Thursday, October 06, 2011

Another CO2 and "greenhouse" theory bites the dust

The "Greenhouse" theory is such a mania that many theorists think ALL temperature variations are traceable to it. So when the earth was very cold only a big leap in CO2 could have melted it. Problem: They now find that there was NO big leap in CO2 at that time. The idea that changes in the sun might be the key factor was not considered.

Because their CO2 findings don't fit their theory, they are now denying that the earth really was cold at the time -- denying the evidence of glacial moraines. This is a sort of robotic logic that must always come to the same conclusion. No data must be allowed to upset the theory. It's clear who the science deniers are

Although increasing levels of greenhouse gases in the Earth's atmosphere these days are seen as a harbinger of doom, millions of years ago they may have rescued the planet from a deep freeze.

Some researchers believe that at points in our planet's history — at least two, possibly three times — ice blanketed its surface, down to the equator and across the oceans, forming a "Snowball Earth."

But new research raises questions about whether a surge in carbon dioxide — one of the greenhouse gases responsible for modern, human-caused global warming — could have been responsible for the big thaw that followed the most recent Snowball Earth, about 635 million years ago. And if there wasn't a greenhouse effect big enough to melt the thick veil of ice, perhaps, the researchers suggest, Earth may not have been a big, icy snowball at the time.

An international team of scientists analyzed the molecular composition of rocks laid down in what is believed to be the aftermath of this Snowball Earth.

Snowball Earth could have been self-sustaining, for at least a time, because the white, ice-covered surface of the planet would have reflected sunlight back into space, keeping the planet cool.

The primary evidence for these icy times, particularly the one about 635 million years ago, comes in the form of deposits of rocks ground up and carried by glaciers. These have been found around the world at locations which, about 635 million years ago, would have been located near the equator. These deposits have another layer of rock on top of them, called cap carbonates, which was believed to have formed as the glaciers melted or shortly afterward.

It is believed that Snowball Earths came to an end when the carbon dioxide levels in the atmosphere surged, creating a global greenhouse that melted away much of the ice. This could have begun because volcanoes spewed the gas into the atmosphere.

The normal processes that would pull the carbon dioxide out of the atmosphere were blocked by ice, which prevented carbon dioxide exchange between the atmosphere and ocean. The cold would also have prevented natural rock weathering reactions from pulling carbon dioxide, in the form of carbonic acid, out of the atmosphere and turning into bicarbonate. This would have allowed for an intense buildup of the greenhouse gas.

To find out how much carbon dioxide was around at the time, researchers analyzed the chemical composition of rocks taken from one of these deposits in Brazil, and the organic matter fossilized within them. The researchers also looked at data from samples from elsewhere in the world. They looked at ratios of carbon isotopes, molecules of carbon that have different atomic weights, in both the rocks and the organic matter fossilized within them. [Big Freeze: Earth Could Plunge into Sudden Ice Age]

Both the rocks and the organic matter — mostly algae — form using carbon from carbon dioxide dissolved in the ocean. However, a lower concentration of carbon dioxide causes the algae to take up more of the heavy version of carbon. The ratio of carbon isotopes picked up by the carbonate rocks, however, doesn't change, regardless of the carbon dioxide concentration. So by comparing the ratios from the two sources, the scientists could get an idea of what the concentration of carbon dioxide was in the ocean, and hence the atmosphere, at the time.

They found it was much lower than expected. While previous estimates had put the carbon dioxide concentration at as much as 90,000 parts per million, this new analysis put it lower than 3,200 ppm, possibly as low as it is today, about 400 ppm.

"Since we record a very low carbon dioxide concentration in the atmosphere it seems to be there was never a high concentration of carbon dioxide in the atmosphere, which means it cannot have been a Snowball Earth, otherwise it would still be frozen," said Magali Ader, a study researcher and assistant professor at the Institut de Physique du Globe de Paris,.


Can we please stick to the science?

Two articles published by The Daily Climate on Aug. 16 criticize and attempt to rebut statements made by the Galileo Movement. Galileo members are themselves concerned with combating the misleading arguments - many of which stem from the UN's Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change - that are being used to justify an environmentally ineffectual and expensive new tax on carbon dioxide emissions in Australia.

The first article, by Daily Climate editor Douglas Fischer, heaps scorn on Galileo supporters, to whit: "ideological group," "sceptical of the science" (as if that were a defect!), "draw from a deep history of denial and distortion," "straw man arguments," and part of "the global climate-denier movement." Fischer also accuses the Galileo Movement of using the same approach as "the tobacco industry," by making "pervasive, stubborn" arguments "independent of the facts of the situation" and by "abusing the science."

As an environmental journalist and editor, Fischer surely knows that science is about hypothesis testing, not name-calling. And as for badging people as "sceptics," all scientists are, or should be, professional sceptics, and especially so for any hypotheses that they personally favour. The primary expert quoted in the second article - NASA computer modeller Gavin Schmidt - clearly does not take such precautions in his speculations on the dangerous global warming hypothesis.
Important findings

The second story in Daily Climate sets out to assess the veracity of the arguments put by the Galileo Movement, building upon an initial lofty statement that many of the facts espoused by Galileo members are "perfectly true ... but also irrelevant in the climate debate."

Facts that Schmidt avers are irrelevant include:

* That carbon dioxide is not toxic, nor a pollutant, but rather a colorless, odourless and tasteless gas essential for life on earth;

* That, through the part that it plays in photosynthesis, carbon dioxide is a plant fertilizer that enhances crop yields, and therefore an environmental benefit that helps to feed humanity and green the planet;

* That changes in global temperature precede changes in carbon dioxide at both the short-term (annual) and long-term (100,000 year-long glacial-interglacial cycles) scale;

* That, granting the supposition that most of the increase in carbon dioxide seen since 1750 has resulted from the accrual of about half of all human emissions, these emissions have not yet been shown unequivocally to cause measurable warming

Contrary to Schmidt's discussion, these facts - and others, such as that Earth has now been cooling for 10 years despite an increase in carbon dioxide of about 5 percent - lie at the very heart of the debate.

No convincing support

In the real world (as opposed to the virtual reality of GCM computer modelling that a small coterie of IPCC advisors inhabit), tens of thousands of independent scientists, cognisant with the above facts, have cumulatively signed statements similar to this one currently posted by the International Climate Science Coalition, viz:

"We, the undersigned, having assessed the relevant scientific evidence, do not find convincing support for the hypothesis that human emissions of carbon dioxide are causing, or will in the foreseeable future cause, dangerous global warming."

Thereby, a strong consensus is exhibited amongst scientists worldwide that human-caused global warming is not a significant planetary threat. Importantly, these alternative views by independent scientists are expressed non-politically. They address the science of the issue, rather than providing the political advice that has become the perhaps unintended hallmark of the IPCC.

Thousands of research papers

Whilst dangerous warming was a sensible issue to have raised in the 1980s, we are now 25 years down the track and have expended more than $100 billion on related research. Despite the clamorous protestations of Schmidt and his IPCC colleagues, this research has failed to identify empirical evidence for dangerous warming caused by human emissions. Instead, recent research contributions have shown that:

* Climate sensitivity to a doubling of carbon dioxide is low and almost certainly less than 1 degree Centigrade.

* Both the ocean and the atmosphere are presently failing to warm, despite continuing increases in carbon dioxide; and the rate of sea-level rise is decelerating;

* Modern climate variation is adequately explained by natural causes that include solar variation, climatic oscillations and multi-decadal rhythms and phase locks.

These articles, and thousands of other recent research papers, contain abundant empirical evidence consistent with the null hypothesis that historic and modern climate variations are of natural origin, like the similar variations that occur throughout the geological record.

In contrast, very few papers present unequivocal empirical evidence for measurable human-caused warming, and a recent study that claims to have identified a human influence can only detect it since 1942 and at a maximum, unthreatening and expected-to-decrease rate of +0.66 degree per century.

SOURCE (See the original for links)

Time magazine and Cultish Environmentalism

It's not as if one expects actual journalism from the left-wing propagandists at Time magazine anymore, but today's article entitled "Who's Bankrolling the Climate-Change Deniers?" is particularly egregious.

Almost everything that columnist Bryan Walsh writes in his cult-like piece is wrong, but a few areas stand out in particular.

First, while Walsh repeatedly refers to a climate change denial "machine", that description implies coordination and unity -- such as actually exists in the alarmist camp.

However, there is a much wider range of views on the side of those who are skeptical about man-made climate change than on the side of those who say the human race it at risk. Some skeptics say that the entire idea that humans strongly influence climate is a hoax. Some say that there is a human impact but it is too small to be a problem. And some even say that the impact is measurable but that the cost of "fixing" the so-called problem is simply too high. It is only on the skeptical side that there is any honest debate. It is only on the skeptical side that the true nature of science, namely that it is not determined by consensus and that it must revolve around testable and falsifiable hypotheses, is honored.

Furthermore, there has not been anything as machine-like in the history of climate science as what we learned in Climategate was going on among some alarmist scientists, but that fact conveniently escapes Mr. Walsh.

Second, Walsh demonizes a cabal of evil oil companies, business groups, and conservative think tanks whose enormous funding of "deniers" is used to cloud the minds of gullible Americans.

However, the amount of money spent by environmental groups and governments on climate alarmism dwarfs the spending by skeptics. One 2007 estimate by Senator James Inhofe (R-OK), the ranking member of the Senate Committee on the Environment and Public Works, suggests that the money spent on and by alarmists is more than two thousand times as much as that spent on and by skeptics.

Time's article reminds me of more than anything are the ramblings of a cult leader, trying to herd some drifting followers back into the fold. Proclaim doomsday, demonize those who disagree, and pose your cult as the only way to salvation, facts be damned.


Cuccinelli says IG report on EPA supports his assertions -- blasts EPA denialism towards criticism

Virginia Attorney General Kenneth T. Cuccinelli II on Wednesday blasted the Environmental Protection Agency in the wake of a recent inspector general´s report that found it failed to follow federal rules in its process of using climate change data to conclude greenhouse gases are a threat to human health.

Mr. Cuccinelli, a global warming skeptic, first petitioned the EPA in February 2010 to convene and reconsider its conclusion and filed a lawsuit in federal court in the wake of the "Climategate" scandal, in which researchers from the Climate Research Unit at the University of East Anglia were accused of manipulating climate data based on a number of stolen emails. A handful of investigations have cleared scientists of wrongdoing.

The agency noted that the report did not address the science at hand, merely processes and procedures.

"I fully expected supporters of the greenhouse gas endangerment finding would argue and will continue to argue that the violations identified in the investigation are only technicalities," Mr. Cuccinelli said. "But these rules were put in place to guarantee that the regulatory process was not hijacked by a political agenda — by either party. Both scientists and government officials should operate in transparent ways, and the rules that the EPA failed to follow were designed to guarantee such transparency and to make certain that its conclusions were sound and based on the best available scientific data."

Among a number of shortcomings, the report concluded that rather than performing its own research, the EPA relied on work done by others and did not determine whether the data met its own quality guidelines before distributing it.

The peer review panel also did not meet independence requirements because one of the panelists was an EPA employee, and the EPA did not adequately identify the level of scientific information it was using to support its action, the report said.


GAO: 42% of USHCN Weather Stations Fail to Meet NOAA Standards

Confirmation of claims by skeptics that U.S. temperature records are unreliable and biased towards showing warming

Senator James Inhofe (R-Okla.), Ranking Member of the Senate Committee on Environment and Public Works, today welcomed a report by the Government Accountability Office (GAO) entitled “NOAA Can Improve Their Management of the U.S. Historical Climatology Network (USHCN).” This report quantifies lingering questions concerning proper siting of weather stations, finding about 42% of the active USHCN stations in 2010 did not meet one or more of NOAA’s siting standards. GAO says the two standards most commonly unmet are “distance to obstructions [such as buildings and trees] and distance to extensive concrete or paved surfaces.”

Additionally, the report notes, “NOAA does not centrally track whether USHCN stations adhere to siting standards…nor does it have an agency-wide policy regarding stations that don’t meet standards.” The report continues, “Many of the USHCN stations have incomplete temperature records; very few have complete records. 24 of the 1,218 stations (about 2 percent) have complete data from the time they were established.” GAO goes on to state that most stations with long temperature records are likely to have undergone multiple changes in measurement conditions.

“I want to thank GAO for conducting this report examining the proper siting of climate network weather stations in the United States,” Senator Inhofe stated. “The GAO has confirmed what many have long suspected: A substantial number of USHCN stations fail to meet many of NOAA’s own citing standards. Additionally, NOAA has no established policy to track adherence to standards system-wide. I will continue monitoring NOAA’s consideration of GAO’s recommendations.”

The USHCN was designated in 1987 as a subset of historical weather-monitoring stations in the Cooperative Observer Program. The purpose of these 1,218 stations is to monitor the nation’s climate and to analyze long-term surface temperature trends.


The National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) maintains a network of weather-monitoring stations known as the U.S. Historical Climatology Network (USHCN), which monitors the nation's climate and analyzes long-term surface temperature trends. Recent reports have shown that some stations in the USHCN are not sited in accordance with NOAA's standards, which state that temperature instruments should be located away from extensive paved surfaces or obstructions such as buildings and trees. GAO was asked to examine

(1) how NOAA chose stations for the USHCN,

(2) the extent to which these stations meet siting standards and other requirements, and

(3) the extent to which NOAA tracks USHCN stations' adherence to siting standards and other requirements and has established a policy for addressing nonadherence to siting standards.

GAO reviewed data and documents, interviewed key NOAA officials, surveyed the 116 NOAA weather forecast offices responsible for managing stations in the USHCN, and visited 8 forecast offices.

In choosing USHCN stations from a larger set of existing weather-monitoring stations, NOAA placed a high priority on achieving a relatively uniform geographic distribution of stations across the contiguous 48 states. NOAA balanced geographic distribution with other factors, including <> a desire for a long history of temperature records, <> limited periods of missing data, and <> stability of a station's location and other measurement conditions, since changes in such conditions can cause temperature shifts unrelated to climate trends. NOAA had to make certain exceptions, such as including many stations that had incomplete temperature records.

In general, the extent to which the stations met NOAA's siting standards played a limited role in the designation process, in part because NOAA officials considered other factors, such as geographic distribution and a long history of records, to be more important. USHCN stations meet NOAA's siting standards and management requirements to varying degrees.

According to GAO's survey of weather forecast offices, about 42 percent of the active stations in 2010 did not meet one or more of the siting standards. With regard to management requirements, GAO found that the weather forecast offices had generally but not always met the requirements to conduct annual station inspections and to update station records. NOAA officials told GAO that it is important to annually visit stations and keep records up to date, including siting conditions, so that NOAA and other users of the data know the conditions under which they were recorded. NOAA officials identified a variety of challenges that contribute to some stations not adhering to siting standards and management requirements, including the use of temperature-measuring equipment that is connected by a cable to an indoor readout device--which can require installing equipment closer to buildings than specified in the siting standards.

NOAA does not centrally track whether USHCN stations adhere to siting standards and the requirement to update station records, and it does not have an agencywide policy regarding stations that do not meet its siting standards. Performance management guidelines call for using performance information to assess program results. NOAA's information systems, however, are not designed to centrally track whether stations in the USHCN meet its siting standards or the requirement to update station records. Without centrally available information, NOAA cannot easily measure the performance of the USHCN in meeting siting standards and management requirements.

Furthermore, federal internal control standards call for agencies to document their policies and procedures to help managers achieve desired results. NOAA has not developed an agencywide policy, however, that clarifies for agency staff whether stations that do not adhere to siting standards should remain open because the continuity of the data is important, or should be moved or closed. As a result, weather forecast offices do not have a basis for making consistent decisions to address stations that do not meet the siting standards. GAO recommends that NOAA enhance its information systems to centrally capture information useful in managing the USHCN and develop a policy on how to address stations that do not meet its siting standards. NOAA agreed with GAO's recommendations.


Wind turbine fail in Britain

An eco-friendly school has been left £55,000 out of pocket after its wind turbine broke - with governors admitting that it was based on "completely unproven technology". The company that installed the turbine has gone bust leaving the school with a pile of scrap.

The Gorran School in Cornwall revealed its 15 metre turbine in 2008 which was designed to provide it with free electricity - and sell any surplus power to the National Grid.

The system was seen as a green blueprint for clean, sustainable energy for schools nationwide and received grants from various bodies including the EDF power firm.

But soon after being installed the wind turbine became faulty and after a few months seized up - showering the school's playing field with debris.

Since then the school has been locked in a battle with suppliers Proven Energy which has now gone into administration leaving the school with little hope of any money being returned - and a pile of scrap in their field.

Sue Hawken, chair of the school governors, said:"It has been an absolute nightmare from start to finish. "We've put a claim in but realistically I don't expect to get a single penny from this company. "Unbeknown to us, the 15 kilowatt turbine that Proven Energy installed was completely unproven technology that never really worked.

"Proven Energy wrote to us to confirm the design fault. With that in mind we are advising owners to place their wind turbines on brake as soon as it is safe to do so. "It is an absolute disgrace and I feel the company has acted atrociously."

The school says it will look at solar panel as an alternative in the future. [Good luck with that too. All the sunshine Britain gets makes that a GREAT choice]



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