Sunday, November 9, 2008

Are We Warming?

The first good question to ask and answer regarding Global Warming/Climate Change would be:

“Is the Earth warming? What are the long and short term trends?”

First, no, we are currently cooling.

We hit a peak of warming in 1998, dropped a little, went level or slightly cooling for about 7 years until last year when we started cooling more quickly. For recent temperatures, there are several sources:

GISS (Goddard Institute for Space Studies) Click on the top graph and then go down to the bottom right graph of the set of four at the bottom of the page. It gives a month by month mean surface temperature of 2005, 2007, and 2008 compared to the peak temperatures of each month. They update this graph about the 10th of each month.

(Hadley Climate Research Unit)

UAH (University of Alabama, Huntsville) Their Oct. 2008 graph is below.

Watts UP with That? Check out the graph, then read the text.

Atmoz (a good discussion of the 4 main temperature data sources).
Note the bottom graph describing the trends: If you average over 20 years, we are on a warming trend, but that could be considered a biased view. Whenever a pattern takes a turn and it is analyzed by averaging, the peak will be moved forward as the peak temperatures are still in the average long after the real temperature peak was passed.

A telling point: if you are looking at a variable parameter, why be insisting on trying to fit a straight line to it? The answer: they use the unfounded assumption that temperature will go up regardless of . . . any evidence to the contrary.

The Pacific Decadal Oscillation (PDO) and the North Atlantic Oscillation (NAO) are ocean circulation patterns which are much larger, longer term, and influential than the La Nina and El Nino effects. The PDO, in particular, has a huge influence and flips between warming and cooling about every 30-35 years - and it flipped to cooling last year according to NASA. The NAO can also join the fun, which it appears to have done this time.

By the way, lobstermen have known of this warm-cold pattern for many decades. Back in the 1960's, a wonderful old, grizzled captain told me that the "lobsta don't like the cold or the hot" every 17 years, but liked the temperatures in between. 'Makes sense to me to favor the most common temeperatures.

Here’s one source for the PDO and a good discussion, “Shifting of the Pacific Decadal Oscillation from its warm mode to cool mode assures global cooling for the next three decades.” Scan down to the bottom graph which shows the warm and cold phases.

Hmmmmm, no wonder they talk about “climate change” now and not “global warming". But, never fear, the intrepid supporters of global warming say any cooling is only temporary and warming WILL continue. The evidence for this is lacking completely except for their computer models which only predict different degrees of warming. THe IPCC has claimed that CO2 has swamped all natural variation, but now they are admitting that variation may be "temporarily" canceling the CO2 warming effects. We shall see.

There are also much longer term temperature records which I will not include aat this time. Suffice it to say that there was indeed a Little Ice Age (to address at another time) which we have been climbing out of for the last 200 years, so a mild warming over the centuries would not be unusual or unexpected. There was an unpleasant relapse to cold in the late 1700's-early 1800’s called the Dalton Minimum, which among other things was one of the stressors that tipped France into its revolution.

Now, here’s a controversial point. The IPCC discounts solar activity from having any detectable influence on climate change. They say the graph below shows the effect of CO2. I will not go into the faulty science of the CO2 curve below, that's another post, but they are willing to present this as true.
From the Woods Hole Research Center.

The only factor I have seen anywhere which is in lock step with the global temperatures is solar activity. CO2’s curve over the last 50 years may go up as does the temperature, sort of, but it is a poor fit.

The solar activity, however, is a good fit and hard to ignore, particularly when a group in Denmark found that it is the length of the solar cycle which really correlates.

See the graph below of the length of the solar cycle period versus the global temperature anomaly (how far it is from average). Cycle length on the left axis and temperature anomaly on the right axis.

From the Danish Meteorological Institute.
The most startling paper I have read in the last 3 years came out this year. “Predicting Solar Cycle 24 and beyond”. Solar researchers took six identified, low-frequency, solar oscillations, with cycles of 22 to 420 years, that modulate, or alter, the intensity and periods of the 11-year solar sunspot cycle and ran them at the same time to view how they interfered with each other, by constructive and destructive interference.

What they found was a pattern which is incredibly similar to the known 200 year record of sunspot activity, including the Dalton Minimum, which was not only a time of cold temperatures, but also a known time of low solar activity.

This is so cool, what a match! Their graph is below - the solid line is the sunspot record and the dotted line is their model of the oscillations/solar activity.

Remember, this is not a computer model which attempts to recreate all of the variable of the globe’s climate by programming and twiddling factors. It includes solar characteristics and lets them interact. A much simpler approach and devoid of programmers writing code for what they want to happen.

But, wait, the pattern also shows that the next two cycles should be very similar to the Dalton Minimum activity! To make matters more amazing, the most recent cycle, Cycle 24, has been very slow in starting and the predictions are that it will be a low activity cycle.

So, are we warming? We were.

What are we doing? Currently cooling. Possibly for the next 25-30 years.

Are these changes abnormal? No, not at all. They are perfectly normal and, apparently, even predictable.

Between the perdictable PDO warm/cold/warm flip-cycle and solar acitivty correlations over the long term, there are some big influences out there that cannot be just written off for political epediency, particularly when politicians are going to make huge policy decisions based on their idea of the climate. It had sure be the best and most realisitic idea or we will be suffering the consequences of bad decisions and at great costs.

The head of the UN IPCC just recently declared that warming is faster than ever, right now! How can we let him spout such obviously wrong stuff? "Truly inconvenient truths about climate change being ignored" It's disheartening to hear of such blithering, but then he does have to defend his huge multibillion dollar budget, eh? Lies will do it.

Another time I will go into more detail regarding the cyclic nature of the warm peaks at 1938 and 1998 and the cool interims, which describe the Gleissberg cycle. It is nothing new and perfectly normal.

Friday, November 7, 2008

So much for my original plan

I am starting this blog with the intention of presenting a fairly organized blow by blow, one item at a time, description and discussion of the many aspects of the global climate change controversy.

The goal is to avoid including opinions and unsubstantiated statements and to document with references as much as possible. Too much of what is being published in the news, and even in some journals, is written in terms which are designed to create an emotional response in the reader, opinions are mixed wantonly with selected facts, and avoid stating the whole picture or all of the conditions of the story.

The bottom line: there is no credible basis for the global warming "crisis". It is called "climate change" now as even the alarmists have to admit that we are currently in cooling phase - and we are supposed to fight "climate change", even when it goes down? But, they say, have faith, it will go up.

So, for each post, I plan to pick a topic and try to clearly state the situation from both sides and let the reader decide which is more believable. One warning here is that the global alarmist side does not have much in the way of hard science behind it, in which case I will have to present their opinions, anecdotal material, and projections.

Is my point of view biased? No, it is realistic. If there is no real science involved, it is impossible to present some. I am a scientist, I cherish scientific integrity, and I believe that one cannot make crucial, real world decisions without knowing the real facts and science involved. It is a crime to take advantage of the public trust by misrepresenting science and facts to create a non-existent crisis for which all have to pay.

Keep in mind that you need to identify in yourself two ways of thinking: faith and confidence. Faith is an irrational and unfounded belief in something, while confidence is a firm trust based on fact or experience. I do not have faith in gravity, I have confidence in it. There is a big difference; faith can allow one to believe in something regardless of the facts. Confidence only derives from the consistency and validity of the facts or experiences.

Imagine trying to convince someone that they can warm themselves by standing in front of an open refrigerator. They'd quickly lose confidence in you. But, recently one of the global climate computer models was reprogrammed to deal with the fact that it had (miserably) failed to predict the last 9 years of climate cooling. They effectively reprogrammed it to include a temporary cooling cycle and then published the "fact" that their model predicts cooling and that "in fact" warming can cause cooling!!! Yet, because much of the public has faith in the news, they believe this complete nonsense.

Imagine reading a headline that says that the Earth has failed to warm as predicted according to computer models. Whoa! The Earth cannot fail. It is the models which have failed to model the Earth's climate. Since when are computer models to be believed over reality? There are so many variables in the climate that it is impossible to include the all of the starting parameters, and the interactions are so complex that we cannot predict the weather very well beyond a week from now, let alone years down the line.

So, now I must trash my original plan and point at the concern of my day.

I read a report in the news of "the 10-state Regional Greenhouse Gas Initiative, which sells state allowances required by electric power plants to emit carbon dioxide."
And then I read about the President-elect's plan to push through legislation for a cap-and-trade system for carbon emissions.

This is really scary stuff. I hope to relate in later blogs the details of the following statements, with references, but I have to say at this point that cap-and-trade will cost every person in the country dearly as a hidden tax. The money generated by this new trading economy will benefit a small number of people (Al Gore's carbon trading business GIM was banked with Lehman Bros. In the last few years, he's reportedly gained $150 million; not bad for having <1 million not long ago) and the government, garnering funds supposedly for developing alternative energy sources. We will develop those anyhow. And you can guess that the money will be put to many other uses as good plain old gov't income.

Here's the problem: CO2 is incapable of warming the planet. It was well above 440 ppm (at 380 ppm today) back in the 1940's (180 years of chemical CO2 data, number 1, "the paper"; for a short version, AIG News) and the temperature dropped while CO2 was high. There is just too little CO2 to do what they say. It is a trace gas. (More of the science of this in a later blog.)

In quick summary, the IPCC:
- refuses to recognize any possible effects from solar activity (the real science says the opposite),

- assumes all natural climate cycles and influences are swamped out by manmade CO2 (an unfounded, draconian assumption),

- artificially and fraudulently attributes water vapor with contributing to warming (it does not, but does quite the opposite),

- inflates the half-life of CO2 in the atmosphere from 5-10 years to 200 years to make their projections work by claiming that our emissions are accumulating, and

- lets the public assume that all CO2 increases are manmade (it is far from the truth).

They also let the public assume that, if we stop emitting CO2, the CO2 will eventually go down, but that we have to start now to allow it to go down decades from now. They are building in the idea not to expect results while they rake in their (our) carbon trading dollars. Talk about something for nothing - this is the perfect nonperformance scam. Nothing will happen and you pay for it!

In fact, the experiment of decreasing CO2 emissions has already been done. During the Great Depression, our emissions dropped about 30% (graph on page 13) and the temperature rise and CO2 rise at the time did not falter, at all! Other records of longer time frames also show that temperature increases preceded CO2 increases, and NOT the other way around. It's called outgassing by the oceans.

The bottom line to this is that they want to alter the economy of the US and the world, creating a carbon economy which will cost us all money for something which is not a real problem. In fact we need the CO2 to increase food production. Greenhouse growers habitually add CO2 up to 1000 ppm to make their plants grow faster.

And, of course, with the planet cooling, we will need every advantage in growing more food as the world population increases this century.

By the way, the Arctic ice cap is easily a month ahead in freezing up this Fall. It has made a miraculous recovery for something predicted to disappear altogether, but that's another topic.

Here's another aspect of the problem. This is coming to the US, just wait:

“Every adult in Britain should be forced to carry ‘carbon ration cards’”

Key concept is "Control by Carbon", but really it's control by the government and radical environmentalists (Gore (wealthy Mr Howell), Pachauri (Gilligan), and Hansen (the "Professor") as the figureheads) and lots of money changing hands.

Cheers, C. Higley