Who, What, Where, When, Why, & How

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I'm completely exhausted. I spent all morning putting in a comma, and I spent all afternoon taking it out.

Monday, April 23, 2007

Transcend the Toxically Emotional and the Reflexively Ideological

Climate change is in the air. The climate of planetary goddess Gaia, and the climate of human minds and emotions, too, as it relates to tensions over the fact of our changing weather trends. For those of us in mid-to-northern climes, Winter came generally late this year, but when it came it was vicious and it lingered on for a good month into what should have been Spring. Summer was hot, but punctuated by days and nights of lower, cooler temperatures. The only constant in life and weather is change; but the more that these change, the more they remain the same.

It's interesting to learn that scientists are turning to those unicorns of the sea--narwhals--to help with studies that can determine what's going on with the important winding ribbon or belt of the ocean that helps to regulate climate and weather for areas north of the equator, especially places like northwestern Europe. This is the current that flows through Baffin Bay, between Canada and Greenland. Researchers tell us that a global warming trend would slow down the waters flowing through this area, and by their slowdown would come about a colder Europe and north (more cold water would be in the way of the warm waters brought up through the Gulf Stream from the Equatorial regions). The narwhals dive down deep to go bottom fishing--as deep as a mile. Three of them have been fitted by researchers with temperature sensing and satellite equipment, and already have returned over 400 temperature measurements and positions of measurement. The narwhal project is funded by the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) Office of Ocean Exploration and the Greenland Institute of Natural Resources.

There aren't any conclusions yet from the narwhal data, but I expect it to talk of impending climatological doom and gloom. We're either going to burn or we're going to freeze. The destruction of our world comes by fire or by ice, you know. That's what we keep hearing.

But, if we really listen, we don't hear it from everyone. Not even close. The media messiahs make it seem like there is an overwhelming consensus on "global warming"--the inaccurate, intellectually lesser term for climate change--and the consensus is that mankind's wicked ways are destroying the very atmosphere that gives us life. Sounds apocalyptic to me. Are people so weary of the world that they desire the End Times, and try to make such times' image writ large in the skies above?

We don't even understand clouds well enough to make these assertions.

I write these words this way because there is no scientific consensus that mankind has much, or anything, to do with the changing climate. What's more, the scientific approach to interpreting the observations and the data about the matter reveals that the "global warming" theory is problematic at best.

To return to Canada--studies have been carried out by Canadian researchers in southern Quebec on Canadian Summer temperature data over the last 60 years*. During this time, according to global warming advocates, there should have been a steady increase in heat waves, especially over the decade of the 1990s and on into the 21st Century. Canada is predicted to experience enhanced warming as compared to much of the rest of the scorched world, as it is in those mid-to-northern climes where extremes in weather are being generated (so we hear) by global warming. As the researchers start off saying, “Transient climate change simulations performed with both Global Climate Models (GCMs) and Regional Climate Models (RCMs) suggest increased frequencies of extreme high temperature events and decreases in extreme low temperature events for the 21st century.”

These are not to be found. In contrast, the researchers did find that heat waves and temperature extremes in southern Quebec have “shown no significant trend over the course of the 20th century (1900–1998) for the higher percentiles of daily summer maxima" and they have “concluded that the number of extreme hot days showed little change, in spite of the increase in mean annual temperature by 0.9°C between 1900 and 1998.”

God, but facts are so damnably pernicious!

Another fact is interesting with regards to climate change, too. Methane is far, far more potentially harmful than the CO2 that we always hear about. Given an atmospheric concentration of methane as compared to an equal atmospheric concentration of carbond dioxide, the methane would heat our world 23 times more than the carbon dioxide. With the polar ice caps melting like they allegedly are, we should tremble in fear as the time for the rapid, rampant release of a flood of bound methane in the ice is released and spurs runaway, rapid global warming. Crops shall die, the seas shall rise, mankind shall burn. Except in places like northwest Europe, where mankind shall freeze under a suffocating whiteness of unmitigated snowfall, Gotterdammerung come upon us at last.

But a team of researchers from Oregon, publishing in the journal Environmental Science and Technology, have found that “methane concentrations in the atmosphere have more than doubled over the last century, raising concerns that it is contributing to global warming and will continue to do so in the future. Although these past increases were alarmingly rapid, subsequent measurements showed a persistent slowdown in the trends to nearly zero at present.” I.E., methane is not increasing in concentration in the atmosphere. It increased to a certain point and then stopped increasing.

Did we stop it somehow? The global warming theorists, those harbingers of storm and stress, say there's no way we have done enough to stop the concentration rise of methane. They are right--we haven't stopped the methane trend, because we did not set off the methane trend.

Scientists who are advocates, for whatever reason emotional, professional, or religious, of global warming theory engage in a lot of manipulation of statistics; this has been demonstrated. Statistics is a fascinating aspect of mathematics; but, as they say, there are lies, there are damned lies, and then there are stastistics. Statistical results can be painfully twisted in their application to practical reality, while data can be utterly manipulated by statistical procedures to be shoe-horned into the preconceived mold of a researcher. So, you have to think for yourself when you're considering statistical results. Just ask the Swiss scientists who thought, and who had others thinking, that they had made a major breakthrough with research into how plants know when to blossom.

An outstanding site on the Net to go to gather statistics to think about, and to see discussions of statistical analyses, is Rapid Intelligence. "Rapint" has had a hot discussion going on in their forum about climage change, or "global warming" theory.

Join the fray!


* Khaliq, M.N., P. Gachon, A. St-Hilaire, T.B.M.J. Ouarda, and B. BobeĆ©, 2007. Southern Quebec (Canada) summer-season heat spells over the 1941–2000 period: an assessment of observed changes. Theoretical and Applied Climatology, 88, 83–101.

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