Climate Change

Detection of Enhanced Greenhouse Warming: What the IPCC Said Back In 1990

Changing goal posts or better science?

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GlobalWarming
Dreamstime

Many commentators in response to my article last week, "What Evidence Would Persuade You That Man-Made Climate Change Is Real?," asserted that the climate models had failed in their predictions with regard to trends in hurricanes (cyclones), tornadoes, and droughts. So I did an admittedly quick scan of all five of the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change's physical sciences reports to see what they actually said.

As far as I can tell, all of the reports admit that the observational data do not definitively show any trends with regard to those particular aspects of climate. With regard to model outputs concerning those trends, the IPCC reports characterize them using tentative terminology such as "encouraging" back in 1990 and "medium evidence" and "medium agreement" in matching observational trends in the most recent report. In general, the models are not predicting a worsening trend in hurricanes, tornadoes, and droughts, at least in the short run.

In any case, I came across the chapter, "Detection of the Greenhouse Gas Effect in the Observations" in the 1990 IPCC report. The goal of the chapter was to figure out a benchmark for when a firm signal for enhanced greenhouse warming might emerge. From the report:

8.4 When Will The Greenhouse Effect be Detected?

The fact that we have not detected the enhanced greenhouse effect leads to the question when is this likely to occur? As noted earlier, this is not a simple yes/no issue. Rather it involves the gradual accumulation of evidence in support of model predictions, which in parallel with improvements in the models themselves, will increase our confidence in them and progressively narrow the uncertainties regarding such key parameters as the climate sensitivity. Uncertainties will always remain. Predicting when a certain confidence level might be reached is as difficult as predicting future climate change – more so, in fact, since it requires at least estimates of both future signal and future noise level.

Nevertheless, we can provide some information on the time-scale for detection by using the unprecedented change concept mentioned briefly in Section 8.14. This should provide an upper bound to the time of detection since more sophisticated methods should produce earlier results. We take a conservative view as a starting point namely that the magnitude of natural variability is such that all of the warming of the past century could be attributed to this cause. (Note that this is not the same as denying the existence of an enhanced greenhouse effect. With such a noise level the past warming could be explained as a 1°C greenhouse effect offset by 0.5°C natural variability.) We then assume, again somewhat arbitrarily that a further 0.5°C warming (i.e., a total warming of 1°C since the late nineteenth century) is required before we could say with high confidence, that the only possible explanation would be that the enhanced greenhouse effect was as strong as predicted by climate models. Given the range of uncertainty in future forcing predictions and future model-predicted warming when would this elevated temperature level be reached?

Detection Warming
IPCC

The answer is given in Figure 8.5. [Basically, the upper curve is assumes a fast warming rate and the lower one a slow warming rate. If fast, warming will be detected by 2002; if slow no detection until 2047.]

Figure 8.5 Text: If a further 0.5°C warming were chosen at the threshold for detection of the enhanced greenhouse effect then this would be reached sometime between 2002 and 2047.

On the basis of this simple analysis alone we might conclude that detection with high confidence is unlikely to occur before the year 2000. If stringent controls are introduced to reduce future greenhouse gas emissions and if the climate sensitivity is at the low end of the range of model predictions then it may be well into the twenty-first century before we can say with high confidence that we have detected the enhanced greenhouse effect.

I have earlier reported the various per decade warming rates in the observational record. The highest rate is +0.16°C per decade and the lowest is +0.13°C per decade. Assuming those rates had been maintained since 1990 (and they have not been so) mean global temperature would have risen by between +0.4°C and +0.325°C by now.

In other words, enhanced greenhouse warming above the noise of natural climate variability would not yet have crossed over the benchmark (+0.5°C) set by the IPCC back in 1990. Interesting.

The 1990 IPCC report notes that much depends on climate sensitivity; how much warming can be expected for a doubling of the concentration of carbon dioxide in the atmosphere. Low sensitivity means slower and less warming and higher means the opposite. That issue remains unsettled science.

