Friday, December 07, 2012

BBC Bias

An email to Lord Patten (Chairman, The BBC Trust) which has been copied to me:

I wish to make a formal complaint regarding the failure of Mr Roger Harabin to follow one of the basic requirements of the Royal Charter under which the BBC is granted a monopoly of raising licence fees.

I wrote to my Member of Parliament, Mr Robert Walter, expressing grave concern at the number of important issues on which the BBC had failed to show due impartiality but worse had shown blatant bias. Last month Mr Walter replied advising me to make a formal complaint to you.

For the sake of simplicity I will confine my complaint to the one subject of Climate Change. As you are well aware Mr Roger Harabin, as is confirmed by his own emails, and Mr Joe Smith in January 2005 held a secret seminar at which they claimed twenty-eight specialists had concluded that the science of Climate Change was settled, it was entirely due to man's activity and the increase in Carbon Dioxide emissions. The implication was all twenty-eight at this all day seminar were scientific experts. Despite the BBC's strenuous attempts at a cover up we now know only three people present had any scientific training and most of the rest had strong vested interests in promulgating Anthropological Global Warming.

I, with no interest but the truth, wrote to Mr Harabin pointing out that the science was far from settled. I explained that when I worked for ICI Plastics Division my scientific knowledge was extended by week long courses at our Research Laboratories at Welwyn Garden City. We mainly concentrated on the study of Carbon and all its characteristics as this element was the basis of practically all our products. I submitted the following to Mr Harabin and asked if, in the interests of balance, impartiality and fair reporting he would give this alternative view due coverage. I can only take Mr Harabin's failure to even reply, despite warning him I would otherwise complain to you, as complete disdain or unwillingness to even acknowledge that his biased view point could even be challenged. The implication for the industrial future of our country of getting this issue wrong will be catastrophic without exaggeration.

As I try to explain in the simplest possible terms:-

Carbon Dioxide is not responsible for Climate Change:-

So we are being told to sacrifice our standard of living to reduce the quantity of CO2 in our atmosphere?  How big a factor is CO2 in our atmosphere?

It surprises everyone I ask when they learn that this beneficial trace gas is 0.037% of our atmosphere.  The line would be so thin on a pie chart as to be near invisible.  Not only is CO2 a benign gas it is essential for all plant life and we need 7% of it in our lungs to live.  Furthermore it is at an historically low level.  So how can this minuscule quantity of trace gas affect our climate?  As common sense and real science tells us it cannot and does not!

So how did the myth arise in the first place?  Since when out of curiosity the atmospheric constituents were measured a hundred and fifty years ago and subsequently monitored a 10% rise in CO2 has been recorded.  In other words one tenth of 0.037% over 150 years.  This does not in any way surprise those scientists who study climate change and attribute such change to solar activity;  the sun being our  only source of heat and energy.  They know from recorded history we had a warm period at the time of the Romans - a very warm period with grape bearing vines under Hadrian's Wall.  This was followed by the bitterly cold Dark Ages of plague and pestilence;  then the Medieval Warm Period when human endeavour flourished again, which we call the Renaissance, a period of great warmth with winemaking grapes grown around Newcastle.  The Mini Ice Age followed with the Thames freezing in winter with ice between twelve and fifteen feet thick.

It is our good fortune to be enjoying the peak of a warm cycle soon to end.  It will not get warm enough to grow grapes in the north, let alone Scotland.  Sunspot activity would indicate a Dalton or Maunder minimum in the near future.  These historically recorded climate change cycles very neatly coincide with the known revolution of the Sun's magnetic field end for end every nine hundred years.

So how did CO2 ever come to be blamed for this warming cycle?  Well possibly it was started by Professor Lovelock of Gaia fame, it had to be the wicked human race that was responsible for all ills.  CO2 was rising and this could only be accounted for by human activity.

