Sunday, January 30, 2011

He looks like your archetypal mad scientist, but his weather forecasts tend to be more accurate than those of the Met Office, and he does it without £170,000,000 of funding every year.


Paul said...

Two cardies, the man's a genius!

More seriously if wiki is to be believed the warmists are being subtle with chap discrediting him by denying him peer review.

No science is 'proven' without peer review. Warmists can review each others but deniers don't have that luxury.

Neal Asher said...

Yeah, peer-review, i.e. you mark my papers and I'll mark yours, or sending your paper to someone you know already agrees with you.

Another thing I like about him is that having got his forecast wrong for this January (in England, but not wrong over the rest of the world), he admitted to it then went on to explain why. He doesn't use the Met Office approach of arse-covering and lying by trying to change history.

Ryan said...

You don't send your paper to someone you know lol you send your paper to a journal and the editor will send it off to a list of peer reviewers. They will anonymously mark it as either
- accept
- accept after minor revisions
- accept after major revisions
- reject
with notes on why the paper is like that. Im still not convinced by Piers Corbyn at all, particularly as he often makes statements about CO2 as if this is all climate scientists talk about

j purdie said...

Peer pressure more like. Apparently peer review only became prominent from the middle of the 20th century, before then it didn't get as much importance as it does nowadays. Back then I think they relied more on experimentation and reproducibility of any claims.

Ryan, Piers runs a business. Unlike the Met Office if he gets it wrong too many times his customers wont buy what he is selling.

And your detailing of the Peer Review process shows how wrong it is: something is accepted or rejected based on someone reading a paper. Very unscientific.

Ryan said...

The peer review process does take into account experimentation and reproduction. you have to have peer review, you seem to be suggesting that we should accept anything and then test it? There are not enough resources and not enough time

Ryan said...

and just to clarify papers aren't rejected on the basis of their results. they are rejected on the basis of their methods or their writing.

to suggest corruption that wide spread is to suggest that every one of the hundreds of journals with every editor and every scientist that takes part in review is somehow in on it and suppressing the truth.

Nuno said...

The more I read about global warming the more I get confused by all the arguments. On top of that, the signal-to-noise ratio in these matters is very low, which impairs our overall discernment -- I'm always asking "Is this really scientific or just crap??". I watch Piers Corbyn and he seems very convincing, and then I see this article from NASA and think we're doing something very wrong. I just don't know...

Although I think peer review is essential to the scientific method, I'm not that sure about all the "industry" based on scientific paper publishing. I'm much more inclined to an open system like arXiv -- it certainly has flaws but works surprisingly well.

Neal Asher said...

The signal to noise ratio has been growing so for anyone entering the 'debate' now the chance of nailing down any facts is difficult. For me it's the lies and exaggerations of the warmists that have put me on the side of the 'deniers'.

The Mann hockey stick, Climategate and the tapestry of lies in Gore's film are just (excuse me) the tip of the ice berg. The kind of thing that got under my skin was reading articles (for example) about 20ft sea-level rises and how we are all going to die if we don't do something at once, and then working through the simple mathematics in said article to discover it adds up to 20ft in about a 1000 years or some such.

Falsifiability has to be applied (look up Karl Popper if you're not sure what I mean here). Science is falsifiable, CAGW is not. When every weather condition is claimed as being caused by anthropogenic CO2, there is no way it can be disproved. That's religion: 'you can't prove god doesn't exist therefore he does' etc. Look up Bertrand Russel's teapot.

Then there are the models on which it is all based. They have never been right, completely missed the last 10+ years of flat temperatures, cannot predict the future and can't even hindcast without a huge amount of tweaking.

I could go on and on, but that's enough for now.

AngryMurloc said...

Well you've seen what people do on a show string budget, like those guys that took pictures of earth using only a High Def camera and a Helium Balloon... The wghole climate change thing is just a big money spinner in the science world. Want a grant? mention climate change!

Nuno said...

Neal, it certainly is difficult to distinguish facts from fantasy in all this. It became pretty common to talk about global warming everywhere (TV, newspapers, radio, etc) and politicians use it often in my country to justify everything.

