Friday, February 24, 2012

Is the Earth cooling itself? Cloud level has fallen by 1% a year over last decade

Amusing that Warmists say it might be a feedback that reduces a warming effect. They are postulating a lot of such feedbacks now that all their prophecies of warming have failed. Their whole theory, however, relies on feedbacks that INCREASE global warming. How odd that all the feedbacks seem to be going the other way!

Ever feel the sky is closing in on you - well, you're right, it is. Earth's clouds got a little lower by around one per cent a year on average during the first decade of this century. That's the finding by a new NASA-funded university study based on satellite data. The results have potential implications for future global climate.

Scientists at the University of Auckland in New Zealand analysed the first 10 years of global cloud-top height measurements (from March 2000 to February 2010) from the Multi-angle Imaging SpectroRadiometer (MISR) instrument on NASA's Terra spacecraft.

The study, published recently in the journal Geophysical Research Letters, revealed an overall trend of decreasing cloud height. Global average cloud height declined by around one percent over the decade, or by around 100 to 130 feet.

Lead researcher Roger Davies said that while the record is too short to be definitive, it provides a hint that something quite important might be going on. Longer-term monitoring will be required to determine the significance of the observation for global temperatures.

A consistent reduction in cloud height would allow Earth to cool more efficiently, reducing the surface temperature of the planet and potentially slowing the effects of global warming.

This may represent a ‘negative feedback’ mechanism - a change caused by global warming that works to counteract it.

‘We don't know exactly what causes the cloud heights to lower,’ says Davies. ‘But it must be due to a change in the circulation patterns that give rise to cloud formation at high altitude.’

NASA's Terra spacecraft is scheduled to continue gathering data through the remainder of this decade. Scientists will continue to monitor the MISR data closely to see if this trend continues.


'Most Dangerous Man' reveals 'Greatest Hoax'

Just who is pulling the strings and who is pocketing the cash? Jim Inhofe tells

The fight against climate-change alarmism is just one part of Sen. James Inhofe’s lifelong struggle for liberty. But what a fight there is over dire predictions of global calamities because people drive SUVs and are allowed unharnessed access to home heating and the like.

Now the Oklahoma Republican, in his new book, “The Greatest Hoax: How the Global Warming Conspiracy Threatens Your Future,” reveals the ever-shifting rationalizations, fabricated evidence and corrupt profiteering of so-called climate change activists.

Inhofe confides that the battle is just the latest chapter of a saga that began when he first ran for office in Oklahoma against anti-business policies that were destroying the lives of hardworking Americans.

His “mentor,” he documents, a small oilman in Oklahoma, was broken by his own government and abandoned his livelihood in despair. Inhofe ran for office in order to change an environment where productive Americans are seemingly warred upon by those in power.

However, in Washington, he discovered that it was even worse. Many congressmen and senators were conspiring against their own constituents with the slogan “vote liberal and press release conservative.” “Never once did I hear vote conservative and press release liberal,” he says.

Even more shocking, the Speaker of the House from Texas, Democrat John Nance Garter, deliberately set up a system to allow liberal representatives in conservative districts to secretly vote for left-wing legislation and then deny it. Anyone who exposed liberals taking advantage of this system was threatened with expulsion from the House.

But Inhofe defied this left-wing intimidation and won his first victory in holding those in power accountable to the people by destroying this system. He fundamentally reshaped how the House does business and forced congressmen to answer to the people who elected them.

When climate change alarmism arose, he saw the stakes were higher.

Inhofe realized early on that the hysteria about “global warming” was not about the environment, but about power. Regulating carbon emissions and imposing draconian standards on businesses and personal behavior gives the federal government and global elites almost unlimited power.

In the words of MIT climate scientist Richard Lindzen, “Controlling carbon is a bureaucrat’s dream. If you control carbon, you control life.”

For that reason, Inhofe, almost single-handedly, spoke out against the push by the United Nations and left-wing extremists for a regulatory regime that would have almost unlimited power to radically change the American way of life.

In 2003, he labeled global warming “the greatest hoax ever perpetrated on the American people.”

The response from those who may have had their hands out, expecting to benefit from global warming, was to greet him at a United Nations conference with “Wanted” posters calling him, “The most dangerous man on the planet.”

The driving force internationally was the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change, which claimed a “consensus” on global warming.

But Inhofe systematically dismantles the scientifically flawed and deliberately deceptive studies that the IPCC used to push its plan. From dismissing global cooling between 1940 to 1975, burying admissions that even the IPCC couldn’t link climate change to man-made activity, and inserting incendiary language demanding action, the IPCC was a political, rather than a scientific, body from the beginning, he explains.

Providing the publicity for the so-called “science” was a team of elites and Hollywood celebrities, he writes.

Al Gore’s “An Inconvenient Truth” featured the so-called “hockey stick” graph showing a dramatic surge in global temperature in recent years. Gore was hailed by the likes of Howard Fineman, Katie Couric and Oprah Winfrey, as a “climate prophet,” a “secular saint” and the “Noah” of our time.

Left out of such praise was the fact that Gore stood to benefit personally from environmental policies that would push funds to the businesses in which his money was invested, the book reveals.

Meanwhile, celebrity activists such as Laurie David, Will Ferrell and Leonardo DiCaprio tried to brainwash children with propaganda telling them that Earth would become like Venus and inhabitable. This was coupled with a campaign to silence and destroy the careers of climate skeptics by boycotting publications that published their work.

All of this collapsed following the “Climategate” revelations of 2009, which are republished in this book. From so-called scientists trying to “hide the decline” of global temperatures, praising “tricks” to reach conclusions determined in advance, and trying to “balance the needs of the science and the IPCC, which were not always the same,” Climategate showed left-wing activists masquerading as experts.

Incredibly, even though the IPCC, Al Gore, and their “hockey sticks” all have been utterly discredited, the push for global regulation continues under different names. Democrats, occasionally joined by Republicans such as Lindsey Graham, continue to push cap-and-trade legislation.

Dire warnings about the end of human existence have been replaced with arguments about “green jobs” supposedly needed to help the economy.

Frank admissions that the price of energy needs to be raised and Americans need to radically change their way of life have been transformed into claims that cap-and-trade really is about, as John Kerry said, “the creation of jobs and the security of the country.”

Barack Obama even has tried to reframe the debate as “our generation’s Sputnik moment.”

But Inhofe provides an insider’s view of the shifting alliances and collapsing rationalizations of the regulators as they scramble to impose the ruinous regime on the American economy. Like the Walking Dead, cap-and-trade and the attempt to set up a global regulatory apparatus continue to march on, even though the arguments have been discredited, he writes.

As Inhofe reveals, the arguments may change but the rationale is always the same. It is about global control over the United States, government control over business, and ultimately, state power over how people live their lives. From the zoning struggles in Tulsa, Okla., to fraud at the United Nations, Inhofe reveals what is really at stake and how alarmists operate.

Beyond just environmental policy, Inhofe’s personal testament, a global warming exposé and dire warning for the future of liberty, is something that no friend of freedom can afford to ignore.


Electric cars die without careful attention

DON'T leave your electric car parked for too long - by the time you get back it could have turned into a $200,000 brick.

Electric car maker Tesla is defending claims its cars become immobilised if the battery ever becomes completely discharged. This results in a battery replacement cost of about one-fifth the car's $206,000 sticker price.

Tesla owners in the US who have parked their vehicles with low battery power remaining - for as little as a week - have found their cars had become "bricks" that could not be re-charged.

Tesla Australia national sales and marketing manager Jay McCormack said the battery maintenance was explained as part of the company's customer handover and the car emitted a number of warnings about requiring recharging.

"We explain through our customer ownership experience the recommendations for maintaining the battery," he said.

"Like all cars, they require some level of care - for us, electric vehicles should be plugged in and charging when not in use, that's for maximum performance and all batteries are subject damage when at low levels for a long period of time, anything longer than a week for a charge to be kept at zero."

Nissan's Leaf electric vehicle has a clause within its US warranty that details what is not covered - damage or failures resulting from "leaving your vehicle for over 14 days where the lithium-ion battery reaches a zero or near-zero state of charge."

In the US Tesla has countered that "all automobiles require some level of owner care."

The all-electric car company also said its cars had low-charge (below five per cent) warnings but that electric vehicles should be plugged in and charging when not in use for maximum performance. "Tesla batteries can remain unplugged for weeks (even months), without reaching zero state of charge," the company said in a statement.


Lent for climate change?

Peter Kurti comments from Australia

The season of Lent began this week. Some Christians will mark the six-week period of preparation for Easter with prayer and fasting. Others will take this opportunity to renew their commitment to what they consider important moral causes.

One moral cause spruiked this year has been the call by leaders of Christian churches in the United Kingdom for repentance and a ‘change of direction’ to fight the dangers of climate change.

The campaign has been organised by the Christian environmental lobby group Operation Noah, which was founded in 2001 to promote ‘the urgent need to address climate change.’

The group recently launched a declaration called ‘Climate Change and the purposes of God – a call to the Church.’ Predictably, the Archbishop of Canterbury, Rowan Williams, is one of the signatories.

Operation Noah’s convenor, Anglican bishop David Atkinson, has even gone so far as to describe climate change as ‘the most significant moral question facing us today.’

Australians absorbed by the implosion of the federal government will remember a similarly extravagant claim made by former Prime Minister Kevin Rudd who said climate change was ‘the greatest moral challenge of our time.’

Rudd blinked when the political cost of attempting to meet that ‘moral challenge’ became apparent. It eventually cost him his job.

Now Bishop Atkinson has out-Rudded Rudd by declaring that the theory of man-made carbon dioxide-induced climate change ‘is not mostly about science. It is about something deeper – how we see ourselves in relation to God, to others, to the whole of creation.’

He may well be right. But by moving the terms of the debate from the realm of science to the apparently higher ground of moral theology, Atkinson has displayed a disordered sense of priority.

Those looking for great and greater moral challenges in the contemporary world don’t need to look too hard. The Syrian government is slaughtering dissidents and foreign journalists. Iranians are threatening to immolate the ‘Zionist entity’ in the Middle East. And criminally corrupt governments in Africa are starving their people.

Faced with moral challenges such as these, Atkinson’s claim may be audacious. But, then again, it might just be plain ludicrous.


USGS releases report on Fukushima fallout

Fallout from the Fukushima nuclear power plant in Japan was detected in minimal amounts in precipitation in the United States, a study released Wednesday said.

The study by the U.S. Geological Survey found levels similar to those measured made by the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency in the days and weeks immediately following the March 2011 earthquake and tsunami disaster, and determined to be well below any level of public health concern, a USGS release said.

The study was conducted as part of the National Atmospheric Deposition Program, with many NADP sites located away from major urban areas so that they are more representative of the U.S. landscape as a whole, the USGS said.

"Japan's unfortunate nuclear nightmare provides a rare opportunity for U.S. scientists to test an infrequently needed national capability for detecting and monitoring nuclear fallout over a wide network," USGS Director Marcia McNutt said. "Had this been a national incident, NADP would have revealed the spatial and temporal patterns of radioactive contamination in order to help protect people and the environment."

Precipitation was collected at monitoring sites within the extensive NADP network and USGS scientists detected Iodine-131, Cesium-134 and Cesium-137, the primary radioactive products released during an incident such as the Fukushima incident, but at levels far below any threat to human health, officials said.

This is the second time samples from the NADP network have been used to measure radioactive fallout, the USGS said. The first time was after the Chernobyl disaster in 1986.


BOOK REVIEW: The Climate Caper by Garth W Paltridge, Published by Connor Court, Australia, 2009

Below is part of a very large and informative review. Reading the whole thing definitely recommended

The Climate Caper is a “must read” for the insights it provides into the way the prospect of mild global warming has been beaten up to become “the greatest moral challenge of our times” by a recent Prime Minister of Australia. It provides some extra dots to add to the pattern explained by John Grover’s book The Struggle for Power on the worldwide political campaign against the peaceful use of nuclear power.

Grover’s book could have been called “the anti-nuclear caper”. It describes the worldwide campaign by a network of radical leftwing groups, operating initially under cover of the peace movement and then in the environmental movement. Their greatest institutional achievement came under administration of President Carter when representatives of the movement occupied many senior positions and embarked on the program of massive regulation which now prejudices the economic recovery of the US. In Australia the movement delayed the mining of uranium and prohibits the lucrative industry of storing the nuclear waste of the world and also the prospect of nuclear power.

There is a very major difference between the two campaigns and Paltridge’s book is especially helpful on that topic (though he does not refer to the previous caper at all). The anti-nuclear caper drew no support from reputable scientists, unless you count a handful of outright cranks and some ideologues from non-relevant disciplines. The incredible triumph of that no-growth campaign was to marginalise the entire scientific community. This time around the scientific community is on board and the scientists on the more realistic side of the debate have been marginalised. Paltridge provides a great start on answering the $64K question “how did this happen?”

The book has many striking features, starting with the qualifications of the author.

Emeritus Professor Garth Paltridge is an atmospheric physicist and was a Chief Research Scientist with the CSIRO Division of Atmospheric Research before taking up positions in Tasmania as Director of the Institute of Antarctic and Southern Ocean Studies and CEO of the Antarctic Cooperative Research Centre. He retired in 2002 and remains an Honorary Research Fellow at the University of Tasmania, a Visiting Fellow at the Australian National University and a Fellow of the Australian Academy of Science.

He provides historical perspective because he was involved in climate science from the beginning of interest in warming, up to and beyond the point where it became inflated and politicised.

He was close to the epicentre of the explosion in the IPCC and he explains how the scientific committees of that body became subservient to the political committee.

On the science of warming he provides a luminously clear explanation of the problems with the models that provide the core of the case for drastic action.

In the Australian policy-making process he was very close to the action when the chief advisor to the Government encouraged a committee from the Academy of Science to water down some potentially damning criticisms of the model he was using as the basis of the proposals that have been taken up by the Administration.

He understands enough of the sociology of science to understand the significance of the rise of Big Science, almost entirely government-funded, and the parallel proliferation of Kuhnian “normal scientists”.

In the same way that John Stone can document the decline of professionalism and quality in the Commonwealth public service because he was there as it happened, Paltridge saw the decline of independence and the spirit of criticism in the scientific community during his career (much due to the same influences described by Stone).

All of this adds up to a compelling case to stop the rush to drastic action to address a so-called problem, namely the prospect of a degree or two of warming over the next century, which will have positives as well as negatives (if it makes any noticeable difference at all).

As a bonus the book is short and very clearly written with a light and humorous touch.

Much more HERE


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


No comments: