Climate Highlights - April
The April average temperature for the contiguous U.S. was 49.7F, which was 1.4F below the 20th century average. April 2013 ranked as the 23rd coolest such month on record and marked the coolest April since 1997 when the monthly average temperature for the contiguous U.S. was 48.0F.
The central U.S. was much cooler than average during April. North Dakota had its coldest April on record with a statewide average temperature of 31.0F, 9.9F below average. Six additional states - South Dakota,Nebraska, Kansas, Oklahoma, Minnesota, and Wisconsin - each had a top ten cold April. Below-average temperatures were also present for the Northern and Central Rockies, the Southern Plains, and the Mississippi River Valley.
Near and above-average temperatures were present along the U.S. East Coast and in parts of the West.California had its 12th warmest April on record with a statewide temperature 3.7F above average.
The April average precipitation for the contiguous U.S. was 2.90 inches, 0.47 inch above average, and tied with 1953 as the 19th wettest April on record.
The Northwest, Midwest, and the Southeast were wetter than average. Iowa and Michigan both had their wettest April on record. The Iowa statewide average precipitation total of 6.71 inches was 3.76 inches above average; the Michigan precipitation total of 5.97 inches was 3.29 inches above average. Additionally,Tennessee, Illinois, Indiana, and Wisconsin each had one of the ten wettest Aprils on record.
The wet conditions in the central U.S. resulted in several rivers in Illinois, Iowa, and Michigan reaching record high levels, with widespread flooding observed. The Mississippi River at St. Louis also reached flood stage after dropping to near-record low levels at the beginning of the year.
Below-average precipitation was observed in the Southwest and Northwest. New Mexico had its 12th driest April, while Connecticut and Rhode Island had their sixth and 11th driest April, respectively.
Alaska was much cooler than average during April, with a statewide average temperature 5.8F below the 1971-2000 average. This was the 7th coldest April in the 96-year period of record for the state, and the coldest April since 1985. The average temperature in Fairbanks was 14.5F below normal and the coldest April on record for the city.
According to the April 30 U.S. Drought Monitor report, 46.9 percent of the contiguous U.S. was experiencing moderate-to-exceptional drought, smaller than the 51.9 percent at the beginning of the month. Drought conditions continued to improve across the Southeast, Midwest, and along the northern and eastern periphery of the core drought areas of the Great Plains. Drought conditions worsened for parts of the Southwest, and drought continued for much of the Great Plains and Mountain West.
Several storms impacted the U.S. bringing record-breaking, late-season snowfall to central United States. According to data from the Rutgers Global Snow Lab, the April snow cover extent for the contiguous U.S. was approximately 480,000 square miles, 209,000 square miles above the 1981-2010 average and the 5thlargest April snow cover extent in the 47-year period of record. However, dismal snowpack continued in parts of the West, with only 18 percent of normal snowpack reported in the Sierra Nevada Mountains.
On a local basis, over three times as many record cold highs and lows occurred than record warm highs and lows. Approximately 3,430 record low temperatures and about 4,050 record cool daily high temperatureswere tied or broken. In comparison, approximately 690 record warm daily high temperature records and 1,570 record warm daily low temperatures were tied or broken.
March/April was the coldest since 1996 and 33rd coldest out of 119 years.
Climate Highlights - year-to-date (January - April)
The average temperature for the contiguous U.S. for the year-to-date period was 39.3°F, which was near the long-term average. Near to below-average temperatures were present from the Rockies, through the Plains and into the Ohio Valley. Near to above-average temperatures were observed in the West and the Northeast.
The nationally-averaged precipitation total for the year-to-date period was 8.94 inches, 0.13 inch below average.
Wetter-than-average conditions stretched from the Great Lakes, along the Mississippi River Valley, and into the Southeast. Michigan and Wisconsin each had their wettest January-April, with precipitation totals 5.26 inches and 3.62 inches above average, respectively. Minnesota, Iowa, Missouri, and Illinois also had a top ten wettest year-to-date period.
Much of the western and northeastern U.S. was drier than average during January-April. In the West,California had its driest year-to-date with a statewide precipitation total of 3.59 inches, 9.49 inches below average. Oregon, Nevada, and Idaho each had one of their ten driest year-to-date periods. In the Northeast,Connecticut, Maine, New Hampshire, and Vermont also had a top ten dry January-April.
The year-to-date USCEI was near-average. Despite the near-average USCEI, the extremes in 1-day precipitation totals and the component that examines the spatial extent of drought were both much above average.
By Caleb Shaw
Guest post by Caleb Shaw
I am having trouble getting to the bottom of a serious issue, (or a serious issue for a bird lover like myself.) It may well be that wind turbines are killing endangered birds, and may lead to the extinction of the California Condor and the Whooping Crane.
