Note: See on Judith Curry’s site, this excellent review of recommendations on how policy relevant science should be conducted.
Posted on September 14, 2013 by Anthony Watts
This post contains excerpts of a letter sent to staff at the Ecole polytechnique federale de Lausanne (EPFL, English: Swiss Federal Institute of Technology in Lausanne) is one of the two Swiss Federal Institutes of Technology and is located in Lausanne, Switzerland.
I wonder how many more letters like this we will see after AR5 is released.- Anthony
An Aspiring Scientist’s Frustration with Modern-Day Academia: A Resignation
I am writing to state that, after four years of hard but enjoyable PhD work at this school, I am planning to quit my thesis in January, just a few months shy of completion. Originally, this was a letter that was intended only for my advisors. However, as I prepared to write it I realized that the message here may be pertinent to anyone involved in research across the entire EPFL, and so have extended its range just a bit.
While I could give a multitude of reasons for leaving my studies, some more concrete, others more abstract, the essential motivation stems from my personal conclusion that I’ve lost faith in today’s academia as being something that brings a positive benefit to the world/societies we live in. Rather, I’m starting to think of it as a big money vacuum that takes in grants and spits out nebulous results, fueled by people whose main concerns are not to advance knowledge and to effect positive change, though they may talk of such things, but to build their CVs and to propel/maintain their careers.
(1) Academia: It’s Not Science, It’s Business
I’m going to start with the supposition that the goal of “science” is to search for truth, to improve our understanding of the universe around us, and to somehow use this understanding to move the world towards a better tomorrow. At least, this is the propaganda that we’ve often been fed while still young, and this is generally the propaganda that universities that do research use to put themselves on lofty moral ground, to decorate their websites, and to recruit naive youngsters like myself.
(2) Academia: Work Hard, Young Padawan, So That One Day You Too May Manage!
I sometimes find it both funny and frightening that the majority of the world’s academic research is actually being done by people like me, who don’t even have a PhD degree. Many advisors, whom you would expect to truly be pushing science forward with their decades of experience, do surprisingly little and only appear to manage the PhD students...Rarely do I hear of advisors who actually go through their students’ work in full rigor and detail, with many apparently having adopted the “if it looks fine, we can submit it for publication” approach.
(3) Academia: The Backwards Mentality
A very saddening aspect of the whole academic system is the amount of self-deception that goes on, which is a “skill” that many new recruits are forced to master early on… or perish. As many PhD students don’t truly get to choose their research topic, they are forced to adopt what their advisors do and to do “something original” on it that could one day be turned into a thesis.
(4) Academia: Where Originality Will Hurt You
The good, healthy mentality would naturally be to work on research that we believe is important. Unfortunately, most such research is challenging and difficult to publish, and the current publish-or-perish system makes it difficult to put bread on the table while working on problems that require at least ten years of labor before you can report even the most preliminary results. Worse yet, the results may not be understood, which, in some cases, is tantamount to them being rejected by the academic community.
(5) Academia: The Black Hole of Bandwagon Research
Indeed, writing lots of papers of questionable value about a given popular topic seems to be a very good way to advance your academic career these days. The advantages are clear: there is no need to convince anyone that the topic is pertinent and you are very likely to be cited more since more people are likely to work on similar things. This will, in turn, raise your impact factor and will help to establish you as a credible researcher, regardless of whether your work is actually good/important or not.
(6) Academia: Statistics Galore!
“Professors with papers are like children,” a professor once told me. And, indeed, there seems to exist an unhealthy obsession among academics regarding their numbers of citations, impact factors, and numbers of publications. This leads to all sorts of nonsense, such as academics making “strategic citations”, writing “anonymous” peer reviews where they encourage the authors of the reviewed paper to cite their work, and gently trying to tell their colleagues about their recent work at conferences or other networking events or sometimes even trying to slip each other their papers with a “I’ll-read-yours-if-you-read-mine” wink and nod. No one, when asked if they care about their citations, will ever admit to it, and yet these same people will still know the numbers by heart. I admit that I’ve been there before, and hate myself for it.
(7) Academia: The Violent Land of Giant Egos
[He must be talking about Mannworld here -Anthony]
I often wonder if many people in academia come from insecure childhoods where they were never the strongest or the most popular among their peers, and, having studied more than their peers, are now out for revenge. I suspect that yes, since it is the only explanation I can give to explain why certain researchers attack, in the bad way, other researchers’ work. Perhaps the most common manifestation of this is via peer reviews, where these people abuse their anonymity to tell you, in no ambiguous terms, that you are an idiot and that your work isn’t worth a pile of dung. Occasionally, some have the gall to do the same during conferences, though I’ve yet to witness this latter manifestation personally.
(8) Academia: The Greatest Trick It Ever Pulled was Convincing the World That It was Necessary
Perhaps the most crucial, piercing question that the people in academia should ask themselves is this: “Are we really needed?” Year after year, the system takes in tons of money via all sorts of grants.
What’s bothersome, however, is how long a purely theoretical result can be milked for grants before the researchers decide to produce something practically useful. Worse yet, there often does not appear to be a strong urge for people in academia to go and apply their result, even when this becomes possible, which most likely stems from the fear of failure. you are morally comfortable researching your method as long as it works in theory, but nothing would hurt more than to try to apply it and to learn that it doesn’t work in reality. No one likes to publish papers which show how their method fails (although, from a scientific perspective, they’re obliged to).
read it all at Pascal Junod
By David Rose
See also the story in the Tucson Citizen
A chilly Arctic summer has left nearly a million more square miles of ocean covered with ice than at the same time last year, an increase of 60 per cent.
The rebound from 2012’s record low comes six years after the BBC reported that global warming would leave the Arctic ice-free in summer by 2013. Instead, days before the annual autumn re-freeze is due to begin, an unbroken ice sheet more than half the size of Europe already stretches from the Canadian islands to Russia’s northern shores.
The Northwest Passage from the Atlantic to the Pacific has remained blocked by pack-ice all year. More than 20 yachts that had planned to sail it have been left ice-bound and a cruise ship attempting the route was forced to turn back.
Some eminent scientists now believe the world is heading for a period of cooling that will not end until the middle of this century, a process that would expose computer forecasts of imminent catastrophic warming as dangerously misleading.
The disclosure comes 11 months after The Mail on Sunday triggered intense political and scientific debate by revealing that global warming has ‘paused’ since the beginning of 1997, an event that the computer models used by climate experts failed to predict.
In March, this newspaper further revealed that temperatures are about to drop below the level that the models forecast with ‘90 per cent certainty’. The pause which has now been accepted as real by every major climate research centre is important, because the models’ predictions of ever-increasing global temperatures have made many of the world’s economies divert billions of pounds into ‘green’ measures to counter climate change. Those predictions now appear gravely flawed.
THERE WON’T BE ANY ICE AT ALL! HOW THE BBC PREDICTED CHAOS IN 2007
Only six years ago, the BBC reported that the Arctic would be ice-free in summer by 2013, citing a scientist in the US who claimed this was a ‘conservative’ forecast. Perhaps it was their confidence that led more than 20 yachts to try to sail the Northwest Passage from the Atlantic to the Pacific this summer. As of last week, all these vessels were stuck in the ice, some at the eastern end of the passage in Prince Regent Inlet, others further west at Cape Bathurst.
Shipping experts said the only way these vessels were likely to be freed was by the icebreakers of the Canadian coastguard. According to the official Canadian government website, the Northwest Passage has remained ice-bound and impassable all summer.
The BBC’s 2007 report quoted scientist Professor Wieslaw Maslowski, who based his views on super-computer models and the fact that ‘we use a high-resolution regional model for the Arctic Ocean and sea ice’.
He was confident his results were ‘much more realistic’ than other projections, which ‘underestimate the amount of heat delivered to the sea ice’. Also quoted was Cambridge University expert Professor Peter Wadhams. He backed Professor Maslowski, saying his model was ‘more efficient’ than others because it ‘takes account of processes that happen internally in the ice’. He added: ‘This is not a cycle; not just a fluctuation. In the end, it will all just melt away quite suddenly.’
The continuing furore caused by The Mail on Sunday’s revelations which will now be amplified by the return of the Arctic ice sheet has forced the UN’s climate change body to hold a crisis meeting. The UN Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) was due in October to start publishing its Fifth Assessment Report a huge three-volume study issued every six or seven years. It will now hold a pre-summit in Stockholm later this month.
Leaked documents show that governments which support and finance the IPCC are demanding more than 1,500 changes to the report’s ‘summary for policymakers’. They say its current draft does not properly explain the pause.
At the heart of the row lie two questions: the extent to which temperatures will rise with carbon dioxide levels, as well as how much of the warming over the past 150 years, so far, just 0.8C, is down to human greenhouse gas emissions and how much is due to natural variability.
In its draft report, the IPCC says it is ‘95 per cent confident’ that global warming has been caused by humans’ up from 90 per cent in 2007. This claim is already hotly disputed. US climate expert Professor Judith Curry said last night: ‘In fact, the uncertainty is getting bigger. It’s now clear the models are way too sensitive to carbon dioxide. I cannot see any basis for the IPCC increasing its confidence level.’
She pointed to long-term cycles in ocean temperature, which have a huge influence on climate and suggest the world may be approaching a period similar to that from 1965 to 1975, when there was a clear cooling trend. This led some scientists at the time to forecast an imminent ice age.
