Wednesday, February 03, 2010


An email from Norm Kalmanovitch []

In 1971, Rasool and Schneider published an article with the following abstract:
Atmospheric Carbon Dioxide and Aerosols: Effects of Large Increases on Global Climate

Effects on the global temperature of large increases in carbon dioxide and aerosol densities in the atmosphere of Earth have been computed. It is found that, although the addition of carbon dioxide in the atmosphere does increase the surface temperature, the rate of temperature increase
diminishes with increasing carbon dioxide in the atmosphere. For aerosols, however, the net effect of increase in density is to reduce the surface temperature of Earth. Because of the exponential dependence of the backscattering, the rate of temperature decrease is augmented with increasing aerosol content. An increase by only a factor of 4 in global aerosol background concentration may be sufficient to reduce the surface temperature by as much as 3.5 ø K. If sustained over a period of several years, such a temperature decrease over the whole globe is believed to be sufficient to trigger an ice age.

While there is speculation as to whether James Hansen contributed to this article with verification from his climate models; it is without question that Hansen was aware that the Earth had stopped warming in 1942 and that the world had been cooling up to the time of the publishing of this 1971 paper.

In April 1975 Newsweek published an article "The Cooling World" which gives a fascinating look at the climate issue from a perspective before politics and distortion of facts became involved. There was no questioning of the cooling in 1975 so one must assume that Hansen was fully aware that the world cooled from 1942 to 1975 before global warming returned in 1976.

This simple fact is somewhat problematic for Hansen and the entire global warming industry, because the physical record shows that the rapid increase in CO2 emissions did not start until after the Second World War (with the rapid increase in post war industrialization), and prior to that, as the world warmed rapidly from 1910 to 1942, there was only a minor increase in CO2 emissions.

In 1910 CO2 emissions from fossil fuels were 3.5gt/year and increased to only 4.0gt/year by 1942. By 1975, as the world cooled, CO2 emissions jumped to 20.0gt/year. (And emissions have been increasing ever since). For sixty five years from 1910 to 1975 there was absolutely no correlation of global temperature with increasing CO2 emissions, yet in 1988 after just 13 years of concurrent increases in both global temperature and CO2 emissions, Hansen created a forcing parameter for his climate models that was based firstly on the assumption that CO2 emissions were the prime source for the observed increase in atmospheric CO2, and secondly that there was a direct causal relationship between these emissions driven increases and global warming. Essentially the climate model projections are based on a correlation that is only valid for thirteen of the seventy eight years from 1910 to 1988.

The Hadley CRU record shows that the Earth cooled from about 1880 to 1910 as CO2 emissions first started to increase from industrial activity, adding another thirty years to the time when the correlation of CO2 emissions and global warming was not valid. In essence the so called "overwhelming evidence" that global warming is caused by CO2 emissions from fossil fuels has no basis in reality, as there was no correlation of emissions with global warming from 1880 to 1975, and only correlation for 13 years from 1975 to 1988 when this correlation formed the basis for the forcing parameter of the climate models which projected catastrophic global warming from the increasing CO2 emissions.

This is the sum total of the "overwhelming evidence" that has created the Kyoto Protocol with its economically destructive initiatives, that are not only killing the economy but killing people as their food is being converted to biofuels for carbon credits as part of these Kyoto Initiatives.

All that was needed to prevent this calamity was for the peer review committee to demand verification for the derivation of the forcing parameter used in the climate models before allowing publication in 1988. Without this single article published in the Journal of Geophysical Research global warming would never have become an issue and the IPCC would never have been formed.


(Below is a sequel to a note by Pierre Jutras entitled "Carbon dioxide isn't the villain it's made out to be", which was published as a web-exclusive comment in Canada's "Globe and Mail" on December 7th of 2006. The sequel was not published, unsurprisingly, but is now reproduced here. Pierre Jutras is Associate Professor, Department of Geology, Saint Mary's University, Halifax, Canada)

The deep geological record is quite clear: the global ecosystem thrives when atmospheric carbon dioxide levels are high, and suffers when they are low. Because these now infamous gas molecules stood out as the good guys throughout geological history, saving the day each time they show up in large numbers, and because today's low CO2 budget is reminiscent of the worst page in life's history (the late Palaeozoic), reasonable doubt should be given to the alarmist scenarios that are currently provided by most climate modelers. Apart from obvious effects such as sea-level rise, current predictions for a CO2-induced greenhouse effect are not well supported by the geological record, which casts serious doubt on their overall accuracy.

It is wrong to believe that CO2-induced global warming will result in a temperature increase for all regions of the globe. The absence of desert conditions during greenhouse ages (a fact provided by the geological record that is poorly known outside of geology circles) suggests that profound changes occur in sub-tropical latitudes due to CO2-induced global warming, which may in fact result in substantial cooling for this specific latitudinal range. Due to the dynamics of the Hadley cells, moisture is currently conveyed from sub-tropical (10ø to 30ø) to equatorial latitudes (0ø to 10ø), which explains why the former is mainly characterized by deserts while the latter hosts rain forest. Due to this, sub-tropical latitudes are currently much warmer than equatorial latitudes due to the greater cloud cover in the latter region, which allows less solar radiation to reach the ground.

Somehow (perhaps due to the establishment of a less steep vertical gradient in temperature, which would effectively change the dynamics of Hadley cells), moisture and heat become better distributed during greenhouse ages and sub-tropical deserts cease to exist. It is very likely that tropical storms would subside as well, as they are also the products of excessive heat in the dry, sub-tropical latitudes, whereas equatorial areas are devoid of them. The equatorial region is in effect a "shelter from the storm", as suggested by data compiled by the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration. In other words, although alarmist research on global warming pictures a greenhouse Earth as Dante's Hell, the geological record rather presents it as a worldwide Garden of Eden, with no temperature extremes.

It is somewhat disconcerting that the rise of carbon dioxide levels has been somehow established as the greatest environmental threat faced by humanity, although the pros and cons of this rise have never been properly assessed. Most scientific assessments on the issue of global warming only bring into focus its negative aspects and are therefore biased. As a result of this biased propaganda, which portrays carbon dioxide as the main evil of modern times, it is now considered by most as a blasphemy to dare bring forward any data that happen to place the accused in a good light.

It is well-known and non-controversial that the biosphere was in much better shape during the Cretaceous, when carbon dioxide levels were several times higher than today. Of course, whenever there is a change in external conditions, there are winners and losers. If crop species are doing better, chances are that pest species are not doing so well, and vice-versa. During the Cretaceous greenhouse age, benthic (bottom-dwelling) species were the main losers, as the oceans became permanently stratified, bringing anaerobic conditions on the deep seafloor. However, the hardships of benthic fauna, a minute fraction of the world's biomass and biodiversity, were largely outdone by sheer happiness in the pelagic (water-column-dwelling) and terrestrial realms.

Most agree that, whether or not it is true that the current rise in atmospheric CO2 is detrimental, "better be safe than sorry" and work at curbing down emissions. Not necessarily. It all depends on what method is used to curb down emissions. For instance, many environmentalists are turning to biodiesel fuels to lower their contribution to global warming. It is sad to say that such environmentally-responsible people may in fact pollute more than less concerned citizens. However, if you remove carbon dioxide from the equation, they certainly do. Biodiesel is a very impure fuel that doesn't burn nearly as well as refined gasoline. As a result, it emits much greater amounts of particulates, volatile organic compounds and carbon monoxide, which are "true" pollutants. If everyone switched to biodiesel fuel, cities would soon become unlivable due to a quick rise in these atmospheric pollutants. In contrast, carbon dioxide is "not" a pollutant. All it does is feed plants and help to maintain solar heat in the lower atmosphere. While so much international effort is put forward to deal with the "carbon dioxide case", less notorious environmental threats get a chance to stay out of the spotlight and thrive on the diversion (when did you last hear about acid rain?).

Another reason why we should give carbon dioxide a fair trial and a chance to revoke itself as public enemy #1 is the fact that it is a very strong opponent to tackle. The economic drawbacks of the ongoing climate war are astronomic, especially for developing countries. The widespread switch to "biofuel" farming is also creating a food crisis.

Finally, before putting in place enormous international efforts such as the Kyoto Protocol and the Copenhagen Accord, it would have been preferable to derive proper estimates on which prospect is to be most feared, global warming or global cooling? Ice sheets have been intermittently covering most of North America and northern Europe over the past 2.5 million years. Just as winter and summer, glacial advances and retreats are clocked with orbital cycles. The "summer solstice" of this interglacial cycle (warm eccentricity peak in the Milankovitch cycles) is already five thousand years behind us, and we are now heading towards the next winter. The current human-induced rise in atmospheric CO2 may be slowing down global cooling, but it is very unlikely that temperatures in the "Milankovitch winter" (we are now in the "Milankovitch autumn") will ever exceed those of the "Milankovitch summer".

In conclusion, with the parallel threat of orbitally-induced global cooling, a more sophisticated and less biased assessment of climate evolution and its consequences for the global ecosystem is needed to better guide intervention strategies. In other words, the Kyoto Protocol and Copenhagen Accord may be premature and possibly misguided international interventions, however well-intentioned their initiators and promoters might be.

Crooked "scientist" hid flaws in Chinese data

Now the dodgy Chinese data is finally getting a bit of attention -- even from "The Guardian" (below)

It is difficult to imagine a more bizarre academic dispute. Where exactly are 42 weather monitoring stations in remote parts of rural China? But the argument over the weather stations, and how it affects an important set of data on global warming, has led to accusations of scientific fraud and may yet result in a significant revision of a scientific paper that is still cited by the UN's top climate science body.

It also further calls into question the integrity of the scientist at the centre of the scandal over hacked climate emails, the director of the University of East Anglia's Climatic Research Unit (CRU), Dr Phil Jones. The emails suggest that he helped to cover up flaws in temperature data from China that underpinned his research on the strength of recent global warming.

The Guardian has learned that crucial data obtained by American scientists from Chinese collaborators cannot be verified because documents containing them no longer exist. And what data is available suggests that the findings are fundamentally flawed.

Jones and his Chinese-American colleague Wei-Chyung Wang, of the University at Albany in New York, are being accused of scientific fraud by an independent British researcher over the contents of a research paper back in 1990. That paper, which was published in the prestigious journal Nature, claimed to answer an important question in climate change science: how much of the warming seen in recent decades is due to the local effects of spreading cities, rather than global warming?

It is well-known that the concrete, bricks and asphalt of urban areas absorb more heat than the countryside. They result in cities being warmer than the countryside, especially at night. So the question is whether rising mercury is simply a result of thermometers once in the countryside gradually finding themselves in expanding urban areas.

The pair, with four fellow researchers, concluded that the urban influence was negligible. Some of their most compelling evidence came from a study of temperature data from eastern China, a region urbanising fast even then.

The paper became a key reference source for the conclusions of succeeding reports of the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change - including a chapter in the 2007 one co-authored by Jones. It said that globally "the urbanisation influence . is, at most, an order of magnitude less than the warming seen on a century timescale". In other words, it is tiny.

But many climate sceptics did not believe the claim. They were convinced that the urban effect was much bigger, even though it might not change the overall story of global warming too much. After all, two-thirds of the planet is covered by ocean, and the oceans are warming, too.

But when Jones turned down requests from them to reveal details about the location of the 84 Chinese weather stations used in the study, arguing that it would be "unduly burdensome", they concluded that he was covering up the error.

And when, in 2007, Jones finally released what location data he had, British amateur climate analyst and former City banker Doug Keenan accused Jones and Wang of fraud. He pointed out that the data showed that 49 of the Chinese meteorological stations had no histories of their location or other details. These mysterious stations included 40 of the 42 rural stations. Of the rest, 18 had certainly been moved during the story period, perhaps invalidating their data.

Keenan told the Guardian: "The worst case was a station that moved five times over a distance of 41 kilometres"; hence, for those stations, the claim made in the paper that "there were 'few if any changes' to locations is a fabrication". He demanded that Jones retract his claims about the Chinese data.

The emails, which first emerged online in November last year following a hack of the university's computer systems that is being investigated by police, reveal that Jones was hurt, angry and uncertain about the allegations. "It is all malicious . I seem to be a marked man now," he wrote in April 2007.

Another email from him said: "My problem is I don't know the best course of action. I know I'm on the right side and honest, but I seem to be telling myself this more often recently!" An American colleague, and frequent contributor to the leaked emails, Dr Mike Mann at Pennsylvania State University, advised him: "This crowd of charlatans look for one little thing they can say is wrong, and thus generalise that the science is entirely compromised. The last thing you want to do is help them by feeding the fire. Best thing is to ignore them completely."

Another colleague, Kevin Trenberth at the National Centre for Atmospheric Research in Boulder, Colorado, urged a fightback. "The response should try to somehow label these guys and [sic] lazy and incompetent and unable to do the huge amount of work it takes to construct such a database."

In August 2007, Keenan submitted a formal complaint about Wang to Wang's employers. The university launched an inquiry. Reporting in May 2008, it found "no evidence of the alleged fabrication of results" and exonerated him. But it did not publish its detailed findings, and refused to give a copy to Keenan.

By then, Keenan had published his charges in Energy & Environment, a peer-reviewed journal edited by a Hull University geographer, Dr Sonja Boehmer-Christiansen. The paper was largely ignored at the time, but Guardian investigations of the hacked emails now reveal that there was concern among Jones's colleagues about Wang's missing data - and the apparent efforts by Jones and Wang over several years to cover this up.

Those concerns were most cogently expressed to Jones by his ex-boss, and former head of the CRU, Dr Tom Wigley. In August 2007, Wigley warned Jones by email: "It seems to me that Keenan has a valid point. The statements in the papers that he quotes seem to be incorrect statements, and that someone (W-C W at the very least) must have known at the time that they were incorrect."

Wigley was concerned partly because he had been director of the CRU when the original paper was published in 1990. As he told Jones later, in 2009: "The buck should eventually stop with me."

Wigley put to Jones the allegations made by the sceptics. "Wang had been claiming the existence of such exonerating documents for nearly a year, but he has not been able to produce them. Additionally, there was a report published in 1991 (with a second version in 1997) explicitly stating that no such documents exist." This is believed to be a report from the US department of energy, which obtained the original Chinese temperature data.

Wang's defence to the university inquiry says that he had got the Chinese temperature data from a Chinese colleague, although she is not an author on the 1990 Nature paper. Wang's defence explains that the colleague had lost her notes on many station locations during a series of office moves. Nonetheless, "based on her recollections", she could provide information on 41 of the 49 stations. In all, that meant that no fewer than 51 of the 84 stations had been moved during the 30-year study period, 25 had not moved, and eight she could not recollect.

Wang, however, maintained to the university that the 1990 paper's claim that "few, if any" stations had moved was true. The inquiry apparently agreed.

Wigley, in his May 2009 email to Jones, said of Wang: "I have always thought W-C W was a rather sloppy scientist. I would .not be surprised if he screwed up here . Were you taking W-C W on trust? Why, why, why did you and W-C W not simply say this right at the start? Perhaps it's not too late." There is no evidence of any doubts being raised over Wang's previous work.

Jones told the Guardian he was not able to comment on the allegations. Wang said: "I have been exonerated by my university on all the charges. When we started on the paper we had all the station location details in order to identify our network, but we cannot find them any more. Some of the location changes were probably only a few metres, and where they were more we corrected for them."

The story has a startling postscript. In 2008, Jones prepared a paper for the Journal of Geophysical Research re-examining temperatures in eastern China. It found that, far from being negligible, the urban heat phenomenon was responsible for 40% of the warming seen in eastern China between 1951 and 2004.

This does not flatly contradict Jones's 1990 paper. The timeframe for the new analysis is different. But it raises serious new questions about one of the most widely referenced papers on global warming, and about the IPCC's reliance on its conclusions.



It was the Russians. Or possibly the Chinese. No, wait, it was the Americans. Yes, our very own version of Inspector Clouseau is on the case of the leaked emails from the University of East Anglia's Climatic Research Unit. Yesterday Sir David King, Tony Blair's former chief scientific advisor, told this newspaper: "It was an extraordinarily sophisticated operation. There are several bodies of people who could do this sort of work. These are national intelligence agencies... there is the possibility that it could be the Russian intelligence agency." However, King goes on to suggest that the expense of such an operation would be too great for the entire Russian state to undertake: "In terms of the expense, there is the American lobby system, which is a very likely source of finance, so the finger must point to them."

And why is it that Sir David thinks that the Kremlin joined forces with unspecified "American agencies" to leak emails from the UEA's Climatic Research Unit? He claims it was to undermine the UN's Copenhagen climate Conference (as if it hadn't been doomed anyway). The more interesting question is why the content of the emails might have been thought to have such an effect, as King apparently believes they did.

Perhaps - let's make a wild stab - it was because they revealed that the unit described as the world's most authoritative source of evidence for the threat of man-made climate change had been trying to prevent the methodology behind its predictions from being made public via the Freedom of Information Act.

Perhaps it was also because the emails showed how some members of the UEA team had lobbied scientific journals to block the publishing of papers that dissented from their own opinion about the entirely anthropogenic cause of allegedly unprecedented global temperatures; and perhaps it was also because it contained such emails as this one, from the head of climate analysis of the National Centre for Atmospheric Research in Colorado: "The fact is that we can't account for the lack of warming at the moment and it's a travesty that we can't... we cannot account for what is happening in the climate system."

For Sir David King, clearly, the travesty is that the public should be allowed to have a glimpse of the true level of uncertainty within climate science. It is astonishing arrogance on his part. His intervention is on the same moral level as any MP who declared that the most important issue about the expenses claims within the Palace of Westminster was how it came to be that the disc on which they were stored was passed to the press. In fact, no MP was that arrogant - or that stupid.

As it happens, we now know that disc was leaked by someone legitimately in possession of it - a whistleblower who was appalled by what he saw, and thought that the public should know. For some reason, it has not occurred to Sir David King that the UEA emails might have been accessed and then leaked by an insider shocked at what he had discovered. Remember also that they were in any case all being collated following a request under the Freedom of Information Act; perhaps this insider became aware that the now suspended head of the Climate Research Unit, Phil Jones, had asked colleagues to delete certain emails, and was determined that Jones should not be allowed to get away with it.

Even if the leak were not the work of a whistleblower from inside the UEA, it is still ludicrous scaremongering on Sir David's part to declare that this must have been a concerted operation by one or more foreign intelligence services. Is he unaware that an autistic loner, Gary McKinnon, is facing extradition to the US, after he hacked into some of the Pentagon's most sensitive codes using nothing more than a domestic dial-up internet connection? Yet, according to Sir David King, such a non-secure academic database as the University of East Anglia's could only have been penetrated by SMERSH, sorry, the FSB, sorry, the CIA....oh, whatever.

On the wider issue of climate change, Sir David has form for scaremongering. In 2004 he declared that if the world did not act to reduce its Co2 emissions, by the end of the century Antarctica would be the planet's only inhabitable continent. It is, by the way, most welcome that his successor as chief scientist, John Beddington, has an altogether more...well, scientific approach. Last week Beddington said: "I don't think it's healthy to dismiss proper [climate] scepticism...there is a fundamental uncertainty about climate change prediction...there are uncertainties both in terms of empirical evidence and the climate models themselves."

Beddington was speaking in the wake of a number of damaging revelations about the whole process by which the International Panel On Climate Change comes up with its terrifying forecasts. The most notable was the admission by the IPCC that its 2007 report's claim that the Himalayan glaciers would "disappear by the year 2035" was based on a misunderstanding (let's not be cynical) by the World Wildlife Fund, which was itself citing a magazine article, which was in turn quoting a single Indian glaciologist, who in his turn subsequently claimed that he hadn't said any such thing.

Yet when a number of the IPCC's critics questioned the astonishing claim that the Himalayas would be free of ice by 2035, the IPCC's chairman dismissed them as "voodoo scientists." Among those alleged "voodoo" practitioners was the Indian Government. Last week the Indian Environment Minister, Jairiam Ramesh, welcomed the IPCC's retraction of its most headline-grabbing claim: "The IPCC's claim that [Himalayan] glaciers will vanish by 2035 was not based on an iota of scientific evidence." One can understand Mr Ramesh's fury. About two billion people depend on meltwater from Himalayan glaciers. If they had believed what the IPCC said, then we could have witnessed a panic movement of population of unprecedented scale.

And where does our own climate change minister, Ed Miliband, stand on this? Last month he harrumphed that "We must not let the sceptics pass off political opinion as scientific fact... the melting of the Himalayan glaciers that feed the great rivers of South Asia could put hundreds of millions of people at risk of drought. Our security is at stake."

Now that Miliband stands revealed as someone who passed off political opinion as scientific fact, what does he say? Under the headline "Miliband declares war on climate change sceptics", the minister was reported this weekend as follows:" I think it would be wrong that when a mistake is made it's somehow used to undermine the overwhelming picture... when the next IPCC report comes out it will suggest that there have been areas where things have been happening more dramatically than the 2007 report implied."

A mistake? The single most significant and newsworthy claim in the IPCC's report is shown to be complete garbage, undermining confidence in the whole process, and it's just "a mistake"? One is reminded of Tony Blair's response to the Chilcot committee last week, when asked about his utterly discredited claim that Saddam Hussein had weapons of mass destruction that would take just 45 minutes to launch. A mere detail, said Blair: it was the media's fault for overstating its significance within the wider picture.

After non-existent weapons of mass destruction, the British Government now wants to terrify us - and the world - with scaremongering about "man-made" weather of mass destruction. That's the scandal - not whether someone has hacked into an East Anglian computer.


Junkscience: Climategate Distortion of Temperature Data

By S. Fred Singer, an atmospheric physicist

We discuss here in some detail the way in which warming trends were introduced into the IPCC Report-when in fact they did not exist or were extremely small. We focus on the period 1979 to 1997. There was cooling up to 1976; in 1998 there was a super-El-Nino and no subsequent warming. Our discussion is in three parts: (1) a `bottoms-up' approach; (2) the `top-down' approach; and next week I shall discuss (3) the treatment of sea surface temperatures (SST).

Bottoms-Up Distortion of Temperature Data

The Climate Research Unit of the University of East Anglia (CRU-UEA), under the direction of Dr. Philip Jones, collected data from weather stations from around the world. These are almost all land-based stations, showing a high concentration in the United States and Western Europe and a lower concentration elsewhere-with many parts of the globe hardly covered by reliable stations.

There are a variety of problems with such data, and the investigators were aware of most of them. Many stations produce useless data, either because of inadequate maintenance, or because of their location. Anthony Watts (in his WUWT blog) has shown that even stations in the USA were badly placed and subject to local warming influences that were not adequately corrected.

The surface of the earth is then divided into grid boxes, usually five degrees by five degrees. When there are several stations in a grid box, the investigators would choose those they considered most reliable-which in many cases meant urban stations, or stations at airports, that are well maintained. However, because of their location, they generally are subject to `urban heat-island' (UHI) effects, a local warming that increases with population and urban growth over time and suggests a temperature trend of a global nature. The investigators tried various ways to eliminate such local UHI trends, but were not very successful.

The problem was greatly exacerbated by the closing of over half the world's weather stations between 1970 and 2000 (see NIPCC Summary, Fig 12-which in most cases removed rural stations but also stations from higher latitudes and altitudes that tended to show a lower warming trend or no warming trend at all. It should be obvious therefore that this drastic change in the sampling population would introduce a fictitious warming trend which is an artifact of the change. E. Michael Smith and Joseph D'Aleo have documented in some detail how such artificial temperature trends could be produced even when there was no global trend.

The Top-Down (TD) Approach

In many ways, the `Top-Down' (TD) approach to derive the Global Mean Surface Temperature (GMST) is to be preferred over `bottom-up' (deriving GMST by collecting data from weather stations and sea surface readings). The TD approach relies primarily on the data from weather satellites, the only truly global measuring system, using a single microwave sounding (MSU) instrument and therefore independent of the vagaries of individual weather stations and their thermometers.

There are of course certain disadvantages: The MSU cannot measure temperatures at different levels of the atmosphere but derives instead a `weighted mean ` of the vertical temperature profile; the times of observation are fixed by the orbit of the satellite; a change of satellite, and MSU instrument, requires an overlap in operating time to permit a recalibration. Nevertheless, by comparing different view angles, one can change the weight factors and obtain a temperature value for `Lower Troposphere.' The University of Alabama, Huntsville (UAH) group has shown good agreement of UAH results with those of radiosondes from weather balloons.

As early as 1997, I noticed a disparity between temperature trends of satellites and surface trends, esp. in the tropics. (See Fig 9 in Hot Talk, Cold Science, 1997) The troposphere trends (between 1979 and 1995) were close to zero or even slightly negative, while surface trends showed a warming of about 0.05 deg per decade. This disparity is just the reverse of what one would expect from GH models [see IPCC-SAR]-namely a positive (warming) troposphere trend up to twice as large as the surface trend.

In addition, I noticed that the proxy data to which I had access showed no surface warming (tree-ring data of Jacoby et al (Fig 16 in HTCS) and ice core data of Dahl-Jensen et al]. I tried very hard to obtain more proxy data but was not successful. For example, I noticed that Michael Mann's infamous hockeystick graph did not extend beyond 1979 and suspected that his proxy temperatures diverged from the instrumented surface results. Yet when I wrote to Mann about post-1980 proxy data, I received only a brusque negative reply. Thanks to `Climategate' we now know, what I had then suspected, i.e., that Mann and Jones were engaged in a scheme to "hide the decline [in post-1979 proxy temperatures]."

To sum up: Both the satellite results and the proxy data tell us that the claimed rise of surface temperature between 1979 and 1997, shown by IPCC, is probably much smaller or even non-existent.


Brazil to give the Greenies a black eye?

Renewable energy? No thanks, say the Greenies

Brazil has approved the controversial construction of a giant hydroelectric dam in the heart of the Amazon, defying a 20-year protest by indigenous and environmental campaigners who say that the project will devastate the surrounding rainforest and threaten the survival of local tribes. The Belo Monte project on the Xingu river, an Amazon tributary, was started in the 1990s but abandoned amid widespread protests at home and abroad. The rock star Sting led a campaign against the plan with tribal leaders, and revisited Brazil in November last year to urge the Government to consider the impact of deforestation on greenhouse gas levels and global warming.

The $17billion dam in the northern state of Par  will be the world's third-largest and could provide electricity to 23million homes, a supply that the Government says is vital to the country's economic growth. Critics argue that the flooding of 500 sq km of rainforest will damage fish stocks and wildlife and force the displacement of indigenous peoples.

Carlos Minc, the Environment Minister, said on Monday that the land flooded would be a fraction of the 5,000 sq km originally planned. "The environmental impact exists but it has been weighed up, calculated and reduced," he said. "Not one Indian on indigenous land will be displaced." However, groups on land not demarcated as tribal territory - a distinction often labelled a get-out clause by indigenous campaigners - still stand to lose their homes.

Mr Minc said that they would be compensated. Indigenous groups complain that they were not properly consulted over the project, which Megaron Tuxucumarrae, a chief of the Kayapo tribe, said would destroy the environment that his people had taken care of for millennia. "We are opposed to dams on the Xingu, and will fight to protect our river," he said.

The state-run company Eletrobras is said to be eyeing the project, but a contract has not yet been awarded. The winning company will have to spend $803million on measures to minimise its impact and resettle an estimated 12,000 people.

Critics said that the Government had underestimated the potential impact in its attempt to meet political ends in an election year. Even within the Government, the project has been so contentious that in November two senior officials from Ibama, Brazil's environmental agency, resigned, citing political pressure.

With general elections looming in October, the Government is under pressure to deal with energy infrastructure problems that resulted in large swathes of the country, including Sao Paolo and Rio de Janeiro, being plunged into darkness in November.
Engineering experts have questioned the efficiency of the 11-gigawatt dam, which would be outstripped in size only by China's Three Gorges and Itaipu on the Brazil-Paraguay border.

Francisco Hernandez, an electrical engineer and joint co-ordinator of a group of 40 specialists who analysed the project, said that the dam would generate little electricity during the three to four-month dry season. Describing it as a scheme of "doubtful engineering viability", he said Belo Monte was an extremely complex project "that would interrupt the flow of water courses over an enormous area, requiring excavation of earth and rocks on the scale of that carried out for digging the Panama Canal". Up to 70 dams, roads, gas pipelines and power grids worth more than $30billion are to be built to tap the region's raw materials and transport agricultural products.

The announcement drew a furious reaction from environmental groups around the world. Aviva Imhof, the campaigns director of International Rivers, described it as a "foolish investment", and said that by investing in energy efficiency, Brazil could cut demand by 40 per cent over the nextdecade and save $19billion. "The amount of energy saved would be equivalent to 14 Belo Monte dams," she said. Fiona Watson, research director of the UK-based Survival International, said the dam would be a catastrophe for indigenous people. "The Brazilian Government has driven through the dam with a cavalier disregard to indigenous peoples' rights," she said. "Development in Brazil comes at an unacceptable price - the destruction of whole tribes."



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