Category Archives: Climate Science Process

That’s A Mighty Thin Branch You Have Climbed Out On

Leo Tolstoy, obviously not writing explicity about climate science, but his words resonate nonetheless:

“I know that most men, including those at ease with problems of the greatest complexity, can seldom accept even the simplest and most obvious truth if it be such as would oblige them to admit the falsity of conclusions which they delighted in explaining to colleagues, which they have proudly taught to others, and which they have woven, thread by thread, into the fabric of their lives.”

This is quoted in a very nice article by Dr. Tim Ball on how the UN IPCC operates to supress dissenting science and keep up the illusion of "settled science" behind global warming catastrophism.  An excerpt:

It is claimed the scientists set the final summary content, but in reality governments set the form. The SPM [summary for policy-makers] is then released at least three months before the science report. Most of the scientists involved in the technical or science report see the Summary for the first time when it is released to the public. The time between its release to the public and the release of the Technical Report is taken up with making sure it aligns with what the politicians/scientists have concluded. Here is the instruction in the IPCC procedures. “Changes (other than grammatical or minor editorial changes) made after acceptance by the Working Group or the Panel shall be those necessary to ensure consistency with the Summary for Policymakers (SPM) or the Overview Chapter.” Yes, you read that correctly. This is like an Executive writing a summary and then having employees write a report that agrees with the summary.

Lessons for Climate Panic from the Y2K Panic

This is kind of interesting, and comes via Odd Citizen.  The author links this Australian study looking retrospectively at the Y2K scare, trying to understand why an irrational collective hysteria developed that allowed for no skepticism (seem familiar).  The whole thing is interesting, but here is the money quote:

From the perspective of public administration, the two most compelling observations relate to conformity and collective amnesia. The response to Y2K shows how relatively subtle characteristics of a policy problem may produce a conformist response in which no policy actors have any incentive to oppose, or even to critically assess, the dominant view. Moreover, in a situation where a policy has been adopted and implemented with unanimous support, or at least without any opposition, there is likely to be little interest in critical evaluation when it appears that the costs of the policy have outweighed the benefits.

The article is written without any reference to current climate issues, but wow, does this sound familiar?

Quality Science

There once was a scientist who was testing a frog.  He said, "jump frog," and the frog jumped 8 feet.  He pulled out his handy scientific notebook and wrote "Frog, four legs, jumps 8 feet."

The scientist then cut off one of the frog’s legs.  "Jump frog," he said, and the frog jumped 6 feet.  He wrote in his book "Frog, cut off one leg, jumps 6 feet."

He then proceeded to cut off another leg.  "Jump frog."  He measured and wrote in his book "Frog, cut off two legs, jumps 3 feet."

He then cut off another leg.  Again he said "jump frog," and the frog jumped one foot.  He wrote, "frog, three legs cut off, jumps 1 foot."

Finally, he cut off the last leg.  "Jump frog."  No response.  "Jump Frog!"  No movement.  So he pulled out his notebook at wrote, "cut off all four legs, frog goes deaf."

Which brings us to this story:  Drive your SUV, fish goes deaf.

HT: Tom Nelson  (the bad joke is all mine)

Inspecting the Sausage Factory

A very interesting discussion about the foibles of climate modelling.  Here is but a taste:

A major thrust of the debate was because Schlesinger had put the same data into the five models and each produced results that he claimed were meaningful. Somebody pointed out that the results differed considerably from model to model. For example, they differed by 180° in their predictions for large areas. Schlesinger’s reply was the models were not accurate for small regions. The person pointed out that the small regions were continental in their dimension. Much laughter at this point. Schlesinger then said the models were not quantitatively correct but they were qualitatively correct. When asked to explain what he meant he said well they all showed global warming with increased CO2. It was quickly pointed out that if you program them to have temperature increase with a CO2 increase (ceteris paribus) then that was an inevitable result of the programming not the reality. The noise volume increased at which point a bizarre incident occurred.

During Schlesinger’s presentation, titled, "Model projections of the Equilibrium and Transient Climatic Changes induced by Increased Atmospheric CO2" there were general rumblings in the audience about the nature and assertiveness of the presentation, something that I had come to know as normal for modelers. This erupted in the question period. However, prior to that there were strange noises coming from behind me. I did not want to look around based on my experience at english soccer matches. In the question period voices were raised and frustrations expressed about the inadequacy of the models. Suddenly at the height of the din a shoe flew upon to the platform from behind me. There was shocked silence and a strange voice said, "I didn’t have a towel." He then asked permission to go onto the platform. It turned out the strange noises were from the shoe thrower who had a voice box. He explained he had two Ph.Ds one in Atmospheric Physics and proceeded to put a formula on the blackboard. Schlesinger agreed it was the formula for the atmosphere at the basis of his models. The man then eliminated variables one at a time, each time having Schlesinger agree he eliminated them from the final model. The man then said what you have left no longer represents the atmosphere and any results from such as model were meaningless.

