Saturday, July 31, 2010

The the basic assumptions of a terrestrial greenhouse effect dismissed as unrealistic

The following paper is available via Arxiv, which is a non-peer-reviewed source. Getting extreme skepticism into a peer-reviewed journal is close to impossible however. In the several sciences that I know well, the journals are very protective of the prevailing orthodoxies

On the meaning of feedback parameter, transient climate response, and the greenhouse effect: Basic considerations and the discussion of uncertainties

By Gerhard Kramm & Ralph Dlugi


In this paper we discuss the meaning of feedback parameter, greenhouse effect and transient climate response usually related to the globally averaged energy balance model of Schneider and Mass.

After scrutinizing this model and the corresponding planetary radiation balance we state that (a) the this globally averaged energy balance model is flawed by unsuitable physical considerations, (b) the planetary radiation balance for an Earth in the absence of an atmosphere is fraught by the inappropriate assumption of a uniform surface temperature, the so-called radiative equilibrium temperature of about 255 K, and (c) the effect of the radiative anthropogenic forcing, considered as a perturbation to the natural system, is much smaller than the uncertainty involved in the solution of the model of Schneider and Mass.

This uncertainty is mainly related to the empirical constants suggested by various authors and used for predicting the emission of infrared radiation by the Earth's skin. Furthermore, after inserting the absorption of solar radiation by atmospheric constituents and the exchange of sensible and latent heat between the Earth and the atmosphere into the model of Schneider and Mass the surface temperatures become appreciably lesser than the radiative equilibrium temperature.

Moreover, neither the model of Schneider and Mass nor the Dines-type two-layer energy balance model for the Earth-atmosphere system, both contain the planetary radiation balance for an Earth in the absence of an atmosphere as an asymptotic solution, do not provide evidence for the existence of the so-called atmospheric greenhouse effect if realistic empirical data are used.


The Death Of The Global Warming Movement

The Reid energy bill abandons cap-and-trade, dooming the cause

Future historians will pinpoint Democratic Sen. Harry Reid's energy legislation, released Tuesday, as the moment that the political movement of global warming entered an irreversible death spiral. It is kaput! Finito! Done!

This is not just my read of the situation; it is also that of Paul Krugman, the Nobel laureate-turned-Democratic-apparatchik. In his latest column for The New York Times, Krugman laments that “all hope for action to limit climate change died” in 2010. Democrats had a brief window of opportunity before the politics of global warming changed forever in November to ram something through Congress. But the Reid bill chose not to do so for the excellent reason that Democrats want to avoid an even bigger beating than the one they already face at the polls.

Not only does the bill avoid all mention of an economy-wide emission cap through a cap-and-tax--oops, cap-and-trade--scheme, it even avoids capping emissions or imposing renewable electricity standards on utility companies, the minimum that enviros had hoped for. Beyond stricter regulations on off-shore drilling, it offers subsidies to both homeowners to encourage them to make their homes more energy efficient and the nation's fleet of trucks to use cleaner burning natural gas. This is not costless, but it is a bargain compared with the “comprehensive” action on energy and climate change that President Barack Obama had been threatening.

Krugman blames this outcome on--you'll never guess this!--greedy energy companies and cowardly Republicans who sold out. But the fault, Dear Paul, lies not in them, but in your own weakling theories.

The truth is that there never has been an environmental issue that has enjoyed greater corporate support. Early in the global warming crusade, a coalition of corporations called United States Climate Action Partnership was formed with the express purpose of lobbying Congress to cut greenhouse gas emissions. It included major utilities (Duke Energy ( DUK - news - people )) and gas companies (BP ( BP - news - people )) that stood to gain by hobbling the coal industry through a cap-and-trade scheme. Meanwhile, the Breakthrough Institute, a highly respected liberal outfit whose mission is to rejuvenate the progressive movement in this country, points out that environmental groups spent at least $100 million over the past two years executing what was arguably the best mobilization campaign in history. Despite all of this, notes Breakthrough, there is little evidence to suggest that cap-and-trade would have mustered more than 43 votes in the Senate.

