Daily Archives: May 7, 2013

Presuppositional bias behind “climate change” claims…

When evaluating any scientific claim, whether about climate or any other aspect of the world, a scientific assessment would rely on measurements, evidence, logic (reason), and a clear understanding of underlying assumptions. Many people are simply not epistemologically aware of underlying presuppositions (or worldview issues) or at least not aware of some of them that drive their thinking. In making the transition from “scientist” to social advocate, it is common for an advocate to become blinded to the impact of their own underlying assumptions.

In the case of climate, everyone is essentially working from the same types of data (historical observations of various sorts, models of various types and differing degrees of sophistication, current measurements, interpretation of ice cores, and so on). But data and observations do not interpret themselves….they require an interpreter and indeed, each interpreter has an underlying set of governing presuppositions that affect what we think the data means, our decisions as to what counts as data and what does not, what counts as science and what does not, what counts as a fact and what does not, how the facts should and should not be applied, whether or not historical data is relevant today, should computer models be trusted, and what do observations today mean for the future. This has nothing to do with any particular religion (though religious beliefs will affect underlying presuppositions)….

This interview (click here) represents a good example of this dynamic. I mention this not to criticize the publication or the person being interview, but to note that it appears that certain presuppostions are underlying many of the statements being made. I would agree with many of the theologically-related comments made in the interview. I would not agree with some of the statements about the threats or attributions made to “climate change” and what should be done about it.

There are underlying presuppositions that are reflected in the statements in this article, perhaps unconsciously. Social advocates can easily become frustrated with those people who disagree with them (who may even have a similar or identical religious belief) and they will feel as if they are being attacked if they take differing ideas personally. But science is to be objective and verifiable (at least to the degree possible), and social advocates must learn to set their own biases aside and evaluate the factual claims rather than be driven here and there by subjectivity.

Solar cycle 24 update

sunspot may 6 2013

There is a good update and discussion of solar cycle 24 here.

Decades needed to improve climate models….

Julian Ramirez-Villegas, Andrew J Challinor, Philip K Thornton and Andy Jarvis. 2013 Implications of regional improvement in global climate models for agricultural impact research. Environmental Research Letters; Volume 8; Number 2; doi:10.1088/1748-9326/8/2/024018

Global climate models (GCMs) have become increasingly important for climate change science and provide the basis for most impact studies. Since impact models are highly sensitive to input climate data, GCM skill is crucial for getting better short-, medium- and long-term outlooks for agricultural production and food security. The Coupled Model Intercomparison Project (CMIP) phase 5 ensemble is likely to underpin the majority of climate impact assessments over the next few years. We assess 24 CMIP3 and 26 CMIP5 simulations of present climate against climate observations for five tropical regions, as well as regional improvements in model skill and, through literature review, the sensitivities of impact estimates to model error. Climatological means of seasonal mean temperatures depict mean errors between 1 and 18 ° C (2–130% with respect to mean), whereas seasonal precipitation and wet-day frequency depict larger errors, often offsetting observed means and variability beyond 100%. Simulated interannual climate variability in GCMs warrants particular attention, given that no single GCM matches observations in more than 30% of the areas for monthly precipitation and wet-day frequency, 50% for diurnal range and 70% for mean temperatures. We report improvements in mean climate skill of 5–15% for climatological mean temperatures, 3–5% for diurnal range and 1–2% in precipitation. At these improvement rates, we estimate that at least 5–30 years of CMIP work is required to improve regional temperature simulations and at least 30–50 years for precipitation simulations, for these to be directly input into impact models. We conclude with some recommendations for the use of CMIP5 in agricultural impact studies.

Click here for full paper (Open Source).

Is “climate science” settled? Hardly….

This report discusses the main positions and issues around the so called man-made global warming. It concludes rather strongly that “an alleged near unanimous scientific consensus on AGW, that “the science is settled”, is overstated. More importantly, the “consensus building” approach to science [as used by the IPCC] might represent a politicised and unscientific belief in science. Click here for image below for the report.

Pages from SINTEF Report A24071, Consensus and Controversy

Peter Gleick vs Anthony Watts


Watts Up With That‏@wattsupwiththat2h
@PeterGleick for your next trick, “how to fool people using document theft”


Peter Gleick‏@PeterGleick
@wattsupwiththat Ah, YOUR standard trick: when you can’t respond to the science, attack and insult the scientists. Classy.

Let’s take a closer look at the above Twitter exchange (click here for the Twitter record). One of these parties has a solid reputation for seeking the truth and discussing climate science in the classical sense. And the other has a reputation for making exaggerated claims and running from the truth with creative explanations. See if you can tell which is which. Here are two links for you start with: