jeffrey smith

Another Perspective on the CRU Emails and "Climate Change"

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I follow some medievalist blogs. Medievalist blogs link to "climate change" because of the so-called Medieval Warm Period (MWP), and at least one blogger has posted on the connection between the MWP and climate change as reflected in the CRU emails, with the help of a scientific colleague.

http://unlocked-wordhoard.blogspot.com/2009/12/update-on-cru-scandal-and-medieval-warm.html

The article by Dr. Zorita seems to have been taken down, but following the link brings up this blog, which despite the German title is written in English http://coast.gkss.de/staff/zorita/ including a post which transcribes an interview by a scientist who considers himself neither an advocate nor a skeptic of climate change. Notice how he criticizes the politicization of science. (Look for the posts dated January 7, 2009--it doesn't seem to allow me to link directly to the post itself.)

The MWP is important to the discussion. For those not familiar with the MWP:

1) Europe and surrounding areas were definitely warmer than they are now during the early and middle Middle Ages; a coolilng off period, often called the Little Ice Age, followed through the eighteenth century in which the same areas were colder than they are now.

Greenland was settled by the Norse during the MWP; the colony died out as the Little Ice Age took hold, and Greenland became too cold to allow successful agriculture.

2) It has not yet been established if this warm period applied to the entire planet, or was relatively local, confined to Europe and the North Atlantic.

3) Given the time period, it should be obvious that human activity had little or nothing to do with the changes in climate.

4) Despite the warmer weather, humans flourished and the seas did not flood entire countrysides. In fact, the warm weather may have encouraged human flourishing.

In short, the MWP tends to prove that the paranoia over climate change is unfounded, which is why the advocates of climate change try to ignore or limit discussion of the MWP.

One further, more general comment: if my understanding is correct, it is epistemically impossible to say that climate change is linked to human activity. This is because scientists are unable to provide anything close to an accurate explanation of what causes the earth's climate to fluctuate, and why. It is unable to say what causes the climate to warm up, and how much. Therefore as a matter of scientific method it is impossible to say if human activity is causing the climate to change.

Jeffrey S.

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One further, more general comment: if my understanding is correct, it is epistemically impossible to say that climate change is linked to human activity. This is because scientists are unable to provide anything close to an accurate explanation of what causes the earth's climate to fluctuate, and why. It is unable to say what causes the climate to warm up, and how much. Therefore as a matter of scientific method it is impossible to say if human activity is causing the climate to change.

Jeffrey S.

I have been making the same point for the last five years. Even granting that there has been a recent warming epoch (based on average ocean temperature and average atmosphere temperature) it has NOT been established that the warming is mostly driven by human activity, particularly CO2 emission.

There is an epistemic problem here. First of all there is no climate science. We have many climate models and all of them are conditioned by the data collected. There is no underlying science of either climate or weather that his withstood experimental trial of a rigor and validity that approaches that, say, of quantum electrodynamics (which predict accurately to twelve decimal places). Currently so-called climate science is where chemistry was prior to the theories of Dalton, Priestly and Lavoissierre, or certainly pre-Mendele'ev. And there is a good reason for it. Weather and Climate are driven by systems which have chaotic dynamics. These systems are highly non-linear which means that they are extremely sensitive to initial or boundary conditions. The differential equations describing these systems have no closed solution and the numerical approximations to solutions are extremely dependent on initial values. These was discovered by the meteorologist Ed Lorenz back in 1963 when he discovered that a system of deterministic non-linear differential equations he derived to describe atmospheric convection yielded extremely different solutions when provided with slightly different initial conditions. It was this discovery by Ed Lorenz that initiated the current epoch of chaotic dynamic system studies. Lorenz coined the phrase "butterfly effect" to convey just how sensitive the systems are to initial conditions.

Here is the bottom line: the mathematics of chaotic dynamic system is very difficult to handle. The math is virtually intractable. It is very difficult to establish that numerical algorithms will converge and even if they do converge, that they will converge to the solutions of the differential equations from which they are derived.

In addition to all this there are other factors which may drive both climate and weather. Among these are orbital variations of the planet Earth, wobble of the axis of rotation of the planet, variations in solar output and most important the effect of tertiary cosmic ray emission from the upper atmosphere on the formation of clouds. None of these have anything to do with human activity and furthermore they cannot be controlled by any human agency at the current level of technology. We are not able to build a parasol around the entire planet to moderate solar input nor can be do a thing about cosmic rays. The planet is bombarded constantly by high energy particles emitted from billyuns and billyuns of stuhrs (as Carl Sagan would say). The general level of cosmic radiation varies with a period of millions of years as our solar system moves from arm of our spiral galaxy (the Milky Way) to another spiral arm.

