Another false prophecy

The excerpt below is from a 2007 article.  It correctly predicts that global CO2 levels will hit 400 ppm by 2015.  Unlike temperature, CO2 has been rising fairly steadily so that was easy.  What is amusing is what was predicted to happen when we got to 400ppm.  Southern Spain was to be emptied out by the extreme heat, for instance.  Someone tell the Gibraltarians!  

Warmists are very attached to their prophecies.  It's a good thing. The failure of a prediction is the normal scientific criterion for the theory that generated it being wrong.  In that way, Warmist theories have repeatedly been shown as wrong.  So a continued belief in anthropogenic global warming is a rejection  of science.

One failed prediction might be just an aberration but the slew of uniformly wrong predictions we have seen from Warmists would be enough to kill any other theory stone dead. Warmist models have zero predictive skill, meaning that a rational person would ignore them

Environmentalist writer Mark Lynas’ new book about global warming takes for its metaphor Dante’s descent through the circles of hell. But while Dante was guided by the poetics of Virgil, Lynas follows the research findings of scientists; and while Dante plotted a route down through the unbaptised, gluttonous, slothful and treacherous, Lynas descends through one, two, three or even six degrees rise in global warming (we’re spared Dante’s final three circles of hell because the Intergovernmental Planet on Climate Change (IPCC) only estimated a rise in temperature of up to six degrees).

Dante dealt in moral failings such as betrayal and faithlessness; Lynas deals with the more anodyne stuff of car journeys to work and buying tropical fruit at the supermarket. Regardless, we will be visited with the results of our sinful actions, as daily energy usage is repaid in the rising of the planet’s mercury. The events described in the book will be our future, says Lynas, unless we ‘repent’ and cut back on energy consumption. His predictions go like this:

At one degree rise in temperature, the western USA is wracked by droughts: powerful dust and sandstorms ‘turn day into night across thousands of miles of former prairie’, while ‘farmsteads, roads and even entire towns will find themselves engulfed by blowing sand’. At two degrees, southern Spain will empty, with a ‘mass scramble to abandon barely habitable temperatures, as Saharan heatwaves sweep across the Med’. At three degrees, Texas is hit by ‘Super-Hurricane’ Odessa: ‘the winds from the storm’s eyewall slam into Houston, the gleaming towers of the central business district begin to sway ominously’. Four and five degrees are worse still. Then at six degrees there will be mass extinction, something approaching ‘global apocalypse and doom’ (it is ‘unlikely’ that humanity will be wiped out completely, but there will not be many of us left).

Each of these outcomes corresponds to a carbon dioxide (CO2) emissions scenario. A two degrees rise corresponds to a CO2 concentration of 400 parts per million, which means peaking global emissions by 2015 – eight years’ time – and cutting emissions to 90 per cent by 2050. A three degrees rise corresponds to peaking global emissions by 2030; four degrees to peaking by 2050. But in actual fact, says Lynas, if we want to avoid global apocalypse and doom we would have to keep within the ‘magic two-degree threshold’.

This is because environmental feedback systems will mean that the temperature will tip upwards, irrespective of our carbon dioxide outputs. As temperature rises, says Lynas, some ecosystems increasingly stop absorbing CO2 and they start to release it (or other greenhouse gases) instead. At three degrees, says Lynas, there is the collapse of the Amazon ecosystem, and soils start to release stored CO2; at four degrees, there is the release of methane from Siberia. ‘If we reach three degrees, therefore, that leads inexorably to four degrees, which leads inexorably to five.’ And at five there is an even more powerful feedback mechanism, the release of methane hydrate from the sea. The result is ‘runaway global warming’, against which ‘humanity would be powerless to intervene’. So it’s two degrees – 90 per cent cuts in carbon emissions by 2050 – or it’s apocalypse.


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