Climate Change: Science Versus Consensus and Alarmism
Climate Change: Science Versus Consensus
and Alarmism A Court Case Reveals the Falsehoods in Al Gore’s “ An Inconvenient Truth ”, Climate Change Reality, the Role of the Sun, and Energy Solutions Matt Bailey Desert Research Institute
<ul><li>This PowerPoint is not intended
as a presentation for a lecture (its too long, with a lot of text). It is meant to be a resource for those interested in the counter arguments against global warming alarmism (not global warming) in a condensed format (it’s a big subject). It is divided into four sections: an introduction with some background and philosophy of science stuff; the court case in the UK that refuted nearly all of Al Gore’s An Inconvenient Truth ; the presentation of the non-alarmist or rational scientific view; and finally, a conclusion that considers solutions to global pollution. </li></ul><ul><li>The data presented here are taken from peer reviewed journals and presentations from qualified climate scientists. It also includes material from the United Nations Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change, or IPCC. Journal citations, sources, and links are listed whenever possible so that the reader can verify the data as presented. </li></ul><ul><li>I am not a formal climatologist, but few in the field of climate change are. I am a physicist by training, and currently do research in cloud physics and lightning. There are many sub-disciplines of research relevant to climate change, including meteorology, climatology, atmospheric chemistry and physics, geology, paleoceanography, astrophysics, quaternary science, statistics, and modeling. </li></ul><ul><li>Disclaimer: Opinions are the author’s and are not necessarily shared by the Desert Research Institute, “but they should be” (paraphrasing Bob Parks, U. Maryland). </li></ul>
Section Content <ul><li>Section 1 (turquoise
slides) – Background: climate science distortion, skepticism, principles of science (a short intro, then lots of facts). </li></ul><ul><li>Section 2 (green slides) - The inaccuracies covered in the court case that challenged the mandated showing of An Inconvenient Truth to elementary school children in the UK: Kilimanjaro, CO 2 and temperature, hurricanes, Lake Chad, drowning polar bears, shut-down of the Gulf Stream, loss of coral, sea level rise and Greenland-Antarctica, sea level rise and islands. </li></ul><ul><li>Section 3 (yellow slides) - Historical temperatures (distant past to last decade), temperature variability, the urban heat island effect and errors in US and global temperature measurements, non-greenhouse gas heating due to smog particles in the lower atmosphere (China, India, Asia, and underdeveloped countries), black carbon (soot particles) role in Arctic ice loss, recent warming and solar activity versus CO 2 , clouds and climate, the Sun’s role in temperature change, the Sun’s effect on climate via cosmic rays and cloud formation, the near future. </li></ul><ul><li>Section 4 (turquoise slides) - Conclusions: temperature, CO 2 versus the Sun, future projection, solutions (practical versus idealistic), arguments for sustainable nuclear energy, meltdown-proof nuclear reactors, energy statistics, radiation health statistics, websites. </li></ul>
Global Warming is a Fact!
Contrary to the anthropogenic global warming (AGW) alarmists, few scientists deny that the Earth has been warming, for about the last 150 years following the 450 year “ Mini-Ice Age ”. Global warming skeptics or rationalists claim that the warming is largely due to natural variations in the Earth’s climate, of which there is ample evidence. Predictions and claims of alarming climate change come almost exclusively from crude or overly simplistic computer models, not climate data, which show essentially no change in global temperature since the mid-1990’s . Recent and past analysis of climate data has revealed that the statistical methods and models used by those who promote AGW are highly flawed. Some of these model results were intentionally manipulated so as to give the impression of AGW. Mark Twain once said “There are three kinds of lies. Lies, damn lies, and statistics.” While statistics are important to any scientific argument, they have their limits. This presentation will not bomb the reader with statistical arguments, but it will show data and uncertainties that the layman and scientist alike can appreciate, from which rational conclusions can be drawn.
Science is constrained by data,
but models and opinions aren’t. Since the early 1990’s, the IPCC has issued a number of reports containing model predictions of global climate change. These models are incomplete because of a general lack of knowledge concerning key factors which determine the temperature of the atmosphere. Among these is the Sun’s energy input and the response of the coupled ocean-atmosphere system. The models also rely on several untested assumptions concerning the strengths of factors that lead to warming or cooling, emphasizing only those which might lead to warming. When models don’t agree with data, the model is changed, not the data. In the game of science, data always trump theory.
Skepticism In science, skepticism does
not refer to the habitual denial of facts, but is instead one of the guiding principles of science. Scientists are trained to be skeptics. If a scientist makes a claim or presents a hypothesis, the burden is on that scientist to prove the claim with open data and analysis that can pass the scrutiny of fellow scientists or “peers” in the field. Hypotheses are one thing, data is another. If the two don’t support each other, it is the hypotheses that are suspect, not the data, and the proper scientific method requires that scientists be skeptical of the hypotheses. This is how science works!
The Skeptics I and many
of my colleagues are “skeptics” of the global warming alarmist view because we are scientists. Contrary to what Al Gore claims, there are more than a “few dozen” of us. A petition signed by 400 top scientists was recently sent to the US Senate Environment and Public Works Committee, http://epw.senate.gov/public/index.cfm?FuseAction=Minority.SenateReport#report and over 31,000 have signed a petition protesting the alarmism being perpetrated upon the public. The current list of 31,072 petition signers includes 9,021 PhD; 6,961 MS; 2,240 MD and DVM; and 12,850 BS or equivalent academic degrees. Most of the MD and DVM signers also have underlying degrees in basic science . This stands in stark contradiction to the claim by Al Gore that a scientific consensus exists supporting man-caused or anthropogenic global warming. http://www.oism.org/pproject/s33p1845.htm Add to this the scientists who attended the 2008 International Conference on Climate Change (ICCC) and signed the Manhat-tan Declaration along with over 600 qualified supporters, and those who attended the 2009 ICCC in New York C . Many more have remained silent rather than risk their careers or the ire of colleagues and administrators. http://www.climatescienceinternational.org/
Consensus of the top scientists?
Richard Lindzen , atmospheric physicist and Arthur P. Sloan Professor of Meteorology at MIT , is a former member of the IPCC and author of past IPCC reports . In the program, “ The Great Global Warming Swindle ”, Lindzen points out that the IPCC’s claim, that it’s reports are endorsed by “2500 top scientists”, simply isn’t true. Many of the members of the IPCC are not scientists at all, but are instead political appointees from the member countries. Some of the scientist on the IPCC’s list are no longer members of the IPCC, having left the panel or quit, often in protest, but their names continue to appear on the reports after they leave. The IPCC reports are written by a relatively small number of qualified scientists, and are endorsed by a much larger number of mostly unqualified appointees, “none of whom are asked if they agree or disagree with the report “ http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Richard_Lindzen
The Debate Is In Full
Swing The debate is in full swing in spite of Gore’s proclamations to the contrary. However, many scientists who have embraced the consensus claimed by Gore have obviously not taken the time to look at the data, and have instead accepted the opinions of the alarmists simply based on what they heard in the media or from a few vocal advocates of the alarmist view which the media was quick to feature in sensationalist reports. To quote Richard Lindzen “… there are the numerous well meaning individuals who have allowed propagandists to convince them that in accepting the alarmist view of anthropogenic climate change, they are displaying intelligence and virtue.” Many of these well meaning individuals are politicians or educators in our elementary schools and Universities, and many of them have made this a political as well as a moral issue.
Consensus The late Michael Crichton
(best known for his novels like Jurassic Park and State of Fear, but also a graduate of Harvard Medical School and a former postdoctoral fellow at the Salk Institute for Biological Studies) said it best when he warned his audience of the dangers of "consensus science" in a 2003 speech. In part, he said, "Historically, the claim of consensus is a way to avoid debate by claiming that the matter is already settled.” "Let's be clear: the work of science has nothing whatever to do with consensus. "Consensus is the business of politics. Science, on the contrary, requires only one investigator who happens to be right, which means that he or she has results that are verifiable by reference to the real world. In science consensus is irrelevant. What is relevant is reproducible results. The greatest scientists in history are great precisely because they broke with the consensus."
The Story Has Changed 2007,
2008, and 2009 saw a surge of new studies published in the peer review journals that refute or disprove many of the claims which constitute the “consensus” view of global warming promoted by the IPCC (I have cited these sources or provided links throughout this presentation). This is also the case with many publications from professional organizations such as the American Geophysical Union (AGU), the American Meteor-logical Society (AMS), and the University Cooperative for Atmospheric Research (UCAR) to name a few. The public is mostly in the dark concerning these recent revelations, and the alarmist view has received so much press, and makes such a good story, that it has become dogma
Scientific Distortion The media and
politicians are notorious for distorting the facts in order to serve their own agendas. “ An Inconvenient Truth ” by Al Gore is an extreme example of just how badly the unqualified can twist what scientists actually know (the movie even distorts what the IPCC has published). This problem is clearly revealed in the book “ Meltdown: The Predictable Distortion of Global Warming by Scientists, Politicians, and the Media ” by Patrick Michaels ( reviewed and highly recommended in the Bulletin of the American Meteorological Society ).
Scientific Distortion Some scientists are
also to blame. As John Christy* notes in “ The Great Global Warming Swindle ”, many climate scientists have a vested interest in the hysteria because this is how they get funding. There has been at least 15 years of funding proposal announce-ments whose stated goal was to find possible anthropogenic causes of global warming. As Richard Lindzen noted in the GGWS , the one thing you don’t ever report is that what you found might not be a problem, because then you would not receive any more funding. *John Christy is the Distinguished Professor of Atmospheric Science and Director of the Earth System Science Center at the University of Alabama in Huntsville (UAH). For his development of a global temperature data set from satellites, he was awarded NASA's Medal for Exceptional Scientific Achievement , and the American Meteorological Society's (AMS) "Special Award.“ In 2002, Christy was elected Fellow of the AMS. In 2007, Christy refused the Nobel Prize awarded to him and all members of the IPCC, and Al Gore.
