Sunday, January 29, 2006


Global warming advocate produces data to support global warming

I am sure there will be more expert comments than mine forthcoming but I just want to point out what seem to me to be some of the more obvious implausibilities in the latest Australian research (GRE 2006) that reports a study of sea-levels from 1870 on. I reproduce the Abstract hereunder:

Multi-century sea-level records and climate models indicate an acceleration of sea-level rise, but no 20th century acceleration has previously been detected. A reconstruction of global sea level using tide-gauge data from 1950 to 2000 indicates a larger rate of rise after 1993 and other periods of rapid sea-level rise but no significant acceleration over this period. Here, we extend the reconstruction of global mean sea level back to 1870 and find a sea-level rise from January 1870 to December 2004 of 195 mm, a 20th century rate of sea-level rise of 1.7 ¤ 0.3 mm yr?1 and a significant acceleration of sea-level rise of 0.013 ¤ 0.006 mm yr?2. This acceleration is an important confirmation of climate change simulations which show an acceleration not previously observed. If this acceleration remained constant then the 1990 to 2100 rise would range from 280 to 340 mm, consistent with projections in the IPCC TAR.

There is a popular summary of the research here. A few excerpts:

What we found is that sea levels are rising and increasing with time," the CSIRO study's co-author John Church said. "It means there will be increased flooding of low-lying areas when there are storm surges. "It means increased coastal erosion on sandy beaches. We're going to see increased flooding on island nations." ... Greenhouse gas emissions should be reduced by 50 per cent by 2050, Mr Church said. "If not, climate change will continue and increase in magnitude," he said.

By examining tidal data, Mr Church said sea levels rose by 19.5cm between 1870 and 2004. The increases accelerated with time, averaging 1.7mm a year in the 20th century and 1.8mm in the past 50 years. Mr Church said sea increases were previously based on climate change models. He said his team's research was the first to document rises based on extensive historical tidal data, allowing predictions on sea-level increases to be made with greater precision.

Many island nations are already feeling the impact of rising seas. In Vanuatu and Papua New Guinea, increased sea levels have forced hundreds of islanders to abandon vulnerable coastal homes for higher ground, according to the United Nations and news reports.

So they report that sea levels have risen nearly eight inches between 1870 and now! That for a start seems to me to be a nonsense. Such a large rise in relatively recent times would surely have led to worldwide comments about what was once land now being swamped and I know of no such widespead comments or examples of flooding. Land does rise and fall for various reasons (e.g. in coastal California and Eastern England and perhaps the Maldives) but flooding due to sea-level rise has just not happened as far as I can see. And while sea-levels in some Pacific islands may have risen (though the Vanuatu claim is a fraud), in others the levels have fallen! (See here and here).

And how do Church et al. reconcile their "reconstruction" of sea-levels with the actual evidence provided by John Daly's `Isle of the Dead' (Tasmania), tide gauge from 1841 -- which shows a sea-level that is HIGHER than today? No doubt the actual 1841 observation was "wrong" and the modern reconstruction is "right"

In view of Church's obvious enthusiasm for global warming theory, we should also perhaps keep in mind this report:

When a trial of 908 volunteers found that using anti-inflammatory drugs could reduce the risk of mouth cancer, it caused considerable excitement among cancer researchers. The Harvard School of Dental Medicine described the study as impressive, claiming it might lead to earlier identification of pre-cancerous cells. Conducted by Dr Jon Sudbo, a previously-published researcher and cancer expert from the well-respected Radium Hospital in Oslo, Norway, the study was published in The Lancet, one of the world's most respected medical journals. So it came as a shock when revealed earlier this month that Sudbo's study was fiction, based on 908 patients who did not exist.

To make matters worse, the fraud was not discovered by The Lancet or his colleagues, but by Camilla Stoltenberg, a director of epidemiology at the Norwegian Institute of Public Health in Oslo. Sudbo said the study was based on information collated from a public health database. Stoltenberg, responsible for the database, knew it did not contain the sort of information Sudbo cited. Confronted, Sudbo admitted he falsified the data. He also admitted that other studies on oral cancer, in the New England Journal of Medicine in 2004 and The Journal of Clinical Oncology in March last year, were also fake.

