Probably not. But the probability that the cold weather the world is experiencing might be part of a multi-decadal oscillation (MDO) and a natural cyclical occurrence puts a real dent in the so-called “science” of man-made global warming.
I found it interesting that over the weekend, the New York Times went to great lengths to explain that what was happening wasn’t a “global” event, but instead the product of an “Arctic Oscillation” which has planted a large high pressure cell over England and has diverted the jet stream south of England opening the doors for this arctic blast. That from the paper that will take two hot days in August and blame them on AGW. Says the NYT:
In most years over the past few decades, the opposite has been true: there has been lower-than-average pressure over the Arctic, and higher-than-average pressure over the mid-latitudes — the middle of which cuts through Maine, across the Great Lakes and on to Oregon.
That pattern allows the jet stream to blow unimpeded from west to east and keeps the cold Arctic air largely north of the United States. The result tends to be warmer temperatures across much of the United States east of the Rocky Mountains.
No one is quite sure what drives these flip-flops in air pressure.
Actually that’s not true. In fact many climate scientists have a pretty good idea. MDO’s.
On the one hand, it is true that the current freeze is the product of the ‘Arctic oscillation’ – a weather pattern that sees the development of huge ‘blocking’ areas of high pressure in northern latitudes, driving polar winds far to the south.
Meteorologists say that this is at its strongest for at least 60 years.
As a result, the jetstream – the high-altitude wind that circles the globe from west to east and normally pushes a series of wet but mild Atlantic lows across Britain – is currently running not over the English Channel but the Strait of Gibraltar.
However, according to Prof Latif and his colleagues, this in turn relates to much longer-term shifts – what are known as the Pacific and Atlantic ‘multi-decadal oscillations’ (MDOs).
For Europe, the crucial factor here is the temperature of the water in the middle of the North Atlantic, now several degrees below its average when the world was still warming.
But the effects are not confined to the Northern Hemisphere. Prof Anastasios Tsonis, head of the University of Wisconsin Atmospheric Sciences Group, has recently shown that these MDOs move together in a synchronised way across the globe, abruptly flipping the world’s climate from a ‘warm mode’ to a ‘cold mode’ and back again in 20 to 30-year cycles.
‘They amount to massive rearrangements in the dominant patterns of the weather,’ he said yesterday, ‘and their shifts explain all the major changes in world temperatures during the 20th and 21st Centuries.
Note the point about the temperature of water.
They say that their research shows that much of the warming was caused by oceanic cycles when they were in a ‘warm mode’ as opposed to the present ‘cold mode’.
Among the “they” saying that is Professor Mojib Latif and a research crew at the prestigious Leibniz Institute at Germany’s Kiel University. Latif is also a member of the IPCC. He and his research team have “developed new methods for measuring ocean temperatures 3,000ft beneath the surface, where the cooling and warming cycles start.”
‘A significant share of the warming we saw from 1980 to 2000 and at earlier periods in the 20th Century was due to these cycles – perhaps as much as 50 per cent.
‘They have now gone into reverse, so winters like this one will become much more likely. Summers will also probably be cooler, and all this may well last two decades or longer.
‘The extreme retreats that we have seen in glaciers and sea ice will come to a halt. For the time being, global warming has paused, and there may well be some cooling.’
The MDO cycles are pretty obvious for those who will look:
Prof Tsonis said that the period from 1915 to 1940 saw a strong warm mode, reflected in rising temperatures.
But from 1940 until the late Seventies, the last MDO cold-mode era, the world cooled, despite the fact that carbon dioxide levels in the atmosphere continued to rise.
Many of the consequences of the recent warm mode were also observed 90 years ago.
As mentioned in the article, in 1922 the Washington Post noted that Greenland’s glaciers were disappearing and that arctic ice was melting – exactly the same phenomenon we’ve experienced as a result of what these scientists say are the MDOs. And Latif is now convinced that the temperature, as reflected by cooling deep in the oceans, is now headed down as a new MDO takes effect. Some of the signs are quite convincing – such as the depth and length of this “cold snap”. Al Gore’s prediction that the arctic ice pack would disappear also seems in jeopardy:
According to the US National Snow and Ice Data Centre in Colorado, Arctic summer sea ice has increased by 409,000 square miles, or 26 per cent, since 2007…
Professor Tsonis, like Latif, is hardly a denier, but he also isn’t impressed with the computer models which have driven the AGW claims:
‘I do not believe in catastrophe theories. Man-made warming is balanced by the natural cycles, and I do not trust the computer models which state that if CO2 reaches a particular level then temperatures and sea levels will rise by a given amount.
