15 June 2007

Trusting the IPCC, and Other Things a Chump Might Do

The IPCC has made a lot of false claims that have been swallowed hook, line, and sinker by the mainstream media, and those who trust the media. But some intelligent people are beginning to look at the IPCC a bit more skeptically.
Although the media often reports that the IPCC conclusion is based on the “consensus of 2500 world experts,” there are perhaps not more than a few hundred genuine climatologists in the world.

....In the present modeling, natural changes of unknown causes, including the Big Ice Ages, the interglacial periods, Medieval warming, the Little Ice Age and some multi-decadal changes, are mostly beyond the consideration of many participating meteorologists and modelers. Even if they knew all the forcing functions, their positive or negative feedback processes may be too complex to comprehend in applying them to the Earth system.

I am aware that many climatologists and geologists are deeply concerned about the present trend in the study of global warming, since they are aware of many known climate changes with unknown causes. However, they can contribute little to the discussion of present warming, because they cannot offer concrete forcing functions, other than changes in the Earth’s orbital path around the sun, so that many remain as a silent minority.

....A serious defect of the present IPCC approach is that it does not pay much attention to the possible presence of natural changes, which are so obvious as one examines climate changes even during the last several hundred years. This is simply because, by training, the participating meteorologists do not know how to deal with forcing functions of unknown natural causes; some of them may believe that all the forcing functions are well understood. Nature is far more complex than they seem to be willing to admit.

Unfortunately, most meteorologists and modelers tend to concentrate only on details of the known forcing functions. Indeed, most of them are concerned only with the greenhouse effect during the last 100 years, since the physics of the greenhouse effect is well established and aerosol effects may be dealt with. As a result, they do not examine previous climate change, even as recently as during the last several hundred years. They are also afraid of dealing with ‘low quality’ data in the past or of taking too much effort to gather them (compared with satellite data). However, these are what climatologists have to face.

....Even a casual study of climate change during the last few hundred years, based on the well-known literature, shows that there is a possibility that the Earth is still recovering from the Little Ice Age. This recovery may explain much warming due to unknown causes that has occurred even during the present interglacial period; the warming rate of this recovery may be as much as 0.5°C/100 years from about 1700 to the present*. This is comparable with the rate of 0.6°-0.7°C/100 years, which the IPCC claims to be due to the greenhouse effect. The cause of the Little Ice Age is not known; in consequence, the cause of the temperature rebound is also not known. Therefore, it cannot be included as a forcing function. Nevertheless, it exists. Many glaciers in the world began to recede starting about 1700, and sea ice in the Arctic Ocean began to recede starting in 1800, so these phenomena began long before 1940 when CO2 began to increase rapidly.

...For these reasons, it may be said that the present state of global warming study is not advanced enough to become the basis of global policy-making based on the temperature rise by 2100 that is predicted by the IPCC.

There are many clear and serious reasons to reduce the usage of energy in the future, completely aside from the IPCC’s incomplete and alarming reasons.

The IPCC has been riding a runaway bandwagon of CAGW for several years now. Although most journalists have been taken in, journalists are not very intelligent. Politicians who accept what journalists write at face value, are likewise not very intelligent--but there are a lot of them, and many wield a lot of budgetary influence in their governments.

But just like Mike Nifong--of the infamous Duke Lacrosse Team lynchings--the IPCC will eventually be called to account for its excesses and abuse of power. When that happens, most of us will be too busy having a life to say "I told you so" to the chumps who fell for the IPCC gag.

Labels: ,

Bookmark and Share


Blogger JC said...

I find it the statement "the cause of the little ice age is unknown" very strange as the major forcing causing the ice age and most of temperature changes in Earth's past is very clear - variations in solar activity. Sami Solanki at the Max Planck Insitute compared solar activity & temperatures over the past 1150 years and found temperatures closely correlate to solar activity. When sunspot activity was low during the Maunder Minimum in the 1600's or the Dalton Minimum in the 1800's, the earth went through 'little ice ages'. The sun has been unusually hot in the last century - solar output rose dramatically in the early 20th century accompanied by a sharp rise in global temperatures.

However, Solanki also found the correlation between solar activity and global temperatures ended around 1975. At that point, temperatures started rising while solar activity stayed level. This led him to conclude "during these last 30 years the solar total irradiance, solar UV irradiance and cosmic ray flux has not shown any significant secular trend, so that at least this most recent warming episode must have another source."

This is confirmed by direct satellite measurements that find no rising trend since 1978, sunspot numbers which have leveled out since 1950, the Max Planck Institute reconstruction that shows irradience has been steady since 1950 and solar radio flux or flare activity which shows no rising trend over the past 30 years.

The sun has been the primary driver of Earth's climate in the past but solar variations are conspicuous in their absence over the last 30 years of long term global warming.