But of Course, Money Only Influences Skeptics

Via Tom Nelson:

Pollack (2005) addresses the first ethic, noting that the paramount motivational factor for scientists today is the competition to survive. A scientist’s most pressing need, which supersedes the scientific pursuit of truth, is to get her grant funded – to pay her salary and that of her staff, to pay department bills, and to obtain academic promotion. The safest way to generate grants is to avoid any dissent from orthodoxy. Grant-review Study Sections whose members’ expertise and status are tied to the prevailing view do not welcome any challenge to it. A scientist who writes a grant proposal that dissents from the ruling paradigm will be left without a grant. Speaking for his fellow scientists Pollack writes, "We have evolved into a culture of obedient sycophants, bowing politely to the high priests of orthodoxy."

The grant system fosters an Apollonian approach to research. The investigator does not question the foundation concepts of biomedical and physical scientific knowledge. He sticks to the widely held belief that the trunks and limbs of the trees of knowledge, in, for example, cell physiology and on AIDS, are solid. The Apollonian researcher focuses on the peripheral branches and twigs and develops established lines of knowledge to perfection. He sees clearly what course his research should take and writes grants that his peers are willing to fund. Forced by the existing grant system to follow such an approach, Pollack (2005) argues that scientists have defaulted into becoming a culture of believers without rethinking the fundamentals.

Where “Consensus” Comes From

Via Tom Nelson:

I hate to burst the bubble here, but the American Geophysical Union’s (AGU) climate ‘consensus’ statement does not hold up to even the lightest scrutiny.

It appears that the AGU Board issued a statement on climate change without putting it to a vote of the group’s more than 50,000 members. Its sweeping claims were drafted by what appears to be only nine AGU committee members. The statement relies heavily on long term computer model projections, cherry-picking of data and a very one-sided view of recent research. As with the recent statements by the American Meteorological Society (AMS) and the National Academy of Sciences (NAS), the AGU statement is the product of a small circle of scientists (again apparently a 9 member panel according to AGU) who all share the same point of view, and who failed to put their statement to a vote of the AGU members on whose behalf they now claim to speak. As such it amounts to nothing more than a restatement of the opinion of this small group, not a ‘consensus’ document.

A Metric of Climatge Science Health

If one wanted to measure the "health" of climate science, a good approach would be to compare the zealous pursuit of even the tiniest errors in analyses that show the world to be warming slowly or naturally with the absolute and total apathy at correcting or even uncovering massive errors in anslyses showing substantial man-made warming (example).

Anyone who made this check would have to come to the conclusion that there are not enough skeptical analyses coming into print, rather than the opposite point of view from folks like James Hansen and Al Gore that skeptics are harming the process and need to shut up.

Isn’t Gavin Schmidt Out on Strikes By Now?

From the Washington Post today"

According to the NASA analysis, the global average land-ocean temperature last year was 58.2 degrees Fahrenheit, slightly more than 1 degree above the average temperature between 1951 and 1980, which scientists use as a baseline. While a 1-degree rise may not seem like much, it represents a major shift in a world where average temperatures over broad regions rarely vary more than a couple hundredths of a degree.

This is not written as a quote from NASA’s Gavin Schmidt, but it is clear in context the statement must have come from him.  If so, the last part of the statement is absolutely demonstrably false, and for a man in Schmidt’s position is tantamount to scientific malpractice.  There are just piles of evidence from multiple disciplines – from climate and geophysics to history and literature and archeology, to say that regional climates vary a hell of a lot more than a few hundredths of a degree.  This is just absurd.

By the way, do you really want to get your science form an organation that says stuff like this:

Taking into account the new data, they said, seven of the eight warmest years on record have occurred since 2001

What new data?  That another YEAR had been discovered?  Because when I count on my own fingers, I only can come up with 6 years since 2001.