‘These models cannot be trusted to predict the weather for a week, yet they are running them to give readings for 100 years.’
I couldn’t agree more. You remember the Warmergate emails in which the AGW “scientists” wished for a good explanation for why the earth seems to be cooling? Well this is most likely it – and, much to their chagrin, CO2 and man have little if anything to do with it.
And because of that, it will most likely be studiously ignored by the “settled science” Copenhagen crowd.
The double-talking Obama administration, who lectured us about the need to wean ourselves from our dependency on foreign oil, has, through actions taken by Interior Secretary Ken Salazar, made the goal of less dependency less likely.
Salazar, yesterday, announced a new level of bureaucratic requirements sure to slow and provide disincentives to increases in domestic oil and gas exploration. In the first year of the Obama administration’s tenure, Salazar had already slowed such exploration to a walk As the Institute for Energy Research (IER) reports:
* Under the first year of the Obama administration’s 2009 oil and gas leasing program, fewer onshore and offshore acres have been leased than in any previous year on record.
* The Interior Department collected less than one-tenth the revenue from oil and gas lease sales in 2009 than it did in 2008
* For the year 2008, lease sale revenues produced a return for the taxpayer of $942 per acre leased. In 2009, taxpayers received about $254 in return for each acre leased under the Obama administration – indicative of the quality of leasable land made available under Sec. Salazar
* More than 97 percent of the 2.46 billion acres of taxpayer-owned lands in the public domain are presently not leased for oil and gas exploration
In a time of economic hardship where federal revenues are way down and deficit spending runs rampant, it is almost criminal to do what Salazar has done. As the Industrial Energy Consumers of America points out:
“At a time when we should be working to enhance our energy supplies here at home, we believe it would be a mistake to pursue policies that would make it more expensive or difficult to access critical natural-gas resources …”
But that is precisely what Secretary Salazar intends to do. IER president Thomas J. Pyle released the following, which pretty much calls the administration out on their absurd policies concerning domestic exploration for oil and gas. Frankly, I think it is an understatement:
“When it comes to paving the way for the responsible development of homegrown, job-creating energy resources, no administration in history has done more to ensure producers do less.”
The Bureau of Land Management released the following:
Under the reformed oil and gas leasing policy, BLM will provide:
* Comprehensive interdisciplinary reviews that take into account site-specific considerations for individual lease sales. Resource Management Plans will continue to provide programmatic-level guidance, but individual parcels nominated for leasing will undergo increased internal and external coordination, public participation, interdisciplinary review of available information, confirmation of Resource Management Plan conformance as well as site visits to parcels when necessary;
* Greater public involvement in developing Master Leasing and Development Plans for areas where intensive new oil and gas extraction is anticipated so that other important natural resource values can be fully considered prior to making an irreversible commitment to develop an area;
* Leadership in identifying areas where new oil and gas leasing will occur. The bureau will continue to accept industry expressions of interest regarding where to offer leases, but will emphasize leasing in already-developed areas and will plan carefully for leasing and development in new areas.
BLM Director Bob Abbey said the increased opportunity for public participation and a more thorough environmental review process and documentation can help reduce the number of protests filed as well as enhance BLM’s ability to resolve protests prior to lease sales.
Of course, anyone who has been around for more than a day or two has seen this sort of wording before and know how to read between the lines. For instance, note the last sentence. “Increased … public participation” means environmental groups opposing such leases will be given much more access to the process. “A more thorough environmental review process” means leases will essentially be held hostage to a review process which could last years. Finally, the “ability to resolve protests prior to lease sales” means the priority will be to make the protesters happy, not those seeking a lease.
The effect, of course, will be less exploration, less production, fewer jobs and more dependency on foreign oil. Given the economic climate today and the country’s energy needs, that’s inexcusable.
As Jack Gerard, president of the American Petroleum Institute warns:
About 9.2 million Americans rely on the oil and gas industry for their jobs. By imposing these unnecessary additional hurdles, American jobs will be threatened along with the economic opportunities afforded by oil and gas development.
So, instead of safely and swiftly exploiting domestic resources (and creating jobs and increasing revenue) it appears the plan is to sit on an estimated 86 billion barrels of oil and 420 trillion cubic feet of natural gas offshore, as much as 35 billion barrels of oil in Alaska and the Chukchi Sea, and a massive 2.2 trillion barrels of energy in oil shale deposits in Utah, Wyoming and Colorado while Salazar plays politics with our energy future.
The New York Times carries a story today that is chock full of irony and hypocrisy and frankly, pretty darn funny.
Seems the Cape Wind Project – you know the “green energy project” proposed for the waters off the liberal enclaves of Cape Cod and Martha’s Vineyard – has run into even more resistance. This time it’s “spiritual”.
Indian tribes, who said the 130 proposed wind turbines would thwart their spiritual ritual of greeting the sunrise, which requires unobstructed views across the sound, and disturb ancestral burial grounds.
The tribes — the Mashpee Wampanoag of Cape Cod and the Aquinnah Wampanoag of Martha’s Vineyard — sought the listing last fall, shortly before a final federal decision on the project was expected. The project has been in the works since 2001 and is strongly supported by Gov. Deval Patrick.
Of course, for the Mashpee Wampanoag of Cape Cod, the area that the wind turbines would be is south of them. So it seems rather doubtful that it would thwart their requirement for an “unobstructed view” across the sound – and frankly that sounds pretty fishy to me to begin with. I can just see an ancient dictum handed down through the generations which ends with “… and the view must be unobstructed”, can’t you?
Of course that caveat would probably apply more readily to the Aquinnah Wampanoag of Martha’s Vineyard, where the 24 miles of wind turbines might obstruct their view – if the sun has begun rising in the northeast now. Hey with global warming, I guess anything is possible. But if the Wampanoag look due east, where most of us expect the sun to rise, no problem according the map accompanying the article.
But, of course, now that these folks have been enlisted to raise objections, it’s just not the liberal NIMBY types protesting this. We’re into real, honest to goodness desecration, by gosh. And the fact that the Aquinnah Wampanoag’s land is on the west side of Martha’s Vineyard is just not relevant to any of this. We have Native Americans complaining for heaven sake!
And, they’ve revealed, those are their ancient sacred grounds that the evil corporation wants to build their turbines on (wow, how convenient, no?). Yeah, they’re underwater and have been for hundreds and hundreds of years, but they’re pretty sure that’s where they were before the waters rose (ancient global warming brought on by burning excessive buffalo chips) and the grounds should be left undisturbed.
Interior Secretary Ken Salazar set a deadline of March 1 for the tribes and the project’s developer, Energy Management Inc., to reach a compromise.
If they do not — a distinct possibility given the acrimony surrounding the project — Mr. Salazar can decide the project’s future himself after seeking suggestions from the Advisory Council on Historic Preservation, an independent group. But even if Mr. Salazar lets the project move forward, the park service finding could help the tribes and opponents build a legal case against it.
So let’s review – if you polled the liberal enclaves of Martha’s Vineyard and Cape Cod, you’d most likely find overwhelming support for “green, renewable energy” and a desire to see that sort of energy source developed and deployed post haste. Well, except in their back yard. Because aesthetics are much more important than renewable energy and they’ve paid a lot of money for the views they enjoy. They still want that “green renewable energy”, but they’d prefer it be stuck in places like Texas and off the coast of South Carolina where people have the aesthetics of (sniff) NASCAR fans.
Yup, every time I hear about the liberal commitment to “green renewable energy” I’m drawn back to this controversy. And it recalibrates my thoughts about their real commitment, or, actually, apparent lack thereof. Obviously what is good enough to be plopped in front of your view of the sunrise is not something they’ll tolerate, whether green and renewable or not.
