September 24, 2009

"Those durned climate models."

"Hey, its sorta like those durned economic models! Alan Greenspan belatedly acknowledged the now brutally apparent shortcomings of our computer-driven economic models.... Quick! Let's ram through some economically devastating (but state empowering) climate legislation before the science catches up with the hysteria!"

58 comments:

Pogo said...

The desire to control you will be supported by whatever ideology or evidence they have at hand, however contrived, fraudulent or outright imaginary it may be.

It's a mistake to think the authoritarianism arose out of concern for the planet, or justice, or fairness, or the love of mankind.

Authoritarianism is their raison d'ĂȘtre, and all else flows from that.

Big Mike said...

A few months back a Who's Who of climatologists took out an advert in the WaPo saying that the mathematical models upon which Global Warming was based had not accurately predicted the actual global climate for a number of years. But still the left wing looney fringe soldiers on with their hysteria.

Pogo said...

The Population Bomb was published in 1968, by the consistently-overwrought Paul Ehrlich.

The predictions were wrong then and are wrong now. Their complete and utter erroneousness is praised as prescience and fact, even when proven false.

Authoritarian leftists are indeed the Oracle of D.U.I.

Crimso said...

From the moment it became clear to me the extent to which these scientists were relying on computer models, I laughed. It's still funny. But not in a good way.

Freder Frederson said...

Did you actually bother to read the National Geographic article?

I didn't think so.

AllenS said...

National Geographic reports:
This year's cooler-than-expected summer means the Arctic probably won't experience ice-free summers until 2030 or 2040, scientists say.

[bold added]

traditionalguy said...

The evil uses of false Scientific reports may be the most important political story of the last 100 years. Many life changing scientific discoveries have happened during the last 100 years in Antibiotics, in Nuclear Fission, and in Airplane/Rocket travel, and in lasers, and in Computers, all of which have set us up to view any new discovery claimed by Science in awe. Yet true science learns only by applying skepticisim and not by claiming religious awe of the Great Consensus of Science. At the same time a decision to impose "movements of Historical Forces" by dedicated men who seek destruction of the old world order is the latest version that old time faith of all Marxists. It is a faith that continually traps men's minds to fight for a new Empire over this planet. President Obama is 100% one of these men, and they want our minds co-opted by awe of FalseScience to accept a clearly false claim that a crisis exists requiring that the Marxists impose a world tax by a world administration under a UN Government Body to make sacifices to appease a God Of Air Quality that hates CO2. There is not 1% of truth in this hoax. Carbon dioxide from use of coal and oil and cattle is a harmless component of the air that so far has either done nothing at all to affect the climate, or has cooled the climate.

Daniel said...

This is some of my favorite logic. I've heard similar things with health care. Here's how it goes (courtesy of Megan McCardle):

The douchy left was correct about the war in a bunch of large protests in 2003. Therefore, the douchy right is correct about health care now, because douchy protests have been shown to be correct.

Similarly, douchy economists created models that turned out to be wrong and ended up destroying (well, severely damaging) global capitalism. Therefore, models are bad, and climate change isn't happening.

It's logic!

chuckR said...

Another thing that galls me is the presentation of the AGW problem to the public. The climate is like a clockwork mechanism. Kindly Uncle Government will just reset the mainspring and things will be as they have always been forever and a day. Meanwhile, from under the receding alpine glaciers, villages overwhelmed by their advance a few centuries ago are now reemerging. What up wit dat? Like dino bones, this must be another of God's little jokes on the credulous.

Jason said...

Actually Daniel, I'm pretty sure you'll find that megan's logic is closer to "The fact that leftist douches were against the war doesn't make the war right. Similarly, the fact that rightist douches are against health care reform doesn't make those reforms correct." Basically, the incivility of your opponents doesn't actually prove them wrong, and it's dangerous to disregard their arguments just because you think they're idiots and jerks.

Big Mike said...

@traditionalguy, you're close to being right, but if your science classes had been properly taught then as soon as you saw the word "consensus" as the justification for the theory behind global warming the alarm bells should have gone off big time.

History is littered with examples of widely-held consensuses that turned out to be wrecked on the rocks of simple, observable facts.

Do you remember the flat earth? No, that one was disproved a half a millenia ago or thereabouts. What about Lamarckian genetic theory or the geo-centric universe? Like the true believers in anthromorphic global climate change today, the Soviet government in the case of the former and the Renaissance Papacy in the case of the latter attempted to use political power to enforce conformance to those theories. Do you remember the scientific consensus that Black people were inherently less intelligent than whites? That one's gone too, and good riddance. There was even once a consensus that African-Americans could never play basketball very well! (Professor Rupp, may I introduce you to Mr. Jordan or Mr. Bryant or Mr. James?)

That was your first clue that you were looking at junk science. In about fifteen or twenty years people will look back and ask what we were thinking to do something as stupid as jeopardizing our entire economy over junk science. I wonder what liberals will answer?

miller said...

I think your favorite logic is "I don't like what you are saying because it offends me; therefore, you must be wrong, irrespective of any facts. And in fact, there are no facts being debated, only ideas, and ideas can't be right or wrong unless they're ground in facts, so the less time we spend on facts and the more time we spend on name-calling the better off we'll all be."

WV: coenting, raising little tree people together

MadisonMan said...

From a climate perspective, it is foolish to take one seasonal observation and throw out the entirety of a decades-long prediction. Re-evaluate? Yes.

The National Geographic article does note that the extent of Sea Ice in the Arctic is at its 3rd smallest on record.

Freder Frederson said...

Another thing that galls me is the presentation of the AGW problem to the public. The climate is like a clockwork mechanism. Kindly Uncle Government will just reset the mainspring and things will be as they have always been forever and a day.

Now you are just making shit up.

Can you point to one article or statement on global warming that remotely reflects this view?

Didn't think so.

Crimso said...

"No, that one was disproved a half a millenia ago or thereabouts."

Disproved, yes. But even the ancient Greeks thought the Earth was a sphere (they were close), and had a fairly accurate estimate of its diameter.

"Therefore, models are bad, and climate change isn't happening."

Hey Freder, this guy's making shit up too. Nobody says the climate doesn't change.

As for models, anybody care to use pharmaceuticals the effects of which on humans have only been determined through computer models? When you reach that level of trust in computer models, then I'll start considering basing major changes in the world economy on them. And if you already have that level of trust in computer models of complicated and chaotic systems, then you're pretty much an idiot.

chuck b. said...

The problem, if it's not actually Eeeevilll as described above, is simply human nature. People have always tried to predict the future. Some people use astrology, other people abuse the linear regression.

Beware of y-variables where no value for x has been observed.

Chris said...

The point of this thread is that it is ultimately futile to try predict the future behavior of complex chaotic systems with models, no matter how intricate and detailed they may be. Economic systems may actually be easier to model since the parameters are more tangible and easier to measure. Climate systems are much more difficult to model because we still don't understand the dynamics of the system and its interrelationship with ocean circulation, solar variability etc. The climate is not a simple clockwork mechanism.

In the 1930's von Hayek called into question our ability to predict or model the behavior of complex economic systems. The collapse of Long Term Capital Management in the 90's and the failure of model based derivatives recently provides ample proof.

Lorenz's "Butterfly effect" likewise called into question our ability to predict the behavior of complex climate systems. The inability of current global circulation models to predict current climate from past data is well documented. The models have also failed to predict short term temperature trends. Hansen's mid 1990's prediction of continued warming is not supported by actual temperature data over the past 10-11 years.

Models are useful research tools to study "what if" theoretical scenarios but should never be used to drive policy. It's amazing how many "smart people" fail to understand their limitations.

John Lynch said...

It's really simple.

We can't predict the future.

Climate models aren't science.

Science is hypothesis, testing, theory, hypothesis...it's about observing the real world.

GIGO still applies, and if we can't predict what the data is going to be in the future (like the sun reducing its output, or a single large volcanic eruption) then there's no way the model will be accurate.

Any time, any time at all, that someone shows you a two axis graph predicting doom for humanity they are bullshitting you. Whether it's overpopulation or peak oil or CO2 or whatever. The world isn't that simple, and we always seem to find a way out.

chuckR said...

Freder, governments do want to tinker with the mainspring and reset climate to some optimum (which year/decade/century?)by eliminating mankind's contribution to atmospheric CO2. Cap and trade is just such a proposal. The problem is, as others have commented, climate is a lot more complex than a clockwork.

Freder Frederson said...

Freder, governments do want to tinker with the mainspring and reset climate to some optimum (which year/decade/century?)by eliminating mankind's contribution to atmospheric CO2.

The claim was made that public has been told that "Kindly Uncle Government will just reset the mainspring and things will be as they have always been forever and a day." This claim is complete and utter bullshit. I have never heard or seen anyone claim that this is anything other than a very complex problem and that there are no simple solutions.

Chris said...

Freder,

I believe Al Gore makes this claim in so many words.

An Edjamikated Redneck said...

Freder, didn't Obama say the reason behind teh Crap and Tax wa sto maintain the Earth's temperature to withing 2 degrees of what it was in 1890 or some such drivel?

WV:urouttor- a device for cleaning out your own drains

rhhardin said...

The climate models are built from equations pulled from the modeller's ass. They're not physics equations.

The actual governing physics equations are too impossible to solve. Navier-Stokes equations.

So the point is that the scientists are not doing science at all. Nor, actually, are their deniers.

The denier line is only that you shouldn't believe these models, not that they have models with an opposite result.

rhhardin said...

The economic models weren't wrong except in that they didn't see an instability, which actually came from regulations subsidizing a particular strategy which wouldn't work if everybody did it; which pretty much everybody was certain to do owing to the regulations.

Chris said...

There is real science in the models but whether economic or climate, they cannot factor all variables or parameters in a complex system. There is so much that science does not yet understand. In short term runs, models may be OK but with further iterations over longer time intervals, they become unstable. Weather forecasts, also model driven, are fairly reliable up to about 3 days, afterwords, they begin to fail due to the influence of minor parameters which become magnified.

The "deniers" are simply questioning the reliance on unstable models to justify climate change policies. It is disturbing to hear politicians say "the science is settled" when it is not. In the end, this damages the credibility of science.

Joe said...

One of the distressing problems with global warming theories is that they largely ignore very good meteorological science that exists. For example, our increased understanding of the Pacific Decadal Oscillation (PDO) combined with our increased understanding of El Nino and La Nina means that while we can't predict WHEN such phenomenon occur, we can describe what will happen when they do occur. (The melting in the arctic is far more related to the PDO and a shift in arctic currents than alleged global warming [which doesn't actually exist--the atmosphere is cooling and has been for several years.])

AlphaLiberal said...

Tell it to the people in Georgia where "Once-in-a-century drought followed by once-in-a-century flooding."

The models have been vindicated by the the warming climate, the receding glaciers, the melting ice caps, the Northwest passage open for commercial shipping, etc, etc, etc.

As long as people like Althouse continue to view global warming as an ideological and not scientific issue, we will continue to have such a dumb debate as we see above.

AlphaLiberal said...

Love this "brilliance"

From the moment it became clear to me the extent to which these scientists were relying on computer models, I laughed .

Apparently, you prefer to run the experiment on the whole planet, wait and see what happens and then make contorted and delusional arguments to oppose people who you oppose on all things.

Or is there another planet you think we can use for an experiment?

This is how what passes for the modern conservative mind "thinks." That is, hardly.

AlphaLiberal said...

Deny this:
The tundra is thawing. Upper latitudes warm more than lower latitudes.

It's been funny to watch the Deniers over the years. They used to deny that global warming was even happening.

Now, their leaders acknowledge that global warming is happening but they say the 6 billion people on Earth and the millions of tons of CO2 we've released into out atmosphere have nothing to do with anything.

AllenS said...

It rained a little Monday, but not a drop today. We're all gonna die!

AlphaLiberal said...

Pacific Gas and Electric quits US Chamber of Commerce over their histrionic climate position:

We strongly disagree with the U.S. Chamber of Commerce’s position on climate change legislation and particularly reject its recent theatrics calling for a ‘Scopes Monkey Trial’ to put the science of climate change on trial. We believe the science is compelling enough to act sooner rather than later, and we support comprehensive federal legislation to meaningfully reduce greenhouse gas emissions and protect customers against unreasonable cost increases.

AlphaLiberal said...

the atmosphere is cooling and has been for several years .

False.

As the Met Office explains, “over the past decade, most years have remained close to the global average temperature reached in 1998. All the years from 2000 to 2008 have been in the top 14 warmest years on record.”

AlphaLiberal said...

It rained a little Monday, but not a drop today. We're all gonna die! .

Sounds like an argument I would have heard back in middle school.

Chris said...

AlphaLiberal,

The events you note above are neither new nor unique to our environment. Climate variability is the norm not the exception. Look at the big picture, not specific events. Atmospheric warming (not surface temperatures), the critical signature of AGW predicted by greenhouse theory and the models has never been identified despite intense efforts to find it. The ocean heat content as measured by satellite and the Argo buoy system has shown no increases. Without this validation, one has to question the theory and models. That's how science works.

AlphaLiberal said...

John Lynch makes a lucid point:

Science is hypothesis, testing, theory, hypothesis...it's about observing the real world. .

Yes it often is. So where do you propose we test the hypothesis of global warming, knowing we have only one globe?

You cite a basic scientific technique. Do you recognize there is more than one scientific technique?

I'd just break down the question for the ideological opponents: what part of global warming do you reject?

A) The Earth has a greenhouse effect due to heat-trapping gases in the atmosphere.

B) An increase in heat-trapping gases in the atmosphere will increase heat trapped in the atmosphere.

C) As more heat/energy is trapped in the atmosphere, it will change weather and climate systems.

D) For example, with warmer atmosphere, more ice will melt.

I suspect most conservatives will deny that the greenhouse effect is real. They probably think it's a liberal plot to control them.

AlphaLiberal said...

Chris:

Climate variability is the norm not the exception. Look at the big picture, not specific events .

This question has been addressed about a thousand times.

Yes, the climate has changed over the eons. No argument there. It also follows GHG concentrations (or episodic external events like massive volcanic eruptions).

Those changes have occurred gradually, over much longer time spans than we are currently looking at.

And, Chris, those Argo buoys had faulty readings:

"The devices—Argo floats—sink to depths of up to 2,000 meters, drift with the currents, and then bob up to the surface, taking the temperature of the water as they ascend. When they reach the surface, they transmit observations to a satellite. According to the float data on his computer screen, almost the entire Atlantic Ocean had gone cold. Unless you believe The Day After Tomorrow, Willis jokes, impossibly cold."

http://earthobservatory.nasa.gov/Features/OceanCooling/page1.php

See also...
http://earthobservatory.nasa.gov/Features/OceanCooling/page3.php

Maps of 2004 through 2006 ocean temperature change at a depth of 500 meters comparing corrected to uncorrected data.

Willis’ map of ocean temperature change from 2004 to 2006 originally showed drops of over 1.5° Celsius in the Atlantic Ocean. The apparent large drop in temperature was due to bad data from the Argo floats and XBTs, and it disappeared when errors in these data sets were corrected.


And now you will have an other denier argument, right?

chuckR said...

I suspect most conservatives will deny that the greenhouse effect is real. Regardless of their political persuasion, intelligent people will not deny that climate fluctuates; they will question the sources driving the fluctuation.

They probably think it's a liberal plot to control them. Well, yes, because it is a plot to extend government control and heavily tax us for the privilege.

AlphaLiberal said...

I say: "I suspect most conservatives will deny that the greenhouse effect is real."

chuckR says: "Regardless of their political persuasion, intelligent people will not deny that climate fluctuates; they will question the sources driving the fluctuation."

Given this non-sequiter of an answer, I don't think you understand what the greenhouse effect actually is.

But you still form an opinion on global warming.

AlphaLiberal said...

Oh, man I pressed that publish button too soon!

They probably think it's a liberal plot to control them. Well, yes, because it is a plot to extend government control and heavily tax us for the privilege. .

Thanks for making my point. You agree that conservatives think the greenhouse effect is a plot to control people.

It's a shame you don't know how dumb that sounds.

AlphaLiberal said...

A primer for those who don't understand what the greenhouse effect is:
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Greenhouse_effect

Hint: It's not the same thing as global warming. If you deny the existence of the greenhouse effect, it's like arguing that gravity doesn't exist. It's a basic scientific concept.

chuckR said...

alfie

The point is not that I don't understand the causes of the climate fluctuation, its that the climatologists don't. Some climatologists acknowledge this - against stiff opposition and ad hom vilification - and others don't.

Secondly, are you suggesting that there will not be any additional taxes or controls on what people can do if Cap'n'Trade were to be enacted?

traditionalguy said...

Does anyone here deny that we just went thru an unusually cold summer and seem to be facing a severe winter starting two months earlier than ever. Just the facts, Mam, just the facts said Joe Friday. So either CO2 warms nothing, or we are short of a lot of new needed CO2 ASAP.

AllenS said...

Look, Alpha, traditionalguy thinks the world is flat!

traditionalguy said...

Alpha Liberal...CO2 is a harmless and of nearly microscopic and de minimus effect on any GREENHOUSE GASSES in the atmosphere. Try denying that one. But water vapor is 80% of the green house effect. So how much Tax does the UN World Government Panel get to take the water vapor out of the atmosphere? That gigantic problem is the clouds formed from the water vapor. That is NOT caused by humans living their lives and burning innocent coal and oil for their benefit. Falsely Accusing humans over CO2 footprints is only a shell game by masters of deception run for the benefit of the Decievers.

Cedarford said...

AGW?? You now have two camps, driven by ideology.
One asserts that man is 100% the problem.
The other asserts that man is entirely blameless and that Jesus gave us unlimited resources and freedom for freedom lovers!! means the right to pollute as we please as we express free market preferences. Free markets which will also, of course, alsways find those unlimited resources and a low price. And the more people the better, because that means more global GNP and bigger markets.

An example might be authorities initially blaming 22 cabin owners on a remote Wisconsin lake for an e coli outbreak, 8 made seriously sick, a big algae bloom, fish die-off. Based on 7 strident, angry "lifestyle environmentalists" saying the cabin owners DID IT.
But on further investigation found that there was no more leaking sewage than in 50 past years...and the real problem was a huge spring flood that "flushed" huge amounts of nutrients from an adjacent swamp into the lake coupled with warmer temps.
Man had a part. But only a small part, and extreme measures - fining the cabin owners thousands and shutting them down..were unjust, unwise, unecessary and would create enormous financial sacrifice with no gaim.
At the same time, the investigation also found 4 cabins had defective septic systems that had to be fixed. That given the lake was wrecked for a few years, the addition of 180 vacation condos at another part of the lake right on the water was a bad idea, and the discovery of a huge manure lagoon from a 3100 numbered dairy herd right on a feeder stream into the lake with old earthen dikes and no runoff basin to divert the waste in high rains or if a dike broke away from the stream (per bad 1930s agricultural permit practices) was an accident waiting to happen.

So too with watching out what 7 billion people are doing. Considering if that 7 billion best be reduced (painfully) down to a sustainable 2-3 billion. Like it or not, we are like the people using that lake still needing to improve our clean water practices, not overload the capacity or ruin the place for everyone with too many people building on it, and the dairy farmer who if not ordered to fix his dangerous lagoon, could single-handedly wreck the lake sometime in the future.

Cedarford said...

"traditionalguy said...
Alpha Liberal...CO2 is a harmless.."

Not in sufficient quantity. Then it becomes a pollutant. Or a direct theat to life. See Lake Nyos, what CO2 did to Venus's environment, even shifts in life in ocean environments due to acidification from increased CO2 levels.

Saying CO2 is harmless is like the Captain of the Titanic assuring people water is harmless to their health in any circumstance.

Original Mike said...

But water vapor is 80% of the green house effect.

But the thing is, all the water vapor in the atmosphere has soaked up the specific frequncies at which it absorbs, so it doesn't matter how much more water vapor you add. There's nothing left to absorb.

Not the case with the frequencies absorbed by CO2.

Chris said...

AlphaLiberal,

You are correct about the cooling bias in some of the ARGO float data. Willis' correction of the data eliminated the apparent cooling but it still shows no warming or increase in heat content as would be expected from AGW. I did not imply, in my earlier post, that the oceans are cooling, rather, there has been no increase in heat to support the idea of AGW. This is also supported by satellite data.

No one will dispute the validity of the greenhouse effect in a closed system. However, in a complex open system such as our atmosphere, much uncertainty remains about the influence of carbon dioxide on heat trapping and how much heating if any occurs.

I believe this discussion has gone beyond the scope of Ann's excellent blog.







http://climatesci.org/2009/05/05/have-changes-in-ocean-heat-falsified-the-global-warming-hypothesis-a-guest-weblog-by-william-dipuccio/

Sofa King said...

B) An increase in heat-trapping gases in the atmosphere will increase heat trapped in the atmosphere.


I would argue that such a direct causal link has not been firmly proven. There may be other causal factors and feedback mechanisms that are not fully accounted for.

traditionalguy said...

C-4...The co2 in the atmosphere is harmless since it is so small a component. So why is an argument ad absurdum relevant to discussing our facts? We are talking about holding heat or dissapating heat, and the co2 levels are irrelevant to that because of their miniscule amounts even if doubled. You are correct that pure co2 is not good for oxygen breathers, like altitudes over 15,000feet. But no one is discussing that level of co2.

MadisonMan said...

Does anyone here deny that we just went thru an unusually cold summer

You do not live in Alaska or in Portland, OR.

Do not conflate your local weather with the global climate. Similarly, do not use one season to extend a forecast into the future.

Sofa King said...

Do not conflate your local weather with the global climate.

Is the weather at the Northwest Passage "local weather" too? Or is that official Global Climate?

Original Mike said...

I loved Madison's summer this year. Wish it was always so cool.

MadisonMan said...

Original Mike: Ditto. The pattern that gives a cold summer will not be welcome in winter, however. At least not by me.

Original Mike said...

Winter? Bring it on! (not, yet, please, however).

I'll remind myself this winter that it was the price for the glorious summer.

jr565 said...

Funny Anne should point to this article.Last year National Geographic wrote this:

"North Pole may be Ice Free for First Time this Summer"!!!!

http://news.nationalgeographic.com/news/2008/06/080620-north-pole.html

They are completely wrong one year out, yet can somehow determine what will happen 100 years from now as if climate moves in a linear fashion.
Same thing with the assertion that GW causes more extreme storms and hurricanes suggested right after Katrina hit. Then the following years and no increase in storm intensity. If they were so certain of their findings they wouldn't get so much of this wrong. And the main issue is, they don't really know what causes climate change nor can they really. It's the same thing as people suggesting they can time the market. You can't do that with any certainty. As they say in of the stock market, "past performance is no indicator of future returns". These global warming soothsayers are suggesting that it is and that they can predict the future. Nope.
In the article (that Anne mentioned)there is the following paragraph:


"I look at it as a one-year reprieve," he said. "I don't expect that to continue."

For one thing, this year's ice is thinner than in the past, and thus more vulnerable to future melt.

"If we get another really warm summer," Meier said, "we'll probably be back to where we were in 2007."



Ok, but isn't this how weather works? Why assume that we would get a warmer summer? Why is the long warming trend that ended in 1998 or so not as much an anomaly as the cold winter that is supposedly stopping the warming? THere is no optimal temperature or "right temperature"but rather constant fluctations.

Crimso said...

"Apparently, you prefer to run the experiment on the whole planet, wait and see what happens"

Thank you for agreeing that, for all practical purposes, the hypothesis "Humans are causing the climate to change through the use of fossil fuels" is untestable. Do you know what that makes it?

Crimso said...

I'll assume you're not a scientist and give you the answer to my question: not science.