Friday, March 08, 2013

Earth's Average Temperature Lower Now Than It Was 5,000 Years Ago

The recent study summarized below has been misreported by Warmists as supporting their cause.  But as we see below, the only support is speculative.  They PROJECT that FUTURE warming will be great because recent warming has been faster than average.  But not only could that stop, it has in fact already stopped

That's the conclusion of a new study, "A Reconstruction of Regional and Global Temperature for the past 11,300 Years," being published in the journal Science today. But before drawing in a sigh of relief about the future of global warming, the researchers also point out that the rapid warming over the last century has essentially cancelled out 2,000 years of gradual cooling.

The researchers from Oregon State University and Harvard University came to their results by combining 73 different proxy climate records (assembled into what they call stacks) spanning the past 11,500 years. They report:

    "Our results indicate that global mean temperature for the decade 2000–2009 has not yet exceeded the warmest temperatures of the early Holocene (5000 to 10,000 yr B.P.). These temperatures are, however, warmer than 82% of the Holocene distribution as represented by the Standard5×5 stack, or 72% after making plausible corrections for inherent smoothing of the high frequencies in the stack. In contrast, the decadal mean global temperature of the early 20th century (1900–1909) was cooler than >95% of the Holocene distribution under both the Standard 5×5 and high-frequency corrected scenarios. Global temperature, therefore, has risen from near the coldest to the warmest levels of the Holocene within the past century, reversing the long-term cooling trend that began ~5000 yr B.P."

From the abstract:

"Surface temperature reconstructions of the past 1500 years suggest that recent warming is unprecedented in that time. Here we provide a broader perspective by reconstructing regional and global temperature anomalies for the past 11,300 years from 73 globally distributed records. Early Holocene (10,000 to 5000 years ago) warmth is followed by approx. 0.7°C cooling through the middle to late Holocene (less than 5000 years ago), culminating in the coolest temperatures of the Holocene during the Little Ice Age, about 200 years ago. This cooling is largely associated with approx. 2°C change in the North Atlantic. Current global temperatures of the past decade have not yet exceeded peak interglacial values but are warmer than during approx 75% of the Holocene temperature history. Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change model projections for 2100 exceed the full distribution of Holocene temperature under all plausible greenhouse gas emission scenarios."

The new study finds that changes in the amount of summertime sunlight striking the Northern Hemisphere due to changes in the Earth's orbital orientation toward the sun is chiefly responsible for the recent alternation between Ice Ages and warmer periods like the one we're currently in. From the study's press release:

    "During the warmest period of the Holocene, the Earth was positioned such that Northern Hemisphere summers warmed more," [Shaun] Marcott, [lead author from OSU] said. "As the Earth's orientation changed, Northern Hemisphere summers became cooler, and we should now be near the bottom of this long-term cooling trend – but obviously, we are not."

So how do recent changes in global average temperature compare to the past record of climate? Again from the press release:

    "The last century stands out as the anomaly in this record of global temperature since the end of the last ice age," said Candace Major, program director in the National Science Foundation's Division of Ocean Sciences, which co-funded the research with NSF's Division of Atmospheric and Geospace Sciences. "This research shows that we've experienced almost the same range of temperature change since the beginning of the industrial revolution as over the previous 11,000 years of Earth history – but this change happened a lot more quickly."


A Reconstruction of Regional and Global Temperature for the Past 11,300 Years

By Shaun A. Marcott et al.


Surface temperature reconstructions of the past 1500 years suggest that recent warming is unprecedented in that time. Here we provide a broader perspective by reconstructing regional and global temperature anomalies for the past 11,300 years from 73 globally distributed records. Early Holocene (10,000 to 5000 years ago) warmth is followed by approx. 0.7°C cooling through the middle to late Holocene (less than 5000 years ago), culminating in the coolest temperatures of the Holocene during the Little Ice Age, about 200 years ago. This cooling is largely associated with approx. 2°C change in the North Atlantic. Current global temperatures of the past decade have not yet exceeded peak interglacial values but are warmer than during approx 75% of the Holocene temperature history. Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change model projections for 2100 exceed the full distribution of Holocene temperature under all plausible greenhouse gas emission scenarios.


Capitalists do it with the lights on

It’s that time of year again when we at the Competitive Enterprise Institute celebrate the innovative power of humanity and demonstrate our commitment to protecting the rights of individuals against government action that would limit our ability to use earth’s resources and thus hinder human progress. We call this celebration Human Achievement Hour (HAH).

