Monday, December 29, 2008

Physicists may save us from climate alarmists

The physics community is starting to move into the global warming fray in a more public way. 2008 saw two physics publications endorse more debate and skepticism about the claims of the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) -- especially claims that we are facing catastrophe of some sort.

These catastrophic predictions are based on computer models, which are essentially complex mathematical formulas. These formulas are the product of educated guesswork about how factors like sunlight, water vapor, the reflectivity of the earth's surface, CO2, methane, aerosols, and a few other factors act and interact with each other to increase or decrease global temperature. Physics is a field that is built on the bedrock of mathematics. Physicists are starting to intensely analyse and critique the models that climate scientists are using to predict disaster ahead as a result of man's fossil fuel usage.

Most recently, an editorial in Physics Today concluded, "Although the radiative [i.e. warming] effect of CO2 cannot be ignored, the science of climate change is more complex than presented by the IPCC." Author Roger A. Pielke Sr., senior research scientist at the Cooperative Institute for Research in Environmental Science, continues, "Humans are significantly altering the global climate, but in a variety of diverse ways beyond... CO2." (Physics Today, November 2008) In other words, the climate models are not sufficient to account for the many effects (both warming and cooling effects) of human activity.

Earlier this year in the Forum on Physics & Society, an online publication of the American Physical Society (the second largest organization of physicists in the world), an editorial announced, "There is a considerable presence within the scientific community of people who do not agree with the IPCC conclusion that [man-made] CO2 emissions are very probably likely to be primarily responsible for the global warming that has occurred since the Industrial Revolution. Since the correctness or fallacy of that conclusion has immense implications for public policy and for the future of the biosphere, we thought it appropriate to present a debate within the pages of P&S concerning that conclusion. This editor (JJM) invited several people to contribute articles that were either pro or con." Whereas Al Gore says that the debate is over, a large group of qualified physicists still feel that debate is essential, because limiting carbon dioxide emissions and other greenhouse gases could have serious impact on our economy, and may be unnecessary. In short, many physicists and scientists in general do not agree that it is certain humans are primarily responsible for global warming.

Serious debate in scientific journals is needed. Such debate has started in the physics community. We need to understand climate before we think about attempting to manipulate it. So far, a "considerable presence within the scientific community" feel that we do not have that level of expertise and understanding.

Sunday, November 30, 2008

Media Thought Police: Global Warming Skeptic Banned From TV

"FOR YEARS David Bellamy was one of the best known faces on TV.

"A respected botanist and the author of 35 books, he had presented around 400 programmes over the years and was appreciated by audiences for his boundless enthusiasm.Yet for more than 10 years he has been out of the limelight, shunned by bosses at the BBC where he made his name, as well as fellow scientists and environmentalists.

"His crime? Bellamy says he doesn’t believe in man-made global warming. "

Read the rest...

Wednesday, November 19, 2008

Obama ignores the facts about climate change

Obama Addresses Global Warming Summit

"'Few challenges facing America -- and the world – are more urgent than combating climate change,' he says in the video. 'The science is beyond dispute and the facts are clear. Sea levels are rising. Coastlines are shrinking. We’ve seen record drought, spreading famine, and storms that are growing stronger with each passing hurricane season. Climate change and our dependence on foreign oil, if left unaddressed, will continue to weaken our economy and threaten our national security.'"

Sea levels (global mean, measured by satellite) rose 42mm in the 12 year period from 1994-2006. 42 mm. That's 1.7 inches. Are you frightened yet? I thought not. Also, notice on this graph that sea levels seem to have started a slight decline since 2006. This corresponds with falling global temperatures. (Sea levels are an expression mainly of volume, which expands or contracts with rising/falling temperature.) Generally speaking, sea levels have been rising for about 18,000 years, without any help from man. The general trend, has been up, and continued to be up in the 20th century.

"'[Leadership on climate change] will start with a federal cap and trade system,' he says. 'We will establish strong annual targets that set us on a course to reduce emissions to their 1990 levels by 2020 and reduce them an additional 80 percent by 2050. Further, we will invest $15 billion each year to catalyze private sector efforts to build a clean energy future. We will invest in solar power, wind power, and next generation biofuels. We will tap nuclear power, while making sure it’s safe. And we will develop clean coal technologies.'"

Solar and wind cannot economically compete with nuclear. I favor nuclear, but I question Obama's commitment to it, given his inconsistent statements. Clean coal? He cannot wave a magic wand and make it happen. Maybe it can be done, maybe it can't. If not, Obama wants to destroy the coal industry or at least raise prices on electricity (through this cap and trade system) for all of us depending on coal-generated electricity.

Obama: "This investment will not only help us reduce our dependence on foreign oil, making the United States more secure. And it will not only help us bring about a clean energy future, saving our planet. It will also help us transform our industries and steer our country out of this economic crisis by generating five million new green jobs that pay well and can’t be outsourced."

Increasing domestic energy supply is a worthwhile security goal. But Obama's statements about climate change are not correct. Earth's surface temperatures have been cooling since 1998. The atmosphere does not show the signature warming of the air approximately 10 miles up that should be evident if the warming we have seen (small as it has been in the past 100 years) were really due to greenhouse gases. Warming is seen mainly at the surface.

100 years from now, people will look back on this era and either laugh, or shake their heads in dismay, because we seemed unable to put real scientific data in perspective and exercise caution about making draconian changes in our economy on the basis of our primitive understanding of a very complex system -- global climate.

Saturday, November 15, 2008

Science vs. science: NASA rewriting temperature data?

War of the surface temperature readings:

On the one hand, we have the "HAD-CRUT" record of global temperature, from the UK Meteorological Office's Hadley Research Center for Climate Studies, which shows temperatures decreased since 1998.

The temperature-sensing satellites cataloged by the University of Alambama at Huntsville (UAH) and Remote Sensing Systems (RSS) show a similar decrease.

NASA's Goddard Institute For Space Studies (GISS) data on Global Temperature Land-Ocean Index seems to show accelerating warming since the late 1990s. How can they disagree? Are we getting warmer or cooler?

The NASA data is managed by Dr. Hansen who is Al Gore's chief science advisor, and perhaps the most vociferous global warming advocate in the scientific community. Could they be massaging the data? Indeed they are.

This article at The Register ("Is The Earth Getting Warmer, Or Cooler?"), graphs and compares the global surface temperature records discussed above and shows how NASA is publishing temperature graphs today that differ from their 1999 graphs. NASA lowered temperature readings prior to 1970, making the increase in global temperatures since 1970 seem greater. At the same time, temperatures on the NASA graph since 1970 seem to have become subtly higher, making the recent increases look greater than before.

Obviously, when you see a graph from NASA (GISS), they are not reporting actual temperature readings. They are reporting "real" thermometer readings corrected for... what? (There are a number of reasons for corrections, but these are all subject to interpretation. You are not getting pure, unvarnished data. You are getting massaged data, for better or worse.) For example raw temperature readings from NASA's Arctic sensing stations have been massaged upward by approximately one-half degree in recent years.

Is the time coming when we will view official climate data from the government with the same degree of disbelief that we receive official economic statistics? Perhaps that time has come.

The Register author concludes: "Both of the satellite data sources, as well as Had-Crut, show worldwide temperatures falling below the IPCC estimates. Satellite data shows temperatures near or below the 30 year average - but NASA data has somehow managed to stay on track towards climate Armageddon. You can draw your own conclusions, but I see a pattern that is troublesome. In science, as with any other endeavour, it is always a good idea to have some separation between the people generating the data and the people interpreting it."

Wednesday, November 5, 2008

Thirty years of warming reversed. Poof! It's gone!

Average global temperatures increased in the first part of the century until World War II. Then temperatures declined until around 1980. Since then we have experienced a slight global warming, up until the early 2000s.

The trend is down. All the warming experienced before has reversed in the last two years. The temperature is back where we started at the beginning of this recent warming trend in 1980.

The earth warms. Poof! It cools. Al Gore knoweth not why.

Friday, July 4, 2008

Thank God for global warming

Take a look at the temperature graph on this page -- displaying temperatures for the past 400,000 years. Note that in previous times when the earth came out of an ice age -- approximately 120,000 years, 230,000 years, and 320,000 years ago -- the temperature spiked and then declined rapidly. Now notice the warming that occurred from approximately 15,000 - 10,000 years ago. The temperature did not spike up and then start to decline. It has risen about 10 degrees to the present level, and stayed fairly stable for many thousands of years. The temperature has reached and maintained some sort of plateau.

Can you imagine what life in North America and Europe might be like if the current natural warming trend had followed past patterns? It would be getting very cold indeed.

Science does not have a clear understanding of the reasons for this temperature plateau -- the oasis of warmth we've been enjoying in a history of much colder temperatures. Thank God for global (natural) warming!

Another feature of interest is to compare the CO2 levels to the temperature levels. Temperature increases clearly precede CO2 increases. CO2 did not initiate global warming in the past. Causes do not follow effects. This is illogical. At least in the past, CO2 did not cause rapid global warming.

