Weekly Climate and Energy News Roundup

See note from SEPP asking for assistance at the end of this article- Anthony

THIS WEEK:

By Ken Haapala, Executive Vice President Science and Environmental Policy Project (SEPP)

The 16th Conference of Parties (COP) of the UN Framework Convention on Climate Change started in Cancun with few of the grandiose announcements that occurred at last year’s COP in Copenhagen. The somber mood is reflected by decidedly more modest goals. The failure of cap and trade in the US and Canada, and the results of the US elections are no doubt influencing the festivities. Four Republican Senators sent the State Department a letter stating they oppose the transfer of US funds to other nations in accordance to the agreement reached in Copenhagen, but which is not a formal treaty. The impact of this letter may be significant.

In January, Republicans take control of the US House of Representatives and it is in the House where all revenue bills must originate. Many Republicans are skeptics of human caused global warming. Other related events include the announcement by Japan that it will not agree to an extension to the Kyoto Protocol that is set to expire in 2012. At this time it is difficult to predict what will occur at the COP, but it may be of little significance. Please see Article # 1 and articles under On to Cancun.

***************************************

Roy Spencer reports that, as measured by satellites, in November, the lower troposphere temperature anomaly showed slow cooling, but temperatures for 2010 remain in a dead heat with 1998 for the warmest year since satellite measurements began in 1979. These data contradict claims, such as by NASA-GISS, that 2010 is the hottest year ever. Please see Roy’s web site www.drroyspencer.com.

***************************************

The US Department of Interior announced a new moratorium on drilling in the eastern Gulf of Mexico and along the Atlantic seaboard for up to seven years, as reported in the article under BP Gulf Oil Spill. Last March, the administration announced it would permit such drilling at the same time as it announced it would ban drilling on the West Coast. Now, the administration insists that it needs up to seven years to study the situation as a result of the BP Gulf oil spill.

Major drilling for oil and gas in the turbulent North Sea began in the 1960s. There were mistakes and accidents including one that took over 160 lives. Companies have been drilling in the Gulf of Mexico since the 1940s. Accidents occurred in both the North Sea and the Gulf and lessons were learned, but drilling proceeded. Until the BP spill, there have been no major failures in the Gulf, even in 2005 when hurricanes Katrina and Rita hit. Now, after the BP misadventure, the administration claims it needs seven years of study?

In defending his actions, Interior Secretary Salazar declared oil companies have other areas where they can drill. He committed the logical fallacy of composition whereby something which is true for a part of the whole is assumed to be true for the whole. Apparently, Mr. Salazar would have us believe oil and gas are uniformly distributed throughout the Gulf of Mexico and not concentrated in certain areas. (Also, Mr. Salazar did not state when he will start issuing the necessary permits to drill.)

Please see Article #4 and #5 on offshore oil drilling and the article under BP Oil Spill. Article #5 was published before the new moratorium on drilling, and highlights the differences in the attitude of the US administration and that of Australia.

***************************************

NUMBERS OF THE WEEK: 2 deg C and 4 times. The environmental ministers of a number of Western nations have announced that they are committed to keep global temperature rise below 2 deg C and stated this as a goal of the Cancun conference. Assuming CO2 is responsible for the recent temperature rise, which SEPP thinks it is not, what does this mean?

As MIT Professor Richard Lindzen tried to patiently explain to the US House Subcommittee on Energy and Environment two weeks ago, assuming there are no feedbacks, the generally accepted calculation is that a doubling of atmospheric carbon dioxide will produce a warming of about 1 deg C. Since the relationship between temperature and CO2 is logarithmic, each subsequent molecule has less an influence than the preceding one, a second doubling of CO2 will produce a warming of an additional 1 deg C.

Thus, to limit warming to no more than 2 deg C requires limiting the increase in CO2 to less than 4 times the preindustrial level.. Assuming the preindustrial level was about 270 parts per million ( ppm), then to hold the temperature rise below 2 deg C requires limiting CO2 to below 1080 ppm. It is now about 390 ppm, so we have a long way to go.

Applying the calculations further, to reach an increase of 3 deg C, which many IPCC models project, requires an additional doubling of CO2 to about 2160 ppm, which is probably impossible by humans. Thus, many of the models used by the IPCC are inconsistent with the classic theory which assumes no feedbacks.

Of course, the assumption of no feedbacks is the major point of contention, which is glossed over by the IPCC. Generally, the modelers assume that increases in water vapor will amplify the warming from CO2 – a positive feedback. This critical assumption has never been empirically verified. The empirical research by Lindzen, Spencer, and others indicates that natural mechanisms will reduce the warming from CO2 – a negative feedback. There will be some warming from increasing CO2, but tiny – perhaps one-half the calculated amount.

– – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – –

ARTICLES:

For the numbered articles below please see:

http://www.haapala.com/sepp/the-week-that-was.cfm…

1. The Cancun Climate Capers

By S. Fred Singer, American Thinker, Nov 29, 2010

http://www.americanthinker.com/2010/11/the_cancun_cl….

2. Call for Climate Royal Commission

By Dennis Jensen, Quadrant Online, AU, Nov 16, 2010 [H/t ICECAP]

http://www.quadrant.org.au/blogs/doomed-planet/2010/….

3. Germany’s Offshore Wind: Wasted Resources, Environmental Blight

By Edgar Gaertner, Master Resource, Dec 1, 2010

http://www.masterresource.org/2010/12/german-offshor….

4. Offshore Drilling Curbed Again

By Siobhan Hughes and Stephen Power, WSJ, Dec 2, 2010

http://online.wsj.com/article/SB10001424052748704594….

