Sunday, December 26, 2010

Fog fails to cooperate with The Settled Science climate models

Decline of West Coast Fog Brought Higher Coastal Temperatures Last 60 Years [what- not CO2?]

"In fact, climate models indicate that coastal fog should be increasing because of global warming"

ScienceDaily (Dec. 13, 2010) — Fog is a common feature along the West Coast during the summer, but a University of Washington scientist has found that summertime coastal fog has declined since 1950 while coastal temperatures have increased slightly.

Fog formation appears to be controlled by a high-pressure system normally present off the West Coast throughout the summer, said James Johnstone, a postdoctoral researcher with the Joint Institute for the Study of the Atmosphere and Ocean at the UW.

"The behavior of that high-pressure cell is responsible for a lot of the weather phenomena we see on the coast," he said. It can alter water temperature, ocean circulation, surface winds and other factors linked to coastal fog formation.

The fog decline could have negative effects on coastal forests that depend on cool and humid summers, but Johnstone, who presented his findings Dec. 13 at the American Geophysical Union annual meeting in San Francisco, hasn't seen evidence of that yet.

In fact, climate models indicate that coastal fog should be increasing because of global warming, but he believes that is not happening because of strong influence exerted by regional circulation patterns related to the Pacific Decadal Oscillation. That climate phenomenon, centered in the North Pacific, has wide-ranging effects that last for years or even decades rather than for just a year or two.

"You would eventually expect to see significant effects on the coastal forests if the fog continues to decline," he said.

Johnstone examined records from airports up and down the West Coast that have taken hourly readings on cloud height for the last 60 years. He looked closely at two stations in particular, Monterey on the central California coast and Arcata on the northern California coast, and found that their decline in fog and increase in temperature matched very closely despite being separated by about 300 miles. Both also reflected a great deal of variability.

"During a foggy summer you tend to have cool conditions along the coast and unusually warm temperatures in the interior," Johnstone said, adding that during less foggy summers coastal areas tend to be warmer than usual and the interior is cooler.

Historically there have been stark temperature differences at times between the coast and areas just a short ways inland. But the differences have been shrinking in recent years, mostly because of rising coastal temperatures, he said. Cooler temperatures typically are located near sea level, and the warmer inland temperatures begin to show up at about 1,300 feet in elevation.

Johnstone found that the contrast between inland and coastal temperatures was much greater from 1900 to 1930 than during the last 60 years, indicating that summers on the coast were much foggier in the early 20th century.

But he notes that while coastal fog has generally declined, the data in general have shown consistent variability. For example, the Pacific Northwest, and Seattle specifically, had record fog frequency in the summer of 2010, and many places along the West Coast recorded their foggiest summer since 1991.

A next step in his work will be to understand the discrepancy between climate models and actual fog observations so that the factors involved in summer fog formation can be better understood.

Thursday, December 23, 2010

New Paper: Solar UV activity increased almost 50% over past 400 years

A peer-reviewed paper published today in the Journal of Geophysical Research finds that reconstructions of total solar irradiance (TSI) show a significant increase since the Maunder minimum in the 1600's during the Little Ice Age and shows further increases over the 19th and 20th centuries. The TSI is estimated to have increased 1.25 W/m2 since the Maunder minimum as shown in the first graph below. Use of the Stefan-Boltzmann equation indicates that a 1.25 W/m2 increase in solar activity could account for an approximate .44C global temperature increase [the HADCRU global warming from 1850 to 2000 is .55C]. A significant new finding is that portions of the more energetic ultraviolet region of the solar spectrum increased by almost 50% over the 400 years since the Maunder minimum (second graph below).  This is highly significant because the UV portion of the solar spectrum is the most important for heating of the oceans due to the greatest penetration beyond the surface and highest energy levels. Solar UV is capable of penetrating the ocean to depths of several meters to cause ocean heating. whereas long wave infrared emission from "greenhouse gases" or the sun is only capable of penetrating the ocean surface a few microns with all energy lost to the phase change of evaporation with no net heating of the ocean. Solar UV irradiance also "exerts control over chemical and physical processes in the Earth's upper atmosphere" such as ozone levels.
Total Solar Irradiance (TSI) reconstruction

Reconstructed solar irradiance in the ultraviolet Ly-a band at 121.6 nm shows almost 50% increase

Reconstruction of solar spectral irradiance since the Maunder minimum

N. A. Krivova, L. E. A. Vieira, S. K. Solanki

Solar irradiance is the main external driver of the Earth's climate. Whereas the total solar irradiance is the main source of energy input into the climate system, solar UV irradiance exerts control over chemical and physical processes in the Earth's upper atmosphere. The time series of accurate irradiance measurements are, however, relatively short and limit the assessment of the solar contribution to the climate change. Here we reconstruct solar total and spectral irradiance in the range 115–160,000 nm since 1610. The evolution of the solar photospheric magnetic flux, which is a central input to the model, is appraised from the historical record of the sunspot number using a simple but consistent physical model. The model predicts an increase of 1.25 W/m2, or about 0.09%, in the 11-year averaged solar total irradiance since the Maunder minimum. Also, irradiance in individual spectral intervals has generally increased during the past four centuries, the magnitude of the trend being higher toward shorter wavelengths. In particular, the 11-year averaged Ly-α irradiance has increased by almost 50%. An exception is the spectral interval between about 1500 and 2500 nm, where irradiance has slightly decreased (by about 0.02%).

full paper

Monday, December 20, 2010

Hype Versus Reality on Indian Climate Change

By Willie Soon and Selvaraj Kandaswamy 12/19/2010

The Cancun global warming and wealth redistribution summit concluded last week, with little to show for two weeks of talking in 5-star hotels and restaurants, other than vague promises that countries will try to do something meaningful about the “threat” of “dangerous” climate change.

Indian Environment and Forests Minister Jairam Ramesh nevertheless praised the summit. Rich countries will finance global warming adaptation measures in poor countries, he announced, invoking the good will of “goddesses” of Mexico to achieve some degree of public relations success. (At least they promised, again, to provide some financing … someday … from somewhere.)

Meanwhile, the Northern Hemisphere was being blasted by record cold and snow, as Old Man Winter arrived early. Britain, the United States, other countries and even Cancun were pummeled by record cold, and early snowstorms shut down highways, airports and cities.

In India, at least three people died in the northwestern states of Punjab and Haryana, when night-time temperatures dropped by three degrees Celsius below normal. Cities from Hisar to Amritsar experienced record low temperatures of 3-7 degrees Celsius (5.4-12.6 F). In central England, the BBC reported, 2010 has ushered in one of the coldest starts to winter since 1659.

Is this how rising atmospheric CO2 increases global warming? A closer look at India’s history of climate change provides still more evidence that the “dangerous manmade climate disruption” thesis is backed by very little evidence.

The cold reality is that overall average Indian temperatures have increased by only 0.4 degrees C (0.7 F) over the past century, while northwestern India and parts of south India have witnessed cooling trends. Himalayan glaciers grew to their maximum ice accumulation about 260 years ago, according to the Wadia Institute of Himalayan Geology, and their well-known retreats began as Earth warmed following the 500-year-long Little Ice Age – not because of human CO2 emissions.

Then why on Earth did Minister Ramesh work so hard to promote CO2-induced global warming, by issuing an official report, “Climate Change and India: A sectoral and regional analysis for 2030s,” just before Cancun? Why does he prefer to believe computer-generated scenarios of extreme warming 20-30 years from now, rather than rely on his country’s past climate variations? Is there a “goddess” in his computer who can foretell our future?

Apparently, there is much still to learn from Henry Blanford (1834-1893), the Geological Survey of India’s pioneering scientist, who wrote about Indian monsoons and climate change in Nature magazine in 1891:

“[T]his warning, alas! is no mere guesswork of credulous and speculative minds, such as in these latitudes certain of our would-be weather prophets love to put forth at hazard, to furnish the topic of a day’s gossip to the millions, or happy to win for themselves a summer day’s reputation with the uninstructed, in the event of a successful [prediction]. Certainly, indeed there is not and cannot be till science shall have extended its domain far beyond its present limits.”

Even today, we are far from having predictive capabilities, and even computer-generated threats of sea level rise do not match reality.

Tide gauge data collected over the past 20 years reveal that mean sea level rise averages only 1.3 mm per year along India’s coastline. By contrast, Environment and Forests Ministry computer models projected that India’s coastal sea level might rise by three times that amount: 4mm per year or 0.4 meters (1.3 feet) per century.

Two distinguished sea level experts from the University of Durham in Britain and University of Pennsylvania, USA analyzed past sea level studies based on dating coral, marine shells, beach ridges and coastal sedimentary sequences from the Northern Indian Ocean along India’s east coast and the coast of Sri Lanka. They found at least four periods, each one lasting 1000 to 1800 years, during the mid-Holocene period (7500 to 1500 years ago), when seas were one to three meters above current levels.

Another study by Peter Ramsay of Durban, South Africa produced a 9000-year record along the southern African coastline. It shows a 2500-year-long sea level rise of up to 3.5 meters (11.6 feet) during the early to mid Holocene, before sea level fell to current levels.

This evidence suggests that the Middle Holocene was warmer than today – and that “scary” CO2-induced sea level rises projected in the ministry’s 2030 Climate report are less than natural cycles of high and low seas that our ancestors faced in India and elsewhere.

Yet another study examined coastal erosion. Scientists from the Directorate of Water Management in Orissa found that 88% of stations along India’s tropical river basins had measured reduced sediment levels for the last three decades. But this had nothing to do with CO2 emissions. The actual cause was significant diversion and storage of runoff to meet increasing water demands for agriculture and industry – and the false cure of cutting emissions would not improve this situation.

The news media and environmental organizations repeatedly tell the “uninstructed” public that current global warming is unprecedented and threatens humankind and all life on Earth. However, past temperature and sea level changes were certainly more extreme than what scientists have observed in India during the past two centuries. More importantly, even the exaggerated computer model future for India in 2030 would not be extraordinary or unprecedented, and there is no evidence that human CO2 emissions caused recent or current (natural and cyclical) temperature and sea level fluctuations.

We survived those past global warming and cooling periods. With our scientific and technological advances, we will survive future changes, too – if we do not shackle our energy and economic development, thereby keeping billions of people poor and deprived of the ability to adapt. The ministry’s November 2010 climate change report says India’s average annual temperature could increase a minimum of 1degree to a maximum of 4 degrees C (1.8 to 7.2 F) by the 2030s. We seriously doubt that these higher temperatures are based on reality, but wonder if they might save lives, like those lost during Punjab’s cold spells in December 2010.

The report also says warmer temperatures will prevail during the nighttime over the south peninsula and central and northern India, whereas daytime warming is will occur in central and northern India. However, such diurnal warming patterns might simply be related to the distance from the sea, rather than to any CO2 global warming effects.

Like Henry Blanford, we believe India, the USA and the rest of the world need more paleoclimatology and field monitoring work, before anyone makes speculative predictions based entirely on CO2-driven computer climate model “scenarios” of the future. For countries to implement restrictive, punitive energy policies – based on such speculation – would be crazy and suicidal.

Selvaraj Kandaswamy is a paleoclimatologist working at the Research Center for Environmental Changes, Academia Sinica, in Taiwan.
Willie Soon is an astrophysicist and geoscientist at the Solar, Stellar and Planetary Sciences Division of the Harvard-Smithsonian Center for Astrophysics.

Saturday, December 18, 2010

Paper: Arctic Temperatures 2-3C higher only 1000 years ago

A paper presented at the American Geophysical Union meeting this week finds that Ellesmere Island in the Canadian High Arctic experienced a "dramatic" Medieval Warming Period from 800-1200 AD with temperatures 2 to 3 degrees C higher than the mean temperature of the past 100 years. Ellesmere Island was also in the news this week due to a discovery of a mummified forest where "no trees now grow" due to its "current frigid state."

A 5,000 year alkenone-based temperature record from Lower Murray Lake reveals a distinct Medieval Warm Period in the Canadian High Arctic

D'Andrea, W. J.; Bradley, R. S.

American Geophysical Union, Fall Meeting 2010, abstract #PP43C-10

Lake-based paleotemperature reconstructions are of particular importance in the Arctic, where other useful archives (e.g., tree rings, speleothems) for developing dense networks of quantitative climate records are absent or limited. Lacustrine alkenone paleothermometry offers a new avenue for investigating the evolution and variability of Arctic temperatures during the Holocene. We have generated a ~5,000 year long, decadally-resolved record of summer water temperature from the annually-laminated sediments of Lower Murray Lake on Ellesmere Island in the Canadian High Arctic. The varved sediments of Lower Murray Lake allowed high-resolution sampling and excellent chronologic control of the sedimentary record. We calibrated the alkenone paleothermometer for Lower Murray Lake using previously published data as well as new data from lakes in Norway and Svalbard, providing a quantitative record of temperature variability for the past 5,000 years. The previously published mass accumulation rate from Lower Murray Lake has been interpreted as a paleotemperature record and provides complimentary information to the new alkenone record. Melt percentage measurements from the nearby Agassiz Ice Cap provide another independent summer temperature reconstruction for comparison. Most strikingly, the alkenone record reveals warm lake water temperatures beginning ~800 AD and persisting until ~1200 AD, with temperatures up to 2-3 deg C warmer than the mean temperature for the past 100 years. This dramatic medieval warm period on Ellesmere Island interrupted a distinct (neoglacial) cooling trend that had begun approximately 2000 years earlier. Furthermore, the three warmest intervals seen in the alkenone record during the past 5,000 years correspond to the periods during which the area was occupied by Paleo-Eskimo groups, providing evidence that local climate conditions played a significant role in determining migration patterns of people of the Arctic Small Tools tradition.

Mummified forest provides climate change clues
By ALICIA CHANG, AP Science Writer

AP Dec 16, 2010: "On a remote island in the Canadian Arctic where no trees now grow, a newly unearthed mummified forest is giving researchers a peek into how plants reacted to ancient climate change.

That knowledge will be key as scientists begin to tease out the impacts of global warming in the Arctic.

The ancient forest found on Ellesmere Island, which lies north of the Arctic Circle in Canada, contained dried out birch, larch, spruce and pine trees. Research scientist Joel Barker of Ohio State University discovered it by chance while camping in 2009.

"At one point I crested a small ridge and the cliff face below me was just riddled with wood," he recalled.

Armed with a research grant, Barker returned this past summer to explore the site, which was buried by an avalanche 2 million to 8 million years ago. Melting snow recently exposed the preserved remains of tree trunks, leaves and needles.

About a dozen such frozen forests exist in the Canadian Arctic, but the newest site is farthest north.

The forest existed during a time when the Arctic climate shifted from being warmer than it is today to its current frigid state. Judging by the lack of diverse wood species and the trees' small leaves, the team suspected that plants at the site struggled to survive the rapid change from deciduous forest to evergreen.

"This community was just hanging on," said Barker, who presented his findings Thursday at the American Geophysical Union meeting in San Francisco.

The next step is to examine tree rings to better understand how past climate conditions stressed plant life and how the Arctic tundra ecosystem will respond to global warming.

Since 1970, temperatures have climbed more than 4.5 degrees in much of the Arctic, much faster than the global average."

Note: the alarmist claim in the last sentence above from James Hansen/GISS is based upon extrapolated temperatures from sites up to 1000 miles south and is contradicted by data from the Danish Meteorology Institute, which has direct measurements from multiple sites in the high Arctic:

Wednesday, December 15, 2010

Warmists have it both ways: warming causes more cooling, or not

The Potsdam Institiute for Climate Impact Research says a new paper concludes that the record low temperatures and snow now burying Europe and North America are just what global warming theory predicted:
The overall warming of the earth’s northern half could result in cold winters… Recent severe winters like last year’s or the one of 2005-06 do not conflict with the global warming picture, but rather supplement it.
However, the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change boldly predicted in 2007 that Europe and most other regions were "likely" to "very likely" to have milder winters with fewer and shorter cold spells and cold extremes (see page 862 table 11.2):
"Fewer cold outbreaks; fewer, shorter, intense cold spells / cold extremes in winter” are Very Likely (VL) consistent across all model projections for Northern Europe, South Asia, and East Asia and Likely (L) for most other regions:
adapted from Andrew Bolt

Paper: Warming of Mediterranean Sea began 500 years ago

A peer-reviewed paper published today in the journal Climate of the Past finds that sea surface temperatures in the Mediterranean began to steadily rise 500 years ago after the nadir of the Little Ice Age (LIA), well before change in "greenhouse gases" from the industrial revolution. Adding to the hundreds of other papers from locations around the globe, the paper also finds a Medieval Warming Period and an even hotter Roman Warming Period.
Guide to graph: Mediterranean sea surface temperature proxy is in black at right, with periods of warming and cooling indicated on the graph. LIA=Little Ice Age, MCA=Medieval Climate Anomaly or Medieval Warming Period. Roman warming period shown at 2500 years before present (BP). Bottom of graph begins 4000 years before present (BP) up to 0 years BP.

Clim. Past, 6, 807-816, 2010   doi:10.5194/cp-6-807-2010

Late Holocene climate variability in the southwestern Mediterranean region: an integrated marine and terrestrial geochemical approach

C. Martín-Puertas, F. Jiménez-Espejo, F. Martínez-Ruiz, V. Nieto-Moreno, M. Rodrigo, M. P. Mata, and B. L. Valero-Garcés

Abstract. A combination of marine (Alboran Sea cores, ODP 976 and TTR 300 G) and terrestrial (Zoñar Lake, Andalucia, Spain) geochemical proxies provides a high-resolution reconstruction of climate variability and human influence in the southwestern Mediterranean region for the last 4000 years at inter-centennial resolution. Proxies respond to changes in precipitation rather than temperature alone. Our combined terrestrial and marine archive documents a succession of dry and wet periods coherent with the North Atlantic climate signal. A dry period occurred prior to 2.7 cal ka BP – synchronously to the global aridity crisis of the third-millennium BC – and during the Medieval Climate Anomaly [the Medievel Warming Period] (1.4–0.7 cal ka BP). Wetter conditions prevailed from 2.7 to 1.4 cal ka BP. Hydrological signatures during the Little Ice Age are highly variable but consistent with more humidity than the Medieval Climate Anomaly. Additionally, Pb anomalies in sediments at the end of the Bronze Age suggest anthropogenic pollution earlier than the Roman Empire development in the Iberian Peninsula. The Late Holocene climate evolution of the in the study area confirms the see-saw pattern between the eastern and western Mediterranean regions and the higher influence of the North Atlantic dynamics in the western Mediterranean.

Tuesday, December 14, 2010

The Hockey Stick Blues

The Hockey Stick Blues
Words and Music: Ken Coffman
Guitar and voice: Rob Fowler
Bass: Randy George
Drums: Dan Lile

I’m the Mann, you know what that means
Give me a proxy, I’ll squeeze ‘til it screams
It screams loud—and gives up its stick

I got consensus, built through the years
The media loves me and gives me their ears
Oh yeah.

Top o’the world, fame and dough, lots rolling my way
You know how that feels—it feels good
Oh baby, it feels real good.

Principal components, you know that’s my thing
Invert a proxy and downplay inconvenient strings
We don’t need that garbage, come on, let’s get real

Peer review—you know the drill
All of my friends—I can count on to shill

Top o’the world, fame and dough, lots rolling my way
You know how that feels—it feels good
Oh baby, it feels real good.

Oh, yeah—I think I’ll just play my guitar…

Saturday, December 11, 2010

The Longest & Quietest Solar Magnetic Minimum in Recorded History

Although solar cycle 24 began almost 3 years ago (officially on January 4, 2008), the sun continues to be unusually quiet at this point in the solar cycle with predictions of maximal sunspot activity repeatedly adjusted downward. A key indicator of solar magnetic activity, the Ap Index (average planetary magnetic index) has reached the lowest absolute values, lowest 5 year moving average values, and by far the highest number of continuous months ≤ 10 since record keeping by NOAA began in 1932:
Monthly Average Ap Index and 5 yr Running Average
In prior solar cycles, the Ap Index has been noted to lag the beginning of the sunspot cycle by up to one year. Solar cycle 24 continues to exhibit unique behavior compared to the 7 previous solar cycles recorded by modern instrumentation and offers more evidence the sun is undergoing a significant state change. Global temperature changes typically lag reduced solar activity due to moderating effects of heat storage in the oceans. Solar state changes in the past such as the Sporer, Maunder, and Dalton minima coincide with the colder periods of the Little Ice Age, which lasted from about 1300 to 1850. The HADCRU global thermometer record coincidentally began in 1850 and shows a mere 0.7C recovery from the frigid temperatures at the end of the Little Ice Age in 1850.

