Friday, August 06, 2010

Pesky! Ship find shows present Arctic Sea Ice conditions similar to 1853

Maybe even a bit colder now than 150 years ago

The international news media are hailing the archaeological find of a British naval ship the HMS Investigator on July 25 in an area far north (600 km) of the Arctic Circle that was previously unreachable due to sea ice. The HMS Investigator was abandoned in 1853, but not before sailing the last leg of the elusive Northwest Passage. The ship had been sent on a rescue mission for 2 other ships mapping the Northwest Passage. Now, thanks to "climate change," archaeologists working for Parks Canada were finally able to plot a small window of time this summer to allow passage to the ship's location:
Parks Canada had been plotting the discovery of the three ships for more than a year, trying to figure out how to get the crews so far north. Once they arrived and got their bearings, the task seemed easier than originally thought. It took little more than 15 minutes to uncover the Investigator, officials told The Globe and Mail last week. “For a long time the area wasn’t open, but now it is because of climate change,” said Marc-André Bernier, chief of the Underwater Archaeology Service at Parks Canada.

Interesting that the ship was lost in 1853, right at the end of the Little Ice Age, and coincidentally just 3 years after the start of the HADCRU global temperature record, from which we are led to believe the earth has warmed about 0.7C. If we are seeing "unprecedented" global temperatures and changes in Arctic sea ice, how did the HMS Investigator get this far north at the end of the Little Ice Age?


A Critical Review of Global Surface Temperature Data Products

Layman's summary: The data used to calculate 20th century global temperature is a crock -- JR

By Dr. Ross McKitrick


There are three main global temperature histories: the combined CRU-Hadley record (HADCRU), the NASA-GISS (GISTEMP) record, and the NOAA record. All three global averages depend on the same underlying land data archive, the Global Historical Climatology Network (GHCN). CRU and GISS supplement it with a small amount of additional data.

Because of this reliance on GHCN, its quality deficiencies will constrain the quality of all derived products. The number of weather stations providing data to GHCN plunged in 1990 and again in 2005. The sample size has fallen by over 75% from its peak in the early 1970s, and is now smaller than at any time since 1919. The collapse in sample size has not been spatially uniform. It has increased the relative fraction of data coming from airports to about 50 percent (up from about 30 percent in the 1970s). It has also reduced the average latitude of source data and removed relatively more high-altitude monitoring sites.

GHCN applies adjustments to try and correct for sampling discontinuities. These have tended to increase the warming trend over the 20th century. After 1990 the magnitude of the adjustments (positive and negative) gets implausibly large.

CRU has stated that about 98 percent of its input data are from GHCN. GISS also relies on GHCN with some additional US data from the USHCN network, and some additional Antarctic data sources. NOAA relies entirely on the GHCN network.

Oceanic data are based on sea surface temperature (SST) rather than marine air temperature (MAT). All three global products rely on SST series derived from the ICOADS archive, though the Hadley Centre switched to a real time network source after 1998, which may have caused a jump in that series. ICOADS observations were primarily obtained from ships that voluntarily monitored SST. Prior to the post-war era, coverage of the southern oceans and polar regions was very thin. Coverage has improved partly due to deployment of buoys, as well as use of satellites to support extrapolation. Ship-based readings changed over the 20th century from bucket-and-thermometer to engine-intake methods, leading to a warm bias as the new readings displaced the old. Until recently it was assumed that bucket methods disappeared after 1941, but this is now believed not to be the case, which may necessitate a major revision to the 20th century ocean record. Adjustments for equipment changes, trends in ship height, etc., have been large and are subject to continuing uncertainties. Relatively few studies have compared SST and MAT in places where both are available. There is evidence that SST trends overstate nearby MAT trends.

Processing methods to create global averages differ slightly among different groups, but they do not seem to make major differences, given the choice of input data. After 1980 the SST products have not trended upwards as much as land air temperature averages. The quality of data over land, namely the raw temperature data in GHCN, depends on the validity of adjustments for known problems due to urbanization and land-use change. The adequacy of these adjustments has been tested in three different ways, with two of the three finding evidence that they do not suffice to remove warming biases.

The overall conclusion of this report is that there are serious quality problems in the surface temperature data sets that call into question whether the global temperature history, especially over land, can be considered both continuous and precise. Users should be aware of these limitations, especially in policy sensitive applications.

See full report here.

Ross also notes the following on another paper:

You might be interested in a new paper I have coauthored with Steve McIntyre and Chad Herman, in press at Atmospheric Science Letters, which presents two methods developed in econometrics for testing trend equivalence between data sets and then applies them to a comparison of model projections and observations over the 1979-2009 interval in the tropical troposphere. One method is a panel regression with a heavily parameterized error covariance matrix, and the other uses a non-parametric covariance matrix from multivariate trend regressions. The former has the convenience that it is coded in standard software packages but is restrictive in handling higher-order autocorrelations, whereas the latter is robust to any form of autocorrelation but requires some special coding. I think both methods could find wide application in climatology questions.

The tropical troposphere issue is important because that is where climate models project a large, rapid response to greenhouse gas emissions. The 2006 CCSP report pointed to the lack of observed warming there as a “potentially serious inconsistency” between models and observations. The Douglass et al. and Santer et al. papers came to opposite conclusions about whether the discrepancy was statistically significant or not. We discuss methodological weaknesses in both papers. We also updated the data to 2009, whereas the earlier papers focused on data ending around 2000.

We find that the model trends are 2x larger than observations in the lower troposphere and 4x larger than in the mid-troposphere, and the trend differences at both layers are statistically significant, suggestive of an inconsistency between models and observations. We also find the observed LT trend significant but not the MT trend.

SOURCE. (See the original for links)

Arctic cooler in 1989 than in 1870 -- says Leftist paper

The Czech media just informed the nation about another study that rules out the industrial activity as the cause of the bulk of the 20th century climate change. "Warming is not related to the mankind's industrial activity, a study shows ("

That's a pretty clear title, isn't it? ;-) You may find it even more remarkable if I tell you that is a top left-wing news server on the Czech Internet - with loose institutional links to Právo, the newspapers that used to belong to the Communist Party - and that the story above is the "story of the day" on the server's main page.

If you want to have an idea about the discussion under the article, the most favorably rated comment (Goodvotes - Badvotes = +200 within an hour) was written by Mr Martin Poláček. It says: "So at the end, it turns out that our president was right. Who will apologize to him for all the mockery?"

A vast majority of the other comments are anti-AGW, too. The readers point out that the Goreo-Bursík green industrial complex (Bursík is the most famous among the ex-chairmen of the Czech Green Party that was just eliminated from the Parliament) is highly profitable so these folks are unlikely to make a U-turn anytime soon.

The story is based on an article: Kononov, Friedrich, Böttger: "Regional Summer Temperature Reconstruction in the Khibiny Low Mountains (Kola Peninsula, NW Russia) by Means of Tree-ring Width during the Last Four Centuries" -- previously mentioned at Climate Audit, Science Centric, and Science Daily.

"A tree-ring reconstruction of the summer temperatures at the Kola peninsula - near Murmansk and the Arctic (Polar) Circle - by a German-Russian team has shown diverse changes of the Arctic temperatures in a recent century or so. The period 1630-1840 has crystallized as a Little Ice Age. The years 1935-1955 turned out to be the warmest ones while the years prior to 1990 were cooler than those around 1870. Warming returned after 1990."


Biogeochemical Feedbacks as Important as CO2

Yet more factors that the modellers left out

According to a new report in Nature Geoscience, scientists are beginning to realize that previously ignored aspects of the terrestrial biosphere can act as key regulators of atmospheric chemistry and climate. Not only that, changes in the biosphere can happen quickly—in the course of a few decades. “Although interactions between the carbon cycle and climate have been a central focus, other biogeochemical feedbacks could be as important in modulating future climate change,” states the report. Because a number of these feedbacks can have a cooling effect, the impact on global warming predictions could be earthshaking. The problem is, these feedbacks are only poorly understood and they are so interrelated that modeling them will be difficult, if not impossible.

The efforts of climate scientists, particularly the ones who blame human CO2 emissions for global warming, have concentrated on the carbon-cycle and the impact of greenhouse gasses on climate. In a new review paper, entitled “Terrestrial biogeochemical feedbacks in the climate system,” A. Arneth et al. delve into other, less studied factors involved in climate regulation. The paper surveys recent progress in understanding terrestrial biogeochemical feedbacks and their linkages, and provides an estimate of the potential magnitude of those feedbacks. Motivation for the review was stated this way:
Research into land–atmosphere exchange processes in climate science has traditionally focused on the surface radiation budget and its effects on sensible and latent heat fluxes, and more recently on carbon-cycle–climate interactions1. But many more bidirectional land–atmosphere fluxes modulate atmospheric composition and climate. Biogeochemical feedbacks are intrinsic to the climate system, owing to the nonlinear stimulation of all biological processes by increasing temperatures. Many biogeochemical processes also respond to changes in atmospheric composition and precipitation. Biogeochemical cycles are therefore strongly affected by anthropogenically forced climate change and other human activities.

The interesting point here is that most of the feedbacks listed have been pretty much ignored by climate modelers, due to the ill defined nature of the mechanisms. “During past periods of climate change, vegetation cover and interactions between the terrestrial biosphere and atmosphere changed within decades.” state Arneth et al.. “The overall magnitude of the biogeochemical feedbacks could potentially be similar to that of feedbacks in the physical climate system, but there are large uncertainties in the magnitude of individual estimates and in accounting for synergies between these effects.”

