By Art Horn, Meteorologist
What has been lacking from the global warming story is a balanced viewpoint. Without some balance to the global warming story people can’t have a proper perspective on the issue. If all you watch is a black and white TV how can you know that the colors give you a better picture. The internet has helped to add some color and balance to the picture. The information revolution that is the internet has allowed scientists to circumvent the usual media highway. And it’s beginning to have an effect. People want to know what is really going on with our climate machine. At least those who want to listen and are open minded. And that is most people I believe.
I perform a program about climate change and global warming at various public and private functions. Recently I was picketed by people who seemed to feel that their opinion is the only one that should be heard or viewed. During my program I was continually interrupted by members of this group. Eventually they were quieted by other members of the audience. I thought this behavior curious because after all if they feel so confident that their opinion about what causes climate change is true why would they fear someone who does not agree with them? The answer is because they are not open minded people. If society is going to make informed decisions about this issue they need to know what is real and what is not or questionable. Free speech is a big part of what this county was founded on.
In the end nature itself with show us the answers. There is nothing that we can do about that. The truth is that there has been no rise in global temperature for 10 years. The major players in the climate machine are performing as they have for all of time. The changes in the relatively short term climate (25 to 30 years) have already started and will be self evident. The Pacific Ocean has turned colder again. The sun appears to be going into a quiet period not seen in maybe 200 years, a trend that may continue for several decades. Global cold periods historically have been associated with such quiet sun times.
As always the key to understanding the future is to know the past. We have seen these changes in nature before and we know how the temperature has responded. This is not to say we know everything about how climate works, we don’t although some think they do. An educated person knows that there is always more to learn. There have been years of constant repetition about global warming and who is to blame. This confident tale is told to us over and over again by a news media that does not have all the answers but likes to give the impression that it does. I only hope it’s not too late to change the tide before we make very large and costly mistakes.
Read more thoughts from a forecast and television meteorologist with decades of experience here.
By Paul Carter in the Australian
MOST farmers believe climate change is a natural phenomenon and not man-made, senior delegates to a farmers’ conference said today. NSW Farmers Association (NFA) executive councillors Howard Crozier and Ian McClintock’s comments were applauded by the 60 fellow NFA councillors at their bi-annual meeting in Sydney today. The pair say they do not accept the widely endorsed Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) finding that man-made carbon emissions are the main cause of global warming.
They rely on what they say is an emerging and eminent alternative school of climate change research which says global warming is almost entirely a natural occurrence. “The majority of farmers believe that climate change is really a natural cycle process,” he told AAP.
“There is no possible link between this drought and man-made climate change.” His climate change ally, crop and sheep farmer Mr McClintock, represents farmers in the Cootamundra area. “Farmers by and large are far more skeptical about the claims being made that climate change is almost 100 per cent man-induced, simply because we work the land and we know what goes on,” he told AAP. “Otherwise, the broad spectrum of the scientific evidence is indicating that almost certainly the major component of the climate change we are experiencing is natural climate change.” NFA president Jock Laurie said there were many skeptics about the cause of global warming, which he added had been occurring since time began. Read more here.
By Roy Spencer, Principal Research Scientist at the University of Alabama in Huntsville
Here I present a simplified (but hopefully accurate) explanation of the basics of global warming - call it a global warming primer. First, I will address the issue of how warm we are today, and some possible explanations for that warmth. Next, I’ll briefly describe the Earth’s natural greenhouse effect and global warming theory. Finally, I will explain the “thermostatic control” mechanism that I believe stabilizes the climate system against substantial global warming from mankind’s greenhouse gas emissions. Some of what I will present is an extension of Richard Lindzen’s “infrared iris” effect, support for which was published on August 9, 2007.
The bottom line is this: Precipitation systems ultimately control the magnitude of the Earth’s total greenhouse effect—which is mostly due to water vapor and clouds—and those systems change in ways that offset the small warming tendency from mankind’s greenhouse gas emissions. Sunlight is the source of energy for our weather, and so it makes sense that more (or less) sunlight will make the Earth warmer (or cooler). But the greenhouse effect (trapping if infrared heat) is the result of weather processes. Remember, most of the Earth’s greenhouse effect (over 90%) is due to water vapor and clouds, and so it is under direct control of weather processes—winds, evaporation, precipitation, etc.
I believe that precipitation systems act as a thermostat, causing cooling when temperatures get too high, and warming when temperatures get too low. It is amazing to think that the ways in which tiny water droplets and ice particles combine in clouds to form rain and snow could determine the course of global warming, but this might well be the case.
I believe that it is the inadequate handling of precipitation systems—specifically, how they adjust atmospheric moisture contents during changes in temperature—that is the reason for climate model predictions of excessive warming from increasing greenhouse gas emissions. To believe otherwise is to have faith that climate models are sufficiently advanced to contain all of the important processes that control the Earth’s natural greenhouse effect. Read more here.
By Jim Giles, New Scientist
Climate change models, no matter how powerful, can never give a precise prediction of how greenhouse gases will warm the Earth, according to a new study. The result will provide ammunition to those who argue not enough is known about global warming to warrant taking action.
It now appears that the estimates will never get much better. The reason lies with feedbacks in the climate system. These positive feedbacks accelerate global warming and also introduce uncertainty into estimates of climate sensitivity, say Gerard Roe and Marcia Baker of the University of Washington in Seattle.
What is more, they found that better computer models or observational data will not do much to reduce that uncertainty. A better estimate of sensitivity is the holy grail of climate research, but it is time to “call off the quest”, according to a commentary published alongside the paper.
That is likely to fuel attacks by critics in the oil industry and elsewhere who argue against investing in measures like clean energy until more is known about climate change. Others say that we need to act even if climate sensitivity lies at the low end of the scale, since coastal areas would still be threatened by rising seas, for example.
Ultimately, the papers also illustrate the limits to which models, even those produced by powerful supercomputers, can help politicians make decisions. “This finding reinforces not only that climate policies will necessarily be made in the face of deep, irreducible uncertainties,” says Roger Pielke, a climate policy expert at the University of Colorado at Boulder, US. “But also the uncomfortable reality – for climate modellers – that finite research dollars invested in ever more sophisticated climate models offer very little marginal benefit to decision makers.” Read more here.
By Sylvia Masuda, Daily Titan
Controversy erupted in the Cal State Fullerton science community over Tuesday’s global warming lecture in the Titan Theatre. Research professor and climatologist Patrick Michaels presented “Reducing the Effects of Global Warming in Southern California,” a presentation which explained why global warming is not an imminent problem. The Economics Association organized the event.
Over the years, science organizations have criticized Michaels for exaggerating his credentials and for pushing what they feel is a political agenda. CSUF science professors said his articles published in science journals “Science” and “Nature” are actually letters to the editor. Michaels’ lecture featured graphs and data to support his belief that although global warming is a real concept, its negative effects are not as urgent as many claim. In particular, he backed his information by challenging several ideas Al Gore discussed in the former vice president’s book. For example, Michaels said he considers the Kyoto Protocol counterproductive. The protocol calls for participating nations to limit its greenhouse gas emissions. “It takes away the capital to invest in a more efficient society,” Michaels said. “For all their good intentions, they haven’t realized that they’ve delayed the efficient future.” Read more here.
By By Bill Steigerwald, Pittsburgh Tribune Review
In the great, never-cooling debate over the causes and consequences of global warming, it’s always clear whose side Fred Singer is on: not Al Gore’s. Singer, who was born in Vienna in 1924, was a pioneer in the development of rocket and satellite technology and holds a Ph.D. in physics from Princeton. Now president of the Science & Environmental Policy Project research group (sepp.org), his latest book (with Dennis Avery) is “Unstoppable Global Warming Every 1,500 Years.” I talked with Singer by phone from his offices in Arlington, Va.
Q: A lot of people have seen the movie but they don’t really keep up on this global-warming debate, which is very complex and very nasty sometimes about which science is true and which isn’t.
A: It is nasty, but it shouldn’t be complex. The issue is very simple. The only really important issue is, is the warming we are experiencing now natural or is it man-made? That’s really the only issue. Everything else is commentary.
Q: As you’ve watched this global-warming debate evolve, are you optimistic that good science, honest science, will trump politics?
A: Yes, I’m optimistic because eventually it must do that. The problem is the word “eventually.” In the meantime, a great deal of damage can be done to our economy as various schemes are being put forward to control CO2 emissions—essentially to control the use of energy.
Read more of the interview here.
By Tom Harris, NSRP in Canada Free Press
Listening to the Speech from the Throne Tuesday, one could be forgiven for thinking that the Conservatives were copying Stephane Dion’s leadership campaign tactics of 13 months ago. In Dion’s case, he took his climate change phraseology essentially verbatim from a David Suzuki report. In the case of the Harper government, they appear to have lifted most of their assertions from a wider selection of environmental groups, but the messages are equally unfounded nonethe-less.
Tom Harris, NSRP
First, the government tells us that “Threats to our environment are a clear and present danger that now confronts governments around the world.” The most significant “clear and present danger” is widespread public ignorance of basic climate science, a problem that provides fertile ground for the unfounded eco-salvationism of opportunistic politicians and activists driving today’s agenda.
With this week’s official rejection of Kyoto, now’s the time for the government to finally listen to real experts instead of the untrained environmentalists who have dominated the debate so far. Convening open, honest science hearings would be a start towards rectifying the mess left by the Liberals and initiated by Brian Mulroney at the Rio conference in 1992. Indeed, this may very well be Harper’s last chance to get Canada off the costly and useless fixation on ‘stopping climate change’, one which he used to vehemently oppose, but now appears to have acquiesced to as inevitable. It is not. Read more here.
By John McLean
In February 2007 the IPCC Fourth Assessment Report (4AR) claimed that there was a 90% to 95% probability that man-made emissions of carbon dioxide were having a significant influence on climate. This claim was widely accepted by the public and many governments made both political and financial commitments on the basis of its statements.
But did anybody actually read the report in detail and check the evidence on which the claim was made? At the time this would have been extremely difficult because the Summary for Policy Makers was released well in advance of the detailed document on which it was based, but prudence would have dictated waiting for that evidence before accepting that pivotal claim.
When the Working Group I report was finally released in May 2007 anyone who reviewed the principal finding, that mankind was responsible for the increase in temperature, should have been appalled by the absence of concrete evidence. The so-called evidence is a nothing more than pastiche of dubious assertions and false assumptions, and if these are the best arguments that the IPCC could advance then its future should be reconsidered.
Given the doubts over the quality of the temperature record I am not sure that the IPCC has even proven any recent increase in temperatures let alone produced any credible evidence that humans are having a substantial impact on temperature. Read more here.