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“Nemesis” – the dark star

It sounds like something right out of a good SiFi book, but NASA believes it has identified the cause of the mass extinction of the dinosaurs.

AN invisible star responsible for the extinction of dinosaurs may be circling the Sun and causing comets to bombard the Earth, scientists said.

The brown dwarf – up to five times the size of Jupiter – could be to blame for mass extinctions that occur here every 26 million years.

The star – nicknamed Nemesis by NASA scientists – would be invisible as it only emits infrared light and is incredibly distant. Nemesis is believed to orbit our solar system at 25,000 times the distance of the Earth to the Sun.

As it spins through the galaxy, its gravitational pull drags icy bodies out of the Oort Cloud – a vast sphere of rock and dust twice as far away as Nemesis.

These “snowballs” are thrown towards Earth as comets, causing devastation similar to the asteroid that wiped out the dinosaurs 65 million years ago.

Yes, that’s right, we have an brown dwarf throwing snowballs at us. You know, when you put it like that, it just doesn’t sound as threatening does it?

NASA hopes to find it using a new heat-seeking telescope. Apparently the first clue that Nemesis was out there was the discovery of another dwarf:

Scientists’ first clue to the existence of Nemesis was the bizarre orbit of a dwarf planet called Sedna. Scientists believe its unusual, 12,000-year-long oval orbit could be explained by a massive celestial body.

Mike Brown, who discovered Sedna in 2003, said: “Sedna is a very odd object – it shouldn’t be there.

“The only way to get on an eccentric orbit is to have some giant body kick you – so what is out there?”

Nemesis – the dark star, of course.

Yeah, much better.

~McQ

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Climate-gate – How will the US media cover it?

USA Today’s cover story today is entitled “Is the Global Warming movement cooling”.  It features Penn State University professor Michael Mann who is puzzled, puzzled I tell you, over all the controversy.  My favorite Mann quote:

“I look at it like this: Let’s say that you’re in your car, you open up the owner’s manual, and you discover a typo on page 225. Does that mean you stop driving the car? Of course not. Those are the kind of errors we’re talking about here,” Mann says. “Nothing has fundamentally changed.”

USA Today lists his research as:

Mann’s research, which used tree rings, coral and other historical indicators to estimate how temperatures have risen in recent centuries, has been used by the IPCC in its reports.

Not a word about the infamous “hockey stick”. Not. A. Word. Of course the “hockey stick” and cherry picked tree-ring and temperature data have been the foundation of the IPCC’s conclusions. All have been found to be highly suspect by other scientists.

But to return to Mann’s self-serving analogy, this isn’t about a typo in the car’s owner’s manual.  This is about a fatal flaw in the engine.  The Himalayan glacier nonsense may be considered a “typo”, but the hockey stick, tree ring and temperature data is the foundation of the “consensus” opinion.

The article goes on to note that despite the controversy the Obama administration agree’s with the Mann analogy.

Carol Browner, the White House’s director on climate and energy policy, says there are “thousands and thousands” of scientists whose work provides evidence of global warming. She told USA TODAY that, based on her frequent visits to Capitol Hill, recent questions over science have not changed a single vote in Congress on climate change legislation.

“It’s easy to misuse these isolated reports of problems to suggest that the science behind global warming is somehow wrong,” Browner says.

It is also easy to ignore it when not doing so works directly against the outcome and result you’d prefer to see – government restrictions against and regulation of so-called “greenhouse gases.” And I doubt Ms. Browner has her finger on the pulse of Congress. Even today, Democrats included, they’re considering legislation that would block the EPA from unilaterally imposing restrictions on CO2 output.

The article is quite long, and I suggest you read it, but one further item of note – a new excuse, I suppose, for the “typo” in the “owner’s manual”:

Tim Wirth, a former U.S. senator who is now president of the United Nations Foundation, defends the IPCC, stating it has an annual budget of “only” about $3 million and relies almost entirely on volunteers to produce and fact-check its content.

