Sunday, January 20, 2013

Major German newsmagazine concedes Global Warming Has Ended …Models Were Wrong

Spiegel has finally gotten around to conceding that global warming has ended, at least for the time being.  Yesterday Spiegel science journalist Axel Bojanowski published a piece called: Klimawandel: Forscher rätseln über Stillstand bei Erderwärmung (Climate change: scientists baffled by the standstill in global warming).

We’ve been waiting for this admission a long time, and watching the media reaction is interesting to say the least. Bojanowski writes that “The word has been out for quite some time now that the climate is developing differently than predicted earlier”. He poses the question: “How many more years of stagnation are needed before scientists rethink their predictions of future warming?”

Bojanowski adds:  "15 years without warming are now behind us. The stagnation of global near-surface average temperatures shows that the uncertainties in the climate prognoses are surprisingly large. The public is now waiting with suspense to see if the next UN IPCC report, due in September, is going to discuss the warming stop.”

The big question now circulating through the stunned European media, governments and activist organisations is how could the warming stop have happened? Moreover, how do we now explain it to the public? To find an answer, Bojanowski contacted a number of sources. The result, in summary: scientists are now left only to speculate over an entire range of possible causes. Uncertainty in climate science indeed has never been greater. It’s back to square one.

One explanation Spiegel presents is that the oceans have somehow absorbed the heat and are now hiding it somewhere. Yet, Bojanowski writes that there is very little available data to base this on: “There is a lot of uncertainty concerning the development of the water temperature. It has long appeared that also the oceans have not warmed further since 2003.” Spiegel then quotes Kevin Trenberth concerning NASA’s claim that they’ve detected a warming of the oceans: “The uncertainties with the data are too great. We need to improve our measurements“.

Spiegel also writes that the missing heat may be lurking somewhere deep in the oceans. But here Bojanowski [Spiegel] quotes Doug Smith of the Met Office: “This is very difficult to confirm“.

Jochem Marotzke of the Max Planck Institute for Meteorology (MPI) suspects that energy has been conveyed to the ocean’s interior, but there’s a dire lack of data to confirm this. Bojanowski writes over the current state of ocean data measurement: “Without intensifying the data measurement network, we are going to have to wait a long time for any proof“.

Scientists also suspect that the stratosphere may have something to do with the recent global temperature stall. Susan Solomon says the stratosphere has gotten considerably drier, and so warming at the surface may have been reduced by a quarter. But Bojanowski reminds us that under the bottom line, the scientists are pretty much without a clue; he writes:

"However, climate models do not illustrate stratospheric water vapour very well," says Marotzke. "The prognoses thus remain vague.”

Well then, maybe it’s due to aerosols from China and India blocking out the sun, some scientists are speculating, and ”thus weakening warming by one third“.  Spiegel writes that “If the air were cleaner, then climate warming would accelerate.” But aerosols have always been used a convenient joker in climate models to explain unexpected cooling, such as from 1945 to 1980.

In fact, all the explanations presented by Bojanowski above have already been thoroughly looked at in a book-  one year ago – by a pair of scientists: Prof. Fritz Vahrenholt and Dr. Sebastian Lüning. Last year much of the media massively ostracised them for floating “crude theories”. A year later it’s indeed strange to see that their “crude theories” are now completely in vogue.

How does Bojanowski sum it up? “The numerous possible explanations do show just how imprecisely climate is understood.”

Yet, as Bojanowski points out, some scientists refuse to give up on the AGW theory. He writes:

Under the bottom line, there are a number of various ominous signs of warming: rising sea levels, Arctic sea ice reduced by a half in the summertime, melting glaciers. At some locations there are signs that extreme weather events are increasing. ‘There are many signs of global warming,’ emphasizes Kevin Trenberth, “near surface air temperatures is only one of them.’”

