I am not a huge fan of the science and accompanying rhetoric around “global warming.” And its not because the Koch brothers (or any other weapons grade conspiracy theory idiocy on the part of certain activist elements of our society). Its because the “science”, or more precisely, the theory that currently holds sway in large swaths of academia, and public policy circles appears to generate testable hypotheses that are not matched against empirical observations.
Put another way, the theories are making bad predictions. Which, for objective and skeptical scientists, tell us that the theory making such bad predictions is, for no other reason, busted. Defunct. Not in line with observations. Not well supported by measurement.
That is, its dead Jim.
This is not to say climate changes haven’t happened. We know they have, and we know they’ve been pretty drastic, and fairly dramatic. From snowball earth through tropical planet. We are in a warming period post ice-age, which we see periodicity in. No one contests these data, as they are objective measurements, with a rational theory behind it.
What many of us whom objected to, are several items: First, insisting that humans have been driving climate change, aka AGW in a catastrophic manner, specifically cAGW. Second, that the relatively uninvolved gas CO2, a direct by product of many industrial activities over time, is the main culprit in the suspect cAGW. Third, that unless we all undertook some drastic immediate actions, many of which would actively destroy our ability to provide a viable and sustainable economy, that all manner of bad things would happen, specifically, the testable predictions of large temperature changes, and sea level rising.
A funny thing happened on the way to the third point.
It didn’t happen. Temperature increases have leveled out over 15 years, and the people pushing the theory that they will rise have not been able to explain this.
CO2 is on the rise, and according to their theory, temperature should also rise.
But it hasn’t. And they’ve not been able to explain this.
And it gets worse for the theory. The sea levels have not been rising according to their predictions.
And it gets worse. Various predictions were found to have been, at best, wild-eyed activist generated (such as the Himalayan glacier disappearance by 2050, the melting of the arctic, …) versus the result of careful scientific fieldwork and measurement.
In the very best of cases, the gentlest you could be with the theory is to say its predictions thus far have been not well represented by measurement.
But it gets worse. Several skeptics (whom should be properly called scientists, as this is precisely the scientists role …) had noticed changes in the way that measurements were made, which actually biased the measurements, and could explain a sizable portion of the measured increases.
Basically, where we are now, is a busted theory, a huge public policy and market for trading in something of dubious value, all tied to that busted theory … and we still have no answer for the basic scientific questions. That is, is there some component of the atmosphere (we can ask where it came from later), that would actually match observations on changes, and provide a reasonable explanation for the observation? That is, what is the science behind the observation, once we’ve detected the correct causation? Because its pretty obvious to all but those with a hard core financial interest, or a hard core career interest, that the theory being pushed is badly broken.
Turns out, someone did the research. They found something, that matches observation quite nicely. Matches it better than the CO2 theory.
One of the take-aways was this:
This is huge.
CFCs are industrial chemicals used in many things, including air conditioning, solvents, etc. They were banned a few years ago, and their levels in the atmosphere began dropping. We knew that CFCs were problematic for Ozone depletion. We now appear to have evidence of the culprit for GW.
Now this is early, and one should be wary of any claims by journalists of ‘proven’ science … when you read that something has been ‘proven’ you know the writer knows nothing of science. The WattsUpWithThat people are skeptical, but intrigued. As all good scientists should be.
The point is that the researcher provided a model, an analysis, and a fit to data that matches far better than the theory that rules the minds of many. It provides a set of testable hypotheses. It should be continued, expanded, and better funded.
For those interested, the pre-print is here.