Where are we with Climate Change?

Understanding often depends on perspective. We live in a data rich period, measuring with greater precision to greater accuracy, simultaneously and comparably over larger spatial areas and at finer and finer spatial and temporal resolutions. This may distort our perspective and see small changes over a small time period as being more significant than they are. Nature seems to have multiple negative feedback mechanisms which prevent runaway change, although tipping points may exist which lead to new equilibria. We are risk of becoming catastrophists, extrapolating short term trends into the future and seeing the present as the key to the future. A more uniformitarian approach, albeit by reversing Lyell’s arrow of time, is that the past is the key to the present and future.

The global temperature artefact, whichever variety of model is used to derive it, is seriously flawed, firstly because of the direct impact of the increasing Urban Heat Island (UHI) effect and secondly because of the bias introduced by the UHI during spatial interpolation. As a result the ‘record’ exaggerates natural warming and masks cooling (‘hides the decline’).

Given that science is ‘best guess’ and cannot prove anything, only not disprove it, climate science is in a bad way. The current hypothesis of anthropogenic CO2 driving warming has been falsified by Nature over the past 20 years. Time for a paradigm shift.

The use of CO2 as Occam’s razor to cut through the Gordian knot of climate complexity leaves an awful number of loose ends.

A better analogy is in the birth pangs of Geology where Catastrophists vied with Uniformitarians for truth. Climate science is experiencing the same debate, albeit with a reversed arrow of time. Present day Uniformitarians (‘sceptics’) see the past as the key to the present and future, whilst catastrophists see only evidence collected over a very narrow time frame as the key to the future.

 

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