Thursday, July 3, 2008

Cooler global forecast, but fears of warming persist

Although we are bombarded almost daily with stories of the melting North Pole, other details oddly do not get reported.

"Global temperature for 2008 is expected to be 0.37 °C above the long-term (1961-1990) average of 14.0 °C, the coolest year since 2000, when the value was 0.24 °C..."
And then, the excuses:

"These cyclical influences can mask underlying warming trends with Prof. Phil Jones, Director of the Climatic Research Unit, University of East Anglia, saying: 'The fact that 2008 is forecast to be cooler than any of the last seven years (and that 2007 did not break the record warmth set on 1998) does not mean that global warming has gone away. What matters is the underlying rate of warming - the period 2001-2007 with an average of 0.44 °C above the 1961-90 average was 0.21 °C warmer than corresponding values for the period 1991-2000.'"

Sure. Makes perfect sense. The warming is happening, but it is masked. Global warming's there, but you won't see it because of the global cooling. Trust us.

Thursday, June 5, 2008

Going Underwater, But Who Is To Blame?

Kiribati atoll slowly sinking under the waves

Of course, the cause is "climate change." This phrase has come to automatically mean an implication of mankind and industrialization. Yes, climate changes. Sea levels have been rising for 10,000 years. Why blame man? They were rising faster in the previous decade than they are in this one!

...sea level is certainly rising – of course, it has been rising for the past 10,000 years. During the last glacial period, sea level dropped 400 feet as water was tied up in ice, and as we have moved out of the cold glacial period, sea level has recovered. The question for climate change experts is not “Is sea level rising” but rather “Is sea level rise accelerating?” In 2001, the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) wrote “No significant acceleration in the rate of sea level rise during the 20th century has been detected”, while in 2007, IPCC wrote “Global average sea level rose at an average rate of 1.8 [1.3 to 2.3] mm per year over 1961 to 2003. The rate was faster over 1993 to 2003: about 3.1 [2.4 to 3.8] mm per year. Whether the faster rate for 1993 to 2003 reflects decadal variability or an increase in the longer-term trend is unclear.” To say the least, the IPCC has been very cautious on the issue of accelerated sea level rise.

Tuesday, April 1, 2008

Join the Flat Earth Society!

On CBS 60 Minutes program last weekend, Al Gore compared those who don't believe in man-made global warming to members of the Flat Earth Society, and conspiracy theorists who claim the moon landing was a hoax.

Perhaps so, but if you fit into that group -- doubters in global warming caused by humans -- you join a rarified group of scientists, including:

Dr. Edward Wegman–former chairman of the Committee on Applied and Theoretical Statistics of the National Academy of Sciences–demolishes the famous “hockey stick” graph that launched the global warming panic.

Dr. David Bromwich–president of the International Commission on Polar Meteorology–says “it’s hard to see a global warming signal from the mainland of Antarctica right now.”

Prof. Paul Reiter–Chief of Insects and Infectious Diseases at the famed Pasteur Institute–says “no major scientist with any long record in this field” accepts Al Gore’s claim that global warming spreads mosquito-borne diseases.

Prof. Hendrik Tennekes–director of research, Royal Netherlands Meteorological Institute–states “there exists no sound theoretical framework for climate predictability studies” used for global warming forecasts.

Dr. Christopher Landsea–past chairman of the American Meteorological Society’s Committee on Tropical Meteorology and Tropical Cyclones–says “there are no known scientific studies that show a conclusive physical link between global warming and observed hurricane frequency and intensity.”

Dr. Antonino Zichichi–one of the world’s foremost physicists, former president of the European Physical Society, who discovered nuclear antimatter–calls global warming models “incoherent and invalid.”

Dr. Zbigniew Jaworowski–world-renowned expert on the ancient ice cores used in climate research–says the U.N. “based its global-warming hypothesis on arbitrary assumptions and these assumptions, it is now clear, are false.”

Prof. Tom V. Segalstad–head of the Geological Museum, University of Oslo–says “most leading geologists” know the U.N.’s views “of Earth processes are implausible.”

Dr. Syun-Ichi Akasofu–founding director of the International Arctic Research Center, twice named one of the “1,000 Most Cited Scientists,” says much “Arctic warming during the last half of the last century is due to natural change.”

Dr. Claude Allegre–member, U.S. National Academy of Sciences and French Academy of Science, he was among the first to sound the alarm on the dangers of global warming. His view now: “The cause of this climate change is unknown.”

