Wednesday, 22 February 2012

No Need to Panic about Global Warming,

 “No Need to Panic about Global Warming,” /SB10001424052970204301404577171531838421366.html is gratifying but so extensive that we will limit our response to the letter of February 1, 2012 by Kevin Trenberth and 37 other signatories, and to the letter by Robert Byer, President of the American Physical Society of February 6.
Argo Buoy

We agree with Trenberth et al. that expertise is important in medical care, as it is in any matter of importance to humans or our environment. Consider then that by eliminating fossil fuels, the recipient of medical care (all of us in the world) is being asked to submit to what amounts to an economic heart transplant. According to most patient bills of rights, the patient has a strong say in the treatment decision. Natural questions from the patient are whether a heart transplant is really needed, and how successful the diagnostic team has been in the past. 

In this respect, an important gauge of scientific expertise is the ability to make successful predictions. When predictions fail, we say the theory is “falsified” and we should look for the reasons for the failure. Shown in the nearby graph is the measured annual temperature of the earth since 1989, just before the first report of the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC). Also shown are the projections of the likely increase of temperature, as published in the Summaries of each of the four IPCC reports, the first in the year 1990 and the last in the year 2007. These projections were based on IPCC computer models of how increased atmospheric CO2 should warm the earth. Some of the models predict higher or lower rates of warming, but the projections shown in the graph and their extensions into the distant future are the basis of most studies of environmental effects and mitigation policy options. Year to year fluctuations and discrepancies are unimportant; longer term trends are significant. 

From the graph it appears that the projections exaggerate, substantially, the response of the earth’s temperature to CO2which increased by about 11% from 1989 through 2011. Furthermore,when one examines the historical temperature record throughout the 20th century and into the 21st, the data strongly suggest a much lower CO2 effect than almost all models calculate. 

The Trenberth letter tells us that “computer models have recently shown that during periods when there is a smaller increase of surface temperatures, warming is occurring elsewhere in the climate system, typically in the deep ocean.”  The ARGO system of diving buoys is providing increasingly reliable data on the temperature of the upper layers of the ocean, where much of any heat from global warming must reside. But much like the surface temperature shown in the graph, the heat content of the upper layers of the world’s oceans is not increasing nearly as fast as IPCC models predict, perhaps not increasing at all. Why should we now believe exaggerating IPCC models that tell us of “missing heat” hiding in the one place where it cannot yet be reliably measured -- the deep ocean? 

Given this dubious track record of prediction, it is entirely reasonable to ask for a second opinion. We have offered ours. With apologies for any immodesty, we all have enjoyed distinguished careers in climate science or in key science and engineering disciplines (such as physics, aeronautics, geology, biology, forecasting) on which climate science is based. 

Trenberth et al. tell us that the managements of major national academies of science have said that “the science is clear, the world is heating up and humans are primarily responsible.” Apparently every generation of humanity needs to relearn that Mother Nature tells us what the science is, not authoritarian academy bureaucrats or computer models. One reason to be on guard, as we explained in our OpEd, is that motives other than objective science are at work in much of the scientific establishment. All of us are members of major academies and scientific societies, but we urge readers not to depend on pompous academy pronouncements -- or on what we say -- but to follow the motto of the Royal Society of Great Britain, one of the oldest learned societies in the world: “nullius in verba” – take nobody’s word for it. As we said in our OpEd, everyone should look at certain stubborn facts that just don’t fit the theory espoused in the Trenberth letter -- for example -- the graph of surface temperature above, and similar data for the temperature of the lower atmosphere and the upper oceans. 

What are we to make of the letter’s claim: “Climate experts know that the long-term warming trend has not abated in the past decade. In fact, it was the warmest decade on record.” We don’t see any warming trend after the year 2000 in the graph. It is true that the years 2000-2010 were perhaps 0.2 C warmer than the preceding 10 years. But the record indicates that long before CO2 concentrations of the atmosphere began to increase, the earth began to warm in fits and starts at the end of the Little Ice Age -- hundreds of years ago. This long term-trend is quite likely to produce several warm years in a row. The question is how much of the warming comes from CO2 and how much is due to other, both natural and anthropogenic, factors? 

