Wednesday, April 06, 2011

Why Are Global Sea Surface Temperatures Falling Short Of IPCC Projections?

The paper by Bob Tisdale below is thoroughly technical but I have reproduced the first part of it to give an idea of what it shows. He looks at the temperature of the oceans since 1980. That is roughly the period that the Warmists love for its time of "global warming" so the ocean should have really got a fever over that period, right? Wrong! Tisdale shows that once you remove the effects of volcanoes and changes in ocean currents, the Eastern Pacific (one third of the earth's ocean) shows no warming at all and the rest shows only the tiniest warming


In this post I illustrate and discuss the relatively small rise in the Sea Surface Temperature anomalies (SST) of the East Pacific (from pole to pole) since November 1981 (the start of the Reynolds OI.v2 dataset) and the very obvious upward shifts in the Sea Surface Temperature anomalies of the Rest of The World, which is made up of the Atlantic, Indian and West Pacific Oceans, a subset that represents approximately 66% of the surface area of the global oceans. I've illustrated the shifts in this subset in an earlier post, but in that post, I corrected the data for volcanic aerosols and smoothed the data with a 13-month running-average filter. I now present the data without the volcano adjustments or smoothing to assure you that these adjustments have not created the effects.

This post also presents the differences between the Reynolds OI.v2 SST data and the IPCC Climate Model Hindcasts/Projections for the satellite-era. The comparisons are for the East Pacific SST anomalies and the SST anomalies of the Atlantic-Indian-West Pacific Oceans.


I've recently added two graphs to my monthly Sea Surface Temperature (SST) anomaly updates. (February 2011 SST Anomaly Update) I first presented the reason for these additions in the post Sea Surface Temperature Anomalies - East Pacific Versus The Rest Of The World. The first of the datasets to be discussed is the East Pacific Ocean from pole to pole (90S-90N, 180-80W), so it also includes the portions of the Arctic and Southern Oceans encompassed by those coordinates. As shown in Figure 1, its SST anomalies mimic NINO3.4 SST anomalies, a commonly used El Ni¤o-Southern Oscillation (ENSO) proxy. Keep in mind when viewing the variations in SST anomalies in that graph that the East Pacific data represents approximately 33% of the global oceans. (The percentage is based on the NCEP/DOE Reanalysis-2 "Land Mask" data available through the KNMI Climate Explorer).

Figure 1

The second is the Rest of the World, from pole to pole (90S-90N, 80W-180), which is made up of the Atlantic, Indian, and West Pacific Oceans (and corresponding portions of the Arctic and Southern Oceans). The SST anomalies for this portion of the globe have risen in steps in response to the significant El Ni¤o events of 1987/88 and 1997/98. What differentiates these ENSO events from others is that both were significant El Ni¤o events that were followed by major La Ni¤a events. They also were not counteracted by an explosive volcanic eruption, which happened in 1982 when the eruption of El Chichon suppressed the global response to the 1982/83 El Ni¤o event. In Figure 2, I've added period average data to highlight the upward steps in the data. Note also that it appears this portion of the globe is preparing to make another upward step in response to the 2009/10 El Ni¤o and 2010/11 La Ni¤a.

Figure 2

But as you will note in the title blocks of those two graphs, the data has been adjusted for volcanic aerosols and it has been smoothed with 13-month running-average filters.

Much more HERE

Obama's pet Warmist admits that tipping points are highly speculative and improbable

But he loves them all the same. As long as the model output is alarmist he doesn't mind about whether it is right or not!

U.S. Energy Secretary Steven Chu says that climate models that don't include the impact of "tipping points," aren't measuring all the risks posed by climate change.

What is a tipping point? In climate change it is the point that will lead to cascading events, positive feedback loops, such as rising temperatures that result in the melting of the Greenland ice, leading to higher sea levels and who knows what else.

Chu spoke Thursday night at the American Association for the Advancement of Science. It was a talk, by this Nobel Prize winner in physics, that had some parallels to the problem of measuring risk in IT.

There will be certain risks and damages that might occur if the world temperature goes up three degrees centigrade, said Chu. "The question you should ask yourself if it goes up six degrees centigrade would it be four times worse, would it be two times worse, or will it be a whole lot worse," he said.

Most climate scientists don't want to put these tipping points in their models because of the huge uncertainties, said Chu, but that means the models don't show the full risk.

"To be sure, if you start to model the tipping points you put in much larger uncertainties, but there is a difference between uncertainty and inaccuracy," said Chu.

The "long tail of the damage tail is out there," said Chu, who urged climate researchers to include tipping points in their models.

If scientists are averse to pushing their models, the reasons are understandable. Creating models for anything that include worse-case scenarios and positive feedback loops are potential targets of ridicule.


When do Warmists use the favourite word of the skeptics?

They say that the effects of melting Arctic ice as revealed by their models are "unpredictable", a rare word for Warmists to use in public pronouncements. But why use such a naughty word? Because their models actually predict COOLING!

A vast expanse of freshwater in the midst of the Arctic Ocean is set to wreak unpredictable changes on the climate in Europe and North America, new scientific analysis has shown.

The water - comprising meltwater from the ice cap and run off from rivers - is at least twice the volume of Lake Victoria in Africa, and is continuing to grow. At some point huge quantities of this water are likely to flush out of the Arctic Ocean and into the Atlantic, which could have significant impacts on the climate. Scientists say they cannot predict when this will happen though.

"This could have an influence on ocean circulation," said Benjamin Rabe of the Alfred Wengener Institute. "It could have an influence on the Gulf Stream."

At present, the freshwater acts as a "lid", preventing the warmer salty water below from meeting the ice, which would melt if the two mixed, according to Rabe. But while it is currently stable, this situation is likely to change as atmospheric circulation patterns shift, and as greater quantities of meltwater spill into the "lake". There were signs of an atmospheric change in 2009 that could have precipitated such an outflow, but that episode did not last.

Laura de Steur, an oceanographer at the Royal Netherlands Institute for Sea Research, said: "The volume of water discharged into the Arctic Ocean, largely from Canadian and Siberian rivers, is higher than usual due to warmer temperatures in the north causing ice to melt. Sea ice is also melting quickly - another new record low for ocean area covered was recently documented by the National Snow and Ice Data Centre, adding even more freshwater to the relatively calm Arctic Ocean."

She added: "Sea ice that is thinner is more mobile and could exit the Arctic faster. In the worst case, these Arctic outflow surges can significantly change the densities of marine surface waters in the extreme North Atlantic. What happens then is hard to predict."

Such an outflow would probably have a measurable impact on the "conveyor belt" or thermohaline circulation, a system of deep ocean and wind-driven currents, including the Gulf Stream, which carries heat from the tropics, said Rabe. An influx of dense, cold freshwater could slow the conveyor belt. If the effect were marked, it would be felt in the form of a change of weather in Europe and America, he said. Europe could find itself cooling, particularly around the Western edges, as the circulations tend to bring warmer air to the continent.

But, he said, it was impossible yet to say whether any such effect would be dramatic or slight. Some climate models predict a 20% weakening of the current by the century's end.

Detlef Quadfasel, of Hamburg University's climate centre, warned that there was a chance changes in the system could be abrupt, occurring over a decade or two, but that more gradual change would be expected.

The findings are part of Project Clamer, a collaboration of 17 institutes in 10 European countries that is synthesising research from nearly 300 EU-funded projects over the past 13 years that concern climate change and Europe's waters, and the Baltic and Black Seas.


Save the planet by having fewer babies, says BBC presenter

The old Zero Population Growth nonsense lives on

BBC wildlife expert Chris Packham has warned the only way to protect the future of the planet is to curb population growth. The Springwatch presenter suggested offering Britons tax breaks to encourage them to have smaller families. He effectively endorsed China's controversial one-child policy, which sees couples who adhere to the rule given a lump sum on retirement.

But he stopped short of suggesting people should be penalised for having too many children.

Packham, 49, who has no children of his own, told Radio Times: `By 2020, there are going to be 70million people in Britain. Let's face it, that's too many.' He added: `There's no point bleating about the future of pandas, polar bears and tigers when we're not addressing the one single factor that's putting more pressure on the ecosystem than any other - namely the ever-increasing size of the world's population.'

Packham suggested offering couples a financial incentive as `a carrot' to persuade them to have fewer - or no - children. He said: `I would offer them tax breaks for having small families: say, 10 per cent off your tax bill if you decide to stick with just one child. And an even bigger financial incentive if you choose not to have a family at all.

`I question the way, for example, people have two children with one partner, then split up and have two with their next partner, just to even up the score. Fact is, we all eat food, breathe air and require space, and the more of us there are, the less of those commodities there are for other people and, of course, for the animals.'

Although Packham does not have children of his own, he is helping an ex-girlfriend raise her 16-year-old daughter. He said: `I consider it one of the great privileges of my life to play a part in her upbringing, and would happily throw myself in front of a train to protect her. `It doesn't bother me one bit that she doesn't share my genes. `In fact, I do not now (have) - and never have had - any desire whatsoever to reproduce myself.'

Experts have predicted that the British population - which is currently around 62million - will increase to 70million by 2029. A report by the sustainable development group Forum For The Future said Britain would struggle to handle such growth. The increase in population would be `catastrophic' and put unsustainable pressure on housing, schools and hospitals as well as natural resources. Current trends will see a city the size of Bristol added to the population of the UK every year for the next two decades.

Packham, who presents new BBC2 show The Animal's Guide To British Wildlife, was also critical of the nation's reliance on cheap supermarket produce and fast food. `The public expect cheap food as a right, and we aren't prepared to pay the prices farmers need in order to provide quality food. `We should insist on buying locally grown food and be prepared to pay for it.

`As for the hard-pressed mum who says she's not got the time or money, I'm sorry, but making her children good, nutritious food should be her priority. `Everyone knows we've got the most obese kids in the world. `Besides which, giving them fast food actually works out more expensive than cooking them a proper meal.'


Despite The Scary Warnings, U.S. Not Running Low On Oil

With Japan's nuclear crisis and a wave of instability crossing the Middle East, pols and pundits are turning again to the question of our energy future. Will civil war and strife disrupt access to oil and our way of life? Can the United States change its century-old pattern of relying heavily upon petroleum?

People will reach different answers to these questions and draw different conclusions about what to do. It would be helpful, however, if everyone could get the factual premises right.

Unfortunately, one thing all too many observers have in common is an erroneous understanding of what the term "proven oil reserves" means. The myths surrounding this oft-cited figure are pervasive. And there's no way to have a realistic conversation about energy without getting facts and definitions straight.

Republicans for Environmental Protection is just one of many so-called expert groups that gets it wrong.

"The notion that the U.S., which sits atop less than 3% of the world's proven oil reserves, can drill enough oil to drive down prices if the flow is interrupted from a region with 64% of the world's reserves is a pipe dream," David Jenkins, a vice president, recently wrote.

He argued that supporters of drilling "all neglect to mention that the U.S. is already disproportionately depleting its scant 3% reserves to produce 8% of current global production."

Jenkins paints a frightening picture of the future. But whatever good arguments there might be for keeping tight restrictions on drilling, his isn't one of them. That's because the size of any nation's proven reserves depends not only upon how much oil is contained in its borders, but also upon its government's drilling policies.

Here's how the Society of Petroleum Engineers defines it: "Proved reserves are those quantities of petroleum which, by analysis of geological and engineering data, can be estimated with reasonable certainty to be commercially recoverable, from a given date forward, from known reservoirs and under current economic conditions, operating methods, and government regulations."

That last phrase is key. Our proven reserves are much lower than our actual reserves because government has blocked access, onshore and offshore. It's silly to argue that there is no point to easing restrictions on drilling because "proven reserves" aren't there.

There'd be a lot more proven reserves if the restrictions were eased. Just in the past few years, we've started the process to extract a century-long supply of clean-burning natural gas we didn't even realize existed.


Secrecy hides taxpayer dollars used in Big Green lawsuits

For thousands of farming and ranching families with leases and grazing rights on public lands in the West, having a good lawyer on call is more than a routine cost of doing business. It's an absolute necessity to protect a way of life that has often been handed down for generations.

But that's far from the worst of it because not only do these hard-working, taxpaying men and women have to pay their own attorneys, they also frequently end up having to help pay the attorneys' fees and other legal costs for Big Green environmental groups that file lawsuits seeking to force the federal government to do their bidding. Usually, the individual ranchers and farmers aren't even defendants, they're just innocent bystanders who need attorneys to protect their interests because their livelihoods depend on the outcome of such litigation.

This unjust situation is a result of the Big Green environmental movement's discovery several decades ago that there was indeed "gold in them thar hills," thanks to an obscure federal law known as the Equal Access to Justice Act. Sunday's Examiner editorial detailed how a law intended to help small businesses get their day in court has been perverted into an unaccountable, tax-paid, cash cow worth hundreds of millions of dollars to groups like the Sierra Club, Center for Biodiversity, Environmental Defense Fund and Natural Resources Defense Council.

Payments under EAJA are made by the U.S. Treasury to its Judgment Fund, which is funded by a permanent congressional appropriation. The fund is not audited, agencies aren't required to account in their budgets for payments mandated by court decisions in their areas of jurisdiction, and courts often seal settlements to prevent public examination. It's an open invitation for Big Green groups to file suits, knowing that win or lose, most if not all of their legal expenses will be paid by the government. Best of all for them, it's all but impossible to track who gets how much from the taxpayers from these suits.

But there is enough evidence available to remove any doubt that Big Green litigators have hit the jackpot. Wyoming attorney Karen Fallen has spent many hours poring over court records to compile what she concedes is an incomplete list that includes 647 cases, including 299 in which nearly $18 million was paid under the EAJA to lawyers for 10 Big Green groups. If that amount seems insignificant, Sen. David Vitter, R-La., and Rep. Rob Bishop, R-Utah, estimate that at least $4.7 billion has been paid out of the Judgment Fund under the EAJA since 2003, with much of it going to Big Green groups. Vitter and Bishop have introduced legislation to cap such payments and to mandate proper accounting of them. Such actions would be good first steps toward restoring balance to federal litigation costs and ensuring justice for Western farmers and ranchers.



For more postings from me, see DISSECTING LEFTISM, TONGUE-TIED, EDUCATION WATCH INTERNATIONAL, POLITICAL CORRECTNESS WATCH, FOOD & HEALTH SKEPTIC, GUN WATCH, 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:

John A said...

US oil "proven reserve" - like "peak oil" assumes, among other things, that nothing will ever change.

E.g., the US Geolgical Survey service predicted both oil and coal would run out in about twenty years - in 1909!