The scandal comes less than a month after the Science retracted two papers by leading stem cell researcher Hwang Woo-suk after it was revealed he faked most of his ground-breaking work on cloning. The scams are by no means the only examples of fabricated research (see next page). However, the breathtaking nature of Sudbo's actions has raised questions about the effectiveness of peer review and journal editors' ability to identify misleading research.....

Professor Judy Black, chair of the National Health and Medical Research Council's research committee, agrees peer review has limitations. "When you get an article to review, you go on the data in front of you. You can look at the researcher's methods and see if you can detect differences between your methodology and theirs, but if two people do the same experiments and get different results, it doesn't mean one is fraudulent."

Black believes fraudulent research may also go unnoticed because peer reviewers and colleagues are reluctant to "dob in" fellow researchers. "People don't necessarily speak up about it. There is research that people know is fabricated, and they haven't dobbed the person in because everyone knows what happens to whistleblowers." However, Black says reviewers have no choice but to assume researchers' work is legitimate. "The onus is on the researcher to be honest and not falsify research."

Initial results from what might be the largest study of the practice of peer review ever conducted shows this faith may be misplaced. Three medical journals, The Lancet, the British Medical Journal and the Annals of Internal Medicine, have allowed a team of researchers from the University of California, San Francisco, to attend editorial meetings, look at reviewer comments and follow the progress of more than 1000 articles from submission to rejection or publication. The team hasn't released its final report, but initial findings indicate authors frequently fail to disclose funding sources and potential conflicts of interest in submitted manuscripts, until asked to do so by journal editors.

Black says the pressure to have work published in a high profile journal may tempt some researchers to take shortcuts with their research. "There's no doubt that being published in a high profile journal has a big impact. More and more people are going to be judged on their productivity and the number of studies they have published, and that determines funding. "If you get a research grant and if you have a lot of publications in high impact journals out of that grant, then your likelihood of getting another grant is increased." As a result, the competition to be published is intense....

Last year Richard Smith, editor of the BMJ for 25 years, wrote an editorial saying he suspected fraud "is probably happening on quite a large scale, and we just have inadequate mechanisms for sorting this out." Last year the US Office of Research Integrity, a federal agency responsible for investigating scientific misconduct, received 265 allegations of falsified research.

Michael Callaham, vice-president of the World Association of Medical Editors, says there is little anyone can do to eliminate fraud: "Journals could ask for all sorts of corroborating materials, but reviewers, who are mostly unpaid, and editors, who are mostly underpaid, would not be able to confirm their authenticity, and would not have the time to review them." ....

Jefferson says there is very little evidence that peer review is effective - a fact editors are reluctant to consider.... Jefferson says the medical publishing industry requires "radical change." "The first thing that needs to happen is that editors who maintain that peer review is infallible need to understand that, at best, it's untested. There are also far too many journals and some of them are publishing irrelevant or misleading research.

And despite the angst, research is still coming out in some of the world's leading scientific journals that should never have passed even the limited barriers of peer review. Note the summary below of the latest gem from The Lancet:

"Eating your greens will do more than please your mother: new evidence shows five servings of fruit and vegetables a day can slash your risk of having a stroke by 26 per cent. A review of previous studies, conducted by British and Australian experts, found that even eating between three to five 80g servings a day cut strokes by 11per cent, compared with people who ate fewer than three servings a day. The authors said that while a reduction in stroke from fruit and vegetable consumption was already known, this was the first time researchers had been able to quantify the benefit. The findings suggested that heeding recommendations on fruit and vegetable intake could save lives and prevent thousands of strokes a year.... Their review, published yesterday in The Lancet, looked at the results of eight previous studies that together involved more than 250,000 people who were followed up for an average of 13 years....

The study authors conceded their results might be affected by observational bias. People who ate a lot of fruit and vegetables were probably likely to share other characteristics known to reduce stroke risk - being less likely to smoke or be overweight, and more likely to exercise and to have lower intakes of salt and saturated fat.

The second paragraph as excerpted above shows, of course, that the study proves precisely nothing.

And I suppose that it is just too curmudgeonly of me altogether to point out that one third of what is published in even the most prestigious journals subsequently turns out to be wrong.


