Is it reasonable to be a global warming skeptic?


#81

Hi Neo,

I assume you are referring to my post on reliability of climate model predictions.

Do you deny that the climate system is “a coupled non-linear chaotic system, and therefore the long-term prediction of future climate states is not possible.”


#82

I’m replying to your claim that “If the models are so darn good, 95% of them shouldn’t have failed in their short-term predictions. If they are going to get anything right, it should be their short-term predictions, just as with weather predictions.”

That’s absolutely false. See my earlier post.


#83

The IPCC isn’t about wisdom. And nearly every single climate model has been wrong.

The Pope is getting bad information from bad sources----not that he has the time to figure out all of the nuances.

You are not obligated to believe (nice word for a field of science, huh?) in man-made climate change.


#84

It is reasonable to be a skeptic because that’s what led to studies of global warming.


#85

“science” claims we’ve been through multiple ice ages. [https://www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2009/08/090806141512.htm] Which goes without saying, multiple warmings followed each one as well. All “supposedly” according to “science”, before people were on this planet.

How then can humans, “scientifically” speaking, be guilty of global warming?


#86

Including scandal and corruption.


#87

before advocating radical economic policies because scientists fear uncontrolled global warming, perhaps these scientists could establish an optimum earth temperature that will make it easiest for mankind to thrive on this planet.

i believe a temperature much warmer than the current temperature will be very beneficial to mankind.


#88

perhaps it will allay the fears of some of those terrorized by the thought of uncontrollable global warming due to an increase in CO2 in the atmosphere to realize that the amount of fossil fuels to be burned/consumed is finite. there will come a time when the consumption of fossil fuels will decline because they have all been consumed. then the amount of CO2 in the atmosphere will also begin to decline.

in the long run, if some of the scientists are correct and the amount of CO2 in the atmosphere determines the earth’s temperature, the greater threat to humanity is going to be the decline in CO2 in the atmosphere which would result in an unalterable cooling of the earth.


#89

global climatology is a very young science. it is, i am guessing, only about forty years in the making. this leads me to be very suspicious of scientists who are telling me to put my faith in them because they know all their is to know about the earth’s climate.

as the science advances, assuming it will, the scientists could very well find out that nature has its own mechanism for controlling the earth’s temperature.


#90

What you see “implicitly” is not what everyone else sees implicitly. I’m not defending any media representation of the Cook paper because they do tend to exaggerate to sell papers. But any serious scientist reading the Cook paper sees that the 97% agreement that is claimed is for levels 1,2, and 3 combined, as compared with levels 5, 6, and 7 combined. Also just because an author does not quantify human causation in his paper does not mean he does not believe the man is a major cause, which is all the “endorse” category means anyway.

That definition is not made by Cook in his paper. That phrase appears in the Introduction as what he set out to measure.

Actually, I’m good with both of these surveys. The Bray and Von Storch survey says 87% agreement. To interpret the Klaus-Martin Schultz survey I started with this DailyTech.com analysis of it:

Of 528 total papers on climate change, only 38 (7%) gave an explicit endorsement of the consensus. If one considers “implicit” endorsement (accepting the consensus without explicit statement), the figure rises to 45%. However, while only 32 papers (6%) reject the consensus outright, the largest category (48%) are neutral papers, refusing to either accept or reject the hypothesis.

So of the 528 papers we have 45% of them giving either an implicit or explicit endorsement of AGW. That would be about 237 papers, right. Of course we must throw out the neutral papers just as Cook did since those papers didn’t say anything about the author’s view of AGW. And finally we have 32 papers that rejected AGW. The sum total of papers taking a position is 237 + 32 = 269. Therefore the percentage of agreement is 237 / 269 = 88%. Almost the same as Bray and Von Storch. So if you want to make a big deal about Cook claiming 97% and others claiming 87% I won’t argue which is more correct. Either one is fine by me.


#91

In 1896 Swedish scientist, Svante Arrhenius did a study “On the Influence of Carbonic Acid in the Air upon the Temperature of the Earth.” So I guess climate science is about 121 years old. Yes, it’s still young. But so are many other sciences that we depending on every day.

Where does the CO2 go when it “declines?” Some of it goes into plants which use it in photosynthesis. But then those plants eventually die and rot or otherwise returned their carbon to the air in the form of CO2. Some of it goes into oceans, but that causes the oceans to become more acidic, since CO2 becomes carbonic acid when dissolved. That’s not a good thing either. There is no mechanism that dependably reduces CO2 so that we have to worry about continuing to burn stuff to keep it up.


#92

This idea is incorrect and reveals a lack of understanding of how projections can be made in ways that do not involve propagation from some initial condition.

If I have more time I will tak a look at Spencer in greater detail. I think that it is interesting that he assigns zero to a selected year. Given that the yearly fluctuations are of the same order similar in size to the overall short-term trend, this seems like a very, very bad idea.

Has Spencer’s critique gotten much play in the scientific literature?


#93

Oh my. Some one said so on you tube.