Friday, 15 June, 2007  
Blogger hammerhead said...

I think healthy skepticism is important in any context, but I cannot understand why so many otherwise intelligent people refuse to believe that human activity is causing climate change. Perhaps this denial comes from fear. Can mankind afford to take the chance that these trends will moderate by themselves? How much empiracle evidence will be necessary to satisfy the skeptics, and what will the world be like when we finally have enough proof? When he was selling the war in Iraq, Bush asked us whether we wanted to wait until the "smoking gun" (the proof that Saddam had weapons of mass destruction) "came in the form of a mushroom cloud over one of our cities". I never accepted that as a reason for invading Iraq. By the same logic, however, the logic form the climate-change skeptics use, should we wait until the polar ice caps are completely gone, before we act to reduce the effects of burning fossil fuels? Believers and skeptics alike, we all probably agree that we hope climate change is not happening. Instead of arguing about the certainty of the evidence, why don't we all join in doing something to reverse the trend? That seems to be the only positive, healthy approach.

Friday, 15 June, 2007  
Blogger JC said...

My impression from the many discussions I've had on global warming is a great deal of the skepticism comes from that sense of "we've been burned by alarmists before". There's also distrust of the left side of politics who are using global warming as a way to impose their own agenda on society (I'm not sure if that's true or not but that's the perception).

Friday, 15 June, 2007  
Blogger al fin said...

Thanks for your comments.

There is little question that human activity does indeed affect climate. That likelihood is not under discussion.

Humans affect climate many different ways. Most of the ways humans affect climate are conveniently ignored by IPCC sanctioned GCMs.

It is the avoidance of complexity, and the premature acceptance of mechanisms of questionable significance that causes many intelligent people to question the IPCC CAGW bandwagon and crusade.

Non-scientists are much like children when it comes to explaining complex phenomenon. They settle on something they believe they understand, give it a label, and consider the issue settled.

That is simple human irrationality in action--one of the main drivers (or forcings) of history.

Climate has many drivers, most of which are ignored by the IPCC. That is a huge problem for its credibility.

Most people learn about the world through the media, and naturally cannot understand issues more complex than what they are told by the media.

Saturday, 16 June, 2007  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

"The sun has been the primary driver of Earth's climate in the past but solar variations are conspicuous in their absence over the last 30 years of long term global warming."

One question is whether there has actually been much 'long term global warming' over the last thirty years. The surface thermometers show significantly more warming than the satellite measurements, but most of the supposed 'global' warming is concentrated in a few localised areas like Siberia (where we have something like half a dozen thermometers in urbanised areas). The rational response is to assume that the data has systematic errors in those areas.

Another major source of warming in the surface record that's missing in the satellite data is the oceans; but the ocean data has been shown to be junk because it assumes correlation between water temperature and air temperature which is not seen in the real world by temperature measurements on buoys.

So we have poor data, we have poorly understood models and poorly understood science, and we're supposed to throw away industrial society and build permanent global socialism on that basis?

Saturday, 16 June, 2007  
Blogger JC said...

Where do you get the information about satellite measurements? Are you refering to temperature trends in the troposphere or stratosphere which are expected to be less than surface temperature trends? Satellite measurements of lower atmosphere temperatures shows temperature rises of between 0.16°C to 0.24°C/decade since 1982. Weather balloon measurements have found from 1975 through 2005, the global mean, near-surface air temperature warmed by approximately 0.23°C/decade. Meanwhile, surface temperatures which put temperature trends at around .2°C/decade. There's nothing to indicate urban heat is influencing surface temperature trends.

When compiling temperature records, NASA GISS are very aware of any possible Urban Heat Island effect and remove any spurious signals by normalizing urban stations to surrounding rural stations. Any stations with dodgy data are dropped. A study by NASA GISS and NOAA examined the last century of temperature data across the USA and found any possible urban warming was small and fell within uncertainty ranges. When attempting to correct urban levels to match surrounding rural levels, they found 42% of cities were getting cooler relative to their surroundings as weather stations are often sited in cool islands (eg - a park within the city). The point is they're aware of UHI and look for it when analysing temperature records.

Saturday, 16 June, 2007  
Blogger al fin said...

Eventually, the research will catch up to the standards that you describe, jc. When that happens, more people will understand the tenuous nature of IPCC conclusions.

Until then, it is enough for well meaning people such as yourself to believe in the integrity of the research and its conclusions. The US $2 billion a year GCM industry can be kept going for some time yet.

All the bluster and false claims serve to maintain the flow of large research grants and institutional support. That is all that is important to bureaucratic functionaries.

Just believe.

Sunday, 17 June, 2007  

Post a Comment

“During times of universal deceit, telling the truth becomes a revolutionary act” _George Orwell

<< Home

Newer Posts Older Posts