Location: Pantego, Texas, United States

Wednesday, December 02, 2009

I have noticed that the believers in the catastrophic Anthropogenic Global Warming (AGW) hypothesis fail to mention water vapor when they describe the basis of global warming. Water vapor is, of course, the primary "greenhouse gas" with CO2 and methane as minor contributors. Carbon dioxide does absorb infrared radiation at 2.7, 4.3 and 14.77 microns, and in the absence of other factors would cause atmospheric temperatures to increase slightly. The AGW hypothesis is that, according to the Clausis-Clapyron equation as verified by experiment, an increase in temperature exponentially increases the amount of water vapor the air can hold, so if relative humidity remains the same there will be more water vapor. This additional water vapor will cause the air temperature to increase more, and this will further increase water vapor in the air thus temperature will ratchet upward. The people who support the hypothesis appear, based on the Hadley CRU emails recently released, to have deliberately made the past appear cooler, and the present warmer. People had suspected that for some time since there was indication of it, but the AGW proponents would not release their raw data and their data massaging scheme. I had always had doubts about the past temperature record based on my own experience. The data had been collected from all around the world by many different people with no set procedure or standards, using equipment with uncertain accuracy and variation in local surroundings over time; thus it was highly likely that the error in the data was much larger than the temperature changes being monitored. I also had some philosophical concerns about the concept of a single average temperature. They compute a monthly average temperature for a worldwide grid of blocks about 450 miles on a side. In many of these grid squares there are many measurements of maximum and minimum temperatures that are somehow mashed into a monthly average temperature for the entire grid square. In some of the grid squares there are no measurements, so they use some sort of procedure to generate the average temperature for that grid. Then they average all of the temperatures from the grids to get the monthly average for the world. It appears that there was no configuration management on modifications to the computer routines that made these computations. It also appears that the raw temperature data were not retained, so no one can verify the work. There are many other issues with this procedure that I won't go into now. The emails reveal that they have pushed down the past temperature and jacked up recent temperatures. McIntyre revealed many errors and flaws in this work and some, but not all, were subsequently corrected. Starting in 1979 there were satellite measurements of worldwide temperature. At first there were errors in that system, but the University of Alabama-Huntsville team had an open record, and accepted criticism and corrected errors. This reliable satellite measurement record put a limit on what the researchers at Hadley CRU and NASA/GISS/NCDC could do in messaging their data. This may explain why temperature has not gone up recently, as was predicted by the 'Mann Hockeystick' curve. The AGW proponents use some 21 Global Circulation Models (GCMs) to project future temperature. In developing these models, they were 'calibrated' by forcing the models to produce the temperatures of the past. There were two problems with this. First, they assumed that the natural temperature increase that started in the early 1800's suddenly stopped about 1950, and, next, that all temperature increases after that were due entirely to atmospheric CO2 increases. Thus natural increases were ignored, as were increases that might be due to things such as land use changes. This made it certain that the GCMs would project temperature increases if CO2 level increased. The problem with the GCMs is that they appear to have been calibrated to something that is not true. There is also a potential problem with error build-up in numerical solutions of non-linear equations as they are projected far into the future. At any rate, the GCMs have proven to have no predictive competence, and results from the various GCMs do not match, even on a local level (some predict flooding in California while others predict drought; there is no consistency in results). I think the proponents of catastrophic AGW have fallen into some common fallacies that I read about somewhere, but I've forgotten where:

Confirmation Bias - the researchers unconsciously manipulate data to confirm what they believe. (I have seen this a lot in my career.)

Narrative Fallacy - the tendency to accept a compelling story. Journalists are particularly prone to this. They ignore that which doesn't support the narrative.

Silent Evidence - failure to account for important parameters that are not observed. (Like effect of cosmic rays on cloud formation.)

Ludic Fallacy - willingness to over-simplify and to take models too seriously.

Epistemic Arrogance - over-estimating knowledge and underestimating ignorance of the climate system.

The proponents of the catastrophic AGW hypothesis suggest that the 'precautionary principle' should be followed, otherwise we are playing 'Russian Roulette' with the future. I would rather take that remote small risk than the certain suicide path that the politicians involved in the issue support. The socialists who initiated the UN IPCC stand on the verge of achieving their goal, which Maurice Strong said 20 years ago was to destroy Western Civilization. All of the third world counties in the UN applauded that goal; it is hard to understand why Europe and the liberals in America supported it.


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