Tuesday, January 11, 2011

More models that defy logic

The temperatures of most glaciers are well below freezing and the polar icecaps particularly so. How then is a temperature rise of only 2.8 degrees going to melt them? As the article below admits, it is only the polar icecaps that can have any significant effect and the only part of them that could conceivably melt is at their margins. But their margins are sea ice and, as Archimedes showed long ago, the melting of floating ice does not raise the water level one iota. The models are totally divorced from reality

GLOBAL warming may wipe out three-quarters of Europe's alpine glaciers by 2100, two studies predict. The research places the spotlight on two of the least understood aspects of climate change: how, when and where warming will affect glaciers and the problems faced by generations in the future.

The glacier study, published yesterday, predicts mountain glaciers and ice caps will shrink by 15-27 per cent in volume terms on average by 2100. "Ice loss on such a scale may have substantial impacts on regional hydrology and water availability," it warns.

Some regions will be worse hit than others because of the altitude of their glaciers, the nature of the terrain and their susceptibility to localised warming. New Zealand could lose 72 per cent of its glaciers and Europe's Alps 75 per cent.

At the other end of the scale, glacial loss in Greenland is predicted at around 8 per cent and about 10 per cent in high-mountain Asia. Meltwater would drive up world sea levels by an average of 12cm by 2100, the study reveals.

This figure - which does not include expansion by the oceans as they warm - largely tallies with an estimate in the landmark Fourth Assessment Report by the UN's Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change in 2007.

Geophysicists Valentina Radic and Regine Hock of the University of Alaska based these calculations on a computer model derived from records for more than 300 glaciers between 1961 and 2004. The model factored in the middle-of-the-road "A1B" scenario for greenhouse gas emissions, by which Earth's mean surface temperature would rise by 2.8C during the 21st century.

The tool was then applied to 19 regions containing all the world's glaciers and icecaps.

But, importantly, it does not include the ice sheets of Antarctica and Greenland, where 99 per cent of Earth's fresh water is locked up. If either of these ice sheets were to melt significantly, sea levels could rise by metres, drowning coastal cities.

This scenario emerged in the second study, which focused on the inertial effect of greenhouse gases. Carbon molecules emitted by fossil fuels and deforestation linger for many centuries in the atmosphere before breaking apart.

Even if all these emissions were stopped by 2100, the warming machine would continue to function for centuries to come, according to the investigation. Warming of the middle depths of the Southern Ocean could unleash the "widespread collapse" of the West Antarctic ice sheet by the year 3000, the report finds.

The two studies are published online by the journal Nature Geoscience.


Predicting 1,000 years ahead?

The hubris of the Warmists knows no bounds. They have yet to show any predictive skill for any of their models but airily pretend nonetheless to predict further ahead than just about anyone else ever has. Did Nostradamus or the Mayan Calandar ever attempt to predict 1000 years into the furure?! Did medieval mystics? At least they won't be around to see their predictions falsified, I guess

Carbon dioxide already emitted into the atmosphere will keep contributing to global warming for centuries, eventually causing a huge Antarctic ice sheet to collapse and lift sea levels, Canadian scientists said on Sunday.

Even the complete abandonment of fossil fuels and halt to emissions cannot prevent devastating ocean warming in Antarctica as well as increasing desertification in North Africa, the research finds.

The study, led by Nathan Gillett of the Canadian Centre for Climate Modelling and Analysis, is published in the journal Nature Geoscience.

Using simulations with a climate model, the scientists estimated the effects on climate patterns for the next 1,000 years by stopping emissions completely in 2010 and in 2100.

As a result, in the next 1,000 years, the average ocean temperature around Antarctica could rise by as much as 5 degrees Celsius, triggering the collapse of the West Antarctic ice sheet, according to the study.

The elimination of the ice sheet, which covers an area about the size of Texas and is up to 4,000 meters (13,120 feet) thick, could raise sea levels by several meters.


Britain's Met Office fries while the rest of the world freezes

First it was a national joke. Then its professional failings became a national disaster. Now, the dishonesty of its attempts to fight off a barrage of criticism has become a real national scandal. I am talking yet again of that sad organisation the UK Met Office, as it now defends its bizarre record with claims as embarrassingly absurd as any which can ever have been made by highly-paid government officials.

Let us begin with last week’s astonishing claim that, far from failing to predict the coldest November and December since records began, the Met Office had secretly warned the Cabinet Office in October that Britain was facing an early and extremely cold winter.

In what looked like a concerted effort at damage limitation, this was revealed by the BBC’s environmental correspondent, Roger Harrabin, a leading evangelist for man-made climate change. But the Met Office website – as reported by the blog Autonomous Mind – still contains a chart it published in October, predicting that UK temperatures between December and February would be up to 2C warmer than average.

