Tuesday, March 13, 2007

Prof. Wunsch is feeling the heat

He is probably under a lot of pressure now so one cannot really blame him for trying to back off. Post below lifted from Global Warming Hyperbole

The following articles pegged the bullshit meter all the way off the scale.

Climate scientist 'duped to deny global warming' - Ben Goldacre and David Adam, yes David Adam, Environmental Corespondent for the Guardian, the same David Adam that blogged his comments on the program without even watching it first! (03/10/07)

Climate change: An inconvenient truth... for C4
This expert in oceanography quoted in last week's debunking of the Gore green theory says he was 'seriously misrepresented' - By Geoffrey Lean, Environment Editor (03/10/07)

Less than 48 hours after this controversial new documentary challenging some of the assertions that man made CO2 is causing global warming aired on British TV, one of it's participants is claiming that his views were "grossly distorted" by the film. Professor Carl wunsch of the Massachusetts Institute of Technology continued to say that not only was he "totally misled" and "completely misrepresented" but also that the film was "as close to pure propaganda as anything since World War II."

According to Independent, Professor Wunsch said "I am angry because they completely misrepresented me. My views were distorted by the context in which they placed them. I was misled as to what it was going to be about. I was told about six months ago that this was to be a program about how complicated it is to understand what is going on. If they had told me even the title of the program, I would have absolutely refused to be on it. I am the one who has been swindled".

The Professor went on to say that he believes it is "an almost inescapable conclusion" that "if man adds excess CO2 to the atmosphere, the climate will warm".

After viewing these comments by the professor only hours after watching the program, I was shocked. I decided to go back and analyze the scenes in which the good professor appeared, and see if I could possibly imagine a "context" in which the actual words uttered by Professor Wunsch would have had a significantly different meaning. I could not. Maybe you can. I have printed the Professor's words as they appeared in the film, and the time at which they appeared. The film is currently available on Google Video but I don't know how long it will be there.

In this portion of the discussion, Professor Wunsch begins by explaining how the ocean's surface temperature plays a role in the exchange of carbon dioxide. He later comments on the vastness of the oceans, and their extremely slow reaction to any changes in climate as a result of such vastness.

Professor Wunsch:
25:43 The ocean is the major reservoir into which carbon dioxide goes when it comes out of the atmosphere or to from which it is re-emitted to the the atmosphere. If you heat the surface of the ocean, it tends to emit carbon dioxide. Similarly, if you cool the ocean surface, the ocean can dissolve more carbon dioxide.

Professor Wunsch:
26:44 - The ocean has a memory of past events ugh running out as far as 10,000 years. So for example, if somebody says oh I'm seeing changes in the North Atlantic, this must mean that the climate system is changing, it may only mean that something happened in a remote part of the ocean decades or hundreds of years ago who's effects are now beginning to show up in the North Atlantic.

In this portion of the film, the professor is speaking about the complexity of climate models and how their results can be greatly influenced by the input data they are given.

Professor Wunsch:
49:22 - The models are so complicated, you can often adjust them is such a way that they do something very exciting.

Professor Wunsch:
50:46 - Even within the scientific community you see, it's a problem.
If I run a complicated model and I do something to it like ugh melt a lot of ice into the ocean and nothing happens, ugh it's not likely to get printed. But if I run the same model, and I adjust it in such a way that something dramatic happens to the ocean circulation like the heat transport turns off, ugh it will be published. People will say this is very exciting. It will even get picked by the media. So there is a bias, there's is a very powerful bias within the media, and within the science community itself, toward results which are ugh dramatizable. If Earth freezes over, that's a much more interesting story than saying well you know it ugh fluctuates around, sometimes the mass flux goes up by 10%, sometimes it goes down by 20%, but eventually it comes back. Well you know, which would you do a story on? That's what it's about.

I've watched this video several times now and I can't believe the comments made in the film, and those in the above mentioned articles came from the same man. In my opinion, the Professor's words speak for themselves. I don't see how they could mean anything other than what they mean.

The heat is from the Sun

We live in extraordinarily hot times, says Sami Solanki of the Max Planck Institute for Solar System Research in Germany. In 2004, he led a team of scientists that, for the first time, quantitatively reconstructed the sun's activity since the last Ice Age, some 11,400 years ago. Earth hasn't been this hot in 8,000 years and, he predicts, the hot spell will carry on for a few more decades before the sun turns down the heat.

The 19th and 20th centuries are especially noteworthy. "The sun is in a changed state. It is brighter than it was a few hundred years ago and this brightening started relatively recently -- in the last 100 to 150 years," he says. "The sun has been at its strongest over the past 60 years and may now be affecting global temperatures."

Dr. Solanki gives cold comfort to those who claim that global warming took off with the Industrial Revolution, and that the warming we've seen over the last century is mostly man-made. To demonstrate how unlikely this is, Dr. Solanki shows an almost perfect correlation between solar cycles and air temperatures over the land masses in the Northern hemisphere, going back to the mid 19th century.

