Monday, November 12, 2018

Why Nikolov and Zeller are wrong

I am getting about 100 notifications a day from a Twitter discussion. You may be able to see it here (but be careful not to get entangled in it).

Some of it is useful, because it is interesting to see psychic defence mechanisms in action, and because occasionally a serious climatologist drops by, but much of the contributions from climate "skeptics" is depressingly irrational.

Ned Nikolov is on the list and has gained followers.

Nikolov and Zeller are forestry professionals who found a correlation between the temperature of a few planets on the solar system and their barometric pressure at their surfaces. On the back of this he believes there is no such thing as the greenhouse effect.

The interesting thing is that climate contrarians have such as Roy Spencer, Willis Eschenbach, and Patrick Moore reject Nikolov and Zeller (N&Z) because they bring climate "skepticism" into disrepute.

N&Z respond to Eschenbach's critique.

Basically, NZ is wrong because his basic correlation is the result of simple curve fitting. He requires the earth to lose and gain millions of tonnes of atmosphere at the beginning and end of interglacial periods, and the temperature of the earth surface should have gone down throughout the 20th century in line with this graph of barometric pressure at sea level.

Instead it has gone up.

N&Z predict downward long wave radiation at night will be zero. Direct measurements show more than 300 W/m2.

N&Z recalculated Mars’ pressure and temperature data, in lieu of using the “known data for Mars that people had been carefully studying for decades. If they hadn’t, their model would not have worked quite as well.”

None of these arguments affect the beliefs of Ned and his followers. They are immovable, impervious to reason, because they are ideologically committed to the notion that burning fossil carbon cannot affect the environment and human civilisation because if it did, we would have to change our lifestyles, conserve energy, and cooperate with other people and nations.

Therefore I am going to mute all Neddists on the list, in order to get my Twitter account back into manageable proportions.


TokyoDave said...

What about the other variable, insolation? Isn't solar output variation widely claimed to be the cause of ice ages? So much for your refutation.

DocRichard said...

Yes, orbital changes and subsequent changes in insolation cause most glacial cycles (not all).
The physics of this is complex, and involves CO2 feedbacks and North-South links.
This has no bearing on N&Z's refuted hypothesis.