`Stop Press' Stories
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, click here
For stories in 1999, see below
The Big Events
! (19 Dec 99)
Will They Never Learn? (19 Dec 99)
Person of the Century ! (28 Dec 99)
Less Ice in Warm Years? (5 Dec 99)
Record Early Freeze in Europe (28 Nov 99)
`Pleasantville' Science (27 Nov 99)
Coral Bleaching in the Maldives (21 Nov 99)
Hot Southern Nights... (6 Nov 99)
Bonn Climate Conference (6-Nov-99)
Sea Levels in the Netherlands (1st Nov 99)
CSIRO Policy on the `Isle of the Dead' revealed to BBC (13 Oct 99)
Pacific Sea Level (22 Sep 99)
Deja Vu... (27 Sep 99)
Political Correctness in Climate Science (19 Sep 99)
Live Longer with Global Warming ! (22 Aug 99)
Coral Bleaching (14 Sept 99)
Eclipse Eclipses Greenhouse (17 Aug 99)
All-Time Record Snow (15 Aug 99)
It's a Boy ! (10 Aug 99)
The NCAR-Green Coalition (29 July 99)
6 Billion People ! (24 July 99)
New Discovery on Past CO2 Levels (27 June 99)
English Twisters! (6-Jul-99)
Grey Flag Run Up ! (22 June 99)
Snow White in Orange (14 June 99)
Australian Bureau of Meteorology (BoM): Yacht Tragedy - Editorial Comment (2 June 99)
Echoes of Winter (16 May 99)
Twister (6 May 99)
Late Winter Weather Cancels Finnish Football Match ! (1-Jun-99)
CSIRO Spin Backfires (27 Apr 99)
Earth Cools - As Predicted ! (17 Apr 99)
Nenana Ice Classic
Chickens and Eggs (31 Mar 99)
Engineers Thumbs Down for Kyoto (14 Mar 99)
Iceland Rejects Kyoto ! (24 Feb 99)
More Computer Games (23 Feb 99)
Record Arctic Freeze (31 Jan 99)
Surface Record Flawed - It's Official ! (6 Feb 99)
Come Again ? (30 Jan 99)
Record Freeze in Finland and Norway (29 Jan 1999)
Next El Niño to Happen in Late 2002 (10 Jan 98)
Peer Review or Sycophancy? (25 Dec-98)
Oh! Canada! (25-12-98)
Yacht Tragedy (1-Jan 99)
Dozens of scientists from the NOAA contributed to a listing of global storms and climate events, which were notable for their atmospheric marvel and/or impact on human life.
NOAA's top global climate events were, in date order:
Drought, India 1900
Drought, India 1907
Drought, China 1907
Drought,. Sahel, Africa, 1910-14
Typhoon, China, 1912
Drought, Soviet Union, 1921-22
Typhoon, China, 1922
Drought, China 1928-30
Flood, Yangtze River, China, 1931
Drought, China 1936
Drought,. Sahel, Africa, 1940-44
Drought, China 1941-42
Great Smog of London 1952
Europe storm surge, 1953
Great Iran flood, 1954
Typhoon Vera, Japan, 1958
Drought, India 1965-67
Cyclone, Bangladesh, 1970
Drought,. Sahel, Africa, 1970-85
North Vietnam flood, 1971
Blizzard, Iran 1972
El Niño, 1982-83
Cyclone, Bangladesh, 1991
Typhoon, Philippines, 1991
Hurricane Mitch, C. Americ., 1998
The clear message from this albeit subjective list is that there has been no late `clustering' of extreme events in recent decades, contrary to what media hysteria would lead us to believe. Also, in spite of the hype, the 1998 El Niño did not make the global list even though the 1982/83 event did.
See also Dr Theodor Landscheidt's correlation of these events with the solar motion cycle. `Open Review' comments are included
The 1995 IPCC report on climate change was thoroughly discredited by subsequent revelations about ex-post-facto changes to Chapter 8 of that report, changes which diluted the science to make them consistent with the politically motivated statements in the executive summary. As many critics have now pointed out, the policy-makers summary should have been made consistent with the science, not the other way around.
The discrediting of the 1995 Report explains in large measure why governments have done little or nothing about climate change in spite of ringing rhetoric at a succession of climate conferences, most notably that of Kyoto. But then, talk is cheap.
A Third Assessment Report by the IPCC is now in preparation, the so-called `TAR 2000', and it seems they are setting themselves up for exactly the same debacle as happened in 1995. A draft of TAR 2000 is now being circulated to `experts' and the IPCC have already made it clear that not only do they not want public input, they don't even want the public to know what new climate scenarios they have in preparation.
Here was their response to a leading skeptic who innocently thought the TAR 2000 draft report was a public document.
"This review is for experts only and while we want as many legitimate experts as possible to review the document we do not want the document to be openly available as it is an early draft and must not be cited or quoted or used for any other purpose other than providing a review.
I am very concerned that the wide distribution of the address outside the expert community will lead to wide abuse of the embargo on the report for any purpose other than expert review ..."
It was signed by Dr Dave Griggs of the Hadley Centre at Bracknell U.K., the organisation co-ordinating the report.
`Experts only' is their catchcry. However, since this is a matter of public importance and interest, my own view is that `He who pays the piper should at least hear the tune'. The public have every right to know what these people are doing with our money, and the IPCC owe it to the public to adopt an `open review' procedure for all future reports.
This dedication to secrecy and avoidance of public scrutiny or accountability is against the public interest and a direct interference with the democratic process, given that this science (if that's the correct term) is being used and abused to foist policies on the people of the world which are not only un-necessary, but would also lead to widespread poverty.
The secrecy ends here. Here is the URL address for the `TAR 2000' draft that they don't want the public to see.
(my source for this information was a public listserver and thus no private confidences were involved).
Guglielmo Marconi (1874-1937), Italian electrical engineer, was the inventor and developer of the first practical radio communication system. He was born and educated in Bologna, Italy, and by 1895 he had succeeded in sending `wire-less' signals (ie. Radio) to a point a few kilometres away.
After patenting his system in Great Britain, he formed (1897) Marconi's Wireless Telegraph Company, Ltd., in London. In 1899 he established communication across the English Channel between England and France, and in 1901 he exchanged `wireless' signals across the Atlantic Ocean between Cornwall, England, and Newfoundland, Canada.
By 1907 Marconi's `wireless' had developed to the point where a trans-Atlantic wireless telegraph service was established for public use, and for ships. Thanks to the Marconi Wireless, 750 people were saved from the `Titanic' disaster in 1912. Marconi received the 1909 Nobel Prize in physics for his work in wireless telegraphy.
The company he founded, the Marconi Company, is still a leading telecommunications firm today.
And why Marconi as `Person of the Century'? Why not Einstein as `Time' magazine favours? Or their second choices, Franklin Roosevelt or Gandhi? `Time' fell into the trap of focusing their attention only on celebrity - instead of on greatness.
Modern electronics, TV/Radio broadcasting, radar, satellite communications, GPS navigation, remote sensing, space exploration, ship, aircraft and emergency vehicle radio communications, mobile phones, global telephony, the Internet - it all traces back to Marconi's original work. Taken together, the results of his work profoundly affects the welfare and lifestyle of everyone on the planet - and for the better.
As `Person of the Century', Marconi really has no peers.
A new study by the Univ. of Maryland in `Science' (Dec 3), claims Arctic sea ice shrunk between November 1978 and March 1998, the authors claiming the shrinkage was caused by human-induced global warming.
As always with such claims, look for the start and end dates of the data series, as these often explain the results of the study more clearly than the authors do.
Nov. 1978 is only 2 months before the start of global satellite temperature measurement. This showed global temperature at the time to be about -0.1°C cooler than the long-term satellite average. By contrast, the analysis concludes in March 1998, right at the peak of the big El Niño of 1998 (when global temperature was briefly about +0.7°C warmer than the average), but before the later cooling of 1999. That's a full +0.8°C difference! It's hardly surprising there was less ice around early in '98.
As for 1999, temperatures this year have been about -0.1°C below the average, and sea ice has expanded again - as one would expect. Had the authors ended their series a year earlier - or a year later, the result would have been very different and also quite undramatic.
It would have thus been more appropriate scientifically to defer the study in order to encompass a more `normal' end year such as 1999. This further illustrates why 30 years is the standard scientific minimum before announcing any climatic trend as significant, as this allows the distorting effect of anomalous years to be evened out. This study covered 19½ years.
If the authors were aware of the anomalous nature of the end point of their data series, they should not have drawn such an absurd conclusion from it.
If they were not aware of it , then how can they even claim to be climate scientists at all?
This tendency, for proxy studies to find `warming' trends which are patently an artifact of the start/end dates chosen in the data series under study, has been encouraged in large part by an uncritical and unscientific mindset on the part of both authors and reviewers.
(From Andrew Woodcock, Penrith, Cumbria, U.K.)
"Hello from England, the home of global warming. Our friends at the University of East Anglia (CRU) have been at it again, issuing a statement on 15th November that Central England has had its warmest ever year in 1999, yet there is still 7 weeks to go!
As if to tempt fate, much of Western Europe was then swept by cold Arctic winds bringing the first snows of winter. This has turned out to be the start of a spell of exceptionally cold weather in Southern Europe as the cold air mass settled over the Mediterranean.
On 21st November the people of the sub-tropical island of Majorca woke to find the interior of the island covered in deep snow for the first time ever in November. In mainland Spain the weather was even more severe. For the first time in its history Barcelona airport was closed by snow and the following day newspapers showed pictures of Spain's Costa Brava beaches covered in snow while the sea water temperature measured 17ºC. The normal temperature in Barcelona in November is 18ºC.
In Southern France a 70-mile stretch of motorway was closed by freak early blizzards stranding a hundred motorist in their cars. These areas have never recorded snow in November making these events even more remarkable. Record low temperatures were recorded throughout this area and winter has not even started yet!
For the second year running, Moscow has endured record low temperatures for November. On 25th Nov. the maximum temperature was a bone chilling -17ºC., 16 degrees below normal. Moscow of course is in the very region that the IPCC said would warm the most due to global warming."
Memory plays tricks on all of us. We all remember how in the good old days, before `global warming', rain only fell gently at night, summers were warm and balmy with a friendly sun and no UV to give us cancer. Winters were graced with gentle snow at Christmas, and storms were only something we saw in adventure movies.
In our dreams.
It's the `Pleasantville' Syndrome, the tendency for all of us to remember only the good times of the past not the bad. The millenium we will be seeing out a month from now has seen massive climate changes on a global scale, all natural in origin, from the Medieval Warm Epoch at the start of the millenium, to the LIttle Ice Age of the middle ages. None of it was caused by Man , but somehow climate science is now trying to convince us that any change , however minute, is abnormal, caused by Man, and to be deeply feared.
Climate science is seriously infected with the Pleasantville syndrome, having a deep aversion to any sign of `change'. Change is threatening, it disturbs the natural order, it tells us there is chaos where we once thought there was a soothing and secure order.
The latest offering in New Scientist is a case in point. It seems the deep ocean currents from the Norwegian Sea are less saline than they used to be. "There's now alarming evidence..." screams New Scientist (how many times have we heard that tired old cliché in the last 10 years?). And what is this `alarming evidence'? Apparently, deep ocean salinity has dropped by -0.01 grams of salt per kg. for each of the last two decades, (ie. one hundredth of a gram.)
But before we all jump off a high building in despair, bear in mind the normal salt level in the sea is 30 grams per kg. So the decadal `fall' in salinity is only one thirtieth of one percent. As to why this should be so alarming, a new model (yes, there's always a `new model' lurking in these stories somewhere) suggests this could all result in a new ice age in Europe!
So there. You have been warned. However, New Scientist does admit in its final sentence that it "could also have natural causes". Now they tell us.
In the world of `Pleasantville' science any change, however minute, becomes a pretext for hysteria because such changes must be human induced. That's the fundamental law of Pleasantville.
The people of Europe must also be perplexed as to how global warming will get them an ice age. That paradox alone shows the extent to which the characterisation of the natural Greenhouse Effect as a `warm blanket' is a false and misleading one.
|"We are sure that you will
share our optimism and delight in the knowledge that coral growth and recovery
is reported even in areas where extensive damage has been caused due to
the bleaching." (ProDivers
These are the dread words the Washington environmental lobby do not want to hear. During 1998, there was extensive coral bleaching around the world, triggered by the big El Niño of that year warming up tropical sea temperatures. There were hysterical warnings that the damage to reef systems would be permanent and irreversible.
Now we have direct evidence that this is not so. The coral systems in the Maldives in the Indian Ocean are already regenerating in 1999 (see photo).
Why then, was there so much hysteria about what is clearly a natural cycle, both as to the severe El Nino and the resulting bleaching? Since corals have survived millions of years, it was clear that a temporary rise in sea temperature could do no permanent damage. Indeed, it is only through coral death that new coral can grow and build the reef systems and coral atolls which abound in the tropical seas. What we saw in 1998 was simply an unfolding of a natural cycle, not some sinister byproduct of human activity. Let us hope clearer heads prevail in future.
The bleaching came as a surprise only because the phenomenon had not been studied extensively before, nor its global extent understood, partly through previous poorer telecommunications. For a detailed account of the Maldives situation see `The World of ProDivers', an excellent site dedicated to reef diving. (thanks to Simon Scott for the intel.)
Novels of the `Deep South' delight in descriptions of hot days, sultry nights, steamy passions ...etc. etc.
But now climate `change' is upon them. It seems the southeastern part of the USA, the old `Deep South', has been getting just a tad cooler in recent decades, despite the alleged global warming.