On Saturday, March 23 at 8:30pm (local time), some people, businesses and governments around the world will choose to sit in the dark for one hour as a symbolic gesture to take action against climate change. The organizers of Earth Hour say that they no  longer expect energy use to actually drop during the hour, but instead see it as a way for people to show their commitment to reducing energy use and taking action beyond the hour.

It’s absolutely every person’s right to decide if they want to conserve energy for whatever reason; they are free to sit in the dark as long as they want. However, it should not be their right to impose their beliefs or opinions on others. And that is what is at the heart of the environmentalist movement. While many participants in Earth Hour sincerely want a cleaner environment — a desire most of us share — the environmentalist movement whether implicitly or explicitly seeks to clamp down on human progress by reducing energy consumption whether through regulation and taxation. They want to make fossil fuels, which they see as dirty, more expensive to encourage the use of renewable “greener” energies.

Despite any good intentions, the ultimate result of environmentalist policies is not a healthier, cleaner environment. Instead we will see a population that is sicker and poorer. The only way we achieve technology that is “greener” is by building on older “dirtier” technology. As we make it harder and more expensive for those in the business of creating new technologies, all we do is slow progress and make it that much longer to reach more environmentally friendly solutions.

Even worse, as we make energy more expense we make everything more expensive. As a result individuals have less money and less time. And it’s hard to worry about the environment when you’re focused on putting food on the table, keeping your job, raising your kids, paying for your home, etc.

At 8:30pm on March 23rd, we at CEI will not turn our lights. In fact, we’ll be throwing a party to which you are all invited. Wherever you are in the world, we invite you to take part in Human Achievement Hour, a celebration of individual freedom and appreciation of the accomplishments and innovations of humans throughout history. To celebrate participants need only spend the 8:30pm to 9:30pm hour on March 31 enjoying the benefits of human innovation: gather with friends under the glow of electric lights, listen to music, read a book, drink a beer, or call a loved one on the phone. HAH celebrants can also utilize one of man’s greatest achievements, the Internet, to join CEI’s in-house party, which will be streaming live on the Web at beginning at 8pm and you can use the chat function to tell us how you are celebrating human achievement in your neighborhood.

See how far we’ve come.


Official Scientific Truth

This article is highly applicable to global warming mongers though not specifically about AGW

A pattern I have observed in a variety of public controversies is the attempt to establish some sort of official scientific truth, as proclaimed by a suitable authority—a committee of the National Academy of Science, the Center for Disease Control, or the equivalent. It is, in my view, a mistake,  one based on a fundamental misunderstanding of how science works. Truth is not established by an authoritative committee but by a decentralized process which (sometimes) results in everyone or almost everyone in the field agreeing.

Part of the problem with that approach is that, the more often it is followed, the less well it will work. You start out with a body that exists to let experts interact with each other, and so really does represent more or less disinterested expert opinion. It is asked to offer an authoritative judgement on some controversy: whether capital punishment deters murder, the effect on crime rates of permitting concealed carry of handguns, the effect of second hand smoke on human health.

The first time it might work, although even then there is the risk that the committee established to give judgement will end up dominated not by the most expert but by the most partisan. But the more times the process is repeated, the greater the incentive of people who want their views to get authoritative support to get themselves or their friends positions of influence within the organization, to keep those they disapprove of out of such positions, and so to divert it from its original purpose to becoming a rubber stamp for their views. The result is to subvert both the organization and the scientific enterprise, especially if support by official truth becomes an important determinant of research funding.

The case which struck me most recently had to do with second hand smoke. A document defending a proposal for a complete smoking ban on my campus was supported by a claim cited to the Center for Disease Control. Following the chain of citations, it turned out that the CDC was basing the claim on something published by the California EPA, which cited no source at all for it. As best I could determine, the claim originated with research that was probably fraudulent, using cherry-picked data to claim enormous and rapid effects from smoking bans. Pretty clearly, the person on my campus who was most responsible for the document had made no attempt to verify the claim himself, merely taken it on the authority of the CDC. For more details see my post on the case.

An interesting older case involved Cyril Burt, a very prominent British Psychologist responsible for early  studies of the heritability of I.Q., a highly controversial subject. After his death he was accused of academic fraud of various sorts. The official organization consulted was The British Psychological Association, which concluded that he was guilty, a conclusion that many people then took, and some still take, for gospel. Subsequently, two different authors published books arguing convincingly that some or all of the charges against him were bogus. Interested readers can find a detailed discussion of the case in Cyrus Burt: Fraud or Framed, which concludes that much, at least, of the case against Burt was in error. I am not certain, but I believe that the BPA later reversed its judgement, withdrawing the claim that his work had been fraudulent. Perhaps one of my readers can confirm that—I did not manage to with a brief Google search.

