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Monday, March 17, 2008
This Long Cycle Should Portend a Cooling

By Joseph D’Aleo, CCM

In an important paper in 1991, Friis-Christensen compared the average temperature in the northern hemisphere with the average solar activity defined through the interval between successive sunspot maxima. The more active the sun - the shorter the interval: the solar cycle runs more intense and the higher the global temperatures. Even the finer structures in the two curves had similar appearances. 

The long standing observation site at Armagh in Northern Ireland shows similar results. Again you can see shorter cycles are warmer and longer colder.

See this paper on cycles seen in the Armagh data set here

In general the longer cycles are also associated with diminished sunspot activity. I have plotted solar cycle length (columns and sunspot numbers since sunspot cycles were first numbered back in the middle 1700s.

See larger size graph here

The Armagh plot goes back to cycle 4, Friis Christensen around cycle 10. You can see the long cycles around the cold Dalton Minimum in the early 1800s and again in the cold late 1800s to early 1900s. The decreasing length and increasing SSNs accompanied a rise in temperatures in the first half of the 1900s and again late in the century. Note the longer cycle 20 with a dip in sunspot numbers that accompanied the cooling in the 1960s into the 1970s. The current cycle (23 which peaked in 2000) length is still TBD but is likely to be at least close to 12 years. This would imply the cooling that appears to have started in 1998/99 or 2001/02 depending in data set used is real and will continue/accelerate.

Read more here Also note Anthony Watts has posted several solar stories over at his blog with some very intersting comments and he has posted a new story there now with Basil Copeland entitled Evidence of a Significant Solar Imprint in Annual Globally Averaged Temperature Trends - Part 1 in which by proper filtering extratcs the 22 year Hale solar Cycle in the temperature data. 

Posted on 03/17 at 07:16 PM
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Sunday, March 16, 2008
Update on Falsification of Climate Predictions

By Roger Pielke Jr., Prometheus

Regular readers will recall that not long ago I asked the climate community research community to suggest what climate observations might be observed on decadal time scales that might be inconsistent with predictions from models. While Real Climate has decided to take a pass on this question other scientists and interested observers have taken up the challenge, no doubt with interest added by the recent cooling in the primary datasets of global temperature.

A very interesting perspective is provided by Lucia Liljegren, who has several interesting posts on observations versus predictions. The figure below is from her analysis. Her complete analysis can be found here.

See larger image here

She writes “No matter which major temperature measuring group we examine, or which reasonable criteria for limiting our choices we select, it appears that possible that something not anticipated by the IPCC WG1 happened soon after they published their predictions for this century. That something may be the shift in the Pacific Decadal Oscillation; it may be something else. Statistics cannot tell us. “ Read more of Roger’s post and comments here.

Posted on 03/16 at 03:59 PM
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Thursday, March 13, 2008
The Satellite Speaks - February Normal for Globe

By Anthony Watts, Watts Up With That

Last week I posted the University of Alabama, Huntsville (UAH) Microwave Sounder Unit (MSU) global temperature anomaly data for February 2008 with a note that it showed only a marginal increase from January 2008 data, and remained near zero. The February 2008 global temperature anomaly data from RSS (Remote Sensing Systems of Santa Rosa, CA) is out, and is in good agreement with that. You can see it the raw RSS data yourself here.

First here is UAH satellite derived temperature anomaly. For February 2008, it shows a slight rebound from the -0.046C value of January 2008 to 0.016C for a slight change of .062C upwards.

See larger graph here

Next we have the RSS satellite derived temperature anomaly. It also shows a slight rebound from the -0.080C value of January 2008 to 0.007C for a slight change of .0.073C upwards. The anomaly remains near zero as does the UAH data.

See larger graph here

See some of the possible reasons why in Anthony’s post and also see a post with a note and graph from Dr. Richard Lindzen here.

Posted on 03/13 at 12:02 AM
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Wednesday, March 12, 2008
Cirque de Solar Power: New York Conference Puts Lie to ‘Consensus’

By Christopher C. Horner

500 people who pay attention to such things are gathered in New York City, from where I write, hoping to share experiences, research, and insights. These include scientists of the “hard” variety (geologists, climatologists, etc) and the soft (economists, statisticians). Global warming alarmists insist that anyone who isn’t a climatologist, or at least pop star, isn’t qualified to speak to the issue, when they disagree, that is, although this also happens to represent the makeup of the vaunted UN panel of “two thousand of the world’s leading scientists” most of whom, by the alarmists’ own standards, are no such thing.

