I’m always confused listening to people who talk about global warming as if they seem to know the true answer. There are those who believe it is true and there are those who do not believe. What surprises me at times; although it should not by now, are the illogical and subjective attitudes on both sides, scientists and non-scientists alike.
The answer of course is to ignore the army of emotional thinkers that permeate the debate from one extreme to the next, and define with the facts the nature of the errors on both sides of the argument.
First let us get rid of the superfluous commentaries by the scientific illiterates who judge the efficacy of global warming or cooling based on their own local observations of what they think are extreme changes of both hot or cold weather. Those who say, “I’ve lived here for forty years, it’s never been this hot before.” Or those who look at the long cold days that stretch endlessly beyond their experience and wonder, “how could the earth be warming up.”
A basic understanding of thermodynamics will tell you that any energy change within a system i.e., ‘Earth’s weather system’ will show sudden temperature changes in both directions of the temperature scale. It’s all about homeostasis, finding stability which translates into balancing forces within the system.
This means that for regional areas of the earth we will see both increases and decreases in temperature, each cancelling out the other when we look at the overall average temperature of the Earth. When we talk of Global warming, we are by definition talking about an average increase of the world’s temperature. Even such a basic thing is difficult to measure when we take in the complex heat processes that drive weather patterns for such a large system.
Second, the mathematical tools we have work well for small systems, but even here predictability is left to the statistical methods that give us directions for our research, but never give answers to the patterns that inherently are non-linear.
To validate the logic of either side, we would have to have mathematical tools that look at the universe well beyond our present understanding or ability, “THEY DO NOT EXIST.” If they do not exist then any computer program using the tools at our disposal will be limited to the data points on hand, as well as understanding the processes that make up the system we live within. Since even the best records give us only a few hundred years, or even a few thousand looking at cultural records, geological data, Botanical etc. when we compare it to the life cycle of our planet and that of our local sun, we are doomed to extrapolate well beyond any reasonable statistical error, preventing any real substantive conclusions.
We know that pollution can change weather patterns, but we do not know whether that same pollution can change the overall average temperature of the earth. We do know for a fact that at multiple times throughout the earth’s history, that the world’s average temperature was much greater then it is now and much colder then it is now; this long before our technological invasion of the biosphere.
The truth is we as scientist’s just do not know the nature of what is true and what is not, but so long as agenda driven grants are given to non-science based groups, then the real research into the how’s and why’s of our worlds weather will continue to elude us.
Personally I tend to agree that the world is going through a warm-up cycle, a natural cycle within the normal parameters of the system we call Earth. Can I prove this, no, no one can.
The goal of this diatribe is to remind people that we do not know as much as many would believe we do. If we had the understanding of “Star Trek” science, yes we could probably solve many of the problems we have, but blindly following what some guru says that you want to believe will not get us there. For now “Star Trek” is science fiction sad to say, but so is the science of global warming regardless of which side you are on.