`Stop Press' Stories

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The latest stories from October 2003, see below

`Independent Review' - Canada Style  (21 Dec 2003)
Lomborg Vindicated  (18 Dec 03)
The Big Emitters - Climate Scientists! (15 Dec 03)
Cool Music  (14 Dec 03)
Extreme Weather!  (13 Dec 03)
Station of the Week - Laverton Aero and East Sale, Victoria, Australia   (13 Dec 03)
The Eden That Never Was ... 
(6 Dec 03)
Hotter Sun = Warmer Earth  (5 Dec 03)
Dear President Putin...  (3 Dec 03)
Late News ....Very Late  (28 Nov 03)
The Ice of Kilimanjaro   (28 Nov 03)
The Case of the Disappearing Files  (15 Nov 03)
COP-Who? (2 Dec 2003)
Station of the Week - Vytegra and Reboly, Russia  (5 Dec 03)
Station of the Week - Casey Station, Antarctica (Australian)
(28 Nov 03)
`Blowing in the Wind...'  (22 Nov 03)
The Hunt for `Red October'  (16 Nov 03)
Still Waiting for Greenhouse Icehouse   (14 Nov 03)
IPCC's `Dangerous Incompetence'
(12 Nov 03)
Broken Hockey Stick!   (29 Oct 03)  
Bogalanche !  (8 Nov 2003
ABC Attack on Free Speech  (1 Nov 03)
US Senate Sinks Climate Bill  (1 Nov 03)
Losers    (1 Nov 03)
`Evidence for an Unusually Active Sun'     (22 Oct 03) 
September 2003   (18 Oct 03)
Station of the Week: Arctic Stations    (25 Oct 03)
Kyoto Breakthrough by Prof S. Fred Singer From The Washington Times (Oct. 8, 2003)   
Early Bloomers  by Willis Eschenbach (10 Oct 03)

`Independent Review' - Canada Style  (21 Dec 2003)

This year, the Canadian Government conducted an `independent review' of its Kyoto policy.  Lorne Gunter writing in the Edmonton Journal reveals just how thoroughly bogus this sham review was - most of the members of the review panel were all hand-picked from within the government itself with no independent skeptic voice to disturb the smug charade.  The outcome of the review was pre-determined and designed to give a bogus legitimacy to the policy.

See Lorne Gunter's article here

Lomborg Vindicated  (18 Dec 03)

One of the most shameful episodes in years perpetrated by environmental politics - the demonisation of Bjorn Lomborg and his book The Skeptical Environmentalist culminating in a `Star Chamber' denunciation of Lomborg by the  Danish Committees on Scientific Dishonesty (DSCD) - has finally been corrected after nearly a year.

The Danish Ministry of Science, Technology and Innovation (which is responsible for the DSCD) has just repudiated the DSCD `findings' that Bjørn Lomborg’s book  was "objectively dishonest", "clearly contrary to the standards of good scientific practice" etc. etc.  The Ministry gave a critical assessment of the Committee’s January 6 ruling, finding that the DCSD judgment was not backed up by documentation, and was "completely void of argumentation" for the claims of dishonesty and lack of good scientific practice.  According to the Ministry statement, the DCSD’s treatment of the case was "unsatisfactory", "deserving of criticism" and "emotional" and pointed out a number of significant errors of judgement and procedure. The DSCD's verdict has therefore been repudiated and declared void.

But is that simple?  Is thus just an isolated case of one incompetent committee over-reacting to complaints by a few environmental activists and jumping to a biased judgement with no natural justice extended to the victim?

It goes much, much deeper, right to the roots of the way the environmental sciences conduct themselves.  In a nutshell, we are dealing with a level of political corruption in these sciences which have abandoned the principles of open debate within science - indeed abandoned scientific method itself - and become more like a medieval religion, treating all critics as heretics to be censored and vilified.  The disgraceful treatment of dissenting views, not just those of Lomborg, points to a serious disease of intolerance - paranoia even - of legitimate criticism, even to the extent of using the peer review system (which works passably well in other sciences) as an instrument of outright censorship against any critics.  It is an intolerable situation in which the journals themselves are partly to blame.

There have been numerous examples of this practice this year, some well known, others not.  The shrill cries of indignation over the Soon & Baliunas paper on paleo-climate and the similar hysterical reaction towards the MacIntyre & MacKitrick paper on the IPCC's `Hockey Stick', all attest to this new trend toward intolerance.  By all means criticise these papers and criticise Lomborg's work - that's what free speech is all about.  But to demonise them - to demand they be censored for no valid scientific reason - is a clear sign that the environmental sciences have degenerated into ideology and totalitarianism.   What use is peer review in these sciences when the peers themselves are either incompetent, or politically corrupt, or both?

The Big Emitters - Climate Scientists! (15 Dec 03)

A new report in Nature confirms what many have claimed anecdotally. Climate scientists are among the worst offenders when it comes to emitting greenhouse gases.

At a recent AGU conference in San Francisco, many of the 10,000 attendees were climate scientists, each of whom on average travelled an 8,000 kilometre round trip to the conference, resulting in an emission rate of almost 1.3 tonnes of CO2 per scientist.  This is roughly equivalent to the emissions made by an average American or Australian in over 3 weeks of normal living (or over 7 weeks for the average Briton or Japanese). That's just for that one conference. Many scientists attend several such conferences each year, making climate conferences one of the most wasteful exercises for both the taxpayer and for CO2 emissions.

That these same scientists should then lecture the rest of us about the need for energy cuts is breathtaking in its hypocrisy.  Either these `scientists' do not believe their own hype about global warming (a very strong possibility), or they do believe it but wantonly squander energy anyway to feast on the taxpayer-funded gravy train. Either way, their behaviour is unconscionable.

`Doing it in the name of science' is no excuse because all of us have good valid reasons for using energy - visiting the family interstate, the need to get to work, the need to heat one's home, the need to cook food etc. etc. `Science' deserves no special priority on energy resources than do thousands of other valid purposes required by the rest of us.

But there's more from the report. It's strange that such conferences almost never happen in ordinary mundane locations like Manchester, St. Louis, or Calcutta, even though such locations would probably be more central and therefore require less emissions overall to stage the conference.  No, they always take place in exotic resort locations, places to pamper the weary scientists at taxpayer expense - places like Rio, Marrakech, San Francisco, The Hague, a Pacific island - or even Kyoto. The report found that had the San Francisco conference been re-located to unglamorous Denver, there would have been a
7.7% reduction in emissions. But then, Denver is much too boring for our over-stressed climate scientists. 

Why should the average suburban-dweller with a family, house, car, and ordinary job, pay any attention to the self-righteous pronouncements of over-indulged climate scientists who are clearly demonstrating that they have no intention of sharing in the energy sacrifices that they demand with such pompous authority from everyone else?

After all, there's nothing more annoying than a drunk preaching temperance.

Cool Music  (14 Dec 03)

Violins made by Antonio Stradivari (1644-1737), of Cremona, Italy, are unmatched for sound by any violins made before or since.  But what gave Stradivari violins that special sound so sought after by musicians? 

New research has offered an answer - the wood from which the violins were made.  Not just any wood, but a particular species of wood grown at a time when the climate was much colder - during the Little Ice Age in fact.

It seems the Little Ice Age gave the wood a narrower ring pattern than normal, giving it that special musical resonance once it was moulded into a Stradivari violin.

