24 Jan 2008, 12:27pm
Saving Forests
by admin

Mr. Mensa Challenges Mike on Global Cooling

None other than Mr. Mensa himself sent us a comment, in response to a post we entitled Global Cooling Sets In [here]. Out of respect for the august reputation of the author, we reprise Mr. Mensa’s comment in full:

Mike - Stick to the forestry issues - when you post global warming-related comments you sound just plain silly.

It’s a bit early for your 2008 and 2009 predictions.

Despite your misinformation, here are the facts:

For 2007, the global land and ocean surface temperature was the fifth warmest on record. Separately, the global land surface temperature was warmest on record while the global ocean temperature was 9th warmest since records began in 1880.

Including 2007, seven of the eight warmest years on record have occurred since 2001 and the 10 warmest years have all occurred since 1995. The global average surface temperature has risen between 0.6°C and 0.7°C since the start of the twentieth century, and the rate of increase since 1976 has been approximately three times faster than the century-scale trend.

2008 is set to be cooler globally than recent years but is still forecast to be one of the top-ten warmest years.

Get your facts straight buddy!

Well, indeed! I rise to that bait like a trout to a fly!

In this preface to my reply to Mr. Mensa, which is this essay, I must first establish some turf. “Stick to forestry” advises Mr. Mensa. Well sir, climatology is a sub-specialty of foresters and forestry.

Foresters are generalists, meaning they have to know quite a bit about many fields. These include botany, zoology, ecology, natural history, anthropology, hydrology, engineering, statistics, economics, business, sociology, meteorology, and yes, climatology, especially in this day and age. Others may specialize, but foresters must be generalists because their responsibilities encompass all those disciplines.

The sciences may be compartmentalized, but the forest cannot be; the forest is the sum of all the parts, all mixed together.

So I am, in fact, highly qualified to discuss global warming and/or cooling, as I shall amply demonstrate.

The statement in Global Cooling Sets In that put off Mr. Mensa was this one:

There has been no global warming since 1998. The solar cycle that lifted the planet out of the Little Ice Age is over. That worm has turned, and we are headed back into a cooling cycle. This year, 2008 is expected to be the coolest since the early 1990’s. And 2009 will be cooler yet.

Taking the Earth’s temperature is not a simple affair. There is no orifice to stick a thermometer into. Instead various “proxy” measurements are made. Modern proxies are quite different than the ones used in the 19th century. We have satellites, etc. that they did not. The old methods were thermometers in weather boxes. Various researchers have shown that modern weather stations are often located in urban heat islands, and hence produce upwardly biased readings. Even the satellite technology is changing; NASA recently altered its global temperature estimates, which had to be adjusted (downward).

For all these reasons, any alleged “temperature” of the Earth has to be taken with a grain of salt, or as statisticians and modelers say, ERROR.

Despite these scientific truths, many people have attempted to estimate the Earth’s temperature, via proxies and models. The best (taken with a grain of salt) estimates are shown in the following chart:

The differently-colored lines each represent somebody’s estimate of global temperature. For instance, GISS is the year-to-year estimate made by the Goddard Institute for Space Studies (NASA), and UKMET is that of the United Kingdom Meteorological Service.

Note the warmest year “on record” was 1998. Every year since has been cooler than 1998. The trend has been downward since 1998, or statistically-speaking, flat. I say it that way because there is no statistical difference between the temperatures of the years since 1998. Another way to say the same thing: “there has been no global warming since 1998.”

The temperature estimates are very iffy. There is significant ERROR associated. However, just from the visual display, it appears that we passed over a hump and are headed back down now.

Mr. Mensa was semi-correct in his assessment that “2008 is set to be cooler globally than recent years.” Nobody sets the global temperature (there is no global thermostat) but all predictions are for a cooler 2008. That is, all predictions except those of the IPCC, the UN Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change.

Note the straight brown line on the graph. That’s the 1990 prediction of the IPCC. It’s way off. Even the IPCC knows that. The IPCC has frequently modified their predictions, due to the fact that their predictions are wrong, but the jiggering doesn’t help. Note all the re-predictions the IPCC has made since:

These graphs, by the way, come from Verification of IPCC Temperature Forecasts 1990, 1995, 2001, and 2007 by Roger Pielke, Jr. [here]. Roger is a friend of a friend and a top-notch scientist, as is his dad, Roger Pielke, Sr.

Note that all the IPCC predictions are straight-line models, yet the data are curvilinear. The Earth’s temperature apparently goes over humps and valleys as it changes, but the predictions are straight as pool cues. If you extend the IPCC’s pool cues out far enough, they seem to be saying the Earth will boil over some day.

That’s just bad science. Non-linear phenomena should be modeled with non-linear functions. Straight line models fit nothing in nature, because nature is highly non-linear. Duh.

Duh, duh, duh.

The Earth is curvilinear, not flat. Folks who don’t buy into the IPCC’s pool cue predictions are derided as “flat earthers,” but the reality is the IPCC are the ones with a pipe up their analysis.

Here are the same data with a curve applied:

Downward we go, or as I put it before, the worm has turned.

Mr. Mensa does not actually address that claim in his counter. He goes off on which year ranks where. He makes no predictions, unlike the IPCC and me, except to say that 2008 is “set” to be cooler. I agree. We have a consensus on that, except for the IPCC which predicts rising global temperatures for a 100 years out or more.

They are wrong. The IPCC has always been wrong. As Roger Pielke Jr. points out:

The IPCC does not clearly identify what exactly it is predicting nor the variables that can be used to verify those predictions. Like so much else in climate science this leaves evaluations of predictions subject to much ambiguity, cherrypicking, and seeing what one wants to see.

But regarding the ranking of years, we currently live in one of coldest moments in the history of the Earth. With the exception of the Permian Ice Age of 400 million years ago, and our own Ice Age currently 2 million years old, the Earth has always been warmer than now. Life evolved when it was warmer. Life florished when it was warmer. Life diminishes during Ice Ages.

The greatest productivity occurs in the tropics where it is warm, not the poles where it is bitterly cold. Biodiversity, that holy grail of eco-freakdom, is greater in the tropics where it is warm and hugely diminished in polar regions.

As far as Life is concerned, warmer is better. As far as forests are concerned, all our tree species evolved millions of years ago when it was much warmer than now. Trees do not grow in ice. Our own Holocene forests thrived during the Climatic Optimum of 9,000 years ago when it is estimated the Earth’s temperature was 2 or 3 degrees C warmer than now. The colder it gets, the worse it is for forests.

The world (IPCC-types anyway) is freaking out over global warming and has gone mad for global cooling, a mindset I referred to as “nuts.” Mr. Mensa does not address mass insanity in his remarks, but he should. Global warming is not a problem, but mass insanity is. Our modern, sophisticated, historically-aware world culture is just as prone to flipping out as any in history. The madness of two world wars in the last century, and all the attendant horrors thereof, are proof positive that mass insanity exists and still festers under our thin veneer of civilization.

24 Jan 2008, 3:18pm
by Forrest Grump

Whoever warned “Never underestimate the power of stupid people in large groups” was a genius. Never mind Goebbels and Hitler and the power of the big lie.

Here we have certain politicians screaming that they represent some amorphous “change” while at the same time, the plan is to remake civilization on the premise of, you betcha, a change that is so amorphous and uncertain that nobody can tell us what the real drivers are, or even if the change will or will not be beneficient.

Mass insanity, indeedy.

24 Jan 2008, 4:27pm
by Mike

And the IPCC’ers all received the Nobel Peace Prize for their hysteria-creating, linear analyses, along with Algore for?

Peace? Peace? What is peaceful about mass insanity? What is peaceful about any of the “solutions” offered to the non-problem? Are megafires peaceful?

Irony is the modern replacement for God.

24 Jan 2008, 6:21pm
by Tallac

Climate change? Been there, done that.

New York Times
January 2, 1870
…The climate of New York and the contiguous Atlantic seaboard has long been a study of great interest. We have just experienced a remarkable instance of its peculiarity. The Hudson River, by a singular freak of temperature, has throw off its icy mantle and opened its waters to navigation…

New York Times
March 25, 1888
…Fomerly wine was made in England, the change of climate might be the principal reason this manufacture does not now flourish…

New York Times
June 23, 1890
…Is our climate changing? The succession of temperate Summers and open Winters through several years, culminating last Winter in the almost total failure of the ice crop…

Those aren’t typos on the dates. I could go on, but the NYT was into climate change over 100 years ago, flip-flopping from decade to decade.

I suggest mr.mensa adapt to climate change, because it sure isn’t anthropogenic.

24 Jan 2008, 10:57pm
by Greg B.

In 2007 four scientists published a study that compared model predictions to actual observations. The study was published in the Royal Meteorological Society’s International Journal of Climatology


The scientists summarized their conclusions:

We have tested the proposition that greenhouse model simulations and trend observations can be reconciled. Our conclusion is that the present evidence, with the application of a robust statistical test, supports rejection of this proposition…

On the whole, the evidence indicates that model trends in the troposphere are very likely inconsistent with observations that indicate that, since 1979, there is no significant long-term amplification factor relative to the surface. If these results continue to be supported, then future projections of temperature change, as depicted in the present suite of climate models, are likely too high.

The last 25 years constitute a period of more complete and accurate observations and more realistic modeling efforts. Yet the models are seen to disagree with the observations. We suggest, therefore, that projections of future climate based on these models be viewed with much caution.

I was skiing today and the lift operator looked up to the snow falling from the sky and asked rhetorically, “I wonder if they will make Al Gore give his prize back?”

My advice to Mr. Mensa is to buy a warm coat!

25 Jan 2008, 1:34pm
by cred

Who gains from global hysteria re: global warming? Follow the money to find out where the problem really is.

22 Jul 2008, 10:17am
by steve

My money is gambled in the following direction:

Global Warming = new Taxation Opportunity

Watch the news. We will hear more and more about “carbon taxes” in the years to come. First, we turn carbon into the culprit, then we tax people with proximity to it.

23 Jul 2008, 9:26pm
by Joe B.

Hell, it doesn’t take science to debunk it, that’s the sad thing.

So far, our so-called scientists are ignoring the sun of all things and many ignore geothermal effects, but that is beside the point.

There is nothing to fear even if we are getting warmer; we should embrace it. Man did not come to prominence on a damn glacier, man rose from the caves to prominence as the planet’s climate warmed up long before man had devised the internal combustion engine that he attached to a fancy SUV’s with GPS and some damn TV screens so the kiddies could watch Disney movies until other occupants in the car begin puking.

Something must have caused the glaciers to recede 10 some odd thousand years ago and I don’t subscribe to the Fred Flintstone theory. Besides, he and Barney carpooled.

Let’s go further. Greenland wasn’t named Greenland because Vikings have a super sense of irony. Vikings weren’t sitting around think hey let’s call this chunk of ice Greenland, they didn’t have a chamber of commerce that would have thought of some devilish lie to attract people to go there. No, it was called Greenland because when they discovered it, the damn island was friggin’ green. And why was it green? Because it was friggin’ warm, that’s why.

But then again there was that damn Krakatoa or however you spell it and the summer that did not happen soon after in the 19th century. But then later in the century we warmed up, long before the Model T’s carbon emissions replaced Mr. Ed’s penchant for disease laced streets full of horse manure.

It was hotter than a firecracker in July in the 1930s and the 1950s, yet we were all told we were going to freeze to death under a mile high glacier in the 1970s.

Science doesn’t even factor into this stupid argument. Hell, the only thing that factors into it is that GW alarmism has been deemed the world’s best bet to enslave billions of people under the thumb of some of the dumbest, most vile people the planet has ever known.

Mr. Mensa, I doubt you actually belong to the society, I haven’t seen you at any of our functions. I know this because we haven’t had to slap the stupid out of anyone lately.



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