Saturday, January 31, 2009

Antarctic change dependent on the period chosen

This is very much the point I made in my original post on this matter. If you go back far enough, you can find an early period of warming but there has been no warming in the last 30 years. Excerpt only below. Lots of illustrative graphs in the original

We have reported on many occasions about the climate history of Antarctica, basically concluding that the frozen continent was not warming up during the most recent couple of decades, despite expectations that it should have been.

At first glance, a new paper by the University of Washington's Eric Steig and colleagues, published in last week's Nature magazine and featured as its cover story, may seem to challenge our understanding-at least that is how it was spun to the press (see here and here, for example).

But a closer look at what the paper really says-as opposed to what is said about the paper-shows that there is not much in need of changing with the current understanding of Antarctica's temperature history. We'll show you why.....

Over the long-term, that is, since 1957 when the first continuous temperature records from Antarctica began, all three records show that there is a warming tendency (the magnitude of the warming differs between the three papers, with the Steig et al. derivation showing the most). Also notice that over the most recent several decades (since the early 1970s) all three show that there has been little net change-basically the vast majority of the long-term warming in Antarctica took place from the late 1950s to the early 1970s.

This is hardly news. In fact, in our very first World Climate-type publication, released back in 1995, in an article titled "Antarctic Warming: New Old News" we discussed the day's hot news that Antarctica was warming -and put the warming in perspective-all of it occurring prior to the early 1970s.

Clearly, not much as changed in the past 14 years-it still makes headlines that "Antarctica is warming!" when in fact, the temperature averaged over the entire continent (using whichever methodology you prefer) hasn't changed much in more than three decades.

If you are interested in why this latest pronouncement has gained so much attention (from both sides of the debate), very interesting articles can be found at RealClimate, MasterResource, and Prometheus. Each provides a unique take on the situation.


Another Horrible Week for Global Warming Industry

The GDP might have contracted 5.4 percent annualized in 4Q08, but the AGW industry contracted about 50 percent in one week:

Hansen's Boss: James Hansen, AGW's Father of Lies, received an insulting, public rebuke from his old boss at NASA. In essence, Dr. John Theon of the Institute for Global Environmental Strategies, accused of Hansen of violating basic scientific principles, NASA's scientific methodologies and policies, and of embarrassing the agency with his anti-scientific screeds on global warming. Theon's emails portray Hansen has a fraudulent liar. (Where have you heard that before?")

More Scientists Turn Skeptics: The parade of scientists who doubt Hansen, Gore, and the whole AGW theory never ends. This week the world's foremost authority on scientific forecasting, Dr. J. Scott Armstrong, declared that the IPCC's global warming documents have no basis in science and violate 72 specific principle of scientific forecasting. As the founder of the largest forecaster certification body, Armstrong effectively pronounced the IPCC invalid.

Arctic Gulls in Massachusetts: Arctic gulls returned to Massachusetts for the first time in over 100 years, validating AGW-monger fears that climate change would alter the migratory patterns of animals. Unfortunately for the AGW people, this migration change came about because the earth is getting cold, fast.

Gore Effect: Al Gore testified before the Senate in Washington. The weather cooperated. Snow and ice and record low temperatures blanketed the Eastern half of the United States.

The job of conservatism is not to attempt science, but to look for political bias in purportedly scientific claims. The AGW hysterics are based exclusively on political goals: the elimination of human freedom. Don't let them win. Don't be afraid to challenge your friends and co-workers to repeat the lies they hear from James Hansen and Al Gore and Michael Mann. Your friends might not have the educational advantages you've had-perhaps advanced degrees in prestigious universities destroyed their critical thinking skills. It's up to us to help them.


Al Gore's Climate of Extremes

Ho-hum. On January 28, in the midst of a pelting sleet storm, Al Gore told the Senate Foreign Relations Committee that the end is nigh from global warming. He told the Senate that "some scientists" predict up to 11 degrees of warming in the next 91 years (while failing to note that the last 12 have seen exactly none), and that this would "bring a screeching halt to human civilization and threaten the fiber of life everywhere on earth". Hey folks, this is serious!

Besides having a remarkable knack for scheduling big speeches on remarkably cold or snowy days (it's known as the "Gore Effect" in journalistic circles), Gore has been incredibly ineffective in bringing his message home. According to the New York Times, Gore told the Web 2.0 Summit in San Francisco last November, "I feel, in a sense, I've failed badly. . . . [T]here is not anything anywhere close to an appropriate sense of urgency [about global warming]. This is an existential threat."

