Saturday, April 11, 2009

"Climate Change Leads To Major Decrease In Carbon Dioxide Storage"

Decode of the politically correct presentation below follows the article

The North Atlantic Ocean is one of the Earth’s tools to offset natural carbon dioxide emissions. In fact, the ‘carbon sink’ in the North Atlantic is the primary gate for carbon dioxide (CO2) entering the global ocean and stores it for about 1500 years. The oceans have removed nearly 30 per cent of anthropogenic (man-made) emissions over the last 250 years. However, several recent studies show a dramatic decline in the North Atlantic Ocean's carbon sink.

Concerned by this decline, a group of international scientists, including Helmuth Thomas, professor of oceanography at Dalhousie University, spent the last two years investigating the world’s largest carbon sink. They weren’t sure what was causing the decrease, whether it was man-made or natural reasons. “There were massive changes in the coastal carbon cycle, and it was similar throughout the ocean,” says Dr. Thomas, who wrote about the study in Global Biogeochemical Cycles.

Recent observational studies found that the North Atlantic carbon uptake has decreased by 50 per cent over the last ten years. While many are quick to blame anthropogenic climate change, Dr. Thomas and his colleagues found different results.

They believe the decrease is a natural phenomenon as a result of the North Atlantic Oscillation (NAO), which causes weather patterns to change. “The next phase should once again increase in carbon uptake,” says Dr. Thomas. These natural phenomenons have the potential to mask the effects of anthropogenic climate change.

These findings are crucial in understanding how this natural system is reacting to climate change and dealing with increased man-made carbon emissions. Dr. Thomas says more research must be done; including enhanced observational efforts and developing models for analysis to fully understand the long-term effects, such as how the oceanic sink will deal with increased carbon emissions from humans. However, he hopes the study, reported on in the March edition of Nature, will help all climate change scientists with their research.

“This research is the foundation for research in ocean acidification which has implications on marine life and corals,” explains Dr. Thomas. He also cautions against misinterpreting the findings. “There are natural systems that deal with and react to natural climate change. We have to understand these to assess how anthropogenic climate change is affecting them.”


A short analysis of the above article received by email from Richard S. Courtney []

Firstly, the title could be misleading to those who do not read the text. The title says, 'Climate Change Leads to Major Decrease in CO2 Storage'. But the article reports that the climate changes and the decreased CO2 storage are natural, thus not anthropogenic. Specifically, it says:
“There were massive changes in the coastal carbon cycle, and it was similar throughout the ocean,” says Dr. Thomas, who wrote about the study in Global Biogeochemical Cycles.

Recent observational studies found that the North Atlantic carbon uptake has decreased by 50 per cent over the last ten years. While many are quick
to blame anthropogenic climate change, Dr. Thomas and his colleagues found different results.

They believe the decrease is a natural phenomenon as a result of the North Atlantic Oscillation (NAO), which causes weather patterns to change."

The article makes PC 'nods' towards man-made emissions and their effects when it says: "These findings are crucial in understanding how this natural system is reacting to climate change and dealing with increased man-made carbon emissions." And "He also cautions against misinterpreting the findings. “There are natural systems that deal with and react to natural climate change. We have to understand these to assess how anthropogenic climate change is affecting them.”

But these 'nods' are not relevant to the findings. The findings are that a significant part - and possibly all - of the rise in atmospheric carbon dioxide concentration over the last ten years is a result of changed ocean chemistry induced by variation of the NAO.

These findings are consistent with my view - repeatedly stated - that the recent rise in atmospheric carbon dioxide concentration is a result of natural variation to the chemical composition of the ocean surface layer. In my view the carbon cycle is constantly seeking equilibrium, and I strongly assert that the IPCC uses a model of the carbon cycle that is wrong because it assumes the carbon cycle acts like a simple plumbing system that has fixed 'sources', 'sinks' and flows. The findings of Thomas et al. support my view and are yet more strong evidence that the IPCC model is wrong.