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  1. If stringent controls are introduced to reduce future greenhouse gas emissions…

    “…then no detected increase will be proof that we were right and our plan is the only thing that dodged that bullet speeding toward us.”

  2. Better, Ron, but you should also mention that the IPCC declined to give a best estimate for ECS in the latest AR while simultaneously declaring confidence had gone up.

    1. NAS: You are right AND they dropped the lower bound of climate sensitivity to 1.5 degrees Celsius.

      1. The IPCC starts with an answer and goes to look for evidence. That’s the reason the goal posts are constantly shifting so they can claim higher confidence in their predictions.

        Amazingly, the point of no return is always just several years over the horizon. When we pass one benchmark, they simply change the date again. I’ve seen people do things like that before, but they’re usually ponzi schemes and not international panels of scientists.

        1. The IPCC starts with an answer and goes to look for evidence.

          Exactly. Their purpose is not to investigate if the climate is changing and what is causing it. Their purpose is to show that human activity is harming the climate, so the governments that fund them can control all aspects of said human activity for our own good. It’s like Keynesian economics. It’s nothing more than an excuse for governments to say “These experts say we need to spend money and control people, and because they’re like really smart and stuff it must be true!”

          1. To me the real question remains: why is Reason flacking one of the most obvious ongoing scams in the world?

            1. Because they don’t want Reason to become the intellectual equivalent of Slate? I disagree with Bailey and his confidence in the integrity of climate change research. Doesn’t mean there isn’t a place for the discussion on a libertarian site.

              1. I used to go to Slate when Hitchens was writing there.

        2. Yes . Since their hypothesis is wrong , as long as they stick to it as a bound , there can be no convergence : http://cosy.com/Science/AGWppt…..vGraph.jpg .

          But they can always get more confident : http://cosy.com/Science/IPCC_A…..Hayden.jpg .

  3. It’s not that I’m skeptical of the proof (thought I’m always healthily skeptical of any statistics leading to policy changes), but I’m skeptical of any problems associated with said proof.

    1. Evidently, the unknown and unpredictable effects of global warming will be catastrophically worse than the dismally predictable effects of restricting access to cheap energy.

      The warming hypothesis seems genuine and potentially alarming. The solutions, on the other hand, are discreditably drastic and repugnant.

  4. In regards to what it would take to convince people that global warming is real, I think you have to address the ultimate cause of their skepticism. Their skepticism is grounded in the solutions under consideration being both vague in terms of their probability of success and the assumption that the solutions will be extremely expensive.

    I suppose the same thing could be said for people who believe that global warming is real. What would make them question that belief? It’s the same. Someone needs to explain to them exactly how effective the solutions are likely to be and how much those solutions will cost us as a society.

    Don’t just tell people that the polar bears are threatened. Give them a legitimate estimate of how much it’s going to cost the United States in terms of GDP per capita before the solution saves the very first polar bear from climate change. The very worst possible outcome would be if we made enormous sacrifices in our standard of living–and it didn’t make any substantial difference anyway.

    So, people’s resistance to the idea of climate change is tied to their fear about what the solutions would do to the economy. People’s support for the idea of climate change is also based on their ignorance about what the solutions would do to the economy! Start answering questions about what the solutions to climate change will do to our economy, and the reasons people oppose (or support) the science will become a lot more reasonable.

    1. Yes. Recycling was the answer- is the answer?- but it’s nearly pointless. The food pyramid is now a plate. Etc., Etc., etc.

    2. If scientists can make a model to reasonably predict, within some margin of error, what the weather will be like 30 years from now–then someone can give us a similar estimate about how much their most effective solutions are likely to cost us.

      1. Their models have almost no predictive power. They don’t model clouds correctly, their navier-stokes equations routinely blow up, they use hot estimates of doubling sensitivity, etc.

