Wednesday, February 10, 2016
Wot! No hockeystick?
When Mike Mann's proxy-based "hockeystick" picture of the earth's climate history over the last 1,000 years came out, it was greeted with wild acclaim by Warmists. It even featured at the front of an IPCC report or two. It showed an unchanging temperature until the late 20th century, when the temperature suddenly shot up -- exactly the Warmist dream. It was however soon shown as a botch and the IPCC no longer mentions it.
But Mann and some others still find hockeysticks wherever they look so I thought a careful proxy study of the last 1,000 years would be useful. The one below is from 2011 but is notable for its careful assembly of all available proxies. Following the abstract, I present one of their graphs, which shows most clearly what they found. You will see that our climate history is one of ups and downs and we are just at an end of an up
Northern Hemisphere temperature patterns in the last 12 centuries
F. C. Ljungqvist et al.
We analyze the spatio-temporal patterns of temperature variability over Northern Hemisphere land areas, on centennial time-scales, for the last 12 centuries using an unprecedentedly large network of temperature-sensitive proxy records.
Geographically widespread positive temperature anomalies are observed from the 9th to 11th centuries, similar in extent and magnitude to the 20th century mean.
A dominance of widespread negative anomalies is observed from the 16th to 18th centuries. Though we find the amplitude and spatial extent of the 20th century warming is within the range of natural variability over the last 12 centuries, we also find that the rate of warming from the 19th to the 20th century is unprecedented. [More warming in the 19th century!]
The positive Northern Hemisphere temperature change from the 19th to the 20th century is clearly the largest between any two consecutive centuries in the past 12 centuries. [Reflecting recovery from the Little Ice Age]
Clim. Past Discuss., 7, 3349–3397, 2011
More stupid speculation about the distant future
Do they seriously think they can predict what will happen in the year 2300? Warmists have never made an accurate prediction yet so they have zero credibility. And their conclusions depend on them knowing a hotly contested figure: The sensitivity of global temperature to CO2. Judging by both theory and past experience it is probably negligible, if not zero. So that's yet another reason to regard the report below as just a bit of fantasy designed to prop up true believers. It's totally speculative and implausible
Sea level rise caused by man-made climate change could last 10,000 years, according to 'stunning' new study. Even if global warming falls below the governments' target of 2°C, around 20 per cent of the world's population will be forced to migrate away from coasts.
That means that unless we cut carbon emission drastically, major cities such as New York, London, and Shanghai, will be completely submerged, scientists have warned.
The study, published in Nature Climate Change, argues that scientists have been short-sighted in looking at the impact of climate change over one or two centuries.
In the latest research, scientists looked at the impact of four possible levels of carbon pollution —1,280 to 5,120 billion tonnes— emitted between the year 2000 to 2300.
Studying data from over the last 20,000 years, the researchers predicted what will happen to global temperatures, sea level, and ice cover over the next 10,000 years.
The complex modelling effort was led by Michael Eby of the University of Victoria and Simon Fraser University.
'Carbon is going up, and even if we stop what we are doing in the relatively near future, the system will continue to respond because it hasn't reached an equilibrium,' Marcott explains.
'If you boil water and turn off the burner, the water will stay warm because heat remains in it.'
A similar but more complex and momentous phenomenon happens in the climate system, according to the study which is written by nearly two dozen leading Earth scientists.
Current releases of the carbon contained in carbon dioxide total about 10 billion tons per year.
The number is growing 2.5 per cent annually, more than twice as fast as in the 1990s.
Humans have already put about 580 billion tons of carbon dioxide into the atmosphere.
The researchers looked at the effect of releasing another 1,280 to 5,120 billion tons between 2000 and 2300.
'In our model, the carbon dioxide input ended in 300 years, but the impact persisted for 10,000 years,' Marcott says.
By 2300, the carbon dioxide level had soared from almost 400 parts per million to as much as 2,000 parts per million.
The most extreme temperature rise - about 7°C by the year 2300 - would taper off only slightly, to about 6°C, after 10,000 years.
The picture is disturbing, says co-author Shaun Marcott, an assistant professor of geoscience at the University of Wisconsin-Madison.
Perhaps the most ominous finding concerns 'commitment,' Marcott says. 'Most people probably expect that temperature and carbon dioxide will rise together and then temperature will come down when the carbon dioxide input is shut off. 'But carbon dioxide has such a long life in the atmosphere that the effects really depend on how much you put in.
'We are already committed to substantial rises in temperature. The only question is how much more is in the pipe.'
The warming ocean and atmosphere that are already melting glaciers and ice sheets produce a catastrophic rise in the ocean.
'Sea level will go up due to melting, and because warming expands the ocean.
