"There is always a philosophy for lack of courage."—Albert Camus

Monday, October 10, 2005

Experts Say Hurricanes-Global Warming Connection Is False

A forthcoming article from the November issue of Environment and Climate News (which this author serves as senior editor), published by the Heartland Institute, quotes the past president of the American Association of State Climatologists as debunking the notion that hurricanes are increasing in intensity because of global warming. Pat Michales points out that the circumstances that cause the fiercest hurricanes have not changed at all in recent years:

“It is a contravention of science to attempt to link Katrina’s intensity to global warming,” said Pat Michaels, past president of the American Association of State Climatologists and senior fellow at the Cato Institute.

“Since 1982 we have had weekly records of sea surface temperature,” Michaels noted. “During this time period we can examine on a fine scale the relationship between hurricanes and sea-surface temperature. The threshold water temperature for category 3 hurricanes is 28 degrees C. Interestingly, for category 4 or 5 hurricanes, there is no statistical relationship with the amount of elevation beyond 28C. The Gulf of Mexico reaches 28 C every year, whether or not the planet has warmed or is cold.”

“The most intense tropical cyclone to ever strike the United States was hurricane Camille in 1969,” observed Michaels. “Camille landed very, very close to where Katrina landed. Significantly, Camille occurred when the temperature of the northern hemisphere was at its low point for its last 80 years. Camille simply needed an ocean temperature of 28 C. Clearly, it is irresponsible to link severe Gulf of Mexico hurricanes to global warming.”

The article goes on to quote Competitive Enterprise Institute senior fellow and statistician Iain Murray confirming that the sea surface temperatures in the Gulf of Mexico reaching 28 C is nothing new:

“For hurricanes in the Gulf of Mexico, sea surface temperatures need only get above 28 degrees C for them to help make the hurricane Category 4 or 5,” Murray said. “Sea surface temperatures there regularly go above that level, and have done so for as long as we can remember.”

Of course, we need only await the next incidence of severe weather somewhere in the world if we wish to hear the next crackpot theory about how human-caused global warming is causing previously unimaginable catastrophes. The scenario Michael Crichton outlined in his excellent novel State of Fear is still being played out in the U.S. and European media.

26 comments:

Tlaloc said...

The Hearland Institute is a shill company that puts out whatever information their sponsors pay them to put out. They're famous for claiming that connections between smoking and cancer are junk science.

But don't take my word for it look them up.

You can start here.
and
here.

On top of that they go on to quote someone from the Cato institute and the Competitive Enterprise Institute. Gosh I wonder what their enormous biases could possibly be...

For the record I don't think it's possible to say whether Katrina was made worse by global warming. Meterology and climate science are too imprecise to determine that. What you can do is say that we are seeing a surge in the number of big storms at the same time as we see global temperatures rise worldwde, and our best models suggest that more damaging storms should be produced by higher temperatures. When experimental data matches theory you are best off going with it...

...instead of paying crackpots to tel you what you want to hear.

Matt Huisman said...

Maybe this guy is a crackpot too.

"Moreover, the evidence is quite strong and supported by the most recent credible studies that any impact in the future from global warming upon hurricanes will likely be quite small."

"My concerns go beyond the actions of Dr. Trenberth and his colleagues to how he and other IPCC officials responded to my concerns. I did caution Dr. Trenberth before the media event and provided him a summary of the current understanding within the hurricane research community. I was disappointed when the IPCC leadership dismissed my concerns when I brought up the misrepresentation of climate science while invoking the authority of the IPCC. Specifically, the IPCC leadershipsaid that Dr. Trenberth was speaking as an individual, even though he was introduced in the press conference as an IPCC lead author. I was told that that the media was exaggerating or misrepresenting his words, even though the audio from the press conference and interview tells a different story (available on the web directly); and that Dr. Trenberth was accurately reflecting conclusions from the TAR, even though it is quite clear that the TAR stated that there was no connection between global warming and hurricane activity at this time. The IPCC leadership saw nothing to be concerned with in Dr. Trenberth's unfounded pronouncements to the media, despite his supposedly impartial important role that he must undertake as a Lead Author on the upcoming AR4."

tbmbuzz said...

tlaloc said: "What you can do is say that we are seeing a surge in the number of big storms at the same time as we see global temperatures rise worldwde, and our best models suggest that more damaging storms should be produced by higher temperatures. When experimental data matches theory you are best off going with it..."



