Archive for June, 2009

From bad to worse for California

06/30/2009

WASHINGTON – EPA is granting California’s waiver request enabling the state to enforce its greenhouse gas emissions standards for new motor vehicles, beginning with the current model year. Using the law and science as its guide, EPA has taken this action to tackle air pollution and protect human health.

“This decision puts the law and science first. After review of the scientific findings, and another comprehensive round of public engagement, I have decided this is the appropriate course under the law,” said EPA Administrator Lisa P. Jackson.” “EPA Grants California GHG Waiver

Prior posts on this particular California idiocy here.

Solar forcing of climate

06/30/2009

“Fig. 7. Comparison of the mean squared interannual variation (left column) and lifetime (right column) of the overall minimum temperature data from the US (153 stations), Australia (preliminary, 5 stations) and Europe (44 stations). Europe (bottom row) is shown for the two types of calculation for quick comparison (green curves), and also the magnetic index representing solar activity as in Fig. 4 (blue curve).”

IceCap today highlights a paper (“Evidence for a solar signature in 20th-century temperature
data from the USA and Europe
“) published last year in the French journal Géoscience. An excerpt from the Abstract:

“The secular trend of all of these curves is similar (an S-shaped pattern), with a rise from 1900 to 1950, a decrease from 1950 to 1975, and a subsequent (small) increase. This trend is the same as that found for a number of solar indices, such as sunspot number or magnetic field components in any observatory. We conclude that significant solar forcing is present in temperature disturbances in the areas we analyzed and conjecture that this should be a global feature.”

An excerpt from Discussion and Conclusion:

“We have also shown that solar activity, as characterized by the mean-squared daily variation of a geomagnetic component (but equally by sunspot numbers or sunspot surface) modulates major features of climate. And this modulation is strong, much stronger than the one per mil variation in total solar irradiance in the 1- to 11-year range [7]: the interannual variation, which does amount to energy content, varies by a factor of two in Europe, the USA and Australia. This result could well be valid at the full continental scale if not worldwide.

We have calculated the evolution of temperature disturbances, using either the mean-squared annual variation or the lifetime. When 22-year averaged variations are compared, the same features emerge (Fig. 7), particularly a characteristic centennial trend (an S-shaped curve) consisting of a rise from 1920 to 1950, a decrease from 1950 to 1975 and a rise since. A very similar trend is found for solar indices (see also [5,12]). Both these longer-term variations, and decadal and sub-decadal, well-correlated features in lifetime (see [13]) result from the persistence of higher frequency phenomena that appear to be influenced by the Sun. The present preliminary study of course needs confirmation by including regions that have not yet been analyzed.”

From bad to worse for California

06/30/2009

WASHINGTON – EPA is granting California’s waiver request enabling the state to enforce its greenhouse gas emissions standards for new motor vehicles, beginning with the current model year. Using the law and science as its guide, EPA has taken this action to tackle air pollution and protect human health.

“This decision puts the law and science first. After review of the scientific findings, and another comprehensive round of public engagement, I have decided this is the appropriate course under the law,” said EPA Administrator Lisa P. Jackson.” “EPA Grants California GHG Waiver

Prior posts on this particular California idiocy here.

Solar forcing of climate

06/30/2009

“Fig. 7. Comparison of the mean squared interannual variation (left column) and lifetime (right column) of the overall minimum temperature data from the US (153 stations), Australia (preliminary, 5 stations) and Europe (44 stations). Europe (bottom row) is shown for the two types of calculation for quick comparison (green curves), and also the magnetic index representing solar activity as in Fig. 4 (blue curve).”

IceCap today highlights a paper (“Evidence for a solar signature in 20th-century temperature
data from the USA and Europe
“) published last year in the French journal Géoscience. An excerpt from the Abstract:

“The secular trend of all of these curves is similar (an S-shaped pattern), with a rise from 1900 to 1950, a decrease from 1950 to 1975, and a subsequent (small) increase. This trend is the same as that found for a number of solar indices, such as sunspot number or magnetic field components in any observatory. We conclude that significant solar forcing is present in temperature disturbances in the areas we analyzed and conjecture that this should be a global feature.”

An excerpt from Discussion and Conclusion:

“We have also shown that solar activity, as characterized by the mean-squared daily variation of a geomagnetic component (but equally by sunspot numbers or sunspot surface) modulates major features of climate. And this modulation is strong, much stronger than the one per mil variation in total solar irradiance in the 1- to 11-year range [7]: the interannual variation, which does amount to energy content, varies by a factor of two in Europe, the USA and Australia. This result could well be valid at the full continental scale if not worldwide.

