"Ouramicus brief, lodged for us by a good friend of the ever-valuable Heartland Institute, concludes.. the oil corporations... should pay the cost of their folly in accordance with the ancient legal principle volenti non fit injuria – "
Global warming on trial: Global warming goes on trial at 8.00 am this Wednesday, 21 March 2018, in Court 8 on the 19th floor of the Federal Building at 450 Golden Gate Avenue, San Francisco... His Honor Judge William Haskell Alsup...is no ordinary, custard-faced law graduate. Before he descended to the law (he wanted to help the civil rights movement), he earned a B.S. in engineering at Mississippi State University.
Rumors gather about great men. In hushed tones, those who talk of Judge Alsup say he taught himself the Java programming language so that he could decide the rangeCheck case. In fact, he is not familiar with Java... On the vast desk in his book-lined office sits a 2011-vintage Dell laptop, the only one he has that will still run qBasic. He has written programs for his ham-radio hobby, for the Mastermind board game, and for his wife’s bridge game.
The 18-year-old Bill Alsup at his ham radio console in Mississippi.
Hearing of this case, and of Bill Alsup’s starring role, I wondered what line of argument might convince a scientifically literate judge... that there is no cause for alarm about manmade global warming...
His Honor might decide – and all but a few irredentists would be compelled to agree – that global warming was not a problem and that the scare was over.
I have had the honor to lead a team of eminent climatological researchers who have been quietly but very busily investigating how much global warming we may cause, known as the “equilibrium-sensitivity” question.
We can now prove... by multiple empirical methods what we originally demonstrated by a theoretical method. The half-dozen methods all cohere in the same ballpark... my team had submitted a paper on our result to a leading climatological journal (by convention, I am bound not to say which until publication).
Therefore, I am at last free to reveal what we have discovered... There is indeed an elementary error of physics right at the heart of the models’ calculations the abstract of the underlying paper. It is just 70 words long, for the error (though it has taken me a dozen years to run it to earth) really is stupendously elementary:
Abstract: In a dynamical system, even an unamplified input signal induces a response to any feedback. Hitherto, however, the large feedback response to emission temperature has been misattributed to warming from the naturally-occurring, non-condensing greenhouse gases. After correction, the theoretically-derived pre-industrial feedback fraction is demonstrated to cohere with the empirically-derived industrial-era value an order of magnitude below previous estimates, mandating reduction of projected Charney sensitivity from to .
Equations: To understand the argument that follows, we shall need three equations.
The zero-dimensional-model equation (1)says that equilibrium sensitivity or final warming ΔTeq is the ratio of reference sensitivity or initial warming ΔTref to (1 – f), where f is the feedback fraction, i.e., the fraction of ΔTeq represented by the feedback response ΔT(ref) to ΔTref. The entire difference between reference and equilibrium sensitivity is accounted for by the feedback response ΔT(ref) (the bracketed subscript indicates a feedback response).
ΔTeq = ΔTref / (1 – f). (1)
The zero-dimensional model is not explicitly used in general-circulation models. ... atmospheric dynamics requires that there must be a tropical mid-troposphere “hot spot” [I had the honor to name it], where the warming rate should be twice or thrice that at the tropical surface. However, the “hot spot” is not observed in reality (see below), except in one suspect dataset that Dr Fred Singer scrutinized some years ago and determined to be defective.
The model-predicted “hot spot” is not observed in reality (Karl et al. 2006).
Even after we had built and operated our own test rig – as far as we know, this is the first time anyone has tried to test climatological feedback theory empirically rather than simply modeling it – we were not satisfied that anything other than tests performed under rigorous conditions at a government laboratory would be found widely acceptable.
Accordingly.. I commissioned a government laboratory to carry out the experiments...However, a problem at once arose So very small were the feedback responses predicted ... the presence of the operator in the same room as the test rig tended to bias the results...
I worked for months with a patient and amiable scientist at the government laboratory...
When the laboratory reported, I sent it a copy of our draft paper, in which the lab results were mentioned. The laboratory panicked and said we were not allowed to use its report.
With these results from a national laboratory (we cannot even mention which country it was in) we were at last content that we had established our conclusion with sufficient rigor...