        On the so called empirical front Mann inverts sediment proxies, Mann uses bristle cone pine proxies that are known to be unreliable wrt temperature, Mann has no physical explanation for using PC3, Red noise inserted into Mann’s model gets the same results as his “data”, Jones “lost” his UHI data, blah, blah, blah,

        Add to all that

        No tropical hotspot in the troposphere
        No increase in cyclone frequency or power
        No polar amplification
        No acceleration of sea level rise

        Only a true believer would think this stuff is beyond scrutiny.

        1. I’ll grant you this: I think it is absurd to propose solutions without accounting for the costs–and then claim to be unbiased.

          1. That wasn’t his point. His point was that real science makes predictions and then tests them. CAGW has failed at the few predictions it has made.

            And you make an additional error. The burden of proof is on the warmist side. They have to reject the null hypothesis, not the other way around.

            1. “That wasn’t his point.”

              My point was that anyone who claims we should pursue some course of action–regardless of the costs!–can’t make a claim to be unbiased.

              I’m allowed to have a point, too.

              In regards to the suggestion that skeptics don’t have any burden of proof?

              One of the compelling arguments for the definition of science is the idea that in order for a claim to be considered scientific, it needs to be falsifiable.

              Some people say that science is all about falsifying claims. Certainly, if you’re saying that a scientific claim is false, then I think you have a burden of proof, too.

              http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/D…..ifiability

              1. This isn’t the third grade. I don’t have to prove your claim wrong, you have to prove it right. Although I can certainly do my own falsification test on your claims if I wish.

                Go look up null hypothesis on wiki.

              2. No the skeptics do not have any burden of proof. All it takes is ONE counter example and the theory disappears in a puff of logic.

                1. “All it takes is ONE counter example and the theory disappears in a puff of logic.”

                  But it takes at least one counter-example.

                  And you need to be careful not to straw man the scientific claim in question.

                  All scientific claims exist in a perpetual state of falsifiability. Scientists say that the moon orbits the earth, but if new evidence became available tomorrow showing that claim to be false, science would alter its claim. This means that science sometimes requires scientists to support incorrect claims–all scientific claims depend on the data that is currently available. And the claims real scientists are making about climate change and global warming are put together in such a way that they haven’t been falsified yet. It is entirely possible that there isn’t enough data yet to falsify the scientific consensus in its present form.

                  Regardless, we are well within the realm of reason and rationality to oppose plans to make giant sacrifices to remedy the problem of global warming and climate change. These reasonable and rational arguments, however, are about ethics, politics, etc. If they aren’t scientific arguments, that is perfectly alright. Lots of reasonable and rational arguments are not scientific arguments. Politics and ethics may be informed by science–but they are not science.

                  1. When scientists make claims about what we should do politically, they are not making scientific claims. That is their weakness. That is where we should focus our opposition. Whether the polar bears will survive into the 22nd century is a scientific question. How much we should sacrifice to save the polar bears or whether we should care more about the polar bears of the 22nd century than our own standard of living is not a scientific question at all. And when scientists make those sorts of claims, we should call them out on it.

                    They have far less authority on what we should care about and why than we do.

                  2. That is true, theories get modified based on new data all the time.

                    On the other hand, they are very careful to not actually provide falsifiable claims, no testable hypothesis. Even Relativity had some concrete things that were predicted and – so far – tested to be correct (not proven) to fairly rigorous levels of precision. Same for some predictions of the Big Bang…the background microwave signature for instance.

            2. Mann should have been fired when it was learned that he inverted the Scandanavian Varve Proxies.

    3. Their skepticism is grounded in the solutions under consideration being both vague in terms of their probability of success and the assumption that the solutions will be extremely expensive.

      But whether or not global warming is real or not shouldn’t have anything to do with the solutions. The first question should be “is global warming real?” Once you prove or disprove that, the second question is what is causing it? How much does man contribute, if at all?

      Then you can go and answer the questions you pose as to what will it cost to mitigate the damage, and is it worth it. The two are separate, and if peoples’ (sp) scepticism comes from conflating the two, then I am not sure how you correct that.

