More is less in science and climatology

Recent discovery published in Bio Science by a group of scientists seems to add evidence for actions to be taken to prevent human influence on global warming.

Article elaborates evidence that reservoirs created by dams are important source of greenhouse gasses that are understood as major influence on global warming. Most probably there are no doubts that article rests on solid scientific method. Methane is produced in large quantities from enormous surfaces of water trapped behind artificial damms.

Thus I do not challenge science behind this article, but science behind the concept of man produced and consequently man controllable global warming. And this article helps me in this respect a great deal. Why?

Because it adds evidence for complexity behind global warming issues. Consider this series of questions that fuel global warming phenomena.

  1. How many points in atmosphere do we measure? We know, that we can not measure all points around the globe up to 100.000 meters or even more that represent Earth climate. And we know that we do not have to measure all points all the time. We are able to calculate averages – but again those averages are more accurate with each additional measure point and with shorter time lapses between measurements. On micro measurements we see that we can now predict weather for next 10 days for a “point” of approximately 5 square km. While this is a joke in micro measurement even more important joke happens in climatology, macro measurement.
  2. In climatology macro measurements come in place. But macro measurement means also macro time scale. Meaning that in macro measurement 100.000 years means as much as 1 second of our life or even less. We can see a difference between 100.000years ago and 200.000years ago. Even less we can evaluate climate changes on the scale of 200 years that supposed to belong to anthropocene era. (By the way: the idea of scientific community to declare anthropocene era as starting with industrial revolution is naive, ideological and anti-scientific. The hell: stupid! First of all we can not declare the moment when humans appeared on Earth since according to evolutionary theory this would be utmost stupidity. And second: to erase 99% of human history from anthropocene era is something that one can only understand as blindness provoked by notion that technology replaced an almighty God.) Because of this confusion we compare (unreliable) short term temperature rises with quite reliable long term trends.
  3. And then there is another utterly unresolved question to which mentioned article ads problems. Namely: what influences Earth climate and in what degree each of what’s influence climate. It should be quite clear that there is no such thing on Earth that would not influence thermodynamic equilibrium. We do know that butterfly wing movement in China could in theory and in practice influence a storm in USA. This is not a metaphor. It is only a metaphor as it explains in clear language that it is impossible to list all provoked events from a butterfly to a storm. But this is only one event that happens each moment in each point of our atmosphere.

What has to be done to manipulate earth’s climate is to permutate all results of all three above questions. And since each of three questions produce a permuted (huge) number of possible results the permutation of all results brings a number of options and relations higher than the number of atoms in entire Universe. We will understand relations with scientific experiments better every day, but we will never be able to develop an algorithm that would describe the system and allow us to influence it with predictable results.

Article in BioScience is thus important for it adds additional evidence to complexity of climate to those that still believe someday we will be able to deduce it to manageable algorithm. But it is also important for another reason: it brings cognitive dissonance to all prophets of renewable energy mantra. Hydropower was acclaimed as one of “cleanest” and “carbon-free” energy sources available. With solar panels inefficient and causing problems in disposing used solar panels, now we have hydropower not  only to be blamed for huge “visual” damages to Mother Nature, but also as important global warming factor. Poor global-warming-panic-makers, you will have to read some philosophy as well and learn that sometimes less is more and more is less.





Andrej Drapal