`Stop Press' Stories

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For stories June to September 2002, click here
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For stories January to June 2003, click here

For stories May to August  2001, see below

Two Coolings Make One Warming (10 Aug 2001)
Stop Living (18 Aug 2001)
Summer Days (5 Aug 2001)
Out of Africa (4 Aug 2001)
Rivers of Ice   (21 July 2001)
All Quiet Down Below
(28 July 2001)
Tuvalu Sting   (20 July 2001)
`Shooting the Messenger' (17 July 2001)
Food Resources in 2080 ?   (17 July 2001)
Wigley's Surface Record  (15 July 2001)
Protocol Gets CPR (23 July 2001)
Rchauffement de la Plante? - Non!   (6th July 2001)
Flogging a Corpse  (20 July 2001)
Once Upon a Time  (3 July 2001)
Echo of Orwell  (7th July 2001)
The Isle of the Dead - 160 Years On  (1st July 2001)
High Farce (20 June 2001)
IPCC `Scientific Method'  (13 June 2001)
Chicago, Chicago (9 June 2001)
National Academy of Pseudo-Science  (7 June 2001)
Alaska Greening  (5 June 2001)
It's Not Cricket !  (5 June 2001)
European dis-Union (4 June 2001)
Low CO2 Growth in 2000  (3 June 2001)
Ancient Wisdom  (31 May 2001)
Sinking The Trees? (27 May 2001)
`A Touchy Question' (20 May 2001)
The Good Old Days  (20 May 2001)
Tasmanian Weather Record ! (23 May 2001)
"We Kill Ozone Like No Other Country"  (18 May 2001)
U.S. Senate Hearings on Climate Policy  (6 May 2001)
What Do We Want? - Warming!   When Do We Want It? - Now!   (19 May 2001)
CSIRO - Pontius Pilate PhD. (10 May 2001)
The Light of the Silvery Moon  (3 May 2001)
 
Shot in the Foot  (3 May 2001)

Two Coolings Make One Warming 
(10 Aug 2001)

According to the Climate Research Unit (CRU) of the Univ. of East Anglia, Norwich, England, both the northern and southern hemispheres (NH & SH) got colder in 2000. But somehow they say the world got warmer in spite of its two halves getting colder !

CRU are the primary institution whose `surface record' is treated as gospel by the IPCC, and preferred over the super-accurate satellite record which shows little warming in the NH and slight cooling in the SH.   On CRU's own website, they produced this graph, linked as a postscript file, showing the NH, SH, and global temperatures.  They also published it as separate graphs in their online Climate Monitor magazine, giving the   NH,    SH,   and   globe
The Climate Monitor was last updated on 5th August 2001.

Above is the same chart with the last 30 years extracted out of the three graphs, aligned together and labelled to show how CRU's `global' temperature contradicts their own two hemispheric temperatures which make up that global picture.

CRU found that even with their disputed surface record, there was a sharp cooling in both hemispheres from a peak in 1998, but their global graph did not reflect this - instead it shows a resumed warming.

Of course, it is only the global graph which gets published in the media, and gives the `warming as usual' presentation in complete defiance of what the two hemispheres showed using their own data.  Maybe CRU thinks there are more than two hemispheres.

Or maybe they think the rest of us only have one. 

Update: Monday 13 August 2001: 1400 GMT:  CRU have now altered their graph in the data section of their website three days after their failure of quality control was exposed on this site.

Now they are telling us that both the northern and southern hemispheres in 2001 were the 3rd warmest on record, a result which beggars belief as the satellites show 2001 be very, very, average.

Update: 2130 GMT: CRU's online magazine Climate Monitor are still showing the contradictory NHSH,  and Globe graphs (links now show copies of the earlier version - 19 Aug).  In addition, CRU have offered no explanation as to why visibly contradictory graphs were allowed to escape their much-vaunted quality control system even though anyone could see the contradiction just by looking at them.  It appears that no-one in CRU's large staff spotted the contradiction even though the graphs were on display for over two weeks.

Update: Tuesday 14 August, 2130 GMT:  Phil Jones, who heads CRU, has now emailed a number of addressees, offering an explanation as to what happened at CRU, the details of which will be reviewed later on this website.  However, in a postscript to the email he said: "P.S.  It would be nice in future to be told this directly, as two of you have done, rather than be told we are manipulating the data."

Obviously CRU would have preferred a `quiet word' English-style rather than a public exposure, but that's the price they must accept when they involve themselves with public issues and spend taxpayers money.  How else can such institutions be kept publicly accountable?

Furthermore, it has long been argued by skeptics that the surface record compiled by CRU is faulty because of the mismatch with the satellite record, the inadequate treatment of urban heat islands, and the problems with Third World data quality.  In response, the industry has cited the `careful quality control' exercised over CRU's surface record.  Now we have seen a complete failure in that quality control on CRU's most important product - the hemispheric and global temperatures.  If such an obvious and visible error can escape a staff of 40 at CRU for over two weeks, how many other, less visible, errors are not being picked up?

It makes the satellite record all the more compelling as the only true indicator of global temperature. 

Update: Wednesday 15 August 1330 GMT:  Quality Control - CRU Style (15 Aug 2001).
The full story on CRU's lack of quality control.

Update: Friday 17th August 1830 GMT:   Two emails (to multiple recipients) have been received from Phil Jones of CRU, demanding the withdrawal of the above story and the summary report on the recent CRU errors to their hemispheric data.  No valid legal reason was offered as to why this should be done.

Consequently, in the interests of free speech on a public issue, both demands have been refused.

Update: Saturday 18th August 0030 GMT:  Several people have requested to see the two emails referred to above, both to verify their contents, and in the interests of public debate and free speech.

Click here to view these emails - and the responses to them 

Update Sunday 19th August 2100:   The graphs and data files on CRU's Climate Monitor were changed during the week to give the amended averages for the hemispheres.  But in the course of doing so, the global average was also changed, as shown by the `CRU Wiggle',  an animated `before and after' image of the global graph. This compares the earlier version and the amended version of the global temperature graph. It shows that not only is the 2001 temperature being raised further,  but that the 1998 temperature got a very slight rise too.  Comparison of the data tables show that CRU's Climate Monitor increased the 1998 temperature from the southern hemisphere (2 years after the event), by a further +0.01C. 

Stop Living (18 Aug 2001)

One solution to polluted drinking water is to simply not drink. That will reduce deaths from poisoning, but increase deaths massively from dehydration.

One solution to road accidents is to never travel. One solution to sexually transmitted diseases is celibacy for everyone. One solution to internet porn is to disband the internet.

Such is the absurd type of reasoning made in a peer-reviewed scientific paper in Science (v.293, p.1257, 17 Aug 2001), titled `Hidden Health Benefits of Greenhouse Gas Mitigation'.

The authors point to all the potential health benefits which would flow from reduced local smoke and fumes pollution arising from fossil fuel use such as vehicle exhausts, power stations etc. In particular, cities in Latin America which are heavily polluted would benefit from anti-pollution measures.

There's no argument there. But their solution is to solve the problem of local pollution by simply not burning fossil fuels, instead of the obvious and less drastic adoption of clean combustion technology as used in OECD countries.

Their solution is therefore `no combustion' rather than `clean combustion'. The people `saved' by such a policy formula would be overwhelmed by those people lost through the resulting grinding poverty which would ensue from the loss of vital and economical energy.

To compound the absurdity, the authors produced a bar graph to emphasise their point, showing the lives which they claim would be `saved' though their prescription, a small section of which is shown left.