Cargo Cult Science

A definition of "cargo cult" science, actually in the context of particle and high-energy physics, but the term will feel very familiar to those of us who try to decipher climate science:

Her talk is a typical example of cargo cult science. They use words that sound scientific, they talk about experiments and about their excitement. Formally, everything looks like science. There is only one problem with their theoretical work: the airplanes don’t land and the gravitons don’t scatter. It is because they are unable to impartially evaluate facts, to distinguish facts from wishful thinking and results from assumptions, and to abandon hypotheses that have been falsified.

They play an "everything goes" game instead. In this game, nothing is ever abandoned because it would apparently be too cruel for them. They always treat "Yes" and "No" as equal, never answer any question, except for questions where their answers seem to be in consensus – and these answers are usually wrong.

Update: False Sense of Security

A while back I wrote about a number of climate forecasts (e.g. for 2007 hurricane activity) wherein we actually came in in the bottom 1% of forecasted outcomes.  I wrote:

If all your forecasts are coming out in the bottom 1% of the forecast range, then it is safe to assume that one is not forecasting very well.

Well, now that the year is over, I can update one of those forecasts, specifically the forecasts from the UK government Met office that said:

  • Global temperature for 2007 is expected to be 0.54 °C above the long-term (1961-1990) average of 14.0 °C;
  • There is a 60% probability that 2007 will be as warm or warmer than the current warmest year (1998 was +0.52 °C above the long-term 1961-1990 average).

Playing around with the numbers, and assuming a normal distribution of possible outcomes, this implies that their forecast mean is .54C and their expected std deviation is .0785C.  This would give a 60% probability of temperatures over 0.52C.

The most accurate way to measure the planet’s temperature is by satellite.  This is because satellite measurements include the whole globe (oceans, etc) and not just a few land areas where we have measurement points.  Satellites are also free of things like urban heat biases.  The only reason catastrophists don’t agree with this statement is because satellites don’t give them the highest possible catastrophic temperature reading (because surface readings are, in fact, biased up).  Using this satellite data:


and scaling the data to a .52C anomaly in 1998 gets a reading for 2007 of 0.15C.  For those who are not used to the magnitude of anomalies, 0.15C is WAY OFF from the forecasted 0.54C.  In fact, using the mean and std. deviation of the forecast we derived above, the UK Met office basically was saying that it was 99.99997% certain that the temperature would not go so low.  Another way of saying this is that the Met office forecast implied 2,958,859:1 odds against the temperature being this low in 2007.

What are the odds that the Met office needs to rethink its certainty level?

Much more from The Reference Frame

This is Science?

It is just amazing to me that the press has granted statements like the one below the imprimatur of being scientific while labeling folks like me "anti-science" for calling them out:

Previously it was assumed that gradual increases in carbon dioxide (CO2) and other heat-trapping gases in the atmosphere would produce gradual increases in global temperatures. But now scientists predict that an increase of as little as 2˚C above pre-industrial levels could trigger environmental effects that would make further warming—as much as 8˚C—inevitable.

Worse still, a 2˚C increase is highly likely if greenhouse gas concentrations reach 450 parts per million (ppm). They presently stand at 430ppm and are increasing by 2-2.5 ppm per year.

Gee, where do I start?  Well, first, the author can’t even get the simplest facts correct.  World CO2 concentrations hover in the 380’s (the amount varies seasonally) and is not anywhere near 430.  Second, I have demonstrated any number of times that our history over the past 120 years would lead us to expect at most a 1 degree rise over pre-industrial levels at 560, and thus a 2 degree rise by 450 is not "highly likely."  Third, just look at the author’s numbers at face value.  Catastrophists believe temperatures have risen (reason disputed) about 0.6-0.7 degrees in the last century or so.  If we are really at 430 ppm, then that means the first 150ppm rise (preindustrial CO2 was bout 280ppm) caused at most 0.6C, but the next 20 ppm to 450 would cause 1.4C, this despite the fact that CO2 concentations have a diminishing return relationship to temperature.  Yeah, I understand time delays and masking, but really — whoever wrote these paragraphs can’t possibly have understood what he was writing.

But I have not even gotten to the real whopper — that somehow, once we hit 2 degrees of warming, the whole climate system will run away and temperatures will "inveitably" rise another 8C. Any person who tells you this, including Al Gore and his "tipping points," is either an idiot or a liar.  Long-term stable systems do not demonstrate this kind of radically positive feedback-driven runaway behavior (much longer post on climate and positive feedbacks here).  Such behavior is so rare in physical systems anyway, much less ones that are demonstrably long-term stable, that a scientist who assumes it without evidence has to have another agenda, because it is not a defensible assumption (and scientists have no good evidence as to the magnitude, or even the sign, of feedbacks in the climate system).

By the way, note the source and remember my and others’ warmings.  A hard core of global warming catastrophists are socialists who support global warming abatement not because they understand or agree with the science, but because they like the cover the issue gives them to pursue their historic goals.

HT:  Tom Nelson

First Against the Wall

It appears that civil discourse on climate science may soon not be possible, as folks like this are discussing use of violence against those who do not support the religion of catastrophic man-made global warming. 

These are words to contemplate as we head into a 2008 without any significant action taken by the US government (to say nothing of other countries) on climate change. We are in critical battle for this planet, and we need to think seriously about doing whatever it takes to stop the actions which are destroying the land and seas…and contributing to snowballing (or, more appropriately, snow-melting) climate collapse. Are petitions, lobby days, call-ins, protests, and nonviolent civil disobedience enough?

I hear Galileo had the same problem.  By the way, I certainly found it entertaining that the author signs his call to violence against people who do not share the same science as he "in good heart."

(via Tom Nelson)

False Sense of Certainty

Bruce Hall observes that climate forecasters probably need to adjust their confidence intervals.  For example:

  • NOAA predicted a the beginning of this season that there was an 85% chance of an above-normal season.  In fact, the hurricane season was well below average.  I haven’t done the math, but my guess is that if their forecast showed 85% probability of above normal, the year probably came in in the bottom 1% of its expected distributions
  • The UK Met Office predicted that there was a 60% probability that world temperatures in 2007 would be the highest in the last 100+ years, ie higher than temperatures in 1998.  In fact, it looks like 2007 will be among the coolest years in decades, and will come in as much as a half degree C below 1998, a huge difference.  Again, I have not run the numbers, but it is safe to say that this outcome would probably have been in the bottom 1% of the original forecast distribution.

If all your forecasts are coming out in the bottom 1% of the forecast range, then it is safe to assume that one is not forecasting very well.  Which reminds me of Michael Mann, who said with famous confidence that there was a 95-99% probability that 1998 was the hottest year in the last 1000, which is an absurd claim.  (Mann now denies having said this, but he is actually on film saying it, about 25 seconds into the linked clip).

A Brief Window into How the IPCC Does Science

I thought I had blogged on this topic of seal level measurement previously, but after reading this from Q&O and looking back, I see that I never posted anything.

As a brief background:

Dr. Nils-Axel Mörner is the head of the Paleogeophysics and Geodynamics department at Stockholm University in Sweden. He is past president (1999-2003) of the INQUA Commission on Sea Level Changes and Coastal Evolution, and leader of the Maldives Sea Level Project. Dr. Mörner has been studying the sea level and its effects on coastal areas for some 35 years. He was interviewed by Gregory Murphy on June 6 for EIR

Climate scientists are notoriously touchy about non-climate folks "meddling" in their profession, but they have no such qualms when they venture off into statistics or geology or even astrophysics without much knowlege of what they are doing.  This story is telling, as told by Dr. Mörner:

Another way of looking at what is going on is the tide gauge. Tide gauging is very complicated, because it gives different answers for wherever you are in the world. But we have to rely on geology when we interpret it. So, for example, those people in the IPCC [Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change], choose Hong Kong, which has six tide gauges, and they choose the record of one, which gives 2.3 mm per year rise of sea level. Every geologist knows that that is a subsiding area. It’s the compaction of sediment; it is the only record which you shouldn’t use. And if that figure is correct, then Holland would not be subsiding, it would be uplifting.

And that is just ridiculous. Not even ignorance could be responsible for a thing like that. So tide gauges, you have to treat very, very carefully. Now, back to satellite altimetry, which shows the water, not just the coasts, but in the whole of the ocean. And you measure it by satellite. From 1992 to 2002, [the graph of the sea level] was a straight line, variability along a straight line, but absolutely no trend whatsoever. We could see those spikes: a very rapid rise, but then in half a year, they fall back again. But absolutely no trend, and to have a sea-level rise, you need a trend.

Then, in 2003, the same data set, which in their [IPCC’s] publications, in their website, was a strai-ght line—suddenly it changed, and showed a very strong line of uplift, 2.3 mm per year, the same as from the tide gauge. And that didn’t look so nice. It looked as though they had recorded something; but they hadn’t recorded anything. It was the original one which they had suddenly twisted up, because they entered a “correction factor,” which they took from the tide gauge. So it was not a measured thing, but a figure introduced from outside. I accused them of this at the Academy of Sciences in Moscow —I said you have introduced factors from outside; it’s not a measurement. It looks like it is measured from the satellite, but you don’t say what really happened. And they ans-wered, that we had to do it, because otherwise we would not have gotten any trend!

That is terrible! As a matter of fact, it is a falsification of the data set. Why? Because they know the answer. And there you come to the point: They “know” the answer; the rest of us, we are searching for the answer. Because we are field geologists; they are computer scientists. So all this talk that sea level is rising, this stems from the computer modeling, not from observations. The observations don’t find it!

More on IPCC Reports

It has been said many times, but it is always worth pointing out again at the time of this new IPCC report just how flawed the IPCC process is and how little the IPCC summaries have to do with, you know, science.

The IPCC involves numerous experts in the preparation of its reports. However, chapter authors are frequently asked to summarize current controversies and disputes in which they themselves are professionally involved, which invites bias. Related to this is the problem that chapter authors may tend to favor their own published work by presenting it in a prominent or flattering light. Nonetheless the resulting reports tend to be reasonably comprehensive and informative. Some research that contradicts the hypothesis of greenhouse gas-induced warming is under-represented, and some controversies are treated in a one-sided way, but the reports still merit close attention.

A more compelling problem is that the Summary for Policymakers, attached to the IPCC Report, is produced, not by the scientific writers and reviewers, but by a process of negotiation among unnamed bureaucratic delegates from sponsoring governments. Their selection of material need not and may not reflect the priorities and intentions of the scientific community itself. Consequently it is useful to have independent experts read the underlying report and produce a summary of the most pertinent elements of the report.

Finally, while the IPCC enlists many expert reviewers, no indication is given as to whether they disagreed with some or all of the material they reviewed. In previous IPCC reports many expert reviewers have lodged serious objections only to find that, while their objections are ignored, they are acknowledged in the final document, giving the impression that they endorsed the views expressed therein.

Declaring the Science Complete Before It Was Even Started

Many of us who hear the frequent phrase "the science is settled" understand that no such thing is true.  We barely understand much, if anything, about climate.  We have been studying it seriously, with modern tools like sattelites and historical proxies, for perhaps 30 years.  From a historical perspective, no system as complex as science was cracked by man in as little as 30 years, but it is not unusual that people try to declare that the debate is over (The phlogiston theory of combustion is settled science!)

However, I found this article by Richard Lindzen in 1992 particularly fascinating.  I don’t think any serious climate scientist today would say that we really understood much about climate in 1989.  But that didn’t stop folks from calling it settled:

By early 1989, however, the popular media in Europe and the United States were declaring that "all scientists” agreed that warming was real and catastrophic in its potential.

In the meantime, the global warming circus was in full swing. Meetings were going on nonstop. One of the more striking of those meetings was hosted in the summer of 1989 by Robert Redford at his ranch in Sundance, Utah. Redford proclaimed that it was time to stop research and begin acting. I suppose that that was a reasonable suggestion for an actor to make, but it is also indicative of the overall attitude toward science. Barbara Streisand personally undertook to support the research of Michael Oppenheimer at the Environmental Defense Fund, although he is primarily an advocate and not a climatologist. Meryl Streep made an appeal on public television to stop warming. A bill was even prepared to guarantee Americans a stable climate.

Hat tip to Tom Nelson who is doing as good a job as any skeptic site of providing links to interesting articles every day.  I hope he can keep up his early blistering pace.

The State of Climate Science

No matter whether we agree with the conclusions of climate scientists or not, this kind of thing should worry everyone:

The idea that there would be inconsistent versions of something from Lonnie Thompson is not something that will surprise previous readers. Here is a collation of different “grey” versions of one of the components in the above graphic (Dunde). Dunde was drilled in 1987 and is a staple of multiproxy studies. It has about 3000 samples containing not just dO18 values but relevant dust and chemistry information. Thompson has refused to archive original sample data. I’ve made many efforts to get this data but have been rebuffed by Thompson himself, the National Science Foundation, Science magazine and the National Academy of Sciences (both in their capacity as publishers of PNAS and in their capacity as organizers of the Surface Temperatures panel). This is important data which cannot be duplicated by third parties – Thompson has an obligation to archive all sample information and NSF and the journals have an obligation to require him to archive it: none of them are living up to these obligations. Maybe Al Gore could ask him.