Professor Anastasios Tsonis, of the University of Wisconsin, was one of the first to investigate the ocean cycles. He said: ‘We are already in a cooling trend, which I think will continue for the next 15 years at least. There is no doubt the warming of the 1980s and 1990s has stopped.
Then… NASA satelite images showing the spread of Artic sea ice 27th August 2012
...And now, much bigger: The same Nasa image taken in 2013
‘The IPCC claims its models show a pause of 15 years can be expected. But that means that after only a very few years more, they will have to admit they are wrong.’
Others are more cautious. Dr Ed Hawkins, of Reading University, drew the graph published by The Mail on Sunday in March showing how far world temperatures have diverged from computer predictions. He admitted the cycles may have caused some of the recorded warming, but insisted that natural variability alone could not explain all of the temperature rise over the past 150 years.
Nonetheless, the belief that summer Arctic ice is about to disappear remains an IPCC tenet, frequently flung in the face of critics who point to the pause. Yet there is mounting evidence that Arctic ice levels are cyclical. Data uncovered by climate historians show that there was a massive melt in the 1920s and 1930s, followed by intense re-freezes that ended only in 1979, the year the IPCC says that shrinking began.
Professor Curry said the ice’s behaviour over the next five years would be crucial, both for understanding the climate and for future policy. ‘Arctic sea ice is the indicator to watch,’ she said.
UPDATE ON US CONGRESS from Myron Ebell
The House Republican leadership responded to our concerns very quickly once they started hearing from us and have pulled H. R. 1891 from the floor this afternoon. Many thanks to Speaker Boehner’s office and Majority Leader Cantor’s office. And again, many thanks to Larry Hart of the American Conservative Union for noticing that this obscure bill had been put on the suspension calendar. And thanks to all of you who responded with no notice. The House Republican Leadership had placed H. R. 1891, a bill sponsored by Representative Zoe Lofgren (D-Calif.), on the suspension calendar for Tuesday afternoon, 10th September. The bill would create the position of Science Laureate. If enacted, the President will be able to appoint up to three scientists each year to the honorary position of Science Laureate. This will allow this and future leftist presidents to put in positions of authority (without responsibility) and prominence activist scientists, who will then be able to use junk science to promote their political agendas. Think Paul Ehrlich, James Hansen, Peter Gleick, etc.
PRIME Minister-elect Tony Abbott has personally instructed his new departmental secretary to make preparations to axe the carbon tax and activate Operation Sovereign Borders to stop asylum boats.
Mr Abbott got down to business this morning after his landslide election victory, with a briefing with Department of Prime Minister and Cabinet Secretary Ian Watt.
Meetings were scheduled with Treasury secretary Martin Parkinson and Finance Department head David Tune, while Mr Abbott was also due to hold talks with senior Coalition colleagues later in the day.
He told Dr Watt to prepare the ground for the Coalition to implement its agenda swiftly, and he was confident the public’s “reasonable expectations” could be met.
“Obviously, a very early item of business is scrapping the carbon tax,” he told Dr Watt at the commencement of their meeting.
“There’s border security, there’s economic security and the people expect, quite rightly, that the incoming government will build a strong and prosperous economy for a safe and secure Australia.
“I deeply respect the professionalism in the Australian Public Service. You are experts at policy implementation and I’m confident that we will be able to successfully implement our agenda because that’s what people expect of us.”
As Labor enters a period of deep introspection over its future, Mr Abbott has also begun to field calls from world leaders, receiving a congratulatory call from UK Prime Minister David Cameron earlier this morning.
Voters last night delivered an emphatic verdict on six turbulent years of Labor rule, sending the party packing on the back of strong results in NSW, Tasmania and Victoria.
Mr Abbott has a packed agenda for his first 100 days in office. On the top of his agenda is rescinding the carbon tax.
But senior Labor figures have warned they are unlikely to recognise his claimed mandate to axe the measure, and are likely to frustrate the measure if the Senate numbers allow it.
Coalition finance spokesman Andrew Robb said the economy was in for a confidence jolt, declaring an Abbott government would “reboot” the mining boom and “massively” boost jobs.
For more than a decade Australia had one of the world’s most successful center-right governments, and on Saturday it voted overwhelmingly for a restoration. After six years of Labor Party melodrama and leftward economic policies, Australians returned a Liberal government to power under new leader Tony Abbott. There are lessons here for conservatives in the U.S. and Europe. One lesson is to beware the faddish politics of climate change. Editorial, The Wall Street Journal, 9 September 2013
The World Wide Fund for Nature financed full-page adverts in Australian newspapers that awarded him a fail grade on every key environmental issue. Mr Abbott doesn’t care and neither, it seems, do Australian voters. In a decision that could not have been more different from Mr Cameron’s decision to mimic the environmental priorities of the Left, Mr Abbott has refused to accept inflated energy prices, fewer manufacturing jobs and higher carbon taxes as the price for not saving the planet. “Not” is the key word. Australia might be willing to bear sacrifices if global emissions were falling, but they aren’t. Unilateral action by nations such as Australia produces drop-in-the-ocean benefits if the likes of China and India continue to guzzle energy. Tim Montgomery,
Collapsing science, economies and international cooperation require that we refuse to act
The full-court press is on. Alarmist scientists, politicians, pressure groups, newspapers, ministers, rabbis and bureaucrats want Americans to “stop stalling” on climate change. They demand that we embrace “revenue-neutral” carbon taxes and carbon dioxide regulations, before it’s “too late” to prevent “catastrophic” global warming, “monster” storms and rising seas that will “inundate our coastal cities.”
Anyone dissenting from this “call to action” is a climate change “denier” a pejorative devised to vilify and silence anyone who rejects this agenda, by linking our views to Holocaust denial. What nonsense.
All of us “deniers” know climate change is real and has been throughout Earth’s many cycles of warming and cooling, storms and droughts, ice ages and little ice ages. Striations (scratches) on a chunk of Niagara Escarpment limestone that I dug out a mile from my boyhood home memorialize stones dragged by the last glacier that buried Wisconsin under a mile of ice. Countless climate changes have buffeted our Earth.
What we deny are assertions that human carbon dioxide emissions have replaced the myriad of complex, interrelated planetary, solar and cosmic forces that caused previous climate reverberations, and that what we are experiencing now is unprecedented and likely to be catastrophic.
Not one of the alarmist claims is supported by actual observations or scientific evidence. Even worse, the claims are getting more ridiculous with every passing day: “children aren’t going to know what snow is,” crime is rising, oceans won’t smell the same, and storms are getting worse because of global warming.
Contrary to the hype and hysteria, our planet stopped warming 16 years ago, even as atmospheric carbon dioxide levels continued to climb. That prompted climate catastrophists to start talking about “climate change” and blame every “extreme weather” event on CO2 emissions.
As I have pointed out before, far from being a “dangerous pollutant” (as President Obama and EPA keep saying), carbon dioxide makes all life on Earth possible. It makes food crops and other plants grow faster and better, loads them with more nutrients, helps them survive droughts, and makes our planet greener.
This trace gas has almost nothing to do with planetary warming or climate change. But it’s worth noting that the United States has slashed its CO2 emissions more than almost any other country - sending them back to where they were 30 years ago, thanks to the environmentalists’ latest target: fracking! And the daily human contribution of CO2 to our atmosphere is equivalent to a penny out of $1 million!
CO2 levels have “soared” to 400 ppm (0.04% of Earth’s atmosphere) not because of the USA or other developed countries but because China, India and dozens of other countries are working desperately to lift billions of people out of abject poverty. To do that, they need fossil fuels, which provide 80% of the energy that makes modern civilization and living standards possible and these countries are not going to slash their hydrocarbon use. To suggest otherwise reflects callous contempt for the needs of families that want to take their rightful places among Earth’s healthy and prosperous people.
No one would suggest that the absence of extreme weather events over a particular time period is due to humans. However, recent history certainly contradicts incessant claims that our weather is getting worse. In fact, no category 3 or higher hurricane has struck the United States in eight years, the longest such stretch since the Civil War. With only a couple of exceptions earlier this summer, the US is enjoying its longest respite from major tornadoes in decades. We are also witnessing the highest August Arctic sea ice extent since 2006, amid the coldest summer on record at the North Pole; record August lows for Alert and Eureka, in Nunavut, BC; and record highs for the extent of August sea ice in Antarctica.
Equally fascinating, most of the record high temperatures that the alarmists are trumpeting beat the previous records, mostly set in the 1930s, by mere hundredths of a degree. Yet, somehow that’s news. (if you only count stations with long histories extending back to the 1930s, the story is very different.
As to oceans inundating coastal communities, Topex Poseidon satellites show virtually no rise in sea levels between 1993 and 2001, and the EU’s Envisat satellites show no rise from 2003 through 2011. The steady 2 to 3 mm per year rise in sea level, it turns out, is because scientists “adjust” the raw data (always upward, never down, for some reason). But even 200-300 mm (8-12 inches) per century, or by the year 2100, is a far cry from the 3 to 20 feet that President Obama and former VP Al Gore have warned us about. Even Mr. Obama was off a few years when he said June 2008 was “the moment when the rise of the oceans began to slow.” But it’s one more climate cataclysm that we can erase from our worry list especially compared to the 400 feet that the world’s oceans have risen since the end of the last ice age.
(Mr. Gore is also famous for misinforming his 2009 “Tonight Show” audience that the Earth’s interior is “really hot, several million degrees” the core is actually 9,000 degrees F and for refusing to debate anyone on climate change or even take audience questions that he has not preapproved. Perhaps in his defense, Nobel Laureate Gore managed only a C+ and a D in the only science courses he ever took.)