Note the left hand scale - it is logarithmic. That is, each step in the scale is 10 times bigger than the previous step, so that a visual height comparison between the adjacent bars is quite impossible and even misleading.

With absurd reasoning and a misleading chart, it still passed through Science's peer review. Such is the stuff of which modern greenhouse `science' is made.


Summer Days (5 Aug 2001)

The usual summer hysteria is on again in earnest. Hot days in parts of the US has the usual claims of global warming going the rounds, expressing surprise that some days in July and August actually get hot.

But not everywhere.

July 2001 was the second coldest on record at Binghamton, NY with an average temperature of 65.5F. This is behind last year which was the coldest July on record.  There have been many mornings with lows in the 40s. Some of the coldest valleys in the region even recorded minimum temperatures in the 30s at times. 

Out west in California, a colder than average ocean continues to lurk off the California coast, dragging down average temperatures in some places to the lowest levels in a decade. 

In downtown Los Angeles, the average temperature in July was a mild 71F, or 3F below normal, the coolest since 1991 according to the National Weather Service. 

Meanwhile, on the other side of the Atlantic, we have this little gem from Reuter's in France

"PARIS (Reuters) 27 Jul 2001 - While environment ministers have struggled to salvage the 1997 Kyoto accord on global warming, nature has found its own answer in France, Le Figaro newspaper reported on Friday.

Abnormally abundant winter snows have boosted production of hydroelectric power, allowing France to cut emissions of harmful carbon dioxide from traditionally fueled power stations by eight million tons in the first half of the year."


Out of Africa (4 Aug 2001)

The modellers and the IPCC claim that `climate sensitivity' (the amount of temperature rise we would get for a given rise in energy) is about 1C per `watt per square metre' (wm-2). Since a doubling of CO2 is claimed by modellers to increase atmospheric energy by 3.8 wm-2, it follows that the global warming the models would predict would be 3.8C, right in the mid-range of the IPCC's predictions.

That's where this record of monthly temperature from Garissa, Kenya, comes in. Garissa is a small town sitting almost on the equator, about 220 kilometres inland from the Indian Ocean. This means, the ocean cannot dampen temperature variations there. 

Being on the equator, it does not have the normal seasons associated with places further north or south as the sun is directly overhead twice a year.

The Earth itself does not orbit the sun in a neat circle, but orbits in an ellipse, as shown left. The distance from the Sun varies between 146.5 million km in January to 151.5  million km in July, giving a 7% variation in solar energy due to the `inverse square law' of distance.  At the equator, this results in a difference in absorbed energy of around 25 wm-2 between January and July.

Since Garissa is on the equator, with a climate uncomplicated by normal seasons, it should be especially responsive to this 7% annual variation in solar radiation. But the temperature does not vary by 25C as would be suggested by a climate sensitivity of 1C per wm-2.  Instead it varies only 3C between a February peak and an August minimum.  Thus, the climate sensitivity at Garissa is only 3/25 = 0.12C per wm-2, If this sensitivity is applied globally, (even if we accept the IPCC energy figure of 3.8 per wm-2  upon CO2 doubling) `global warming' would amount to a mere 0.12 x 3.8 = 0.46C, not 3.8C as claimed by the IPCC.  This low sensitivity response of Garissa (and other places like it near the equator) includes the effect of all possible positive and negative feedbacks from clouds and water vapour.

This real-world sensitivity figure of 0.12C per wm-2 also shows up in many other guises from latitude comparisons to field experiments, to satellite temperature measurements.  It means that global warming, if it happens at all, will only be measurable in tenths of a degree, not whole degrees.    0.45C is hardly the stuff of catastrophe. 
Thanks to Miceal O'Ronain for some of the intel.


Rivers of Ice   (21 July 2001)

"The glaciers are melting!". This a common mantra of the greenhouse industry. Green groups use dramatic TV footage of calving glacier fronts to claim that global warming is melting them away.

There are thousands of glaciers in the world, some of them are receding (caused by global warming of course), and some of them are advancing (also caused by - you guessed it - global warming). The primary driver of glaciers is not temperature per se, but snow precipitation in the accumulation zones.

Glaciers in Norway, Patagonia, Pakistan and New Zealand have been growing in the 1990s, while glaciers in Washington, Alaska, Peru and Africa have been receding.  In other words, selectively choose the right glacier and you can `prove' anything.

In the run-up to the Bonn talkfest, claims of `global warming melting a glacier' have been made about one in particular - the Franz Josef Glacier in New Zealand.  Of course, many media organisations just repeat the Green propaganda without doing the journalistic thing and checking out the accuracy of the stories for themselves.

In fact, the Franz Josef Glacier has been advancing during the 1990s, not receding.

Here is the glacier in 1964 -                                                             And now, the same glacier in 2000 -

Of course, it was all caused by global warming.


All Quiet Down Below (28 July 2001)

The deep oceans below about 2,500 metres are cold, very cold, at an average temperature of 1.36C. It gets that cold partly because there is no energy from the sun getting down there, but also because of `Thermohaline Circulation'. This is the tendency of near-freezing surface waters in the Arctic and Antarctic polar seas to become heavier than the warmer water below, and so sink to the bottom. This replenishes the cold conditions in the deep abyss. The largest proportion of abyssal cold water comes from surface sinkage off the Antarctic undersea shelves. (Sinking surface water in the Arctic pulls in warm water from the south - the Gulf Stream - which is so vital to European climate).

The greenhouse industry has for years warned that greenhouse warming might slow, or even stop, this circulation as warmed surface waters might become too warm to sink.  According to the latest IPCC `Summary for Policymakers', in a section titled `Thermohaline Circulation', they said: "Most models show weakening of the ocean thermohaline
circulation which leads to a reduction of the heat transport into high latitudes of the Northern Hemisphere."

James Burke in a lurid British TV special also made hints of dark happenings in the deeps waiting to emerge at a later time to kill us all like some abyssal beast in a sci-fi movie.  Such gratuitous and inaccurate scaremongering is never contradicted by the IPCC, even though they know full well there is no scientific basis for such claims.

A new paper in Geophysical Research Letters (GRL, v.28, no.15, p.2923, Aug 1 2001) by Orsi et al. knocks all these dire predictions on the head. Using biochemical tracers (CFC and C
14 isotopes, which get sucked down along with the rest of the sinking cold water), they found that nothing of the kind was happening. They said:  "This physical and chemical evidence offers little support for hypotheses of a possible 20th century slowdown or near-zero production of deep and bottom water in the Southern Ocean."

Far from any lessening of cold deep water formation, they found a largely unchanged overturning rate in the Southern Ocean over recent centuries right up to the present. This in turn suggests little change in the temperature of the surface waters near the polar regions.

Another case of the models saying one thing and the Earth itself saying something quite different.


Tuvalu Sting   (20 July 2001)

The Tuvalu government is at it again.  With another climate conference for them to use as a platform, they have again claimed to the world's media that their islands are sinking in rising seas. The Greens joined the chorus of righteous outrage.

Incredibly, no-one seems willing to do simple checks on that claim, accepting instead the hysteria from the Green lobby that the islands are drowning.

A tide gauge installed at Funafuti Atoll, the main island in the group shows clearly NO SEA LEVEL RISE. (graph)

Further west on the French island of New Caledonia, a tide gauge at Nouma also shows NO SEA LEVEL RISE (graph)

This is not the first time that Tuvalu has tried to pull this sting, but only by checking their claim against real data can it be seen for the falsehood it is. 

Significantly, they want `compensation', mainly from Australia.  In their dreams.


`Shooting the Messenger' (17 July 2001)

The British journal Nature (v.412, 12 July 2001) in an editorial titled `Shooting the Messenger' has launched a vitriolic attack on climate skeptics, comparing them to tobacco lobbyists.  They said, "The IPCC has a creditable record of developing a scientific consensus and delivering it to policy-makers. What its critics really object to are the facts."

The IPCC has developed a `consensus' of sorts - but only among their own exclusive circle. That kind of consensus has nothing to do with `facts', and even less to do with science. But if `facts' are to be the test of credibility here, let's look at two key assertions claimed as `fact' in the latest assessment report of the IPCC.

The first IPCC `fact' is that during the last millenium, climate was stable and benign, with temperature never varying more than a couple of tenths of a degree until the hothouse `20th century - the so-called `Hockey Stick'. (This claim is so central to the IPCC case that they publicise it at every opportunity - such as the Hockey Stick chart displayed prominently in the photo behind IPCC head, Sir John Houghton).  It also appeared in the U.S. National Assessment.


Sir John Houghton at a recent IPCC meet. 
Note the `Hockey Stick' chart displayed in full view behind him, thus confirming its crucial importance to the IPCC agenda. That chart is a false caricature of climate history over the last millennium.

 But there are published, peer-reviewed, scientific reports from all over the world that a `Medieval Warm Period' early in the Millennium really did exist and was warmer than today. Likewise, there are published, peer-reviewed reports from all over the world that the `Little Ice Age' (LIA) of the Middle Ages was much colder than today. But this mountain of evidence is denied by the IPCC - it is they who run a mile from the facts, not the skeptics. Even though glaciologists routinely find and report evidence in the scientific literature of the LIA in glacier valleys, the IPCC ignores it all and insists it never happened.  After all, they have a Green `consensus' to defend, and their `Hockey Stick' - itself a disgrace to scientific method - is central to that consensus.

At the very least, to maintain some pretence of scientific standards, the IPCC should have acknowledged that their `Hockey Stick' claim is disputed, or merely a hypothesis. But no, they present it as an iron-clad `fact' - as if it were like gravity or relativity. Meanwhile,  Nature cruises along with them in maintaining that farce.

Another claimed IPCC `fact' is that the earth warmed +0.6C in the 20th century, half of this (+0.3C) occurring since the late 1970s. But we have the more reliable satellite monitoring and radio-sondes since that time to test the truth of that claim. These other two sources of temperature data show that the real warming in the last 22 years was only 0.075C, not 0.3C, or only a quarter of that claimed by the IPCC.

If the IPCC were genuine about their pretensions to scientific rigour, they would at least admit that their claim about a +0.6C warming was based on only one of the three records, and therefore qualifies only as a disputed hypothesis, not a proven `fact'. Instead, they do the unscientific thing and pretend the other two data streams do not even count, giving no  explanation as to why they favour one record over the other two.

The reason is really self-evident. As with the `Hockey Stick', the surface record tells them what they want to hear, the other two do not - so they promote the surface record and pretend it is `fact', not hypothesis. That is what cheap  advocates and lawyers do, not scientists.   The IPCC is therefore all about Green politics and environmentalist ideology, not science. Their propensity toward environmentalist bias in they way they capriciously embrace some peer-reviewed studies (the ones that suit their agenda), but exclude others, makes them ideologues, not scientists.

Unfortunately, Nature can't seem to tell the difference any more.


Food Resources in 2080 ?   (17 July 2001)

Just in time for COP6 part II in Bonn, a new study published in Nature says that agricultural production in a warmer world by 2080 would see some big winners and some big losers, as shown on this map (red arrows etc. added)Canada is tipped to enjoy doubled agricultural production, along with Russia, Kazakhstan,


The 2080 `food map' as presented to delegates at Bonn.
Almost alone in a zone awash with food, Britain is portrayed as a big loser.  "Scare `em so you can tax `em" seems to be the main reason. 

Scandinavia, and to a lesser extent the USA, China, and Argentina.

But wedged into its own tiny `loser' zone is Britain, in a hemisphere and latitude region which is otherwise expected to show spectacular increases in food production. As to why Britain should be singled out as a big loser seems inexplicable climatically. However, the British government has the most to justify politically to its electorate - with its punitive `climate levy' on British industry, hanging like an albatross around the neck of the British economy and taxpayer.

By presenting Britain as an agricultural loser, is it hoped that the Brits might be intimidated into complying  with the `climate levy'?  That suggests the study used political criteria in their country-by-country assessment.  Nature, a British journal, saw nothing odd in this peculiar singling out of Britain for special `famine' status.  But this is perfectly in keeping with their recently adopted apocalyptic vision on climate issues generally. 

A glance at the map shows how nonsensical this study really is. Countries with projected reductions in production lie right next to countries with projected increases, such as Algeria and Libya, both of which have similar climates.   Even the French, just 21 miles from Britain, gets increased food compared with a growing famine in Britain.

Africa is seen as a big loser, but Kenya somehow escapes amid a climate catastrophe which is projected to decimate many of its neighbours.  Australia is seen as a loser, but that is contradicted by Australian studies which show Australia has been getting wetter, not drier.  The dire prospect shown for India implies a permanent cessation of its annual monsoon, something which is physically and climatically impossible.

Clearly, the study is highly subjective, the effect of which is to intimidate, not to enlighten.


Wigley's Surface Record
 (15 July 2001)

This chart of global temperature as determined from surface thermometers was published in the latest `Summary for Policymakers' by the IPCC, with blue and purple labelling added by this website.

It illustrates one of the key points of contention between the advocates of global warming and the `skeptics'. The surface chart was mostly compiled by Tom Wigley and Phillip Jones, and it shows a +0.6C warming from 1860 to 2000.

In a recent interview he gave to the PBS TV network in the U.S., Wigley said this about the above temperature history -

"If I go back now and look at that record of global warming, it's true that over the period from about 1910 to 1940, there was very substantial warming, so much so that it cannot have been due only to human activities.  But there are two other possibilities. It could be due to changes in the output of the sun.  And, in fact, we believe that this is the primary reason for that warming."

Wigley's admission is based on the fact that the increase in atmospheric CO2 was not significant up to around 1940. He  referred to `human activities' rather than CO2 specifically during this period, since that could include such human activities as land clearing and agriculture.

The IPCC claims a +0.6C warming over the last 140 years, but they present that claim as if it could all be blamed on fossil fuels.  However, it is clear from Wigley's remarks and from CO2 data on public record that anything pre-1940 could in no way be blamed on fossil fuels.  This means that fully half of that +0.6C warming was due to pre-1940 forcings, most probably the sun, as is now generally agreed by everyone.

But was there really a warming of +0.6C?

The final 21 years of the above surface record shows a strong warming.  However, it overlaps with the satellite data (thick blue line), which shows no such warming, leading to the obvious question as to whether the pre-1940 warming was as big as claimed.  If the statistical processing of the surface record post-1979 could lead to an error of that magnitude in the surface record, the same processing procedures applied to pre-1979 data would in all probability over-estimate previous trends also.  By contrast, the satellite record has been validated against independent radio-sonde data and is accurate to one hundredth of a degree. The surface record pales in comparison. 


Protocol Gets CPR (23 July 2001)

Amid tears and hugs and kisses all round, the Bonn climate conference finally produced a diluted version of the protocol which Japan, Australia and Canada could wear.  The price the European Union (EU) paid to get an agreement, any agreement, was full recognition for carbon `sinks' (forests and crops which eat up carbon), the main demand of the `Umbrella Group' including Australia and Canada.  Another sticking point, that of penalties for target  non-compliance, has also been watered down to accommodate the Umbrella Group. The protocol is now a mere shadow of the original.  According to the BBC - "In its present form ... it is more of a symbol than a battlecry." 

When the Kyoto Protocol was first  agreed in 1997, there were the same conference celebrations  by exhausted delegates, the same hugging and kissing, the same euphoria.  Then, over time, nothing seemed to happen - nobody was ratifying it, not even Australia who had the easiest deal of all.  Now we see the same conference euphoria, the same hugging and tears, and it is easy to get a sense of dja vu of 1997 all over again.  

With one big difference.  This time the USA is not on board.  As the months go by, the EU will find that is they, not the USA, who will be the Third World's milking cow under the complex scheme of technology transfers, carbon credits trading, and other subsidies that they hoped would mostly be borne by the U.S. taxpayer. Without the U.S., the protocol is ineffectual, and ratification is still likely to be a problem for many countries regardless of the somewhat premature celebrations in Bonn.

Ironically, EU intransigence at the Hague in November led them to reject a deal which was much tighter than this one, and which would have included the U.S.  Now they have had to agree to a face-saving shadow of the original, and do so without the USA.


Rchauffement de la Plante? - Non!   (6th July 2001)

            Away from Tasmania, out in the Pacific Ocean near Fiji, is the large French island of New Caledonia.
            It's capital Nouma has recorded sea level there since 1967.
   
         Here is what they have to say about the IPCC's `sea level rise'.

Flogging a Corpse  (20 July 2001)

The pathetic spectacle now unfolding at the COP6(II) climate conference in Bonn, Germany, has all the vigour of a waltz of zombies.  There are delegates from 180 countries dashing around the corridors of the conference centre, making and breaking deals on trivial items of Kyoto Protocol minutae as if any of it mattered any more.

The Kyoto Protocol is now a corpse for two fundamental reasons.

First, if it were implemented in full, the pro-warming people themselves say that it would reduce global temperature by a underwhelming 
- 0.07C.  The price paid by humanity for that miserly 0.07 would be increased poverty, unemployment, and the environmental degradation which always attends poverty.

Second, it can't be implemented in full anyway.  Slogans and promises do not of themselves curtail energy. The emission targets at Kyoto were ridiculously unrealistic, even for the militant Europeans. The Australian delegation at Kyoto understood that and refused to promise any cuts all, instead promising only to limit the increase to 8%, with land use to be included in the final accounting.

The Kyoto Protocol is quite dead, thanks largely to President Bush not only seeing the self-evident futility of it all, but openly saying so and withdrawing U.S. support from it.

We are getting the usual flurry of  pre-conference scare stories in the media and from the IPCC, the usual re-run mantras about "things being much worse than we previously thought" etc. But it's all just a last ditch attempt to intimidate governments into ratifying the protocol.

Its only remaining value to the Green lobby is symbolic, not climatic.


Once Upon a Time  (3 July 2001)

A recent paper by Royer et al. (Science, v.292, 22 June 2001, p.2310) has put the skids under current assumptions about the warming effect of CO2. While we know that CO2 and temperature are correlated over the last few ice ages and interglacials, with temperature changes leading the CO2 changes (i.e. changes in temperature cause the associated CO2 changes, not the other way around), the picture from millions of years ago has thrown up an entirely new problem for the greenhouse industry to explain.

Plants absorb CO
2 through pores in their leaves called `stomata', and the density of these stomata vary with the concentration of CO2 in the atmosphere. Royer et al compared the stomata responses of modern ginko leaves, with fossilised leaves from related species which existed around 15 and 50 million years ago, making it possible to determine CO2 levels at that time.

They found that the CO
2 then was similar to that of today. According to a climate model they used, global temperature at that time should have been within 1.5C of today's temperature.

Not so. They report that analysis of oxygen-18 isotopes from the same period and other proxies, suggest global temperature 50 million years ago was 3 to 4C warmer than today, while the global temperature from 15 million years ago was up to 6C warmer - again with similar levels of CO
2.

In geological time, CO
2 levels have varied widely between today's relatively low level of 368 ppm and lower, to highs of 2,000 to 3,000 ppm. And while we know that the earth was much warmer millions of years ago, there were also long periods around 15 and 50 million years ago where the CO2 fell to around current levels, but with no let-up in the warmth. 

In later times, the warmth gave way to the colder cycle of ice ages and interglacials we have today. What the Royer et al paper demonstrates is that the ancient warmth had little or nothing to do with CO
2 and must have been caused by something else.

That `something else' yet another wild card in the deck.


Echo of Orwell  (7th July 2001)

George Orwell in his dark futuristic novel `1984' portrayed a society in which the past was routinely altered to serve the political vagaries of the present.

The greenhouse industry has now resorted to altering the past in a bid to portray the present as alarming. They began in 1998 with the notorious `Hockey Stick', altering the climatic history of the last 1,000 years to suit today's warming scenario. Now, they are at it again.

Researchers from Lawrence Livermore Labs, including Benjamin (`Chapter 8') Santer, have now used their model (yes, another model) to suggest that temperatures earlier in the 20th century were cooler than we think, - thus implying our present is  warmer than we think.

`Change the past to serve the politics of the present'.

George Orwell would turn in his grave at the cynical way in which his vision is being brought to reality by the huge greenhouse industry. 


The Isle of the Dead - 160 Years On  (1st July 2001)

Today, 1st July, is the 160th anniversary of the striking of the sea level benchmark in 1841 on the Isle of the Dead, Tasmania, by Captain Sir James Clark Ross and his associate Thomas Lempriere.

As of the time of writing, there has still been no published analysis of the benchmark by the various scientific institutions which have been researching this old sea level mark for several years. The reason seems to be that however it is analysed, the Ross-Lempriere sea level benchmark contradicts the IPCC view that sea levels have risen 10 to 25 cms in the last 100 years.  So, the issue has been swept under the carpet.

The benchmark currently stands 30 cms above present-day mean sea level as measured by an acoustic tide gauge a mile away at Port Arthur (installed for the express purpose of researching the Ross-Lempriere benchmark). Since Captain Ross in his account of his visit to Tasmania in 1841 stated clearly, and several times, that the mark was struck at "zero point, or the mean level of the sea", the mark should now be around 20 cms below MSL, not 30 cms above it.

Since Tasmania is stable geologically, land uplift cannot explain why the benchmark fails to support the IPCC. Even worse, the benchmark suggests a sea level fall.

The lead author of the 2001 IPCC Report on sea levels is Dr John Church of the University of Tasmania, whose office is only 40 miles from the benchmark, and who is fully familiar with it.  In spite of a dearth of historical sea level data from the southern hemisphere, and indeed from the whole world pre-1900, the IPCC silence on the Isle of the Dead is quite deafening.


High Farce (20 June 2001)

According to the latest `news' from NOAA (15 June 2001)

"During the period March through May, the global average temperature was the second warmest on record, or 0.53C (0.95F) above the 1880-2000 mean.   The month of May was also second warmest globally with a temperature that was 0.41C (0.74F) above the long-term average."

What next? - The warmest July 4th?  The wettest December 5th?  The windiest 4pm on August 20th?

The above NOAA statement completely ignores the fact that this applies only to the faulty surface record, cobbled together from thermometer readings, gathered from mostly third world countries and ship buckets over the last 120 years.   But we have satellites now which are accurate to one hundredth of a degree - but only since 1979.

Here is the satellite verdict for both the `March through May' period and `May only' from 1979 to 2001

As we can see, both `March through May' (only the 7th warmest since 1979) and `May only' (the 5th warmest since 1979) are in no way remarkable in 2001 (the final bar).  And this only covers 23 years.   1998 stands out alone as especially warm due to the big El Nio of that year.

