Monday, January 03, 2011

It's the past, not CO2, that enables you to predict the climate

Below is the Introduction and Discussion from a recent paper


Dan Pangburn, P.E. ASME Life Member

1. INTRODUCTION The prominent approach to predicting climate1 is to attempt to mathematically model all weather phenomena for the entire planet in huge computer programs that are run on powerful computers. The programs are initialized with current conditions and future climate projections are obtained by incrementing solutions forward in time. The output of these programs is then summarized as average global temperature (agt) vs. time.

A key assumption in this approach has been that agt increase is predominately caused by atmospheric carbon dioxide (CO2) increase. The growing separation between the continued increase of CO2 and lack of significant agt increase for several years (graph on page 9 of Ref 3) suggests that this prominent approach and assumption may be flawed. Ref 3 also addresses other issues relevant to the prominent approach.

The approach presented here is to predict future agt based on past measured agt. The agt is hypothesized to be the result of the summation of effects due to sunspots, ocean currents and atmospheric CO2. Weighting coefficients are applied to each of these effects and the results are combined in a rational manner. The summation is optimized by adjusting the coefficients for each effect to obtain the best match between the combined calculated temperature-time profile and the best available measured agt-time profile.

The closeness of match is determined by a single calculated number, the coefficient of determination (R2). Once the best match to measured values from 1895 to the present is obtained, the coefficients are held constant and assumptions of future sunspot numbers and CO2 levels are applied to estimate a future agt trend.


The average global temperature change is assumed to result from the net effect of three contributing factors. The first contributing factor is determined using conservation of energy.

Various papers have been written by others that indicate how sunspots can influence climate on earth. The effect on agt appears to be: More sunspots; increased solar magnetic shielding; decreased galactic cosmic rays penetrating the atmosphere; decreased low-level clouds; higher average cloud altitude; lower average cloud temperature; decreased cloud-to-space radiation; higher agt.

Total Solar Irradiance, TSI, is complementary but a much smaller contributor. A further discussion of this, with links to references, is given on page 16 of Ref 3.

Others have looked at just amplitude or just time factors for sunspot numbers and got poor correlations with agt over long time periods. A good correlation is obtained by combining the two, which is what the time-integral does.

The second main contributor, ESST, results primarily from observation of agt over the 20th century. Although ESST is the net effect of multiple ocean current activity, no cause is identified. Thus the multiple currents may be independent and just happened to align for over a century in a way that produced the observed agt time profile. If they are indeed independent then the alignment will eventually fade, the as-defined ESST influence (amplitude) will decline and the description of ESST will need to be revised.

Given the excellent correlation between calculated and measured agt for over a century, however, the derived amplitude should be a good approximation for decades.

The third contributor, the calculated influence of added CO2, is declining. From 2001 through August, 2010 the atmospheric carbon dioxide level has increased by an amount equal to 21% of the increase from 1800 to 2001 while the agt has not changed significantly. This measured separation between the increasing carbon dioxide level and not-increasing agt is outside of the ‘limits’ of all of the predictions of the IPCC and ‘consensus’ of Climate Scientists. This indication of decline in calculated influence of CO2 is corroborated by the analyses and the second graph on page 4 of Ref 5.

From "Energy & Environment" Vol. 21, No. 8, 2010, 999 - 1004

It's not better computers that the Warmists need

From the British "Autonomous Mind" blog

Following on from the blog post yesterday about the Met Office’s Julia Slingo claiming the recent ‘freak weather’ (aka a cold winter) could have been predicted if only the Met Office had more supercomputing power…

AM emailed respected meterology experts Joe Bastardi and Piers Corbyn to ask them what supercomputing technology they employ that helps them to generate forecasts that are consistently more accurate than those of the Met Office.

Both gentlemen, who enjoy an excellent track record for their forecasting accuracy, have very kindly replied and their answers are published in full below:

Joe Bastardi said:
I look at the models, and I do use them as input to the forecast with many other factors. However they are not Gods, and to make the excuse we need a bigger computer when in reality all they do is arrive at a solution … right or wrong … faster, and have nothing factored in about past weather events, or natural cycles, or some of the other things Piers and I use, seems to me to be blaming the model and then saying you need more of what failed in the first place.

