Hurricanes Not So Much a Problem

Apparently global warming may not increase hurricane frequency.  I am not a climate scientist, so I don’t claim to be an expert, but I do have a pretty good grasp on science in general, and have a fair amount of knoweldge of complex systems, but most of the claims as to the effects of global warming have never passed the smell test.  We do know that CO2 is a greenhouse gas, and we know atmospheric levels of it are rising.  We also know that computer models show more CO2 in the atmosphere leads to warmer temperatures.  Are the computer models right?  Maybe.  But I’m skeptical that a complex system like climate can be predicted with even a modicum of certainty.

I work in the pharmaceutical industry, and we do a lot of complex systems modeling, particularly how ligands bond to proteins. In fact, what I do for a living is build and maintain supercomputer clusters so these types of calculations can be done.  There have been many good scientists who claim that certain methods of doing this kind of modeling are the greatest thing to come along since sliced bread.  People want to believe in what they are doing, even if it’s not really good science.  I’ve seen too many people collectively buy into a lot of these fads to believe that consensus is always good science.  It hasn’t been always in the pharmaceutical field.  I’m skeptical of any claim that climate science is also not collectively prone to the same errors.

I’m not saying global warming isn’t happening, or it isn’t something to be concerned about.  But I remain highly skeptical of people who claim to be able to model a complex system to such a degree as they can tell you global warming will lead to more droughts, rainfall, hurricanes, or mass extinctions.

7 Responses to “Hurricanes Not So Much a Problem”

  1. Dano says:

    ‘specally with China doing their ‘weather control’, which I’m sure is going to screw things up. It doesn’t take much to screw up a complex system.

  2. Regolith says:

    It gets even smellier when you realize that their computer models CAN’T test everything (as the climate is such a massively complex system that at this point in time it’s damn near humanly impossible to account for every variable), so in order to prevent getting a completely wrong answer, they have to tweak the system in order to get an answer that is more “correct.”

    This is somewhat akin to saying “and then a miracle occurred” while working out complex mathematics to make your equation balance.

    And given that the bias of those doing the research is towards the hypothesis that global warming is occurring and that man-made CO2 emissions are to blame, and you’ve got the possibility that these tweaks aren’t exactly done neutrally.

    Yeah, it’s getting warmer (well, not in the last few years anyway). But I’m not entirely sure that man is to blame, or that the results will be nearly disastrous as the PSH’ers like Al Gore make it seem.

  3. Trixie says:

    These idiots can’t even make an accurate five day forecast–how the hell can they make accurate long range predictions.

    It’s a simplistic argument, I know, but since we were spewing WAY more carbon into the air back in the 30’s 40’s and 50’s and earth actually went through a COOLING period then and since nobody actually knows what the optimum temperature of the earth is supposed to be, I write most of this off to politicized science. Like stem cell research, when there is another agenda behind the science, it’s hard to remain objective when you already know the conclusion you expected to reach to maintain your research grants.

  4. Tom says:

    “as they can tell you global warming will lead to more droughts, rainfall, hurricanes, or mass extinctions.”

    What caused all those things BEFORE gorebal warming?

  5. RedneckInNY says:

    What’s it all gonna matter by Dec. 21, 2012? Hahaha!! Astronomers have calculated that on that day, our planet, the Sun and a huge black hole in the center of our galaxy will align, that will cause our planet’s magnetic poles to shift, thereby creating destruction everywhere. Hahahaa!! Global warming my ass. Scientists are already predicting that 2008 will see global cooling. It’s all junk science. Gore used the people’s paranoia to fuel his global warming nonsense. “If you can’t amaze them with your brilliance, you can dazzle them with your bullshit.”

  6. Skip says:

    I missed the reports of global warming model validation results where the PSH’s used weather data from the 1930’s to accurately predict the weather that occurred in the 1970’s. Oh, that didn’t work out so well!!! Ah well, model accuracy isn’t that important when you have a moral imperative.

  7. R.J. says:

    Storms, including hurricanes, are nature’s air conditioning. They ultimately move heat to the upper atmosphere, where it can radiate back into space. If global warming was real, we’d see a significant increase in storm numbers and/or strength as nature finds a new balance to dissipate the increased heat.