atomic_fungus (atomic_fungus) wrote,

#502: A matter of importance

Jerry Pournelle mentions this on his blog (probably the original blog, in fact) "Chaos Manor in Perspective".
Note that we now know that the 1930's were the hottest decade of the 20th Century; so the threats against people who are accused of being "Global Warming Deniers" has redoubled.

When the Administration attempted to make Hansen of NASA stop pushing his extreme predictions (rolling dice on a Congressional hearing table as an example) as if they were real science, he screamed that he was being silenced, and wanted help from the public. I don't see him out there defending the rights of those who don't agree with him, and I have yet to see him comment on the readjustment of the temperature history data.

You can prove anything if you make up your data, or your model connects only to selected data. Another of Pournelle's Laws. I should name it.
And he's right, of course.

Both of the links in that section of that page are worth clicking on.

The second link has this to say:
Over 12 months starting in March 2004, the researchers found that the flow of water varied from 4.4 to 35.3 megatons per second. The average was 18.7 megatons per second.

Their data spanned the range of values previously used to identify a downward trend.

"This really hammers home the importance of making continuous observations," Johns said.

The researchers had no definite explanation for the wide variation in flow, but Kanzow surmised that the dynamics of wave movements, eddies and currents that interfere with the circulation pattern could be more influential than previously thought.

Despite their own findings, many of the researchers believe that a slowdown is occurring. But they lack proof.
In other words, the "ocean conveyor" which is supposedly slowing down in response to global warming is not slowing down, as far as anyone can tell.

The scientists studying this believe it is slowing down but can't prove it, because the data they have collected are all over the place, swamping the prior readings in their variations. They believe it is slowing down because if it's not, it is possible that "global warming<>man made<>apocalypse", and all the big global warming grant checks go away.

Pournelle asks:
I have asked several modeling experts if any of these data are likely to be incorporated in the climate models. No one knows how it could be: that sort of thing isn't usually modeled.

Yet without data on ocean temperatures (80% of the Earth's surface is water) how will we even know what the annual temperature of the Earth is or has been?
The only temperatures which matter are the ones where there are people, because those are the only ones which have increased over the last century. As long as the computer models all show (or can be made to show) "global warming=man made=apocalypse" why should they bother trying to make them accurately model global temperature by taking all the factors into account?

In actuality, it's impossible to do that. Even if you somehow hooked together all the computers which had ever been manufactured to date, it wouldn't be enough computing power to model every factor which contributes to the Earth's temperature. That, of course, also assumes that we understand everything about how Earth's climate works, which we sure as hell don't. So climate models contain a lot of assumptions and guesses; and it's very easy to run a computer model a few dozen times with different inputs and select the one which you like.

Computer people have had a phrase for this since the things were invented: "Garbage in, garbage out."

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