Except that all the evidence show that this is simply not true. Wicked storms have been recorded throughout history long before the global warming allegedly induced by human activity. The 20-30 year Atlantic hurricane cycle is well established, as is the 10,000-20,000 year Ice Age cycle. I suppose all those SUVs driven by degenerate Americans are contributing to the decrease in the Martian polar ice caps too. Instead of attacking the messenger, try to address the scientific points in the article instead.

Tlaloc said...

"Except that all the evidence show that this is simply not true."

Au contraire.
"The number of major hurricanes like Katrina has nearly doubled worldwide since 1990 — a finding that scientists say coincides with rising sea surface temperatures and seems certain to stoke the debate on global warming as well.

"What we found was rather astonishing," says Peter Webster of Georgia Tech's School of Earth and Atmospheric Sciences. "In the 1970s, there was an average of about 10 Category 4 and 5 hurricanes worldwide per year. Since 1990, the number has averaged 18 per year.""

source



"Wicked storms have been recorded throughout history long before the global warming allegedly induced by human activity"

Certainly, no one said major storms were only caused by global warming, indeed I explicitly said katrina couldn't be said to be caused by global warming. What can be said is that both theory and experimental data support the idea that warming temperatures increase major storms in terms of frequency, severity, or both.



"The 20-30 year Atlantic hurricane cycle is well established, as is the 10,000-20,000 year Ice Age cycle."

Also true but also irrelevent. A periodicty to their intensity may help diguise that the mean is moving up or down but it doesn't prevent it.



"Instead of attacking the messenger, try to address the scientific points in the article instead."

The point is that the article comes from a source that is paid to lie and distort. That's their only reason to exist. It's a propaganda front. And hence it's a waste of time paying them the slightest heed.

liberal observer said...

The source quoted in this last comment compares only the 1970s to the present, which is an extremely insufficient and deceptive sample, perhaps intentionally so. The choice of a beginning point for one's comparison is clearly not arbitrary. The 1940s had more major storms than the present decade, which one could pretend indicates a sustained reduction of major storms. All told, the statistics do not show that the mean number and intensity of storms is rising, and Tlaloc provides no evidence for that claim.

tbmbuzz said...

As a former atmospheric scientist I am astonished, shocked in fact, that Peter Webster is employed - presumably as a professor - at Georgia Tech. His scientific methodology and conclusions are so shabby as to be worthless. He picks a limited data set and bases all kinds of wild, unrelated conclusions on what is clearly his preconceived bias. There is a very good lesson here for the uninititated in how politicized even hard science, which should be completely apolitical - has become. Scientifically illiterate advocacy journalists contribute to the problem, as has been so aptly illustrated in this case. These wild claims are easily debunked. See here: http://www.nhc.noaa.gov/pastdec.shtml

(I'm not sure how to create a link here, if someone would be so kind as to inform me)

Tlaloc said...

"The source quoted in this last comment compares only the 1970s to the present, which is an extremely insufficient and deceptive sample, perhaps intentionally so."

I thought we had just established that hurricanes are on a 20-30 year cycle. That being the case you'd want to compare dates that were 20-30 years apart. Hmmmm. the 70s were about 30 years ago weren't they?



"The choice of a beginning point for one's comparison is clearly not arbitrary."

No it wasn't it was the logical point of comparison.



"The 1940s had more major storms than the present decade, which one could pretend indicates a sustained reduction of major storms."

Please provide the data for this claim, I'd love to see it.



"All told, the statistics do not show that the mean number and intensity of storms is rising, and Tlaloc provides no evidence for that claim."

Actually I did, and then you misunderstood it and called it deceptive.

Tlaloc said...

"These wild claims are easily debunked. See here: http://www.nhc.noaa.gov/pastdec.shtml"

You used this source before and claimed it supported you when actually it doesn't.

Lets look at what it said okay?

the listed decade with the most major storms was 1941-1950 with 10. That's 1 per year. the current period (2001-2004) has three listed. In other words it's pretty close to the same. COnsidering that it uses less than half the same number of years it's hard to say whether the one less storm per year will come out as significant or get made up for by other years (say 2005 which has had 3 already: Dennis, Rita, and Katrina).

