Global Warming: The Unfalsifiable Hypothesis

This is hilarious.  Apparently the polar vortex proves whatever hypothesis you are trying to prove, either cooling or warming:

Steven Goddard of the Real Science blog has the goods on Time magazine.  From the 1974 Time article “Another Ice Age?”:

Scientists have found other indications of global cooling. For one thing there has been anoticeable expansion of the great belt of dry, high-altitude polar winds —the so-calledcircumpolar vortex—that sweep from west to east around the top and bottom of the world.

And guess what Time is saying this week?  Yup:

But not only does the cold spell not disprove climate change, it may well be that global warming could be making the occasional bout of extreme cold weather in the U.S. even more likely. Right now much of the U.S. is in the grip of a polar vortex, which is pretty much what it sounds like: a whirlwind of extremely cold, extremely dense air that forms near the poles. Usually the fast winds in the vortex—which can top 100 mph (161 k/h)—keep that cold air locked up in the Arctic. But when the winds weaken, the vortex can begin to wobble like a drunk on his fourth martini, and the Arctic air can escape and spill southward, bringing Arctic weather with it. In this case, nearly the entire polar vortex has tumbled southward, leading to record-breaking cold.

  • Nehemiah

    Wow. That is rather inconvenient for Time. The 1974 editorial board must be long gone and the current one obviously feels no need to check their old articles against current ones.

  • Sam L.

    They're lefties. Whatever they say now is "what is right". Party line, and all that.

  • FelineCannonball

    Science journalism sucked and still sucks.

    This is the type of secondary effect for which there is no consensus prediction under global warming scenarios. The arctic vortex breaks up every once in a while and ND gets cold. It rains in Ohio. There's a dust storm in Arizona. Researchers with layered models come up with conflicting predictions for the frequency of this stuff all the time. It's basically hand-waving now like it was in 1974 and science journalists push it out. There are core predictions for Hadley Cell circulation under global warming simulations but detailed prediction of cold-spells is not something anyone hangs their hat on.

    It does seem worth noting that this is weather and has nothing to do with global temperature (I'll tell you the same the next time someone dies of heat stroke in the imperial valley.) The current cold-spell is offset by warm anomalies in the Chukchi Sea and Russian Arctic that are +12C, warm air that moved north in pockets as cold air moved south. The renewed interest in this stuff keeps weathermen up at night.

  • Igor

    Weapons grade stoopid.

    Have any of those wonderdummies, either Slime Ragmazine or the Gorebull Wormering "Scientists" ever heard of Occam's Razor? I can well imagine that, if by some chance they have, they're afraid of getting cut!
    Fools all.

  • STW

    As I recall, last year the extreme cold was in Russia and there were no sub-zero lows where I live in Montana. It was an anomaly from the norm just as this year is. You'd almost think there was a contest to be the next The Literary Digest.

  • NL7

    Bizarrely, every direction from the North Pole is due South. It's only once something leaves the pole that it can go east or west.

  • MingoV

    "... not only does the cold spell not disprove climate change..."

    Since 'climate change' is undefined, nothing can disprove it. I find it amusing that climate change is replaced by global warming at every (specious) opportunity, but climate change never is replaced by global cooling. No media bias here, move on, move on.

  • obloodyhell

    Richard Feynman on "What is science". Esp. relevant @5:00 or thereabouts, but the whole thing is good.
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=EYPapE-3FRw

  • obloodyhell

    Actually, the real thing is to consider Warren's point about "extremes" -- at any given time, there are "10 year" extremes, "100 year extremes", and so forth. When your metric is, say, a 100y extreme, and your operating space for "finding" the extreme is 1/100th of the earth's surface, then the notion of (GASP!!!) finding a 100y extreme in any random location in a given year is ... pretty damned good.

    NOW, if the "experts" on AGW could SAY -- "This year, our models show there will be an extreme in the eastern USA, while next year, the extreme will be in the UK" -- and actually HAVE THAT OCCUR -- then, and only then, would they have anything valid to claim regarding their "science".

    The Schwartzburg Test:
    "The validity of a theory lies in its ability to predict."

  • obloodyhell

    The word you seek is "Pravda", tovarisch...

  • Vitaeus

    Even worse look at the language used in 1974 versus the language used today. At least in 1974 they were trying to sound "scientific",

  • Steve Merryman

    as drunk, I am deeply offended at the implication that it takes a mere 4 martinis to get me wobbling. Constant training has raised my level to six, minimum. How dare you, TIME Magazine!

  • Gil G

    Wow, winter is cold therefore global warming is debunked? QED.

  • Rick C

    No, not at all. But if first you say x indicates global cooling, and then you say the same thing indicates global warming, it's entirely possible that x doesn't correlate with either.

    Also, the statists' position is the same for both global cooling and global warming: give lots of money to them.

  • rst1317

    Last winter the upper midwest was far above average. I'd love to hear the weather people talk about the distributions though. I wouldn't be surprised to see that an average winter happens far less than half the time.

  • http://itsaboutliberty.com/index.php MNHawk

    What records? Maybe some elsewhere, but here in the Twin Cities, we couldn't even break a daily low high record, for the -12. Certainly no where close to a nighttime low record.

    Now the week before Vortexnado, International Falls checked in with an impressive -43, that did break a daily low record. Which begs the question, if not Vortexnado, why was northern Minnesota colder the week before?

    Sometimes the jet stream stays in Canada, sometimes it splits Minnesota, sometimes it buckles all the way to the gulf. In other words, it's all weather. Roll with it, already.

  • FelineCannonball

    What's being compared is the writing of a dead journalist and a live journalist. No one person is contradicting themself and mainstream scientists (i.e. ones who receive funding you wail about) have never asserted "single cold-snap" = significant evidence of the occurrence and mechanism of anthropogenic climate change.

  • herdgadfly

    Climate Depot is all over this slippage of Time as well. Pun intended.

  • marque2

    And if you can't find that 1/100 spot you just goose the numbers. NOAA reported TeX's had its hottest year ever in 2012 - but when you look at raw data it was only tenth. NOAA in the 21st century arbitrarily decided temps were 1 degc too high in the 30ths and 0.6 degc too low this decade for no apparent reason.

  • Zachriel

    Coyote Blog: Global Warming: The Unfalsifiable Hypothesis

    None of what you wrote makes global warming unfalsifiable. It's like saying ice in summer proves summer isn't hot.
    http://upload.wikimedia.org/wikipedia/commons/c/cc/Hail_RichmondHill.jpg

    As long as the overall heat content continues the rise, the Earth is warming. Evidence show that much of the warming is due to an increased greenhouse effect.

  • Fred_Z

    Here's a useful statistic: 50% of climate scientists have skills and intelligence below the average of their peers.

  • Mercury

    Permanently

  • marque2

    What extra heat. Evidence actually shows the planet as a whole is cooling. An example: Currently we have the greatest world sea ice extents ever recorded.

  • Zachriel

    Church et al., Revisiting the Earth's sea-level and energy budgets from 1961 to 2008, Geophysical Research Letters 2011: "Ocean warming (90% of the total of the Earth's energy increase) continues through to the end of the record, in agreement with continued greenhouse gas forcing."

  • marque2

    All the stuff you cite is bogus. I am not even going to argue with you about it. I would suggest , though, that you choose. More productive religion.

    Forcing people into povet y because of the bogyman doesn't seem worthy in my book.

  • Zachriel

    marque2: All the stuff you cite is bogus. I am not even going to argue with you about it.

    Handwaving is not an argument. The paper could be in error, but determining that would require looking at the evidence.

    marque2: Forcing people into povet y because of the bogyman doesn't seem worthy in my book.

    The evidence doesn't go away because it causes you consternation because it might require change.

  • obloodyhell

    }}} Evidence show that much of the warming is due to an increased greenhouse effect.

    Your ignorance of both science and the simple facts around this situation suggest that much of your writing is due to a decreased intelligence effect.

    When even the UN body that's been posting endlessly about the subject is forced to BACK DOWN on their predictions, there's a clear problem with the "theory".

    I use scare quotes because it really has never, ever been a theory, it's been at best a hypothesis, and the data surrounding it has been skewed severely by government funding not science but FINDINGS. If the government funds people producing doom-laden assumptions, the result is lots and lots of quackery masquerading as "science" which got funded by said agencies -- who don't care about the quality of the science but instead care about findings that increase government power -- like carbon taxes and EPA regulations that don't fit any justifiable facts.

  • obloodyhell

    }}} Handwaving is not an argument. The paper could be in error, but determining that would require looking at the evidence.

    I just wrote a peer-reviewed paper that shows that your IQ is clearly in the single digits.
    No, you can't see my data.
    No, you can't see my calculations, either.
    Just accept the findings, or I -- and many others here -- will just call you a "ZLT10 denier".

    Sounds like pretty bad SCIENCE, doesn't it? You're right -- it's outright quackery. No matter WHO is doing it.
    So, not being a QUACK, I recant my claim.
    Now if only the QUACKS supporting AGW would do the same.

    }}} Handwaving is not an argument. The paper could be in error, but determining that would require looking at the evidence.

    True. But it's amazing how many arguments in support of AGW don't need any looking at evidence -- they're supported by "consensus". This is a handwave. So is calling someone a "denier".

    Hint: Anyone who claims "consensus" is a quack. Any 95% of AGW support
    is promoted by people who, at some point or another, has attempted the
    argument of "consensus". When it comes to science, "consensus" doesn't
    mean SHIT. And anyone who does not understand that fails BASIC
    UNDERSTANDING of SCIENCE, to the point of being beyond incompetent when
    it comes to a rational discussion of anything to do with science.

    }}} The evidence doesn't go away because it causes you consternation because it might require change.

    Indeed. And yet this doesn't seem to be a problem for your position.

    Go ahead. EXPLAIN to us why your assertions -- that of the paper you link to -- are correct.

    Wait, what? You actually expect US to DISPROVE your bald-faced assertion? No, that's not how it works. You have to present your case -- not just point to some paper produced by some Green-funded lackwit with an agenda on the basis of it being true, and expect US to explain to you in DETAIL why it is wrong.

    Show us how YOU understand the points your paper makes -- and maybe we'll explain to you why those points are wrong.

  • obloodyhell

    }}} "Ocean warming (90% of the total of the Earth's energy increase)
    continues through to the end of the record, in agreement with continued
    greenhouse gas forcing."

    P.S., here's a quick hint:

    OCEAN WARMING, if it were happening, would HAVE to be a huge chunk of the increase -- but it has SERIOUS CONSEQUENCES -- most notably, it becomes a serious breeding ground for tropical storms and a source for increased violence of those storms as they build when out over the temperature increased oceans.

    You would see MORE hurricanes, and WORSE hurricanes. This, in fact, was the claim being made in 2005 after 4 nasty hurricanes struck the USA's eastern seaboard/gulf coast.

    But this is simply NOT fitting the data.

    We are currently in the LONGEST period since **1870** where NO Class-3 or better hurricanes have struck the entire Gulf/Atlantic coast of the USA. I believe, if it goes on for another year, that it will, in fact, be THE LONGEST period since we've been able to get a reliable record for the entire gulf/atlantic coast.

    This is in direct contravention to what warming oceans would predict. So now they're trying to find magical excuses of how the waters are HIDING the heat from the surface... because that's clearly a rational mechanism for the oceans to work on. This is not a theory. It's not even a hypothesis any more -- it's a doubtful claim in the midst of a bald-faced search of a justification.

  • obloodyhell

    What, you mean the way that every heat wave and "hot snap" in the last decade has been touted as evidence? You mean the way the 4 hurricanes striking the gulf/eastern coast of the USA was touted as "proof" of AGW, and "would happen much, much more"?

    While in fact the exact opposite has happened, as far as Hurricanes?

    Sorry, this isn't a libtard echo chamber. Most of us have heard BOTH sides' arguments, and found the pro-AGW arguments seriously wanting.

    No, Warren is not making the point you imagine -- he's been making the same points over and over again -- this is merely ONE MORE DATA POINT in a vast array of anti-AGW points

  • obloodyhell

    I think the important statistic is the one that has 50% of AGW believers having a mathematical and statistical understanding slightly below that of the average 5yo.

  • FelineCannonball

    Yep, my point. You are arguing with some "libtards" and Time magazine excerpts. No scientists I know are convinced about impacts on hurricane frequency or find anything convincing about a week of weather in New England.

  • Zachriel

    obloodyhell: No, you can't see my data. No, you can't see my calculations, either.

    Most climate data is available.

    obloodyhell: But it's amazing how many arguments in support of AGW don't need any looking at evidence -- they're supported by "consensus".

    Appeal to authority is not a scientific argument, which depends on evidence; however, appeal to authority can be a valid evidence among those outside a particular field of study.

    obloodyhell: Go ahead. EXPLAIN to us why your assertions -- that of the paper you link to -- are correct.

    Sure. They combine data from a variety of sources, tide gauges, altimeter observations, aquifer depletion, ARGO, and a variety of other sources. From that, they determined that the Earth continues to warm.

    obloodyhell: This is in direct contravention to what warming oceans would predict.

    You're more than welcome to propose an alternative hypothesis to explain the data, including the apparent thermal expansion of the oceans.

  • Gdn

    Actually, you can find similar comments by Dr. Hansen, who is still alive, heading GISS, and at the core of global alarmism, using the same alarmist comments to refer to each the impending cooling and the impending warming.

    As for the evidence of warming, the best that can be said is 1) that there has been no significant warming over the last 15 years despite CO2 release continuing like gangbusters; 2) that the unaccounted for warming and cooling year to year completely dwarfs the argued AGW effect; 3) that the models have been completely unable to forecast the future after as little as 5 years, which demonstrates that at the least the drivers of any AGW is not significantly understood. This last actually gets even worse if one plugs in the actual values for the variables over the several years after the models the Anti-AGW proponents are using to declare calamity.

  • FelineCannonball

    Scientists write stuff like -- "apparent weakening and northward migration of the jet stream is consistent with predictions of AGW conditions in the model results of several GCMs" or "events like this weeks cold spell could become more frequent in the future if our understanding of hemispheric temperature gradients and the forces driving the circumpolar vortex are correct." They tend not to write stuff as "fact" and all their words tend to be important.

    1) Scientists believe atmospheric warming rates are smaller over this period primarily due to decadal ocean/atmosphere oscillations. Come back after the next major California flooding El Nino and look at long term trends.
    2) global climate models aren't aimed at adding an understanding to year-to-year climate variation. They are aimed at understanding the long term component related to CO2. Scientists are well aware of stuff called weather and multi-year to decadal oscillations. Natural variation on this scale is huge and the processes involved are not being modeled by GCMs and not being modeled by anyone very well.
    3) See 2. CO2 effects are expected to be dominant in the long term and barely visible in the short term under the amplitude of natural oscillations. 5-year by 5-year comparisons is really squinting. I know people publish on this stuff (and scientists do publish too much stuff) but it's sort of like doing a play by play in a 50 year basketball game. "So in so is on a 10 point run." So what.