Saturday, March 14, 2009


An email from Dave English [] pointing out that the Warmists have not done the math behind their scare

David Adam writes from Copenhagen: "Scientists at the Copenhagen conference said that modest IPCC estimates of likely sea level rise this century need to be increased. Extra melting in Greenland could drive sea levels to more than a metre higher than today by 2100"

This is typical eco-bloat. Taking into account that the Earth's surface is 70% ocean and that it takes 1.1 cubic mile of ice to make a cubic mile of water, to raise the oceans one inch would take 2400 (2398+) cubic miles of ice. To raise the oceans one meter would take 94,488 cubic miles of ice melting. Greenland is melting at 55 cubic miles a year, their dream is to make us believe that the melting would become not two or four times faster than today but 18.67 times faster, from 55 cubic miles a year to 1027 cubic miles a year for 92 years.

Climate Change: Driven by the Ocean not Human Activity

Paper by William M. Gray, Professor Emeritus, Dept of Atmospheric Science, Colorado State University


This paper discusses how the variation in the global ocean's Meridional Overturning Circulation (MOC) resulting from changes in the Atlantic Thermohaline Circulation (THC) and deep water Surrounding Antarctica Subsidence (SAS) can be the primary cause of climate change. (MOC = THC + SAS) is the likely cause of most of the global warming that has been observed since the start of the industrial revolution (~1850) and for the more recent global warming that has occurred since the mid-1970s. Changes of the MOC since 1995 are hypothesized to have lead to the cessation of global warming since 1998 and to the beginning of a weak global cooling that has occurred since 2001. This weak cooling is projected to go on for the next couple of decades.

Recent GCM global warming scenarios assume that a slightly stronger hydrologic cycle (due to the increase in CO2) will cause additional upper-level tropospheric water vapor and cloudiness. Such vapor-cloudiness increases are assumed to allow the small initial warming due to increased CO2 to be unrealistically multiplied 2-4 or more times. This is where most of the global warming from the GCMs comes from - not the warming resulting from the CO2 increase by itself but the large extra warming due to the assumed increase of upper tropospheric water vapor and cloudiness. As CO2 increases, it does not follow that the net global upper-level water vapor and cloudiness will increase significantly. Observations of upper tropospheric water vapor over the last 3-4 decades from the National Centers for Environmental Prediction/National Center for Atmospheric Research (NCEP/NCAR) reanalysis data and the International Satellite Cloud Climatology Project (ISCCP) data show that upper tropospheric water vapor appears to undergo a small decrease while Outgoing Longwave Radiation (OLR) undergoes a small increase. This is opposite to what has been programmed into the GCMs. The predicted global warming due to a doubling of CO2 has been erroneously exaggerated by the GCMs due to this water vapor feedback.

CO2 increases without positive water vapor feedback could only have been responsible for about 0.1-0.2oC of the 0.6-0.7oC global mean surface temperature warming that has been observed since the early 20th century. Assuming a doubling of CO2 by the late 21st century (assuming no positive water vapor feedback), we should likely expect to see no more than about 0.3-0.5oC global surface warming and certainly not the 2-5oC warming that has been projected by the GCMs



By Andrew C. Revkin of the NYT

A three-day conference on climate science and policy that drew some 2,500 scientists, economists, campaigners, dignitaries, industry representatives and journalists to Copenhagen has wrapped up, and organizers have issued a list of core "messages" that you can see at the bottom of this post. Their bottom line, echoing what many climate scientists have been saying with rising vigor for two decades, is that there is an urgent need to curb emissions of greenhouse gases, and "inaction is inexcusable."

Is this effort, which one organizer described as "a deliberate attempt to influence policy," likely to change things? There are signs, some scientists warned on Thursday, that overheated descriptions of looming dangers coming out of the conference could actually backfire. More on those warnings is below.

The meeting, organized by 10 universities and paid for by a variety of corporate sponsors, was mainly aimed at moving beyond what many participants described as the overly conservative findings of the 2007 report from the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change. News coverage of the presentations given at the conference over the last few days described new evidence that the Amazon rain forest was poised to dry up and that sea levels could rise more than twice as much as the intergovernmental climate panel projected.