SO at the very least the 2000 decade is well on it's way to matching the period with the most storms in our recorded history of the topic. Compared to the 70s or 80s (depending on whether we believe it's a 20 or 30 year cycle) we see a drastic increase.

This is twice now I've had to explain your source to you, will you please stop claiming it says something completely different?

tbmbuzz said...

Tlaloc said...
"These wild claims are easily debunked. See here: http://www.nhc.noaa.gov/pastdec.shtml"

You used this source before and claimed it supported you when actually it doesn't.
<<

My claim is that there is no correlation between global warming, that is, the recorded global warming of approximately 1 degree C over the past century, and the hurricane cycle in terms of both frequency and intensity. The data clearly shows this.

You, on the other hand, made this claim in your first post: "What you can do is say that we are seeing a surge in the number of big storms at the same time as we see global temperatures rise worldwde," with the attendant implication that the two are related, and furthermore using a misleading and flawed statistical analysis, contradicting your hollow caveat at the beginning of your post: "For the record I don't think it's possible to say whether Katrina was made worse by global warming."

One can just as easily correlate the number of terrorist incidents by Islamic extremists with the increased hurricane frequency over the same period of time and it would make just as much (non)sense.

jp koch said...

There has been a spirited debate between meterologists and climatologists that predates the global warming dustup. The argument revolves around the question of whether our weather is ultimatley determined by high level atmospheric events, or low level/near surface events.

I spent 12 years as a weather forecaster in the Air Force, and this debate actaully has an effect on the tools weather forecasters use. When metorlolgists model the atmosphere for the forecast software there must be basic assumptions. These assumptions get coded into the models, and it is up to the forecaster to at the very least know the assumptions and thier limitations. For instance, decades ago there was a model called the baroclinic model. The assumptions this model made was that the atmosphere is dynamic, and it typically over forecasted the strengths of developing storms. Forecaster knew this and modified thier forecasts accordingly. A forecaster would have a very short career if he took this model at face value.

When climotologists model thier assumptions based on one variable (increased greenhouse gases in the lower 1-5 thousand feet of atmosphere), they are essientially saying that this is THE ONLY significant parameter in climate change. Twelve years ago Mt Pinotumbo in the Philippines erupted and shot millions of tons of pollutants into the upper atmosphere. That summer North America had temperatures 3-5 C degrees cooler than the mean and record precipitation. This one volcano cooled an entire continent for over 12 months. That is it overcame drastically the effects of greenhouse gases in the lower atmosphere. This shouldn't come as a surprise to anyone who knows the late Carl Sagan's theories on the "nuculear winter". What should worry atmospheric scientists is not what is occuring at the lower atmosphere, but what can happen at 50 thousand feet and higher.

Urban Heat Islands, O2 sinks, and smog are dispersed very effieciently by the three dimensional circulation patterens that occur in the lower atmosphere. However, life must have a certain amount of incoming solar radiation in order to survive. Just one vocano can alter the amount of insolation drastically. What would happen if there were 4 or 5 such eruptions in a year? What would happen if earth travel through a trail of cosmic dust that dampens the amount of sunlight?

tlaloc never once mentioned the El Nino effect on tropical storm developement. Outside of pointing out the conflict of interest of certain studies, he/she buys into the hysteria of the greenhouse gas theory. For those who thing the atmosphere is too warm now, just wait. But I would suggest be careful for what you wish for.

Tlaloc said...

"My claim is that there is no correlation between global warming, that is, the recorded global warming of approximately 1 degree C over the past century, and the hurricane cycle in terms of both frequency and intensity. The data clearly shows this."

No actually the data doesn't. Reread where I explained your source to you again since you obviously haven't gotten it yet.

The one thing you've convinced me of is that there is no way you are actually the atmospheric scientist you claim to have been since you can't read a simple decade chart and understand that you have to make allowances for the incomplete decade at the end.

Tlaloc said...

"tlaloc never once mentioned the El Nino effect on tropical storm developement."

I don't mention a great many of the effects that can influence the weather. However I don't see the relevence since the El Nino effect is not change drastically due to human activity. Greenhouse gasses are. Consequently we can focus on the area we happen to be meddling with.



