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Monday, February 07, 2005


solar output climate change

more discussion at reason led to a bit of searching for studies of solar-output model for climate change.

while climate change is historically evident -- it obviously happens -- i remain skeptical of the idea of manmade global warming simply because the evidence of actual rising temperatures is still far too vague and taken over what is a remarkably small time sample. (industrialization is, after all, less than two centuries old.)

even if one admits rising co2 levels from 280ppm to 368ppm as fact, we still have no vision on what that means in terms of climate change because no manmade model adequately captures the system -- indeed, climate is irreducibly complex and probably well beyond the ability of people to model. priem's paper ascertains this to be true even of the co2 subset:

But are changes in the concentration of carbon dioxide really such a major factor in bringing about climatic change? Does there exist a simple cause-and-effect relationship between changes in the atmospheric concentration of carbon dioxide and global temperature change? Does the enhanced greenhouse effect due to man’s injection of carbon dioxide warrants the alarm for an imminent calamitous climatic warming? Evidence from the historical and geological record does not lend support to such a governing role of atmospheric carbon dioxide as a climate forcing factor.
his paper goes on to reinforce this statement.

priem states concisely what i've said before at length:

The scary scenarios rely on computer models that attempt to quantify mathematically the multitude of physical, chemical, biological and geological factors, both natural and man-made, that play a role in the climate system. Such models are necessarily reductionistic and deterministic. Many climate forcing factors and feedbacks are not or incompletely understood – for example the roles of clouds, the biosphere, and the most important natural greenhouse gas: water vapour. The different factors influential in climate change also operate at varying scales of time and space and are extremely complex, even when they function by themselves. When they act together, or are coupled, the complications multiply greatly. The models have to cope with numerous feedbacks simultaneously. Climate is a non-linear, "chaotic" system, and small changes in one factor can produce large, but unpredictable changes in the result. The long-term forecasts by the computer models represent essentially a "virtual reality".
solar output climate change would not alleviate any of the complexity of the system of global climate -- nowhere can it be implied that higher solar output must mean immediate higher terrestrial temperature in any linear relationship. but its potential importance does demonstrate how little we truly know about the systems at work in climate.


Manmade climate change began with agriculture thousands of years ago. When farmers plow the soil, more evaporation takes place. Water vapor is a more significant greenhouse gas than carbon dioxide. The envirohysterics target CO2 because they want to control industry worldwide. They seem to be immune to our arguments.

I notice you don't get many comments. It isn't because of the quality of your writing. I enjoy reading your thoughts even when we disagree.

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you're kind, mr twba -- thank you. i guess i started this thing as a surrogate memory for my poor biological one; it's become a sounding board for comtemplative thought; and it occasionally reads like polemic. what that's worth, i don't know... :)

it fascinates me that people sometimes read and comment on things i write. the dialogue is really important, imo, the missing element of the modern world. so thanks for doing so.

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