The View From 1776

If The Evidence Doesn’t Support Your Preconception, Hide It

The UN’s Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) has downplayed evidence that the global climate is considerably less sensitive to greenhouse gases than climate models are estimating.

Global Warming IS REAL, argues sceptic mathematician - it just isn’t THERMAGEDDON

Posted by .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address) on 03/07 at 02:33 PM
  1. Nicholas Lewis was a financier with a math background. After his retirement, he became interested in climate science. Unlike most who appear in the blog on the topic of global warming, Lewis accepts man-made CO2 effects on global warming, but argues about the fine points of the internal mathematics of one of the climate models.

    Quoting Lewis,

    "The IPCC would argue - and I wouldn’t dispute this - that we can be more certain that greenhouse gas is the most important forcing, the bulk of which is anthropogenic. But at same time our best estimate should be lower."

    Yes, part of science is to continuously debate and refine our models.
    Posted by .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address)  on  03/08  at  07:44 PM
  2. J. Jay,

    You argue like a true ‘pseudo-scientist’. Your presumption in speaking on behalf of science is only exceeded by your ignorance of it. Since you quote Lewis only to make trite points, let us take it a step further and re-post some of his collegial criticisms and other points made by the article so as to bring some enlightenment into the discourse.

    Orlowski: “Lewis also told us he'd already found schoolboy math error[s] in the IPCC's AR4 published in 2007.”

    ‘Schoolboy math errors’ are, in fact, fairly common in what passes for ‘the science’, and are a measure of institutional hubris (due to unaccountability). Lewis is not the first critic to point this out. Climate-Gate (East Anglia CRU, 2009) revealed not only a high degree of outright fakery, but also of widespread corruption, amateurish methods, unprofessionalism and immature attitudes at all levels of the climatist hierarchy. Yet, these problems were reported (and ignored) as far back as the first IPCC climate reports. Now, before you defend them as having improved (matured) over time, what we have seen is the opposite; with the level of immaturity and corruption increasing the higher climatists have risen in the power structure. To Lewis, it is lamentable, but to us it is inexcusable in those claiming to speak for all.

    Orlowski: “The science today...shows around half a degree of surface temperature warming manifesting itself over the next 70 years.”

    Note, that ½ degree over 70 years is equivalent to 0.71 degree/century, or very close to that of natural warming. Neither Lewis nor the article makes clear he means combined warming or anthropogenic only. Even so, these are unconfirmed modeler estimates of warming, which may or may not reflect actual warming and have nothing to do with refining or advancing the science of ‘climatology’; at least not without some vindication of the models (which to date is nonexistent). Implying any refinement of mere models somehow refines ‘the science’ of climatology without such corroboration is gross ignorance of the process of turning theories into principles.

    To give some idea of this, suppose you cobble together a mathematical model for god. You have no (immediate) method of verifying your model other than to seed it with presumed values, and then watch how things play out over the next few centuries to see if model and reality match. Let us further stipulate your model must predict things like weather, disasters, miracles, and revelations normally associated with godly intervention. Now, given you get some early positives for your god-model, would you then assume the model is accurate and will go on giving you accurate predictions? Would you bet your life or fortune on such predictions? Predicting changes to climate based on models is like that because our idea of climate is, itself, limited and riddled with guesses. And, basing policy affecting billions of people on climate-models is every bit as risky and arrogant. Despite there being not a shred of proof for any climate model, our governments are forced into taking action (despite the illogic of it) by radicals bent on getting their way, and are charging right ahead as though AGW was firmly established. But, I digress...

    Lewis: “The observed temperature increase to date could result from a high climate sensitivity combined with a large aerosol cooling effect, or a low sensitivity combined with a small aerosol cooling effect (or combinations in between these extremes). Therefore, to the extent that aerosol forcing is small, sensitivity to carbon dioxide concentrations must also be relatively low.”

    Or, it could be due to something entirely outside the models or understated by the models. Lewis is not, here, saying the opportunities for miscalculation (or mischief) are limited to these two factors; he is pointing out how far off the IPCC conclusions are assuming they botched just this one relationship. If, instead, we combine all the things they probably over/understated (or ignored), you can safely dismiss current models as horrible predictors of climate. At best, they are interesting tools for exploring how we might (someday) get to the point we can make such predictions; but only if we go about it honestly.

    Note there are other model elements Lewis discusses within the article (such as the values assigned to total-human-forcing versus total-natural-forcing) that are readily misconstrued (due to the confusing writing style of the author) by casual readers. Lewis is not saying those are reliable values even when he assigns values of his own. His own assignments are acknowledged as estimates for the purpose of testing the readiness of models to predict anything. Lewis is not a climate-scientist and does not pretend to be one or to speak for real climate-scientists. His expertise is in the area of modeling, with only a limited (respectable, though lagging a bit) understanding of climate theory and of its maturity.

    Going back to your own choice of quotes, Lewis’ opinion of human v natural forcing is mistaken in that IPCC does not argue anthropogenic gases represent the “bulk” of that particular forcing, though they do argue its criticality. Rather, what they argue is the 14% to 16% (see ) of GHGs due to humans (added to the much larger natural increase) is somehow destabilizing. The atmosphere does not distinguish between human and natural CO2 emissions any more than it distinguishes between human and natural water vapor (by far the largest GHG), and neither should models.

    Finally, discussion does not ‘refine the science’ unless it is also reasoned and knowledgeable. Otherwise, it is just so much distraction.
    Posted by .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address)  on  03/14  at  07:44 PM
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