Retired NASA Scientists Enter Climate Change Fray

A group of retirees from NASA who once put a man on the moon and call their group The Right Climate Stuff “shouldn’t be taken seriously” according to an article in The Guardian, a British newspaper.

Dave Fehling / StateImpact

Dr. Harold Doiron worked on NASA's Apollo project

One of the most vocal of the bunch, Harold Doiron, was taunted at a debate held at the National Press Club in Washington DC this past January.

“Do you believe in global warming? Do you believe there’s global warming,” asked moderator Blanquita Cullum. This came after other panelists assured the audience that virtually all peer-reviewed scientific studies support that humans cause climate change and that to argue otherwise “is like debating whether cigarettes cause cancer.”

The Retiree from Pearland

At the Press Club debate, Doiron (prounounced dwahr-on) spoke in calm tones that made him sound every bit the retiree from suburban Houston that he is.

“It is a volunteer group. I think we’re very objective. We don’t belong to any special interest group.” Dorion added, “Our conclusion is humans are not (causing) a significant warming of this planet.” (Watch the full discussion here)

Back home in Pearland, not far from Johnson Space Center where he once worked, Doiron told StateImpact why he and 20 of his other colleagues decided to get involved in the highly political, highly contentious climate change issue.

“Well, the thing that really pushed me over the edge was the public statements of NASA’s chief climate scientist Dr. James Hansen,” Doiron said. Hansen has been outspoken on climate change, most recently voicing opposition to the Keystone XL pipeline because he said its heavy crude oil  could increase greenhouse gases.

The Lunar Module and Climate Change

Doiron said he looked at the climate models that such fears are based on and felt they couldn’t be believed. After all, he said at NASA he’d used computer models to develop the landing gear for the lunar module and knows a thing or two about them.

Dave Fehling / StateImpact

Dr. Willie Soon at a climate change debate at the University of Houston Law Center. Dr. John Nielson-Gammon (back to camera) awaits his turn. Listen to them in our Radio Story.

“So we validated the model before we used it for any design decisions. And the current climate models are not validated,” Doiron said. “I don’t think we’re using anything close to a rational process to deal with this concern about global warming.  The politicans, at least those in leadership, are acting like it’s a proven thing, that (carbon dioxide) is causing global warming, but it’s not been scientifically proved.”

Doiron is headed back to Washington. On Friday he’s slated to be on a panel to talk about “The Right Climate Stuff” at the Conservative Political Action Conference (CPAC).

Comments

  • mememine

    You climate blamers enjoy fear mongering our children and your utter determination to believe in this misery is sickeningly comical and oh so obvious.
    “Help my planet could be on fire, maybe”- Science
    You remaining climate change believers all share the same childish urge to highjack stewardship, call it “climate change” and then ultimately use environmentalism as an excuse to hate republicans yet you don’t see how utterly transparent you appear to everyone else and your exaggerations of crisis is painfully obvious. We all see you condemn our children and even your own to your greenhouse gas ovens as and grunt a media headline of “all of science agrees” as you goosestep in Greenzi obedience like fear mongering neocons. You end of the world freaks just hated humanity; you didn’t love the planet and dragging the rest of us down with you in your sick belief of “death” for all is not progressive in the least. You should all be ashamed of yourselves for threatening billions of helpless children with CO2 death warrants in your little tiny catastrophic climate crisis will be counted in history as a war crime akin to witch burning. For now it’s just a laughable yet sickening new Reefer Madness.
    Science didn’t lie; you believers did as not one UN warning says it “will” happen, is imminent or inevitable or eventual, just “maybe” and “could be” ……… If a “maybe” is good enough to condemn your own kids then history will have a special place for you misery lovers, right beside sacrificing virgins to please the angry weather gods.
    Nice work girls, this was your Iraq War.

    • http://www.facebook.com/mcnulty.mark Mark Graham McNulty

      it’s become a religion…the belief that the sea levels will rise in a great cataclysm due to mankind’s sin is a timeless religious theme known as a “Flood myth”. The story exists in almost all religious writings. Alarmists, as well as religious fundamentalists will believe this myth to be literal, instead of figurative, and in this case, have hi-jacked what they believe to be “science” as their authoritative Scripture. They exhibit every symptom of any other doomsday cult.

