Friday, April 11, 2008


The furore continues but I don't have the time at the moment to comment further on it. Some links here and here and here and here and here and here. Note that there are now TWO BBC articles that are under heavy fire.


Just for a laugh, of course:

* Trust is the foundation of the BBC: we are independent, impartial and honest.
* Audiences are at the heart of everything we do.
* We take pride in delivering quality and value for money.
* Creativity is the lifeblood of our organisation.
* We respect each other and celebrate our diversity so that everyone can give their best.
* We are one BBC: great things happen when we work together.



An email from Lee Rodgers [] of Scientific blogging

James Hansen just released another dire warning about CO2 emissions yet seems to make no mention of the prospect of Solar Cycle #25 being the harbinger of a longer period of reduced solar luminance. Evidence is mounting that the sun's internal plasma conveyor belts are slowing down (they work much in the way that Earth's tropical-temperate atmospheric conveyor belt transports work, rising from the equator to the poles & back again). See here.

"...The slowdown we see now means that Solar Cycle 25, peaking around the year 2022, could be one of the weakest in centuries," says Hathaway..."

"...If the trend holds, Solar Cycle 25 in 2022 could be, like the belt itself, "off the bottom of the charts."

But what are the prospects of a longer-term solar minimum, on the order of the Dalton or Maunder minima? I quote from: here:

"...If Theodor Landscheidt' s assertions in 1999, Extrema in Sunspot Cycle Linked to Sun's Motion, are correct and the next "Sixteenth Part" (SP) of the 178.8 Year Solar Retrograde Motion (RSI) is to happen in 2012.5 then the minimum of Cycle 23 should have already happened ... the delay means that the SP looks to be switching to the Solar Minima and that would mean that Cycle 23 should last until 2010.6 at the EARLIEST!. That makes for a [14] year Sunspot cycles. Nothing like that has happened since 1790! According to this paper of the deceased professor, GRHS, we are in for 4 to 5 very weak sunspot cycles. Not like the Dalton minima but like the Maunder Minima!"

See also here

NASA/GISS researchers have modeled the effects of a long-term deep solar minimum and concluded it'd precipitate another miniature ice age.


RESPECTED academic Don Aitkin has seen the ugly side of the climate change debate after being warned he faced demonisation if he challenged the accepted wisdom that global warming poses a danger to humanity. Professor Aitkin told The Australian yesterday he had been told he was "out of his mind" by some in the media after writing that the science of global warming "doesn't seem to stack up". Declaring global warming might not be such an important issue, Professor Aitkin argued in a speech to the Planning Insitute of Australia this month that counter measures such as carbon trading were likely to be unnecessary, expensive and futile without stronger evidence of a crisis.

The eminent historian and political scientist said in a speech called A Cool Look at Global Warming, which has received little public attention, that he was urged not to express his contrary views to orthodox thinking because he would be demonised. He says critics who question the impact of global warming are commonly ignored or attacked because "scientist activists" from a quasi-religious movement have spread a flawed message that "the science is settled" and "the debate is over".

Professor Aitkin is a former vice-chancellor at the University of Canberra, foundation chairman of the Australian Research Council and a distinguished researcher at the Australian National University and Macquarie University. Although not a scientist, he has brought his critical approach as an experienced academic accustomed to testing theories to a debate he says so far lacks clear evidence.

Professor Aitkin's speech cast strong doubt on the Rudd Government's plan to impose significant limits on carbon emissions as the key to combating climate change, while the developing economies of China and India become the world's biggest polluters. "I doubt the proposed extraordinary policies will actually happen," he said. "China and India will not reduce their own use of carbon."

According to Professor Aitkin, attempts to set carbon-use levels in Europe, to be emulated by Australia, have been laughable because of absurd errors involved in allocating quotas and the potential for fraud. He believes carbon trading will lead to rorts, and that the "bubble will burst" on enthusiasm for urgently containing the carbon-producing effects of burning coal and oil.

The story of the human impact on climate change, which Professor Aitkin calls Anthropogenic Global Warming, "doesn't seem to stack up as the best science", according to his own research. Despite thousands of scientists allegedly having "consensus" on global warming, he says there is an absence of convincing data: "Put simply, despite all the hype and models and the catastrophic predictions, it seems to me that we human beings barely understand 'climate'. It is too vast a domain." Much of the evidence of global warming, he says, is based on computer modelling that does not take account of variables, and does not cover the whole planet.

Professor Aitkin calls himself a global warming "agnostic", and his comments are a direct challenge to the orthodoxy successfully promoted by influential figures such as former Australian of the Year Tim Flannery, whose scientific expertise is paleontology, despite his popular writings on climate change. The basis of the Kyoto Protocol, signed by the Rudd Government, is unvalidated models that cannot provide evidence of anything, Professor Aitkin argues. But he says the Rudd Government is among policy-makers trapped, willingly or unwillingly, by the world view of climate change campaigners who take a "quasi-religious view" that the dangers of global warming cannot be doubted.

Professor Aitkin told The Australian last night that Kevin Rudd's climate change adviser, Ross Garnaut, was "a captive" because of the riding instructions he had been given to provide solutions that accepted global warming as fact. In his speech, he says: "The hard-heads may not buy the story, but they do want to be elected or re-elected. "Democratic governments facing elections are sensitive to popular movements that could have an electoral effect. I am sure that it was this electoral perception that caused the Howard government at the end to move significantly towards Kyoto and indicate a preparedness to go down the Kyoto path, as indeed the Labor Party had done earlier, and Kevin Rudd did as soon as he was elected."

Professor Aitkin says the earth's atmosphere may be warming but, if so, not by much and not in an alarming and unprecedented way. "It is possible that the warming has a 'significant human influence', to use the (UN Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change's) term, and I do not dismiss the possibility. "But there are other powerful possible causes that have nothing to do with us."

He says an increase in atmospheric levels of carbon dioxide over the past century is agreed, some of it due to fossil fuels, cement-making and agriculture. However, normal production of CO2 is not known, and it makes up only a tiny part of the atmosphere. "How does a small increase in a very small component have such a large apparent effect? The truth is that no one has yet shown that it does."

According to the professor, much of the inadequate policy-making on climate change is based on "over-certainty in the absence of convincing argument and data" and "over-reliance on computer models". "While governments can never ignore what they see as popular feeling, good policy cannot be based on moods," he says.


An Inconvenient Announcement

Al Gore Equates Global Warming with World War II and Civil Rights Movement, While Europe Announces Cap-and-Trade Failure

On the same week in which the European Union (EU) admitted that its carbon cap-and-trade system is failing miserably, Al Gore shamelessly equated his latest global warming project with fighting Nazism in World War II, the Civil Rights Movement and the moon landing. Talk about "inconvenient truths" for the man behind the discredited film "An Inconvenient Truth."

This week, Gore announced the kickoff of his three-year, $300 million advertising and online lobbying campaign with a group calling itself the Alliance for Climate Protection. Apparently abandoning any remaining sense of shame or restraint, Gore will reportedly equate his latest climate-change pet project with our efforts during World War II, the fight against vicious racial segregation and successfully landing a man on the moon. According to reports, the campaign will in turn demand that the United States join other nations in adopting ineffective, but economically-destructive, emissions cap schemes.

As one might expect, Gore's proposed solution lies in even more big-government bureaucratic mandates from Washington, D.C. As he told the Washington Post, "the path to recovery runs right through Washington." Only one problem: the EU inconveniently acknowledged this week that its own Kyoto-style emission caps are a miserable failure.

According to the EU's website, its greenhouse gas emissions actually rose some 1.1% last year, despite the fact that it has enacted the very type of economically damaging cap-and-trade mandates advocated by Gore and climate alarmists. Under the EU's cap-and-trade system, businesses receive a predetermined allotment of emissions credits from government planners, and those businesses that exceed their limits must purchase spare credits from other businesses.

From the start, however, the EU's cap-and-trade scheme was marred by inherent flaws. Most fundamentally, bureaucratic busybodies were unable to accurately estimate the number of emissions permits to issue. Consequently, they were forced to recalibrate emissions limits and the number of credits, and the program proved a miserable failure. Instead of the intended decline in emissions, they have risen approximately 1% each year since the program's inception.

Lest Al Gore's devotees dismiss the EU's miserable failure as an anomaly, Japan's climate-change scheme has failed just as badly. The home country of Kyoto was itself supposed to reduce its emissions by 6% below 1990 levels, but its emission levels have actually risen steadily as well.

Although these Kyoto-style programs have utterly failed to achieve their intended goals, they have had an impact, albeit a negative one. Namely, they have inflicted great economic harm upon the nations that have implemented them, with no benefit to the environment. Across the EU, energy-intensive businesses are relocating their operations and employment overseas, and the European economies trail the United States economy, which has refused to ratify the Kyoto Protocol during both the Clinton and Bush Administrations. Conditions in the EU have deteriorated so badly that the European Roundtable of Industrialists has written the EU to warn that the EU's Kyoto mandates are eroding businesses' ability to compete in the world economy. Further, European businesses are bracing themselves for additional increases in cap-and-trade costs, as EU bureaucrats respond to the increase in European emissions by tightening limits. In turn, this will increase businesses' cost of complying with the EU's cap-and-trade scheme, further eroding EU economic competitiveness.

Ignoring these inconvenient truths, climate change alarmists nevertheless insist that the United States dive into the same self-destructive schemes. But any such scheme inflicted upon the United States is doomed to failure, just as similar mandates have failed across the world. Cap-and-trade laws will fail to curtail emissions, let alone affect the vast global climatic environment. Instead, they will merely inflict great damage on our economic and employment climate precisely when America faces an increasingly-competitive world economy. The American Council for Capital Formation, as one example, estimates that a cap-and-trade law would cost 3.7 million American jobs, reduce gross national product by 2.6%, increase fuel costs even more and punish the average American household some $1,760 each year.

Hopefully, Americans will prove unwilling to pay this economic price for a scheme that fails to reduce emissions or benefit the environment.


Evidence of a Significant Solar Imprint in Annual Globally Averaged Temperature Trends

The article below applies some sophisticated statistical corrections to the raw temperature data. Most Greenies would no doubt shriek at that but since Hansen and other Warmist scientists have been "correcting" their data in various ways more or less from the beginning, they cannot reasonably do that. So the upshot for the layman simply is another demonstration that the "consensus" among scientists is a myth and that different analytical approaches yield different results

By Basil Copeland and Anthony Watts
It is very unlikely that the 20th-century warming can be explained by natural causes. The late 20th century has been unusually warm.

So begins the IPCC AR4 WG1 response to Frequently Asked Question 9.2 (Can the Warming of the 20th Century be Explained by Natural Variability?). Chapter 3 of the WG1 report begins:
Global mean surface temperatures have risen by 0.74øC ~ 0.18øC when estimated by a linear trend over the last 100 years (1906-2005). The rate of warming over the last 50 years is almost double that over the last 100 years (0.13øC ñ 0.03øC vs. 0.07øC ~ 0.02øC per decade).

Was the warming of the late 20th century really that unusual? In recent posts Anthony has noted the substantial anecdotal evidence for a period of unusual warming in the earlier half of the 20th century. The representation by the IPCC of global trends over the past 100 years seems almost designed to hide the fact that during the early decades of the 20th century, well before the recent acceleration in anthropogenic CO2 emissions beginning in the middle of the 20th century, global temperature increased at rates comparable to the rate of increase at the end of the 20th century.

I recently began looking at the longer term globally averaged temperature series to see what they show with respect to how late 20th century warming compared to warming earlier in the 20th century. In what follows, I'm presenting just part of the current research I'm currently undertaking. At times, I may overlook details or a context, or skip some things, for the sake of brevity. For example, I'm looking at two long-term series of globally averaged annual temperature trends, HadCRUTv3 and GHCN-ERSSTv2. Most of what I present here will be based on HadCRUTv3, though the principal findings will hold true for GHCN-ERSSTv2.

I began by smoothing the data with a Hodrick-Prescott (HP) filter with lambda=100. (More on the value of lambda later.) The results are presented in Figure 1.

The figure shows the actual data time series, a cyclical pattern in the data that is removed by the HP filter, and a smoothed long term low frequency trend that results from filtering out the short term higher frequency cyclical component. Hodrick-Prescott is designed to distinguish short term cyclical activity from longer term processes. For those with an electrical engineering background, you could think of it much like a bandpass filter which also has uses in meteorology:
Outside of electronics and signal processing, one example of the use of band-pass filters is in the atmospheric sciences. It is common to band-pass filter recent meteorological data with a period range of, for example, 3 to 10 days, so that only cyclones remain as fluctuations in the data fields.

(Note: For those that wish to try out the HP filter, a freeware Excel plugin exists for it which you can download here)

When applied to globally averaged temperature, it works to extract the longer term trend from variations in temperature that are of short term duration. It is somewhat like a filter that filters out "noise," but in this case the short term cyclical variations in the data are not noise, but are themselves oscillations of a shorter term that may have a basis in physical processes.

For example, in Figure 1, in the cyclical component shown at the bottom of the figure, we can clearly see evidence of the 1998 Super El Ni¤o. While not the current focus, I believe that analysis of the cyclical component may show significant correlations with known shorter term oscillations in globally averaged temperature, and that this may be a fruitful area for further research on the usefulness of Hodrick-Prescott filtering for the study of global or regional variations in temperature.

My original interest was in comparing rates of change between the smoothed series during the 1920's and 1930's with the rates of change during the 1980's and 1990's. Without getting into details (ask questions in comments if you have them), using HadCRUTv3 the rate of change during the early part of the 20th century was almost identical to the rate of change at the end of the century. Could there be some sense in which the warming at the end of the 20th century was a repeat of the pattern seen in the earlier part of the century? Since the rate of increase in greenhouse gas emissions was much lower in the earlier part of the century, what could possibly explain why temperatures increased for so long during that period at a rate comparable to that experienced during the recent warming?

As I examined the data in more detail, I was surprised by what I found. When working with a smoothed but non-linear "trend" like that shown in Figure 1, we compute the first differences of the series to calculate the average rate of change over any given period of time. A priori, there was no reason to anticipate a particular pattern in time (or "secular pattern") to the differenced series. But I found one, and it was immediately obvious that I was looking at a secular pattern that had peaks closely matching the 22 year Hale solar cycle. The resulting pattern in the first differences is presented in Figure 2, with annotations showing how the peaks in the pattern correspond to peaks in the 22 year Hale cycle.

Besides the obvious correspondence in the peaks of the first differences in the smoothed series to peaks of the 22 year Hale solar cycle, there is a kind of "sinus rhythm" in the pattern that appears to correspond, roughly, to three Hale cycles, or 66 years. Beginning in 1876/1870, the rate of change begins a long decline from a peak of about +0.011 (since these are annual rates of change, a decadal equivalent would be 10 times this, or +0.11C/decade) into negative territory where it bottoms out about -0.013, before reversing and climbing back to the next peak in 1896/1893. A similar sinusoidal pattern, descending down into negative annual rates of change before climbing back to the next peak, is evident from 1896/1893 to 1914/1917. Then the pattern breaks, and in the third Hale cycle of the triplet, the trough between the 1914/1917 peak and the 1936/1937 peak is very shallow, with annual rates of change never falling below +0.012, let alone into the negative territory seen after the previous two peaks. This same basic pattern is repeated for the next three cycles: two sinusoidal cycles that descend into negative territory, followed by a third cycle with a shallow trough and rates of change that never descend below +0.012. The shallow troughs of the cycles from 1914/1917 to 1936/1937, and 1979/1979 to 1997/2000, correspond to the rapid warming of the 1920's and 1930's, and then again to the rapid warming of the 1980's and 1990's.

While not as well known as the 22 year Hale cycle, or the 11 year Schwabe cycle, there is support in the climate science literature for something on the order of a 66 year climate cycle. Schlesinger and Ramankutty (1994) found evidence of a 65-70 year climate cycle in a number of temperature records, which they attributed to a 50-88 year cycle in the NAO. Interestingly, they sought to infer from this that these oscillations were obscuring the effect of AGW. But that probably misconstrues the significance of the mid 20th century cooling phase. In any case, the evidence for a climate cycle on the order of 65-70 years extends well into the past. Kerr (2000) links the AMO to paleoclimate proxies indicating a periodicity on the order of 70 years. What I think they may be missing is that this longer term cycle shows evidence of being modulated by bidecadal rhythms. When the AMO is filtered using HP filtering, it shows major peaks in 1926 and 1997, a period of 71 years. But there are smaller peaks at 1951 and 1979, indicating that shorter periods of 25, 28, and 18 years, or roughly bidecadal oscillations. There is a growing body of literature pointing to bidecadal periodicity in climate records that point to a solar origin. See, for instance, Rasporov, et al, (2004). A 65-70 year climate cycle may simply be a terrestrial driven harmonic of bidecadal rhythms that are solar in origin.

In terms of the underlying rates of change, the warming of the late 20th century appears to be no more "unusual" than the warming during the 1920's and 1930's. Both appear to have their origin in a solar cycle phenomenon in which the sinusoidal pattern in the underlying smoothed trend is modulated so that annual rates of change remain strongly positive for the duration of the third cycle, with the source of this third cycle modulation perhaps related to long term trends in oceanic oscillations. It is purely speculative, of course, but if this 66 year pattern (3 Hale cycles) repeats itself, we should see a long descent into negative territory where the underlying smoothed trend has a negative rate of change, i.e. a period of cooling like that experienced in the late 1800's and then again midway through the 20th century.

More here

Ted Turner's Depopulation Plan: "We're Too Many People; That's Why we Have Global Warming"

Extremists of his ilk employ cultish fear-mongering in order to promote their religious environmentalism

In a wide-ranging hour-long interview on PBS, CNN Founder and billionaire environmental extremist Ted Turner let the cat out of the bag on the real goal of climate change extremists - depopulation. Pro-life activists who have attended UN environment meetings where such issues were discussed have often been the subject of ridicule and derision for pointing out that the massive movement behind global warming, retooled to 'climate change', works hand in hand with the culture of death with the aim of depopulation.

Speaking on PBS's Charlie Rose program on Tuesday, April 1, Turner stated plainly that next to nuclear disarmament the most pressing world concern is "global climate change" - which he said is caused by too many people. "We're too many people. That's why we have global warming," explained Turner when Rose questioned his comment that we need to "stabilize the population."

Turner, a fan of China's one-child policy - despite the brutality of forced abortion and sterilizations which are associated with it - proposed similar limits on family size for all. "We've got to stabilize population," he told Rose. "On a voluntary basis, everybody in the world's got to pledge to themselves that one or two children is it."

Pro-life activists have been pointing to the connection between the radical environmentalist movement and depopulation for over fifteen years. Already in 1992 Joan Veon, a veteran UN expert, explained what UN policy-makers meant when they use the term "sustainable development." During the UN World Summit on Sustainable Development Veon observed: "Sustainable development basically says there are too many people on the planet, that we must reduce the population."

Last year China boasted that its one-child policy, which has been criticized by many nations for including forced abortion and sterilization, had reduced greenhouse gases. Speaking at a meeting in Oslo on the UN's Kyoto Protocol, Hu Tao of China's State Environmental Protection Administration said the one-child population control policy has slowed "global warming" by limiting the population to 1.3 billion. "This has reduced greenhouse gas emissions," he said.

Those nations most keenly facing the dire consequences of underpopulation and aging populations know full well that the proposals of radical environmentalists mean an international death sentence.

In 2004 Russian presidential economic advisor Andrei Illarionov called the Kyoto Protocol - a UN sponsored treaty to reduce greenhouse gases - an "undeclared war against Russia" since it required depopulation. Quoting a British team of scientists and government officials Illarionov said, "As long as you reduce your population, you can meet the Kyoto Protocol requirements."

However Turner and environmentalist extremists of his ilk employ cultish fear-mongering in order to promote their religious environmentalism. Speaking on what would happen if climate change were not addressed (i.e. population were not controlled), Turner told Rose, would be "catastrophic".

He prophesied an end to civilization, resorting to cannibalism for the few survivors, and more. He said: "We'll be eight degrees hotter in ten, not ten but 30 or 40 years and basically none of the crops will grow. Most of the people will have died and the rest of us will be cannibals. Civilization will have broken down. The few people left will be living in a failed state -- like Somalia or Sudan -- and living conditions will be intolerable. The droughts will be so bad there'll be no more corn growing. Not doing it is suicide. Just like dropping bombs on each other, nuclear weapons is suicide. We've got to stop doing the two suicidal things, which are hanging on to our nuclear weapons and after that we've got to stabilize the population."

The stance of most of the pro-life movement regarding the environment was recently expressed by Czech President Vaclav Klaus in March of last year. "All of us are very much in favour of maximum environmental protection and protection of nature," he said in an interview with the Cato Institute. "But it has nothing in common with environmentalism, which is ideological and practically attacking our freedom." Environmentalism is, he said "a way of introducing new forms of statism, new forms of masterminding human society from above."



For more postings from me, see TONGUE-TIED, EDUCATION WATCH INTERNATIONAL, POLITICAL CORRECTNESS WATCH, FOOD & HEALTH SKEPTIC, GUN WATCH, SOCIALIZED MEDICINE, AUSTRALIAN POLITICS, DISSECTING LEFTISM, IMMIGRATION WATCH INTERNATIONAL and EYE ON BRITAIN. My Home Pages are here or here or here. Email me (John Ray) here. For times when is playing up, there are mirrors of this site here and here.


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