Thursday, February 25, 2016

Some "Semi-empirical" findings!  How lucky we are!

The report below determinedly revives all the old scare about sea-level rise.  The scare has been pretty moribund for a few years now, thanks partly to some heavy hits on it by sea-level expert Nils Axel Morner.

The underlying academic journal article ("Temperature-driven global sea-level variability in the Common Era") is here and one of the authors, young Bob Kopp, has some useful details about it here.

The article was based on some very complex statistical work and in that context we note that the authors describe their work as "semi-empirical".  What does that mean?  It simply means that their results come partly from  guesswork.  And seeing the authors are keen Warmists we can be sure in which direction their guesses tended. And, with the complex nature of their analyses, guesses at various points could make a big difference to the final outcome.  To believe their conclusions would therefore require an act of faith

And in my usual pesky way, I had a bit of a look at the details of the research.  And I note that their methods produce some pretty weird results.  They found, for instance, that sea levels FELL during the Medieval Warm Period.  Isn't warming supposed to cause sea-level RISE?  They try to get around that by reviving the old Warmist claim that the Medieval Warm Period was confined to Northern Europe -- but that is quite simply false.  Evidence of it has been found in places as far apart as Argentina, New Zealand and China.

So have these guys simply lied in order to defend their research methods?  Very nearly.  Kopp says: "Notably, both the decline in sea level and the decline in temperature occurred during the so-called European “Medieval Warm Period,” providing additional evidence that the “Medieval Warm Period” and “Little Ice Age” were not globally synchronous phenomena."

So they say that the warming outside Europe occurred at different times to the warming elsewhere.  And given the uncertainties of dating proxy data that is just barely defensible, if implausible.  It's playing fast and loose with the facts but is not an outright lie.

But their finding that the globe actually COOLED during the Medieval Warm Period  is contrary to all other evidence on the subject that I know of. You would have to have the faith of a Jehovah's Witness to believe their conclusions

Global sea levels rose faster in the 20th century than at any time in the past 3,000 years - and 'climate change is to blame'

Scientists discovered that the 5.5-inch (14cm) global rise is at least twice as much as would have been seen without global warming. In fact, they believe levels might have actually fallen if it hadn't been for soaring global temperatures.

During the 20th century, sea levels across the globe rose faster than in any of the 27 previous centuries. Scientists found that the 5.5-inch (14cm) global rise is at least twice as much as would have been seen without global warming. In fact, they believe levels may have fallen if it hadn't been for rising temperatures

During the 20th century, sea levels across the globe rose faster than in any of the 27 previous centuries. Scientists found that the 5.5-inch (14cm) global rise is at least twice as much as would have been seen without global warming. In fact, they believe levels may have fallen if it hadn't been for rising temperatures

'The 20th century rise was extraordinary in the context of the last three millennia - and the rise over the last two decades has been even faster,' said professor Robert Kopp, lead author of the report published in the Proceedings of the US National Academy of Sciences.

The pattern was revealed by a new statistical analysis technique which extracts global data from local records.

No local record measures global sea level. Instead, each measures sea level at a particular location, where it will differ from the global mean.

The statistical challenge is to pull out the global signal.

The scientists built a database of geological sea-level indicators from marshes, coral atolls and archaeological sites at 24 locations around the world, covering the past 3,000 years.

They also looked at tide gauge recordings for the last 300 years from 66 other locations.

Many of the records came from the field work of Kemp, Horton, or team members Roland Gehrels of the University of York and Jeffrey Donnelly of the Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution.

This information was used to calculate how temperatures relate to the rate of sea-level change. Using this new technique, the researchers showed that the world's sea level fell by about 11 inches (8cm) between 1000 and 1400AD, when the planet cooled by about 0.2°C.

Global average temperature today is about 1°C higher than at the end of the 19th century.

It also found that , had global warming not occurred in the 20th century, the change in sea level would 'very likely' have been between a decrease of 1.1 inch (3cm) and a rise of 2.8 inches (7cm). Instead, the world actually saw a rise of 14cm.

A companion report also found that more than half of the 8,000 coastal nuisance floods observed at US tide gauge sites since 1950 would not have occurred.

Professor Kopp estimates that sea levels will rise by 20 inches to 51 inches (50cm to 130cm) in the 21st century, if the world continues to rely on fossil fuels.


The journal abstract follows

We present the first, to our knowledge, estimate of global sea-level (GSL) change over the last ∼3,000 years that is based upon statistical synthesis of a global database of regional sea-level reconstructions. GSL varied by ∼±8 cm over the pre-Industrial Common Era, with a notable decline over 1000–1400 CE coinciding with ∼0.2 °C of global cooling. The 20th century rise was extremely likely faster than during any of the 27 previous centuries. Semiempirical modeling indicates that, without global warming, GSL in the 20th century very likely would have risen by between −3 cm and +7 cm, rather than the ∼14 cm observed. Semiempirical 21st century projections largely reconcile differences between Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change projections and semiempirical models.

doi: 10.1073/pnas.1517056113. PNAS February 22, 2016

Morner rips the Keystone Kopp

Young Bob Kopp may not have furthered his career much by his evangelism for the rising sea-level gospel.  Dr. Nils Axel Morner has some germane comments on his work below.  Prior to his retirement, Morner  headed the Department of Paleogeophysics & Geodynamics at Stockholm University

Morner, a leading world authority on sea levels and coastal erosion calls the new study and the media spin surrounding it “demagogic.”

“The PNAS paper is another sad contribution to the demagogic anti-science campaign for AGW. It is at odds with observational facts and ethical principles,” Morner wrote to Climate Depot.

Morner noted:

– global tide gauges show moderate mean rates

– many key sites and test sites show little or no rise at all

– nowhere do we find records of true “acceleration”

– satellite altimetry show a mean rise of 0.5 ±0.1 mm/yr after back-calibration

– past sea level oscillations have been faster & steeper than in the last century

Morner explained: “The paper is full of very bad violations of observational facts.”  Just one example:

This is their graph of sea level change at Christmas Island, Kiribati:

This is the tide gauge record from Christmas Island:

Morner asked: “How can anyone find a rapidly rising trend in this tide gauge record? It is flat or rather slowly falling – but in no way rising.”

“So they work – with no respect to observational facts. A true case for Fraud Investigation,” Morner added.


Morner didn't comment on it but Kopp's combining the Christmas Island and the Kiribati record is yet more of his weirdness.  The two places are in different oceans thousands of miles apart

Prof. Abraham is at it again

He's got stick-to-it-iveness, you've got to give him that. He's got a new article in The Guardian titled: "Fossil fuel funded report denies the expert global warming consensus" and swith a sub-heading:  "The infamous Heartland Institute has distributed to elected officials a nonsense, non-science report full of denial"

And he's actually quite right in one way.  Who can deny that global Warming is the scientific orthodoxy these days?  We skeptics are certainly well aware of it.  The amusing thing is that he goes to great length to prove it -- starting with Oreskes, through Anderegg to John Cook -- though Cook's finding that two thirds of climate scientists took no position on global warming he carefully glides over.

But the whole point of his article is to rebut a Heartland Institute report that criticizes global warming and the only thing that a real scientist would be interested in there would be the climate facts. What are the facts that rebut the Heartland claims?  Scientific questions are decided by the facts, not by opinions.

And he does finally get there, sort of.  Out of the 20 or so paragraphs in his article, two do address climate facts.  Here they are:

"While I won’t spend too much time on the scientifically incorrect or misleading statements in the Heartland report, I will mention a few. In chapter 4, they claim that a doubling of carbon dioxide would result in approximately 1°C warming. They neglected to remind the readers that we have nearly already reached that and we are nowhere near doubling of carbon dioxide yet. The report claims that meteorological observations are consistent with a climate sensitivity of 1°C but they provide no support for this assertion and in fact, the research does not support this.

But even Wikipedia says: ""Without any feedbacks, a doubling of CO2 (which amounts to a forcing of 3.7 W/m2) would result in 1 °C global warming, which is easy to calculate and is undisputed.". Dear me, Prof. Abraham, it seems that Heartland are the orthodox ones on that!  But let us go on:

The report falsely claims that climate models assume all the warming since the industrial revolution is from carbon dioxide. Climate models include many factors in addition to carbon dioxide. The report also falsely claims that models do not attempt to simulate internal climate oscillations. They claim that thawing of permafrost is not likely to emit dangerous methane, which will add to the warming, but they give no evidence to support their claim."

I haven't read the Heartland report but it is true that the Siberian methane scare is widely reported and believed.  But here is an academic journal article which has studied the question --  and found minimal effect of such emissions.  Naughty Prof. Abraham has not kept up with the literature on his subject! No wonder he was reluctant to talk about the facts.

The man is a clown.  My previous comment on him is here.  One of Lord Monckton's scathing comments on Abraham  is  here

Australia's Barrier Reef at greater risk than thought, study says

Warmist dishonesty never stops.  As I have often pointed out before, warmer oceans will OUTGAS CO2 so the result of global warming  will be LESS acidic oceans.  The only way you can make sense of the reasoning below is to assume that CO2 levels will continue to rise WITHOUT causing any global warming.  So that is certainly an interesting admission.  There is a popular version of the article below here

The exposure of the Great Barrier Reef to ocean acidification

Mathieu Mongin et al.

