Another Attempt To Refute Global Warming

Now, I admit that I’m on the fence when it was comes to the casual factors associated with Global Warming/Climate Change. As a scientist, it is my job to carefully and responsibly dissect scientific data. In fact, that is the general job description of ANY scientist. This is not the job description of politicians, pundits, wing-nuts, and every other hack that wants to pretend to have a working knowledge of the scientific method.

So, with that stated, my view of Global Warming/Climate Change is still one of speculation. I agree that we are witnessing a worldwide phenomena. However, I believe we do not have enough data to make a causal link between man-made factors to the endpoint of Global Warming/Climate Change. Obviously, additional research is still required and of course we need more time to study the possible relationships.

Scientists, particularly epidemiologists, use the Bradford-Hill criteria to assess causation. The criteria include many important measures, which are certainly important for the issue of Global Warming Climate Change, including plausibility, strength of association, alternate explanations, consistency of the evidence, and temporality.

The last point, “temporality”, is in bold because it is a critical point to the issue of Global Warming/Climate Change. Hence, more time is required because we know the planet is cyclic when it comes to climate change. Plus, if we can intervene and reverse this course of climate change, this adds to the body of evidence and provides more data to suggest causation. In short, there is not enough proof to suggest OR refute man’s impact on Global Warming/Climate Change. However, there appears to be a substantial association (Please note that causation and association are two different concepts).

Right here I could go on to a long tangential rant about multifactorality (i.e. multiple factors contributing to an endpoint), but I’ll save that for a later date.

Today, yet another wanna-be scientist attempts to refute Global Warming/Climate Change. This time it’s from NBC’s Willard Scott….you know, part of the “liberal media” NBC. H/T to MMFA

Now, I’m not belittling the field of meteorology. But, “weathermen” like Scott are not performing hypothesis-driven experiments or studies. Scott is using an observation to refute another observation. This is analogous to stating “the world is flat” because it looks that way from our perspective…..classic wing-nutism.

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4 Responses to Another Attempt To Refute Global Warming

  1. Anonymous says:

    Excellent post Dr. Matt. Kudos. This is blogging. Intelligent well thought-out insights. Keep up the good work. Nick

  2. Ken says:

    Touché. And spot on. I think you were right in believing that Willard was implying there being no such think as GW. I guess I have a soft spot for him since he was our local weather man in DC when i was growing-up there.

  3. Dr. Matt says:

    Playing Devil’s Advocate, Willard Scott is incorrect since the ability to ascribe any one event (such as a cold Southwest) as reason to refute “global warming” is extremely difficult to impossible. 🙂

  4. Ken says:

    First with what we know about climate sensitivity and the climate system one can certainly say that there is enough proof to suggest a human impact on climate. In fact there is little doubt about a human impact, the debate is about how much of an impact GHGs will have.Secondly, Willard Scott is correct (in a way). The ability to ascribe any one event (such as a warm East Coast winter) to global warming is extremely difficult to impossible.

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