`Stop Press' Stories
For stories in 1999, click here
For stories January to April 2000, click here
For stories May to December 2000, click here
For stories January to April 2001, click here
For stories May to August 2001, click here
For stories September to December 2001, click here
For stories January to April 2002, click here
For stories June to September 2002, click here
For stories September to December 2002, click here
For stories January to June 2003, see below
Swimwear Takes a Dive (6
Open Letter to the Prime Minister of Australia (30 May 03)
rTu-r(max) = 1.42 log10(POP)-2.09 (28 May 03)
Rain, Rain, Go Away - Russian Style! (23 May 03)
Christy's Testimony to Congress (21 May 2003)
"Decadal-Scale Variations in El-Niño Intensity" (20 May 03)
Maldives Joins the Frenzy (19 May 03)
The Virtual Earthers (19 May 03)
40 Years in the Wilderness (10 May 03)
Wintry Defeat for Kyoto (7 May 03)
"Trial of Kyoto" - or Trial of the CBC? (1 May 03)
Nenana Ice Classic (1 May 03)
Spring Fever... (30 Apr 03)
The Pied Piper (19 Apr 03)
French Champagne (19 Apr 03)
`Hockey Stick Debacle (8 Apr 03)
Cheers (30 Mar 03)
Weird ... (29 Mar 03)
Greenland Again (15 Mar 03)
Long-Range U.S. Drought Forecast (16 Mar 03)
Please Explain... (15 Mar 03)
Great Lakes Frozen Over in Record Freeze (12 March 03)
Record Cold in Malta (11 Mar 03)
Through the Looking Glass (8 Mar 03)
Bring on the Lawyers (8 Mar 03)
Lake Inferior (8 Mar 03)
Hope Springs Eternal (1 Mar 03)
Warm Snow (22 Feb 03)
Phil Speaks ! (16 Feb 03)
How Nigh is the End? (17 Feb 2003)
Oppression Through Tax (16 Feb 03)
We Are All Doomed! (16 Feb 2003)
New Scientist on Lomborg (3 Feb 03)
The Triple Whammy (19 Jan 03)
Power Crisis in Northern Europe (7 Jan 03)
Asia Freezes (5 Jan 03)
Frozen China (from Miceal O'Ronain 4 Jan 03)
Greenland Melting? (18 Jan 03)
Something Rotten in Denmark (9 Jan 03)
Bad news last week for red-blooded American males.
The swimwear business has taken a hammering thanks to cooler weather in May. According to Fox News, quoting a meteorologist, May 2003 has been one of the cloudiest Mays since 1888, causing a dramatic fall in swimsuit sales. Many of the major retailers are reported to be discounting swimwear between 20 and 50 per cent.
The downturn has not just affected swimwear and bikinis, but also other summer items such as shorts, T-shirts, barbeque sets, lawn equipment etc.
Never mind guys. You can always fly down to Australia where the weather is beautiful one day, perfect the next.
Click here to see a .pdf file (only 28.3K) of a full-page advertisement appearing in today's Australian newspaper.
It was placed by the Lavoisier Group, an organisation opposing the Kyoto Protocol.
There's nothing so authoritative-looking as a mathematical formula. It proclaims exactness, precision, and appears more credible than mere words, even where the reader might not understand what the formula says.
This particular formula comes from a paper published in the Australian Meteorological Magazine (v.50, 2001, 1-13) titled `Urban Heat Island Features of Southeast Australian Towns', authored by Torok et al. The formula is the outcome of a study by four researchers into the magnitude of heat island effects in four small towns in south-eastern Australia and states a general rule for estimating urban heat islands in such towns from local data.
The authors acknowledged that Melbourne (3 million+ population) had a maximum urban-rural temperature difference (Tu-r(max)) of 6.8°C based on a previous study, and that even Hobart with only 130,000 people had a Tu-r(max) of 5.7°C. That effectively damns all large and medium size cities as credible places from which to detect the fractions of a degree changes needed for detection of genuine climate change.
But what of the small towns? Torok et al. tested Hamilton (pop. 9,753), Colac (pop. 9,171), Cobden (pop. 1,477) and Camperdown (pop. 3,315). The results showed differences between town and rural to vary between 1°C and 5.4°C. The researchers also found a significant difference between measurements taken over concrete and taken over grass, the heat island being moderated if the weather box is located on a grassy expanse.
These small towns have populations which would designate them as `rural' in the CRU and GISS datasets and yet have significant heat islands which would invalidate their use as places to detect climate change using local temperature data. The data from all these towns would remain uncorrected for heat islands even though the phenomenon is running into urban-rural differences of whole degrees for all of them.
The authors concluded -
"these results imply that climatological stations in large cities should preferably be excluded from studies into long-term climate change, and those in small towns should be located away from the town centres."
It's about time the IPCC and the keepers of the surface data, CRU and GISS, took the urban heat island seriously enough to review all weather records from around the world and make a thorough purge of those records emanating from not only large cities, but also from small towns. Since even small Australian towns are shown to have a significant urbanisation distortion to the data, then the more tightly packed towns of Europe and North America will show even more severe effects.
To promote `global warming' to the public, the public must be first assured that the data they are presented with is not simply an aggregate of thousands of localised urban warmings. `Greenfields' stations are few in number, but collectively they would present a more accurate picture of climate trends than do the hopelessly contaminated data from urban areas, even the small ones.
The paper itself was originally submitted to Australian Meteorological Magazine in December 1998 and was not published until March 2001 - a very long time lag between submission and publication, even for that journal. This contrasts with the eager fast-tracking that pro-warming papers receive from the major journals.
Postscript (2 June 03) - I am grateful to Miceal O'Ronain who charted the above formula. The result is quite startling. The formula says that the biggest heat island effect occurs with the first 5,000 people or so, the incremental effect tailing off as population rises. It means that even the smallest towns have heat islands almost matching large cities. Since this formula is specific to Australian towns, the effect would be even more pronounced in the more densely packed towns of Europe and North America.
It is little wonder that neither the IPCC nor the institutions which collate surface records are keen to have heat islands addressed in any serious way. To do so would invalidate the whole notion of a +0.7°C temperature rise during the last century and thereby undercut the whole rationale for the massive `global warming' industry.
According to a report in the Times (UK), President Putin of Russia has done a `King Canute' with the weather, with an audacious presidential order for the weather to be fine next week during the 300th anniversary celebrations of St. Petersburg, Russia's second city and former imperial capital.