We have calculated the evolution of temperature disturbances, using either the mean-squared annual variation or the lifetime. When 22-year averaged variations are compared, the same features emerge (Fig. 7), particularly a characteristic centennial trend (an S-shaped curve) consisting of a rise from 1920 to 1950, a decrease from 1950 to 1975 and a rise since. A very similar trend is found for solar indices (see also [5,12]). Both these longer-term variations, and decadal and sub-decadal, well-correlated features in lifetime (see [13]) result from the persistence of higher frequency phenomena that appear to be influenced by the Sun. The present preliminary study of course needs confirmation by including regions that have not yet been analyzed.”

Great Barrier Reef coral alarmism debunked

06/29/2009


This paper appeared in the 2 January issue of Science. Excerpt from the abstract:

“Reef-building corals are under increasing physiological stress from a changing climate and ocean absorption of increasing atmospheric carbon dioxide. We investigated 328 colonies of massive Porites corals from 69 reefs of the Great Barrier Reef (GBR) in Australia. Their skeletal records show that throughout the GBR, calcification has declined by 14.2% since 1990, predominantly because extension (linear growth) has declined by 13.3%. The data suggest that such a severe and sudden decline in calcification is unprecedented in at least the past 400 years.”

Steve McIntyre looked at the data recently and obtained a completely different result. He first noted that the data show an increasing trend in calcification for the last 400+ years (upper graph) and then noted that the claimed recent “severe and sudden decline” coincides with a “severe and sudden decline” in the number of sampling sites, which have “declined sharply in the past 15 years with only one site contributing nearly all the 2005 values” (lower graph, number of sampling sites in pink). He concludes, “The data seems rather thin as a basis for concluding “unprecedentedness” and surely it would be prudent for worried Australians to take few more coral samples.”

He also wrote a hilarious paragraph about “the authors … fail[ure] to address the important issue of teleconnections between their coral calcification data and NH climate.” Must read: ““Unprecedented” in the past 153 Years

Great Barrier Reef coral alarmism debunked

06/29/2009


This paper appeared in the 2 January issue of Science. Excerpt from the abstract:

“Reef-building corals are under increasing physiological stress from a changing climate and ocean absorption of increasing atmospheric carbon dioxide. We investigated 328 colonies of massive Porites corals from 69 reefs of the Great Barrier Reef (GBR) in Australia. Their skeletal records show that throughout the GBR, calcification has declined by 14.2% since 1990, predominantly because extension (linear growth) has declined by 13.3%. The data suggest that such a severe and sudden decline in calcification is unprecedented in at least the past 400 years.”

Steve McIntyre looked at the data recently and obtained a completely different result. He first noted that the data show an increasing trend in calcification for the last 400+ years (upper graph) and then noted that the claimed recent “severe and sudden decline” coincides with a “severe and sudden decline” in the number of sampling sites, which have “declined sharply in the past 15 years with only one site contributing nearly all the 2005 values” (lower graph, number of sampling sites in pink). He concludes, “The data seems rather thin as a basis for concluding “unprecedentedness” and surely it would be prudent for worried Australians to take few more coral samples.”

He also wrote a hilarious paragraph about “the authors … fail[ure] to address the important issue of teleconnections between their coral calcification data and NH climate.” Must read: ““Unprecedented” in the past 153 Years

Willis Eschenbach on negative feedback and "The Thermostat Hypothesis"

06/28/2009

Abstract

The Thermostat Hypothesis is that tropical clouds and thunderstorms actively regulate the temperature of the earth. This keeps the earth at a equilibrium temperature.

Several kinds of evidence are presented to establish and elucidate the Thermostat Hypothesis – historical temperature stability of the Earth, theoretical considerations, satellite photos, and a description of the equilibrium mechanism. …

Conclusions and Musings

1. The sun puts out more than enough energy to totally roast the earth. It is kept from doing so by the clouds reflecting about a third of the sun’s energy back to space. As near as we can tell, this system of cloud formation to limit temperature rises has never failed.

2. This reflective shield of clouds forms in the tropics in response to increasing temperature.

3. As tropical temperatures continue to rise, the reflective shield is assisted by the formation of independent heat engines called thunderstorms. These cool the surface in a host of ways, move heat aloft, and convert heat to work.

4. Like cumulus clouds, thunderstorms also form in response to increasing temperature.

5. Because they are temperature driven, as tropical temperatures rise, tropical thunderstorms and cumulus production increase. These combine to regulate and limit the temperature rise. When tropical temperatures are cool, tropical skies clear and the earth rapidly warms. But when the tropics heat up, cumulus and cumulonimbus put a limit on the warming. This system keeps the earth within a fairly narrow band of temperatures.

6. The earth’s temperature regulation system is based on the unchanging physics of wind, water, and cloud.

7. This is a reasonable explanation for how the temperature of the earth has stayed so stable (or more recently, bi-stable as glacial and interglacial) for hundreds of millions of years.” “The Thermostat Hypothesis

The "final straw" on the Steig paper

06/28/2009



Jeff Id has worked out the weights given to the temperature trends of the four geographic regions of Antarctica by Stieg et al. in their paper which was featured on the cover of Nature early this year and created a sensation in alarmist circles and the press.

Remember, by far the largest region of Antarctica is East Antarctica, followed by West Antarctica. The Antarctic Peninsula, the only part of Antarctica where significant recent warming has occurred, is a very small percentage of the total area of the continent.

Yet, as you can see, the Steig paper weights the temperature trend of the tiny peninsula 72% of the total continental trend! In Jeff’s words, “There it is, we can now say conclusively that the positive [temperature] trend in the [Steig paper’s] Antarctic reconstruction comes primarily from the well known peninsula warming trend.” “Antarctic warming — the final straw” Prior posts here

Another heretic burned at the stake

06/28/2009

“Over the coming days a curiously revealing event will be taking place in Copenhagen. Top of the agenda at a meeting of the Polar Bear Specialist Group (set up under the International Union for the Conservation of Nature/Species Survival Commission) will be the need to produce a suitably scary report on how polar bears are being threatened with extinction by man-made global warming.

This is one of a steady drizzle of events planned to stoke up alarm in the run-up to the UN’s major conference on climate change in Copenhagen next December. But one of the world’s leading experts on polar bears has been told to stay away from this week’s meeting, specifically because his views on global warming do not accord with those of the rest of the group.

Dr Mitchell Taylor has been researching the status and management of polar bears in Canada and around the Arctic Circle for 30 years, as both an academic and a government employee. More than once since 2006 he has made headlines by insisting that polar bear numbers, far from decreasing, are much higher than they were 30 years ago. Of the 19 different bear populations, almost all are increasing or at optimum levels, only two have for local reasons modestly declined.

Dr Taylor agrees that the Arctic has been warming over the last 30 years. But he ascribes this not to rising levels of CO2 – as is dictated by the computer models of the UN’s Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change and believed by his PBSG colleagues – but to currents bringing warm water into the Arctic from the Pacific and the effect of winds blowing in from the Bering Sea. …

Dr Taylor had obtained funding to attend this week’s meeting of the PBSG, but this was voted down by its members because of his views on global warming. The chairman, Dr Andy Derocher, a former university pupil of Dr Taylor’s, frankly explained in an email (which I was not sent by Dr Taylor) that his rejection had nothing to do with his undoubted expertise on polar bears: “it was the position you’ve taken on global warming that brought opposition”.

Dr Taylor was told that his views running “counter to human-induced climate change are extremely unhelpful”. His signing of the Manhattan Declaration – a statement by 500 scientists that the causes of climate change are not CO2 but natural, such as changes in the radiation of the sun and ocean currents – was “inconsistent with the position taken by the PBSG”.” “Polar bear expert barred by global warmists” h/t WUWT

Ration and Cap means more fuel imports, layoffs

06/28/2009

“America’s biggest oil companies will probably cope with U.S. carbon legislation by closing fuel plants [and laying off employees], cutting capital spending and increasing imports.

Under the Waxman-Markey climate bill … refiners would have to buy allowances for carbon dioxide spewed from their plants and from vehicles when motorists burn their fuel. Imports would need permits only for the latter, which ConocoPhillips Chief Executive Officer Jim Mulva said would create a competitive imbalance.

“It will lead to the opportunity for foreign sources to bring in transportation fuels at a lower cost, which will have an adverse impact to our industry, potential shutdown of refineries and investment and, ultimately, employment,” Mulva said in a June 16 interview in Detroit. Houston-based ConocoPhillips has the second-largest U.S. refining capacity.

The same amount of gasoline that would have $1 in carbon costs imposed if it were domestic would have 10 cents less added if it were imported, according to energy consulting firm Wood Mackenzie in Houston. Contrary to President Barack Obama’s goal of reducing dependence on overseas energy suppliers, the bill would incent U.S. refiners to import more fuel, said Clayton Mahaffey, an analyst at RedChip Cos. in Maitland, Florida.” “Big Oil’ s Answer to Carbon Law May Be Fuel Imports