And fail he has. The Pew Foundation recently asked Americans to choose which of 20 prominent issues is of most importance. They included the economy, crime, education, and, of course, global warming, which came in dead last.

Gore's failure is his own fault. He gained a reputation for exaggeration during his 2000 campaign, and he's unable to shake it-because he's proud of it, saying that it's just fine to emphasize extreme global warming scenarios because they get people's attention. Telling people you're exaggerating isn't exactly the way to get street cred. In Washington on January 28, his campaign continued.

The fact is that the "fiber of life" can be found on this planet over a range of 140øF, from Antarctica to the Death Valley. People actually live in these places. The average temperature of the planet is about 61ø, a temperature at which Homo sapiens au naturel will die from hypothermia. So ask yourself if raising the temperature 11 (impossible) degrees will indeed bring civilization to a "screeching halt."

It's not like the press is very vigilant, either. A couple of years ago, he got a free pass on Larry King Live (May 22, 2007) after making at least seven exaggerations or outright misstatements on climate change in less than a minute. Gore fielded a call asking "what issues caused by climate change globally are likely to affect the United States security during the next ten years?" He responded, "you know, even a one-meter increase, even a three-foot increase in sea level would cause tens of millions of climate refugees."

In ten years? The United Nations' Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC), hardly an apolitical body (the IPCC's "lead authors" are all appointed by their governments), gives an average sea-level rise of 1.25 inches in the next ten years for its "midrange" temperature scenario. Never mind that it hasn't warmed since 1997 and that sea-level rise is clearly slowing as a result.

Gore went on: "Today, 49 percent of America is in conditions of drought or near-drought", and that "the odds of serious droughts increase when the average temperatures go up." That's a testable hypothesis. The history of U.S. drought back to 1895 is readily available from the National Climatic Data Center in Asheville, North Carolina, as is the history of global temperature. Although surface temperatures have risen about 1.4 degrees since 1900 (with maybe half of that a result of emissions of carbon dioxide), there's no similar trend in U.S. drought. Gore had to know that.

In the same minute, he droned on about how in a hotter world, "agriculture in the United States would be greatly affected." Thanks, Al, for another assertion subject to analysis. The slight rise in surface temperature was accompanied by a 500 percent increase in United States yield of corn (that's the amount we produce per acre). How could any possible warming in ten years put a dent in that? The IPCC projects about 0.3 degrees of warming per decade now, or about a fifth of the total warming of the last 100 years. That's going to "greatly affect" agriculture?

People notice these exaggerations. They see that food is still on the table (despite the government's attempt to burn it up as ethanol). They know the country isn't particularly dry, nor particularly wet. They can go to the beach and see that the ocean isn't notably higher than it was before. In other words, Gore's lack of penetration is a result his own exaggerations. He's created a climate of extremes that people are simply tired of, which is why his issue ranks dead last. He's right. He's failed.


Still no Warmist ethics evident

Well, the "Second Public Review Draft of the Unified Synthesis Product Global Climate Change in the United States" has been published for comment (due February 27), and we see how they decided to deal with the embarrassment posed by their insistence on calling co-lead author "Dr." Tom Karl: they dropped such honorifics from . . . everyone. How. Pathetic. That must've been a fun one to sit through.

Of course, a quick search for his name to confirm this also manages to remind us how the drafting team has chosen to plow ahead with their highly questionable practice of citing their own and each other's work to support their supposed independent assessment.

So the answer, Dr. Wegman, is that no, these people did not learn from your assessment, e.g., this passage slamming the same community and practice in the process of debunking the "Hockey Stick":
In our further exploration of the social network of authorships in temperature reconstruction, we found that at least 43 authors have direct ties to Dr. Mann by virtue of coauthored papers with him. Our findings from this analysis suggest that authors in the area of paleoclimate studies are closely connected and thus `independent studies' may not be as independent as they might appear on the surface. This committee does not believe that web logs are an appropriate forum for the scientific debate on this issue.

It is important to note the isolation of the paleoclimate community; even though they rely heavily on statistical methods they do not seem to be interacting with the statistical community. Additionally, we judge that the sharing of research materials, data and results was haphazardly and grudgingly done. In this case we judge that there was too much reliance on peer review, which was not necessarily independent. Moreover, the work has been sufficiently politicized that this community can hardly reassess their public positions without losing credibility.