It's not as crazy as it sounds. He has ordered the use of no less than 10 aircraft armed with cloud seeding crystals to intercept any rain clouds which may have the temerity to approach St. Petersburg during the vital celebration period when other world leaders, including President Bush, will be present. His meteorologists and aircraft pilots will be paid according to performance criteria. In other words - no sunshine, no pay.
All we can say is - Good Luck!(thanks to Miceal O'Ronain for the intel.)
The U.S. House Committee on Resources has recently held hearings into climate treaties, in particular the Kyoto Protocol. Among the witnesses was the Alabama scientist closely associated with the NASA satellite atmospheric temperature record, Prof John Christy (Professor of Atmospheric Science and Director of the Earth System Science Center at the University of Alabama in Huntsville). He is also Alabama’s State Climatologist and recently served as a Lead Author of the U.N.’s Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC).
In his testimony, Christy rejected the `revisions' suggested to the satellite record by Wigley, Santer, Wentz et al. citing the validation that record gets from the radio sonde balloon data. He also pointed out that in no way could carbon dioxide, or CO2, be regarded as a pollutant since all life on earth depends on CO2 for its very existence.
On climate models, he pointed out that while the models predict rapidly rising temperatures in the deep troposphere, the actual temperatures as measured both by satellite and sondes show a very modest rise only. He was equally dismissive of the `Hockey Stick' concept promoted by the IPCC, pointing out that recent studies have shown that indeed climate was warmer at times during the Medieval period - at a time before CO2 emissions were an issue.
Prof Christy then addressed climate extremes, pointing out that extreme warm events are equally matched by extreme cold events, and that neither mean anything in terms of longer term climate trends. He cited several recent examples and also pointed out that hurricanes and tornadoes are no more prevalent now than years ago.
On the economics of the Kyoto Protocol, Christy noted the failure of the primary champions of the protocol - the European Union - to even meet the targets they set for themselves, while demanding such targets from others. In particular, he viewed the economic losses from arbitrary reduction in fossil fuel use as leading to more pollution, not less, as evidenced in poor countries where energy efficiency is very low.
Prof Christy's testimony is a definitive statement about what is wrong with the `climate change' hype, and is recommended reading for anyone interested in the issue.
Variations in El-Niño Intensity"
The latest paper on this website by Dr Theodor Landscheidt takes his solar motions analysis as applied to climate, and looks forward well into the 21st century. Remember it was Dr Landscheidt who successfully predicted years ahead of time the timing of the last La Niña event in 1999 and the recent 2002-03 El Niño event, something that no other climate institution was able to do in spite of all their massive staffs and funding.
Now he looks forward a further 80 years and finds that we are in for a predominance of La Niña events which means cooler, not warmer, global climate in the years ahead. According to Dr Landscheidt -
"Future La Niña intensity should predominate over frequency and strength of El Niños up to about 2060. As episodes of El Niños and La Niñas have a strong impact on global temperature, a trend towards global cooling instead of global warming should develop in the next five to six decades."
For the more medium term outlook, he says -
"I expect a decadal minimum in El Niño intensity around 2007, a maximum around 2025."
To see his full paper, click the section title above.
For several years, the government of Tuvalu, egged on by GreenPeace activists, has led the international campaign over the `plight' of coral island nations like Tuvalu, warning they could sink below the waves due to `global warming'.
As shown further below on this page, that claim is both nonsense and spurious - there has been no rising seas at Tuvalu, just a rise in political noise.
Now the Maldives has joined in. They too claim to be in danger of rising seas. Yet, incredibly, their President Maumoon Abdul Gayoom has admitted -
"We are monitoring sea level rises in the Maldives and so far there is no established proof that there is a rise," he said. "But that does not mean that it is not happening."
So, he cannot find any evidence of sea level rise in his own home turf, but still thinks it might be happening anyway.
And he expects public policy in major economies to be determined by what he thinks but for which he has no evidence?
Gayoom claims to be taking the advice of `scientists', but the President of INQUA, the international commission with expertise in sea level, Nils-Axel- Mörner, had this to say recently -
"It has been popular to threaten small islands and low-lying coasts with scenarios of disastrous future flooding. The Maldives has been the most utilised target. We have undertaken a careful analysis of actual sea level changes in the Maldives. No rise has been recorded either in the present or the past centuries. Instead we have documented a significant sea level fall in the last 20-30 years." - Nils-Axel Mörner (President of INQUA)
Could it be that the real agenda for the Maldives is the same as that of Tuvalu - money compensation? Compensation for an imagined loss that has not happened, is not happening, but `might' happen sometime in the unspecified future?
IPCC proponents and environmentalists often like to characterise climate skeptics as akin to `Flat Earthers' - as if skepticism about the credibility of climate models were somehow equivalent to the denial of something so patently obvious as the spherical earth. The head of the IPCC recently used exactly that phrase in New Zealand.
That's just politics of course, much the same way as any political critic is demonised as a means to deflect attention from the criticism itself. While the term `Flat Earther' is obviouly mere political rhetoric, a much more accurate term can be applied to the IPCC and their supporters - `Virtual Earthers'.
This is not mere rhetoric, but accurately describes exactly what they are. They believe in the `virtual earth' of their computer models more than they do the real earth all around them.
To demonstrate this point, some long-time veterans of the global warming scare - Wigley, Santer, & co., have combined to make a renewed attack on the satellite temperature data. This data set has been a thorn in the side of the greenhouse industry for years now as it shows very little global temperature change at all since January 1979 when the satellite data series began. Statements by skeptical scientists that the alternative measure of global temperature - the `surface record' kept by CRU and GISS - is unreliable due to heat islands and other measurement errors, are finally sinking into the thinking of policymakers and the public.
This perception that the satellite temperature series is now the only valid way to assess global temperature has resulted in a rearguard attack by these veteran greenhouse luminaries on the satellite data itself, claiming that they have revised the data to show that there really was more warming after all and that their revision now accords with their climate models. Apparently, they believe more in the simulated earth of their computer screens than they do in the real earth around them.
Dr John Christy of the University of Alabama (Huntsville), who has spent years collating and analysing the satellite data said in rebuttal during a recent statement -
"If you have reliable data that disagree with a computer model, it's time to find out what's wrong with the model. To do anything else might lead you to conclude that your theories are correct and the real world is wrong".
