Wednesday, October 26, 2011

Even the Arctic is letting the Warmists down

It's really only the Antarctic that matters as 91% of the earth's glacial ice is found there. But the Antarctic is stubbornly refusing to show any overall melting. So the Warmists turn to the Arctic -- as it is subject to a number of influences (wind changes, variable ocean currents, subsurface vulcanism etc) that make it satisfyingly unstable. So by judiciously cherrypicking the data, Warmists have been able to assert that the Arctic is melting.

BUT: Even that applecart has now been upset. The latest research shows that a key glacier melted 1400 years ago (long before SUVS and power stations) and only reformed 800 years ago. So there is every indication that Arctic changes are natural too

Arctic shelf ice has been in the news of late due to its shrinkage over the past few decades that most attribute to global warning. Thus, its levels and seemingly constant calving have become ecological barometers that environmentalists have come to use to show just how fast our planet is heating up.

Now however, new research by a team from Universit√© Laval in Canada, led by Dermot Antoniadesa, have found, after studying sedimentary material on the bottom of the Disraeli Fiord, created by backup from an ice shelf in Northern Canada, that it experienced a major fracture that resulted in an overall reduction of the ice shelf some 1,400 years ago. Which means this isn’t the first time that the shelf ice has melted and broken apart. The team has published the results of its survey in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences....

The research team found that the ice shelf first appeared approximately 4,000 years ago and hung around for several thousand years. But then about 1,400 years ago, a major fracturing occurred that caused the shelf to shrink. It didn’t fully recover until about 800 years ago. After that, it held steady till the shrinkage that began nearly a hundred years ago and continues to this day.

At this point, it doesn’t appear that the shelf ice around Ellesmere Island is any smaller now than it was during the previous period of warming

The journal abstract:

Ice shelves in the Arctic lost more than 90% of their total surface area during the 20th century and are continuing to disintegrate rapidly. The significance of these changes, however, is obscured by the poorly constrained ontogeny of Arctic ice shelves. Here we use the sedimentary record behind the largest remaining ice shelf in the Arctic, the Ward Hunt Ice Shelf (Ellesmere Island, Canada), to establish a long-term context in which to evaluate recent ice-shelf deterioration. Multiproxy analysis of sediment cores revealed pronounced biological and geochemical changes in Disraeli Fiord in response to the formation of the Ward Hunt Ice Shelf and its fluctuations through time. Our results show that the ice shelf was absent during the early Holocene and formed 4,000 years ago in response to climate cooling. Paleoecological data then indicate that the Ward Hunt Ice Shelf remained stable for almost three millennia before a major fracturing event that occurred 1,400 years ago. After reformation 800 years ago, freshwater was a constant feature of Disraeli Fiord until the catastrophic drainage of its epishelf lake in the early 21st century.


The "new" Berkeley/Muller climate record agrees with the tricky troika but not with history

Erase your memory. The 1970s ice age scare was a figment of your imagination. The CIA​ made the whole thing up, as did the directors of CRU and NCAR. Newsweek, Time, Science News, USA News, The New York Times and just about every other publication in the world was in on it too.

Richard Muller has shown us that there was no climate change between 1950 and 1970.

This is what a 1974 CIA report said (excerpt):
Early In the 1970s a series of adverse climate anomalies occurred

The world’s snow and ice cover has increased by 10-15%

In the eastern Canadian area of the Arctic Greenland, below normal temperatures were recorded for 19 consecutive months. Nothing like this has happened in the last 100 years.

The Moscow region suffered its worst drought in three to five hundred years

Massive floods took place in the midwestern United States

Drought occurred in Central America, the Sub-Sahara, South Asia, China, and Australia

Within a single year, adversity had visited almost every nation on the globe

The Director of CRU must have been lying when he said in 1972 that temperatures had been declining for 20 years. Muller tells us that the cooling never happened.

NCAR was lying too. Richard Muller tells us that there was no cooling between 1950 and 1970.

SOURCE (See the original for links)

Debunked: Climate change not to blame for increased forest fires

You mean it’s not the barely detectable change in the bogus “mean global temperature” construct?

Spanish researchers report,
… the change in the occurrence of fires that are recorded in the historical research cannot be explained by the gradual change in climate, but rather that it corresponds to changes in the availability of fuel, the use of sources of energy and the continuity of the landscape.



The Games Climate Scientists Play

Rahmstorf is something like Germany's equivalent to Phil Jones, only more rabid, so this is no surprise

Here is another good example why I have come to view parts of the climate science research enterprise with a considerable degree of distrust.

A paper was released yesterday by PNAS, by Stefan Rahmstorf and Dim Coumou, which asserts that the 2010 Russian summer heat wave was, with 80% probability, the result of a background warming trend. But if you take a look at the actual paper you see that they made some arbitrary choices (which are at least unexplained from a scientific standpoint) that bias the results in a particular direction.

Look at the annotated figure above, which originally comes from an EGU poster by Dole et al. (programme here in PDF). It shows surface temperature anomalies in Russia dating back to 1880. I added in the green line which shows the date from which Rahmsdorf and Coumou decided to begin their analysis -- 1911, immediately after an extended warm period and at the start of an extended cool period.

Obviously, any examination of statistics will depend upon the data that is included and not included. Why did Rahmsdorf and Coumou start with 1911? A century, 100 years, is a nice round number, but it does not have any privileged scientific meaning. Why did they not report the sensitivity of their results to choice of start date? There may indeed be very good scientific reasons why starting the analysis in 1911 makes the most sense and for the paper to not report the sensitivity of results to the start date. But the authors did not share that information with their readers. Hence, the decision looks arbitrary and to have influenced the results.

Climate science -- or at least some parts of it -- seems to have devolved into an effort to generate media coverage and talking points for blogs, at the expense of actually adding to our scientific knowledge of the climate system. The new PNAS paper sure looks like a cherry pick to me. For a scientific exploration of the Russian heat wave that seems far more trustworthy to me, take a look at this paper.

SOURCE (See the original for links)

Seven billion cheers for humanity!

According to the UN, some time next week the world's population will reach seven billion. Many will see this as a bad thing. But I think we should be cheering for joy. Seven billion mouths to feed also means seven billion brains – and it's brainpower that is the key to human flourishing.

The worriers take the Malthusian view of population. Thomas Malthus famously predicted that population growth would create a relentlessly poorer world, as population growth was geometric (2, 4, 8, 16, 32...) whereas technological advancement is only arithmetic (2, 3, 4, 5, 6...). Population would grow faster than farming technology could support it. What Malthus didn't realize was that technology and wealth are linked to population: the more people there are, the more brains there are. The more brains, the more ideas. And ideas are infinitely reproducable. Unlike economic goods, my posession of an idea doesn't deprive anybody else of possessing that idea as well.

Thus, one brilliant idea can improve an infinite number of lives. The most important of the last fifty years from a Malthusian point of view was Norman Borlaug, father of the "green revolution" that brought high-yield, disease-resistant strains of wheat to the poorest countries in the world. But there are plenty of others – two recently deceased ideas-generators are Steve Jobs and Dennis Ritchie (inventor of the C programming language). The ideas they came up with would be just as useful in a population of seven million as seven billion. The same goes for artists: a piece of music is just as beautiful listened to by seven people as seven billion.

But won't these extra people, born disproportionately to the world's poorest families, just hold others back? Another potential Steve Jobs is fine in California, you might say, but not Calcutta. Alas, more babies really are a burden to poor families. But, crucially, this isn't the cause of their poverty – there are plenty of poor countries that have very low birth rates, like Russia. The cause of poverty in the developing world isn't lots of babies, but bad government. The most famous example of famine in the last few decades was the Ethiopian catastrophe during the 1980s; a direct consequence of a war against the people by Ethiopia's communist government. Other, even more dreadful famines of the 20th Century – such as the Ukrainian Holodomor of the 1930s and the Great Chinese Famine of 1958–61 – were caused by incompetent or wicked states, not a natural lack of food.

Poverty today has similar roots: it's very hard to find a poor country with a good government. Where there is poverty and famine today, it's a consequence of bad government, not a Malthusian food shortage. And this also presents an opportunity for tremendous improvements in the lives of all humans: if, somehow, those bad governments can be improved, a billion brains are waiting to be unlocked. Having lots of people isn't an obstacle to more human flourishing. On the contrary: it's the best way we can achieve it.


This is the city that was going to die of drought, according to prominent Australian Warmist Tim Flannery

See the prediction here

Perth could receive a month's worth of rain this week alone - and more downfalls could be on the way to spoil the weekend Commonwealth Heads Of Government meeting.

Weatherzone meteorologist Brett Dutschke reported 28mm of rain in Perth since about 10pm last night and the the gauge is expected to get to 30mm before the showers clear later today.

Rain is then expected to return tomorrow and Thursday and, with a forecast for 10 to 20mm, the weekly rainfall could be pushing the October average of 52mm. "It's the biggest October rainfall in 12 years," Mr Dutschke said.

"Perth has had more than half its monthly rainfall overnight and, if the rain returns tomorrow and Thursday as we expect, it could be up around the month's average by week's end."

CHOGM will get underway on Friday with much fanfare but, by Sunday, participants and on-lookers could be again reaching for their umbrellas.

"There is a chance of the showers and storms returning on the weekend - probably moreso Sunday than Saturday," Mr Dutschke said.

"At the moment most of that weather looks like being to the north but there is some chance it will be seen in Perth as well." Several areas of the wheatbelt also received strong overnight falls.



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