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Wednesday, September 12, 2007
A New Record for Antarctic Total Ice Extent?

While the news focus has been on the lowest ice extent since satellite monitoring began in 1979 for the Arctic, the Southern Hemisphere (Antarctica) has quietly set a new record for most ice extent since 1979.

This can be seen on this graphic from this University of Illinois site The Cryosphere Today, which updated snow and ice extent for both hemispheres daily. The Southern Hemispheric areal coverage is the highest in the satellite record, just beating out 1995, 2001, 2005 and 2006. Since 1979, the trend has been up for the total Antarctic ice extent.


While the Antarctic Peninsula area has warmed in recent years and ice near it diminished during the Southern Hemisphere summer, the interior of Antarctica has been colder and ice elsewhere has been more extensive and longer lasting, which explains the increase in total extent. This dichotomy was shown in this World Climate Report blog posted recently with a similar tale told in this paper by Ohio State Researcher David Bromwich, who agreed “It’s hard to see a global warming signal from the mainland of Antarctica right now”. 

Indeed, according the NASA GISS data, the South Pole winter (June/July/August) has cooled about 1 degree F since 1957 and the coldest year was 2004.


This winter has been an especially harsh one in the Southern Hemisphere with cold and snow records set in Australia, South America and Africa. We will have recap on this hard winter shortly.  See full story here.

Posted on 09/12 at 03:44 AM
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Saturday, September 08, 2007
The Arctic in the News and Blogs – No Sense of History

By Joe D’Aleo, ICECAP

A series of reports by the USGS were released Friday predicting tough sledding ahead for the world’s polar bear populations. More than two-thirds of the world’s polar bears will be killed off by 2050 — including the entire population in Alaska — because of thinning sea ice from global warming in the Arctic, government scientists forecast Friday. See in this blog why the evidence does not suggest that rising temperature endangers them or will cause their extinction but don’t let the facts get in the way of a good cause.


Jeff Masters in his Wunderground blog yesterday projected the decrease in arctic ice the last few decades will continue, eventually leaving the arctic ice free by 2030. He gets there by comparing the ice in 1979 to the ice cover in 2007 and noting it was disappearing faster than the climate models showed it would. He notes that although this will have little effect on sea level it will mean we have to reevaluate the melting of the Greenland icecap and revise its demise sharply upwards. This he notes would have a much greater effect on sea level. Again Jeff and the researchers he quotes have little regard or understanding of the history nor understanding of the true factors at play in the cyclical changes in the arctic and Greenland (and the globe for that matter). See more here.

Posted on 09/08 at 09:27 PM
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Thursday, September 06, 2007
Antarctica: Warming, Cooling, or Both?

By World Climate Report

The ice caps are melting – right? If you visit thousands of websites on climate change, watch Gore’s film or many similar documentaries, you would be left with no doubt that the icecaps are warming and melting at an unprecedented rate. However, with respect to Antarctica, you might be surprised when you examine what the United Nations Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change says in their 2007 Summary for Policymakers. Believe it or not, IPCC reports “Antarctic sea ice extent continues to show inter-annual variability and localized changes but no statistically significant average trends, consistent with the lack of warming reflected in atmospheric temperatures averaged across the region.” Furthermore, they note “Current global model studies project that the Antarctic ice sheet will remain too cold for widespread surface melting and is expected to gain in mass due to increased snowfall.”

A major article on this subject appears in a recent issue of the Journal of Climate by William Chapman and John Walsh of the University of Illinois. The two scientists extensively review the literature on temperature trends in Antarctica and conclude “These studies are essentially unanimous in their finding that the Antarctic Peninsula has warmed since the 1950s, when many of the surface stations were established.” They note “Recent summaries of station data show that, aside from the Antarctic Peninsula and the McMurdo area, one is hard-pressed to argue that warming has occurred, even at the Antarctic coastal stations away from the peninsula and McMurdo.” Furthermore, they write “Recent attempts to broaden the spatial coverage of temperature estimates have shown a similar lack of evidence of spatially widespread warming.” Like it or not, over the past four decades, and during the time of the greatest build-up of greenhouse gases, Antarctica has been cooling!