Although the global surface temperature record has been shown to be faulty and subject to `warm creep' errors, this problem applies mainly to the Developing World, the not-so-developing world, the former communist countries, and of course the oceans.
However, high quality temperature recording in the contiguous USA means the surface record there is reliable - and even matches that part of the satellite record which is measured over the USA.
North Carolina State University has collated data from 52 weather stations from across the southeast and found an overall -0.1ºC cooling 1949-1994. It doesn't mean an end to the sultry nights (or novels about steamy passions), but at least the Deep Southerners can relax and enjoy their extra tenth of a degree celsius less heat.
It's that time of year again. Another climate conference, this time in Bonn, Germany - a cast of thousands, free gourmet food, luxury accomodations, exotic locations, first class air travel, all the creature comforts etc. etc. - And these people have the nerve to lecture the rest of us on wasting resources, wasting energy, and living a `consumer' lifestyle.
It might even be excused if this endless succession of climate conferences actually achieved anything tangible, but all we have to show for years of bureaucratic extravagance is an unenforceable treaty (FCCC), an unratified Protocol (Kyoto), and enough paper consumed to have destroyed an entire rainforest.
This talkfest has ended up much like its predecessors, high on rhetoric, but no tangible results. The people of the world can hardly be expected to embrace the economic hardships implicit in emission reductions when the very people who shout the loudest for those sacrifices make it very plain by their actions and behaviour that they have no intention of sharing in the pain they so readily demand of others.
It's about time sensible governments ended these extravagant charades.
In a recent press release from the Royal Dutch Meteorological Institute (KNMI), the average temperature in the Netherlands was +0.7°C higher in the last twenty years than it was earlier this century. This warming, and also increased precipitation levels (which were greatest in winter), were attributed primarily to natural causes, particularly an unusually strong North-Atlantic Oscillation (NAO), which increases westerly airflows over the Netherlands.
The NAO is a fairly recently-discovered North Atlantic equivalent to the Pacific El Niño phenomenon, so it is odd the KNMI should be already describing some of its features as `unusual'. They pointed to recent model results which they say suggest that the greenhouse effect could have an influence on the NAO, although they also admit the direction in which it might exert this influence is still unclear. In other words they are just guessing.
The KNMI also warn of the risk of unusually high tides due to a rise in sea level by 20 cm per century along the Dutch coastline. They attribute 5 cm of this rise to land subsidence in the Netherlands, the rest (15 cm) being predictably blamed on `the increase in the volume of seawater resulting from the rise in temperatures worldwide since the end of the nineteenth century'.
Some science. They themselves have unwittingly given the answer to their own observations. If the NAO has been increasing the westerly flow, then inevitably the tides will be assisted by the winds, giving higher average tides in the eastern half of the North Atlantic. This is a well-known phenomenon of tides generally. Furthermore, the Dutch have themselves massively altered their own coastline in the last few decades with the west coast `Delta Plan', and the earlier closure of the Zuider Zee, so some tidal and sea level rise this century must be expected since these regions were previously a significant tidal sink.
One of the two co-authors of the unpublished internal CSIRO Report on the `Isle of the Dead' near Port Arthur, Tasmania, Dr David Pugh, has made the CSIRO policy on the 1841 benchmark public by stating to the BBC that it was a high water mark struck in 1841, not a mean sea level mark.
If that were true, it would mean
there has been NO sea level rise in the last 160 years, none at all, because
the benchmark now sits at the approximate high tide level anyway
(in a location with a very small tidal range of only 60-70 cms).
But Pugh has not told the `Beeb' the whole story, as the benchmark was never intended as a high tide mark at all, but a mean sea level mark, meaning there may have been a sea level fall - Here is what the man responsible for the mark, renowned Antarctic explorer and ocean scientist, Captain Sir James Clark Ross wrote in 1847
"My principal object in visiting Port Arthur was ... to establish a permanent mark at the zero point, or general mean level of the sea as determined by the tidal observations which Mr. Lempriere had conducted with perseverance and exactness for some time: ... The point chosen for this purpose was the perpendicular cliff of the small islet off Point Puer (the Isle of the Dead), which, being near to the tide register, rendered the operation more simple and exact; the governor, whom I had accompanied on an official visit to the settlement, gave directions to afford Mr. Lempriere every assistance of labourers he required, to have the mark cut deeply in the rock in the exact spot which his tidal observations indicated as the mean level of the ocean."
How much clearer does Ross have to be? It would be an outrageous slur on the good name of such a great man to dismiss his account so lightly, just in order to prop up modern politically-inspired theories about sea level rise. Besides, a local high tide mark would have been scientifically pointless.
From data provided by Australia's National Tidal Facility (NTF), recent sea level trends in the Pacific area based upon SEAFRAME tide gauge data [to June 1998]
Location Length Trend
Samoa 64 -9.7
Tonga 65 +29.1
Tuvalu 62 -34.3
Fiji 69 +10.3
Kiribati 62 -21.4
Marshall Is. 58 -11.7
Vanuatu 55 +12.1
Nauru 59 -26.4
Solomon Is. 45 -41.3
PNG 32 -43.6
These are the latest sea level changes in the Pacific Ocean . Note the lack of any consistency between them. If you want to believe in sea level rise, then you need only focus on those places reporting sea level rises. But there are even more places reporting sea level falls.
Taken as a whole, the data is pure junk. One can take a broad average over the lot, giving a sea level fall of -11.2 mm/yr., but even that is junk given such a wide difference between the data.
The average for the Australian coast acc. to the National Tidal Facility in Adelaide (excluding Adelaide itself which is is known to have a major sinkage) is for a sea level rise of only +0.15 mm/yr
That compares with IPCC claims of +3.0 mm/yr.
Since Australia is stable geologically, and fronts onto 3 oceans, it is the IPCC which has made the bloated estimates, with no evidence to support such absurd claims.
From Britain's `News of the World', 26th Sept 99
Britain to Freeze in `Ice Age'
Britain and northern Europe could be plunged into a mini ICE AGE within 100 years, scientists warn.
The catastrophic development - blamed on so-called "global cooling" - would see our country buried under snow for six months a year.
Temperatures would plunge to match those on the edge of the Arctic circle.
The change could strike as the
polar ice cap ments and chills the Gulf Stream which determines UK climate.
Prof Stephen Schneider said: "We're worried.
Global cooling is worse than warming".
(thanks to Sage for the intel...)
(Extract of letter in
Science, 17 Sep 1999)
Effect on the Biosphere of Elevated Atmospheric CO2
In the current, post-Kyoto international political climate, scientific statements about the behavior of the terrestrial carbon cycle must be made with care, especially extrapolations from stand-level experiments or observations.
Bert Bolin Ex-Chairman, Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC), Sweden.
Josep Canadell CSIRO Wildlife and Ecology, Canberra, Australia.
