Jeff Jacoby points out that climate change alarmists have fouled their nest so badly that the majority of the public in general has now concluded their cause is overhyped. Climate change, as a pressing priority, is receding in the public’s eyes. It simply doesn’t consider the warning credible. Why?
Well answer this – if Harold Camping came out today and claimed that the world was going to end on October 21st, after previously claiming it would end on May 21st, how much credence would you give his claim?
About as much as the scaremongers in the AGW game, one supposes, since much of what they warned would happen not only hasn’t happened but doesn’t appear likely to happen. As I noted yesterday, however, that doesn’t keep the scare machine from cranking out new and more horrible predictions.
Jacoby points to one made by Newsweek which is, well, laughable on its face.
“Worldwide, the litany of weather’s extremes has reached biblical proportions,’’ Newsweek intones, pointing to tornadoes in the United States, floods in Australia and Pakistan, and drought in China. “From these and other extreme-weather events, one lesson is sinking in with terrifying certainty. The stable climate of the last 12,000 years is gone.’’ This is what comes of burning fossil fuels for energy, which has increased atmospheric CO2 levels by 40 percent above what they were before the Industrial Revolution. “You haven’t seen anything yet,’’ Newsweek preaches. “Batten down the hatches.’’
Anyone spot the blatant bit of nonsense in there? We’ve never had a “stable climate” for the last 12,000 years. Jacoby quotes William Happer, distinguished Princeton physicist, on the reality of that time period:
“Carbon is the stuff of life,’’ he points out. “Our bodies are made of carbon.’’ Yes, atmospheric CO2 is higher today than it was before the industrial age — 390 parts per million now vs. 270 ppm then — but there was a time when “CO2 levels were several thousand ppm, much higher than now. And life flourished abundantly.’’ Indeed, greenhouse operators artificially boost CO2 concentrations in order to grow better flowers and fruit.
So why recoil from the modest increase in carbon emissions caused by fossil-fuel use? Because more CO2 means more climate change? Happer shoots down that idea. The earth’s climate is always changing, sometimes dramatically. During the medieval warming of a thousand years ago, temperatures were much higher than they are now; during the Little Ice Age six centuries later they were much lower. “Yet there is no evidence for significant increase of CO2 in the medieval warm period, nor for a significant decrease at the time of the subsequent little ice age.’’
It is like history and the climate records that go with it don’t exist for the alarmist crowd. If you can’t explain it, apparently it is now ok to ignore it. Thus the Medieval Warm Period and the Little Ice Age – inconvenient facts that refute the claim – seemingly never happened. Not if you want to push the “12,000 years” of “stable climate”.
As I’ve asked any number of times, when did the science that previously saw CO2 as a lagging indicator change it into a leading indicator or cause of warming? It hasn’t. Nor does it have the amplifying effect that the alarmists claim through their flawed models. In fact, none of the predictions they have made over the years have even come close to fruition for the reasons they state. And it is clear, as we actually have real scientists study the atmosphere and climate, that there is still a vast amount they are discovering about the climate. This, for instance:
Scientists at Marine Biological Laboratory say trees in a mini-forest where they simulated future global warming stored more carbon, a bonus offset for expected higher CO2 releases from the faster decay of organic matter in soil as Earth heats up.
Apparently as the atmosphere warms, trees store more carbon as “woody tissue”. Result?
But project leader Jerry Melillo of MBL said this study demonstrates for the first time that global warming would also be likely to increase the carbon storing potential of trees, by speeding up nitrogen cycling in the forest — more matter decomposing frees up more inorganic nitrogen compounds, such as ammonium (also known as garden fertilizer), causing greater tree growth and more tree tissue available to store carbon.
The increased carbon storage capacity of the trees in MBL’s Harvard Forest experiment was enough to outpace atmospheric CO2 gain resulting from the warmer soil, Melillo concluded.
And most likely, any human contribution, as small as it is, would also be absorbed. One could also theorize that other plant life might also store more CO2 than they do now. Of course, if true, that would likely mean that the human contribution (or CO2 for that matter) was not having the effect that alarmists attempt to claim, but instead the warming was due to other causes.
I’m sure, however, since this is a recent discovery, that the models don’t factor that in. Of course, they don’t factor in cloud albedo either – something not only critical to our climate, but fundamental. But hey, that would get in the way of the desired results, wouldn’t it?
AGW is slowly strangling on its own fouled science. As I pointed out yesterday and Jacoby points out today, that’s only increased the stridency of these cranks. Scaremongering is headed to new heights in the coming months. And, as it turns out, the basis for their “end of the world” scenarios is about as firm as that of Harold Camping and his end of the world claims.
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In advance of the December climate summit in South Africa this year, the scare-factory is ramping up its efforts to sell the need for “drastic action” to prevent “climate change”, the current euphemism for AGW. The stories are beginning to flow.
Last year, a record 30.6 gigatonnes of carbon dioxide poured into the atmosphere, mainly from burning fossil fuel – a rise of 1.6Gt on 2009, according to estimates from the IEA regarded as the gold standard for emissions data.
