Alfred Nobel, the renowned Swedish engineer, chemist, and inventor of dynamite, built an immense fortune as an industrialist entrepreneur. However, one day in 1888 Nobel was shocked to read an obituary titled “The Merchant of Death Is Dead” in a French newspaper. It was Alfred’s brother, Ludvig, who had passed away, but a mistake led to Alfred being prematurely memorialized. He did not like the way the obituary characterized his life. This event is often believed to be the catalyst that prompted Nobel to reconsider his legacy, leading him to rewrite his will and establish the now-famous Nobel Prize.
Nobel’s revised will in 1895 set the framework for these awards. It specified that five distinct prizes should be awarded to individuals who had conferred the most remarkable benefits to humankind during the previous year. These categories encompassed Chemistry, Physics, Physiology or Medicine, Literature, and Peace. In 1969, the award for Economics was added by Sweden’s central bank to honor Nobel’s memory.
The award of the Nobel Prize hasn’t been entirely without controversy, especially the Peace Prize. The 1994 award to Yasser Arafat was controversial due to his affiliation with the PLO, an organization infamous for its terrorist activities. In 2007, Al Gore and the United Nation’s Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (“UNIPCC”) were recognized for their efforts towards enlightening the masses about man-made ‘climate change’, a subject of controversy within the scientific community. In a similar vein, the decision to honor President Barack Obama with the Peace Prize in 2009 was met with skepticism, especially given his brief tenure of only eight months in office. Such choices have often polarized public opinion about the Nobel Awards and called into question their legitimacy.
The awarding of the 2021 Nobel Prize in Physics falls into a different category. According to the Nobel Committee, Syukuro Manabe and Klaus Hasselmann were awarded the Nobel Prize in 2021 “for the physical modelling (sic) of Earth’s climate, quantifying variability and reliably predicting global warming” (emphasis added). “Their contributions laid the foundation for advances in climate modelling and development, and detection and attribution methodologies.” Giorgio Parisi was the third recipient of the 2021 Nobel award in Physics “for the discovery of the interplay of disorder and fluctuations in physical systems from atomic to planetary scales”, with applications including glasses, random lasers and optimization problems.
Until the 2021 awards to Manabe and Hasselmann, the Nobel had never been awarded to recipients in the field of Physics for a supposed accomplishment that was widely known and demonstrably proven to be false. In addition, it can be reasonably argued that the award was made for political purposes, like prior Peace Prize awards, to further an agenda.
Let’s examine the Nobel Committee’s statement regarding Manabe and Hasselmann’s work in detail and compare that statement with known scientific facts. First, as regards the statement that the computer models “quantify variability and reliably predict global warming”, it is widely recognized and acknowledged within the climate science community that computer climate models cannot accurately predict the future. The UNIPCC has said as much: “the approach to model evaluation taken in the chapter reflects the need for climate models to represent the observed behavior of past climate as a necessary condition to be considered a viable tool for future projections” (this procedure is known as “back testing” a predictive model). “This does not, however, provide an answer to the much more difficult question of determining how well a model must agree with observations before projections made with it can be deemed reliable. Since the AR4, there are a few examples of emergent constraints where observations are used to constrain multi-model ensemble projections. These examples, which are discussed further in Section 9.8.3, remain part of an area of active and yet inconclusive research” (emphasis added).
In other words, what the UNIPCC stated above in Chapter 9 of the 2013 UNIPCC Report titled, “Evaluation of Climate Models,” is the following: climate models need to be able to accurately predict past climate conditions to be considered a viable tool to predict the future. The question remains how closely a model must come to predicting actual historical results to be deemed reliable to predict the future. Since the 4th UNIPCC Assessment Report, there are a few examples where we have tried to force the model to accurately predict historical results by inserting actual historical climate observations and manipulating model parameters. So far, we have not been successful. As a result, we continue to make the effort to improve the ability of the models to predict future events; but doubts remain about their ability to do so. It should be noted that these comments directly contradict the Nobel Award’s assertion concerning the model’s ability to “reliably predict global warming.”
As regards the statement concerning “quantifying variability” of the Earth’s climate systems, it is widely recognized by many world climate scientists and the UNIPCC that certain climate systems are impossible to predict with any degree of accuracy. The amount, composition and albedo (the amount of sunlight absorbed or reflected by clouds) of world cloud cover is constantly changing and is recognized to play a major role in affecting the Earth’s climate. In addition, little is known about the role ocean currents play in the Earth’s climate system, although it is widely recognized that the effects of the El Niño-Southern Oscillation (ENSO) and Atlantic Multidecadal Oscillation can have a significant effect on the Earth’s climate. In addition, there is the matter of submarine and volcanic eruptions; the amount of CO2, sulfur and ash that has been emitted by these events into the atmosphere has not been quantified with any degree of accuracy. However, these events can have a material effect on the temperature of the atmosphere and climate of the Earth for extended periods of time.
The climate models used by climate scientists today that are based on the work of Manabe and Hasselmann consistently fail back testing and fail to accurately predict global warming, as later calculated by the UNIPCC. Why then, did Manabe and Hasselmann win the Nobel on October 5, 2021, for work that was known to be inaccurate?
The 2021 United Nations Climate Change Conference, more commonly referred to as COP 26, was held in Glasgow, Scotland, from October 31 to November 31, 2021. Was it possible that the Nobel Prize in Physics was awarded to climate scientists for political purposes only weeks before COP 26 in an effort to add credence and gravitas to the UN Climate Conference’s call for cancelling the debt of developing nations “harmed by climate change” and paying trillions of dollars a year in climate reparations? It sure looks like it.
Guy K. Mitchell, Jr. is the author of a book titled “Global Warming: The Great Deception-The Triumph of Dollars and Politics Over Science and Why You Should Care.” It placed #3 on the “Wall Street Journal’s” Top Ten Best Selling Book list in April 2023. www.globalwarmingdeception.com