Berrien Moore III Chairman, International Geosphere-Biosphere Programme (IGBP), University of New Hampshire,
Ian Noble Australian National University, Canberra, Australia.
Will Steffen Executive Director,IGBP, Royal Swedish Academy of Sciences,
Dear Professor Arber
I know you have not long to go as President of the International Council of Scientific Unions, but I am writing to you in that connection. As a life-long observer of the scientific scene, including climate research, I'm concerned about the pressure on scientists to get politically correct results about global warming. Usually it goes on behind the scenes, but an indiscreet letter in "Science" today from Bert Bolin and others gives the game away:
"In the current, post-Kyoto international political climate, scientific statements about the behavior of the terrestrial carbon cycle must be made with care ... ."
Scientific statements must always be made with care, by scientific criteria, but according to these writers the political climate is once again an extra criterion -- as it was in Galileo's Italy and Lysenko's Russia. The words are deeply disturbing and their provenance even more so, because this is not a casual comment from one scientist to another.
To rebuke the authors of one ordinary, peer-reviewed scientific paper, they've gone to extraordinary trouble in marshalling the Ex-Chairman of IPCC, the Chairman *and* Executive Director of the International Geosphere-Biosphere Programme (IGBP), and Chairman *and* Executive Officer of Global Change and Terrestrial Ecosystems (GCTE) which is a core project of IGBP.
Four of the five authors are writing in their capacities as officers in IGBP. While IPCC is openly a political (intergovernmental) body, IGBP was set up by ICSU and is supposed to be purely scientific.
Freedom of expression is written into ICSU's statutes, so is not criticism of scientific opinions on political grounds illegal within ICSU and IGBP?
Best wishes Nigel Calder
Subject: ICSU and freedom
of expression Date: Fri, 17 Sep 1999 09:50:10 EDT
To: Nigel Calder firstname.lastname@example.org
CC: email@example.com, firstname.lastname@example.org, email@example.com, S.A.Boehmer-Christiansen@geo.hull.ac.uk, firstname.lastname@example.org
Thank you very much for the note on the Bert Bolin letter published in today's issue of Science. The gentleman is not entirely unkown to me and nor is Dr. Steffen. Before I read your e-mail I was already composing a letter to them along the following lines:
"Your letter on the need to temper scientific findings with political considerations published in Science today is a chilling testimonial to the current trend to limit objective reason in deference to political ambitions.
Politics and science are fundamentally different beasts and whereas science can be harnessed to assist politics, the reverse has never been true. One can only wonder what letter you may wish to publish in response to Wagner et al., published in Science a month after DeLucia et al. Wagner's findings seem an order of magnitude less careful than DeLucia's.
The open rebuke of a scientific, peer reviewed paper on political grounds ("In the current, post-Kyoto international political climate, scientific statements...must be made with care") is unacceptable to the scientific community and serves only to tarnish the scientific reputation of the signatories and the scientific bodies they represent.
As a past representative of the Royal Swedish Academy of Engineering Sciences I am particularly disappointed in the lead role two representatives of the Swedish scientific community have chosen to play in this tardy spectacle.
Are not all scientific remarks made with care? Personally I would say that whereas they certainly should, they are not. Historically we have seen periodic alignment of science with political mainstream thought in times which produced little of scientific note. Your letter confirms that we are now experiencing such times; a notion further augmented by the observation that a disturbing amount of politically correct research is being done with little care for scientific accuracy. As an example, I might refer to ice core studies used to confirm pre-industrial atmospheric CO2 levels where trace gas solubility in ice is summarily dismissed. The results are acceptable from a Kyoto Protocol point of view but scientifically entirely unacceptable."
Best regards, Mihkel
Acc. to a new paper by Rodrigo Abarca del Rio, `The Influence of Global Warming in Earth Rotation Speed' (Ann. Geophysicae 17, 806-811, 1999), global warming will cause a net loss of angular momentum by the solid earth, thus decreasing the Earth rotation speed and increasing the length of the day.
This means we will all live a little longer. How much longer? Del Rio calculates the longer day at +0.56 milliseconds per century. That's right - one half of one thousandth of a second after 100 years. It may not exactly be immortality, but then life wasn't meant to be easy.
There has been much media concern about so-called `coral bleaching', which occurs when corals die from environmental stress.
But which environmental stress?
`Global Warming' is the quick, easy answer, but is this the real cause? Claims have been made that the bleaching is a farily `recent' phenomenon, and is associated with higher water temperatures.
Since ocean temperatures were higher in the past, this can hardly be a `new' effect at all. What is new is the research into corals, and recently observed effects like bleaching cannot be assumed to be `new' at all.
There are more obvious reasons for the bleaching events. Firstly, we have just had a major El Niño which temporarily raises ocean temperatures in the Pacific. Many of the bleaching claims date from last year's El Niño. Secondly, the brighter sun of the last few decades results in much higher ultra-violet radiation which penetrates surface waters quite readily. In tropical regions where the ozone layer is thinner than in temperate regions, the effect of increased UV light will have a profound impact on sensitive organisms like corals.
But the Greenhouse Industry has little interest in hearing about such natural causes.
The solar eclipse last week provided conclusive evidence of something Greenhouse skeptics have known for years - that most of the global warming this century has been driven by the Sun, not by human activity. Researchers of Ionspheric Monitoring at Rutherford Appleton Labs, Chilton, UK, set up an experiment at Helston School in Cornwall during the Eclipse, and found from ionospheric measurements that the corona of the Sun, visible only during an eclipse, had got brighter than in previous eclipses earlier this century.
Added to this Eclipse evidence is the growing acceptance in the scientific literature that the global warming up to the 1970s was mostly caused by `solar forcing' (translation - the sun got warmer, so we got warmer). This acceptance contrasts sharply with the shrill denials of any solar influences only a few years ago. Since 1979, satellites have kept a steady vigil on global temperature with little significant trend apparent either way. Since solar activity is very cyclic, the brightening of the sun during the 20th century is only a temporary phenomenon.
According to Environment News Service Mt. Baker, Washington, has set a new U.S. and world record for the most snowfall ever measured in a single season.
The Mt. Baker Ski Area, located at an elevation of 4,200 feet, reported 1,140 inches of snowfall for the 1998-99 snowfall season. The National Climate Extremes Committee, which is responsible for evaluating potential national record setting extreme events, reviewed the collection data and voted unanimously to accept the figure as a new record. The Committee is composed of experts from NOAA, the American Association of State Climatologists, and a regional expert from the Western Regional Climate Center.
Snowfall can be extremely difficult
to measure because it settles, melts, and during times of wind, drifts
from place to place. The committee reports that the measurements met snowfall
observation standards and practices prescribed by the National Weather
Service, and were judged to be accurate.
(thanks to Barry Hearn for the intel.)
3rd Coldest Month Down Under since January 1979
June was the third coldest Southern Hemisphere month since 1979 (-0.433). Only March 1993 in the wake of Pinatubo (-0.448), and September 1984 (-0.551) were colder. (Thanks to Onar Åm for the intel.)
