Fables of the Reconstruction - Printable Version
+- Global Warming Skeptics (http://www.globalwarmingskeptics.info)
+-- Forum: Our Blue Marble (/forum-4.html)
+--- Forum: The Science (/forum-27.html)
+--- Thread: Fables of the Reconstruction (/thread-414.html)
Fables of the Reconstruction - Sunsettommy - 12-19-2009 07:53 PM
(Or, How to Make Your Own Hockey Stick)
Please pardon the departure from the usual Iowahawk bill of fare.
What follows started as a comment I made over at Ace's last week which he graciously decided to feature on a separate post (thanks Ace). In short, it's a detailed how-to-guide for replicating the climate reconstruction method used by the so-called "Climategate" scientists. Not a perfect replication, but a pretty faithful facsimile that you can do on your own computer, with some of the same data they used.
Why? Since the Climategate email affair erupted a few weeks ago, it has generated a lot of chatter in the media and across the internet. In all the talk of "models" and "smoothing" and "science" and "hide the decline" it became apparent to me that very very few of the people chiming in on this have even the slightest idea what they are talking about. This goes for both the defenders and critics of the scientists.
Long story, but I do know a little bit about statistical data modeling -- the principal approach used by the main cast of characters in Climategate -- and have a decent understanding of their basic research paradigm. The goal here is to share that understanding with interested laypeople. I'm also a big believer in learning by doing; if you really want to know how a carburetor works, nothing beats taking one apart and rebuilding it. That same rule applies to climate models. And so I decided to put together this simple step-by-step rebuilder's manual.
Regardless of what side you've chosen in the climate debate (I'm not going to pretend that I'm anything but a crazed pro-carbon extremist) I hope this will give you a nuts-and-bolts understanding of what climate modeling is about, as well as give some context to the Climategate emails.
Got 30 to 60 minutes, a modest amount of math and computer skills, and curiosity? Read on.
RE: Fables of the Reconstruction - Richard111 - 12-20-2009 02:39 AM
Interesting indeed. And to me, awesum. I lack the mathematical skills to follow the tortuous reasoning used to arrive at the desired results.
There are lies, damn lies and statistics. I am greatful there are people of integrity who are able to explain how the common man has been duped by debased science.
RE: Fables of the Reconstruction - ajmplanner - 12-22-2009 03:50 PM
There is a lot of even more complex math involved in the computer modeling that does the projections of woeful temperature changes, sea level rises, etc. It involves the solution of systems of non-linear differential equations, and maybe even systems of non-linear partial differential equations. These can only be solved using numerical approximation methods requiring massive computer calculation capabilities. "Approximation" is a key word here. Unlike our first equation in basic algebra, distance=rate x time, these equations have no deterministic solution yielding a formula relating all of the many variables. There are most likely hundreds, if not thousands of variables involved in climate, the relation amongst which are not known with any certainty. Out of necessity, modelers must make a very large number of assumptions ( has any modeler published these assumptions?) and the number of variables has to be pared down to a more computer manageable number (how did the modelers decide what variables to use and what variables not to use? Did they provide their reasoning?). From the get-go, the computer model is therefore at best a gross approximation of reality and the solutions yet another approximation on top of that. And on this politicians are basing the economic fate of the world!
I mentioned in a different post an article by Dr. Peter Landesman, a mathematician and expert in the solution of these kinds of equations. He explains why they cannot be used for projections. It is very readable and non-mathematical. His opening remarks are below and the full text is at:
"The forecasts of global warming are based on mathematical solutions for equations of weather models. But all of these solutions are inaccurate. Therefore, no valid scientific conclusions can be made concerning global warming. The false claim for the effectiveness of mathematics is an unreported scandal at least as important as the recent climate data fraud. Why is the math important? And why don’t the climatologists use it correctly?"
I recently heard a report from an observer at Copenhagen (Christopher C. Horner author of "Red Hot Lies: How Global Warming Alarmists Use Threats, Fraud, and Deception to Keep You Misinformed" ). He reported that one very influential attendee (sorry, didn't write down the name) made the following very revealing statement:
" This is not about whether scientists agree or disagree. This is about leveling the playing field". - referring of course to the "economic" playing field - i.e. the goal is to create a worldwide socialist economy - CO2 is just a convenient means to that end.
Which is why the climate loonies could care less about climategate, why all the statistical and mathematical analyses proving the contrary are ignored, and why all of the arguments skeptics make fall on deaf ears.
RE: Fables of the Reconstruction - Richard111 - 12-23-2009 12:45 AM
"Which is why the climate loonies could care less about climategate, why all the statistical and mathematical analyses proving the contrary are ignored, and why all of the arguments skeptics make fall on deaf ears."
History shows the only reponse to this manner of thinking. I am watching for signs so as to be able to offer my limited services.