Sunday, August 16, 2009

A look at the sea-level raw data shows that the level is stable

Some excerpts below from a paper by Cliff OLLIER, School of Earth and Environment, The University of Western Australia, WA 6009, Australia []. Amusing that in this case too the data have to be "corrected" in all sorts of strange ways to produce the answer that Warmists want. Cliff is at least lucky that he was able to get at the raw data. Warmists often do all they can to prevent that. They slipped up on this one. See below Cliff's article for mention of some of their obstructiveness elsewhere


Graphs of sea level for twelve locations in the southwest Pacific show stable sea level for about ten years over the region. The data are compared with results from elsewhere, all of which suggest that any rise of global sea level is negligible. The Darwin theory of coral formation, and subsidence ideas for guyots would suggest that we should see more land subsidence, and apparent sea level rise, than is actually occurring. Sea level studies have not been carried out for very long, but they can indicate major tectonic components such as isostatic rebound in Scandinavia. Attempts to manipulate the data by modelling to show alarming rates of sea level rise (associated with alleged global warming) are not supported by primary regional or global data. Even those places frequently said to be in grave danger of drowning, such as the Maldives, Tuvalu and Holland, appear to be safe.

If you ask Google for information on sea level you get pages of claims that the Pacific islands are sinking in the sea. If you Google "Tuvalu" you will get messages of impending doom. And yet the best factual data available show that the islands, including Tuvalu, are not sinking. Of course the Climate Alarmists will keep this true information out of the literature as long as they can.

A tide gauge to measure sea level was in existence at Tuvalu since 1977, run by the University of Hawaii. It showed a negligible increase of only 0.07 mm per year over two decades. Between 1995 and 1999 it fell 3 mm. The gauge was closed in 1999. A new installation was set up by the Australian Bureau of Meteorology's National Tidal Centre in 1991, and was run by Flinders University of Adelaide.

Gauges are located on many islands, as shown in Figure 1. They used modern sophisticated equipment called SEAFRAME (Sea Level Fine Resolution Acoustic Measuring Equipment) shown diagrammatically in Figure 2. The sea enters a vertical cylinder whose position is kept constant by Global Positioning, and the sea level is obtained by bouncing sound waves off the surface and calculating how long it takes. It is all recorded automatically and transmitted to Australia. The results are shown in Figure 3.

The level was disturbed near the beginning because of the effects of ENSO (El nino-Southern Oscillation, often simplified to El nino), but since about 2001 there has been no significant change in sea level for any of the islands studied, including Tuvalu. Since all the stations shown in Figure1 show no change in sea level, it also shows no differential tectonic movement between the stations.

Of course the time involved is trivial compared with geological time, but the results suggest that the technique might have many more significant uses, especially in tectonically active coasts such as parts of Indonesia or California. If we had global cover we might be able to distinguish regions of differential tectonic movement. It would also be valuable to have such stations in other controversial `hot spots' of climate alarm, such as the Maldives.

One might have hoped that the number of stations would rapidly increase. Unfortunately, the stations were set up to demonstrate rising sea levels. When they so clearly failed to do so, the operation was apparently closed down.

Explaining it away

The results shown in Figure 3 have never been published in a "peer reviewed" journal. They are only available on the Australian Bureau of Meteorology website in a series of Monthly Reports that are "Untitled". See the latest at:

Vincent Gray explained in his newsletter, NZCLIMATE AND ENVIRO TRUTH NO 181 13th August 2008, that something had to be done to maintain rising sea level alarm, and it was done by a paper by John R Hunter at: Hunter first applies a linear regression to the chart for Tuvalu. He gets -1.0ñ13.7 mm/yr so Tuvalu is actually rising! The inaccuracy is entirely due to the ENSO rubbish at the beginning. He then tries to incorporate old measurements made with inferior equipment and attempts to correct for positioning errors. He gets a "cautious" estimate for Tuvalu of 0.8ñ1.9 mm/yr. He then tries to remove ENSO to his own satisfaction, and now his "less cautious" estimate is 1.2 ñ 0.8 mm/yr.

Does this show the island is rising? Just look at the inaccuracy. The commonsense interpretation of Figure 3 is surely that Tuvalu, and 11 other Pacific Islands, are not sinking over the time span concerned. The sea level is virtually constant.

Similar manipulation of sea level data is reported in Church et al. (2006) who consider the tropical Pacific and Indian Ocean islands. Their best estimate for sea level rise at Tuvalu is 2 ñ 1 mm/yr from 1950-2001. They wrote "The analysis clearly indicates that sea-level in this region is rising." Does this square with simple observation of the data in Figure 3? They further comment: "We expect that the continued and increasing rate of sea-level rise and any resulting increase in the frequency or intensity of extreme-sea-level events will cause serious problems for the inhabitants of some of these islands during the 21st century."

The data of Figure 3 simply do not support this excessive alarmism.

Sea level in other places

A near stability or very small rise seems to be the common finding of researchers who are not in the IPCC/CSIRO network. Moerner, for example, has shown in many papers (see references) that sea level is stable in many parts of the world. He produced a summary in the booklet The Greatest Lie Ever Told (see review in NCGT 44, 2007).

Church et al. (2006) are very critical of Moerner, claiming he has not presented evidence, but he certainly provided it in detail in his paper of 2007. The new sea level curve of the Maldives for the past 2,600 years is depicted in Figure 4. It is based on morphology, stratigraphy, biology and archaeology supported by extensive C14 dating.

Over 5,000 years there have been a number of rapid `spikes' of 60 - 100 cm that are of local or regional dimensions. Moerner, Tooley and Possnert (2004) noted that: "All over the Maldives there is evidence of a sub-recent sea level some 20 cm higher than the present one. In the 1970s, sea level fell to its present position."

More HERE (See the original for links, graphics etc.)

Another Warmist refusal to release their raw data

Every time they breach this basic scientific test of veracity, even using lies to do so, they cast grave aspersions on the correctness of their own analyses and conclusions. Some excerpts below from a post by Doug Keenan

Queen’s University Belfast is a public body in the United Kingdom. As such, it is required to make certain information available under the UK Freedom of Information Act. The university holds some information about tree rings (which is important in climate studies and in archaeology). Following discusses my attempt to obtain that information, using the Act.

When a tree is cut, you can often see many concentric rings. Typically, there is one ring for each year during which the tree grew. Some rings will be thick: those indicate years in which the environment was good for the tree. Other rings will be thin: those indicate the opposite.

Scientists study tree rings for two main purposes. One purpose is to learn something about what the climate was like many years ago. For instance, if many trees in a region had thick rings in some particular years, then climatic conditions in those years were presumably good (e.g. warm and with lots of rain); tree rings have been used in this way to learn about the climate centuries ago. The other purpose in studying tree rings is to date artefacts found in archaeological contexts; for an example, see here.

One of the world’s leading centers for tree-ring work is at Queen’s University Belfast (QUB), in Northern Ireland. The tree-ring data that QUB has gathered is valuable for studying the global climate during the past 7000 years: for a brief explanation of this, see here.

Most of the tree-ring data held by QUB was gathered decades ago; yet it has never been published. There is a standard place on the internet to publish such data: the International Tree-Ring Data Bank (ITRDB), which currently holds tree-ring data from over 1500 sites around the world. QUB refuses to publish or otherwise release most of its data, though. So I have tried to obtain the data by applying under the UK Freedom of Information Act (FoI Act).

I have submitted three separate requests for the data. Each request described the data in a different way, in an attempt to avoid nit-picking objections. All three requests were for the data in electronic form, e.g. placed on the internet or sent as an e-mail attachment. The first request was submitted in April 2007.

QUB refused the first request in May 2007. I appealed the refusal to a Pro-Vice-Chancellor of QUB, who rejected the appeal. The primary reason that the Pro-Vice-Chancellor gave for rejection was that some of the data was in paper form and had not been converted to electronic form. The Pro-Vice-Chancellor additionally claimed that after data was converted to electronic form, “It is then uploaded to the International Tree Ring Data Base”. There might indeed be some small portion of the data that is not in electronic form. My request, though, was for a copy of the data that is in electronic form. So, is all data that is in electronic form available at the ITRDB, as the Pro-Vice-Chancellor claimed?

