A group of top NASA boffins says that current climate models predicting global warming are far too gloomy, and have failed to properly account for an important cooling factor which will come into play as CO2 levels rise. According to Lahouari Bounoua of NASA's Goddard Space Flight Center, and other scientists from NASA and the …
"The NASA and NOAA boffins used their more accurate science"
Except it's not science. It's modeling.
"but nonetheless the new analysis is very reassuring"
It would be if it was science. But it's modeling.
Modelling *is* Science
From Wikipedia: "Science (from the Latin scientia, meaning "knowledge") is an enterprise that builds and organizes knowledge in the form of testable explanations and predictions about the natural world."
These testable explanations and predictions are also known as *models*.
This title is incorrect.
A testable explanation may be a model, but for that model to remain scientific it must stand up to real world observations. The models used to "prove" the hypothesis that CO2 is the primary driver of climate fail to do this: they fail to stand up to the real world. Many of them cannot hindcast with even remote accuracy. They failed to predict the current cooling trend, for instance. So they added another epicycle.
See, models are not science. Not really. The model that described the ptolemaic universe was a very good one, it could accurately predict conjunctions, star positions, eclipses and even the odd comet. A model can be right in every single way and still be fundamentally wrong.
Your quoting of the wiki description misses one key element: a hypothesis must be rejected if it fails to predict events that fall within its scope, or if real-world observation contradicts it. So far real-world observations have contradicted just about every element of the CAGW hypothesis, and the models have failed to accurately represent the world. In order to remain scientific it must be rejected, not modified ad hoc to say "ahh but then this when that", as the old model of the universe was. That may bring the model back in line with observations, but it doesn't make it correct as long as the fundamental element of the hypothesis is incorrect. Clinging to a failed hypothesis is not scientific.
Therefore the models are not science.
Reply to post: Modelling *is* Science
No... Modelling is PART of science. You still have to do the testing part.
I can produce all the models I want, but that doesn't mean that I'm doing science. The models should represent a part of the natural world that I'm interested in. But, there is nothing that forces a model to actually represent the world and if the model isn't compared to reality, then it isn't possible to show its validity. A model that has no relation to reality is ultimately useless (outside of religion) and a model who's validity cannot be proven is no better than an irrelevant model. Good science creates a hypothesis about something not fully understood, creates a model that will allow that hypothesis to be tested and then performs the test to see what happens, either substantiating the hypothesis or rejecting it.
Note, the hypothesis/expermentation strategy is only one method used in science. Many people prefer to collect sets of observations and then try to find underlying similarities and causes.
This why smart people don't quote Wikipedia. That section of the article reads like it was written by a philospher who never even set foot in a science class.
I could instead point out that your Wikipedia article states "testable explanations and predictions." There have been no tests performed on this stuff and indeed that is reasonable, given that the scientists cannot create a world to test on and they're using every bit of data they can find to generate the models, so there's nothing left to test against. So, since the models can't be tested, they can't be science.
And these models fail when tested against the observation.
Now and go and wear the Dunce's Hat, and stand in the corner.
Modelling -- a science even if spelled with one l.
The most obvious red herring is going on about "global warming" and how it's less degrees on average or not... That's not really the point, is it?
Somewhere around 2000 the consensus was reached that we're not so much worried about warming, but about climate change --- if the temperature stays the same on average, but in some regions it goes down others it goes up then there is indeed a big change. Especially because precipitation/rain is very sensitive to these changes... There again, if average rain stays the same but it all falls in autumn, you're not really going to survive with a foodless spring and summer, are you? And in most cases it's not going to be the same quantity of rain (so possible to store & ration) but a very different one...
Short version: global warming out, climate change in, get with the programme!
Model V Model
Even if modelling did not equate science, how do you think they arrived at the current CO2 based MODEL?
There was a subtle clue at the end there.
Modelling is just that...
A model is just that, a model, a system for approximating reality (i.e. measured data) and making testable predictions.
Those of us in the science community who remember what a model really is and why it can never take primacy over measured data have a special word for a model whose predictions do not match measured reality. Such a model is, technical jargon here, "wrong". If a model is "wrong" then any decisions based on its predictions are also "wrong".
All of the models used by the IPCC fall into this category of "wrong" and thus must be discarded. Any decisions based on these models are "wrong" are thus baseless and have no value.
Let's feed the data gathered so far (without the data falsifying edits by the Hockey Team) until, say, 1970 into the new model. If the predictions it makes do not match the actual data for 1970 to the present then this new model is also "wrong"
AFAIK there is not one single model of climate that passes the above test.
Apples and oranges anyone?
Science is a way of doing things, a model is a theory. You can *build* a model in a scientific way or you do not, but that is as far as models and science relate, imho.
In theory the climate models can be tested, in practice they fail those tests. The most obvious test is that a model should be able to predict future activity. Therefore you can use the model to predict a future point and compare the actual data of that future point against what the model predicted. The catch on this is "How far into the future do you need to go before you are sure you are measuring climate as opposed to measuring weather?"
The more obvious choice is to use the model to look at recorded data. In theory, if the model is accurate and there are sufficient data points from the historical record, you should be able to accurately predict the climate at a future point where you are far enough ahead do the question of weather vs climate is moot. The problem here is that at best we have 300 years of accurate data (being generous) to feed into the models.
So while your conclusion is correct in the sense that they have not been successfully tested, it isn't because they are inherently untestable. Otherwise, excellent post, including the bit about not quoting Wiki.
Again, thrust post but a minor nit
Under the structure you've outline, all models are not science because they are all wrong in an absolute sense (eg Newtonian physics fail at near light speeds and Einstein's model fail for certain observations although at the moment I don't recall exactly which ones). What it needs are the following corrective factors:
* a model is accepted for practical purposes if the data agree within the margin error
* the margin of error has to be small enough to produce an acceptable signal to noise ratio (that is, you can see a clear trend outside the variations introduced by error)
To date none of the climate models pass muster under these modified criteria either, so your conclusion stills stands, but we get to keep the Newtonian and Einsteinian models as science.
Where I come from, we assess the truthiness based on media descriptions and then use our tax law to subsidise a scientific test of legal over physical laws. (More highways, anyone?) The results will be subject to the same wild variations in interpretation. Whilst others discuss their version of reality, I'm un-developing some river frontage in the Great White North.
Science is modelling, whether computer or theortical.
Then you can use statistics to see how good your theories are. The scientists have been rather careful with the amount of warming they predict so most models over the last 20 years have been calibrated to minimise the warming and they have been off by under predicting the warming that has happened. The temp is rising faster than predicted, icecaps and glaciers melting faster etc.
There will be feedback in any chaotic system so this is good news but not nearly good enough for the backward (that is the opposite of progressive isn't it) and politically incorrect to really take any hope from. We aer pushing a chaotic system and if it hits turbulance then I suspect we're in trouble.
And btw yanks, you live in a socialist country and should be proud. The constitution is based on post revolutionary France and you are not likely to go back even if you want to.
Although I have never heard any conservatives actually say, "please take away my property and tax me for whatever living I can scratch on your land, please take my daughter and do as you will, please take away my vote and all rights etc".
You're not as skeptical as you think you are
If any of you had actually read the report being cited here and not just the malformed attempt at interpretation by this article you would know that this is all hogwash. The point of the report was not a climate projection, just an attempt at quantifying the negative feedback of plant transpiration, which they settled on 0.26 degrees Celsius. The 1.64 number is a result of subtracting 0.26 (well 0.3 which was rounded up in the NASA press release) from the LOWEST predicted temperature increase by CO2 of 1.94 degrees Celsius, when in fact the temperature increase ranges cited in the report are 1.94 to 4.5 degrees Celsius, so in fact this report says that if CO2 concentrations double, we should expect a temperature increase from 1.64 to 4.2 degrees celsius, down from 1.94 to 4.5 degrees Celsius when we account for plant transpiration.
A perfect example of people not reading past the headlines and doing zero critical thinking for themselves. This report doesn't debunk global warming. The so-called "cooling trend" you talk about is just as easily debunked and if you have any interest in knowing the actual science or in real skeptisism please feel free to let me know and I'll gladly oblige.
What a great word
waiting for the trolls
c'mon where are you?
It's feeding time !!!
directive from CampaignCC sent via Eco-Troll alert to "diss Bishop Hill" today not the Reg
And yes they do indeed arrive en masse via their own eco-troll alerts
However the Register isn't the target today.
Perhaps Lewis just doesn't wind them up enough or their waiting to vent their eco-spleens on an Andrew Orlowski article :-P
Dont tell Al Gore..
..he will be furious! The eco-tards will pay no attention or dismiss it as this theory whacks a great hole in the socialist dream that is CAGW.
Is it socialist? Is it capitalist? Is GW about making all those business suffer, or is it about a cadre of liberal intellectual elitists making money out of everyone else?
Or is it some other kind of paranoid delusional conservative fantasy?
Algore will be furious, but not because he's an environmentalist
The problem he'll have is explaining why companies should continue to buy "carbon credits" from his own private eco-venture. This whole thing has not-surprisingly turned into a money-making scheme that has the guise of science without the substance and the smoke of righteous indignation without the fire.
Why are people such sheep to continue to fall for this political rhetoric? I hate to sound like a conspiracy wacko, but there's little doubt in my mind that the politics involved are really just to secure Federal money and garner free publicity.
He's just using expertise to play the market
And so are all thos energy companies that take $500 Billion in tax dollars every year.
We can't do anything about it though because if we don't give them the money they keep the profits and we all pay more for everything.
Nice friends you have.
I expect this report to be buried
or at least the scientists discredited as this goes contrary to the green agenda.
Cynical ? Me?
will be one part of the scientific "puzzle", and is not the complete picture.
And it's all very well banding terms like "green agenda" about, but that neglects the counterposed "fossil agenda". Perhaps we should try to see past these cartoon agendae,
and look at the overall scientific consensus instead, and, whilst taking care to see how that consensus might evolve over time, nevertheless prudently adapt our behaviour in response to the existing consensus in the meantime.
Or just rant for a bit. If that's what you prefer.
The plural of "agenda" is...
..."agenda". It's Latin for "things to be done", and so is already plural. "*agendae" implies a Latin first-declension feminine singular noun. "agenda" is the plural of a neuter gerundive.
In modern English usage it perhaps means "a list of things to be done", so it needs a plural. That plural is "agendas".
There's only one icon for this sort of thing.
@Ian Stephenson - Or perhaps the Green Agenda is just random 'Green' noise
Perhaps WikiLeaks could redeem itself in the eyes of some by leaking what goes on in the minds of those planning the Green Agenda.
Whether the Green Agenda is based on actual plans, or as I suspect, just random 'Green' noise may have a bearing on whether this report is buried or not.
Wouldn't that mean that the singular of agenda would be agendum, "Thing to be done"?
As far as I know, yes, "agendum" is a thing to be done. Not used in modern English, but "corrigendum" is sometimes used as the singular of "corrigenda" (things to be corrected), though neither is exactly in everyday usage. The part of speech is the same as "agenda".
Interestingly, depending on your viewpoint, "agendae" probably means "women to be done". See icon.
No Tit Required, except blue ones and robins
Another day, another climate farce exposed.
I think it's well established now that the IPCC was one of the targets of this as they never check their work.
Which C is for corruption in IPCC? The first or last?
Bring on the red arrows IPCC Supporters!
The IPCC got a paragraph wrong in a 1,000 page report.
What more proof does anyone need that there is a global conspiracy to undermine the oil and coal industries?
If only the companies had a bit more cash to put THEIR point across.
RE: Anonymous Troll
"The IPCC got a paragraph wrong in a 1,000 page report."
Well if that one paragraph is detrimental to their whole argument then it's very important, then throw in the fact that this keeps happening and they continually overshoot projections of what will actually happen and make baseless claims without evidence.
Just use your brain, we've seen this happen enough times to know the IPCC is useless busybodies publishing as much as they can to get a big pension.
Climate taxes are just TAX, we already pay more in the UK than it would cost to offset any effects but it's not actually used on what they say it will.
Your mistake is in assuming only ONE of the Cs is for corruption.
The IPCC did not get one paragraph wrong its report. It got a lot wrong and a lot more are biased.
Google "'Glaciergate' highlights IPCC flaws" for the gory details.
Read the article, not someones critique of it
If you actually look at the article itself, you'll find that Bounoua actually says "By accelerating the water cycle, this feedback slows but does not alleviate the projected warming, reducing the land surface warming by 0.6°C"
What this means if that if CO2 doubled, the increase in temperature that it would cause would be reduced by 0.6°C. And that is only over land. The global effect is a reduction of 0.3 degrees. And what it also means is that if we increase CO2 by 20%, the reduction will be a fifth of 0.3 - ie around 0.05 degrees. It also assumes that plant growth is not affected by the increased temperatures that increased CO2 will bring - water shortages for instance.
The article actually concludes that this wont make much difference to the end result - more CO2 equals greater temperatures. IN the NASA press release, http://www.nasa.gov/topics/earth/features/cooling-plant-growth.html Bounoua stresses that this negative feedback is not enough to alter the global warming trend.
Check who wrote the article
Up to his usual standards.
Misrepresentation or misunderstanding by Page?
