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Author Topic: If You Don't Like Climate Change, Don't Look At It
Wayward Son
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quote:
And what happens if measures don't get implemented and yet no warming trend occrus? If past history is any indication - on this theory - they'll rewrite it to explain what is suppressing the increase and keep asserting that it's happening.
But that is how science works. If you make a prediction, and it doesn't come true, you go back and try to figure out what was wrong with your theory and fix it. What's the alternative?

Since we all know that the increased CO2 in the atmosphere is trapping more heat, then you really need to know what is suppressing it. Don't you want to know? [Wink]

quote:
By the way one possibility is to actaully do corrective measures (not just changes to rate), like a process I read about to actively pull carbon out of the atmosphere. It seems that such ideas are harshly criticized since they can be implemented without forcing massive "beneficial" changes on the way we do business, when if this was just about global warming you would think they'd be lauded.
There is actually quite a bit of discussion about geoengineering in the academic fields. But, from what I've heard, they are not criticized because they wouldn't force "beneficial" changes in the way we do business. (Who told you that, anyway? [Roll Eyes] )

There are several problems with geoengineering. It will be costly. Thermodynamically, it takes energy to get CO2 out of the atmosphere--how will that energy be produced? (Hopefully not by burning fossil fuels! [Wink] ) And what about unexpected consequences?

The unexpected consequences are the most disturbing. For one, you'll need some large-scale testing to make sure a geoengineering process works. Who will do the testing? Then you will have to evaluate the unexpected consequences. Who will do the evaluation? Who will decide if the drawbacks are acceptable?

Let's say Russia tests adding iron to the ocean, and the only drawback they find is that it will adversely affect U.S. fisheries. They find that acceptable, especially considering the probable outcome if they don't. Would we find that acceptable? Who decides?

And once such a geoengineering system is in place, it will have to be maintained for probably a couple of hundred years. (Remember, it takes centuries to remove CO2 from the atmosphere with natural processes, and the ocean absorbs CO2, which it releases when the atmospheric pressure is reduced.) Who will be in charge of such a program? Will they be politically stabile enough to maintain it for such a long time? And who pays for it?

There are many potential drawbacks to geoengineering, none of which includes how we do business. Why didn't your source mention those things? [Wink]

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Seriati
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quote:
Originally posted by Wayward Son:
But it occurred to me that perhaps one or two might make that claim, in spite of the consensus among climatologists. So I wanted to get a feeling of how many climatologist it would take to make a claim before a claim could be attributed to the entire group.

That's entirely based on publicity and reaction. If the media trumpets that climate scientists claim changes saved us (which it only takes a few reports to cause), and they don't repudiate the claim, then they get it attributed. Same way that if global warming was disproved tomorrow, you'd have people fall out of the wood works claiming they never supported the theory. But they didn't argue it was wrong either.
quote:
I mean, there are several conservative pundits that claim that Obama is a Molsem. Does that mean that Conservatives believe that Obama is Moslem? [Wink]
That one's kind of goofy, if you accept personal accountability you need to accept his word, yet if you accept some religious definitions wouldn't his father's religion be binding on him?
quote:
And that is an example between long-term and short-term predictions.
It's not. Its the difference between science on things we all understand, and things we have to rely on others to understand.
quote:
An NFL football game as too many variables on the field to predict the outcome of a game. Even over a 3 year period, there are not enough games to overcome the inherent unpredictability of these variables.
Honestly, there are far less variables in a football game, and they are better understood (or you'd not have such accuracy in gambling) than in the climate (at least potentially, I could be wrong and the climate could actually be simpler than it looks).
quote:
However, over a longer term--let's say, 100 years--the unpredictability would even out and the influential factors would become significant.[/qutoe]Not sure how to take that, but there's no way you could predict what team wins in one hundred years better than in 3.
[quote]A better example, IMHO, would be a game of craps. No one can predicts the outcome of a game, or even 100 games. But a whole industry, and a whole city, is based on the fact that, over many, many games, the House always wins. [Smile]

Well no, craps is a rigged game, all casino games are. Absent manipulation, statistically no one else can win long term. It's possible if chance were manipulated to get a different result.

In one way this is in fact like climate models. They two are rigged systems. They can not produce an output inconsistent with their structure, which pretty means they can't show anything but global warming.

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Wayward Son
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quote:
That's entirely based on publicity and reaction. If the media trumpets that climate scientists claim changes saved us (which it only takes a few reports to cause), and they don't repudiate the claim, then they get it attributed.
Which means you should not rely on publicity. The Media loves reporting the outrageous claims, by the Left, Right, or Center, and make it sound like everyone in the group believes it. Just like "global cooling" in the 70's: only a small handful of scientists advanced that theory at the time, but the media blew it all out of proportion, and now the Right uses it as an example of something all climatologists supposedly believed.

