Tuesday, January 04, 2011

Hot theories Vs. Cold Facts

Larry Bell

As 2010 draws to a close, do you remember hearing any good news from the mainstream media about climate? Like maybe a headline proclaiming "Record Low 2009 and 2010 Cyclonic Activity Reported: Global Warming Theorists Perplexed"? Or "NASA Studies Report Oceans Entering New Cooling Phase: Alarmists Fear Climate Science Budgets in Peril"? Or even anything bad that isn't blamed on anthropogenic (man-made) global warming--of course other than what is attributed to George W. Bush? (Conveniently, the term "AGW" covers both.)

Remember all the media brouhaha about global warming causing hurricanes that commenced following the devastating U.S. 2004 season? Opportunities to capitalize on those disasters were certainly not lost on some U.N. Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change officials. A special press conference called by IPCC spokesman Kevin Trenberth announced "Experts warn global warming likely to continue spurring more outbreaks of intense activity."

But there was a problem. Christopher Landsea, a top U.S. expert on the subject, repeatedly notified the IPCC that no research had been conducted to support that claim--not in the Atlantic basin, or in any other basin. After receiving no replies, he publicly resigned from all IPCC activities. And while the press conference received tumultuous global media coverage, Mother Nature didn't pay much attention. Subsequent hurricane seasons returned to average patterns noted historically over the past 150 years, before exhibiting recent record lows with no 2010 U.S. landfalls.

Much global warming alarm centers upon concerns that melting glaciers will cause a disastrous sea level rise. A globally viewed December 2005 BBC feature alarmingly reported that two massive glaciers in eastern Greenland, Kangderlugssuaq and Helheim, were melting, with water "racing to the sea." Commentators urgently warned that continued recession would be catastrophic.

Helheim's "erratic" behavior reported then was recently recounted again in a dramatic Nov. 13 New York Times article titled "As Glaciers Melt, Science Seeks Data on Rising Seas." Reporters somehow failed to notice that only 18 months later, and despite slightly warmer temperatures, the melting rate of both glaciers not only slowed down and stopped, but actually reversed. Satellite images revealed that by August 2006 Helheim had advanced beyond its 1933 boundary.

According to two separate NASA studies, one conducted by the Jet Propulsion Laboratory, and the other by the Langley Research Center, the oceans now appear to be heading into another natural periodic cooling phase within a typical 55- to 70-year dipolar warm/cool pattern. Although Greenland has recently been experiencing a slight warming trend, satellite measurements show that the ice cap has been accumulating snow growth at a rate of about 2.1 inches per year. Temperatures only recently began to exceed those of the 1930s and 1940s when many glaciers were probably smaller than now. (We can't be certain, because satellites didn't exist to measure them.)

A recent study conducted by U.S. and Dutch scientists that appeared in the journal Nature Geoscience concluded that previous estimates of Greenland and West Antarctica ice melt rate losses may have been exaggerated by double. Earlier projections apparently failed to account for rebounding changes in the Earth's crust following the last Ice Age (referred to as "glacial isostatic adjustment").

Nils-Axel Morner, head of the Paleogeophysics and Geodynamics department at Stockholm University in Sweden, argues that any concerns regarding rising sea levels are unfounded. "So all this talk that sea level rising, this comes from the computer modeling, not from observations. ... The new level, which has been stable, has not changed in the last 35 years. ... But they [IPCC] need a rise, because if there is no rise, there is no death threat ... if you want a grant for a research project in climatology, it is written into the document that there 'must' be a focus on global warming. ... That is really bad, because you start asking for the answer you want to get."

Studies by the International Union for Quaternary Research conclude that some ocean levels have even fallen in recent decades. The Indian Ocean, for example, was higher between 1900 and 1970 than it has been since.

Other world climate alarm bells chimed when it was reported in the media that September 2007 satellite images revealed that the Northwest Passage--a sea route between the U.K. and Asia across the top of the Arctic Circle--had opened up for the first time in recorded history. (This "recorded history" dates back only to 1979 when satellite monitoring first began, and it should also be noted that the sea route froze again just a few months later (winter 2007-2008).

The Northwest Passage has certainly opened up before. Diary entries of a sailor named Roald Amundson confirm clear passage in 1903, as do those of a Royal Canadian Mounted Police Arctic patrol crew that made regular trips through there in the early 1940s. And in February 2009 it was discovered that scientists had previously been underestimating the re-growth of Arctic sea ice by an area larger than the state of California (twice as large as New Zealand). The errors were attributed to faulty sensors on the ice.

But these aren't the sorts of observations that most people generally receive from the media. Instead, they present sensational statements and dramatic images that leave lasting impressions of calving glaciers, drowning polar bears and all manner of other man-caused climate calamities.

Many intentionally target impressionable young minds and sensitive big hearts with messages of fear and guilt. Take, for example, a children's book called The North Pole Was Here, authored by New York Times reporter Andrew Revkin. It warns kids that some day it may be "easier to sail than stand on the North Pole in summer." Imagine such images through their visualization: How warm it must be to melt that pole way up north. Poor Santa! And Rudolph! Of course it's mostly their parents' fault because of the nasty CO2 they produce driving them to school in SUVs.

Lots of grown-ups are sensitive people with big hearts too. Don't we all deserve more from the seemingly infinite media echo chamber of alarmism than those windy speculations, snow jobs and projections established on theoretical thin ice?


Britain's windmills have been consuming more electricity than they generate' -- and other Warmist follies

Richard Littlejohn

This is the season for quizzes. So ­fingers on buzzers, here’s your starter for ten. In percentage terms, how much electricity do Britain’s 3,150 wind ­turbines supply to the ­National Grid? Is it: a) five per cent; b) ten per cent; or c) 20 per cent? Come on, I’m going to have to hurry you. No conferring.

Time’s up. The correct answer is: none of the above. Yesterday afternoon, the figure was just 1.6 per cent, according to the official website of the wholesale electricity market.

Over the past three weeks, with demand for power at record levels because of the freezing weather, there have been days when the contribution of our forests of wind turbines has been precisely nothing.

It gets better. As the temperature has plummeted, the turbines have had to be heated to prevent them seizing up. Consequently, they have been consuming more electricity than they generate.

Even on a good day they rarely work above a quarter of their theoretical capacity. And in high winds they have to be switched off altogether to prevent damage. At best, the combined output of these monstrosities is equal only to that of a single, medium-sized, gas-fired power station.

To make matters worse, there is no way of storing the electricity generated on the rare occasions when they are working.

Yet the Government is ploughing ahead with plans to erect 12,500 of these War Of The Worlds windmills in the sea and across our green and pleasant. Some of them will be up to three times the size of the present structures.

Every time I drive up to North Norfolk, another crop of turbines has sprouted from the soil, disfiguring the scenery for miles around.

Swaffham, the picturesque location of Stephen Fry’s TV series Kingdom, is virtually surrounded. None of them ever seems to be turning. They just stand there, ominously, like invaders from outer space laying siege to the town. Billions of pounds are being wasted on these worse-than-useless blots on the landscape. We’d be ­better off spending the money on snow ploughs.

While we’re on the subject of snow, Britain’s most tenacious ‘climate change denier’ Christopher Booker, occasionally of this parish, has just revealed the real reason why this country was so ill-prepared for the Arctic weather.

Airports, rail operators and local authorities all subscribe to the Met Office’s long-term forecasts. And over the past few years, the Met Office has become evangelical about ‘man-made global warming’.

Every weather forecast is now extruded through the prism of so-called climate change, even when all evidence points to the fact that the Earth is actually getting colder.

The Met Office’s predictions are based on a computer model which assumes ever-rising temperatures — so much so that it forecast that this winter would be significantly milder than the past two years.

Even though the winters of 2008 and 2009 were ferociously cold, they were dismissed as ‘random events’. The Met Office put the odds on a third harsh winter no higher than 20-1.

Those responsible for keeping our transport network running were stupid enough to swallow this bogus, optimistic forecast, and consequently failed to make proper provision for the blizzards which duly followed.

This, of course, was the same Met Office which predicted a ‘barbecue summer’ shortly before Britain was hit by gales and widespread flooding.

For this wildly inaccurate and deliberately skewed service, the British taxpayer is charged a staggering £200million a year.

Needless to say, the head of the Met Office is not even a weatherman. He’s a leading ‘climate change activist’ who buys into the propaganda pumped out by the fanatics at the University of East Anglia’s Climatic Research Unit (CRU) — exposed for blatantly suppressing evidence which contradicts their messianic belief in ­‘global warming’.

Back in 2000, the CRU’s Dr David Viner told The Independent that winter snowfalls would soon be a thing of the past. ‘Children just aren’t going to know what snow is,’ he predicted confidently.

Even when they are proved wrong, the warmists will never admit it. They simply move the goalposts — which is how global warming morphed into ‘climate change’.

You can’t argue with them. That’s because ‘climate change’ isn’t a ­science, it’s a religion. Sceptics are trashed as heretics. The climate change lobby is a curious mix of cultists and cynical opportunists. As I write, Sky News is spotlighting a project on Humberside aimed at brainwashing ­children into believing that wind is the fuel of the future.