On Thursday, an e-mail message was distributed to a host of Amazon forest experts and to a journalist by Yadvinder Malhi, an Oxford University biologist who is focused on the Amazon and climate. He questioned the Amazon findings presented at the meeting, and decried the resulting media coverage:

"I must say I find it frustrating that the gloomiest take on news gets such a big profile. This is based on one model, and that model has flaws (especially its temperature sensitivity that seems too great (David Galbraith's work), and its rainfall that seems to low (our PNAS paper PDF). The danger is that that such apparent bad news makes all the efforts to conserve the Amazon forests worthless (why bother saving them if they are already doomed?), and encourages disengagement and hopelessness rather than action. If that conclusion was based on solid empirical science then so be it, but when such a story goes out on a pure model study (not yet peer-reviewed) with significant imperfections, it may do a lot of damage in the real world."

A colleague of Dr. Malhi who attended the meeting responded by saying several scientists there were engaged in "damage control." When I ran all of this by a couple of social scientists tracking how climate science is conveyed to the public, they groaned (or the e-mail equivalent).

Daniel Sarewitz at Arizona State University said this was a classic example of how scientists and the media play down complexity in their thirst for powerful framing that catches attention and might drive action. The problem, he and several colleagues said, is that over-reaching can also lead to distrust and further polarization of advocates threatened or empowered by the controversial finding. (This is the "climate porn" concept I wrote about a while back.)



And pigs might fly

Global warming will wreck attempts to save the Amazon rainforest, according to a devastating new study which predicts that one-third of its trees will be killed by even modest temperature rises.

The research, by some of Britain's leading experts on climate change, shows that even severe cuts in deforestation and carbon emissions will fail to save the emblematic South American jungle, the destruction of which has become a powerful symbol of human impact on the planet. Up to 85% of the forest could be lost if spiralling greenhouse gas emissions are not brought under control, the experts said. But even under the most optimistic climate change scenarios, the destruction of large parts of the forest is "irreversible".

Vicky Pope, of the Met Office's Hadley Centre, which carried out the study, said: "The impacts of climate change on the Amazon are much worse than we thought. As temperatures rise quickly over the coming century the damage to the forest won't be obvious straight away, but we could be storing up trouble for the future."

Tim Lenton, a climate expert at the University of East Anglia, called the study, presented at a global warming conference in Copenhagen today , a "bombshell". He said: "When I was young I thought chopping down the trees would destroy the forest but now it seems that climate change will deliver the killer blow."

The study, which has been submitted to the journal Nature Geoscience, used computer models to investigate how the Amazon would respond to future temperature rises.

It found that a 2C rise above pre-industrial levels, widely considered the best case global warming scenario and the target for ambitious international plans to curb emissions, would still see 20-40% of the Amazon die off within 100 years. A 3C rise would see 75% of the forest destroyed by drought over the following century, while a 4C rise would kill 85%. "The forest as we know it would effectively be gone," Pope said.

Experts had previously predicted that global warming could cause significant "die-back" of the Amazon. The new research is the first to quantify the long-term effect.

Chris Jones, who led the research, told the conference: "A temperature rise of anything over 1C commits you to some future loss of Amazon forest. Even the commonly quoted 2C target already commits us to 20-40% loss. On any kind of pragmatic timescale, I think we should see loss of the Amazon forest as irreversible."

Peter Cox, professor of climate system dynamics at the University of Exeter, said the effects would be felt around the world. "Ecologically it would be a catastrophe and it would be taking a huge chance with our own climate. The tropics are drivers of the world's weather systems and killing the Amazon is likely to change them forever. We don't know exactly what would happen but we could expect more extreme weather." Massive Amazon loss would also amplify global warming "significantly" he said.

"Destroying the Amazon would also turn what is a significant carbon sink into a significant source."



A report from BBC News of 24 September 2007 shows that the Warmist models of Amazon processes are contradicted by the facts

The Amazon rainforest may be more resistant to rising temperatures than has been believed. Researchers found that during the 2005 drought, many parts of the rainforest "greened", apparently growing faster. This finding contrasts with some computer models of climate change, which forecast that the Amazon would dry out and become savannah.

Writing in the journal Science, the researchers say it is unclear how the forest would respond to a long drought. "We measured the changes between the drought (of July to September 2005) and an average year," explained study leader Scott Saleska from the University of Arizona, Tucson, US. "And what we saw was that there was more photosynthesis going on, more capacity to take up carbon dioxide than in an average year," he told the BBC News website.

The scientists used the Modis (Moderate Resolution Imaging Spectroradiometer) instrument on the US space agency's (Nasa) Terra satellite to make their observations. Some areas of the Amazon had seen reduced growth during the drought, but these were regions heavily impacted by human activities.


