Posts Tagged ‘climate change’
Evidence points to a further rise of just 1°C by 2100. The net effect on the planet may actually be beneficial.
Forget the Doha climate jamboree that ended earlier this month. The theological discussions in Qatar of the arcana of climate treaties are irrelevant. By far the most important debate about climate change is taking place among scientists, on the issue of climate sensitivity: How much warming will a doubling of atmospheric carbon dioxide actually produce? The Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change has to pronounce its answer to this question in its Fifth Assessment Report next year.
The general public is not privy to the IPCC debate. But I have been speaking to somebody who understands the issues: Nic Lewis. A semiretired successful financier from Bath, England, with a strong mathematics and physics background, Mr. Lewis has made significant contributions to the subject of climate change.
He first collaborated with others to expose major statistical errors in a 2009 study of Antarctic temperatures. In 2011 he discovered that the IPCC had, by an unjustified statistical manipulation, altered the results of a key 2006 paper by Piers Forster of Reading University and Jonathan Gregory of the Met Office (the United Kingdom’s national weather service), to vastly increase the small risk that the paper showed of climate sensitivity being high. Mr. Lewis also found that the IPCC had misreported the results of another study, leading to the IPCC issuing an Erratum in 2011.
Mr. Lewis tells me that the latest observational estimates of the effect of aerosols (such as sulfurous particles from coal smoke) find that they have much less cooling effect than thought when the last IPCC report was written. The rate at which the ocean is absorbing greenhouse-gas-induced warming is also now known to be fairly modest. In other words, the two excuses used to explain away the slow, mild warming we have actually experienced—culminating in a standstill in which global temperatures are no higher than they were 16 years ago—no longer work.
In short: We can now estimate, based on observations, how sensitive the temperature is to carbon dioxide. We do not need to rely heavily on unproven models. Comparing the trend in global temperature over the past 100-150 years with the change in “radiative forcing” (heating or cooling power) from carbon dioxide, aerosols and other sources, minus ocean heat uptake, can now give a good estimate of climate sensitivity.
The conclusion—taking the best observational estimates of the change in decadal-average global temperature between 1871-80 and 2002-11, and of the corresponding changes in forcing and ocean heat uptake—is this: A doubling of CO2 will lead to a warming of 1.6°-1.7°C (2.9°-3.1°F).
This is much lower than the IPCC’s current best estimate, 3°C (5.4°F).
Mr. Lewis is an expert reviewer of the recently leaked draft of the IPCC’s WG1 Scientific Report. The IPCC forbids him to quote from it, but he is privy to all the observational best estimates and uncertainty ranges the draft report gives. What he has told me is dynamite.
Given what we know now, there is almost no way that the feared large temperature rise is going to happen. Mr. Lewis comments: “Taking the IPCC scenario that assumes a doubling of CO2, plus the equivalent of another 30% rise from other greenhouse gases by 2100, we are likely to experience a further rise of no more than 1°C.”
A cumulative change of less than 2°C by the end of this century will do no net harm. It will actually do net good—that much the IPCC scientists have already agreed upon in the last IPCC report. Rainfall will increase slightly, growing seasons will lengthen, Greenland’s ice cap will melt only very slowly, and so on.
Some of the best recent observationally based research also points to climate sensitivity being about 1.6°C for a doubling of CO2. An impressive study published this year by Magne Aldrin of the Norwegian Computing Center and colleagues gives a most-likely estimate of 1.6°C. Michael Ring and Michael Schlesinger of the University of Illinois, using the most trustworthy temperature record, also estimate 1.6°C.
The big question is this: Will the lead authors of the relevant chapter of the forthcoming IPCC scientific report acknowledge that the best observational evidence no longer supports the IPCC’s existing 2°-4.5°C “likely” range for climate sensitivity? Unfortunately, this seems unlikely—given the organization’s record of replacing evidence-based policy-making with policy-based evidence-making, as well as the reluctance of academic scientists to accept that what they have been maintaining for many years is wrong.
How can there be such disagreement about climate sensitivity if the greenhouse properties of CO2 are well established? Most people assume that the theory of dangerous global warming is built entirely on carbon dioxide. It is not.