In short, this is a serious gathering, if largely light-hearted, attended by participants including media from all over the civilized world, as well as several parts of Europe. Czech President Vaclav Klaus is in da house, warning the crowd to pay attention to arguments of humanitarian salvation which his experience, and Mencken’s adages, suggest are always a false front for the urge to rule.

Meanwhile, in the unnerving buildup to this outrage of a gathering, last week the alarmists started insisting that, by insisting a “consensus” exists, they never meant “consensus;” and alarmist professor John Holdren now ways that they never really meant “global warming” (or, presumably, the “global cooling” before that), but “global climate disruption.” Just rolls off the tongue.

No, this afternoon I spoke to the issue of the media’s hilarious contortions in the name of the global warming agenda. You read or hear it daily. A single year or weather event is newsworthy and meaningful, unless it’s the wrong kind. Individual research papers warrant coverage, and what coverage! when their results are alarmist. Otherwise, they’re just one paper! We have learned that three years is a pattern, unless it is on the cooling side of the ledger. We know that ten years is conclusive, unless you mean the past ten years of no warming. Unseasonably warm weather is clear evidence of global warming, exceptional cold is merely an anomaly. Warming temperatures, over whatever period the press chooses to muster, as well as retreating glaciers are sure signs of “global warming.” Cooling temperatures and advancing glaciers are signs of nothing.

This is progress, of course. Reality is increasingly forcing our media and other alarmist friends out of their comfort zones. As a graduate of Al Gore’s climate camp recently howled in protest during a debate with me at Michigan State, “no matter how many charts he shows you, it’s warming!” Of course it is, dear. Read more here.

Mr. Horner is author of ”The Politically Incorrect Guide to Global Warming and Environmentalism.”

Posted on 03/12 at 03:30 PM
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Monday, March 10, 2008
Why Bringing Sanity Back on Climate Change Won’t Be Easy

By Joseph D’Aleo, CCM

We are seeing increasing stories the last year in the news about cold and snow and global data bases based on satellite and station and ocean data suggest temperatures have leveled off over the last decade. These facts even have the IPCC head Dr. Rajendra Pachauri questioning whether natural forces are at least temporarily offsetting greenhouse forcing. The media and most alarmists have largely ignored these facts or attributed them to a temporary decrease in sunspot numbers or La Ninas, factors they scoffed at before or in the case of La Nina would admit only to regional importance.

This conflicting data is bringing an uncomfortable feeling among many believers, what is called a cognitive dissonance, but most all are able to shake it off. Some work over five decades ago by Leon Festinger, a social psychologist helps explain how they can do that and why we may not see a widespread rapid return to sanity on global climate change even as evidence mounts the prevailing greenhouse theories are flawed, global warming has ceased and climate change may be largely due to natural variability.

When discomfirmatory (contrary) evidence is presented, Festinger found one condition that often determined whether the belief is discarded or maintained with new fervor by belief with a strongly held belief.  That was whether or not the individual believer has social support. It is unlikely that one isolated believer could withstand strong discomfirming evidence. If, however, the believer is a member of a group of convinced persons who can support one another, you might expect the belief to be maintained and the believers to attempt to proselytice or persuade non-members that the belief is correct even in the face of data suggesting otherwise.

Today there is a huge ‘social support’ group of grant toting modelers and researchers, agenda driven or ratings driven journalists, environmentalists and corporations that have realized green is their favorite color and see this as a way to keep green paper flowing into their coffers and pockets, farmers who are benefiting from the misplaced focus on alternative fuel from crops which has sent the cost for their crops to record levels, traders and major market firms licking their chops at the prospects of big time money from carbon trading, big oil and alternative energy companies that have realized this is the vector to bigger profits and the politicians and political activists who see it as a way to accomplish ulterior goals about changing society and increasing their powerbase.

It will only be after the public realizes they have been snookered that the situation may turn on them. We can only hope damage done is not great or irreparable when that day finally comes. Read more on ‘cognitive dissonance and Festinger’s work “When Prophecies Fail” here.

