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Study debunks ‘global cooling’ concern of ’70s… again

Another favorite skeptic argument has been debunked… again.

The supposed “global cooling” consensus among scientists in the 1970s — frequently offered by global-warming skeptics as proof that climatologists can’t make up their minds — is a myth, according to a survey of the scientific literature of the era…

But Thomas Peterson of the National Climatic Data Center surveyed dozens of peer-reviewed scientific articles from 1965 to 1979 and found that only seven supported global cooling, while 44 predicted warming. Peterson says 20 others were neutral in their assessments of climate trends.

The study reports, “There was no scientific consensus in the 1970s that the Earth was headed into an imminent ice age.

“A review of the literature suggests that, to the contrary, greenhouse warming even then dominated scientists’ thinking about the most important forces shaping Earth’s climate on human time scales.”

Of course this is nothing new, but skeptics have a way of ignoring the massive amounts of studies providing support for climate change so I suspect that this myth will live on.

UPDATE: Here is a link to the paper.

14 Responses to Study debunks ‘global cooling’ concern of ’70s… again

  1. It is always somewhat disappointing to see the press treating science as if it was a democratic process. There are numerous occasions in the history of science when one scientist was alone against the ‘consensus orthodoxy’. This did not mean that the consensus was correct, but merely that the majority were wrong.
    If some thought is put to this, you will find that every advance in science is a case of the majority being found wrong by the invention/discovery of one or more individuals who then need to convince the majority of scientists of the correctness of the new hypothesis.
    In the past this task was complicated by the priests of various religions who could not accept the hypotheses from science – as with Galileo and Copernicus. Nowadays, the task is complicated by the intervention of politicians who want to use ‘science’ to advance their own aims. The difference between a politician and a scientist is that a politician always wants to win an argument whereas a scientist (in theory) wishes to find the truth.
    Unfortunately for humankind, the politicians are involved in the global warming argument, particularly the anthropogenic arguments as it gives them lots of reasons and methods of raising taxes. Politicians also completely understand ‘consensus’ and not scientific method.
    Therefore, whenever the talk is of ‘consensus’ it is obvious that the argument is being made by a politician who wants to win the argument for their own advancement, rather than a scientist who is questing for the truth for the advancement of knowledge.

  2. There are numerous occasions in the history of science when one scientist was alone against the ‘consensus orthodoxy’. This did not mean that the consensus was correct, but merely that the majority were wrong.

    More often than not the consensus is correct and the ‘lone voice in the wilderness’ is simply a crackpot, or has been paid to disagree by special interests. What makes it even more likely that the consensus is correct is the fact that the skeptics continue to spout myths, long after they have been fully debunked. It would be irrational for politicians (who are not scientists and don’t fully understand the science) to agree with the outliers. Should politicians listen to economists who’s ideas are in direct opposition the the majority of respected economists? It is not the place of politicians to question the experts on matters which they do not understand. Your examples of Galileo and Copernicus are a clear illustration of that.

    Nowadays, the task is complicated by the intervention of politicians who want to use ’science’ to advance their own aims.

    Then take a step back and ignore the politicians. Listen to the scientists, listen to the IPCC the National Academies of Science from Australia, Belgium, Brazil, Canada, the Caribbean, China, France, Germany, India, Indonesia, Ireland, Italy, Japan, Malaysia, Mexico, New Zealand, Russia, South Africa, Sweden, the United Kingdom and the USA, the American Meteorological Society, American Geophysical Union, the American Association for the Advancement of Science, the Geological Society of London, the Geological Society of America, the Canadian Meteorological and Oceanographic Society, thousands of peer-reviewed journals, and even the American Association of Petroleum Geologists. They all agree that climate change is not a political concoction or a scientific hoax, but very real and is caused by our greenhouse gas emissions.

    In fact no scientific body of national or international standing is known to reject the basic findings of the human influence on the recent climate.

    It is disappointing when press treats science as if it was a democratic process. It isn’t and un-scientific skeptics are given far to much air time.

  3. Science would take the observations and see if those observations validate the models and hypotheses. If a hypothesis is repeatedly validated it may rise to the level of a theory.

    Quoting numerous sources of scientific opinion and peer reviews does not and cannot trump actual observation. Indeed it reverts back to everyone agrees with me so I must be right consensus thinking rather than hypotheses validated by falsification and observation.

    I have no bias in either direction on the anthropogenic impact on climate. Climate change is no doubt taking place as it always has done. However, your list of scientists as part of a consensus betrays your thinking. I would have preferred to see you provide references citing specified models that if stepped back in time showed the little ice age and medieval warming. Or that these specific cited climate models have correctly forecast the slowing of global warming since 1998 and the severe cold of 2007/08. That is the scientific approach – not repeated quoting of scholars and scientists, however erudite, who all agree on something.

    So provide a reference to a model that correctly forecast the climate and its extremes over the last 12 months ideally one that given start parameters from 1990 forecasts all the following years (all the data is available in considerable detail even for chaotic modeling). Then that proven and validated model may be able to be used to forecast the next 12 months. When you have a model that can be validated on the past and correctly forecasts the observed climate for the next year you may be able to forecast the next 5 years. More importantly the hypotheses and assumptions on which that model is based may be raised to the level of a theory.

    I think many people are getting weary of unvalidated models based on unproven hypotheses even if they all have scientific consensus, when their forecasts have not been correct even in the relatively simple short term. Especially as these models seem to be used more to provide rationale for politicians to impose tax increases rather than to accurately forecast climate changes.

    So perhaps a little challenge to anyone on your citation list – forecast the 4 dimensional temperature and humidity profiles from the surface to say 80 kilometres for the Arctic and Antarctic from May 2008 until May 2009. Publish the forecast in April 2008 and it can be assessed and validated in June 2009.
    This should be simplicity itself for the erudite groups that you quote and it is real science; validating models built on hypotheses. The model or ensemble that gets the closest can then be retested against the equatorial regions and you can then claim scientific credibility rather than mere consensus.
    I forecast that no-one in your list of citations will be able to carry out this modeling – although they will all doubtless remain in full agreement with each other.

    Consensus is easy – objective proven scientific validity is less forgiving.

  4. Science would take the observations and see if those observations validate the models and hypotheses. If a hypothesis is repeatedly validated it may rise to the level of a theory.

    Yes that is how science works, and that is precisely what climate scientists have done to arrive at the current accepted theory of man made climate change.

    Quoting numerous sources of scientific opinion and peer reviews does not and cannot trump actual observation.

    I never suggested it should. I fully expect that scientists to base their conclusions on the data. But since I am not a climate scientist I don’t have the necessary knowledge to construct climate models or analyze the results of such models myself, I must rely on the experts.

    Thankfully scientific institutions, realizing this would be an issue, have come up with a system that allows non-experts in a particular field to easily determine the validity of a study. That system is called peer-review.

    I fully realize that the boundaries of my knowledge permit me from analyzing the data on clime change for myself, and could lead me to be fooled by theories that do not stand up to scientific scrutiny. To combat this reality I use the peer-review system as a filter to remove the junk science.

    When all is said and done the fact that there is an overwhelming consensus on this issue in the peer-reviewed literature (not to mention the fact that every scientific body of national or international standing agrees) is more than enough to convince me.

    Consensus is NOT easy, it requires a theory that can stand up to the scrutiny of countless scientists, and when it is achieved, it is irrational for non-experts to challenge it.

  5. The problem that I have is that all the peer reviewed studies and papers add up to nought if the assumptions and calculations within them have not been tested and validated.

    So as I say again – show me a reported experiment where a model correctly forecast a series of years of climate based on what the scientists designing it believe are the drivers for the climate change. Ideally the experimental design should have been agreed by all those involved on both sides of any of the multitude of arguments.

    There is currently no such experiment or model that has successfully forecast the current state of the climate. I can assure you however difficult building consensus is, building a water tight experimental design is far more difficult and creating and agreeing objective metrics and methodologies to analyze and support or disprove the hypotheses in the experiment is more challenging than finding a peer group to agree with a paper.

    Until such an experiment has run and the hypotheses have been successfully challenged and proven or disproven, then that is all they remain – hypotheses. It is not scientific scrutiny that is required it is objective proof based on observation.

    The reason for this thread is that observation currently shows that the Southern and Northern hemisphere are colder than forecast by the models. Satellite measurements are cooler than forecast by the models. In other words the current models are not in accordance with objective facts based on observation the scientists who built these models will have to revisit their assumptions and calculations.

    So it not a theory (hypothesis) that needs to stand up to scrutiny by scientists – the phlogiston theory did that – it is a hypothesis that is borne out by observation of the actual physical world.

    In more prosaic terms – my neighbors cannot get insurance for their homes as the ‘scientific consensus’ was that hurricanes were going to increase in both number and severity. This has not been borne out by events. The scientific models are/were incorrect and this has caused significant financial hardship. It behooves these climatologists to revisit their models to correct them. Repeatedly saying that they were all in total agreement in their many peer reviewed papers that there would be more numerous and severe hurricanes does not change the fact that they were wrong.

    Validation is difficult and unforgiving.

  6. If you really want to know the details of the scientific case behind the current consensus on climate change, I suggest you read the chapter from the IPCC on Understanding and Attributing Climate Change. Of course if you don’t feel like trusting the IPCC (though there isn’t a very good reason why you shouldn’t) you could always read the hundreds of papers in the bibliography of the IPCC.

    So as I say again – show me a reported experiment where a model correctly forecast a series of years of climate

    This of course has been done. The easiest way to do it is by hindcasting. By starting the model at some point in the past and running it forward, feeding it confirmed observational data on GHG, aerosol, solar, volcanic, and albedo forcing, we can directly compare modeled behavior with the actual, observed course of events.

    Also the famous paper by Hansen et al. from 1998 matches up quite nicely with the observed realty.

    Not to mention that
    :

    • models predict that surface warming should be accompanied by cooling of the stratosphere, and this has indeed been observed;
    • models have long predicted warming of the lower, mid, and upper troposphere, even while satellite readings seemed to disagree — but it turns out the satellite analysis was full of errors and on correction, this warming has been observed;
    • models predict warming of ocean surface waters, as is now observed;
    • models predict an energy imbalance between incoming sunlight and outgoing infrared radiation, which has been detected;
    • models predict sharp and short-lived cooling of a few tenths of a degree in the event of large volcanic eruptions, and Mount Pinatubo confirmed this;
    • models predict an amplification of warming trends in the Arctic region, and this is indeed happening;
    • and finally, to get back to where we started, models predict continuing and accelerating warming of the surface, and so far they are correct.

    Many climate models have been successfully validated, and many valid conclusions can be drawn from them.

    Of course none of them is ‘water tight’ but if that was the standard science must adhere to before being able to draw conclusions from the data, we would still be debating weather or not cigarettes cause cancer, and evolution would still not have supplanted creationism.

    But us debating the science here is pointless. Neither of us have the necessary knowledge to truly understand and thus debate the merits of the current state of climate science and its limitations.

    So knowing my lack of knowledge I place my trust on the concisions of peer-reviewed papers.

    What makes you think that you know more than the thousands of climate experts who all agree with the current consensus?

  7. Going back to your original point about consensus.

    There are numerous occasions in the history of science when one scientist was alone against the ‘consensus orthodoxy’.

    Respected challenges to consensus opinions in the past have come from within the scientific community. The very fact that this has happened before is an illustration that the peer-review process is very conducive to new ideas that challenge the accepted orthodoxy, but only when those ideas are able to withstand scientific scrutiny.

    Currently the skeptic ‘arguments’ consist of little more than cherry picked data and mis-representations of real research. In other words they are coming from outside the scientific community. I’ll take the skeptics seriously when they are able to publish their work in peer-reviewed journals, and their work is able to withstand the ensuing scientific scrutiny. In other words, I’ll take them seriously when they join the scientific community.

