Wednesday, July 25, 2007

Abrupt Climate Change

Climate alarmists are always talking about abrupt climate changes resulting from earth's rising temperature passing some ominous "tipping point" that triggers the occurrence of more numerous and severe storms, floods and droughts. One need only look to Al Gore's testimony of 21 March 2007 before the United States Senate's Environment and Public Works Committee for confirmation of this fact, wherein he states - without equivocation - that "droughts are becoming longer and more intense," but, of course, without offering any evidence in support of his contention.

To fill this gaping void with respect to drought, we here report the findings of Narisma et al. (2007), who analyzed "global historical rainfall observations to detect regions that have undergone large, sudden decreases in rainfall [that] are statistically significant at the 99% level, are persistent for at least ten years, and .. have magnitudes that are [mostly] 10% lower than the climatological normal (1901-2000 rainfall average)."

Working with the gridded high-resolution (0.5 x 0.5 degrees of latitude and longitude) global precipitation data set of Mitchell et al. (2004), which covers the period 1901-2000, the four researchers identified 30 drought episodes throughout the world that satisfied these stringent criteria during the 20th century. Among this major drought directory was the sudden and prolonged Sahel drought of Africa in the late 1960s, the United States Dust Bowl of the 1930s and Southwest drought of the 1950s (which also affected parts of Mexico), the strong and persistent droughts that occurred in northeast China in the 1920s, in Kazakhstan and regions of the former Soviet Union in the late 1930s, in southeast Australia in the late 1930s, and in southern Africa and eastern Europe in the 1980s, as well as the World War II droughts of 1937-1945 and the droughts that occurred over large regions of East India and Bangladesh in the 1950s.

With respect to the temporal distribution of the 30 severe and persistent droughts identified by Narisma et al., seven of them occurred during the first two decades of the 20th century (1901-1920), seven occurred during the next two decades (1921-1940), eight during the middle two decades of the century (1941-1960), but only five during the next two decades (1961-1980), and a mere three during the final two decades of the century (1981-2000), which is not at all what one would have expected if the climate-alarmist thesis that is propounded by Gore and his followers was correct.

So just what is the situation here? The scientists who performed the analysis note that the 30 major droughts they identified were "mostly located in semi-arid and arid regions" that "are naturally prone [our italics] to large fluctuations." And it's as simple as that. The 30 major droughts of the 20th century were likely natural in all respects; and, hence, they are "indicative of what could also happen in the future," as Narisma et al. state in their concluding paragraph. And happen they will. Consequently, the next time a serious drought takes hold of some part of the world and the likes of Al Gore blame it on the "carbon footprints" of you and your family, ask them why just the opposite of what their hypothesis suggests actually occurred over the course of the 20th century, i.e., why, when the earth warmed - and at a rate and to a degree that they claim was unprecedented over thousands of years - the rate-of-occurrence of severe regional droughts actually declined.


The British floods

The wise heads were adamant that the recent British "drought" was caused by global warming. So the huge floods now happening must be caused by global cooling according to their logic! But it is of course hatred of their fellow citizens rather than logic which lies behind their views. The article below puts British weather into a factual perspective -- showing that it has always had ups and downs

What on earth is going on with our weather? Three months' worth of rain fell in a few places last week, Britain is drowning under floods of biblical proportions and nothing like it has been seen since Noah got his sea legs. In a wave of hysteria, the cry goes out for millions of sandbags, better drains and more flood defences. And fingers of blame are pointing at global warming.

But a simple fact has been overlooked: Britain is a wet country. Yes, it comes as a shock. Over the past few years we've become so used to years of scorching, Mediterranean-like summers, when hosepipe bans were the norm, vines were bursting with vintage grapes and water diviners were doing big business. But the truth is that our summers are supposed to be wet: it's our climate.

The accoutrements of the British summer holiday were thick pullovers and waterproofs. You expected to shiver on wet promenades, "Rain stopped play" was the national mantra and sunblock cream was something for film stars and models. That is why the August Bank Holiday was shunted to the end of the month, because the beginning of August was so awful.

Of course, British summers weren't always as wet as this year's, but some were certainly worse. 1912 was the wettest and dullest summer on record, far ahead of this summer's downpours. It pretty much rained all summer, reaching a peak in late August, when a seven-inch downpour in one day in Norfolk left Norwich completely marooned in a sea of mud and devastation. Even that deluge is overshadowed by the 11 inches of rain that fell in less than a day on Dorset in July 1955 - about half of London's yearly average rainfall. The longest nonstop rainfall record in the UK was more than 58 hours in London during June 1903, in a summer when there was an epidemic of lung disease in farmworkers caused by mouldy hay and grain.

Farther back still were the sodden summers of 1845 to 1850, when jungle-like humidity and relentless rains triggered the potato blight outbreak that led to the great Irish potato famine, in which a million people died and another million emigrated from Ireland.

