Sunday, July 29, 2012

The new Muller "bombshell" article

A new article by Richard Muller reporting more results of his "Berkeley" temperature project is to be published in the NYT in the next day or two. A copy of it has been leaked to skeptics and Anthony Watts is apparently preparing an exhaustive demolition of it.

So just a few notes: Muller does not dispute the small magnitude of the temperature rise over the last 150 years (though giving temperatures in degrees Fahrenheit rather than the usual scientific custom of using degrees Celsius may create that impression) and has NOTHING to say about the "Tipping point" hypothesis that is crucial to the dire prophecies of Warmists.

He also says some sensible things. I hope that the gods of copyright enforcement won't crucify me if I quote just one sentence: "I still find that much, if not most, of what is attributed to climate change is speculative, exaggerated, or just plain wrong." And he proceeds to give examples.

But his central points are that the observed temperature variations track CO2 levels and do not track solar effects. That is certainly interesting, if true, but one would have to look at WHICH solar statistics he used and WHICH records of CO2 levels he used. Prof. Ernst has shown that CO2 levels inferred from proxies do not track ACTUAL CO2 levels as directly observed over the last two centuries. I don't think I am gambling when I say that Muller did not use Prof. Ernst's figures.

The BIG weak point in Muller's article and a deadly weak point in the whole Warmist faith is one that Muller does tackle head-on. And he ends up admitting that he cannot prove his answer to the question: Are the CO2 rises caused by humans? All he has to offer by way of evidence for his belief is the correlation between CO2 levels and temperature, which completely begs the question. That there is much evidence to show that warming causes CO2 rise (via ocean outgassing) rather than the other way around he does not go anywhere near.

So rather than a bombshell, even this benighted social scientist has to see the Muller article as a damb squib. His faults are as much faults of logic as of science -- JR

Was the Medieval Warm Period Confined to Europe?

That’s what the self-anointed ‘consensus of scientists’ claims. As noted in a previous post this week, right after the IPCC famously declared that the 1990s were likely the warmest decade of the past millennium, they stated: “Evidence does not support the existence of globally synchronous periods of cooling or warming associated with the ‘Little Ice Age’ and ‘Medieval Warm Period’” (Third Assessment Report, Chap. 2, p. 102).

But those remarkable Idsos, Shirwood, Craig, and Keith, keep reviewing studies that find evidence of the Medieval Warm Period (MWP) and Little Ice Age (LIA) not only in Europe but also in Asia, Africa, Australia/New Zealand, North America, South America, the Oceans, and even Antarctica. What’s more, the preponderance of these studies indicate that the MWP was warmer than the current warm period (CWP). The Idsos divide these studies into two categories, Level 1 Studies, which attempt to quantify the difference between MWP peak temperatures and CWP peak temperatures, and Level 2 Studies, which indicate whether the MWP peak temperatures were higher than, lower than, or the same as CWP peak temperatures.

This week on their Web site, CO2Science.Org, the Idsos review a study, published in Earth and Planetary Science Letters, that attempts to reconstruct the temperature history of the Antarctic Peninsula from ikaite crystals (an icy version of limestone) in marine sediments. The study, by Zunli Lu of Syracuse University and colleagues, finds that “both the Medieval Warm Period and Little Ice Age extended to the Antarctic Peninsula.” What is more, the researchers find that the “climatic signature” from the most recent crystals is “not yet as extreme in nature as the MWP.”

Prof. Lu cautions that the study “does not question the well-established anthropogenic warming trend” of recent decades and that results from one site “should not be extrapolated to make assumptions about climate conditions across the entire globe.” Nonetheless, the Idsos reasonably conclude that the study is additional evidence that “the Earth has not yet eclipsed the level of GLOBAL warmth experienced during the MWP.”

