Am debunking this page because it makes a scary prediction of a 10 °C rise by 2026. It is very very silly. By far the silliest post I’ve seen on climate change, and that’s saying something, I’ve seen some ridiculous posts, but this takes the biscuit. I can’t find out anything about Sam Carana who runs this blog, but he would flunk high school maths and physics if he gave material like this in answer to exam questions.

This is not about the IPCC report which is often misunderstood as saying something similar. For the journalistic misunderstandings of the 2017 IPCC report see my

This is another article I did to support people we help in the Facebook Doomsday Debunked group, that find us because they get scared, sometimes to the point of suicide, by such stories.

Arctic News seems to have an impressive list of contributors on their About page but it is really all by Sam Carana. He lists anyone as a contributor if they speak in a youtube video he embeds in a blog post, also authors of articles released under a creative commons license, which means he can republish it without asking for permission.

This is the page predicting a 10 °C rise by 2026. He just fits a POLYNOMIAL of all things through the data points and uses it to EXTRAPOLATE.!!

The post I’m debunking is here:

The blue inset is what you get if you extrapolate it both ways instead of just to the right. Using a second degree polynomial means he is fitting a curve like the blue inset one to the data - continue the red curve to the left and it will curve up just like the blue inset.

Most people will have encountered that curve at school and surely realize that trying to fit a curve like that through the data is a ridiculous way to try to predict future average global temperatures. It will always predict a future increase to infinity and a past decrease from infinity (unless it is the other way around, past increase from negative infinity and future decrease to negative infinity).

You don't really need to look for distinguished professors to say you shouldn't use this method. It is a schoolboy or schoolgirl error.

He also says in his caption that he has added an extra 10.02 °C data point at 2026 before he drew a second degree polynomial through it and the data. Perhaps he needed to do that to make it increase rather than decrease. When I tried a best fitting second degree polynomial to the data without that extra point, then it was the other way up, going down to negative infinity in both directions (see below).

And it’s spawned other blog posts such as

This blog is also used as one of his sources by Guy McPherson, a retired ecologist and junk scientist who doesn’t check his sources, has lost track of the scientific method, and is constantly predicting ridiculous dire events in the near future such as global temperatures rising by several degrees in a few months. But he has quite a following on the internet, you come across people who are certain that his predictions are true. He is a kind of mirror image of a climate denier, a climate “catastrophist” perhaps you could call them.

See Scott K Johnson's debunk of Guy McPherson’s claims, where he also talks about some other mistakes in the Arctic News blog.

Guy McPherson also relies on the Clathrate Gun hypothesis which is effectively disproved now since the big USGS study in 2016, the Royal Society review in 2017 and the CAGE results of 2018 and many other recent articles. See

Although he is a retired ecology professor he has clearly lost track of the scientific method long ago. Abrupt global warming can't hapen. The IPCC, Royal Society, and others have looked at it carefully and there is nothing that exhibits threshold behaviour in the sense that a little warming leads to accelerated warming.

Anyway back to Arctic News. The data he uses is from here, where he only used their data points from 2013 to 2017, although they go back to 1890: GISS Surface Temperature Analysis

Look for the section: Combined Land-Surface Air and Sea-Surface Water Temperature Anomalies (Land-Ocean Temperature Index, LOTI)

  • Global-mean monthly, seasonal, and annual means, 1880-present, updated through most recent month: TXT, CSV

I have taken the same values he uses, from 2013 to 2017 and made them into a list numbered 1 to 60 which I’ll add to a comment so you can try it yourself. Data here

I’m using this Polynomial Regression Data Fit

To show you how ridiculous it is, I’ll use the same data points, but I’ll fit different curves through it.

This is what I get if I add his extra data point of 10.02 C at 170 10.02 and use a degree 2 polynomial.

0.88062600103 - 0.01903838674 * + 0.00042935047 * x^2

It’s roughly similar to his.

Extrapolate it in both directions and I think you can see how stupid this is

There 60 is 2017, numbers are months and every 60 steps is 5 years.