This means that lucre is not the only motivating force in politics. Indeed, lobbyists are effective generally when they represent causes that coincide with the will of constituents, which is far from the case here. Voters are reluctant to accept economic pain to address remote causes with an uncertain upside. Heck, they are dubious even when the cause is not so remote and has a demonstrable upside. Take Social Security and Medicare. It is a mathematical certainty that, without reform, these programs will go bankrupt, jeopardizing the health care and retirement benefits of tens of millions Americans. Even though the cost of action is far smaller compared with the cost of inaction, persuading voters to do something is an uphill battle.

Yet even in the heyday of the consensus on global warming there was never this kind of certainty. The ClimateGate scandal--in which prominent climatologists were caught manipulating data to exaggerate the observed warming--has significantly weakened this consensus. But even if it hadn't, climate change is too complex an issue to ever be established with anything approaching iron-clad certainty. Hence, it was inevitable that it would run into a political dead-end.

This is exactly what the Reid bill represents. Indeed, if Democrats backed-off from their grand designs to cut carbon emissions 17% below 2005 levels by 2020 with sizable majorities in Congress and a “celestial healer” in the White House there is little chance that they will ever be able to accomplish anything better at a later date. And if America--the richest country in the world and the biggest emitter of greenhouse gases--won't act, there is a snowball's chance in Mumbai that India or China will.

Of course, authoritarian countries have a little bit more leeway than democracies to push unpalatable remedies. But it is not within the power of even China's autocrats to shove an energy diet down the throat of their people on the theory that the pain from it will be short-lived because it will trigger a search for better and cleaner energy alternatives--the totality of the green pitch for action.

This doesn't mean that there aren't a few more whimpers left in the global warming movement before it finally passes. On the international front, the buzz is that the Fifth Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change currently in the works will be even more alarmist than the previous one. However, thanks to ClimateGate, it will give greater play to alternative voices. “Going forward, the general perception won't be one of consensus,” notes Cato Institute Senior Fellow Jerry Taylor, an expert on energy issues, “but one of increasing appreciation of disagreement on the issue.”

Domestically, green groups will prod the Environmental Protection Agency to regulate greenhouse gas emissions more aggressively. But this will be harder to do when Republicans inevitably make gains in Congress in November. Indeed, they will likely revive a Senate resolution floated by Lisa Murkowski, an Alaska Republican, banning the EPA from regulating emissions from stationary sources, which lost by just four votes last month. Global warming warriors are also talking about fighting the battle for emission cuts state-by-state. But they will lose on that front too. California, which embraced such cuts four years ago, is already facing a ballot initiative in November to scrap the law, as it loses business and jobs to other states. Indeed, the same collective action problems that prevent global action on climate change will inevitably bedevil state-level action too.

The global warming warriors will likely have to go through the five stages of grief before accepting that their moment has passed and the movement is dead. Thinkers more sophisticated than Krugman will no doubt point to many proximate causes for its demise beyond evil Republicans such as lack of engagement by President Obama, bad economic timing, filibuster rules, what have you.

The reality is, however, that the crusade was doomed from the start because of its own inherent weaknesses. RIP.


Monckton gets an audience in NYC

The following report is from a Greenie site but it still stands out that Monckton was the only one talking about the science. They had to go to Warmists not present at the debate to get critical comments -- comments that Monckton could easily have rebutted if asked. Heck! Even I could rebut them but it has all been said before on this blog

At the Bowery Hotel in New York on Tuesday, Christopher Monckton, the Third Viscount Monckton of Benchley, debated Eric Bates, executive editor of Rolling Stone magazine, on the topic of climate change. Lord Monckton is an outspoken climate change skeptic, while Rolling Stone recently published a cover story maintaining that climate skeptics have enabled polluting industries to murder the climate.

Tracy Morgan – stand-up comedian, “Saturday Night Live” alumni and Emmy nominee for his role on the NBC sitcom “30 Rock” – moderated.

“Well, I think we should start with what we know,” Mr. Bates said in an opening statement. “We know that global warming is happening, it’s happening now, not in some distant future, it’s caused by us and it’s worse than we expected.”

Lord Monckton, as would be expected, vociferously disagreed. “I can quote you statistics on cold as often as he can quote you statistics for hot,” he said. “There is no global warming problem, there isn’t going to be a global warming problem. Sit back and enjoy the sunshine.”