The same condition plagues this product. We noted this in our original comments, and will again. All previously commenting parties should check this thing out and weigh in as appropriate.


Anthropogenic Global Warming: The Greatest Fraud in History?

The credibility of science may never recover

Like famished swine shoving each other aside to get to the trough, self-proclaimed scientists and real politicians are again launching headline upon headline to claim yet another disaster in the name of utterly unproven global warming. Did you know that the flock of geese that flew into US Airways jet engines this month in New York City were put there by global warming? And that London fogs, or rather their absence, are making global warming worse?

Yep. It's right there in the paper, Maud. As scientific skeptics are finally discovering the courage to speak out, the hype machine is faltering just a little.

But President Obama just appointed a True Believer to be science czar in the White House. So we can expect the politicians to keep hammering on this little piggy bank until the last golden coin drops out. You'll be paying for the biggest false alarm in history for years to come.

But what worries me most is that the credibility of science may never recover - and perhaps it shouldn't. Credibility has to be earned, and once it's squandered may never be recovered. By now far too many scientists have knowingly colluded in an historic fraud, one that would put Bernie Madoff to shame. We are seeing political larceny here on a truly planetary scale. Why should scientists who've gambled their own reputations on this fakery ever be trusted again? They shouldn't. Would you entrust your life savings to Bernie Madoff? Right.

I'm not a climatologist. Like most scientists I rarely judge what others do in their fields. And yet it's been flamingly obvious for years now that the hypothesis of human-caused global warming violates all the basic rules and safeguards that protect the integrity of normal, healthy science. That's why AGW (anthropogenic global warming) looks like a massive fraud, the biggest fraud ever in the history of science.

If that's true, anybody who cares about science should be outraged. Even if you don't care about that ask yourself if you want your next medical exam to be honest. Or the next time you drive across a traffic bridge, do you want the engineering tests to be falsified? If scientific corruption becomes endemic, we risk losing one of the great jewels of our culture.

So here are some fundamental violations of scientific integrity that any thoughtful person should recognize. I'm not going to touch on climatology - the case against the warming hypothesis has already been made very well by experts. I just want to talk scientific common sense.

Threatening the skeptics.

Scientists get seduced by enticing ideas and bits of evidence all the time. That's why every scientist I've ever known is a thorough-going skeptic, even about his or her own data. Especially about one's own data, because one's career is on the line if it doesn't check out. So we need skepticism in ourselves and others. Good science honors the rational skeptic. Which is why it's beyond outrageous that AGW believers are publicly attacking thoughtful skeptics - not on the facts, but on their sheer temerity in doubting their precious orthodoxy. According to the Guardian:
James Hansen, one of the world's leading climate scientists, will today call for the chief executives of large fossil fuel companies to be put on trial for high crimes against humanity and nature, accusing them of actively spreading doubt about global warming in the same way that tobacco companies blurred the links between smoking and cancer.

That is Stalinism; it is never, ever done in real science. Stalin shot real scientists and promoted scientific frauds who helped to kill Soviet food production. Right there we know we're looking at political corruption and not real science.

More here

What happened to the "loss" of rainforest that Greenies are always moaning about?

It's long been known -- to those who see fit to enquire -- that the land covered by forest INCREASED in the USA in the 20th century -- but now it's happening elsewhere too --- for much the same reason: The efficiency of modern agriculture with all its wicked fertilizers, herbicides and insecticides -- not to mention "fuel guzzling" tractors

The land where Marta Ortega de Wing raised hundreds of pigs until 10 years ago is being overtaken by galloping jungle - palms, lizards and ants. Instead of farming, she now shops at the supermarket and her grown children and grandchildren live in places like Panama City and New York. Here, and in other tropical countries around the world, small holdings like Ms. Ortega de Wing's - and much larger swaths of farmland - are reverting to nature, as people abandon their land and move to the cities in search of better livings.

These new "secondary" forests are emerging in Latin America, Asia and other tropical regions at such a fast pace that the trend has set off a serious debate about whether saving primeval rain forest - an iconic environmental cause - may be less urgent than once thought. By one estimate, for every acre of rain forest cut down each year, more than 50 acres of new forest are growing in the tropics on land that was once farmed, logged or ravaged by natural disaster. "There is far more forest here than there was 30 years ago," said Ms. Ortega de Wing, 64, who remembers fields of mango trees and banana plants.

