- JoNova - http://joannenova.com.au -

Scientists-of-PR jump the shark, assign “climate blame” percentage for each event

Posted By Joanne Nova On August 31, 2014 @ 3:52 pm In Global Warming | Comments Disabled

Here’s the new desperate meme about to turn your weather report into an advertisement for carbon trading. The people are not scared enough. Say hello to scientismic marketing.  It sure isn’t science.

The generators of Climate Fear start with broken models that we know don’t predict global temperatures, upper tropospheric humidity, Antarctic sea ice, and ocean heat (or much of anything else). They then use these to model the chances of individual storms, or floods — something they were not designed to do. Then they run these mistakes 5 million times with and without the magic CO2 forcing. They might as well stand back, look solemn, and pick a percentage or throw a dart.  The great thing is, only God knows the right answer. The models can’t “miss”.

Was that flood 35% due to man-made emissions? Was that tornado 50% more deadly? (Did it rain on your wedding day? Sue someone!)

Of course, New Scientist swallows the theme whole, tea-leaves and all. No hard questions asked.

A new technique connecting individual weather events with the impact of greenhouse gas emissions could bring climate change into everyday weather reports

“Well, the record-breakingly hot summer is showing no sign of cooling down. No thanks to us: the heatwave was made 35 per cent more likely by human greenhouse gas emissions.”

 The method — all based on the assumptions that models have “skill”:

To explore whether climate change was making such precipitation more likely, Schaller and her team ran a similar experiment to Stott and Allen’s. They used real-world data to simulate the season that had just passed, then stripped the data of the influence of greenhouse gas emissions and ran the simulation again. The scenario was simulated thousands of times in order to calculate the odds of getting a bout of extremely wet weather at that particular time of year.

We all know numbers and percentages make wild baseless guesses look real, so this is a good way to generate authoritative sounding press releases:

They concluded that what was a 1-in-100-year event without global warming had become a 1-in-80-year event. In other words, human emissions made the extreme levels of rainfall experienced in south-east England 25 per cent more likely.

The team’s results were published online on 30 April, just two months after the flooding abated.

If an extreme weather event occurs, researchers can look to see if the models predicted it. If it was predicted in the real-world seasonal forecast but not in the scenario which is stripped of emissions, then it was made more likely by climate change – a likelihood that can be calculated.

The big “news” here is that this new method is so much better because it’s faster. It’s not about accuracy (and never was). The real issue is the speed of propaganda:

… several studies have used similar methods (see “Blame warming?“), but they all have dealt with events long after they have left the public consciousness.

It’s a bummer when issues leave the public consciousness. The poor stupid public can’t remember floods and cyclones for more than a week. What we need is real-time climate-blame, apparently:

In the new set-up, a real-world seasonal forecast driven by data on current sea-surface temperatures will be run alongside a simulated “no global warming” seasonal forecast, in which greenhouse gas emissions have been stripped out.

Then like shooting fish in a barrel, “scientists” can look back-with-hindsight at scores of broken models to see which ones accidentally got that particular extreme event right. Monkeys and models, eh?

If an extreme weather event occurs, researchers can look to see if the models predicted it. If it was predicted in the real-world seasonal forecast but not in the scenario which is stripped of emissions, then it was made more likely by climate change – a likelihood that can be calculated.

It won’t matter to a scientismic marketer whether the “right” model is a different model each time. They won’t be issuing 39 press releases when 39 models get it wrong. They’ll just cherry pick the lucky one and we can all goo-and-ahh at how clever they are.

It is, naturally, about money and power. What UN bureaucrat could turn down the excuse to be the conduit for billions of dollars they never had to earn?

International climate talks could be affected too. At recent United Nations meetings, it has been broadly agreed that money needs to be channelled from rich nations, which are historically responsible for the bulk of emissions, to poorer nations, which tend to suffer most from the impacts of those emissions. One way to do that would be to assign compensation after a nation suffers losses due to climate change. But in order for that to work, there needs to be a way to show that an island hit by a typhoon, say, would probably have been spared if global warming hadn’t been a factor. Weather-attribution studies could provide that information.

The real issue “ultimately” is about the western paying public who simply don’t give climate fearmongers enough respect or money.

Ultimately, though, the key contribution of this work may be to get through to a general public for whom climate change has long been an abstract concept. By showing that what’s going on outside someone’s window is directly linked to climate change, researchers hope it will become obvious that what they are saying isn’t just a load of hot air.

How “abstract” is climate change? Lucky we have science magazines to make storms, floods and rain real for dumb voters who don’t understand these things going on outside the window.

The problem for Catherine Brahic is that the dumb voters do understand, they realize the climate always changes, they realize the modelers have failed, they know ice ages and hotter times have come and gone without any man-made CO2. They remember the prediction that children won’t know what snow is.

Non Scientist, long ago threw away scientific rules of logic and reason and the need for empirical evidence. Shame. It used to be an excellent magazine. Vale Nigel Calder.

I want the word scientist back. This faith in models is no better than rune stones.

VN:F [1.9.22_1171]
Rating: 9.3/10 (105 votes cast)

Article printed from JoNova: http://joannenova.com.au

URL to article: http://joannenova.com.au/2014/08/scientists-of-pr-jump-the-shark-assign-climate-blame-percentage-for-each-event/

Copyright © 2008 JoNova. All rights reserved.