Worst part is, even though they are constantly corrected, Conservatives still tell that tall tale. [Smile]

My caution is that, before you attribute something to global warming scientists, find out what many of the scientists are actually saying, and don't rely on the Media. Because you may hear fringe ideas passed off as being part of the mainstream. [Frown]

quote:
Well no, craps is a rigged game, all casino games are. Absent manipulation, statistically no one else can win long term.
Exactly. No one can win long term. Short term, no one can predict the outcome. But long term, the outcome is certain.

The only rigging is the payout. [Big Grin]

quote:
In one way this is in fact like climate models. They too are rigged systems. They can not produce an output inconsistent with their structure, which pretty means they can't show anything but global warming.
But the structure is based on facts verified outside of climate systems, facts that were determined before being applied to climate.

Otherwise, I don't see anything inherently rigging a climate model to show global warming.

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Pyrtolin
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quote:
Honestly, there are far less variables in a football game, and they are better understood (or you'd not have such accuracy in gambling) than in the climate (at least potentially, I could be wrong and the climate could actually be simpler than it looks).
You are confusing climate and weather when you try to make this claim. Your comparison is accurate for saying that we cannot accurately forecast a specific weather event beyond a certain horizon in the future, but climate is not so specific as weather, which makes it much easier to forecast within a certain margin of error- it's more equivalent to, given knowledge of current standings at the end of the season, predicting who the top draft picks will be and which teams they'll go to. Or taking stock of medical issues and fan outrage and predicting rules changes that will occur in upcoming seasons.
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Seriati
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quote:
Originally posted by Wayward Son:
quote:
That's entirely based on publicity and reaction. If the media trumpets that climate scientists claim changes saved us (which it only takes a few reports to cause), and they don't repudiate the claim, then they get it attributed.
Which means you should not rely on publicity.
I'm not relying on publicity, except on this point where you're asking about how we attribute scientific positions to groups. That's almost completely from a media coverage event that does not result in a general repudiation.
quote:
The Media loves reporting the outrageous claims, by the Left, Right, or Center, and make it sound like everyone in the group believes it.
They do love outrageous, but the biggest disservice they do is in the field of overstatement. A study might, for instance, find that among 50 cancer patients that the women needed less pain killer. The study says this could be partially because they have less body weight, or because women has higher pain tolerence. Yet the headline, reports, "Science shows women are tougher than men per pound." That confirms some people's biases and gets into everyone's head.
quote:
Just like "global cooling" in the 70's: only a small handful of scientists advanced that theory at the time, but the media blew it all out of proportion, and now the Right uses it as an example of something all climatologists supposedly believed.
Not sure that's a fair example, I can still remember reading articles in major magazines about the coming ice age. It's not like we have to look far for scientists asserting one thing then changing their mind a few years later, everyone whose ever paid attention to what they eat has seen the newest reports on food safety get debunked. Anyone who's ever taken a "safe" medication that later leads to horrible side effects, gets pulled and big claims.

Or even in the field of weather where no amount of science and measurement led to accurate weather forecasts, until they got the big satellite cheat sheets.
quote:
My caution is that, before you attribute something to global warming scientists, find out what many of the scientists are actually saying, and don't rely on the Media. Because you may hear fringe ideas passed off as being part of the mainstream. [Frown]
I'm not sure what you think I attribute to "global warming scientists", I'm not even sure such exists. It's my view and contention that there are a lot fewer of them that actually study the macro issues than people believe, and I think they suffer from commonality of training and background.
quote:
quote:
In one way this is in fact like climate models. They too are rigged systems. They can not produce an output inconsistent with their structure, which pretty means they can't show anything but global warming.
But the structure is based on facts verified outside of climate systems, facts that were determined before being applied to climate.
So are the predictions in the football model. It's the interactions and forcings that are beyond the scope of what we know. Every single model has to make guesses because we don't know what happens when you have hundreds of uncontrolled variables simultaneously free to interact with and confound each other. All else being equal run away carbon will lead to warming - it has to, the effect is understood on a micro level and therefore has to be in the model - but when you have run away carbon in the atmosphere will it trigger forcings that counteract it's influence, will it trigger a interconnected cascade of forcings where there's no initially obvious connection to carbon?

And even then, end of day, you ignore the very important question of whether we should deliberately be making the world warmer. Would we be better off, or not.
quote:
Otherwise, I don't see anything inherently rigging a climate model to show global warming.
Rigging implies nefariousness, but I don't mean it that way. I just mean the model has to result in global warming as carbon rises. Think about it. From our micro tests we see that as inevitable. If the model showed anything else it would be contrary to science. But it's largely a guess that the micro holds true on the macro scale, even if its our best guess.

