Friday, February 26, 2016

Is the world really warming up? Planet may be no hotter at the end of the century than it is now, claims new report

The Warmists have of course rejected the findings below so perhaps I should note that the difference between the report below and Greenie claims is the difference between fact and theory.  The report below looks at actual temperatures over a long period and finds no overall trend.  Temperatures are plateaued, not rising.

The Greenie approach, on the other hand, is to construct models of what they think influences temperature and use those theoretical models to make predictions.  But for the Greenie approach to give accuratre climate predictions (which they never do) ALL the influences on climate would have to be specified and measured -- which is a practical impossibility.

Whereas the statistical approach below DOES use all the influences -- because it looks at the end-product of all those influences, not just a select few poorly specified influences. So the statistical approach is in principle a much stronger approach to accurate prediction.

But as Bob Ward says below:  "Statistical models are only valid if you assume that the underlying factors are not going to change in the future"

He is right.  He of course believes that the accelerated burning of hydrocarbons in the second half of the C20 is a new factor influencing temperature -- something a statistical approach cannot account for.  So he is right in theory but is he right in fact? IS the accelerated burning of hydrocarbons in the second half of the C20 a new factor influencing temperature?  That is not only completely unproven but is strongly counterindicated by the poor correlation between CO2 levels and temperature.  So Bob  Ward rejects the study below by assuming what he has to prove.

So if we want to rely on evidence for our predictions, the approach below is the only horse in the race.

Global warming is unlikely to take hold before the end of the century according to a controversial new statistical study.

The report, published by the think-tank the Global Warming Policy Foundation, claims that while winters are likely to be slightly warmer, there will be no change in the summer.

Using statistical forecasting methods, the report, written a statistician at Loughborough University, contradicts predictions made by climate scientists.

The Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change has previously warned the planet was on course to experience warming of between 1°F (0.6°C) and 7.2°F (4°C) by the year 2100 based on climate models.

But Professor Terence Mills claims statistical forecasting methods, which uses data from the past to predict the future by identifying patterns and trends, suggests temperatures will change little.

However, he does warn in his report that the forecasts contain 'rather large measures of imprecision'.

Climate scientists have also described the study as 'silly' and pointed out it failed to take account of basic atmospheric physics.

Professor Mills used statistical models that are more commonly used to forecast economic and financial changes and applied them to three climate data sets.

These included records of global surface temperatures, the global lower troposphere temperatures and the Central England Temperature series, which dates back to 1660.

Writing in his paper, Professor Mills argues that climate scientists may have made errors in their predictions by focusing on recent uplifts in global temperatures.

He said such an approach can be 'highly misleading'. 'There is simply no substitute for analysing the entire temperature record using a variety of well-specified models,' he wrote.

Professor Mills work was seized upon by climate change sceptics as evidence that the predictions being made by climate models are exaggerating the risk posed by global warming.

His paper argues that statistical forecasting methods using in predicting complex financial markets and global economies could be put to good use in understanding the relationships between temperatures and factors that cause them to change.

'In terms of the series analysed throughout the paper, a clear finding presents itself for the two global temperature series,' he said.

'Irrespective of the model fitted, forecasts do not contain any trend, with long-horizon forecasts being flat, albeit with rather large measures of imprecision even from models in which uncertainty is bounded.

'The regional CET series does contain a modest warming signal, the extent of which has been shown to be dependent on the season: winters have tended to become warmer, spring and autumn less so, and summers have shown hardly any trend increase at all.

'The monthly pattern of temperatures through the year has remained stable throughout the entire 355 years of the CET record.'

A statement released by the Global Warming Policy Forum, which was founded by former British chancellor Lord Lawson, welcomed the report.

It said: 'His conclusion that statistical forecasting methods do not corroborate the upward trends seen in climate model projections is highly important and needs to be taken into consideration.

'The topic has direct bearing on policy issues since it provides an independent check on the climate-model projections that underpin calculations of the long-term social costs of greenhouse gas emissions.'

However, there was a mixed response from others who had read the report.

David Stern, an environmental economist at the Crawford School of Public Policy at the Australian National University, described the study as 'silly'.

He said: 'This is a prime case of "mathiness" I think - lots of math that will look sophisticated to many people used to build a model on silly assumptions with equally silly conclusions.'

Dr Richard Betts, head of climate impacts at the Met Office described the paper as 'daft' and that current temperatures were already outside the range predicted in the study.

He reacted to reports of the paper by posting updated graphs from the paper showing the current changes in temperatures on Twitter.

