Wednesday, September 30, 2009


An email from David Whitehouse [] below regarding Global warming could happen sooner on the BBC

It took quite a while for the fact that global annual average temperatures haven't altered for a decade to become accepted by mainstream science, even if there are many who still doubt that it is either happening or important. Likewise one must also be glad that the media is catching up. Especially glad because it is the BBC.

One should take encouragement from the broadcast version of the Met Office's "Four degrees of warming 'likely'" in that when referring to the recent temperature standstill it says that scientists have questioned it. The report did not call these questioners sceptics. Lets hope this nomenclature is applied consistently in the future by the organisation that said in 2005 that the science was settled.

However, the report did let a scientist get away with a biased interpretation of why the standstill has occurred, or rather bypassing the problematic nature of its existence. Dr Myles Allen said that one should look at the figures that are relevant, that is decade to decade changes. He said that temperatures are rising exactly as predicted as long as 30 years ago.

Well, I will let the comment about as long as 30 years ago for your perusal in the context of climatic variations.

Dr Allen is wrong. The latest spell of warming began about 1980 following 40 years of standstill (still not adequately explained) and 90 prior years of warming. His decade to decade change is a less than two decade spell of warming, to the mid 1990's, during which the warming increased at a rate much faster than the IPCC estimated the CO2 effect could account for. Since then there has been no change although of course it is warmer than it was in the 70s. This is another example of scientific double standards. The recent standstill is, of course, natural variability, the recent rise is, of course, man-made. It couldn't possibly be the other way around? (Computer models can explain the recent trends, or more accurately, it is possible to select a few models that do from amongst the many that do not.)

Let's look at decade to decade variability. In the past 15 decades it was warmed in 10 of them and stayed static in 5. But 8 of those decades were pre-1940 when we are told that man-made climate change had not taken effect. Since it has taken effect, a review of papers suggests a consensus of 1950, there have been 4 decades of standstill and 2 of warming. The recent warm decade is also no further above the mean global temperature than the cold Victorian age was below it.

It is alarming that the argument is moving away from real-world data and its inconvenience. The computer models point decades ahead and cannot be refuted. The UK met office says that global warming will resume 2009-2014, other scientists disagree. But even if the Met Office is proven wrong in its 2009-2014 forecast then it can still look to future decades and say it's easier to predict 50 years ahead than 5!

The IPPC's next assessment is due in 2014 but since the last one did not take into account the overwhelming major aspect of climate change of our time - the recent standstill - a more urgent review is needed.

Another comment on the latest Warmist fraud: CHERRY PICKING OF HISTORIC PROPORTIONS

A big news day. It appears Steve McIntyre (volunteer unpaid auditor of Big-Government-Science) has killed the Hockey Stick a second time... The details are on the last three days of Steve McIntyre's site Climate Audit, and summed up beautifully on Watts Up. The sheer effrontery and gall appears to be breathtaking.

The Briffa temperature graphs have been widely cited as evidence by the IPCC, yet it appears they were based on a very carefully selected set of data, so select, that the shape of the graph would have been totally transformed if the rest of the data had been included.

Kieth Briffa used 12 samples to arrive at his version of the hockey stick and refused to provide his data for years. When McIntyre finally got hold of it, and looked at the 34 samples that Briffa left out of his graphs, a stark message was displayed. McIntyre describes it today as one of the most disquieting images he's ever presented.


Since 1995 Kieth Briffa has been publishing graphs about temperature of the last thousand years. Like Michael Manns' famous (and discredited) Hockey Stick graph, Briffa's graphs were based on tree rings and appeared to show dramatic evidence that the current climate was extraordinarily warm compared to previous years. They were used in the infamous spagetti plots, and the IPCC 3rd Assessment Report, and recycled in other publications giving the impression they had been replicated. His work has even made it into school resources (Cimate Discovery, p4). His publications since 2000 are listed here.

Unaudited science

Suspiciously Briffa refused repeated requests to provide the Yamal data that his analysis was based on (something about the data belonging to the Russians). As Steve McIntyre points out, this kind of data should be archived and freely available after any peer reviewed paper is published.

Last year Briffa published a paper in a journal (Philosophical Transactions of Biology, the Royal Society) that did maintain basic standards, (after being prodded), and a few days ago McIntyre noticed the data was finally up. This data had been used in papers going back as far as 2000. (And no one thought to politely inform McIntyre that the information he'd requested for years was now available.)

Hiding data in science is equivalent to a company issuing it's annual report and telling the auditors that the receipts are commercial in confidence and they would just have to trust them. No court of law would accept that, yet at the "top" levels of science, papers have been allowed to sit as show-pieces for years without any chance that anyone could seriously verify their findings. In science, getting the stamp of Peer Review has become like a free pass to "credibility".

Now we know why he might not have been so forthcoming with the data... If all the tree rings are combined, the graph looks like this below. (I've added the black thick line to the original to make the merged data stand out). Obviously today is not as warm as things were 1000 years ago (at least not in far north Russia), and it's also clear things have been warming since 1800 in Yamal.

Here's a map to help put places to the names. These are the four sites mentioned as sources of the tree ring data. Yamal and Taymir are roughly 400 km apart.

In the mid 1990's the Polar Urals were the place to be for interesting tree rings, but then as the data got updated and yielded a medieval warm period that Team AGW preferred to ignore, they moved their focus to the Yamal Peninsula. There was plenty of data to pick from, but that's the point. They chose 10 data sets from 1990, and only 5 post 1995. Which seems curious as presumably there is no shortage of 20 year old trees on the Yamal Peninsula. As Ross McKitrick notes, a small sample may have been passable, but it appears that these trees were not selected randomly.

McKitrick expands:

Thus the key ingredient in a lot of the studies that have been invoked to support the Hockey Stick, namely the Briffa Yamal series (red line above) depends on the influence of a thin subsample of post-1990 chronologies and the exclusion of the (much larger) collection of readily-available Schweingruber data for the same area.

Honest scientists who believe in there is a crisis in carbon must surely be starting to ask questions about what's going on with their colleagues. If the evidence is so strong, so undeniable; if the warming recently has been so unprecedented, why won't people offer their data up freely so that science can progress as fast as possible? When is deluding the public, other scientists and our elected representatives ever a useful thing to do? People have invested money and careers, governments have paid millions for reports, and billions for research; and companies have planned years ahead, all partly based on the Hockey Stick Graph.

If the data had been archived immediately for the public, the world could have had access to better information for nearly a decade.

SOURCE (See the original for links, graphics etc.)


Nuclear energy is set to be revived in Germany as Chancellor Angela Merkel can form her coalition of choice after this Sunday's elections. Merkel's center-right Christian Democratic Union and the pro-business Free Democratic Party were in coalition negotiations Monday; a government will be formed within the next four weeks, the chancellor said. With the CDU and the FDP both supportive of nuclear energy, their coalition agreement is slated to address the country's nuclear phase-out plan, which foresees all German reactors to be shut down by 2021.

Claudia Kemfert, an energy expert with the Berlin-based DIW research institute, said the phase-out, drafted and defended by the SPD and the Greens, should no longer hold. "The running times of Germany's most modern nuclear power plants will likely be extended," she told UPI in a telephone interview. A construction of new reactors is not likely to happen, she added.

Germany's three main energy companies, Eon, RWE and ENBW, all gained in Monday trading in Frankfurt.

The CDU and the FDP argue that nuclear provides secure, relatively cheap CO2-free power and should remain in the mix until renewables are ready to take over; the SPD and the Greens point to the dangers of accidents, nuclear proliferation and the unsolved issue of how to store the highly radioactive waste created in the process.

Kemfert said a decision to extend the running times of nuclear power plants should include a guarantee to haul back the utilities' additional revenues in the form of a tax. That money could be spent on nuclear waste storage or renewable energy technologies, observers say.

Mirko Bothien, a German power plant turbine expert working for a large international energy company in Switzerland, is not too excited by the new government's plans for the future German energy mix.

"The CDU and the FDP bank on cheap energy production to help the German industry. Let's hope this does not go at the expense of climate protection," Bothien told UPI in an interview.

The physicist gave his vote to the Greens, "because their party program is the most ambitious when it comes to supporting renewable energy sources."

Thanks to a lucrative feed-in tariff for green power, the German renewable industry has boomed over the past 10 years.

Kemfert said the new coalition would likely not touch the successful German renewable energy law, the EEG.

"But there might be a discussion regarding cutting the feed-in tariff for solar energy," which is threatening to cost the government billions of dollars over the next few years.



China's ambition to create "green cities" powered by huge wind farms comes with a dirty little secret: Dozens of new coal-fired power plants need to be installed as well.

Part of the reason is that wind power depends on, well, the wind. To safeguard against blackouts when conditions are too calm, officials have turned to coal-fired power as a backup.

China wants renewable energy like wind to meet 15% of its energy needs by 2020, double its share in 2005, as it seeks to rein in emissions that have made its cities among the smoggiest on Earth. But experts say the country's transmission network currently can't absorb the rate of growth in renewable-energy output. Last year, as much as 30% of wind-power capacity wasn't connected to the grid. As a result, more coal is being burned in existing plants, and new thermal capacity is being built to cover this shortfall in renewable energy.

In addition, officials want enough new coal-fired capacity in reserve so that they can meet demand whenever the wind doesn't blow. This is important because wind is less reliable as an energy source than coal, which fuels two-thirds of China's electricity output. Wind energy ultimately depends on wind strength and direction, unlike coal, which can be stockpiled at generators in advance.

Further complicating matters is poor connectivity between regional transmission networks, which makes it hard for China to move surplus power in one part of the country to cover shortfalls elsewhere.


Global warming is now killing elephants

Is there any damage that it cannot do? As there has been no warming since 1998, is is a demonstrable misattribution anyway. The unfortunate Kenyan lady below just believes what the Warmists say without checking it

The drought has resulted in the death of young elephants as they cannot reach foliage high up in trees. Statistics at KWS show that more than 30 elephants have died since 2007. Animals are becoming bolder and more violent as the effects of climate change take their toll on them. Hippopotamus have been witnessed eating fruits on farms such as pawpaws and bananas, while elephants have become more violent.

Dr Judith Nyunja, a senior scientist at the Kenya Wildlife Service (KWS), said some animals were altering their behaviour to adapt to the changing climate. “Wildlife such as elephants have become bolder, frequently raiding human settlements in search of food and water, and baboons have been seen killing lambs,” said Dr Nyunja. She said the adverse change in climate had resulted in reduction of plant and animal species. The move, she said, was affecting tourism, the country’s main export and major foreign exchange earner.

It is estimated that the country’s wildlife earns an average of Sh8.4 billion per year with considerable prospects for growth. “Approximately 20 to 30 per cent plant and animal species are at high risk of extinction as global temperatures (rise),” said Dr Nyunja. She said that up to 35 per cent of birds, 52 per cent of amphibians and 71 per cent of reef-building corals were threatened by climate change. She said an increase in sea temperatures would raise acidity resulting into coral “bleaching”. Dr Nyunja said that the increased frequency of wild fires had affected wildlife and resulted in loss of biodiversity. She said there was need to map out areas prone to wild fires, provide adequate capacity to fight the fires, and develop proper road networks in parks to make them easily accessible.

“In areas such as Laikipia, the drought has resulted in the death of young elephants as they cannot reach foliage high up in trees. Statistics at KWS show that more than 30 elephants have died since 2007,” said Dr Nyunja. She said wildlife mortalities arising from diseases were also likely to increase as livestock interacts with wildlife, especially in areas where parks border pastoralists. “Increase in human-wildlife conflicts due to competition for resources has also contributed to an increase in wildlife mortalities,” said Dr Nyunja.


El Nino cycle to give U.S. Northeast Coldest Winter in a Decade

Climate variations are produced by oscillations in wind and ocean currents! How pesky for the Warmists!

The U.S. Northeast may have the coldest winter in a decade because of a weak El Nino, a warming current in the Pacific Ocean, according to Matt Rogers, a forecaster at Commodity Weather Group. “Weak El Ninos are notorious for cold and snowy weather on the Eastern seaboard,” Rogers said in a Bloomberg Television interview from Washington. “About 70 percent to 75 percent of the time a weak El Nino will deliver the goods in terms of above-normal heating demand and cold weather. It’s pretty good odds.”

Warming in the Pacific often means fewer Atlantic hurricanes and higher temperatures in the U.S. Northeast during January, February and March, according to the National Weather Service. El Nino occurs every two to five years, on average, and lasts about 12 months, according to the service.

Hedge-fund managers and other large speculators increased their net-long positions, or bets prices will rise, in New York heating oil futures in the week ended Sep. 22, according to U.S. Commodity Futures Trading Commission data Sept. 25. “It could be one of the coldest winters, or the coldest, winter of the decade,” Rogers said.

U.S. inventories of distillate fuels, which include heating oil, are at their highest since January 1983, the U.S. Energy Department said Sept. 23. Stockpiles of 170.8 million barrels in the week ended Sept. 18 are 28 percent above the five-year average. Heating oil for October delivery rose 1.38 cents, or 0.8 percent, to settle at $1.6909 a gallon on the New York Mercantile Exchange.



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