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Author Topic: Is this article saying climate change is a lie legitimate?  (Read 3583 times)

Offline thedoc

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Aaron Hurwitz  asked the Naked Scientists:
   
Is this just nonsense:
http://www.express.co.uk/news/nature/526191/Climate-change-is-a-lie-global-warming-not-real-claims-weather-channel-founder


   

What do you think?
« Last Edit: 03/12/2014 11:30:01 by _system »


 

Offline chiralSPO

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The difficulty associated with making any credible statements about climate is having enough data, and treating it correctly. Climate is, by definition, a long-term global trend. 50 years is not long term, and only very recently have we been able to gather representative data from around the globe and analyze it in "real time." Because of this lack of data (compared to how much data is required for legitimate conclusions) anyone can make any claim they want about the climate and find enormous amounts of data that support that claim. It is also extremely difficult to model such complex systems accurately (the study of Chaos came out of weather simulations originally). There are many positive and negative feedback loops involved, so no prediction is straightforward.

That said, the power of CO2 as a greenhouse gas has been recognized for over a century, and that has not changed. It is safe to say that substantial changes in the concentration of CO2 in the atmosphere will have substantial ramifications for the global climate--no matter how complex the equilibrium is, when the concentration of CO2 is changed by over 200%, something else will have to change. It has been shown conclusively that humans are responsible for almost all of the increase in atmospheric CO2 concentrations over the last two hundred years, so the denying our role in whatever changes there are/will be is foolish.
 

Offline CliffordK

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Quote from: From Article
In an open letter attacking the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change, he wrote: "The ocean is not rising significantly.

"The polar ice is increasing, not melting away. Polar Bears are increasing in number.

"Heat waves have actually diminished, not increased. There is not an uptick in the number or strength of storms (in fact storms are diminishing).

"I have studied this topic seriously for years. It has become a political and environment agenda item, but the science is not valid."

Perhaps this is one of the biggest criticisms of the entire Global Warming debate. 
None of my thermometers are accurate to C or 1F, and I won't notice the difference between it being 60F or 61F outside. 

So, one asks what does all the global warming mean to me?

And scientists and politicians alike come up with all sorts of predictions, most on very little data.  There is always the temptation to blame WEATHER on global warming.  After all, if we are experiencing "climate change", it must in fact be affecting the weather.  And, it may well be, but without much more and much longer data sets, the influence on the weather would be indistinguishable from once a decade, once a century, or once a millennium events.

We know that hot weather is dry, and that droughts are often associated with hot, dry weather.  Thus, it would imply that global warming will bring droughts.  Right?  Well, not exactly.  Droughts are caused by things like changes in the jet streams, or deep ocean currents.  By warming the globe, rather than a region, the global rainfall may in fact increase.  However, the local distribution may change in ways that are difficult to predict.

I do believe the data that the world has warmed slightly over the last century, and one should be prudent with one's fossil fuel usage.  However, there are far too many claims with too little data to back them up.
 

Offline alancalverd

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Climate has always changed and always will, due to the properties of the hydrogen bond. The natural cycles of heating and cooling determined by the balance between cloud, water vapor, liquid water and ice, are disturbed by biological and tectonic activity, so the entire planet is inherently a bounded chaotic oscillator.

"Climate data" is at best sparse and very recent. Until the 20th century nobody really cared about accurate air temperature measurement: it's only important for aviation, and its importance grew rapidly until the 1950's, so we have a brief period during which there are very accurate records for well-drained grass fields in North America and wherever war has demanded the establishment of an airfield. Since then, the number of active airfields has decreased and most of them are now concrete and surrounded by urban development, so the quantity and relevance of direct measurement has decreased. 

Until the introduction of satellite monitoring, we had almost no data on 75% of the planet's surface that is covered by the oceans. and very little data from the unpopulated 80% of the land. There are no measurements from the Arctic or Antarctic before about 1890, and none worth believing before 1950.

Global warming is always stated in terms of the mean surface temperature of the planet, but there doesn't seem to be a consistent definition of that parameter, nor any agreement as to how it is measured.   

Therefore beyond the obvious statement that climate is unstable, there is simply not enough actual (as distinct from proxy or adjusted) data to build or test a credible predictive model. There are however powerful vested interests in claiming that various human activities have a profound effect on climate, or not. In the absence of objective truth, lies are bound to propagate. 
« Last Edit: 03/12/2014 23:40:07 by alancalverd »
 

Offline CliffordK

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Accurate thermometers are even relatively new, so anything beyond a couple hundred years ago must be done with proxy measurements. 

There are a lot of weather stations, but with the limitations mentioned by Alan, as well as no specific "grid", or necessarily attempts to record different environments such as mountain tops.  And, lots of holes in the data sets, moved weather stations, and other data corruptions.

Shipping also has taken long records of temperatures at wherever the ships were located, but obviously not at fixed locations, and possibly heavily weighted towards a few shipping routes without regular global coverage. 

There has been a lot of data smoothing.  For example, it is believed that temperature measurements based on raising buckets of water to the deck of a ship may have been biased towards the ambient temperature, but I didn't see notes whether the algorithm used actually took into account both a positive and negative temperature differential between the sea water and the ambient temperature, as well as the magnitude of the difference.

I think there is enough data to indicate some warming, but it is suspicious that with the latest generation of recording equipment over the last 17 years, the change in temperatures has significantly flattened.  It is also an indication that estimates based on the highest temperature growth period in the last century over-estimated the future growth.

 

Offline yor_on

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Well, if you think that looking good in the telly, earning a lot of dough, makes you better than 97% percent of those not visible in that telly, instead spending years, decades, learning about the physics of climate. Then sure, he presumably knows what he's talking about :) At least when it comes to the telly, and those thinking that that must be the truth.
« Last Edit: 01/04/2015 21:45:45 by yor_on »
 

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