5. Gulf Oil Spill Response in Perspective

By Bruce Thompson, American Thinker, Nov 27, 2010

http://www.americanthinker.com/2010/11/gulf_oil_spil….

[SEPP Comment: This article was published before the new moratorium on drilling in the eastern Gulf of Mexico and the Atlantic seaboard.]

6. On Energy, U.S. Lags Behind China

Letters, Richmond Times-Dispatch, Nov 29, 2010

http://www2.timesdispatch.com/news/2010/nov/29/elmor….

[SEPP Comment: The editors of the Richmond (VA) Times-Dispatch apparently have a sense of humor. They ran these two letters, one after the other.]

– – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – –

NEWS YOU CAN USE:

>Climategate Continued

WikiLeaks, The New York Times, and Double Standards

By Rich Trzupek, Front Page Mag, Dec 1, 2010

http://frontpagemag.com/2010/12/01/wikileaks-the-yor….

>Challenging the Orthodoxy

False prophecies beget faulty policies

By Willie Soon, Townhall, Dec 2, 2010

http://townhall.com/columnists/WillieSoon/2010/12/02….

Time For Economic Restoration Now Climate Change Deception Exposed

By Tim Ball, Canada Free Press, Nov 29, 2010 [H/t A.J. Meyer]

http://canadafreepress.com/index.php/article/30503…

Warming Underestimated – Does It Matter?

By David Whitehouse, The Observatory, Nov 30, 2010

http://thegwpf.org/the-observatory/1951-warming-unde….

[SEPP Comment: The correction is smaller than the noise level.]

Researchers admit inconvenient finding: CO2 is helping giant redwoods grow

By Anthony Watts, Daily Caller, Nov 29, 2010 [H/t Tom Burch]

http://dailycaller.com/2010/11/28/researchers-admit-….

>Defending the Orthodoxy

Chu’s Guessing Game

Editorial, IBD, Dec 1, 2010

http://www.investors.com/NewsAndAnalysis/Article/555….

[SEPP Comment: Apparently, to Department of Energy Secretary Chu, the science is not settled – good enough is enough – who determines enough?]

There are black days ahead for the carbon industry

By Christopher Booker, Telegraph, UK, Nov 27, 2010

http://www.telegraph.co.uk/comment/columnists/christ….

[SEPP Comment: According to this article, organizations with collective assets of over $15 Trillion are calling for governments to implement global warming policies so they can profit from fear of climate change.]

Satellites reveal differences in sea level rises

By Phillip Schewe, Physorg.com, Nov 24, 2010 [H/t Bob Bromley]

http://www.physorg.com/news/2010-11-satellites-revea….

Oxfam’s fantasy ‘climate court’ is both prescient and practical

Over a thousand legal experts, politicians and economists gathered in Dhaka this week to explore routes to justice for the victims of climate criminals – and found that precedents exist

By John Vidal, Poverty Matters, Guardian UK, Nov 30, 2010 [H/t Leon Ashby]

http://www.guardian.co.uk/global-development/poverty….

To Fight Climate Change, Clear the Air

Veerabhadran Ramanathan and David Victor, NYT, Nov 27, 2010

http://www.nytimes.com/2010/11/28/opinion/28victor.h….

>Seeking a Common Ground

Can environmentalism be saved from itself?

By Margaret Wente, Saturday’s Globe and Mail, AU, Nov 27, 2010

http://www.theglobeandmail.com/news/opinions/margare….

>On to Cancun

Another Carbon Dioxide Summit Failure, This Time At Cancun, Not Copenhagen

By Robert Bryce, IBD, Nov 30, 2010

http://www.investors.com/NewsAndAnalysis/Article/555….

Senators petition SecState to freeze climate bailout money

By Anthony Watts, WUWT, Dec 2, 2010

http://wattsupwiththat.com/2010/12/02/senators-petit….

Cancun climate change summit: Japan refuses to extend Kyoto protocol

By John Vidal, Guardian, UK, Dec 1, 2010 [H/t ICECAP]

http://www.guardian.co.uk/environment/2010/dec/01/ca….

Cancun climate change summit: scientists call for rationing in the developed world

Global warming is now such a serious threat to mankind that climate change experts are calling for Second World War-style rationing in rich countries to bring down carbon emissions.

By Louise Gray, Telegraph, UK, Nov 29, 2010 [H/t Warren Wetmore]

http://www.telegraph.co.uk/earth/copenhagen-climate-….

What Cancun climate talks could achieve

Editorial, Washington Post, Nov 29, 2010 [H/t David Manuta]

http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/content/article….

Turn out the lights, the party’s over

By Wesley Pruden, Washington Times, Dec 2, 2010 [H/t Thomas Burch]

http://www.washingtontimes.com/news/2010/dec/2/prude….

The Last Fling of the Thermophobics

Carbon Sense Coalition, Dec 1, 2010

http://carbon-sense.com/wp-content/uploads/2010/12/l….

>Extreme Weather

The Met Office: lousier than a dead octopus

By James Delingpole, Telegraph, UK, Dec 2, 2010 [H/t ICECAP]

http://blogs.telegraph.co.uk/news/jamesdelingpole/10….

Cold comfort for a Britain stuck in the deep freeze

Temperatures plunge as low as -18C in Wales

By Lewis Smith, Independent, UK, Nov 29, 2010

http://www.independent.co.uk/news/uk/home-news/cold-….

The 2010 Global and Northern Hemisphere Hurricane Season: A wrap up

By Anthony Lupo, ICECAP, Nov 30, 2010

http://icecap.us/images/uploads/2010huricanewrapup.p….

[SEPP Comment: Another dull year for alarmists.]

