Thursday, December 15, 2011

Big Picture Items

Oftentimes, World Climate Report focuses on how elevated atmospheric levels of CO2 benefits various organisms or how observed changes in elements of climate in specific regions are not consistent with expectations from numerical climate model experiments. We could almost feature an article on climate change and hurricanes every week—these kinds of articles are found throughout the peer-reviewed scientific journals. But we don’t want to lose sight of the big picture—the term “global warming” implies that the world is indeed warming, humans are somehow responsible, and we better change our evil ways or we could inadvertently destroy of climate system. So here, we’ll review a couple of “Big Picture” articles from the recent scientific literature to see if things really are as cut and dry as they are implied.

The first “Big Picture” article was written by Fredrik Ljungqvist of the University of Sweden and was published in Geografiska Annaler, which is associated with the Swedish Society from Anthropology and Geography. The author was interested in reconstructing the temperature of the extra-tropical Northern Hemisphere for the past two millennia, and to do so, he search around for sensitive proxy records spread relatively evenly throughout the hemisphere. Ljungqvist reports “The new reconstruction presented in this paper consists of 30 temperature sensitive proxy records from the extra-tropical Northern Hemisphere (90–30°N), all of which reach back to at least AD 1000 and 16 all the way back to AD 1.”

As seen in Figure 1, the author achieved the goal of locating proxy records from many parts of the Northern Hemisphere. Regarding the types of records, he states “A wide range of different kinds of proxies with annual to multi-decadal resolution have been used” including “2 historical documentary records, 3 marine sediment records, 5 lake sediment records, 3 speleothem δ18O records, 2 ice-core δ18O records, 4 varved thickness sediment records, 5 tree-ring width records, 5 tree-ring maximum latewood density records, and 1 δ13C tree-ring record.” We note that these are all commonly used proxies used in climate reconstruction research—in fact, we have covered most of them many times in our essay series. Ljungqvist comments “Virtually all available high-quality palaeotemperature proxies with a reasonably high temporal resolution have been used.”

Figure 1. The geographical locations of the proxy records (from Ljungqvist, 2010).

If you examine Figure 1, you may question why so few records come from the United States, particularly the southwestern US. The author explains “However, all tree-ring width records from arid and semi-arid regions, as southwest USA and Mongolia, have been excluded from the reconstruction. Since they may have been affected by drought stress, they possibly do not show a linear response to warming if higher summer temperatures also reduce the availability of water.” Fair enough.

Figure 2 is the bottom line of this research. The author concludes:

This reconstruction is the first to show a distinct Roman Warm Period c. AD 1–300, reaching up to the 1961–1990 mean temperature level, followed by the Dark Age Cold Period c. AD 300–800. The Medieval Warm Period is seen c. AD 800–1300 and the Little Ice Age is clearly visible c. AD 1300–1900, followed by a rapid temperature increase in the twentieth century. The highest average temperatures in the reconstruction are encountered in the mid to late tenth century and the lowest in the late seventeenth century. Decadal mean temperatures seem to have reached or exceeded the 1961–1990 mean temperature level during substantial parts of the Roman Warm Period and the Medieval Warm Period. The temperature of the last two decades, however, is possibly higher than during any previous time in the past two millennia, although this is only seen in the instrumental temperature data and not in the multi-proxy reconstruction itself.

Figure 2. Estimations of extra-tropical Northern Hemisphere (90–30°N) decadal mean temperature variations (dark grey line) AD 1–1999 relative to the 1961–1990 mean instrumental temperature from the variance adjusted 90–30°N thermometer record (black dotted line showing decadal mean values AD 1850–1999) with 2 standard deviation error bars (light grey shading) (from Ljungqvist, 2010).

We note that the reconstruction ends with 1999, and while the extratropical Northern Hemisphere has warmed a bit since then according to surface thermometers, still the nature of the temperature variability over the past two millennia as captured by the proxies does not seem to suggest that current times are so beyond anything else to be particularly noteworthy. Yes, times are warm, but clearly the Northern Hemisphere extra-tropical average temperature moves around a lot, and so current conditions should not come as much of a shock to natural systems, which are accustom to high levels of natural variability.