There is a thoroughly dishonest and fact-free article here that uses accusations alone to support a claim that the "Gutted EPA fails to protect kids" from exposure to harmful pesticides. The author is Marc Lame, who teaches at Indiana University and is the author of "A Worm in the Teacher's Apple: Protecting America's School Children from Pests and Pesticides." I guess the main point of the article is to sell the book. The basic accusation in the article is that the EPA has been pressured by "the pesticide industry" not to enforce bans on pesticide. No evidence is offered for the accusation nor is it considered that the EPA could have rational reasons for its policies. The article is, in a word, just a run-of-the-mill Green/Left attempt to create a baseless scare. There are far too many such rubbishy screeches to take note of here but one of my readers has written a rejoinder so I reproduce that below.

Marc Lame should be ashamed of himself for putting his name to so much misinformation and mixing science issues with political shenanigans. Everything the general public knows about DDT is a lie and he has to know that. As for the "truth" of Rachel Carson's book Silent Springs, the word truth and Rachel Carson or her book should never appear in the same sentence unless that sentence notes the lack of it.

Rachel Carson's book is full of misinformation and in one case she deliberately misrepresented the facts. None of what she presented as "science" has stood the test of time and it is unfortunate that she did not live long enough to see real scientists using real science shred her information. There is a reason her book first appeared as excerpted installments in New Yorker Magazine rather than being peer reviewed by scientific journals.

This same pattern has been followed by every junk scientist every since. Write a book making broad unprovable claims. Get the public all worked up. Demand regulations to correct the problem and intimidate everyone into going along with the program. The facts of the matter regarding DDT is that there never was and still isn't any scientific information to prove any of the claims made by the Mother of Junk Science, Rachel Carson or her acolytes in the environmental movement. Tom DeLay isn't making "claims" that millions (currently believed to be in the neighborhood of 90 million since 1972) have died as a result of Bill Ruckelshaus (An environmental activist who was the first director of EPA) decision to ban DDT; he is making a statement of fact that is supported by real science. He even admitted it two years later saying that he made the decision based on political considerations because there was no science to support that decision -- even overriding the Federal Magistrate, Judge Sweeny who heard seven months of testimony and concluded that very same thing and ruled there was no reason to ban DDT.

It is true Tom DeLay was an exterminator and apparently a good one. He supported pesticide application industries because he is acutely aware of the tremendous pressure brought to bear by the environmental activists to promote blatantly unscientific programs. The Abramoff issue is merely a smear tactic that allows Marc to avoid having to present any science to prove his points. DeLay's position had nothing to do with any pro pesticide cabal of ideologues. If there was any ideologue in Marc Lame's article it was Marc himself.

Parents of children in the third world would be thankful to have their children be exposed to what Marc calls toxic substances because so many of them would not be dying as a result of a lack of them. Most of the victims of malaria in the third world are children. As for those that survive, a substantial number of them have permanent brain damage. This baloney spewed out by Marc Lame and all of the other environmental movement ideologues is nonsense. They claim to be so concerned about children's health, but consistently take stands against programs that would same millions of lives in the third world.

They even stand against basic issues such as genetically modified foods which would save millions from starvation and the diseases that go along with malnutrition. Golden Rice would save the eyesight of 500,000 children in the third world every year by adding much needed vitamin A to their diets. Environmental activists are fighting this with all their strength and have thrown up so many road blocks that it will take up to 5 years for this much needed product to come to the market place.

What I would like to know is this. If Marc and his allies are so concerned about children's health here in the developed world, why do they hate the third world children so badly? Marc, you should be ashamed.


After dropping for about 15 years, the amount of sunlight Earth reflects back into space, called albedo, has increased since 2000, a new study concludes. That means less energy is reaching the surface. Yet global temperatures have not cooled during the period. Increasing cloud cover seems to be the reason, but there must also be some other change in the clouds that's not yet understood. "The data also reveal that from 2000 to now the clouds have changed so that the Earth may continue warming, even with declining sunlight," said study leader Philip R. Goode of the New Jersey Institute of Technology. "These large and peculiar variabilities of the clouds, coupled with a resulting increasing albedo, presents a fundamental, unmet challenge for all scientists who wish to understand and predict the Earth's climate."

Earth's albedo is measured by noting how much reflected sunlight in turn bounces off the Moon, something scientists call earthshine. The observations were made at the Big Bear Solar Observatory in California. The findings will be published Jan. 24 in Eos, a weekly newspaper of the American Geophysical Union. On any given day, about half of Earth is covered by clouds, which reflect more sunlight than land and water. Clouds keep Earth cool by reflecting sunlight, but they can also serve as blankets to trap warmth. High thin clouds are better blankets, while low thick clouds make better coolers.

