Thursday, December 03, 2009

Jon Stewart Mocks: 'Poor Al Gore. Global warming completely debunked via the very Internet you invented!'‏


A satirical look at the claims of "Bristlecone" Mann


Contrast the two articles below

Hansen thinks that the cause is lost

A top NASA scientist says he'd would rather see no agreement at the Copenhagen climate conference because the whole approach to climate change is so deeply flawed that it would better to start from scratch. James Hansen told The Guardian newspaper that he believed any agreement that may emerge from the upcoming conference will be deeply flawed. "I would rather it not happen if people accept that as being the right track because it's a disaster track," Hansen said.

He added: "The whole approach is so fundamentally wrong that it is better to reassess the situation. "If it is going to be the Kyoto-type thing then (people) will spend years trying to determine exactly what that means."

Hansen, who heads the NASA Goddard Institute for Space Studies in New York, is sometimes called the godfather of global warming science. He sounded the alarm bell about global warming in June 1988 during a Washington heat wave, telling a Senate hearing that global warming was already here.

He spoke to The Guardian a few days before the 192-nation conference in Copenhagen, which aims to set parameters for a new climate change agreement to replace the 1997 Kyoto Protocol. That agreement required 37 wealthy nations to cut greenhouse gas emissions by 2012, but made no demands from rapidly emerging economies like China and India.

Hansen said no political leader can grasp the importance of the issue. "We don't have a leader who is able to grasp it and say what is really needed. Instead we are trying to continue business as usual," he said. Hansen said dealing with climate change allows no room for political compromises. "This is analogous to the issue of slavery faced by Abraham Lincoln or the issue of Nazism faced by Winston Churchill," he said. "On those kind of issues you cannot compromise. You can't say let's reduce slavery, let's find a compromise and reduce it 50 per cent or reduce it 40 per cent."


Economist Stern is bullish

Rather good proof that both Hansen and Stern are just guessing

World leaders are more than halfway towards the kind of promises needed to save the planet at Copenhagen, according to UK expert Nicholas Stern. Lord Stern has crunched the numbers on climate change and found the pledges to cut emissions are in the ballpark of what's needed. "We can do this," an upbeat Lord Stern, the UK equivalent of Australia's climate adviser Ross Garnaut, told reporters in London. "I think we have a moment now when we could get a strong agreement."

The air of pessimism over the UN climate conference at Copenhagen, which starts on Monday, is lifting as countries have upped their promises to cut emissions. Many world leaders want a deal which would restrain global warming to two degrees.

In a report issued this week, Lord Stern has calculated that the Copenhagen promises made so far go more than halfway towards the cuts needed to have a good chance of meeting the two degree goal. World emissions are currently 47 billion tonnes of greenhouses gases a year, and are on track to reach 52 to 58 billion tonnes in 2020.

To have a 50-50 chance of limiting warming to two degrees, Lord Stern says emissions must be about 44 billion tonnes in 2020. The Copenhagen promises would result in emissions of around 49 billion tonnes in 2020. "We're not there, but we can see how far we have to go," he concluded. "The world already intends to achieve more than half of the reductions that are required."

Lord Stern's calculations are based on each country going to the upper limit of their promises to cut emissions.


12 Days, 3 Networks and No Mention of ClimateGate Scandal

Even as Copenhagen looms, broadcast news ignores e-mails suggesting warming alarmists 'manipulated' data, conspired to destroy information and thwarted peer reviews.

It’s been nearly two weeks since a scandal shook many people’s faith in the scientists behind global warming alarmism. The scandal forced the University of East Anglia (UK) to divulge that it threw away raw temperature data and prompted the temporary resignation of Phil Jones of the university’s Climate Research Unit.

Despite that resignation and calls by a U.S. senator to investigate the matter, ABC, CBS and NBC morning and evening news programming has remained silent – not mentioning a word about the scandal since it broke on Nov. 20, even as world leaders including President Barack Obama prepare to meet in Copenhagen, Denmark next week to promote a pact to reduce greenhouse gases.

Other news outlets, including The New York Times, Washington Post, CNN and Associated Press have deemed ClimateGate worthy of reporting, but the networks were too busy reporting on celebrity car accidents and the killer whale that ate a great white shark. Instead of airing a broadcast news segment that might inform the public about the science scandal, both ABC and CBS relegated the story to their Web sites. There was one mention of the scandal on ABC’s Sunday talk show: “This Week with George Stephanopoulos.”

The ClimateGate scandal, as it is being called, has the hallmarks of a major news story: private emails purporting to show unethical or illegal behavior supplied by a hacker or whistleblower, high profile scientists like James Hansen and Michael Mann, and a potential conspiracy to distort science for political gain. But the networks haven’t bothered with the story. Patrick J. Michaels, a climatologist and BMI adviser, said Nov. 20 of the leaked e-mails and documents: “This isn’t a smoking gun, it’s a mushroom cloud.”

White House press secretary Robert Gibbs responded to a question about ClimateGate by insisting that “global warming is happening” and that for most people it isn’t really a question anymore. That is the same message viewers get from the network news about climate change.

An examination of morning and evening news programs on ABC, CBS and NBC since Nov. 20 yielded zero mentions of the scandal, even in the Nov. 25 reports about Obama going to Copenhagen to discuss the need for emissions reductions. But during the same time period, the networks reported on pro-golfer Tiger Woods’ “minor” car accident at least 37 times. They also found time to report on an orphaned Moose and the meal selection at the president’s State Dinner.

ClimateGate began after someone (hacker or whistleblower) attacked servers of University of East Anglia's Climate Research Unit (CRU) and made thousands of e-mails and documents public. Those e-mails appear to show a conspiracy to falsify temperature data, a willingness to destroy information rather than release it under Freedom of Information (FOI) law and the intimidation of publications willing to publish skeptical articles.

CRU’s director Phil Jones admitted real CRU e-mails had been stolen when he told New Zealand’s Investigate magazine, “It was a hacker. We were aware of this about three or four days ago that someone had hacked into our system and taken and copied loads of data files and emails.” Others argue a whistleblower was responsible for the breach.

One of those alleged e-mails was from Jones to Michael Mann (famous for his hockey stick graph of global warming) and two others appeared to indicate manipulation of scientific data. Jones wrote: “I’ve just completed Mike’s Nature trick of adding in the real temps to each series for the last 20 years (ie from 1981 onwards) amd [Sic] from 1961 for Keith’s to hide the decline.”


Climategate - read all about it

By Andrew Bolt

Christopher Monckton writes the first book(let) on Climategate, the greatest scientific scandal in our lifetime. The summary:

The whistleblower’s data file revealed, for the first time, the innermost workings of the tiny international clique of climate scientists, centered on the Climate Research Unit at East Anglia, that has been the prime mover in telling the world that it is warming at an unprecedented rate, and that humankind is responsible… He had revealed what many had long suspected:

# A tiny clique of politicized scientists, paid by unscientific politicians with whom they were financially and politically linked, were responsible for gathering and reporting data on temperatures from the palaeoclimate to today’s climate. The “Team”, as they called themselves, were bending and distorting scientific data to fit a nakedly political story-line profitable to themselves and congenial to the governments that, these days, pay the bills for 99% of all scientific research.

# The Climate Research Unit at East Anglia had profited to the tune of at least $20 million in “research” grants from the Team’s activities.

# The Team had tampered with the complex, bureaucratic processes of the UN’s climate panel, the IPCC, so as to exclude inconvenient scientific results from its four Assessment Reports, and to influence the panel’s conclusions for political rather than scientific reasons.

# The Team had conspired in an attempt to redefine what is and is not peer-reviewed science for the sake of excluding results that did not fit what they and the politicians with whom they were closely linked wanted the UN’s climate panel to report.

# They had tampered with their own data so as to conceal inconsistencies and errors.

# They had emailed one another about using a “trick” for the sake of concealing a “decline” in temperatures in the paleoclimate.

# They had expressed dismay at the fact that, contrary to all of their predictions, global temperatures had not risen in any statistically-significant sense for 15 years, and had been falling for nine years. They had admitted that their inability to explain it was “a travesty”. This internal doubt was in contrast to their public statements that the present decade is the warmest ever, and that “global warming” science is settled.

# They had interfered with the process of peer-review itself by leaning on journals to get their friends rather than independent scientists to review their papers.

# They had successfully leaned on friendly journal editors to reject papers reporting results inconsistent with their political viewpoint.

# They had campaigned for the removal of a learned journal’s editor, solely because he did not share their willingness to debase and corrupt science for political purposes.

# They had mounted a venomous public campaign of disinformation and denigration of their scientific opponents via a website that they had expensively created.

# Contrary to all the rules of open, verifiable science, the Team had committed the criminal offense of conspiracy to conceal and then to destroy computer codes and data that had been legitimately requested by an external researcher who had very good reason to doubt that their “research” was either honest or competent.


Claims that climate change is accelerating are bizarre

By RICHARD S. LINDZEN (Lindzen is professor of meteorology at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology)

Is there a reason to be alarmed by the prospect of global warming? Consider that the measurement used, the globally averaged temperature anomaly (GATA), is always changing. Sometimes it goes up, sometimes down, and occasionally —such as for the last dozen years or so— it does little that can be discerned.

Claims that climate change is accelerating are bizarre. There is general support for the assertion that GATA has increased about 1.5 degrees Fahrenheit since the middle of the 19th century. The quality of the data is poor, though, and because the changes are small, it is easy to nudge such data a few tenths of a degree in any direction. Several of the emails from the University of East Anglia's Climate Research Unit (CRU) that have caused such a public ruckus dealt with how to do this so as to maximize apparent changes.

The general support for warming is based not so much on the quality of the data, but rather on the fact that there was a little ice age from about the 15th to the 19th century. Thus it is not surprising that temperatures should increase as we emerged from this episode. At the same time that we were emerging from the little ice age, the industrial era began, and this was accompanied by increasing emissions of greenhouse gases such as CO2, methane and nitrous oxide. CO2 is the most prominent of these, and it is again generally accepted that it has increased by about 30%.

The defining characteristic of a greenhouse gas is that it is relatively transparent to visible light from the sun but can absorb portions of thermal radiation. In general, the earth balances the incoming solar radiation by emitting thermal radiation, and the presence of greenhouse substances inhibits cooling by thermal radiation and leads to some warming.

That said, the main greenhouse substances in the earth's atmosphere are water vapor and high clouds. Let's refer to these as major greenhouse substances to distinguish them from the anthropogenic minor substances. Even a doubling of CO2 would only upset the original balance between incoming and outgoing radiation by about 2%. This is essentially what is called "climate forcing."

There is general agreement on the above findings. At this point there is no basis for alarm regardless of whether any relation between the observed warming and the observed increase in minor greenhouse gases can be established. Nevertheless, the most publicized claims of the U.N.'s Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) deal exactly with whether any relation can be discerned. The failure of the attempts to link the two over the past 20 years bespeaks the weakness of any case for concern.

The IPCC's Scientific Assessments generally consist of about 1,000 pages of text. The Summary for Policymakers is 20 pages. It is, of course, impossible to accurately summarize the 1,000-page assessment in just 20 pages; at the very least, nuances and caveats have to be omitted. However, it has been my experience that even the summary is hardly ever looked at. Rather, the whole report tends to be characterized by a single iconic claim.

The main statement publicized after the last IPCC Scientific Assessment two years ago was that it was likely that most of the warming since 1957 (a point of anomalous cold) was due to man. This claim was based on the weak argument that the current models used by the IPCC couldn't reproduce the warming from about 1978 to 1998 without some forcing, and that the only forcing that they could think of was man. Even this argument assumes that these models adequately deal with natural internal variability—that is, such naturally occurring cycles as El Nino, the Pacific Decadal Oscillation, the Atlantic Multidecadal Oscillation, etc.

Yet articles from major modeling centers acknowledged that the failure of these models to anticipate the absence of warming for the past dozen years was due to the failure of these models to account for this natural internal variability. Thus even the basis for the weak IPCC argument for anthropogenic climate change was shown to be false.

Of course, none of the articles stressed this. Rather they emphasized that according to models modified to account for the natural internal variability, warming would resume—in 2009, 2013 and 2030, respectively.

But even if the IPCC's iconic statement were correct, it still would not be cause for alarm. After all we are still talking about tenths of a degree for over 75% of the climate forcing associated with a doubling of CO2. The potential (and only the potential) for alarm enters with the issue of climate sensitivity—which refers to the change that a doubling of CO2 will produce in GATA. It is generally accepted that a doubling of CO2 will only produce a change of about two degrees Fahrenheit if all else is held constant. This is unlikely to be much to worry about.

Yet current climate models predict much higher sensitivities. They do so because in these models, the main greenhouse substances (water vapor and clouds) act to amplify anything that CO2 does. This is referred to as positive feedback. But as the IPCC notes, clouds continue to be a source of major uncertainty in current models. Since clouds and water vapor are intimately related, the IPCC claim that they are more confident about water vapor is quite implausible.

There is some evidence of a positive feedback effect for water vapor in cloud-free regions, but a major part of any water-vapor feedback would have to acknowledge that cloud-free areas are always changing, and this remains an unknown. At this point, few scientists would argue that the science is settled. In particular, the question remains as to whether water vapor and clouds have positive or negative feedbacks.

The notion that the earth's climate is dominated by positive feedbacks is intuitively implausible, and the history of the earth's climate offers some guidance on this matter. About 2.5 billion years ago, the sun was 20%-30% less bright than now (compare this with the 2% perturbation that a doubling of CO2 would produce), and yet the evidence is that the oceans were unfrozen at the time, and that temperatures might not have been very different from today's. Carl Sagan in the 1970s referred to this as the "Early Faint Sun Paradox."

For more than 30 years there have been attempts to resolve the paradox with greenhouse gases. Some have suggested CO2—but the amount needed was thousands of times greater than present levels and incompatible with geological evidence. Methane also proved unlikely. It turns out that increased thin cirrus cloud coverage in the tropics readily resolves the paradox—but only if the clouds constitute a negative feedback. In present terms this means that they would diminish rather than enhance the impact of CO2.

There are quite a few papers in the literature that also point to the absence of positive feedbacks. The implied low sensitivity is entirely compatible with the small warming that has been observed. So how do models with high sensitivity manage to simulate the currently small response to a forcing that is almost as large as a doubling of CO2? Jeff Kiehl notes in a 2007 article from the National Center for Atmospheric Research, the models use another quantity that the IPCC lists as poorly known (namely aerosols) to arbitrarily cancel as much greenhouse warming as needed to match the data, with each model choosing a different degree of cancellation according to the sensitivity of that model.

What does all this have to do with climate catastrophe? The answer brings us to a scandal that is, in my opinion, considerably greater than that implied in the hacked emails from the Climate Research Unit (though perhaps not as bad as their destruction of raw data): namely the suggestion that the very existence of warming or of the greenhouse effect is tantamount to catastrophe. This is the grossest of "bait and switch" scams. It is only such a scam that lends importance to the machinations in the emails designed to nudge temperatures a few tenths of a degree.

The notion that complex climate "catastrophes" are simply a matter of the response of a single number, GATA, to a single forcing, CO2 (or solar forcing for that matter), represents a gigantic step backward in the science of climate. Many disasters associated with warming are simply normal occurrences whose existence is falsely claimed to be evidence of warming. And all these examples involve phenomena that are dependent on the confluence of many factors.

Our perceptions of nature are similarly dragged back centuries so that the normal occasional occurrences of open water in summer over the North Pole, droughts, floods, hurricanes, sea-level variations, etc. are all taken as omens, portending doom due to our sinful ways (as epitomized by our carbon footprint). All of these phenomena depend on the confluence of multiple factors as well.

Consider the following example. Suppose that I leave a box on the floor, and my wife trips on it, falling against my son, who is carrying a carton of eggs, which then fall and break. Our present approach to emissions would be analogous to deciding that the best way to prevent the breakage of eggs would be to outlaw leaving boxes on the floor. The chief difference is that in the case of atmospheric CO2 and climate catastrophe, the chain of inference is longer and less plausible than in my example.


The Mathematics of Global Warming

The forecasts of global warming are based on mathematical solutions for equations of weather models. But all of these solutions are inaccurate. Therefore, no valid scientific conclusions can be made concerning global warming. The false claim for the effectiveness of mathematics is an unreported scandal at least as important as the recent climate data fraud. Why is the math important? And why don't the climatologists use it correctly?

Mathematics has a fundamental role in the development of all physical sciences. First, the researchers strive to understand the laws of nature determining the behavior of what they are studying. Then they build a model and express these laws in the mathematics of differential and difference equations. Next, the mathematicians analyze the solutions to these equations to improve the scientists' understanding. Often the mathematicians can describe the evolution through time of the scientists' model.

The most famous successful use of mathematics in this way was Isaac Newton's demonstration that the planets travel in elliptical paths around the sun. He formulated the law of gravity (that the rate of change of the velocity between two masses is inversely proportional to the square of the distance between them) and then developed the mathematics of differential calculus to demonstrate his result.

Every college physics student studies many of the simple models and their successful solutions that have been found over the three hundred years since Newton. Engineers constantly use models and mathematics to gain insight into the physics of their field.

However, for many situations of interest, the mathematics become too difficult to be helpful. The mathematicians are unable to answer the scientist's important questions because a complete understanding of the differential equations is beyond human knowledge. A famous, longstanding example is the n-body problem: if more than two planets are revolving around one another, according to the law of gravity, will the planets ram each other or will they drift out to infinity?

Fortunately, in the last fifty years, computers have been able to help mathematicians solve complex models over short time periods. Numerical analysts have developed techniques to graph solutions to differential equations and thus to yield new information about the model under consideration. All college calculus students use calculators to find solutions to simple differential equations called integrals. Space-travel is possible because computers can solve the n-body problem for short amounts of time and small n-values. The design of the stealth jet fighter could not have been accomplished without the computing speed of parallel processors. These successes have unrealistically raised the expectations for the application of mathematics to scientific problems.

Unfortunately, even assuming the model of the physics is correct, computers and mathematicians cannot solve more difficult problems, such as weather equations, for several reasons. First, the solution may require more computations than computers can make. Faster and faster computers push back the speed barrier every year. Second, it may be too difficult to collect enough data to accurately determine the initial conditions of the model. Third, the equations of the model may be non-linear. This means that no simplification of the equations can accurately predict the properties of the solutions of the differential equations. The solutions are often unstable. This means that a small variation in initial conditions will lead to large variations some time later. This property makes it impossible to compute solutions over long time periods.

As an expert in the solutions of non-linear differential equations, I can attest to the fact that the more than two-dozen non-linear differential equations in weather models are too difficult for humans to have any idea how to solve accurately. No approximation over long time periods has any chance of accurately predicting global warming. Yet approximation is exactly what the global warming advocates are doing. Each of the more than thirty models being used around the world to predict the weather is just a different inaccurate approximation of the weather equations. (Of course, this is an issue only if the model of the weather is correct. It is probably not, because the climatologists probably do not understand all of the physical processes determining the weather.)

Therefore, one cannot logically conclude that any of the global warming predictions are correct. To base economic policy on the wishful thinking of these so-called scientists is just foolhardy from a mathematical point of view. The leaders of the mathematical community, ensconced in universities flush with global warming dollars, have not adequately explained to the public the above facts. President Obama should appoint a Mathematics Czar to consult before he goes to Copenhagen.


Climate sceptics triumphant in Australian conservative politics

At the recent United Nations climate summit in New York, Barack Obama told his fellow leaders that "the threat from climate change is serious, it is urgent and it is growing". The Russian President, Dmitry Medvedev, calls the threat "catastrophic", the French President, Nicolas Sarkozy, believes addressing it is "crucial for the future of mankind".

Just months ago Tony Abbott described the same threat as "absolute crap". Yesterday the new Liberal leader backpedalled just a little by saying his words were "hyberbole" for debate. "I think that climate change is real and I think that man does make a contribution," he said, before adding the great qualification of sceptics: "There is an argument first as to how great that contribution is, and second, over what should be done about it."

There is no argument that Abbott's leadership marks the triumphant return of the climate sceptics to the top of the federal Liberal Party. Just last month Abbott attacked as "climate change alarmists" those scientists who worked on the peak UN scientific advisory body, the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) and who are warning about the threat from climate change.

Abbott described them on Four Corners as "the people who will tell you as if it's as obvious as night following day that we have a huge problem and that unless we dramatically change the way we live, life as we know it will be under massive threat. As I said, there's an evangelical fervour about those people which you don't normally associate with scientists".

As a member of Malcolm Turnbull's shadow cabinet Abbott cheerfully championed the work of the prominent Australian climate sceptic Professor Ian Plimer. "I think that in response to the IPCC alarmist - ah, in inverted commas - view, there've been quite a lot of other reputable scientific voices. Now not everyone agrees with Ian Plimer's position, but he is a highly credible scientist and he has written what seems like a very well-argued book refuting most of the claims of the climate catastrophists." His remarks were a direct challenge to Turnbull, who had warned that he could not lead a party that did not take climate change seriously.

A decade ago, the Liberal Party's climate sceptics, backed by some of the world's big minerals and energy companies, fought an epic battle inside the Howard government to stop Australia taking action on climate change, ratifying the Kyoto Protocol or passing an emissions trading scheme. With the substantial support from the then Western Mining boss, Hugh Morgan, and successive heads of Rio Tinto, the sceptics quashed Howard's first environment minister, Robert Hill, who had endorsed Kyoto.

The Kyoto fight was lost on World Environment Day 2002, when Howard backed the sceptics. By then, Hill had been replaced by David Kemp, a vocal sceptic of the science on climate change. Only when Howard was under huge electoral pressure before the 2007 election did he moderate his own sceptical views, appoint Turnbull as his environment minister and promise an emissions trading scheme.

Last week Turnbull, at the death knell of his short leadership of the Liberal Party, had no doubt the sceptics inside the party were again fighting to regain control. "The people that have sought to tear me down do not even believe in the policies we took to the last election," he said bluntly. "They basically believe or regard John Howard as being too green. They don't believe in climate change, they don't think we should take any action on climate change."



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 are mirrors of this site here and here


No comments: