Monday, August 17, 2009

Global snake oil

"Act on CO2" advertisements on the BBC

The BBC does not of course run advertisements so it is described as a "filler" and is presumably funded by the BBC itself. It is very scary cinematography and completely unbalanced and extreme Warmist propaganda. There is no scintilla of truth in the warnings it gives. It was broadcast in the 9:00 to 9:30 timeslot on August 15 and appears to be aimed at frightening children.

You can see it here. The script is here.

'Sun's output may decline significantly, inducing another Little Ice Age on Earth'

The article below is by statistician Dr. Richard Mackey, who authored a 2007 peer-reviewed study which found that the solar system regulates the earth's climate. The paper was published August 17, 2007 in the Journal of Coastal Research

Astronomer Emeritus Dr. William Livingston and Associate Astronomer Dr Matthew Penn have for many years been measuring the strength of the Sun's magnetic fields... concluding that, broadly speaking, over the last 15 years the magnetic field strengths of sunspots were decreasing with time independently of the sunspot cycle. A simple linear extrapolation of the magnetic data collected by their special observatory (the McMath-Pierce telescope) suggests that sunspots might largely vanish in five years time. In addition, other scientists report that the solar wind (a large proportion of the Sun's output of matter in the plasma form) is in a lower energy state than found since space measurements began nearly 40 years ago.

In answer to the question: Why is a lack of sunspot activity interesting? Astronomers Livingston and Penn's Respond in the July 28, 2009 publication EOS of the American Geophysical Union: “During a period from 1645 to 1715 the Sun entered an extended period of low activity known as the Maunder Minimum. For a time equivalent to several sunspot cycles the Sun displayed few sunspots. Models of the Sun's irradiance suggest that the solar energy input to the Earth decreased during that epoch, and that this lull in solar activity may explain the low temperatures recorded in Europe during the Little Ice Age.”

Livingston and Penn wrote in July 28, 2009 a very well written feature article appearing in EOS, the professional publication of the American Geophysical Union (AGU). The article is entitled, "Are Sunspots Different During This Sunspot Minimum?" EOS is a broadsheet sent every week to AGU members. It always has one feature article, but mainly lists job advertisements and notices about conferences, seminars and the like of interest to AGU members and news of members' achievements. The feature articles are sometimes about climate change, which are generally supportive of the IPCC dogma.

In their EOS article, Livingston and Penn answer yes to the question: "Are Sunspots Different During This Sunspot Minimum?" Their central finding is that regardless of the relation to the sunspot cycles, magnetic intensity in sunspots is decreasing and if this continues in the same way as it has for the last 15 years, the Sun will be devoid of sunspots in five years time: overall the Sun's energetic output will decline significantly inducing another Little Ice Age on the Earth.

In a press release the National Solar Observatory reported (dated June 17, 2009): "Drs. Rachel Howe and Frank Hill, both of the NSO, used long-term observations from the NSO's Global Oscillation Network Group (GONG) facility to detect and track an east-to-west jet stream, known as the "torsional oscillation", at depths of ~1,000 to 7,000 km below the surface of the Sun. The Sun generates new jet streams near its poles every 11 years; the streams migrate slowly, over a period of 17 years, to the equator, and are associated with the production of sunspots once they reach a critical latitude of 22 degrees."

Howe and Hill found that the stream associated with the new solar cycle has moved sluggishly, taking three years to cover a 10 degree range in latitude compared to two years for the last solar cycle, but has now reached the critical latitude. The current solar minimum has become so long and deep, some scientists have speculated the Sun might enter a long period with no sunspot activity at all. The new result both shows that the Sun's internal magnetic dynamo continues to operate, and heralds the beginning of a new cycle of solar activity.

"It is exciting to see", said Dr. Hill, "that just as this sluggish stream reaches the usual active latitude of 22 degrees, a year late, we finally begin to see new groups of sunspots emerging at the new active latitude." Since the current minimum is now one year longer than usual, Howe and Hill conclude that the extended solar minimum phase may have resulted from the slower migration of the flow.

GONG and its sister instrument SOHO/MDI measure sound waves on the surface of the Sun. Scientists can then use the sound waves to probe structures deep in the interior of the star, in a process analogous to a sonogram in a medical office. "Using the global sound wave inversions, we have been able to reveal the intimate connection between subtle changes in the Sun's interior and the sunspot cycle on its surface," said Hill.

"This is an important piece of the solar activity puzzle," said Dr. Dean Pesnell, of NASA's Goddard Space Flight Center. "It shows how flows inside the Sun are related to the creation of solar activity and how the timing of the solar cycle might be produced. None of the forecasting research groups predicted the current long extended delay in the new cycle. There is a lot more to learn in order to understand how the Sun creates magnetic fields."

Astronomers Livingston and Penn conclude their EOS article with these comments: “Whether this [decline] is an omen of long-term sunspot decline, analogous to the Maunder Minimum, remains to be seen. Other indications of the solar activity cycle suggest that sunspots must return in earnest next year. Because other indications point to the Sun experiencing an unusual period of minimum solar activity, it is critically important to measure the Sun's magnetic activity during this unique time.”

'Professional societies returning to practice of true scientific debate'

Another interesting aspect of Livingston and Penn's EOS article is that the AGU published it in its professional publication. This suggests to me that the professional societies are returning to practice of true scientific debate that has been suppressed for so long.

It is worth recalling the feature article “Natural antidote to global warming” written by Sir John Maddox, then the editor of Nature and published in Nature on 21 September 1995. Sir John referred to the extensive research published up to 1995 indicating the Sun-climate relationship and that the Sun was likely to enter into a Maunder Minimum inducing state sometime during the first few decades of the new millennium.

Sir John, an enthusiastic apostle of the IPCC dogma, asked: “There remains the question of whether the Maunder Minimum will arrive in time to avoid a global carbon tax?” He answered that on the basis of his reading of the evidence published up till then there was only a small chance. However, he concluded by noting that it is a real possibility and that the moral of his commentary was “a better understanding of the Sun might now have practical value.”

Livingston and Penn and a large number of solar physicists (see, for example, the home page of the grandfather of modern solar physics, Professor Emeritus Cornelius de Jager,) would say that the likelihood of the Earth being seized by Maunder Minimum is now greater than the Earth being seized by a period of global warming. They would answer Sir John's question by saying: “Yes, the Maunder Minimum will arrive in time to save the planet from the utterly foolish global carbon tax.”

More HERE (See the original for links)

United Nations organizations targeting children with Warmist lies

The IPCC is not the only tentacle of the U.N. promoting groundless scares

Emerging leaders representing three billion people - the children and youth of the planet - will converge on the Republic of Korea to voice their demands for action on climate change at the Copenhagen meeting. FAO with other partners is supporting UNEP’s Tunza International Children and Youth Conference, in Daejeon (Republic of Korea) on 17-23 August, the biggest youth gathering on climate change before the UN climate conference in December.

This will be a key opportunity for the more than 800 participants from over 100 countries to demand that their governments reach a scientifically-credible and far-reaching new climate agreement in Copenhagen.

By staking their claim to a low-carbon, resource-efficient, environmentally-sustainable future, the generation that will inherit the planet will also remind the world that they have the greatest stake in the creation of the green economy of tomorrow.

Achim Steiner, UN Under-Secretary-General and Executive Director of the UN Environment Programme (UNEP) said: "The Tunza Children and Youth Conference is an important gathering of young people and an opportunity for them to discuss and to prepare their positions surrounding Copenhagen and climate change, but it is more than that. It is a gathering of the generation that will inherit the outcome of the decisions taken in December and beyond."

"For it will be in the lifetime of the three billion children and young people alive today that the glaciers of the Himalayas will either persist or melt away; that the sea levels will stabilize or rise, swamping a third of Africa's coastal infrastructure; that the Amazon will remain the lungs of the planet or become an increasingly dried-out and disappearing ecosystem, and the polar bear will continue as the iconic species of the Arctic or, like the Dodo and the dinosaurs, merely an artifact in the world's natural history museums," he added.

Some Highlights of the Tunza Children and Youth Conference:

A Global Town Hall will use state-of-the-art technology to link the gathering to hundreds of other young environmental leaders who will be meeting around the globe - from Nairobi to Sao Paulo and from Stockholm to Bangkok - to agree on a message to deliver to world leaders.

The Seal the Deal! Global Debate will bring together high-level figures from politics and green activism, including Korean Prime Minister Han Seung-soo, Maldives Environment Minister Mohamed Aslam, Cameroon Environment Minister Hele Pierre, UNEP Executive Director Achim Steiner and prominent environmentalists such as David de Rothschild (who will sail to the Pacific Garbage Patch in a boat made of reclaimed plastic bottles), Roz Savage (who has rowed across the ocean to raise green awareness), and Luo Hong (who raises green awareness through photography) along with young activists.