Rain is only the half of it. The abysmal summer of 1956 was an assault course of monsoonal rains, big floods, giant hail, houses set ablaze by lightning, howling gales and miserable cold. Just to rub it in, August was one of the coldest and wettest on record across Britain.

It is a very human tendency to blame someone for the vagaries of the weather. A run of bad summers in the 1950s was blamed on nuclear bomb tests, the rains during the First World War were blamed on artillery going off on the Western Front and two centuries ago it was the battles of the Napoleonic Wars that were blamed for upsetting nature. And now it's global warming.

But climate change was supposed to be making our summers drier, not wetter. Leaving that aside, even if we accept that the recent downpours are a sign of global warming, then a single wet summer hardly adds up to any particular trend. No, it's far more plausible to explain this latest wet spell as a natural blip in the climate.

If so, then which politician or minister is going to have the courage to propose spending billions of pounds on building new river walls, embankments, ditches and other flood defences? How will we feel about spending large sums of money on such big projects when next year may bring another drought - and the inevitable demands for more reservoirs, leak-proof pipes and desalination plants?

And let's not forget that an even greater threat comes from the sea. A recent study reveals that London and the Thames Estuary is subsiding faster than anyone had estimated; and with sea levels rising relentlessly, the Thames Barrier is looking increasingly vulnerable. We need to fix that problem before London disappears under a storm surge like New Orleans.

The hysteria over this summer reveals more about our education. The daily forecasts and news reports are all facts and no explanation about why the weather is behaving the way it is. The explanation for the past few days of drama is that Britain lies in a part of the world that is finely balanced between wet and dry, warm and cold weather. The dividing line is the jet stream, a river of wind rushing overhead a few miles high. This summer the jet stream has been very sluggish and buckled into big loops, leaving Britain drenched on the wet side of one of those loops. However, on the other side of the jet stream large parts of Europe are roasting in a ferocious heatwave that has killed dozens of people and brought wildfires blazing across Greece.

This European split has happened before. In the summer of 2002, a large swath of Central Europe was battered by rains that set off huge floods along the Elbe and Danube, drowning more than 100 people.

But there is another story about this summer that has gone virtually unnoticed. Despite all the gloom and doom, temperatures are fairly normal for the time of year. In days gone by, a wet summer would invariably be cold, even with snow in July and frost in August.

The prize for the most diabolical summer of rain and cold should be awarded to that of 1816. Not for nothing was it called "the year without summer" - this time of great storms, massive rains and appalling cold led to the crops rotting, the price of bread soaring and food riots breaking out. Some 200,000 people died of famine across Europe, which was then followed by a typhus epidemic. So, let's look on the bright side. At least we haven't got any hosepipe bans - and the reservoirs are full.


The warmists have hides like rhinoceroses

Here it is: The expected claim that the floods in Britain are a result of global warming -- quite unembarrassed by their previous claims that global warming caused the "drought" that affected Britain up until recently

Global warming is generating heavier rainfall over Britain of the sort that has triggered this week’s floods, scientists have confirmed for the first time. While it has long been suspected that climate change is contributing to increased precipitation over midlatitude countries such as Britain, research has now conclusively linked greenhouse gases to heavier downpours.

The findings, from an international team including several British scientists, do not prove that this week’s flooding is the direct result of global warming: it is linked to weather patterns that have been known before. It is consistent, however, with a much broader trend towards more rainfall, on which researchers have now found an unambiguously human fingerprint. “The paper is saying there is a significant human influence on global rainfall patterns and this includes an increase of precipitation north of 50 degrees northern latitude, an area that includes the UK,” said Peter Stott, a climate scientist at the University of Reading who took part in the study.

In the study, which is to be published in the journal Nature, the scientists compared recorded changes in rain and snowfall over land with changes that are predicted by climate models that account for global warming caused by greenhouse gases. The actual pattern of changes, with increased precipitation in latitudes north of 50 degrees, corresponds remarkably closely with the patterns that emerged from 14 different models. This suggests strongly that human-induced climate change has been responsible.

For the European region that includes Britain, the research team estimates that human activity has accounted for about two thirds of the observed trend. Other natural factors, such as volcanic activity, have also had an influence, but this is much smaller than that from people. Dr Stott said that the study did not examine seasonal trends, but that other predictions suggest Britain will in general suffer wetter winters and drier summers, rather than multiple repeats of this year’s summer downpours, though significant uncertainties remain.

It is currently impossible to say whether the current bad weather is a result of global warming, and more research is needed into the origins of such extreme events. “We looked at annual rainfall trends rather than any particular season,” Dr Stott said. “In the UK wetter winters are expected which will lead to more extreme rainfall, whereas summers are expected to get drier. However, it is possible under climate change that there could be an increase of extreme rainfall even under general drying.”


Are Democrats the Peak-Oil Party?

