In reply to G8ADD:
Brian, I’m afraid for me the subheading “Climate Science from Climate Scientists” doesn’t help. As a physicist I have found some of the stuff coming from the climate science community quite surprising - rather less scientific than I would have expected - like basing big conclusions on hardly any data (tree ring temperature proxies spring to mind). Unfortunately most working physicists don’t have the time to get involved in these discussions. From what I’ve seen the geological community also houses quite a few sceptics - and for me that’s almost a definition of a scientist - doubt everything until you’ve observed it and think you understand it!
There are blogs on both sides of the climate debate, most of which are heavily biased one way or the other, and I find wading through a lot of the stuff there tedious. But since I retired I did take a bit of interest in this, and was, quite frankly, pretty surprised by the sort of stuff I found. As I working physicist I hadn’t had time to look at the claims being made, and imagined that the “climate science” community would contain scientists I could trust to do things in the right way, like the people I knew in my field. But I’m not convinced that has happened across the board, and it would seem that that some of the more prominent people involved have been involved in some of the poorest stuff. I’m sure there are many honest scientists in the climate science community, but I have been concerned by what I’ve read (and seen) of this. There’s simply too much politics (and the subsequent funding) involved and I think the science has been distorted as a result.
Why, even in the page you reference, at the end is the suggestion “Does this imply that the cloud experiment at CERN is necessary? I wonder.” To me that is not a scientific approach. Rather than suggesting that alternative approaches are not necessary, we should be looking at the Universe in as many ways as possible to get to the essence of how it all works, which is a most fantastic project for humans. And, of course, the CLOUD experiment is run by physicists, so I would expect there to be a bit of honesty there
One of the difficulties with climate science is the same one that astronomers face - you can’t really do significant experiments on the main subject. OK, in astronomy there are lots of stars, so we can do some good observational and statistical stuff there, creating theoretical models and testing them on new observations, and quite a lot of galaxies, so ditto. but there’s only one Universe, so understanding it is not easy. Similarly there’s only one Earth, and it is horribly horribly complicated - the models are all relatively simple (compared to the system), and are trying to fit historical data. Then the new data comes very very slowly to test models - so they’re not really tested before the politicians want to draw conclusions from the science they’ve funded. And of course, data from the distant past is very limited - most of the long term stuff is from indirect measurements, making conclusions even harder to draw. And climate science as a subject is hardly out of nappies! - the detailed data, e.g. from satellites, is only a few decades old, whereas the changes being modelled run over centuries and millennia - and longer.
The CLOUD experiment is interesting, because it is looking carefully, and experimentally (not by looking for proxies and drawing potentially erroneous conclusions) at the effects of cosmic rays (which come from the Sun and the Galaxy) on the components of the atmosphere. We don’t understand these effects properly, so for me it’s an excellent experiment.
Maybe you should make a final comment then close this thread, else we’re going to start attracting pro- and anti-AGW trolls! I’m sure we’ve got way off what’s directly relevant for SOTA - the effect of solar activity on the ionosphere rather than the troposphere! There are plenty sites on the web where this climate stuff is discussed, and I normally try to avoid commenting unless I really get agitated. You really get to see the general level of science education when you read many of the comments there …
You really shouldn’t encourage me