4 Mar 2008, 7:09pm
Climate and Weather
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Global Warming Debate Rages On

Guess what? The debate about global warming is not over. The 2008 International Conference on Climate Change took place March 2-4 in New York City, and 100 global warming skeptics made their case.

Sponsored by the Heartland Institute of Chicago, the 2008 conference included the top names in the skeptics’ circle [here].

It is too early for this reporter to relate what transpired. I am 3,000 miles away and am not wired into the Conference proceedings. Various news outlets have given cursory reports, but none I have found report on the specific talks that were given. Various blogs have spouted off, though, and I see no reason not to do so myself.

The following are my opinions, based on my reading of all the major climatology sites and discussions with experts I know personally. I do not pass off the responsibility, however. This is what I think:

1. Climate change within the Holocene has been a relatively slow process. If the Earth’s temperature has risen 0.5 degrees C in the last 100 years, as is claimed by many, that change is very minor and difficult to separate from statistical error (noise). The very idea that the Earth has a measurable temperature is a rather vague one.

2. Paleoclimatology evidence indicates that we are still in the Ice Ages, albeit in an interglacial hiatus between deep cold periods. Interglacials have been as regular as clockwork for the last 1.6 million years, occurring 16 times at 100,000 year intervals. Each interglacial began with a sudden rise in temperatures and then a slow descent back into glaciation. The warm periods have lasted about 10,000 years, and the cold periods about 90,000 years.

3. The interglacials correspond exactly to Milankovitch Cycles, in particular to the eccentricities in the Earth’s orbit around the Sun. Our orbit swings from nearly circular to more elliptical and back again in a 100,000 year periodicity. The interglacials correspond to the more circular orbital condition.
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26 Feb 2008, 9:20am
Climate and Weather
by admin
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Thinking Freely About Global Warming

A guest essay by Joe Bourbon

I really don’t care who disagrees with me on this. So before I begin, get over yourself.

Global Warming, Climate Change, Ice Age- each of these things occur, they are called weather, and people have to deal with the weather… all life has to deal with the weather. People do not control the weather, and people do not influence the weather.

Now, if you are someone who is big on science, you will know a couple of things that don’t fit your silly political argument about global warming, so you moved your argument over to climate change so your argument could adapt to the weather. Kind of like humans do. I know it bugs you that one way humans adapted to weather is by constructing power plants that heat our homes.

You may find it interesting, or you may not, that man’s rise to dominance on this planet has occurred largely since the last major ice age. Now to someone who hasn’t fenced themselves in to the global warming/climate change small intellectual yard, this information comes as no surprise.

It’s real damn hard to come to prominence when there’s a mile high glacier breathing down your neck in North Texas.

The global warming/climate change crowd conveniently leave out the sun when they point to the so-called “evidence” that the earth is warming and warming at an alarming rate. I personally look forward to the summer of 2013 when they say all the ice in the arctic will melt away. Now, I know when there is still ice up there in the summer of 2013, there will be no stories about how they were wrong, yet again, but I can hope. It seems to be the word of the month.

Another small problem with the global warming/climate change crowd is they don’t have the historical data, they ignore a warm period that led the western civilization out of the Dark Ages and into the Renaissance (a French word).

Moving on, we’ve got an axis-of-spin North Pole and we have a magnetic North Pole, and Santa lives at the North Pole with those fuzzy, adorable mankiller polar bears who enjoy Coca-Cola. Also some vodka drinking Ruskies who may or may not know they are now free to live near the magnetic pole. Now I’m going to leave this point alone. Extrapolate what you wish from it. Because I’ve yet to say anything here.

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25 Feb 2008, 11:02am
Climate and Weather
by admin
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George Taylor Sets the Record Straight

George Taylor, Oregon State Climatologist and manager of the Oregon Climate Service at OSU, explained his reasons for retiring in his bi-weekly newspaper column, Weather Matters [here]. As usual, George was more than gracious. We post his recent column in full:

Setting the record straight

by George Taylor, February 24, 2008

By now you’ve probably heard the news. After nearly 19 years at OSU, I’m retiring.

Unfortunately, some things being said (and written) about me are either inaccurate or misleading, so I’m going to take this opportunity to set the record straight.

“Taylor calls himself the state climatologist”

Yes, and I call myself George, because that’s what my parents named me. And in 1991, Steve Esbensen, chair of the Atmospheric Sciences Department at OSU, appointed me as State Climatologist (SC).

Originally, the SC position was a Federal one, but those were eliminated in 1973. States were urged to appoint their own SC, and Oregon did so in 1978. As in the case of most SC programs, Oregon’s position was a faculty appointment at the land grant university. Very few were appointed by Governors. Larry Gates, Allan Murphy and Kelly Redmond preceded me as SC at OSU. I arrived here in 1989, when Kelly left. In 1991, when the SC received state funding for the first time, Steve appointed me.

By the way, George Keller of OSU and legislators Cliff Trow and Tony Van Vliet were instrumental in getting funding for the office. Senator Trow sponsored the funding bill.

“Taylor doesn’t believe in global warming.”

Sure I do, and global cooling as well. Climate varies all the time, on a variety of time scales.

I believe that climate changes as a result of a combination of natural variations and human effects (including, but not limited to, greenhouse gases). But in my opinion, past changes in climate (in Oregon and elsewhere) are more consistent with natural variations than with increases in greenhouse gases.

That doesn’t mean things won’t change in the future. That doesn’t mean we “shouldn’t do anything.” But based on looking at climate data for many years, I am convinced that the effects of things like tropical Pacific ocean conditions and solar radiation has dominated our climate, at least in the Northwest.

“Taylor was probably asked to resign.”

Nope. I’m leaving on my own, and the decision was mine (in consultation with my wife, Cindy, of course). Here’s why:

1. In 2003, I was diagnosed with cancer. Surgery, chemotherapy and radiation followed. Also baldness (temporarily). Things look great now. But cancer really got my attention!

2. Last summer I turned 60. That got my attention as well.

I started wondering “shall I keep doing what I’m doing, or do something else for the rest of my career?” I decided on the latter.

I’m going to start a small consulting business. Initially, at least, I’ll focus primarily on a type of storm analysis called “Probable Maximum Precipitation” (PMP).

PMP is required whenever a dam or large water containment structure is built or relicensed. PMP helps determine the maximum flood that might be expected, and this in turn determines how big and strong the dam needs to be. A very important application of weather and climate, for sure, and not many scientists are qualified to assess PMP. That will probably keep me busy.

And I’m hoping for other new and interesting pursuits. I may be retiring from OSU, but not from weather and climate studies.

And MVS [Mid-Valley Sunday] Editor Hasso Hering has invited me to continue writing my bi-weekly columns, something I have very much enjoyed.

It’s been a fun ride, but I’m not going to stop riding. I’m just going to get on a different horse.

We wish George Taylor all the best. He deserves and has earned it. His dedication and expertise are unmatched. George is much loved in the community for his character, devotion, and community service far beyond climate and weather concerns. That will not change.

We also wish the best for the Oregon Climate Service, but fear that organization is headed downhill fast.

21 Feb 2008, 10:42am
Climate and Weather
by admin
1 comment

State Climatologist Taylor Retires

George Taylor, State Climatologist for Oregon, today announced his retirement.

Dear colleagues-

After nearly 19 years here, I have decided to retire from OSU. I have gotten involved in mapping and analysis of extreme precipitation for use in dam safety and other engineering applications, a field known as “Probable Maximum Precipitation.” I am starting a small consulting company to pursue PMP studies, and I am excited about the prospect. Prior to coming to OSU, I was self-employed for a number of years, so I know what I am getting into!

Thank you for your support and friendship during my time here. I wish you only the best in the future.

George

George Taylor is a dear friend. He is not only one of the top weather experts in the world, he has a wonderful family, goes to church regularly, rides a bike, eats organically, and is multi-talented and super-intelligent.

George has had to put up with a lot of flack because he doesn’t buy into the global warming hoax. See The Great State Climate Debate [here].

His scientific research tells him that the small global temperature variations of the last century are typical oscillations and not a rush towards climate catastrophe.

George’s mistake, if any, has been to be honest about his findings when asked. He has not gone out of his way to pound his message into the Media and World Wide Web (I am guilty of such behavior, George is not).

For his honesty George has been hounded by political nitwits like Governor Ted Kulongoski, who publicly declaimed, “Taylor is not my climatologist.” George’s dean, Mark Abbott of the College of Atmospheric Sciences at OSU, has also been less than supportive. Both Ted and Mark are extreme global warming alarmists. They are wrong in their climate assessments, too, but science does not enter into their politics.

Finally George had enough of the backbiting, sniping, jerking around, and public insults, and decided to take early retirement. Ted and Mark cannot steal his retirement funds. George is forming his own consulting company, too, to work on protecting us all from major floods. As Oregon’s State Climatologist his concerns have always been the safety and well-being of Oregonians. His efforts in that regard will continue

I salute George Taylor and wish him all the best. I am glad he is done with those fools at OSU. Now he will have more time to play guitar with me. He has contributed some excellent essays to W.I.S.E. [here], and we all hope for more of them, now that he a little more free time.

SOS Forest Kudos are sent to George Taylor, and a song, and a prayer. Beyond the blue horizon lies the rising sun.

Critical habitat, climate change, “endangered species,” polar bears, shiners, suckers, manatees, and how to deal with it all

By Julie Kay Smithson, Property Rights Research [here]

Most of us are laymen, not experts in the fields of “endangered species,” “critical habitat,” etc. We do, however, have the ability to read and ponder. We can understand when something is not what it seems. If a species is touted as “endangered,” “throughout all or part of its historic range,” we must wonder how the experts know what that species’ historic range was. Sometimes, though not always, “science,” as employed by federal agencies and their partners, can be boiled down to something that more closely resembles justifying one’s paycheck.

For example, how can anyone decide what is — or is not — “possible habitat”? Speaking for myself, because I might want to live somewhere at some time does not justify setting aside that place (reserving it, so to speak) for the time when I might want to live there. How can U.S. Fish & Wildlife Service use such a phrase to remove people from their homes, businesses, custom and culture — thereby stealing their property rights — under such a guise? It was tried here in Ohio ’s Darby area, where the Big and Little Darby creeks flow. So what if we have “possible habitat” for the Indiana bat, a specie that USFWS says is “endangered”? The bat’s name implies that it is an Indiana species.

The Canada goose is a Canadian species. We are overrun with this species and must avoid it on golf courses, farms, restaurant parking lots, airports, etc. Few people that live where these geese have wandered, set up housekeeping and proliferated would buy into any argument that the Canada goose might be “endangered,” so USFWS has carefully steered a path around this species.

However, the polar bear — originally a few wandering brown bears that kept going north from their original territory to satisfy their apparent wanderlust — does not have the benefit of lots of people keeping an eye on its population. Most of us only know about the polar bear from what is fed to us, courtesy of National Geographic specials and newspaper ramblings that seek to convince us of the imminent danger of extinction.

Hogwash and balderdash, folks. A few excellent connections in places like Nunavit (part of northern Canada ) and Alaska — connections that have experience in polar bears and their habitat — say that the polar bear is in no such danger. The only danger, they say with candor, is from the U.S. Congress and its “green” influenced lobbyists that seek more and more money in order to “manage” something that needs no management, to “recover” something that does not need recovery. Expeditions of taxpayer-funded “scientists” are planned to invade the polar bear’s frozen neighborhoods, trek about and invent “threats” where none exist, and funnel megabucks into these “studies.” While it makes for nice “documentaries,” how much is fact and how much is fiction remains for the viewer to discern. The polar icepack is not “melting at an alarming rate.”

Puny timeframes we have for the measuring of temperatures only cover the past century or so. Global weather cyclic patterns take far longer and people’s presence is not making a “terrible threat” to polar bears or virtually every other species. Rain forests, being in the equatorial region of the world, are in the most favorable growing and regrowth area. Anyone visiting Florida for any length of time knows how quickly green things grow. Multiply that by two or more and you get a reasonable picture of vegetation growth in equatorial regions where rainfall is plentiful. “The destruction of the rain forest” is not leaving a path of “devastation.”

Our own “critical habitat” is being invaded by illegals from all parts of the world, coming here, not to become naturalized citizens, but to attach to the host until the host no longer has the ability to feed the parasite. What do “our” elected officials do about this very real and present threat to the “critical habitat” of Americans? Ask them! It’s an election year! … [more]

10 Feb 2008, 9:18pm
Climate and Weather
by admin
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Another 1996 Flood May Be On the Way

by George Taylor, Certified Consulting Meteorologist and head of the Oregon Climate Service at OSU.

Re-posted from Weather Matters [here]

Twelve years ago this month we had a memorable flood. Heavy rains from warm, subtropical air fell on a deep snowpack, causing a big “rain on snow” flood, in which runoff from the rains was augmented by melting snow. The result: big-time flooding, the biggest since 1964.

Following that flood, I gave a lot of presentations in which I discussed the flooding. One popular topic was what I called “recipe for a flood.” Like a food recipe, my flood recipe had certain ingredients. Think of a cake: start with flour, add leavening, a little shortening and then liquid, and the cake rises! And maybe tastes good as well…

In the case of the flood, the ingredients are:

1. A wet winter (to saturate the soils and fill the streams)

2. A moderate-to-deep snowpack

3. A period of cold weather (to freeze the soil surface) — not a necessity, just think of this as “spice“

4. Several days of very wet, mild weather

The first ingredient has happened. Between Oct. 1 and Feb. 8, our local area received 29.28 inches, which is almost 4 inches above the average for that period, 25.45 inches.

Ingredient two: deep snowpack. Check! In fact, this is one of the deepest ever in western Oregon. See Idanha story below.

Ingredient three: Maybe. January and February have been considerably colder than average.

Ingredient four, the wet, mild weather: not yet, and nothing is imminent, but we’re watching closely. Usually the weather prediction models will start warning us 4 to 5 days in advance.

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