'We have to decide in the next 100 years whether we want to commit ourselves and our descendants to these larger and more sustained changes,' Marcott says.
First author Peter Clark and co-authors calculated that ocean encroachment from just the lowest level of total carbon pollution would affect land that in 2010 housed 19 per cent of the planet's population.
However, due to climate's momentum, that effect will be stretched out over thousands of years.
'This is a stunning paper,' says Jack Williams, a professor of geography and expert on past climates at UW–Madison.
'At one level, it just reinforces a point that we already knew: that the effects of climate change and sea level rise are irreversible and going to be with us for thousands of years,' says Williams, who did not work on the study.
'But this paper shows just how devastating sea level rise will be, once we look out beyond 2100.'
The melting in Greenland and Antarctica from the highest level of carbon pollution 'translates into a sea level rise of 80 to 170 feet,' Williams says.
'That's enough to drown nearly all of Florida and most of the Eastern Seaboard.'
For simplicity, the study omitted discussing other major drivers and effects of climate change, including ocean acidification, other greenhouse gases, and mechanisms that cause warming to accelerate further.
Marcott says a recent slogan of climate campaigners, 'Keep it in the ground,' is apt. 'In the ideal situation, that is what would happen, but I can't say if it is economically or politically viable.'
'The paper emphasises that we need to move to net-zero or net-negative carbon emissions and have only a few more decades to do so,' says Williams. 'But the real punch in the gut is the modelled sea level rise and its implications.'
Atlantic Sea Ice Could Grow in the Next Decade
They rope in global warming at the end of their paper as an assumption about the long term
Changing ocean circulation in the North Atlantic could lead to winter sea ice coverage remaining steady and even growing in select regions.
The massive conveyor belts of the ocean and atmosphere transfer energy around the globe and drive Earth’s climate. Improved models and increases in computer power are starting to allow scientists to get a better glimpse of future surface conditions in the Atlantic by taking into account changes in the ocean heat conveyor. The ocean’s influence on sea ice is not obvious, but in a new study, Yeager et al. argue that it plays a key role in accurate projections of sea ice.
The researchers analyzed simulations from the Community Earth System Model, modeling both atmosphere and ocean circulation. They found that decadal-scale trends in Arctic winter sea ice extent are largely explained by changes in ocean circulation rather than by large-scale external factors like anthropogenic warming.
The team emphasized the influence of the thermohaline circulation (THC), a global current that carries heat around the planet and that experts believe has been slowing down in the Atlantic since about 2000. Although anthropogenic warming may produce a long-term global temperature rise, the THC slowdown contributes to short-term cooling in the subpolar Atlantic and, consequently, a decline in the ice melt rate. The researchers make the connection between these circulation changes and satellite observations taken between 2005 and 2015 that show a positive trend in winter ice cover. In other words, slowing circulation hinders heat transport to the North Atlantic, allowing surface waters to stay cool and sea ice to expand.
Ultimately, the rise of global temperatures will generate a loss of sea ice cover over the coming century. This study is a stepping-stone toward the ultimate goal of decadal climate prediction, which is vital to understanding and anticipating the short-term trends and changes that communities will be tackling in the near future. (Geophysical Research Letters, doi:10.1002/2015GL065364, 2015)
5 Moneyed Environmentalists Who Profit Off Global Warming
Environmentalists like to claim skeptics are making money off hampering global warming regulations, but those same greens are making a lot of money promoting global warming alarmism. Earlier this week, the Feds even took down a green energy scheme that took $1.4 million from taxpayers.
Counting only private money, environmental groups massively outspend their opponents. Opposition to global warming activism only raises $46 million annually across 91 conservative think tanks, according to analysis by Forbes. That’s almost six times less than Greenpeace’s 2011 budget of $260 million, and Greenpeace is only one of many environmental groups. The undeniable truth is that global warming activists raise and spend far more money than their opponents.
1: Al Gore
The former vice president’s global warming activism has helped increase his net worth from $700,000 in 2000 to an estimated net worth of $172.5 million by 2015. Gore and the former chief of Goldman Sachs Asset Management made nearly $218 million in profits between 2008 and 2011 from a carbon trading company they co-founded. By 2008, Gore was able to put a whopping $35 million into hedge funds and other investments.
Gore also has a remarkable record of investing in companies right before they get huge grants from the government.
2: Elon Musk
This billionaire chairs a number of companies, such as Tesla Motors and SolarCity, which rake in billions in federal green energy subsidies.
In 2014, Musk received $1.4 billion from Nevada taxpayers to build a “gigafactory” for his electric car company Tesla Motors. SolarCity also got a large payout to move to Nevada. Musk helped found SolarCity and still serves as its chairman.
