Sunday, September 26, 2010

Correlating Temperature With CO2 before and after the matter became politicized

Amazing difference between pre-"adjustment" and post-"adjustment" graphs in the comparator below. This is outright fraud -- JR

NCAR graph from the 1970s

Now that at least one member of the Hockey team has acknowledged that the cooling in the 1970s was both real and natural, we can analyze older data which was not perturbed by people with an agenda to prove global warming. The graph below compares NCAR’s 1970s temperatures vs. atmospheric CO2.

As you can see, there isn’t much of a correlation – the graph is almost flat.

Since then, the official temperature data has been massaged many times to make the past colder and the present warmer. So it is useful to do a correlation using data from the pre-agenda climate era.

Blink comparator showing GISS US temperature changes from 1998 to present.

Here is what people wanted to do to solve the climate problem of 1975
Climatologists are pessimistic that political leaders will take any positive action to compensate for the climatic change, or even to allay its effects. They concede that some of the more spectacular solutions proposed, such as melting the Arctic ice cap by covering it with black soot or diverting arctic rivers, might create problems far greater than those they solve. But the scientists see few signs that government leaders anywhere are even prepared to take the simple measures of stockpiling food or of introducing the variables of climatic uncertainty into economic projections of future food supplies. The longer the planners delay, the more difficult will they find it to cope with climatic change once the results become grim reality.


Northern Hemisphere Temperature Reconstruction Clearly Shows the Medieval Warm Period and Little Ice Age (Plus a Whole Lot More)

Discussing: Ljungqvist, F.C. 2010. "A new reconstruction of temperature variability in the extra-tropical northern hemisphere during the last two millennia". Geografiska Annaler 92A: 339-351.

The pattern of temperature change over the past 2000 years is important for several reasons. First, if there has been no long-term pattern to it, then any warming in recent decades can more easily be attributed to human activity. On the other hand, if there have been natural cycles or centennial-scale excursions of temperature, then it is more difficult to claim that recent warming is unnatural or unprecedented. Second, impacts of climate change are often based on the assumption that "unusual" warmth is harmful to life and human society; but if it was equally warm, or warmer than today, a thousand years ago, then there is much less basis for predicting harm.

The study of Ljungqvist (2010) expands the data available for reconstructing past climate by utilizing 30 datasets. However, the author felt that data from arid zone tree species should be disqualified, due to the confounding of the effects of warm temperatures with those of drought stress. Thus, bristlecone pine, foxtail pine, and Mongolia data that show a pronounced (and likely spurious) hockey-stick shape were not used.

The CPS (Composite Plus Scale) method of analysis was employed; and the data were linearly interpolated. For each dataset, the data were normalized to zero mean and unit variance. The 30 data sets were combined by computing their mean. The composite score was shown to have a correlation of 0.95 with the Hadley instrumental temperature record for the zone 90-30°N and was scaled to match the variance of the Hadley data.

While the CPS method has the disadvantage that certain proxies which might not relate to local temperature are combined with others and correlated with the hemispheric temperature (vs. doing strictly local calibration), it has the advantage that individual proxies are given equal weights, so that one is not selectively picking out those with the "right" shape by chance and giving them too much influence.

The resulting reconstruction has values at each decade. It shows a clear repeating warm/cool pattern of Roman Warm Period, Dark Ages Cold Period, Medieval Warm Period, Little Ice Age and recent warming. This long-term pattern was stated to relate to the 1500-year Bond cycles. Looking at the reconstruction itself, the RWP and MWP were both warmer than the decades from 1961-1990; and the composite proxies do not show rapid warming after 1990. Thus, the study clearly shows that large temperature excursions on centennial scales are real features of the past 2000 years, and that recent warmth is not unprecedented.


Journal Abstract:

A new temperature reconstruction with decadal resolution, covering the last two millennia, is presented for the extratropical Northern Hemisphere (90–30°N), utilizing many palaeo-temperature proxy records never previously included in any large-scale temperature reconstruction. The amplitude of the reconstructed temperature variability on centennial time-scales exceeds 0.6°C. This reconstruction is the first to show a distinct Roman Warm Period c. ad 1–300, reaching up to the 1961–1990 mean temperature level, followed by the Dark Age Cold Period c. ad 300–800. The Medieval Warm Period is seen c. ad 800–1300 and the Little Ice Age is clearly visible c. ad 1300–1900, followed by a rapid temperature increase in the twentieth century. The highest average temperatures in the reconstruction are encountered in the mid to late tenth century and the lowest in the late seventeenth century. Decadal mean temperatures seem to have reached or exceeded the 1961–1990 mean temperature level during substantial parts of the Roman Warm Period and the Medieval Warm Period. The temperature of the last two decades, however, is possibly higher than during any previous time in the past two millennia, although this is only seen in the instrumental temperature data and not in the multi-proxy reconstruction itself. Our temperature reconstruction agrees well with the reconstructions by Moberg et al. (2005) and Mann et al. (2008) with regard to the amplitude of the variability as well as the timing of warm and cold periods, except for the period c. ad 300–800, despite significant differences in both data coverage and methodology.

This combination of many proxies would seem to give results quite close to what I specified as a valid proxy on 20th. -- JR

New Scientist permits the sun to join the climate club

It does seem as if the AGW establishment are preparing the ground for admitting that the sun is perhaps critical for climate. The New Scientist runs an editorial today grudgingly admitting that “The sun’s activity has a place in climate science”.
FOR many years, any mention of the sun’s influence on climate has been greeted with suspicion.

People who believe human activity has no effect on the climate staked a claim on the sun’s role, declaring it responsible for the long-term warming trend in global temperatures. Climate scientists were often uneasy about discussing it, fearful that any concession would be misunderstood by the public and seen as an admission that climate sceptics are right.

No one has ever denied that the sun has an effect on climate. But the consensus view has always been that variations in the sun’s activity, such as the 11-year sunspot cycle, have insignificant effects. While this remains true, the latest findings show that the sun might be significant on a more regional scale. It seems changes in solar activity can have consequences ranging from higher rainfall in the tropics to extreme weather events in the north.

But then they go out of their way in this article (see “The sun joins the climate club”) to denigrate the sun.
THE idea that changes in the sun’s activity can influence the climate is making a comeback, after years of scientific vilification, thanks to major advances in our understanding of the atmosphere.

The findings do not suggest – as climate sceptics frequently do – that we can blame the rise of global temperatures since the early 20th century on the sun. “There are extravagant claims for the effects of the sun on global climate,” says Giles Harrison, an atmospheric physicist at the University of Reading, UK. “They are not supported.”

Where solar effects may play a role is in influencing regional weather patterns over the coming decades. Predictions on these scales of time and space are crucial for nations seeking to prepare for the future.

Over the famous 11-year solar cycle, the sun’s brightness varies by just 0.1 per cent. This was seen as too small a change to impinge on the global climate system, so solar effects have generally been left out of climate models. However, the latest research has changed this view, and the next report by the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC), due in 2013, will include solar effects in its models.

But the sun does not much care (Beware the Icarus Syndrome) I think for the scientific establishment and will continue to do its own thing.


The oceans are getting an acknowledgement now too

"Der Spiegel" says: The Ocean’s Influence Greater Than Thought

Alex Bojanowski at Germany’s online Der Spiegel reports here on a new paper appearing in Nature that shows climate change in the 1970s was caused by ocean cooling. Climate simulation models once indicated that the cooling in the 1970s was due to sun-reflecting sulfur particles, emitted by industry. But now evidence points to the oceans.

I don’t know why this is news for the authors of the paper. Ocean cycles are well-known to all other scientists. The following graphic shows the AMO 60-year cycle, which is now about to head south.

Computer models simulating future climate once predicted that it would soon get warm because of increasing GHG emissions, but, writes Der Spiegel, citing Nature:
Now it turns out that the theory is incomplete. A sudden cooling of the oceans in the northern hemisphere played the decisive role in the drop of air temperatures.

The paper was authored by David W. J. Thompson, John M. Wallace, John J. Kennedy, and Phil D. Jones. The scientists discovered that ocean temperatures in the northern hemisphere dropped an enormous 0.3°C between 1968 and 1972. Der Spiegel writes:
A huge amount of energy was taken out of the oceans. The scientists said that it was surprising that the cooling was so fast.

This shows, again, that the climate simulation models used for predicting the future are inadequate. It’s not sure what caused the oceans to cool. But scientists are sure that aerosols were not the cause. Der Spiegel describes a possible scenario how the oceans may have cooled:
Huge amounts of melt water from Greenland’s glaciers poured into the Atlantic at the end of the 1960s, and formed a cover over the ocean. The melt water cooled the ocean for one thing, and acted to brake the Gulf Stream, which transports warm water from the tropics and delivers it to the north. The result: the air also cools down.

But, as Spiegel reports, that hardly explains why there was also cooling in the north Pacific. Der Spiegel:
The scientists will have to refine their climate simulations. The new study shows one thing: The influence of the oceans is greater than previously thought.