"I am very worried. This is the worst news on emissions," Birol told the Guardian. "It is becoming extremely challenging to remain below 2 degrees. The prospect is getting bleaker. That is what the numbers say."
Of course the not-so-hidden premise here is that any increase in temperature is driven by our carbon dioxide emissions, even when the science doesn’t support the theory and models which make such a claim (about CO2 amplification) have been shown to be wildly inaccurate. That doesn’t stop the scare-factory from ignoring the discredited nonsense to make their claims:
Professor Lord Stern of the London School of Economics, the author of the influential Stern Report into the economics of climate change for the Treasury in 2006, warned that if the pattern continued, the results would be dire. "These figures indicate that [emissions] are now close to being back on a ‘business as usual’ path. According to the [Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change's] projections, such a path … would mean around a 50% chance of a rise in global average temperature of more than 4C by 2100," he said.
Except the IPCC’s report, as anyone who has read this blog knows, has been mostly discredited, thereby yielding this result:
Added to that, the United Nations-led negotiations on a new global treaty on climate change have stalled. "The significance of climate change in international policy debates is much less pronounced than it was a few years ago," said Birol.
Consequently, the scare-factory must crank up its stridency to new levels. So expect to see more of this as December approaches. The formula is pretty predictable:
By 2030, the average cost of key crops could increase by between 120% and 180%, the charity forecasts.
It is the acceleration of a trend which has already seen food prices double in the last 20 years.
Half of the rise to come will be caused by climate change, Oxfam predicts.
Can you guess what the other cause is?
In its report, Oxfam says a "broken" food system causes "hunger, along with obesity, obscene waste, and appalling environmental degradation".
It says "power above all determines who eats and who does not", and says the present system was "constructed by and on behalf of a tiny minority – its primary purpose to deliver profit for them".
It highlights subsidies for big agricultural producers, powerful investors "playing commodities markets like casinos", and large unaccountable agribusiness companies as destructive forces in the global food system.
Oxfam wants nations to agree new rules to govern food markets, to ensure the poor do not go hungry.
Or “capitalism”. Oxfam’s “solution” is no different than the AGW alarmist’s solutions:
It calls on world leaders to improve regulation of food markets and invest in a global climate fund.
Of course it does. And those “improved regulations” and the “global climate fund” will shift power where? To centralized authorities. And we all know how well central planning works don’t we? After all, under the USSR and Maoist China, central planning adequately fed their citizens for years, didn’t it?
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Of course it is not unusual to find someone, somewhere who has swallowed the Al Gore driven AGW mantra whole who wants to tie extreme weather events to man-made global warming.
Bill McKibben, a journalist blogging at the Washington Post, gives it a new twist with a whole bunch of links to weather events that have to be – that’s right, have to be – caused by global warming (although he sarcastically pretends there are no such links in an attempt to shame skeptics by what he seems to consider obvious linkage).
Never mind the mean temperature globally hasn’t risen over the past decade, and the climate models that predicted all this have been proven to be wrong, that the conditions necessary for there to be a greenhouse effect from CO2 don’t exist nor have they ever, the “hockey stick” was broken years ago, that the data has been admittedly fudged or manipulated and that they couldn’t “hide the decline”, this is all because of global warming. Because “warm air holds more moisture than dry air”.
Of course most of his examples are really, honestly laughable on their face. For instance:
It is not advisable to try to connect them in your mind with, say, the fires burning across Texas — fires that have burned more of America at this point this year than any wildfires have in previous years. Texas, and adjoining parts of Oklahoma and New Mexico, are drier than they’ve ever been — the drought is worse than that of the Dust Bowl. But do not wonder if they’re somehow connected.
What happened to the moisture laden air? And how about his reference – the 30’s era dust bowl? It couldn’t be natural systems again asserting themselves, could it? No, of course not, because then the cause couldn’t be pinned on AGW, could it? El Nino and La Nina? Forget about them. You need to buy into this simplistic explanation of why bad weather events are happening.
If you did wonder, you see, you would also have to wonder about whether this year’s record snowfalls and rainfalls across the Midwest — resulting in record flooding along the Mississippi — could somehow be related. And then you might find your thoughts wandering to, oh, global warming, and to the fact that climatologists have been predicting for years that as we flood the atmosphere with carbon we will also start both drying and flooding the planet, since warm air holds more water vapor than cold air.
Well they’ve been predicting mega hurricanes for years as well, and we’ve had very mild hurricane seasons. We’re also supposed to be up to our rear ends in water right now, what with melting glaciers and ice pack, but we’ve found out that the data for that has been fudged too. And we had similar floods in – 1927 – well before the era in which we’ve supposedly polluted our planet to the point that it is now “striking back”. And what about the Johnstown flood of 1889? What were their cause?
Propose your own physics; ignore physics altogether. Just don’t start asking yourself whether there might be some relation among last year’s failed grain harvest from the Russian heat wave, and Queensland’s failed grain harvest from its record flood, and France’s and Germany’s current drought-related crop failures, and the death of the winter wheat crop in Texas, and the inability of Midwestern farmers to get corn planted in their sodden fields. Surely the record food prices are just freak outliers, not signs of anything systemic.