The Climate `Impacts' people have been an active subset of the Greenhouse Industry. They are the ones who accept a warmer world as undisputed fact and then proceed to predict all sorts of horrific outcomes or `impacts', - everything from heat stroke deaths in Alaska to malaria outbreaks in Britain.
They also make a specialty of picking on kids in schools to peddle their message.
Talking about kids, the latest howler comes from Discovery Channel's `Earth Alert' who predict that warmer weather will cause more boys to be born than girls, thus tipping the gender balance. Alexander Lerchi, a German researcher matched weather data in Germany with the time of conception of babies
(No, there will be no discussion here of his methodology - this is serious science after all...)
He found more boys were born resulting from warmer weather than girls, which led him to the incredible conclusion that global warming will result in an increase in the ratio of boys to girls by a couple of percent.
Similar correlations could be made between births and episodes of `Star Trek' on TV, but that would be mixing science with science fiction.
Or, maybe it's all science fiction (thanks to Paolo Jannin for the intel
In a serious error of judgement, Tom Wigley of the National Center for Atmospheric Research (NCAR), Boulder, Colorado, has recently associated the publicly-funded NCAR with a private radical Green organisation.
The Pew Center on Global Climate Change (a subsidiary of the wealthy Pew Charitable Trusts, an environmentalist organisation), has just published a monograph by Tom Wigley, writing on behalf of NCAR, titled "The Science of Climate Change". By directly and explicitly associating NCAR itself with the Pew Center, Wigley has seriously compromised NCAR's public duty to remain above politics and stick to scientific research only. In the publicity attending the launch of the Pew/Wigley monograph, the Pew Center claims Wigley's paper has been `peer-reviewed'. But the list of peers reads like a `who's who' of the Greenhouse Industry - McCracken, Mahlman, Meehl, Santer, Schlesinger, Shine, Viner, Henderson-Sellers etc., all of whom have, by association, endorsed this coalition between the Industry and Environmentalists. With no skeptics among the `peers', it appears more like `mate's review'.
As to Wigley's claim in the monograph to represent the `science' of climate change, he glossed over serious questions frequently put by skeptics. For example, in a British TV documentary away back in 1991, Wigley himself said in response to the observation that the lion's share of warming this century ocurred before the later increases in CO2, "Yes" He replied, "that's a remarkable puzzle." In this latest Pew Center monograph, he again fudged that very issue by claiming the puzzle was partly the result of "internally generated variability". In other words, he still does'nt know.
A more detailed critique of the monograph will appear on this website at a later date, but for now, three lines of a song comes to mind ...
"Where Have All
The Scientists Gone?
Gone to Green-land Every One ...
When will they ever learn ?"
It was recently announced that the world's population will pass the 6 Billion mark this year. Scary.
But is it? If we imagine the entire 6 billion people being gathered together in one multitude, each person standing a comfortable 1 metre apart from the next person, how big an area would they occupy? Western Europe? Australia?
Think again. One square kilometre (1,000 metres x 1,000 metres) could accommodate 1,000 x 1,000 (or 1 million) people. In other words, the whole 6 billion (or 6,000 million) could stand comfortably in a mere 6,000 square kilometres of land.
For scale, 6,000 sq. km. can be compared with Connecticut (12,973), Delaware (5,328), the Falkland Islands (12,173), Brunei (5,765), Prince Edward Island (5,657), Trinidad (5,128). The land area of the earth is 150 million sq. km., 25,000 times bigger than the land needed to hold the 6 billion
It has long been an article of faith within the Greenhouse Industry that present levels of CO2 in the atmosphere (365 ppm) is `unprecedented'. It is widely claimed that pre-industrial CO2 averaged 280 ppm. However, such estimates represent century-scale averages (due to the poor resolution of compressed ice), not the levels which may be experienced over shorter timescales. Nigel Calder's paper on this website suggests CO2 levels may be highly variable, resulting from transient changes in global temperature.
Aside from the fact that the dinosaurs enjoyed CO2 levels over 10 times what it is now, there is new evidence that high CO2 levels were reached even since the last ice age. In a paper titled "Century-Scale Shifts in Early Holocene Atmospheric CO2 Concentration" (Science 284, 1999, p.1971), Wagner et al. show that a comparative study of stomatal frequency in modern and fossilized birch leaves (leaf stomata being sensitive to CO2 concentration) indicate that CO2 levels were well above 300 ppm about 300 years after the end of the last ice age, just over 10,000 years ago.
So, today's CO2 levels are not so `unprecedented' after all.
Tornadoes? In England? Reports of tornadoes this week in the English midlands has the Greenhouse Industry abuzz. `Has the dreaded Greenhouse arrived at last?', they ask each other hopefully.
No such luck. What is not commonly realised is that England experiences more tornadoes per unit area annually than any other country in the world - more even than the USA. They are generally much less severe than the US twisters, but quite common nevertheless. Indeed the Fujita Scale of tornado intensity was first developed in England, while the unique `SuperCell' thunderstorm type (which spawn tonadoes), was first identified in England also.
For an excellent account and history of English tornadoes, see Britain's
The only thing which has increased in number and intensity in recent years is not extreme weather events (tornadoes, cyclones, heatwaves etc.) but the reporting, measurement, and video recording of them. This creates a public and media impression of increased activity where none actually exists - as with England's twisters.
Grey flag? The Greenhouse Industry has partially conceded what global warming skeptics have been saying all along. Namely, that the Sun, not Man, is primarily responsible for the claimed +0.6°C global warming since the mid 19th century.
Geneva">Amid mounting scientific evidence that the increasing intensity of solar activity this century has clearly had a warming effect on global climate, a new paper in Nature (vol.399, p.437) by Mike Lockwood et al., (as reported in `New Scientist', 5th June) analysed data from space probes which measure the solar magnetic field. From these measurements, it was possible to use historical terrestrial magnetic data to calculate solar energy output since 1868. From this, Lockwood and his team calculated that virtually all the warming between 1860 and 1930 was caused by the Sun.
However, according to `New Scientist' they also claim that only a third of the warming since 1970 can be attributed to the Sun, the remaining two-thirds being due to greenhouse gases.
Clearly, the post-1970 `warming' they refer to is based on the flawed surface network which does indeed show a warming. However, the satellite data which has operated since January 1979 shows a warming of only 0.1°C spread over a 20 year period, well within the exclusively solar cause which they themselves have measured.
It's not exactly the white flag run up, but a grey one anyway.
Residents near the town of Orange, New South Wales, Australia, woke up this morning to find the ground all covered in snow. The region lies at an altitude of 800 metres on latitude 33°South.
The 1998 Sydney-Hobart Yacht Race which begun on 26th December last, ended in tragedy when a severe storm with mountainous seas decimated the racing fleet as they were crossing the treacherous Bass Strait, resulting in the deaths of 6 yachtsmen.