There is one compelling reason why Christy is right and Wigley/Santer & co. are wrong. The satellite temperatures match similar temperatures taken in the same deep layers of the atmosphere by radio sonde balloons. That the two temperatures match up so precisely is an absolute validation of the satellite temperature dataset as presently published by the University of Alabama. The fact that the satellite temperatures cannot match the models is a problem of the models and their creators, not the satellites.
But if you are a veteran of the greenhouse industry, the only earth of interest is the virtual one.
Well, not quite 40 years, more like 35 years. That's according to a scientific study by the Weizmann Institute (Israel), who studied the fate of the Yatir Forest, planted 35 years ago in - of all places - the Negev Desert of southern Israel.
With `global warming' in the air, the forest should have shrivelled up with rampaging heat and desertification.
The reality is quite the opposite. CO2 in the air has had an effect, but not the climatic one expected. Instead, the CO2 has fertilised the forest making it expand at an `unexpected rate', reclaiming land from the desert in the process.
The effect of CO2 on plants does not stop merely with the fertilisation effect. In addition, there is the `water conservation' effect of CO2, where plants can get all the CO2 they need with smaller pores, thus evaporating much less water than before.
This happens to all plant life and means that CO2 enhancement of the air is not only giving a growth advantage to plants, it is also resulting in the reclaiming of arid lands by natural vegetation.
This phenomenon is already very evident in the arid lands of the American west.
Greenhouse gas emissions from the European Union (EU) have continued to grow past their self-imposed Kyoto targets. According to the BBC, the European Environment Agency (EEA) reports a 1% increase in combined greenhouse gases from 2000 to 2001.
This contrasts with the cut of 8% required in EU gas emissions by 2012. This means there is little or no prospect now of the EU ever meeting its Kyoto target in spite of all their self-righteous denunciations of countries like the US and Australia for not embracing what is now clearly an unworkable treaty.
The reason given by the EEA for the increase in emissions has a classic irony about it. It was caused by increased fuel use resulting from a colder than usual winter in the EU.
Biases in the editing of the CBC program "The Trial of Kyoto" have been reported by Envirotruth and raise serious questions about the objectivity, impartiality, and even the competence of the Canadian Broadcasting Corporation.
is a CBC programme titled "The
Trial of Kyoto" which
went to air recently. Early in the 'trial', the main scientific witness for the anti-Kyoto side, Dr. Pat
Michaels (Professor of Environmental Sciences at the University of
Virginia), was asked by the "attorney" for Kyoto, The Sierra Club of Canada's, Elizabeth May,
"Who funds your
work?" The CBC 'judge' would not allow Professor Michaels to answer the question and his testimony was stopped.
At the time, it appeared that the judge was doing the anti-Kyoto side a favour as people in the audience would have naturally thought that Professor Michaels must be funded by 'big oil' or some group regarded as having a financial stake in Kyoto's failure.
The CBC also employed
other media tricks to enhance the pro-Kyoto message -
There are many more examples of CBC programming policy which leads to only one conclusion - the CBC is in the business of partisan propaganda and censorship, not impartial information as their charter demands, and to achieve this aim have abused their editing privileges to misrepresent and distort issues to the public. What is worse is that the CBC is taxpayer-funded. Although originally modelled on the highly-respected BBC, the CBC is but a grotesque caricature of the BBC, better suited to the standards of `Baghdad Bob' than to real journalism.
The river ice on the Tanana River at Nenana in Alaska finally broke at 6.22 p.m. on 29th April 2003.
The `Nenana Ice Classic' is a betting lottery to predict the correct time and date of ice breakup and has been an annual event since 1917. This year, there are 19 winners to share the $301,000 jackpot.
The records of breakup have been the subject of controversy as they have been used in attempts to match the trends in date of breakup with global warming. See The Nenana Ice Classic: Betting on Warming.
The median date of breakup is 5th May. The earliest breakups were on 20th April in 1941 and 1998, both of which were strong El Niño years. 2003 is also an El Niño year, but has clearly not had the same impact as on the previous occasions.
A Joint Assembly of EGS-AGU-EUG took place in Nice, France, from 7th to 11th April. As usual, our saviours of the planet manage to find themselves an exotic (and expensive) resort in which to play - at the expense of taxpayers.
Their performance, as reported in New Scientist, did not disappoint. The delegates fell over themselves trying to outdo each other in predicting dire future catastrophes delivered up by `global warming'.
Conflict of logic did not faze them either. On the one hand, they predicted more flooding events due to a warmer world being also a wetter world (more warmth equals more evaporation equals more rainfall, so the theory goes). They further claimed that the wetter world would itself create further warmth. The flaw in this logic is that a wetter world is also a more cloudy world, and more cloudiness equals cooling, not more warmth. But such logic has little effect on `true believers' indulging themselves in the luxuries of Nice, and wasting resources into the bargain.
Richard Betts of the Hadley Centre in the UK upped the ante by putting negative spin on the `Fertiliser Effect' of CO2, considered by most to be a benefit to plant life, by claiming that CO2-enhanced plants evaporate less water, thus causing the ground to retain more water. The fact that this very effect has the potential to green the deserts and semi-deserts escapes him. Also, if the plants transpire less water, that would clearly act counter to the increased moisture loading from the oceans, even assuming there was a warming of the magnitude he imagines.
So many contradictions, so many speculations, so much spin. It is standard fare for all these conferences. Useless in terms of scientific advance, wasteful in terms of energy resources and emissions, such venues serves only as a propaganda platform for ideologues. There have been literally hundreds of such conferences in the last decade, and yet the basic message of the `global warming' ideology and its leading promoters has changed very little. Such conferences in exotic resorts are therefore extravagant junkets, not attempts at real science.
A recent `Station of the Week' featured an issue which should concern all Canadians.
Their current federal government has for years been under the undue (and unelected) influence of environmentalist guru David Suzuki. The Canadian TV media fawns over him, and his frequent claims of imminent catastrophe are treated as undisputed fact.
But Suzuki has been economical with the truth, or else he has a very selective memory. He made a recent claim on Canadian TV that winters today in his boyhood home town of London, Ontario, were now starting much later. Global warming naturally.
But his emotional claim is not borne out by the historical data for temperature at London, and this is the subject of this week's `Station of the Week'.
Canadians should not be seduced by Suzuki's soothing tones into thinking he is a repository of environmental truth. He has proved himself by this claim to be just another shill for an apocalypse of his own imagination.
