Saturday, July 02, 2011

Climate models fail to agree with 5 decades of oceanic observations

Could the findings of Zhang et al. mean that the projections of "almost all state-of-the-art climate models" are just plain wrong? They sure could...

Discussing: Zhang, D., Msadek, R., McPhaden, M.J. and Delworth, T. 2011. "Multidecadal variability of the North Brazil Current and its connection to the Atlantic meridional overturning circulation". Journal of Geophysical Research 116: 10.1029/2010JC006812.

Writing as background for their study, Zhang et al. (2011) report that "almost all state-of-the-art climate models project significant slowdown of the AMOC [Atlantic Meridional Overturning Circulation] during this century in response to the increased greenhouse gas concentrations in the atmosphere," citing the studies of Schmittner et al. (2005), Meehl et al. (2007) and Hu et al. (2009). And because the North Brazil Current (NBC) is, as they say, "primarily responsible for the AMOC upper branch return flow which crosses the tropical Atlantic (e.g., Hazeleger and Drijfhout, 2006)," they examined this projection via a new study of the NBC.

Working with historical hydrographic data they obtained from NOAA's World Ocean Database, Zhang et al. calculated the NBC geostrophic transport time series based on five decades of observations made off the coast of Brazil, while they also assessed the suggested connection between the NBC and AMOC via "a 700-year control simulation of the Geophysical Fluid Dynamics Laboratory's CM2.1 coupled climate model."

As a result of their analyses, the four researchers determined that the AMOC's "anticipated slowdown," as they describe it, "has not occurred yet, even though global temperatures have been significantly higher since the 1970s." They note, for example, that "while the AMOC might have been weakened from the 1960s to the early 1970s, it has been strengthening since then to the end of the last century," and they write that "analyses of subsurface temperature and salinity anomalies in the subtropical and subpolar north Atlantic (Zhang, 2008; Wang et al., 2010) also suggest a strengthening of the AMOC from the 1970s to 1990s." In addition, they report that their CM2.1 model results are also "in agreement with observations."

Could the findings of Zhang et al. mean that the projections of "almost all state-of-the-art climate models" are just plain wrong? They sure could, for real-world observations always win out over theoretical projections if they differ; and so far, at least, that's what the observations are doing -- they're winning.


Peter Gleick exhibits the closed mind one expects of the Green/Left

Prominent climate change skeptics gathered at the Heartland Institute's sixth international conference on climate change on Friday to take on the body of scientific evidence showing that human emissions are contributing to global warming.

Heartland’s conference, held at the Washington Marriott Wardman Park hotel, featured presentations from scientists skeptical of climate change, including Patrick Michaels, a senior fellow at the Cato Institute, who argued humans are either having a limited impact on climate change or no impact at all.

Heartland Institute communications director Jim Lakely said it's a “myth” that only skeptics are invited to the conference.

President of the Pacific Institute Peter Gleick, a scientist who supports the findings behind man-induced climate change, said he wouldn't consider attending.

"I go to many meetings as it is, and the interesting science is being done elsewhere," he said on a "pre-buttal" conference call hosted by the Center For American Progress. "This is not a science conference, it's a political conference. It's a way for a small community -- and I would argue a diminishing community -- to get together in a self-support kind of way. There is no science that's going to be discussed there that's new or that's interesting ... it's just not worth a real scientist's time."


Concerted efforts to squash research that threatens Warmism

THE editorial of June 25th reveals the level of misinformation being promoted by human-caused global warming advocates in trying to convince the public there is a problem.

The concept that sceptics have no reviewed and published scientific evidence is utterly false. The thousands of pages I have read constantly refer to reviewed and published papers from different scientific journals (page 11 of the 2010 Senate Minority Report), some even from the favoured science journals Salinger and Renwick refer to. A cursory glance through the resources I have mentioned previously will reveal this. has over 900 peer-reviewed and published papers rebutting the accepted theory of AGW.

Over recent years there has been a concerted effort by globalwarmists to squash any research that threatens their position. The Climategate emails showed this. It is confirmed by Dr Judith Curry who was considered to be the “High Priestess” of the global warming fraternity. She has stated that “the global warmists will tolerate no dissent and seek to trample anyone who challenges them. The IPCC assessment process had a substantial element of schoolyard bullies, trying to insulate their shoddy science from outside attacks by sceptics . . . the IPCC and its conclusions were set on a track to become a self-fulfilling prophecy”. She is now a sceptic.

Global warming guru James Lovelock stated in March 2010: “The sceptics have kept us sane. They have kept us from regarding climate science as a religion. It had gone too far that way.” In May 2010 he said, “the science of global warming is in its infancy and we haven’t got the physics worked out yet”.

In other words the science is not settled. Why do we need an insurance policy for something that even global warming advocates admit is far from certain.

As to the science, physicist Walter Cunningham of NASA, a colleague of James Hansen, says: “Hansen is a political activist who spreads fear even when NASA’s own data contradicts him.” He goes on to say that NASA should be at the forefront in the collection of scientific evidence and debunking the current hysteria over human-caused warming. Unfortunately, he says, “it is becoming just another agency caught up in the politics of global warming, or worse, politicised science”.

Hungarian scientist Dr Ferenc Miskolczi, while working for NASA, ran into political interference when he tried to publish his research which showed that the “runaway greenhouse theory contradicts energy balance equations”. Here was legitimate climate research being stymied because it questioned the prevailing politically-correct dogma being propagated.

Exactly as Judith Curry stated.

All the above information has come from the 2010 US Senate Minority Report, and is a fraction of the information it contains. This report has the views of over 1000 scientists all stating that human caused global warming is bogus and fraudulent. The vast majority of these scientists were formerly believers of the theory but have reversed their stand purely on the scientific evidence which categorically refutes human impact on global climate.

I challenge the editorial staff to read this document. The information it contains will shock them and all who subscribe to the global warming theory.

I have read some of the material Renwick advised. I found it to lack quality and scientific substance compared to material from sceptical scientists. The writings by sceptics of human-caused warming contain more scientific evidence than any writings I have read by warmists.


Jeff Masters says there’s not going to be any more snow and there’ll be more snow..

Wondering what the weather might be like this winter? Why not ask Warmist Jeff Masters of Weather Underground for a no-nonsense prognosis based on the science of man-made global warming?

As Masters cautioned us in 2006, we should expect more “brown winters” characterised by a lack of snow. As he mournfully told his young nephew, snow is now pretty much a thing of the past, thanks to global warming:
When my nephew Cody eagerly unwrapped his new snow board this Christmas and asked me when he might get a chance to use it, I told him, “What are you thinking? This is Michigan in the 21st century! There’s not going to be any more snow.” I exaggerate slightly, but I don’t recommend that anyone invest in the winter sports equipment industry this year. The latest 2-week forecast from the GFS model shows no end in sight for the warm conditions in North America. I’m guessing that our next outbreak of cold Arctic air in the U.S. won’t come until mid-January.

According to theInternational Research Institute for Climate and Society at Columbia University (IRI), January through March should be warmer than average across virtually the entire globe.

This lack of snow, Masters lectured us, could be attributed to the melting of the Arctic ice, which was leading to warmer winters and preventing snow from falling:
All this exposed water provides a huge source of heat and moisture in the Arctic that retards the formation of the usual cold air masses over the adjacent regions of Canada and Siberia. It’s impossible to know how much of an effect this has without doing some detailed model studies, but I think the record low sea ice in the Arctic is probably a significant contributor to this winter’s record warmth.

All quite clear, and explained with copious references to various graphs, data, and citations. Global warming means melting Arctic ice, means warmer winters and less snow. The science is settled.

Fast forward to 2011, and the series of record-breaking freezing winters and snowfalls across much of the world. Reporting on what he termed “snowmaggedon” Masters breathlessly detailed some of the freezing winter conditions the world had been experiencing:
A series of remarkable snow storms pounded the Eastern U.S., with the “Snowmageddon” blizzard dumping more than two feet of snow on Baltimore and Philadelphia. Western Europe also experienced unusually cold and snowy conditions, with the UK recording its 8th coldest January. A highly extreme negative phase of the NAO and AO returned again during November 2010, and lasted into January 2011.

Exceptionally cold and snowy conditions hit much of Western Europe and the Eastern U.S. again in the winter of 2010 – 2011. During these two extreme winters, New York City recorded three of its top-ten snowstorms since 1869, and Philadelphia recorded four of its top-ten snowstorms since 1884. During December 2010, the extreme Arctic circulation over Greenland created the strongest ridge of high pressure ever recorded at middle levels of the atmosphere, anywhere on the globe (since accurate records began in 1948.)

