Thursday, December 23, 2010

What is the sun up to?

The sun goes through a periodic change around every eleven years where the polarity of the sun’s magnetic field changes poles. Essentially the sun’s magnetic north pole becomes the south pole and vice versa. This is a normal process. As these poles realign and the magnetic field is the weakest, there is an absence of sunspots and this period is referred to as a solar minimum. A solar cycle or SC for short is measured from one solar minimum to the next. But even though the cycle repeats, the intensity of the solar cycle varies significantly.

Scientists have been monitoring sunspots since the 1700’s. Their observations have shown when the sun gets deafly quiet such as during the Maunder and Spörer Minimums; the world experiences great cold periods. These periods were so cold they were referred to as the Little Ice Ages.

What is different about Solar Cycle 24 and why is it relevant? Since the sun has finally entered solar cycle 24 (SC24) with the resurgence of sunspots, most people have turned away from tracking the strength of the rebound. Had they looked, they would have found that the surge into this next solar cycle so far has been rather weak.

The Average Magnetic Planetary Index (Ap index) is a proxy measurement for the intensity of solar magnetic activity as it alters the geomagnetic field on Earth. It has been referred to as the common yardstick for solar magnetic activity. Ap index measurements began in January 1932. The quieter the sun is magnetically, the smaller the Ap index.

This solar minimum is rather unusual. If we define a period of quiet sun as those months that produced an Ap index of 6 or less and compare the total number of quiet months within each solar minimum, then the results would be: Minimum Preceding Number of Months with Solar Cycle Ap Index of 6 or less SC17 11 months SC18 2 months SC19 2 months SC20 5 months SC21 0 months SC22 0 months SC23 3 months SC24 31 months and counting Last month (November) produced an Ap index of 5. The sun still remains relatively quiet.

For the past three years during the winter, many places experienced some of the coldest, snowiest weather in decades at the same time the sun’s magnetic field produced these 31 quiet months. This occurred in both the Northern and the Southern Hemispheres. This trend continues into the current winter.

What is the assessment of various solar scientists? There are some scientists that believe the sun, rather than leveling off into a new state in Solar Cycle 24, will continue to free fall throughout this solar cycle. Several scientists including David Hathaway (NASA), William Livingston & Matthew Penn (National Solar Observatory), Khabibullo Abdusamatov (Russian Academy of Science), Cornelis de Jager (The Netherlands) & S. Duhau (Argentina) and Theodor Landscheidt (Germany), have forecast that the sun may enter a period similar to the Dalton Minimum or a more severe “Grand Minima” (such as the Maunder Minimum or Spörer Minimum), a decade from now in Solar Cycle 25.

A few scientists including David C. Archibald (Australia) and M. A. Clilverd (Britain) have warned this might even begin in Solar Cycle 24. We are at the transition into Solar Cycle 24 and this cycle has already shown itself to be unusually quiet. So what can we say at this point in time?

1. The solar minimum leading up to Solar Cycle 24 was the weakest observed in terms of Ap index since measurements first began in January 1932.

2. The sun has definitely undergone a state change.

3. Observationally, solar cycles 3-5, thus far, come very close to matching solar cycles 22- 24. This supports the theory that the Earth is transitioning into a Dalton Minimum type event.

4. The winter weather has produced unusual snowfalls and cold weather in both the Northern and Southern hemispheres for approximately four years now (counting this winter in the mix). This is what might be expected if the Earth is sliding into a new Dalton Minimum.


British Warmists SHOULD be red-faced

But bald-faced is more like it

Let’s hope Santa isn’t relying on weather forecasts from the U.K. Met Office. The British deep freeze of recent weeks (which has also immobilized much of continental Europe) is profoundly embarrassing for the official forecaster. Just two months ago it projected a milder than usual winter.

This debacle is more than merely embarrassing. The Met Office is front and centre in rationalizing the British government’s commitment to fight catastrophic man-made global warming with more and bigger bureaucracy, so its conspicuous errors raise yet more questions about that “settled” science.

