Friday, May 07, 2010

Important Warmist feedback theory contrary to the facts

Global warming scenarios from CO2 increases are envisioned to bring about rainfall enhancement and resulting upper tropospheric water vapor rise. This initial water vapor enhancement has been hypothesized and programmed in climate models to develop yet additional rainfall and water vapor increase. This causes an extra blockage of IR energy to space (a positive feedback warming mechanism). This additional rainfall and IR blockage is modeled to be approximately twice as large as the additional rainfall needed to balance the increased CO2 by itself. The reality of this additional warming and extra IR blockage has been questioned by many of us. This study analyzes a wide variety of infrared (IR) radiation differences which are associated with rainfall differences on different space and time scales. Our goal is to determine the extent to which the positive rainfall feedbacks as are included in the climate model simulations are realistic.

We have analyzed 21 years (1984-2004) of ISCCP (International Satellite Cloud Climatology Project) outgoing solar (albedo) and outgoing longwave infrared (IR) radiation (often referred to as OLR) on various distance (local to global) and time scales (1 day to decadal). We have investigated how radiation measurements change with variations in precipitation as determined from NCEP-NCAR Reanalysis data on a wide variety of space and time scales (Figure 1). We have stratified our radiation and rainfall data into three latitudinal sections and six distinctive longitudinal areas (Figure 2). Infrared and albedo changes associated with rainfall variations by month (January to December) and by yearly periods for the globe (70oN-70oS; 0-360o) as a whole and separately for the tropics (30oN-30oS; 0-360o) have been studied. This analysis shows they are not realistic.

More HERE (See the original for full PDF)

Climate policy propaganda in alleged science publications

By Roger Pielke Sr.

Dick Lindzen has succinctly summarized how climate science has deteriorated into a tool for political action. As I reported in my post

Comments On Numerical Modeling As The New Climate Science Paradigm

Dick has written
"In brief, we have the new paradigm where simulation and programs have replaced theory and observation, where government largely determines the nature of scientific activity, and where the primary role of professional societies is the lobbying of the government for special advantage."

Today I present a clear example of the use of the National Academy of Sciences [as represented by the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences- PNAS] to promote a particular set of policy actions, where climate science, as percieved by the authors of the PNAS, is used as the reasoning.

The article is Ramanathan, Veerabhadran and Yangyang Xu, 2010: The Copenhagen Accord for limiting global warming: Criteria, constraints, and available avenues. PNAS.
The abstract reads
“At last, all the major emitters of greenhouse gases (GHGs) have agreed under the Copenhagen Accord that global average temperature increase should be kept below 2 øC. This study develops the criteria for limiting the warming below 2 øC, identifies the constraints imposed on policy makers, and explores available mitigation avenues. One important criterion is that the radiant energy added by human activities should not exceed 2.5 (range: 1.7-4) watts per square meter (Wm?2) of the Earth's surface. The blanket of man-made GHGs has already added 3 (range: 2.6-3.5) Wm?2. Even if GHG emissions peak in 2015, the radiant energy barrier will be exceeded by 100%, requiring simultaneous pursuit of three avenues: (i) reduce the rate of thickening of the blanket by stabilizing CO2 concentration below 441 ppm during this century (a massive decarbonization of the energy sector is necessary to accomplish this Herculean task), (ii) ensure that air pollution laws that reduce the masking effect of cooling aerosols be made radiant energy-neutral by reductions in black carbon and ozone, and (iii) thin the blanket by reducing emissions of short-lived GHGs. Methane and hydrofluorocarbons emerge as the prime targets. These actions, even if we are restricted to available technologies for avenues ii and iii, can reduce the probability of exceeding the 2 øC barrier before 2050 to less than 10%, and before 2100 to less than 50%. With such actions, the four decades we have until 2050 should be exploited to develop and scale-up revolutionary technologies to restrict the warming to less than 1.5 øC.”

The text in the abstract highlights the advocacy nature of this article; i.e.
“This study……… identifies the constraints imposed on policy makers”

The authors present the problem with the climate system as a result of the human emissions of greenhouse gases and aerosols, and then discusses the “Policy Makers' Dilemma”.

The next section in the paper, titled “Challenges for Policy Makers”, further illustrates that the two authors recommend policy. This section reads in part
The planet is very likely to experience warming in excess of 2 øC if policy makers stringently enforce existing air pollution laws and remove reflecting aerosols without concomitant actions for thinning the GHG blanket…”

I have posted on this recommendation by Dr. Ramanthan in the past and conclude that ANY attempt not to enforce existing air pollution laws is a serious mistake with respect to human health; e.g.

Misconception And Oversimplification Of the Concept Of Global Warming By V. Ramanthan and Y. Feng

Health Benefits Of Air Quality Control Should Never Be Sacrificed By Delaying The Clean-Up Of Aerosol Emissions For Climate Reasons

However, regardless of the merits of the policy recommendations of Ramanathan and Xu, 2010, the National Academy of Sciences publication is being used to lobby for a particular set of policy actions, which they justify by their presentation of the climate science issue. Since Dr. Ramanthan is a member of the National Academy of Sciences, he is able to straightforwardly publish in this journal.

Readers of my weblog can decide for themselves if this is the proper use of the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences. However, it is clear that advocacy is being framed using climate science, as the authors perceive it, as the justification for their policy prescriptions.

The confirmation of Dick Lindzen’s issues with respect to the lack of scientific objectivity also is evident in the news release on the Ramanathan and Xu,2010 paper. The news release by Brian Moore of Scripps is titled

Scripps researchers outline strategy to limit global warming and has the text
“The ‘low-hanging fruits’ approach to one of mankind’s great challenges is very appealing because it is a win-win approach,” said Jay Fein, program director in NSF’s Division of Atmospheric and Geospace Sciences, which funds much of Ramanathan’s research. “It cleans up the environment, protects human health and helps to sustain the 2-degree C threshold.”

Thus, as Dick Lindzen wrote
”….we have the new paradigm where ….. government largely determines the nature of scientific activity.”

Clearly, NSF itself has become an advocate for particular policy actions. I will have more examples of how the NSF is limiting research in upcoming posts on my weblog.


Testimony of The Viscount Monckton of Brenchley Before Congress May 6, 2010

The Select Committee, in its letter inviting testimony for the present hearing, cites various scientific bodies as having concluded that

1. The global climate has warmed;

2. Human activities account for most of the warming since the mid-20th century;

3. Climate change is already causing a broad range of impacts in the United States;

4. The impacts of climate change are expected to grow in the coming decades.

The first statement requires heavy qualification and, since the second is wrong, the third and fourth are without foundation and must fall. The Select Committee has requested answers to the following questions:

1. What are the observed changes to the climate system?
Carbon dioxide concentration: In the Neoproterozoic Era, ~750 million years ago, dolomitic rocks, containing ~40% CO2 bonded not only with calcium ions but also with magnesium, were precipitated from the oceans worldwide by a reaction that could not have occurred unless the atmospheric concentration of CO2 had been ~300,000 parts per million by volume. Yet in that era equatorial glaciers came and went twice at sea level.

Today, the concentration is ~773 times less, at ~388 ppmv: yet there are no equatorial glaciers at sea level. If the warming effect of CO2 were anything like as great as the vested-interest groups now seek to maintain, then, even after allowing for greater surface albedo and 5% less solar radiation, those glaciers could not possibly have existed (personal communication from Professor Ian Plimer, confirmed by on-site inspection of dolomitic and tillite deposits at Arkaroola Northern Flinders Ranges, South Australia).

In the Cambrian Era, ~550 million years ago, limestones, containing some 44% CO2 bonded with calcium ions, were precipitated from the oceans. At that time, atmospheric CO2 concentration was ~7000 ppmv, or ~18 times today’s (IPCC, 2001): yet it was at that time that the calcite corals first achieved algal symbiosis. In the Jurassic era, ~175 million years ago, atmospheric CO2 concentration was ~6000 ppmv, or ~15 times today’s (IPCC, 2001): yet it was then that the delicate aragonite corals came into being.

Therefore, today’s CO2 concentration, though perhaps the highest in 20 million years, is by no means exceptional or damaging. Indeed, it has been argued that trees and plants have been part-starved of CO2 throughout that period (Senate testimony of Professor Will Happer, Princeton University, 2009). It is also known that a doubling of today’s CO2 concentration, projected to occur later this century (IPCC, 2007), would increase the yield of some staple crops by up to 40% (lecture by Dr. Leighton Steward, Parliament Chamber, Copenhagen, December 2009).

Global mean surface temperature: Throughout most of the past 550 million years, global temperatures were ~7 K (13 F) warmer than the present. In each of the past four interglacial warm periods over the past 650,000 years, temperatures were warmer than the present by several degrees (A.A. Gore, An Inconvenient Truth, 2006).

In the current or Holocene warm period, which began 11,400 years ago at the abrupt termination of the Younger Dryas cooling event, some 7500 years were warmer than the present (Cuffey & Clow, 1997), and, in particular, the medieval, Roman, Minoan, and Holocene Climate Optima were warmer than the present (Cuffey & Clow, 1997). The “global warming” that ceased late in 2001 (since when there has been a global cooling trend for eight full years) had begun in 1695, towards the end of the Maunder Minimum, a period of 70 years from 1645-1715 when the Sun was less active than at any time in the past 11,400 years (Hathaway, 2004). Solar activity increased with a rapidity unprecedented in the Holocene, reaching a Grand Solar Maximum during a period of 70 years from 1925-1995 when the Sun was very nearly as active as it had been at any time in the past 11,400 years (Hathaway, 2004; Usoskin, 2003; Solanki, 2005).

The first instrumental record of global temperatures was kept in Central England from 1659. From 1695-1735, a period of 40 years preceding the onset of the Industrial Revolution in 1750, temperatures in central England, which are a respectable proxy for global temperatures, rose by 2.2 K (4 F). Yet global temperatures have risen by only 0.65 K (1.2 F) since 1950, and 0.7 K (1.3 F) in the whole of the 20th century. Throughout the 21st century, global temperatures have followed a declining trend.

Accordingly, neither global mean surface temperature nor its rates of change in recent decades have been exceptional, unusual, inexplicable, or unprecedented.

Ocean “acidification”: It has been suggested that the oceans have “acidified” - or, more correctly, become less alkaline - by 0.1 acid-base units in recent decades. However, the fact of a movement towards neutrality in ocean chemistry, if such a movement has occurred, tells us nothing of the cause, which cannot be attributed to increases in CO2 concentration. There is 70 times as much CO2 dissolved in the oceans as there is in the atmosphere, and some 30% of any CO2 we add to the atmosphere will eventually dissolve into the oceans. Accordingly, a doubling of CO2 concentration, expected later this century, would raise the oceanic partial pressure of CO2 by 30% of one-seventieth of what is already there. And that is an increase of 0.4% at most. Even
this minuscule and chemically-irrelevant perturbation is probably overstated, since any “global warming” that resulted from the doubling of CO2 concentration would warm the oceans and cause them to outgas CO2, reducing the oceanic partial pressure.

Seawater is a highly buffered solution - it can take up a huge amount of dissolved inorganic carbon without significant effect on pH. There is not the slightest possibility that the oceans could approach the neutral pH of pure water (pH 7.0), even if all the fossil fuel reserves in the world were burned. A change in pH of 0.2 units this century, from its present 8.2 to 8.0, even if it were possible, would leave the sea containing no more than 10% of the “acidic” positively-charged hydrogen ions that occur in pure water. If ocean “acidification” is happening, then CO2 is not and will not be the culprit.

2. What evidence provides attribution of these changes to human activities?

In the global instrumental record, which commenced in 1850, the three supradecadal periods of most rapid warming were 1860-1880, 1910-1940, and 1975-2001. Warming rates in all three periods were identical at ~0.16 K (0.3 F) per decade. During the first two of these three periods, observations were insufficient to establish the causes of the warming: however, the principal cause cannot have been atmospheric CO2 enrichment, because, on any view, mankind’s emissions of CO2 had not increased enough to cause any measurable warming on a global scale during those short periods.

In fact, the third period of rapid global warming, 1975-2001, was the only period of warming since 1950. From 1950-1975, and again from 2001-2010, global temperatures fell slightly (HadCRUTv3, cited in IPCC, 2007). What, then, caused the third period of warming? Most of that third and most recent
period of rapid warming fell within the satellite era, and the satellites confirmed measurements from ground stations showing a considerable, and naturally-occurring, global brightening from 1983-2001 (Pinker et al., 2005).

Allowing for the fact that Dr. Pinker’s result depended in part on the datasets of outgoing radiative flux from the ERBE satellite that had not been corrected at that time for orbital decay, it is possible to infer a net increase in surface radiative flux amounting to 0.106 Wm2year over the period, compared with the 0.16 W m-2 year-1 found by Dr. Pinker. Elementary radiative-transfer calculations demonstrate that a natural surface global brightening amounting to ~1.9 W m-2 over the 18-year period of study would be expected - using the IPCC’s own methodology - to have caused a transient warming of 1K (1.8 F). To put this naturally-occurring global brightening into perspective, the IPCC’s estimated total of all the anthropogenic influences on climate combined in the 256 years 1750-2005 is only 1.6 W m-2. Taking into account a further projected warming, using IPCC methods, of ~0.5 K (0.9F) from CO2 and other anthropogenic sources, projected warming of 1.5 K (2.7 F) should have occurred.

However, only a quarter of this projected warming was observed, suggesting the possibility that the IPCC may have overestimated the warming effect of greenhouse gases fourfold. This result is in line with similar result obtained by other methods: for instance, Lindzen & Choi (2009, 2010 submitted) find that the warming rate to be expected as a result of anthropogenic activities is one-quarter to one-fifth of the IPCC’s central estimate. There is no consensus on how much warming a given increase in CO2 will cause.

3. Assuming ad argumentum that the IPCC’s projections of future warming are correct, what policy measures should be taken?
Warming at the very much reduced rate that measured (as opposed to merely modeled) results suggest would be 0.7-0.8 K (1.3-1.4 F) at CO2 doubling. That would be harmless and beneficial - a doubling of CO2 concentration would increase yields of some staple crops by 40%. Therefore, one need not anticipate any significant adverse impact from CO2-induced “global warming”. “Global warming” is a non-problem, and the correct policy response to a non-problem is to have the courage to do nothing.

However, ad argumentum, let us assume that the IPCC is correct in finding that a warming of 3.26 plus/minus 0.69 K (5.9 plus/minus 1.2 F: IPCC, 2007, ch.10, box 10.2) might occur at CO2 doubling. We generalize this central prediction, deriving a simple equation to tell us how much warming the IPCC would predict for any given change in CO2 concentration - ΔTS ≈ (8.5 ± 1.8) ln(C/Co) F.

Thus, the change in surface temperature in Fahrenheit degrees, as predicted by the IPCC, would be 6.7 to 10.3 (with a central estimate of 8.5) times the logarithm of the proportionate increase in CO2 concentration. We check the equation by using it to work out the warming the IPCC would predict at CO2 doubling: 8.5 ln 2 ≈ 5.9 F. Using this equation, we can determine just how much “global warming” would be forestalled if the entire world were to shut down its economies and emit no carbon dioxide at all for an entire year. The atmospheric concentration of CO2 is 388 parts per million by volume. Our emissions of 30 bn tons of CO2 a year are causing this concentration to rise at 2 ppmv/year, and this ratio of 15 bn tons of emissions to each additional ppmv of CO2 concentration has remained constant for 30 years.

