Friday, November 06, 2015

"Wired" is still holding fast to the Warmist faith

Zwally (who is a Warmist but apparently an honest one) has stirred up a hornet's nest with his latest paper on Antarctic ice. Warmists are coming out of the woodwork all over to cry that ice gain in Antarctica does not mean the end of their hoped-for catastrophe.  The article below from "Wired" seems typical so I thought I might insert some comments into it.

PERHAPS YOU’VE HEARD about the death of climate change. “Antarctica is actually gaining ice,” says NASA. “Is global warming over?” asks one headline writer. Not quite, goes the inevitable hedge.

Well…yes. But no. Climate change is depressingly robust. The new study—published October 30 in the Journal of Glaciology—offers no evidence that the planet’s temperature has returned to pre-1860s levels

[Why should it?  There was some slight warming during C20 which stopped around the beginning of C21 but whether that warming will return is the question and nobody knows that]

Atmospheric carbon dioxide has not dropped below 250 parts per million

[So what? CO2 levels and temperature have been uncorrelated for a long time now].

Sea levels have not receded

[But their rate of growth has not increased, which global warming theory predicts.  Sea levels were increasing long before the alleged anthropogenic global warming].

What has happened is that some parts of Antarctica are (maybe) freezing faster than other parts are melting.

About which, hooray! If the study is correct in its assessment of Antarctica’s freeze, that is. Some climate scientists say the study itself might be flawed.

Antarctica is losing ice, mostly from its western ice sheets

[You'd warm up if you had a volcano under you too].

This new study says that accumulation in the continent’s interior is offsetting that progressive sloughing, for a net gain of about 100 billion tons of ice per year (though it has been slowing in recent years). “The other point is that the gain of ice is taking out about a quarter of a millimeter per year from sea level rise,” says Jay Zwally, chief cryospheric scientist at NASA’s Goddard Space Flight Center in Maryland and lead author of the study.

That’s fine, but it doesn’t mean the climate isn’t changing. Zwally himself points out that if Antarctica is gaining more ice, then somewhere else in the world is melting faster—because scientists have pretty good data showing that sea levels have been rising at a rate of about three millimeters a year for the past 100 years.

[There is a lot of dispute about that.  Sea level expert Nils-Axel Mörner points out that the raw satellite data shows barely any rise] ....

Right or wrong, Zwally’s study says little about climate change as a whole.

[Are you sure?  Antarctica contains 91% of the earth's glacial mass. What happens in Antarctica governs the whole

In fact, equating Antarctic ice gain to the death of global warming is about as accurate as saying that racism in America ended the day Barack Obama took office.


Update: There's another, much longer and more deeply aggrieved article on the Zwally study here.  To give you the flavor of it, I reproduce an early sentence from it:  "The study stated that ice losses in West Antarctica have been outweighed by East Antarctica's ice increases, but that this trend may reverse itself in only a few decades.".  Just faith-based prophecy as usual.

Global warming could harm birth rates as hot temperatures 'make people less likely to have sex'

The effect produced by very hot weather may not be the same as the effect produced by a slightly warmer climate.  People adapt.  And the adaptation may be the opposite of what the authors below assume.  Looking at the effect of climate as distinct from weather suggests that it is COOLER climates that reduce reproduction.  The climates in Australia vary over a large range, with Tasmania being the coolest.  So are they reproducing like rabbits in Tasmania? Far from it:   "In Tasmania, there was a 4 per cent rise in the number of births in the same period, the smallest increase of any state or territory." Pesky!

Research suggests that, as temperatures increase, people may feel less inclined to have sex. Or, as the report from the National Bureau of Economic Research more delicately puts it, their “coital frequency” could diminish.

The research reveals that nine months after a particularly hot day the birth rate tails off significantly, coming in 0.7 per cent lower than it would following a cooler day. This indicates that rising temperatures either reduce fertility, decrease appetite for intercourse or, quite possibly, both.

