This has been a topic that pops up over and over again, it basically went away for a decade, mostly because everyone who was actually paying attention at the time realised they were really being lied to.
A long, long thread on one of the sites I used to frequent (now sadly passed away) I documented my efforts to recreate the science behind the “Man Made Global Warming” claims (before the hadley CRU debacle), and how I went through the phases of skeptic, to “huh maybe they are right” to, “omg this is all BS”.
A recent push to claim “AGW is a real thing” inspired this post, everything I post is available to people who want to try it for themselves, I will assist anyone who wishes to do so. I’m not a climatologist, no one is funding this, it was a pet (Christmas) project, that went a bit to far. (although that will need me to update it to use the new, incredibly undecipherable temperature dataset, since the NOAA changed the file format from highly undecipherable format they were using when I made the graphs below, and for that you will have to pay me)
An anonymous poster on one of the comments sections really summed up my current feeling, I recreate that comment here in full, because it is really an excellent summary of my current feelings on the matter:
The only people I have seen deny climate change are the AGW idiots who think the climate has ever been stable, and who demand global action to try to put it into some sort of climatic stasis.
The rest of us have always accepted the SCIENTIFIC FACTS that:
(a) The Earth’s climate has always changed and always will.
(b) The Earth’s climate is EXTREMELY COMPLEX and cannot currently be accurately modeled in a computer.
(c) While humans, like EVERYTHING ELSE, have SOME effects on climate, there are plenty of other causes of change including many we probably do not know/understand. Some of these other sources, like the sun, have a far greater impact than humans.
(d) The Earth has been both significantly hotter and extremely cold many times in the past before there were enough humans to have had ANY effect on any of those previously very extreme changes.
We ALSO embrace things like the laws of economics, the record of human history, and accept basic human nature – so we:
(a) Believe humans will continue to advance technologically and thus we as a species become better able to deal with climate change with every passing decade, making it retrograde to go nuts trying to offset it now – even if we could, and if we could afford it, and if its happening.
(b) Know that far more people are dying today from other sources than from climate, and that reducing some of the deaths and suffering of people TODAY is achieved using some of those fossil fuels people like you want eliminated or made too expensive because YOU claim it will save some future persons from some imagined future horror.
(c) WE actually believe a pet theory should be PROVEN before we implement policies that have a negative impact on the lives of millions of people in the name of “solving” the supposed problem. In fact, we’d like to not only see the problem PROVEN to exist, but we also want to see that the proposed solution will actually work, will be the most cost-effective option, and will have the least impact upon the lives and liberty of the people who are alive today.
So… who are the REAL “deniers”? You guys need to drop the quasi-religious fervor-driven propaganda and start persuading with REAL SCIENCE and not with slogans, bitter accusations, suppression of persons with opposed opinions, rigging of the peer review and paper publishing business, data hiding, data manipulation, etc. Your side could make a tiny start by dropping the “denier” and “paid for by big oil” accusations and not hurling expletives like ornery pubescent teenagers.
I would add to that, that from the numbers I have seen, taking the assumption man is adding heat to the earth as true – this may very well be keeping us from entering another ice age – NO THANKS!!!
I’ll start my part with one of the most compelling graphs (the only one here not made by me) I ran into during those discussions that really hit a home run:
That is a graph, made by the U.S. National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, from 2006, that documents the sea level over the last few hundred thousand years, light yellow on the zoomed in lower graph are the ice ages.
My questions to AGW proponents
Why were sea levels 10 meters higher than they are now if this is the hottest we have ever been?
We are [hopefully still] coming out of an ice age, why are you in such a hurry to send us back into one?
How did I get here?
Well, back in 2007/2008 everyone around me was in an AGW frenzy, governments were slapping huge taxes on energy consumption, every week was some new story, that I personally had a very hard time believing in (NASA releasing pictures comparing like winter 1997 with summer 2007 getting posted by her majesties Big Black Cock media (BBC) really got my BS meter screaming), and saying “I’m not sure I believe it” was heresy, there’s zero debate they said.
So I broke the “AGW problem” into three steps.
- The earth is getting warmer
- We are causing the earth to get warmer
- The earth getting warmer is a problem that can and should be fixed.
->Can’t have three without one and two.
Well, I’ve a ton of data science under my belt, I don’t need to take anyones word for it that the earth is getting warmer, I can go to the data and see for myself. At the same time I was developing a load of financial analysis tools (made good money on the financial crash thanks to them, so in that sense you can say this research paid dividends, even though the graphs I am about to put here never made it out of the little bubble we were discussing them in)
I’ll skip the various revisions I went through, and just go straight to the end.
First, I downloaded the temperature global station readings dating back to 1877.
Next, I used a delauney tool to interpolate the temperatures between the stations, this has the benefit of minimising the rising temperatures from urbanisation, but in the end I don’t think I used this – too hard to get an average….
What I did instead was put all the stations into small “bins” by latitude, this gave me, for each month, the “average” temperature of a sliver of a latitude, (ring around the earth), this worked well and produces the (highly detailed) graph:
Here the vertical axis is latitude -> from -90 to 90 and the horizontal axis is month, one pixel wide for a month, one pixel high for 1 degree of latitude. red is hot, blue is cold, and green is no stations in the bin.
Notice how there is a lot of missing data at the poles early on, the temperatures at the poles have simply never been recorded, more on this later.
There is to much missing data there to really do much with, but we can make some assumptions to fill in the gaps. By treating each month as a single data set, we can fit a curve to the data to estimate the temperatures we dont have. That looks like this:
vertical axis is tenths of a degree (i.e. 100=10 degrees Celsius), horizontal axis is latitude
This gives us a near perfect dataset to work with.
This is the same format as the raw data, with one addition, the spots around the middle are the estimate of the sun azimuth (the latitude the sun is highest in the sky, the point on the curve where rate of change equals zero)
This then went through various stages that basically agreed with much of the “earth is getting warmer” hypothesis (the “huh maybe they are right” phase), until I got to that sun azimuth in more detail.
The northern hemisphere has more land than the southern hemisphere. Therefore when the sun is shining down on the northern hemisphere, global temperatures are hotter.
So after much effort to improve the results, I finally ended up with this graph
That is the change in latitude of the azimuth in the sun “predicted” by everything you just saw…..
i.e. the sun moved from -4 degrees south in 1877, to 1.5 degrees north in 2008.
Now, there are many ways to interpret this graph, maybe the earth really is wobbling, and that wobble is changing average temperatures, maybe the lack of temperature readings at the poles is biasing the results (my preferred explanation), but the conclusion is clear to me at this point, the errors we have here are to big to measure tenths of a degree or even a degree change over 200 years, and any trend is never going to be statistically significant. And this is “the best data there is”, there are other data sources but they are even more unreliable and unproven than this.
So yeah, there is debate, Hadley CRU manipulating the data to hide the medieval warm period was a real thing, and scientists chasing grant money from the oil companies invested in alternative energy, and governments wanting more reasons to tax the hell out of everything we do have almost certainly corrupted this field to the point where the truth is indiscernible from the BS.
Since then, Australia had some fun, introducing, then abandoning carbon taxes, and all the corruption that went with them, and China ignored it all and catapulted itself to be the new world leader in everything.
n.b. I’ll trash any “he said, she said” comments, I don’t do herd mentality here. Science (on either side) or go home.
You can also pay me to take this post down.