Dr. Richard Lindzen–Professor of Meteorology at M.I.T., member, the National Research Council Board on Atmospheric Sciences and Climate, says global warming alarmists “are trumpeting catastrophes that couldn’t happen even if the models were right.”

Dr. Habibullo Abdussamatov–head of the space research laboratory of the Russian Academy of Science’s Pulkovo Observatory and of the International Space Station’s Astrometria project says “the common view that man’s industrial activity is a deciding factor in global warming has emerged from a misinterpretation of cause and effect relations.”

Dr. Richard Tol–Principal researcher at the Institute for Environmental Studies at Vrije Universiteit, and Adjunct Professor at the Center for Integrated Study of the Human Dimensions of Global Change, at Carnegie Mellon University, calls the most influential global warming report of all time “preposterous . . . alarmist and incompetent.”

Dr. Sami Solanki–director and scientific member at the Max Planck Institute for Solar System Research in Germany, who argues that changes in the Sun’s state, not human activity, may be the principal cause of global warming: “The sun has been at its strongest over the past 60 years and may now be affecting global temperatures.”

Prof. Freeman Dyson–one of the world’s most eminent physicists says the models used to justify global warming alarmism are “full of fudge factors” and “do not begin to describe the real world.”

Dr. Eigils Friis-Christensen–director of the Danish National Space Centre, vice-president of the International Association of Geomagnetism and Aeronomy, who argues that changes in the Sun’s behavior could account for most of the warming attributed by the UN to man-made CO2.

(list from The Deniers by Lawrence Solomon in The National Post, as noted by commenter "Michael G" in the New York Times Dot Earth blog.)

Wednesday, March 19, 2008

More global cooling documented

It is almost getting tiring documenting all the evidence of global cooling. Here we go again, from NPR:

The Mystery of Global Warming's Missing Heat

Note how the story headline implies that we are still in the midst of global warming, it's just that the heat is "missing." LOL. Send out a search party! We've got to find that warming! The dog ate my global warming! I suppose that when all measures of global climate start showing unmistakable cooling, they will still find some way to attribute it to global warming, which we know is occurring, because the consensus told us so.

Some 3,000 scientific robots that are plying the ocean have sent home a puzzling message. These diving instruments suggest that the oceans have not warmed up at all over the past four or five years. That could mean global warming has taken a breather. Or it could mean scientists aren't quite understanding what their robots are telling them.

This is puzzling in part because here on the surface of the Earth, the years since 2003 have been some of the hottest on record. But Josh Willis at NASA's Jet Propulsion Laboratory says the oceans are what really matter when it comes to global warming.

In fact, 80 percent to 90 percent of global warming involves heating up ocean waters. They hold much more heat than the atmosphere can. So Willis has been studying the ocean with a fleet of robotic instruments called the Argo system. The buoys can dive 3,000 feet down and measure ocean temperature. Since the system was fully deployed in 2003, it has recorded no warming of the global oceans.

"There has been a very slight cooling, but not anything really significant," Willis says. So the buildup of heat on Earth may be on a brief hiatus. "Global warming doesn't mean every year will be warmer than the last. And it may be that we are in a period of less rapid warming."

In recent years, heat has actually been flowing out of the ocean and into the air. This is a feature of the weather phenomenon known as El Nino. So it is indeed possible the air has warmed but the ocean has not. But it's also possible that something more mysterious is going on.

But the mass of the air on the planet is insignificant compared to the mass of the oceans. Also, I'm not sure this is even an honest statement, i.e. that the air is warming. In fact the article states "it is possible" the air has warmed. Anything is possible, but air must have warmed in the places we aren't measuring it, because where we have measured the air, it is NOT warming. As you can see from the temperature record on this graph, the global air temperature in 2006 and 2007 was not as high as in 2002, 2003, 2004, or 2005.

Ah well, back to the drawing board to cook up another computer model.

You have to read further into the article to find a more plausible hypothesis.

But if the aquatic robots are actually telling the right story, that raises a new question: Where is the extra heat all going?

Kevin Trenberth at the National Center for Atmospheric Research says it's probably going back out into space. The Earth has a number of natural thermostats, including clouds, which can either trap heat and turn up the temperature, or reflect sunlight and help cool the planet.

That can't be directly measured at the moment, however.

"Unfortunately, we don't have adequate tracking of clouds to determine exactly what role they've been playing during this period," Trenberth says.

Recently the founder of The Weather Channel suggested that Al Gore should be sued for fraud. I'd like to get a piece of that action.

Friday, March 7, 2008

Welcome to the new ice age?

