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MSM misrepresentation by ommission

Global Warming Global Cooling Reporting MSM

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#1 colion

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Posted 18 August 2018 - 11:42 PM

 

Inconvenient Science: NASA data show that global temperatures dropped sharply over the

past two years. Not that you'd know it, since that wasn't deemed news. Does that make NASA
a global warming denier?

Writing in Real Clear Markets, Aaron Brown looked at the official NASA global temperature
data and noticed something surprising. From February 2016 to February 2018, "global average
temperatures dropped by 0.56 degrees Celsius." That, he notes, is the biggest two-year drop in
the past century.
 
"The 2016-2018 Big Chill," he writes, "was composed of two Little Chills, the biggest five month
drop ever (February to June 2016) and the fourth biggest (February to June 2017). A similar
event from February to June 2018 would bring global average temperatures below the 1980s
average."
 
Isn't this just the sort of man-bites-dog story that the mainstream media always says is
newsworthy?
 
In this case, it didn't warrant any news coverage.
 
In fact, in the three weeks since Real Clear Markets ran Brown's story, no other news outlet
picked up on it. They did, however, find time to report on such things as tourism's impact on
climate change, how global warming will generate more hurricanes this year, and threaten fish
habitats, and make islands uninhabitable. They wrote about a UN official saying that "our
window of time for addressing climate change is closing very quickly."
 
Reporters even found time to cover a group that says they want to carve President Trump's
face into a glacier to prove climate change "is happening."
 
In other words, the mainstream news covered stories that repeated what climate change
advocates have been saying ad nauseam for decades.

 

https://www.investor...ling-media-bias


Edited by colion, 18 August 2018 - 11:44 PM.


#2 Rich C

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Posted 19 August 2018 - 08:30 AM

Just what does this report mean?  I have read that 5 of the hottest years in recorded history occurred within the last 10 years, consistent with the belief that the earth is warming.  OK, the real argument is not whether it is warming, we all know that, the real question is whether it is man made.  If it is man made, then we can do something about it.

 

But, would a 2 year half degree decline mean that global warming is ending?  Or would it just mean that global temperature is variable within limits and statistically one cannot make any definitive judgment based on two years of data.  You are free to make the case, but from the report above, nothing of substance can be concluded.  No case is made, no argument proffered, just a couple of data points without any context or statistical analysis.  

 

My major was math and I took statistics to the junior level.  I understand stat better than 99% of the planet (which leaves a lot of people who understand it better than I do, I just don't bump into them very often), and I don't accept random observations without substantive analysis, and when presented with the analysis, I actually read the study, study the method, research the method's validity, and look at the adherence of the study to the method's guidelines.  I have seen a lot of studies that are not worth the paper they are written on.

 

When I look at the world the last 150 years, two things stand out to me.  The advent of electricity throughout society, at home and in industry, and the advent of the car/truck.  To make electricity ubiquitous, the easy path was to burn coal.  To make the car ubiquitous we chose to burn oil.  We did both on a massive scale never seen before.  Could that change the climate if CO2 emissions act as a blanket on the earth's atmosphere, letting sunlight in, but not out, warming the earth?  This simple argument makes it plausible that man made activity may be causing climate change.

 

Can you present some simple facts that PROVE the paragraph above is demonstrably flawed?  Or at least present a creditable counter argument, I didn't prove anything, but it seems intuitive that when you make significant changes to a physical system (the environment) that you may and probably WILL get significant changes to the outcomes in that environment, measured somewhere in the environment.  That has been my experience, unless someone thinks that observation is shaky, please explain.  

 

Perhaps someone could design an experiment on a small scale and test the effect of CO2 in a chamber being penetrated by sunlight and record the temperature, then refill the chamber with different gases and test the effect of air with less CO2 when the same light is passed through it?   We have laboratories, why hasn't testing been done on small scales that can prove the theory?  Maybe that testing has been done, but I haven't seen it, maybe I don't know where to look for it.


