Friday, February 06, 2009

On The Hijacking of the American Meteorological Society (AMS)

Below is the introduction to a paper being circulated by Bill Gray, Professor Emeritus, Colorado State University and AMS Fellow, Charney Award recipient, and a member of AMS for over 50-years. The full paper can be obtained from Prof. Gray: Gray@Atmos.ColoState.Edu

I am appalled at the selection of James Hansen as this year's recipient of the AMS's highest award - the Rossby Research Medal. James Hansen has not been trained as a meteorologist. His formal education has been in astronomy. His long records of faulty global climate predictions and alarmist public pronouncements have become increasingly hollow and at odds with reality. Hansen has exploited the general public's lack of knowledge of how the globe's climate system functions for his own benefit. His global warming predictions, going back to 1988 are not being verified. Why have we allowed him go on for all these years with his faulty and alarmist prognostications? And why would the AMS give him its highest award?

By presenting Hansen with its highest award, the AMS implies it agrees with his faulty global temperature projections and irresponsible alarmist rhetoric. This award, in combination with other recent AMS awards going to known CO2 warming advocates, is an insult to a large number of AMS members who do not believe that humans are causing a significant amount of the global temperature increase. These awards diminish the AMS's sterling reputation for scientific objectivity.

Hansen previously studied the run-away greenhouse warming of Venus. He appears to think that man's emittance of CO2 gases, if unchecked, will eventually cause the Earth to follow a similar fate. Hansen's arrogance and gall over the reality of his model results is breathtaking. He has recently warned President Obama that our country has only 4 years left to act on reducing CO2 gases before the globe will reach a point of irretrievable and disastrous human-caused warming. How does he know what thousands of us who have spent long careers in meteorology-climatology do not know?

Hansen's predictions of global warming made before the Senate in 1988 are turning out to be very much less than he had projected. He cannot explain why there has been no significant global warming over the last 10 years and why there has been a weak global cooling between 2001 and 2008.

Hansen and his legion of environmental-political supporters (with no meteorological-climate background) have done monumental damage to an open and honest discussion of the Anthropogenic Global Warming (AGW) question. He and his fellow collaborators (and their media sycophantic followers) are responsible for the brainwashing of a large segment of the American public about a grossly exaggerated human-induced warming threat that does not exist. Most of the global warming we have observed is of natural origin and due to multi-decadal and multi-century changes in the globe's deep ocean circulation resulting from salinity variations (see the Appendix for scientific discussion). These changes are not associated with CO2 increases. Hansen has little experience in practical meteorology. He apparently does not realize that the strongly chaotic nature of the atmosphere-ocean climate system does not allow for skillful initial value numerical climate prediction. Hansen's modeling efforts are badly flawed in the following ways:

His upper tropospheric water vapor feedback loop is grossly wrong. He assumes that increases in atmospheric CO2 will cause large upper-tropospheric water vapor increases which are very unrealistic. Most of his model warming follows from his invalid water vapor assumptions. His handlings of rainfall processes are, as with the other global climate modelers, quite inadequate.

He lacks an understanding and treatment of the fundamental role of the deep ocean circulation (i.e. Meridional Overturning Circulation - MOC) and how the changing ocean circulation (driven by salinity variations) can bring about wind, rainfall, and surface temperature changes independent of radiation and greenhouse gas changes. He does not have these ocean processes properly incorporated in his model. He assumes the physics of global warming is entirely a product of radiation changes and radiation feedback processes. This is a major deficiency.

Hansen's Free Ride. It is surprising that Hansen has been able to get away with his unrealistic modeling efforts for so long. One explanation is that he has received strong support from Senator/Vice President Al Gore who for over three decades has attempted to make political capital out of increasing CO2 measurements. Another reason is the many environmental and political groups (including the mainstream media) who are eager to use Hansen's modeling results as justification to push their own special interests that are able to fly under the global warming banner. A third explanation is that he has not been challenged by his peer climate modeling groups who apparently have seen possibilities for research grant support and publicity gains by following Hansen's lead. Yet another reason has been the luck of his propitious timing. His 1988 Senate testimony occurred after there had been global warming since the mid-1970s and we were experiencing a hot summer. And the global warming that occurred over the next 10 years (to 1998) gave an undeserved justification to his CO2 warming claims. Had Hansen given his Senate testimony in the 1970s or today (since we have seen weak global cooling since 2001) his alarmist rhetoric would have been taken much less seriously.