When you’re making confident global projections for the year 2100, you can only be contradicted on the basis of alternative hypotheses, of which the vast majority of people have no comprehension. But pretty much anybody can look out of the window and tell the difference between light drizzle and a snowbank. Moreover, private forecasters strongly disagreed with the Met Office’s winter projections as soon as they were made (which should add fuel to calls for the organization’s privatization).

Yesterday, the British-based Global Warming Policy Foundation, one of the world’s leading advocates for climate objectivity, called on the U.K. government to set up an independent inquiry into the Met Office’s failures. It also wants an examination of the institution’s politicization, although that is hardly likely to come from the very government that is manipulating it. Still, bias can be expensive. Dr. Benny Peiser, the GWPF’s director, noted that the price tag on the country’s unpreparedness for this winter could reach $15-billion.

At the recent Cancun climate meetings, the Met Office presented a study suggesting that the outlook for global climate was, on balance, worse than projected in the last report of the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change. Given its short-range accuracy, this forecast might be taken with a pinch of road salt, or a tot of de-icing fluid.

Significantly, the Met Office is closely associated with the Climatic Research Unit (CRU) of the University of East Anglia, home of Climategate. Both organizations are deeply involved with the IPCC. When it comes to the CRU’s crystal ball, one of its official declared a decade ago: “Children just aren’t going to know what snow is.” No danger of that for little Britons this year.

The Met’s blunder follows similar cockups last year and the year before. In February, Met Office scientist Peter Stott declared that 2009 was an anomaly, and that milder and wetter winters were now — for sure — to be expected. He suggested that exceptionally cold British winters such as the one that occurred in 1962-63 were now expected to occur “about once every 1,000 years or more, compared with approximately every 100 to 200 years before 1850.” Now, the Met Office is admitting that the current December may be the coldest in Britain in the past 100 years.

No doubt the warmist crowd will be quick to express outrage at this blatant confusion of global climate with local weather, but that won’t wash. The Met makes its short-term forecasts on the basis of the same brand of massive computer power and Rube Goldberg modelling used to project the global climate. The suggestion that forecasting the climate is easier than forecasting the weather comes into the same category as acknowledging that governments couldn’t run a lemonade stand, but then believing that they can “manage” an economy.

Confusing weather with climate isn’t always condemned by alarmists. In March, Al Gore deemed it disgraceful that “deniers” dared to suggest that North America’s East Coast Snowmageddon in any way undermined the Inconvenient Truth of man-made global warming. More snow was obviously due to man. The very next day, B.C. Premier Gordon Campbell declared that the lack of snow at the Vancouver Olympics was due to … man-made global warming.

Another example of one-way theory was provided three months later by climatologist Michael Mann, concoctor of the infamous “Hockey Stick” graph, and one of the reluctant stars of the Climategate emails. In an interview, Mr. Mann claimed that the then current North American heat wave was clear evidence of hand of man. So you see the principle: If it supports the warmist cause, it’s climate; if it doesn’t, it’s just weather.

The Met’s red face comes at the end of a very bad year for climatism. It started with Climategate and ended with the utter collapse of the Kyoto process at Cancun. In between, there was a United Nations report that admitted that the IPCC process was deeply flawed, followed by projections from the International Energy Agency that confirmed that bold commitments to slash fossil fuel use were so much political pollution.

Meanwhile, the vast costs of government promotion of alternatives such as wind and solar have also become increasingly apparent, along with the fact that green jobs are a mirage. Mirages definitely aren’t a problem this week on the runways of Heathrow.


Met Office: memory or honesty deficiency?

Amusing. The Met office says it did not issue a forecast "to the general public". But it did make a forecast in map format available to all on the net. So when is a forecast available on the net not a public forecast? Search me! The point is, however, that their models clearly failed again, regardless of how "public" their model output was -- JR

Dave Britton, the Met Office’s Chief Press Officer, e-mailed the following statement to the Global Warming Policy Foundation (GWPF):
"Following the entry on your blog regarding the Met Office please find the Met Office response below:

The Met Office has not issued a seasonal forecast to the public and categorically denies forecasting a ‘mild winter’ as suggested by Boris Johnson in his column in the Daily Telegraph.

Following public research, the Met Office no longer issues long-range forecasts for the general public; instead we provide a monthly outlook on our website, which have consistent and clearly sign-posted the very cold conditions."

This is all very interesting. Either the Met Office’s left hand doesn’t know what it’s right hand is doing, the Met Office has no idea what is being said by its employees, or the Met Office is playing semantics in a very disingenuous manner. Why? This bit of information issued by the Met Office in October…
"The latest data comes in the form of a December to February temperature map on the Met Office’s website.

The eastern half of England, Cornwall, Scotland and Northern Ireland is in for temperatures above the 3.7C (38.6F) average, more than 2C warmer than last winter.

The map also shows a 40 per cent to 60 per cent probability that western England and Wales will be warmer than 3.7C (38.6F), with a much smaller chance of average or below-average temperatures."

The piece even goes on to name the Met Office employee who spoke about the map and talked up the effort that had gone into producing the start point for a ‘seasonal forecast‘:
"Helen Chivers, Met Office forecaster, insisted the temperature map takes into account the influence of climate factors such as El Nino and La Nina – five-yearly climatic patterns that affect the weather – but admits this is only a “start point” for a seasonal forecast. She said: “The map shows probabilities of temperatures in months ahead compared to average temperatures over a 30-year period."

You can read the whole piece on the Daily Express website, including this response from the independent forecaster, Positive Weather Solutions:
"But other experts maintain we are in for another big freeze. Positive Weather Solutions senior forecaster Jonathan Powell said: “It baffles me how the Met Office can predict a milder-than-average winter when all the indicators show this winter will have parallels to the last one.

“They are standing alone here, as ourselves and other independent forecasters are all predicting a colder-than-average winter.

“It will be interesting to see how predictions by the government-funded Met Office compare with independent forecasters.”

So when is a forecast not a forecast? When the Met Office gets it wrong, it seems. Let’s see how they spin this. But for now the words ‘bang to rights’ spring to mind. ["bang to rights" is a British expression meaning roughly "caught red-handed"]


UK: The big freeze death toll hits 300 people every day

Will this make Seth Borenstein's death count? He recently scraped up a list of deaths due to bad weather which he asserts were caused by global warming. But since warming causes cooling (according to him), I guess the deaths reported below will be added to his list

Just about everybody knows (as mentioned below) that there are more ("excess") deaths in winter than in summer, however, so Borenstein is off with the fairies anyhow. Warmer weather brings FEWER deaths. But I don't suppose we can expect much reality contact from the chief environment reporter of the Associated Press

Nearly 300 more people a day died when freezing temperatures hit at the start of this month, new figures show. A total of 11,193 deaths were registered in England and Wales bet­ween December 3 and 10, the Office for National Statistics has revealed.

This is a 21 per cent rise on the previous week, which works out at 282 extra deaths every day.

It has also emerged flu rates have more than doubled in the past week with children the worst-hit. Flu cases in England and Wales rose from 33 per 100,000 people to 87, according to the Royal College of General Practitioners. Infection rates are highest among those aged five to 14, followed by those under four, then people aged 15 to 44.

Age UK called for ministers to bring in an emergency winter plan and tackle fuel poverty and energy efficiency to cut the number of exc­ess deaths in winter. ‘Every winter, tens of thousands of older people die from prevent­able causes. We believe this is an avoidable tragedy we can help to prevent,’ said the charity.

The number of deaths linked to cold weather fell dramatically last winter, despite Britain experiencing what was then one of the worst winters in decades. There were 25,400 ‘excess winter deaths’ in England and Wales between Dec­ember 2009 and March 2010 – 30 per cent down on the previous winter when the weather was milder. It is believed deaths dipped bec­ause flu levels were low.

The Department of Health said it was too early to comment on this year’s rates as figures are compiled from December to March.

Health secretary Andrew Lansley insisted the NHS was prepared. "The winter fuel allowance has been retained and a temporary rise in cold weather payments brought in by the previous government has been made permanent", he added.


UN subterfuge… the global warming hoax

For 30 years the UN has fomented worldwide hysteria based upon the premise of global destruction by CO2

After schooling in the Environmental Sciences, and cleaning up toxic waste sites for an environmental agency, my hobby became global warming. At first it was interesting because the prevailing theory was always changing, but as new theories were advanced, they relied more on data adjustments and political strategy, than science. Today, Americans perceive global warming as a low priority item, and have turned their attention to our economic and security concerns. But big government agencies (UN and US) and Non-Governmental Organizations (NGOs) continue to quietly expand UN influence, by teaching their insidious Marxist policies to the bureaucratic, naive, and idiotic.

In 1972, Drs. George Kukla and Robert Matthews were the central figures in convincing the US government that climate change was a threat. Kukla worked with geologist Robert Matthews of Brown University, and presented the conference: “The Present Interglacial: How and When will it End?” Their presentation influenced President Nixon to create the “Panel on the Present Interglacial.”

In a 1974 Time article, Dr. George J. Kukla said the earth was in crisis because his research indicated the earth was headed into an Ice Age! Time reported: “The trend shows no indication of reversing.” Sound familiar? But in the 1981 article: “Evidence is Found of warming Trend,” Kukla said: “We have found within the general pattern a warming element in the right place and in the right season; it is just where we expected it from the theory, it fits nicely.”

The UN jumped on the environmental issue at the 1972 UN Conference on the Human Environment, at Stockholm, Sweden. It was organized and led by Canadian, Maurice Strong, the Secretary-General of the Conference. During this conference, the UN Environment Programme was born, which has worldwide jurisdiction over UN environmental matters. The first Executive Director of UNEP was Maurice Strong.

At the June 1992 Rio Conference on Environment and Development (UNCED), Maurice Strong kicked off the conference by calling you a wasteful capitalist pig! Aiming his words at America he said: “It is clear that current lifestyles and consumption patterns of the affluent middle class‚Äîinvolving high meat intake, consumption of large amounts of frozen and convenience foods, use of fossil fuels, appliances, home and work-place air-conditioning, and suburban housing‚Äîare not sustainable. A shift is necessary toward lifestyles less geared to environmentally damaging consumption patterns.”

It was at Rio, that the UNEP issued Agenda 21, a 40-chapter plan detailing the global goals of the UNEP. “Agenda 21” refers to the goals the UN wants to achieve in the 21st century. The UN also created the UN’s Division for Sustainable Development, to fund and manage the implementation of Agenda 21. (In 1992, Congress ratified the Framework Convention on Climate Change, which GH Bush signed. In 1993, WJ Clinton issued Executive Order 12852, creating the “President’s Council on Sustainable Development.” Its purpose: “The Council shall advise the President on matters involving sustainable development.”

For 30 years the UN has fomented worldwide hysteria based upon the premise of global destruction by CO2, and a large percentage of the population reacted just as HL Mencken predicted: “The whole aim of practical politics is to keep the populace alarmed, and hence clamorous to be led to safety, by menacing it with an endless series of hobgoblins, all of them imaginary.”

The science of global warming has been unraveling for years, but one of the most glaring revelations came in 2007, when a UK High Court judge considered the science behind the 2006 Academy Award winning movie “Inconvenient Truth.” The judge ruled the movie contained nine significant errors and ruled it was a “political” movie, not a science movie.

Through the serendipity of Climategate, we discovered that although Russian weather stations cover most of Russia: “the Hadley Center had used data submitted by only 25% of such stations in its reports.” Then came the discovery that famed UK global warming scientist Professor Phil Jones moved weather stations in China. As the scientific methods of global warming scientists were aired, the number of skeptics increased, and one petition now has over 31,000 signatures.

But while the world was debating, the UN was infiltrating! The UN has been quietly training local governments and universities on UN sustainability policies and organizing techniques since 1990. Their plans are in Chapter 28 of Agenda 21, which advises: “Local authority programmes, policies, laws and regulations to achieve Agenda 21 objectives would be assessed and modified, based on local programmes adopted.” This chapter is a primer on how to infiltrate the US at every level, and in every organization.


For 30 years UN scientists contorted scientific theories, data, and “hockey sticks” to cobble their science together. The current status of global warming can be summarized with the Jeffersonian maxim: “It is error alone which needs the support of government. Truth can stand by itself.” It is now clear that global warming was an epic scam. Please consider:

Why reduce CO2 emissions to 1990 levels as called for in the Kyoto Treaty? Which scientists determined the 1990 CO2 levels would save the planet? Actually, the 1990 level was negotiated by bureaucrats, and despite their assertion that CO2 is harmful, they exempted two of the biggest CO2 emitters, China and India.

In 2007, Newsweek columnist Fareed Zakaria discovered: “These two countries (China and India) are currently building 650 coal-fired power plants. The combined CO2 emissions of these new plants is five times the total savings of the Kyoto accords-that is, if the Kyoto targets were being adhered to by western countries, which they are not.” (Quoted in Climate Change and Presidential Policy, p4.)

Climategate. “Hey buddy, can you tweak some data and delete a few emails for me?”

The 1992 Rio delegates actually admitted that science doesn’t matter! Principle 15: “In order to protect the environment, the precautionary approach shall be widely applied by States according to their capabilities. Where there are threats of serious or irreversible damage, lack of full scientific certainty shall not be used as a reason for postponing cost-effective measures to prevent environmental degradation.”

In 2003, Economist Michael Grubb wrote: “The Protocol is essentially an agreement to extend economic globalization to environmental policy: to establish a global emissions market to counter the global environmental consequences of global economic growth.” Fortunately, there were men of vision such as Al Gore, Maurice Strong, and Barack Obama, who teamed up with their friends at Goldman Sachs to create such a system, and thus was born the Chicago Climate Exchange. (CCX).

In November 2010, UN environmental economist Ottmar Edenhofer admitted that in regard to UN environmental policy: “developed countries have basically expropriated the atmosphere of the world community. But one must say clearly that we redistribute de facto the world’s wealth by climate policy.”

The UN infiltration of America was authorized by bipartisan quisling presidents, whose actions empowered the UN to quietly train and create; hundreds of Marxists change agents at all levels of government and academia. This has been a stealth operation and completely under the media radar. The people who have assimilated the global warming sustainability propaganda are trained and motivated advocates who uphold the New World Order of sustainability by UN fiat, not the Constitution of capitalists.

Sound far-fetched? The US Congress never passed a bill approving green house gas regulations or Cap and Trade. But that hasn’t stopped the EPA from promulgating GHG regulations; and in November 2010, the EPA took a step towards globalizing environmental compliance by signing a cooperative agreement with the European Chemicals Agency, for: “the implementation and further development of EU policies.”

There are hundreds of cities from El Cerrito, California, to Belfast, Maine, that have been trained, and agreed to implement UN Agenda 21 policies! The barbarians are inside our offices, municipal buildings, and schools! If this UN advocacy for a New World Order is not reversed, isn’t it only a matter of time until America becomes known as the most powerful country in the North American Union?


Let there be light – and liberty

Phyllis Schlafly

If we want to continue to enjoy the bright, warm light Thomas Edison's incandescent bulb radiates, Congress will have to repeal Subtitle B of Title III of the Energy Independence and Security Act of 2007. Environmental "standards" will start eliminating 276 versions of incandescent light bulbs in 2012, and the drop-dead date for our favorite 100-watt light bulb is just one year away.

Then, we will only be able to buy more expensive but allegedly more energy-efficient lighting products such as compact fluorescent lamps (CFLs) that are supposed to reduce greenhouse gas emissions and force us to do our duty to save the planet. CFLs are also supposed to reduce our dependence on oil, but that's not persuasive because only 1 percent of our electricity is made by oil.

The repeal bill called the Better Use of Light Bulbs (BULB) Act, introduced by Rep. Joe Barton, R-Texas, Michael Burgess, R-Texas, and Rep. Marsha Blackburn, R-Tenn., will die at the end of this year. We should start now to line up members to support repeal in the newly elected Congress.

When Elena Kagan was asked in her confirmation hearing by Sen. Tom Coburn, R-Okla., if it would be constitutional for the government to order all of us to eat "three fruits and three vegetables every day," she evaded answering. She is part of the progressive Obama administration that is committed to the unconstitutional notion that government should tell us how to spend our own money and live our lives, even within our own homes.

The essence of Obamacare is forcing individual Americans to buy health insurance they don't want. Federal Judge Henry Hudson just ruled it is unconstitutional to force Americans to buy health insurance, and we shouldn't be forced to buy light bulbs we don't want.

Newer lighting technologies are on the drawing board, but Americans don't need government to compel us to purchase a new product. We easily advanced from kerosene lamps to Edison's light bulbs, from horse and carriage to automobiles, and from cassettes to CDs and DVDs, without any laws to mandate those changes.

CFLs are so toxic because of the mercury in the glass tubing that the cleanup procedure spelled out by the Environmental Protection Agency is downright scary. The EPA warns that if we break a CFL, we must take the pieces to a recycling center and not launder "clothing or bedding because mercury fragments in the clothing may contaminate the machine and/or pollute sewage." CFLs must be rather dangerous if they will pollute the sewage.

CFL bulbs do not work well in colder temperatures, and most cannot handle dimmer switches; broken CFL bulbs allegedly cause migraines and epilepsy attacks. Their supposed capacity to save energy is greatly exaggerated because, since CFLs do not emit as much heat, we'll have to compensate by turning up our thermostats in winter months.

The one result of CFLs we are sure about is that they export American jobs to China, where manufacturers enjoy the benefit of cheap labor. General Electric has already closed factories in Kentucky and Ohio, and this month it is closing its major light bulb factory in Winchester, Va., that employed 200 people.

The EPA has issued 91 pages of regulations to force manufacturers to revise their packaging to make CFLs more attractive to reluctant customers. The new labels get rid of the watt as the measure of light a bulb puts out and replace it with the lumen, making it difficult for Americans to select the right bulb.

Globalists give us the usual propaganda about an obligation to conform U.S. policy to the rest of the world. Cuba in 2005 exchanged all incandescent light bulbs for CFLs and banned their sale and importation, but surely we should not take our lead from Cuba.

Rep. Fred Upton, R-Mich., has been credited with banning incandescent light bulbs, along with imposing obnoxious regulations and phase-out dates. He's now not so eager to claim credit for that law.

When asked in September about his authorship, Upton said, "It was Jane Harman's bill with Denny Hastert and others." By November, he was promising that if he becomes chairman of the House Energy and Commerce Committee, "we'll be re-examining the light bulb issue, no problem."

By December, he was saying that "we have heard the grass roots loud and clear, and will have a hearing early next Congress. The last thing we wanted to do was infringe upon personal liberties – and this has been a good lesson that Congress does not always know best."

Rep. Cliff Stearns, R-Fla., summed it up: "The misguided ban on incandescent light bulbs needs to be repealed. Banning a product that has been used safely for more than 100 years in favor of Chinese imported CFLs that pose considerable health risks is yet another example of more government intrusion into Americans' personal lives."



For more postings from me, see DISSECTING LEFTISM, TONGUE-TIED, EDUCATION WATCH INTERNATIONAL, POLITICAL CORRECTNESS WATCH, FOOD & HEALTH SKEPTIC, GUN WATCH, 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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