Call Me Dave bangs on about all the jobs which will be created by the ‘green economy’ — ignoring the fact that almost all Britain’s wind turbines are built and installed by foreign firms.

The defining characteristic of all fanatics is that they have no sense of the ridiculous. According to the BBC, Town Halls across the country have been appealing to owners of 4x4s to offer lifts to ‘essential staff’ during the cold snap. These would be the same 4x4s which these very same councils want to ban, because they cause global warming and kill polar bears.

You couldn’t make it up.


Proof The Global Warmists Are Morons

In yet another piece about how massive blizzards are caused by global “warming,” we find this gem:

The theory seems counterintuitive, but as Jeff Masters, a meteorologist who writes the great Wunder Blog at Weather Underground, put it in a recent post, it makes sense:

“This pattern is kind of like leaving the refrigerator door ajar — the refrigerator warms up, but all the cold air spills out into the house.”

As a science geek, I can say with confidence that leaving the refrigerator door open will actually warm your house, not cool it!
It’s basic thermodynamics: Whatever heat the refrigerator is pulling out of the air, it’s creating more heat than that by running its machinery. That’s because the refrigeration mechanism isn’t 100 percent efficient; indeed it’s far less than that. Leave the refrigerator door open, and it’ll basically act like a room heater.

Here’s a more technical version of the explanation.

More proof that global “warming” is more religion than science, and its adherents are scientific illiterates.

SOURCE (See the original for links)

Yet more Warmist false prophecy

Finding Warmist false prophets is like shooting fish in a barrel these days

With Russian ships still trapped in the Sea of Okhotsk, in ice of two-metre thickness, Republican American blogger Steve Macoy recalls a 2006 symposium on global warming.

Illustrated were findings that that a large warming area existed in the western part of the Sea of Okhotsk, and a warming trend widely extended toward the western North Pacific. It was thus "widely believed" that the global warming was recently proceeding and the East Siberia region just north of the Sea of Okhotsk was one of the most sensitive areas to the global warming in the Northern Hemisphere.

The Sea of Okhotsk turns out to be quite an important area from the warmist perspective, this paper reporting that it plays a role as the pump of the North Pacific – thus having a significant effect on the climate of the region. It forms a significant ice factory for the whole region and there are said to be "clear indications of global warming" around the sea.

This report in 2006 claimed a dramatic shrinkage of ice (illustrated), and a shortening ice season – with dire economic consequences. And it was this paper which reported on the area of the sea being "a sensitive area to the current global warming", despite cyclical effects being reported elsewhere.

With the region now experiencing thick – and evidently unexpected – ice, this is clearly of more importance than just the trapping of a number of ships. The ice in the whole region is something of a warmist poster child, and another one that has suddenly lost its appeal.

As the reducing ice extent has been used as evidence of global warming, so can we assume that the rapid increase in ice may be an early sign that the warming is over?

SOURCE (See the original for links and graphics)

Warmists as paranoid schizophrenics

Many people have commented that climate change has come to be what philosophers and logicians call a “non-falsifiable hypothesis,” that is, a theory or belief that explains everything and is therefore impossible to be contradicted by observations or contrary evidence. At some point, however, advocates of non-falsifiable hypotheses end up sleeping on park benches muttering about how “the Man,” or the CIA chip in his head, or international bankers, or . . . someone, is keeping the truth under wraps.

(In fact, there a terrific little website, The Warmlist, that tracks all of the effects attributed to global warming. My favorite was teen acne, but the original link has gone dead, so now my favorite is how global warming will cause a rise in prostitution... The Warmlist is up to 839 discrete effects now, ranging from acne to zoonotic diseases.)

Sometimes, such people get institutionalized, or medicated. And some become global warming advocates.

The climate campaign establishment increasingly looks like its own self-contained and self-referential lunatic asylum, unable to exercise any self-restraint in finding positive proof of climate change in every weather surprise. Several years back, climate campaigners in Britain, citing the latest warming models, ostentatiously predicted that snowstorms would soon be a thing of the past in Britain, something schoolchildren would read about in history books or hear tales about from their grandparents. Then this fall just past, the British Met Office predicted a 60 to 80 percent change of a warmer-than-average winter this year.

But now Britain is having its second extremely cold winter in a row, with record snowfalls nearly strangling the nation. Oops.

