Natural climate variability, part 1: Observations versus the modeled predictions
During the whole history of the planet, astronomical factors (orbital and solar variability) have determined the energy balance of the Earth and generated natural climate oscillations affecting the life of plants, animals and human beings at all time scales. During the last decades, severe concerns have been raised about whether human activities could have been so influential as to deeply modify the natural variability of the global climate and, in particular, could have caused a significant warming since the beginning of the 20th century. To properly address the latter issue, it is required to understand the phenomenology of the natural climate fluctuations. These are well emphasized by several climate indexes such as the Atlantic Multidecadal Oscillation, the Pacific Decadal Oscillation, the El Niño–Southern Oscillation and others. This complex natural dynamic is still not reproduced by the general circulation models (GCMs) supporting the Anthropogenic Global Warming Theory (AGWT), which is mainly advocated by the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC). In this “part 1” of our work we briefly introduce the general topic and statistically compare observed and GCM modeled global surface warming trends from 1860 to 2016. We find that the models have significantly overestimated the observed warming during the historical record. In addition, we compare observed and modeled temperature trends of three significant periods: from Jan/1922 to Dec/1941, from Jan/1980 to Dec/1999 and from Jan/2000 to Dec/2016. We find that only during the 1980-1999 period the observed and synthetic records show compatible warming trends within the 95% confidence level. The severe discrepancy between observations and modeled predictions found during the 1922-1941 and 2000-2016 periods further confirms, according to the criteria proposed by the AGWT advocates themselves, that the current climate models have significantly exaggerated the anthropogenic greenhouse warming effect.