Friday, June 05, 2009


An email from Petr Chylek [] advises that the paper abstracted below has just been accepted for publication in Geophysical Research Letters (2009GL038777R). PDF copy available from Chylek. The paper shows that Arctic temperatures tell us little of general interest as they do not vary in accordance with temperatures elsewhere but do vary in accordance with changes in ocean currents

Arctic air temperature change amplification and the Atlantic Multidecadal Oscillation

By Petr Chylek, C.K. Folland, G. Lesins, M. Dubey and M. Wang


Understanding Arctic temperature variability is essential for assessing possible future melting of the Greenland ice sheet, Arctic sea ice and Arctic permafrost. Temperature trend reversals in 1940 and 1970 separate two Arctic warming periods (1910-1940 and 1970-2008) by a significant 1940-1970 cooling period. Analyzing temperature records of the Arctic meteorological stations we find that (a) the Arctic amplification (ratio of the Arctic to global temperature trends) is not a constant but varies in time on a multi- decadal time scale, (b) the Arctic warming from 1910-1940 proceeded at a significantly faster rate than the current 1970-2008 warming, and (c) the Arctic temperature changes are highly correlated with the Atlantic Multi-decadal Oscillation (AMO) suggesting the Atlantic Ocean thermohaline circulation is linked to the Arctic temperature variability on a multi-decadal time scale.


The United States is not likely to enter into a new international treaty to reduce the emissions blamed for global warming without China and other major greenhouse-gas emitters on board, the Obama administration's chief climate negotiator said Wednesday. U.S. climate envoy Todd Stern told reporters in a conference call that China and other major developing countries are critical to making any international agreement work, and there is not going to be a new treaty to curb greenhouse gases without them. The stance is similar to one taken by the Bush administration which pulled out of the current climate treaty, the Kyoto Protocol, citing the lack of participation of developing countries.

"I would not say that the United States is going to race forward with major players like China on the sidelines," said Stern, the U.S. special envoy for climate change at the State Department. Other countries "don't want to come in without the United States, and the United States does not want to come in without them, or China, or the other main players."

Stern, along with White House science adviser John Holdren and assistant energy secretary David Sandalow, heads to China next week in an effort to boost cooperation between the two countries on clean energy technologies and find some common ground on a new international accord. The Kyoto Protocol expires in 2012, and countries are scheduled to meet in Copenhagen, Denmark in December to broker a replacement. The U.S. during the Bush administration pulled out of the Kyoto treaty, citing a lack of participation by developing countries and potential harm to the U.S. economy.

The Obama administration is willing to sign onto an agreement, and is already taking steps to reduce global warming pollution. But it too says the participation of developing countries is essential.

China and the United States are the world's largest emitters of climate-altering pollution, accounting for 40 percent of worldwide emissions of carbon dioxide, the chief greenhouse gas. The culprit is the same in both places — a dependence on fossil fuels such as coal for electricity and an insatiable appetite for oil.

The trip marks the second high-profile visit to China by U.S. officials in recent weeks to talk climate change. Last week, House Speaker Nancy Pelosi, D-Calif., and other House Democrats traveled to China with a similar message: that the U.S. and China must work together to curb global warming. The House is currently working on legislation that would limit greenhouse gases for the first time, reducing emissions by roughly 80 percent by mid-century. Stern on Wednesday said that the U.S. must act to reduce emissions at home.


Scientist who boasted he could 'slaughter' skeptics in debate backs off

Warming Promoter Backs Off After Numerous Scientists Accept Debate Challenge

Professor Stephen Schneider of Stanford University, a prominent proponent of man-made global warming fears, appears to be backing off of his boast that he could "slaughter" skeptical scientists in a global warming debate. In a May 24, 2009 interview, Schneider publicly boasted any skeptical scientist would be "slaughtered in public debate" against him. But after many dissenting scientists happily took up the debate challenge, it now appears Schneider is shying away from any such debate.

"I certainly will not schedule some political show debate in front of a non-scientific audience," Schneider told the San Francisco Examiner in a follow up June 1, 2009 article. "A presidential like debate format with shallow staccato jibes and no nuanced arguments, no--confusion only in that style. I never do those anymore," Schneider explained.

Former Colorado State Climatologist Dr. Roger Pielke Sr. publicly accepted Schneider's global warming debate challenge just days after it was issued. "I would be glad to debate Dr. Schneider...he represents a narrow perspective on climate science," Pielke Sr. said on May 24, 2009.

"If [Climatologist] Roger [Pielke Sr.] wants a debate, he can set one up at the American Meteorological Society meeting or the American Geophysical Union meeting and if dates work I'll be happy to go and will encourage others like Ben Santer or Kevin Trenberth to join in. That I would do," Schneider now asserts.

Schneider explained: "Some of the skeptics are going ballistic over my admittedly too provocative word 'slaughter'--though given the framing I said I believe it would happen. But they misquote me in saying I challenged them to a debate. I challenged them to go to a legitimate scientific meeting with a knowledgeable audience and challenge from the floor with a room full of experts. I think they would be pretty unhappy with the outcome."

Update: Meteorologist Joe D'Aleo weighs in on Schneider's "terms" for a global warming debate: "In other words, like the sports teams that prefer to play in the friendly confines of their home park than at a hostile away team's stadium, Schneider insists on having the debate at one of the conferences attended by grant toting scientists and thus have a crowd of fellow alarmists to cheer him on.