Fredrik Ljungqvist continues to build upon this work, and his latest results have been submitted to Climate of the Past which is an open access journal which invites discussion. To see Ljungqvist’s new results, or the discussion taking place about them, visit

This brings us to the second article entitled “Recent energy balance of Earth” and published in the International Journal of Geosciences. The title certainly suggests a “big picture” look at the global warming debate.

Knox and Douglass explain that since the early 2000s, autonomous Argo floats have been deployed throughout the world providing highly accurate measurements of the heat content of the ocean (Figure 3). There are over 3,000 floats operating at any one time, and each measures heat and salinity to a depth of 2,000 meters.

Figure 3. Distribution of 3,000+ Argo floats.

The measurements are shown in the Figure 4, and incredibly, the Argo floats have detected cooling, not warming. The authors explain “Using only 2003- 2008 data, we find cooling, not warming. This result does not support the existence of a large frequently-cited positive computed radiative imbalance.” Furthermore, they note “In summary, we find that estimates of the recent (2003-2008) OHC rates of change are preponderantly negative.”

Figure 4. Ocean heat content from Argo (left scale: blue, original data; red, filtered) and ocean surface temperatures (right scale, green). Conversion of the OHC slope to W/m2 is made by multiplying by 0.62, yielding –0.161 W/m2 (from Knox and Douglass, 2010)

We fully understand that a period from 2003 to 2008 is far too short to make any grandiose proclamations about the state of warming of the planet. And in fact, several updates to this data set (and other similar data sets), indicate that a very slight warming trend is now present since 2003—although the magnitude of this warming is still a considerable amount less than expected.

Combine a variable natural climate with sluggish warming in the recent years and you find that the anthropogenic part of global warming may not always be the dominant part. For these and the other reasons that we often feature at World Climate Report, the “Big Picture” is not anywhere near as clear as you are often led to believe.

SOURCE (See the original for references)

British police harass climate skeptic

The first blogger to break the Climategate2 story has had a visit from the police and has had his computers seized. Tallbloke’s Talkshop first reported on CG2 due to the timing of the release being overnight in the USA. Today he was raided by six UK police (Norfolk Constabulary and Metropolitan police) and several of his computers were seized as evidence. He writes:
After surveying my ancient stack of Sun Sparcstations and PII 400 pc’s, they ended up settling for two laptops and an adsl broadband router. I’m blogging this post via my mobile.

That means his cellphone. In his blog report are all the details. including actions in the US involving WordPress and the US Department of Justice.

Strange and troubling that they’d seize his computers for comments dropped onto a US service ( from the cloud. There wouldn’t be any record on his PCs of the event from FOIA’s placing comments, that would be in the server logs.

Either there’s more than meets the eye or they have no idea how the blog system works.

UPDATE: I’ve been in contact with Roger (Tallbloke) and he tells me that he is not a suspect, and that they’ll clone his hard drives and return the computers to him. – Anthony


Smart Meter revolt hits North Texas

Even as so-called "Smart Meters" are being removed from California homes due to health, economic and privacy concerns they're being installed without homeowners' permission in the Metroplex.

A key part of Obama's future "green grid," wireless digital Smart Meters are designed to replace that analog "spinning disc" electric meter on the back of your house.

According to the San Diego Gas & Electric website, Smart Meters can help people save money by monitoring their energy usage, control future "smart appliances" like thermostats, and "allow for two-way communication" by sending data remotely to the energy company's computer for billing and customer service.

But no mention is made about what might be sent in the opposite direction of that "two-way communication," suggesting to some that the utility company can remotely shut off the homeowner's power, manipulate usage or gather data on personal habits.

The revolt in California began when people complained about heath problems after Smart Meters had been installed. According to, disparate people including members of consumer rights groups, Green Party, Tea Party and the Occupy Movement have forced Pacific Gas and Electric to remove Smart Meters and put the old analogs back in service.

In the Metroplex people are writing their representatives, participating in the lawsuit against Oncor (formerly TXU) and attending meetings like the one held at the Hurst public library on November 5.

According to one report received by the Dallas Libertarian Examiner, "Many residents of the Kessler Park area of Dallas saw their electric bills go up significantly after Smart Meters were installed."

