What's New and Cool
Sep 29, 2014
Real Climate Debate Hasn’t Even Begun

By Larry Bell

Contrary even to former Obama administration Energy Department Undersecretary for Science Steven Koonin’s admission that the climate change debate isn’t settled, there never really was one.

Koonin, who now directs New York University’s Center for Urban Science and Progress, wrote a headlined Wall Street Journal Weekend Review story that was entirely right about thing however: “We often hear there is a ‘scientific consensus’ about climate change… But as far as computer models go, there isn’t a useful consensus at the level of detail relevant to assessing human influences.”

Dr. Koonin is also correct in noting that the issue isn’t whether or not the climate is changing because “the climate has always changed and always will” He points out that the main question remains to be about the relative importance of both natural and man-made influences which will effect energy and infrastructure policy decisions.

On this score, while he believes that humans can cause serious issues, “they are physically small in relation to the climate system as a whole”, whereas carbon dioxide emissions “directly shift the atmosphere’s natural greenhouse effect by only 1 percent to 2 percent.”

Still, there’s even very good reason to think that even this amount of human CO2 influence may be highly exaggerated.

He admits that “climate sensitivity,” an estimate of warming induced by a hypothetical doubling of atmospheric CO2 concentration, is no different, and no more certain than it was 30 years ago. Meanwhile, global sea levels rose at almost the same rate during the first half of the 20th century as today.

At the same time, Earth’s average surface temperature rise of 0.9 degree F over the last quarter of the 20th century has slowed over the past 16 years (many say longer), while human CO2 contributions have continually risen 25 percent. Koonin adds: “Yet the models famously fail to capture this slowing in the temperature rise.” He also observes that models showing Arctic ice melting over the past 20 years forget to note almost equal growth across Antarctica which is “now at a record high.”

Incidentally, global temperatures were just as warm, or even warmer, than now from about 1910 to 1945 when atmospheric CO2 levels were lower. And let’s also recognize that no respectable surveys show consensus among experts that global warming since the industrial revolution brought smoke stacks and SUVs onto the scene is either unusual or anything to lose sleep over.

So where do the famous “climate debate is settled” and “97 percent of all scientists agree about global warming” (aka climate change) statements come from? They can be traced to an endlessly reported 2009 American Geophysical Union survey consisting of an intentionally brief two question online survey sent to 10,257 Earth scientists by two researchers at the University of Illinois-Chicago, which asked two questions.

The first: “When compared with pre-1800s levels, do you think that mean global temperatures have generally risen, fallen, or remained relatively constant?”

Few would be expected to dispute this. Thee planet began thawing out of the little ice age in the middle 19th century, predating the Industrial Revolution. (That was the coldest period since the last real ice age ended roughly 10,000 years ago.)

The second question: “Do you think human activity is a significant contributing factor in changing mean global temperatures?” So what constitutes “significant”? Does “changing” include both cooling and warming...and for both “better” and “worse”?

Which contributions? Land use? Deforestation? They were also not asked whether they believed the anthropogenic (human-caused) contribution was or might become sufficient to warrant concern or the adoption of stringent government regulatory policies.

Of the 3,146 who responded (a 31 percent return rate), only a small subset of just 77 (2.5 percent) were represented in the survey statistic. These are ones who listed “climate science” as their area of expertise and had been successful in getting more than half of their papers recently accepted by peer-reviewed climate science journals.

In other words, that “97 percent all scientists” referred to a laughably puny number of 75 of those 77 who answered yes.

Get that - of the 3,146 Earth scientists who responded, 98 percent of the cherry-picked 2.5 percent who were counted in the survey agreed that humans have at least some unspecified influence on climate! That’s really a ton of consensus!

In his Wall Street Journal article Steven Koonin wisely cautions: “Uncertainty is a prime mover and motivator of science and must be faced head-on. It should not be confined to hushed sidebar conversations at academic conferences.” He concludes that “any serious discussion of the changing climate begin by acknowledging not only scientific certainties but also the uncertainties, especially in projecting the future.”

Yes. Only when that happens will the real debate begin. One where Mother Nature will have the final word.

Sep 23, 2014
Surprising PNAS paper: CO2 emissions not the cause of U.S. West Coast warming

Anthony Watts

The rise in temperatures along the U.S. West Coast during the past century is almost entirely the result of natural forces - not human emissions of greenhouse gases, according to a major new study released today in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences.