  8. Dan,

    You are quite foolish. First the USA Today article is very misleading. I grew up in the 70s and remember quite clearly the same alarmist nonsense from NASA (who you seem to love now), and even Scientific American, as well as the mainstream media.

    I find it laughable that they treat the UN as some “neutral” and “scientific” organization.

    Your claim that the consensus is always right and the anyone who does not bow down to the priests of Science are crackpots is offensive and ironic. If you think about it, you will see just how stupid that truly is. If I remember correctly the pimps of “global warming” were the outcasts and crackpots of the 60s. Are you saying they were wrong about Viet Nam? drugs? Religion? Peace? Free Love? Marriage?

    Peer Review is a joke. Only those that

    Oh and “hind-casting” is exactly what “global warming” backers do.

    GW is about controlling people and breaking Capitalism, nothing more.

  9. I grew up in the 70s and remember quite clearly the same alarmist nonsense from NASA (who you seem to love now), and even Scientific American, as well as the mainstream media.

    First of all Both the mainstream media and Scientific American are not peer-reviewed, thus are not part of the scientific debate, and can safely be ignored if one is talking about the state of the science in the 70s. As for NASA indeed there was a paper in 1971 by Stephen Schneider a climate researcher at NASA’s Goddard Space Flight Center. Schneider suggested that the cooling effect of dirty air could outweigh the warming effect of carbon dioxide, potentially leading to an ice age if aerosol pollution quadrupled. This idea was seen as plausible by a few other scientists.

    The interesting aspect of Schneider’s paper was that even in 1971 there was a good understanding of the effect that CO2 could have on the earth’s climate. What Schneider was questioning was whether or not the also well understood effect of aerosols in the atmosphere was able to overcome the warming caused by CO2.

    However, Schneider soon realized he had overestimated the cooling effect of aerosol pollution and underestimated the effect of CO2, meaning warming was more likely than cooling in the long run.

    The current consensus however encompasses thousands of papers in peer-reviewed journals, and every scientific institution of national or international standing. The two are hardly comparable.

    I find it laughable that they treat the UN as some “neutral” and “scientific” organization.

    If you wont trust the IPCC’s review of the scientific literature (though there is no good reason why you shouldn’t, other than the fact that they omit very important positive feedbacks in the climate system and the very nature of the IPCC leads to conservative predictions) feel free to read the hundreds of peer-reviewed papers they cite.

    Your claim that the consensus is always right…

    When did I claim such a thing? What I claimed was that consensuses of the worlds experts based on good scientific data are far more likely to be correct than incorrect. Because of this it is irrational for non-experts (such as politicians)to disagree with such an overwhelming agreement amongst the experts. Believing in science is neither Ironic or stupid.

    Peer Review is a joke. Only those that

    Not quite sure what you are getting at, but if you believe that peer-review is a joke, I can only assume you have a very poor level of science education, and a poor understanding on how modern science is vetted. Where do you propose people get vetted science if not from peer-reviewed journals.

    I guess it is easier to believe in a grand conspiracy involving thousands of scientists, and scientific institutions rather than believing that all those experts might actually be right.

    Oh and “hind-casting” is exactly what “global warming” backers do.

    Yes as I described, it is what climate modelers do to check the accuracy of their climate models.

    GW is about controlling people and breaking Capitalism, nothing more.

    Which is why the right wing think tank the American Enterprise Institute has publicly called for a carbon tax.

    In fact I suggest you read up on economic externalities and how they can lead to a market failure. You should probably also read up on Pigovian taxes, and how they can correct for negative externalities, so the free-market functions properly. Making the free-market function properly isn’t what I would call breaking capitalism.

  10. and finally, to get back to where we started, models predict continuing and accelerating warming of the surface, and so far they are correct.

