Thursday, December 24, 2009

Yet another gaping hole in the Warmist story

Study shows CFCs, cosmic rays major culprits for global warming

Cosmic rays and chlorofluorocarbons (CFCs), both already implicated in depleting the Earth's ozone layer, are also responsible for changes in the global climate, a University of Waterloo scientist reports in a new peer-reviewed paper. In his paper, Qing-Bin Lu, a professor of physics and astronomy, shows how CFCs - compounds once widely used as refrigerants - and cosmic rays - energy particles originating in outer space - are mostly to blame for climate change, rather than carbon dioxide (CO2) emissions. His paper, derived from observations of satellite, ground-based and balloon measurements as well as an innovative use of an established mechanism, was published online in the prestigious journal Physics Reports.

"My findings do not agree with the climate models that conventionally thought that greenhouse gases, mainly CO2, are the major culprits for the global warming seen in the late 20th century," Lu said. "Instead, the observed data show that CFCs conspiring with cosmic rays most likely caused both the Antarctic ozone hole and global warming. These findings are totally unexpected and striking, as I was focused on studying the mechanism for the formation of the ozone hole, rather than global warming."

His conclusions are based on observations that from 1950 up to now, the climate in the Arctic and Antarctic atmospheres has been completely controlled by CFCs and cosmic rays, with no CO2 impact. "Most remarkably, the total amount of CFCs, ozone-depleting molecules that are well-known greenhouse gases, has decreased around 2000," Lu said. "Correspondingly, the global surface temperature has also dropped. In striking contrast, the CO2 level has kept rising since 1850 and now is at its largest growth rate."

In his research, Lu discovers that while there was global warming from 1950 to 2000, there has been global cooling since 2002. The cooling trend will continue for the next 50 years, according to his new research observations.

As well, there is no solid evidence that the global warming from 1950 to 2000 was due to CO2. Instead, Lu notes, it was probably due to CFCs conspiring with cosmic rays. And from 1850 to 1950, the recorded CO2 level increased significantly because of the industrial revolution, while the global temperature kept nearly constant or only rose by about 0.1 C.

In previously published work, Lu demonstrated that an observed cyclic hole in the ozone layer provided proof of a new ozone depletion theory involving cosmic rays, which was developed by Lu and his former co-workers at Rutgers University and the Université de Sherbrooke. In the past, it was generally accepted for more than two decades that the Earth's ozone layer is depleted due to the sun's ultraviolet light-induced destruction of CFCs in the atmosphere.

The depletion theory says cosmic rays, rather than the sun's UV light, play the dominant role in breaking down ozone-depleting molecules and then ozone. In his study, published in Physical Review Letters, Lu analyzed reliable cosmic ray and ozone data in the period of 1980-2007, which cover two full 11-year solar cycles.

In his latest paper, Lu further proves the cosmic-ray-driven ozone depletion theory by showing a large number of data from laboratory and satellite observations. One reviewer wrote: "These are very strong facts and it appears that they have largely been ignored in the past when modelling the Antarctic ozone loss."

New observations of the effects of CFCs and cosmic rays on ozone loss and global warming/cooling could be important to the Earth and humans in the 21st century. "It certainly deserves close attention," Lu wrote in his paper, entitled Cosmic-Ray-Driven Electron-Induced Reactions of Halogenated Molecules Adsorbed on Ice Surfaces: Implications for Atmospheric Ozone Depletion and Global Climate Change.


Journal abstract follows:

Cosmic-ray-driven electron-induced reactions of halogenated molecules adsorbed on ice surfaces: Implications for atmospheric ozone depletion

By Qing-Bin Lu

The cosmic-ray driven electron-induced reaction of halogenated molecules adsorbed on ice surfaces has been proposed as a new mechanism for the formation of the polar ozone hole. Here, experimental findings of dissociative electron transfer reactions of halogenated molecules on ice surfaces in electron-stimulated desorption, electron trapping and femtosecond time-resolved laser spectroscopic measurements are reviewed. It is followed by a review of the evidence from recent satellite observations of this new mechanism for the Antarctic ozone hole, and all other possible physical mechanisms are discussed. Moreover, new observations of the 11 year cyclic variations of both polar ozone loss and stratospheric cooling and the seasonal variations of CFCs and CH4 in the polar stratosphere are presented, and quantitative predictions of the Antarctic ozone hole in the future are given. Finally, new observation of the effects of CFCs and cosmic-ray driven ozone depletion on global climate change is also presented and discussed.