This obsession by the greenhouse industry with trawling the surface statistics to find new `records', any records, are nothing but propaganda designed to keep the public in a heightened state of anxiety.  They have no scientific worth whatever.  The fact that the NOAA keeps quiet about their own satellite results, indeed to pretend they do not even exist, is a quite deplorable abuse of the public trust on their part. 


IPCC `Scientific Method'
(13 June 2001)

"The committee generally agrees with the assessment of human-caused climate change presented in the IPCC Working Group I (WG1) scientific report." - The NAS Committee, June 2001

Look carefully at the map (left) of global temperature change 1900-1999 as presented on page 99 (WG1) of the draft IPCC report (TAR-2000) to which the above quote by the recent NAS committee refers.  Then look at this website's version of that same map.

Can you see the deceptive presentation by the IPCC in the `scientific' pages of their 2000 report?

They presented global temperature change over the 20th century as red (warming) or blue (cooling) dots of varying sizes to represent the size of any warming or cooling at each co-ordinate point. (Areas left white in the upper map was due to lack of data).

But in the top map, they present the 0C dot in red, representing warming, when in fact it really means `no change' - neither warming nor cooling.

The effect is quite dramatic - it floods the map in red giving less discriminating scientists the impression that the whole world is warming. With those red 0C dots whited out in the lower map, the world looks very, very different.  Was that `science' - or politics?


Alaska Greening (5 June 2001)

This weeks scare story comes from `Nature' (v.411, 31 May 2001, p.546) in a paper by Sturm et al. titled `Increasing Shrub Abundance in the Arctic'. The title sums up the content of the paper.  Well, perhaps the title was a little ambitious. They surveyed an area of a mere 320 km2,  equivalent to a square block of land 11 miles by 11 miles.

Their opening statement was equally sweeping - "The warming of the Alaskan Arctic during the past 150 years has accelerated over the last three decades."  Here is the annual and seasonal temperature record for Barrow, Alaska, about as Arctic as you can get there. The record is only reliable for the last 80 years, the  previous 20 years to that being very fragmentary, so their claim of 150 years of warming is quite spurious, as is the alleged `acceleration'. 1998 stands out as a warm year in isolation due to the big El Nio of that year, but that hardly rates as a 30-year `acceleration'.

What of the shrubs? They provided two examples of `repeat photography' to show an increase in vegetation in previously barren regions which they promptly blamed on `climate change'.  So, Life is bursting out all over - and that's bad news? Here (left) is one of the examples they used -

But guess what, this is exactly the same phenomenon which has been observed all over the world, including the United States, caused not by climate, but by CO2 enrichment of the atmosphere.   The `fertiliser effect' of CO2 is the only prediction which is not only fully validated, but is already happening. 

Below is an example of CO2 fertilisation at work in the country surrounding Enchanted Mesa in New Mexico -


Enchanted Mesa in 1899 (left) and today (above). Note the expansion of vegetation. This is happening all over the West.

Other examples of `Repeat Photography' are available on the internet.  The Utah State Office of the Bureau of Land Management have a particularly good collection, also this set from Wyoming. To see the beneficial effect atmospheric CO2 has had on vegetation growth, click these `before and after' photos from Utah - 

Escalante River in summer 1949
The same river in August 1992

Virgin River in 1906
The same river in 1993

The `gloom and doom' mindset claims that life on Earth is threatened by all sorts of threats from human activity. These photos, both in the Arctic and in New Mexico prove quite the opposite - Life is thriving - and expanding.


Chicago, Chicago (9 June 2001)

While the National Academy of `Science' (NAS) was playing obedient monkey to the UN IPCC organ grinder (see story above), Mother Nature has been having her own say in the same U.S. of A. that the NAS inhabits.

My Chicago informants bring an interesting story from the `windy city'.

An unprecedented cold has hit the Chicago area since May 22.  Last Tuesday, Chicago recorded the coolest high temperature for June since 1979 with a high of only 58F.  A new record was recently set for the most consecutive number of sub-60F (4 in total) highs so late in the spring.

Also, Chicago blew a long standing record off the books by reaching 17 consecutive sub-70F highs.  From 22nd May through 7th June, temperatures never reached the 70F mark. The previous record was 15 days set way back in 1889. By Friday 8th June, the misery for Chicagoans ended when the day's high reached 73F.

It's worth noting that temperatures recorded in the late 1800s and early 1900s were taken near the lakefront of Lake Michigan, whereas now they are taken at the huge O'Hare Airport at the northwest edge of the city. This makes the record even more remarkable given that major airports have local heat islands, whereas the former lakeshore site was subject to cooling influences from Lake Michigan. For example, Thursday's 68F high at O'Hare Airport
compares with only 63F at the lakefront site.

Temperatures are forecast to rebound next week to more normal levels, but it was amazing to many residents to have to re-fire domestic furnaces so late in the spring with lows dropping to near 40F in the suburbs.

A similar pattern of anomalously cold, wet weather was reported further west from Missouri.

(Thanks to George Sumyk and other sources for the intel.)


European dis-Union (4 June 2001)

According to Britain's `Independent', the monolithic unity which the European Union has maintained in favour of the Kyoto Protocol has now been fractured. The new Italian government, led by Prime Minister Berlusconi, has expressed support for the policy of U.S. President Bush in rejecting the Kyoto Protocol.

Shortly after the announcement by President Bush that the U.S.A. would no longer support the protocol, the E.U. has continued a blind `go-it-alone' policy by threatening to ratify the protocol anyway without U.S. participation, in the hope that European ratification would act as a political lever to move the U.S. position.

The latest  policy of the Italian government runs counter to the rest of the E.U., particularly the Italian insistence that any climate policy can only be achieved with the participation of the U.S. and that Europe should be prepared to discuss any new proposals from the U.S.


National Academy of Pseudo-Science (7 June 2001) 

Today, radical environmentalists will be celebrating. The U.S. National Academy of Science (a somewhat devalued title by now) has just released a report by a selected committee of climatologists who were commissioned by President Bush to provide an independent U.S. assessment of the current state of climate science.

While many in the climate community hoped for a more balanced or critical approach to the IPCC, the National Assessment, and an earlier report by an NAS panel on the surface-satellite conflict, all we got today was a 100% endorsement of the IPCC and its processes, including the infamous `Summary for Policymakers', full endorsement for the discredited `National Assessment' (which even most climatologists could not stomach), and full endorsement for the earlier NAS report on surface-satellite temperatures conflict.

This report contained no new science, no new evidence, and most critically - it did not address in any detail a single point of contention raised by global warming sceptics. Specific problems with this latest report are - (quotes in red)

 "Temperatures are in fact rising" - Only according to the surface record, mostly from third world instruments. The satellite record shows little or no warming, and the surface record from the U.S. shows a climate today little different to what it was 70 years ago. This remark confirmed the committee's support for the surface record - no reason given.

"There is general agreement that the observed warming is real and particularly strong within the past twenty years." With this remark, the committee have clearly rejected the satellite temperature record outright, with not a single reason offered. Because the satellites show no strong warming `within the past twenty years', the committee clearly have given 100% blessing to the disputed surface record - without so much as a reason to justify that choice.

"The committee generally agrees with the assessment of human-caused climate change presented in the IPCC Working Group I (WG1) scientific report." - So they toss the ball back into the IPCC court, choosing not to raise a single point of criticism of that over-politicised UN body. This is hardly surprising as several committee members were themselves involved in the IPCC process.