Separately, satellite data recently showed that while the difference between high and low clouds had long been steady at 7-8 percent, in the past five years, for some unknown reason, the difference has jumped to 13 percent. High, warming clouds have increased while low clouds have decreased. Research shows condensation trails, or contrails from jet airplanes, fuel more high-altitude clouds. But they have not been shown to account for all the observed change.

Earth's albedo appears to have experienced a similar reversal during a period running from the 1960s to the mid-1980s. Goode's team says there may be a large, unexplained variation in sunlight reaching the Earth that changes over the course of two decades or so, as well as a large effect of clouds re-arranging by altitude.

How do the findings play into arguments about global warming and the apparent contribution by industrial emissions? That's entirely unclear. "No doubt greenhouse gases are increasing," Goode said in a telephone interview. "No doubt that will cause a warming. The question is, 'Are there other things going on?'" What is clear is that scientists don't understand clouds very well, as a trio of studies last year also showed. "Clouds are even more uncertain than we thought," Goode said.



Full of baseless assertions, of course

One of Britain's leading environmentalists will today sound a doomsday warning to the world: humanity's very existence is under threat from climate change and, even if we survive, the population will crash to about a third of its current level.
Sir Crispin Tickell, the man who convinced former prime minister Margaret Thatcher that global warming was a real problem, predicts that, in 200 years, there could be as few as 2.3 billion people because rising sea levels and temperatures will make some areas uninhabitable and, coupled with social factors, depress birth rates.

But he also says our survival is "not guaranteed" and that the presence of humans on the planet could be "no more than a somewhat messy episode in the history of the Earth". Advances in genetics, he believes, could possibly result in the creation of different sub-species of humans, conjuring up the HG Wells nightmare of the Eloi and the Morlocks.

Sir Crispin, a former British ambassador to the United Nations who is now chancellor of Kent University and director of the Green College Centre for Environmental Policy and Understanding, is the third major figure in the field this month to sound a warning of massive changes in the years ahead. The others were James Lovelock, who developed the Gaia theory of the planet as a living organism, and Chris Rapley, the director of the British Antarctic Survey.

Sir Crispin, who is due to give a lecture on this subject tonight, said: "The human impact on the Earth has slowly and then rapidly increased, most of all in the last 250 years. "The resulting transformation of the environment is unsustainable. The main factors are human population increase, degradation of land, consumption of resources, water pollution and supply, climate change, destruction of other species ... "Most of the solutions to the problems we have created, including the widening division between rich and poor, are well known but few want to confront them, singly or together. To do so we have to rethink our value system."

He pointed to recent droughts in Mediterranean countries and the increasing severity of hurricanes in the Caribbean - caused by a rise in sea temperature - as some of the signs that global warming is starting to get out of hand. Sir Crispin has tried to forecast what is in store for humanity "supposing we can cope with the natural hazards" over the next two centuries. But he warned: "Our survival in one form or another is not guaranteed."

If humanity survives, what could emerge will be far removed from the US-dominated world of today. "We will find the hubs of power, wealth and culture are very different with a greatly reduced human population," Sir Crispin said. "Sea levels will rise, meaning coastlines will be different. "I don't think climate change by itself is going to do anything [politically], but it is one of a number of factors that will alter the balance of power."

There are about 6.3 billion people on the planet and this is predicted to rise to nine billion this century. "I think we just cannot go on like that. Perhaps the ideal number would be 2.3 billion," he said. "Population growth has now stopped in parts of the world. Other parts are going to be affected by climate change. People's propensity to breed will be much less." ...

The report said there were 370 parts per million of carbon dioxide in the atmosphere and this was growing at two parts per million towards the danger level of 400, giving 15 years to turn this around. It found changing lifestyles and travel patterns was more effective than concentrating on technological advances such as alternative fuels.

More here


Many people would like to be kind to others so Leftists exploit that with their nonsense about equality. Most people want a clean, green environment so Greenies exploit that by inventing all sorts of far-fetched threats to the environment. But for both, the real motive is to promote themselves as wiser and better than everyone else, truth regardless.

Global warming has taken the place of Communism as an absurdity that "liberals" will defend to the death regardless of the evidence showing its folly. Evidence never has mattered to real Leftists

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