The guesswork that passed for climate science at CRU

They made stuff up willy nilly

In Part 1 of this series we learned that Ian "Harry" Harris was creating a different data set for the 2006-2009 temperature readings that excluded Alpha values, those values that pose a risk for rejecting the global warming trend. In short, eliminating problematic values.

In Part 2 of this series we learned that Ian "Harry" Harris claimed Dr. Tim Osborne was using the wrong temperature values when performing comparisons with temperature anomaly values. Also, when doing compiling the precipitation results, Harry commented Tim's program for doing the compilation was "Not good enough for the bloody Sun!!!" and caused several errors. Harry was able to get the precipitation results to compile with Tim's program, but only after replacing questionable values with a default filler value of "-9999". Harry also indicated that he and Tim's results differed by at 5%.

In Part 3 of this series we learned that the precipitation temperature database file dates were altered, but not actually updated according to the modfied dates. In short, the final version of the precipitation files compiled by Dr. Tim Osborne could not have been using the latest precipitation database (as Harry said). The synthetic Cloud precipitation values were missing from 1996-2001 and lost by a collegue of Harry's by the name of Mark. To accomadate, Harry found a Fortran program created by Mark to convert Sunshine temperature values (those temperatures with no Clouds) to "Psuedo Cloud" temperature values. In short, convert many of the Sunshine temperature values to more Cloud-like temperatures (which often run warmer). Not finding a good database with precipitation values (because everything was undocumented), Harry just picked one he thought would be a good Candidate for the compilation of precipitation results and forming a standard grid model for those results.

In Part 4 of this series we learned there were 6003 missing precipitation temperature values out of a possible 15,942 temperature readings. The missing 6003 values were not recovered. Also, there were over 200 weather stations with a temperature reading of '0' (North Africa and the West coast of South America) for their cells. According to Harry, there was a '0' reading for each of these 200+ stations throughout the whole temperature series from 1901-1996, thus making Phil's comment illogical in that a '0' meant the climate has not changed since the last reading. If this were the case, North Africa and the West coast of South America would not have had a temperature change ever since recording of the temps!

Moving on through this data file (see part 1 for brief explanation of this file), Harry notes this is the worst project he's ever attempted: "Wahey! It's halfway through April and I'm still working on it. This surely is the worst project I've ever attempted. Eeeek."

Adding US temperatures, more lost data and "no time to follow-up on everything"

The next step was to merge the US normailzed temperature readings into the new database Harry generated in the previous sections. After doing a merge, Harry says there were 210 duplicate and non-missing lines found (comment 26): "What's worse - there are STILL duplicate non-missing lines, 210 of them. The first example is this:"

Not much Harry could do other than to write it off as "one of those things": "I just do not have the time to follow up everything. We'll have to take 210 year repetitions as 'one of those things'." Harry, after-all, was able to remove allot of the duplicates, yet there were still several.

Longitude and Latitude readings off by a factor of 10

Many, if not most, of the US station locations were off by a factor of 10 in terms of their longitude and latitude coordinates. Writing yet another small program (proglet) to do some patching and correct the values (thus causing an even larger margin for error), Harry finds he is able to correct the normal temperature longitude and latitude stations (having those readings) but the stations' longitudes and latitudes with precipitation readings were still amiss.

Australia stations missing 800 out of 1000 values

Now that the US was indexed into the new database, Harry attempts split this database up into two new databases, one holding all the minimum temperatures (t-min) and one holding all the maximum temperatures (t-max). Before proceeding, Australia needs to be factored into the mix. After receiving two files with Australia's temps from a colleague named "Dave L.", Harry notes that these two files for Australia have over 800 stations out of a 1000 with no values. In order to rectify this, Harry sets out to write yet another program to find matches in earlier database and use those values in place of the missing values: "But what about the others?! There are close to 1000 incoming stations in the bulletins, must every one be identified in this way?!! Oh God. There's nothing for it - I'll have to write a prog to find matches for the incoming Australian bulletin stations in the main databases."

SOURCE (See the original for links)

On scepticism about climate change

Some letter excerpts in "The Economist"

Passion is the root problem in what you term “the modern argument over climate change” (“A heated debate”, November 28th). You state, for instance, that the “majority of the world’s climate scientists have convinced themselves” that human activity is the cause of climate change. I know of no poll that confirms this, but your choice of words is telling. In science, our interpretations of nature are based on observation, experiment and evidence, not self-conviction.

