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Petro Engineers in Climatology Pt. 2

THE ENGINEER’S OPINION HAS VALUE - From the Peg, April 2010

I would like to congratulate Managing Editor George Lee and the entire team for their excellent work on the new PEG. I am pleased to see the Readers’ Forum is still alive and well, and I note that there were several submissions from the sceptic group, when it comes to the debate about the theory of human-caused global warming. Perhaps supporters of the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change are at a loss for words to explain
the events of the past three months or so (1).

MickeyMouseEngineer
Anthropogenic global warming is attributed to the CO2 we exhaust into the atmosphere (2). Of the infrared radiation that leaves the Earth’s surface, the small component of it that comprises resonant frequences of CO2 is absorbed and increases the energy level of the CO2 molecule. This energy is then distributed by collision with other molecules and reradiation of the same resonant frequencies, which is, in actual fact, a study in physics, not climatology (3).

It is frequently stated that engineers have no part in this debate. I take issue with that.
I believe many engineers are capable (4) and have the required mathematical skills to understand and evaluate the papers written by eminent physicists, and by so doing form a considered opinion based on scientific fact. It is interesting to note that despite the fact that the so-called greenhouse-gas effect (5) is a subject that can only be evaluated by applying the laws of physics (6), no such evaluation has ever appeared in any of the four intergovernmental panel reports.

I have considered, by my count, 14 independent variables that have an impact on our surface temperature.
I am sure there are more (7).

Even in high school we learned (8) that when you have 14 variables and one resultant, you must have 14 independent equations to be able to solve for any of the unknowns. We are not even close to being able to define the influence of any of the variables, so how can we select one — CO2 — and say we know what its effect is (9)?

We have been able to quantify many of these variables — such as top-of-atmosphere outgoing radiation, cloud cover and sea surface temperatures — since the satellites first sent back data in 1979. Prior to that there was zero data in those areas, so
how can we possibly quantify the effect of CO2 using data going back 150 years and proxy data hundreds of thousands of years (10)?

To say that the results of computer simulations, statistics (many of which are computer generated and not instrumental data) and correlation are “solid scientific proof” is an insult to all the sciences, including engineering.

If politicians and the news media can pontificate with such proliferation on a subject that they have absolutely no knowledge of,
I see no reason why the engineer’s opinion should not be heard (11).

BARRY MOORE, P.ENG. Calgary


FoGT comments:

(1) We are equally at a loss of what should have happened in the last three months or so. But the writer is likely referring to the El Nino. El Nino as part of the internal climate variabiltiy has added a component of warming to the overall trend. Since El Nino does not add to the energy budget of the planet, the Association of Professional Engineers, Geologists, and Geophysicists of Alberta (APEGGA) should join their Republican colleagues in the US and demand that the effect of El Nino be excluded from the offical temperature records. In turn, warmists should not be allowed to have the effects of the 2007 La Nina removed from the records, which is the basis for the claim that the the world has been cooling since
1998 2002 since the last cherry harvest whenever, used as proof that global warming does not exist has stopped is not caused by CO2. After all: Cui finis est licitus, etiam media sunt licita! Or: anything goes as long as it fits our agenda is not man-made.

(2) Basically yes, otherwise it would not be called anthropogenic.

(3) Climatology vs. physics: atmospheric physics is part of climatology.

(4) We do not!

(5) The so-called greenhouse gas effect, reproduced in so-called labs and measured by so-called satellites.

(6) Laws of physics: no, the atmospheric physicists rather apply the laws of chemistry

(7) We, too.

(8) High school?

(9) Nobody says that CO2 is the
only driver of climate, but it is one of the few we can control and the one that presently causes the stronges energy imbalance (warming). And why should the physical characteristics of CO2 depend on the mysterlious other variables?

(10) Yes we can! And you can read how...

(11) We agree that Alberta frontier engineers should not waste their time on reading so-called peer-reviewed literature. Instead, they can re-invent the wheel on the back of a napkin at their leasure.

In summary, this engineer shows his lack of understanding of what science is and how it works in general - let alone atmosphereic physics in particular. He lifts the scientist up in an elevated position and now can bark up to the elitist clique that ignores his simple train of thoughts.

From the frontier engineers' album of verses: It is better to keep silent and be thought a fool than to speak and remove all doubt.