    The problem with the models is that they tend to be built on very short timescales. So we see ‘since records began’ meaning back to the 1960’s (e.g. for ice cover in antarctic)- these are hardly geological or even heliophysical timescales. As you say “so far they are correct” – I think you will find that is no longer the case if you include the current year. Not only that they have not been tested against the medieval warm period and the subsequent cooling in the 17th century – because the modelers know that their models won’t show them (very scientific!).

    Your claim that the consensus is always right…

    When did I claim such a thing? What I claimed was that consensuses of the worlds experts based on good scientific data are far more likely to be correct than incorrect.,

    So you agree that consensus is not always correct at least we agree on something. However, you then go on to state that they are more likely to be correct… this is not borne out by science. Moreover, the religious zeal with which this particular issue is pursued because of the support of politicians and media is wholly unscientific and tends to repress dissenting views by refusal to fund or review them. If you want some peer reviewed science that supports other views you need to go to those countries where the media have less power for example try this paper and its references.

    I guess it is easier to believe in a grand conspiracy involving thousands of scientists, and scientific institutions rather than believing that all those experts might actually be right.

    They may be right – its just that there are alternate hypotheses by other scientists that may also be right. However, the politicians and the non-scientists that run the IPCC and produce its summaries – cannot brook any contention with their views. IT IS THIS VERY ATTITUDE that leads to suspicion that their case is WEAK.

    Scientific method is to attempt to prove hypotheses by falsification. Instead of refusing funding and peer review scientists would wish to study all these falsifications to ensure that there were no errors in the hypothesis or in the falsification of it. Politicians and others who merely wish to win arguments attack the people proposing falsifications and attempt to silence them.

    Here are some facts that have not been undisputed. The geological records show that the temperature rose at the end of the ice ages for 800 years or more before the CO2 level rose.
    CO2 is one of the so called ‘greenhouse gases’ and no doubt adds to the greenhouse effect.
    But SOMETHING ELSE caused the Earth to warm for more than 800 years before CO2 levels rose. Does this not raise some level of scientific curiosity into what the cause was? Something else that changed the world from a stable ice age to warming – that could be happening right now.
    800 years is significantly longer than 1970 to 1998 or even 1900 to 1998.

    No its a lot easier to build models that almost match what happened in 30 years than to build models that show what happens over millenia – models that cannot even produce a match that runs over 300 years.

    If these models CANNOT be validated against historically accepted facts – why trust them to forecast the future? This is especially the case now that global temperature averages appear to have remained at or below the levels of 1998 rather than have risen in line with the CO2 concentration that the modelers appear to believe is the main driver for warming.

    Again – I am not for or against any of these hypotheses – but none of them can claim to have been proven to the level of a theory – indeed it may well be that the consensus behind one hypothesis may need to re-evaluate the assumptions made in their modeling.

    They said it was right so it must be right – is not a scientific argument regardless of how large the number or their qualifications.

    A published model running from say Ad 100 through to 2008 showing a consistent match with historical records would go a long way toward proof of the hypothesis; even better would be one running from the start of the last ice age through to the present. However, with politicians now firmly in charge of the debate, I doubt if anyone will risk trying to validate the models that ‘prove the case’ for carbon credits and taxation it would be too embarrassing if it was found that they did not.

  11. The problem with the models…

    SO apparently even though you asked for a single example of a model that has accurately predicted the current climate, and I provided you with several that wasn’t enough.

    Not only that they have not been tested against the medieval warm period and the subsequent cooling in the 17th century – because the modelers know that their models won’t show them (very scientific!).

    I suggest you actually read the IPCC chapter that I linked above, it fully explains what the Medieval warm period (which was most likely not a global temperature phenomenon, but rather one that was limited mainly to Europe and to a lesser extent the northern hemisphere), and the Holocene Maximum.

    So you agree that consensus is not always correct at least we agree on something. However, you then go on to state that they are more likely to be correct… this is not borne out by science

    It is born out of a rational thought process and I bet you agree. If you go to a doctor and he says you have ‘x’ disease, you might not believe him, and want to get a second opinion. So you get a second opinion from another doctor, and he says the same thing, but being the skeptical type you are not convinced so you take it to a third doctor, and he also says the same thing. You can keep taking it to more doctors, but I suspect that the more doctors that arrive at the same conclusion the more likely you are to believe them and because the odds that all these doctors made the same mistake becomes more unlikely as the number of doctors that agree on your condition increases. It is simple statistics.