The Chicken Little people have been utterly mendacious in the way they have dismissed or ignored the natural factors influencing the climate and have insisted with insufficient justification that human activity is the main driver of climate and weather. In addition to being "unscientific" they movers and shakers in the Chicken Little Movement have viciously discredited and slandered those who dissent from their position. In short, agreement to the proposition that human activity is the cause of damaging climate change has become a shibboleth. They who do not recite the catechism of AGW are branded as heretics. They are routinely accused of being in the pay of the Evil Mega Corporations. Dr. Lindzen of MIT has been particularly singled out in this regard. What is going on in the climate science community, makes the machinations of Ayn Rand's inner circle in dealing with dissent look positively benign by comparison *.

Ba'al Chatzaf

* based on Ann Heller's recently published biography of Ayn Rand.

Edited by BaalChatzaf

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One further, more general comment: if my understanding is correct, it is epistemically impossible to say that climate change is linked to human activity. This is because scientists are unable to provide anything close to an accurate explanation of what causes the earth's climate to fluctuate, and why. It is unable to say what causes the climate to warm up, and how much. Therefore as a matter of scientific method it is impossible to say if human activity is causing the climate to change.

Jeffrey S.

I have been making the same point for the last five years. Even granting that there has been a recent warming epoch (based on average ocean temperature and average atmosphere temperature) it has NOT been established that the warming is mostly driven by human activity, particularly CO2 emission.

There is an epistemic problem here. First of all there is no climate science. We have many climate models and all of them are conditioned by the data collected. There is no underlying science of either climate or weather that his withstood experimental trial of a rigor and validity that approaches that, say, of quantum electrodynamics (which predict accurately to twelve decimal places). Currently so-called climate science is where chemistry was prior to the theories of Dalton, Priestly and Lavoissierre, or certainly pre-Mendele'ev. And there is a good reason for it. Weather and Climate are driven by systems which have chaotic dynamics. These systems are highly non-linear which means that they are extremely sensitive to initial or boundary conditions. The differential equations describing these systems have no closed solution and the numerical approximations to solutions are extremely dependent on initial values. These was discovered by the meteorologist Ed Lorenz back in 1963 when he discovered that a system of deterministic non-linear differential equations he derived to describe atmospheric convection yielded extremely different solutions when provided with slightly different initial conditions. It was this discovery by Ed Lorenz that initiated the current epoch of chaotic dynamic system studies. Lorenz coined the phrase "butterfly effect" to convey just how sensitive the systems are to initial conditions.

Here is the bottom line: the mathematics of chaotic dynamic system is very difficult to handle. The math is virtually intractable. It is very difficult to establish that numerical algorithms will converge and even if they do converge, that they will converge to the solutions of the differential equations from which they are derived.

In addition to all this there are other factors which may drive both climate and weather. Among these are orbital variations of the planet Earth, wobble of the axis of rotation of the planet, variations in solar output and most important the effect of tertiary cosmic ray emission from the upper atmosphere on the formation of clouds. None of these have anything to do with human activity and furthermore they cannot be controlled by any human agency at the current level of technology. We are not able to build a parasol around the entire planet to moderate solar input nor can be do a thing about cosmic rays. The planet is bombarded constantly by high energy particles emitted from billyuns and billyuns of stuhrs (as Carl Sagan would say). The general level of cosmic radiation varies with a period of millions of years as our solar system moves from arm of our spiral galaxy (the Milky Way) to another spiral arm.

The Chicken Little people have been utterly mendacious in the way they have dismissed or ignored the natural factors influencing the climate and have insisted with insufficient justification that human activity is the main driver of climate and weather. In addition to being "unscientific" they movers and shakers in the Chicken Little Movement have viciously discredited and slandered those who dissent from their position. In short, agreement to the proposition that human activity is the cause of damaging climate change has become a shibboleth. They who do not recite the catechism of AGW are branded as heretics. They are routinely accused of being in the pay of the Evil Mega Corporations. Dr. Lindzen of MIT has been particularly singled out in this regard. What is going on in the climate science community, makes the machinations of Ayn Rand's inner circle in dealing with dissent look positively benign by comparison *.

Ba'al Chatzaf

* based on Ann Heller's recently published biography of Ayn Rand.

Bob -

Now, that one makes me smile! Good post.

Bill P

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Damn near perfect statement!

"The Chicken Little people have been utterly mendacious in the way they have dismissed or ignored the natural factors influencing the climate and have insisted with insufficient justification that human activity is the main driver of climate and weather. In addition to being "unscientific" they movers and shakers in the Chicken Little Movement have viciously discredited and slandered those who dissent from their position. In short, agreement to the proposition that human activity is the cause of damaging climate change has become a shibboleth. They who do not recite the catechism of AGW are branded as heretics. They are routinely accused of being in the pay of the Evil Mega Corporations. Dr. Lindzen of MIT has been particularly singled out in this regard. What is going on in the climate science community, makes the machinations of Ayn Rand's inner circle in dealing with dissent look positively benign by comparison *."

Bravo!

Adam

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Here is the bottom line: the mathematics of chaotic dynamic system is very difficult to handle. The math is virtually intractable. It is very difficult to establish that numerical algorithms will converge and even if they do converge, that they will converge to the solutions of the differential equations from which they are derived.

Is this about a matrix system of partial differential equations using the sort of methods described here?

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One further, more general comment: if my understanding is correct, it is epistemically impossible to say that climate change is linked to human activity. This is because scientists are unable to provide anything close to an accurate explanation of what causes the earth's climate to fluctuate, and why. It is unable to say what causes the climate to warm up, and how much. Therefore as a matter of scientific method it is impossible to say if human activity is causing the climate to change.

Jeffrey S.

It is also impossible to say that it isn't contributing to climate change. This field is in it's infancy.

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I agree with Bob K that the science of climate has simply not advanced enough to support the freight that's being piled on it.

Robert Campbell

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It is also impossible to say that it isn't contributing to climate change. This field is in it's infancy.

The burden of proof on on the one who asserts the positive. Let those who claim human activity is the chief driver of unbenificial climate change make the case. So far this has not happened. Climate science has not got the chops for the reasons I have stated.

Ba'al Chatzaf

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It is also impossible to say that it isn't contributing to climate change. This field is in it's infancy.

The burden of proof on on the one who asserts the positive. Let those who claim human activity is the chief driver of unbenificial climate change make the case. So far this has not happened. Climate science has not got the chops for the reasons I have stated.

Ba'al Chatzaf

I agree they haven't made their case yet, but I think it would be foolish to imagine that man is not having some effect on the climate and to investigate further. The information may come in handy when we try to populate the moon and Mars. :)

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I agree they haven't made their case yet, but I think it would be foolish to imagine that man is not having some effect on the climate and to investigate further. The information may come in handy when we try to populate the moon and Mars. :)

Enough of a case the we should live like savages in squalor? The Chicken Little Squad is asking us to give up our living standards, and for what? Their crack brain notions?

Riddle: Why is a global warming freak like a watermelon? Answer: Green on the outside, Red on the inside.

Ba'al Chatzaf

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I noticed one specific paragraph in a CRU email that had me seething :-

"NO IDEA why, so saying they affect particular 0.5 degree cells is harder than it should be. So we'll gloss over that entirely ;0 "

Science is hard ? Oh so sorry. Yeah, ignore the facts you don't like.

But far worse is that nasty, collaborative, cynical, winking 'smiley' at the end.

It gives me an idea - what about the AGW supporters adopting it [ ;0 ] as their symbol?

I can just see the sea of placards outside the U.N.-- ;) ;0 ;0 .....

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I agree they haven't made their case yet, but I think it would be foolish to imagine that man is not having some effect on the climate and to investigate further. The information may come in handy when we try to populate the moon and Mars. :)

Enough of a case the we should live like savages in squalor? The Chicken Little Squad is asking us to give up our living standards, and for what? Their crack brain notions?

Riddle: Why is a global warming freak like a watermelon? Answer: Green on the outside, Red on the inside.

Ba'al Chatzaf

Bob -

At times I strongly disagree with you, but I'm always glad you're here on OL.

Bill P

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Here's an old talk by Dixie Lee Ray, I remember showing another one by her to the old campus club, it was called Greenhouse Blues and other Myths and was delivered at Los Alamos. This includes the global warming part, there's more to it available on YouTube.

<object width="425" height="344"><param name="movie" value="http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ZuQVX3fqTbo&hl=en_US&fs=1&"></param><param'>http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ZuQVX3fqTbo&hl=en_US&fs=1&"></param><param name="allowFullScreen" value="true"></param><param name="allowscriptaccess" value="always"></param><embed src="http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ZuQVX3fqTbo&hl=en_US&fs=1&" type="application/x-shockwave-flash" allowscriptaccess="always" allowfullscreen="true" width="425" height="344"></embed></object>

One thing to bear in mind is that environmentalists now do victory laps over ozone, when there never was a problem, they passed legislation, and now there's...still no problem! I think AGW could have a similar fate. The controls they pass won't go away, they won't have to invest as much in propaganda to keep them going forward, and the liberty they take away, well who'll miss that?

Edited by Ninth Doctor

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