The results of different Thompson versions of Dunde make a spaghetti graph all by themselves. Note that one version with annual data ends at a very low value. This inconsistency is not isolated to Dunde – as you can see from perusing the posts in the Thompson category.

Dunde Versions. Heavy black – Yao et al 2006 (3 year rolling average); thin black – MBH98 (annual); red – PNAS 2006 (5-year averages); blue – Clim Chg 2003 (10-year averages); purple – Yang et al 2002 (values in 50 -year intervals); green – Crowley and Lowery 2000 (original in standardized format, re-fitted here for display by regression fit to MBH98).

What you see is a climate scientist  who refuses to release a critical experimental / observational data set to the broader community, while at various times releasing what appear to be wildly different versions of the data.

And this is frightening as well:

In 2003, Thompson took a new ice core at Bona Churchill. We haven’t heard anything about it. On previous occasions, e.g. here , I’ve predicted that 20th century values at this site would be lower than 19th century values – using the mining promotion philosophy that if Thompson had had “good” results, we’d have heard about them. The prediction has a little more teeth than that as dO18 values at nearby Mount Logan obtained and already published by Fisher et al went down in the 20th century.

Here, we see that Steve McIntyre is able to make reliable predictions of a climate scientist’s actions using the simple prediction heuristic "if the study does not end up getting published, it means that the results did not support the catastrophic man-made global warming proposition."  Call it, I gues, the Inconvinient experimental results.

Oh, and by the way — Thomson was the source of many of the temperature reconstructions, including the "hockey stick," shown by Gore in An Inconvinient Truth.

The Studies Do No Such Thing

Today the USA Today announced in a headline:

Studies Link Man-Made Causes to Rise in Humidity

From the article:

One study, published in today’s edition of the journal Nature, found that the overall increase in worldwide surface humidity from 1973-99 was 2.2%, which is due "primarily to human-caused global warming," according to study co-author Nathan Gillett of the University of East Anglia, in Norwich, U.K.

Here is what makes me immediately suspicious, even at this point in the article:  No one can acurately come up with an empirical proof of how much of the warming from 1973-99 was due to man’s activities and how much was due to natural effects (the best you can find are studies that say "most" or "a lot of" or "some".  Therefore, it is impossible that anyone was able to attribute a humidity rise just to the man-made portion of the warming, since we don’t know how much that was.

Second, there are been a number of good studies that have shown that man can have a substantial effect on air humidity, but that these effects tend to be due to land use (e.g. agriculture, irrigation, urbanization, and even swimming pools) rather than CO2 caused warming.  To throw all of the humidity rise only on CO2, and not these other anthropogenic effects, seems facile.

So how did the study author’s get to their conclusions?

It turns out the only empirical work anyone did was measure humidity.  And yes, humidity did seem to go up over the these decades.  But this is the end of the empirical work in the studies. 

Both studies relied primarily on computer models of the Earth’s climate system to reach their conclusions.

Great.  For years I have called these computer models scientific money-laundering.  They take unproven assumptions, plug them into something they call a model, and then get results they claim to be proven.  They are washing garbage unproven assumptions through these black boxes and then calling them clean results on the back end.  Garbage In – Scientific Proof Out. It is crazy.  The models are built on the assumption that anthropogenic effects drive the climate, and so they therefore spit out the results that… anthropogenic effects drive the climate.

Roy Spencer, principal research scientist at the University of Alabama-Huntsville, says, "The main thing they’re trying to show is that the recent warming and moistening in the last 30 years is outside the range of natural variability, and that man is causing the warming. The use of climate models to do this is not convincing. … The idea that you can use climate models as a surrogate for reality is circular reasoning."

I often tell my friends that when you really flay away all the bullshit, the main argument by climate catastrophists for anthropogenic origens of climate change is that scientists "can’t think of anything else it can be."  In other words, having exhausted all the natural causes the current state of the science knows about, they assume the cause must be man.  My friends never believe me when I say this, but here is a climate scientist in his own words:

"Natural variability in climate just can’t explain this moisture change. The most plausible explanation is that it’s due to the human-caused increase in greenhouse gases," Santer says. His study also discounted influences from solar activity and the 1991 eruption of Mount Pinatubo.

This is the heart of the "link" trumpeted in the article’s headline — that scientists can’t imagine that the cause is natural varaiblity and that it is plausible man is the cause.  Wow, that’s good science.  And by the way, can you imagine if, say, astrophysics took the same approach?  "We don’t know of any natural phenomenon that would cause pulsars so they must be man-made."  This is science Percival Lowell would have loved.