The 30-minute debate was brisk, with questions posed by Mr. Morgan (he compared himself at one point to the actor Denzel Washington, who played a debate coach in “The Great Debaters”) and responses and rebuttals limited to a minute apiece.

Mr. Bates kept largely to the social and economic dimensions of climate change, railing against the political gridlock in Congress that has repeatedly stymied efforts to cap carbon emissions, and citing the well-documented support by polluting industries of efforts to discredit the notion that human actions were warming the planet.

Lord Monckton, on the other hand, started a full-throated assault on mainstream climate change science, citing numerous statistics and research findings to support his firm belief that humanity had nothing to fear from runaway carbon emissions.

Some scientists questioned the accuracy of several facts and figures, however. At one point, Lord Monckton belittled concerns that rising temperatures at the poles could harm species like penguins or polar bears. “There is no risk for the penguins,” he said. “Likewise for the polar bears. There are five times as many of them today as there were in 1940.”

This assertion – that the polar bear population has quintupled in the later half of the 20th century – has no basis in fact, according to veteran bear researchers.

“It’s not at all accurate, and this is one of the things the climate denier groups say over and over again,” said Steven C. Amstrup, senior polar bear scientist at the United States Geological Survey’s Alaska Science Center. “There really isn’t any authenticated source for that information.”

Mr. Amstrup took exception, too, with Lord Monckton’s assertion that species across the globe were “perfectly capable” of coping with even extreme temperature rises. “Species are not, not, not at risk,” Lord Monckton said.

“That’s just simply not true,” Mr. Amstrup said, citing the steady decline of polar bear populations in Hudson Bay, linked directly to a sharp retreat of sea ice in the region.

Lord Monckton also delved into the climate record, asserting that climate reconstructions from distant eras proved that the warming being experienced now was hardly unique, and thus no cause for concern. “It is getting warmer, but it is not warmer than it was in the Middle Ages, or in the Roman period, or in the Minoan warm period, or in the Holocene warm period, 8,500 years ago,” he said.

But Gavin Schmidt, a climatologist with the NASA Goddard Institute for Space Studies, said that knowledge of the world climate during these eras remains sketchy at best.

“There’s no global reconstruction that goes back to the Roman period. There’s no reconstruction that goes back to the Minoan warm period,” Mr. Schmidt said. “These things only exist in the fevered imaginings of the skeptics.” [They exist in history, actually]


The Carbon Bonanza. More government work for the UEA: not only CRU but LCIC too

Like the Royal Society of London, which has turned itself into little more than an agent of government, some parts of our universities seem to be going the same way on board the 'CO2 is bad' bandwagon.

Despite the inconvenient lack of a climate signal due to human-released CO2, the carbon campaign unleashed by the IPCC trundles on, with fabulous sums of money being assigned to it. One participant enjoying the bonanza is the University of East Anglia (UEA). We have all heard more than was edifying about CRU, but there is a newer kid on their block: the [British] Low Carbon Innovation Centre (LCIC).

The LCIC could easily be part of a government department under the previous administration, the major climate-related follies of which seem set to be continued by the new one. And like government departments involved in the CO2 madness, they have no hesitation in peddling their wares to schoolchildren, despite the law against political indoctrination in education.

The LCIC website has (at the time of this posting) a banner with a sequence of 8 pictures, at least 2 of which show government ministers from the previous Labour government of the UK: Benn, Clark, and Miliband (Ed). The picture of Benn could have been modelled on Soviet agitprop from the 1930s: his fist in the air, behind rows of happy children also with their arms in the air in gestures of solidarity. Truly the people are marching forward to the sunlit uplands under the guidance of their wise masters. (They will of course need all the sun they can get if renewable energy continues to divert resources from more sensible methods of mass energy production such as coal, gas, and nuclear.)

They describe three areas of activity:

(1) Cred

The CRed System is the perfect tool to engage large communities of residents and workforces to reduce their carbon emissions and is ideally suited to address the CRC Energy Efficiency Scheme, NI 185 and NI186 and other National Indicators as well as more informal community-based commitments. It therefore meets the low carbon intentions of both public and private sector organisations with over 70 carbon reduction pledges to assist behaviour change. Each pledge pathway addresses aspects of domestic and business emissions including transport, energy consumption, food, waste and water offering efficiency advice on giving accurate savings figures.

(2) Innovation Funds

East of England Low Carbon Venture Capital Fund

In June 2009, UEA, through the Low Carbon Innovation Centre (LCIC), was provisionally appointed as Fund Operator for an exciting new investment fund in the East of England. This appointment, which follows UEA’s success in running the Carbon Connections programme has now been formalised and since the summer, the UEA team, led by LCIC’s Chief Executive Dr Chris Harrison, has been working hard with EEDA to obtain government approval for the Fund. With approval in place, the next stage was to appoint a Fund Manager who will be responsible for raising private money for co-investment into innovative, regional SMEs alongside investments from the £8M pot from the European Regional Development Funds. The fund will have a broad low-carbon remit and be capable of supporting a wide range of new and established companies in their low carbon activities and products through equity investments.

Carbon Connections Fund

Designed specifically to stimulate and support the transfer of knowledge from the university research sector into public and private sector organisations, the Carbon Connections fund supports innovative projects involving technology or services development, proof-of-concept, prototyping or testing. From August 2009, projects will typically be supported up to a maximum of £50,000 subject to agreement of terms. The Carbon Connections fund is operated by LCIC in collaboration with Carbon Connections UK Limited.

[Carbon Connections UK Limited is a company registered in England, Company no.5906083 whose registered office is at The University of East Anglia, Norwich, Norfolk NR4 7TJ, United Kingdom. See here, where they assert 'Climate change affects us all and we need to act now to drastically reduce our carbon output.' - a banality followed by a non-sequitur. Dontcha just love higher education!]

(3) Carbon Consulting

Our services include; organisational and management reviews of carbon reduction potential; carbon footprinting for your organisation and its products; climate change mitigation and adaptation planning; long and short term staff and community engagement programmes designed to deliver and measure impact; evaluation for both technological and behavioural carbon reduction initiatives; and technology evaluation and options appraisal.

Here they are at work, doing some 'behavioural change' stuff for some local schools in Norfolk (Hat tip: thanks for this to reader Dave Ward):

Norfolk Evening News, 27 July 2010

Dave Ward adds:
"We have 2 local daily papers here in Norfolk - the Evening News, and the Eastern Daily Press (EDP). Both come under the Archant umbrella, and are edited in the same offices in the centre of the city. They are also printed in the same building on the outskirts ....

The interesting thing is the rather different editorial policies - the EDP has a much wider coverage and is traditionally Tory supporting, as is most of Norfolk/Suffolk/Cambridgeshire. The EEN as we call it (used to be the Eastern Evening News) is aimed primarily at the City and suburbs, which are largely Labour territory, although that changed at the last election.

If you only read the EEN you would know little of the UEA CRU "leak" ... The EDP, by contrast, has featured the saga in quite a bit more detail..."

I imagine the faithful run these outreach missions to schools, armed with their computer outputs showing terrible times ahead, and able to pick, like a Thought for the Day speaker, on some recent disaster such as a flood or a famine to drive home the relevance of their message.

The immediate result is that the youngsters go home wanting to monitor energy use, but the real impact involves their being told what to do, what to believe, and to take it for granted that energy consumption must be reduced. Despite our potential abundance of energy from many sources, energy which is not only important for our way of life, and our industrial competitiveness, but which also strengthens our ability to respond to whatever the climate may bring. Including, in particular, the possibility of appreciably cooler weather. This readiness is put at risk by fatuous talk of humans controlling the climate itself.


Australia: Seaweed smothering Great Barrier Reef?

This is an old, old claim about the destructive effects of nutrient runoff from those evil farms -- but the reef is still there

SEAWEED is choking the Great Barrier Reef and killing coral, new research has found. Scientists in one of the largest studies of water quality pollution on the reef yesterday revealed the shock impact on the $1 billion-a-year tourism drawcard.

Poor water quality on the reef due to run-off, nutrients and high turbidity was increasing the amount of seaweed and reducing biodiversity of corals, the study found.

Hot spots include the inshore reef north of the Burdekin River and the entire Wet Tropics zone from Townsville to Port Douglas.

"Seaweeds are a natural part of the reef," said Australian Institute of Marine Science coral reef ecologist Dr Katharina Fabricius. "But what we don't want is billions of algae smothering coral. "Choking is a loaded term but when seaweed abundance becomes too high there is no space left for coral to grow."

The study has just been published in the authoritative scientific journal Ecological Applications. It used data collated from 150 reefs and at more than 2000 water quality stations across the Great Barrier Reef Marine Park since 1992.

Principal investigator Dr Glenn Death said seaweed cover increased fivefold under poor water quality. "The diversity of corals was also affected, decreasing in poor water quality," he said. "Currently, the water on 22 per cent of reefs - about 647 reefs - on the Great Barrier Reef does not meet water quality guidelines."

The study predicts that if water quality was improved in these areas, seaweed would be reduced by more than one-third and the number of coral species would bounce back by 13 per cent.

The Great Barrier Reef Marine Park extends 2000km along the northeast Australian coast and covers 345,000sq km.


More simple-minded Green/Left nonsense exposed in Australia

Energy star ratings in disarray and the Gillard government has no reply

LABOR'S push to cut greenhouse gas emissions through the use of energy efficiency schemes was yesterday dealt another blow when building industry heavyweights discredited the star ratings being applied to hundreds of thousands of homes.

Investigations by the building industry have found that the mandatory star ratings scheme is inaccurate and fundamentally flawed.

The Housing Industry Association and Master Builders Australia yesterday joined scientists in calling for urgent action by the Department of Climate Change and Energy Efficiency to resolve problems that are potentially having an impact on more than 100,000 houses built each year.

They said owners were not aware that mandatory software tools -- used to calculate whether a planned new house could achieve the minimum five-star energy efficiency rating necessary to obtain approval for construction -- gave vastly different results for the same house under identical conditions.

It is another setback for the government while it is still trying to quell criticism after the shelving of its emissions trading scheme, the disintegration of the home insulation program and green loans scheme, and the subsequent findings that both were fatally flawed, costing lives and taxpayers' money due to poor planning and execution.

It also comes after Labor's latest environmental announcements -- the 150-person citizens assembly to forge a national consensus on action on climate change and the cash-for-clunkers green car replacement scheme -- were widely criticised.

Opposition climate change spokesman Greg Hunt said last night that the government could not get its environmental programs right. "We saw that with pink batts, green loans and cancelled solar programs," Mr Hunt said. "They need to explain why home owners and builders face this confusing and potentially costly mess. "They should release all material on this to the public before the election."

Flaws in the star rating system emerged after industry bodies, private companies and scientists commissioned independent studies showing significant variations were being calculated by the three different software tools when tested on identical dwellings. The results show that the three software tools, including the original model designed by the CSIRO, were inherently unreliable.

The star ratings system was rolled out nationally several years ago and recently extended to older houses. The findings mean that in some cases houses that should be failing the energy efficiency test are being approved and built, while identical houses are going back to the drawing board for changes and costing their owners more time and money to get right.

It also means the stated objective of the federal government to cut greenhouse gas emissions in houses is in serious question.

Faulty software tools will have a greater impact from next year when the federal government's national energy strategy requires all homes being sold or leased to be star-rated and for the rating to be disclosed. Older dwellings, which will not achieve the five- or six-star minimum, may be punished financially by buyers and tenants.

The findings add weight to the concerns of energy efficiency experts that star ratings are a multi-billion-dollar debacle.

Peter Jones, chief economist of Master Builders Australia, said yesterday: "We have independent expert evidence showing us this is a real concern and it needs to be brought to light and addressed. "There are unacceptable differences between the star ratings produced by the software tools when assessing the same house. "We are drawing a line in the sand and saying, 'Look, the research is overwhelming now; something must be done', Mr Jones said.

The authorities need to come up with a solution so that consumers can be confident in the star ratings and the tools. "As builders, we do not really care (what the tool is) but we think it is bad policy when it is not working properly."

Housing Industry Association senior executive director Kristin Tomkins said the association's independent testing, which showed significant differences in energy ratings, including a variation of 3.2 stars for the same Brisbane house, were troubling and undermined the scheme's credibility. She said builders and home owners needed confidence in the mandatory energy efficiency programs that cost them time and money.

Industry sources called for an Australian Competition & Consumer Commission investigation and said some savvy energy assessors were "gaming" the star ratings and making a mockery of the scheme by switching software tools until one delivered the required result.