So if the Met Office told the Government in October the opposite of what it told the public, it seems to be admitting that its information was false and misleading. But we have no evidence of what it did tell the Government other than its own latest account. And on the model of the famous Cretan Paradox, how can we now trust that statement?

Then we have the recent claim by the Met Office’s chief scientist, Professor Julia Slingo OBE, in an interview with Nature, that if her organisation’s forecasts have shortcomings, they could be remedied by giving it another £20 million a year for better computers. As she put it, “We keep saying we need four times the computing power.”

Yet it is only two years since the Met Office was boasting of the £33 million supercomputer, the most powerful in Britain, that it had installed in Exeter. This, as Prof Slingo confirmed to the parliamentary inquiry into Climategate, is what provides the Met Office both with its weather forecasting and its projections of what the world’s climate will be like in 100 years (relied on, in turn, by the UN’s Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change).

Prof Slingo fails to recognise that the fatal flaw of her computer models is that they assume that the main forcing factor determining climate is the rise in CO2 levels. So giving her yet more money would only compound the errors her computers come up with.

In another interview, just before Christmas, when the whole country was grinding to a halt in ice and snow, Prof Slingo claimed that this was merely a local event, “very much confined to the UK and Western Europe”. Do these Met Office experts ever look beyond those computer models which tell them that 2010 was the second hottest year in history? Only a few days after she made this remark, the east coast of the USA suffered one of the worst snowstorms ever recorded. There have been similar freezing disasters in south China, Japan, central Russia and right round the northern hemisphere.

The only evidence the Met Office and its warmist allies can adduce to support their belief in the warmth of 2010 is that in certain parts of the world, such as Greenland, Baffin Island and the southern half of Hudson Bay, it was warmer than average. Yet even there temperatures are currently plummeting: Hudson Bay and Baffin Island are rapidly freezing, at well below zero.

The desperate attempt to establish 2010 as an outstandingly warm year also relies on increasingly questionable official data records, such as that run by Dr James Hansen, partly based on large areas of the world which have no weather stations (more than 60 per cent of these have been lost since 1990). The gaps are filled in by the guesswork of computer models, designed by people who have an interest in showing that the Earth is continuing to warm.

It is this kind of increasingly suspect modelling that the Met Office depends on for its forecasts and the IPCC for its projections of climate a century ahead. And from them our politicians get their obsession with global warming, on which they base their schemes to spend hundreds of billions of pounds on a suicidal energy policy, centred on building tens of thousands of grotesquely expensive and useless windmills.

A vivid little reflection of how our whole official system has gone off the rails was the award in the New Year’s Honours List of a CBE, one rank lower than a knighthood, to Robert Napier, the climate activist and former head of the global warming pressure group WWF-UK, who is now the Met Office’s chairman.

The more the once-respected Met Office gets lost in the greenie bubble into which it has been hijacked, the worse it becomes at doing the job for which we pay it nearly £200 million a year, and the more our Government showers it with cash and honours.

Meanwhile, in the real world, another weather-related disaster is unfolding in the Sea of Okhotsk, off the coast of Russia north of Japan, where the BBC last week reported that a group of Russian “fishing trawlers” had got stuck in “30 centimetres” (a foot) of ice. It didn’t sound anything too serious. But, as my colleague Richard North has been reporting on his EU Referendum blog, the BBC underestimated the scale of what is happening by several orders of magnitude.

Although several smaller ships have now escaped, the two largest are still trapped in up to six feet (two metres) of ice – including one of the world’s biggest factory ships, the 32,000-ton Sodruzhestvo. They still have more than 400 men on board. Three Russian ice-breakers, including two huge 14,000-tonners, are engaged in what looks like a forlorn bid to free them.

A 14,000-ton ice-breaker can scarcely clear the way for a ship well over twice its size. And as the weather worsens, with gales, blizzards and visibility often reduced to zero, the chances of helicoptering the men to safety seem sadly remote.

The mystery is why the Russians should, in the middle of winter, have allowed such a fleet of ships into a stretch of sea known as ''the factory of ice”. This is because all the rivers which empty into it from the Russian coast lower its salinity, making it prone to rapid freezing.

But the Sea of Okhotsk has long been held out by the world’s warmists as an example, like the Arctic, of waters which, thanks to global warming, will soon be ice-free.

As we know from Prof Slingo, however, all this cold weather we are having at the moment is a local event, “very much confined to the UK and Western Europe”. Perhaps the Russian fishing fleet took the word of the Met Office, assuming that ice was a thing of the past.

As the ice-breakers struggle to reach the hundreds of trapped men, and still-thickening ice threatens to start crushing the hulls of their ships, it seems that, short of a miracle like that which saved the Chilean miners, a major tragedy could be unfolding.