Bob Ward, policy and communications director at the Grantham Research Institute on Climate Change and the Environment at the London School of Economics, told Desmog UK: It's an interesting academic exercise with very little value to policy makers.

'Statistical models are only valid if you assume that the underlying factors are not going to change in the future.

'If the underlying factors are changing, then your statistical model just simply doesn't work, and that's widely recognised.

'We know greenhouse gas concentrations are going up and that's a fundamental for temperature and that's why statistical models have very little skill in predicting the future, they're not able to take account of the fundamental physics.'


Warmists still have a capacity to surprise us

After the shoddy attempt by Tom Karl to "adjust" the warming "hiatus" out of existence, a brand new paper comes as a surprise.  In it, some hard-core Warmist scientists  REVIVE the hiatus.  Perhaps they are scientists enough to conclude that they cannot just ignore the satellite data.  Though they do not accept the complete plateau that the satellites indicate.  They say that the temperature rise has slowed down to a crawl but there is still some warming going on.

The abstract is below.  It is from a long narrative article which looks at possible explanations for the pause -- and they conclude that a serendipitious combination of natural factors has been cancelling out the influence of increased CO2 levels.  But the argument is all very "post hoc" and vague.  You can explain anything after the event but that is trivial. It's making accurate predictions that support a scientific theory -- and the authors admit that their predictions got it wrong.  And a combination of many effects being needed to build the explanation just makes the explanation more and more implausible and less testable.  It's just a last ditch effort to keep the show on the road.

Making sense of the early-2000s warming slowdown

By  John C. Fyfe, Gerald A. Meehl, Matthew H. England, Michael E. Mann, Benjamin D. Santer, Gregory M. Flato, Ed Hawkins, Nathan P. Gillett,Shang-Ping Xie,Yu Kosaka & Neil C. Swart


It has been claimed that the early-2000s global warming slowdown or hiatus, characterized by a reduced rate of global surface warming, has been overstated, lacks sound scientific basis, or is unsupported by observations. The evidence presented here contradicts these claims.


Al Gore is still making it up as he goes along

He recently gave a TED talk. See here.  An excerpt:

"The warmer oceans are evaporating much more water vapor into the skies. Average humidity worldwide has gone up four percent. And it creates these atmospheric rivers. The Brazilian scientists call them "flying rivers." And they funnel all of that extra water vapor over the land where storm conditions trigger these massive record-breaking downpours. This is from Montana. Take a look at this storm last August. As it moves over Tucson, Arizona. It literally splashes off the city. These downpours are really unusual"

He didn't really have a chance of being right. Since there has been no significant global warming for over 18 years (the small  El Nino effect for 2015 excepted), it cannot have influenced  anything, including the water content of the atmosphere.  But let us check anyway. Below is a record of water vapor in the atmosphere.  The levels in fact show a slight decline.

Sad, isn't it? For further interseting evidence see a rigorous 2008 paper in Geophys. Res. Letts ("Towards a robust test on North America warming trend and precipitable water content increase") which showed that the slight warming between 1979 to 2006 had NO discernible effect on atmospheric water content.  Pesky stuff, that water vapor!  It clearly does not believe in global warming.

The big mystery is why the audience at TED didn't run Big Al out of town on a rail.  But I suppose that is a bit old-fashioned these days.  Gore himself is a lot wetter than the atmosphere.

It's global warming and fish again

Yale School of Forestry & Environmental Studies wants into the action and below is their attempt.  It's utter nonsense.  In theory a warmer, high CO2 world will produce more life, including fish life.  And the factual movements they note in fish populations cannot be due to global warming because there was no global warming in the period concerned.  Fish stocks are in any case highly unpredictable -- with sudden vanishing followed by sudden abundance -- with very little understanding of it all

Many studies have shown that critical natural resources, including fish stocks, are moving poleward as the planet warms. A new Yale-led study suggests that these biophysical changes are also reallocating global wealth in unpredictable, and potentially destabilizing, ways.

On its surface, these biophysical movements will shift resources from communities and nations closer to the equator into places closer to the poles. In many cases this would seem to exacerbate inequalities between richer and poorer communities.

But writing in the journal Nature Climate Change, the researchers suggest that the impacts on net global wealth may not be that straightforward. In fact, they make the case that changes are more likely than not to produce an overall net loss in global wealth.

The reason, says lead author Eli Fenichel, is the inevitable and unpredictable price impacts in places where the quantities of fish stocks increase depending on the quality of its resource management, existing institutions, and fishing regulations.

