Saturday, May 14, 2016

The Warming Science Commentariat - 4

Fig. 1
I. Introduction

This Dredd Blog series is akin to a series like one might find at Media Matters.

However, it is limited in subject matter to the warming climate commentariat echo chamber which is still promoting climate change myths or erroneous climate change memes.

Other Dredd Blog series criticize pop warming commentariat rhetoric and mantras have been more general in scope.

This series is now tending to focus most on sea level change (SLC) issues that are improperly presented by sources that are otherwise quite aware (The Warming Science Commentariat, 2, 3).
Fig. 2

II. Cherry Picking

One of the most widespread problems within the warming commentariat is the improper "cherry picking" of data.

I have noticed that cherry picking is the workhorse method for data usage by denialists.

Thus, the serious global warming / climate change reporters and scientists should not emulate that practice:
"Cherry picking, suppressing evidence, or the fallacy of incomplete evidence is
Fig. 3
the act of pointing to individual cases or data that seem to confirm a particular position, while ignoring a significant portion of related cases or data that may contradict that position. It is a kind of fallacy of selective attention, the most common example of which is the confirmation bias. Cherry picking may be committed intentionally or unintentionally. This fallacy is a major problem in public debate."
(Wikipedia). The good side of cherry picking is picking the better fruit on a cherry tree, but it is not a good practice in the search for the whole truth and nothing but the truth of SLC.

III. Getting Loose

Let's look at an example from an otherwise sound source, Climate Central.
Fig. 4

Their paper: "UNNATURAL COASTAL FLOODS: Sea level rise and the human fingerprint on U.S. floods since 1950" (PDF) is a good example.

Three errors strike me right off the bat, just from the title: 1) the implication that humans are "unnatural"; 2) "since 1950" indicates that they did not have enough data to grasp the full picture; and 3) the big SLC picture is not in their thinking in a robust way.

I will address these three errors out of order.

Let's look at number three first, in the context of my take on their position, (remember this?):
Fig. 5
"[oft heard meme] ... no single weather event can be linked directly to ... global warming."

("President OBAMA: You know ... we can’t attribute any particular weather event to climate change.").
Now who would want us to believe that?

"Why is that meme a false meme as the title of today's post indicates?" you may ask.

Since we deserve an answer, let's contemplate this problem with an exercise in deductive logic, premised on the false meme under our consideration today:
1) No single weather event can be linked directly to global warming;
2) all weather events are single weather events;
3) therefore, weather events can't be directly linked to global warming.
(see Doctors of Philosophy Make Phd. Mistakes). To see what the propagandists and/or apologists (who originally fabricated this false meme) are advancing, let's analyze this a bit further by considering a realistic meme:
1) Weather is a function of the global climate system;
Fig. 6
2) all single weather events are parts of the global climate system;
3) the global climate system has been damaged by global warming;
4) therefore, all single weather events are part of the global climate system that has been damaged by global warming;
(see How Fifth Graders Analyze Hurricane Sandy). See the subtlety that the false meme forces, and see the bigger picture the accurate meme "global climate system" connotes?

All single weather events are systemic indicators of the global climate system which any single weather event is an integral part of.
(False Climate Change Meme Infects The President, 2). When a system is damaged anything within that system suffers a systemic damage (systemic "relating to or involving a whole system: [e.g.] The problems are systemic and will only worsen.").

Fig. 7
In their paper Climate Central tries to compare systemic coastal flooding within the damaged climate system with another type of coastal flooding within a climate system that ostensibly does not exist: "the human caused climate system" (see The Damaged Global Climate System - 5).

In that view "both systems" (anthropogenic & natural) do some flooding exclusively (evidently because humans are not a part of the damaged global climate system?)

That is a false equivalence since humans are natural and are a part of the one planet Earth which contains only one global climate system (You Are Here).

IV. Getting Lost

The second error ("since 1950 at 27 U.S. tide gauges") is caused by the use of too few years, too few tide gauges, at too few locations.
Fig. 8

Regular readers know that I use a little over 1,400 tide gauge station records, one of which goes back to circa 1775 (Weekend Rebel Science Excursion - 54).

In short, Climate Central's paper takes the global out of "global."

Their bathtub model mentality also shines through in the first paragraph of their paper: "It is very well established that global sea level is rising" (Section 01, p.7).

I did a global search on all the text in their paper, only to find that they also do not mention the other part of the global equation, sea level fall (SLF).

Fig. 9
A global mean average, or even a U.S. mean average, would have to include SLF to represent an understanding of global SLC.

Rise is change but so is fall.

SLF is substantial at some coasts of the U.S. and also at other coasts around the globe (Proof of Concept - 3, 5; and see Fig. 3).

Scientists have known for over a century that sea level behaves differently (non-intuitively) around ice sheets that are melting (Woodward (1888), cf. Mitrovica video below).

V. Getting Scared Out of our Minds

Regular readers also know about one of the the main drivers of "fashionable", pop scientific studies about climate change:
A recent paper by the biologist Janis L Dickinson, published in the journal
Fig. 10
Ecology and Society, proposes that constant news and discussion about global warming makes it difficult for people to repress thoughts of death, and that they might respond to the terrifying prospect of climate breakdown in ways that strengthen their character armour but diminish our chances of survival. There is already experimental evidence suggesting that some people respond to reminders of death by increasing consumption. Dickinson proposes that growing evidence of climate change might boost this tendency, as well as raising antagonism towards scientists and environmentalists. Our message, after all, presents a lethal threat to the central immortality project of Western society: perpetual economic growth, supported by an ideology of entitlement and exceptionalism.
(Convergence - Fear of Death Syndrome). This makes those who have been educated with fear a bit reluctant to consider the evil, Halloween gravity of Newton (The Ghost-Water Constant, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, cf. The Gravity of Sea Level Change, 2, 3, 4).

Whatever the reason for not being the most careful about the greatest threat, it is not a valid reason.

VI. Oh Yeah, The Graphs

Before closing let me mention the graphs which I haven't already mentioned.

Fig. 11
These 12 graphs are from the batch generated by the new software module I wrote about in Zone AH, Quadrant SE, Subquadrant NE - 2 and The Extinction of Robust Sea Ports - 5.

The tide gauge station recordss I graphed in those two posts, and in today's post, are in zones that have one or more tide gauge station data sets that begin in the 1800's.

They also show that tide gauge stations installed and operated after that time are at a different sea level than their predecessors.

Which means that those newer records ought not to be read alone, to the exclusion of the older ones (like Climate Central's study mistakenly did).

VII. Conclusion

The Climate Central paper alleged that all tide gauge station records are newbies:
"Only a small number of studies, however, have attempted to identify how much of the rise can be attributed to human influence [why would they, we all know that all Anthropogenic Global Warming is caused by Anthros], and all of these studies have depended upon analyses of the relatively short tide-gauge record ..." [so you Climate Central doods used data beginning in the ancient 1950s eh?]  (p. 7)
"Across the 27 study gauges [out of over 1,400 easy to access PSMSL stations woo hoo!], only 33% (16-60%) of observed flood days since 1950 [hey you guys, you missed SLF beginning circa 1775 when the Greenland Ice Sheet began to melt] would still have exceeded local nuisance flood thresholds after deducting the human contribution to global sea level rise from water level records. Stated differently, two-thirds (40-84%) of the 8,726 total flood days may be said in this framework to have been human-caused via climate change." (p. 9)
(ibid, emphasis added). Wrong, the Industrial Revolution is the baseline of the time frame that began circa 1750, and there are records going back over the majority of that time frame.
Fig. 12

That Industrial Revolution was a vision-less excursion by fat-cat one percenters driven by their greed and screw-everyone-else attitude.

At best, Climate Central's paper, dripping with a Stockholm Syndrome attitude, is an authoritarian exercise in inadvertent enabling (The Authoritarianism of Climate Change).

The next post in this series is here, the previous post in this series is here.

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