If it’s “weird weather” you seek, just peruse Richard Keene’s fascinating weather guides, Skywatch East and Skywatch West, for numerous examples of wild and wacky weather in the USA. For more examples, check out the Tri-State Twister and Children’s Blizzard, or consult the Nongovernmental International Panel on Climate Change 2011 interim report, Climate Change Reconsidered. You will be amazed at how different the facts are from the fallacies, fibs and fear mongering you find in the “mainstream media.”
One final point. No tax that penalizes people and businesses for using fossil fuels is “revenue neutral.” Any such tax or regulation kills profits and jobs, turns full-time jobs into part-timers, and adversely affects people’s health and well-being. Millions of families cannot heat and cool their homes properly, pay their rent, mortgage or other bills, take vacations, or save for retirement. The increasing stress results in sleep deprivation, poor nutrition, more commuting, higher incidences of depression and alcohol, drug, spousal and child abuse, lower life expectancies and higher suicide rates. Climate taxes and regulations also force us to spend billions subsidizing environment unfriendly biofuel, wind and solar energy.
That’s an intolerably high price to pay, for “protection” from illusory and exaggerated climate dangers.
Climate alarmists are trying to sucker, snooker and stampede us into taking “immediate action” on job and economy strangling taxes and restrictions, before more people catch on to what’s really happening. This protection racket is one more example of passing a law, so that we can find out what’s in it. We simply cannot afford to let science continue being coopted to serve anti-hydrocarbon political agendas.
Demands that we “stop stalling” on “catastrophic manmade climate change” have nothing to do with preventing warming and cooling, storms and droughts that have been “real” since time immemorial. They have everything to do with regulating and restricting the use of hydrocarbons that provide 80% of the energy that makes modern civilization and living standards possible. They have everything to do with giving politicians, bureaucrats and pressure groups more money and more control over our lives and economy - but with no accountability for the lies, mistakes, job losses, ill health and deaths that are inevitable as US living standards deteriorate, and Third World lives remain destitute and desperate.
Computer models and scary predictions are not evidence. Basing energy and economic decisions on climate models is akin to betting your life’s savings on a computer model that focuses on middle linebackers and ignores quarterbacks and offensive lines, in predicting the Buffalo Bills will win the 2014 and 2015 Super Bowls and when the prediction falls flat insisting that the Bills really did win, and reality must be “adjusted” to make it conform with the predictions.
Climate “deniers” and rationalists should support Senator Ron Johnson (R-WI) and other politicians and scientists who are under constant attack by climate alarmists, for daring to dissent from approved orthodoxy. Their vigilance and determination are all that stand between energy and economic sanity and America heading down the same destructive path that Europe has trod for the past two decades.
Paul Driessen is senior policy analyst for the Committee For A Constructive Tomorrow (http://www.CFACT.org) and author of Eco-Imperialism: Green power - Black death.
By David Legates and Paul Driessen
ICECAP NOTE: See Paul’s book and many new entries in the Icecap Amazon Store. A lot of eye opening reading in the close to 90 books posted and available. Icecap gets a small percentage of the discounted prices to help us pay the bills and conduct the activities we do regionally and nationally in presentations, cable TV shows, interviews for TV and movies (coming soon) and in battling the EPA in the courts. As always your help with that and donations are always appreciated. The sad thing is that most all our efforts are pro bono while climate pretenders like Gore get $100,000 to do one presentation - no questions allowed and the alarmist spokesmen, professors and sites get thousands to millions in grants from the government (federal and state) and the Eco friendly funds.
The Department of Natural Resources and Environmental Control paid a professor from Texas named Dr. Katherine Hayhoe $46,000 to come up with a study on climate change and what was going to happen to Delaware if temperatures continued to rise and the oceans continued to flood the world. The state presumably wants people to think that “independent scholars” support the state’s positions.
The preliminary release of her report reads like the script from a bad disaster movie - think “The Day After Tomorrow” and “An Inconvenient Truth.”
It fails to mention the extreme cold that many places around the globe experienced recently. Europe and Russia in particular suffered through bitter cold the past two winters. The report likewise ignores that average global temperatures have not risen at all during the last 16 years; in fact, Earth has actually cooled slightly during the past decade.
For its really scary worst-case scenario, Dr. Hayhoe says Delaware’s temperatures will rise astronomically in coming decades: with more than two full months of endless days above 95 degrees Fahrenheit and a hundred-fold increase in days with temperatures at or above 100 degrees Fahrenheit by 2100. “Trends to more extreme highs and fewer extreme lows already are apparent,” Dr. Hayhoe asserts.
Data from 970 weather stations across the United States reveal that more record daily high air temperatures were set in the 1930s than in any recent decade, and no increase in frequency of higher temperatures has been observed since 1955. The Delaware State Climatologist examined New Castle County Airport records and found no long-term trend in either the total number of days or the number of consecutive days with maximum air temperature above 90 degrees Fahrenheit.
Globally, daytime high temperatures do not show significant warming - and most of the warming that has been observed is confined to nighttime low temperatures. Nighttime lows are driven by turbulence (or lack thereof) near the surface, not by the accumulation of energy related to CO2 warming of the deep atmosphere.
By contrast, maximum daily temperature is a measure of the energy content of the deep atmosphere, and is thus a much better measure of the warming due to greenhouse gases. The lack of a signal in maximum temperature suggests that the rate of warming due to CO2 is relatively small - and certainly much smaller than climate models suggest.
As for precipitation, Dr. Hayhoe claims that both floods and droughts will increase, with “more rain arriving as heavy downpours, and more dry periods in between.” This assertion was dispelled in a recent Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change report on extreme events, released last summer.
The IPCC report concluded that “in some regions droughts have become less frequent, less intense or shorter; for example in central North America.” Similarly, the National Oceanographic and Atmospheric Administration has produced plots that show which parts of the United States are classified as moderate to extreme for dryness and wetness. While both conditions show considerable variability, neither exhibits a significant trend. NOAA also concludes that snowfall records show no long-term trend, and recent record snowfalls are the result of natural variability.
Why should Delaware’s or the nation’s future be any different than the past 50 years of increasing carbon dioxide concentrations? Dr. Hayhoe bases her extreme scenarios on climate models - the same models that have predicted major temperature trends that haven’t materialized; greatly exaggerated short-term trends in rainfall, droughts and violent storms; and failed to predict the lack of warming since 1998. Why should we believe them now?
Paul Driessen is senior policy analyst for the Committee For A Constructive Tomorrow (CFACT) and author of “Eco-Imperialism: Green power, black death” (Merril Press, 2012). David Legates is a professor of climatology at the University of Delaware and has studied climatology for more than 30 years. He is an adviser to the Caesar Rodney Institute.
Three “respected senior scientists” urged a colleague of Georgia Tech climate professor Judith Curry not to publish scientific findings because the findings would support skeptics of a global warming crisis. The revelation, which Curry reported yesterday on her climate science website, reveals global warming alarmists remain unashamed by the Climategate scandal and continue engaging in deception, deceit, and anti-science as a means to keep their fictitious global warming crisis alive.
Curry began her article by quoting the following hypothetical scenario from a science ethics article:
“Imagine the following scenario. An atmospheric scientist makes a discovery that seems to challenge a particular model of sea level increase due to global warming. She expects her discovery will be refined through further research, and that, in the end, it will not refute the mainstream view. In the meantime, she wants to avoid giving ammunition to climate skeptics, so she postpones publication.”
The author of the science ethics article gave an appalling opinion of what the scientist should do.
“The good cause which allegedly motivates much of the research puts the researcher in a special position. It allows them to dispense with essential standards of professional conduct,” the author wrote.
The real bomb in occurred Curry recounted a real-world experience that made the scientific ethics article seem downright tame.
“Last year, I encountered a stark example of this,” wrote Curry. “One of my colleagues was thinking about publishing a paper that challenges the IPCC interpretation of the previous pause during the 1940s to 1970′s. My colleague sent a .ppt presentation on this topic to three colleagues, each of whom is a very respected senior scientist and none of whom have been particularly vocal advocates on the subject of climate change (names are withheld to protect the guilty/innocent). Each of these scientists strongly encouraged my colleague NOT to publish this paper, since it would only provide fodder for the skeptics.”
The Scientific Method requires us to test and challenge our own theories. The Scientific Method requires us to not only test and challenge our own theories, but to encourage others to similarly challenge our theories. Instead, global warming alarmists. even those described as “respected” and not “particularly vocal advocates” on the issue, advocate suppressing scientific studies and hiding scientific evidence whenever it conflicts with their own speculative theories. The fact that all three “respected” and seemingly non-activist scientists sought to suppress scientific evidence is particularly damning to the alarmist cause.
Those people who pursue sound science respect and advocate critical inquiry and the Scientific Method. Those people who seek to suppress critical inquiry and scientific evidence engage in nothing short of anti-science.
The UN is 95% sure on AGW while unable to explain why there has been no warming over past 16 years
According to Reuters, the new draft of the IPCC AR5 claims “it is at least 95 percent likely that human activities - chiefly the burning of fossil fuels - are the main cause of warming since the 1950s.” “That is up from at least 90 percent in the last report in 2007, 66 percent in 2001, and just over 50 in 1995.”