    But by you logic we shouldn’t listen to scientific consensuses, such as the theory of evolution (there are plenty of un-scientific skeptics we could listen to instead), the theory that cigarettes cause cancer, or the theory that the earth is 4.54 billion years old, because as you say it is just as likely that the consensus on these theories are wrong.

    Do you still sand by your logic?

    Scientific method is to attempt to prove hypotheses by falsification. Instead of refusing funding and peer review scientists would wish to study all these falsifications to ensure that there were no errors in the hypothesis or in the falsification of it.

    This claim is made frequently by skeptics, but they show no supporting evidence. Forgive me if I don’t believe in your vast conspiracy by thousands scientists and scientific institutions, when there is plenty of evidence to the contrary.

    The geological records show that the temperature rose at the end of the ice ages for 800 years or more before the CO2 level rose. CO2 is one of the so called ‘greenhouse gases’ and no doubt adds to the greenhouse effect. But SOMETHING ELSE caused the Earth to warm for more than 800 years before CO2 levels rose. Does this not raise some level of scientific curiosity into what the cause was? Something else that changed the world from a stable ice age to warming – that could be happening right now.

    Yes that is a very interesting observation, and question. And it has been answered by climate scientists. I wrote about it here, but if you prefer to read it from a more authoritative source here is an explanation by the Royal Society, here is a good overview by RealClimate, here is one by NewScientist, and finally here is one by Grist. The fact that CO2 lags temperature in past climate change episodes is exactly what climate scientist say SHOULD have happened. Perhaps you are confused because Al Gore glazed over this issue in An Inconvenient Truth. Real scientists, however, have not.

    This is especially the case now that global temperature averages appear to have remained at or below the levels of 1998

    The mere fact that you are using 1998 as a baseline speaks volumes about your lack of understanding of the current climate science, and even basic statistics. 1998 was an extremely anomalous year, which makes it completely inappropriate for use as a baseline. In fact because the climate has rather large yearly variations using any one year as a baseline is probably not very appropriate; this is why climate scientists use a rolling average when wanting to compare climate to a baseline. Your statement is nothing short of a complete misrepresentation (intentional or not) of the facts.

    If you want to debate the science the least you could do it obtain a basic understanding of the current state of climate science.

    They said it was right so it must be right – is not a scientific argument regardless of how large the number or their qualifications.

    Perhaps I have given you the wrong impression. I am not a climate scientist, and this blog is not peer-reviewed (shocking I know), thus anything said here is not part of the scientific debate.

    If you want to be part of the scientific debate I suggest reading the whole IPCC (not just the summaries) and the hundreds of peer-reviewed papers that have since added to our understanding of the earths climate and the forces that affect it.

  12. It is born out of a rational thought process and I bet you agree. If you go to a doctor and he says you have ‘x’ disease, you might not believe him, and want to get a second opinion. So you get a second opinion from another doctor, and he says the same thing, but being the skeptical type you are not convinced so you take it to a third doctor, and he also says the same thing. You can keep taking it to more doctors, but I suspect that the more doctors that arrive at the same conclusion the more likely you are to believe them and because the odds that all these doctors made the same mistake becomes more unlikely as the number of doctors that agree on your condition increases. It is simple statistics.

    It is a poor analogy but let me play it back at you… it is 1940 your child is severely ill with a streptococcal infection, you go to your doctor and he says that all the drugs have been used but the latest sulphonamide drugs have very little effect on strep – your child will die in a week or so. You ask for a second opinion and you receive the same answer but being the sceptical type you go to a third and he says the same thing – then you meet a fourth doctor and he suggests that a new drug discovered in Europe a mould extract should work – and your child is cured within days by the new penicillin that the other doctors had not bothered to investigate – after all they were fully qualified and were members of all the important institutes and had CONSENSUS and now STATISTICS on their side.

    In science consensus even with multitudes of peer reviewed papers and statistics of learned opinions mean nothing – validated tests do.

    I do not believe in ‘conspiracy theories’ I do believe that some scientists (particularly those defending research grants) are extremely defensive about their theories. It was pure luck that Niels Bohr allowed Einstein’s work on Relativity to be published as it was contrary to the existing consensus. It is very difficult for people researching in related areas but with contrary hypotheses to receive funding – so for example currently Canadians wishing to be funded to update the equipment they are using to study the sun, are finding it hard to receive funding as they feel that a Maunder Minimum is approaching – which could lead to a drop in global temperatures. However, if they had said they wanted the equipment to debunk the solar radiation driven theories of global warming they may well have received funding already.

    I have no doubt that CO2 has an effect on climate. But the models that try to use it as the MAIN or even ONLY driver on climate do not appear to produce validatable results. With each successive IPCC report revisiting the previous reports forecasts (which were the absolute truths at the time they were published) and changing them.

    I presume you can point me to a model from the supporting papers to the IPCC latest report that shows that after 1998 (the second warmest year in the 1900s) with atmospheric CO2 concentration rising faster, the ‘global average temperature’ would plateau and then in 2007 the temperature would drop considerably. More to the point when you (or someone else reading this) identify a suitable model – that model’s forecast for 2008/9 can then be predeclared and then checked to confirm its accuracy in a year’s time.

    If the IPCC were to do this – for each continent, pole and major sea providing a relatively detailed year on year forecast of what is forecast to happen for likely CO2 concentrations. Then – if those forecasts are borne out they would blow the other hypotheses out of contention by showing the validity of the model and the hypotesis and assumptions on which it was based. But rather than do that the IPCC descends to almost catcalling; scientists and observers with differing hypotheses are called ‘sceptics’ – ‘global warming deniers’ (although most accept global warming) – and other stronger epithets. While the IPCC repeatedly revisits models that they said previously were trusted state of the art, and heavily modify or delete them and not refer to them again (as with the so called ‘hockey stick’) or their forecasts are amended to fit reality.

    This is really important the world’s safety and economy even potentially the survival of the human race depends on it. It is not a time to start political arguments and score points off each other. Every scientist with a valid view should be able to obtain funding to identify climate drivers and model what they believe is happening. The hypothesis (es) that best fit the facts can then be used to identify whether all carbon/methane/Water vapor emissions should be stopped – or whether we are on a roller coaster driven by the epitrochoid motion of the sun that we cannot alter only adapt to deal with its impact.
    Currently climate science has focused purely on the CO2 hypothesis – without proving the validity of that focus.

  13. It is a poor analogy but let me play it back at you…

    Your analogy about penicillin shows that you do not understand the argument I am making in support of consensus. Consensuses are valuable not because it is guaranteed that they are correct, but because they are more LIKELY to be correct. Your examples of situation where a consensus has been proved wrong as new information became available, does not in any way speak to the argument I am making. All I am saying is that when experts in a given field have reached a consensus based on all currently available data, it is more likely that they are correct. If you want to spend you life believing in outliers be my guest, but I think you will find that they are wrong most of the time.

    In science consensus even with multitudes of peer reviewed papers and statistics of learned opinions mean nothing – validated tests do.

    The climate consensus wasn’t pulled out of Al Gore’s ass as you seem to imply, but rather it was arrived at through validated tests, and has withstood a barrage of scrutiny by the worlds top scientists.

    I have no doubt that CO2 has an effect on climate. But the models that try to use it as the MAIN or even ONLY driver on climate do not appear to produce validatable results.

    This is completely false, and show that you are woefully uneducated on what constitutes climate models, and have not even read the abstracts of the models I linked to above. The relatively primitive (when compared with todays models) model by Hansen et al. from 1998 focuses on many more factors than just CO2. Todays models take even more factors into account and are able to describe the climate system with even more accuracy than the Hansen Model (which itself was remarkably accurate). It is because of models like these that the scientific community now says (with a very high degree of certainty) that our greenhouse gas emissions (not just CO2 though that is the most important GHG) are responsible for the large majority of the recent warming trend.

    for example currently Canadians wishing to be funded to update the equipment they are using to study the sun, are finding it hard to receive funding as they feel that a Maunder Minimum is approaching – which could lead to a drop in global temperatures.

    You just described the state of funding for pretty much ALL scientists in Canada, regardless of their field of study, as was recently pointed out in Nature.

    As for your statement that a Maunder Minimum, will lead to a drop in global temperatures that is simply not true. First of all THE Maunder Minimum, was a single period of sunspot minima in the sun’s sunspot cycle, that lasted from 1645 and 1715. What is currently happening is that we are entering a low point (perhaps unusually low) in the sunspot cycle, and while this is usually associated with a cooling forcing on the climate system, its effect is downed out by the MUCH larger warming forcing caused by our greenhouse gas emissions. In other words temperatures are not likely to drop because of this.

    if they had said they wanted the equipment to debunk the solar radiation driven theories of global warming they may well have received funding already.

    That is quite a statement there, do you have ANY evidence to back it up. Currently funding available for ANY scientific field is quite limited in Canada, but be that as may, there are currently many people studying the sun, and the effects that solar radiation have on the earth’s climate. So far these factors have failed to explain the current warming trend.

    that shows that after 1998 (the second warmest year in the 1900s) with atmospheric CO2 concentration rising faster, the ‘global average temperature’ would plateau and then in 2007 the temperature would drop considerably.

    I already explained to you why 1998 should not be used as a baseline, go back and read what I said, and don’t do it again. As for temperatures in 2007 having ‘dropped considerably’ that is simply false. According to NASA GISS: “The year 2007 tied for second warmest in the period of instrumental data, behind the record warmth of 2005“. That sure doesn’t sound like a considerable drop in temperature to me, but perhaps you have a different definition for the terms “tied for second warmest“.

    Every scientist with a valid view should be able to obtain funding to identify climate drivers and model what they believe is happening.

    The key words in you statement are ‘valid view’, and again there is no evidence that this is not happening. What there is plenty of evidence for, however, is that many non-scientists masquerading as experts are proposing theories (or non-valid views) that may be good enough to fool uneducated observers (like you, me and many pundits and politicians), but that do not stand up to the scrutiny of real climate scientists. There is no evidence that the peer-review process is biased against competing theories on climate change, but for those theories to be published they need to stand up to rigorous scientific scrutiny, so far they have been unable to do that, and have therefore, and correctly, have not been published.

    You seem content to repeat many climate change myths that have already been debunked by people more educated on this matter than both you and I, so I suggest you read the guides by the Royal Society, New Scientist, and Gristmill. They are all much more authoritative than me, and whenever possible link to peer-reviewed journals. I also suggest you read the full IPCC report (or the hundreds of cited papers of you don’t trust the IPCC to accurately summarize them) for a good background on the current state of our understanding of the climate systems, and RealClimate (or more specifically the peer-reviewed papers they link to) for issues regarding the bleeding edge of climate research.

    These sources should keep keep you busy for a while and clear up many of the misconceptions you have about climate change and our knowledge of it. If you are not willing to read all of this, and educate yourself on this issue then you are likely to continue to spout fully debunked myths, and thus have no standing to challenge the consensus that the experts have arrived at.

  14. With each successive IPCC report revisiting the previous reports forecasts (which were the absolute truths at the time they were published) and changing them.

    I saved this comment of your for last because it is by far the most damning thing you have said in this whole debate, and shows one of two options about you understanding of basic scientific principles.

    In science nothing is an absolute truth, the scientific method has no process for proving anything, it can only disprove, or at best only provide support for a particular hypothesis. The fact that you claim that scientists regard the IPCC conclusions as absolute truths, means that either you have a basic misunderstanding of how science works, or you are deliberately trying to mislead people. Either way you have seriously damaged your credibility in this little debate of ours.

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