After the tragedy, accusations were flung in all directions. The BoM was accused of making an inadequate storm warning, forecasting wind speeds which proved to be less than those actually experienced. The race organisers were accused of failing to call off the race when it was clear that surviving the race had become more important than winning it. Safety equipment manufacturers were criticized for equipment failures, particularly in respect of life rafts.
Only a few days ago, an internal inquiry by the BoM cleared the Bureau and its personnel of any negligence or failure to give adequate warning. Of course, as with any internal inquiry, objectivity can easily be clouded by organisational loyalties. Then, yesterday (2nd June), a separate inquiry by the yacht organisers directed blame at the BoM, accusing it of giving inadequate warning of the impending storm. There will be an independent coronial inquiry later this year at which each side will have the opportunity to present its views.
However, as a former seafarer myself and as owner of a website with some passing interest in all things related to weather and climate, some comment on this sorry mess is called for.
The sea is an unforgiving place. Carelessness and over-confidence will see you dead - eventually. Weather forecasts are just that - forecasts. They are not iron-clad predictions (That's why they are called `forecasts' and not `predictions'). The meteorologists who produce them are not offering life insurance or crisis counselling, but forecasts of what in their professional opinion is likely to happen to the weather in the next 24 to 48 hours.
In the case of the storm in question, the BoM got the storm itself predicted very precisely. The storm happened exactly when and where they said it would. That's considered a bullseye in meteorological circles.
But what of the intensity of the storm?
The BoM forecast of wind speed was less than what was actually experienced, yet the BoM itself cautions that winds can and do vary by up to 40% from what may be forecast, particularly during wind gusts. As a one-time seafarer myself, I know only too well how storms can turn out to be more severe than forecast, or even turn into fizzers. The science/art of weather forecasting is not exact, has never been exact, and no-one, especially those of us who go down to the sea in ships, can reasonably expect exactness. For the BoM to correctly forecast the time and place of the storm was impressive enough. To expect an exact prediction of the intensity was pushing forecasting beyond what can reasonably be expected of it - or even what the BoM itself claims for it.
The best sailors are not the ones who can battle their way through the worst storms, but the ones who somehow contrive to be in the nearest pub when the storm is at its height.
Professional seafarers know the value, and limitations, of weather forecasts and take precautions accordingly. But amateurs, such as yacht racers, do not have the depth of experience to make such allowances in the forecasts they receive. Their desire is for an exact prediction of storm locations, time, and intensity, a desire that meteorology cannot reasonably meet.
Which takes us back to the race. Once it was clear that a survival situation existed for the distressed yachts, responsibility for subsequent events rested with the yacht skippers and the race organisers. However, not all skippers reacted the same way. Some - wisely, decided to abandon the race and head for the nearest cover, while others pressed on - racing away as if the race even mattered any more. Few remember, or even care, who won the 1998 Sydney-Hobart, but the deaths of the 6 yachtsmen is all that will be remembered.
The latest attempt by the race organisers to direct the blame to the BoM suggests a denial of their own responsibilities in the hours leading up to the tragedy. It was within their power to call off the race and so remove the pressures of competition from amateur skippers whose judgement may have been split between coping with the storm on the one hand, and winning brownie points in the race on the other.
Amateur skippers are not professional seafarers and so may not be fully aware of just how vicious a place a wild sea can be. It would thus be quite wrong for The Australian Bureau of Meteorology to be paraded as a scapegoat for errors in judgement by yacht skippers and/or by the race organisers.
Summer storms in the Bass Strait area are notorious for their sudden onset and severity, and ultimate responsibility must rest with those who chose to remain at sea, or chose to keep the race running, during such an extreme weather event.
The following reports of recent unseasonal wintry weather show that 1999 is unfolding quite differently to 1998. Records and anomalies, whether hot or cold, wet or dry, have very little long-term significance, but serve to remind us that "what goes around comes around".
Washington State USA:
"The world record for a single season's snowfall has just been broken on Mt. Baker, in the state of Washington. As of May 12, Mt. Baker had officially recorded 1,125 inches of snowfall since November 1, 1998. The old record was set at the Paradise Ranger Station on Mt. Rainier in the winter of 1971-1972, at 1,122 inches. Since Mt. Baker begins measuring annual snowfall on November 1, and ends on October 31, this total is expected to rise even further". [Thanks to Tom Snyder for the intel.]
"We had the heaviest snowfall in Dublin (Ireland) since 1986. It happened in April! On the 13th April there were snow showers during the day which didn't "stick" but from about 11pm 13th to 3am 14th it snowed and left 6 inches by morning with the tepmerature -4°c at 8am. It looked like Lapland that morning! Very odd to have calf deep powder snow in mid April when we had none in 12 years, even in Winter". [Thanks to Brendan Fitzsimons for the intel.]
The coldest May day in 22 years hit Victoria on 15th May.
According to the US National
Weather Service, Monterey, California, was the cold spot on 13th May when
the average temperature for the day, 50°F, was the coldest ever recorded
there for this date.
(thanks to Kurt Nielsen for the intel.)
The latest tornado tragedy in Oklahoma and Kansas serves to remind us of how nature is anything but benign. This is one in a long history of similar twister disasters this century.
19th March 1948 - 42 people killed by tornadoes in 9 states stretching from Texas to New York
12th May 1953 - Waco area, Texas. 124 killed.
1st Feb 1955 - Mississippi, 29 killed.
23rd March 1955 - Tornadoes and floods kill 47 in eastern and midwest states.
27th May 1955 - Tornadoes kill 121 in southern states.
12th April 1965 - Tornadoes in the midwest kill 239 in 6 states.
29th March 1984 - Tornadoes kill 65 in Carolinas
26th April 1991 - Kansas, 70 killed by tornadoes
Increasing population density and suburban development in `Tornado Alley' makes tornado disasters more likely than in previous years.
For all of us wimps who simply hate sport, sport and yet more sport on TV, here's a story to `warm' the heart.
Finnish premier league football match Rovaniemi-Helsinki was cancelled this weekend. Heavy snowfall and extremely cold temperature made the green football field in Rovaniemi look like a Siberian tundra. The newscorrespondent asked asked the metheorogist "Don' t you think this is a sign of something strange happening in the global climate ?" The meteorogist answered, "No, there has been heavy snowfall in June in Finland before, in South-Finland too". The correspondent looked a bit disappointed. Why is everything so boring normal ? Rovaniemi belongs to the region where the most significant Global Warming should have taken place already. (thanks to Dr Jarl Ahlbeck (Finland) for the intel.)
The latest media release from the PR people at Australia's CSIRO (the main scientific organisation still promoting greenhouse warming in Australia), has just shot itself in the foot.
They point out that Australia has been getting wetter and is predicted to get wetter still in the 21st century. There are no prizes for guessing the culprit, but the CSIRO spin department must imagine that this is bad news.