Climatologist Rejects Global Warming as Cause of Plane Crash

Some nut has been claiming that the French airliner which crashed into the Atlantic crashed because global warming causes more storms and storms downed the plane. Since there has been no global warming since 1998, on that logic, global warming did NOT affect the plane

Dr. Michaels comments about the claim from a Russian scientist that man-made global warming may have caused the crash of Air France plane: ( See: 'Did global warming help bring down Air France flight 447?' -- 'Russian climatologist believes global warming played a significant part.' )

Dr. Michaels: "Perhaps someone should remind our Russian friend that computer models indicate that the upper tropoposphere should warm more than the surface there (the so-called upper tropopospheric hot spot). The last I heard that reduces the surface-upper air temperature gradient, which INCREASES stability, REDUCING convection.

The paper Douglass et al. couldn't find the UTHS and so concluded the models were systematically flawed. Santer et al. tortured the data and claimed that Douglass couldn't find it because his statistics were too straightforward. Santer's study, amazingly, published in 2008, only used data through 1999, although it was readily available through 2007. Wonder why?


U.S. House puts climate bill on quick pace for passage

Democratic leaders in the House of Representatives have put major environmental legislation on a fast-track, boosting chances a climate change bill will pass this month or next, leading lawmakers said on Wednesday. On May 21, the House Energy and Commerce Committee approved a bill requiring reductions of industrial emissions of carbon dioxide and other greenhouse gases of 17 percent by 2020 and 83 percent by 2050, from 2005 levels.

The climate change bill, along with healthcare reform, are top priorities of President Barack Obama, and House Democrats hope to approve both initiatives before an August recess.

The legislation would mark a major change in U.S. policy from the previous administration of President George W. Bush and a victory for activists seeking to put the brakes on what they fear is accelerating global warming that could induce more severe flooding and droughts and the melting of polar ice. But it is a delicate balancing act for Obama, who must weigh the environmental benefits against the expected costs new legislation would bring to both consumers and businesses in an economy still trying to fight its way out of recession.

Pushing ahead after the Energy and Commerce committee's action, House leaders are placing strict deadlines for other panels to review the controversial legislation in the hope of passing it quickly in the full House. House Ways and Means Committee Chairman Charles Rangel told reporters he has been given a June 19 deadline for his panel to review the nearly 1,000 page bill and determine what changes it wants to make involving tax- and trade-related components. "We're going to make it," Rangel said of the June 19 date. But he added that members of his committee still have not decided what changes it might seek.


Meanwhile, House Agriculture Committee Chairman Collin Peterson told reporters Democratic leaders want to address farm-state lawmakers' concerns over a related Environmental Protection Agency proposal on ethanol and other biofuels. These lawmakers have been threatening to withhold their support for the climate change bill unless safeguards were achieved.

And the House Science and Technology Committee was seeking to approve its contribution to the bill as it debated legislation creating a federal climate control agency to improve knowledge of the problem and provide forecasts and warnings to the public about changes in weather and climate.

Representative Rick Boucher, who helped craft the climate bill moving through the House with provisions to protect the coal industry in states like his state of Virginia, said, "I think we'll have the votes" to pass the bill in the House in coming weeks, possibly this month. He told Reuters that the Senate was also "rapidly getting itself ready" to handle the complex legislation. Senate Democratic leaders have said they would try to pass a bill this year, although the schedule has been uncertain.


Australia: Swing Senator wavers on climate change legislation

Family First senator Steve Fielding, whose vote could be critical to the Rudd Government's emissions trading system, yesterday heard warnings of dire economic consequences if carbon trading schemes were introduced.

Wisconsin Republican congressman Jim Sensenbrenner told a climate change conference in Washington attended by Senator Fielding that electricity bills would double or triple under US cap-and-trade legislation. And he denounced the climate change movement as simply transferring wealth to developing countries.

Mr Sensenbrenner said that without China and India signing any climate change legislation, it would be foolish for the US or any other country to take the lead, arguing that capping emissions in the US would allow other countries to take an advantage.

"What we are seeing is the Third World using the collective guilt of the First World to have a massive transfer of wealth to help them fund their development," he told more than 300 delegates at the climate conference held by a US free-market thinktank called

Mr Sensenbrenner was in China last week with Democrat Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi, and said he was discouraged. "What we heard from our Chinese interlocutors consistently is that they would never sign a treaty that mandates an emissions cut. They said they would do it their own way," he said. He said China would go its own way regardless of what was negotiated at the Copenhagen environmental summit in December. "If China and India stay out of it, we should stay out of it," Mr Sensenbrenner said.

Delegates heard from a number of scientists questioning whether man-made activity could influence the global climate, with keynote addresses citing solar flare activity rather than greenhouse gas emissions as a reason for global warming.

While climate change advocates challenge these claims, Senator Fielding said the arguments presented yesterday were giving him pause to reflect on the entire debate over climate change.

"I'm not sure we should be signing anything before Copenhagen," he said after listening to Mr Sensenbrenner. "If it's true climate change is driven more by solar changes, then I have to consider if (climate change legislation) is worth doing."



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