Frozen in Time
May 06, 2007
The Faithful Heretic:  A Wisconsin Icon Pursues Tough Questions

Wisconsin Energy Cooperative News, May 6, 2007

Reid A. Bryson holds the 30th PhD in Meteorology granted in the history of American education. Emeritus Professor and founding chairman of the University of Wisconsin Department of Meteorology. In the 1970s, he became the first director of what’s now the UW’s Gaylord Nelson Institute of Environmental Studies. He’s a member of the United Nations Global 500 Roll of Honor—created, the U.N. says, to recognize “outstanding achievements in the protection and improvement of the environment.” He has authored five books and more than 230 other publications and was identified by the British Institute of Geographers as the most frequently cited climatologist in the world.

Climate’s always been changing and it’s been changing rapidly at various times, and so something was making it change in the past,” he told us in an interview this past winter. “Before there were enough people to make any difference at all, two million years ago, nobody was changing the climate, yet the climate was changing.”

When asked if he would rank the factors the most significant impact and where would you put carbon dioxide on the list? Eighty percent of the heat radiated back from the surface is absorbed in the first 30 feet by water vapor. Eight hundredths of one percent ia absorbed by carbon dioxide. One one-thousandth as important as water vapor. You can go outside and spit and have the same effect as doubling carbon dioxide.

Bryson says he looks in the opposite direction, at past climate conditions, for clues to future climate behavior. Trying that approach in the weeks following our interview, Wisconsin Energy Cooperative News soon found six separate papers about Antarctic ice core studies, published in peer-reviewed scientific journals between 1999 and 2006. The ice core data allowed researchers to examine multiple climate changes reaching back over the past 650,000 years. All six studies found atmospheric carbon dioxide concentrations tracking closely with temperatures, but with CO2 lagging behind changes in temperature, rather than leading them. The time lag between temperatures moving up—or down—and carbon dioxide following ranged from a few hundred to a few thousand years. See full story here

Reid A. Bryson holds the 30th PhD in Meteorology granted in the history of American education. Emeritus Professor and founding chairman of the University of Wisconsin Department of Meteorology. In the 1970s, he became the first director of what’s now the UW’s Gaylord Nelson Institute of Environmental Studies. He’s a member of the United Nations Global 500 Roll of Honor—created, the U.N. says, to recognize “outstanding achievements in the protection and improvement of the environment.” He has authored five books and more than 230 other publications and was identified by the British Institute of Geographers as the most frequently cited climatologist in the world.

Climate’s always been changing and it’s been changing rapidly at various times, and so something was making it change in the past,” he told us in an interview this past winter. “Before there were enough people to make any difference at all, two million years ago, nobody was changing the climate, yet the climate was changing.”

When asked if he would rank the factors the most significant impact and where would you put carbon dioxide on the list? Eighty percent of the heat radiated back from the surface is absorbed in the first 30 feet by water vapor. Eight hundredths of one percent ia absorbed by carbon dioxide. One one-thousandth as important as water vapor. You can go outside and spit and have the same effect as doubling carbon dioxide.

Bryson says he looks in the opposite direction, at past climate conditions, for clues to future climate behavior. Trying that approach in the weeks following our interview, Wisconsin Energy Cooperative News soon found six separate papers about Antarctic ice core studies, published in peer-reviewed scientific journals between 1999 and 2006. The ice core data allowed researchers to examine multiple climate changes reaching back over the past 650,000 years. All six studies found atmospheric carbon dioxide concentrations tracking closely with temperatures, but with CO2 lagging behind changes in temperature, rather than leading them. The time lag between temperatures moving up—or down—and carbon dioxide following ranged from a few hundred to a few thousand years. See full story here

May 05, 2007
Arctic Climate Expert: Gore’s Film Is ‘Science Fiction’

Interview in May 11, 2007 issue of Executive Intelligence Review

Ian Overton interviewed Dr. Syun-Ichi Akasofu, former Director of the International Arctic Research Center, on April 23, 2007.

