Sunday, October 11, 2009

Joe Romm gives us another chuckle

In his latest effusion Romm in essence concedes that the terrestrial temperature measurements are not going his way but he has found an "out" from that. He says that even if the earth's land surface is not warming, the oceans are! So now we have ocean warming but not global warming! One has to laugh at such an implausible proposition but, quite aside from that, Viscount Monckton says in an email: "The ARGO researchers disagree with this. See also Douglass & Knox, 2009, who find no net accumulation of heat in the oceans for the past 68 years."

One has to give Romm a tiny bit of credit, though. He says quite openly on his site that his aim is to present the "progressive" (Leftist) view. Scientific truth is clearly secondary. That is a contrast with James Hansen, who claims to be doing science. They do have in common a lack of hair, however.

Scientist: Carbon Dioxide Doesn't Cause Global Warming

A noted geologist who coauthored the New York Times bestseller "Sugar Busters" has turned his attention to convincing Congress that carbon dioxide emissions are good for the Earth and don't cause global warming. Leighton Steward is on Capitol Hill this week armed with studies and his book Fire, Ice and Paradise in a bid to show senators working on the energy bill that the carbon dioxide cap-and-trade scheme could actually hurt the environment by reducing CO2 levels. "I'm trying to kill the whole thing," he says. "We are tilting at windmills." He is meeting with several GOP lawmakers and has plans to meet with some Democrats later this week.

Much of the global warming debate has focused on reducing CO2 emissions because it is thought that the greenhouse gas produced mostly from fossil fuels is warming the planet. But Steward, who once believed CO2 caused global warming, is trying to fight that with a mountain of studies and scientific evidence that suggest CO2 is not the cause for warming. What's more, he says CO2 levels are so low that more, not less, is needed to sustain and expand plant growth.

Trying to debunk theories that higher CO2 levels cause warming, he cites studies that show CO2 levels following temperature spikes, prompting him to back other scientists who say that global warming is caused by solar activity.

In taking on lawmakers pushing for a cap-and-trade plan to deal with emissions, Steward tells Whispers that he's worried that the legislation will result in huge and unneeded taxes. Worse, if CO2 levels are cut, he warns, food production will slow because plants grown at higher CO2 levels make larger fruit and vegetables and also use less water. He also said that higher CO2 levels are not harmful to humans. As an example, he said that Earth's atmosphere currently has about 338 parts per million of CO2 and that in Navy subs, the danger level for carbon dioxide isn't reached until the air has 8,000 parts per million of CO2.


What happened to global warming?

A most surprising article from the BBC below. I guess all the accusations of bias have pushed them just a little in the right direction

This headline may come as a bit of a surprise, so too might that fact that the warmest year recorded globally was not in 2008 or 2007, but in 1998. But it is true. For the last 11 years we have not observed any increase in global temperatures. And our climate models did not forecast it, even though man-made carbon dioxide, the gas thought to be responsible for warming our planet, has continued to rise.

So what on Earth is going on? Climate change sceptics, who passionately and consistently argue that man's influence on our climate is overstated, say they saw it coming. They argue that there are natural cycles, over which we have no control, that dictate how warm the planet is. But what is the evidence for this?

During the last few decades of the 20th Century, our planet did warm quickly. Sceptics argue that the warming we observed was down to the energy from the Sun increasing. After all 98% of the Earth's warmth comes from the Sun. But research conducted two years ago, and published by the Royal Society, seemed to rule out solar influences. The scientists' main approach was simple: to look at solar output and cosmic ray intensity over the last 30-40 years, and compare those trends with the graph for global average surface temperature. And the results were clear. "Warming in the last 20 to 40 years can't have been caused by solar activity," said Dr Piers Forster from Leeds University, a leading contributor to this year's Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC).

But one solar scientist Piers Corbyn from Weatheraction, a company specialising in long range weather forecasting, disagrees. He claims that solar charged particles impact us far more than is currently accepted, so much so he says that they are almost entirely responsible for what happens to global temperatures. He is so excited by what he has discovered that he plans to tell the international scientific community at a conference in London at the end of the month. If proved correct, this could revolutionise the whole subject.

What is really interesting at the moment is what is happening to our oceans. They are the Earth's great heat stores. According to research conducted by Professor Don Easterbrook from Western Washington University last November, the oceans and global temperatures are correlated. The oceans, he says, have a cycle in which they warm and cool cyclically. The most important one is the Pacific decadal oscillation (PDO). For much of the 1980s and 1990s, it was in a positive cycle, that means warmer than average. And observations have revealed that global temperatures were warm too. But in the last few years it has been losing its warmth and has recently started to cool down. These cycles in the past have lasted for nearly 30 years.

So could global temperatures follow? The global cooling from 1945 to 1977 coincided with one of these cold Pacific cycles. Professor Easterbrook says: "The PDO cool mode has replaced the warm mode in the Pacific Ocean, virtually assuring us of about 30 years of global cooling."