SOURCE (See the original for links and graphics)

Pachauri Proves He Is Scientifically Incompetent Again

Railroad engineer Pachauri [Head of the IPCC] demonstrates once again that he understands nothing about science

“it’s possible that part of this huge body of ice (Greenland) could collapse, and fall into the ocean which would lead to several meters of sea level rise."

Mindless drivel. The Greenland ice sheet is a 3 km thick chunk of ice spread across a 1000 km wide island. You could visualize it as being a thick piece of paper. Can you imagine a piece of paper lying flat on a table, collapsing?

But it is worse than it seems. The land under the ice sheet is depressed due to the weight of the ice above it, and is bowl shaped. Furthermore, the island is full of mountain ranges buried under the ice – which prevent lateral movement.

Perhaps Pachauri thinks that ice cream can spontaneously jump out of a bowl? What a maroon.

SOURCE (See the original for links)

Those Pesky clouds again

Clouds are central to the Warmist "tipping point" theory and I mentioned on July 10 the Laken work on South America which showed clouds not to be behaving themselves according to Warmist doctrine.

Now a new paper on clouds over Spain is equally awkward for the Warmists. According to them, we should be living through an era of increasing cloudiness. But what do the data show? They show that just when increasing cloudiness was supposed to cut in, it actually stopped and started to decrease!

A paper published today in Climate of the Past finds that Total Cloud Cover (TCC) has significantly decreased over Spain by about 4% since 1960, the same period during which the IPCC claims there is no explanation other than man-made greenhouse gases to account for global warming.....

Until cloud effects are much better understood (as well as a host of other factors such as ocean oscillations), computer climate models will remain computer fantasy games.
Clim. Past, 8, 1199-1212, 2012

Increasing cloud cover in the 20th century: review and new findings in Spain

By A. Sanchez-Lorenzo et al.


Visual observations of clouds have been performed since the establishment of meteorological observatories during the early instrumental period, and have become more systematic and reliable after the mid-19th century due to the establishment of the first national weather services. During the last decades a large number of studies have documented the trends of the total cloud cover (TCC) and cloudy types; most of these studies focus on the trends since the second half of the 20th century. Due to the lower reliability of former observations, and the fact that most of this data is not accessible in digital format, there is a lack of studies focusing on the trends of cloudiness since the mid-19th century.

In the first part, this work attempts to review previous studies analyzing TCC changes with information covering at least the first half of the 20th century. Then, the study analyses a database of cloudiness observations in Southern Europe (Spain) since the second half of the 19th century. Specifically, monthly TCC series were reconstructed since 1866 by means of a so-called parameter of cloudiness, calculated from the number of cloudless and overcast days.

These estimated TCC series show a high interannual and decadal correlation with the observed TCC series originally measured in oktas. After assessing the temporal homogeneity of the estimated TCC series, the mean annual and seasonal series for the whole of Spain and several subregions were calculated.

The mean annual TCC shows a general tendency to increase from the beginning of the series until the 1960s; at this point, the trend becomes negative

The linear trend for the annual mean series, estimated over the 1866–2010 period, is a highly remarkable (and statistically significant) increase of +0.44% per decade, which implies an overall increase of more than +6% during the analyzed period. These results are in line with the majority of the trends observed in many areas of the world in previous studies, especially for the records before the 1950s when a widespread increase of TCC can been considered as a common feature.


Warmists are amusing

They are always talking about "the facts" or "the science" but never mention one single scientific fact in support of their arguments (mainly because there are none)

Former Rep. Bob Inglis (R-S.C.), who is trying to build support for a carbon tax, said the facts on global warming will “overwhelm” GOP resistance to climate change action and alter the party’s stance.

“What we have been doing so far is sort of shrinking in science denial and holding onto shaky ideology that really will be overwhelmed by the facts,” the former GOP lawmaker said in an interview broadcast Sunday.

“You can hold back the facts only for so long and eventually they overwhelm you,” Inglis said on Platts Energy Week TV. “I think that is happening on climate change. The science is pretty clear.”

Inglis, who was vanquished by a conservative upstart in his 2010 primary, this month launched a new initiative at George Mason University to promote what he calls market-based, conservative solutions to energy and climate challenges.

“I think that eventually the champions of free enterprise, which is who conservatives are, who Republicans generally are, will rise to the occasion and come forward with real solutions here,” he said.

Inglis backs a “revenue-neutral” carbon tax under which taxes on emissions would be offset by reductions in other rates.

“Right now we tax income, labor and industry, but we don’t tax the negative externality associated with the burning of fossil fuels,” he said.

Under his plan, subsidies and tax breaks for various energy sources — including green energy — would go away, but carbon-heavy fuels would see the costs of emissions included in their price.

“If you attach the negative externalities, the hidden cost, to those fossil fuels, then the economics would be set right for the challenger fuels to succeed in a fair competition,” Inglis said.


Voting for Wildlife Extermination

The latest justification for extending the industrial wind electricity production tax credit (PTC) is that we need an “all of the above” energy policy. The slogan falls flat, even when it’s expanded to “all of the above and below” – which is rarely the case with radical environmentalists and “progressive” politicians, who steadfastly oppose “any of the below” (ie, hydrocarbons).

America needs an “all of the sensible” energy policy. If an energy option makes sense - technically, economically and environmentally - it should be implemented. If it flunks, it should be scrapped.

Industrial wind energy mandates, renewable portfolio standards, subsidies, feed-in tariffs and production tax credits fail every test. They flunk environmental standards disastrously. In fact, they are subsidizing the slaughter of countless eagles, hawks, falcons, owls, herons, cranes, egrets, other birds and bats.

The wind PTC epitomizes “you didn’t build it.” If any business “didn’t get there on your own,” or was “successful because, along the line,” somebody (in government) “gave you some help” – it is Big Wind.

Industrial wind energy has been mandated, propped up, subsidized, built and protected by government. Elected and unelected officials at the federal, state and local levels have given it every unfair advantage that taxpayer and ratepayer money, legal favors and exemptions, and crony corporatism could bestow upon it. Meanwhile, in numerous cases, the same legislative, regulatory, environmentalist and industrialist cronies have penalized and marginalized Big Wind’s hydrocarbon and nuclear competitors – often for the same reasons that are ignored with wind energy.

Industrial wind is actually our least sustainable energy resource.It requires perpetual subsidies to survive. The tax revenues it takes from productive sectors of the economy, the insufficient and unreliable nature of wind electricity, and the exorbitant electricity rates that wind turbines impose on factories and businesses, kill two to four jobs for every "green" job created. Wind is a net job loser .

Big Wind also imposes excessive environmental impacts. It requires vast amounts of raw materials and land for turbines, backup power and long transmission lines. The extraction and processing of rare earth metals and other materials devastates large agricultural, scenic and wildlife habitat areas and harms people’s health, especially in China. Worst, the turbines are returning numerous bird and bat species to the edge of extinction, after decades of patient, costly efforts to nurse them back to health.

These are not sparrows and pigeons killed by housecats. They are bats that eat insects and protect crops . They are some of our most important and magnificent raptors, herons, cranes, condors and other majestic sovereigns of our skies. They are being chopped out of the air and driven from numerous habitats.

The American Bird Conservancy (ABC)and other experts estimate that well over 500,000 birds and countless bats are already being killed annually by turbines. The subsidized slaughter “could easily be over 500” golden eagles a year in our western states, Save the Eagles Internationalbiologist Jim Wiegand told me. Bald eagles are also being killed at alarming rates that could soon reach 1,000 per year.

In the 86-square-mile area blanketed by the Altamont Pass wind facility, no eagles have nested for over 20 years, and golden eagle nest sites have declined by half near the actual facility, even though both areas are prime eagle habitat, says Wiegand. Wildlife expert Dr. Shawn Smallwood estimates that 2,300 golden eagles have been killed by Altamont turbines over the past 25 years.

The wind industry keeps the publicly acknowledged death toll “low” and “acceptable” by employing deliberately flawed methodologies, says Wiegand. Companies have crews search around turbines that are not operating; search only within narrow radiuses of turbines, thus missing birds that were flung further by the impact or limped off to die elsewhere; search for carcasses only every 2-4 weeks, allowing scavengers to take most of them away; avoid using dogs to sniff for bodies; not count disabled or wounded birds and bats; and pick up carcasses, under the guideline of “slice, shovel and shut up.”

High security at most wind turbine sites makes independent analysis almost impossible, adds ABC wind energy coordinator Kelly Fuller. Even the faulty (fraudulent?) raw bird kill data are rarely made public and are difficult to access even through the Freedom of Information Act. Amazingly, the US Fish & Wildlife Service does not require that the information be made public. What little does get released is too often filtered, massaged and manipulated – and now the FWS may allow the industry to put even these suspect body counts into private data banks that would not be subject to FOIA.

The FWS and Justice Department prosecuted and fined oil companies for the unintentional deaths of just 28 small migratory birds (no raptors and no rare, threatened or endangered species) over several months throughout North Dakota. They fined ExxonMobil $600,000 for accidentally killing 85 birds over a five-year period in five states. But they have never prosecuted or penalized a single wind turbine company for its eco-slaughter. Now they are going much further.

The Service has proposed to grant “programmatic take” permits that would allow wind turbine operators to repeatedly, systematically, legally and “inadvertently” injure, maim and kill bald and golden eagles –turning what has been outrageously selective (non)enforcement of endangered species laws into a 007 license to kill. While the new rule “is not specifically designed for the wind industry” (as an industry spokesman helpfully pointed out), Big Wind will be by far the biggest beneficiary.

The FWS says it can do this based on illusory “advanced conservation practices” that are “scientifically supportable,” approved by the Service, and “represent the best available techniques to reduce eagle disturbance and ongoing mortalities to a level where remaining take is unavoidable and incidental to otherwise lawful activity.” The Service also claims “mitigation” and other “additional” measures may be implemented where necessary to “ensure the preservation” of eagles as a species.

When its goal is to restrict development, the FWS frequently defines species, subspecies or “distinct population segments” for sage grouse, spotted owls, “jumping mice” and other wildlife – or labels a species “imperiled” in a selected location, even when it is abundant in nearby locations. With eagles, the proposed “take” rules strongly suggest that the Service could easily say the presence of eagles in some parts of the Lower 48 States or even just Alaska would mean their preservation is ensured, even if they are exterminated or driven out of numerous habitats. (Ditto for other species imperiled by wind turbines.)

Attempts to “mitigate” impacts or establish new population segments will almost certainly mean imposing extra burdens, restrictions and costs on land owners and users outside of turbine-impact areas.

Another vital, majestic species being “sliced” back to the verge of extinction is the whooping crane, North America’s tallest bird. Since 2006, installed turbine capacity within the six-state whooping crane flyway has skyrocketed from 3,600 megawatts to some 16,000 MW – and several hundred tagged and numbered whooping cranes “have turned up missing and are unaccounted for,” says Wiegand. And yet, another 136,700 MW of new bird Cuisinarts are planned for these six states!

The Service knows this is happening, and yet turns a blind eye – and Big Wind is not about to admit that its turbines are butchering whooping cranes, bald eagles, Peregrine falcons, bats and other rare species.

This subsidized slaughter and legalized carnage cannot continue. Every vote to extend the PTC, or approve wind turbines in or near important bird habitats and flyways, is a vote for ultimate extinction of majestic and vital species in numerous areas all over the United States.

Wind energy is not green, eco-friendly, sustainable or sensible. Extending the subsidized slaughter is not something any members of Congress, state legislatures or county commissions – Republican or Democrat – should want to have on their conscience.



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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