However, all of these fatuous figures are pulled `out of the air to support the IPCC ideologies and not based upon any statistical analysis or science. Meanwhile, they can’t explain why there has been no global warming over the past 16+ years:
An IPCC draft says there is “medium confidence” that the slowing of the rise is “due in roughly equal measure” to natural variations in the weather and to other factors affecting energy reaching the Earth’s surface.”
Scientists believe causes could include: greater-than-expected quantities of ash from volcanoes, which dims sunlight [there haven’t been any recent major eruptions]; a decline in heat from the sun during a current 11-year solar cycle [after claiming in past that such variations could not affect climate]; more heat being absorbed by the deep oceans [why wasn’t it absorbed at the same rate in the past?]; or the possibility that the climate may be less sensitive than expected to a build-up of carbon dioxide [now we’re talking!].
“It might be down to minor contributions that all add up,” said Gabriele Hegerl, a professor at Edinburgh University. Or maybe, scientists say, the latest decade is just a blip.”
Anthony Watts writes
Drafts seen by Reuters of the study by the U.N. panel of experts, due to be published next month, say it is at least 95 percent likely that human activities chiefly the burning of fossil fuels are the main cause of warming since the 1950s.
OK, so here’s the 64 thousand dollar questions for IPCC cheerleaders:
Which side is which time period?
What caused the warming before CO2 became an issue to be essentially identical to the period when it is claimed to be the main driver?
How is the IPCC 95% certain one side is caused by man and the other is not?
The IPCC number in the last report was admitted to be one, chosen to prompt action by countries - supporting the UN agenda with funds and agreements. I’ll use their own words to show the motivation.
”The data doesn’t matter. We’re not basing our recommendations on the data. We’re basing them on the climate models.” Prof. Chris Folland, Hadley Centre for Climate Prediction and Research
“The models are convenient fictions that provide something very useful.” Dr David Frame, Climate modeler, Oxford University
Kevin Trenberth says “climatologists are nowhere near knowing where the energy goes or what the effect of clouds is. Says nowhere balancing the energy budget.”
Kevin Trenberth says they “can’t account for the lack of recent warming and that it is a travesty that they can’t.”
“None of the models used by IPCC are initialized to the observed state and none of the climate states in the models correspond even remotely to the current observed climate. In particular, the state of the oceans, sea ice, and soil moisture has no relationship to the observed state at any recent time in any of the IPCC models.” IPCC Lead Author Trenberth in Nature 2007 weblog. (Willie Soon “...garbage in, gospel out")
How are the models doing? Temperatures are tracking well below all scenarios including the one where CO2 holds steady. (It has risen close to 10% the last 16 years when temperatures stopped rising.
The models all have tropical warming- a hot spot in the upper troposphere and warmth to the oceans. It is not there in the data: balloon, satellite, buoy.
“It doesn’t matter what is true, it only matters what people believe is true.” Paul Watson, Co-founder of Greenpeace”
“Unless we announce disasters no one will listen.” Sir John Houghton, First chairman of the IPCC
“The only way to get our society to truly change is to frighten people with the possibility of a catastrophe” Emeritus Professor Daniel Botkin
Sea levels were forecast to rise 20 feet by AL Gore by 2100, 264 feet by James Hansen. They have slowed to less than 2 mm/year (4 to 6 inches per century).
Technology has been employed to try and assess how bad it is. When the technology shows no rises, they ‘adjust’ the output.
“We are on the verge of a global transformation. All we need is the right major crisis.” David Rockefeller, Club of Rome executive manager and Trustee of The Rockefeller Foundation a heavy funder of environmenal causes.
They tried heat waves, but records are ‘unadjusted’ unlike other trend data and tell the truth - US and global continental all time heat records.
Droughts and floods, show no trends.
In this year so far the tornado season is the quietest on record, looking back we don’t see an increasing trend (though in the cold PDO we may see more years like 2008 and 2011.
Global hurricane activity in coming off a 34 year minimum.
Yes Sandy did a lot of damage but it was because of where it hit and that it hit at high tide in a full moon. It made landfall as a bordeline CAT 1. 8 major hurricanes made east coast landfalls from 1938 to 1960.
Greenland is not warming and melting at an alarming rate. It has warmed as it did the last time the AMO was warm after cooling from the 1940s to middle 1990s.
And each successive millennial warming is cooler than the prior one. (Note: Ice core data is from Richard Alley PSU, no skeptic).
The arctic has seen more melt again due to the AMO but not unlike the middle 1900s and up from 2012 and several other recent years. Temperatures this summer are said to be the coldest in the record (DMI).
The Antarctic meanwhile is setting new records for ice extent.
Snow was supposed to be an increasingly rare event but has been setting records in both hemispheres.
Giorgio Filippo (University of Trieste) says that “The IPCC is not an assessment of published science but about production of results. Says there are very few rules and anything goes. Thinks this will undermine IPCC credibility. Says everyone seems to think it’s OK to do this.”
“This has almost nothing to do with environmental policy...one must say clearly that we redistribute de facto the world’s wealth by climate policy” Ottmar Edehoffer, UN IPCC
Most all of us follow sports. Before the season, if the team looks promising we may have relatively high confidence that the tam will have a good season and make the playoffs and maybe win it all. But often as the season progresses, we get disappointed. The team has a long losing stretch and is well behind the leaders. Our confidence in the teams chances drop. That is not how it works in today’s ‘science’. No matter how many bad forecasts and projections, the confidence that they are right keeps going up.
Here is the way it is supposed to work in science - Richard Feynman, famous Cornell Physicist
Source: Numbers Watch
by John Brignell
They are green on the outside, but under the skin the deepest of reds. Their methods are neo-Marxist, especially in the adoption of a form of Trotskyite entryism. The green veneer derives from their first successful coup in achieving control of the environmentalist group Greenpeace, resulting in the departure of original members such as Patrick Moore, the co-founder. Their subsequent success in infiltrating and taking control of leading institutions of politics, science and the media has been nothing less than extraordinary. The organisation is diffuse, largely invisible and contains members who are highly various, ranging from violent revolutionaries to failed politicians who have turned their attention to personal wealth creation. In an age of specious conspiracy theories they have created the greatest and most lucrative conspiracy in the history of human civilisation.
They are savage in their treatment of opponents and critics: for example, in an inexcusable exploitation of the Holocaust, labelling them as “deniers”. A highly successful academic, who happened to be a global warming sceptic, was fired by his university (motto: “Open minds. Open doors") without explanation; and should you think this was a unique occurrence it happened to another. That such things could happen in any university, let alone ones in the land of the free, would until recently have been unthinkable, but universities have now become so dependent on huge dollops of hapless taxpayers’ money, doled out to promote watermelon-sponsored causes, that they dare not put them at risk.
This then is the murky alligator-infested pool into which James Delingpole has dared boldly to plunge. He wryly and self-deprecatingly recounts his experiences of dedication to the cause of reason. He has discovered that overt scepticism brings you nothing but relative poverty and gross insult. One of the myths that the movement has successfully propagated is that sceptics are fuelled by massive funding from such sources as the energy industries. Not only do such sources not materialize, but such industries are often in on the rackets themselves. As for the insults, they come from a numerous body of hangers-on (Lenin’s useful idiots). Many (anonymous of course) are full of debased Anglo-Saxon epithets, while in other slightly more polite ones you get to be called “moron” by people who are manifestly unable to string together two coherent sentences. From the posh end you get ex cathedra pronouncements from the Court of Prince Charles, heir to the British throne. He makes it up as he goes along, without evidence: for example “Sceptics have no love for nature and her works”. If he bothered to speak to some of them, he would find that the reverse is true, though they would tend to avoid the rather effete personal adjective.
The first chapter of this book is called Imagine, and is an ironic survey of what life might have been like if the watermelons had not existed. Then comes an account of Climategate, a momentous and outrageous event that in a rational world would have put an abrupt end to the whole caboodle. The suffix “-gate” has been much over used, but it is justified in the case of Climategate, as the political cover-up was as egregious as the original transgressions. The difference is that this time the whitewashers completely got away with it, an awesome demonstration of the power and influence of the watermelons in politics and the media.
The third chapter is about “The Science” which only the cognoscenti will recognise as something quite different from “Science” tout court. Further chapters entertainingly and comprehensively fill in the detail of the origins and activities of the watermelon movement. Chapter 8 is Welcome to the new order, an account of the way we are really governed today. It starts with the sinister Club of Rome and proceeds via a soporific catalogue of interlocked organisations to the UN IPCC. As the author warns us, boredom is a powerful political tool. It was notably used by extremist entryists to take control of the trades unions, who waffled on until the ordinary members had left and then put their killer motions to the rump of the meeting. The burden on taxpayers of keeping all these gas chambers afloat is colossal, but it is dwarfed by the costs of the policies they impose. The last chapter is a postscript, The big lie, the title being a reference to the well known Hitler quote.
Perhaps the most tragic event in all of this for lovers of science was when the Royal Society, having been taken over by a watermelon faction, changed its sceptical motto of centuries, to one that managed to be both banal and sinister. Recent Presidents of the Royal Society have been watermelons first and scientists second (Robert May for example).
Of the many corporate villains of this piece one of the most egregious is the BBC. The watermelons who have seized control of it have effectively torn up its charter, turning it into a shop window for their pet causes, especially global warming. It is not just the occasional extravagant spectacular, but also the constant daily drumbeat of reminders. If climate change really is real, why do they have to keep telling us so? After all, they don’t keep telling us the sky is blue. Could it be that they do not really believe it, but need us to believe it, so that we will meekly accept their policies that lead to world socialist government? With one exceptional circumstance sceptics never appear on any BBC channel. The exception is when they are being set up for a hatchet job.