The new forests, the scientists argue, could blunt the effects of rain forest destruction by absorbing carbon dioxide, the leading heat-trapping gas linked to global warming, one crucial role that rain forests play. They could also, to a lesser extent, provide habitat for endangered species.

The idea has stirred outrage among environmentalists who believe that vigorous efforts to protect native rain forest should remain a top priority. But the notion has gained currency in mainstream organizations like the Smithsonian Institution and the United Nations, which in 2005 concluded that new forests were "increasing dramatically" and "undervalued" for their environmental benefits. The United Nations is undertaking the first global catalog of the new forests, which vary greatly in their stage of growth. "Biologists were ignoring these huge population trends and acting as if only original forest has conservation value, and that's just wrong," said Joe Wright, a senior scientist at the Smithsonian Tropical Research Institute here, who set off a firestorm two years ago by suggesting that the new forests could substantially compensate for rain forest destruction.

"Is this a real rain forest?" Dr. Wright asked, walking the land of a former American cacao plantation that was abandoned about 50 years ago, and pointing to fig trees and vast webs of community spiders and howler monkeys. "A botanist can look at the trees here and know this is regrowth," he said. "But the temperature and humidity are right. Look at the number of birds! It works. This is a suitable habitat."

Dr. Wright and others say the overzealous protection of rain forests not only prevents poor local people from profiting from the rain forests on their land but also robs financing and attention from other approaches to fighting global warming, like eliminating coal plants.

But other scientists, including some of Dr. Wright's closest colleagues, disagree, saying that forceful protection of rain forests is especially important in the face of threats from industrialized farming and logging.

The issue has also set off a debate over the true definition of a rain forest. How do old forests compare with new ones in their environmental value? Is every rain forest sacred? "Yes, there are forests growing back, but not all forests are equal," said Bill Laurance, another senior scientist at the Smithsonian, who has worked extensively in the Amazon. He scoffed as he viewed Ms. Ortega de Wing's overgrown land: "This is a caricature of a rain forest!" he said. "There's no canopy, there's too much light, there are only a few species. There is a lot of change all around here whittling away at the forest, from highways to development." While new forests may absorb carbon emissions, he says, they are unlikely to save most endangered rain-forest species, which have no way to reach them.

Everyone, including Dr. Wright, agrees that large-scale rain-forest destruction in the Amazon or Indonesia should be limited or managed. Rain forests are the world's great carbon sinks, absorbing the emissions that humans send into the atmosphere, and providing havens for biodiversity. At issue is how to tally the costs and benefits of forests, at a time when increasing attention is being paid to global climate management and carbon accounting.

More here


Such has been the fear of Greenland's melting glaciers that well known Australian science journalist Robyn Williams has claimed sea levels could rise by 100 metres within the next 100 years. Mr Williams, and other journalists, have been quick to report on what has become known as the "Greenland Ice Armageddon".

Last Friday there was an article in one of the most read science journals, Science, entitled "Galloping Glaciers of Greenland have Reined Themselves In" by Richard A. Kerr.

Yes, as the title suggests, the article explains that a wide-ranging survey of glacier conditions across south eastern Greenland, indicates that glacier melt has slowed significantly and that it would be wrong to attribute the higher rates of melt prior to 2005 to global warming or to extrapolate the higher melt rates of a few years ago into the future.

Mr Kerr was reporting on a presentation by glaciologist Tavi Murray at the American Geophysical Union Conference in San Francisco last December. The paper by Dr Murray was co-authored by many other members of the group at Swansea University in the UK, a team often quoted by Al Gore and others.

When I read the article last Friday I wondered how Robyn "100 metres" Williams and other journalists in the mainstream media (MSM) might report the story. To my amazement they have simply ignored it.

It seems that the mainstream media is a shameless exaggerator of global warming, and unable to report anything really significant that contradicts the established storyline.

Perhaps I should not be surprised, as a lecturer in journalism explained to me some time ago: journalists only add to narratives, as one might add to a large tapestry. [5] Yep, so, the mainstream media's news has to all fit together like a picture. What is reported tomorrow is expected to accord with what was reported yesterday. But the real world is so much more complicated.



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


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