Monday, April 22, 2013

A new hockeystick!

I reproduce below a Warmist take on some recent research, followed by the journal abstract. It's interesting to note their finding that there was great variation in different regions of the earth.  Not much of what was observed of climate was global.

Their claim that there was no such thing as a Medieval warm period has been exhausively debated previously with worldwide evidence confirming the phenomenon so is unlikely to hold up.  One suspects that as with the last hockeystick (Marcott et al.) the authors will eventually admit that the finding is "not robust".

The point that the authors fail to stress, however, is that the warming of the last c.150 years is very slight  -- less than 1 degree Celsius -- and hence no basis for any alarm even if it continues, which it is not doing

UPDATE: Note also that thermometer records (much more accurate than the proxies used below) show that the warming took place over the last c.150 years, not just from 1971, as claimed below. The 1971 date complies with Warmist theory but not the facts

Warming over the 20th century produced the hottest global average temperatures in 1400 years, a major scientific research project has found.

In a paper published in the journal Nature Geoscience on Monday, an international team of scientists reconstructed temperatures over the past 2000 years using proxy records such as tree-ring measurements, pollen sampling, coral reefs, ice cores and historical records.

The study found that the global warming that began in the late-19th century reversed a long cooling trend across the planet that lasted well over 1000 years.

One of the authors of the paper, Dr Steven Phipps from the University of NSW's ARC Centre of Excellence for Climate System Science, said: "The striking feature about the sudden rise in 20th century global average temperature is that it comes after an overall cooling trend that lasted more than a millennium.

"This research shows that in just a century the Earth has reversed 1400 years of cooling."

When the reconstructed temperatures are averaged across the planet, the best estimate of past temperatures finds 1971–2000 was warmer than any other time in nearly 1400 years.

But some of the seven different regions studied may have experienced similar or warmer temperatures at other times.

The paper says the findings do not consider uncertainty associated with the temperature estimates, and the reconstruction for each area covered different periods within the 2000 years, depending on the availability of data.

In Australia and Asia, the reconstructed temperature was highest during 1971–2000 than at any other period over the studied timelines.

The paper says the millennium-long cooling trend – and earlier warmer temperatures – were primarily driven by natural cycles in the Earth's orbit and some volcano and solar activity. But natural influences do not account for the dramatic global temperature rises of the 20th century, the report says.

Rising greenhouse gas emissions are attributed to human activity, mainly from the burning of fossil fuels and, while the recent warming is a global trend, other temperature anomaly periods – such as the Mediaeval Warm Period and the Little Ice Age – occurred only regionally.

Professor Jonathan Overpeck, visiting fellow of the Victorian Centre for Climate Change Adaptation Research, said it confirmed that recent global and continental-scale warming was "very unusual" in recent Earth history and was driven mostly by human emissions of greenhouse gases.

Continental-scale temperature variability during the past two millennia

By Moinuddin Ahmed et al.


Past global climate changes had strong regional expression. To elucidate their spatio-temporal pattern, we reconstructed past temperatures for seven continental-scale regions during the past one to two millennia. The most coherent feature in nearly all of the regional temperature reconstructions is a long-term cooling trend, which ended late in the nineteenth century.

At multi-decadal to centennial scales, temperature variability shows distinctly different regional patterns, with more similarity within each hemisphere than between them.

There were no globally synchronous multi-decadal warm or cold intervals that define a worldwide Medieval Warm Period or Little Ice Age, but all reconstructions show generally cold conditions between AD 1580 and 1880, punctuated in some regions by warm decades during the eighteenth century.

The transition to these colder conditions occurred earlier in the Arctic, Europe and Asia than in North America or the Southern Hemisphere regions.

Recent warming reversed the long-term cooling; during the period AD 1971–2000, the area-weighted average reconstructed temperature was higher than any other time in nearly 1,400 years.


Bummer: According to Al Gore, we now have only three years "to avert a major [CO2-induced] catastrophe that could send our entire planet’s climate system into a tail-spin of epic destruction"

No sign of it yet but that's prophecy for you

    [2006] "Humanity is sitting on a time bomb. If the vast majority of the world’s scientists are right, we have just 10 years to avert a major catastrophe that could send our entire planet’s climate system into a tail-spin of epic destruction . . ."