    • Shakey Steve

      And what will you say to all those helpless children if you are wrong? How will you explain that you not only did nothing to help but actively campaigned to stop anyone from even trying?

      • JBTascam

        The same thing I’ll say when I die, and I find out I’m right about God and Religion – which is to say, not much, because I’ll be Dead! All great religions promise their blessings and curses to FUTURE generations if only their adherents behave a certain way or fail too!

      • http://www.facebook.com/people/Gerald-Wilhite/100003126679960 Gerald Wilhite

        And what will YOU say, Shakey Steve, to all those helpless children in poor nations if your carbon taxes and restrictions starve and deprive them of health and education?

        UN and natural resource raiders (coporate and national) are the ones who want to maintain the charade of CO2 induced AGW. It is possible for almost any village in any part of the world to have easy access to cheap locally-controlled fracked natural gas. The problem is international corruption, colonial style, of natural resource development. The problem is the deliberate perversion of climate science at the UN-IPCC level, all in the name of population control and reduction. All this poorly conceived international policy needs to get the hell out of the way! Nothing gives people the power to lift themselves out of poverty faster than abundant cheap energy. Nothing!

        Let’s not have another latte-crowd screw-up again at the expense of the poor! The disastrous US “ethanol from corn”, program doubled or tripled world grain prices. It continues to starve and kill millions off the young and elderly every year!

        As was known well in advance by the ‘skeptical’ scientists at that time (the 1990s) so-called environmental program we call “ethanol from corn” actually adds more CO2 than it removes. And the riduculous thig is we can’t stop it! We are contractually obligated to continue ethanol subsidies and long term low rates for the tax exempt financing of privately owned ethanol refineries. The program was intentionally designed that way by your friends at ADM and key members of Congress who were promised guaranteed annual campaign contributions..

        P.S. You pay 30-50 cents more at the gas pump because of our wonderful “food for SUV fuel” environmental program.

        • Shakey Steve

          What will I say? I’ll say “We need renewable energy for there to be any hope for the future”. Will you be able to say anything but “I sold the future for 10 cents off per gallon and now there’s no hope”?

        • bodica

          I predicted that; no one listened. Academia is too riddled with corrupt and politically motivated ignorami. (ignoramuses)

        • Guest

          Ethanol from corn was from Big Business, ADM, not the latte crowd, Why are you confusing the two? Same reason you’re fat from all the corn syrup in our foods. Big business ignored the scientists, just as you are choosing to now. Being skeptical absolutely makes sense, but the evidence is on one side. You should be skeptical of those who have none.

          Your comment that the carbon taxes will starve helpless children is also a false premise.

          Enjoy the drought!

      • glenncz

        There will not be any “trying”. I don’t believe in the consensus “nonsense”, but even if it was true, we are totally helpless to stop it. The only thing we could hope to do to stop rising CO2 is to make ourselves poor. Wind turbines, ethanol, solar and electric care will do that, make ourselves poorer, but not by a amount enough to stop CO2 rising.

        • Shakey Steve

          Defeatist, selfish and pathetic all in one post.

  • Littrow

    I applaud Doiron and the others who are willing to have a sane and rationale discussion. Environmentalist advocates of global warming, including NPR, have hijacked the discussion for several years. Their common refrain is that ‘we’ve voted and all sane researchers have agreed that anthropro genesis are in agreement.’ This is bullshit. Science does not work through votes. It requires evidence. The climate might be changing but it is still well within past patterns and extremes and there is not a shred of evidence that humans have caused anything. One needs go no further than ‘The Inconvenient Truth’ movie nonsense to see how much hype is built into the liberal environmentalist position. Its totally unbelievable. Hansen’s use of his government position to hype his cause should not be permitted and he ought b=to be fired.