Medieval Warm Period rediscovered

I have already commented on this study but the presentation below is much more detailed -- JR

A recent article in the journal Science has provided a new, detailed climate record for the Medieval Climate Anomaly (MCA), also know as the Medieval Warm Period. It was the most recent pre-industrial warm period, noted in Europe and elsewhere around the globe. The researchers present a 947-year-long multi-decadal North Atlantic Oscillation (NAO) reconstruction and find a persistent positive NAO during the MCA. The interesting thing is that the MCA had basically been removed from the climate record by Michael Mann's infamous “hockey stick” history graph that was adopted by the IPCC a decade ago.

More interesting, Trouet et al., based their work in part on a tree-ring–based drought reconstruction for Morocco (1049–2002) and a millennial-length speleothem-based precipitation proxy for Scotland (900–1993), a methodology similar to Mann's work. Unlike Mann, these researchers found significant climate warming during the MCA. According to the report: “The Morocco and Scotland reconstructions contain substantial multi-decadal variability that is characterized by antiphase oscillatory behavior over the last millennium.” Their reconstruction can be seen in the figure from the article seen below.

The figure shows a proxy-derived long-term NAO reconstruction. (Top) Reconstructed winter precipitation for Scotland and February-to-June Palmer Drought Severity Index for Morocco. Records were normalized over the common period (1049–1995) and smoothed with the use of a 30-year cubic spline. The bottom graph shows a winter North Atlantic Oscillation (NAO) reconstruction (black curve). The gray area is the estimated uncertainty. The researchers' conclusions?
The persistent positive phase reconstructed for the MCA appears to be associated with prevailing La Niña–like conditions possibly initiated by enhanced solar irradiance and/or reduced volcanic activity and amplified and prolonged by enhanced AMOC. The relaxation from this particular ocean-atmosphere state into the LIA appears to be globally contemporaneous and suggests a notable and persistent reorganization of large-scale oceanic and atmospheric circulation patterns.

Here AMOC stands for the Atlantic Meridional Overturning Current (i.e. the ocean conveyer belt) and LIA for Little Ice Age, the period of global cooling that followed the Medeival Warm Period and lasted until the mid 1800s. What they are saying is that both the MCA and the LIA were real and had identifiable root causes. This result stands in stark contrast with the hocky stick result where the Medieval Warm Period and Little Ice Age almost disappeared, replaced by a largely benign, slight cooling trend that lasted until ~1900.

This is just the latest in a series of reports that quietly contradict some of the more outlandish untruths spread by the anthropogenic global warming extremists of the IPCC. Another recent Science article, by Brierly et al., addresses the Pliocene warm interval, a period of warm climate conditions that preceded the current Pleistocene Ice Age. Occurring some 4 million years ago, the Pliocene warm interval has been difficult to explain.

The early Pliocene epoch from 5.3 to about 3 million years ago was much warmer than today. The early Pliocene climate was very much like preindustrial conditions during the Holocene (our current interglacial warm period). Similarities include the amount of solar radiation Earth received, the concentration of atmospheric CO2, and a nearly identical geographic environment. But there were also significant differences. For example, there was no permanent ice sheet in the Northern Hemisphere, and global sea level was 80 feet (25 m) higher. Why is our climate today so different? Quoting from the article:
Our reconstruction shows that the meridional temperature gradient between the equator and subtropics was greatly reduced, implying a vast poleward expansion of the ocean tropical warm pool. Corroborating evidence indicates that the Pacific temperature contrast between the equator and 32°N has evolved from ~2°C 4 million years ago to ~8°C today. The meridional warm pool expansion evidently had enormous impacts on the Pliocene climate, including a slowdown of the atmospheric Hadley circulation and El Niño–like conditions in the equatorial region. Ultimately, sustaining a climate state with weak tropical sea surface temperature gradients may require additional mechanisms of ocean heat uptake (such as enhanced ocean vertical mixing).

This says that the difference in ocean temperatures between the equator and higher latitudes is much more pronounced today. The tropics were not warmer but the temperate zones were. Because of this, the researchers found a significant decrease in the heat transport by the atmosphere, along with an implied increase in ocean heat transport. This result contradicts studies using ocean general circulation models (GCM) with low vertical diffusion. Such models, heavily used by climate scientists to try and predict the future course of global warming, suggest that a permanent El Niño should be associated with reduced heat transport by the ocean. When simulating Earth's climate with current GCM, the ocean typically gains a large amount of heat over the tropical Pacific cold tongue.

