Friday, October 2, 2009

Fraud? Distortion? Incompetence? Global Warming "science"

"I have been probing the arguments for global warming for well over a decade. In collaboration with a lot of excellent coauthors I have consistently found that when the layers get peeled back, what lies at the core is either flawed, misleading or simply non-existent. The surface temperature data is a contaminated mess with a significant warm bias, and as I have detailed elsewhere the IPCC fabricated evidence in its 2007 report to cover up the problem. Climate models are in gross disagreement with observations, and the discrepancy is growing with each passing year. The often-hyped claim that the modern climate has departed from natural variability depended on flawed statistical methods and low-quality data. The IPCC review process, of which I was a member last time, is nothing at all like what the public has been told: Conflicts of interest are endemic, critical evidence is systematically ignored and there are no effective checks and balances against bias or distortion."

Read the rest here.

This piece explores in particular the distorted tree ring analysis allegedly showing that temperatures were stable until the 20th century, when they started rocketing upward, in the shape of a hockey stick. Researchers just threw out the data from a large number of tree rings that did not show exceptional global warming in the 20th century, relying on a few unusual tree rings that did seem to show unusual growth (hence unusual warming).

If the data does not fit the theory, just throw it out!

Thursday, August 13, 2009

Cap and Trade's creators think it's a poor way to regulate CO2

From the Wall Street Journal:

"In the 1960s, a University of Wisconsin graduate student named Thomas Crocker came up with a novel solution for environmental problems: cap emissions of pollutants and then let firms trade permits that allow them to pollute within those limits.

"Now legislation using cap-and-trade to limit greenhouse gases is working its way through Congress and could become the law of the land. But Mr. Crocker and other pioneers of the concept are doubtful about its chances of success. They aren't abandoning efforts to curb emissions. But they are tiptoeing away from an idea they devised decades ago, doubting it can work on the grand scale now envisioned..."

Thursday, June 25, 2009

Cap-and-trade bill's effects: one twentieth of a degree

Someone ran the numbers through a government-funded computer climate model (known as MAGICC -- the Model for the Assessment of Greenhouse-gas Induced Climate Change) to determine how much warming we could offset by implementing the new cap-and-trade climate bill soon to be voted on in the US House of Representatives. You can run this model from your own computer, by the way.

"By the year 2050, the Waxman-Markey Climate Bill would result in a global temperature 'savings' of about 0.05ºC regardless of the IPCC scenario used—this is equivalent to about 2 years’ worth of warming. By the year 2100, the emissions pathways become clearly distinguishable, and so to do the impacts of Waxman-Markey. Assuming the IPCC mid-range scenario (A1B) Waxman-Markey would result in a projected temperature rise of 2.847ºC, instead of 2.959ºC rise— a mere 0.112ºC temperature “savings.” Under the IPCC’s high-emissions scenario, instead of a projected rise of 4.414ºC, Waxman-Markey limits the rise to 4.219ºC—a 'savings' of 0.195ºC. In either case, this works out to about 5 years’ worth of warming. In other words, a full implementation and adherence to the emissions restrictions provisions described by the Waxman-Markey Climate Bill would result only in setting back the projected rise in global temperatures by a few years—a scientifically meaningless prospect.

"...The bottom line is that a reduction of U.S. greenhouse gas emissions of greater than 80%, as envisioned in the Waxman-Markey climate bill will only produce a global temperature 'savings' during the next 50 years of about 0.05ºC. Calculating this isn’t all that difficult or costly. All it takes is a little MAGICC."

At 1200 pages, the bill is turning into a monstrosity of regulation, special favors to special interests, and the end result is higher cost for consumers of any kind of energy, with almost undetectable effects on global temperature.

Saturday, May 9, 2009

Global Warming 101: Essential Reads

I've seen Dr. Roy Spencer, a climatologist from the University of Alabama, on TV and read some of his comments, but until today I had not visited his website.

Spencer has a brief article, Global Warming 101, which is the most clear and concise explanation of the global warming conundrum I have ever seen. Well worth the time, even if it needs to be read twice. I will try to put this into memory, because it really does distill the whole question down into the most basic parts.

In short, energy coming in from the sun equals energy out, radiating from the earth. However, various factors can change the equilibrium for a time. That's what all the debate is about.

Greenhouse gases (water vapor is the biggest factor along with a related factor, clouds) retard the flow of energy back into space. CO2 is a factor, but by itself this is minor. The slight warming caused directly by CO2 can be amplified by water vapor or diminished by clouds. The degree of warming will be highly dependent on the latter two factors, which are in dispute.

Now we come to the issue of mathematical computer climate models. The warming predicted for our future, which global warming alarmists to inflame the media and the public, will depend greatly on how the H2O amplification factor and the cloud formation factor are represented in the mathematical model.

Dr. Spencer does a Climate Model Reality Check in another web page that packs the essential information into a short essay. A few quotes:

"...virtually everyone now agrees that the direct warming effect from extra CO2 is relatively small – too small to be of much practical concern."

"...the main reason the models produce so much warming depends upon uncertain assumptions regarding how clouds will respond to warming. Low and middle-level clouds provide a ‘sun shade’ for the Earth, and the climate models predict that those clouds will dissipate with warming, thereby letting more sunlight in and making the warming worse. [High-altitude (cirrus) clouds have the opposite effect, and so a dissipation of those clouds would instead counteract the CO2 warming with cooling..."

The key here appears to be the response of clouds to higher temperature. The earth has been warming slightly over the past century. What has happened to cloud cover and what will happen to cloud cover as a result is simply unknown. Therefore at the heart of the climate models predicting global warming is a factor for a decrease in clouds (amplifying CO2 warming or other causes of warming) which is a huge question mark. A giant "guess factor." That factor may in fact be at odds with observations of clouds via satellite.

And forget about cloud response to global warming. What caused the slight warming in the first place?

Guesswork. It's all guesswork. A savvy and honest scientist will say, "We don't know." Period.

Tuesday, March 3, 2009

Global cooling: cause unknown

[Global] Warming Might be On Hold, Study Finds

"Earth's climate continues to confound scientists. Following a 30-year trend of warming, global temperatures have flatlined since 2001 despite rising greenhouse gas concentrations, and a heat surplus that should have cranked up the planetary thermostat.

"'This is nothing like anything we've seen since 1950,' Kyle Swanson of the University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee said. "Cooling events since then had firm causes, like eruptions or large-magnitude La Ninas. This current cooling doesn't have one.'"

If scientists don't understand what is causing current cooling, it is axiomatic that they do not understand what controls warming, either.

Friday, February 27, 2009

We don't understand where CO2 comes from or where it goes!

We cannot understand the effect of CO2 on climate change, and it is folly to attempt to regulate it, if we do not know all the sources and sinks of CO2. The USA launched a satellite to study the issue -- a satellite which failed to reach orbit. Canada already has a functioning satellite to try to find answers to this essential question.

"The problem is that where carbon dioxide comes from, and where it is sucked out of the atmosphere, remains poorly understood.

"Clearly, if we're going to do something about climate change, we need to understand where CO2 is produced and particularly where it's absorbed.That's much less clear,' Quine said." [Ben Quine, the director of space engineering at York University]

article here

Monday, February 16, 2009

An astronaut skeptic

Former astronaut Harrison Schmitt, who walked on the moon and once served New Mexico in the U.S. Senate, doesn’t believe that humans are causing global warming.

"I don’t think the human effect is significant compared to the natural effect," said Schmitt, who is among 70 skeptics scheduled to speak next month at the International Conference on Climate Change in New York.

read the rest in The Boston Herald

Saturday, February 14, 2009

No sea level rise

While global warming alarmists continue to spout shocking predictions about our coasts being inundated by rising sea levels, the best data given current interpretations is that the sea levels have not risen for several years.

An article by Jet Propulsion Laboratory scientist Josh Willis describes a project for measuring sea level from 3000 autonomous ocean floats maintained by the Argo project.

Willis is an ardent believer in global warming, caused by man. Note: "Now that humans have become a major force in the Earth’s climate, it is of paramount importance to build and maintain observing systems that can keep track of our ever-increasing impact." He has accepted the dogma that humans are a "major force" in earth's climate.

Willis also believes that the oceans will give us the easiest and best guage of global warming. "The most sensitive yardstick of human influence on the climate is the rise in globally-averaged sea level. On climate-relevant time-scales, total sea level rise equals the sum of the melt water from glaciers and ice sheets, plus the thermal expansion of seawater caused by absorption of excess heat. The first effect represents the response of the ice to a warming atmosphere. The second is directly related to the balance of incoming and outgoing energy of the Earth as a whole. That’s because 80 – 90% of the excess energy from anthropogenic forcing winds up warming the oceans (Levitus et al., 2005)."

Nevertheless, earlier data showed a rapid drop in sea levels, a fact reported by Rush Limbaugh, to the consternation of the "consensus" that man was causing dangerous warming.

With greater care to reduce software and measuring biases, a corrected result has been obtained. Sea level measurements when corrected for these errors no longer show rapid global sea level decline (and therefore global cooling). On the other hand, they show no sea level rise, either. Assuming that the glaciers are melting into the oceans, which would normally cause sea level increases, sea volume (per equivalent mass of H20) must be shrinking by an amount that counteracts the added glacial melt. Why? Because there is no rise in sea level from 2003 to 2006.
Josh Willis' article is a cautionary tale about the difficulty of accurately measuring anything that relates to global climate. It is also sobering for global warming alarmists. Sea levels may not be falling. But they do not appear to be rising, contrary to the shrieking of scientists and activists trying to convince us that we are destroying the planet with greenhouse gases.

The United Nations' Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) -- the scientific "consensus" -- predicts a sea level rise of 0.18 - 0.59 meters ( 7 - 23 inches) by the year 2099, depending on the models and assumptions used. If sea levels were to rise 0.5 meters (approximately 18 inches), that would require an average increase of 5mm/year sea level rise. However, past measurements have shown only a 3mm annual rise, and recent measurements show no rise at all. It appears that even conservative predictions have been overly alarmist.

Either the glaciers are not melting, or the oceans are not warming. How else can one explain the non-rise in sea levels? Possibly both conditions are occurring.

Global surface air temperatures have been in decline for ten years.

The Antarctic Ice Sheet is growing.

Glaciers that have been melting for over a century are now growing. (Actually, on average, glaciers have been melting for over 10,000 years, but that could change. A look at temperature trends over the past 400,000 years indicate we are overdue for a return to a long ice age.)

The melting of Greenland ice is not accelerating, perhaps slowing.

It is time to follow the advice of the Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy: "Don't panic!" The people who are trying to incite panic are trying to sell you something.

Friday, January 23, 2009

Carbon credits/trading "a scam"

President Obama and John McCain both campaigned on instuting a system of trading carbon credits ("cap and trade") as a means to reduce CO2 release. But rabid promoters of the global warming scare say such a system is a poor way to accomplish the goal.

"Most of the "green" stuff is verging on a gigantic scam. Carbon trading, with its huge government subsidies, is just what finance and industry wanted. It's not going to do a damn thing about climate change, but it'll make a lot of money for a lot of people and postpone the moment of reckoning," says James Lovelock, originator of the GAIA theory, and longtime environmental alarmist.

About carbon sequestration, another technique President Obama wants to promote, Lovelock says, "That is a waste of time. It's a crazy idea - and dangerous. It would take so long and use so much energy that it will not be done."

James Hansen, the "famous NASA scientist" who has been raising global warming alarm for many years, dissented from the current plans of Democratic Party environmentalists on their plans to deal with carbon release. From the Wall Street Journal:

"...Mr. Hansen endorses a straight carbon tax as the only 'honest, clear and effective' way to reduce emissions, with the revenues rebated in their entirety to consumers on a per-capita basis. 'Not one dime should go to Washington for politicians to pick winners,' he writes."

While Hansen may have lost his head when describing trains delivering coal to power generating plants as equivalent to the Nazi death trains bringing Jews to concentration camp crematoria, he seems to be clear on the incestuous relation between politicians and industry that would be fostered by "cap and trade."

What is cap and trade? Wikipedia gives a good overview. "A central authority (usually a government or international body) sets a limit or cap on the amount of a pollutant that can be emitted. Companies or other groups are issued emission permits and are required to hold an equivalent number of allowances (or credits) which represent the right to emit a specific amount. The total amount of allowances and credits cannot exceed the cap, limiting total emissions to that level. Companies that need to increase their emission allowance must buy credits from those who pollute less. The transfer of allowances is referred to as a trade. In effect, the buyer is paying a charge for polluting, while the seller is being rewarded for having reduced emissions by more than was needed." Al Gore's company and others like it will make millions brokering such trades.

Again, from the Wall Street Journal: "[Washington politicians prefer] posturing that disguises the cost of rising energy prices, such as cap and trade. This 'subterfuge,' as Mr. Hansen terms it, shifts the direct burden onto businesses, which then pass it along to consumers. Congress may flatter itself that it is saving mankind, but what the Members really want is a cap-and-trade windfall that they can redistribute in the green pork of Mr. Obama's 'new energy economy,' whatever that means."

It's all about money. Government money, regulations, and tax breaks benefitting big corporations and businesses. Pork. Now it becomes green pork. Haven't we had enough reckless spending already?