The Great Barrier Reef (GBR) is founded on reef-building corals. Corals build their exoskeleton with aragonite, but ocean acidification is lowering the aragonite saturation state of seawater (Ωa). The downscaling of ocean acidification projections from global to GBR scales requires the set of regional drivers controlling Ωa to be resolved. Here we use a regional coupled circulation–biogeochemical model and observations to estimate the Ωa experienced by the 3,581 reefs of the GBR, and to apportion the contributions of the hydrological cycle, regional hydrodynamics and metabolism on Ωa variability. We find more detail, and a greater range (1.43), than previously compiled coarse maps of Ωa of the region (0.4), or in observations (1.0). Most of the variability in Ωa is due to processes upstream of the reef in question. As a result, future decline in Ωa is likely to be steeper on the GBR than currently projected by the IPCC assessment report.

Nature Communications, 7, Article number: 10732. doi:10.1038/ncomms10732

Lawyers for two families suing an oil and gas company in Dimock, Pennsylvania have admitted that there is "no scientific proof" that the water has been contaminated with fracking fluid

In a shocking admission that undermines much of the anti-fracking narrative pushed by environmentalists, a lawyer for plaintiffs suing an oil and gas company in Dimock, Pennsylvania has admitted the water in the area is not contaminated with fracking fluid.
The admission came in the opening argument by lawyer Leslie Lewis for two families who claim their water was contaminated by fracking.

 “This is not a case — this is not a case about toxic materials ending up in the water,” she told the jury.

“We do not have proof of that. We don't have proof of that. This is not about fracking fluid appearing in the water. Hydraulic fracturing materials, we don't have proof of that,” Ms Lewis added.

Dimock has been characterized as “Ground Zero” for fracking contamination of water. It has featured in the documentaries Gasland 1 & 2 and has been the subject of national and international news reports.

However Pennsylvania DEP and Federal EPA scientists have all failed to find contaminants in the water despite vigorous, multi-year testing.

These findings have now been confirmed by the plaintiffs’ lawyer who said they had no proof of fracking fluid contamination. She said they were taking the case against Cabot Oil & Gas because the water was “undrinkable.”


Most Canadians Still Don’t Buy The Global Warming Narrative

Canadians increasingly don’t believe global warming is man-made, with 56 percent of residents expressing the sentiment in a five-year study published last week by researchers from Yale University and the University of Montreal.

To put that in perspective, a 2008 Gallup poll found that only 39 percent of Canadians thought global warming wasn’t due to human activity. Despite numerous anti-global warming policies, Canadians are becoming more skeptical and the percentage of those who don’t believe global warming is mostly caused by humans has increased substantially.

Of the 5,000 Canadians surveyed, 56 percent did not agree with the statement “Earth is getting warmer partly or mostly because of human activities.”

“The skepticism was a bit surprising,” Érick Lachapelle, a University of Montreal professor who co-authored the study, told the Canadian Broadcasting Corporation. The study has not yet been peer-reviewed.

Skepticism about global warming in Canada was most concentrated in Alberta, with only 17 percent of the population blaming global warming on humans.

Amusingly, the only regions of Canada with majority support for human-caused global warming are the warmest and most urban.

The study also revealed 79 percent of Canadians believe Earth is getting warmer, 66 percent of Canadians support a cap and trade system and 49 percent of Canadians support increasing taxes on coal, oil and natural gas.

The study was produced by telephone surveys conducted over the course of five years. Each survey featured between 1,014 to 1,502 respondents. Researchers estimate the study has a six-point margin of error for provincial findings and seven-point margin for local findings.

According to a 2014 Pew Research Center poll, 53 percent of Americans do not believe humans are mostly responsible for global warming. In the Pew poll, 35 percent of Americans say there is not enough solid evidence to suggest humans are behind global warming, while another 18 percent says the world has warmed due to “natural patterns” and not human activity.



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1 comment:

slkTAC said...

Wyoming has the same problem with water wells. Wells are expensive to replace and if you can find anyone to blame for the water not being drinkable, it's cheapest to get someone else to pay for new wells. Actually, if the water table is contaminated, a new well may not help, especially if it's widespread contamination, which is what antifrackers claim. The fix is running city water out, unless you live in Flint, Michigan or some other similar situation. This is very, very, very expensive, so people try to get anyone else to pay for the wells or water lines. It's about making a choice to live in the country and then demanding the country be just like the city and you don't have to pay to fix things.
Wells can be contaminated by many, many avenues. Wells are not a giant underground water bottle. The well owner themselves can contaminate the well. It's very, very easy. People who do not understand this and sign a waiver that they KNOW the well can go bad and will pay to replace it should never be sold land outside the city. They are not qualified to live outside the city. (I have lived on a well for over 40 years. The current well was damaged by a small earthquake. It's still usable, but requires filtering the water. We drink bottled water. I have wells contaminated by ecoli. It's a risk of using a well. Only grownups should have wells.)