Thursday, March 05, 2009

Uncertainty a climate reality.

All traditional logic habitually assumes that precise symbols are being employed.It is therfore not applicable to this terrestrial life,nut only to the celestial one.The law of the excluded middle (A or not-A)is true when precise synbols are employed,but it is not true when aynbols are vague,as in fact all symbols are.

Bertrand Russell. 1923

In another recent paper where uncertainty,and sustainability are integrated,we see some interesting arguments.

Hydrol. Earth Syst. Sci., 13, 247–257, 2009

“Climate, hydrology, energy, water: recognizing uncertainty and
seeking sustainability”

D. Koutsoyiannis, C. Makropoulos A. Langousis, S. Baki, A. Efstratiadis, A. Christofides, G. Karavokiros, and N. Mamassis

Abstract. Since 1990 extensive funds have been spent on research in climate change. Although Earth Sciences, including climatology and hydrology, have benefited significantly, progress has proved incommensurate with the effort and funds, perhaps because these disciplines were perceived as “tools” subservient to the needs of the climate change enterprise rather than autonomous sciences. At the same time,research was misleadingly focused more on the “symptom”,i.e. the emission of greenhouse gases, than on the “illness”, i.e. the unsustainability of fossil fuel-based energy production. Unless energy saving and use of renewable resources
become the norm, there is a real risk of severe socioeconomic crisis in the not-too-distant future. A framework for drastic paradigm change is needed, in which water plays a central role, due to its unique link to all forms of renewable energy, from production (hydro and wave power) to storage (for time-varying wind and solar sources), to biofuel production (irrigation). The extended role of water should be considered in parallel to its other uses, domestic, agricultural and industrial. Hydrology, the science of water on Earth, must move towards this new paradigm by radically rethinking its fundamentals, which are unjustifiably trapped in the 19thcentury myths of deterministic theories and the zeal to eliminate uncertainty. Guidance is offered by modern statistical and quantum physics, which reveal the intrinsic character of uncertainty/entropy in nature, thus advancing towards a new understanding and modelling of physical processes, which is central to the effective use of renewable energy and water resources

This is a critical paper, that will set the “tongues wagging” eg

"According to data presented by the Climatic Research Unit (CRU), the global temperature was stable in 2002-2005 and had a slight decreasing trend since then; i.e., the last years were cooler than about 10 years ago, and the highest global temperatures were recorded 11 years ago, in 1998 (Fig. 1). One should also keep in mind that according to IPCC AR4 (Randall et al., 2007) general circulation models (GCM) have better predictive capacity for temperature than for other climatic variables (e.g. precipitation) and their quantitative estimates of future climate are particularly credible at continental scales and above. Hence, the fact that the historical evolution of temperature at the global scale resists GCM predictions may also indicate that the predictive capacity of GCMs for other variables and scales is even poorer…

,,,Furthermore, the current “climate” in the environmental scientific community, which favours (almost fanatical) ideological views of scientific issues, is genuinely becoming an issue of concern. Scientists arguing against “orthodox” and established “beyond doubt” views on the climate are often mistreated (and examples unfortunately abound). This non-scientific “climate” is at odds with the basis of scientific inquiry and puts its credibility at risk. Scientific progress presupposes diversity, rather than dominance of a single group or idea. Falsification of current research trends is a likely possibility (cf. Miller, 2007) and history teaches that, sooner or later, myths collapse (cf. the “predecessor” myth of “global cooling”, which prevailed in the 1970s; Gwynne,
1975; Ponte, 1976).

Lifting a single sentence from the above paragraph we can see the importance of the paradigm.

“ Scientific progress presupposes diversity, rather than dominance of a single group or idea”

Exactly so Bertrand Russel in his book on skeptics ,tells us “the greatest controversies are those, of which there is no clear evidence one way or the other.”

That said his coauthor of Principia Mathmatica Whitehouse said also “that a clash of doctrines is not a reason for concern, it is an opportunity.

An as an example of the scientific method, we can falsify some of the conclusions of Koutsoyiannis 2009 by our previous post here


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