Friday, December 14, 2007


An email below from Henry N. Geraedts, PhD [] in Canada

It certainly stretches credulity when the Guardian's George "Moonbat" Monbiot writes that environmentalists should "remember that while we have been proved right about most things, we have been consistently wrong about the dates for mineral exhaustion." Never bothered to read Julian Simon, it would seem.

The environmental movement proved right about most things? Right. Let's see now: DDT, nuclear energy, Erlich's global population explosion and famine, Borlaugh's green revolution, GMOs, the ozone layer and in the ongoing saga, AGW/ACC. Even the most cursory review tells us the environmentalists were fundamentally wrong on all accounts.

By their very nature, messianic movements like environmentalism are blind to their mistakes, and thus can not learn from them. Even when demonstrably wrong, environmentalists remain prisoner to the fallacies of static thinking and linear extrapolations. They are nevertheless as a matter of course always right. Left unchecked, they are also quite willing to resort to totalitarian measures to ensure that their view of thing prevails, as evidenced by the interview with Mayer Hillman in which he dismisses democracy and its principles as so much bunk to be cast aside so environmentalism can save the world.

The environmental movement in fact stands out as the true Flat Earth Society, constantly looking to build fences to save us others, the mindless masses, from falling off the edge.


German Environment Minister Sigmar Gabriel is promoting a plan to cut emissions blamed for global warming by 40 percent at this week's climate talks in Bali, Indonesia. At home, RWE AG is building three power plants fired by coal, the fuel that produces the most greenhouse gases. While Germany proposes to reduce carbon-dioxide emissions by encouraging the use of renewable energy such as biofuels and windfarms, more than half the new power stations planned for Germany will be fueled by coal, according to Essen-based RWE, the nation's second-biggest utility.

Power companies are choosing coal, which produces twice as much carbon-dioxide as natural gas, over cleaner fuels because world leaders have failed to agree on a strategy for reducing emissions. Without incentives to build less-polluting plants, utilities are guessing about which fuels will be most profitable and delaying investments until an agreement is reached. "You have to take the risk or otherwise you are out of the market,'' said Henning Rentz, RWE's policy chief. The energy utility is building a 2.2 billion-euro ($3.3 billion) power plant fueled by Germany's plentiful brown coal.

Representatives from almost 200 nations are meeting this week in Bali to begin talks on a successor to the emission-limiting Kyoto treaty, which expires in 2012. The conference is designed to lay the groundwork for further negotiations that will produce a comprehensive agreement by 2009.

Worldwide, power companies must build $11.6 trillion of plants by 2030 to meet demand for power, according to the International Energy Agency. Without clear guidance from the Bali talks, utilities will continue to rely on coal, said Lars Josefsson, chief executive officer of Vattenfall AB, the Nordic region's biggest utility. "You'll have higher prices and you'll have more carbon dioxide being emitted,'' Josefsson said. An agreement ``would reduce the risk premiums of new investments.'' Stockholm-based Vattenfall is building three coal plants in Germany, including a 1.7 billion-euro project near Hamburg.



(From Quaternary Science Reviews, Article in Press)

Holocene optimum events inferred from subglacial sediments at Tschierva Glacier, Eastern Swiss Alps

By U.E. Joerin et al.


This study investigates the subglacial sedimentary archive at Tschierva Glacier, Eastern Swiss Alps. Subfossil wood remains found at the retreating glacier tongue indicate that their emergence results from recent transport from an upvalley basin. A confluence-basin-like structure was found to exist by georadar measurements underneath the present glacier. In combination with high resolution age determinations based on dendrochronology and radiocarbon dating it is implied that a retreated Tschierva Glacier allowed vegetation growth and sediment accumulation in that basin. Three periods of glacier recession were detected, which occurred around 9200 cal yr BP, from 7450 to 6650 cal yr BP and from 6200 to 5650 cal yr BP. These periods are called Holocene optimum events (HOE). Accordingly, an equilibrium line rise >220 m compared to the reference period from 1960 to 1985 was inferred from digital elevation models of former glacier extents. Since glacier mass balance depends on summer (June-July-August) temperature and precipitation, an equilibrium line altitude (ELA) rise of 220 m implies a summer temperature increase of about 1.8 øC assuming unchanged precipitation during the dated HOE. Alternative calculations point to probable temperature increase in a broad interval between +1.0 øC taking into account a precipitation change of ?250 mm/a to +2.5 øC with +250 mm/a precipitation change, supporting earlier paleotemperature estimates. It is proposed that higher mean summer insolation caused a stronger seasonality during the mid-Holocene as compared to late Holocene conditions. [...]

5. Conclusions

Our results indicate smaller glaciers than the 1985 reference level on at least three occasions during the early and mid-Holocene in accordance with earlier studies on Holocene glacier recessions (Orombelli and Mason, 1997; Nicolussi and Patzelt, 2000a; Hormes et al., 2001). The timing of glacier recessions and readvances was inferred from dendrochronological and radiocarbon dating. The results indicate that a first HOE started around 9200 cal yr BP and further periods lasted from 7450 to 6650 cal yr BP and from 6200 to 5650 cal yr BP. Tree-ring analysis implies a glacier advance shortly after 6630 cal yr BP and probably an advance with two phases around 5800 and 5650 cal yr BP, respectively. The events are dated with high accuracy and improve the existing chronology of glacier fluctuations derived by radiocarbon dating at six Swiss glaciers (Joerin et al., 2006). Our chronology implies that the total duration of HOEs during the Atlantic lasted as long as 1400 yr, more than twice as long as previous studies suggested (R”thlisberger, 1986). Glacier recessions for the same periods are also reported from Norway (Matthews et al., 2005), Baffin Island (Miller et al., 2005) or British Columbia (Menounos et al., 2004).

Stratigraphic, geomorphological and glaciological observations pinpoint to a source area of former wood growth in small upvalley basins. Such structures are confirmed by georadar measurements and exist underneath the present glacier at an altitude around 2300 m asl. The position of former tree growth restricts the extent of Tschierva Glacier during the HOE. Accordingly, the calculation of a former ELA suggests a local ELA at elevations above 3040 m asl or a rise in ELA >220 m compared to the 1985 reference for periods as long as 800 yr. Therefore, the range of Holocene ELAs may exceed a total amplitude of 320 m resulting from the Holocene extremes of an ELA depression around 100 m for the LIA and a 220 m rise for the HOE.

The summer (JJA) temperature during each HOE is calculated to have increased by +1.8 øC under the assumptions of an upward ELA shift of 220 m and no change in precipitation (based on a P-T-ELA model after Ohmura et al. (1992)). The periods of smaller glaciers than present agree with the results of biotic proxies (Tinner et al., 1996; Heiri et al., 2003; Nicolussi et al., 2005). Since mean annual temperatures remained almost unchanged during the mid-Holocene (von Grafenstein, et al., 1999) it is suggested that changes in insolation mainly caused an enhanced seasonality with higher summer temperatures at that time. As a consequence, the Tschierva Glacier advances after 6630 cal yr BP and around 5800 and 5650 cal yr BP represent centennial scale glacier fluctuations which probably occurred superimposed on a multi-millennial trend of generally shorter glaciers during the Atlantic.

Following is a report of a late 2006 study with similar conclusions to the above


Discussing: Hormes, A., Beer, J. and Schluchter, C. 2006. A geochronological approach to understanding the role of solar activity on Holocene glacier length variability in the Swiss Alps. Geografiska Annaler Series A 88: 281-294.

What was done

The authors determined radiocarbon dates of 71 samples of wood and peat found in the basal shear planes and proglacial outwashes of eight mid-latitude glaciers in the Central Swiss Alps; and by virtue of the dates clustering within discrete time intervals, they were able to specify periods during which the glaciers' leading edges were less extended than they were during the 1990s.

What was learned

Hormes et al. determined that "the glaciers investigated were less extensive than during the 1990s, with a shorter length during several defined periods." These periods were: 10,110-9550, 9210-7980, 7450-6500, 6370-5950, 5860-3360, 2940-2620 and 2500-1170 years before present. They also report that "some of these periods with reduced glacier lengths are also documented on Svalbard in the Arctic, the Subantarctic Kerguelen islands in the Indian Ocean, and in Scandinavia." In addition, they state that "the defined radiocarbon-dated periods with less extensive glaciers coincide well with periods of reduced 14C production, pointing to the sun's role in glacier variation processes."

What it means

Contrary to the strident claim of Hansen et al. (2006) that probably the planet as a whole" is approximately as warm now as at the Holocene maximum," the findings of Hormes et al. suggest that for huge periods of the Holocene this statement was likely far from the truth, not only for the Central Swiss Alps, but also for the other parts of the planet where similar Holocene contractions of glacier lengths have been observed. In addition, there is reason to believe that much of the world's superior warmth during those many earlier periods (when the atmosphere's CO2 concentration was only about two-thirds of what it is today) was orchestrated by variations in the activity of the sun, which further suggests there is no compelling reason to believe that the much lesser warmth of today must be due to the atmosphere's elevated CO2 concentration, as it has been significantly warmer than it is currently many times throughout the Holocene when there has been much less CO2 in the air than there is today.

Source Relevant journal abstract below:


(From Geografiska Annaler, Series A: Physical Geography, Volume 88 Issue 4 Page 281-294, December 2006 )

A geochronological approach to understanding the role of solar activity on Holocene glacier length variability in the Swiss Alps

Anne Hormes et al.


