Saturday, October 16, 2010

Peer reviewed paper in academic journal says that most climate variation on earth is due to celestial effects (movements of the planets etc)

Long range weather forecasters with good track records have long used such factors in making their forecasts. That the Warmist "models" don't include such factors shows how inaccurate they are. Abstract below

Empirical Evidence for a Celestial Origin of the Climate Oscillations

by Nicola Scafetta


We investigate whether or not the decadal and multi-decadal climate oscillations have an astronomical origin. Several global surface temperature records since 1850 and records deduced from the orbits of the planets present very similar power spectra. Eleven frequencies with period between 5 and 100 years closely corresponding the two records. Among them, large climate oscillations with peak-to-trough amplitude of about 0.1and 0.251C, and periods of about 20 and 60 years, respectively, are synchronized to the orbital periods of Jupiter and Saturn.

Schwabe and Hale solar cycles are also visible in the temperature records. A 9.1-year cycle is synchronized to the Moon’s orbital cycles. A phenomenological model based on these astronomical cycles can be used to well reconstruct the temperature oscillations since 1850 and to make partial forecasts for the 21st century. It is found that at least 60% of the global warming observed since 1970 has been induced by the combined effect of the above natural climate oscillations. The partial forecast indicates that climate may stabilize or cool until 2030-2040. Possible physical mechanisms are qualitatively discussed with an emphasis on the phenomenon of collective synchronization of coupled oscillators.


Impure as the Driven Snow

Soot is a bigger problem than greenhouse gases in polar melting

Belching from smokestacks, tailpipes and even forest fires, soot—or black carbon—can quickly sully any snow on which it happens to land. In the atmosphere, such aerosols can significantly cool the planet by scattering incoming radiation or helping form clouds that deflect incoming light. But on snow—even at concentrations below five parts per billion—such dark carbon triggers melting, and may be responsible for as much as 94 percent of Arctic warming.

"Impurities cause the snow to darken and absorb more sunlight," says Charlie Zender, a climate physicist at the University of California, Irvine. "A surprisingly large temperature response is caused by a surprisingly small amount of impurities in snow in polar regions."

Zender, physicist Mark Flanner and other colleagues built a model to examine how soot impacts temperature in the Arctic and Antarctic regions. Temperatures in the northern polar region have already risen by 1.6 degrees Celsius (2.88 degrees Fahrenheit) since the dawn of the Industrial Revolution. The researchers incorporated information on soot produced by burning fossil fuels, wood and other biofuels, along with that naturally produced by forest fires and then checked their model predictions against global measurements of soot levels in polar snow from Sweden to Alaska to Russia and in Antarctica as well as in nonpolar areas such as the Tibetan Plateau.

The researchers also took into account the natural darkening of snow as it ages. "The larger crystals eat the smaller ones and get larger, and that means they get darker and absorb more sunlight,'' Zender explains. "When soot is there it heats the snow. It acts like a little toaster oven."

Whereas forest fires contribute to the problem—the effect noticeably worsens in years with widespread boreal wildfires—roughly 80 percent of polar soot can be traced to human burning, adding as much as 0.054 watt of energy per square meter of Arctic land, according to the research published this week in the Journal of Geophysical Research. When the snow melts, it exposes dark land below it, further accelerating regional warming. "Black carbon in snow causes about three times the temperature change as carbon dioxide in the atmosphere," Zender says. "The climate is more responsive to this than [to] anything else we know."

He argues that simple steps, such as fully burning fossil fuels in more efficient engines and using cleaner-burning cooking stoves, could help preserve the dwindling Arctic snow cover and ice (see video here). Even changing the timing of such soot emissions could play a role. "If you have to burn dirty fuel, you can do it in the fall or winter" when it will be buried under subsequent snowfall, Zender says. "If you can time your emissions so they have the least impact then you will not trigger these very sensitive regions to start warming by this ice albedo feedback process."

Unfortunately, the soot problem extends beyond snow, he says, noting that similar studies are needed to assess how the smut affects the melting of sea ice. That meltdown may be the impetus for an accelerating doom as it opens up shipping lanes previously blocked by ice in the Arctic Sea. "Those ships are great emitters of soot," Zender points out, adding that, "putting a locally heavy source in the Arctic in the early spring," is virtually guaranteed "to polish off the summer sea ice."


