Let’s have a look.

Bonus commentary HERE.

Comments

  1. #1 Bob Sun
    February 6, 2012

    I found two flaws in his argument.

    1) He makes an analogy to the noisy behavior of the stock market and the need to look at long term behavior to identify trends. This is an unfortunate choice for an analogy. It is well known that attempting to predict the future behavior of the stock market by looking at past trends is a pathway to the poor house. The criticism of global warming analysis is that it is, in fact, similar to the stock market in that respect.

    Many argue that the best predictions of the weather and the stock market are made by looking at what happened yesterday.

    2) Dr. Santer makes a commonly used leap of faith when he argues, at the end of talk, that the evidence of global warming is proof of man-made global warming. Almost everyone agrees that these are two separate issues.

  2. #2 Greg Laden
    February 6, 2012

    Bob, I don’t know what your first point really means, but you may have the second point wrong. For instance, Carbon Dioxide is the major green house gas, we can measure it in the atmosphere and measure its effects, and part of the measurement of the gas in the atmosphere tells us where it is from. Perhaps you are unfamiliar with the chemistry of stable isotopes.

    The process of GW and the part about the ‘A’ are understood together and the data and analysis support each other.

  3. #3 Bob Sun
    February 6, 2012

    The first point seemed obvious to me, Greg. Santor used the stock market as an example of the value of time averaging to predict the future. But using stock market trends to predict the future is a TERRIBLE idea promoted by TV hucksters, because stock market trends only predict the past. Tomorrow those trends may change. Santor would prefer to believe otherwise. He believes that past trends of temperature DO predict future trends – UNLIKE his analogy. His critics would tell him that his comparison to the stock market was more accurate than, in his innocence, he imagined.

    An example of unintended irony on his part.

    Try to educate yourself on the details of AGW models before attempting to educate others. CO2 is NOT the major greenhouse gas, as any climate scientist will tell you. Water vapor is the major greenhouse gas. In fact, they will also admit, if pressed, that there is not enough CO2 available to account for the trends we have seen to date. That is why climate scientists have postulated an “amplification factor” that increases the calculated impact of CO2. They further postulate that that amplification comes from (surprise!) water vapor. To date a closed form model has not been created that relates these three complex variables. The water vapor effects are so complex that computer models are not yet capable of making first principle predictions. The data analysis to date consists of an empirical curve fitting exercise, with the amplification factor being an adjustable parameter.

    My point was that a coincidence between a warming trend (over the last 200 years) and an increase in CO2 is not a proof of causality. It is a suggestion of one. Scientists are still struggling to provide a framework for that relationship.

    There is a third problem with his video. He entitles the video, the “myth of global cooling”. That is, as far as I know, a myth of his own creation. I have never heard anyone claim that there is global cooling. That kind of argument is usually classified as a straw man fallacy. But perhaps we can write that off to another example of rhetorical excess.

    And then there is his claim that the running average curve he generated was predicted by existing models. I seriously doubt that claim. A monotonic increase in CO2 would not produce a sigmoidal response function. I certainly have never seen predictions that show that behavior.

    Do you really want to post something that is supportive of AGW? Look elsewhere.

  4. #4 Bruce
    February 6, 2012

    Haven’t the ice cores shown real temps going back 600,000 years? Its not just about the last twenty years, even if the last ten years for most places have been the hottest summers on record.

    Also the increase in natural disasters such as cyclones/tornadoes, cold snaps etc agree with the expected high variations due to chaos theory (messing with the set point). A cold snap or a cold winter does not mean global cooling, its the average temp over the earth compared with the long term past, and the acceleration of the heating caused by green house gases, predominantly caused by an increasing population burning fuels. Whats not to get?

  5. #5 StevoR
    February 7, 2012

    @1. Bob Sun | February 6, 2012 4:54 PM

    Dr. Santer makes a commonly used leap of faith when he argues, at the end of talk, that the evidence of global warming is proof of man-made global warming. Almost everyone agrees that these are two separate issues.

    Sorry, but actually I think you’ll find that’s dead wrong. Most people – more importantly most climatologists who are the experts on the climate in the same way medical doctors are about human health and illness agree the Human Induced Rapid Global Overheating as I call it, really is, well, human induced.

    See :

    http://www.skepticalscience.com/its-not-us-intermediate.htm

    Or this short Youtube clip :

    featuring Sir David Attenborough (The Truth About Climate Change) which dramatically illustrates why we know we are indeed the cause.

  6. #6 StevoR
    February 7, 2012

    One more really good and informative clip here :

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=kq8_l6s89uY

    Climate change – isn’t it natural’ by Potholer54 – part of an excellent series by him looking at the HIRGO issue.

  7. #7 Bob Sun
    February 7, 2012

    I did respond to Mr. Laden’s misunderstandings, but he saw fit to delete them. I might respond to your misunderstanding of my post, but I suspect that would be deleted, too.

    So this post is primarily to tweak the intellectual honesty of the Harvard grad.

  8. #8 Bob Sun
    February 7, 2012

    Try reading my post more carefully

    1. I did not argue that there has been no climate change recently. That is well-documented. My post specifically dealt with the flaws in Santer’s supposed crushing of a myth. The argument was flawed, and to dismiss that “myth” somebody should start over.

    To elaborate on my point, the statistics of the noise in the stock market, Santer’s model, are best dealt with using Mandelbrodt’s fractal theory, which states that the stock market can NOT be predicted from past data. The apparently well-behaved trends that Santer sees in his smoothing would just be noise, but on a larger scale.

    My other point was that the association of the observed warming trend with human activity is a problem separate from the observation of a warming trend. From a scientific perspective, it is inadequate to observe a coincidence with CO2 trends. You need to put forward a quantitative theory that links them, and that has not gone as well as some pretend. CO2 does NOT, by itself, explain the warming, contrary to common (and Mr. Laden’s) beliefs.

    There are many indicators of temperature trends from the past. Prof. Mann has used tree rings, but is forced to make all kinds of adjustments to explain contradictions. There is data from the Sargasso Sea and from peat bogs around the world that contradict Mann’s data. It is my understanding that ice core data provides information about past CO2 levels. However, that data shows CO2 to increase AFTER warming trends, not during or before.

    The climate computer models do predict increase in weather anomalies as temperature levels go up, and anecdotal evidence has been cited as a demonstration of the validity of the model (but not of the human contribution, Bruce). However, a massive review of weather data over the past 100 years, carried out by NOAA, directly contradicts the anecdotes you refer to. There have been NO statistically significant changes in incidence of extreme weather events over that period. The authors, a list of Who’s Who in climate science, conclude that their climate models are flawed. Does their conclusion shake your confidence at all? It should.
    http://www.esrl.noaa.gov/psd/people/gilbert.p.compo/20CRv2_Compoetal2010.pdf

  9. #9 Wrangler Wayne
    February 9, 2012

    The global temps have been increasing at about 0.46 deg C per century for the past 200 years. This has been recently verified by NASA. Overlaying that are the temp swings due to the various Earth based and Solar cycles. Most of that warming has been during the last century, and most of that during the last part of this century, which corresponds very well to the emissions of carbon from fossil fuels.

  10. #10 Bob Sun
    February 10, 2012

    Wayne, I repeat for you the above posted principle, applicable to all scientific endeavors (except, apparently, climate science).

    “The observation of a coincidence is not PROOF of causation. It is a suggestion of one.”

  11. #11 Greg Laden
    February 10, 2012

    We knew the causality before it happened, with global warming. That is why it is so convincing: It was predicted, the physics was understood, it happened, it’s real.

  12. #12 Wrangler Wayne
    February 27, 2012

    So, as I understand you, PDOs, El Ninos, LaNinas, AOs are not real, just coindinces? Or is it the last sentence? “which corresponds very well to the emissions of carbon from fossil fuels.” I meant that exactly as you stated: A coincidence!

  13. #13 Wrangler Wayne
    February 27, 2012

    Bob, thanks for your input. Actually, I was trying, tongue in cheek, to make the same point. CO2 rise is just a coincidence.
    I agree it is not causation. We now see in Mexico City, kids as young as 6, developing Alzheimer like brain plaques and entanglements. Rural dogs brought into the city suffer the same fate. Air pollution. One of the worst in the world. More needs to be done there and here.

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