"Outside of pointing out the conflict of interest of certain studies, he/she buys into the hysteria of the greenhouse gas theory."

Sorry, but no. It's not hysteria. It's simply science. The resistance comes from the fact that it's science that big business strenuously hates because dealing with the problem will of course affect their bottom line. In the grand tradition of business it'd much rather race toward extinction than lose profits.

jp koch said...

You dont mention El Nino either because you do not know much about it, or because you can't link The Southern Oscillation with human activty. El Nino has a much greater impact on our climate than does human activity. As a matter of fact, any number of natural occurances (volcanos, solar actvity, etc..) has a much greater impact on long and short term climate changes than the injection of CO2.

Like I said in my previous post, it would take just one large volcanic erruption to negate whatever "damage" human activtiy has one the atmosphere.

That is why many climate scientists are trying to discover why the earth cooled so dramatically in the 4th century, and why it warmed so dramtically in the 10th century. It would appear humans had little to do with either changes.

BTW, in El Nino years, tropical storm activty is subdued regardless of the amount of greenhouse gases present in the lower atmosphere. As a consequence, Mid-Latitude Storms are much more potent. The discovery of the Southern Oscillation was made 6 years before the global warming crowd debut. El Nino it turns out is a much better predictor of the atmosphere than the greenhouse gas model.

Tlaloc said...

"You dont mention El Nino either because you do not know much about it, or because you can't link The Southern Oscillation with human activty."

I told you EXPLICITLY why I don't mention El Nino or any other factors. Did you bother to read what I wrote before replying?



"Like I said in my previous post, it would take just one large volcanic erruption to negate whatever "damage" human activtiy has one the atmosphere."

Neat. And irrelevent. We can't plan for any of the non-man made activities. Yes a big volcanic eruption might happen. Or maybe the Sun will go into a period of heightened or diminished activity. Maybe an asteroid will hit the planet. Maybe a super bug will wipe us all out. There are millions of possibilities out there that we can not control. Let's try to be a bit smarter by working on the aspects we can control rather than guesstimating that whatever damage we do will get undone by circumstance, 'kay?



"That is why many climate scientists are trying to discover why the earth cooled so dramatically in the 4th century, and why it warmed so dramtically in the 10th century. It would appear humans had little to do with either changes."

Which would be fascinatingly relevent if we lived in the 4th or 10th centuries. But since we live in the 21st century and we are seeing definitive human impact on the environment, it's more than just a tad academic.



"BTW, in El Nino years, tropical storm activty is subdued regardless of the amount of greenhouse gases present in the lower atmosphere. As a consequence, Mid-Latitude Storms are much more potent. The discovery of the Southern Oscillation was made 6 years before the global warming crowd debut. El Nino it turns out is a much better predictor of the atmosphere than the greenhouse gas model."

Let's just say you haven't wowed me so far with your insight. Frankly I'll take the word of the hordes of professionals over a random anonymous internet poster who can't be bothered to think clearly about the topic.

tbmbuzz said...

Tlaloc said...
(tbmbuzz): "My claim is that there is no correlation between global warming, that is, the recorded global warming of approximately 1 degree C over the past century, and the hurricane cycle in terms of both frequency and intensity. The data clearly shows this."

No actually the data doesn't. Reread where I explained your source to you again since you obviously haven't gotten it yet.

<<

The only thing I don't get is your attempt at scientific reasoning. But I will try again. Overlay a chart of hurricane frequency and intensity over a chart of atmospheric warming over the past century and show me the correlation. (Let's establish right here that your attempt at presenting just half a cycle of incomplete data and drawing general conclusions may be something, but it is not science). The hurricane chart shows a 50-60 year cycle (20-30 years from min to max), the atmospheric warming chart shows a linear (more or less) increase. It seems quite elementary to me that the correlation coefficient is close to zero.

>>The one thing you've convinced me of is that there is no way you are actually the atmospheric scientist you claim to have been since you can't read a simple decade chart and understand that you have to make allowances for the incomplete decade at the end. <<

We are in the midst of a maximum part of the cycle. Where did I say otherwise? I read the entire chart, you pick out only a tiny part of it.

