Monday, March 12, 2012

Warmists will never learn

Under the heading, "The Freak Weather That Won’t Be Denied" there is a very long article which tells us that "experts say" that the world is having more extreme weather these days because of global warming. Since there has been NO warming for the last 15 years or so the whole article is a castle built on sand. Warming that doesn't exist can't cause anything.

I thought, however, that it would be amusing to reprint below the opening salvo of the article so people can compare it with the article that I am putting up immediately under it. Ya gotta laugh! Warmism is definitely bad for the brain

These are trying times in Pendleton Harbor, Texas. During what government scientists say is the worst drought since the Dust Bowl of the 1930s, the water level in Toledo Bend Lake has sunk to its lowest level since it opened in 1969, leaving this subdivision, built on its manmade shores, high and dry.

“Where you once were able to drive your boat, you can now mow the grass,” says John Miller, a former park ranger who retired to this relatively verdant spot on the Texas-Louisiana border with his wife Rita five years ago. The couple began visiting the area as the Toledo Bend hydroelectric dam was built half a century ago, a process that created the South’s largest lake and more than 1,000 miles of shoreline filled with rustic cabins, mobile homes and ample fishing.

But as the drought drags into a second year, the couple’s two boats are parked in their yard. And Pendleton Harbor’s taps could soon run out of water.

Across Texas and Oklahoma, record low rainfall and intense heat have taken a heavy toll on water supplies. The 109 reservoirs that supply nearly all of Texas’ water had lost nearly a quarter of their total combined capacity by the end of 2011, says Ruben Solis, director of surface water resources at the Texas Water Development Board.

Throughout last fall and into the new year, Pendleton Harbor sat near the top of a state watch list of cities and towns with six months or less of water supplies. Dozens of other communities around Texas have been forced to enact water-rationing measures as forecasters expect the drought to continue into the spring.

The old stock refrain—that a single weather event cannot prove or disprove climate change—is no longer reliable. But is climate change to blame for the Texas drought?


An amusing retrospective about Warmism in Australia

Imagine my chagrin when I read today about the impending doom of the Australian Wine Industry due to Man-Made Global Warming/Climate Change/Climate Chaos. Here's what they said in the Prague Post this week:

"Predictions are that if temperatures rise another 2 C, growing vines will become untenable in many of the world's more renowned wine regions by 2050. One such case is Australia, whose vineyard area could disappear entirely... in such an event, water, not wine would become the overriding priority."

A quick web search yields other dire predictions for the Land Down Under. Australian Professor and Government Official Ross Garnaut , told a crowd in Western Australia in 2011: "The drying of the South-West has been predicted by climate change scientists, and climate changes in the region are directly attributable to carbon levels in the atmosphere."

Other predictions preceded Doctor Garnaut's. In 2005, during a decade of severe drought, Australian Climate Change Commissioner, Tim Flannery predicted Sydney’s dams could be dry in as little as two years because global warming was drying up the rains, leaving the city “facing extreme difficulties with water.”

In 2007, Flannery predicted cities such as Brisbane would never again have dam-filling rains, as global warming had caused “a 20 per cent decrease in rainfall in some areas” and made the soil too hot, “so even the rain that falls isn’t actually going to fill our dams and river systems."

In 2008, Australian Head of the National Climate Centre at the Australian Bureau of Meteorology, David Jones told residents it could be time to stop describing south-eastern Australia as gripped by drought and instead accept the extreme dry as permanent: “There is a debate in the climate community, after … close to 12 years of drought, whether this is something permanent. Certainly, in terms of temperature, that seems to be our reality, and that there is no turning back."

In 2009, said this: "It’s not drought, it’s climate change, say scientists. A three-year collaboration between the Bureau of Meteorology has confirmed what many scientists long suspected: that the 13-year drought is not just a natural dry stretch but a shift related to climate change…

Scientists working on the $7 million South Eastern Australian Climate Initiative. To see what role greenhouse gases played in the recent intensification, the scientists used sophisticated American computer climate models. ‘’It’s reasonable to say that a lot of the current drought of the last 12 to 13 years is due to ongoing global warming," said the bureau’s Bertrand Timbal."