Wirth says the organization would be aided by adding more scientists to its full-time staff. Yet he also criticizes what he called “K Street (Washington) PR firms … who are hired to examine every (detail) of the IPCC report and find problems and then get them out into the public domain.”

“It’s not a fair fight,” Wirth says. “The IPCC is just a tiny secretariat next to this giant denier machine.”

“Giant denier machine?” It’s mostly been individuals and bloggers. Volunteers.  The controversy broke in the UK, not in DC.  Most of the global warming research was funded by governments, for heaven sake, which are able to outspend any outside group without breaking a sweat. And then we have Al Gore, a movie and entire movement spreading the gospel of AGW as well.

But to the larger point – these volunteer fact-checkers were apparently good enough for Wirth and the governments around the world to propose draconian taxes and restrictive policies, but now that the results are being called into serious question, suddenly the IPCC – the Nobel Peace Prize winning IPCC – is just a “tiny secretariat” staffed mostly by volunteers.

Seems to me that while the US media, in this case in the guise of USA Today, has finally determined it can’t ignore the Climate-gate controversy anymore, if this article is any indication of its thrust, you can expect to see the problem minimized and ignored, despite the word count.

~McQ

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About that “increased moisture” due to global warming …

The latest “proof”offered by the alarmists such as Al Gore to explain how all the snow this year is a result of global warming is to claim global warming causes there to be moisture in the air. Thus, sayeth the Goracle, more rain and snow should be expected.

The first thing that struck me without looking at any science is, if it was warmer and there was more moisture in the air causing more precipitation, wouldn’t that precipitation be in the form of rain? I mean, if it’s really warmer and all. As it turns out though, Gore and the alarmists are flatly wrong. Apparently there’s actually less moisture in the air right now than in previous decades:

According to “State of the Climate” from the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, “Global precipitation in 2009 was near the 1961-1990 average.” And there was certainly no pattern of increasing rain and snow on America’s East Coast during the post-1976 years, when NOAA says the globe began to heat up.

In fact:

In late January, Scientific American reported: “A mysterious drop in water vapor in the lower stratosphere might be slowing climate change,” and noted that “an apparent increase in water vapor in this region in the 1980s and 1990s exacerbated global warming.”

The new study came from a group of scientists, mainly from the NOAA lab in Boulder. The scientists found: “Stratospheric water-vapor concentrations decreased by about 10 percent after the year 2000 . . . This acted to slow the rate of increase in global surface temperature over 2000 to 2009 by about 25 percent.”

Specifically, the study found that water vapor rising from the tropics has been reduced, because it has gotten cooler there (another inconvenient truth). A Wall Street Journal headline summed it up: “Slowdown in Warming Linked to Water Vapor.”

Moisture in the lower stratosphere (about 8 miles above the earth’s surface) has been going down, not up.

So obviously the Gore/alarmist claim that all of this heavy snow fall can be explained by the global warming theory – er, assertion – is so much nonsense. Not that anyone should be surprised.

It appears now they’re reduced to just making unsubstantiated claims in an effort to salvage the momentum and credibility they’ve rapidly lost since the inception of climategate. This bit of deception is just another nail in the AGW alarmist coffin.

~McQ

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IPCC Hurricane Conclusions Called Into Question

And the hits keep on coming.  Now it is hurricane data being called into question:

More trouble looms for the IPCC. The body may need to revise statements made in its Fourth Assessment Report on hurricanes and global warming. A statistical analysis of the raw data shows that the claims that global hurricane activity has increased cannot be supported.

Dr. Les Hatton says he is neither “a warmist nor a denialist”, but a scientist. And as a scientist he took a look at the IPCC’s claims about hurricanes and found them wanting:

Hatton performed a z-test statistical analysis of the period 1999-2009 against 1946-2009 to test the six conclusions. He also ran the data ending with what the IPCC had available in 2007. He found that North Atlantic hurricane activity increased significantly, but the increase was counterbalanced by diminished activity in the East Pacific, where hurricane-strength storms are 50 per cent more prevalent. The West Pacific showed no significant change. Overall, the declines balance the increases.

