Thursday, December 08, 2011

Is global warming slowing? A new study says no (?)

An amusing Warmist article below. Just a few points: "surface temperatures have risen dramatically". A rise of less that one degree Celsius is "dramatic". "Trivial" would be a more honest description. And note that their own graphs confirm the narrow range of the change. They are calibrated in tenths of a degree.

Rahmstorff is Germany's equivalent of Phil Jones so you know how far to trust him and his "adjustments". And perhaps most amusing of all his post-adjustment graph show temperature rises within an even SMALLER range than the original data does.

And, finally, they have been forced to acknowledge a solar influence, something they long denied. There's no limit to how slippery Warmists can be

The global temperature series is one of the clearest pieces of evidence that the planet is heating up. Over the past century, it’s easy to see from, say, NASA’s data that surface temperatures have risen dramatically. But there’s also a fair bit of short-term natural fluctuation from year to year, which can sometimes obscure what, exactly, is going on.

For instance, according to the World Meterological Association, 2011 looks to be the 10th-warmest year on record. But this year was also a La Niña year, part of a natural weather cycle in which oceans run a little cold and temperatures tend to drop (as it happens, 2011 will likely prove to be the warmest La Niña year on record). So how do we tease out the human influence on climate from these short-term natural variations? A number of climate researchers have tried to do just that, but a new paper from statistician Grant Foster and climatologist Stefan Rahmstorf provides two graphs that show rather clearly how we’re warming the planet.

First, Foster and Rahmstorf took the raw data from five different global temperature series since 1978, including surface data and lower-atmosphere data from satellites:

Notice that temperatures have been rising since 1978, but there’s a fair bit of fluctuation due to natural events that affect different data series differently (El Niño events, for instance, affect satellite data more strongly than surface data). That allows skeptics to say things like, “Hey, global warming has stopped since 1998!”

So, in their paper, Foster and Rahmstorf tried to separate the signal from the noise. Using statistical techniques (detailed further by Foster here), they factored out the influence of the three biggest known natural mechanisms that can influence global temperatures in the short term — the El Niño oscillation, solar variability and volcanic eruptions. When those are removed, here’s what the graph looks like:

What’s left over is the global warming signal — the bulk of which is caused by humans emitting greenhouse gases into the atmosphere. (There are other smaller factors at play here, too, but previous “attribution” research has found that human activity, El Nino oscillations, solar activities and volcanoes can explain more than three-fourths of temperature variation since 1899.) Moreover, there’s no indication that global warming has slowed at any point. The temperature trend in the raw data gets muted in some years by reduced solar intensity or by a La Niña event, but not every year will be a La Niña year. Greenhouse gases appear to be pushing temperatures inexorably upward.

Stuart Saniford tries to take this analysis a step further and extrapolate how much warming we could expect by the end of the century, based on the linear trend over the past 30 years. This isn’t necessarily a good way to predict the future — after all, the climate can change in non-linear ways, which is why climate models that take into account the physics of the system are so important for predictions — but it gives a rough sense of what to expect if we keep emitting carbon pollution at our current rate. All told, though, Foster and Rahmstorf’s work suggests that there’s no basis for claiming that global warming is slowing or stopping.


Huntsman retreats on climate

Not a moment too soon. In many ways he is a better conservative than either Romney or Perry but his credulous stance on climate has alienated him from the GOP base

Republican presidential candidate Jon Huntsman appeared to take a notably more skeptical view towards current climate change science Tuesday, saying that the "scientific community owes us more" on the issue and that not enough solid research exists to "formulate policies" based on global warming.

"I'm not a scientist, I'm not a physicist, but I would defer to science in that discussion, and I would say that the scientific community owes us more in terms of a better description or explanation about what might lie beneath all of this," Huntsman told an audience of bloggers at the conservative Heritage Foundation in Washington.

"But there's not enough information right now to be able to formulate policies in terms of addressing it overall, primarily because it's a global issue," he went on. "We can enact policies here. But I wouldn't want to unilaterally disarm as a country, I wouldn't want to hinder job creators during a time when our economy is flat."

Huntsman made waves earlier this summer when he took aim at his GOP rivals for expressing skepticism about evolution and climate change science, sending out a much-retweeted message in August that read, "To be clear, I believe in evolution and trust scientists on global warming. Call me crazy.”

Asked by a reporter Tuesday whether he has reversed that position, Huntsman said that he still "defers" to scientists who study the issue but said that there remain conflicts among the research community.

"Because ... there are questions about the validity of the science, evidence by one university over in Scotland recently, I think the onus is on the scientific community to provide more in the way of information, to help clarify the situation, that's all."

Huntsman also compared the issue of climate change to cancer research.

"If there's some interruption or disconnect in terms of what other scientists have to say, then let the debate play out within the scientific community," he said. "I think that's where we are. There's probably more debate yet to play out."

Huntsman also took questions from attendees about trade policy, education, and the United Nations. He echoed criticisms of one federal agency often derided by his fellow Republicans, telling the audience "I'm still trying to find the value added of the Department of Education."

Spokesman Tim Miller described the former Utah governor's position as consistent, saying that Huntsman has consistently said that if 90 percent of climate scientists agree on the effects of man-made warming, "he trusts their position."

"That was his position then and it's his position now," Miller said, adding that Huntsman's statement today related more specifically to the global nature of the problem -- that United States policy should not be shaped around the threat of global warming until the science is indisputably settled and "until the Chinese are on board."


No recent warming signal found in study of frozen ground

A paper published today in Environmental Research Letters examines a 71 year history of seasonally frozen ground changes in Eurasia.

The paper finds freeze depths decreased (indicative of warming) between the late 1960's to early 1990's, but that "from that point forward, likely through at least 2008, no change is evident."

The paper finds the observed changes linked to the North Atlantic Oscillation (NAO), a natural climate cycle, rather than the uncorrelated steady rise in 'greenhouse gases.'
Environmental Research Letters Volume 6 Number 4

An observational 71-year history of seasonally frozen ground changes in the Eurasian high latitudes

Oliver W Frauenfeld and Tingjun Zhang


In recent decades, significant changes have occurred in high-latitude areas, particularly to the cryosphere. Sea ice extent and thickness have declined. In land areas, glaciers and ice sheets are experiencing negative mass balance changes, and there is substantial regional snow cover variability. Subsurface changes are also occurring in northern soils. This study focuses on these changes in the soil thermal regime, specifically the seasonally frozen ground region of Eurasia.

We use a database of soil temperatures at 423 stations and estimate the maximum annual soil freezing depth at the 387 sites located on seasonally frozen ground. Evaluating seasonal freeze depth at these sites for 1930–2000 reveals a statistically significant trend of −4.5 cm/decade and a net change of −31.9 cm. Interdecadal variability is also evident such that there was no trend until the late 1960s, after which seasonal freeze depths decreased significantly until the early 1990s.

From that point forward, likely through at least 2008, no change is evident. These changes in the soil thermal regime are most closely linked with the freezing index, but also mean annual air temperatures and snow depth. Antecedent conditions from the previous warm season do not appear to play a large role in affecting the subsequent cold season's seasonal freeze depths.

The strong decrease in seasonal freeze depths during the 1970s to 1990s was likely the result of strong atmospheric forcing from the North Atlantic Oscillation during that time period.


Michael Mann projects his own tactics onto others

The ongoing Climategate scandal, including 5,000-plus Climategate 2 emails released two weeks ago, reveals prominent global warming advocates acknowledging flaws in the theory that humans are causing dramatic climate change, coordinating efforts to hide such flaws, coordinating efforts to misrepresent scientific data, coordinating efforts to destroy evidence of these inconvenient truths, and coordinating efforts to blackball or induce the firing of scientists and editors of peer-reviewed science journals who publish evidence contradicting the alarmist storyline. The most important revelation from the Climategate scandals is that global warming scientist-activists are misrepresenting the scientific data regarding global warming. The second most important revelation is that scientist-activists are waging a brutal and dirty war of personal and professional destruction against skeptical scientists who disagree with them.

Make no mistake, the scientific misconduct revealed in the Climategate emails is severe and undeniable. The Climategate scientist-activists openly acknowledge substantial scientific evidence that contradicts their theories, then work to together to hide that evidence from the public.

For example, in Climategate 1, “hide the decline” became a scandalous punch line for a reason. Scientists had long been in general agreement that the Medieval Warm Period, when the Vikings established long-term settlements in Greenland and when productive vineyards thrived in more polar latitudes than is possible today, produced a few hundred years of temperatures warmer than today. This was very inconvenient for global warming activists claiming humans are causing dangerous and unprecedented global warming.