Much more HERE

The Temperature Decline That Dare Not Speak Its Name

Let’s look at the NOAA claim that the surface temperature increased .11° C during 2000-2009. Although they did everything possible to hide this information from the public, media, politicians, and even fellow scientists, by the late 2000s even die-hard alarmists were eventually forced to accept that the surface temperature record showed no warming as of the late 1990s, and some cooling as of about 2002. In other words, overall, for the first decade of the 21st century, there was either no warming, or no warming and even some cooling.

One of the consistent themes in the Climategate emails was consternation that the planet wasn’t warming as expected

One of the consistent themes in the Climategate emails was consternation that the planet wasn’t warming as expected by the models (that is, about 0.2°C per decade). For example, as early as 2005 the then head of the Climatic Research Unit (CRU), Phil Jones, wrote in an email: “The scientific community would come down on me in no uncertain terms if I said the world had cooled from 1998. OK it has but it is only seven years of data and it isn’t statistically significant.”

Fellow Climategate emailer and IPCC contributor Kevin Trenberth wrote to hockey-stick creator Michael Mann in 2009: “The fact is that we cannot account for the lack of warming at the moment and it’s a travesty that we can’t.” Note the date: 2009, the last year of the decade. As far as Trenberth knew‚—and he should have known as a leading IPCC author‚—the planet hadn’t warmed for several years up to that time.

Even Tim Flannery, author of the arch-alarmist The Weather Makers, acknowledged in November 2009: “In the last few years, where there hasn’t been a continuation of that warming trend, we don’t understand all of the factors that creates Earth’s climate, so there are some things we don’t understand, that’s what the scientists were emailing about. ... These people [the scientists] work with models, computer modeling. When the computer modeling and the real world data disagree you have a problem.”[1] [italics added]

Yes, you do have a problem, to the point where, in February 2010, after he’d been suspended as head of the CRU following the Climategate scandal, and in an attempt to restore his reputation as an honest scientist, Jones came a bit clean in an interview with the BBC. For example, Jones agreed with the BBC interviewer that there had been “no statistically significant warming” since 1995 (although he asserted that the warming was close to significant), whereas in his 2005 email he was at pains to hide the lack of warming from the public and even fellow researchers.

The planet has been cooling

Jones admitted that from 2002-2009 the planet had been cooling slightly (-0.12°C per decade), although he contended that “this trend is not statistically significant.” In short, as far as Jones knew in February 2010‚—and as the keeper of the Hadley-CRU surface temperature record he was surely in a very good position to know‚—the planet hadn’t warmed on average over the decade.

In the BBC interview, Jones calculated the overall surface temperature trend for 1975 to 2009 to be +0.16°C per decade. Since that includes the warming years 1975-1998, it seems incredible that NOAA could manufacture a warming of 0.11°C for 2000-2009, as shown in this graph from the 2009 NOAA report:

To show this level of warming, NOAA must have included the January-March 2010 El Nino. A surge in warming at the end of the decade would tend to pull the 2000-2009 average up, but this doesn’t negate the fact that for almost all of the last decade, the planet did not warm.

Curiously, another part of the NOAA website directly contradicts the NOAA report. On its site, NOAA offers a gadget that lets browsers check the temperature trend in the continental United States for any two years between 1895 and 2010. Here’s what the graph shows for the years 2000-2009 in the United States:

This graph shows a temperature decline of 0.73°Fahrenheit (-0.4°C) for 2000-2009 in the U.S. To get a perspective on how large a decline this is: the IPCC estimates that the temperature increase for the whole of the 20th century was 1.1°F, or 0.6°C. In other words, at least in the United States, the past decade’s cooling wiped out two-thirds of the temperature gain of the last century.

While the U.S. isn’t, of course, the whole world, it has the world’s best temperature records, and a review of the NOAA data since 1895 shows that in the 20th century the U.S. temperature trends mirrored, quite closely, the global temperature trends. So, for example, between 1940-1975, a global cooling period, the NOAA chart showed a temperature decline of 0.14°F (-0.07°C).

In other words, it stretches credulity to the breaking point to believe that the global temperature trend from 2000-2009 could be a full 0.51°C‚—half a degree Celsius‚—higher than the temperature trend for the United States (that is, -.4C + .11C).

Until NOAA issues a correction (which isn’t likely), the cooling of the past decade, which has been such an embarrassment to the hypothesis that human-caused carbon emissions will cause runaway warming, is gone, conjured away by a wave of the NOAA climate fairy’s magic wand.

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

A reply to some L.A. Times nonsense

The article "Climate skeptics confuse, paralyze" from the Los Angeles Times, needs rebuttal. The article said "a consensus of climate scientists" identified human-caused greenhouse gases as causing global warming. Historically, "consensuses of scientists" have agreed on statements such as these:

* There are only four elements -- air, earth, fire and water.

* The Earth is flat.

* The sun orbits around the Earth.

* We are entering an ice age (1975).

Consensus is not proof. Honest questioning and testing is. We cannot test whether man is causing global warming, but we can honestly question the idea, using facts such as:

* Scientists report that ice-age sea levels were 175 metres below today's. At the bottom of the Black Sea and offshore of our West Coast are evidence of human settlement at some time in the recent past when sea levels were lower. We cannot know whether we are on the upslope, peak, downslope or bottom of one of the scores of climate change cycles between then and now.

* There are large, unpetrified trees on open ground in the Arctic, far north of today's tree line. They grew there at some time just a geological eye-blink ago, when our hemisphere was much warmer.

* Greenland's Viking farms are now under thick ice.

* There was a "little ice age" for several hundred years ending in the 19th century, long before heavy industrialization and cars.

* Water vapour is more than five times as potent a greenhouse gas as carbon dioxide. The climate modellers do not know how to account for it, nor for clouds, in their models.

* CO2 is not a pollutant but is a vital component of all Earth's life cycles.

The Times article goes on to say the skeptics are "working hand in hand with big energy companies that profit from the filthy status quo."

We don't know who these people are who work with the oil companies, but I personally have not had a recent call from Tony Hayward, the disgraced outgoing BP boss.

The Times also refers to "a raging international debate."

What debate? The skeptic side has been implacably suppressed. Points:

* A big meeting of "skeptical" scientists, held to develop an objective "consensus" of their side, was little, if at all, reported.

* Skeptical scientists have been denied access to background data for the infamous and now discredited "hockey stick" graph upon which the "consensus" was once based. Evidently some of the data had been invented by the graph's originators to suit their preconceptions.

* In his book An Appeal to Reason (2008), Lord Nigel Lawson reports difficulty in getting it published. One publisher wrote: "My fear, with this cogently argued book, is that it flies so much in the face of the prevailing orthodoxy that it would be very difficult to find a wide market." Note: "fear."

Critics are so afraid of loss of professorships, project funding or citations that they fear to speak.

How can one not be a skeptic when:

* Scientific fraud has been used by the warm-mongers. Apologists papering over the evidence of bias in the "climategate" e-mails merely sound pathetic; the authors of those e-mails clearly attempted to suppress dissent. Further, it was a panel from the University of East Anglia that absolved the University of East Anglia of blame.

* One melodramatic part of a recent Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change report forecasting the melting of Himalayan glaciers by 2035 was not even sloppy science but pure fiction.

* There is gross conflict of interest. Schemes such as emissions trading are elaborate methods of transferring billions of dollars out of solvent countries such as Canada to poorly governed, improvident, in some cases blatantly kleptocratic nations.

Yes, the climate is changing because it always is. No, we do not and cannot know if man is causing it. Yes, we are destroying our planet. No, frantic, horrendously expensive efforts to limit CO2 won't fix that.

The soul of science is to hypothesize, test, challenge, debate honestly and objectively. This, unhappily, has not been the history of the global warming controversy. The Times article is proof.



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


1 comment:

DennisA said...

In an article in 2000 Dr Robert E.
Stevenson described how he and others collected sea temperature records in the 60's, in my view the whole article is a must read.

Sources of 20th Century Ocean Temperatures

In the 1960s, more ships were out at sea: from Fisheries Laboratories, U.S. Coast and Geodetic Survey (now NOAA), and research institutions at Scripps (La Jolla, Calif.), Woods Hole (Massachusetts), Miami, and Texas A&M (in the Gulf of Mexico). The British sailed the new Discovery, the Germans the new Meteor, and there were small ships sailing from Denmark, Japan, and France. Many cruises were dedicated to the geophysics of the sea floor, where deep-ocean casts for water and temperatures were few and far between.

Surface water samples were taken routinely, however, with buckets from the deck and the ship's engine-water intake valve. Most of the thermometers were calibrated into 1/4-degrees Fahrenheit. They came from the U.S. Navy. Galvanized iron buckets were preferred, mainly because they lasted longer than the wood and canvas. But, they had the disadvantage of cooling quickly in the winds, so that the temperature readings needed to be taken quickly. I would guess that any bucket-temperature measurement that was closer to the actual temperature by better than 0.5° was an accident, or a good guess. But then, no one ever knew whether or not it was good or bad. Everyone always considered whatever reading was made to be precise, and they still do today. The archived data used by Levitus, and a plethora of other oceanographers, were taken by me, and a whole cadre of students, post-docs, and seagoing technicians around the world. Those of us who obtained the data, are not going to be snowed by the claims of the great precision of "historical data found stored in some musty archives."