"The committee finds that the full IPCC Working Group I (WG 1) report is an admirable summary of research activities in climate science, and the full report is adequately summarized in the Technical Summary."  The IPCC summary was also highly selective, choosing to summarise only those research activities which reinforced the IPCC mindset. That this NAS committee should find it so admirable clearly establishes them as ideologically pro-IPCC with no scientific justification offered.  They gave no reasons for the selectivity exercised by IPCC reviewers, accepting some research studies, but ignoring others.

"After analysis, the committee finds that the conclusions presented in the SPM and the Technical Summary (TS) are consistent with the main body of the report." - Again no discussion of the numerous points of difference between the two IPCC documents raised many times by sceptics.  The SPM and TS are clearly incompatible in many respects, but the committee again resorts to endorsement without justification.

On sulfate aerosols, whose effects are highly disputed - "The monitoring of aerosol properties has not been adequate to yield accurate knowledge of the aerosol climate influence."  This is an admission that little is known about these aerosols, but the committee did not proceed to find any fault with models which use those aerosols to prevent the models from over-heating their virtual earths beyond existing real climate.  Those aerosols are used in the models like an accountants `balancing item' in a balance sheet, and are assumed to be real only in order to keep the models in some kind of agreement with current climate.  The committee should have been more detailed on this issue, given their admission that little is known about the effect of aerosols in the real world.

On solar forcing, the direct effect of which the committee claims to be small (+0.3 w/m2), they dismiss the well published secondary feedback effects of solar forcing - "Numerous possible indirect forcings associated with solar variability have been suggested.  However, only one of these, ozone changes induced by solar UV irradiance variations, has convincing observational support."  With these dismissive words, the entire body of published and peer-reviewed solar science built up over the last ten years is thrown out - without so much as an explanation.

On the `National Assessment' - "The U.S. National Assessment of Climate Change Impacts, augmented by a recent NRC report on climate and health, provides a basis for summarizing the potential consequences of climate change."  The  National Assessment has been one of the most criticised climate documents of recent times.  It was attacked not merely by global warming sceptics, but also by scientists normally sympathetic to the IPCC and the global warming scenario.  It was a manifestly political and alarmist document and exceeded even the alarmism normally associated with radical environmental groups.  But this NAS committee endorses the National Assessment. More shame to them for doing so.

On the delicate issue as to why the satellites and surface do not agree as to recent warming trends - "The finding that surface and troposphere temperature trends have been different as observed over intervals as long as a decade or two is difficult to reconcile with our current understanding of the processes that control the vertical distribution of temperature in the atmosphere."  With these mealy-mouthed words, the committee put themselves squarely in the business of pseudo-science, not science.  Having admitted they could not understand why the satellites measuring the free atmosphere were producing a different trend to the surface record, this lack of understanding did not compel them to question the validity of the models which depend critically on an assumption that an enhanced greenhouse must warm the troposphere first, before the surface warms.  What has been observed is quite the reverse.  From this, it requires no great leap of thinking to conclude that either the models are working to a completely false premise, or else the surface record itself is wrong, or both.  Either way, having endorsed the models without explanation, and having endorsed the surface record again without explanation, they could only pass off this fundamental conflict with the inane and worthless comment given above.

In conclusion, the NAS committee made many assertions, none of which they chose to justify or explain other than to state it was `their view' - as if their mere authority as representing the National Academy of Science were enough to prevail in the argument.

Well it isn't.  The days when mere `authority' could win an argument or debate are long gone.  Such deference is more characteristic of a medieval priesthood, not a modern science where every important claim must be justified and explained. Only evidence counts in this modern world, and this committee have provided none, merely re-stated what has already been stated in politically contaminated documents by the IPCC and National Assessment.

For that reason, the National Academy of `Science' hardly deserve their name any more.

See also - The U.S. National Academy of Sciences Issues a Distorted Report -
Comments on the National Academy Report on Climate Change  by  Prof S. Fred Singer

See also - `The Press Gets It Wrong:  Our report doesn't support the Kyoto treaty'.  
by Richard S. Lindzen, Monday, June 11, 2001 12:01 a.m. EDT, writing in the Wall Street Journal


It's Not Cricket !  (5 June 2001)

When it comes to the weather, they do not come much more expert than English cricketers. Only God knows how a game designed for long dry summers could possibly have been invented in England. Australia is ideal for the game, which explains their success at cricket.

However, English cricketing history is a mine of climate information, and published in the latest edition of the English Cricket bible `Wisden Cricketers' Almanack 2001.'

According to Philip Eden, a meteorologist writing for the almanack - 

"The weather of summer 2000 came in for a lot of flak, and not just in cricketing circles.

It repeatedly made the headlines, often being described as the 'worst in living memory' or the 'worst since records began'. The former I shall not comment on, save to say that 'living memory' is a notoriously poor tool for making useful comparisons, but the worst since records began it manifestly was not.

According to the Wisden summer index, 57 of the previous summers were better and 43 were worse. Quite why the public and media opinion was so convinced that summer 2000 was unprecedentedly bad is perhaps better answered by a psychologist than a meteorologist."

This year, 2001, will see an `Ashes' clash in England between Australia and England.  If England wins (a highly unlikely outcome) it will be a `better than usual' summer for the English. If they lose, they can always blame it on global warming. 

(Thanks to Charles Davis for the intel.)


Low CO2 Growth in 2000  (3 June 2001)

For months, we have been waiting for the year 2000 CO2  growth figures from Mauna Loa, but so far they have not been published. 

However, Mauna Loa is not the only place in the world where CO2 is measured.  At Jubany Station, Antarctia, the figure for atmospheric CO2 growth  in 2000 was only 1.04 ppm. 

This compares with the value of  2.14 ppm increase for 1998, partly caused by the strong El Nio of that year.

Since 2000 was described as `warm' by the greenhouse industry, it is all the more significant that CO2 growth should fall to 1.04 ppm in spite of that `warmth', and the strong economic activity of that year.

The predictions of the IPCC that the world may be up to +6C warmer due to rising CO2 by the year 2100 are based entirely on climate models. These models in turn rely on one key assumption - that CO2 will grow at 1% per year. That means CO2 in  2000 should have risen +3.68 ppm, not 1.04 ppm. In fact, CO2 has never risen in any single year by that 1% target figure.

The 2000 rise is only +0.28%, far short of the figure assumed by the models. This means it may be 2450 AD before that IPCC prediction can be fulfilled.


Ancient Wisdom (31 May 2001)

"We are the ones that live closest to the land,
 to Mother Earth.
  We live with it, we experience it, with our hearts and souls, and we depend upon it.
  When this Earth starts to be destroyed, we feel it."

- Caleb Pungowiyi, Yupik Native from Nome, Alaska.

These were the heart-tugging words of an Eskimo native as quoted on page 81 of `Climate Change Impacts on the United States' - better known as the `National Assessment'.  On page 70, they state - `Caleb Pungowiyi is a Yupik Eskimo who lives in the Arctic, moving back and forth from Alaska to Siberia in pursuit of walrus and other sea mammals. Gathering food directly from the land and the sea makes the Yupiks very careful observers of what is going on around them.'  The intended human image from this characterisation? A hardy, but wise, Eskimo living close to nature in a traditional Eskimo lifestyle, imparting his ancient wisdom to a `greedy' unfeeling industrial society. 

But the reality? Let Caleb Pungowiyi describe himself. Here is his own opening introduction to his testimony before a U.S. House of Representatives sub-Committee on 6th April 2000. 

"Good morning Mr. Chairman, and members of the Subcommittee. My name is Caleb Pungowiyi. I currently serve as a Special Advisor on Alaska Native Affairs, to the Committee of Scientific Advisors for the Marine Mammal Commission and am a former member of the Alaska Scientific Review Group. I am also a member of the Indigenous Peoples Council for Marine Mammals (IPCoMM), and a life-long subsistence user of marine mammals. I am testifying today in my capacity as Chair of IPCoMM's Marine Mammal Protection Act (MMPA) Reauthorization Committee, and as a Consultant and former Executive Director of the Eskimo Walrus Commission."

It seems Caleb Pungowiyi is not what the National Assessment made him out to be. Even his home town of
Nome fails to show global warming in its instrumental record, hardly evidence of the `destruction' he mourns in the opening quote.  A full read of his testimony reveals someone well versed in the ways of scientific and political bureaucracy, a well-connected and tertiary-educated career bureaucrat, not the `noble native' image painted by the National Assessment.

But it gets worse. Look up this website to see how Pungowiyi and his organisation operates when it comes to the commercial exploitation of Alaska's wild life.  In Tasmania, we provide absolute protection to our unique wildlife, but then, we don't have Pungowiyi's ancient wisdom to persuade us to do otherwise.  Tasmanian Devils are not for sale, but Alaskan walruses?  They would be a lot safer here - as far from Pungowiyi as possible.

Like everything else in the discredited `National Assessment', the beatification of Caleb Pungowiyi to evoke sympathy for the global warming cause was an act of political deception of the American public.


Sinking The Trees? (27 May 2001)

The primary issue upon which the Hague Climate conference failed late last year was that of `sinks'. The `umbrella group' (USA, Canada, Australia) pointed out that their ability to offset CO2 emissions through increased forest production should be taken into account in any calculation of a country's net emissions.

Most, if not all, of current U.S. emissions are consumed by increased forest production in the U.S. However, the European Union and Green groups malign the U.S. as the `world's biggest emitter' when they ignore the fact that the U.S. is also one of the world's biggest sinks, something the European Union is definitely not.

In other words, in net terms (emission rate less sink rate), the U.S. is one of the smallest net emitters, while the E.U. is arguably the biggest net emitter of all.

With convenient timing, the British journal Nature this week
(v.411, p.466, 24 May 01) published two papers, plus an overview article, to tell us all that maybe forests don't soak up as much CO2 after all. They report experiments on a single tree species, Loblolly Pines, in which it is claimed that lack of soil nutrients limits a tree's ability to store away carbon, particularly since some forests are in poor soil environments.

Of course, these papers should be seen against a backdrop of a mountain of other scientific evidence which says that trees and vegetation increase their productivity and water efficiency under enhanced CO
2. However, the experimental details of the Nature papers show them to largely confirm what is already known about CO2 fertilisation. The rest was just media spin.

In the experiment, the Loblolly Pines were given enhanced CO2 (550 ppmv compared with the present 370 ppmv) under free atmosphere conditions and they grew a whopping 34% more than an unfertilised control group during the first three years.

But then, the growth slowed. During the next 4 years, the growth was `only'  6% greater. The authors say the soil on which the trees stood was `moderately low fertility', and less than 0.3m deep, or about 1 foot for the overcrowded roots to occupy.

The media spin made from this trio of articles was like asking "Is a glass of water `four-fifths full'? - or `one-fifth empty'?" 

Far from devaluing the `sinks' case of the umbrella group, these results powerfully confirm it.  In the space of only 7 years, those Loblolly Pines grew 40% more than nearby pines in non-enhanced CO2 conditions, and did so in a soil of poor fertility only a foot deep. That's a big sink in anyone's language.


`A Touchy Question' (20 May 2001)

`A touchy question' is how the journal Science described a paper by David Hodell et al. (Science 292,  1367) who reported a direct causal link between the collapse of the Mayan civilisation due to drought, and variations in the Sun's brightness.

According to Science, "Tackling a touchy question outside the mainstream of opinion usually gives a scientist pause."  They followed that with a summary of the paper's findings finally concluding that it "... should go some ways toward making sun-climate a less touchy subject."

`Touchy', because the greenhouse industry is in a state of permanent denial of any link between the variable sun and the Earth's climate. To admit to the significance of such a link would throw their models and their predictions completely askew. It would also provide a competing explanation for the claimed global warming of the 20th century.

As if the Hodell paper was not enough, another sun-climate paper by Neff et al. has just been published in Nature (17 May, v.411, p.290) which studied cave stalagmites in Oman. By comparing 18O and 14C isotopes in the stalagmite, they found that solar radiation was the primary driver of changes to the Asian Monsoon 6,000 to 9,000 years ago when the stalagmite was created. 

Sun-climate linkage is indeed `a touchy question'. It's  interesting that Science should even admit to it because even they now seem to recognise that when it comes to global warming, political correctness dominates the science.


The Good Old Days (20 May 2001)

In a new paper in Nature (v.411, p.287, 17 May 2001), Gregory Retallack compared leaf stomata of Ginko trees with similar stomata from fossil remains of related ginko trees as far back as 300 million years.

From this, he was able to reconstruct the history of atmospheric carbon dioxide as shown left. Today's CO2 level (370 ppmv) is added (horizontal red line), and it is readily apparent that CO2 in the distant past reached between 2,000 and 3,000 ppmv, or up to 10 times the pre-industrial level of 280 ppmv. And we are paranoid about a mere doubling to 560 ppmv in the next 150 years. If anything, our present level of CO2 is very low by geological standards (perhaps even dangerously low during recent glaciations).

The above graph compares CO2 (solid blue line, with standard deviations shown in shaded blue) with a low resolution temperature chart covering the same period.  The author concludes in his abstract - "These results support the role of water vapour, methane, and CO2 in greenhouse climate warming over the past 300 Myr."  These are carefully crafted words, given the editorial policy toward global warming of the journal he was publishing in. CO2 was mentioned only as a third factor, the primary role being attributed to water vapour, a very safe and correct choice to preserve the integrity of his findings.

But what else do we find in the above chart? The resolution of the CO2 chart is coarse, 6 million years, but even with that caveat, it is clear that as with many other palaeo-climate studies comparing CO2 with temperature, this study shows the same tendency for temperature changes to lead CO2 changes.  This is apparent as a `right shift' in the CO2 chart when compared with the temperature chart above it.  This means that the CO2 changes were caused by the temperature changes, not the other way around.

It is also apparent that the Earth cruised through periods of very low CO2 (such as today) and periods when CO2 was up to ten times greater, with no ill effects to the climate.  Indeed, the Earth was more biologically productive during the high CO2 regimes (it needed to be to support all those hungry dinosaurs).  This provides us with the confidence that higher levels of CO2 (but still low by geological standards) will have no ill effects on the Earth's climate, but make the Earth much more productive biologically.  The greening of the Earth is the only significant consequence of rising CO2.


Tasmanian Weather Record ! (23 May 2001)

The greenhouse industry and the media loves to announce weather records, especially `hot' records (the hottest here, the driest there etc.), but become strangely silent when `cold' records are broken (such as the coldest winter in 50 years this year in Russia). This morning (23 May 2001), Tasmania scored a record low temperature for May.

Early this morning, Launceston Airport in northern Tasmania reached a minimum temperature of  - 4.8C accompanied by a severe frost.  According to the Australian Bureau of Meteorology in Hobart, Tasmania, this is an all-time record low temperature for May.

The previous record low for May was set on 31st May 1959 (the last day of autumn), with a temperature of -4.7C.


"We Kill Ozone Like No Other Country"  (18 May 2001)

This was the strident headline in Australia's national newspaper, `The Australian' on Thursday 17th May.

According to their environment writer, Amanda Hodge, "The latest five-year energy consumption snapshot, released by the Australian Bureau of Statistics, shows each Australian produces four times the world average of ozone-depleting carbon dioxide emissions."

Carbon dioxide as an ozone depleter? This was news to everyone in the climate community.

Her source of scientific information appears to have been Nicolette Boele of the Australian Conservation Foundation who is quoted as saying "this is a red-hot message to the Government that we must ratify the Kyoto protocol."

With such a hopelessly garbled confusion between the greenhouse and ozone issues, the `red hot' message is more egg-coloured.  Since `The Australian' is the premier newspaper in Australia, such messy reporting is simply not good enough and the public deserves better.


U.S. Senate Hearings on Climate Policy  (6 May 2001)

The U.S. Senate Commerce Committee has been taking evidence from expert witnesses over the last week including IPCC participants and climate sceptics alike.  James Hansen of NASA-GISS has already suggested that the National Academy of Sciences should be the primary scientific body to advise the U.S. government on climate science - not the IPCC.  Hansen has also advocated an alternative policy response to that of the Kyoto Protocol, with a near-term focus on elimating smoke and methane pollution rather than CO2.  On calls for immediate cuts to CO2, he said in part:
"It is impractical to stop CO2 from increasing in the near term, as fossil fuels are the engine of the global economy."

See the testimony of James Hansen here (downloadable .pdf file, 1.45 MB)

Prof Richard S. Lindzen, currently one of the scientific authors with the IPCC was nevertheless highly critical of the way the IPCC functions and of the manner in which climate science has become addicted to scaremongering -  

See his full testimony here - Testimony of Prof Richard S. Lindzen, given 1st May.

At the hearings, Senator Ted Stevens (Alaska) claimed that Barrow, Alaska, the most northerly point in the USA, facing directly onto the Arctic Ocean, was suffering `a creeping disaster' from global warming.  He says they had their very first thunderstorm recorded there last June, and that Barrow would soon have to be evacuated due to rising seas.

On the thunderstorm, Stevens was wrong.  Barrow has had three thunderstorms since 1978, one on July 22 1989, another on July 18 1995, and last year's on June 19 last year - Details here.   On sea levels, Stevens omitted to tell the senators that Barrow itself sits on a narrow spit of land surrounded by eroding marshes and is barely 2 feet above sea level. This makes Barrow vulnerable to even natural surges in sea level.  Tide gauge data from Prudhoe Bay on the same coast shows no rising sea level at all, but does show an annual variability of about 20 inches.  The coast around Barrow is also subject to coastal erosion, which is not the same as sea level rise.
See -
A Clap of Thunder - the story of the infamous Barrow Thunderstorm and what followed.


What Do We Want? - Warming!   When Do We Want It? - Now!   (19 May 2001)

It may sound an odd demand, but that's what the residents of Kirkenes, a small Norwegian town on the Arctic coast of Norway right next to the Russian border, are demanding.

According to the Norwegian tabloid newspaper `VG Oslo', (18 May 2001), the townspeople are upset because of the loss of business and tourist income resulting from the official weather forecast consistently making Kirkenes up to 6C colder than it really is. The reason is that the official temperature for Kirkenes, displayed on national TV,  is taken at the airport 14 kilometres away at a higher - and colder - altitude.  The town mayor, Alfon Jerijervi, is demanding that the station be moved to the centre of town and so allow the Norwegian TV public to see how `warm' and inviting Kirkenes really is. 

`Not likely', says Brd Fjukstad, the spokesman for the Norwegian weather service, `we don't have the money'. Besides, he says, similar demands are coming from Bod and other cold places in Western Norway. 

Seems the people of Kirkenes will have to wait for the real thing before they get the warming they want - and judging by the lack of warming at nearby Vard, that could be a long, long wait. (thanks to Jo Sivertsen for the intel.)


CSIRO - Pontius Pilate PhD. (10 May 2001)

Aussie policymakers and pollies - read carefully the `disclaimer' on the left. This was printed at the bottom of the last page of the CSIRO's glossy brochure `Climate Change - Projections for Australia',  a brochure full of dire warning of plagues,  pestilence, droughts, floods, and heat waves, based on a CSIRO `model'. 

This latest foray by the Atmospheric Division of Australia's CSIRO (Commonwealth Science and Industry Research Organisation) as presented in their latest brochure and media release, paints a picture for a future Australia of a land racked in heat waves and droughts, a drying out and heating up of a continent already too dry and too hot.  They have dived right into the realm of policy and politics with a vengeance - in direct opposition to the Australian federal government's policy on the Kyoto Protocol, something CSIRO has absolutely no right to do as paid public servants.

But only 2 years ago, their spin (and their models) was playing a much different tune as

 shown by this April 1999 press release from the CSIRO.  They drew attention then to the fact that Australia was becoming WETTER - thanks to global warming, as shown by the national rainfall graph they presented (shown left).  Great news for the driest inhabited continent.

Now, their models and modellers have miraculously shifted gear and predict that Australia will now be DRIER - knowing full well that most Australians fear heat and drought more than they do floods and cool weather.  Political opportunism by any other name.

In their latest `projections' they do not explain how or why they made such a U-turn.  But then, they always have their `disclaimer' to fall back on.


The Light of the Silvery Moon  (3 May 2001)

NASA researchers have found a new way to measure the albedo, or reflectivity, of the Earth (GRL v.28, no.9, p.1671, 2001). By measuring `Earthlight' reflected off the dark side of the moon, the Earth's albedo (i.e. Earth's ability to reflect sunlight) can be determined.

The brighter the Earth is, the brighter is the dark side of the moon and vice versa. Photometric observations since December 1998 of Earthlight gives an average Earth albedo of 29.7%, very close to earlier estimates of 30%.  (ENN report)

This is important for climate because albedo changes are mostly caused by changes in bright features like clouds and ice. If albedo increases, global cooling results as more sunlight is reflected back to space. If albedo decreases, fewer clouds means less albedo and therefore a warmer Earth.

Philip Goode, leader of the research team, told the media "We have found a hint of a 2.5 percent decrease in Earth's albedo over the past 5 years". This means that the Earth must have warmed over the same period, caused by reduced  cloudiness, consistent with a warming we experienced with the 1997-98 El Nino.

But there's more. The Goode team, intentionally or not, have just confirmed the validity of the
Svensmark Effect which predicted this very outcome -

Henrik Svensmark of the Danish Space Research Institute, has shown that low clouds (blue) increase and decrease as cosmic rays (red) from deep space increase and decrease.

These cosmic rays are in turn modulated by the Sun's solar wind, so that when the solar wind is strong as during a solar maximum (1990), the cosmic rays are partially blocked out. When the solar wind is weak as during a solar minimum (1995), the cosmic rays flood in, increasing the cloudiness.

Observation of the Svensmark Effect has been demonstrated over the latest solar cycle, and now the Goode team have confirmed that Earth albedo - and therefore cloudiness - did change exactly as predicted by Henrik Svensmark.

This lends powerful support to the views of solar scientists that recent climate changes were driven by the Sun, not by Man.


Shot in the Foot  (3 May 2001)

Researchers at Lawrence Livermore, California, say that deforestation over centuries may have caused the cooling between 1000 AD and 1900 AD.   According to their media release in the National Post online, (26 Apr 2001), `scientists have long recognized that the Earth's climate cooled up to 1.1C between AD 1000 and 1900'

Oh Really?

According to the IPCC, the world warmed +0.6C since 1900, which means it was 0.5C warmer in 1000 than it is today. Another nail in the `Hockey Stick'.


 

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