Archive for March, 2010

Another model failure


Even though corals evolved and thrived in much warmer waters than today, and even though corals thrive today in “too warm” waters (Diversity of corals in “too warm” Indian Ocean surprises alarmists), modelers persist in creating doom and gloom in their virtual world:

“Cornell University researchers have found a new tool to help marine biologists better grasp the processes under the sea: They have created mathematical models to unveil the bacterial community dynamics behind afflictions that bleach and kill coral.  …

Now new mathematical models explain for the first time how beneficial bacteria on coral suddenly give way to pathogens when waters warm.  …

The model reveals how a healthy normal microbial community in the coral surface mucus layer protects corals from disease by preventing invasion and overgrowth by pathogenic bacteria. But when corals are stressed, for example by elevated temperatures (a heat spell), the community of microbes suddenly switches. Species associated with a healthy coral organism – “resident species” – decline as pathogens associated with coral disease take their place.”  “New mathematical model helps biologists understand how coral dies in warming waters

AGW insanity escalates in Britain


All public bodies should have a legal duty to protect their workers from climate change in the same way as institutions currently carry out health and safety checks, according to the Royal Commission on Environmental Pollution.

The body set up to warn Government about the risk of environmental disasters said climate change will cause floods, droughts and heatwaves in future.

In a key report on ‘Adapting Institutions to Climate Change’ the committee of experts recommended that every school, hosptial and business should have a legal duty to adapt to climate change. For example by putting in place flood defences and plans for water shortages.  …

The planet is already slightly above the worse case scenario so if we do nothing we could be looking at a temperature rise of 4C (7.3F) by 2100,” [Sir John Lawton, chairman of the commission] said.  …

“That should become central because just like health and safety scenarios – where people are going to get killed or injured – people are going to get killed or injured by climate change and that is why it is important.”  …

“We have to accept that there is a real risk of [climate change] devastating people’s lives … ,” he said.”  “Climate change is the new health and safety

Svensmark explains the antarctic climate anomoly


“Low-level clouds cover more than a quarter of the Earth and exert a strong cooling effect at the surface.  … Cloud tops have a high albedo and exert their cooling effect by scattering back into the cosmos much of the sunlight that could otherwise warm the surface.

But the snows on the Antarctic ice sheets are dazzlingly white, with a higher albedo than the cloud tops. There, extra cloud cover warms the surface, and less cloudiness cools it.  Satellite measurements show the warming effect of clouds on Antarctica, and meteorologists at far southern latitudes confirm it by observation.  …

The cosmic-ray and cloud-forcing hypothesis therefore predicts that temperature changes in Antarctica should be opposite in sign to changes in temperature in the rest of the world. This is exactly what is observed, in a well-known phenomenon that some geophysicists have called the polar see-saw, but for which “the Antarctic climate anomaly” seems a better name (Svensmark 2007).

To account for evidence spanning many thousands of years from drilling sites in Antarctica and Greenland, which show many episodes of climate change going in opposite directions, ad hoc hypotheses on offer involve major reorganization of ocean currents. While they might be possible explanations for low-resolution climate records, with error-bars of centuries, they cannot begin to explain the rapid operation of the Antarctic climate anomaly from decade to decade as seen in the 20th century (figure 6).

Cloud forcing is by far the most economical explanation of the anomaly on all timescales.  Indeed, absence of the anomaly would have been a decisive argument against cloud forcing – which introduces a much-needed element of refutability into climate science.”  “Cosmoclimatology:  a new theory emerges”  h/t WUWT

Gravy train rolls on


“A GROUP of Euro-MPs sparked fury yesterday after jetting off to sunny Tenerife on an expensive junket to discuss climate change.

The six-day summit will see scores of Eurocrats descending on the Canary Isles, leaving taxpayers back home to pick up the £550,000 bill.  …

[T]he 250 delegates will enjoy visits to the island’s finest beaches and be wined and dined at gala dinners while living it up in luxury hotels.

Critics last night branded it “hypocritical” to fly delegations ­thousands of miles – creating some 200 tons in carbon emissions – to discuss saving the planet.

UKIP Euro-MP Derek Clark said: “MEPs from all three establishment parties are off on a junket with ­taxpayers’ cash, pouring tons of carbon into the atmosphere.”

Mark Wallace, of the TaxPayers’ ­Alliance, said: “It is sickening that these MEPs are jetting off to a sunny island while their constituents are stuck with strikes, pay cuts and tax rises. To fly to a conference where they plan to lecture us about climate change is the height of hypocrisy.”  “CLIMATE MEPS LIVE IT UP IN TENERIFE”  h/t Climate Research News

EPA launches new attack on coal industry, electricity consumers


“President Barack Obama’s overbearing EPA is holding hostage thousands of coal-mining jobs in Appalachia in order to protect an insect that lives for a day.