EIR: Many people in Alaska and elsewhere are saying that local and global warming are the result of increased local and global anthropogenic greenhouse gas emissions, such as carbon dioxide, methane, nitrous oxide, and so on, because the winters are warmer, permafrost is melting, and so on. I’ve noticed that newspapers are warning this will cause serious problems for Alaska’s economy. And a number of people are becoming quite worried about this. Does the warming in Alaska actually have anything to do with local or global industrial emissions?

Dr. Akasofu: ... any serious climatologist will agree, there are two components: one is natural components, the other is man-made components. Our main effort here, is to identify natural components. How much [are] natural components [involved] in natural climate change? My point, my position is, that until we identify natural components, and subtract that from present temperature rise, for example, we cannot tell very much, how much the man-made effects will be....Even just in the last 100 years there was an increase from 1910 to 1940; then temperature began to decrease from 1940 to 1975, when CO2 began to increase in 1940! Then temperature began to increase again from 1975. And no one can explain the temperature rise from 1910 to 1940, or explain the decrease from 1940 to 1975. My point is, that until we understand the increase from 1910 to 1940, we just cannot say the increase from 1975 to the present is entirely from the greenhouse effect.
See full interview here Arctic_Climate_Expert.pdf

Ian Overton interviewed Dr. Syun-Ichi Akasofu, former Director of the International Arctic Research Center, on April 23, 2007.

EIR: Many people in Alaska and elsewhere are saying that local and global warming are the result of increased local and global anthropogenic greenhouse gas emissions, such as carbon dioxide, methane, nitrous oxide, and so on, because the winters are warmer, permafrost is melting, and so on. I’ve noticed that newspapers are warning this will cause serious problems for Alaska’s economy. And a number of people are becoming quite worried about this. Does the warming in Alaska actually have anything to do with local or global industrial emissions?

Dr. Akasofu: ... any serious climatologist will agree, there are two components: one is natural components, the other is man-made components. Our main effort here, is to identify natural components. How much [are] natural components [involved] in natural climate change? My point, my position is, that until we identify natural components, and subtract that from present temperature rise, for example, there was an increase from 1910 to 1940; then temperature began to decrease from 1940 to 1975, when CO2 began to increase in 1940! Then temperature began to increase again from 1975. And no one can explain the temperature rise from 1910 to 1940, or explain the decrease from 1940 to 1975. My point is, that until we understand the increase from 1910 to 1940, we just cannot say the increase from 1975 to the present is entirely from the greenhouse effect.
See full interview here Arctic_Climate_Expert.pdf

May 04, 2007
More Perspective on Recent Hurricane Activity

Eric Berger, Sciguy Science Blog

Chris Landsea of NOAA has presented at the Annual AMS and elsewhere recently papers on hurricanes and climate change, and whether the recent upsurge in activity is due to global warming or changes in the way we monitor hurricanes. Landsea’s argument, in contrast to the likes of Kerry Emanuel, Greg Holland, Judith Curry and others, is that observers missed so many storms during the pre-satellite era that a re-analysis of past data might explain why hurricanes seem to have become more common and destructive in the last 30 years.

We missed so many past storms, in fact, that Landsea’s research suggests historical Atlantic storm totals should be inflated by 3.2 named storms a year between the period of 1900-1965, and 1 storm between 1966 and 2002, to match the modern era. He has now published this work in the American Geophysical Union’s peer-reviewed EOS Transactions. See full blog story here

Chris Landsea of NOAA has presented at the Annual AMS and elsewhere recently papers on hurricanes and climate change, and whether the recent upsurge in activity is due to global warming or changes in the way we monitor hurricanes. Landsea’s argument, in contrast to the likes of Kerry Emanuel, Greg Holland, Judith Curry and others, is that observers missed so many storms during the pre-satellite era that a re-analysis of past data might explain why hurricanes seem to have become more common and destructive in the last 30 years.

We missed so many past storms, in fact, that Landsea’s research suggests historical Atlantic storm totals should be inflated by 3.2 named storms a year between the period of 1900-1965, and 1 storm between 1966 and 2002, to match the modern era. He has now published this work in the American Geophysical Union’s peer-reviewed EOS Transactions. See full blog story here

May 03, 2007
NASA Expects Cycle 24 to Peak in 2011 or 12

CNN. com Science and Space

The peak of the next sunspot cycle is expected in late 2011 or mid-2012. A 12-member panel charged with forecasting the solar cycle said Wednesday half of the specialists predicted a moderately strong cycle of 140 sunspots expected to peak in October of 2011, while the rest called for a moderately weak cycle of 90 sunspots peaking in August of 2012. “We’re hoping to achieve a consensus sometime in the next six to 12 months,” said Douglas Biesecker, a space environment center scientist who is chairman of the forecast panel.  See story here

The forecasters said the current solar cycle will probably end next March, when Solar Cycle 24 will begin. That will mean Cycle 23 lasted 12 years, longer than the usual 11-year cycle and considerably longer than many recent cycles which lasted less than 10 years. Short cycles are usually stronger and associated with warmer temperatures on earth and longer cycles weaker and colder. The last long cycle was in the 1960s/1970s.  Many solar physicists including Hathaway at NASA believe that if not cyle 24, cycle 25 will be very quiet (in his words ”the weakest in centuries”). Image below has the Hathaway projection for the next two cycles.

image

For some other forecasts see this table or Lund’s Cycle 24 Summary here. Coming soon a paper on the importance of solar changes to climate change.

The peak of the next sunspot cycle is expected in late 2011 or mid-2012. A 12-member panel charged with forecasting the solar cycle said Wednesday half of the specialists predicted a moderately strong cycle of 140 sunspots expected to peak in October of 2011, while the rest called for a moderately weak cycle of 90 sunspots peaking in August of 2012. “We’re hoping to achieve a consensus sometime in the next six to 12 months,” said Douglas Biesecker, a space environment center scientist who is chairman of the forecast panel.  See story here

The forecasters said the current solar cycle will probably end next March, when Solar Cycle 24 will begin. That will mean Cycle 23 lasted 12 years, longer than the usual 11-year cycle and considerably longer than many recent cycles which lasted less than 10 years. Short cycles are usually stronger and associated with warmer temperatures on earth and longer cycles weaker and colder. The last long cycle was in the 1960s/1970s.  Many solar physicists including Hathaway at NASA believe that if not cyle 24, cycle 25 will be very quiet (in his words ”the weakest in centuries”). Image below has the Hathaway projection for the next two cycles.

image

For some other forecasts see this table or Lund’s Cycle 24 Summary here Coming soon a paper on the importance of solar changes to climate change.

May 02, 2007
Kilimanjaro’s Glaciers May Last Longer Than Predicted

Nick Wadhams, National Geographic News

The fabled snows of Tanzania’s Mount Kilimanjaro may not succumb to global climate change as quickly as scientists had feared. A joint Austrian-U.S. research team that took seven years of measurements from weather stations atop Africa’s tallest mountain says that its ice fields will be around for another 30 to 40 years, while the glaciers on its slopes could last even longer. Kilimanjaro’s icepacks have been retreating since the 1800s, but “the vanishing of those glaciers between 2015 and 2020 as reported some years ago is definitely unrealistic,” said study participant Thomas Moelg of the University of Innsbruck.

The research team found new evidence showing that lower precipitation—and not rising temperatures on the summit—is the main cause for the Kilimanjaro glaciers’ retreat.  See full story here

The fabled snows of Tanzania’s Mount Kilimanjaro may not succumb to global climate change as quickly as scientists had feared. A joint Austrian-U.S. research team that took seven years of measurements from weather stations atop Africa’s tallest mountain says that its ice fields will be around for another 30 to 40 years, while the glaciers on its slopes could last even longer. Kilimanjaro’s icepacks have been retreating since the 1800s, but “the vanishing of those glaciers between 2015 and 2020 as reported some years ago is definitely unrealistic,” said study participant Thomas Moelg of the University of Innsbruck.

The research team found new evidence showing that lower precipitation—and not rising temperatures on the summit—is the main cause for the Kilimanjaro glaciers’ retreat.  See full story here

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