January 14, 2008
Pachauri on Recent Climate Trends
Posted to Author: Pielke Jr., R. | Climate Change | Prediction and Forecasting | Scientific Assessments
Last week scientists at the Real Climate blog gave their confirmation bias synapses a workout by explaining that eight years of climate data is meaningless, and people who pay any attention to recent climate trends are "misguided." I certainly agree that we should exhibit cautiousness in interpreting short-duration observations, nonetheless we should always be trying to explain (rather than simply discount) observational evidence to avoid the trap of confirmation bias.
So it was interesting to see IPCC Chairman Rajendra Pachauri exhibit "misguided" behavior when he expressed some surprise about recent climate trends in The Guardian:
Rajendra Pachauri, the head of the U.N. Panel that shared the 2007 Nobel Peace Prize with former U.S. Vice President Al Gore, said he would look into the apparent temperature plateau so far this century.
Ironically, by suggesting that their might be some significance to recent climate trends, Dr. Pachauri has provided ammunition to those very same skeptics that he disparages. Perhaps Real Climate will explain how misguided he is, but somehow I doubt it.
For the record, I accept the conclusions of IPCC Working Group I. I don't know how to interpret climate observations of the early 21st century, but believe that there are currently multiple valid hypotheses. I also think that we can best avoid confirmation bias, and other cognitive traps, by making explicit predictions of the future and testing them against experience. The climate community, or at least its activist wing, studiously avoids forecast verification. It just goes to show, confirmation bias is more a more comfortable state than dissonance -- and that goes for people on all sides of the climate debate.Posted on January 14, 2008 08:02 AM
Dr. Pachauri throws out, once again, the strawman here:
"He added that sceptics about a human role in climate change delighted in hints that temperatures might not be rising. "There are some people who would want to find every single excuse to say that this is all hogwash,""
This is typical alarmist misdirection. Skeptics don't say that. Denialists say that. In fact, Pachauri represents another type of denialist - those that deny the major effects *could* be other than CO2. Skeptics are simply skeptical that controlling CO2 (and enriching a few carbon traders, not a few of whom are in the tight circle of the UN) is the magic bullet here.
The current question is why has Antarctica been cooling now for decades? Does this not mean that the warming is not global? Of course that's what it means. Is CO2 not increasing down there? Of course it is. How difficult is it for those in their individual rooms of this huge Tower of Babel called climate science to admit something's not quite right here? I submit the last ones to realize that are the slowest ones...
Posted by: Harry Haymuss at January 14, 2008 02:08 PM
Pachauri would do well to remember that because someone delights in finding a climatologist has made a failed prediction, it does not follow that that delight negates the prediction error.
If this sort of thing was true, then every bit of evidence for significant man-made temperature change that was held up with glee by activists would have to be discounted.
In Pachauri's logic, the side that cheered the loudest would lose.
Posted by: mattstat at January 29, 2008 10:24 PM
Unfortunately, most people who call themselves "scientists" these days are no more scientists than sorcerers are.
Science is an effort to match our understandings of the world (models) to the observed phenomenon.... NOT the other way around.
Rajendra Pachauri clearly betrays that he is no scientist, even if he plays one on TV. He clearly betrays his mentality of trying to fit obsrevations to a predetermined theory rather than basing theory (models) on the observed facts in reality.
Thus, when observations diverge from model predictions, any true scientist is willing, indeed eager, to modify or abandon a model in favor of observed fact.
The problem here is not merely that the Earth is cooling... but that the predictions of the models of increases are not occuring. The models are proven wrong. No one should have any agenda other than truth. For any person to have an agenda other than faithful allegiance to fact and truth disqualifies them from being a scientist.
The core theory -- that manmade CO2 emission affects the gigantic and complex Earth -- has never been proven. Thus, we must be especially sensitive when reality points in the other direction in fact.
The heart of science is REPEATABLE EXPERIMENTS. Where are the repeatable experiments performed under varying conditions by divergent, unbiased researchers?
Consider: (1) CO2 traps heat. (2) HOT GASES RISE up into the atmosphere. (3) Once gases rise to great heights they radiate heat into outer space.
Could CO2 act as a CONVEYOR BELT trapping heat in the lower atmosphere, carrying it up to extreme heats, and then radiating the trapped heat out into outer space?
Without repeatable verified experiments by many divergent researchers, we don't know if CO2 traps heat, carries it upward to great heights because hot gases rise, and then emits the heat into space.
The "warm blanket" theory of CO2 presupposes that gases do not move up or down in the atmosphere but stay at a constant altitude near the Earth's surface. Is this a viable assumption? The CO2 "warm blanket" theory necessarily requires no vertical motion of the CO2 holding the heat.
Posted by: JonMoseley at June 4, 2008 07:36 PM
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