Wednesday, July 14, 2010
A Null Hypothesis For CO2
I mentioned here on 10th that examinations of CO2 as a cause of global warming indicate that the null hypothesis should be accepted (i.e. no effect shown). The paper I referred to at the time is available in full here
The ‘radiative forcing constants’ in the IPCC models are devoid of physical meaning. This approach is empirical pseudoscience that belongs to the realm of climate astrology. The results derived from climate simulations that use the radiative forcing approach may be of limited academic interest in assessing model performance. However, such results are computational science fiction that have no relationship to the reality of the Earth’s climate. Radiative forcing by CO2 is, by definition a self-fulfilling prophesy, since the outcome is pre-ordained with a total disregard of the basic laws of physics. An increase in CO2 concentration must increase surface temperature. No other outcome is allowed and other possible climate effects are by definition excluded.
Based on the arguments presented here, a null hypothesis for CO2 is proposed:
It is impossible to show that changes in CO2 concentration have caused any climate change to the Earth’s climate, at least since the current composition of the atmosphere was set by ocean photosynthesis about one billion years ago.
Collapse of (Climate) Physics
More from Prof. Claes Johnson
The collapse of climate science, or more precisely climate alarmism based on the greenhouse-effect, which we are now witnessing, can be seen as a consequence of the collapse of physics with the takeover of Modernity in Physics, Arts and Music in the beginning of the 20th century, when Penguin Logic came to replace the rational logic and physics of the 19th century.
The greenhouse-effect states that by backradiation, the Earth surface will be heated by the presence of the trace gas CO2 in a colder atmosphere.
Now, the greenhouse-effect indicates a collapse of physics because
* it is not described in physics books
* it is not denied by physicists.
Climate alarmism is based on the greenhouse-effect, taking for granted that it has a solid physics basis. But it is not described in the physics literature and so is a free invention.
The collapse is signified by the fact that this is not what physicists are saying: They say nothing and thereby give silent support to a climate alarmism based on a greenhouse-effect without physics basis.
Why do physicists keep silent? Because the greenhouse-effect is based on backradiation and to understand that backradiation is unphysical, requires understanding the 2nd Law of Thermodynamics. But the 2nd Law is a mystery to modern physicists and thus a modern physicist cannot say what should be said, namely that backradiation violates the 2nd Law and thus the greenhouse-effect is fiction. This is a veritable collapse.
Dr. M. "Hockeystick" Mann: Philadelphia Is Burning Because of Global Warming!
Read here. Well.....Mann didn't claim Philadelphia is "burning" but the shady :-) climate scientist did make a comparably stupid, invalid claim: “Record heat wave in the US that’s part of a larger picture of early summer temperatures that are the warmest on record, which is part of a larger picture of a globe that is running warmer than ever before…”
As Dr. Richard Keen over at Watts Up With That visually documents, Mann again proves he will say anything, whether being false or just plain wrong, to push his warming agenda. Using the actual Philadelphia temperatures, the recent heat wave is not out of the ordinary.
(Larger image here)
Possibly, the Mann-bear-pig scientist might want to apply his "warming-science" to the Los Angeles or San Diego record summer cold - oh yeah, that's right, California cold is only weather, not global cooling.
Certainly, it's never too late to learn to appreciate actual empirical evidence, and thus, we recommend that Mr. Mann peruse our modern temperature charts for a while. If he were to do so, he may discover that the actual temperature data does not strongly support the AGW crisis hysteria. In fact modern temperature increases look pretty natural when compared to historical and ancient temperatures.
SOURCE (See the original for links)
Gone with the wind
Renewables like solar power and others can't fuel America's future. Say experts: Just do the math
About once a month, Robert Bryce climbs onto the roof of his Austin, Texas, home, lugging a long-handled mop. The science writer and Manhattan Institute fellow isn't cleaning gutters. He's cleaning solar panels.
The 3,200-watts of solar photovoltaic panels provide one-third of the electricity that Bryce's family consumes, slightly reducing his monthly power bill. But the panels aren't without problems: The start-up costs were high, the inverter has already broken once, and the panels require regular cleaning.
Bryce quickly wondered if the panels were worth the investment, and he soon realized that the limits of solar power for his Texas home extended to the rest of the country: Solar power won't run America anytime soon. Neither will wind power.