The region of the tropical Pacific that scientists call the “equatorial cold tongue,” is a band of cool water that extends along the equator from the coast of South America to the central Pacific Ocean. Departures from average of sea surface temperatures in this region are critically important in determining major shifts in the pattern of tropical rainfall, which influence the jet streams and patterns of temperature and precipitation around the world. Attempts to simulate the Pliocene climate with coupled atmosphere-ocean GCM have not succeeded in replicating the collapse of the sea surface temperature (SST) gradient along the equator, possibly because of this issue.

In summary the researchers conclude: “[I]t may be necessary to incorporate additional mechanisms for increased ocean heat uptake when simulating the early Pliocene climate and, potentially, the response of the tropics to contemporary global warming. The enormous impacts of changes in the warm pool (such as shifts in global precipitation patterns and cloud cover), as well as tentative evidence that the tropical belt has been expanding poleward over the past few decades, make our findings especially relevant to current discussions about global warming.”

The bottom line? Once again the climate models used by the IPCC and other climate catastrophists are shown to be inaccurate, incomplete and not up to the job of predicting future climatic conditions. What does the IPCC have to say about all of this? Here is a quote from Paleoclimate, chapter 6 of the 2007 IPCC report:
Palaeoclimate science has made significant advances since the 1970s, when a primary focus was on the origin of the ice ages, the possibility of an imminent future ice age, and the first explorations of the so-called Little Ice Age and Medieval Warm Period. Even in the first IPCC assessment (IPCC, 1990), many climatic variations prior to the instrumental record were not that well known or understood. Fifteen years later, understanding is much improved, more quantitative and better integrated with respect to observations and modelling.

Meaning all of the earlier IPCC predictions were wrong because they really didn't know what they were doing. Of course that didn't prevent them from predicting a coming climate catastrophe with great confidence. The thing that they don't tell us is that their current “improved” predictions, which are also based on computer models, simply can not be considered accurate either. If the Holocene truly marks the end of the Pleistocene Ice Age and a return to the conditions that prevailed during the Pliocene, parking your SUV and buying carbon credits won't do a thing to stop it.

On the bright side, ocean temperatures were much warmer then and distributed differently than today, so climate change still has a way to go before real global warming kicks in. The eventual rise in sea level will play havoc with oceanfront property around the world, but that will happen if the ice age is over regardless of what we mortals do. If the Pleistocene hasn't come to an end the ice will eventually return and all the current “runaway global warming” will only be a fondly remembered historical age—much like the Medieval Warm Period.

As always, enjoy the interglacial and stay skeptical.


Cow farts may REDUCE "greenhouse" gases

By Gerrit J. van der Lingen, geologist/paleoclimatologist, Climate Change Consultant, Geoscience Research and Investigations, New Zealand

I hope that other readers can make sense of Hocking's letter, because, frankly, I can't. My original article argued that cattle and sheep do not contribute to an increase in greenhouse gases but, to the contrary, are carbon sinks. Hocking seems to agree with most of what I am saying. So what is he arguing about?

New Zealand so far is the only country that wants to include agriculture in an emissions trading scheme. This contrasts with the United States, where farmers can claim carbon credits from growing grass (which was one of the elements of the carbon loop in figure 1 in my original article-see above).

From reading Hocking's two letters, he seems to believe in catastrophic man-made global warming. It is difficult to counter beliefs with factual arguments. However, there are a few points in Hocking's letter that warrant some comments.

Hocking uses some of the usual hoary old chestnuts trotted out by global warming alarmists against so-called climate sceptics. One is to cast aspersions on the credibility and qualifications of anyone who dares to doubt the apocalyptic climate dogma. Hocking queries whether I am a climate scientist. He even asks me to list my publication record. Apart from finding this rather insulting, it has nothing whatsoever to do with the subject of my original article. But I don't want to be a spoilsport.

I am willing to provide a list of my publications. I am even willing to provide a list of the many formal paleoclimate papers I have presented at national and international conferences. I am also willing to provide a list of climate-related papers published by members of my small paleoclimate research group (GRAINZ - Geoscience Research and Investigations New Zealand), which I have led for 11 years. To top it up, I also can provide a video I edited of a four-week expedition to the Tasman Sea and Southern Ocean on the German research ship SONNE in 1998, in which I and Dr Kerry Swanson, another GRAINZ scientist, were invited to take part. Two ocean sediment cores for paleoclimate research were collected for my research group in the Tasman Sea.

` I will do all that on one condition. As Hocking brought this up, he should first provide his own list of climate publications, plus similar lists for former US Vice-President Al Gore and for the Chairman of the UN International Panel on Climate Change (IPCC), Dr Rajendra Pachauri (a railway engineer).

The other chestnut is the claim that (catastrophic) man-made climate change is overwhelmingly accepted by the scientific community. Nothing could be further from the truth. Recently, 31,478 American scientists, 9,029 PhDs among them, signed a petition to the US Congress. It stated, among others, that "there is no convincing evidence that human release of carbon dioxide, methane, or other greenhouse gases is causing, or will, in the foreseeable future, cause catastrophic heating of the Earth's atmosphere and disruption of the Earth's climate" (

Marc Morano of the US Congress has put together a list of more than 700 well-qualified scientists from all over the world who disagree with the IPCC hypothesis. They are all listed by name and qualifications. Earlier this month (March) the second International Conference on Climate Change was held in New York. Seven hundred scientists, economists and politicians attended, among them Vaclav Klaus, the President of the Czech Republic, present President of the EU, and author of the excellent book "Blue Planet in Green Shackles".

It was a conference of people critical of the alarmist man-made global warming hype. Several top climate scientists explained the lack of scientific evidence for catastrophic man-made global warming and explained that natural causes have always changed the climate and always will. Not surprisingly, the media totally ignored this conference.

Hocking asks on what I base my statement that the earth may continue to cool. That is based on two observations (not computer models). Point one: during the present transition from Solar Cycle 23 to 24 the sun has been unusually quiet. Most days there are few or no sunspots. We know from history that during the coldest periods of the Little Ice Age there were few or no sunspots. Based on analyses of past sunspot cycles some astrophysicists are predicting that we may be entering a cooling period that could last up to 30 years (see peer-reviewed paper by Clilverd et al, 2006: Predicting Solar Cycle 24 and beyond. Space Weather, vol. 4).

Point two: The oceanic Pacific Decadal Oscillation (PDO) has alternating warm and cool periods, lasting on average 20 to 30 years. After a 25-year warm period it has now entered a cooling period.

Finally, if I understand Hocking's letters correctly, he is in favour of carbon-taxing sheep and cattle farmers. Nice one.


Anti-Global-Warming Activist Marc Morano Gets Cold Shoulder in NYT

In the usual Leftist way, the NYT tries to discredit anti-global-warming activist Marc Morano, not by addressing any of his arguments but by abuse -- by linking him to some of their favorite villains: Exxon, the Swift Boat Veterans, and Richard Mellon Scaife

On Friday, reporter Leslie Kaufman profiled anti-climate-change activist Marc Morano in "Dissenter on Warming Expands His Campaign -- A Thorn in Climate Changers' Side." In contrast to Times profiles of liberal activists who want enormous political and lifestyle changes to combat global warming, Kaufman had nothing flattering to say about Morano. Mocking his personal appearance; Kaufman wrote that Morano "fills out his suit like a bulldog in a restraining jacket." She also hinted Morano is less than truthful about some of his confrontations, something the Times would never challenge a liberal on.
Marc Morano does not think global warming is anything to worry about, and he brags about his confrontations with those who do.

For example, Mr. Morano said he once spotted former Vice President Al Gore on an airplane returning from a climate conference in Bali. Mr. Gore was posing for photos with well-wishers, and Mr. Morano said he had asked if he, too, could have his picture taken with Mr. Gore.

He refused, Mr. Morano said.

“You attack me all the time,” Mr. Gore said, according to Mr. Morano.

“Yes, we do,” Mr. Morano said he had replied.

Mr. Gore’s office said Mr. Gore had no memory of the encounter. Mr. Morano does not care. He tells the story anyway.

