The failure of reality to match up with computer models

The ice caps are supposed to be melting.  But the ice in Antarctica is at record levels.  And the ice at the North Pole, after declining for awhile, is back to normal levels.  So reports a British newspaper, the Register.  I’m struck, though, by a comment in the article that cites,  “This failure of reality to match up with climate modelling.”

That “reality” has somehow failed is rather humorous.  Isn’t computer modelling dependent on what data is programmed into the model?  And isn’t reality always going to be more complex than a model, with far more variables, many of which are unknown to the researcher?  [Read more...]

Accounting for the “pause” in global warming

Scientists admit that there has been no global warming between 1998 and 2013, even though the amount of greenhouse gases in the atmosphere has continued to increase.  A new study claims to account for this so-called “pause” in global warming.  It turns out, there are “natural fluctuations” in the climate.  Who knew?

The scientists claim that a little cooling blip has cooled things off in the last decade or so, but that the global warming will soon resume.  Read about the findings after the jump.

But doesn’t this research miss the point?  Does invoking “natural fluctuation” really give us a cause?  What causes the fluctuations, and if they are “natural,” might they account for other temperature phenomena, including those blamed on human agency?  More fundamentally, if greenhouse gasses can increase without making the temperature of the earth go up, doesn’t that suggest that there may be problems with the assumptions behind the computer modeling that give us the dire global warming forecasts? [Read more...]

The myth of ‘settled science’

Charles Krauthhammer says there is no such thing as “settled science”:

“The debate is settled,” asserted propagandist in chief Barack Obama in his latest State of the Union address. “Climate change is a fact.” Really? There is nothing more anti-scientific than the very idea that science is settled, static, impervious to challenge. [Read more...]

Volcanos are countering global warming

The earth is taking care of itself.  From James Fleure in Science Recorder:

Erupting volcanoes offset recent Earth warming, according to a team led by the University of Colorado at Boulder. Researchers arrived at this conclusion after searching for clues about why Earth did not warm as much as climatologists expected between 2000 and 2010. . . . [Read more...]

Skeptics find global warming evidence

Often researchers find what they want to find. More persuasive is when researchers find what they do not want to find but report it anyway. A new study of climate change was funded by skeptics of global warming. They took into account the skeptics’ critiques of the methodology and data gathering used by the scientists discredited in the Climategate scandal.  Lo and behold, this new study ended up confirming the earlier research.  Actually, it found slightly higher average temperature increases.  See this report.

So now do you believe in global warming?  If not, what evidence would convince you?

I’ve been skeptical myself, not so much of global warming but of the contention that it is man-made.  Also of the contention that it will prove to be such a big disaster.

Am I reading the chart right, that the rise in temperature over the last century is only 1 degree Celsius?  Is that such a big rise that it would make much of a difference?

But I’m open to correction and enlightenment from my betters.

HT:  Kirk Anderson


If we caused global warming, we can cool it down

The Washington Post reviews two  Books on geoengineering: ‘How to Cool the Planet’ and ‘Hacking the Planet’.  The idea is that since human beings have caused global warming, we can put other stuff into the environment to cool the planet down:

As the prospect of drastic warming evolves from worst-case scenario to virtual certainty, the notion of some kind of technological quick fix is more and more appealing. It’s still in the speculative stages, but it has already produced two highly unsettling books.

Among the ideas that have been broached is dumping various odd substances into the sea, such as iron filings (to promote growth of CO2-consuming plankton) and — no kidding — Special K cereal, which would supposedly increase the sea’s reflectivity, thus keeping it cooler. One of the least crazy possible methods is the Pinatubo Option, in which we would somehow cloak the Earth’s atmosphere in a layer of reflective particles, which would block the sun and cool the planet just enough to maintain some kind of climatic equilibrium. . . .

As the climate heats up, and if scientists’ predictions of scary, sudden changes come true, such options are going to look more attractive. Especially the Pinatubo Option: We could scatter particles into the stratosphere with a fleet of high-altitude planes, for the (relatively) low price of a few billion dollars. Or, as another scientist has suggested, we could seed the stratosphere via miles and miles of hoses, held aloft by blimps and spraying tiny particles into the upper reaches of the atmosphere. Other scientists have looked at methods of “cloud brightening,” with much the same goal.

The reviewer and these books, while raising the possibility of creating even greater climactic disasters, are taking this prospect in dead earnest.  They apparently do not consider their solutions ludicrous.  (Putting Special K cereal into the ocean?  We’re having enough problems with British Petroleum, but we want Kellogg’s to do the same thing?)

I guess those who think human beings are so powerful with all of their technology that they can destroy the world also assume human beings are powerful enough with all of their technology to  fix the world.  Some of us, though, believe human beings are far more limited in their power, both for worse and for better.