What possible explanation could there be for these freezing conditions and record snowfall? Why, global warming of course. Master’s tentative explanation for all of this was that melting Arctic ice was affecting atmospheric circulation:
New research suggests that major losses of Arctic sea ice could cause the Arctic circulation to behave so strangely, but this work is still speculative.

Of course it is. Makes perfect sense when you subscribe to the notion of man-made global warming. It’s only skeptics that can’t see the logic in this. Global warming means no more snow, and lots more snow. As Orwell put it:
“Day by day and almost minute by minute the past was brought up to date. In this way every prediction made by the Party could be shown by documentary evidence to have been correct; nor was any item of news, or any expression of opinion, which conflicted with the needs of the moment, ever allowed to remain on record. All history was a palimpsest, scraped clean and reinscribed exactly as often as was necessary.”


Climate change policy is 'dead'

There will be no successor to the Kyoto Protocol and the EU should stop pretending otherwise, claims Holger Krahmer MEP

The climate policy of the European Union is now stuck in a dead end. Europe wanted to be the leader – showing the world the way. It wanted to export the "market-economic" instrument of emissions trading as a new standard of regulation. The climate summits in Copenhagen and in Cancun were supposed to herald a successor treaty for the 1997 Kyoto Protocol, which expires in 2012.

But both summits yielded zero results. Today it is clear that there is going to be no successor agreement. Also, the option of simply extending the existing Kyoto Protocol was thrown overboard by the main countries at the last G8 summit. The situation in global climate politics can be summarised in short as - there is no policy.

The emerging economies of Asia, especially, are refusing to allow their possibilities for growth to be curbed by obligatory CO2 reductions. Everywhere across the world, climate laws are being buried for good or put on ice. The once ballyhooed instrument of the emissions trading scheme is becoming obsolete. China, India and Australia are waving goodbye. In the US, the Chicago Climate Exchange was closed just after the last mid-term Congressional elections. Just before that, the self-anointed climate pope Al Gore cashed in by selling his shares.

"Climate politics is a dead project" is the buzz-phrase in Washington today. Yet, the EU is still clinging to all the measures and even discussing making them stricter than they already are. As a result, we are now left alone with the political costs of carbon reduction. We are ignoring international reality with an amazing level of tenacity.

As always - we continue to stick to the naive, worn-out argument: "Someone has to start the process." That start is a go-it-alone move. And if we do not wake up to that, then we will ruin our market economy with one-sided massive costs. Regarding industry, this process is happening slowly – almost as a creep. The Emissions Trading Scheme distorts competition to the disadvantage of European companies. As production in Europe becomes more and more costly, sooner or later industry will move to third countries - which do not have such a restrictive and costly climate policy. China and India, for example.

The consequences of the European solo mission become visible with the inclusion of airlines from third countries, into the ETS, in 2012. The row is just beginning to surface now. Since the EU wants to force airlines from third countries to participate, they are constantly taking action against it. Several third countries, such as America and China, went to court to fight this. But it is not just a question of law. A trade war recently started. China just blocked its order of the Airbus A380, in order to display its hostility against the ETS.

There is no way out of the dilemma. With the example of the inclusion of airlines in the ETS, the dimension of this problem becomes obvious. We are completely standing alone regarding the internationally non-enforceable climate measures and the costs are arising. The world is not a carbon market. It will never be one. The inclusion of airlines in ETS either ends in "war in the air", instigated by the EU or it will only be a factual Intra-European Emissions Trading Scheme - with clear disadvantages for European Airlines.

The latter situation is most likely. One of the only ways the European Commission can offer an olive branch is to meekly accept any reforms to the ETS, suggested by the third countries. The EU does not have any scope for negotiations. We have less pull than ever. And the consequences for the European aviation industry will be dramatic. The other option would be the modification of the ETS law. But then the commission would lose face



Three current articles below

Carbon tax dying

IT'S a long way from the comrades in Sydney's Sussex Street to sitting with relatives of royalty courtside at Wimbledon.
Fading public support spells doom for carbon tax

ON Friday, February 25, this year, the day after Julia Gillard had announced she would be introducing a carbon tax, she was interviewed by Alan Jones. He asked her to explain how she could say "I rule out a carbon tax" before the election and then rule it in.