Perhaps you need some remedial reading courses, as well as lessons in courtesy.

>>the El Nino effect is not change drastically due to human activity. Greenhouse gasses are.<<

The human contribution to CO2 emissions into the atmosphere is on the order of 2-3%. Furthermore, H2O is the principal greenhouse gas, far eclipsing CO2 as a greenhouse effect contributor. The human component is hardly a "drastic" contribution and hardly a basis for the non-linear catastrophic projections of the global warming hysteria crowd.

>>The resistance comes from the fact that it's science that big business strenuously hates because dealing with the problem will of course affect their bottom line. In the grand tradition of business it'd much rather race toward extinction than lose profits.<<

Standard leftist rhetoric for the unwashed masses. Try somewhere else.

Tlaloc said...

"The only thing I don't get is your attempt at scientific reasoning. But I will try again. Overlay a chart of hurricane frequency and intensity over a chart of atmospheric warming over the past century and show me the correlation. (Let's establish right here that your attempt at presenting just half a cycle of incomplete data and drawing general conclusions may be something, but it is not science). The hurricane chart shows a 50-60 year cycle (20-30 years from min to max), the atmospheric warming chart shows a linear (more or less) increase. It seems quite elementary to me that the correlation coefficient is close to zero."

Part of the problem is that you are using a set of data only showing Hurricanes that make US landfall and considering it to be the sum total of what is going on. If you use the data from the whole world (as apparently did the scientists you choose to bash) then you get a very different picture. Why you find this hard to believe when the US is on it's way to having the worst decade of hurricanes in recorded history frankly eludes me. Actually it doesn't since it's pretty clear you're one of those people who by temperment or inclination refuses to acknowledge global warming.



"We are in the midst of a maximum part of the cycle. Where did I say otherwise? I read the entire chart, you pick out only a tiny part of it."

I did read the entire chart. Being at the peak is one thing. Having that peak look to overshadow all previous peaks is something else entirely.



"Perhaps you need some remedial reading courses, as well as lessons in courtesy."

I'm probably being overly harsh but frankly people like you annoy me. If you don't understand the science that's fine. But for you to claim to see though it when it's monumentally obvious you never understood it in the first place is precisely why we are in this situation. The people who are ignorant of science need to be learning from, not teaching to, the class.



"The human contribution to CO2 emissions into the atmosphere is on the order of 2-3%. Furthermore, H2O is the principal greenhouse gas, far eclipsing CO2 as a greenhouse effect contributor. The human component is hardly a "drastic" contribution and hardly a basis for the non-linear catastrophic projections of the global warming hysteria crowd."

Gosh well when you put it like that I'll ignore the National academy of science for all the major countries and the UN IPCC. In case you forgot here's what they said:

The current scientific consensus, as expressed in 2001 by the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) and the National Academy of Sciences (NAS), and recently confirmed by a joint statement of the G8 academies of science, is that most of the warming observed over the last 50 years is attributable to human activities.

But I'm totally going to believe you know better than the majority of qualified scientists on the planet. Totally dude!

Tlaloc said...

Oh I forgot to mention that in addition to the UN IPCC, the National Academy of Sciences, the various G8 member academies of science we can add the American Meteorological Society as saying global warming is happening and human activity plays a significant role.

Oh and we could look at the survey by the journal Science which found that of 928 papers on climate change not a single one explicitly challenged the idea that human activity was part of global warming. 75% of them explicitly supported the idea.

But again I'm sure it's a massive conspiracy. There's simply no way that so many thousands of qualified scientists could be right and an anonymous internet poster wrong.

jp koch said...

This is the last I'll post on the subject as tlaloc refuses even to see an obvious point. First, all of the thousands of scientists you refer to are not humble professionals but are partisans in the debate as well. There are also thousands of scientists who disagree with thier fellow scientists.