Meanwhile, the sad little nonentities in charge of our Met Office prattle on, extending their begging bowls – and our politicians who have put them there remain smugly and inanely oblivious to anything happening out there in the real world.


British exam board accused of 'brainwashing' pupils with inaccurate climate graph

Near enough is good enough in climate science, apparently

Britain’s largest exam board has been accused of “brainwashing” pupils by forcing them to use an inaccurate temperature graph that exaggerates the scale of global warming.

Climate experts have accused AQA of “scientific illiteracy” and “propaganda” after a graph in its most recent Geography GCSE exam paper contained a series of inaccuracies which magnified the rise in global temperatures.

The graph wrongly presented the current warm period as the hottest on record and pinpointed the world’s current average temperature at 59.5 degrees Fahrenheit (15.3C), when it has in fact never risen above 58.1F (14.52C).

The exam board also overlooked the last ice age, which peaked around 20,000 years ago, instead marking the “previous glacial period” at around 180,000 BC.

AQA ignored the universally-accepted temperature records taken from Antarctic ice core samples over the last 15 years and instead opted to use a graph taken from a children’s textbook first published in 1990.

The ice core data has been used to reconstruct global temperatures going back 800,000 years, showing that the previous four interglacial warm periods were hotter than today.

Kato Harris, head of Geography at South Hampstead High School in north London, has written to the exam board to highlight the errors. He said: "It is demoralising and frustrating when we are trying to be accurate, rigorous teachers, imparting to our pupils the latest scientific knowledge, only for the exam board apparently to show ignorance of scientific developments in the last 15 years."

The graph published in the exam paper was titled ‘Timeline of the mean world temperatures over the last million years’, even though no such record exists.

Pupils were asked to mark with an X the “recent rapid rise in global temperatures”, as well as the coldest period.

AQA said the graph was simply meant to show “generalised trends” in global temperature and claimed that it displayed a "similar" pattern to the ice core reconstruction.

But Dr Benny Peiser, director of the Global Warming Policy Foundation and a social anthropologist at Liverpool John Moores University, said the graph contained “shocking inaccuracies”. “I have no idea where they have got their data from, but it’s completely wrong. The graph exaggerates the case of global warming and it shows scientific illiteracy. “I think this is highly misleading and the fact that it was included in an exam papers just shows how suspicious we should be with a lot of the information presented to students.

“There is a lot of pressure on schools and exam boards from government to educate our children in this way, but if we want to have a well educated population children need to know how science works, and they shouldn’t be brainwashed with misleading information.”

The Global Warming Policy Foundation has recently commissioned a report into the way children are taught about climate change in schools.

Piers Corbyn, owner of the independent forecasting business WeatherAction and a vocal climate sceptic, said the inaccurate graph amount to a “dereliction of duty” by the exam board.
“The fact that an exam board is using this type of graph is monstrous and totally unacceptable,” he said. “On one hand, the government and schools claim they want children to be objective, yet in the real world pseudo science is used to propagate an ideology to justify increased taxation and carbon trading, and this anti-science must be stopped.”

The decision to pass over widely accepted climate data in favour of a “simplified” graph will also be seen by some as further evidence that exams are being “dumbed down”.

A spokesman for AQA said: "We always seek to ensure that we use accurate information that is up-to-date and relevant, but just as importantly we need to ensure that figures are fit for purpose, appropriate for the qualification and, as was the case here, applicable for both foundation and higher tiers.

"The figure is a graph showing generalised trends of global temperature. It was taken from a highly regarded and widely used Geography textbook, Geography: An Integrated Approach. We took if from the 3rd Edition published in 2000 but the graph also appears in the 4th edition published in 2009. We therefore expect that many teachers and candidates will be familiar with this graph.

"The ice core data is very detailed and would have had to have been simplified for the purposes of the question that we wished to ask. Therefore we used a graph readily available in the textbook above that showed similar general trends."


Climate Models Differ on CO2 Warming Effect by a huge 32°F

A paper published today in the journal Climate of the Past illustrates the magnitude of confusion in climate science regarding the 'settled' 'basic physics' of the CO2 'greenhouse effect.' The climate model results of this paper are compared to 2 other recent peer-reviewed papers and show that the 3 climate models differ by over 32 degrees F (18.3°C) in explaining the 'greenhouse warming' effect of CO2 during the period of time when the entire Earth was covered by ice (the "snowball Earth").

This huge difference dwarfs the IPCC-claimed computer-modeled 0.6°C of anthropogenic global warming during the industrial age and the IPCC-claimed 3°C global warming prediction for doubled CO2 concentrations derived from the same family of computer models.