We present a radiocarbon data set of 71 samples of wood and peat material that melted out or sheared out from underneath eight presentday mid-latitude glaciers in the Central Swiss Alps. Results indicated that in the past several glaciers have been repeatedly less extensive than they were in the 1990s. The periods when glaciers had a smaller volume and shorter length persisted between 320 and 2500 years. This data set provides greater insight into glacier variability than previously possible, especially for the early and middle Holocene. The radiocarbon-dated periods defined with less extensive glaciers coincide with periods of reduced radio-production, pointing to a connection between solar activity and glacier melting processes. Measured long-term series of glacier length variations show significant correlation with the total solar irradiance. Incoming solar irradiance and changing albedo can account for a direct forcing of the glacier mass balances. Long-term investigations of atmospheric processes that are in interaction with changing solar activity are needed in order to understand the feedback mechanisms with glacier mass balances.


A new study comparing the composite output of 22 leading global climate models with actual climate data finds that the models do an unsatisfactory job of mimicking climate change in key portions of the atmosphere. This research, published on-line Wednesday in the Royal Meteorological Society's International Journal of Climatology, raises new concerns about the reliability of models used to forecast global warming. "The usual discussion is whether the climate model forecasts of Earth's climate 100 years or so into the future are realistic," said the lead author, Dr. David H. Douglass from the University of Rochester. "Here we have something more fundamental: Can the models accurately explain the climate from the recent past? "It seems that the answer is no."

Scientists from Rochester, the University of Alabama in Huntsville (UAH) and the University of Virginia compared the climate change "forecasts" from the 22 most widely-cited global circulation models with tropical temperature data collected by surface, satellite and balloon sensors. The models predicted that the lower atmosphere should warm significantly more than it actually did. "Models are very consistent in forecasting a significant difference between climate trends at the surface and in the troposphere, the layer of atmosphere between the surface and the stratosphere," said Dr. John Christy, director of UAH's Earth System Science Center. "The models forecast that the troposphere should be warming more than the surface and that this trend should be especially pronounced in the tropics.

"When we look at actual climate data, however, we do not see accelerated warming in the tropical troposphere. Instead, the lower and middle atmosphere are warming the same or less than the surface. For those layers of the atmosphere, the warming trend we see in the tropics is typically less than half of what the models forecast."

The 22 climate models used in this study are the same models used by the UN Intergovernmental Panel of Climate Change (IPCC), which recently shared a Nobel Peace Prize with former Vice President Al Gore. The atmospheric temperature data were from two versions of data collected by sensors aboard NOAA satellites since late 1979, plus several sets of temperature data gathered twice a day at dozens of points in the tropics by thermometers carried into the atmosphere by helium balloons. The surface data were from three datasets.

After years of rigorous analysis and testing, the high degree of agreement between the various atmospheric data sets gives an equally high level of confidence in the basic accuracy of the climate data. "The last 25 years constitute a period of more complete and accurate observations, and more realistic modeling efforts," said Dr. Fred Singer from the University of Virginia. "Nonetheless, the models are seen to disagree with the observations. We suggest, therefore, that projections of future climate based on these models should be viewed with much caution."

The findings of this study contrast strongly with those of a recent study that used 19 of the same climate models and similar climate datasets. That study concluded that any difference between model forecasts and atmospheric climate data is probably due to errors in the data. "The question was, what would the models `forecast' for upper air climate change over the past 25 years and how would that forecast compare to reality?" said Christy. "To answer that we needed climate model results that matched the actual surface temperature changes during that same time. If the models got the surface trend right but the tropospheric trend wrong, then we could pinpoint a potential problem in the models.

"As it turned out, the average of all of the climate models forecasts came out almost like the actual surface trend in the tropics. That meant we could do a very robust test of their reproduction of the lower atmosphere.

"Instead of averaging the model forecasts to get a result whose surface trends match reality, the earlier study looked at the widely scattered range of results from all of the model runs combined. Many of the models had surface trends that were quite different from the actual trend," Christy said. "Nonetheless, that study concluded that since both the surface and upper atmosphere trends were somewhere in that broad range of model results, any disagreement between the climate data and the models was probably due to faulty data. "We think our experiment is more robust and provides more meaningful results."


Ancient Bone Discovery Debunks Polar Bear Endangerment Fears

'We Don't Have To Be Quite So Worried About The Polar Bear'

Quaternary geologist Professor Dr. Olafur Ingolfsson from the University of Iceland is quoted below.

Excerpt: "We have this specimen that confirms the polar bear was a morphologically distinct species at least 100,000 years ago, and this basically means that the polar bear has already survived one interglacial period," explained Professor Ingolfsson. And what's interesting about that is that the Eeemian - the last interglacial - was much warmer than the Holocene (the present). "This is telling us that despite the ongoing warming in the Arctic today, maybe we don't have to be quite so worried about the polar bear. < > That would be very encouraging Professor Ingolfsson is hopeful the bears will cope - and believes the palaeo-record will offer some reassurance. "The polar bear is basically a brown bear that decided some time ago that it would be easier to feed on seals on the ice. So long as there are seals, there are going to be polar bears. I think the threat to the polar bears is much more to do with pollution, the build up of heavy metals in the Arctic. "This is just how I interpret it. But this is science - when you have little data, you have lots of freedom."


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