"It profits me but little that a vigilant authority always protects the tranquillity of my pleasures and constantly averts all dangers from my path, without my care or concern, if this same authority is the absolute master of my liberty and my life."

--Alexis de Tocqueville, Democracy in America

Thursday, July 28, 2011

Meanwhile, Back on Planet Earth... The Sky Is Apparently Not Falling

The Regular Guy has long been a global warming skeptic.   This story gives me even more ammo:
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.

Study co-author Dr. Roy Spencer, a principal research scientist at the University of Alabama in Huntsville and U.S. Science Team Leader for the Advanced Microwave Scanning Radiometer flying on NASA’s Aqua satellite, reports that real-world data from NASA’s Terra satellite contradict multiple assumptions fed into alarmist computer models.

“The satellite observations suggest there is much more energy lost to space during and after warming than the climate models show,” Spencer said in a July 26 University of Alabama press release. “There is a huge discrepancy between the data and the forecasts that is especially big over the oceans.”

In addition to finding that far less heat is being trapped than alarmist computer models have predicted, the NASA satellite data show the atmosphere begins shedding heat into space long before United Nations computer models predicted.
Look, this is the way science is supposed to work.  A scientist makes a hypothesis (anthropogenic global warming).   Another scientist gathers data that could prove or disprove that hypothesis.   If that data contradicts the hypothesis, the first scientist is supposed to rethink the hypothesis, either explaining why it's still true despite the new data, or else rejecting it and coming up with a new theory.   Step 1 (models of global warming) was fine; Step 2 (gathering of data) appears to be proceeding as it should; now all we need is for the scientific community to gradually work there way around to rejecting AGW.  

The problem is that there are a lot of dollars involved in grants, carbon credit trading, green technologies, etc., if AGW is true; and there are not very many dollars involved if AGW is false.   If the answer is "it's just the weather," then no one gets richer or more powerful, not Al Gore, not the scientists, not the government bureaucrats.   We all just go back to doing what we were doing.

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