Category Archives: ClimateGate

Will The Global Temperature Begin To Cool Down In The Near Future?  


 

The numbers of scientist predicting a drop in global temperature  are becoming a large group— ready to challenge the mythical 97%.  This blog has posted some of the predictions.  The postings have demonstrated that there is not total unanimity as to reason why the temperature will drop.  Maybe it is a combination of different things. That is refreshing in light of the warmer’s one size fits all theory that CO2 is essentially raising or will raise global temperature all by itself.

First some discussion that suggests that CO2 is not what the warmers claim.

The warmer’s theory says that atmospheric CO2 molecules intercept low-frequency IR waves radiated from Earth on their way back into space.  The exchange warms the atmosphere a little and this causes water to evaporate and move into the atmosphere. Water vapor is a much more significant “greenhouse gas” than CO2. They say that the result is a 3 fold increase in temperature as a result.  This is their so-called “climate sensitivity”.  This is part of the GIGO that is put into the climate models that the warmers use to predict catastrophic in the future.  Let us look and see how well this has turned out for them in the real world versus the computer world.

The chart above was made in June 2013 so it is a little out of date.  Next chart will be the latest update.

The important things to know are the following

  • All those little hair-like lines represent the output from one of the 73 warmer computers. They are all over the place.
  • The heavy black line aggregates all of the 73 outputs into a single line which represents the “official forecast”.
  • The blue squares are the actual recorded global temperatures as measured by satellites.
  • The actual temperature as measured by the weather balloons  are shown as black dots.
  • The balloons and the satellites essentially confirm each other and they are, again, actual measurements.
  • Every 4 or 5 years, the UN’s Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) gathers and produces an analysis of the state of the climate. They then issue a technical report and a summary that is primarily for the politicians of the world.  One of the features of the IPCC report is how confident they are that their predictions are spot on.
  • The red arrows show their level of confidence, at the time of the report, as to how sure they are that the forecasts are correct.
  • The first report said that they were “confident”. As each new report was issued, they got more confident of their forecasts.  The last one being 95% certain.  This is all happening as the spread between their forecast temperature readings and the actual  temperature readings continued to diverge.

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NYTimes Tries To Spin President Elect Donald Trump’s View On Global Warming.


This afternoon, I received an email from the  Heartland  Institute saying about what I said in my  yesterday’s posting.    It also  clears up the misinformation put out by the New York Times.   The Heartland email:

Can the media greenwash Trump?

Charles,

President-elect Trump met with the New York Times and the media quickly unleashed an interesting spin.

The “breaking” (fake) news story was that Trump had somehow changed his views on global warming.

This would seem a major flip flop after Trump repeatedly said during the campaign he would withdraw the U.S. from the UN’s Paris climate agreement and vowed to set the U.S. back on a pro-energy course.

CFACT’s friend Joe Bast, head of the Heartland Institute, publicized a more detailed transcript of Trump’s meeting with the Times and, lo and behold, what Trump actually said is right in keeping with his campaign pledges.  

Marc Morano posted a detailed analysis at Climate Depot, picked up today by the Drudge Report, to help clear the record about this exchange. As Marc explains:

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James Hansen Misfires Again.


Robert Bradley Jr  has made a posting on the MasterResource web site and I am reposting it in its entirety.    Bradley takes on James Hansen,  the so-called  god father of man-made global warming as well as Hansen’s  neophytes.  Hansen has long believed he knows everything there is to know about this issue.  He doesn’t of course and Bradley begins the posting with one of Hansen’s many bad predictions.   It is a good read.

cbdakota

James Hansen: Time to Go CO2 Negative!

By Robert Bradley Jr. — October 5, 2016

“We have at most ten years—not ten years to decide upon action, but ten years to alter fundamentally the trajectory of global greenhouse emissions.”

– James Hansen, “The Threat to the Planet.” The New York Times Review of Books (2006).

“Contrary to the impression favored by governments, the corner has not been turned toward declining emissions and GHG amounts…. Negative CO2 emissions, i. e., extraction of CO2 from the air, is now required.”

– James Hansen, “Young People’s Burden.” October 4, 2016.