If the model isn't rigged it's invalid, but if it is rigged it can only produce the rigged results. Do you see anyway that statement is not accurate? This is a major reason I am wary of overstatements drawn from models, they exist to reinforce the simple text result more carbon = more heat, by claiming they speak for thousands of interconnected interactions.

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Wayward Son
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quote:
quote:
--------------------------------------------------------------------------------
Just like "global cooling" in the 70's: only a small handful of scientists advanced that theory at the time, but the media blew it all out of proportion, and now the Right uses it as an example of something all climatologists supposedly believed.
--------------------------------------------------------------------------------

Not sure that's a fair example, I can still remember reading articles in major magazines about the coming ice age. It's not like we have to look far for scientists asserting one thing then changing their mind a few years later, everyone whose ever paid attention to what they eat has seen the newest reports on food safety get debunked. Anyone who's ever taken a "safe" medication that later leads to horrible side effects, gets pulled and big claims.

Actually, it is an excellent example.

In this case, there were only a few papers that were published that indicated global cooling could occur, as opposed to many, many more (even at the time) that indicated that global warming was more likely. But it was new and unexpected and glamorous, so the media picked it up and ran with it, overstating the weight of these studies. Within a few years the studies faded into obscurity, but by that time, it was imprinted on the mind of the public. And, because the media had such a time with it, they gave the impression that "all scientists" believed it, while it was only a tiny minority that pushed the idea.

I can envision the same thing happening if we implement CO2 reduction and global warming suddenly stopped. A couple or a handful of scientists might say that this proves that the programs were effective, while a majority of climatologists would realize that it couldn't act that quickly. Yet these handful would be sourced when someone would say, "all climate scientists believe..."

Climatology, like all fields of science, is not a monolithic block. But the media treats it like one. So be skeptical of what the media says about science. Check with the actual source.

quote:
Every single model has to make guesses because we don't know what happens when you have hundreds of uncontrolled variables simultaneously free to interact with and confound each other.
I'm not quite sure how you envision these supercomputer models working, but that is basically what they try to do. They take these variables, slice the world into many, many tiny squares, and calculate how these variables interact between the squares.

IOW, while we don't know how these variables interact, we try to have the computer figure it out. [Smile]

Now, admittedly, we may not know all the variables that interact. But we know many of them, and certainly the most important (thermal, radiation, ocean currents, etc.) While we obviously don't know what we don't know, hopefully any other variables will either show up when the models don't work properly or when someone notices them missing. They could also be insignificant to the overall working of the system and be safely ignored.

We don't know if the models are missing variables, but we also don't know if they not missing any variables. That's why the models are always compared to the historical records and to see how the predictions vary from the current records.

quote:
And even then, end of day, you ignore the very important question of whether we should deliberately be making the world warmer. Would we be better off, or not.
But to do that, we need reliable models that would show us how the world would change, so we could evaluate how it would be better.

But so far, it doesn't look good. [Frown]

I saw a chart in a course I took that compared how certain mainstay crops (corn, wheat, soybeans, etc.) responded to higher temperatures. For one or two degrees C higher, some of these crops actually did better. But after all, all of them did worse, and progressively worse the temperatures increased.

So it's unlikely that a warmer Earth would be significantly better for the life forms we depend on.

And remember that even a few degrees change can make a significant difference to the climate. I think this xkcd comic summaries it nicely.

quote:
I just mean the model has to result in global warming as carbon rises. Think about it. From our micro tests we see that as inevitable. If the model showed anything else it would be contrary to science. But it's largely a guess that the micro holds true on the macro scale, even if its our best guess.
Except that no one thinks the model has to show global warming. Yes, CO2 concentrations are warming the atmosphere. But if there was a feedback--like increased temperatures causing increased cloud cover, reflecting enough light to counteract any warming--I can't imagine anyone balking at that conclusion. It is part of the models, one of the things they are investigating. So if they found out there was such a feedback, it would be of no suprise.

But it would have to be a feedback. Temps will increase as CO2 concentrations increase. If whatever countracts the CO2 is not tied to it, then there is always the possibility (or probability) that it will be "filled" or overwhelmed sometime in the future.

But the models do not assume that global warming must occur, other than the necessity of modeling the historical warming that we know about.

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Seriati
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quote:
Originally posted by Wayward Son:
Actually, it is an excellent example.

Actaully it's not. Virtually every citation of it being a myth leads to the same paper, written in 2008. Did you read it? I'm not so very impressed. It's pretty clear that they went to great lengths to discount the actual historical record to minimize what happened.

The authors of this piece made a number of decisions to support their own views, rather than to impartially report on history accurately. All three of them are themselves in the middle of controversies related to the debate. The vast majority of the references they cite are from 1975 though 1979, which period seems to be included primary to debunk the claim, notwithstanding that it seems prior to 1975 the global cooling position was being generally accepted by the governments, the populace and scientists. You even see things like, references to increased carbon may "offset" the cooling trend.

