The models and the measurements weren't in balance. There may be quite a good reason for this, namely that the models are seriously flawed:
NASA satellite data from the years 2000 through 2011 show the Earth's atmosphere is allowing far more heat to be released into space than alarmist computer models have predicted, reports a new study in the peer-reviewed science journal Remote Sensing. The study indicates far less future global warming will occur than United Nations computer models have predicted, and supports prior studies indicating increases in atmospheric carbon dioxide trap far less heat than alarmists have claimed.The Usual Suspects in the Warmist camp are reacting as you'd expect. They're not making their case any stronger:
"If you want to do a story then write one pointing to the ridiculousness of people jumping onto every random press release as if well-established science gets dismissed on a dime," [NASA's Gavin] Schmidt said. "Climate sensitivity is not constrained by the last two decades of imperfect satellite data, but rather the paleoclimate record."Pay no attention to the data there - we're doing science! Or something. But the paleoclimate record isn't a strong peg to hang your hat on:
Without trying to prejudice this work, but also because of what I almost think I know to be the case, the results of this study will show that we can probably say a fair bit about <100 year extra-tropical NH [Northern Hemisphere - Borepatch] temperature variability (at least as far as we believe the proxy estimates), but honestly know fuck-all about what the >100 year variability was like with any certainty (i.e. we know with certainty that we know fuck-all).That was paleoclimatologist Ed Cook's email to the University of East Anglia's Keith Briffa, published in the ClimateGate data dump.
we know with certainty that we know fuck-all ...
That's a righteous level of uncertainty, right there. And this is what the Press won't talk about, because they "know" the answer, and are happy with their narrative. The problem for them is that the actual data don't agree with the narrative, which is why they're stuck in a slow water torture drip-drip-drip of this sort of story. The data simply refuse to cooperate:
While the thermometer records indicate a substantial warming trend, many tree rings do not display a corresponding change in their width. A temperature trend extracted from tree rings alone would not show any substantial warming. The temperature graphs calculated in these two ways thus "diverge" from one another since the 1950s, which is the origin of the term.The East Anglia crowd "solved" this problem by hiding the decline:
I find that I haven't been posting on climate issues very much these days, because I see the entire edifice collapsing. There's likely going to continue to be political damage - for example, Australia's disastrous Carbon Tax - but the science is simply falling apart.
And this is a very good thing indeed. Ultimately, we'll see a set of scientists discredited, and those left standing acting with much more transparency. In the political arena, the public's disappearing appetite for draconian mitigation policies will evaporate in the face of the collapsing welfare state. If people have to choose between funding Social Security and funding Big Environment schemes, there's no question which way it will go.
And so stick a fork in it, the whole thing is done.
Climate Hysteria, R.I.P. 1998 - 2011.
UPDATE 29 July 2011 18:06: Coyote has a related and very interesting post about uncertainty in climate science.