Ten years ago, James Hansen predicted doom if mankind did not “fundamentally” reduce global greenhouse gas emissions in ten years. This ultimatum to the world came due this summer.

 

But far from raising the white flag, the father of the modern climate alarm now demands via legal action that CO2 and other GHG emissions go negative “if climate is to be stabilized on the century time scale, as a result of past failure to reduce emissions.”

He continues: “If rapid phasedown of fossil fuel emissions begins soon, most of the necessary CO2 can take place via improved agricultural and forestry practices, including reforestation and steps to improve soil fertility and increase its carbon content.”

And:

‘All deliberate speed’ will be a dominant issue for climate.  Our governments have not accepted the reality dictated by the laws of physics and climate science: we must phase out fossil fuel emissions rapidly. Mother Nature will not wait for bumbling half-baked government schemes for reducing emissions. It will be essential that the Court not only demand all deliberate speed, but continually examine the reality of what the government is accomplishing, and that the government have both short-term and long-term plans of action.

Hansen states that a negative trajectory is possible. Don’t tell that to Americans or to the industrializing world. And don’t look to carbon capture and storage. Or politics.

The obvious question is: when will he throw in the towel and turn from government-directed mitigation to market-directed adaptation. Richer, freer societies adapt to change much better than command-and-control, CO2-rationed economies, after all.

Pretense of Knowledge

Dr. Hansen is dead certain that he understands the physics and economics of climate change to know the problem and the solution. He believes that climate models understand real climate, economic models understand real economies, and policymakers can implement ideals.

Hansen is the ultimate central planner, imaging not only that he has unique knowledge but that the real world will conform to his edicts. In short, Hansen is possessed by a fatal conceit.

It begins with computer models, which have over-predicted real world warming. “We do not know much about modeling climate,” climate scientist Gerald North of Texas A&M University once explained to me. “It is as though we are modeling a human being. Models are in position at last to tell us the creature has two arms and two legs, but we are being asked to cure cancer.” On another occasion, he added: “The problem is difficult, and there are pitifully few ways to test climate models.”

“Computer models just weren’t reliable,” James Lovelock recently stated in reference to his about-face on climate catastrophism. “I’m not sure the whole thing isn’t crazy, this climate change.” Which brings up the futile crusade of James Hansen, which is allowing a speculative, unsolvable problem to divert real resources from here-and-now human needs.

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Denying The Climate Catastrophe: 5A Argument For Attributing Past Warming To Man (Warren Meyers Essay)


This posting is a continuation of  the Warren Meyers Essay debunking the Climate Catastrophe theory.   Here he takes the reader though the warmerist’s reasoning of why CO2 emitted from fossil fuels will result in a climate catastrophe.

cbdakota

Having established that the Earth has warmed over the past century or so (though with some dispute over how much), we turn to the more interesting — and certainly more difficult — question of finding causes for past warming.  Specifically, for the global warming debate, we would like to know how much of the warming was due to natural variations and how much was man-made.   Obviously this is hard to do, because no one has two thermometers that show the temperature with and without man’s influence.

I like to begin each chapter with the IPCC’s official position, but this is a bit hard in this case because they use a lot of soft words rather than exact numbers.  They don’t say 0.5 of the 0.8C is due to man, or anything so specific.   They use phrases like “much of the warming” to describe man’s affect.  However, it is safe to say that most advocates of catastrophic man-made global warming theory will claim that most or all of the last century’s warming is due to man, and that is how we have put it in our framework below:

 

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By the way, the “and more” is not a typo — there are a number of folks who will argue that the world would have actually cooled without manmade CO2 and thus manmade CO2 has contributed more than the total measured warming.  This actually turns out to be an important argument, since the totality of past warming is not enough to be consistent with high sensitivity, high feedback warming forecasts.  But we will return to this in part C of this chapter

Past, Mostly Abandoned Arguments for Attribution to Man

There have been and still are many different approaches to the attributions problem.  In a moment, we will discuss the current preferred approach.  However, it is worth reviewing two other approaches that have mostly been abandoned but which had a lot of currency in the media for some time, in part because both were in Al Gore’s film An Inconvenient Truth.

