Thursday, August 05, 2010

Cosmic ray fluctuations DO affect clouds

Supporting in real life Svensmark's experimentally supported theory. It's difficult reading for non-specialists but below is the journal abstract. A Forbush decrease is a decrease in cosmic rays reaching earth due to eruptions from the sun. A Kolmogorov Smirnoff one sample runs test is a simple statistical test used in many disciplines that shows how unusual a sequence of similar events is. I have paragraphed the abstract to make it a bit easier to follow

Since cloud cover is known even to Warmists as an influence on temperatures, this provides an explanation of HOW the sun affects climate. We've known for a couple of hundred years that there was a correlation between solar activity and climate changes but in the absence of a connecting mechanism, Warmists have been able to dismiss the correlation as happenstance. Changes in gross solar output are tiny percentagewise so that alone could not be the explanation

A correlation study of high-altitude and midaltitude clouds and galactic cosmic rays by MIPAS-Envisat

By Susanne Rohs et al.

The cloud index (CI), the cloud occurrence frequency (Occ), and the extinction data (Ext) of the Michelson Interferometer for Passive Atmospheric Sounding instrument on board Envisat (MIPAS-E) from July 2002 to March 2004 are used to investigate a possible link between galactic cosmic rays (GCRs) and midaltitude and high-altitude clouds (CI, Occ: 9–18 km, Ext: 12–24 km).

The zonally averaged data with 3 km vertical resolution are averaged over six major Forbush decrease (FD) events and subsequently correlated with the Climax neutron monitor data (CNM). In order to allow for nucleation and growth of ice particles, time lags from 0 to 5 days are applied.

We find several weak but statistically significant correlations with an excess of positive cloud-GCR correlations. Introducing a time lag does not enhance the correlations significantly.

Subdividing the data in a global grid with 30° × 90° × 3 km resolution shows higher correlations in some regions. The investigation of the individual FD events yields a heterogeneous picture.

Overall, there is a weak tendency toward a positive cloud-CNM correlation. A Kolmogorov-Smirnov test shows that for time shifts from 0 to +5 days a weak GCR-cloud effect is evident in the MIPAS-E measurements.

An estimation of the impact of this effect delivers that a 15% increase in CNM would result in a small decrease in CI (corresponding to an increase in cloud opacity) which is most pronounced at 9 km altitude (−9% to +0.5%). For log(Ext) a decrease of −5 to 0% is calculated at 12 km altitude which shifts toward weak positive values at higher altitudes.

JOURNAL OF GEOPHYSICAL RESEARCH, VOL. 115, D14212, 19 PP., 2010. The implications are spelled out a bit more fully here

More pesky news about the Arctic: No sign of climate change in Arctic vegetation -- same as it was in the late '30s

Discussing: Prach, K., Kosnar, J., Klimesova, J. and Hais, M. 2010. "High Arctic vegetation after 70 years: A repeated analysis from Svalbard". Polar Biology 33: 635-639.


In a review of ecological and evolutionary responses to recent climate change, Parmesan (2006) wrote that "nearly every Arctic ecosystem shows marked shifts due to climate change," and as a result, the authors decided to see if such was the case at a study site in the High Arctic located at 78°38'N, 16°45'E, near Brucebyen at the Adolfbukta Bay in central Spitsbergen (Svalbard), where the vegetation had been carefully surveyed, identified and mapped in the 1930s and the results published by Acock (1940).

What was done

In the summer of 2008, Prach et al. repeated the vegetation mapping and identification of species "on the same strip of land 2,042 x 521 meters in size, as surveyed by Acock in 1936-1937 and using the same methods."

What was learned

The four researchers, all from the Czech Republic, report that their work "did not reveal any changes in vegetation, since a previous study in 1936-1937, that could be attributed to climate change."

What it means

Prach et al. write that they "endorse the opinion that the vegetation on Svalbard is still resistant to climate fluctuations, in line with a statement of Jonsdottir (2005): 'Svalbard ecosystems are adapted to extreme fluctuations in climate on different temporal scales and can thus be regarded as rather robust'."

Then, quoting Parmesan (2006), who said that "nearly every Arctic ecosystem shows marked shifts due to climate change," they conclude their paper by writing that "based on the results presented here, we wanted to note that some Arctic ecosystems still show no evident change."

We would only add that maybe it just hasn't warmed as much in this High Arctic land as the world's climate alarmists would have us believe, which is also suggested by Prach et al.


Warmists getting all wet these days

With the Arctic, the Himalayas and the Amazon basin all getting a bit pesky these days, Warmists and their media dependants are giving more attention to the oceans. But even the oceans are not helping if you look at the actual evidence

A plethora of media articles this morning claim global warming is killing off phytoplankton, which forms the base of the oceans' food chain. The problem with these articles is they are all based on a single, very shaky study that is contradicted by many more rigorous studies that have reached the opposite conclusion.

To reach the conclusion that global warming is harming phytoplankton, researchers had to rely on indirect indicators of past phytoplankton populations, spotty and geographically incomplete samples for current phytoplankton populations, and speculative theories tying the alleged reduction in phytoplankton populations to global warming.

By contrast, many studies in the peer-reviewed scientific literature have shown that higher temperatures and/or higher amounts of atmospheric carbon dioxide benefit rather than harm phytoplankton. For example:

In 2005, Journal of Geophysical Research published a paper by scientists who examined trends in chlorophyll concentrations, which are the building blocks of ocean life. The French and American scientists reported “an overall increase of the world ocean average chlorophyll concentration by about 22 percent” during the prior two decades of increasing carbon dioxide concentrations.

In 2007, Global Change Biology published a paper by scientists who observed that higher carbon dioxide levels correlate with better growth conditions for oceanic life. The highest carbon dioxide concentrations produced “higher growth rates and biomass yields” than the lower carbon dioxide conditions. Higher carbon dioxide levels may well fuel “subsequent primary production, phytoplankton blooms, and sustaining oceanic food-webs,” the scientists reported.

In 2008, Biogeosciences published a paper by scientists who had subjected marine organisms to varying concentrations of carbon dioxide, including abrupt changes of carbon dioxide concentration. The ecosystems were “surprisingly resilient” to changes in atmospheric carbon dioxide, and “the ecosystem composition, bacterial and phytoplankton abundances and productivity, grazing rates and total grazer abundance and reproduction were not significantly affected by CO2-induced effects.”

For some strange reason, the media largely ignored these peer-reviewed studies showing global warming is benefiting phytoplankton, but are running amuck with articles claiming the sky is falling based on the single, more speculative claims of phytoplankton harm.


The blatant lies about temperature and illness continue

Perhaps because mankind evolved in tropical Africa, people actually handle warm weather a lot better than cold weather. You can't tell the Warmists that, though

“Global warming” is rapidly increasing Northern Hemisphere temperatures, as it does every summer, but alarmists in the media are doing their best to make it seem like summer heat waves never occurred before. They are also misleading people into believing hot temperatures kill more people than cold temperatures.

An article in the Tuesday, July 27 Washington Post claims “High temperatures claim more lives in the United States than tornadoes, hurricanes, floods and lightning combined – about 700 a year, according to official estimates.”

Perhaps, but what about high temperatures in comparison to low temperatures?

BBC News and Department of the Interior analyst Indur Goklany have published two separate papers this year documenting how cold weather kills far more people than hot weather.

Federal mortality statistics show 800 more people die every day in December, January, and February than occurs on an average day during the rest of the year. The winter months kill 72,000 more U.S. citizens than the spring-summer-autumn average.

The three months with the lowest mortality are the hot-weather summer months of June, July, and August.

Heart attacks and strokes are major culprits. As temperatures cool, blood vessels contract to preserve heat and blood composition changes. As a result, BBC News notes, the heart has to work harder to pump blood and blood is more likely to clot.

Additionally, cold weather makes the human respiratory more susceptible to viruses. Compounding matters, influenza becomes more resistant to the human immune system when temperatures fall.

A July 28 article in the Atlanta Journal-Constitution references the July 27 Washington Post article and takes the claims a step further.

“We’d better get used to miserable, scorching summers. We can stop using the term ‘heat wave’ to describe what will become a routine pattern of high temperatures, overtaxed electricity grids and epidemics of heat strokes. According to NASA, all but one of the ten hottest years on record were since 1999,” writes Cynthia Tucker.

According to National Weather Service data, however, record high temperatures were prevalent the 1930s, 1940s, and 1950s than they are today. The warming that has occurred (much of it overstated by placing temperature stations on asphalt, next to buildings, etc.) has primarily been during the winter and at night. High temperatures are not getting hotter, but rather the much more deadly extreme low temperatures are becoming more moderate.


Panic! Mt Everest is melting! Australia's public broadcasater says so

Except that they have no evidence for the claim

In early June we requested ABC substantiate claims it made in its report titled, Melting ice making Everest climbs dangerous, that: "Studies show temperatures are rising faster at Mount Everest than in the rest of South Asia." We requested ABC provide details of the studies. ABC have now replied with the following (the full reply is shown with the original post):

Received 2 August 2010

"On receipt of your complaint, we have investigated whether it could be established that a significant error had been made that warranted correction, as required by section 5.2.2(c)(ii) of the ABC’s Editorial Policies. Audience and Consumer Affairs note that studies do appear to show temperatures are rising faster at Mount Everest than in the rest of South Asia, as illustrated in Table 10.2 of the Contribution of Working Group II to the Fourth Assessment Report of the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change 2007. See here

In view of this, we are unable to conclude that a significant error has been made which warrants correction. However, should you have specific further information which you feel is relevant to our decision on this point, we would be happy to consider it."
We have sent ABC Audience and Consumer Affairs the following email:

The ABC report states: "Studies show temperatures are rising faster at Mount Everest than in the rest of South Asia." You have now provided the IPCC table 10.2 as a reference for this information, however for South Asia this table indicates temperature rise in Sri Lanka at "2°C increase per year in central highlands " while the annual increase for the Himalaya is given as "0.09°C per year in Himalayas".

Clearly the values for Sri Lanka greatly exceed those of the Himalaya, and Sri Lanka, not the Himalaya, is the area where temperatures are rising faster in South Asia. Clearly both trends are also worthy of further journalistic inquiry for if continued both would greatly exceed IPCC forecasts.

Table 10.2 can be viewed directly here

We wait ABC's reply. In the meantime we are investigating the source of the warming trends proposed for the Himalayas cited by the IPCC. The three references provided for the Himalaya trends in Table 10.2 are as follows...

Strangely and contrary to IPCC practice, only one of these is peer reviewed and it deals with precipitation, not temperature; the other citations are conference presentations. The actual temperature values quoted in the table originate from the following paper:

Shrestha, Arun B.; Wake, Cameron P.; Mayewski, Paul A.; Dibb, Jack E.. Maximum Temperature Trends in the Himalaya and Its Vicinity: An Analysis Based on Temperature Records from Nepal for the Period 1971--94. Journal of Climate, 9/1/99, Vol. 12 Issue 9 pp:2775-2786

This paper makes for interesting reading. It appears that the stations used to calculate Himalayan trends come from east Nepal and on face value these do not appear to confirm the warming trends claimed.... the closest weather station to Mt Everest used in the Shrestha et al 1999 paper is Chialsa, 59 km away. ABC's claims that "Studies show temperatures are rising faster at Mount Everest than in the rest of South Asia" are based on a study that has no data at Mt Everest!

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

Enviro torture

DDT eliminated bedbugs in the first place but now that bedbugs are back in major Western cities (particularly NYC) maybe DDT will be brought back too

Do you have a bedbug problem? This actually might be a good thing. Not for you, of course. But it might be good for millions of poor people.

Increasingly, bedbugs bother more rich people in influential parts of America. This might be what finally wakes people up to the damage done by enviro-morons who spread poisonous smears against the pesticide, DDT.

Paul Driessen explains that if new York City residents discover bedbugs, the city’s Bedbug Advisory Board recommends a bedbug team and an educational Web site. Residents, it advises, should monitor and report infestations. Use blowdryers to flush out (maybe 5 percent of) the bugs, then sweep them into a plastic bag and dispose properly. Throw away (thousands of dollars' worth of) infested clothing, bedding, carpeting and furniture.

Hire (expensive) professionals who (may) have insecticides that (may) eradicate the pests -- and hope you don't get scammed.

But thanks to New Yorkers’ bedbug problems Eco-myths are being replaced with more informed discussions about the alleged effects of DDT and other pesticides on humans and wildlife.

Thankfully, bedbugs haven't been linked to disease … But [now] imagine what it's like for some 2 billion people who live 24/7/365 with insects that definitely are responsible for disease: malarial mosquitoes.

Malaria infects more than 300 million people annually. For weeks on end, it renders them unable to work, attend school or care for their families -- … It kills more than a million annually, most of them children and mothers.

Fortunately, we don’t have that problem in America, because we killed off America’s malaria carrying mosquitoes by spraying the insecticide DDT. DDT is not anywhere near as dangerous as Rachael Carson’s Silent Spring led us to believe.

DDT is the most powerful, effective, long-lasting mosquito repellant ever invented. Spraying the eaves and inside walls of mud huts and cinderblock homes every six months keeps 80 percent of the flying killers from entering. It irritates most that do enter, so they leave without biting, and kills any that land.

Yet many aid agencies refuse to encourage, endorse or fund spraying. … Since the Environmental Protection Agency banned DDT in 1972, billions have been stricken by malaria and tens of millions have died. This is intolerable.

... We can no longer leave those decisions to anti-chemical activists in unaccountable pressure groups and government agencies. These zealots are making decisions that affect the quality of life for millions of Americans -- and life itself for billions of poor people worldwide.



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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