Wednesday, September 3, 2014

Anomalous Data

In science, data that don't fit a widely-accepted theory are considered to be anomalous and swept under the rug, so to speak, until the lump under the rug gets so big that the data can no longer be ignored. Not everyone is at the "can no longer be ignored" stage but we seem to be rapidly heading there. The data to which I refer is cited in an article in the Australian Herald Sun.

The article cites a paper by a climatologist named Ross McKitrick who points out that the stasis in globally average temperatures has lasted now for almost twenty years, and even longer in the lower troposphere. In other words, the predictions of the 1990s and the first decade of the 21st century that we were heading for runaway global warming have simply not been fulfilled. On the contrary, the globe in 2014 has about the same average temperature that it did in 1995.

This report comes on the heels of another report that shows that the predictions by Al Gore and others of rapidly melting Arctic ice sheets have also failed to be confirmed and that, in fact, the Arctic ice seems to be rebounding.

Here's a good rule of thumb. When scientists make predictions that have political implications take those predictions with a grain of salt. Some scientists are biased ideologues first and objective scientists second and they tend to see what their ideology makes them want to see.

The reliability of scientific theories is predicated on the theory's fruitfulness, i.e. its ability to generate confirmable predictions. So far, few of the predictions that have been served up about global warming have been confirmed. The warmists may still turn out to be right, something is happening to our glaciers, certainly, but as of now there's not much reason to think that whatever is causing the meltback has anything to do with rising global temperatures.