Just one problem - the researchers forgot that the Little Ice Age has been written out of the IPCC script.  According to the IPCC's  `Hockey Stick' theory, it never happened. 

Strange how scientists not connected with the greenhouse industry have no trouble dealing with the existence of the Little Ice Age of Stradivari's time.

Extreme Weather!  (13 Dec 03)

Oklahoma (my favourite U.S. state) is no stranger to extreme weather (See `Storm Chasing in Tornado Alley'). Oklahoma IS Tornado Alley, and you would expect the public there to be sensitive to any suggestion that `extreme weather' might get worse under the impact of `global warming'.  In fact, there has been a general decline in tornado frequency and intensity during the last hundred years in spite of a few spectacular exceptions like 3rd May 1998.

After hearing evidence offered at Congressional hearings into `global warming', one of Oklahoma's own elected U.S. senators, James Inhofe, who is chairman of the U.S. Senate Committee on Environment and Public Work had this to say -

"Kyoto and its policies are inconsistent with freedom, prosperity and environmental policy progress.  I’m becoming more and more convinced, as time goes by and we look at the research, that global warming is the greatest hoax ever perpetrated on the American people and the world."

Harsh words indeed, clearly implying that climate science is incompetent.

Here in Australia, the `extreme events' line is also being promoted by the `Australian Greenhouse Office' in an effort to induce people to link current weather events to longer-term climate change.

Extreme events like droughts, floods and bushfires are nothing new, contrary to what the AGO and the IPCC would have the public believe.  The worst drought since European settlement in Australia occurred around 100 years ago, the so-called Federation Drought, which was more extreme and longer-lasting than either of the two recent droughts of 1982-83 and 2002-03 (both induced by El Niño).  That was long before `global warming'.

As for bushfires, there is also nothing unprecedented about recent fires, dramatic though they were.  Memories can easily forget the massive fires of `Ash Wednesday' in 1983 when 72 people were killed in Melbourne and Adelaide, or the Hobart Tasmania fires of 1967 when 62 people were killed.  The greatest fire of all, `Black Friday'  13th of January 1939, saw a firestorm sweep across Victoria.  Millions of hectares were burned and 71 people killed.

On Black Friday itself, the Melbourne temperature reached 45.6°C which remains the highest temperature ever recorded in Melbourne.  By comparison, Melbourne scored 44.1°C on one day in the summer of 2002-03 which is the hottest temperature since Black Friday.  Melbourne is a much bigger city now and so breaking a record would be both expected and probably inevitable due to the heat island effect, but 13th January 1939 remains the record.  There were also very serious fires in 1898, 1905, 1908, 1914, 1919, 1926 and 1932.  So, there is nothing new about extreme temperatures or bushfires in Australia, either in number or intensity.  It is unprincipled scaremongering by the AGO to claim otherwise. 

The Eden That Never Was ...  (6 Dec 03)

`Eco-Imperialism' is the term coined by a recent comment in Fox News (story here) in which western environmentalism is held responsible for the deaths and impoverishment of millions of people in the Third World.  This has been done through a combination of political pressure on western governments and denial of key funds for infrastructure projects resulting from environmental influence on global institutions like the UN and the World Bank.

But what is the social origin of ideological environmentalism?  How has it managed to acquire such a vice-like grip on the thinking processes of decision makers and society's opinion leaders?  Does its roots go deeper than mere opinion?

The answer, according to author Michael Crichton, is that environmentalism has become part and parcel of that one fundamental structure present in all human societies in all times - religion.  Environmentalism satisfies the deep religous impulses of mostly urban people who would otherwise regard themselves as atheists.  According to Crichton

"Today, one of the most powerful religions in the Western World is environmentalism. Environmentalism seems to be the religion of choice for urban atheists. Why do I say it's a religion?  Well, just look at the beliefs. If you look carefully, you see that environmentalism is in fact a perfect 21st century remapping of traditional Judeo-Christian beliefs and myths.

There's an initial Eden, a paradise, a state of grace and unity with nature, there's a fall from grace into a state of pollution as a result of eating from the tree of knowledge, and as a result of our actions there is a judgment day coming for us all. We are all energy sinners, doomed to die, unless we seek salvation, which is now called sustainability. Sustainability is salvation in the church of the environment. Just as organic food is its communion, that pesticide-free wafer that the right people with the right beliefs, imbibe."

This is but a small part of a very compelling speech Crichton made recently to the Commonwealth Club in San Francisco. 

See Michael Crichton's full speech here

Update (9 Dec 03) -

Another of Michael Crichton's speeches (the Caltech Michelin Lecture January 17, 2003) has attracted widespread attention in which he warns of the politicisation of science and the bogus use of the notion of `consensus'.  Here's a little extract -

"I want to pause here and talk about this notion of consensus, and the rise of what has been called consensus science. I regard consensus science as an extremely pernicious development that ought to be stopped cold in its tracks. Historically, the claim of consensus has been the first refuge of scoundrels; it is a way to avoid debate by claiming that the matter is already settled. Whenever you hear the consensus of scientists agrees on something or other, reach for your wallet, because you're being had.

Let's be clear: the work of science has nothing whatever to do with consensus. Consensus is the business of politics. Science, on the contrary, requires only one investigator who happens to be right, which means that he or she has results that are verifiable by reference to the real world. In science consensus is irrelevant. What is relevant is reproducible results. The greatest scientists in history are great precisely because they broke with the consensus.

There is no such thing as consensus science. If it's consensus, it isn't science. If it's science, it isn't consensus. Period."

See Michael Crichton's full speech on the future of science here

(Michael Crichton is the author of The Andromeda Strain, The Great Train Robbery, Congo, Jurassic Park, Rising Sun, and the newly released sequel to Jurassic Park, The Lost World.)

Hotter Sun = Warmer Earth  (5 Dec 03)

While this website presents monthly sunspot updates, satellites measure the radiation of the sun directly, and newly published data shows the sun has been getting hotter in recent years.  The impact of the sun on global climate is an issue that is scarcely addressed by the IPCC who basically don't want to know as to do so would result in recent climatic trends being attributed to the sun, not to greenhouse gases.  The belief by the greenhouse industry that the sun has no significant effect on climate is just too absurd and is a measure of its collective incompetence.

Here is the chart of solar radiation reaching Earth as measured by satellites.

According to Space.com, "the recent trend of a .05 percent per decade increase in Total Solar Irradiance (TSI) ... was measured between successive solar minima that occur approximately every 11 years."  As the chart shows, the solar minimum of the mid-1990s was hotter than the previous minimum of the mid-1980s.  Solar minima provide the opportunity for the Earth to `cool off' after the enhanced radiation of a solar maximum;  however, the strong radiation of the 1990s minimum has kept earth's climate `on the boil' so to speak.

How much warmth are we talking about here?  An increase of 0.05% per decade in input energy to the earth-atmosphere system means an overall increase over the 25-year period of 0.05 x 2.5 = 0.125%.  The average energy shown in the chart above of 1,366 wm2 results in a global average of 387 wm2 energy flux at the surface of the Earth (after adjustment for reflected radiation and inclusion of other radiation processes like the greenhouse effect).   0.125% of 387 wm2 is about 0.5 wm2.  The Stefan-Boltzmann Law which relates radiant energy to temperature results in a temperature increase from this energy flux increase, without feedbacks, of around 0.1°C.  

