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Saturday, October 13, 2007
Hurricane Threat to Florida, Climate Change or Demographics?

By Bob Ferguson, SPPI

Despite the lack of any trends in hurricane landfalls along the U.S. and Florida coasts, or damage to U.S. coastlines when population demographics are taken into account, the impact from a single storm can be enormous. The massive population and infrastructure build-up of the US coastline has vastly raised the potential damage that a storm can inflict. It is stunningly dishonest and irresponsibly dangerous to insinuate, let alone assert, that CO2 mitigation policies could cage the destructiveness of nature, particularly in hurricane-prone Florida.

Far and away the most important determinant in future vulnerability is not changes to climate or hurricanes themselves, but changes to the population and wealth structure of Florida’s coastal communities. The best available scientific evidence suggests that natural variations, on time scales ranging from years to decades, dominate any small impacts that a warming climate may have on the frequency and intensity of Atlantic tropical cyclones. Far and away the most important determinant in future vulnerability is not changes to climate or hurricanes themselves, but changes to the population and wealth structure of Florida’s coastal communities, many of which rank among the fastest growing localities in America, having increased five-fold since the mid-20th century (U.S. Census Bureau, 2006).

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Read full detailed analysis here.

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Posted on 10/13 at 09:24 PM
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Thursday, October 11, 2007
Why Greens Don’t Want to ‘Solve’ Climate Change

By James Woudhuysen, professor of forecasting and innovation, De Montfort University

Environmental activists and commentators frequently argue that climate change is the most pressing problem facing humanity, and that if we don’t do something about it the planet will burn up. Yet when planet-sized technological solutions to global warming – also known as ‘geo-engineering solutions’ – are put forward, environmentalists are the first to balk. ‘It will never work’, they say. Why are those who are most concerned about climate change also the most hostile to doing something serious to tackle it?

It isn’t just because such solutions would be ambitious, costly and distant in time; nor is it only because these solutions would carry risks. Rather, environmentalists tend to dismiss geo-engineering because, at root, they are not interested in halting climate change. For many today, both green activists and leading politicians, climate change is a moral and political issue rather than simply a practical problem. They see the ‘issue of climate change’ as a means to changing people’s behaviour and expectations, rather than simply as a byproduct of industrialisation that ought to be tackled by technological know-how. They are resistant to geo-engineering solutions because putting an end to climate change would rob them of their raison d’être.

Environmentalists instinctively reject or ignore technological solutions to global warming because they are bent on making people atone for their sins. Their ridicule of geo-engineering reveals that, for them, climate change is a moral tale about humanity’s greed and arrogance, where the happy ending is a much-reduced human population where everyone lives simply and meekly.  Read more here.

Posted on 10/11 at 01:44 PM
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Wednesday, October 10, 2007
More on The Great Pacific Climate Shift and the Relationship to Temperatures and Arctic Ice

By Joe D’Aleo, CCM, ICECAP

In a recent guest blog, John McLean explained how Australia’s CSIRO and Bureau of Meteorology (Power and Smith) respectively were reporting a period of unprecedented El Niño dominance the last 30 years, which they blamed on human activity. Last year in May it was Vecchi who told us there was a just 1% probability that this was due to natural events. On The Weather Channel blogs, meteorologist Stu Ostro, also found a similar continuity shift in weather pattern starting 30 years ago. Blog comments back to Stu and John McLean’s blog here showed how the change had precious little to do with anthropogenic factors but was a large scale cyclical climate shift known for decades as the Great Pacific Climate Shift and in more recent years as a phase change in what has come to be known as the Pacific Decadal Oscillation.

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In this analysis, we show how these are simply changes resulting from multidecadal oscillations in both the Pacific and Atlantic. In addition we show how these cycles correlate extremely well with temperatures in the United States and the arctic. These cycles likely also are responsible for the recent decline in arctic ice as was previously observed in the 1930s and 1940s when arctic temperatures last peaked.

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See full analysis in pdf format here

Also see paper on Anthony Watts blog “Watts Up with That” by retired California State Climatologist Jim Goodrich on the PDO, solar and California climate.

