Climate Challenge Anyone?

Here’s a challenge to all my “skeptical readers” – Trust Matters April 22 2012 .

The Salby lecture link is:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?feature=player_embedded&v=YrI03ts–9I

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4 Responses to Climate Challenge Anyone?

  1. mrmethane says:

    Did you catch the article on the facts behind the “97% of climate scientists…” mantra? Turns out that of over 10,000 survey recipients, only 79 chose to respond to two simple questions that had nothing to do with catastrophic climate change, and of those, 77 responded “yes”, which was the 97% in question.

  2. bill russell says:

    Your article is interesting inasmuch as it it a good illustrator of what passes for debate on this topic. Your argument unfortunately, falls into the category of “close, but no cigar”.

    Let me begin with an explanation of the origins of the theory of global warming, and the urgency for an appropriate response.

    There is a great deal of confusion in this debate because there is little recognition of the difference between a climatologist, a meteorologist, and for your choice of authority, an atmospheric physicist. Climatologists study long term weather patterns, as in thousands of years, meteorologists study weather systems and deal with time periods of days, while the atmospheric physicist studies the physical attributes of the atmosphere that surrounds our planet. There is an interdisciplinary area, such as exists between biology, chemistry, and physics, but they are still very different fields of study in their own right. So selecting an atmospheric physicist as a sole resource for conclusive evidence for climate change is precarious. This is not to suggest for a moment that Dr Salby is not a first class academic in his field, but it is HIS field. So the very notion of “refuting” his claims is not helpful at all, as his science is sure to be rigorous. The problem with global warming is not the selection of an expert, qualified or not, it is the nature of the model that leads to problems.

    So just what is this model.

    It is a matrix, and the variables entered are temperature, topology factors, atmosphere physical properties, rainfall figures and so on until the matrix is huge. The limit of the variables entered is the power of the computer that will be used to “solve” this matrix. As the power of supercomputers increases, so does the matrix grow to include more variables and hence the accuracy of the model. It is all very imprecise, and any responsible scientist will not claim with certainty, the solutions offered by the model. The scientists working on these models do not work on the same one. The scary thing for us is that so many of them come to the same conclusion. That the world is warming, that it is warming rapidly in geological terms, and the cause is primarily CO2 levels in the atmosphere. Either the methodology is wrong, ie the matrix is not a suitable tool, or it is the case that the science is valid, and the indications are too many and varied in source to be ignored. So by all means quote Dr Salby in depth, but keep his field, and the narrow expertise that brings to the question, in mind.

    The point about being a skeptic deserves attention. The value of science is that faith or belief is not a factor. It is necessary to “prove” a theory, ie demonstrate its validity through experiment or observation. Eg Mendels Laws on genetics, or the Theory of Relativity by Einstein. One should be skeptical of global man made warming, and demand proof. But as I pointed out “proof” is hard to come by when the evidence is so elusive. The other option is to abandon all the climate models and say we are not interested in this activity as a science. So we go somewhere down the middle.

    I like the comparison between climate change and behavioural “science”. We study this field to great depth and yet we are unable to make reliable scientific predictions about outcomes. But we still study it and produce theories. Eg., Poverty leads to crime.

    How many medical studies were produced by the medical profession to show there was no “proof” that smoking caused cancer. Very hard to “prove” still.

    So if you are looking for “proof” of climate change due to CO2 levels that are man made, good luck. But if there are a vast array of climatologists from around the world telling us to beware, I think we should listen. And listen hard.

    The UN has taken a stand on the issue, saying we need to pay attention, the Dutch government has advanced its hundred year plan to be the twenty year plan. There are a great many other examples of governments and scientists examining the work of the climatologists in great detail. They are concerned at the level of evidence. I would hope they are all skeptics, and have needed to be convinced by evidence.

    In closing I would like to use your phrase “the ball is in your court”. If the climatologists are right, I hope your tennis court is located well above sea level, and if not that it comes fully equipped with SCUBA gear for your grandchildren to make use of it.

    • While I agree no one is handing out cigars having brought forth the “end all be all” when it comes to climate change, in my opinion, the most relevant point Salby makes is there appears to be a rather gaping hole in the theory that manmade CO2 is the primary cause of global warming.

      The secondary question that arises from Salby’s presentation, is “if CO2 is not the primary driver, then what is?” Coincidentally, just after I had submitted the article, a new study was published in the journal Astrobiology, by Henrik Svensmark (see – http://www.astrobio.net/pressrelease/4718/did-supernovas-boost-life-on-earth ).

