I donâ€™t feel hugely energetic right now in terms of writing anything very complicated. As a simple exercise, I decided to quickly revisit the everchanging Hansen adjustments, a topic commented on acidly by E.M. Smith (Chiefio) in many posts â€“ also see his interesting comments in the thread at a guest post at Anthonyâ€˜s, a post which revisited the race between 1934 and 1998 â€“ an issue first raised at Climate Audit in 2007 in connection with Hansenâ€™s Y2K error.
As CA readers recall, Hansenâ€™s Y2K error resulted in a reduction of US temperatures after 2000 relative to earlier values. The change from previous values is shown in red in the graphic below; the figure also shows (black) remarkable re-writing of past history since August 2007 â€“ a rewriting of history that has increased the 2000-6 relative to the 1930s by about 0.3 deg C.
This impacts comparisons made in 2007 between GISS and CRN1-2 stations. At the time, it was noted that GISS adjustments for UHI resulted in the GISS US temperature anomaly having quite a bit in common with a TOBS average from Anthony’s CRN1-2 stations. Critics of Anthony’s surfacestations.org project commented on this rather smugly – too smugly given the large differences with NOAA and CRU versions in the US and the incoherence of Hansen’s adjustments outside the US. The post-2007 adjustments to GISS adjustments change this. The increased trend in the GISS US statistic comes at the expense of reconciliation with CRN1-2 stations: the trends no longer cohere.
“I argue that by far the most destructive force on the planet is power-driven financiers and profit-driven corporations and their cartels backed by military might; and that the global warming myth is a red herring that contributes to hiding this truth. In my opinion, activists who, using any justification, feed the global warming myth have effectively been co-opted, or at best neutralized,” Rancourt said.Â
“Global warming is strictly an imaginary problem of the First World middleclass,” he stated.
Read here. Map source here. Brand new peer-reviewed study that analyzes subfossils from a Swiss lake confirms what hundreds of previous peer-research have found: that the Medieval Warming had temperatures significantly warmer than modern ones.
Multi-millionaire filmmaker James Cameron on Sunday backed out of a global warming debate that he asked for and organized.
For those that haven’t been following the recent goings on concerning Nobel Laureate Al Gore’s favorite money-making myth, an environmental summit was held this weekend in Aspen, Colorado, called AREDAY, which is short for American Renewable Energy Day.
Ahead of this conference, Cameron challenged three noted global warming skeptics to a public debate where he was going to personally “call those deniers out into the street at high noon and shoot it out with those boneheads.”
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Former Vice President Al Gore spent the last decade as a larger-than-life figure, more of a symbol than a living, breathing human being. Stolen from the pages of a Danielle Steele novel and plopped on stage at the 2000 Democratic Convention, this normally lifeless personality was possessed by the ghost of Madmen’s Jon Hamm and political pop-culture history was made. Al and Tipper’s kiss marked the dawn of Gore’s personal stardom and his pet project: anthropogenic global warming (AGW) alarmism.
Since his mind-numbing PowerPoint presentation An Inconvenient Truth hit theaters, Gore has been married to the AGW cause. And just as Al’s and Tipper’s kiss represented the dawn of the most successful movement in pseudoscience, their divorce aptly marks its end.
A stark trend toward accepting empirical science instead of speculation has caused the ground beneath AGW to cave in quickly. Like the news of the Gore divorce, the scientific evidence hit the public as if from nowhere. But both these cases are results of major, longstanding problems instead of a single cataclysmic event.
For AGW alarmism, what were once dismissed as minor discrepancies are being exposed as major contradictions of the scientific facts.
At first, AGW was a smooth talker. Graphs, models, charts, PowerPoints, and Hollywood movies all worked to persuade. As questions began to arise, however, patronizing and talking down turned small spats into explosive arguments. The Michael Mann “hockey stick” diagram was exposed as being based on a trick that would make any trend look like a spike. Gore’s new mansion was built in an area he had predicted would be underwater in the near future. The Climategate scandal showed us AGW was hiding the facts. Stories weren’t adding up.
Itâ€™s like watching the lights go out over the West. Sinan Unur has mapped the surface stations into a beautiful animation. His is 4 minutes long and spans from 1701-2010. Iâ€™ve taken some of his snapshots and strung them into a 10 second animation.
You can see as development spreads across the world that more and more places are reporting temperatures. Itâ€™s obvious how well documented temperatures were (once) in the US. The decay of the system in the last 20 years is stark.