Secondly, let me refer you to a bit information when dealing with scientific theory. For a theory to be accepted it must have a predictability that proves the premises first stated. It must also be able to explain past phenomena with a high degree of accuracy. The theroy that greenhouse gases are the sole reason for our recent bout of global warming fails both. The models fail to to predict future atmospheric events. Climotologists and Medium Range Forecaster should be able to forecast seasonal variances of precipitation, temperatures, cloud cover, etc... There have been plenty of variations modeling the atmosphere on excessive greenhouse gases in the lower atmosphere. None have any degree of accuracy. Additionally, if we cannot even explain climate variations of the near past (such as the last mini cold age 1500-1900), how can we with any confidence explain future climate shifts. As recent as the 1960s through the early 1980s, the same orginzations that preached global cooling (WMO,NASA,NOAA,MIT to name a few) now preach global warming, and use the same cause: greenhouse gases due to human activty. During the last few years we have heard famous scientists blame cold winter, hot summer, droughts, and floods on global warming. With each occurance of unusual weather global warming has been the culprit. If you wish to beleive the experts who have been so wrong so often, go ahead.

So far, no one knows wtih any degree of scientific certainty what causes climate shifts. We do know from trial and error what does not. I gave volcanic activity, because it is THE ONLY EXAMPLE WE HAVE ACTUALLY MEASURED AND VERIFIED. I stress volcanic activty not because I beleive we will see one erupt soon, but because I come from a school that beleives that high level stratopheric changes cause climate changes. My example of MT Pinotumbo illustrated what happens to our weather when a relativly small amount (small in atmospheric terms) of sulfuric dioxide is released into the upper atmosphere.

Also, El Nino has much more bearing on Tropical Storm development than global warming, since the strength of the Near Equatorial Trough is dependent on this feature. Without this trough, there would be little tropical storm development in the NW PAcific The Prevailance of the Southern Branch of The Polar Jetstream has much more bearing on the development of Hurricanes in the Gulf than does sea surface temperatures. If this branch is positioned across the middle US during the peak hurricane months, all storms will remain in the Atlantic, and remain relativley weak.

Tlaloc said...

"First, all of the thousands of scientists you refer to are not humble professionals but are partisans in the debate as well. There are also thousands of scientists who disagree with thier fellow scientists."

Again you mangle facts. Actually the number of real known scientists who dispute global warming is well, one (Fred Singer).

The number of well known scientists who dispute that man affects global warming or that we can be sure that we do is countable on one hand (Richard Lindzen, Robert Balling, Willie Soon, Sallie Baliunas, Frederick Seitz). Let me know if I missed any. Furthermore there is not a single well respected professional body of scientists who has disputed global warming or man's part therein. I suppose the 6 affore mentioned scientists could make their own group. I hear the flat earthers may have space to lease them for meetings.



"The theroy that greenhouse gases are the sole reason for our recent bout of global warming fails both."

Gosh could that be because nobody put forth such a theory? Maybe? Just maybe? I mean I explicitly said there are many different factors to be considered but that we need to worry about the factors we are actually influencing. Frankly if the best you can do is to put up strawmen I'm glad this was your last post on the topic.



"If you wish to beleive the experts who have been so wrong so often, go ahead."

:)
I'm pleased because you've now made it painfully obvious that you are not what you represented yourself to be and have in fact merely copied and pasted arguments you've read elsewhere.

James Elliott said...

First, all of the thousands of scientists you refer to are not humble professionals but are partisans in the debate as well.

This is a truly frightening comment. When you diminish all contrary data or opinions to the status of political/ideological partisanship, you are diminishing the very ideas of rationality and reason. If everything is partisan, then nothing can be wholly correct or "right." If nothing can be right, then you have descended into the very depths of undisciplined, shallow relativism that your fellows profess to deplore. In effect, all you're doing is what the rabid, less-thoughtful feminists and multiculturalists did in the '80s and '90s. It's PRECISELY the same. If it was wrong (as in incorrect and quite possibly stupid) for them to do so, then the same holds true for you. You sound like a person with a persecution complex. "They only say that because it aids their agenda!!!"

That said, does anyone else find the name "El Nino" to be depressingly inadequate for a hugely influential aspect of our climate? "The child" took your home away? Heck no! It should be called "The Motherf---er!"

Tom Van Dyke said...

"If everything is partisan, then nothing can be wholly correct or "right."

Welcome to our postmodern age, James, and walk a mile in my shoes. (I'll be a mile away, and you'll still have my shoes...)

It is only because of my respect for your humanity that I've resisted the urge to deconstruct you. And likewise, I'm sure.

