Saturday, September 17, 2011

Pathetic defense of climate models

As the observed rate of rise in the global average temperature continues to be much less than climate models project, there are a growing number of knights in shining armor, riding to the rescue of the damsel in distress (the damsel, of course, being the climate models). The rescue attempt generally employs two strategies, namely that 1) there is a bunch of stuff that has going on that the models couldn’t possibly have known about (so it is unfair to hold this against them), and 2) the climate models aren’t really doing that badly anyway.

The list of things proffered that the models couldn’t have known about that have led to slower-than-expected warming over the past 10-15 years includes declines in solar radiation, declines in stratospheric water vapor, increases in stratospheric aerosols, increases in tropospheric aerosols, the timing of El Nino/La Nina cycles, the timing of multi-decadal ocean circulation oscillations, and probably ultimately, the kitchen sink followed by the commode. What’s interesting is that the white knights never really mention these very same influences when they are acting in the opposite sense—that is, when they are acting to speed up the warming (which many were during the 1990s). But now that warming has considerably slowed, these mechanisms seem to have taken on cosmic significance.

What also seems to be conveniently overlooked in the list are changes that the models couldn’t have known about that are currently acting to enhance the observed warming in recent years—these include the recovery from the effects of Pinatubo and the reduction in summer Arctic sea ice (both of these mechanisms are explained in detail in our World Climate Report posts here and here).

But even while raising these excuses, the models’ champions are claiming success nonetheless. Nowhere better is this epitomized than in a forthcoming paper by Ben Santer and a long list of colleagues. Santer et al. have used a familiar procedure (familiar to us at least since we have oft-presented similar work, see here and here for example) to try to demonstrate that the observed trends over different timescales fall comfortably within the range of model expectations. Setting aside some methodological differences of opinion that we have with the analysis, there are still some interesting results to be found.

For instance, Figure 1 (below) taken from the new Santer et al. paper, shows the average of the observed trend set against the distribution of model trends (by the way, this is not really an apples-to-apples comparison; more on this at a later date) for periods of time from 10 to 32 years. The model average projected trend for the lower atmosphere is about 0.25°C/decade over all time scales (from 1979 through 2010) (green line in Figure 1). The 5%-95% spread of model projections is in yellow. The various averages of the observed trends over the different time scale (from several different observational datasets) are in red and blue and range from about 0.14 to 0.21°C/decade. It is obvious that for the longest trends—which is what people should really care about—that observed temperatures are perilously close to falling beneath the 95% confidence limits of the models (right side of the illustration).

Figure 1. A comparison between modeled and observed trends in the average temperature of the lower atmosphere, for periods ranging from 10 to 32 years (during the period 1979 through 2010). The yellow is the 5-95 percentile range of individual model projections, the green is the model average, the red and blue are the average of the observations, as compiled by RSS and UAH respectively (adapted from Santer et al., 2011)

Santer et al. take comfort in this Figure that the average of the observed trends falls within the spread of individual model projected trends of similar length—and are further comforted when considering the myriad influences listed above.

We, however, interpret it to show that over all time-scales from 10 to 32 years, the observed trends in the lower atmosphere consistently fall beneath the model projected trends. And that as the length of the observed trend increases, the consistency with the climate model projections decreases.

Just how much more evidence do you need that climate models are projecting too much warming? Give us all the excuses that you want, but if the excuses are real, then they are important drivers of the climate and need to be considered when offering up future climate projections (and quite possibly have an important impact in climate sensitivity determinations).

The fact of the matter is, that the climate projections offered up thus far, have been, and continue to be, sizeable overestimates of reality. Consequently, we see no compelling reason why we should bank on scenarios for the future that have been produced from the same set of climate models. At some point, chivalry becomes chicanery.

SOURCE (See the original for links)

Paging Al Gore-fraud: NOAA Meteorologist says the Texas drought is NOT due to global warming

The good news, [Dr. Robert Hoerling, a National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration research meteorologist, who served as the lead author of the U.S. Climate Change Science Plan Synthesis and Assessment Report] says, is that this isn't global warming. "This is not the new normal in terms of drought. Texas knows drought. Texas has been toughened on the anvil of droughts that have come and gone. This is not a climate change drought. What we do anticipate from climate change is a situation where temperatures progressively increase."

Flashback to Gore: extreme weather shows need for climate change action: "Former Vice President Al Gore is sounding the alarm about climate change and extreme weather, pointing to the recent floods along the Mississippi River, drought in Texas and wildfires in Arizona."

SOURCE (See the original for links)

Maldives confusion

(Or chicanery)

Today's question: Should we transfer billions of your hard-earned dollars to the Maldives as CO2 reparations, so that they can use the money to finance a huge new airport and underwater golf course in an attempt to increase fossil-fueled tourism that will allegedly kill every person in the Maldives?

The Maldives’ $500 Million “Green” Island and Underwater Golf Course: "This golf course will be placed five minutes from Male International Airport, making it a quick trip for those awaiting connecting flights. The Republic of the Maldives hopes that this will increase tourism revenues, which is the biggest contribution to the country’s economy. With an estimated cost of $500 million, it is due to be completed in 2015.

Flashback: Given that the 2009 Copenhagen climate hoax conference failed, trace amounts of CO2 will allegedly kill every single person in the Maldives:

"A journalist asks Nasheed in the film: If the conference doesn’t achieve its goals and sea levels rise, what options are there for the Maldives?

Nasheed is leaning on his elbow, his face in his palm. He looks the journalist square in the eye and says: “None. We will all die.”

They are planning for Drowning By Building their Huge New Airport Next To The Ocean

They are obviously really worried about global warming and sea level rise and any other way to scam money out of stupid bankrupt western governments.

SOURCE (See the original for links)

Two good sound-bites from Rush Limbaugh

Story #3: Prize-Winning Physicist Resigns Over Global Warming

RUSH: Ivar Giaever from the American Physical Society has reisgned. Ivar Giaever is a Nobel Prize-winning physicist. He got his Nobel Prize in 1973 for work that he did on tunneling of electrons in superconducting states. He went on from the General Electric R&D center where he did his Nobel Prize-winning work to become a professor at Rensselaer Polytechnic. First of all I was at the R&D center back in '73 when he got his award, and he was a straight-up guy, okay. He's not an activist, he was not a political guy. He's not political at all. That's why what he's done is huge.

Dr. Ivar Giaever has resigned his whole involvement over global warming, the anthropomorphic manmade global warming. He said it's not there. The warming that's happened is minimal, and there's increased happiness and all this. He hadn't used the words "hoax" or "scam" but he wants no part of it. Just quoting one sentence from his resignation e-mail to the American Physical Society. "In the APS it's okay to discuss whether the mass of the proton changes over time and how a multiuniverse behaves, but the evidence of global warming is incontrovertible?"

What's important to remember about this is that the pro-global warming crowd, they're out there saying, "98% of scientists agree, and these deniers and so forth, they're a bunch of da-da-da..." It's where near a 98% consensus. (We've been through the whole notion of consensus anyway.) But here's a Nobel Prize-winning physicist who has rejected all of it, not being paid to do so, integrity intact, not a kook. Just every day or every week new things happen to confirm what a fraud and hoax this whole manmade global warming effort has been.

Story #5: Enviro-Wackos Worry That Gore's Hurting Movement

RUSH: You remember our man in Washington, Marc Morano. He's now global warming watchdog, and he's got a website called Climate Depot, and he just sent me an e-mail: "Greens give Gore two thumbs down -- Gore's climate reality show faces strongly negative reviews from his fellow global warming activists." Morano's gone out and found a UK Guardian story, and other scientists around the world are dissociating themselves from Algore and his latest PowerPoint demonstration, and what Morano is doing is good because the rest of the Drive-Bys are not covering it, other than the UK Guardian -- and that was a column. That was not a news story. That was a column from a global warming aficionado who is all worried that Gore is becoming a hindrance to the whole movement, that he's so polarizing, he's become a joke.

He's not the same Algore that won the Oscar. He's not the same Algore from the movie. He's hurting the movement. (interruption) Who? Algore depressed they have Low T? We haven't heard anything about that. All we've heard about -- all we've heard about -- is Obama. All we've heard about is the New York Times (this is reported by Gawker) investigating whether or not Obama is clinically depressed. Now, Marc Morano, by the way, got the e-mail of the Nobel Prize guy quitting the global warming moving. That was his scoop. A lot of other agencies have it now, like Fox News has picked that up. That is out there, but it was Morano who got the e-mail on it. And Morano has worked with James Inhofe, senator from Oklahoma.


Coldest British summer in 20 years wipes out two-thirds of the common blue butterfly

Hey! Where did that global warming get to??

Butterfly numbers have fallen after the coldest summer in two decades, a survey shows. In particular, nearly two thirds of the common blue species were wiped out.

Numbers of all butterflies were down 11 per cent on last year as winds and heavy rain devastated their reproductive patterns.

The figures come from more than 34,000 people who joined the Big Butterfly Count, organised by the Butterfly Conservation charity. A spokesman described the results as ‘very worrying’. Butterflies play a key role in pollination. But they are unable to fly, feed, find mates or lay eggs in cold, rainy weather. Almost half of the 59 British species are now under threat.

Experts are concerned about the future of the brightly-coloured species, which was once a regular sight in Britain’s gardens and parks.

The Big Butterfly Count was launched last year by Sir David Attenborough who is president of the charity Butterfly Conservation and has spoken of the ‘catastrophic drop’ in numbers.

