Saturday, May 29, 2010

Status of Climate Science

I have had a rough year so far medically speaking -- first the spinal compression emergency in February, and then earlier this month I had to have my gallbladder taken out, which included a very bad reaction to a pain medication and a few days in an ICU -- and while I'm worried about falling behind on work, it's also been a useful break from climate science that has offered a chance for a bit of a new perspective.

Mostly, the new perspective is not that great. This is really turning into a rotten field. Little attention is being paid to actual science. In a recent email Don Easterbrook of Western Washington University actually tried to tell me that 1934 was the world's warmest year. Of course, by now every third-grader knows this is a US-only conclusion and I'm amazed and just pissed that any scientist would try to claim otherwise.

At his talk at the recent climate "conference" bought by the Heartland Institute, Chris Monckton actually said "we are now the consensus." You really have to watch it to believe the level of hubris in his voice.

It's funny, but I follow the scientific literature very closely and I have not detected any change whatsoever in the conclusion that man is responsible for most of the warmth in the last few decades.

It is also somewhat infuriating, but mostly comical, watching Anthony Watts and his accolytes. Just a few short weeks ago they were telling us all how the level of Arctic sea ice extent meant global warming was over. Of course, it meant nothing like that, but now that Arctic extent is decreasing at unprecedented rates they have gotten very busy telling us why this doesn't matter and that in fact it was volume that mattered all along and it's now, in their eyes, increasing rapidly. Except it isn't. Except, of course, this latter result come from a "model" (not a climate model) and therefore it can't be believed. Except when it can. Of course, there are things that mathematics can't ever prove so we can't even really be sure of anything.

1 comment:

Dano said...

This is why these people need to be treated like the morons they are. The set of choices to address them is:

o Scorn
o Ridicule
o Ignorage

Or any combination.

That's it. They are not worthy of anything else.