“Extreme heat leads to a sizeable fall in births,” the researchers said. “Temperature extremes could affect coital frequency. It could affect hormone levels and sex drives. Alternatively, high temperatures may adversely affect reproductive health or semen quality on the male side, or ovulation on the female side.”


The Next Climate Scandal?

House Republicans hunt for evidence that temperature records are politicized

Lamar Smith, the Texas GOPer who runs the House science and technology committee, has been seeking, voluntarily and then not so voluntarily, emails and other internal communications related to a study released earlier this year by the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration. The study, by adjusting upward temperature readings from certain ocean buoys to match shipboard measurements, eliminated the “pause” in global warming seen in most temperature studies over the past 15 years.

Let’s just say, without prejudging the case, gut instinct has always indicated that, if there’s a major global warming scandal to be discovered anywhere, it will be found in the temperature record simply because the records are subject to so much opaque statistical manipulation. But even if no scandal is found, it’s past time for politicians and the public to understand the nature of these records and the conditions under which they are manufactured.

This is where those who confuse science with religion, and scientists with priests, take umbrage. Unfortunately, NOAA has proved itself pliable to the propagandizing urge. Witness its steady stream of press releases pronouncing the latest month or year the “warmest on record.” It always falls to outsiders to point out that these claims often rest on differences many times smaller than NOAA’s own cited margin of error. Case in point: When President Obama declared in January that 2014 was the warmest year on record, it had only a 38% chance of being hotter (by an infinitesimal margin) than other hottest-year candidates 2010, 2005 and 1998.

It doesn’t help that NOAA’s sleight of hand here seems designed precisely to conceal the alleged “pause.” The inconvenient hiatus in global warming showed up just as temperature measurement became more rigorous and consistent; just as China overtook the U.S. as champion emitter; just as 30% of all greenhouse gases released since the start of the industrial revolution were hitting the atmosphere.

Presumably the hunt will now be on among House Republicans for evidence that NOAA scientists selected only those rejiggerings that would make the pause disappear. Good luck with that. Not only are the adjustments, corrections and interpolations eye-glazing—ground temperatures must be tweaked to offset growing urbanization, polar temperatures for the fact that we don’t have measurement data for long periods of history, etc. Past records must be assembled from measurements not under control of today’s researchers, using an uncertain mix of devices and practices. Where records don’t exist or are deemed inadequate, scientists incorporate what they call proxies.

Researchers will surely be prepared to justify each and every tweak, but it seems all but impossible to bias-proof the choice of which adjustments to make or not make. By the count of researcher Marcia Wyatt in a widely circulated presentation, the U.S. government’s published temperature data for the years 1880 to 2010 has been tinkered with 16 times in the past three years.

And, when all is said and done, it’s still not clear that assigning an “average” temperature for the planet for a year is a meaningful way to capture climate change. Or that claims to detect differences from one year to the next of 2/100ths of a degree are anything but exercises in false precision.

It would be astonishing if human activities were not having some impact on climate, but the question has always been how and how much. Evidence of climate change, of course, is not evidence of what’s causing climate change. Yet three certainties emerge from the murk: Carbon dioxide is a greenhouse gas; atmospheric concentrations of carbon dioxide have increased significantly due to fossil-fuel burning; and the reward system in climate science is heavily tilted toward forecasts and estimates that see a large human effect.

Unfortunately, it’s also true that many of us cannot tolerate making up our minds under conditions of uncertainty. Uncertainty is especially the enemy of passion. That’s why so many who proclaim themselves “passionate” about global warming cannot string together two sentences indicating any understanding of the subject.

But let us end on an optimistic note. Progress comes from unexpected directions. In a new paper, Australian psychologist Stephan Lewandowsky, Harvard historian Naomi Oreskes and three co-authors chide climate scientists for adopting the term “pause” or “hiatus” in relation to global warming, saying it indicates a psychological susceptibility to the “seepage” of “memes” into their thinking.

As we are not the first to note, if the Oreskes et al. paper means climate activists are now prepared to acknowledge that climate scientists are subject to social pressures, this is perhaps the first breakthrough in decades.


U.S Residents Scoff at Scientists Worried About Global Warming

Americans are hot but not too bothered by global warming

Most Americans know the climate is changing, but they say they are just not that worried about it, according to a new poll by The Associated Press-NORC Center for Public Affairs Research. And that is keeping the American public from demanding and getting the changes that are necessary to prevent global warming from reaching a crisis, according to climate and social scientists.

As top-level international negotiations to try to limit greenhouse gas emissions start later this month in Paris, the AP-NORC poll taken in mid-October shows about two out of three Americans accept global warming and the vast majority of those say human activities are at least part of the cause.

However, fewer than one in four Americans are extremely or very worried about it, according the poll of 1,058 people. About one out of three Americans are moderately worried and the highest percentage of those polled – 38 percent _ were not too worried or not at all worried.

Despite high profile preaching by Pope Francis, only 36 percent of Americans see global warming as a moral issue and only a quarter of those asked see it as a fairness issue, according to the poll which has a margin of error of plus or minus 3.7 percentage points.

“The big deal is that climate has not been a voting issue of the American population,” said Dana Fisher, director of the Program for Society and the Environment at the University of Maryland.”If the American population were left to lead on the issue of climate, it’s just not going to happen.”

Linda Gebel, a 64-year-old retired bookkeeper who lives north of Minneapolis, has read up on global warming.

“Everybody’s life would be totally disrupted,” Gebel said. “It will cause famines and wars, huge problems. I don’t know why people wouldn’t be worried about it.”

And yet because she lives in the middle of the country – joking that she’ll be “the last one who will be submerged” – Gebel added she doesn’t “feel worried personally. I’m not sure this is going to happen in my lifetime, but I worry about my children. I worry about my grandchildren.”

The “lukewarm” feeling and lack of worry has been consistent in polling over the years, even as temperatures have risen, said Anthony Leiserowitz, director of the Yale Program on Climate Change Communication.

“The issue hasn’t quite boiled up enough so that people have put it on the top of things they want to focus on,” Princeton University climate scientist Michael Oppenheimer said.

One issue is how big, yet distant the problem seems and how abstract it can be, Fisher said. It can cause people to put off worrying about it.

Renata Schram, a 43-year-old customer service representative in Sturgis, Michigan, says she believes global warming is real and is mostly caused by people, but she is only moderately worried.

“On my list of things that worry me today, global warming is kind of low,” she said. The world’s violence is a far more pressing issue, she says.

“Usually when we hear about global warming everything seems so distant,” she said. “The sea levels are going to rise but I find it difficult to find a prediction that tells you how many years exactly.”

White House science adviser John Holdren said climate contrarians emphasize how large the problem is, essentially telling people “the result (of warming) is too scary, so let’s not believe it.” He said these groups have been “incredibly effective in sowing doubt” about global warming.

For his part, Myron Ebell, a policy expert at the conservative American Enterprise Institute, said the elites on the coast may be concerned about global warming but people in the heartland who dig stuff up, grow stuff or make stuff are used to the vagaries of extreme weather. “They don’t see it as much of a problem” because it isn’t, he said.


Researcher targeted by hate campaign, death threats for finding near zero risk in North America from Fukushima

The doomsday cult known as environmentalism may have already surpassed the Judeo-Christian tradition as the most powerful religion in the advanced countries of the West.  Almost certainly, its followers are the most politically powerful – witness the trillions of dollars devoted to the “paused” global warming Armageddon supposedly soon to threaten human survival.  And these followers are also the most fanatical, reaching Islamic levels of fury when their orthodoxy is challenged.