That doesn't sound like much, but the same time period is covered by the  satellite temperature record of the lower troposphere.  This record shows a global warming over the same period of 0.076°C per decade.  Since the record spans 25 years, this gives a total global warming over a full quarter-century, as measured by the satellites, of 0.076 x 2.5 = 0.19°C.

That means that more than half the warming measured by satellites over the last 25 years is explainable exclusively by the sun (assuming no feedbacks), leaving only 0.09°C unexplained.  If some positive feedbacks are assumed (as claimed by the IPCC), then the entire warming over the last quarter century is explainable by the sun alone.

If no feedbacks are assumed, then the small residual warming might or might not be attributable to greenhouse gases, but its magnitude suggests that even after 100 years, greenhouse warming will amount to little more than a few tenths of a degree, not the whole degrees claimed by the IPCC and the incompetent science it leads.  With such trivial warmings on offer, there is absolutely no reason for countries to impoverish themselves with draconian energy rationing or desecrate whole landscapes and seascapes with ugly, inefficient windmills in a vain attempt to head off a big warming that simply won't happen.

We might also ask - what will happen to global climate when the sun inevitably goes into a cooler phase as it did 350 years ago during the Little Ice Age?  Greenhouse gases will be but a feeble buffer to the resulting cooling.

Dear President Putin...  (3 Dec 03)

Envirotruth.org is sponsoring a collective email appeal to President Putin of Russia and leaders of other countries represented  at the Milan COP-9 climate conference.  The appeal is basically to ask President Putin to not ratify the Kyoto Protocol because of the numerous flaws in both the science of climate change and the adverse economic impact it would have both on Russia and other countries.

Russian officials have announced to the Milan COP-9 `climate change' conference that Russia will not ratify the Kyoto Protocol `in its present form'  (BBC Story here).  Since the original 1997 protocol was severely watered down at COP-7, a further dilution to accommodate Russia's aspirations for economic growth can only render it irrelevant.  And this to a protocol which is fast running out of time as it would expire anyway during the 2008-12 period.

Click here to read and/or sign
the President Putin letter

Station of the Week - Laverton Aero and East Sale, Victoria, Australia

Earlier this week, the Australian Greenhouse Office (A.G.O. - a government agency which openly promotes global warming) released a report timed to coincide with the second week of the COP-9 climate conference in Milan.  It might as well have been written by GreenPeace as it contained nothing but a litany of gloom and doom about Australia's future climate prospects.  More droughts, more floods, more bushfires, more of everything nasty and nothing good.

They state on Page 1 - "It (the AGO report) is largely based on, and consistent with, the Third Assessment Report of the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change published in 2001".  That means they buy into all the absurdities of that IPCC report such as the infamous `Hockey Stick', and that the AGO has nothing new to tell us but to recycle the same message from 2001.  But they put an Australian spin on it for local consumption.  For Australia they claim that - "Based on the SRES scenarios used by the IPCC, and regional changes in climate simulated by nine climate models, average temperatures in Australia are projected to increase by 0.4 to 2.0°C by 2030, and 1.0 to 6.0°C by 2070, relative to 1990."

To support their claims, they state - "Australian average temperatures have risen by 0.7°C over the last century, and the warming trend appears to have emerged from the background of natural climate variability in the second half of the 20th century."  This of course is a testable claim as it only requires an examination of rural station records to see if it is supportable or not  (Urban records are patently unsuitable due to heat island effects creating artificial temperature trends in big cities like Melbourne and even smaller ones like Canberra). The warming predicted for Australia matches almost exactly the global warming predicted by the IPCC, and even the reference to 1990 just happens to also match the 1990 reference year cited in the almost-defunct Kyoto Protocol.

Presented this week are two stations in Victoria, Australia, the most southerly state on the Australian mainland and cited by the AGO as being the most greenhouse-sensitive region for future climate change.  The stations are Laverton Aero (37.9S 144.7E, about 15 miles southwest of Melbourne) and East Sale (38.1S 147.1E, about 112 miles east of Melbourne).

There are clearly two or three separate trends indicated in the above records, so that citing a single trend is both misleading and statistically suspect.  There is clearly nothing significant going on at either station, a slight warming up to 1981, followed by a slight cooling.  In particular, the period after 1990 when the AGO report warns of rapidly rising temperatures, we see a slight cooling at both stations.  At this rate their predicted warming of `0.4 to 2.0°C by 2030 relative to 1990' is way off track.

`Extreme Events'

On extreme events like droughts, floods and bushfires, they are nothing new, contrary to what the AGO and the IPCC would have the public believe.  The worst drought since European settlement in Australia occurred around 100 years ago, the so-called Federation Drought, which was more extreme and longer-lasting than either of the two recent droughts of 1982-83 and 2002-03 (both induced by El Niño).  That was long before `global warming'.

As for bushfires, there is also nothing unprecedented about recent fires, dramatic though they were.  Memories can easily forget the massive fires of `Ash Wednesday' in 1983 when 72 people were killed in Melbourne and Adelaide, or the Hobart Tasmania fires of 1967 when 62 people were killed.  The greatest fire of all, `Black Friday'  13th of January 1939, saw a firestorm sweep across Victoria. Millions of hectares were burned and 71 people killed.

On Black Friday itself, the Melbourne temperature reached 45.6°C which remains the highest temperature ever recorded in Melbourne.  By comparison, Melbourne scored 44.1°C on one day in the summer of 2002-03 which is the hottest temperature since Black Friday.  Melbourne is a much bigger city now and so breaking a record would be both expected and probably inevitable due to the heat island effect, but 13th January 1939 remains the record.  There were also very serious fires in 1898, 1905, 1908, 1914, 1919, 1926 and 1932.  So, there is nothing new about bushfires in Australia, either in number or intensity.  It is unprincipled scaremongering by the AGO to claim otherwise. 

If many of their claims about the past and present are seen to be unsupportable and false, their predictions about future trends, virtually copied in toto from the IPCC, are even more suspect, and based on computer models.

Using the above graphs for Laverton and East Sale as a guide, it means that in the next 27 years, both graphs will need to reach the ceiling of the graph (16°C) to fulfil the upper AGO prediction of a 2°C warming by 2030.  Before it does so, they have to regain the temperature lost between 1990 and the present. 

Laverton and East Sale are 120 miles apart but have similar trends, so they represent a regional picture of temperature in Victoria.  To check out to what extent other Australian stations show overall warming, or warming since 1990, the following stations are also available on this website -

More Australian Stations ....

Laverton, Victoria, Australia.  An airfield 15 miles southwest of Melbourne.  Annual & seasonal data to 2003.
, South Australia. An urban station which unusually for a city shows a cooling. Data to 1999
Alice Springs, Northern Territory, Australia.  The Alice is in the centre of Australia. Data to 2000
Brisbane, Queensland.  Unusually for a city, this station shows a cooling.  Data to 2001
Canberra & Wagga Airports, Australia. Two records on one graph, one very urban, one very rural. Data to 1999
Charleville & Longreach, Queensland, Australia.  Both inland stations.  Data to 2001
Coffs Harbour, New South Wales. Lies on the coast about halfway between Sydney and Brisbane. Map. Data to 2000

Darwin, Northern Territory, Australia. Data to 1999
Geraldton & Giles, Western Australia. Map. Data to 1999
Kalgoorlie, Esperance, and Albany, Western Australia.  Map Data to 2002.
Launceston & Hobart Airports, Tasmania, Australia. Map. Data to 2002
Mount Isa (QLD) and Tennant Creek (NT), northern Australia. See the chart itself then see how CRU misrepresents
    this region as warming rapidly when the reality is quite different. Data to 2002
Mildura and Adelaide Airports, Australia. Comparison of trends. Data to 2001
Northern Australia - Darwin (post 1941), Halls Creek and Gove Airport, the last two are rural. Data to 2000
Western Australia stations. Kalgoorlie, Albany, Esperance, Giles & Geraldton. Map.  Data to 2000

Late News ....Very Late  (28 Nov 03)

Australia's CSIRO must be getting behind on their news because they announced this week to a breathless media something which has been known about in climate circles for over three years now.

