Paths To Knowledge (dot Science)

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Extrapolating Climate

Posted by pwl on July 3, 2009

Paraphrasing Al Gore: “It got a little bit warmer in the arctic one day and we don’t know what will happen next year or the year after but I’m here screaming at you that the entire arctic is going to melt just because we extrapolated that it will from a very limited amount of data and Nature won’t disappoint us with it’s natural cycles by cooling off again.”

Of course 2009 is a record breaker for being cold in the arctic and at this point in the summer the arctic temperatures still haven’t risen above zero (they are hovering just below zero).

The Anthropomorphic Global Warming (AGW) Scientists approach to climate change which Al Gore adopted. The above cartoon shows why simplistic thinkers like Al Gore get caught up in silly nonsense and exaggerated claims like he’s made about AGW.

In mathematics, extrapolation is the process of constructing new data points outside a discrete set of known data points. It is similar to the process of interpolation, which constructs new points between known points, but the results of extrapolations are often less meaningful, and are subject to greater uncertainty. It may also mean extension of a method, assuming similar methods will be applicable. Extrapolation may also apply to human experience to project, extend, or expand known experience into an area not known or previously experienced so as to arrive at a (usually conjectural) knowledge of the unknown (e.g. a driver extrapolates road conditions beyond his sight while driving).

The problem with the Climate Models is that they extrapolate on so many levels and in so many ways that that they are essentially meaningless as predictors of climate.

While extrapolation is a useful mathematical tool in so many fields of science, business and medicine it’s value in prediction isn’t dependable as the systems in Nature are not able to be modeled. Yes, that’s right, Nature can’t be modeled as it’s in a category of systems that must be computed in full by the actual system itself in order to find out what is going to actually happen. In other words, Nature must run it’s course for us to know what it’s going to do!

Thanks yet again to xkcd for an amazing cartoon.

One Response to “Extrapolating Climate”

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    Extrapolating Climate « Paths To Knowledge (dot NET)

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