Wednesday, November 25, 2009

My E-Mail to Yglesias

(Thinking of this post on a possible climate change futures market, among other posts)

I'm still surprised you don't apply your usual skepticism to claims about global warming.

From the CRU material: Kevin Trenberth says "we" don't know whether the cooling effect of man-made SO2 completely counteracts the warming effect of man-made CO2; and "we" don't understand the whole system of energy close to the earth's surface well enough to know whether geo-engineering would work or not. I take it this means: maybe once the temperature starts going up, the only way it can go is up more steeply, positive feedback, tipping point, etc., but then again maybe not. There is not enough understanding of all the major determinants of climate to be sure.

Even the temperature readings since 1850 don't co-relate well with the dramatic increase in man-made CO2, and these readings are more questionable than we are usually told. Before 1850 it is a matter of proxies; it seems there is very little actual data to go on, and the way it is processed is at least somewhat questionable. A skilled programmer, not hostile to the CRU at all, spent three years trying to get data that had already been used for "publications in refereed journals" into recognizable shape, but failed. He says he was completely unable to replicate the results that had already been published.

You still imply that anyone who questions all this is either stupid, or has been paid off by Big Oil, Big Coal, Koch, or whatever.

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