Delingpole himself was the victim of a BBC stitch-up. Though it did not seem so to him at the time, this was a great compliment. It meant that they considered him to be a serious danger to the maintenance of the elaborate scenario so painstakingly created by the watermelon community. To an ordinary rational human being, what the BBC gets up to on these campaigns seems beyond reason, which ironically lends that organisation a spurious credibility. Who would expect any person or institution to devote enormous resources to obtaining many hours of video just so their editors can extract a few moments that cast their victim in an extremely unfavourable light? This, however, is just what they do, after a subtle seduction to induce cooperation by the dupe. In the case ofLord Monckton they made elaborate promises, such as editorial approval, which they casually broke, and then sent an “independent” crew to follow him round the world gathering material that could be given a condemnatory bias by cunning editing.
It is difficult for ordinary people to understand how the BBC now operates. It has virtually infinite resources (torn from UK households in the form of a sort of compulsory poll tax, currently 145 pounds per annum). It grossly overpays its “stars”, many of whom exhibit blatantly limited talent, and also its overweening management. It still rests on the reputation it had in pre-watermelon times for sober and unbiased reporting of world events. Its prejudices wreck otherwise excellent programmes. While your reviewer was reading this book, BBC Radio 4 presented a fascinating piece on the great extinctions. It was genuinely edifying for about twenty five minutes, with contributions from obvious experts, but then came the “message from our sponsors”, a total non sequitur. A “climate scientist” was wheeled on. Guess what! You can forget all that stuff about volcanoes belching noxious sulphurous gases; it was all down to the dreaded carbon dioxide.
Finally, to intrude a personal view, your reviewer’s preoccupation with this subject began with his ancient and yellowing PhD thesis. Among other things this contains elements of quantum physics, measurement statistics and computer modelling; all of which turn out to be the sources of gross dubiety in the global warming belief system. The author of Watermelons started out as an undergraduate student of English at Oxford and went into journalism. It is personally fascinating that two people from opposite ends of the educational spectrum should arrive at virtually identical opinions.
Please read this book and then tell people about it, because the establishment media will most likely pretend that it does not exist.
John Brignell has combined this incredible list of all the media reported negative results of global warming.
The American Geophysical Union has just published its new Statement on Climate Change, here is the press release. Here is how they describe it:
“AGU has a responsibility to help policy makers and the public understand the impacts our science can have on public health and safety, economic stability and growth, and national security,” said Gerald North, chair of AGU’s Climate Change Position Statement Review Panel. “Because our understanding of climate change and its impacts on the world around us has advanced so significantly in the last few years, it was vitally important that AGU update its position statement. The new statement is more reflective of the current state of scientific knowledge. It also calls greater attention to the specific societal impacts we face and actions that can diminish the threat.”
See the statement and Roger Pielke Sr.’s (note Roger was on the drafting committee) comments on the statement here.
Comment by Ken Haapala, Executive Vice President, Science and Environmental Policy Project (SEPP)
Lowering Standards: Under its new leadership, the American Geophysical Union (AGU) announced a new statement on climate change drafted by a special committee for that purpose. The title says it all: “Human-induced climate change requires urgent action.” The new leadership has completely politicized that once august scientific organization. Among other questionable statements is: “Human-caused increases in greenhouse gases are responsible for most of the observed global average surface warming of roughly 0.8C (1.5F) over the past 140 years.”
If the statement is correct, we all should be thankful that greenhouse gas emissions, carbon dioxide (CO2) in particular, brought the earth out of the Little Ice Age and its brutal weather. Of course, the AGU ignores the fact that a major component of 20th century warming occurred from about 1910 to 1940, long before significant CO2 emissions. The new leadership did not bother to submit the statement to the membership for a vote.
On her web site, Judith Curry presents the significant objections by Roger Pielke Sr., the only dissenter on the AGU committee. Curry questions why any professional society should issue statements on this topic. In her opinion the AGU statement is one of worst she has seen from a professional society.
In a different post, using criteria discussed at an AAAS workshop, Curry grades the climate statements by the Royal Society, the American Meteorological Society, and the American Geophysical Union. Under its new leadership, the AGU did not do well.
Christopher Monckton of Brenchley redrafts it to say what it should have said if the AGU’s objective had been the honest scientific truth.
Anthropogenic climate change requires no action
Our influence on the climate is minor but beneficial
Human activities are changing Earth’s climate, but as the AGU must now concede not by much. The atmospheric concentration of CO2 has increased from 0.03% before the Industrial Revolution to 0.04% today. Much of this alteration of 1 part in 10,000 of the atmospheric composition may have been caused by burning fossil fuels.
The world has warmed by 0.8 C over the past 140 years, but a recent survey of the abstracts of 11,944 scientific papers on global climate change showed only 43 abstracts, or 0.3% of the sample, endorsing the notion that humans were responsible for most of that warming. The mean residence time of a CO2 molecule in the atmosphere is 7 years, so the AGU must recognize that its earlier fears that anthropogenic emissions will influence the climate system for millennia have proven unfounded.
Observations show that recent modest increases in air and sea temperatures and in sea level have been well within natural variability. Atmospheric water vapor may or may not have increased: we lack the capacity to measure it accurately. Some (but not all) mountain glaciers have receded, and earlier claims that all ice in the Himalayas would be gone in 25 years have been withdrawn. Most of the world’s 160,000 glaciers are in the Antarctic, nearly all of which has cooled in the past 30 years.
Snow cover extent in the northern hemisphere reached a record high December value in 2012. There is no global measurement of permafrost, but its extent has probably changed little. Arctic sea ice has declined since 1979, but Antarctic sea ice has increased, and the AGU must apologize for having given only half the story before. These changes are within natural variability and need no further explanation, though humans may have had some small influence. The changes are consistent with explanations of climate change that rely on known natural influences but allow for some human contribution.
Climate models predict that global temperatures will continue to rise, with the amount of warming primarily determined by the level of emissions; that higher emissions of greenhouse gases will lead to larger warming and greater risks to society and ecosystems; and that some additional warming is unavoidable owing to past emissions. Yet the models have consistently over-predicted global atmospheric and oceanic warming. According to satellite measurements, for 16 years 8 months, or 200 months, there has been no global warming at all.
And, though some 0.2 C warming should have occurred since January 2005 according to the forthcoming Fifth Assessment Report of the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change, the satellite records show no global warming at all since that date.
Climate change is not expected to be uniform over space or time. Deforestation, urbanization, and particulate pollution can have complex geographical, seasonal, and longer-term effects (both adverse and, as we now acknowledge, beneficial) on temperature, precipitation, and cloud properties. In addition, human-induced climate change may alter atmospheric circulation, but our influence cannot readily be distinguished from historical patterns of natural variability and storminess and is as likely to be beneficial as harmful, particularly in the short to medium term.
In the current climate, weather experienced at a given location or region varies from year to year; in a changing climate, both the nature of that variability and the basic patterns of weather experienced can change, sometimes in counter-intuitive ways, some areas may experience cooling, for instance. Indeed, taking the mean of the monthly surface or lower-troposphere global mean surface temperature anomalies from all five principal datasets, the cooling has been global throughout the 150 months since January 2001, representing one-eighth of the present century.
Impacts harmful to society, including increased extremes of heat, precipitation, and coastal high water, are currently no more frequent or intense than usual, and are unlikely to increase for as long as global temperatures continue to fail to rise as the AGU had formerly but erroneously predicted. Other projected outcomes, such threats to public health, water availability, agricultural productivity (particularly in low-latitude developing countries), coastal infrastructure, and biodiversity, are also unlikely in the circumstances. The AGU must now agree that previous talk of ocean “acidification” was incorrect, since the oceans are and must remain pronouncedly alkaline for as long as they are buffered by the rocks in the basins where they lie. Benefits of a warmer world (if and when warming resumes) will include increased availability of agricultural land formerly under permafrost in northern latitudes; reduced storminess as temperature differentials diminish; and greater crop yields thanks to a general growth in the net primary productivity of the world’s trees and plants owing to CO2 fertilization.
While important scientific uncertainties remain as to which particular impacts will be experienced where, the AGU must now accept that no uncertainties are known that could make the impacts of anthropogenic climate change significantly damaging. Furthermore, surprise outcomes, such as the unexpectedly rapid loss of Arctic summer sea ice, may entail even more dramatic advantages than anticipated. Trans-polar navigation and mineral exploration will be facilitated. However, it is known that much of the loss of Arctic sea ice is attributable to natural influences, and half of that loss since 1979 has been compensated by increases in Antarctic sea ice.
Actions that could diminish the benefits posed by climate change to society and ecosystems include the substantial emissions cuts the AGU once advocated in a futile attempt to reduce the magnitude of anthropogenic global warming, which has proven to be remarkably poorly correlated with increases in CO2 emissions. The community of scientists must learn to recognize that it has no responsibility to promote a particular negative viewpoint on climate change and its impacts. Improvements will come from pursuing the research needed to understand why the predicted climate change is not occurring, working with stakeholders to identify relevant information, and conveying results to decision makers and to the general public clearly, accurately, honestly, and without the previous negative prejudice for which the AGU must now humbly apologize.
Erroneous versions of the above statement were adopted by the American Geophysical Union in December 2003 and were revised and republished in December 2007, February 2012, and August 2013. In the face of the evidence, the AGU must now accept that its previous statements were inadequate.
