17 May 2008, 12:24am
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2nd Opinion: Facing Fears and Global Warming

by John Christy, the Baptist Standard [here]

With all of the pending disasters blamed on global warming blasting their way through the media, I can understand why many might fear the future climate. We are told emissions of greenhouse gases, mainly carbon dioxide (CO2), are destroying not only polar bears and petunias, but the planet as a whole. If we don’t “stop global warming,” The End will surely come.

I am a climate scientist. My research and that of many others does not lead me to be afraid for the climate’s future. However, I am fearful for other reasons:

- I fear for my science. The truth is, our climate system is so complex that we cannot predict its state even into next month. Nonetheless, I see high-profile individuals (usually untrained in science) making claims with unwavering confidence about the climate’s trajectory and a looming catastrophe.

I do not see the humility this science demands. In fact, I suspect an anthropologist, isolated from the media, would observe this global-warming fervor as a religion complete with anointed authority figures, sacred documents, creeds, sins requiring absolution, castigation of heretics and even an apocalypse.

But science doesn’t work by arguments-from-authority or depth-of-feeling. Lord Kelvin said, “All science is numbers.” Our scientific discoveries should be the same, whether one is a Baptist, Buddhist or Bahai.

However, if I’ve learned one thing in this business, it is that we scientists are mere mortals, and we succumb to pride as easily as anyone else. Claiming to know exactly how the climate works and what it will do decades from now has as much to do with belief as science.

- I fear for humanity. When people speak about “doing something about global warming,” please listen carefully. What they advocate are “solutions,” which lead to rationing of energy while having no climate impact. A hidden consequence of these “solutions” is to make energy more expensive—a regressive burden disproportionately inflicted upon the poorest among us.

Is this what we should promote?

Is this the message of Christ?
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16 May 2008, 11:59pm
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Climate Change Catastrophe

by Bob Webster, WebCommentary.com [here]

Gore is right. Climate change catastrophe is imminent!

I’ve been a long-time skeptic of global warming/climate change alarmism. I’ve written many times about the folly of the IPCC/Gore claim that human emissions of CO2 will bring about “catastrophic” change for human society. Well, I now freely admit I was wrong - but not for the reasons most often cited by alarmists.

I’ve been having an interesting exchange on a CO2 alarmists’ blog about the dangers human emissions of CO2 pose for future climate. While the exchange has generally been cordial and it has certainly been interesting while providing great insight into the rationale most alarmists subscribe to, I have yet to find the proverbial “smoking gun” that actually makes their case.

Nevertheless, I do have to agree with them about one thing. The danger and cost to human society from climate change will be catastrophic and is, apparently, unavoidable.

But ironically, while the catastrophe to which I refer is unquestionably human-caused, it is completely avoidable. Therein lies the rub.

The danger is not from a catastrophe arising from soaring temperatures and human misery that alarmists claim will follow (a highly debatable proposition). The catastrophe that seems unstoppable is the human misery that will unquestionably arise from the massive costs of soaring imprudent government regulation of CO2 emissions in the form of Gore-enriching “cap and trade” schemes that will, in the end, provide no discernable impact on global climate.
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Secretary Kempthorne Announces Decision to Protect Polar Bears under Endangered Species Act

U.S. Dept. of the Interior Press Release [here]

WASHINGTON, D.C. – Secretary of the Interior Dirk Kempthorne today announced that he is accepting the recommendation of U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service Director Dale Hall to list the polar bear as a threatened species under the Endangered Species Act (ESA). The listing is based on the best available science, which shows that loss of sea ice threatens and will likely continue to threaten polar bear habitat. This loss of habitat puts polar bears at risk of becoming endangered in the foreseeable future, the standard established by the ESA for designating a threatened species.

In making the announcement, Kempthorne said, “I am also announcing that this listing decision will be accompanied by administrative guidance and a rule that defines the scope of impact my decision will have, in order to protect the polar bear while limiting the unintended harm to the society and economy of the United States.”

Kempthorne further stated, “While the legal standards under the ESA compel me to list the polar bear as threatened, I want to make clear that this listing will not stop global climate change or prevent any sea ice from melting. Any real solution requires action by all major economies for it to be effective. That is why I am taking administrative and regulatory action to make certain the ESA isn’t abused to make global warming policies.”

In January 2007, the Fish and Wildlife Service proposed listing the polar bear as threatened throughout its range based on receding sea ice. At that time, Secretary Kempthorne directed the Fish and Wildlife Service and the USGS to aggressively work with the public and the scientific community to broaden understanding of what is happening with the species. In September 2007, the USGS delivered to the Fish and Wildlife Service nine studies related to the future condition of the polar bear and its habitat.

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US lists polar bear as threatened species

The Interior Department declared the polar bear a threatened species Wednesday, saying it must be protected because of the decline in Arctic sea ice from global warming.

Interior Secretary Dirk Kempthorne cited dramatic declines in sea ice over the last three decades and projections of continued losses. These declines, he told a news conference, mean the polar bear is a species likely to be in danger of extinction in the near future.

Kempthorne also said, though, that it would be “inappropriate” to use the protection of the bear to reduce greenhouse gases, or to broadly address climate change.

Reflecting views recently expressed by President Bush, Kempthorne said the Endangered Species Act was “never meant to regulate global climate change.”

He said the decision to list the bear includes administrative actions aimed at limiting the impact of the decision on energy development and other climate related activities.

“This listing will not stop global climate change or prevent any sea ice from melting,” said Kempthorne. He said he had consulted with the White House on the decision, but “at no time was there ever a suggestion that this was not my decision.”

AP - Kempthorne cited as support for his decision conclusions by the department’s scientists that sea ice loss will likely result in two-thirds of the polar bears disappearing by mid-century.

Notwithstanding the secretary’s disclaimers, this is the first time the Endangered Species Act has been used to protect a species threatened by the impacts of global warming. There has been concern within the business community that such an action could have far-reaching impact and could be used to regulate carbon dioxide.

11 May 2008, 1:33pm
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Burma killed by tyranny

by Andrew Bolt, Melbourne Herald Sun [here]

THE vultures are circling over Burma’s dead. Hey, isn’t that fat one Al Gore?

Sure is. And - flap, flap, plop - there he lands, the first to go picking over carcasses for scraps to feed his great global warming scare campaign.

What the world should be learning from this terrible loss of at least 60,000 people in the cyclone that hit Burma last week is that tyrannies kill more surely than any freak of weather.

But Al Gore, who won a Nobel “Peace” Prize for terrifying people with his error-riddled An Inconvenient Truth, wants you to blame instead his pet bogeyman. Tremble, sinners, before the wrath of a hot planet!

In an interview on America’s NPR on Tuesday, Gore claimed Cyclone Nargis was actually part of a pattern.

“Last year a catastrophic storm . . . hit Bangladesh. The year before, the strongest cyclone in more than 50 years hit China, and we’re seeing consequences that scientists have long predicted might be associated with continued global warming.”

This cyclone that hit Burma is a “consequence” of global warming? Gore should die of shame to peddle such self-serving deceptions.

Fact: The world has not warmed in a decade, says the Hadley Centre and two of the three other institutions that measure its temperature.

Fact: Any link between hurricanes and warming is highly disputed by scientists, with “evidence both for and against”, says the American Meteorological Society.

Fact: The data is “insufficiently reliable to detect trends on the frequency of extreme cyclones”, says a recent paper in Science by world authority Chris Landsea.

Fact: The cyclone that hit Burma was just a category three storm - not a category five - and less deadly than worse cyclones that struck Bangladesh in 1970 and 1991. What’s more, Gore concedes the record breaker was 50 years ago, before the world got this gassy.

So there’s no recent warming, no agreed link with cyclones, no trend of worse cyclones, and nothing unusually strong about the one that hit Burma.

Yet there goes Gore - caw, caw, caw - flogging the warming scare that has made him so fantastically rich. The great Profit of Doom. …

Let us not be sidetracked. These are people killed not by Gore’s global warming, or even by Friday’s Cyclone Nargis - but by a filthy band of rapacious dictators who have left their people beggared and blinded, at the mercy of even the wind and waves. … [more]

30 Apr 2008, 4:39pm
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La Nina and Pacific Decadal Oscillation Cool the Pacific

NASA Earth Observatory [here]

A cool-water anomaly known as La Nina occupied the tropical Pacific Ocean throughout 2007 and early 2008. In April 2008, scientists at NASA’s Jet Propulsion Laboratory announced that while the La Nina was weakening, the Pacific Decadal Oscillation-a larger-scale, slower-cycling ocean pattern-had shifted to its cool phase.

This image shows the sea surface temperature anomaly in the Pacific Ocean from April 14–21, 2008. The anomaly compares the recent temperatures measured by the Advanced Microwave Scanning Radiometer for EOS (AMSR-E) on NASA’s Aqua satellite with an average of data collected by the NOAA Pathfinder satellites from 1985–1997. Places where the Pacific was cooler than normal are blue, places where temperatures were average are white, and places where the ocean was warmer than normal are red.

The cool water anomaly in the center of the image shows the lingering effect of the year-old La Nina. However, the much broader area of cooler-than-average water off the coast of North America from Alaska (top center) to the equator is a classic feature of the cool phase of the Pacific Decadal Oscillation (PDO). The cool waters wrap in a horseshoe shape around a core of warmer-than-average water. (In the warm phase, the pattern is reversed).

Unlike El Nino and La Nina, which may occur every 3 to 7 years and last from 6 to 18 months, the PDO can remain in the same phase for 20 to 30 years. The shift in the PDO can have significant implications for global climate, affecting Pacific and Atlantic hurricane activity, droughts and flooding around the Pacific basin, the productivity of marine ecosystems, and global land temperature patterns. “This multi-year Pacific Decadal Oscillation ‘cool? trend can intensify La Nina or diminish El Nino impacts around the Pacific basin,” said Bill Patzert, an oceanographer and climatologist at NASA’s Jet Propulsion Laboratory, Pasadena, Calif. “The persistence of this large-scale pattern [in 2008] tells us there is much more than an isolated La Nina occurring in the Pacific Ocean.”

Icecap Note [here]: We have been noting this shift in the Pacific as has Bill for a while. As he says it favors more of these cool La Ninas, more tornadoes, hurricanes, winter snow, spring flooding and summer heat waves and drought - and importantly a cooling of the global temperatures, which will be augmented if cycle 24 proves to be quiet and when the AMO cycles back into its cool mode.

29 Apr 2008, 8:46pm
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Climate Change and the Human Condition

by Sherwood, Keith, and Craig Idso

CO2 Science, Volume 11, Number 17 [here]

In the introduction to their illuminating paper, the authors say they previously studied “a long span of Chinese history and found that the number of war outbreaks and population collapses in China is significantly correlated with Northern Hemisphere temperature variations and that all of the periods of nationwide unrest, population collapse, and drastic change occurred in the cold phases of this period.” In their current study, they write that they “extend the earlier study to the global and continental levels between AD 1400 and AD 1900.” This they do by using high-resolution paleoclimate data to explore “at a macroscale” the effects of climate change on the outbreak of war and population decline in the pre-industrial era as discerned by analyses of historical socioeconomic and demographic data.

In describing their findings, the five scientists say their newest analyses, like their earlier ones, show that “cooling impeded agricultural production, which brought about a series of serious social problems, including price inflation, then successively war outbreak, famine, and population decline.” And they suggest, as they put it, that “worldwide and synchronistic war-peace, population, and price cycles in recent centuries have been driven mainly by long-term climate change,” wherein warm periods were supportive of good times and cooling led to bad times, some of which (in our opinion) could arguably be described as a descent into hell. … [more]

28 Apr 2008, 11:49pm
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Hurricane forecaster’s dispute with school focuses on global warming debate

By ERIC BERGER, Houston Chronicle

By pioneering the science of seasonal hurricane forecasting and teaching 70 graduate students who now populate the National Hurricane Center and other research outposts, William Gray turned a city far from the stormy seas into a hurricane research mecca.

But now the institution in Fort Collins, Colo., where he has worked for nearly half a century, has told Gray it may end its support of his seasonal forecasting.

As he enters his 25th year of predicting hurricane season activity, Colorado State University officials say handling media inquiries related to Gray’s forecasting requires too much time and detracts from efforts to promote other professors’ work.

But Gray, a highly visible and sometimes acerbic skeptic of climate change, says that’s a “flimsy excuse” for the real motivation — a desire to push him aside because of his global warming criticism.

Among other comments, Gray has said global warming scientists are “brainwashing our children.”

Now an emeritus professor, Gray declined to comment on the university’s possible termination of promotional support. … [more]

24 Apr 2008, 9:20pm
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Holocene Floods and Droughts in China Associated With Global Cooling

All six episodes of major flooding events of the Sushui River occurred during cool periods, not warm ones.

from World Climate Report, April 24, 2008 [here]

In nearly every presentation on global warming, we hear that floods and droughts will be more severe as the temperature rises. Believe it or not, and who would not believe it given thousands of websites on the issue, there are many scientists who believe the opposite. We have covered these topics in many previous essays, and a recent article in Quaternary Science Reviews reinforces our skeptical viewpoint. …

The research was conducted by Chun Chang Huang and five associates from China’s Shaanxi Normal University. Their goal was to reconstruct major flooding events of the Sushui River (Figure 1) during the Holocene period (the Holocene began approximately 12,000 years ago when the last great glacial period ended).

… Basically, they found a geomorphic sequence that beautifully preserves datable information about major floods over the past 12,000 years. They write “Thus, these loess–soil sequences provide unique information for investigation of Holocene climatic change, flood hydrology, geomorphic and pedogenic changes, and human impact in semiarid zones. This stratigraphic data can provide valuable hydrologic information to those working in engineering hydrology, flood hazard prevention and mitigation, geomorphology, Quaternary sciences and global change.”

The authors… conducted a surprisingly complex set of analyses, and they found six periods over the past 12,000 years when large floods were frequent. Huang et al. state “During the Holocene, there are six episodes of overbank flooding recorded over the alluvial plain. The first occurred at 11,500–11,000 a BP, i.e. the onset of the Holocene. The second took place at 9500–8500 a BP, immediately before the mid-Holocene Climatic Optimum. After an extended geomorphic stability and soil formation, the third overbank flooding episode came at about 3620–3520 a BP, i.e. the late stage of the mid-Holocene Climatic Optimum, and the floodwater inundated and devastated a Bronze-age town of the Xia Culture built on the alluvial plain, and therefore the town was abandoned for a period of ca 100 years. During the late Holocene, the alluvial plain experienced three episodes of overbank flooding at 2420–2170, 1860–1700 and 680–100 a BP, respectively.”

OK – so what, right? As it turns out, all six episodes occurred during cool periods, not warm ones.

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Pine beetles may affect climate change

By Maggie Fox, Health and Science Editor, The Star Online [here]

WASHINGTON (Reuters) - Mountain pine beetles that are destroying forests along much of the Rocky Mountain range are doing so much damage that they may affect climate change, Canadian researchers reported on Wednesday.

The damage is nearly equivalent to the polluting effects of forest fires, they report in the journal Nature.

“In the worst year, the impacts resulting from the beetle outbreak in British Columbia were equivalent to 75 percent of the average annual direct forest fire emissions from all of Canada during 1959-1999,” Werner Kurz of the Canadian Forest Service in Victoria, British Columbia and colleagues wrote.

Usually, a forest is a carbon “sink,” soaking up carbon dioxide that would otherwise affect the atmosphere and help hold in heat.

The beetle, Dendroctonus ponderosae, changed that. Dead trees release carbon as they rot, and of course fail to use carbon dioxide as they would if alive.
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23 Apr 2008, 4:11pm
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Sorry to ruin the fun, but an ice age cometh

by Phil Chapman, The Australian, April 23, 2008 [here]

THE scariest photo I have seen on the internet is www.spaceweather.com, where you will find a real-time image of the sun from the Solar and Heliospheric Observatory, located in deep space at the equilibrium point between solar and terrestrial gravity.

What is scary about the picture is that there is only one tiny sunspot.

Disconcerting as it may be to true believers in global warming, the average temperature on Earth has remained steady or slowly declined during the past decade, despite the continued increase in the atmospheric concentration of carbon dioxide, and now the global temperature is falling precipitously.

All four agencies that track Earth’s temperature (the Hadley Climate Research Unit in Britain, the NASA Goddard Institute for Space Studies in New York, the Christy group at the University of Alabama, and Remote Sensing Systems Inc in California) report that it cooled by about 0.7C in 2007. This is the fastest temperature change in the instrumental record and it puts us back where we were in 1930. If the temperature does not soon recover, we will have to conclude that global warming is over.

There is also plenty of anecdotal evidence that 2007 was exceptionally cold. It snowed in Baghdad for the first time in centuries, the winter in China was simply terrible and the extent of Antarctic sea ice in the austral winter was the greatest on record since James Cook discovered the place in 1770.

It is generally not possible to draw conclusions about climatic trends from events in a single year, so I would normally dismiss this cold snap as transient, pending what happens in the next few years.

This is where SOHO comes in. The sunspot number follows a cycle of somewhat variable length, averaging 11 years. The most recent minimum was in March last year. The new cycle, No.24, was supposed to start soon after that, with a gradual build-up in sunspot numbers.

It didn’t happen. The first sunspot appeared in January this year and lasted only two days. A tiny spot appeared last Monday but vanished within 24 hours. Another little spot appeared this Monday. Pray that there will be many more, and soon.
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19 Apr 2008, 12:28pm
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Will the weather break a record for coldest April 19 and 20?

by Michael Rollins, The Oregonian, Friday April 18, 2008, 1:08 PM [here]

The big question on everybody’s mind as they watch their natural gas bills go up and shiver at assorted baseball games and soccer matches this Saturday and Sunday? How cold is it anyway?

Pretty darn cold, at least in terms of the record book.

The record low high temperature for April 19 is 47 degrees, set in 1961. The forecast for Saturday calls for a high of 48. The record low for that date is 31, set in 1982. Tonight’s forecast calls for an overnight low of 36 and 33 Saturday night.

The record low high April 20 temperature is 42 set in 1963. The forecast for Sunday calls for a high of 49. The record low for April 20 is 33 degrees, set in 1975.

Before we break away, the record high for Saturday was 80 in 1956 and for Sunday, 84 in 1956. Hmmm. Sounds like a nice April back then.

Admin note: It is currently snowing here at W.I.S.E. World Headquarters in the Willamette Valley. Daffodils, irises, and cherry, peach, pear, and apple blossoms appear to be withering due to repeated drenches of snow, sleet, hail, and freezing rain. The blooms were already two weeks later than average. The global cooling so much desired by knee jerk liberal boneheads and urban yokels swimming in dumbfounding gullibility is here. Hip hip hooray.

19 Apr 2008, 12:18pm
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Light snow falls on Portland-area hills, Seattle region sees inches

by The Oregonian and The Associated Press, Saturday April 19, 2008, 7:21 AM

Light snow fell overnight at higher Portland-area elevations and forecasters say the region should brace for low temperatures and possibly more snow through the weekend.

The Portland area is expected to approach record cold for the date, with a high of 48 anticipated today, one degree short of the record low high temperature for this day. [more]

19 Apr 2008, 12:13pm
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Solar Cycle 24: Do we count Tiny Tims?

Listing posted on Solar Science blog [here]

Another week of excitement as the second solar cycle 24 spot appeared…and then disappeared just as rapidly.

I can’t help feeling that with an unprecedented amount of high technology monitoring the Sun with ever higher resolution, the criteria by which a sunspot is defined has become radically weakened to such an extent that it all becomes meaningless.

On Climate Audit commenters noted that the criteria for naming hurricanes had become so weakened that practically any frontal wave in the Eastern Atlantic that persisted for more than a few hours got a name (the so-called “Tiny Tims” of the hurricane season).

So it appears to be with sunspots and Solar Cycle 24. … [more]

19 Apr 2008, 12:07pm
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Wikipedia’s Zealots - Caught Falsifying Information to Support Alarmist Position

By Lawrence Solomon, Financial Post

Listing posted on ICECAP [here]

Kim Dabelstein Petersen. She (or he?) is an editor at Wikipedia. What does she edit? Reams and reams of global warming pages. I started checking them. In every instance I checked, she defended those warning of catastrophe and deprecated those who believe the science is not settled. I investigated further. Others had tried to correct her interpretations and had the same experience as I—no sooner did they make their corrections than she pounced, preventing Wikipedia readers from reading anyone’s views but her own. When they protested plaintively, she wore them down and snuffed them out.

By patrolling Wikipedia pages and ensuring that her spin reigns supreme over all climate change pages, she has made of Wikipedia a propaganda vehicle for global warming alarmists. But unlike government propaganda, its source is not self-evident. We don’t suspend belief when we read Wikipedia, as we do when we read literature from an organization with an agenda, because Wikipedia benefits from the Internet’s cachet of making information free and democratic. This Big Brother enforces its views with a mouse.

While I’ve been writing this column, the Naomi Oreskes page has changed 10 times. Since I first tried to correct the distortions on the page, it has changed 28 times. If you have read a climate change article on Wikipedia—or on any controversial subject that may have its own Kim Dabelstein Petersen—beware. Wikipedia is in the hands of the zealots.

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