Wednesday, September 06, 2006


A 2004 Science article by E. Palle, P. R. Goode, P. Montanes-Rodriguez, and S. E. Koonin entitled "Changes in Earth's Reflectance Over the Past Two Decades" and a follow-on 2005 Geophysical Research Letters paper by Palle E., P. Montanes-Rodriguez, P. R. Goode, S. E. Koonin, M. Wild, and S. Casadio entitled "A multi-data comparison of shortwave climate forcing changes" provide support as a reason for the recent observed upper ocean cooling that is reported in Lyman et al. The two Palle et al papers are excellent scientific contributions on the monitoring of the radiative imbalance of the climate system. The abstract of the Geophysical Research Letters article reads:

"Traditionally the Earth's reflectance has been assumed to be roughly constant, but large decadal variability, not reproduced by current climate models, has been reported lately from a variety of sources. We compare here the available data sets related to Earth's reflectance, in order to assess the observational constraints on the models. We find a consistent picture among all data sets of an albedo decreased during 1985-2000 between 2-3 and 6-7 W/m 2, which is highly climatically significant. The largest discrepancy among the data sets occurs during 2000-2004, when some present an increasing reflectance trend, while CERES observations show a steady decrease of about 2 W/m 2."

An important excerpt from the paper is,

"One of the theoretical arguments used by Wielicki et al. [2005] against the large albedo increase in 2003 was the lack of response (cooling) in global temperatures and/or ocean heat content. This can be solved by the new ISCCP data, where the cloud increase 2000-2004 is mainly due to increasing mid and high clouds. These high altitude clouds will increase the Earth's reflectance, especially if the increase occurs over the relatively dark oceanic areas, but the net forcing of these high cloud changes is probably near zero or even positive, due to their strong infrared absorption."

The Lyman et al paper suggests that the net forcing is actually negative. The Wielicki et al 2005 Science paper is entitled "Changes in Earth's Albedo Measured by Satellite" by Bruce A. Wielicki, Takmeng Wong, Norman Loeb, Patrick Minnis, Kory Priestley, and Robert Kandel with the abstract:

"NASA global satellite data provide observations of Earth's albedo, i.e., the fraction of incident solar radiation that is reflected back to space. The satellite data show that the last four years are within natural variability and fail to confirm the 6% relative increase in albedo inferred from observations of earthshine from the moon. Longer global satellite records will be required to discern climate trends in Earth's albedo."

Thus the Wielicki et al 2005 paper was published to refute the Palle et al Science paper. An unsettling issue with the two Science papers, is that Palle was refused the opportunity to publish a response to the Wielicki et al criticism of their research. This is yet another example where a magazine that reports on climate science has inappropriately taken sides on an issue, and used its position to squelch alternative views of the science.

The Lyman et al paper, [preprint here] which documents ocean cooling, provides scientific support for the finds in the Palle et al study.


Global warming tops post-Katrina worries

A year after Hurricane Katrina hit the Gulf Coast, global warming alarmists are still exploiting the intense hurricane season of 2005 for political purposes. A new study by the Competitive Enterprise Institute explores the relationship between tropical storms and climate change and makes recommendations for what policy makers can do to reduce exposure to such dramatic weather events in the future.

Contrary to some activist rhetoric, the science linking global warming with hurricanes remains a field of active inquiry and dispute. Current research indicates that some storms may get stronger, but others may get weaker, while the question of whether intense hurricanes have gotten more frequent has received differing answers depending on how far back one cares to look. “The findings of scientists working with tropical storm data continues to evolve, as does our understanding of how global warming will affect other elements of the climate,” said CEI Senior Fellow and co-author Marlo Lewis. “Given the lack of knowledge about how much storms will actually change in the coming years, it is imperative to direct government funding to the problems we can actually do the most about.”

Diverting precious resources into policies designed to reduce global warming rather than strengthen our resiliency in the face of hurricanes actually harms people in hurricane-prone areas. Instead, government policies should concentrate on reducing perverse incentives that encourage development in hurricane-prone areas. “The one thing that is clear about hurricanes and global warming is that the question is largely theoretical and of no help to Americans who live in hurricane-prone areas,” said CEI Senior Fellow Iain Murray. “Congress and the states need to think hard about whether their policies have brought misery to those people and reform them for the better.”



A good short sharp comment from Jeff Jacoby. See the original for links

``Traffic congestion is choking our cities, hurting our economy, and reducing our quality of life,'' begins a new report from the Reason Foundation, the respected libertarian think tank. Rush-hour gridlock paralyzes 39,500 lane-miles of roadway each year, eating up $63 billion in lost time and fuel. But much worse is to come. By 2030, the number of severely congested lane-miles will reach nearly 60,000 per year, an increase of more than 50 percent. Commuters in the largest metropolitan areas will spend 65 percent more time in traffic than they do now. Within 25 years, at least a dozen major cities will be choked with travel delays worse than in today's Los Angeles, which is notorious for having the worst traffic congestion in America.

The solution is the obvious one: Build more highways, and manage them more intelligently. ``The old canard `we can't build our way out of congestion' is not true,'' the authors write. They estimate that 104,000 new lane-miles will be needed by 2030, at a cost of about $21 billion a year, much of which could be raised through electronic tolling. The return on that investment would be a stunning 7.7 billion fewer hours spent in traffic each year, along with all the wealth and freedom those time savings would generate.

All this is heresy, of course, to the car-haters and PC nannies who are forever lecturing us to quit driving and use mass transit. But we are overwhelmingly a nation of drivers; the real ``mass transit'' is the traffic on our highways. If the highways don't grow to keep up with that traffic, the strangulating misery of gridlock will only get worse.

Kyoto not the way to cool the world

The Kyoto agreement to cut greenhouse emissions is ineffectual and the world must be more realistic about the chances of preventing climate change and prepare for the inevitability of global warming, according to the head of one of Britain's foremost scientific societies. Frances Cairncross, president of the British Association for the Advancement of Science and chairwoman of the Economic and Social Research Council, was addressing the Festival of Science in Norwich, east England. She told Britain's biggest general science meeting that while measures to cut the greenhouse gas emissions that cause global warming were essential, they had been emphasised ahead of the equally vital need to develop ways of coping with climate change. Ms Cairncross said the Kyoto Treaty would not stop temperatures rising, as the US and large developing nations such as China and India were not involved. She said even if a global agreement to limit carbon dioxide emissions was reached, a significant degree of warming was still likely.

London's Daily Telegraph newspaper reported that Ms Cairncross said developing drought-tolerant crops, constructing flood defences, improving building insulation or banning building close to sea level were as important as cutting emissions. She said the world needed to be more realistic about the chances of preventing climate change. "We need more sheltered public spaces. It is going to be either sunnier or rainier," Ms Cairncross said. Plants, insects and animals that needed to migrate north away from hotter climates should be provided with species corridors, among many other measures, she said. "Adaptation policies have had far less attention than mitigation and that is a mistake," Ms Cairncross told the meeting. "We need to think now about policies that prepare for a hotter, drier world."

Ms Cairncross said the Kyoto agreement to cut greenhouse gas emissions was having little impact. India and China - representing a third of the world's population - had not signed up and the US "does not take any notice". Developing a successful global deal would mean "persuading this generation to accept sacrifices on behalf of posterity; and persuading countries that will gain from climate change, or lose little, to take action not on behalf of their own grandchildren but of the descendants of people in other nations". "We cannot relocate the Amazon or insulate coral reefs, so we need mitigation too," she said. "But the Government could and should put in place an adaptation strategy right away."

Despite the arguments about the mix between renewables, nuclear and fossil fuels, the bottom line was that, "with present technologies, no combination of existing energy sources can conceivably bring about the reductions in energy use that we need, or at least, not without a disruption that is politically unimaginable".

Ms Cairncross's message will be controversial as many environmental groups have discouraged talk of adapting to global warming as an inevitability for fear that it will hand politicians an excuse for failing to cut greenhouse gas emissions.

Extreme rainfall has become more frequent and intense over the past 40 years in parts of Britain, particularly in Scotland and the north of England. Scientists from Newcastle University - who analysed British weather records from 1961 to 2000 - say the findings provide further evidence of climate change. They also suggest that the five million people who live near rivers - 10 per cent of the British population - can expect to be flooded with increasing regularity in the future, which has implications for the management of flooding and water resources.



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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