Joseph D’Aleo, AMS, Fellow of the AMS
We have heard tales of broadcasters who dare express some degree of skepticism in the blogs or twitter or sometimes on air, being scolded at by News Directors or outside advocacy groups like Forecast the Facts (funded by the Center for American Progress, a George Soros advocacy group) claiming to be a grassroots organization, whichs conduct letter writing campaigns to attack them with station management. Their launch coincided with the AMS Annual meeting in 2012 where they disrupted the council meeting to lobby the society to make a stronger statement and exert pressure on broadcasters. On their site Forecast the Facts lists their mission:
Forecast the Facts is dedicated to ensuring that Americans hear the truth about climate change: that temperatures are increasing, human activity is largely responsible, and that our world is already experiencing the effects. We do this by empowering everyday people to speak out in the face of misinformation and hold accountable those who mislead the public.
In other words, they want broadcasters to tie virtually every weather (and other) extreme, to our use of fossil fuel and not attempt to explain these events with natural factors or cycles.
Dr Neil Frank, former Director of NHC and long time Houston, Texas on-air meteorologist and Dr William Gray, CSU hurricane forecast pioneer and I sent a strongly worded statement to the AMS in which we started with our view on the real state of the climate::
The UKMO and Rajendra Pachauri have admitted to no warming for the past 16 or 17 years. James Hansen has agreed it is at least a decade. Any significant warming since 1979 was not global but confined to north of 20N. Even the heat records last year, if you only look at stations with 80+ year history, were but a blip compared to the 1930s. These records, you should know, are not altered like station temperatures used for climate analyses. Moreover, global hurricane frequency is at a 30+year low and strong tornado trends are down. There is no trend long term in droughts and floods. Snow and cold have been increasing in winter not decreasing as the IPCC and NOAA climate reports have forecasted. We have seen deceleration in sea level rises.
Both weather balloon and satellite data clearly indicate that there is no hot spot in the tropics, which invalidates the theory on which CO2’s supposed impact on Global Average Surface Temperature is based. Given that the Climate Models upon which EPA relied are all based on this theory, it is not surprising that comparisons of the model forecasts versus actual temperatures have proven the models to be invalid as well. In fact, to our knowledge, EPA never carried out any published Climate Model forecast reliability test results.
We could go on and on as the “consensus” position is in collapse on all fronts. But what we have mentioned so far should be more than enough to condemn the demands for orthodoxy on the subject of climate science. As the great Physicist Richard Feynman said, “...no matter how smart you are, how beautiful your idea or theory, if the data or experiments don’t support it, it’s wrong.”
We then addressed the Forecast the Facts campaign:
We hope that going forward, the AMS will protect the professional interests and freedom of thought of its members by forcefully and publically repudiating the Forecast the Facts campaign, and by taking aggressive legal action against it if necessary...The AMS should welcome all points of view on all subjects within our field of science. In your own words....we must also embrace legitimate science that seeks to increase our understanding even as it complicates the emerging picture of how the climate system works. We all must continue to work toward ensuring that we are operating with the very highest levels of openness and honesty in the presentation of our science. The fruits of such honest, open debate will surely lead to an improved understanding of the Earth’s complex climate system and better weather and climate forecasts, a goal we know we all share.
Keith Seiter responded with a letter in which he stated:
Personally, I do not feel the Forecast the Facts approach is a productive one, and I have told them so directly on several occasions. I published a column in the July 2012 BAMS that described why I feel the tactics used by Forecast the Facts and a few other organizations are counterproductive to improving communication on climate change. I continue to feel this way, and continue to do my best to open up communication on this issue rather than try to suppress it. As you quoted from one of my columns in your letter, I have enormous faith in the scientific process.
Let me close by quoting another of my recent BAMS columns (May 2013), which I encourage you to review:
“Frequent readers of this column will know that I have long been advocating for open and respectful dialog on the science of climate change, with all parties recognizing that as scientists it is our job to be skeptical and require solid theory and evidence to back up claims. We must always be cognizant of how hard it is to keep our intrinsic values from triggering confirmation bias as we review research results or listen to alternative explanations for observational evidence. Our training as scientists, however, makes it clear that our goal must always be the objective truth whether it supports our belief system or not. We must all strive for that level of integrity.”
In his 2012 BAMS article Keith decried the tactics of groups like Forecast the Facts. You may wish to copy that article if challenged by your station management based on letters from FTF or other environmental groups who have little knowledge of the actual facts but are strong believers in the so called consensus position because of their education or political leanings.
And always remember what Michael Crichton has said about consensus:
Historically, the claim of consensus has been the first refuge of scoundrels; it is a way to avoid debate by claiming that the matter is already settled. Whenever you hear the consensus of scientists agrees on something or other, reach for your wallet, because you’re being had. Let’s be clear: the work of science has nothing whatever to do with consensus. Consensus is the business of politics.
By Joseph D’Aleo, CCM, Weatherbell Analytics
I have in the past posted a recent flurry of papers showing evidence for the sun’s role in climate change. I have posted in depth on this in the past with my own findings including here. By now, you know we place a lot of emphasis on the role the oceans and volcanism plays in climate extremes and cycles. In another post we will show how the PDO, AMO, solar and volcanism affect the intensity and frequency of extremes and the persistence of weather patterns. Please help us make the case for the truth by donating to our team. We are battling the alarmists in the public media, the EPA in the court as JB posted on. There are other efforts underway with government and alarmist groups. All the work has been pro bono. Every little bit you donate helps the team.
We are now back in a cold multidecadal PDO.
This favors La Ninas, a cold Alaska and Eurasia (annualized - more extreme in winters).
Meanwhile we entered the warm AMO in the mid 1990s.
That favors a warm Northern hemisphere and arctic.
The two oceans are out of phase. We were in a similar condition of a cold Pacific and warm Atlantic from the late 1940s to early 1960s.
Since both the warm PDO and warm AMO favor warming, taking the two indices standardizing them and adding them and comparing to US annual temperatures (everything smoothed here) we find a strong correlation.
Far better than that with CO2 which had a coincidental correlation 1979 to 1998.
The same PDO/AMO correlation holds with arctic temperatures.
That is because water from both oceans makes its way into the arctic beneath the floating icecap. When its warm, the water thins the ice in summer.
The International Arctic Research Center at the University of Fairbanks has found the same correlation with Atlantic water temperatures and arctic water temperatures and ice thickness/extent.
NASA GISS maintains a database of Aerosol loading (aerosol optical thickness) based on volcanoes since 1850 for modeling purposes. Here is the plot of the values by latitude Note how eruptions in one hemisphere, stay concentrated there, near the equator spread both north and south.
I plotted the data a few years back identifying the major eruptions.
Stratospheric aerosols cut back on incoming solar radiation. Values of 7% reduction or higher have been measured. This is widely accepted as being a factor in causing global cooling for 2 to 3 years after a major eruption. Some eruptions have been estimated to throw aerosols to 80,000 or even 120,000 feet high into our atmosphere. While ash and aerosols (sulfate converted from O2) typically falls out from low level eruptions in days or weeks, those that make it into the stratosphere have a lifetime of a few years. While there, they serve to cool the atmosphere and surface (although with regional variances) and when they fall out to serve as nuclei for ice and water droplet clouds and precipitation (rain and snow). Remember the big Midwest flood of 1993 and the huge snows of March 1993 to the winter of 1993/94 and 1995/96
Dr. Richard Keen, who lives in the beautiful Colorado Rockies and is both a weather observer and astronomical expert has been using eclipses to measure this effect. He found the thickness varied and estimated the effect on temperatures.
I composited years with high and low stratospheric aerosols and found a definite cooling with high content and warming with low, greatest at the poles where the low angle sun must pass through a much greater path length to reach the surface.
I focused on the northern hemisphere in this plot, extending it to the end of 2012. We have dropped to virtual zero since the Alaska and Iceland eruptions of the late 2000 decade were lower stratosphere and are estimated to be gone.
Notice in the chart below, a clean atmosphere coincides with warming certainly relative to the high aerosol periods.
The recent high latitude volcanoes from 2007/08 - 2010/11 may have helped with the snows (and rock bottom solar with cold winters) even though the hemispheric loading was not large.
2010 eruption of Eyjafjallajokull
We are back to ground zero again.
Perhaps the most impactful (more so than Pinatubo and Krakatoa was Iceland’s Laki in 1783.
Laki, Iceland, 1783
The Laki eruption lasted eight months during which time about 14 cubic km of basaltic lava and some tephra were erupted. Haze from the eruption was reported from Iceland to Syria. In Iceland, the haze lead to the loss of most of the island’s livestock (by eating fluorine contaminated grass), crop failure (by acid rain), and the death of one-quarter of the human residents (by famine). Ben Franklin noted the atmospheric effects of the eruption (Wood, 1992).
It is estimated that 80 Mt of sulfuric acid aerosol was released by the eruption (4 times more than El Chichon and 80 times more than Mount St. Helens).
The climatic effects of the Laki eruption are impressive. In the eastern United States, the winter average temperature was 4.8 degrees C below the 225 year average. The estimate for the temperature decrease of the entire Northern Hemisphere is about 1 degree C. The The top graph shows change in acidity in micro equivalents H+ per kg in the Greenland icecap. The bottom graph represents the winter temperature records in the eastern United States. From Sigurdsson (1982).