One of the favorite things the warmists like to do is point to isolated temperature events that bolster their cause and claim them to be a result of man-made global warming. I have to wonder what they have to say about an entire winter such as this:
They predicted no let up in the freezing snap until at least mid-January, with snow, ice and severe frosts dominating.
And the likelihood is that the second half of the month will be even colder.
Weather patterns were more like those in the late 1970s, experts said, while Met Office figures released on Monday are expected to show that the country is experiencing the coldest winter for up to 25 years.
The cold weather comes despite the Met Office’s long range forecast, published, in October, of a mild winter. That followed it’s earlier inaccurate prediction of a “barbecue summer”, which then saw heavy rainfall and the wettest July for almost 100 years.
Paul Michaelwaite, forecaster for NetWeather.tv, said: “It is looking like this winter could be in the top 20 cold winters in the last 100 years.
I look forward to the creative spin warmists will try to use to explain away what could be one of the coldest winters in 100 years right smack in the middle of this unstoppable warming they’ve been touting. Oh, wait, we’ve been cooling for 10 years haven’t we? So that trend would support such a winter occurring wouldn’t it?
Your turn warmists – why are we seeing this horribly cold weather while in the midst of a “warming trend”?
I’m sorry, I just can’t help myself – sometimes nature provides us with the best situational irony and this case is just hilarious:
A downtown protest of the climate change talks in Copenhagen became a victim of Wednesday’s snowstorm.
“Not many people showed up because of the blizzard conditions,” said organizer Clea Major, an international studies student at the University of Utah.
It didn’t take long for the six friends to pack up a bullhorn and posters they’d planned to use for their “scream-in,” an outlet for their frustration about the failure of the Copenhagen climate talks earlier this month to curb the pollution blamed for climate change.
Damn global warming.
This little nugget from Science Daily:
Most of the carbon dioxide emitted by human activity does not remain in the atmosphere, but is instead absorbed by the oceans and terrestrial ecosystems. In fact, only about 45 percent of emitted carbon dioxide stays in the atmosphere.
Hmmm … now if this is true (notice how, unlike alarmists, I still skeptically caveat my acceptance of this research until I see verification) it would put a very large dent in the argument for the draconian measures the warmists are attempting to write into law in various countries around the world, wouldn’t it?
Or at least it should. So why do I have this feeling that if true it will be mostly ignored.
Experience I guess.
The research was done by Wolfgang Knorr of the Department of Earth Sciences at the University of Bristol.
[Knorr] reanalyzed available atmospheric carbon dioxide and emissions data since 1850 and considers the uncertainties in the data.
In contradiction to some recent studies, he finds that the airborne fraction of carbon dioxide has not increased either during the past 150 years or during the most recent five decades.
The research is published in Geophysical Research Letters.
I left that last line in there so that you understand that it is indeed published research and most likely his peers will try to replicate his analysis using his methods and data. As I recall, that’s how the scientific method works. We’ll see how “settled science” reacts to that if it should be validated.
Unfortunately, it leaves me still on my quest to find the answer to the following question: “If rising CO2, as science has told us, lags global warming by 800 years and is an “effect” of such warming, how in the world did it suddenly become a “cause” of such warming?
And I’m no closer to getting the answer to my second question either: “What is the optimum temperature for the “globe”?”
Any assistance in answering them would be greatly appreciated.
I‘ve been fiddling around with stuff, and came up with this. I don’t know whether it’ll be a regular deal, but for what it’s worth, here it is.
Although the professional “spinners” are at work trying to shape what happened – or more precisely, didn’t happen – in Copenhagen as a success, I think the chief negotiator for the 130 countries that comprise the G77 characterized it best (and brutally honestly):
Lumumba Di-Aping, chief negotiator for the G77 group of 130 developing countries, said the deal had “the lowest level of ambition you can imagine. It’s nothing short of climate change scepticism in action. It locks countries into a cycle of poverty for ever. Obama has eliminated any difference between him and Bush.”
The last line is classic. It comes on the heels of Hugo Chavez noting that Obama had just recently accepted the Nobel Peace prize at the same time he was sending 30,000 more troops to Afghanistan to, in his words, “kill more innocents”.
Neither remark characterizes well the supposed renewed reputation (and love) of the US that Obama has claimed to have reestablished, does it?
And of course the radical left was not without its alarmists bell ringers in full fettle after conference ended:
John Sauven, executive director of Greenpeace UK, said: “The city of Copenhagen is a crime scene tonight, with the guilty men and women fleeing to the airport. Ed Miliband [UK climate change secretary] is among the very few that come out of this summit with any credit.” It is now evident that beating global warming will require a radically different model of politics than the one on display here in Copenhagen.”
Lydia Baker of Save the Children said world leaders had “effectively signed a death warrant for many of the world’s poorest children. Up to 250,000 children from poor communities could die before the next major meeting in Mexico at the end of next year.”
You’ve got to love it – up to 250,000 children could die from slightly warmer weather, even if the facts say it has been slightly cooler if anything. And you have to wonder what Sauven means by “a radically different model of politics”?
Regardless, in terms that the left had defined success in Copenhagen, it was a epic “fail”. Mr. Obama is 0 for 2 in Copenhagen. And for those of us who recognize it for what it was – a grand redistribution attempt based in dubious if not spurious “science”, it is a welcome failure. That hearkens back to the beginning of the Obama administration when there was a controversy about some claiming they wanted Obama (and his agenda) to “fail”. This is an example of the type failure which was being talked about then. If this makes me and others who welcome this failure “unAmerican” to some on the left, then that’s fine. But my first priority is what was promised by this country and the Constitution – freedom and liberty. And in my opinion, anyone who tries to violate, infringe upon or take away those rights and freedoms are the “unAmerican” among us.
Copenhagen was just such an attempt, and the failure to accomplish their freedom limiting goals is welcome news. Now I hope for the same epic fail in this horrific attempt to take over health care, and for the very same reasons.
Or, what Lindsey Graham may end up costing you. He was interviewed by the AP concerning his advocacy of AGW (which he says was something he learned about from John McCain and Hillary Clinton). Here’s his answer to one of the questions:
Q: How did you get involved in this issue?
A: It was a slow evolution. I started traveling with Sen. (John) McCain, who has been a climate change advocate for a long time, and I went to the Arctic region with him and Sen. (Hillary Rodham) Clinton. I came to the conclusion from listening to the scientists … from people who lived in the regions, that the canary in the coal mine is in the Arctic regions, and that the planet is heating up. How much is caused by greenhouse gases, I don’t know. But I believe to some extent it’s a contributing factor. …
Now, why did I choose to do something this time around? … The one thing that I could say without any doubt, that the best chance to create jobs for the future here in this country is energy independence. And you will never become energy independent until you price carbon.
Where are the friction points to getting to 60 votes (to advance a bill)? If the emissions standard is not meaningful, if it’s not economy-wide, I don’t think you get there. This whole issue of China and India and a global regime looms large in getting 60 votes in the Senate. Without some assurances that this is not a unilateral surrendering of market share to China and India — because our companies will have a burden imposed upon them not shared by China and India — is a huge political problem. … Those are some of the trip wires that exist to getting to 60 votes.
First the false premise – you can easily get to “energy independence” without pricing carbon. The whole purpose of pricing carbon is to cut emissions, not create “energy independence”. Fully exploit existing energy resources, build new clean (nuclear) energy production facilities and aggressively pursue clean and renewable energy solutions. That’s how you become “energy” independent. Government’s role, if any? Enabling that process.
Secondly, Graham outright admits that without the participation of India and China, we would be ceding market share to them because they wouldn’t have to face the costs we would face. So there’s no question he understands that any pricing of carbon is going to cost the US economy. He’s not averse to that, he simply wants it to be a shared burden which puts them at the same disadvantage as us. That’s nuts. We’re in a deep recession and he’s talking about steps to deepen it. And even if we weren’t in a recession, he has to be aware the science is dubious and the effect most likely marginal at best if they imposed the most stringent controls possible.
Graham isn’t up for election this cycle or the next, but in 4 years his day comes. If he becomes a party to this sort of economy killing device in cahoots with John Kerry, Republicans had better find a suitable primary opponent to run against him, because if they don’t my guess is he’ll be looking for work after the 2014 election and SC will have a new Senator – even if he’s a conservative Democrat.
Oh, and Climate-gate?
Q: What are your thoughts on the scandal over the hacked e-mails from some prominent climate scientists, which many Republicans have claimed discredits the science showing that pollution is causing climate change?
A: Well, I never embraced this from that point of view. You will never convince me all these cars, and all these trucks, and all these power plants spewing out carbon, fossil fuels, day in and day out for 60 or 70 years is a good thing. It makes perfect sense to me that this amount of carbon pollution over a long period of time has had a detrimental effect on the environment. I don’t get wrapped up into how much is caused by man, or how much is caused by nature. I do believe pursuing clean air and clean water is a good thing for my generation to do.
Science – we don’t need no stinkin’ science. We’ll just “price carbon”, put the economy in the crapper and lo and behold, clean air will abound. The true statist’s answer to everything – more government, more cost, less freedom.
And that’s the good news:
With just two days remaining in historic and contentious climate talks here, China signaled overnight that it sees virtually no possibility that the nearly 200 nations gathered would find agreement by Friday.
A participant in the talks said that China would agree only to a brief political declaration that left unresolved virtually all the major issues.
The conference has deadlocked over emissions cuts by, and financing for, developing nations, including China, who say they will bear the brunt of a planetary problem they did little to create. Leaders had hoped to conclude an interim agreement on the major issues that would have “immediate operational effect.” The Chinese, it appears, are not willing to go that far at this meeting.
The New York Times goes on to wonder if this is just a bit of political brinksmanship on the eve of world leaders arriving. Obviously the NYT thinks this is about a negotiating position. One can only assume they make that assessment based on the supposed promise Obama said he extracted from the Chinese during his visit there.
If that’s the case, I’d say that both Obama and the NYT most likely have it wrong. China has made it clear for years that it exempts itself from hard emissions cuts because it considers itself a “developing country”. After years of preparing that position and presenting it to the world, it’s a little naive to believe a single visit by a new president would be likely to change it. China wants its cut of the loot. It’s not seeing that happen. It isn’t establishing a “negotiating position” in front of the arrival of world leaders, it is stating a fact – China foresees little if anything coming out of Copenhagen. While other countries and world leaders may feel intense pressure to make something happen, China doesn’t. If Copenhagen falls flat on its face, as it appears it will, nothing changes for China in terms of limiting emissions. It will simply patiently wait for the next international conference, where the pressure on industrialized nations will be even higher, to again make its demands.
Why am I making that assertion? Buried further on in the story is this paragraph:
China has been a natural godfather to many of the Group of 77 countries because its government has extensive investments in Africa and Latin America, often involving lucrative deals to bring oil and minerals home.
China is emerging as a leader among the 130 nations that make up the misnamed Group of 77. While Hugo Chavez may be the court jester, the real power of that group lays with China. And China sees a developing power vacuum with the diminished role of the US – partially due to the financial crisis and partially due to a young and inexperienced president. Again, they’re not staking out a negotiating position, they’re telling the rest of the powers the way the table is set. Demands will follow later.
Meanwhile Secretary of State Hillary Clinton arrived in town flashing your cash as an incentive for “poorer” nations to cooperate and collect:
Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton, who arrived in Copenhagen overnight, announced on Thursday that the United States would participate in a $100 billion fund to help poor and vulnerable nations adapt to climate change and build more energy efficient economies. She cautioned, however, that American participation in the fund was contingent on reaching a firm agreement this week.
It was the first time the Obama administration had made a commitment to a medium-term financing effort and a clear effort to unblock a negotiation that has been stalled. She said the money would be a mix of public and private funds, including “alternative sources of finance,” which she did not specify.
Nor did she say what the American share of the fund would be, although typically in such multilateral financial efforts the United States contributes about 20 percent.
Of course 100 billion isn’t anywhere near what the “poorer” nations want. In fact, a group of Central America nations want somewhere in the neighborhood of 115 billion alone.
The circus reaches crescendo tomorrow as the remaining world leaders, including President Obama arrive. Given the way this is shaping up, it appears it may be another “Olympic event” for the president.