There is little dispute among scientists about how much warming CO2 alone can produce, all other things being equal: about 1.1°-1.2°C for a doubling from preindustrial levels. The way warming from CO2 becomes really dangerous is through amplification by positive feedbacks—principally from water vapor and the clouds this vapor produces.
It goes like this: A little warming (from whatever cause) heats up the sea, which makes the air more humid—and water vapor itself is a greenhouse gas. The resulting model-simulated changes in clouds generally increase warming further, so the warming is doubled, trebled or more.
That assumption lies at the heart of every model used by the IPCC, but not even the most zealous climate scientist would claim that this trebling is an established fact. For a start, water vapor may not be increasing. A recent paper from Colorado State University concluded that “we can neither prove nor disprove a robust trend in the global water vapor data.” And then, as one Nobel Prize-winning physicist with a senior role in combating climate change admitted to me the other day: “We don’t even know the sign” of water vapor’s effect—in other words, whether it speeds up or slows down a warming of the atmosphere.
Climate models are known to poorly simulate clouds, and given clouds’ very strong effect on the climate system—some types cooling the Earth either by shading it or by transporting heat up and cold down in thunderstorms, and others warming the Earth by blocking outgoing radiation—it remains highly plausible that there is no net positive feedback from water vapor.
If this is indeed the case, then we would have seen about 0.6°C of warming so far, and our observational data would be pointing at about 1.2°C of warming for the end of the century. And this is, to repeat, roughly where we are.
The scientists at the IPCC next year have to choose whether they will admit—contrary to what complex, unverifiable computer models indicate—that the observational evidence now points toward lukewarm temperature change with no net harm. On behalf of all those poor people whose lives are being ruined by high food and energy prices caused by the diversion of corn to biofuel and the subsidizing of renewable energy driven by carboncrats and their crony-capitalist friends, one can only hope the scientists will do so.
Mr. Ridley writes the Mind and Matter column in The Wall Street Journal and has written on climate issues for various publications for 25 years. His family leases land for coal mining in northern England, on a project that will cease in five years.
A version of this article appeared December 19, 2012, on page A19 in the U.S. edition of The Wall Street Journal, with the headline: Cooling Down the Fears of Climate Change.
Quite a stir has accompanied Patrick Moore, one of the founders of radical Greenpeace, saying global warming is a natural phenomenon, and further that politicians are using bad science to create bad environmental policies ( http://www.theblaze.com/stories/greenpe … l-warming/ ).
It is wonderful to see him break with the body of environmental dogma and make such a rational statement. Of course he will probably be excommunicated from membership in the Earth Worship Society, but in doing so he has become a martyr for the truth.
There is absolutely no question that the earth has been in a warming cycle for the last 12,500 years, starting with the end of the last ice-age. There is also no question that man, development of industry, and the use of fossil fuels had nothing whatsoever to do with that warming cycle.
Science, using Oxygen-Isotope Percent dating of core drilling samples, have identified six distinct global temperature cycles in which the earth cooled to an ice-age, then warmed to a tropical age. This six cycle period spans over 450,000 years. So the average cycle from a cold earth to a hot earth is 75,000 years.
Each of these cycles when represented on a chart are not smooth curves, but ragged with peaks and valleys of ten thousand or more year’s duration within both the cooling and heating phase; separate little mini-cycles that are still part of the predominant trend of the mega-cycle.
Viewed together this geological history makes it clear that:
1. Heating and cooling cycles were happening on earth long before man was even on the earth.
2. There is no way for science to determine exactly where we are in the current heating and cooling cycle.
3. All the weather and climate data that has been collected in the last 1000 years represents such a small sample compare the duration of mega-cycles, that they are useless for predicting anything but extremely short term and minor temperature change (and even then very questionable).
4. Even if we are able to establish a multi-century trend, there is no way for science to say whether that trend is one of the mini-cycles or part of a predominant mega-cycle.
5. Looking at the core samples over the most recent 5000 years, it actually looks like we have reached the bottom of the warming phase and are starting into the beginning of a cooling phase. However, even 5000 years of isotope dating is too short a time to establish a trend for the mega-cycle.
6. According to archeology, ancient history research, and carbon dating, man could not have influenced the last warming trend, because there was only a small population and no large scale civilization until the final third of that warming cycle.
Approximately four thousand years ago the Egyptian culture developed in the vicinity of the northern Nile River. This is considered the first large civilization which departed from a hunter/gatherer or simple agrarian economy, to include commercial endeavors in large scale agriculture, mining, manufacturing, sea trade, and development of technology.
For a reason science does not know, the cooling trends take from 50,000 to 100,000 thousand years to peak, but warming trends take less than 20,000 years. This has been true of all six of the mega–cycles.
Actually, if climate change could be influenced by anthropogenic greenhouse gasses, it might be a good idea to generate as large a volume of them as possible to slow the current rate of cooling and lesson the severity of the cooling peak. This would give man 50,000 years or so to figure out how to live with the natural mega-cycles of climate change. That said, it is unlikely that any anthropogenic product or activity has even the slightest effect on these mega-trends.
President Obama at the recent Climate Change Summit, said, “…we risk consigning future generations to an irreversible catastrophe. The security and stability of each nation and all peoples—our prosperity, our health, and our safety—are in jeopardy and the time we have to reverse this tide is running out.”
Note particularly “irreversible catastrophe,” “ our prosperity, our health, and our safety… in jeopardy ,” and “time… is running out.”
The current godfather of liberalism, George Soros recently said “…then work on a better world order where we work together to resolve problems that confront humanity like global warming. And I think that dealing with global warming will require a lot of investment. …the American consumer who has been spending more than he has been saving, all right? Than he’s been producing. So that motor is now switched off. It’s finished. It’s run out of — can’t continue. You need a new motor. And we have a big problem. Global warming. It requires big investment. And that could be the motor of the world economy in the years to come.”
Note particularly “world order,” “global warming,,, could be the motor of the world economy,” and the fact that he blames American Consumers for breaking the system.
It should be obvious that the left-wing purveyors of global warming are talking as much about spending the money of Americans and citizens of other developed countries as they are fear mongering to the masses.
The real purpose of global warming is nothing more than a grab for the resources, freedoms, and prosperity of the world, so the rich liberal elite and their puppet politicians can establish a world order. This is the same dream held so dear by Stalin, Lenin, Mao, and even Hitler – to gain complete control so their “ideal society” can succeed.
Global warming is fake science, a fraud, a tool to destroy freedom and elevate the elite. Science has been corrupted by the investment of money by environmental fanatics and liberal governments. The very concept that activities of man are able to disrupt the mega-weather cycles is clearly absurd, there is insufficient data to be able to draw any true scientific conclusions.
A big problem with predictions that the carbon dioxide released by industrialized man is driving the earth to disastrous heating is simply that there cannot be any meaningful data to validate or dispute this. Scientific research proves that, 1) the earth has warmed and cooled without the presence of man for hundreds of thousands of years, and 2) the cycle between ice age and warm earth takes tens of thousands of years. If all the climate data accumulated in the last one hundred years is used, it still has statistical insignificance; it would amount about 1/1000th of a percent of the natural cycle time– not enough to make any reasonable conclusion.
Analysis of ocean floor core drilling shows that during the last 400,000 years the earth has experienced five ice ages; these are cyclic in nature with each cycle having a duration of about 80,000 years. During each of these cycles, starting at the warmest point it takes around 60,000 years to reach the coldest point with temperatures decreasing, often interrupted by multiple periods of increasing temperatures, but always trending cooler. Once the full ice age is reached, temperatures begin a much more rapid decrease reaching the highest average temperature in about 20,000 years. So during the warming cycle the change is three times faster than that of the cooling cycle.
Archeologists have concluded that humans have only inhabited the earth for about 200,000 years. That means that Homo-sapiens have survived through about 2-1/2 ice age/warm age cycles. Man appeared on the earth during the time of high warmth as the earth was first entering into a new cooling cycle. Pryor to man there had been at least four ice ages and probably many more since there is no reason to assume that this normal cooling/heating cycle has not existed almost as long as the earth itself.
Looking at the cooling/heating trends of the last six partial and full ice ages, it appears that there is a very slight trend towards warming, with three out of four most recent ice ages both taking longer to reach the coldest peak and with the peak being slightly warmer than previous ice ages. So this very slow warming trend existed before man was even on the earth.
There is no question that there will be continued cycles of cooling and heating. We actually appear to be entering into a cooling cycle, but if so science will not know it for probably 10,000 years, and Soros, Obama, Gore, and you and I will probably be lost from human memory.
People must resist the scare tactics; stand to protect their God-given rights, and insist that they will determine their own direction, choosing for themselves how their money will be used. The basic premise of liberalism, socialism, and communism is that people are neither smart enough nor good enough to do the right thing, only an all powerful government can do that.
We must stop this environmental scam, end the confidence game that would take the money of the worker, the grower, the investor, the industrialist and “redistribute” it to those who have not done the work, have not raised the crops and herds, and have not taken the risks to develop prosperity.
This does not mean that we will not help the poor and downtrodden, it only means that in helping them we will transfer the skills for them to prosper in their own right, and not kill the economic system that has been the most successful the world has known.
As the northeast is being blanketed in snow, environmental alarmists would like us all to know that global warming is to blame for all the cold weather.
Or is it climate change? The name seems to change from one week to another.
Either way, we humans are all to fault. Why? Because of a naturally occuring gas called carbon dioxide – the same stuff we exhale.
Problem is, the people who say more snow is caused by global warming, er, climate change, also say less snow is caused by global warming.
And if you don’t believe that, you’re an ignorant rube. Just ask the liberals at MSNBC (aka, the network of insane liberal hate).
Filling in for the always angry and self-important Keith Olbermann (is it me, or does that name sound suspiciously German? Just sayin’), Sam Seder gave an explanation complete with the appropriate map. Mediaite reported:
Seder’s explanation centered around a “weather report” from Countdown’s meteorologist…who also, conveniently, happened to be Sam Seder. Seder discussed the patterns that, in his mind, combined to form global warming denial: “a high pressure system…from the energy-producing states” mixed with “a strong front of ignorance sweeping up from down South” and “current of blustery hot air out of just one radio studio in Palm Beach, Florida.” It was a cute conceit and everything, but he probably could have done without the southern stereotyping.
As well as the gratuitous and snarky attack on Rush Limbaugh.
But there is another possible explanation that many in the so-called media seem to ignore.
Looking at the calendar, one finds the storm is taking place during a time of year most of us know as winter.
Those of us who live in the Pacific Northwest, for example, are quite familiar with this time of year, as it frequently produces cold weather and, yes, Sam, snow.
But facts are irrelevant to those who arrogantly believe human beings cause changes in the weather. Because it’s really not about science, it’s a belief based on a pseudo-religion.
Remember, the recent Cancun summit on climate change opened with an incantation to the ancient Mayan moon goddess Ixchel.
Delegates at that meeting turned out to be so gullible they signed a fake petition to ban dihydrogen monoxide – water.
Adherents to the religion of environmentalism frequently refer to the planet as a living creature (Gaia) worthy of worship. To them, human beings are a virus that needs to be controlled, limited, and ultimately eliminated.
If this sounds like hyperbole, consider something called the Voluntary Human Extinction Movement. This is a movement dedicated to the principle that people should not have children. If everyone follows this principle, eventually the human race will disappear and the planet will be saved.
Ted Turner, a fan of population control, does not go quite that far, but does believe there should be a global one-child policy similar to that enforced in China.
Professor Kevin Anderson, Director of the Tyndall Centre for Climate Change Research, said that rich countries (read, the United States and Britain) need to adopt World War 2 style rationing and zero economic growth for twenty years in order to stave off disaster from global warming.
But nothing environmentalists propose will do any good. Ever since the dawn of time the planet has experienced changes in climate.
Not a single socialist policy will change that, nor will all the UN delegates on planet earth make any difference.
The real goal of the environmental movement is the destruction of freedom and wealth in the Western world.
It is high time the snake oil peddlers of the climate change fraud be exposed for what they are – educated, useful idiots.
There’s a reason for all this snow, and it’s called “winter”.
ARE YOU KIDDING ME?
There she goes again. DHS Secretary Janet Napolitano just can’t speak in public without destroying any remaining confidence Americans have left in her agency. CNS News reports that at a conference devoted to “environmental justice”, Secretary Napolitano announced that the Department of Homeland Security would be creating the “Climate Change and Adaptation Task Force” to mitigate the affects of global warming on security and response operations. No…really.
According to CNS, Napolitano said the task force would examine: 1) “How will FEMA work with state and local partners to plan for increased flooding or wildfire or hurricane activity that is more serious than we’ve seen before?” 2) “What assistance can the Coast Guard bring to bear to assist remote villages in, for example, Alaska which already have been negatively affected by changes up in the Arctic?” 3) “How can we focus on how climate change is going to affect our rural citizenry including those who live along our boarders both northern and southern?”, and 4) how will the Coast Guard or border services react to rising water levels.
We were first warned of these coming priorities in the Quadrennial Homeland Security Review, released in February, which was intended to be a strategic outline for the department but instead discussed global warming, while barely mentioning the U.S. Coast Guard. Of course, these new priorities don’t mean better resources for the Coast Guard or anyone at the department. The distracting initiative is merely a stunt aimed at President Obama’s leftist base.
If it worries you that the department created in 2002 has not only lost considerable focus on securing our nation, but become an outpost for misguided political musings, you are not alone. Secretary Napolitano has time and time again proven that she fails to understand the immediate threats facing Americans and will waste breath and resources on liberal dogma rather than warning our enemies of our continued vigilance, and demonstrating it to them.
In April 2009, Napolitano’s department issued a report that warned of “right wing extremism” praying on returning veterans joining and planning harm against the nation they just finished serving. At the time, American Legion National Commander David Rehbein didn’t demand an apology, but instead correctly assessed the problem: “Trying to monitor a group of several million veterans is frankly going to cost them a lot of time and resources, they don’t have, that they could better spend monitoring already identified groups.” Exactly.
The current leadership at DHS spends so much time placating politically-correct leftists, they are guaranteed to not be using every available minute and resource afforded to them to prevent terrorism, respond to disasters and protect us from obvious Islamist plots.
But let’s pretend that global warming does indeed pose an imminent national security threat, do the goals of this “task force” even make sense? No.
First, it’s built on the faulty premise that we are facing increased hurricane activity, flooding and wildfires due to global warming. Casual or not, the numbers simply don’t add up. In fact, we’ve had two consecutive hurricane seasons that were historically quiet. But again, pretending the premise is correct, wouldn’t the department be prepared for a greater-than-average number of response activities simply based on resource potential rather than adding some political cause to it all?
This alone proves that the intent of the “task force” is to make a silly political statement; otherwise Secretary Napolitano currently has her department vastly unprepared for no valid reason.
Secondly, the Coast Guard can already offer the specific assistance to Americans with which it is mandated. If our neighbors in the Arctic region are experiencing any of the issues that liberals attach to global warming — i.e. land loss, water-levels rising, extreme temperatures — what exactly would be the Coast Guard’s new mission? They perform rescue operations, but surely Napolitano doesn’t expect water levels to rise so fast that Alaskans can’t slowly back away?
An already stretched-too-thin Coast Guard should, again, always be planning for a greater-than-average number of events, but not adding to which events they respond to based on political whim. As for their infrastructure, Coast Guard headquarters are hopefully prepared for most coastal weather activity regardless of cause, and their vessels hopefully remain floating on water, despite its rise.
President Obama has also reallocated considerable resources at NASA, from its original mission of human exploration to global warming research. And other agencies like the Departments of Energy, Commerce and the EPA are also diverting considerable taxpayer dollars to fight global warming and increase economic burdens on our country while ignoring other urgent and pressing priorities. But the misplaced focus of DHS is particularly worrisome given its critical mandate.
Secretary Napolitano dismissed the Times Square bomber as a “one-off”, which of course turned out to be false as we learned of his connection to Islamist terror networks. Napolitano also said the “system worked” after the Christmas Day attack, when we later learned the system was lucky and again, we had an attacker tied to a large Islamist network.
While belittling the Islamist threat against America, Napolitano increased intrusive security measures across the nation and then acted with shock when the public noticed the illogical disconnection. Simply put, Napolitano has said nothing to make Americans feel safer, and far too often, does the exact opposite.
DHS is currently spending considerable time assigning politically convenient causes to potential events rather than operating on known threats. It’s time for Secretary Napolitano to start demonstrating she has some basic understanding of the mission of her department, and that she is carrying out in a competent way, before Americans aren’t the only ones who recognize her misplaced priorities.