When Nevada changed the way it subsidized solar power in a way that didn’t favor Musk or SolarCity, the company pulled out of of the state.
Tesla also sells lithium ion-battery Powerwalls for a mere $7,340 to store electricity for homes. The original intention of a Powerwall was to make rooftop solar panels economically viable for consumers. Powerwalls are estimated to take approximately 40 years to pay for themselves. Naturally, Tesla only offers five to 10 year warranties and predicts they will last for only 15 years.
3: Warren Buffett
Billionaire Warren Buffett has invested a great deal in electrical utilities, such as NV Energy, and has also taken advantage of lucrative green energy. Buffett’s company Berkshire Hathaway Energy has invested up to $30 billion into green energy sources.
Buffett was instrumental in lobbying the Nevada state government to revise net-metering rules to help utilities. That single policy change caused rival billionaire Elon Musk to lose roughly $165 million in a single day.
4: Vinod Khosla
The Indian billionaire has poured over a billion dollars of his own money, as well as the government’s, into 50 different green energy startups. He has been behind some of the green tech industry’s most spectacular failures. Despite these repeated flops, he’s still pouring money into green energy, according to The New York Times.
Khosla has spent a lot of money investing in ethanol, which is heavily dependent on a federal mandate requiring gasoline sold in the U.S. contain a certain amount of ethanol. Ethanol tax credits are estimated to have cost the federal government up to $40 billion between 1978 and 2012, according to The National Review
Khosla was heavily invested in the ethanol company KiOR, even talking the company up during an interview with 60 Minutes. KiOR went bankrupt in November 2014 and devastated the state of Mississippi, which had given KiOR a $75 million, 20-year, no-interest loan after Khosla assured the state that he would build facilities worth $500 million that would create 1,000 jobs.
5: James Cameron
Film director James Cameron has also profited immensely off environmentalism and holds a long history being green, even claiming that “[w]e need to mobilize like we did during World War II” to fight global warming.
When asked about scientists who were skeptical of global warming, Cameron claimed “I want to call those deniers out into the street at high noon and shoot it out with those boneheads. Anybody that is a global-warming denier at this point in time has got their head so deeply up their a** I’m not sure they could hear me.”
The environmentally-themed film “Avatar” netted Cameron over $650 million, making him one of the richest directors of all time with an estimated net worth of $700 million.
Pentagon orders commanders to prioritize climate change in all military actions
The Pentagon is ordering the top brass to incorporate climate change into virtually everything they do, from testing weapons to training troops to war planning to joint exercises with allies.
A new directive’s theme: The U.S. Armed Forces must show “resilience” and beat back the threat based on “actionable science.”
It says the military will not be able to maintain effectiveness unless the directive is followed. It orders the establishment of a new layer of bureaucracy — a wide array of “climate change boards, councils and working groups” to infuse climate change into “programs, plans and policies.”
The Pentagon defines resilience to climate change as: “Ability to anticipate, prepare for, and adapt to changing conditions and withstand, respond to, and recover rapidly from disruptions.”
To four-star generals and admirals, among them the regional combatant commanders who plan and fight the nation’s wars, the directive tells them: “Incorporate climate change impacts into plans and operations and integrate DoD guidance and analysis in Combatant Command planning to address climate change-related risks and opportunities across the full range of military operations, including steady-state campaign planning and operations and contingency planning.”
The directive, “Climate Change Adaptation and Resilience,” is in line with President Obama’s view that global warming is the country’s foremost national security threat, or close to it. Mr. Obama says there is no debate on the existence of man-made global warming and its ensuing climate change. Supporters of this viewpoint label as “deniers” any scientists who disagree.
But there are stubborn doubters. A climate center in Colorado has said its researchers looked at decades of weather reports and concluded there has been no uptick in storms. The United Nations came to a similar finding, saying there is not enough evidence to confirm an increase in droughts and floods.
A previous Pentagon report on climate change attributed Super Storm Sandy to climate change.
Dakota Wood, a retired Marine Corps officer and U.S. Central Command planner, said the Pentagon is introducing climate change, right down to military tactics level.
“By equating tactical actions of immediate or short-term utility with large-scale, strategic-level issues of profound importance, the issue of climate change and its potential impact on national security interests is undermined,” he said. “People tend to dismiss the whole, what might be truly important, because of all the little silly distractions that are included along the way.”
He said climate change is typically measured in long stretches of time.
“The climate does change over great periods of time, typically measured in millennia, though sometimes in centuries,” he said. “But the document mentions accounting for such down to the level of changes in ‘tactics, techniques and procedures’ as if reviewing how a squad conducts a patrol should be accorded the same level of importance and attention as determining whether the naval base at Norfolk, Virginia, might have to be relocated as sea levels rise over the next 100 years.”
The directive originated in the office of Frank Kendall, undersecretary of defense for acquisition, technology and logistics. Final approval came from Deputy Defense Secretary Robert O. Work.
The directive is loaded with orders to civilian leaders and officers on specifically how counter-climate change strategy is to permeate planning.
“This involves deliberate preparation, close cooperation, and coordinated planing by DoD to provide for the continuity of DoD operations, services and programs,” it states.
“The DoD must be able to adapt current and future operations to address the impacts of climate change in order to maintain an effective and efficient U.S. military,” it adds. “Mission planning and execution must include anticipating and managing any risks that develop as a result of climate change to build resilience.”
Climate change must be integrated in:
* Weapons buying and testing “across the life cycle of weapons systems, platforms and equipment.”
* Training ranges and capabilities.
* Defense intelligence surveillance and reconnaissance.
* Defense education and training.
* Combatant commander joint training with allies to “assess the risks to U.S. security interests posed by climate change.”
* Joint Chiefs of Staff collaboration “with allies and partners to optimize joint exercises and war games including factors contributing to geopolitical and socioeconomic instability.”
Mr. Wood, now a military analyst at The Heritage Foundation, said the directive is muddled.
“I understand the motivation behind and intent for such guidance,” he said. “The problem is that it includes such a wide variety of issues with no explication or context that enables the offices mentioned to differentiate and prioritize activities and efforts across time or intensity.”
‘A lack of evidence’
The Department of Defense last issued a broad directive on climate change in July. It declared climate change an “urgent and growing threat to our national security” and blamed it for “increased natural disasters.”
The report also told commanders there are “more frequent and/or severe extreme weather events that may require substantial involvement of DoD units, personnel and assets in humanitarian assistance and disaster relief.”
This assertion is not supported by the U.N.’s most recent global warming predictions.
Roger Pielke Jr., a professor of environmental studies at the Center for Science and Technology Police Research at the University of Colorado, also has come to conclusions at odds with the Obama administration. He has testified on Capitol Hill, clashing with liberals who say his data are wrong.
“Current datasets indicate no significant observed trends in global tropical cyclone frequency over the past century,” he wrote in 2013. “No robust trends in annual numbers of tropical storms, hurricanes and major hurricanes counts have been identified over the past 100 years in the North Atlantic basin.
“In summary, there continues to be a lack of evidence and thus low confidence regarding the sign of trend in the magnitude and/or frequency of floods on a global scale.”
Rep. Raul M. Grijalva, Arizona Democrat, tried to silence Mr. Pielke by unleashing allegations and starting an investigation.
Fellow scientists have come to Mr. Pielke’s defense and accused Democrats of violating academic freedom.
“Congressman Grijalva doesn’t have any evidence of any wrongdoing on my part, either ethical or legal, because there is none,” Mr. Pielke wrote on a blog. “He simply disagrees with the substance of my testimony — which is based on peer-reviewed research funded by the U.S. taxpayer, and which also happens to be the consensus of the IPCC.”
The IPCC is the U.N.’s Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change.
“I have no funding, declared or undeclared, with any fossil fuel company or interest. I never have. Rep. Grijalva knows this too, because when I have testified before the U.S. Congress, I have disclosed my funding and possible conflicts of interest,” Mr. Pielke said. “So I know with complete certainty that this investigation is a politically motivated ‘witch hunt’ designed to intimidate me [and others] and to smear my name.”
Western Australia’s north hits 47C to become one of the hottest places on Earth
Western Australia has always had records for high temperatures so this is not at all new. Needless to say, however, Warmists are hopping on the bandwagon with claims that global warming is partly behind it. And equally needless to say, they are talking through their anus. There has been no global warming for over 18 years and things that don't exist don't cause anything.
Furthermore, the phenomenon is not only not global but it is also not Australia-wide. Where I live in Queensland we have had an unusually mild summer. Throughout December and January we had only a few very hot days and that is still so in February.
I am quoting my own long experience of Brisbane summers in saying that. I have no interest in seeing what the lying BOM say. But I do have strong confirmation of what I say. I have in my back yard eight Crepe Myrtle trees that in their time have always blossomed in January -- but it is now well into February and they are still not out. Their inbuilt thermometers too say it is not yet a real summer
WESTERN Australia may well be the hottest place on earth right now, and we don’t mean when it comes to being on-trend.
An isolated air strip in the state’s north west suffered through temperatures surpassing 45C yesterday which could be more than anywhere else on the planet.
By 8am this morning temperatures had already nudged 30C at Garden Island, south of Perth, and highs of 42C are expected in the city this afternoon. Further north, Gascoyne Junction, in the state’s north could reach a whopping 47C.
There is little relief in sight with the Western Australian capital set to swelter through four consecutive 40C days for the first time in 83 years. If Perth passes 40C each day to Wednesday it will equal a record set in 1933.
While temperatures may dip slightly heading towards the weekend, meteorologists say it’s likely to be a temporary reprieve with the sticky weather hanging around into next week
Meanwhile, the hot weather has brought out the Western Australian sense of humour with a slew of social media posts about the heatwave including one showing someone frying an egg with the aid of the scorching temperatures.
Shark Bay Airport, situated south of Carnarvon in the Gascoyne region in the state’s north, hit 47C yesterday. According to some reports that was enough to make it the hottest place on earth.
Bureau of Meteorology duty forecaster, Paul Vivars, said it wasn’t surprising Western Australia was pushing the mercury higher than anywhere else.
“We’re in summer in the southern hemisphere and while I’m not sure what the temperature is in central Argentina, it’s very possible WA is hotter,” he said.
Nevertheless, Perth was easily the hottest city on earth on Monday, with a high of almost 43C in the city’s eastern suburbs, and no other region on the planet had such widespread scorching temperatures as WA.
Mr Vivers said a slow moving high pressure system parked near the coast was in no rush to move on. “It’s been a steady pattern and conditions around Perth haven’t really changed much.,” he said.
“It’s going to stay pretty warm until Friday. Saturday or Sunday night might see five or six degree drop on the coast but after Sunday another trough could bring more hot weather in the mid to high 30s.”
The extreme heat has sparked fire and public health warnings for much of the state, with a total fire ban for most of the south of the state.
All fires in the open air, hot work such as metal work, grinding, welding, soldering or gas cutting without a permit and any other activity that may lead to a fire are prohibited.
Firefighters are already battling one large bushfire in the shire of Harvey, which has burnt out 400ha, with authorities battling extreme fire conditions as they fight to bring it under control.
Western Power is expecting near record power demand, with overnight temperatures set to drop no lower than 25C for the next two nights.
If you thought the scorching weather was just a fluke, think again, with a climate scientist today saying we should expect more of the same. Sarah Perkins-Kirkpatrick, from the Climate Change Research Centre at the University of NSW, said there had been an increase in heatwaves in the past five years particularly in southern parts of Australia.
“Rare heatwaves that we might only have seen every 20 years we could now see every two years which may not have happened if climate change hadn’t occurred,” Dr Perkins-Kirkpatrick said.
9 February, 2016
"Mr 97%" wimps out
On 31 January, I put up a challenge to Warmist John Cook. Cook runs a blog that purports to debunk skeptical challenges to Warmism and is the author of one of the famous "97% consensus" papers. He is much quoted by Warmists and could reasonably be regarded as one of the heavyweights of Warmism -- although he is in fact a young psychologist who has not even got his doctorate yet.
So my challenge stemmed from his claim that he can debunk all climate skepticism. As it happens, I live only about a 15 minute drive from where he works. So I invited him to visit me and give me the evidence that would prove imminent catastrophic global warming.
Somewhat to my surprise, he responded -- by email. He agreed to chat with me over coffee. I then emailed him asking if it would be OK if I recorded the conversation. I have not heard from him since! So we have the situation where a skeptic is not afraid to have his words recorded but a Warmist is. What does that tell you about who has something to hide? I think it speaks volumes.
But he is on to a good thing. He will undoubtedly get rapid promotion to a senior position. He knows on which side his bread is buttered: Definitely a young man going places -- JR
Are increases in global mean surface temperature a function of cumulative CO2 emissions?
The summary for policymakers issued by the IPCC in 2013 claims that they are and it has a graph here to prove it. The graph and associated work was celebrated in "Nature Climate Change" in November 2013. So are cumulative values the key to proving global warming? Is it a valid statistical approach? Jamal Munshi below shows that it is not. You can get similar results with random numbers
THE SPURIOUSNESS OF CORRELATIONS BETWEEN CUMULATIVE VALUES
Monte Carlo simulation shows that cumulative values of unrelated variables have a tendency to show spurious correlations. The results have important implications for the theory of anthropogenic global warming because e mpirical support for the theory that links warming to fossil fuel emissions rests entirely on a correlation between cumulative values
It is THICK ice that is killing polar bears
Thick spring ice due to natural causes is currently the single biggest threat to polar bears. Not declining summer sea ice – thick spring ice. That could change in the future but right now, the evidence supports that statement.
Polar bear deaths due to cyclical changes in Arctic sea ice thickness in the spring have continued despite rising CO2 emissions and declining summer sea ice extent (last major incident, 2004-2006): there is no reason to expect this will not continue. Unwarranted attention on summer ice extent has deflected attention from this major cause of local polar bear population decline.
Sea ice models do not address past or future changes in spring ice thickness and predictive models of polar bear survival blame all population declines on summer sea ice declines despite strong evidence to the contrary (Crockford 2015: The Arctic Fallacy).
Thick spring ice near shore drives seals to give birth elsewhere because they cannot maintain their breathing holes in the ice (below). This leaves mothers emerging from onshore dens with newborn cubs (above) with nothing to eat at a time when they desperately need food: cubs die quickly, mothers more slowly. Young bears on their own for the first time also die at higher rates than usual.
While some bears die, an unknown portion of the population size change is due to bears moving out of the region to find better hunting.
Despite the hype over September sea ice declines in recent years, the reality is that since 1973, when wanton over-hunting was halted, thick spring ice due to natural causes has been the single biggest threat to polar bears. Over the last 40 years or so, marked polar bear population declines have virtually always been associated with thick spring ice that reduced local ringed seal prey, although in some areas (like Hudson Bay) thick snow on top of sea ice have produced a similar result some years.
Thick spring sea ice conditions have occurred repeatedly in the Southern Beaufort (where numbers may have declined up to 50%, most recently in 2004-2006, but also in 1974-76) and occasionally in Hudson Bay. Historically, similar conditions have been noted in East Greenland.
Fortunately, when sea ice returns to normal, numbers have largely rebounded but where they have not, it’s possible some bears moved permanently out of the area. Evidence going back hundreds of years suggests this kind of population size fluctuation has always occurred and likely always will.
Despite these incidents, global polar bear numbers are higher than they have been in more than 50 years, although exact figures are still frustratingly uncertain after 40 years of research effort (newest estimate, by IUCN Red List 2015: 20,000-31,000).
Bird protection society betrays its mission
The cover of the January-February 2016 issue of Audubon Magazine proclaims: "Arctic on the Edge: As global warming opens our most critical bird habitat, the world is closing in". In reality, it is the magazine’s writers and editors who have gone over the edge with their misleading reports on the Arctic.
This magazine is so awash in misstatements of fact and plain ignorance of history, science, and culture, that they must not go unchallenged – especially since they epitomize the false and misleading claims that have characterized far too much of the U.S. and worldwide “news coverage” of “dangerous manmade climate change.” The following analysis corrects only some of the most serious errors, but should raise red flags about virtually every claim Audubon makes from the front cover to the back page.
The first part of the January-February issue devotes pages to each of the countries surrounding the Arctic Ocean. The Finland page says “storms become more severe” with warming. The writers are either clueless or intentionally misleading. I’ll give them the benefit of the doubt, as they likely did not take Earth Science or Meteorology, and they certainly have no clue about atmospheric fluid dynamics. The pole to equator temperature difference drives the strength of storms. If there actually is more warming in the Arctic, that temperature difference declines, and storm strength becomes less severe – not more so.
The Russia page mentions a familiar location, the Yamal Peninsula, home of one of climate science’s most famous trees. Both the Russia page and the Finland page say that current warming is causing “soggy tundra,” which is certainly not the case in North Slope Alaska, as discussed later in this article.
The Norway page describes the Black-legged Kittiwake and speculates that warming in the Barents Sea attracts herring which feed on Kittiwake prey. The authors are clearly unaware that natural warming and cooling cycles have been occurring for centuries. In the map below (Figure 2), the green dashed line shows extensive warming in the Barents Sea in 1769, just prior to the American Revolution, as derived from the Norwegian Polar Institute’s recent examination of ship logs to determine the extent of Nordic Sea ice. During that particular warm period, ocean currents and weather conditions made Svalbard and even parts of Novaya Zemlya (where the Soviets conducted their nuclear tests) ice-free.
Arctic Sea Ice
The Greenland page features “Greenland Warming,” with an image of tundra and a glacier in the background. However, only about 80% of Greenland is ice-covered; Greenland was warmer than today during the Medieval Warm Period; and abundant new ice formed in Greenland during the past century. A recent blog post estimates that only 0.3% of Greenland’s ice was lost during the twentieth century, and enough snow and ice accumulated on the Greenland Ice Sheet that Glacier Girl, the P-38 airplane that landed there in 1942, was buried in 268 ft of ice before she was recovered in 1992. That’s 268 feet in 50 years, well over 5 feet a year of ice accumulation, much of it during a period when Earth was warming and Greenland supposedly losing ice.
The cover photograph features a Russian oil rig amid an ice-covered Arctic Ocean. It, too, is supposed to instill fear, based on the suggestion that a once solidly icy Arctic is rapidly melting. However, history shows that the Nordic ice extent has been decreasing since at least the 1860s, and probably since the depth of the Little Ice Age, around 1690. The historic data, shown in Figure 3 below, indicate that multi-decadal variability of the Nordic Sea extent (on the order of 30-45% up or down each time) has been occurring for over 150 years.
