Monday, November 28, 2016

National Geographic asked photographers to show the impact of climate change

The idea that you could photograph climate change is a considerable absurdity so it should be no great surprise that the results embodied much absurdity.

And equally absurd is the idea that you can support a generalization --  which global warming is -- by selected cases of something. I used to be something of a photographer in my youth and I am quite confident that I could produce a series of shots to "illustrate" just about anything.

For instance, just about everyone seems to have heard that Australia is a "dry" continent.  It is.  Most of it is deserts. But just by wandering around the tropical areas where I was born and bred, I could produce photos of things in Australia that "prove" the opposite: Photos of lush greenery, big rivers, scenic waterfalls and images of dairy cows grazing lush green fields of long grass.  Thus I could "prove" that Australia is NOT a dry country.  In fact, however, such a procedure would in fact give precisely wrong results.

Given the feebleness of the presentation, I am not going to attempt to critique it all so I will advert briefly to the text underneath a picture of animals grazing at dusk.

Underneath the picture, the following text occurs:

"These animals have found the secret stash of the orange farmer who dumps the oranges that have fallen from his trees at least seven kilometers away from the orchards to control the breeding of the fruit fly. It is the end of a winter exacerbated by global warming, which makes the season longer and drier and the summer hotter with less rain in an already dry climate"

Which is complete nonsense.  The scene is apparently from somewhere in South Africa and it may be that there was unusually low rainfall there recently. Rainfall varies.  But the low rainfall was NOT due to global warming.  Due to El Nino, there was indeed an unusually warm period globally in late 2015 and early 2016 but why should that cause less rain?  Hot weather evaporates more water off the oceans and that comes down again as rain. Which is why the tropics are wetter than elsewhere. El Nino should have caused MORE rain, not less.  Even the most basic physics seems to be unknown to most Warmists -- JR.

Stunning new data indicates El Nino drove record highs in global temperatures suggesting rise may not be down to man-made emissions

Global average temperatures over land have plummeted by more than 1C since the middle of this year – their biggest and steepest fall on record.

The news comes amid mounting evidence that the recent run of world record high temperatures is about to end.

The fall, revealed by Nasa satellite measurements of the lower atmosphere, has been caused by the end of El Nino – the warming of surface waters in a vast area of the Pacific west of Central America.

Some scientists, including Dr Gavin Schmidt, head of Nasa’s climate division, have claimed that the recent highs were mainly the result of long-term global warming.

Others have argued that the records were caused by El Nino, a complex natural phenomenon that takes place every few years, and has nothing to do with greenhouse gas emissions by humans.

The new fall in temperatures suggests they were right.

Big El Ninos always have an immense impact on world weather, triggering higher than normal temperatures over huge swathes of the world. The 2015-16 El Nino was probably the strongest since accurate measurements began, with the water up to 3C warmer than usual.

It has now been replaced by a La Nina event – when the water in the same Pacific region turns colder than normal. This also has worldwide impacts, driving temperatures down rather than up.

The satellite measurements over land respond quickly to El Nino and La Nina. Temperatures over the sea are also falling, but not as fast, because the sea retains heat for longer.

This means it is possible that by some yardsticks, 2016 will be declared as hot as 2015 or even slightly hotter – because El Nino did not vanish until the middle of the year.

But it is almost certain that next year, large falls will also be measured over the oceans, and by weather station thermometers on the surface of the planet – exactly as happened after the end of the last very strong El Nino in 1998. If so, some experts will be forced to eat their words.

Last year, Dr Schmidt said 2015 would have been a record hot year even without El Nino.

‘The reason why this is such a warm record year is because of the long-term underlying trend, the cumulative effect of the long-term warming trend of our Earth,’ he said. This was ‘mainly caused’ by the emission of greenhouse gases by humans.

Dr Schmidt also denied that there was any ‘pause’ or ‘hiatus’ in global warming between the 1998 and 2015 El Ninos.

But on its website home page yesterday, Nasa featured a new study which said there was a hiatus in global warming before the recent El Nino, and discussed why this was so. Last night Dr Schmidt had not returned a request for comment.

