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What Passes as Climate Change Science

There is something that has been really grinding my gears for quite some time. I hate calling this "Climate Change" because it fits into the marketing of something. They called it Global Warming, but they needed something a little more encompassing of every possible scenario that could possibly happen with the climate.

I guess what annoys me is what is promoted as science. We're led to believe there is a consensus on all this, but we're not really seeing the whole picture. Those that are promoting global warming science (climate change science) are well funded, politically motivated and tap into the sentiment that mankind is at its root malevolent to the environment. What we end up with is journalists that are telling us about the solid science. We have musicians and actors telling us about the science.

Climategate opened up to the world some of the internal thinking of the so called "science" that goes on. Science is about free and open debate. It's the ability to express your view, throw ideas around and do the scientific work that needs to be done. There has been bullying and slandering of scientists that disagree. The concept of peer reviewing has been driven to a perverted popularity contest.

I think the most alarming information is the fact that the CRU (Climate Research Unit) will not release the climate data they have. They screen the people who get it. And they're not even responding to Freedom of Information (Act) requests. Is this what we think of when we think of free, open and peer reviewed science?

Professor Phil Jones in the News

I'm sure you've seen this sometime on the weekend. Climate Skeptics (and deniers) are chanting about this and saying that the debate is over. Let me quote what he said exactly:

Yes, but only just. I also calculated the trend for the period 1995 to 2009. This trend (0.12C per decade) is positive, but not significant at the 95% significance level. The positive trend is quite close to the significance level. Achieving statistical significance in scientific terms is much more likely for longer periods, and much less likely for shorter periods.

Basically, he's saying there is no statistical change over the last 15 years or so. He does show a positive trend, but it's not statistically significant. And essentially that means that there is no evidence that this chance is nothing more than chance.

I want to point out that this is what is started to upset me about climate change science. We have Phil Jones talking about a specific time period and skeptics (and deniers) are rebuking him in the same specific time period.

"Do not put your faith in what statistics say until you have carefully considered what they do not say." --William W. Watt

I hope that people understand that statistics are really something that can fall easily to manipulation. If you need to see the proof look at Washington think tanks on employment/unemployment. They both get the same data from the government, yet can come up with totally different unemployment rates, trends and employment projections.

The statistics are really only as good as your understanding of the definitions behind them and the assumptions made by the person creating them.

The Hockey Stick Graph

I know that there has already been a controversy with the hockey stick graph. I frankly don't care. It's about the little ice age and some warming period that are missing from the graph. You can read about it here.

Look at the graph very carefully. Read what it says in the box. Read it again. If you're not getting pissed off than you don't understand some basic rules of science. It doesn't matter if the little ice age is listed on it. The fact that I'm not hearing any scientists bring up this one simple point makes me question their integrity. Maybe engineers need to take them over.

There are 5 types of data points on this graph: Thermometers (red), tree rings, corals, ice cores and historical records (blue). There are specific ethical things that need to be done when you stick various amounts of data derived from various sources on one graph. The first rule is that you can't look at actual values, just magnitudes. The reason for that is that the data isn't calibrated for each other. There are degrees of errors on data and the way you measure it. The second thing you have to do is measure it over a equal range.

Let's review: tree rings, corals, ice cores historical records will work for the 1000 year timeline on the graph. The thermometers are a relatively new item to the graph. They're more accurate, but you can't throw them on the graph like that. It's not calibrated for the data, which makes it a gross manipulation and this shouldn't ever happen in science.

I suspect the person(s) that created this graph already believed in Global Warming and were specifically looking for something to validate the conclusion. Something that definitely falls into the category of "Cargo Cult Science".

I could really go on and on about this graph and the issues that don't seem to be brought up. Things like degrees of error not being on the graph (I assume, since the gray is not labeled). I'm also curious to know how you objectively and scientifically measure the temperature of the Northern hemisphere with thermometers without having an even distribution of thermometers over that massive land (and water). But I thought I could stick with the statistical issues, rather than the science that never gets talked about.

Graph Ranges and Timelines

This is something that also pissed me off and when I see it, I see dishonesty. Let's take a look at the hockey stick graph again.

Let's look at the y-axis (vertical axis). The range is 2.1 degrees. This is completely appropriate if you're looking at this graph as a stand alone piece of data. I hope everyone would recognize that if the range was changed to 5 to 10 degrees the graph would look insignificant.

This really isn't that big of a deal because it's the x-axis (horizontal axis) that is the real issue. The range is 1000 years. Early I mentioned the no significant warming since 1995 (10 years). The issue with ranges is that you have to pick one that is long enough to show the true story. With a small enough range you can show just about anything that you want. The hockey stick graph is completely insignificant when you put it into perspective.

The Earth is 4.54 billion years old. I'm not exactly sure when we got an atmosphere though. We also know that the peak of the last ice age was 18,000 years ago. Do I really need to say that a graph with a range of 1000 years or 15 years or 10 years or 5 years is so damn statistically insignificant that is absolutely brain dead to even consider it. The Earth is billions of years old and we're talking about grains of sand. The last ice age happened between 110,000 years ago and 10,000 years ago. That is a long time, which should provide the evidence for needing a longer time range for these graphs.

Let's look at the graph with a timeline 18,000 years.

The data is from the Greenland ice cores, if you're curious. Do you see the hockey stick? It is completely insignificant on a graph that is of a proper range to study variations in the climate over time of a planet that is billions of years old and a climate that changes over periods of 10,000 to a 100,000 years. The only way that you could use a 1000 year range is if you believed in the Bible (like an idiot) and thought the Earth was 6000 years old.

I'd also like to point out that this graph is in Fahrenheit, which would only serve to make the hockey stick stand out more than it would under Celsius.

I'm not denying global warming or climate change, though I'm very skeptical considering the "woo woo" that seems to be passing as science. The stuff I mentioned here isn't about the science or the data, it's about the way it is presented and it's done in unethical and unscientific manner. That's really my point and it's what pisses me off the most.

FYI: Not spelled checked, so definitely contains grammar and spelling errors. And my letter "R" sometimes sticks on my laptop, so you might find missing "R"s.


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