As a point of fact one good volcanic eruption produces more CO2 than humans in a decade.  Volcanoes are the greatest producers of CO2 and there is almost continuous volcanic activity in the deep oceans.  In the marvellous way our world balances itself the oceans are the greatest holder of CO2.  However, as the solar warming cycle takes effect, the oceans will release CO2 which more than accounts for the measured increase.  You can see this effect for yourself in a fizzy drink.  The CO2 bubbles will stay until the drink warms then they will be released.  In other words CO2 increase, small though it is, is the result of cyclical warming not the cause.

Professor Lovelock has stated in the last few days that he got it wrong.  As Professor Lovelock and others of his ilk influenced the politicians of his day including Mr Blair it stands to reason they "got it wrong" too with quite horrendous consequences for us all.

It is not a moment too soon to repeal the disastrous Climate Change Act.

I will await your response with interest,

Yours sincerely,     W.G.G. Woodhouse

CNN Gives Climate Change Skeptic A Platform

And "Media Mutters" (below) is cross about it, in an amusing sort of way.  They discredit Morano's words because he has no relevant scientific background.  But neither does Al Gore!  If Morano should not be heard, neither should Gore!  If only ....

And it seemes that Morano did not speak at all.  He only "spewed".  That hardly inspired confidence in their reporting and does suggest  -- dare I say it?  Hate  -- JR

CNN anchor Piers Morgan hosted a "debate" on climate science between Bill Nye "The Science Guy" and professional climate misinformer Marc Morano. As Morano spewed myths about climate change, CNN failed to disclose that he has no scientific training and is paid by an industry-funded organization.

Offering two "viewpoints" about temperature data and suggesting that scientific facts are up for "debate" is misleading in and of itself. During the segment, Morano claimed that we "have gone 16 years without global warming according to UN data." Nye pushed back, saying "This will be the hottest two decades in history, in recorded history. So when you throw around a statement like the UN says it's not the hottest 20 years, I got to disagree with you." But the audience was left unaware that Morano was highlighting a short time period to obscure the overall warming trend..

If the role of the media is to inform its audience, anchors must recognize how people are informed and misinformed. When people are repeatedly exposed to a myth, it becomes more familiar and they are more likely to believe it. By giving Morano a platform to claim that average temperatures have not warmed in nearly 20 years, Morgan enabled him to familiarize CNN's audience with climate myths.

It's not surprising that Morano seized the opportunity to spread confusion about climate change. Morano is paid over $150,000 by the Committee for a Constructive Tomorrow, an organization that has received funding from oil companies.* As New York Times reporter Andrew Revkin explained, "industry-funded groups have used the media's tradition of quoting people with competing views to convey a state of confusion even as consensus on warming has built." Morano has promoted extreme attacks on climate scientists and those that accept global warming. His website often publishes the email addresses of scientists, leading to a barrage of hate mail, and he defended a billboard campaign comparing those who accept climate science to the Unabomber, saying it was "edgy."

While Morgan tried to pin down Morano to acknowledge certain facts -- that the earth is warming and the vast majority of climate scientists agree that burning fossil fuels is the major cause of this warming -- Morano seemed to be stuck in an alternate universe, making the on-air exercise a waste of time. Or as Nye concluded at the end of the segment, "We just don't agree on facts. So we aren't getting anywhere."

UPDATE: In a blog highlighting the segment, CNN claims it invited "a pair of experts" to discuss climate change, without noting that Morano has no scientific expertise. The blog says Morano "presented an alternate theory regarding the impact, and concern, associated with carbon dioxide,"ignoring that the vast majority of scientists agree that carbon dioxide emissions are driving global warming and that the public should be worried about the impacts of it.


Sea level rise is not accelerating either

Meteorologist Klaus-Eckart Puls: Sea Level Rise Has Slowed 34% Over The Last Decade!

German veteran meteorologist Klaus-Eckart Puls here has done an analysis of sea level rise. Contrary to claims made by fringe alarmist physicists, we see that sea level rise has decelerated markedly since 2003.