    This quote, spoken by Al Gore in his movie, “An Inconvenient Truth,” embodies the fear that is driving the modern environmental movement.


Celebrate Earth Day by Expanding Our Carbon Footprint

Every year I celebrate Earth Day with tips and ideas on how readers can expand their carbon footprint.  Below you’ll find the newest, top ten ways I recommend to expand your carbon footprint on May 22nd, 2013 Anno Domini.

10) Take unnecessary trips in your electric car.

Run that battery down to nothing. Electric cars need fuel and that fuel comes from power plants run mostly on coal. There’s no quicker way to expand your carbon footprint than using that “green” car and powering it up nightly.

9) Use a Metro Light Rail system instead of your car.

“When taken as a whole, then,” writes Cato’s Randal O’Toole, “most transit systems with light rail use more energy and emit more greenhouse gases per passenger kilometre than they did when they operated only buses. Most also use more energy and emit more carbon dioxide, per passenger kilometre, than typical automobiles.”

O’Toole says that light rail only appeals to: 1) downtown real estate interests; 2) Seimens, the light rail contractor; and 3) people who hate autos.

All aboard!

8) Move to Germany!

Yes, the model for renewable energy development in the industrial world has yielded impressive results. And they do it by subsidizing a new, technological breakthrough that’s coming to you very soon. Yes, very soon we’ll all be able to power our electric vehicles through coal-powered plants that supplement coal with the use of wood.

Mmmm. I don’t know about you, but I just love the smell of a wood fire wafting around the city.  It makes it smell like Christmas- or Winter Holi-Day for of you who are only “spiritual.” For atheists, the smell can remind you of December 25th, 2012 C.E.

7) Build a wind farm.

You too can find out what rural, depression era residents knew: The widespread adoption of wind power eventually will lead to the creation of a large, nationalized effort to electrify the country with more reliable, fossil or hydro-based electrical generation, just as they did with the Tennessee Valley Authority.  Since nuclear and hydro are impossible to permit, prepare for coal-fired and oil-fired plants to come out of mothballs.

There’s nothing like the smell of diesel wafting around a city to remind people that it’s Earth Day, C.E. Infinity or, for those of us who are heretics and apostates, May 22nd, 2013 A.D.  

6) Move into Al Gore’s house.

No house in America uses more fossil fuel than Big Al’s. According to one source Gore buys coal left over from the age of Charles Dickens, extracted by Welsh miners, who on average were paid less than a penny per day. It’s transported to America an old diesel powered bulk freighter named I’ll Always Be the Real Number 43.

Gore then uses the black, Welsh, rock to boil water that heats his 23 swimming pools, 271 waterfalls and keep his mountain streams at a constant 77 degrees for the benefit of his pet coy.

There are other ways moving in with Al can help expand our carbon footprint. Can our readers identify them all?  

5) Buy a Chevy Volt.

In addition to the massive amount of fossil-fuel generated electricity, that Volt uses the pollution from the manufacture and disposal of the $8,000 battery, there is one other ways that the Chevy Volt expands our earth’s environmental footprint.

While spontaneous engine fires so far have failed to consume an entire Volt, the winner of the 2012 European Journalist award for Car of the Year (C.E.), scientists estimate that a fully consumed GM green car would emit more carbon than another Al Gore run for the presidency.

There, I’ve done it: Gore 2016?

4) Blog about the vast right-wing conspiracy.

No new technology in the past 30 years has contributed to increasing fossil fuel emissions than the adoption of computer technology. From server farms, to high- speed networks, to computer chip enabled phones, tablets and PCs, the electronic age is consuming more and more electricity.

And since the U.S. has failed to adopt progressive, European renewable energy policies like burning wood in stoves, water heaters and furnaces, the leading sources of renewable hot air in the U.S. comes from blogging.

So plug in those IPhones, tablets and PCs. And write with indignation about Big Oil, while pretending to be green.

“Let’s Pretend,” as we know, is a very important keystone of many liberal policies.        

3) Support 420!

Quick: Does anyone know how much carbon is in a gram of weed? Does anyone who cares about weed, care about the environment? If you had to pick between smoking weed and the environment, which would you pick?

That’s right, you’d be eating brownies or drinking tea made from ganja.

Bunch of Tea Baggers.

2) Live in a tiny house.