Melting tundra deceptions
Toward the end of the January-February issue is an account of a visit to Wainwright, Alaska, an Inupiat village of about 556 natives, located on the Arctic Ocean in North Slope Borough. The native Inupiat desire to maintain their subsistence culture, which has been their tradition since their ancestors settled nearby about 13,000 years ago.
The article on Wainwright cites a 5 degree F increase in temperature on Alaska’s North Slope, an apparent reference to a supposed increase of that amount around Barrow. However, that increase was found to be contaminated by the urban heat island effect: even in Alaska, a winter average contamination of +4 degrees F to an extreme of almost +11 degrees F. In reality, there has been little or no warming in Barrow or the North Slope, as proven by the fact that, a mere four miles east-northeast of Barrow, the Berkeley Earth measuring station shows no temperature change over the past decade.
The caption to Figure 4 (from Audubon magazine) emphasizes rising ocean waters. However, most of Alaska has falling sea levels, the result of the isostatic adjustment of northern North America. This rebound effect began with the melting of the Wisconsin Ice Sheet, as Earth emerged from the Wisconsin Ice Age and entered the Holocene between 15,000 and 10,000 years ago. The nearest tide guage to Wainwright is Prudhoe Bay, and sea-level rise there is very small, 1.20 mm/year +/- 1.99 mm/year – so small that sea levels might actually be falling there, as well.
The Audubon writers mention “melting permafrost” numerous times, but when the natives spoke in 1979, they clearly did not think this is a problem. In fact, in their own words, as recorded in The Inupiat View, the natives specifically note that melt water is scarce in the North Slope Borough. What has happened in the years since?
First, the North Slope has a summer, and from early June until mid-September air temperatures average warmer than 32 degrees F; Wainwright’s extreme maximum once reached 80 degrees Fahrenheit! During the summer months, the soil melts, creating an “active layer,” meaning the surface is not permanently frozen, but is melted part of the year. Whether there actually is a “melting permafrost,” as claimed by Audubon, can be determined only by finding the long-term trend in the thickness of the active layer.
Specialists do study this phenomenon and publish reports on it in the Circumpolar Active Layer Monitoring Network, NOAA’s annual Arctic Report Card and elsewhere. Not all the Arctic Report Cards address permafrost issues, but the 2012 edition had an extensive section on permafrost. A quote from this edition pours freezing water on Audubon’s “melting permafrost” claim: “Active-layer thickness on the Alaskan North Slope and in the western Canadian Arctic was relatively stable during 1995-2011,” it notes.
The literature seems rife with alarmist claims, many of which seem to be politically motivated, as is this issue of Audubon. The NOAA Arctic Reports have a heavy dose of alarmist rhetoric, especially in the boilerplate introductory sections. But the actual measurements and data present nothing that supports the alarmist polemic of the day. If you look at the data, especially long-term data, the pattern which emerges is a centuries-long slow warming, with multi-decadal fluctuations. Significant or alarming anthropogenic trends are simply not there.
Audubon should focus on real problems
The Audubon Society and its magazine should stay away from areas where they have no expertise – specifically the imagined or invented catastrophic anthropogenic global warming. Audubon’s equivocal policy on wind power ostensibly calls on wind energy developers to consider planning, siting, and operating wind farms in a manner that avoids bird carnage and supports “strong enforcement” of laws protecting birds and wildlife. On the other hand, the same Audubon policy speaks about “species extinctions and other catastrophic effects of climate change” and “pollution from fossil fuels.”
When read together, this schizophrenic policy clearly puts Audubon on the side of climate alarmism – with the loss of protected, threatened and endangered birds and bats merely a small price to pay in an effort to save the planet.
No Dissent Allowed: U.S. Senators introduce amendment to muzzle climate ‘denial apparatus’
A Warmist report below
Democratic U.S. Senators Sheldon Whitehouse (RI), Ed Markey (MA) and Brian Schatz (HI) introduced an amendment into the energy bill yesterday intended to express Congress’s disapproval of the use of industry-funded think tanks and misinformation tactics aimed at sowing doubt about climate change science.
The amendment evokes the history of notorious anti-science efforts by the tobacco and lead industries to avoid accountability for the damage caused by their products, focusing similar ire on the fossil fuel industry’s decades-long climate cover-up.
Although it doesn’t name specific companies, the amendment is surely inspired by recent revelations about ExxonMobil’s early and advanced knowledge of the role of fossil fuels in driving climate change — which was followed by the company’s subsequent, unconscionable climate science denial efforts.
