Tuesday, August 31, 2010

Diesels greener than electric cars, says Swiss gov report

From The Register, UK:

Get a TDi estate not an EV, and save the planet! By Lewis Page, 8/31/10

        Swiss boffins have mounted an investigation into the largely unknown environmental burdens of electric cars using lithium-ion batteries, and say that the manufacturing and disposal of batteries presents no insurmountable barriers to electric motoring. However, their analysis reveals that modern diesel cars are actually better for the environment than battery ones.
        The revelations come in a new report [1] issued by Swiss government research lab EMPA, titled Contribution of Li-Ion Batteries to the Environmental Impact of Electric Vehicles. The Swiss boffins, having done some major research into the environmental burdens of making and disposing of li-ion batteries - to add to the established bodies of work on existing cars - say that battery manufacture and disposal aren't that big a deal. However, in today's world, with electricity often made by burning coal or gas, a battery car is still a noticeable eco burden:
        The main finding of this study is that the impact of a Li-ion battery used in [a battery-powered car] for transport service is relatively small. In contrast, it is the operation phase that remains the dominant contributor to the environmental burden caused by transport service as long as the electricity for the [battery car] is not produced by renewable hydropower ...

Sunday, August 29, 2010

Warmist catfight: Revkin "making sh*t up" & should "shut the f*** up"

Wow- perennial alarmist Andrew Revkin of the New York Times Dot Earth blog seems to have touched a nerve amongst fellow warmists with his latest entry, On Harvard Misconduct, Climate Research and Trust. Revkin, attempting to be a bona fide journalist states,
"Do I trust climate science? As a living body of intellectual inquiry exploring profoundly complex questions, yes.
Do I trust all climate scientists, research institutions, funding sources, journals and others involved in this arena to convey the full context of findings and to avoid sometimes stepping beyond the data? I wouldn’t be a journalist if I answered yes."
After posting, Revkin promptly bolted to "camping over the next few days, so comment moderation will be very sporadic," but while he is away a catfight* has erupted amongst fellow warmists accusing Revkin of "making sh*t up," "ignorance," being "appalling," "pontificating" "nonsense" he "reads on the internet," etc. Here is some of the vitriol, courtesy of Tenney Naumer and computer programmer Steve Easterbrook [comments in italics added by me]:
Steve Easterbrook has his say on Andrew Revkin's latest attempt to join Judith Curry in her tribe of professional self-immolationists [note 'immolationists' is not an English word according to dictionary.com; immolation is defined as 'to sacrifice' and self-immolation as suicide for 'an extreme form of protest']
When did ignorance become a badge of honour for journalists? by Steve Easterbrook, Serendipity, August 28, 2010
Here’s an appalling article by Andy Revkin on Dot Earth which epitomizes everything that is wrong with media coverage of climate change. Far from using his position to educate and influence the public by seeking the truth, journalists like Revkin now seem to have taken to just making shit up, reporting what he reads in blogs as the truth, rather than investigating for himself what scientists actually do.

Saturday, August 28, 2010

Paper: More ways the Sun influences Climate

        Incredible as it may seem, the IPCC claims the Sun has little to no significant influence upon the climate, preferring to blame 97% of climate change on CO2. This myopic conclusion is based upon consideration of only one solar parameter- the total solar irradiance (TSI) - while ignoring potential secondary amplifying effects from the much more variable solar magnetic field, such as the cosmic ray theory of Svensmark et al, and the much greater variability than previously thought of the UV portion of the solar spectrum (which is capable of heating the ocean unlike the IR from 'greenhouse gases'). A new paper finds yet another means by which variation in solar magnetic activity can have marked influence on weather, climate, and ocean oscillations.
        Professors Jean-Louis Le Mouel, Vincent Courtillot, et al have published several papers of late revealing more evidence and information about how the Sun's variable magnetic activity may impact various terrestrial phenomena, including weather and climate (see for example Kossobokov et al. 2010; Le Mouel et al. 2010b). And their new (13 August 2010) publication adds even more remarkable evidence and insights to the topic.
Figure 1. Correlation between the amplitude of the semiannual oscillation in length-of-day (blue curves with middle panel as detrended data while both top and bottom panels as original data) and various solar activity measures (sunspot numbers and proxy for galactic cosmic rays: red curves) from 1962-2009. A 4-year moving-average filter was used to smooth the data series. Adapted from Le Mouel et al. (2010).

Figure 1 displays some rather unexpected and surprising correlations between the long-term variation in the amplitude (A) of the solid Earth rotation parameter (here they have adopted its well-detected semi-annual variation) called length-of-day and two candidate solar activity measures: sunspot number (SN) and neutron count (NC, a proxy for incoming galactic cosmic rays), which were obtained from a station in Moscow, Russia. They point out that A and NC are inversely correlated with SN, the solar activity index, which leads A by about 1 year. And since galactic cosmic rays are also inversely related to sunspot number with a delay of 1 to 2 years or so, A is directly correlated to NC.
        Le Mouel et al. (2010) explain the correlations in Figure 1 as being due to a plausible physical link of the 11-year solar activity cycle to a systematic modulation of tropospheric zonal wind (since winds above 30 km contribute less than 20% of Earth's angular momentum, as proxied by A). They also make the important point that although the IPCC and others usually rule out the role of solar irradiance impact on terrestrial climate because of the small interannual changes in the solar irradiance, such an argument does not apply to the plausible link of the large seasonal incoming solar radiation in modulating the semiannual oscillations in the length-of-day amplitude. Consequently, Le Mouel et al. (2010a) say their paper "shows that the Sun can (directly or indirectly) influence tropospheric zonal mean-winds over decadal to multidecadal time scales." And noting that "zonal mean-winds constitute an important element of global atmospheric circulation," they go on to suggest that "if the solar cycle can influence zonal mean-winds, then it may affect other features of global climate as well, including oscillations such as the NAO and MJO, of which zonal winds are an ingredient [Wheeler and Hendon 2004]." Therefore, "the cause of this forcing," as they describe it, "likely involves some combination of solar wind, galactic cosmic rays, ionosphere-Earth currents and cloud microphysics."
        In summation, it is becoming clear there are many ways in which the magnetic activity of the Sun can impact various meteorological phenomena on Earth, including temperature and rainfall. The study of Le Mouel et al. (2010) is another unique contribution in that it shows there are connections of solar activity, through persistent modulation of the zonal wind, to faster or slower rotation rates of the solid Earth. And it must be noted that such contributions are only possible because they are willing to take broad multi-disciplinary approaches to understanding the complex patterns that are contained in different dynamical indices of the Earth. Such objective efforts stand in stark contrast to the near-religious paradigm of atmospheric CO2 as the predominant driver of climate change, as encapsulated in the UN IPCC reports.

Le Mouel, J.-L., Blanter, E., Shnirman, M., and Courtillot, V. 2010a. Solar forcing of the semi-annual variation of length-of-day. Geophysical Research Letters 37: 2010GL043185.

Kossobokov, V., Le Mouel, J.-L., and Courtillot, V. 2010. A statistically significant signature of multi-decadal solar activity changes in atmospheric temperatures at three European stations. Journal of Atmospheric and Solar-Terrestrial Physics 72: 595-606.

Le Mouel, J.-L., Kossobokov, V., and Courtillot, V. 2010b. A solar pattern in the longest temperature series from three stations in Europe. Journal of Atmospheric and Solar-Terrestrial Physics 72: 62-76.

adapted from the NIPPC Report

Wednesday, August 25, 2010

Paper: Many climate science papers misuse statistics

A paper published today in the Journal of Climate finds that "a large fraction" of papers in the climate science literature misuse tests of statistical significance. While the author did not examine any of the repeatedly debunked tests of statistical significance in the hockey stick literature of Michael Mann & coauthors, he
"tested a recent, randomly selected issue of The Journal of Climate for at least one such misuse of significance tests in each article. The Journal of Climate was not selected because it is prone to include such errors but because it can safely be considered to be one of the top journals in climate science. In that particular issue we observed a misuse of significance tests in 14 out of 19 articles. A randomly selected issue of ten years before showed such misuse of significance tests in 7 out of 13 articles. These two samples perhaps would not pass a traditional significance test, but they do indicate that such errors occur in the best journals with the most careful writing and editing. Indeed, in one of this author’s papers such erroneous use occurred."
So, 74% of the articles in a recent issue of a top climate science journal misused tests of statistical significance, compared to only 54% of articles in an issue from 10 years before. Thus, one might surmise that there is a trend of unprecedented, record high misuse of statistics in the field of climate science. As stated by Edward Wegman, PhD in mathematical statistics,
"As statisticians, we were struck by the isolation of communities such as the paleoclimate community that rely heavily on statistical methods, yet do not seem to be interacting with the mainstream statistical community. The public policy implications of this debate are financially staggering and yet no apparently independent statistical expertise was sought or used."
And also well stated by the Clive Crook article in Atlantic Monthly,
"Climate scientists lean very heavily on statistical methods, but they are not necessarily statisticians. Some of the correspondents in these emails appear to be out of their depth. This would explain their anxiety about having statisticians, rather than their climate-science buddies, crawl over their work."
Wikipedia: "Lies, damned lies, and statistics" is a phrase describing the persuasive power of numbers, particularly the use of statistics to bolster weak arguments...

Significance Tests in Climate Science
Maarten H. P. Ambaum, Department of Meteorology, University of Reading, United Kingdom

Abstract: A large fraction of papers in the climate literature includes erroneous uses of significance tests. A Bayesian analysis is presented to highlight the meaning of significance tests and why typical misuse occurs. The significance statistic is not a quantitative measure of how confident we can be of the ‘reality’ of a given result. It is concluded that a significance test very rarely provides useful quantitative information.

See also the article today published in of all places Mother Jones illustrating more flagrant misuses of statistics in the field of climate science.

Monday, August 23, 2010

Wind Power Won't Cool Down the Planet

Often enough it leads to higher carbon emissions.


        The wind industry has achieved remarkable growth largely due to the claim that it will provide major reductions in carbon dioxide emissions. There's just one problem: It's not true. A slew of recent studies show that wind-generated electricity likely won't result in any reduction in carbon emissions—or that they'll be so small as to be almost meaningless.
        This issue is especially important now that states are mandating that utilities produce arbitrary amounts of their electricity from renewable sources. By 2020, for example, California will require utilities to obtain 33% of their electricity from renewables. About 30 states, including Connecticut, Minnesota and Hawaii, are requiring major increases in the production of renewable electricity over the coming years.
        Wind—not solar or geothermal sources—must provide most of this electricity. It's the only renewable source that can rapidly scale up to meet the requirements of the mandates. This means billions more in taxpayer subsidies for the wind industry and higher electricity costs for consumers.
        None of it will lead to major cuts in carbon emissions, for two reasons. First, wind blows only intermittently and variably. Second, wind-generated electricity largely displaces power produced by natural gas-fired generators, rather than that from plants burning more carbon-intensive coal.

Paper: Strong Association of Sun with Climate Change

While the IPCC claims solar variability has little if any connection to climate change, the peer-reviewed paper A 2000-Year Context for Modern Day Climate Change by Maasch et al finds a strong, worldwide correlation between proxy records of solar output and climate. Also in contrast to statements of Michael Mann et al, the paper finds strong evidence that the Medieval Warming Period (MWP) and the Little Ice Age (LIA) were global, not local, phenomena, stating "The global distribution of the LIA and MWP and the agreement between climate proxy records and the D14C series over the last 2000 years indicate a strong association between solar variability and globally distributed climate change. This shows that change in the output of the Sun has significant impacts on climate."
Figure shows eight climate proxies distributed from the Arctic to Antarctic showing MWP, LIA, and strong correlations to solar activity. The 2 series shown for each location are the solar and climate proxies.

ABSTRACT:  Although considerable attention has been paid to the record of temperature change over the last few centuries, the range and rate of change of atmospheric circulation and hydrology remain elusive. Here, eight latitudinally well-distributed (pole–equator–pole), highly resolved (annual to decadal) climate proxy records are presented that demonstrate major changes in these variables over the last 2000 years. A comparison between atmospheric 14C and these changes in climate demonstrates a first-order relationship between a variable Sun and climate. The relationship is seen on a global scale.

For papers by 860 scientists showing the MWP was a global phenomenon and in most studies hotter than the present, see the Medieval Warming Project

Sunday, August 22, 2010

Global Temperatures 1-2°C higher 6000 years ago

Geothermal boreholes provide a useful proxy to reconstruct temperatures of the past. The IPCC only shows borehole data from the past 500 years in AR4 graphs (e.g. figure 6.10b), conveniently leaving out the Medieval Warming Period, even though borehole proxy data is available for the past 20,000 years. Huang et al published worldwide borehole data for the past 20,000 years since the peak of the last major ice age, which shows the "Holocene Climate Optimum" about 6000-7000 years ago was 1-2°C warmer than the present and the Medieval Warming Period ~1000 years ago. This worldwide borehole data as well as ice core data from both Greenland and Antarctica show that the rate and extent of 20th century warming was not unprecedented and that much warmer periods have occurred naturally.
Higher resolution ice core data from Greenland also show cooling of 2-3°C over the past 8,000 years:
Lower resolution ice core data extending back to the last interglacial from both Antarctica and Greenland show temperatures were higher than the present ~8,000 years ago and much higher than the present ~130,000 years ago: Comparison of temperature proxies for ice core...

Saturday, August 21, 2010

Paper: AGW not responsible for economic losses from disasters

A paper published yesterday in the Bulletin of the American Meteorological Society finds no evidence to blame so-called 'anthropogenic climate change' [formerly called 'anthropogenic global warming' or AGW] for increasing economic losses from disasters.

Have disaster losses increased due to anthropogenic climate change?
Author: Laurens M. Bouwer, Institute for Environmental Studies, Vrije Universiteit, Amsterdam, The Netherlands

Capsule summary: Climate change is often seen as the culprit of increasing economic losses from weather disasters. The scientific literature however shows that there are other causes up to now.

Abstract: The increasing impact of natural disasters over recent decades has been well documented, especially the direct economic losses and losses that were insured. Claims are made by some that climate change has caused more losses, but others assert that increasing exposure due to population and economic growth has been a much more important driver. Ambiguity exists today, as the causal link between climate change and disaster losses has not been addressed in a systematic manner by major scientific assessments. Here I present a review and analysis of recent quantitative studies on past increases in weather disaster losses and the role of anthropogenic climate change. Analyses show that although economic losses from weather related hazards have increased, anthropogenic climate change so far did not have a significant impact on losses from natural disasters. The observed loss increase is caused primarily by increasing exposure and value of capital at risk. This finding is of direct importance for studies on impacts from extreme weather and for disaster policy. Studies that project future losses may give a better indication of the potential impact of climate change on disaster losses and needs for adaptation, than the analysis of historical losses.

Wednesday, August 18, 2010

Why Greenhouse Gases Won't Heat the Oceans

        Climate scientist Roger Pielke, Sr has noted that land surface temperature records (which comprise the vast majority of temperature records prior to the satellite era (1979-)) are unreliable due to land use changes and urban heat island effects, and that we should therefore look to ocean heat content changes as the most reliable metric for assessing global heating and cooling. The oceans cover 71% of the global surface area and hold at least 1000 times more heat than the atmosphere. Many have claimed that the 'missing heat' from 'anthropogenic global warming' has gone into the oceans, even though the heat seems to be 'missing' from the oceans as well. Recent data from the ARGO network of ~3200 floating robot sensors has shown that since full deployment of the system in ~2003, the ocean heat content has declined despite steadily rising 'greenhouse' CO2 levels:
From Loehle 2009: Cooling of the global ocean since 2003
How could this be? Here are the physical reasons why increasing concentrations of 'greenhouse gases' would not be expected to increase ocean heat content:

1. Infrared radiation from 'greenhouse gases' causes evaporative cooling of the oceans rather than heating
LWIR wavelength is ~8-14 microns
        CO2 and other 'greenhouse gases' re-emit radiation to the Earth and space in the long-wave infrared (LWIR) portion of the electromagnetic spectrum. While ultraviolet and visible radiation from the Sun does penetrate the surface of the oceans to cause heating, the energy output of the Sun is relatively stable and obviously not linked to man. However, since the LWIR re-radiation from increasing 'greenhouse gases' is only capable of penetrating a minuscule few microns (millionths of a meter) past the surface and no further, it could therefore only cause evaporation (and thus cooling) of the surface 'skin' of the oceans. Stephen Wilde, LLB (Hons.), Fellow of the Royal Meteorological Society explains this in detail, excerpted below:
"However the effect of downwelling infrared is always to use up all the infrared in increasing the temperature of the ocean surface molecules whilst leaving nothing in reserve to provide the extra energy required (the latent heat of evaporation) when the change of state occurs from water to vapour. That extra energy requirement is taken from the medium (water or air) in which it is most readily available. If the water is warmer then most will come from the water. If the air is warmer then most will come from the air. However over the Earth as a whole the water is nearly always warmer than the air (due to solar input) so inevitably the average global energy flow is from oceans to air via that latent heat of evaporation in the air and the energy needed is taken from the water. This leads to a thin (1mm deep) layer of cooler water over the oceans worldwide and below the evaporative region that is some 0.3C cooler than the ocean bulk below."
The recent paper by Roy Clark, PhD also discusses the physics and concludes, "Application of Beer’s law to the propagation of solar and LWIR [long-wave infrared] flux through the ocean clearly shows that only the solar radiation can penetrate below the ocean surface and heat subsurface ocean layers. It is impossible for a 1.7 W.m−2 increase [predicted by the IPCC due to man-made greenhouse gases] in downward ‘clear sky’ atmospheric LWIR flux to heat the oceans." (p. 196). Increasing levels of IR-active 'greenhouse gases' would instead be expected to cause increased evaporative surface cooling of the oceans. N.B. there is also a negative feedback phenomenon on CO2 levels discussed in a paper published in Nature which shows that the evaporative cooling of the ocean 'skin' from increased downwelling IR allows increased uptake of CO2 due to increased solubility of CO2 at lower temperatures.

2. Even if 'greenhouse gases' were capable of heating the oceans, the ocean heat capacity is so immense that there would be no significant change in ocean temperature
        The huge mass and heat capacity of the oceans regulates and stabilizes global temperatures to a far greater degree than any possible influence from mankind.
        The immense heat capacity of the oceans can be illustrated by assuming the oceans could be heated one-way by all solar energy absorbed by the Earth, and assuming no cooling due to convection, evaporation, or radiation. The oceans hold 1.3 billion cubic km of water. Assuming the density is 1 kg per liter, the mass of the oceans is 1.3 billion billion kg or 1.3 yotta grams. The total solar power absorbed by the Earth in one year is 89 peta Watts (PW):
        For a thought experiment, assume all 89 PW are taken up by the oceans and that the oceans don't release any of that heat. That would add 0.67 yotta calories to the 1.3 yotta grams, resulting in an increase in the ocean temperature of only 0.5C after an entire year.
        Now, let's also assume that the IPCC is correct that 'greenhouse gases' are causing 1.7 W/m2 'radiative forcing,' and that it is possible for this IR 'back-radiation' to penetrate and heat the ocean (even though we've already shown that is impossible above). The 1.7 W/m2 works out to 850 Tera watts (TW) [or .85 PW] when multiplied by the total Earth surface area of 500 tera square meters. Thus, the IPCC claims that 'greenhouse gases' are preventing .85 PW of energy from leaving the atmosphere to space. This .85 PW is less than the 89 PW from the Sun by a factor of 105 times. Plugging this into our thought experiment above shows that the change in ocean temperature from 'greenhouse forcing' would be 0.5C/105 or .005C in one year or only 0.5C after 105 years, assuming the oceans release none of this added heat!  In reality, of course, the oceans would release all or most of this added heat by convection, evaporation, or radiation, leaving at most only a few hundredths of a degree temperature change after 105 years. Thus, it is impossible for 'greenhouse forcing' to raise ocean heat content to any measurable degree, or cause melting of the icecaps from below, or increase sea levels from thermal expansion.

3. The Second Law of Thermodynamics requires heat to flow one-way from hot to cold.
        Since the atmosphere is colder (average radiating temperature of ~ -10 C) than the ocean surface (~ 17 C), the 2nd Law of Thermodynamics states that heat can only be transferred one-way from the ocean surface to the atmosphere, not the other way around.

1. The latest Chilingar et al paper also discusses heat capacity of the atmosphere, which should decrease due to added CO2: "saturation of the atmosphere with carbon dioxide, with all other conditions being equal, results not in an increase but in a decrease of the greenhouse effect and average temperature within the entire layer of planet’s troposphere. This happens despite intense absorption of the heat of radiation by CO2. The physical explanation of this phenomenon is clear: molecular weight of carbon dioxide is 1.5 times higher and its heat-absorbing capacity is 1.2 times lower than those of the Earth’s air. As a result, the adiabatic exponent for a carbon dioxide atmosphere, at the same all other conditions, is about 1.34 times lower than that for a nitrogen–oxygen humid air"
2. Another empirical analysis which finds increased CO2 leads to increased cooling  
3. Sea surface temperatures have been on a long-term decline since the Medieval Warming Period (~1000 years ago),  Roman Warming Period (~2100 years ago), and Egyptian Warming Period (~3100 years ago):
4. NOAA says the oceans are the drivers of global temperature, not the land surface.
5. Dr. Pielke asks whether James Hansen's GISS model should be rejected as unskillful.  

Tuesday, August 17, 2010

Energy & Environment full special issue available

The British journal Energy & Environment is currently publishing a special issue focusing on paradigms in climate research. The German EIKE site is now hosting a pdf of the entire issue.

Some of these papers have already been the subject of posts here, such as those by Miskolczi, Clark, and Rorsch, and there are several additional papers of interest. The Guest Editorial by Rorsch introduces some of the papers in the special issue:
          The first paper by R. Clark presents the arguments that a further increase of CO2 in the atmosphere may not lead to an enhanced greenhouse effect. Especially the processes of radiation transfer in the atmosphere and the mass- and heat transfer at the surface are being reconsidered. The next paper by W. Eschenbach deals with thermostat hypothesis, that is the regulatory function of weather events.
          N. van Andel then further quantifies the effect of wind speed on mass transfer by water vapour and heat transfer by evaporation. In the fourth paper W. Kininmonth notes that current computer models of the climate system appear to underestimate the rate of increase of surface evaporation (and latent heat exchange) with temperature – leading to a gross exaggeration of the surface temperature response to radiative forcing. D. Thoenes then deals with the stabilising effect of the oceans on climate, a topic of major importance based on calculations supported by experience with salt evaporation pools on Bonaire. P. Siegmund comments briefly on the papers by Thoenes and in N. van Andel’s paper this issue is also considered.

          The paper by F. Miskolczi explores basic physics and could be subtitled “A new interpretation of weather balloon observations”. It leads the author to deduce new relationships between the energy fluxes in and out of the atmosphere, which has become known as the ‘Miskolczi theory’. W. Gilbert explores the relationship between surface temperature and water vapour concentration and augments the Miskolczi paper with respect to the thermodynamic forces driving the hydrological cycle. The title of the last paper by van Andel expands on the consequences of the Miskolczi Theory.

Sunday, August 15, 2010

Is the 'Greenhouse Effect' based on a 'cool' Sun?

        Most descriptions of the 'greenhouse effect' are similar to that offered by Wikipedia: "If an ideal thermally conductive blackbody was the same distance from the Sun as the Earth, it would have an expected blackbody temperature of 5.3°C. However, since the Earth reflects about 30%... of the incoming sunlight, the planet's actual blackbody temperature is about -18 or -19°C, about 33°C below the actual surface temperature of about 14 °C or 15 °C. The mechanism that produces this difference between the actual temperature and the blackbody temperature is due to the atmosphere and is known as the greenhouse effect."
        This calculation is based upon the Stefan-Boltzmann law, radius of the Sun and Earth, distance between the Sun and Earth, and albedo (reflection, mostly from clouds), from which the following equation is derived:
Te = Temperature of the Earth surface
Ts = Temperature of the Sun surface
Rs = Radius of the Sun = 6.96x10^8 m
a   = Albedo (reflection of incoming solar radiation mostly from clouds) = 0.306
E  = IR emissivity of the Earth (assumed to be ~1)
D  = the Astronomical Unit = distance between the Sun and Earth = 1.496x10^11 m
        If we plug in the value for the temperature of the Sun (5778°K) used by the Wikipedia article, we find that the temperature of the Earth without an atmosphere (setting albedo to 0) should be 278.68°K (5.53°C). This is very close to the 5.3°C ideal blackbody temperature as stated above. If we then set albedo to the commonly used value of 0.306 for Earth with an atmosphere, we find the Te calculation drops to -18.8°C. The 'greenhouse effect' is then calculated from the globally 'averaged' earth surface temperature of 15°C - -18.8 = 33.8°C. Note also the G&T paper has shown that it is not possible to calculate an 'average' Earth surface temperature (p.70-71), which also renders the 'greenhouse effect' calculation moot. In addition, all of these calculations are based on the incorrect assumption that the Earth, atmosphere, and Sun can each behave as ideal blackbodies.
       The value for Sun surface temperature used in these calculations (5778°K or 5505°C) is a low estimate and thus biases the calculation to show an enhanced 'greenhouse effect.' The reason why is shown in the graph below of the observed distribution of solar radiation reaching the top of the atmosphere as a function of wavelength (solid black line).  
Ts based on wavelength at Max Intensity
We see that the wavelength at maximum intensity is in the visible spectrum at about .475 microns or 475 nanometers, which is what the Handbook of Chemistry and Physics, 82nd Edition, CRC Press, 2001 also shows as the maximum 'Solar Spectral Irradiance.' The Wein displacement law can then be used to calculate the Sun surface temperature based upon the maximum irradiance wavelength, resulting in a Sun surface temperature of 6101°K (5828°C). Another source gives an even higher figure, "The Sun's outer visible layer is called the photosphere and has a temperature of 6000°C," which is equivalent to 6273°K.
        If we had used the Sun surface temperature of 5778°K assumed by the Wikipedia article, we would find that the Sun emitted more energy than an ideal blackbody throughout the visible spectrum, which is impossible:
Solar flux exceeds blackbody Wikipedia Ts
        If we now use the Sun surface temperature calculated from Wein's displacement law as the input to the equation above, we find the Earth surface temperature without an atmosphere should be 294.26°K or 21.11°C. Since the 'average' Earth surface temperature is commonly cited as 15°C, that means the Earth with a 'greenhouse gas' atmosphere along with the additional factors of convection, evapo-transpiration, and adiabatic effects is colder than an Earth without!
see also the peer-reviewed Chilingar et al paper Cooling of the atmosphere due to CO2
h/t comments by Gord, graph source

Saturday, August 14, 2010

Paper: Sea Level Rise Not Accelerating

A paper published yesterday in the Journal of Geophysical Research - Oceans, confirms other studies of tide gauge records which show that there has been no statistically significant acceleration in sea level rise over the past 100+ years, in contrast to statements of the IPCC and Al Gore. Sea levels have been rising naturally since the peak of the last major ice age 20,000 years ago, and the rate of rise began to decelerate about 8,000 years ago: 
Sea Level Curve in black


Reconstruction of regional mean sea level anomalies from tide gauges using neural networks 
Authors: Manfred Wenzel, Jens Schröter

The 20th century regional and global sea level variations are estimated based on long-term tide gauge records. For this the neural network technique is utilized that connects the coastal sea level with the regional and global mean via a nonlinear empirical relationship. Two major difficulties are overcome this way: the vertical movement of tide gauges over time and the problem of what weighting function to choose for each individual tide gauge record. Neural networks are also used to fill data gaps in the tide gauge records, which is a prerequisite for our analysis technique. A suite of different gap-filling strategies is tested which provides information about stability and variance of the results. The global mean sea level for the period January 1900 to December 2006 is estimated to rise at a rate of 1.56 ± 0.25 mm/yr which is reasonably consistent with earlier estimates, but we do not find significant acceleration. The regional mean sea level of the single ocean basins show mixed long-term behavior. While most of the basins show a sea level rise of varying strength there is an indication for a mean sea level fall in the southern Indian Ocean. Also for the the tropical Indian and the South Atlantic no significant trend can be detected. Nevertheless, the South Atlantic as well as the tropical Atlantic are the only basins that show significant acceleration. On shorter timescales, but longer than the annual cycle, the basins sea level are dominated by oscillations with periods of about 50–75 years and of about 25 years. Consequently, we find high (lagged) correlations between the single basins.

Note: The 1.56 mm/yr non-accelerating rate of sea level rise would result in sea levels 6 inches higher than the present in 100 years. The oscillations noted in this study correspond to the typical full and half-cycle lengths of the natural Pacific Decadal Oscillation and the natural 60-year climate cycle. The Pacific Decadal Oscillation warm phase has been shown to produce a marked temporary rise in global mean sea levels. 

Thursday, August 12, 2010

The Lemur Demur

The alarmist pronouncement today,  Biodiversity Hot Spots More Vulnerable to Global Warming Than Thought, turns out to be a very far-fetched hypothesis based on the disproven notion that global warming causes more frequent El Niños, which then might cause more heavy rains in Madagascar, which then might "anecdotally knock fruit off the trees when lactating lemurs need it most, and may even kill trees outright, " and thus might malnurish lemur babies...

To further 'support' this outlandish theory, the article states, "Not only that, cyclones making landfall have a direct negative effect on the fecundity -- or potential reproductive capacity -- of lemurs. The team also discovered that fecundity "was negatively affected when El Niño occurred in the period before conception, perhaps altering ovulation, or during the second six months of life, possibly reducing infant survival during weaning." Note to team: There has been no increase in frequency or magnitude of El Niño events since 1856, and these events have occurred in a normal distribution despite steadily rising CO2 levels, and tropical cyclone activity is at a 30 year low.  In addition, global warming has been shown to cause an explosive increase in biodiversity.

This is another study which makes one wonder whether it is possible for scientists to get funding for anything in which the grant proposal does not mention a link to anthropogenic global warming.

ScienceDaily (Aug. 12, 2010) — Global warming may present a threat to animal and plant life even in biodiversity hot spots once thought less likely to suffer from climate change, according to a new study from Rice University.
      Research by Amy Dunham, a Rice assistant professor of ecology and evolutionary biology, detailed for the first time a direct correlation between the frequency of El Niño and a threat to life in Madagascar, a tropical island that acts as a refuge for many unique species that exist nowhere else in the world. In this case, the lemur plays the role of the canary in the coal mine.

Tuesday, August 10, 2010

The Disastrous Inconvenient Truth

The alarmist media are playing up the Russian heat wave and Pakistan floods (now officially "the worst disaster in history") as portents of global warming. Graphs from the World Health Organization International Disaster Database suggest a different conclusion:
Deaths from natural disasters 1975-2009
Number of people reported affected by natural disasters 1975-2009
Natural disasters reported 1975-2009 [peaked with the record 1998-1999 El Nino and on decline since]
Q: since the number of people affected leveled off well before the number of disasters reported, does that indicate a reporting bias as to what constitutes a "disaster?"

UPDATE: from atmospheric scientist Roger Pielke Jr:
"While I have no illusions that the inane debate over causality of specific physical events will continue as long there is weather, there should be no ambiguity in the fact that researchers who have look for a signal of increasing GHGs in increasing disaster losses (whether measured in dollars or in lives) have yet to see such a signal. It would be scientifically incorrect to claim that GHGs have been shown to account for any portion of the damage or suffering resulting from recent events."

UPDATE 2: Global death toll from extreme weather events declining http://www.thegwpf.org/the-observatory/1378-indur-m-goklany-global-death-toll-from-extreme-weather-events-declining.html

Paper: No Increase in El Niño Events since 1856

The alternating equatorial warm/cold Pacific Ocean temperatures, known as the El Niño–Southern Oscillation (ENSO), have large influences upon worldwide weather/climate. According to Wikipedia, "the studies of historical data show that the recent El Niño variation is most likely linked to global warming." However, a paper published yesterday in JGR finds no such link to global warming, with no change in frequency or magnitude detected since 1856, and finds a normal distribution instead. 

El Niño–Southern Oscillation: Magnitudes and asymmetry
By David H. Douglass, Department of Physics and Astronomy, University of Rochester, Rochester, New York, USA

Abstract: The alternating warm/cold phenomena in the Pacific, known as El Niño–Southern Oscillation (ENSO), is characterized by large perturbations to the worldwide climate. Indices have been defined to characterize this phenomenon. However, the commonly used indices contain an unwanted effect from the annual cycle that can be reduced by digital filtering. Using a filtered ENSO index NL on data from 1856 to the present allows more accurate calculations of various quantities to be made. New results are (1) the distribution of positive values of NL is Gaussian. Thus, large-magnitude El Niño events come from the tail of this distribution and not from some rare external perturbation. (2) The probability of occurrence of an El Niño of any magnitude can be calculated. A 1997–1998 El Niño will occur once in approximately 70 ± 20 years, while an El Niño 25% larger will occur once in approximately 700 ± 200 years. (3) The distribution of negative values of NL deviates from Gaussian because of a deficiency of large La Niña events. (4) Examination of the 20 largest El Niño events since 1856 shows that there is no increase in the frequency of such events with time.

Monday, August 9, 2010

Paper: Increasing CO2 Cools the Climate & Benefits Agriculture & Reforestation

Physicists G. V. Chilingar, O. G. Sorokhtin, L. Khilyuk and M. V. Gorfunkel, authors of the paper Cooling of the Atmosphere due to CO2, also published the peer-reviewed study Greenhouse gases and greenhouse effect in Environmental Geology, International Journal of Geosciences, providing physical evidence that rising CO2 should result in slight cooling of climate, and is benefitial to agricultural productivity and reforestation. The authors also find that methane accumulation has no significant effect on the climate.

Abstract: Conventional theory of global warming states that heating of the atmosphere occurs as a result of accumulation of CO2 and CH4 in the atmosphere. The writers show that rising concentration of CO2 should result in the cooling of climate. The methane accumulation has no essential effect on the Earth’s climate. Even significant releases of the anthropogenic carbon dioxide into the atmosphere do not change average parameters of the Earth’s heat regime and the atmospheric greenhouse effect. Moreover, CO2 concentration increase in the atmosphere results in rising agricultural productivity and improves the conditions for reforestation. Thus, accumulation of small additional amounts of carbon dioxide and methane in the atmosphere as a result of anthropogenic activities has practically no effect on the Earth’s climate.

Introduction: For comprehensive analysis of the influence of increasing concentration of the greenhouse gases on the global temperature of atmosphere, one needs to develop an advanced physicochemical theory of mass—energy redistribution among the Earth’s systems. This advanced theory should include: (1) evolution of the composition of atmosphere, (2) evolution of the geological conditions, (3) data on changing solar radiation, (4) the Earth’s revolution precession, (5) oceanological data, and (6) multiple feedbacks between the atmosphere and ocean.
         The authors investigate the greenhouse effect using the adiabatic model, which relates the global temperature of the troposphere to atmospheric pressure and allows one to analyze the temperature changes due to variations in mass and chemical composition of the atmosphere. The existing feedbacks between atmosphere and ocean are intentionally neglected in the article with the focus on the atmospheric temperature changes due to anthropogenic greenhouse gases emission... (read remainder at link above)

How CRU Cooked the Books on Siberia

We learned in December 2009 from the Russian newspaper RIA Novosti that Hadley CRU had tampered with Russian temperature data by including only 25% of available weather stations in its reports: 
"Climategate has already affected Russia. On Tuesday, the Moscow-based Institute of Economic Analysis (IEA) issued a report claiming that the Hadley Center for Climate Change...had probably tampered with Russian climate data. The IEA believes that Russian meteorological-station data did not substantiate the anthropogenic global-warming theory.
Analysts say Russian meteorological stations cover most of the country's territory, and that the Hadley Center had used data submitted by only 25% of such stations in its reports. Over 40% of Russian territory was not included in global-temperature calculations for some other reasons, rather than the lack of meteorological stations and observations.
The data of stations located in areas not listed in the Hadley Climate Research Unit Temperature UK (HadCRUT) survey often does not show any substantial warming in the late 20th century and the early 21st century.
The HadCRUT database includes specific stations providing incomplete data and highlighting the global-warming process, rather than stations facilitating uninterrupted observations. On the whole, climatologists use the incomplete findings of meteorological stations far more often than those providing complete observations. IEA analysts say climatologists use the data of stations located in large populated centers that are influenced by the urban-warming effect more frequently than the correct data of remote stations.
The scale of global warming was exaggerated due to temperature distortions for Russia accounting for 12.5% of the world's land mass. The IEA said it was necessary to recalculate all global-temperature data in order to assess the scale of such exaggeration."
Turns out, not only did HADCRU cook the books by selecting stations with incomplete data and only 25% of the available stations, they used another trick* of selecting 1976 as the base year (at the end of the global cooling scare) to begin their time series for Siberia, even though they had data back to 1936. As reported by an Italian Climate Blog, this resulted in a much more alarming trend line:

*"trick" is defined by Michael Mann as "a clever way to solve a problem" 

Sunday, August 8, 2010

Earth Energy Budgets without 'Greenhouse Gases' or 'Back Radiation'

        The foundation of the greenhouse theory is that 'greenhouse' gases absorb infrared radiation from the earth and then 'back-radiate' this energy to the earth to cause global warming. Several prior posts have illustrated that the concepts of greenhouse gas 'back-radiation,' 'heat-trapping,' 'heat capture,' and 'radiative forcing' are essentially all referring to the same unphysical, fundamental error of the greenhouse theory that cannot be found in textbooks of physics. Several commenters have indicated that they think it is impossible to explain the temperatures of the earth and atmosphere without incorporating 'greenhouse gases' and  'back-radiation' in diagrams of the Earth's energy budget, such as the famous Kiehl/Trenberth/IPCC Energy Budget, which shows 'back-radiation' to be a very significant 324 W/m2 (95% of the average solar input!) at all times 24/7/365.
        However, the earth-atmosphere system can be much more simply described (see Occam's Razor) with real physics without using 'greenhouse gases' or 'back-radiation' at all. Here are five Earth Energy Budgets which completely explain the earth-atmosphere system without 'greenhouse gases' or 'back-radiation,' in stark contrast to the IPCC alarmist & unphysical Energy Budget:

1. Vaclav Smil, Energies: An Illustrated Guide to the Biosphere and Civilization, The MIT Press, 2000: 
2. Richard M. Goody, Principles of Atmospheric Physics and Chemistry, The Oxford University Press, 1995:
3. EOS-Web, NASA Langley Research Center, which is the same as Smil 1999 (who copied who?)
4. Lettau, 1954

5. Source Pending

Without the foundations of 'back-radiation,' 'heat-trapping,' 'heat capture,' and 'radiative forcing,' the 'greenhouse gas' theory collapses like a house of cards, and adding additional trace CO2 has no measurable effect upon the climate.

Thursday, August 5, 2010

Ship find shows Arctic Sea Ice conditions similar to 1853

Bow of the HMS Investigator
The international news media are hailing the archaeological find of a British naval ship the HMS Investigator on July 25 in an area far north (600 km) of the Arctic Circle that was previously unreachable due to sea ice. The HMS Investigator was abandoned in 1853, but not before sailing the last leg of the elusive Northwest Passage. The ship had been sent on a rescue mission for 2 other ships mapping the Northwest Passage. Now, thanks to "climate change," archaeologists working for Parks Canada were finally able to plot a small window of time this summer to allow passage to the ship's location:
Parks Canada had been plotting the discovery of the three ships for more than a year, trying to figure out how to get the crews so far north. Once they arrived and got their bearings, the task seemed easier than originally thought. It took little more than 15 minutes to uncover the Investigator, officials told The Globe and Mail last week. “For a long time the area wasn’t open, but now it is because of climate change,” said Marc-André Bernier, chief of the Underwater Archaeology Service at Parks Canada.
Interesting that the ship was lost in 1853, right at the end of the Little Ice Age, and coincidentally just 3 years after the start of the HADCRU global temperature record, from which we are led to believe the earth has warmed about 0.7C. If we are seeing "unprecedented" global temperatures and changes in Arctic sea ice, how did the HMS Investigator get this far north at the end of the Little Ice Age?

Links: Globe & Mail   CTV News  CNN

Monday, August 2, 2010

Paper: Cosmoclimatology is Real

A paper published online today in the Journal of Geophysical Research, Atmospheres lends credence to the cosmoclimatology theory of Svensmark et al, finding that increases in galactic cosmic ray counts (GCRs) have a statistically significant correlation to increased cloud formation. 
The theory of cosmoclimatology explains why small changes in total solar irradiance (TSI) during solar cycles may be amplified due to secondary effects on galactic cosmic rays and cloud formation:
Even though solar irradiance only changes about .1% during a solar cycle, the secondary effects of changes in the solar magnetic field on GCRs can be up to 25% or more:
As proven empirically by the study published today, increases in GCRs seed more clouds which reflect more sunlight back into space ("albedo") and result in cooling of the earth. The study published today finds that a 15% increase in GCRs resulted in up to a 9% change in the "cloud index" which corresponds to an increase in cloud opacity. Dr. Roy Spencer illustrates the magnitude of poorly-understood cloud effects on the global climate system in his new book,
The most obvious way for warming to be caused naturally is for small, natural fluctuations in the circulation patterns of the atmosphere and ocean to result in a 1% or 2% decrease in global cloud cover. Clouds are the Earth’s sunshade, and if cloud cover changes for any reason, you have global warming — or global cooling. 
Given the potential magnitude of these effects, there is no reason to infer that changes in trace "greenhouse" gases such as CO2 have had any effect on the climate.


A correlation study of high-altitude and midaltitude clouds and galactic cosmic rays by MIPAS-Envisat by Susanne Rohs, Reinhold Spang, Franz Rohrer, Cornelius Schiller and Heinz Vos
Abstract: The cloud index (CI), the cloud occurrence frequency (Occ), and the extinction data (Ext) of the Michelson Interferometer for Passive Atmospheric Sounding instrument on board Envisat (MIPAS-E) from July 2002 to March 2004 are used to investigate a possible link between galactic cosmic rays (GCRs) and midaltitude and high-altitude clouds (CI, Occ: 9–18 km, Ext: 12–24 km). The zonally averaged data with 3 km vertical resolution are averaged over six major Forbush decrease (FD) events and subsequently correlated with the Climax neutron monitor data (CNM). In order to allow for nucleation and growth of ice particles, time lags from 0 to 5 days are applied. We find several weak but statistically significant correlations with an excess of positive cloud-GCR correlations. Introducing a time lag does not enhance the correlations significantly. Subdividing the data in a global grid with 30° × 90° × 3 km resolution shows higher correlations in some regions. The investigation of the individual FD events yields a heterogeneous picture. Overall, there is a weak tendency toward a positive cloud-CNM correlation. A Kolmogorov-Smirnov test shows that for time shifts from 0 to +5 days a weak GCR-cloud effect is evident in the MIPAS-E measurements. An estimation of the impact of this effect delivers that a 15% increase in CNM would result in a small decrease in CI (corresponding to an increase in cloud opacity) which is most pronounced at 9 km altitude (−9% to +0.5%). For log(Ext) a decrease of −5 to 0% is calculated at 12 km altitude which shifts toward weak positive values at higher altitudes.
Related: Svensmark's latest paper and accompanying article
article noting how feedbacks amplify solar variation and high variability of UV up to 8%

Sunday, August 1, 2010

The 97% "Consensus" is only 75 Self-Selected Climatologists

The graphic below comes via our friends at [un]skepticalscience, assuring us that while 97% of "climate scientists think  that global warming is 'significantly' due to human activity," a shocking 72% of news coverage does not reflect this "consensus" and similarly 74% of the public are not convinced.

However, close examination of the source of the claimed 97% consensus reveals that it comes from a non-peer reviewed article describing an online poll in which a total of only 79 climate scientists chose to participate. Of the 79 self-selected climate scientists, 75 agreed with the notion of AGW. Thus, we find climate scientists once again using dubious statistical techniques to deceive the public that there is a 97% scientific consensus on man-made global warming; fortunately they clearly aren't buying it.