The Reference Frame
Friday, March 5, 2010

The Guardian just published a report about a text published by the Met Office:

Met Office analysis reveals ‘clear fingerprints’ of man-made climate change

In fact, there are two articles in the Guardian that “know” in advance that the Met Office will “strengthen” the case for human-induced climate change: the witches and prophets told them. The second article has a title that unmasks what is the real motivation behind the Met Office report:

How public trust in climate scientists can be restored

Yes, ladies and gentlemen, exactly 100 days after the AGW alarmism largely collapsed, the Met Office just found the fingerprints of Man imprinted everywhere in the climate. Because there hadn’t been any fingerprints before the paper, we must ask: How did they realize this ambitious goal? ;-)

We learn that they didn’t even need a single research paper to do so. One review was enough! :-)

Well, it’s somewhat harder to find what the “holy grail” or “fingerprint” actually is. The Guardian article seems to be nothing else than another dose of the nonsense saying that everything about the climate is getting worse – and it must therefore be due to Man who is the only source of sins in the world. Amen. You can’t even find the actual paper – which is claimed to be a review paper summarizing 100 other papers. Even when you look at the Met Office website, there only seems to be a press release with a couple of big mouths who claim to suddenly know everything. Doesn’t sound too good.

Met Office claims to have found the AGW fingerprint  fingerprintThere really doesn’t seem to be a single glimpse of a man-made fingerprint in the first Guardian article. They just say many wrong things about particular regional questions. For example, wet places are getting wetter and dry places are getting drier, we learn. That’s a pretty bizarre statement given the recent observations that Sahara is greening.

But even if the statement about the escalating droughts were true – and probably none of their statements about the regional weather is true – how could it reveal a fingerprint of the Man? It self-evidently makes no sense whatsoever. The human fingerprint would have to look like something specifically human, e.g. the picture on the left.

This is true about all other statements in the article. None of them shows anything like a man-made fingerprint. And many of them actually show a disagreement with the man-made fingerprint. Look e.g. at this basic map of the 1970-2004 temperature change across the globe which they also included:

Met Office claims to have found the AGW fingerprint  Climate460

Does it reveal a man-made fingerprint? Well, we must know how the man-made fingerprint looks like. If the warming were due to the enhanced greenhouse effect, it would have to be global, i.e. uniform over the globe. In particular, it should have the same values in the Northern and Southern hemispheres because the concentrations of CO2 become rapidly uniform by diffusion.

At most, you could see some enhanced feedbacks in the polar regions but they should be North-South symmetric.

Instead, what the graph above shows is a warm fingerprint in Alaska. It could have been caused by the warm hand of Sarah Palin. But in that case, it would be a woman-made fingerprint, not a man-made fingerprint. We see some warming in much of the Northern Hemisphere, and cooling in southern parts of the Southern Hemisphere (much of the blue/green region conveniently has “insufficient data”). The North-South asymmetry represents a big disagreement with the “greenhouse fingerprint”. And of course, many more detailed disagreements of this kind – when the dependence on the altitude is considered – are known. The greenhouse theory just doesn’t seem to work as an explanation of any of the “details”.

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But even if you were hiding the North vs South problem above, how could the map above be considered a “man-made fingerprint”? A more sensible interpretation of the map is that the temperature in different regions is changing somewhat independently, randomly, and the regions which were warming from 1978 to 2004 just seem to be somewhat larger than the regions that were cooling. But that’s not too shocking. After all, there are no quotas in Nature that would guarantee that 50% of the globe must be cooling at every moment. Random numbers don’t work like that. And moreover, Nature is not quite random.

They try to criticize the Sun as a driver of climate change (they must really hate this star which gives us pretty much all the energy) – but there are lots of other obviously important causes of climate change that they’re trying to hide. It’s clear that much of the climate change results from regional changes, modified patterns of the ocean and atmospheric circulations at various spots. They not only failed to rule out them as an explanation: it’s impossible to rule them out because they surely do play some role. And there’s no reason why the “overall” effect of the changes to the oceans should be constant time time. We know it’s not.

For example, a very recently discussed paper by German and Russian climatologists claims that it’s normal for the climate to oscillate in the observed way at this place of the glaciation cycle, before a new ice age arrives: Register, paper.

One more comment about the format. It’s supposed to be a review paper. But such things are just a matter or propaganda, education, or presentation. They don’t actually bring the original evidence in favor or against various theories. If there had been no convincing “fingerprint” found in the expert literature before 2009, one cannot find it in review papers, either. The only reason why someone would prefer to “support” a hypothesis by a review paper citing 100 other random papers is that none of the 100 papers can actually settle the question. None of them really bring any convincing evidence that could be shown to others – so the author of the review just wants to impress some people by the quantity instead of the quality.

But for scientific arguments, it is always just the quality that matters. 100 lousy arguments and vague proclamations that someone like AGW are just not enough to beat 1 solid argument in real science. It’s not shocking that 100 papers trying to support AGW have been written – the AGW research industry has swallowed tens of billions of dollars and you can surely hire typists who can write millions of pages of text for the money. However, this extensive and expensive activity hasn’t produced any evidence supporting AGW – much like the millions of monkeys who almost never write Shakespeare’s plays. The main reason is that what they’re trying to prove for the money is not true.

The funding for climate science has increased by a factor of 10 in the last 15 years or so – so you can also say that only 10% of the funding is for the legitimate old-fashioned climate science and 90% of the money they’re getting today are bribes for them to get AGW-alarming results. The whole field is completely corrupt but being completely corrupt is not a sufficient condition for being able to produce the actual scientific evidence.

So the work of the Met Office is just about propaganda. It’s not science. It’s about their attempts to intimidate people by suggesting that there are hundreds of people who may disagree with you if you disagree with AGW. But none of them actually has any argument that would be ready for a detailed promotion in isolation. It’s only the quantity, the brute force of the people who have a vested interest for the panic to continue.

That’s not how science can be done. I think that the British should abolish the existing Met Office and start from the scratch because the institution has been so brutally contaminated that it is no longer useful for the society. It is not useful for the climate projections but it is not useful for the weather forecast, either. In fact, it may be more harmful than useful.

And that’s the memo.

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