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Wednesday, May 21, 2008
The Vultures are Circling

Big Investors Seek Stricter Climate Laws
By Rachelle Younglai, Reuters

Investors managing more than $2.3 trillion urged the government on Tuesday to enact strict laws to cut greenhouse gas emissions, saying lax regulation could hurt the competitiveness of U.S. companies. The group of some 50 investors, including the world’s biggest listed hedge fund firm, Man Group Plc and influential venture capitalist John Doerr, want U.S. lawmakers to pass laws to reduce climate-warming emissions by at least 60 to 90 percent by 2050.

Legislation that promotes new and existing clean technologies on the scale needed to dramatically cut down pollution is needed, they said. The same group of investors are also pushing the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission to force publicly-traded companies to disclose climate-related risks along with other factors that affect their business. “Establishing a strong national climate policy for emissions reductions will help investors manage the enormous risks and opportunities posed by global warming,” Anne Stausboll, Calpers’ interim chief investment officer, said in a statement.

“It’s a huge job opportunity,” said Edwards, who managed about $80 billion in assets as of March 31. “It will be a shifting economy. No economy is static.” The investors’ letter, addressed to Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid of Nevada and Minority Leader Mitch McConnell of Kentucky, comes ahead of Senate debate on legislation aimed at limiting the carbon emissions that spur climate change. Read more if you have the stomach here.

See the actual letter to congress from the investors who manage $2.3 trillion here.

As a scientist I respect remarked in response to this letter “Plainly, after investing for years in ‘solar energy’ and other dubious enterprises that have tanked simply because they are worthless, the investors are demanding compensation for their wishful thinking.  This can only come by government intervention, because the free market cannot support businesses that cannot sustain themselves with their profits”

You can reach Harry Reid at 528 Hart Senate Office Bldg, Washington, DC 20510, Phone: 202-224-3542,Fax: 202-224-7327 or e-mail him here. You can reach Mitch McConnell at this address 361-A Russell Senate Office Building, Washington, DC 20510, Phone: (202) 224-2541, Fax: (202) 224-2499

Posted on 05/21 at 04:31 AM
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Monday, May 19, 2008
Even Flawed Data Can’t Hide the Cooling

By Joseph D’Aleo, CCM

NOAA reports that April 2008 was a full degree (F) below normal making it the 29th coldest April out of 115 years for the United States, the coldest in 11 years. Much of the western 2/3rds of the lower 48 were colder than normal. In Washington State, it was the second coldest April on record. In contrast in the east, in New York State it was the 3rd warmest. 

All the monthly global data sets are updated now. The University of Alabama Hunstville (Spencer-Christy) MSU satellite derived lower tropospheric data shows an anomaly of just +0.015C. The UK Hadley Center version 3v which includes land station and some ocean reports showed an anomaly of +0.265C. Adding this month to the plot since 2002 shows the downtrend continues.

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See larger graph here

NOAA reported the combined average global land and ocean surface temperatures for April ranked 13th warmest since worldwide records began in 1880. However as numerous peer-reviewed papers have shown in the last few years, the global (and even the United States) data sets overestimate the warming by as much as 50% because of data dropout (see John Goetz post on Climate Audit here), the downplaying of the importance of urbanization (thanks to the acceptance of flawed papers by Peterson and Parker) and because as Anthony Watts and Roger Pielke Sr. have shown, there is poor siting of many of the instruments and improper documentation and adjustments for land use changes around the sites. The ocean data sets have their own set of issues as the methods (buckets, intake tubes and now satellite) have changed over the years. Hadley only includes data from merchant ships and noted that its ocean coverage is limited to regularly traveled ship routes and vast areas of the oceans (which make up 71% of the globe) are unaccounted for in their analysis (especially the southern oceans and a look at your globe will show you that the Southern Hemisphere is mainly ocean). Satellite data which senses over land and sea has the best coverage and is the most reliable, consistent and objective but is available only since 1979.

There has no doubt been some cyclical warming from 1979 to 1998, but it has been exaggerated by the poor station or ocean data. The state records as documented by Bruce Hall in 2007 tell the story. Scroll down to see the monthly records by state and link to other states. Most all of the heat records were set in the early half of the 1900s.  A plot of Des Moines, Iowa June and July record highs by decade graph says it all. These tables and chart show that the current warming is clearly not unprecedented as alarmists claim, not even in the last century.