So what does it all mean? Climate change sceptics argue that this is evidence that they have been right all along. They say there are so many other natural causes for warming and cooling, that even if man is warming the planet, it is a small part compared with nature.

But those scientists who are equally passionate about man's influence on global warming argue that their science is solid. The UK Met Office's Hadley Centre, responsible for future climate predictions, says it incorporates solar variation and ocean cycles into its climate models, and that they are nothing new. In fact, the centre says they are just two of the whole host of known factors that influence global temperatures - all of which are accounted for by its models.

In addition, say Met Office scientists, temperatures have never increased in a straight line, and there will always be periods of slower warming, or even temporary cooling. What is crucial, they say, is the long-term trend in global temperatures. And that, according to the Met office data, is clearly up.

To confuse the issue even further, last month Mojib Latif, a member of the IPCC (Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change) says that we may indeed be in a period of cooling worldwide temperatures that could last another 10-20 years. Professor Latif is based at the Leibniz Institute of Marine Sciences at Kiel University in Germany and is one of the world's top climate modellers. But he makes it clear that he has not become a sceptic; he believes that this cooling will be temporary, before the overwhelming force of man-made global warming reasserts itself.

So what can we expect in the next few years? Both sides have very different forecasts. The Met Office says that warming is set to resume quickly and strongly. It predicts that from 2010 to 2015 at least half the years will be hotter than the current hottest year on record (1998).

Sceptics disagree. They insist it is unlikely that temperatures will reach the dizzy heights of 1998 until 2030 at the earliest. It is possible, they say, that because of ocean and solar cycles a period of global cooling is more likely.

One thing is for sure. It seems the debate about what is causing global warming is far from over. Indeed some would say it is hotting up.


Biggest news you’ve never heard: Earth isn’t warming

The Christian Science monitor joins the BBC. See below

How do you reconcile the early snow in Minneapolis, ski resorts already opening in Nevada, and that August chill in North Dakota with expert warnings about a warming climate? You don’t. Why? The Earth isn’t warming right now, is why. It may even be cooling down somewhat.

Five major climate centers around the world agree that average global temperatures have not risen in the past 11 years, according to the BBC. In fact, in eight of those years, global average temperatures dipped a tad. Yes, there have been several record heat spikes during that time period. The Southern Hemisphere this summer saw the highest land and water temperatures ever recorded, for instance. But overall? Steady as she goes.

Reasons cited range from a slightly cooling Pacific — a major global heat trap — as well as renewed questions about the sun’s role in warming (about which there is much debate). Also, it’s possible, some say, that warming itself causes CO2 levels — which are associated with warming — instead of the other way around. As a result, “The depth of the cold of the coming winters will change the social and political climate in ways that only nature can orchestrate,” predicts meteorologist Art Horn.

To be sure, it’s way too early to close one’s ears to those who predict more global warming and sea level rises. The UN’s climate agency predicts that from 2010 to 2015 at least half the years will be hotter than the current hottest year on record, which was 1998. And as most of us know, the Earth warmed at historic rates in the latter half of the 20th century, leading to ice cap melts and ecological implications around the globe.

But the warming stall, some experts say, is giving at least some credence to the contrarian (and not always scientifically sound) notion that it may be natural and solar forces contributing as much, or more, than man-made CO2. At the very least, a delay in warming even as total CO2 emissions increase, throws some doubt on the cause-and-effect relationship between mankind’s activities and mean global temperatures.

Climate specialists say their models incorporate all this, and insist their predictions for continued warming will still hold true. (Here’s some data from the Guardian about why the “global warming is taking a break” theme may be off-base.) Meteorologists at the UK’s Hadley Centre, for instance, point out that global temperatures aren’t linear, and that all data sets — including solar phenomenon and ocean temperatures — indicate that warming will soon pick up again.

But as Paul Hudson, the BBC’s environment reporter, points out, Mojib Latif, a member of the UN’s Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change, agrees that the Earth may, in fact, continue to cool for another 10 to 20 years. Mr. Latif says that doesn’t make him a climate change skeptic, just a scientist. Eventually, he says, “the overwhelming force of man-made global warming reasserts itself,” according to the BBC.

Obviously, climate change has global ecological and political implications. The cap-and-trade bill and new auto emissions rules in the US are direct responses to climate implications of CO2. December’s Copenhagen climate conference will try to seek renewed global commitment to CO2 reduction.

Taken together, what does it all mean? “Climate change — no matter how benign or severe a course it takes — makes legislating during the 21st century one of the most complicated and complex tasks for elected officials in human history,” writes Morgan Josey Glover in the Greensboro, N.C., News-Record newspaper.


Lethal gas may have to be stored under British villages, says adviser

CO2 is a rather good example of a non-linear relationship: At low concentrations (as in the atmosphere) it is beneficial but in much higher concentrations it can indeed kill

Millions of tonnes of potentially lethal carbon dioxide may have to be stored deep under towns and villages to prevent climate change, according to a senior government adviser. The storage sites would have to be closely monitored to detect any leaks and an alarm system would be needed to warn nearby residents of the danger of asphyxiation. New bylaws might have to be passed prohibiting bedrooms on the ground floor [!!!!] because of the risk of CO2 poisoning as people slept.

Nick Riley, head of science policy at the British Geological Survey, was speaking at a Department of Energy and Climate Change briefing on the planned expansion of schemes to capture and store the carbon emitted by coal-fired power stations.

The Government is planning to subsidise several carbon capture and storage demonstration projects and next Tuesday will host a meeting on the issue in London attended by energy ministers from 20 countries.

Dr Riley, who advises the Government on carbon storage, said that the areas of Britain with suitable geology for carbon storage included parts of Dorset, Hampshire, Gloucestershire, Cheshire, Norfolk and Lincolnshire. The proposed offshore storage sites in the North Sea and Irish Sea might not be practical for all the carbon produced by power stations, he said. “Onshore storage can be much cheaper because you don’t have the transport costs or the problem of building long pipelines, but then you have to persuade people it is safe.”

He said there was a risk that carbon injected into the ground under very high pressure could leak through bore holes or old mineshafts. “The worst-case scenario would be a situation where people were unaware there had been a leak,” he said. “In particular weather conditions or in confined spaces, those people could suffer asphyxiation.”

He said that Britain would need to learn from Ciampino near Rome, where CO2 leakage from the ground was a natural hazard controlled by monitoring and alarm systems. “People do make mistakes,” Dr Riley said. “You need to catch it early if there is a leakage before it gets to the situation where there could be injury or severe damage to the ecological system. “You can never say it could never go wrong but there are so many checks and balances that it is highly unlikely.”

Dr Riley said that the Government would have to make clear to people living near sites selected for storage that there were only a limited number of areas with suitable geology. “You cannot have local communities saying ‘why can’t you put it somewhere else’ if there is no geology where it can be put. I understand the concerns people have about storage but, speaking as a scientist, I can say they are not necessarily valid concerns.”

Carbon storage facilities in the Netherlands and Germany are being blocked by residents concerned about the risks. The Vattenfall plant in Spremberg, northern Germany, was meant to be Europe’s first demonstration capture and storage facility but is having to pump the carbon into the atmosphere because of local opposition.

Dr Riley said that the risk of leakage was highest while the carbon was being injected into the ground into layers of porous rock at least 800m (2,600ft) below the surface. Over time, the carbon would react with the rock and form more stable carbonates.


The week that was

Nobody really wants the EPA to control CO2 as a pollutant. Suspicion is ripe, however, that the White House is using potential EPA action to blackmail Congress (and industry) into adopting some version of Cap&Trade. However, EPA action (based on an Endangerment Finding) can be stopped (and, certainly, delayed) by litigation. Legislation, on the other hand, is hard to undo – once signed into law. So the emphasis has to be to call the WH bluff and defeat C&T (aka Ration & Tax, but deceptively titled “The Clean Energy Jobs and American Power Act”) in the Senate and allow no compromises.

EPA global warming regulation is a “backdoor energy tax” that “can drive stocks into the ground.” Senator James Inhofe (R-OK) claims that President Obama wants to “intimidate Congress” into passing “$300 to $400 billion a year” in taxes, so that the American people will blame Congress instead of him. See here
"The reason why I don’t think they’ll try to do that through [EPA] regulation is because certainly this president, President Obama, knows that once the American people find out that they’re going to pay about $2,000 a year in taxes for something that doesn’t do anything, there’s going to be an outrage. And they want to be able to say, “Oh, no, that was Congress that did it.” My feeling is they’re using this [EPA regs] for intimidation purposes and they’re going to try to intimidate Congress to do this [pass Cap&Trade].

Meanwhile, the pre-COP negotiations in Bangkok are ending in turmoil and disagreement. A self-styled Asian Peoples' Climate Court found the G-8 nations (that include the US) guilty of ‘planetary malpractice’ in violation of the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change and subject to a lawsuit for unspecified damages. Expect the CPH meetings to degenerate into class-action demands by ad hoc ‘international tribunals’ for ‘reparations’ from ‘over-consuming’ nations. It’s the perennial call for a NIEO (New International Economic Order), now dressed up as climate change. Having hyped the threat of climate change (cf the British Stern Report) for so many years, maybe the G-8 deserve this kind of retribution: It’s a case of ‘the chickens are coming home to roost.’

Of course, if G-8 governments were not blinded by years of scientific mis-information, they could make the case that (i) industrial development and rising CO2 levels have insignificant influence on global climate; and in any case, (ii) higher CO2 levels benefit agriculture and keep developing nations from starvation. You will find the evidence in NIPCC reports and the new websites and

So how about making a reverse claim – and also, let’s all thank the Chinese for adding to atmospheric CO2

BTW, Bangkok also brought out the split within G-8 between EU and the US. Seems the US (under Obama) wants to do away with the Kyoto Protocol. Sounds suspiciously like George W Bush, doesn’t it?

SOURCE (Post of Oct. 10)


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: