Saturday, June 20, 2009

Atmospheric Scientist: Obama's climate report 'would make Pravda editors blush with envy on how they can misconstrue and mis-report truths for a propaganda angle'

The following is a guest post by Atmospheric scientist Dr. Chris Walcek, a professor at the University at Albany in NY and a Senior Research Associate at the Atmospheric Sciences Research Center who studies the relationship of pollutants within the atmosphere

In the climate report's EXECUTIVE SUMMARY there is statement that WINTER temperatures across the northern great plains have increased MORE THAN 7 degrees over the past 30 years. Whenever I see ABSURD claims like these, I delve into archived temperatures (Global Historical Climate Network) archived at our National Climate Data Center and wade through the analysis to see the "truth". Attached are two figures showing actual thermometer measurements (I doubt that actual thermometer measurements are shown ANYWHERE in this report...) This was the first site I looked at.... but I am confident that the conclusions are robust and more general.

Why only look at winter temperatures (3 months of the year), and IGNORE the other 75% of the measurements? because summer temperatures and annual temperatures show COOLING!!

Why only look at the past 30 years, and IGNORE the entire 100 years, thus "throwing out" over 70% the data? because over the entire record the trends are negligible and show little warming.

Where the HECK did they get 7 degree F warming??? Sioux City Iowa shows winter temperatures only increasing about 3 F warming in recent decades. They probably compared one recent year with a single year 50 years ago, neglecting to tell us that winter temperatures in the northern great plains naturally vary from year-to-year by 15-18 degrees F ALL THE TIME!! next winter could be 10-20 degrees warmer or cooler than this winter in any location in the upper great plains, and even a 7F warming is well within the natural "noise". (but that 7 F number is apparently pure fiction!!))


Scientist Rejects Romm's Claims about solar activity

UN IPCC Scientist and UK based atmospheric science consultant, Richard Courtney, says why Joe Romm's article rejecting the possibility of global cooling is 'nonsense.'

Firstly, it is plain wrong when it asserts: "The deniers have been rooting for a Maunder Minimum to stifle global warming."

I know of nobody who has been "rooting" for cooling, but I know of several so-called "deniers" who assert that slight warming (as could be expected if the AGW-hypothesis is right) would provide net benefits.

Secondly, article shows a degree of confidence that cannot be justified when it says; "The sunspot cycle is about to come out of its depression, if a newly discovered mechanism for predicting solar cycles — a migrating jet stream deep inside the sun — proves accurate."

NASA's predictions of the next solar cycle have all been wrong: e.g. see their predictions of only three years ago here.

Any prediction of the future has to be based on a model of some kind, and no model's predictions should be trusted unless the model has demonstrated forecasting skill. Any forecast can turn out to be correct as a chance result, and forecasting skill is demonstrated by provision of a series of forecasts that concur with subsequent events by more than could be expected by chance. (The UK Met. Office has done much work to develop methods for assessing the forecasting skill of its weather forecasts).

The predictions in the above URL were only three years ago and the NASA team has not made any demonstrably better forecasts since. Simply, their recent track record demonstrates that their forecasting methods have the same reliability as the casting of chicken bones to predict the future. Indeed, if they are now using "a newly discovered mechanism for predicting solar cycles" then that method is totally untried, untested and has no demonstrated worth of any kind. Of course, any guess could be right, so NASA may be right this time (but I would not bet on it) and if this prediction were right then on its own that would prove nothing.

Thirdly, the article is in denial of observed natural climate variability when it says: "But human-caused global warming is so strong that not bloody much stifling has been going on given that “this will be the hottest decade in recorded history by far,“ nearly 0.2°C warmer than the 1990s."

Anybody who looks at the records of global temperature can see a series of cycles that are overlayed on each other. For example:

1. There seems to be an apparent ~900 year oscillation that caused the Roman Warm Period (RWP), then the Dark Age Cool Period (DACP), then the Medieval Warm Period (MWP), then the Little Ice Age (LIA), and the present warm period (PWP).


2. There seems to be an apparent ~60 year oscillation that caused cooling to ~1910, then warming to ~1940, then cooling to ~1970, then warming to ~2000, then cooling since. So, has the warming from the LIA stopped or not? That cannot be known because the pattern of past global temperature fluctuations suggest that the existing cooling phase of the ~60 year cycle is opposing any such warming. And that cooling phase can be anticipated to end around 2030 when it can be anticipated that then either

(a) warming from the LIA will continue until we reach temperatures similar to those of the MWP


(b) cooling will set in until we reach temperatures similar to those of the LIA.

