Friday, June 11, 2010

UN’s New Climate Chief Says There May Never Be A Global Treaty

Christiana Figueres, a Costa Rican who on July 8 will take the helm of the United Nations body that organizes global climate-change treaty talks, said an all- encompassing deal is unlikely to happen in her lifetime.

Governments must instead focus on making incremental efforts to end global warming because the response “is going to require the sustained effort of those who will be here for the next 20, 30, 40 years,” Figueres, 53, told reporters today in Bonn, where the latest two-week round of talks is taking place.

“I do not believe we will ever have a final agreement on climate change, certainly not in my lifetime,” Figueres said. “If we ever have a final, conclusive, all-answering agreement, then we will have solved this problem. I don’t think that’s in the cards.” [...]

Tensions remain. Beck and Bangladeshi envoy Quamrul Chowdhury both said a legally binding treaty needs to be agreed on at the next major summit in Cancun in November and December.

Delegates from the European Commission and Japan have already said a treaty is unlikely this year and more probable at a 2011 summit in South Africa. Brazil’s Serra said a deal is preferable this year, though unlikely, and that Cancun should be seen as a “stepping stone.”

“If we can’t deliver at Cancun, and if we are shown the road to Cape Town or any other cities, it will be unfortunate,” Chowdhury said. “To build trust we have to come up from our boxes, from our party positions. We have made some effort but we have to cover many more miles.”

Figueres said it’s up to nations to decide whether they want to devise a new legally binding treaty in Cancun, which is to start in late November. She said the ever-changing science means any agreed upon goals may need to be revised further.


Not Published In New Scientist

An inconvenient rebuttal

In your special (21 May) report on denial you speak of “climate deniers”. This is a curious term (who denies the existence of climate?) that appears to be deployed to smear reputable scientists who react sceptically to the “hockey stick” peddled by Sir John Houghton and the IPCC.

You (Jim Giles page 42) ride to the defence of Sir John, former chair of the IPCC, who denies ever having said, “Unless we announce disasters no one will listen”. Apparently no one can trace the source of this quotation so you denounce it as a denialist smear.

Here are some things he has said, on a record (Sunday Telegraph interview 10.9.95) from which he has not resiled.

“If we want a good environmental policy in the future we’ll have to have a disaster.”

And who might be responsible for this disaster? Apparently not just us: “God tries to coax and woo, but he also uses disasters. Human sin may be involved; the effect will be the same.”

And “God does show anger. When He appeared to Elijah there was earthquake wind and fire.”

Perhaps your readers can spot the difference between Sir John Houghton’s non-alarmist scientific take on climate change and that of a Muslim cleric who was recently widely reported (e.g. Iranian cleric: Promiscuity, sin cause earthquakes but God may be holding his fire) to have attributed the risk of earthquakes in Iran to sin – in the form of loose women wearing short skirts.


Meet the Green who doubts ‘The Science’

The author of Chill explains why he’s sceptical about manmade global warming — and why greens are so intolerant

Peter Taylor

The science around climate change is not as settled as it’s presented as being. I used to think it was, until about 2003 – and then, feeling that the remedies being proposed for climate change would be more damaging to the environment than climate change itself, I took it upon myself to look at the science.

In my book on biodiversity, Beyond Conservation, I had mentioned in one of the chapters that perhaps the man-made global warming theory was not all it was being cracked up to be. The changes we are seeing now, I wrote, suggested that some other processes were at work. I then took time out, visited the science libraries, and checked the original science upon which today’s models are based.

I was shocked by what I found. Firstly, there’s no real consensus among the scientists in the UN working groups, especially around oceanography and atmospheric physics. The atmospheric physics of carbon dioxide for example is presented as being pretty straightforward: it is a greenhouse gas, therefore it warms up the planet. But even that isn’t settled. There’s a huge amount of scientific disagreement on how much extra heating in the atmosphere you will get from carbon dioxide. It is even broadly accepted that carbon dioxide on its own is not a problem. So, you can double the amount of carbon dioxide in the atmosphere and get half to one degree warming, which is within the natural variability range over a period of 50 years from now at the current rate of emissions.

