Tuesday, June 24, 2008

It is science, not dissent nor denial

In response to a NRDC blog post which suggested that the science was settled and that legitimate dissent is absent, Richard S. Courtney (an IPCC Expert Peer Reviewer and, thus, a Nobel Prize Winner), posted this summation of the state of the science:

  • The present empirical evidence strongly indicates that the AGW-hypothesis is wrong; i.e.
    1. There is no correlation between the anthropogenic emissions of GHGs and global temperature.
    2. Change to atmospheric carbon dioxide concentration is observed to follow change to global temperature at all time scales.
    3. Recent rise in global temperature has not been induced by rise in atmospheric carbon dioxide concentrations. The global temperature fell from 1940 to 1970, rose from 1970 to 1998, and fell from 1998 to the present (i.e. mid-2008). This is 40 years of cooling and 28 years of warming, and global temperature is now similar to that of 1940. But atmospheric carbon dioxide concentration has increased at a near-constant rate and by more than 30% since 1940.
    4. Rise in global temperature has not been induced by increase to anthropogenic emissions of carbon dioxide. More than 80% of the anthropogenic emissions of carbon dioxide has been since 1940, and the increase to the emissions has been at a compound rate of ~0.4% p.a. throughout that time. But that time has exhibited 40 years of cooling with only 28 years of warming, and global temperature is now similar to that of 1940.
    5. The pattern of atmospheric warming predicted by the AGW hypothesis is absent. The AGW hypothesis predicts most warming of the atmosphere at altitude distant from polar regions. Radiosonde measurements from weather balloons show slight cooling at altitude distant from polar regions.
  • The above list provides a complete refutation of the AGW-hypothesis according to the normal rules of science.: i.e. Nothing the hypothesis predicts is observed in the empirical data, and the opposite of the hypothesis' predictions is observed in the empirical data.
  • But politicians and advocates adhere to the hypothesis. They have a variety of motives (i.e. personal financial gain, protection of their career histories and futures, political opportunism, etc..). But support of science cannot be one such motive because science denies the hypothesis.
  • Hence, additional scientific information cannot displace the AGW-hypothesis and cannot silence its advocates (e.g. Hansen). And those advocates are not scientists despite some of them claiming that they are.
It is truly Orwellian doublespeak that the empirical data are dismissed as denialism, whilst modeled projections based on ideological presumptions, are promoted as the truth.

Sadly, as Courtney points out, no amount of data are going to displace the accepted dogma.

It will be supplanted when it is no longer the accepted belief, because it will have been usurped by a different construct, also passing and in vogue, but hopefully more rooted in the real world.

And for those wanting to test their faith in environmental dogma, here are 10 questions for any proponent of AGW to answer.