      Svensmark is also a physicist, and a number of years ago proposed a theory linking “cosmic rays” to cloud formation, which a scientific team at CERN has been working on recently (see http://cloud.web.cern.ch/cloud/ ). While the research is still in its infancy, given Svensmark’s latest study, it gives more weight to the theory.

      Bottom line – climatologists do not have a monopoly on science when it comes to what affects climate. And, unfortunately, the primary public group which has headed up “climate science” – the UNIPCC – is fraught with problems.(see Donna Laframboise’s expose – “The Delinquint Teenager Who Was Mistaken for the World’s Top Climate Expert”)

      With no global warming for about 15 years now, we are starting to see the cracks in the CO2 theory, and, supporters are starting to jump ship. I just read an interesting piece on “groupthink” today, which nicely sums up the problems associated with declaring a “consensus” when it comes to scientific matters. ( http://wattsupwiththat.com/2012/04/30/why-climate-science-is-a-textbook-example-of-groupthink/ )

      A recent example of a prominent ship jumper is James Lovelock, a central figure to environmentalism best known for his Gaia hypothesis. In 2007 he said “Before this century is over, billions of us will die and the few breeding pairs of people that survive will be in the Arctic.” Recently he revised his view; “The problem is we don’t know what the climate is doing. We thought we knew 20 years ago. That led to some alarmist books – mine included – because it looked clear-cut, but it hasn’t happened….We were supposed to be halfway toward a frying world now.”

      Thus, “observation” is now obliterating the computer models’ projections of 10-20 years ago.

      Polar bear ( http://www.theglobeandmail.com/news/national/healthy-polar-bear-count-confounds-doomsayers/article2392523/ ) and penguin ( http://online.wsj.com/article/SB10001424052702303624004577341852685773234.html ) populations are much more abundant that was previously thought, Arctic ice extent this year has reached the “normal” range, sea ice extent in Antartica is growing, the 2012 Atlantic basin hurricane season will have reduced activity compared with the 1981-2010 climatology, sea level isn’t rising as expected in Kiribati ( http://www.marklynas.org/2012/04/where-sea-level-rise-isnt-what-it-seems/ ) ….I could go on for awhile with all of the “good news” which never reaches the MSM.

      In other words things aren’t anywhere near as bad as the most vocal alarmists like Gore, Mann, Hansen, Pauchuri, Jones, McKibben, etc. make them out to be.

      It is time for those politicians, scientists, bureaucrats and/or activists, to agree to open, public debate on the issues, rather than parrot the “consensus” line as the sole “proof” that the “science is settled” when it comes to climate. In the meantime I’m keeping my mind open to all possibilities…the cosmic ray/solar magnetic wind connection is my current favourite as a potential double suspect.

  3. vasper85 says:

    The Giant’s Footprint (aka Where is Salby’s Peer Reviewed Article?)

    A gentleman commented on my blog the other day pointing me to another article written by our resident climate skeptic Eric Booth issuing a challenge to all those that subscribe to climate change driven by CO2. It was a talk given by Professor Murry Salby.

    I figured it must be pretty good stuff seeing as when I did a search on his name there were blogs titled:

    “An Emily Litella moment for climate science and CO2”
    “Greenie Watch”
    “It continues to unravel”
    “Al Gore, My Favourite Whore”
    “The Climate Scum: Salby Demolishes AGW Theory”
    “Another Nail in the Coffin”
    “Prof. Murry Salby falsifies Anthropogenic Global Warming”

    and my personal favourite:

    “The Climate Change Debate Should be Declared Over!”

    It is interesting to note how many of these blog posts spread out like wild-fire in the first week of August, telling the exact same story with very little analysis or original commentary.

    So I went to search for the peer reviewed paper but I ran into a problem, I couldn’t find it. Most of these blogs were dated around Aug 2011, most likely soon after the talk was given and some of them talked about a paper being submitted for review. The latest blog dated April of this year said 6 months until it was to be published.

    All this celebration and it hadn’t even been reviewed yet.

    Please, by all means, if you know where Salby’s article has been published in a peer-reviewed publication, throw me a link and I’ll change this post title.

    In the meantime there has been a rebuttal. A few actually.

    continues at…
    http://rantyrantrant.blogspot.ca/2012/05/giants-footprint-aka-where-is-salbys.html

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