Daily Archives: August 25, 2014

Setting the record straight on “climate change” arguments

Claim: Ice core data shows CO2 controls temperature.

Response: CO2 levels in ice cores lag temperatures by 800+ years. The cause cannot follow the effect. Indeed, CO2 lags temperature on all timescales. Temperature changes drive CO2 levels. [At an epistemological level, ice core data cannot “show” anything other than what it is, ice core data. An interpreter of the data is necessary. And every interpreter has underlying assumptions.]

Claim: Other forces, like El Nino/La Nina, volcanoes and solar irradiance cannot alone explain all of the variability we’ve observed. Therefore, global temperature change cannot be understood without taking greenhouse gas emissions into account.

Response: Judith Curry has addressed this claim here.

[But even so, this is a logical fallacy known as ad ignorantum, an argument from ignorance. Just because something is not known does not make something else true.]

Claim: Florida is facing an impending disaster from sea level rise.

Response: Global sea levels naturally fluctuate. The rise in sea level has decelerated over the past 8,000 years, decelerated over the 20th century, decelerated 31% since 2002 and decelerated 44% since 2004 to less than 7 inches per century. There is no evidence of an acceleration of sea level rise. There is no evidence of any effect of mankind on sea levels. Indeed, rising sea levels in particular areas relate to land subsidence.

[This false thinking commits the fallacy of composition, piecing together an argument regarding the “whole” (global climate causing sea level rise) from a few fragments of specifics (in this case modeling results).]

Mathematician Kurt Gödel’s incompleteness theorems suggest that no matter how much climate mathematical modeling one does of the parts, it cannot reproduce the “whole.” The “whole” is always much more than what the sum of “parts” suggest. And in this case the global climate is much, much more than what any mathematical modeling of the parts suggest, and always will be. Observational science gives us an idea of physical state of the “whole.” Mathematical modeling cannot do this. And this is why observational science should be preferred and supplemented with modeling rather than the other way around (where only modeling is considered).

The Global Warming War

The full-length documentary film festival preview available here [password is 4festival] (source: The Hockey Schtick)

Flow cytomtery for assessing cells in drinking water distribution systems

Of more interest than total and intact cells is viability. Flow cytometry results do not indicate the viability of intact cells.  This method has been used in the past and is particularly meaningful. Perhaps current-day researchers are just looking for something to do or need a paper published so the technique is reemerging.

Gillespie S, Lipphaus P, Green J, Parsons S, Weir P, Juskowiak K, Jefferson B, Jarvis P, Nocker A. Assessing microbiological water quality in drinking water distribution systems with disinfectant residual using flow cytometry. Water Res. 2014 Jul 30;65C:224-234. doi: 10.1016/j.watres.2014.07.029.

Flow cytometry (FCM) as a diagnostic tool for enumeration and characterization of microorganisms is rapidly gaining popularity and is increasingly applied in the water industry. In this study we applied the method to obtain a better understanding of total and intact cell concentrations in three different drinking water distribution systems (one using chlorine and two using chloramines as secondary disinfectants). Chloramine tended to result in lower proportions of intact cells than chlorine over a wider residual range, in agreement with existing knowledge that chloramine suppresses regrowth more efficiently. For chlorinated systems, free chlorine concentrations above 0.5 mg L-1 were found to be associated with relatively low proportions of intact cells, whereas lower disinfectant levels could result in substantially higher percentages of intact cells. The threshold for chlorinated systems is in good agreement with guidelines from the World Health Organization. The fact that the vast majority of samples failing the regulatory coliform standard also showed elevated proportions of intact cells suggests that this parameter might be useful for evaluating risk of failure. Another interesting parameter for judging the microbiological status of water, the biological regrowth potential, greatly varied among different finished waters providing potential help for investment decisions. For its measurement, a simple method was introduced that can easily be performed by water utilities with FCM capability.

Click here for full paper (fee).