Wednesday, March 30, 2011

New paper asserts atmospheric water vapour modulates incoming solar energy and is a negative feedback

Semi-retired physicist Dr. Daniel M. Sweger has been a research scientist at NIST [National Institute of Standards and Technology], where he was active in a variety of research areas, including cryogenic thermometry, solid state and nuclear physics, and molecular spectroscopy.

His new paper, Earth’s Climate Engine (876 Kb PDF) is now available for discussion. From the Executive Summary:

"… While models can be useful, the results must be compared to actual measurements, i.e. data. Data is the language of science, but little has been done in that regard with the climate change models.

It is the premise of the author that water vapor is the dominant influence in determining and understanding global climate. Water vapor is much more abundant in the atmosphere than carbon dioxide, and its physical properties make it more important as well. During daylight hours it moderates the sun’s energy, at night it acts like a blanket to slow the loss of heat, and it carries energy from the warm parts of the earth to the cold. Compared to that, if carbon dioxide has any effect it must be negligible. Thus, the purpose of this paper is to explore the effect of water vapor on climate.

Detailed calculations and analysis of data from several locations clearly demonstrate that the effect of water vapor on temperature dominates any proposed effect of carbon dioxide. Furthermore, it is clear from the data presented that water vapor acts with a negative feedback on temperature, not a positive one. That is, the data demonstrate that increasing the level of water vapor in the atmosphere results in a decrease of temperature, not an increase as predicted by the climate models. In essence, atmospheric water vapor acts as a thermostat.

These results call into question the validity of using the results of the current general climate change models, particularly as the basis for policy decision making."

SOURCE (See the original for links)

Global warming is creating perfect crop conditions

The article below uses "global warming" rather provocatively -- deliberately, I think. There has been no recent warming. What is actually assisting crop growth is higher levels of CO2 -- but that is anathema to Warmists also

The news media are flush with stories claiming global warming is crushing global crop production. According to the media, global warming is putting the hurt on two of our favorite indulgences – coffee and beer. For the more globally conscious (or less caffeinated/less inebriated) among us, the media are also focusing attention on an alleged African corn crisis. A look at facts rather than alarmist speculation, however, shows global warming is strongly benefiting nearly all global crops, including coffee, beer barley, and African corn.

Without a doubt, global warming is affecting global crop production. The tremendous improvement in global crop production and worldwide growing conditions during recent decades is one of the most important yet least reported news events of our time. As the earth continues to recover from the abnormally cold conditions of the centuries-long Little Ice Age, warmer temperatures, improving soil moisture, and more abundant atmospheric carbon dioxide have helped bring about a golden age for global agricultural production.

During the past decade, which alarmists claim is the warmest in recent history, record per-acre yields have been recorded for nearly every important U.S. crop. During the past five years alone, according to the U.S. Department of Agriculture, record per-acre yields have been registered for barley, beans, canola, corn, cotton, flaxseed, oats, peanuts, potatoes, rice, sorghum, soybeans, sugarbeets, sunflowers, and wheat.

Global crop yields have also registered spectacular growth as global temperatures have warmed. Global grain harvests have nearly tripled since 1961. As is the case in the U.S., nearly every important global crop has attained record productivity during the past five years, including the Big Three corn, rice, and wheat crops.

Indeed, while the media claim global warming is threatening our morning coffee, farmers are preparing to harvest a record global coffee crop. While the media claim global warming is jeopardizing our beer bellies by harming barley production, U.S. farmers in 2009 netted their highest ever barley yield per acre. Claims that global warming is harming African corn production are the most ridiculous of all.

During the past decade, African nations have registered record harvests in a variety of crops, including corn and rice. Moreover, the modestly warming climate is stimulating more frequent and abundant rainfall which, together with more atmospheric carbon dioxide, is greening the African continent.

A March 2009 study in the peer-reviewed Biogeosciences reported the Sahel region of the southern Sahara Desert was growing greener, sending the Sahara desert into retreat. According to the study, “satellite sensors have recently shown that much of the region has experienced significant increases in photosynthetic activity since the early 1980s.” According to the study, more abundant rainfall was the most likely cause, more than compensating for higher evaporation rates due to modestly rising temperatures.

A July 2009 National Geographic News article confirmed the Biogeosciences study. “Emerging evidence is painting a very different scenario, one in which rising temperatures could benefit millions of Africans in the driest parts of the continent,” National Geographic News reported.

“Scientists are now seeing signals that the Sahara desert and surrounding regions are greening due to increasing rainfall. If sustained, these rains could revitalize drought-ravaged regions, reclaiming them for farming communities,” National Geographic News explained. “This desert-shrinking trend is supported by climate models, which predict a return to conditions that turned the Sahara into a lush savanna some 12,000 years ago,” the article noted.

A January 2007 study in the peer-reviewed science journal Geology explained the greening of Africa in a longer-term context. According to the study, much of Africa is currently “experiencing an unusually prolonged period of stable, wet conditions in comparison to previous centuries of the past millennium. … The patterns and variability of 20th century rainfall in central Africa have been unusually conducive to human welfare in the context of the past 1400 years.”

