Tuesday, February 09, 2010

Where is the global climate model without AGW?

One of the regular critics of creationism on the Usenet talk.origins newsgroup (where the wonderful Talk Origins Archive FAQs were originally developed) was a guy who posted under the name "Dr. Pepper." His posts would always include the same request--"Please state the scientific theory of creationism." It was a request that was rarely responded to, and never adequately answered, because there is no scientific theory of creationism.

A parallel question for those who are skeptical about anthropogenic climate change is to ask for a global climate model that more accurately reflects temperature changes over the last century than those used by the IPCC, without including the effect of human emissions of greenhouse gases. For comparison, here's a review of the 23 models which contributed to the IPCC AR4 assessment. While these models are clearly not perfect, shouldn't those who deny anthropogenic global warming be able to do better?

5 comments:

Jay Alt said...

The goals are different. The method usually consists of throwing manure at a wall. Whichever misrepresentation will stick in the minds of readers or listeners is the best theory for their purposes.

Jim Lippard said...

Jay: Sorry, what goals are different? What method are you talking about? What misrepresentations? Who's the "they" whose purposes you are referring to? Can you be specific?

Ktisophilos said...

Sounds like the "best in field" fallacy. Considering the admittedly cliché-named "climate-gate" emails, even the best wasn't good enough without unethical procedures to protect it from criticism.

Jim Lippard said...

Ktisophilos: Your point is well taken, that even the best model could be wrong. However, global climate models were pretty accurate in 1988 with James Hansen's Congressional testimony, even despite the eruption of Mt. Pinatubo, and they've gotten better since then.

I disagree with your assertion that unethical behavior was necessary to protect it from criticism. The evidence is strongly supportive of AGW, and most of its critics engage in arguments that are fare far poorer under their own standards of evidence. AGW critics are far too ready to accept bogus claims from fake scientists, e.g.: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=qZzwRwFDXw0

Also: "Scientific expertise lacking among 'doubters' of climate change"

Naomi Oreskes gives some of the history behind organized efforts to create doubt about AGW in her Point of Inquiry interview.

I've also reported on the organizations of disinformation on climate change at this blog.

Jim Lippard said...

Ktisophilos: There were five or six copies of a comment from you awaiting moderation--I *thought* I approved one and then deleted the duplicates, but I don't see the approved one. Sorry about that, it was not my intent to block your comment.