The role of water vapour in planetary warming is also open to questioning. While it is presented as being a heat amplifier, in fact because it can turn into cloud it could actually regulate temperature instead. As it turned out, at the very beginning of the UN discussions, Richard Lindzen, a professor of meteorology at MIT, and a leading expert appointed to the committee because of his meteorological expertise, was saying precisely that: the amplification effect asserted cannot be relied upon to increase warming because the vapour could turn into cloud. This needed to be proved before basing assumptions on it. But Lindzen was overruled. Despite still being a key part of the IPPC process, he is now vilified by the press and by the environmental movement. So even on the most basic science of the atmospherics, there is doubt.

Or take oceanography. Most of the heat of the planet is not contained in the atmosphere; it is in the oceans. And what happens in the oceans is absolutely vital to the dynamics of heat moving around the planet. So while of course it is possible to warm up the planet to an additional extent as a result of human activity, if the planet then lets more heat out than it would normally do, then it will balance out. That is to say, you have only to produce less cloud over the oceans and the oceans will release heat to space. Like CO2 itself, the atmosphere doesn’t actually hold heat – it simply delays its transmission to space.

The real dynamic of the planet is to do with clouds, yet this area of science – oceanography and cloud cover – is incredibly uncertain. When I first looked at the basic science, the findings were surprising. Over the global warming period – which I limit to the past 50 or so years – the globe didn’t warm at all between 1950 and 1980, even though carbon dioxide emissions were going through the roof due to the postwar expansion of industry; global temperatures stayed pretty much flat.

The real global warming took off in the 1980s and 90s, through to about 2005. (In the last 10 years it’s actually plateaued.) That period of 25 years, from around 1980 to 2005, coincided with changes in the ocean and cloud cover – that is, there was less cloud and more sunlight getting through to the ocean. And this can be seen in the satellite data on the kind of energy that’s coming through (short-wave energy, which is the only energy that heats water – infra-red energy coming from CO2 cannot heat water). So when you look at the real-world data, the warming of that entire period seems to be due to additional sunlight reaching the oceans.


X-Factor Hid Fakery in the Greenhouse Gas Theory

by John O'Sullivan

NASA added the ‘x-factor’ into their man-made global warming equations and wrongly doubled the greenhouse gas effect. It’s due to vectors, says new research

Independent analysts who recently examined NASA's Earth’s energy budget numbers have found climatologists working for the U.S. space agency have not been applying the mathematical rules applicable to vectors in their greenhouse gas equations, at least since 1997.

The monumentally embarrassing oversight multiplied the heating properties of atmospheric carbon dioxide (CO2) by an extra factor of two: the so-called hidden ‘x-factor.’ Whether the error was intentional or accidental may never be proved. One NASA climate expert quit over the global warming controversy.


New astronomical model outperforms Warmists in predicttion

Dr. Nicola Scafetta writes:

I believe that you may be interested in my last published work.

This paper suggests that climate is characterized by oscillations that are predictable. These oscillations appear to be linked to planetary motion. A climate model capable of reproducing these oscillation would outperform traditional climate models to reconstruct climate oscillations. For example, a statistical comparison is made with the GISS model.

Here’s the abstract at Sciencedirect:
Empirical evidence for a celestial origin of the climate oscillations and its implications

By Nicola Scafetta

Abstract: We investigate whether or not the decadal and multi-decadal climate oscillations have an astronomical origin. Several global surface temperature records since 1850 and records deduced from the orbits of the planets present very similar power spectra. Eleven frequencies with period between 5 and 100 years closely correspond in the two records. Among them, large climate oscillations with peak-to-trough amplitude of about 0.1 $^oC$ and 0.25 $^oC$, and periods of about 20 and 60 years, respectively, are synchronized to the orbital periods of Jupiter and Saturn. Schwabe and Hale solar cycles are also visible in the temperature records. A 9.1-year cycle is synchronized to the Moon’s orbital cycles. A phenomenological model based on these astronomical cycles can be used to well reconstruct the temperature oscillations since 1850 and to make partial forecasts for the 21$^{st}$ century. It is found that at least 60\% of the global warming observed since 1970 has been induced by the combined effect of the above natural climate oscillations. The partial forecast indicates that climate may stabilize or cool until 2030-2040. Possible physical mechanisms are qualitatively discussed with an emphasis on the phenomenon of collective synchronization of coupled oscillators.

