Wednesday, December 12, 2018

The Warming Science Commentariat - 12

"Don't Worry Be Happy"
I. Background

In this series I tend to point out the problems with the warming science commentariat that reports on scientific issues without knowing the depths of those issues (The Warming Science Commentariat, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, 9, 10, 11).

I am talking about trust-based reporting, not knowledge-based reporting (The Pillars of Knowledge: Faith and Trust?).

Generally, their reporting is rose colored glasses reporting which exemplifies the purported saying of Stalin: "the death of one person is a tragedy; the death of one million is a statistic" (Psychology Today).

But those rosy illusions are wearing as thin as the ice sheets are:
"On our current path, emissions will still be rising 30 years from now, and the world will have long ago left behind all reasonable chances of preventing the irreversible tipping points in the climate system that Hansen predicted.

If climate change was an urgent problem in 1988, it’s now an emergency."
(James Hansen’s legacy: Scientists reflect on climate change 1988). That seemingly alarming quote is, surprisingly, puffy too, because thirty years prior to Dr. Hansen's statements to congress in 1988, the "emergency" sense was already known to many scientists (in 1958, OSS).

It was even displayed on standard television programs back then:

II. Resistance To Global Warming Reality

The warming commentariat made the statements "it is way off in the future" and "worse than previously thought" famous and infamous.

But they were not the ones deep down in the cogs and gears of scientific research who worked with Humble Oil-Qaeda to prevent the real news from becoming front page material:
"I suspect the existence of what I call the `John Mercer effect'. Mercer (1978) suggested that global warming from burning of fossil fuels could lead to disastrous disintegration of the West Antarctic ice sheet, with a sea level rise of several meters worldwide. This was during the era when global warming was beginning to get attention from the United States Department of Energy and other science agencies. I noticed that scientists who disputed Mercer, suggesting that his paper was alarmist, were treated as being more authoritative.

It was not obvious who was right on the science, but it seemed to me, and I believe to most scientists, that the scientists preaching caution and downplaying the dangers of climate change fared better in receipt of research funding. Drawing attention to the dangers of global warming may or may not have helped increase funding for relevant scientific areas, but it surely did not help individuals like Mercer who stuck their heads out. I could vouch for that from my own experience. After I published a paper (Hansen et al 1981) that described likely climate effects of fossil fuel use, the Department of Energy reversed a decision to fund our research, specifically highlighting and criticizing aspects of that paper at a workshop in Coolfont, West Virginia and in publication (MacCracken 1983).

I believe there is a pressure on scientists to be conservative. Papers are accepted for publication more readily if they do not push too far and are larded with caveats. Caveats are essential to science, being born in skepticism, which is essential to the process of investigation and verification. But there is a question of degree. A tendency for `gradualism' as new evidence comes to light may be ill-suited for communication, when an issue with a short time fuse is concerned."
(The Ghost-Water Constant - 9, quoting Dr. Hansen). The psychological trances that were involved then were later enhanced by both mythical technology (The Technological Stairway To Heaven?) misconceptions as well as mythical genetic misconceptions (On The Origin of Genieology).

III. Avoiding The World According To Measurements

A recent paper attempted to convince its readers that we could avoid measurements of seawater but still be able determine how much heat was in the oceans.

The paper hypothesized that we could do so by measuring certain characteristics of the atmosphere (On Resplandy Et Alia (2018), 2).

In addition to math problems in the paper, which were admitted to, there were misunderstandings, in that, the paper alleged that there were not enough measurements in the world of scientific research to sufficiently inform us of ocean heat content.

In my post "The World According To Measurements - 22", I use one of several categories of seawater records to show that there are billions of measurements available for those who do the work to download and use them (Build Your Own Thermosteric Computational System, 2).

Not only that, the datasets available are constantly increasing in quality and quantity (An Updated World Ocean Database).

IV. Avoiding The Current Oceanographic Standards

You will not find many scientific papers being published currently (very few exist) that use the new world oceanographic standard software to do their computations.

That new standard is TEOS-10, which I now use incessantly (In Search Of Ocean Heat, 2).

I also use the information in scientific papers to determine exactly what to look for in the seawater in order to determine the heat content in the ocean:
"The quest in this work is to derive a variable that is conservative, independent of adiabatic changes in pressure, and whose conservation equation is the oceanic version of the first law of thermodynamics. That is, we seek a variable whose advection and diffusion can be interpreted as the advection and diffusion of ‘‘heat.’’ In other words, we seek to answer the question, ‘‘what is heat’’ in the ocean?
Fig. 2 Pelagic depths
The variable that is currently used for this purpose in ocean models is potential temperature referenced to the sea surface, θ, but it does not accurately represent the conservation of heat because of (i) the variation of specific heat with salinity and (ii) the dependence of the total differential of enthalpy on variations of salinity.
For example, an increase in pressure of 107 Pa (1000 dbar), without exchange of heat or salt, causes a change in enthalpy that is equivalent to about 2.5ЊC. We show in this paper that in contrast to enthalpy, potential enthalpy does have the desired properties to embody the meaning of the first law.
Present treatment of oceanic heat fluxes is clearly inconsistent. Ocean models treat potential temperature as a conservative variable and calculate the heat flux across oceanic sections using a constant value of heat capacity. By contrast, heat flux through sections of observed data is often calculated using a variable specific heat multiplying the flux of potential temperature per unit area (Bryan 1962; Macdonald et al. 1994; Saunders 1995; Bacon and Fofonoff 1996). Here it is shown that the theoretical justification of this second approach is flawed on three counts. While the errors involved are small, it is clearly less than satisfactory to have conflicting practices in the observational and modeling parts of physical oceanography, particularly as an accurate and convenient solution can be found.
it is perfectly valid to talk of potential enthalpy, h0, as the 'heat content' ...”
(Potential Enthalpy: A Conservative Oceanic Variable for Evaluating Heat Content and Heat Fluxes, McDougal 2003, pp. 945-46, emphasis added; cf. TEOS-10 gsw_CT_from_pt). So, in this post and in its graphs (Fig. 3a - Fig. 3e) potential enthalpy is presented as a valid calculation of the 'heat content' in the ocean.
(In Search Of Ocean Heat). Even if the warming commentariat is unaware of all that, they could at least advocate for the use of temperature measurements of seawater at sufficient depths.

V. Conclusion

Perhaps the quote in Section I, at the beginning of this post, should read:
"On our current path, emissions will still be rising 30 years from now, and the world will have long ago left behind all reasonable chances of preventing the irreversible tipping points in the climate system that Hansen predicted.

If climate change was an urgent problem in [1958], it’s now [a mass murder mystery]."
"The Warming Science Commentariat" is a major member of Blind Willie McTell News, who poo pooed U.S. racism rumbling under the surface until it recently burst through in a gusher.

Like its big brother McTell News, "The Warming Science Commentariat" has poo pooed the existential threat of global warming induced climate change.

But that cover-up story too has, and will continue to, burst through in a gusher that will wash current civilization away:
This latest edition of the Living Planet Report is not for the faint-hearted. One key point that jumps out and captures the overall picture is that the Living Planet Index (LPI), which measures more than 10,000 representative populations of mammals, birds, reptiles, amphibians and fish, has declined by 52 per cent since 1970. Put another way, in less than two human generations, population sizes of vertebrate species have dropped by half. These are the living forms that constitute the fabric of the ecosystems which sustain life on Earth – and the barometer of what we are doing to our own planet, our only home. We ignore their decline at our peril.
(Civilization Is Now On Suicide Watch - 4, quoting Living Planet Report 2014, emphasis added).

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

1 comment:

  1. I am a personal optimist but a skeptic about all else. What may sound to some like anger is really nothing more than sympathetic contempt. I view my species with a combination of wonder and pity, and I root for its destruction. And please don’t confuse my point of view with cynicism; the real cynics are the ones who tell you everything’s gonna be all right.”―George Carlin