Sawyer, 1972, impartially consider'd

PXL_20220827_132643563 Today marks the 50th anniversary of a remarkable research paper on global warming, says CarbonBriefMan-made Carbon Dioxide and the “Greenhouse” Effect by J Sawyer. I have a PDF of it available here, for reasons I can't recall; and Archer has one here; mine appears to be of slightly higher quality. 

It is said that the article makes one of the first predictions of future global warming – that temperatures would rise 0.6C by the end of the 20th century. Which is a bit odd, because the "prediction" just takes the 2.4 CS value of Manabe and Wetherald and scales it to a 25% CO2 rise by 2000. The article got a 35th birthday too (in 2007, oddly enough) but everyone has forgotten that. And ScepticalScience noted it in 2014.

Is this of any importance? No. S, aka M+W, happened to get about the right answer, but this provides little or no confirmation of GW theory; the models were too simple. If they had got the wrong answer, no one would care, so you're not allowed to make much of the right answer; you can't retrospectively make it into a test. Gavin somewhat disagrees with me, but in matters of climate models I know who I'd trust more. I said this about Hansen 1981 somewhere too, but can't find that right now.


Anonymous said...

I belatedly noticed that the author was R Betts. Usually a voice of some sanity and not noted for extremes of anything, the 'Remarkable' bit was a little jarring.

Except, of course, that's in the headline. So prob' conjured up by a subeditor or some such.

Otherwise, I can't disagree with your point - combining 2.4 with 25% (other peoples numbers) isn't rocket science. Or even climate science.

But I enjoyed reading the article - it was pre-partisan days so there were no sides to take or mud to fling.

Anteros said...

Previous comment by me.

Phil said...

I also enjoyed reading the article.

Having a clue is a good start, but not the whole story. Some things basically correct, some things rather less so.

His conclusion is that more study is needed. Which was very correct in 1972.

Oh, and availabe needs fixing.