Tuesday, January 20, 2009


An email from Norm Kalmanovitch [kalhnd@shaw.ca], a practicing geophysicist with over 35 years of experience

Apart from common sense, the only other aspect totally absent from the global warming debate is "global warming" itself. There is talk of emissions reductions, carbon trading, and even drowning polar bears; but there is no talk about actual current global temperature increases with the continuous increase in global CO2 emissions.

The December 2008 temperature data confirms that 2008 was the coldest year of the last decade, adding one more year to the cooling trend that started after 2002.

Common sense would dictate that after six years of cooling with only one year, 2005, being warmer than the previous year, the "global warming" debate would be over and the world would now be debating "global cooling" in earnest.

Apparently common sense was never part of this debate even when the globe was actually warming. Clouds block about 20% of the 1368W/m2 of solar radiation. If cloud cover decreased and only blocked out 19% of the solar radiation or cloud cover increased and blocked out 21% of the solar radiation these 5% changes in cloud cover would equate to 13.68W/m2 of either heating or cooling.

AGW is based on computer models that attribute forcing of just 3.71W/m2 to a doubling of CO2 from the 280ppmv, and somehow this is more likely to drive climate than a 5% change in cloud cover.

The actual physical properties of CO2 interacting with the thermal spectrum radiated by the Earth, dictate that far less than 10% of this 3.71W/m2 is even physically possible. Remarkably, the world is committing economic suicide, starving the poor and ignoring real pollution problems, because an environmentalist lobby has convinced the world leaders that it is more likely that 0.371W/m2 from CO2 emissions will cause catastrophic warming of the Earth, than 13.68W/m2 from a 5% increase in cloud cover can cause serious cooling of the Earth.

The global climate models all state that we should be on a warming trend. The global temperature data sets all show that we are on a cooling trend.
The debate is now called "climate change" to avoid any reference to global temperature and the issue is somehow elevated to a level of such great importance that countries are actually debating whether to adhere to the dictates of the Kyoto Protocol for the purpose of stopping the now non-existent global warming, or save their countries economies using "Kyoto unfriendly" energy sources.

Princeton professor denies global warming theory

Physics professor William Happer GS '64 has some tough words for scientists who believe that carbon dioxide is causing global warming. "This is George Orwell. This is the `Germans are the master race. The Jews are the scum of the earth.' It's that kind of propaganda," Happer, the Cyrus Fogg Brackett Professor of Physics, said in an interview. "Carbon dioxide is not a pollutant. Every time you exhale, you exhale air that has 4 percent carbon dioxide. To say that that's a pollutant just boggles my mind. What used to be science has turned into a cult."

Happer served as director of the Office of Energy Research in the U.S. Department of Energy under President George H.W. Bush and was subsequently fired by Vice President Al Gore, reportedly for his refusal to support Gore's views on climate change. He asked last month to be added to a list of global warming dissenters in a Senate Environment and Public Works Committee report. The list includes more than 650 experts who challenge the belief that human activity is contributing to global warming

Though Happer has promulgated his skepticism in the past, he requested to be named a skeptic in light of the inauguration of President-elect Barack Obama, whose administration has, as Happer notes, "stated that carbon dioxide is a pollutant" and that humans are "poisoning the atmosphere."

Happer maintains that he doubts there is any strong anthropogenic influence on global temperature. "All the evidence I see is that the current warming of the climate is just like past warmings. In fact, it's not as much as past warmings yet, and it probably has little to do with carbon dioxide, just like past warmings had little to do with carbon dioxide," Happer explained.

Happer is chair of the board of directors at the George C. Marshall Institute, a nonprofit conservative think tank known for its attempts to highlight uncertainties about causes of global warming. The institute was founded by former National Academy of Sciences president and prominent physicist Frederick Seitz GS '34, who publicly expressed his skepticism of the claim that global warming is caused by human activity. Seitz passed away in March 2008. In 2007, the Institute reported $726,087 in annual operating expenses, $205,156 of which was spent on climate change issues, constituting the largest portion of its program expenses, according to its I-990 tax exemption form.

In a statement sent to the Senate as part of his request, Happer explained his reasoning for challenging the climate change movement, citing his research and scientific knowledge. "I have spent a long research career studying physics that is closely related to the greenhouse effect, for example, absorption and emission of visible and infrared radiation, and fluid flow," he said in the statement. "Based on my experience, I am convinced that the current alarm over carbon dioxide is mistaken."

Geosciences professor Michael Oppenheimer, the lead author of the fourth report of the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) - whose members, along with Gore, received the 2007 Nobel Peace Prize - said in an interview that Happer's claims are "simply not true." Oppenheimer, director of the Wilson School's Program in Science, Technology and Environmental Policy, stressed that the preponderance of evidence and majority of expert opinion points to a strong anthropogenic influence on rising global temperatures, noting that he advises Happer to read the IPCC's report and publish a scientific report detailing his objections to its findings.

The University is home to a number of renowned climate change scientists. Ecology and evolutionary biology professor Stephen Pacala and mechanical and aerospace engineering professor Robert Socolow, who are co-chairs of the Carbon Mitigation Initiative (CMI) and the Princeton Environmental Institute, developed a set of 15 "stabilization wedges." These are existing technologies that would, by the year 2054, each prevent 1 billion tons of carbon emissions. They argue that the implementation of seven of these wedges would be needed to reach target emissions levels. Neither Pacala nor Socolow could be reached for comment.

Happer said that he is alarmed by the funding that climate change scientists, such as Pacala and Socolow, receive from the private sector. "Their whole career depends on pushing. They have no other reason to exist. I could care less. I don't get a dime one way or another from the global warming issue," Happer noted. "I'm not on the payroll of oil companies as they are. They are funded by BP." The CMI has had a research partnership with BP since 2000 and receives $2 million each year from the company. In October, BP announced that it would extend the partnership - which had been scheduled to expire in 2010 - by five years.

The Marshall Institute, however, has received at least $715,000 from the ExxonMobil Foundation and Corporate Giving division from 1998 to 2006, according to the company's public reports. Though Exxon has challenged the scientific models for proving the human link to climate change in the past, its spokesmen have said that the company's stance has been misunderstood. Others say the company has changed its stance.

Happer explained that his beliefs about climate change come from his experience at the Department of Energy, at which Happer said he supervised all non-weapons energy research, including climate change research. Managing a budget of more than $3 billion, Happer said he felt compelled to make sure it was being spent properly. "I would have [researchers] come in, and they would brief me on their topics," Happer explained. "They would show up. Shiny faces, presentation ready to go. I would ask them questions, and they would be just delighted when you asked. That was true of almost every group that came in."

The exceptions were climate change scientists, he said. "They would give me a briefing. It was a completely different experience. I remember one speaker who asked why I wanted to know, why I asked that question. So I said, you know I always ask questions at these briefings . I often get a much better view of [things] in the interchange with the speaker," Happer said. "This guy looked at me and said, `What answer would you like?' I knew I was in trouble then. This was a community even in the early 1990s that was being turned political. [The attitude was] `Give me all this money, and I'll get the answer you like.' " Happer said he is dismayed by the politicization of the issue and believes the community of climate change scientists has become a veritable "religious cult," noting that nobody understands or questions any of the science.

He noted in an interview that in the past decade, despite what he called "alarmist" claims, there has not only not been warming, there has in fact been global cooling. He added that climate change scientists are unable to use models to either predict the future or accurately model past events. "There was a baseball sage who said prediction is hard, especially of the future, but the implication was that you could look at the past and at least second-guess the past," Happer explained. "They can't even do that."

Happer cited an ice age at the time of the American Revolution, when Londoners skated on the Thames, and warm periods during the Middle Ages, when settlers were able to farm southern portions of Greenland, as evidence of naturally occurring fluctuations that undermine the case for anthropogenic influence. "[Atmospheric carbon dioxide concentration] was exactly the same then. It didn't change at all," he explained. "So there was something that was making the earth warm and cool that modelers still don't really understand."

The problem does not in fact exist, he said, and society should not sacrifice for nothing. "[Climate change theory has] been extremely bad for science. It's going to give science a really bad name in the future," he said. "I think science is one of the great triumphs of humankind, and I hate to see it dragged through the mud in an episode like this."



If the world is to tackle the climate threat, the US President-elect must beef up his country's emissions targets, the head of the leading intergovernmental organisation of climate scientists said last week (15 January). "President-elect Obama's goal of reducing emissions to 1990 levels by 2020 falls short of the response needed by world leaders to meet the challenge of reducing emissions to levels that will actually spare us the worst effects of climate change," said Dr. Rajendra Pachauri, chairman of the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC), at a Worldwatch Institute event.

In a new study on the state of the world in 2009, the institute argues that global CO2 emissions must be reduced to negative figures by 2050 to avoid a looming climate catastrophe. It calls on the US, a major polluter, to assume leadership by passing national climate legislation and engaging with the international community to achieve a new agreement on halting emissions at next December's talks in Copenhagen. "The world is desperately looking for US leadership to slow emissions and create a green economy," said Christopher Flavin, president of the Worldwatch Institute. "With the Copenhagen climate conference rapidly approaching, this will be a crucial early test for President Obama."

Pachauri warned that there may not be an "adequate global response" unless the US steps up to the plate. "He ran for the presidency of the United States, so he assumed the responsibility," the Nobel Prize recipient commented as to the weight of Obama's task.

Meanwhile, in a hearing last week, Steven Chu, Obama's designated secretary of energy, told the US Senate he believed the incoming president's plan for emission reductions was "aggressive". It includes a greater commitment to renewable energies and promotion of energy efficiency, as well as a cap-and-trade system for greenhouse gases and continued development of nuclear power. He stated the plan would set the US on the right path to "a better energy and environmental future," while creating new jobs and restoring US leadership in energy technology.

In recent years, most initiatives on climate protection have come from the EU, which set the standards with its emissions trading scheme. Obama has, however, been touted for his more stringent targets and commitment to engaging in international climate negotiations after the Bush administration failed to sign the Kyoto protocol.