      1. You don’t understand. Human activity must be harming the planet because it must. That is both their premise and their conclusion. There is no reasoning with circular logic.

      2. you correct that by not having anyone who proves the problem exists then turn around and propose a solution.

      3. “But whether or not global warming is real or not shouldn’t have anything to do with the solutions.”

        1) Whether it should is a very different question from whether it does. If that’s why people question the science, then it’s silly to expect them to change their minds without addressing the ultimate reason for their skepticism.

        2) Opposing the solutions on the table because the success is uncertain and the costs are too high may be a perfectly reasonable reason to oppose the science–especially if others, in a democracy, are using the science to promote solutions without any regard for the likelihood of success or the costs.

        Just because something isn’t scientific doesn’t mean it isn’t reasonable, and good science can be used to support an unreasonable position.

    4. For a vast majority of the AGW cult, the economic cost of the solutions is a feature, not a bug. They want “sustainability,” which really means poverty. But it’s romantic poverty since we’ll all be living off the land and working together (with guns pointed at our backs).

      1. I am sure there are people who support the science because of their contempt for capitalism.

        Real environmentalists should encourage those people to go set themselves on fire.

        1. It’s difficult to separate the two.

          1. If they don’t want to save the environment if it means abandoning wealth redistribution schemes, etc., then they aren’t primarily environmentalists, they’re socialists.

            I’ve read socialist/environmentalists who have advocated abandoning socialism if that’s what it takes to save the environment. That’s a real environmentalist.

            “With great respect to those who assert the so-called ‘primacy’ of key social and economic goals (such as the elimination of poverty or the attainment of universal human rights), it must be said loud and clear that these are secondary goals: all else is conditional upon learning to live sustainably within the Earth’s systems and limits.”

            —-Jonathon Porritt, Capitalism as if the World Matters

            1. Most environmentalists are watermelons: Green on the outside, red in the middle.

              1. Again, I think there are people who care about both.

                Those who don’t want to save the planet if saving the planet means abandoning socialism can all go screw themselves.

                And they can be separated.

                Explain to them that unless the economy is growing and providing people with an ever increasing standard of living, not enough of them will support the policies necessary to save the environment. Isn’t it the wealthy who are buying hybrids and shopping at Whole Foods? Don’t we have to be wealthy to get enough people who are willing to make sacrifices big enough in order to save the planet?

                Point out that the two biggest factors, cross culturally, that make women of the third world (and everywhere else) have far fewer children is 1) lower infant mortality and 2) to provide them with opportunities to contribute economically by taking a job outside of the home. Point out that both of those things are positively correlated with a growing economy.

                Take these factors (among many others) into consideration, and it becomes clear that rapid economic growth is an environmental issue. It becomes clear that free market capitalism is the only way we’re ever going to be able to save the planet–and then point out that if they’re not willing to save the planet if it means they can’t redistribute other people’s incomes anymore, then they’re phony environmentalists.

                That’s what I do.

      2. With a smaller population.

        And, quite possibly, slaves. Cishet white male slaves.

      3. I like John Christy’s law of sustainability :

        If it’s not economically sustainable , it’s not sustainable .

  5. Well herpity derp derp…Bailey finally says something intelligent about CAGW wonder if he has seen the latest from Curry, et al on estimating sensitivity…

    The 1990 IPCC report notes that much depends on climate sensitivity; how much warming can be expected for a doubling of the concentration of carbon dioxide in the atmosphere. Low sensitivity means slower and less warming and higher means the opposite.

    1. More Nic Lewis, but yes. And the latest aerosol forcing estimates are devastating.

      1. Really, doubling sensitivity is the Big Enchilada. Without lots of positive feedback with water vapor there is no other physical way that CO2 can actually move the temps very much. Without large positive values around 3 deg C for DS, all of their crap falls apart.

  6. Serious question:
    What is the latest in estimation of natural variability? I have no problem with scientists saying early in researching a process: “We’re somewhat uncertain what the natural frequency is, but X change would be a big deal, let 0.5X be assumed noise.”