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#3 colion

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Posted 19 August 2018 - 05:15 PM

The article does not address the questions that you pose but rather MSM bias.  It simply notes that there was a two year decline in temperature that was ignored by MSM.  Why is that so?  MSM should be objectively reporting facts but, as in this case, it apparently purposely misrepresents by omission.  As the article noted:

 

"News outlets should decide what gets covered based on its news value, not on whether it pushes an agenda. Otherwise, they're doing the public a disservice and putting their own already shaky credibility at greater risk."

 

I agree that the effect of human forcings on climate is an important issue but it is not something that we have a good handle on.  In order to do so requires verified climate models that demonstrate (without fudge factors) the ability of small concentrations of greenhouse gases (particularly CO2, H2O, and CH4 plus residence time) to produce observed climate change using both in-sample and out-of-sample data.  Studies showing the correlation between natural factors and temperature (e.g., solar variations, CO2 lags temperature rise, warming after an ice age, two decade pause in warming with increasing CO2, pre-industrial CO2 levels, missing greenhouse hot spot above the tropics, factors affecting cloud formation, decreasing effectiveness of CO2 with increased concentration, etc.), as well as the quality of input data and associated statistical analyses, are too often ignored.  The models don't know the answer and obviously do not include and/or properly take into account numerous known factors and observations.  Putting it all together and news and social outlets justification for fossil fuel combustion driving climate change tends to be a political, rather than a scientific, argument.

 

I think the above questions that it is "plausible that man made activity may be causing climate change."  Did human forcings produce the Medieval Warm Period with temperatures higher than today?  Until we get the science straightened out I think it is more appropriate to say that it is "plausible that man-made activity contributes by an unknown amount to causing climate change."



#4 Rich C

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Posted 19 August 2018 - 07:46 PM

The article does not address the questions that you pose but rather MSM bias.  It simply notes that there was a two year decline in temperature that was ignored by MSM.  Why is that so?  MSM should be objectively reporting facts but, as in this case, it apparently purposely misrepresents by omission. 

 

If that is the key question, the answer could be that the two year decline is temperature is simply NOT NEWS WORTHY.  It might not be news worthy because it is within the normal variation of global temperature.  With so many of the highest observed average global temps being within the last decade, if normal annual variation of temps adequately explains the higher than average decline (because is it from an abnomally high peak), then it is just that, normal variation.  Is normal variation "newsworthy"?  No, it is not.

 

Now if a study showed that based on this higher than normal temp decline that all the IPCC models are wrong, then THAT would be newsworthy.  I don't see that anywhere.

 

So, as far as I can see, there was no compelling reason to report the variation.  What is the range of annual average global temp variation?  If it is .1 degree and this is 5 times higher it may be significant.  But if the data two years prior was an all time high, and it was .5 degrees higher than recent averages, this pop down by .5 degree could be a nothing burger.  A great deal more information is needed about recent data, averages, variance from average, to conclude whether this variation is significant in any way.

 

Just to note, in my datacenter years I ran many analytic queuing models on computer performance and capacity, in order to budget for IBM mainframe upgrades in the $3 million dollar range.  On data "trimming", I never ran one study with all the data in it, because it would not have done a good job predicting when the computer would run out of capacity.  Weekends?  Take the data out as it would skew the result down, you would run out of capacity before the model indicated.  One time events like an acquisition (seldom in my company), we took them out as too infrequent for planning purposes.  Poor applications that ran like dogs, then got tuned to be more efficient, take out the high values as they no longer applied.  I never ran one study with all the data in, as they simply would have given less accurate upgrade data.  I will also say our models were tracked every month up to the upgrade and they were quite good.  I have a fair amount of experience with data characterization and modelling.  On an interesting aside, the cost of computing has come down so far (see Moore's Law), and granularity is so much better, that those studies I ran will no longer be performed.  The model now is a set of data points, and a ruler.  Just draw a best fit line with a ruler.  The cost of preparing a good study now exceeds the time value of money that can be saved by accurately acquiring a computer upgrade.  Just budget a server a month or what the line shows, and buy them on time.  Not weather related, but I enjoyed that!


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#5 colion

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Posted 20 August 2018 - 12:20 AM

Coulda, shoulda, woulda.  It makes no difference whether you believe that the observation is or is not news worthy and you can determine that to your satisfaction.  When it comes to important topics (arguably climate change qualifies) the MSM is suppose to report news not make judgments about its worthiness, resulting in this case in misrepresentation by omission.  It is illogical to accept reporting, for example, a record high/low (did that meet your threshold requirements?) but not a record two year drop in a century.  The bottom line is that in this instance the MSM misrepresented by omission which is a disservice to the public.

 

As for the models the simple fact is that they run hot by a significant amount.  Without data fitting they miss "little" things like the two decade pause in temperature increase with increased CO2, the Medieval Warm Period, the absence of a greenhouse "hot spot" above the tropics, the rise and fall in CO2 after temperature change, etc.  It is estimated that 80% of the greenhouse effect is due to humidity and clouds (high and low altitude) in a feedback system that modellers admit they do not handle well.  And, of course, the problems with the data itself are well documented and cover the waterfront from fraud to gross inaccuracies (garbage in garbage out).  The IPCC says that they can't explain temperature changes in any way except by carbon forcings.  This is a fatal flaw in logic - argumentum ad ignorantiam.  All of this points to a lack of sufficient knowledge to construct verifiable models needed for a variety of scientific and political purposes.



#6 Rich C

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Posted 20 August 2018 - 09:14 PM

I am well aware of the shortcomings of all models vs the real world.  It is hard to build models of complex systems that have hundreds of variables, while most models attempt to deal with ten's of the most important variables.  That is why most models quote a confidence interval, which is based on the number of observations and the deviation observed in the data sample.  Then to be complete, there should be a discussion of the variables the model does not address.  

 

What I see the climate deniers do is seize on the honest discussion of limitations of the model process to try and say the process is not valid.  That is false.

 

Have the climate deniers proposed another method to determine why the earth is warming?  Have they made ANY attempt to determine if current trends continue, what the expected impact on the weather will be?  The reason that is important is that if man is the primary or even major secondary cause of global warming, and the impact on the population will be severe in 100 years, then there is something we can do to prevent those negative impacts from occurring.  I have not seen anything from them, just denial.

 

So, what is the alternative narrative, and what do they offer to support their view?


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#7 CLK

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Posted 21 August 2018 - 05:02 AM

How about variations in the sun's temperature, it's not constant. Automobile emissions were way higher prior to 1980

vs. now and the average temperature is higher now, so how can man be responsible for the change ?



#8 colion

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Posted 21 August 2018 - 06:08 PM

Terms like "climate deniers" and "warmists" are incorrect, counterproductive and frankly just plain stupid.  Such derogatory terms contribute to incivility that is not supportive of meaningful discussion.  In political circles people that report problems are called "whistleblowers" but in the charged climate world those who have no response to contrary views and findings resort to ad hominems.

 

I have followed the subject for a long time and apparently you are just starting on the journey.  Model building and statistics are fine, and I am guilty of having played in that sandbox many times, but knowing the state of knowledge is the place to start after asking a question such as what controls climate change.

 

The science has demonstrated that many of the populist views (e.g., CO2 is the principal driving force for climate change) are false (see previous) and do not support policy decisions based on such views.  As for alternatives, to the best of my knowledge there is no complete theory of climate change, as opposed to important observations such as the correlation of solar variations and temperature cycles or the lag between CO2 changes and temperature changes.  With these findings and additional research perhaps some day somebody will be able to incorporate all findings and propose in Popper terms a testable hypothesis which might then lead to an actionable conclusion.  Until then we know what we know and decision-making should not get ahead of our knowledge.  That does not mean that no actions should be taken but rather that they should not be driven by ignorance, ideology or personal gain which (to get back on topic) are factors that I believe produce MSM misrepresentations.  More detailed discussions about the science is best handled by referring to the peer-reviewed literature or more superficially by climate forums.


Edited by colion, 21 August 2018 - 06:17 PM.