The U.S. National Climatic Data Center (NCDC) reported that many American cities and towns suffered record cold temperatures in January and early February. According to the NCDC, the average temperature in January "was -0.3 F cooler than the 1901-2000 (20th century) average."

...And remember the Arctic Sea ice? The ice we were told so hysterically last fall had melted to its "lowest levels on record? Never mind that those records only date back as far as 1972 and that there is anthropological and geological evidence of much greater melts in the past.

The ice is back.

Gilles Langis, a senior forecaster with the Canadian Ice Service in Ottawa, says the Arctic winter has been so severe the ice has not only recovered, it is actually 10 to 20 cm thicker in many places than at this time last year.

From "Forget global warming: Welcome to the new Ice Age" National Post, February 25.

Earth's temperature is tied to variations solar activity. The reduction in sunspot numbers in recent months has been dramatic. If activity does not increase soon, it may signal an extended period of severe cold, like the "Maunder Minimum" between 1650 and 1700 AD, when glaciers were expanding and winters were unusually fierce.

Saturday, February 23, 2008

Nine distortions of Gore movie continued

The film suggests that sea levels could rise by 7m causing the displacement of millions of people. In fact the evidence is that sea levels are expected to rise by about 40cm over the next hundred years and that there is no such threat of massive migration.

The film threatens that global warming could stop the Gulf Stream throwing Europe into an ice age: the Claimant’s evidence was that this was a scientific impossibility.

The film claims that rising sea levels has caused the evacuation of certain Pacific islands to New Zealand. The Government are unable to substantiate this and the Court observed that this appears to be a false claim.


Saturday, January 19, 2008

Gore Climate Film's Nine Errors

"A High Court judge who ruled on whether climate change film, An Inconvenient Truth, could be shown in schools said it contains nine scientific 'errors'.

"Mr Justice Burton said the government could still send the film to schools - if accompanied by guidance giving the other side of the argument."

The nine errors, summarized:

1. The melting of Greenland or Antarctica, causing a 20-foot rise in sea levels, will not happen "in the near future" as claimed by Al Gore, but in millennia.

2. The receding snow on Mt. Kilimanjaro cannot be scientifically attributed to human factors, as suggested by the movie.

3. The movie claimed polar bears drowned swimming trying to find ice, presumably melted by human-caused global warming. The only study produced as evidence in court detailed four polar bears drowning as a result of a storm.

4. The film suggests that over the past 650,000 years rising CO2 has caused rising temperature. Over that time frame, the evidence is that temperature increases preceded rising CO2 levels by about 800-2000 years. Effect does not precede cause.

5. The movie suggests hurrican Katrina was the result of global warming. Experts admit that solitary events cannot be linked to global warming.

6. The film suggests the drying up of Lake Chad was caused by global warming. Experts could not show this to be the case in a court of law.

[to be continued...]

Monday, January 7, 2008

Polar bears will have to find another scapegoat

The warming of the Arctic is partly due to natural causes, claims a new study in the journal Nature.

It is difficult for the true believers to give up the paradigm that human-caused global warming plays a role in turning the Arctic into slushpile. However, since average global temperatures have not increased for ten years (see previous entry of this blog), the warming in the Arctic must be matched by cooling elsewhere on the globe. By definition, it is not global warming, since the globe is not warming, on average.

In this context, the warming of the Arctic must be a local condition, caused by natural factors, as cited in the new study.

If polar bears are suffering, we are not to blame. Mother Nature is.

Global warming takes a vacation - no warming for past ten years

Where did global warming go?

The Boston Globe reports:

THE STARK headline appeared just over a year ago. "2007 to be 'warmest on record,' " BBC News reported on Jan. 4, 2007. Citing experts in the British government's Meteorological Office, the story announced that "the world is likely to experience the warmest year on record in 2007," surpassing the all-time high reached in 1998.

But a funny thing happened on the way to the planetary hot flash: Much of the planet grew bitterly cold...

Given the number of worldwide cold events, it is no surprise that 2007 didn't turn out to be the warmest ever. In fact, 2007's global temperature was essentially the same as that in 2006 - and 2005, and 2004, and every year back to 2001. The record set in 1998 has not been surpassed. For nearly a decade now, there has been no global warming. Even though atmospheric carbon dioxide continues to accumulate - it's up about 4 percent since 1998 - the global mean temperature has remained flat. That raises some obvious questions about the theory that CO2 is the cause of climate change.

The mainstream media is beginning to get skeptical of doomsday pronouncements by the likes of Al Gore as the scientific evidence begins to accumulate and pile on the most vociferous proponents of the view that blames man for the lion's share of climate change.