This is likely to come as very distressing news for most patriotic Americans, but this years French Champagne vintage is in danger of being ruined by late freak frosts.
Early estimates show that Chardonnay grapes were the worst affected with 80% of the vines lost in severe frosts during early and mid April. The last time this occurred was in 1957.
This wine disaster comes on top of the problems looming from American consumer boycotts of French products in the wake of the Iraq war. Also, it is the French government that is keen on the Kyoto Protocol, so this late frost comes as a reality check for them.
As the French say - c'ést la vie.
Ever since the IPCC came out with their `Hockey Stick' three years ago, they have been fighting a rearguard action to defend it ever since. Here is the infamous graph they produced - the `Hockey Stick' - 1,000 years of benign climate until Man came along in the 20th century and warmed everything up, 1998 being touted as the `warmest year of the millennium'. Yet it was just a clumsy splicing together of limited tree ring data and 20th century surface temperature data (mostly from warming cities).
A new study by a team from Harvard University (about to be published in the scientific journal Energy and Environment) and reported by the British Daily Telegraph, has reviewed more than 240 scientific studies relating to the climate of the last 1,000 years and concluded that the world really did experience a `Medieval Warm Period' between the 9th and 14th centuries with global temperatures significantly higher than today - and all without the benefit of enhanced CO2. They also found that the `Little Ice Age' set in around 1300 during which there was a dramatic global cooling right up to around 1900. Since then, global climate has recovered to balmier conditions, but is still not as warm as it was during the time of Chaucer when England was a wine producing region.
The `Hockey Stick' was enthusiastically adopted by the IPCC as the only valid history of the last 1,000 years - and all based on one single study of tree rings in the northern hemisphere from a limited number of sites.
Tree rings do not record temperature per se, but environmental conditions generally which include rainfall and other factors which affect growth. Tree rings cannot tell us the temperature of the ocean areas (71% of the globe), nor can they tell us anything about winter temperatures as the rings are established only during the growing season. Nor can they tell us anything about temperature in places where no trees grow such as deserts, savannah and tundra. Yet it took only one such study for the IPCC to dump over 240 other equally deserving scientific studies for one reason and one reason only - it told them what they wanted to hear.
Now the Harvard survey of 240 studies has found the `Hockey Stick' is a false representation of what happened over the last 1,000 years. The Medieval Warm Period did happen - it was global, and it was warmer than today without any additional greenhouse gases. The Little Ice Age did happen - it was global, and it lasted right up to 1900 when modern temperature measurements began. Little wonder that the recovery from that disastrous climatic period has been interpreted by Greens as `man made global warming' instead of recognising it for what it really was - a natural climatic recovery from an anomalously cold period.
One of the biggest promoters of the theory
of man-made global warming in Britain, the Meteorological Office, shot itself
in the foot even more spectacularly than the Iraqi Information Minister.
In the Telegraph article, their spokesman, defending the Hockey Stick,
said: "The conclusion that 20th century warming is not unusual relies on the assertion that the Medieval Warm
Period was a global phenomenon. This is not the conclusion of IPCC."
When the scientists of the IPCC peddle falsehood for ideological reasons, who can the public turn to for sound scientific guidance on climate? It is time that climatology decided its true status - a genuine science, or a Green ideology falsely posturing itself as a science. Peer review has obviously failed as the `peers' are themselves culpable in the IPCC push to `dumb down' what was once a respected scientific discipline.
Also see Harvard-Smithsonian press release - "20th Century Climate Not So Hot"
According to just-drinks.com,
the Canadian wine harvest is threatened by the this year's harsh ongoing winter.
Never mind Canada, you can always import Tasmanian wines, a growing boom industry here which enjoys a perfect climate and environment for premium wines. With the Canadian government's attachment to the Kyoto Protocol, it is clear the government there would prefer the climate to be even colder - so wine would seem to have no future in Canada judging from the government's own behaviour.
How's this for a weird headline -
"Global Warming Puts Freeze on Reindeer"
(New Scientist, 8th March 03, p.24). It seems reindeer can't feed themselves due to permafrost freezing the ground - and all blamed on global warming.
Will it? Or won't it?
Will Greenland melt and raise sea levels by 5 to 6 metres as claimed by the Green lobby, or is this island of thick ice stable - despite any climatic changes which may happen around it?
A new study by Danish researchers published in Geophysical Research Letters reports that Greenland has been cooling over the last five decades.
They base this finding on an analysis of eight weather stations around Greenland (many of which are available on this website on the `stations' page).
Of course, one thing these weather stations have in common which they do not share with most of their counterparts in the rest of the world is that they are all isolated and rural with a minimal impact on their data from the local environment.
Following from his stunning success in predicting the timing of the current El Niño over 4 years ago, Dr Theodor Landscheidt has now applied his solar analysis technique to the problem of periodic drought conditions in the U.S. He has developed a long-range forecast covering the period up to 2030.
He predicts that the next extended wet period should begin around 2007 and last about 7 to 8 years. A draught peak is to be expected from 2025 onwards and should last about five years.
There are many Australian farmers who must now wish they had heeded his prediction, made in January 1999, that an El Niño would strike in late 2002, calling it nearly 4 years ahead of time when the best advance warning the major climatic institutions could manage was only a few months. Dr Landscheidt's new paper is here -
In a biting article in Canada's National Post titled `How cold is it? It's so cold, it's warming!', Terence Corcoran asked some very awkward and timely questions of the global warming industry. He says in part -
"How do global warming activists explain this politically tricky winter weather? There are two main gambits, although nobody is all that keen on them. The first is to dismiss the global freeze-up as nothing unusual. The weather, after all, is continuously changing and these bouts of extreme weather are just a natural characteristic of the global climate. Intense variability is normal.
But if cold extreme weather is
Corcoran has in this article exposed a system of closed logic which the industry has now adopted for its own survival.
The logic goes like this - if the weather event in question is a `warm' one like a drought or a heat wave, then it's global warming. That sounds believable.
The problem occurs when the event is a `cool' one like a deep freeze, a cold snap, a snow storm, ice storm, or whatever. The logic now says that these are also caused by global warming.
Antarctica and Greenland are both colder - global warming. All-time cold weather records have tumbled all over the northern hemisphere this winter - global warming again. Glaciers retreat - global warming. Glaciers advance - global warming again. Just what does a glacier have to do to show global cooling?
The trouble with this kind of closed logic, blaming everything, even cold events on global warming, is that it leaves no logical or scientific means by which the global warming theory could ever be assailed. If we had a real global cooling, how would science even recognise it if all the symptoms of that cooling were indiscriminately blamed by the industry on `global warming'?
When an overfunded branch of science like this abandons open logic in favour of this kind of closed logic, don't expect the public to accord any credibility to the theories and `models' emanating from that branch.
Following on from the `Lake Inferior' item below, the latest news now from the Canadian Ice Service is that Lake Superior is now 100% frozen over. In addition, Lakes Huron and Erie are also frozen tight. This is a rare and brief occurrence, the last events being in 1982 and 1994. The northern one third of Lake Michigan is also ice covered. Further east, the Gulf of St. Lawrence has 25% more ice than normal, and the Atlantic coast down to Halifax is covered with sea ice, a direct result of the deep winter freeze that has gripped Eastern Canada. Toronto recorded its coldest March day since 1868. This in spite of the `urban heat island'. The city has now had 63 days in which temperatures failed to rise above 0°C, more than double the number last year.
The occurrence of such a record-breaking freeze in these greenhouse times must raise questions as to the validity of the greenhouse warming theory, particularly its assumed magnitude, since the theory suggests that the greenhouse effect has its greatest leverage in the coldest places and at the coldest times.
Malta is a small island country in the Mediterranean about half-way between Italy and North Africa. A popular tourist destination for people seeking sun and warmth. But not in February this year...
February 2003 was an extremely cold month in Malta. The mean monthly temperature was 10.8°C, which is 3°C less than January's mean temperature and 2.3°C below the February average.
The British Government published a `white paper' last week detailing energy policy for the next 50 years.
Well, not exactly policy, more like a fantasy wish list.
As expected, the white paper called for the phasing out of nuclear power (representing 25% of current British electricity production) by simply not replacing existing plant as they become obsolete.
They also set a target of achieving 10% of electricity production from `renewable' sources (wind turbines and wave power) by 2010, compared with 3% now, and expressed an `ambition' to double that proportion again in the following decade.
The government further resolved to cut CO2 emissions to 60% of 1990 levels by 2050, effectively a cut of around 75% on current levels.
Simple arithmetic shows that the policy effectively replaces the consistent and reliable nuclear sector by the unreliable and ephemeral renewables sector, with no realistic provision to make good the massive cut in fossil power they foreshadow.
Short of Britain turning itself into a vast dense forest of windmills, the combined package seems absurd in the extreme. How can the rising demand for energy possibly be met when the only source of energy being actively promoted is the unreliable wind/wave energy?
As always with fantasy policies like these, the answers are not detailed but expressed as mere clichés, actually two clichés - `renewable energy' and `energy conservation', easy to say, easy to write as slogans on Green posters, but meaningless in practical engineering terms.
Translated, it means swallowing up Britain's last remaining wild places with ugly, noisy, bird-killing wind turbines, and forcing not energy conservation, but energy deprivation on Britain's 60 million people.
Having failed to harass the American and Australian governments into ratification of the Kyoto Protocol, the latest Green strategy is to resort to lawyers to achieve their aims. They have already filed some recent lawsuits relating to more specific issues with climate change policy, but a new commentary in the journal Nature (v.421, p.891, 27 Feb 03) discusses the issue of general liability for supposed damages arising from a real or imagined `climate change'.
The issue is whether the damage done to a plaintiff arising from a weather event which is attributed by Green scientists to human-induced `climate change' could ever identify a particular defendant or set of defendants against which to make a claim for damages. After all, we all burn fossil fuels, even the simple act of riding a bus incurs an emission of fossil fuel. So, who then should be sued - private companies? whole governments? the UN? Even the Greens with their extravagant use of transport and conferencing could be cited as defendants.
Nature offers this somewhat ridiculous comment - "The big question is whether current greenhouse-gas emitters could ever be held liable for the actual impacts of their emissions. The prospect of a class-action suit with up to six billion plaintiffs and an equal number of defendants may seem rather daunting, but if we can overcome these problems in end-to-end attribution, everything else is (at least conceptually) straightforward."
They could have added "... and pigs can fly too (at least conceptually)."
Lake Superior last froze completely in 1979 and this year the ice cover is the thickest in years with only 10% of the lake ice free. The other Great Lakes are also ice covered, with only the southern end of Lake Michgan free of ice. (details)
The cause has been record cold Arctic air swamping the whole Great Lakes region. Several places set new all-time record low temperatures including Houghton County Airport and Marquette County.
In the `global warming' scheme of things, this should not be happening.
This winter has broken all-time cold records all across North America, Europe and Asia. Sporting events were cancelled, Winnipeg in Canada recorded a temperature of -35.9°C on 24th February, the coldest since 1959
It was brutally cold in Western Canada.
On 23rd Feb, 18 new cold records were set. Drumheller, Alberta fell to a bone-numbing
-38°, which was 7.5° colder than its previous record low. Edmonton dropped to
-36.9°, which was 6.5° degrees colder than its previous record low.
Banff and Jasper set new record lows at -35° and -33.7°.
British Columbia also recorded several record lows including Chetwynd
-31°, Mackenzie -30.2°, Sparwood -26.7°, and Cranbrook -19°. Dawson Creek tied its existing record low for
23rd Feb, dropping to -39°.
Binghamton NY has recorded the 3rd coldest winter (Dec-Feb)
since records began there in 1951.
Just what would would the weather have to do to demonstrate that warming was not happening?
Lack of temperature rise obviously springs to mind. How about more frosts? Or more snow, less snow? More rain, less rain?
Whatever the answer, it is now apparent that ALL weather events now point to global warming, even cold events such as the recent northern freezes and snow blizzards.
In a new media report, a Washington environmentalist, when asked whether predictions of `global warming' have been altered by the unusually cold and snowy winter, including the recent blizzards, Melissa Carey, a `climate change policy specialist' with the Environmental Defense Fund, said the climate change models actually predict this type of weather.
Since when do climate models simulate weather events ? Answer? - they don't.
So there you have it. No matter what type of weather you are getting, its all caused by `global warming'. It is a closed self-fulfilling logic since any type of weather which might indicate otherwise is excluded by definition. Even freezes and snowstorms are indicative of warming in this kind of twisted logic.