There have been many times in the past when there were warmer decades. It may have been warmer in Medieval times, when the Vikings settled Greenland, and when wine was exported from England. Many proxy indicators show that the Medieval Warming was global in extent. And there were even warmer periods a few thousand years ago during the Holocene Climate Optimum. The fact is that there are very powerful influences on the earth’s climate that have nothing to do with human-generated CO2. The graph strongly suggests that the IPCC has greatly underestimated the natural sources of warming (and cooling) and has greatly exaggerated the warming from CO2. 

The Trenberth letter states: “Research shows that more than 97% of scientists actively publishing in the field agree that climate change is real and human caused.” However, the claim of 97% support is deceptive. The surveys contained trivial polling questions that even we would agree with. Thus, these surveys find that large majorities agree that temperatures have increased since 1800 and that human activities have some impact. But what is being disputed is the size and nature of the human contribution to global warming. To claim, as the Trenberth letter apparently does, that disputing this constitutes “extreme views that are out of step with nearly every other climate expert,” is peculiar indeed. 

One might infer from the Trenberth letter that scientific facts are determined by majority vote. Some postmodern philosophers have made such claims. But scientific facts come from observations, experiments, and careful analysis, not from the near-unanimous vote of some group of people. 

The continued efforts of the climate establishment to eliminate “extreme views” can acquire a seriously threatening nature when efforts are directed at silencing scientific opposition. In our OpEd we mentioned the campaign to have journal editor de Freitas removed not only from his editorial position but from his university job as well. Much of that campaign is documented in Climategate e-mails, where one of the signatories of the Trenberth et al. letter writes: “I believe that a boycott against publishing, reviewing for, or even citing articles from Climate Research [the scientific journal edited by de Freitas] is certainly warranted, but perhaps the minimum action that should be taken.” Or consider the resignation last year of Wolfgang Wagner, Editor in-Chief of the journal “RemoteSensing.” In a fulsome resignation editorial eerily reminiscent of past recantations by political and religious heretics, Wagner confessed to his “sin” of publishing a properly peer-reviewed paper by University of Alabama scientists Roy Spencer and William Braswell, containing the finding that IPCC models exaggerate the warming caused by increasing CO2. 

The Trenberth letter tells us that decarbonization of the world’s economy would “drive decades of economicgrowth.” This is not a scientific statement nor is there evidence it is true. A premature global-scale transition from hydrocarbon fuels would require massive government intervention to support the deployment of more expensive energy technology. If there were economic advantages to investing in technology that depends on taxpayer support, companies like Beacon Power, Evergreen Solar, Solar Millenium, SpectraWatt, Solyndra, Ener1, and the Renewable Energy Development Corporation would be prospering instead of all filing for bankruptcy in only the past few months. And the European experience with green technologies has also been discouraging. A study found that every new “green job” in Spain destroyed more than two existing jobs and diverted capital that would have created new jobs elsewhere in the economy. More recently, European governments have been cutting subsidies for expensive CO2-emissionless energy technologies, not what one expects if such subsidies are stimulating otherwise languid economies. 

And as we pointed out in our OpEd, it is unlikely that there will be any environmental benefit from the reduced CO2 emissions associated with green technologies, which are based on the demonization of CO2. 

Turning to letter of the President of the American Physical Society (APS), Robert Byer, we read , “The statement [on climate] does not declare, as the signatories of the letter [our OpEd] suggest, that the human contribution to climate change is incontrovertible.” This seems to suggest that APS does not in fact consider the science on this key question to be settled. Yet, here is the critical paragraph from the statement that caused the resignation of Nobel Laureate Ivar Giaever and many other long-time members of the APS: “The evidence is incontrovertible: Global warming is occurring. If no mitigating actions are taken, significant disruptions in the Earth's physical and ecological systems, social systems, security and human health are likely to occur. We must reduce emissions of greenhouse gases beginning now.” 

 Non reasonable person can read this and avoid the conclusion that APS is declaring the human impact “incontrovertible.” 

