Monday, July 26, 2010

I think that there is something there

OK:  I am/was a pretty fair scientist.   I have excellent grounding in chemistry and physics.  I know biochemistry like the back of my hand.  A couple of patents, a couple of articles.  I gots all the chops.

Anyone who is good at this odd trade has to have a nose for which way they think that the data might lean before you start the experiment.  Well and good.  It's called a working hypothesis and it is a great tool, gets you started.

Now comes the hard part, looking at the data in a useful way.  Oh, you get some ideologues out there who will tell you that a statistical analysis of data will allow you an unbiased means of judging the data.  I have had a series of nasty run-ins with statisticians who proved without a doubt that X was the result and then go 6-8 months down the track and then find out that it wasn't so.

So, this is a piece about climatologists and their sacred cow of "global warming".  First and foremost, let me state clearly that the CO2 data, the ocean temp data, and the temp data lead me to believe that there is something there.  Not sure about the base reasons other than burning fossils fuels will add quite a bit of CO2 to the air and raise the concentration of this gas.  I will allow that right now, no complaints.  I would also posit that having 6.7 billion humans sweating, breathing, and fucking may have a certain impact on the matter.

But when I see the chart above presented in the blogosphere, replete with the shrill, girlish squeals of panic and doom, I have a tendency to giggle.  Look at the damn thing.  Carefully.  The zero line is an average of a 29-year period chosen randomly in the middle.  The graph covers 119 years and compares the variation from this sampled average.  In the early part of the graph for around fifty years (pre-1930's), the global mean temp dipped down to about 0.75 degree Fahrenheit below this arbitrary baseline.   On the right side of the graph, Over the past thirty or so years, the temp has gone up to approximately 1.15 degree Fahrenheit above this imaginary average.

Guys, I have a feeling that the industrial world, powered by fossil fuels is doing a bunch of stuff (I will not say harm) to the climate.  I also think that the population of CO2-exhaling humans have a real impact on the levels.  But if that is the best data that NASA can come up with to support climate change, they will have a long, rough row to hoe before I call the matter settled.


Mayberry said...

CO2 notwithstanding, I kinda think that big orange orb that has a habit of traversing the sky every day might have something to do with it....

Sarcasm off, my big thing is the screams of "we're all gonna drown". I am a coastal critter, and have been all my life. Same place. I have not seen the sea level rise one damn inch. Not one! In almost 37 years...

Yes, it has warmed a bit. Fish species that tend to hang down south are creeping northward. Nothing that hasn't happened before. In the 1920s/1930s, Port Aransas was the "tarpon capitol" of the US. This happens to coincide with a fairly warm period, as plotted in the Farmer's Almanac. Then it cooled off, and the tarpon left. Now it's warming up again, and the tarpon are back. Hmmmm, what are those things called again? Sickles? Phych.... CYCLES! Yeah, that's it....

russell1200 said...

There is other data. Ice core data is interesting.

But your point is very well taken, both sides have made their views "religious" in nature. They have the end point they desire and all sets of facts will be molded to fit their beliefs.

Most hopeful guesses have world population peaking at 10 Billion. That is a whole lot of people.

My personal guess is that the population induced problems (peak oil being a popular one), will catch us before global warming does. And really the global warming issue is also population related.