I predate global warming. I predate many things. I formed my views on the climate on the basis of science. Recently JSTOR has opened up their publications to the public for free with a 3 article shelf, and a minimum retention period of 14 days per article. I have been enjoying that.
When I learned about the history of the climate a few things were accepted. First was the observation based on ice core analysis that temperature rises preceded CO2 level increases and vice versa. The belief was that temperature variation caused CO2 variation and not the other way around. In those days we also tended to believe the observed cycles within the cores were caused by variations in solar activity.
“By extrapolating the smoothed curve, the scientists were able to predict the probable climatic trend for the next 50 years. The gradual decline in temperatures that has been in progress for the last three decades should continue for the next 10 to 20 years, followed by an increase toward a maximum between AD2010 and 2020. This future curve, they caution, will be influenced by accidental events and possibly by pollution of the atmosphere.” — Ice Cores: Clues to past climates — Science News, November 7, 1970, p. 369 – 370.
This prediction was correct in predicting the end of the cooling period underway at the time and the subsequent switch to a warming trend in the 1980s. It was also correct in predicting the end of the warming at about 2000, they went 10 years long in that prediction, but they were predicting 40-50 years out.
The global warming predictions emerged in the 1980s. These ideas did not attempt to refute the existing science of the day. Instead the based their credibility on the mathematical modeling of the atmosphere and the predictive nature of the computer simulations. The general public in those days was still very enamored at this new thing called computers, that were then moving into public life and the home. A new field of study called climatology was invented and massively funded. The existing science suddenly was merely the opinions of physicists geologists, and so on all of which were not climatologists and hence were precluded from offering expert opinions on the climate as they weren’t credentialed in this new field. With this mechanism all existing science was rendered meaningless and not by refutation.
The warming decline, as predicted by the core analysis has stopped. The CO2 levels, which are indeed higher today, almost double anything observed in history, and undoubtedly due to man made emissions, have failed to produce an ongoing trend of warming. About 6 years ago NOAA responded to the then decade long plateau in temperatures, with still rising CO2 levels, by correctly pointing out the models allowed for decade long periods of non warming, and stating it would take 15 years without cooling before there was a discrepancy with the model predictions and observational reality.
We are now at the threshold of that period coming to pass and with flat temperatures. Naturally the models can be revised to match what has been observed, its only natural and right to do so. But the revisions will of necessity result in the rate of predicted warming due to emissions being revised downward by such a quantity as to remove the sense of alarmism that makes this issue so popular today.
Because I have never bought into the hysteria and alarmist nature of global warming, because I view the question as still open, I have been chastised as being any number of things. A “denier” and “anti science” so on and so forth. The question is “settled science” and “beyond question”. Over the next 5 to 10 years the question of CO2 causing global warming will be finally settled once and for all. I’m betting that it will be found to be not a cause.
Our methods predicted the cooling and its end, the following warming and its end on a very long horizon. The current models have predicted nothing that has come to pass, that the models of the preceding era did not also predict.
Attacking those of us who, relying on science, still question the premises of global warming, demonstrates ignorance on the part of the attackers. The louder they yell the more desperate they seem.