y2k bug in climate change data: how much does it change the results?

I’ll let the computer and climate scientists speak for themselves.

I’ve great concern for communicating climate change to the public. Science simply doesn’t work that way that the climate change skeptics demand it to (i.e., someone wins and someone loses). We create falsifiable hypotheses and our data has error bars. Working with complex models means we have trouble asserting causality to individual components. Against the qualifications and uncertainties with which our scientist culture has grown accustomed, the public is buffeted by clear memes of what is accurate or (in the case of the y2k bug) inaccurate about the data. Once again, science doesn’t work that way.

(BTW, environmental students do not enter university accepting uncertainty of data and outcomes. They want the undeniable evidence that their view of the environmental calamity is correct and want us to supply them with the exact tools to fix the planet. Not to say all students are like that but many are dismayed that the world is far more complicated than that.)

Update: James Hansen responds.

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