This morning’s Washingtom Post article shows how even as temperatures level off, the claims and cries grow stronger and more absurd calling for a complete carbon elimination or else a rise of 15F by 2300.  As a fellow scientist buried in record snow in Ohio reminded us this morning the words of George Orwell “In a time of universal deceit, telling the truth becomes a revolutionary act.”

See this video by CEI on carbon dioxide and its’ importance to life as we know it. 

Posted on 03/10 at 02:35 PM
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Sunday, March 09, 2008
Record Snows in Ohio

By Joseph D’Aleo, CCM

It has been the winter of the big snows, from China, the Middle East, Greece, Canada and in the United States from the Pacific Northwest to Colorado and across the plains and upper Midwest to Great Lakes and northern New England. All time records were broken in places. Some of the places that missed out on many of the storms was hard hit this weekend. In a stripe from Mississippi to Arkansas, Tennessee, Kentucky, Indiana and Ohio, a storm deposited up to 20 inches of snow, the most in Ohio near Columbus. There the storm, which rolled in Friday, dumped 20.4 inches of snow, breaking the city’s previous record of 15.3 inches set in February 1910, the weather service said. During the weekend, blizzard conditions raged.  See the story By Kathy Lynn Gray, Blizzard of 2008 in the Columbus Dispatch here.

Photo from TV 10, WBNS, Central Ohio’s News Leader

In Indiana, 14 inches of snow fell in Milan, which is about 60 miles southeast of Indianapolis, said the weather service said. It was a continuation of the storm that on Friday piled up snow a foot deep in Arkansas and blacked out thousands of homes and businesses from that state to the Great Lakes. Louisville, Ky., and parts of Tennessee got up to a foot, while northern Mississippi got 5 to 7 inches of snow, the weather service said.

Further east the storm brought flooding rains and strong winds that downed trees and power lines to eastern Pennsylvania and New Jersey and flooding rains to New York and New England. More storms can be seen on the computer models that may brings snows further east. Since the coldest water with this La Nina in the tropical Pacific has shifted more towards the central Pacific from the eastern Pacific, storms have tended to track inland and bring more rain to the northeast. Blocking though is developing in the Atlantic and polar regions and this should force future storms to track or redevelop further south and bring some late snows to the east the next few weeks.

Posted on 03/09 at 03:01 PM
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Thursday, March 06, 2008
NY Conference Researcher: Basic Greenhouse Equations “Totally Wrong”

By Michael Asher, Daily Tech

New derivation of equations governing the greenhouse effect reveals “runaway warming” impossible. Miklos Zagoni isn’t just a physicist and environmental researcher.  He is also a global warming activist and Hungary’s most outspoken supporter of the Kyoto Protocol. Or was. That was until he learned the details of a new theory of the greenhouse effect, one that not only gave far more accurate climate predictions here on Earth, but Mars too. The theory was developed by another Hungarian scientist, Ferenc Miskolczi, an atmospheric physicist with 30 years of experience and a former researcher with NASA’s Ames Research Center.

After studying it, Zagoni stopped calling global warming a crisis, and has instead focused on presenting the new theory to other climatologists. The data fit extremely well.  “I fell in love,” he stated at the International Climate Change Conference this week. “Runaway greenhouse theories contradict energy balance equations,” Miskolczi states.  Just as the theory of relativity sets an upper limit on velocity, his theory sets an upper limit on the greenhouse effect, a limit which prevents it from warming the Earth more than a certain amount. How did modern researchers make such a mistake? They relied upon equations derived over 80 years ago, equations which left off one term from the final solution.

Miskolczi’s story reads like a book. Looking at a series of differential equations for the greenhouse effect, he noticed the solution—originally done in 1922 by Arthur Milne, but still used by climate researchers today—ignored boundary conditions by assuming an “infinitely thick” atmosphere. So Miskolczi re-derived the solution, this time using the proper boundary conditions for an atmosphere that is not infinite. His result included a new term, which acts as a negative feedback to counter the positive forcing. At low levels, the new term means a small difference ... but as greenhouse gases rise, the negative feedback predominates, forcing values back down. NASA refused to release the results.  Miskolczi believes their motivation is simple.  “Money”, he tells DailyTech.  Research that contradicts the view of an impending crisis jeopardizes funding, not only for his own atmosphere-monitoring project, but all climate-change research.  Currently, funding for climate research tops $5 billion per year. Miskolczi resigned in protest.

His theory was eventually published in a peer-reviewed scientific journal in his home country of Hungary. The conclusions are supported by research published in the Journal of Geophysical Research last year from Steven Schwartz of Brookhaven National Labs, who gave statistical evidence that the Earth’s response to carbon dioxide was grossly overstated.  It also helps to explain why current global climate models continually predict more warming than actually measured. Read more here.

Posted on 03/06 at 10:16 PM
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Twelve Months of Cooling Doesn’t Make A Climate Trend

By Dr. John R. Christy

I have been flooded this week with calls and e-mail messages concerning a story that has appeared on various Internet sites, in which the claim is made that cooling global temperatures over the past twelve months in some way negate or eliminate any global warming that might have happened over the past 100 years.

“Here is my perspective on this issue: Twelve months of data does not make a trend, especially in a system as complex and slow moving as global climate, and even more so when the cause for that short-term cooling is as reasonably well understood and well documented as a switch from a minor El Nino Pacific Ocean warming in January 2007 to the La Nina cooling event now taking place.

“The 0.59 C drop we have seen in the past 12 months is unusual, but not unprecedented; April 1998 to April 1999 saw a 0.71 C fall. The long-term climate trend from November 1978 through (and including) January 2008 continues to show a modest warming at the rate of about 0.14 C (0.25 degrees F) per decade.

“One cool year does not erase decades of climate data, nor does it more than minimally change the long-term climate trend. Long-term climate change is just that “long term” and 12 months of data are little more than a blip on the screen.”

Dr. John Christy is Professor of Atmospheric Science and Director, Earth System Science Center, The University of Alabama in Huntsville

Icecap Note: Certainly John is absolutely correct that we can’t make too much of one year’s change either up or down. The story he referenced focused on the Hadley CRU land and ocean based data. John Christy, Roy Spencer and Phillip Gentry are using satellite derived lower tropospheric data.  Satellite is widely recognized as the most accurate method for the assessment of change. The following plot of the last decade of the satellite derived global temperatures shows how the global climate is strongly influenced by El Nino and La Nina as John notes.

See larger image here

As this La Nina weakens, temperatures will very likely rebound. The important issue is whether the Pacific Decadal Oscillation which has descended into its negative cold mode stays there. That would mean less “warm” El Ninos (which have dominated the satellite data set period, because it was mainly in the warm PDO phase which favors El Ninos) and more “cool” La Ninas. This would logically reduce or reverse the longer term trend in temperatures over the next few decades. Download blog pdf here

Posted on 03/06 at 02:15 AM
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Monday, March 03, 2008
Global Warming: Truth or Dare?

By Denis G. Rancourt, Activist Teacher

Global warming is often presented as the greatest potential threat to humankind and as the greatest environmental and ecological threat on the planet. It is also presented as a problem that could be solved or contained by determined international collaboration - by political will if it were present. I argue: (1) that global warming (climate change, climate chaos, etc.) will not become humankind’s greatest threat until the sun has its next hiccup in a billion years or more (in the very unlikely scenario that we are still around), (2) that global warming is presently nowhere near being the planet’s most deadly environmental scourge, and (3) that government action and political will cannot measurably or significantly ameliorate global climate in the present world.

I also advance that there are strong societal, institutional, and psychological motivations for having constructed and for continuing to maintain the myth of a global warming dominant threat (global warming myth, for short). I describe these motivations in terms of the workings of the scientific profession and of the global corporate and finance network and its government shadows. I argue that by far the most destructive force on the planet is power-driven financiers and profit-driven corporations and their cartels backed by military might; and that the global warming myth is a red herring that contributes to hiding this truth. In my opinion, activists who, using any justification, feed the global warming myth have effectively been co-opted, or at best neutralized.

The most often cited reconstructed global average temperature curves (themselves somewhat tenuous, see below) show increases in global mean temperature of approximately 0.5-1 C in the last 100 years. Let us compare this to the extremes of temperature to which humans routinely adapt. Humans have thrived in every possible ecological niche on the planet, from deserts to tropical forests to the North Polar Regions, since well before present technological advances. These environments show mean temperature differences of as much as 50 C or more. Many of these environments also show day to night and seasonal differences of as much as 20-50 C. A sudden 0.5-1 C increase in mean annual temperature (not spread over 100 years) would be imperceptible to any human and indeed could barely be detected using all of the methods of the modern scientific enterprise.

In addition, whereas there is evidence of negative consequences to populations from sustained regional cooling (e.g., Europe’s Little Ice Age, 1300-1850 AD) and whereas global ice ages (occurring every 40-100 thousand years or so) clearly have significantly affected human populations, there is no known case of a sustained warming alone having negatively impacted an entire population. If it where not for the global greenhouse effect, the planet would on average be 33 C colder and inhabitable. As a general rule, all life on Earth does better when it’s hotter: Compare ecological diversity and biotic density (or biomass) at the poles and at the equator. Read more here.

Posted on 03/03 at 02:10 AM
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Friday, February 29, 2008
The Sky is Falling - or Revising the Nine Times Rule

By William F. McClenney, P.G. R.E.A.

When I first heard it, I believed it. It made sense. I could see it easily and clearly. And that was a long, long time ago. It seemed counterintuitive that anyone could or would not believe it. It was that seminal. Homo Sapiens would cause the earth to warm, we now call it the Greenhouse Gas theory, and it is now a law (at least in California). But it was just a few years ago as the real hype got going that I had my first cause to question the legality of what would soon be a law. And it happened in the oddest of ways. That occasioned a journey that took me from realization to epiphany to more realizations until I finally got it. I will take you on that journey, if you think you can handle it. But be well advised that due to the Nine Times Rule there is only an 11.1% chance you will be able to follow me.

In an advanced course in Psychology taken some 30 years ago I learned that the human being is nine times more susceptible to rumor than it is to fact. That simple rule explains a dramatic amount of human behavior. To prove this rule all one needs to do is accurately answer this simple question: Which religion is the correct one? That’s what I thought.

So if you want to take the journey I did, brace yourself well. My religion is geology, and this journey is the ultimate heresy. If you make it all the way to the end, and understand it all, you will be amongst a very rare breed, those that made the cut on the Nine Times Rule. And you will know how this fundamental rule has been revised, may possibly be revised again downwards, and why. Because this journey I took, and that you may take, started out about climate change and ended up somewhere else entirely. It ended up as part of the theory of everything.

Icecap Note: What follows is a five part series submitted for our evaluation by William F. McClenney, Professional Geologist #4430 (CA) who changed sides during his multi-year, painstaking research into all aspects of anthropogenic versus natural causes of climate changes.  In his own words “The results of this research are startling.  Not only can I safely state that the chances of AGW occurring due to greenhouse gases (GHG) is remote at best, and if it did occur might very well be the first time in the geologic record, but that GHG theorists are simply on the wrong side of the decimal point in this debate.” You may not agree with everything he says. I didn’t. But it is overall very insightful, interesting and provocative. Part 1 is here. Part II is here. Part III is here. Part IV is here. Finally Part V is here.

Mr. McClenney is a California Licensed Professional Geologist and Registered Environmental Assessor. He was also appointed the first Certified Environmental Auditor in Victoria, Australia in 1991, empowered to sign-off on contaminated site cleanups. He has been investigating and cleaning up hazardous waste sites for 22 years.

Posted on 02/29 at 04:09 AM
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Wednesday, February 27, 2008
This La Nina Likely to Have Legs

By Joseph D’Aleo, CCM

Evidence is growing this La Nina will be a longer term event. Most similar important La Ninas are often multi year events (1949-1951,1954-1956, 1961-63, 1970-1972, 1973-1976, 1998-2001). Though the easternmost Pacific near South America has warmed at the surface as the seasonal weakening of the tropical easterlies led to weakened upwelling, it is still cold beneath. Below you can see the latest depth-section of ocean temperatures (top) and anomalies (bottom). Temperature are in degree Celsius. Note the large reservoir of subsurface anomalously cold water (up to 4 degrees C) in the eastern tropical Pacific at 50 to 100 meters.

See larger image here

Also see the latest CPC depicted ocean heat content in the tropical Pacific. This shows the heat content remains at near maximum deficit levels.

See larger image here

These suggest as the easterlies increase again, cooling will return to the east Pacific and La Nina will persist at least well into 2008. The Pacific Decadal Oscillation (PDO) has dropped strongly negative (latest value from NCEP is -1.54 STD). This decline may represent another Great Pacific Climate Shift as the PDO warm and cold phases tend last 25 to 30 years and the last change , to a warm Pacific, occurred in 1976. See more in this pdf here.  If indeed the PDO shift is the real deal, we might expect more La Ninas and fewer weaker El Ninos over the next few decades with a net tendency for cooling. Add to that a quieter sun and eventually a cooling Atlantic, and you have a recipe for global cooling.

However, this has its own drawbacks, La Ninas bring more drought and summer heat waves, landfalling hurricanes, large tornado outbreaks, spring floods, winter snows and cold outbreaks than their more famous counterpart, El Nino, which has dominated during the warm PDO era. A while back, Stan Changnon did an interesting analysis which I reported on recently here that suggests the era we have gone through since the late 1970s with dominant El Ninos was unusually benign with more benefits than damages and will be looked on as the golden era, a modern climate optimum. Even if all this is correct, you might expect the media and enviro-alarmists ‘evidence’ we are affecting our climate to morph from warming and ice melt to the climate extremes characteristic of La Ninas. See full pdf here

Posted on 02/27 at 07:41 PM
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Tuesday, February 26, 2008
Global Climate Changes have Natural Causes

By Dr. Lance Endersbee

In the fifteenth and sixteenth centuries the climate in Europe was cold and unpredictable. Crops failed. Famine followed famine, bringing epidemics. There was a belief that crop failures must be due to human wickedness. But who were the wicked ones? It was believed that there must be some witches who are in the grip of the devil. Witches were named, Inquisitors tested their faith, and a large number of poor souls were condemned and burnt at the stake. For decade after decade, fires burned in most towns in Europe. It is an example of a public delusion. In 1841, Charles MacKay wrote a book, Extraordinary Public Delusions and the Madness of Crowds. It has been reprinted. MacKay describes several popular delusions such as The South-Sea Bubble, The Tulipmania, The Crusades, and The Witch Mania. We read it today with a detached amusement, but there have been many other popular delusions since MacKay wrote his book. We are not immune to the madness of crowds.

Today, there is global warming. The droughts and warm weather are regarded as punishment for the environmental sins of mankind. The particular cause is claimed to be the use of carbon fuels. Over the past two decades the concepts of man-made global warming and man-made climate change have come to be accepted as reality. It is repeated every day, in the papers, on TV, in schools and universities. Many governments, and the United Nations, have declared their faith that Man is causing global climate change. But is it true, or is it just another extraordinary popular delusion?

Many scientists, engineers, farmers and others around the world have sound reasons to believe that global climate change has natural causes, but there is little learned discussion. The reason is that climate change has now become a political and economic issue, and is no longer a scientific issue. Read more here.

Emeritus Professor Lance Endersbee is former Dean of Engineering and former Pro-Vice Chancellor of Melbourne, Australia’s Monash University.

Posted on 02/26 at 04:59 PM
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‘Science’ - Environmentalism’s Fig Leaf

By Climate Resistance

On The Nation blog, David Roberts of Gristmill (another blog) writes:  Long-time greens are painfully aware that the arguments of global warming skeptics are like zombies in a ‘70s B movie. They get shot, stabbed, and crushed, over and over again, but they just keep lurching to their feet and staggering forward. That’s because—news flash!—climate skepticism is an ideological, not a scientific, position, and as such it bears only a tenuous relationship to scientific rules of evidence and inference.

Let us put him straight. Climate scepticism (or skepticism) is not an ideological position. Climate scepticism is not an ideology. Climate scepticism does not offer a perspective on the world from which follow moral imperatives, and climate scepticism is not a doctrine, around which climate sceptics wish to organise society. There is no “world view” of climate scepticism. Environmentalism,on the other hand, is an ideology. It does create moral imperatives. It does wish to organise society around its principles. It is a world view. Of course, climate orthodoxy and environmentalism can be challenged from political or ideological perspectives. But there is no consistent “climate sceptic” position. There doesn’t need to be; It’s not an argument for a course of action, and its objections to environmentalism are varied. There have been criticisms of climate politics from the left, and from the centre (or center), and from the right. But these perspectives are not unique to climate scepticism.

To make his point, Roberts links back to a March ‘07 post of his on Gristmill, where he makes the claim that, the scientific contest, at least as it relates to the basic facts of global warming, is over. If the science is settled, he reasons, then the idea that “The contest between climate advocates and their critics is primarily a scientific contest, a debate over who has the best science” is false. By elimination, the argument with no science must be political. Of course, both of Roberts’s premises are false. The scientific debate is not over - it’s never over, and can never be over. That is itself an unscientific statement. Read more here.

Posted on 02/26 at 03:16 AM
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Monday, February 25, 2008
The Oceans’ Role in Seasonal and Longer Term Climate

By Joseph D’Aleo, CCM

Why the current cooling is likely just the start!

Although, I believe the sun is likely the primary driver for the changes to global climate, the oceans may provide the mechanisms for the changes on year-to-year to multidecadal time scales. In a prior analysis, we had shown how the sun and oceans correlated better with US temperature changes than carbon dioxide over the last century. The oceans had the strongest correlation. In this analysis, we will present evidence for how and why the oceans affect temperatures.

The oceans warm and cool much slower than land for a number of reasons. (1) The sun is able to warm only the thin upper surface of the land directly while it may penetrate many meters into the ocean; (2) The ocean like the air but unlike land is subject to vertical mixing and convective movements; (3) The thermal capacity of the oceans is much higher because the water has roughly four times the specific heat (the amount of heat required to warm a given volume 1 degree Celsius) as most land surfaces. This is why land warms more and much faster than the ocean in the spring and cools more and faster in the fall.

As John Brignell has noted, one consequence of the ocean’s ability to absorb more heat is that when an area of ocean becomes warmer or cooler than usual, it takes much longer for that area to revert to “normal” than it would for a land area. Also because of the huge discrepancy in volumetric thermal capacities, the influence of water on air is very much greater and more immediate than air on water. A change in atmospheric temperatures might take decades to affect the oceans, but the flip of an anomaly of an ocean pool of water has an almost immediate effect on the air. Although ocean temperature anomalies tend to persist for long periods, there are large-scale oscillations or flip-flops that take place on scales of a few years to multiple decades. These oscillations have profound effect on global temperatures. This can be seen with the El Ninos and La Ninas.

See larger image here

In this post, we will look further into the ENSO effects and also show how the longer term multidecadal PDO affects El Nino and La Nina frequency and through that the global temperature tendencies. And we end with a look ahead with changes underway to the sun and ocean.

See larger image here

See full blog here

Posted on 02/25 at 03:54 AM
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Saturday, February 23, 2008
Carbon Dioxide Versus Temperature

Posted by Paul Biggs on the Jennifer Marohasy Blog

According to Lance Endersbee:

The CO2 levels in the atmosphere are damped by the oceans. The oceans are a huge source and sink for volatile gases. The surface area of the oceans is vast in relation to the depth of the oceans and the atmosphere. Thus we are dealing with a surface phenomenon.

See larger graph here.

The above chart is an actual experience curve relating actual CO2 levels with actual global average sea surface temperatures. It is not a time scale, just the simple relation between two physical parameters. The line is made up of the succession of actual monthly plotted points. If we have regard to the possible errors of measurement of CO2 and SST, it is remarkably consistent. The clear relationship is what would be expected from solubility data. It is only evident in the temperature data from satellite sources. The 21 year moving average covers the double solar cycle, including the change in solar polarity. It also covers El Nino and La Nina events. It also recognizes the longer response time of the oceans. This chart proves that human emissions of CO2 cannot accumulate in the atmosphere. They are scavenged as they occur. We can use the chart to predict the decreased levels of CO2 that will result from cooling.

From Joe D’Aleo:

Below is the monthly Hadley land and ocean and UAH MSU lower tropospheric temperatures over the last decade plotted with the CO2. Note the temperatures have not warmed, something even IPCC’s head Dr. Rajendra Pachauri took note of (paraphrasing him - as for the plateauing of temperatures in recent years, we have to see if there are natural factors offsetting greenhouse gases). Note the correlation with CO2 has vanished the last decade for both data sets.

See larger graph here.

Aside from the brief bounce coming out of the moderate/strong La Nina of 1999, there has been no increase despite the steady climb of CO2. If we were nearing that ‘tipping point’ Hansen and Gore love to talk about, surely, a decade is not too short a period to expect some thermal response to CO2 increases. See Jennifer’s Blog here. For more on the oceans’ role compared to CO2 see this earlier blog (updated).

Posted on 02/23 at 05:40 PM
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Ross McKitrick Google Home Page

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