    • http://twitter.com/questionAGW Russell Cook

      ” … NPR, have hijacked the discussion for several years. … ”

      Several? Try 17+ years, after you see this Dec 1995 NPR “Living on Earth” interview with one of the central figures in the efforts to portray skeptic climate scientists as shills working for the fossil fuel industry: http://www.loe.org/shows/shows.html?programID=95-P13-00050#feature9

      I’ve been trying for a couple of years now to point out the shell-game tactic where scientific debate with skeptics is avoided in favor of character assassination. Please see: “Global Warming’s Killer: Critical Thinking” http://www.americanthinker.com/2012/06/global_warmings_killer_critical_thinking.html

      • GeraldWilhite

        Once in a while NPR gets a great young reporter who tries to do the job right. Unfortunately, NPR hasn’t figured out that they could triple their budget if they made high quality balanced reporting their Number 1 priority. That is precisely the concept behind publically funded media.

  • what_a_joker

    I don’t think we’re using anything close to a rational process to deal
    with this concern about global warming. The politicans, at least those
    in leadership, are acting like it’s a proven thing, that (carbon
    dioxide) is causing global warming, but it’s not been scientifically
    proved.”

    Hm maybe now, when he`s retired he`ll have time to prove it? Or at least show way how to?

    Or he`ll prefer just to say: It`s not proven so it`s not true???

    • Harold H Doiron, PhD

      A rational process would first define the “problem” in terms of a harmful deviation from a norm. We haven’t had a harmful deviation in temperature from the normal behavior of the last 10,000 years when the earth’s climate has been very stable compared to its distant past. The earth has been warming since about 1600 AD, long before the industrial age and its modest change to very small atmospheric CO2 levels began. For the last 150 years that most climate scientists are focused on, the earth has continued to warm-up from the “Little Ice Age” that was a very cold period in its recent history. Does anyone really believe that warming from this very cold period that brought us the bitter winters during our Revolutionary War led by George Washington, was harmful? Atmospheric CO2 levels have also increased in the last 150 years, but that is only correlation, not causation. The relative importance of CO2 and natural processes during this welcomed warming period has not been established with anything like the certainty we required for making decisions affecting safety of astronauts.

      Will CO2 emissions prevent the earth from cooling again when it warms up to previous “acceptable” levels experienced about 0 AD (The Roman Warm Period) and 1000 AD (The Medieval Warm Period)? Climate models say we will continue to warm with increased CO2 levels in the atmosphere, but they have not been right for the last 15 years. Why would we believe their predictions for the next 100 years?

      If a “problem” could even be defined, then the next step in a rational process would be to determine root cause before one tried to decide how to deal with the problem. CO2 has not been proven to be the root cause of the general global warming trend of the last 400 years. And, if climate science could prove that CO2 was a primary cause, it should be able to predict global temperature behavior much more precisely than the actual slight temperature decline of the last 15 years. If a problem really existed, and true root cause(s) could be established, a much wider range of options would be considered to deal with the problem in a rational decision-making process, with pros and cons of each option carefully studied before making a decision that could have very harmful unintended consequences.

      This is how you make decisions when the safety and well-being of even a few astronauts are at stake. I think the safety and well-being of millions of people would justify even more caution and work to ensure you really understood the effectiveness of your plan of action and potential adverse consequences.

  • ZedZero

    Validating a climate model is rather easy actually. I wonder why they don’t know that? It is inconvenient to what they want to believe would be my guess.

    • NewEnglandDevil

      If validating a climate model is so easy, why don’t the modelers actually do that? It is inconvenient to what they are being paid to produce would be my guess.

    • http://www.facebook.com/mcnulty.mark Mark Graham McNulty

      Not only is it not easy, it’s impossible. For one, you’d have to wait and do 1000 years of predictions and observations and model refinement until the model statistically correlates well with observations to build confidence in your model. Secondly, you have no way to verify what portion of climate change is attributable to mankind since you would have to remove mankind from the earth and do a comparative analysis to see what climate change occurred without mankind’s influence. Third, there is no way to know what level future variables will be at, such as solar output, mankind’s production of CO2, volcanism, etc… The belief that we can accurately predict climate is a folly sorry to say.

  • sscutchen

    If I said I’d used computer models to calculate hurricane paths and intensity, would Doiron have allowed me to use that expertise with his model to design lunar module landing gear?
    .
    It doesn’t take a rocket scientist to understand meteorology.
    .
    Let’s turn him and his buds loose reviewing diabetes research or nanowire catalyst synthesis or whatever. I mean, since they are rocket scientists and all.

    • Joe

      Your counter is counterproductive.

      You imply that meteorology is straightforward enough so average Joe can do it/understand it. Given this, however, wouldn’t it stand to reason that a rocket scientist with more brain power than average Joe could help *him* understand it better?

      • sscutchen

        My comment was meant to suggest that it doesn’t take a rocket scientist, because a rocket scientist doesn’t have the educational background to be a meteorologist. It takes a meteorologist to understand meteorology. Regardless of how smart that rocket scientist may be. I appear to have lost you when I went for the pun.

        It doesn’t take a meteorologist to understand rocket science either…

        • http://www.facebook.com/mcnulty.mark Mark Graham McNulty

          actually, a rocket scientist would have a solid background in scientific methodology, measurement and computer modelling, as much or more so than any meteorologist and his comments critique the rationality of using unverified computer models as a predictive tool and then calling it “fact”. Meteorology also uses models, and they’ve been tested for decades yet still don’t predict the weather with any statistical certainty more than about 3 to 5 days out; what makes you assume an unverified model can predict overall climate 100 years out?

          • sscutchen

            A meteorological scientist is every much a scientist as a rocket scientist who designs landing gear. And each develops expertise in their particular area of research.

            I think you’ve got some kind of Buzz Lightyear woody…

            Are you next going to suggest a rocket scientist is also an expert in pulmonary research? Astronomy? bio-mechanical catalysis? Archaeology? Genetics? Sociology? Paleontology?

          • JBTascam

            The Meteorologists Agree with Doiron. It’s the “legitimate Climatologists” who do not. Of course, to be a “legitimate Climatologist” one must accept the theory of Anthropogenic Global Warming – oops, Climate Change – wait, Climate Disruption!

        • Doug

          You are aware that Dr. Hansen is an astrophysicist with no training in any climate related field, aren’t you?

    • GeraldWilhite

      Sscrutchen, not a bad idea, even though your last sentence reveals your intent to insult Dr. Doiron. I strongly recommend that you should study and hopefully revise your own logo. That would be a win-win for all of us.

      • sscutchen

        Gerald, RE: logo… it’s called satire. Here’s the original: http://www.bing.com/images/search?q=get+a+brain+morans

        • GeraldWilhite

          OOPS! My apologies. I like it. My eyes just aren’t what the used to be. My ophthalmologist says he can fix that, but I need to wait a little longer.Amazing! It is indeed a fascinating tine to be alive.

  • Tom Wysmuller

    The “Precautionary Principle” applies here, and relates to an old canard about a fellow tearing bits of newspaper and dropping them on the sidewalk. When asked, he says”It keeps the elephants away!” When the questioner states that there are none to be seen, the reply is: “See? Its working!!!”

    So imposition of CO2 taxation will “stop” runaway catastrophic global warming!!!

    I have this wonderful bridge to sell, connecting Manhattan & Brooklyn. You can even put tolls on it!!!

    • http://CoSy.com/ Bob Armstrong

      The original “precautionary principle” is “First do no harm” . All of the anti-CO2 actions are intended to first do harm to living humans by increasing the costs of their energy .

  • http://profiles.google.com/rjvg50 Kirk Holden

    “Science advances one funeral at a time.” Max Planck

  • JohnEnglander

    Regardless of the concern about projections, a lot can be learned from looking at historic records of sea level, temperature, and CO2 over the past few hundred thousand years. The geologic record makes the relationship of carbon dioxide, temperature, the size of the ice sheets and sea level quite clear. There is enough measurable new heat stored in the ocean that sea levels will rise for centuries with devastating impact. This does not require models. For an explanation see my blog http://www.johnenglander.net/t-co2-sl-420kyr-chart or my recent book, “High Tide On Main Street.”

    • http://www.facebook.com/michael.r.moon.92 Michael R. Moon

      I did look at historic records of sea level. The historic records of temperature are pretty shaky. The historic records of CO2 are also pretty shaky, as the ice takes so long, hundreds of years sometimes, to close up. There are NO relationships between these three variables I would call “quite clear,” except that for the last 800,000 years increasing CO2 has FOLLOWED increasing temperatures. “Measurable new heat” in the oceans came after the ARGO floats, which originally found ocean temperatures COOLING, were “adjusted.” You Mr. Englander are trying to sell books..

    • JBTascam

      lol….the glaciers are melting because it’s an INTERGLACIAL! And if the sea has “stored heat” – God I love that terminology – wouldn’t it be reflected in a little something we like to call “temperature????”

  • what_a_joker

    good reply by guardian..

    Attacks on climate science by former NASA staff shouldn’t be taken seriously
    http://www.guardian.co.uk/environment/2012/apr/12/attacks-climate-science-nasa-staff

  • xy

    “After all, he said at NASA he’d used computer models to develop the landing gear for the lunar module and knows a thing or two about them.”

    This is one of the stupidest things I’ve ever read. Why on earth would anyone think that working on models of landing gear qualify someone to interpret complex climate models? Very, very different physical and analytic systems….

    • GeraldWilhite

      Xy, I suggest that your should invest some time learning about the powerful universal skill-set that comes from the combination of artful problem solving and knowing how to rigorously apply the scientific method.

  • http://www.facebook.com/mcnulty.mark Mark Graham McNulty

    He implicitly points out that it’s the methodology that flawed. In order to “prove” what part of climate change is caused by humans, the only way to do that with REAL data would be to have two real earths in identical conditions, one without humans (control) and one with. A comparison would demonstrate the human-factor. That’s a proper scientific methodology. Of course, this is impossible, so we resort to using un-verified computer models that are filled with all the biases, assumptions, and lack of understanding of what drives climate that the creator of such models has, so they cannot be relied upon. It’s not about if AGW is true are not, it’s that no one actually knows, nor has the means to verify it.

    • Joe from Cambridge

      You do realize, Mark Graham McNulty, that the methodology you are claiming that would create ‘real data’ is itself both impossible and flawed and always would be as far as science is concerned. It is NOT proper scientific methodology if it cannot be done, never mind be done multiple times to see if results vary.

      Gathering observable information, comparing where data points meet and what variables cause those data points and observing the effects of compounds, chemicals and materials upon the environment and what happens when you remove those materials effects from the data (specifically those that are generated by industrial sources) and doing the math is what we can do, which is what real science does.

      These retired old ‘scientists’ who are no more than engineers are not the right kind of scientists to do this sort of science. They don’t have the background to do the science involved. It’s like asking a Chemist to identify the migration pattern of a specific bird or a botanist to explain a Quantum Interaction between two quarks.

  • Jack

    Too bad this guy is retired. He’s smarter than all of NASA’s climate psueodscientists put together.

  • Miles

    “Doiron said he looked at the climate models that such fears are based on and felt they couldn’t be believed. After all, he said at NASA he’d used computer models to develop the landing gear for the lunar module and knows a thing or two about them.”

    I use computer models to do troubleshoot circuits. Does that qualify me as an authority on computer models? I think not. If this guy is a speaker at CPAC it’s pretty obvious what the level of intelligent discourse there is.

  • http://www.facebook.com/people/Tom-Davidson/100001252792101 Tom Davidson

    The first FORTAN programs I ever wrote (1969) were programs to find parameters to fit analytical curves to empirical data – in other words, “modelling.” One of the first things these models taught me is that, while they can be useful for interpolation (when the target lies within the scope of the data), they are all useless for extrapolation (when the target lies outside the scope of the data).
    Extrapolations are how you learn about the FLAWS in your model.

  • http://www.webdb.co.za Stop Hurting Start Healing

    How did this story make it to the press. Read the research if you want to know about climate change. What anyone thinks or feels has nothing to do with the facts.

    • JBTascam

      As the Warmist Scientists put it – “This isn’t about truth at all – it’s about sounding plausible!” Right?

      • http://www.facebook.com/michael.smith.5205 Michael Smith

        The exact quote from climategate 3.0 is

        At 16:54 27/10/2009, Michael Mann wrote:

        “As we all know, this isn’t about truth at all, its about plausibly deniable accusations.”

  • TonyB

    Watch this:

    http://youtu.be/OjD0e1d6GgQ

    It fits.

    • http://CoSy.com/ Bob Armstrong

      My god is that ignorant . I couldn’t get more than 1:45 into it before being disgusted by the arrogant determined stupidity .

  • Lancegeologist

    Climate changes are facts. It is also a fact that the Earth has been warming for thousands of years and that sea levels have been rising. We are in a post glacial period.It is also a fact that sea levels have changed many time in the past for many reasons.However when the words”climate change” is used by the vast majority of people they mean climate changes effected by man. This may or may not be the case.
    It is probable that man’s activities have contributed to climate change, but which ones? Cutting down trees, polluting, breathing, raising animals, paving over the land, etc.?It is also probable that other factors, such as the sun has played a major part. All the analysis has not been done. Too many people with non scientific agenda’s say much too much. For some its the money and others its a cause. I think its best to research and see what affects the Earth and how does the Earth react.Then we can see about fixing the problem, if there is a problem.

  • College-is-for-sheep

    More university and college grads than ever in history, and more war, famine, and disease (physical and mental) than in ALL of history. IPCC is a SHAM for all of you regurgitation addicts to follow.

  • Mukesh

    There is a lot of spin about whether the earth has warmed over the last 15 years or not. But in papers, James Hansen is debating reasons for the lack of warming over 10 years (at least) and the global warming standstill – so why is he not stating the actual facts clearly to media instead of letting WikiPedia authors spin the facts?

    http://www.columbia.edu/~jeh1/mailings/2013/20130115_Temperature2012.pdf

    http://mukeshprasadusa.blogspot.com/2013/03/climate-change-and-falsifiability.html

  • http://www.cfact.org/ CFACT Ed

    CFACT’s billboard displaying Met Office temperature data. No warming for 16 years. http://www.facebook.com/photo.php?fbid=10151534944395281&set=a.10150141139700281.328977.140379955280&type=1&theater

  • http://www.facebook.com/people/Bob-Jones/100001286368420 Bob Jones

    The problem with the whole warmist movement is not the science. The problem is no amount of science can ever justify the use of force and violence.

  • JohnEnglander

    Doiron wants experimental data to validate the climate model before we believe it. CO2 level has not been this high in 13 million years. Temperature is rising 55 times faster than at any time in ten million years. Sea Level has not been this high in 120,000 years.
    We are running the experiment now, to see how fast we can melt the ice sheets. It will no doubt be faster than the natural warming 14,000 years ago, when sea level rose 65 feet in four centuries. Doiron should explain to his grandkids about this experiment to see if Hansen’s climate models are right. If Hansen is right and we can melt the ice in centuries, rising sea level two hundred feet (something that has not happened in 30 million years) will Doiron’s heirs apologize to Hansen’s ? If they do, they will not be living in the same place as now, as that will be underwater for thousands of years.

    • http://CoSy.com/ Bob Armstrong

      Yea , we’re running the experiment , and the results are conclusive . CO2 has virtually no effect on our temperature but the plants are thriving .

  • http://twitter.com/rgray222 Richard

    Why is it that we only get the truth from government officials when they are just retiring or have already retired. Global warming is a product of govt want to tax dollars (cap & trade), Newspapers wanting headlines that sell and corporations and universities chasing the almighty grant dollar. Lets have an honest debate about it, the govt and the media simply tell us that global warming is a foregone conclusion with no discussion, like we are simply suppose to believe them at their word. Discuss, Debate, Decide!

  • http://twitter.com/StephenDGH Stephen Hann

    It depends on what he means by “a significant warming of this planet.” It is provable in the laboratory that CO2 in an atmosphere does reduce the re-radiation of heat in the infra red spectrum. This is the basic science of which the theory of global warming is based on. Any increase in the percentage of CO2 in the atmosphere does decrease the amount of heat lost into space.

    • http://www.facebook.com/people/Judy-Cross/100000475476513 Judy Cross

      MMCGW isn’t a “theory”. It was never anything but an hypothesis and the fact that CO2 continues to climb while temperatures drop shows what a failed hypothesis it is. Junk science sponsored by government to the tune of $180 Billion over the last 15 years and plenty who don’t want that gravy train to stop running. Yes, the climate is changing….that’s what has always happened. It’s the Sun, stupid!

