AGW – The Limits of the Science

Just posted to Wattsupwiththat.

To say that we cannot make any predictions from models is inaccurate. However, a combination of the scarcity / inaccuracy of data and the highly complex nature of climate systems severely limit what we can be extrapolated. We are restricted to the most basic of “pattern predictions”. With respect to future temperature changes this is most probably restricted to the range of longer-term (30 plus years) trends. Prof. Bob Carter’s analysis is probably as far as we can go on the available data. That is we have a uniform, increasing, average temperature trend over the last 150 years, with 60 year cycles providing deviations around this trend. This trend is unexceptional when viewed from temperature data from ice-cores going back hundreds of thousands of years.

The attempt to cast every unusual weather event in terms of anthropogenic warming, and only selecting the data that fits the theories, not only risks policies that are inappropriate. It may lead us in failing to pick up the signals of potential trends for which the signal is weak, or where detection is from trends or patterns that do not fit theory. For example my house, along with hundreds of others in the area has been without water for over twelve hours now due to a burst water main, caused by the severe cold. A contributing factor to the delay in repair was the lack of resource available. Too much reliance on speculative forecasts of increasingly mild winters, and snow being a rare event has virtually eliminated contingency planning for extreme cold. Yet natural factors (e.g. La Nina, lack of sunspots) would have suggested otherwise.

The AGW science is not only costing us more for fuel. It is also putting us at greater risk of the consequences of extreme weather.

For Robert Carter’s views, see a video at http://video.google.com/videoplay?docid=-1326937617167558947#

Baptist Times – Supporting Global Warming in the Extreme Cold

The front page of the Baptist Times of 10th December has two articles. One on churches helping those affected by the extreme cold snap. The other by Christian Campaigners urging tougher policies at Cancun to counter global warming. Here is my response.

Sir,

There is a distinct contrast in your two articles on the front of the BT of 10th Dec. The major article is of Baptist Churches opening their doors to help those affected by the cold weather. In central England it was the second coldest start to December in the last 350 years. This cold winter is explained by the combination of two natural factors – La Nina and low levels of solar activity.

The secondary article – “Standing up for Creation” – calls for the rich west and emerging India and China, to sacrifice their carbon-fuelled growth and prosperity to stop the global warming and thereby destabilising the climate. In the rich west it means paying more for fuel, something that will hit the poor hardest. In the China & India – with 2 out of 5 of the World’s population – it means preventing tens of millions breaking out of subsistence poverty every year. The policy outcome of Cancun will be more people in this country in fuel poverty, with a near-zero effect on climate change.

History will show that the climate consensus has overestimated our ability to change the climate, both for worse or better. The prophesies of catastrophe will be shown to be as misguided as past prophesies of Armageddon from selective reading of scripture.  We need a more balanced approach.

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