>BP Oil Spill and Aftermath

Today’s Prohibition

Editorial, IBD, Dec 2, 2010

http://www.investors.com/NewsAndAnalysis/Article/555….

>Energy Issues

Solar Panel subsidies: A billion dollars to provide cheap electricity to wealthy households

By Joanne Nova, AU, Dec 1, 2010

http://joannenova.com.au/2010/12/solar-panel-subsidi….

With Money Tight, White House Panel Offers New Path to Energy Research

By Eli Kintisch, Science, Dec 3, 2010 [H/t Toshio Fujita]

http://theeestory.com/topics/7412?page=1#p165443…

[SEPP Comment: There is a big difference between spending more money and spending money wisely.]

US: China rise a ‘Sputnik moment’ for clean energy

By Shaun Tandon, AFP, Dec 1, 2010 [H/t Toshio Fujita]

http://www.google.com/hostednews/afp/article/ALeqM5h….

[SEPP Comment: In 2008, China increased its net coal fired electricity production by 94 TIMES the net increase in the US and 14 TIMES the nominal capacity of wind generated electricity. Increasing capability to manufacture wind turbines is not the same as installing them. The studies cited in the article are looking at the wrong data.]

Ethanol’s Policy Privileges: Heading for History’s Dustbin?

By Marlo Lewis, Pajamas Media, Dec 3, 2010

http://pajamasmedia.com/blog/ethanol%E2%80%99s-polic….

Unleashing U.S. energy resources could spark economic recovery

By Ben Lieberman, Washington Examiner, Dec 1, 2010

http://washingtonexaminer.com/opinion/op-eds/2010/12….

Ontario Releases C$87 Billion Long-Term Energy plan

Power News, Dec 1, 2010

http://www.powermag.com/POWERnews/3253.html?hq_e=el&….

[SEPP Comment: Abandoning coal fired power plants does not come cheap.]

Glow From Solar Factories Fails to Match Town’s Hopes

By Timothy Aeppel, WSJ, Nov 29, 2010 [H/t Charles Battig]

http://online.wsj.com/article/SB10001424052748703585….

[This article may be behind a paywall.]

>Whistling in the Wind

Wind power’s staggering price

Editorial, Republican American, Nov 28, 2010

http://www.rep-am.com/articles/2010/11/28/opinion/52….

[SEPP Comment: The Nantucket Sound Cape Wind project appears to be less than financially sound for consumers.]

The Great Wind Rush

By Graham Lloyd, The Australian, Nov 27, 2010 [H/t Leon Ashby]

http://www.theaustralian.com.au/national-affairs/the….

>EPA and other Regulators On the March

The EPA’s And Enron’s End-Runs Of Congress

By Leary Bell, Forbes.com, Dec 1, 2010

http://www.forbes.com/2010/11/29/epa-enron-greenhous….

Note to EPA: “Don’t Touch My Junk’

By Maureen Martin, Environment & Climate News, Nov 29, 2010

http://www.heartland.org/environmentandclimate-news…..

EPA GHG Guidance is a Deceptive Ruse

By Donn, Power America, Dec 2, 2010

http://dddusmma.wordpress.com/2010/12/02/epa-ghg-gui….

>Subsidies and Mandates Forever

States Diverting Money From Climate Initiative

By Mireya Navarro, NYT, Nov 28, 2010

http://www.nytimes.com/2010/11/29/nyregion/29greenho….

[SEPP Comment: Surprise! Surprise!]

>Review of Recent Scientific Articles by NIPCC

>For a full list of articles see

http://www.NIPCCreport.org…

Sea Level Response to Global Warming

Reference: von Storch, H., Zorita, E. and Gonzalez-Rouco, J.F. 2008. Relationship between global mean sea-level and global mean temperature in a climate simulation of the past millennium. Ocean Dynamics 58: 227-236.

http://www.nipccreport.org/articles/2010/dec/1dec201….

“There is currently no known way to predict — with any reasonable and demonstrable degree of confidence — what mean global sea level will do over the 21st century, even if mean global air temperature begins to rise once again (after having remained rather stable for the past decade).”

Responses of Scleractinian Corals to Ocean Acidification

Reference: Krief, S., Hendy, E.J., Fine, M., Yam, R., Meibom, A., Foster, G.L. and Shemesh, A. 2010. Physiological and isotopic responses of scleractinian corals to ocean acidification. Geochimica et Cosmochimica Acta 74: 4988-5001.

http://www.nipccreport.org/

Increasing Climatic Variability

Reference: D’Odorico, P., Laio, F., Ridolfi, L. and Lerdau, M.T. 2008. Biodiversity enhancement induced by environmental noise. Journal of Theoretical Biology 255: 332-337.

http://www.nipccreport.org/

A Brief History of Climate Change in the Arctic

Reference: White, J.W.C., Alley,R.B., Brigham-Grette, J., Fitzpatrick, J.J., Jennings, A.E., Johnsen, S.J., Miller, G.H., Nerem, R.S. and Polyak, L. 2010. Past rates of climate change in the Arctic. Quaternary Science Reviews 29: 1716-1727.

>Other Scientific Issues

Studying Sun’s Effects on Earth’s Climate

By Staff Writers, Space Daily, Dec 1, 2010

http://www.spacedaily.com/reports/Studying_Sun_Effec….

[SEPP Comment: Don’t tell the IPCC. Their models already know.]

Bacteria stir debate about ‘shadow biosphere’

By Marc Kaufman, Washington Post, Dec 2, 2010 [H/t Warren Wetmore]

http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/content/article….

How Many Stars? Three Times as Many as We Thought, Report Says

By Kenneth Change, NYT, Dec 1, 2010

http://www.nytimes.com/2010/12/02/science/space/02st….

>Other Issues that May Be Of Interest

Mystery Surrounds Cyber Missile That Crippled Iran’s Nuclear Weapons Ambitions

By Ed Barnes, Fox News, Nov 26, 2010 [H/t Francois Guillaumat]

http://www.foxnews.com/scitech/2010/11/26/secret-age….

– – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – –

BELOW THE BOTTOM LINE:

Swim in the Arctic? I’m hitching a lift: Polar bears develop new tactics to protect their cubs from the chill … and it’s all down to global warming

By Daily Mail Reporter, Daily Mail, UK, Nov 30, 2010 [H/t Malcolm Ross]

http://www.dailymail.co.uk/sciencetech/article-13342….

[SEPP Comment: We have not seen this before, therefore it did not exist before. What did polar bears do during the Medieval Warm Period and other periods warmer than today?]

One scientist’s hobby: recreating the ice age

By Arthur Max, Associated Press, Nov 27, 2010 [H/t Best on the Web]

http://news.yahoo.com/s/ap/20101127/ap_on_re_eu/eu_r….

[SEPP Comment: An interesting hobby – but hardly recreating the Ice Age.]

=============================================================

SEASONS GREETINGS
  • SEPP Needs Your Support! Donations are fully tax-deductible
  • SEPP relies on private donors only, does not solicit support from industry or government!
  • SEPP does not employ fundraisers, mass mailings, or costly advertisements!
  • SEPP has a modest budget, no employees, pays no salaries, relies on volunteers!
  • SEPP scientists donate their time pro bono and assign book royalties and speaking fees to SEPP!

Please make checks to SEPP; mail to 1600 S Eads St., # 712-S, Arlington, VA 22202

Advertisements

33 thoughts on “Weekly Climate and Energy News Roundup

  1. Assuming the preindustrial level was about 270 parts per million ( ppm), then to hold the temperature rise below 2 deg C requires limiting CO2 to below 1080 ppm. It is now about 390 ppm, so we have a long way to go
    ========================================================
    There is no way anyone can make me believe it would be possible for humans to raise CO2 levels that high.
    At best, by the largest stretch of the imagination and science, we’ve only been responsible for a very small part of that 100ppm so far.
    If at all………..
    But that diversion aside, as long as people keep talking about CO2, people will keep believing that CO2 has anything to do with it at all………..

  2. So it is generally accepted that a doubling of atmospheric CO2 will lead to a rise of 1C? That certainly agrees with the model calculation (admittedly a simplified one for illustrative purposes) in the textbook of Atmospheric Physics and Chemistry on my shelves. The book goes on to say that in the current state of knowledge, any definite statement about feedback is pure speculation: for example, there are dramatic differences between the effects of high and low cloud cover.
    Given this, the whole structure of AGW theory begins to look like a vast inverted pyramid of misrepresentation and wilful exaggeration balanced on a tiny needle of fact: no wonder the whole thing is approaching a (dread phrase!) ‘tipping point’.

  3. Some insight from CNET. Somewhat obvious I suppose, at least to normal people, but explains a lot of what the problem is with climate scientists, IPCC, and others.
    http://news.cnet.com/8301-17852_3-20024652-71.html
    Every leader enjoys moments of revelation.
    In the case of Chinese Politburo Standing Committee member Li Changchun, it seems that his came the moment he googled himself and discovered that some people might not appreciate him as he would have wished.
    A New York Times report intimates that WikiLeaks cables reveal that Li was rather taken aback that he could put his own name in that helpful Google search box and, within a mere breath-length, up would pop entries that were not uniformly supportive of his politics or being.
    The cables reportedly go on to suggest that once Li further googled not merely his own name but that of members of his family, he ordered three Chinese telecommunications companies to cease working with Google and went on to exert further pressures on the company.

    [b]Cont’d at link.[/b]

  4. Swim in the Arctic? I’m hitching a lift: Polar bears develop new tactics to protect their cubs from the chill … and it’s all down to global warming
    By Daily Mail Reporter, Daily Mail, UK, Nov 30, 2010 [H/t Malcolm Ross]
    http://www.dailymail.co.uk/sciencetech/article-13342….
    [SEPP Comment: We have not seen this before, therefore it did not exist before. What did polar bears do during the Medieval Warm Period and other periods warmer than today?]

    I generally tell people that polar bears went extinct in the Roman Warm Period and again in the Medieval Warm Period.
    Interesting story and photo, but I suspect it’s not new behavior.

  5. @Methow Ken
    From that Christopher Booker article ….
    “When Vicky Pope, the Met Office’s Head of Climate Change Advice, wanted to fly out from Gatwick to Cancun to tell them that 2010 is the hottest year on record, she was trapped by inches of the same global warming that her £33 million computer had failed to predict.”
    The delay to her departure will be difficult for her to explain.

  6. sorry guys, the “tips and notes” has finally gotten so long, I can’t load it….
    Rapid Ice Loss in the Antarctic Peninsula..
    only it was in the MWP, which was only a local event, and only happened up north…
    “”In language pure and simple, Hall et al. say their findings mean that “the present state of reduced ice on the western Antarctic Peninsula is not unprecedented,” which leads them to pose another important question: “How widespread is the event at 700-970 cal. yr B.P.?””
    “”In light of these several observations, it would appear that much of the southern portion of the planet likely experienced a period of significantly enhanced warmth that falls within the broad timeframe of earth’s global Medieval Warm Period, which truly impressive interval of warmth occurred when there was far less CO2 and methane in the atmosphere than there is today.””
    http://www.nipccreport.org/articles/2010/oct/13oct2010a1.html

  7. No warmist i ever spoke to in real life even knew about the logarithmic relationship between CO2 level and “radiative forcing”. And these were German warmists, you would expect them to know at least the foundations of their own faith. Not so. They just repeat the shallowest of half-information they get from the media and don’t question anything. The higher educated, the more gullible, as higher educated people tend to place a high trust in all things scientific.
    By assuming the title of “scientists” for themselves, the AGW climatologists found a way to trick them all. (No, they are not scientists – a scientist does not re-adjust measurement values after the fact to save a flawed theory.)

