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ICECAP in the News
Aug 31, 2007
Models Trump Measurements

By Lawrence Solomon, Financial Post

We are doomed, say climate change scientists associated with the United Nations Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change, the United Nations body that is organizing most of the climate change research occurring in the world today. Carbon dioxide from man-made sources rises to the atmosphere and then stays there for 50, 100, or even 200 years. This unprecedented buildup of CO2 then traps heat that would otherwise escape our atmosphere, threatening us all.

“This is nonsense,” says Tom V. Segalstad, head of the Geological Museum at the University of Oslo and formerly an expert reviewer with the same IPCC. He laments the paucity of geologic knowledge among IPCC scientists—a knowledge that is central to understanding climate change, in his view, since geologic processes ultimately determine the level of atmospheric CO2.

“The IPCC needs a lesson in geology to avoid making fundamental mistakes,” he says. “Most leading geologists, throughout the world, know that the IPCC’s view of Earth processes are implausible if not impossible.”

Catastrophic theories of climate change depend on carbon dioxide staying in the atmosphere for long periods of time—otherwise, the CO2 enveloping the globe wouldn’t be dense enough to keep the heat in. Until recently, the world of science was near-unanimous that CO2 couldn’t stay in the atmosphere for more than about five to 10 years because of the oceans’ near-limitless ability to absorb CO2.
Amazingly, the hypothetical results from climate models have trumped the real world measurements of carbon dioxide’s longevity in the atmosphere. Those who claim that CO2 lasts decades or centuries have no such measurements or other physical evidence to support their claims. Neither can they demonstrate that the various forms of measurement are erroneous.

“They don’t even try,” says Prof. Segalstad. “They simply dismiss evidence that is, for all intents and purposes, irrefutable. Instead, they substitute their faith, constructing a kind of science fiction or fantasy world in the process.”

Read full story here.

Aug 30, 2007
National Wildlife Federation

By Craig Woods, WOOD TV8 Blog

I have somehow gotten on the email list for the National Wildlife Federation and just last week I received an email written by Amanda Staudt, Ph.D. She is apparently the climate scientist for that organization. She has great credentials; she “directed the National Academies of Science Climate Research Committee and helped author more than a dozen reports on topics including the U.S. strategy for supporting climate change research, radiative forcing of climate, past records of surface temperature, and practices for effective global change assessments. She holds a Ph.D. in atmospheric sciences (2001) and an A.B. in environmental engineering and sciences (1996) from Harvard University.”

So you’d think she’d know better than to make the following pronouncements: “Hurricane Dean: A Sign of Storms To Come” “Global Warming is Putting Hurricanes on Steroids”

I wonder if she has read any of the papers by Roger Pielke Sr., Roger Pielke Jr, Phil Klotzbach from Colorado State, Chris Landsea from the National Hurricane Center and others, or read about this workshop held by the World Meteorological Organization, who say the evidence does not support such a claim—probably not.

It is interesting to note that in 1955, Hurricane Janet, another category 5 storm, hit at approximately the same location as Dean in the Yucatan, near Chetumal, and claimed 600 lives. Dean didn’t claim any in the Yucatan this year.

Read more in Craig’s blog here.

Aug 30, 2007
Scientists Warm Up to Watts’ Work

By Ryan Olson - Staff Writer, Chico Enterprise Record

During a scientific workshop this week in Boulder, Colo., Watts presented his research on hundreds of weather stations used to help monitor the nation’s climate.  The preliminary results show Watts and his volunteers have surveyed about a quarter of the 1,221 stations making up the U.S. Historical Climatology Network. Of those, more than half appear to fall short of federal guidelines for optimum placement.

Some examples include weather stations placed near sewage treatment plants, parking lots, and near cars, buildings and air-conditioners — all artificial heat sources which could affect temperature records.

Watts was surprised at how well his work was received after his 15-minute presentation.

“I was very, very worried that I would be seen as an outsider with a heretical idea,” Watts said during a telephone interview Wednesday.
Watts said his findings show there are potential problems with the placement of many weather stations. Although it’s not conclusive, temperature records from many stations, reposted on Watts’ blog, showed notable increases after being moved closer to heat sources.

Watts and his volunteers are continuing to investigate the 1,221 USHCN observer stations. The stations are monitored by a branch of the National Oceanographic and Atmospheric Administration.

Jay Lawrimore, chief of NOAA’s National Climatic Data Center, said he’s aware of Watts’ work. He said his center invites anyone with expertise to contribute to the scientific process. “I think any effort to better understand the observation system that’s used to collect data and analyze it is helpful,” he said.

For the USHCN stations being checked by Watts and others, Lawrimore said there are checks to ensure the data is accurate. Some stations are placed on less-than-ideal sites, but he said it’s important to note the impact of those has been analyzed and accounted for. NOAA is working on a new network of weather stations called the Climate Reference Network. Lawrimore said the new system is being built with climate in mind and is geared to avoid artificial factors that affect readings.  Read full story here.

Aug 28, 2007
Global Warming: Man-Made or Natural?

By Dr. Fred Singer

In the past few years there has been increasing concern about global climate change on the part of the media, politicians, and the public. It has been stimulated by the idea that human activities may influence global climate adversely and that therefore corrective action is required on the part of governments. Recent evidence suggests that this concern is misplaced. Human activities are not influencing the global climate in a perceptible way. Climate will continue to change, as it always has in the past, warming and cooling on different time scales and for different reasons, regardless of human action. I would also argue that—should it occur—a modest warming would be on the whole beneficial.

This is not to say that we don’t face a serious problem. But the problem is political. Because of the mistaken idea that governments can and must do something about climate, pressures are building that have the potential of distorting energy policies in a way that will severely damage national economies, decrease standards of living, and increase poverty. This misdirection of resources will adversely affect human health and welfare in industrialized nations, and even more in developing nations. Thus it could well lead to increased social tensions within nations and conflict between them.

If not for this economic and political damage, one might consider the present concern about climate change nothing more than just another environmentalist fad, like the Alar apple scare or the global cooling fears of the 1970s. Given that so much is at stake, however, it is essential that people better understand the issue.  For Dr. Singer’s take on the issue, read full lecture here. 

Aug 27, 2007
Please Pass the Salt

No matter whether it is record cold and snow as we saw this winter in the Southern Hemisphere in Africa, Australia and South America or heat waves as we saw this summer in the southeastern United States, or drought (as forecast by the UK Met Office for the UK this summer), or floods (as we actually saw in the UK and parts of the United States upper midwest this summer), the reason given is always global warming or man-made climate change. Now scientists can’t agree on whether the North Atlantic is becoming more or less salty although they agree, in either case, global warming is surely to blame. 

Since the late 1960s, much of the North Atlantic Ocean has become less salty, in part due to increases in fresh water runoff induced by global warming, scientists say. Michael Schirber, LiveScience, 29 June 2005 .

The surface waters of the North Atlantic are getting saltier, suggests a new study of records spanning over 50 years. They found that during this time, the layer of water that makes up the top 400 metres has gradually become saltier. The seawater is probably becoming saltier due to global warming, Boyer says. Catherine Brahic, New Scientist, 23 August 2007

Aug 20, 2007
Watts Rattles Global Warming Theologians

By Bill Steigerwald, Townhall.com

Big things happen when you’re discovered by the Drudge Report. Ask Anthony Watts. He’s the veteran meteorologist from Chico, Calif., who was featured in the June 17 edition of this column because of his project to quality-check the 1,221 official weather stations used to take the country’s average surface temperature.

In the hours after DrudgeReport.com posted The Pittsburgh Tribune’s “scoop” about Watts, his Web site Watt’s Up With That? was visited by 20,000 people. Normally it gets 3,000 hits a month, which is why he had to shut it down. Fox News, Rush Limbaugh and Sean Hannity subsequently did pieces on Watts’ project, which is not looked upon warmly by climate-change alarmists. Predictably, the liberal media ignored Watts.

Watts and his volunteers have now surveyed about 227 weather stations. A recent discovery: Many are sited at water sewage treatment plants, which Watts described as “giant heat bubbles.”

A responsible scientist, Watts won’t draw any conclusions from his research yet. But one top climate scientist—NASA’s James Hansen, the patron saint of the apocalyptic global warming movement—apparently doesn’t think Watts’ dogged pursuit of scientific certainty matters much. Read more here.

Aug 19, 2007
“Lights Out Upstairs”

By Stephen McIntyre, Climate Audit

James Hansen has published an online letter entitled A Light On Upstairs? The letter concludes by saying:

“My apologies if the quick response that I sent to Andy Revkin and several other journalists, including the suggestion that it was a tempest inside somebody’s teapot dome, and that perhaps a light was not on upstairs, was immoderate. It was not ad hominem, though.”

I haven’t seen the original letter and don’t know who the comment was about. However, it certainly sounds like an ad hominem remark and one that is highly inappropriate for a federal civil servant. I have a number of comments about other aspects of the letter.

Icecap note: See how Stephen then goes on to show how GISS has bounced around three times in their analysis of US since 1999, first with the result of lowering the temperatures in the warm 1930s and 1940s and raising those in recent years thus exaggerating the warming signature in the recent data then reversing it again with the latest adjustment.  Claims that anomalies the adjustments the United States only don’t hold water. Steve shows how the arctic adjustments have been just as significant. These flips and flops has to raise questions about the integrity and reliability of the global data sets for climate change assessment.

As Steve in his blog puts it:  “Whether these adjustments prove justified or not, modifications to the temperature record of this magnitude surely warrant the most careful scrutiny before turning the “lights out upstairs.” See the full blogs and the charts within here.

Aug 15, 2007
A Report from the Global Warming Battlefield

By Dr. Roy Spencer, University of Alabama at Huntsville

In case you hadn’t noticed, the global warming debate has now escalated from a minor skirmish to an all-out war. Although we who are skeptical of the claim that global warming is mostly manmade have become accustomed to being the ones that take on casualties, last week was particularly brutal for those who say we have only 8 years and 5 months left to turn things around, greenhouse gas emissions-wise. I’m talking about the other side - the global warming alarmists.

First, NASA’s James Hansen and his group had to fix a Y2K bug that a Canadian statistician found in their processing of the thermometer data. As a result, 1998 is no longer the warmest year on record in the United States - 1934 is. The temperature adjustment is admittedly small, yet there seemed to be no rush to retract the oft-repeated alarmist statements that have seared “1998!” into our brains as the rallying cry for the fight against global warming.

Then, the issue of spurious heat influences on the thermometers that NOAA uses to monitor global temperatures has reared its ugly head. Personally, I’ve been waiting for this one for a long time. Ordinary citizens are now traveling throughout their home states, taking pictures of the local conditions around these thermometer sites.

Next, my own unit and I published satellite measurements that clearly show a natural cooling mechanism in the tropics which all of the leading computerized climate models have been insisting is a warming mechanism (Spencer et al., August 9, 2007 Geophysical Research Letters).

Next, I’m happy to report that we skeptics have been getting a steady stream of new recruits. In the last year or so, more and more scientists have been coming out of the closet and admitting they’ve had some doubts about this whole global warming thing. In fact, chances are that your favorite TV weather person is a closet skeptic (unless it’s Heidi Cullen). But please observe the “don’t ask - don’t tell” rule. Most broadcast meteorologists are not ready for the public embarrassment that would accompany their outing. Read more here.

Also see Roy’s important blog post on Climate Science this week.

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