Is Global Warming Theory Chilling Out?
The scientific community has been adamant that humans are at fault for warming the globe, requiring drastic action. New findings could shake that confidence.
After years of hype and scare, ideas about global warming are showing cracks like an Antarctic ice sheet. This provides observers an important case in the philosophy of science about the nature of scientific consensus as contradictory facts begin to accumulate.
The only controversial part of global warming theory is whether man is causing it. (Causation is a vexed question in the philosophy of science—very difficult to prove.) All climatologists agree that the earth’s climate has fluctuated between hot periods and cold periods for thousands of years. Evolutionists make claims even millions of years back. For instance, PhysOrg posted a story by Marlene Cimons about a hot, wet period 56 million years ago that forced mammals to adapt. In historic times, the “Little Ice Age” in medieval times is widely acknowledged, often attributed to a decline in sunspot activity. But if humans are causing a rapid rise in temperature that could affect many life forms on earth besides civilization, well – that’s the justification for UN conferences, carbon taxes and other proposed draconian measures to mitigate the damage, partly because it would not give animals and plants the time to “evolve” their adaptations. But what if the temperature rise is not man caused? Or, to the consternation of climatologists’ models, what if there is no net warming going on?
Signs of a possible paradigm collapse are appearing with more frequency and boldness. A week ago, NASA’s Astrobiology Magazine started shifting more blame onto the sun. In “Sun’s activity influences natural climate change,” the article gave good press to two European climatologists whose paper shared a surprise:
“The study shows an unexpected link between solar activity and climate change. It shows both that changes in solar activity are nothing new and that solar activity influences the climate, especially on a regional level. Understanding these processes helps us to better forecast the climate in certain regions”, said Raimund Muscheler, Lecturer in Quaternary Geology at Lund University and co-author of the study.
Another sound of cracking paradigms comes from growing admission that the earth has not warmed as predicted for some 15 years now. The article above mentioned that, too:
The sun’s impact on the climate is a matter of current debate, especially as regards the less-than-expected global warming of the past 15 years. There is still a lot of uncertainty as to how the sun affects the climate, but the study suggests that direct solar energy is not the most important factor, but rather indirect effects on atmospheric circulation.
The statement still leaves room for the consensus view. Nevertheless, the link with solar activity was “unexpected” according to the authors. Obviously man can’t be blamed for what the sun does.
About that hiatus in warming compared to predictions, most science sites are now frankly admitting it. A few years ago, denial of warming by skeptics (sometimes disparagingly called “denialists”) would have made the consensus supporters circle the wagons and charge the doubters as being guilty of ignorance and pseudoscience. Not any more. A week before the above-quoted NASA article, Astrobiology Magazine dared to boldly go where no consensus website had gone before: “A Global Temperature Conundrum: Cooling or Warming Climate?” You mean—the question is not settled? Sure enough: some scientists placed themselves in possible harm’s way of their peers at the UN:
When the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change [IPCC] recently requested a figure for its annual report, to show global temperature trends over the last 10,000 years, the University of Wisconsin-Madison’s Zhengyu Liu knew that was going to be a problem.
“We have been building models and there are now robust contradictions,” says Liu, a professor in the UW-Madison Center for Climatic Research. “Data from observation says global cooling. The physical model says it has to be warming.“
They’re talking about thousands of years ago, not today. Nevertheless, it points out a serious disconnect (“robust contradictions”) between models and empirical observations, with implications for what scientists know:
“The question is, ‘Who is right?’” says Liu. “Or, maybe none of us is completely right. It could be partly a data problem, since some of the data in last year’s study contradicts itself. It could partly be a model problem because of some missing physical mechanisms.”
The article initially posted by University of Wisconsin-Madison asserts that “It does not, the authors emphasize, change the evidence of human impact on global climate beginning in the 20th century.” But it’s hard to make dogmatism credible after these wide-ranging admissions of ignorance.