Your comments are very interesting and provided me several excellent pointers for immediate study in this topic. For me it's the only way to take a side, I find it very difficult to say with absolute certainty that "these guys are right, those are wrong". Many angles to analyze, you see. Ultimately, this has an impact on what each person does everyday. Some time ago I was putting the trash in the recycling containers and a neighbor said "Why do you do that? Didn't you hear? That climate shit is all made up!". I didn't know what to say, it's not something to be discussed near your plastic wastes. :) All this public debate has consequences, and people lose track of what is and isn't right, and not just this but also in choosing the correct car, supporting (or not) wind/solar/yourchoiceofgreensource power, choosing the power supplier, what to teach their children, etc (all the tiny things one can do). Many people understand that this climate discussion has several facets that are connected but shouldn't be mixed in a blunt way (anthropogenic CO2, waste management, roadmap for energy sources), but a vast majority does not, and for them it is all the same stuff: "global warming is a hoax, so it's OK to do everything those guys on TV tell us not to do". I find this extremely worrying, so can't avoid being cautious before choosing sides.

This said, I'm still confused, so I'll keep reading. Thanks for your time! ;)

Neal Asher said...

It's all polarized and politicized, Nuno. Those in the 'warmist' camp portray those who disagree with them as denying climate change (impossible to deny since even the two words are a kind of tautology), denying warming, which they're not - the argument sprawls across the degree of warming, the degree of it caused by CO2 & how much of that CO2 is anthropogenic, whether warming is bad or good and what should or shouldn't be done. Using the word 'denier' is also an attempt to dehumanize the opposition who are further portrayed as right-wing loons, selfish seal-clubbers in the pay of Big Oil. They are not. If you go and read blogs like Bishop Hill and WUWT you'll find a damned sight more rational argument than you'll find on the 'warmist' blogs. You'll also find people who care about the environment; who really care that the environmental movement has been hijacked by those with a political agenda.

Ryan said...

I agree its massively politicised. Particuarly through the use of words like "warmist" and "denier". It's best not to read too much of other peoples opinions though and read the scientific literature, though that is obviously impractical for many.

One of the biggest issues for me is how people talk about CO2. Nobody (who is a climate scientist) really says that CO2 drives the climate, its one of the many myriad of factors (which include the sun which some people also suggest is the only driver). I find the issue analogous to two groups of arguing people with the odd scientist somewhere on the outside trying to get a word in, the moment the scientist says a word like "CO2" both sides repeat it over and over louder and louder out of all original context.

There is a great series available on youtube called "climate change, the scientific debate". it expressly looks at data in the literature and not at statements made by people like al gore or prince charles or any other joe blogs with 2 cents,

Nuno said...

the argument sprawls across the degree of warming, the degree of it caused by CO2...
So true. Such a complex phenomenon must be intelligently addressed that way, otherwise all the worldwide discussion on this will make no sense at all. That happens, like you and Ryan mentioned, because of a high level of bias and political influence (I wonder how many people, one way or the other, are profiting on this mess). I found the thing you said about the hijacking of the environmental movement very interesting; I'll add both references to my read list.

Ryan, thank you also for the link, it's great to have appropriate and trustable pointers on this subject.

Neal Asher said...

Nuno, as I've mentioned before: go and read the opinions of Patrick Moore (not the astronomer but one of the founder of Greenpeace).

Ryan, there's a huge gulf between 'Denier' and 'Warmist' being used to describe people, which involves Godwin's Law. If I wanted to go into that territory I would call the believers in CAGW eco-fascists.

Disco Stu said...

Over the past few years I've done a variety of largely geological based science courses.
While they tend to give a cautionary sideways glance as to whether CO2 is or isnt causing all the problems - they were overwhelmingly warmist.
I've done many essays based on research to reduce anthropogenic carbon (my fave was sequestration into the oceans through iron seeding.)
My questions are, why is there the warmist smokescreen in the first place? I wonder if it is driven by confusion?
(What happened with aircraft con-trails on 9/11 sticks in my mind.
Aircraft all grounded over US - contrails reduce - temp goes up about a degree over the next three days.
So are aircraft dampening any "global warming" effect?)
Is good science being poo-pooed for political reasons?

Can our climate changes really be explained at all?

Neal Asher said...

All I do know, Disco Stu, is that the whole CAGW thing is based on computer models that can't even handle clouds. Ask a warmist and clouds cause a positive feedback (everything causes a positive feedback in their world) but real world effects like removal of cloud by removal of aeroplanes and look what happened.