She said: "Well, Alan, let me answer that. In the last election campaign I talked consistently about how climate change was real, it was caused by human activity, that we needed to cut down on carbon pollution and that the best way of doing that was to price carbon through a market-based mechanism, and that's what I announced yesterday." For good measure she added: "Rather than play any semantic word games, I was frank enough with the Australian people to say that the first few years would work effectively like a tax."

Note the tactics. First there's an undertaking to answer the question. Second, there's a very long, sly sentence that evades the question and never acknowledges she has reversed a policy. Finally she congratulates herself for her frankness in likening the mechanism to a tax, when she might instead have engaged in semantic bluster.

It makes you wonder whether her life before politics involved telling a lot of whoppers and getting away with them. It's hard to imagine her straitlaced parents, Moira and John, putting up with that sort of thing, but perhaps they were so protective of their physically frail younger daughter or so besotted with her that they just turned a blind eye.

Fortunately, the public instinctively know when a politician is telling them bare-faced lies and they tend to take it personally. Gillard's polling numbers plummeted almost immediately and have never looked like recovering. You'd think she might have learned from the experience, but as recently as Thursday she was engaging in more verbal fudging on the same subject.

She said: "Now, what Tony Abbott likes to refer to as a carbon tax, a fixed-price period for an emissions trading scheme, is a period I believe should be as short as possible. So people have heard a lot of debate about a carbon tax and today can I say to Australians the debate that they are hearing about a carbon tax is a debate about what Tony Abbott calls a carbon tax."

As the opposition and print media were quick to point out, in April she hadn't shied away from the word tax repeatedly, let alone attempted to insinuate that the term was a rhetorical feint from Abbott. She said then: "Oh, look, I'm happy to use the word tax. I understand some silly little collateral debate has broken out today. I mean, how ridiculous. This is a market-based mechanism."

The most charitable gloss that could be put on this is that some dopey spinmeister thought it would be a good idea to blunt the attack on the tax by rebadging it a carbon price and had put the word out to ministers that they should try to associate the phrase carbon tax with the Opposition Leader. However, it has the too-clever-by-half hallmark of the Prime Minister - it's a transparent ploy that takes us all for fools - and since no one else tried the same tactic it's reasonable to conclude it's all her own work. It gave Abbott a perfect opportunity to describe her as "untrustworthy and tricky".

There are some within the Gillard government who imagine that, with an announcement of the details of the carbon tax expected next week, the going will get a little easier. A careful reading of the Lowy Institute's new polling on climate change should disabuse them on that score.

Of the sample, 75 per cent described the government's overall handling of the issue as poor and 39 per cent described it as very poor. Only 3 per cent said it was very good. Obviously on such a contentious issue it's not possible to please everyone, but to have left such a substantial majority disaffected takes some doing.

Support for the most aggressive response to climate change fell four points from last year, down to 41 per cent.

This option now enjoys a similar level of support to the milder option of taking a gradual, low-cost approach, at 40 per cent.

This is dramatically different from the polling in 2006 when 68 per cent supported an aggressive response and only 24 per cent favoured a gradual approach.

The most sceptical option, doing nothing until we're sure there's a problem, is up six points from last year to 19 per cent and has nearly tripled since 2006, when it was just 7 per cent. Support for this option is strongest among the 60 and older age group, at 28 per cent.

The sample was also asked how much extra it was prepared to pay a month on power bills to help address climate change.

The most popular option, paying nothing extra, attracted 39 per cent support, up six points from last year and nearly double the 21 per cent who opted for nothing when the question was first asked in 2008.

Those who said they were prepared to pay between $1 and $10 a month extra fell from 32 per cent in 2008 to 25 per cent last year to 19 per cent this year. Those prepared to pay between $11 and $20 a month fell from 20 per cent in 2008 to 15 per cent last year and 13 per cent this year.

Those true believers who said they were prepared to pay more than $20 a month slightly increased, from 19 per cent in 2008 and 2010 to 22 per cent this year.

With the single exception of that three-point increase, the trends in the Lowy polling are all pointing in one direction.

Clearly the last time to take an aggressive policy to an election in Australia with any hope of winning was back in early 2009, when Kevin Rudd got cold feet about a double dissolution.

The next federal election will inevitably be a referendum on an uncovenanted carbon tax that in three short years will morph into the world's first economy-wide ETS.


Sending profits abroad is a good thing: A basic economics lesson for Australia's chief Greenie

Dr Oliver Marc Hartwich

On Sunday, Senator Bob Brown was interviewed on ABC 1's Insiders program. The Greens leader admitted that putting a price on carbon would ultimately mean shutting down the coal industry. But never mind, Brown explained. Since the big mining companies were largely `foreign-owned, multinational corporations,' their profits would only `line the pockets of millionaires elsewhere in the world.'

Then on Wednesday, the Greens published a new report claiming that 83% of Australia's mining industry was in fact foreign, and therefore, it should be taxed more heavily for the benefit of all Australians. So as it turns out, Brown wants to squeeze the mining industry financially before finishing it off to save the planet.

Brown's argument about exporting Australian profits is not new. `Buy Australian' campaigners also claim that purchasing goods only from Australian-owned companies keeps profits in Australia. They claim that every time you buy products of a foreign-owned company, the profits will somehow disappear from Australia and harm Australia's prosperity.

It is amazing how easily people are convinced by this `sending profits abroad' argument, when it is just a protectionist fallacy.

Let's say the Australian branch of a US company is very profitable. What happens to these profits?

First, the profits might stay in Australia to expand the business of the US company, creating more jobs and extra economic activity here. Even ardent nationalists would find it hard to argue against this.

If the parent company however decided to transfer the profits from its Australian branch to America, it would soon find out that Australian dollars are pretty useless outside Australia and change them into US dollars.

But what happens to the Australian dollars? Since Australian dollars don't buy anything abroad, they will return to Australia to buy Australian goods and services. Maybe a US company will use them to buy Australian minerals. Perhaps US tourists will come here to spend their holidays. Or the US might import Australian-made cars.

In any case, Australian dollar profits transferred abroad return to Australia sooner rather than later because outside Australia, our dollars are just printed paper that will not get you a cup of coffee.

This is where the `Australian-owned' argument falls to pieces. For Australia's wealth and prosperity, it does not matter where the profits from Australian businesses end up. All that matters for the Australian economy is that Australia remains a place where business transactions take place - irrespective of who owns the business.

In Bob Brown's Australia, national ownership matters more than creating domestic prosperity. For a party that on its website proclaims to `eliminate racism' and promote `diversity,' it is odd how these commitments do not extend to trading with foreigners.

Perhaps the Greens only like foreigners when they come as refugees, not as businesspeople.

The above is a press release from the Centre for Independent Studies, dated 1 July. Enquiries to Snail mail: PO Box 92, St Leonards, NSW, Australia 1590.

Wallabies battle cattle farts

The Tamar Wallaby's digestive system is getting agricultural researchers excited, after researchers from Australia's science agency CSIRO found its gut generates far lower methane emissions than cattle.

Methane poses a greenhouse conundrum for policy makers: our dependence on livestock for meat means we keep lots of ruminants around, which generate lots of methane. Since most countries are reluctant to impose a state-sponsored vegetarianism, researchers are working hard to cut down the world's vast cloud of ruminant methane.

Enter the Tamar Wallaby: it generates 80 percent less of the gas per unit of digestible energy than livestock animals. Mark Morrison, an Ohio State University animal sciences professor who is also science leader in metagenomics at CSIRO's Livestock Industries division, says the efficiency of the macropod's digestive system offers another payoff - better nutrient retention.

The key lies in a bacterium in the wallaby's gut, which Morrison's group sequenced and isolated and believe could be used to augment the microbes normally present in livestock digestive systems.

Marsupials and ruminants share a "pre-digestive" fermentation process to break down plant food, and this fermentation produces methane. However, it's been known for some time that while cattle and sheep turn as much as 10 percent of their food into methane, the Tamar Wallaby produces only 1 percent to 2 percent.

The CSIRO researchers have identified the key bacterium in the marsupial: a member of the Succinivibrionaceae called WG-1, which produces succinate rather than methane as a by-product of fermentation. The succinate locks up hydrogen and carbon that would otherwise by grabbed by methane-producing bacteria.

Morrison says that Succinivibrionaceae also exist in ruminants, but have not been a focus of study in the past. "Our findings with the Tammar wallaby were a bit of a surprise, but we think they provide an important clue for how rumen fermentation might be directed away from methane formation."



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


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