Just as tobacco and lead companies sowed doubt about the dangers of their products through the use of front groups and third-party experts, so did ExxonMobil — through its funding of a sophisticated network of denialists — work to deceive the public about climate science and the need for political action to end the fossil fuel era.
The most recent and damning #ExxonKnew revelations were published late in 2015 in investigative articles by both InsideClimate News and the Los Angeles Times in collaboration with the Columbia School of Journalism.
Sen. Bernie Sanders (I-VT) joined the amendment as a co-sponsor once it was introduced.
“It is the sense of the Senate that according to peer-reviewed scientific research and investigative reporting, fossil fuel companies have long known about the harmful climate effects of their products,” the amendment reads.
“[A]nd contrary to the scientific findings of the fossil fuel companies and of others about the danger fossil fuels pose to the climate, fossil fuel companies used a sophisticated and deceitful campaign that included funding think tanks to deny, counter, and obstruct peer-reviewed research; and used that misinformation campaign to mislead the public and cast doubt in order to protect their financial interest.”
In closing, the amendment lends support to the ongoing state Attorneys General investigations in both New York and California into what ExxonMobil and other fossil fuel interests knew, and when, about climate change risks and why the industry chose instead to attack the science to prolong its profits.
The amendment states the Senate “disapproves of activities by certain corporations and organizations funded by those corporations to deliberately undermine peer-reviewed scientific research about the dangers of their products and cast doubt on science in order to protect their financial interests…and urges fossil fuel companies to cooperate with active or future investigations into their climate-change related activities and what the companies knew and when they knew it.”
The Senate will continue deliberations on the full energy bill this week. Unfortunately, it is rife with fossil fuel industry giveaways, including expedited permitting for liquefied natural gas (LNG) terminals, subsidies for coal technology and more.
So it’s nice to see an amendment designed to shame, and hopefully stop, industry misinformation campaigns that have delayed much-needed action to usher the end of the fossil fuel era.
Warmists hoist with their own petard
Judith Curry comments on the cutbacks to climate science at Australia's CSIRO research organization
In the 1950’s and 1960’s, CSIRO was the word leader on atmospheric boundary layer research. In the 1970’s and 1980’s, CSIRO was a leader in atmospheric physics research, producing such scientists as Graeme Stephens and Peter Webster (who both left Australia for the U.S. in the 1980’s). Since the 1990’s, CSIRO has done important climate monitoring, and has also done climate modeling research, participating fully in the various CMIP and IPCC exercises. One has to wonder whether the health of climate science in Australia would be better if they hadn’t bothered with global climate modeling and playing the IPCC games, but rather focused on local climate issues and the climate dynamics of the Southern Hemisphere.
Now that the UN’s community of nations has accepted a specific result from consensus IPCC climate science to drive international energy and carbon policy, what is the point of continued heavy government funding of climate research, particularly global climate modeling? I have argued previously [e.g. link] that we have reached the point of diminishing returns from the current path of climate modeling. That said, we still don’t understand how the climate system works on decadal to centennial time scales, and have very little predictive capability on these time scales, particularly on regional scales.
To make progress, we need to resolve many scientific issues, here is the list from my APS Workshop presentation:
Solar impacts on climate (including indirect effects)
Multi-decadal natural internal variability
Mechanisms of vertical heat transfer in the ocean
Fast thermodynamic feedbacks (water vapor, clouds, lapse rate)
See also my previous post The heart of the climate dynamics debate. It is critical that we maintain and enhance our observing systems, particularly satellites. And we need much better data archaeology to clarify what was going on in the 19th and early 20th centuries, and also some more serious paleoclimatic reconstructions (that avoid Mannian tree ring ‘science’.)
Looking forward to a new U.S. President next year, whether the Democrats or the Republicans are in power, I don’t expect a continuation of the status quo on climate science funding. The Democrats are moving away from science towards policy – who needs to spend all that funding on basic climate science research? Global climate modeling might be ‘saved’ if they think these climate models can support local impact assessments (in spite of widespread acknowledgement that they cannot). If the Republicans are elected, Ted Cruz has stated he will stop all funding support for the IPCC and UNFCCC initiatives. That said, he seems to like data and basic scientific research.
In any event, I don’t think the current status quo regarding scientific research will continue. We will undoubtedly see many climate scientists redirecting their research, or leaving research positions for the private sector. Ironically, circa 1990, the DOE Atmospheric Radiation Measurement Program [link] was seeded by retreading nuclear scientists and engineers from the DOE labs to radiation and climate science.
JC message to climate scientists advocating for more funding at the same time they are claiming ‘settled science’ [e.g. Marcia McNutt]: you have been hoisted on your own petard. You are slaying climate science in the interests of promoting a false and meaningless consensus.
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.
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Posted by JR at 1:29 AM