Climate sceptics fight tide of alarmism

By Miranda Devine, an Australian columnist

As the Rudd Government's job-killing carbon emissions trading plans come under fire, a conference of sceptical scientists met in New York this week to discuss developments bolstering the case against human-caused global warming. A disproportionate number of Australian scientists who lead the charge against climate alarmism spoke at the conference organised by the Heartland Institute, a US free-market think tank. Among them were the James Cook university paleoclimate scientist Dr Bob Carter, the former head of the Australian Greenhouse Office, David Evans, and Bill Kininmonth, the former head of the Australian National Climate Centre. "Each of the Australians were there because they have something special to offer," said Carter yesterday on the phone from Connecticut.

Evans told the conference the United Nations' Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change relied on the existence of a "hot spot" in the upper troposphere over the tropics, predicted by computer models. But it did not exist. Kininmonth said predictions that global temperature "might pass a 'tipping point' and even go into a phase of 'runaway global warming' are an outcome of the flawed computer models and are not a realistic future scenario". Carter told the conference on Wednesday that climate change has always occurred and by focusing on futile attempts to stop it by reducing carbon dioxide emissions, we have lost sight of the need to adapt. Countries need to "be better prepared to understand, cope with and adapt to the damaging effects of . natural climatic events and trends".

Carter declared the conference mood optimistic but a downbeat Vaclav Klaus, president of the European Union and the Czech Republic, said sceptics had made little headway. At the World Economic Forum in Davos in January, he was the only person in a private session of European leaders who expressed doubts about anthropogenic global warming. "The environmentalists don't want to change the climate. They want to change us and our behaviour," he told the Heartland conference. "Their ambition is to control and manipulate us. Therefore, it shouldn't be surprising they recommend preventing [climate change], not adaptive policies. Adaptation would be a voluntary behaviour." Environmentalism had replaced socialism as the totalitarian threat to freedom in the 21st century, he said. "Environmentalists . do not want to reveal their true plans and ambitions: to stop economic development and return mankind centuries back."

The Heartland conference has received little coverage in Australia, and the odd New York Times report has dwelled on sneering dismissal from Greenpeace campaigners. But as sober analysis of developments in climate science filters out and economies decline, there are signs public perception is changing. Klaus cited a poll that showed only 11 per cent of Czechs believe humans have a significant influence on warming. A Lowy Institute poll last year found climate change had dropped down the list of policy priorities from equal first place to fifth, with Australians caring more about jobs. An Ipsos MORI poll found most Britons are not convinced climate change is caused by humans. In October, a poll commissioned by US conservation groups found only 18 per cent of respondents strongly believed climate change is "real, human-caused and harmful".

Carter described the most powerful speaker as Arthur Robinson, a professor of chemistry and co-founder of the Oregon Institute of Science and Medicine. In a wake-up call to Christian groups who have rushed to embrace climate alarmism, Robinson pointed out the world's poor will bear the brunt of carbon prohibition policies. He described as "technological genocide" efforts to deny cheap energy, in the form of coal-fired power plants, to the Third World. "Billions of people who live at the lowest level of human existence will suffer greatly from the rationing of energy, and this, in turn, will lead to the death of hundreds of millions." Banning the use of DDT for mosquito eradication was the first "example of genocide by the removal of technology, [resulting] in the deaths of 30 to 40 million people and [leaving] half a billion infected with malaria".

The Massachusetts Institute of Technology climatologist Richard Lindzen told the conference: "Being sceptical about global warming does not by itself make one a good scientist, nor does endorsing global warming make one a poor scientist. One of the most difficult things is to realise . that most of the atmospheric scientists who I respect do endorse global warming. [But] the science they do that I respect is not about global warming. Endorsing global warming just makes their life easier." He also told to the conference, in excerpts posted on YouTube, "Most arguments about global warming boil down to science versus authority. For much of the public, authority will generally win, since they do not wish to deal with science . Those who are committed to warming alarm as either a vehicle for a post-modern coup d'etat or for illicit profits will obviously try to obfuscate matters."

But how can the courageous independent scientists in New York compete for attention with climate hysteria coming from such world leaders as Prince Charles, who in Rio de Janeiro this week claimed: "We have less than 100 months to alter our behaviour before we risk catastrophic climate change." Australia's future head of state is on a 10-day eco-tour to South America, aimed at boosting his popularity. He will travel in a luxury private Airbus, delivering a carbon footprint estimated at more than 300 tonnes. It just shows that what counts with climate hysterics is not the greenness of the planet but the brownie points they gain.



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