Because wind turbines involve a great deal of capital, (not merely the big-bucks of fat-cats, but also and especially the political capital surrounding the save-the-world idea of Global Warming,) the bullying of media-warping power politics seems to be involved. You can’t get a straight answer to a simple question.
All I want to know is whether or not the population of whooping crane has fallen by over a hundred, since wind turbines were erected in their flyways.
I think it may well have happened, but because the government would get bad press if such was “a fact,” the facts get muddled. The government is on record as saying wind turbines are good, and has invested huge amounts of taxpayer’s money in erecting them. They will downplay bad news. One way to downplay is to change the way of counting whooping cranes. For 61 years an aerial count was used. Now a new “hierarchical distance sampling” is used, and gives a number with an absurd degree of uncertainty. .
What is the degree of uncertainty? “Plus or minus 61 whooping cranes.” That could be as much as a half of the total population. It is a failure to give an honest questioner an honest answer.
261 would not be good news, but would indicate the population was at least holding steady, however, if you subtract 61 from the positive direction and go 61 in the other direction, you have 139 whooping cranes, which is an environmental disaster.
It also would be a political inconvenience, and a business inconvenience to all fat cats who have invested huge amounts of money into the enormous, towering, and very ugly turbines.
However I always thought true environmentalists didn’t care about what was inconvenient for politicians, and inconvenient for fat cats, and instead cared about what was inconvenient for whooping cranes.
When you can’t even get the data that matters, not even from the Environmental Protection Agency, it starts to look like environmentalists have been bought out by, and have sold out to, fat cats and politicians. I always thought that was the one thing that environmentalists never, ever would do.
I figured environmentalists needed to be warned. Therefore I left the following comment, (actually a sort of letter-to-the-editor,) at the environmentalist website Wind Turbine Syndrome, on the post.
“I have linked to your story in a post at my obscure website. I have also left links to your post when I comment at other websites.
The problem is that environmentalists have overused the sympathy of the public, because some less-than-altruistic environmentalists have raised the alarm, but have done so for reasons that involve political and even business interests. By allowing such people to infiltrate our ranks we have dug a grave for ourselves, because we are now like the little boy who cried wolf. When we raise the alarm, the public rolls their eyes and doesn’t listen.
An example of such a false alarm may well be the “snail darter,” which is a small fish which lives in a California delta. Because California’s climate has included both copious rainfalls and withering droughts, the delta has varied hugely, and the little fish has evolved to cope with tremendous variations. However the environmentalists involved made it sound like the slightest bit of irrigation in America’s richest farmland, (which has the longest growing season,) could wipe the obscure minnow out, by reducing the water in the delta.
While there are good arguments on both sides, the uproar made environmentalists look bad for two reasons. First, it made them look like they cared more for a few hundred minnows than feeding hundreds of thousands of Americans. Second, it made them look like liars, when it turned out that particular minnow had survived horrific historic droughts when the delta was practically dry. Once environmentalists have been made to look bad in this manner, the public is slow to forgive the stain on their reputation.
The whooping crane population was down to around 21 in 1941. It was only due to the work of altruistic environmentalists, who worked hand in hand with Washington DC, that the population bounced back to over 200. It is a triumph, and shows environmentalism at its best.
We need to return to that goodness, but we cannot do so with people who abuse environmentalism in our ranks. We are like a beautiful garden, but our ranks contain some rank weeds.
Some of our members are merely young, and need the guidance of older and wiser members. However others are rather obviously more interested in money, quick profits, and power politics than anything that has to do with keeping nature in balance, and beautiful creatures alive.
None of us much likes to be disagreeable, but we had better disagree with these people, who are actually fakes and phonies. In the most polite manner possible, we need to bring up the truth and demand the facts, and confront them. They are corrupting a beautiful thing, and if we don’t stand up for what environmentalism stands for, we are standing by as a sewer pipe pollutes a beautiful river, but in this case the river is environmentalism itself.
Shepherd or Shoot Goats in the Name of Climate Change
By Steve Goreham
Originally published in The Washington Times.
O’Hare airport will finally get its goats. The Department of Aviation of the City of Chicago has awarded a contract to a private firm to provide 25 goats to munch vegetation at the city’s airport. These “green lawn mowers” will help reduce carbon dioxide emissions to sustain the planet.
Last fall, when the project was bid, Amy Malick, head of sustainability at the Department of Aviation, commented on the planned use of goats in hard-to-mow areas, “They may have steep slopes, very hard to get to with heavy machinery, and those machines also emit pollution. They’re burning fossil fuel. So as a sustainability initiative we’re looking to bring in animals that do not have emissions associated with them, at least to the same extent that heavy machinery would.”
A shepherd will herd the goats across 120 acres at four different sites on airport property. The 25 fuzzy critters are expected to clear vegetation each day from a square at least sixteen feet on a side.