The Daejeon conference will also see the launch of Unite for Climate, a global community of youth organizations and individuals working collaboratively to address climate change. The initiative convenes actors from across sectors in a common virtual space, enabling more effective resource sharing and coordinated action. Supported by Google/YouTube, Unite for Climate will launch a series of YouTube global youth debates leading up to the United Nations Climate Change Conference in Copenhagen.

The conference will also feature the global Awards Ceremony for the winners of the UNEP 2009 International Children's Painting Competition on the Environment.

Some of the striking and creative projects started by young Tunza participants include an award-winning original rap video by two Canadian teenagers on how to reduce your environmental footprint, a drive to distribute 500 low-energy lightbulbs in Nepal, a carpooling initiative in Samoa, the creation of a 'Navajo Green Economy Fund' to generate green jobs for Navajo youth, a recycling project in Sierra Leone and a river clean-up in Russia, among many other examples. All the initiatives will be put to a popular vote during the conference to determine the best one out of the several hundred on display.

The Children and Youth Conference is part of the global UN-wide 'Seal the Deal!' campaign being spearheaded by the UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon to galvanize political will and public support for reaching a comprehensive global climate agreement. Over the coming months, the 'Seal the Deal!' campaign will mobilize over one million young people to march across one hundred capitals and deliver to global leaders their declaration of priorities on climate change as agreed at the Tunza Conference.


Michael Mann has a new hockeystick

If at first you don't succeed ...

Just when you think it couldn’t get any more bizarre in Mann-world, out comes a new paper in Nature hawking hurricane frequency by proxy analysis. I guess Dr. Mann missed seeing the work of National Hurricane Center’s lead scientist, Chris Landsea which we highlighted a couple of days ago on WUWT: "More tropical storms counted due to better observational tools, wider reporting. Greenhouse warming not involved."

Mann is using “overwash” silt and sand as his new proxy. Chris Landsea disagrees in the Houston Chronicle interview saying: “The paper comes to very erroneous conclusions because of using improper data and illogical techniques,”

From the BBC and the Houston Chronicle, some excerpts are below.

From the BBC: "Study leader Michael Mann from Penn State University believes that while not providing a definitive answer, this work does add a useful piece to the puzzle.... The levels we’re seeing at the moment are within the bounds of uncertainty -- Julian Heming, UK Met Office. “It’s been hotly debated, and various teams using different computer models have come up with different answers,” he told BBC News. “I would argue that this study presents some useful palaeoclimatic data points.”

From the Houston Chronicle: "One tack is based on the observation that the powerful storm surge of large hurricanes deposits distinct layers of sediment in coastal lakes and marshes. By taking cores of sediments at the bottom of these lakes, which span centuries, scientists believe they can tell when large hurricanes made landfall at a particular location. The second method used a computer model to simulate storm counts based upon historical Atlantic sea surface temperatures, El NiƱos and other climate factors... The two independent estimates of historical storm activity were consistent, said Pennsylvania State University climate scientist Michael Mann, the paper’s lead author. Both, for example, pinpointed a period of high activity between 900 and 1100. “This tells us these reconstructions are very likely meaningful,” he [Mann] said.

What is funny is that with that quote above, Mann is referring to the Medieval Warm Period, something he tried to smooth out in his tree ring study and previous hockey stick graph. Now he uses the MWP to his advantage to bolster his current proxy.

Steve McIntyre of Climate Audit writes about “check kiting” related to this study: "The Supplementary Information sheds no light on the methodology or the proxies. The Supplementary Information contained no data sets. The proxies used for the Mann et al submission are not even listed.

The edifice is built on the SST and Nino3 reconstructions, both of which are references to the enigmatic reference 17, which turns out to be an unpublished submission of Mann et al.: 17. Mann, M. E. et al. Global signatures of the Little Ice Age and the medieval climate anomaly and plausible dynamical origins. Science (submitted).

At the time that Nature published this article, there was precisely NO information available on what proxies were used in the reconstruction of Atlantic SST or El Nino or how these reconstructions were done. Did any of the Nature reviewers ask to see the other Mann submission? I doubt it. I wonder if it uses Graybill bristlecone pines."

