Now that there has been no global warming for ten years and there are signs of a new cooling phase starting, the prophets of doom are desperately trying to save their bacon. They are now prophesying COOLING, but say that the cooling will only be temporary. We can expect many years of cooling but then warming will resume, we are told. How can they know that? They cannot. They are just pulling it all out of their ass. Their entire global warming scare was based on around two decades of warming in the late 20th century so if that is followed by 20 years of stasis and cooling, which one of those two episodes represents the trend? How can we be sure that there is ANY trend? If natural fluctuations can cause an episode of cooling, how can we know that natural fluctuations did not cause the episode of warming? We cannot know that. The prophecies of doom are just irresponsible and very damaging speculation.
The latest ass-covering articles (both from "Nature") are here and here. Media summaries are here and here.
I reproduce below some comments from others on the matter:
PRESERVING THE APPEARANCES
An email from David Whitehouse [email@example.com] ?
Isn't it curious. Isn't the self-correcting nature of science wonderful to behold? Not long ago anyone who looked at the global annual temperature data and disrespectfully pointed out that it might actually be significant that the world hasn't become warmer since 1998, was dismissed as foolish and accused of seeing what they wanted to see in the data.
Then if they had the effrontery to point out that that even the UK's Met Office agreed that the annual data between 2001-7 was an impeccable flat line they were told they were completely wrong as such things were obviously only year-on-year variability (as an unscientific environmental 'activist' dammed my speculations in the New Statesman about the same topic whilst at the same time implying I was lying).
Ten years is too short a period to tell what is going on, they said, conveniently forgetting, if they ever knew, that the IPCC itself was established after less than ten years of global warming data. It seems that ten years is enough to be significant if the data says the right thing!
Then some righteous journalists rushed to get the 'truth' out about the flat line because, as they said, 'sceptics' were already using it to ask questions. Strange then, that over the past few weeks we have seen from many sources people trying to explain this 'year-on-year' statistical variability by tangible physical effects although so far such are straining to explain the data.
The impeccable flat line in global average temperatures since 2001 we were told earlier this year by the Met Office will continue throughout 2008 because of the cooling effect of La Nina. Now we are told in a Nature paper that the cooling effect of the Atlantic will extend this flat line, and possibly even point it downwards between now and 2015. They say the Pacific will stay unchanged though as we saw yesterday there are other scientists who say that the Pacific will get colder over the same period.
So much for those TV commentators who several years ago pontificated that the 'science is settled.' Also curious is that over the next decade man-made global warming will be cancelled out by natural cycles. It's nice that Mother Nature (not the journal) is helping us this way but it does beg the question as to whether the man-made effect was all that significant if it can be nullified this way. What else could this unsettled science find to cool us down?
Then there are speculations about the effect of the downturn in solar activity. In Medieval times if a hypothesis, such as the heliocentric idea, disagreed with the consensus, then it was interpreted as being a convenient mathematical trick taken only to 'preserve the appearances' and not an indication of physical reality. Who today, I wonder, will history judge as preserving the appearances?
THE OLYMPIC GOLD MEDAL FOR FURIOUS BACKPEDALLING HAS ALREADY BEEN WON
An email from John A [firstname.lastname@example.org] of Climate Audit referring to the BBC report by Richard Black
The BBC report features some startling reversals such as The Earth's temperature may stay roughly the same for a decade, as natural climate cycles enter a cooling phase, scientists have predicted. A new computer model developed by German researchers, reported in the journal Nature, suggests the cooling will counter greenhouse warming.
Oh my gosh! Just imagine that! Could the IPCC be completely wrong? "One message from our study is that in the short term, you can see changes in the global mean temperature that you might not expect given the reports of the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC)," said Noel Keenlyside from the Leibniz Institute of Marine Sciences at Kiel University" and in a tyre-squealing manoevre that would do Lewis Hamilton proud: "The projection does not come as a surprise to climate scientists, though it may to a public that has perhaps become used to the idea that the rapid temperature rises seen through the 1990s are a permanent phenomenon."
Now where do you think the public might have got that impression from? The BBC? The IPCC? Nature? I don't think that most climate modellers or BBC journalists can even blush anymore.
GLOBAL COOLING CONSISTENT WITH GLOBAL WARMING?
By Roger Pielke Jr.
For a while now I've been asking climate scientists to tell me what could be observed in the real world that would be inconsistent with forecasts (predictions, projections, etc.) of climate models, such as those that are used by the IPCC. I've long suspected that the answer is "nothing" and the public silence from those in the outspoken climate science community would seem to back this up. Now a paper in Nature today (PDF) suggests that the world may cool over the next 20 years, and this would not be inconsistent with predictions of longer-term global warming.
I am sure that this is an excellent paper by world class scientists. But when I look at the broader significance of the paper what I see is that there is in fact nothing that can be observed in the climate system that would be inconsistent with climate model predictions. If global cooling over the next few decades is consistent with model predictions, then so too is pretty much anything and everything under the sun.
This means that from a practical standpoint climate models are of no practical use beyond providing some intellectual authority in the promotional battle over global climate policy. I am sure that some model somewhere has foretold how the next 20 years will evolve (and please ask me in 20 years which one!). And if none get it right, it won't mean that any were actually wrong. If there is no future over the next few decades that models rule out, then anything is possible. And of course, no one needed a model to know that.
Don't get me wrong, models are great tools for probing our understanding and exploring various assumptions about how nature works. But scientists think they know with certainty that carbon dioxide leads to bad outcomes for the planet, so future modeling will only refine that fact. I am focused on the predictive value of the models, which appears to be nil. So models have plenty of scientific value left in them, but tools to use in planning or policy? Forget about it.
Those who might object to my assertion that models are of no practical use beyond political promotion, can start by returning to my original question: What can be observed in the climate over the next few decade that would be inconsistent with climate model projections? If you have no answer for this question then I'll stick with my views.
Sampling of reactions from other scientists
Post below recycled from Marc Morano. See the original for links
1) Dr. Roger A. Pielke, Jr. Professor in the Environmental Studies Program at the University of Colorado reacted to this study in the journal Nature by declaring: "Climate models are of no practical use." Pielke, who is not a climate skeptic, said on April 30, "There is in fact nothing that can be observed in the climate system that would be inconsistent with climate model predictions. If global cooling over the next few decades is consistent with model predictions, then so too is pretty much anything and everything under the sun. This means that from a practical standpoint climate models are of no practical use beyond providing some intellectual authority in the promotional battle over global climate policy." (LINK)
2) Former Harvard University Physicist Dr. Lubos Motl, a string theorist who is currently a professor at Charles University in the Czech Republic said on May 1: "Wow. So the refutation of a prediction of a dangerous warming by the world's top 2,500 scientists ;-) "does not come as a surprise". Note that with no global warming since 1998, the paper predicts 20 years of no warming. Recall that Al Gore has predicted global destruction in less than 8 years from now. [.] The whole validation of all existing climate models is (or should be) mostly based on the data from the previous decades or centuries. If an effect that is argued to be as strong as the greenhouse effect has been neglected while it has the power to change 60-70 years of the temperature dynamics, it implies the existence of a critical flaw in the whole picture." (LINK)
3) UK Astronomer Dr. David Whitehouse, who authored the 2004 book The Sun: A Biography, said on May 1, 2008: "Isn't it curious that over the next decade man-made global warming will be cancelled out by natural cycles. It's nice that Mother Nature (not the journal) is helping us this way but it does beg the question as to whether the man-made effect was all that significant if it can be nullified this way."
4) Astrophysicist Piers Corbyn, founder of the UK based long-term solar forecast group Weather Action, said on April 30: "It is noteworthy that this 'prediction' in the journal Nature coincides pretty well with various solar-based predictions including the solar-magnetic based prediction we issued from WeatherAction in Jan this year - i.e. cooling till 2013 at least. It seems like the 'Anything But the Sun' faction of UN IPCC works by copying what has already been predicted by a number of solar-based forecasting techniques and then attributing the cause to something earth-based. That way they hope to save the lie that man's irrelevant earth-based efforts could cause climate change. Of course the long term cooling change expected in sea temperatures referred to in this paper in Nature as 'cause' is nothing of the sort it is a consequence of the changes in sun-earth magnetic and particle links. The Nature article is in effect saying that 'Climate Change causes climate change'. Give us a break! Why is there a 22 year cycle in the solar magnetic links and also the same cycle in world temperatures? The reason is that the earth-sun magnetic links drive world temperatures (and this understanding enables successful long-range weather forecasts to be made). The pillars of pseudo-science writing in nature believe their 'sea cycle' is the driver of what happens so they will have to tell us that that the sun's magnetic field is driven by the Earth's oceans. Does anyone buy this? Application of the scientific method to science would be a good idea!"
