One Engineer's Perspective on Global Warming

One Engineers Perspective2020.pdf (849.2 KB)


“70% of the temperature data is made up”

I had to stop reading there. There are scientific arguments on both sides of the AGW debate. This is not one of them.

I encourage you not to accept a single word in the document. Check out my claims. Look for yourself. Follow the links. Better yet go to the data sources and look at them yourself. That is what I did and saw a LOT of data marked as “estimated”, and then I pullled down 1 day’s data and had Excel count the “E’s”. Just over 70% of the data is “estimated”. If you don’t “believe” (i.e., willing to accept a theory in the absence of data") what I say, PLEASE check for yourself.

1 Like

“Estimated” is not the same as “made up”.
As an engineer I am repeatedly forced to deal with estimated data, imperfect measurements, and analytical results that have uncertainties in them. Putting a ruler down on a part and getting “2.44 inch” is an estimated length. It is not perfect, nor is it made up.

Just picking on the rhetoric, here. I read your paper - but that was long ago. I haven’t started the second pass, yet.

For comparison, bad rhetoric happens in everyone’s “other” scientific whipping post… to paraphrase… “Evolution is bunk because it proposes that dumping a bunch of random variations together can get a result that works as wonderfully as the human eye”. Also a specious argument that purposefully ignores the key method of evolution, but uses words from it, then drawing this false premise out to an extreme that seems comical. If this is the structure of your arguments then I won’t get any farther than gruntguru did.

1 Like

Now I am reading your paper.
The “made up” comment is a little less offensive than I’d assumed. The data from ground-based weather stations is indeed questionable. I don’t know if the USA is the same (I think NOAA is pretty rigorous about this) but in Canada you can’t put up a weather station and start pumping data at Environment Canada expecting them to include it in their forecast models (let alone their climate models). If your station’s equipment, calibration and site do not meet their standards, you can forget it. I know. I tried.

Climate scientists may not really need local ground stations to build climate models since satellite data is so good now. The best weather data tends to come from airports in western countries, which is a very VERY narrow sampling of an enormous system, but at least it gets measurements from ground up to a fair altitude. The argument you make about crappy weather station data isn’t lost yet, but it matters less as time goes by.

At the top of page 3, I don’t get how atmospheric convection could be ignored in a climate model. I’m surprised to see you write that. How did you find out that there are (any?) climate models that ignore convection? If you found a climate model that misses this obvious property of the atmosphere, I’d love to see it for some laughs.

Something to bolster what you wrote on page 23 about forest fire damage. From what I can see, most of the escalating costs and damage due to forest fires is not so much due to more fires, but to more people living near forest edges, more valuable assets surrounded by combustible structures and natural materials, people owning more assets (bigger houses, more vehicles, RV’s, outbuildings, fences, etc.) than they did in the past. Oh, and of course more items covered by insurance than were 50 years ago, making for bigger exposure to the insurance companies from all the stuff that can be claimed. So when people in the media crank out the brainless message that climate change is making all these forest fires and all the costs escalate, they’re missing where the cost comes from.

Oh, oh, and boy I also forgot that fighting fires actually leads to forest fires becoming MORE intense when they do start. More debris on the forest floor burns and spreads rapidly - it the forest had been able to burn 10 years ago most of the debris would be gone, but now there’s 20 years worth of kindling there waiting…

@sparweb, when I was learning how to operate a power plant, we had a couple of days on reading analog instruments (back then it was “instruments” since they were all analog), and the absolute rule was “you can never interpolate a greater resolution than half the smallest increment, ever”. That means that if a thermometer is marked off in 1° increments then 85.5° would be an “estimate” and 85.44° would be "made up.

One of my biggest problems with the data used in “climate science” is that they never honor the precision of their instruments. Averaging a +/-1°C reading with a +/-0.01°C, gives you a precision of +/-1°C not 0.01°C.

Most of the 1200 official U.S. weather stations are at airports. There is a lot of concrete and asphalt at airports, and the urban heat island effect applies to all of them. Yesterday at the Farmington NM airport the official temperature at noon was 97°F (Farmington is at 5300 ft elevation, population is 40,000). Yesterday at noon the official temperature in Albuquerque, NM (197 miles from Farmington, population 560k, elevation 5300 ft) was 93°F. In Cuba, NM (half way between Farmington and Albuquerque, elevation 6900 ft, on the other side of the continental divide from Farmington, population 753) the official weather station has been broken for at least 15 years, and it got assigned 95°F as an estimate–actual noon temperature in Cuba was 81°F. 70% of the records in the data set get that kind of adjustment.

My argument is no where near as theoretical as your evolution example, it is simply that if you don’t honor the precision and uncertainty of your data then your results are nonsense.

@sparweb, No one doing climate models shares their programs for peer review. All are “proprietary” and “required for research” and apparently “mysterious”. As best as I can tell, they all consider convective heat transfer, just not convective mass transfer (it appears that inside the model, when greenhouse gases heat up they remain in their current location and radiate the excess heat, mostly towards the earth–not sure how that happens). Since the models use clouds as an input variable (rather than a calculated value), then it is unclear how the hot greenhouse gases above the clouds don’t cause the clouds to heat up instead of heating the earth.

The satellite data is not well considered in the field of Climate Science. No place for “adjustments” so the field has really worked hard to make the satellite data look to be “less reliable” or “too biased toward the ocean temperatures” or “unable to see through the clouds” or “too recent and incompatible with earlier data sets” than ground stations. Basically the satellite data matches very well with weather balloon data and DOES NOT show current temperature to be RECORD HIGH, NEVER SEEN BEFORE. I have a great deal of difficulty getting past this. In the current temperature record, the 1930s was much cooler than today, and the Medieval Warm Period does not exist

I’m not sure what you mean by this. There isn’t just one single lone reading taken from any particular station, there are thousands taken every day.

I don’t really claim to know what I would to in order to build a climate model, but I’m pretty sure last Saturday’s temperature readings from New Mexico are not the INPUTS. That would make the resolution of one’s data proportional to one’s location to population centers in the United States. Let’s try really hard to remember that the whole planet is a smidge bigger than the USA.

Maybe I misunderstood your point about averaging. If the input readings are limited to increments of 1 degree, then you only need to use 1 degree outputs, whether single readings of multiples that are averaged. If you need more resolution you use tools that measure more accurately. Maybe the USA is technologically backward in this matter, but all the Environment Canada weather stations collect data with 0.1C resolution. FWIW, my weather station can sample temperature many times a minute, also with a resolution of +/- 0.1 degree C. By sampling, it can report over a 10 minute period a very accurate mean temperature at the same resolution. I’ve never seen anyone attempt to predict temperature to 0.01C, either at the forecast scale or the climate scale. What would be the point? The IPCC also predicts temperatures with only a 0.1C resolution - in keeping with the accuracy of the data they have.

Can I look at what you mean? I won’t know where to go looking, but I’m interested in seeing that. If climate models are never shared then how did you get this insight?

The whole planet is a smidge or two bigger than the U.S., makes you wonder why something over 1/3 of the weather stations on the planet are U.S., and nearly 80% are in the Northern Hemisphere. Makes you wonder why it is OK to poll the Northern Hemisphere stations hourly and roll that in with stations in Sub-Saharan Africa that get pulled quarterly.

When you look at the IPCC reports and the closest thing you can find to the raw data that went into them, you’ll see many places where they show model output to three decimal places, and temperatures in Africa to two decimal places–if the data that the models started with were basically +/-1°C, how can manipulating it inside a model improve the precision and uncertainty by two or three decimal places?

In North America, most of the official weather stations are digital today. Most of those are +/-0.1°. In Europe and Australia about half of the stations are digital and the rest are analog. In Africa. South America, and Asia the preponderance of stations are analog (mostly +/-1°C). For the “global temperature” the data stores subtract the input at each station from the assigned “base temperature” for that time and date, sum the result and divide by the number of stations, and report the answer to two decimal places. NONE of the collected data has precision to two decimal places, but that doesn’t seem to matter.

I have a very high quality weather station too. The manual says it has an uncertainty of +/-0.1°F, and then it reads out average temperature to three decimal places. I call “Foul” because the last two decimal places are just noise in the digital signal. My station gives me a mean temperature, my friend (lives a mile and a half away) has the same instrument and his mean never matches mine (often 3-4°F different)–which one is “right”?

I’ve read a couple of hundred pal-reviewed papers that talk about modeling results. None of them say “we do not model convective mass transfer”, but they do say things like “the model held the height of the greenhouse gas concentration at a constant elevation”. They also don’t list their underlying assumptions or boundary conditions–all are proprietary. Very few of the links they include in their papers are actually live links to the things they are talking about. I’ve published a number of peer-reviewed papers and my peer-reviewers are all really stuck on hyperlinks working and actually saying what they are purported to say, but that doesn’t seem to be true in “climate science”.

The convective mass transfer comment comes from reading between a lot of lines (and reading a thousand or so of the Climategate missives). I cannot point you to the one smoking gun.

You get all the coolest typos.

Anyway, I gotta point out that you’re saying on the one hand, the claims are bunk because the referenced data has errors, but on the other hand you aren’t offering any references yourself. Either theirs or your own. Do I need to pick at that some more or do you see what I mean?

You make a lot of claims on each page. Can you back them all up, every one of them? I can think of some sources you could use for some of your claims, but why aren’t you citing them? What did YOU use to make your point of view?

Another question comes to mind… Do you want this to remain the opinion piece it is now, or do you intend to develop it into a rigorous position paper for the ages?

Page 19: Few learned papers suggesting that ACC is neither real nor a pending catastrophe get published, and very few pass a peer review.

Well gee if they can’t produce the data to back up the claim…

You can’t escape the politics of the whole subject, so you are correct there. Both sides have a political stake. Well, not really “sides” but if you had to split the people talking about ACC in two, you would have those who agree that it’s happening “and” human industry is a cause, and have those to don’t agree that it’s happening “and/or” human industry is not a cause. So there is a way to split it.

Trouble is, as soon as you try to touch the political split, you also get mired in the muck of economic splits and religious splits, because they’re all tied together. Not scientifically. Not by the technical facts. But by the political poles that you have to occupy in order to have any identity at all. Which totally pi$$es me off. The politics is all BS. If you want your paper to address the politics, you’d do more good to reveal how BOTH SIDES are full of craap.

1 Like

I’m not saying the “referenced data has errors” I’m saying that the referenced data has been folded, spindled, and mutilated, that it fails the scientific method in data collection, data aggregation, and data integrity through purposeful and systematic actions by people with a strong bias towards a certain outcome. I NEVER give people links to the “raw” data. I’ve learned that the FEW that follow them either can’t work out how to open a HUGE data file, or look at the very DOS-ish summary page and run screaming from the room. I spent years as a database guy and not much in the way of data intimidates me, but I don’t waste other people’s time sending them to the raw data. I welcome people to find it and figure out how to view it, but I’m not going to help.

Steven, this isn’t my first rodeo. I used to always jump through all kinds of hoops to satisfy requests for references, justifications, and source data. No more, because every time I did it I would get one of the following responses

  • List item “Wikipedia [or WhatsUpWithThat, etc.] is not a credible source”. Period.

  • List item “That site is paid for by Oil & Gas, it is worthless” (whether it is actually paid for by Oil & Gas or not). Period.

  • List item “everyone knows that [fill in site name] is unreliable, I won’t read that drivel”

  • List item “I don’t believe that link is credible” [my opinion doesn’t count for much, but theirs is golden]

Followed by a list of links to places like the Union of Concerned Scientists or one of the other radical Warmist sites. No one reads other people’s links. I’ve given up. I feel like I’m a success if I I lead someone into a new direction of thought to THINK for themselves. If after thinking for themselves they still think I’m a blowhard and full of crap, at least they opened their minds for a few minutes.

There are a lot of reasons for the small number of references, mostly people don’t accept other people’s sources as mentioned above. Can I back up EVERY ONE OF THEM? Yes. Am I going to back up any of them that weren’t backed up in the paper? No. Mostly the source of the statements is an amalgam of impressions from dozens or hundreds of sources. Many of which have been banished from the internet. That happens a LOT in this field. When I originally wrote this paper in 2013, there were upwards of 100 links to sources in it. When I revisited it last week only two of those sources still had live links. 98% GONE.

This will remain an OpEd or “opinion piece” just like any document attacking any religion can only be an opinion piece. Facts do not matter to true believers.

Blockquote Page 19: Few learned papers suggesting that ACC is neither real nor a pending catastrophe get published, and very few pass a peer review.

Blockquote Well gee if they can’t produce the data to back up the claim…

The 2013 version of this paper was on Engineering dot com (not going to give them any click-in add revenue) for 6 years, got over 200,000 views and had a very spirited comment section. Then it VANISHED. Links to it just stopped working. People that wanted to use it in social media fights called in their dozens and I had no clue it was gone. The data was no less “backed up” the day after it was deleted than the day before. It just “failed to meet [ever changing] community standards”.

I hope this addresses your concerns, I put a lot of work into that paper and this subject and hope that someone learns enough to ask their own questions. I probably don’t have answers, but the questions are important.

So… you aren’t going to provide any references either? I was asking for the rock-solid science sources you have used, not the ones you have found too flaky to use. If you think it’s dross, I won’t want to read it either. Don’t trap yourself in the logical pit of rejecting the science of others, but offering no science of your own.

I’m trying to give you a different response than the other ones you resent. I thought that was obvious by asking you for more, and weighing the ones you had given so far.

So I do joke around a lot, and when I see somebody making the same error that they accuse others of making, I start teasing. Not everyone takes it very well, and you didn’t either, it seems. It wasn’t meant as disrespect.

That doesn’t mean, however, that I’ll go running for the exits the moment you show me some technical data. Perhaps I should introduce myself (as if we haven’t interacted many times over 20 years!):
Hi, I go by the handle Sparweb, but in real life I’m an aeronautical engineer. University Mech Eng and a second college to specialize. In my free time I have many hobbies which are quite technical. Often, I solve analytical problems that interest me, such as solutions to transient thermodynamic problems, process the mountain of data from my weather station and aerodynamic data from wind turbines, which have developed into reliable predictive performance models. Oh, and I built my first autonomous robot when I was 16.

You purported mountain of data doesn’t scare me.

1 Like