Tuesday, November 18, 2008

Winemaker thinks AGW is all bull

Winemakers/growers are very close observers of temperature and weather generally. They have to be

I have a sticking point with the `science of global warming'. It's not global. In fact, it is confined in the main to the Northern Hemisphere. If `greenhouse theory' were correct, warming would be seen in all places and in all seasons. But, the advance in temperature is mostly in the winter and spring. There is an obvious cause for this and it's the heat stored in the oceans as a result of episodes of tropical warming that are described as `El Nino' events after the most obvious manifestation in the Pacific Ocean. In brief, this is the situation as I see it:

In the Southern Hemisphere there is very little warming but a lot of drying due to the expansion of the cloud-free area of the tropics we call the `Hadley Cell'. This is due to the increase in sea surface temperatures across the tropics.

In Antarctica, temperatures at the South Pole have been falling since 1957 when the US base `Amundsen Scott' was established. Warm air ascending in the tropics is balanced by cold air descending on Antarctica, the coldest place on Earth. The islands of the South East Pacific near Peru have been cooling for 100 years. The big solar cycle made up of nine individual 11-year cycles is 100 years. We are getting to the end of that 100-year cycle. In the last year, sunspots have almost disappeared, the tropics have cooled and Antarctica has started to warm.

The Earth is closer to the sun in January than in July so there is an extra 90 watts per metre of solar radiation, an increase of 7% over the July figure. The Southern Hemisphere is more ocean than land. Ocean is a good heat absorber because it is transparent. The land is a fast emitter. That's why average global temperatures `as measured in the atmosphere' are higher in July than in January.

The tropical ocean is warmest in April at the end of the Southern Hemisphere summer. That provides the pulse of warmth to heat the Northern Hemisphere in December-January when the average global temperature over land falls to 3oC. It takes about six months for the waters of the Gulf of Mexico to arrive off Britain.

Man is a land-dwelling animal. This is where the complaints are coming from. The fishes seem to be happy enough. The whales need to feed in the Antarctic and birth their young in the tropics because the newborns have not the fat to keep them warm. Life is a little easier for them now that the ocean is warmer.

Over the last 30 years we have had one El Nino event after another. Prior to that we had 30 years of one strong La Nina event after another. This pattern is apparent in Figure 1 where we aggregate the Southern Oscillation Index for each solar cycle. Furthermore, it is very likely that the changes that occur in the tropics drive the Pacific Decadal Oscillation Index which is correlated with changes in climate (and fish populations) in the North Pacific.....


Greenhouse theory does not stack up. `Tropo' in `troposphere' is Greek for `turning'. If the surface of the Earth heats up the troposphere turns faster and eliminates heat more efficiently. At an average depth of 10km, the troposphere is very thin. Moving air will not hold heat. Even in the warmest places, the nights can be cool. It is the ocean that is the real store of warmth and it is the coastal places that stay warmer overnight and in winter.

Carbon dioxide is less than one-twenty-fifth of 1% of the air that we inhale. It is a much larger fraction of the air that we exhale. Are we to breathe less deeply and exercise less vigorously to reduce our carbon footprint? Carbon dioxide is what the plants need to make them grow and that is why it is scarce. While we have plants it will always be scarce. More carbon dioxide enables plants to grow faster and use less water. This will help to green the deserts. Let us not confuse environmental religion with observational science. Reliable science explains what we observe. One can not understand the climate system without an appreciation of the influence of geography, spatial relations, ocean currents and the physics that drive cloud cover over the tropics. We have managed to banish religion from politics. Now we need to do the same for science.

Much more here (See the original for links, graphics etc.)

Paleoclimatologist: Expect Global COOLING -- 'There's been no global warming in the 21st century'

A professor from Carleton University may get the cold shoulder from environmentalists when he speaks in London tomorrow. Tim Patterson, a paleoclimatologist from the department of Earth sciences, will give an opposing view to Al Gore's An Inconvenient Truth. Patterson is speaking at a Canadian Club of London luncheon. He believes we should expect global cooling rather than global warming in the coming years. "We're off on the wrong foot," he says. "

Climate change is not caused by humans, but by natural forces, Patterson says. His research indicates cosmic rays from the sun affect temperature by impacting cloud formation. When there are fewer cosmic rays, there are fewer clouds. Fewer clouds lead to warmer temperatures.

But Patterson predicts temperatures will drop as a result of the next solar cycle, which is much weaker than usual. Global cooling could significantly reduce Canada's agricultural output, he says. In the current financial crisis, it's essential our resources go into alleviating that problem, he says. Instead of focusing on carbon dioxide emissions, which Patterson calls "plant food," we should crack down on real air pollution caused by heavy industry, he says.

He also believes we need to adapt to the coming changes. His advice comes not from his role as a paleoclimatologist, but as a Scout leader. "Be prepared," he says. "The only constant in climate is change."


"Global warming spreads malaria"

The scare: The Times of India reported in the autumn of 2008 that James H. Diaz, program director for environmental and occupational health at Louisiana State University, had said that as international travel increased and climate patterns changed the US was becoming a more stable ecosystem for malaria mosquitoes. Diaz said that warm, dry summers followed by heavy rain caused mosquitoes to rush their breeding and to seek out more blood meals, which in turn bred more mosquitoes in less time. He added that warmer climate in major US cities with heavy international air traffic, such as New York and Los Angeles, seemed to have created an environment in which infected mosquitoes could survive.

Diaz said that the cycle began with a mosquito transported during an international flight from a malaria-endemic region. Once the infected female mosquito left the aircraft, it could survive long enough to seek blood meals and transmit the disease to other humans within the airport. This type of international transmission created an increased possibility for the reintroduction not only of malaria, but also of other vector-borne diseases such as dengue haemorrhagic fever and Chikungunya virus.

People infected with malaria could travel anywhere in the world in 24 hours or less. As long as the malaria-transmitting mosquitoes were present, countries might face larger local outbreaks of imported malaria, according to a release issued by the American Society of Tropical Medicine and Hygiene.

The truth: According to Professor Paul Reiter of the Institut Pasteur, the world's foremost expert on vector-borne infectious diseases, the anopheles mosquito that carries the plasmodium parasite that causes malaria is almost entirely insensitive to ambient temperature. It needs a temperature of at least 59 degrees F (15 degrees C) during the breeding season, but is otherwise capable of surviving in the open at temperatures as low as -25 degrees C.

Since most regions of the planet reach 15 degrees C in the summer, malaria is not - repeat not - a tropical disease. There is almost no region where the anopheles mosquito is incapable of surviving. For instance, the largest outbreak of malaria in modern times occurred in the 1920s and 1930s in northern Siberia, a territory not noted for its tropical climate. During the epidemic, some 13 million people were infected and 600,000 died; 30,000 of them as far north as the port of Arkhangelsk on the Arctic Circle.

Similar considerations apply to dengue, Chikungunya, and other diseases, which flourish in the tropics not so much because the tropics are warm as because the governments in tropical countries do not maintain efficient public-health measures to control the transmission of infectious diseases. The colonial powers often had effective measures in place: in Barbados during British rule, for instance, malaria was eradicated by the simple expedient of outlawing and eradicating any standing water so that there was nowhere for the mosquitoes to breed. In the United States malaria was once endemic, but public health and sanitation measures had almost entirely eradicated it by the end of the Second World War.

It is self-evidently true that the increased traffic between nations will tend to facilitate the transmission of any infectious disease. The Times of India's report is characteristic of alarmist reports generally, in that it conflates this problem with that of climate change, deliberately leaving readers with the impression that "global warming" will facilitate the spread of malaria. It will do no such thing.

The IPCC rejected Professor Reiter's nomination to write the malaria segment of the health chapter of its 2007 Climate Assessment Report first by pretending he had not been nominated and then by pretending that it had not received the four copies of the nomination papers that he had sent to separate officials. The two lead authors of that segment, unlike Professor Reiter, were not experts on malaria, and had published only one paper on the subject between them. One was not a scientist but an environmental campaigner.

Professor Reiter's public testimony to the UK House of Lords on this less-than-transparent conduct on the part of the IPCC eventually shamed it into appointing him as an expert reviewer of the 2007 report. He was, therefore, able to remove from the report most of the previously-included suggestions that "global warming" would lead to the spread of malaria. The malaria segment of the 2007 report was, therefore, considerably less inaccurate and alarmist than previous IPCC assessment reports.

Nevertheless, the public health authorities in many countries (including the United Kingdom, which as a former colonial power ought to know better) continue to issue inaccurate and misleading statements to the effect that "global warming" will facilitate the transmission of malaria. There is no scientific basis for any such statement. End of scare.



Report from Scotland

Power suppliers are turning back the clock to use coal-fired plants as their main source of electricity in a bid to avert potential shortages this winter. Latest figures from the National Grid show that the fuel accounted for 42.5% of all power generation, overtaking natural gas production for the first time in years. The surge, from a usual level of little more than a third of total output, comes as the major networks seek to fill a gap caused by a slump in nuclear energy output at East Kilbride-based British Energy.

Nuclear power accounted for as little as 10.5% of output during peak times last week. This is roughly half the levels of a couple of years ago and there had been fears that we could see the first power shortages as early as this month. "Conditions have certainly tightened for November but we have an adequate surplus of supply and expect things to ease as plant comes back on stream after maintenance and updates," commented a National Grid spokesman. "We are not expecting to issue warnings over potential shortages this winter."

The National Grid statistics, which change on an hourly basis, provide little comfort for those who believe that energy from renewable sources can plug the gap at any time in the near future - hydro-electricity from Scottish and Southern Energy accounted for just 1.4% of production and wind power only 1.3%. By contrast, imported power from France reached a peak of more than 4% last week.

The major power companies stress that the increased use of coal is compatible with the drive for cleaner energy, and ScottishPower is investing heavily in "clean coal" technology at its Longannet and Cockenzie plants which could provide a quarter of Scotland's energy needs. The development will cut carbon emissions by 20% and has been accompanied by a five-year supply contract with Scottish Coal which could be worth as much as 700 million pounds.

It has been welcomed by first minister Alex Salmond, who says it forms part of plans to exploit Scotland's natural resources along with the development of renewable energy sources. While the UK as a whole is struggling to meet EU targets to gain 20% of its energy from renewable sources, he believes Scotland could get up to 50% of its own needs from wind farms, tidal energy and biomass as well as hydro-electricity by the same date.

Much, though, depends on infrastructure investment to link the primary sources to the National Grid, which runs the transmission system in England and Wales and oversees operations in Scotland. The organisation, which also operates networks in the US, is due to update investors on Thursday over its plans to splash out 3 billion pounds a year on capital spending for the foreseeable future.

More here

Another Dissenter: Award-Winning NASA Astronaut and Moonwalker "Jack" Schmitt says 'global warming scare being used as a political tool'

The following email from Harrison H. Schmitt was sent to various members of the media and has been making the rounds. It refers to The Planetary Society (TPS) Climate Statement: "Accelerating research into global climate change through more comprehensive Earth observations." Most of the email concerns the desirability of new moon missions but it includes a short mention of AGW -- reproduced below:

I am sorry, but I can no longer support the society in its goals as they seem to have gone back to being more political than rational. I want humankind on Mars more than most, but I, at least, feel obligated to look at this goal rationally. Specifically, relative to your bullet points:

TPS Statement * accelerating research into global climate change through more comprehensive Earth observations

---As a geologist, I love Earth observations. But, it is ridiculous to tie this objective to a "consensus" that humans are causing global warming in when human experience, geologic data and history, and current cooling can argue otherwise. "Consensus", as many have said, merely represents the absence of definitive science. You know as well as I, the "global warming scare" is being used as a political tool to increase government control over American lives, incomes and decision making. It has no place in the Society's activities.

Emissions trading scheme up for review in New Zealand

The incoming National government will completely review the emissions trading scheme (ETS) - possibly including the science that says humans are to blame for climate change - as part of its support deal with Act. But Prime Minister-elect John Key is still confident an amended ETS will be passed into law before the end of next year. National campaigned on watering down the existing legislation within nine months to reduce what it said were barriers to economic growth. But Act campaigned on scrapping the ETS and has questioned whether human-induced climate change actually exists.

Under Act's support agreement a "special select committee" will be set up to review the current ETS and any proposed amendments "in light of the current economic circumstances". A draft terms of reference for the review attached to the agreement, includes hearing "competing views on the scientific aspects of climate change" and looking at the merits of a "mitigation or adaptation approach".

It also includes looking at the merits of an ETS, as opposed to a carbon tax, and the timing of any future climate change interventions. The deal requires the National government to pass immediate legislation delaying the implementation of the ETS until the review is complete. It also requires the lifting of a ban imposed this year on non-essential new fossil fuel-based power generation.

Mr Key today played down the significance of the draft terms of reference for the review, saying they were a proposal from Act and the final terms would be altered after National input. He said he personally believed human-induced climate change was real and it was still possible National would pass an amended ETS into law within the time-frame it had promised - which "broadly speaking" was the end of September next year. If that deadline could not be met he was confident changes could be passed before the end of 2009. He said that would give businesses enough certainty as the existing scheme did not take effect until 2010. "I'm quite confident the select committee will come up with what we always wanted which is more balance in this whole debate."

Mr Key said lifting of the ban on fossil-fuel power generation would not lead to a blow-out in emissions as planned Resource Management Act changes would make it easier for companies to get the green light for large-scale renewable projects. Mr Hide said he was happy with the "fundamental review" of the legislation, given that Act had only won 3.7 per cent of the vote. "We look forward to having a proper consideration ... of the whole scheme."



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1 comment:

Unknown said...

Dear Sir/Madam,
Timely required issues are highlighted on climate situation in the earth. As a scientist working in the field of vector control, I request the concern authorities to develop a strategy to implement every country in the world on the following matters.
1. Air port must be maintained free from vector borne diseases carrying mosquitoes. A squad must be kept ready to capture / kill all surviving mosquitoes during transition period of Air-craft from one country to another. This activities need minimum 30 minutes per air craft. Especially all international Air crafts must be included under this operation. Thereby all infected mosquitoes could be killed very easily. This will help overall in different countries in reducing cases on dengue, chikungunya and malaria and other viral diseases.
With kind regards,
Dr. T. Mariappan,
Vector Control Research Centre, (Indian Council of Medical Research), Puducherry,
E-mail: thirumari@yahoo.com