But as a great man once said, philosophy is the queen of the social sciences. When one's weltanshauung sees the human experience reducible to the calculator, he gravitates to the social sciences, and being human, pursues theses like this.

But there is more to man that what can be typed into a keypad. As CS Lewis, who is sometimes accused of wasting his time on philosophy, wrote those many years ago...

James Elliott said...

Tom, you kind of missed the point. Climatology is hardly a social science. When you reduce "hard" science to partisanship, it doesn't even become about the statistics you use, as in the social sciences. It becomes solely about motivation. And therefore, anyone who's motivations don't match yours, must be lying. It's absurd.

People who apply the scientific method in social science (such as myself) and then elevate it to the level of "hard" science (such as a number of my colleagues) are really fooling themselves. It's like economics: It's all in the figures you select. When you're talking about areas that involve human actors, those crazy, irrational, unpredictable folks, you can't expect concrete results similar to a hard science like chemistry.

That said, philosophy is about as much a social science as literature. Which is to say, not at all.

Tom Van Dyke said...

Once one expurgates life of all meaning, that is to say decides that man does indeed live by bread alone, your proposition is of course true.

jp koch said...

James,
Prehaps Climatology has become a social science. Mabye you could start a trend, or prehaps a new branch of social science called: Social Climatology. Afterall, things like proofs, facts, and methodology have become oh so 19th Century.

As the founder of this new branch of science, you will be also be grandfather to future sub branches such as: Racial Cimate Studies, Feminist Climate Studies, etc...

James Elliott said...

In Hominickesque style: Koch, you're a koch. You completely missed the point in a desperate attempt to be pithy. In your rush, you passed wit and arrived at stupid.

tbmbuzz said...

Tlaloc said...

Part of the problem is that you are using a set of data only showing Hurricanes that make US landfall and considering it to be the sum total of what is going on. <<

Excuse me? And what exactly have you been doing in this thread, beginning with your first post? In fact, you have gone even further and attempted to use a 30-year subset of the above – half a cycle’s worth! - to bolster your assertion that this is proof of human-induced global warming. My contention in this entire thread has been that there is NO correlation between the hurricane cycle (hurricanes striking the U.S., if you will) and global warming. Why is it yours (other than personal ideology, of course)?

>>If you use the data from the whole world (as apparently did the scientists you choose to bash) then you get a very different picture.<<

What data would that be? Certainly none that you’ve brought up in this thread. The topic here is Atlantic hurricanes. Why are you deflecting?

Actually, you’ve brought up a legitimate scientific question: does global warming alter hurricane paths? If so, then a dataset of hurricane strikes on the U.S. only is certainly incomplete for cross-correlation purposes. But if not, then this dataset (by elementary statistical theory) is certainly a sufficient sample to apply to the entire Atlantic hurricane cycle. Do you have evidence one way or the other? If so, please present it.


>>Why you find this hard to believe when the US is on it's way to having the worst decade of hurricanes in recorded history frankly eludes me. <<

Find what hard to believe? It’s sure hard to debate someone whose writing is so slippery and imprecise as yours.

And there you go again with your tendency to make all sorts of prognostications and projections from one data point. It may very well turn out that this is the “worst” decade for hurricanes. (For the sake of scientific accuracy how about you use quantitative terms such as “more”, rather than subjective terms such as “worst”. A little lesson in science for you, dude). However, one cannot draw any conclusions about a cycle based on less than half a cycle of data, nor can one reach conclusions on a TREND until several cycles have been completed. You may wish to do this, but again I will point out to you for the umpteenth time that at present the recorded Atlantic hurricane data canNOT be correlated to a global warming trend.