  8. Ric Werme says:
    December 5, 2010 at 10:59 am
    “I generally tell people that polar bears went extinct in the Roman Warm Period and again in the Medieval Warm Period.”
    After going doubly extinct in the Holocene Climate Optimum.

  9. If anybody wants to see an “extinct’ polar bear visit the garbage dump in Thompson, Manitoba, Canada. Take the rest of the AGW crowd with you.
    Don’t bring your rifle.
    Let them try to “hug” the bear.
    Remember, you don’t have to outrun the bear, you just have to outrun the idiot messing with it.
    Repeat as necessary.
    [d]

  10. The book goes on to say that in the current state of knowledge, any definite statement about feedback is pure speculation

    The so called “climate sensitivity” is indeed pure speculation . It’s only justification is within the models themselves. The models that do not take account of “internal” variation, which means things like cyclic changes in ocean currents and all that we do not know about solar variation (not just TSI and sunspots) gets ignored.
    So solar variations of 60 years or 100 years time scales get ignored and the variation is modeled by a hypothetical positive feedback that had never been justified empirically. Indeed empirical studies show just the opposite, a negative feedback. It’s only justification is that it makes an inadequate model fit the temperature record over the last half century. QED.
    This masterful piece of circular logic is the corner stone of the scientific consensus view on climate.
    The lethargic cycle 24 will now be billed as an solar “anomaly” and the modelers will say well of course we could never had anticipated this unexpected dysfunction in the sun. We have now adjusted our models.
    Interestingly Dr. Liz Thomas’ paper , GRL paper doi:10.1029/2009GL040104, 2009
    (paywalled) an analysis of the oxygen isotope ratio from the Gomez ice core ( situated at the base of the Antarctic peninsular) shows a cyclic variation of just over 200 year period that peaked around yr 2000 and minimum around 1890.
    Obviously, if you want to draw a straight line over the last century you can say this shows continual global warming. Thomas reports that average trend to be 0.14/decade for that period.
    Thomas then goes off into some rather speculative and poorly documented comparisons to climate model runs in that area and comes up with the conclusion that recent changes are “unprecedented”. The paper does not say whether the climate models were checked against the empirical proxy data they had so carefully analysed. I find that omission rather surprising from someone of her competence.
    The last 50 year trend of Thomas’ figure 1 showing the cyclic variations appear to tie in closely with Ryan et al’s new paper on temperatures in that region over the last 50 years. (0.8C/dec from memory.) The paper also demonstrates that the 150 year proxy record closely follows the actual temperature record from the Faraday station at the tip of the peninsula. Again in concordance with Ryan et al.

    Assuming that the models accurately capture the full range of natural variability, which is difficult to verify in Antarctica, then this suggests that the observed warming is very unlikely to have occurred in the absence of external natural and/or anthropogenic climate forcing. An important caveat is that the CMIP3 climate models may under-estimate the range of unforced variability, which would reduce the significance of the above result. Therefore more research is required to reach a firm conclusion.

    This paper is wide cited as proving AGW is present in Antarctica though a careful reading of the paper suggests a genuflection to AGW orthodoxy without actually making an false statements. “Assuming/suggests/important caveat”
    My guess is that the good doctor did not want to have to battle for 9 months to get her paper published 😉
    What is interesting is that her analysis shows the warming trend as cyclic and OVER.
    Assuming that is true , it may be “unprecedented”.

  11. Hi Anthony and Moderators,
    Minor typo in the link provided – there’s a double period after the www- needs to be changed to single period:
    Responses of Scleractinian Corals to Ocean Acidification
    Reference: Krief, S., Hendy, E.J., Fine, M., Yam, R., Meibom, A., Foster, G.L. and Shemesh, A. 2010. Physiological and isotopic responses of scleractinian corals to ocean acidification. Geochimica et Cosmochimica Acta 74: 4988-5001.
    http://www..nipccreport.org/

  12. I note on the latest BBC documentary (How Earth made us) that a claim is made that humans started to change the climate and prevent the return of the ice ages over 7000 years ago when Neolithic farmers first grew primitive wheat.
    I would imagine there were less than 100,000 humans in total living on the earth at that time. What amazing powers they had in the fertile crescent to modify the earths climate with a few small fields of weed infested cereals. The alternate explanation of course is that this Mockumentary is complete tosh and the fantasises of warmists are growing by the day.

  13. ALL references to any suspect surface temperature data, excepting satellite and other reliable sources, should have a brief disclaimer pointing out the possible data discrepancies. To use the data for comparison purposes without such a disclaimer tends to provide legitimacy for their content.

  14. Maybe for weekly round up yet to come, a scroll from CTV in Canada, Obesity widespread in humans, domestic and wild animals.Umm if wild animals are porking up I suspect more cold is coming. No science straight conjecture but animals do seem to be a little ahead of us in reading the weather. Scientology,Climatology and now scriology. All of about the same value too.So studying the intestines of animals might have been a way to predict the weather, bring back the soothsayers after all they probably were more acurate than most of our govt met offices.

  15. Northern Wildfires Threaten Runaway Climate Change, Study Reveals
    [The title is a bit extreme in my view. But any positive feedback is a very real concern.]
    ScienceDaily (Dec. 5, 2010) — Climate change is causing wildfires to burn more fiercely, pumping more greenhouse gases into the atmosphere than previously thought, according to a new study to be published in Nature Geoscience this week.
    http://www.sciencedaily.com/ releases/ 2010/ 12/ 101205202514.htm

  16. dwright at 12:18, I agree except that you’d want to go to Churchill (not Thompson) Manitoba on the Hudson Bay coast which is on a polar bear migration route. A lot of them hang around there until the bay freezes over, about this time of the year.
    If you ever get the opportunity try a tundra buggy tour where they will take you out to see the bears from a safe vantage point, about 10 feet up on the deck of the buggy, where the bears can’t quite reach you.
    There is also a polar bear jail in the town where the conservation officers keep the multiple offenders who keep wandering into the town, until the bay freezes and they can be released for their winter hunting. Its a pretty interesting place.

  17. Cancun Conferees See Poor Public Understanding as Key Obstacle to Strong Action on Climate Change
    http://www.allvoices.com/s/event-7538117/aHR0cDovL2MubW9yZW92ZXIuY29tL2NsaWNrL2hlcmUucGw/cjM4MDYzMjEyNDMmYW1wO3c9MjM5MDUxMg==
    “The government of Mexico and the Pew Center on Global Climate Change commissioned a survey that gathered insights from COP16 attendees from around the world on their attitudes toward climate change. The study of 503 COP16 participants who completed the survey…”
    “The survey also revealed mixed views on the role of the mainstream media.  Respondents ranked mainstream media like television, newspapers and magazines as the most effective means of communicating to the general public the need for global action.  Yet when asked to identify “the most trusted voices on the scale and impact of climate change globally,” only 24% named the media.  A strong majority (87%) blamed unskillful media and opinion leaders for a lack of public understanding of climate change science.”
    “Despite recent controversies over climate science, most respondents (66%) identified scientists as among the most trusted voices, well ahead of global organizations like the UN (42%), NGOs (41%), governments (24%) and business leaders (13%).”
    see the link for additional survey results

  18. “Canada gets ready to walk away from Kyoto Protocol”
    “Federal Environment Minister John Baird arrives at the global climate summit Tuesday looking to administer last rites to the Kyoto Protocol, at least in its current form. But the funeral may have to wait for next year’s session in South Africa.
    For Prime Minister Stephen Harper, the end of Canada’s commitment to Kyoto would achieve a long-standing goal, as he has opposed the accord since its inception in 1997 and distanced his government from it since taking office five years ago.”
    http://www.theglobeandmail.com/news/politics/canada-gets-ready-to-walk-away-from-kyoto-protocol/article1825976/

  19. Just noticed an alarm being raised about climate change and forest fires in Northern areas. A study was released to have an audience in Cancun, and is reported in Yahoo, Reuters and elsewhere. The lead from Yahoo:
    Subarctic wildfires a ‘runaway climate change’ risk
    PARIS (AFP) – Global warming is driving forest fires in northern latitudes to burn more frequently and fiercely, contributing to the threat of runaway climate change, according to a study released Sunday.
    Increased intensity of fires in Alaska’s vast interior over the last decade has changed the region from a sink to a source of carbon dioxide, the greenhouse gas most responsible for heating up the planet, the study found.
    On balance, in other words, boreal forests in the northern hemisphere may now soak up less of the heat-trapping gas than they give off.
    However, the reports don’t tell the whole story. UC Irvine has published a (more comprehensive) study with a different conclusion:
    The effect of post-fire stand age on the boreal
    forest energy balance
    Fire in the boreal forest renews forest stands and changes the ecosystem properties. The successional stage of the vegetation determines the radiative budget, energy balance partitioning, evapotranspiration and carbon dioxide flux. . . .
    Although fire has always determined stand renewal in these forests, increased future area burned could further alter the radiation balance and energy partitioning, causing a cooling feedback to counteract possible warming from carbon dioxide released by boreal fires.
    The study is referenced in Science Daily, and the full PDF available from UC Irvine.

  20. Since I posted about the northern forest fire study (Mike says: December 6, 2010 at 3:00 am) – which Ron C has given us more details on – it is only fair that I mention another study that provides evidence that CO2 emissions from tropical forests may be less than previously thought.
    Deforestation ‘not so important for climate change’
    * 18:45 06 December 2010 by Fred Pearce, Cancun, Mexico
    Climate negotiations were dealt a bombshell at the weekend when ecologists reported that carbon emissions from the destruction of tropical forests are probably only half previous estimates.
    If we are emitting less carbon dioxide from deforestation that’s got to be good news, surely. The trouble is the findings seriously question the only success so far of the UN negotiations on curbing climate change under way in Cancun, Mexico. If cutting down trees emits far less CO2 than we thought, where’s the incentive to stop chopping?
    http://www.newscientist.com/article/dn19817-deforestation-not-so-important-for-climate-change.html
    ——————
    I find Pearce’s reporting to be a bit bombastic, but the study looks interesting and would be good news for once.

  21. @Ron C,
    The study you found is from 2006. That’s is why it wasn’t in the news this week. The study shows an enhanced albedo effect after forest fires and hence a negative feedback. But the effect is temporary, lasting a few decades. The CO2 released will be with us for centuries. Here is the link:
    http://www.ess.uci.edu/~jranders/Paperpdfs/2006AgForMetAmiroetal.pdf
    Note that the negative feedback only applies if warming increases forest fires.