It doesn’t take a scientist
to recognize the trend in the data at left. A scandal erupted in November 2009 over inter-cepted emails concerning the manipu-lation of climate data by the Climate Research Unit (CRU) of East Anglia University (UEA) in the UK, a climate institute that feeds models and pre-dictions to the United Nations Inter-governmental Panel on Climate Change, the IPCC . Emails from Kevin Trenberth , head of the Climate Analysis Section at the National Center for Atmospheric Research ( NCAR ) in the US, state “the fact is that we cant account for the lack of warming at the moment and it’s a travesty that we cant.” The “moment” is over 10 years long. And additionally, from Phil Jones at UEA , “I’ve just completed Mike’s trick... to hide the decline” of the last 6 years. ( More about these graphs later!) Magenta and blue lines: temperature anomaly data. Green line: CO 2 concentrations in part per million.
Revelations of Fraud There are
many scientists who disagree with the alarmist interpretation of climate change. However their opinions are rarely heard in the mainstream media who supported the alarmist position before listening to the dissenting point of view from a vast number of qualified scientists and climatologists. It comes as no surprise that the media is mostly silent on the recent revelations concerning climate data manipulations referred to as “Climategate”. This is in addition to the silencing of Alan Carlin of the EPA for his report challenging the EPA’s own data concerning global warming and CO 2 , and their recently won court case that gave the EPA the authority to regulate CO 2 as a pollutant. For the last several years, the public has been pummeled with special reports and multi-part series on the looming catastrophe of AGW (e.g. CNN’s “Planet in Peril”). The media stuck their necks out supporting the AGW alarmists, and now their credibility is at risk. Don’t expect them to admit any errors soon.
In case you missed this,
since it got so little press, CBS news reported in June 2009 that a member of the EPA, Alan Carlin, was silenced when he submitted a report challenging the EPA’s data and subsequent conclusions concerning CO 2 and global warming. You can read Carlin’s report at http://cei.org/cei_files/fm/active/0/DOC062509-004.pdf The Environmental Protection Agency may have suppressed an internal report that was skeptical of claims about global warming, including whether carbon dioxide must be strictly regulated by the federal government, according to a series of newly disclosed e-mail messages. Less than two weeks before the agency formally submitted its pro-regulation recommendation to the White House, an EPA center director quashed a 98-page report that warned against making hasty "decisions based on a scientific hypothesis that does not appear to explain most of the available data.“ The EPA official, Al McGartland, said in an e-mail message to a staff researcher on March 17: "The administrator and the administration has decided to move forward... and your comments do not help the legal or policy case for this decision." The e-mail correspondence raises questions about political interference in what was supposed to be a independent review process inside a federal agency -- and echoes criticisms of the EPA under the Bush administration, which was accused of suppressing a pro-climate change document. Alan Carlin, the primary author of the 98-page EPA report, told CBSNews.com in a telephone interview on Friday that his boss, McGartland, was being pressured himself. "It was his view that he either lost his job or he got me working on something else," Carlin said. "That was obviously coming from higher levels." E-mail messages released this week show that Carlin was ordered not to "have any direct communication" with anyone outside his small group at EPA on the topic of climate change, and was informed that his report would not be shared with the agency group working on the topic. http://www.cbsnews.com/blogs/2009/06/26/politics/politicalhotsheet/entry5117890.shtml
<ul><li>Again, global warming is a
fact! </li></ul><ul><li>The Earth’s average temperature has increased over the last 150 years </li></ul><ul><li>by about 1 degree Celsius, or 1.8 degrees Fahrenheit, following a 450 </li></ul><ul><li>year Mini-Ice Age that saw some historically low temperatures (the </li></ul><ul><li>Maunder Minimum) and regularly brutalized our ancestors with crop </li></ul><ul><li>failures and famines. Since then, due to the warming of the climate and </li></ul><ul><li>advances in technology and agriculture, human life expectancy has </li></ul><ul><li>nearly doubled, and agricultural production has quintupled, mirrored </li></ul><ul><li>closely by world population growth . http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Maunder_minimum </li></ul>The Frozen Thames, 1677 . Between 1400 and the nineteenth century there were a total of 23 documented winters in which the Thames froze over at London, 25 if you include "more or less frozen over" years which are shown in parentheses: 1408, 1435, 1506, 1514, 1537, 1565, 1595, 1608, 1621, 1635, 1649, 1655, 1663, 1666, 1677, 1684, 1695, 1709, 1716, 1740, (1768), 1776, (1785), 1795 and 1814.
<ul><li>A few things to keep
in mind as you proceed. </li></ul><ul><ul><li>The Earth cooled to its current state during a cycle of glacial-interglacial periods, beginning about 4 million years ago. </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>The average temperature has dropped by about 6 o C or about 11 o F, with the variation in temperature , between warm and cold periods, covering nearly 10 o C or about 18 o F. </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>The last interglacial period, the Eemian, was warmer than today, and sea levels were 4-6 meters higher than they are now, indicating greater deglaciation than today. </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>The Earth recently returned to its historical average temperature around 1980 after being below average for nearly 600 years . The Earth is presently about 0.2-0.6 o C above its average, if thermometer measurements are accurate. They are not, as will be shown! </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Many of the graphs you will see, like the one above, plot temperature “anomalies” which are departures from the average temperature, itself an uncertain quantity. </li></ul></ul>
<ul><li>Anthropogenic emissions of greenhouse gases
(predominantly carbon dioxide) have increased since the industrial revolution, but only by a tiny amount compared to the natural levels of all greenhouse gases in the atmosphere, which are dominated by water vapor. However, as some current climate models claim, these emissions rose to levels significant enough to cause a measurable effect on global temperature in the last few decades of the 20 th century. However, 2007, 2008, and 2009 have seen an increasing number of studies published in the peer reviewed journals that indicate the models have significantly overestimated the sensitivity of the climate to changes in carbon dioxide as will be shown. </li></ul>
Like the temperature graph on
the left, most temperature records plot the “anomalies” or departures from an average temperature. The graph on the right is the same as that on the left, but shows the temperature variations with respect to the freezing point of water (0 o C or 32 o F), a temperature relevant to the massive polar regions. Choice of scale can have a dramatic effect on the impression imparted by a set of data. The mean or average temperature shown here is higher than some values found in the literature. A mean temperature includes geographically averaged air temperatures over the land (both desert and tundra) and the oceans (tropical and arctic), including seasonal variations, over a specified period of time. So average values can vary considerably. [GISS = NASA’s Goddard Institute for Space Science] GISS Global Mean Temperature 1880-2003
<ul><li>Climate variability and change are
the norm, not the exception. The Earth’s climate history, both long and short term, is fairly well documented. Before the 1970’s, the accepted theory was that the Sun was the main driving force behind climate change and variability, along with periodic changes in the Earth’s orbit. Starting around 1800, the Earth slowly and erratically warmed for about 150 years, but then experienced a significant cooling between1945 and 1975 as carbon dioxide levels rose due to post WWII reconstruction and economic expansion. These changes were well within the historical limits of climate variability, however the cooling led some climate scientists to conclude that a new ice age was looming. Time Magazine published an article reflecting this prediction in June 1974. ( http://www.time.com/time/magazine/article/0,9171,944914,00.html ) </li></ul>B.P. = before present
Estimated past temperatures from the
1990 IPCC Report, Figure 7.1.c (red), MBH 1999 40 year average used in IPCC TAR 2001 (blue), and Moberg et al. 2005 low frequency signal (black) Past temperatures are reconstructed from a number of “proxies”, measurable parameters that are assumed to reflect past temperatures. Tree ring analysis (dendrochronology) is one type of proxy. The width of tree rings is one indication of growth conditions, including rainfall and solar intensity. Another proxy, considered more accurate than most, including tree rings, is bore hole analysis. Geologists and glaciologists have been drilling deep holes into the Earth’s surface for many decades. The temperature gradients in these holes, the rate at which the temperature changes with depth, preserves and reveals a long term record of surface temperatures. The figure at upper left shows a curve in red from the IPCC’s 1990 report that is a bore hole record from Greenland that reveals the pronounced Medieval Warm Period. The existence of this warm period has now been fully corroborated by several independent studies and other proxy analyses. The middle figure shows the now infamous “Hockey Stick” model reconstruction by Michael Mann et al. (1999) which has been showed to be highly flawed due to the biased selection of particular tree ring data and the method used for smoothing and fitting the data. Nevertheless, the IPCC has continued to include the Hockey Stick results in their models (right figure), the effect of doing so being that the intensity of both the Medieval Warm Period and the Little Ice Age are reduced, and the current instrumental temperatures, covering barely the past 100 years, are artificially elevated. The “Hockey Stick” reconstruction of past temperatures by Mann et al. (1999) using selected tree ring data. The particular selection of data and the calculations leading to this result have been thoroughly discredited. A collection of temperature reconstructions which appear in the most recent IPCC report. (FAR). Temperature Reconstructions
http://www.whoi.edu/page.do?pid=7545&tid=282&cid=59106&ct=162 Sea surface temperature reconstructions
from the Indo-Pacific Warm Pool. Different colored symbols indicate data from different cores used in the reconstruction. A northern hemisphere temperature reconstruction from Mann et al. (2008) is shown in the black curve. The previously published data is from Newton et al. (2006). Colored lines are the average of the data points. Triangles at the bottom of the figure show where age control exists. The horizontal black line labeled 1997-2007 Mean Annual SST shows the value of the annual average sea surface temperature for the same time period. The Little Ice Age, which occurred around A.D. 1700, was a cool period, but its magnitude was only about 0.5 to 1˚C cooler than modern winter temperatures. Water temperature during the late Medieval Warm Period, between about A.D. 1000 to 1250, was within error of modern annual sea surface temperatures. (Oppo, Rosenthal, Linsley; 2009). So, the current sea surface temperatures are about equal to those of the Medieval Warm Period, long before man emitted any significant CO 2 . “ The Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution embraces the Medieval Warm Period: contradicts Mann’s proxy data.”