More HERE (See the original for links)


Four current articles below

Warmists still stuck in the past

Ever since the tiny degree of global warming stopped at the end of the 20th century, Warmists have been looking longingly at the past, even though the present is very different. Their latest claim is that snowfalls in the high-country ski fields of Southern Australia are down by 40 per cent over the last 50 years. That we had exceptionally GOOD snowfalls this year and also last year is ignored. Does CO2 work only in some years and not in others? The Scots still remember battles that took place in the 13th century. Will Warmists still be blathering on during the ice age that seems to be the biggest threat now?

AUSTRALIAN skiers may have to look overseas in search of suitable snowfalls, thanks to global warming. The average snow cover at Australia's highest altitude snow course, Spencer's Creek in the Snowy Mountains, has declined by 30 per cent to 40 per cent in the last 50 years, a conference in Brisbane will be told today. The cost of man-made snow is also likely to increase as more water and electricity are required.

Unlike skiers, specialised plants that have learnt to survive in the Australian highlands don't have the option of seeking out higher ground and may face extinction, Associate Professor Catherine Pickering of Griffith University said. "Some of these plants are found only on the lee side of mountain ridges, where snow lies late into the summer months, long after snow in the surrounding landscape has melted," Prof Pickering said. "We are about to lose two of our rarest plant communities, right before our eyes." "We need to co-ordinate the ad hoc research that is happening on our limited snow country."

Prof Pickering will attend the The 10th International Congress of Ecology, INTECOL conference in Brisbane this week. INTECOL is hosted by the Ecological Society of Australia and the New Zealand Ecological Society. This is the first time the congress is being held in the southern hemisphere.


Temperature readings in isolated Australian locations show no increases for 100 years

Weather observatories in Australia, dating back 100 years or more show cities getting hotter as they get bigger but country towns have generally NOT been warming up. Some have actually been cooling down.

Most scientists recognise that temperature measurements in cities are influenced by non-climate things such as air-conditioners. The cities in Australia also show the same trend as cities in the northern hemisphere with the rate of warming here being less than 1 degree centigrade per century. So the countryside has NOT been warming up whereas cities are getting hotter.

Substantial increases in Carbon Dioxide levels have been observed over this period, so if CO2 really was driving temperature upwards, we would expect a general rise in temperature in the bush and an even bigger rise in cities due to the combined effect of CO2 and non-climatic heating. In many parts of the world it's hard to separate these two effects, so we are lucky here in Australia to have records from isolated country locations that are `un-contaminated' by the big city effect (heat island effect).

The Australian Bureau of Meteorology (BOM) provides historical weather data on the internet here. The average of the peak temperatures for each month is available and this has been plotted in the attached graphs. Graphs for the mean daily peak temperatures in January are shown for Echuca, Deniliquin and Bathurst - as examples of country sites.

The last graph is for Sydney and shows evidence of the `big city warming effect'. In Deniliquin and Bathurst, there has actually been a fall in temperatures over the last 100 years but in many other regional places there was just no trend, up or down. EM Smith reports a similar pattern of `no warming' based on a large number of world-wide locations used by IPCC. See here

More HERE (See the original for links, graphics)

Food prices to surge under Warmist laws

SHOPPERS face a jump in grocery prices of up to 7 per cent under Labor's scheme to reduce carbon emissions, prompting calls for the Rudd government to come up with a compensation package to help low- and middle-income families. Big retailers have warned the government that the proposed emissions trading scheme would add between 4 and 7 per cent to shopping bills in what would be a de facto tax on food.

Although the government has revealed plans to compensate households for increased energy prices when the ETS is expected to be introduced in 2011, it has yet to announce how it will cover the rise in grocery prices.

Reserve Bank assistant governor Philip Lowe last week told the House of Representatives economics committee that the ETS would add 0.4 percentage points to the Consumer Price Index measure of inflation in its first year of operation. However, the Food and Grocery Council believes the increase in grocery prices would be much higher, about 5 per cent.

As food and grocery shopping is estimated to take up to 20 per cent of the weekly household budget, the council's chief executive, Kate Carnell, says the price rise will amount to a GST on food - the area the Howard government exempted from the tax after a prolonged campaign by Labor and the Australian Democrats. Large retailers are understood to have also done modelling showing similar results, including a rise in food prices of as much as 7 per cent should Australia adopt the 25 per cent target on emissions reductions by 2020.

