"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, April 4, 2013

Global Warming Falls Apart

The Economist has an article up that all but acknowledges that global warming has been a delusion, if not a hoax, although the writer tries mightily not to admit it.   Here's the lede paragraphs:
Over the past 15 years air temperatures at the Earth’s surface have been flat while greenhouse-gas emissions have continued to soar. The world added roughly 100 billion tonnes of carbon to the atmosphere between 2000 and 2010. That is about a quarter of all the CO₂ put there by humanity since 1750. And yet, as James Hansen, the head of NASA’s Goddard Institute for Space Studies, observes, “the five-year mean global temperature has been flat for a decade.”
OK.  Stop there.   Let's remember that the key cause-effect equation of the entire global warming theory is that increased carbon in the atmosphere causes warming in a linear relationship.   More carbon equals more warming.   That's why they've told us we have to engage in economic hari kiri to reduce carbon emissions.   But if the equation isn't holding, isn't the correct response of a scientist to rethink the theory itself?   But I digress.   The article continues:
Temperatures fluctuate over short periods, but this lack of new warming is a surprise.
Exactly so. But the question is... what counts as a short period when you are talking about an earth and a sun that are billions of years old? Certainly fifteen years counts as a short period, but then doesn't a century or even a millenium count as a short period too in the grand scheme of things? It should, if scientists were being honest. Meanwhile:
Ed Hawkins, of the University of Reading, in Britain, points out that surface temperatures since 2005 are already at the low end of the range of projections derived from 20 climate models (see chart 1). If they remain flat, they will fall outside the models’ range within a few years.

Wait a minute... isn't the point of science to propose theories that predict phenomena?   If actual data seems to be contradicting the model you've proposed -- and doing so almost immediately after the models were created (remember, climate science is relatively recent) -- shouldn't the model be questioned?
The mismatch between rising greenhouse-gas emissions and not-rising temperatures is among the biggest puzzles in climate science just now. It does not mean global warming is a delusion. Flat though they are, temperatures in the first decade of the 21st century remain almost 1°C above their level in the first decade of the 20th. But the puzzle does need explaining.
Wait another minute.... didn't you just tell me that temperatures fluctuate over short periods?   But now you're asking me to believe that, despite the fact that the theory of global warming's predictions haven't been accurate over the past fifteen years, the fact that over a century the globe's temperature has allegedly risen by one whole degree means that the theory is not a delusion?   OK, forget about the term "delusion."   How about just "unproven hypothesis"?
The mismatch might mean that—for some unexplained reason—there has been a temporary lag between more carbon dioxide and higher temperatures in 2000-10. Or it might be that the 1990s, when temperatures were rising fast, was the anomalous period. Or, as an increasing body of research is suggesting, it may be that the climate is responding to higher concentrations of carbon dioxide in ways that had not been properly understood before. This possibility, if true, could have profound significance both for climate science and for environmental and social policy.
Or it might be, or it might be, or it might be... it might be that we simply don't understand the complex interactions with nearly infinite variables that make up the world's environment?   So why do we act as though we do, with hysterical public policy demands?

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