“When you average the number of storms and their strength, it almost exactly balances.” This isn’t indicative of an increase in atmospheric energy manifesting itself in storms.

Says Hatton, after running his statitistical analysis and reading the IPCC report, he found it’s conclusions could not be supported by the data:

The IPCC continues: “It is more likely than not (> 50%) that there has been some human contribution to the increases in hurricane intensity.” But, as Hatton points out, that conclusion comes from computer climate models, not from the observational data, which show no increase.

“The IPCC goes on to make statements that would never pass peer review,” Hatton told us. A more scientifically useful conclusion would have been to ask why there was a disparity. “This differential behaviour to me is very interesting. If it’s due to increased warming in one place, and decreased warming in the other – then that’s interesting to me.”

It would be interesting to others as well since it might indicate the observed warming was a result of regional weather, not global warming. Hatton has put his work on his personal web site (you can see it here) and issued an open invitation to prove his analysis wrong. Al Gore has said he’ll get right on it.

~McQ

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AGW – The Phil Jones Interview: So Much For Settled Science

An amazing interview with Dr. Phil “hide the decline” Jones from the East Anglia University CRU. Jones granted an interview to the BBC. You can read the whole thing here.

A couple of excerpts.  On the question of “settled science” so beloved of those who like to use it like a club to stifle discussion:

Q: When scientists say “the debate on climate change is over”, what exactly do they mean – and what don’t they mean?

A: It would be supposition on my behalf to know whether all scientists who say the debate is over are saying that for the same reason. I don’t believe the vast majority of climate scientists think this. This is not my view. There is still much that needs to be undertaken to reduce uncertainties, not just for the future, but for the instrumental (and especially the palaeoclimatic) past as well.

Or, “no the science isn’t settled”.  In fact, it is far from settled.

And to the question of how unique this particular period is?

Q: Do you agree that according to the global temperature record used by the IPCC, the rates of global warming from 1860-1880, 1910-1940 and 1975-1998 were identical?

A: […] So, in answer to the question, the warming rates for all 4 periods are similar and not statistically significantly different from each other.

That should take care of the smug assurances of the AGW alarmists that there’s no need for further debate or science.  Jones doesn’t back off stating his belief that most of the recent climate change is a result of man, but it is clear his science isn’t as strong as it was once believed to be.

Newsbusters has some analysis covering some of the other questions in the interview, to include the Medieval Warm Period, “hide the decline” and temperature measurements.  Note that Jones cites his CRU’s temperature measurements, the Met’s temps and NASA/GISS.  All have been called into question by other scientists.

Then add in all the mistakes and unsourced, unpeer reviewed “facts” included in the IPCC report, it is apparent that the AGW claim to scientific relevance is at least on life-support.

~McQ

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Deficit Of Trust – AGW Edition

The population of Britain is apparently finally catching on to the scam that’s been perpetrated by the man-made global warming crowd, and skepticism is thankfully on the rise:

“It is very unusual indeed to see such a dramatic shift in opinion in such a short period,” Populus managing director Michael Simmonds told BBC News.

“The British public are sceptical about man’s contribution to climate change – and becoming more so,” he added.

“More people are now doubters than firm believers.”

A definite “deficit of trust” developing about the “science” of global warming – particularly that trying to hang the blame on the activities of man.

And in more “deficit of trust” news, India has declared it will form it’s own scientific panel to study climate since it finds the IPCC unreliable:

The Indian government has established its own body to monitor the effects of global warming because it “cannot rely” on the United Nations’ Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change, the group headed by its own leading scientist Dr R.K Pachauri.

[…]

“There is a fine line between climate science and climate evangelism. I am for climate science. I think people misused [the] IPCC report, [the] IPCC doesn’t do the original research which is one of the weaknesses… they just take published literature and then they derive assessments, so we had goof-ups on Amazon forest, glaciers, snow peaks.

“I respect the IPCC but India is a very large country and cannot depend only on [the] IPCC and so we have launched the Indian Network on Comprehensive Climate Change Assessment (INCCA),” he said.

I think India picks up the fatal problem with the current “science” – it’s more of a form of evangelism than it is real science, and “facts” are manipulated (or made up) to fit.

The Dutch government is also “not amused”. The Dutch environment minister, Jaqueline Cramer, has called for a complete investigation of the 2007 IPCC report. A Dutch magazine uncovered the fact that it incorrectly states 55 percent of the country lies below sea level:

When Cramer heard of that blunder she wrote a letter to the IPCC, saying she was “not amused” there were mistakes in the scientific report she bases the Dutch environmental policies on. Now she is confronted with errors in the data about her own country. “This can’t happen again,” the minister told reporters in The Hague on Wednesday. “The public trust in science and politics has been badly damaged.”

Ya think?

Cramer puts her finger on the problem governments are now confronting given the errors, some relatively trivial and some profound, in the IPCC’s report. When will that sort of concern surface here? As recently as the SOTU, President Obama still holds to the alarmist line that the “science is overwhelming” when, in fact, the “science” is being overwhelmed by revelations of data manipulation, fraud and made-up “facts”.

~McQ

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IPCC Chief Tries To Hang On

The fact that a former railroad engineer has been previously touted as the “world’s leading climate scientist” pretty much sums this whole IPCC/AGW scam in a nutshell.

Of course I’m talking about Rajendra Pachauri, chairman of the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) and the man directly responsible for ensuring the scientific credibility of that report. As we’re learning it has as much scientific credibility as an Al Gore movie.

There are now calls for him to step down as the chair of that panel. The latest has come from John Sauven, director of Greenpeace UK , who says Pachauri should have acted to correct the record immediately after learning that the Himalayan glacier claim contained in the IPCC report had been refuted – even if its correction would have caused embarrassment in Copenhagen.

But of course he didn’t – which brings us to the “what did he know and when did he know it” question.

A journalist working for Science had told Dr Pachauri several times late last year that glaciologists had refuted the IPCC claim that Himalayan glaciers would disappear by 2035. Dr Pachauri refused to address the problem, saying: “I don’t have anything to add on glaciers.” He suggested that the error would not be corrected until 2013 or 2014, when the IPCC next reported.

The IPCC issued a correction and apology on January 20, three days after the error had made global headlines. Mr Sauven said: “Mistakes will always be made but it’s how you handle those mistakes which affects the credibility of the institution. Pachauri should have put his hand up and said ‘we made a mistake’. It’s in these situations that your character and judgment is tested. Do you make the right judgment call? He clearly didn’t.”

Sauven’s absolutely correct in as far as his assertion goes. But this wasn’t a mistake as Sauven claims. At the point Pachauri learned this claim was untrue and chose not to reveal that, it became fraud. Additionally, a “mistake” is something altogether different than the deliberate inclusion of data which has no basis in scientific fact. Pachauri and those on the panel who included this report knew it had no accepted research to back it and that it had not been peer reviewed. And, of course, the glaciers aren’t the only such problem that’s been found in the IPCC report. We now know the Amazon rain forest claim in the report has been refuted as well and have learned that it’s basis was a paper by the WWF on logging – not global warming – destroying up to 40% of the area.

Sauven’s real concern here is to attempt to save the scientific credibility of both the report and the panel. It’s not going to happen. It is becoming common knowledge that the base data used by the panel to formulate its conclusions are, at best, questionable (CRU). And now we have two examples of decidedly unscientific work being included with the implicit claim that it was researched, peer reviewed and the findings conclusive. They were not. How much more remains to be found that further make the report a scientific laughing stock

But while Sauven’s attempt may not bear the fruit he’d like, it would be nice, just once, to see some public official held accountable for the mess he or she has made. But then, we’re talking about the UN here – the same organization which recently shut down it’s own internal ethics and corruption organization because it was finding too many problems in both areas. Pachauri is probably safe to continue in his position for as long as he desires.

