August 01, 2011 | Graham

Why the science is unsettled

I haven’t seen it reported in the mainstream of the Australian media yet, but two very recent high level scientific experiments, and their results, show just how unsettled climate science really is.

An experiment at CERN into a theory of Henry Svensmark and a paper published by Roy Spencer in MDPI (peer reviewed for those who care about those things)based on real world observations of radiation emissions into space, invalidate the computer models currently being used to “prove” that global warming will be catastrophic.

Now before I go further, let’s make one thing clear. The science is settled that CO2 is a greenhouse gas. If anyone disputes that with you, lock them up, they’re mad.

But what isn’t settled is the exact effect of CO2 on atmospheric temperature, particularly the hypothesis that temperature increases caused by CO2 will cause an increase in water vapour, and as water is a much more powerful greenhouse gas, a dramatic warming.

Which is where Svensmark and Spencer come in. There is a well-known correlation between fluctuations in solar activity as measured by sunspots and temperature on earth.  This is puzzling because changes in sunspot activity do not appear to correlate with changes in radiance.

Svensmark’s theory is that the mechanism by which it might effect the earth’s climate is that when the sun is active it deflects cosmic radiation from the earth. When it is less active the cosmic radiation penetrates into the atmosphere, reacts with sulphur particles and leads to the formation of more low level clouds which deflect solar radiation back into space before they hit the oceans and the land and have a chance to warm anything much.

The CERN experiment is to have a closer look at this proposed mechanism. CERN is of course the home to the Large Hadron Collider. The results of the experiment have not been published, but comments from CERN indicate that they are positive for Svensmark.

Spencer’s paper looks at the rate at which radiation escapes into space and concludes, that because of the time lag between radiation and heating it is not possible to diagnose feedback with a zero time lag, which is what the models try to do.

In fact “If you try, you will get a “false positive” even if feedback is strongly negative!”.

As neither of these findings are incorporated into the computer models, it just adds to the list of factors they cannot model and must fudge, invalidating them.

I also came across this interesting article which explains some of the aspects of modelling that one ought to understand. Particularly the claim that by taking the average of a number of different model runs we are getting a more certain picture of future climate.

The author calls it “post-normal science”. This is the same “scientific” method brazenly advanced by our own Ian Lowe as “sustainability science” where you abandon the traditional scientific method and first assume a conclusion rather than a hypothesis because if your conclusion is sufficiently bad, there may not be enough time left to test the hypothesis.

Posted by Graham at 8:43 pm | Comments (2) |
Filed under: Uncategorized


  1. “lock them up, they’re mad” wow how objective! greenhouse gasses we are told are are evil, bad, no good, but in the next breath we are told we need these gasses, so the so called science around the claim of global warming is naturally confusing, there are a lot of advantages to a warmer planet, the problem with the “alarmist speculators” is they claim the planet just can’t “adjust”, the Barrier Reef will die (we’ve been hearing that for decades) and the world will tip into an irreversible disaster despite that there has been far more extreme climate in the past,if the “scientists” are to be believed. The “speculators” constant cry is “give us ya money and if your lucky, we just might fix it”. Scientists need Government funding but that should NOT gained by trying to use a scare campaign that preachers the “end of the world”!

    Comment by Mike Lockhart — August 5, 2011 @ 2:24 am

  2. Mike Lockhart,
    It is a case of being able “to sort the wheat form the chaff”, something the climate-change-denialists have trouble doing.

    Of course we need the gas labelled greenhouse gases. It is the degree to which they increase and accumulate, or even just the rate they increase.

    Of course there have been warmer periods, but not after such rapid increases in greenhouse gases, and when there has been better correlation between greenhouse gas levels and mean atmospheric temperature than there has been in recent decades.

    Sure, the world wont end but there is likely to be enough disruption to climate to create havoc, especially for low-lying coastal areas where most of the worlds major urban areas lie, adn especially for the resource and economically disadvantaged.

    Comment by McReal — August 13, 2011 @ 4:00 am

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