A free preprint copy of the paper can be found here. (PDF available in right sidebar)

Basil Copeland and I made some similar observations in the past, but we did not examine other planetary orbital periods. Basil also did a follow up guest post on the random walk nature of global temperature.

This paper opens up a lot of issues, like Barycentrism, which I have tried to avoid because they are so contentious.

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

Warmist can't take the heat

by Andrew Bolt in Australia

HMM. So how has Alarmist of the Year Tim Flannery got away with it for so long? Answer: because he seems nice.

Oh, and because journalists just won't hold our leading global warming spruiker to account for his litany of dud predictions, exaggerations, falsehoods and bizarre conflicts of interest.

But on Wednesday - and give him credit - he wandered into our studio at MTR 1377 for some reason best known to himself. Was it a false confidence, born of years of near unquestioned adulation? Was it that being named Australian of the Year in 2007 made him feel above any pesky but-but-butting from the few media sceptics?

Or was it - as the following transcript suggests - that Flannery, now head of the Rudd Government's Coast and Climate Change Council, has an eerie ability to forget inconvenient truths about his past finger-wagging?

Whatever. What we do know is that our chat this week was the first time I can recall that Flannery, the highly influential author of The Weather Makers and chairman of the Copenhagen Climate Council, has been confronted at length.

Read on, to see how even this giant of warming alarmism dealt with it. You may well then wonder if the great warming scare of the past decade would ever have taken off had more journalists fact-checked the wilder claims and predictions of not just Flannery, but other professional scaremongers such as Al Gore, David Suzuki, Peter Garrett, Rob Gell and Bob Brown.

Flannery started our interview by paying out on Prime Minister Kevin Rudd for walking away from what he'd sold as "the great moral and economic challenge of our time".
Flannery: I'm unlikely to vote for him because my trust has been eroded away. He promised to deliver an emissions trading scheme and he's then withdrawn that with very little justification.

Bolt: He said he wouldn't move now until the rest of the world did something, which is a direct repudiation of what he said before. But, Tim, part of the reason that he's backed down is that there's been a great swing in sentiment against this kind of thing. There's a rising tide of scepticism. How much are you to blame for some of that?

Flannery: There is some swing in sentiment. And I think it's very hard to maintain any issue with that sort of very high level of support for a long time ...

Bolt: But, Tim ... I'm wondering to what extent are you to blame for rising scepticism about some of the more alarming claims about global warming.

Flannery: Well, many of the things that scientists highlight may happen are very alarming. They're not alarmist but they are worrisome. Rises in sea level for instance are a significant issue.

Bolt: Well, let's go through some of your own claims. You said, for example, that Adelaide may run out of water by early 2009. Their reservoirs are half full now. You said Brisbane would probably run out of water by 2009. They are now 97 per cent full. And (you said) Sydney could be dry as early as 2007. Their reservoirs are also more than half full. How can you get away with all these claims?

Flannery: What I have said is that there is a water problem. They may run out of water.

Bolt: 100 per cent full, nearly!

Flannery: And thankfully, Andrew, governments have taken that to heart and been building some desalination capacity such as in Perth.

Bolt: Only in Perth.

Flannery: No, there's plans in every capital city ...

Bolt: No, no. You said Brisbane would run out of water possibly by as early as 2009. There's no desalination plant, there's no dam. It's now 100 per full.

Flannery: That's a lie, Andrew. I didn't say it would run out of water. I don't have a crystal ball in front of me. I said Brisbane has a water problem.