The blog has a similar graph in the post attributed to John Davies in the tag line, but posted by Sam Carana and with the graph at the head of the post credited to him.

from: A RUNAWAY GREENHOUSE EVENT

As a fourth order polynomial then though in this bit of the graph it is trending down to the left, eventually it has to trend to positive infinity in both the positive and negative directions if you extrapolate it far enough.

He has a similar graph in:

He doesn’t say the degree of polynomial. It’s clearly not second degree. May be a third degree polynomial. If so it would go down to negative infinity to the left and up to positive infinity to the right. Go back far enough to the left and you’ll hit absolute zero, probably well within a century. I can’t try his actual polynomial as he doesn’t give the coefficients.

But let’s look at what happens with different polynomials with the same data:

Linear regression:

0.64244632768 + 0.00600722422 * x

There the horizontal axis is months since 2013 and vertical axis is temperature anomaly compared to 1890. It goes to negative infinity to the left and positive infinity to the right.

Quadratic

0.49966335476 + 0.01982493128 * x - 0.00022651978 * x^2

Goes to negative infinity to both right and left.

Cubic - I’m obviously using a different way to curve fit because mine goes down to the right instead of up like his:

0.61978096322 - 0.00287211725 * x + 0.00069604248 * x^2 - 0.00001008264 * x^3

Goes to positive infinity to the left and negative infinity to the right.

Let’s extrapolate it a bit further as with his graph. If you extrapolate beyond that region you get it going from above 5 °C in 2008 and down to below -7°C in 2023.

The point labeled 0 on the x axis in this graph is 2013, and the horizontal numbers are months, so 60 months is five years.

GraphSketch

Goes down to absolute zero pretty quickly, within a quarter of a century.

GraphSketch

So there you go. Alternative prediction using the same methods.

We’d better watch out, it’s going to get so cold, within a quarter of a century, that even helium will liquefy (JOKE - NOT).

Polynomials are UTTERLY USELESS for extrapolating beyond the data points you have.

They are quite useful for data smoothing, to interpolate between points but even then they are liable to introduce artifacts that aren't in the data especially if you go to higher powers. Here is what happens if we try to increase the degree of the polynomial with that same data.

Degree 16

They are only really useful for data that is already very smooth. Usually you use cubic splines or similar, lots of small chunks of polynomial joined together, not try to fit a single polynomial through all the data points.

They are utterly utterly stupid things to use to extrapolate beyond the data. I can hardly say how ridiculous this page is for a mathematician reader. Because polynomials ALWAYS GO TO POSITIVE OR NEGATIVE INFINITY in the positive and negative directions so you'll always get an extrapolation that either goes up to positive infinity or down to negative infinity.

He probably tried several with various choices of how to extrapolate, e.g. how far to go up the power series, and discarded the ones that go down to negative infinity.

You can also see by eye that it is not a natural trend through the points. Linear regression would be the best you could hope to do by way of a polynomial fit with such messy data. It wouldn’t make much sense to use anything else either except to join the dots.

This is how NASA presents the data:

Land-Ocean: Global Means

Note that they don’t attempt to extrapolate at all.

This is just not how you do climate predictions, just draw points on a graph and draw a curve through it. You need to do it based on climate models, detailed understanding of the situation.

Later in the page he writes this:

Again absolutely ludicrous. These figures don’t even remotely resemble the numbers in respectable climate papers. None of them. Not even close.

All of them combined is a tiny fraction of a degree on that timescale. We are currently headed for around 3 °C with current policies and unconditional pledges. We could get to higher temperatures by 2100 if we scrap the Paris Agreement but that isn’t gong to happen. Most countries are keeping to their pledges and many are already ahead of them, the most populous of those who are well within their pledges is India, with a population similar to China, is pledged 2 °C compatible and is well within, with 1.5 °C compatible climate policies well within reach.