<ul><li>In the mid-70’s, the Earth
underwent one of its periodic climate shifts, which is reflected in the multi-decadal temperature oscillations of the Pacific Ocean basin that covers half of the planet. The temperature began to increase again. By the late 1980’s, some climate scientists began to warn of runaway global warming. Pollution was thought to be the culprit, i.e. the warming effects of greenhouse gases . Over the last 130 years, the Earth warmed, then cooled, and then warmed again. The Sun showed strikingly similar activity during this period, increasing, decreasing, and then increasing in radiant output, but its influence was dismissed in favor of computer models that stressed the estimated effects of carbon dioxide. </li></ul><ul><li>Al Gore told a very different story in An Inconvenient Truth! </li></ul>Pacific Decadal Oscillations
A Debate Mostly Out of
the Public View Al Gore and the alarmists captured the public’s attention first, while scientists with opposing views mostly conducted the debate out of the public’s view through the proper scientific channels, i.e. peer reviewed journals, publications, and conferences. Coupling a polished video production with testimonials from an occasional “expert” or “leading scientist” from NASA or the IPCC, Gore went on a media circuit blitz to promote his film, stating that his views represented the majority opinion or a consensus of scientists in the field. A position of certainty was presented to the mostly uninformed public and media (always in search of a sensational story) who were unaware of a vast number of scientists with dissenting opinions. It is well known throughout human history, and especially in politics, that if you state distortions or lies often enough, they begin to take on an “aura of truth”. The late Democrat senator Daniel Patrick Moynihan famously said that “people are entitled to their own opinions, but not their own facts”.
A Nobel Prize but Not
for Achievements in Science <ul><li>In November 2007. the Nobel Prize Committee jointly awarded the Peace Prize to the members* of the United Nation’s Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) and Al Gore for " for their efforts to build up and disseminate greater knowledge about man-made climate change, and to lay the foundations for the measures that are needed to counteract such change “. </li></ul><ul><li>Just three days before this, a judge in the UK ruled that “ An Inconvenient Truth ” (AIT ) contained 9** significant inaccuracies that were proven false by the scientific data or could not be substantiated, and “ that the film is a political work and promotes only one side of the argument ”. </li></ul><ul><li>Some of the evidence the judge heard was drawn from data in the IPCC reports and was used to refute Al Gore’s claims. </li></ul>**Not all of the inaccuracies in the film were fully considered by the court as the judge requested a sample on which to consider the case. Witness statements lists 20 inaccuracies in the film. *The award was given to past and present members of the IPCC, many of whom have quit the IPCC in protest, reporting that the IPCC lacks proper scientific credibility. John Christy refused the prize.
<ul><li>The inaccuracies are: </li></ul><ul><li>The film
claims that melting snows on Mount Kilimanjaro evidence global warming. The Government’s expert was forced to concede that this is not correct. </li></ul><ul><li>The film suggests that evidence from ice cores proves that rising CO2 causes temperature increases over 650,000 years. The Court found that the film was misleading: over that period the rises in CO2 lagged behind the temperature rises by 800-2000 years. </li></ul><ul><li>The film uses emotive images of Hurricane Katrina and suggests that this has been caused by global warming. The Government’s expert had to accept that it was “not possible” to attribute one-off events to global warming. </li></ul><ul><li>The film shows the drying up of Lake Chad and claims that this was caused by global warming. The Government’s expert had to accept that this was not the case. </li></ul><ul><li>The film claims that a study showed that polar bears had drowned due to disappearing arctic ice. It turned out that Mr. Gore had misread the study: in fact four polar bears drowned and this was because of a particularly violent storm. </li></ul>
<ul><li>The film threatens that global
warming could stop the Gulf Stream throwing Europe into an ice age: the Claimant’s evidence was that this was a scientific impossibility. </li></ul><ul><li>The film blames global warming for species losses including coral reef bleaching. The Government could not find any evidence to support this claim. </li></ul><ul><li>The film suggests that sea levels could rise by 7m causing the displacement of millions of people. In fact the evidence is that sea levels are expected to rise by about 40cm over the next hundred years and that there is no such threat of massive migration. </li></ul><ul><li>The film claims that rising sea levels has caused the evacuation of certain Pacific islands to New Zealand. The Government are unable to substantiate this and the Court observed that this appears to be a false claim. </li></ul><ul><li>Not all of the inaccuracies in the film were fully considered by the court as the judge requested a sample on which to consider the case. Professor Carter's witness statement lists 20 inaccuracies in the film. </li></ul>
Inaccuracies in Al Gore's An
Inconvenient Truth “ The decision by the government to distribute Al Gore's film An Inconvenient Truth has been the subject of a legal action by New Party member Stewart Dimmock. The Court found that the film was misleading in nine respects and that the Guidance Notes drafted by the Education Secretary’s advisors served only to exacerbate the political propaganda in the film.” “ In order for the film to be shown, the Government must first amend their Guidance Notes to Teachers to make clear that 1.) The Film is a political work and promotes only one side of the argument. 2.) If teachers present the Film without making this plain, they may be in breach of section 406 of the Education Act 1996 and guilty of political indoctrination. 3.) Nine inaccuracies have to be specifically drawn to the attention of school children.” The inaccuracies are : From a judge in the UK, in response to the governments decision to show “An Inconvenient Truth” to elementary school children and the challenge to this effort by the parent of a student.
Inaccuracies in Al Gore's An
Inconvenient Truth 1. “The film claims that melting snows on Mount Kilimanjaro is evidence of global warming. The Government’s expert was forced to concede that this is not correct”. Mt. Kilimanjaro is near the equator in Tanzania with a peak elevation of 19,341 ft. East Central Africa, like Sub-Saharan Africa, has been experiencing decades of decreased temperatures and precipitation (click or roll forward). Glaciers, even if perpetually cold as in Antarctica, need to be fed with snowfall, or they retreat. They can melt if they get warm, or they can evaporate due to sunlight, even when cold. A recent study by Philip Mote of the University of Washington in the United States and Georg Kaser of the University of Innsbruck in Austria indicates that the shrinking of Kilimanjaro's ice cap is not due to global warming but instead driven by solar radiation. The glaciers on Kilimanjaro fluctuate considerably with the Earth’s constantly changing climate, and the ice observed over the last century was partially deposited during a 450 year mini-ice age. Late in 2007, heavy snowfall led to a slight increase in Kilimanjaro's overall ice volume. (Follow the link below for more on this.) http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/science/nature/6561527.stm
In an Inconvenient Truth ,
Al Gore told the story of an old beloved professor of his who showed him a graph of temperature and carbon dioxide over the last 600 thousand years. He later stepped onto a cherry picker for dramatic effect and pointed to temperature and CO 2 curves and then asked the crowd, “do you think those two ever fit?”. He told the crowd to notice that when CO 2 was up, the temperature was up, and when CO 2 was down, the temperature was down, implying CO 2 determines temperature.
<ul><li>Inaccuracies in Al Gore's An
Inconvenient Truth </li></ul><ul><li>“ The film suggests that evidence from ice cores proves that rising CO 2 causes temperature increases over 650,000 years. The Court found that the film was misleading: over that period the rises in CO 2 lagged behind the temperature rises by 800-2000 years”. </li></ul>650,000 year of climate history gleaned from the Vostok ice core obtained In Antarctica show that CO 2 has always lagged temperature change (the tempera-ture increases first, then CO 2 follows). The solubility of gases in liquids is a function of temperature. Colder liquids hold more gas (consider carbonated beverages). In the past as oceans warmed, some dissolved CO 2 was released. Levels of CO 2 , methane, and other greenhouse gases also increased due to increased biological activity. In AIT , Al Gore placed the CO 2 graph over the temperature graph, climbed on a cherry picker for dramatic effect, and then asked the audience if they thought these two ever “fit” together. He did not superimpose them on each other, or draw the lines shown at left, as it would have obviously disproved his assertion. present ->
In a recent television interview
with Al Gore, when faced by a reporter with the court’s revelation about the Vostok ice core, and the peer reviewed literature that show historical temperature increases lead carbon dioxide increases, and not the other way around as he indicated in AIT , Al Gore responded by saying “both assessments are correct”. Spoken like a true politician! To paraphrase a saying from Texas, never let facts get in the way of telling a good story . In all fairness, most climate models do predict that once warming begins (i.e. due to natural driving forces), the addition of greenhouse gases should add to the warming, but only by a small amount. The question in dispute is, by how much? It is becoming clear from several recent studies that the current climate models significantly overestimate the response of the atmosphere to the recent increases in carbon dioxide (discussed later in the presentation). present ->
To quote professor Nir Shaviv
of the Racah Institute of Physics (Israel) in the video “The Great Global Warming Swindle” produced in the UK in late 2007, “there were periods in Earth’s history when the levels of carbon dioxide were 3 times higher, or 10 times higher than they are today ( 380 parts per million or ppm ), and if CO 2 has a large effect on climate, then you should see it in the temperature reconstruction”, which is not the case. Carbon dioxide has never driven the climate, not now, nor in the past. Late Carboniferous to Early Permian time (315 mya -- 270 mya) is the only time period in the last 600 million years when both atmospheric CO2 and temperatures were as low as they are today (Quaternary Period ). ← 10 times higher than today, trees first appear ↓ 18 times higher than today 15 o C = current temp . dinosaurs
In case you didn’t catch
this press release in the US media. China now no. 1 in CO 2 emissions; USA in second position Press release; 19 June 2007 Netherland Environmental Assessment Agency China’s 2006 CO 2 emissions surpassed those of the USA by 8%. This includes CO 2 emissions from industrial processes (cement production). With this China tops the list of CO 2 emitting countries for the first time. In 2005, CO 2 emissions from China were still 2% below those of the USA. These figures are based on a preliminary estimate by the Netherlands Environmental Assessment Agency (MNP), using recently published BP (British Petroleum) energy data and cement production data. China, USA & EU In 2006, the total of China’s CO 2 emissions from fossil fuels increased by 9%. In the USA in 2006, emissions decreased by 1.4% , compared to 2005. In the European Union countries (the ‘EU 15’) in that same year, CO 2 emissions from fossil fuels remained more or less constant; in 2005 there was a decrease by 0.8%, according to a recent report by the EEA compiling data from the member states. The European Union is the third-largest carbon dioxide emitter, but its levels are about half of China's. The next biggest emitters are Russia, India and Japan. The lack of change in the EU emissions shows that they are not meeting their Kyoto Protocol targets. Except for the underdeveloped countries, most of the signatory countries will not meet their goals by 2012 as set by the treaty, except by purchasing carbon emission credits from other countries whose emissions basically haven’t changed, so no real change in CO 2 emissions.
Hurricane experts at the National
Hurricane Center (NHC) in Florida routinely refute claims about the link between hurricanes and global warming, noting that hurricanes follow a multi-decadal cycle that does not appear to be tied to global warming. Hurricane frequency and strength depend on sea surface temperatures which follow a 25-40 year cycle of minima and maxima as shown above (like the “AMO” and “NAO”). The Atlantic Basin is currently in a phase of higher hurricane frequency, as expected. Inaccuracies in Al Gore's An Inconvenient Truth 3. “ The film uses emotive images of Hurricane Katrina and suggests that this has been caused by global warming. The Government’s expert had to accept that it was not possible to attribute one-off events to global warming”. average = 1.64 per year
The hurricanes of 2005, including
Katrina, were often reported in the media as being due to global warming. In fact, that year’s hurricanes were not remarkable consider-ing the long term record kept by the National Hurricane Center (NHC). All of these hurricanes were category 3 (on a scale of 1-5) or less when they made landfall (Katrina had dropped to category 2 by the time it hit New Orleans). 2005 was remarkable in that it saw a record number of named tropical storms (27 storms weaker than category 1 hurricanes), 15 of which turned into hurricanes. Hurricane expert Kevin Trenberth at the National Center for Atmospheric Research in Denver predicted that 2006 would see 17 named storms and 9 hurricanes. Instead, there were 9 named storms, 5 hurricanes (three cat. 1, two cat. 3). None made US landfall in 2006 (or 2000)! 2005 2006 Zero ! 2005
Hurricane predictions for 2007 were
basically correct in terms of the number of named storms, but over predicted the number of intense storms by about a factor of 2. Only two were intense hurricanes (they hit Mexico) and only one (Humberto, a category 1) briefly hit the US. 2008 saw 2 US landfall hurricanes , Gustav and Ike (category 2-3), half the number predicted by the experts. 2009 saw zero! Global warming may reduce the risk of landfall hurricanes. (see NOAA link) http://www.noaanews.noaa.gov/stories2008/20080122_warmeroceans.html
An article from EOS, Transactions
of the American Geological Union (AGU), a science publication that openly leans towards AGW alarmism. The final paragraph says it all, and this trend was a continuation from earlier decades up to 2005. More recently, the Army Corp of Engineers has been blamed due to its actions involving the channeling of the flow of the Mississippi River downstream from New Orleans.
But we are also told
by Gore that droughts are increasing. Above is data on US droughts from the US National Climate Data Center (NCDC).
Gore also said that violent
weather, such as floods were increasing. Above is data on US rainfall from the US National Climate Data Center (NCDC).
<ul><li>Inaccuracies in Al Gore's An
Inconvenient Truth </li></ul><ul><li>“ The film shows the drying up of Lake Chad and claims that this was caused by global warming. The Government’s expert had to accept that this was not the case”. </li></ul><ul><li>(see story below). </li></ul><ul><li>Africa's Lake Chad Shrinks By 20 Times Due To Irrigation Demands, Climate </li></ul><ul><li>Change </li></ul><ul><li>ScienceDaily (Mar. 1, 2001) — In the 1960s, North central Africa's Lake Chad was larger </li></ul><ul><li>than the state of Vermont but is now smaller than Rhode Island. NASA-funded </li></ul><ul><li>researchers using computer models and climate data now understand why Africa's </li></ul><ul><li>freshwater Lake Chad has been disappearing over the last 30 years. </li></ul><ul><li>Using model and climate data, Coe and Foley calculate that a 30 percent decrease took </li></ul><ul><li>place in the lake between 1966 and 1975 (the global temperature was in decline during </li></ul><ul><li>this period ) . Irrigation only accounted for 5 percent of that decrease, with drier conditions </li></ul><ul><li>accounting for the remainder. They noticed that irrigation demands increased four-fold </li></ul><ul><li>between 1983 and 1994, accounting for 50 percent of the additional decrease in the size </li></ul><ul><li>of the lake (click or scroll forward). </li></ul><ul><li>The Northern Africa Sahel region has experienced numerous devastating droughts over </li></ul><ul><li>the last four decades. "Climate data has shown a great decrease in rainfall since the </li></ul><ul><li>early 1960's largely due to a decrease in the number of large rainfall events," Coe said. </li></ul>
In “An Inconvenient Truth” the
retreat of the Aral Sea in Kazakhstan and Uzbekistan is portrayed as being caused by global warming. The Aral Sea has retreated, not because of global warming, but because the Soviets diverted the two rivers that feed it, starting in the 1940’s, in order to grow rice and cotton. The lake level progressively dropped, (click) and the loss of clouds and precipitation normally generated by evaporation from the surface of the sea has led to desertification in the region.
From the World Wildlife Federation
Canada website . “ Polar Bears in Canada: The current facts ( January 2007 ) As some recent media reports have mistakenly cited incorrect facts about Canadian and circumarctic polar bears, WWF-Canada provides a brief summary of the most important facts about Canadian polar bears. In this way we hope that readers will be able to base their thinking, writing and decisions on accurate facts, not distorted information. Much of this information is contained in the recently published 190-page report from the World Conservation Union's Polar Bear Specialist Group most recent Working Meeting (see POLAR BEAR FAQ at http://pbsg.npolar.no/ ). Range and Numbers There are currently 19 populations of polar bears in the Arctic, in Canada, Alaska (USA), Russia, Svalbard (Norway) and Greenland (Denmark). Thirteen of these populations occur either wholly or partially in Canada, ranging from the Ontario shores of Hudson Bay as far north as Ellesmere Island, Nunavut, and from northern Yukon in the west to Labrador in the east. Twelve of these populations occur at least partially in Nunavut, the Inuit autonomous region in northern Canada. Polar bears often travel huge distances in their annual cycle. Because population estimates are very expensive to obtain in the Arctic, census data are patchy for some polar bear popula-tions. The current overall estimate is of 20-25,000 wild polar bears, with approximately 15,000 (about 2/3) occurring in Canada. The current population is about 33% higher than it was in the 1970’s due to a moratorium on polar bear hunting in Canada, which some want relaxed. http://www.cbc.ca/canada/north/story/2007/04/25/arviat-bears.html A successful hunt.
These figures show polar bear
populations (left) and Arctic temperature trends (right). These show that, in general, where temperature has decreased, so have polar bear populations, and where temperature has increased or remained constant, polar bear populations have increased or remained constant (for a guide to abbreviations, see next slide). Habit encroachment and hunting are also factors in some regions, e.g. Hudson Bay and Nunavut (extreme northern Canada).
Trends in Canadian Polar Bear
Populations From IUCN 2006, Polar Bear Specialist Group Proceedings from 2005 meeting. Much of the data in the IUCN Proceedings was provided by the Government of Nunavut, which participated fully in the production of the status report. Polar bears branched off from grizzly bears about 250,000 years ago, probably when a population of Arctic grizzlies was isolated by glacial barriers during an ice age (glacial period). Since then they have survived two interglacial warm periods, including the Holocene Climatic Optimum, around 8000 years ago, when temperatures in the Arctic were warmer than today for almost 3000 years, with the Arctic experiencing periods where it was largely ice free during summer months. Decline of populations in western Greenland (BB) and in Nunavut (northern Canada) is partially due to over hunting. . http://www.polarbearsinternational.org/bear-facts/
Polar bears, like their close
cousins, grizzly bears, are opportunistic feeders, feeding on most anything edible: dead, alive, fresh, or rotten, like the whale carcass in this image. With the recent warming, grizzly bears are extending their range northwards into the traditional range of the polar bears. Polar bears will likely alter their dietary habits in response to changing climate conditions, as the grizzly bears are.
The plight of wildlife, whether
real or imagined, often elicits an emotional response from the public. TV stars appear in commercials claiming that the polar bears are about to go extinct. The US has put them on the “watch list” under the Endangered Species Act, while Canada has designated them a species “of special concern” (both are two steps down from “endangered”, “threatened” being next). Again, polar bear numbers are up by about 1/3 over their numbers in the 1970’s due to a ban on hunting, which has since been relaxed. The Inuit of Nunavut claim that world governments are interfering with their stewardship. The Inuit have the right to hunt and conduct sport hunting expeditions in their territory, and some Inuits claim that polar bear numbers are on the rise in some areas. The US and the EU have banned the import of polar bear skins, effectively putting a ban on hunting. The Inuit have stated that they will take their quota of bears anyway, but in the mean time, claim they are being robbed of an important source of revenue through a non-existent wildlife problem (they get about $50K per sport hunting party). Surveys of polar bears, especially in Russia, are incomplete or absent. So neither side has an accurate count, only their opinion. This is also the case for those who claim with certainty that the polar bears are disappearing. Should we trust the Inuit in their own land? Nunavut
Inaccuracies in Al Gore's An
Inconvenient Truth 6. “The film threatens that global warming could stop the Gulf Stream, throwing Europe into an ice age: the Claimant’s evidence was that this was a scientific impossibility”. This figure shows the “global conveyor” or the thermohaline circulation of the Earth’s oceans driven by temperature and salinity differences in masses of ocean water. Red represents warm surface water while blue represents colder saltier water that sinks because it is more dense. The erroneous idea that the current warming could stop the Gulf Stream stems from the distortion of a single climate event that occurred about 13,000 years ago at the end of the last ice age. This event is referred to as the Younger Dryas. The Younger Dryas resulted from a rapid cooling with a return to glacial conditions in the higher latitudes of the Northern Hemisphere between 12,900 – 11,500 years before present (BP). One theory holds that the Younger Dryas was caused by a significant reduction or shutdown of the North Atlantic thermohaline circulation.
The shutdown may have been
in response to a sudden influx of fresh water from Lake Agazziz, a huge ice-dammed lake in Canada near the present day Great Lakes. According to the theory, the dam broke and a huge volume of fresh water flowed eastward through the Great Lakes and down the St. Lawrence River into the North Atlantic Ocean, diluting the Gulf Stream with fresh water, and shutting down the thermohaline conveyor, plunging the Northern hemisphere briefly back into an ice age-like condition. There are many problems with this theory, including the fact that South America cooled first, and some evidence indicates the water flowed south down the Mississippi River (many oceanographers dismiss this as the reason for the disruption of the global conveyor). The sudden cooling event may have been caused by a small asteroid impact (the proposed Younger Dryas impact event) or a sudden overturning of mid or deep ocean layers. No matter what the cause, there is currently no process that could suddenly produce any where close to such a volume of fresh water and release it into the oceans. Any melting of ice in the Arctic or Antarctic would cause very slow changes in the thermohaline circulation.
Inaccuracies in Al Gore's An
Inconvenient Truth 7. “The film blames global warming for species losses including coral reef bleaching. The Government could not find any evidence to support this claim”. Corals consist of a limestone structure filled with thousands of small animals called polyps. Algae called zooxanthellae live within each coral. In return for a safe sunny home, the zooxanthellae eat the nitrogen waste that the coral produces (nitrogen is very good for algal growth) and, like all plants, algae turn sunlight into sugars by the process of photosynthesis. The sugars produced by the zooxanthellae make up 98 per cent of the coral's food. Rising water temperatures block the photosynthetic reaction that converts carbon dioxide into sugar. This results in a build-up of products that poison the zooxanthellae. To save itself, the coral spits out the zooxanthellae and some of its own tissue, leaving the coral a bleached white. The bleached coral can recover, but only if cooler water temperatures return and the algae are able to grow again. Without the zooxanthellae, the coral slowly starves to death (click or scroll forward). Other causes of coral bleaching Apart from heat stress, other causes of coral bleaching may include: increased exposure to ultraviolet (UV) radiation; [ solar UV output has been increasing for decades ] large amounts of storm water from heavy rains flooding the reef; the exposure of coral to certain chemicals or diseases; [ pollution of the oceans ] sediments such as sand or dirt covering the coral; [ tropical storms can ravage reefs ] excess nutrients such as ammonia and nitrate from fertilizers and household products entering the reef ecosystem. (The nutrients might increase the number of zooxanthellae in the coral, but it is possible that the nutrient overload increases the susceptibility of coral to diseases.) Often coral reefs are exposed to a combination of these factors. http://www.science.org.au/nova/076/076key.htm Coral polyp showing its tiny zooxanthellae, seen as small brown dots. Source Kirsten Michalek-Wagner bleached staghorn coral
<ul><li>ScienceDaily (Jan. 1, 2009) —
A team of scientists from the New York-based Wildlife Conservation Society (WCS) has reported a rapid recovery of coral reefs in areas of Indonesia, following the tsunami that devastated coastal regions throughout the Indian Ocean on December 26, 2004. </li></ul>Man is helping too. A successful coral transplant site in Aceh, Indonesia, some four years after the tsunami. http://www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2008/12/081227225250.htm The WCS team, working in conjunction with the Australian Research Council Centre of Excellence for Coral Reef Studies (ARCCoERS) along with government, community and non-government partners, has documented high densities of “baby corals” in areas that were severely impacted by the tsunami. The team, which has surveyed the region’s coral reefs since the December 26, 2004 tsunami, looked at 60 sites along 800 kilometers (497 miles) of coastline in Aceh, Indonesia. The researchers attribute the recovery to natural colonization by resilient coral species, along with the reduction of destructive fishing practices by local communities.
Inaccuracies in Al Gore's An
Inconvenient Truth 8. “The film suggests that sea levels could rise by 7 meters, causing the displacement of millions of people. In fact the evidence is that sea levels are expected to rise by about 40cm (16 inches) over the next hundred years and that there is no such threat of massive migration”. A 7 meter sea level rise (about 23 ft) can easily be calculated by assuming that all of the Greenland ice mass melts. This is an example problem in the text book I use to teach an atmospheric physics course. If all the ice in Greenland were to melt, a 7 meter sea level rise would result. But the question is, how long would that take and how likely is that to happen. Satellite image of southern and central Greenland.
There was apparently much less
coastal ice than average during the Viking migrations, and there were also fewer icebergs which usually discouraged navigation of the North Atlantic. Greenland has gone through considerable fluctuations in temperature and ice coverage (mass) during the last 2000 years. The Vikings called it “Greenland” for a reason. Much like today there were green margins along the southwest tip where Viking settlers farmed and fished. The colonies lasted from 982 to about 1400 and then collapsed due to the onset of the Little Ice Age. The current temperatures are about what they were during the Viking era.
"The Norwegian farmer Folke Vilgerdson
made the first attempt to settle in Iceland in about 865 AD... He lost his cattle in a severe winter, and disappointed, went back to Norway after having seen a fjord filled up by sea ice . Therefore he called the country Iceland . Only a few years later, in 874, Ingolf Arnason succeeded. He was followed by many others, and settlement was completed in 930 AD. In 982, Erik the Red discovered new land West of Iceland. He called it Greenland ; according to the Greenlander Saga, this was only to persuade people to follow him... But the 18 O curve (an isotope of oxygen that indicates past temperatures) suggests that the name described a reality . So the drastic climatic change [warming] late in the ninth century may be part of the reason why Iceland and Greenland did not get the opposite names." "The beneficent times came to an end. Sea ice and stormier seas made the passages between Norway, Iceland and Greenland more difficult after AD 1200 . In mainland Europe, disastrous harvests were experienced in the latter part of the thirteenth and in the early fourteenth century." The cold decades of 1680-1700 are very well documented , at least in Europe. The glaciers in the Alps increased , there was no good wine, harvests were a catastrophe and famine killed like the black death centuries before. The decade of 1810-1820 was also quite cold, including "the summer that did not come" or a " year without summer ". The Tambora volcanic eruption has been accused for this summer less year 1816. Maybe it helped a little, but the cold spell had already begun from the spotless ( sunspots ) year 1810, with which Tambora had nothing to do. For more interesting details on how history has been affected by climate, go to http://www.tilmari.pp.fi/tilmari6.htm and follow the links within, especially . http://personal.inet.fi/tiede/tilmari/sunspot5.html#some200
The temperatures in Greenland have
varied significantly over the last two millennia. Borehole temperatures obtained during the Greenland Ice Core Project (GRIP) show that temperatures during the Medieval Warm Period (800 -1200 AD) were higher than they are today. Borehole temperature profiles are considered to be direct measure-ments of past temperature, and more accurate than proxy indicators. In the early 20 th century, Greenland was much warmer than today. It saw significant melting prior to 1940, then underwent 60 years of slow cooling, and recently (2003) has begun to warm again. Different regions of Greenland show similar temperature trends, but some show more warming or cooling than others.
Greenland has experienced a loss
of lower elevation ice over the last few decades, but as satellite observations show, ice mass increased in the interior of Greenland up until 2003, such that there has been only a tiny fraction of 1% ice mass loss. Fluctuations of this magnitude are common, not unprecedented, in the history of Greenland Ice loss is in yellow-to-red colors, ice gains in green-to- blue. Ice mass loss is often highest in Spring to Fall as expected, but not always as the data from 1998-2003 show.
Summary of changes in ice
mass coverage for the interior of Greenland (> 1500 meters elevation) versus the coastal slopes and margins. Contact: Mariangela D'Acunto [email_address] 39-069-418-0856 European Space Agency ERS altimeter survey shows growth of Greenland Ice Sheet interior Summary of the 1992-2003 changes in ice mass coverage, showing an increase in the interior of Greenland. decreased thickness increased thickness
In An Inconvenient Truth, Al
Gore warns that if the Greenland Ice Sheet melts, the oceans will rise by 7 meters. This can be confirmed by calculation. Greenland contains 1.2 x 10 6 Gigatons of ice, so at a melting rate of 100 Gton/year (the 2003-2005 observa- tion), it will take 12,000 years to melt it all, which will cause a sea level rise of 7 meters, or about 23 feet, assuming the melting rate stays at its current level, and that all the ice will melt (it never did during past extended warm periods). Note that the ice mass increased over Greenland from 1992-2002 as shown in the previous summary. This was due to increased precipitation (snow) in the interior regions. [The fourth column is simply the difference between columns 2 and 3, indicating net change].
While Arctic sea ice extent
has been declining in recent decades, Antarctic sea ice extent has been increasing recently and reached a record extent in 2007. The increased ice mass in the Antarctic is due to slightly warmer sea temperatures that have led to increased surface evaporation and subsequent increases in precipitation. This effect of mild global warming is expected. The IPCC in their 2007 report states “Antarctic sea ice extent continues to show inter-annual variability and localized changes but no statistically significant average trends, consistent with the lack of warming reflected in atmospheric temperatures averaged across the region”. Between the Antarctic winter and summer, sea ice varies by about 13 million sq. km, out of a total of about 15 million sq. km, or by about 87%, every year!
The lowest temperature ever recorded
in nature on Earth was −89.2°C (-128.6°F), July 21, 1983 at Vostok Station. The mean annual temperature of the interior is −57°C (−70°F). Monthly means at McMurdo Station range from −28°C (−18.4°F) in August to −3°C (26.6°F) in January (Antarctic summer). At the South Pole, a high of −14°C (7°F) has been recorded. Along the Antarctic Peninsula, temperatures as high as 15°C (59°F) have been recorded, though the summer temperature usually is around 2°C (35.6°F) . A small region of the Antarctic Peninsula has warmed by about 2 o C over the last 25 years. The trends elsewhere show both warming and cooling, but are smaller and dependent on season and the time span over which the trend is computed. Climate models predict that future trends in Antarctica are much smaller than in the Arctic. The entire region has warmed on average by about 1 o C over the last century. As one climatologist put it, “the Antarctic has gone from butt-freezing cold to one degree above butt-freezing cold”. This small increase has led to increased evaporation over the ocean with subsequent increase in precipitation and sea ice extent. Vostok Station McMurdo Station
Researchers have calculated the ice
mass changes for the two major ice sheets across Antarctica -- the Western Antarctic Ice Sheet (WAIS) and the larger Eastern Antarctic Ice Sheet (EAIS) -- which together cover the vast majority of the continent. Measurements shows that the there is no trend in the EAIS (which is about 3 times as large as the WAIS) and that virtually all of the mass loss is coming from the WAIS. The figure on the right shows the ice mass variations over the West Antarctic Ice Sheet (red) and the East Antarctic Ice Sheet (green). To quote the IPCC from page 17 of their Summary for Policy Makers (IPCC-SPM2feb07), “ Current global model studies project that the Antarctic ice sheet will remain too cold for widespread surface melting and is expected to gain in mass due to increased snowfall .” It should be emphasized that the Earth has been in a warm inter-glacial period for over 16,000 years, and its not over yet. Antarctica contains 90% of the world’s ice!
In Fall 2007 it was
widely reported that the Arctic sea ice had retreated to a record low amount of coverage and thickness (satellite observations of the Arctic only date back to 1979) During the winter of 2008, the Arctic experienced an early and extended period of cold that led to an enormous recovery of sea ice and ice thickness, contributing to the overall global increase in sea ice coverage, most of which has occurred in the Antarctic. Regardless of the drop in 2007 and the recovery in 2008, this graph shows a regular trend of a yearly change in ice cover of about 10 million square kilometers that reaches a minimum every August at the end of the Arctic summer, as it has for millennia. ← the big drop ← the big recovery
Has the Arctic Ocean always
had ice in summer? We know for sure that at least in the distant past, the Arctic was ice-free. Fossils from the age of the dinosaurs, 65 million years ago, indicate a temperate climate with ferns and other lush vegetation. Based on the paleoclimate record from ice and ocean cores, the last warm period in the Arctic peaked about 8,000 years ago, during the so-called Holocene Thermal Maximum. A recent study suggests that 5,500 years ago, the Arctic had substantially less summertime sea ice than today. However, it is not clear that the Arctic was completely free of summertime sea ice during this time. The last time that scientists can say confidently that the Arctic was free of summertime ice was 125,000 years ago, during the height of the last major interglacial period, known as the Eemian. Temperatures in the Arctic were warmer than now and sea level was also 4 to 6 meters (13 to 20 feet) higher than it is today because the Greenland and Antarctic Ice Sheets had partly melted. http://nsidc.org/arcticseaicenews/faq.html Polar bears evolved about 100,000 years prior to the Eemian interglacial period and survived an Arctic that was ice free during the Summer. The Arctic always has ice during Winter, since the cycle of glacial-interglacial periods began.
Update on recent ice coverage.
Top: total global sea ice coverage, dominated by Antarctica. Blue curve shows daily total sea ice coverage. Lower red curve is the global sea ice “anomaly”, the variation with respect to an average value calculated for the period 1979-present. Left: Current extent of Arctic Sea Ice.
Glaciers have been in retreat
long before the mid 20 th century when CO 2 levels began to rise significantly. Glaciers reached a peak during the Mini-Ice Age and began retreating when solar activity began to increase again in the 1800’s. In the Alps during the Mini-Ice Age, priests were called upon to pray in front of advancing glaciers that threatened to crush alpine villages. Glaciers, in some cases, are retreating to their previous positions that they held before the Mini-Ice Age, during the Medieval Warm Period. Today there are some places where glaciers are advancing (e.g. Scandinavia). Glaciers advance and retreat according to regional precipitation patterns, in addition to temperature. Glaciers Have Been Retreating Far Longer than We Have Emitted CO 2
Above is the record of
the advance and retreat of the Grösser Aletsch glacier in the Swiss Alps. Grove and Switsur write: “Dating of organic material closely associated with moraines in many montane regions has reached the point where it is possible to survey available information concerning the timing of the medieval warm period. The results suggest that it was a global event occurring between about 900 and 1250 AD, possibly interrupted by a minor re-advance of ice between about 1050 and 1150 AD.” Lower part of the glacier
With most of the significant
ice melt occurring in Greenland and land masses in the Northern Hemisphere, not Antarctica, what does the IPCC predict? TOPEX/Poseidon 3.1 mm per year = 31 cm per century = 12.2 inches per century (300% uncertainty) (167% uncertainty) (30% uncertainty) (22% uncertainty)
Since about 16,000 years ago,
sea level has risen by about 400 feet (120 meters) due to the end of the last Ice Age. Sea level rise up to about 8 thousand years ago was mainly due to massive amounts of ice melt. It has risen by about 7.8 inches (20 cm) over the last 130 years mainly due to the expansion of warming seas and continuing ice melt caused by recent warming. The melting of floating sea ice, like the arctic ice cap, has almost no effect on sea level rise (see Archimedes principle, next slide). Ice piled up on land (Greenland, Antarctica, Canada, Siberia) can raise sea levels if it melts. The melting of land based ice causes nearly half of the present sea level rise. The Earth is currently in a warm interglacial period; there is more ice to melt, and sea levels will continue to rise.
updated 5:59 p.m. PT, Sat.,
Nov. 17, 2007 VALENCIA, Spain - Global warming is “unequivocal” and carbon dioxide already in the atmosphere commits the world to sea levels rising an average of up to 4.6 feet , the world’s top climate experts warned Saturday in their most authoritative report to date. “ Only urgent, global action will do,” said U.N. Secretary-General Ban Ki-Moon , calling on the United States and China — the world’s two biggest polluters — to do more to slow global climate change. “ I look forward to seeing the U.S. and China playing a more constructive role,” Ban told reporters. “Both countries can lead in their own way.” But how long will it take for a rise of 4.6 feet ? Answer: About 400 years! But this is according to extreme estimates of sea level rise. Future sea level rise has recently been downgraded to between 2 and 2.5 mm per year, approximately equal to the rate over the last two thousand years or more (click to see previous slide). U.N. issues landmark report on global warming. Panel offers dire warnings, establishes scientific baseline for political talks today 10 BC
In a paper titled "The
Melting of Floating Ice will Raise the Ocean Level“ submitted to Geophysical Journal International, Noerdlinger demonstrates that if the world’s floating sea ice melted, sea levels would rise by about 4 cm or 1.57 inches , an insignificant rise. A common alarmist claim is that melting of the Arctic ice cap and other floating ice will raise sea levels. The ancient Greek, Archimedes, proved this incorrect. When fresh water ice melts while floating in fresh water, there is no change in the water level. Try it!. Put an ice cube in a glass of water, mark the level, then wait for the ice cube to melt. This well known physical phenomenon is often used by skeptics to counter arguments about melting ice and rising sea levels. However, arctic ice is fresh water ice floating in salt water (when sea water freezes, the salt is rejected, leaving the ice fresh). When the fresh water ice melts, it will displace a volume slightly larger than the one it displaced when frozen, raising the level slightly . Fresh water ice floating In salt water. fresh water ice melted In salt water.
Inaccuracies in Al Gore's An
Inconvenient Truth 9. “The film claims that rising sea levels has caused the evacuation of certain Pacific islands to New Zealand. The Government is unable to substantiate this and the Court observed that this appears to be a false claim”. While the global average sea level rise is about 2-3 millimeters per year (a little over one inch per decade), sea level varies both regionally and seasonally. Warmer water, in comparison with cold water, expands, which results in higher water levels. Relatively cooler water contracts and is lower in height. Spatial trend map over 1950–2003 of reconstructed sea level . Unit : mm/yr. Spatial trend map over 1993–2003 of reconstructed sea level .
Recent sea surface heights for
late 2008 made by the satellite Jason , the successor to Topex-Poseidon , showing sea level depression in the central Pacific due to a persistent La Nina pattern. Tuvalu is one of the islands that has been highlighted by global warming alarmists. Says Auckland University climate scientist Chris de Frietas: "I can assure Mr. Gore that no one from the South Pacific islands has fled to New Zealand because of rising seas ." * Tuvalu
https://answers.google.com/answers/threadview?id=23863 For interesting comments on
this subject, follow the links below. Some of the highlights are: “ The loss of island surface along the coastlines of Tuvalu is, according to scientific observation results, due to natural erosion by the surf and the effects of storms, not to a rising Pacific sea level.” “… population pressures are aiding the political drive to move people to Australia and New Zealand .“ “ Tuvalu is, in summary, overpopulated and has to face a number of problems: " …over fishing of lagoon & marine resources; sand mining; urbanization - limited fresh water supply; waste disposal; bio-diversity depletion due to improper use of modern technology .“ Overall sea levels are continuing to rise and people who live near coasts or on coral atolls only a few feat above sea level will have to adapt as they have in the past (consider Holland and Venice, Italy). Many ancient Roman and Greek ruins of coastal towns are now under more than 10 feet of water . Also, some islands and land masses are sinking (subsiding) into the Earth’s crust while others are growing due to active volcanism (e.g. Hawaii, Krakatau, etc.) and tectonic uplifting. http://rwdb.blogspot.com/2006/09/andrew-bolt-gets-lambert-treatment.html
Excerpts from the Second Witness
Statement of Professor Robert M. Carter: Witness for the claimant (expert in the fields of geology-palaeoceanography -quaternary science). “ The IPCC claims to represent the consensus of the leading scientists in climate and related fields throughout the world… It is important to point out that the IPCC is itself an arm of the UN and therefore part of a political organization. Its panel members are selected by politicians and it has an agenda of its own. Several polls of professional opinion indicate that widespread scientific skepticism exists with the IPCC orthodoxy. As I have said in my first witness statement, the published science that the IPCC draws upon to make its recommendations is mostly authoritative and widely accepted but, at the same time, many distinguished and well qualified scientists, including myself, disagree with some of its findings. As I seek to illustrate, major parts of the film AIT are at odds with many of the findings of the IPCC, as they are also with the considered views of many independent expert scientists”. http://www.newparty.co.uk/articles/inaccuracies-gore.html http://www.newparty.co.uk/UserFiles/File/carterstatement.pdf
Biography of Professor Robert (Bob)
M. Carter Bob Carter is a Research Professor at James Cook University (Queensland) and the University of Adelaide (South Australia). He is a palaeontologist, stratigrapher, marine geologist and environmental scientist with more than thirty years professional experience, and holds degrees from the University of Otago (New Zealand) and the University of Cambridge (England). He has held tenured academic staff positions at the University of Otago (Dunedin) and James Cook University (Townsville), where he was Professor and Head of School of Earth Sciences between 1981 and 1999. Bob has wide experience in management and research administration, including service as Chair of the Earth Sciences Discipline Panel of the Australian Research Council, Chair of the national Marine Science and Technologies Committee, Director of the Australian Office of the Ocean Drilling Program, and Co-Chief Scientist on ODP Leg 181 (Southwest Pacific Gateways). Bob Carter contributes regular media (and other) comment and opinion on scientific issues which relate to his areas of knowledge. He also offers lecture or workshop presentations by arrangement. His public commentaries draw on his knowledge of the scientific literature and a personal publication record of more than 100 papers in international science journals on topics which include taxonomic palaeontology, palaeoecology, the growth and form of the molluscan shell, New Zealand and Pacific geology, stratigraphic classification, sequence stratigraphy, sedimentology, the Great Barrier Reef, Quaternary geology, and sea-level and climate change. Bob Carter's current research on climate change, sea-level change and stratigraphy is based on field studies of Cenozoic sediments (last 65 million years) from the Southwest Pacific region, especially the Great Barrier Reef and New Zealand, and includes the analysis of marine sediment cores collected during ODP Leg 181. Bob's research has been supported by grants from competitive public research agencies, especially the Australian Research Council (ARC). He receives no research funding from special interest organizations such as environmental groups, energy companies or government departments. Bob strives to provide critical and dispassionate analysis based upon scientific principles, demonstrated facts and a knowledge of the scientific literature. Email: [email_address]
As mentioned in the introduction
to this section, the inaccuracies discussed are just 9 out of 20 inaccuracies covered by witness statements in the court case addressing the “political propaganda” found in “ An Inconvenient Truth ”.
The Nobel Committee’s choice of
the Peace Prize winner or winners is the decision of the Nobel Committee alone and does not involve international input other than the submission of nominations. The awarding of the Peace Prize is often intended to make a political statement as opposed to legitimately rewarding accomplishments. Turned down for Peace Prize Head of the PLO terrorist organization Global Warming Propagandist
The self-appointed scientist Al Gore,
in a recent interview with Newsweek Magazine, stated that CO 2 was not responsible for the majority of global temperature increase. This comes after the revelation that the global temperature has been constant or in slow decline for the last 10 years while CO 2 has increased by about 4-5% (read about this later in the presentation). Gore claims CO 2 is now only responsible for about 43% of the warming, but this is according to some possible model scenarios by Shindell (2009) et al. which are only suggestions and have yet to be corroborated by any studies or data. Shindell, D.T. et al. Science 326, 716-718 (2009). http://www.tonightshowwithconanobrien.com/video/clips/al-gore-pt4-111209/1175411/ Gore appeared on the Conan Obrien Show on Nov. 12, 2009 to discuss his new book about climate change. While promoting geothermal power, Gore educated Conan and the audience about the Earth’s mantle, claiming the temperature of the Earth’s core is “several million degrees” and “the crust of the earth is hot”, Scientist Gore doesn’t have a clue about science. The Earth’s temperature “2 kilometers or so down” is between 500 o C and 900 o C , and the core has a temperature of about 5700 o C. Ask any high school or freshman geology student!
So, the exaggerations in “A
n Inconvenient Truth ” have been revealed for what they are, and are easily refuted by legitimate science. Again, quoting the trial witness, “ Nowhere does Mr. Gore tell his audience or readers that all of the phenomena described in AIT fall within the natural range of previous environmental change on our planet ” (which will be shown shortly). The idea that the “debate is over”, and that the consensus is in, is wishful thinking by the alarmists who wish to avoid any real scientific debate. But the Earth is warming! So, what is causing the current warming, how much can we expect, and will it continue? Al Gore recently claimed that scientists have gone over the data “chapter and verse” and agree with his conclusions, but it is Mr. Gore who preaches climate Armageddon and imminent destruction like someone quoting chapter and verse from the Book of Revelations.
<ul><li>The Earth’s current temperature is
higher than it was a century ago, but its been warmer and colder in the past. The warming that began in the 1800’s followed a 450 year mini-ice age . It can be shown that the modern instrumental measurement of regional temperature is highly flawed and has been biased by the urban heat island effect due to the poor placement of temperature measuring stations. This brings into question the actual global temperature increase. </li></ul><ul><li>Carbon dioxide (and other greenhouse gases) have increased due to natural forces and man’s activities. Are the increases in temperature and anthropogenic emissions over the last century connected? Do we have an accurate understanding of the sensitivity of the Earth’s atmosphere to increased levels of carbon dioxide? Are there other factors? </li></ul><ul><li>The Sun is the only significant source of energy in the Earth’s atmosphere and has always been a major factor behind climate change. Recent data shows that we have underestimated its effect and that there are solar factors we haven’t considered before whose influence is evident in the geologic record and the modern instrumental and satellite record. </li></ul>
The Global Temperature the Last
5 Million Years The Vostok ice core record shows that the Earth transitioned into an en-hanced cycle of glacial/interglacial periods beginning about 4 million years ago. Paleoclimatologists believe this was in response to the closing of the Isthmus of Panama by volcanic activity. Prior to the closing, the Pacific and Atlantic Oceans were in communication (via the Caribbean), with water mixing between the two bodies. After the closing, the Pacific and Atlantic became isolated from each other which affected global circulation patterns. On average, Antarctic temperatures declined and variability increased. The above record was reconstructed from oxygen-18 isotope abundances in ice cores, a “proxy” for global temperature in relation to global precipitation. “Proxies” are physical, measurable characteristics that are indicators of past temperature and climate. Lisiecki, L. E., and M. E. Raymo (2005), Paleoceanography ,
The Global Temperature the Last
160,000 Years This graph shows the two most recent interglacial periods, the Eemian interglacial and the present one starting about 16,000 years ago. Polar bears evolved as a separate species about 100,000 years before the Eemian interglacial and have survived both of these recent warmings (the current one will continue for several millennia). This temperature history has also been reconstructed from proxies which include isotopes (e.g. oxygen-18, carbon-14, berylium-10), sea and lake sediments, stalactites and stalagmites, and ice cores. These can be used to infer warm and cold climates, wet versus dry climates, and solar activity. [B.P. = “before present”] Nature vol. 329. pp. 403-408, 1987 present ->
Eemian , once called the
Eemian Interglacial period, began about 130,000 years ago. Changes in the Earth’s orbital parameters (greater obliquity and eccentricity, and perihelion), known as the Milankovitch cycle, probably led to greater seasonal temperature variations in the Northern Hemisphere, although global annual mean temperatures were probably similar to those of the Holocene (the current period). The Eemian climate is believed to have been about as stable as, but probably warmer than, that of the Holocene. The warmest peak of the Eemian was around 125,000 years ago, when forests reached as far north as North Cape (which is now tundra) in northern Norway well above the Arctic Circle at 71°10′21″N 25°47′40″E / 71.1725°N 25.79444°E. Hardwood trees like hazel and oak grew as far north as Oulu, Finland . Sea levels at that time were 4-6 meters higher than they are now , indicating greater deglaciation than today (mostly from partial melting of the ice sheets of Greenland and Antarctica). One study published in July 2007 found evidence that Greenland could have contributed at most 2 m (6.6 ft) to sea level rise. Scandinavia was an island due to the inundation of vast areas of northern Europe and the West Siberian Plain.
The Global Temperature the Last
12,000 Years Climate changes are generally global in nature, but the Earth does not respond evenly. There is more land mass in the Northern Hemisphere than in the south, and the Pacific Ocean covers half of the Earth’s surface. The thick black line is a global average. ← present
Its warmer now than 150
years ago, which is great. 150 years ago, the Little Ice Age was finally coming to an end! But how much warmer?
warming cooling warming average warming
rate The Local and Global Temperature the Last 130 Years When proxies like tree rings and stalactites, borehole temperature measurements, and the recent instrumental record are compared, a fairly consistent temperature record is obtained for the last century. The records above show warming from about the mid-1800’s to around 1940, followed by 35 years of cooling until about 1975 (carbon dioxide levels were increasing during this period), followed by more recent warming. However, there are still regional differences (click and note the relative stability of temperatures in Alaska for over 30 years). The recent warming has been greatest between 40°N and 70°N latitude, though some areas such as the North Atlantic Ocean have cooled in the recent decades. (58.3 o F)
The climate is constantly changing
due to solar activity, the movements of continents and changes in the oceans , changes in the Earth’s orbit, low and high periods of volcanic activity, glacial-interglacial cycles, etc. Is the tem-perature of a million years ago, a thousand years ago, a century ago, or a century from now representative of the average? Is the past or current temperature the optimum temperature for the Earth? Nature vol. 329. pp. 403-408, 1987 present -> reversed time scale The recent warming, typically described in alarming terms (“its warmer than its been in 150 years”) is judged against the deep cool- Ing of the mini-Ice Age that reached a mini- mum between 1620 and 1670 (the Maunder Minimum). Many climatologists believe that the current warming is a natural climate recovery from this historic cold period. ← present
The Pacific Decadal Oscillation The
Pacific Decadal Oscillation (PDO) is the strongest of the world’s ocean oscillation patterns, to which the others respond (the Pacific Ocean covers half of the planet). The PDO has been in its positive phase during the later half of the 20 th century, resulting in mild warming of the oceans and the atmosphere. It appears about to shift into a negative phase if it follows past behavior. The pattern oscillates with a period of about 40 years, as do patterns of Atlantic hurricanes.
Other Oscillations The Arctic Oscillation
(AO) and the related North Atlantic Oscillations (NAO) refers to opposing atmospheric pressure patterns in northern middle and high latitudes. The patterns oscillate with a period of about 40 years and effect precipitation and temperature patterns from the Arctic to the Mediterranean. Since the 1970s, these oscillations have been in the positive phase , causing lower than normal arctic air pressure and higher than normal temperatures in much of the United States and Europe. It also results in reduced temperatures and precipitation in Western Greenland which is partially responsible for the retreat of glaciers in this area. This phase appears to have run its course and a negative phase is anticipated. Effects of the Positive Phase | Effects of the Negative Phase of the Arctic Oscillation of the Arctic Oscillation (Figures courtesy of J. Wallace, University of Washington) Negative Positive
<ul><li>The El Nino Southern Oscillation
(ENSO) shows periodic, multidecadal </li></ul><ul><li>variability similar to the Pacific Decadal Oscillation (PDO). Hurricane </li></ul><ul><li>forecasters now know that if they wish to make predictions of Atlantic </li></ul><ul><li>hurricanes with any reliability, they must pay attention to what happens </li></ul><ul><li>in the Pacific. Analysis suggests strongly that U.S. Atlantic hurricane </li></ul><ul><li>damages are modulated by the phase of the ENSO, with increased losses </li></ul><ul><li>during La Niña events and reduced losses during El Niño events. </li></ul>In La Nina years, cooler than normal water (blue in color) pools in the Eastern Pacific near the equator. In El Nino years, warmer than normal water (red) is present. http://www.aoml.noaa.gov/hrd/Landsea/lanina/index.html
Is the current warming unusual?
<ul><li>One obvious feature in the previous temperature reconstructions is the frequent variability of the Earth’s climate on the scale of decades to millions of years. </li></ul><ul><li>Richard Alley , a glaciologist at Penn State University, has appeared on several television science programs, is an author of IPCC reports, and appeared before Congress to present the IPCC’s Fourth Atmospheric Report (FAR) for Policy Makers. In television interviews he emphasizes that the climate is, by nature, highly variable. He notes that the tempera-ture can undergo large swings on the scale of a decade or less at times. Sometimes these swings can be attributed to volcanic eruptions, asteroid impacts, or sudden changes in the Sun’s activity; on other occasions, the reasons are not clear. These changes can persist for varying amounts of time, but generally stay within the known range of temperature variations for glacial and interglacial periods. </li></ul><ul><li>In one National Geographic television program, Alley stated that what is unusual about the current climate is how relatively stable it has been over the last 10,000 years or so, compared to past climate fluctuations , in spite of the Holocene Optimum, the Younger Dryas, the Medieval Warming, the Little Ice Age, and the current warming. “Warm” interglacial periods are punctuated by sudden cooling events, and cold glacial periods exhibit sudden warmings. </li></ul>
1871 War Department weather map
showing sparseness of US meteorological stations. There are only a few stations west of the Mississippi River, and none west of the Rockies. The short 150 year instrumental record is extremely limited in spatial extent until recently. The US and Europe have the most extensive instrumental record. Much of the rest of the world is poorly represented or only have reliable records dating back several decades.
Except for the US, Europe,
and Japan, most of the countries which supply temperature data for the Global Historical Climate Network (GHCN) have been measuring temperatures for only 70 years or less. The southern hemi- sphere is poorly represented compared with the northern hemisphere. Many of the current temperature measurement stations are contaminated by the urban heat island effect as will be shown. US temperature measurement stations account for about 50% of measurements globally.
Temperatures the Last 10 Years
Contrary to what Al Gore and the media report, there has been hardly any change in Northern Hemisphere or global temperatures in 10 years, while CO 2 has continued to rise. This is obvious in satellite (Microwave Sounding Unit, U of Alabama, Huntsville) and combined ground and sea surface measurements (Hadley Center, UK). The Sun’s activity shows similar behavior over this period. The “R-squared” value of only 0.07 (right) statistically indicates that the temperature and CO 2 levels are uncorrelated or unrelated for the 10 year period considered. Past temperatures have been reconstructed with some uncertainties. It might be assumed that recent measurements with thermo-meters and modern electronic sensors are more accurate. But how accurate? = uncorrelated CO 2 temperature
Temperatures are often measured near
concentrations of human activity, e.g. cities and suburban areas, airports, commercial zones, fire stations, etc. Concrete and asphalt, prevalent in these areas, retain heat deposited during the day, while homes, businesses, and traffic heat the air in these regions. Rural and urban temperature trends differ sharply, so rural temperature data probably best represents actual regional temperature changes. But even the rural temperature measurements are a problem, as will be shown.
No serious scientist doubts that
the Earth has warmed over the last 150 years. Growing seasons are longer, some plants and animals have changed their habitation range in response to warming, and instrumental records show an increase in global temperature, etc. But how accurate is our measurement of the temperature change. Anthony Watts (UCAR-Boulder) discovered that there are large instrumental errors involved with the US measurement stations.
This article from the Pittsburgh
Tribune-Review introduces the subject nicely. Helping along global warming By Bill Steigerwald Sunday, June 17, 2007 In January the National Oceanic & Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) and its good friends in the media trumpeted that 2006 was the warmest year on record for the contiguous United States. NOAA based that finding - which allegedly capped a nine-year warming streak "unprecedented in the historical record" - on the daily temperature data that its National Climatic Data Center gathers from about 1,221 mostly rural weather observation stations around the country. Few people have ever seen or even heard of these small, simple-but-reliable weather stations, which quietly make up what NOAA calls its United States Historical Climatology Network (USHCN). But the stations play an important role in detecting and analyzing regional and global climate change. More ominously, they provide the official baseline historical temperature data that politically motivated global-warming alarmists like James Hansen of NASA plug into their climate models to predict various apocalypses . So, lets look at the network!.
The National Climatic Data Center
(NCDC) runs a network of 1221 Maximum Minimum Temperature Stations (MMTS) overseen by local National Weather Service offices. These comprise the United States Historical Climatology Network (USHCN). Critical to the accuracy and reliability of the network data is the placement of the MMTS units. Sites are to be well away from asphalt, concrete, buildings, and sources of moisture (e.g. lakes, water treatment plants). They should also be placed over grass rather than gravel or rock. A good quality rural site and placement of an MMTS.
This MMTS placement represents a
worst case scenario. This unit, near a firehouse, is right next to an asphalt parking lot, a concrete walkway, and a building with air conditioning exhaust fans. Being an emergency facility, It is also next to a cell phone transmitter tower. Data from the MMTS units is often transmitted by wireless or cable, so radio interference can be a serious problem, especially with older equipment in some of the units, but the heat radiated by the concrete, asphalt, and air conditioners are the main problem. An extremely poor quality “ rural” site and placement.
http://wattsupwiththat.wordpress.com/2008/01/10/how-not-to-measure-temperature-part-46-renos-ushcn-station/ Reno’s USHCN station is
particularly important due to it being part of the test cases of urban stations in the new USHCN2 scheme being implemented by NCDC. Reno’s steep temperature trend appears to be more of an urban heat island issue than a climate change issue. It shows up clearly as a hot spot in USHCN contours done by Steve McIntyre. As the above graph shows, the monitored temperature in Reno dropped when the ASOS sensor was temporarily moved to the south end of the runway in 1996 and 1997, away from the heat bubble at the north end (upper left figure), going back up when moved back to its original position.
An example of a long
term, good quality, rural measuring site is that of Cedarville in extreme north eastern California. As the towns go, it has changed very little in 100 years. There is no Interstate highway nearby, and its off essentially in the middle of nowhere by itself, a self contained agrarian community. The long term temperature trend in Cedarville stands in stark contrast to those from areas that have experienced urban development like Reno. 1900 1940 1970 2000
At the time of the
publishing of the initial study (you can find this and updated results at http://www.surfacestations.org/ ), Watts and collaborators had reviewed 27% of the network MMTS units. The results show that 16% had an error of more than 5 o C, 51% an error of more than 2 o C, and 16% an error of 1 o C or more. This shows that at least 67% or two thirds of the temperature measurements from these rural stations are significantly flawed. ( There are additional problems with MMTS units: visit the slideshow at the link above.) More stations have been studied, and the percentage of extremely biased sites has increased.
Global Temperature Measurements The media
recently reported that 2007 was the second warmest year on record, after the 1998 El Nino peak. NASA recently had to admit that there was an error in the calculated US average temperature due to a mixing of old and recent data sets, and a statistical attempt to remove the heat island effect, that artificially inflated the US temperature by 0.15 o C after 2000. This may not sound like much, but it is about 25% of the warming that occurred during the 20 th century. This error comes from significant inconsistencies in the National Oceanic & Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) network of “rural” temperature monitoring stations that have been affected by poor placement, maintenance of sensor units, and urban growth around some previously urban sites. The US has the most extensive and best maintained temperature network in the world, especially in comparison to developing nations. So how reliable is the global data base? Temperature Anomaly ( o C) CO 2 (ppm) 1998 CO 2 temperature
James Hansen, a climate change
alarmist, acknowledged the 0.15 o C error but claimed that it was minor and only applied to the US which covers only 2% of the Earth’s surface. However, US temperature measurements account for 50% of global measurements (see previous slide of global coverage), most measurements outside the US occurring in urban areas. This error has since been removed (click or scroll to see), but evidently there were even bigger errors, and the new record shows a very different result (next slide).
Steve McIntyre posted this data
from NASA's newly published data set from Goddard Institute of Space Studies (GISS). These numbers represent deviation from the mean temperature calculated from temperature measurement stations throughout the US. http://data.giss.nasa.gov/gistemp/graphs/Fig.D.txt According to the new data publ