Wednesday, March 11, 2009

Accelerated sea-level rise?

I mentioned a few days ago a report that sea levels are rising faster than predicted by the IPCC. There is another such report just out here.

Below is an email on the subject from Professor Dr. Nils-Axel Morner [], a leading world authority on sea levels and coastal erosion who headed the Department of Paleogeophysics &Geodynamics at Stockholm University
Misused data! Satellite altimetry 1993-2000 was horizontal - the same data set + 2000-2003 was tilted. On top of the physical corrections (giving horizontallity) they added "personal correction" to fit IPCCs claims. What do we call this? If not falsification? See my scientific papers - best: Global and Planetary Change 62 (2008) 219-220.

Excerpt from the paper concerned below -- pointing out that the raw data on sea levels shows that they have in fact been flat. It is only the addition of various "corrections" -- some of which are quite arbitrary -- that suggests rising sea levels.
Comment on comment by Nerem et al. (2007) on "Estimating future sea level changes from past records"

by Nils-Axel Moerner

First let us clear up the origin of my Fig. 2 (in Moerner, 2004). It is a product of the CLS Company printed in MEDIAS (2000, Fig. 1.2; also available on the net at Aviso, 2000). My curve was a redrawing of this graph. This curve, spanning the time from October 1992 to April 2000, does not record any sea level rise; only a variability plus one (or more) ENSO signals.

That was the point of my picture. It should be noted that this graph includes the technical adjustments (including the drift factor of Mitchum, 2000, Fig. 10) illustrated by the lower arrow in Fig. 1. Later the same graph re-appears with a strong tilt (Aviso, 2003; cf. Leuliette et al., 2004; Moerner, 2005). Why is that?

It is because of the introduction of additional calibrations (Mitchum, 2000; Leuliette et al., 2004; Cazenave & Nerem, 2004) - and those "calibrations" are subjective interpretations (Fig. 1; upper arrow); not objective readings. Consequently, they are opinion-dependent. "We adopt the rate given by Douglas (1991,1995) of 1.8~0.1mm/yr", Mitchum (2000) states. This rate, however, is widely debated and far from generally accepted. Especially not in the geological sea level community (cf. Moerner, 2004, Fig. 4), where we realize that the tide gauges quite frequently are installed in unstable local position, and I quote (from Moerner et al., 2004): "Tide gauge records, however, do not provide simple and straight-forward measures of regional eustatic sea level. They are often (not to say usually) dominated by the effects of local compaction and local loading subsidence.

With this perspective, our multiple morphological and sedimentological records appear more reliable and conclusive" (cf. Moerner, 2007). This makes the requited "correction" for land motion at the tide gauge very delicate and subjective. The nice and interesting thing with the graph under discussion (Moerner, 2004, Fig. 2) is that it represents the readings before all these interpretational "corrections".

35.5m yr old global cooling caused by sharp decline in CO2

Comment on this nonsense at the foot of the article

A new research has found that prehistoric global cooling that started in Antarctica about 35.5 million years ago, was caused by a sharp drop in the carbon dioxide (CO2) levels. Even after the continent of Antarctica had drifted to near its present location, its climate was subtropical. Then, 35.5 million years ago, ice formed on Antarctica in about 100,000 years, which is an "overnight" shift in geological terms.

"Our studies show that just over thirty-five million years ago, 'poof,' there was an ice sheet where there had been subtropical temperatures before," said Matthew Huber, assistant professor of earth and atmospheric sciences at Purdue University. "Until now, we haven't had much scientific information about what happened," he added.

Before the cooling occurred at the end of the Eocene epoch, the Earth was warm and wet, and even the north and south poles experienced subtropical climates. The dinosaurs were long gone from the planet, but there were mammals and many reptiles and amphibians. Then, as the scientists say, poof, this warm wet world, which had existed for millions of years, dramatically changed. Temperatures fell dramatically, many species of mammals as well as most reptiles and amphibians became extinct, and Antarctica was covered in ice and sea levels fell.