Large retailers, while privately concerned, are believed to be hesitant to voice their objections to the ETS for fear of tarnishing their reputation among environmentally conscious consumers. Australian Retailers Association executive director Russell Zimmerman said the ETS would lead to a sharp increase in grocery shelf prices as costs increased at every stage of the production and distribution process. "It's going to be a high cost to the consumer - the food manufacturer gets an ETS charge, then there's delivery, and the retailers use refrigeration and lighting, and the cost of that is all going to be handed on," Mr Zimmerman said. "Retail is a very competitive business. There's not a lot of margin in grocery retailing, so these costs can't be absorbed."

The ARA has set out its concerns in a submission to the government's green paper on carbon reduction but Mr Zimmerman said he had little hope the government would shield consumers from higher costs. "The government has said it will cost consumers $1 a day, but that fails to accurately calculate the retail price impact on consumers, and there's no real handle on what it's going to cost consumers in the end," he said.

Retailers' anxiety is matched in the US, amid growing fears about the impact of carbon trading plans. US agriculture companies including grain giant Cargill, meat processor Tyson Foods and food-maker General Mills, have expressed concern they will bear an unfair proportion of the costs resulting from carbon-reduction legislation and warned this would lead to higher food prices. Nationals senator Barnaby Joyce has warned that the ETS, once in place, would raise the retail price of a leg of lamb to almost $100.

The revelations on food prices come as a split emerges in the business community over the ETS. The peak group, the Business Council of Australia, is divided over its position on the plan to reduce carbon emissions. The BCA is torn, with finance sector elements backing the ETS and the mining industry vehemently opposed. The split has led to the circulation of an anti-ETS paper from within the BCA that concludes 67 of its 109 members will not have a carbon permit liability under the government's proposed Carbon Pollution Reduction Scheme. The overwhelming majority of the 67 are in the finance, legal or legal services sector, which the analysis says are expected to make huge profits out of the ETS.

The paper's author, who does not wish to be named, concludes: "While the BCA is held up as the voice of industry on the carbon scheme, the vast bulk of its members have no skin in the game. That is, they won't have to buy permits. In fact, the bankers and finance consultants like KPMG stand to make a fortune out of it."

The paper's author also names at least 12 senior Labor figures - seven of them frontbenchers, including three cabinet ministers - who they say have expressed doubts about the government's ETS privately to either BCA member companies or their industry group representatives.


Plans for Australian Poverty

The Chairman of the Carbon Sense Coalition, Mr Viv Forbes, today claimed that both the Turnbull and the Wong Decarbonisation plans were “Plans for Poverty”. Forbes explains:

“The Turnbull plan aims to reduce 2020 emissions to 90% of the 2000 level. “But we have moved on from the year 2000. To get back to 90% of 2000 would require a 20% cut on today’s activities. Moreover, the population by 2020 will be at least 30% above that in 2000. So the Turnbull carbon cuts will need to be more than 33% per capita.

“Emissions are produced by everything we do – if we use electricity, steel, cement, timber, cars, trucks, planes, ships, trains or food from farms, we will always produce emissions. Even people sleeping on the beach burn carbon food energy and emit carbon dioxide. How is each Australian going to trim carbon usage by 33%?

“2020 is just a decade away. There is no chance that wind, solar, geothermal or carbon burial will overcome their technical, engineering, infrastructure, environmental, transmission, economic and stability problems quickly enough to generate significant quantities of emissions-free base load electricity in that time. “That leaves only three ways to achieve the Turnbull cuts – the Green Option, the Secret Plan or the Unspeakable Option.

“The Green Option requires less use of modern technology - a return to candles and chip heaters, wood stoves and wind pumps, charcoal burners and steam engines, sulkies and bicycles, horse power and sailing clippers, possum stew and kangaroo tail soup, mud bricks, shingle roofs and cement floors made from ant bed and cow manure. Some things will disappear unless Malcolm has plans for airships lifted by political hot air, for night-time power generated from moonbeams using lunar panels, or for vegie-steak produced from algae growing in backyard ponds of poo.

“Reducing population will definitely achieve cuts in emissions without cuts in living standards. Is that the Secret Plan? “Or of course we always have the Unspeakable Option – a crash program to build nuclear power plants in the Latrobe, the Hunter, the Barossa, the Fitzroy and the Pilbara.

“Compared to these options, maybe a bit more harmless carbon dioxide in the atmosphere is not so bad after all? "The Wong plan and the Turnbull plan are Plans for Poverty. “Both should be rejected.”

The above is a press release of 12 August 2009 from Mr Viv Forbes, Chairman, The Carbon Sense Coalition, Australia. Email:


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