I’d say that’s a very polite way of saying: Your models have been crap, and it’s back to the drawing board. This time don’t forget to properly take the oceans and every thing else into account. Yes, there’s a quite a bit more to climate than a single trace gas in the atmosphere. Hooray – the warmists are finally beginning to realize it! (Maybe)


Unsustainable Cow Manure

Sustainable, affordable, eco-friendly renewable energy, my eye

"Seek a sustainable future! Wind, solar and biofuels will ensure an eco-friendly, climate-protecting, planet-saving, sustainable inheritance for our children". Or so we are told by activists and politicians intent on enacting new renewable energy standards, mandates and subsidies during a lame duck session. It may be useful to address some basic issues, before going further down the road to Renewable Utopia.

First, when exactly is something not sustainable? When known deposits (proven reserves) may be depleted in ten years? 50? 100? What if looming depletion results from government policies that forbid access to lands that might contain new deposits – as with US onshore and offshore prospects for oil, gas, coal, uranium, rare earth minerals and other vital resources?

Rising prices, new theories about mineral formation, and improved discovery and extraction technologies and techniques typically expand energy and mineral reserves – postponing depletion by years or decades, as in the case of oil and natural gas. But legislation, regulation, taxation and litigation prevent these processes from working properly, hasten depletion, and make “sustainability” an even more politicized, manipulated and meaningless concept.

Second, should the quest for mandated “sustainable” technologies be based on real, immediate threats – or will imaginary or exaggerated crises suffice? Dangerous manmade global cooling morphed into dangerous manmade global warming, then into “global climate disruption” – driven by computer models and disaster scenarios, doctored temperature data, manipulated peer reviews, and bogus claims about melting glaciers and rising sea levels. Shouldn’t policies that replace reliable, affordable energy with expensive, intermittent, land-intensive, subsidized sources be based on solid, replicable science?

Third, shouldn’t inconvenient sustainability issues be resolved before we proceed any further, by applying the same guidelines to renewable energy as courts, regulators and eco-activists apply to petroleum?

Most oil, gas, coal and uranium operations impact limited acreage for limited times – and affected areas must be restored to natural conditions when production ends. Effects on air and water quality, habitats and protected species are addressed through regulations, lease restrictions and fines. The operations generate vast amounts of affordable, reliable energy from relatively small tracts of land, and substantial revenues.

Wind turbines generate small amounts of expensive, unreliable electricity from gargantuan installations on thousands of acres. Turbines and their associated transmission lines dominate scenic vistas, disrupt habitats and migratory routes, affect water drainage patterns, impede crop dusting and other activities, and kill bats, raptors and other birds, including endangered species that would bring major fines if the corporate killers were oil or mining companies. And yet, wind operators receive exemptions from environmental review, biodiversity and endangered species laws that traditional energy companies must follow – on the ground that such rules would raise costs and delay construction of “eco-friendly” projects.

Kentucky’s Cardinal coal mine alone produces 75% of the Btu energy generated by all the wind turbines and solar panels in the USA, Power Hungry author Robert Bryce calculates. Unspoiled vistas, rural and maritime tranquility, and bald eagles will all be endangered if 20% wind power mandates are enacted.

The Palo Verde Nuclear Power Station near Phoenix generates nearly 900 times more electricity than Nevada’s Nellis Air Force Base photovoltaic panels, on less land, for 1/15 the cost per kWh – and does it 90% of the time, versus 30% of the time for the Nellis array. Generating Palo Verde’s electrical output via Nellis technology would require solar arrays across an area ten times larger than Washington, DC.

Building enough photovoltaic arrays to power Los Angeles would mean blanketing thousands of square miles of desert habitat. Once built, solar and wind systems will be there just this side of forever, since there will be no energy production if we let them decay, after shutting down whatever hydrocarbon operations aren’t needed to fuel backup generators that keep wind and solar facilities operational.

Wind and solar power also mean there is a sudden demand for tons of rare earth elements that weren’t terribly important a decade ago. They exist in very low concentrations, require mining and milling massive amounts of rock and ore to get the needed minerals, and thus impose huge ecological impacts.

If mountaintop removal to extract high quality coal at reduced risk to miners is unacceptable and unsustainable – how is it eco-friendly and sustainable to clear-cut mountain vistas for wind turbines? Blanket thousands of square miles with habitat-suffocating solar panels? Or remove mountains of rock to mine low-grade rare earth mineral deposits for solar panel films, hybrid batteries and turbine magnets?

Since any undiscovered US rare earth deposits are likely locked up in wilderness and other restricted land use areas, virtually no exploration or development will take place here. We will thus be dependent on foreign suppliers, like China, which are using them in their own manufacturing operations – and selling us finished wind turbines, solar panels and hybrid car batteries. The United States will thus be dependent on foreign suppliers for renewable energy, just as we rely on foreign countries for oil and uranium.

To claim any of this is ecologically or economically sustainable strains credulity.

Green jobs will mostly be overseas, subsidized by US tax and energy dollars – other people’s money (OPM). Indeed, Americans have already spent over $20 billion in stimulus money on “green” energy projects. However, 80% of the funding for some of them went to China, India, South Korea and Spain, and three-fourth of the turbines for eleven US wind projects were made overseas. This is intolerable, indefensible and unsustainable. But it gets worse.

Denver’s Nature and Science Museum used $720,000 in stimulus money to install photovoltaic panels and reduce its electricity bills by 20 percent. The panels may last 25 years, whereas it will take 110 years to save enough on those bills to pay for the panels – and by then four more sets of panels will be needed.

As to biofuels, the US Navy recently waxed ecstatic over its success with camellia-based eco-fuel in fighter jets. But the PC biofuel costs $67.50 per gallon, versus $5.00 per gallon for commercial jet fuel.

To meet the 36-billion-gallons-a-year-by-2022 federal ethanol diktat, we would have to grow corn on cropland and wildlife habitat the size of Georgia, to get 15 billion gallons of corn-based ethanol – plus switchgrass on farmlands and habitats the size of South Carolina, to produce 21 billion gallons of “advanced biofuel.” By contrast, we could produce 670 billion gallons of oil from frozen tundra equal to 1/20 of Washington, DC, if the Arctic National Wildlife Refuge weren’t off limits.
OPM-subsidized ethanol also means a few corn growers and ethanol refiners make hefty profits. But chicken and beef producers, manufacturers that need corn syrup, and families of all stripes get pounded by soaring costs, to generate a fuel that gets one-third less mileage per tank than gasoline.

Hydrocarbons fueled the most amazing and sustained progress in human history. Rejecting further progress – in the name of sustainability or climate protection – requires solid evidence that we face catastrophes if we don’t switch to “sustainable” alternatives. Computer-generated disaster scenarios and bald assertions by Al Gore, Harry Reid, John Holdren and President Obama just don’t make the grade.

We need to improve energy efficiency and conserve resources. Science and technology will continue the great strides we have made in that regard. Politically motivated mandates will impose huge costs for few benefits. Sustainability claims will simply redistribute smaller shares of a shrinking economic pie.

“Renewable” energy subsidies may sustain the jobs of lobbyists, activists, politicians, bureaucrats and politically connected companies. But they will kill millions of other people’s jobs.

Let’s be sure to remind our elected officials of this along their campaign trails.


Another disastrous "Green" scheme in Australia

Home water tanks were subsidized by the government in lieu of building new dams

Three years ago, owning a water tank business was a licence to print money. Then the rebates were cut and the rains came. Now what was the busiest industry on the block is practically non-existent, as 400 water tank operators have been whittled to 12.

Millions of dollars have been lost, businesses have disappeared and customers wanting tanks for their homes have evaporated.

Leisa Donlan, from independent body the Association of Rotational Moulders, said it was the "industry that has been forgotten".

"Lives have been absolutely shattered by this. What the state government did by introducing the rebate and then cutting it all of a sudden was just awful," she said. "Family businesses have been ruined. Our staff have been suicidal some days after counselling the people involved. "Losing a business is a very human thing."

Department of Environment and Resource Management figures showed that across the state more than 250,000 Queenslanders claimed the rebate for a water tank.

"At the peak of the drought and the WaterWise Rebate Scheme, there were four-month waits. Manufacturers were working 24 hours a day, seven days a week," Ms Donlan said.

"State government ministers themselves came out and said that the industry needed to invest in better equipment to keep up with the demand, to step it up.

"Then, all of a sudden in June 2007, as quickly as it started, the rebate for the tanks stopped. Manufacturers had spent tens of millions of dollars buying new equipment to cope with the excessive demand and all of a sudden the demand was gone. Overnight. It was devastating."

Toby Peacock, owner of Brisbane water tank business QTank, said the abolition of the rebate, coupled with the breaking of the drought, had all but "killed" the industry.

"During the height of the drought, water was all everyone was talking about. People were desperate for water tanks, desperate to conserve water and everyone was wanting to safeguard themselves," he said.

"But once the rebate ended and the drought started to break, people moved on to talking about something else. They forgot how important it is to conserve water. Tanks were no longer fashionable."

Under Brisbane City Council planning regulations, all new dwellings must include a 5000-litre water tank to gain approval.

This regulation is the only thing keeping a handful of operators in business, Mr Peacock said. "Every night I go to bed nervous, praying that when I wake up in the morning, the government won’t have cancelled this regulation," he said.

Ms Donlan said the lack of support for the industry was disappointing because it was highly likely water consumption would be an issue again in the future.



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