Dec 08 2009
The UN IPCC is having a hell of a first couple of days in Copenhagen. Climategate really smashed the confidence of the world when seeing all these grand declarations from proponents of AGW (and the millions of dollars that go with it).
The media and politicians, well in over their heads on the math and science, are starting to show concern – as they should if they are smart. Watching Campbell Brown trying to mediate a debate between a skeptic (Steve McIntyre) and an alarmist (Oppenheimer) just emphasized the reality that the media and pols are not capable of grasping the subject matter, let alone determining which side has the stronger case.
Those who struggled through high school math and science should realize that those of us who immersed ourselves in 8 years or more of hard core science and math in college, just for the pure enjoyment of it, really operate on a different plane. If you don’t feel comfortable critiquing a brain surgeon or challenging a rocket scientist, then don’t pretend to be able to discern who has the stronger case in this debate.
Anyway, The Australian has an article out today highlighting two recent peer-reviewed (as if that has any credibility anymore) studies which disprove AGW. Both are studies of planet Earth, not buggy SW models with biased data meant to produce the desired result. They are empirical (measured), not theoretical (SWAG – a.k.a. scientifically based wild ass guess).
The first is from the historic CO2 record, and how it was many times hire than today over a period of hundreds of thousands of years WHILE THE EARTH COOLED DRASTICALLY!
Pearson’s work contains a couple of remarkable results.
First the greenhouse atmosphere pre-cooling contained a CO2 concentration of 900 parts per million by volume, or more than three times that of the Earth in pre-industrial days.
Second, while the cooling of the Earth took place over a time-span of around 200,000 years, the atmospheric CO2 first dropped in association with the cooling, then rose to around 1100ppmv and remained high for 200,000 years while the Earth cooled further and remained in its new ice ages cycle.
CO2 levels 3-4 times present day levels, and the result was global cooling. The UN believes only modest increases will cause out of control warming. But if it did not happen before at much higher levels -why not? Simple – the theory of CO2 as a green house feed back mechanism on a global scale is false (it never has been proven scientifically at the global level). Earth is much more complicated than the alarmists could possibly imagine.
The second study is from 3o years of satellite data. Satellite data has the benefit of being truly global. One instrument (or class of instruments) make the same measure all over the globe. They are also synchronized to UTC (the world reference time) with incredibly accuracy. Unlike the mish-mash of sensors used to measure temperature, satellites measurements are uniform, well calibrated and therefore orders of magnitude less noisy.
So here is the result of measuring planet Earth from space:
Building on a methodology published 15 years ago in Nature, climatologist and NASA medallist John Christy and colleague David Douglass studied global temperature impacts of volcanic activity and ocean-atmospheric oscillations (the “El Nino” effect) and separated these from global temperature trends over the past 28 years.
This is something you just cannot do with any accuracy using the hodge-podge of land sensors from various nations. The noise in that land temp network is horrendous due to diversity of the instruments, diversity in calibration, quality of sighting, time stamping data, etc, etc, etc,. This is called system noise and it tends to produce uncertainties that mask the real data, let alone the elements that make up the data.
Too many alarmists don’t address their system noise and error bars, probably because it would invalidate their conclusions.
The consistency of satellite data allows you to pull out other climate factors (non-measurement or system noise) much easier because the system ‘noise floor’ is so consistent, understood and obvious. Trust me, this is much more accurate than measuring tree rings from magical larches in Yamal Russia (or were they reading tea leaves??).
So what did they find from space:
The result of their analysis is a CO2-induced amplification factor close to one, which has implications clearly at odds with the earlier IPCC position.
The result was published this year in the peer-reviewed journal Energy and Environment and the paper has not yet been challenged in the scientific literature.
What this means is that the IPCC model for climate sensitivity is not supported by experimental observation on ancient ice ages and recent satellite data.
Again, no runaway feedback from CO2. This is not a SW model – as the article notes. This is not clumsy or exaggerated statistical mysticism. This is measuring reality and learning what is happening.
This is real science, with small error bars.
Another article of interest is this one from Christopher Booker regarding blinders at Copenhagen. There are sill a lot of lemmings heading towards the COP15 cliff.