Paper: Climate models lack fundamentals to determine global warming

As noted on the NIPCC website this week, a peer-reviewed paper published in Geophysical Research Letters concludes that climate models "lack -- or incorrectly parameterize -- fundamental processes by which surface temperatures respond to radiative forcings." In other words, climate computer models used by the IPCC are fundamentally incorrect on predictions of global warming due to greenhouse gas concentrations ["radiative forcings"].

"To distinguish between simultaneous natural and anthropogenic impacts on surface temperature, regionally as well as globally," authors Lean and Rind performed "a robust multivariate analysis using the best available estimates of each together with the observed surface temperature record from 1889 to 2006."

Lean and Rind report that "contrary to recent assessments based on theoretical models (IPCC, 2007) the anthropogenic warming estimated directly from the historical observations is more pronounced between 45°S and 50°N than at higher latitudes," which finding, in their words, "is the approximate inverse of the model-simulated anthropogenic plus natural temperature trends ... which have minimum values in the tropics and increase steadily from 30 to 70°N." Furthermore, as they continue, "the empirically-derived zonal mean anthropogenic changes have approximate hemispheric symmetry whereas the mid-to-high latitude modeled changes are larger in the Northern hemisphere."

Because of what their analysis revealed, the two researchers concluded that "climate models may therefore lack -- or incorrectly parameterize -- fundamental processes by which surface temperatures respond to radiative forcings."

Lean, J.L. and Rind, D.H, 2008. How natural and anthropogenic influences alter global and regional surface temperatures: 1889 to 2006. Geophysical Research Letters 35: 10.1029/2008GL034864.

Poll: 41% Now Say Global Warming is Caused By Human Activity, 47% Say Planetary Trends

Most U.S. voters continue to be concerned about global warming but still are more inclined to think it’s caused by planetary trends rather than human activity.

A new Rasmussen Reports telephone survey of Likely Voters finds that 41% think global warming is caused primarily by human activity, while 47% say long-term planetary trends are to blame. (To see survey question wording, click here.)

This is consistent with findings for nearly two years. A higher percentage of voters have consistently blamed global warming on planetary trends rather than human activity since early February 2009 despite the insistence of President Obama, the United Nations and a large part of the world scientific community that humans are the bigger culprits.

Regardless of what’s to blame, voters take global warming seriously. Fifty-nine percent (59%) say it is at least a somewhat serious problem, including 32% who see it as Very Serious. But this concern has fallen since last November when the so-called ‘Climategate’ scandal broke, raising questions about the reliability of pro-global warming research. Thirty-eight percent (38%) now do not see global warming as a serious problem, including 16% who say it’s Not At All Serious.

Source: Rasmussen  & h/t SPPI

Thursday, December 9, 2010

U.S. House Committee Likely To Investigate Climategate Whitewash

Politico, 7 December 2010

Ralph Hall is poised to become the next chairman of the House Science and Technology Committee after fending off a challenge from California Republican Dana Rohrabacher.
Hall, 87, on Tuesday won the endorsement of the GOP panel tasked with selecting chairmen, a member of the steering committee told POLITICO. The recommendation will go before the full caucus Wednesday, but the vote is seen as little more than a formality.
At the helm of the Science Committee, Hall is expected to be at the forefront of GOP efforts to probe the Obama administration’s climate policies next year.
Hall told POLITICO in a recent interview he’s not a climate skeptic. “If they quote me correctly, I've never said it's outrageous to even think about global warming. I want some proof,” he said. “If I get the chair and have the gavel, I'm going to subpoena people from both sides and try to put them under oath and try to find out what the real facts are.
But he said he does want to question all sides of the issue, including the scientists at the center of the so-called “Climategate” controversy surrounding e-mails stolen from climate researchers last year in England. He said at a hearing last month that the documents exposed a “dishonest undercurrent” within the scientific community. Investigators in the United States and Britain have cleared the scientists of any wrongdoing.
Hall’s expected appointment as Science chairman will likely be seen as the lesser of two evils among proponents of efforts to slash greenhouse gas emissions.
Both Hall and Rohrabacher have expressed doubts about the science linking manmade carbon dioxide emissions to global warming, but Rohrabacher is seen as a more aggressive skeptic than his Texas colleague.
“Dana would be out to disprove the theory,” said outgoing Rep. Bob Inglis (R-S.C.), who is the current ranking member on the Science Energy and Environment Subcommittee. “Ralph would likely not ... be as animated in his pursuit of the destruction of climate science.”
Marc Morano, editor of the climate skeptic website Climate Depot and a former aide to Sen. Jim Inhofe (R-Okla.), said Rohrabacher is the most aggressive skeptic in the House.
“Rohrabacher is probably the equivalent in the House to Sen. Inhofe in the Senate in terms of challenging global warming,” he said, adding that the California lawmaker was willing to challenge the science when it “wasn’t trendy” to do so.
Rohrabacher made headlines in 2007 for joking that dinosaur gas might be the cause behind global warming. “We don’t know what those other cycles were caused by in the past,” he said at a House hearing. “Could be dinosaur flatulence, you know, or who knows?”
But Rohrabacher campaigning on his aggressiveness wasn’t enough to unseat Hall, who has served in the House since 1981 and is adored by many of his colleagues.
Rep. Joe Barton, a fellow Texas Republican, described Hall last week as “one of the nicest, most decent guys in our caucus.”

Monday, December 6, 2010

'Hottest Year Ever' Update: Record number of Manatees Died in 2010 from Cold Water

As reported on NBC Nightly News 12/6/10, a record number of manatees died in 2010 due to unusually cold water.

According to Katie Tripp, Ph.D., Director of Science and Conservation,

"Through November 19th [2010], 685 manatees have been confirmed dead in the state of Florida, representing more than 13% of the species’ estimated minimum population. This far surpasses the record of 429 deaths set in 2009, and there is still one month left in the year. Although 2010 started with ideal conditions that allowed a record number of manatees to be counted during the annual aerial survey (5,076), the same cold weather that facilitated the count began causing unprecedented levels of mortality in the subsequent weeks. In total, nearly 400 manatees are believed to have died from this lingering event, shattering the previous record of 56 cold-related deaths. In addition, several dozen manatees suffering from cold stress were rescued around the state. Although cold-related deaths are considered a natural cause, the events of this winter highlight the vulnerability of our state’s manatee population, and reinforce the importance of safeguarding winter habitat and minimizing human-related threats to this species."

Related: visit Tom Nelson for daily 'hottest year ever' updates

2010 - An Unexceptional El Nino Year

David Whitehouse: 2010 - An Unexceptional El Nino Year
If the media headlines are to be believed 2010 is heading to be either the warmest or in the top three warmest years since the instrumental global temperature records began 150 years ago, and proof that the world is getting ever warmer. But looking more closely at the data reveals a different picture.
2010 will be remembered for just two warm months, attributable to the El Nino effect, with the rest of the year being nothing but average, or less than average temperature.
With November and December¹s data still to come in (that will account for 16% of the year¹s data) the UK Met Office estimates the temperature anomaly (with respect to the end of the 19th century) for 2010 so far as 0.756 deg C. As it has been cooling for the past 4 months we can expect that figure to decline below the 2005 0.747 deg C level and the El Nino influenced 1998 of 0.820 deg C.
2010 will therefore be no higher than the third warmest year, possibly lower.
Warm Spring
What has made 2010 warm is March and June due to El Nino, a short-term natural effect and nothing to do with anthropogenic global warming.
January was cooler than January in 2007, 2005, 2004, 2003, 2002 and 1998.
February was cooler than February in 2007, 2004, 2002, and 1998.
March was exceptionally warm at a temperature anomaly of 0.971. However it was, given the errors, statistically comparable with March 2008 (0.907) and March 1990 (0.910).
April was cooler than April 2007, 2005, and 1998.
May was cooler than May 2003 and 1998.
June was exceptionally warm at 0.827 deg C though statistically identical to June 2005 (0.825) and 1998.
July, when things started to cool, was cooler than July 2006, 2005 and 1998.
August was cooler than August 2009, about the same as 2005, and cooler than 2001 and 1998.
September was cooler than September 2009, 2007, 2005, 2001 and 1998.
October ­ the last month for which there are records ­ was cooler than October 2009, 2008, 2007, 2006, 2005, 2004, 2003 and 1998.
The pattern is therefore of an unexceptional year except for a Spring/early summer El Nino that elevated temperatures.
There is no evidence whatsoever that the lack of warming seen in the global average annual temperatures seen in the last decade has changed.
Check the figures for yourself here.

Sunday, December 5, 2010

Ethanol on the Run DECEMBER 5, 2010, 7:10 P.M. ET

A left-right coalition is emerging against this energy boondoggle.

The political class inevitably invokes the moon shot or Manhattan Project as a model for every unrealistic energy goal, but for once maybe that hyperbole is apt: A left-right coalition is emerging to end ethanol subsidies.

Last week, no fewer than 17 Senators signed a letter calling ethanol "fiscally indefensible" and "environmentally unwise." Led by Democrat Dianne Feinstein and Republican Jon Kyl, the group said Congress shouldn't extend certain subsidies that expire at the end of the year, including the 45-cent-per-gallon tax credit for blending ethanol into gasoline and tariffs on cheaper imports. Conservatives like Tom Coburn dislike this costly industrial policy, while liberals like Barbara Boxer and Sheldon Whitehouse are turning against the hefty carbon emissions that come with corn fuels.

Even Energy Secretary Steven Chu seems to have found the anti-ethanol religion. Speaking at the National Press Club last Monday, Mr. Chu said that "ethanol is not an ideal transportation fuel" and that the government's focus should be "on ways that we can actually go beyond ethanol." Like most greens, he still supports so-called advanced fuels that aren't made from corn and also aren't commercially viable, but we'll take his partial conversion.

The ethanol industry is responding by predicting disaster if it loses its taxpayer feeding tubes, with the Renewable Fuels Association evoking massive job losses and another Dust Bowl. But what kind of business can't survive without subsidies when government also mandates that consumers buy its products? As the Senators dryly noted, "Historically our government has helped a product compete in one of three ways: subsidize it, protect it from competition, or require its use. We understand that ethanol may be the only product receiving all three forms of support from the U.S. government at this time."

Sure enough, also last week, the Environmental Protection Agency ruled that under the 2007 energy bill Americans must use at least 13.95 billion gallons of ethanol next year, or about 8% of total U.S. fuel consumption. In protecting its free ride, the ethanol lobby is like Fannie Mae before the crash. But at least now there's a glimmer of political hope for taxpayers.

Paper: 'The truth is global warming has halted' for 'the past 15 years'

An article published today in the UK Daily Mail newspaper titled, "What happened to the 'warmest year on record': The truth is global warming has halted" notes the "really inconvenient [truth that] for the past 15 years, global warming has stopped." The article states, "The question now emerging for climate scientists and policymakers alike is very simple. Just how long does a pause have to be before the thesis that the world is getting hotter because of human activity starts to collapse?"

This question may have already been answered by Hadley CRU in an article published in Science October 2009, which finds that 10 year pauses in global warming occur only around 2% of the time in their 700 year climate simulation. The simulation also found pauses of "as long as 15 years are rare," suggesting that there were no pauses in the 700 year simulation exceeding 15 years. Thus, the climate modelers have apparently already answered the question, "Just how long does a pause have to be before the thesis that the world is getting hotter because of human activity starts to collapse?" i.e. a pause exceeding 15 years.

What happened to the 'warmest year on record': The truth is global warming has halted
By David Rose
Last updated at 4:17 PM on 5th December 2010

A year ago tomorrow, just before the opening of the UN Copenhagen world climate summit, the British Meteorological Office issued a confident prediction. The mean world temperature for 2010, it announced, 'is expected to be 14.58C, the warmest on record' - a deeply worrying 0.58C above the 19611990 average.

World temperatures, it went on, were locked inexorably into an ever rising trend: 'Our experimental decadal forecast confirms previous indications that about half the years 2010-2019 will be warmer than the warmest year observed so far - 1998.'

Met Office officials openly boasted that they hoped by their statements to persuade the Copenhagen gathering to impose new and stringent carbon emission limits - an ambition that was not to be met.

Last week, halfway through yet another giant, 15,000 delegate UN climate jamboree, being held this time in the tropical splendour of Cancun in Mexico, the Met Office was at it again.

Never mind that Britain, just as it was last winter and the winter before, was deep in the grip of a cold snap, which has seen some temperatures plummet to minus 20C, and that here 2010 has been the coolest year since 1996.

Globally, it insisted, 2010 was still on course to be the warmest or second warmest year since current records began.

But buried amid the details of those two Met Office statements 12 months apart lies a remarkable climbdown that has huge implications - not just for the Met Office, but for debate over climate change as a whole.

Read carefully with other official data, they conceal a truth that for some, to paraphrase former US  Vice President Al Gore, is really inconvenient: for the past 15 years, global warming has stopped.

This isn't meant to be happening. Climate science orthodoxy, as promulgated by bodies such as the UN Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) and the University of East Anglia Climatic Research Unit (CRU), says that temperatures have risen and will continue to rise in step with increasing CO2 in the atmosphere, and make no mistake, with the rapid industrialisation of China and India, CO2 levels have kept on going up.

According to the IPCC and its computer models, without enormous emission cuts the world is set to get between two and six degrees warmer during the 21st Century, with catastrophic consequences.

Last week at Cancun, in an attempt to influence richer countries to agree to give £20billion immediately to poorer ones to offset the results of warming, the US-based International Food Policy Research Institute warned that global temperatures would be 6.5 degrees higher by 2100, leading to rocketing food prices and a decline in production.

The maths isn't complicated. If the planet were going to be six degrees hotter by the century's end, it should be getting warmer by 0.6 degrees each decade; if two degrees, then by 0.2 degrees every ten years. Fortunately, it isn't.

Actually, with the exception of 1998 - a 'blip' year when temperatures spiked because of a strong 'El Nino' effect (the cyclical warming of the southern Pacific that affects weather around the world) - the data on the Met Office's and CRU's own websites show that global temperatures have been flat, not for ten, but for the past 15 years.

They go up a bit, then down a bit, but those small rises and falls amount to less than their measuring system's acknowledged margin of error. They have no statistical significance and reveal no evidence of any trend at all.

When the Met Office issued its December 2009 preThere-diction, it was clearly expecting an even bigger El Nino spike than happened in 1998 - one so big that it would have dragged up the decade's average.

But though it was still successfully trying to influence media headlines during Cancun last week by saying that 2010 might yet end up as the warmest year, the small print reveals the Met Office climbdown. Last year it predicted that the 2010 average would be 14.58C. Last week, this had been reduced to 14.52C.

That may not sound like much. But when one considers that by the Met Office's own account, the total rise in world temperatures since the 1850s has been less than 0.8 degrees, it is quite a big deal. Above all, it means the trend stays flat.

Meanwhile, according to an analysis yesterday by David Whitehouse of the Global Warming Policy Foundation, 2010 had only two unusually warm months, March and April, when El Nino was at its peak.

The data from October to the end of the year suggests that when the final figure is computed, 2010 will not be the warmest year at all, but at most the third warmest, behind both 1998 and 2005.

There is no dispute that the world got a little warmer over some of the 20th Century. (Between 1940 and the early Seventies, temperatures actually fell.)

But little by little, the supposedly settled scientific ' consensus' that the temperature rise is unprecedented, that it is set to continue to disastrous levels, and that it is all the fault of human beings, is starting to fray.

Earlier this year, a paper by Michael Mann - for years a leading light in the IPCC, and the author of the infamous 'hockey stick graph' showing flat temperatures for 2,000 years until the recent dizzying increase - made an extraordinary admission: that, as his critics had always claimed, there had indeed been a ' medieval warm period' around 1000 AD, when the world may well have been hotter than it is now.

Other research is beginning to show that cyclical changes in water vapour - a much more powerful greenhouse gas than carbon dioxide - may account for much of the 20th Century warming.

Even Phil Jones, the CRU director at the centre of last year's 'Climategate' leaked email scandal, was forced to admit in a littlenoticed BBC online interview that there has been 'no statistically significant warming' since 1995.

One of those leaked emails, dated October 2009, was from Kevin Trenberth, head of climate analysis at the US government's National Centre for Atmospheric Research and the IPCC's lead author on climate change science in its monumental 2002 and 2007 reports.

He wrote: 'The fact is that we can't account for the lack of warming at the moment, and it is a travesty that we can't.'

After the leak, Trenberth claimed he still believed the world was warming because of CO2, and that the 'travesty' was not the 'pause' but science's failure to explain it.

The question now emerging for climate scientists and policymakers alike is very simple. Just how long does a pause have to be before the thesis that the world is getting hotter because of human activity starts to collapse?

Saturday, December 4, 2010

Paper: Global Warming Decreases Hurricane Intensity

A paper published today in the Journal of Geophysical Research - Atmospheres finds that global warming should cause hurricanes to be less intense, contrary to claims of the IPCC and Al Gore. The paper also finds that global warming would also tend to shift hurricanes toward the north and thus decrease strength upon landfall or thereby decrease the likelihood of landfall.


On the impacts of climate change and the upper ocean on midlatitude northwest Atlantic landfalling cyclones

Authors: William Perrie, Yonghong Yao, Weiqing Zhang

Abstract: The influence of climate change on midlatitude North Atlantic landfalling autumn storms is investigated using a relatively high-resolution mesoscale atmosphere-ocean coupled model system. Atmospheric boundary conditions for autumn storm simulations by this coupled model system are given by the Canadian second-generation Coupled Global Climate Model (CGCM2), following the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change IS92a scenario. The control and high-CO2 boundary conditions are obtained from CGCM2 simulations representing the present climate (1975–1994), and a future climate change scenario (2040–2059), corresponding to a doubling of greenhouse gases. An understanding of the possible influences of climate change on the storm climate is achieved through our simulations. The impact of climate change is seen in slightly decreased intensities in landfalling cyclones (about 5 hPa) resulting from the competition between warming provided by the climate change scenario and modest cooling around the storm center induced mainly by dynamic cooling. An additional impact is that cyclone tracks tend to shift poleward.

Friday, December 3, 2010

Paper: Arctic changes not unprecedented; AGW 'does not stand out'

An article posted this week on the NIPPC website explains that according to computer models, signs of AGW (human-induced warming) should be most apparent at the poles, but a comprehensive review finds there is not 'unprecedented' warming or clear signs of AGW:

A long succession of climate models has consistently suggested that anthropogenic-induced global warming should be significantly amplified in earth's polar regions and, therefore, that the first signs of man's expected impact on the world's weather should be manifest in that part of the planet; or as Donella Meadows (2001) has described it, "the place to watch for global warming -- the sensitive point, the canary in the coal mine -- is the Arctic." So what have those who have looked for human-induced warming in the Arctic have found there?

One of the most recent and substantial of such efforts is the paper of White et al. (2010), who produced a comprehensive review -- and thoughtful analysis -- of past climate change in earth's north polar region, which was published in Quaternary Science Reviews.

In comparing the vast array of past climate changes in the Arctic with what the IPCC claims to be the "unprecedented" anthropogenic-induced warming of the past several decades, White et al. conclude that "thus far, human influence does not stand out relative to other, natural causes of climate change." In fact, they state that the data "clearly show" that "strong natural variability has been characteristic of the Arctic at all time scales considered," and they reiterate that the data suggest "that the human influence on rate and size of climate change thus far does not stand out strongly from other causes of climate change."

The nine researchers begin by describing how "processes linked with continental drift have affected atmospheric circulation, ocean currents, and the composition of the atmosphere over tens of millions of years," and that "a global cooling trend over the last 60 million years has altered conditions near sea level in the Arctic from ice-free year-round to completely ice covered." They also report that "variations in arctic insolation over tens of thousands of years in response to orbital forcing have caused regular cycles of warming and cooling that were roughly half the size of the continental-drift-linked changes," and that, in turn, this glacial-interglacial cycling "was punctuated by abrupt millennial oscillations, which near the North Atlantic were roughly half as large as the glacial-interglacial cycles." Last of all, they note that "the current interglacial, the Holocene, has been influenced by brief cooling events from single volcanic eruptions, slower but longer lasting changes from random fluctuations in the frequency of volcanic eruptions, from weak solar variability, and perhaps by other classes of events."

White, J.W.C., Alley,R.B., Brigham-Grette, J., Fitzpatrick, J.J., Jennings, A.E., Johnsen, S.J., Miller, G.H., Nerem, R.S. and Polyak, L. 2010. Past rates of climate change in the Arctic. Quaternary Science Reviews 29: 1716-1727.