Damning critique of global warming "science"

Climate sense

In a barnstorming tour de force, Luboš Motl of The Reference Frame exposes the shoddy practices passed off as science by researchers brainwashed with and biased by the dogma of global warming alarmism.

Luboš discusses the recent claims that stratospheric aerosols have “reduced” the global warming we would otherwise have seen from our emissions of carbon dioxide, which, the dogma states, is the main cause of global warming. He compares a recent paper on the subject with one from 1965, and the results aren’t pretty:

The point I want to make is that these difficult and technical questions were studied rationally in the 1960s; but they are no longer studied rationally today. The contemporary authors such as Solomon et al. have neither the expertise nor the scientific integrity to figure out where the aerosols are coming from and what’s happening with them. Consequently, they can’t make any justifiable predictions about the future evolution of the concentrations of these aerosols, either.

Instead of analyzing hundreds of numbers describing various elements etc. in the aerosol samples – which is what the 1965 paper is made out of – Solomon et al. are only interested in one, scientifically unimportant number – the average forcing that aerosols may be adding or subtracting from the energy fluxes that determine the global mean temperature.

Needless to say, they usually want to show that this number is low because aerosols shouldn’t threaten the “climate monopoly” that has been assigned to the carbon dioxide by all these a**holes. On the other hand, when they’re running into real trouble – e.g. when they predict a huge warming for a decade but they get a cooling – they want the aerosols to “explain” the discrepancy. They beg for a while, hoping that the aerosols will be erased from the science again in the future.

But if one only works with one number, such as the change of forcing caused by the stratospheric aerosols, it’s easy to adjust the arguments so that you get the number you wanted to get in the first place. It’s not robust science. To do robust science, one has to work with lots of numbers – such as the concentrations of the elements in various samples etc. in the 1965 paper. A theory can’t be scientific if it just “explains” one number – such as the global warming rate – by one parameter (and usually many more). A scientific theory must explain and/or predict many more numbers than the number of parameters. Using words of Feynman,

When you have put a lot of ideas together to make an elaborate theory, you want to make sure, when explaining what it fits, that those things it fits are not just the things that gave you the idea for the theory; but that the finished theory makes something else come out right, in addition.

The alarmists are violating this rule all the time. The main problem is that they’re not really interested in explaining Nature and the immense wealth of interesting patterns and unexplained numbers. They’re interested in making one ideologically chosen quantity, the global warming rate, high and seemingly believable – so that it may be worshiped by the brainwashed society. But that’s not science.

Read it here.

Shock: Burning coal now causes global cooling

Aerosol clever

On the one hand, the warmists insist we stop burning coal because the evil CO2 emissions were frying the planet. But now, because the planet isn’t warming as their clunky models think it should, they’re on the lookout for excuses, and this is a good one.

Burning coal, no less, is also cooling the planet allegedly, by greater emission of sulphur into the atmosphere, cancelling out the warming from CO2 we would otherwise have seen:

CHINA’S soaring coal consumption in the last decade held back global warming as sulphur emissions served as a coolant, according to a study that takes head-on a key argument of climate sceptics. [Notice how AFP is more interested in gleefully scoring points over climate sceptics than actually getting to the truth; no surprise there – Ed]

While 2005 and 2010 are tied as the hottest years on record, sceptics have charged that an absence of a steady rise from 1998 to 2008 disproves the view that people are heating up the planet through greenhouse gas emissions.

Robert Kaufmann, a professor at Boston University, said he was motivated to conduct the study after a sceptic confronted him at a public forum, telling him he had seen on Fox News that temperatures had not risen over the decade.

“Nothing that I had read that other people have done gave me a quick answer to explain that seeming contradiction, because I knew that carbon dioxide concentrations have risen,” Kaufmann said.

The US-Finnish study, published in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, named a culprit – coal.

The burning of coal jumped in the past decade, particularly in China, whose economy has grown at breakneck pace. Coal emits sulphur, which stops the Sun’s rays from reaching the Earth.

Warming hysteric Joe Romm goes into full “Yah boo sucks” mode, thinking this will shut up the filthy deniers once and for good (er, wrong, by the way):

“There has been no hiatus in global warming,” Romm wrote on his blog, saying that the years 1998 and 2008 were “the favourite cherry-picked endpoints of the deniers” due to outside factors such as El Nino and La Nina. (source)

Dr David Whitehouse restores a bit of sanity on WUWT:

The researchers tweak an out-of-date climate computer model and cherry-pick the outcome to get their desired result. They do not use the latest data on the sun’s influence on the Earth, rendering their results of academic interest only.

They blame China’s increasing coal consumption that they say is adding particles into the atmosphere that reflect sunlight and therefore cool the planet. The effect of aerosols and their interplay with other agents of combustion is a major uncertainty in climate models. Moreover, despite China’s coal burning, data indicate that in the past decade the amount of aerosols in the atmosphere has not increased. [I have emailed Dr Whitehouse for sources of that data – Ed]

Despite what the authors of this paper state after their tinkering with an out of date climate computer model, there is as yet no convincing explanation for the global temperature standstill of the past decade.

Either man-made and natural climatic effects have conspired to completely offset the warming that should have occurred due to greenhouse gasses in the past decade, or our estimation of the ‘climate sensitivity’ to greenhouse gasses is too large.

This is not an extreme or ‘sceptic’ position but represents part of the diversity of scientific opinion presented to the IPCC that is seldom reported. (source where you can also download the paper)

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