Friday, 27 September 2013

The Continuing Evasion & Denial Of Scientific Uncertainty Regarding Climate

"I use both the terms “denier” (rather than “sceptic”) and “conspiracy theorist” advisedly. After all, they either deny that the world is warming or deny that mankind is responsible for this warming. Remember: 97 per cent of climate scientists agree the world is warming and that mankind is responsible."
So spouts Medhi Hasan, strawman contributer to "The New Statesman".

First, there are two time-frames: one long term and the other short term. Over the long term time-frame, there is a warming trend, which nobody "denies". The question to be asked is whether this long-term warming trend is due to human carbon dioxide emissions or whether it is due to other causes, e.g. natural, multi-decadal cyclic processes. However, there is insufficient global climate data over a long enough period to tell whether the current long-term trend is anomalous, as the anthropogenic greenhouse gas hypothesis would have it, or is due to natural (or other) processes that occur over multiple decades. See here...

Lord Turnbull's graphic.
Since the historical extent of the observational data is insufficient to tell for sure, so recent temperature records must be compared to models of the climate that suppose those temperatures were driven by increasing anthropogenic carbon dioxide emissions. If the models predict the recent temperature record, then that would be interpreted as support for the anthropogenic greenhouse gas hypothesis.

However, over the second, short term time frame from the year 2,000 onwards the actual temperature record has not been accurately predicted by the IPCC's climate models. This problem is especially pronounced now in 2013 because the length of time is now well over a decade, during which global carbon dioxide emissions have continued to increase. See here...

From a recent article in Der Spiegel.
That table above compares actual temperature change compared to a long-term mean (the blue line) with four sets of predictions from the IPCC. All of those predictions have been falsified by the recorded data.

The problem now is that, just as the real extent of scientific uncertainty about the scale and mechanisms of climate change is being revealed, the political and financial parasites have little incentive to leave gracefully. There is still so much money to be made through academic grants and subsidies to "green" businesses that the default setting for most of these people must surely be to either deliberately ignore the scientific uncertainty about climate change, or to take it on faith - irrespective of the demonstrably weak evidence - that the planet is catastrophically warming due entirely to anthropogenic carbon dioxide emissions.

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