They see that as evidence that there was not a "consensus" since people understood that warming mechanisms were also present. But honestly, if you're citing their work, your overciting it. It's not about simply denying consensus but trying to imply that it's not credible or was largely fringe at the time. The records show that's false, it was literally main stream, as the result of the efforts of climate scientists.
quote:
In this case, there were only a few papers that were published that indicated global cooling could occur, as opposed to many, many more (even at the time) that indicated that global warming was more likely.
Not really accurate. It's a time and influence matter. Why don't you look at some of the time relevant pieces yourself.
quote:
But it was new and unexpected and glamorous, so the media picked it up and ran with it, overstating the weight of these studies.
"new and unexpected" is an interesting way to describe a theory based on a 30 year cooling trend that was terminating in the late 60s.
quote:
Within a few years the studies faded into obscurity, but by that time, it was imprinted on the mind of the public. And, because the media had such a time with it, they gave the impression that "all scientists" believed it, while it was only a tiny minority that pushed the idea.
Unless you have another source for that claim, I'm not accepting it. It's my view that the only source that appears to make that claim (and it actually never makes that claim) is not reliable as a historical record, but only as an opinion piece.
quote:
I can envision the same thing happening if we implement CO2 reduction and global warming suddenly stopped. A couple or a handful of scientists might say that this proves that the programs were effective, while a majority of climatologists would realize that it couldn't act that quickly. Yet these handful would be sourced when someone would say, "all climate scientists believe..."
It's more like if 30 years from now we have had persisent global cooling, and believed an ice age was eminent and someone wrote a paper to debunk the myth that there was a consensus that global warming occurred. They'd be able to find plenty of cites to "offset" the official ones, but are they really the same weight when one side was influencing government policy, and generally being promoted to the public as accurate?

What's the point of even writting a piece that anyone who lived through it knows is a false story? It's simple, people don't trust their memories, if they've changed their beliefs today they'll rewrite their own memories to believe they always knew global cooling was "fringe", even though it wasn't. It's part and parcel of an argumentative style that isn't about facts and science but is about character assasination.
quote:
Climatology, like all fields of science, is not a monolithic block. But the media treats it like one. So be skeptical of what the media says about science. Check with the actual source.
And if you did that in 1974 you'd have moved south to escape the Ice Age.
quote:
I'm not quite sure how you envision these supercomputer models working, but that is basically what they try to do. They take these variables, slice the world into many, many tiny squares, and calculate how these variables interact between the squares.

IOW, while we don't know how these variables interact, we try to have the computer figure it out. [Smile]

You understand that what you just said is logically impossible. These models are logical systems, they literally can not produce results that don't flow of necessity from their imputs. The computer can't "figure it out" for you.

I guess maybe you have so much confidence in the models because you don't get how much of modelling is guess work.
quote:
Now, admittedly, we may not know all the variables that interact. But we know many of them, and certainly the most important (thermal, radiation, ocean currents, etc.)
Maybe we do, or maybe that's just hubris. Do you belive that 500 years from know our descendents will look back at it and find it anything but a belief in hedge magic? You're confusing the best we can do, with the best that can be done and accordingly overascribing validity to the current process.

Put it more simple, if our current models are correct it has far more to do with luck so good we hit the lottery than the results of intentional decisions.
quote:
While we obviously don't know what we don't know, hopefully any other variables will either show up when the models don't work properly or when someone notices them missing. They could also be insignificant to the overall working of the system and be safely ignored.
You should go back to the other climate change thread where I already wrote out in some detail the potential impact of kludges on this process. It's not harmless.
quote:
We don't know if the models are missing variables, but we also don't know if they not missing any variables. That's why the models are always compared to the historical records and to see how the predictions vary from the current records.
Testing a model against the same records used to create the model is a logical fallacy. Model validity can only be tested against new data (against which so far they all generally fail).
quote:
quote:
I just mean the model has to result in global warming as carbon rises. Think about it. From our micro tests we see that as inevitable. If the model showed anything else it would be contrary to science. But it's largely a guess that the micro holds true on the macro scale, even if its our best guess.
Except that no one thinks the model has to show global warming. Yes, CO2 concentrations are warming the atmosphere. But if there was a feedback--like increased temperatures causing increased cloud cover, reflecting enough light to counteract any warming--I can't imagine anyone balking at that conclusion. It is part of the models, one of the things they are investigating. So if they found out there was such a feedback, it would be of no suprise.
I feel like I'm not communicating effectively. A model can not "discover" a feed back mechanism. It can only produce what is programmed into it.

That literally means, if carbon increases, the model has to show global temperature increases. Unless there is specifically a known mechanism, properly incorporate to reverse that. An unknown mechanism, an improperly understood one, or an incorrectly valued one can not undue it. Overstating carbon's impact by 1% likely kills validity, understating carbon's impact on plant growth or absorbtion rates by temperature and moisture likely kills it, not even being aware of an a particular form of algae's explosive growth potential in circumstances that will occur before run away heating occurs can't be predicted.

Hence, the model remains a best guess, but an inadequate one.
quote:
But it would have to be a feedback. Temps will increase as CO2 concentrations increase. If whatever countracts the CO2 is not tied to it, then there is always the possibility (or probability) that it will be "filled" or overwhelmed sometime in the future.
Exactly, and how perfectly was that added to the formulas of the model?
quote:
But the models do not assume that global warming must occur, other than the necessity of modeling the historical warming that we know about.
Models are GIGO mass generators. Whatever you input in, comes out the other side filtered through pretend "statistical significance".

If you input Carbon causes heat, and don't input a mechanism that forces the opposite in connection with those changes, only a broken model (ie one that is mathmatically flawed) can return anything but global warming as carbon increases. You can downplay it or overplaying by the impact you assign Carbon, but you can not generate a contrary result.

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LetterRip
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Seriati,

you don't seem to understand the models at all.

They are at their core simple heat mass transfer models. They take into account reflection (including albedo changes), absorption, evaporation, melting, ocean circulation and changes in cloud cover.

They also take into account things like continental drift (if they don't then the oceans ends up circulating incorrectly and you end up with massive freezing).

The models have dramatically improved weather predictions which suggests that they are reasonably parameterizations.

There are still model uncertainties (mostly related to cloud formation, since clouds forming at different altitudes have different effects; and ice formation and melting).

The models are tested against various historical climates (plug in the atmospheric conditions; continental configuration; ice conditions; and plant conditions - then run the model and see how well it predicts a particular climate 1000 years in the future; or plug in a volcanic event, etc and see how it compares to known responses to actual volcanic events)

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Seriati
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LetterRip, quit patronizing me. I understand what models are and how they operate. I understand how inputs are generated and validated, how they are used to generate the logic rules of the model and the data itself.

Maybe it would help to play a logic game, and try to re-explain the criticisms you think I'm making, then we can see where you aren't understanding them.

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LetterRip
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Seriati,

quote:
I feel like I'm not communicating effectively. A model can not "discover" a feed back mechanism. It can only produce what is programmed into it.
They definitely can cause the discovery of feedback mechanisms.

You plug in the data for a specific climatic history and known physics and compare to reality. Look for the divergence from reality and that will point you toward what part of the physics weren't properly accounted for. Sometimes there is an error in the model; and sometimes it turns out there were errors in the data.

quote:
That literally means, if carbon increases, the model has to show global temperature increases.
That isn't how the models work, you could have a dramatic decrease in temperature with increasing carbon - for instance if the continents were to block certain ocean circulation. Or you could have albedo changes resulting in a cooling of the earth (ie if you killed off trees of the northern and southern hemisphere and grew more equatorial trees). Or you could have a volcanic eruption that would increase CO2, but the aerosols sprayed in the atmosphere would result in a net cooling.
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Seriati
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quote:
Originally posted by LetterRip:
quote:
I feel like I'm not communicating effectively. A model can not "discover" a feed back mechanism. It can only produce what is programmed into it.
They definitely can cause the discovery of feedback mechanisms.
That would be the goal, yep.
quote:
You plug in the data for a specific climatic history and known physics and compare to reality. Look for the divergence from reality and that will point you toward what part of the physics weren't properly accounted for. Sometimes there is an error in the model; and sometimes it turns out there were errors in the data.
Yep. Which is what leads to the criticisms that no matter what the data shows the result is to tweak the model.
quote:
quote:
That literally means, if carbon increases, the model has to show global temperature increases.
That isn't how the models work, you could have a dramatic decrease in temperature with increasing carbon - for instance if the continents were to block certain ocean circulation. Or you could have albedo changes resulting in a cooling of the earth (ie if you killed off trees of the northern and southern hemisphere and grew more equatorial trees). Or you could have a volcanic eruption that would increase CO2, but the aerosols sprayed in the atmosphere would result in a net cooling.
It is how models work. Everything you cited has to be known and added to the model for it to be accounted for. At least until we get true AI, the model can't generate what you don't put in.

That does not mean that you can't be surprised by the results, people are not computers, we don't necessarily understand all the logical ramifications of our assumptions, we can't even hope to compute some of them on our own. Doesn't alter one bit that the computer is not innovating. If the logical rules of the model don't match to reality it can't achieve the correct result. period.

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Wayward Son
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quote:
Actaully it's not. Virtually every citation of it being a myth leads to the same paper, written in 2008. Did you read it? I'm not so very impressed. It's pretty clear that they went to great lengths to discount the actual historical record to minimize what happened.
From what I understand, the majority (if not vast majority) of research and papers of the period still indicated global warming. Are you saying that is not true? That most of the work at the time was showing global cooling?

If not, if most of the papers indicated global warming, then how could the consensus be that global cooling was occurring? Did everyone just ignore their own work and go with the minority position? [Confused]

quote:
... seems prior to 1975 the global cooling position was being generally accepted by the governments, the populace and scientists.
Do you know who the first President was who mentioned that scientists said the Earth was heating up? Lyndon Johnson, in a speech to Congress in 1968.

So, apparently, sometime between 1968 and 1975, the vast majority of scientists changed their position?

Possible, IF their papers reflect that. If the research reflects that. But did it?

Or, it could be that reports of global cooling overwhelmed the research on global warming in the press, which tricked down into the government and the populace. But the basic research still showed global warming. Which means the reports that "scientists believe that global cooling is happening" was based on the opinions of a few climatologists and then dumped on all the rest, whether they actually agreed with it or not.

I am not familiar with the paper you are referring to. But unless I am mistaken about the research at the time, then it doesn't matter if one person discovered this or if it was known since 1975. If the research was overwhelmingly showing global warming, it doesn't matter what the press said.

quote:
Put it more simple, if our current models are correct it has far more to do with luck so good we hit the lottery than the results of intentional decisions.
Or because we compared it to the data and went with that which worked.

Remember--Newton's theory of gravity was superceded by Einstien's. But Newton's theory was still correct--it can be derived from Einstien's theory. It isn't considered "hedge magic" today, even if it is considered "not right."

quote:
If you input Carbon causes heat, and don't input a mechanism that forces the opposite in connection with those changes, only a broken model (ie one that is mathmatically flawed) can return anything but global warming as carbon increases. You can downplay it or overplaying by the impact you assign Carbon, but you can not generate a contrary result.
And any model that doesn't include carbon being input into the system and causing increased heat would contradict the known facts and be completely useless. So don't blame the models for it! Blame our atmospheric system!

quote:
Hence, the model remains a best guess, but an inadequate one.
Inadequate compared to what?

Yes, they are the best guess. The best guess by intelligent people who have studied the problem for years. This is our best guess. No one has a better one.

And the consensus is that it is a pretty good guess.

Of course it will be improved in the future, as new information is found and incorporated. But what is the alternative? We either work with the best informed guess that we have, or we ignore it and go with less-informed guesses.

One of those other guesses might be correct. But that really would be luck so good as hitting the lottery. [Frown]

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Wayward Son
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I guess what it all comes down to is expectation.

The models aren't perfect. They very well may never be. (In fact, we are fairly certain they can never be! [Smile] ) But the consensus is that they are pretty good and fairly reliable.

IOW, there is no reason to expect that they will be shown to be wrong in the future, or that they are showing totally, completely incorrect results. Yes, factors and variables may be missing, and probably are. But right now we have no reason to believe that those variables will significantly change the models.

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Pyrtolin
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quote:
Testing a model against the same records used to create the model is a logical fallacy. Model validity can only be tested against new data (against which so far they all generally fail).
An outright false assertion. They do not fail at all, they inf cat very reliably succeed. What fails to occur is for the actual new data to conform to the worst case scenarios that the media likes to trumpet to the exclusion of the fact that the models predict a range of possibilities. And sometimes new data comes in even below the average of the best case and worst case scenarios produced by the models. But the models are pretty much spot on for defining the upper and lower bounds, and even the best case scenario is clearly bad news.

New data has not yet failed to fall within the actual predicted range of possibilities, while at the same time that new data helps us better understand the mechanisms at play, which allows us to model them more accurately and slowly narrow the range of possibilities for the future.

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PSRT
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http://www.accuweather.com/en/weather-news/2014-hottest-year-on-record-global-noaa/40714685
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Lloyd Perna
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Not if you use actual mathematical analysis

2014 is .01C above 2010 the previous warmest year. Statistically this is no increase at all.

quote:
The claim made headlines around the world, but yesterday it emerged that GISS’s analysis – based on readings from more than 3,000 measuring stations worldwide – is subject to a margin of error. Nasa admits this means it is far from certain that 2014 set a record at all.
Yet the Nasa press release failed to mention this, as well as the fact that the alleged ‘record’ amounted to an increase over 2010, the previous ‘warmest year’, of just two-hundredths of a degree – or 0.02C. The margin of error is said by scientists to be approximately 0.1C – several times as much.


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philnotfil
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quote:
Originally posted by PSRT:
http://www.accuweather.com/en/weather-news/2014-hottest-year-on-record-global-noaa/40714685

In addition to what Lloyd Perna said, the claim is that 2014 is the hottest year since 1880. On a geologic timescale, that is pretty meaningless claim.

[ January 19, 2015, 04:45 PM: Message edited by: philnotfil ]

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DonaldD
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It's only one year. The fact that some scientific bodies are claiming it as #1, while others have it as #3 - doesn't really make a big difference.

This, however, is just silly:
quote:
The claim made headlines around the world, but yesterday it emerged that GISS’s analysis – based on readings from more than 3,000 measuring stations worldwide – is subject to a margin of error
Yes, press releases do not generally mention margin's of error - possibly because the general public wouldn't be able to understand margin of error. On the other hand, when people of a certain political bent kept repeating how 1998 was the warmest year, and that there was a cooling trend following that year, there was a convenient lack of reference to error margins (even putting aside the inherent mistake in making a claim about warming or cooling based on a single year average).

The funny thing is, whether 2014 was actually the warmest, or the 2nd, 3rd or 4th warmest for that matter, is irrelevant to the overall temperature trends.

quote:
In addition to what Lloyd Perna said, the claim is that 2014 is the hottest year since 1880. On a geologic timescale, that is pretty meaningless claim.
I guess... but it depends what you mean by meaningless, and why geologic timescales are important to you. Part of your confusion here is the inherent assumption that we know little or nothing about pre-1880; but that is far from the truth. 1880 is used only as a reference point because of in situ instrumentation; but we have a very good idea, based on proxy measurements, of less granular temperatures prior to 1880.

What if I told you that we have very strong suggestions that this past decade has been the warmest in the past 1700 years? That still isn't a geologic timescale, but is it also meaningless?

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ScottF
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quote:
Originally posted by DonaldD:
...press releases do not generally mention margin's of error - possibly because the general public wouldn't be able to understand margin of error.

Or... it could be because mentioning it would invalidate it's own headline.
quote:
Originally posted by DonaldD:
The funny thing is, whether 2014 was actually the warmest, or the 2nd, 3rd or 4th warmest for that matter, is irrelevant to the overall temperature trends.

It may irrelevant to the overall trends, but it's highly relevant to the extent that it makes this particular headline appear deliberately misleading.
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DonaldD
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Invalidate in what way, Scott? And why misleading?
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DonaldD
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To put it another way... 2013 in the NASA dataset was tied for 7th warmest and in the NOAA dataset, the year was tied for 4th warmest - but statistically, it might have been the warmest year, based on the margin of error.

Was it dishonest last year NOT to mention the margin of error, and to not point out that 2013 might have actually been the warmest year on record taking into consideration the margin of error? Heck, even 2012, 10th on the NASA list, could have actually been the warmest taking into consideration the margin of error - was it dishonest not to mention 2012 as a candidate for warmest year since 1880?

Or is it possible that annual average anomalies are just shorthand, easily digestible numbers that won't be too confusing for the general public?

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ScottF
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Well, if your headline states that x=1 and your own data says that x could be 1 or x could be 1.5, or x may be .5, your original statement is invalid, or at best not provably valid. And if you knew that your math didn't support your headline being stated as fact, you've mislead your audience by design.
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DonaldD
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You're conflating a couple of things there, Scott, so I'm going to come back to my previous question: was it misleading NOT to state, last year, in a headline, that 2013 might have been the warmest year ever, and was it also misleading, not to state in 2013, that 2012 might also have been the warmest year ever?

How much information is generally shoehorned into a headline, do you think?

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DonaldD
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Or to put it in a little more context: those who are knowledgeable enough to care about margins of error already understand that there is an unstated margin of error; those whose knowledge is limited in such a way as to not already know there is an unstated margin of error wouldn't know what to do with a margin of error anyway; and those who just learned about margin of error this year, or who believe that 'it emerged just yesterday that GISS’s analysis is subject to a margin of error' will undoubtedly educate themselves sufficiently that next year they will count themselves amongst the first group.
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Wayward Son
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Either way, this should stop those who claim that global temperatures have been cooling for the past decade and a half.

Because the calculation for determining what "the" global temperature is hasn't changed.

So either they will have to admit that we now have a new high temperature, showing that the global temperature is still increasing...

OR they will have to admit that there has been a margin of error for the last decade and a half that could have hidden the temperature increase, and so declaring a slight cooling trend was premature. [Smile]

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Fenring
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quote:
Originally posted by Wayward Son:
Either way, this should stop those who claim that global temperatures have been cooling for the past decade and a half.

Because the calculation for determining what "the" global temperature is hasn't changed.

So either they will have to admit that we now have a new high temperature, showing that the global temperature is still increasing...

