Greenhouse gas theory made several predictions that were shown to be true.
Greenhouse gas theory made several predictions that were shown to be true.
David Piepgrass
11

Greenhouse gas theory is necessary to believe in CAGW, but not sufficient.

To the second point, even if we never find out that GHG theory is incorrect, that does not mean that the only explanation left is AGW. That is to say, GHG theory can be true at the same time natural climate change is true — GHG theory is a required part of your belief system, but not sufficient to exclude all other possible explanations. Think of this — humans are required for AGW to be true, but just because you show me a human exists, doesn’t mean that you’ve excluded all other reasons for global warming.

Of course, the difficulty in excluding all other possible explanations is that not all explanations are known — you could exclude, say, the breeding habits of northern voles from any global warming component, but you might not be able to anticipate that the breeding habits of phytoplankton have a significant effect on atmospheric CO2.

As for the temporal lag in the ice cores, sadly, the proxies aren’t high resolution enough to compare well to the modern instrumental era. Changes, such as observed over the past 150 years, are smoothed out in the ice core record, so it’s not a valid comparison.

I want you to really think about the following though:

rejecting the findings of scientists in favor of “unknown forces did it” doesn’t seem very scientific.

That, in fact, is the absolutely right thing to do, especially when nobody on the planet earth in the history of the planet earth, has ever stated a necessary and sufficient falsifiable hypothesis statement of CAGW.

I’ve directly engaged with several AGW deniers in debate, carefully checked my chains of reasoning many times

That doesn’t sound like strict scrutiny, I’m afraid. I want to know what you’ve done to attack your own preconceptions, not just whether or not you’ve heard other points of view. Let’s put it this way — what’s the weakest link, in your estimation, of your belief? What argument, contrary to your beliefs, is one that you have the hardest time refuting?

I definitely appreciate the editing process, and find myself doing much the same :) . It has been a definite pleasure engaging in conversation with you, even if we’re coming from different points of view.

Let me share with you my proposal for at least determining the “A” in AGW — finding reasonable limits on what % of contribution we might be responsible for.

First, take the most anthropogenic cycle you can think of — the 5 day on, 2 day off work week. Nowhere else in nature have I every seen such a cycle (if I’m wrong, I’d love to see it).

We can quantify the variation of emissions between weekend and weekday. We can look for this signal in the OCO-2 data. If we find it, we can quantify the difference, and if we don’t find it, we can assert that it must exist somewhere beyond our resolution to measure it (putting an upper bound on contribution as it were).

Barring complexities from gas mixing (we generally assume CO2 is a well mixed gas in the atmosphere), I’ve done some back of the napkin calculations, and come up with about a 3.8% maximum attribution to humanity.

But regardless of my assertions and calculations, the point here is if we can agree that this is a necessary and sufficient falsifiable hypothesis (at least for the “A” part of CAGW), we’re going to do well.

  1. I could be falsified by the lack of a work week signal (or at least put an upper bound on it);
  2. The reason why the lack of that falsification excludes other explanations is because the 5 day on/2 day off work week is ultimately 100%, undisputedly anthropogenic.
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