    But after 25 years and a huge increase in the types and amount of data, one would hope that there would be improved boundary conditions. As it is, we’re within the bounds of an arbitrarily constructed natural variability. Which tells us little about what factors affect climate.

    I think, for instance, that local climates have to be affected when you have square miles of gas and concrete and change how water flows. Are these changes enough over a larger area to affect weather patterns? I don’t know. But the urban heat island effect has been demonstrated to my satisfaction. Does that or average global temperature at ground level spell a fundamental, destructive change to the Earth’s surface? I doubt it. Does this make me a Clomate Change denier?

    1. s/gas and concrete/glass and concrete.

      Stupid phone.

    2. Nobody has any idea what the natural variability is. Even the null hypothesis is hard to falsify…something that is required for it to be called science in the first place.

      1. I would think that until we can model the natural glacier/intergalcial periods with some certainty, we’re missing key predictibe information. Now, I know that there are models based on solar and orbital cycles that purport to do this, but my last deep dive into the climate literature about five years ago, they were not included in near term climate models.

        I happen to be a thermodynamicist as far as climate goes. The most probable driver of change is energy input variance to the surface layer. Given our success in modelling astronomical bodies as black body radiators, i would suspect that the equilibrium in radiation has a small time constant. Thus any temporary energy trapping by GHGs is going to be short-lived. But I only made it through one graduate course in energy transport, so I could be wrong.

        1. Just because the energy doesn’t stay resident in the system doesn’t mean the system doesn’t have more energy within it at any given time and thus is hotter. That is what the greenhouse effect is. It is directly analogous to putting on a blanket or silvering the inside of a thermos.

          1. Not quite that simple. In the atmosphere, there is no physical barrier actually traps the IR emitted by stuff inside that is subject to solar flux with lots of convection. Its a mish-mash of re-radiation, scattering, etc. Even something that is a big absorber (high emissivity) is also a very efficient radiator.

            1. That’s why I said analogous. Ultimately all of the solar flux is re-radiated in the steady state, so clearly what sets the temp can’t just be the amoynt of flux. Adding GHG’s increases the residence time of that energy in the Earth system thus raising the temp. Even though it’s not an exact description, it gets enough right to be useful.

              1. AndI would add that a perfect black body shell would still result in an increase in temperature for a system whose energy source was inside said shell, which is a pretty good approximation for solar flux andearth IR emissions.

                1. Yes

          2. Which has more resistance to energy exchange, glass or air? A glass greenhouse has a longer time constant to equilibrium, but in no way does it hold more heat than it received. It just emits more slowly. But the driver of the glass greenhouse is solar variability. If you put your geenhouse inside under constant light, it would emit as much energy as it absorbed in a few days. It doesn’t conitnue to warm once equilibrium is achieved. The GHG theory proposed that there was no input change, but that our “glass” was consistently getting thicker. But the rate of temperature change isn’t consistent with the rate of insulation change.

            1. Glass is opaque to IR that is what is going on. There is minuscule heat exchange with the glass and the rest of the GH system.

          3. Which has more resistance to energy exchange, glass or air? A glass greenhouse has a longer time constant to equilibrium, but in no way does it hold more heat than it received. It just emits more slowly. But the driver of the glass greenhouse is solar variability. If you put your geenhouse inside under constant light, it would emit as much energy as it absorbed in a few days. It doesn’t conitnue to warm once equilibrium is achieved. The GHG theory proposed that there was no input change, but that our “glass” was consistently getting thicker. But the rate of temperature change isn’t consistent with the rate of insulation change.

    3. Serious researchers now admit it can be at least 50-50. See Tung et al.

      http://judithcurry.com/2014/08…..-argument/

  7. We then assume, again somewhat arbitrarily that a further 0.5?C warming (i.e., a total warming of 1?C since the late nineteenth century) is required before we could say with high confidence, that the only possible explanation would be that the enhanced greenhouse effect was as strong as predicted by climate models.

