Monday, July 07, 2014

Lame, lame, lame

There's some lame stuff written about global warming but the nonsense below takes the cake.  Hair colour is determined by your genes, not by the temperature.  The only way the frequency of a particular gene can be reduced in nature is for that gene to be  selected against in mating.  And why a slight increase in temperature would make redheads less desirable in bed is not explained

Global warming could lead to the extinction of Scotland's redheads, expects have claimed.

Experts believe that Scotland’s gloomy climate has led to a red hair emerging as a genetic adaptation to help exploit rare sunny days and boost Vitamin D production.

But as the world warms up, some predict that the change in climate will lead to more sunny days for the Scots - meaning they will no longer be so well adapted to their environment.

Only about 1-2 per cent of the world’s population has red hair but in Scotland the figure is much higher, with about 13 per cent, or 650,000 people, with flaming locks.

Alastair Moffat, managing director of genetic testing company ScotlandsDNA, said the country’s dull weather was responsible for a larger number of flame-haired men and women being born.

Dr Moffat told the Daily Record: 'We think red hair in Scotland, Ireland and the north of England is adaptation to the climate. We do not get enough sun and have to get all the vitamin D we can.

'If it was to get less cloudy and there was more sun, there would be fewer people carrying the gene.'

Red hair appears in people with two copies of a recessive gene on chromosome 16, which causes a mutation.

That means a person who does not have red hair can still produce red-haired children if they and their partner is a carrier of the gene.

Despite concerns that red hair dying out, many experts say it is likely to continue for many generations.

Research publised last year by BritainsDNA found that 20million people in the UK and Ireland have ginger genes.

The most red-headed part of Britain and Ireland is the South-East of Scotland with Edinburgh as a red-hotspot where 40 per cent carry one of the three common red hair gene variants.

But the biggest surprise revealed by the research is just over 34 per cent of the population of parts of the north of England are carriers, making Yorkshire and Humberside as red-headed as Ireland.


Global warming computer models confounded as Antarctic sea ice hits new record high with 2.1million square miles more than is usual for time of year

The levels of Antarctic sea-ice last week hit an all-time high – confounding climate change computer models which say it should be in decline.

America’s National Snow And Ice Data Center, which is funded by Nasa, revealed that ice around the southern continent covers about 16million sq km, more than 2.1 million more than is usual for the time of year.

It is by far the highest level since satellite observations on which the figures depend began in 1979.
In statistical terms, the extent of the ice cover is hugely significant.

It represents the latest stage in a trend that started ten years ago, and means that an area the size of Greenland, which would normally be open water, is now frozen.

The Antarctic surge is so big that overall, although Arctic ice has decreased, the frozen area around both poles is one million square kilometres more than the long-term average.

In its authoritative Fifth Assessment Report released last year, the UN Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change admitted that the computer models on which scientists base their projections say Antarctic ice should be in decline, not increasing.

The report said: ‘There is low confidence in the scientific understanding of the observed increase in Antarctic sea ice extent since 1979, due to… incomplete and competing scientific explanations for the causes of change.’

Some scientists have suggested the Antarctic ice increase may itself be caused by global warming. But Professor Judith Curry, head of climate science at the Georgia Institute of Technology in Atlanta, said the arguments were not convincing.

She added: ‘We do not have a quantitative, predictive understanding of the rise in Antarctic sea ice extent.’ She said it was becoming increasingly apparent that long-term cycles in ocean temperatures were responsible for a significant proportion of the ice decline in the Arctic – a process that may be starting to reverse.

Prof Curry also revealed that because of the ‘pause’, in which world average temperatures have not risen for more than 16 years, the Arctic ice decline has been ‘touted’ by many as the most important evidence for continued global warming.

But in her view, climate scientists have to consider evidence from  both Poles.  She added: ‘Convincing arguments regarding the causes of sea-ice  variations require understanding and ability to model both the Arctic and Antarctic.’


It's politics, not science, driving climate mania: Why are environmentalists and scientists so reluctant to discuss long-term increases in southern hemisphere sea ice?

For years, computer simulations have predicted that sea ice should be disappearing from the Poles.  Now, with the news that Antarctic sea-ice levels have hit new highs, comes yet another mishap to tarnish the credibility of climate science.

Climatologists base their doom-laden predictions of the Earth’s climate on computer simulations.

But these have long been the subject of ridicule because of their stunning failure to predict the pause in warming – nearly 18 years long on some measures – since the turn of the last century.

It’s the same with sea ice. We hear a great deal about the decline in Arctic sea ice, in line with or even ahead of predictions.

But why are environmentalists and scientists so much less  keen to discuss the long-term increase in the southern hemisphere?

In fact, across the globe, there are about one million square kilometres more sea ice than 35 years ago, which is when satellite measurements began.

It’s fair to say that this has been something of an embarrassment for climate modellers. But it doesn’t stop there.

In recent days a new scandal over the integrity of temperature data has emerged, this time in America, where it has been revealed as much as 40 per cent  of temperature data there are not real thermometer readings.

Many temperature stations have closed, but rather than stop recording data from these posts, the authorities have taken the remarkable step of ‘estimating’ temperatures based on the records of surrounding stations.

So vast swathes of the data are actually from ‘zombie’ stations that have long since disappeared.  This is bad enough, but it has also been discovered that the  US’s National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration is using estimates even when perfectly good raw data is available to it – and that it has adjusted historical records.

Why should it do this? Many have noted that the effect of all these changes is to produce a warmer present and a colder past, with the net result being  the impression of much faster warming.

They draw their conclusions accordingly.

Naturally, if the US temperature records are indeed found to have been manipulated, this is unlikely to greatly affect our overall picture of rising temperatures at the end of the last century and  a standstill thereafter.

The US is, after all, only a  small proportion of the globe.

Similarly, climatologists’ difficulties with the sea ice may be of little scientific significance in the greater scheme of things.

We have only a few decades of data, and in climate terms this is probably too short to demonstrate that either the Antarctic increase or the Arctic decrease is anything other than natural variability.

But the relentless focus by activist scientists on the Arctic decline does suggest a political imperative rather than a scientific one – and when put together with the story of the US temperature records, it’s hard to avoid the impression that what the public is being told is less than the unvarnished truth.

As their credulity is stretched more and more, the public will – quite rightly – treat demands for action with increasing caution…


Climate Scientist Who Got It Right Predicts 20 More Years of Global Cooling

Dr. Don Easterbrook – a climate scientist and glacier expert from Washington State who correctly predicted back in 2000 that the Earth was entering a cooling phase – says to expect colder temperatures for at least the next two decades.

Easterbrook’s predictions were “right on the money” seven years before Al Gore and the United Nation’s Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) shared the 2007 Nobel Peace Prize for warning that the Earth was facing catastrophic warming caused by rising levels of carbon dioxide, which Gore called a “planetary emergency.”

“When we check their projections against what actually happened in that time interval, they’re not even close. They’re off by a full degree in one decade, which is huge. That’s more than the entire amount of warming we’ve had in the past century. So their models have failed just miserably, nowhere near close. And maybe it’s luck, who knows, but mine have been right on the button,” Easterbrook told

“For the next 20 years, I predict global cooling of about 3/10ths of a degree Fahrenheit, as opposed to the one-degree warming predicted by the IPCC,” said Easterbrook, professor emeritus of geology at Western Washington University and  author of 150 scientific journal articles and 10 books, including “Evidence Based Climate Science,” which was published in 2011. (See EasterbrookL coming-century-predictions.pdf)

In contrast, Gore and the IPCC’s computer models predicted “a big increase” in global warming by as much as one degree per decade. But the climate models used by the IPCC have proved to be wrong, with many places in Europe and North America now experiencing record-breaking cold.

Easterbrook noted that his 20-year prediction was the “mildest” one of four possible scenarios, all of which involve lower temperatures, and added that only time will tell whether the Earth continues to cool slightly or plunges into another Little Ice Age as it did between 1650 and 1790.

“There’s no way to tell ‘til you get there,” he told But he lamented the fact that governments worldwide have already spent a trillion dollars fighting the wrong threat.

“How does it feel to have been right?” asked Easterbrook.