The EPA claims that trading jobs for bugs is part of its proper oversight role, but the evidence suggests that politics are at play. Environmentalists are a very important voting bloc for the Democratic Party, and they earnestly believe that coal is evil, despite the fact that it generates half of the country’s electricity. That’s why President Obama promised, while campaigning for the Oval Office, to “bankrupt” the coal industry. He has since unleashed the EPA to fulfill that promise.  …

It started in June, when the EPA announced that it would use its veto powers under the Clean Water Act to hold up the permitting process for surface coal mining in the steep terrain of the Appalachian Mountains. This is the first time that the EPA has used these powers since the act was passed by Congress in 1970. Also, the EPA has waged a letter-writing campaign to state environmental officials warning them that their standard for water quality is insufficiently onerous for surface coal mining operations. Thus, the EPA has held up 79 permits.

These regulatory intrusions are unprecedented, so the EPA must have a good reason, right?

Wrong. In fact, the EPA is intervening on behalf of a bug.

Recent EPA research suggests that discharge from “fills” — piles of dirt and rock moved in the process of mining coal — hurts populations of mayflies, an insect that typically lives for less than a day. Other research suggests that populations of hardier insect species grow in the wake of the mayfly’s decline, but this doesn’t deter the EPA.

During testimony before the Senate last summer, John Pomponio, an EPA official with jurisdiction over surface-coal-mining permitting in Appalachia, said that it is “critical that EPA re-invigorate its oversight role” in light of the mayfly study.

In practice, a “re-invigorated oversight role” means that President Obama’s EPA has outlawed surface mining practices that had been acceptable for decades. In this business environment — beholden to capricious and arbitrary EPA rules — coal-mining companies can’t raise capital. After all, you can’t mine without a permit.  …

In the short term, people are losing their jobs.

There are more than 60,000 coal miners in Appalachia. Just this month, Consol Energy announced that it would lay off 500 workers at a West Virginia mine idled by the EPA’s actions. As such, antipathy for the EPA runs deep in coal country. Rallies this summer in West Virginia and Kentucky drew scores of thousands of miners and their families.

In the long term, electricity consumers are the big losers. Appalachian coal provides inexpensive fuel for power plants along the Ohio River. It’s the reason that Mid-Atlantic states have some of the cheapest electricity rates in the country.”  “Obama’s EPA Delivers a Lump of Coal to Appalachia

Surprise: CARB says energy rationing and taxation will CREATE jobs!


“The California Air Resources Board, to no one’s surprise, the other day unveiled its own “study” of the economic effects of the sweeping Assembly Bill 32, the 2006 Global Warming Solutions Act. The state’s air-pollution police contend that the sweeping crackdown on carbon-dioxide emissions actually will add 10,000 new jobs to the state by 2020. The ARB’s bottom line: implementing these regulations “won’t hurt” California.

Of course, the day before a separate study commissioned by manufacturers concluded that AB32 could result in the state losing another 485,000 jobs by 2020.

And you may recall a Cal State Sacramento study last year that predicted AB32 will result in 1.1 million lost jobs.

ARB Chairwoman Mary Nichols said people should consider who is behind each study. We agree. Businesses requested the university study. They stand to lose money. Businesses and manufacturers were behind the more recent study. They stand to lose money.

The government was behind the ARB study, including a group of “expert” advisers appointed by Nichols. The government stands to gain tax money and more control.

So, yes, people should consider who’s behind these studies. And their motives.”  “War of job-killing studies

AGW climate models blow another prediction


“New NASA measurements of the Atlantic Meridional Overturning Circulation, part of the global ocean conveyor belt that helps regulate climate around the North Atlantic, show no significant slowing over the past 15 years. The data suggest the circulation may have even sped up slightly in the recent past.

The findings are the result of a new monitoring technique, developed by oceanographer Josh Willis of NASA’s Jet Propulsion Laboratory in Pasadena, Calif., using measurements from ocean-observing satellites and profiling floats. The findings are reported in the March 25 issue of Geophysical Research Letters.

The Atlantic overturning circulation is a system of currents, including the Gulf Stream, that bring warm surface waters from the tropics northward into the North Atlantic. There, in the seas surrounding Greenland, the water cools, sinks to great depths and changes direction. What was once warm surface water heading north turns into cold deep water going south. This overturning is one part of the vast conveyor belt of ocean currents that move heat around the globe.  …

Willis found evidence that the circulation had sped up about 20 percent from 1993 to 2009. This is the longest direct record of variability in the Atlantic overturning to date and the only one at high latitudes.

The latest climate models predict the overturning circulation will slow down as greenhouse gases warm the planet and melting ice adds freshwater to the ocean.”  “NASA Study Finds Atlantic ‘Conveyor Belt’ Not Slowing

Scafetta on the 60-year temperature cycle


Nicola Scafetta has a new paper out, “Climate change and its causes — a discussion about some key issues” (13MB pdf).  It is well worth a read.  One “key issue” is “a large 60 year cycle in the temperature record” (p. 19).  Says Scafetta:

“It has been observed that several multi-secular climatic and oceanic records present large cycles with periods of about 50-70 years with an average of 60 years [18].17 Figure 10 [below] shows the global temperature record detrended of its quadratic upward trend [19] depicted in Figure 1. This sequence has been filtered of its fast fluctuations (by applying a six year moving average smooth algorithm) and it has been plotted against itself with a time-lag of about 60 years. The figure clearly suggests the existence of an almost perfect cyclical correspondence between the periods 1880-1940 and 1940-2000. The peak in 1880 repeats in 1940 and again in 2000. The smaller peak in 1900 repeats in 1960. This 60-odd year oscillation cannot be associated with any known anthropogenic phenomenon [19]. (See also Appendixes Q and R).”

What causes this 60-year cycle?  Scafetta goes on (p. 22):

“If the temperature is characterized by natural periodic cycles the only reasonable explanation is that the climate system is modulated by astronomical oscillations.20 Natural cycles known with certainty are the 11 (Schwabe) and 22 (Hale) year solar cycles, the cycles of the planets and luni-solar nodal cycles [19,24]. Jupiter has an orbital period of 11.87 years while Saturn has an orbital period of 29.4 years. These periods predict three other major cycles which are associated with Jupiter and Saturn: about 10 years, the opposition of [the] two planets; about 20 years, their synodic cycle; and about 60 years, the repetition of the combined orbits of the two planets. The major lunar cycles are about 18.6 and 8.85 years.

Figure 12 shows a spectral analysis of the global surface temperature and of a record that depends on the orbits of planets (the speed of the sun relative to the center of mass of the solar system [19]). The two records have almost the same cycles. The temperature record contains the cycles of the planets combined with the two solar cycles of 11 and 22 years and a lunar cycle at about 9.1 years.21 (See also Appendixes Q-V).  …

The physical mechanisms involved in the process are likely numerous. The gravitational forces of the planets can partially modulate the solar activity. For example, it was noted that the alignment of Venus, Earth and Jupiter presents cycles of approximately 11 years that are in phase with the 11-year solar cycles [21] and multi secular reconstructions of solar activity reveal 60-year cycles associated with the combined orbit of Jupiter and Saturn and other longer cycles [22]. Solar changes could modulate climate change through various physical and chemical processes as explained in Section 6, which are currently not included in the models, as explained in Section 6.

There is also the possibility that the Earth’s orbital parameters are directly modulated by the gravitational forces of Jupiter, Saturn and the Moon, and the Sun’s magnetic force in such a way that the length of day is modulated and/or other planetary parameters are altered.  For example, the rotation of the Earth on its axis shows 60-year cycles that anticipate those of the temperature by a few years [18, 23]. Variations in the Earth’s rotation and tides caused by the lunar cycles can drive ocean oscillations, which in turn may alter the climate [19]. For example, the Atlantic Multidecadal Oscillation (AMO) and the Pacific Decadal Oscillation (PDO) present clear 60-year cycles and other faster cycles, see Figures 14 and 15. None of these mechanisms are included in the models adopted by the IPCC.”

Prior posts on the Jovian planets’ tidal influence on the Sun here.  Anthony Watts covers the paper here.

Carbon cult halts Heathrow expansion


“Britain’s High Court ordered the government to review its proposal to expand London’s Heathrow airport by building a third runway, handing a temporary victory to environmental campaigners who oppose the plan.

In a long-awaited ruling Thursday, Judge Robert Carnwath said the government’s plan is “untenable” because it was based on outdated environmental requirements.

Judge Carnwath stopped short of ruling the plan unlawful, instead inviting the government to hold further consultation on its plans with a particular focus on the effects on climate change policy and surface access to the airport.

A coalition of local government councils, green groups and residents had argued that the decision to expand Heathrow, Europe’s busiest airport, was at odds with the Britain’s overall climate-change targets.  …

But the Department for Transport vowed to “robustly defend” the plan, stressing the importance of Heathrow, which is already running at capacity. “It is vital not only to the national economy, but also enables millions of citizens to keep in touch with their friends and family, and to take a well-deserved holiday,” said Transport Minister Andrew Adonis. “A new runway at Heathrow will help secure jobs and underpin economic growth as we come out of recession.””  “U.K. Court Orders Review of Heathrow Expansion

NCDC adjusts the U.S.


Anthony Watts had a post awhile ago (while I was on the Colorado River) discussing the new paper “CONTIGUOUS U. S. TEMPERATURE TRENDS USING NCDC RAW AND ADJUSTED DATA FOR ONE-PER-STATE RURAL AND URBAN STATION SETS” by Edward R. Long, Ph.D., illustrating both the urban heat island (UHI) effect and the faulty adjusting of urban and rural raw data in the U.S.  The two graphs here are from the paper (extracted by Anthony).

The first graph shows rural versus urban raw data.  What is striking is that (1) the raw rural data show that the 1930s were warmer than today and (2) the UHI effect is evident and large.

The second graph shows the same data after NCDC adjusts it.  One would expect that the rural raw data would not be adjusted and that the urban raw data would be adjusted downward to take into account the UHI effect.  But instead NCDC adjusts the rural raw data upward until it nearly matches the urban data!  The NCDC adjusted temperature record is clearly urban biased.