But this begs the question as to why such global temperature fluctuations occur. The article asserts certainty of what will happen based on a belief in AGW. But - as I have said before - I address the question as follows.

The basic assumption used in the climate models is that change to climate is driven by change to radiative forcing. And it is very important to recognise that this assumption has not been demonstrated to be correct. Indeed, it is quite possible that there is no force or process causing climate to vary. I explain this as follows.

The climate system is seeking an equilibrium that it never achieves. The Earth obtains radiant energy from the Sun and radiates that energy back to space. The energy input to the system (from the Sun) may be constant (although some doubt that), but the rotation of the Earth and its orbit around the Sun ensure that the energy input/output is never in perfect equilibrium.

The climate system is an intermediary in the process of returning (most of) the energy to space (some energy is radiated from the Earth's surface back to space). And the Northern and Southern hemispheres have different coverage by oceans. Therefore, as the year progresses the modulation of the energy input/output of the system varies. Hence, the system is always seeking equilibrium but never achieves it.

Such a varying system could be expected to exhibit oscillatory behavior. And, importantly, the length of the oscillations could be harmonic effects which, therefore, have periodicity of several years. Of course, such harmonic oscillation would be a process that - at least in principle - is capable of evaluation.

However, there may be no process because the climate is a chaotic system. Therefore, observed oscillations such as ENSO, NAO, PDO and etc. could be observation of the system seeking its chaotic attractor(s) in response to its seeking equilibrium in a changing situation.

Very, importantly, there is an apparent ~900 year oscillation that caused the Roman Warm Period (RWP), then the Dark Age Cool Period (DACP), then the Medieval Warm Period (MWP), then the Little Ice Age (LIA), and the present warm period (PWP).

As I suggest above, all the observed rise of global temperature in the twentieth century could be recovery from the LIA that is similar to the recovery from the DACP to the MWP. And the ~900 year oscillation could be the chaotic climate system seeking its attractor(s). If so, then all global climate models and 'attribution studies' utilized by IPCC and CCSP are based on the false premise that there is a force or process causing climate to change when no such force or process exists.

But the assumption that climate change is driven by radiative forcing may be correct. If so, then it should be noted that it is still extremely improbable that – within the foreseeable future – the climate models could be developed to a state whereby they could provide reliable predictions. This is because the climate system is extremely complex. Indeed, the climate system is more complex than the human brain (the climate system has more interacting components – e.g. biological organisms – than the human brain has interacting components – e.g. neurones), and nobody claims to be able to construct a reliable predictive model of the human brain. It is pure hubris to assume that the climate models are sufficient emulations for them to be used as reliable predictors of future climate when they have no demonstrated forecasting skill.

Simply, the past history demonstrates that it cannot be known whether or not global temperature will resume its rise from the LIA which began long before significant anthropogenic emissions. Many hypotheses and theories can be used to provide any prediction of future global temperature anyone wants to make, but there is no reason to accept any such prediction as being more likely to be correct than any other. So, my bottom line on the article is that if it were in print then it would make a good substitute for toilet paper, but as it is only on the web it does not have even that much use.


Climate thuggery: Markey tries fed agency to intimidate cap-and-trade opponent

Rep. Ed Markey (D-MA) tried to use the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (FERC) to intimidate a utility executive who testified against the Waxman-Markey climate bill. Immediately after MidAmerican Energy Holdings Company Chairman David Sokol testified against cap-and-trade on June 9, Rep. Markey sent a letter to FERC chairman Jon Wellinghoff asking for an investigation of MidAmerican.

Although Rep. Markey quickly sent up a follow-up letter asking FERC not to focus on solely MidAmerican but on all investor-owned utilities, Republicans on the House Energy and Commerce Committee rebuked Markey on June 12:
… Our witnesses… have every right to expect that in exchange for their honesty with us, they will not be subjected to sanction, retribution and vengeance simply because the facts and opinions they offer do not square with those of the Committee’s members. Exercising the power of the Majority requires a special responsibility to protect witnesses.

… As the hearing was still under way, however, Mr. Sokol and his company became the focus of apparent intimidation when Chairman Markey by letter dated the day of the hearing, asked the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (FERC) to answer specific questions about investment and transmission-related activities of MidAmerican Energy and its parent, investor Warren Buffett…

… An after-the-fact rationalization, however, does not change the appearance that Chairman Markey’s June 9 letter to FERC was intended to badger and harass a witness whose offense was merely daring to disagree with Mr. Markey on a matter of professional experience and knowledge.

Mr. Sokol, who voluntarily testified at Congress’s request on Tuesday, could assume from his trip to Washington that if you are a good citizen and you agree to testify truthfully before the Congress, you better make sure that your views do not conflict with those of the ruling Majority. Otherwise, you will risk having the Majority abuse its powers by sending a government regulator to harass you and your company.

We have grave concerns about Chairman Markey’s actions and their implications for the future. Not only might they damage the reputation of this Committee as being a place where truth is welcomed and honest debate is cherished; it could well make all witnesses think twice before accepting an invitation to appear before us to tell us something other than exactly what the Majority wants to hear. Honest, fair public policy can only be made if a full range of opinions are presented to Congress, not just what the Majority wants to hear.

Sadly, this is not the first time the nation has seen this sort of troubling behavior from its officials. As you know, within the memories of many of us, agents of the Internal Revenue Service and other agencies were systematically dispatched to cow dissidents and smother protest against government policy. Just this week the Chairman of the Senate Finance Committee instructed Democrat health care lobbyists not to meet with Republicans. If a pattern of intimidation and bullying is being created by the Majority party, it is a sad thing. As members of the Minority party, we will do everything possible to stop this emerging pattern.

We implore you to take whatever actions are necessary to make certain that this sorry episode is vacated and never replicated. Rather than trying to explain his way around his specific questions that FERC has not answered yet, Chairman Markey should explicitly rescind his request to have FERC pry into the activities of Mr. Sokol, Mr. Buffett, and MidAmerican. No company in America or its employees should be harassed. We are confident that you agree with us on the basic protection all witnesses before our committee have a right to expect…

Will the real Luca Brazzi [Mafia enforcer] please raise his hand?

SOURCE (See the original for links, graphics etc.)

Climate of hatred: Prominent scientist refused service due to skepticism

Prominent MIT physicist and global warming skeptic, Richard Lindzen, was recently refused the services of a Boston-area art appraiser because of global warming. As Lindzen described in an e-mail:

In our recent house fire, an 18th century oriental rug was burnt, and we needed an appraisal of its value for our insurance. We were referred to a dealer, [name withheld], who agreed to do the appraisal. However, when my wife, Nadine, brought him the burnt rug, he rudely turned her away saying that he had sent me an email explaining his position…

Here’s the text of the art appraiser’s e-mail to Lindzen:

I am sorry to inform you that after some consideration, I’ve decided not to perform the appraisal service that you’ve requested. Your writing on the subject of global warming is offensive to me personally, and I feel that I would have difficulty being an impartial appraiser of value given my view on the subject.

If you’re not familiar with Lindzen, here’s a clip from his bio:

Prof. Lindzen is a recipient of the American Meteorological Service’s Meisinger, and Charney Awards, the American Geophysical Union’s Macelwane Medal, and the Leo Huss Walin Prize. He is a member of the National Academy of Sciences, and the Norwegian Academy of Sciences and Letters, and a fellow of the American Academy of Arts and Sciences, the American Association for the Advancement of Sciences, the American Geophysical Union and the American Meteorological Society. He is a corresponding member of the NAS Committee on Human Rights, and has been a member of the NRC Board on Atmospheric Sciences and Climate and the Council of the AMS.

So maybe the art appraiser should stick to appraising art?


Coldest Weather in 100 Years to Strike by 2012

Today, for the first time in over two years, the Director of the Space and Science Research Center (SSRC) in Orlando, Florida, has issued a new prediction of the next climate change intended to emphasize the imminent ill-effects of this new climate period in an important warning to the American people and their leadership in Washington.

According to Center Director John Casey, “The climate change predictions which I started to pass out to our government and media in early 2007 based upon the ‘RC Theory’ have now come to pass, exactly as forecast. Global warming has ended, conclusively, as predicted. The Earth’s average temperature has begun its steep decline within the time frame I said it would. And last but not least, the Sun has entered a state of ‘hibernation’ when I said it would.

This new solar period is one of the most amazing events in the history of science. During solar hibernations, the Sun makes significant reductions in output which always, always, brings long cold climates to the Earth. Unbelievably, this historic phenomena is still largely and intentionally unreported by the media and our leaders and therefore unknown by the American people. The new cold climate will usher in global travail that will be amplified specifically because of the catastrophic climate change policies of the administration of President Barack Obama that will leave most citizens unprepared.”

As to when the ill-effects of the new cold climate will be felt, Director Casey added, “The most frequent question I am asked is how soon will it get cold and just how cold? The purpose of this press release is to give the people an answer to that fundamental question in a more refined schedule to plan their adaptation to the next climate change.

It is now possible to make an estimate of the timing of the descent into the next cold climate depths based upon the past behavior of the these solar cycles that have ruled the Earth for at least the last 1,200 years. The forecast of these major cold eras and solar hibernations associated with these cycles shows them to be accurate to over 90% using the RC Theory. The good news is that the SSRC will do what ever it can to get this information out even though our own government will not.”


Australia: Wong is wrong

Actually, she is just a loyal apparatchik doing the bidding of her political master, Prime Minister Rudd. She is completely out of her depth in anything other than Leftist politics

By Bob Carter, David Evans, Stewart Franks and Bill Kininmonth

Steve Fielding recently attended a climate change conference in Washington, DC. Listening to the papers presented, the Family First senator became puzzled that the scientific analyses they provided directly contradicted the reasons the Australian government had been giving as the justification for its emissions trading legislation. Fielding heard leading atmospheric physicist Dick Lindzen, of the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, describe evidence that the warming effect of carbon dioxide was much overestimated by computer climate models and remark: "What we see, then, is that the very foundation of the issue of global warming is wrong. "In a normal field, these results would pretty much wrap things up, but global warming-climate change has developed so much momentum that it has a life of its own quite removed from science."

Another scientist, astrophysicist Willie Soon, from the Harvard-Smithsonian Centre for Astrophysics, commented: "A magical CO2 knob for controlling weather and climate simply does not exist." Think about that for a moment with respect to our government's climate policy.

On his return to Canberra Fielding asked Climate Change Minister Penny Wong to answer three simple questions about the relationship between human carbon dioxide emissions and alleged dangerous global warming. Fielding was seeking evidence, as opposed to unvalidated computer model projections, that human carbon dioxide emissions are driving dangerous global warming, to help him, and the public, assess whether cutting emissions would be a cost-effective environmental measure.

After all, the cost to Australian taxpayers of the planned emissions trading bill is about $4000 a family a year for a carbon dioxide tax of $30 a tonne. The estimated benefit of such a large tax increase is that it may perhaps prevent an unmeasurable one-ten-thousandth of a degree of global warming from occurring. Next year? No, by 2100. The questions posed were:

* Is it the case that CO2 increased by 5 percent since 1998 while global temperature cooled during the same period? If so, why did the temperature not increase, and how can human emissions be to blame for dangerous levels of warming?

* Is it the case that the rate and magnitude of warming between 1979 and 1998 (the late 20th-century phase of global warming) were not unusual as compared with warmings that have occurred earlier in the Earth's history? If the warming was not unusual, why is it perceived to have been caused by human CO2 emissions and, in any event, why is warming a problem if the Earth has experienced similar warmings in the past?

* Is it the case that all computer models projected a steady increase in temperature for the period 1990 to 2008, whereas in fact there were only eight years of warming followed by 10 years of stasis and cooling? If so, why is it assumed that long-term climate projections by the same models are suitable as a basis for public policy-making?

As independent scientists attending the meeting, we found the minister's advisers unable, indeed in some part unwilling, to answer the questions. We were told that the first question needed rephrasing because it did not take account of the global thermal balance and the fact much of the heat that drives the climate system is lodged in the ocean.

Que? What is it about "carbon dioxide has increased and temperature has decreased" that the minister's science advisers don't understand?

The second question was dismissed with the comment that climatic events that occurred in the distant geological past were not relevant to policy concerned with contemporary climate change. Try telling that to geologist Ian Plimer. And regarding the accuracy of the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change's computer models, we were assured that better models were in the pipeline. So the minister's advisers apparently concede that the models that have guided preparation of the emissions trading scheme legislation are inadequate.

These are not adequate responses.

It was reported in the Business Age last July that the ministry of climate change's green paper on climate change, which was issued as a prelude to carbon dioxide taxation legislation, contained scientific errors and over-simplifications. Almost 12 months on, our experience confirms that the scientific advice Wong is receiving is inadequate to justify the exorbitantly costly upheaval of our society's energy usage that will be driven by the government's ETS legislation.

All Australians owe Fielding a vote of thanks for having had the political courage to ask in parliament where the climate empress's clothes have gone. Together with the senator, and the public, we await with interest any further answers to his questions that Wong's advisers may yet provide.

Geologist Bob Carter, carbon modeller David Evans, hydrologist-climatologist Stewart Franks and meteorologist-climatologist Bill Kininmonth attended the meeting between Steve Fielding, Penny Wong, Chief Scientist Penny Sackett and ANU Climate Change Institute executive director Will Steffen. Sackett has so far declined to answer Fielding's questions on this page.



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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