PACIFIC DECADAL OSCILLATION AND SURFACE TEMPERATURES
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Northeast Pacific coastal warming since 1900 is often ascribed to anthropogenic greenhouse forcing, whereas multidecadal temperature changes are widely interpreted in the framework of the Pacific Decadal Oscillation (PDO), which responds to regional atmospheric dynamics. This study uses several independent data sources to demonstrate that century-long warming around the northeast Pacific margins, like multidecadal variability, can be primarily attributed to changes in atmospheric circulation. It presents a significant reinterpretation of the region’s recent climate change origins, showing that atmospheric conditions have changed substantially over the last century, that these changes are not likely related to historical anthropogenic and natural radiative forcing, and that dynamical mechanisms of interannual and multidecadal temperature variability can also apply to observed century-long trends.

From a Seattle Times newspaper story: (h/t Dale Hartz)

The vast majority of coastal temperature increases since 1900 are the result of changes in winds over the eastern Pacific Ocean, the authors found. But they could find no evidence that those weather patterns were themselves being influenced by the human burning of fossil fuels…

Since the ocean is the biggest driver of temperature changes along the coast, the authors tracked land and sea surface temperatures there going back 113 years. They found that virtually all of the roughly 1 degree Celsius average temperature increase could be explained by changes in air circulation.

“It’s a simple story, but the results are very surprising: We do not see a human hand in the warming of the West Coast,” said co-author Nate Mantua, with NOAA Fisheries Southwest Fisheries Science Center. “That is taking people by surprise, and may generate some blowback.”Source.

The paper:

Atmospheric controls on northeast Pacific temperature variability and change, 1900 to 2012

James A. Johnstone and Nathan J. Mantua

Abstract

Over the last century, northeast Pacific coastal sea surface temperatures (SSTs) and land-based surface air temperatures (SATs) display multidecadal variations associated with the Pacific Decadal Oscillation, in addition to a warming trend of ∼0.5-1 C. Using independent records of sea-level pressure (SLP), SST, and SAT, this study investigates northeast (NE) Pacific coupled atmosphere ocean variability from 1900 to 2012, with emphasis on the coastal areas around North America. We use a linear stochastic time series model to show that the SST evolution around the NE Pacific coast can be explained by a combination of regional atmospheric forcing and ocean persistence, accounting for 63% of nonseasonal monthly SST variance (r = 0.79) and 73% of variance in annual means (r = 0.86). We show that SLP reductions and related atmospheric forcing led to century long warming around the NE Pacific margins, with the strongest trends observed from 1910 to 1920 to 1940. NE Pacific circulation changes are estimated to account for more than 80% of the 1900 to 2012 linear warming in coastal NE Pacific SST and US Pacific northwest (Washington, Oregon, and northern California) SAT. An ensemble of climate model simulations run under the same historical radiative forcings fails to reproduce the observed regional circulation trends. These results suggest that natural internally generated changes in atmospheric circulation were the primary cause of coastal NE Pacific warming from 1900 to 2012 and demonstrate more generally that regional mechanisms of interannual and multidecadal temperature variability can also extend to century time scales.

Sep 19, 2014
Climate Hype Exposed

by CFACT

September 18, 2014

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Click for full report

CFACT releases a new report on the eve of the New York UN climate summit.

The report is authored by Paul Driessen with contributions from Marc Morano.

Executive Summary

Launched in 1988 at the urging of activists opposed to hydrocarbon energy, economic growth, and modern living standards, the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) was originally charged with assessing possible human influences on global warming and potential risks of human-induced warming. Over the subsequent decades, however, the IPCC increasingly minimized non-human factors, to the extent that it now claims only human influences matter - and any climate changes would “threaten our planet.”

The climate change scientist-government-industrialist complex has grown increasingly wealthy and powerful. It now spends billions of dollars annually on climate and weather research, focusing almost exclusively on carbon dioxide and other “greenhouse” gases, and many billions more on renewable energy research and subsidies that raise energy prices, cost jobs, and reduce living standards.

Indeed, laws and regulations implemented in the name of preventing climate change have increased the cost of virtually everything people make, grow, ship, drive, eat, and do. They affect our lives, liberties, livelihoods, living standards, health, and welfare. Expert analysts calculate that climate-related rules will cost U.S. families and businesses almost $51 billion and 224,000 U.S. jobs every year through 2030 on top of the $1.9 trillion in regulatory costs that Americans already pay every year.

With so much at stake, it is essential that climate research is honest, accurate and credible, and that the resultant energy and climate policies are based on sound, replicable science. Instead, the studies and reports are consistently defective and even deceitful. They incorporate every study financed by this multi-billion-dollar system that supports the “dangerous manmade climate change” thesis - no matter how far-fetched and indefensible their claims might be - and ignore all contrary studies and experts. They rely on faulty, manipulated data, secretive working sessions that revise the “science” to reflect political “summaries,” and computer models that completely fail to predict actual real-world climate trends.