OK, living in a tiny house will do nothing to expand your carbon footprint. But it would be really funny to see you guys blow out the fuse box of a mini house when you overload the electrical system charging you car, your tablet, your PC, your phone and your E-420 stick, while washing your clothes in a mountain stream.

Actually, I think ALL environmentalists should be forced to register as high-capacity B.S. magazines and forced to live in houses measuring only 200 square feet.

Although I think the right of free speech shouldn’t be abridged, no one should be allowed to dish out as much bull as they do and cause as much damage without some control over how quickly they re-load.    

1) Occupy Wall Street, again.  

Who can forget the day the people who Occupied Wall Street in order to save the world left behind 26 loads of garbage?

“I pick up garbage [for a living], and these were some of the worst smells I’ve ever experienced,’’ one sanitation worker told the NY Post.

Gives a whole new meaning to carbon footprint.


EU’s Empty Climate Policy Reflects the Impossibility of a Global Climate Treaty (which is great for humankind)

I’ve long argued that the European Union’s climate policy is full of sound and fury, but signifies nothing. During the last 20 years, EU officials have been quick to blather about their supposed leadership on climate, based on a putative “success” reducing greenhouse gas emissions. But this has always been a mirage. In fact, EU emissions reductions since its adoption of the Kyoto Protocol have been largely derivative of unintended consequences stemming from three events that have nothing today with climate mitigation policy. They are: (1) the shutdown of Soviet-bloc heavy industry; (2) the United Kingdom’s “dash to gas”; and (3) the Great Recession.

Meanwhile, EU’s actual climate policies have been ongoing failures. Take the EU’s goal of improving energy efficiency 9% by 2016 and 20% by 2020. Ex-EU bureaucrat whistleblowers recently told EUractiv that EU member states have relied on “tricks and abuses” to create the appearance that they are on track to achieve the targets. In January, the European Court of Auditors published a scathing audit of how EU member states spent almost $6.6 billion in subsidies to achieve the energy efficiency targets. From the press release:

“None of the projects we looked at had a needs assessment or even an analysis of the energy savings potential in relation to investments”, said Harald Wögerbauer, the ECA member responsible for the report, “The Member States were essentially using this money to refurbish public buildings while energy efficiency was, at best, a secondary concern.”

In order to better control the earth’s thermostat, the EU also has implemented a Soviet-style, green energy production quota of 20% by 2020. While member states have spent billions of dollars of taxpayer subsidies in order to support the EU’s green energy goals, the EU Commission in late March warned that, “There are reasons for concern about future progress; the transposition of the directive [the green energy production quota] has been slower than wished, also due to the current economic crisis in Europe.”

In layman’s terms, this means that a lot of European countries spent a lot of money on expensive, green energy during the boom-time 2000s. But the boom has since gone bust, and these countries are now reducing unsustainable green energy subsidies. Because the green energy industry cannot compete without ever-more generous taxpayer give-aways, EU bureaucrats are justifiably concerned that their green energy production quota won’t be met.

But the EU’s biggest joke of a climate policy—by far—has been the Emissions Trading Scheme, a cap-and-trade. It’s actually failed twice. During its first phase, the over allocation of carbon rationing coupons led to windfall profits for utilities, but no actual emissions reductions, as the carbon price plummeted. This week, during its phase three, the Emissions Trading Scheme collapsed again, and this time, it appears to be down for good. According to an article from yesterday’s EUractiv,

"The EU’s flagship scheme for cutting carbon emissions suffered one of the most serious setbacks in its chequered history on Tuesday (16 April), when MEPs voted against a proposal to shore up the price of carbon in the Emissions Trading System (ETS)."

The proposed reform – known as “backloading” – aimed to reverse the plummeting price of carbon that has resulted from a surplus of permits in the ETS market. If successful, the reform would have resulted in the postponement of a series of auctions of carbon permits.

But MEPs in Strasbourg voted 334 against the reform, with 315 in favour, leading green campaigners to condemn the defeat as a “monumental failure” to mend the carbon trading market, which is Europe’s flagship climate policy and the biggest in the world. “They have lost all credibility on climate leadership,” said Doug Parr, Greenpeace UK’s chief scientist."

EU bureaucrats shouldn’t fret over their climate policy failures, which were inevitable. In a anarchic order of global states defined by self-help, no block of countries could ever sacrifice on behalf the whole, especially if these countries’ sacrifice was expensive, yet would fail to solve the problem at hand. Realism similarly dooms any chance that there could ever be a global regime to fight climate change. According to the International Energy Agency, it would cost $45 trillion through 2050 to implement the climate goals adopted by the United Nations. There is ZERO precedent for burden sharing of that magnitude among the states of the world, save for global warfare. Despite the alarmists’ best efforts, global warming will never be perceived as a clear and present danger on par with world war. The upshot is that there’s a snowball’s chance in hell for a viable climate treaty.

As I and others have argued before, this guaranteed inaction is a great thing, because climate policies are worse for human kind than climate change.


Late blooming cherry trees in DC prove global cooling

Using Warmist logic they do anyway

As we have previously noted, the peak bloom date of DC’s cherry blossom trees has been delayed this year. While it was originally predicted to take place during March 23-26, it wasn’t until last Tuesday—April 9th—that it actually started, checking in 20 days later than last year.

Earlier peak blooms in past years have triggered a variety of global warming-related news articles. The Huffington Post characterized the cherry blossom trees as humanity-serving “global warming canaries” and the Washington Post suggested that the trees could one day be blooming in winter. However, this year’s late peak bloom date has not received the same treatment. As a matter of fact, we can’t find any examples of GW being discussed in connection with this year’s late peak bloom. (Are we the only exception?)

Well, today we can definitively announce that peak blooming actually began to plateau in 1998, much like what happened to global warming in general. After the unusually hot year of 1998 (which has been attributed to El Niño), temperatures have actually stopped rising.....

Washington Post’s Jason Samenow wrote an alarmist piece last year called “D.C.’s cherry blossoms have shifted 5 days earlier: what about global warming and the future?” in which he claimed that “there is no reason to think the shift towards earlier bloom dates will not continue”.  Samenow has yet to comment on this year’s absence of an earlier peak bloom, even though his article surely begs for a follow-up. What is Samenow, a plateau denier? Where’s he getting his funding from, the Spring in February Foundation?

Whatever conclusions are to be drawn from various climate change indicators, one thing is rather obvious: GW alarmists say next to nothing when the conclusive, definitive, slam-dunk evidence runs counter to their claims.


Claims and facts about climate change in Australia

by Des Moore

The attempt to portray a picture of ever-rising temperatures continues despite the absence of supporting evidence. It is typified by frequent references to purported and much-repeated "records”, such as “the hottest start to April for eight years” and the supportive claims of “experts” with Nobel Laureate awards in a science, but not necessarily ones awarded for achievements in climate climate science.

For example, The Age recently ran a letter from Professor Peter Doherty denying  a  pause in temperature increases and arguing that a sceptical Spooner cartoon was based on misinformation. Doherty argued that climate scientists are not likely to make errors because they could be subjected to claims of scientific fraud. The professor, it should be noted, won his 1996 Nobel for advancing understanding not of climate or meteorology but the human immune system. (for Spooner's response to Doherty, see the bottom of this column)    

About a month ago Quadrant Online published my analysis of published temperature data, compiled with help from physicist Dr Tom Quirk, showing that the global average recorded a fall in February. The latest data (see the chart below from John Christy, University of Alabama at Huntsville, and drawn from satellite data) shows there was no change in March and confirms there has been no substantive change in annual global average temperatures between 2002 and 2012. I also pointed out that there has been no change worth noting in the 16 years from 1998, while adding that account needs to be taken of the effects attributable to the “high” El Nino activity of that year.

For Australia, following the fall in February, there was an increase in average temperatures in March, but the increase did not fully offset the February fall, and the March level could scarcely be described as “high” (see the chart below). As I have previously pointed out, the failure in recent years to witness a coincidence of temperature and emission increases – supposedly the basis of the scientific consensus -- is nothing new, also having been evident in earlier years.

It remains the case that, while there was an increase in average temperature in the Australian summer (defined as December, January and February), whether that summer temperature was a recent “record” depends on the data source used. Bureau of Meteorology (BOM) data shows that the average temperature in the summer just passed was fractionally higher than in previous summers of the past 25 years or so, while satellite data shows the average was lower than a number of previous summers (see the chart below).

In my earlier Quadrant analysis I drew attention to the Angry Summer report of March 4 by the government’s Climate Commission and to one of the false claims by its head, the paleontologist Tim Flannery, who said: “If you look at the whole Earth system, you can see that strong warming trend”.

Earlier this month the Commission published yet another report with the following heading and introduction:

"THE CRITICAL DECADE: Extreme weather

How quickly and deeply we reduce greenhouse gas emissions will greatly influence the severity of extreme events our children and grandchildren experience. But due to additional greenhouse gases in the atmosphere, the climate system now contains significantly more heat compared to 50 years ago. The severity and frequency of many extreme weather events are increasing due to climate change. Extreme weather has always occurred.

This means that all extreme weather events are influenced by climate change.”

The way in which the phrase “climate change” is used here is, of course, nonsensical: extreme or other weather events must reflect some change in climate. The question is what is causing the change? More substantially, is there evidence that extreme weather events have increased over the past 50 years? If so, does this reflects increased emissions of greenhouse gases?

The IPCC published a report in March 2012 on “Managing the Risks of Extreme Events and Disasters to Advance Climate Change Adaptation”, but this did not advocate quick and deep reductions in greenhouse gases.  While it concluded that “climate change has led to changes in climate extremes such as heat waves, record high temperatures and, in many regions, heavy precipitation in the past half century”, it also noted that while “some extreme weather and climate events lead to disasters, others do not”. The report suggested that “policies to avoid, prepare for, respond to and recover from the risks of disaster can reduce the impact of these events and increase the resilience of people exposed to extreme events”. In short, its authors advocated policies of adaptation to climate change, rather than the urgent reduction of emissions.

“The main message from the report is that we know enough to make good decisions about managing the risks of climate-related disasters. Sometimes we take advantage of this knowledge, but many times we do not,” said Chris Field, Co-Chair of IPCC’s Working Group II, which together with Working Group I produced the report. “The challenge for the future has one dimension focused on improving the knowledge base and one on empowering good decisions, even for those situations where there is lots of uncertainty,” he said.

“The IPCC released the Summary for Policymakers (SPM) of the report in November, 2011. The full report ... provides the basis for the key conclusions first presented in the SPM. It offers a greater understanding of the human and economic costs of disasters and the physical and social patterns that cause them. It enables policy-makers to delve into the detailed information behind the findings to examine the material on which the IPCC based its assessments.”

In adopting an adaptation approach to extreme weather problems, the IPCC report on extreme weather is clearly not on the alarmist track being followed by the Climate Commission. Could the Commission be accused of committing scientific fraud?

It claims to have been “established to provide all Australians with an independent and reliable source of information about the science of climate change, the international action being taken to reduce greenhouse gas emissions, and the economics of a carbon price”. It also claims to be “made up of experts from a range of fields relevant to climate change and is not subject to Government direction. The Commission is also supported by a Science Advisory Panel.”

A case can clearly be made that, at the very least, the Commission is not a reliable source of information even by the low standards of the IPCC. The status of the Commission was discussed last Sunday in an interview by Andrew Bolt with Professor Bob Carter (the transcript can be found here), who pointed out that none of the Commissioners is an expert on climate science.

The best that might be said of their expertise is that they make fit correspondents for the letters page of The Age, which perhaps says even more than their lack of credentials about the degree of seriousness with which their utterances should be taken.

FOOTNOTE: In the following day's Age, Spooner took Professor Doherty to task:

"I am concerned as to why Professor Peter Doherty (Letters, 8/4) does not consult the authorities relied on by the IPCC when lecturing deniers about global warming since 1997. I refer him to an interview with Professor Phil Jones, the director of the Climatic Research Unit at the University of East Anglia (BBC, 13/2/2010); James Hansen, the head of NASA's Goddard Institute for Space Studies, in his paper of March 28, 2013; the UK Met office (Hadcrut 4) graph published 24/12/12 and acknowledged by none other than Rajendra Pachauri, chairman of the IPCC (Graham Lloyd, The Australian, 22/2/2013)".

None of these sources oppose the possibility of dangerous climate change but they all confirm there has been no statistically significant increase in annual global temperatures for between 12 and 17 years. If carbon dioxide emissions have risen about 8 per cent for the last 16 years, why haven't temperatures risen in line with all the computer model projections?

John Spooner, The Age




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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