Michael Mann, a scientist-activist who is currently a researcher at Penn State University, then produced a controversial historical temperature assessment claiming the Medieval Warm Period wasn’t so warm after all. One of the problems with Mann’s temperature assessment was that it indicated today’s temperatures should be much lower than they actually are.

To get around the inconvenient flaw of his temperature assessment empirically underestimating real-world temperatures, Mann “hid the decline” in his assessment’s recent results and surreptitiously substituted actual surface temperature readings for the past few decades. As a result, Mann used cold-biased model data for prior centuries and a different set of warm-biased data during the last century to misleadingly assert today’s temperatures are much warmer than the Medieval Warm Period.

In the Climategate 2 emails, scientists openly acknowledge other contradictions between alarming theories and real-world conditions. These include temperatures in the lower troposphere behaving in stark contrast to how they should behave if greenhouse gas emissions were responsible for recent warming, hurricanes not behaving as scientist-activists said they should behave, ocean temperatures not complying with alarming computer models, etc. Again, as in the first batch of Climategate emails, the scientist-activists are concerned about the scientific evidence not matching their models, but work together to paint an alarming picture of global warming anyway.

The Climategate emails reveal that when the scientist-activists saw skeptical scientists successfully calling public attention to such evidence, they went on a vicious attack, pulling strings to pressure universities and science journals to fire or blackball the skeptical scientists for presenting their competing theories and evidence. The Climategate emails also show Mann as one of the most aggressive warriors in the battle to publicly disparage and ruin the careers of scientists who disagree with his views on global warming.

For example, upset that Harvard University researchers were successfully arguing that solar variance rather than carbon dioxide emissions are the most likely primary cause of recent global temperature fluctuations, Mann sent out an email seeking to coordinate action to pressure Harvard to rebuke or discipline the researchers. “If someone has close ties w/ any individuals there [at Harvard] who might be in a position to actually get some action taken on this, I’d highly encourage pursuing this,” writes Mann to fellow scientist-activists.

The Climategate emails also reveal Mann recruiting investigative journalists to dig up dirt on scientist Steve McIntyre, who had called into questions Mann’s scientific theories.

Two days ago Mann delivered his best impersonation, playing the persecuted victim after being caught red-handed. “[A]ttacks on climate science all seem the same. I should know. I’ve been one of the climate contrarians’ preferred targets for years,” complains Mann in a letter to the Wall Street Journal.

“In recent years, attacks on climate science have become personal,” Mann asserts. Mann certainly should know about that – he wrote the book on it.

Mann paints any scientific criticisms of his theories or methods as an attack on climate science itself. As quoted above, and throughout his Wall Street Journal letter, Mann repeatedly refers to skeptical objections to his theories as “attacks on climate science.” Mann’s assertions are preposterous.

Hiding and misrepresenting scientific evidence is an attack on climate science. Exposing those who do so is advancing the cause of science.

Seeking the personal and professional punishment of scientists for disagreeing with your personal theories is an attack on climate science. Exposing those who do is advancing the cause of science.

By Mann’s logic, those who criticized Richard Nixon over Watergate were attacking the presidency, those who criticize Vladimir Putin’s election-rigging practices in Russia are attacking democracy, those who criticized New England Patriots coach Bill Belichick for breaking NFL rules in the Spygate scandal were attacking professional football, and those who criticized Tonya Harding and Jeff Gillooly for kneecapping Nancy Kerrigan were attacking Olympic figure skating.


I Just Bet My House on the Outcome of Science Trial of the Century

John O'Sullivan

No truer headline will you read. Yesterday this author literally wagered his home, life savings, and all his possessions on the outcome of a crucial global warming lawsuit currently ongoing in Canada.

So what is it that drove me to such apparent recklessness endangering not only my own well-being but that of my family?

Well, to me this pivotal lawsuit encapsulates the archetypal 'good versus evil' battle no conscientious parent can ignore. Facing each other is Plaintiff, Dr. Michael Mann (he of ‘hockey stick’ graph infamy) representing so-called UN ‘consensus’ climate science. Mann claims his work proves humans are dangerously warming the planet. Defendant, retired Canadian climatologist, Dr. Timothy Ball believes Mann was a key player in the Climategate scandal and has hidden his dodgy tree-ring data for over 13 years to cover up fakery in the numbers. Mann and his ilk are not only responsible for scaring the bejesus out of our kids but are being used as part of a bigger plot involving population control and wealth re-distribution; none of which is good for your family or mine.

Dr. Mann, Director of Earth System Science at Penn. State, the university currently embroiled in the Jerry Sandusky child sex cover up scandal, has enjoyed a lucrative career on the back of his fantastic claims. Dr. Ball famously declared that his adversary belongs “in the state pen, not Penn State.” For that Ball was summarily hit with a libel suit and Ball's legal fees could exceed $300,000. But defiantly, the septuagenarian says, “if you think education is expensive – try ignorance.”

I recently drew attention to the remarkable similarities in the cover-up processes performed for the benefit of Mann and Sandusky at Penn. State. At their root, both cases share the same stench of self-serving financial sleaze.

So persuasive is the evidence to me that last night I signed a contract in favor of Dr. Ball to forsake my worldly goods in the event the B.C. court ruled in favor of his adversary, Dr. Michael Mann .

An honest jury will see from Ball's evidence that Mann perpetrated a cynical and heinous crime by secretly doctoring proxy climate data from a handful of tree rings he took from a corner of California that was then claimed to represent a 1,000-year temperature record for the globe. The Mann graph typifies all that is wrong with post-normal science now practiced in our universities.

As the two bitterly opposed climatologists battle it out toe-to-toe the stakes aren’t just high for me they are high for you, too. But with your support, I'm more than quietly confident of success.

With billions of dollars of climate taxes resting on the outcome, it’s no flannel to label the Mann-v-Ball trial in the British Columbia Supreme Court as the ‘science trial of the century,’ the most profound of its kind since the Scopes ‘Monkey Trial’ of 1925.

Ball, a 72-year-old retiree has already used up his meager life savings but has made some headway with his escalating legal costs thanks to a fighting fund that is now past the $100,000 mark. But there’s a lot of lawyerly manouvering to go yet before Ball can be assured of victory.

The sickening level of corruption that is now pervading our universities is making many honest folk realize they need to stand shoulder to shoulder with principled scientists like Dr. Ball. In recent months I’ve worked hard to help promote Tim Ball’s Legal Defense Fund. But my efforts also made me a target for Michael Mann’s attorney, Roger McConchie, who didn’t hesitate in naming me as an accessory in his lawsuit. So as a yardstick of commitment to the case, yesterday I signed a binding legal agreement providing my full financial indemnity to Tim in case Mann wins his claim.

I had little reason to hesitate. My conscience was reassured after reading more of the fresh crop of Climategate 2.0 emails that are so damning of Mann’s ‘science.’ I urge readers to examine for themselves Steve Milloy's selection of those emails and see how caustic Mann’s colleagues were privately about his “crap” tree ring graph. The striking difference between those scientists and Dr. Ball is that only Ball had the courage to speak out publicly.

Without experts as principled as Dr. Ball it is very unlikely the general public would be any the wiser about the grotesque billion-dollar fraud called man-made global warming. So please donate what money you can and become part of this force for good.


Public support for tackling climate change declines dramatically in Britain

There has been dramatic decline over the past decade in the public's support for tackling climate change in Britain. Backing for higher green taxes and charges has waned and scepticism about the seriousness of the threat to the environment has increased.

The British Social Attitudes survey shows that in 2000 43% of the population would pay "much higher prices" for "the sake of the environment". Last summer support fell to just 26%, with the poorest sections of society most reluctant to save the planet with their cash.

Over the same period the public has become much more sceptical about the science behind climate change. In 2010 37% said many claims about environmental threats were "exaggerated", up from 24% in 2000.

Alison Park, research director of the survey, said that the two factors that loomed large in the public's mind appeared to be the financial crisis which made people much less likely to be able to sacrifice cash or taxes. She also said that "climategate" claims about the veracity of scientific claims in 2009 had also damaged the case of proponents of global warming theories.

On some questions the public is much less bothered because it thinks the issue has been dealt with. Only 28% regard air pollution from cars as "very" or "extremely" dangerous to the environment, down from 54% in 2000.



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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