Chicago is not the first city to employ animals to reduce airport vegetation. Sheep are used at the Hartsfield-Jackson Atlanta International Airport and goats are used at San Francisco International. Seattle-Tacoma International Airport deployed goats as early as 2008, but stopped because “it was not cost effective.” How can a guy with a lawn mower be as cost effective as a herd of goats?
A single one-way Boeing 747 flight from Chicago to London emits about 200 tons of carbon dioxide, or about 5,000 times the annual emissions from a gasoline-powered lawn mower of a homeowner. It appears that emissions savings from O’Hare goats will be relatively small. But what about methane emissions from the herd?
On the other side of the world, about 10,000 miles from Chicago, the government of Australia has a different solution for global warming. More than a million wild camels, called “feral” camels, roam the outback of Australia. They munch up the foliage and emit methane, a potent greenhouse gas, from both the nose end and the tail end. Each camel produces more than one ton of CO2-equivalent emissions per year. Feral goats are also part of this severe climate problem.
But the enlightened Australian government passed the Carbon Farming Initiative Act in December of 2011. The act calls for “The reduction of methane emissions through the management, in a humane manner, of feral goats, feral deer, feral pigs, or feral camels.” “Management” companies are now flying over the outback, shooting goats and camels from helicopters, and earning carbon credits. Maybe the Aussies should use goats instead of lawn mowers at airports?
So goats are both grazed and shot to reduce those evil carbon dioxide emissions. It’s all part of this mad, mad, mad world of Climatism.
Steve Goreham is Executive Director of the Climate Science Coalition of America and author of the new book The Mad, Mad, Mad World of Climatism: Mankind and Climate Change Mania.
Without much fanfare, the Department of Energy (DOE) recently updated the list of loan guarantee projects on its website. Unlike in 2008, when Barack Obama pledged to create 5 million jobs over 10 years by directing taxpayer funds toward renewable energy projects, there were no press conferences or stump speeches. But the data are nonetheless revealing: for the over $26 billion spent since 2009, DOE Section 1703 and 1705 loan guarantees have created only 2,298 permanent jobs for a cost of over $11.45 million per job.
By Dr. David Deming
[Author’s note: this article was originally submitted as a “letter to the editor” to the Bellingham Herald, a newspaper that published an attack on Dr. Don Easterbrook. The Herald refused to publish my rebuttal. The executive editor, July Shirley (email@example.com) explained “We only print letters from residents of Whatcom County. We are not publishing your letter."]
Letter to the Editor by Dr. David Deming
I write in rebuttal to the March 31 letter by WWU geology faculty criticizing Dr. Don Easterbrook. I have a Ph.D in geophysics and have published research papers on climate change in the peer-reviewed scientific literature. In 2006 I testified before the US Senate on global warming. Additionally, I am the author of a three-volume history of science.
I have never met Don Easterbrook. I write not so much to defend him as to expose the ignorance exhibited in the letter authored by WWU geology faculty. Their attack on Dr. Easterbrook is the most egregious example of pedantic buffoonery since the Pigeon League conspired against Galileo in the seventeenth century. Skepticism is essential to science. But the goal of the geology faculty at WWU seems to be to suppress critical inquiry and insist on dogmatic adherence to ideology.
The WWU faculty never defined the term “global warming” but described it as “very real,” as if it were possible for something to be more real than real. They claimed that the evidence in support of this “very real” global warming was “overwhelming.” Yet they could not find space in their letter to cite a single specific fact that supports their thesis.
There is significant evidence that would tend to falsify global warming. The mean global air temperature has not risen for the last fifteen years. At the end of March the global extent of sea ice was above the long-term average and higher than it was in March of 1980. Last December, snow cover in the northern hemisphere was at the highest level since record keeping began in 1966. The UK just experienced the coldest March of the last fifty years. There has been no increase in droughts or wildfires. Worldwide hurricane and cyclone activity is near a forty-year low.
One might think that the foregoing facts would raise doubts in scientists interested in pursuing objective truth. But global warming is not so much a scientific theory subject to empirical falsification as it is a political ideology that must be fiercely defended in defiance of every fact to the contrary. In the past few years we have been told that not only hot weather but cold weather is caused by global warming. The blizzards that struck the east coast of the US in 2010 were attributed to global warming. Every weather event hot, cold, wet or dry is said to be caused by global warming. The theory that explains everything explains nothing.
Among the gems in the endless litany of nonsense we are subjected to are claims that global warming causes earthquakes, tsunamis and volcanic eruptions. Last year we were warned that global warming would turn us all into hobbits, the mythical creatures from J. R. R. Tolkien’s novels. I am not aware of any member of the WWU geology faculty criticizing these ridiculous claims. Their vehemence seems to be reserved for honest skeptics like Dr. Easterbrook who advance science by asking hard questions.
At the heart of the WWU geology faculty criticisms was the claim that peer review creates objective and reliable knowledge. Nonsense. Peer review produces opinions. Scientists, like other people, have political beliefs, ideological orientations, and personal views that strain their scientific objectivity. One of the most disgusting things to emerge from the 2009 Climategate emails was the revelation of an attempt to subvert the peer-review process by suppressing the publication of work that was scientifically sound but contrary to the reviewer’s personal views.
The infamous phrase “hide the decline” refers to an instance where a global warming alarmist omitted data that contradicted his personal belief that the world was warming. This sort of bias is not limited but pervasive. Neither is science a foolproof method for producing absolute truth. Scientific knowledge is always tentative and subject to revision. The entire history of science is littered with discarded theories once thought to be incontrovertible truths.
The WWU geology faculty letter asserted that technological advances arise from application of the scientific method. They claimed that airplanes were invented by scientists. But the Wright brothers were bicycle mechanics not scientists. The modern age of personal computing began in a suburban California garage in 1976. The most significant technological advance in human history was the Industrial Revolution in Britain that occurred from 1760 through 1830. When Adam Smith toured factories and inquired as to who had invented the new machinery, the answer was always the same: the common workman. Antibiotics were not discovered through the rigorous application of scientific methodology but serendipitously when Fleming noticed in 1928 that mold suppressed bacterial growth.
Dr. Easterbrook’s contributions have furthered the advance of scientific knowledge and the progress of the human race. It matters not if a multitude of professors oppose him. As Galileo explained, it is “certain that the number of those who reason well in difficult matters is much smaller than the number of those who reason badly...reasoning is like running and not like carrying, and one Arab steed will outrun a hundred jackasses.”
Professor of Arts & Sciences
University of Oklahoma
email: ddeming [at] ou.edu
Joseph D’Aleo, CCM
The hemispheric snow extent for the November to March snow season was the second highest on record behind only 1977/79. 3 of the top 5 snowiest such periods have occurred in the last 5 years amazingly.
Month by month:
November was the 5th snowiest (47 years):
December was the snowiest
January was the 6th snowiest
February was the 16th snowiest
March was the 16th snowiest
And it continues into April.
Alarmists who had predicted boldly that global warming would make snow a rare occurrence in years ahead, but with like so many other failed predictions, they quickly scramble to take credit for the opposite extreme. You an expect them to attempt to convince the clueless and compliant media this is due to a demise of the arctic ice with open water introducing heat and high pressure to the polar atmosphere. But the low ice in September quickly gave way to a rather normal ice coverage this winter. It is more likely the result of the warm AMO which trims the eastern edge of the ice and feeds blocking high pressure aloft AND the low sun which has caused each of the last 7 years to show a strong stratospheric warming. These are mainly observed near solar maxes and mins. We have solar max but one with very low sunspot numbers and geomagnetic activity - a throwback to the cycle 5 in 1798 at the start of the Dalton Minimum. Note the stratospheric warmings and the QBO (Quasi Biennial Oscillation) in this diagram from Labitzke et al. 2011/12 had a warming but it was biased to the eastern arctic (why North America was so warm and Eurasia so cold). Note the continuing low solar activity.
Drew Shindell of NASA shows in 1999 how the low solar of the Maunder Minimum led to cold like we have seen in recent years in Europe and at times North America and favored blocking in the Atlantic. As the sun declines into the minimum of cycle 25 the next 5 years, we might expect more snowy cold winters.
By RIch Lowry
There are few things sadder than the “climate denier.” He ignores the data and neglects the latest science. His rhetoric and policy proposals are dangerously disconnected from reality. He can’t recalibrate to take account of the latest evidence because, well, he’s a denier.
The new climate deniers are the liberals who, despite their obsession with climate change, have managed to miss the biggest story in climate science, which is that there hasn’t been any global warming for about a decade and a half.
“Over the past 15 years air temperatures at the Earth’s surface have been flat while greenhouse-gas emissions have continued to soar,” The Economist magazine writes. “The world added roughly 100 billion tons of carbon to the atmosphere between 2000 and 2010. That is about a quarter of all the CO2 put there by humanity since 1750.” Yet, no more warming.
The Economist has been decidedly alarmist on global warming through the years, so it deserves credit for pausing to consider why the warming trend it expected to continue has mysteriously stalled out.
The deniers feel no such compunction. They speak as if it is still the late 1990s, when measurements of global temperature had been rising for two decades. In his State of the Union address, President Obama said that “we can choose to believe in the overwhelming judgment of science and act before it’s too late.” In a passage devoted to global warming, though, he didn’t mention the latest trend in global warming.
A denier feels the same righteous sense of certitude now, when warming has stopped, as he did a decade ago. Washington Post columnist Eugene Robinson recently opined that “sensible people accept the fact of warming” - but apparently not the fact of no-warming. He scorned those “who manipulate the data in transparently bogus ways to claim that warming has halted or even reversed course.”
Does he include James Hansen, the famous NASA scientist, among these dastardly manipulators? No one this side of Al Gore has warned as persistently about global warming as Hansen. He nonetheless admits that “the five-year mean global temperature has been flat for a decade.”
None of this means that the Earth didn’t get hotter in the 20th century, or that carbon emissions don’t tend to create a warmer planet, or that warming won’t necessarily begin again. It does mean that we know less about the fantastically complex global climate system than global-warming alarmists have been willing to admit.
The Economist notes the work of Ed Hawkins of the University of Reading in Britain. He has found that if global temperatures stay the same for a few more years, they will fall below the range of 20 climate models. In other words, the scientific “consensus” will have been proven wrong.
Why the stall in warming? According to The Economist, maybe we’ve overestimated the warming impact of clouds. Or maybe some clouds cool instead of warm the planet. Or maybe the oceans are absorbing heat from the atmosphere. Although the surface temperature of the oceans hasn’t been rising, perhaps the warming is happening deep down.
James Hansen thinks new coal-fired plants in China and India, releasing so-called aerosols into the atmosphere that act to suppress warming, may be partly responsible for the stasis in temperatures.
Hansen writes that knowing more about the effect of aerosols on the climate “requires accurate knowledge of changes in aerosol amount, size distribution, absorption and vertical distribution on a global basis - as well as simultaneous data on changes in cloud properties to allow inference of the indirect aerosol forcing via induced cloud changes.” Is that all?
He ruefully notes that the launch of a satellite with a sensor to measure all of this failed, with no followup mission planned.
Hey, but don’t worry. The science is all “settled.”
What is beginning to seem more likely is that the “sensitivity” of the global climate to carbon emissions has been overestimated. If so, the deniers will be the last to admit it.
Ron Arnold. Portions appearing in the Washington Examiner
Anonymous hero who exposed the global warming emails tells the world why he did it and releases a huge final trove of secret conversations.
“What if climate change appears to be just mainly a multi-decadal natural fluctuation? They’ll kill us probably.”
“What if climate change appears to be just mainly a multi-decadal natural fluctuation? They’ll kill us probably.”
This private musing between two climate scientist colleagues first surfaced along with a whole raft of embarrassing material in 2011, when the anonymous Climategate leaker who calls himself “Mr. FOIA” leaked his second set of emails from Britain’s disgraced Climate Research Unit (CRU) at the University of East Anglia. Now, Mr. FOIA has emerged for a third time, sharing with the world not only his entire batch of 220,000 encrypted emails and documents but also, for the first time, his thoughts.
Mr. FOIA had previously released two batches of 5,000 files each in 2009 and 2011. This enormous third batch went to a network of friends for decoding, sorting and publication.
The first and second email batches contained conversations among “scientists” who appear to have dishonored a once respectable discipline, documenting that their claims of a “man-made global warming crisis” look exactly like deliberate contrivances for academic career gain, research funding and positions of political power in “the cause.”
Some big-name players are playing games with people’s lives and livelihoods.
Biggest Player. The United Nations Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) is the scientific panel whose reports contain the work of Climategate figures and are highly politicized and publicized to increase fear of Anthropogenic Global Warming (AGW): “imminent catastrophic man-made climate change.” Many horrendously expensive and needless local, state, federal and international policies have flowed from IPCC’s flawed reports.
Most Powerful Symbol. Professor Michael Mann’s “Hockey Stick Graph” was featured prominently in the 2001 IPCC Third Assessment Report. It alleged that global temperatures were flat for a thousand years before 1900, but then radically increased because of AGW. The chart looks like a hockey stick, a long straight line that bends sharply upward at the end. With recent IPCC admissions that temperatures have not increased for at least the past 16 years, the curve has now plunged downward to become as flat as the rest of the hockey stick, which is where public trust in climate science is headed.
The Game. “The game is communicating climate change; the rules will help us win it,” says an astounding, horrifying UK government funded booklet leaked by Mr. FOIA titled “The Rules of the Game: Evidence base for the Climate Change Communications Strategy.” Written by the UK public relations firm Futerra for six UK agencies including The Carbon Trust for use by ethics and public relations tone-deaf scientists.
“The Rules” teaches sophisticated behavior change tactics, including: “Climate change must be ‘front of mind’ before persuasion works” ..."Link climate change mitigation to positive desires/aspirations"..."Beware the impacts of cognitive dissonance” and “Use emotions and visuals” (e.g., scare people with the Hockey Stick Graph). It treats the public like gullible idiots who can be frightened and manipulated by seemingly trustworthy scientists to believe in AGW. For a long time, it worked.
The Team. Phil Jones, head of the CRU; Peter Thorne of the UK Met Office (the national weather service, originally the Meteorological Office) was joined by Kevin Trenberth,climate analysis section head of the U.S. National Center for Atmospheric Research (NCAR); TomWigley, also of NCAR; and the litigious Penn State University Hockey Stick originator, Michael Mann.
James M. Taylor, senior fellow for environment policy at The Heartland Institute, sums their actions up this way. The team consciously distorted and actively suppressed critical knowledge, then furiously tried to hide their actions by conducting a vicious smear campaign to discredit critics.
Consciously distorted: NCAR’s Wigley once complained to Mann, “Mike, the Figure you sent is very deceptive ...there have been a number of dishonest presentations of model results by individual authors and by IPCC...”
Peter Thorne of the UK Met Office warned Phil Jones, head of the CRU: “Observations do not show rising temperatures throughout the tropical troposphere, unless you accept one single study and approach and discount a wealth of others. This is just downright dangerous. We need to communicate the uncertainty and be honest. Phil, hopefully we can find time to discuss these further if necessary. I also think the science is being manipulated to put a political spin on it, which for all our sakes might not be too clever in the long run.”
Suppressed critical knowledge: Phil Jones wrote, “I’ve been told that IPCC is above national FOI Acts. One way to cover yourself and all those working on the IPCC 5th Assessment Report would be to delete all emails at the end of the process. Any work we have done in the past is done on the back of the research grants we get and has to be well hidden. I’ve discussed this with the main funder [the U.S. Department of Energy] in the past and they are happy about not releasing the original station data.” The U.S. government was colluding with the hiders, who received tens of millions of dollars over the years.
Jones wrote to Mann, “Mike, can you delete any emails you may have had with KeithBriffare AR4 [the IPCC 4th Assessment Report]? Keith will do likewise...We will be getting Caspar Ammann to do likewise.”
Tom Crowley, a key member of Mann’s global warming hockey team, showed crass disregard for the lying and hiding: “I am not convinced that the ‘truth’ is always worth reaching, if it is at the cost of damaged personal relationships.” It’s more important to keep the career back-scratching team happy.
The distortion, spin, suppression and smear campaign went on for years. In fact, the revelations sparked a furious “hide the lies” denial campaign that ironically calls skeptics “deniers.” What the skeptics actually deny is that there has been much honest science involved in the IPCC process; that there is any evidence to support claims that we face an imminent climate crisis; and that humans are primarily responsible for weather and climate variations that have always been controlled by hundreds of complex, inter-related natural forces and processes.
“Hide the lies” generated lawsuits between climate science “believers” (what kind of real science requires belief?) and skeptics of “dangerous man-made planetary warming” along with ridiculous conspiracy theories such as “Big Oil hired evil hackers in a plot to discredit angelic climate scientists.”
Mr. FOIA denies these absurd allegations in his 3.0 message."I took what I deemed the most defensible course of action, and would do it again,” he said. “That’s right; no conspiracy, no paid hackers, no Big Oil. The Republicans didn’t plot this. USA politics is alien to me, neither am I from the UK. There is life outside the Anglo-American sphere.”
“The first glimpses I got behind the scenes did little to garner my trust in the state of climate science, on the contrary,” Mr. FOIA continued. “I found myself in front of a choice that just might have a global impact. Reveal what he had discovered, or keep it to himself and let the lies continue?”
Didn’t he fear discovery? “When I had to balance the interests of my own safety, the privacy and career of a few scientists, and the well-being of billions of people living in the coming several decades… millions and billions already struggling with malnutrition, sickness, violence, illiteracy, etc....the first two weren’t the decisive concern.”
Why did he do it? His answer was both angry and anguished: “Climate science has already directed where humanity puts its capability, innovation, mental and material ‘might’ .... The price of ‘climate protection’ with its cumulative and collateral effects is bound to destroy and debilitate in great numbers, for decades and generations,” he wrote. “We can’t pour trillions in this massive hole digging and filling up endeavor and pretend it’s not [taking] away from something and someone else.”
That’s the most important statement so far in the decades-old climate debate: You’re forcing us backward into poverty and ignorance for nothing, except to further your careers, funding and power.
Less than a week later, London’s Mail on Sunday newspaper ran an outraged feature based on the British Meteorological Office’s recent admission that global surface temperatures haven’t risen in more than 15 years. Citing a chart of predicted and actual temperatures, the Mail noted: “Official predictions of global climate warming have been catastrophically flawed. The graph on this page blows apart the ‘scientific basis’ for Britain reshaping its entire economy and spending billions in taxes and subsidies in order to cut emissions of greenhouse gases. The chart shows in incontrovertible detail how the speed of global warming has been massively overestimated. Yet those forecasts have had a ruinous impact on the bills we pay, from heating to car fuel to huge sums paid by councils to reduce carbon emissions. The eco debate was, in effect, hijacked by false data.”
Is it improper to label the people responsible for this costly, miserable catastrophe as “eco-thugs”? And should we worry that the latest no real energy “energy security” proposal from the White House is telling us that President Obama has become America’s “Eco thug in Chief,” who will continue to peddle fraudulent science and nearly worthless renewable energy to further his agenda? It’s worth pondering.
A set of pro forma “investigations” claim to have exonerated PSU’s Mann. The internal PSU inquiry with no impartial truth-seekers involved was not going to harm their grant-getting cash cow Mann; instead, it whitewashed the evidence to ensure the preferred conclusion. Professional science groups that relied upon public funding for their financial survival fell in line behind a huge Tom Sawyer campaign of “exoneration.” There was no exoneration.
Summaries presented in court filings for the case of American Tradition Institute v. University of Virginia and Michael Mann which demands release of Michael Mann’s emails say, “Mann has never been exonerated. Exoneration requires investigation; investigation requires pursuit aimed at discovering material facts. Mann’s employer since 2005, Penn State University, has conducted no such thing. Neither has the University of Virginia.”
The same conclusion applies to the UK’s Muir Russell and Oxburgh inquiries, which didn’t even mention Mann, because they were “investigating” only employees of the CRU.
I asked Christopher C. Horner, senior fellow at the Competitive Enterprise Institute and attorney in the ATI v.UVa/Mann lawsuit for his take on the leaker’s message. He told me, “Whatever prompted ‘Mr. FOIA’, I take it as a statement that, so far, the courts have failed us, as have our political institutions and he has concluded that those in the public who have resisted the climate industry agenda should now have a chance to review these taxpayer-financed records, which are the subject of a remarkable campaign to subvert transparency laws.”
We ourselves can’t avoid blame for the science disaster uncovered by Mr. FOIA. As Peter Foster of London’s Financial Times noted, we didn’t heed President Dwight Eisenhower’s warning. “Most people are aware of Ike’s warning in 1961 about the military-industrial complex,” Foster wrote. Our fatal error was to ignore what he said next: “In holding scientific research and discovery in respect, as we should, we must also be alert to the equal and opposite danger that public policy could itself become the captive of a scientific-technological elite.” [emphasis added]
Americans won’t take captivity. It’s time to demote our climate masters to our humble servants. We won’t kill them. But we should sentence them to prison or Siberia, where they’ll wish the climate was warming.
Dr Roy Spencer
Ryan Maue at weatherbell.com has this CFS v2 global February analysis.
I thought you would enjoy Dr Roy Spencer's analysis of the February data and the links to ENSO. The climate world admits to the ENSO influence, but dares not talk about the multidecdal PDO and AMO because that would raise the possibility of someone realizing global temperatures change naturally due to variations of these cycles. it they blame the lack of warming since 1998 on the PDO, then they can't not admit the warming from 1979 to 1998 could be largely doe to the +PDO and dominiance of El Ninis (3 to 1 over La Ninas). It is very clear in the US and arctic temperatures.
Global Microwave Sea Surface Temperature Update for Feb. 2013: -0.01 deg. C
March 4th, 2013
The global average sea surface temperature (SST) update for Feb. 2013 is -0.01 deg. C, relative to the 2003-2006 average: (click for large version)
The anomalies are computed relative to only 2003-2006 because those years were relatively free of El Nino and La Nina activity, which if included would cause temperature anomaly artifacts in other years. Thus, these anomalies cannot be directly compared to, say, the Reynolds anomalies which extend back to the early 1980s. Nevertheless, they should be useful for monitoring signs of ocean surface warming, which appears to have stalled since at least the early 2000’s. (For those who also track our lower tropospheric temperature ["LT"] anomalies, these SST anomalies average about 0.19 deg. C cooler over 2003 to 2006.)
The SST retrievals come from Remote Sensing Systems (RSS), and are based upon passive microwave observations of the ocean surface from AMSR-E on NASA’s Aqua satellite, the TRMM satellite Microwave Imager (TMI), and WindSat. While TMI has operated continuously through the time period (but only over the tropics and subtropics), AMSR-E stopped nominal operation in October 2011, after which Remote Sensing Systems patched in SST data from WindSat. The various satellite datasets have been carefully intercalibrated by RSS.
Despite the relatively short period of record, I consider this dataset to be the most accurate depiction of SST variability over the last 10+ years due to these instruments’ relative insensitivity to contamination by clouds and aerosols at 6.9 GHz and 10.7 GHz.