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See full size graph here

I believe that if we had satellite monitoring for the last 120 years, we would see the recent warming though real, fell short of that in the 1930s and that the changes are cyclical and thus primarily natural in origin. That is not to say that cities have not grown warmer as they have grown and some warming through the population growth from 1.5 to 6.5 billion since 1900 has taken place nor that we shouldn’t be better stewards of our environment, only that man-made greenhouse warming as portrayed by the agenda driven alarmists, the mainstream media and the IPCC is a fraud.

Posted on 05/19 at 06:19 PM
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Friday, May 16, 2008
The Global Warming Myth

By Patrick J. Michaels, The Washington Times

On May Day, Noah Keenlyside of Germany’s Leipzig Institute of Marine Science, published a paper in Nature forecasting no additional global warming “over the next decade.” Al Gore and his minions continue to chant that “the science is settled” on global warming, but the only thing settled is that there has not been any since 1998. Critics of this view (rightfully) argue that 1998 was the warmest year in modern record, due to a huge El Nino event in the Pacific Ocean, and that it is unfair to start any analysis at a high (or a low) point in a longer history. But starting in 2001 or 1998 yields the same result: no warming.

The Keenlyside team found that natural variability in the Earth’s oceans will “temporarily offset” global warming from carbon dioxide. Seventy percent of the Earth’s surface is oceanic; hence, what happens there greatly influences global temperature. It is now known that both Atlantic and Pacific temperatures can get “stuck,” for a decade or longer, in relatively warm or cool patterns. The North Atlantic is now forecast to be in a cold stage for a decade, which will help put the damper on global warming. Another Pacific temperature pattern is forecast not to push warming, either.

Computer models, like the one used by Keenlyside, et al., rely on “positive feedbacks” to generate much of their warming. First, atmospheric carbon dioxide warms things up a bit. Then the ocean follows, raising the amount of atmospheric water vapor, which is a greater source of global warming than carbon dioxide. When the ocean does not warm up, it seems that the additional warming is also delayed. All of this may mean that we have simply overestimated the amount of warming that results from increases in atmospheric carbon dioxide.

Several recent publications in the peer-reviewed literature argue that observed changes in temperature show the “sensitivity” of temperature to increasing carbon dioxide is lower than earlier estimates. All of this suggests a 21st-century warming trend that will be lower than the average value calculated by the climate models in the IPCC compendium. Several recent publications in the peer-reviewed literature argue that observed changes in temperature show the “sensitivity” of temperature to increasing carbon dioxide is lower than earlier estimates.

One final prediction: The teeming polar bear population will be listed as “endangered,” and in the next year or two, Congress will pass a bill mandating large and impossible cuts in carbon dioxide. What is “settled” is the politics, not the science. Read more here.

Posted on 05/16 at 04:23 PM
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Monday, May 12, 2008
Multidecadal Ocean Cycles and Greenland and the Arctic

By Joseph D’Aleo, CCM

As part of a four part series on the ocean’s multidecadal cycles and their importance to climate on Intellicast.com, the last two weeks we showed how the natural multidecadal cycles in the Pacific (called the Pacific Decadal Oscillation or PDO) and Atlantic (called the Atlantic Multidecadal Oscillation or AMO) affected the frequency of El Ninos and La Ninas and combined to correlate strongly with temperatures over the United States. In part III this week, we discuss temperatures and ice in Greenland and the Arctic, topics sure to dominate the news this summer. Already recent media stories have some scientists predicting another big melt this summer. We will show how that is not at all unprecedented (happens predictably every 60 years or so) and is in fact entirely natural.

Temperatures were warmer in the 1930s and 1940s in Greenland. They cooled back to the levels of the 1880s by the 1980s and 1990s. In a GRL paper in 2003, Hanna and Cappelen showed a significant cooling trend for eight stations in coastal southern Greenland from 1958 to 2001 (-1.29C for the 44 years). The temperature trend represented a strong negative correlation with increasing CO2 levels.

Shown below is the temperature plot for Godthab Nuuk in southwest Greenland. Note how closely the temperatures track with the AMO (which is a measure of the Atlantic temperatures 0 to 70N). It shows that cooling from the late 1950s to the late 1990s even as greenhouse gases rose steadily, a negative correlation over almost 5 decades. The rise after the middle 1990s was due to the flip of the AMO into its warm phase. They have not yet reached the level of the 1930s and 1940s. 

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See full size here.

Warming in the arctic is likewise shown to be cyclical in nature. This was acknowledged in the IPCC AR4 which mentioned the prior warming and ice reduction in the 1930s and 1940s. Warming results in part from the reduction of arctic ice extent because of flows of the warm water associated with the warm phases of the PDO and AMO into the arctic from the Pacific through the Bering Straits and the far North Atlantic and the Norwegian Current.

As was the case for US temperatures, the combination of the PDO and AMO Indexes (PDO+AMO) again has considerable explanatory power for Arctic average temperature, yielding an r-squared of 0.73.

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See full size here.

See much more with much peer review support for the ocean’s role in the Arctic and Greenland cycles of temperature and ice in the story here. In part IV, next week, we will address how both the Pacific and Atlantic control the strength, frequency and favored storms tracks for Atlantic tropical storms.

Posted on 05/12 at 08:11 PM
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Thursday, May 08, 2008
ENSO and Monthly Global Temperatures

By Joseph D’Aleo, CCM

In a recent story we showed how the PDO cycle related to the relative frequency of El Ninos and La Ninas and through that, global temperatures. This is the case because El Ninos lead to global warmth and La Ninas a cooling.

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See larger graph here.

You can clearly see on the chart of Wolter’s Multivariate ENSO Index (explained here) the predisposition for more and stronger La Ninas and fewer weaker El Ninos during the cold phase of the PDO and more and stronger El Ninos and fewer cooler La Ninas.

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See larger graph here.

The last decade, we see how well the monthly MEI correlated with the global temperatures. The correlation (Pearson coefficient) is 0.60. There appears to be a lag of a few months from the diagram and indeed if we lag temperatures 3 months to MEI, the correlation jumps to 0.68. Read more here.

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See larger graph here.

Posted on 05/08 at 06:36 PM
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Wednesday, May 07, 2008
North Atlantic Sea Surface Temperatures of the Past 150 Years

CO2 Science

In their 2008 peer review paper in Deep Sea Research, Hobson etal. used International Comprehensive Ocean-Atmosphere Data Set sea-surface temperature data to calculate, in annual time steps, the mean August-September positions of the 12, 15 and 18C isotherms in the North Atlantic Ocean from 1854 to 2005 at 2-degree longitudinal intervals.

In the words of the authors: (1) the three isotherms “have tended to move northwards during two distinct periods: in the 1930s-1940s and then again at the end of the 20th century,” that (2) “the chances of this occurring randomly are negligible,” that (3) the 15C isotherm “reached a maximum latitude of 52.0N in 1932, and a latitude of 51.7N in 2005, a difference of approximately 33 km,” and that (4) “of the 10 most extreme years, 4 have occurred in the 1992-2005 warm era and 3 have occurred in the 1926-1939 era.”

Considering the totality of their findings, the UK and Australian researchers concluded, in the broadest of terms, that “current ‘warm era conditions’ do not eclipse prior ‘warm’ conditions during the instrumental record,” which sounds an awful lot like what we have concluded, over and over, in our U.S. Temperature Record of the Week feature, i.e., that during the period of most significant greenhouse gas buildup over the past century (1930 and onward) there has been little to no net increase in mean near-surface air temperature throughout the United States. Now the same appears to also have been true throughout a large sector of the North Atlantic Ocean.

Posted on 05/07 at 06:20 PM
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Wet, Cold Weather Continues to Slow Corn Planting, Baseball Batting

By Darwin Danielson, Radio Iowa

Wet weather is continuing to slow the progress of planting in the state. The latest report from the State Agriculture Department says continued scattered showers last week left many fields wet, and cold weather that included frost in some areas, also hampered planting. But the report says farmers have made some progress.

Farmers had planted 46% of their corn acres by the end of last week, which is a little more than half of what was planted at this time last year and well below the five year average of 70%.

The report says corn planting overall is 11 days behind the five year average. Farmers are hoping to make more progress this week as more delays will cut into yields at the end of the season. See story here.

And this one By Max Utsler in Major League Baseball.com

You can describe Kansas City’s season-long lack of offense with two simple words: Cold bats. And the reason why might be cold bats—literally. In spite of being the southern-most team in the AL Central, the Royals have only played two of 17 home dates where the temperature registered above 70 degrees.

Things haven’t been so hot on the road, either. Road trips have included Detroit, Seattle, Los Angeles, Oakland and Cleveland. The trip to Texas featured temperatures well into the high 70’s, but even that was somewhat offset by winds that roared up to 30 mph.

Fans and players won’t notice any great improvement this weekend. Saturday night’s game-time temperature was expected to be slightly under 60 degrees, with an overnight drop to 44. Sunday’s predicted high is 54. See that story here.

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See larger image here.

Posted on 05/07 at 05:56 PM
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Tuesday, May 06, 2008
The Chaiten Volcano - Could it Be a Climate Factor? (Updated)

By Joseph D’Aleo, CCM

The news is reporting a relatively large and long lasting volcanic eruption in Chile. According to the AP, the Chaiten volcano spewed lava and blasted ash 20 miles (105,000 feet) into the sky on Tuesday the largest ruption to date since the volcano came back to life last week, prompting a total evacuation of the provincial capital and other settlements. The volcano’s long lasting eruption has sent a thick column of ash into the stratosphere, streaming across Patagonia to the Atlantic.

In earlier stories, we noted that there are usually 8 to 12 volcanic eruptions on-going at almost all times. Most are the small guys which emit just lava or if eruptive have their ash and gas clouds only reaching thousands to a few tens of thousands of feet in the air, remaining within the troposphere where the ash and gases quickly falls or gets rained out within a few days or weeks.

It is the bigger eruptions that reach above this tropospheric layer into the more stable stratosphere that can have long lasting (up to several years) and extent effects (global). Pinatubo in 1991 reached over 110,000 feet and El Chichon 105,000 feet in 1982.  Both Mt. St. Helens in 1980 and Cerro Hudson in 1991 reached around or just over 60,000 feet. The activity has not ceased and it is still possible a larger eruption will follow. The long lasting (5 days plus) nature of this eruption adds to the likelihood of an effect. But so far according to Simon Carn, a University of Maryland-Baltimore volcanologist who uses satellites to measure volcanic gases, Caiten had so far only emitted a few thousand tons of sulfur dioxide, small by comparison to Pinatubo which emitted 20 million tons. According to Alan Robock, a Rutger’s volcanologist at least a million tons must be emitted to really make a difference. He also noted that because of it high latitude location, any affect may be mainly limited to the Southern Hemisphere.

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See larger image here. See video of the eruption here. See some amazing photographs here and here.

Note how much a major eruption can reduce incoming solar energy. This would add to the global cooling from the ocean flips and the a super long cycle 23 and possibly quiet solar cycle 24. 

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See larger graph here.

We have written on volcanic potential effects here and here.

One other note, back over a decade ago, there was some speculation that volcanic activity led to El Nino development as the ash reduced the thermal and thus pressure gradients and through them the equatorial easterlies, reducing cold water upwelliing in the eastern Pacific and favoring the sloshing east of warm water from the western Pacific. Anecdotally the super El Nino of 1982/83 followed El Chichon and the El Ninos of 1991/92 and 1992/93 followed Pinatubo and Cerro Hudson. Stay tuned as additional assessments are made of how much Chaiten may play a role on what’s ahead. 

Posted on 05/06 at 08:05 PM
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Testing The Waters

Investor’s Business Daily

Proving the advantage of actual observations, German researchers say Earth will stop warming for at least a decade. It seems ocean currents, not SUVs, help determine the temperature of Earth.

When the United Nations World Meteorological Organization recently reported that global temperatures had not risen since 1998, the explanation given by WMO Secretary-General Michel Jarraud was that the cool spell was the effect of the Pacific Ocean’s La Nina current, “part of what we call ‘variability.’ “ Well, oops, the Earth will do it again. According to a report by German researchers published in Thursday’s issue of the journal Nature, shifting Atlantic ocean currents will cool parts of North America and Europe over the next decade as well.

