Global warming: where is the science?

To the extent something proposition is scientific; it is capable of disproof. So said the philosopher of science, Karl Popper. If it is incapable of disproof, it is not science. Second, if it is not a statement about the natural world, it is not within the domain of science.

To the extent that anthropogenic global warming is both a statement about the natural world, and is falsifiable, it is science. The theory may still be right, and we may well be warming our planet through the emission of CO2 from burning fossil fuels. Yet after nearly fourteen years of climbing CO2 concentrations caused by us humans (fact), and a failure of the earth’s average temperature to increase (fact), then a crisis of confidence must eventually erupt in the computer projections which predicted much more global warming than has occurred.

Below is the data from the UK Met Office.

fe0617_climate_c_mf

As Ross McKittrick observes in today’s NatPost,

The absence of warming over the past 15 to 20 years amidst rapidly rising greenhouse gas levels poses a fundamental challenge to mainstream climate modeling. In an interview last year with the newspaper Der Spiegel, the well-known German climatologist Hans von Storch said “If things continue as they have been, in five years, at the latest, we will need to acknowledge that something is fundamentally wrong with our climate models.” Climatologist Judith Curry of Georgia Tech recently observed “If the 20-year threshold is reached for the pause, this will lead inescapably to the conclusion that the climate model sensitivity to CO2 is too large.”

McKitrick points out that the models on which policy makers are basing economic effects from AGW, so called Integrated Assessment Models, are themselves based on these inaccurate models of global warming, so that error is compounded into vast decisions about power sources: coal versus nuclear, versus windmills, for instance.

The science may have been settled; it is unfortunate that it has been proven wrong.

As to reliance on computers for such enormous issues of policy, I am reminded of “garbage in-garbage out”. Butlerian Jihad anyone?

Most computer projections are the confabulation of fudge factors chosen to arrive at predetermined outcomes. Hence, not science, since they cannot be proven wrong.

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yanman

If you’ve looked at the report, you can see in Chapter 2 that, although the combined land and sea surface temperature data is a bit confusing, the land surface temperature continues to rise.

Most people attribute this to a difficulty of the models taking into consideration temperatures at different depths, temperature graduation, mixing, etc.

I’ve reproduced the land surface temps here: http://imgur.com/iPlp9fl

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