Postscript - No sooner did Phil make his prediction, than the winter descended on the northeast of the United States with a vengeance, with record-breaking snowfalls all across the northeast. Maryland endured its worst winter storm in 81 years, New York Central Park had its fourth highest snow accumulation in history, while Washington DC received two feet of snow, right in the middle of our Prime Minister's visit there. (He was last there on September 11th, 2001)
"There are ominous signs that the Earth’s weather patterns have begun to change dramatically and that these changes may portend a drastic decline in food production– with serious political implications for just about every nation on Earth. The drop in food output could begin quite soon, perhaps only 10 years from now.
The evidence in support of these predictions has now begun to accumulate so massively that meteorologists are hard-pressed to keep up with it. Last April, in the most devastating outbreak of tornadoes ever recorded, 148 twisters killed more than 300 people and caused half a billion dollars' worth of damage in 13 U.S. states.
To scientists, these seemingly disparate incidents represent the advance signs of fundamental changes in the world's weather. If the climatic change is as profound as some of the pessimists fear, the resulting famines could be catastrophic. "A major climatic change would force economic and social adjustments on a worldwide scale," warns a recent report by the National Academy of Sciences.
"Our knowledge of the mechanisms of climatic change is at least as fragmentary as our data," concedes the National Academy of Sciences report. "The world’s food-producing system," warns Dr. James D. McQuigg of NOAA’s Center for Climatic and Environmental Assessment, "is much more sensitive to the weather variable than it was even five years ago."
Climatologists are pessimistic that political leaders will take any positive action to compensate for the climatic change, or even to allay its effects. The longer the planners delay, the more difficult will they find it to cope with climatic change once the results become grim reality."
The above is an abridged version of a larger article which can be seen in full here.
The full article appeared in Newsweek on 28th April - 1975
The Sierra Club, a large well-funded environmental organisation has now called for punitive action against Americans who own so-called `SUV's', what we in Australia call `4-wheel drives'.
Their method of choice is Oppression Through Tax. On 11th February they demanded IRS audits of those millions of Americans who own SUVs.
This strikes a new low in Green tactics, calling for a deliberate campaign of tax oppression against ordinary people for no better reason than their lifestyle choices - in a supposedly free society. It signals a return to medieval practices where tax was used as a means of political oppression, not merely revenue gathering. The USA was itself born as a result of popular rebellion against oppressive taxes.
Before calling for the
audit of others, the Sierra Club should set an example and invite a
thorough IRS audit on their own organisation and its finances.
Many scientists in the Greenhouse Industry deny their involvement in the massive global warming scare which has now gripped the world's media (but not the public strangely enough). They claim splendid neutrality, that `others' simply misinterpret what they say. Among those `others' is someone who is closely advised by those same scientists, Michael Meacher, Britain's Environment Minister. He is the man who some months back thought El Niño was a hurricane (which it is not). He has now spoken in Britain's Guardian newspaper cobbling together a scary catalogue of horrors and unsubstantiated claims, outdoing even the most extreme statements from GreenPeace. He even raises the grim spectre of the `runaway greenhouse', something even the most militantly pro-warming scientists dismiss.
It remains to be seen if the climate scientists that advise Meacher such as those at CRU and at at the Hadley Centre, publicly disown what he says. Or will their silence be interpreted as tacit agreement? If they remain silent they will not only dishonour their profession as scientists, but also betray the taxpaying public who fund them.
Michael Meacher, Friday February 14, 2003 The Guardian
"There is a lot wrong with our world. But it is not as bad as many people think. It is worse. Global warming is slowly but relentlessly changing the face of the planet.
We are only in the early stages of this process, but already carbon dioxide in the atmosphere has reached 375 parts per million, the highest level for at least half a million years. Temperatures are projected to rise by up to 5.8°C this century, 10 times the increase of 0.6°C in the last century, and by 40% more than this in some northern land surface areas. This means temperatures could rise by up to 8.1°C in some parts of the world.
Does this matter? The evidence suggests that it does. In China severe floods used to occur once every 20 years; now they occur in nine out of every 10. The number of people affected by floods globally has risen from 7 million in the 1960s to 150 million now. In 1998 two-thirds of Bangladesh was under water for months, affecting 30 million people. In the UK, 5 million people and 185,000 businesses are at risk.
Flooding is only the beginning. The number of people worldwide devastated by hurricanes or cyclones has increased eightfold to 25 million a year over the past 30 years. The oceans are steadily warming, and since they currently absorb 50 times more CO2 than is contained in the atmosphere, even a tiny reduction in CO2 absorption by the sea could cause global temperatures to rise significantly.
Even more seriously, 10,000 billion tonnes of methane (a greenhouse gas 20 times more potent than CO2) are stored, according to the US Geological Survey, on the shallow floor of the Arctic, in sediments below the seabed. If the temperature surrounding the methane warms, it becomes unstable and methane gas is released, causing temperatures to increase further. Warming oceans also cause the waters to expand and the sea level to rise. Sea level is predicted to rise by 3ft over the next century, leading to huge areas of Bangladesh, Egypt and China being inundated.
We don't know the limits of nature - how much rain could fall for how long a period, how much more powerful and frequent hurricanes could become, for how long droughts could endure. The ultimate concern is that if runaway global warming occurred, temperatures could spiral out of control and make our planet uninhabitable.
Five times in the past 540 million years there have been mass extinctions, in one case involving the destruction of 96% of species then living. But while these were the result of asteroid strikes or intense glaciation, this is the first time that a species has been at risk of generating its own demise.
James Lovelock's Gaia hypothesis conceives of the planet as an active control system. It posits the existence of feedbacks at the global level which, so far, have served to keep the earth's surface habitable within a tolerable range, despite significant external changes, including changes in the radiation from the sun. However, with severe human-induced activity, that is now beginning to change.
We have almost become our own geophysical cycle. There are many examples of this trend. On a global scale our biological carbon productivity is now only outpaced by the krill in the oceans. Our civil engineering works shift more soil than all the world's rivers bring to the seas. Our industrial emissions eclipse the total emissions from all the world's volcanoes. We are bringing about species loss on the scale of some of the natural extinctions of palaeohistory.
We face a transformation of our world and its ecosystems at an exponential rate, and unprecedentedly brought about, not by natural forces, but by the activities of the dominant species. Climate change is only the most dramatic example. At a time when scientists say the world should be reducing its CO2 emissions by 60% to stabilise and then reverse global warming, they are projected to increase by around 75% on 1990 levels by 2020.
