Why 'Deniers' are Always Wrong – Models can't be falsified

Story submitted by Eric Worrall

How do we prove climate alarmists are wrong? Let us count the ways

If the temperature goes up, this is just what the models predicted – watch out because …

…soon it will get a lot worse. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Runaway_climate_change

If the temperature goes down, the deep ocean is swallowing the heat – even though the heat can’t be measured, we know it must be there, because that is what the climate models tell us. Global warming prevails! http://www.scientificamerican.com/article/pacific-ocean-and-climate-change-pause/

If the global temperature crashes, its because global warming induced melting of arctic ice shut down the ocean currents. http://science1.nasa.gov/science-news/science-at-nasa/2004/05mar_arctic/

If the snow disappears, this is just as models predicted – snowfall is a thing of the past. http://www.independent.co.uk/environment/snowfalls-are-now-just-a-thing-of-the-past-724017.html

If there is an unusually heavy snowfall, this is just as models predicted – global warming is increasing the moisture content of the atmosphere, which results in increased snow cover. http://wattsupwiththat.com/2012/02/10/2010-snowmageddon-explained-sans-global-warmingclimate-change/

If there is a drought, that is because of global warming. http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2012/07/21/causes-of-midwest-drought-2012_n_1690717.html

Except of course, when global warming causes heavy rainfall. http://wattsupwiththat.com/2014/08/13/global-warming-the-incompetent-politicians-excuse/

No matter what the observation, no matter how the world changes, we can never falsify alarmist climate theories. Any possible change, any possible observation, can always be explained by anthropogenic global warming.

http://wattsupwiththat.com/2014/03/22/occams-razor-and-climate-change/

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prjindigo

The models cannot predict frost and are based on a premise of no air circulation and do not model the atmosphere from sea level to 80,000 feet.
An incomplete model is not a model, it is a painting.

Murph

You omitted one – “When the temperature remains constant (relatively), that is due to natural cooling offsetting the human induced warming”

knr

Yes it is amazing how ‘lucky’ it is that natural cooling perfectly balanced out AGW. I mean what are the chances of that?

Martin A

An unvalidated model is an illustration of somebody’s hypothesis. It is not evidence of anything.

Ken Hall

Any hypothesis which has no possibility of falsification is not a scientific hypothesis, and is a defacto pile of doggy doos.
Climate alarmists need just enough research funding to complete a “Science 101: The Scientific Method”. course
Whether the climate gets hotter, drier, colder, wetter, according to a model, is merely a contrived result based upon flawed assumptions from a falsified hypothesis coded into a poorly written and incomplete computer model.
In short, here is a simple tip for the climate alarmists… THAT IS NOT REALITY! STOP TREATING IT AS IF IT IS!!!

David Schofield

Spherical chickens in a vacuum. Says it all.

Steve in Seattle

This is REALLY good … thanks !

I am reminded of a Monty Python sketch where a political commentator is saying “well, the election results were pretty much as I had predicted – except that the other party won”.

AWG-believers ought to learn:
In Theories of Science it’s never ever possible to prove a thesis right. Only to falsify a thesisTheories of Science – Basic knowledge

Cheshirered

Straight out of Paul Daniel’s Bunco Booth: “Heads I win, tails you lose.”
As Daniels says, “You WILL lose – it’s a CON”