Royal Society Humiliated by Global Warming Basic Math Error

Top international experts prove British numbers on carbon dioxide are wrong. Royal Society blunder grossly exaggerates climate impact. Even I raised my eyebrows when I saw the Royal Society claim debunked below -- and I am only a humble social scientist. Clearly, even the most eminent Warmists are unreasoning fanatics with no concept of truth or grasp on reality -- JR

by John O'Sullivan

German chemist, Dr Klaus Kaiser has published evidence that proves the Royal Society (RS), London, has been caught out making schoolboy errors in mathematical calculations over the duration of carbon dioxide (CO2) in Earth’s atmosphere. Backed up by a review by a leading Swedish mathematics professor the revelation is a serious embarrassment to the credibility of the once revered British science institute and a major setback for its claims about climate change.

A gaffe in their own basic calculations led the RS to falsely find that CO2 would stay in the atmosphere for thousands of years rather than a dozen or so as peer-reviewed studies show. Global warming skeptics have been quick to condemn the error and demand an apology and immediate correction.

The Royal Society advises the British government on matters concerning climate change. Due to the scale of the error any forthcoming review will necessarily result in a substantial downward revision of the threat posed by CO2 in the official government numbers.

In an article published on Canada Free Press (CFP: October 13,2010) Dr Kaiser explains how he picked up on the fault after a recent climate skeptic “rebellion” by senior members of the world’s oldest scientific institute forced the RS to revise their guide “Climate change: a summary of the science”(30 September 2010).

Of great concern to Dr Kaiser was one offending paragraph under the heading The Carbon Cycle and Climate where the RS says: “Current understanding indicates that even if there was a complete cessation of emissions of CO2 today from human activity, it would take several millennia for CO2 concentrations to return to preindustrial concentrations”.

Dr Kaiser’s article poses some very embarrassing questions about the competence of authors of the Royal Society document. The German chemist expertly dismantles the claims by the Royal Society that it would take “millennia” for atmospheric CO2 to return to preindustrial levels. Such a claim, he says, “cannot be true.”

Backing up Kaiser's analysis is none other than Sweden’s eminent mathematics Professor Claes Johnson, who was quick to respond to the German’s findings when posting on his blog, ‘Claes Johnson on Mathematics and Science.’

“The revised statement by the Royal Society Climate Change Summary of Science is full of scientific misconceptions as noted in the earlier post Royal Society in Free Fall", said the Professor of Applied Mathematics, Royal Institute of Technology, Stockholm.

Posing the question about this shocking error on his blog the math professor added, “How can it be that even elementary mathematics is beyond the capacity of FRS?”

Leading Canadian Climate scientist, Professor Tim Ball emailed this author to add his own comments and suggests the issue of residency time was part of the strategy to increase the focus on CO2. He says, "It is part of a bundle of claims about CO2 that are now shown false and Dr Kaiser's is another major correction. I believe they were all produced with malice and forethought driven by the political need to demonize CO2." Professor Ball further believes such a position is supported by the evidence of how the RS dealt with other issues including advocacy of dubious computer programs.

Climate writer and former US Navy meteorologist, Dr. Martin Hertzberg added, "The failure of the Royal Society and the APS to do their homework on this question and to accept propaganda as though it was valid science, is scientific malfeasance on a grand scale."

Taking the Royal Society to task Kaiser refers to several peer-reviewed papers reporting the half-life of CO2 in the atmosphere to be “between 5 and 10 years.” The chemist calculates that with a half-life of 5 years means that more than 98% of a substance will disappear in a time span of 30 years.

The German then poses the question that if CO2 were to stay in the atmosphere for millennia, why has its level in the atmosphere not doubled in the last 15 years, or gone up tenfold-plus over the last 100 hundred years?

In conclusion Dr. Kaiser dismisses the claims of the Royal Society as “clearly untenable.” He admonishes the once peerless institution for failing to do a few “simple order-of-magnitude calculations” so as to as check the veracity of their claims. Even though it took months to prepare that document, Klaus says, “ it appears the Royal Society’s math is still wrong.”

Finally, he cautions us “…not to trust all the hype or myths you hear or read…but look at the facts, then make up your own mind, and do believe in a better tomorrow.”


Royal Society: doh!

by James Delingpole

Of the many pseudoscientific institutions responsible for pushing the pseudoscientific fraud of Man Made Global Warming in recent years, few have been quite so assiduous in promulgating the great lie as our own Royal Society. (H/T John O’Sullivan at Suite 101)

“Pseudoscientific” may seem a bit of a harsh charge to lay at the door of the reverend body founded in 1660 whose alumni include such distinguished figures as Sir Isaac Newton, Sir Hans Sloane, Sir Joseph Banks and leading palaeopiezometrist Bob Ward. The problem is, in the latter part of the last century and the first bit of this one, it managed to urinate three centuries’ worth of credibility and rigour up against the wall by deciding to abandon all objectivity and act as cheerleader for the Man Made Global Warming lobby.

The three men largely to blame for this were its fanatically warmist presidents Lord Rees and Lord May, together with the even more dismal Sir John Houghton, who was partly responsible for perhaps the most embarrassing document in the institution’s history: the one called Facts And Fictions About Climate Change.

This 2005 propaganda exercise rode a coach and horses through the Royal Society’s traditions of non-partisanship. As Nigel Calder has pointed out, for two centuries the following advertisement was printed in its house journal Philosophical Transactions:

… it is an established rule of the Society, to which they will always adhere, never to give their opinion, as a Body, upon any subject, either of Nature or Art, that comes before them.

But perhaps more importantly it was hopelessly inaccurate, which is why, following a rebellion by some of its members, the Royal Society last month issued a revised guide to Climate Change.

However, this one is apparently wrong too. According to German chemist Dr Klaus Kaiser, the new document grossly exaggerates the amount of time the deadly, devil gas they call CARBON DIOXIDE (mwa ha ha ha!) spends in the atmosphere.

Here’s what the Royal Society claims:

“Current understanding indicates that even if there was a complete cessation of emissions of CO2 today from human activity, it would take several millennia for CO2 concentrations to return to preindustrial concentrations”

But Dr Kaiser says this is rubbish, for reasons he explains at length in Canada Free Press.

It is also obvious then that the statement by the Royal Society that it would take “millennia” for atmospheric CO2 to return to levels at preindustrial times upon a (theoretical) complete and sudden cessation of all manmade CO2 release to the atmosphere cannot be true. If the CO2 were to stay in the atmosphere for millennia, why has its level in the atmosphere not doubled in the last 15 years, or gone up tenfold-plus over the last 100 hundred years? Furthermore, there are several peer-reviewed papers reporting the half life of CO2 in the atmosphere to be between 5 and 10 years. A half life of 5 years means that more than 98% of a substance will disappear in a time span of 30 years.

He has the support of Swedish maths professor Claes Johnson, who has written scathingly before of what he calls the “Royal Society in Free Fall”.

This is not science which has been shown to be correct, but populistic science selling “truths” which serve a certain political agenda.

The Royal Society’s next president will be the Nobel Prize-winning geneticist Sir Paul Nurse. He has got his work cut out, I’d say.


Global warming propagandist slapped down

William Connolley, arguably the world’s most influential global warming advocate after Al Gore, has lost his bully pulpit. Connolley did not wield his influence by the quality of his research or the force of his argument but through his administrative position at Wikipedia, the most popular reference source on the planet.

Through his position, Connolley for years kept dissenting views on global warming out of Wikipedia, allowing only those that promoted the view that global warming represented a threat to mankind. As a result, Wikipedia became a leading source of global warming propaganda, with Connolley its chief propagandist.

His career as a global warming propagandist has now been stopped, following a unanimous verdict that came down today through an arbitration proceeding conducted by Wikipedia. In the decision, a slap-down for the once-powerful Connolley by his peers, he has been barred from participating in any article, discussion or forum dealing with global warming. In addition, because he rewrote biographies of scientists and others he disagreed with, to either belittle their accomplishments or make them appear to be frauds, Wikipedia barred him — again unanimously — from editing biographies of those in the climate change field.


Denying the Catstrophe: The Science of the Climate Skeptic’s Position

Blog post from "Forbes" business magazine

In last week’s column, I lamented the devolution of the climate debate into dueling ad hominem attacks, which has led in almost a straight line to the incredible totalitarian vision of the 10:10 climate group’s recent film showing school kids getting blown up for not adhering to the global warming alarmists’ position.

In writing that column, it struck me that it was not surprising that many average folks may be unfamiliar with the science behind the climate skeptic’s position, since it almost never appears anywhere in the press. This week I want to give a necessarily brief summary of the skeptic’s case. There is not space here to include all the charts and numbers; for those interested, this video and slide presentation provides much of the analytical backup.

It is important to begin by emphasizing that few skeptics doubt or deny that carbon dioxide (CO2) is a greenhouse gas or that it and other greenhouse gasses (water vapor being the most important) help to warm the surface of the Earth. Further, few skeptics deny that man is probably contributing to higher CO2 levels through his burning of fossil fuels, though remember we are talking about a maximum total change in atmospheric CO2 concentration due to man of about 0.01% over the last 100 years.