    1. Hmmm, do they even listen to what they write?

      “We will make arbitrary assumptions and then use those to rule out any other explanations”

      Seriously?

  8. This gets back to the problem of pecision and accuracy in climate science. The range for their predictions is so large that virtually everything falls into it. They admit they don’t understand the magnitude of natural variability or cycles and success of the prediction of this “arbitrary number” of 0.5C can happen anytime between 2002 and beyond. People really consider this settled science of unprecedented human caused CAGW? It is like predicting that it is very likely children born in the year 2000 will grow to a height between 4’5′ and 7’0′ by 2020 .
    Those demanding trillions of dollars via carbon pricing, renewable energy and development funds of 100 billion plus should be required to do better. In addition to better data and more decades of observation, a concerted effort to study natural variability and cycles as the main driver (what should have been the null hypothesis) before attempting to predict the human fingerprint is essential. Right now they plug in the known natural variables and cycles then *assume* the rest is CAGW. Considering political and academic motives, there’s no reason to find out if this assumption is true.

  9. what temperature SHOULD the planet be?

    1. Historically the planets temperature is clamped between about 12degC and 22degC, we are at about 14…so on the very cool end of the scale.

    2. They can’t establish a baseline and the raw data collected shows a 50-year cooling trend.

      CO2 caused global warming isn’t a theory, it is a failed hypothesis turned into a religion.

    3. I WANT IT 72 FARENHEIT. SCREW THE POLAR BEARZ!

  10. If there should be any consensus in science at all, it be professional ban on using the word ‘boffin’ in place of ‘scientist’. I was on some British tech periodcal the other day and this word I’d never seen before was just everywhere. Headlines like “Boffins Say Penguins Can’t Taste” or “Boffins Observe Distant Galaxies”. My thought was; who the fuck are these boffin people?

    1. “who the fuck are these boffin people”

      See adolphwisner, below.

    2. Ah , you must be reading The Register .

  11. Google pay 97$ per hour my last pay check was $8500 working 1o hours a week online. My younger brother friend has been averaging 12k for months now and he works about 22 hours a week. I cant believe how easy it was once I tried it out.
    This is what- I do…… ?????? http://www.jobsfish.com

  12. “We then assume, again somewhat arbitrarily that a further 0.5?C warming (i.e., a total warming of 1?C since the late nineteenth century) is required before we could say with high confidence, that the only possible explanation would be that the enhanced greenhouse effect was as strong as predicted by climate models.”

    Right here, you see the main reason for my personal skepticism toward climate change alarmism. The argument being used is inductive reasoning (and probabilistic inductive reasoning, at that). This requires that you eliminate all POSSIBLE alternative explanations before declaring the truth of the last alternative standing (while probabilistic inductive reasoning requires that you eliminate all SIGNIFICANT alternatives but one). This is fairly easily and reliably done in Boolean logic, because you are always dealing with True and False statements. But it is much harder when the options number 3 or more, and basically impossible when the number of alternatives is not even reliably known. With climate science, we keep finding yet another factor in climate change that we didn’t know about (or had improperly discounted) in the past. Thus, the goalposts for inductive proof keep shifting. Climate scientists’ declarations of “confidence” boil down to, “we are xyz% confident that we have covered all the bases this time.” Yet, invariably, they haven’t. (concluded in reply msg)

    1. (continued from main-level posting)

      Until we have determined all of the climate change levers that really matter, enough to build a model that is reliably correct in its predictions within an acceptably small margin of error, and can be demonstrated as such through a period of actual, recognizable climate change, climate science won’t even begin to be mature, and we would be incredibly foolish to use it as the basis for pubic policy. I realize that this doesn’t matter to politicians, who will use any slick-sounding excuse to seize power and resources. But people need to see through that scam and call shenanigans, whenever an immature science is pimped out on the street.

  13. I suggest that climate sensitivity (to CO2 levels) cannot be known because it will vary with changes in other inputs.

  14. I got diverted into spending way too much unremunerated time on the Biggest Lie because of the abysmal understanding of the most essential math and physics I saw . This is a field which can’t even repudiate James Hansen’s howler that Venus’s surface temperature can be explained by the energy it absorbs from the Sun which easily shown to be quantitatively absurd by basic undergraduate computations .

    It only takes grade school linear interpolation and extrapolation to come up with a “climate sensitivity” as good as any I’ve seen : http://cosy.com/Science/CO2vTkelvin.jpg .

  15. Actually , I want to commend Ron Bailey for keeping an open mind to new information .

    One observation he makes which , while I don’t know the magnitude or validity of , raises an important point is that the undoubted effect of more CO2 and GHGs which transfer surface heat to all the molecules in the atmosphere and back , is to reduce the variance in temperature , diurnal and equi-polar . That is the overwhelming effect and is independent of a change in the mean . All you have to do is live at 2500m altitude like I do to experience that effect : http://cosy.com/Science/NY_WPtemps.jpg .

  16. It’s best to read the draft versions, the final versions, and the often wildly contradictory summary for policymakers.

    What are just some of the problems with “predicting” climate change years, decades or centuries into the future?

    1. The past data until the advent of automated collection and finer division recording of degrees of temperature, was often recorded in whole degrees. What was the smallest division recorded using Mark One Eyeball examination of thermometers? Quarter degree? Attempting to get 1/10th or finer degree precision from the coarser data is both bad math and bad science. Adjusting, interpolating, “massaging” etc is basically making $h!t up instead of simply plotting the data that was actually recorded. It’s like 8 bit audio VS 48 bit audio, but with weather/climate having far more unpredictability between the sampled bits.

    1. 2. The best computer models, running on some of the most powerful computers, using actual non-interpolated etc data recorded with a fine degree of precision – can at best predict the weather with any decent degree of accuracy *three days* into the future. Chaos is a b!tch. Yet we’re supposed to just blindly accept computer models’ “predictions” far into the future – when *not one single prediction* from any past version of those models has been anywhere close to reality for the time periods they “predicted”? Have these models been tested against actual measurements from the past? For example, feed the latest models the data from the 1970’s and 1980’s and see if their output comes anywhere close to actual (non-fiddled with) measurements of the 90’s, 00’s and 10’s.

      1. 3. The “solar constant”. No such thing. The Sun is a multi-period variable star. It slams Earth with more energy every second than humanity has used in most of its known history. Fortunately a lot of that gets reflected by the atmosphere and the oceans. A single hurricane like Katrina unleashed more energy than the human race had used in the past 15~20 years. Naysayers about the Sun’s influence on Earth’s temperature point out that the measured variability of insolation (how much energy hits Earth) is just a small percent. However they fail to mention just how great galumphing HUGE amount of energy that “small percent” actually is.

        1. Some math exercises to do.
          1. What is the TOTAL energy output, across all types, the Sun puts out?
          2. What is the TOTAL insolation of Earth, across all types of energy the Sun puts out?
          3. Find the KNOWN (not theoretical) maximums and minimums for the first two.
          4. Calculate how much that difference is in watts.

          For 2 you’ll need to find the cross-section area of Earth, not the surface area of 1/2 the oblate spheroid.

          Once you have that mind boggling large number, write all these numbers out in full, not with scientific notation, you’ll have an idea of how insignificant human energy use is VS the mildest hiccup in the Solar energy that smacks into Earth.

          For more fun, multiply 2 and 4 by the number of seconds in a day, week, month and year. Why? Because Joules. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Joule And Watts http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Watt

          Finally, always demand real numbers. Any article or report on anything that contains no hard numbers, only percentages – means the author is attempting to hide something, making something up or attempting to make the subject appear better/worse than it really is. You must have at least ONE solid number somewhere to provide a reference point for the percentages. Without knowing *exactly* what the measurement of one part is, all the percentages of difference among the various whatevers in the report are meaningless.

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