Kaufman explained that Morano, once a spokesman for Sen. James Inhofe known for his e-mails to journalists debunking climate change, has started his own Web site,
In his work with Mr. Inhofe, Mr. Morano, whose thick build fills out his suit like a bulldog in a restraining jacket, did not hesitate to go after journalists he saw as biased. He promoted any study or statement that could be construed as cutting against the prevailing view that heat-trapping gases like carbon dioxide contribute to global warming. Peter Dykstra, a former executive producer for CNN’s science, environment and technology unit, recently called him the “drum major of the denial parade.”

Mr. Morano may be best known for compiling a report listing hundreds of scientists whose work he says undermines the consensus on global warming.

But environmental advocates and bloggers say that many of those listed as scientists have no scientific credentials and that their work persuaded no one not already ideologically committed.

Kaufman uncovered Morano connections to two of the Times' favorite scary monsters: conservative cause financier Richard Mellon Scaife and energy titan Exxon.
Mr. Morano’s new Web site is being financed by the Committee for a Constructive Tomorrow, a nonprofit in Washington that advocates for free-market solutions to environmental issues....Public tax filings for 2003-7 -- the last five years for which documents are available -- show that the Committee for a Constructive Tomorrow received hundreds of thousands of dollars from the ExxonMobil Foundation and from foundations associated with the billionaire Richard Mellon Scaife, a longtime financer of conservative causes best known for its efforts to have President Bill Clinton impeached.

Kaufman then tried to discredit Morano by linking him to another Times villain, the Swift Boat Veterans for Truth, who questioned John Kerry's record in Vietnam during the 2004 presidential campaign.
He then jumped to Cyber News Service, where he was the first to publish accusations from Vietnam Swift-boat veterans that Senator John Kerry of Massachusetts, then the Democratic presidential nominee, had glorified his war record. Many of the accusations later proved unfounded.

Actually, despite what Times reporters like Kate Zernike desperately want people to believe, none of the accusations made by the Swift Boat Veterans for Truth were ever "proved unfounded." In fact, the Times and other media organizations never bothered to investigate the charges, simply assuming the Swifties were liars and Kerry was telling the truth, despite convincing evidence to the contrary -- for instance, Kerry wasn't in Cambodia on Christmas Eve 1968, as he had long claimed.

Kaufman attempted some shrug-worthy debunking of a couple of the names on the list. For instance, she argued that a weather director in Kentucky is listed as a meteorologist on the report, even though he has no degree in meteorology. As Noel Sheppard writes at NewsBusters even negative articles like this one are unacceptable for some purveyors of climate panic.


Hot Air on Wind Energy

Don't expect wind power to replace coal as the nation's main source of electric power, whatever Obama's interior secretary said.

Interior Secretary Salazar said that the amount of "developable" wind power off the East Coast could produce more energy than all the coal-fired electric plants in the U.S., and that wind's potential to replace most of our coal power "is a very real possibility." We find his claims to be wildly optimistic, to say the least.

It's true that government studies show there's enough offshore wind to generate far more than coal plans currently do – in theory. But converting that wind to enough electricity to replace what's now produced by coal won't happen anytime in the foreseeable future. The Interior Department itself made clear its offshore wind estimate was a gross figure of potential resources only, saying in a report that there are several obstacles to achieving that.

We calculate that converting wind to enough electricity to replace all U.S. coal-fired plants would require building 3,540 offshore wind farms as big as the world's largest, which is off the coast of Denmark. So far the U.S. has built exactly zero offshore wind farms.

Another government study last year concluded that to supply just 20 percent of U.S. electricity with wind turbines would require land-based equipment taking up an area "slightly less than the area of Rhode Island," plus scores of offshore wind farms.

A Salazar spokesman says the secretary did not mean to say that replacing coal power with offshore wind power was a realistic goal, but was only trying to draw attention to its potential.


A Dangerous New Global Warming Law

By Alan Caruba

Let us begin by understanding that the entire basis for declaring the second most vital gas on Earth, carbon dioxide, a “pollutant” that requires regulation and is the object of a proposed elaborate “cap-and-trade” scheme is the generation of enormous amounts of money for the government while allowing it to exercise complete control over the use of any energy for any purpose.