‘It used to be that if you had a buddleia in your garden, you couldn’t get to the flowers because of the sheer number of butterflies,' he said. ‘I live in Richmond near the park and river and Kew Gardens but the variety and number I get in my garden has gone down. ‘Walking in the countryside in my youth there were so many butterflies. But I don’t know anywhere where I could match that today.’


Green bullies on the warpath

Comment from Australia

DEEPLY questionable tactics by environmental activists are taking away choices for consumers and business. The coupled collapse of trade barriers in developed countries and the globalisation of supply chains, creating export opportunities for developing countries, has understandably driven consumer awareness of the impact their purchasing has had on the world's poor during the past 20 years.

In response, there has been a push by global activist groups for consumers to voluntarily demand, and business to adopt, "ethical" regulations reflecting the environmental, social and economic impact of producing a product. Consumers can then identify these products through a recognisable logo certifying that from the extraction or production of the basic commodity ingredients through to their final retail sale, they have met non-governmental organisation-defined "ethical" standards.

The first mainstream scheme was the 1980s incarnation of Dutch group Max Havelaar's Fairtrade. The scheme targeted coffee and encouraged consumers to pay voluntarily a few extra cents a cup, on the understanding the mark-up would be passed through to growers in higher commodity prices.

At the time growers faced low prices because of a global oversupply from developing world producers allowed to grow the sought-after commodity following the collapse of international regulation that locked them out.

The merits and efficacy of the scheme continue to be debated. But it wasn't long before Fairtrade's voluntary appeasement of the conscience of coffee aficionados became a political tool.

In 2005 Oxfam International's Mugged: Poverty in Your Coffee Cup report advocated that Fairtrade certification for coffee should become mandatory. It didn't succeed and the market has corrected itself as farm consolidation and increased consumer demand have delivered higher coffee prices.

Oxfam's effort to create NGO-endorsed regulation is being replicated with the Forest Stewardship Council and the Roundtable for Sustainable Palm Oil, using far more subversive tactics.

Allegations of collusion by green activist groups to push businesses into certification schemes have traditionally been a speculative, connect-the-dots exercise. But the recently published book Good Cop/Bad Cop: Environmental NGOs and their Strategies toward Business shows green groups are gloating about their collusive efforts.

The head of research for Greenpeace, Kert Davies, wrote in his chapter about his employer that "Greenpeace is willing to play the role of good cop or bad cop in partnership with organisations". In particular, Davies argues that Greenpeace's "reputation for radical actions positions it particularly well to play the bad cop that can drive organisations to partner with [environmental] groups that seem more middle-of-the-road".

It certainly has been the experience of Australian and US businesses targeted over the products they stock. A report, Empires of Collusion, by a US-based consumer group, last year found bad cop NGOs, including Greenpeace, targeted office-stationery retailers through the media and political action about the paper they stocked for sale and its origins. The bad cops argued that stopping criticism required stocking only Forest Stewardship Council-certified paper products. Faced with sustained attacks, targeted businesses complied by then partnering with middle-of-the-road good cops such as WWF, which signed businesses up to stock only products approved by the certification schemes they founded and effectively own. In the process WWF also regularly licenses its logo's use on products and collects royalties for the honour.

Once a business has been pushed into these schemes, the obligations on it progressively rise, and with them so do costs, with no real avenue to leave.

The strategy works. Another chapter in Good Cop/Bad Cop by one of WWF's senior program managers outlines how in the "uncommon case where [certification] commitments have not been met [WWF has] expelled a company from its programs and publicly shared its concerns".

And the role played by the good cops is no less insidious. According to WWF analysis, it is actively targeting the full supply chain, having identified that "100 companies control 25 per cent of the trade of all commodities . . . affecting around 50 per cent of all production" and it is much easier to target them than to change the habits of six billion consumers. WWF's objective is to have "75 per cent of global purchases of WWF priority commodities sourced from WWF priority places".

And that won't occur voluntarily; government regulation is the next step.

Recent legislative experiences in Australia show progress is already being made. There are two bills before the federal parliament that legally require products be certified to avoid discrimination if imported into Australia.

A bill supported by South Australian independent senator Nick Xenophon, the Greens and, oddly, the opposition, sought to require the commonly used oil from the fruit of the palm tree to be labelled separately from vegetable oils. Before its passage through the Senate, the bill required that ingredients certified by the Roundtable for Sustainable Palm Oil be labelled differently, to shame manufacturers from using the non-certified variant. At least the bill still allows business and consumers choice.

By comparison, the government-sponsored Illegal Logging Prohibition Bill compels the certification of the origin of imported wood into Australia, effectively requiring compliance with Forest Stewardship Council standards.

These examples highlight a worrying trend.

Activist NGOs are targeting the global supply chain and forcing businesses to adopt standards that increase prices to avoid public criticism, taking away both business and consumer choice.



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


1 comment:

John A said...

This does not go to climate information, but is fun because it tears down some published research for reasons that apply to IPCC "climate science" output: