WSJ – no weather weirding worries

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The Weather Isn’t Getting Weirder
Thursday, February 10th, 2011 Anne Jolis, The Wall Street Journal

Global-warming alarmists insist that economic activity is the problem, when the available evidence show it to be part of the solution. We may not be able to do anything about the weather, extreme or otherwise. But we can make sure we have the resources to deal with it when it comes.

Last week a severe storm froze Dallas under a sheet of ice, just in time to disrupt the plans of the tens of thousands of (American) football fans descending on the city for the Super Bowl. On the other side of the globe, Cyclone Yasi slammed northeastern Australia, destroying homes and crops and displacing hundreds of thousands of people.

Some climate alarmists would have us believe that these storms are yet another baleful consequence of man-made CO2 emissions. In addition to the latest weather events, they also point to recent cyclones in Burma, last winter’s fatal chills in Nepal and Bangladesh, December’s blizzards in Britain, and every other drought, typhoon and unseasonable heat wave around the world.

But is it true? To answer that question, you need to understand whether recent weather trends are extreme by historical standards. The Twentieth Century Reanalysis Project is the latest attempt to find out, using super-computers to generate a dataset of global atmospheric circulation from 1871 to the present.

As it happens, the project’s initial findings, published last month, show no evidence of an intensifying weather trend. “In the climate models, the extremes get more extreme as we move into a doubled CO2 world in 100 years,” atmospheric scientist Gilbert Compo, one of the researchers on the project, tells me from his office at the University of Colorado, Boulder. “So we were surprised that none of the three major indices of climate variability that we used show a trend of increased circulation going back to 1871.”

In other words, researchers have yet to find evidence of more-extreme weather patterns over the period, contrary to what the models predict. “There’s no data-driven answer yet to the question of how human activity has affected extreme weather,” adds Roger Pielke Jr., another University of Colorado climate researcher.

Some climate alarmists claim that cyclones, such as Cyclone Yasi, are a result of man-made CO2 emissions.

We do know that carbon dioxide and other gases trap and re-radiate heat. We also know that humans have emitted ever-more of these gases since the Industrial Revolution. What we don’t know is exactly how sensitive the climate is to increases in these gases versus other possible factors—solar variability, oceanic currents, Pacific heating and cooling cycles, planets’ gravitational and magnetic oscillations, and so on.

Given the unknowns, it’s possible that even if we spend trillions of dollars, and forgo trillions more in future economic growth, to cut carbon emissions to pre-industrial levels, the climate will continue to change—as it always has.

That’s not to say we’re helpless. There is at least one climate lesson that we can draw from the recent weather: Whatever happens, prosperity and preparedness help. North Texas’s ice storm wreaked havoc and left hundreds of football fans stranded, cold, and angry. But thanks to modern infrastructure, 21st century health care, and stockpiles of magnesium chloride and snow plows, the storm caused no reported deaths and Dallas managed to host the big game on Sunday.

Compare that outcome to the 55 people who reportedly died of pneumonia, respiratory problems and other cold-related illnesses in Bangladesh and Nepal when temperatures dropped to just above freezing last winter. Even rich countries can be caught off guard: Witness the thousands stranded when Heathrow skimped on de-icing supplies and let five inches of snow ground flights for two days before Christmas. Britain’s GDP shrank by 0.5% in the fourth quarter of 2010, for which the Office of National Statistics mostly blames “the bad weather.”

Arguably, global warming was a factor in that case. Or at least the idea of global warming was. The London-based Global Warming Policy Foundation charges that British authorities are so committed to the notion that Britain’s future will be warmer that they have failed to plan for winter storms that have hit the country three years running.

A sliver of the billions that British taxpayers spend on trying to control their climes could have bought them more of the supplies that helped Dallas recover more quickly. And, with a fraction of that sliver of prosperity, more Bangladeshis and Nepalis could have acquired the antibiotics and respirators to survive their cold spell.

A comparison of cyclones Yasi and Nargis tells a similar story: As devastating as Yasi has been, Australia’s infrastructure, medicine, and emergency protocols meant the Category 5 storm has killed only one person so far. Australians are now mulling all the ways they could have better protected their property and economy.

But if they feel like counting their blessings, they need only look to the similar cyclone that hit the Irrawaddy Delta in 2008. Burma’s military regime hadn’t allowed for much of an economy before the cyclone, but Nargis destroyed nearly all the Delta had. Afterwards, the junta blocked foreign aid workers from delivering needed water purification and medical supplies. In the end, Rangoon let Nargis kill more than 130,000 people.

Global-warming alarmists insist that economic activity is the problem, when the available evidence show it to be part of the solution. We may not be able to do anything about the weather, extreme or otherwise. But we can make sure we have the resources to deal with it when it comes.

Miss Jolis is an editorial page writer for The Wall Street Journal Europe.

From The Wall Street Journal

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74 Responses to WSJ – no weather weirding worries

  1. dan says:

    This is so 2012 :)

  2. Jeremy says:

    Sadly, CAGW propaganda has so blinkered Western thinking that this common sense article actually needed to be written.

    Instead, if this had been written in a Western world dominated by intelligent critical thinkers, it would be viewed as so overstating the obvious that it is like saying “the sun will rise tomorrow”. Well Duh!

  3. Ken Stewart says:

    Hits the nail right on the head!

  4. Lew Skannen says:

    Wow! What a clear, simple and logical analysis.
    Pity such attributes gave gone out of fashion in the days of “post-normal science” aka superstition and politically driven mass hysteria.

  5. Jeremy says:

    I hear the chimes of midnight starting.

  6. JamesS says:

    I am amazed. I’d never heard of this study before, so I did a bit of Googling. I found an article at the World Climate Report site — which I’d also never visited — that was from December 2008 (Rethinking Observed Warming), and basically reiterated everything said in the article above. It also had the prophetic statement, “don’t look for a lot of press coverage coming from the Poland meeting of this interesting research challenging the gospel of global warming.”

    I hope that in the near future we will hear a bit more about this project.

  7. Jack says:

    That’s all I wanted to hear — truth and honesty.

  8. SSam says:

    Eh… it has an error. Not really hers, but from the Office of National Statistics.

    ” … Britain’s GDP shrank by 0.5% in the fourth quarter of 2010, for which the Office of National Statistics mostly blames “the bad weather.” ”

    More accurately, the blame should be directed towards those people who predicted a mild winter.

  9. richard verney says:

    This is a sensible article.

    Attemps at mitigation are crazy and potentially an extreme waste of money. What if CO2 does not drive climate and therefore all attempts at mitigation prove fruitless? What if despite a warming world, in fact there are no real increases in storms, droughts, floods etc and sea level rise merely continues at the present slow pace, ie., there are no dragons that need to be slayed? What if in the real world a warmer climate is overall a good thing? Why deprive ourselves of the possible benefit of this. What if the residency time of CO2 is so long and that climate sensitivity is large and the amount of CO2 that we have already pumped in is such that even if we stop all further CO2 emissions, we cannot prevent the warming, ie., we have already gone past the point of no return should we wiish to keep below a 2 to 3 deg C increase in temps? It is easy to see that spending money on mitigation could prove a costly mistake especially if CO2 does not drive climate/temperatures.

    In summary, mitigation only works in one scenario, namely where CO2 drives warming and this warming would be catastrophic and where we have not passed the point of no return for curbing temperature uncrease. In all other scenarios, mitigation fails.

    Adaption is by far the best policy and is a more tailored response. After all, if there is GW, for some countries, climate change (warming) would be extremely beneficial, for other countries it will make little or no difference and only for some countries will it cause problems. It is best to direct resources solely at the problem cases.

    Adaption works where the world warms and this leads to catastrophies, irrespective as to the cause of the warming (ie., whether it be natural or manmade). It also works where the world warms but without catastrophic consequences/results. It gives us the chance of not depriving ourselves of the quite likely prospect that a warmer world is in practice a better world.

    If we bankrupt ourselves in an attempt to mitigate and if CO2 does not drive temperatures and if a warmer world is truly a bad thing, then it will be more difficult to adapt; the developed nations willl have been thrown back to pre industrial capacity and the developing nations will have been stiffled in their development so that neither will be in a position to mobilise resources and having blown the family silver on a failed attempt to mitigate, we will not even have the finance to do something, even if we wanted to.

  10. Theo Goodwin says:

    Maybe common sense will enjoy a renaissance in the next few years. A breath of fresh air would be really welcome after the well-financed program of hysteria under which we have suffered for some years now.

  11. Hank Hancock says:

    Wow… real solutions to real problems.

  12. wayne says:

    This need to be bold in case someone skimmed by it:

    “So we were surprised that none of the three major indices of climate variability that we used show a trend of increased circulation going back to 1871.”

    In other words, researchers have yet to find evidence of more-extreme weather patterns over the period, contrary to what the models predict. “There’s no data-driven answer yet to the question of how human activity has affected extreme weather,” adds Roger Pielke Jr., another University of Colorado climate researcher.”

  13. Bripan says:

    Great article. Just to clarify one point. The one and only person to die because of Cyclone Yasi, died from carbon monoxide poisoning due to the placement of his generator in the same single room he was sheltering in during the storm.

  14. u.k.(us) says:

    From the article:

    “Given the unknowns, it’s possible that even if we spend trillions of dollars, and forgo trillions more in future economic growth, to cut carbon emissions to pre-industrial levels, the climate will continue to change—as it always has.”
    =========
    Guess where said trillions of dollars will come from?
    (It won’t come out of the Government employees pension plan).

  15. DSW says:

    I must agree with Jeremy – it’s a pity that this article was necessary. It sort of falls into the category with the heavy foil suppository wrappers that say, “Remove Before Use”.

    Ouch.

  16. Cynthia Lauren Thorpe says:

    Hi Guys. While the rest of the World is either praying or inciting folks ~ I thought you would like a quote from one of my ‘all time favorite’ Scientists with a Clue.

    “Science without religion is lame, religion without science is blind”–Albert Einstein.

    So, now – if you’ll excuse me – I’ll get back to praying. Is saying that, okay?
    I guess I’ll find out.

    Your scientific friend who reads the Wall Street Journal, as well…

    C.L. Thorpe

  17. ge0050 says:

    Apologies to Freewheeling Franklin:
    Money will get you through times of bad weather better than weather will get you through times of no money.

  18. bubbagyro says:

    SSam says:
    February 10, 2011 at 5:12 pm

    You got that right!
    Future deaths of poor people who were left unprepared for cold, or heat, and who could not afford the skyrocketed fuel and electricity costs, because the wind was not blowing, the sun not shining, the wells not drilled, and the coal not dug, will be attributed to…

    Wait for it!

    Climate disruption.

  19. Latitude says:

    I suggest as many people as possible leave a comment congratulating her on this article……

  20. bubbagyro says:

    ge0050 says:
    February 10, 2011 at 5:26 pm

    Fabulous, yet furry, comment.

  21. u.k.(us) says:

    The current U.S. debt is about 14 trillion dollars.
    Or, if it makes us feel better, about 14,000 billion dollars.
    I pay my credit card debts, in full, every time cause the rates are extreme.
    Why are we letting our Government rack up a bill like this?

  22. MattH says:

    “Cyclone Yasi slammed northeastern Australia, destroying homes and crops and displacing hundreds of thousands of people”

    Hundreds of thousands? Hardly.

  23. Neo says:

    The weather is getting weird, but just for global-warming alarmists.
    Once they pass of anxiety, the world will be a better place.

  24. Menth says:

    Easily the best article I’ve read all year.

  25. R. de Haan says:

    The Germans just bought the New York Stock Exchange and you are discussing a Wall Street Journal article about the freaking weather! What’s wrong with with you guys? Have you all lost it. No wonder this country is going down the drain. (Sarc)
    http://www.nypost.com/p/news/local/manhattan/achtung_germans_taking_over_nyse_CmH6lh5gdvOerUJxG4S4vN

  26. My research has shown that the number of extreme weather events is directly proportional to the development of the news media. 150 years ago with only telegraphs, horse and sea transport there were not as many extreme weather events reported as is it is today with news channels reporting 24/7. These news channels need extreme weather events to fill their airtimes.
    But that doesn’t deter MSM, UNEP, Greenpeace and WWF from state that the increase of extreme weather events is a scientific fact. Linked to CO2 of course.

  27. Dave Wendt says:

    I have attempted to make this same point in comments quite a number of times in recent years, but I must congratulate the author for presenting the idea in a much better written form than I can usually achieve. one additional point that I think needs to be added is that, given the highly uncertain nature of the planet’s future, what we really need to maximise is human adaptability. But every solution that has been proposed for our supposed climate perils involves investing more money, power, and control in the hands of the very hidebound bureaucracies, from the UN down to the municipal level, that have proven themselves to be the least responsive, least adaptable institutions that humanity has ever created. Even if one firmly believes in all the catastrophic fantasies about the future climate, one should at least be able to realize that none of these deadhead tax drains are in any way capable of making the problems anything but worse, as they have already and will continue to do if they aren’t definitively halted.

  28. evanmjones says:

    I have been saying this for years. If we need to adapt OR if we must mitigate, it will require wealth.

    So let’s not destroy that wealth.

    Besides, even if there is modest warming, there may well be no emergency, whatever, in which case restriction of wealth is criminal waste and will cost many lives.

  29. Al Gored says:

    Per Strandberg says:
    February 10, 2011 at 6:43 pm

    “My research has shown that the number of extreme weather events is directly proportional to the development of the news media. 150 years ago with only telegraphs, horse and sea transport there were not as many extreme weather events reported as is it is today with news channels reporting 24/7. These news channels need extreme weather events to fill their airtimes.”

    I agree. And this is compounded by the presence of video cameras everywhere now so that there is at least cellphone footage – vital for today’s ‘news’ – of every flooded parking lot in every remote town, etc.

    I also believe that the recent shift to covering the daily weather porn is no accident. It has, after all, worked to manufacture the consent that, gee, the weather sure is wierd – when it is not.

    Anyhow, this article is excellent, both for its content and its significant audience.

  30. Ted says:

    A refreshing article, I think the tide is not only turning but washing the warmist out to sea with it.
    Congratulations to atmospheric scientist Gilbert Compo, Anne Jolis and the Wall Street Journal for well written, level headed research report.

    And thanks to Anthony for bringing it forward.

  31. Elizabeth says:

    This type of research is exactly what is needed. It provides real, factual answers to these questions, not just speculation.

  32. Bruce Foutch says:

    Here is the paper. The quote in the WSJ is almost identical to the last paragraph in the abstract.

    http://onlinelibrary.wiley.com/doi/10.1002/qj.776/abstract

    PDF of the paper is here:
    http://onlinelibrary.wiley.com/doi/10.1002/qj.776/pdf

  33. u.k.(us) says:

    R. de Haan says:
    February 10, 2011 at 6:34 pm
    The Germans just bought the New York Stock Exchange and you are discussing a Wall Street Journal article about the freaking weather!
    =========
    Ummm, I don’t believe there is a country/ union that could buy the NYSE, but there is talk of some kind of merger. I’m sure it will produce jobs.

  34. Mike says:

    Miss Jolis’s conclusions have little to do with the science she cites. Everyone agrees adaption to climate change is important. Jolis seems agree, even though she does think climate change is happening. Very odd. Everyone agrees that mitigation efforts to reduce GHG emission should not kill the economic goose: the goose lays golden eggs but also some real stinkers. CBO study did not find the cap & trade system to be a goose killer.

    The research she discusses is interesting, but Compo’s data in his paper goes up to 2008. The recent debate (e.g. Krugman) is whether the extreme events of the last two years are plausibly related to AGW. Statistically we won’t know if the signal is emerging from the noise for a while yet. And there different types of extreme events to consider. From my readings as a non-expert, I’d say for hurricanes there is not much evidence of an increase due to AGW, but for droughts (like the two major ones in the Amazon this past decade) and floods there some evidence of an AGW causal link. Now, I am not claiming certainly! However the rise in global temperatures, the loss of sea ice and glaciers are unambiguously due to AGW.

    And, what are those crabs doing in Antarctica? Explain that one. Is there some 40 million year ocean cycle warming the Southern Ocean?

  35. thingadonta says:

    Yeah well said.

    I have at least two possible options for the rest of my geological career. Pursue alternative energies like hot rock technology, or support initiatives against AGW extremism. Which do you think is better?

    regards,

  36. Most of the pieces I read no longer mention carbon dioxide, preferring ‘carbon pollution’ instead.

    Ran across this idiocy on the MNN the other day: http://www.mnn.com/earth-matters/wilderness-resources/stories/more-trees-than-there-were-100-years-ago-its-true

    This was linked off CNN’s main page. Ridiculous silliness, the comments suggest people are wising up. I’ve got to wonder about the educational state of the typical reporter however. I posted the comment regarding C vs CO2 as Anon. (not interested in a flame war from CNN’s delusional masses on my blog)

  37. thingadonta says:

    Oh yeah, another remark: I remember seeing Leonard Nimoy hosting ‘Thats incredible’ in the 1970s, when he said we could be going into an ice age in less than 200 years. Pity his science wasnt as good as his character’s was in Star Trek. I might have to get the episode off Amazon, might be funny in constrast to all the warminst alarmism now.

  38. pat says:

    the MSM has been reporting/continues to report all the recent weather/bushfire events in australia as “unprecedented”, and evidence of “climate change”.
    instead, the brisbane flood was manmade due to the main dam being kept too full, the floods in queensland and northern New South Wales were La Nina bringing welcome rains, Yasi may not have been a Cat5 cyclone and a policeman has been charged with setting off the Western Australian bushfires. his community forgives him:

    10 Feb: WA Today: One spark, 72 homes destroyed – but fire-ravaged community forgives ‘Uncle Bob’
    The bushfire-ravaged community of Roleystone has rallied around a police officer and local resident known in the neighbourhood as “Uncle Bob”, who has been charged with starting one of Perth’s most devastating bushfires…
    http://www.watoday.com.au/wa-news/one-spark-72-homes-destroyed–but-fireravaged-community-forgives-uncle-bob-20110210-1anm8.html

    never before has weather been so hijacked for the sake of CAGW.

  39. rbateman says:

    The disasters that hit Europe in the Sporer Minimum would not happen today to a country that is prepared.
    They will find countries today that are not prepared, and havoc will reign.
    In both the Sporer and the Maunder Minimums, the resource of the day was fuel and food.
    What are we to make of an Agenda that seeks to strip away fuel and the jobs to afford such necessities?
    Disastrous.

  40. Bruce Foutch says:

    In my search for this paper I found that Dr. Compo has a web page at NOAA, here:
    http://www.esrl.noaa.gov/psd/people/gilbert.p.compo/

    The scope of his papers is noteworthy. Here is that link to his publications:
    http://www.esrl.noaa.gov/psd/people/gilbert.p.compo/publications.html

    In one of his papers he provides a clear explanation of his work:

    “The International Atmospheric Circulation Reconstructions over the Earth (ACRE) initiative

    Abstract
    Between the millennial scope of paleoclimate reconstruction and the centennial outlook of climate model projections stands the instrumental record of global climate variability and change. Recovering, understanding, and utilizing this record over the last 200–‐250 years are the goals of the international Atmospheric Circulation Reconstructions over the Earth (ACRE) initiative.”

    Of special note is one of his papers, “Early ship-based upper-air data and comparison with the Twentieth Century Reanalysis.” I believe WUWT has discussed the use of early ship records on many occasions.

  41. u.k.(us) says:

    rbateman says:
    February 10, 2011 at 8:27 pm
    The disasters that hit Europe in the Sporer Minimum would not happen today to a country that is prepared.
    They will find countries today that are not prepared, and havoc will reign.
    In both the Sporer and the Maunder Minimums, the resource of the day was fuel and food.
    What are we to make of an Agenda that seeks to strip away fuel and the jobs to afford such necessities?
    Disastrous.
    =============
    Europe went through 2 world wars.
    World War I,
    World War II,
    You really need to go to the library, because it seems like you don’t know how bad it really was.

  42. Just The Facts says:

    “We do know that carbon dioxide and other gases trap and re-radiate heat. We also know that humans have emitted ever-more of these gases since the Industrial Revolution. What we don’t know is exactly how sensitive the climate is to increases in these gases versus other possible factors—solar variability, oceanic currents, Pacific heating and cooling cycles, planets’ gravitational and magnetic oscillations, and so on.”

    The entire Catastrophic Anthropogenic Global Warming Narrative is predicated on the assumption that we have identified, understand, can accurately measure and effectively model every variable that is involved in Earth’s climate system, and furthermore that based on this ability we have been able eliminate (or ignore) all the other variables involved, because CO2 is the omnipotent variable, which overrides all the other variables and acts effectively as Earth’s thermostat. This assumption is fundamentally flawed. Earth’s climate system is absurdly complex, there is no way we have it figured out yet. I have been trying to wrap my head around Earth’s climate system for several years and I am still just scratching the surface. The following is a summary of the potential variables in Earth’s climate system that I’ve been able to identify thus far (Note that this is a work in progress, so your additions, corrections, suggestions, etc., are most welcome).

    1. Earth’s Rotational Energy;
    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Rotational_energy
    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Earth%27s_rotation
    http://www.physicalgeography.net/fundamentals/6h.html

    which results in day and night;
    http://wiki.answers.com/Q/Why_does_rotation_cause_day_and_night

    influences Oceanic Gyres;
    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Ocean_gyre

    helps drive and direct the Thermohaline Circulation;
    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Thermohaline_circulation

    especially around Antarctica;
    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/File:Conveyor_belt.svg

    which is also called the Antarctic Circumpolar Current;
    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Antarctic_Circumpolar_Current

    and the Arctic:
    http://www.whoi.edu/page.do?pid=12455&tid=441&cid=47170&ct=61&article=20727
    http://www.john-daly.com/polar/flows.jpg

    Earth’s Rotational Energy influences Atmospheric Circulation;
    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Atmospheric_circulation
    Particularly the Easterlies and Westerlies?

    Tropical Cyclones;
    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Tropical_cyclone

    Tornadoes:
    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Tornado

    and Polar Vortices;
    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Polar_vortex

    which “are caused when an area of low pressure sits at the rotation pole of a planet. This causes air to spiral down from higher in the atmosphere, like water going down a drain.”
    http://www.universetoday.com/973/what-venus-and-saturn-have-in-common/

    Here’s an animation of the Arctic Polar Vortex in Winter 2008 – 09;

    here’s an animation of the currently uncoalesced Arctic Polar Vortex and;
    http://www.cpc.ncep.noaa.gov/products/intraseasonal/z500_nh_anim.shtml

    here’s an animation of the currently uncoalesced Antarctic Polar Vortex:
    http://www.cpc.ncep.noaa.gov/products/intraseasonal/z500_sh_anim.shtml

    Lastly, Earth’s Rotational Energy drives tba;
    Dynamo/ Geomagnetic
    Plate Tectonics,
    Earthquakes,
    Mountain Building,
    Long-term Changes in Geography

    2. Earth’s Orbital Energy, Elliptical Orbit around the Sun (Eccentricity), Tilt (Obliquity) and Wobble (Axial precession):
    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Specific_orbital_energy
    http://www.physicalgeography.net/fundamentals/6h.html

    creates seasons;
    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Season

    which drives annual changes in Arctic Sea Ice;

    and Antarctic Sea Ice;

    the freezing and melting of which helps to drive the Thermohaline Circulation;
    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Thermohaline_circulation

    On longer time frames changes to Earth’s orbit, tilt and wobble called Milankovitch cycles;
    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Milankovitch_cycles

    may be responsible for the periods of Glaciation (Ice Ages);
    http://www.homepage.montana.edu/~geol445/hyperglac/time1/milankov.htm

    that Earth has experienced for the last several million years of its climatic record:
    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Ice_age

    3. Gravitational Energy:
    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Gravitational_energy

    The Moon and Sun have significant influence on Earth’s tide;
    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Tidal_force
    http://www.themcdonalds.net/richard/astro/papers/602-tides-web.pdf
    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Tide

    as well as the Moon, Sun and Earth’s gravity influences Earth’s Thermohaline Circulation;
    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Thermohaline_circulation

    Earth’s gravity
    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Convection#Gravitational_or_buoyant_convection
    http://visibleearth.nasa.gov/view_rec.php?id=205

    Sun & The Moon gravity during the different phases of the Saros cycle;
    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Saros_cycle

    which influences Oceanic Oscillations including El Nino/La Nina;
    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/El_Ni%C3%B1o-Southern_Oscillation

    the Pacific Decadal Oscillation (PDO);
    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Pacific_Decadal_Oscillation

    the Atlantic Multi-Decadal Oscillation (AMO) and;
    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Atlantic_Multidecadal_Oscillation

    the Indian_Ocean_Dipole (IOD)/Indian Ocean Oscillation (IOO)
    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Indian_Ocean_Dipole

    4. Solar Energy;
    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Solar_energy

    varies slightly based upon 11 and 22 year cycles;
    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Solar_cycle

    causes evaporation;
    creates clouds;
    results rain;
    that transfers large amounts of moisture;
    and results in rivers, etc.;

    “The driving force behind atmospheric circulation is solar energy, which heats the atmosphere with different intensities at the equator, the middle latitudes, and the poles.”
    http://www.scienceclarified.com/As-Bi/Atmospheric-Circulation.html

    and evaporation and condensation may help to drive changes in atmospheric pressure:
    http://www.atmos-chem-phys-discuss.net/10/24015/2010/acpd-10-24015-2010.pdf

    UV;
    tba

    Solar – Wind;
    http://science.nasa.gov/science-news/science-at-nasa/1999/ast13dec99_1/

    Solar – Coronal Holes;
    http://helios.gsfc.nasa.gov/chole.html

    Solar – Solar Energetic Particles (SEP);
    http://helios.gsfc.nasa.gov/sep.html

    Solar – Coronal Mass Ejection;
    http://www.esa.int/esaSC/SEMF75BNJTF_index_0.html
    http://www.ratedesi.com/video/v/8AuCE_NNEaM/Sun-Erupts-to-Life-Unleashes-a-Huge-CME-on-13-April-2010

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=BDZj1CmsJ64&feature=related

    Solar Magnetosphere Breach;

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=nVqWH5Qlg8Y&feature=related

    Solar Polar Field Reversal;
    http://science.nasa.gov/science-news/science-at-nasa/2001/ast15feb_1/

    Solar Sector Boundary;
    http://science.nasa.gov/heliophysics/focus-areas/magnetosphere-ionosphere/

    Solar Grand Minimum;

    Leif Svalgaard says:
    February 6, 2011 at 8:26 pm
    “If L&P are correct and sunspots become effectively] invisible [not gone] it might mean another Grand Minimum lasting perhaps 50 years. During this time the solar cycle is still operating, cosmic rays are still modulated, and the solar wind is still buffeting the Earth.”
    “It will lead to a cooling of a couple of tenths of a degree.”

    5. Geothermal Energy;
    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Geothermal_energy

    especially when released by volcanoes;
    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Volcano

    which have been shown to influence Earth’s climate;
    http://www.geology.sdsu.edu/how_volcanoes_work/climate_effects.html
    http://www.longrangeweather.com/global_temperatures.htm

    including in the infamous Year Without a Summer;
    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Year_Without_a_Summer

    which was partially caused by the 1815 eruption of Mount Tambora;
    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/1815_eruption_of_Mount_Tambora

    and is called a Volcanic Winter:
    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Volcanic_winter

    6. Cosmic Forces;

    Galactic Cosmic Rays;
    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Galactic_cosmic_ray
    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Cosmic_ray
    http://wattsupwiththat.com/2009/08/04/a-link-between-the-sun-cosmic-rays-aerosols-and-liquid-water-clouds-appears-to-exist-on-a-global-scale/

    Galactic Magnetic Fields;
    http://www.scholarpedia.org/article/Galactic_magnetic_fields

    Asteroids

    Comets

    7. Magnetic Forces;
    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Earth%27s_magnetic_field

    Solar – Above;

    Earth Core Changes:
    http://physicsworld.com/cws/article/news/42580

    “appears to be generated in the Earth’s core by a dynamo process, associated with the circulation of liquid metal in the core, driven by internal heat sources”

    Moving Poles;
    http://www.ngdc.noaa.gov/geomag/GeomagneticPoles.shtml

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Magnetosphere

    including movement of Poles:
    http://news.nationalgeographic.com/news/2009/12/091224-north-pole-magnetic-russia-earth-core.html

    8. Atmospheric Composition
    Aerosols
    Particulates
    Greenhouse Gases
    9. Albedo
    tba

    10. Anthropogenic
    Increases in carbon dioxide, methane and nitrous oxide,
    changes in ozone concentrations and distribution,
    increases in particulates and aerosols,
    soot, land use changes,
    urban heat islands, etc

    Lastly, general summaries of the potential variables involved in Earth’s climate system:
    http://www.physicalgeography.net/fundamentals/7y.html
    http://oceanservice.noaa.gov/education/pd/climate/factsheets/whatfactors.pdf

    Once I am able to compile a reasonably encompassing list, we can begin to discuss the difficulties of accurately measuring each of these variables, the very short, and in some cases nonexistent, data record, the current impossibility of predicting the behavior of each of these variables over the next 50 – 100 years and the mind boggling complexity of predicting how each of these variables will interact and evolve together to create Earth’s climate in 50 or 100 years. I think it will take many generations of measurement, research, computing power and practice before we will be able to accurately and confidently predict Earth’s temperature more than a few days out (a big volcano could erupt at any time)…

  43. Christopher Hanley says:

    Mike (7:54 pm):
    “…everyone agrees adaption to climate change is important. Jolis seems agree, even though she does think climate change is happening…”
    =======================
    Of course “climate change is happening”, no-one denies that.

    It also defies common sense to claim that the creation of an entirely new artificial all-pervasive property right (cap & trade) with the accompanying bureaucratic behemoth, assorted rent-seakers, lawyers, sharks and gangsters “should not kill the golden goose”.
    And that’s before the inevitable loss of wealth and income which the alarmists insist is necessary to ‘stop global warming’ (which has stopped anyway) and save the world.
    Another cost which is rarely factored in is the loss of liberty and inevitable civil strife.

    I don’t know what those crabs are doing in Antarctica, do you?

  44. Betapug says:

    Meanwhile, from the highest levels of the US administration, the “eminent climate scientist” Dr. John Holdren has just told the Chinese things are getting much worse and it is all our fault.

    “In fact, all around the world, we are seeing variously increases in floods, wild fires, droughts, heat-waves, pest outbreaks, coral bleaching events, the power of the strongest typhoon in decades, geographic range of tropical pathogens, and all of these, possibly are caused by the climate change”

    “…the enormous deadly heat-wave in 2003 which was a 101 years event at the time it occurred, up about 2 folds from the frequency which was about one in 200 years before we started to influence the climate, will be a typical event by 2050, one in 2 years by 2050, will be as hot as 2003 was in this part of Europe..”

    He has computer models which predict “with quite extraordinary accuracy”,
    ” All you have to know about this index is yellow is worse, orange is very much worse, brown is terrible and one sees again, under the business-as-usual scenario, we are in for a future in respect to the frequency and intensity of droughts.”

    The solution, however, is actually almost painless when you look at it the correct way.
    “Mitigation to stabilize 450 ppmv CO2 equivalent, probably means something in the range of 2-3% lose of gross world product in 2030 and 2100. Again that’s a lot of money in absolute terms, but if the world economy is still growing at 2-3% per year, that time is the most economist project, it simply means that people have to wait until 2031 to be as rich as they would be otherwise in 2030, for till 2101 to be as rich as they would have been otherwise in 2100. That doesn’t’ seem to be too high a price to pay for avoiding disaster.” I can wait a year to be rich and save the earth.

    All that is needed is to organize the scientists: “They must organize, they must raise their voices, they must push back hard when those know-nothings launch the attack. Mark Twin, the great American in the 19th century once said, the lie goes half way around the world before the truth has a chance to put on its shoes. Scientists don’t let that happen.

    The rest of the gorey details here: http://www.brookings-tsinghua.cn/~/media/BTC/Event/20100526Climate/EnglishTranscript_052610.pdf

  45. thingadonta says:

    A possible coiuple of extras to your list:

    -Earths magnetic field is declining, and is expected to flip in the geologically short future. It may affect climate.

    -Solar cycles of ~?1200 and ?1400 years, which are coupled every 1500 years (as in the book “unstoppable global warming every 1500 years” by Singer) . These have been traced right back to 800,000 years ago in ice cores.

    -I think Jupiter also slightly affects earth tides.

    -Mid Ocean Ridge output and variation through time. MORs vary in amount and degree along with continental drift. Iceland is currently very active along MOR.

    -Continental drift and configuration-eg closing of isthmus of Panama supposed to have cooled the earth when Atlantic and Pacific oceans cut off about 5 Ma.

    -Rates of continental drift also vary and affect climate-eg Cambrian explosion rates of drift appear very high, and this would affect climate. Levels of phosphorous is also very high in Cambrian, and seafloor continental shelf phosphate was instrumental in leading to explosion of life, related to continental drift rates?. It is also supposed T was high in Cretaceous due to higher volcanism making more c02, however it may also have been continetal configuration at the time, not volcanism.

    -When hotspots originate (eg Hawaii chain) there is a large upwelling of mgma that gets shaped like a mushroom cloud which results in very large and explosive volcanism during the birth of hotspots. These affect climate.

    -Rates of subduction and extent of ocean trenches. These take down water which is supposedly recycled into explosive degassing of volcanos, but the rate of subduction and recycling varies.

    -There is a theeory that El Nino is precipitated by Mid Ocean Ridge systems about the East pacific, variaiton in volcanic output creates/affects EL Nino/La Nina.

    -Continental configuaration also appears to be unstable when too much land is on one hemisphere/side of globe-eg ?Cambrian, Permian-Triassic keading to mass breakup upwellign magma and climate change.

    -Asteriod/comet impacts, and hotspot formation (eg Yellowstone).

    I can add some more if you like, eg Tethys Ocean closing cooling earth since Tertiary, etc etc.

    regards,

  46. Martin Brumby says:

    @Mike says: February 10, 2011 at 7:54 pm

    “….but for droughts (like the two major ones in the Amazon this past decade) and floods there some evidence of an AGW causal link. Now, I am not claiming certainly! However the rise in global temperatures, the loss of sea ice and glaciers are unambiguously due to AGW.”

    Nice straw clutching, Mike!

    “Unambiguously” eh? You sure about that?

    And whilst you are in a panic about crabs in Antarctica (did anyone ever look for them before?) you might like to check out the “loss of sea ice” figures down there.

    You just keep yourself in a tizzy about a fraction of a degree increase in temperature which just might have something to do with CO2.

    The rest of us are more concerned about the Trillions being spent on things that don’t work in order to ‘solve’ a non-problem.

  47. Peter Plail says:

    For those who want an overview of the project, try this from Geophysical Research Abstracts, Vol. 11
    The Twentieth Century Reanalysis Project
    G.P. Compo (1), J.S. Whitaker (2), and P.D. Sardeshmukh (1)A potential consequence of climate variability and change is an altered likelihood of weather extremes. To
    estimate the fidelity of regional projections of these altered risks in the Twenty-first century, daily data is needed to assess the simulations of weather and climate throughout the Twentieth century. Such daily data must have quantified estimates of uncertainty in Twentieth century weather to allow quantitative comparison with simulations.
    To this end, we have begun the Twentieth Century Reanalysis Project. This Project is an effort to produce a reanalysis dataset spanning the 20th Century assimilating only surface observations of synoptic pressure, monthly sea surface temperature and sea ice distribution. The project uses the recently developed Ensemble Filter data assimilation system which allows direct computation of both the analysis and the uncertainty in that analysis.
    The dataset will provide the first estimate of global tropospheric and stratospheric variability spanning more than 100 years with 6 hourly resolution. The first version has global coverage spanning 1908-1958 and 2 degree longitude-latitude horizontal resolution. Comparison with independent radiosonde data indicates that the analyses
    have a high quality, with correlations higher than 0.94 throughout the troposphere. Overall, the quality is similar to that of current 3-day operational numerical weather prediction forecasts, as anticipated from previous studies.

    Samples of some of the output are available here:

    http://www.esrl.noaa.gov/psd/data/20thC_Rean/

  48. Magnus says:

    “In the climate models, the extremes get more extreme as we move into a doubled CO2 world in 100 years,” atmospheric scientist Gilbert Compo, one of the researchers on the project, tells me from his office at the University of Colorado, Boulder. “So we were surprised that none of the three major indices of climate variability that we used show a trend of increased circulation going back to 1871.”

    ___________________________

    He made this statement from University of Colorado, Boulder. Wow, that takes some titanium balls. Academic/professional suicide, IMO.

  49. JER0ME says:

    ge0050 says:
    February 10, 2011 at 5:26 pm

    Apologies to Freewheeling Franklin:
    Money will get you through times of bad weather better than weather will get you through times of no money.

    A fellow Gilbert Shelton fan!

  50. JER0ME says:

    Per Strandberg says:
    February 10, 2011 at 6:43 pm

    My research has shown that the number of extreme weather events is directly proportional to the development of the news media. 150 years ago with only telegraphs, horse and sea transport there were not as many extreme weather events reported as is it is today with news channels reporting 24/7. These news channels need extreme weather events to fill their airtimes.

    I must concur. We threw out our TV over 20 years ago. We don’t listen to the radio, or the news. We do not suffer any unprecedented weather events. Ergo, you are correct: News Media causes extreme weather events!

  51. Per Strandberg says:
    February 10, 2011 at 6:43 pm

    “My research has shown that the number of extreme weather events is directly proportional to the development of the news media. 150 years ago with only telegraphs, horse and sea transport there were not as many extreme weather events reported as is it is today with news channels reporting 24/7.”

    I also agree with your conclusion, and it’s most likely that the illusion created by climate change/climate disruption proponents in the media will ultimately be responsible for the loss of life due to the influence on the public in making irrational decisions.
    I’m a big believer in real solutions for real problems.

  52. Jimbo says:

    It always happens when you actually look at the data. No worsening trends. Nothing but the same ol’ climate and weather.
    —————
    Here is more on the above referenced project.

    “The Twentieth Century Reanalysis Project” – Published 25 January 2011
    http://onlinelibrary.wiley.com/doi/10.1002/qj.776/full

  53. richard verney says:

    Just The Facts says:
    February 10, 2011 at 8:53 pm
    /////////
    Excellent post. Bang on.

    We are just scratching the surface and it is all down to the arrogance of man that scientists are not prepared to be honest and admit that they know little and understand even less.

    No sane person would bet on the prediction of an outcome when they do not know how many cards are in the pack nor what each of those card does, ie., which ones are the weak ones and which ones are the strong ones.

    The world has truly gone mad.

  54. Or as Dr T would say:
    “The fact is that we can’t account for the lack of a trend of increased circulation going back to 1871 at the moment and it is a travesty that we can’t.”

  55. Garacka says:

    Is there a lot suit lurking? … against the EPA or OSHA for allowing the wide spread introduction of a toxic substance with a high probability of exposure into peoples homes? … never mind the waste stream issues.

  56. Jason Calley says:

    JER0ME says:
    February 11, 2011 at 1:53 am
    “I must concur. We threw out our TV over 20 years ago. We don’t listen to the radio, or the news. We do not suffer any unprecedented weather events. Ergo, you are correct: News Media causes extreme weather events!”

    Yes! I unplugged mine 15 years ago with similar results. If you have never read Richard Brodie’s “island parable,” a clear explanation of what watching network news does to your perceptions, please take a few minutes to read this nice summary:
    http://blog.29daysto.com/2010/12/07/guard-your-mind-against-the-daily-news/

    Kill your television!

  57. Josh Grella says:

    Cynthia Lauren Thorpe says:
    February 10, 2011 at 5:23 pm

    You’re OK in my book. I’ll be right there with you praying for people to pull the wool off their eyes and realize that computer models that are programmed to give a specific output are not the same thing as real-world, observed, empirical evidence.

  58. Ed Mertin says:

    The Russians think it’s volcanic perturbation.

    Balkans.com Business News : Russian volcano activity causes global concern

    http://www.balkans.com/open-news.php?uniquenumber=92582

    Republican brain trust say that the tax cuts for the richest manufactures jobs and reduces the debt. How’s that working after a decade?

  59. Josh Grella says:

    Per Strandberg says:
    February 10, 2011 at 6:43 pm

    AMEN, brother! I warned a few of my friends who were on the fence about CAGW 2+ years ago that as the global temps start to drop off a bit that we would see an uptick in the use of words like extreme and catastrophic when describing weather events. None of them will be any more destructive than anything else that has happened before, although some could be quite bad. But, the reporting of them will give the impression that the weather in the affected area(s) has never been that bad. Every one of those who suffered through my rant has been converted to a truth believer now and point out all sorts of other media style verbiage tricks now.

  60. This article is quite bad. The climate has become much more EXTREME over the past few years, but it is due to global cooling, which is in it’s first stage, shown by the trend over the past few years of a greater -AO index for the most part.

    So this article is not looking at the picture properly over the past few years. The extremes have been quite many, and intense, and long in duration.

    I expect more extremes to continue ,as the atmospheric circulation in response to continued low solar activity/high latitude volcanic activity, will tend toward a more

    -AO circulation as oppossed to a more + AO circulation.

    This article in it’s zeal to show how the global warmers have got it wrong , failed to address the climate picture correctly, as a result of the global cooloing that has just started to take a hold, and will be continuing for quite some time.

    People should think before they write.

  61. JamesS says:

    One interesting thing I’ve noticed about the project links other posters have provided: no where that I’ve seen in those abstracts or summaries is there an explicit link of the project’s goals to AGW, either pro or con. That is refreshing, too, because it gives the project more of the feel of pure science: “We aren’t looking to prove a point about past or current weather and climate — we just want to produce the best possible picture of where it was and where it went.”

    The cynic in me says this is because if, as Dr. Compo says, “none of the three major indices of climate variability that we used show a trend of increased circulation going back to 1871,” then they might say goodbye to funding from a lot of the bodies who have a stake in there being such a trend. Better to keep silent, do the work, and let other analysts say “Well lookee here — no AGW signal at all!

    In any case, a true unbiased scientific effort to produce this database is a very worthy goal.

  62. This article is TRASH,TRASH,TRASH!!!! I wrote this again, because I don’t think my previous one (2nd one went out) . Anyways, no harm in doing it again.

    The global warming models all predicted a more zonal atm. circulation going forward, less extremes in weather. The exact opposite has been happening for the past few years ,due to a more meridional atm. circulation evolving.

    I and others predicted this type of atmospheric circulation would evolve, as a consequence of prolong low solar activity and high latitude volcanic activity, with more extremes in weather, as a result of this circulation.

    The global warming models all said ,as a consequence of man made co2 increase, the stratosphere would cool, especially in the higher latitudes ,compared to the lower latitudes, causing the atmospheric circulation to evolve into a +AO ,or zonal circulation as time goes by. The EXACT opposite has been happening, the past two or three years.
    +AO circulation equates to less extremes in weather.

    To sum it up ,the FRAUD global warming crowd ,is now trying to say the recent extreme weather events, are due to man made global waming ,when infact they predicted the exact opposite.

    This article has everything ASS BACKWORDS, which is so often the case when people talk about earth’s climatic system.

    They are trying to convey the global warming crowd predicted more extremes in weather going forward, when they did not, and the article is now trying to say more extremes in weather have not taken place, which is not the case, for the past two or three years.

    What a bunch of BS ,this article is.

  63. JP says:

    “What a bunch of BS ,this article is.”

    Savatore, it’s called spin. The MSM and Alarmists must find a way to gently retract earlier prognostications and public comments. Easier to say than to do. But do it they will. The Alarmists boxed themselves into a tight corner these last several years by focusing on weather events, while preaching the “Climate isn’t Weather” meme. Unfortunately for them, the “weather” the past 3 years hasn’t helped. Hence, retreat from CAGW narrative and use of the more subjective “Climate Change” moniker. No one is buying the “extreme weather” nonsense for obvious reason that the Alarmists didn’t begin pushing it until last year. They will continue to retreat from thier IPCC 2007 TAR and reinvent themselves, again. If the globe continues its very slow but steady cooling, they will declare in 2015 that CO2 causes global cooling. And the games will begin all over again.

  64. Hal says:

    As I tell my family members whenever they are having a down day.
    Just click on the Front Page at Climate Depot.
    Then click on any hilarious headline.
    Instant stand-up comedy material, provided by our mainstream AGW Scientists.

  65. Just The Facts says:

    thingadonta says: February 11, 2011 at 12:33 am

    A possible coiuple of extras to your list:

    Hello, and thank you for sharing your thoughts.

    Earths magnetic field is declining, and is expected to flip in the geologically short future. It may affect climate.

    Earth’s magnetic field is definitely in decline;

    ” The field’s strength is now declining at a rate that suggests it could virtually disappear in about 2000 years. Researchers have speculated that this ongoing change may be the prelude to a magnetic reversal, during which the north and south magnetic pole swap places.”
    http://www.newscientist.com/article/dn9148-ships-logs-give-clues-to-earths-magnetic-decline.html

    however the expectation that it will flip in the “geologically short future” is speculative, as the last magnetic pole reversal occurred approximately 780,000 years ago;
    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Earth%27s_magnetic_reversal

    which is a long time when viewed in reference to the last 5 million years;
    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/File:Geomagnetic_polarity_late_Cenozoic.svg

    but viewed in light of dearth of Geomagnetic polarity reversals that occurred during the mid to later Crustaceous period;
    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/File:Geomagnetic_polarity_0-169_Ma.svg

    it is possible that Earth may not experience a reversal in the polarity of its magnetic field for millions of years.

    -Solar cycles of ~?1200 and ?1400 years, which are coupled every 1500 years (as in the book “unstoppable global warming every 1500 years” by Singer) . These have been traced right back to 800,000 years ago in ice cores.

    I’ll run this by Leif Svalgaard to get his thoughts.

    -I think Jupiter also slightly affects earth tides.

    Very slightly, from a gravitational perspective for a person weighing 160 lb on the Earth’s surface the impact of the sun is .09 lb, the moon .000516 lb. and Jupiter .0000056 lb:
    http://hyperphysics.phy-astr.gsu.edu/hbase/tide.html

    “The solar gravitational force on the Earth is on average 179 times stronger than the lunar, but because the Sun is on average 389 times farther from the Earth, its field gradient is weaker. The solar tidal force is 46% as large as the lunar.[27] More precisely, the lunar tidal acceleration (along the Moon-Earth axis, at the Earth’s surface) is about 1.1 × 10−7 g, while the solar tidal acceleration (along the Sun-Earth axis, at the Earth’s surface) is about 0.52 × 10−7 g, where g is the gravitational acceleration at the Earth’s surface.[28] Venus has the largest effect of the other planets, at 0.000113 times the solar effect”
    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Tide

    “The change in weight due to the moon overhead is equivalant to that of climbing a hill 10m (feet high) high”

    “Don’t lose much sleep worrying about the Jupiter effect. You change the gravity force on yourself by taking one step up a stairway more than the combined gravitational effects of both Jupiter and Mars if they were perfectly aligned!”
    http://hyperphysics.phy-astr.gsu.edu/hbase/tide.html

    “Right away you can see that even mighty Jupiter, king of the planets, only pulls about 0.01 (= 1%) as hard as the Moon does (just to show how this was done, Jupiter mass is 27,000 times the Moon, but is 1640 times farther away. The square of 1640 is about 2.7 million, and 27,000/2.7 million=0.01). Venus is next, with only 0.6% of the Moon’s force. After that, the numbers drop a lot. The total pull of all the planets combined is 0.017, not even 2% of the Moon’s pull!”
    http://www.etsu.edu/physics/etsuobs/starprty/22099dgl/planalign.htm

    -Mid Ocean Ridge output and variation through time. MORs vary in amount and degree along with continental drift. Iceland is currently very active along MOR.

    -Continental drift and configuration-eg closing of isthmus of Panama supposed to have cooled the earth when Atlantic and Pacific oceans cut off about 5 Ma.

    -Rates of continental drift also vary and affect climate-eg Cambrian explosion rates of drift appear very high, and this would affect climate. Levels of phosphorous is also very high in Cambrian, and seafloor continental shelf phosphate was instrumental in leading to explosion of life, related to continental drift rates?. It is also supposed T was high in Cretaceous due to higher volcanism making more c02, however it may also have been continetal configuration at the time, not volcanism.

    -Continental configuaration also appears to be unstable when too much land is on one hemisphere/side of globe-eg ?Cambrian, Permian-Triassic keading to mass breakup upwellign magma and climate change.

    I still need to do a bunch of research into Plate Tectonics;
    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Plate_tectonics
    http://www.ucmp.berkeley.edu/geology/tectonics.html

    and Earth’s Lithosphere;
    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Lithosphere

    as there is a lot there.

    -When hotspots originate (eg Hawaii chain) there is a large upwelling of mgma that gets shaped like a mushroom cloud which results in very large and explosive volcanism during the birth of hotspots. These affect climate.

    “While most volcanic activity occurs along tectonic plate boundaries, powered by the plates’ movement, hotspots can occur far from such geological boundaries, so that a different model, involving unusual features in the Earth’s lithosphere, is required.”

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Hawaii_hotspot

    Frankly, didn’t even know they existed until you pointed it out. More research required…

    -Rates of subduction and extent of ocean trenches. These take down water which is supposedly recycled into explosive degassing of volcanos, but the rate of subduction and recycling varies.

    Subduction is definitely a significant player in Plate Tectonics;

    “At this point, the density of the oceanic lithosphere increases and it is carried into the mantle by the downwelling convective currents. It is at subduction zones that the Earth’s lithosphere, oceanic crust, sedimentary layers, and some trapped water are recycled into the deep mantle. Earth is the only planet where subduction is known to occur.”
    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Subduction

    but I was not aware that, “some trapped water are recycled into the deep mantle” and that “The subducting basalt and sediment are normally rich in hydrous minerals and clays. During the transition from basalt to eclogite, these hydrous materials break down, producing copious quantities of water, which at such great pressure and temperature exists as a supercritical fluid. The supercritical water, which is hot and more buoyant than the surrounding rock, rises into the overlying mantle where it lowers the pressure in (and thus the melting temperature of) the mantle rock to the point of actual melting, generating magma. These magmas, in turn, rise, because they are less dense than the rocks of the mantle. These mantle-derived magmas (which are basaltic in composition) can continue to rise, ultimately to the Earth’s surface, resulting in a volcanic eruption. The chemical composition of the erupting lava depends upon the degree to which the mantle-derived basalt (a) interacts with (melts) the Earth’s crust and/or (b) undergoes fractional crystallization.

    Above subduction zones, volcanoes exist in long chains called volcanic arcs. Volcanoes that exist along arcs tend to produce dangerous eruptions because they are rich in water (from the slab and sediments) and tend to be extremely explosive. Krakatoa, Nevado del Ruiz, and Mount Vesuvius are all examples of arc volcanoes. Arcs are also known to be associated with precious metals such as gold, silver and copper – again believed to be carried by water and concentrated in and around their host volcanoes in rock termed “ore”.”

    ” This depth of arc magma generation is the consequence of the interaction between fluids, released from the subducting slab, and the arc mantle wedge that is hot enough to generate hydrous melting. Arcs produce about 25% of the total volume of magma produced each year on Earth (~30–35 km³), much less than the volume produced at mid-ocean ridges, and they contribute to the formation of a new continental crust. Arc volcanism has the greatest impact on humans, because many arc volcanoes lie above sea level and erupt violently. Aerosols injected into the stratosphere during violent eruptions can cause rapid cooling of the Earth’s climate.”

    More research required, especially given those last two sentences…

    -There is a theeory that El Nino is precipitated by Mid Ocean Ridge systems about the East pacific, variaiton in volcanic output creates/affects EL Nino/La Nina.

    I’ll run this by Bob Tisdale to get his thoughts.

    I can add some more if you like, eg Tethys Ocean closing cooling earth since Tertiary, etc etc.

    Yes, very good stuff. Any additional thoughts you have are most welcome and appreciated. Thanks again.

  66. You write: “We do know that carbon dioxide and other gases trap and re-radiate heat.”
    I am beginning to think that it is about time whosoever know how this most fabled trick is performed comes forward to explain exactly how it is done.

    The way I see it, temperature is a measure of the kinetic energy in atoms & molecules and as radiation can be classified either as ionizing or non-ionizing. Non-ionizing radiation, which is what we should be interested in here, is lower energy radiation that comes from the lower part of the electromagnetic spectrum. (It is called non-ionizing because it does not have enough energy to completely remove an electron from an atom or molecule.) – Examples include visible and infrared light, microwave, radio- and other long wave (low frequency) radiation.
    In other words radiation does not move atoms or molecules around and therefore cannot move heat away from the surface. Conduction moves heat from the surface to the air and convection then takes the heat away further.

    (I am clueless as to how heat is transformed back to energy to be radiated in the first place but it has something to do with electrics and magnetics ((electr-magnetics). I am however quite certain The Sun is not getting rid of its own basic building-blocks (atoms) by radiation. If it is, then why are the planets and moons not steadily growing bigger?)

  67. PhilJourdan says:

    First they came for the snow, but no flake would stand against them. Then they came for the hurricanes, yet no himmicane spoke up for them. Then they came for the weird weather – and there was no weirdos left to speak up for them.

  68. DBD says:

    The WSJ printed this??? Wow.

  69. Just The Facts says:

    elmer

    I bet you can’t cover all of Earth’s known climate variables in a song that’s 3 minutes and 50 seconds long…

  70. Paul Kim says:

    Hypothesis – “Global-warming alarmists insist that economic activity is the problem, when the available evidence show it to be part of the solution.”

    Supporting evidence – “A sliver of the billions that British taxpayers spend on trying to c…ontrol their climes could have bought them more of the supplies that helped Dallas recover more quickly.”

    Evidence to contradict the hypothesis – “As devastating as Yasi has been, Australia’s infrastructure, medicine, and emergency protocols meant the Category 5 storm has killed only one person so far.”

    Conclusion – The author fails to support his hypothesis by giving evidence of countries successfully averting natural disasters by being prepared. He does successfully show that not every country is prepared to prevent every possible tragedy; but such demands are both impossible and illogical when showing concern for the economy.

    ———————
    The author also also presents a straw-man. Believing in global warming does not result in abandoning modern technology and returning to horse and buggy. The failure of Bangladeshis and Nepalis to acquire antibiotics and respirators is a failure of policy, buying solar cells does not mean one stops buying medical supplies. The whole article is an attempt to make proponents of global warming look like hunter gatherers.

    “But thanks to modern infrastructure, 21st century health care, and stockpiles of magnesium chloride and snow plows, the storm caused no reported deaths and Dallas managed to host the big game on Sunday.”

    Here is a perfect example of the straw-man. What makes the author think that if you are a proponent of global warming you shouldn’t buy some salt for the roads or a snow plow? When did an “alarmist” say that we need to abandon 21st century health care?

    But I know, here come all the reasons why you shouldn’t buy a solar cell or recycle a pop can. I not only support health care but I bought myself a shovel, now are you going to say that I can’t make up my mind about global warming? Feel free to defend the article, but a straw-man is a straw-man.

  71. thingadonta says:

    To “Just the Facts”.

    Here is a couple of other ideas etc, some of which are just vague ideas, but might nevertheless be useful, as most climate scientists are not geologists or volcanologists.

    (Because of this coral reef researchers rarely intergrate oceanic volcanism, particularly at Mid ocean Ridges, into their research, and how these volcanic chains might buffer the c02 in oceans, for example. Eg underground volcanoes have a large amount of circulating c02 interacting with sea water in hte subsurface, therfore any oceanic changes in c02 from the atmosphere ?could be buffered by the large amounts of subsurface rock already in equilibrium with c02 at all the world’s Mid Ocean Ridges. (?))

    A couple of useful resources, particularly pertaining to volcanism and climate change. Ian Plimer has 2 books -’Heaven and Earth’, and an ealier one on the geological history of the earth which I can’t remember the name of, but both contain useful information on climate change through geological history. I dont particularly like Plimer’s writing style (rambling, and unable to sort facts from theories), and have a few problems with other matters, but despite his recent vilification within academia, still find his books a very useful recource for obscure ideas, and some also well establushed and not so obscure. Some of the ideas I mentioned in the previous comments come from his books, some are mine, and some we used to be taught at uni, but students arent really taught much anymore, when what I consider ‘environmental socialism’ took over most western earth science departments since the 1980s-1990s.

    We were told at university that continental configuration affected climate, but the rage now is that c02 throughout history is the major player. However, for example, since about 37 Ma AGW propenents claim that earth T has been gradually declining due to downdrawing C02 in the atmosphere, however they dont actually say why c02 has been reducing in the atmosphere snce 37 Ma, they also never relate this to changing continental configurations, which reduces T, and this also results in the concomittent drawdown of C02 as the oceans get cooler and take in more c02, as a direct result of the solubillity of c02 with temperature in seawater. In other words, it is the same problem as with ice ages, c02 follows orbital changes and T changes, but doesn’t initiate them, and therefore it is difficult to actually tell how much influence c02 actually has, compared to the intiating causes. But they generally tend to routinely ignore the fact that c02 follows changes in earth T through geological time, due to changes in concentration of c02 with changes in ocean temperature.

    Regarding the Tethys Ocean. Africa crashed into Eurasia in the Tertiary. Prior to this the Tethys Ocean exisited between Europe, Afrcia and Asia and transported heat from the Indian Ocean to Europe. The Mediterranean is the remnant of this ocean. This closing has now cooled the region, and Africa is now effectively co- joined with Asia. The Mediterranean will eventually close completely. This huge conjuction of the 2 largest landmasses promotes regional cooling and probably the recent Ice Ages, it is also possibly unstable (convection currents in mantle become unstable when large landmasses come together on one side of globe) so this may also be ?why Africa is now breaking up (Great Rift) which will eventually spread north through Red Sea/Israel region and probably cut Europe from Asia.

    I also note, as an aside, that the worlds continents are mostly ‘upright’. People usually notice that South America and Africa fit together like a jigsaw, but if you look closely they are also rather ‘upright’ (ie aligned north -south). I dont think this is a coincidece. The same goes for North America and Australia. It is actually quite hard to draw Australia because it is upright-ie the Cape of York peninsula points north. The few exceptions in the world to this ‘upright’ rule of thumb tend to be located at plate boundary configurations eg Japan and New Zealand, which are aligned NE-SW and volcanic. I suspect, but I am not sure, that this ‘uprightness’ is related to centrifugal forces about a rotating earth and the stabilty of convection currents in the mantle. The chances that Africa, South America, North America, Australia would all be ‘upright’ by random chance is very low. This might also mean that throughout geological time, the tendancy for continents to be aligned ~N-S means Ice Ages would be rare, because oceans would be able to transport heat easily from N to S across the hemispheres (?), rather than allowing a cold and hotter area to become seperately established, so to speak. The current joining of Africa with Eurasia is changing this dynamic, and cooling the region, I suspect. The Himalaya may also be having an effect, cutting off heat from the Indian Ocean to Siberia, causing cooling and therefore stronger Ice Ages.

    When at uni we were told that the intiation of hotspots usually involves a very violent intial event as the plume rises from the mantle, forms a mushroom and breaks through the crust. The origin of these plumes is still not understood, as far as I know. The initial Hiawaiin chain plume has not been found (?), and may have been subducted under Asia.

    I mentioned the ocean trenches. I suspect that these affect climate, because their extent means greater drawdown of water into the crust, creating more volcanism. This is obviously related to long term geological time and climate changes, rather than short term events. But a theory might be, that as rates of subduction varied, rate of volcanism would also vary, and this is in fact known to occur in geological time at numerous plate boundaries, and this would mean that climate changes related to associated level of volcanism would also occur. In the last 37 Ma, perhaps volcanism has been declining due to changing rates of subduction, and crashing continents (which also slows subduction, eg India with Asia, and Africa crashing into Eurasia) and the earth has been getting gradually cooler as a result. (?)

    More oean trenches and higher subduction rates might also affect relative sea levels, due to isostatic adjustment of crust.

    Siberain trap volcanism (250 Ma), I think the most extensive/violent in earth history, occured when continents were together as fas I know, which also concurs/suggests that when continents are toether they are unstable and may break up more violently.

    Another aside, nearly all the worlds ocean water ultimately comes from cooling magma. When granites and other magmas cool, they expel water. When the earth initally cooled, the fomation of the crust meant all the crystallising magmas expelled their water, forming the proto-oceans. This water doesn’t come from comets, as several NASA scientists, who are ignorant of crustal geology (like the coral reef researchers), have claimed. What happens internally within the earth, is frequently under-estimated.

    Cant think of any other potential ‘climate affecters’ for now, but probably could if thought more about it.

    regards,

  72. Co2 has zero to do with climate change. Zero. End of story.

  73. Jim Macdonald says:

    How much CO2 does it take to absorb/neutralize all the available IR radiation in the narrow bands on which it acts? Heinz Hug and James Barrante and others have calculated that 250-300 ppm. Above that, there is almost no more IR available, since it is limited by the amount of SW radiation incoming. The abount of IR is not endless and does not take an endless amount of CO2 to absorb it.

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