Otherwise there would be no logical link from “global warming” to the shrill call for mitigation.
The APS response to the concerns of its membership was better than that of any other scientific society, but it was not democratic. The management of APS took months to review the statement quoted above, and it eventually declared that not a word needed to be changed, though some 750 words were added to try to explain what the original 157 words really meant. APS members were permitted to send in comments but the comments were never made public. 

In spite of the obstinacy of some in APS management, APS members of good will are supporting the establishment of a politics-free, climate physics study group within the Society. If successful, it will facilitate much needed discussion, debate, and independent research in the physics of climate. 

In summary, science progresses by testing predictions against real world data obtained from direct observations and rigorous experiments. The stakes in the global warming debate are much too high to ignore this observational evidence and declare the science settled. Though there are many more scientists who are extremely well qualified and have reached the same conclusions we have, we stress again that science is not a democratic exercise and our conclusions must be based on observational evidence. The computer-model predictions of alarming global warming have seriously exaggerated the warming by CO2 and have underestimated other causes. 

Since CO2 is not a pollutant but a substantial benefit to agriculture, and since its warming potential has been greatly exaggerated, it is time for the world to rethink its frenzied pursuit of decarbonization at any cost. 

Claude Allegre, former director of the Institute for the Study of the Earth, University of Paris; J. Scott Armstrong, cofounder of the Journal of Forecasting and the International Journal of Forecasting; Jan Breslow, head of the Laboratory of Biochemical Genetics and Metabolism, Rockefeller University; Roger Cohen, fellow, American Physical Society; Edward David, member, National Academy of Engineering and National Academy of Sciences; William Happer, professor of physics, Princeton; Michael Kelly, professor of technology, University of Cambridge, U.K.; William Kininmonth, former head of climate research at the Australian Bureau of Meteorology; Richard Lindzen, professor of atmospheric sciences, MIT; James McGrath, professor of chemistry, Virginia Technical University; Rodney Nichols, former president and CEO of the New York Academy of Sciences; Burt Rutan, aerospace engineer, designer of Voyager and SpaceShipOne; Harrison H. Schmitt, Apollo 17 astronaut and former U.S. senator; Nir Shaviv, professor of astrophysics, Hebrew University, Jerusalem; Henk Tennekes, former director, Royal Dutch Meteorological Service; Antoninio Zichichi, president of the World Federation of Scientists, Geneva.

Peter Gleik Whitewash

Is truth the section missing on the globe?
On his blog, John O'Sullivan writes:
Wikipedia, the “free online encyclopedia,” has set about swiftly whitewashing the self-confessed criminal conduct of climatologist, Dr. Peter Gleick. Skeptics will regard such action as further evidence that the website is an organ of man-made global warming propaganda.

Despite his full public admission to be a co-conspirator in criminal activities against the Heartland Institute, a charity sympathetic to skeptics, Wikipedia is at pains to hide the fact Peter Gleick yesterday admitted to this felony published here at the Huffington Post  .
 Gleik, in the wikipedia entry "admitted to soliciting and receiving additional material from the Institute "under someone else's name..."

 Surely, Mr Gleik  has done enough to disgrace himself and absent himself from the climate change debate, the debate carried on by honourable scientists like Bob Carter, Fred Singer, Pat Michaels and Ian Plimer.

Warming in 20th Century in China not unprecedented

From CO2 Science:
Image: SMH

Ge, Q.-S., Zhang, X.-Z., Hao, Z.-X. and Zheng, J.-Y. 2011. Rates of temperature change in China during the past 2000 years. Science China Earth Sciences 54: 1627-1634. 

The authors write that "studying climate change over the past 2000 years … is essential to better understanding climate variability and provides background knowledge necessary for improving predictions of future changes," citing the IGBP (2009). More specifically, they ask: "Has rapid warming such as that in the 20th century occurred previously, especially during the past 2000 years?" Noting that "this is a key issue in understanding the forces of climate warming in the 20th century," they say that "few studies so far have addressed this question," which they thus proceed to do.

What was learned
Ge et al. report that "the warming rates at centennial and decadal scales in the 20th century were not exceptional for the past 2000 years." At the 30-year time scale, for example, they found that the peak rate was "less than rates for previous periods, such as the rapid warming from the Little Ice Age to the 20th century and from the 270s-290s to 300s-320s." 

What it means
"In conclusion," in the words of Ge et al., "it is demonstrated that although human-induced greenhouse effects may have contributed to rapid global warming in the 20th century, in the case of China such rapid decadal to centennial warming has occurred in preindustrial times [bold and italics added]," which significantly weakens the worn-out climate-alarmist claim of late 20th-century warming being unprecedented over the past one to two millennia

Read More at CO2 Science - Two thousand years of Temperature Change in China.

NCSE - will you cancel Peter Gleik's membership?

Gleik: NCSE image
Self-confessed science vandal Peter Gleik has resigned from the board of the National Center for Science Education (NCSE). As Gleik propogates Climate Misinformation, should that be the National Center for Science Misinformation. NCSE has accepted Gleik's resignation from the board:
The source of the documents revealing the strategy of the Heartland Institute's campaign to undermine the public's understanding of climate science — including by producing and distributing K-12 curriculum materials propounding climate change denial — revealed himself to be Dr. Peter Gleick, the hydroclimatologist who heads the Pacific Institute for Studies in Development, Environment, and Security.
As Heartland Institute has strenuously denied that document,  shouldn't a body dedicated to science education alter "revealing the strategy of the Heartland Institute's campaign to undermine the public's understanding of climate science" to at least say "allegedly revealing the strategy" of the Heartland Institute's etc....?

"Gleick obtained and disseminated these documents without the knowledge of anyone here," NCSE's executive director Eugenie C. Scott commented, "and we do not condone his doing so." But, she added, "they show that NCSE was right to broaden its scope to include the teaching of climate science. There really are coordinated attempts to undermine the teaching of climate science, and NCSE is needed to help to thwart them."
Yes, Eugenie, there really are  "attempts to undermine the teaching of climate science..."

For the sake of our children, start teaching the truth. Do not promulgate voodoo science, tell the children that CO2 is absolutely essential for the survival of our species.  And remove lying alarmists from your board.

Will the real Peter Gleik stand up.

Harpo Marx? No someone funnier! Peter Gleik.
Image Wikipedia.
Peter Gleik is a scientist who works at the Pacific Institute in Oakland, California, which he co-founded in 1987. On Huff Post Green he wrote of the Integrity  of Scientists. Yes, that's right Gleik wrote a Brief Lesson in the Integrity of Scientists. Gleik obviously threw that integrity out the window when he engineered FAKEgate.
All scientists are, by definition, skeptics. Hence the motto of the Royal Society of London, one of the world's oldest scientific academies (founded in 1660), Nullius in verba: "Take nobody's word." Skeptics and good scientists question and change their minds when presented with competing and convincing evidence. Indeed, scientific reputations are made by identifying flaws in current thinking, developing and testing new hypotheses, and by being right, not wrong. And while all scientists (and all people) make mistakes, good ones acknowledge their mistakes, correct them, and refine our knowledge. Bad ones dig in their heels, defending a faulty paradigm to the bitter end.
While a huge amount of effort is put into debunking the bad science promoted by climate deniers, scientists work to correct errors in understanding about climate on all sides.
After writing that all scientists are sceptics, he had backed himself into a corner. He therefore had to tag sceptics with the derogatory term deniers. Why should there be "a huge amount put into debunking" climate sceptics? Why not apply the scientific method to the output of the sceptics?

He then goes on to say that climate deniers, who promulgate error after error (from misreporting satellite data, to misrepresenting historical temperature records, to misinterpreting paleoclimatic data, to much more) do not do the same - they simply deny the evidence (hence the term).

Misrepresenting historical temperature records?

Would you believe NASA's temperature record?

NASA was able to put a man on the moon, but the space agency can’t tell you what the temperature was when it did. By its own admission, NASA’s temperature records are in even worse shape than the besmirched Climate-gate data.
But NASA is somewhat less confident, having quietly decided to tweak its corrections to the climate data earlier this month.

Read how "as more and more of these temperature data manipulations are coming to light, it's obvious that the "unprecedented" worldwide global warming is the result of unprecedented worldwide scientific dishonesty" - here.

In New Zealand there was a similar story
The Inter-governmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC), among other organisations and scientists, allege that, along with the rest of the world, we have been heating up for over 100 years. But now, a simple check of publicly-available information proves these claims wrong. In fact, New Zealand’s temperature has been remarkably stable for a century and a half. So what’s going on?"  Researchers find records adjusted to represent 'warming' when raw data show temperatures have been stable.

Well, Peter Gleik, you have confessed your own lack of integrity. Now how about a bit of honesty correcting some of your writings.

Sceptics Lavish funding by Big Oil Exposed as lie.

The Wall Street Journal has an article entitled
Smeared Document

The Not-So-Vast Conspiracy

Stolen documents show the tiny budget of global warming skeptics.

The smear sceptics swarm such as DeSmear Blog have long maintained that sceptics are lavishly funded by big oil.

When did it become received media wisdom that global warming skepticism was all the work of shadowy right-wing groups lavishly funded by oil companies? As best we can tell, it started with a 1995 Harper's magazine article claiming to expose this "high-powered engine of disinformation." Today anyone who raises a doubt about the causes of global warming is accused of fronting for, say, Exxon, whatever the facts.
Now comes a rare glimpse inside the allegedly antiscience behemoth, with the online publication last week of documents purloined from the conservative Heartland Institute. The files appear to contain detailed financial, donor and personnel information and outline the think-tank's projects. Chicago-based Heartland says one of the documents is fake and warns that others may have been altered.
Consider Professor Bob Carter. The documents allege that he is receiving less than $2000 per month. Alarmist blogs have wagged fingers. Professor Carter tries to counter alarmist statements and massaged figures from people like NASA's James Hansen. Hansen receives over a million on top of his NASA salary.

NASA records released to resolve litigation filed by the American Tradition Institute reveal that Dr. James E. Hansen, an astronomer, received approximately $1.6 million in outside, direct cash income in the past five years for work related to — and, according to his benefactors, often expressly for — his public service as a global warming activist within NASA.
This does not include six-figure income over that period in travel expenses to fly around the world to receive money from outside interests. As specifically detailed below, Hansen failed to report tens of thousands of dollars in global travel provided to him by outside parties — including to London, Paris, Rome, Oslo, Tokyo, the Austrian Alps, Bilbao, California, Australia and elsewhere, often business or first-class and also often paying for his wife as well — to receive honoraria to speak about the topic of his taxpayer-funded employment, or get cash awards for his activism and even for his past testimony and other work for NASA. (Source WUWT)

 The DeSmear Mob continue to salivate that Heartland received money from the Koch brothers. Koch has donated $25,000 to Heartland. The inconvenient truth is that the donation "was earmarked for for Heartland’s health care effort, not climate."

So how flush is Heartland? The documents show the group is expecting revenues of $7.7 million this year, mostly from private donations and grants. Mr. Koch's "heavy" funding came to $25,000 in 2011, though the Heartland "Fundraising Plan" has it hoping for an increase in 2012. To put those numbers in not-for-profit perspective, last year the Natural Resources Defense Council reported $95.4 million in operating revenues, while the World Wildlife Fund took in $238.5 million.
As for "the largest international scientific conference of skeptics," Heartland will, according to the documents, spend all of $388,000 this year on the Nongovernmental International Panel on Climate Change. That's against the $6.5 million that the U.N. Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change costs Western taxpayers annually, and the $2.6 billion the White House wants to spend next year on research into "the global changes that have resulted primarily from global over-dependence on fossil fuels."
In the pages of Rolling Stone last summer, Al Gore warned of the "Polluters and Ideologues [sic] . . . . spending hundreds of millions of dollars each year on misleading advertisements in the mass media."
Al Gore has the wrong spenders.