Wednesday, December 02, 2009

Hide the Decline

I've been hearing this phrase a lot (it now comes with its own music video), but a picture is worth a thousand words:








This particular picture comes from a discussion of the whole "decline" issue at ClimateAudit.com. The black line is the measured width of tree rings. The red line is the reported global temperature. The "decline" begins around 1960. As you can see, it shows a big difference between what the tree rings say and the weather experts report.


I can't explain WHY there is such a difference... but it sure reduces my confidence in ancient temperature reconstructions. If we can't match global temperatures to tree rings in the last fifty years (when we were actually able to check the correlations), why should we believe anything anybody says about temperatures hundreds of years ago?

2 comments:

tildeb said...

If we can't match global temperatures to tree rings in the last fifty years (when we were actually able to check the correlations), why should we believe anything anybody says about temperatures hundreds of years ago?

And therein lies the rub.

If a theory does not offer us a framework that can be tested and verified, then there is something amiss with the theory. This is a problem with today's global warming climate projections: a fair bit of hard data does not conform to the theory. Tree rings is one, rising sea levels is another, frequency of hurricanes a third. Yet a spate of climatologists refuse to properly account for the hard data that challenges and stubbornly refuses to validate global warming theory and they continue to insist that the computer models upon which environmental protocols are based are what really matter the most.

As someone who worked many years ago in satellite remote sensing projects (but who later switched to hydrology) and who was at the forefront of the global warming issue, I understand the investment climatologists have made in establishing global warming as a priority for research funding. After all, saving the world is a noble undertaking and a very sexy subject that attracts lots of interest.

But coming up with a predictive model that works well has continued to elude honest climate researchers. Although I have predicted that number fudging to improve the models would inevitably harm the research respect necessary for significant economic change to occur (change that would address the emission problems without crippling industry and Western lifestyles), I am only surprised that it has taken this long for number fudging evidence to emerge.

That climate change is occurring I know is true. That fossil fuels are contributing to atmospheric changes is also true. That the later affects the former is equally true and we need to make changes sooner than later. But this belief so many people maintain that climate change can be 'corrected' by addressing emission levels is not based on science; it is based on undiluted and unjustified belief that it must be so.

A Future Metaphysician said...

My "back of the envelope" calculations on global warming haven't been matching up to what I've been hearing from the experts for some years... and I left "Open Parachute" in a huff a while back after things got a little hot after I asked why what I now call "warmists" (not my term back then!) weren't willing to consider building nuclear power plants.

I have no reason to doubt that sea ice has retreated and some major measures of the earth's temperature have gone up recently, but that's a far cry from a "hockey stick" graph that proves it is a recent and unprecedented change. If the "hockey stick" relies on "iffy" data (and it now seems that it does!), then we need to reboot, reload, and retry.