More attribution baloney

I have reproduced below just the first part of a large article splashed across NBCnews.  I give the link for anybody who is masochistic enough to read the whole thing. The title of the article is "Global warming can make extreme weather worse. Now scientists can say by how much. Researchers no longer hesitate to blame climate change for floods, fires and heat waves. Here's how the science works."

The intellectual level of the article is apparent in the first sentence: "When the heat waves, droughts, wildfires and deluges come — as they *seem to* with increasing regularity these days — the question inevitably arises: Did climate change play a role?"

What sort of scientific statement is "seem to"?  Where are the statistics that would confirm that key statement? There are plenty of statistics available from NOAA and elsewhere.  Skeptics point gleefully to them all the time -- because they all show that extreme weather events are no more frequent now than they were in the past. In other words, James Rainey, the author of the article has not got even to first base. He has not established even the starting point of his article -- because it is baloney. "Seem to", indeed!

And there is not one thing new in what he reports.  It's just more modelling, that reliable generator of false prophecies.  You get out of modelling what you put in, nothing more.  Modelling is like putting clothes into a washing machine. They come out wet but they are still the same clothes.  In other words there is no way modelling can be checked against reality at the time the modelling is done.  All you can do is hope that it is right.

Most Greenie modelling is done for the purposes of prediction and that has the virtue that it can EVENTUALLY be tested against reality.  The prophecies are always way out, however, because they are based on the fiction that tiny amounts of CO2 have big effects.

But the modelling below is COMPLETELY untestable. It makes no prophecies so can NEVER be shown as true or false. It is just a computer game.  It is science only in that modelling has a place in science but it is NOT science in that science deals with testable propositions.

So why the baloney?  It is just another way of amping up the hysteria about the tired old scare of global warming

When the heat waves, droughts, wildfires and deluges come — as they seem to with increasing regularity these days — the question inevitably arises: Did climate change play a role?

The answer scientists gave for years was that greenhouse gases created by humans likely contributed to extreme weather, but it was hard to definitively tie the warming atmosphere to any single episode.

But that cautious approach, repeated in thousands of news reports for more than a decade, has been changing in recent months. Now, scientists say that they will increasingly be able to link extreme weather events to human-caused global warming and to make such determinations quickly, sometimes within days.

So when a heat wave beset Northern Europe early this summer, bringing temperatures in Scandinavia into the 90s, a consortium of researchers operating under the name World Weather Attribution whipped together a series of computer simulations. Within three days, the scientists issued a finding that the hot spell had been made at least twice as likely because of human-driven climate change.

In less frequent instances, scientists taking more time have reached even bolder conclusions — finding that some extreme events would not have happened at all in a pre-industrial era, when Earth's atmosphere had not been pumped full of carbon dioxide.

The trend promises to become even more pronounced in the coming years, because national weather agencies in countries like Germany and Australia, and the weather service for the European Union, expect to begin issuing regular findings on whether unusual weather events grew out of climate change.

“Usually scientists have been quiet or said only that ‘This is the kind of event that we would expect to happen more often,'" said Friederike Otto, deputy director of the Environmental Change Institute at Oxford University in England. "But now we can, and will, be able to say more."


Otto is one of the leading scientists in the rapidly evolving field of extreme events attribution. The discipline is being driven by an increasing focus among academics, by better data collection worldwide and by open-source computer models that allow researchers ready access to complex climate simulations, particularly of what Earth’s temperatures likely would have looked like without the profusion of carbon dioxide and other greenhouse gases over the last century.

Many of the researchers in the field are determined to ensure that experts, not amateurs, drive the discussion of unusual weather. “If the answer is not given by scientists, it will be given by politicians or someone with an agenda,” Otto said. “We want to make sure there is scientific evidence in this debate.”

Martin Hoerling, a scientist at a National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration lab in Boulder, Colorado, said another factor is influencing the more definitive statements about the impact of global warming. “That signal from climate change is becoming larger, large enough to be detected in the data itself," Hoerling said, "and also in the computer models” that extrapolate on that data.

But scientists say they remain uncomfortable with more definitive statements, such as the question of whether global warming caused a string of wildfires, or a deluge of rain or a particular heat wave.

“The thing we are trying to do is not to give you a binary ‘yes’ or ‘no’ answer,” said Stephanie Herring, a NOAA scientist who edits a report on attribution studies that has been published annually since 2012. “We are trying to show how much of an impact climate change is having now and to suggest how much of an impact it might have in the future.”


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