For example, when the length of solar cycle increased dramatically, as it did in from 1910 to 1940, so did the temperature on Earth; when it decreased, as it did from the 1940s to the 1960s, so too did Earth temperatures. Dr. Solanki's startling correlation marked a pivotal point in the climate change debate: Its publication, more than any other single event, caused researchers around the world to examine the role that the sun plays in heating and cooling our planet.

Not that Dr. Solanki discredits the role of man-made greenhouse gases, such as carbon dioxide. These have probably played a large role in Earth's climate, he believes, but only since 1980 or so, when the sun's almost perfect correlation with Earth temperatures ended. He also believes that evidence that greenhouse gases have played a larger role in climate change may some day turn up, because his near-perfect correlation does not constitute proof. To date, however, he hasn't seen anything compelling that undermines his own findings.

The answer to most of the global warming we have seen over the past century, Dr. Solanki believes, will likely be somehow associated with the sun, and involve one or more of its parameters. It could be the sun's total irradiance, he states, citing work by others that he respects, or it could be the solar spectral irradiance, in particular with regard to ultraviolet radiation in the stratosphere. Or it could be the sun's open magnetic flux, which modulates the galactic cosmic-ray flux. Or it could be other factors -- many potential solar drivers of our climate exist.

Dr. Solanki is especially taken with the work of the Danish National Space Agency, which demonstrated the dramatic effect that cosmic rays can have on cloud formation, and thus temperatures -- "the mechanism is just too beautiful to ignore," he offers.

Among the factors that he believes hold great promise, and that cry out for investigation, are the sun's irradiance and its magnetic field, which underlie all solar activity. "Unfortunately, regular and detailed measurements of the sun's surface magnetic field are only available for a few decades, not long enough for comparison with climate," he says on his Web site. "Records of the solar irradiance are available for an even shorter length of time" -- accurate measurements began in 1978 using instrumentation aboard spacecraft. With knowledge of these fundamental determinants of Earth's climate still in their infancy, we cannot act with confidence on climate change.


How winter became cooler than global warming

If this is global warming, we could do with a lot more (or a lot less) of it, depending on how you choose to look at February's sub-zero temperatures. Actually, the pieces were already in place last summer for a severe winter. This one was just a little late in arriving -- groundhog or not.

Six months ago, NASA satellites, scanning the northern Pacific Ocean, showed water temperatures in the Gulf of Alaska dipping below what they had been for much of the previous decade (what are called negative anomalies). A few climate experts, paying attention to this new development, suggested we might be getting close to turning the corner in this latest warming, but their observations went unheeded in the media.

Cooling Pacific waters may be hinting that the rising global temperature is already beginning to reverse a 30-year trend.

No element of climate exerts more influence on weather patterns in the short or long term than does the Pacific Ocean. Last summer the media were preoccupied instead with another El Nino weather pattern. That same El Nino was to play a role at the beginning of the upcoming winter.

As winter approached, I began to notice a steady buildup of cold air (by recent standards) over northeast Asia (eastern Siberia) and Alaska throughout December. Since then, Anchorage was treated to record snowfalls that brought the moose to town. Full-blown frigid air masses continued to press east and southward, as they are inclined, from northwestern Canada.

One after another, the cold fronts rolled first into the Pacific coast states (freezing California oranges), then into the Rocky Mountains during January. Record snows paralyzed Denver as the cold air collided with recurrent wet El Nino air masses from the Pacific.

In recent weeks, the battle ground of dueling air masses shifted to the Plains and the Great Lakes regions with the result that snow now has covered half the land area of the country and, in some places, in record depths. It seems odd that associates convinced themselves and me (well, almost) that there would be no more really cold winters, that old-fashioned winter was just a fading memory.

Our problem in coming to grips with climate changes (climates have continually changed since Earth first had oceans and an atmosphere) lies more in perceptions, abetted by short memories and constant stoking by story-hungry media. In actuality, we and our forebears have been blessed beyond comprehension with a comparatively stable climate, permitting the development of civilization, during the 10,000 years following the retreat of the continental glaciers.

Advocates have tried to convince us that what may turn out to be only the natural ebb and flow in climate patterns portends a dangerous upward trend in global temperature. I recall how, as a young man involved in research back in the 1970s, some of the same voices now warning of an impending runaway greenhouse effect were then warning of an impending return of the glaciers. They almost had me convinced. Then along came the great Pacific climate shift (1976-77) and that was the end of "global cooling."

The coldest outbreak of Arctic air the United States has seen in more than three decades is more than a little ironic, coming on the heels of Al Gore's Oscar win for his global warming movie and the United Nations climate committee's press release previewing their pending report.


Australia: TV viewers keen to save the planet? Not really

TEN Network's programmers are baffled. With so much attention on climate change and consumer research indicating viewers were keenly interested in a 2« hour feast of practical advice on how they might save the planet, Ten's ratings for the Cool Aid blockbuster on Sunday night were still a disaster. Viewing numbers peaked at 618,000, compared with more than 1.6 million each for Grey's Anatomy and CSI on Seven and Nine respectively, and averaged just 464,000 people across the country.

"Truthfully, we're confused," says Ten's network head of programming, Beverley McGarvey. "They didn't come. It's not like they came to the show, sampled it and went away. They didn't come. "We had study guides in schools, we had the full support of the print media, [Natch!] both editorially and with advertising, and an extensive [Ten Network] on-air campaign with a number of different creative treatments and different stances. "We spent a fortune to get the audience there and it didn't work. We've talked about it quite a lot internally. We're disappointed."

Ten isn't alone. Despite the focus on climate change, the green conundrum is alive across myriad product categories, including toilet paper. Australians spend $500 million a year on the stuff but just $20 million each year goes to brands using recycled paper. Since 2005 the category has been in decline, although it showed some promise in the latter part of last year.

The success story for Australian paper manufacturer ABC in the past 18 month has been its conventional brand Quilton stealing market share from big brands such as Sorbent and Kleenex, rather than improved sales of its recycled Naturale range. "Recycled as a category is bugger all," says Joe Hancock, managing director of Gorilla Communications which developed the Quilton ad campaign Loves your Bum. "Using recycled toilet paper is a no-brainer yet people are not prepared to make the sacrifice on their arse." Toilet paper and TV shows are entirely different categories but both are facing the same challenge on the green front - how to get mass appeal and then turn a buck.

The latest research says it should be possible. Grey Global's annual Eye on Australia consumer trends study is about to release its findings for 2007. On the environmental front, Australians say they're interested in environmental issues and behavioural change. "For the first time this year people say they can make a difference when it comes to the environment," says Grey's managing director, Jane Emery. "Roughly 60 per cent say they can make a difference." The biggest shock in this year's survey, however, is that 50 per cent of Australians now say they will need to start "dobbing each other in" for bad environmental behaviour such as wasting water resources. "That's a major change," says Emery.

But between all the pro-environment rhetoric from consumers, Grey also found disparities between sentiment and behaviour. Part of the Eye on Australia work includes an ethnographic study where researchers visit homes. "People are quite passionate about it but when you wander around the house, all they've got is a bucket in the shower," says Emery. "They don't know what to do." If Ten Network's experience means anything, the masses may not really want to.

Planet Ark's chairman and Australian frontman for Al Gore's hit documentary An Inconvenient Truth, John Dee, begs to differ. "We are naive if we think everyone is going to drop their spending habits overnight," he says. "To get people to switch brands, you are striking at the heart of why people buy brands. "When people say they really care about the environment they really do care. What gets in the way of rhetoric and action is price and quality." Dee argues education is critical, pointing to a mail-out of "how to save" leaflets to 5 million homes last week by companies such as Bunnings, Philips, Hills Industries, CSR's Bradford Insulation, Jackgreen.com.au and mailhouse Salmat. "So much of the Government rhetoric which has gone out to combat climate change has been around costing jobs and damaging the economy that households don't realise many of the changes they can make can actually save money," says Dee.


Australia: Queenslanders to shower by the clock

Where Greenie dam-hatred has got Queensland

A small, plastic egg timer is the latest weapon in the fight to keep southeast Queensland from running dry. The Queensland Water Commission today announced level five water restrictions that will target in-home water use. The commission says shower timers hold the key to making huge savings in the home. The timers will be distributed widely as part of an education campaign encouraging people to spend just four minutes per day in the shower - down from the average seven-minute wash - to save 36 litres, per person, a day.

But commission chair Elizabeth Nosworthy denied the shower reductions would trigger a body odour problem in the state's south-east. "It's not a big thing," she said. "We're not asking them to give up a huge lot to go from a shower of seven minutes to a shower of four minutes." She said cutting showering times - which could include turning water off while soaping up - was the easiest and quickest way to achieve massive water savings in the home.

Residents will also be encouraged to plug sinks rather than let taps run, run full dishwashers on economy settings, use washing machines only with full loads and use grey water or shower water on gardens. Together with shorter showers, this would save 61 litres per person each day. Water savings devices such as dual flush toilets, water tanks, and water efficient shower heads, dishwashers, and washing machines will also be encouraged. Ms Nosworthy said the education campaign was about changing people's behaviour for the long term.



Many people would like to be kind to others so Leftists exploit that with their nonsense about equality. Most people want a clean, green environment so Greenies exploit that by inventing all sorts of far-fetched threats to the environment. But for both, the real motive is generally to promote themselves as wiser and better than everyone else, truth regardless.

Global warming has taken the place of Communism as an absurdity that "liberals" will defend to the death regardless of the evidence showing its folly. Evidence never has mattered to real Leftists

For more postings from me, see TONGUE-TIED, EDUCATION WATCH, POLITICAL CORRECTNESS WATCH, FOOD & HEALTH SKEPTIC, GUN WATCH, SOCIALIZED MEDICINE, AUSTRALIAN POLITICS, DISSECTING LEFTISM, IMMIGRATION WATCH and EYE ON BRITAIN. My Home Pages are here or here or here. Email me (John Ray) here. For times when blogger.com is playing up, there are mirrors of this site here and here.


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