Carbon dioxide is said to be the chief cause of “global warming”, but there is NO global warming. The Earth continues to COOL—ten years since the completely natural cycle began in 1998.

Nor is the Earth running out of energy sources such as oil, natural gas or coal. Here in the United States, however, Americans have long since run out of access to the extraction of the vast amounts that reside under the states and the offshore continental shelf.

Since around the 1970s, America has been systematically starved for access to its own energy reserves and forced to rely on imports, most notably of oil. Politicians and Greens who keep calling for “energy independence” are lying through their teeth. No nation on Earth is energy independent,

When you control energy, you control people’s lives and the entire economy. Simple example; a blizzard causes power lines to fail. All of a sudden people served by those lines are at risk of freezing to death. Another example, power fails during a heat wave. The elderly and ill are at risk of death for lack of air conditioning or even an electric fan. In 1995, a heat wave in Chicago killed over 600 people.

So, when House Energy and Commerce Committee Chairman, Henry A. Waxman, a California Democrat, and Rep. Edward J. Markey, a Massachusetts Democrat, conjure up an energy/climate bill designed to curb carbon dioxide emissions alleged to be causing “global warming”, they are perpetrating a massive fraud on Americans.

When that bill includes a provision that would permit anyone, absolutely anyone, to sue the government as victims of global warming and in anticipation of suffering as the result of global warming, Waxman-Markey have opened the door wide to a deluge of lawsuits that have no merit whatever in scientific fact or truth.

As reported in The Washington Times, “The measure sets grounds for anyone ‘who has suffered, or reasonably expects to suffer, a harm attributable in whole or in part’ to government inaction to file a ‘citizen suit.’ The term ‘harm’ is broadly defined as ‘any effect of air pollution (including climate change) occurring or at risk of occurring.’”

In practical terms, this means everyone with shorefront property can sue the government for a predicted loss due to rising sea levels. The fact that they have been rising naturally at a rate of a few insignificant millimeters a year for centuries will surely be ignored.

The law as currently written—but subject to change as it goes through the standard legislative practice when the two houses of Congress seek to achieve agreement—would allow citizens to seek up to $75,000 in damages from the government each year, but would cap the total amount paid out each year at $1.5 million.

It is a little known fact that many environmental organizations reap vast amounts of money suing the government over the enforcement of various laws affecting clean air, clean water, and endangered species.

The Western Environmental Law Center is just one example. It just sent “an urgent letter to Lisa Jackson, the Environmental Protection Agency administrator, asking her to “speed issuance of regulations aimed at restricting greenhouse pollution to include black carbon, or soot, among climate forcing agents to be regulated.” Soot!

The Greens are now prattling about “unmanageable and calamitous disruption of the climate system.”

Can anyone cite a single example of how human activity could possibly cause or prevent “unmanageable and calamitous disruption of the climate system”?

As this is written, Mount Redoubt in Alaska is threatening a huge volcanic explosion and there is nothing the good citizens of Alaska can do about it. In Italy, whole villages were wiped out by a recent earthquake and there was nothing they could do about it. A tsunami hit Indonesia some years ago, killing thousands, and there was nothing anyone could do about it.

At the White House, the new science advisor to the President is proposing an utterly crazed scheme to shoot “pollution” into the Earth’s atmosphere to reflect back the Sun’s rays to stave off global warming. The Sun, meanwhile, has gone scarily “quiet” for several years with virtually no magnetic storms (sunspots), thus reducing its production of solar energy to warm the Earth.

Yet there is a new law making its way through Congress that posits that the federal government can do something about a “global warming” that is not occurring and permits any one of the 310 million Americans to sue the government for failing to take action.

The end result of the Waxman-Markey law would be to vastly enrich the many environmental organizations that would be filing hundreds of thousands of suits and ultimately collecting millions, if not billions, of dollars on the basis of something that is not occurring and the alleged inaction of the government to stop it!

Only the collected stupidity and indifference of the American people will permit this new law to reach the desk of the President who will surely sign it. It is a death warrant for our lives, our economy, and our nation.



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.


No comments: