12 December 2009

Global Warming, Man-made

Fourth post in a single day, although this one may not get finished today.

Global Climate Change is a reality. Yes indeedy, folks. The definition of the word "climate" is "the general or average weather conditions of a certain region, including temperature, rainfall, and wind." at least according to American Heritage® Science Dictionary. Being an average value, it is subject to change. We can prove that climate changes by the historical record. Grapes growing in places where they don't grow today, for instance, are a clue to warmer temperatures. In Greenland, the Vikings operated dairy farms. Dairy farms. The Inuit herded reindeer and even cattle in Greenland. There were grapevines growing in Newfoundland, a condition which does not occur today.

In general, growing seasons were longer throughout Europe and Asia, based on the evidence we have of these things. Why? Who knows. Have not yet heard a reasonable theory that could explain it in rational terms, though I personally think the big ball of gas at the center of the solar system has something to do with it. So does this guy, who has all the technical terms and fun cool tree ring data to explain it to people who like that sort of thing.

This is called by folks who care about these things, the Medieval Warm Period. Sometime in the 1300s, it got colder, wetter, and generally not as good for growing things. Ice floes disrupted the Vikings SLOC, leading to isolation of Iceland and abandonment of Greenland. This continued for some centuries, with the most famous illustrations being the winters in the Colonial period in America where trees literally froze solid and exploded, and General Washington's intrepid artillerymen routinely dragged artillery across frozen rivers that have not frozen in a long, long time, such as the Hudson.

So climate changes. It's cyclic, it's caused by the sun, and it's very difficult to predict. The weatherman can't tell me with a reasonable degree of accuracy whether it is going to snow tomorrow or not at Fort Leonard Wood, he can throw out a best guess.

But the Global Warming crowd is trying to sell three interrelated propositions.

A: The average temperature of the Earth is rising
B: It is caused by human beings - specifically, our "carbon"
C: If the trend is not reversed, it will be catastrophic in its consequence

And they are using those three propositions to push for a very wide variety of governmental and international regulation of everything that "produces carbon" (translation: everything that runs on internal combustion or electricity).

Only A is provable scientifically speaking. You could theoretically take enough temperature readings, analyze them, derive averages, and demonstrate a warming trend. This is possible. Of course, AWG advocates will tell you this has been done, most famously algore's hockey stick (now thoroughly debunked). More on that later.

B cannot be proven scientifically. Scientific proof requires repeatable experimentation. No matter how many times you run the same computer model, if the algorithm is buggered or the data is bad, it's not valid. And computer models are not experiments. For experiments, you would need a dozen planets, some with people and some without. You can guess about what is causing a warming trend, but you cannot EXPERIMENT. Without experiments, you aren't using the scientific method, you're guessing. Correlation does not imply causation.

C is predicting the future. That's not science, that's prophecy. And I don't buy it because these folks don't understand what causes changes in solar output, and if you don't understand that, you can't accurately predict climate. The sun is the largest influence on our planet's climate, not human beings.

So back to Proposition A, that the Earth's climate is warming. Lots and lots of data is collected and analyzed by people with quite lucrative contracts to do so. You would think that there would be an answer to this question. There isn't--and now it seems that the folks who are being paid to figure it out are "adjusting" their data. New Zealand's data is entirely faked and when you look at the raw data, it is nothing like the "adjusted" data.

Scientists don't "adjust" data. Data is data. You don't get to fiddle it until you like it.

Then things get truly entertaining.

"Here are some speculations on correcting SSTs to partly explain the 1940s warming blip. If you look at the attached plot you will see that the land also shows the 1940s blip (as I’m sure you know). So, if we could reduce the ocean blip by, say, 0.15 degC, then this would be significant for the global mean — but we’d still have to explain the land blip. I’ve chosen 0.15 here deliberately. This still leaves an ocean blip, and i think one needs to have some form of ocean blip to explain the land blip (via either some common forcing, or ocean forcing land, or vice versa, or all of these). When you look at other blips, the land blips are 1.5 to 2 times (roughly) the ocean blips — higher sensitivity plus thermal inertia effects. My 0.15 adjustment leaves things consistent with this, so you can see where I am coming from."

With the hacking and release of internal email files at a major climate research organization, a whole of other dead fish floated to the top. It seems that there was a lot going on the climate change circles. Seems the Global Warming crowd was running around plotting to blackmail folks, subvert the peer-review process, and otherwise engage in hijinks designed to ensure that opposing viewpoints are discredited.

There's an excellent summary of the major points available here, where someone who actually sounds like he knows what he's talking about goes on at length about understanding the issues involved.

Questions are "why?"

First, there's a huge pile of money involved. Hundreds of millions of dollars -- which would dry up and go away if they said, "we aren't sure what's happening, we don't know what causes it or how to predict it, and we aren't even sure if there is anything happening in the first place."

I'm not the only one to be reminded of Eisenhower's speech regarding science and the Federal government. He was referring to military research, but the same applies.

The prospect of domination of the nation’s scholars by Federal employment, project allocations, and the power of money is ever present and is gravely to be regarded.

Yet, in holding scientific research and discovery in respect, as we should, we must also be alert to the equal and opposite danger that public policy could itself become the captive of a scientific-technological elite.

Politicians give money to the scientists who use that money to ensure that they get results which require the politicians to continue giving them money. And the politicians win because they are after more power, and the 'climate crisis' gives them more power. It's a self-supporting cycle, and because of the amount of money involved, tends to run over people who aren't actually conspirators--even people who "want" to do real science end up forced to give answers that agree with the prevailing wisdom.


Blogger Aunt Amelia's Attic said...

You said I could link to you. And I just did, on my blog in "Pretty Blog Land." Please read here, at the top of my Sidebar. If you'd rather I not, please tell me. Thank you.


5:47 PM  
Blogger Just A Decurion said...

Feel free. Just no PII - Name, rank, unit designation, etc. :)

6:05 PM  
Blogger Aunt Amelia's Attic said...

So, is it fine... The way I did it on my Sidebar?

9:23 PM  

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