Friday, January 08, 2010

Letter to Gavin Esler BBC Presenter "Newsnight"

Letter from Piers Corbyn Msc (astrophysics), ARCS, FRAS, FRMetS, WeatherAction long range weather and climate forecaster. Excerpt:

Further to Newsnight tonight (7th Jan 2010) where the Met Office and BBC so-called expert lied about the reality of long-range forecasting:

We at WeatherAction predicted this very cold weather SIX months ago using solar activity (nothing to do with CO2) and added extra detail weeks ahead. Our forecasts of EXTREME events are consistently 85% reliable.

There is no need for the UK and Europe to be unprepared and run out of salt. The consequent suffering and road deaths are a direct consequence of the Met Office and BBC failed science and litany of lies.

Would the BBC care to hear from us as to why the Met Office fail, fail and fail again in medium and long range forecasting and when this cold weather will end and then return? I Suspect not. Would you care to consider the following -

1. The Met Office statement on Newsnight that they 'verify' their climate forecasts against past dates

2. That the said past data was fraudulently produced by, for example, the Climate Research Unit of the University of East Anglia and exposed in the CLIMATEGATE files..

3. It is therefore unsurprising that the Met Offices climate and season ahead forecasts fail fail and fail again. They are rooted in failed science and falsified data.

- The world has been cooling for at least 7 years while CO2 has been rising - contrary to their foreacst.

- The floody 'non barbecue' summers of 2007, 2008 and 2009 and the cold winter 08/09 and now 09/10 were ALL the opposite of the Met office forecast and ALL as predicted by WeatherAction months ahead. Met Office scored 0/5 and WeatherAction scored 5/5.

4. The failed Met Office forecast for this winter and the consequent unnecessary suffering and road deaths should be laid at the feet of the University of East Anglia, the Met Office and the BBC -- and charges of collective manslaughter be issued.

Letter received from the author:

Climategate: UK MET office head gets a grilling and fails miserably

Oh this is good, really good. We did a story two days ago, UK Met Office’s enormously wrong weather predictions earn department big pay increases, and it turns out now even the BBC is questioning The Met Office’s weather forecasting record, and record salaries. And questioning surprisingly hard.

In this clip, Andrew Neil grills Met Office chief John Hirst.


The best line (4:08) of the video and perhaps of the year: “Since you can’t the summer or the winter right in your forecasts, why should we give any credence to your forecast to what the temperature will be in the 2050 or 2020, which is what you do.”

This is the BBC? Sound more like Fox News, and we love it!


BBC probes bias in its coverage of science and the environment

The body which oversees the BBC is to launch a full-scale review into whether its coverage of science and the environment is biased. The BBC Trust acted after a string of complaints that the corporation is acting as a cheerleader for the theory that climate change is a man-made phenomenon. There have also been concerns over its coverage of genetically-modified foods and the MMR vaccine.

The year-long investigation will establish whether the complaints are justified – and could result in guidelines on how to treat important scientific stories. It will scrutinise the way the BBC has handled scientific debate in areas which affect ‘public policy’ and are ‘matters of political controversy’.

Richard Tait, BBC trustee and chairman of the governing body’s editorial standards committee, said: ‘Science is an area of great importance to licence fee payers, which provokes strong reaction and covers some of the most sensitive editorial issues the BBC faces. ‘Heated debate in recent years around topics like climate change, GM crops and the MMR vaccine reflects this, and BBC reporting has to steer a course through these controversial issues while remaining impartial. ‘The BBC has a well-earned reputation for the quality of its science reporting, but it is also important that we look at it afresh to ensure that it is adhering to the very high standards that licence fee payers expect.’

A scientific expert will be hired to lead the review and it will concentrate on coverage of the issues featured in its news and factual output to see whether they meet the corporation’s Royal Charter and requirement that controversial subjects are covered impartially. The review will also focus on the way the BBC reports on new technologies including Wi-Fi wireless internet.

The review comes after repeated criticism of the broadcaster’s handling of green issues. Critics have claimed that it has not fairly represented the views of sceptics who do not agree that climate change is caused by human action, leading to a string of complaints over coverage of the issue. Lord Monckton, a leading climate change sceptic, has claimed that his views have been deliberately misrepresented by the BBC. He said he had been made to look like a ‘potty peer’ on a TV programme that ‘was a one-sided polemic for the new religion of global warming’.

Earth: The Climate Wars, which was broadcast on BBC 2 in September 2008, was billed as a definitive guide to the history of global warming, including arguments for and against.

Last night, Lord Monckton, a former adviser to Margaret Thatcher, said: ‘My complaint against the BBC is not about one programme, it is that there has been a relentless institutional prejudice against the very large number of eminent climate scientists who fundamentally disagree with all the major conclusions that we are told inaccurately is the scientific consensus about climate change. It is high time the BBC examined itself.’


A much simpler explanation of recent temperature oscillations

Twentieth Century Temperature Correlation with no CO2 influence

The Climate Science community has made the claim that average global temperatures during the 20th century can not be calculated without incorporating the influence of carbon dioxide as a cause of warming. This appears to be invalid since the graph below was constructed assuming no influence from carbon dioxide. The calculated temperature anomalies are produced by the rather simple procedure of combining the time-integral of sunspot count with the 32-year trends of the Pacific Decadal Oscillation (PDO).

The pink line on this graph is a slightly smoothed (each year's value is averaged with values from the two adjacent years) plot of average global temperature anomalies. The global anomalies from 1880 and more recent are as reported by NOAA on 14 October 2009.

Earlier data which were used to determine a proportionality constant are from Vostok ice cores. The influence of the sunspots is determined by an energy balance on the planet. The energy gained by the planet is assumed to be proportional to the time-integral of sunspot count. The energy radiated from the planet is proportional to the time-integral of the fourth power of the average global temperature. The proportionality constant, 6.36E-9, was adjusted to get a fairly constant net energy from 1700 to about 1940 as described in the pdf file titled SUNSPOTS; THE CAUSE OF THE 20TH CENTURY TEMPERATURE RUN-UP. The sunspot data set used here was copied from here.

The energy difference is divided by a constant, 4000, to get a value close to the temperature anomalies and an offset, 0.4, is subtracted to move the plot to overlay the measured anomalies. The up trend or down trend periods ascribed to the Pacific Decadal Oscillation (PDO) are taken as 32 years long for all periods.

The temperature range for the PDOs alone was taken to be 0.45 K for all of the PDOs. Thus, for a PDO uptrend the value added to the above sunspot calculation is 0.45 multiplied by the fraction of the PDO time period that has taken place. For a PDO downtrend, the value added to the above sunspot calculation is 0.45 minus 0.45 multiplied by the fraction of the PDO time period that has taken place.

These calculations produce the black line on the graph. Variations in this line reflect the solar cycles which were obscured in the previous work by coarse time steps. The extension of this line beyond the present assumes that future sunspot count is zero. Future temperature anomalies depend on future sunspot counts and future PDO behavior neither of which can be confidently predicted.

No attempt was made to match the local oscillations in the measured temperatures. These are likely due to an interaction of various short-cycle ocean oscillations such as el Nino with each other and with the approximately 11 year long solar cycles.

Between 1900 and 2008 the standard deviation between concurrent points on the two graphs is 0.0634. The deviation prior to 1890 is probably due to PDO behavior different from that observed during the 20th century.

This work shows the influence that sunspots appear to have had on 20th century climate. The precise points to make calculations of the effective influence without bias are somewhat uncertain. I used the temperatures calculated at the end points of the PDO trends. Sunspots had little effect prior to about 1941. The temperature decline from 1941 to 1973 would have been about 57% greater if not for the high sunspot-count-timeintegral during that period. The sunspot-time-integral contributed about 47% to the temperature rise from 1973 to 2005.


Another beautiful natural landscape blighted by the British obsession with windmills

And Greenies both want and don't want it -- as usual

The most controversial and significant energy project in Scotland for a generation was given the go-ahead yesterday, to the deep dismay of environmentalists and local communities across the country. Scottish ministers, citing the pressing need for Scotland’s renewables potential to be harnessed, announced that they had given their approval to the upgrading of the power transmission line stretching the 137 miles between Beauly, west of Inverness, and Denny, near Falkirk.

The £350 million project, which sparked the biggest and most expensive planning inquiry ever held in Scotland and attracted a mammoth 18,000 objections, will see 600 pylons, each up to 65 metres (213ft) tall erected, within ten years, along the spectacular scenic spine of Scotland.

There had been growing speculation that ministers might order part of the upgraded line to be laid underground but this proved unfounded. In a note attached to his Parliamentary statement, Jim Mather, the Scottish Energy Minister, claimed that under the Electricity Act, Scottish ministers have no power to order that electricity infrastructure should be constructed underground, although this was disputed by objectors.

There was also a continuing mystery over the delay in announcing the decision, with opposition parties and some objectors claiming that it had actually been made a year ago but that ministers had sat on it for either political or technical reasons.

Mr Mather’s performance in delivering the statement to MSPs also came in for harsh criticism with opponents claiming that he had been unable or unwilling to answer key questions about the measures put in place to mitigate the impact on communities and the environment. Opposition parties said Mr Mather’s performance had been “shambolic”.

Last night, the reaction from most environmental groups was a combination of outrage and deep regret. The John Muir Trust environmental body described the decision as “a black day for Scotland’s world-class landscape”.

The Beauly-Denny Landscape Group, which is composed of some of the country’s biggest and most influential conservation bodies, including the National Trust for Scotland and the Mountaineering Council of Scotland, said that the project would become a legacy of poor decision-making by the SNP government. The group accused ministers of ignoring their calls to reopen the inquiry process. However, supporters claimed that the scheme was a vital addition to Scotland's energy infrastructure.

Colin Hood, Chief Operating Officer of Scottish and Southern Energy, one of the developers, said the project had rightly been subject to a huge degree of scrutiny and that the need to provide more electricity network capacity for renewable sources of energy “is overwhelming”.

Mr Mather pointed out that the approval of the upgrade came with a range of conditions aimed at protecting communities, the environment and the Scottish tourism sector. Liason groups would advise on issues such as landscape restoration.

Duncan McLaren, chief executive of Friends of the Earth Scotland, welcomed the decision, saying the potential environmental damage from climate change was much greater than any caused by the new line.


Beat poverty first, then tackle emissions

THE climate change debacle at Copenhagen last month underlined the reality that any new global agreement will be on the terms set by developing countries. Leading commentators have written that China's leading role in this was a demonstration of its new influence as an economic power.

In one important sense they are wrong. This was not just China, but India, Brazil and the Arab oil states as well. Furthermore, the position of these countries and the rest of the developing world has not changed in the 20 years since climate change has been on the global agenda.

For developing countries, climate change and other environmental strategies which retard economic development are unacceptable. They scored this into UN orthodoxy at the Rio Earth Summit in 1992. They executed the principle when they emasculated the Kyoto Protocol by insisting only rich countries cut emissions.

The failure at Copenhagen was not the result of the greater influence of developing countries, it was a failure, yet again, of Green activists and environmental officials in rich countries to understand the position of developing countries and the political implications of that.

China used its enhanced authority to deliver the developing country message in the form of a humiliating public snub to Western leaders at Copenhagen. China sent an official, not a political leader, to negotiate with Barack Obama.

The European Community, the champion of the Kyoto Protocol, was shut out of the negotiations between the US and the leading developing economies. When the Danish Prime Minister nominated an Indian minister to pair with Penny Wong to sort out differences on one issue, the Indian minister simply did not show up.

The zealotry which has imbued the campaign to halt global warming has blinded environmental officials and many politicians to the reality of what can be achieved. Any experienced UN negotiator would have warned it was a mistake to send a large number of heads of government to Copenhagen in the belief that that would overcome the deep and fundamental divide between rich and poor.

The justification for engaging in such a diplomatic suicide mission is that stopping global warming is the overriding moral issue of the time. Not to everyone. In India and China alone there are 600 million people living below the poverty line. Eradicating poverty is the moral imperative in the developing world.

The leading US climate change economist, William Nordhaus at Yale, has maintained for years that if developing countries cut emissions too sharply and too soon as advocated by Greenpeace, WWF and the European Union, they would further impoverish their people.

What is the solution of environmental activists? Greenpeace and WWF laid theirs out before Copenhagen. They recognised that the result of their strategies to increase power costs and cease conversion of forests to more economically productive activities in developing countries would lower economic growth and hinder efforts to increase agricultural production.

Their solution? Double current aid budgets (presently about US$100 billion per year).

This became a mantra among Western leaders before Copenhagen. If more aid is not on the table, no deal is possible, intoned Gordon Brown, Nicolas Sarkozy and Hillary Clinton. But they were talking to Green activists, not developing countries, and still viewing climate change through a rich country lens. They had bought the Green line that the world's poor were on the same side as the activists. They clearly are not.

Welfare is provided to the disadvantaged in rich countries (as in the Rudd plan to compensate low-income earners harmed by the emissions trading). So do the same to compensate the world's poor for the cost of global emissions trading.

They have forgotten a golden rule of aid that developing countries have not used it to promote economic growth, not to provide cash. The rich country plan is correctly perceived as a form of global green welfare compensation for the loss of jobs and income which would be caused by deep and early cuts in emissions by developing countries.

Zealots have short life spans when the cost and impracticality of what they urge becomes apparent. Only now are the costs of their climate change plans becoming apparent. If Copenhagen was not a climate change epiphany for Western leaders, they will never be able to envisage a practicable global strategy to reduce global warming. Any strategy has to protect the capacity of poor countries to eradicate poverty. What rational person would reject that proposition?



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