FAILURE OF IPCC TO PROPERLY CONSIDER SOLAR INFLUENCE
Stephen Wilde has been a Fellow of the Royal Meteorological Society since 1968. The first article from Mr Wilde "The link between solar cycle length and decadal global temperature" was received with a great deal of interest throughout the Co2 Sceptic community.
In this second article from Stephen Wilde, he exposes a serious flaw in the IPCC modellers parameters for the changes to the Earths Climate in recent decades.
The reader will find the argument put forward in support of this article may have significant implications for the assumptions made by the IPCC on the influence of the Sun to the Earth as a result of this work.
FAILURE OF IPCC TO PROPERLY CONSIDER SOLAR INFLUENCE
By Stephen Wilde
As I understand it the solar effect on climate has been discounted by the climate modellers because the variation in total solar irradiance between the peak and the trough of a single eleven year (approximately) solar cycle seems far too small to make any difference to global temperature.
There are a number of problems with their assumption as follows:-
The concept of total solar irradiance is purely a convenient construct. We do not know all the different mechanisms by which the sun can have an influence on global temperature either directly or indirectly. The use of the word "total" is therefore misleading. Even the concept of irradiance is vague and maybe incomplete.
The fact is that in the real observed world over centuries cooler weather has been seen to occur at a similar time to longer less active solar cycles and warmer weather similarly occurs with shorter more active solar cycles. If total solar irradiance does not seem to account for it that is no reason to ignore the phenomenon yet the modellers and the IPCC do so. I assume that the reason they ignore it is because, being unaware of the cause of the observed phenomenon, they have no numbers representing it to feed into the models. Their model output should therefore be qualified by an admission that at least one substantial observable real world phenomenon has been wholly omitted. Unfortunately for them that would render the models useless for policy making purposes.
The IPCC and the modellers do recently seem to have come to accept the influence of the EL NINO/ LA NINA cycle as a warming/cooling process. However they currently regard it as a purely redistributive mechanism rather than one which could actually be part of a driving mechanism. They would be in error if variations in solar energy input to the Earth operated a switch between the predominance over time of either EL NINO or LA NINA.
The variation between peaks and troughs in the solar cycle may be very small but if continued over long periods the effects could soon accumulate. If, say, the difference is only 1% then if a reduction or increase in incoming solar energy continues for many years, perhaps over several solar cycles, then it is the cumulative effect that should be considered and that could well be substantial over a number of decades.
There could also be other unknown mechanisms driven by solar changes that exaggerate the effect of small variations in total solar irradiance. A current possibility being investigated is a suggested link between cosmic ray flux and cloudiness. The flux varies depending on the energy from the sun and may drive cloudiness changes.
It is possible that over the millennia the earth has become a very accurate "thermometer" in terms of its reaction to solar heat or other forms of solar energy input. The entirety of the global heat budget may be very sensitive to solar changes. Over millions of years the earth has arrived at a temperature balanced between incoming solar energy and outgoing radiation of energy to space. The balance could well be much finer than we have so far realised. There are certainly no available figures that describe the sensitivity of the global temperature to variations in solar input and without knowing that level of sensitivity as a first step I fail to see how we can know anything useful about the sensitivity of the Earth to other influences
Chickenfeedhawks: Global warm-mongering
By Mark Steyn
Last week, Time magazine featured on its cover the iconic photograph of the U.S. Marine Corps raising the flag on Iwo Jima. But with one difference: The flag has been replaced by a tree. The managing editor of Time, Rick Stengel, was very pleased with the lads in graphics for cooking up this cute image and was all over the TV sofas talking up this ingenious visual shorthand for what he regards as the greatest challenge facing mankind: "How To Win The War On Global Warming."
Where to begin? For the last ten years, we have, in fact, been not warming but slightly cooling, which is why the eco-warriors have adopted the all-purpose bogeyman of "climate change." But let's take it that the editors of Time are referring not to the century we live in but the previous one, when there was a measurable rise of temperature of approximately one degree. That's the "war": one degree.
If the tree-raising is Iwo Jima, a one-degree increase isn't exactly Pearl Harbor. But General Stengel wants us to engage in preemptive war. The editors of Time would be the first to deplore such saber-rattling applied to, say, Iran's nuclear program, but it has become the habit of progressive opinion to appropriate the language of war for everything but actual war.
So let's cut to the tree. In my corner of New Hampshire, we have more trees than we did a hundred or two hundred years ago. My town is over 90 percent forested. Any more trees and I'd have to hack my way through the undergrowth to get to my copy of Time magazine on the coffee table. Likewise Vermont, where not so long ago in St Albans I found myself stuck behind a Hillary supporter driving a Granolamobile bearing the bumper sticker "TO SAVE A TREE REMOVE A BUSH." Very funny. And even funnier when you consider that on that stretch of Route Seven there's nothing to see north, south, east, or west but maple, hemlock, birch, pine, you name it. It's on every measure other than tree cover that Vermont's kaput.
So where exactly do Time magazine's generals want to plant their tree? Presumably, as in Iwo Jima, on foreign soil. It's all these third-world types monkeying around with their rain forests who decline to share the sophisticated Euro-American reverence for the tree. In the Time iconography, the tree is Old Glory and it's a flag of eco-colonialism.
And which obscure island has it been planted on? In Haiti, the Prime Minister Jacques Edouard Alexis was removed from office on April 12. Insofar as history will recall him at all, he may have the distinction of being the first head of government to fall victim to "global warming" - or, at any rate, the "war on global warming" that Time magazine is gung-ho for. At least five people have been killed in food riots in Port-au-Prince. Prices have risen 40 percent since last summer and, as Deroy Murdock reported, some citizens are now subsisting on biscuits made from salt, vegetable oil and (mmmm) dirt. Dirt cookies: Nutritious, tasty, and affordable? Well, one out of three ain't bad. Unlike "global warming," food rioting is a planet-wide phenomenon, from Indonesia to Pakistan to Ivory Coast to the tortilla rampages in Mexico and even pasta protests in Italy.
So what happened? Well, Western governments listened to the eco-warriors, and introduced some of the "wartime measures" they've been urging. The EU decreed that 5.75 percent of petrol and diesel must come from "biofuels" by 2010, rising to 10 percent by 2020. The U.S. added to its 51 cents-per-gallon ethanol subsidy by mandating a five-fold increase in "biofuels" production by 2022.
The result is that big government accomplished at a stroke what the free market could never have done: They turned the food supply into a subsidiary of the energy industry. When you divert 28 percent of U.S. grain into fuel production, and when you artificially make its value as fuel higher than its value as food, why be surprised that you've suddenly got less to eat? Or, to be more precise, it's not "you" who's got less to eat but those starving peasants in distant lands you claim to care so much about.
Heigh-ho. In the greater scheme of things, a few dead natives keeled over with distended bellies is a small price to pay for saving the planet, right? Except that turning food into fuel does nothing for the planet in the first place. That tree the U.S. Marines are raising on Iwo Jima was most likely cut down to make way for an ethanol-producing corn field: Researchers at Princeton calculate that to date the "carbon debt" created by the biofuels arboricide will take 167 years to reverse.
The biofuels debacle is global warm-mongering in a nutshell: The first victims of poseur environmentalism will always be developing countries. In order for you to put biofuel in your Prius and feel good about yourself for no reason, real actual people in faraway places have to starve to death. On April 15, the Independent, the impeccably progressive British newspaper, editorialized: "The production of biofuel is devastating huge swathes of the world's environment. So why on earth is the Government forcing us to use more of it?" You want the short answer? Because the government made the mistake of listening to fellows like you. Here's the self-same Independent in November 2005:
At last, some refreshing signs of intelligent thinking on climate change are coming out of Whitehall. The Environment minister, Elliot Morley, reveals today in an interview with this newspaper that the Government is drawing up plans to impose a `biofuel obligation' on oil companies... This has the potential to be the biggest green innovation in the British petrol market since the introduction of unleaded petrol.
Etc. It's not the environmental movement's chickenfeedhawks who'll have to reap what they demand must be sown, but we should be in no doubt about where to place the blame - on the bullying activists and their media cheerleaders and weathervane politicians who insist that the "science" is "settled" and that those who query whether there's any crisis are (in the designation of the strikingly non-emaciated Al Gore) "denialists." All three presidential candidates have drunk the environmental kool-ethanol and are committed to Big Government solutions. But, as the Independent's whiplash-inducing U-turn confirms, the eco-scolds are under no such obligation to consistency. Finger-in-the-wind politicians shouldn't be surprised to find that gentle breeze is from the media wind turbine and it's just sliced your finger off.
Whether or not there's very slight global cooling or very slight global warming, there's no need for a "war" on either, no rationale for loosing a plague of eco-locusts on the food supply. So why be surprised that totalitarian solutions to mythical problems wind up causing real devastation? As for Time's tree, by all means put it up: It helps block out the view of starving peasants on the far horizon.
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 blogger.com is playing up, there are mirrors of this site here and here.