jones

Mr Worrall, Sir.
A rather good synopsis of the conundrum faced in countering the naysayers but may one please direct one to the following by Mr Sean Thomas. I feel this gives a much deeper “feel” for the problem…
.
“First, I asked Stephen Belcher, the head of the Met Office Hadley Centre, whether the recent extended winter was related to global warming. Shaking his famous “ghost stick”, and fingering his trademark necklace of sharks’ teeth and mammoth bones, the loin-clothed Belcher blew smoke into a conch, and replied,
“Here come de heap big warmy. Bigtime warmy warmy. Is big big hot. Plenty big warm burny hot. Hot! Hot hot! But now not hot. Not hot now. De hot come go, come go. Now Is Coldy Coldy. Is ice. Hot den cold. Frreeeezy ice til hot again. Den de rain. It faaaalllll. Make pasty.”
Startled by this sobering analysis, I moved on to Professor Rowan Sutton, Climate Director of NCAS at the University of Reading. Professor Sutton said that many scientists are, as of this moment, examining the complex patterns in the North Atlantic, and trying to work out whether the current run of inclement European winters will persist.
When pressed on the particular outlook for the British Isles. Professor Sutton shook his head, moaned eerily unto the heavens, and stuffed his fingers into the entrails of a recently disembowelled chicken, bought fresh from Waitrose in Teignmouth.
Hurling the still-beating heart of the chicken into a shallow copper salver, Professor Sutton inhaled the aroma of burning incense, then told the Telegraph: “The seven towers of Agamemnon tremble. Much is the discord in the latitude of Gemini. When, when cry the sirens of doom and love. Speckly showers on Tuesday.”
It’s a pretty stark analysis, and not without merit.”
http://blogs.telegraph.co.uk/news/seanthomas/100222487/when-it-comes-to-climate-change-we-have-to-trust-our-scientists-because-they-know-lots-of-big-scary-words/
I am, as always, ready to listen to alternative viewpoints.
Jones

cnxtim

And of course ALL warming is caused by mankind and all of it is beyond just bad, it is absolutely catastrophic in every way. there is no place for an improvement in ANYTHING if the earth warms.
What will they say when the serious cooling begins?

jorgekafkazar

Interestingly, “great rain god Oonga-Boonga, himfella plenty angry” also fully explains those same phenomena.

Kurt in Switzerland

Bingo!
Science made to order. A dream for would-be architects of a new social / economic order.
Or as Andrew Montford over at Bishop Hill succinctly put it: “Policy-based evidence-making.”

ConTrari

Murph says;
“You omitted one – “When the temperature remains constant (relatively), that is due to natural cooling offsetting the human induced warming””
Except, of course,when human induced warming is offsetting natural cooling.

In addition to warming and cooling, drought and flood, Global Warming also causes widespread stupidity and gullibility.

Professor Bob Ryan

‘If the temperature goes down, the deep ocean is swallowing the heat – even though the heat can’t be measured, we know it must be there, because that is what the climate models tell us. Global warming prevails! ‘. Not quite true I’m afraid. We know the earth is absorbing more energy than it is emitting back to space. This is observational evidence and of that there is no reasonable doubt. By the law of the conservation of energy it is going somewhere. If it is not showing up as atmospheric warming then it’s either being stored in the land or the oceans. The oceans have vastly more heat capacity than the land. So somehow it’s the oceans. None of this explains the reason for the energy imbalance – that’s the attribution problem. Climate science is riddled with bad science, poor method and bad manners but that doesn’t disguise the fact that there is a real issue.

lemiere jacques

professor ryan do you have any measurement of energy balance precise enough to support your claim …and the global warming?
I think if we d have this measurment it would be the dirst thing to show sceptic!
I am more prone to believe that even the models are not able to deal with energy balance by themselve and need to ne force to be balanced excpet for some part like albedo reaction wich is suposed to be a right way to unbalance the system at a given time.

Professor Bob Ryan:
I quote all of your post at August 15, 2014 at 12:50 am so it is clear that I am replying in context.

‘If the temperature goes down, the deep ocean is swallowing the heat – even though the heat can’t be measured, we know it must be there, because that is what the climate models tell us. Global warming prevails! ‘. Not quite true I’m afraid. We know the earth is absorbing more energy than it is emitting back to space. This is observational evidence and of that there is no reasonable doubt. By the law of the conservation of energy it is going somewhere. If it is not showing up as atmospheric warming then it’s either being stored in the land or the oceans. The oceans have vastly more heat capacity than the land. So somehow it’s the oceans. None of this explains the reason for the energy imbalance – that’s the attribution problem. Climate science is riddled with bad science, poor method and bad manners but that doesn’t disguise the fact that there is a real issue.

