Climate science in a nutshell


Richard Moore

Bcc: FYI
rkm website

It’s all really quite straightforward. There is very little you need to know. 

The starting point in studying climate, obviously, is to study the actual record of temperatures. Duh. When we look at that record, from a variety of sources such as ice-cores, we see strikingly regular wave patterns. Little waves within big waves. Waves that interfere with other waves, and waves that appear and disappear at intervals. An El Nino event would show up as a brief and minor fluctuation. The biggest regular wave is the one that keeps us down in an ice age most of the time, and every 100,000 years or so raises us up for about 10,000 years – an inter-glacial period.

These patterns have been going on for millions of years. They obviously reflect the influence of natural forces of various kinds, which are pushing temperatures up or down, as indicated by each force’s wave pattern within the total pattern. The picture is blurred a bit by random fluctuations, but you can pick out many individual waves patterns, with a characteristic shape, that show up at semi-regular intervals, over a wide range of time scales. We could give these wave patterns names, like x, y, z, which are due to forces X, Y, Z.

The wave patterns – x, y, z – are facts, just like day and night are facts. The nature of the forces – X, Y, Z – is the domain of theory. Those theories evolve, just as our explanation for day and night evolved beyond, ‘the Sun travels around the Earth’. And there is only one measure to determine whether theory X makes any scientific sense: how well does it match x? 

My role, as a climate investigator, is not to take sides in the XYZ theory debates; I simply acknowledge that there are XYZs of some kind out there somewhere.  What I do, is refer theories back to the testing department, and see how well they match the data. The number of credible scientists who ‘swear X is true’ is just so much academic dysfunction, if X does not match x. 

In addition to the xyz climate waves, due to temperature-driving forces, we have weather and ocean-current ‘waves’, that move heat (carried in water or water vapor) around the oceans and atmosphere in complex dynamic patterns. These ‘waves’ are symbolized by the swirling patterns you see in the clouds, when you see a photo of Earth from space. Weather and currents act as a complex regulatory system, the parameters of which we only understand in patches. One simple example of a regulatory mechanism is a hurricane. It only kicks in when there is excess surface heat, and then it transfers a significant percentage of that heat into the upper atmosphere, where it dissipates and radiates away. A hurricane is nature fanning one of the Earth’s hot spots. 

There is more complexity in the weather-current system nearer the equator, and less complexity nearer the poles. Ice core samples give the clearest picture of the underlying xyz climate-driving patterns, just as telescopes give the clearest view of space when they are high in the mountain, where terrestrial interference is minimized. The Greenland and Antarctic ice core records are the ‘Hubbles’ for seeing climate patterns most clearly for each hemisphere – and the hemispheres are quite different. To use some kind of global average as a ‘climate record’ is like trying to observe space from Times Square: “I see it now, the universe is a huge out-of-focus neon sign!”

The ‘climate science’ community has been telling us that Co2 is one of those climate-driving forces, and they say it’s a very significant one. Their only real evidence for this claim is certain correlations that exist between temperature and Co2 levels, over certain periods of time. They then point to the dramatic rise in Co2 levels that have accompanied industrialization, and warn us of alarming temperature rises. Who needs a computer model to draw that conclusion, once you assume significant causation? Duh. Cut their budget and give them graph paper and pencils.

Let’s take this Co2 theory back to the testing department. If Co2 is a significant climate-driving force, and if Co2 levels are dramatically rising, then we would expect to see an upward perturbation in the long-term pattern, a perturbation that steadily rises during the era of industrialization. However, if we take our Northern Hubble, look at the Greenland ice cores, and if we simply extrapolate the pattern as it is trending since 1900, when ice-core data stops, we get exactly the actual temperature levels. There is no perceptible perturbation from unusual recent forces of any kind.

From a physics perspective one can make the case that Co2 must have an upward perturbation effect as its concentration increases. This is indeed possible, perhaps even quite true, and if so only one conclusion can be drawn: the upward perturbation, whatever it might be, is lost in the noise of the weather-current regulation mechanisms. No sign of it can be found. Co2 is a non-issue, as far as climate is concerned.