First, science is never settled. Science is a process, a method, real science falsifies claims, it never proves something is true. Claiming that an understanding of something as infinitely complex as the global climate is “settled” is simply ridiculous on its face, and the very claim demonstrates an epic ignorance of how real science is performed. Weather forecasters can’t predict the weather 5 days in the future, Wall Street Brokers can’t predict the stock market 5 days in the future, claiming that the global climate can be predicted 100 years in the future is absurd and demonstrates hubris and arrogance on an epic scale.
Second, real science is never determined by “consensus,” or “science by authority.”The Theory of Relativity is accepted not because Einstein said it is so, the Theory of Relativity is accepted because the numbers support the theory. Real science can be replicated and modeled. If objects are said to fall at 9.8m/Sec^2, countless experiments can be run, and the results will all be the same. If a single valid experiment demonstrates something different, the theory is rejected. All science is numbers, and the numbers must support the theory, or it is rejected. Appealing to authority or argumentum ad verecundiam is not only bad science, it is also a well known logical fallacy. Climate alarmists would fail every high school debate, let alone scientific debate. Lastly, it is arguable that much of that “consensus” is based on coercion and perverse incentives, and doesn’t reflect the true beliefs of those involved.
Dr. Christy, in this video, highlights the concepts of this article. As he says, “all science is numbers,” and that highlights a major problem with the claims of the climate alarmists. For scientific conclusions to be valid, they must be based upon highly reliable and accurate data. The data simply has to have a great deal of integrity, or the models are simply garbage-in-garbage-out, or GIGO. Unfortunately, there isn’t a lot of integrity with the climate data, making the climate models extremely expensive GIGO exercises, and not much more.
Another important concept Dr. Christy discusses is that if something is understood, it can be modeled. A falling object (in a vacuum at sea level) can me modeled as “Distance = 9.8m/sec^2 * Time^2,” gravity is understood to the level that we can land a vehicle on Mars and claim gravity is “settled.” By that standard, real science is nowhere near settled, in fact, the results of the IPCC climate models do more to reject the CO2 caused warming theory than to support it. In any real science results like this would result in the rejection of the theory, and a new theory would be formulated.
Why then would the climate models do such a poor job modeling the global temperature. After all, if we are going to spend 10s and 100s of trillions of dollars fighting the war on climate change, we had better be sure we will get the results we expect. The first major problem the climate models have is that they define a linear relationship between CO2 and temperature, the relationship is a well defined logarithmic relationship. The second major problem is that they don’t have a solid understanding of many of the significant climate variables. The IPCC itself admits that they the level of scientific understanding of the solar and water vapor variables are “very low.” That is like claiming to have a weight-loss model without understanding the role of exercise and caloric intake.
The last major problem of the models is that CO2 doesn’t lead temperature is lags it. The geologic records demonstrate that ice ages end when CO2 is at a low, and ice ages start when CO2 is at a peak. There is no defined mechanism by which CO2 could ever end or start an ice age, CO2’s only mechanism to affect climate is by “trapping” outgoing long-wave infrared radiation between the wavelengths of 13 and 18 microns. That is it. The CO2 drives temperature model is like claiming that lung cancer causes cancer. Additionally, CO2 has been almost 20x higher than the current level and never in 600 million years has CO2 caused catastrophic warming.
Global temperature isn’t the only critical model failure the climate alarmists have, they also fail to accurately model the critical upper tropospheric “hot spot.” The Anthropogenic Global Warming (AGW or CAGW) Theories require an equatorial upper tropospheric “hot spot.” The reason is simple, as altitude increases H2O precipitated out of the atmosphere leaving only CO2. An elevated level of CO2 should then result in higher temperatures. In reality, there is no hotspot, if anything there is upper tropospheric cooling.
Cooling is actually consistent with the physics of CO2 and the Greenhouse Gas Effect. CO2, because its mechanism is radiation, actually works to cool the stratosphere. It doesn’t warm it.
Temperature isn’t the only thing the climate alarmists can’t model. The harm done by CO2 can’t be accurately measured either.
McKitrick on Air Pollution: The models get ‘more deaths from air pollution than you were death from all causes’
The climate alarmist may have the “consensus” and claims of this science being “settled,” but they don’t have what matters; the numbers and models to support those claims. That makes climate science more propaganda than science.