Big headline over at WtD: We’re 95% certain. Did you ever ask yourself how they came to this conclusion? What empirical testing in the real world was done to verify this 95%? Or was it all based on models proving models (circular reasoning–you cannot prove a model with a model). More important, is 95% that huge a confidence level? Are two standard deviations from the mean (assuming we have a mean, it’s calculated correctly, etc) significant enough for something as important as climate change?
I found a blog article that answers some these questions very well:
95 percent confidence: in HEP vs IPCC
When I saw some reports about the IPCC’s 95 percent “certainty” that the global warming is mostly man-made, I couldn’t avoid thinking about the huge difference between hard sciences (such as particle physics) and soft sciences (such as the contemporary climatology).
Continue reading here:
For those of you who don’t do statistics, etc, thus far the hotspot in the troposphere has not been found (the statement there was “it’s not essential to the theory) and warming flattened off for over 15 years (now it moved to the ocean–or if you’re Kevin Trenbreth, he seems to have just thrown in the towel with: it will get hot some places and cold others). Climate change has been replaced with “extreme weather”–a term that is anything the media decides it will be, allowing any event to “prove” the predictions. If any of you have ever watched a “psychic” do their thing, when one prediction fails, the claim is the vision wasn’t quite clear but now they can say with confidence that “X is true” and will happen. They usually move the time frame forward (you know, like now the warming will be by the end of this century, at which time most of those predicting will be dead) and hope you will forget the original prediction. Climate change “science” has no better a record than a standard fortune teller, yet proudly proclaims 95% certainty.
The only thing we can predict with certainty is if we continue to allow people to think cheap predictions are somehow science, we will head back into the dark ages of superstition and psychics with nothing to stand in the way. Science will be buried. Maybe that’s preferable for some–it requires no thought, plus it’s faith-based so no one can counter it. Why let a little thing like reality ruined an otherwise perfect system?
If someone would like to explain in very clear statistical language how the IPCC came to the 95%, please, feel free to share. It would be helpful if you could show that actual data used and the statistical techniques, fully explaining the models, etc.