QUB has in the past published the results of various analyses of its tree-ring data (most notably its claim to have sequences of overlapping tree rings extending back in time many millennia). In doing the analyses, the sequences of tree-ring data are analyzed statistically, and the statistical computations are done by computer. This is well known, and moreover has been stated by QUB’s former head tree-ring researcher, Michael G.L. Baillie, in several his publications. (Indeed, Baillie and his colleague Jon R. Pilcher, also at QUB, wrote a widely-used computer program for tree-ring matching, CROS.) Obviously the data that was used for those computations is in electronic form— and it has not been uploaded to the ITRDB. Thus the claim by the Pro-Vice-Chancellor is untrue.

The Pro-Vice-Chancellor further claimed that to organize the data in “the very precise categories which [I] have specified” [in my request] would entail a vast amount of work. My request, though, was merely for the tree-ring data that had been obtained and used by the university; that hardly seems like precise categorization. Moreover, I later submitted a second request for “the data about tree rings that has been obtained by [QUB] and that is held in electronic form by the university”. That request was also refused. And a third request that was very similar to the second was refused. All three requests were refused in whole, even though the university is required to make partial fulfillment when that is practicable.

After half a year of trying to obtain the information from QUB, I appealed to the Information Commissioner’s Office (ICO). The ICO is charged with ensuring that the FoI Act is enforced. My appeal to the ICO was submitted on 24 October 2007. The ICO notified me that an officer had been assigned to begin investigating my case on 14 October 2008. Such a long delay is clearly incompatible with effective working of the Act.

The ICO then contacted QUB, asking for further information. QUB then admitted that almost all the data was stored in electronic form. Thus QUB implicitly admitted that its prior claims were untruthful.

QUB now asserted, however, that the data was on 150 separate disks and that it would take 100 hours to copy those disks. (These were floppy disks—the type that slide into computers and, prior to the internet, were commonly used to carry electronic data.) It takes only a minute or two to copy a floppy disk, however; so the claim of 100 hours to copy 150 floppy disks is an unrealistic exaggeration.

QUB also said that it considered photocopying a printed version of the data, but that this would take over 1800 hours. As noted above, all my requests were for data that is in electronic form; moreover, I have repeated this point in subsequent correspondences with QUB. The statement from QUB about photocopying is thus not relevant.

On 22 December 2008, the ICO sent me a letter rejecting my appeal, on the grounds that the time needed by QUB would exceed an “appropriate limit” (as stipulated in the FoI Act). The ICO had accepted QUB’s explanation for refusing to release the data without question, and without discussing the explanation with me. I telephoned the ICO to raise some objections. To each objection that I raised, the ICO case officer gave the same reply: “I’m satisfied with their [QUB's] explanation”.

I also offered to visit QUB with the case officer, to demonstrate how quickly the data could be copied (e.g. from floppy disks), and to copy the data myself. This seemed particularly appropriate because the officer had told me when she started on the case that she would visit QUB as a standard part of investigation, yet she had not made such a visit. The officer, though, declined my offer, again saying that she was satisfied with QUB’s explanation.

There is a mechanism to appeal an ICO decision, to a tribunal. I told the case officer that I wanted to do so. The officer replied that, in order to file an appeal, I would need a formal Decision Notice from the ICO. I requested a Decision Notice. The officer then informed me that the ICO would send a Notice, but that, because they were busy, it would take about two years to do so.

I discussed the above with a colleague, David Holland. Holland said that my request should not have been processed under the FoI Act. His reasoning was that the information I was requesting was about the environment: environmental information is exempt from the FoI Act and requests for such information should instead be processed under the Environmental Information Regulations (EIR). He pointed out that the tree-ring data clearly fits the definition of “environmental information” given in the EIR. It also clearly fits the common (dictionary) definition.

I had been aware that the EIR existed, but had assumed that the EIR was essentially the same as the FoI Act. After the discussion with Holland, though, I checked and found that there is one major difference between the EIR and the FoI Act: under the EIR, there is no limit on the amount of time that a public institution requires to process a request. In other words, even if QUB’s original claim that some of the data was only available on paper were true, or even if QUB’s revised claim that copying data from disks would take 100 hours were true, that would still not be a valid reason for refusing to supply the information.

I am not an expert in how to apply the EIR or FoI Act, though. So I telephoned the ICO headquarters to ask for guidance. There I spoke with a Customer Service Advisor, Mike Chamberlain. Chamberlain told me the following: that the information seemed obviously environmental; that there was no limit on processing time that could be used to refuse a request for environmental information; that I could freely visit a site where environmental information was held in order to examine the information; and that it was the duty of the public authority (i.e. QUB) to determine whether the EIR or the FoI Act was applicable. Chamberlain also confirmed everything that he told me with someone more senior at the ICO.

It is regrettable that I had not realized the above earlier. My initial request to QUB, in April 2007, had stated the following: It might be that this request is exempt from the FOIAct, because the data being requested is environmental information. If you believe that to be so, process my request under the Environmental Information Regulations. QUB, however, had not processed my application correctly. I should have caught that.

There is another issue. I had described the information to the ICO case officer by telephone and also by e-mail (on 24 November 2008). Hence the case officer must have known that the information was environmental, and thus exempt under the FoI Act and only requestable under the EIR. Why did the ICO not act on that? On 29 January 2009, I e-mailed the case officer, citing the above-quoted statement from my request to QUB and saying “I would like to know the reasoning that led to my request being processed under the Freedom of Information Act, instead of EIR”. Initially, there was no reply.

The EIR was enacted pursuant to the Aarhus Convention, an international treaty on environmental information that the UK promoted, signed, and ratified. Failure to implement the EIR would constitute a failure by the UK to adhere to the Convention. So, a few weeks after e-mailing my question to the ICO, and with no reply, I contacted the Aarhus Convention Secretariat (ACS), at the United Nations in Geneva. The ACS has a mechanism whereby individuals can file a complaint against a country for breaching the Convention. I had an initial discussion with the ACS about this. That turned out to be unnecessary though. The Assistant Information Commissioner for Northern Ireland contacted me, on 10 March 2009: he was now handling my case and, moreover, he had visited QUB and seen some of the data.

On 22 April 2009, I received a telephone call from the Assistant Information Commissioner for Northern Ireland. The Assistant Commissioner said that he was preparing a Decision Notice for the case, and he made it clear that the Notice would hold that the data should be released under the EIR. The next I heard anything was on 13 July 2009, when it was announced that the Assistant Commissioner had been suspended. On 13 August 2009, I telephoned the ICO: I was told that a new officer would be assigned to the case within the next few days and that a draft Notice, which had been written by the Assistant Commissioner, was in the signatory process. I am presently awaiting further word....

So as soon as someone started to co-operate, he was fired! There sure are some badly worried people there -- JR

More HERE (See the original for links, graphics etc.)

Background information on why Irish tree-ring data is important: See here

Global Warming ate my data

I have already posted (on 14th) the article by Roger Pielke Jr. on this but I think it is worthwhile to add the summary below from the "Register"

The world's source for global temperature record admits it's lost or destroyed all the original data that would allow a third party to construct a global temperature record. The destruction (or loss) of the data comes at a convenient time for the Climatic Research Unit (CRU) in East Anglia - permitting it to snub FoIA requests to see the data.

The CRU has refused to release the raw weather station data and its processing methods for inspection - except to hand-picked academics - for several years. Instead, it releases a processed version, in gridded form. NASA maintains its own (GISSTEMP), but the CRU Global Climate Dataset, is the most cited surface temperature record by the UN IPCC. So any errors in CRU cascade around the world, and become part of "the science".

Professor Phil Jones, the activist-scientist who maintains the data set, has cited various reasons for refusing to release the raw data. Most famously, Jones told an Australian climate scientist in 2004: "Even if WMO agrees, I will still not pass on the data. We have 25 or so years invested in the work. Why should I make the data available to you, when your aim is to try and find something wrong with it?"

In 2007, in response to Freedom of Information Act requests, CRU initially said it didn't have to fulfil the requests because "Information accessible to applicant via other means Some information is publicly available on external websites".

Now it's citing confidentiality agreements with Denmark, Spain, Bahrain and our own Mystic Met Office. Others may exist, CRU says in a statement, but it might have lost them because it moved offices. Or they were made verbally, and nobody at CRU wrote them down. As for the raw station data,
"We are not in a position to supply data for a particular country not covered by the example agreements referred to earlier, as we have never had sufficient resources to keep track of the exact source of each individual monthly value. Since the 1980s, we have merged the data we have received into existing series or begun new ones, so it is impossible to say if all stations within a particular country or if all of an individual record should be freely available. Data storage availability in the 1980s meant that we were not able to keep the multiple sources for some sites, only the station series after adjustment for homogeneity issues. We, therefore, do not hold the original raw data but only the value-added (i.e. quality controlled and homogenized) data."

Canadian statistician and blogger Steve McIntyre, who has been asking for the data set for years, says he isn't impressed by the excuses. McIntyre obtained raw data when it was accidentally left on an FTP server last month. Since then, CRU has battened down the hatches, and purged its FTP directories lest any more raw data escapes and falls into the wrong hands.

McIntyre says he doesn't expect any significant surprises after analysing the raw data, but believes that reproducibility is a cornerstone of the scientific principle, and so raw data and methods should be disclosed.


More details of the ducking and weaving at the CRU here

Where is the global warming A-Team?

Those apparently tasked with carrying the standard for anthopogenic global warming are increasingly resembling the Gang That Couldn't Shoot Straight. This has huge implications for the political struggle for resources to reduce emissions and convert our energy base to greener technologies. So what follows will look like piling on--but it isn't. We really need to get better measurements, better analysis and better communications or our efforts to control global warming will go the same way as Australia's, where they recently voted down their version of Cap and Trade.

First up is Phil Jones from East Anglia University in the UK, where he is charged with collating, smoothing and computing average temperatures from thousands of measurement stations around the world. When served with Freedom of Information requests by climate skeptics, the response from Dr. Jones and East Anglia was more or less that they lost it. Steve Macintyre from Climate Audit, who made one of the FOI requests, reports on it here. Roger Pielke Jr., who also filed one request, talks about the implications of their inability to archive data here.

Key quote:"Can this be serious? So not only is it now impossible to replicate or reevaluate homogeneity adjustments made in the past -- which might be important to do as new information is learned about the spatial representativeness of siting, land use effects, and so on -- but it is now also impossible to create a new temperature index from scratch. CRU is basically saying, "trust us." So much for settling questions and resolving debates with empirical information (i.e., science)."

Next we find the climate scientists taking refuge at Real Climate with yet another controversy. This is about a paper they published last year saying, predictably enough, that Antarctica was warming, and, predictably enough, having huge problems with their analysis. Here is a discussion of the topic from Penn State, where Michael Mann of Steig et al has an appointment.

"In an entirely unrelated development, Steig et al have issued a corrigendum in which they reproduce (without attribution) results previously reported at Climate Audit by Hu McCulloch (and drawn to Steig’s attention by email) – see comments below and Hu McCulloch’s post here.

They also make an incomplete report of problems with the Harry station – reporting the incorrect location in their Supplementary Information, but failing to report that the “Harry” data used in Steig et al was a bizarre splice of totally unrelated stations (see When Harry Met Gill). The identification of this problem was of course previously credited by the British Antarctic Survey to Gavin the Mystery Man."

This week's episode of Weird Science concludes with yet another guest appearance by Real Climate contributor Micheal Mann, who has published a study on how hurricanes have developed with greater frequency than at any time in the past 1,000 years, according to this story in the Houston Chronicle. But, as noted in the article, "This is not Mann's first attempt to use “proxies” for actual observations of conditions to tease out historical climate details.

He was among the scientists whose global temperature reconstruction of the last 1,000 years — dubbed the “hockey stick graph” because it showed a distinct upward trend since the mid-19th century attributed to greenhouse gases — received both praise and criticism. Now he appears to be doing the same with hurricane activity, and the new work is not without its detractors.

“The paper comes to very erroneous conclusions because of using improper data and illogical techniques,” said Chris Landsea, science and operations officer at the National Hurricane Center. In his criticism, Landsea notes that the paper begins by saying that Atlantic tropical activity has “reached anomalous levels over the past decade.”

This ignores recent work by Landsea and a number of other hurricane scientists who found that storm counts in the early 1900s — in an era without satellites and fewer seaborne observers — likely missed three or four storms a year. The addition of these storms to the historical record, he said, causes the long-term trend over the last century to disappear." “This isn't a small quibble,” he said. “It's the difference between a massive trend with doubling in the last 100 years, versus no trend.”

It is occurrences such as these that will condemn good energy policy to failure. It is the work of those most convinced that global warming is an oncoming freight train that will make it impossible to resolve the real climate change issues we face. While they are busy blaming the skeptics, it is their errors that will haunt them when it comes to making decisions.

SOURCE (See the original for links)

Forest re-growth rediscovered

Is the Amazon rainforest recovering? New studies suggest that the long-term consequences of deforestation may not be as bad as predicted, as vegetation makes a comeback on abandoned agricultural land

In the past, scientists scorned the "secondary forests," as the new growth is called. There is no doubt that they are not nearly as spectacular as the species-rich primary forests, with their giant trees which are often centuries old, and that they are not home to nearly as many animal and plant species. But now a growing number of biologists are interested in this previously ignored vegetation. According to a United Nations study, the ecological importance of these new forests, which are "growing dramatically" all over the world, is "undervalued."

Is the rainforest truly recovering from overexploitation? And could it be that the consequences of deforestation are not as devastating as environmentalists have been preaching for years? "There are more secondary than primary rainforests in most tropical countries today," explains American biologist Joe Wright. "On the whole, the amount of land covered by vegetation is stable." In tropical countries, in particular, rural flight and urbanization have led to more and more farmers abandoning their fields, allowing new vegetation to grow rampant on the fallow ground. "The numbers speak for themselves," says Wright.

Wright is a research biologist at the Smithsonian Tropical Research Institute in Panama. He works in a wooden building built by the Americans in the former Canal Zone, just a few kilometers from Felipe Garcia's hut. He has spent the last 25 years studying Central American jungles, which have long consisted primarily of secondary vegetation. "Even the Mayans were cutting down forests," says Wright. Wright recently investigated areas that were cleared to build the Panama Canal, where the Americans displaced local settlers. Since then, much of the region has reverted to rainforest. To a layman, it is hard to recognize the difference between primary and secondary forest. In the Canal Zone's newer forest, monkeys screech, colorful butterflies flutter across jungle paths and an eagle circles overhead. According to Wright, "many animals adapt to the environment, and 80 percent of biodiversity is preserved."

With his field studies, Wright has triggered a scholarly dispute among scientists around the world. "Joe is naïve," says his adversary Bill Laurance, who conducted research in the Brazilian Amazon region for many years and even works at the same institute as Wright. Privately the two men are friends, but professionally they are bitter rivals.

Laurance fears that Wright is downplaying the destruction of virgin rainforest. "The conditions in the small country of Panama cannot be generalized. In the Amazon, cattle ranchers and the agricultural industry are destroying the jungle on a large scale. The undergrowth that thrives in cleared areas is a caricature of a forest."

Even Wright concedes that Brazil is a "key region" for the future of the rainforest. Three-quarters of the Amazon jungle lie in Brazilian territory. Nowhere else is the forest being destroyed so recklessly. Nevertheless, there is a lack of reliable information about the long-term consequences of overexploitation.

Brazil's National Institute for Space Research (INPE), which monitors the jungle via satellite, reports that 17 percent of the Brazilian Amazon rainforest has been deforested. But what happens in cleared areas when they are abandoned after years of agricultural use remains "a big mystery," says INPE researcher Claudio Almeida.

In Belem, in the Amazon delta region, the Brazilian scientist is currently setting up an INPE institute devoted to the study of rainforests. In his office, littered with moving boxes and electronic equipment, Almeida is sitting at a computer, analyzing satellite images transmitted by the INPE satellite-monitoring center in Sao Paulo. The current images from space only depict recently cleared areas of land. So far scientists have not looked at the question of how areas that were deforested some time ago have changed in the meantime. "We are now looking under the mask for the first time," says Almeida.

The Sao Paulo agronomist is studying secondary vegetation throughout the entire Brazilian Amazon region. Using satellite images, he selected 26 locations that were cleared years ago and eventually became overgrown with new vegetation. Then he spent two months driving from one location to the next. His conclusion? "Twenty percent of the deforested areas are recovering."

Nevertheless, Almeida is not issuing a general all-clear signal for the rainforest. "Within no more than five years, most of the secondary forests will be burned down or cut down again," he says. Cattle ranchers use the fallow fields as pasture, while farmers plant soybeans or cereal crops.

Nevertheless, the secondary vegetation provides Brazil with a significant benefit. The new forests help capture carbon dioxide, a greenhouse gas, thereby curbing global warming. "We have more biomass than was previously believed," says Almeida. The new forests will be a central issue at the UN Climate Change Conference in Copenhagen in December, where the successor to the Kyoto Protocol is to be discussed.

Wright, for his part, would like to see secondary forests placed under protection right away. "In many countries, there isn't any old-growth vegetation left. We have to protect what's left to protect."


What a laugh! Warmist "model" links drought in Australia with rising human emissions

In that case emissions must be FALLING because there has been an upsurge in rain in the Northern half of Australia in the last 2 years. Most dams in Queensland have been overflowing lately. It is true that S.E. Australia has not fared well but if emissions were the culprit, the rest of Australia would be affected too. Or have we given up on "global" warming and are now concentrating on local climate changes only? Otherwise a model that explains only one corner of Australia is not much of a model. Gaseous diffusion is strong and rapid so whatever CO2 is emitted should spread widely throughout the world and not stay stuck just in S.E. Australia!

DROUGHT experts have for the first time proven a link between rising levels of greenhouse gases and a decline in rainfall. A three-year collaboration between the Bureau of Meteorology and CSIRO has confirmed that the drought is not just a natural dry stretch but a shift related to climate change.

Scientists working on the $7 million South Eastern Australian Climate Initiative said the rain had dropped away because the subtropical ridge - a band of high pressure systems that sits over the country's south - had strengthened over the past 13 years. Last year, using sophisticated computer climate models in the United States, the scientists ran simulations with only the ''natural'' influences on temperature, such as differing levels of solar activity. The model results showed no intensification of the subtropical ridge and no decline in rainfall. But when human influences on the atmosphere were added to the simulations - such as greenhouse gases, aerosols and ozone depletion - the models mimicked what has been observed in south-east Australia: strengthening high pressure systems and the significant loss of rain.

''It's reasonable to say that a lot of the current drought of the last 12 to 13 years is due to ongoing global warming,'' said the bureau's Bertrand Timbal. ''In the minds of a lot of people the rainfall we had in the 1950s, '60s and '70s was a benchmark. A lot of our [water and agriculture] planning was done during that time. But we are just not going to have that sort of good rain again as long as the system is warming up.''

Dr Timbal said that 80 per cent of the rain loss in south-east Australia could be attributed to the intensification of the subtropical ridge. The research program covers the Murray-Darling Basin, including parts of NSW, all of Victoria and parts of South Australia.

Monash University’s Neville Nicholls, a lead author on the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change who has also published work on the subtropical ridge, said he believed the research program’s results were right. "We did think that the loss of rain was simply due to the [rain-bearing] storms shifting south, off the continent," Professor Nicholls said. "Now we know the reason they have slipped south is that the subtropical ridge has become more intense. It is getting bigger and stronger and that is pushing the rain storms further south." [Sorry, friend. The rain has actually moved NORTH. Don't you know anything?]

The scientific results have implications for many State Government water programs and drought funding, some of which factor in climate change and some of which do not. Projections for the water coming to Melbourne in the north-south pipe, for instance, are based on the assumption that Victoria will return to rainfall levels of last century.

The Victorian Farmers Federation new president, Andrew Broad, said he would not speculate about whether there was a connection between drought and climate change. "I have a healthy scepticism for scientists," he said. "But I will say that the doomsday people in climate change are robbing people of hope at a time when that’s all they’ve got left." Melbourne’s dams get roughly a third less water than they did before the drought began in October 1996.



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