Climate alarmism is not based on empirical observation; rather, it is entirely predicated on computer models that are manipulated to generate predictions of significant global warming as a result of increased concentrations of CO2.In fact, there are plenty of good estimates of climate sensitivity from studies of past climate -- really, you don't even need a computer model to know there are going to be consequences to dumping CO2 into your own backyard. Here's a 2012 paper from Royer, Pagani and Beerling, "Geobiological constraints on Earth system sensitivity to CO2 during the Cretaceous and Cenozoic," that finds computer models may be underestimating climate sensitivity
They conclude, "A growing body of evidence supports an ESS often exceeding 6°C during glacial times and 3°C during non-glacial times."
There are, of course, plenty more such papers:
Hansen, J.E., and M. Sato, 2012: Paleoclimate implications for human-made climate change. In Climate Change: Inferences from Paleoclimate and Regional Aspects. A. Berger, F. Mesinger, and D. Šijački, Eds. Springer, 21-48, doi:10.1007/978-3-7091-0973-1_2.
Previdi, M., et al, 2013: Climate sensitivity in the Anthropocene. Q. J. R. Meteorol. Soc., 139, 1121-1131, doi:10.1002/qj.2165
Rohling, E.J., et al, 2012: Making sense of palaeoclimate sensitivity. Nature, 491, 683-691, doi:10.1038/nature11574.
and on an on; a nice review is this 2011 study by the National Academy of Sciences:
"Understanding Earth's Deep Past: Lessons for Our Climate Future," Committee on the Importance of Deep-Time Geologic Records for Understanding Climate Change Impacts; National Research Council of the National Academies (2011).
Hinderaker is also flat-out wrong when he writes
In the case of climate models, we know they are wrong: they don’t accurately reproduce the past, which should be the easy part.I blogged last year about how NASA GISS's Model E2 reproduces the past:, with problems only in the last decade due to the the well-known missing heat problem in the Pacific Ocean. (This is how models get better, and how they have always gotten better -- by comparing their output to observations and seeing what's missing.)
And of course the IPCC has included reviews of model performance in every one of its Assessment Reports -- Hindenraker might have at least looked there. In the 5AR first volume there's an entire chapter, Chapter 9, titled "Evaluation of Climate Models," which goes into exhaustive detail about the performance of climate models. He could at least have looked at Figure 9.8 from that chapter, pg 768:
Here the solid black line is the average global surface temperatures from HadCRUT4, the dashed line the same from GISS, and the solid red line the CMIP5 model mean.
Hinderaker lauds Tim Ball's views on climate models... So how well does Tim Ball's climate model do? Oh, that's right, Tim Ball has never made a climate model in his life (I can't think of one contrarian who ever has), and his highly padded publication list seems to contain perhaps 4 peer reviewed articles in an almost 30-year career. That's what passes for an expert in Powerline Land.
Hinderaker clearly lives in the same subuniverse as Steyn -- climate science is wrong, BECAUSE HE SAYS SO. There's no need to understand or evaluate the science, because IT'S WRONG. So you can say anything you want about the science and about the people creating it, literally anything, regardless of its truth or untruth, because IT'S ALL WRONG -- and his readers don't want to hear any differently anyway.
What an absolute failure of reason and of intellect.