Friday, January 27, 2006


The Bush administration would allow some limited pesticide testing on children and pregnant women under controversial rules set to be made final as early as this week. After fielding some 50,000 public comments on its earlier human-testing proposals, the Environmental Protection Agency is setting out final rules that officials call tough and fair. But California Democrats and environmentalists are raising an outcry, and courts could remain busy sorting it all out. "The fact that EPA allows pesticide testing of any kind on the most vulnerable, including abused and neglected children, is simply astonishing," Sen. Barbara Boxer, D-Calif., said Monday.

The new rules would prohibit regulators from using so-called "intentional exposure" research that involved children or pregnant women. But under what regulators described as "narrowly defined circumstances," such research could still be used - if the researcher hadn't originally intended to submit the results to the EPA. The new rules require researchers to document their compliance with ethical guidelines, but exempt certain overseas tests. Testing on adults could proceed, following review by a new Human Studies Review Board that could "comment on" but not stop a proposed experiment. "EPA does not want to ignore potentially important information," the agency says in its final rule. "At the same time, the agency's conduct should encourage high ethical standards in research with human subjects."

On Monday, Boxer and several California colleagues were one step ahead of the EPA, which hadn't yet formally released the final rules protecting human subjects. But a leaked draft of the new rules, spanning some 100 pages, spells out both the new regulations and how they will be presented to the public. "Message: the ethics and scientific value of human studies are topics of high public interest, and the agency has been deliberating its position," the EPA's written "communications plan" states. EPA officials could not be reached for comment Monday.

The issue is particularly important in California, where farmers and others applied 644 million pounds of pesticides in 2003. It's also closely watched by church and environmental groups, which raise red flags over human testing, as well as by manufacturers, which can rely on testing to secure necessary approval permits. "Humans process some substances differently from animals," the EPA notes in its final rule, scheduled for publication in the Federal Register. "Studies of this kind can provide essential support for safety monitoring programs. Animal data alone can sometimes provide an incomplete or misleading picture of a substance's safety or risk."

The 50,000 comments received by the EPA since September showcase the level of public interest, although regulators noted that 99 percent of the comments were part of an e-mail or organized letter-writing campaign.

More here


Comment from Benny Peiser on the religious fanatics running "Nature" magazine:

I noticed the paper by Raper and Braithwaite in which the authors come to the conclusion that the projected "sea level rise due to melting of mountain glaciers and icecaps to be 0.046 and 0.051 m by 2100, about half that of previous projections."

Half as bad as predicted - well, that's good news to anyone concerned about the potential impact of rising sea levels. So what do the editors of Nature decide to do with this piece of good news? They decide to undermine the paper as much as they can. Instead of writing up a feature or news story about their own paper, they publish an online story about a paper published in GRL that essentially contradicts their own authors.

The GRL authors say "the acceleration they have detected since 1870 matches up nicely with model predictions: if the acceleration continues as expected, by 2100 the seas will lap the shore about 31 centimetres higher, on average, than they did in 1990. That matches what has been forecast by the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC)."

So, there you have it: An anti-alarmist paper published in Nature on Jan 19 estimates that global average sea-level rise due melting glaciers and icecaps by 2100 will be just 0.05 m (or half of what previous models have predicted) - accompanied by a news story on Nature's website that claims that sea-level rise is accelerating, a finding that "matches what has been forecast by the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC)." Nature's news service highlighted the IPCC-confirming GRL paper while it failed to even mention the model-revising paper in the same Jan 19 issue. It would have been prudent for Nature to provide a balanced report on the two conflicting papers. Needless to say that the claim of an accelerating global sea-level is highly contentious.


(From Proceedings of the Royal Society A, January 2006)

Empirical evidence for a nonlinear effect of galactic cosmic rays on clouds

By R. Giles Harrison and David B. Stephenson


Galactic cosmic ray (GCR) changes have been suggested to affect weather and climate, and new evidence is presented here directly linking GCRs with clouds. Clouds increase the diffuse solar radiation, measured continuously at UK surface meteorological sites since 1947. The ratio of diffuse to total solar radiation-the diffuse fraction (DF)-is used to infer cloud, and is compared with the daily mean neutron count rate measured at Climax, Colorado from 1951-2000, which provides a globally representative indicator of cosmic rays. Across the UK, on days of high cosmic ray flux (above 3600X10^2 neutron counts hK1, which occur 87% of the time on average) compared with low cosmic ray flux, (i) the chance of an overcast day increases by (19+/-4)%, and (ii) the diffuse fraction increases by (2+/-0.3)%. During sudden transient reductions in cosmic rays (e.g. Forbush events), simultaneous decreases occur in the diffuse fraction. The diffuse radiation changes are, therefore, unambiguously due to cosmic rays. Although the statistically significant nonlinear cosmic ray effect is small, it will have a considerably larger aggregate effect on longer timescale (e.g. centennial) climate variations when day-to-day variability averages out.


5. Discussion

This study has found a small yet statistically significant effect of cosmic rays on daily cloudiness regionally that supports the global results from satellite data (Marsh & Svensmark 2000). The method used is independent of the satellite results, and uses data from different surface sites extending over a longer period. Likely physical mechanisms have been previously hypothesized (Carslaw et al. 2002; Harrison & Carslaw 2003), firstly ion-induced formation of aerosol and cloud condensation nuclei (Yu & Turco 2001) and, secondly, electrically enhanced freezing of supercooled droplets (Tinsley et al. 2000; Tripathi & Harrison 2002).

In a previous detailed case study using data from Kew, increases in DF and Climax neutron data occurred simultaneously with ion growth, which was associated with the first physical mechanism (Harrison 2005). The nonlinear behaviour in figure 2a supports this, as, in the low aerosol limit (Harrison & Carslaw 2003), ion number concentration n varies with ion production rate q as nfq1/2. Assuming linear relationships between (i) X and q (Aplin et al. 2005), (ii) aerosol formed and n (Vohra et al. 1969) and (iii) DF and aerosol amount (Unsworth & Monteith 1972), DF in the non-overcast case would vary as X1/2. A power law fit to the Jersey data (for 3800X10^2 hK1 and DF!0.9) gave DFfX0.5G0.1. The transient DF response shown in figure 4 occurs within the daily timescale resolved: this is consistent with the modelling work of Yu & Turco (2001), who showed that the growth of ions to particles sufficiently large to act as cloud condensation nuclei had a timescale of about 8 h.

The possibility that rainfall influences particle formation was suggested in 3b. Aerosol and trace vapours are scavenged by precipitation and frequent precipitation events will prevent substantial aerosol populations forming (Carslaw et al. 2002). Charged aerosols are also preferentially removed over neutral aerosol (Tinsley et al. 2000; Tripathi & Harrison 2002). The effect of precipitation processes may be evident in the DF response to cosmic ray changes, as Eskdalemuir, where the effect is small (1.2%), has substantial annual rainfall, but the sites showing the biggest DF sensitivity have much lower rainfall (Cambridge 552 mm yrK1 and Jersey 860 mm yrK1).

Changes in DF and the frequency of overcast days represent changes in the weather and the atmospheric energy balance. The decrease in the proportion of direct solar radiation associated with an increase in DF will lead to a local reduction in daytime surface temperature. Further, because the net global effect of cloud is cooling (Hartman 1993), any widespread increase in the overcast days could also reduce temperature. At Reading, the measured sensitivity of daily average temperatures to DF for overcast days is K0.2 K per 0.01 change in DF (for 1997-2004). Consequently the inverse relationship between GCR and solar activity will lead to cooling at solar minimum. This might amplify the effect of the small solar cycle variation in total solar irradiance, believed to be underestimated by climate models (Stott et al. 2003), which neglect a cosmic ray effect.

In summary, our data analysis confirms the existence of a small, yet statistically robust, cosmic ray effect on clouds, that will emerge on long time scales with less variability than the considerable variability of daily cloudiness.


(From CO2 Science Magazine, 25 January 2006)

With this issue of CO2 Science, we launch our Medieval Warm Period Project, wherein each week we describe, analyze, tabulate and plot (on both graphs and maps) the findings of a different peer-reviewed scientific journal article that describes this multi-century period of significant warmth that occurred about a thousand years ago.

Why did we institute the project?

Climate alarmists claim that temperatures over the latter part of the 20th century were higher than those experienced at any other time over the past one to two millennia, based primarily on the work of (Mann et al. (1998, 1999) and Mann and Jones (2003). Their reason for doing so is to use this claim to support their related claim that anthropogenic CO2 emissions from the burning of fossil fuels have caused dramatic global warming, which if allowed to continue will produce a number of catastrophic consequences. We intend to disprove the first of these claims, so as to remove support for the second claim, by demonstrating that about 1000 years ago, when there was approximately 25% less CO2 in the atmosphere than there is currently, temperatures throughout the entire world were equally as high as (or even higher than) they were over the latter part of the 20th century. This real-world data-based fact should conclusively demonstrate that there is nothing unnatural about the planet's current level of warmth, and that it is likely caused by the recurrence of whatever cyclical phenomenon created the equal or even greater warmth of the Medieval Warm Period.

What elements comprise the project?

The first element of our Medieval Warm Period Project is a tabular listing of all Study Descriptions and Results, which are organized under separate subheadings for each of the world's seven continents. Within each of these subheadings there are (or ultimately will be) three tables: one for Level 1 Studies, one for Level 2 Studies, and one for Level 3 Studies. The first of these categories is comprised of studies where the scientists who conducted the work (not us) provide quantitative data that enable one to determine the degree by which the peak temperature of the Medieval Warm Period (MWP) differed from the peak temperature of the Current Warm Period (CWP). The second category is comprised of studies where the scientists who conducted the work provide qualitative data that enable one to determine which of the two periods was warmer, but not by how much. The third category is comprised of studies where the MWP was evident in the study's data, but where the data did not provide a means by which the warmth of the MWP could be compared with that of the CWP.

The second element of our MWP Project is a graphical representation of the quantitative results of all Level 1 studies, where we present a plot of the frequency distribution of all MWP-CWP Temperature Differentials. The third element is an Interactive Map and Time Domain Plot of all of the studies' results. The map, which can be viewed at different degrees of magnification, pinpoints the locations of all studies in the project's database, identifies each study's level of sophistication (1, 2 or 3), and provides a link to each study's particulars in the Study Descriptions and Results part of the project, while just below the map is a graph of the frequency distribution of the time intervals over which the MWP was determined to have occurred. Last of all, the fourth and fifth elements of the project are simply enumerations of all of the scientists and research institutions involved with the work of the several studies, which comprise, respectively, our List of Participating Scientists and List of Participating Research Institutions.

What will be accomplished by the project?

Our Medieval Warm Period Project will ultimately host a readily-accessible collection of totally independent databases that far exceeds the number of databases employed in the long-term temperature reconstructions that are used by climate alarmists to promote their claim that the latter part of the 20th century was warmer than any other similar period of the past one to two millennia. And from what we already know, based on information currently in our possession, our Medieval Warm Period Project will clearly demonstrate the invalidity of this claim, as the evidence we present continues to accumulate ... week after week after week.


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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