Sunday, September 14, 2008

Some REAL skepticism from Prof. Fred Singer

He questions even the pre-1998 warming

It's become quite clear that the climate has not warmed for a decade, since 1998, the year of the strong El Nino. But what about the two decades before 1998? The iconic graph of global mean surface temperature of the IPCC seems to show a strong warming trend of 0.2 degC per decade (see Fig 4a of NIPCC report, based on the GISS analysis).

But not so fast: The well-controlled US data show no such trend (NIPCC, Fig 4b). Tree-ring data (see "Hot Talk, Cold Science" Fig16), not subject to any local urban heating, show zero trends; ice core temperatures (NIPCC, Fig 2) show no warming either. The notorious Hockeystick proxy data mysteriously stop at 1980, just when things become interesting. But we have tropospheric temperature data from balloon-borne radiosondes and from microwave instruments in weather satellites. Both of these data sets show essentially no warming between 1979 and 1997. Climate models tell us that if greenhouse (GH) effects dominate, then the surface trend in the tropics should be about half that of the troposphere. And half of zero is zero.

Hmm, maybe there has been no significant GH warming between 1979 and 1997 at all, then an upward jump in 1998, followed by slight cooling. A look at the satellite data (NIPCC, Fig 13) seems to suggest just that.

Source (Editorial of 9/13/08)

Paint the rooftops!

Fifteen months ago I wrote a post in which I passed along the claim that painting roofs white would increase the planet's albedo (reflectivity) so much that temperatures might actually decline to pre-industrial levels notwithstanding higher levels of greenhouse gases. Now we have more evidence from FP Passport:
Stop the climate negotiations. There's a better answer. Two words: white roofs. If stats from a paper by Hashem Akbari of the Lawrence Berkley National Laboratory are correct, re-roofing 100 global cities could stop 44 metric gigatons from entering the atmosphere -- more than all the countries in the world combined emit now.

The articles do not say so, but what would be the problem with whitewashing parking lots? You know, white pavement, black lines for the parking places? That would help, too.

There are, of course, enormous, almost insurmountable problems with this idea. First, it would be trivially inexpensive compared to forced reductions in greenhouse gas emissions. Second, there would be no need to rush through a transformation of the mass consumer economy. Third, it would be reversable, on the off chance that the climate prediction models are wrong. Fourth, the lefties will never support it because it does not sufficiently damage capitalism. Oh well.


The Envirowacko Religion. Photo Proof

For the most part, extreme environmentalists are Godless. They often claim to be atheists or at least agnostics on the subject of religion. Many even ridicule religion, especially Christianity, calling it "superstition," "backwards," or "archaic." They often blame for what they claim is the destruction of the world's ecology on people who are religious and then use that as a basis to call hypocrisy on those same religious people. We've all seen it.

But, in general they also claim that their beliefs in humanism and nature are superior. However, they'd scoff at claims that they have merely replaced traditional religion with one of their own creation: environmentalism. They would argue that their beliefs are simply applied logic and does not represent that of religious zealotry.

Well, they say that pictures say a thousand words and the Los Angeles Times published a photo that puts the lie to the claim that environmentalism is not a religion:

This scene occurred as the last of the so-called "tree-sitters" were being removed from the trees in Berkeley, California. For the last 21 months these people have been trying to stop the felling of trees to make way for development.

The L.A.Times' caption reads: "Ken-Dru Van Jones is among those witnessing the removal of the tree sitters." It depicts supporters of the tree-sitters supplicating themselves before the trees and in obvious religious reverence, the kitchily named "Ken-Dru" Van Jones obviously clasping his hands in prayer. But, prayer for what, one wonders?

This photo is proof that these people treat their belief in religious terms, emotions and reactions - even dogma. It does not particularly matter that their "religion" is not in accordance with accepted religions. It is their own unique creation. But, regardless of its novelty, it is religious nonetheless.

In any case, this photo is a perfect example of the absurdity that is envirowackoism and the overwrought belief in "nature" as religious tenet. But, I'd remind these folks that trees don't need human reverence. It does them no good. Nature needs but human stewardship, not their "love" or religious devotion. And that stewardship is only necessary to keep men comfortable, not to the sole benefit of nature itself. Nature couldn't care less about concepts of benefit and love. It lacks any capacity to experience or return it.


Medieval Warm Period Strikes Back!

New paper by Craig Loehle confirms MWP and knocks down resurrected 'Hockey Stick' -- published in the journal Climate Change "A mathematical analysis of the divergence problem in dendroclimatology" - September 10, 2008


Tree rings provide a primary data source for reconstructing past climates, particularly over the past 1,000 years. However, divergence has been observed in twentieth century reconstructions. Divergence occurs when trees show a positive response to warming in the calibration period but a lesser or even negative response in recent decades. The mathematical implications of divergence for reconstructing climate are explored in this study. Divergence results either because of some unique environmental factor in recent decades, because trees reach an asymptotic maximum growth rate at some temperature, or because higher temperatures reduce tree growth. If trees show a nonlinear growth response, the result is to potentially truncate any historical temperatures higher than those in the calibration period, as well as to reduce the mean and range of reconstructed values compared to actual. This produces the divergence effect. This creates a cold bias in the reconstructed record and makes it impossible to make any statements about how warm recent decades are compared to historical periods. Some suggestions are made to overcome these problems....


In conclusion, the nonlinear response of trees to temperature explains the divergence problem, including cases where divergence was not found. The analysis here also shows why non-tree ring proxies often show the Medieval Warm Period but treering-based reconstructions more often do not. While Fritts (1976) notes the parabolic tree growth response to temperature, recent discussions of the divergence problem have not focused on this mechanism and climate reconstructions continue to be done using a linear response model. When the divergence problem clearly indicates that the linearity assumption is questionable, it is not good practice to carry on as if linearity is an established fact.


Problems with the Climate Models

By Michael R. Fox (who holds a PhD in Physical Chemistry and is a science analyst for the Grassroot Institute of Hawaii. He has also taught chemistry and energy at the University level)

Recalling that people such as Robert F. Kennedy have called climate skeptics "traitors", David Suzuki calls for their jailing, the Grist website called for Nuremburg trials for them, NASA's Dr. Jim Hansen calling for their trials for treason, along with the habitual insults from Al Gore, its been difficult for anyone to respectfully dissent. It's been difficult to stick to the rules of hard science, by demanding evidence and replication, both of which require questioning but are often followed by insults and threats.

The world owes a lot to many climate sci entists who are closely studying and reviewing the claims of the global warming lobby. They are also attempting to replicate some of these findings without the traditional support of the originating authors. Ordinarily, in the world of hard nosed science, such scrutiny and replication has been historically welcomed. No longer. The well-known name calling, the dismissiveness, the ad hominem attacks, is regrettably now the standard level of discourse. Additionally, these include many laboratory directors, media editors, and Ph.D.s who for whatever reasons adopt the same low roads of discourse and the abandonment of science.

These are difficult times for traditional climate scientists who do practice good science, serious peer review, welcome scrutiny, replication, and the sharing of data. Thanks to the whole world of the global warm-mongers and indentured PhDs, the integrity of the entire world of science is being diminished, followed by a loss of trust and respect.

Among the giants challenging the global warming dogma has been Christopher Monckton. He has been a strong international leader, spokesman, and expert in unraveling the complexities of the man-made warming hypothesis.

The greatest drivers behind the hypothesis have not been the actual evidence, but computer models. Relative to the largely unknown climate complexities, these are still known to be primitive and incapable of replicating climate data as measured from observations. If a hypothesis can't explain actual evidence and climate observations, it is wrong, and needs to be modified or abandoned.

In a recent exchange with an expert modeler and believer of global warming, Monckton responded in incredible detail by identifying many of the problems found with the computer models themselves. Monckton is impressively expert in the minutiae of computer modeling, a skill which applies directly to the analyses of the computer climate models. Monckton has performed a detailed analysis of the IPCC's hypothesis of global warming and identified a long list of failings. They deserved much wider distribution, with an understanding of the serious implications. They and literature references can be found here (

Monckton is not alone in his concerns with computer modeling. Tens of thousands of scientists and engineers who have taken basic mathematics know of the problems and complexities with modeling even simple situations. This author has met a fellow scientist (a bit nerdy admittedly) who carried a long multi-variable multi-term equation on a paper kept in his wallet, which was the equation of the outline of his wife's face. The modeling problem is delightfully defined by atmospheric physicist Dr. James Peden, who recently said Climate Modeling is not science, it is computerized Tinkertoys, with which one can construct any outcome he chooses.. And for my nerdy modeler above, it's easy to change his wallet equation if he gets a new wife !

Monckton's analyses are summarized in a number of points below, which are devastating to the hypothesis and computer modeling. These have profound implications for policy makers and the energy and economic future of our country. We'd better learn these:

Point 1: There are. serial, serious failures of the computer models of climate ..the computer models upon which the UN's climate panel unwisely founds its entire case have failed and failed and failed again to predict major events in the real climate.

a. The models have not projected the current multidecadal stasis in "global warming":

b. no rise in temperatures since 1998; falling temperatures since late 2001; temperatures not expected to set a new record until 2015 (Keenlyside et al., 2008).

c. nor (until trained ex post facto) did they predict the fall in TS from 1940-1975;

d. nor 50 years' cooling in Antarctica (Doran et al., 2002) and the Arctic (Soon, 2005);

e. nor the absence of ocean warming since 2003 (Lyman et al., 2006; Gouretski & Koltermann, 2007);

f. nor the behavior of the great ocean oscillations (Lindzen, 2007),

g. nor the magnitude nor duration of multi-century events such as the Mediaeval Warm Period or the Little Ice Age;

h. nor the decline since 2000 in atmospheric methane concentration (IPCC, 2007);

i. nor the active 2004 hur ricane season;

j. nor the inactive subsequent seasons;

k. nor the UK flooding of 2007 (the Met Office had forecast a summer of prolonged droughts only six weeks previously);

l. nor the solar Grand Maximum of the past 70 years, during which the Sun was more active, for longer, than at almost any similar period in the past 11,400 years (Hathaway, 2004; Solanki et al., 2005);

m. nor the consequent surface "global warming" on Mars, Jupiter, Neptune's largest moon, and even distant Pluto;

n. nor the eerily-continuing 2006 solar minimum;

o. nor the consequent, precipitate decline of ~0.8 oC in surface temperature from January 2007 to May 2008 that has canceled out almost all of the observed warming of the 20th century.

As Monckton states, the computer models are demonstrable failures.

Point 2: The IPCC's method of evaluating climate sensitivity is inadequate and error-laden Monckton showed that the IPCC's method of evaluating climate sensitivity can be reproduced by nothing more complicated than a few equations which, if the IPCC's values for certain key parameters are input to them, generate the IPCC's central estimate of climate sensitivity to a high precision. Nowhere else has this method been so clearly or concisely expounded before.

And, once the IPCC's method is clearly seen for what it is, it is at once apparent that their method suffer s from a series of major defects that render it useless for its purpose. The laboratory experiments that form the basis for estimates of forcings do not translate easily to the real atmosphere, so that the IPCC's claimed "Levels of Scientific Understanding" for the forcings are exaggerated; its estimates of the feedbacks that account for two-thirds of total forcing are subject to enormous uncertainties not fairly reflected in the tight error-bars it assigns to them; the feedback-sum is unreasonably close to the point of instability in the Bode feedback equation (important in the study of circuit [and climate] feedbacks), which has in any event been incorrectly used for amplification in a chaotic system, when it was designed only for systems whose initial state was linear; the IPCC's value for the no-feedbacks climate sensitivity parameter is the highest in the mainstream literature, and is inconsistent with the value derivable from the 2001 report; the value of this and other parameters are not explicitly stated; etc., etc.

Point 3: The IPCC's value for climate sensitivity depends upon only four scientific papers Climate sensitivity is the central - properly speaking, the only - question in the debate about the extent to which "global warming" will happen. Monckton's presentation of the IPCC's method of calculating how much the world will warm in response to a doubling of CO2 concentration shows that the IPCC's values for the three key pa rameters whose product is climate sensitivity are taken not from 2,500 papers in the literature but from just four papers. Had a wider, more representative selection of papers been relied upon, a far lower climate sensitivity would have resulted.

Point 4: Uncertainty in evaluating climate sensitivity is far greater than the IPCC admits The IPCC baselessly states that it is 90% sure we (humans) caused most of the observed warming of the past half-century (or, more particularly, the warming in the 23 years between 1975 and 1998: the remaining 27 years were in periods of cooling). However, the uncertainties in the evaluation of climate sensitivity are so great that any conclusion of this kind is meaningless. None of the three key parameters whose product is climate sensitivity can be directly measured; attempts to infer their values by observation are thwarted by the inadequacies and uncertainties of the observations depended upon; and, in short, the IPCC's conclusions as to climate sensitivity are little better than guesswork.

Point 5: The published literature can be used to demonstrate lower climate sensitivity The second part of Monckton's paper examines the literature on climate sensitivity. A surprisingly small proportion of all papers on climate change consider this central question. The vast majority concentrate on assuming that the IPCC's climate-sensitivity estimate is right and then using it to predict consequences (though, as Schulte, 2008, has shown, none find that the consequenc es are likely to be catastrophic). Monckton demonstrates, using papers from the literature, that it is at least as plausible to find a climate sensitivity of <0.6 C as it is to find the IPCC's 3.3C ( a factor of 5--- such a large uncertainty does not inspire confidence).

Point 6: Even if climate sensitivity is high, adaptation is more cost-effective than mitigation Monckton concluded as follows: "Even if temperature had risen above natural variability, the recent solar Grand Maximum may have been chiefly responsible. Even if the sun were not chiefly to blame for the past half-century's warming, the IPCC has not demonstrated that, since CO2 occupies only one-ten-thousandth part more of the atmosphere that it did in 1750, it has contributed more than a small fraction of the warming.

Monckton's analysis here is a major contribution to understanding a difficult subject. He has broken through the dense modeling processes, not to mention the ad hominem attacks, in such a way that many more can understand its weaknesses.

It is time to break the relationship between energy policy and computer forecasting. The models are not sources of climate information so badly needed to formulate rational energy policy without the threats of economic suicide. The economic and energy future of our nation should not rest so completely on such primitive modeling.

It is well beyond the time when the policy makers, the educators, and the media, demand evidence instead of scare stories. Glossy documentaries won't do. As Dennis Avery said recently, co-author of the book "Unstoppable Global Warming", "We look forward to a full-scale exploration of the science. We have heard quite enough from the computers".


Antarctic winter ice gets bigger; Arctic shrinks

And BOTH are caused by global warming, according to the article below!

The amount of sea ice around Antarctica has grown in recent Septembers in what could be an unusual side-effect of global warming, experts said on Friday. In the southern hemisphere winter, when emperor penguins huddle together against the biting cold, ice on the sea around Antarctica has been increasing since the late 1970s, perhaps because climate change means shifts in winds, sea currents or snowfall.

At the other end of the planet, Arctic sea ice is now close to matching a September 2007 record low at the tail end of the northern summer in a threat to the hunting lifestyles of indigenous peoples and creatures such as polar bears.

"The Antarctic wintertime ice extent a rate of 0.6 percent per decade" from 1979-2006, said Donald Cavalieri, a senior research scientist at the NASA Goddard Space Flight Center. At 19 million sq kms (7.34 million sq mile), it is still slightly below records from the early 1970s of 20 million, he said. The average year-round ice extent has risen too.

Some climate sceptics point to the differing trends at the poles as a sign that worries about climate change are exaggerated. However, experts say they can explain the development. "What's happening is not unexpected...Climate modellers predicted a long time ago that the Arctic would warm fastest and the Antarctic would be stable for a long time," said Ted Maksym, a sea ice specialist at the British Antarctic Survey.

The U.N. Climate Panel says it is at least 90 percent sure that people are stoking global warming -- mainly by burning fossil fuels. But it says each region will react differently. A key difference is that Arctic ice floats on an ocean and is warmed by shifting currents and winds from the south. By contrast, Antarctica is an isolated continent bigger than the United States that creates its own deep freeze.

"The air temperature in Antarctica has increased very little compared to the Arctic," said Ola Johannessen, director of the Nansen Environmental and Remote Sensing Center in Norway. "The reason is you have a huge ocean surrounding the land."

Cavalieri said some computer models indicate a reduction in the amount of heat coming up from the ocean around Antarctica as one possible explanation for growing ice.

Another theory was that warmer air absorbs more moisture and means more snow and rainfall, he said. That could mean more fresh water at the sea surface around Antarctica -- fresh water freezes at a higher temperature than salt water. "There has been a strengthening of the winds that circumnavigate the Antarctic," said Maksym. That might be linked to a thinning of the ozone layer high above the continent, blamed in turn on human use of chemicals used in refrigerants.

In some places, stronger winds might blow ice out to sea to areas where ice would not naturally form. Maksym predicted that global warming would eventually warm the southern oceans, and shrink the sea ice around Antarctica. "A lot of the modellers are predicting the turning point to be right about this time," he said.


Note: The Reuters article above appears to have missed this inconvenient study: "Antarctic temperatures disagree with climate model predictions"


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