In Willow Park, one homeowner denied the Oncor installer access to his property and then sent a "letter of no consent" to his Homeowners Association, Willow Park City Council, state Rep and state Senator.

That was a month ago. At this writing no replies have been reported.

Another homeowner reportedly drove off electric company installers who threatened to return with the police, then placed a lock on his analog meter, locked the gate, put up no trespassing signs, and is now using a webcam as a surveillance camera aimed at his meter box.


Know Why You Don't Believe In The Climate Change Hoax?

Wm. Teach

Because you can't see polar bears starving to death right in front of your face. It's the whole frog in a boiling pot thing, according to the alarmists at Grist
The frog and the polar bear: The real reasons Americans aren’t buying climate change

In the fall of 2008, Leiserowitz conducted a poll gauging Americans' thoughts on the matter. Seventy-one percent of respondents said they believed global warming was happening, while 57 percent said humans were causing it. Fast forward two years, and only 57 percent of respondents to Leiserowitz's poll believed global warming was real, while just 47 percent blamed humans.

Why can't Americans seem to get their heads around climate change? While the recession, the Tea Party, a lack of media coverage, and other forces have taken a bite out of public support for the issue recently, the problem has its roots in human nature, researchers say.

Columbia psychology professor Elke Weber was among the early researchers to look at why the seriousness of climate change was not getting through to the American public. She and her fellow scholars have pointed out that climate change is intrinsically challenging to understand: Its main causes are invisible, its impacts are distant and far off for most Americans, and its signals are often hard to detect.

See? It has nothing to do with falsified data, cherry-picked data, fake data, politicized data, politicization of the "science", unhinged and alarmist pronouncements, prognostications of things that might happen 50-100 years down the road, blaming everything on mankind, blaming every weather event on someone driving an SUV, oh, and a failure of Warmists to live their lives in accordance with their beliefs, not to mention living high on the carbon hog. Nope, it's because you can't see the effects of a trace invisible gas that has been at much higher levels for most of the history of the Earth, which will Destroy All Life or something this time, unlike the rest of Time.
In other words, he found that most people think "It's the polar bear's problem, not mine -- and as long as it's not my problem, I frankly have more pressing things to worry about."

And why not? When we watch tens of thousands of True Believers hop on fossil fueled planes to head off for yet another climate vacation in a far off exotic spot at the ends of the Earth, why should we believe? When the temperatures are stagnant for 13 years, despite CO2 going way up, why should we believe?
In fact, two or three degrees would be a huge deal. Experts project sea levels in Florida will rise by three to five feet by 2100. With a two-foot rise, water would cover 28 percent of South Florida and wetlands would be lost as far from the coast as Homestead, about a 125-mile drive from Key West. Miami would become a barrier island.

So what, even if true? Things change. At one point, the central portion of the US was covered by an inland sea. During the last ice age, the Mediterranean was mostly empty of water. The Earth is not static. They grew reportedly excellent grapes for wine in England during the last warm period.
Some (including Grist's own climate hawk, David Roberts) say that in order to startle Americans out of their apathy about climate change, we need to ring the alarm bells even louder. Some scholars, however, warn that approach could backfire. Tomorrow, we'll discuss how they think it could be done differently.

Personally, I take the view that there are two reasons why the warmist religion is dying out. First, is because they are seeing the actual science, and find it lacking in reality. They are seeing through it and realizing that it is simply a manner to push fascistic controls on people and economies. Second, they are tired of the "alarm bells being rung". They are tired of every single thing that happens being blamed on someone driving an SUV and living a modern life. They are tired of people who are CO2 hogs telling them that they need to change their lives, while the CO2 hogs live the high life and enrich themselves.


