“So is there any weather pattern that would disprove global warming?”


I confess that I have a simple idea about science. I think that any scientific claim is meaningful only if it is falsifiable. If hypothesis X or theory Y is viable, each has to state what data will confirm it and, what is the same thing, what data will refute it. The Daily Caller asks the obvious question concerning Anthropogenic Global Warming:

Increased warm temperatures indicate global warming. Severe winter storms also help prove global warming, according to a recent op-ed in the New York Times. So is there any weather pattern that would disprove or call into question the existence of global warming?

I thought it obvious that one day, or one year, or even a decade of temperature records can’t confirm or refute the proposition that we are in a period of long term warming. Only long term records can speak to that. Apparently I was wrong.

“And now, what about all this [cold, snowy] weather?” [“World News Tonight,” anchor Diane] Sawyer said. “The experts on climate change say the evidence is in: 2010 is tied for the hottest year ever on record. And last year, it was the wettest one in recorded history. And those scientists say that’s why we’re reeling from the deadly weather extremes.”

So hot weather, cold weather and wet weather all confirm “climate change.” One wonders about dry weather. At least now we understand why “climate change” has replaced “global warming” as the term of choice.

The AGW ideology has always rested on the answer to several specific questions. First, are we in a period of long term warming? The answer to that is very probably yes, at least until recently. It has tapered off a bit, but there was surely a spike in the last half of the last century. Second, is human activity influencing that spike? I think that question is very hard to answer, but let’s assume it is yes. Third, can national policies and international agreements modify human activity in a way that might have a significant influence on climate change?

That is the easiest question to answer and the answer is definitely no. Neither the developed nations nor India and China are going to voluntarily restrict carbon emissions (economic growth), let alone reduce emissions/growth to 19th century levels. Here, all the data and common sense converge and there is no reasonable doubt that the proposition is refuted.

Almost all the public conversation has been confined to the first three questions, but there is a fourth. Is further global warming a bad thing for us? AGW ideology simple assumes that the answer is yes. The ideology recognizes that question only in order to answer it with nightmare scenarios.

Powerline directs our attention to a recent article in Reuters manages to raise the question while trying to bury it.

Climate change seems a factor in the rise and fall of the Roman Empire, according to a study of ancient tree growth that urges greater awareness of the risks of global warming in the 21st century.

Well, that seems relevant. If global warming doomed the Romans (here we thought it was Christianity and the Germans) then surely it can doom us. Of course it seems unlikely that the industrial output of the Roman Empire really had a large carbon footprint, but let that aside.

The problem is that it warming wasn’t the problem for the Romans or for anyone else so far.

Good growth by oak and pine trees in central Europe in the past 2,500 years signaled warm and wet summers and coincided with periods of wealth among farming societies, for instance around the height of the Roman empire or in medieval times.

Periods of climate instability overlapped with political turmoil, such as during the decline of the Roman Empire, and might even have made Europeans vulnerable to the Black Death or help explain migration to America during the chill 17th century.

Warm and wet climates have been good for the Romans and for Medieval Europe and for human beings in general. So what has been bad? Reuters’s villain is “climate instability,” which almost avoids saying “cold.” That bit about the “chill 17th century,” however, gives the game away.

The terrible truth may be that civilization arose in and only because of an unusual warming period. If that is the truth, God help us, we are probably doomed in pretty short order (historically speaking). Meanwhile, warming has always been good for us and there is no reason to think that that will be different in the future. Individual persons and societies in general suffer much more from cold than from heat. If or when the global climate cycles back and the glaciers return, let us hope that human activity really can heat up the world.

About stevengoddard

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13 Responses to “So is there any weather pattern that would disprove global warming?”

  1. MikeTheDenier says:

    What’s with these rational, coherent arguments. Rubbish I say, absolute rubbish. 🙂

  2. latitude says:

    Is further global warming a bad thing for us?
    Not if it’s based on elevated Co2 levels.

    If someone told us that oxygen levels were at a record low, would we be stupid enough to want to lower that level.

    I’m amazed at the amount of people that have bought into the “extreme weather” thing.

    • Mike Davis says:

      The “Starting Level” for CO2, as in before Industrial, is extremely questionable. I for one say the CO2 monitoring that has been going on since the late 50s was and is a waste of money and a research project just to be doing research. They have to produce claims to justify their existence and promote further study.
      Right or wrong, once they created a base level, they had to stick with that figure and claim it was in some way representative of global CO2 concentrations.
      When you start with a fantasy you can never hope to make it real. Global temperature and Global Climate are phantoms that were created to provide a funding source for research projects. They are not real and have no relation to the real world!

  3. Mike Davis says:

    This is the type of reports that should be in all the leading MSM suppliers output. Every claim by one of the Chicken Little Brigade should be followed by this statement.

  4. Josik says:

    The warming of the North Pole proves Global Warming. Soon it will be free of ice even in the winter. Not this year, but very soon……

    -56°C on Monday.


  5. Peter Whale says:

    I was taught that the Roman empire collapsed through the use of lead piping and subsequent madness amongst the ruling class. Has anyone checked the piping at UEA, CRU, IPCC,.

  6. “So is there any weather pattern that would disprove global warming?”

    Nah. If it becomes a new snowball earth? Global warming.

  7. Wellington says:

    I am sorry to say it, Steven, but dry weather is caused by AGW, too.

    Australia invested heavily in desalination plants base on AGW-caused drought predictions. See, for example, the New York Times article on July 11, 2010:
    “The country is still recovering from its worst drought ever, a decade-long parching that the government says was deepened by climate change.”

    So I guess the answer to your question is that there is no weather pattern that can falsify the AGW theory.

    On a second thought, I can think of a possibility. If we suddenly stopped having any weather whatsoever, if weather passed on, if it was no more, if it ceased to be, if it expired and had gone to meet its maker, if all we had was ex-weather, maybe that would be a reason for them to replace the dead theory.

    Then again, if the past is any guide, no, they would have predicted that, too.

  8. sentient says:

    You are chipping at the edges. Go read “The Antithesis” over at WUWT.

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