Linear trends of annual mean surface air temperature (°C/decade) for the period 1958–2002 from Chapman and Walsh, 2007

Read full report and analysis of this paper here.

Posted on 09/06 at 02:22 PM
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The Inconvenient Truth about the Ice Core Carbon Dioxide Temperature Correlations

By Nir Shaviv, Science Bits

One of the “scientific” highlights in Al Gore’s movie is the discussion about the clear correlation between CO2 and temperature, as is obtained in ice cores. To quote, he says the following when discussing the ice-core data (about 40 mins after the beginning for the film): “The relationship is actually very complicated but there is one relationship that is far more powerful than all the others and it is this. When there is more carbon dioxide, the temperature gets warmer, because it traps more heat from the sun inside.”

Any laymen will understand from this statement that the ice-cores demonstrate a causal link, that higher amounts of CO2 give rise to higher temperatures. Of course, this could indeed be the case, and to some extent, it necessarily is. However, can this conclusion really be drawn from this graph? Can one actually say anything at all about how much CO2 affects the global temperature?

To the dismay of Al Gore, the answer is that this graph doesn’t prove at all that CO2 has any effect on the global temperature.  The main evidence proving that CO2 does not control the climate, but at most can play a second fiddle by just amplifying the variations already present, is that of lags. In all cases where there is a good enough resolution, one finds that the CO2 lags behind the temperature by typically several hundred to a thousand years.

Analysis of ice core data from Antarctica by Indermühle et al. (GRL, vol. 27, p. 735, 2000), who find that CO2 lags behind the temperature by 1200±700 years.

See more in this excellent blog here.

Posted on 09/06 at 02:03 PM
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Wednesday, September 05, 2007
Politicization of Global Warming Science

Final blog by Roger Pielke Sr. on Climate Science

Former Colorado State Climatologist Roger Pielke Sr slams the politicization of global warming science in his final blog on Climate Science, the best of all the climate blogs for many years. Roger’s voice will continued to be heard and we expect to continue to find many more of his papers published. His Climate Science reports and the comments they inspired will be missed.

Excerpt from the final blog: Climate Science has discussed the shortcomings, bias and errors with the 2007 IPCC Report (e.g. see, see, see, and see). My final Climate Science posting summarizes the fundamental problem with this assessment. If instead of evaluating research in climate, suppose a group of scientists introduced a new cancer drug that they claimed could save many lives. There were side effects, of course, but they claimed that the benefit far out weighed these risks. The government than asked these scientist to form an assessment Committee to evaluate this claim. Colleagues of the group of scientists who introduced the drug are then asked to serve on this Committee, along with the developers. If this occurred, of course, there would be an uproar of protest! This is a clear conflict of interest. Yet this is what has happened with the IPCC process! The same individuals who are doing primary research in the role of humans on the climate system are then permitted to lead the assessment! There should be an outcry on this obvious conflict of interest, but to date either few recognize this conflict, or see that since the recommendations of the IPCC fit their policy and political agenda, they chose to ignore this conflict. In either case, scientific rigor has been sacrificed and poor policy and political decisions will inevitably follow. We need recognition among the scientific community, the media, and policymakers that the IPCC process is obviously a real conflict of interest, and this has resulted in a significantly flawed report.

Read Roger’s final blog here.

Posted on 09/05 at 08:45 PM
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Carbon Dioxide: The Houdini of Gases

By Alan Siddons and Joe D’Aleo

How long does carbon dioxide linger in the air? This is actually an important question, a question of so-called residence time. As previously discussed on this blog, studies compiled by geologist Tom Segalstad rather convincingly show that earth’s biological and chemical processes recycle CO2 within a decade, meaning that a CO2 molecule you’re exhaling at the moment is bound to be captured by a plant or a rock or the ocean just a few years from now. Yet the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change and other authorities insist that carbon dioxide generally remains in the air for up to 200 years.

