Tuesday, October 13, 2009

The BBC is a little skeptical, too

The BBC is getting in a little global warming skepticism.  They make some interesting points that are different from mine.  They mention the ice core samples data, but don't give a clear interpretation.

Warmest year on record: 1989

Yes, that is twenty years of man-made global warming that has not managed to actually warm anything.

Another thought.  Temperature data is a trailing indicator.  We don't know how warm a year is until after it has happened.  There are no known leading indicators of temperature changes.  Probably there are some leading indicators, like migration pattern changes or early budding of some types of trees.  But we don't know what they are or how to read them.  We would have to keep broad and immaculate records for many decades, or maybe a full century, before we could generate enough statistically relevant data to start predicting temperatures.

In the meantime, we cannot know whether or not the planet is warming or cooling until after it has done so.  This is a classic situation where a charlatan or snake-oil salesman can say whatever they want and then deal with the actual data after the fact, and after they have gotten all of your money.

Much of the global warming fuss comes from the fact that we have had many years of general warming since reliable records started being kept in around 1880.  The planet is millions of years old, and has supported life for at least hundreds of thousands of years.  And we have instrumented temperature readings for the last 140 years.  That's a data sample set of less than two tenths of one percent (0.02%.)  This is not sufficient data to support the scale of the endeavors that are being proposed.

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