Posted on 10/10 at 07:36 PM
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Tuesday, October 09, 2007
September 2007 Was 7th Coolest Month in This Century

By Luboš Motl, Pilsen, Czech Republic in The Reference Frame

According to the new RSS MSU satellite data, September 2007 was the 7th coldest month among 81 months since January 2001. It has made it to the 9% of the coolest months of the 21st century so far. Their gadgets measure temperature at latitudes between -70.0 (S) and +82.5 (N) - about 94.5% of the surface if I compute well.

In the last month, the global temperature was just 0.12 Celsius degrees above the long-term average which means that it was 0.78 Celsius degrees cooler than the temperature in April 1998 when the anomaly was +0.9 Celsius degrees. The main reason is La Nina that is getting stronger and might continue to do so for a few months.

The Southern hemisphere was 0.015 Celsius degrees cooler (!) than the long-term average, fifth coldest month since January 2001. Antarctica has cooled down by roughly 1 Fahrenheit degree in the last 50 years. See Lubos’s blog here.

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Posted on 10/09 at 03:32 PM
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Big Apple Hurricanes

By World Climate Report

Imagine if a large hurricane struck New York City during this tropical cyclone season – the devastation would be incredible and during and following the disastrous event, global warming would undoubtedly be blamed for the all that happened to the Big Apple. Believe it or not, this will happen sometime in the not-so-distant future, it’s a virtual lock! New York City has been struck many times in the past by tropical cyclones, and it is just a matter of time before another hurricane passes directly over the city.

As we have detailed many times in the past, there is a considerable debate in the climate community regarding the future of hurricane activity. Nonetheless, should a large hurricane pass over downtown Manhattan, scientists promoting the greenhouse link would breathlessly appear on our televisions 24 hours a day.

A recent article in Geochemistry, Geophysics, Geosystems by geological scientists at Brown University and Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution focuses on hurricanes in New York City (well, western Long Island). Four documented strong hurricanes (Category 2 or higher on the Saffir-Simpson Scale) with high storm surges (~3 meters) have made landfall in the New York City area since 1693 with the last occurring in 1893. They correctly note in terms of any linkage with sea surface temperatures (SSTs), “Interestingly, several major hurricanes occur in the western Long Island record during the latter part of the Little Ice Age (~1550–1850 A.D.) when SSTs were generally colder than present. According to paleoclimate estimates, SSTs were likely 2 °C cooler than present in the Caribbean, 1°C cooler than present in the Florida Keys during the latter part of the Little Ice Age, and 1°C cooler than present during the 17th and 18th centuries at the Bermuda Rise.” Read full report here.

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Most significant Big Apple landfalls occurred in 1693, 1788, 1821, and 1893.

Posted on 10/09 at 03:04 PM
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Friday, October 05, 2007
Global Warming and the Chesapeake Bay

By Dennis Avery in News By Us

I was invited to testify before the Senate environment committee September 26, on “The Impact of Global Warming on the Chesapeake Bay.” I told the committee there was no man-made global warming impact on the Bay. The Bay has been warmer than now several times because the moderate 1,500-year climate cycles have warmed it at least five times since the Bay was created 12,000 years ago. At least two of those cycles, and perhaps all of them, were warmer than today. Our net global warming since 1940 is 0.2 degrees C, with no warming at all since 1998. There’s no evidence that man-made CO2 has added much to this warming, though perhaps 0.1 degree C of today’s heat is due to the greenhouse gasses. The 1,500-year cycle is instead linked to the sun and the sunspot index. Nor has a single wild species gone extinct due to higher temperatures. Instead, the birds, butterflies , trees, fish and mammals have been extending their ranges, creating more biodiversity per acre than the world has seen in 500 years.

None of the Senators asked me about the cycle, the solar linkage or the wildlife. You never saw such an eager crowd of man-made warming enthusiasts. Chairperson Barbara Boxer of California waxed eloquent about her Committee’s recent trip to the Arctic, where she said the evidence of man-made warming was impossible to miss. She chided Republican James Inhofe because the extent of Arctic ice had just dropped to its lowest point since the 1930s. She failed to mention that this couldn’t be global warming--because the Antarctic ice has just hit a modern high. This is regional climate cycling, which the Polar Regions are known for. Read more here.

Posted on 10/05 at 11:37 PM
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Shrinkage of the North Polar Ice Cap and Pole-to-Pole Teleconnections

Guest Blog by Dr. R.J. Johnson, University of Minnesota

We now have a beautiful (but tricky) example how warming is affected the oceanic climate system. The rapid loss of North Polar perennial sea ice is now well documented. Two large areas of ice have been lost in the east and west Asian sectors in the last five years. In addition, the main outflow of ice from the polar region in the East Greenland current (brown arrow) today extends half way down the coast of Greenland, whereas in 2002 the seasonal flow had hardly started.

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The increased outflow of ice and water is consistent with a recent Scandinavian report of increasing flow of the Norwegian current into the Arctic Ocean, and contrasts with the report of the Woods Hole oceanographers that the deep outflow from the Greenland Sea (that forms the conveyor belt) was slowing. But it all makes sense, what goes in must come out somewhere, and if less deepwater comes out while the Norwegian Current is increasing, much more water must come out on the surface, and that water contains the meltwater from annual net loss of perennial ice. And the larger flow of low salinity water of the Greenland Current inhibits deepwater formation and the deep outflow that normally results.

Read more here about the polar ice cap and the Antarctic and why the changes may eventually lead to a new glaciation regardlesss of any increasing carbon dioxide.

Posted on 10/05 at 09:26 PM
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Wednesday, October 03, 2007
Ignore Pacific Climate Shift - Just Blame Humans

Guest Blog by John McLean

Hardly a day goes by without a new claim about a human influence on climate.  In the last 18 months we’ve been told, not once but three times, that the air circulation across the tropical Pacific is slowing down and it’s all our fault.

The problem is that the scientific papers making those claims have somehow managed to completely ignore the Great Pacific Climate Shift of 1976 despite this being well-known to climatologists.  The changes caused by that climate shift can account for the altered circulation pattern.  Despite what the three papers say we don’t need to include any human influence.

Was the omission of the Climate Shift deliberate or accidental through ignorance?  Neither is particularly palatable in such a controversial field where we expect, but don’t always get, impartial and accurate science.

Of course such an omission in peer-reviewed papers doesn’t reflect well on the reviewers and journals in question, but many of us are used to that bias by now.

See the full analysis here.

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In full support of John’s thesis is the above plot of Mantua’s PDO since 1950 with a predominance of the cold phase (La Nina (blue spikes)) until 1976 and then the warm phase (El Nino (red spikes)) after

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Posted on 10/03 at 03:08 PM
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Totalitarianism vs State Climatologist in Virginia

By Lubos Motl, The Reference Frame

The members of the global warming movement have offered us another piece of evidence that their thinking and behavior is not too different from the Nazis and communists. The State Climatologist of Virginia and one of the most esteemed U.S. climate scientists, Prof Patrick Michaels, was effectively stripped of his title.

Environmentalist activists complained that Michaels’ opinions could be interpreted as the official climatological opinions of the state of Virginia. Well, it was my understanding that this was exactly the very purpose of the chair of the state climatologist. Who else should determine the key answers about the climate in that state?

But the green scum simply didn’t like Michaels’ conclusions. So they just fired him through a disgraceful governor, Mr Tim Kaine, and replaced him with a Philip “Jerry” Stenger. Let’s now look what scientific credentials were sacrificed in the name of an ideology. Google’s Scholar finds 411 articles with Michael’s name and those that he co-authored have hundreds of citations. Among 9 papers with the name of Stenger, only a few were co-authored by Stenger and all of those have Michaels on the author list, too. Nevertheless, the total citation count of Stenger seems to be 1 citation.

For purely ideological reasons, the quality of the office of the State Climatologist of Virginia was reduced by nearly three orders of magnitude. As a reader says, sharp scientists are being replaced by party officials. Much like the activists in Germany of the 1930s, these people are plain mad. They never realize that a possible decision could simply be over the edge. They are ready to do absolutely anything and everything for their silly unscientific ideology.

Read more of Lubos’s blog here.

Posted on 10/03 at 04:54 AM
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Saturday, September 29, 2007
Houston, We Have Found Wellington, NZ

By Steve McIntyre, Climate Audit Blog

As noted before, climateaudit readers have helped UCAR find the lost civilization of Chile and today, we are happy to report that we have helped NASA find the lost city of Wellington NZ. NASA’s records for Wellington NZ were mysteriously interrupted in 1988 - an interruption so severe that we assumed that Wellington NZ must have been destroyed by Scythians. We are happy to report that Wellington NZ is still in existence.

This is not the only good news. We are also happy to announce that there is still a functioning meteorological service. Not only that, but can announce contact with the indigenous representatives. Although NASA (and NOAA) appear to have lost contact, an indigenous NZ climate scientist familiar with the lost records has contacted climateaudit. I have passed this exciting news on to NASA and urged them to restore contact with their lost cousins in NZ. Previously, we had shown the following graphic showing the termination of NASA records in 1988 and the adding of a substantial trend to the Wellington NZ record in the Hansen adjustment.

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If one is allowing for urbanization in Wellington for the period since 1928 (presuming a non-homogeneity at 1928) to the present, then there is no physical theory under which the adjustment should reduce earlier measurements as Hansen has done. Exactly how Hansen’s algorithm effected this reduction still remains somewhat of a mystery (which we are working on). Whether this particular Hansen error, whatever it is, creates an overall bias also remains to be determined. But the adjustment makes no sense in this particular instance, so there is obviously something wrong somewhere. See the blog here.

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Posted on 09/29 at 02:40 AM
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Friday, September 28, 2007
Questioning 20th Century Warmth

By World Climate Report

In 2006, an article appeared in Science magazine reconstructing the temperature of the Northern Hemisphere back to 800 AD based on 14 smoothed and normalized temperature proxies (e.g., tree ring records). Osborn and Briffa proclaimed at the time that “the 20th century is the most anomalous interval in the entire analysis period, with highly significant occurrences of positive anomalies and positive extremes in the proxy records.” Obviously, concluding that the Northern Hemisphere has entered a period of unprecedented warmth is sure to make the news, and indeed, Osborn and Briffa’s work was carried in papers throughout the world and was loudly trumpeted by the American Association for the Advancement of Science (AAAS) that publishes the journal Science.

A recent issue of Science contains an article not likely to receive any press coverage at all. Gerd Bürger of Berlin’s Institut für Meteorologie decided to revisit the work of Osborn and Briffa, and his results raise serious questions about the claim that the 20th century has been unusually warm. Bürger argues that Osborn and Briffa did not apply the appropriate statistical tests that link the proxy records to observational data, and as such, Osborn and Briffa did not properly quantify the statistical uncertainties in their analyses. Bürger repeated all analyses with the appropriate adjustments and concluded “As a result, the ‘highly significant’ occurrences of positive anomalies during the 20th century disappear.” Further, he reports that “The 95th percentile is exceeded mostly in the early 20th century, but also about the year 1000.” Needless to say, Gerd Bürger is not going to win any awards from the champions of global warming – nothing is more sacred than 20th century warming! Read more here.

Posted on 09/28 at 12:49 AM
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Wednesday, September 26, 2007
Survey: Consumers More Skeptical of Going Green

By Mark Gongloff, WSJ Energy Roundup Blog

Maybe there haven’t been enough Live Earth concerts. Maybe a weakening economy and turbulent markets have people pinching pennies. Maybe there have been too many Live Earth concerts. Whatever the reason, consumers may be souring on the idea of “going green,” if a new survey is any indication. Just 69% of the 504 consumers polled in August by Shelton Group, a Knoxville, Tenn., marketing firm, would favor one house over another based on energy efficiency, down from 86% a year ago.

“Even with all the talk today about consumers seeking to save energy costs and help the environment, the shaky housing market and other recent economic uncertainties prove that wallets are still driving many Americans’ green purchase decisions,” Shelton Group CEO Suzanne Shelton said in a press release. “As it stands, ‘energy-efficient’ is consistently equated to ‘more expensive’ in the minds of consumers for products across the board,” Shelton said.