You don’t have to propose you own anything, you just have to inform yourself. For instance, the Russian heat wave:
The deadly heat wave that seared Russia last summer was driven primarily by a natural weather phenomenon, not man-made causes, government researchers said in a study Wednesday.
In their report, the scientists concluded that the extreme temperatures were caused by the formation of a blocking pattern, a massive high-pressure ridge that halted the normal movement of cooling storms from the west and allowed warm air to flow north from the tropics. Such anomalies are relatively common and the result of natural actions, though the intensity of the one over Russia was highly unusual.
The role of human-caused warming could not be discerned from the natural weather patterns behind the event, Dr. Dole said.
You see, it is much easier to speculate than to do the research necessary to understand weather and patterns, or to simply hit Google. They are indeed signs of something systemic, just not the system the Alarmists would prefer. But as you can see, that doesn’t stop them from attempting to “connect the dots” as they pretend.
The Alarmists have an agenda. They are clearly on the defensive. Their predictive power has been shown to be essentially worthless. So they’re back to claiming weather events prove their point. The twist is they want to link them all together even when they obviously have nothing to do with their claim – see Russia – because they think the more of these events they can claim, the greater the force of their argument.
Yeah, not working guys. Again, while everyone knows CO2 is a greenhouse gas, it doesn’t work as the models theorized it works and thus doesn’t have the amplifying effect they claim. Consequently, it isn’t doing what they want to claim it does. Secondly, man’s contribution to the overall amount of CO2 emitted naturally is miniscule and not worth doing anything about and especially, as noted, since CO2 doesn’t do what the Alarmist claim it does.
Finally, climate does change – always has. No one denies that. Most on the skeptical side of AGW simply don’t buy the Alarmist’s claims – because they certainly aren’t proven science – that man has anything to do with it. We write most of those claims off to hubris, not science.
[HT: Chad M]
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After the story this morning about the alarmist scientist turned skeptic this story comes as the cherry on top of the AGW sundae:
Faced with the embarrassing fact that sea level is not rising nearly as much as has been predicted, the University of Colorado’s NASA-funded Sea Level Research Group has announced it will begin adding a nonexistent 0.3 millimeters per year to its Global Mean Sea Level Time Series. As a result, alarmists will be able to present sea level charts asserting an accelerating rise in sea level that is not occurring in the real world.
Human civilization readily adapted to the seven inches of sea level rise that occurred during the twentieth century. Alarmists, however, claim global warming will cause sea level to rise much more rapidly during the present century. United Nations Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) computer models project approximately 15 inches of sea level rise during the 21st century. That’s more than double the sea level rise that occurred during the twentieth century. A more “mainstream” prediction among alarmists is 3 feet of sea level rise this century. Some alarmists have even projected 20 feet of global sea level rise this century.
Satellite measurements, however, show global sea level rose merely 0.83 inches during the first decade of the 21st century (a pace of just 8 inches for the entire century), and has barely risen at all since 2006. This puts alarmists in the embarrassing position of defending predictions that are not coming true in the real world.
So, as with temperature and other data that has been used in this scam, they decided to doctor the numbers.
The NASA-funded group claims glacial melt is removing weight that had been pressing down on land masses, which in turn is causing land mass to rise. This welcome news mitigates sea-level rise from melting glacial ice, meaning sea level will rise less than previously thought. However, it is very inconvenient for alarmist sea level predictions. Therefore, instead of reporting the amount by which sea level is rising in the real world, the Sea Level Research Group has begun adding 0.3 millimeters per year of fictitious sea level rise to “compensate” for rising land mass.
The extra 0.3 millimeters of fictitious sea level rise will add up to 1.2 inches over the course of the 21st century. While this is not monumental in and of itself, it will allow alarmists to paint a dramatically different picture of sea level rise than is occurring in the real world. For example, the current pace of 8 inches of sea level rise for the present century is essentially no different than the 7 inches of sea level rise that occurred last century. However, with an artificially enhanced 9.2 inches of sea level rise, alarmists can claim sea level is rising 31 percent faster than it did last century.
All I hope is Guam doesn’t tip over because of all of this.
If there’s anyone out there that still believes the “science” involved here is valid much less settled, you might want to buy some ocean front property in Idaho.
It’s becoming laughable, isn’t it?
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You perhaps recall that the AGW doomsayers, via the UN, announced in 2005 that by 2010 there would be 50 million “climate refugees” driven from their homes by the adverse effect of global warming.
It’s always nice to check up on the accuracy of such predictions to gauge how well they jibe with reality.
In this case, it’s a complete miss. As most of us know, the measured “global temperature” has been steadily going down (as the natural cycles of the earth again do what they’ve done for billions of years). So what’s the status of all of those refugees?
Well, Gavin Atkinson gives us a nice little update based on the recent census data from various “at risk” places. Remember, we were supposed to see the first effects of warming on the “very sensitive low lying islands of the Pacific and Caribbean”.
Nassau, The Bahamas – The 2010 national statistics recorded that the population growth increased to 353,658 persons in The Bahamas. The population change figure increased by 50,047 persons during the last 10 years.
