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Saturday, 9 May 2015

Climate change - trust but verify

On 3 May 2015, I wrote about climate change skepticism. The more you read about climate change, the more you feel fooled about climate change. Why this remark? After writing that May 3 blog, I wondered whether it is possible that a small deviation in the Earth's orbit around the sun, could cause these global changes in weather patterns.

My first big surprise was to find out that volcanic eruptions now appear to be the cause why global warming was not as much as the IPCC climate change models had predicted (link 1, link 2).

My second big surprise is that the Royal Dutch Meteorological Institute (which is a part of the Dutch government's Ministry of Infrastructure and Environment) actually confirms my hypothesis that changes in the Earth's orbit around the sun could indeed cause climate changes (link 1): "Ice ages and interglacials are primarily activated by variations in the Earth's rotation around the sun and the position of the Earth's axis relative to its rotation". Note: translation to English is mine.

The British Geological Survey site gave some interesting perspective on the causes of climate change: (1) strength of the sun, (2) changes in the Earth's orbit, (3) changes in the orientation of the Earth’s axis of rotation, (4) quantity of greenhouse gases in the atmosphere, (5) carbon dioxide content of the oceans, (6) plate tectonics, (7) ocean currents and (8) vegetation coverage on the land. The BGS site summarised as follows: "Each of the above factors contribute to changes in the Earth’s climate, however the way they interact with each other makes it more complicated. A change in any one of these can lead to additional and enhanced changes in the others."

After reading this, my immediate feeling was that any climate change computer model based on these 8 inputs has a degree of complexity which is far beyond current human intelligence and imagination. Moreover, as we lack a lot of knowledge about several of these inputs.

Furthermore, in case of major deviations between actuals and predictions, it would make sense to reconsider the assumptions that are used in computer models rather than looking for explanations for these deviations that could still support the assumptions. However, reconsidering assumptions within a hypothesis becomes very difficult once science has become a belief system.

Finally, there is one other very disturbing factor in the global warming hypothesis: the way it is measured. The location of the thermometers is leading in the calculation and thus creates a human bias. Furthermore, the World Meteorological Organisation (WMO), the official keepers of world weather records, recognises only readings measured by thermometers on location, not remotely by satellite (source). A global temp reading by satellites would give much less human bias.

Despite the above, I still feel that we are witnessing some kind of a climate change although it may not be the one, about which the IPCC has been warning us for decades.

Einstein once defined insanity as doing the same thing over and over again and expecting different results. Makes sense doesn't it? However, this well-known Einstein quote appears to be fiction rather than a fact. As Ronald Reagan once said: trust but verify. The same goes for climate change.