The Department of Climate Change and Energy Efficiency, which has recently joined the CSIRO in investigating problems with the gauges, has said it was "premature to say there is any significant impact on overall house ratings or compliance costs".

A department spokesman did not return The Weekend Australian's call yesterday to respond to the findings. Climate Change Minister Penny Wong declined to comment.



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Ed said...

The futility of Mankind trying to control climate

On average world temperature is +15⁰C. This is sustained by the atmospheric Greenhouse Effect 33⁰C. Without the Greenhouse Effect the planet would be un-inhabitable at -18⁰C. The Biosphere and Mankind need the Greenhouse Effect.

Just running the numbers by translating the agents causing the Greenhouse Effect into degrees centigrade:
• Greenhouse Effect = 33.00⁰C
• Water Vapour accounts for about 95% of the Greenhouse Effect = + 31.35⁰C
• Other Greenhouse Gasses GHGs account for 5% = ~1.65⁰C
• CO2 is 75% of the effect of all accounting fort the enhanced effects of Methane and Nitrous Oxide GHGs = ~1.24⁰C
• Most CO2 in the atmosphere is natural, more than 93%:
• Man-made CO2 is less than 7% of total atmospheric CO2 = 0.087⁰C:
So closing carbon economies of the Whole World could only ever achieve a virtually undetectable <1/10 ⁰C. How can the Green movement and their supporting politicians think that their remedial actions can limit warming to only + 2.00 ⁰C?


So the probability is that any current global warming is not man-made and in any case such warming could be not be influenced by any remedial action taken by mankind however drastic.

As this is so, the prospect should be greeted with Unmitigated Joy:
• concern over CO2 as a man-made pollutant can be discounted.
• it is not necessary to damage the world’s economy to no purpose.
• if warming were happening, it would lead to a more benign and healthy climate for all mankind.
• any extra CO2 is already increasing the fertility of all plant life and thus enhancing world food production.
• a warmer climate, within natural variation, would provide a future of greater opportunity and prosperity for human development. This has been well proven in the past and would now especially benefit the third world.

Nonetheless, this is not to say that the world should not be seeking more efficient ways of generating its energy, conserving its energy use and stopping damaging its environments. And there is a real need to wean the world off the continued use of fossil fuels simply on the grounds of:
• security of supply
• increasing scarcity
• rising costs
• their use as the feedstock for industry rather than simply burning them.

The French long-term energy strategy with its massive commitment to nuclear power is impressive, (85% of electricity generation). Even if one is concerned about CO2, Nuclear Energy pays off, French CO2 emissions / head are the lowest in the developed world.
However in the light of the state of the current solar cycle, it seems that there is a real prospect of damaging cooling occurring in the near future for several decades.
And now Man-made Global Warming has become a state sponsored religion.

Ed said...

The futility of Mankind trying to control climate

On average world temperature is +15⁰C. This is sustained by the atmospheric Greenhouse Effect 33⁰C. Without the Greenhouse Effect the planet would be un-inhabitable at -18⁰C. The Biosphere and Mankind need the Greenhouse Effect.

Just running the numbers by translating the agents causing the Greenhouse Effect into degrees centigrade:
• Greenhouse Effect = 33.00⁰C
• Water Vapour accounts for about 95% of the Greenhouse Effect = + 31.35⁰C
• Other Greenhouse Gasses GHGs account for 5% = ~1.65⁰C
• CO2 is 75% of the effect of all accounting fort the enhanced effects of Methane and Nitrous Oxide GHGs = ~1.24⁰C
• Most CO2 in the atmosphere is natural, more than 93%:
• Man-made CO2 is less than 7% of total atmospheric CO2 = 0.087⁰C:
So closing carbon economies of the Whole World could only ever achieve a virtually undetectable <1/10 ⁰C. How can the Green movement and their supporting politicians think that their remedial actions can limit warming to only + 2.00 ⁰C?


So the probability is that any current global warming is not man-made and in any case such warming could be not be influenced by any remedial action taken by mankind however drastic.
However in the light of the state of the current solar cycle, it seems that there is a real prospect of damaging cooling occurring in the near future for several decades.
And now Man-made Global Warming has become a state sponsored religion.