Faced with an undeniable 15-year hiatus in predicted warming, scientists are scrambling to come up with reasons for it. Last week, Science Magazine published an idea that the Atlantic Ocean is acting as a heat sink, temporarily masking the effects of human-caused warming. “Varying planetary heat sink led to global-warming slowdown and acceleration,” two scientists say, admitting the hiatus is real. “Is Atlantic holding earth’s missing heat?” Eric Kintisch asked in a commentary on the paper in the same issue of Science. Readers can clearly see the post-hoc damage control crew flying into action:
Armchair detectives might call it the case of Earth’s missing heat: Why have average global surface air temperatures remained essentially steady since 2000, even as greenhouse gases have continued to accumulate in the atmosphere? The suspects include changes in atmospheric water vapor, a strong greenhouse gas, or the noxious sunshade of haze emanating from factories. Others believe the culprit is the mighty Pacific Ocean, which has been sending vast slugs of cold bottom water to the surface.
But two fresh investigations finger a new suspect: the Atlantic Ocean. One study…. The other…. Together, the papers “raise the tantalizing possibility” that the Atlantic is playing a major role in the warming hiatus, says climate dynamicist Shang-Ping Xie of the University of California, San Diego, who was not involved in the studies.
According to the damage controllers, the hiatus is only temporary, so governments still need to prepare for the warming to come. News outlets like Science Daily dutifully reported the proposal, headlining, “Cause of global warming hiatus found deep in the Atlantic Ocean.” Move along, skeptics; nothing to see here.
But then, more bad news arrived: the hiatus may last for another decade! Matt McGrath on the BBC News, who had admitted last year that climate skeptics were using the hiatus to back their view, spilled the beans: “Scientists have struggled to explain the so-called pause that began in 1999, despite ever increasing levels of CO2 in the atmosphere,” he begins. “….More than a dozen theories have been put forward on the cause of this pause in temperature growth that occurred while emissions of carbon dioxide were at record highs.” McGrath quotes a climatologist who says, “I think the consensus at this point is that below 700 metres in the Atlantic and Southern oceans [they are] storing heat and not the Pacific.”
The problem with the Atlantic Ocean theory is that its heat sink mechanism could continue till 2025—it “could last another decade,” McGrath’s headline shouts. Skeptics could have a field day with this confession. Even if it’s true, it gives the current crop of climatologists an escape from accountability, since many of them will be retired or dead before it can be verified (assuming a resumption of temperature rise could take years beyond 2025 to observe). And on what basis will world governments be willing to make draconian sacrifices on their economies now, for something the consensus believes will start happening in 2025? Having watched the consensus change its mind this drastically, unable to verify their models with real-world measurements for 15 years, it would seem government leaders will tell climatologists to take their consensus and shove it.
And then comes a possible coup-de-grace. This week, the science news media announced another big surprise: hundreds of methane seeps belching out greenhouse gases from the bottom of the ocean. Methane is one of the most potent greenhouse gases. Even if it does not reach the atmosphere, it is oxidized to carbon dioxide on the way up. Only a few seeps were known before, but now, “Natural methane leakage from the seafloor is far more widespread on the U.S. Atlantic margin than previously thought,” Science Daily said. And that’s just off New England: how much more lies undiscovered under the rest of the globe? “The unexpected discovery indicates there are large volumes of the gas contained in a type of sludgy ice called methane hydrate,” Matt McGrath reported in the BBC News. “There are concerns that these new seeps could be making a hitherto unnoticed contribution to global warming.” The only way to salvage man’s culpability for these natural emitters would be to claim that recent warming is making them more active now. That can’t be the case, though, because Sid Perkins says in Nature that the observations “suggest that some of the seeps have been active for a millennium or more,” i.e, long before the Industrial Revolution.
It would be the IPCC’s worst nightmare, after all the hoopla, to find more natural causes for global warming that would shift the blame off mankind and onto nature. They’ve issued 3 consensus science reports and held 15 annual conferences in Kyoto, Copenhagen, Paris and more cities around the world, demanding drastic government action; their latest report is sticking to that story (PhysOrg). But unbiased observers must ask: If scientists didn’t know about the extent of oceanic methane seeps, or about the buffering effects of oceanic heat sinks, or about the feedback effects of clouds (largely ignored in climate models), what else might they have missed? The extent of the methane seeps and other natural sources of climate change continue to be debated, but it appears that the consensus is playing defense against a strong empirical offense.
The possible embarrassment to the “scientific consensus” from these findings could be global and long-lasting. How this debate shakes out is poised to be one of the greatest case studies in the credibility of a scientific consensus in recent decades. The economies of the world, already persuaded to spend billions cutting carbon emissions, are relying on the support of a flimsy reed that may just wind up piercing their hands.
Once again, we hasten to clarify that global warming theory is off topic for CEH, except for what it can teach us about philosophy of science (you noticed we quoted only the pro-warming secular media, not a single skeptic’s site). The parallels with the creation-evolution controversy are strong: there is a bull-headed consensus adamant in its condemnation of creation and intelligent design. The Darwinists are dogmatic, arrogant, and intolerant, just like the consensus warmists have been. With both consensuses, you can follow the money trail: the leftist scientific institutions funnel government funding to the consensus, leaving the skeptics scrambling to get a hearing in alternative media. Have a theory or observation that contradicts man-caused global warming? Good luck getting funding. Same with critics of Darwin.
Some conservative talk-show hosts have pointed out repeatedly that pro-consensus popularizers, like Al Gore, with his popular show-biz wingding production An Inconvenient Truth, have made a killing off global warming. Capitalizing on cap-and-trade, he flies around on private jets and runs his mansions with a bigger carbon footprint than a thousand African poor, whom his ideas would trap in poverty without access to the energy infrastructure he squanders. So if the truth becomes inconvenient for him, will he apologize? Will he make a new documentary admitting his first one was wrong? Will he give back his millions to support energy development for poor countries, to give them a shot at the wealth he has enjoyed? Another popularizer doing well on global warming is Neil de Grasse Tyson, who made the warming consensus message part of his recent Cosmos 2.0 sermon series as another example of the superiority of science over religion. Comparably, there are many earlier Darwinists, like Sidney Fox who garnered fame and fortune on an origin-of-life “scenario” that is defunct now. The personal cost is much too high for the Darwin Party faithful to leave the fold and join the enemy—the despised creationists.
Both consensuses claim science is on their side. Both ridicule their opponents as purveyors of ignorance and pseudoscience. Both require that only their side be taught in school. Both are supported by the UN (United Neofascists). Both have a lapdog media dishing out their views without serious critique. Both have powerful influence on left-leaning governments, and few leaders are willing to stand up to them. One notable exception has been Australia’s new prime minister Tony Abbott—but look at the heat he has gotten for opposing the consensus (ABC News).
But, someone says, aren’t these new revelations proof that science is self-correcting? Ha! Get real. You can expect an ice age in hell before they repent of the global warming scare. They will just switch to another crisis, like overpopulation or something, hoping everybody will forget (like most people forgot the global cooling scare of the 1970s). Too much is at stake; if the public really catches on to how unreliable the “scientific consensus” is, there will be havoc in the universities and government funding offices. The train is too far down the tracks. If their evidence is bombed, they will replace their Al Queda with an ISIS. Just watch; they will protect their self-interest, and leave the victims in 2025 to rebuild from the economic earthquake they cause. What’s new this time, though, is the internet. Can Big Science’s mistakes avoid the light of scrutiny cast by social media?
With Darwinism, the stakes are even higher. We’ve seen in cosmology that, faced with unmistakeable evidence for design, secular materialists are willing to abandon reason itself (e.g. 5/17/14) rather than own up to the implications of design (the need for a Creator). Anything but that! We need to remember that scientists, like other sinners, run to the darkness rather than the light, because their deeds are evil. In their case, the evil deeds are bad logic, personal bias towards atheism, and lack of scientific integrity.
In the meantime, we must get the message out to individuals willing to listen, praying God will call them to the light of the truth. Don’t expect a mass movement out of the consensus. Darwinists turn to the truth of creation one at a time, when God gives them the ability to see the light and love it.