Wikipedia apparently has decided to ban news items from the Daily Mail as unreliable sources of information. Much gloating in the Guardian – naturellement. The news apparently inspired Richard Betts on Twitter to post this tweet:
As you can see, Ed Hawkins, Tamsin Edwards and Doug Mc Neall were tagged in and it’s been retweeted 502 times so far. Tamsin and Richard have pinned the tweet to their profiles. Obviously, Rose-bashing is popular in the climate science consensus fraternity and I’m sure the Wiki Mail ban has warmed the cockles of many a warmist heart. Here is Rose’s original graph from his March 2013 article, which shows annual mean global surface temperatures (black line) plotted against CMIP5 model projections (I assume annual projections):
OK, the doctored graph is amusing, but it’s a bit unfair for a couple of reasons. Firstly, nearly three years ago, the situation re. global warming was very different, the Pause was in full swing and real temperatures were heading outside of the 95% envelope, so the models certainly did look like they were performing very badly at the time, especially as there was no satisfactory physical explanation for the lack of warming.
The second reason is a bit more serious. 19 months after Roses’s article, in October 2014, according to NOAA, the central Pacific passed the threshold for El Nino and exceeded that threshold continuously until June 2016, averaging more than 0.5C for 19 consecutive three month periods – the longest El Nino in the record stretching back to 1950, and also arguably the most powerful event in that record. So a pretty significant episode of natural warming came a year and a half after Rose’s article, which bumped global temperatures up to record highs in 2015 and 2016. Obviously, nobody, Rose included, could have foreseen the extent of the natural warming caused by the super El Nino of 2014/16. So, is information to be judged unreliable by Wiki now, simply because of the lack of contrary evidence at the time?
Coming back to Richard’s amusing – but somewhat deceptive – graph, we see that warming appears to be bang on target, even to the extent that reality is now firmly in the middle of the red 75% zone:
Naughty Richard. The claim that the black line is still rising is unsubstantiated and very probably wrong. 2017 is unlikely to exceed 2016 annual mean global temperature. So the black line will fall. Also, by the Met Office’s own admission, 2016 annual average temperature anomaly benefited to the tune of approx. 0.2C due to El Nino. So the last data point on that black line, were it not for El Nino, would have been around the 0.57C mark, similar to 2014, in the lower reaches of the 95% confidence interval. Actual underlying warming then would still be way behind the range of IPCC model projections and Rose, in 2013, though not vindicated as to his claim of ‘spectacular miscalculation’ would nonetheless still be able to say that the models have miscalculated in that they continue to consistently underestimate the rate of warming.