Tuesday, December 09, 2008

Rethinking Observed Warming

So, as we discussed yesterday, global cooling still represents climate change: its just not AGW for most of us. That is not news as most everyone agrees that climate has always, and will continue to, change because it is a complex, dynamic process (no one gets any money from big oil for that statement).

So the only really big question still out there for discussion is: what drives climate change?

Climate alarmists are convinced that AGW is real because their models are unable to replicate changes in climate other than with the inclusion of increases in greenhouse gasses. Leaving aside the very big problem of a self-fulfilling fallacy and the possibility that the models can't replicate changes precisely because they are models ( and thus are both a simplification of reality and a reflection of our incomplete understanding of the dynamics of climate change), the basis for continued assertion of AGW theory in an era of "non-contradictory warming temperatures" (also known as cooling to the non-converted) is the absence of an alternative explanation that does cause the climate models to simulate climate changes without increased greenhouse gas emissions.

Ask and ye shall be rewarded. As summarized here and here, a recent research paper published in the journal Climate Dynamics presents evidence that:
  • the recent worldwide land warming has occurred largely in response to a worldwide warming of the oceans rather than as a direct response to increasing greenhouse gases (GHGs) over land.
  • ...our results emphasize the significant role of remote oceanic influences, rather than the direct local effect of anthropogenic radiative forcings, in the recent continental warming. They suggest that the recent oceanic warming has caused the continents to warm through a different set of mechanisms than usually identified with the global impacts of SST changes. It has increased the humidity of the atmosphere, altered the atmospheric vertical motion and associated cloud fields, and perturbed the longwave and shortwave radiative fluxes at the continental surface.
That would seem to suggest that the whole AGW theory might at least be worth a second look, a re-think or at least a period of extended review -- that is if the science matters at all.

As Pielke Sr. concludes:
  • This is a major scientific conclusion, and the authors should be recognized for this achievement. If these results are robust, it further documents that a regional perspective of climate variabilty and change must be adopted, rather than a focus on a global average surface temperature change, as emphasized in the 2007 IPCC WG1 report.
Now the links above are from blogs. Many academics eschew blogs and blogging, especially when they are pesky and repeatedly require researchers account for their data that they use in published, peer-reviewed papers. An audit if you will.

In this instance, blogs are used as the initial link mostly because the paper was ignored in the mainstream media and by the majority of the public (and most academics): not for any suspicious reasons but because there is just so much being published, that most research studies are read by one or two people at most.

Now Climate Dynamics is not an obscure journal (
The international journal Climate Dynamics provides for the publication of high-quality research on all aspects of the dynamics of the global climate system.) But it is a specialist journal and not one most people will read unless attention is drawn to specific findings or papers -- perhaps by a news release, a media conference or a briefing -- like, say, the ones issued by the minute at any gathering of the world's consensus on climate science, say in Poland....

The frustration for many climate realists is the continued double standard that the academy both permits and seemingly endorses:
  • papers that are alarmist and promote AGW dogma routinely pass through peer review with insufficient scrutiny, but are heavily endorsed and publicized nevertheless
  • papers that might cause a reflection, rejection or refutation of the prevailing AGW theory are ignored even when they meet the proscribed standards for peer review journal publication.
Can it be any more transparent: climate change is not about the science. It's all politics.