A Response to "Once More: Why "Climate Change" Alarmism Is Not Science"
This is a Reply to "Once More: Why âoeClimate Changeâ Alarmism Is Not Science"
The scientific method is pretty simple: you suggest a hypothesis, calculate what facts in the real world must be true if the hypothesis is correct, and then check the hypothesis against reality. If the hypothesis implies false propositions of fact, it is wrong. Case closed.
It never actually works like that. This is from a school text-book on an idealized scientific method.
The claim that people throw out hypothesis because they don't explain all of reality is simply false. There is no Quantum theory of gravitation and no space-time theory of the strong force.
Do we abandon the theory of gravitation that we do have, and the quantum theory that we do have, "case closed"?
No, that would be stupid.
Climate alarmists stand the scientific method on its head.
When their theories, as expressed in climate models, conflict with reality, they conclude that something must be wrong with reality.
This is also wrong. Everyone knows that without improvements in resolution climate models won't reproduce all phenomena in the climate system. No one is concluding that observed phenomena are wrong. It is known that the models are imperfect.
What they do do is enlighten us on the cause of those phenomena that the models do reproduce, and to some extent allow us to understand some average consequences of changing climate.
The heat that their models hypothesize must be âoehidingâ deep in the oceans, or whatever.
Okay, the heat that is hypothesized is not from a GCM. This is from radiative transfer models. We use these to calculate what happens to the radiative energy incident on the top of the atmosphere. Those models are much more accurate. We do know that there is an energy imbalance by these models and our theory of optics.
And the temperature observations from Argo floats do confirm that the oceans are what has been warming faster than expected these last couple of decades.
This isnâ(TM)t science: it is a combination of politics and religion. A proposition that cannot be falsified by experience is not a scientific proposition.
Current observations appear to match established theory, that's not "cannot be falsified", that's confirmation.
That doesn't mean you shouldn't try to falsify if you want, but you need a competing theory that does a better job.
The Science and Environmental Policy Project does a good job of explaining this fundamental point in its Climate Fears and Finance:
This is very ironic when juxtaposed with "This isnâ(TM)t science: it is a combination of politics and religion." SEPP is an advocacy group.
We can see below the direct comparison between 102 model runs and observations.
The mid troposphere is one of the regions that current climate models do not well reproduce. This and the double intertropical convergence zone problem probably need high resolution models to unwrap.
The models on which climate alarmists rely are simply wrong.
No, they're merely inaccurate, particularly on mid troposphere temperatures. (And Southern Hemisphere Tropical rainfall).
Do we conclude that therefore the world isn't warming, because CO2 is no longer a greenhouse gas?
No, that would be stupid.
Do we conclude that although the world is warming, assuming no feedback would be a better estimate of ECS than the feedback from climate models?
No, the climate models cover a lot of phenomena, and so their estimate would still be better, despite their imperfection.
(And there are independent estimates of climate sensitivity from paleoclimate reconstructions, and from neural nets, and from observations of the consequences on temperature subsequent to volcanic forcing, that put the climate sensitivity in the ball park of models)
Much like the theory of gravitation, we are not going to throw out a useful theory, when there is no better one, merely because it doesn't work in one circumstance. The idea is to try to advance our knowledge of the climate, because this should affect policy. Abandoning policy because the science is too hard is antithetical to scientific, technological and sociological progress.