“To be really truthful, it’s wonderful. There’s nothing that makes you feel better than to be right and be able to say, ‘I told you so,’” replied Easterbrook, who was also an official reviewer of the IPCC reports. “But I’m not gloating about it because it’s not good news. It’s bad news.

“And in many respects, I hope that I’m wrong. And the reason I hope that I’m wrong is because it’s going to cost several million people their lives if I’m right. In Third World countries where food and water are a problem right now, it’s going to get worse. Cold is way worse for humanity than warm is.”

Easterbrook said he made his earlier prediction by tracing back “a consistently recurring pattern” of alternating warm and cool ocean cycles called the Pacific Decadal Oscillation (PDO) that occurs naturally every 25 to 30 years. He discovered that the PDO corresponded with a similar temperature cycle demonstrated by isotope ratios found in Greenland ice cores going all the way back to 1480.

“We don’t know what the driving mechanism is, but it’s very consistent. It’s happened five times a century and every time it’s happened, there’s been a corresponding change in global temperature, either warm or cool,” Easterbrook told

“What I did was I projected this same pattern forward to see what it would look like. And so in 1999, which was the year after the second warmest year on record, the PDO said we’re due for a climate change, and so I said okay. It looks as though we’re going to be entering a period of about three decades or so of global cooling.

“And so in 2000, I published a paper with the Geological Society of America in which I predicted that we were going to stop warming and begin cooling for about 25 or 30 years, on the basis of taking the temperature records that go back a century or more and simply repeating the pattern of warming and cooling, warming and cooling, and so on.

“And that in fact has happened. We have now had 17 years with no global warming and my original prediction was right so far. But we have still probably another 20 years or so to see if the cooling trend continues, and if it does, then my prediction will be right and my methods will be right. And so what it boils down to is, so far so good.”

Easterbrook added that his long-term prediction until the end of century is “a lot more nebulous” due to the still-unknown effect of the sun, which has entered a “grand solar minimum” occurring every 200 years.  “Everything we think depends on what’s going to happen with the sun.”

But based on past climate data, he says the most likely scenarios are “either deep cooling, or a return to another 25-year cycle of light warming/cooling, but nothing even approaching the 10 degrees warming the IPCC folks are predicting.”

When asked Easterbrook if anybody from the IPCC, which “ignored all the data I gave them,” ever admitted that he had been right, he laughed.“No, every time I say something about the projection of climate into the future based on real data, they come out with some modeled data that says this is just a temporary pause, like a tiger waiting under the rug.”

Easterbrook noted that 32,000 American scientists have signed a statement that there’s no correlation between climate change and carbon dioxide levels. “I am absolutely dumbfounded by the totally absurd and stupid things said every day by people who are purportedly scientists that make absolutely no sense whatsoever….

“These people are simply ignoring real-time data that has been substantiated and can be replicated and are simply making up stuff,” he told Driven by a quest for money and power, he added, “what they’re doing in the U.S. is using CO2 to impose all kinds of restrictions to push a socialist government.”

“One thing many people don’t realize is that CO2 by itself is incapable of causing significant climate change. Carbon dioxide in the atmosphere is 39/1,000ths of one percent. It’s nothing. Ninety-five percent of the greenhouse effect is water vapor, and water vapor is not changing. …

“No doubt CO2 has been climbing, but the total change in atmospheric composition [since 1945, when CO2 levels began to increase] is one 9/1,000ths of one percent. So how are you going to have a 10 degree climate change by changing this tiny amount? You can’t do it,” he says, which is why the trillion dollars already spent worldwide on reducing carbon dioxide has had little effect.

“The people who are climate deniers are the people who are denying global cooling," Easterbrook told "We haven’t had any global warming in 17 years, and they are denying that. And so we’re not the deniers. They’re the deniers.”


Humidity and the Greenhouse effect

A study done by John Christy (IRRIGATION-INDUCED WARMING IN CENTRAL CALIFORNIA?) has been touted by some as being “proof” that humidity causes an enhanced “greenhouse effect”.

The conclusions drawn in the paper are based on the following two graphs (the red trend lines were added for clarity):

At first glance the increase in the daily minimum temperature (just before sunrise) exceeds the decrease in daily maximum temperature (~2:30PM) giving the impression that there was an over-all increase in the daily mean temperature from 1930-2000, but look at the scale. Each line in the TMin graph is 2 °C while each line in the TMax scale is 4 °C.

So, as you can see the daily minimum temperature increased about 2 °C while the daily maximum temperature decreased by about 2 °C meaning that the overall affect of irrigation on the daily mean temperature was nil. Rather, the affect of irrigation in this study shows that ground water decreases the diurnal temperature swing. This is not surprising since water has a higher specific heat than does dry soil. As a result the specific heat of wet soil is nearly double that of dry soil.

Specific heat water = 4.179 j/g/°C

Specific heat dry soil = 0.19 j/g/°C

Specific heat wet soil = 0.35 j/g/°C

Ergo, wet soil both warms and cools more slowly than does dry soil given the same thermal input/output. Thus any assertion that this study demonstrates that irrigation in the San Joaquin Valley during the 19th century caused a net increase in average daily temperature is false unless you both milk the data and ignore the warm temperatures present in the 1930’s. For example, if you were to start the nighttime minimum trend line in the 1940’s instead of the 1930’s then the nighttime warming trend would appear to have increased about 3 °C compared to the actual nighttime warming trend of about 2 °C, which is cancelled out by an equivalent amount of daytime cooling.

It is interesting to note that the original paper does not quantify the total increase in the daily minimum nighttime temperatures over the time period studied, but only says that it was “positive”. It was a commentary on his paper that quantified the increase to have been ~3 °C, which, if true, would suggest that the study showed a ~1 °C net increase in daily mean temperatures from 1930-2000. In other words, whether the data shows a nil effect on the daily mean temperature or a slight increase depends upon where one arbitrarily places the trend line on the graphs.

Let’s keep something else in mind. Water vapor at a global average of 70% R/H is said to increase the global mean temperature by some 22 °C all by itself (2/3rds of the total 33 °C of “greenhouse effect” warming that is said to exist.)

This is roughly 3 °C for every 10% increase in humidity. If therefore the irrigation of this otherwise desert landscape caused even a doubling of the R/H from about 35% to 70% (70% is the current yearly mean humidity in the San Joaquin Valley) then a water vapor enhanced “greenhouse effect” should have been around 10 °C! Instead the data has to be milked and the daytime cooling ignored in order to suggest that the 35% increase in the San Joaquin Valley’s humidity has caused a significant increase in the daily mean temperature via an enhanced “greenhouse effect”.

What is odd about this paper is that it purports to assess the affect of humidity on the nighttime temperature increase within the San Joaquin Valley yet fails to report what the humidity actually was in that valley prior it being irrigated to grow crops or even when the irrigation reached sufficient levels to affect the regional climate.

All that it says is, “With very low humidity, such an environment saw diurnal temperature ranges of over 15°C in the dry season. Additionally, the hard, dry natural surface had little heat capacity and relatively high albedo.” Curiously in this statement Christy accurately attributes the change that the regional climate has experienced to 1) a change in the ground’s heat capacity [as mentioned above] and 2) to a change in the ground’s albedo.

Yet within his summary statement he drops mention of the change in heat capacity and adds the “greenhouse effect” to his list of hypothetical causes of the increased nighttime temperatures measured within the San Joaquin Valley during the 20th century.

So, let’s jump to the summary of the paper that again ignores the daytime cooling trend and bases its conclusions exclusively on the increase in nighttime minimum temperatures. “Our hypothesis at this point is that irrigation has altered the surface energy balance of the valley floor, causing nighttime temperatures to remain warm.” The paper then advances three possible reasons why irrigation might be the cause an increase in the nighttime temperatures seen in the San Joaquin Valley.

1) “The additional water vapor supplied through evaporation, not present formerly, enhances the downward flux of thermal radiation.” In other words increases the “greenhouse effect”.

2) “Second, the additional vapor allows aerosols to reach the swelling point at which they become very active in the thermal spectrum.”

3) “Last, the moist ground and vegetation absorb solar energy during the ubiquitous cloudless days, and release the energy in the evening.”

Since Christy only hypothesizes about the cause of the increase in nighttime temperatures and ignores in his summary the concurrent decrease in daytime temperatures, he is only looking at one half of a dampened diurnal temperature swing. Do the laws of physics change when the sun goes down? Why a doubling of the humidity wouldn’t also cause an enhanced “greenhouse effect” during the day is not explored.

To be fair to Christy, this question is never explored because doing so would not support the meme being advanced. It is an observable phenomenon that both up going long-wave radiation and the absolute humidity are the highest during the daytime hours yet the daytime temperatures in humid climates are seen to be significantly less than the daytime temperatures in arid climates.

This would suggest that the hypothetical “greenhouse effect” is only a mirage and that something else is causing the increased nighttime temperatures in humid climates.


James Cameron wants you to eat all the plants to stop global warming

Bad news: Plants can hear themselves being eaten

Remember, this is the same guy who dove to the bottom of Challenger Deep, so he probably knows something about, er… something. Apparently, one of the next big projects for James Cameron has nothing to do with 100 year old wrecks or ten foot tall blue people who plug their pony tails into their dragons. The director and his wife are ready to convince all of you to eat nothing but plants. For your health? Not just that… it’s also to stop global warming, of course.

Film director James Cameron and his wife, Suzy Amis Cameron, an actor and model, are planning a global campaign to persuade people to move towards a plant-only diet (where no animals or animal products are consumed) in order to sharply reduce global carbon emissions and improve their health…

“The project will include many different modes of communication that will reach as many different demographics as we possibly can from children to 90-year-olds. We want to bring awareness around the connection between livestock production and our environment to leave the planet a better place for our future generations to grow up in.”…

As they delved further into the subject, they recognised that the meat and dairy industry is also the elephant in the room when it comes to climate change.
I suppose this is a topic that’s drawing all sorts of attention around the world. Cameron is no doubt interested in the results of a recent study from across the pond with the rather unfortunate name, Dietary greenhouse gas emissions of meat-eaters, fish-eaters, vegetarians and vegans in the UK.

The production of animal-based foods is associated with higher greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions than plant-based foods. The objective of this study was to estimate the difference in dietary GHG emissions between self-selected meat-eaters, fish-eaters, vegetarians and vegans in the UK. Subjects were participants in the EPIC-Oxford cohort study. The diets of 2,041 vegans, 15,751 vegetarians, 8,123 fish-eaters and 29,589 meat-eaters aged 20–79 were assessed using a validated food frequency questionnaire…

In conclusion, dietary GHG emissions in self-selected meat-eaters are approximately twice as high as those in vegans. It is likely that reductions in meat consumption would lead to reductions in dietary GHG emissions.
Throughout the summary of the study results, the authors stubbornly refuse to hone in on the one detail that I’m sure we’re all wondering. Are they talking about the average carbon output from beef farming when divided by the number of people who eat steak? Because both the title and the descriptions in the following paragraph make it sound like they’re measuring the personal, er… gaseous emissions of the meat eaters in the study.

I know the climate warriors are a dedicated bunch and can find an angle to tie climate change into virtually every discussion, but this may have been a bit above and beyond the call here. I mean, who is it that was doing the “measuring” of these “emissions” and how was that managed? Inquiring minds want to know! (Okay… most of us probably don’t, actually.)



For more postings from me, see  DISSECTING LEFTISM, TONGUE-TIED, EDUCATION WATCH INTERNATIONAL, POLITICAL CORRECTNESS WATCH, FOOD & HEALTH SKEPTIC and AUSTRALIAN POLITICS. Home Pages are   here or   here or   here.  Email me (John Ray) here.  

Preserving the graphics:  Most graphics on this site are hotlinked from elsewhere.  But hotlinked graphics sometimes have only a short life -- as little as a week in some cases.  After that they no longer come up.  From January 2011 on, therefore, I have posted a monthly copy of everything on this blog to a separate site where I can host text and graphics together -- which should make the graphics available even if they are no longer coming up on this site.  See  here or here


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