"People are mostly focused on the physical reallocation of these assets, but I don't think we've really started thinking enough about how climate change can reallocate wealth and influence the prices of those assets," said Fenichel, an assistant professor at the Yale School of Forestry & Environmental Studies. "We think these price impacts can be really, really important."

"We don't know how this will unfold, but we do know there will be price effects. It's just Economics 101 -- prices reflect quantity and scarcity and natural capital is hard for people to move," he said. "It's as inevitable as the movement of these fish species."

These impacts on the value of natural capital highlight the need for coherent climate policies that integrate biophysical and social measurements, the authors say.

The study was conducted by researchers at Yale, Rutgers, Princeton, and Arizona State universities.

The paper illustrates how the inclusive wealth framework advocated by UNEP and the World Bank makes it possible to measure the shift in the amounts and distribution of wealth as a consequence of climate change, when coupled with approaches to value natural capital developed by Fenichel and others. As an example, the researchers used fish migration data collected by Malin Pinsky, an assistant professor at Rutgers and co-author of the study.

"We tend to think of climate change as just a problem of physics and biology," Pinsky said. "But people react to climate change as well, and at the moment we don't have a good understanding for the impacts of human behavior on natural resources affected by climate change."

To illustrate their case, the authors model potential outcomes in two fictitious fishing communities (Northport and Southport) in the face of climate-driven shifts in fish populations. Southport's fish stocks decline as the climate changes while Northport's stock increases; it's a scenario that reflects changes anticipated in areas such as the mid-Atlantic and the waters off New England in the eastern U.S.

According to their analysis, if fish quantities increase in a northern community, for instance, it will likely cause a devaluation of that resource locally, particularly if that community isn't equipped to manage the resource efficiently. "If the northern community isn't a particularly good steward or manager, they're going to place a low value on that windfall they just inherited," Fenichel said. "So the aggregate could go down."

"To be clear, the 'gainers' here are clearly better off," he said. "They're just not more better off than the losers are worse off. The losers are losing much more than the gainers are gaining. And when that happens, it's not an efficient reallocation of wealth."

The analysis suggests that policy discussions around climate change should address how the physical changes will affect wealth reallocation, rather than allowing nature to redistribute this wealth in an unpredictable, "willy-nilly" manner.

"It also points to a greater need for the physical sciences and social sciences to be done in a coordinated fashion," Fenichel said. "As much as scientists are doing lots of wonderful multidisciplinary research, I don't know that we're necessarily collecting the kinds of data, in a coordinated fashion, that will inform the emerging metrics of sustainability."


And it's coral reefs again!

And what they say is a physical impossibility.  Warming will OUTGAS CO2 from the oceans, making them LESS acidic, not more acidic.  So what is going on?  What they did was conduct an experiment and ARTIFICIALLY make reef water more acidic.  And that had adverse effects.  But artificial acidification tells us nothing about the probability of natural acidification

Coral reefs are having their growth stunted by ocean acidification caused by global warming, new research has confirmed.

    For the first time, scientists conducted an experiment on a natural coral reef which involved altering sea water chemistry to mimic the effect of excess carbon dioxide in the atmosphere.

    The results provide strong evidence that ocean acidification linked to greenhouse gas emissions is already slowing coral reef growth, the team claims.

    Without "deep cuts" in greenhouse gas emissions, the world's coral reefs may not survive into the next century, scientists say.

    Carbon dioxide is absorbed by the ocean where it reacts with seawater to increase acidity.

    If the water becomes too acid it dissolves away the calcium carbonate corals that molluscs and creatures such as crabs and lobsters need to build their shells and stony skeletons.

    Although previous studies have demonstrated large scale declines in coral reefs in recent decades, the reason for the trend has been harder to pinpoint.

    Acidification is one possible cause, but others include warming, pollution and over-fishing.

    To investigate the role played by greenhouse gas emissions, the US scientists manipulated the acidity of seawater flowing over a section of the Great Barrier Reef off Australia's One Tree Island.

    Bringing the reef's pH value - a measurement of acidity or alkalinity - closer to what it would have been in pre-industrial times increased the rate at which calcium carbonate was deposited to grow hard coral exoskeletons.

    Lead researcher Dr Rebecca Albright, from the Carnegie Institution in Washington DC, said: "Our work provides the first strong evidence from experiments on a natural ecosystem that ocean acidification is already slowing coral reef growth.

    "Ocean acidification is already taking its toll on coral reef communities.  "This is no longer a fear for the future; it is the reality of today."

    The research is reported in the latest issue of the journal Nature.

    Other work by Carnegie colleague Professor Ken Caldeira found that rates of reef calcification in 2008 and 2009 were 40% lower than they were in 1975 and 1976.

    He said: "The only real, lasting way to protect coral reefs is to make deep cuts in our carbon dioxide emissions.

    "If we don't take action on this issue very rapidly, coral reefs - and everything that depends on them, including both wildlife and local communities - will not survive into the next century."


And don't forget wine!

The galoot below says that the first effects of warming are being seen in the vineyards.  A pity that it is not being seen in global temperature statistics.  He is probably mistaking natural weather variability for global warming.  In any case, there will be no shortage of wine.  New wine regions are opening up all the time.  Wait until India and China get into their stride!

The first week of December 2015 saw the start of the Paris Climate Conference, hailed by some as the world’s last chance to save the planet from man- made atmospheric pollution from carbon dioxide (CO2) and other gases. The predictions around climate change, including global warming, are dire, from rising sea levels to starvation, maybe leading to wars.

Among such possible social unrest, it almost seems trite to be concerned about the wine which future consumers might enjoy in 2050, or even 2100. However, many grape growers and wine producers are already noticing the early effects of warming and are planning adaptation strategies. Miguel Torres of Spain is investing in higher altitude, cooler vineyards, and Brown Brothers of Australia has invested in the southernmost state, Tasmania. I was one of the first viticulturists to bring climate change impacts on wine to wider notice, using the phrase “Wine will be the canary in the coalmine for the world’s agriculture”.

I remember the responses of a sceptical audience at the Luxembourg OIV (International Office of Wine) General Assembly of 1989, when I delivered a paper on global warming implications for wine appellations. Among other ideas, I suggested that in the future the variety Grenache might be better suited to Bordeaux vineyards than Cabernet Sauvignon – a suggestion greeted by hoots of derision from the audience. Time will tell on this one and on related issues. This was probably the first time that climate change was discussed at OIV. Now, 26 years later, it features in a major way on the agenda and action plan – as it should.

The style and quality of a wine are much affected by weather, especially by temperature and rainfall. ‘Climate’ is the average of weather conditions over time; it is the weather we might expect. The world of wine, especially the Old World,has developed regional specialities of grape varieties and wine styles, and many of these have become benchmarks for the rest of the world. These regions are demarcated much more by temperature than rainfall.

It is this important interaction between grape variety and climate, especially temperature, that makes the grape and wine sector so different from other forms of agriculture. The world of wine is generally classified into discrete regions, as defined by the French appellation schemes. Each region has a discrete mix of varieties and possesses distinctive physical features – climate, geology, soils – which produce distinctive wine styles. Of these physical attributes, climate, and more specifically temperature, is known to be the most important in differentiating between regions and wine styles. I selected some regions producing renowned and distinctive wine styles to make the climate comparisons listed in the table.

Regions from France and the rest of the world are arranged from cooler to hotter, along with a listing of two important varieties per region. Most of the data is taken from The World Atlas of Wine by Hugh Johnson and Jancis Robinson (2013, seventh edition). That book, sadly, does not include the important but hot (generally) bulk wine areas which I have added for Australia (Sunraysia) and the US (Fresno, California).

As a heat measure I have used the average growing season temperature, as in the World Atlas. I show the present average temperature, and how this might be influenced by an increase of 1.5°C and 2.5°C.The table illustrates several points.

The range of temperatures for the French regions is 5.1°C. The temperature difference from the UK, one of the coolest wine regions in the world, at 14.1°C, to one of the hottest, Fresno in California’s Central Valley (23°C), is 8.9°C.

In the overall scheme of things, these are both small ranges of temperature. The average temperature difference from one region to the next warmer region is very small, at 0.63°C. Compare these figures with the projections based on global warming for this century, ranging from2°C to more than 4°C. Even the smallest temperature increase projected for this century will see massive changes within and between the present wine regions.


For more postings from me, see  DISSECTING LEFTISM, TONGUE-TIED, EDUCATION WATCH INTERNATIONAL, POLITICAL CORRECTNESS WATCH, FOOD & HEALTH SKEPTIC and AUSTRALIAN POLITICS. Home Pages are   here or   here or   here.  Email me (John Ray) here.  

Preserving the graphics:  Most graphics on this site are hotlinked from elsewhere.  But hotlinked graphics sometimes have only a short life -- as little as a week in some cases.  After that they no longer come up.  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 or here


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