Who to believe? We’ll present some evidence here and you be the judge. See also this recent posting.


Posted on 09/05 at 04:28 PM
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Friday, August 31, 2007
NASA and Greenland Ice

By Peter McGurk, Joseph D’Aleo and George Taylor

We received an interesting analysis from Peter McGurk, a meteorologist and climatologist and member of Icecap. It began as follows:  “In a NASA posting by Kendall Haven, there was a very interesting discussion entitled “Greenland’s Ice Island Alarm”. The article described how NASA is using advanced satellite technology to try and get an accurate estimate of the amount of ice loss currently occurring in the Greenland Ice Sheet. NASA noted that in terms of ice sheet elevation, most of the loss is occurring near the edges, but due to somewhat warmer temperatures snowfall has increased across interior portions of the ice sheet so that across many inland sections the ice sheet elevations are unchanged or increasing, especially across much of southern Greenland.”

Peter went on to take an in-depth look at the annual retreat rates of the Jakobshavn glacier and their relationship to the AMO (Atlantic Multidecadal Oscillation). 


He also finds on the longer time scales interestingly that the interglacial periods seem to be getting shorter while the glacial periods longer. Peter concludes “It seems to me that climate cycles have been occurring on this planet for millions of years and will continue to do so. Latching on to little pieces of these cycles and projecting them out linearly forever is not very realistic. We are still trying to unravel the complexities of our climate system with all its wonderful checks and balances. Maybe someday we might even figure it all out, but as my late professor Dr. Theodore Fujita used to say “nothing integrates as fast as Mother Nature”. In the long run, the Earth will take care of itself and the Greenland ice sheet will be just fine.”

See Peter’s full analysis here. I have added some relevant information supporting Peter’s conclusions from an earlier blog story authored by George Taylor and I. 

Posted on 08/31 at 08:00 PM
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Science Trumped by Human Nature

Scientific Allliance Newsletter

We have benefited enormously from scientific advance and its practical applications. Humans are the ultimate generalists and highly adaptable because they observe and learn. The scientific method takes this one stage further: we put forward hypotheses and do experiments to validate them. If the hypothesis doesn’t fit the observations, we reject it. But if it does fit the facts, that doesn’t prove it’s right. Science should continually test theories so that we become more certain of their correctness, but we can never be absolutely sure.

Post-modern thinking teaches that there are no hard truths, that scientific “facts” are social constructs. In one sense, that’s true, since we can never provide absolute proof of any theory. But, taken to the extreme, this school of thought is essentially anti-science and leads to the dangerous tendency we see today of decisions being made on the basis of people’s feelings rather than any objective basis. That leads to belief- rather than evidence-based policy. It also leads us away from the Enlightenment.

But science also is not a perfect, foolproof system; neither is it perfectible. The scientific method, for all its advantages as a basis for decision-making, and for all the benefits it has undoubtedly brought us, is only an overlay on human nature.

Since there remain large areas of uncertainly the scientific method should mean that we continue to make observations until the evidence becomes compelling. But the majority of people now believe global warming – human induced global warming – to be an established truth. And the reason for this is typical crowd behaviour: when enough establishment scientists make their views known, have them amplified by the media and supported by the environmental movement, the majority of people take this as the truth. It’s the Emperor’s new clothes once again. Those who play the role of the little boy pointing out that the Emperor is in fact naked are derided and attacked, often in very personal ways. The establishment does not tolerate dissent well.

So, what will happen? Ultimately, the whole debate will be settled on the basis of real evidence. Whatever policy is implemented in the meantime is likely to be immaterial in terms of influencing the climate, although it will consume resources, slow growth and actually have a real negative impact on those at the bottom of the pile. But at some stage – perhaps by 2010, perhaps later – we could reach a tipping point where it becomes clear to the majority of scientists, commentators and the public that, whatever is happening to the climate, Mankind is not the major contributor, and cannot reset the thermostat by reducing carbon dioxide emissions. Alternatively, real confirmatory evidence that carbon dioxide is the main driver may be found, and those critics with open minds will change their views.