If the Physics is not right, then forget it. Modeling for instance, relying on greenhouse gasses to warm the atmosphere will come out at a warmer solution. The UKMET model now has suddenly flipped to a cool solution across much of the world for the coming months, but well after it was obvious to us that major cooling was going to occur (last March I said 2011 would try to return to near normal, similar to the La Nina of the late 90s and the recent one… That is because I knew before the computer a major La Nina was coming on and said so in February.. and based the high total number of hurricanes for the season on the La Nina and the very warm tropical atlantic at the time ..which has cooled since then, btw).

As someone who has no access to public funds, or grants, well I don’t have the computer they do.

Which is interesting since I think we can agree since I joined this little forecasting battle the past 3 years, I have hit the cold over in Europe. Part of the reason is the model and computer has a warm bias since the PDO (Pacific Decadal Oscillation) flipped to cool. Now I wonder why that would be?

And what will happen when the Atlantic turns cold? Throw in solar cycles, and increased arctic or tropical volcanic activity… no computer is going to handle that.

Computer models are tools to get an answer, but not the answer. There is the difference. These folks have not had the kind of forecasting experience that Piers and I have, so they put all this faith in models. We use models, but only as the icing on the cake so to speak. While both of us may have our favorite major climate driver, The ability to see all the players on the field is enhanced when one does not rely on the computer. A good forecaster has to have a visual idea of what a pattern should look like BEFORE HE BRINGS IN THE COMPUTER MODELS, and then have the models confirm or question his conclusion.. much like team mates challenge each other in competition.

To simply use the model as the number one input to one's forecast.. well then what is the need for the forecaster? Maybe that is what this is all about, getting rid of any human touch to the weather, and convincing the public it's so. Either that, or saying: I give up, I cant do it, so I will let the model do it. Well I am not cut from the cloth that backs away at challenges in things I was made to do, one of them forecast the weather, so I do not become a puppet of models, but instead will accept the model as a team-mate.. another source of input. But that is all it is.

A forecast for instance, for winter starts way in advance, looking at many years of past weather to understand similarities to where we are now UNDERSTANDING THE MAJOR PHYSICAL NATURAL DRIVERS that are affecting the pattern and also understanding where we are in the climate cycle and not assuming that the earth is headed in one direction.

Such open mindedness and the crucible of capitalism and competition, where if we are not right enough, Piers and I will get fired, makes a bigger difference than just saying I need more money for a bigger computer so I can rely on it.

Funny but true, a video I did back in March showed 11 year cycle forecasts for the summer indicating a warm US summer, while NOAAs computer had it cool for summer Guess what one was right. The 11 year cycle forecast.

Last Spring, the computer had a very warm winter for Alaska this winter, which I hammered. Well guess what is going on.

The UKMET model had a warm winter this winter. Well.

It’s not the computer, it’s the limits of the computer in trying to adjust to what only men can understand and use. I don't think you need more money to arrive at the wrong answer faster. Should put it into fighting hunger, or giving men a chance to be free enough to dream and pursue that dream… much better causes in my opinion.

Piers Corbyn said:
My answer to What supercomputers do I use? is:

W A I T F O R I T…………..


And before someone goes looking for the ‘NONE’ computer company I mean: We do not use ANY Supercomputer we use P H Y S I C S.

In WeatherAction my Solar Lunar Action Technique (SLAT) does involve a number of equations and theoretical concepts (Weather action indicators) and calculations which are all performed on a pretty low level PC. The key thing to understand is that all weather circulation patterns have near enough happened before; the key is to find out when and how this time around they will be not quite the same as before.

I explained at some length HOW & WHY my technique(s) work at our WeatherAction Climate Fools Day conference in October 2009 held at Imperial College London. The Warmists were explicitly invited and given a slot to speak but none came.

A video of one of my invites, made direct to John Ackers of Friends of The Earth live on Sky news in October 2009, is linked below. Looking at it now I find it even more hilarious than at the time (when we had ’50 days left to save the Planet’) and suggest readers have a look and a laugh (no mention of ‘cold is warm’ here!!)

See here

The GWers claim that we haven’t explained what we do. That is untrue. The truth is they don’t want to know and don’t want anyone else to know {Recall Phil Jones CRU E-mails described me as The MAIN enemy on the Europe side of the Atlantic and that he and his mates would do everything in their power to prevent the likes of me ever getting anything into print}. I thank blogs such as this which have enabled me and Bastardi and loads of others to break partly through the Greenwash cult.

I say our technique(s) plural because they are evolving and now on Solar Lunar Action Technique – SLAT5b, which supersedes our SWT (Solar Weather Technique). What I do is very different from Bastardi who is clearly also skilled especially for USA. Nevertheless his approach is more Earth-based, not so far ahead and less skilled and much less detailed [Of course we are not always right but I would just like to mention Xmas Day and the nights before and after in the UK were EXTREMELY COLD as we predicted from during November when I placed some successful bets on the matter of snow, contrary to his 'It will turn mild' prognoses].

A few links here explain key ideas of what I do -

1. VIDEO of why it (SWT/SLAT) works – Imperial college Oct 2009 -

2. Presentation similar to as presented at Climate Fools day 2010 in Parliament

3. “World cooling has ….” -

On supercomputers and the The Met Office I would say that no amount of spending on their approach will ever produce better forecasts in any forecasting more than 3 days ahead. Standard Meteorology has reached the end of its potential. It can go no further. What we do is infinitely more skilled (since they have zero skill) in any long range forecasting. Let’s be clear no amount of investment in wax technology will ever produce a light bulb. For a small fraction of the extra money they want to waste on supercomputers we could reliably forecast extreme events and general weather development details across the WORLD many months ahead.

There is clearly an overwhelming case here for challenging the Met Office robustly about its assertion that it requires additional huge sums of money to purchase more supercomputing technology. The question is, will those who control our tax pounds undertake that challenge and stop our money being spent wastefully? Bastardi and Corbyn’s replies demonstrate that the fundamental difference between the Met Office and those meterologists who forecast with much greater accuracy is a matter of technique and approach rather than technology and processing power. The politicians need to understand this.


A step change in Earth’s Climate outlook

As Britain suffers through its third straight harsh winter, a British watchdog group is calling for an inquiry into the failed recent long-range weather forecasts of the British Meteorological Office. The Met Office has long one of the leading promoters of man-made warming fears and therefore has tended to see warming around every corner.

Dr. Benny Peiser of the Global Warming Policy Foundation says, “The current winter fiasco is no longer a joke, as the economic damage to the British economy as a result of the country’s ill-preparedness . . . could reach $15 billion.”

The Met Office informed the government this summer that there was only a small chance of a severe winter in 2010/11, especially in the midst of a long global warming trend. Now, however, thousands of weary travelers have been stranded in European airports, while highway crews have lacked the sand and salt to keep the roads safe.

“The key question is,” says British Transport Minister Philip Hammond, “if there was a ‘step change’ in the UK weather, what would it look like? The answer is, of course, it would look like what we have seen in recent years. Hence there is no logical case to say there hasn’t been a step change.”

Meanwhile, Dr. Syun-Ichi Akasofu of the University of Alaska has published a paper in Natural Science saying that since 1850 the earth has been recovering from the Little Ice Age—and that this natural recovery is still continuing at about 0.5 degree per century. Ice cores and seabed sediments show this moderate, natural 1,500-year cycle has been occurring for the last million years. The Modern Warming is likely to be about as warm eventually as the Medieval Warming that blessed the earth with sunny growing seasons from 950–1300 AD.

At the same time, however, Dr. Akasofu has identified a 50–60 year sub-cycle driven by Pacific Ocean temperatures, which shifted to cool in 1940, to warm in 1976, and back to cool again as of 2000. He is predicting another 20 years of modest cooling for earth before the longer warming trend reasserts itself.

Back in Britain, the natives are growing restless about the failed “official” long-term weather forecasts.

John Walsh of The Independent wrote recently, “Some climatologists hint that the Office’s problem is political. Its computer habitually feeds in government-backed assumptions about climate change that aren’t borne out by the facts. To the Met Office, the weather’s always warmer than it really is.”

Paul Hudson of BBC Weather asks, “Could the model, seemingly with an inability to predict colder seasons, have developed a warm bias after such a long period of milder than average years?”

Dominic Lawson of the Sunday Times asserted, “A period of humility and even silence would be welcome from the Met Office, which had promised a “barbecue summer” in 2009 [it was wet and cold] and one of the ‘“warmest winters on record’ [for 2010/11 instead of the harsh cold and blizzards which have occurred].”

To cap it all off UK forecaster Piers Corbyn, noted for his skepticism on man-made warming, has become nationally famous for being right while the Met Office was wrong. For example, Corbyn predicted in November that this winter would be Britain’s coldest in 100 years. He even predicted the snowy Christmas. How does he do it: Apparently by looking at solar patterns, the number of cosmic rays hitting the earth, the Moon’s impact on streaming particles, and jet streams. Corbyn’s subscription forecasts are becoming a staple with businesses that “need to know”


It's the EPA that killed the bees

Not global warming. Evidence that the EPA is primarily politics-driven, not science-driven

The world honey bee population has plunged in recent years, worrying beekeepers and farmers who know how critical bee pollination is for many crops. A number of theories have popped up as to why the North American honey bee population has declined--electromagnetic radiation, malnutrition, and climate change have all been pinpointed. Now a leaked EPA document reveals that the agency allowed the widespread use of a bee-toxic pesticide, despite warnings from EPA scientists.

The document, which was leaked to a Colorado beekeeper, shows that the EPA has ignored warnings about the use of clothianidin, a pesticide produced by Bayer that mainly is used to pre-treat corn seeds. The pesticide scooped up $262 million in sales in 2009 by farmers, who also use the substance on canola, soy, sugar beets, sunflowers, and wheat, according to Grist.

The leaked document (PDF) was put out in response to Bayer's request to approve use of the pesticide on cotton and mustard. The document invalidates a prior Bayer study that justified the registration of clothianidin on the basis of its safety to honeybees:
Clothianidin’s major risk concern is to nontarget insects (that is, honey bees). Clothianidin is a neonicotinoid insecticide that is both persistent and systemic. Acute toxicity studies to honey bees show that clothianidin is highly toxic on both a contact and an oral basis. Although EFED does not conduct RQ based risk assessments on non-target insects, information from standard tests and field studies, as well as incident reports involving other neonicotinoids insecticides (e.g., imidacloprid) suggest the potential for long-term toxic risk to honey bees and other beneficial insects.

The entire 101-page memo is damning (and worth a read). But the opinion of EPA scientists apparently isn't enough for the agency, which is allowing clothianidin to keep its registration.

Suspicions about clothianidin aren't new; the EPA's Environmental Fate and Effects Division (EFAD) first expressed concern when the pesticide was introduced, in 2003, about the "possibility of toxic exposure to nontarget pollinators [e.g., honeybees] through the translocation of clothianidin residues that result from seed treatment." Clothianidin was still allowed on the market while Bayer worked on a botched toxicity study [PDF], in which test and control fields were planted as close as 968 feet apart.

Clothianidin has already been banned by Germany, France, Italy, and Slovenia for its toxic effects. So why won't the EPA follow? The answer probably has something to do with the American affinity for corn products. But without honey bees, our entire food supply is in trouble.

SOURCE (See the original for links)

EPA's Texas Power Grab

Any Texas granddaddy will tell you he’s seen it all, when it comes to weather and climate extremes. Tornadoes, hurricanes, heat waves, blizzards, droughts, flash floods, and storms that bring unique combinations of wind, dust, thunder and hail.

Any Lone Star citizen will point out that Texas is America’s leading producer of crude oil, natural gas and (heavily subsidized) wind-based energy. It has the second largest workforce and gross state product in the USA, produces more electricity than any other state, and refines one-fourth of our petroleum – for a country that is 85% dependent on fossil fuels. Mess with Texas, and the damages will reverberate throughout our nation.

So why is the US Environmental Protection Agency sending federal agents to Texas – to arrest the state’s economy for the “crime” of emitting carbon dioxide (CO2) and methane (CH4)? Texas is also challenging EPA over other arbitrary new air pollution standards, but that’s another article.

Cowboys and cowgirls recognize CO2 as the plant-fertilizing “gas of life” and CH4 as natural gas and cow farts. Scientists will tell you carbon dioxide is 0.0387% of Earth’s atmosphere and methane is 0.000179 percent. Anyone with an eighth grade economics education or ounce of common sense knows CO2 is what results when CH4 heats homes, generates electricity, fuels cars and factories, and makes our health, welfare and living standards possible.

But EPA says they are “greenhouse gases” that cause “runaway global warming.” So the ideologues who run this agency are telling Texas to start regulating its power plants and refineries into bankruptcy or oblivion – or EPA goons will take over its air quality programs and economy.

Since few cowboys and cowgirls – or even college grads or most PhDs – are experts on “greenhouse” gases and radiation physics, let’s take a quick look at what’s behind these EPA claims.

EPA Administrator Lisa Jackson says her agency’s actions will “protect human health and welfare” and “ensure environmental justice,” which are “threatened” by rising temperatures and “global climate disruption.” Let EPA regulate these evil greenhouse gases, she promises, and the climate will remain “stable” and average global temperatures will never be more than 2 degrees higher than now. Bunk.

Ms. Jackson willfully ignores the immense harm that driving up energy prices will have on jobs, state revenues, people’s health and welfare, and even human lives. But her views are supported by scientists like Dr. Richard Alley, Michael Mann’s colleague at Pennsylvania State University, all handsomely paid by EPA and other federal agencies for raising alarms about global warming.

Alley was recently extolled in the New York Times (which no real, red-blooded Texans reads) as a “major voice of climate science.” He says that under a true worst-case scenario of doubling the concentration of CO2 and methane, our planet will fry due to 18 to 20 degrees F of global warming.

This much gas of life and cow farts, the great professor insists, would result in “an addition of heat so radical that it would render the planet unrecognizable to its present-day inhabitants.” He bases this horrifying prediction on computer models that assume human CO2 and CH4 control our climate – not the sun and dozens of powerful, complex, interacting natural forces.

The fact is, mankind has been emitting gas of life and cow farts since time immemorial. However, according to MIT’s Dr. Richard Lindzen, we are still only 80% of the way toward doubling the greenhouse gas levels found in our atmosphere at the start of the Industrial Revolution (0.0280%). But taking Dr. Alley’s computer models and doomsday predictions at their word, 80% of the way should mean temperatures in the great state of Texas should have warmed some 14 to 16 degrees between 1860 and 2010.

Hooo-weee … is that HOT, or what?

Something doesn’t seem quite right here. National Climate Data Center studies show Texas’ annual mean temperature fluctuates from year to year – but has generally been 65 to 71 degrees F, from 1895 through 2010. (We don’t have reliable data before 1895.) From the rear view of flatulent Texas longhorns, that’s a change of just 6 degrees, up or down, with no two years of identical weather, for 116 years!

Where in tarnation are those extra 10 to 12 degrees of warming that Professor Alley (in his generous spirit of “worst-case scenarios”) assures us are happening? Did the Grinch steal them? Or are those missing degrees just lurking out there, waiting to surprise us the instant CO2 levels hit 560 ppm (0.0560% of the atmosphere)? Does nature actually work that way: no response, no response – then, bam!?!? Disaster!

He and Professor Mann and Penn State sure did get a lot of millions from us taxpayers, to cook up all these disaster scenarios. So there must be something to them. (One of their buddies got a pile of taxpayer cash for saying dinosaur farts “may have contributed to global warming” 70 million years ago!)

But farmers and ranchers in Texas just cannot find that missing “heat” in their cows or plants or wild grasses. No one can find that “heat” in hurricane, tornado, hail or dust storm records, either. In fact, NOAA tells us, strong tornadoes, among top-three ranks in wind and damage scales, have been occurring less and less since record intensities during 1950s and 1960s.

That’s just the opposite of what the good professor, his sidekick Al Gore and their Climate Doomsday Gang say will happen. But isn’t that good news for Texas?

In fact, using their logic, we could argue that, since CO2 has been rising while tornado intensity is falling, maybe we should increase carbon dioxide even more, to eventually turn tornadoes into dust devils. Or say decreasing CO2 emissions could cause stronger tornadoes and damage to ramp up again.

Somehow, we don’t think carbon dioxide or methane has quite this power. We suspect there are a lot of other, far stronger, natural forces at work – causing all kinds of cyclical climate patterns. Ms. Jackson and Dr. Alley’s computer-created monsters might have a role in Frankenstein, raptor and blood-lusting alien movies. They should play no role in dictating Texas energy use and economic decisions.

So now the alarmists from the Climate Doomsday Gang have a new scare. Global warming from rising CO2 is going to cause more vector-borne diseases like malaria, dengue fever and West Nile Virus. Are you a-trembling in your bull-doodoo -covered boots now?

If Texas didn’t have decent history books in its classrooms, you might actually buy this scary story. But as those books show, malaria was eradicated in Texas and the USA during the 1950s, thanks to DDT, window screens and medical advances – not because the state’s climate got too cold or dry for anopheles mosquitoes.

Moreover, from 1980 to 1999 there were 62,514 cases of dengue fever (from mosquito bites) in northeastern Mexico. Meanwhile, just across the border, only 64 cases of dengue were counted in Texas. The disparate disease rates are clearly not due to the climate, but to differences in housing, medical care, wealth and technology.

The alarmists need to get their computer models, scenarios, scare stories and climate cops out of Texas. If they don’t, Governor Perry and his Texas Rangers should arrest them for violating Lone Star rights to energy, jobs, health and the American Dream.


Outlawing incandescent bulbs and unintended consequences

The mens room at the Washington Examiner recently received an energy-saving device: a motion sensor switch for the lights. In Europe, every public accomodation I visited had timed lights or motion-sensor lights in the bathrooms. I bet they pay for themselves in energy savings.

But the Examiner men's room also has fluorescent bulbs -- both the compact fluorescent and the old-fashioned tube ones. The CFLs take a second to turn on, and about 30 seconds to get to full brightness. The tube bulbs take about 15 seconds to stay on, and they flicker for another 30 seconds.

Either technology on its own is acceptable, but together, they make visiting the bathroom very annoying. In other words, the slow warm up for the fluorescents wouldn't matter if it happened once or twice a day, and the room being dark when you walk in wouldn't matter if the lights were bright right away. If a coffee shop or library I visited had similar bathroom action, I wouldn't return.

So as California outlaws the traditional incandescent next week, and the U.S. begins its move down this road a year later, we should ask, will forcing fluorescents on people deter them from getting timed or motion-sensor lights? If so, will the energy savings of this legislation be wiped out?

There are plenty of other unintended consequences related to the lightbulb law that will offset the gains in energy efficiency. Off the top of my head:

Citing this law, GE has closed its incandescent plant in Virginia. For the coming years, while they're still legal, Americans then will be buying their GE incandescents from Mexico. This probably means less efficient manufacturing and more shipping.

GE makes its CFLs in China. The factories are likely dirtier and less efficient, and certainly there will be more shipping costs.
Because of the warmup time for CFLs and the knowledge that they use less energy, people are more likely to leave them on for longer, I imagine.

In northern latitudes, incandescents' inefficiency is not wasted. Think about it, in Alaska, summer nights are very short, and winter nights are very long. That means a vast majority of light-bulb time happens in the winter. The incandescents waste energy in the form of heat, but if it's cold, that added heat slightly reduces your need to use a furnace.

These offsetting factors are all small, and they may not negate the energy savings of the federal and California laws, but they will certainly reduce the savings. All corners of environmental policy have similar offsets -- think ethanol subsidies leading to deforestation, or electric car subsidies driving up coal demand. On top of these predictable effects, there are plenty of negative consequences we can't foresee.

These unintended consequences are why I think that simpler, dumber tariffs and taxes would be better than this hodgepodge of subsidies we have now. If we want Americans to use less energy, create a BTU tax. If we want to use less foreign oil, put a tariff on oil.

But then, what would the lobbyists do if things were simple?



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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