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But it shouldn't be blind trust any more than we would have blind trust in anything. Our trust in science, like science itself, should be based on evidence, and that means that scientists have to become better communicators. They have to explain to us not just what they know but how they know it, and it means that we have to become better listeners.
This slide here, the black line shows the measurements that scientists have taken for the last 150 years showing that the Earth's temperature has steadily increased, and you can see in particular that in the last 50 years there's been this dramatic increase of nearly one degree centigrade, or almost two degrees Fahrenheit.
So what, though, is driving that change? How can we know what's causing the observed warming? Well, scientists can model it using a computer simulation. So this diagram illustrates a computer simulation that has looked at all the different factors that we know can influence the Earth's climate, so sulfate particles from air pollution, volcanic dust from volcanic eruptions, changes in solar radiation, and, of course, greenhouse gases.
And they asked the question, what set of variables put into a model will reproduce what we actually see in real life? So here is the real life in black. Here's the model in this light gray, and the answer is a model that includes, it's the answer E on that SAT, all of the above.
The only way you can reproduce the observed temperature measurements is with all of these things put together, including greenhouse gases, and in particular you can see that the increase in greenhouse gases tracks this very dramatic increase in temperature over the last 50 years. And so this is why climate scientists say it's not just that we know that climate change is happening, we know that greenhouse gases are a major part of the reason why.
SPIEGEL: Just since the turn of the millennium, humanity has emitted another 400 billion metric tons of CO2 into the atmosphere, yet temperatures haven't risen in nearly 15 years. What can explain this?
Storch: So far, no one has been able to provide a compelling answer to why climate change seems to be taking a break. We're facing a puzzle. Recent CO2 emissions have actually risen even more steeply than we feared. As a result, according to most climate models, we should have seen temperatures rise by around 0.25 degrees Celsius (0.45 degrees Fahrenheit) over the past 10 years. That hasn't happened. In fact, the increase over the last 15 years was just 0.06 degrees Celsius (0.11 degrees Fahrenheit) -- a value very close to zero. This is a serious scientific problem that the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) will have to confront when it presents its next Assessment Report late next year.
SPIEGEL: Do the computer models with which physicists simulate the future climate ever show the sort of long standstill in temperature change that we're observing right now?
Storch: Yes, but only extremely rarely. At my institute, we analyzed how often such a 15-year stagnation in global warming occurred in the simulations. The answer was: in under 2 percent of all the times we ran the simulation. In other words, over 98 percent of forecasts show CO2 emissions as high as we have had in recent years leading to more of a temperature increase.
SPIEGEL: How long will it still be possible to reconcile such a pause in global warming with established climate forecasts?
Storch: If things continue as they have been, in five years, at the latest, we will need to acknowledge that something is fundamentally wrong with our climate models. A 20-year pause in global warming does not occur in a single modeled scenario. But even today, we are finding it very difficult to reconcile actual temperature trends with our expectations.
originally posted by: InverseLookingGlass
Merchants of doubt? Sounds like the status quo defense to me. Trust scientists? Rubbish.
"...the 2004 Oreskes study — which was the original source for the 97 percent claim — was exposed for the same methodological flaws. Dr. Benny Peiser, a social science professor at John Moores University and visiting fellow at the University of Buckingham, eviscerated the Oreskes study, pointing out that Oreskes had falsified the so-called consensus by her faulty selection criteria in choosing papers to include in her survey. (See hereand here.)"
Cooking Climate Consensus Data: “97% of Scientists Affirm AGW" Debunked
This woman was found to have lied, falsified research, improperly used students to do work when set a dozen of her students to work analyzing. Her work published in the journal SCIENCE. Two Canadian science-trained statisticians were dubious and they repeated the work first finding that over 12,000 articles had been published and not the 978 Naomi claimed had been published. They reported this to SCIENCE who investigated to find Naomi had lied also broken the rule of not using undergrad students for such work. For the first time in their 100 year history SCIENCE published an “Errata” calling Naomi's piece "flawed" and "invalid." Yet this woman has continued to be in high academic positions in colleges and continues to regurgitate these lies.
Merchants of Doubt - Amazon