If a tipping point is reached where the current received wisdom is overturned, it’s trust in the scientific establishment which will be the loser, and that could lead to further erosion in the general public’s regard for the scientific method. Human nature would have trumped science, and science would suffer.

Read more here or got the see the newsletter at the Scientific Alliance website here.

Posted on 08/31 at 02:12 PM
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Thursday, August 23, 2007
The HO83 Hygrothermometer

By Steve McIntyre, Climate Audit Blog

In the discussion of the Tucson weather station, Ben Herman of the U of Arizona observed that there were serious biases with the HO83 hygrothermometer - introduced in the early 1990s - which was said to be a contributor to the uptick to Tucson values. Although USHCN has implemented adjustments to U.S. data to deal with time-of-observation bias and station history, both of which resulted in significant upward adjustments of recent data relative to earlier data, I have been unable to see any evidence that either NOAA or NASA made any attempt to adjust for the upward bias of recent readings using the HO-83 thermometer, although its problems are thoroughly discussed in the specialist literature.

So problems with the HO83 thermometer are amply documented in specialist literature. USHCN has been quick to adjust time-of-observation bias which worked in the direction of increasing 20th century trends - what have they done to adjust for HO83 bias which caused an upward bias to measurements in the 1990s?


I must confess that this indicates at least the possibility of a bias in adjustment decisions: one is hard-pressed not to take away an impression that, if the HO83 adjustment had increased 20th century trends, that Karl and Hansen would have been on it like a dog on a bone, but, since the adjustment will lower late 20th century temperatures, the adjustment mysteriously becomes too elusive to implement. Just an impression.

Read more here on Steve’s blog.


Posted on 08/23 at 03:07 PM
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Tuesday, August 21, 2007
Hurricanes and CO2 Rise

By Dr William Gray

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. 

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. The advocates of CO2 are either unaware or unaccepting of this plausible explanation. The alarmist’s position that the overall trend in SSTs and tropical cyclone and hurricane numbers is substantially influenced by greenhouse warming.  Read Bill’s take on the season and the issue here.

Posted on 08/21 at 12:53 PM
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Monday, August 20, 2007
Trouble in Climate-Model Paradise

By Sherwood, Keith and Craig Idso, CO2 Science

In an intriguing Climate Change report in Science, Wentz et al. (2007) note that the Coupled Model Intercomparison Project, as well as various climate modeling analyses, predict an increase in precipitation on the order of 1 to 3% per °C of surface global warming. Hence, they decided to see what has happened in the real world in this regard over the last 19 years (1987-2006) of supposedly unprecedented global warming, when data from the Global Historical Climatology Network and satellite measurements of the lower troposphere have indicated a global temperature rise on the order of 0.20°C per decade.

Using satellite observations obtained from the Special Sensor Microwave Imager (SSM/I), the four Remote Sensing Systems scientists derived precipitation trends for the world’s oceans over this period; and using data obtained from the Global Precipitation Climatology Project that were acquired from both satellite and rain gauge measurements, they derived precipitation trends for the earth’s continents. Appropriately combining the results of these two endeavors, they then derived a real-world increase in precipitation on the order of 7% per °C of surface global warming, which is somewhere between 2.3 and 7 times larger than what is predicted by state-of-the-art climate models.

Based on theoretical considerations, Wentz et al. concluded that the only way to bring the two results into harmony with each other was for there to have been a 19-year decline in global wind speeds. But when looking at the past 19 years of SSM/I wind retrievals, they found just the opposite, i.e., an increase in global wind speeds.

In discussing these embarrassing results, Wentz et al. correctly state that “the reason for the discrepancy between the observational data and the GCMs is not clear.” They also rightly state that this dramatic difference between the real world of nature and the virtual world of climate modeling “has enormous impact,” concluding that the questions raised by the discrepancy “are far from being settled.” We agree. And until these “enormous impact questions” are settled, we wonder how anyone could conceivably think of acting upon the global energy policy prescriptions of the likes of Al Gore and James Hansen, who speak and write as if there was little more to do in the realm of climate-change prediction than a bit of fine-tuning. Read more here.