Sorry, but isolated singular events do not constitute trends, let alone science. Prof. Trenberth really ought to know that. This is pathetic. The observed data and measured trends have stopped showing global warming. So are scientists now claiming that singular events are robust signs? This would be only one step away from astrology!

Bojanowski reminds us again that the science is poorly understood and that a number of factors are at play. He writes:

"Indeed new surprising data keep popping up. Recently a new study appeared showing that soot particles from unfiltered diesel engine exhaust and open fires have had an impact on warming that is twice as high as what was first thought.”

Bojanowski also tells his readers that “Computer simulations have shown that warming has made tropical storms rarer.”

He also mentions other factors that are poorly understood, such as: solar radiation’s impact on clouds, water vapour cycles, and natural and man-made aerosols.

Spiegel at the end of the article seems to be duped into thinking that short-term prognoses are uncertain, but longterm ones are rather sure. Spiegel quotes warmist Jochem Marotzke of the MPI:

"Climate prognoses over time periods of a few years still remain especially uncertain. ‘Our forecasting system in this regard still lets us down,’ says MPI director Marotzke. “But we’re still working on it.”

This to me appears to be an attempt to have readers believe that although they’ve botched the short-term projections completely, they are likely still right about the longterm projections of warming. Now take five minutes to get your laughing under control. … If the models failed for the first 15 years, then they are no good! Period! They’re crap, and you cannot rely on them for projecting the long-term. They belong in one place only: the dustbin! How long must we wait before climate scientists return to science?

Don’t get me wrong, at least this article, admitting something is terribly amiss, is a very encouraging step in the right direction. But it’s difficult to remain hopeful when climate scientists continue demonstrating that they do not even know what proper scientific methodology is.

Lastly, I like they way Bojanowski ends his piece:

"Current prognoses warn of a 5°C warming if CO2 emissions continue as before. But it is not now well-known just how much natural climate impacts are able to change the temperature development – the new NASA data have revealed this as well.”

Spiegel science writers would be well-advised to read Fritz Vahrenholt’s and Sebastian Lüning’s “Die kalte Sonne“. Practically every question brought up by Bojanowski has been answered there – one year ago. Moreover, Lüning”s and Vahrenholt’s temperature model for the next 100 years so far has been dead on.


The carbon trading money tree

The COP-18 environmental conference held in Doha has come and gone. In the wake of high expectations for a successor treaty, the Kyoto Protocol was extended, but only after bitter debate — and several countries have withdrawn from the process or signaled their intent to do so.

Moreover, many observers believe the decision to extend the Protocol was primarily the result of countries not having the courage to stop or scuttle it outright, and not actually knowing what to do next.  So the easy way out was to just extend Kyoto and also promise the developing world lots and lots of dollars for “climate mitigation,” which is a sort of apology from the first world for having allegedly messed up the planet in the first place with their fossil fuels and economic development.

Whether the billions of promised aid dollars will really materialize is another matter. But a lot of people have already gotten rich – including Al Gore, hundreds of climate scientists, and thousands of environmental activists and government bureaucrats – and others are trying to cash in.

I recently read an article in a South African magazine concerning carbon trading. Headlined “The Big C is a Money Tree,” the article included a picture of a tree with hundreds of dollar bills hanging on the branches. Its essence was that people can easily make loads of money in the carbon trading business. Unfortunately, much of the sentiment was correct. So alarm bells should be ringing.

When it appears easy to make a lot of money from something simple, then in all probability something is wrong. The economic rules which govern the world usually dictate that it is not easy to make a lot of money with not much effort.

Consider the hamburger market. If it is easy to sell a large number of hamburgers and make a lot of money, then what happens is a competitor joins the market, then another, and another. The result is that the quality of the hamburgers goes up and the price comes down. This is all because the natural competition forces the sellers to offer the best quality at the lowest price.