However, both his own position, and his Nasa division, may be in jeopardy. US President-elect Donald Trump is an avowed climate change sceptic, who once claimed it was a hoax invented by China.

Last week, Mr Trump’s science adviser Bob Walker said he was likely to axe Nasa’s $1.9 billion (about £1.4 billion) climate research budget.

Other experts have also disputed Dr Schmidt’s claims. Professor Judith Curry, of the Georgia Institute of Technology, and president of the Climate Forecast Applications Network, said yesterday: ‘I disagree with Gavin. The record warm years of 2015 and 2016 were primarily caused by the super El Nino.’

The slowdown in warming was, she added, real, and all the evidence suggested that since 1998, the rate of global warming has been much slower than predicted by computer models – about 1C per century.

David Whitehouse, a scientist who works with Lord Lawson’s sceptic Global Warming Policy Foundation, said the massive fall in temperatures following the end of El Nino meant the warming hiatus or slowdown may be coming back.

‘According to the satellites, the late 2016 temperatures are returning to the levels they were at after the 1998 El Nino.

The data clearly shows El Nino for what it was – a short-term weather event,’ he said.


Captain Cook's detailed 1778 records confirm global warming today in the Arctic (?)

The Warmists really are incredible.  Here they are generalizing from ONE YEAR!  We know that Actic ice waxes and wanes so how are we to know that 1778 was typical of anything?  It could have been an unusually hot or an unusually cold year.  We have no way of knowing. This is faith, not science

Passengers simmered in Jacuzzis and feasted on gourmet cuisine this summer as the 850-foot cruise ship Crystal Serenity moved through the Northwest Passage. [Led by two icebreakers!]

But in the summer of 1778, when Capt. James Cook tried to find a Western entrance to the route, his men toiled on frost-slicked decks and complained about having to supplement dwindling rations with walrus meat.

The British expedition was halted north of the Bering Strait by "ice which was as compact as a wall and seemed to be 10 or 12 feet high at least," according to the captain's journal. Cook's ships followed the ice edge all the way to Siberia in their futile search for an opening, sometimes guided through fog by the braying of the unpalatable creatures the crew called Sea Horses.

More than two centuries later, scientists are mining meticulous records kept by Cook and his crew for a new perspective on the warming that has opened the Arctic in a way the 18th century explorer could never have imagined.

Working with maps and logs from Cook's voyage and other historical records and satellite imagery, University of Washington mathematician Harry Stern has tracked changes in ice cover in the Chukchi Sea, between Alaska and Russia, over nearly 240 years.

The results, published this month in the journal Polar Geography, confirm the significant shrinkage of the summer ice cap and shed new light on the timing of the transformation. The analysis also extends the historical picture back nearly 75 years, building on previous work with ships' records from the 1850s.

"This old data helps us look at what conditions were like before we started global warming, and what the natural variability was," said Jim Overland, a Seattle-based oceanographer for the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration who was not involved in Stern's project.

Though earlier explorers ventured into the frigid waters off Alaska, Cook was the first to map the ice edge, Stern said. Cook undertook the voyage, which also covered the Northwest coast, on orders from King George III to seek a shorter trading route between Europe and the Far East across the top of the world.

Stymied by the ice, Cook headed for the winter to Hawaii, where he was killed by native people.

Stern's analysis found that for more than 200 years after Cook's visit the summer ice cover in the Chukchi Sea fluctuated, but generally extended south to near where Cook encountered it.


Another Blow To CO2…French Scientist’s Research Attributes Most Global Warming To Solar Activity

More fresh climate science just out showing that the sun is the main driver of our climate.

The Dutch-British publishing company Elsevier B.V. has put online a paper entitled “Earth Climate Identification vs. Detection and Attribution”. This publication, referenced on the ScienceDirect website, was revised in the due rules by a peer committee in Annual Reviews in Control (ARC), one of the seven scientific journals of IFAC, federating thousands of international experts in automatic control and modelisation of complex systems.

The paper’s author, Professor Philippe de Larminat, applied the proven techniques of dynamical systems identification to the Earth climate, using paleoclimatic databases available from the major institutes and international organizations. It follows that “with a 90% probability level, one cannot reject the hypothesis of a zero anthropogenic contribution”. While “the hypothesis of a low sensitivity to solar activity must be rejected with a probability level greater than 90%.”

Conversely, the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) considers that “it is extremely likely that human influence has been the dominant cause of the observed warming since the middle of the 20th century”, this on the basis of the “Detection and Attribution”, a theory explicitly dedicated to anthropogenic attribution of recent climate change.

The paper presents and clarifies the causes of this contradiction:

* The main one is due to the durations used for climate observations: a thousand years for identification, at most one hundred and fifty years for the Detection-Attribution, thereby eliminating the millennia events of the Medieval Warm Period and the Little Ice Age, notoriously correlated to solar activity. “It has the effect of minimizing the contribution of solar activity,” says the author.

* The second contradiction is due to a confusion between cause and effect, about the El NiƱo events. The author examines the reasons for this “heavy methodological error, which is obvious to any expert in systems science”.

Could the Philippe de Larminat publication challenge the prevailing consensus on anthropogenic climate change, consensus which is turning the world economic issues (COP 21, 22) as far as the moral issues (Laudato si)? Questioned on the eventuality that a new consensus can emerge, that of a preponderant influence of solar activity on the climate, the author only recalls:

Neither the consensus nor the votes have any place in science; only the evidence matter. To the argument of authority, French philosopher Descartes opposed the authority of the argument. But the consensus is only a submission to the argument of authority, the lowest ever.”

This publication, whose part is accessible even to the non-experts, confirms the conclusions already advanced by the author in his previous work “Climate change – identification and projections” (ISTE/Wiley, 2014).


Australian anti-immigration politician slips into wetsuit for barrier reef trip -- and finds that all is well with the reef

Most of the media have been amusing about this.  They say that she has embarrassed herself by not going to the "right" part of the reef.  But that claim is itself a message that only part of the reef is affected by bleaching.  We can perhaps be thankful to them for getting that message out to a wider audience.

There are many possible causes of bleaching but the  loons of the Green/Left are sure it is caused by global warming.  And that might pass muster when we note that the bleaching has occurred in the most Northerly (and hence warmer) one-third of the reef.  Problem:  Coral LIKES warmth, which is why the Northern part of the reef normally has the greatest biological diversity.  Normally, the further North you go (i.e. the warmer you get), the greater the diversity.  So the cause of the bleaching is unknown.

As a fallback position, the Greenies say that the bleaching is caused by agricultural runoff.  Problem: The Northern part of the reef runs along an area of the Cape York Peninsula where there is virtually NO agriculture.  The soils there are too poor for it to be economically feasible.  So no runoff.  "Facts be damned" seems to be the Greenie motto

Pauline Hanson has slipped into a wetsuit and made a splash on the Great Barrier Reef to show the world the natural wonder is worth visiting amid claims it is dying.

The senator, who once cooked fish for a living, went swimming off Great Keppel Island today and expressed concerns about reports on the reef's health.

Ms Hanson says agenda-driven groups are telling "untruths" about the state of the reef that are harming the tourism industry and businesses.  "When we have these agendas that are actually destroying our tourism industry and businesses ... we need to ask the questions and we want answers," she said. "The Greens have no concern about people and jobs that we need here in Queensland, and the escalating costs that we are feeling from the effects of this."

One Nation senators Malcolm Roberts, who has long argued the case that global warming doesn't stack up, and Brian Burston were also on the reef trip.

Mr Roberts said people had stopped coming to the reef because they were being told it was dead and that Australia should not be reporting on its health to the UN agency UNESCO.

Conservationists are concerned climate change is putting severe stress on the reef, which experienced a massive coral bleaching event this year, and some have declared it's dying at an unprecedented rate.

They say Ms Hanson and her senators visited the wrong part of the reef as the southern sections had been least affected by the worst bleaching event in the icon's history.

The World Wildlife Fund said One Nation should have visited Lizard Island where bleaching, caused by high water temperatures, has killed much of the coral.



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