backtop


Print 104 comment(s) - last by ekv.. on Jan 28 at 4:00 AM

Is Antarctica warming or cooling? Either way it proves global warming, according to climate modelers.

In the 1990s, predictions of a greenhouse-warmed Antarctic abounded. As time passed, though, problems surfaced. Research paper after paper indicated that, other than the tiny Antarctica peninsula, the continent was in fact cooling -- and had been doing so for many decades.

Skeptics pointed to this as a flaw in global warming theory. Not so fast, cried the climate modelers. They quickly spun a number of possible explanations, including ozone holes, ocean currents, and terrain that cut off Antarctica from the world's warming. As the certainty in the cooling trend grew, so did their statements, until they eventually began stating that they had predicted a cooling trend all along.

As the folks at RealClimate put it, "Doesn't this contradict [global warming]? Not at all, because a cold Antarctica is just what calculations predict… and have predicted for the past quarter century."

Cooling was thus cast as proof of global warming, not refutation. The media dutifully shifted their cameras from penguins to polar bears. The world was safe for Kyoto again.

But now a new paper has appeared, saying that Antarctica is warming after all. Written by Eric Steig and Drew Shindell, the paper purports to prove that past evidence of cooling was incorrect. But doesn't that contradict the models? Not if one can again rewrite history.

Speaking at a news conference today, Steig says, "We now see warming is taking place [in] accord with what models predict as a response to greenhouse gases."

In 2004, Shindell had something very different to say. That year he authored a paper that stated, "Surface temperatures [had] decreased significantly over most of Antarctica," Shindell added, "This cooling is consistent with circulation changes". He dedicated the rest of the paper to demonstrating that climate modeling "reproduces the vertical structure and seasonality of observed [cooling] trends."

Today, Shindell says, "It’s extremely difficult to think of any physical way that you could have increasing greenhouse gases not lead to warming at the Antarctic continent.". One can only wonder if he kept a straight face.

Even the New York Times is playing along, saying that cooling "ran counter to the forecasts of computer climate models". Memories are short.

The real story here isn't Antarctica. It's the willingness to rationalize model results to fit any and all scenarios. To the modelers, their results are consistent with. . . well, everything. Whether warmer or colder, flood or drought, more storms or less -- it's all proof that global warming is real and happening now.

This, of course, isn't real science. A true theory require something called falsifiability -- a set of conditions under which it can be disproven. So far, this is something the modelers have failed to give. It allows them to maintain a facade of unflappable certainty-- but it isn't science.

Among researchers who work with actual climate data, skepticism is climbing. The modelers at least remain faithful. But as of now, their predictions are rather like the gypsy fortune teller who tells you, "You will live a long life -- unless you die young."



Comments     Threshold


This article is over a month old, voting and posting comments is disabled

Enough is enough
By mdogs444 on 1/22/2009 6:53:16 AM , Rating: 5
quote:
It's the willingness to rationalize model results to fit any and all scenarios. To the modelers, their results are consistent with. . . well, everything. Whether warmer or colder, flood or drought, more storms or less -- it's all proof that global warming is real and happening now.

This, of course, isn't real science.

Exactly. Nuff said.




RE: Enough is enough
By FITCamaro on 1/22/2009 8:23:41 AM , Rating: 3
Yup. To these idiots, their theories can't be disproven. No matter what happens, they're right. It's like arguing with a 5 year old.


RE: Enough is enough
By Reclaimer77 on 1/22/2009 3:58:48 PM , Rating: 2
Exactly.

First the earth was warming. Once it went public that it was actually cooling, they just changed their theory to Climate Change to cover all warming and cooling AND storm changes into one all encompassing "theory".

This, my friends, is not science.


RE: Enough is enough
By AnnihilatorX on 1/24/2009 4:46:15 PM , Rating: 1
I disagree with you guys.

The problem is climate system is too complex and frankly no one has a clue, because there is no reliable theory and all models are based on theories.

