Thursday, July 23, 2009

Questions from A Climate Dummy - What if it IS about the Weather?

While I have read voluminously on Climate Change and AGW over the last 3 years or so, I remain a layman / dilettante.
I don't have a science education, nor the aptitude to really understand the science behind AGW, much less professional experience in the field.
I just have a BS detector the size of a funnel cloud, relatively good powers of observation and a more than middling level of curiosity.
So looking at the debate on "the biggest crisis in history" I mainly rely on whatever common sense my Mom gave me.
I believe in the power of anecdotes and observations, providing that they are put in context and considered for bias.
One observation that I have is that there are no valid temperature measurement data. Nothing is reliable over a longer term. Consistent technology to measure ice extension / contraction in the arctic is only 30 years old (although I know from pictures that the North Pole was liquid in the 50s and that Greenland was warm enough to raise sheep 1000 years ago and that the Thames was frozen a couple of centuries ago). I know that as many as 90% of surface temperature data are invalid thanks to Anthony Watts' research. And current sea temps are all based on new technology. And I think that surrogate data can be manipulated to prove any point. Furthermore, everyone insists on using "global average temperatures" which, of course, isn't a valid measurement (the entire earth cannot have an average temperature unless all temperatures in all places are taken all the time). Which is impossible and these data would still be skewed by time zones. And generally, the total amount of CO2 released into the atmosphere is also a global figure, not a local one.
So all data having anything to do with Climate Change are compromised and useless as far as making policy.
Basically, my Spidey Senses reveal the following:
1. Big cities and urban areas are suffering the coldest summers in my lifetime as well as the worst winters
2. Remote areas (Northern Canada and Equatorial areas) are enjoying very hot summers
Consistently, both sides of this debate concentrate on "climate" rather than "weather". The Alarmist side (at least) do this, I think, to rebut observations that it is colder. They do not want to have "exceptions" (local coolness) direct public opinion rather than their "rule" - that the world is burning to a crisp.
I have read, that climate effects are based on "feedbacks" involving calculations that I am unable to understand. But the basic concept from the Realist side, I think from what I've read, is that increased CO2 leads to increased water vapour which results in cooler temperatures.
So, my question to experts, based upon my layman observation is this:
Might "the Weather" actually be more important to study than "the Climate"?
Is it possible that human caused CO2 has a greater effect on local areas (urban centres) where it is created and is most concentrated, than in areas where industrial activity and the release of CO2 emissions are nominal?
If my observations as a dummy are accurate (and I have no idea if they are valid), then the whole debate would change. CO2 would indeed become a pollution like NO2 that caused acid rain. And by putting the equivalent to catalytic converters in cars and scrubbers in chimneys this pollution can be eliminated in a few years.
What sayeth the Climate Experts out there.

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