  22. More on the Forest Fire alarms. Three additional studies, and some links are provided.
    Effects of Forest Fire on Carbon Emissions, Climate Impacts Often Overestimated
    http://www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2010/01/100127121532.htm
    ScienceDaily (Feb. 1, 2010) — A recent study at Oregon State University indicates that some past approaches to calculating the impacts of forest fires have grossly overestimated the number of live trees that burn up and the amount of carbon dioxide released into the atmosphere as a result.
    The research was done on the Metolius River Watershed in the central Oregon Cascade Range, where about one-third — or 100,000 acres — of the area burned in four large fires in 2002-03. Although some previous studies assumed that 30 percent of the mass of living trees was consumed during forest fires, this study found that only 1-3 percent was consumed.
    The Impact of Boreal Forest Fire on Climate Warming
    http://www.sciencemag.org/content/314/5802/1130.abstract
    We report measurements and analysis of a boreal forest fire, integrating the effects of greenhouse gases, aerosols, black carbon deposition on snow and sea ice, and postfire changes in surface albedo. The net effect of all agents was to increase radiative forcing during the first year (34 ± 31 Watts per square meter of burned area), but to decrease radiative forcing when averaged over an 80-year fire cycle (–2.3 ± 2.2 Watts per square meter) because multidecadal increases in surface albedo had a larger impact than fire-emitted greenhouse gases. This result implies that future increases in boreal fire may not accelerate climate warming.
    Boreal forests, aerosols and the impacts on clouds and climate
    http://rsta.royalsocietypublishing.org/content/366/1885/4613.abstract
    Previous studies have concluded that boreal forests warm the climate because the cooling from storage of carbon in vegetation and soils is cancelled out by the warming due to the absorption of the Sun’s heat by the dark forest canopy. However, these studies ignored the impacts of forests on atmospheric aerosol. We use a global atmospheric model to show that, through emission of organic vapours and the resulting condensational growth of newly formed particles, boreal forests double regional cloud condensation nuclei concentrations (from approx. 100 to approx. 200 cm−3). Using a simple radiative model, we estimate that the resulting change in cloud albedo causes a radiative forcing of between −1.8 and −6.7 W m−2 of forest. This forcing may be sufficiently large to result in boreal forests having an overall cooling impact on climate. We propose that the combination of climate forcings related to boreal forests may result in an important global homeostasis. In cold climatic conditions, the snow–vegetation albedo effect dominates and boreal forests warm the climate, whereas in warmer climates they may emit sufficiently large amounts of organic vapour modifying cloud albedo and acting to cool climate.

  23. @Ron C
    The third paper you linked to is not about forest fires. It claims that the forest itself produces a negative feedback. Therefore this may be lost if the forest burned.
    The second paper, which looks to be a important study, is somewhat over taken by the new one,
    http://www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2010/12/101205202514.htm,
    which takes deep soil changes into account. On the other hand the new paper is only about Alaska. And I disagree with Merritt Turetsky statement in the story that “Essentially this could represent a runaway climate change scenario…” This is alarmists and not precise. He should simply say it may be an important positive feedback.
    The first paper has nothing to do with the new study. It is critique of past studies.
    What is the up shot of all this? What we need is an expert panel to review all the relevant research and produce a synthesis study. Isn’t that just the sort of thing the IPCC and NAS do?
    And note, everyone agrees that more warming will lead to more forest fires. The only question is are the various impacts of the fires positive, negative or neutral on future warming and over what time intervals?
    It is clear to me at least that you are looking for papers that you hope will back up your existing views. That not what good skeptics are supposed to do. See if you can find papers on the other side for awhile.

  24. Mike says:
    And note, everyone agrees that more warming will lead to more forest fires. The only question is are the various impacts of the fires positive, negative or neutral on future warming and over what time intervals?
    I agree with this. And if we are in for cooling, the question is quite different.
    Mike says:
    It is clear to me at least that you are looking for papers that you hope will back up your existing views. That not what good skeptics are supposed to do. See if you can find papers on the other side for awhile.
    Mike:
    I am only seeking a balanced view of a natural phenomenon–forests, fires and the climate impact. The papers I cited show that it is a complex set of processes and not simply “runaway global warming”. I, for one, am tired of having every event twisted into “evidence”, when it is much more complicated and uncertain than that.

  25. Ron C,
    We are not that far apart then. We agree that calling a positive feedback “runaway global warming” is inappropriate. I do think Turetsky findings are evidence, but are only a small piece in a complex picture. Have a good night.