But, hold on. There's a problem. Australia isn't dry right now. Here's the headline in the UK Telegraph newspaper this week: "Hundreds more evacuated in Australian floods"

Floods? You mean the kind caused by excess water? Yes, it’s true. Australia is wet. This is from Reuters News Service, from February 3, 2012:

"Heavy rains shut four coal mines in eastern Australia on Friday as military helicopters evacuated stranded residents from inundated towns, and authorities warned of further flash flooding." There's more headlines:

"More than 11,000 people in Queensland State have been isolated by the flooding and thousands had been evacuated, emergency services authorities said. The town of Moree, the centre of the region's cotton growing, has been cut in half by record floodwaters, while authorities are using helicopters to relocate 300 people already at an evacuation centre in the outback town of Roma to another centre on higher ground. Whitehaven Coal said it had shut four mines due to heavy rainfall, but the mines were not flooded and no equipment had been damaged. Other miners and liquefied natural gas producers reported their operations had so far not been affected."

And its not just rain. It's record rain. Headlines from March 2 of 2012 read "Southeast Australia remains under water:" "(There were) heavy falls ... across parts of the state last night and because of the duration of the event some records may be broken as far back as 1886," SES Emergency Commissioner Murray Kear said on Friday."

More flooding news here: Flash floods across Australia's Queensland and New South Wales states killed around 35 people, swamped 30,000 houses, and wiped out roads, bridges and rail lines.

A further examination of reality shows that Australia actually has experienced a record amount of rainfall in the last two years. "Back-to-back La Niña events have created the wettest two-year period on record, according to the Bureau of Meteorology. Its latest Special Climate Statement revealed a two-year rainfall total for 2010–11 of 1409 mm, surpassing the old record of 1407 mm set during 1973–74."

Here is the map of drought conditions in Australia. If we examine the records from the country's own Bureau of Meteorology, we see very good news. There is virtually no drought in Australia and hasn't been for the last 36 months. Only a small part of Southwest Australia has experienced drought in the last 3 years. Australian rainfall anomalies show above normal rainfall for the last 36-months across a large portion of the continent.

Now, keep in mind, Australia is now stranger to drought. Droughts on this continent are often measured in years, not months. Figure E shows rainfall anomalies since 1900 and many dry decades. This is the driest inhabited continent in the world; 70% of it is either arid or semi arid land. The arid zone is defined as areas which receive an average rainfall of 250mm or less. The semi arid zone is defined as areas which receive an average rainfall between 250-350mm. During the decade of the 2000's Australia experienced one of the worst droughts in its history. But, rainfall measurements since 1900 show no permanent drought across the continent.

It seems much of Australia's rainfall fortunes are linked to naturally occurring factors. The Bureau of Meteorology themselves admit the connection between droughts & ElNino events : "Many, but by no means all, droughts over eastern and northern Australia accompany the El Niño-Southern Oscillation phenomenon...On some occasions (such as 1914 and 1994) El Niño-related droughts may extend across virtually the entire country."

Research done in 2004* also points to natural climate variations as the cause for Australian droughts. Dr. Danielle Verdon and associates instead projected that drought and flood in Australia was cyclical and tied to natural cycles in the Pacific both short term and across decades. The authors investigated “the influence of the El Nino–Southern Oscillation (ENSO) and the Interdecadal Pacific Oscillation (IPO) on rainfall and streamflow regimes of eastern Australia. An analysis of historical rainfall and streamflow data for Queensland (QLD), New South Wales (NSW), and Victoria (VIC) reveals strong relationships between these indices and seasonal rainfall and streamflow totals. (h/t Joe D'Aleo)

Associate Professor Stewart Franks, of the University of Newcastle, thinks scientists should know better than to make incorrect statements about drought here. "The mistake that the numerous expert commentators made, was that they confused climate variability for climate change. The future impact of climate change is very uncertain, but when one “wants to believe”, then it is all too easy to get sucked in and to get it spectacularly wrong. In principle, these people should really know better."


Florida's biggest solar-energy plant far from realizing its potential

The mirror-covered behemoth that constitutes Florida's largest, and one of the nation's most ambitious, ventures into solar energy has been producing a small fraction of the power promised by its owner.

An Orlando Sentinel review of production data on file with state regulators reveals that, during its first year of operation, the Florida Power & Light Co. solar plant in Martin County has not come close to producing enough electricity to meet the demand of 11,000 homes — the output that FPL continues to claim for its one-of-a-kind facility.

