Tuesday, February 8, 2011

Krugman as a Bold Climatologist

Paul Krugman tells us that he has "spent a lot of the last several days reading about climate change, extreme weather events, food prices, and so on." This is apparently enough for him to pontificate (in NYT!) about climate and to inform us all about climate change.

This is the most absurd thing Krugman has ever written. First he is telling us that there will be no more records broken as far as all time cold temperatures. Look at his chart. He has his entire curve shifting on the x (temperature) axis. But he tell us this is what climate change is all about:
Now suppose that a warming trend shifts the whole probability distribution to the right — which is what we mean when we talk about climate change.
If the entire probability distribution shifts, which Krugman tells us is what climate change is all about. Then it is impossible to have a record new all time lows. That's a very bold statement (for a new climatologist). .

 Now, I do not pretend to be a climatologist, but I do know that global warming truthers believe that global temperatures could, first, drop as a result of global warming.

The theory goes like this. The melting of the ice caps causes cold water (just above 32 degrees) to flow south causing overall surface ocean temperatures to drop along the west coast of the U.S., which results in (I think) a colder jet stream.

Maybe we should give Krugman a few more days of reading and he'll come back at us with a more detailed analysis.

In truth, climate is a very complex phenomena with many, many inputs and I seriously doubt anyone who hasn't spent decades studying climate really has any notion of what is going on, even Krugman.


  1. He said: What happens is that the right tail gets fatter: the probability, and hence the frequency, of extreme events goes up.

    Well, can't the left tail gets fatter as well? So we can still have new all-time low.

    Also sprach Analyst

  2. To paraphrase Mises, there are no constants in butterfly wing-flapping action, and other assorted phenomenon. The climate modeling groups are staffed with comp sci flunkies that couldn't land a gig in Austin or the Valley. There are many parallels between them and econometricians, but at least econometricians don't attempt to predict global GDP in 2100. Or do they: http://www.env-econ.net/2008/05/climate-change.html