  26. “”””” Chris Clark says:
    December 5, 2010 at 10:11 am
    So it is generally accepted that a doubling of atmospheric CO2 will lead to a rise of 1C? That certainly agrees with the model calculation (admittedly a simplified one for illustrative purposes) in the textbook of Atmospheric Physics and Chemistry on my shelves. The book goes on to say that in the current state of knowledge, any definite statement about feedback is pure speculation: for example, there are dramatic differences between the effects of high and low cloud cover. “””””
    “”””” : for example, there are dramatic differences between the effects of high and low cloud cover. “””””
    How so ?? Well the first thing we can dispense with is that ANY H2O, in ANY PHASE, at ANY ALTITUDE, ANYWHERE on earth, will ALWAYS diminish the total amount of solar energy that reaches the planet’s surface.
    In Step #1, cloud albedo component (ANY CLOUD ANYWHERE) reflects solar spectrum Radiant energy back into space from the tops of the clouds, by a process of Optical scattering. In addition H2O VAPOR ALWAYS captures part of the solar spectrum incoming energy, in the wavelength range from 750nm to around 4.0 microns; and that component could be as much as 20% of the total solar spectrum energy (in humid tropical regions). And most of that lost solar radiation would have gone deep in the oceans; which are to a large extent in the tropical and Temperature zones, where there is lots of sunlight; so that is a loss of ocean stored energy.
    In step #2, that portion of the solar energy input that was captured by H2O (and ALSO that smaller amount captured by CO2 in the 2.7 micron band) results in ENHANCED warming of the ATMOSPHERE. That eventually leads to INCREASED atmospheric radiation of LWIR thermal spectrum Radiation; BUT : that radiation is essentially isotropic, so only half of it reaches the surface; while the other half is lost to space.
    The result of #1 and #2, is a NET loss (ALWAYS) of incoming solar energy reaching earth’s surface and getting stored; mostly in the oceans. But that is not all that happens. The extra LWIR radiation from solar energy that DOES reach the ocean surface; is absobed (99%) in the top 50 microns of sea water, which will result in localised surface warming which will result in rather prompt EXTRA evaporation of warmer surface molecules, which also carry of with them a whole lot of latent heat of evqaporation, which will ultimately be dumped out (about 590 Cal/gm) at high altitudes; where convection currents transport the moist air to. Another 80 cal/gm is available to be deposited likely even higher if the water droplets then freeze and form ice crystals.
    So some fraction of the half of the H2O captured solar energy (CO2 too ) that strikes the surface is immediately transported to high altitudes for radiation to space.
    So the net result is that ALL H2O anywhere in any form in the atmosphere ALWAYS reduces the amount of solar spectrum energy from the sun, that gets absorbed by the earth.
    There is virtually no other significant source of energy on earth but the total solar input. Atmospheric captures such as the GHG effect of H2O, and CO2 molecules can further delay the exit of LWIR energy from the surface; but they can’t stop it, and they don’t increase the total amount of energy the earth absorbs; it is ALWAYS less than what would be absorbed by the earth if the atmospheric GHG gases were totally absent; primarily, H2O, CO2, and O3.
    So whatever the GHG effect and clouds may do in messing around with surface or atmospheric LWIR radiation; that cannot increase the energy over and above the amount that the sun delivered in the first place.
    Over longer times like the IPCC’s 30 year climate interval; any increase in GHGs (H2O, CO2, and O3); all of which capture INCOMING SOLAR SPECTRUM ENERGY must result in overall cooling. There cannot be other than overall cooling resulting from a net decrease in the total amount of solar energy absorbed by the earth.
    As to the overall effect of the LWIR emissions from either the surface or the atmosphere (including clouds) those processes are Optically lossy; since the emission processes are highly diffuse; and hence very low optical transmission efficiency. Cloud height^4 decay rates, or Cos^4, and Cos^8 obliquity factors add to the lossiness for LWIR energy getting returned to the earth surface and absorbed somehow.
    The thermal processes, and absorptions for solar spectrum energy, and LWIR energy from GHGs are quite different; and you can’t simply add them as if they were the same animal.
    As to cloud height; the higher the cloud, the less H2O it contains, so the amount of LWIR or solar energy captured by the cloud goes down, so that enhances the loss of LWIR to space, and reduces the solar energy loss to the surface. So yes; higher clouds block less sunlight, so more sunlight reaches the surface; but it is always less than the zero cloud case; but by the same token, the absorption of outgoing LWIR by those higher and wispier clouds goes down as the cloud height increases; so the GHG effect of higher clouds is always less than for lower clouds.
    Just where the modellers get off treating this as positive feedback is totally beyond me; but it seems that they take that as a starting assumption in their models. No wonder; they don’t get the right answer.
    As for generally accepting that a CO2 doubling raises the Temperature by one deg C; it is quite true that this is accepted by those who accept it; but not by those who don’t accept that; absent any evidence to that effect (from planet earth).
    So proof would be welcome to replace the “general acceptance”.

  27. There are a lot of problems with Ken Haapala’s article. The most egregious error is the following.
    “Of course, the assumption of no feedbacks is the major point of contention, which is glossed over by the IPCC. Generally, the modelers assume that increases in water vapor will amplify the warming from CO2 – a positive feedback. This critical assumption has never been empirically verified. The empirical research by Lindzen, Spencer, and others indicates that natural mechanisms will reduce the warming from CO2 – a negative feedback. There will be some warming from increasing CO2, but tiny – perhaps one-half the calculated amount.”
    The feedback from water vapor has been empirically verified. The radiational effect of water vapor in the air, for a given concentration, is solid physics and has been verified by accurate measurements in the 1950’s by Plass. The only question is what happens to the concentration of water vapor in the air as temperature increases. It was believed by Arrhenius that a good assumption is that it increases exponentially according to the Clasius Clapeyron equation with relative humidity remaining constant. If fact Andrew Dessler’s recent work has shown that this assumption was correct.
    Haapala neglects to mention that the research of Lindzen and Spencer has be shown to be incorrect. The most recent article, Lindzen and Choi 2009 was an embarrassment to those who published it, and was thoroughly destroyed within a few days of publication. A correction, submitted by Lindzen and Choi in Feb of 2010, has not yet been published. The proponents of negative feedback have not made a good case to the scientific community.

  28. George E. Smith says:
    December 6, 2010 at 7:37 pm
    Your account of the impact of water vapor is at odds with the diagram showing the earth’s energy budget developed by Trenberth. The numbers show the global average impact of the greenhouse effect, including CO2, H2O and CH4, is to send 333W/M^2 back to the surface of the earth, mostly the oceans. Most of the back radiation is due to water vapor. This is much larger than the average solar radiation which reaches the earth’s surface 161W/M^2 , and the energy lost from the surface by evaporation, 80 W/M^2.
    http://chriscolose.wordpress.com/2008/12/10/an-update-to-kiehl-and-trenberth-1997/

Comments are closed.