See video of Art Horn and Joe D’Aleo on Climate Change.
In the bizarre world of climate alarmism, a naturally evolving climate is viewed as a man-made catastrophe, but an evolving political climate is not, as long as it supports the hysteria. Few advocate learning enough about science to separate fact from fiction, because knowledge is considered an impediment to progress.
With the re-election of Barack Obama, his radical followers declared, “This is our time,” and ramped up efforts to transform society back to a simpler period when energy meant horse power and prosperity was a distant dream. The president steered clear of this climate morass, preferring to let his Environmental Protection Agency work “the problem” away from public scrutiny.
In the meantime, we have seen storms of alarmism. Public television declared that Hurricane Sandy fit the pattern expected in a warming world, despite the fact that the incidence of major hurricanes has declined dramatically to half what it was in the colder 1950s. New York Times columnist Paul Krugman and two Oregon State University philosophy professors stressed their intellectual superiority over “creationists” and “deniers” ("Rejecting science that crosses faith,” Paul Krugman, Nov. 24, 2012; “Exposing the logic of climate change denial,” Michael P. Nelson and Kathleen Dean Moore, Dec. 2, 2012). And Associated Press reporter Seth Borenstein rejoiced that his relentless climate propaganda was sinking into the American psyche.
As if to acknowledge this, Republican James L. Huffman imagined “persuasive evidence” of human involvement in global warming ("Are all doubters really ‘hapless’ or ‘greedy’?” Dec. 10, 2012). Angus Duncan and Jack Roberts were sure that their windmills would address the coming climate catastrophe ("Keeping climate science and climate politics apart,” Nov. 11, 2012). And the annual United Nations climate seance in Doha, Qatar, heard endless calls to action among delegates enjoying the opulent luxury that fossil fuels provide. The only sensible comment came from Huffman, who admitted to a lack of scientific training (as he offered his scientific opinion).
Real science is far different from what amateurs think. The problems with classical greenhouse gas theory escape those who view science as politics (consensus) or as religion (belief).
Scientists know that only logic and evidence apply. The evidence causing great grief is the refusal of the global temperature to increase for the past 15 years. It sloshes back and forth as one would expect on a planet with vast oceans and atmosphere that are never in equilibrium, but does not warm as some claimed it would with slowly increasing atmospheric carbon dioxide. Consequently, cracks are developing in the scientific facade supporting the dogma.
Reading the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences is much like reading Pravda during the Cold War: You do not look for beliefs, but for hints of change. In a recent paper (not peer-reviewed), newly elected members touted their belief that they had found the “fingerprint” of greenhouse gases. Yet they admitted to a considerable discrepancy with observations, a fatal flaw in a rational world. And buried deeply in the last table of supplementary information was the evidence that their climate simulations are failing badly.
Perhaps this is what prompted the U.N. Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change to insert a sentence in its most recent draft report saying that the sun is more important than it previously realized. With NOAA now admitting that the present solar cycle will finish far below most in the Grand Maximum of solar cycles over the past two centuries, with American solar physicists William Livingston and Matthew Penn pointing to a collapsing solar magnetic field, and with Russian astrophysicist Habibullo Abdussamatov saying that carbon dioxide is “not guilty” and predicting a prolonged cooling this century, it is about time.
The previous warm periods (Medieval, Roman and Minoan) likely had the same natural origin as the present one. Hence, we should expect a century of cooling that essentially reverses the warming of the 20th century. This is what the Greenland ice core temperature reconstructions show happened previously.
Although the public has little knowledge of science and too easily falls for scams, scientists know that they cannot hold onto theories in the face of contravening evidence, even with vast government largess hanging in the balance. Those who have struck a Faustian bargain are beginning to worry that the devil may one day come to collect.
Gordon J. Fulks lives in Corbett and can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org. He holds a doctorate in physics from the University of Chicago, Laboratory for Astrophysics and Space Research.
"The Sun is god!” cried JMW Turner as he died, and plenty of other people have thought there was much in his analysis. The Aztecs agreed, and so did the pharaohs of Egypt. We are an arrogant lot these days, and we tend to underestimate the importance of our governor and creator.
We forget that we were once just a clod of cooled-down solar dust; we forget that without the Sun there would have been no photosynthesis, no hydrocarbons - and that it was the great celestial orb that effectively called life into being on Earth. In so far as we are able to heat our homes or turn on our computers or drive to work it is thanks to the unlocking of energy from the Sun.
As a species, we human beings have become so blind with conceit and self-love that we genuinely believe that the fate of the planet is in our hands - when the reality is that everything, or almost everything, depends on the behaviour and caprice of the gigantic thermonuclear fireball around which we revolve.
I say all this because I am sitting here staring through the window at the flowerpot and the bashed-up barbecue, and I am starting to think this series of winters is not a coincidence. The snow on the flowerpot, since I have been staring, has got about an inch thicker. The barbecue is all but invisible. By my calculations, this is now the fifth year in a row that we have had an unusual amount of snow; and by unusual I mean snow of a kind that I don’t remember from my childhood: snow that comes one day, and then sticks around for a couple of days, followed by more.
I remember snow that used to come and settle for just long enough for a single decent snowball fight before turning to slush; I don’t remember winters like this. Two days ago I was cycling through Trafalgar Square and saw icicles on the traffic lights; and though I am sure plenty of readers will say I am just unobservant, I don’t think I have seen that before. I am all for theories about climate change, and would not for a moment dispute the wisdom or good intentions of the vast majority of scientists.
But I am also an empiricist; and I observe that something appears to be up with our winter weather, and to call it “warming” is obviously to strain the language. I see from the BBC website that there are scientists who say that “global warming” is indeed the cause of the cold and snowy winters we seem to be having. A team of Americans and Chinese experts have postulated that the melting of the Arctic ice means that the whole North Atlantic is being chilled as the floes start to break off like a Martini refrigerated by ice cubes.
I do not have the expertise to comment on the Martini theory; I merely observe that there are at least some other reputable scientists who say that it is complete tosh, or at least that there is no evidence to support it. We are expecting the snow and cold to go on for several days, and though London transport has coped very well so far, with few delays or cancellations, I can’t help brooding on my own amateur meteorological observations. I wish I knew more about what is going on, and why. It is time to consult once again the learned astrophysicist, Piers Corbyn.
Now Piers has a very good record of forecasting the weather. He has been bang on about these cold winters. Like JMW Turner and the Aztecs he thinks we should be paying more attention to the Sun. According to Piers, global temperature depends not on concentrations of CO2 but on the mood of our celestial orb. Sometime too bright the eye of heaven shines, said Shakespeare, and often is his gold complexion dimmed. That is more or less right. There are times in astronomical history when the Sun has been churning out more stuff - protons and electrons and what have you - than at other times. When the Sun has plenty of sunspots, he bathes the Earth in abundant rays.
When the solar acne diminishes, it seems that the Earth gets colder. No one contests that when the planet palpably cooled from 1645 to 1715, the Maunder minimum, which saw the freezing of the Thames, there was a diminution of solar activity. The same point is made about the so-called Dalton minimum, from 1790 to 1830. And it is the view of Piers Corbyn that we are now seeing exactly the same phenomenon today.
Lower solar activity means, broadly speaking, that there is less agitation of the warm currents of air from the tropical to the temperate zones, so that a place like Britain can expect to be colder and damper in summer, and colder and snowier in winter. “There is every indication that we are at the beginning of a mini ice age,” he says. “The general decline in solar activity is lower than NASA’s lowest prediction of five years ago. That could be very bad news for our climate. We are in for a prolonged cold period. Indeed, we could have 30 years of general cooling.”
Now I am not for a second saying that I am convinced Piers is right; and to all those scientists and environmentalists who will go wild with indignation on the publication of this article, I say, relax. I certainly support reducing CO2 by retrofitting homes and offices, not least since that reduces fuel bills. I want cleaner vehicles.
I am speaking only as a layman who observes that there is plenty of snow in our winters these days, and who wonders whether it might be time for government to start taking seriously the possibility however remote that Corbyn is right. If he is, that will have big implications for agriculture, tourism, transport, aviation policy and the economy as a whole. Of course it still seems a bit nuts to talk of the encroachment of a mini ice age.
But it doesn’t seem as nuts as it did five years ago. I look at the snowy waste outside, and I have an open mind.
2012 was a scorcher, but was it the warmest year ever?
A report released this week by the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Agency (NOAA) called it “the warmest year ever for the nation.” Experts agree that 2012 was a hot year for the planet. But it’s that report—and the agency itself—that’s drawing the most heat today.
“2012 [wasn’t] necessarily warmer than it was back in the 1930s ... NOAA has made so many adjustments to the data it’s ridiculous,” Roy Spencer, a climatologist at the University of Alabama in Huntsville, told FoxNews.com.
A brutal combination of a widespread drought and a mostly absent winter pushed the average annual U.S. temperatures up last year, to 55.32 degrees Fahrenheit according to the government. That’s a full degree warmer than the old record set in 1998—and breaking such records by a full degree is unprecedented, scientists say.
But NOAA has adjusted the historical climate data many times, skeptics point out, most recently last October. The result, says popular climate blogger Steve Goddard: The U.S. now appears to have warmed slightly more than it did before the adjustment.
“The adjusted data is meaningless garbage. It bears no resemblance to the thermometer data it starts out as,” Goddard told FoxNews.com. He’s not the only one to question NOAA’s efforts.
“Every time NOAA makes adjustments, they make recent years [relatively] warmer. I am very suspicious, especially for how warm they have made 2012,” Spencer said.
Enlarged showing how adjustments warm rural to match contaminated urban
The newly adjusted data set is known as “version 2.5,” while the less adjusted data is called “version 2.0.”
NOAA defended its adjustments to FoxNews.com.
Government climate scientist Peter Thorne, speaking in his personal capacity, said that there was consensus for the adjustments.
“These have been shown through at least three papers that have appeared in the past 12 months to be an improvement,” he said.
NOAA spokesman Scott Smullen agreed.
:These kinds of improvements get us even closer to the true climate signal, and help our nation even more accurately understand its climate history,” he said.
One problem in weather monitoring occurs when there is a “break point”—an instance where a thermometer is moved, or something producing heat is built near the thermometer, making temperature readings before and after the move no longer comparable.
“Version 2.5 improved the efficiency of the algorithm.... more of the previously undetected break points are now accounted for,” Smullen explained.
He added that the report also recalculated “the baseline temperatures [that] were first computed nearly 20 years ago in an era with less available data and less computer power.”
Spencer says that the data do need to be adjusted—but not the way NOAA did it. For instance, Spencer says that urban weather stations have reported higher temperatures partly because, as a city grows, it becomes a bit hotter. But instead of adjusting directly for that, he says that to make the urban and rural weather readings match, NOAA “warmed the rural stations’ [temperature readings] to match the urban stations”—which would make it seem as if all areas were getting a bit warmer.
Aaron Huertas, a spokesman for the Union of Concerned Scientists, argued that the debate over the adjustments misses the bigger picture.
“Since we broke the [temperature] record by a full degree Fahrenheit this year, the adjustments are relatively minor in comparison,”
“I think climate contrarians are doing what Johnny Cochran did for O.J. Simpson—finding anything to object to, even if it obscures the big picture. It’s like they keep finding new ways to say the ‘glove doesn’t fit’ while ignoring the DNA evidence.”
Climate change skeptics such as blogger and meteorologist Anthony Watts are unconvinced.
“Is history malleable? Can temperature data of the past be molded to fit a purpose? It certainly seems to be the case here, where the temperature for July 1936 reported ... changes with the moment,” Watts told FoxNews.com.
“In the business and trading world, people go to jail for such manipulations of data.”
Pursuant to our previous story showing issues with diverging data and claims over time, NCDC has updated the Climate Reference Network Data for December 2012. I’m still waiting on the NCDC State of the Climate report to come in with their number, and I’ll update the graphic (in yellow) when it is available.
Being a state of the art system, it is well sited, and requires no adjustments and the data is well spatially distributed by design so that it is representative of the CONUS. Here’s the current plot
(click to enlarge):
Each number in blue represents one of the 117 NCDC operated U.S. Climate Reference Network stations. Here’s the data reports for December and the entire year:
From the NCDC provided FTP data files we can calculate a yearly CONUS Tavg, which has never been done before by NCDC to my knowledge. Odd that is falls to somebody outside of the organization don’t you think?
Therefore, from this data, the Average Annual Temperature for the Contiguous United States for 2012 is 55.25F
Note also the value from the CRN from July 2012, 75.6F far lower than what NCDC reported in the SOTC of 77.6F and later in the database of 76.93F as discussed here.
Makes you wonder why NCDC never mentions their new state of the art, well sited climate monitoring network in those press releases, doesn’t it? The CRN has been fully operational since late 2008, and we never here a peep about it in SOTC. Maybe they donít wish to report adverse results.
I look forward to seeing what NCDC comes up with for the Cooperative Observer Network (COOP) in their “preliminary” State of the Climate Report for Dec 2012 and the year, and what the final number will be in 1-2 months when all the data from the COOP network comes in.
On Weatherbell.com, Dr Ryan Maue has calculated used NCEP global reanalysis the annual temperature anomalies. As he describes it the departure of 0.039C is a ‘yawner”.
When I was a television meteorologist sometimes a hurricane would destroy an area, tornadoes would strike with little or no warming, winter storms would bury cities in snow, floods would inundate communities and temperature records would be broken. People accepted these events as the normal variability that has always confronted and confounded humanity.
Not so anymore. Now when a minimal category one hurricane strikes it’s called “a super storm.” When Washington D.C. is digging out from under two feet of snow it’s given a name like “snowmageddon.” When drought hits the farm belt it’s said to be consistent with predictions that say in a warmer world dry conditions will become more severe. In today’s world virtually any weather event that causes any interruption in the flow of daily life is proof that weather is becoming more extreme due to global warming. Is there really more extreme weather in a warmer world?
When I start a semester teaching meteorology, one of the first things my students learn (hopefully) is that it’s temperature contrast across the earth that drives weather. They learn that the greater the temperature contrast between the poles and the equator, the harder the atmosphere works to equalize that contrast. The way this work is done is with stronger storms. Stronger storms do a better job of transporting heat from the tropics to the polar regions, therefore reducing the contrast in temperature across the earth. In a sense the storms are the earth’s safety valves helping to reduce the pressure so the pipes don’t blow!
In a warmer world with less temperature contrast between the poles and the equator the weather would be less extreme, not more so. In the Northern Hemisphere winter the storms are much more powerful than in the summer. In winter jetstream winds miles above our heads roar at 150 to 200 miles per hour where as in summer they drift along at 20 to 40 miles per hour. Weaker temperature contrast decreases the available energy to make bigger storms and that’s what you would have in a warmer world.
What proof do I have of this claim that weather is less extreme in a warmer world? The answer is in the ice. The ice in glaciers holds a record of earth’s past temperature. Greenland is a great repository of very old ice. Scientists have drilled deep into the ice and have retrieved long cores that can be dated year by year and then analysed to reveal past temperature.
The method of recreating past temperature from ice cores is quite ingenious. Water in the oceans is made up of two hydrogen atoms and one oxygen atom. But not all water is the same. About 99.8% of all water in the oceans has oxygen with an atomic weight of 16. About 0.2% of the water in the worlds oceans has oxygen with an atomic weight of 18. Oxygen 18 is about 11% heavier than oxygen 16 so it is a little harder to evaporate and once in the clouds it falls out in precipitation a little more readily, depending on temperature. It is this difference between lighter oxygen and heavier oxygen that tells us so much about the temperature of the past.
When the world is warmer, more of the heavier oxygen 18 makes it farther north as snow. When this snow falls onto the Greenland ice cap it is eventually crushed by more overlying snowfall and becomes ice. This ice has a higher concentration of oxygen 18 to oxygen 16. Years, decades and centuries of ice with this higher ratio of oxygen 18 to 16 tell us the earth was warmer. When the earth is colder the heavier oxygen 18 falls out sooner before reaching the colder polar regions like Greenland. The result is that the snow that falls on the Greenland ice cap has a lower concentration of oxygen 18 to 16. In the ice cores this lower ratio tells us the earth was colder when that snow fell thousands of years ago.
So what does this remarkable record of temperature frozen in the ice tell us about past climate and weather? The ice says that when the earth has been colder the climate, and therefore the weather, which is what ultimately makes up climate over the long run, was much more extreme than today, wildly so. The ice age temperature variability is enormous. The Greenland ice core reveals that the temperature range during the ice age was around 40 degrees Fahrenheit! There were periods of time when the temperature would plunge 20 to 30 degrees for thousands of years then suddenly stop falling. After that the temperature would rocket upward in just a few hundred years or just a few decades to where the temperature had been before or even warmer! These were amazingly wild temperature swings. Only the most robust and adaptable of creatures could have survived these massive gyrations of extreme climate change. These gigantic roller coaster temperature swings, in very short periods of time, reduce the changes of the last 100 years to irrelevant insignificance.
In the winter, during the ice age, the temperature over the ice sheet, being a mile above sea level, would drop to perhaps 100 degrees below zero or lower. The temperature in the tropic was still warm so the temperature contrast between the air over the ice and the tropics would have been much larger than today resulting in wild weather extremes. When the ice age ended the contrast in temperature across the earth eased. The result of this decrease in temperature contrast has been far less temperature instability over the last 10,000 years. Temperature has varied by only 5.5 degrees Fahrenheit since the ice age ended as opposed to 40 degrees during the ice age! The ice core data is telling us that when the earth is warmer there is much less volatility of temperature and therefore the weather that results from that decrease in volatility is much less extreme.
Other than the long term trends in temperature we can derive from the ice cores, our “official” weather records only extend back to 1895 in the United States. There are no weather records of the extremes of weather for 99% of the last 10,000 years. The evidence from the Greenland ice strongly indicates that when the earth is cold the weather is crazy beyond anything we see today with inconceivably large temperature swings back and forth in very short periods of time. This indicates enormous extremes of weather.
So is the weather more extreme today than the past? The answer from the ice is no, not by a long shot.
Dr. Richard Feynman, the great physicist told his students about the scientific method in this class. By his definition the theory of AGW is falsified and should be discarded.
I presented some of the evidence that taken together with that compiled by Marc Morano is more than enough to discredit/falsify global warming.
Here is an interview I did for Nashua CTV Speakupnh. I will add the Hudson video I did with Art Horn when it is released.