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ICECAP in the News
May 30, 2007
Data Integrity Issues - How Good Really Is Our Station Observation Data?

In our About Climate Change Section, we have a section on Station Data Issues that shows some of the problems with the global and US data bases. We will soon have a much more detailed supplement (appendix) to the Fraser ISPM report on this data integrity issue (and some other areas where we found ourselves in disagreement with the IPCC report).

Please note that a lot of very good science could be found within the body of the IPCC report. We acknowledged that in the ISPM and tried to draw out those points not obvious from the Summary for Policymakers Working Group I. Where we think they missed the mark or did not cite relevant peer-review work, we commented. For major areas of disagreement, we have written more detailed appendices and will soon release them.

On the issues of station data, Steve McIntyre on the Climate Audit site has been on the hunt for raw data and documentation from Phil Jones at the Hadley data. He also has been reviewing some of the raw data and the adjustments for the USHCN data both raw and as processed and used in NCDC USHCN, NASA GISS, GHCN data bases.

You will find the following more recent blog entries illuminating:

More ISO-2000 Weather Stations from Jones and Hansen

Adjusting for the “Rural Cooling Effect”

Roger Pielke Sr. has been on top of this issue on Climate Science in recent years and this paper earlier covered and linked to in this weblog is the most comprehensive to date (repeated here in case you missed).

BTW, while on the Climate Audit site, you may also want to look at the postings relative to Mann whose “team” is still trying to breathe life into the ‘hockey stick’ corpse on Real Climate.

May 26, 2007
Actual South American Snow Cover Data Show No Climate Change

World Climate Report, May 21, 2007

It should not be too difficult to understand the concept that periods of reduced snow and ice across Earth have historically coincided with planetary warmth. With a risk of tugging on that particular linchpin of Al Gore’s scientific knowledge, here comes new research findings associated with snowpack variability in the Andes Mountains of South America. Outside of Antarctica, snow cover in the Southern Hemisphere has not received much attention in the climate change debate.

Very late in 2006, the Journal of Climate published “Snowpack variations in the central Andes of Argentina and Chile, 1951-2005: Large-scale atmospheric influences and implications for water resources in the region” (Masiokas et al. 2006). The snowpack of the central Andes serves as much more than a monitor of climate change. The authors explain that “over 10 million people in Central Chile and central-western Argentina depend on the freshwater originating from the winter snowpack of the central Andes.” Alarming is their charge that “coupled atmosphere-ocean general circulation models especially targeted to investigate high-elevation sites” have indicated that “for the next 80 years the central Andes will probably experience significant temperature increases” (Bradley et al. 2004; Masiokas et al. 2006). To make matters worse, Masiokas et al. note that “independent general circulation model simulations also predict a significant decrease in precipitation over the region for the next five decades” (Cubasch et al. 2001).

Masiokas et al. found no such trend in MSWE, stating that the regional record “shows a non-significant positive linear trend (+3.95% per decade) over the1951-2005 interval,” or an absolute increase of greater than 21% over the period. The group matched the MSWE record with mean monthly streamflow data for the primary rivers in the region. They found that river discharges on both sides of the central Andes “are strongly correlated with the snowpack record and show remarkably similar interannual variability and trends.” See full story here.

May 23, 2007
Climate Science: Climate Change and Its Impacts

David Legates, National Center for Policy Analysis

Scientific debate continues regarding the extent to which human activities contribute to global warming and what the potential impact on the environment might be. Importantly, much of the scientific evidence contradicts assertions that substantial global warming is likely to occur soon and that the predicted warming will harm the Earth’s biosphere.

The Earth’s climate began a warming trend after the “Little Ice Age” ended in the mid-1800s, long before global industrial development led to substantial increases in greenhouse gases beginning in the middle of the 20th century. About half of the warming during the 20th century occurred prior to the 1940s, and natural variability accounts for all or nearly all of the warming.

To assess future climate trends, climatologists rely upon General Circulation Models (GCMs) that attempt to describe Earth’s climate. The many climate models in use vary widely with respect to the variables they include and in the assumptions they make about how those variables interact. Yet some official reports, including the U.S. National Assessment published in 2000, report only the most extreme predictions, ignoring others that project only moderate warming in the 21st century.

The complexity of the climate and the limitations of data and computer models mean projections of future climate change are unreliable at best. In sum, the science does not support claims of drastic increases in global temperatures over the 21st century, nor does it support claims of human influence on weather events and other secondary effects of climate change.  Read this thorough analysis here

May 18, 2007
Questioning Ocean Warming

World Climate Report

We just did an internet search on “Ocean Warming” and found an incredible 7.2 million sites! We sampled a few and found exactly what we expected – endless stories of how the oceans of the world are heating up at an unprecedented rate; absolutely anything and everything related to the ocean is currently in peril according to these sites. Even if you live thousands of miles from the sea, ocean warming will negatively impact you given how ocean temperatures influence weather and climate any place on the planet. Our survey of “Ocean Warming” internet sites did not reveal anyone questioning whether or not the oceans are actually warming up – “Ocean Warming” is simply assumed to be a fact.

Well, in a recent issue of theJournal of Physical Oceanography, an article appears entitled “Is the World Ocean Warming? Upper-Ocean Temperature Trends: 1950–2000”. Once again, we at World Climate Report are attracted to research that dares to question any of the pillars of the greenhouse scare, and from just the title alone, we knew we would enjoy this article. We were not disappointed.

In their own words, we learn “The ocean neither cooled nor warmed systematically over the large parts of the ocean for the entire analysis period.” Also evident in the figure is the oceanic expanse without data for making such any such assessment. Seven million sites declaring that the ocean is warming cannot possibly be wrong? Well, for the record, there are over a million sites for “Ocean Cooling” and 750,000 sites for “Ocean Temperature Unchanged”. You be the judge, but don’t look for Harrison and Carson to be featured in the 7,000,000 sites claiming that our oceans are warming.  See full story here

May 18, 2007
Eco-towns to be Built in UK

The Scientific Alliane, Cambridge, UK

New prime minister (soon), new eco-towns. Gordon Brown has announced the intention to build five new towns of carbon-neutral housing,100,000 houses in total. The first one is to be built near Cambridge, on the current Oakington barracks site, already designated for residential development.

This initiative deserves a warm welcome. Houses in the UK are notoriously less energy efficient than, for example, those in Scandinavia. Any worthwhile energy policy has to have at its heart energy security. Taking serious steps towards more efficient homes is an important part of this. Call them carbon neutral if you will, but the key factor is their efficiency.

May 15, 2007
Hurricanes and CO2 rise

Dr. William Gray, Professor of Atmospheric Science, Head of the Tropical Meteorology Project, Colorado State University

It is now over a year-and-a-half since the media explosion following hurricanes Katrina and Rita’s landfalls and several papers saying that the US landfalling hurricanes of 2004-2005 probably had a human-induced global warming component.  With this there was an implication that US hurricane landfall and damage would continue to get worse with time as CO2 amounts continued to rise. 

Although global mean CO2 and Atlantic surface temperatures have increased between the two 50-year periods (1900-1949 compared with 1956-2005), the frequency of US landfall numbers actually shows a slight downward trend for the later period.  It is also to be noted that there were 39 US landfalling major hurricanes (Cat 3-4-5) between 1925-1965 and only 22 in the same length period between 1966-2006 when CO2 amounts were getting higher.  It has been estimated that landfalling major hurricanes account for about 80-85 percent of all long period normalized US destruction.  This implies that normalized hurricane destruction has been going downward as CO2 gases increase. 

The increased Atlantic hurricane activity since 1995 is a result of a speed-up of the Atlantic thermohaline circulation – as occurred also in the 1940s-1950s and the late 19th century.  I and a number of my colleagues have been discussing the physics of this multi-decadal Atlantic Ocean thermohaline circulation (THC or Atlantic multi-decadal oscillation – AMO) variation in our forecasts and other venues for many years.  We hypothesize it to be driven by Atlantic salinity variations.  The advocates of CO2 are either unaware or unaccepting of this plausible explanation.

The large increase in US hurricane-spawned destruction of the 2004-2005 hurricane seasons has not surprised me or my colleagues.  We have been anticipating a great upsurge in US hurricane destruction for many years based on an expected shift of the THC, not increased human-induced greenhouse gases.

The facts do not support an upcoming ‘peer reviewed’ paper that is to be published in a UK journal by two CO2 advocates make the following statements with regards to North Atlantic hurricane activity: “Overall, there has been a substantial 100-year trend leading to related increases of over 0.7oC in SST and over 100% in tropical cyclone and hurricane numbers.  It is concluded that the overall trend in SSTs and tropical cyclone and hurricane numbers is substantially influenced by greenhouse warming …” Read Editorial.pdf

May 14, 2007
The Temperature of the Global Ocean

CO2 Science

CO2 Science reviewed “Is the world ocean warming? Upper-ocean temperature trends: 1950-2000” published in the Journal of Physical Oceanography by Harrison and Carson. Harrison and Carson report that the upper ocean “is replete with variability in space and time, and multi-decadal variability is quite energetic almost everywhere.” In fact, they found that 95% of the 2° x 2° regions they studied “had both warming and cooling trends over sequential 20-year periods,” and that “the 51-year trends are determined in a number of regions by large trends over 20- to 25-year sub-periods.”

The two researchers say their results suggest that “trends based on records of one or two decades in length are unlikely to represent accurately longer-term trends,” and, therefore, that “it is unwise to attempt to infer long-term trends based on data from only one or two decades.” See full review here.

See blog entry about the mulitdecadal cycles in the Pacific and Atlantic and their relationship to US temperatures here.

May 08, 2007
Who or What is the Real Culprit?

Andy, Ho, The Strait times

Come July 7, megastars of the pop music world will hold seven mammoth concerts across the world to bring attention to global warming. This initiative comes on the heels of former US vice-president Al Gore’s Oscar for his documentary An Inconvenient Truth. Arguably the most famous layman’s account of how human activities are causing global warming that will lead to cataclysmic climate disasters, it has all but settled the debate, fans say.  True, average global temperatures have risen 0.2 deg C in the last 30 years or so. Yet when Hollywood gets into the act, red flags should go up. Furiously.

Yes, Minister Mentor Lee Kuan Yew and British premier Tony Blair believe in it. Even US President George W. Bush, the last holdout, gave in to the hype in February. After all, environmental groups, government reports and the media assert that there is virtually unanimous agreement among the best scientists about human-induced global warming. It is now sacrilegious to doubt this theory that the burning of fossil fuels by humans leads to rising levels of carbon dioxide or CO2, said to be the principal greenhouse gas, thus heating up the earth.

In the story , Andy goes on to challenge some of the main tenets of the theory, showing not all experts agree that man is to blame.

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