Posted on 08/20 at 03:41 PM
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Friday, August 17, 2007
Getting Order out of Climate Chaos

Guest blog by Dr. Anthony Lupo, University of Missouri

A recent paper published in the Geophysical Research Letters deserves some attention, not only for the work done, but the implications of the paper as well. The paper, “A new dynamical mechanism for major climate shifts”, by A.A. Tsonis, K. Swanson, and S. Kravtsov is remarkable because it brings back some common sense in the climate change debate. This paper discusses the collective behavior of four major climate “cycles” or variations and how they may interact with each other to impact the overall direction of climate or climate change. Some of these cycles are well-known to the public, such as El Nino or the North Atlantic Oscillation, and others are less known such as the Pacific Decadal Oscillation.

The authors can account for the warming and cooling periods of the 20th century by examining the dynamic behavior of these climate variations. In particular, they find that the climate regime can shift when these four cycles “synchronize”. Thus, they find that climate can shift, or change, due to internal (non-linear) climate dynamics, and they don’t even have to invoke an external climate change mechanism such as solar forcing. This is new and exciting work.

Thus, the paper cited above is a welcome message and is message that, while not exactly new, must be repeated over and over again even if the message is presented in different ways. Others, including many climate experts on this website have delivered a similar message. For example, a document authored by J. D’Aleo and G. Taylor present observed global temperature trends and demonstrate the same type climatic behavior that Tsonis et al. (2007) show can now be modeled.

Additionally, other studies including some published by my own research group demonstrates that changes in the frequency and intensity of natural cycles (such El Nino) can be modulated by other natural cycles (such as the Pacific Decadal Oscillation) and that the impact on the variations in local climates can be profound.  Read more here.

Posted on 08/17 at 12:55 AM
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Thursday, August 16, 2007
Positive Feedback: Have We Been Fooling Ourselves?

By Roy Spencer on Roger Pielke Sr’s Climate Science Weblog

There are three main points/opinions/issues I’d like to explore, which are all interrelated:

(1) The traditional way in which feedbacks have been diagnosed from observational data has very likely misled us about the existence of positive feedbacks in the climate system.

(2) Our new analyses of satellite observations of intraseasonal oscillations suggest negative cloud feedbacks, supporting Lindzen’s Infrared Iris hypothesis.

(3) I am increasingly convinced that understanding precipitation systems is the key to understanding climate sensitivity.

I think it is time to provoke some serious discussion and reconsideration regarding what we think we know about feedbacks in the real climate system, and therefore about climate sensitivity. See this thought provoking analysis here.

Posted on 08/16 at 10:41 PM
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Wednesday, August 15, 2007
Musings on Carbon Dioxide

By Joseph D’Aleo, Icecap

Carbon dioxide is 0.00038 or 0.038% of our atmosphere by volume. Only 2.75% of atmospheric CO2 is anthropogenic in origin. The amount we emit is said to be up from 1% a decade ago. Despite that increase, our annual contribution each year is just 0.00001 or 0.001% of our atmosphere by volume. Despite the increase in emissions, the rate of change of atmospheric carbon dioxide at Mauna Loa remains the same as the long term average (+0.45%/year). This is likely because the oceans are a far more important sink for excess carbon dioxide than generally accepted. If the atmosphere was a 100 story building, our anthropogenic CO2 contribution today would be equivalent to the linoleum on the first floor. By comparison, water vapor, a far more potent greenhouse gas, on average would occupy on average 1 floor and at times, especially in the tropics, up to 4 floors.

See in this brief paper, how the changes year-to-year relate to ENSO and volcanic eruptions rather dramatically which suggests the carbon dioixde in the atmosphere reacts rapidly to changes in the oceans and as Segalstad and others have speculated likely has a far shorter residence time in our atmosphere (5-7 years) than claimed by the IPCC (150-200 years). This could have a significant effect on the ability of climate models to forecast future levels of carbon dioxide and temperatures. 


Notice a pattern? The annual rates of increase in carbon dioxide El Ninos tend to be more, La Nina less, volcanic years least.

For El Ninos the average increase has been 1.80ppm/year, La Ninas over 40% less at 1.03. For years after major volcanic eruptions (Agung, Mt St Helens, El Chichon, Pinatubo, Cerro Hudson) the average increase is just 0.61 ppm. For ENSO (eliminating major volcano years), the Pearson correlation is a moderately strong 0.67 with the CO2 changes.
The reason the rate increases during El Ninos is that El Ninos cause global land and sea temperatures to rise. As oceans warm, they release more of the stored carbon dioxide. The CO2 rate of increase diminishes after La Ninas and volcanic eruptions as land and sea cool. As the oceans cool, they take in more carbon dioxide.

This rapid response supports the notion of a shorter lifetime for CO2 (5 to 7 years) as suggested by Segalstad and 35 other studies he compiled, far short of the 150-200 years the IPCC claims. If this more rapid atmospheric response and shorter residence times are correct, it is another flaw in the global climate models that may exaggerate the changes upcoming.

Posted on 08/15 at 04:57 PM
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New Model Supports Our Theory the Oceans May Be the Real Key

By Joseph D’Aleo, Icecap

In an earlier blog and paper, George Taylor and I made a case for the multidecadal cycles in the ocean temperature patterns controlling tempeerature cycles over at least the United States, Greenland and the arctic.

Michael Asher in the Daily tech reports that a team of mathematicians have come forth with model that supports this theory. Led by Dr. Anastasios Tsonis, their model says the known cycles of the Earth’s oceans—the Pacific Decadal Oscillation, the North Atlantic Oscillation, El Nino (Southern Oscillation) and the North Pacific Oscillation—all tend to try to synchronize with each other.  We had earlier reported on this paper in What’s New and Cool as covered by Science Daily but we fell it is worth reiterating.

The theory is based on a branch of mathematics known as Sychronized Chaos.  The math predicts the degree of coupling to increase over time, causing the solution to “bifurcate,” or split. Then, the synchronization vanishes.  The result is a climate shift.  Eventually the cycles begin to sync up again, causing a repeating pattern of warming and cooling, along with sudden changes in the frequency and strength of El Nino events.  They show how this has explained the major shifts that have occurred including 1913, 1942 and 1978, just as our analysis showed.

PDO+AMO vs US Annual Mean Temps (Icecap)

Posted on 08/15 at 03:34 PM
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Raptor Education Foundation

Metsul’s Meteorologia

Joanne Nova- The Skeptic’s Handbook

Climate Debate Daily

Warwick Hughes

Ice Age Now

Carbon Folly


John Daly’s What the Stations Say

Blue Crab Boulevard

Tom Nelson Blogroll

Climate Audit

Climate Science: Roger Pielke Sr. Research Group Weblog

Watts Up with That?

Climate Debate Daily

Intellicast Dr. Dewpoint

Climate Resistance

Gore Lied

CO2 Science

Climate Police

James Spann’s Blog

The Resilient Earth

Bob Carter’s Wesbite

COAPS Climate Study US

Global Warming Scare

Vaclav Klaus, Czech Republic President

Anthony Watts Surface Station Photographs


Ross McKitrick Google Home Page

The New Zealand Climate Science Coalition

Dr. Roy Spencer

Global Warming Skeptics

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CO2 Sceptics

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Digging in the Clay

Earth Changes

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The Climate Scam

The Heartland Institute

I Love My Carbon Dioxide, The Niyogi Lab at Purdue

Greenie Watch

Accuweather Global Warming

The Cornwall Alliance

Bald-Faced Truth

Middlebury Community Network on The Great Global Warming Hoax

Science and Environmental Policy Project

Global Warming Hoax

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Art Horn’s “The Art of Weather”

Climate Cycle Changes

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