The article is also very careful to make the point that the feedbacks modeled would only have a significant effect after a stabilization of CO2 concentration in the atmosphere, stating "This suggests that while increased LAI may not slow global warming significantly in the near term, its long term negative feedback could potentially reduce temperatures following a stabilization of CO2 concentration."
Page always shows horrendous selection bias. The same journal he took that article from has also published the following in the past two months, none of which he felt worthy of commenting on:
- Cryo-hydrologic warming - about meltwater within glaciers speeding ice sheet warming
- Winter 2010 in Europe: A cold extreme in a warming climate
- Intensification of hot extremes in the United States
- Biophysical feedbacks between the Pleistocene megafauna extinction and climate: The first human-induced global warming?
The latter of which actually shows how increased vegetation can have a warming effect.
" IN the NASA press release, http://www.nasa.gov/topics/earth/features/cooling-plant-growth.html Bounoua stresses that this negative feedback is not enough to alter the global warming trend."
Of course. It's the standard disclaimer.
She wants to keep her job.
more CO2 equals greater temperatures
... tell that to those people freezing their butts off in Europe.
Something is screwy with the "science" that an insignificant trace gas with virtually zero heat capacity has such a dramatic effect. I think there is more chance that the heat generated from so many people in the world running engines powered by hydrocarbon based fuels is the cause of warming. That heat has got to go somewhere - and there's a lot more of it generated that the CO2 molecule can "generate".
"She wants to keep her job."
Bullshit. She could make ten times the money coming to the opposite conclusion in the pay of the oil industry.
"The NASA and NOAA boffins used their more accurate science to model a world where CO2 levels have doubled to 780 parts per million (ppm) compared to today's 390-odd. They say that world would actually warm up by just 1.64°C overall... International diplomatic efforts under UN auspices are currently devoted to keeping global warming limited to 2°C or less"
Can we get back to working on real environmental issues now?
I don't give a shit about the environment...
... but whether or not CO2 emissions increase global warming, kill plants, kill animals, melt the poles, the fact of the matter is that CO2 kills humans.
But most worrying of all, I feel that the emphasis on CO2 emissions is ridiculous, when cities are getting polluted by exotic carcinogenic particulates. CO2 is one of the least harmful pollutants, yet for many environmentalists it's the only thing that matters.
Top NASA boffins?
When can we expect reports from "halway up the ladder" NASA (or any where else) boffins?
Or even a 'crap boffins report" ?
Anyway, hope they're right.
Being truly crap would probably mean getting your boffin badge withdrawn, but I'm sure there's a boffin hierarchy where boffins have underboffins, and report to overboffins. Right at the top there'll be a superboffin,or boffin-in-chief, or something. Time to redo the business cards, I think...
You could argue that *all* NASA boffins are top boffins because if they weren't they would still be at boffin school, working towards their "Top Boffin" qualification :)
Seriously though, I think this every time I hear BBC news announce "experts say..." or "experts agree that..."
Who are these experts and why do we never hear from their brethren the enthusiasts or hobbyists?
Isnt that anything coming out of the social sciences? Or is that Trick cyclists?
Or are Sewage scientists the only ones that we can officially call Crap Boffins?
Enquiring minds want to know...
If they're not named and known within their "expert" field, they're almost certainly hacks or whackjobs who have stated they're experts in order to have their voice heard *cough*Gillian McKeith*cough*
Crap boffins in different jounal
There are lots of good crap boffins. Boffins who study, er... crap, I mean shit. Literally. More specifically, the microbiome of it (all the bacteria present in there, that is).
We often do, but the media label them experts because they don't understand the difference and wouldn't care if they did.
Recall the MRSA scares when newspapers were reporting finding it everywhere? The only "lab" finding it, which is the one the media used in their reports (some of them cheerfully admitting that they sent all their samples to him because he was the only "lab" they knew would come back with the result they wanted), was a one-man band operating out of a shed in his back garden. He was a hobbyist; he was reported to be an expert. There are many, many more examples.
What about that Kevin Warwick bloke who thinks he's an android? He's definitely a crap boffin!
Alas, all too often these days I think there are too many people at NASA who think they are boffins because they keep misspelling buffoon (eg. Reg article the other day about improperly disposed hard drives and the now discredited hockey stick article).
Nice Little Earner
International diplomatic efforts under UN auspices are currently devoted to keeping global climate change budgets as high as possible, on the grounds that it will prove to be "a nice little earner" in the long run.
That's unlikely to change anytime soon despite *any* kind of evidence.