#94

You should read more.


#95

This comment that the oceans get “more acidic” misrepresents what really happens. The oceans aren’t acidic, so they can’t get more acidic. A more accurate term would be “less basic.” The question, more properly, to be asked is whether the oceans becoming less basic is an issue.

It is a rhetorical trick to claim the oceans get “more acidic” by adding CO2, as if they are teetering on the edge of acidity and the relatively minuscule amount added from the atmosphere could even come near tipping the balance into acidity, given the far greater quantities of dissolved salts that are carried into the oceans by river systems each day.

What good science would do is detail the optimal pH of the oceans and the optimal amount of CO2 in the atmosphere by providing detailed analyses of all the specific relevant factors and why the claimed levels are optimal for the entire range of life and then permitting those suggested thresholds to be carefully critiqued by alternative views. That would comprise good science.

This “teetering on the edge” business is simple fear-mongering using the unknown as a bogeyman to make up for the deficiencies of what remains unknown to current science.

For example, it is certain that plants thrive at much higher levels of CO2. Plant growers spend a great deal of time and money to pump CO2 into greenhouses to enhance plant growth at levels multiple times above current atmospheric levels. Plants would certainly benefit from higher CO2. Should we starve the plants of the world just to keep the CO2 level at some arbitrary number?


#96

Though I find the IPCC far too political, most skeptics can fit in the bottom end of their projected range of warming.

The main problem I see is that most warmists are married to the worst case scenarios with max warming, they ignore the research that supports modest warming projections.


#97

This comment that the oceans get “more acidic” misrepresents what really happens. The oceans aren’t acidic, so they can’t get more acidic. A more accurate term would be “less basic.” The question, more properly, to be asked is whether the oceans becoming less basic is an issue.

It is a rhetorical trick to claim the oceans get “more acidic” by adding CO2, as if they are teetering on the edge of acidity and the relatively minuscule amount added from the atmosphere could even come near tipping the balance into acidity, given the far greater quantities of dissolved salts that are carried into the oceans by river systems each day.

What good science would do is detail the optimal pH of the oceans and the optimal amount of CO2 in the atmosphere by providing detailed analyses of all the specific relevant factors and why the claimed levels are optimal for the entire range of life and then permitting those suggested thresholds to be carefully critiqued by alternative views. That would comprise good science.

Harry, thank you for this post; I found it helpful and informative. I, too, would love to read analyses such as those proposed in your third paragraph. If any reader of this thread is aware of the existence of such analyses, I’d be grateful if you could post the link(s).


#98

When I’ve read into this, my understanding is that it’s impossible to define what is optimum, since it will vary by the floral and fauna in question, each with their own optimum.

I believe the big concern with climate change is the rate of change. A slower change allows for natural adaptation while a sudden change can appear catastrophic to individual species.


#99

You know I sometimes wonder if the “can appear catastrophic” is a psychological response to the broken morality so prevalent in modern society. A kind of overwhelming guilt-ridden angst for the wide range of “messing up” that each of us knows we are a part of every day. We don’t trust the environment to house and feed us not merely because we mistreat the environment, but because we have betrayed our humanity in a million ways and feel that treachery in our bones. We just don’t know how to change our ways so we have latched on to quite an innocuous scapegoat, CO2, that simplifies the problem and at the same time directs and mitigates our guilt because we feel like we can and are doing something that is manageable, but not addressing the real issues.

This concern over the “rate of change” might be more a function of the rate of our rising anxiety rather than the situation in reality.

Just a thought.

I also suspect the drum beaters and scare mongers are having a field day tapping into and controlling the direction of that anxiety towards the ends they want to come about.


#100

Hi LBN,

Any serious reader of the Cook paper knows that the category 6 and 7 papers, which comprise 95% of the 4,000 papers expressing an opinion, are silent about the amount of warming contributed by human activities. Dana Nuccitelli, one of the authors, admits this on the SkepticalScience website. Therefore, the most one can reasonably infer is that 95% would endorse the proposition that human activities are causing some warming, a trivial finding.

AGW is defined in the Introduction as the proposition that “human activity is very likely causing most of the current GW”. That was their research question. Its in the paper. Their original endorsement classification scheme would have answered it very nicely, if they had used it in their results. Just tell us how many Category 1 endorsing papers you found, please. There was no excuse for collapsing the categories and hiding the 2%. At the very least, the authors should have given the combination special definition or explanation. Otherwise, a casual reader will get the impression that AGW in “Endorse AGW” retains the same definition from the Introduction.

No, no matter how you look at it, Cook et al give a very dishonest presentation of their results, and they themselves continue to misrepresent their results elsewhere and celebrate their contribution to the propaganda effort.

But why belabor this if I admit that most scientists probably believe that human activities are causing most of the global warming?

  1. The extent of the consensus is nevertheless exaggerated.
  2. The mendacity of establishment researchers must be exposed. Cook et al, unfortunately, are not uncommon. And the fact that such papers get published implicates the entire community.

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