We may possibly reach 2 °C by mid century, but can avoid going much higher if we reduce CO2 emissions by 20% by 2030 and reduce to zero by 2075. We can stay within 1.5 °C by reducing emissions by 45% by 2030 and down to zero by 2050, with various other ways to stay within 1.5 C. We can also go up to 2 °C and down to 1.5 °C with carbon capture / reafforestation.

It’s far more hopeful than the journalists often make it out to be. Look back, in 2016 the situation looked pretty hopeless, the previous agreements had been a major failure. But then the Paris Agreement came along with the novel idea of voluntary agreements. And the countries vied with each other to produce the most ambitious pledges they could, and they stuck to them too. China especially has made a major change in its policies, started up a whole new vast renewables industry, thousands of acres of solar panels, vast long distance HVDC cables to carry renewable power to their cities. It has to do a lot more to get within India’s example. But they are well on track to peak before 2030 which was their first pledge, and the idea of the agreement is to constantly increase pledges year on year.

See my

And 10 °C doesn’t lead to human extinction. None of the climate change scenarios do.

YOU DO NOT RISK HUMAN EXTINCTION IN 2026 OR 2100 OR EVEN 3000.

ON ANY SCENARIO.

We could reach 10 °C or even 12 °C maybe even a bit higher, in the 22nd century with a reversal of the Paris Agreement.

We could do all that if we were to scrap all existing climate change policies , press ahead and burn only coal and oil and gas, stop all the renewables, make it illegal to use solar panels or renewables or put a huge tax hike on them.

We’d need to do something about renewables to return to “Business as usual”, because they are rapidly becoming competitive with oil and are causing some CO2 reductions just by the competitive advantage in sunnier places. This is only going to get more as the technology improves.

But that would not be an uninhabitable world either.

A few of the hottest parts of China, India, Persian Gulf and Southern US already would become too hot to work in the fields during summer heat waves at midday at 4 °C. And I don’t mean uncomfortably hot, but so hot a fit healthy person will die after six hours in those conditions. At 12 °C large parts of India, Persian gulf, China, southern US etc become uninhabitable without technology such as air conditioning.

The dark red areas have wet bulb temperatures over 31 C for 5% of the time, and risk 35 C heat waves. You can see how it affects eastern China (above Taiwan in the map) also the coasts of the Persian gulf (but not the desert interior because it is so dry there) and Bangladesh, Kolkata and parts of Pakistan.The figure is here Nature Communications

It’s not the heat that gets you, but combination of moist air and heat. You can keep cool by sweating, but above around 35 °C if the air has 100% humidity almost nobody can survive. You’ll die within a few hours if you can’t get somewhere drier or colder. Above 37 °C with 100% humidity, then that is above blood temperature and your body no longer can cool itself even slightly and you soon are dead.

But you can survive by either cooling the air down or drying it out. Even in a world like that, people with enough confidence in technology could ride out the hottest heat waves in India, China etc, and of course many plants would be fine, you could still grow rice, maybe largely automated cultivation, and crops that like really hot conditions.

It would certainly have lots of climate migrants. But even in India or China, to different parts of the same country. The north of India, the foothills of the Himalayas are pleasantly cool and eventually really cold. Same for China, and nearly all of Tibet, Mongolia etc.

Meanwhile Canada, Russia, especially Alaska and Siberia would become warm “des res” places for humans. They would begin to be places where you can use conventional agriculture in fields.

If it gets 10 °C warmer, Aberdeen (14 °C) becomes like Barcelona (24 °C) and Barcelona like Delhi (34 °C) .

The worst outcome is that we end up growing oranges and bananas out of doors in the UK, mangoes, sugar cane and avocados in France, and perhaps coconuts in the Mediterranean

Coconut distribution

Might this be a familiar Mediterranean sight in a warming world?

The Lone Coconut Tree , Kannur, Kerala, India. Prof. Mohamed Shareef from Mysore

Cocos nucifera

Blog post here about someone who managed to grow a coconut palm tree in Southern Italy

Farmers may have to grow new crops. There’s also though research into making the crops they already use more heat tolerant. This is research into finding heat tolerant beans that can grow with night time temperatures as high as 23 °C about 4 °C higher.