Dr. Jay Cullen might as well have caricatured Mohammed, for all the organized religious hate he is receiving  You see, Cullen is a Canadian researcher who set about the measure the impact of the 2011 Fukushima nuclear meltdown on the Northwest coast of North America.  Mark Hume reports in the Globe and Mail:

Dr. Cullen started a radionuclide-monitoring program in 2014.

The Integrated Fukushima Ocean Radionuclide Monitoring project (or InFORM, as he optimistically called it) worked with a broad network of scientists to gather the latest research and distribute it to the public.

“The goal and motivation … was that people were asking me, family and friends and the public at large, what the impact of the disaster was on B.C. on the North Pacific and on Canada,” he said. “I started looking for quality monitoring information so I could answer those questions as honestly and accurately as I could.”

Dr. Cullen thought the public would appreciate knowing what the scientists knew.

Boy, was he wrong!  His prediction was as faulty as the warmists’ contention that snow and the polar ice caps would disappear by now.  Doomsday cultists, whether warmists or anti-nukists, have a theological commitment to the imminence of our tragic fate – unless we heed their call to don the green equivalent of sackcloth and ashes.  Thus, poor Dr. Cullen’s scientific data brought him these consequences:

Shortly after he began blogging about the findings, which showed just about zero risk to the environment and to the public in North America, he became the target of a hate campaign. The attacks went far beyond fair criticism. He was not only called a “shill for the nuclear industry” and a “sham scientist” but he was told he and other researchers who were reporting that the Fukushima radiation wasn’t a threat deserved to be executed.


Dr. Cullen’s findings should be providing comfort:

The research by Dr. Cullen and many other scientists has shown that despite the high levels of contamination in Japan, the levels across the Pacific are so low they are difficult to detect. Even in Japan, he says, the United Nations Scientific Committee on the Effects of Atomic Radiation have determined the doses of ionizing radiation “are low enough that there will be no discernible increased incidence of radiation-related illness in them or their descendants.”

This is telling the doomsday cultists that their religion is a false one.

Of course this does not fit the narrative of those who think the Fukushima accident has poisoned the Pacific and is responsible for a wave of cancer deaths across North America.

Dr. Cullen said he frequently hears from people that his science simply can’t be right because the Pacific Ocean is dying. It is adrift with tsunami debris and plastic waste and its stocks have been overfished, but it has not been killed by nuclear radiation.

The next time you hear greenies talking about “settled science,” tell them about Dr. Cullen.


Here We Go Again: Scientist Refutes Gov. Brown Assertion

Last week California Governor Jerry Brown declared a state of emergency after severe drought conditions and parched trees created what he calls “the worst epidemic of tree mortality in [the state’s] modern history.” The announcement, posted on the governor’s website, states, “Four years of drought have made trees in many regions of California susceptible to infestation by native bark beetles, which are normally constrained by the defense mechanisms of healthy trees. …

The tree die-off is of such a scale that it significantly worsens wildfire risk in many areas of the state and presents life safety risks from falling trees to Californians living in rural, forested communities.” The state of emergency implores federal assistance to help mitigate those risks through the removal of dead debris.

Just one problem: At least one scientist takes direct issue with Brown’s allegations. According to the Associated Press, “Brian Nowicki of the Center for Biological Diversity said Mr. Brown was conflating dead trees with wildfire risk when there is not a clear connection. He said maintaining forests for wildlife habitat was crucial in dealing with the effects of climate change.”

This isn’t the first time Gov. Brown went out on a limb only to crash and burn. He recently claimed fossil fuels exacerbated the behemoth Lake County wildfire, which was immediately rebuked by climate scientists. Leftists always have a narrative, and they’ll do whatever it takes to cram the facts into it.



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Anonymous said...

The critique of the article complaining about the increased ice in Antartica missed the author's dishonest reach back into temperatures from the Little Ice Age as his basis. When he stated that he was looking for temperatures to return to pre-1860's levels he basically implied he wanted a return to the Little Ica Age.

JR said...

He used several time points for his comparisons