Thursday, October 27, 2005

On Climate Modeling

The naysayers on the right frequently dig for doubt in an area based on a scientific falsehood they share, and the scientific community does not. One of these is climate modeling; the models are flawed, biased and don't consider what ever set of factors they feel upsets the logic path concluding human-caused global warming is indeed real. You see, they don't want to be blamed for it. It really is that ego-centric on the part of conservatives. Combine that hubris with ignorance and a baseline disbelief in science in general and you get misinformation like this.

As realclimate concludes: On a final note, an implicit background to these kinds of questions is often the perception that scientific concern about global warming is wholly based on these (imperfect) models. This is not the case. Theoretical physics and observed data provide plenty of evidence for the effect of greenhouse gases on climate. The models are used to fill out the details and to make robust quantiative projections, but they are not fundamental to the case for anthropogenic warming. They are great tools for looking at these problems though.

"The most important thing to realize is that most scientists didn't originally believe in global warming," he said. "They were dragged — reluctant step by step — by the facts." Seattle Times


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