Despite declarations of certainty, the science of “climate change” is a great unknown.
Storm Clouds|Photo Credit J.D.Brown
The last in a three-part series; read part one and two.
Former Secretary of Defense Donald Rumsfeld famously coined the phrase “known unknowns.” He said:
There are known knowns; there are things we know that we know. There are known unknowns; that is to say, there are things that we now know we don’t know. But there are also unknown unknowns – there are things we do not know we don’t know.
Science pretty much operates in the “known unknown” realm. Occasionally but very rarely unknown unknowns reveal themselves out of the blue but for the most part science is an investigation of the known unknown of the physical universe. When it comes to climate science and the “theory” of man-made global warming, the largest known unknown of all is clouds and the part they play in the Earth’s climate, specifically the effect they have on this modern-day menagerie called climate change.
In the previous article of this series we discussed the possibility of a new explanation for the “modern warming period” which suggests that more intense solar winds during periods of heightened solar activity block the natural and normal flow of cosmic rays bombarding the Earth’s atmosphere. It is proposed that these cosmic rays are responsible for the formation of or increased formation of clouds.
The evidence has piled up, first for the link between cosmic rays and low-level clouds and then, by experiment and observation, for the mechanism involving aerosols. All these consistent scientific results illustrate that the current climate models used to predict future climate are lacking important parts of the physics.
Is this important? According to the UN’s IPCC, the supposed scientific gold standard on all things having to do with man-made global warming, it is the most important known unknown of all. The IPCC admits that they do not have an understanding of clouds and more importantly, clouds are not being adequately modeled in their simulations – which are used as the basis for their alarmism.
From the IPCC’s Fourth Assessment Report (FAR).
It is believed that the overall effect of the feedback amplifies the temperature increase to 1.5 to 4.5°C. A significant part of this uncertainty range arises from our limited knowledge of clouds and their interactions with radiation.
Putting aside that “belief” is not proof, this “uncertainty” and “limited knowledge” of clouds is a very big deal. Putting aside the new research with cosmic rays, that the climate cult does not actually understand a critical component of the theory which they claim is conclusive is nothing short of fraud. Because if they do not understand clouds then they cannot really forecast the climate.
The most obvious way for warming to be caused naturally is for small, natural fluctuations in the circulation patterns of the atmosphere and ocean to result in a 1% or 2% decrease in global cloud cover. Clouds are the Earth’s sunshade, and if cloud cover changes for any reason, you have global warming — or global cooling.
As with much of the climate change cult’s theory on global warming the obvious must be ignored in order that the elaborate house of cards of convoluted hypothesis and assumptions can be portrayed as being conclusive. But even the climate science community knows that they cannot ignore their own ignorance when it comes to clouds.
The modeling of cloud processes and feedbacks provides a striking example of the irregular pace of progress in climate science. Representation of clouds may constitute the area in which atmospheric models have been modified most continuously to take into account increasingly complex physical processes. At the time of the TAR clouds remained a major source of uncertainty in the simulation of climate changes as they still are at present.
As Klaus-Eckard Puls, Vice President of the European Institute for Climate and Energy (EIKE), has observed:
Only a few people in the climate discussion are aware that CO2 is not the main driver, and that most of the warming is assigned to the dubious amplification mechanism. CO2 by itself only has a warming potential of 1.1°C per atmospheric concentration doubling. It is only through the theoretical assumption of the up-to-now poorly understood amplification mechanism that the warming gets catapulted by the IPCC to 2.0-4.5°C per CO2 doubling, mainly through water vapour and clouds.
All the studies that are conducted, the warnings given, the policies enacted the entire edifice of climate changeology from windmills to ethanol, from polar bears to melting glaciers are dependent on that foundation being true. If not then everything is built on sand. If the unproven “amplification” component of the enhanced greenhouse effect theory is not valid, everything that has happened as the result of the theory is based on false science as is being shown by the 17 year pause in the projected warming......