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Richard S, Courtney's comment

August 11, 2015 at 11:59 pm

Warrenlb and Jerzy Strzelecki:

You each dispute the correct and true statement of dbstealey concerning man-made global warming (MMGW) which said

Quote: MMGW is no more than an opinion . A conjecture. Because there are no verifiable, testable measurements quantifying the supposed fraction of a degree of MMGW, out of total global warming from all sources, including the natural recovery of the planet from the LIA — one of the coldest episodes of the entire Holocene.

There is no empirical evidence of any kind for anthropogenic (i.e. manmade) global warming (AGW); none, zilch, nada.
Three decades of research conducted worldwide at a cost of $5billion per year has failed to find any such evidence. If you were to find some then you would certainly be awarded at least one Nobel Prize and probably more. In the 1990s Ben Santer claimed to have found such evidence but that was soon revealed to be a result of his having selected data from the middle of a time series and the ‘evidence’ collapsed when all the data set was used.

The issue is the inability of climate data to indicate difference from the Null Hypothesis. I again explain this for the benefit of onlookers who don’t know.

The Null Hypothesis says it must be assumed a system has not experienced a change unless there is evidence of a change.

The Null Hypothesis is a fundamental scientific principle and forms the basis of all scientific understanding, investigation and interpretation. Indeed, it is the basic principle of experimental procedure where an input to a system is altered to discern a change: if the system is not observed to respond to the alteration then it has to be assumed the system did not respond to the alteration.

In the case of climate science there is a hypothesis that increased greenhouse gases (GHGs, notably CO2) in the air will increase global temperature. There are good reasons to suppose this hypothesis may be true, but the Null Hypothesis says it must be assumed the GHG changes have no effect unless and until increased GHGs are observed to increase global temperature. That is what the scientific method decrees. It does not matter how certain some people may be that the hypothesis is right because observation of reality (i.e. empiricism) trumps all opinions.

Please note that the Null Hypothesis is a hypothesis which exists to be refuted by empirical observation. It is a rejection of the scientific method to assert that one can “choose” any subjective Null Hypothesis one likes. There is only one Null Hypothesis: i.e. it has to be assumed a system has not changed unless it is observed that the system has changed.

However, deciding a method which would discern a change may require a detailed statistical specification.

In the case of global climate in the Holocene, no recent climate behaviours are observed to be unprecedented so the Null Hypothesis decrees that the climate system has not changed.

Importantly, an effect may be real but not overcome the Null Hypothesis because it is too trivial for the effect to be observable. Human activities have some effect on global temperature for several reasons. An example of an anthropogenic effect on global temperature is the urban heat island (UHI). Cities are warmer than the land around them, so cities cause local warming. But the temperature rise from cities is too small to be detected when averaged over the entire surface of the planet, although this global warming from cities can be estimated by measuring the local warming of all cities and their areas.

Clearly, the Null Hypothesis decrees that UHI is not affecting global temperature although there are good reasons to think UHI has some effect (and can distort temperature measurements). Similarly, it is very probable that AGW from GHG emissions are too trivial to have observable effects.

The feedbacks in the climate system are negative and, therefore, any effect of increased CO2 will be probably too small to discern because natural climate variability is much, much larger. This concurs with the empirically determined values of low climate sensitivity.

Empirical – n.b. not model-derived – determinations indicate climate sensitivity is less than 1.0°C for a doubling of atmospheric CO2 equivalent. This is indicated by the studies of
Idso from surface measurements
and Lindzen & Choi from ERBE satellite data
and Gregory from balloon radiosonde data

Indeed, because climate sensitivity is less than 1.0°C for a doubling of CO2 equivalent, it is physically impossible for the man-made global warming to be large enough to be detected (just as the global warming from UHI is too small to be detected). If something exists but is too small to be detected then it only has an abstract existence; it does not have a discernible existence that has effects (observation of the effects would be its detection).

To date there are no discernible effects of AGW. Hence, the Null Hypothesis decrees that AGW does not affect global climate to a discernible degree. That is the ONLY scientific conclusion possible at present.

It is our attitude toward free thought and free expression that will determine our fate. There must be no limit on the range of temperate discussion, no limits on thought. No subject must be taboo. No censor must preside at our assemblies.

–William O. Douglas, U.S. Supreme Court Justice, 1952

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