The dinosaurs dominated the earth for 160 million years. We are in danger of putting our future at risk after a mere quarter of a million years. The force of the Gaia thesis has never been more apparent. When an alien infection invades the body, the body develops a fever in order to concentrate all its energies to eliminate the alien organism. In most cases it succeeds, and the body recovers. But where it does not, the body dies.
The lesson is that if we continue with activities which destroy our environment and undermine the conditions for our own survival, we are the virus. Making the change needed to avoid that fate is perhaps the greatest challenge we have ever faced."
It is reported that Michael Meacher owns
five homes and two Jaguar cars, yet he says `we are the virus'. He
obviously doesn't even believe his own rhetoric. And he drives
environmental policy for the British Government.
A pro-Global Warming writer for New Scientist, Fred Pearce, has this to say about the Lomborg (Skeptical Environmentalist) witchhunt issue -
"Lomborg is by no means a towering intellect or authority. But `undermining public understanding' and `perverting the scientific message' are nasty, catch-all charges that should have no place in a scientific court. The conviction by this Danish panel is unfair and bad for science. It is also bad for the environmentalists who have so applauded it. Lomborg will now be characterised as the victim of a green witch-hunt. I fear that his accusers have been guilty of just that."
The last four years has seen the greenhouse industry in a state of frenzy exploiting one climate event after another (all the `warm' ones that is, the cooling ones like the recent northern freezes being hushed). We have had droughts, floods, bushfires in various parts of the world, and people would be forgiven for thinking that perhaps the `smoking gun' of global warming really had arrived. In each case the industry has seized upon each event either explicitly or implicitly as being caused by human agency, and using selective statistics to show each event was somehow unusual or unprecedented. And in all cases, the snake oil cure has been at hand - the Kyoto Protocol, that piece of paper which conned the European and Canadian governments, but not the U.S. or Australian.
So why has the climate been so active in the last four years? We can put it down to Nature, not man.
It all began in 1997 with the onset of the second biggest El Niño event of the 20th century. No two such events are identical, some moderate, some severe, and 1997-98 was very severe indeed (the biggest was 1982-83 when 65 people were killed in Australia by massive bushfires on Ash Wednesday in 1983). El Niño happens about every 4 to 7 years and is a completely natural event, with no human agency possible since it is a process involving gargantuan cyclic ocean movements.
Once the 1997-98 El Niño had passed, with the associated residual warming of the Pacific Ocean, less than a year had passed before we began to surge into yet another big `Solar Maximum', that period when the sun develops massive sunspots and radiates more energy. A solar max occurs every 11 years or so, and has its greatest impact in warming of the oceans and ice caps and glaciers. (No-one has yet claimed that the sun's periodic outbursts are caused by man). The current solar maximum was somewhat different to most in that it has lasted longer and had two distinct peaks, in 2000 and 2001. The longer it lasts, the more warmth accumulates in the oceans, impacting on weather worldwide. (Solar maxima over the last 50 years have been the most intense since records began in 1600 AD, and this current one was no exception. Future maxima may well be weaker as the sun cannot and does not maintain this level of intensity indefinitely. Between 1650 and 1710 AD, it went very quiet, a period called the Maunder Minimum, with the result that the earth experienced the `Little Ice Age' at exactly the same time).
Finally, last year in 2002, even before the solar cycle had started its usual decline towards the cooler Solar Minimum, we saw the development of another El Niño on top of an already stretched out solar maximum. A Solar Maximum happening concurrently with an El Niño, with no cooling volcanic action for the last 10 years, is a potent combination climatically. And the weather has been very active as a direct result of this combination.
But it will pass. These things always do. The solar cycle is now heading down towards its expected solar minimum around 2006, while the current El Niño is expected to wane in the next few months, possibly being replaced by its cooling counterpart, La Niña.
The greenhouse industry has thrived off Nature's climatic drama of the last 4 years, using a combination of public hysteria and bent statistics, but the pickings will be leaner in the months and years ahead - until we reach the next El Niño or the next solar maximum expected around 2012 (the same year the Kyoto Protocol expires).
It seems the whole Northern Hemisphere is being swept up in a deep freeze stretching all the way from the USA to Japan to China, India, Bangladesh, Russia, eastern Europe, and now northern Europe.
Those countries which were wise enough not to degrade their regular power sources for the new `green' sources are well placed to ride through this period. However, some countries have been foolish enough not to maintain their traditional sources and these are now paying the penalty with insufficient power to meet consumer needs for heating and the prospect of massive electricity bills for consumers.
Finland finds itself with a shortfall of about 10% on power, making up the difference with imported power from Sweden and Russia. Pity about all those windmills with blades hanging limp just when you need them most.
Norway is similarly hit. No new national power plant has been built
for 10 years or so because of environmental politics. Plans for two new natural gas plants were
also ditched a few years ago. Production is now too low to keep up with demand in
a normal year. Two elderly Oslo residents
died after they were found in unheated apartments.
What makes this problem all the more serious
is that these countries have very long nights at this time of year, making the
freezing cold virtually permanent with little relief from higher daytime
The freezing weather in China reported above has also spread far beyond China. Anomalous cold weather is also being reported in India, where upwards of 250 people are reported to have died from weather related causes. Bangla Desh has seen 119 such deaths. Japan has seen disruptions to transport services including up to 2,000 people being stranded on trains. Taiwan has seen wintry weather sufficient to threaten native wild life. Even tropical Vietnam has not been spared where a cold spell has hit northern Vietnam with average temperatures dropping sharply from 13 to 4 degrees Celsius.
Ironically, these are the very countries who the European Union and the Greens imagine will cheerfully sign up to `Son of Kyoto' in 2012.
China is currently breaking cold and snow records, but this is not being reported by the western press. Had it been the other way around - warm events - the media would have been salivating about global warming.
Here is how the Chinese People's Daily
is reporting it
Shakespeare's play `Hamlet' contains the famous line "Something is rotten in the state of Denmark". He could have been writing about today because the Danish science establishment have just disgraced themselves and the rest of environmental science by employing a Star Chamber type inquisition against one lone book by a Danish professor.
At issue is Danish Professor Bjorn Lomborg's book `The Skeptical Environmentalist', a scientific statistical survey of environmental data from around the world, the basic conclusion of which demonstrated that the world environment was in much better shape than environmentalists would have us believe. Lomborg himself was a former GreenPeace activist, and still regards himself as an environmentalist. (Lomborg's home page here).
Predictably, the environmental movement and allied scientists attacked the book, including a multi-page spread in Scientific American which also denounced the book. That's ok. In free societies, works like that are open to attack and ultimately stand or fall by how well they reflect reality. This website is frequently attacked and that's ok too, since criticism here of current climate science orthodoxy itself invites counter criticism.
But in Denmark, they have gone a step further in Lomborg's case. Three complaints by Danish activists about Lomborg's book resulted in the convening of what can only be described as a Star Chamber - the `Danish Committee on Scientific Dishonesty' (DCSD). Their `ruling' and procedure would have won favour with the medieval Papal inquisitions, a pointer to just how debased the environmental sciences have become. All that was missing was the formalities of `Bell, Book, and Candle' used by medieval priests in earlier inquisitions.
The DCSD did not bother to evaluate the book for themselves, instead settling to accept the Scientific American feature articles as sufficient proof that the book was `contrary to the standards of good scientific practice'. For example, Lomborg's sections on climate were reviewed in Scientific American by Stephen Schneider, noted for his remark in Discover Magazine in 1989 - "To capture the public imagination, we have to offer up some scary scenarios, make simplified dramatic statements and little mention of any doubts one might have. Each of us has to decide the right balance between being effective, and being honest." Schneider is also remembered for his dire warnings in the 1970s about global cooling. In effect, the DCSD is accepting the opinion of one man, well known for his partisan views and gross exaggerations, and accepting that opinion as final and scientifically authoritative.
On the sole basis of Schneider's and others denunciatory articles in Scientific American, the DCSD ruled Lomborg's work `contrary to the standards of good scientific practice'. The DCSD kangaroo court `ruling' was quickly released to the world's media, marking out a new line of political attack against anyone speaking out against the environmental science establishment. The DCSD in effect is giving the `green' light for partisan activists to be judge, jury, and executioner of the work of other scientists, and is contrary to both natural justice and scientific protocol. They have even introduced the absurd notion that anything disagreed by Scientific American can be construed as `contrary to the standards of good scientific practice'. Are they now the new Vatican of science?
It is the DCSD which has acted `contrary to the standards of good scientific practice' since they failed to cite even one example from Lomborg's book which warrants such an adverse view. The authority of Scientific American and the partisan authors they hired was enough for them. Lomborg remarked in a public response that the DCSD were acting like police accusing someone of murder without telling them who was murdered, or why, or how.
Scientists are in grave danger of becoming a kind of medieval priesthood, cut off from public discourse, using their supposed `authority' to act like thought police. Science still has a good reputation with the public, a reputation being rapidly squandered by the environmental branches of science who are now resorting to Star Chamber methods to suppress dissent against their jaundiced view of humanity. No-one, no scientist, no government, no institution, has a monopoly on truth and any attempt to rule by scientific papal bull is a betrayal of the past heroes of science who were themselves victim of exactly this kind of intellectual tyranny.
"The panel's ruling—objectively speaking—is incompetent and shameful." - These are not my words, but the conclusion of the Economist magazine who saw this whole episode as an attempt at `Thought Control'.
Postscript - Prof Bjorn Lomborg's formal response to the accusations of the DCSD -
"Press release, Copenhagen 2003-01-07
In the beginning of last year several complaints regarding my book
Sceptical Environmentalist' were handed in to the Danish Committee on Scientific Dishonesty (the DCSD). Naturally, I have been looking
forward to being cleared of the charges of scientific dishonesty. Therefore I have submitted my comments on many of the accusations to
Danmarkshavn (76.8N 18.7W) is a coastal station located on the northeast corner of Greenland, only 800 nautical miles from the North Pole. Alarm has recently been made by the greenhouse industry that `Greenland is melting', citing the very part of Greenland in which our station of the week is located. As usual, the actual data tells a very different story to what the industry hype says.
Here is the seasonal and annual mean temperature history for Danmarkshavn. As we can see, winter, spring, autumn and the annual mean are fairly trendless. Bear in mind that the greenhouse warming theory states that the brunt of global warming will be borne in the polar regions. There's little or no sign of that in this record. The only point of note is the 2002 summer temperature which is the second warmest in the 50-year record (1966 was 0.03°C warmer).
We can also see that ice melt can only take place in the summer months due to the deep sub-zero temperatures at every other time of the year. So just how much change has been going on with summer temperatures?
Here is the summer data divided into its respective months.
As we can see, there is again no overall trend evident. The only noteworthy feature is the June temperature for 2002 which saw the warmest June in the 50-year old record. Since we know that the Arctic was unusually warm in the 1930s prior to this record, warmer than today, this June 2002 temperature is in all likelihood not the warmest overall.
It appears, then, that the greenhouse industry are making yet another scare story based on only one months temperature. But they go further - here's what their media release says in part in a story curiously titled "Thaw in Greenland Threatens New Ice Age" -
"In particular, the northern and north-eastern part of the ice sheet experienced melting reaching up to an elevation of 2,000 metres (6,560ft). This is the first time this area of the giant island, closest to the north pole, has suffered this kind of melting. The Colorado-based Cooperative Institute for Research in Environmental Sciences also found that temperatures during the summer of 2002 were unusually warm over much of the Arctic ocean."
So, we are dealing yet again with with the extravagant claims of environmental sciences, not real sciences. Take their claim of melting at elevations up to 2,000 metres. We can see from the temperature graph above that the highest temperatures occur in July (July itself showing little or no overall trend). Those temperatures are typically around 4°C, the absolute highest summer mean temperature ever set being 6°C set in 1958. Does anyone remember scares stories from back then?
This is also where a meteorological concept called `lapse rate' becomes important. Lapse rate is the decline in temperature with height, typically a drop in temperature of around 6.5°C for every 1,000 metres of altitude. This means that the highest altitude at which the temperature could get above freezing point, albeit briefly, is just under 1,000 metres. Yet the `Cooperative Institute for Research in Environmental Sciences' [sic] asks us to believe that melting occurred up to 2,000 metres altitude at temperatures which must have been around -7°C, or seven degrees below freezing, even in the warmest summer of 1958, let alone recently.
Fortunately, some of us were not born yesterday.
Return to `Still Waiting For Greenhouse' main page