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.