Bolt: I'll quote your own words (from the New Scientist June 16, 2007): "Water supplies are so low they need desalinated water urgently, possibly in as little as 18 months." That was, on the timeline you gave, by the beginning of 2009. Their reservoirs are now 97 per cent full.

Flannery: Yeah, sure. There's variability in rainfall. They still need a desal plant.

Bolt: You also warned that Perth would be the 21 century's first ghost metropolis.

Flannery: May ... Right? Because at that stage there had been no flows into that water catchment for a year and the water engineers were terrified.

Bolt: Have you seen the water catchment levels? Here, see, they're tracking above the five-year level ...

Flannery: You want to paint me as an alarmist.

Bolt: You are an alarmist.

Flannery: I'm a very practical person.

Bolt: You said (in The Guardian, August 9, 2008) the Arctic could be ice-free two years ago.

Flannery: No, I didn't ...

Bolt: I'm asking ... whether (you) repent from all these allegations about cities running out of water, cities turning into ghost cities, sea level rises up to an eight-storey-high building. Don't you think that is in part why people have got more sceptical?

Flannery: I don't, actually, because some of those things are possibilities in the future if we continue polluting as we do. And we've already seen impacts in southern Australia on all of those cities. Everyone remembers the water restrictions and so forth ...

Bolt: You warn about sea level rises up to an eight-storey building. How soon will that happen? Thousands of years?

Flannery: Could be thousands of years.

Bolt: Tens of thousands of years?

Flannery: Could be hundreds of years ... The thermodynamics of ice sheets are very, very difficult to predict.

Bolt: Should we ... have nuclear power plants (to cut our warming emissions)?

Flannery: In Australia, I don't think so. We've got such a great load of assets in the renewable area that I don't think there's an argument here that they are ever going to be economic.

Bolt: Four years ago you did. What changed your mind?

Flannery: No, I never did. I've always had the same argument.

Bolt: No, no, no. Here's your quote: "Over the next two decades Australians could use nuclear power to replace all our coal-fired power plants. We would then have a power infrastructure like France and in doing so we would have done something great for the world." That was your quote.

Flannery: I don't recall saying that at all.

Bolt: You wrote it. You wrote it in The Age (on May 30, 2006). There it is, highlighted.

Flannery: Well, very good.

Bolt: That's the point, you know, you make these claims and when people confront you, you walk away from them.

Flannery: But that was about "may" ... Australia may be able to do that. It's not what I recommend and I never have recommended it ... We are going to see a whole lot of other technologies and innovations which are now well under way which we could use instead of nuclear power.

Bolt: Such as?

Flannery: Such as concentrated PV technology, geothermal technology, wave power, wind power ...

Bolt: You're an investor in geothermal technology, aren't you?

Flannery: Yeah, I am. Indeed.

Bolt: How come you don't declare that (in most media interviews promoting geothermal power)?

Flannery: Well, I've just done it.

Bolt: You've invested in a (Geodynamics geothermal) plant in Innamincka and you said the technology was really easy. How come that plant ...

Flannery: Not really that easy.

Bolt: Well, yes. It's actually had technological difficulties and it's been delayed two years because it's not that easy, after all, is it?

And we could have gone on - to discuss the $90 million grant the Rudd Government last year gave to Flannery's Geodynamics.

Or to ask about the preferential treatment the Government also gave to Field Force, a "green loans" company Flannery spruiked for.

Or to ask how much Flannery profits from preaching doom.

Or to wonder how this green crusader could lend his name to Sir Richard Brazen's planned joy rides in space.

Or to ask him to explain his concession last year that, despite his great scares of rising heat, "there hasn't been a continuation of that warming trend" and "the computer modelling and the real world data disagrees".

Yes, you may think I'm just picking on details. But details are like pixels - put enough together and they form a picture.

Flannery's details, unquestioned, form a terrifying picture that has helped to panic millions of people into believing their gases could kill our world.

But, once challenged, those same details of Flannery form a very different picture - of self-serving scaremongering with not much more than hot air to sustain it.



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


No comments: