Monday, April 09, 2012

More sloppiness (polite term) found in the latest pride of "Nature" magazine

"Nature" magazine (2012, 484, 49–54) recently announced with great fanfare that if you ignored those pesky ice-core records from Antarctica, then the last deglaciation was PRECEDED by a CO2 rise -- which is necessary if you are to claim that CO2 CAUSED the warming. The paper by Shakun et al. is headed “Global warming preceded by increasing carbon dioxide concentrations during the last deglaciation”

I immediately pointed out the belief in magic needed to come to that conclusion but other skeptics have been looking at the claim too.

So a quick layman's summary of three other bit of trickery found in the "Nature" article. Don't rely on my summary as anything more than an introduction, though.

In his first post on the subject, Willis Eschenbach pointed out that the authors hid some very embarassing stuff by using averages. When you look at the individual temperature proxies that the authors used, you see that they show vastly different times at which CO2 levels peaked. So it becomes impossible to say what the sequence was. Some records suggest that warming came first and others say that a CO2 rise came first. So the whole Shakun claim collapses in a heap.

In his second post Eschenbach shows that the authors cut off the more recent end of the data record -- Where CO2 rises but temperatures FALL! That's pure fakery and dishonesty.

And Piers Corbyn points out that Antarctica is where temperature changes are first seen (it has 91% of the earth's glacial mass) and that the Arctic follows the Antarctic but with a lag of several thousand years. Changes that began in the Antarctic take a long while to percolate through to the Arctic. So the emphasis given by the "Nature" authors to the Arctic is misplaced and they are in fact missing the main game.

Finally, there has just appeared a paper from IPCC reviewer Vincent Gray which points to the the multiple violations of standard statistical assumptions in the paper. The results reported in the paper just cannot be accepted as statistically significant, meaning that they could be due to chance alone:
The Second graph plots the extent of the lag of temperature behind CO2 against the length of the lag over 20.000 and 10,000 years and shows that in the Southern Hemisphere the lag is in the opposite direction, namely CO2 lags temperature. The lag of temperature against CO2 happens only in the Northern Hemisphere, and there seems to be a generally smaller lag in the opposite direction in the Southern Hemisphere.

BUT the small print in the caption beneath the graph states that the confidence intervals given are one standard deviation about the mean. It has been conventional in the statistical and the scientific literature to use two standard deviations for confidence limits, which give the 95% limits in which the true figure may lie. The use of limits of only one standard deviation is a device frequently used by the IPCC and its supporters to give a spurious impression of accuracy, as it includes only 68% of the possible range of the true figure

In this case, for the Globe, the figure 460±340 means that there is a 16% chance that the true figure may be less than 120 and a 2.5% chance that the figure may be less than -220.

For the Southern Hemisphere the figure is -620±660, which means there ia a 16% chance that it is greater than +40 and a 2.5% chance in that it may be greater than +700. For the Northern Hemisphere the figure is 720±330, which means that there is a 16% chance in that the figure may be less than+390 and a 2.5% chance that it may be less than -60

These figures apply when and only when there is a large number of all the samples and they all fit the normal curve closely. Any deviation from these requirements means that the chance that the two sets of figures are not significantly different increases

The study claims to give a global cover. The location of the samples is shown in Figure 1

They appear to show a balanced coverage between the Northern and Southern Hemispheres, but otherwise the sample is grossly unrepresentative of the earth’s surface. The only places that are firmly on land are those in Antarctica. Only three or four are from the ocean and the rest appear to be from coastal sites. The apparent difference between the Northern and Southern Hemispheres may merely be a reflection of this gross sampling deficiency.

The many inaccuracies involved in all of the measurements, combined with the poor sampling and the evident attempt to cover them up by quoting misleading confidence limits leads inevitably to the conclusion that this paper has failed to show a genuine global lag between carbon dioxide and temperature over the Pleistocene, in either direction to a significant degree of accuracy

If there's no such thing as a happy Greenie, it also seems that there is no such thing as an honest Warmist

Climate scientists are losing the public debate on global warming

Green campaigners and climate scientists are losing the public debate over global warming, one of the movement's leading proponents has admitted.

Dr James Hansen, director of the Nasa Goddard Institute for Space Studies, who first made warnings about climate change in the 1980s, said that public scepticism about the threat of man-made climate change has increased despite the growing scientific consensus.

Speaking ahead of a public lecture in Edinburgh this week, he admitted that without public support it will be impossible to make the changes he and his colleagues believe need to occur to protect future generations from the effects of climate change.

He blamed sceptics who are opposed to major social and economic changes to reduce greenhouse gas emissions for employing "tremendous resources" to undermine the scientific evidence.

Dr Hansen, who will receive the Edinburgh Medal at the Edinburgh International Science Festival, pointed to a number of controversies involving climate scientists, such as the leaked University of East Anglia emails, as being partly responsible for the shift in public opinion.

Critics, however, insist the public have become desensitised by decades of dire warnings by climate scientists.

Dr Hansen, who served as an adviser to Al Gore on his controversial documentary The Inconvenient Truth, said: "There is remarkable inconsistency between the scientific story and public story.

His comments come as recent surveys have revealed that public support for tackling climate change has declined dramatically in recent years. The British Social Attitudes survey published last year revealed that just 22 per cent said they are now in favour of green taxes compared to 31 per cent in 2000. Over a third said many claims about environmental threats were "exaggerated" compared to 24 per cent in 2000.

A recent BBC poll found that 25% of British adults did not think global warming was happening.

Environmental campaigners suffered a major blow in 2009 when emails stolen from computers at the University of East Anglia were leaked and were hailed by critics as evidence of scientists attempting to suppress evidence that contradicted the idea of man-made climate change.

An inquiry into the scandal failed to find any evidence of malpractice by the scientists and a review of the science also found it to be sound, although the findings were met with claims of bias from sceptics.

Dr Hansen will argue that by placing a global levy on all fossil fuels, including coal and gas, it would encourage a move towards alternative forms of energy.

Dr Benny Peiser, director of sceptical think tank The Global Warming Policy Foundation, said governments and the public had "more urgent problems to deal with" than tackling climate change.

He said: "People have become bored by some of the rhetoric from the green movement as they have other things to worry about.

"In reality the backlash against climate change has very little to do with the sceptics. We will take credit for instilling some debate but it is mainly an economic issue. Climate change is not seen as being urgent any more.

"James Hansen has been making predictions about climate change since the 1980s. When people are comparing what is happening now to those predictions, they can see they fail to match up."


The Environmental Terrorizing of Children

By Alan Caruba

In many ways, the worst aspect of environmentalism is why Greens not only feel free to terrorize children with doomsday scenarios, but feel compelled to do so.

I have been reviewing books for some fifty years and with the publication of Rachel Carson’s “Silent Spring” in 1962 and books such as Paul Ehrlich’s “Population Bomb” have been offering scenarios intended to move people and governments to take action that, in retrospect, were based on bad “science” and absurd doomsday predictions.

If you were fooled by global warming, they are counting on you to be fooled again by "sustainability", their reworking of Marx’s communism in the form of a grandiose scheme to control all of the Earth’s bounty. In June the United Nations will hold a Rio+20 conference that will declare that governments exist to ensure "sustainable well-being and happiness." The Declaration of Independence offers the opportunity to pursue happiness. It does not guarantee it, nor does it suggest that it is government's job to provide it.

A key element of the Green’s endless indoctrination schemes has been to reach children, the most vulnerable among us and for this reason our schools have been turned into Green prisons where their version of the Earth is pumped into the minds of children here and around the world.

Their primary teaching tool is fear. Fear that the oceans will rise and wipe out entire cities. Fear that the rainforests are disappearing. Fear that entire species are being destroyed by the hand of man. Fear that the use of any kind of fuel, coal, natural gas, and oil is despoiling the planet.

I have reviewed books for some fifty years at this point and I could not put a number on the books for children that hammer home these and other terrifying themes. One crossed my desk the other day, “Our House is Round: A Kid’s Book About Why Protecting Our Earth Matters” by Yolanda Kondonassis and illustrated by Joan Brush. It has been called “the perfect children’s introduction to environmental issues” by Fred Krupp, the president of the Environmental Defense Fund.

The author is not a biologist, a geologist, a meteorologist, or any other kind of scientist. She is a Grammy-nominated classical harpist. A harpist!

“Our Earth has gotten messy. What should we do?” she asks her young reader. What does she mean by “messy”? Her answer is that “cars, trucks, and factories make pollution, a kind of dirty gas or liquid that goes out into the air and into our rivers, lakes, and oceans.” This book is written for children age five to nine!

Imagine now what it must be like to be that age and be told that the air is polluted and the water is as well. This verges on child abuse.

“Pollution goes up into the sky and forms a blanket of gas that holds heat within Earth’s atmosphere. That makes our whole Earth warmer and leads to unclean air for breathing, melting polar ice caps, rising sea levels, and extreme weather patterns. Scientists call this warming of our Earth’s temperature CLIMATE CHANGE.”

It is a LIE. The Earth has been cooling for fifteen years.

Carbon dioxide is not a pollutant. It is a gas as vital to all life on Earth as oxygen is to the life of living creatures. Without it, not a single blade of grass or tree or the vegetation we call “crops” would not grow. Livestock and wildlife depend on that vegetation. If you are age five to nine, you likely are unaware of this.

This book and all the others that incorporate these lies are a form of psychological terror.

The same week I received “Our House is Round”, I also received “The Big Green Book of the Big Blue Sea” and “Earth-Friendly Buildings, Bridges, and More.” You could stack all the environmentally-themed children’s books I’ve seen and it would reach up several stories.

They are a corruption of geophysical and biological science. They have nothing to do with “saving the planet” and everything to do with distorting children’s understanding of the real world.

It does not matter that the Ms. Kondonassis thinks she is serving humanity. The great lie of communism is that it will create a collectivist utopia. In reality it has always depended on terror to maintain itself and it has failed wherever it has been tried. Environmentalism is its latest permutation.

It is the same reason that communism derides religion for its emphasis on life and morality.

It is the same reason Americans are being subjected to government imposed limitations on energy and transportation, and coerced social change, altering and secularizing our society.

I have devoted my life to freedom of the press, freedom to publish, freedom to speak out, and to urge participation in the life of the greatest nation on Earth, but some books like “Our House Is Round” are the worst kind of mental pollution.

Envionmentalism, like all tyrannies, begins by indoctrinating children.


It is only Greenie panic merchants who keep the peak oil scare alive

In 1920, the U.S. Geological Survey estimated that the world contained only 60 billion barrels of recoverable oil. But to date we have produced more than 1,000 billion barrels and currently have more than 1,500 billion barrels in reserve. World petroleum reserves are at an all-time high.

...technological advances have opened up resources beyond the limits of our ancestors' imaginations. We can drill offshore in water up to 8,000 feet deep. We have enhanced recovery techniques, horizontal drilling and four-dimensional seismic imaging. Oklahoma oilman Harold Hamm is turning North Dakota into Saudi Arabia by using hydraulic fracturing technology. U.S. oil production has reversed its 40-year decline. By the year 2020, it is anticipated that the U.S. will be the world's top oil producer.

But why are we even having this conversation about "peak oil" in the first place?

Discussion about EROEI -- energy returned on energy invested -- is just so much trash talk. When you consider the potential of high quality, abundant industrial process heat from advanced nuclear reactors, EROEI fears begin to sound like a joke. Whether it takes 10 or 20 years to develop and build gen IV high temperature gas cooled modular reactors, the die is cast, and peak oil doom is itself doomed, along with EROEI fears.

So what is this conversation truly about? Beneath all the smokescreens, it is about lefty-Luddite carbon hysteria, and the fear of of an advanced technological future for humans. If not for a trumped-up and irrational fear of carbon, a true hydrocarbon abundance suddenly opens up before us -- along with an abundance of electricity from advanced, safe, clean, nuclear reactors.

But if we listen to the lefty-Luddite green dieoff.orgiast fears coming from the highest levels of human governments and inter-governments, we face a new dark age of energy starvation. An age where unreliable intermittent-renewables -- ever prone to breakdown and failure -- replace reliable forms of power and energy.

The green world view is based upon several delusional beliefs, including carbon hysteria, energy scarcity, overpopulation, an environment doomed by global pollution. But these green lefty-Luddite fears are several decades old. Many of these same greens predicted that the great human dieoff was certain to occur in the 1970s, 1980s, and 1990s. They predicted doom from global cooling -- from CO2 and pollution, no less.

But when a temporary cooling trend was replaced by a temporary warming trend, these greens of doom quickly changed tack and jumped aboard a global warming train -- caused by the same things, supposedly, that were to have brought about global cooling! They are nothing if not versatile.

But the underlying cause of doom -- in the mind of a green -- is always human industry, human science, human technology, human commerce. That is what they fear and what they attack -- the fruits of human ingenuity itself.

The end result of human ingenuity is a cleaner and more sustainable -- but more abundant -- human future. That is what greens fear. They fear that we will move beyond the more primitive stages of human technology into cleaner, sustainable -- but very abundant -- forms of technology. This possibility is a distinct threat to the leftist green vision of the future, and must be opposed by greens in every way possible, using every green tool and green trick in the book.

That is what carbon hysteria is, of course. It is a tool to be used until it is of no more use, then it will be discarded for whatever else might serve. Just like "energy depletion and scarcity," carbon hysteria is a useful tool of ideology, without which the "peak oil myth" could never survive long.

The green fear is not that there is not enough oil, not enough hydrocarbon fuel. The fear is that there will always be more than enough. As a tool to stoke that fear, carbon hysteria cannot be improved upon. Peak oil: without carbon hysteria, we wouldn't be having that conversation.


Hansen’s Tremendous Data Tampering

In 1975, the National Academy Of Sciences produced this graph of Northern Hemisphere temperatures, which showed a strong cooling trend from the late 1930s until the late 1960s. It showed that the 1930s was by far the hottest decade.

Hansen’s recent graph of the Northern Hemisphere temperatures shows very little cooling during that same period.

The graph below overlays the National Academy of Sciences graph (blue) on Hansen’s, at the same scale – and shows that he has cooled pre-1940 temperatures by about 0.3C.

The GISS February anomaly was barely larger than Hansen’s data tampering. Global warming is indeed Mann-made and Hansen-made.

Hansen has done similar tampering with many other data sets, including this change to the US data set – which he made in the year 2000.

People believe that they are seeing thermometer data when they view NASA temperature graphs, but what they are actually seeing are carefully constructed political documents.


Alaska city hit by record snowfall -- global warming blamed

A spring snowfall has broken the nearly 60-year-old seasonal snow record of Alaska’s largest city.

Inundated with nearly double the snow they are used to, Anchorage residents have been expecting to see this season’s snowfall surpass the record of 132.6 inches set in the winter of 1954-55.

The 3.4 inches that fell by Saturday afternoon brought the total to 133.6 inches.

National Weather Service meteorologist Shaun Baines said forecasters do not expect more than an inch of additional accumulation.

Extreme weather has hit not only Alaska. It has also struck the lower 48 US states, where the first three months of 2012 has seen twice the normal number of tornadoes and one of the warmest winters on record.

Two different weather phenomena – La Nina and its northern cousin the Arctic Oscillation – are mostly to blame, meteorologists say. Global warming could also be a factor because it is supposed to increase weather extremes, according to climate scientists.

Even by Alaska standards, Anchorage has been walloped by snow.



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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