While alarmists cry about global warming and crop devastation, consumers in the real world have never had such an abundance of plenty.


Union of Soviet Socialist Europe to ban cars from cities by 2050

Cars will be banned from London and all other cities across Europe under a draconian EU masterplan to cut CO2 emissions by 60 per cent over the next 40 years..

The European Commission on Monday unveiled a "single European transport area" aimed at enforcing "a profound shift in transport patterns for passengers" by 2050. The plan also envisages an end to cheap holiday flights from Britain to southern Europe with a target that over 50 per cent of all journeys above 186 miles should be by rail.

Top of the EU's list to cut climate change emissions is a target of "zero" for the number of petrol and diesel-driven cars and lorries in the EU's future cities.

Siim Kallas, the EU transport commission, insisted that Brussels directives and new taxation of fuel would be used to force people out of their cars and onto "alternative" means of transport. "That means no more conventionally fuelled cars in our city centres," he said. "Action will follow, legislation, real action to change behaviour."

The Association of British Drivers rejected the proposal to ban cars as economically disastrous and as a "crazy" restriction on mobility. "I suggest that he goes and finds himself a space in the local mental asylum," said Hugh Bladon, a spokesman for the BDA. "If he wants to bring everywhere to a grinding halt and to plunge us into a new dark age, he is on the right track. We have to keep things moving. The man is off his rocker."

Mr Kallas has denied that the EU plan to cut car use by half over the next 20 years, before a total ban in 2050, will limit personal mobility or reduce Europe's economic competitiveness. "Curbing mobility is not an option, neither is business as usual. We can break the transport system's dependence on oil without sacrificing its efficiency and compromising mobility. It can be win-win," he claimed.

Christopher Monckton, Ukip's transport spokesman said: "The EU must be living in an alternate reality, where they can spend trillions and ban people from their cars. "This sort of greenwashing grandstanding adds nothing and merely highlights their grandiose ambitions."


There He Goes Again: Mann Claims His Hockey Stick was Affirmed by the NAS

Spinmeister Michael Mann has fired off a reply to the editor of a newspaper which published an article critical of his work, again claiming his hockey stick graph, one of the most thoroughly discredited papers of the modern age, was affirmed by the National Academy of Sciences (NAS):

"...the National Academy of Sciences, affirmed my research findings in an exhaustive independent review published in June 2006 .."

The NAS report did nothing of the sort, and in fact validated all of the significant criticisms of McIntyre & McKitrick (M&M) and the Wegman Report:

Mann never mentions that a subsequent House Energy and Commerce Committee report chaired by Edward Wegman totally destroyed the credibility of the ‘hockey stick’ and devastatingly ripped apart Mann’s methodology as ‘bad mathematics’. Furthermore, when Gerald North, the chairman of the NAS panel -- which Mann claims ‘vindicated him’ – was asked at the House Committee hearings whether or not they agreed with Wegman’s harsh criticisms, he said they did:

CHAIRMAN BARTON: Dr. North, do you dispute the conclusions or the methodology of Dr. Wegman’s report?

DR. NORTH [Head of the NAS panel]: No, we don’t. We don’t disagree with their criticism. In fact, pretty much the same thing is said in our report.

DR. BLOOMFIELD [Head of the Royal Statistical Society]: Our committee reviewed the methodology used by Dr. Mann and his co-workers and we felt that some of the choices they made were inappropriate. We had much the same misgivings about his work that was documented at much greater length by Dr. Wegman.

WALLACE [of the American Statistical Association]: ‘the two reports [Wegman's and NAS] were complementary, and to the extent that they overlapped, the conclusions were quite consistent.’

Mann uses the 5 rules of propaganda in his defense, including the rule of orchestration: endlessly repeating the same messages in different variations and combinations [e.g. the NAS gave my hockey stick a clean bill of health].

More HERE (See the original for links)

Australian Warmist says carbon reduction might take 1,000 years to have any effect on temperature

But now trying to backpedal from what he clearly said in a moment of foolish frankness when pushed on the issue

TONY Abbott has leapt on a declaration by Tim Flannery - Julia Gillard's hand-picked salesman for action on climate change - that emissions abatement is a 1000-year proposition to renew his attacks on Labor's proposed carbon tax.

And Climate Change Minister Greg Combet has distanced himself from Professor Flannery's concession last week that even if all carbon emissions stopped today, it would take 1000 years for the atmosphere's average temperatures to drop. While Professor Flannery, a paleontologist who is also the Prime Minister's chief climate change commissioner, has expanded on his comments to insist the need for action in climate is urgent, his admission in a radio interview on Friday has compromised Labor's sales pitch on its carbon tax.

In the radio interview, Professor Flannery said: "If the world as a whole cut all emissions tomorrow, the average temperature of the planet's not going to drop for several hundred years, perhaps over 1000 years."