Noel Keenlyside of the Leibnitz Institute of Marine Science at Germany’s Kiel University says “in the short term, you can see changes in the global mean temperature that you might not expect given the reports of the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change.” The key to the Kiel team’s prediction is the natural cycle of ocean currents called the Atlantic Multidecadal Oscillation, or AMO for those who aren’t oceanographers or don’t play Scrabble. The AMO is closely related to the warm currents that bring heat from the tropics to the coasts of Europe and North America. The cycle is not well understood, but is believed to repeat every 60 to 70 years.

Understanding the ocean’s effect on climate took a quantum leap forward in 2003 when the first of 3,000 new automated ocean buoys were deployed, a significant improvement over earlier buoys that took their measurements mostly at the ocean’s surface. Understanding the ocean’s effect on climate took a quantum leap forward in 2003 when the first of 3,000 new automated ocean buoys were deployed, a significant improvement over earlier buoys that took their measurements mostly at the ocean’s surface. The Argos buoys have disappointed global warming alarmists in that they have failed to detect any signs of imminent climate change. As Dr. Josh Willis noted in an interview with National Public Radio, “there has been a very slight cooling” over the buoy’s five years of observation.

Actual observations trump computer models and as we learn more about the Earth we start to realize how puny and irrelevant man’s contribution to climate change really is. While irresponsible environmentalists panic over warming, the Earth cools and goes with the ocean flow. Read this full story here.

Scroll down in COLD STORAGE to see more stories on the PDO and AMO and their importance to weather and climate.

Posted on 05/06 at 03:26 PM
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Monday, May 05, 2008
The Atlantic Multidecadal Oscillation

By Joseph D’Aleo, CCM

In part I of a four part series on Intellicast.com (here) on the importance of the oceans to climate and weather, I discussed the Pacific Decadal Oscillation (PDO) and its impact on the frequency of El Ninos and La Ninas, which have an effect on the position of global troughs and ridges and through them global patterns of temperatures and precipitation. In Part 2, this week, I addressed the Atlantic Multidecadal Oscillation and its effects on hurricanes and through the NAO on winter cold and snow and how it works together with the PDO to modulate temperatures.

The Atlantic also has a multidecadal oscillation called the Atlantic Multidecadal Oscillation or AMO which has a period of about 30 to 35 years per phase (a cycle length of around 70 years).  The UN IPCC concludes the oscillations of the Atlantic Multidecadal Oscillation (AMO) is likely due to changes in the strength of the thermohaline circulation. Dr. William Gray of Colorado State University has talked about this for years and continues to do so in his seasonal outlooks and presentations.

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See full size image here

The IPCC AR4 even discussed how Walter and Graf (2002) related the AMO with the NAO (North Atlantic Oscillation) a better known more variable atmospheric flip flop in the central and eastern North Atlantic. This relationship was shown to be strongly negative during the cool (negative) phase of the AMO but weaker with the warm (positive) phase. When the NAO is negative, it often means cold and snow for parts of western Europe and the eastern united States in winter.  A positive AMO in summer often means warmer temperatures and more and stronger Atlantic basin hurrricanes.

I showed how when regressed AMO and PDO with temperatures, it helped to explain much of the multidecadal variability in temperatures we find in the United States. With the PDO now negative and the AMO diminishing, this would suggest cooling as the story shows it appears has started.

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See full size image here. See image of latest PDO and AMO trends here

See the full Intellicast story here.

Part 3 May 11th will look at how the PDO and AMO correlate well with both Greenland and Arctic temperatures and explain the decadal changes in ice cover. Recent stories in the media are predicting another big melt. We will show how that is not at at unprecedented (happens predictably every 60 years of so) and entirely natural. Part 4 on May 17th will focus on what the PDO and AMO states mean for landfalling hurricane threats.

Posted on 05/05 at 10:21 AM
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Friday, May 02, 2008
The Relationship of the PDO to El Nino and La Nina Frequency

By Joseph D’Aleo, Intellicast.com, April 28, 2008

In this version of the weekly Dr. Dewpoint series on Intellicast, the El Nino dominance since the late 1970s is explained.

John McLean in a paper here reported Australia’s CSIRO and Bureau of Meteorology (Power and Smith 2007) wrote about a period of unprecedented El Nino dominance the last 30 years, which they blamed on human activity. Vecchi (2006, 2007) speculated there was a just 1% probability that this was due to natural events.

McLean’s paper and the following discussion will show how the change had precious little to do with anthropogenic factors but was the result of a natural large scale cyclical climate flip-flop known now as the Pacific Decadal Oscillation.

The first hint of a basin wide cycle was a recognition of a major regime change in the Pacific in 1977 among climatologists that became known as the Great Pacific Climate Shift. Later on this shift was shown to be part of a cyclical regime change given the name Pacific Decadal Oscillation by Mantua (1997). This followed research first showing decadal like ENSO variability by Zhang in 1993.

Mantua found the Pacific Ocean temperature regime and overlying pressure patterns tended to persist in one mode (in terms of ocean temperature anomalies and overlying pressure and wind patterns) for two or three decades and then flip to very nearly the opposite mode for a similar period. The IPCC in their latest report (2007) also showed how during the positive phase of the PDO, the sea surface temperature pattern suggested more warmth in the eastern tropical Pacific (thus more El Ninos).

HAVE WE EXPERIENCED GREAT PACIFIC CLIMATE SHIFT II - A REGIME CHANGE IN PDO?

The PDO appears to have changed back to the cold mode in 1998 following the Super El Nino of 1997/98. Three straight years of La Nina followed. PDO bounced some during the early 2000s but this year dropped off dramatically again this past year as a strong La Nina developed. Since it is 30 years since the last climate shift, it appears likely this negative mode should continue.

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See the full size graph here. See the full image filled blog describing how the PDO influences ENSO frequency and global temperatures here.

Posted on 05/02 at 03:48 PM
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Globe May be Cooling on Global Warming

By Deroy Murdock, Scripps Howard News Service

“Disconcerting as it may be to true believers in global warming, the average temperature on Earth has remained steady or slowly declined during the past decade, despite the continued increase in the atmospheric concentration of carbon dioxide, and now the global temperature is falling precipitously.” Dr. Phil Chapman wrote in The Australian on April 23. “All those urging action to curb global warming need to take off the blinkers and give some thought to what we should do if we are facing global cooling instead.” Chapman neither can be caricatured as a greedy oil-company lobbyist nor dismissed as a flat-Earther. He was a Massachusetts Institute of Technology staff physicist, NASA’s first Australian-born astronaut, and Apollo 14’s Mission Scientist.  Chapman believes reduced sunspot activity is curbing temperatures. As he elaborates, “there is a close correlation between variations on the sunspot cycle and Earth’s climate.”

Anecdotally, last winter brought record cold to Florida, Mexico, and Greece, and rare snow to Jerusalem, Damascus, and Baghdad. China endured brutal ice and snow.  NASA satellites found that last winter’s Arctic Sea ice covered 2 million square kilometers (772,000 square miles) more than the last three years’ average. It also was 10 to 20 centimeters (about 4-8 inches) thicker than in 2007. The ice between Canada and southwest Greenland also spread dramatically. “We have to go back 15 years to find ice expansion so far south,” Denmark’s Meteorological Institute stated. “Snows Return to Mount Kilimanjaro,” cheered a January 21 International Herald Tribune headline, as Africa also defies the “warming” narrative.

While neither anecdotes nor one year’s statistics confirm global cooling, a decade of data contradicts the “melting planet” rhetoric that heats Capitol Hill and America’s newsrooms.

AccuWeather’s Expert Senior Forecaster Joe Bastardi has stated: “People are concerned that 50 years from now, it will be warm beyond a point of no return. My concern is almost opposite, that it’s cold and getting colder.” And on Wednesday, the respected journal, Nature, indicated that Earth’s climactic cycles have stopped global warming through 2015.

If nothing else, all this obliterates the rampant lie that “the scientific debate on global warming is over.” That debate rages on. Assuming that the very serious scientists cited here are correct, the “inconvenient truth” about global-warming is inconveniently false. If so, mankind should chill out and turn our thinking right side up. Read more here.

Posted on 05/02 at 04:25 AM
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Thursday, May 01, 2008
Warming Antarctic Waters Begin to Cool

Nature News

Antarctica’s deep ocean waters are getting colder after years of warming, say researchers who have just returned from a Southern Ocean voyage aboard the German research vessel Polarstern.

