Pigs are flying! An email below from Henry Geraedts [email@example.com]
I am drawing your attention to a significant change in GISS GHG temperature trend projections published by Jim Hansen's team last week, and which appears to have gone largely unnoticed other than by Lucia Liljegren on her site "The Blackboard" [ www.rankexploits.com].
At the very end of the GISS update, under para #4 in the next to last paragraph, Hansen & Co state that: "From climate models and empirical analyses this GHG forcing translates into a mean warming rate of 0.15C per decade". Given that Jim Hansen is one of the leading and vocal proponents of the AGW/ACC hypothesis, that the GISS temperature data series has yet again come close scrutiny recently [Lubos Motl, et. al] and that GISS temperature data is increasingly at odds with satellite data [ref: today's posting on that subject at www.wattsupwiththat.com ] this revision is singularly noteworthy: the revised GISS GHG driven temperature trend is a whopping 25% lower than the IPCC's [95% certain] "gold standard" of 0.20C per decade.
Absent a GISS press release advising all of us of this change [which clearly would have been expecting too much], I thought you and your readers would find this of interest.
SCIENCE VERSUS THE WARMISTS
Excerpt from an email from Roy Tucker [firstname.lastname@example.org]
A hypothesis that stubbornly refuses to be disproven may even be dignified by calling it a "theory". To assert that anything is a "fact" or "proven" is very risky. Consider the example of Newton's "Laws of Motion". Repeated experiment and successful use of these "laws" in mechanics and the description of the motion of celestial bodies gave physicists, engineers, and artillerymen great confidence that the velocity of a body was a simple function of the force applied to it and the duration of that force. Newton's laws became accepted as a proven fact. That is, until Einstein began to ponder what happens as the body's velocity began to approach the speed of light. According to his 'hypothesis', it is the momentum of an object that increases as long as a force is applied to it. Newton's Laws are but the low-speed approximations of Einstein's relativistic expressions. Is Einstein's Theory of Relativity a fact? Is it proven? Not if some experiment in the future falsifies it and leads to an even better understanding of how the universe works.
My education has been in science and engineering. I have a great reverence for the Scientific Method because I know the history of how humanity has laboriously, painfully gained the body of knowledge upon which our civilzation is founded. The Scientific Method has been our most powerful tool in learning how the universe works. There is one very important thing required of those who would seek knowledge by means of the Scientific Method and that is honesty. If one cannot report the results of observation accurately, how can ignorance be dispelled? How can a hypothesis be falsified?
Climate science has become politicized. People who profess to be practitioners of science are using the authority of their offices to assert that "the debate is over" and "the science is settled" when it never is in the proper conduct of Science. People who claim to be educators of the public dismiss inconvenient facts and propagandize in support of the "politically correct" dogma.
David Appell, who describes himself as a "science writer", suggested that readers might find his article, "Climate change: The last, final problem", of interest.
Indeed I did. I consider it an excellent example of the environmentalist propaganda pervading the media these days that seeks to persuade scientifically unsophisticated readers that anthropogenic global warming is absolutely a fact and we must all sacrifice our hopes and dreams to "save the planet" from a hellish future. It was quite a remarkable screed, a recounting of all of humanity's alleged enviromental sins, totally devoid of any real discussion of scientific issues or comparison of competing explanations of climate variability. This is a continuing pattern since Mr. Appell has also written in defense of the thoroughly discredited Michael Mann "Hockey Stick" temperature curve and has claimed that the Medieval Warming Period and the Little Ice Age were localized events.
Let us compare two of the current competing explanations of climate variability: Anthropogenic Global Warming as the result of human combustion of fossil fuels and the Svensmark hypothesis that suggests solar activity and the galactic cosmic ray environment modulates cloud formation in the lower atmosphere and therefore the earth's albedo.
In its early documents, the IPCC asserted that solar activity is of no significance in determining earth's climate and has concentrated on claiming that increasing levels of CO2 raise the temperature of the earth by reducing the radiation of thermal infrared energy. Computer models have been concocted that supposedly support this hypothesis. These computer models are tremendously simplistic compared to the complexity of the actual climate system of the earth. They do not reproduce some of the very robust oscillatory variations of the earth's climate such as the Pacific Decadal Oscillation or the El Nino - Southern Oscillation. If they are run backwards, they fail to accurately reproduce past climate states. They predict a warming of the equatorial mid-troposphere but such warming is not seen. Those who argue in favor of the AGW hypothesis use the output of these models as if it was real data and ignore the actual measurements from satellite microwave radiometers which show no warming at all in spite of the increasing abundance of CO2 in the atmosphere.
Svensmark's hypothesis says that as solar activity declines the interplanetary magnetic field weakens and galactic cosmic rays penetrate more deeply into the inner solar system and eventually into the lower atmosphere of earth where they produce cloud-seeding ions. These ions promote a greater abundance of clouds, raising the earth's reflectivity and reducing the warming of the surface of the earth by sunlight. Solar activity has been falling in recent years.
Today, the 19th of January, a small sunspot was seen near the sun's equator, an indication that it may be a remnant of the old Cycle 23. If so, then Cycle 23 is 19 years old. Long cycles precede weak cycles, suggesting continued low solar activity. The interplanetary magnetic Ap index is the lowest that it has been in many years (See here) and the neutron count from cosmic rays has increased (See here) as expected. The earth's temperature has been either steady or declining for the past eight years. Based upon the data, there is more falsification of the AGW hypothesis than of the Svensmark solar activity hypothesis.
Mr. Appell, the above is an example of real "science writing". I have presented an explanation of the Scientific Method and I have presented information about two conflicting hypotheses in an effort to educate the readers so that they may make better decisions. Any presentation of "Gloom-and-Doom" has been with regard to the politicization of Science and is indisputably a valid concern. I encourage you to return to the practice of science writing instead of environmental propagandizing. You would better serve your readers.
IMPLICATIONS OF FOSSIL FUEL CONSTRAINTS ON ECONOMIC GROWTH AND GLOBAL WARMING
A new academic journal article from "Energy Policy", Volume 37, Issue 1, January 2009, Pages 166-180. By Willem P. Nel, and Christopher J. Cooper
Energy Security and Global Warming are analysed as 21st century sustainability threats. Best estimates of future energy availability are derived as an Energy Reference Case (ERC). An explicit economic growth model is used to interpret the impact of the ERC on economic growth. The model predicts a divergence from 20th century equilibrium conditions in economic growth and socio-economic welfare is only stabilised under optimistic assumptions that demands a paradigm shift in contemporary economic thought and focused attention from policy makers.
Fossil fuel depletion also constrains the maximum extent of Global Warming. Carbon emissions from the ERC comply nominally with the B1 scenario, which is the lowest emissions case considered by the IPCC. The IPCC predicts a temperature response within acceptance limits of the Global Warming debate for the B1 scenario. The carbon feedback cycle, used in the IPCC models, is shown as invalid for low-emissions scenarios and an alternative carbon cycle reduces the temperature response for the ERC considerably compared to the IPCC predictions.
Our analysis proposes that the extent of Global Warming may be acceptable and preferable compared to the socio-economic consequences of not exploiting fossil fuel reserves to their full technical potential.
A paradox of global dimensions faces humankind. While energy constraints pose a threat to the global economy, continued extraction and combustion of fossil fuels at current, or increased, rates is now accepted to be the dominant driver of Global Warming (IPCC, 2007a, p. 136). The development and expansion of alternative energy sources has proven challenging, hence the reluctance of certain major countries to endorse the Kyoto Protocol on reductions of greenhouse gas emissions, notably the USA (UNFCCC, 2008).
Long-term structural scarcity in energy supplies is unprecedented in modern history. To this end, there is no established economic growth theory that explicitly describes the impacts of such energy constraints. Despite awareness that fossil fuel resources are exhaustible, there is no globally accepted benchmark of resource availability for long-term planning purposes. Energy is commonly treated as a limitless exogenous input to economic planning with the result that energy demand is well defined, but disconnected from the physical and logistical realities of supply.
In like manner, the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) has identified exponential increases in atmospheric concentrations of CO2 as the dominant forcing agent for global warming (IPCC, 2007a, p. 136), with the dominant contributor of man-made CO2 emissions being the burning of fossil fuel (IPCC, 2007a, p. 512). However, the range of scenarios presented for climate futures are not constrained by the possibility that the quantity of recoverable fossil carbon may rule out certain scenarios as physically unrealisable.
The exhaustion of oil and gas commodities has been extensively analysed by Peak Oil proponents (ASPO, 2008). The scientific and deductive merits of Peak Oil theory are well established - the World Energy Council endorses the methodology, declaring the ASPO model as "plausible" (WEC, 2007, pp. 45-53). Nevertheless, much uncertainty is still being expressed in the understanding of both the phenomena of Peak Oil and Global Warming:
... a set of model metrics that might be used to narrow the range of plausible climate change feedbacks and climate sensitivity has yet to be developed. (IPCC, 2007a, p. 640)
...most would appear to agree that peak oil output is not very far away for all of us. It could take place sometime within the next decade or so... (Ghanem, 2006)
The principles of Peak Oil theory are applied in this paper to derive an Energy Reference Case (ERC) for the total recoverable reserves of all fossil fuels - liquid, gas and solid. The roles of nuclear and renewable energy sources are also considered in the ERC, to present an integrated energy future. A comparative assessment of the socio-economic threats triggered alternately by energy scarcity, or by Global Warming, caused by the burning of fossil fuel, is performed in the context of the ERC. The paper thereby facilitates a multidisciplinary synthesis between some of the most important sustainability threats to human society, and motivates a resolution to the paradox posed in the opening paragraph.
As there is still substantial disagreement on the magnitude of geological energy reserves and recoverable resources, the ERC and consequent analysis are likely to be criticised by both energy pessimists and optimists. Nevertheless, we argue that the methods for estimating the total recoverable reserves that we apply to global fossil fuel reserves are robust and are validated by previous case studies. We further argue that these estimates provide stark alternatives that must be considered in deciding how to address the combined challenges of climate change and the ultimate decline of the global carbon-based energy economy. Although the existence of other sustainability threats such as food security, water stress and epidemic diseases are acknowledged, they are beyond the scope of this paper. [...]
44% OF AMERICANS SAY GLOBAL WARMING DUE TO PLANETARY TRENDS, NOT HUMAN ACTIVITY
Al Gore's side may be coming to power in Washington, but they appear to be losing the battle on the idea that humans are to blame for glob al warming.
Forty-four percent (44%) of U.S. voters now say long-term planetary trends are the cause of global warming, compared to 41% who blame it on human activity.
Seven percent (7%) attribute global warming to some other reason, and nine percent (9%) are unsure in a new Rasmussen Reports national telephone survey.
Fifty-nine percent (59%) of Democrats blame global warming on human activity, compared to 21% percent of Republicans. Two-thirds of GOP voters (67%) see long-term planetary trends as the cause versus 23% of Democrats. Voters not affiliated with either party by eight points put the blame on planetary trends.
In July 2006, 46% of voters said global warming is caused primarily by human activities, while 35% said it is due to long-term planetary trends.
In April of last year, 47% of Americans blamed human activity versus 34% who viewed long-term planetary trends as the culprit. But the numbers have been moving in the direction of planetary trends since then.
Anxiety grows in global warming alarmist camp
Heartland Institute media monitors have noted on several occasions that climate-change alarmists are finding it increasingly difficult to maintain their position that human activity has warmed Earth to crisis proportions. Polar bears keep growing in numbers, Antarctic ice keeps expanding, deserts keep receding, temperatures keep easing, the ranks of science skeptics keep multiplying. It's tough to scare people with that kind of sound-science evidence.
Now the folk at DeSmogblog - created like so many alarmist sites for the sole purpose of attacking conservatives, libertarians and global warming skeptics - is getting really worried. DeSmogblog toted up the 2008 online battle this way: References to "global warming" and "hoax" soared 125 percent to 49,719 citations in 2008; GW and "lie" jumped 101 percent to 100,770; "alarmist" increased 97 percent to 27,298, and "skeptic" (our favorite) rose 93 percent to 73,956 citations. "We're also seeing more people than ever using the internet as their main source of news and information," DeSmogblog posted recently. "Legislators are going to be very hard pressed to implement strict new greenhouse gas regulations if almost a majority of the public believes that climate change has nothing to do with human activity."
Global Warming Hysteria
(Madison, Wisconsin) In the state capital of Madison, a city of academicians and politicians plush with ideology and someone else's money, global warming hysteria is the zeitgeist and environmental sustainability is the road to utopia. According to the "Broad Strategies" section of a meeting agenda recently posted on the City of Madison Web site, an ordinance being considered would force city zoning to account for and mitigate climate change:
10. Zoning should adapt to meet the demands of climate change; use zoning to address or mitigate effects, or adapt to climate change; remove any barriers to mitigating the effects, adapting to climate change (trees, green space, mobility, renewable energy, land use).
Another item in the "Broad Strategies" section has a grim outlook for the future. It includes a proposal that spells out a doomsday scenario - allowing for the city to function should shortages in energy and food occur:
11. Write the code to allow the city to function when automobile travel will be severely limited and oil-related products, including food and heating fuel, become prohibitively expensive because of the scarcity and high-cost of fuel.
Other proposals throughout the document would push for use of alternative energies (solar, geothermal and wind), conservation, electric cars and urban agriculture. Other more Draconian regulations throughout the document would:
- Limit waterfront development in the name of water sustainability,
- Require two trees to be planted if one is removed from your property
- Limit the "number/density of fast food outlets and drive-through windows" in the name of public health
- Discourage individual parking options to promote public transportation usage.
Frankly, I'm convinced that anyone displaying common sense in public in Madison, Wisconsin, is liable to be arrested for disorderly conduct.
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