We will still have winter and summer, as that’s due to Earth’s tilt. Will still have six month long winters of total darkness at the poles. The ice in Greenland and Antarctica is still there for thousands of years in a warming world as it takes that long to melt it all.

The idea that even this would make humanity extinct is utterly ridiculous.

Anyone who says that climate change can make humans extinct is just talking through their hat, bullshitting, junk science, or just doesn’t think before they talk or write.

It often comes from James Hansen's exaggeration in his book "Storms of our grandchildren" published in 2008 and still available to buy at Amazon. It says incorrectly

“After the ice has gone, would the Earth proceed to the Venus syndrome, a runaway greenhouse effect that would destroy all life on the planet, perhaps permanently? While that is difficult to say based on present information, I’ve come to conclude that if we burn all reserves of oil, gas, and coal, there is a substantial chance we will initiate the runaway greenhouse. If we also burn the tar sands and tar shale, I believe the Venus syndrome is a dead certainty”

Page 236

James Hansen is a climate scientist, but he is well known for his hugely exaggerated statements not based on any peer reviewed research. Kind of hyperbole.

This is an example, was not based on peer reviewed research. It was just speculation which he could publish in a book without going through peer review.

After his book was published then researchers looked into it and quickly disproved it. But his book is still on sale and still quoted even though everyone in the topic of climate change knows it is wrong.

It's not a best seller, currently selling maybe one per month but it's well known and has very good reviews on Amazon so it's no surprise some people believe it.

And even Steven Hawking believed this - he made a ridiculous prediction that Trump withdrawing from the Paris agreement would mean we would end up as a second Venus which I debunked here

He often made very exaggerated rather silly claims like this and was just reported "as is" by everyone because he was so famous, few people wrote anything critical about him no matter what he said. Of course he had never done any research in climate change. And he tended to exaggerate hugely too and sometimes just make stuff up in topics outside his area of expertise of general relativity / quantum mechanics. But this scared a fair few people so I did a debunk.

It is true that this will happen over billions of years, but only after the ocean has boiled dry first.

We could do this if the sun was 3% hotter than it is today and several thousand ppm of CO2 in the atmosphere.

It would first transition to a moist greenhouse with average ocean temperatures of 57 C. Then the moisture in the air would reach into the upper atmosphere and get split by ionizing radiation from the sun and eventually the oceans dry up.

Transition to a Moist Greenhouse with CO2 and solar forcing.

Then, only after that, the runaway Venus greenhouse.

But for that to happen, the sun has to warm up sufficiently to be equivalent of reducing Earth's orbital radius by over 1%. Which may seem not much but that 1% excess in our orbit keeps us well away from a Venus syndrome right now according to the follow up research. It just can’t happen in the next hundred million years (say).

This is a possible future hundreds of millions of years into the future. You can read about a possible sequence of events in the introduction to Swansong Biospheres, by Jack O’Malley-James, where he goes forward to when eventually there are only microbes left. The motivation of his thesis is to try to figure out what planets orbiting other stars might be like if they have life on them. Some around older stars may be similar to our future a few billion years from now.

That is so far into the future that tiny creatures in puddles or in the sea that are just making the first steps towards multicellularity could have evolved all the way to a civilization. Then creatures in their puddles do the same. And again several times over before this would happen.

Then finally after several successive such civilizations we get one that could trigger a moist greenhouse and eventually a Venus hot house by burning all their fossil fuel if they had similar amounts of it to us by then.

It is a valid projection in a way, but not for us, for these distant future creatures in a much hotter world.

Our ancestors 540 million years ago may be this tiny creature about 1 mm in size.

Bag-like sea creature was humans’ oldest known ancestor

Humanity evolved from wriggling sea creatures with no anus

Whether that is our ancestor or not, something as primitive as that could evolve to humans many times over before the world can get as hot as Venus, even if those future creatures have as much by way of fossil fuels as us and burn it all!

This is my debunk.

And more generally:

And about how promising our situation really is, so long as we keep going and ramp up on climate pledges:


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