The full survey results are due for release on Oct. 8. Without offering any details, the Shelton Group warned that companies engaging in “greenwashing” — making themselves look environmentally friendly without doing much to actually help the environment — should beware. “[C]ompanies jumping on the green-friendly bandwagon but failing to make the grade as environmentally responsible in all aspects of their products and operations face both a skeptical public and potential credibility problems,” the group said in its press release.  Read more here.

Posted on 09/26 at 03:21 PM
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Separating Climate Fact from Fiction

By Timothy Ball and Tom Harris, NSRP, in the Washington Times

This week is especially challenging for citizens trying to separate fact from fantasy in the climate debate. From the excited rhetoric of United Nations Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon’s high-level event in New York, the pontifications of Ted Turner at the Clinton Global Initiative or politicians pandering for the green vote at President Bush’s leaders summit, the public is in dire need of self-defense strategies.

The most reliable tool is simple skepticism. “I don’t believe you; prove it” is an appropriate response to Al Gore and his climate campaigners. But such a charge is politically incorrect when applied to climate change so most people need something more passive, a climate change propaganda detector.  See the story for the list of things that should cause alarm bells to ring on a properly tuned detector.

Climate alarmism may defeat itself by simply overplaying its hand. This week’s conferences could speed that process, helping end what is becoming the most expensive science swindle in history. Let’s hope so.

Posted on 09/26 at 01:54 PM
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Saturday, September 22, 2007
Comments on the New Arctic Sea Ice Minimum

By Joe D’Aleo, ICECAP

There have been and will continue to be stories on the new record minimum of arctic ice and how this is further proof of anthropogenic global warming. As we have blogged, the authors of the papers and media reporting on them have no sense of history and of the real factors involved in the global cycles of temperatures and arctic ice.

In the attached UPATED pdf we will use the excellent discussions of the NSIDC updated weekly on the sea ice extent and some of our own analyses previously blogged to show you much of this is cyclical and driven by the multidecadal cycles in the oceans, and influenced this summer by an unusual summer weather pattern.

This excellent animation by NSIDC from 1981 to 2007also shows how arctic ice has varied and moved in recent decades on an annual basis due to the global pattern changes. 

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Posted on 09/22 at 10:45 PM
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Thursday, September 20, 2007
Northwest Passage

By Craig James, Wood TV Blog

The headline in this press release from the European Space Agency reads “Satellites witness lowest Arctic ice coverage in history”. In history! That sounds like a long time. However, when you read the article you find “history” only goes back to 28 years, to 1979. That is when satellites began monitoring Arctic Sea ice. The article also says “the Northwest Passage – a long-sought short cut between Europe and Asia that has been historically impassable.” I guess these people flunked history class. It has been open several times in history, without ice breakers. The first known successful navigation by ship was in 1905.

This is all very similar to the story on the NBC Nightly News Friday, 14 Sep 07 where the story on water levels in Lake Superior never mentioned that the lowest recorded water level on the lake occurred in March and April 1926, when the lake was about 5 inches lower than it is now. Instead, NBC interviewed several people who could never remember seeing it this low and blamed most of the problem on global warming. Never mind that the area has seen below normal precipitation for several years and for most of this year has been classified as being in an extreme to exceptional drought.

A spokesman for the Army Corps of Engineers has said ” Global warming could be an underlying cause, but the scientists said it’s too soon to know. We need to do more tracking,” also, “The last time Lake Superior was so low was November and December 1925 and January through September 1926, during a long drought that preceded the great dust bowl.”

Brian Williams actually led into the story by saying that much of the Great Lakes area has been wet. But why let facts get in the way of a good global warming story? And they wonder why not as many people watch television news anymore.

Read Craig’s blog here.

Posted on 09/20 at 10:59 PM
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Blogroll

The Reference Frame - Lubos Motl’s weblog

Climate Police

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The Climate Scam

Greenie Watch

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Joanne Nova- The Skeptic’s Handbook

Digging in the Clay

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Gore Lied

Finland Lustia Dendrochronology Project

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Musings of the Chiefio

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