You can't really blame the scientists however. If there are physical evidences that violates a theory, good scientists will try to account for and modify the theory in an attempt to improve upon the theory to be better and more reliable; They may succeed or may fail in the process. Only when something is no longer able to be accounted for in any way, or a better theory emerges; you then disapprove your theory.

This has always been how science progressed, from particle-wave duality, special relativity, to gravity. You can't say this is bad science.


RE: Enough is enough
By BBeltrami on 1/26/2009 11:41:48 AM , Rating: 3
I don't hear anyone denying scientists their curiosity. But discarding the Scientific Method to satisfy the argument you approve of is clearly not science.

The over-arching problem TODAY is not the scientisits. When I have BP, Chevron, Subaru et.al. lecturing me with multi-million dollar ad campaigns about how green they are and how I'm not doing my part to save the future; when legislators send out press releases declaring that "something MUST be done about emmissions within 4 years or it will be too late"; when our education system teaches GW Theory as scientific fact, a bigger picture emerges. If you agree with it, the picture is rosy. If you don't, you're called names.

That's progress.


RE: Enough is enough
By tastyratz on 1/22/2009 8:40:57 AM , Rating: 2
Agreed.

People just argue on the DT articles anyways, why do we see them on global warming so frequently?


RE: Enough is enough
By TomZ on 1/22/2009 8:49:27 AM , Rating: 5
The science is irrelevant anyway at this point. Global warming is now a political problem, not a scientific problem. The incoming Obama administration has committed to go to work on the problem - at great expense to taxpayers no doubt - even before the science is in.


RE: Enough is enough
By FITCamaro on 1/22/2009 9:07:10 AM , Rating: 5
True. But the problem is that its being promoted as science.

There's one guy here who consistently gets rated down when he says that in order to get rid of global warming, you have to defeat the politicians advocating for it. He's correct. No amount of scientific evidence now is going to stop the mantra these idiots have.

Warming, cooling, staying the same. They'll say it fits their models, the media will back them up, and the drones buy it hook, line, and sinker.


RE: Enough is enough
By omnicronx on 1/22/2009 10:37:31 AM , Rating: 5
quote:
There's one guy here who consistently gets rated down when he says that in order to get rid of global warming, you have to defeat the politicians advocating for it. He's correct. No amount of scientific evidence now is going to stop the mantra these idiots have.
I have to agree with you here, the only thing worse than bad science is politicians advocating for it.

I just really wish politicians could focus on real environmental problems, like the thick smog us city dwellers have to breath everyday of the summer (or all year long depending where you live).


RE: Enough is enough
By rcc on 1/23/2009 1:25:06 PM , Rating: 4
quote:
like the thick smog us city dwellers have to breath everyday of the summer


Can't argue that, although, some areas have made great improvements. The California emissions standards are a real pain in the tail sometimes, however, the average apparent air quality in the Greater Los Angeles area is amazingly better than it was 25 years ago. When I was making service calls in the Azusa area in the '80s I didn't realize how close the San Gabriel mountains were to the plant there because you couldn't see them through the brown yellow haze. Then one year the smog parted and I'm asking the locals when they had the mountains installed.


RE: Enough is enough
By Amiga500 on 1/22/2009 12:44:20 PM , Rating: 2
Well, it wouldn't be a complete waste if they did decide to move away from oil/gas power plants.

The electricity and heating supplies of the western world are far too volatile for my liking...

(Of course, substituting volatile oil prices for volatile wind-speeds is currently not an option in my opinion)


RE: Enough is enough
By Amiga500 on 1/22/2009 12:45:34 PM , Rating: 2
Sorry, swap that around:

"substituting volatile wind-speeds for volatile oil prices"


RE: Enough is enough
By TheDoc9 on 1/22/2009 2:46:27 PM , Rating: 3
Politically it might be important to keep global warming in the public eye, it might have something to do with the carbon tax.


"This week I got an iPhone. This weekend I got four chargers so I can keep it charged everywhere I go and a land line so I can actually make phone calls." -- Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg














botimage
Copyright 2014 DailyTech LLC. - RSS Feed | Advertise | About Us | Ethics | FAQ | Terms, Conditions & Privacy Information | Kristopher Kubicki