For details on just how sinister the vanishing of data records is, see my previous post on Anthony Watts and Joe Dâ€™Aleoâ€™s extraordinary summary of Policy Driven Deception.
Sinan points out that people might not realize that many thermometers haven’t actually disappeared – they are often still collecting data – it’s just that their records are not being included in the “global” compilations. Though, as Watts and D’Aleo point out, sometimes these forgotten thermometers are still used to calculate the baseline averages.
In November last year a file appeared on the internet containing thousands of emails and other documents from the Climatic Research Unit at the University of East Anglia in Britain. How this file got into the public domain is still uncertain, but the emails, whose authenticity is no longer in question, provided a startling view into the world of climate research.
In what has become known as Climategate, one could see unambiguous evidence of the unethical suppression of information and opposing viewpoints, and even data manipulation.
Moreover, the emails showed collusion with other prominent researchers in the US and elsewhere. The CRU supplies many of the authors for the UN Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change.
One might have thought the revelations would discredit the science underlying proposed global warming policy. Indeed, the revelations may have played some role in the failure of last December’s Copenhagen climate conference to agree on new carbon emissions limits.
But with the political momentum behind policy proposals and billions in research funding at stake, the effect of the emails appears to have been small.
The general approach of the scientific community (at least in the US and Britain) has been to see whether people will bother to look at the files in detail (they mostly have not) and to wait until time diffuses the initial impressions to reassert the original message of a climate catastrophe that must be fought with widespread carbon control. This reassertion, however, continues to be suffused by illogic, nastiness and outright dishonesty.
There were, of course, the inevitable investigations of individuals such as Penn State University’s Michael Mann (who manipulated data to create the famous “hockey stick” climate graph) and Phil Jones (director of the CRU).
The investigations were brief, lacked depth and were conducted mainly by individuals already publicly committed to the popular view of climate alarm. The results were whitewashes that are incredible given the data.
So let us see, the hockey stick of Michael Mann predicted that the temperature of the Earth would rise exponentially and melt the polar ice caps.
That seems to have ebbed.
And now from a real scientist, Hiroshi L. Tanaka of the University of the University of Tsukuba in Japan: â€œIt is concluded that the arctic warming before 1989 especially in winter was explained by the positive trend of the AOI. Moreover the intensified Beaufort High and the drastic decrease of the sea ice concentrations in September after 1989 were associated with the recent negative trend of the AOI [Arctic Oscillation]. Since the decadal variation of the AO is recognized as the natural variability of the global atmosphere, it is shown that both of decadal variabilities before and after 1989 in the Arctic can be mostly explained by the natural variability of the AO not by the external response due to the human activity.â€
The high-pressure sales techniques of junk scientists like Michael Mann is one tip-off that he and his crackpot theory is a scam. The other tip-off is Al Gore and company have done nothing to ameliorate their carbon footprint is another tip-off.
In climate-change discussions, two Princeton professors go against the grain
By Mark F. Bernstein
The issue of climate change, or global warming, has become a rallying cry: The Earthâ€™s surface temperatures are Ârising due to increased levels of carbon dioxide and other Âgreenhouse gases in the atmosphere, much of it produced by human activity. Unless action is taken, and soon, global warming could cause crops to fail and sea levels to rise, leading to Âwidespread social disruptions and endangering many species of life on the planet. President Obama, who has renewed the American commitment to combating this problem, declared at the recent United Nations Âclimate-change conference in Copenhagen: â€œClimate change threatens us all.â€
Thatâ€™s one thing scientists agree on, right? Well, not everyone.
In some quarters, climate change has become almost a civic religion. Like any religion it has its priests â€” Al Â Gore, perhaps â€” and its holy books â€” think Goreâ€™s An Inconvenient Truth or his more provocatively titled best-seller, Earth in the Balance. It also has its heretics â€” doubters â€” and not all of them are outside the scientific community. Even among scientists, there are a few who dispute the certainty that global warming is a looming catastrophe. Two of the most vocal dissenters are professors in the Princeton physics department: William Happer *64 and Robert Austin. Â
One personâ€™s skeptic is another personâ€™s crackpot, of course, and so climate dissenters have come in for much public abuse. Happer, the Cyrus Fogg Bracket Professor of Physics, got into a contretemps with Sen. Barbara Boxer, a California Democrat, while testifying last year before the Senate Environment and Public Works Committee. Boxer derided Happerâ€™s testimony as â€œthe most extraordinary argument I have ever heardâ€ and warned, â€œI will fight you.â€ The exchange, which ended up on YouTube, was seized upon by bloggers on both sides of the debate, many of whom added their own, decidedly ad hominem, comments.
Temperatures indeed have risen, so to speak â€” at least in the world of physics. Happer says heâ€™s been attacked verbally over the issue both inside and outside academia, including at Princeton. He claims that climate-change orthodoxy has had a chilling effect that has made some junior faculty around the country reluctant to voice support for his position out of fear of hurting their chances for tenure. Austin, however, says that in his experience, the Princeton physics department â€œhas been greatâ€ and very tolerant of climate skeptics.
In an interview last year with The Daily Princetonian, Happer characterized hostility toward climate skeptics in harsh terms. â€œThis is George Orwell,â€ he said. â€œThis is â€˜the Germans are the master race. The Jews are the scum of the earth.â€™ Itâ€™s that kind of propaganda.â€ In an e-mail following an interview for this article, he warns against â€œthe capture of U.S. societyâ€ by a â€œscientific-technological elite.â€
Although Happer credits some of his willingness to brave personal and professional criticism as an expression of his Huguenot ancestry, he adds that he has spent much of his career studying the interaction of visible and infrared radiation with gases, one of the driving forces of the greenhouse effect, which posits that CO2 in the atmosphere absorbs and redirects infrared radiation, causing temperatures to rise. Happer joined the Princeton faculty in 1980, leaving in 1991 to become director of energy research at the U.S. DepartÂment of Energy, where one of his responsibilities was to supervise the departmentâ€™s work on climate change. In 1993, however, shortly after President Clinton took office, Happer testified at a House hearing that he believed that â€œthere has been some exaggerationâ€ concerning the dangers of ozone and climate change, an act of apostasy that he says led to his being replaced.
Since returning to the faculty, Happer has gained distinction for his work in other fields. He helped patent an invention that provides high-resolution images of the human lung. From 1995 to 2005, he led the University Research Board, which advises the University president on all research conducted at Princeton. He currently runs a lab in atomic physics and is chairman of the board of directors of the George C. Marshall Institute, an Arlington, Va.-based think tank founded by Frederick Seitz *34, himself a climate-change dissenter before his death in 2008.
Austin, a biophysicist, says that he had always â€œbought the party lineâ€ on climate change until he began talking to Happer. â€œIâ€™ve always known Will Happer as a guy who usually has creative and insightful things to say that are not part of the mainstream,â€ Austin explains. Happer explained his disagreements with the climate-change consensus and brought Austin around to his position. Austin has since visited the Greenland glaciers with physicist Freeman Dyson of the Institute for Advanced Study â€” another Âclimate-change skeptic â€” and says that while some glaciers may be shrinking at the edges, evidence suggests that they may be getting thicker in the middle. Â
Much of the climate-change debate centers on a 2007 statement adopted by the American Physics Society (APS), a leading professional association of physicists: â€œThe evidence is incontrovertible: Global warming is occurring. If no mitigating actions are taken, significant disruptions in the Earthâ€™s physical and ecological systems, social systems, security, and human health are likely to occur. We must reduce emissions of greenhouse gases, beginning now.â€
Austin, Happer, and a handful of other scientists urged the APS to rescind this statement in favor of one stating, â€œWhile substantial concern has been expressed that emissions may cause significant climate change, measured or reconstructed temperature records indicate that 20th- and 21st-century climate changes are neither exceptional nor persistent, and the historical and geological records show many periods warmer than today.â€ It goes on to say that other forces, such as ocean cycles and solar variability, also might account for rising temperatures. â€œCurrent climate models,â€ it concludes, â€œappear insufficiently reliable to properly account for natural and anthropogenic contributions to past climate change, much less project future climate.â€ More than 160 past and present members of the APS signed their petition, including two other Princeton faculty members: Salvatore Torquato, a professor of chemistry, and Syzmon Suckewer, a professor of mechanical and aerospace engineering.
It is increasingly clear that the leak of the internal emails and documents of the Climate Research Unit at the University of East Anglia in November has done for the climate change debate what the Pentagon Papers did for the Vietnam war debate 40 years ago-changed the narrative decisively. Additional revelations of unethical behavior, errors, and serial exaggeration in climate science are rolling out on an almost daily basis, and there is good reason to expect more.
The U.N.’s Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC), hitherto the gold standard in climate science, is under fire for shoddy work and facing calls for a serious shakeup. The U.S. Climate Action Partnership, the self-serving coalition of environmentalists and big business hoping to create a carbon cartel, is falling apart in the wake of the collapse of any prospect of enacting cap and trade in Congress. Meanwhile, the climate campaign’s fallback plan to have the EPA regulate greenhouse gas emissions through the cumbersome Clean Air Act is generating bipartisan opposition. The British media-even the left-leaning, climate alarmists of the Guardian and BBC-are turning on the climate campaign with a vengeance. The somnolent American media, which have done as poor a job reporting about climate change as they did on John Edwards, have largely averted their gaze from the inconvenient meltdown of the climate campaign, but the rock solid edifice in the newsrooms is cracking. Al Gore was conspicuously missing in action before surfacing with a long article in the New York Times on February 28, reiterating his familiar parade of horribles: The sea level will rise! Monster storms! Climate refugees in the hundreds of millions! Political chaos the world over! It was the rhetorical equivalent of stamping his feet and saying “It is too so!” In a sign of how dramatic the reversal of fortune has been for the climate campaign, it is now James Inhofe, the leading climate skeptic in the Senate, who is eager to have Gore testify before Congress.
Insulated by an outerÂ crust, the surface of the earth acquires nearly all of its heat from the sun. The only exit for this heat to take is through a door marked “Radiation.” And therein lies a tale…Â
Recently, I chanced upon anÂ Atmospheric Science Educator Guide [PDF] published by NASA. Aimed atÂ studentsÂ in grades 5 through 8, it helpsÂ teachers explainÂ how so-called “greenhouse gases” warm our planet Earth.
These guides areÂ interesting on a number of levels, so I recommend that you lookÂ them over. But whatÂ caught my eye was this:
Question: Do all of the gases in our atmosphere absorb heat?
Answer: (Allow students to discuss their ideas. Don’t provide the answer at this time.)
Indeed, that’s a good one to think over yourself.Â Almost allÂ of what we’reÂ breathingÂ is nitrogen and oxygen — do these gases absorb heat? Lakes and rocksÂ absorb heat, after all, and therebyÂ reachÂ a higher temperature.Â So canÂ nitrogen and oxygenÂ molecules do the same?
Well, I won’t keep you hanging. After allowingÂ students to discuss it, theÂ instructorÂ is instructed to give them the final verdict.Â
Answer: No. Only some gases have the unique property of being able to absorb heat.
These are the infrared-absorbing “greenhouse gases,” of course,Â substances like carbon dioxide water vapor, and not nitrogen and oxygen.Â
Now, is something wrong here? Most definitely, for NASA hasÂ a finger on the scale. Let’s reviewÂ a fewÂ basics that NASA should have outlined.
Climate scientists who play fast and loose with the facts are imperiling not just their profession but the planet
By Fred Guterl
One of the most impressive visuals in Al Gore’s now famous slide show on global warming is a graph known as the “hockey stick.” It shows temperatures in the Northern Hemisphere rising slowly for most of the last thousand years and turning steeply upward in the last half of the 20th century. As evidence of the alarming rate of global warming, it tells a simple and compelling story. That’s one reason the U.N.’s Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change included the graph in the summary of its 2001 report. But is it true?
The question occurred to Steven McIntyre when he opened his newspaper one morning in 2002 and there it wasâ€”the hockey stick. It was published with an article on the debate over whether Canada should ratify the Kyoto agreement to curb greenhouse-gas emissions. McIntyre had little knowledge of the intricate science of climate change; he didn’t even have a Ph.D. He did have a passion for numbers, however. He also had some experience in the minerals business, where, he says, people tend to use hockey-stick graphs when they are trying to pull one over on you. “Reality usually isn’t so tidy.”
As every climate scientist must know by now, McIntyre’s skepticism of the hockey stick launched him on a midlife career change: he has become the granddaddy of the global warming “denial” movement. McIntyre asserted that the data of Michael Mann, head of Penn State’s Earth System Science Center, did not support his conclusions, and that a true graph of temperatures would suggest a cyclical cause of recent warming. Following in his footsteps, a cottage industry of amateur climatologists have dug into the climate literature, tried to poke holes in the arguments, and demanded supporting data from scientists, sometimes under the auspices of Freedom of Information Act requests.
The scientists have resisted these efforts just as fiercely. For the past six years the conflict has played out in blogs, in the halls of Congress, and in deliberations of the IPCC. It came to a crescendo with the theft of private e-mails from the University of East Anglia in England in November, which raised questions about the scientific objectivity of several prominent researchers, including Phil Jones, who resigned in December as head of the Climatic Research Unit.
The battle between “alarmists” and “deniers” has taken a huge toll, not just on the reputations of Jones and the other “climategate” scientists. It has also damaged the credibility of climate science itself, and threatened more than a decade of diplomatic efforts to engineer a global reduction in greenhouse-gas emissions. The effort, which has kept a forward momentum since the Kyoto meeting in 1997, came to a cold stop in Copenhagen in December. The conference was originally intended to bring the U.S. and China into a global agreement, but produced nothing of substance. Indeed, the climate project bears a striking resemblance to health-care reform in the United Statesâ€”stalled by a combination of political resistance and hubris.
What went wrong? Part of the blame lies, of course, with those who obstructed the efforts of the IPCC and the individual scientists, including bloggers who tried to sandbag scientists with spurious FOIA requests, and the perpetrators (as yet unknown) of the hack at the Climatic Research Unit. Part of the blame also falls on the climate scientists themselves. Many of themâ€”including perhaps Rajendra Pachauri, the IPCC headâ€”may have stepped too far over the line from science to advocacy, undermining their own credibility. Some scientists, as a result, are now calling for a change in tone from antagonism to reconciliation. Climate science, they say, needs to open its books and be more tolerant of scrutiny from the outside. Its institutionsâ€”notably the IPCCâ€”need to go about their business with greater transparency. “The circle-the-wagons mentality has backfired,” says Judith Curry, head of Georgia Tech’s School of Earth and Atmospheric Sciences.
The first thing to fix is the institution that has borne the brunt of the recent public-relations disaster: the IPCC itself. Recently there have been several minor revelations of sloppiness. A line in the group’s 2007 report stating that glaciers in the Himalayas will melt entirely by 2035 turns out to have come not from the peer-reviewed literature, but from a 1999 article in New Scientist, a popular magazine in the U.K. More damaging, IPCC chairman Pachauri has been acting as a consultant to financial institutions, including Deutsche Bank and Pegasus, an investment firm. Although he says he has donated the proceeds to the nonprofit organization he founded in Delhi to promote charitable programs in sustainability, many people have wondered whether the head of a scientific organization that calls itself “policy neutral” should be consulting with banks. Some have called for his resignation.
You can fool some of the people some of the time, as Abraham Lincoln observed, and you even can fool all the people some of the time. But you can’t fool all the people all the time. Al Gore and his friends got so excited about points one and especially point two that they forgot point three.
Not everybody is on to the global-warming scam, not yet, but all the people â€” or enough of them â€” are getting there. “Global warming,” or even “climate change” as Al’s marketing men now insist that it be called, is becoming the stuff of jests and jokes. Sen. James M. Inhofe of Oklahoma, a Republican, built an igloo of that hot stuff that buried Washington last week on the Capitol lawn and dubbed it “Al Gore’s new home.”
Across the Potomac, the Republicans in Virginia filmed a television commercial called “12 inches of global warming” and invited two Virginia congressmen, both Democrats who voted for the infamous cap-and-trade legislation, to help with the shovel that will become the official state tool before the streets thaw.
One day this week, there was measurable snow on the ground in 50 states. (No report yet from the other seven of the “57 states” President Obama once said he was campaigning to be the president of.) Even Hawaii reported snow on some of its mountain peaks, and several towns in northwestern Florida were lightly dusted, like the powdered sugar on a cop’s doughnut.
A few snowflakes, or even a lot of snowflakes, is hardly proof that the great global-warming scare is a fraud and a swindle, but the collapse of the “science” of global warming is transforming even the sheep into skeptics. Jeff Masters of the Weather Underground â€” an Internet blog and not to be confused with the violent underground Weathermen of the sordid ’60s â€” observes that characteristics of climate must be measured carefully over the decades and even centuries, not by occasional blizzards and storms.
But political fraud and scientific swindle can be measured by collapsing “science.” The University of East Anglia’s Climatic Research Unit in Britain was regarded as the leader in climate research and the fount of raw data on which the science was based until leaked e-mails between researchers revealed evidence of doctoring of data and manipulation of evidence. The director of the research unit, professor Phil Jones, was regarded as an archbishop in the Church of Global Warming. He was pressured to resign in the wake of the scandal. Now he has conceded to an interviewer from the BBC that based on the evidence in his findings, the globe might have been warmer in medieval times. If so, the notion that fluctuations in earthly temperatures are man-made is rendered just that, a man-made notion.