Friday, July 29, 2011

R.I.P. Global Warming alarmism

The Press consistently fails to report the uncertainties in the arguments for Global Warming - no big surprise, as they're rooting for the Home Team.  But uncertainties in the science have been discussed among scientists for a long time.  Here's an example, where NCAR's Kevin Trenberth talks about "missing" heat:

The models and the measurements weren't in balance.  There may be quite a good reason for this, namely that the models are seriously flawed:
NASA satellite data from the years 2000 through 2011 show the Earth's atmosphere is allowing far more heat to be released into space than alarmist computer models have predicted, reports a new study in the peer-reviewed science journal Remote Sensing. The study indicates far less future global warming will occur than United Nations computer models have predicted, and supports prior studies indicating increases in atmospheric carbon dioxide trap far less heat than alarmists have claimed.
The Usual Suspects in the Warmist camp are reacting as you'd expect.  They're not making their case any stronger:
"If you want to do a story then write one pointing to the ridiculousness of people jumping onto every random press release as if well-established science gets dismissed on a dime," [NASA's Gavin] Schmidt said. "Climate sensitivity is not constrained by the last two decades of imperfect satellite data, but rather the paleoclimate record."
Pay no attention to the data there - we're doing science!  Or something.  But the paleoclimate record isn't a strong peg to hang your hat on:
Without trying to prejudice this work, but also because of what I almost think I know to be the case, the results of this study will show that we can probably say a fair bit about <100 year extra-tropical NH [Northern Hemisphere - Borepatch] temperature variability (at least as far as we believe the proxy estimates), but honestly know fuck-all about what the >100 year variability was like with any certainty (i.e. we know with certainty that we know fuck-all).
That was paleoclimatologist Ed Cook's email to the University of East Anglia's Keith Briffa, published in the ClimateGate data dump.

we know with certainty that we know fuck-all ...

That's a righteous level of uncertainty, right there.  And this is what the Press won't talk about, because they "know" the answer, and are happy with their narrative.  The problem for them is that the actual data don't agree with the narrative, which is why they're stuck in a slow water torture drip-drip-drip of this sort of story.  The data simply refuse to cooperate:
While the thermometer records indicate a substantial warming trend, many tree rings do not display a corresponding change in their width.[2] A temperature trend extracted from tree rings alone would not show any substantial warming. The temperature graphs calculated in these two ways thus "diverge" from one another since the 1950s, which is the origin of the term.
The East Anglia crowd "solved" this problem by hiding the decline:

I find that I haven't been posting on climate issues very much these days, because I see the entire edifice collapsing.  There's likely going to continue to be political damage - for example, Australia's disastrous Carbon Tax - but the science is simply falling apart.

And this is a very good thing indeed.  Ultimately, we'll see a set of scientists discredited, and those left standing acting with much more transparency.  In the political arena, the public's disappearing appetite for draconian mitigation policies will evaporate in the face of the collapsing welfare state.  If people have to choose between funding Social Security and funding Big Environment schemes, there's no question which way it will go.

And so stick a fork in it, the whole thing is done.

Climate Hysteria,  R.I.P. 1998 - 2011.

UPDATE 29 July 2011 18:06: Coyote has a related and very interesting post about uncertainty in climate science.


Atom Smasher said...

I was just about to post an invective-laden, NSFW, saliva-hurling diatribe pointing to the same article, the latest in a long and UNBROKEN series of lies and fraud concerning the Carbon Hucksters and their religion.

Luckily I stopped and figured you'd be doing it over here with maturity and clarity, and sure enough... Thanks, BP

But man, I hate those guys.

Borepatch said...

Well, the F-word is to be found in my post, even though it was in a quote. ;-)

But those guys are on the way out.

Old NFO said...

Okay, that is a post I don't need to do now... :-) Thanks BP, and you didn't even use any four letter words :-)

bluesun said...

Just out of curiosity--when was the last time you heard about the ozone holes?

SiGraybeard said...

Just when I think that we have won and sanity is going our way, I get sent things like this by son. The Bad Astronomy Guy saying, "No the new data does not blow a gaping hole in global warming alarmism." And to find out if the paper showed problems with the climate Nintendo players, um, I mean climate modelers' data, he went and asked the climate modelers.

(face palm) D'oh!!

Borepatch said...

Graybeard, he can do the whole "I'm shocked to see gambling in Casablanca" thing all he wants. All he's doing is killing his own credibility. I'm guessing you'll never pay attention to anything he says again.

Neither will I.

But at the end of the day, that's not science. Science is data and reproducibility, and the Alarmist theories keep taking hits from the data. After a while, you lose defenders that way.

bruce said...

From what I have seen over the last two years we will never see a fork in this AGW mirage.

Even if we see a global cooling with diminished crops and world suffering it will be proof of CO2's devilish nature.

lelnet said...

"as if well-established science gets dismissed on a dime"

This seldom happens to well-established science only because part of the definition of "well-established" in science is a large number of independent experimental tests all producing outcomes consistent with the theory in question. If you have that, it is unlikely that the next day someone will perform a test which produces results inconsistent with the theory.

But if they do, then there are only two possibilities:

1. The test was flawed, or
2. The theory is wrong.

Mr. Schmidt, you have only three choices here.

1. Declare that the agency which generates your paychecks is consistently doing science in a way which lies somewhere along the spectrum between "sloppy" and "fraudulent"

2. Admit that this conflicting data has, regardless of what you considered "well-established" yesterday, conclusively disproven the catastrophic-AGW hypothesis

3. Confess that what you do for a living is not actually science at all, but religion (which, unlike science, need not be falsifiable).

I support your right to believe in whatever religion you choose, so going with #3 would be my reccomendation. But none of the options open to you justifies a continuing flow of tax money.