Instead, it generated enough power last year for only 2,056 homes, according to the Sentinel's analysis of monthly reports filed by FPL with the Florida Public Service Commission.

Company officials said the lagging performance was caused by the disastrous spill of an industrial fluid used to conduct heat, outages at an interconnected power plant, and ongoing difficulties in responding to swings in production between sunny and cloudy skies.

"In doing all of your engineering, you go through all of your hypothesis, but when you're actually doing it for the first time, it does present some challenges," said Buck Martinez, FPL's senior director of project development. "The beauty of it is, it [recently] hit 68 and 69 megawatts on back-to-back days. I think we are getting a lot of the kinks out."

Designed to make 75 megawatts of electricity, the Martin Next Generation Solar Energy Center is markedly different from most solar plants.

Florida utilities, including FPL, generally operate systems that use vast assemblies of "photovoltaic" panels that produce electricity when exposed to sunlight. But the Martin plant has a unique "hybrid" design, with 190,000 mirrors erected on 500 acres in such a way that they concentrate the sun's rays to heat an industrial fluid to 740 degrees. That fluid is then harnessed to produce steam, which is then piped to an adjoining, older and much larger electric plant — powered by natural gas — to help spin its generator.

Mirror-based solar plants have been in use for decades; a sister company of FPL operates and co-owns a 310-megawatt system in California. But the Southwestern U.S., often cloudless, is considered ideal for mirror systems, while Florida's wetter weather is more challenging.

FPL, the state's largest utility, contends that feeding the solar plant's steam into the larger, existing electric plant next door reduced the solar plant's cost enough to justify its construction in a state where mirror systems are unproven.

But the piggybacking of the two plants has been difficult to manage, said Martinez, who characterized its operation so far as marred by "learning-curve" issues rather than any flaws in the technology.

"I think we're actually getting over the hump on some of that," Martinez said. "We're cautiously optimistic. We think it's going to be great technology."

In 2008, when the Public Service Commission approved FPL's request to bill customers to cover the cost of the plant, the agency established little in the way of performance standards for its operation. FPL has about a half-million customers in Central Florida, mostly in Brevard and Volusia counties.

The Martin system, built to last 50 years, cost $398 million, or $75 million less than budgeted, according to the utility.

J.R. Kelly of the Office of Public Counsel, the state's legislatively created advocate for utility customers, said there is no precedent for evaluating whether a utility or its customers should bear the cost of a solar plant's poor performance.

"We're going to study this," Kelly said.

Work began on the Martin plant in 2008 and was completed in late 2010. Its peak output was last March, when Gov. Rick Scott spoke at the plant's dedication ceremony.

"It's great to see this, and it's great to see that the cost of solar is coming down as compared to fossil fuel," Scott said.

Power production then dropped off dramatically; the plant barely ran in June and was shut down in July, August, October and December.

The PSC asked FPL to explain why the output of electricity was "relatively low" during the first seven months of 2011.

Among its responses, FPL said that an accident had occurred in June when the industrial fluid, which circulates through the mirrored array, became contaminated with water that turned into steam and burst a valve.

According to an FPL report filed with the Florida Department of Environmental Protection, an estimated 46,000 gallons of fluid sprayed into the air for two hours, raining down on 25 acres of power-plant property. The fluid, while not highly hazardous to people, is extremely toxic to fish and aquatic organisms, and the plant overlooks the eastern shore of Lake Okeechobee, Florida's largest lake.

Crews worked around the clock through June and maintained extended shifts in July to remove 94,200 gallons of contaminated water and 27,253 tons — or more than 1,000 truckloads — of soil, asphalt, gravel and vegetation.

Critics of solar power say it's simply too expensive. But utilities, such those serving the Orlando and Jacksonville areas, contend that they must learn how to integrate solar power into their grids because natural gas and coal, which now fuel most power plants, could become costly because of market pressures or problematic because of new environmental regulations.

Solar proponents say the Martin plant's rough start was a hiccup.

"That is not a statement about where the industry is," said Susan Glickman, a lobbyist for the Southern Alliance for Clean Energy. "Solar is booming and, ultimately, we need a combination of utility projects as well as solar panels on rooftops."


Greenies have no shame

They're psychopaths

On February 20th activist scientist Peter Gleick issued a public statement. He admitted to creating a false identity in order to steal the property (confidential documents) of a private think tank. There is a sound argument that, by doing so, Gleick has confessed to committing a federal felony called wire fraud.

According to Gleick himself, his actions demonstrated: "a serious lapse of my own and professional judgment and ethics…"

In his own opinion, his “judgment was blinded,” his behaviour is something to be deeply regretted, and apologies were appropriate and necessary. In the opinion of the New York Times‘ blogger Andrew Revkin, Gleick had “admitted to an act that leaves his reputation in ruins” (for more info see here).

So how long did it take Gleick’s community to forgive and forget? A grand total of 17 days. Not 17 years. Not 17 months. Not even 1 month. Two-and-a-half weeks later Gleick is back in the saddle.

Yesterday he delivered a speech to a two-day California Water Policy Conference. There was nothing minor or low-profile about it. The conference website clearly labels Gleick’s appearance as the opening, “keynote presentation.” Last night Gleick advised his Twitter followers that the experience had been great. Josh Rosenau, an employee at the National Center for Science Education, thought that observation so momentous he himself re-tweeted it.

So let’s think about this for a moment. Gleick has admitted to lying and stealing. Not for monetary gain, but to advance the climate change cause. Gleick is a water specialist. Presumably he also considers protecting waterways to be a good cause. So how were the conference attendees to know whether Gleick’s remarks about water were accurate and honest – or whether they were being spun and twisted by a man who, mere days ago, admitted that he can become so frustrated when trying to advance his cause, that he resorts to dishonesty?

Three hundred people were reportedly in attendance at the conference yesterday (backup link here). It’s difficult to believe that all of them are grateful for the fact that their keynote speaker was someone who remains under a cloud as we await word of whether criminal charges will be laid and whether the think tank will be filing civil lawsuits.

Among the conference sponsors we find:

the Los Angeles Department of Water & Power
the San Diego County Water Authority
the San Francisco Public Utilities Commission
and the Sonoma County Water Agency

In the past few weeks the California Water Policy Conference had to make a decision about whether or not to go ahead with its originally-planned keynote speaker. Its decision tells us a great deal about whether those talking about water issues in California can themselves be trusted.

Did they champion honesty and integrity? Or did they hand over their podium to a self-confessed liar and thief?


Harvard physician warns of climate change health hazards

This ding-a-ling has got no shame either. He knows perfectly well that there are far more deaths associated with cold weather (also known as winter) than there are with warm weather (also known as summer). A warmer world would on balance SAVE lives

But he was speaking at an old-fashioned revival hour for Warmists so I suppose a low priority for logic was to be expected

Rising temperatures and more heat waves due to climate change can cause heat stroke, heart attacks, dehydration and even increased incidences of violent crime and suicide, said Dr. Aaron Bernstein, associate director of Harvard University's Center for Health and the Global Environment.

Bernstein kicked off a day of provocative presentations at Northwestern University's third annual Climate Change Symposium, held Thursday. He showed how seemingly small changes in average temperatures translate into much longer cycles of very hot days and record hot days.

Rising sea levels and more extreme weather events can displace large numbers of people living in coastal cities or island nations, he said. "Weather refugees" have higher incidences of infectious diseases, he noted.


More Warmist jiggery pokery

In his article below, Paul Homewood is very polite -- apparently in the hope that he can squeeze a bit of honesty out of Warmist scientists. He says that their obvious "fiddling" of the data to show a steady rise in Arctic temperatures must be due to a computer error. Pardon me while I laugh!

There has been much discussion recently about temperature adjustments made by GHCN in Iceland and Greenland, which have had the effect of reducing historic temperature levels, thereby creating an artificial warming trend. These can easily be checked at the GISS website, where both the old and new datasets can be viewed as graph and table data, here and here.

It has now been identified that similar adjustments have been made at nearly every station close to the Arctic Circle, between Greenland and, going East,via Norway to Siberia, i.e 56 Degrees West to 86 Degrees East, about 40% of the circumference.

So it is perhaps time to recap where we are now.


The NCDC has produced the Global Historical Climatology Network (GHCN), a dataset of monthly mean temperatures, since the 1990’s. Version 2 was introduced in 1997 and included “Methods for removing inhomogeneities from the data record associated with non-climatic influences such as changes in instrumentation, station environment, and observing practices that occur over time “. The GHCN datasets are used by both GISS and HADCRUT for calculation of global temperatures, as well as NCDC themselves.

