I can get away with putting a thumping big electric motor inside a model of a steam locomotive and very few people will pick nits.

But model railroading is a HOBBY, for Odin's sake, not an attempt to influence public policy or the hiring practices of Norfolk Southern.

On the other hand, if you're attempting to build a model of anthropogenic climate change and you don't pay attention to the circulation of water in the oceans, or to photosynthesis, you may have a problem.

Start with this cartoon guide to the so-called scientific consensus.  "We've overloaded the atmosphere with heat trapping gas and the rest are just details."  I'll concur in part: using the atmosphere as a sink for combustion products and cow farts without paying for it is likely to produce inefficiencies.  But your basic exemplifying theory model of externality or collusion is convincing, or not, to the extent that it pays attention to essential elements.

Leave out major details like ocean circulation or photosynthesis, though, and people might not take your policy recommendations seriously.
This week saw the 18th anniversary since the Earth's temperature last rose - something that Dr Benny Peiser, from the Global Warming Policy Forum, says experts are struggling to understand.

He explains that we are now in the midst of a "crisis of credibility" because the global warming - and accompanied 'Doomsday' effects - that we were once warned about has not happened.

Scientists from the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) once predicted a temperature rise of 0.2 degrees per decade - but are now baffled by the fact our planet's temperature has not increased for almost two decades.
Let's hope that enough of the civilized world's population understands that "if facts do not conform to the theory they must be disregarded" is a joke. (Maier's Law, to be precise.)
Speaking exclusively to Express.co.uk, Dr Peiser said: "What has happened is that the public has become more sceptical because they were told we are facing Doomsday, and suddenly they realise ‘Where is the warming that we were promised?’"

"They say we can predict the climate and the reality is that they can’t."
Scroll all the way down: "if it is settled, it is not science." Thus, there's an opportunity for further research.
Because of this so-called "global warming hiatus", Dr Peiser says climate change is not as pressing of an issue as it once was, a fact that should be embraced by the scientific community.

"Climate change used to be a top priority but it has dropped quite significantly - other issues are more important for international meetings," he said.

"The reality is that they are quite relieved in a way, and we should all be relieved that it isn’t such a big problem at present.

"We might have much more time than many people once told us."
And, perhaps, to devote that time to looking for elements, thus-far-excluded, that are essential.
Anthony Lupo, an associate professor of atmospheric science at the University of Missouri – Columbia, and member of the National Weather Association, told The College Fix in an email that “climate change can be caused by a number of factors, including human.”

The majority of media pundits and global warming alarmists, Lupo told The Fix, are adherents of the idea that anthropogenic warming, or warming caused by humans, is the primary cause of climate change. Other scientists in the meteorological field are more skeptical, he said.

“They believe the ratio of natural (causes) to human (causes) is roughly 50-50, and there are those, like myself, who assess a smaller contribution for humans. But anyone who discounts a natural contribution is out to lunch.”

“We’ve gotten to the point where it’s taken on faith, humans drive everything. It’s simply not true,” Lupo told The Fix.

There have been other top-notch climatologists that have come out in support of the view that nature plays a principle role in climate change. For example, Dr. Horst-Joachim L├╝decke, a climate scientist at Germany’s Saarland University, published a paper in the climate-science journal Energy and Environment showing that the sun, not humans, largely drives climate change.
If not the sun, perhaps it's circulation of the ocean.
A new study from the journal Proceedings of The National Academy of Sciences found human beings are not the primary contributors to global warming. As it turns out, natural variability in the Earth’s atmosphere plays a crucial role in climate change.

The study, conducted by Jim Johnstone, who worked on it while a climatologist at the Joint Institute for the Study of the Atmosphere and Ocean at the University of Washington, does not refute climate change. Rather, he and others find that warming temperatures attributed to climate change in the Pacific Ocean off of the West Coast are tied to natural shifting winds.
Fail to disentangle the oceanic circulation from the effects of rising carbon dioxide concentration, and you get a scary picture.

And I haven't elaborated on the effects of photosynthesis, because the scientists are only now working on it.
The study in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences focusses on the slow diffusion of CO2 in plant leaves, with particular attention to the mesophyll or their inner tissue.

It concludes: "Carbon cycle models that lack explicit understanding of mesophyll diffusion will underestimate historical and future terrestrial carbon uptake.

"Consequently, they will overestimate historical and future growth rates of atmospheric CO2 concentration due to fossil fuel emissions, with ramifications for predicted climate change."
If it's science, it isn't settled.
Benny Peiser of the Global Warming Policy Forum said: "This new paper adds to a growing body of research which shows that climate science is far from settled. Quite the opposite is true: the more we learn, the more we realise just how little we know.

"The research claims that current computer models have failed to account for past and current terrestrial carbon sinks and are thus inherently flawed in making any accurate climate predictions.

"The paper also confirms that the Earth's climate system is far more complex and far less understood than many people claim."
And warmer oceans, for whatever cause, might mean more continental snow cover.  With the prospect of a reprise of the Polar Vortex in DeKalb (quoting at length from a Northern Illinois University winter outlook that might soon be taken down (not censorship: that is the standard link for the most recent statement, which might be a summary of rainfall totals or local tornadoes when you click it.)
THE WINTER 2014 OUTLOOK. Unfortunately, several factors which came into play during the winter of 2013-2014 persist as we approach the winter of 2014. First, abnormally warm sea surface temperatures in the north-central Pacific and the Gulf of Alaska. This helps steer the jet stream up and over that warmer area into Siberia and the Canadian Northwest Territories, before it drops southward from there into the central United States. Another factor that favors this pattern to continue is that there will be no, or a weak, El Nino this winter. A strong El Nino can help offset the effects of the warm waters in the north Pacific, but some of our coldest winters have occurred with neutral El Nino/Southern Oscillation (ENSO) conditions, or no El Nino in place.

Next, we watch for building snow cover in Asia and the eastern former Soviet bloc, and also across Canada. Both are now happening, and in fact, snow cover is continuing to get further south, and expanding, across southern Canada with each significant storm system. This allowed Polar air to flow southward into our area this past weekend behind an intense storm system; that dropped heavy snow in Canada, but it also brought our third earliest snow flurries recorded in our 130 year climate record history.

Finally, when you look at analogs to similar winters, 13 of them come up as resembling the conditions we have now. Of those 13, 12 of the winters were colder, and snowier, than average. The one that wasn't had a weak El Nino, in the winter of 2004-2005.

Here's the latest snow cover map...


That will be one to watch in the weeks to come. If the snow coverage area increases later this month significantly, then the chances for us getting a colder than average winter increase.
No shortage of interesting research questions.

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