If one of the hamburger sellers can’t make the grade, he goes out of business.  None of the hamburger sellers really wants to be kind and sympathetic to the consumers, but they have no option but to be attentive to their customers or the customers just go to a competitor. Hamburger suppliers have to offer a good product at a good price to stay in business. So the basis of the hamburger business is good cooking, good service and efficient meal production.

So one can ask the question: What is the basis of the carbon trading business? It is buying or renting air with less carbon dioxide (CO2) — based on assertions that the gas causes global warming, climate change, and more frequent and intense storms, droughts and floods. Sounds dicey, doesn’t it?

What happens is that if some company, say in Germany, wants to extend its factory, and they are going to have to produce CO2 in the operation of the plant, they may find that they will exceed their emission quota.

If a company in Germany wants to expand its factory, and operating this larger facility will produce carbon dioxide, the new operation may exceed the company’s CO2 emission quota. One way out of this predicament is to come to a country like South Africa and find some land where workers can grow plants that take CO2 out of the air. Another is to find a factory that emits CO2 and help it buy and install technology that removes some tons of CO2 from the factory’s emission.

(There is a type of South African cactus called Spekboom, which translates as “bacon tree.” The connection between cactus and bacon is not clear. It’s easy to plant. You just break off a soft branch, push it into the ground, and it grows – normally to about a meter tall, but sometimes to 3m over many years. Spekboom grows in arid areas like weeds and is generally useless. But it apparently absorbs much more CO2 than normal plants. So Europeans pay South Africans tidy sums to plant fields of the stuff. The Europeans then claim “carbon credits” and feel righteous, while South Africans get rich watching weeds grow.)

Each time one of these operations removes 10 tons of CO2 from South African airspace, the German company can put the same amount of CO2 into Germany’s air and (presto!) all is great again, because on balance the total CO2 emitted into whole world’s atmosphere is equalized.

Then the German company pays the South African company a lot of dollars per month to keep South Africa’s air “clean,” so that the German company can put the “saved” CO2 back into Germany’s air.

So the basis of the carbon trading business is to rent “clean” air from somebody else.

Therefore if you launch a major project to develop a new factory, and a significant part of the budget is carbon trading income, then don’t forget that renting clean air is part of the asset of the business.

If the Kyoto Protocol collapses and the clean air requirement falls away — then your investment blows away in a breeze … of “clean” air. That would be disastrous for you. And that is a primary reason why so many people are determined to perpetuate Kyoto in some form or another.

Many people would never build their new factory on a foundation of sand. But they are happy to build it on a foundation of air. I say: “Be careful.”

If it turns out that man-made industrial CO2 is not leading to climate change then the whole carbon market could disappear faster than a puff of wind.

Remember that the measured increase in the earth’s atmospheric CO2 concentration over the last century does not match global temperature increase very well; in fact, a good correlation is distinctly absent. Furthermore, a competing theory argues that the sun’s magnetic influence on incoming cosmic radiation seems to match the observed temperature profile of the planet a lot better; this theory relates to varying cloud cover, influenced by the varying amount of incoming cosmic radiation.

The carbon trading business seems too good to be true.  Money trees are not common.  Warning bells should be ringing.


Debate Verdict: Al Gore Presenter Trounced by Heartland’s James Taylor

Global warming alarmists and skeptics alike report that Heartland Institute senior fellow James Taylor scored a decisive victory over Ray Bellamy, an official presenter for Al Gore’s Climate Reality Project, in a global warming debate in Tallahassee, Florida.

Rare Public Debate

Gore’s Climate Reality Project surprised observers by agreeing to the January 8 public debate. Gore’s presenters very rarely agree to participate in debates or public events in which skeptics are allowed an opportunity to present the case against a global warming crisis.

Contrasting Styles, Substance

A coin flip determined that Bellamy would speak first, and the Al Gore surrogate proceeded to give a very Gore-like presentation with pictures of Arctic ice sheets, attacks on skeptics’ funding, and anecdotal reports of extreme weather events such as droughts.

Taylor opened his rebuttal by pointing out that global warming alarmists need to prove all four of the following to show that humans are creating a global warming crisis: (1) that temperatures are unusually warm by historical standards, (2) that humans are the primary cause of recent warming, (3) that a warmer climate is substantially worse than a colder climate, and (4) that global warming activists offer solutions that would achieve meaningful real-world results. Taylor then presented dozens of slides with objective data and peer-reviewed studies showing alarmists can prove none of the four necessary components of an asserted global warming crisis. While presenting his data and studies, Taylor repeatedly pointed out that Bellamy relied merely on anecdotal assertions rather than objective long-term data or peer-reviewed studies.

Bellamy Mishaps

During the question-and-answer segment, Bellamy embarrassingly had to pass on a question about historical carbon dioxide levels. Taylor then answered the question with ease.

During closing remarks, Bellamy was embarrassed again when Taylor caught him misrepresenting a statement made by Heartland Institute president Joe Bast. As an audience member called out to Bellamy, “He caught you, didn’t he?” Taylor scolded Bellamy for misrepresenting Bast and for earlier launching ad hominem attacks on climate scientists who disagree with Bellamy’s point of view.

Alarmists Admit Defeat

Prior to the debate, environmental activist groups throughout northern Florida rallied supporters to show up at the debate and support Bellamy. Global warming activists appeared to form a clear majority of the more than 260 people attending the debate, but even Bellamy’s supporters admitted afterward that Taylor scored a decisive victory.

“A number of attenders had their viewpoint about climate change not being a crisis confirmed,” global warming alarmist Pam McVety lamented in an article published in the Tallahassee Democrat. “The audience experienced the climate denial machine at its best.”

Despite the one-sided debate, McVety refused to change her mind on the topic.  “Being a good debater does not mean your facts or conclusions are correct,” McVety protested.

“Judging it as a pure debate, Bellamy came in second,” admitted Tallahassee Democrat columnist Mark Hohmeister, who then attempted to reargue Bellamy’s presentation for him.

On a Facebook page titled, “Crash a Tea Party!!” more than two dozen people eagerly let it be known they would attend the debate to “have Dr. Ray Bellamy’s back.” After the debate, however, few people posted and fewer still were in good spirits.

“What did you expect?” one activist moaned after the debate. “But it was fun getting the excellent look at the Face of the Beast,” the activist posted in answer to his own question.

More HERE  (See the original for links)

Government issues warnings, but are rising temperatures a health risk?

Last Friday, the National Climate Assessment and Development Advisory Committee (NCADAC) issued a draft report titled “Climate Change and the American People.” The report was produced by the 60-person NCADAC and supported by the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration of our federal government. The report concludes that “Climate change is already affecting the American people” and that US communities will face “economic or health-related challenges.” Sadly, common sense is hard to find in the 1146-page document.

The report is driven by the misguided ideology of Climatism, the belief that man-made greenhouse gases are destroying Earth’s climate. According to Climatism, Earth’s climate has been unchanging for thousands of years, but carbon dioxide emissions from human society are now causing dangerous global warming. Further, any change in Earth’s climate must be bad for US citizens.

The document uses the word “extreme” more than 600 times to create an alarming picture of the future. It predicts “extreme heat events…extreme weather…extreme snowstorms…extreme winds…extreme drought…extreme floods…extreme rainfall” and many other “extremes,” all claimed to be due mankind’s relatively small emissions of CO2, a trace gas in our atmosphere. The report’s conclusions are based on computer model projections.

Yet, there is no empirical evidence to show that US climate events are becoming more severe. When Hurricane Sandy devastated New York City last year, it was only a Category 1 storm in terms of wind speed. No strong hurricane (Category 3 winds or stronger) has made landfall in the US during the last seven years, the longest such period on record. The count of strong to violent US tornadoes has been flat to declining over the last 30 years. Even a chart on page 59 of the NCADAC report shows that US droughts were most severe during the 1930s and 1950s.

It would take a PhD thesis to refute all the unsupported assertions in the report, so let’s focus on just one—the claim that warm temperatures are a health risk for US citizens. In Chapter 9, the document states, “Extreme heat events have long threatened public health in U.S. metropolitan areas…climate projections indicate that extreme heat events will be more frequent and intense in coming decades.” The chapter goes on to conclude that climate change will cause an “increase in heat-related deaths.”

The computer models cited in the NCADAC report estimate, on average, that global temperature will increase by 3oC (5.4oF) by the year 2100. According to the report, this will be a health hazard for U.S. citizens due to extreme heat waves. The average temperature in Chicago is 49oF and the average temperature in St. Louis is 56oF, a difference of 3.9oC. Are more people dying in St. Louis due to this “extreme” temperature difference?

Earlier this month, I flew to Houston with a planeload of coughing and sneezing passengers. The news media reports that we’re in the midst of an influenza epidemic. The Center for Disease Control defines the US flu season to be from October to March. According to the World Health Organization of the United Nations, the flu season for the Southern Hemisphere is from April to October, during their winter months. Could it be that cold climate has a greater negative impact on human health than warmer climate?

In fact, scientific studies show that more people get sick in cold weather and more people die as a result. The late Dr. William Keating of Queen Mary and Westfield College led a team that studied temperature-related deaths for people aged 65 to 74 in six European nations. Keating’s team found that deaths related to cold temperatures were more than nine times greater than those related to hot temperatures in Europe. Heart attacks, strokes, and respiratory illness were responsible for most of the cold-weather deaths.

Dr. Matthew Falagas of the Alfa Institute of Medical Sciences in Athens, Greece, analyzed seasonal mortality for eleven nations, including the United States. The research showed that the average number of deaths per month was lower in summer and fall months and peaked in the coldest months of the year for all nations.

Most of us have an Aunt Susan or an Uncle Henry who has retired or plans to retire to another climate. The favored locations are Alaska, Canada, and North Dakota, right? Nonsense! Senior citizens wish to retire to the warm climates of Florida, Texas, and Arizona. But don’t they know our government warns about premature death in warm climates? In fact, Aunt Susan and Uncle Henry have more common sense than the US government.


Global Warming: A Geological Perspective

A paper titled "Global Warming: A Geological Perspective," published in Environmental Geosciences, and summarized below in Arizona Geology, should be required reading for all climate scientists.

The paper notes that if "the temperature increase during the past 130 years reflects recovery from the Little Ice Age, it is not unreasonable to expect the temperature to rise another 2 to 2.5 degrees Celsius to a level comparable to that of the Medieval Warm Period about 800 years ago"

and that

"Climatic changes measured during the last 100 years are not unique or even unusual when compared with the frequency, rate, and magnitude of changes that have taken place since the beginning of the Holocene Epoch.  Recent fluctuations in temperature, both upward and downward, are well within the limits observed in nature prior to human influence."

Sadly, most climate scientists fail to study or understand the geologic history of climate, which has led to countless false claims that today's climate is unnatural, extreme, unusual, or unprecedented.

From the summary paper:

A review of research on past temperatures and variations led us to the following conclusions:

1.  Climate is in continual flux: the average annual temperature is usually either rising or falling and the temperature is never static for a long period of time.

2.  Observed climatic changes occurred over widespread areas, probably on the global scale.

3.  Climate changes must be judged against the natural climatic variability that occurs on a comparable time scale.  The Little Ice Age, Medieval Warm Period, and similar events are part of this natural variability.  These events correspond to global changes of 1 - 2 C.

4.  Global temperatures appear to be rising, irrespective of any human influence, as Earth continues to emerge from the Little Ice Age.  If the temperature increase during the past 130 years reflects recovery from the Little Ice Age, it is not unreasonable to expect the temperature to rise another 2 to 2.5 degrees Celsius to a level comparable to that of the Medieval Warm Period about 800 years ago.  The Holocene Epoch, as a whole, has been a remarkably stable period with few extremes of either rising or falling temperatures, as were common during Pleistocene glacial and interglacial periods.  Nevertheless, the Holocene has been, and still is, a time of fluctuating climate.

5.  Climatic changes measured during the last 100 years are not unique or even unusual when compared with the frequency, rate, and magnitude of changes that have taken place since the beginning of the Holocene Epoch.  Recent fluctuations in temperature, both upward and downward, are well within the limits observed in nature prior to human influence.


Paper finds increase in US sunshine has had 4.4 times more effect than greenhouse gases since 1996

A paper published today in the Journal of Geophysical Research - Atmospheres finds that due to a decrease in cloud cover, solar radiation has significantly increased over the US from 1996 to 2011.

The authors note the change in longwave (infrared) surface radiation "dwarfs the [alleged contribution] from the increase of CO2 during the analysis period." According to the paper, the natural variability due to changes in sunshine has had 4.4 times greater effect on surface radiation than increased greenhouse gases since 1996 [6.6/1.5 = 4.4]. According to the authors:

    "The network average total surface net radiation increases by +8.2 Wm−2 per decade from 1996 to 2011. A significant upward trend in downwelling shortwave [solar radiation](SW-down) of +6.6 Wm−2 per decade dominates the total surface net radiation signal. This [brightening of solar radiation] is attributed to a decrease in cloud coverage, and aerosols have only a minor effect. Increasing downwelling longwave [radiation from greenhouse gases](LW-down) of +1.5 Wm−2 per decade and decreasing upwelling LW [infrared radiation from the Earth surface] (LW-up) of −0.9 Wm−2 per decade produce a +2.3 Wm−2 per decade increase in surface net-LW, which dwarfs the expected contribution to LW-down from the 30 ppm increase of CO2 during the analysis period. The dramatic surface net radiation excess should have stimulated surface energy fluxes, but, oddly, the temperature trend is flat."

The paper adds to many other peer reviewed papers documenting a global decrease in cloud cover or 'global brightening' over various periods and locations beginning the the 1980's. This decrease in cloud cover alone could account for all global warming observed since the ice age scare of the 1970's.
Variability of the surface radiation budget over the United States from 1996 through 2011 from high-quality measurements

John A. Augustine, Ellsworth G. Dutton


Sixteen years of high-quality surface radiation budget (SRB) measurements over seven U.S. stations are summarized. The network average total surface net radiation increases by +8.2 Wm−2 per decade from 1996 to 2011. A significant upward trend in downwelling shortwave (SW-down) of +6.6 Wm−2 per decade dominates the total surface net radiation signal. This SW brightening is attributed to a decrease in cloud coverage, and aerosols have only a minor effect. Increasing downwelling longwave (LW-down) of +1.5 Wm−2 per decade and decreasing upwelling LW (LW-up) of −0.9 Wm−2 per decade produce a +2.3 Wm−2 per decade increase in surface net-LW, which dwarfs the expected contribution to LW-down from the 30 ppm increase of CO2 during the analysis period. The dramatic surface net radiation excess should have stimulated surface energy fluxes, but, oddly, the temperature trend is flat, and specific humidity decreases. The enigmatic nature of LW-down, temperature, and moisture may be a chaotic result of their large interannual variations. Interannual variation of the El Niño/Southern Oscillation (ENSO) ONI index is shown to be moderately correlated with temperature, moisture, and LW-down. Thus, circulations associated with ENSO events may be responsible for manipulating (e.g., by advection or convection) the excess surface energy available from the SRB increase. It is clear that continued monitoring is necessary to separate the SRB's response to long-term climate processes from natural variability and that collocated surface energy flux measurements at the SRB stations would be beneficial.



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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