Yet that's precisely the direction many suggest taking: Congress was poised in late June to begin debating an energy bill that could require utility companies to generate more electricity from wind, solar, or other renewable energy sources. When President Barack Obama seized the Gulf Coast oil spill to push for a clean energy bill, he spoke of wind power, though wind has little immediate connection with oil: Wind produces electricity, not the kind of fuel that oil provides for cars. "You can build windmills from coast to coast, and it doesn't do anything to help our oil situation," says Steven Hayward of the American Enterprise Institute (AEI).
But the president's push for government-funded wind and solar energy—and away from sources like coal and oil—isn't new. Obama's February budget proposal for 2011 included a 48 percent increase in government subsidies for wind power—from $83 million this year to $123 million in 2011. On solar energy, the president asked for a 22 percent hike—from $247 million to $302 million.
For Bryce, the problems with wind and solar power are simple: The math doesn't add up. The author of Power Hungry: The Myths of "Green" Energy and the Real Fuels of the Future (PublicAffairs, 2010), Bryce says wind and solar simply can't provide large amounts of power at a reasonable cost, a critical need for rich and poor countries alike.
Instead, Bryce and others point to already-proven energy sources they believe deserve more attention: natural gas and nuclear energy.
Natural gas, particularly, is abundant and available now. It's also easier to extract than oil and cleaner than coal. And—like nuclear power—natural gas trumps any wide-scale potential promised by wind or solar energy.
"I'm all for renewables," Bryce says. "I wish they worked better than they do. But our energy and power systems are not determined by carbon content or political correctness. They're determined by math and physics."
Math and physics offer stark realities about wind and solar energy. The most obvious problem: The sources are intermittent.
As Sen. Bob Bennett, R-Utah, ranking member of the Subcommittee on Energy and Water Development, told Environment and Energy Daily: "The wind doesn't always blow and the sun doesn't always shine."
To make the energy sources consistently reliable on a wide scale would require massive amounts of reliable storage—technology that doesn't exist on a cost-effective basis. Forcing utility companies to generate more of their power using wind and solar would likely raise energy costs for U.S. consumers.
Another problem: Wind and solar require massive amounts of land to produce and transport energy. The Nature Conservancy, a U.S. environmental group, published a report last year estimating that wind power requires about 30 times as much land as nuclear energy, and four times as much land required for natural gas.
The high costs, unreliability, and land usage aren't just a problem for prosperous nations like the United States. The dynamic is especially unrealistic for developing countries in desperate need of cheap energy for basic survival. Connecting the developing world to affordable sources of energy—including sources like coal and oil—and moving the poorest populations away from using sources like wood and dung, remains a critical way to raise the standard of living in some of the most miserable places in the world.
Cal Beisner of the evangelical Cornwall Alliance points out that energy policy in the United States isn't isolated: "The average American does not connect the person in Sudan cooking over dung with energy policy in the U.S."
But policies that would raise the cost of energy here also serve as a model to other nations and as a basis for international treaties on energy consumption, says Beisner: "Not only would those policies hurt Americans by raising the price of energy for all of us . . . they would also impose such policies on people who desperately need to be delivered from the dirtiest possible fuels."
How critical is cheap energy for developing countries? Bryce points out that Africa—a continent with 14 percent of the world's population—has developed only 3 percent of the world's electricity. Of the 15 countries in the world with the highest death rates, 14 of them are in Africa. Of the 22 countries with the highest infant mortality rates, 21 of them are in Africa. Many factors contribute to those high death rates, but a widespread availability of cheap energy would likely make life healthier for millions.
Back in the United States, if wind and solar remain unrealistic for large-scale, cost-effective energy, natural gas has already proven itself on both counts: Natural gas provided nearly a quarter of the nation's energy for electricity in 2009, second only to coal.
Advances in technology over the last five years have created a mini-revolution in extracting natural gas using new methods, opening up new gas supplies all over the country. Hayward of AEI says fields are so vast, it's conceivable that the United States could become an exporter of natural gas over the next few decades. The new technology could also hold promise for developing countries still creating their power systems, if they embrace natural gas as a major source of energy that is far cleaner than coal.
Peter Huber, author of The Bottomless Well (Basic Books, 2005), sees another major use for natural gas: transportation. The United States consumes massive amounts of oil for vehicles each year, but Huber thinks natural gas could compete. He notes that some 10 million vehicles worldwide already run on natural gas. Vehicles would require more natural gas to travel the same distance, but Huber says modifications to vehicles over the coming years could accommodate the change. And since natural gas is cheaper than oil, the option could still be cost effective.
Major challenges remain: Natural gas pipelines—regulated by the federal government—would need to run to the gas stations that supply fuel, and the fuel still wouldn't work for every vehicle. And many critics cite safety concerns against using natural gas in vehicles.
Critics also worry that more drilling for natural gas could lead to groundwater contamination for nearby neighborhoods—a concern natural gas companies will need to acknowledge and monitor.
Natural gas advocates emphasize that gas isn't an energy silver bullet, and that any major energy transition will still take decades. But they insist the technology holds more long-term promise than wind or solar. In the meantime, they say we shouldn't abandon one of the best fuels we have: oil. Despite the devastating BP oil spill, oil advocates point out that major spills are rare, and that relying more heavily on imports could lead to tanker spills—already much more common than well leaks.
With any major energy transition still years away, Hayward says oil is here to stay for at least decades. "The 'problem with oil' is that it's such a terrific fuel, it's hard to match its performance and cost with anything else." Bryce agrees, and bristles when politicians complain about an abundance of fossil fuels.
"Without those fossil fuels, we would be returned to the incredible environmental destruction and nasty living conditions and incredibly hard labor of the 19th century," he says. "We would be living in dire poverty."
Ocean bugs gobbling up CO2 at a great rate
The ocean is Earth's largest single sink for CO2 outside of the planet's crust itself. Simple sea creatures depend on carbon dissolved in the ocean's water for their existence, and their actions create a biological carbon “pump” that removes vast quantities of CO2 from the atmosphere. Large amounts are suspended in the water column as dissolved organic carbon (DOC), and each year the ocean's biological pump deposits some 300 million tons of carbon in the deep ocean sink. New findings have revealed that massive amounts of carbon are converted into “inedible” forms of organic carbon that remain out of circulation for thousands of years, effectively sequestering the carbon by removing it from the ocean food chain. According to Jiao Nianzhi, a microbial ecologist here at Xiamen University, the amount stored is tremendous: “It's really huge. It's comparable to all the carbon dioxide in the air.”
On average, the world's oceans absorb 2% more carbon than they emit each year, forming an important sink in the overall carbon cycle. CO2 is absorbed by the ocean in a number of ways. Some dissolves into the water column, forming carbonic acid (H2CO3) while more enters the seas through the food chain. Green, photosynthesizing plankton converts as much as 60 gigatons of carbon per year into organic carbon—roughly the same amount fixed by land plants and almost 10 times the amount emitted by human activity. But this form of carbon is only stored for a short period of time.
According to a news focus article in Science by Richard Stone: “Even more massive amounts of carbon are suspended in the water column as DOC. The oceans hold an estimated 700 billion tons of carbon as DOC—more than all land biomass put together (600 billion tons of carbon) and nearly as much as all the CO2 in the air (750 billion tons of carbon).” The carbon cycle with its various sinks and sources are shown in the IPCC diagram below.
What is more important is the conversion of immense amounts of bioavailable organic carbon into difficult-to-digest forms known as refractory DOC. The microbe driven conversion has been named the microbial carbon pump (MCP) by Jiao. Once transformed into a form less palatable to hungry marine microorganisms, the sequestered carbon can build up in the ocean's waters forming a huge reservoir of stored carbon. The process is described in a Nature Reviews Microbiology perspective, “Microbial production of recalcitrant dissolved organic matter: long-term carbon storage in the global ocean,” written by Jaio and colleagues. Their findings are described in the article's abstract:
The biological pump is a process whereby CO2 in the upper ocean is fixed by primary producers and transported to the deep ocean as sinking biogenic particles or as dissolved organic matter. The fate of most of this exported material is remineralization to CO2, which accumulates in deep waters until it is eventually ventilated again at the sea surface. However, a proportion of the fixed carbon is not mineralized but is instead stored for millennia as recalcitrant dissolved organic matter. The processes and mechanisms involved in the generation of this large carbon reservoir are poorly understood. Here, we propose the microbial carbon pump as a conceptual framework to address this important, multifaceted biogeochemical problem.
Many oceanographers credit Jiao with first recognizing the dominant role microbes play in “pumping” bioavailable carbon into a pool of relatively inert compounds “The existence of this ‘inedible’ organic carbon in the ocean has been known for quite some time. But its role in the global carbon cycle has been recognized only recently,” says Michal Koblizek, a microbiologist at the Institute of Microbiology in Trebon, Czech Republic. Furthermore, Markus Weinbauer, a microbial oceanographer at Laboratoire d'Océanographie de Villefranche in France, states that the concept “could revolutionize our view of carbon sequestration.” ....
Here is a previously unsuspected mechanism that can explain how nature keeps Earth's ecology in balance, despite the presence of human CO2 emissions. The microbial carbon pump, perhaps in concert with the “jelly pump” discovered by Lebrato and Jones in 2006, are busy compensating for the relatively small amount of carbon human activity releases each year. It is a natural regulation mechanism that science did not know existed and still does not fully understand, meaning that how Earth's ecology and climate interact must be revised. As Steven Wilhelm, a microbiologist at the University of Tennessee, notes, “We are just at the dawn of developing this understanding.”
Carbon is essential to life on Earth, and the carbon cycle helps regulate both life and climate. Nature has many hidden mechanisms that help manage carbon and CO2—mechanisms that were unknown when the commotion over anthropogenic global warming erupted decades ago and other mechanisms as yet undiscovered. Predictions that the ocean will soon lose its capacity to absorb CO2 were made in ignorance and have been shown to be wrong. What new discoveries the young and incomplete field of climate science will make in the future is anyone's guess. One thing is certain, those who would cry doom and predict the death of the ocean at human hands will have to invent new hazards to frighten the public. This is “settled science” like quicksand is solid ground.
Much more HERE (See the original for links, graphics etc.)
Wind Turbines: Analysis of the Epidemiology and Related Evidence on Health
This important document prepared by Dr. Carl V. Phillips MPP, PhD, was submitted to the Wisconsin Public Service Commission as testimony on whether turbine noise is having an adverse effect on human health.
A summary of the main conclusions of my expert opinion, based on my knowledge of epidemiology and scientific methods, and my reading of the available studies and reports, is as follows:
• There is ample scientific evidence to conclude that wind turbines cause serious health problems for some people living nearby. Some of the most compelling evidence in support of this has been somewhat overlooked in previous analyses, including that the existing evidence fits what is known as the case-crossover study design, one of the most useful studies in epidemiology, and the revealed preference (observed behavior) data of people leaving their homes, etc., which provides objective measures of what would otherwise be subjective phenomena. In general, this is an exposure-disease combination where causation can be inferred from a smaller number of less formal observations than is possible for cases such as chemical exposure and cancer risk.
• The reported health effects, including insomnia, loss of concentration, anxiety, and general psychological distress are as real as physical ailments, and are part of accepted modern definitions of individual and public health. While such ailments are sometimes more difficult to study, they probably account for more of the total burden of morbidity in Western countries than do strictly physical diseases. It is true that there is no bright line between these diseases and less intense similar problems that would not usually be called a disease, this is a case for taking the less intense versions of the problems more seriously in making policy decisions, not to ignore the serious diseases.
• Existing evidence is not sufficient to make several important quantifications, including what portion of the population is susceptible to the health effects from particular exposures, how much total health impact wind turbines have, and the magnitude of exposure needed to cause substantial risk of important health effects. However, these are questions that could be answered if some resources were devoted to finding the answer. It is not necessary to proceed with siting so that more data can accumulate, since there is enough data now if it were gathered and analyzed.
• The reports that claim that there is no evidence of health effects are based on a very simplistic understanding of epidemiology and self-serving definitions of what does not count as evidence. Though those reports probably seem convincing prima facie, they do not represent proper scientific reasoning, and in some cases the conclusions of those reports do not even match their own analysis.
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Posted by JR at 4:58 PM