I anticipate that we are going to experience a modest naturally-driven global cooling over the next 15-20 years. This will be similar to the weak global cooling that occurred between the early-1940s and the mid-1970s. It is to be noted that CO2 amounts were also rising during this earlier cooling period which was opposite to the assumed CO2 temperature relationship.


An email from Kirt Griffin []

The news reports warn of a possible impending volcanic eruption near Anchorage, Alaska from Mount Redoubt. There was discussion on the differences between Hawaian volcanos and Alaskan Volcanos and that Alaskans are watching the development closely.

But no group is watching this potential event more than the soothsayers of AGW. If you have kept track of the score, these folks have been scrambling. First it was the PDO that was overpowering man made global warming. Then the footprint of GHG warming, that was totally absent in the troposphere, was suddenly discovered in a proxy based study using wind for temperature even though its previous absence was pooh-poohed. Then despite the claim that a cooling Antartica was consistent with global warming, voila! We now have a warming Antarctica complete with mathematical machinations.

Of course, the snows of this winter as well as the freezing temperatures are indicative of runaway global warming. As hokey as these claims may appear, it was all the AGW crowd had to cling to. That is until Mt. Redoubt hit the scene. At last, the golden opportunity is on the horizon. In order to remove any doubt that AGW is still the primary effect on our climate, the one thing that all would accept is that a volcanic eruption would lower the Earth's temperature for an acceptable period of time allowing for a waiting period for AGW to resume its inexorable climb.

However, if the AGW folks were plagued by the historic record of CO2 being the result of temperature rise and not the cause, can you imagine them trying to argue that volcanoes caused a cooling that had already started years before!


An email below from John McLean [], noting that only some parts of Australia were affected. In Queensland we had a hot January too -- exactly as we always do

The heat wave has only impacted the south-east of the country and at the same time north-east was experiencing quite cool conditions for this time of year. It was caused by a stationary High over the Tasman Sea (i.e. between Australian and New Zealand) driving warm air from western New South Wales down onto Adelaide and Melbourne. (Highs have anti-clockwise air movement in the southern hemisphere.) Clear skies and northerly or north-westerly winds cause high temperatures in south-eastern Australia in any season, there's nothing unusual about that, and the dry ground means that no heat is lost in evaporation.

Might I also remind readers that the European heat wave of 2003 was caused by similar circumstances - WGI chapter 3 of IPCC report made that clear but subsequent mentions of it tried to blame human activity.

What made the Australian heat wave more difficult was the failure of essential infrastructure. A subsea transmission line supplying electricity from Tasmania to Victoria and South Australian automatically shutdown when the temperatures at a Tasmanian coastal town exceeded 33 degrees. An electricity transformer near Melbourne exploded and caused widespread lack of power. Generating capacity was adequate (just) but distribution was a problem.

The Australian government is a firm believer in the IPCC mantra and expects hotter conditions in future but apparently it's reluctant to upgrade infrastructure or demand that the utilities companies do so.


Former U.S. Vice President Al Gore and his Alliance for Climate Protection say clean-coal technology is a fantasy. Peabody Energy Corp., the biggest U.S. coal producer, says another prominent Democrat has pledged to make the technology a reality: President Barack Obama.

The Gore-Obama split illustrates a growing debate in the U.S. as the new president attempts to deliver on his promise to reduce carbon dioxide emissions in the country 80 percent by 2050. Depending on who's speaking, coal is either the villain or part of the solution. "The coal groups are saying we need clean coal," said Mark Maddox, the former head of the Energy Department's fossil energy office under former President George W. Bush, in an interview. "Environmentalists are saying there is no clean coal, and we aren't going to help you get it."

Coal is at the center of the discussion about so-called green energy because the fuel provides half of U.S. electricity -- and 30 percent of the greenhouse-gas emissions that contribute to global warming. The issue, framed in dueling television campaigns, is whether U.S. energy policy should be based on what is still largely an assumption: that technology can capture carbon emissions before they go into the air and store them permanently underground.

$300 Million Campaign: Portraying clean coal as a mirage, the Alliance for Climate Protection's first commercial, shown on broadcast and cable networks starting last December, features an announcer showing off "today's clean-coal technology" as he gestures toward empty terrain. In a new ad now running, an actor playing a coal company executive says, "Don't worry about climate change, leave that to us." The commercials are the start of an ad campaign for clean energy that the group, based in Menlo Park, California, has said will cost $300 million over 3 years. Spokesman Brian Hardwick declined to say how much advertising has been purchased so far. Gore is the organization's founder and chairman. "We thought it was a key moment to let people know that we are faced with a climate crisis, and we shouldn't have any illusion that clean coal exists today," Hardwick said in an interview.

Obama's Words: Gore has called for the U.S. to produce all of its electricity from renewable energy by 2018, instead of "dirty fossil fuels" such as coal and oil. After the environmentalists began their anti-coal commercials, response ads were mustered by companies led by Peabody of St. Louis and operators of coal-fired power plants, such as the Southern Co. of Atlanta and American Electric Power Co. of Columbus, Ohio. The coal industry's commercials tap into Obama's credentials as a clean-energy advocate, showing excerpts from a speech he gave in Lebanon, Virginia, in September. "Clean-coal technology is something that can make America energy-independent," Obama says in the ad, which has run on cable channels such as CNN, Fox News and MSNBC.

The industry-sponsored American Coalition for Clean Coal Electricity spent $18 million last year on television commercials, compared with the $48 million for those run by Gore's group, according to Joe Lucas, a spokesman for the Alexandria, Virginia-based group of coal producers and users.

More here


The European Union's envoy to Washington told skeptical US lawmakers Wednesday that China will not escape making firm commitments at global climate change talks set for December. Questioned by a leading US critic of China's actions on climate, Republican Representative James Sensenbrenner, Ambassador John Bruton agreed that US and EU populations would likely reject any treaty that does not cover China."I don't think you could sell that. I don't think there will be a 'get out of jail free' card for China," said Bruton. "There will be no 'get out of jail free' card."

Bruton, who was briefing the US House of Representatives' Select Energy Independence and Global Warming Committee, said Chinese leaders "recognize that they need to do a lot" and underlined "We need to assist them as best we can."His comments came after Sensenbrenner warned that any treaty coming out of the December talks in Copenhagen would fail unless it imposes curbs on large developing countries such as Brazil, China, and India."A treaty cannot reduce emissions without their participation," said Sensenbrenner, warning that limits on US and European carbon emissions without limits on major emerging nations would only pauper the United States."We cannot self-impose costs while foreign markets grow freely," he said.

Bruton pressed US lawmakers to craft legislation creating a "cap-and-trade" market to limit carbon emissions blamed for global warming by the time the UN climate talks begin in the Danish capital."It would be very desirable if the Senate and the House had agreed on legislation by then. That would show that the United States was leading by example and domestic commitment," he said.

Bruton said US lawmakers had indicated to him that they hoped "to have legislation at a very advanced stage by May" calling that commitment "extremely welcome" and rejecting any suggestion that it might weaken the US negotiating position in Copenhagen."I think the contrary is the case," because US leadership by example is needed to win emerging economies over to the need to restrict emissions, he told reporters outside the hearing room."I think the difficulty will be in getting some of the countries that are relatively low carbon emitters, with large populations, who want to improve the living standards of those populations -- getting them to enter into commitments is going to be the biggest challenge in Copenhagen just as it was in Kyoto.""It would be very difficult to get them to make commitments of the kind I was describing in there unless the US, which is per capita one of the biggest emitters in the world, had entered into firm commitments itself, first," he said.

Democrats who control the US Senate and House of Representatives have said they hope to have major legislation creating a "cap-and-trade" system for limiting so-called "greenhouse gases" before the Copenhagen talks.And they have said that the paralyzing US recession is no excuse not to act -- noting that the massive economic stimulus package he has proposed is full of steps to promote clean and renewable energy.But Republicans have signaled they will not sign on to any system that imposes restrictions on the US economy while letting major global competitors off the hook.


Cities can be GOOD for native species

Wild turkeys abound in some Australian cities (and lots of other wildlife too)

They're not much like the turkeys that often appear in roasted form on dining room tables but they are rather attractive birds. Where I live is 5 minute's drive from the Brisbane CBD and I see them trotting up and down the street where I live several times a week. My father ate them occasionally before they became protected and said that they were pretty tough eating. I personally love to see them about so am sorry to hear that they can be a nuisance. They are also called scrub turkeys or bush turkeys

THEY'RE moving into suburban backyards, raping chooks and trashing the lovingly landscaped native gardens of well-heeled householders. Experts say the once rare native brush turkey could go the way of the ibis and become a permanent fixture of the suburban environment. "Brush turkeys ... are really making a success of their move into the suburbs," says Associate Professor Darryl Jones, a wildlife biologist at Queensland's Griffith University. "In the last five to six years they've gone from no one even knew what they are to everywhere - especially places like Brisbane, Gosford and the northern Sydney suburbs."

Jones, the co-author of Mound Builders, a new book on brush turkeys and their relations, says the birds probably originated in New Guinea millions of years ago. They are now found in Australia, New Guinea and some Pacific islands. Brush turkeys were never good eating but were valued by indigenous Australians for their large, yolky eggs. "Indigenous people had lots of rules and customs about not touching the adults," Jones says.

"But the Europeans came here and called them turkeys, they looked like game birds and many of them got hunted. "That's what led to their first real demise. By about the 1960s they were extremely hard to find because every time they showed their heads some bushman knocked them off and had them for dinner." But that changed in the 1970s with federal legislation protecting them. Since then, brush turkeys have "sprung back dramatically," Jones says. "By about the 80s they started to be seen again ... and during the 90s they have absolutely taken off."

But their return has taken an unexpected tack. Jones says the natural range of brush turkeys, from Queensland's Cape York to Wollongong south of Sydney, hasn't changed. "But what's really interesting, it's not in the wild country where they're doing well, it's in the towns and the suburbs - that's where they're exploding. "In Brisbane and a whole range of other suburban places like Gosford and northern Sydney they're doing fantastically well." While this is good news for brush turkeys, it isn't so good for residents, many of whom are finding themselves hosts to an unwelcome, and often inconsiderate, guest.

Their move into suburbia is causing "huge problems," says Jones, because of "the incredible damage" they are capable of doing to people's gardens. Male turkeys build what are basically huge compost piles - these can consist of up to 4 tonnes of garden material and be the size of a small car - in which eggs are incubated. In the process of building these unique mounds, they rake up grass clippings, bark and leaf litter, strip trees and shrubs and smother delicate plants. "If they didn't do what they do to people's gardens people would be much happier to have them around," says Michelle Greenfield, the bushcare co-ordinator of Lane Cove Council in Sydney, which over the past year has started to receive complaints from householders.

Rosemary Lancaster, communications officer for the Wildlife Preservation Society of Queensland, says the birds are simply taking advantage of fashionably sustainable gardening trends, such as planting water-efficient native gardens. "We're replicating their natural habitat, and they're taking advantage of it," she says. "We're creating brush turkey heaven."

Jones says the brush turkeys' fondness of leafy native gardens means residents of the more upmarket suburbs are the main targets. "There's a kind of perfect relationship between higher socio-economic scale and presence of brush turkeys," he says. "Poor people don't have brush turkeys and rich people are arriving home in their BMW to find a huge mound where their landscape garden has been destroyed."

The mounds themselves can be a concern. Andrew Daff is the manager of Sydney's Lane Cove River tourist park, which became home to a male brush turkey named Hef, and two females named Bambi and Tash, last October. The park is now populated by 14 chicks - for the first time in 15 years. Daff says a mound recently had to be relocated from the park because it had been built right next to a swimming pool fence, providing easy access to the pool for children. But he says he's thrilled to see the area repopulated by the birds, which hold a key place in the local ecosystem.

Not everyone shares his enthusiasm. "Over the past few weeks some of my hens have been quite brutally attacked by a male brush turkey ... he is pecking at and tearing off their combs," wrote "eggy" in a recent post to an online backyard poultry forum. Jones acknowledges that brush turkeys can attack other birds. "Bluntly, that's a form of rape," he says. "Especially black chickens - they seem to think 'oh well these look close enough' and they'll mate with them."

Jones says brush turkeys are actually safer in a suburban backyard than in the wild, where they face threats from foxes and feral animals. In other words, they could be here to stay. "It's not an impossibility that they'll end up being an urban bird only," he says. That's why the approach being taken by many local authorities is to encourage peaceful co-existence. "Some people have issues with the way brush turkeys behave" but many are happy to share their gardens with local native wildlife, says Greenfield.

More here


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