Those of us who are dismissed, often derided, as sceptics have waited a long time for the chicanery behind the global-warming movement to come to light. But we should not blame scientists—however unprincipled—nor UN organisations, nor national governments. The true culprits are the latter-day Nostradamuses who, under their icons of cuddly pandas and polar bears, have misused science to stoke fear, guilt and a craving for atonement in the minds of the public. Governments have been browbeaten to respond to these catastrophists, and some scientists, dependent on public money, have fashioned their behaviour accordingly.

Nikolay Semyonov, a Soviet scientist and Nobel prize winner in chemistry, wrote that: “There is nothing more dangerous than blind passion in science. This is a direct path to unjustified self-confidence, to loss of self-criticalness, to scientific fanaticism, to false science. Given support from someone in power, it can lead to suppression of true science and, since science is now a matter of state importance, to inflicting great injury on the country.”

Semyonov was referring to the ruthless manipulation of Soviet science by Trofim Lysenko and other opportunists. In a similar vein, it is time we recognise that we are becoming prey to a new fanaticism, a religious fervour that runs contrary to rational society.

You proclaimed that a scientist’s effort to “hide the decline” was “not sinister” (“Mail-strom”, November 28th). What is it, then, when a scientist formulates a hypothesis that growth patterns follow temperature, and tests the hypothesis against data only to find that growth patterns do not follow temperature at all for 30% of the data and only partially for the rest? Do you then conclude, as would any sane person, that your hypothesis is not valid? Or do you instead take the road followed by the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change and conclude that data which undermine your favoured hypothesis are not valid, and throw out the data? If this is “not sinister”, then it is flabbergastingly stupid.


Solar Shutdown: Feinstein to Block Energy Projects

There's no such thing as a happy Greenie

We need to transform to a new, clean energy economy but we can’t build solar panels in the Mojave Desert if California Senator Diane Feinstein has anything to say about it:
Senator Dianne Feinstein introduced legislation in Congress on Monday to protect a million acres of the Mojave Desert in California by scuttling some 13 big solar plants and wind farms planned for the region.

But before the bill to create two new Mojave national monuments has even had its first hearing, the California Democrat has largely achieved her aim. Regardless of the legislation’s fate, her opposition means that few if any power plants are likely to be built in the monument area, a complication in California’s effort to achieve its aggressive goals for renewable energy.

Developers of the projects have already postponed several proposals or abandoned them entirely. The California agency charged with planning a renewable energy transmission grid has rerouted proposed power lines to avoid the monument.”

Years of subsidies and tax credits haven’t helped wind and solar projects compete with more reliable sources of energy. Solar power supplies less than one percent of the country’s electricity demand; wind does slightly better. That’s not necessarily a red flag to stop building more, but it is indicative of how far we have to go and how costly it would be “transform to a clean energy economy” as President Obama said in his remarks to the delegation at the United Nations climate change conference in Copenhagen.

If the private businesses deem it in their interest to pursue renewable energy projects (without federal help), they should be able to do so. But where these projects may be the most economically viable, such as the Mojave Dessert, the government is shutting them down.

Robert F. Kennedy Jr., environmentalist and a partner with a venture capital firm invested in solar, told the New York Times, “This is arguably the best solar land in the world, and Senator Feinstein shouldn’t be allowed to take this land off the table without a proper and scientific environmental review.”

This is not the first time, nor will it be the last, the renewable projects have either been thwarted or put on hold because of self-interested in politicians. Cape Wind spent millions in litigation costs, delays and regulatory hurdles in attempting to build a 130-turbine offshore project in the Nantucket Sound that Senator Ted Kennedy long opposed despite the turbines being barely visible from the horizon.

The Mojave Dessert situation is slightly different because Sen. Feinstein says, “the lands were purchased with nearly $45 million in private funds and $18 million in federal funds and donated to the federal government for the purpose of conservation, and that commitment must be upheld. Period.” But if an environmental group wants to preserve these lands, they shouldn’t rely on the taxpayer to fund the purchase nor fund the conservation of the land. In fact, many environmental groups do just that. Private property rights make it possible for the Nature Conservancy and Ducks Unlimited to protect habitat by purchasing land and establishing wildlife preserves.’

Nantucket and the Mojave Dessert aren’t unique. The U.S. Chamber of Commerce’s Project No Project shows that the “Not in My Back Yard” crowd is everywhere. It’s not just anti-oil and anti-coal, it’s anti-energy and anti-development.

Even with subsidies, tax breaks and mandates, shifting our energy away from fossil fuels towards renewable energy will be a prohibitively costly and difficult task. Senator Feinstein is about to make it that much more difficult.


Environmental attention-seeker said just 15 months ago: Global warming means no snow or cold in DC

Robert F. Kennedy Jr., who flies around on private planes so as to tell larger numbers of people how they must live their lives in order to save the planet, wrote a column last year on the lack of winter weather in Washington, D.C.
In Virginia, the weather also has changed dramatically. Recently arrived residents in the northern suburbs, accustomed to today's anemic winters, might find it astonishing to learn that there were once ski runs on Ballantrae Hill in McLean, with a rope tow and local ski club. Snow is so scarce today that most Virginia children probably don't own a sled. But neighbors came to our home at Hickory Hill nearly every winter weekend to ride saucers and Flexible Flyers.

In those days, I recall my uncle, President Kennedy, standing erect as he rode a toboggan in his top coat, never faltering until he slid into the boxwood at the bottom of the hill. Once, my father, Atty. Gen. Robert Kennedy, brought a delegation of visiting Eskimos home from the Justice Department for lunch at our house. They spent the afternoon building a great igloo in the deep snow in our backyard. My brothers and sisters played in the structure for several weeks before it began to melt. On weekend afternoons, we commonly joined hundreds of Georgetown residents for ice skating on Washington's C&O Canal, which these days rarely freezes enough to safely skate.

Meanwhile, Exxon Mobil and its carbon cronies continue to pour money into think tanks whose purpose is to deceive the American public into believing that global warming is a fantasy.

Having shoveled my walk five times in the midst of this past weekend's extreme cold and blizzard, I think perhaps RFK, Jr. should leave weather analysis to the meteorologists instead of trying to attribute every global phenomenon to anthropogenic climate change.


Fun! Do Electric Cars Cause Cancer?

The world of electric cars is a rah-rah world. There are numerous economic arguments against their widespread adoption, but that hasn’t stopped government officials, environmental activists, and most importantly automakers from moving aggressively toward electrified transportation. On balance, ramped-up EV development is a good thing: Over the next 40 years, our existing oil supplies are going to run out, according to a set of more-or-less accepted geological assumptions generally referred to as "peak oil." The concept, which was first articulated in the 1950s by a petroleum scientist named M. King Hubbert, doesn’t say, Bam! We’re suddenly going to have no more oil in 2020 or whatever. Rather, the theory says that petroleum discovery and production will at some point peak, after which it will follow a declining rather than ascending curve. Depending on whom you talk to, peak oil has already happened, is happening, will happen soon, or is a few decades off. But there’s agreement that it will take place.

So we need to switch over to alternative forms of transportation, or at least prepare ourselves to do so. Because transportation consumes a major amount of oil, bringing EVs into the picture in a big way is seen as a solution, with the added benefit of eliminating tailpipe emissions and at least stabilizing global warming (although the burning of coal for energy also has to go away). Obviously, however, an EV running off an electric motor with a battery that can weigh 600 lbs. raises the health-hazard issue: Does the electromagnetic field generated by the car pose a threat to drivers and passengers?

This question has been bandied around the blogosphere, and answered as best as can be, given limited research, much of which is extrapolated from EMF studies of the fields generated by power lines, cell phones, household appliances, and so on. The National Cancer Institute says that there are indications that EMFs can cause certain cancers, but the research is far from conclusive. EVs and hybrids haven’t been in the market long enough for studies to be done, although automakers have tested their vehicles for EMFs (conventional cars as well as hybrids and EVs), and found them to be within accepted limits.

Unfortunately, nothing in this area is completely benign. Autos pose risk simply because they go fast and there are lots of them, enough for 40,000 people to die in accidents every year. But we trade that off for the convenience of personal mobility. EVs will solve peak oil and some emissions problems, but they will also stress the power-generating grid, initially run, in a matter of speaking, mostly on coal, and create thousands of new, rolling EMFs. Ultimately, the only way to completely dodge these problems is to remake society according to radical efficiency principles: live in compact communities (as large as megacities or as small as rural villages, but no gray-area exurbs in between), generate power from sources such as wind and sun (which means much less power than what we currently get from fossil fuels), abandon personal mobility, limit freight shipping, etc., etc., etc.

That’s right, it’s not going to happen. So even in the seemingly unlikely event that EVs and hybrids do cause cancer, we’ll have to tolerate that risk, if we’re going to move forward rather than back.



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


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