OR they will have to admit that there has been a margin of error for the last decade and a half that could have hidden the temperature increase, and so declaring a slight cooling trend was premature. [Smile]

The only thing I'm hazy on is how you can take the temperatures from one year and say they prove something. If anything, the trend from the last 40 years would be noteworthy, but splashing around that we had a record hot year as proof of global warming seems to me to be the news equivalent of clickbait.

For example, 2014 saw average temperatures of 1.24 degrees F above the 20th century average. According to Wikipedia the average global temperature increase per year since 1970 has been roughly 0.23 degrees Fahrenheit per year. If this is so, it would mean that 2014 had a temperature increase roughly 5 times the expected value of the trend of warming, which means basically that it was just a randomly hot year. Taking into account the expected temperature gain, it means there was a roughly 1 degree F spike last year not caused by global warming. When dealing with a spike of that magnitude it is hard to parse in that particular year what the actual warming effect was versus the random conditions of that year, since the spike itself, and not the warming, constitutes the majority of the increase.

All this to say that trumpeting around the hottest year of the century as proof of a trend is shoddy reasoning, as the trend itself cannot account for the temperature peaks experienced. 2014 will be a useful data point down the line, but by itself it means nothing.

Source for 2014 temperature estimates:

http://www.ncdc.noaa.gov/sotc/global/

Source for global warming averages:

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Global_warming#Observed_temperature_changes

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Wayward Son
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All you said is quite true, Fenring.

My point is not that 2014 proves that global warming is occuring, but rather it proves that those who deny global warming is occuring are wrong.

There are many people, including some members of this board, who have claimed that global warming has stopped, and that the Earth has been cooling for the past decade or so. (IIRC, even our esteemed host is among them.) They base this conclusion on the fact that global temperatures have not exceeded the previous record, but have always come in lower, supposedly showing a cooling trend.

Of course, to do this, they have to assiduously ignore the fact that the past decade has been the hottest on record, but that's another story...

Now, using the same rules and calculations that showed that temperatures have not exceeded the previous record, we have a new record, which blows their argument right out of the water.

Now some will argue that the margin of error means this latest record could be wrong, but by that reasoning, all the other temps that barely missed the record could be wrong, too, and they have no basis for concluding there was a cooling trend. [Smile]

But, as you point out, the whole argument was spurious from the beginning, because it was based on an individual record temp and extrapolated from there.

So I certainly would not argue that this record temperature proves global warming is back. The decadial charts more than adequately demonstrate it. Rather, I am just pointing out that this proves that those who claim that global warming has stopped have been proved wrong by their own reasoning. And even changing the reasoning won't help, because then they have eliminated the basis of their claim in the first place. [Smile]

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JoshCrow
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Apparently the Senate today voted 98-1 that climate change is "not a hoax". I'm taken aback by this, but of course the caveat is that the vote does not affirm that humans have any role in it - merely that it is occuring.
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DonaldD
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That's the US Senate, right?
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scifibum
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I'm glad we have politicians to decide important scientific questions like this.
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DonaldD
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quote:
Originally posted by Fenring:
All this to say that trumpeting around the hottest year of the century as proof of a trend is shoddy reasoning, as the trend itself cannot account for the temperature peaks experienced. 2014 will be a useful data point down the line, but by itself it means nothing.

In addition to what Wayward said, I would just point out that the tendency to use a single-year data point (outside of the internet trollsphere, for the most part) to make an argument on this subject is mostly limited to those claiming that there is no warming trend (and who, more recently, have started stressing that the warming trend is not affected by human activities, but I digress.)

As to the rest of post, it's unclear exactly what you mean, since there has not been annual increases averaging anywhere near .23 degrees per annum, but I suspect you are taking an arbitrary starting point and comparing it to a single year's average, and trying to make sense of the results, which is, well, fruitless.

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JoshCrow
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quote:
Originally posted by DonaldD:
That's the US Senate, right?

I actually was about to specify it in my original post, but left it out deliberately, thinking to myself: realistically what OTHER Senate would still be debating this.
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Adam Masterman
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quote:
Originally posted by DonaldD:
As to the rest of post, it's unclear exactly what you mean, since there has not been annual increases averaging anywhere near .23 degrees per annum, but I suspect you are taking an arbitrary starting point and comparing it to a single year's average, and trying to make sense of the results, which is, well, fruitless.

Fenring just made a typo; it's .23 per decade, not year.
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Fenring
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quote:
Originally posted by Adam Masterman:
quote:
Originally posted by DonaldD:
As to the rest of post, it's unclear exactly what you mean, since there has not been annual increases averaging anywhere near .23 degrees per annum, but I suspect you are taking an arbitrary starting point and comparing it to a single year's average, and trying to make sense of the results, which is, well, fruitless.

Fenring just made a typo; it's .23 per decade, not year.
Yes, sorry about that.
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