"We have to understand how weak [Iran] is," explained Sen. Joe Biden last month at the Democratic presidential debate in Nashua, N.H. "They import almost all of their refined oil. By 2014, they are going to be importing their crude oil." If Biden really meant to say what he said, that places him firmly in the camp of those analysts who believe in "peak oil" and predict that global oil production will soon decline even as demand continues to rise, with the results being ever higher oil prices and shortages.

Peak oilers contend that the Middle East oil reserves are vastly overstated. Some, the minority to be sure, even think that global oil production will fall so far, so fast, that western civilization will have to return to some sort of pre-industrial way of life. Here are some choice predictions from one well-known proponent of the theory, James Howard Kunstler:

"One huge implication of the oil peak is that industrial societies will never again enjoy the 2 to 7 percent annual economic growth that has been considered healthy for over 100 years. This amounts to the industrialized nations of the world finding themselves in a permanent depression...The future is therefore telling us very loudly that we will have to change the way we live in this country. The implications are clear: We will have to downscale and rescale virtually everything we do...All indications are that American life will have to be reconstituted along the lines of traditional towns, villages, and cities much reduced in their current scale. These will be the most successful places once we are gripped by the profound challenge of a permanent reduced energy supply."

Clearly, the members of the National Petroleum Council, a federal advisory group representing the oil industry, are not believers in peak oil. "Fortunately, the world is not running out of energy resources," concludes a new report. "Coal, oil, and natural gas will remain indispensable to meeting total projected energy demand growth. "But the report does advocate that the United States do the following to meet a continuing rise in energy demand over the next quarter century:

1) Moderate the growing demand for energy by increasing efficiency of transportation, residential, commercial, and industrial uses.

2) Expand and diversify production from clean coal, nuclear, biomass, other renewables, and unconventional oil and gas; moderate the decline of conventional domestic oil and gas production; and increase access for development of new resources.

3) Integrate energy policy into trade, economic, environmental, security, and foreign policies; strengthen global energy trade and investment; and broaden dialogue with both producing and consuming nations to improve global energy security.

4) Enhance science and engineering capabilities and create long-term opportunities for research and development in all phases of the energy supply and demand system.

5) Develop the legal and regulatory framework to enable carbon capture and sequestration. In addition, as policymakers consider options to reduce carbon dioxide emissions, provide an effective global framework for carbon management, including establishment of a transparent, predictable, economy wide cost for carbon dioxide emissions.

My take: Between fears of global warming and higher energy prices, energy looks certain to be a major issue for the first time in a presidential election since 1980. Democrats already seem to have realized and are formulating specific plans, like Hillary Clinton's idea of a $50 billion energy research fund, or a similar $10 billion "New Energy Economy" fund that John Edwards is proposing.

The GOP isn't quite there yet as far as addressing this as an issue with specifics. Rudy Giuliani, as part of his website's "12 commitments," merely says, "I will lead America towards energy independence." Mitt Romney advocates spending "more research dollars in power generation, fuel technology, and materials science. It is in new technologies that we will find solutions to our environmental and energy needs."


Global cooling kills fish

Well, it's Southern hemispheric cooling anyway. Barramundi are Australia's most sought-after fish for eating

IT'S enough to make any barramundi fanatic reach for a hanky. Thousands of dead tropical fish - some more than a metre long - floating to the surface of Lake Moondarra, Mount Isa's main water supply. Authorities are blaming Queensland's big chill on the mass fish deaths, which have local anglers fearing the worst.

George Fortune, president of the Mount Isa Fish Stocking Group, said about 2000 fish had died in July. "It's been unusually cold for unusually long, and they just can't tolerate the low temperatures for any length of time," Mr Fortune said. "The barramundi come into the shallow parts of the dam to try to get warm, but they get caught up in the shallows, dying of the cold weather."

The cold snap affecting the whole state has seen the mercury drop to as low as 3.2C in Mount Isa this month. And the fish deaths have forced authorities to grapple with another unwanted problem: disposing of the carcasses.

Big pits have been dug to bury the barramundi, along with large numbers of sleepy cod and catfish. Mr Fortune said barramundi stocks in Lake Moondarra were down by as much as 40 per cent.



The Lockwood paper was designed to rebut Durkin's "Great Global Warming Swindle" film but it is in fact an absolute gift to climate atheists. What the paper says was of course all well-known already but the concession from a Greenie source that fluctuations in the output of the sun have driven climate change for all but the last 20 years really is invaluable. And the one fact that the paper documents so well -- that solar output is on the downturn -- is also hilarious, given its source. Surely even a crazed Greenie mind must see that reduced solar output will soon start COOLING the earth! Unprecedented July 2007 cold weather throughout the Southern hemisphere might even be the first sign that the cooling is happening. And the fact that warming plateaued in 1998 is also a good sign that we are moving into a cooling phase. As is so often the case, the Greenies have got the danger exactly backwards.

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1 comment:

Jim Campbell said...

Things Al Gore would never want you to know and why we will never end up with serious legislation for a problem that doesn't exist.