What skeptics deny is the catastrophe, the notion that man’s incremental contributions to CO2 levels will create catastrophic warming and wildly adverse climate changes. To understand the skeptic’s position requires understanding something about the alarmists’ case that is seldom discussed in the press: the theory of catastrophic man-made global warming is actually comprised of two separate, linked theories, of which only the first is frequently discussed in the media.

The first theory is that a doubling of atmospheric CO2 levels (approximately what we might see under the more extreme emission assumptions for the next century) will lead to about a degree Celsius of warming. Though some quibble over the number – it might be a half degree, it might be a degree and a half – most skeptics, alarmists and even the UN’s IPCC are roughly in agreement on this fact.

But one degree due to the all the CO2 emissions we might see over the next century is hardly a catastrophe. The catastrophe, then, comes from the second theory, that the climate is dominated by positive feedbacks (basically acceleration factors) that multiply the warming from CO2 many fold. Thus one degree of warming from the greenhouse gas effect of CO2 might be multiplied to five or eight or even more degrees.

This second theory is the source of most of the predicted warming – not greenhouse gas theory per se but the notion that the Earth’s climate (unlike nearly every other natural system) is dominated by positive feedbacks. This is the main proposition that skeptics doubt, and it is by far the weakest part of the alarmist case. One can argue whether the one degree of warming from CO2 is “settled science” (I think that is a crazy term to apply to any science this young), but the three, five, eight degrees from feedback are not at all settled. In fact, they are not even very well supported.

Of course, in the scientific method, even an incorrect hypothesis is useful, as it gives the scientific community a starting point in organizing observational data to confirm or disprove the hypothesis. This, however, turns out to be wickedly difficult in climate science, given the outrageously complex nature of the Earth’s weather systems.

Our global temperature measurements over the last one hundred years show about 0.7C of warming since the early 1900s, though this increase has been anything but linear. Skeptics argue that, like a police department that locks on a single suspect early in a crime investigation and fails to adequately investigate any other suspects, many climate scientists locked in early on to CO2 as the primary culprit for this warming, to the exclusion of many other possible causes.

When the UN IPCC published its fourth climate report several years ago, it focused its main attention on the Earth’s warming after 1950 and in particular on the 20-year period between 1978 and 1998. The UN IPCC concluded that the warming in this 20-year period was too rapid to be due to natural causes, and almost certainly had to be due to man’s CO2. They reached this conclusion by running computer models that seemed to show that the warming in this period would have been far less without increased CO2 levels.

Skeptics, however, point out that the computer models were built by scientists who have only a fragmented, immature understanding of complex climate systems. Moreover, these scientists approached the models with the pre-conceived notion that CO2 is the main driver of temperatures, and so it is unsurprising that their models would show CO2 as the dominant factor.

In fact, the period 1978 to 1998 featured a number of other suspects that should have been considered as potentially contributing to warming. For example, the warm phase of several critical ocean cycles that have a big effect on surface temperatures, including the Pacific Decadal Oscillation, coincided with this period. Further, the second half of the 20th century saw far greater solar activity, as measured by sunspot numbers, than the first half of the century. Neither ocean cycles nor solar effects, nor a myriad of other factors we probably don’t even know enough to name, were built into the models. Even man’s changing land use has an effect on measured temperatures, as survey efforts have shown urban areas, which have higher temperatures than surrounding rural locations, expanding around our temperature measurement points and biasing measured temperatures upwards.

If CO2 is but one of several causes of warming over the past decades, then current climate models almost certainly have to be exaggerating future warming. Only by attributing all of the past warming to CO2 can catastrophic future warming forecasts be justified. In fact, even the 0.7C of measured historic warming is well under what the climate models should have predicted for warming based on past CO2 increases and their assumed high sensitivity of temperature to CO2 levels. In other words, to believe a forecast of, say, 5C of warming over the next 100 years, we should have seen 2C or more of warming over the past century.

This is why the IPCC actually had to make the assumption that global temperatures would have fallen naturally and due to other manmade pollutants over the past several decades. By arguing that without man’s CO2 the climate would have cooled by, for example, 0.5C, then they can claim past warming from CO2 as 1.2C (the measured 0.7C plus the imaginary 0.5C). Anyone familiar with how the Obama administration has claimed large stimulus-related jobs creation despite falling employment levels will recognize this approach immediately.

Despite these heroic efforts to try to find observational validation for their catastrophic warming forecasts, the evidence continues to accumulate that these forecasts are wildly overstated. The most famous forecast of all is perhaps NASA’s James Hansen’s forecast to Congress in 1988, a landmark in the history of global warming alarmism in this country. Despite the fact that 2010 may well turn out to be one of the couple warmest years in the past century (along with 1998, both of which are strong El Nino years), the overall trend in global temperatures has been generally flat for the last 10-15 years, and have remained well below Hansen’s forecasts. In fact, Hansen’s forecasts continue to diverge from reality more and more with each passing year.

Of course, as we all know, global warming has been rebranded by alarmist groups as “climate change” and then more recently as “climate disruption.” This is in some sense inherently disingenuous, implying to lay people that somehow climate change can result directly from CO2. In fact, no mechanism has ever been suggested wherein CO2 can cause climate change in any way except through the intermediate step of warming. CO2 causes warming, and then warming causes climate changes. So the question of warming and its degree still matters, no matter what branding is applied.

In fact, it is in the area of the knock-on effects of warming, from sea level increases to hurricanes, that some of the worst science is being pursued. Nowhere can we better see the effect of money on science than in climate change studies, as academics studying whatever natural phenomenon that interests them increasingly have the incentive to link that phenomenon to climate change to improve their chances at getting funding.

The craziness of climate scare stories is too broad and deep to deal with adequately here, as nearly every 3-sigma weather anomaly suddenly gets attributed to climate change. But let’s look at a couple of the more well-worn examples. In an Inconvenient Truth, Al Gore warned of the world being battered by more and more Katrina style category 5 storms; in fact, 2009 and 2010 have seen record low levels of global cyclonic activity, despite relatively elevated temperatures. Or take the melting ice cap: on the same exact day in 2007 when newspapers screamed that the Arctic had hit a 30-year low in sea ice extent, the Antarctic hit a 30-year high. The truth of the matter is that ice is indeed melting and sea levels are rising today – as they were in 1950, and 1900, and even 1850 (long before much man-made CO2). The world has warmed continuously since the end of the little ice age around 1820 (a worldwide cold spell generally linked to a very inactive period in the sun) and sea levels can be seen to follow an almost unbroken linear trend since that time.

Alarmists like to call climate skeptics “deniers,” usually in an attempt to equate climate skeptics with holocaust deniers. But skeptics do not deny that temperatures have warmed over the last century, or even that man (through CO2 as well as land use and other factors) has played some part in that warming. What skeptics deny, though, is the catastrophe. And even more, what skeptics deny is the need to drastically reduce fossil fuel use – a step that will likely be an expensive exercise in the developed west but an unmitigated disaster for the poor of Asia and Africa. These developing nations, who are just recently emerging from millennia of poverty, need to burn every hydrocarbon they can find to develop their economies.

Postscript: You will notice that I wrote this entire article without once mentioning either the words “hockey stick” or “Climategate.” I have never thought Michael Mann’s hockey stick to be a particularly compelling piece of evidence, even if it were correct. The analysis purports to show a rapid increase in world temperatures after centuries of stability, implying that man is likely the cause of current warming because, on Mann’s chart, recent temperature trends look so unusual. In the world of scientific proof, this is the weakest of circumstantial evidence.

As it turns out, however, there are a myriad of problems great and small with the hockey stick, from cherry-picking data to highly questionable statistical methods, which probably make the results incorrect. Studies that have avoided Mann’s mistakes have all tended to find the same thing – whether looking over a scale of a century, or millennia, or millions of years, climate changes absolutely naturally. Nothing about our current temperatures or CO2 levels is either unusual or unprecedented.

The best evidence that the problems identified with Mann’s analysis are probably real is how hard Mann and a small climate community fought to avoid releasing data and computer code that would allow outsiders to check and replicate their work. The “Climategate” emails include no smoking gun about the science, but do show how far the climate community has strayed from what is considered normal and open scientific process. No science should have to rely on an in-group saying “just trust us,” particularly one with trillions of dollars of public policy decisions on the line.



For more postings from me, see DISSECTING LEFTISM, TONGUE-TIED, EDUCATION WATCH INTERNATIONAL, POLITICAL CORRECTNESS WATCH, FOOD & HEALTH SKEPTIC, GUN WATCH, SOCIALIZED MEDICINE, AUSTRALIAN POLITICS, IMMIGRATION WATCH INTERNATIONAL and EYE ON BRITAIN. My Home Pages are here or here or here. Email me (John Ray) here. For readers in China or for times when is playing up, there are mirrors of this site here and here


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