In May 2011, NCDC brought out Version 3, which “enhanced the overall quality of the dataset”, but made little difference in overall terms. However, only two months later in July, a Google Summer Student, a graduate called Daniel Rothenberg, was brought in to convert some of the GHCN software and make modifications to “correct software coding errors”. The result was Version 3.1, which went live in November 2011. (The full technical report is here).

It is this latest version that has thrown up the Arctic adjustments we are now seeing.

Until December, GISS used Version 2 unadjusted temperatures. Since then, they have changed to using Version 3.1 adjusted temperatures.

Basis of Homogeneity Adjustments

It is worth taking time to be clear why temperature adjustments are made (or should be). As far as GHCN are concerned, they explain their logic thus :-

"Surface weather stations are frequently subject to minor relocations throughout their history of operation. Observing stations may also undergo changes in instrumentation as measurement technology evolves. Furthermore, observing practices may vary through time, and the land use/land cover in the vicinity of an observing site can be altered by either natural or man-made causes. Any such modifications to the circumstances behind temperature measurements have the potential to alter a thermometer’s microclimate exposure characteristics or otherwise change the bias of measurements relative to those taken under previous circumstances. The manifestation of such changes is often an abrupt shift in the mean level of temperature readings that is unrelated to true climate variations and trends. Ultimately, these artifacts (also known as inhomogeneities) confound attempts to quantify climate variability and change because the magnitude of the artifact can be as large as or larger than the true background climate signal. The process of removing the impact of non-climatic changes in climate series is called homogenization, an essential but sometimes overlooked component of climate analysis."

It is quite clear. Their algorithms should look for abrupt changes that are not reflected at nearby stations. It has nothing to do with “averaging out regional temperatures” as is sometimes claimed.

GISS also make homogeneity adjustments, but for totally different reasons. In their case, it is to make an allowance for the Urban Heat Island Effect (which is not spotted by GHCN because it is a slow change).

Effect of The Adjustments

Appendix A lists every current GHCN station with records back to 1940,that lie between Greenland, at a latitude of 56 W, around to a point about midway across Siberia at 86 E and which are situated close to the Arctic Circle. The table shows the adjustment made by GHCN for 1940 data. Out of 26 stations, the adjustment has reduced actual temperatures in 23 cases, many substantially. In contrast, 2 remain unchanged and only one has a positive adjustment (and this is insignificant). As a crude average, the adjustment works out at a reduction of 0.70 C.

These adjustments typically extend back to the beginning of the station records (though Reykjavik is an exception) and most continue at the same level till about 1970. ( Some of the Russian stations last longer – e.g. Ostrov Dikson’s disappears in 2009).

By 2011, however, the adjustments disappear at ALL of these sites. In other words, an artificial warming trend has been manufactured.

It is worth spelling out two points :-

1) Within this arc of longitude, there are no other stations within the Arctic Circle.

2) With the exception of Lerwick and Vestmanneyja, I can find no stations, in the region, below a latitude of 64 North with similar adjustments. Why is 64 North significant? GISS produce zonal temperature data, and their “Arctic” zone goes from 64 North to the Pole. Coincidence?

Is there any justification for adjusting?

Trausti Jonsson, a senior climatologist at the Iceland Met Office, has already confirmed that he sees no reason for the adjustments in Iceland and that they themselves have already made any adjustments necessary due to station moves etc before sending the data onto GHCN.

Clearly the fact that nearly every station in the region has been adjusted disproves the idea that these sites are outliers, which give biased results not supported by nearby stations.

GHCN were asked in January to investigate this issue and so far have failed to come up with any explanation. Unless they can do this, the assumption must be that the adjustments have been created by faulty software.


In global terms, these few stations make no tangible difference to overall temperatures. However, they do make a significant difference to temperatures in the Arctic, which are derived from a small number of stations such as these and then projected over hundreds of miles.

Across much of the Arctic, temperatures were as high in the years around 1940 as they are now. History should not be revised at the whims of an algorithm.

What should happen next? In my view, GHCN should immediately revert to Version 3.0 until the matter is properly investigated and any issues resolved. They maybe just need to put Version 3.1 down as a bad experience and start from scratch again. I believe they also need to seriously review their Quality Control procedures and question how these anomalies were allowed to arise without being flagged up.

It should not be up to independent observers to have to do this.

More HERE (See the original for links, graphics etc.)


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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