Yes, there is a real issue and you have misrepresented it.
We do NOT ” know the earth is absorbing more energy than it is emitting back to space.” We interpret observations by means of existing theory and hypothesis. If the observations do not agree – as they don’t concerning the Earth’s energy balance – then one or more of the observations, theory and hypotheses is flawed. Of this there is no doubt.
Your lack of doubt in the observations, theory and hypotheses is superstitious belief which rejects the scientific method.
And in science empiricism trumps theory. Therefore, the existing scientific indication is that ‘missing’ energy is NOT “being stored in the land or the oceans”. Until you can provide evidence that the energy storage is occurring then the scientific conclusion is that the theory and/or hypothesis requires amendment.
As you say,”there is a real issue”. I agree, and I think it is a serious problem, but you do not mention it so I shall.
You say you are a Professor; i.e. you teach. The problem is that many teachers are attempting to indoctrinate the young with superstitious nonsense of the kind you have posted here.
Richard

lee

Is there an energy balance? Is it at all times balanced? Is it always uniformly in balance or are there places of under and over energy?

ferdinand

I thought that a model always had use make-up

Unmentionable

“Any possible change, any possible observation, can always be explained by anthropogenic global warming.”
Well, except for:
(1) The lack of temperature rise that was predicted by the IPCC
(2) The absence of anomalous global sea level rise predicted by the IPCC
Whatever shall we do?

Konrad

David Schofield says:
August 15, 2014 at 12:22 am
“Spherical chickens in a vacuum. Says it all”
——————————————————–
Ah ze old phyzics joke…
Chickens do become spherical when exposed to the hard vacuum of space. They just don’t stay that way for long…
It’s high time climastrologists stopped searching for their chickens and took note of the pink ice crystals on their space suit visors.
AGW only works for spherical chickens in a vacuum? Not even then…

The Definition Guy

Imagine if you were a stockbroker and you told your client that a stock called CAGW, at $100 a share, was a steal. It’s sure to go up. So your client invests $10,000 and it stays at $100 for 18 years. During that period you give your client 30 different excuses for why the stock has stagnated. You point your client to the SkepticalStock website and they have a running blog on the stock, claiming that despite what the stock price shows in the market, it has actually gone up in price. The people who look at the selling price just don’t get it. They then start attacking your client for daring to doubt their integrity.
It’s essentially the same idea. But in the financial markets people would be taking a huge risk, the policing is very strict. In the CAGW community there is little or no risk, the government and media have your back. Cherchez d’argent.

Konrad

“No matter what the observation, no matter how the world changes, we can never falsify alarmist climate theories”
False.
The very foundation of the global warming hoax depends on the calculation that the surface of the planet would be at 255K in the absence of an atmosphere. The simplest empirical experiments proves this absurd claim utterly false.
So what’s the problem? Fearful little quisling lukerwarmers, that’s what.
Do you believe CO2 will cause “some” warming? Have you personally empirically checked? No you haven’t, have you? Therein lays the problem…

michael hammer

Professor Ryan;
The energy imbalance you describe can come about because incoming energy has risen or because outgoing energy has fallen (or of course both). Outgoing energy is measured as Outgoing Longwave Radiation or OLR for short. The CAGW hypothesis claims earth is warming becuase rising CO2 is acting as a “blanket” reducing OLR. NOAA publish a historical record of OLR from 1970 to 2010 and this shows OLR has been on average rising. It seems to me this entirely by itself falsifies the CAGW hypothesis. If there is an energy imbalance and OLR has been rising then incoming energy must have been rising even faster and that is either due to solar changes or changes in Earth’s albedo. The latter is of course in line with the Svensmark theory.

Alan the Brit

Dear Professor Ryan,
When a late Venezualan Socialist Dictator turns up at Copenhagen in December 2009, & stands before 4000 delegates at a UN meeting on Climate Change, & proclaims “Capitalism has caused Climate Change!”, & he gets a standing ovation, we know just how scientific the science of AGW really is! When African dictator Robert Mugabe turns up & stands before the same rent-a-mob, & proclaims that “Western Countries have caused Climate Change!”, & he gets a standing ovation, the science is definitely settled!!!! If the “final solution” to manmade global warming is the creation & establishment of a Global Government (as French President Mitterand admitted after the Kyoto agreement at the time), run by the UN, on Socialist lines, an overly bureaucratic, un-elected, undemocratic, unaccountable, & unsackable, GUVMENT, then we know just how settled the science really is! I have nothing against true Socialists, they want equality all round, it just depends upon who the OCD manipulating control freaks are who claim they’re Socialists who end up running things, enriching themselves at everyone else’s expense! Tony Blair is doing very nicely thank you, & he’s a lawyer by training, go figure!
Please provide evidence of the problem we are supposed to have, once you have fully explained the exact range of Natural Variability of the Earth’s Climate, with a totally complete & infallible explanation of how the Sun works, & it’s small & or large affects upon the Earth’s Climate, with absolutely no “may”, “could”, “possibly”, “potentially”, “likely”, & with absolutely no “unknown”, “uncertainty”, & “just don’t knows”, please don’t leave anything out, & I will listen to any argument you wish to put forward, willingly! Long live the bloodsucking lawyers & the Precautionary Principle!
Yours sincerely
Alan Hannaford, CEng, MIStructE

Ken Hall

” Not quite true I’m afraid. We know the earth is absorbing more energy than it is emitting back to space. This is observational evidence and of that there is no reasonable doubt. By the law of the conservation of energy it is going somewhere. “
Of course it never occurs to those grant funded scientists that there may be an error in their measurement…

Joe

Prof Ryan, you say “We know the earth is absorbing more energy than it is emitting back to space. This is observational evidence and of that there is no reasonable doubt”
How do we know this? When, where and with what precision were the measurements made, and are the measurements continuing as we speak.
Evidence of the Earth’s Radiation Imbalance (ERI) seems to lacking according to NASA. “ERI is too small to be measured by previous, current or planned future space assets,” says co-investigator Warren Wiscombe, a climate scientist at Goddard.” here. http://www.jhuapl.edu/newscenter/pressreleases/2013/131210.asp

Ken Hall

Professor Ryan. I am not an academic. However, I do have a good working knowlege of a thing known as the scientific method. And, correct me if I am wrong, but as I understand it, for any scientific theory to remain valid, it MUST conform to the strict rules of that scientific method.
Your being a professor means that you should be very very well aware of the scientific method, but the piece you wrote above strongly suggests that you have forgotten it.
I only say this out of respect, but in applying my area of expertise, martial arts, I can tell you from experience that I have seen lots of people with black belts who practice very shoddy martial arts.
They begin as a white belt. they learn the beginners Katas (a series of martial techniques applied in a pattern to demonstrate martial ability) and as they progress up through the ranks to try to master martial arts, they literally forget to apply what they learn at the higher levels, to the “beginners stuff”. A really competent martial artist will always go back and re-learn the beginners stuff, applying new knowlege and skill to that, to master those beginners techniques as well.
I feel too many academics get too focused on the intricate, complexity of their research study that they forget to apply the most basic, simple test. Does this still comply with the scientific method?
Clearly, in climate science where observation does NOT match prediction, the sceintific method is not being applied, or if it does, you are not asking “why?” or “Is this still correct?” or “What else could be causing this?”. IF there is a problem with some observations not matching, ie the “energy imbalance is not showing up in the global temperature measurements” then you MUST question the assumption about the energy imbalance. Is it being observed or measured correctly? are the global temperature measurements being measured correctly?
There are so many assumptions being made, which may be wholly incorrect. The whole CO2 driven global warming hypothesis, is built upon a massive collection of assumptions which are then modelled in many different ways, which may be utterly incorrect too. Then scientists (who have a financial stake) in promoting the alarm, are placing way way WAY too much certainty on the output of those assumption based models. The earth has not warmed for almost 2 decades in a direct contradiction of the hypothesis, so alarm funded scientists are gripping desperately to the “energy imbalance” assumption.
It is time to look again at all the assumptions, because it is clear that the scientific method demands that the actual observation of the earth NOT warming up, trumps the hypothetical models upon which the false certainty of global warming alarm, currently rests.

johnmarshall

The energy balance is total energy in V total energy out as measured from space, Within the system there is no ”balance” and this causes weather as the energy tries to balance

Eric Worrall pulled his punches. I mean by this that he made his point that AGW cannot be falsified without saying what this signifies.
Karl Popper said, “The criterion of falsifiability is a solution to this problem of demarcation, for it says that statements or systems of statements, in order to be ranked as scientific, must be capable of conflicting with possible, or conceivable, observations.”
.
Richard Feynman said something like this in different words, “No matter how smart you are, who you are or how beautiful your theory, if data doesn’t support your theory, it is wrong.”
I prefer Karl Popper’s elaboration. In his Conjectures and Refutations (1963), Popper said
“The problem which troubled me at the time was neither, “When is a theory true?” nor “When is a theory acceptable?” my problem was different. I wished to distinguish between science and pseudo-science; knowing very well that science often errs, and that pseudoscience may happen to stumble on the truth.”
By the criterion of Karl Popper, much of climate science is pseudoscience.

rah

No point attacking Professor Bob Ryan on what he wrote because he is essentially correct. More CO2, more warming. Maybe there are negative feedbacks and maybe they manage to reduce the effects of CO2 instead of enhance them. It’s possible. Although it’s likely that the feedbacks are at least slightly positive. But that’s not the point. Maybe we get 1.5C of extra warming over the next 100 years, all else being equal. You have to argue that’s a bad thing, which is not an easy thing to do, although the IPCC has tried very hard. In the grand scheme, 1.5C is likely meaningless. We’ve already seen .5C-1C of warming over the last century and all the effects appear to have been positive.

markx

Professor Bob Ryan on August 15, 2014 at 12:50 am
Says: We know the earth is absorbing more energy than it is emitting back to space. This is observational evidence and of that there is no reasonable doubt.
These stetements are quite incorrect.
We can’t and don’t accurately measure the balance between downwelling and upwelling radiation.
We DO measure atmospheric CO2 levels, and we attempt to measure lower atmospheric temperatures world wide, and we very recently have begun measuring a substantial slice of the upper 2000 metres of the oceans with Argo bouys…..
…… And then ‘the imbalance’ is theorized from knowledge of raditive physicsand from those sparse measures, and ‘substantiated’ from modelled but largely unknown feedback and requlatory mechanisms and their interactions.

Will Nitschke:
The first two sentences in your post at August 15, 2014 at 2:54 am are each wrong.
You begin

No point attacking Professor Bob Ryan on what he wrote because he is essentially correct. More CO2, more warming.

People have been correcting – n.b. not “attacking” – Professor Bob Ryan on what he wrote because he is plain wrong. And he did not say, “More CO2, more warming”: in fact, he did not mention CO2.
Please make your points without misrepresenting other people.
Richard

Any professional scientist or engineer can show the models are false just by looking at the energy balance. The key is the false assumption, by Hansen et al in 1981, that OLR comes from a single upper atmosphere source at -18 deg C. That in turn predicts with 360 degree emission, as much down as goes to Space; negative heating in the two-stream approximation.
So the energy balance is 238.5 W/m^2 SW thermalisation + 333 W/m^2 ‘back radiation’** – 238.5 W/m^2 = 333 W/m^2. 100×333/238.5 = 140%: that’s right folks, the scam has existed for 33 years – a 40% increase in energy to the system, a Perpetual Motion Machine of the 2nd Kind.
They then do fine tuning using c. 30% extra low level cloud albedo in hindcasting. This offsets the extra warming in excess of the imaginary latent heat needed for the ‘hot spot’ and the extra lapse rate warming.
This has been criminal fraud. Leave out the science fraud bit; it was always to boost careers and enrich carbon traders like Gore.

@Will Nitschke: today’s Arctic Ice is near the 1979 – 2000 mean. By 2020, the Arctic will be frozen solid. There is no CO2 – AGW. By 2045 we’ll be -1.5 K and 100s of millions will starve as Canada and northern Europe cease to be able to grow grain.

asybot

@ feridinant Re: makeup and models Most models also have very little flesh on them.

Björn from Sweden

I am surprised we have not heard that climate is dead, dying or in a coma to explain the pause i warming.

Brute

You forgot to mention the most important form of “climate change”, the most prevalent and violent of them all, the only one that in fact exists, namely the one that affects no one but alarmists.

commieBob

Professor Bob Ryan says:
August 15, 2014 at 12:50 am
… We know the earth is absorbing more energy than it is emitting back to space. This is observational evidence and of that there is no reasonable doubt. …

Could you please supply a reference.

cedarhill

Tree rings providing temperature proxies is just like the punch line of the old joke about a CEO interviewing for a CFO. When asked the question, “How do you compute profit?”, the candidate replied “What would you like it to be?” By this gauge, tree rings are perfect!
Obtw, this has been pointed out several times on over the the years and underscores the adage “it’s not what’s reported but what’s repeated”. This is only repeated at sites like WUWT.

Willis did a good post on the difficulties of computing energy imbalance from ocean temperature measurements. According to Willis, amount of heating claimed by James Hansen translates to an ocean temperature change of 0.0016c / year.
http://wattsupwiththat.com/2011/12/30/losing-your-imbalance/
Even if you convince yourself that one argo float per 100,000 square kilometres (the average area measured by each float) can provide a meaningful representation of the temperature of such a vast area (not to mention volume) of sea water, a precision of 0.0016c / year is beyond credible.

Leigh

My belief is it will be the fraudulent adjustments to historical temperature records around the world that will eventually bring them undone.
In Australia Jo Nova and her independant team have uncovered substantial evidence that our records have been adjusted to enhance the fraud.
In some sites turning a cooling trend in data to a warming trend.
Probably the biggest expose by her would be that if you were to remove those adjustments.
You would nearly halve the alleged temperature rise of 1.3(C) last century in Australia.
Which in turn would leave our temperature at nothing more than natural temperature variation.
No big deal, except for the billions these fraudsters have pocketed.

pat

the ever-amusing Readfearn has his “facts” to prove a sceptic wrong. the comments tell u a lot about the climate expertise of his readers:
15 Aug: Guardian: Graham Readfearn: Fact check: How Maurice Newman misrepresents science to claim future global cooling
Picking over the climate science denialist claims of Tony Abbott’s top business advisor
Maybe Maurice Newman was hoping nobody would check…
Given we’ve been here before, I’m starting to think that Newman might actually have written some clever computer code that first scrapes climate science denial blogs for conspiracy theories and common misrepresentations and then turns them into 950-words for The Australian newspaper…
When you start to test Maurice Newman’s claims you find the whole case is about as sturdy as a house made of playing cards placed on a poorly constructed raft made of rolled up copies of The Australian floating on the ocean… in a tropical cyclone…
I apologise for the length of this post by the way and some of the overly technical stuff, but every once in a while I think it’s worth picking at the claims made by people in influential positions…
http://www.theguardian.com/environment/planet-oz/2014/aug/15/fact-check-how-maurice-newman-misrepresents-science-to-claim-future-global-cooling

dccowboy

“We know the earth is absorbing more energy than it is emitting back to space.”
Absolutely we do NOT know that. It is NOT a ‘fact’ of observation. True, last ‘calculation’ of the earth’s ‘energy budget’ I’ve seen showed a .6 w/m^2 ‘excess’. The only problem with that ‘observation’ is the error range that went along with it —– +- 17 w/m^2. Yes, the error range was roughly 28 times the ‘measurement’, which, as far as I’m concerned, makes it no measurement at all.

Like any religion, it explains all, but predicts nothing.

Jaakko Kateenkorva

Monty Python created a whole character, Sir Bedevere the Wise, for the logic the alarmists have now recycled in cAGW. Prof Ryan obliged us a classic example by assuming Earth’s energy to be measurable in all it’s forms at all times. No wonder the alarmists seem to be in a quest of the elusive perpetual motion machine.
More generally speaking, if Earth emitted more heat into the space than it receives, it would be a star and not a planet. So what are these measurements trying to prove exactly?

dccowboy

David Schofield says:
August 15, 2014 at 12:22 am
“Spherical chickens in a vacuum. Says it all”
——————————————————–
Ah ze old phyzics joke…
Well, personally I prefer the ‘phyzics’ joke
Why didn’t the quantum chicken cross the road?
Because he was already on both sides…