The island-nation of Saint Lucia recorded an overall household population increase of 5 percent from May 2001 to May 2010 based on estimates derived from a complete enumeration of the population of Saint Lucia during the conduct of the recently completed 2010 Population and Housing Census.
Population 2002, 81755
Population 2010, 88311
The latest Solomon Islands population has surpassed half a million – that’s according to the latest census results.
It’s been a decade since the last census report, and in that time the population has leaped 100-thousand.
How about all those cities that were going to be underwater because of melting glaciers and ice packs?
Meanwhile, far from being places where people are fleeing, no fewer than the top six of the very fastest growing cities in China, Shenzzen, Dongguan, Foshan, Zhuhai, Puning and Jinjiang, are absolutely smack bang within the shaded areas identified as being likely sources of climate refugees.
Similarly, many of the fastest growing cities in the United States also appear within or close to the areas identified by the UNEP as at risk of having climate refugees.
When it all comes down to it, AGW increasingly appears to fall in the category of the usual lefty doomsaying that never lives up to the fear factor with which its proponents attempt to radically change the way we live in order to supposedly save us from ourselves. Think the population bomb with fossil fuel as the target instead of government mandated population control.
Of course the unfortunate thing is many of our politicians on the left and a whole raft of politicians throughout the world (and particularly in the UN) continue to push this farce. The reason is simple. There’s a whole lot of money to be extracted from this scare. World governments can cash in on a “problem” they’ve literally invented out of thin air.
So don’t look for it to go quietly into the night. All that crap about putting science first is just that. They’ve picked their side for obvious reasons and intend to push it all the way to the bank.
That’s one of the reasons stories like this need to be highlighted – so when they inevitably try to get in you wallet again, you have something to fight back with. This is the reality of their predictions – and it is completely the opposite of what their “science” told them would happen.
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Science is about discovery, the expansion of knowledge, how things work and what that means. What it is not, or shouldn’t be, is an accessory to politics. Politics isn’t about any of those things. Politics is about the application of power to move things in a particular direction. So when pure science teams up with politics to become advocacy “science” bad things are most likely to happen.
The IPCC report specifically, and climate science in general, are learning that the hard way. James Taylor, who seems open to the AGW arguments, asks the salient questions generated by the last IPCC report and subsequent findings. Using Godfather II as an analogy, he sets up the point:
The UN Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) Third Assessment Report was as straightforward as Frank Pentangeli’s earlier confession that he had killed on behalf of Michael Corleone. “Milder winter temperatures will decrease heavy snowstorms,” IPCC reported.
That was in 2001. Now, however, with an unprecedented number of major winter snowstorms hitting the northeastern U.S. during the past two winters, the alarmists are clamming up and changing their tune faster than Tom Hagen can fly in Vincenzo Pentangeli from Italy to aid his brother in his time of trouble.
He’s absolutely right – there was no equivocation in the report. A leads to B. They said the same thing about hurricanes – warming would lead to many more and much more powerful storms. Instead they’re at a historically lower level. Glaciers, snowcaps, all sorts of predictions have been found to be false.
When James confronted the IPCC on this, he got the sort of mushy answer you might expect:
During the question and answer portion of the UCS press conference, I quoted the IPCC Third Assessment Report and asked Masters and Serreze if they were saying IPCC was wrong on the science.
“I would say that we always learn,” replied Serreze. “Have we learned a great deal since the IPCC 2001 report? I would say yes, we have. Climate science, like any other field, is a constantly evolving field and we are always learning.”
Really? What happened to “the debate is over” and “the science is settled”?
For years, alarmists have claimed “the science is settled” and “the debate is over.” Well, when was the science settled? When global warming would allegedly cause Himalayan glaciers to melt by 2035, or now that it won’t? When global warming would allegedly cause fewer heavy snow events, or now that it will allegedly cause more frequent heavy snow events?
You can’t have it both ways and have it be called “science” can you?
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Paul Krugman has suddenly discovered the food shortage in the world. And, he’s come to the conclusion that it has mostly been caused by all the bad weather we’ve been having. Of course that bad weather only be caused by man-made global warming (although there are other scientists claiming otherwise).
While several factors have contributed to soaring food prices, what really stands out is the extent to which severe weather events have disrupted agricultural production. And these severe weather events are exactly the kind of thing we’d expect to see as rising concentrations of greenhouse gases change our climate — which means that the current food price surge may be just the beginning.
Well he’s right about one thing – “these severe weather events” are certainly blamed on man-made global warming, although a body of evidence is developing saying that’s simply not true. But being able to now tie it all to food shortages is a new venue for using scare tactics in an effort to enable government to control and tax something that is absolutely natural.
Krugman knows he’s on shaky ground as can be seen here – but he forges ahead anyway:
It’s true that growth in emerging nations like China leads to rising meat consumption, and hence rising demand for animal feed. It’s also true that agricultural raw materials, especially cotton, compete for land and other resources with food crops — as does the subsidized production of ethanol, which consumes a lot of corn. So both economic growth and bad energy policy have played some role in the food price surge.
Still, food prices lagged behind the prices of other commodities until last summer. Then the weather struck.
Consider the case of wheat, whose price has almost doubled since the summer. The immediate cause of the wheat price spike is obvious: world production is down sharply. The bulk of that production decline, according to U.S. Department of Agriculture data, reflects a sharp plunge in the former Soviet Union. And we know what that’s about: a record heat wave and drought, which pushed Moscow temperatures above 100 degrees for the first time ever.
Yes, it is true that emerging nations are demanding more meat and that means more crops go to feed. Then there’s the ethanol scam using 40% of the corn crop. I guess, in an oblique way, you can blame ethanol on “global warming” too.
Naturally an unusual heat wave is a result of man-made global warming (AGW). So, apparently are monster blizzards (just ask Al Gore). But don’t believe him, let Paul Krugman, global warming expert fill you in:
To some extent we’re seeing the results of a natural phenomenon, La Niña — a periodic event in which water in the equatorial Pacific becomes cooler than normal. And La Niña events have historically been associated with global food crises, including the crisis of 2007-8.
But that’s not the whole story. Don’t let the snow fool you: globally, 2010 was tied with 2005 for warmest year on record, even though we were at a solar minimum and La Niña was a cooling factor in the second half of the year. Temperature records were set not just in Russia but in no fewer than 19 countries, covering a fifth of the world’s land area. And both droughts and floods are natural consequences of a warming world: droughts because it’s hotter, floods because warm oceans release more water vapor.
Yeah, uh, they’re also “natural consequences” of a cooling world, or a world in which the magnetic poles are going to flip, or a world that is experiencing the effects of sun spots, or as mentioned, regional weather patterns.
As always, you can’t attribute any one weather event to greenhouse gases. But the pattern we’re seeing, with extreme highs and extreme weather in general becoming much more common, is just what you’d expect from climate change.
Really – you can’t? But that’s precisely what happens daily, Mr. Krugman. Here’s your crowd on the Moscow heat wave:
According to environmentalists, the heat wave in Russia has been caused by man-made global warming.
Al Gore – after telling us the warmer weather meant less snow in our future is now explaining this winter of humongous snow falls, some of which fell in 49 of the 50 states, as a result of … global warming.
Most folks realize that when you explain something one way, you can’t have it the other way, no matter how convenient it might be to your argument. And yes, that’s an “inconvenient truth”. That also brings us to Krugman’s attempt to wave off critics:
The usual suspects will, of course, go wild over suggestions that global warming has something to do with the food crisis; those who insist that Ben Bernanke has blood on his hands tend to be more or less the same people who insist that the scientific consensus on climate reflects a vast leftist conspiracy.
See, when you use “scientific consensus” you loose all credibility, Mr. Krugman – science isn’t about “consensus”, it’s about skepticism.
And all of this has little to do with believing in a “vast leftist conspiracy” – that’s your strawman. It has to do with bad science and the hacks who push it.
That would include you, sir.
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That’s what some are saying … well have been saying for a few years. And they’re seeing indications of that flip (something that has happened routinely in earth’s history) accelerating.
Magnetic polar shifts have occurred many times in Earth’s history. It’s happening again now to every planet in the solar system including Earth.
So what does that mean to us? Well it can mean some pretty mean weather with significant changes in its patterns, some changed coast lines, and … yes, another ice age.
One early indicator of the upcoming flip, per the article, are “superstorms” – something it claims we’ve been undergoing this year:
The first evidence we have that the dangerous superstorm cycle has started is the devastating series of storms that pounded the UK during late 2010.
On the heels of the lashing the British Isles sustained, monster storms began to lash North America. The latest superstorm—as of this writing—is a monster over the U.S. that stretched across 2,000 miles affecting more than 150 million people.
Yet even as that storm wreaked havoc across the Western, Southern, Midwestern and Northeastern states, another superstorm broke out in the Pacific and closed in on Australia.
The southern continent had already dealt with the disaster of historic superstorm flooding from rains that dropped as much as several feet in a matter of hours. Tens of thousands of homes were damaged or destroyed. After the deluge tiger sharks were spotted swimming between houses in what was once a quiet suburban neighborhood.
Shocked authorities now numbly concede that much of the water may never dissipate and have wearily resigned themselves to the possibility that region will now contain a new inland sea.
But then only a handful of weeks later another superstorm—the megamonster cyclone Yasi—struck northeastern Australia. The damage it left in its wake is being called by rescue workers a war zone.
In fact, and I didn’t realize it, the cyclone, Yasi, was a Category 5+ storm:
The incredible superstorm packed winds near 190mph. Although labeled as a category-5 cyclone, it was theoretically a category-6. The reason for that is storms with winds of 155mph are considered category-5, yet Yasi was almost 22 percent stronger than that.
Anyway, the point of the article is to say these sorts of storms are consistent with the flipping or switching of the poles. And, per the article, that process, i.e. the flipping, has accelerated over the past few years:
The Earth’s northern magnetic pole was moving towards Russia at a rate of about five miles annually. That progression to the East had been happening for decades.
Suddenly, in the past decade the rate sped up. Now the magnetic pole is shifting East at a rate of 40 miles annually, an increase of 800 percent. And it continues to accelerate.
I’ll let you read for yourself the supposed problems this will bring, but suffice it to say, if the numbers quoted are correct for the average length of time between flips in the earth’s history, we are certainly overdue. From an Economist article cited:
"There is, however, a growing body of evidence that the Earth’s magnetic field is about to disappear, at least for a while. The geological record shows that it flips from time to time, with the south pole becoming the north, and vice versa. On average, such reversals take place every 500,000 years, but there is no discernible pattern. Flips have happened as close together as 50,000 years, though the last one was 780,000 years ago. But, as discussed at the Greenland Space Science Symposium, held in Kangerlussuaq this week, the signs are that another flip is coming soon."
But wait, as they say in the commercials, there’s more:
According to some geologists and scientists, we have left the last interglacial period behind us. Those periods are lengths of time—about 11,500 years—between major Ice Ages.
One of the most stunning signs of the approaching Ice Age is what’s happened to the world’s precessional wobble.
The Earth’s wobble has stopped.
Sigh … who to believe, who to believe. The “science” of AGW is “settled” after all.
If science hadn’t become so politicized with grants being awarded by government to find favorably for a particular agenda, we wouldn’t likely trying to decide if this is all true or not. But regardless, it sure throws a monkey wrench into the AGW works – or should I say another monkey wrench. In fact AGW probably now owns more of those tools than any other “science” in the world.
All of this to say is there are other explanations out there to what’s going on in the world with both weather and climate. How many AGW models do you think factor for this magnetic shift that is occurring and the effect it obviously has on weather?
Yeah, not many if any I’d guess.
So? So interesting stuff, certainly something to think about and, btw, something we can’t do a damn thing about. But given the choice between AGW and this, I’d be more inclined to buy heavier winter clothes than invest in Tommy Bahamas’ stuff.
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That’s the conclusion I gathered from a devastating essay Richard Lindzen published this past Saturday. Here are the lead 2 paragraphs:
The notion of a static, unchanging climate is foreign to the history of the earth or any other planet with a fluid envelope. The fact that the developed world went into hysterics over changes in global mean temperature anomaly of a few tenths of a degree will astound future generations. Such hysteria simply represents the scientific illiteracy of much of the public, the susceptibility of the public to the substitution of repetition for truth, and the exploitation of these weaknesses by politicians, environmental promoters, and, after 20 years of media drum beating, many others as well. Climate is always changing. We have had ice ages and warmer periods when alligators were found in Spitzbergen. Ice ages have occurred in a hundred thousand year cycle for the last 700 thousand years, and there have been previous periods that appear to have been warmer than the present despite CO2 levels being lower than they are now. More recently, we have had the medieval warm period and the little ice age. During the latter, alpine glaciers advanced to the chagrin of overrun villages. Since the beginning of the 19th Century these glaciers have been retreating. Frankly, we don’t fully understand either the advance or the retreat.
For small changes in climate associated with tenths of a degree, there is no need for any external cause. The earth is never exactly in equilibrium. The motions of the massive oceans where heat is moved between deep layers and the surface provides variability on time scales from years to centuries. Recent work (Tsonis et al, 2007), suggests that this variability is enough to account for all climate change since the 19th Century.
One of the reasons I constantly ask those who believe in AGW what the “perfect temperature” for the world is and how we can achieve it is I understand that the only constant in the earth’s climate is change. The world’s climate has always been changing in various cycles since its formation. History shows us that we’ve had periods of more CO2 than now, warmer periods than now and neither of the events can be explained away by blaming man.
How we got into this scared mode of screaming about gloom and doom if we don’t do something is both interesting and constructive. But a couple of things first. Lindzen discusses the role of models in the current debate and why anyone seeing their output should be very skeptical of their conclusions. He first discusses the “dominant role” of cumulus convection in the tropics and how the models handled that. His discussion is a scathing critique of the models used:
For warming since 1979, there is a further problem. The dominant role of cumulus convection in the tropics requires that temperature approximately follow what is called a moist adiabatic profile. This requires that warming in the tropical upper troposphere be 2-3 times greater than at the surface. Indeed, all models do show this, but the data doesn’t and this means that something is wrong with the data. It is well known that above about 2 km altitude, the tropical temperatures are pretty homogeneous in the horizontal so that sampling is not a problem. Below two km (roughly the height of what is referred to as the trade wind inversion), there is much more horizontal variability, and, therefore, there is a profound sampling problem. Under the circumstances, it is reasonable to conclude that the problem resides in the surface data, and that the actual trend at the surface is about 60% too large. Even the claimed trend is larger than what models would have projected but for the inclusion of an arbitrary fudge factor due to aerosol cooling. The discrepancy was reported by Lindzen (2007) and by Douglass et al (2007). Inevitably in climate science, when data conflicts with models, a small coterie of scientists can be counted upon to modify the data. Thus, Santer, et al (2008), argue that stretching uncertainties in observations and models might marginally eliminate the inconsistency. That the data should always need correcting to agree with models is totally implausible and indicative of a certain corruption within the climate science community.
It turns out that there is a much more fundamental and unambiguous check of the role of feedbacks in enhancing greenhouse warming that also shows that all models are greatly exaggerating climate sensitivity. Here, it must be noted that the greenhouse effect operates by inhibiting the cooling of the climate by reducing net outgoing radiation. However, the contribution of increasing CO2 alone does not, in fact, lead to much warming (approximately 1 deg. C for each doubling of CO2).
The larger predictions from climate models are due to the fact that, within these models, the more important greenhouse substances, water vapor and clouds, act to greatly amplify whatever CO2 does. This is referred to as a positive feedback. It means that increases in surface temperature are accompanied by reductions in the net outgoing radiation – thus enhancing the greenhouse warming. All climate models show such changes when forced by observed surface temperatures. Satellite observations of the earth’s radiation budget allow us to determine whether such a reduction does, in fact, accompany increases in surface temperature in nature. As it turns out, the satellite data from the ERBE instrument (Barkstrom, 1984, Wong et al, 2006) shows that the feedback in nature is strongly negative — strongly reducing the direct effect of CO2 (Lindzen and Choi, 2009) in profound contrast to the model behavior. This analysis makes clear that even when all models agree, they can all be wrong, and that this is the situation for the all important question of climate sensitivity.
So there is your “consensus” and, as Lindzen points out, the consensus is/was wrong. Furthermore:
According to the UN’s Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change, the greenhouse forcing from man made greenhouse gases is already about 86% of what one expects from a doubling of CO2 (with about half coming from methane, nitrous oxide, freons and ozone), and alarming predictions depend on models for which the sensitivity to a doubling for CO2 is greater than 2C which implies that we should already have seen much more warming than we have seen thus far, even if all the warming we have seen so far were due to man. This contradiction is rendered more acute by the fact that there has been no statistically significant net global warming for the last fourteen years. Modelers defend this situation, as we have already noted, by arguing that aerosols have cancelled much of the warming (viz Schwartz et al, 2010), and that models adequately account for natural unforced internal variability. However, a recent paper (Ramanathan, 2007) points out that aerosols can warm as well as cool, while scientists at the UK’s Hadley Centre for Climate Research recently noted that their model did not appropriately deal with natural internal variability thus demolishing the basis for the IPCC’s iconic attribution (Smith et al, 2007).
The basic reason we’re still battling this nonsense? Uh, would you believe the usual – power and money:
When an issue like global warming is around for over twenty years, numerous agendas are developed to exploit the issue. The interests of the environmental movement in acquiring more power, influence, and donations are reasonably clear. So too are the interests of bureaucrats for whom control of CO2 is a dream-come-true. After all, CO2 is a product of breathing itself. Politicians can see the possibility of taxation that will be cheerfully accepted because it is necessary for ‘saving’ the earth. Nations have seen how to exploit this issue in order to gain competitive advantages. But, by now, things have gone much further. The case of ENRON (a now bankrupt Texas energy firm) is illustrative in this respect. Before disintegrating in a pyrotechnic display of unscrupulous manipulation, ENRON had been one of the most intense lobbyists for Kyoto. It had hoped to become a trading firm dealing in carbon emission rights. This was no small hope. These rights are likely to amount to over a trillion dollars, and the commissions will run into many billions. Hedge funds are actively examining the possibilities; so was the late Lehman Brothers. Goldman Sachs has lobbied extensively for the ‘cap and trade’ bill, and is well positioned to make billions. It is probably no accident that Gore, himself, is associated with such activities. The sale of indulgences is already in full swing with organizations selling offsets to one’s carbon footprint while sometimes acknowledging that the offsets are irrelevant. The possibilities for corruption are immense. Archer Daniels Midland (America’s largest agribusiness) has successfully lobbied for ethanol requirements for gasoline, and the resulting demand for ethanol may already be contributing to large increases in corn prices and associated hardship in the developing world (not to mention poorer car performance). And finally, there are the numerous well meaning individuals who have allowed propagandists to convince them that in accepting the alarmist view of anthropogenic climate change, they are displaying intelligence and virtue. For them, their psychic welfare is at stake.
So essentially, Lindzen is appealing for us all to stop this madness and, in a calm, rational way, discuss what we do know and why it isn’t a threat that needs drastic and expensive intervention – for instance:
Given that the evidence (and I have noted only a few of many pieces of evidence) strongly implies that anthropogenic warming has been greatly exaggerated, the basis for alarm due to such warming is similarly diminished. However, a really important point is that the case for alarm would still be weak even if anthropogenic global warming were significant. Polar bears, arctic summer sea ice, regional droughts and floods, coral bleaching, hurricanes, alpine glaciers, malaria, etc. etc. all depend not on some global average of surface temperature anomaly, but on a huge number of regional variables including temperature, humidity, cloud cover, precipitation, and direction and magnitude of wind. The state of the ocean is also often crucial. Our ability to forecast any of these over periods beyond a few days is minimal (a leading modeler refers to it as essentially guesswork). Yet, each catastrophic forecast depends on each of these being in a specific range. The odds of any specific catastrophe actually occurring are almost zero. This was equally true for earlier forecasts of famine for the 1980′s, global cooling in the 1970′s, Y2K and many others. Regionally, year to year fluctuations in temperature are over four times larger than fluctuations in the global mean. Much of this variation has to be independent of the global mean; otherwise the global mean would vary much more. This is simply to note that factors other than global warming are more important to any specific situation. This is not to say that disasters will not occur; they always have occurred and this will not change in the future. Fighting global warming with symbolic gestures will certainly not change this. However, history tells us that greater wealth and development can profoundly increase our resilience.
Trying to claim there is a “global climate” and define it with a perfect temperature seems a fools errand in light of what Lindzen points out above about regional variability. The models don’t explain those regional variables or their effects very well at all. In fact, they insist on a “global” view vs. the view Lindzen gives us, and that makes the attempt to globalize regional events even more suspect.
My favorite paragraph though, is Lindzen’s parting shot , er, conclusion:
With all this at stake, one can readily suspect that there might be a sense of urgency provoked by the possibility that warming may have ceased and that the case for such warming as was seen being due in significant measure to man, disintegrating. For those committed to the more venal agendas, the need to act soon, before the public appreciates the situation, is real indeed. However, for more serious leaders, the need to courageously resist hysteria is clear. Wasting resources on symbolically fighting ever present climate change is no substitute for prudence. Nor is the assumption that the earth’s climate reached a point of perfection in the middle of the twentieth century a sign of intelligence.
I’m still laughing over the last sentence. Given any intelligence and a smattering of curiosity about climate history, even a cursory examination of that history makes one immediately suspicious of the claims by the AGW crowd and very skeptical of the science. For those who Lindzen describes as “well meaning individuals who have allowed propagandists to convince them that in accepting the alarmist view of anthropogenic climate change, they are displaying intelligence and virtue”, he’s saying it is neither intelligent or virtuous.
All I can say is, “agreed”.
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A favored myth of the warmist alarmist is we’re killing off the polar bears through AGW by melting their habitat.
Not so fast says the Obama administration:
The Obama administration is sticking with a George W. Bush-era decision to deny polar bears endangered species status. In a court filing Wednesday, the Fish and Wildlife Service defended the previous administration’s decision to give the polar bear the less-protective “threatened” species designation, a move that will frustrate environmentalists who hoped for stronger protections under the Endangered Species Act.
One of the more obvious things most should understand, at least by now, is getting an animal on the endangered list isn’t so much about the animal is about power. All sorts of regulatory restrictions kick in with such a designation.
And the enviros get to help enforce them. Go out on Ft. Bragg NC’s maneuver areas and marvel at the red-cockaded woodpecker’s power – and the the enviro monitors who sit out in the habitat area and ensure soldiers don’t invade the woodpecker’s space.
The same sort of power would accrue the enviros with the placement of the polar bear on the endangered list.
FWS Director Rowan Gould said the 2008 "threatened" listing was made "following careful analysis of the best scientific information, as required by the ESA." At the time, the service determined the bears weren’t danger of extinction, so did not warrant the “endangered” status.
The bears were listed as "threatened" because they face serious threats from projected decline in its sea ice habitat due to global warming would result in them likely being in danger of extinction in the foreseeable future.
Typical of the "science" used by the alarmists is this:
In a news release issued after its conference last July, the PBSG concluded that only one of 19 total polar bear subpopulations is currently increasing, three are stable and eight are declining. Data was insufficient to determine numbers for the remaining seven subpopulations. The group estimated that the total number of polar bears is somewhere between 20,000 and 25,000. (Estimates of the population during the 1950s and 1960s, before harvest quotas were enacted, range from 5,000 to 10,000.)
So the polar bear population has more than doubled from the high 1950′s estimate yet they’re "endangered" according to some? This little caveat is also listed:
However, the PBSG quickly acknowledged that “the mixed quality of information on the different subpopulations means there is much room for error in establishing” the numbers, and “the potential for error, given the ongoing and projected changes in habitats and other potential stresses, is cause for concern.”
Or said another way, "we don’t know what the real polar bear population is but it must be in decline and, btw, our projected decline is based on those stellar climate change models that have been so accurate to this point". Regardless, it is hard to sell endangered species when the species has had a 100% plus growth in 50 years (with harvesting).
Harry Flaherty, chair of the Nunavut Wildlife Management Board in the capital of Iqaluit, says the polar bear population in the region, along the Davis Strait, has doubled during the past 10 years. He questions the official figures, which are based to a large extent on helicopter surveys.
“Scientists do a quick study one to two weeks in a helicopter, and don’t see all the polar bears. We’re getting totally different stories [about the bear numbers] on a daily basis from hunters and harvesters on the ground,” he says.
Want to make a bet on who is right?
Bottom line: “Science” in the name of a political agenda is no science at all. And as more information continues to come out, it appears that the “science” of AGW isn’t based in science so much as it is the accrual of power and control to those who would love to dictate how you must live – for the planet, of course.
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