Not to worry. The climateers have swung into action, and have explained why cooling is really warming. Judah Cohen, a private “seasonal forecaster,” took to the pages of the New York Times to explain how the warming arctic led to more snowfall over the Siberian land mass, which in turn cooled the air circulating over the northern hemisphere, and there you have it, big cold weather storms in the United States and Europe. Or, as Mr. Cohen puts it, “the overall warming of the atmosphere is actually creating cold-weather extremes.” (Bryan Walsh at Time magazine offers a rundown of similar counterintuitive explanations for why warming causes cooling.)

Cohen might well be correct about this. But if he is it raises a number of troubling questions, starting with how the Met Office missed this factor, and failed to include it in the climate model they use to issue seasonal forecasts. Needless to say, if Cohen is right then a lot of other climate scientists are wrong, which means our grasp of climate dynamics is rather incomplete.

We don’t understand the climate past with reasonable precision, as the intense debate about the “hockey stick” graph showed, and the computer models predicting a 2 to 5 degree rise in the future are clearly riddled with large uncertainties, given the range of prospective temperatures they spit out. No matter. “What is always present” today is the cocksure certainty that catastrophic global warming is occurring, and damn the weatherman.


California’s Central Valley: Zimbabwe West?

Until recently, California’s Central Valley was one of the nation’s most productive agricultural regions. Not only did it feed itself, the state of California, and the entire country, it also produced exports to other nations. That kind of enterprise employed a lot of people in Central California, from farm hands to wholesalers, and created a high standard of living.

That continued right up to the moment that the federal government got more concerned over the Delta smelt, a small, inedible fish, than feeding people. A court order cut off water deliveries for seven months out of the year to the Central Valley at the same time a drought hit, and the combination turned a once-fertile breadbasket to the world into a Dust Bowl — or as Investors Business Daily suggests, a government-initiated agricultural disaster on the same order as Zimbabwe today or Ukraine in the 1930s. Monica Showalter reports that the region that once fed the world now faces widespread hunger as a result:
Local newspapers and Fresno County officials are trying to rally Facebook users to vote for Fresno in a corporate contest sponsored by Wal-Mart for $1 million in charity food donations for the hungry. Fresno, a city of 505,000, has taken the national lead because 24.1% of Fresno’s families are going hungry.

Civic spirit is good, but something big is wrong here. Fresno is the agricultural capital of America. More food per acre in more variety can be grown in the fertile Central Valley surrounding this community than on any other land in America — perhaps in the world.

Yet far from being a paradise, Fresno is starting to resemble Zimbabwe or 1930s Ukraine, a victim of a famine machine that is entirely man-made, not by red communists this time, but by greens.

State and federal officials, driven by the agenda of environmental extremists, have made it extremely difficult for the valley’s farms, introducing costly environmental regulations and cutting off critical water supplies to save the Delta smelt, a bait fish. It’s all driving the economy to collapse.

In the southwest part of the Central Valley, water allotments as low as 10% of normal have created a visible dust bowl. The knock-on effect can be seen in cities like Fresno, where November’s unemployment among the packers, cannery workers and professional fields that make agriculture productive stands at 16.9%.

It isn’t just Fresno, although it appears to have taken the worst of the crisis. Besides Fresno, four other Central Valley cities got listed in the bottom ten of MarketWatch’s 2010 survey on the worst places to do business in the US. Fresno came in dead last at 102 on the list.

The collapse has another element to it for Californians as well. The state has a huge budget shortfall, currently estimated around $26 billion, and cannot afford to expand safety-net programs to help the Central Valley. One reason the budget hole is so large is because of the lack of revenue from normally-robust agricultural production in that region. Instead of being a net revenue producer, the Central Valley threatens to become a sinkhole of welfare spending that will hasten the bankruptcy of the nation’s largest state, and an economy that would normally rank among the top 10 in the world if considered as a nation unto itself.

This is entirely the result of federal government intervention in agriculture, which might be understandable if it was intended to help agriculture. Instead, it comes as a hostile act to both the people of the region and Americans as a whole. Thanks to the collapse of the Central Valley, food prices will increase as we have to import more from countries with much less strict environmental controls, which is merely an inconvenience. The starvation that has begun is more than an inconvenience — it is a national embarrassment, and a moral outrage.



For more postings from me, see DISSECTING LEFTISM, TONGUE-TIED, EDUCATION WATCH INTERNATIONAL, POLITICAL CORRECTNESS WATCH, FOOD & HEALTH SKEPTIC, GUN WATCH, AUSTRALIAN POLITICS, IMMIGRATION WATCH INTERNATIONAL and EYE ON BRITAIN. My Home Pages are here or here or here. Email me (John Ray) here. For readers in China or for times when blogger.com is playing up, there are mirrors of this site here and here


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