It is natural enough that observers of such controversies want an authoritative answer from a authoritative source—quoting the CDC is much less work than actually looking at the research a claim is based on. But treating such answers as really authoritative is a mistake, and a pattern of treating them that way a dangerous mistake.


Energy campaigners concerned with protecting environment are 'bourgeois', says British government minister

Energy campaigners concerned with protecting the environment are “bourgeois”, the energy minister suggested yesterday, as he warned that the Government has to focus on “keeping the lights on”.

John Hayes, the Conservative MP for South Holland and The Deepings, dismissed the claims of anti-biofuels campaigners by saying that as a minister he has “got to deal with the practicalities”.

Power stations around the UK are being encouraged to burn wood as part of plans to cut carbon emissions.

Campaigners have warned that biofuels are harmful to the environment and damage valuable land that would otherwise be used for food production.

Sir David King, a former chief scientific adviser to the government, used an interview on BBC Radio 4’s Today programme to voice concerns about the damage biofuels are doing to the environment.

However Mr Hayes dismissed his concerns as “detached, kind of, bourgeois views”.

“My principle responsibility is to keep the lights on and if the lights went off there would be no use in me saying, ‘Well it was for the right reasons’,” Mr Hayes said. “So, energy security is fundamental and that depends on a mix of kinds. Bioenergy is part of that - it’s only part of it."

Mr Hayes was slapped down by Ed Davey, the Energy Secretary, after he last year called for the spread of wind farms across the countryside to be brought to a halt.

Mr Hayes called for an end to wind farms "peppered" all over the countryside and said that “enough is enough”.

His latest comments risk deepening the Coalition rift over Britain’s green agenda.

Mr Hayes yesterday warned that a focus on environmental concerns could lead to an energy crisis.

“I’m trying to do two jobs,” he said. “I’m trying to make sure people get their power and light and heat they need and I’m trying to reduce carbon emissions.

“And you know it’s all very well having these slightly detached, kind of, bourgeois views about these things, but I’ve got to deal with the practicalities.”

He added: “This is about having a balanced policy a balanced energy mix. We need a bit of gas, we need some renewables, we need nuclear, we need a mix because that guarantees sustainability.”

Mr Hayes added: “We need to be careful and of course we need to be responsible. We have already got standards, and we’re doing further work, to make sure the sources of bioenergy will be sustainable.

“I’m very excited by the idea of energy from waste, if we can get our waste policy working with our energy policy that’s truly sustainable.”


British council spends £210,000 of taxpayers' money building two ponds for just 18 NEWTS... that's a cost of £11,666 each

Another Greenie burden on the taxpayer

Town hall bosses will spend £210,000 of taxpayers' money on two new ponds for just 18 newts

Cheshire East Council agreed the plans yesterday after being told it must create new habitats for a colony of great crested newts that are protected by European law before construction on a £30million bypass can begin.

The move has been slammed by campaigners as 'unrealistic' when councils are being forced to slash budgets on frontline services.

The council already has to make £13million of savings this year.

Work on building the new habitat will begin later this month to ensure that the area’s newt population has time to settle into their new habitat.

A council spokesperson said: 'Great crested newts are a protected species and as such we are required by law to protect their habitat.

'The £26.5m Crewe Green Link road is a major infrastructure project that will impact on their environment. The money is being used to create a suitable wildlife habitat, including the ponds, that will ensure the species continue to thrive.'

Plans for the 1.1km Crewe Green Link Road - running between Crewe and Stoke-on-Trent - went straight through an area dubbed ‘pond capital of Europe’.

An environmental survey of the affected area counted just 18 of the rare amphibians spread over a 500m area - putting the cost of the project at £11,666.66p per newt.

Construction of the bypass cannot go ahead until the newts are relocated to a new habitat next year.

The ecological study centered around wetlands on either side of Basford Brook, near the village of Weston, Cheshire - known as ‘the pond capital of Europe’ and noted for its wildlife.

Ecologists surveyed 30 ponds, marshes and swamps and found great crested newts in 14 of them.

The largest newt population discovered in a single pond was just six, although eggs were found at ten sites.

The discovery of the newts, which are protected by EU law, has already delayed construction.

The species are one of the most protected in Europe and one of the most endangered.  Population numbers are estimated at about 400,000 in the UK.

The cost of creating ‘artificial wetland’ areas is expected to reach £190,000, with an extra £20,000 needed to cover legal and surveying costs.

A report to the council said: 'The construction of the proposed Crewe Green Link Road South will result in the loss of natural great crested newt habitat areas which in accordance with protected species guidelines must be mitigated by the provision of suitable alternative habitat.

'This is also a condition of our planning permission for the road.

'The council will be able to claim some of the money back from the Department for Transport, which is providing 60 per cent of the funding for the bypass - but only if the road scheme goes ahead.'

Matthew Sinclair, Chief Executive of TaxPayers’ Alliance said: 'This is an incredible amount of money to spend on relocating a group of amphibians to a new pond.

'For the size of this bill the authorities could have moved several families, not just a group of newts.

'Protecting endangered wildlife is important, but councils must ensure the costs of doing so are realistic and affordable to taxpayers.'

A Wildlife Trust spokesman said the area - between the A500 and A5020 - was known as a major newt habitat.

He said: 'This area is an important stronghold for great crested newts, given its long history of ponds and small wetlands. It may even be the "pond capital" of Europe.

'The creation of new ponds, especially if well-managed, is a tried-and-tested conservation technique to safeguard these rare amphibians.'


British judge rejects bid by recycling lobby to force millions of families to sort all rubbish into five separate bins

DEFRA has admitted that much of the household waste collected for recycling still goes to landfill

Millions of families were today spared the threat of having to split up their household rubbish into at least five separate bags and boxes.

A judge rejected a legal bid by the recycling industry - backed by green pressure groups - to enforce rigorous new recycling rules on every home in the country.

The new recycling regime would have required every council to demand that householders separate their rubbish for recycling into different bins for paper, metal, plastic and glass.

The system would have meant families would also have had to use yet more bins for food and non-recycling rubbish, and for garden waste.

Seven recycling firms who are part of the Campaign for Real Recycling - an organisation also backed by environmental groups including Friends of the Earth - said the complicated recycling rules are necessary to meet the demands of the EU's Waste Framework Directive.

But in a judicial review heard in the High Court in Cardiff, Mr Justice Hickinbottom said it was 'unambiguously clear' that local councils had a right to set their own rules on how to recycle, based on economic and technical practicalities.

The decision comes against a background of continuing political tension over how household rubbish is collected.

Local councils, and both Labour and Coalition governments, have faced discontent from voters following the introduction of compulsory recycling schemes.  These include the notorious fortnightly collection systems and kitchen slopbucket collections in which families can be asked to use as many as nine different bins.

Last month the Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs admitted that much of the household waste collected for recycling in fact goes to landfill, and that published recycling figures are exaggerated.

It acknowledged that a high proportion of rubbish put out for recycling by householders is rejected by recycling processors as too impure for use in processing plants.

At the same time DEFRA also conceded for the first time that recycling rules have been set out not to meet any British requirements but to comply with the terms of the Brussels directive.

About four in 10 homes in England and Wales already have rubbish collection rules that demand they use separate bins for paper, metal, plastics and glass.

The recycling firms who brought the Cardiff judicial review said that in order to comply with EU rules householders should be made to ensure that recycling is carefully sorted before it is collected by the binmen.

Mr Justice Hickinbottom said in his ruling: 'They are all members of the Campaign for Real Recycling, and their commercial interest in this claim is underpinned by a strong belief in the environmental benefits of recycling.'

The companies said the EU Waste Framework Directive, agreed in 2008 and which went into operation in 2010, sets down that 'waste shall be collected separately if technically, environmentally and economically practicable, and shall not be mixed with other waste or other material with different properties.'

But the judge said that the primary objective of the EU regulation was the protection of the environment and public health, not the enforcement of separate collection of waste.

'It would be contrary to principle, and fundamentally incongruous, if the directive were to require separate collection of each of the four waste streams, if such collection were not necessary to achieve the higher objectives of the directive,' Mr Justice Hickinbottom said.

'The evidence before me does not begin to justify the assertion that such collection is in all circumstances necessary for the achievement of the directive's objectives or any of them.'

The judge refused the recycling companies the right to take their claim to the EU's Court of Justice in Luxembourg.

A spokesman for DEFRA said after the judgement was made public: 'This ruling shows our interpretation of the Waste Framework Directive is right.

'It recognises that it is for local authorities to decide, within the law, whether separate recycling collections are necessary and practicable.

'We will continue to work with local authorities, the waste industry and other partners to provide waste services that meet the needs of local communities and improve the quality of recycling.'




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


1 comment:

John A said...


So the idea is to make "new" ponds, then capture the newts and transport them. Di noone consider bypassing the first step, capture and transport to ponds which relatives have already found congenial?