Our Version 5.5 global average lower tropospheric temperature (LT) anomaly for February, 2013 is +0.18 deg. C, a large decrease from January’s +0.50 deg. C. (click for large version):
These large month-to-month changes are not that uncommon, especially during Southern Hemisphere summer, and are due to small variations (several percent) in the convective heat flux from the ocean surface to the atmosphere.
The global, hemispheric, and tropical LT anomalies from the 30-year (1981-2010) average for the last 14 months are:
YR MON GLOBAL NH SH TROPICS
2012 1 -0.134 -0.065 -0.203 -0.256
2012 2 -0.135 +0.018 -0.289 -0.320
2012 3 +0.051 +0.119 -0.017 -0.238
2012 4 +0.232 +0.351 +0.114 -0.242
2012 5 +0.179 +0.337 +0.021 -0.098
2012 6 +0.235 +0.370 +0.101 -0.019
2012 7 +0.130 +0.256 +0.003 +0.142
2012 8 +0.208 +0.214 +0.202 +0.062
2012 9 +0.339 +0.350 +0.327 +0.153
2012 10 +0.333 +0.306 +0.361 +0.109
2012 11 +0.282 +0.299 +0.265 +0.172
2012 12 +0.206 +0.148 +0.264 +0.138
2013 1 +0.504 +0.555 +0.453 +0.371
2013 2 +0.176 +0.369 -0.016 +0.169
Tropical SSTs Since 1998: Latest Climate Models Warm 3x Too fast
February 21st, 2013
Following up on yesterday’s post, I’d like to address the more general question of tropical sea surface temperatures since 1998. Why haven’t they warmed? Of course, much has been made by some people about the fact that even global average temperatures have not warmed significantly since the 1997/98 El Nino event.
Using the Tropical Rain Measuring Mission (TRMM) Microwave Imager (TMI) SSTs available from Remote Sensing Systems (all 15 GB worth), here I will statistically adjust tropical SSTs for El Nino and La Nina activity, and see how the resulting trend since 1998 compares to the latest crop of IPCC CMIP5 model runs. We will restrict the analysis to 20N to 20S latitude band, which is the usual latitudinal definition of “tropical”.
The resulting TRMM TMI SST anomalies since January 1998 through last month look like this:
The up and down variations are clearly related to El Nino and La Nina activity, as evidenced by this plot of the Multivariate ENSO Index (MEI):
We can then plot these SST and MEI data against each other…
...and use this statistical relationship to estimate SST from MEI, and then subtract that from the original SST data to get an estimate (however crude) of how the SSTs might have behaved without the presence of El Nino and La Nina activity (the blue line):
Note that I have now averaged the monthly data to yearly, and this last plot also shows an average of 35 CMIP5 climate models SSTs during 1998-2012 for the same (tropical) latitude band, courtesy of John Christy and the KNMI climate explorer website. Also note I have plotted all three time series as departures from their respective 1998/99 2-year average.
The decadal linear temperature trends are:
un-adj. SST: = -0.010 C/decade
MEI-adj. SST: +0.056 C/decade
CMIP5 SST: +0.172 C/decade
So, even after adjusting for El Nino and La Nina activity, the last 15 years in the tropics have seen (adjusted) warming at only 1/3 the rate which the CMIP5 models create when they are forced with anthropogenic greenhouse gases.
Now, one might object that you really can’t adjust SSTs by subtracting out an ENSO component. OK, then, don’t adjust them. Since the observed SST warming without adjustments is essentially zero, then the models warm infinitely faster than the observations. There.
Why Have the Models Warmed Too Fast?
My personal opinion is that the models have cloud feedbacks (and maybe other feedbacks) wrong, and that the real climate system is simply not as sensitive to increasing CO2 as the modelers have programmed the models to be.
But there are other possibilities, all theoretical:
1) Ocean mixing: a recent increase in ocean vertical mixing would cause the surface to warm more slowly than expected, and the cold, deep ocean to very slowly warm. But it is debatable whether the ARGO float deep-ocean temperature data are sufficiently accurate to monitor deep ocean warming to the levels we are talking about (hundredths of a degree).
2) Increasing atmospheric aerosols: This has been the modelers’ traditional favorite fudge factor to make climate models keep from warming at an unrealistic rate...a manmade aerosol cooling effect “must be” cancelling out the manmade CO2 warming effect. Possible? I suppose. But blaming a LACK of warming on humans seems a little bizarre. The simpler explanation is feedbacks: the climate system simply doesn’t care that much if we put aerosols *OR* CO2 in the atmosphere.
3) Increasing CO2 doesn’t cause a radiative warming influence (radiative forcing) of the surface and lower atmosphere.
I’m only including that last one because, in science, just about anything is possible. But my current opinion is that the science on radiative forcing by increasing CO2 is pretty sound. The big uncertainty is how the system responds (feedbacks).