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Ben Laurie blathering

15 Apr 2007

Sunspots and Global Warming

Filed under: Climate — Ben @ 17:02

The BBC have an article about global warming and sunspots. Guess what? Sunspot count and global temperature are correlated, and have been for the last thousand years, including the Maunder minimum and the Little Ice Age. How does this compare to CO2 correlation? Given the slippery nature of statistics, is that even a meaningful question?

What I really want is Gapminder for global warming, with added statistical analysis…

28 Mar 2007

CO2 and Global Warming Part II

Filed under: Climate — Ben @ 17:46

Somewhat to my surprise, I didn’t get my ass totally handed to me when I posted on this subject last. But there were a couple of things I should respond to. Firstly, Ti’ (hi, Ti’!) rightly takes me to task for poor phrasing

“Causal links are one way”, indeed! Ha! If my house burns down, I shall have that as my epitaph. Ben says there are no chain reactions!

What I was trying to say was that the ice core evidence supports the hypothesis that warming causes an increase in CO2, and it does not support the hypothesis that CO2 increase causes warming. That doesn’t mean that CO2 increase doesn’t cause warming, it just means that you can’t use ice cores to prove it.

So, on that note, Danny points me at an explanation of the ice core data, which appears to explain that I’m right. So, my understanding is that we believe CO2 causes warming because climate models say so. Should I be cynical about climate models on the basis that the models I interact with on a daily basis (weather forecasts) appear to have almost no predictive power? Or is there evidence that climate forecasting is different from weather forecasting?

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