In North America, the winter of 1784 was the longest and one of the coldest on record. It was the longest period of below-zero temperatures in New England, the largest accumulation of snow in New Jersey, and the longest freezing over of the Chesapeake Bay. There was ice skating in Charleston Harbor, a huge snowstorm hit the south, the Mississippi River froze at New Orleans, and there was ice in the Gulf of Mexico.
The Laki eruption illustrates that low energy, large volume, long duration basaltic eruptions can have climatic impacts greater than large volume explosive silica-rich eruptions. The sulfur contents of basaltic magmas are 10-100 times higher than silica-rich magmas (Palais and Sigurdsson, 1989). The sulfur dioxide is what forms the sulfate aerosols which reflect radiation.
How does sun play a role? I believe the sun drives the oceanic cycles which drive the weather. See the details of how here. Volcanism is the wildcard amplifier. See how the TSI as compiled by Hoyt/Schatten/Willson matches the ocean cycles and temperatures.
These are the major league players in our climate. CO2 didn’t make the team.
By Dr. Gordon Fulks, The Oregonian
In 1960 when a U2 spy plane disappeared over the Soviet Union, President Eisenhower told the world that it was a “weather research aircraft” flying out of Turkey. That cover story worked for a week until Soviet Premier Khrushchev confirmed that the pilot had been captured deep in Soviet territory. Should an American President have supported an elaborate fabrication? It served no lasting purpose and demeaned a great President.
The cases that followed involving Presidents Nixon and Clinton were far less excusable and far more damaging to the presidency. They stretched the truth to avoid accountability.
Now we have yet a different situation where a President is trying to sell a vast program of carbon controls and renewable energy subsidies, based on arguments that may meet political standards for honesty but fail scientific, engineering, and legal standards. That is far more damaging to this nation than Bill Clinton denying an affair with Monica Lewinsky.
President Obama’s recent ‘Climate Change’ speech reiterated his assertions, that the earth is warming dangerously, that human emissions of CO2 are clearly responsible, and that virtually all scientists agree with him. As 115 scientists from around the world told him several years ago: “With all due respect Mr. President, that is not true.” One was Nobel Laureate in Physics Ivar Giaever, a Democrat. The president now calls those who dispute his hysteria the “Flat Earth Society.”
Because the President knows that Congress and the American people will never support carbon reduction schemes that seriously harm our economy, he is pursuing a strategy involving rhetorical subterfuges while his Environmental Protection Agency quietly moves forward with regulations.
Consequently, eleven of us Note: Icecap played an important role filed an amicus brief with the Supreme Court recently asking them to overturn the EPA’s “Endangerment Finding” on CO2. This is the first time that the high court has been asked to consider purely scientific arguments rather than, for instance, the EPA’s failure to follow the recommendations of their Inspector General.
We prove that the EPA’s “Three Lines of Evidence” are fatally flawed, based on multiple robust data sets, not on ‘expert opinion’ from those paid to support the president’s position. Honest data show no unusual warming in the latter half of the 20th century and none at all for the last fifteen years despite a slow increase in CO2. The ‘Hot Spot’ that must exist in the tropical troposphere for their theory to work is completely missing. And the climate models for which the taxpayer has paid so dearly, are epic failures. Without global warming, carbon dioxide is clearly ‘Not Guilty.’ And hence the hysteria about extreme weather caused by CO2 is likewise nonsense.
What about the programs that the president is trying to sell to cure a problem that does not exist? These are substantial hoaxes also. While “efficient use of energy” and “renewable energy: sound good, they are far from the reality. Ethanol, solar, and wind typically produce little net energy beyond what went into their manufacture. They merely launder high quality energy from fossil fuels into less desirable but politically popular kinds.
Remarkably, wind and solar do not even reduce our ‘carbon footprint,’ because they need backup by special natural gas power plants designed for rapid start-up. These are far less efficient than state-of-the-art gas-turbine plants that run continuously. Scrapping wind and solar programs would hugely benefit ratepayers and burn less natural gas overall.
Because President Obama has no scientific education, he can hardly be expected to understand the details of what we are saying. But as an attorney, he should know what constitutes honest argument.
Gordon J. Fulks, PhD lives in Corbett, Oregon, and can be reached at email@example.com. He holds a doctorate in physics from the University of Chicago, Laboratory for Astrophysics and Space Research.
Record lows in July.
By Joseph D’Aleo, CCM
Well NCDC has a shiny new very cool tool for plotting data for regions, states and some city locations by month(s), seasons, years. They describe it this way.
Data for the Contiguous U.S., statewide, climate divisions, climate regions, and agricultural belts come from the U.S. Climate Divisional Database, which have data from 1895 to the present.
Information is also available at the city level for the following 60 cities. The 27 cities highlighted in blue below are Automated Surface Observing System (ASOS) stations which are part of the U.S. Historical Climatology Network (USHCN) (temperature data for the USHCN stations were converted to version 2.5 in October 2012). The other 33 cities use Global Historical Climatology Network (GHCN) data. These cities have data from varying beginning periods of record to the present.
New York’s Central Park was one of the blue cities (new USHCN v2.5). So I plotted it for July since that was one of the months in the original comparison.
The surprise was how flat it was in the dust bowl heat of the 1930s. I know that on the NWS NYC web site, they have archived raw monthly means back well into the 1800s. So I downloaded that and compared.
It was dramatically cooler in the NCDC v2.5 than the original data.
I maybe we need to coin a new term for NOAA NCDC - ‘dust bowl deniers’. Note the past is colder until recent decades. Yes it appears there is man made warming underway but the men are in Asheville, North Carolina.
Addendum by Anthony Watts:
Cooling the past increases the trend. We’ve seen this effect happen several times before, yet there seems to be no justification for it. Probably this most dramatic example is what we see in this NOAA GISS plot comparison:
I’ve also written before about this tampering with data from the past. Such tampering with new adjustments like USHCN V2.5 allow claims of “warmest ever” to be made when the past gets cooled:
Dear NOAA and Seth, which 1930’s were you comparing to when you say July 2012 is the record warmest?
Does NOAA’s National Climatic Data Center (NCDC) keep two separate sets of climate books for the USA?
The Weather Channel’s case for global warming courtesy of the climate clowns at climate central and the ‘comedy’? company formerly known as TWC/WSI/Wunderground now under the tailfeathers of MSNBC. Jack Webb in the old show Dragnet had among his memorable saying “Just the fact ma’am”. Thats what we will do. The alarmists ignore the inconvenient facts and instead call to authority - the bogus 97% consensus.
Seriously, you may have heard that The Weather Channel/WSI/Wunderground/Weather Central all under the NBC Universal umbrella and are teaming with Climate Central (remember Heidi Cullen) will be promoting global warming alarmist and hyping every weather event as if we never had a heat wave, cold wave, snowstorm, hurricane, forest fire, tornado outbreak before the greenhouse theory was adopted by environmentalists and politicians and, who spent $100B to bribe scientists to support their theory and for useful idiots in the media like those at the NBC Universal family to carry the water which they gladly do, never questioning them like good journalists used to do.
“In searching for a new enemy to unite us, we came up with the idea that pollution, the threat of global warming, would fit the bill.” Club of Rome, First Global Revolution
“Urgent and unprecedented environmental and social changes challenge scientists to define a new social contract...a commitment on the part of all scientists to devote their energies and talents to the most pressing problems of the day, in proportion to their importance, in exchange for public funding”. NOAA exiting Administrator for NOAA Dr. Lubchenko when she was president of AAAS in 1999 (explains NOAA’s obsession with ‘finding warming, extremes)
“It doesn’t matter what is true, it only matters what people believe is true.” Paul Watson, Co-founder of Greenpeace
Climate Central and Heidi Cullen, formerly with TWC is feeding her tall tales to TV broadcasters on WSI and Weather Central systems for daily graphics that the TV mets can use to indoctrinate the audience, I thought I would once a week provide some other facts they would like to ignore.
You see they are feeling pressure with the stories, largely ignored by the mainstream media that warming has stopped and frustrated by public apathy (rank global warming actions 21st out of 21 in terms of priority for government (down 2% to 28%)
First temperatures have stopped warming in all the data bases going back as far as 1997. All are showing a cooling since 2002 even as CO2 continues to rise. This is true even though CO2 has continued to rise. This happened before from the 1940s to late 1970s during the post war boom.
This is in sharp contrast to what the climate models have predicted.
One of the strongest signature of greenhouse theory in all the climate model is a hot spot in the tropics peaking at higher levels. That is not seen in either the weather balloons and satellite data.
Tropical oceans are supposed to be warming too. But with excellent buoy data across the Pacific to monitor ENSO, we see no warming back to 1979 down to 300 meters in the tropical ocean (130E to 80W).
An article published today in Nature laments the dismal failure of climate models to predict climate a mere 5 years into the future, much less a century from now:
“The dramatic warming predicted after 2008 has yet to arrive.” “It’s fair to say that the real world warmed even less than our forecast suggested,” [modeller] Smith says. “We don’t really understand at the moment why that is.”
“Although I have nothing against this endeavour as a research opportunity, the papers so far have mostly served as a ‘disproof of concept’,” says Gavin Schmidt. Schmidt says that these efforts are “a little misguided”. He argues that it is difficult to attribute success or failure to any particular parameter because the inherent unpredictability of weather and climate is built into both the Earth system and the models. “It doesn’t suggest any solutions,” he says. “Because the climate does not usually change drastically from one year to the next, the model is bound to start off predicting conditions that are close to reality. But that effect quickly wears off as the real climate evolves. If this is the source of the models’ accuracy, that advantage fades quickly after a few years.”
“Kevin Trenberth, a climate scientist at the National Center for Atmospheric Research in Boulder, Colorado, says that it could be a decade or more before this research really begins to pay off in terms of predictive power, and even then climate scientists will be limited in what they can say about the future.” Once again, modelers attempt to explain away their failures due to the dubious excuse of Trenberth’s “missing heat” sinking undetected to the bottom of the ocean.
There was a lot of buzz with the hot summer last year when ocean temperatures reinforced ridging over the drought stricken central producing a heat ridge and very warm weather in March and July.
But as Dr. John Christy showed in Senate testimony last summer, no state all-time records were set and the 1930s still dominates.
As for individual station records, there are many coop and stations with short history, which would add to the number of highest ever. John Christy also showed, if you focus only on stations with 80+ years of record that went back to the hot 1930s and 1950s, last year was just a blip.
The 1930s was suppressed in the altered global data sets by adjustments made in the 2000s. They did not adjust records, just monthly and annual averages. The records show the true trend better than the computed global average surface temperature.
Back in 1934 the US data was as depicted below with an interesting factual comment from James Hansen. Note how 1998 was 0.3C (0.5F) cooler than 1934.
This presented a dilemma for the global warming community because the US lacking of warming was in sharp contrast with the global. The secret was the US had an adjustment for Urban Heat Island in the US that was not done for the global.
Around 2007, NOAA removed the UHI adjustment for US data so that a warming could be shown. Notice how this brought 1998 up to the level of 1998.
Dr. Edward Long had shown the difference between true rural and urban temperatures for the lower 48 states.
Brian Stone of Georgia Tech in 2009 found “Across the U.S. as a whole, approximately 50 percent of the warming that has occurred since 1950 is due to land use changes...rather than to the emission of greenhouse gases.” Most large U.S. cities, including Atlanta, are warming at more than twice the rate of the planet as a whole...”
We will talk about the UHI and bad siting contamination, no trends in extremes (except winter hemispheric snows) and the other theory failures in upcoming posts. We will show how natural factors can explain all the decadal and longer term changes and the changing frequency of the various extremes.
The two events that ‘appear’ to agree with prediction are increased Atlantic Basin hurricanes and decreasing arctic ice. But these are due to natural factors - as Joe Bastardi and I have written over the years, the hurricanes are increasing in line with forecasts in 1995 by Bill Gray when the warm AMO mode returned. When the AMO was positive before from the 1930s to 1960 we had 8 major east coast landfalls. Also the warm AMO and PDO are what drive arctic ice changes and arctic temperatures as IARC UAF has shown and I have published in 2012. We will discuss that too.
“In searching for a new enemy to unite us, we came up with the idea that pollution, the threat of global warming, would fit the bill.” Club of Rome First Global Revolution
Posted By Paul Driessen On July 2, 2013
US politicians and bureaucrats have less compassion and common sense that average Londoner
“You’ve heard of Live Aid? Well, this is Drive Aid,” an ardent young man says, as he approaches London pedestrians. “Greedy people in developing nations are eating huge amounts of food that could easily be turned into biofuel to power our cars. African acreage the size of Belgium is being used for food, and we’re saying it should go to cars here in the UK. Can we have your support?”
Londoners reacted with disbelief and outrage, the ActionAid UK video shows, and refused to sign his mock petition. The amusing stunt drove home a vital point: Biofuel programs are turning food into fuel, converting cropland into fuel production sites, and disrupting food supplies for hungry people worldwide. The misguided programs are having serious environmental consequences, as well.
Why, then, can’t politicians, bureaucrats and environmentalists display the common sense exhibited by London’s citizenry? Why did President Obama tell Africans (many of whom are malnourished) in July 2009 that they should refrain from using “dirty” fossil fuels and use their “bountiful” biofuel and other renewable energy resources, instead? When will Congress pull the plug on Renewable Fuel Standards?
Ethanol and other biofuels might have made some sense when Congress passed the Energy Policy Act of 2005 and established mandates (or “standards") requiring that refiners and consumer purchase large quantities of ethanol and other biofuels. Back then, despite growing evidence to the contrary, many people thought we were running out of oil and gas, and believed manmade global warming threatened the planet. But this is not 2005. Those rationales are no longer persuasive.
The hydraulic fracturing revolution has obliterated the Club of Rome “peak oil” notion that we are rapidly exhausting the world’s petroleum. Climategate and other IPCC scandals demonstrated that the “science” behind climate cataclysm claims is conjectural, manipulated and even fraudulent. And actual observations of temperatures, storms, droughts, sea levels and Arctic ice have refused to cooperate with computer models and Hansen-Gore-EPA-IPCC disaster scenarios.
In fact, biofuels and Renewable Fuel Standards cannot be justified on any grounds.
The United States is using 40 million acres of cropland (Iowa plus New Jersey) and 45% of its corn crop to produce 14 billion gallons of ethanol annually. This amount of corn could feed some 570 million people, out of the 1.2 billion who still struggle to survive on $1.25 per day.
This corn-centric agriculture is displacing wheat and other crops, dramatically increasing grain and food prices, and keeping land under cultivation that would otherwise be returned to wildlife habitat. It requires millions of pounds of insecticides, billions of pounds of fertilizer, vast amounts of petroleum-based energy, and billions of gallons of water to produce a fuel that gets one-third less mileage per gallon than gasoline and achieves no overall reduction in greenhouse gas emissions.
Ethanol mandates have caused US corn prices to rocket from $1.96 per average bushel in 2005 to as much as $7.50 in autumn 2012 and $6.68 in June 2013. Corn growers and ethanol makers get rich. However, soaring corn prices mean beef, pork, poultry, egg and fish producers pay more for corn-based feed; grocery manufacturers pay more for corn, meat, fish and corn syrup; families pay more for everything on their dinner table; and starving Africans go hungry because aid agencies cannot buy as much food.
By 2022, the Energy Independence and Security Act of 2007 (amending the 2005 law) requires 15 billion gallons of corn-based ethanol and 21 billion gallons of cellulosic and other non-corn-based biofuels. That will monumentally worsen all these problems.
Equally insane, the Environmental Protection Agency’s draft rule for 2013 required that refiners purchase 14 million gallons of cellulosic biofuels. There’s a teensy problem: the fuel doesn’t exist. A mere 4,900 gallons were produced in March, and zero the other months. So companies are forced to buy fantasy fuel, fined big bucks if they do not, and punished if they get conned into buying fraudulent “renewable fuel credits” from “socially responsible” companies like Clean Green Fuel, Absolute Fuels and Green Diesel.
Ethanol collects water, which can result in engine stalls. It corrodes plastic, rubber and soft metal parts. Pre-2001 car engines, parts and systems may not be able to handle E15 fuel blends (15% ethanol, 85% gasoline), adversely affecting engine, fuel pump and sensor durability. Older cars, motorcycles and boats fueled with E15 could conk out in dangerously inopportune places; at the very least they could require costly engine repairs. Lawn mowers and other gasoline-powered equipment are equally susceptible.
On a global scale, the biofuels frenzy is diverting millions of acres of farmland from food crops, converting millions of acres of rainforest and other wildlife habitat into farmland, and employing billions of gallons of water, to produce corn, jatropha, palm oil and other crops for use in producing politically correct biodiesel and other biofuels.
To top off this seemingly inexhaustible list of policy idiocies, all this ethanol and other biofuel could easily be replaced with newly abundant oil and gas supplies. Amazing new seismic, deepwater, deep drilling, hydraulic fracturing and other technologies have led to discoveries of huge new reserves of oil and natural gas and enabled companies to extract far more petroleum from reservoirs once thought to have been depleted.
That means we can now get vastly more energy from far less land; with far fewer impacts on environmental quality, biodiversity and endangered species; and with none of the nasty effects on food supplies, food prices and world hunger that biofuel lunacy entails.
We could do that if radical greens in the Obama Administration, United Nations and eco pressure groups would end their ideological opposition to leasing, drilling, fracking, Outer Continental Shelf and Arctic National Wildlife Refuge development, Canadian oil sands, the Keystone pipeline and countless other projects. We could do so, if they would stop behaving like environmentalist Bull Connors, arrogantly blocking the doors to human and civil rights progress.
This colossal global biofuels industry exists only because resource depletion and climate Armageddon ideologies do not die easily and because politicians lavish government mandates and billions of dollars in taxpayer and consumer subsidies on firms that have persuasive lobbyists and reliable track records for channeling millions of those dollars back to the politicians who keep the racket going.
The ActionAid UK video has lent some good British gallows humor to a serious issue. As another well-known Brit might say, it is time rein in a global SPECTRE that has wreaked too much human and environmental havoc.
To get that long overdue effort underway, Congress needs to amend the 2005 Energy Policy Act, eliminate the Renewable Fuel Standards and end the taxpayer subsidies.
A few thousand farmers and ethanol makers will undoubtedly feel some pain. A few hundred politicians will have less money in their reelection coffers. However, countless wild creatures will breathe much easier in their newly safe natural habitats and millions of families will enjoy a new birth of freedom, a new wave of economic opportunity, and welcome relief from hunger and malnutrition.
“One has to free oneself from the illusion that international climate policy is environmental policy.” Instead, climate change policy is about how “we redistribute de facto the world’s wealth.” UN IPCC official Ottmar Edenhofer 2010