    • Mukesh

      The science of CO2 radiation is actually a little more complicated than that… I investigated this and predicted in 2008 that while the CO2 should continue rising at 2 ppm, the rise in heat should be zero. Alarmists and deniers/skeptics, none of them agree with the “zero”, except the data does. CO2 has continued a steady march of 2 ppm, while heat rise has stayed at zero. Even Jim Hansen has had to agree that the heat rise has been zero. (Though on WikiPedia they are still spinning it…)

      http://mukeshprasadusa.blogspot.com/2013/03/climate-change-and-falsifiability.html

    • Bogus Genuine

      It’s proven in a laboratory that deuterium explodes when under pressure, but that doesn’t mean the atmosphere is going to blow up.

    • GeraldWilhite

      If the solar scientists are right about this “Maunder minimum” thing, we may soon be thankful for any heat retention we can get. I’ve been looking at some of their evidence (impressive, IMHO) and trying to learn some basic stuff about their science.

      The most interesting theoretical work I’ve found is being done by Henrik Svensmark. This guy and his team have developed what appears to be stunning climate science breakthrough. He calls it cosmoclimatology — it will rewrite the book, changing everything we thought we knew.
      Check it out here: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Henrik_Svensmark

  • AnalogDesigner

    Miles,

    I have used models to design and trouble shoot electronic circuitry for over 30 years. If you miss Doiron’s point, then I hope to heck you never troubleshoot anything for me. I certainly hope you don’t design safety critical hardware. But you did say you trouble shoot circuitry. Perhaps your education is too limited to actually design circuits. Like Doiron, I have DESIGNED man-rated hardware and safe-arm systems that people relied on for their safety. No one using my designs has ever seen a life-threatening failure.

    Doiron’s point is that models need to be validated. Over 30 years ago, my circuit analysis tool was nothing more than a matrix solving algorithm. As a designer I had to write the node equations for every circuit analyzed. That means I had to understand the circuitry. Equations just gave me a mathematical model — to actuate the model, we had to introduce an electronic model of a stimulus and solve the resulting equations. Wow, two models in one analysis! Does that rais any concerns? It had better.

    If you know anything other than how to draw a circuit in PSPICE and hit F11, you’ll know that those solutions are bounded with initial conditions. DC analysis is easy. Transient analysis is not.

    After I upgraded to PSPICE from our old matrix solver, I once (just once) claimed an integrator would go unstable based on a PSPICE Model. I took my analysis to a manager for sign-off. He rightfully chewed me out for “believing the model” and not realizing that integrators, as instantiated in my design cannot be unstable. It is a simple fact of pole-zero placement. You do know about that, don’t you?

    The model lied! Like an idiot, I threw away what I learned in my controls classes and went with the model! I did not realize my model was WRONG; I believed the MODEL.

    Climate models are no different – they approximate a very complex system. Initial conditions, stimulation models, feedbacks and other components of the model are strictly limited to specific regions where their representation of the real climate system are relevant. Doiron has simply, and correctly stated that to believe the model, it must be validated. Models must be shown to accurately represent the system being modeled.

    If climate models can’t predict past events accurately — how can anyone claim they can correctly predict something in the future? They cannot, and that is Doiron’s message.

    You don’t need to be a climatologist to ask why a model can’t predict the past accurately.

    Apparently, you do need to be a rocket scientist, especially one that has designed hardware that humans depend on for life support, to understand the limitation of models. Or, at least be honest enough to state that models have limitations!

    Computer Models of analog systems are just tools to simulate reality in a digital realm; they will never represent it 100%. They can’t because the mere fact that they are digital representations means data from the system being modeled has been lost. Computer models of chaotic systems, like climate, are even further from reality.

    Kudos to Doiron and his team. I suggest they also branch out and create
    a curriculum for Engineering schools on how to accurately create and
    TEST models (mechanical or electrical). It is very clear that the young
    designers that I have met do not have a sound understanding of circuit
    model limitations and some use PSPICE like a tinker toy – and rely on
    the output as reality.

  • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=100003256922932 Adam Cassidy

    Willie Soon is the shizzle. I love that guy.

  • GeraldWilhite

    Thank you, Dr. Doiron! You and others involved with NASA have immense credibility to the generations of now aging ‘rocket boys’ like me.who followed you. Please don’t stop speaking your mind on this or any other subject. We listen.

  • Mike435
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