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Tuesday, March 29, 2005

And now a little on scientific illiteracy

Here is what I wrote on NRT, in rebuttal to Idiot's reply. You can visit the original thread, but most of what I've written can stand on its own two feet. Essentially NRT accused Adolf of 'scientific illiteracy', then proceeded to exhibit great scientific illiteracy by referencing Wikipedia pages with an incredibly bias towards global climate hysteria. In particular, the global warming graph is very typical of the sort of propaganda published by global warming proponents in the gullible media. The original Adolf item was attacking 'global dimming', which sounds awfully like the original 'global cooling' hypothesis of the early 1970's (as pointed out by Andrei).

I said this in an earlier NRT comment on using Wikipedia as the source of climate data (edited for grammar):
Given willful distortion of the global warming temperature graph (and it has to be a conscious choice to distort a graph to that degree, or complete ignorance to republish it), I doubt the integrity of any data or theory presented by the Wikipedia pages.
And here is my latest post on NRT (I have done some editing to make it more readable, and added more of NRT's original comments):

NRT: Such a critique [of the global warming temperature graph] I note is applicable to basically any graph. This one is designed to emphasise a specific trend over a period where the driver was in action - following the trend back to 1000 or 1500 might show a cooling trend but all that would indicate is that the carbon burning driver is even more significant to obscure the apparent cooling effect.

AL: No. In the hard sciences, your graph is designed to illustrate the data, not to repress surrounding data which contradict your thesis. Typically with a time series you would expand the scale of your graph to show extra data at either or both ends. [The rest of NRT's comment doesn't make much sense - he seems to be advocating twisting the interpretation of data to fit the 'greenhouse effect' model, which would get him failed from any decent science programme].

In the Wikipedia example, cutting off the graph in the mid 1800's neatly cuts off the (much longer) preceding cooling period, and leads the uninformed reader to draw incorrect conclusions. The useless temperature 'average' likewise invites the reader to draw the conclusion there is some scientifically-established 'appropriate temperature', when there is not. [Temperatures have been variable over the history of Earth, with many cycles of cooling and warming. This is well documented through ice cores and the like].

NRT: the fact that there is global warming is really fairly uncontentious, rather like evolution. Besides hte obvious statistical information - the mechanism by which it effects the environment is clear as with the subject of this post.

AL: As to the global warming datasets, Satellite and balloon data show enough temperature anomalies for me to doubt long-term warming since the 1800's. Global-warming proponents usually rely on ground station measurements and climate 'models' for their dire predictions.

Ground stations have historically been poorly located, and prone to various human influences including the 'Urban Heat Island' effect and small changes to local climate caused by various other human activities. I also question the time of the day the temperature measurements were taken, as any difference in this methodology over time would make the datasets for different years and stations incompatible, but that doesn't stop global warming proponents from using the shitty data.

And climate 'modelling'. Such modelling is not science at all, but a mathematical prediction of the future based on our present poor understanding of our atmosphere, Earths internal workings, and external influences.

In particular we know little about the internal heat generated by the Earth along the Mid Ocean Ridges and by other volcanic and tectonic activity, and we know little about the effect of short-term changes in sun activity, and in fact any other extra-Earth influences such as solar wind. No climate model based solely on modelling the atmosphere and applying some simple 'boundary conditions' for the effect of the sun and the subsurface Earth will ever be accurate.

Its also important to realise that not a single one of these climate models has been able to take a dataset from a historical period, say 1900-1950, and accurately predict the climate of a later period, say 1975-2000. In other words, they are all shite. Anyone who tells you otherwise is unaware that all computerised mathematical models have various 'calibration' factors (fudge factors) which are manipulated to make the model outputs appear more like the real world.

Our very own Chris de Freitas from the School of Geography and Environmental Science at Auckland University has been fighting the good fight against such misrepresentation of the 'global warming' evidence for years in the pages of the NZ Herald.

[the following is a new addition, not in my NRT rebuttal:]

NRT: What you could dispute, if you wanted, is whether that warming is bad.

AL: Considering Great Britain experienced much balmier weather during the time of the Romans than it does today, I think a bit of warming would be a good thing

Posted by Antarctic Lemur | 3/29/2005 02:51:00 PM


Blogger Adolf Fiinkensein said...

Now I know why Dominatrix is balmy! It's the bloody weather in Gaul.

BTW did you know the other part of the Idiot's name is Savant? It means "a learned person."

3/29/2005 03:39:00 PM  
Blogger Antarctic Lemur said...

He knows alot about sedition...

3/29/2005 03:44:00 PM  
Blogger Idiot/Savant said...

Please correct the attributions on the comments you quote. They were made by Genius, not myself.

4/02/2005 12:27:00 PM  
Blogger Antarctic Lemur said...

We can't edit Blogger comments unfortunately because they prevent it. But point noted. Genius <> Idiot.

4/02/2005 02:26:00 PM  
Blogger ZenTiger said...

"Genius <> Idiot"

Antarctic Lemur = Witty


4/02/2005 09:14:00 PM  
Blogger Antarctic Lemur said...

Wait do you mean remove 'idiot' from the actual post text? Was it genius who wrote that?

4/03/2005 04:10:00 AM  
Blogger Antarctic Lemur said...

A ZenTiger.... thats the closest I could get to a 'not equals' sign ;-)

4/03/2005 04:11:00 AM  
Blogger Idiot/Savant said...

I wrote the post on NRT, of course. But the material you quote in your post above is from comments made by Genius - not by me.

4/03/2005 04:57:00 PM  

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