As this study gingerly points out, these are "large differences" between climate models, resulting from differing "assumptions" of the "model physics," in other words, due to whatever fudge factors one chooses to plug in for the 'greenhouse effect' of CO2. All claims of catastrophic anthropogenic global warming rest upon the shaky scientific foundations and gross assumptions of these same climate models.

SOURCE. Journal abstract follows:

Model-dependence of the CO2 threshold for melting the hard Snowball Earth

By Y. Hu1 et al.


One of the critical issues of the Snowball Earth hypothesis is the CO2 threshold for triggering the deglaciation. Using Community Atmospheric Model version 3.0 (CAM3), we study the problem for the CO2 threshold. Our simulations show large differences from previous results (e.g. Pierrehumbert, 2004, 2005; Le Hir et al., 2007). At 0.2 bars of CO2, the January maximum near-surface temperature is about 268 K, about 13 K higher than that in Pierrehumbert (2004, 2005), but lower than the value of 270 K for 0.1 bar of CO2 in Le Hir et al. (2007). It is found that the difference of simulation results is mainly due to model sensitivity of greenhouse effect and longwave cloud forcing to increasing CO2. At 0.2 bars of CO2, CAM3 yields 117 Wm−2 of clear-sky greenhouse effect and 32 Wm−2 of longwave cloud forcing, versus only about 77 Wm−2 and 10.5 Wm−2 in Pierrehumbert (2004, 2005), respectively. CAM3 has comparable clear-sky greenhouse effect to that in Le Hir et al. (2007), but lower longwave cloud forcing. CAM3 also produces much stronger Hadley cells than that in Pierrehumbert (2005).

Effects of pressure broadening and collision-induced absorption are also studied using a radiative-convective model and CAM3. Both effects substantially increase surface temperature and thus lower the CO2 threshold. The radiative-convective model yields a CO2 threshold of about 0.21 bars with surface albedo of 0.663. Without considering the effects of pressure broadening and collision-induced absorption, CAM3 yields an approximate CO2 threshold of about 1.0 bar for surface albedo of about 0.6. However, the threshold is lowered to 0.38 bars as both effects are considered.

Hu, Y., Yang, J., Ding, F., and Peltier, W. R.: Model-dependence of the CO2 threshold for melting the hard Snowball Earth, Clim. Past, 7, 17-25, 2011

The sick priorities of Warmist governments

Money needed to keep people safe and well is being spent on fairytales

The Carbon Sense Coalition today accused Western Governments of massive waste of community savings on frivolous climate "research" and alternative energy toys while neglecting the infrastructure needed to maintain sustainable societies in the face of an unknown climate future.

The Chairman of Carbon Sense, Mr Viv Forbes, said that none of the massive government climate spending has produced anything of long term use to the people paying their bills.

"The US government spends over two thousand million dollars on "climate research" but the recipients were completely unable to forecast the frigid winter they are now suffering. That money would be better spent on snow ploughs and highway improvements.

"Australian governments are spending at least eight hundred million dollars on "climate research", but were unable to forecast the massive floods now affecting much of Australia. That money would have been better spent on water storage and flood-proofing roads, bridges and airports.

"The UK Government plans to spend one thousand million pounds on carbon capture and burial schemes and untold billions on wind power subsidies, but wind provided almost zero power when needed in the recent freeze. In places, the wind towers actually consumed electricity to protect them from frost damage. UK residents would have been better off had all of that money been spent on reliable power sources and snow-proof infrastructure.

"It is time for all western politicians to recognise climate reality. Changing climate and weather extremes are enduring features of earth's history. This reality exists even if not one elected member recognises it.

"Change is what climate does – floods or droughts, stinking hot or snow storms, stilly nights or violent hurricanes.

"The cycles of ice age extinctions and verdant warm eras are well recorded in earth history. Only 17,000 years ago, much of the northern hemisphere was covered in ice and sea levels were 130m lower. Then followed a long warm period with several peaks hotter than today. This time of warm abundance was terminated by a sudden return of the cold.

"But good times returned with the Roman Warming. It was not Roman use of coal which caused the warming and no carbon tax triggered the lethal Dark Ages cooling which followed.

"Then, with no help from man's carbon dioxide, earth recovered into the Medieval Warming Period but soon slipped back into the bitter Little Ice Age that helped defeat Napoleon's Grand Army in Russia.

"Finally, well before man's engines and smelters became numerous, the Modern Warming started.

"Unfortunately, this warming too will end when the earth, moon, sun and stars command. Taxing carbon to subsidise green playthings will not stop the floods, prevent the snow or change future climate.

"Man must do what every one of our ancestors did – adapt to climate change or suffer the consequences."



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 blogger.com is playing up, there are mirrors of this site here and here


No comments: