Saturday, March 29, 2014

FMEA, CAGW and 97%

As I mentioned, I am commenting on MinnPost No Pause but Much Disruption.  The discussion got me thinking about Failure Mode Effect Analysis. (FMEA)  This a tool that we use when looking for potential problems in order to manage them proactively.   
  • Probability (P): likelihood of occurrence
  • Severity (S): how bad will the consequences be
  • Detection (D):  likelihood of issue being found before failure
  • Risk level (P*S) and (D)
This got me wondering what does this questionable 97% actually support?
  1. Human actions may be affecting the climate slightly (low severity)
  2. Human actions are moderately affecting the climate. (some adapting reqd)
  3. Human actions are significantly affecting the climate (major migrations & adapting reqd)
  4. Human actions are devastating the climate (there will be no more humans on earth)
  5. Other?
As I have said before, I do agree that human actions are warming our atmosphere to some extent.  Every time we burn fossil fuels or use electricity, heat energy is released due to the burning process and/or the inefficiency of the mechanical device. (ie engine, etc)  All that potential energy is being dug up and made active within the Earth's atmosphere, so unless the Earth's atmosphere is losing this energy, it is still here as heat.

With that all said, I could believe that 97% of scientists could believe in #1 above.  The question I have is how many believe in numbers 3 & 4?

Forbes: Doctoring 97%
Pop Tech 97% Study Falsely Classifies Papers
Wiki 97% and anthropogenic global warming (AGW)

Forbes: Peer Reviewed Survey
CSW: Taylor Misinterprets
Science Blogs: Denialism From Forbes

Friends of Science Report
DITC: So Called 97%
Watts Up: 97% Consensus Disproven

This came from the Watts Up link and makes my point.
"A tweet in President Obama’s name had assumed that the earlier, flawed paper, by John Cook and others, showed 97% endorsement of the notion that climate change is dangerous.

The new paper by the leading climatologist Dr David Legates and his colleagues, published in the respected Science and Education journal, now in its 21st year of publication, reveals that Cook had not considered whether scientists and their published papers had said climate change was “dangerous”."


John said...

From G2A Climate Change Revisited Jerry left the following link to help explain the following comment

"cores from different places and by many different scientists, and every single one of them shows exactly the opposite of what Al Gore says about the data."

Science of Doom CO2 lags Temperature

John said...

I liked that link, I agree the writer seems pretty balanced. I found this quote fairly humorous.

"“Skeptics” now arrive and claim to “debunk” the science of the IPCC by debunking Al Gore’s movie. They rely on the ignorance of their audience. Or demonstrate their own."

John said...

I am very curious what this all means since we humans have definitely changed the equation.

If higher CO2 does proceed colder temperatures and we are releasing more energy and CO2 by burning fossil fuels (ie stored energy), does this mean we will actually end up with a cooling trend?

Or will the extra energy cancel the CO2 effect? Definitely worth monitoring.

jerrye92002 said...

To your point here, the probability that the computer models correctly predict global temperature is less than 5%, and falling. So the probability of the "Catastrophe" is low.

The costs of CAGW have been lowered in the latest IPCC report, from 10% to 2% of global GDP, and that is without the positives of reduced cold-weather death, heating costs and increased plant growth.

As for detection, it is now fairly easy to get reliable reading of LOCAL "climate" conditions, and our short-term predictive capability-- say 12-72 hours-- isn't too bad. Our ability to measure a "global temperature" is questionable at best, and our predictive ability for 100 years hence is simply absent.

And here is where FMEA becomes very useful to understanding this debate. FMEA tries to quantitatively establish that the cost of prevention is lower than the cost (cost * probability) of failure. But that absolutely REQUIRES that each individual CAUSE of the failure be uniquely known and quantified. Suppose the skeptics correctly interpret the ice core data, and that rising CO2 does NOT drive global temperatures upward, or is one of many factors? At that point, any money spent to prevent CAGW would be wasted, and in any event "success" could not be measured, unless you had a parallel Earth somewhere! And our measuring tools we have aren't adequate for the job. Remember the original IPCC report said that if every nation fully followed the Kyoto Treaty, world temperatures in 2100 would be 0.02 degrees lower? Where?

This naturally leads me to the previous conclusion that, since we can detect local climate conditions AND their effects with absolute certainty as they occur or shortly prior, the cost of adaptation is the absolutely correct amount to be spent at that point in time, and all preventive measures are a waste of the resources that could be better used for adaptation. One more example: The CAGW folks think global warming causes more hurricanes (and they're clearly wrong, but), so what is the cost of stopping all hurricanes, compared with the cost of evacuating people in the path of one?

Laurie said...

I think it is number 3. My uncertainty is about the rate of change and also the difficulty in proving things such as the increased frequency and severity of droughts are caused by climate change. Floods and wild fires, too.

Anonymous said...

Interesting model. How does it work when we plug in values? Do we apply it with relation health care choices? One thing to note that while probability is almost always somewhere between 0 and 100%, the severity is often an absolute. The worst case health care scenario is death. Comparing relatives with absolutes is problematic. Are we really willing to base life and death decisions on the flip of a coin?

Something to take into account is that truth is not related to probability. Unlikely things happen all the time. Indeed, viewed from some perspectives, nothing ever occurs that isn't unlikely.


John said...

With FMEA's one only gets to look at the severity of the consequences of the first/most likely failure.

Otherwise the saying is that "all failures end in death..." For example.

If the steering linkage fails on the equipment I work with... It may hit a power pole... Which may take out the power on at a hospital and death ensues...

Good tool if used correctly...

John said...

Any sources to review regarding the #3 rating?

What will be the cost across the world if the oceans do rise ~4 ft?

We have a hard time dealing with dummies who insist that New Orleans needs to kept dry... Even the parts below sea level..

I guess I had better visit Miami soon... Maybe we should make some money by buying land away from ocean, assuming it will be ocean front in a few years. Sea Level Map

I mean the USA can adjust, we have a lot of land. What about SE Asia?

Laurie said...

my quick search for info provided by my trusted liberal sources tuned up this brief article:

Scientists: Current International Warming Target Is “Disastrous”

John said...

It looks bad when the UN's climate chief and the author both question it's scientific merit, however thanks for the source.

"To be clear, the budget is not inscribed in any formal climate policy and was even dismissed by the UN’s climate chief as a poor basis for an international treaty"

"The paper was peer-reviewed, but Hansen said he produced it primarily as a tool for the courthouse, rather than the scientific debate hall. “We started this paper to provide a basis for legal actions against governments in not doing their jobs in protecting the rights of young people and future generations,” he said."

jerrye92002 said...

Here's another attempt to quantify the "failure mode" underlying CAGW. Generally, you look at the biggest failure modes and their causes first. No, I don't have the cite, just the quote.

"The APS notes that solar and thermal warming of the earth’s surface is about 503 watts per square metre, whereas the IPCC’s estimate of manmade CO2 forcing is only 1.3-3.3 watts per square metre, less than 0.5% of the total. Even if CO2 levels leapt from the present 400 parts per million to 550ppm, the CO2 warming would still be less than 4 watts per square metre, the APS says." [APS is American Physics Society.]

jerrye92002 said...

“We started this paper to provide a basis for legal actions against governments..."

I would LOVE to get these people in court and force them to PROVE conclusively that a) they have standing, because the disaster they predict has not yet happened, and b) that CAGW will inevitably happen if their demands are not met AND c)that the requested "relief" asked of the courts is wholly sufficient. Right now, there is a preponderance of evidence against all three propositions. They might and should be laughed out of court.

Come to think of it, the proposition WAS before a court in England, and Al Gore's movie was found to contain substantial "misstatements of fact."