Samples from previous expeditions showed that water at a depth of 4,500 metres in the Weddell Sea warmed by a tenth of a degree Celsius between 1989 and 2005, although the warming trend may have begun earlier. The latest work, by researchers from the Alfred Wegener Institute for Polar and Marine Research in Bremerhaven, found that temperatures have cooled slightly since 2005, suggesting that more cold surface water is reaching the deep ocean, perhaps as a result of changes in sea-ice coverage and atmospheric conditions. The team plans to revisit the region during the summer of 2010–11. See story here.

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Alfred Wegener for Polar and Marine Research

Posted on 05/01 at 08:42 PM
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Late and Early Snows

Record April Snowfall

A series of early spring snow storms have dropped unusually heavy snowfall across a large portion of the Red River Valley and Minnesota lakes country. This has resulted in record or near record snow totals for the month of April. See some amazing April totals (up to 50 inches near Park Rapids, MN) here. Thanks to Daryl Ritchison
WDAY/Z Meteorologist for the tip.

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See full size image here

On this Milwaukee, WI NWS site, see that up to 120 inches fell in southeast Wisconsin with many all time records.

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See full size image here

In this Australian Broadcasting Corporation story, Australian ski resorts are bracing themselves for a bumper season, after freak snowfalls dumped around 20 centimetres of snow. “May is more usual, and then definitely through the winter months, but at the end of April is still a bit of a surprise.”

Posted on 05/01 at 11:26 AM
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Tuesday, April 29, 2008
2005 Energy Bill and Grain Prices

The 2005 Energy bill mandated that 4 billion gallons of renewable fuel (mostly corn-based ethanol) must be added to the gasoline supply in 2006. That amount rises to 4.7 billion gallons in 2007 and 7.5 billion in 2012. This still represents a small fraction of the estimated 140 billion gallons of gasoline the US consumes every year. But it is the subsidies and tax credits that have made this ethanol market what it is - without government interference, consumer-driven demand would be nothing and the ethanol market would be SIGNIFICANTLY SMALLER.

Look at the monthly charts for corn, wheat, and soy (soy shown below) - the line denoting the start of 2006. Notice that all of the commodities were increasing gradually from 2000-2005, but from the beginning of 2006 until the present, these commodities have sky-rocketed. This coincides exactly with the beginning of the ethanol mandate on gasoline.

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See larger image here.

To be fair, we can also see that the number of contracts traded rose significantly in early 2006 and have gone up steadily ever since. Prior to 2006, not many people traded or invested in the grains markets - however, this has changed drastically over the past couple of years. This is contributing to the higher prices as well, because more buyers lead to higher prices (not many are shorting these commodities). Also, there has been tremendous index buying the past couple of years (Goldman-Sach’s/S&P Commodity Index, Dow Jones-AIG commodity index, for example), which is contributing to the high volume and higher prices - these index funds have allowed the general population to “safely” invest in commodities now, a market that used to be only for the brave, bold, and informed. It is clear to see that these two things came together just at the right time to push grains through the roof the past couple of years. However, this would not be what it is, were it not for the government-forced ethanol mandate. read full post and see all three grain charts here.

Posted on 04/29 at 11:10 PM
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Metsul’s Meteorologia

Carbonated Climate

Climate Audit

Climate Research News

Digging in the Clay

Omniclimate

Global Warming Scare

CO2 Science

Cornwall Alliance

Climate Police

Science Bits

Warmal Globing

John McLean’s Global Warming Issues

Carbon Folly

Gary Sharp’s It’s All About Time

Weatherbell Analytics

CO2 Sceptics

Climate Debate Daily

Tropical Cyclone Blog of Ryan Maue COAPS

Global Warming Skeptics

MPU Blog

I Love My Carbon Dioxide

CO2web

Science and Public Policy Institute

Scientific Alliance

Committee for a Constructive Tomorrow (CFACT)

Musings of the Chiefio

Climate Change Fraud

Global Warming Hoax

Where is Global Warming (Bruce Hall Collection)

Global Warming Hoax

Warwick Hughes

John Daly’s What the Stations Say