Dr Pachauri did not return calls yesterday but he told Indian television at the weekend that he believed attacks on him were being orchestrated by companies facing lower profits because of actions against climate change recommended by the IPCC.He added: “My credibility has been established because I was re-elected chairman in 2008 by all the countries of the world. They must have been satisfied with what I did in terms of the fourth assessment report [published in 2007] because they have given me the mandate of completing the fifth assessment report [to be released over 2013 and 2014] which I intend doing.”

Of course, his re-election took place well before the revelations about glaciers and rainforests (and while he can’t be held responsible for the temperature fiasco, before that as well). If he remains in his position and produces the next edition of the report, it’s scientific credibility will immediately be called into question before the first paragraph is read.

If the UN wants to have its next attempt at cobbling together a narrative useful for demanding the redistribution of global wealth outlining the problems of man-made global warming, it had best can Pachauri.

~McQ

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Global Warming “Science” And The Media

Another day, another revelation of fudged numbers in the so-called “settled science” of man-made global warming.  The Guardian has a piece about Phil Jones and what appears to be made-up data about temperatures in China.  You can read it here.

But Andrew Bolt has the bigger story that is strarting to finally emerge. That is how complicit the media – to include the Guardian – have been in promoting the alarmist screed over the years.

The only real things that’s changed now is the media’s willingness to see the fraud and fiddling that was always part of the great global warming scam. To finally see the fraud and fiddling that bloggers have written about for years.

Indeed. Now that there’s blood in the water, they’re interested (well at least the UK media is) in the story and the fraud. But:

For nearly three years, mathematician Douglas Keenan has campaigned to get the University of East Anglia, the University of Albany, the IPCC and the media to accept that a key piece of evidence behind the IPCC’s claims that the world was warming was based on a study that was wrong, if not outright fraudulent. Keenan described not just the tricking up of results to hide the urban heat island effect, but the disgraceful efforts by climate scientists and University of Albany administrators to hush up the scandal.

And, for three years Keenan was ignored by the media which showed very little skepticism when it came to alarmist claims.  Instead, they kept promoting the alarmist agenda until it could no longer be supported and only then, when confronted by factual evidence that couldn’t be waved away, did they finally decide to look into the growing scandal.

But now there’s a great change. There is now a race on to uncover the next big IPCC scandal, and I doubt the great climate change scare can survive. The papers will, of course, take the credit.

Well, they’ll certainly try. But there are years of blog archives which are available to point out where the credit really goes for helping to expose one of the most massive “scientific” frauds ever perpetrated. And it isn’t “the papers”.

~McQ

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About That Settled “Science”

More information about the now discredited Himalayan glacier claim:

The scientist behind the bogus claim in a Nobel Prize-winning UN report that Himalayan glaciers will have melted by 2035 last night admitted it was included purely to put political pressure on world leaders.

Dr Murari Lal also said he was well aware the statement, in the 2007 report by the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC), did not rest on peer-reviewed scientific research.

In an interview with The Mail on Sunday, Dr Lal, the co-ordinating lead author of the report’s chapter on Asia, said: ‘It related to several countries in this region and their water sources. We thought that if we can highlight it, it will impact policy-makers and politicians and encourage them to take some concrete action.

As is obvious the so-called “science” was nothing more than concocted tripe used strictly for political purposes. And the fact that it was included, without peer review and never double checked raises doubts about the scientific nature of the IPCC report in toto. Lal’s admission is incredible. The fact that it was never further checked by those who put their reputations on the line by signing the IPCC document is equally as incredible.

As we skeptics have been saying since the beginning, this is as much about a political agenda as it is about science, and in the last few months, the science has been found to be severely wanting. This is simply the latest in a long line of credibility destroying revelations which should have now made every thinking person out there a skeptic when it comes to the “science” of AGW.

~McQ

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