Saturday, May 8, 2010

Climate Science: Garbage In, Garbage Out, contra Nobel Prize-winners


Re: "Climate Change and the Integrity of Science Science. Signed by 255 members of the National Academy of Sciences," published in Science magazine, May 7. Read entire editorial HERE.

This piece is basically an appeal to authority, with the august signatories. They assert, "There is compelling, comprehensive, and consistent objective evidence that humans are changing the climate in ways that threaten our societies and the ecosystems on which we depend."

And yet their model predictions do not match what has actually occurred. From the Climategate emails: Kevin Trenberth, head of the Climate Analysis Section at the National Center for Atmospheric Research in Boulder, writes in October 2009, "The fact is that we can’t account for the lack of warming at the moment, and it is a travesty that we can’t." And then he blames the data because it did not conform to the model. That is bass ackwards to how science is supposed to operate.

I too question the data, but I don't have a model to defend. Instead, I see that raw temperature readings of rural US weather stations have been massively massaged upward for the last 40 years. The raw data show virtually no net warming outside of urban heat islands. (LINK) Furthermore, documentation of these temperature reporting stations on show that the vast majority of them do not meet NOAA specifications for siting. Either they are too near artificial heating sources, or they are situated on the tops of roofs, or near large expanses of concrete, which will drive the temperature data points artificially upward. In the town where I live, the temperature sensor is near a massive air conditioning unit at the water treatment plant. This kind of sloppy data gathering, because it is so prevalent -- and you can see the evidence with your own eyes for site after site at the website noted -- calls the whole of climate science into question. The research apparatus can't even get the most basic things right!

The scientists who signed this statement have apparently not drilled down to the raw data on which the alarmist conclusions have been built. Even if their climate models were correct, the GIGO rule applies. The inputs to the models are unsound. But they are unsound in the sense that the temperature data points they are using appear to be already artificially inflated.

We can't account for the lack of warming. That is a true statement. There is a lack of warming in spite of temperature data that is massaged upward or data from sites that are in local hot spots. Whatever comes out of a process using uncertain models and faulty data, it cannot be construed as solid science.

It is self-evidently true that mortals cannot know the future climate with complete certainty. That is reserved for the Creator, and even He may choose not to know. However, what has been trumpeted thus far in the name of climate science, namely that we are heating our world to catastrophe or oblivion, does not meet even modest standards of certainty. If prominent scientists or Nobel Prize winners claim otherwise, it does not change the evidence of poor data collection and manipulation of data.