Before we get into them, I want to take a step back and briefly discuss what is called paleo-climatology, which is essentially the study of past climate before the time when we had measurement instruments and systematic record-keeping for weather.   Because we don’t have direct measurements, say, of the temperature in the year 1352, scientists must look for some alternate measure, called a “proxy,”  that might be correlated with a certain climate variable and thus useful in estimating past climate metrics.   For example, one might look at the width of tree rings, and hypothesize that varying widths in different years might correlate to temperature or precipitation in those years.  Most proxies take advantage of such annual layering, as we have in tree rings.

One such methodology uses ice cores.  Ice in certain places like Antarctica and Greenland is laid down in annual layers.  By taking a core sample, characteristics of the ice can be measured at different layers and matched to approximate years.  CO2 concentrations can actually be measured in air bubbles in the ice, and atmospheric temperatures at the time the ice was laid down can be estimated from certain oxygen isotope ratios in the ice.  The result is that one can plot a chart going back hundreds of thousands of years that estimates atmospheric CO2 and temperature.  Al Gore showed this chart in his movie, in a really cool presentation where the chart wrapped around three screens:

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As Gore points out, this looks to be a smoking gun for attribution of temperature changes to CO2.  From this chart, temperature and CO2 concentrations appear to be moving in lockstep.  From this, CO2 doesn’t seem to be a driver of temperatures, it seems to be THE driver, which is why Gore often called it the global thermostat.

But there turned out to be a problem, which is why this analysis no longer is treated as a smoking gun, at least for the attribution issue.  Over time, scientists got better at taking finer and finer cuts of the ice cores, and what they found is that when they looked on a tighter scale, the temperature was rising (in the black spikes of the chart) on average 800 years before the CO2 levels (in red) rose.

This obviously throws a monkey wrench in the causality argument.  Rising CO2 can hardly be the cause of rising temperatures if the CO2 levels are rising after temperatures.

It is now mostly thought that what this chart represents is the liberation of dissolved CO2 from oceans as temperatures rise.  Oceans have a lot of dissolved CO2, and as the oceans get hotter, they will give up some of this CO2 to the atmosphere.

The second outdated attribution analysis we will discuss is perhaps the most famous:  The Hockey Stick.  Based on a research paper by Michael Mann when he was still a grad student, it was made famous in Al Gore’s movie as well as numerous other press articles.  It became the poster child, for a few years, of the global warming movement.

So what is it?  Like the ice core chart, it is a proxy analysis attempting to reconstruct temperature history, in this case over the last 1000 years or so.  Mann originally used tree rings, though in later versions he has added other proxies, such as from organic matter laid down in sediment layers.

Before the Mann hockey stick, scientists (and the IPCC) believed the temperature history of the last 1000 years looked something like this

 

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Generally accepted history had a warm period from about 1100-1300 called the Medieval Warm Period which was warmer than it is today, with a cold period in the 17th and 18th centuries called the “Little Ice Age”.  Temperature increases since the little ice age could in part be thought of as a recovery from this colder period.  Strong anecdotal evidence existed from European sources supporting the existence of both the Medieval Warm Period and the Little Ice Age.  For example, I have taken several history courses on the high Middle Ages and every single professor has described the warm period from 1100-1300 as creating a demographic boom which defined the era (yes, warmth was a good thing back then).  In fact, many will point to the famines in the early 14th century that resulted from the end of this warm period as having weakened the population and set the stage for the Black Death.

However, this sort of natural variation before the age where man burned substantial amounts of fossil fuels created something of a problem for catastrophic man-made global warming theory.  How does one convince the population of catastrophe if current warming is within the limits of natural variation?  Doesn’t this push the default attribution of warming towards natural factors and away from man?

The answer came from Michael Mann (now Dr. Mann but actually produced originally before he finished grad school).  It has been dubbed the hockey stick for its shape:

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The reconstructed temperatures are shown in blue, and gone are the Medieval Warm Period and the Little Ice Age, which Mann argued were local to Europe and not global phenomena.  The story that emerged from this chart is that before industrialization, global temperatures were virtually flat, oscillating within a very narrow band of a few tenths of a degree.  However, since 1900, something entirely new seems to be happening, breaking the historical pattern.  From this chart, it looks like modern man has perhaps changed the climate.  This shape, with the long flat historical trend and the sharp uptick at the end, is why it gets the name “hockey stick.”

Oceans of ink and electrons have been spilled over the last 10+ years around the hockey stick, including a myriad of published books.  In general, except for a few hard core paleoclimatologists and perhaps Dr. Mann himself, most folks have moved on from the hockey stick as a useful argument in the attribution debate.  After all, even if the chart is correct, it provides only indirect evidence of the effect of man-made CO2.

Here are a few of the critiques:

  • Note that the real visual impact of the hockey stick comes from the orange data on the far right — the blue data alone doesn’t form much of a hockey stick.  But the orange data is from an entirely different source, in fact an entirely different measurement technology — the blue data is from tree rings, and the orange is form thermometers.  Dr. Mann bristles at the accusation that he “grafted” one data set onto the other, but by drawing the chart this way, that is exactly what he did, at least visually.  Why does this matter?  Well, we have to be very careful with inflections in data that occur exactly at the point that where we change measurement technologies — we are left with the suspicion that the change in slope is due to differences in the measurement technology, rather than in the underlying phenomenon being measured.
  • In fact, well after this chart was published, we discovered that Mann and other like Keith Briffa actually truncated the tree ring temperature reconstructions (the blue line) early.  Note that the blue data ends around 1950.  Why?  Well, it turns out that many tree ring reconstructions showed temperatures declining after 1950.  Does this mean that thermometers were wrong?  No, but it does provide good evidence that the trees are not accurately following current temperature increases, and so probably did not accurately portray temperatures in the past.
  • If one looks at the graphs of all of Mann’s individual proxy series that are averaged into this chart, astonishingly few actually look like hockey sticks.  So how do they average into one?  McIntyre and McKitrick in 2005 showed that Mann used some highly unusual and unprecedented-to-all-but-himself statistical methods that could create hockey sticks out of thin air.  The duo fed random data into Mann’s algorithm and got hockey sticks.
  • At the end of the day, most of the hockey stick (again due to Mann’s averaging methods) was due to samples from just a handful of bristle-cone pine trees in one spot in California, trees whose growth is likely driven by a number of non-temperature factors like precipitation levels and atmospheric CO2 fertilization.   Without these few trees, most of the hockey stick disappears.  In later years he added in non-tree-ring series, but the results still often relied on just a few series, including the Tiljander sediments where Mann essentially flipped the data upside down to get the results he wanted.  Taking out the bristlecone pines and the abused Tiljander series made the hockey stick go away again.There have been plenty of other efforts at proxy series that continue to show the Medieval Warm Period and Little Ice Age as we know them from the historical record:

 

 

 

 

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As an aside, Mann’s hockey stick was always problematic for supporters of catastrophic man-made global warming theory for another reason.  The hockey stick implies that the world’s temperatures are, in absence of man, almost dead-flat stable.   But this is hardly consistent with the basic hypothesis, discussed earlier, that the climate is dominated by strong positive feedbacks that take small temperature variations and multiply them many times.   If Mann’s hockey stick is correct, it could also be taken as evidence against high climate sensitivities that are demanded by the catastrophe theory.

 

The Current Lead Argument for Attribution of Past Warming to Man

So we are still left wondering, how do climate scientists attribute past warming to man?  Well, to begin, in doing so they tend to focus on the period after 1940, when large-scale fossil fuel combustion really began in earnest.   Temperatures have risen since 1940, but in fact nearly all of this rise occurred in the 20 year period from 1978 to 1998:

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To be fair, and better understand the thinking at the time, let’s put ourselves in the shoes of scientists around the turn of the century and throw out what we know happened after that date.  Scientists then would have been looking at this picture:

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Sitting in the year 2000, the recent warming rate might have looked dire .. nearly 2C per century…

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Or possibly worse if we were on an accelerating course…

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Scientists began to develop a hypothesis that this temperature rise was occurring too rapidly to be natural, that it had to be at least partially man-made.  I have always thought this a slightly odd conclusion, since the slope from this 20-year period looks almost identical to the slope centered around the 1930’s, which was very unlikely to have much human influence.

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But never-the-less, the hypothesis that the 1978-1998 temperature rise was too fast to be natural gained great currency.  But how does one prove it?

What scientists did was to build computer models to simulate the climate.  They then ran the computer models twice.  The first time they ran them with only natural factors, or at least only the natural factors they knew about or were able to model (they left a lot out, but we will get to that in time).  These models were not able to produce the 1978-1998 warming rates.  Then, they re-ran the models with manmade CO2, and particularly with a high climate sensitivity to CO2 based on the high feedback assumptions we discussed in an earlier chapter.   With these models, they were able to recreate the 1978-1998 temperature rise.   As Dr. Richard Lindzen of MIT described the process:

What was done, was to take a large number of models that could not reasonably simulate known patterns of natural behavior (such as ENSO, the Pacific Decadal Oscillation, the Atlantic Multidecadal Oscillation), claim that such models nonetheless accurately depicted natural internal climate variability, and use the fact that these models could not replicate the warming episode from the mid seventies through the mid nineties, to argue that forcing was necessary and that the forcing must have been due to man.

Another way to put this argument is “we can’t think of anything natural that could be causing this warming, so by default it must be man-made.  With various increases in sophistication, this remains the lead argument in favor of attribution of past warming to man.

In part B of this chapter, we will discuss what natural factors were left out of these models, and I will take my own shot at a simple attribution analysis.

Climate Hustle – The Movie


The new movie produced by Marc Morano, “Climate Hustle” was in theaters on May 2 all over the country. The movie shows the skeptics side of the argument about CO2 and global warming,  aka Climate Change.  Many notable skeptics are in the cast.

The target audience, as I see it, was for the relatively low information people that get their global warming news from the main stream media.   If you are into this topic daily or often,  most of it will be review.   I think Morano did a very good job in assembling the topics and the players.  So I recommend it.    If there was something I would like to see expanded was the part where warmer predictions were examined.  About 10  predictions were discussed briefly. I would like to have seen more emphasis.

As part of the film and as an “extra” was a panel  that discussed current issues especially those of the current attempt to criminalize discussion of skeptic views. Bill Nye is feature in it and comes off looking pretty small minded.  The panel moderator was Brett Bozell and the panel consisted of Sarah Palin, David Legates and Marc Morano.   David Legates stood out.

Looking at Morano’s blog, “Climate Depot”,  the attendance was good, nation-wide.   I went over to  Delaware and my estimate was that about 50 people were in the theater.

This was a one night showing and I am not sure what the plans are for this movie.  It may see a general release or perhaps be available in places like Netflix.

cbdakota

Denying the Climate Catastrophe: 1. Introduction (Warren Meyers Essay)


Warren Meyers is posting on his website, Coyoteblog.com an essay on Global Warming (aka global climate change). Meyers is quite good as an explainer of issues because he can do it without making them too complex for most people to understand. The following, is the first of perhaps 6 parts. I plan on rebloging them all.

cbdakota

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I suppose the first question I need to answer is:  why should you bother reading this?  We are told the the science is “settled” and that there is a 97% consensus among scientists on …. something.  Aren’t you the reader just giving excess credence to someone who is “anti-science” just by reading this?

Well, this notion that the “debate is over” is one of those statements that is both true and not true.  There is something approaching scientific consensus for certain parts of anthropogenic global warming theory — for example, the fact that CO2 is a greenhouse gas and that concentrations of it in the atmosphere have a warming effect on the Earth is pretty much undisputed in all but the furthest reaches of the scientific community.

But it turns out that other propositions that are important to the debate on man-made global warming are far less understood scientifically, and the near certainty on a few issues (like the existence of the greenhouse gas effect) is often used to mask real questions about these other propositions.  So before we go any further , it is critical for us to get very clear what exact proposition we are discussing.

At this point I have to tell a story from over thirty years ago when I saw Any Rand speak at Northeastern University (it’s hard to imagine any university today actually allowing Rand on campus, but that is another story).  In the Q&A period at the end, a woman asked Rand, “Why don’t you believe in housewives?” and Rand answered, in a very snarky fashion, “I did not know housewives were a matter of belief.”   What the woman likely meant to ask was “Why don’t you believe that being a housewife is a valid occupation for a woman?”  But Rand was a bear for precision in language and was not going to agree or disagree with a poorly worded proposition.

I am always reminded of this story when someone calls me a climate denier.  I want to respond, in Rand’s Russian accent, “I did not know that climate was a matter of belief?”

But rather than being snarky here, let’s try to reword the “climate denier” label and see if we can get to a proposition with which I can agree or disagree.

Am I, perhaps, a “climate change denier?”  Well, no.  I don’t know anyone who is.  The world has had warm periods and ice ages.  The climate changes.

OK, am I a “man-made climate change denier?”  No again.  I know very few people, except perhaps for a few skeptics of the talkshow host variety, that totally deny any impact of man’s actions on climate.  Every prominent skeptic I can think of acknowledges multiple vectors of impact by man on climate, from greenhouse gas emissions to land use.

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Is There A Pause In Global Temperatures?


The “pause”, meaning the lack of global temperature rise in the 21st century, has gotten a lot of attention. The warmers want to deny that it is significant. The skeptics say that it is very significant in that atmospheric carbon dioxide (CO2) has been increasing during this period of time. According to the wamer’s theory, global temperatures should have been rising. Last year, some of the keepers of the global temperature records decided they had, had enough of this focus on the “pause”. So they made some bogus changes to the way the temperature was measured and when they were finished, they said—– see there really was no pause. Click here to see how they have tried to pull this off.

There are several global temperature amassing groups. These groups broadly are divided by being ground based or satellite based. The former are dependant on temperatures measured mostly from ground-based stations supplemented by some ocean surface temperature measurements. The ground-based stations are primarily in populated areas. Northern Hemisphere stations predominate. The vast areas of the oceans (75 % of the globe’s surface) are minimally covered. There are also enormous areas of land where population is very limited, or no one at all. In those areas, computers predict the missing temperatures.

The ground station leaders are: (1) (GISS), NASA Goddard Institute for Space Studies (2) (HadCRUT4) the Hadley Centre of the UK Met Office and the land surface air temperature records compiled by the Climatic Research Unit (CRU) of the University of East Anglia. (3) NCEI) NOAA’s National Centers for Environmental Information.

(For those of you with longer memories, yes, the University of East Anglia was the headquarters of the Climategate gang)

The latter group consists of two satellite based global temperature-measuring organizations. Satellites measure radiance in various wavelengths in troposphere. The troposphere extends about 7 miles above the Earth’s surface and the troposphere is where all of our weather occurs. The radiance measurements are translated into temperatures. In 1979, the University of Alabama at Huntsville (UAH) was the first satellite system to begin reading these temperatures. Start up problems are typical with any new breakthrough technology. For example early on there were problems with orbital decay and also with drift.   The UAH promptly made allowances for those problems as they have  with some smaller ones as time has past. The weather balloons (radiosondies) that have been used for many years, show agreement with the UAH satellite measurements. This is confirming proof of the satellite systems high accuracy and because it actually measures temperature across nearly the entire globe, that makes it the gold standard. The other satellite system is the Remote Sensing System (RSS). UAH and RSS have a few differences in how they make their tropospheric measurements, still the resulting temperatures are in close agreement. The satellites measurements cover about 95% of the Earth’s surface eliminating the use of computers to simulate actual measurements, as is the case with the ground based systems.

The illustration below shows the Earth’s atmosphere with the troposphere being the lowest part.

earth_stratosphere_diagram

The final player in this drama is the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC). The IPCC is a branch of the UN. It was created to show how man was causing global warming and what the consequences of that would be. No, the IPCC was not created to examine the science of global warming; the founders had already decided man was the cause. The IPCC is programmed to report on the status of their work about every 5 years or so. The IPCC is often said to be the warmer’s equivalent of the “spoken word.” Most of the mainstream media accepts without question any pronouncement that is said to be from the IPCC—in their mind, it is the ultimate authority. Many major newspapers and science journals (and other media, too) do not allow, in their media, skeptical views, research, questions, letters to the editor, etc.

The IPCC produce temperature forecasts. These forecasts are the basis for catastrophic things that will happen—-flood, drought, snow, sea level, vast migrations of people, etc. —–if we do not quit using fossil fuels.

In the next posting, we will compare the IPCC temperature forecasts to the ground and satellite measured temperatures.

cbdakota