverbial look under the hood of the inner workings of today’s state-of-the-art climate models that provide the basis for both the Pope’s and the Obama Administration’s belief that global warming is a problem and that something must be done about it. And that “look” is not encouraging.

In brief, our report present the results of a thorough and careful scrutiny of the scientific literature that evaluates model credibility as it pertains to a number of important climatic phenomena. First of all, pouring over some 33 originalscientific studies of the subject, along with 34 of their relevant citations of other such studies — all of which 67 publications are listed in the Reference section of our document’s initial chapter on Clouds — we encounter 188 major documented errorsinadequacies or shortcomings in all of the carefully evaluated “hindcasts” of the several climate models therein reviewed, which modelling failures the authors of the 33 original studies acknowledge as still remainingin the most up-to-date climate models that include the many significant impacts of clouds in their projections of both past and future climate characteristics. And in light of this sad state of affairs, one can only presume that this negative aspect of the quest to successfully predict how earth’s climate will evolve over the next several decades will likely not be achieved anytime soon … or maybe not even at all.

In the second chapter on ENSO — i.e., the El Niño Southern Oscillation — we review 31 otheroriginal papers related tothis phenomenon; and we include in the chapter’s reference list 68additional citations to still other pertinent studies, which have proven invaluable in revealing 203 different inadequacies in climate model hindcasts, which host of negative findings seriously questions the validity of current climate model projections that have been made in relation to this important climatic phenomenon.

In a closely related third chapter on Monsoons, we review the findings of 43 other original scientific studies, as well as report the major findings of an additional 82 studies that were cited by the first set of studies, while identifying in this process 326 different ways in which current climate models have failed to accurately represent the major documented characteristics of monsoons of prior years.

In the fourth chapter, we repeat this process for Oceans by reviewing the findings of 33 pertinent original publications and 84 other studies therein cited, which together highlight a total of 263 climate model errors and/or shortcomings related to the roles of earth’s seas in influencing global climate change.

In the fifth and much-shorter chapter on much-less-studied Permafrost, we describe the findings of 13 pertinent papers that reveal a total of 23 climate model errors.

In the sixth and rather large chapter on Precipitation, we review the findings of fully 73 original scientific papers and 130 other studies that they cite, all of which are found to be plagued by a total of 518 climate model prediction failures.

In the seventh chapter on Radiation, we review the findings of a much smaller set of 22 original studies plus 4 others that they cite, which together reveal a total of 49 climate model prediction problems.

In the eighth chapter on Sea Ice, we review the findings of a still smaller set of 11 original studies plus 14 others that are cited by them, which together produce a total of 73 climate model prediction problems.

In the ninth chapter on Soil Moisture, we review the findings of only 6 original studies along with those of 10 other studies they cite, which when combined reveal a total of 40 major model biases.

Last of all, in the tenth and largest chapter on an assortment of Miscellaneous Phenomena, we review the findings of 98 original investigations together with those of 148 additional studies cited in the 98 original studies, which when combined together reveal a total of 735 climate model prediction problems.

Altogether, therefore, we find (and document) a total of 2,418 failures of today’s top-tier climate models to accuratelyhindcast a whole host of climatological phenomena. And with this extremely poor record of success, one must greatly wonder how it is that anyone would believe what the climate models of today project about earth’s climate oftomorrow, i.e., a few decades to a century or more from now.

In concluding, therefore, it would seem to be the height of folly to place any faith (attention Pope Francis) whatsoever in the predictions of even the very best of today’s most up-to-date climate models, regarding the thermal status of a future atmospheric-CO2-enriched world.

[First published at CO2 Science.]