June 19, 2011

The Great Hypotheses Scam Continued

It is important to recognize that projections of climate change in specific areas are not forecasts comparable to tomorrow’s weather forecast. Rather, they are hypothetical examples of how the climate might change and usually contain a range of possibilities as opposed to one specific high likelihood outcome. (EPA)
Wherein: Climate models which are nothing more than hypothesis are used to generate studies of future events, which are unmeasurable and unverifiable. Also known as CYBER WAG (Computer generated Wild Ass Guesses)


It is not as if the scientific community, especially the climate science community does not know that the qualifier on future "climate change" as adequately described in the short caption (from the EPA) I have posted under the picture above is true. The scientific community is well aware of the fact that all these doomsday predictions of future climate induced disasters are solely based upon "hypothetical examples of how climate might change" all derived from climate models that have shown themselves to be both less than robust in actually predicting future climate but also the product of assumptions derived from unproven science.

With all of that they continue to spew out studies, reports, press releases and even major policy recommendations as if these hypothetical might's are instead irrefutable fact. Note in the statement from the EPA that they state that projections in "specific areas"  can not be trusted even to the accuracy of local weather forecast which are made at most a week or so in advance let alone years or decades into the future. Yet it is precisely "specific areas" which are most often used to warn of disaster scenarios which are decades in the future .

If I were to say that I predict that a category 5 hurricane is going to strike south Florida in early August and local officials ought to prepare by shutting down hotels and evacuating millions of people in late July would anyone take me seriously ?  Would NOAA's hurricane center even think to make such a projection even in mid July and even if conditions were very favorable for development of a hurricane in early August? Of course not and they would rightly loose all credibility if they made such forecast. Yet we are constantly inundated with forecast for climate conditions in specific areas not months in advance not even years in advance but rather decades away.

These totally hypothetical projections of a future world are not only presented as if they were scientifically verified but are also used to promote policies which have had and will have real life consequences for real people now and into the future. To show how unreliable these forecast are I need only point to two projections highly publicized by climate scientist from two different  "state of the science" organizations almost a decade apart.

The first is a well known and often mocked forecast of the future by a well respected climate scientist made in March 2000.
According to Dr David Viner, a senior research scientist at the climatic research unit (CRU) of the University of East Anglia,within a few years winter snowfall will become "a very rare and exciting event" 
"Children just aren't going to know what snow is," he said.... 
....David Parker, at the Hadley Centre for Climate Prediction and Research in Berkshire, says ultimately, British children could have only virtual experience of snow. Via the internet, they might wonder at polar scenes - or eventually "feel" virtual cold. 
Heavy snow will return occasionally, says Dr Viner, but when it does we will be unprepared. "We're really going to get caught out. Snow will probably cause chaos in 20 years time," he said.
Not a decade later this seemingly "written in stone" forecast of the future world made by eminent scientist working for a most respected of climate science institutions is totally reversed by forecast made by eminent scientist working for another most respected science institution in June of 2010.
We can expect more cold and snowy winters in Europe, eastern Asia and eastern North America.

"Cold and snowy winters will be the rule, rather than the exception," says Dr James Overland of the NOAA/Pacific Marine Environmental Laboratory in the United States. Dr Overland is at the International Polar Year Oslo Science Conference (IPY-OSC) to chair a session on polar climate feedbacks, amplification and teleconnections, including impacts on mid-latitudes....
Obviously both forecast of future climates for Europe can not be correct, yet policy recommendations were made and in some cases instituted as the result of the earlier of the two scenarios causing waste and hardship for very real people in the very real world.

The scientist, in both cases, made their forecast based on their interpretation of what climate modelling was telling them. The same modelling which as we repeatedly point out and as the EPA says are no more than  "hypothetical examples of how climate might change"

 Recently we have another example of this deceptive practice of promoting as certainty that which is at best a guess far less accurate than a long range weather forecast. This example of scientific and institutional malpractice comes from the Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations in a report with policy reccomendations titled Climate Change, Water, and Food Security .

The report not only makes forecast and recommendations based upon "hypothetical examples of how climate might change" it does so by targeting "specific areas" and determining for the sake of these recommendations what conditions will be in these areas decades in the future.

They make these recommendations while simultaneously undercutting the scientific foundation for those policy recommendation in the end leaving only a faith based justification for major policy changes. From the report itself:
However, the long-term climatic risk to agricultural assets and agricultural production that can be linked to water cannot be known with any certainty. While temperature and pressure variables can be projected by global circulation models with a high degree of ‘convergence’, the same cannot be said of water vapour in the atmosphere. The levels of risk associated with rainfall and runoff events can only be determined with provisional levels of precision. These may not be sufficient to define specific approaches or levels of investment (e.g. the costs of raising the free-board on an hydraulic structure) in many locations.
providing  or serving for the time being only; existing only until permanently or properly replaced; temporary: provisional government.
accepted or adopted tentatively; conditional; probationary.

So all the conclusions and recommendations which follow are based upon provisional data subject to change. The same could be said for everything that comes from climate modelling. Would you invest substantial sums of your money in a company if the accountants for that the company told you that the data for their projections for future profits were merely provisional and subject to change? Especially if the accountants previous projections had been both suspect and unreliable? Of course you would not, yet the world's governments are constantly making exactly those decisions based on that type of scientific accounting.

This report is filled with caveats which while providing cover for the authors, totally undermines the conclusions and the recommendations they make.  An example:
The prediction of impacts relies heavily on simulation modelling with global climate models (GCMs) that have been calibrated as closely as possible to historical climate data. Modelling scenarios have been standardized from a set defined by the IPCC Special Report on Emissions Scenarios (SRES) to allow more consistent comparison of predicted impacts. The predictive ability of climate models is currently much better for temperature than for rainfall . Indeed, models tend to solve primarily on temperature and pressure. The spatial and temporal patterns of rainfall are affected by land atmosphere interactions that cannot be accomodated in the existing algorithms, and the models’spatial resolution is anyway too coarse to capture many topographic effects on climate patterns. The predictions for one scenario of economic development vary considerably from model to model, and contradictory predictions, such as increased or decreased precipitation, can result for specific parts of the world
Despite the fact that the report is primarily focused on water resources, they make clear the tool they are using to forecast (climate models) do not do a good job at the exact thing they are telling us is going to be a problem. In fact the climate models are so bad at projections on this issue that they are prone to  "contradictory predictions, such as increased or decreased precipitation, can result for specific parts of the world". The idea that you would use admittedly unreliable tools on which to base policy does not deter them from almost immediately jumping to definitive and authoritative conclusions:
Climate change will significantly impact agriculture by increasing water demand, limiting crop productivity and by reducing water availability in areas where irrigation is most needed or has comparative advantage. 
Excuse me? After all those caveats about the inability of climate modes to adequately represent precipitation they then make a definitive statement  such as climate change will have the affect of
"reducing water availability in areas where irrigation is most needed" 

To show how contradictory and silly this report is, a few paragraphs later they again restate how unreliable the models are in forecasting the very thing they are forecasting
Since the scale of GCM simulation precludes the analysis of specific impacts at river basin and even national scales, there is increasing effort to downscale modelling in order to assess agricultural and hydrological consequences in a specific location. 
So if they admit that they can not simulate the impact at river basin or even national scales how then have they determined that there will be reduced water availability in areas where irrigation is most needed ? To be specific, if they are saying that current climate modelling is not able to forecast future snowfall in the Sierras how can they then say that the Central Valley of California will suffer severe droughts decades down the road as the result of AGW? They can't either in California or anywhere else in the world, yet that is precisely what this report claims to do.

A small example of the specificity this report gets into while simultaneously recognizing that they are really presenting nothing more than crystal ball gazing science.
In Africa, by 2020, between 75 and 250 million people will be exposed to increased
water stress and in some countries, yields from rainfed agriculture could be reduced by 50 percent.
• Significant reductions in runoff are forecast, with a 10 percent reduction in
rainfall in the higher precipitation areas, translating into a 17 percent reduction in runoff. This compares with severe falls (30–50 percent) in the medium (500–600 mm) rainfall zones (de Wit and Stankiewicz, 2006).  
However, there remains a high level of inconsistency between models across different macro-regions – western, eastern, and southern Africa in particular (SEI, 2008). There is urgent need for detailed predictive modelling across these extensive regions.
 In Asia, by the 2050s, freshwater availability in Central, South, East, and Southeast
Asia, particularly in large river basins, will decrease. The heavily populated mega
deltas in the South, East and Southeast will be at risk due to increased flooding
from the sea and rivers.
Note the dire predictions in very specific regions at very specific time scales something they repeatedly tell us they are incapable of doing. Note too the desperate cry for future funding for more predictive modelling because everything they are saying is is based on "a high level of inconsistency between models". In other words, "Our models give us a wide variety of possibilities to choose from, so we will present the most dire in order to make a plea for more money to study the problem" Cha Ching.

The entire report is filled with nonsensical contradictions and obviously biased conclusions not supported scientifically or by common sense. And it must never be forgotten that the entire exercise is based upon a hypothesis created by climate models that predict dangerous global warming to begin  with. From that unproven, intellectually dishonest poisoned fruit supposition do all these other deceptions sprout.

There are some good policy recommendations in the report but they are not "climate change" dependent, they would be worthwhile recommendations and goals regardless. But that is not the true purpose of this report as the report itself plainly states.

Since climate change impacts may be difficult to internalize in some countries, given the host of other pressures on water resources and agriculture, there is need for a broad level of advocacy. 
Advocacy would lead on the integration of climate science with agricultural water management and include a strong focus on the preservation and enhancement of natural ecosystems, which are tightly bound to the development and management of irrigated agriculture. This will see further development of an integrated perspective at river basin level, and also across a spectrum of irrigated and rainfed agriculture.
The purpose of this report as is so much of the AGW advocacy is to infect all aspects of society with their leftist dogma in this case agriculture. Although the science and modelling upon which all of this is based can not "simulate the impact at river basin or even national scale" this does not mean that the ideology behind it can't and that rather than science is what is behind this report.

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