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Monday, April 09, 2018

Climate change beclowned itself

"A team of scientists have solved the mystery of Earth’s missing nitrogen, a discovery with significant implications for climate change," the Independent reported.


"This runs counter the centuries-long paradigm that has laid the foundation for the environmental sciences," Professor Ben Houlton, an environmental scientist at the University of California, Davis and co-lead author of the study.

(Co-lead? They couldn't decide on a leader?)

That's interesting. Overnight, scientists have had the rug pulled out from environmental science.

Nitrogen is a pretty big deal when it comes to air. Nitrogen is 780,800 parts per million of the atmosphere, compared to the 350 to 400 parts per million that carbon dioxide is.

And for centuries, scientists have been wrong about nitrogen, which is 2,000 times as big as carbon dioxide is as part of the atmosphere.

Houlton contends that scientists believed plants got their nitrogen from the air.


I thought plants also got their nitrogen from fertilizer.

At any rate, Houlton claims the bedrock of climate science has shifted. Hmm. Maybe the skeptics are right about climate change.


  1. Scientists whose chief interest is in controlling the way we live when they can't even decide on the controlling variables in their equations should be treated as what they are: charlatans and threats.

    The lesson going forward is that nothing is settled, least of all "science".

  2. Funny, my high-school biology text said that soil bacteria were involved.

    1. Micro-organisms are way too complex for climate scientists (or nutrition scientists) (or any adjectival scientists other than the micro-biologists who study them) to comprehend.

  3. "A team of scientists they have solved the mystery of Earth’s missing nitrogen, a discovery with significant implications for climate change," the Independent reported."

    Everybody knows that nitrogen turns into daytrogen when the sun comes up. (My silly struck early today.)

  4. The earth's missing nitrogen is because we get so many damned thunderstorms up here in DubVee

  5. What do you think has been keeping the city of Nitro perking along? They've been vacuuming up all the nitrogen they can get. - Elric

  6. "As this previously unrecognised source could be fuelling the growth of many more plants, ecosystems around the world may be sucking more emissions from the atmosphere than past climate models have predicted."

    Sorry, but the last part of that quote is ludicrous. The amount of CO2 consumed/sequestered by plants --- by definition --- ought to be an INPUT to the climate models, not an OUTPUT. If it's a "prediction" instead of an "input parameter," then the models are worthless self-fulfilling computer exercises, nothing more. But we pretty much knew that anyway, didn't we?

    1. Yeah, we did. But do they know that? -- BJ54

  7. In that story, one of the side links is an article (on which I did not click) entitled. "Future Technology Cannot Rescue Mankind From Climate Change"

    (Dramatic pause, for effect)

    Well I guess we don't need all those hideous solar panels and tri-bladed bird blenders. Also, F your Prius.

  8. When it became obvious to the government's climate lackeys, er, scientists, that short-term, natural warming peaked in about 1998, they put out the word that the coming calamity was no longer "warming" but "climate change". Oh, they still kept adjusting temperatures up and announcing each succeeding year the "warmest ever", but terrible winters inevitably came along and undermined the scam to normal people. We noticed that snow and cold still came along like they always did. Now most global warming true believers are leftist who need it to be true for their agenda.

  9. Math. How many parts in a million?

  10. Science, were man to exercise his superior intellect, would always be the horse that pulls man's cart (making life's journey easier) instead, we have foolishly ceded to the horse the right to decide where we are going.

  11. IPCC Third Assessment Report
    Chapter 14
    Last paragraph:

    “In sum, a strategy must recognize what is possible. In climate research and modeling, we should recognize that we are dealing with a coupled non-linear chaotic system, and therefore that the long-term prediction of future climate states is not possible.”

    This information was not included in the Summary Report for Policymakers given to the press and public.

    If the climate is indeed a coupled non-linear chaotic system (who can doubt the IPCC) then there is no rational or scientific basis to make a definitive statement about a future state of the climate.

    At this point the coupled non-linear chaotic nature of the climate makes scientific observations academically interesting but individually they have no relevance in predicting the future state of the climate. The climate is a system which means the relationships among these observations are what is important not the observations themselves.

    All the public discourse regarding the future state of the climate has been based on the false premise that the current climate models are predicting the future state of the climate when in fact the models are merely projecting these states.

    Predictions are the purview of science. Model projections can only agree with predictions when the models duplicate the real world which the IPCC says is impossible to do.

    To base public policy on an unknowable state of a system defies common sense. However, too much money and political power is at stake for the Central Planners to do otherwise.

    I would argue that the Climate Model True Believers are the ones taking an unscientific approach to the subject.

    In January 1961 President Eisenhower in his Farewell Address identified the situation in which we find ourselves today:

    “Akin to, and largely responsible for the sweeping changes in our industrial-military posture, has been the technological revolution during recent decades.
    In this revolution, research has become central; it also becomes more formalized, complex, and costly. A steadily increasing share is conducted for, by, or at the direction of, the Federal government.
    Today, the solitary inventor, tinkering in his shop, has been overshadowed by task forces of scientists in laboratories and testing fields. In the same fashion, the free university, historically the fountainhead of free ideas and scientific discovery has experienced a revolution in the conduct of research. Partly because of the huge costs involved, a government contract becomes virtually a substitute for intellectual curiosity. For every old blackboard there are now hundreds of new electronic computers.
    The prospect of domination of the nation's scholars by Federal employment, project allocations, and the power of money is ever present and is gravely to be regarded. Yet, in holding scientific research and discovery in respect, as we should, we must also be alert to the equal and opposite danger that public policy could itself become the captive of a scientific-technological elite.
    It is the task of statesmanship to mold, to balance, and to integrate these and other forces, new and old, within the principles of our democratic system -- ever aiming toward the supreme goals of our free society.”

    Other relevant publications from Eric Hoffer are: “The True Believer” and “The Temper of Our Times”

    From “The Temper of Our Times”: “Every great cause begins as a movement, becomes a business and eventually degenerates into a racket.”