In a letter to the editor of The Australian, submitted on Sunday, he expanded on the comments, saying his observation was not "an argument for complacency". But yesterday, as the role of the carbon tax in Labor's massive loss in the NSW election dominated federal political exchanges, Mr Abbott quoted Professor Flannery as he ridiculed the tax as "the ultimate millenium bug".

"It will not make a difference for 1000 years," the Opposition Leader told parliament. "So this is a government which is proposing to put at risk our manufacturing industry, to penalise struggling families, to make a tough situation worse for millions of households right around Australia. And for what? To make not a scrap of difference to the environment any time in the next 1000 years."

Mr Combet said through a spokeswoman that the Gillard government believed in the science of climate change and was determined to act. Asked whether Mr Combet backed Professor Flannery's comment, the spokeswoman said: "Professor Flannery is an independent person who leads an independent commission."

In his letter to The Australian, Professor Flannery wrote that if all major emitters adopted a similar level of effort to reach a 5 per cent reduction in emissions by 2020, and continued to "decarbonise" after that date, the global temperature rise would be capped at 2C later this century and that temperatures would begin to drop by the end of the century. "What we do in this decade will be crucial in determining whether we have a world we can live in at the end of the century."

Yesterday, Professor Flannery said he feared Mr Abbott had "quite wilfully misrepresented" his statements by failing to mention the letter. "I am extremely disappointed with the Leader of the Opposition," he told The Australian. "It is not responsible to delay action - that would cause future action to be more expensive. If nobody acts, we are in danger of seeing temperatures spiralling out of control . . . it is urgent we act this decade to lower emissions or we risk temperatures rising 4C this century."

He said both sides of politics had only eight years and nine months to deliver on the bipartisan commitment to lower Australia's carbon emissions to 5 per cent below 2000 levels by 2020. This would require "calm deliberation of the best measures of achieving the best outcome for our country".


Time for rethink if climate cause is already lost: our energies may be better directed into planning for it

Writing from Australia, Peter Van Onselen does not dispute Warmist theory but asks what a rational response to it would be in the light of present-day realities

STOP and consider the following. In the next 20 years, China is expected to build 50,000 skyscrapers. That's the estimate from consultancy firm McKinsey's. It's a staggering figure.

I first heard this statistic at a recent In the Zone conference at the University of Western Australia.

The conference, co-sponsored by The Australian, focused on the economic reality that Western Australia is part of a region that will be the engine room of global growth in coming decades, and the opportunities that presented.

It's a time zone that takes in 70 per cent of the world's population and much of the expected development in the years ahead. The figures translate to 2500 skyscrapers each year, more than 200 every month, almost 50 a week.

Even for a country the size of China, with a population of more than 1.2 billion and an economic growth rate averaging more than 9 per cent for the past 20 years, it is hard to comprehend.

The definition of a skyscraper generally includes buildings more than 80m tall and can include residential and office towers. In the case of China's rapid development, it's a mix of the residential buildings needed to house the flood of migrants from rural areas into already overcrowded cities, and office blocks built to accommodate expanding financial centres. Two consequences are immediately apparent.

With that kind of development, it is no wonder the spot price for iron ore (the core material in the manufacture of steel) is so high, and with that, Australia's economic miracle is tied to development in China. Second, how can the world seriously expect to curb man-made climate change when development is so rapid?

The 50,000 skyscrapers in 20 years statistic is China's alone. Presumably there are at least fractional numbers of similar developments planned in other emerging economies. And then there is India, which many commentators say is likely to surpass China's economic expansion in the future. If that happens, these figures are just the beginning.

All up, the extent to which the underdeveloped world develops in coming decades means coal and iron ore will continue to be extensively used, and attempts to curb human-induced climate change will become more frivolous.

All the skyscrapers will need amenities and electrical power.

The issue of how to clean up energy use is made all the more real in the wake of Japan's disasters. Its nuclear reactor problems have set back nuclear energy as an alternative to dirty power for decades.

Although the move to renewables will continue, most experts accept there is no foreseeable point in time at which wind or solar power will be able to provide enough base-load power to support global cities. That means we will continue to pollute the atmosphere at a rapid rate as we develop.

It may be time to acknowledge that attempts to curb human-induced climate change are futile, and we would be better placed putting our energies into planning for it if, or when, it happens.

The fact Tim Flannery has admitted carbon abatement will take 1000 years to reduce temperatures is a sure sign we are trying to turn Titanic before hitting the iceberg without enough time to do so. (I suppose the counterargument is that, despite slow progress, we should still act quickly now because otherwise things will be much worse in future - and not just in 1000 years's time, but much sooner. If you're about to crash your car you should hit the brakes, even if some damage is unavoidable. But will China hit the brakes?) I think science will find a way to solve most of our problems. We should give it the best chance to do so.

We should support policies and funding structures that enable research and innovation. That means a competitive tax system that backs entrepeneurialism, an education revolution that does more than pacify parents by letting them know what's going on in schools, more funding for research universities, and government interference in the private sector kept to a minimum.

Australia will benefit from China's growth, but the environment won't be unaffected.

Facing up to this reality is the surest way we can grow while planning for any negative environmental effects that follow.



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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