Theo Goodwin better hypothesis needed

Theo Goodwin says:

What a wonderful post this is. Only WUWT has achieved a level of clarity that permits answering commonsense questions while fully respecting the scientific background.

My approach to these questions is from scientific methodology. I’ll try to be brief. There is no known physical mechanism that would explain how the atmosphere can heat the ocean.

As regards the Sun, there is a physical mechanism that can explain in general that radiation from the Sun does heat the oceans. However, no one has been able to formulate hypotheses based on this physical mechanism that enables prediction of the temperature changes in the oceans that we care about. In other words, no one has been able to rigorously formulate a set of physical hypotheses that explain the behavior that we want to explain.

Voila! At this time, there is no physical science that enables explanation or prediction of the changes in ocean temperature that we wish to explain and predict. Warmista know this fact. That’s why all they offer are model runs and various collections of “temperature data” from proxies or whatever. Among all the Warmista, there is not one physical hypothesis that could serve to explain and predict ocean temperature changes. Yet they claim to be scientists. They would do better to claim to be Al Gore.

If science is to produce a physical explanation of the ocean temperature changes that we care about then the first step is that scientists must describe the natural regularities upon which these temperature changes ride. To take an easy and familiar example, if we are to explain the temperature changes associated with La Nina then scientists must first identify and describe the physical processes occurring in the ocean, in the atmosphere, and at the boundary during the course of a La Nina event.

Unfortunately, no one has ever attempted to describe the physical processes that make up La Nina. Much to their discredit, Warmista dogmatically claim that La Nina is statistical noise rather than a physical process. Others are happy to look at the temperature numbers associated with La Nina and call that a science. Of course, temperature numbers are no less in need of explanation through use of physical hypotheses than are the phenomena.

Briffa is an excellent example of this point. After his tree rings began declining in 1960, he had no idea why they declined. Was it because of temperature? Moisture? Something else? Without a set of physical hypotheses which explain how the tree rings respond to changes in temperature, moisture, and everything else that affects them, the numbers that come from temperature readings are worthless.

Let us all learn this one important lesson. In science, physical hypotheses that are not rigorously formulated and specify no data (particular phenomena that we care about) are useless. Data that are not explained by some physical hypotheses are unorganized nonsense.

With the exception of Arrhenius’ CO2 hypotheses, today’s climate science has no physical hypotheses. Arrhenius’ hypotheses predict warming or cooling depending on the feedbacks from increased CO2. Yet no one has physical hypotheses which explain one or more feedbacks. Once the physical science of feedbacks are known, Arrhenius’ hypotheses predict nothing for Earth’s climate. Climate science will not advance out of infancy until climate scientists give up the computer models, the statistical arguments, and get into the field and develop techniques for detecting and describing the natural regularities that govern such phenomena as cloud formation, La Nina, and other wonderful things to study.


[That’s because as soon as you mention the moon or the ionization effects of the varying solar magnetic fields in the solar wind, affecting the droplet size of clouds and their increased ability to pass sunlight to the ocean, when the atmosphere carries a higher ion charge, that “they” don’t study or even recognize.]

Filed under: In other online forums,Natural Processes,Supporting Research — by Richard Holle @ 9:16 am on May 11, 2011


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