Then the “global warming” that we might forestall if we shut down the entire global carbon economy for a full year would be 8.5 ln[(388+2)/388] = 0.044 F. At that rate, almost a quarter of a century of global zero-carbon activity would be needed in order to forestall just one Fahrenheit degree of “global warming”. Two conclusions ineluctably follow. First, it would be orders of magnitude more cost effective to adapt to any “global warming” that might occur than to try to prevent it from occurring by trying to tax or regulate emissions of carbon dioxide in any way.

Secondly, there is no hurry. Even after 23 years doing nothing to address the imagined problem, and even if the IPCC has not exaggerated CO2’s warming effect fourfold, the world will be just 1 F warmer than it is today. If the IPCC has exaggerated fourfold, the world can do nothing for almost a century before global temperature rises by 1 F. There are many urgent priorities that need the attention of Congress, and it is not for me as an invited guest in your country to say what they are. Yet I can say this much: on any view, “global warming” is not one of them. See PDF.


Cap and trade — taxing our way to bankruptcy

Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid, D-Nev., has declared (April 28) that he is making global warming the Senate's top priority. With legislation likely to impose monumental costs on the nation's economy while accomplishing no real-world climate benefits, this is a fitting conclusion for a Congress intent on bankrupting the nation through sheer clumsiness and ignorance.

Global temperatures have not risen for more than a decade, confounding alarmists' computer models. During the entire 20th century, as the planet recovered from the abnormally cold Little Ice Age, temperatures rose only 0.6 degrees Celsius. Current temperatures remain abnormally cool when compared with the Earth's average temperature over the past 10,000 years.

Even if we had reasons to fear the current temperature trends, legislation would still accomplish no real-world climate benefits. U.S. carbon-dioxide emissions have declined since the year 2000, while global carbon-dioxide emissions have risen by roughly 30 percent. Clearly the United States is not responsible for rising carbon-dioxide emissions.

Even if we immediately eliminated all our carbon-dioxide emissions, it would have little impact on global carbon-dioxide emissions. In less than a decade, the growth in Chinese emissions would completely negate our effort. Nations such as China and India, which are leading the surge in global carbon-dioxide emissions, have made it clear they will not restrict their emissions regardless of whether we do so.

In addition to having no impact on the climate, U.S. carbon-dioxide restrictions would paralyze the economy. The reason U.S. consumers and businesses use coal, oil and natural gas is because these power sources are significantly less expensive to produce than solar and wind power. As Barack Obama acknowledged on the 2008 campaign trail, "Under my plan of a cap-and-trade system, electricity rates would necessarily skyrocket."

Obama's acknowledgment that it will be extremely costly to restrict carbon-dioxide emissions was not a misstatement. CBS News reported last fall that the Obama administration has concluded carbon-dioxide restrictions would cost the American economy up to $200 billion each year. This translates to each U.S. household paying an extra $2,000 every year in energy costs.

The Obama Treasury Department is even more pessimistic, concluding that carbon-dioxide offsets would cost U.S. consumers $300 billion each year. This means each U.S. household would pay an extra $3,000 every year in energy costs.

In a normal political environment, legislators would not dare to consider slapping a $3,000 annual fee on American households, even if doing so could accomplish some real-world benefits. But this is not a normal political environment:

-- Congress gave billions of dollars to banks under the premise of easing tight lending conditions. The banks pocketed the taxpayer funds, paid record bonuses to top management and kept lending conditions tight.

-- Congress spent $800 billion on a stimulus plan that was supposed to keep unemployment below 8 percent. Unemployment now hovers near 10 percent; the federal deficit has taken on nightmare proportions; and the "shovel-ready projects" promised by Congress turned out to be art sculptures in the middle of nowhere and studies on how often and under what circumstances college students have sex.

-- Congress passed a $940 billion health care reform bill that was supposed to reduce insurance costs, but now Obama's own Department of Health and Human Services reports the bill will raise overall medical costs and jeopardize the ability of seniors to access health care services.

Harry Reid apparently believes Congress has successfully numbed the American public to economy-busting programs that increase government power while delivering no real-world benefits. As the political spotlight now turns to costly, ineffectual global-warming legislation, we will soon learn whether Americans will finally stand up to a Congress intent on bankrupting the nation for no good reason.


Duke Energy's Support of President Obama's Cap-and-Trade Policy to Be Challenged by Stockholders

Policy experts from the National Center for Public Policy Research are attending Duke Energy's annual shareholder meeting Thursday to challenge the company's aggressive support of President Obama's cap-and-trade policy.

Duke Energy is a member of the United States Climate Action Partnership (USCAP) – a lobbying coalition of corporations and environmental activist groups who are seeking a national law to limit carbon dioxide emissions. USCAP played a key role in passing the Waxman-Markey cap-and-trade bill in the House of Representatives last year. Other USCAP members include troubled companies such as BP, GM and Chrysler.

Tom Borelli, Ph.D., director of the National Center's Free Enterprise Project, will be presenting shareholder proposal 4: "Shareholder Proposal Related to Preparation of a Report on Duke Energy Corporation's Global Warming-Related Lobbying Activities," on behalf of Shelton Ehrlich, an individual shareholder.

"Shareholders have a right to know how much of company assets are being dedicated to lobbying efforts for a law that will result in higher energy prices and slower economic growth. Duke Energy CEO Jim Rogers has gone all in – that is – put all of the company's chips on passing cap-and-trade," said Tom.

"It's special interest politics at its worst. It seems Duke Energy will be rewarded with potentially billions of dollars of carbon credits in exchange for the company's lobbying effort. However, gambling Duke's future on the value of carbon dioxide – a naturally occurring gas with no intrinsic value – exposes shareholders to significant risk," added Tom.

"Duke Energy is trying to bring President Obama's cap-and-trade dream to reality, despite the economic cost. Recall Obama said during his presidential campaign, 'Under my plan of a cap and trade system, electricity rates would necessarily skyrocket,'" said Deneen Borelli, full-time fellow of Project 21.

"Cap-and-trade is an example of the coordinated effort of big business and big government pursuing their agendas. Obama establishes a massive government program to control energy and big business hopes to make a quick buck while Americans pay for it all in terms of higher energy prices," added Deneen.

Deneen and Tom Borelli will be representing the National Center for Public Policy Research, which owns Duke Energy stock, at its annual meeting in Charlotte, North Carolina.


One in three Australian voters against paying for climate change 'myth'

AUSTRALIANS are rebelling against the idea they should pay to fight global warming, entrenching the Federal Government's woes on the issue.

A new survey showed more than a third of voters don't want to pay for climate-change bills. The authoritative Galaxy opinion survey also found that those who buy the family groceries and low-income earners are in the forefront of the new resistance. It is a sign much of the electorate accept Opposition Leader Tony Abbott's ETS description as "a great big new tax".

The Government's abrupt, three-year pause in introducing an emissions trading scheme angered many of the 35 per cent of voters who believe human activity is changing the climate. Now even some of those believers are refusing to pay the rises in power bills and other household costs which would be caused by an ETS, the survey has found.

About 35 per cent of all voters told Galaxy they did not want to pay a cent, and that group included 15 per cent of people who agreed with the concept of man-made climate change.

Of the change believers, 27 per cent would not pay more than $100 a year extra. Almost half - 47 per cent - would not pay more than $100 a year to combat climate change, the poll commissioned by the Institute of Public Affairs showed. About 60 per cent would not pay more than $300 a year.

If you buy the family groceries, you strongly oppose paying much if anything for an ETS.

The survey found 37 per cent of those who bought family supplies would not pay anything, and just over half would not pay more than $100 a year.

The survey showed two-thirds of respondents were not convinced by man-made climate change, despite "billions of dollars of government propaganda," said John Roskam of the Institute of Public Affairs. "These polls also show Australians won't pay huge amounts of money to fix a problem they are not sure exists," said Mr Roskam.

The lower your income, the less you are likely to want higher bills, which is why nearly half the unemployed oppose the idea. The greatest opposition to paying even a cent extra came from Western Australia, South Australia and Queensland.



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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