The bigger the value of lambda, the bigger the temperature increase the UN could predict. Using poor Ludwig Boltzmann’s law, lambda’s true value is just 0.22-0.3C per watt. In 2001, the UN effectively repealed the law, doubling lambda to 0.5C per watt. A recent paper by James Hansen says lambda should be 0.67, 0.75 or 1C: take your pick. Sir John Houghton, who chaired the UN’s scientific assessment working group until recently, tells me it now puts lambda at 0.8C: that’s 3C for a 3.7-watt doubling of airborne CO2. Most of the UN’s computer models have used 1C. Stern implies 1.9C.
On the UN’s figures, the entire greenhouse-gas forcing in the 20th century was 2 watts. Multiplying by the correct value of lambda gives a temperature increase of 0.44 to 0.6C, in line with observation. But using Stern’s 1.9C per watt gives 3.8C. Where did 85 per cent of his imagined 20th-century warming go? As Professor Dick Lindzen of MIT pointed out in The Sunday Telegraph last week, the UK’s Hadley Centre had the same problem, and solved it by dividing its modelled output by three to “predict” 20th-century temperature correctly.And here's another interesting titbit that I'm sure won't get a whole lot of coverage- the US, which emphatically did not sign up to Kyoto, has actually managed to reduce its emissions by more than the nations that did sign the treaty.
Watson cited recent U.N. figures showing that, by one measure, the United States is doing better on greenhouse gases than some countries. "The way the numbers are counted, we're doing very well," he said.
That report showed that growth in U.S. emissions in 2000-04 was 1.3 percent, compared with 2.4 percent overall for 41 industrialized nations.The countries which currently aren't making their targets are still expected to meet them by 2012- by forcing their citizens to pay much higher taxes in the coming years. What a swell idea that is.