The wind turbine syndrome has become pandemic

Yesterday, the European Platform Against Windfarms (EPAW) and the North American Platform against Windpower (NA-PAW) served notice to the government of Denmark. They warned of the consequences of their health-threatening manipulations of measurements of sounds and infrasounds emitted by wind turbines. The government of Australia was also warned about the health hazards associated with their windfarm policy. More governments will be served notice in the coming weeks, as well as the wind industry. We reproduce below the letter that was sent to the Danish government.
Mrs Ida Auken, Minister for the Environment, Denmark,
Mr Lars Hindkjaer, Director of the Danish Environmental Protection Agency

Dear Minister,
Dear Director,

Between our two organisations, EPAW and NA-PAW, we represent nearly 600 associations or groups of citizens from 26 different countries and two continents. They are in conflict with wind farms for a variety of reasons, of which health is the prominent one. In their names, we are hereby issuing a health warning and serving notice to the wind industry globally, and to all governments world-wide including yours. It is particularly intolerable that in some countries, Denmark for instance, the authorities would manipulate noise measurements and refuse to hear the recommendations of prominent experts such as acoustics professor Henrik Moller, from Aalborg University - not to speak of dozens more from other countries.

Hundreds of families around the world have developed unbearable symptoms of the WTS (wind turbine syndrome) as described by Dr Nina Pierpont in her world-famous book of the same name. Many have been forced to leave their homes. Of those, some have had their properties bought by wind farm owners, generally under the condition that confidentiality agreements be signed - a way of silencing possible witnesses in the predictable court cases that are bound to grow with time. Others haven’t been able to sell their homes, and have had their health ruined as a result. Jutta Reichardt, of Germany, is but one example. An enlightening video from the Waubra Foundation is now available (1), and a Pdf file (2).

Having a wind farm as neighbour can best be described as having a truck with its motor idling somewhere around the house. Anyone who has ever been annoyed by the noise of a bus left with its engine running while waiting for its passengers can understand how unbearable the situation can become if exposure to low frequency vibrations happen to last days and nights. In addition, wind turbines emit infrasounds and seismic vibrations able to affect people up to 10 km away. This led Dr Sarah Laurie & fellow directors of the Waubra Foundation in Australia, including a former Judge of the Supreme Court of Victoria, Justice Clive Tadgell, to issue an explicit health warning of relevance to planning authorities around the world, on 29th June, 2011 (3).

Long term exposure to the effects of noise, low frequency sounds, and infrasounds can have seriously detrimental effects on health. Hospitalizations caused by the WTS have occurred, and it won’t be long before some vulnerable persons die because they could not sell their houses or otherwise move out of reach of the disturbing vibrations. As in the case of tobacco and so many other health hazards, long term exposure is key.

Peer-reviewed articles on the ill effects of wind turbines may be consulted on Internet. An ever increasing number of independent physicians and acousticians have been studying the symptoms, and all disagree with the methods used in official studies paid by the wind industry or their supporting governments. The situation is, ominously, reminiscent of the health effects of tobacco, long denied by manufacturers and governments till massive lawsuits cost them billions in damages.


Climate change linked to cat breeding explosion, according to Australia's RSPCA

Since even Warmist scientists admit that there has been no warming for over a decade, the article below exhibits the most inspissated ignorance. To put it in terms even a 4-year-old would understand: If global warming hasn't happened, it can't have influenced anything!

Cat breeding cycles are lengthening and could prove hairy for the RSPCA this summer as they coincide with the already busy festive season. Animal refuge centres have reported a spike in kitten numbers in recent years with centres inundated statewide.

RSPCA Queensland spokesman Michael Beatty told AAP that cat breeding cycles now stretch from October through to May. "Particularly around January we can get up to 300 to 400 kittens a week," Mr Beatty said.

The lengthened breeding cycles have been blamed on the effects of climate change creating ideal breeding conditions for longer. As cats favour a warm spring or summer climate, the shorter winters have seen numbers soar.

A study by the British Ecological Society recently found that cows were also giving birth far earlier than traditional summer periods.

Mr Beatty said that although climate change may be a factor, irresponsible pet owners were also to blame for surplus cats. He urged people not to rush into buying a pet and encouraged desexing animals. "People need to realise a pet is a responsibility not a right," Mr Beatty said.

The RSPCA usually receives thousands of animals abandoned over the summer holidays as their families go on holidays without arranging a carer. Laura Finigan, a worker at the RSPCA's new refuge at Wacol, west of Brisbane, says kittens are regularly dumped at the centre.

"Owners need to understand a pet can live for 12 to 20 years," she told AAP. "You need to think about an animal that will fit in with your lifestyle."



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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