Because average global temperatures have not risen for 18 years (and have even cooled slightly), even the terminology has shifted: from global warming to climate change, climate disruption, and extreme weather.

Relying on the IPCC work, the $2.5-billlion-a-year U.S. Global Change Research Program (GCRP) issued a 2014 National Climate Assessment (NCA) that claimed climate change “is already affecting” the lives of Americans in a “multitude of ways.” President Obama said its effects “are already being felt in every corner of the United States.” The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) and other federal agencies use IPCC studies to justify costly vehicle mileage standards, delays and bans on oil and gas drilling and pipelines, and rules that are closing hundreds of coal-fired power plants and preventing new ones from being built.

As ClimateDepot.com director Marc Morano explains, the IPCC is “a political body masquerading as a science body.” It makes its pseudo-science fit its political agenda. The GCRP and the EPA do likewise. Their actions violate information quality laws and basic standards of sound science and peer review - to drive an anti-growth, anti-fossil fuel agenda. They exaggerate every conceivable cost associated with hydrocarbons, but completely ignore even the most obvious and enormous benefits of using fossil fuels.

Now the White House wants to commit the United States to a new international “agreement” on climate change, energy use, economic growth, and wealth redistribution - without presenting it to Congress, in violation of constitutional requirements that any treaty receive the “advice and consent” of the Senate.

Every American concerned about our nation’s future should read this report, to understand what is happening and what is at stake. They should resist these actions by unelected, unaccountable regulators, challenge them in courts and legislatures, and demand that every study, report, and proposed rule be presented for review by citizens, legislators, and independent experts outside the closed circles of the climate change scientist-government-industrialist complex. If the climate alarmists are truly confident in their claims and have nothing to hide, they should be happy to participate in this honest, common sense approach.

See more here

Sep 16, 2014
A NEW PROFESSIONAL SOCIETY FOR METEOROLOGY AND CLIMATOLOGY

Contact Anthony Watts Telephone 530-342-7291
Email contact@theoas.org Website http://theoas.org

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FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE September 16, 2014
A NEW PROFESSIONAL SOCIETY FOR METEOROLOGY AND CLIMATOLOGY

The Open Atmospheric Society takes a new approach to atmospheric science, becoming the first society of its kind to be a cloud-based online organization.

September 16, 2014: The Open Atmospheric Society, known as “The OAS” for short announces its formation, and readiness to accept charter members. The purpose of The OAS is to provide a paperless and entirely online professional organization that will represent individuals who have been unrepresented by existing professional organizations that have become more activist than science based in their outlook. It also aims to provide a professional peer reviewed publication platform to produce an online journal with a unique and important requirement placed up-front for any paper submitted; it must be replicable, with all data, software, formulas, and methods submitted with the paper. Without those elements, the paper will be rejected. This focus on replicability up front is not found in other similar organizations that publish scientific results.

John Coleman, Founder of The Weather Channel had this to say
It is very gratifying to hear of the formation of The Open Atmospheric Society. A new Meteorological organization and scientific publication have been greatly needed for more than a decade. It is unfortunate that the American Meteorological Society has become totally politicized and conducts itself in total violation of the basic scientific principal of open debate; encouraging competing points of view to be presented and published.

allowed my Professional Membership in the AMS expire many years ago after being an active member, attending National Conferences and reading The Bulletin of the AMS for many years. Several events occurred that made it clear to me that the society was in the control of people who were using it to complete their personal agendas and the Society would was becoming closed and dogmatic. I look forward to membership in the OAS

Joseph D’Aleo AMS Fellow, and Certified Consulting Meteorologist adds:

The AMS, AGU and other professional society editors have slow-walked and thrown up obstacles to papers that challenge the “consensus” position, usually forcing authors to go elsewhere to publish their work. They have fast tracked other papers when issues arose that threatened that position. The AMS had policy advocacy as one of the top organizational goals. A professional scientific society should only advocate for good science and leave the policymaking to those elected to determine the policies based on the very best science.

The OAS, whose motto: verum in luce means “truth in the light”, offers not only a place for a free exchange of ideas, but a unique Internet cloud-based journal publishing platform providing emphasis on open review and reproducibility requirements up-front. Here are a few points of interest:

Open membership - Associate members, anyone who has an interest in atmospheric science, can join at a basic rate, providing interdisciplinary membership. Professional full voting members, will require a degree in atmospheric sciences or related earth disciplines, or three published papers in these subjects. Student members get a reduced rate, similar to associate members with option to full member elevation.

Open journal - The Journal of the OAS will be free to read by the public. Open science - a transparent online peer review process

No other journal asks this upfront: strict OAS Journal submission requirements - technical submissions to the Journal by members must include all source data, software/code, procedures, and documentation to ensure reproducibility of the paper’s experiment or analysis by external reviewers.

Author account - each author and co-author will have accounts for collaboration, submitting papers, making edits, and responding to reviewers.

Emphasis on reasonable publication turnaround, 3 months or less.

DOI’s will be assigned and provided with each publication.

The OAS will offer press releases and web video assistance for authors to explain papers clearly and effectively to the general public. It will also occasionally offer statements and positions regarding atmospheric science as it relates to current news.

Organizational activity will be conducted entirely online - This means no costly brick and mortar infrastructure, no costly postal mailings journals, and no need for warehousing paper files and publications.
The formation of The OAS represents a new way of conducting the scientific method, and welcomes those who feel their professional interests are not being served with the current collection of professional societies who focus on meteorology and climatology. The upcoming Journal of the Open Atmospheric Society has been assigned an official ISSN publication number by the Library of Congress (ISSN 2373-5953) and is registered with CrossRef, the world’s leading scientific publication identifier providing Digital Object Identifiers (DOI) for publications.

If you would like more information about this new society, please email us at contact@theoas.org or visit online at http://theoas.org to learn more or to become a member.

Sep 01, 2014
Why Arctic Ice Extent Is Up Over 60% In The Last Two Years

by stevengoddard

The Danish Meteorological Institute shows a 63% increase in Arctic sea ice extent since the same date in 2012, and an increase of 76% since the 2012 summer minimum. Current extent is 4.4 million sq km, up from 2.7 million sq km on August 28, 2012.

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Sea ice extent in recent years (in million km2) for the northern hemisphere, as a function of date.

COI | Centre for Ocean and Ice | Danmarks Meteorologiske Institut

My methodology is similar numerically to DMI’s, I used maps from the Japan Aerospace Exploration Agency to generate the map below. Green shows ice gain since the same date in 2012, and red shows ice loss. My calculation shows a 64% increase in ice, almost identical to the calculations from DMI.

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A favorite comment from alarmists is “the increase in ice extent is meaningless, because the ice is getting thinner”

They have it exactly backwards. The reason why ice extent is up, is because the ice is thicker. The animation below, based on maps from NSIDC, shows the movement of older, thicker ice into the western Arctic over the past two years. The color scale represents the age of the ice, i.e. five year old ice is red. You can see how older, thicker ice is moving towards Alaska, and accumulating. The amount of five year old ice has more than doubled over the past two years.

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Animating ice 2012-2014

Starting in 1988, winter winds began pushing older, thicker ice out into the North Atlantic. This went on until a few years ago, and caused the lower summer minimums seen over the past 15 years. Younger, thinner ice melts out more easily in the summer.

But since 2011, the winter winds have reversed. Ice is now getting pushed away from the Atlantic side, and is accumulating on the Pacific side - where it is preserved. If this wind pattern continues for a few more years, summer ice extent will soon return to the levels seen in the 1980’s.

A few years ago, experts claimed that all of the older thicker ice had disappeared. As usual, they had absolutely no clue what they were talking about.

(Reuters) The multiyear ice covering the Arctic Ocean has effectively vanished, a startling development that will make it easier to open up polar shipping routes, an Arctic expert said on Thursday.

Vast sheets of impenetrable multiyear ice, which can reach up to 80 meters (260 feet) thick, have for centuries blocked the path of ships seeking a quick short cut through the fabled Northwest Passage from the Atlantic to the Pacific. They also ruled out the idea of sailing across the top of the world.

But David Barber, Canada’s Research Chair in Arctic System Science at the University of Manitoba, said the ice was melting at an extraordinarily fast rate.

“We are almost out of multiyear sea ice in the northern hemisphere,” he said in a presentation in Parliament. The little that remains is jammed up against Canada’s Arctic archipelago, far from potential shipping routes.

Scientists link higher Arctic temperatures and melting sea ice to the greenhouse gas emissions blamed for global warming.

Multiyear Arctic ice is effectively gone: expert | Reuters

The ice loss was caused by winter winds pushing the thicker ice out into the North Atlantic. Unless “scientists” can link “greenhouse gas emissions” to the direction of Arctic winter winds, they probably shouldn’t lie about the state of their knowledge

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