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Author Topic: Is Climatology an exact Science?  (Read 6209 times)

Offline Joe L. Ogan

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Is Climatology an exact Science?
« on: 23/02/2010 00:11:02 »
Is Climatology an exact Science?  It appears to me that they have made some observations about Global Warming that are wrong.  Have they ever admitted that their conclusion about Global Warming is Wrong?  Thanks for comments.  Joe L. Ogan
« Last Edit: 23/02/2010 00:28:05 by Joe L. Ogan »


 

Offline JP

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Re: Is Climatology an exact Science?
« Reply #1 on: 23/02/2010 00:19:19 »
Why would cosmologists be making predictions about global warming?  Their field of study is the evolution of the universe.
« Last Edit: 23/02/2010 00:24:53 by JP »
 

Offline Joe L. Ogan

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Is Climatology an exact Science?
« Reply #2 on: 23/02/2010 00:29:55 »
Sorry, I meant Climatology.  I have changed it in my initial question.  Thanks for comments.  Joe L. Ogan
 

Offline JP

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Is Climatology an exact Science?
« Reply #3 on: 23/02/2010 03:05:54 »
It's a hard science in that it makes predictions via models that are testable or can be checked by observation.  The earth is a very complex system, though, so it's not surprising that these models are much harder to test than other fields.  Can you give specifics on what you claim climatology got wrong?

By the way, since this is about climatology, do you mind if I move it to the environment part of the forum?
 

Offline Joe L. Ogan

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Is Climatology an exact Science?
« Reply #4 on: 23/02/2010 13:30:24 »
It is OK to move it.  As far as stating what has been wrong, there have been public statements that information on Global Warming has been erroneous.  Thanks for comments.  Joe L. Ogan
 

Offline JP

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Is Climatology an exact Science?
« Reply #5 on: 23/02/2010 13:55:56 »
There can be public statements on anything.  Public statements on something aren't evidence for it being right or wrong, one way or the other.

However, part of the problem is that people expect "exact science" as you stated in the first post.  No science is exact, it's all about coming up with the best models to fit the data and to predict future results.  Science is constantly changing its models as new data becomes available.  Climate science does just that, but if you expect it (or any other science) to be 100% accurate all the time, you'll be disappointed.
 

Offline frethack

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Is Climatology an exact Science?
« Reply #6 on: 23/02/2010 16:24:45 »
As far as stating what has been wrong, there have been public statements that information on Global Warming has been erroneous.

By this, I am assuming you mean the recent retractions of future Himalayan glacial melt estimates, Dutch % of land under sea level estimates, and the paper from Nature Geoscience concerning future sea level rise. 

The glacial estimates were taken from a news/pop-science article and should have never made it into the IPCC report.  Keep in mind that the IPCC is a quasi-political body, and not exactly the pinnacle of scientific standards.  The land under sea level issue was unclear, and included land prone to river flooding.  This certainly should have been clearer in the report, but again, IPCC standards are somewhat lax concerning scientific data.  As for the sea level estimates in Nature Geosciences, the author retracted the paper once the flaw was discovered, and this is part of the normal scientific process.  Any good scientist worth his salt would have done the same.

This doesnt mean that climate science as a whole is flawed.  Its a very young science and especially prone to mistakes and corrections.  As for the climate models, these will be especially flawed and should be consulted with caution until more of the major forcing/feedback mechanisms are better understood.  As it stands now, some important processes such as cloud formation/nucleation and solar variability are not well considered in models because we have only the most rudimentary understanding of how these affect the climate system.  The models and the science as a whole will evolve over time (just as any other science) so be patient  ;D   
 

Offline Joe L. Ogan

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Is Climatology an exact Science?
« Reply #7 on: 23/02/2010 16:45:17 »
Thanks.  That does a lot to restore my faith in the science.  Thanks for comments.  Joe L. Ogan
 

Offline PhysBang

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Is Climatology an exact Science?
« Reply #8 on: 23/02/2010 17:21:26 »
The glacial estimates were taken from a news/pop-science article and should have never made it into the IPCC report.  Keep in mind that the IPCC is a quasi-political body, and not exactly the pinnacle of scientific standards.  The land under sea level issue was unclear, and included land prone to river flooding.  This certainly should have been clearer in the report, but again, IPCC standards are somewhat lax concerning scientific data.  As for the sea level estimates in Nature Geosciences, the author retracted the paper once the flaw was discovered, and this is part of the normal scientific process.  Any good scientist worth his salt would have done the same. 
It is important to note that the IPCC does have high scientific standards, but that particular erroneous statements regarding glaciers did not come in the section of the IPCC reporting the scientific findings but in the section discussing possible responses to the findings. Even there, requests were made before publication to remove this particular statement before publication, but editorial mistakes seem to have left the claims in.

If one wants to find the IPCC scientific claims, one has to look in the section where they are reporting the scientific claims.
 

Offline frethack

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« Reply #9 on: 23/02/2010 17:46:52 »
If one wants to find the IPCC scientific claims, one has to look in the section where they are reporting the scientific claims.

The majority of the scientific claims by the IPCC are from independent research outside of the IPCC, and not by the body itself.  Their main purpose is to compile data and generate understandable reports for policy makers, who generally read the summaries and not the scientific portion.  Otherwise, every politician would also have to be a climate scientist, which is of course unreasonable.  This makes the "Summary for Policymakers" an especially important section, as this is what many countries base their decisions on.  If I were an Indian diplomat reading that my country would lose glacial meltwater completely by 2035, made policy concerning such, and then found this to be erroneous, I would be pretty perturbed.  Luckily the Indians have not been so foolish.  Trust, but verify.

In my own research, an IPCC report would not be a sufficient resource.  Much like Wikipedia, its a good starting point, but definitely requires a skeptical eye.   
 

Offline yor_on

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Is Climatology an exact Science?
« Reply #10 on: 07/03/2010 20:07:32 »
"Keep in mind that the IPCC is a quasi-political body, and not exactly the pinnacle of scientific standards.  The land under sea level issue was unclear, and included land prone to river flooding.  This certainly should have been clearer in the report, but again, IPCC standards are somewhat lax concerning scientific data."

Where do you get those ideas from?
Cite your sources please..
 

Offline frethack

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Is Climatology an exact Science?
« Reply #11 on: 08/03/2010 17:36:06 »
"Keep in mind that the IPCC is a quasi-political body, and not exactly the pinnacle of scientific standards.  The land under sea level issue was unclear, and included land prone to river flooding.  This certainly should have been clearer in the report, but again, IPCC standards are somewhat lax concerning scientific data."

Where do you get those ideas from?
Cite your sources please..

Here are a few news articles.

http://www.reuters.com/article/idUSTRE61C1V420100213
http://economictimes.indiatimes.com/news/politics/nation/IPCC-doubles-Dutch-area-below-sea-level/articleshow/5578224.cms
http://www.guardian.co.uk/environment/2010/feb/14/benny-peiser-houghton-ipcc-apology
http://www.dutchnews.nl/news/archives/2010/02/anger_over_second_climate_pane.php
 

Offline yor_on

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Is Climatology an exact Science?
« Reply #12 on: 08/03/2010 19:34:59 »
http://www.reuters.com/article/idUSTRE61C1V420100213
http://economictimes.indiatimes.com/news/politics/nation/IPCC-doubles-Dutch-area-below-sea-level/articleshow/5578224.cms
http://www.guardian.co.uk/environment/2010/feb/14/benny-peiser-houghton-ipcc-apology
http://www.dutchnews.nl/news/archives/2010/02/anger_over_second_climate_pane.php
=

And all of them discussing the same thing?
I was expecting more than that Frethack?

"U.N. climate panel admits Dutch sea level flaw." That was the Dutch government delivering the wrong information... IPCC collects data, it does not 'police' them. Maybe it should? But what would sceptics say then :) IPCC the 'world-police'? Naah, not a good idea..

"The Netherlands Environmental Assessment Agency, the original source of the incorrect data, said on February 5 that just 26 percent of the country is below sea level and 29 percent susceptible to river flooding."

Reminds me of the "hype" about why IPCC thought they could deliver a climate prognosis based on so few reports from the Canadian Weather Stations Frethack :) NOAA Weather Station Scandal.

There was no 'weather scandal' there either. Just sloppy procedures and resources from the governments involved in delivering the data.
==
 

Offline frethack

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« Reply #13 on: 08/03/2010 21:15:18 »
And all of them discussing the same thing?
I was expecting more than that Frethack?

You asked about dutch sea levels in particular when asking for news sources.  I provided four.

There was no 'weather scandal' there either. Just sloppy procedures and resources from the governments involved in delivering the data.
==

I am not accusing the IPCC of any malfeasance.  What I am stating is that their methods of review for the Summary for Policymakers have become lax, and this needs to be addressed.
 

Offline yor_on

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« Reply #14 on: 09/03/2010 16:54:44 »
If you by that mean that they should stop trusting the governments competency/interst in wanting to deliver correct and unbiased data :)

Hmm :)

Ah, well?
Yes.

*Whistles as he walks away, hands innocently placed in pockets, looking at clouds*
 

Offline frethack

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« Reply #15 on: 09/03/2010 20:14:31 »
*IF* that were the only item up for debate, then I would have thought nothing more of it.  Unfortunately it wasnt.  There was the Himalayan glacier problem as well...which came from a popular science article.  These would never have passed a true peer review. 

And yes, I *AM* saying that the IPCC should check and double check their estimates, even if they come from another government body.

*Walks away, shaking head sadly*
 

Offline yor_on

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« Reply #16 on: 09/03/2010 22:33:06 »
And from where will they get those funds?
Take a look at my link about Canada above.

And there are other examples of similar behavior from other 'sources' of data.

---Quote-

Researchers are barred from publicly releasing meteorological data from many countries owing to contractual restrictions. Moreover, in countries such as Germany, France and the United Kingdom, the national meteorological services will provide data sets only when researchers specifically request them, and only after a significant delay. The lack of standard formats can also make it hard to compare and integrate data from different sources. Every aspect of this situation needs to change: if the current episode does not spur meteorological services to improve researchers' ease of access, governments should force them to do so.

---End of quote--

But I agree, in a perfect world all sources should be perfect too.

But as long as research is politically driven :)
And some 'truths' might be politically uncomfortable?



 

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Is Climatology an exact Science?
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