>>Actually it doesn't since it's pretty clear you're one of those people who by temperment or inclination refuses to acknowledge global warming.<<

Excuse me?? (again) Did I say anywhere that global warming (more accurately, climate change) is not occurring? Of course it has been occurring!! For the past 10,000 years since the last Ice Age. For the past 200 years since the last mini-Ice Age. My problem is with ideologues such as yourself who attribute global warming to mostly if not solely human activity, and refuse to acknowledge the Natural causes, whatever they may be, such as orbital perturbations, vulcanism, and solar activity. Note how you conveniently ignored my statement of fact earlier in this thread that Mars is warming up too, because it inconveniences your preconceived notions! How do you explain other warmer periods in Earth’s geologic history? How do you explain that some 1200 years ago the Earth was warmer than today, evidenced by the historic fact that wine grapes were grown in much of England at the time? Note also that you did not dispute the fact that human emissions of greenhouse gasses amount to 3% or so of Earth’s annual emissions. How you and (admittedly) many (but not all) scientists interpret this to mean that the bulk of global warming is human-induced is beyond me. How about increased urbanization and destruction of the world’s tropical forests as a contributor? Again, this is highly inconvenient for your crowd because it would shift the blame to the 3rd World, not to developed countries, particularly the U.S., where the trend is the opposite.



>>"We are in the midst of a maximum part of the cycle. Where did I say otherwise? I read the entire chart, you pick out only a tiny part of it."

I did read the entire chart. Being at the peak is one thing. Having that peak look to overshadow all previous peaks is something else entirely.<<

Jumping to conclusions based on preconceptions. Not scientific. See above on bloviating about one data point.




>>
I'm probably being overly harsh but frankly people like you annoy me. If you don't understand the science that's fine. But for you to claim to see though it when it's monumentally obvious you never understood it in the first place is precisely why we are in this situation. The people who are ignorant of science need to be learning from, not teaching to, the class.<<

I won’t get into an ill-mannered pissing match of ad hominems with you. Save it for your moveon.org-Howard Dean crowd.



>>"The human contribution to CO2 emissions into the atmosphere is on the order of 2-3%. Furthermore, H2O is the principal greenhouse gas, far eclipsing CO2 as a greenhouse effect contributor. The human component is hardly a "drastic" contribution and hardly a basis for the non-linear catastrophic projections of the global warming hysteria crowd."

Gosh well when you put it like that I'll ignore the National academy of science for all the major countries and the UN IPCC. In case you forgot here's what they said:

The current scientific consensus, as expressed in 2001 by the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) and the National Academy of Sciences (NAS), and recently confirmed by a joint statement of the G8 academies of science, is that most of the warming observed over the last 50 years is attributable to human activities.

But I'm totally going to believe you know better than the majority of qualified scientists on the planet. Totally dude!<<

In science, all you need is one counter-example to disprove a theory. As far as human-induced catastrophic global warming, which you apparently believe in, there are countless counter-examples, not the least of which is the fact that none of the computer models so heavily relied on are much good at “predicting” the climate of the past based on known data. Most of the “scientists” on the IPCC, by the way, are not physical scientists, much less atmospheric scientists. Do a Google search on the latest member of the IPCC who quit it in disgust in the last couple of months or so, over its politicization and bastardization. To deny that the IPCC is ideologically based with an anti-captitalist, anti-American bias, and to deny that “academies” of scientists can be politically biased is na├»ve in the extreme. (Science academies have never been wrong before, you say? Check your history books.)


>>Oh I forgot to mention that in addition to the UN IPCC, the National Academy of Sciences, the various G8 member academies of science we can add the American Meteorological Society as saying global warming is happening and human activity plays a significant role.

Oh and we could look at the survey by the journal Science which found that of 928 papers on climate change not a single one explicitly challenged the idea that human activity was part of global warming. 75% of them explicitly supported the idea.

But again I'm sure it's a massive conspiracy. There's simply no way that so many thousands of qualified scientists could be right and an anonymous internet poster wrong.<<

Define “significant”. Define “part”. What do the other 25% of the 928 Science papers say?

In summary:
Global warming IS occurring. (And don’t put words in my mouth, dude).
Human activity probably has a part; how much is anyone’s guess (so why accept leftists’ guesses as gospel?).
Projections of CATASTROPHIC global warming over the next century have no basis other than proponents’ assertions (again, why accept leftists’ assertions as gospel?).
Corollary: The Kyoto Protocol, if fully implemented, would have a negligible, unmeasurable effect on atmospheric temperatures, as well as being the most massive socialist theft and giveaway in history.

P.S. Interesting that you play “bash the messenger” as far as the Competitive Enterprise and Cato Institutes are concerned, but rely on a (presumably) scientifically illiterate reporter from Cynthia Tucker’s Atlanta Journal Constitution. Whoopdedoo!