Methane, a greenhouse gas, has stopped growing in the atmosphere.  Good news no doubt.  So good that the industry has delayed saying so publicly until now.

It was stated here on this website in an item titled "1% Compound Interest" as far back as 27th May 2000.

In fact, methane's growth stalled as early as 1992, but it took several years for it to be seen as a genuine levelling off and not merely a passing hiccup.  By 2000, it was clear as crystal that growth had stopped, but it has still taken the industry another three years after that to say so publicly - perhaps in a desperate bid to keep the Kyoto pot boiling.

The Ice of Kilimanjaro   (28 Nov 03)

Not to be confused with the `snows' of Kilimanjaro (which still come and go with the weather), the ice is actually an ice cap on top of the 5,900 metre mountain in northern Tanzania close to the Equator. That ice cap has been steadily melting away all through the 20th century and is expected to be fully melted away within the next 20 years.

Why has it been melting so relentlessly? The greenhouse industry say `global warming', but then they would say that.  The only problem with that knee-jerk  explanation is that there has been no measurable atmospheric warming in the region of Kilimanjaro. Satellites have been measuring temperature since 1979 in the free troposphere between 1,000 and 8,000 metres altitude, and they show no tropospheric warming in that area. None.

Kilimanjaro is above most of the weather and is thus exposed to the equatorial sun, a sun which has been hotter during the 20th century than at any time since the medieval period. That would be a sufficient explanation in itself for the depletion of the ice cap.  Earlier Kilimanjaro story here

However, a new finding just recently published by Nature, ("African Ice Under Wraps"
- 24 Nov 03) points to de-forestation on the slopes of Kilimanjaro as being the main culprit.  With forests present, the natural updraft from the slopes carries moist air to the summit and helps reinforce and sustain the ice cap. Without those forests, the updrafts are dry and fail to replenish the ravages of the sun on the summit ice cap.  That too is a sufficient explanation. What happens on Kilimanjaro will also be happening on countless mountains all over the world where forests on lower slopes have been replaced by open pasture.

Blaming it all on `global warming' was just too glib and convenient for an industry desperate to convince a skeptical public that the end of the world was nigh. With a more down-to-earth cause like this identified, other `global-warming-did-it' phenomena should be looked at again for simple local causes like this. 

The Case of the Disappearing Files  (15 Nov 03)

Since the publication of the recent study by McIntyre & McKitrick (M & M) (Energy & Environment, 14,751-771,2003 ), in which they found extensive statistical processing errors in Michael Mann's `Hockey Stick' theory, there have been some strange happenings.  (Earlier `Broken Hockey Stick' story here).

M & M found embarrassing statistical errors in Mann et al's original work and now Mann claims that some of these errors were not part of the original `Hockey Stick' at all, but were accidentally included in an Excel spreadsheet which they sent to M & M, and that M&M should have looked at the data on Mann’s FTP site instead.   This suggests the errors were recent and did not contaminate the original `Hockey Stick'.

However, M & M have stated in various forums that they asked for FTP data, not for a separate Excel spreadsheet and, in fact, Mann’s web page listed in his original paper of 1998 (MBH98) does not link to the FTP data at the University of Virginia.  After Mann disclosed the Virginia FTP location, M&M found the identical file at Mann’s FTP site as was sent to them, plus the same data in a `MATLAB' version, both files dated August 2002.

However, just days after the publication of the M & M paper, these key files were deleted from Mann's University of Virginia FTP server sometime between October 29 and November 8, 2003.  Why were they deleted?  Why were they deleted just after the release of the M & M paper?

Whatever the reason for the deletions, it was all too late.  Here are the original files -

pcproxy.mat                         pcproxy.txt 

More file deletions were to follow.  Some data used in the M & M study was originally located at Mann's old FTP site at the University of Massachusetts.  Mann’s webpage on MBH98 links to this FTP site.  Shortly after M & M made an initial reply to Mann's claims on an internet `blog' site, on November 13, 2003 (a reply which said that they had new results to report about the Virginia FTP site), the entire Massachusetts FTP folder on MBH98 was also deleted before  M&M were able to copy it. 

The deletion of the University of Massachusetts FTP site is surely the strangest event yet.  The mere deletion of these files which had been on public view for over a year and  probably as far back as 2000, implies an attempt at concealment. We can only wonder at what they contained.

The Hockey Stick was uncritically and enthusiastically embraced by the IPCC, the National Assessment Team and the whole greenhouse industry, even though it overturned previous scientific knowledge about the climate of the last millennium.  As such, its' conclusions should have been subject to rigorous scientific scrutiny and replication.  It
wasn't.  Instead, it took two outsiders to do the audit that the industry itself should have done.  In finding so many faults and errors in the Hockey Stick, the whole sorry episode reflects badly on the competence and the motives of the `peer reviewers', the IPCC, and the US$4 billion research industry it leads.

Update: 20th Nov - 

On Tuesday 18th Nov, I emailed the webmaster of University of Massachussetts regarding the deleted directory. They replied that the deletions were done to conserve server space and that the timing was co-incidental.

As of today, the deleted files have re-appeared on the Massachussetts FTP server.  However, `pcproxy.mat' and `pcproxy.txt' have not reappeared on the University of Virginia server even though it is now pointless hiding them.

COP-Who? (2 Dec 2003)

The `Ninth Conference of the Parties' (COP-9) of signatories to the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC) is now taking place at Milan, Italy. It opened on 1st December and concludes on 12th December.

Not that the event has excited much interest. It's convening has escaped most of the major world's media and reportage on it is also absent from the major Australian newspapers. This may be a measure of `climate fatigue' on the part of the public. Listening to environmental lobby groups or representatives of the greenhouse industry, there is never, never anything positive to say, always a message of gloom and despair. Such negativity eventually becomes counter-productive - the more there is, the less people listen.  The Soviet propaganda machine suffered the same fate - the louder they shouted, the more people turned away.

By contrast, the positive messages of the climate skeptics are being increasingly listened to as they see a positive future for mankind based on progress and technological advance.

COP-9 has distinguished itself by being an obscene exercise in bureaucratic waste -
4,000 delegates on a 2-week taxpayer-funded junket to Italy, plus several thousand more assorted hangers-on like environmental lobby groups and media representatives (who have yet to earn their keep in Milan).  Nice work if you can get it.

Why should the average hard-working suburban-dweller with a family, house, car, and ordinary job, listen to the self-righteous pronouncements of over-funded parasites at COP-9 who are clearly demonstrating that they have no intention of sharing in the energy sacrifices that they demand with such passion from everyone else?