In his report, Puls writes that even TOPEX and JASON 1+2 show no acceleration. “The acceleration calculated by the models and constantly reported by the media does not exist!”  Puls adds:

"It is obvious to see that sea level rise has slowed down significantly. In view of the relatively short time frame in which the measurements have been made, it should not be speculated on whether the deceleration in the rise is a trend change or if it is only noise. What is certain is that there is neither  a ‘dramatic’ rise, nor an ‘acceleration’. Conclusion: Climate models that project an acceleration over the last 20 years are wrong.”

 Puls fitted a polynomial curve to the data from TOPEX and JASON 1+2:

“The result is no surprise. The 20-year data series of global sea level rise shows a weakening!” No wonder con-artist Al Gore bought a mansion on the beachfront. It’s great living in a world of suckers and dimwit media.

But let’s not rely solely on the satellite data, which has been around only a measly 20 years, to infer a trend. Let’s compare it to tide gauges, which have been used well over one hundred years. Puls presents the following chart of the trend of the German bight”.  Puls writes:

"An evaluation shows: Also tide gauges indicate a slow-down in sea level rise, and do so with a statistically very ”robust” dataset of 160 years.”

Conclusion:  "We have found no indication that sea level has accelerated over the last 30 years. It doesn’t look good for the fans of acceleration.”

Puls summarizes:  "The latest alarmist reports on the supposedly dramatic sea level rise for the present and the future cannot be confirmed by actual measurements. Quite to the contrary, they are refuted by the data. Globally neither tide nor satellite data show an acceleration of sea level rise. Rather they show a slow-down. Moreover they starkly contradict the previous and current claims coming from climate institutes. Also there are good indications that the satellite data were ‘overly corrected’ using inflated amounts.“

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

Global cooling explained

An international research team led by the University of Colorado Boulder and the University of Helsinki has discovered a surprising new chemical compound in Earth's atmosphere that reacts with sulfur dioxide to form sulfuric acid, which is known to have significant impacts on climate and health.

The new compound, a type of carbonyl oxide, is formed from the reaction of ozone with alkenes, which are a family of hydrocarbons with both natural and man-made sources, said Roy "Lee" Mauldin III, a research associate in CU-Boulder's Atmospheric and Oceanic Sciences Department and lead study author. The study charts a previously unknown chemical pathway for the formation of sulfuric acid, which can result both in increased acid rain and cloud formation as well as negative respiratory effects on humans.

"We have discovered a new and important, atmospherically relevant oxidant," said Mauldin. "Sulfuric acid plays an essential role in Earth's atmosphere, from the ecological impacts of acid precipitation to the formation of new aerosol particles, which have significant climatic and health effects. Our findings demonstrate a newly observed connection between the biosphere and atmospheric chemistry."

A paper on the subject is published in Nature.

Typically the formation of sulfuric acid in the atmosphere occurs via the reaction between the hydroxyl radical OH—which consists of a hydrogen atom and an oxygen atom with unpaired electrons that make it highly reactive—and sulfur dioxide, Mauldin said. The trigger for the reactions to produce sulfuric acid is sunlight, which acts as a “match” to ignite the chemical process, he said.

But Mauldin and his colleagues had suspicions that there were other processes at work when they began detecting sulfuric acid at night, particularly in forests in Finland—where much of the research took place—when the sun wasn't present to catalyze the reaction. "There were a number of instances when we detected sulfuric acid and wondered where it was coming from," he said.

In the laboratory, Mauldin and his colleagues combined ozone—which is ubiquitous in the atmosphere—with sulfur dioxide and various alkenes in a gas-analyzing instrument known as a mass spectrometer hooked up with a "flow tube" used to add gases. "Suddenly we saw huge amounts of sulfuric acid being formed," he said.

Because the researchers wanted to be sure the hydroxyl radical OH was not reacting with the sulfur dioxide to make sulfuric acid, they added in an OH "scavenger" compound to remove any traces of it. Later, one of the research team members held up freshly broken tree branches to the flow tube, exposing hydrocarbons known as isoprene and alpha-pinene—types of alkenes commonly found in trees and which are responsible for the fresh pine tree scent.

"It was such a simple little test," said Mauldin. "But the sulfuric acid levels went through the roof. It was something we knew that nobody had ever seen before."

Mauldin said the new chemical pathway for sulfuric acid formation is of interest to climate change researchers because the vast majority of sulfur dioxide is produced by fossil fuel combustion at power plants. "With emissions of sulfur dioxide, the precursor of sulfuric acid, expected to rise globally in the future, this new pathway will affect the atmospheric sulfur cycle," he said.

According to the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, more than 90% of sulfur dioxide emissions are from fossil fuel combustion at power plants and other industrial facilities. Other sulfur sources include volcanoes and even ocean phytoplankton. It has long been known that when sulfur dioxide reacts with OH, it produces sulfuric acid that can form acid rain, shown to be harmful to terrestrial and aquatic life on Earth.

Airborne sulfuric acid particles—which form in a wide variety of sizes—play the main role in the formation of clouds, which can have a cooling effect on the atmosphere, he said. Smaller particles near the planet's surface have been shown to cause respiratory problems in humans.

Mauldin said the newly discovered oxidant might help explain recent studies that have shown large parts of the southeastern United States might have cooled slightly over the past century. Particulates from sulfuric acid over the forests there may be forming more clouds than normal, cooling the region by reflecting sunlight back to space.


Lord Monckton still having fun with the climate crooks

The hereditary peer, an ardent climate change sceptic, appears in a video promoted by US lobby group riding a camel to promote a "different perspective" on the UN climate change talks in Doha, which he has been thrown out of.

Lord Monckton of Brenchley, who is not a member of the House of Lords, during the talks took the chair of Burma and spoke into the microphone against all UN protocol.

After a short speech, in which he was booed, he was escorted out of the meeting by UN guards.

The UN said Lord Monckton was escorted out for “violating the UN code of conduct" and "impersonating a party”.  He has been ‘de-badged’, meaning he no longer has a visa to stay in Qatar and had 24 hours to leave the country.

Earlier in the week he appeared in a video promoted by US lobby group the Committee on a Constructive Tomorrow (CFACT) riding a camel to promote a "different perspective" of the talks.

The two-week meeting, due to end on Friday is deadlocked on modest goals such as aid and an extension of an existing UN-led plan to combat climate change into 2013.

The European Union, Australia, Ukraine, Norway, Switzerland are the main backers of Kyoto who are willing to extend legally binding cuts in emissions beyond 2012 until 2020.  But they account for less than 15 per cent of world emissions.

Russia, Japan and Canada have pulled out, saying it makes no sense to continue when big emerging nations led by China and India have no binding goals.

Kyoto backers see it as a blueprint to help unlock progress on a deal last year to work out by 2015 a new, global agreement to fight climate change that would enter into force in 2015.

SOURCE.  (Video at link)

Studies differ on climate change and warming severity, researchers trade jabs

Two heavyweight climate scientists have published very different ideas about how much the Earth is going to warm in the coming decades. And neither has much regard for the other’s estimate - casting light on a long-standing, thorny issue in climate science.

Future warming is likely to be on the high end of predictions says Kevin Trenberth of the National Center for Atmospheric Research who has been a lead author for the United Nations Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC).

But Michael Schlesinger, who heads the Climate Research Group within the Department of the Atmospheric Sciences at the University of Illinois, has just published a study with his group finding warming will be at the low end of projections.

How much the Earth warms in the coming decades is an important societal and environmental issue. The more it warms the more difficult it will be to adapt to warming, avoid unwelcome consequences, and implement effective measures to slow it, namely reducing greenhouse gas emissions.

The range of warming predictions for doubling carbon dioxide in the atmosphere - the so-called climate sensitivity - spans about 2 to 4.5 degrees C. according to the 2007 IPCC report. The Schlesinger group study says the most likely sensitivity is 1.5-2 degrees C, whereas Trenberth told New Scientist he thinks it is more like 4 degrees C, though he calls 3 degrees C “very viable.”

One rationale for Trenberth’s higher estimate is the headline-generating study he and UCAR colleague John Fasullo published in Science November 8. The study revealed the computer models that predict the most warming have the best track record in accurately simulating humidity in the atmosphere over a recent 10-year study period. The warmer models should be trusted the most, both Trenberth and Fasullo assert.

“The models at the higher end of temperature predictions uniformly did a better job,” Fasullo told the Washington Post’s Brian Vastag, adding that the models predicting less temperature change “should be outright discounted.”

But Schlesinger said he finds the Fasullo and Trenberth analysis “very uncompelling” and would have rejected the study had he been a reviewer.

“The Fasullo and Trenberth study is meaningless,” Schlesinger said. “[I]t does not address the zeroth-order question: What [climate sensitivity] best reproduces the observed changes in ... temperature from the 19th century to the present?”

The Schlesinger group study does exactly this, applying their in-house model to analyze historic changes in temperature to narrow predictions of the future. This method yields an average warming estimate of just 1.5-2 degrees C for doubling CO2.

The result is notable primarily for two reasons.

First, just a decade ago, Schlesinger had published research concluding “there is a 70 percent chance [the climate sensitivity] exceeds the maximum IPCC value of 4.5 degrees C”.” He and co-author Natalia Andronova at the time opined: “This is a disquieting result.” The new estimate of 1.5-2 degrees C is a striking reversal.

Second, it is the among the lowest estimates of climate sensitivity among actively publishing climate researchers. Only a small handful of studies have reached similar conclusions, and they have primarily been published by scientists unconvinced manmade climate change poses major risks. For example, Pat Michaels (and colleagues) of the libertarian Cato Institute published a paper in Climate Research in 2002 arguing warming would be at the low end of the IPCC’s projections (around 1.8 degrees C). And in 2011, Roy Spencer, a University of Alabama researcher and expert for the conservative-leaning Marshall Institute, published a controversial paper (with colleague William Braswell) asserting climate models with lower sensitivities do a slightly better job matching observations.

Scientists often say a single study is not gospel, particularly if the results depart drastically from the overwhelming body of existing literature. Contrary to Schlesinger’s result, the majority of state-of-the-art four-dimensional “general circulation models” (GCMs) - the kind used in the Trenberth and Fasullo study - estimate the climate sensitivity is closer to 3 degrees C. The 2007 IPCC report stated 3 degrees C is the “most likely” number.

Trenberth and Fasullo expressed major concerns about the Schlesinger paper and its much lower estimate.

“[Schlesinger’s] numbers have no sound or physical basis,” Trenberth said. “The problem is the paper uses a very simple model, one that has no hydrological cycle, and one where the ocean structure is fixed.”

Fasullo added: “Crude models such as the ones used in the [Schlesinger] study .... should not be used as a surrogate for GCMs as they are by their very nature simplistic and small changes in their basic assumptions can yield widely varying results.” [True of ALL models  --JR)

It’s beyond the scope of this blog post to evaluate the merits (and/or limitations) of the Trenberth and Schlesinger papers. That is best done in the peer reviewed literature and forthcoming assessments.

But the disparity in the estimates of Trenberth and Schlesinger and their sharp criticisms of each other’s work highlights how little progress has been made in narrowing down climate sensitivity estimates since the 1970s.

The wide range of possible climate sensitivities poses challenges for policymakers who must decide how urgent cuts in greenhouse gas emissions are and how much to cut them.




Preserving the graphics:  Graphics hotlinked to this site sometimes have only a short life and if I host graphics with blogspot, the graphics sometimes get shrunk down to illegibility.  From January 2011 on, therefore, I have posted a monthly copy of everything on this blog to a separate site where I can host text and graphics together -- which should make the graphics available even if they are no longer coming up on this site.  See  here and here


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