One can only imagine how you envision the consensus. Academia is mostly concerned with the politics of keeping the flow of funding flowing. Scientific theories (models) are just a means to that end. And that often means that scientific institutions adopt a model and employ all kinds of political tactics to evade scrutiny of their model. It can also mean that they will dumb down their model so that it appeals to the lowest common denominator of the voting public.CharlesChandler wrote:Nobody is saying that accepted science is infallible, certainly not just because it's accepted. If you know anything at all about my work, you know that I am perfectly willing to go against accepted theories, in meteorology, geophysics, astrophysics, and in other disciplines as well. As a result, I'm considered a crackpot on the mainstream forums in all of those disciplines. But some aspects of accepted science are pretty solid, and a good theorist has to be careful not to throw out the baby with the bath water. More to the point, it's useful when discussing the issues to clearly identify where you diverge from the consensus, and for what reasons. Challenge the consensus if you want, but if you don't know what you're challenging, and have a demonstrable reason for diverging, the reason is then just that you feel like arguing with somebody, validated only by the fact that the consensus can be wrong. But that doesn't make you right.Aardwolf wrote: Yes, we all forget how infallible accepted science is.
For example. The following is an attempt by professional meteorologists to admonish journalists for using the phrase "clash of air masses," in regard to journalists' attempts to explain the origins of tornadoes to the public:
http://journals.ametsoc.org/. ... 13-00252.1
Tornadoes in the Central United States and the "Clash of Air Masses"
by DAVID M. SCHULTZ, YVETTE P. RICHARDSON, PAUL M. MARKOWSKI, CHARLES A. DOSWELL III
Therein you will find statements that purportedly delineates the current state of knowledge about what causes storms and tornadoes (edited slightly to improve readability):
". . . storms occurred when warm humid air near the surface lay under drier air aloft with temperature decreasing rapidly with height [originating from higher terrain to the west or southwest], providing energy for the storms through the production of instability. Large changes in wind with height ("wind shear") over both shallow (lowest 1 km) and deep (lowest 6 km) layers--combined with the instability and high humidity near the surface--created a situation favorable for tornadoes to form."
". . . all convective storms are initiated when air parcels with convective available potential energy (CAPE) reach their level of free convection (LFC), with one of the most common mechanisms for storm initiation being ascent associated with airmass boundaries . . . "
Is any of this genuinely explanatory? Aren’t these statements actually just observations repackaged to sound sciencey? To me it seems there is a lot of circular reasoning and tautological rhetoric in all of this: updrafts are caused by up-moving air; instability is the result of air being unstable; winds get higher with height. Ultimately one might argue that these statements achieve nothing other than to add another layer of abstraction between the reader and the realization that, frankly, meteorology doesn't understand storms or tornadoes?
James McGinn / Solving Tornadoes