Only those who lead from the front have any chance of commanding respect, and so far the greenhouse industry and its participants have been among the most profligate users of energy and earth's resources while at the same time decrying the modest energy habits of everyone else. 

It's little wonder that increasing numbers of people, including governments, are listening to the skeptics.

This Week - Vytegra and Reboly, Russia

This coming week is `High Noon' for Russia and its intentions vis-a-vis the Kyoto Protocol in view of the convening of the COP-9 climate conference in Milan.  This week two rural Russian stations are presented - hopefully to help Russia see the futility of involving itself with the Kyoto Protocol, a product of flawed science, and Toytown economics.

Rural weather stations with long-term and consistent records are like gold dust climatically, as they come the nearest to measuring the true climate, uncontaminated by the artificial heat swirling about within big cities.  Satellites are the best way of course, but there is something more tangible with ground measurement however flawed.  This is why it is important to focus on rural weather stations where possible.  And we have two such stations in European Russia.

Vytegra (61N 36.5E) lies 220 miles east of St. Petersburg, while Reboly (63.8N 30.8E) is just inside the border with Finland, some 265 miles north of St. Petersburg.  Their seasonal and annual temperatures are shown in two separate graphs below -

Looking at the graphs, recent years are not in any way different to previous years, certainly not the warmest.  The big interannual swings in winter temperature are quite normal for these latitudes.  The dominant feature of all the graphs presented is the lack of overall warming.

The Russian government and its leader President Putin need only look at these graphs to see what their answer to Kyoto should be - NYET!

Station of the Week - Casey Station, Antarctica (Australian) (28 Nov 03)

A recent paper in Science (v.302, p.1203, Nov 03) claims that sea ice in the vicinity of Law Dome, Antarctica has shrunk over the last 50 years, based on a proxy trace chemical (methanesulphonic acid or `MSA') inside a land-based ice core at Law Dome.  Casey Station (66.3S 110.5E) is nearby and its temperature record from 1957 is presented below incorporating the winter, summer and annual mean temperatures.

As the graph shows, the warmest period at Casey (if `warm' is the appropriate word at these temperatures) was in the late 1970s.  The two coldest summers were 1995 and 1996 respectively.  But sea ice is a predominantly winter phenomenon, particularly as Law Dome is one of the most northerly parts of Antarctica.  In fact, both Casey itself and Law Dome are outside the Antarctic Circle and therefore more influenced by the Southern Ocean.

The winter temperature at Casey does show a slight warming between 1957 and 1972 and this may well have had some impact on winter sea ice extent at that time.  By the early 1970s, satellites began measuring Antarctic sea ice with sea ice actually increasing since then (See "Satellites Show Overall Increases in Antarctic Sea Ice Cover" Science Daily, also see Science v.278, p.1104, Nov 1997), consistent with the winter temperature profile at Casey.  The annual mean at Casey shows no significant change in temperature at all.

So are we to get overly anxious about a possible sea ice shrinkage that might have happened over 50 years ago, but is not happening now?  The media treatment of this story from Law Dome concealed the fact that sea ice in the last several decades has been stable ever since satellites were there to observe it properly.  Apparently it all happened when no-one was looking, but stopped when we did start to look.   Funny that.

`Blowing in the Wind...'  (22 Nov 03)

The senior senator from Massachussetts, Edward Kennedy now finds himself in something of a political dilemma.  Read his `Cape Cod Online' article here

At stake is a proposal to build a massive wind turbine farm - right in the middle of historic Nantucket Sound near Cape Cod, the so-called `Cape Wind' project.  As usual, such a project will bring ruination to the landscape and the seascape but this is the logical outcome arising from the pro-Kyoto policies that Kennedy himself has promoted.  So first, Kennedy the environmentalist speaks - 

"I strongly support renewable energy, including wind energy as a means of reducing our dependence on foreign oil and protecting the environment."

All very motherhood.  Then a bit of family history and a eulogy about his responsibilities to the `treasures' of Cape Cod and Nantucket Sound -

"My family has a long history on Cape Cod. After growing up and raising my children here, I understand the enormous national treasure we have in the Cape.  We have an obligation to preserve it for future generations, which requires us to know the impact of our decisions on the landscape, seascape, and environment."

More motherhood.  But what if these lofty aims are in conflict?  At that point, Kennedy quickly remembers where his votes come from 

"I'm concerned that we are rushing to implement the Cape Wind proposal
(for Nantucket Sound) - the world's largest proposed wind farm, 130 turbines, 400 feet tall in the waters between the Cape and the Islands - with little understanding of its likely impacts."

It's a bit late for Kennedy to now suddenly find virtue, now that one of his pet policies is going to be built right in his own back yard.  He is partly to blame for the political climate which brought the Cape Wind project into existence to begin with, something which his political rivals may well remind the voters about.

The Hunt for `Red October'  (16 Nov 03)

The industry is back to its `warmest on record' tactic again to stir public alarm.

According to NASA-GISS in a press release titled `Red October' , October 2003 was the warmest October since instrumental records began.   Whenever the industry is stuck for a story - or to divert attention from other events like the recent discrediting of the Hockey Stick, there's always the `warmest something on record' to trot out.

Of course the instrumental record NASA_GISS refer to are artificial temperatures measured in artificial environments like cities and international airports.  They are climatically irrelevant due to urban heating from concrete jungles.  The only uncontaminated record of atmospheric temperature comes from the satellites, operating since 1979.  Here is `Red October' according to the satellite record from the lower troposphere.

Globally (red), October 2003 is the second warmest in the 25-year satellite record, certainly not the warmest in 120 years as GISS claim.  The Northern Hemisphere (green) was mainly responsible for getting October 2003 into second place, but the Southern Hemisphere (blue) saw October 2003 as only the 5th warmest.

But look also at the temperature scale at the vertical axis.  We are not talking whole degrees here, but merely tenths of a degree.  Even the warmest October - 1998 - saw temperature only half a degree above the long-term average.  `Red October' for its part was just over one quarter of one degree warmer than average - phew!

And while talking of `Red October', recall the massive solar flares which went on during that month, widely reported in the world's media.  According to Britain's New Scientist (2 Nov 03)"Sun More Active than for a Millennium".  It's hardly surprising therefore that October should be warmer than average, albeit not by much. (See preceding story)   

Some of these `records' the industry loves to trot out involve such tiny numbers that they hardly deserve noting - but then the industry does want some diversions at this time of difficulty for them.

Still Waiting for Greenhouse Icehouse   (14 Nov 03)

(BBC graphic)

The BBC TV Horizon science programme has just broadcast a new twist to climatic scares - this time warning of a new ice age to grip Europe caused by - wait for it - global warming!  It's called `The Big Chill' and you can read the full BBC transcript here.

Hollywood is soon to join the act, with a new blockbuster movie called `The Day After Tomorrow', complete with lavish special effects, to be released in May 2004 by the same people who gave us `Independence Day'.  This time it is not aliens who will ravage the earth, but - a sudden and catastrophic ice age.  To add a touch of irony to the movie, they show Americans fleeing south across the Mexican border

`The Big Chill' and `The Day After Tomorrow' are about as equally believable -  `Science' and Hollywood as one.

See the movie trailer here

It is over 25 years since the BBC broadcast its first climate catastrophe documentary, then titled `The Weather Machine' , a 4-hour special broadcast on a Saturday evening during peak viewing time.  Nothing has changed, except the industry the BBC helped to spawn has grown to gross proportions, feeding the fears of ordinary people, and all invoked in the sacred name of `science'.

Science and the greenhouse industry parted company years ago because real scientists do not exploit the public in the way this industry does.  The scares for which this industry are responsible flowed seamlessly from one to another - the `imminent ice age' of the 1970s, the `nuclear winter' of the 1980s, `global warming' of the 1990s, and now back to ice age again.  The one common denominator of each was the promotion of public fear, and even hysteria, for the cynical purpose of bureaucratic growth.  

IPCC's `Dangerous Incompetence'  (12 Nov 03)

The staid British weekly, The Economist, which has some justifiable claim to know something about economics, has just released a scathing attack on the statistical methods of the IPCC.  In an article titled "Hot Potato Revisited: A Lack-of-Progress Report on the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change" (Economist, Nov. 6th 03), the magazine reported that the IPCC economic forecasting for various countries and regions of the world was hopelessly out of whack with reality.  These forecasts underpinned the IPCC's predictions about CO2 emissions growth since they involved changes in economic activity, population change, and economic growth.  The forecasts were then used to determine what they viewed would be the likely climatic changes resulting from that activity.

The Economist cited a major report by Ian Castles (former head of Australia's Bureau of Statistics) and David Henderson (former chief economist of the OECD and visiting professor at Westminster Business School), which was critical of the IPCC's economic statistical methods. The Economist's conclusion was that  -

"Disaggregated projections published by the IPCC say that - even in the lowest-emission scenarios - growth in poor countries will be so fast that by the end of the century Americans will be poorer on average than South Africans, Algerians, Argentines, Libyans, Turks, and North Koreans.  Mr Castles and Mr Henderson can hardly be alone in finding that odd."

The IPCC  mobilised 15 authors to supply a response to the Castles-Henderson critique, which The Economist noted was a case of "strength in numbers, lacking though it may be in strength at numbers".  They pointed out that despite a horde of `authorities' backing the IPCC claims, they are drawn from a very narrow professional base, economic and statistical expertise being notably lacking.  They further noted that the system of `peer review' employed by the IPCC achieved the very reverse of what it is normally meant to achieve, allowing "a kind of intellectual restrictive practice, which allows flawed or downright shoddy work to acquire a standing it does not deserve." 
(Much the same observation could be made of most of what passes for climate science in recent years.)

Who else but the IPCC, and the monolithic industry it leads, makes such a public spectacle of its `authority' by constantly harping about `peer review'?  Judging from the mess they have made of their economic forecasts, we have to question not only the economic competence of the peer reviewers (whoever they are - they are comfortably anonymous) but also the scientific competence of both the IPCC and the greenhouse industry.

The Economist's closing assessment was to warn of "the dangerous incompetence of the IPCC."

Broken Hockey Stick!   (29 Oct 03)

In a stunning scientific paper just published in Energy and Environment  [14,751-771,2003] the infamous `Hockey Stick' as developed by Mann, Bradley and Hughes in 1998 has been comprehensively discredited - using the same data sources and even methodology used by the Hockey Stick's original authors.

According to McIntyre and McKitrick;

" The data set of proxies of past climate used in Mann, Bradley and Hughes (1998, “MBH98” hereafter) for the estimation of temperatures from 1400 to 1980 contains collation errors, unjustifiable truncation or extrapolation of source data, obsolete data, geographical location errors, incorrect calculation of principal components and other quality control defects. We detail these errors and defects. We then apply MBH98 methodology to the construction of a Northern Hemisphere average temperature index for the 1400-1980 period, using corrected and updated source data. The major finding is that the values in the early 15th century exceed any values in the 20th century. The particular “hockey stick” shape derived in the MBH98 proxy construction – a temperature index that decreases slightly between the early 15th century and early 20th century and then increases dramatically up to 1980 — is primarily an artefact of poor data handling, obsolete data and incorrect calculation of principal components."

On this website, the Hockey Stick's conclusions about past climates were challenged (see `The Hockey Stick: A New Low in Climate Science') on the basis of direct comparison with numerous other scientific studies which found that late 20th century climate was in no way remarkable when compared with previous `pre-greenhouse' centuries, especially the warmer Medieval period.

However, McIntyre and McKitrick have challenged the `Hockey Stick' on its own turf by subjecting it to an `audit’, using the same data and assumptions, and developing a temperature reconstruction from similar principles.  It was a classic replication exercise, so necessary in science.  The result is shown below -

The McIntyre-McKitrick reconstruction (blue) shows earlier climates to be warmer than the late 20th century, a conclusion supported by numerous other scientific studies, whereas the `Hockey Stick’ denies this reality.  It seems that through a combination of tabulation errors, truncating data series for no valid reason, and `bridging gaps’ in data with little more than guesses, the `Hockey Stick' authors created a thoroughly false picture of past climates, which was instantly embraced as policy by the UN-IPCC and the greenhouse industry it leads.  It became influential in convincing pro-Green policy-makers like former US vice-president Al Gore, that late 20th century climatic warmth  was without precedent in human history. 

Not only did the `Hockey Stick' fly in the face of a mountain of evidence from other sciences which contradicts its conclusions, but thanks to McIntyre and McKitrick, we now know that the Hockey Stick is internally flawed as well, since its own data sources, properly read, do not support its conclusions either.

This raises the question of the scientific bona fides of climate science itself.  McIntyre and McKitrick have exposed fundamental scientific flaws in an influential scientific paper which was fully peer reviewed by `experts' from the greenhouse industry and published in a top journal.   Their audit of the databases and statistical processes which lay behind the `Hockey Stick’ called for first-order statistical skills above all else, and it is here that they have exposed the incompetence which lay behind the original `Hockey Stick' concept.  There have been many other instances of deeply flawed science being given an uncritical green light for publication by reviewers from this science, but the question must now be asked whether their pretensions to scientific status can be justified by their performance. 

Energy and Environment is one journal that has stood up for free debate on this and other issues of public importance, and is to be commended for publishing this long-awaited and damning critique of the `Hockey Stick'.  To facilitate public debate, the journal has taken the unusual step of making the full McIntyre-McKitrick paper freely available online.

Download the full .pdf of the McIntyre-McKitrick `Hockey Stick' critique here

See USA Today Editorial - "Researchers Question Key Global-Warming Study"  -  28 Oct 03

See Professor McKitrick's Website with further details on this groundbreaking study

See Australian Financial Review - "Global Warming May Just Turn out to be Hot Air" (pay per item)

Bogalanche !  (8 Nov 2003

The Irish government. like good Europeans, ratified the Kyoto Protocol and proceeded to do what all the other Europeans were doing - building wind turbines.   Ireland is an excellent place for them, especially in the wet and windy west coast of Ireland - places like Co. Galway for instance.

So, the authorities there commissioned Hibernian Wind Energy to build a 71-turbine wind farm at Derrybrien in Co. Galway. The trouble was, much of Ireland is so wet that large areas of land are covered in peat bogs, not the kind of thing you want to build a wind tower on.  So Hibernian Wind Energy had to cut through the bog to get to bedrock below so that their 71 turbines could have a secure foundation.  

Then the `bogalanche' happened.       (RTE News Story)       (`New Civil Engineer' Story)

Extensive periods of rain (technical note here - it rains bucket-loads in Ireland, especially in the west), left the bog unstable in the area where the wind farm was being developed and some 70 acres of bogland began to move downhill, moving about 4 kilometres in 2 weeks.  It damaged bridges, brought down stands of trees and polluted watercourses.  Four `check dams' were quickly built in an attempt to stop the `bogalanche' that has carried nearly half a million cubic metres of peat sludge through a river channel.

`Friends of the Irish Environment', a Green lobby group, reported on the landslide (reporting it in their `global warming' section sic.),apparently confused by such extensive damage being caused to the environment in pursuit of their Kyoto holy grail.  Hibernian Wind Energy immediately went into damage control mode, promising a `thorough investigation' and suspending all work on the wind farm.

Slowly, the message is spreading through the European public - wind farms are bad, very bad.  They are noisy, a blight on the visual landscape, kill and maim wild birds, provide little net energy, and now the Irish `bogalanche'.  What next?

ABC Attack on Free Speech  (1 Nov 03)

Last week one of only two Green senators in the Australian parliament interrupted and heckled President George W. Bush during his invited speech to the Australian parliament, a disgraceful attempt at suppression of free speech directed at an invited international guest.  The senator was rightfully ejected from the floor of parliament and prevented from being present next day when the president of China made a similar invited speech.

This contempt for free speech by the Green movement has now been repeated in a TV report titled `Climate Change Costs Loom in Litigation Cases' by the ABC (Australian Broadcasting Corporation), a publicly funded radio and TV broadcast channel. The report was broadcast on national TV on Friday 31st October 2003.

A full transcript of the ABC report.

Another ABC news item promoting the same idea.

News Corporation's coverage of the issue.

The basic message of the ABC report is that companies and organisations who are identified as CO2 emitters could find themselves being sued in courts for `damages' by litigants with real or imagined claims of loss through climate change.  The notion is legally absurd anyway, even though the ABC report was co-authored by a lawyer.  In real damages cases, it is normal for the court to determine the proportion of damage which can be attributed to the defendant.  Since greenhouse gases are the accumulation of over a hundred years of industrialisation and global economic activity, the total number of defendants is over 6 billion - the whole population of the planet.

The idea of one plaintiff, or a class action of them, suing 6 billion people - plus the billions more already dead but who contributed to the total greenhouse gas quantity - is a legal absurdity, but is one which is being promoted by the Greens anyway as a political correctness bludgeon to silence criticism of their agenda.

But a sinister new twist has been promoted by the ABC, a way to be more selective about who to blame - and therefore who to sue - for `climate change'.  According to Martijn Wilder, a  lawyer for the law firm Baker and McKenzie who floated this idea in Australia, 

"The reality is that those who are probably going to be most exposed are the companies who have publicly taken an anti-climate change line."

What is that but a direct threat against free speech itself?  Express your opinion and you will be the target of legal action - and this from the public broadcaster of Australia!   Using, or even threatening to use, the courts to suppress the free expression of opinion is a flagrant abuse of the legal process and an unprincipled attack on democracy itself.

Heckling an invited head of state in our parliament was but the tip of a very sinister iceberg.

US Senate Sinks Climate Bill  (1 Nov 03)

This week, the US Senate voted down by a margin of 55 to 43 a bill proposed by presidential hopeful John McCain (Republican) and Senator Lieberman (Democrat).  The bill had already been severely watered down to attract more votes, but it was still defeated.

47 Republicans were joined by 8 Democrats in voting against, while 38 Democrats, 4 Republicans, and 1 independent voted for.

The bill provided for the establishment of a CO2 permit trading system to be applied to companies and envisaged targets much weaker than those in the Kyoto Protocol.

This follows a similar rejection back in 1997.

Losers (1 Nov 03)

Among the distinguished Russian scientists at the recent Moscow Climate Conference was Kirill Kondratiev, head of the Russian Academy of Sciences.

He said that the weight of scientific evidence was clearly against global warming alarmism. 

"The only people who would be hurt by abandoning the Kyoto Protocol would be several thousand people who make a living attending conferences on global warming," 
(BNA Daily Environment Report, Oct. 2)

Now there's an idea.  If climate scientists are serious about reducing CO2 emissions, they can lead by example and abandon these interminable conferences they seem to be having every week - usually in some exotic tourist resort.

Who needs conferences when we now have the internet? 

 `Evidence for an Unusually Active Sun'     (22 Oct 03) 

According to James Hansen of NASA-GISS - "The Sun does flicker and the `little ice age' may have been caused, at least in part, by reduced solar output. Best estimates are that the Sun contributed about one quarter of global warming between 1850 and 2000." [Ref]. Note his acknowledgement that the LIA of the 17th century did actually happen, contrary to what the UN-IPCC and the industry it leads claims in their `Hockey Stick' scenario.

But can the role of the Sun be so casually dismissed?

Not according to the latest research from solar science in Europe, and reported in Physics News [Number 658 #2, October 21, 2003].  An upcoming paper in Physical Review Letters (Usoskin et al.) shows that the sunspot cycle which has been observed and measured since 1610 AD can be reconstructed even further back in time to 850 AD using traces of Be-10 atoms locked away in polar ice. During an outbreak of sunspots, the Sun becomes more magnetically active - and actually hotter. According to the study, over the whole 1,150 year record available, the Sun has been at its most magnetically active (i.e. greatest number of sunspots) over the last 60 years.

It does not take a PhD in rocket science to figure that any variability on the Sun will directly impact Earth's climate. The more active Sun caused the global Medieval Warm Period while an inactive Sun caused the Little Ice Age. The firing up of solar activity during the 20th century is largely responsible for the warming of the early to mid 20th century. There has been very little warming of the earth over the last 23 years as shown by the satellite record of global temperature.

Claims by the greenhouse industry that the Earth continues to warm in recent years are based entirely on the so-called `surface record' - temperature data collected from within cities and towns, artificially warmed by `urban heat island' effects. These claims lack any scientific base even though they are passionately promoted by institutions claiming to be `scientific'.  Claims of scientific rigour from an industry which has become corrupted by politics and extravagant government funding, cannot be accepted at face value.

The Sun remains at a 1,150-year high level of activity to this day and climate will continue to sustain its present warm state until the Sun moves into a cooler phase of its natural cycle.

To those industry promoters who imagine that greenhouse gases are more important than the Sun, note the simple scientific fact that the Sun is a
source of energy, and that consequently any change in that source must change the climate.  Greenhouse gases are not a source of energy at all, but merely participate in the circulation and re-cycling of existing received solar energy around the planet. As such, they cannot have as much potential for climatic change as the Sun does.  An ideological denial of this basic proposition lies at the heart of the UN-IPCC's thinking and that of the industry they lead.

`Evidence for an Unusually Active Sun'   Postscript   (1 Nov 03)

New Scientist publicised the solar study in their latest edition in an article titled `Sun More Active than for a Millennium'.

In particular, they offer this graphic which shows the solar cycle clearly during the past millennium. The Little Ice Age occurred exactly during the time of reduced activity on the sun while the Medieval Warm Period occurred between 900 and 1300 AD, again during a period of elevated solar activity.

September 2003   (18 Oct 03)

The latest piece of mis-information from the Greenhouse Industry comes via AP, with a story titled `Warmest September on Record, Worldwide' dated 17th Oct 2003.  Their source was cited as the National Climate Data Center, who cited temperature data back to 1880. They further claimed that `the second and third warmest Septembers on record (again since 1880) occurred in 1997 and 1998'.

That's clear enough.  Naturally it must be global warming.  Russia please note.

Mis-information?  That putting it mildly.  In reality, September 2003 was the 6th warmest in only 25 years.  1980, 1988, 1995, 1998, and 2002 were all warmer. 

The National Climate Data Center bases their claim on city-based thermometers where artificial warmings are  created from concrete jungles.  The satellite-based temperature record, from which the above chart is derived, has no such artificial distortions to their data and is clearly the more credible.

Station of the Week: Arctic Stations  (25 Oct 03)

The industry spin-meisters are at it again. This time, a story from NASA claiming that there has been `recent warming in the Arctic' particularly during the 1990s compared with the 1980s.  They concluded this from satellite surveys.  They must have been selective in the areas they measured because ground stations in the Arctic, particularly on the Scandinavian and Russian portions show no such warming. 

Here are the annual mean temperatures for Murmansk (Arctic coast of Russia), Bjornoya (an island half-way between the northern cape of Norway and Spitzbergen), and the northernmost point of Siberia.

Where is the warming there?  Clearly, the `study' in question must have been highly selective in the areas they chose to focus on. The study also claimed sea ice was at `record low levels' in 2002 and persisted into 2003.  For such record low levels, it was strange then that the famous Northwest and Northeast Passages were both closed during those years.  These passages open up in some years to allow ships passage around the north of Canada and the north of Siberia, and have been doing so on and off for over a century. But not in the `record' years of 2002 and 2003.

If the Arctic Ocean had been warming to the extent claimed by the NASA study, there would also have been a sea level rise in the Arctic region. However, the tide gauge at Spitsbergen (NY-Alesund below) shows no such rise, quite the opposite in fact, suggesting again that the Arctic `warming' is the product of yet more wishful thinking and use of selective data by industry scientists.  The only part of the Arctic showing a slight warming is the one-third portion represented by northern Canada and northern Alaska.  The other two-thirds in the Scandinavian and Russian sectors show an overall cooling.

It is little wonder that the Russian government has expressed concern at the deplorable state of greenhouse science.

Kyoto Breakthrough
 by Prof S. Fred Singer 
From The Washington Times
(Oct. 8, 2003)  (Oct. 8, 2003)   

Momentous happenings at the World Climate Conference in Moscow last week.  World-shaking, one might say. After haggling about the minutiae of the Kyoto Protocol for the past six years, just how to control emissions of carbon dioxide from energy generation, it may all go down the drain in one big swoosh. 

Of course, they won't let the Kyoto process itself die. Not if the United Nations bureaucracy can help it, plus
the delegates from 180 nations who were so looking forward to carefree, taxpayer-supported careers attending
continuous climate conferences in fancy locations. Expect to see the launch of a successor, the "son of Kyoto," tough-sounding but equally ineffective.

But it will be a "new ballgame." What I regard as most significant about the Moscow meeting is the choice of words by Russian politicians. They refer to Kyoto as "scientifically flawed" not just "fatally flawed" as George Bush
called it.  It is a real breakthrough because it makes skepticism about the underlying science respectable and indeed encourages scientists to speak out and question many of the assertions that have long been taken for granted by the press and the public. 

The hype started with the first of the science assessments by the U.N.-IPCC in 1990 that claimed observations and greenhouse theory to be "broadly consistent."  It morphed into the enigmatic (and ultimately meaningless) claim
that the "balance of evidence" supports a human influence on climate warming and to the most recent assertion of the 2001 Third Assessment that "new evidence" now affirms this. 

Careful reviewers (of which I am one) of these three IPCC reports have noticed that the "evidence" has changed from report to report, but never the conclusions.  Pretty suspicious.  So we can now ask out loud:  What new evidence?  And is it really supported by actual observations? From the very first, the IPCC report summaries (the only part read by outsiders) have carefully ignored all evidence contrary to their perennial conclusions.  The litany has been constant: The climate is currently warming; the cause is human-emitted greenhouse gases; and a major warming (implied to be catastrophic) will soon be upon us. 

All this will now be subjected to critical scrutiny.  We had a preview of what might happen in Moscow when we exchanged information at a meeting with Russian climate scientists a few weeks earlier in St. Petersburg.  But we did not anticipate the strong negative reactions to Kyoto by President Vladimir Putin and his ministers at a conference whose program seemed to be controlled by global-warming supporters and their U.N. friends. 

The world community is very fortunate that rational science has emerged in Russia on the question of climate change and the Kyoto Protocol.  There has never been a more anti-human proposition than that government should regulate all energy production and consumption in the name of some distant, vague fear of a climate disaster from the use of fossil fuels.  Yet that is where we were headed under Al Gore until President Bush and now the Russians intervened. 

The official skepticism voiced last week, both scientific and economic, should have some impacts also on other nations.  The Nordic countries may well ponder whether a warming - if indeed it were to happen - is so bad. Canadians may ask the same:  The incoming Premier Paul Martin has already questioned Kyoto and the haste with which it was adopted by Ottawa last year.  The U.S. Senate may take an even more skeptical look at the upcoming
McCain/Lieberman bill that would commit the U.S. to follow the energy-rationing strictures of Kyoto unilaterally. Even if Kyoto dies, the bill would still cause Americans to suffer economically and lose jobs. 

So maybe what happened in Moscow last week will start a giant exodus from Kyoto.  Then the world community can finally move on to pay attention to real problems such as terrorism. 

(S. Fred Singer is professor emeritus of environmental sciences at the University of Virginia and president of the Science & Environmental Policy Project. He authored "Climate Policy: From Rio to Kyoto", Hoover Institution Press, Stanford, Calif., 2000).

Early Bloomers    
Willis Eschenbach
(10 Oct 03)

A 2001 study by the Smithsonian Museum of Natural History entitled "Earlier Plant Flowering as a Response to Global Warming in the Washington, DC, Area" indicated that flowers were now blooming earlier in the Washington DC area.  The study compared conditions in 1970 with those in the present.  Of 100 flower species studied, 89 of them were blooming earlier in the spring today than they were in 1970. Of course, as the title of the study states, this was directly attributed to `global warming'. 

A closer look at the actual temperature records for Washington DC and for two local rural stations reveals the real cause of the early blooming. Owen's ferry is 37 km from Washington, and Lincoln is 67 km away. Here are the station records (17 year Gaussian averages) from the NASA- GISS database:

Note that while the nearby rural areas have cooled since 1920, Washington has warmed up.

Owens Ferry temperatures have dropped about half a degree since 1920, and Lincoln has cooled almost a full degree. Washington DC, on the other hand, has warmed by almost a degree since 1920.

Looking at the temperatures since 1970, the period of the Smithsonian study, the trend is the same. During that time, Washington warmed about +1.2°C more than than Lincoln, and about +0.75°C more than Owens Ferry.  The records clearly show that the cause of the early blooming in DC is not global warming but rather
urban warming, caused by the urban heat island effect of Washington DC.

The Urban Heat Island Effect occurs as cities build up, ground level winds drop, concrete and buildings trap and re-radiate heat, vehicles emit hot exhaust gases, and night sky cooling is lost.  As a result, these and other related changes heat up the cities far beyond the surrounding rural areas.

So the flowers will continue to bloom, both in Washington DC and in the neighboring rural areas.  But we should not be surprised if they bloom first in Washington ... 

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