History records this as the beginning of the Oligocene epoch, but the cause of the cooling has been the subject of scientific discussion and debate for many years. The research team found before the event ocean surface temperatures near present-day Antarctica averaged 77 degrees Fahrenheit (25 degrees Celsius).

Mark Pagani, professor of geology and geophysics at Yale University, said that the research found that air and ocean surface temperatures dropped as much as 18 degrees Fahrenheit during the transition. "Previous reconstructions gave no evidence of high-latitude cooling. Our data demonstrate a clear temperature drop in both hemispheres during this time," said Pagani.

To find the result, Huber used modern climate modeling tools to look at the prehistoric climate. The models were run on a cluster-type supercomputer on Purdue's campus. According to Huber, "We found that the likely culprit was a major drop in greenhouse gases in the atmosphere, especially CO2." "From the temperature data and existing proxy records indicating a sharp drop in CO2 near the Eocene-Oligocene boundary, we are establishing a link between the sea surface temperatures and the glaciation of Antarctica," he said.


Comment received from Rob Jones []

The Alarmists will love this. The opening paragraph essentially claims that scientists have proof that CO2 drives temperature. Ass. Prof. Huber says, "Until now, we haven't had much scientific information..". So the reader is lead to conclude that this has all changed with this amazing new scientific discovery.. Reading on, curious to know what this "eureka" moment comprised of, the reader is expected to swallow this:
To find the result, Huber used modern climate modeling tools to look at the prehistoric climate. The models were run on a cluster-type supercomputer on Purdue's campus.. According to Huber, "We found that the likely culprit was a major drop in greenhouse gases in the atmosphere, especially CO2."

AGW Alarmism continues to hang its hat on computer models.. and just to be sure, "modern" super-computers to boot! All they can confidently announce from the analysis using their multi-million dollar super-computer, is "we have found the likely culprit". a lay down misere! which seems to have been true of the recent way of Alarmism. Despite losing every trick (in the current debate on AGW) they win the hand. But they wont win the game!

This is just more flawed theories being reinforced by flawed assumptions programmed into flawed computer models with no scientific proof of cause and effect whatsoever.

The crumbling case for global warming

One young radical turned up at the Heartland Institute's climate change skeptics' conference in New York this week to declare that he had never witnessed so much hypocrisy. How, he asked the panelists of a session on European policy, could they sleep at night? Clearly puzzled, one of the panelists asked him with which parts of their presentations he disagreed. "Oh," he said "I didn't come here to listen to the presentations."

The conference - titled "Global Warming: Was it ever really a crisis?" - attracted close to 700 participants. Most of those I met displayed almost joy at being among people who dared to stand up to the mindless climate "consensus" and the refusal to debate, or even look at, the facts, as typified by that righteous young radical.

President Obama is considering a cap-and-trade system with which Canada would be forced to co-ordinate its own policies. The conference made clear how damaging and pointless such a policy would be.

Vaclav Klaus, the professorial president of both Czechoslovakia and the European Union, pointed out at the conference's first session on Sunday evening that the global political establishment was still in the grip of thinking reminiscent of the Communism under which he once lived. He noted that few if any politicians seemed even aware of, or interested in, either the shortcomings of officially cooked climate science, or the potential disasters of climate policy.

Professor Richard Lindzen, one of the world's leading climatologists, also stressed that climate alarmism was a political and not a scientific matter. Particular worrying, he said, was that various scientific bodies had been seized by alarmists, who now issued statements without polling the members. This played into the appeal to authority rather than science. He called climate modelling "unintelligent design" and global warming a "postmodern coup d'‚tat." He stressed that "Nature hasn't followed the models" used by the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change. There has been no global warming for 10 or 15 years. Countering all the blather about Exxon's (former) support for Heartland that appeared in coverage of the conference by climate-change cheerleaders at The New York Times and The Guardian, he noted that skeptics in fact had minimal resources to rectify the incipient policy horrors.

Asked why the skeptics had so much trouble in presenting a unified front, Professor Lindzen stressed that there was no "skeptical solidarity." But Joseph Bast, head of the Heartland Institute, pointed out that such diversity was a sign of free inquiry, as opposed to bogus claims that the science was "settled."

The sessions indicated the huge potential costs of the Obama administration's commitment to cap and trade, regulation and the promotion of renewables, effectively rationing energy as a way of grabbing revenue. Myron Ebell of the Competitive Enterprise Institute, who takes pride in having been dubbed a "climate criminal" by Greenpeace, noted that the political struggle had to keep the message simple. Voters should ask politicians one simple question: "Why do you want to raise my energy prices?" Since the one issue on which there truly is consensus is that Kyoto would have had little or no impact on global temperatures, it is a question for governments around the world, not least that of the government of Ontario, which has just introduced its draconian Green Energy Act.

Indur Goklany, an expert on globalization and a contributor to the IPCC, noted, using the UN's own figures, that global warming was by no means the threat conventionally portrayed. Indeed, the UN even acknowledged its benefits, although to establish that fact you had to read the documents "like a lawyer."

The session interrupted by the callow youth outlined the disaster of the EU's emissions trading system, and of its climate change policies in general. The good news, as Benny Peiser of John Moores University in Liverpool, and editor of the influential CCNet science network, suggested, was that the green movement was collapsing in Europe and becoming increasingly unpopular, as its enormous costs and minimal results were becoming apparent. The attempt to "rebrand" Europe as the "Environmental Union" had fallen apart and was now causing increasing discord both between and within countries.

Europe was now desperate for the United States, China and India to share its self-inflicted pain in time for the next great UN expense-fest in Copenhagen, but it was unlikely to happen.

One of the most devastating presentations came from Gabriel Calzada, a Spanish economist who indicated how Spain's "leadership" in subsidizing wind and solar power - which had been praised by President Obama - had produced enormous costs, no benefits and was now falling apart. "Green jobs" were calculated not only to cost around half-a-million Euros a pop, they came at the expense of two "normal" jobs. And they were now disappearing as the renewables bubble collapsed.

A questioner asked why European governments continued to promote such destructive and pointless policies. Roger Helmer, a member of the European Parliament, said it was a matter of inertia, plus the fact that there was no "Plan B."

The task of the brave skeptics who appeared at Heartland this week is to find out how to ditch Plan A. There could be no better stimulus to the global economy.


A freezing legacy for our children

An email from James A. Marusek, Nuclear Physicist and Engineer, retired U. S. Department of Navy

There is a lot of talk these days about the legacy we will leave our children and our grandchildren. When I stare into the immediate future, I see a frightening legacy caked in darkness and famine. Instead of intelligently preparing, we find ourselves whittling away this precious time chasing fraudulent theories. We have a decade to prepare, but have a misguided sense of direction and urgency.

Climate change is primarily driven by nature. It has been true in the days of my father and his father and all those that came before us. Because of science, not junk science, we have slowly uncovered some of the fundamental mysteries of nature. Our Milky Way galaxy is awash with cosmic rays. These are high speed charged particles that originate from exploding stars. Because they are charged, their travel is strongly influenced by magnetic fields. Our sun produces a magnetic field that extends to the edges of our solar system. This field deflects many of the cosmic rays away from Earth. But when the sun goes quiet (minimal sunspots), this field collapses inward allowing cosmic rays to penetrate deeper into our solar system. As a result, far greater numbers collide with Earth and penetrate down into the lower atmosphere where they ionize small particles of moisture (humidity) forming them into water droplets that become clouds. Low level clouds reflect sunlight back into space. An increase in Earth's cloud cover produce a global drop in temperature. These periods of quiet sun are referred to as Grand Minima. The Maunder Minimum (1645-1715) and the Dalton Minimum (1790-1830) are examples.

During a Grand Minimum the Earth begins to slowly cool. The start of the planting season is delayed and in the fall early frost limits the harvest. Earth's abundant bounty is put on hold and starvation takes its ghastly grip. Historian, John D. Post, referred to the last Grand Minima, the Dalton Minimum, as the "last great subsistence crisis in the Western world". With the cold came massive crop failures, food riots, famine and disease.

Several scientists including David C. Hathaway (NASA), William Livingston & Matthew Penn (National Solar Observatory). Lev I. Dorman and his team of Russian and Israeli scientists, Khabibullo Abdusamatov (Russian Academy of Science) have forecasted that the sun will enter a Grand Minima a decade from now in Solar Cycle 25. A few scientists including David C. Archibald (Australia) and M. A. Clilverd (Britain) have warned this might even begin in Solar Cycle 24. We are at the transition into Solar Cycle 24 and this cycle has already shown itself to be unusually quiet. The number of spotless days (days without sunspots) during this solar minimum appears to be tracking 3 times the typical number observed during the last century (Solar Cycles 16-23).

There are some that urge North America follow Europe's lead. On January 13, 2009, the European Parliament adopted a regulation dramatically restricting the number of pesticides allowed. This move is based on the precautionary principle and on junk science. According to Dr. Colin Ruscoe, chairman of the British Crop Production Council, "If farmers are forced to stop using certain products, crop yields would halve. There would be such huge losses in the yields of potatoes, carrots, peas and parsnips that it would become uneconomical to farm them."

Is this the kind of lead we should be following? Europe is also leading in another area - in its opposition to genetically modified (GM) crops. In Europe, environmentalist have driven fear into the hearts of their citizens by labeling GM food as "Frankenfood". In our country, we have been using GM crops for almost two decades without any ill effects. GM crops hold the promise of helping us survive the next Grand Minimum by offering crops that can grow under extreme weather conditions. North America is currently a leader in this technology. Should we follow Europe's lead and ban GM crops? And in ten years from now when the next solar cycle begins, if the sun goes quiet, who will comfort the starving children who cry out in the middle of the night for a small piece of bread? These will be our children. So what legacy will we leave behind?

Australian conservatives in luck as White House guru backs carbon delay

The Coalition and business groups have received unexpected backing for their argument that a recession is no time to introduce emissions trading -- from US President Barack Obama's top economics guru. In a previously unreported academic paper posted on the Harvard University website last August, Lawrence Summers argues that "expenditures for climate change will be far easier to make in economies where per-capita income is growing". Mr Summers, a former president of Harvard and treasury secretary under former US president Bill Clinton, is currently head of Mr Obama's National Economic Council and works in the White House.

His argument chimes with the position put by Opposition emissions trading spokesman Andrew Robb and Australian Industry Group chief Heather Ridout. However, it is starkly at odds with the determination of Kevin Rudd and Climate Change Minister Penny Wong to have an emissions trading scheme in place by next year, despite the downturn.

Mr Summers urges policymakers to create "reference points" for the beginning of the economic losses caused by emissions trading, not just for greenhouse levels themselves. He argues that, in an economic expansion, greenhouse abatement measures will be seen as less painful because they will mean the sacrifice of income growth, rather than of real income. "Prime ministers and presidents can't hope to sacrifice GDP for climate control without hearing strong cries of protest from those experiencing loss-aversion on their incomes," Mr Summers writes. "In growth economies, matters will be easier, because the cuts will come against what would have been their incomes, a moving and hence more fuzzy reference point."

Ms Ridout yesterday reiterated her call for the ETS to be delayed until 2012. "We want the delay for reasons such as the impact of the global financial crisis on the preparedness of business to take action and the scale of the administrative task," she said. "The current timetable is too onerous and the global financial crisis is hampering the ability of businesses to prepare and finance the major emissions reduction strategies that are required."

Mr Robb said the Coalition would examine the Government's draft legislation, released yesterday, but said its version of an ETS was flawed. "There are many in the Labor caucus ... who are deeply disturbed about the direction the Government is taking this, especially at a time when we have got the economy under such enormous pressure," he said.



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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