28 Nov 2008

Think Before Acting

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Regarding the earlier thread, where we are discussing a climate scientist’s handling of the alleged halt in global warming: It only occurred to me a couple of days after posting it, but isn’t it crazy that one of the climate scientist’s responses is that some of the temperature series show a warming? Specifically, he said:

The confused argument hinges on one data set – the HadCRUT 3V – which is only one of several estimates, and it is the global temperature record that exhibits the least change over the last decade. Other temperature analyses suggest greater change (warming). Thus, one could argue that the HadCRUT 3V represents the lower estimate, if a warming could be defined for such a short interval.

Isn’t it rather amazing that we are being asked to give all sorts of taxing and regulatory powers to the government when the climate scientists aren’t even sure if the earth is warmer now than it was ten years ago?! This isn’t the silly, “Ha ha they can’t even tell me if it’s going to rain next Tuesday!” quip. They are here admitting that they’re not sure if there has been warming over a ten-year interval. And it’s not as if one decade is a spit in the bucket for their whole sample period. The human contribution to the globe’s temperature was allegedly concentrated in a 60-year period or so; i.e. the serious GHG emissions didn’t kick in until the post-war boom.

So isn’t it strange that they are that certain, the science is settled, etc., based on waht really is about 60 years of actual measurements where the independent variable has significantly changed, and yet they themselves admit that 10 years is really not long enough to say much in this type of analysis?

As always, I am not claiming the climate scientists are dumb or lying. What I am claiming is that they are overrating the confidence we should place in their understanding of the relative contributions of various drivers of climate change.

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