In a keynote speech to the Senate, Hillary Clinton, Obama's nominee for secretary of state, emphasised that she would "renew America's leadership through diplomacy". She said America would lead both at home and abroad on climate issues, by participating in the UN climate conference to develop a coordinated international response and by pursuing a low-carbon energy policy.



The dispute between Russia and Ukraine which has cut the flow of Russian natural gas to Europe has so alarmed governments that even German politicians are openly discussing the advantages of nuclear energy. 'It's increasingly becoming apparent that we have to lay greater emphasis on resources available in Germany,' German Economics Minister Michael Glos said earlier this month. 'I want to draw attention to the fact that we still have a number of nuclear power stations in Germany which, unfortunately, are going to be turned off in a few years just for political reasons.' On Monday in Brussels, he was seconded by one of his state secretaries, Peter Hintze, who told a meeting of European Union energy ministers, 'We need to take another calm look at the atomic energy issue, which is currently on hold.'

The German government is bound by a 1999 agreement to shut down the country's nuclear power stations by 2020, but the cessation of deliveries of Russian natural gas to Europe because of gas crisis has provoked deep concerns regarding over-dependency on a single source of energy. 'What we are experiencing in supply breakdowns did not occur even during the many decades of the Cold War,' Heintze complained.

The gas crisis has struck a particularly sensitive nerve in central and Eastern Europe, especially in those countries dependent on Russian natural gas for most of their energy needs, such as Slovakia and Bulgaria. Leaders of both countries have now vowed to restart old, unsafe Soviet-style nuclear reactors if gas deliveries did not resume soon. 'We consider restarting (the reactor) as extraordinarily actual and acute. When a critical moment occurs we will make the step,' Slovak Prime Minister Robert Fico said. Bulgaria and Slovakia had shut down their old nuclear reactors as part of their EU accession agreements. The Slovak declaration provoked outrage in neighbouring Austria. And on Wednesday the European Commission threatened to launch an infringement procedure which could lead to fines.

However, the Czech Republic - which is less dependent on Russian gas than its neighbours - appears to be planning to expand its use of nuclear energy, despite the moratorium on the construction of new nuclear reactors that was part of Prague's EU accession agreement, the daily Hospodarske Noviny reported on Friday. This is a policy turnaround by the Green Party-ruled Environment Ministry, the paper writes, as the ministry had previously opposed any move in this direction. One of the reasons is the gas crisis.

France, which derives nearly 80 per cent of its energy from its 58 nuclear reactors, is looking prophetic now. The French chose atomic energy after the oil crisis of the 1970s. 'The French must be delighted that the country didn't bet only on gas when we see what is happening with the gas,' the head of French energy supplier EDF, Pierre Gadonneix, said on French radio last week.

EDF and other European utilities, notably the German energy giants E.ON and RWE, are investing heavily in nuclear energy in Europe, with projects in Britain and Finland. However, Susanne Nies, a senior research fellow with the energy program at the French Institute of International Relations (IFRI), said that nuclear energy was not the best response to the gas crisis. 'Nuclear energy could play an important part of a diversification of energy sources in Europe,' she said.

More here


Americans were today shivering as bitter arctic winds caused temperatures to plunge to record-breaking levels in many parts of the vast country. There are even fears that crowds planning to watch Barack Obama's presidential inauguration next week could suffer hypothermia and frostbite in sub-zero conditions.

This winter has been one of the toughest in decades with temperatures today reaching as low as -38C in large areas of the Midwest and -40C in the coldest place. But even on the east coast - where conditions are typically milder than the fridgid hinterlands - the icy blast was being felt.

New York endured a -14C chill today and further south Washington - which hosts Mr Obama's inauguration on Tuesday - plunged to 11 degrees below zero. Some places have recorded record lows - with the temperature in Flint, Michigan dipping to an incredible -28C.

More here

Australian Study Debunks Methane Theory of climate impact

New Research by an Australian-based scientists Ellen Nisbet has found that in fact plants do not produce greenhouse methane gas. These findings destroy a central plank of the climate change theory.

The scientific theory that plants produce methane was published in the international science journal Nature three years ago, forcing a rethink of the possible sources of greenhouse gas.

Methane is more than 20 times more effective than CO2 at trapping heat in the atmosphere. Its main sources include natural gas fields, landfills, cattle, bogs and decaying organic waste.

A 2006 study by German scientist Frank Keppler asserted that tropical rain forests were emitting large amounts of methane. Dr Nisbet, who was studying at Cambridge University at the time, was sceptical when she saw Dr Keppler's results.

Evolutionary biologist Nisbet working with 12 scientists, including her father, atmospheric chemist Euan Nisbet, found that plants do not carry the right genes to produce methane, but merely filter the gas when it's contained in soil and dissolved in water.

"When we grew plants under very controlled conditions we found no, they don't produce methane. They don't have the right genes to make methane. We know what the genes are and they're definitely not there."

Dr Nisbet lectures in life Sciences at the University of South Australia said the team found that plants absorbed methane dissolved in water and soil, and then secreted it into the air. The research has been published this week in Transactions of the Royal Society in Britian.



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