Australia, the driest inhabited continent in the world, savaged by droughts, 80% of the country arid and semi-arid, and CSIRO imagines that Australians will throw themselves off high buildings in despair at the news that Australia is getting wetter !
But it gets worse. The CSIRO also claims that there have been more El Niño's in the last 30 years than in previous comparabale periods. Maybe, maybe not, but even taking their claim at face value, every El Niño produces drier than normal conditions, even droughts, in most of Australia. So, if we have been having more El Niño's than normal, how come we are also wetter?
It's odd that CSIRO should even talk about what's `normal' for Australia. This continent is notorious for its climate extremes. The concept of `normal' is an alien one in our climate. However, here in Tasmania, Australia's island state, the climate has been more normal than normal as we have not had any real extremes for years. Scary.
Maybe the CSIRO P.R. people should get their story straight for once, because their latest effort at scaremongering is both contradictory and absurd.
But then, people who `spin' too hard usually just get dizzy.
The latest global temperature figures for March 1999, as measured by satellites, are now in, and show the Earth has cooled dramatically in the wake of the current La Niña, following on the heels of the high El Niño-induced temperature of 1998. The March 1999 figures now show the Earth's temperature to have fallen below the 1979-1999 average.
And this was predicted on this website !
On 22 November 1998, in an article "El Niño and Global Temperature", by yours truly, it was demonstrated that global temperature is controlled largely by the El Niño/La Niña cycle, otherwise known as the `El Niño Southern Oscillation' (or ENSO for short). It was shown that the temperature history of the last 20 years of satellite recording can be explained by shifts in ENSO, modified only by volcanic eruptions. Since the 1997/1998 El Niño was such an intense one, the high temperature of 1998 was attributed entirely to this effect, and not to any human causes.
It was also shown that global temperature reacts 6 to 9 months after the associated ENSO shifts.
In the November article, a forward prediction was made that since ENSO had already moved into La Niña mode, then global temperature would fall below the long-term average by March 1999. This prediction has now been fulfilled with the March 1999 satellite data showing both hemispheres having fallen below the long-term average, a sharp cooling of the Earth caused by La Niña. The Earth in March was 0.15°C cooler than the LT average, while the southern hemisphere was a full quarter of a degree cooler (disproving Greenhouse industry claims that the southern hemisphere should be warmer due to absence of industrial `sulfates' in the atmosphere).
The importance of the successful fulfilling of this prediction is that not only is the present cooling now fully explained, but the 1998 warmth which was much trumpeted by the Greenhouse industry as evidence of human impact on climate, is now seen for what it really was - a warmth induced solely by a particularly powerful El Niño event in 1997/98, with no volcanic activity to restrain it as happened during the last powerful El Niño in 1982/83.
Since ENSO is an ocean oscillation involving world-wide movements in ocean currents, it has absolutely nothing to do with human activity.
Winter ice breakup on the Tanana River, Nenana, Alaska occurred at 9.47 pm 29th April. The record for the earliest ice breakup was set 9 days earlier - in 1940
During the last ice age, airborne CO2 was very low (180 ppm), but rose sharply to 280 ppm at the end of the ice age.. Over the last 160,000 years, changes in CO2 have been closely matched by similar changes in global temperature.
The greenhouse industry consistently implied, and at times even stated, that during the last 160,000 years, changes in the level of CO2 caused global temperature to change in response. This graph, (the one displayed by Al Gore during his climate change briefings) clearly shows that quite the opposite is true - that temperature changes first - followed by the CO2, not the other way around. This is evident from the time lags between peaks and troughs in the graphs.
The myth of CO2-causing-temperature was perpetuated for only one reason. It suggested to the public and governments alike, that trace amounts of CO2 really was capable of wreaking havoc to the climate, enough to cause an ice age (if not enough CO2), or global warming (if too much CO2).
Now the myth has been exposed, not by investigative journalism, but in `Science' (12th March). Scripps researchers have re-examined the same ice core data and have concluded that temperature is definitely the cause, and CO2 is the effect. They show that CO2 lags temperature by several centuries. This only confirms what has been common knowledge within scienctific circles for several years.
This public finding kicks away a vital prop from under the CO2 warming theory, as it demonstrates that CO2 was never the cause of the massive temperature variations of the past 160,000 years, variations which have been known for decades to be caused by the Earth's orbital geometry relative to the sun, and not to greenhouse gases. Only the greenhouse industry, for its own opportunistic purposes, portrayed CO2 (or lack of) as the primary cause of past climate change. The orbital mechanism of climate change, established scientifically as early as 1937, has never been refuted. Rather, the greenhouse industry and their allies made it politically incorrect to even mention it.
The real truth is now out in the open, and endorsed by science. The Earth's orbit causes the ice ages and intervening warm periods. The resulting changes in global temperature in turn causes the level of atmospheric CO2 to change. There is yet no physical evidence to demonstrates that CO2 has any significant effect on climate, other than to provide enhanced chemical fertilization to plants, hardly something to lose sleep over.
The American Society of Mechanical Engineers (ASME) has recently released a statement on the `Technology Implications for the U.S. of the Kyoto Protocol Carbon Emission Goals'. It is ASME members who would be at the cutting edge of whatever technical measures are needed to achieve the Kyoto targets. In their statement they say, "In order to reduce carbon emissions in the U.S. to 7% below the 1990 levels by the 2008-2012 time frame, will require a reduction of about 551 million metric tons of carbon, a number well in excess of that available from implementation of presently available technologies." They further say that even with full utilisation of available technologies, the U.S. could only achieve about 25% of the target within the time frame specified by the protocol. ASME in particular drew attention to the long lead times needed for major capital projects of the kind needed to meet the targets.
The bottom line, from the very people in a position to know, is that the Kyoto Protocol cannot be achieved. (Thanks to Jim Breeding for the intel)
The government of Iceland has decided not to sign the Kyoto Protocol, and will miss the 15th March signing deadline. Iceland's Foreign Minister, Halldór Ásgrímsson, left open the possibility of signing sometime in the future on condition that Iceland can "be sure it can continue to harness Iceland's renewable energy sources." Iceland is the first OECD country to refuse to sign the Kyoto protocol.
It seems that Iceland's allowance of a 10% rise in emissions on 1990 levels is simply not enough to sustain their small economy, particularly with some heavy industrial projects being planned. New economic forecasts show that Iceland would need to increase emissions by about 25% by 2010 if these projects are to go ahead. Iceland also wants its own variant on the `Australia' clause (which allows for land use changes to count toward greenhouse gas inventories).
In short, Iceland wants the whole
protocol re-negotiated as far as their country is concerned. Icelandic
greens reacted by claiming the decision sends the wrong message to the
rest of the world. Actually we have got the right message loud and clear.
Kyoto spells economic decline and poverty. Further information from the
"Daily News From
(Thanks to Agust Bjarnason for the intel.).
Ice too close for comfort...
And while we are on Iceland, sea ice charts from the Icelandic Meteorological Office show that sea ice in late February was only 30 nautical miles from the Icelandic coast compared with 60 NM during the same period last year. Little wonder their government has lost any anxiety they may have had about global `warming'.
In the Jan 99 issue of Ecos (an Australian eco-science magazine), the latest excuse to explain away the lack of warming so far is that of `industrial aerosols'. Until recently, the stock excuse was ocean thermal inertia, except that this inertia was remaining too inert for too long to be credible.
So now we have the aerosols theory. It has three aspects. Firstly, it is claimed aerosols create a `cooling haze' over industrial regions, offsetting the greenhouse effect. Secondly, aerosols create more clouds by providing nucleii for clouds to form. Thirdly, aerosol-induced clouds hold their moisture more successfully than ordinary clouds, and so last much longer.
Thus we have a three-pronged explanation to reassure anxious environmentalists that there really will be a big warming after all, - even if we can't see it yet.
Ecos goofed on first principles with this. They cited as their source - you guessed it - another computer model, this time the model at Australia's CSIRO.
One does not need to be a modeller to see the fundamental flaw in this reasoning about aerosols, when we compare the temperatures of the northern (NH) and southern (SH) hemispheres separately. Most of the aerosols are of NH origin, but the 90% water-covered SH is relatively free of them apart from a few isolated pockets. On Ecos/CSIRO reasoning, the NH should show a cooler long-term trend relative to the SH (which has a much cleaner atmosphere and thus more free to warm up under an enhanced greenhouse effect).
Instead, there is very little difference between the two hemispheres at all . The NH shows a warming trend of +0.1°C since 1979, while the SH shows a zero trend. In other words, the SH which, according to the aerosol theory, should be warmer than the NH by now, is actually a tenth of a degree cooler.
The CSIRO and Ecos need to get a better grip on reality and spend less time on computer games.
For more on the big freeze, check these links to Reuters. Only my summaries are given here.
In this Reuters story, the Russian Weather Service report that some of their Arctic regions have been recording the coldest temperatures this century. Not just on one night, but for several days in a row, an unusually long time for a deep chill like this.
In one village in the Kola Peninsula near the Norwegian border, the thermometer fell to almost minus 69°C - the lowest temperature recorded there for more than 100 years.
In the Komi region it reached minus 63°C the lowest temperature there since 1936.
In this Reuters story, temperatures in Northern Norway this week fell to minus 51.2°C., the coldest this century
Overnight temperatures in Karasjok were minus 51.2°C just 0.2°C short of the all-time record of minus 51.4°C set in 1886.
Record temperatures, whether hot or cold, mean nothing climatically. Only long-term averages matter. But the Greenhouse Industry chose to exploit record highs in 1998 for their own opportunistic ends.
Now we have cold records being broken all over the place. Norway, Finland, and now Russia are all reporting plunging thermometers to all-time record low levels. Significant? No more significant than last years warm records. It happens, that's all
These cold records are being broken in the very places where Greenhouse scientists expect the largest warmings of all in their greenhouse world. (Thanks to Doug Hoyt for the intel.)
Surface Record Flawed - It's Official ! (6 Feb 99) (intel. from Doug Hoyt)
It has been frequently said on this website that the composite `global mean temperature' data published by the Goddard Institute, the NOAA, and by CRU (who all claim that the earth has warmed +0.5°C this century) was based on questionable records from thousands of weather stations worldwide.
Most of these stations were in big warming cities and in countries with inadequate measuring standards.
(See "Whats' Wrong With The Surface Record?" on this website for more detail)
Now, AP reports (Feb 4, 1999) that the US National Research Council (the research arm of the US National Academy of Sciences), is saying much the same thing, quote -
"Deficiencies in the accuracy, quality and continuity of the records ... place serious limitations on the confidence that can be placed in the research results."
What often seemed like `climate change' at weather stations was later found to be merely the result of instrument changes.
Satellites measure global temperature also, and they have a solid 20 years of data behind them, indicating little change in global temperature at all.
The only reason the surface record is still peddled by the Greenhouse industry is because it gives them what they want - warming.
If the Greenhouse Industry ever wondered why the public have switched off from the endless pessimism of environmental politics , they need look no further than this gem from Reuters.
Big Melt May Bring Big Freeze
By Andy Soloman, Reuters
MCMURDO STATION, Antarctica (Jan. 27) - Global warming could raise sea levels by as much as 20 feet in the next generation and the earth could be heading for a mini ice-age, Antarctic scientists said Wednesday.
Global warming = Global Cooling. Right....
To a world weary of yet new warm `records' being claimed by the Greenhouse Industry, a mistaken impression that only warm records are being broken could be made by the public.
But from Finland and Norway, we have news that cold records also get broken. It's just that they are not reported by the media. Finland and Norway are in high northern latitudes in the Arctic and sub-Arctic regions, the very region that climate models and pro-warming scientists claim should warm the most in a warming greenhouse world.
All the more inexplicable then, that it is in this very region that cold records have recently been set, not warm ones.
According Dr Jarl Ahlbeck of the Abo Akademi University, Finland (28 Jan 1999) -
"The coldest night in Finland for the last 100 years was measured last night in Lapponia, north Finland, minus 52 degrees C. According to the climate models who started the GW action, Lapponia should already have warmed by several degrees C. Nothing of that has been seen, the variations are stochastic, no statistically significant trends in any direction."
Then, according to Tor Morten Sneve of the Norwegian Water Resources & Energy Administration (NVE) (27 Jan 1999)-
" ...a new (unofficial) cold record has been meassured in Norway. Equipment approved by DNMI (Norw Meteo. Inst) has been used by the police sergeant of Karasjokk in Finnmark, Northern Norway, to meassure -52.4 deg C. The old record was from 1886, and meassured -51.4 deg C."
We all know 1998 was a warm year globally, due mainly to El Nino. Even the satellites confirm that. The Greenhouse Industry has capitalised on this in a very opportunistic way in the media. These latest cold records being set from what should be a very Greenhouse-sensitive region suggests the party is now over.
This is the startling prediction
by Dr Theodor Landscheidt, of the Schroeter Institute for Research in Cycles
of Solar Activity, Nova Scotia, Canada. In a major paper on this website,
Activity Controls El Niño and La Niña",
Dr Landscheidt has developed a model of solar activity which comprehensively
explains the timing of not only all previous known El Niño/La Niña
events, but also to predict future ones. At present, the best lead time
to predict such events is at most one year, based on NOAA ocean buoy networks
detecting the first changes in ocean temperature. This new discovery by
Dr Landscheidt gives a prediction lead time of several years. According
to him, the present La Niña will continue for the next 12 months
at least, followed by an El Niño late in 2002.
Click here for the full paper.
Peer Review is often trumpeted as a guarantee of the scientific soundness of papers published in scientific journals. Prof Fred Singer of SEPP reports this example of what passes for `peer' review in modern climate `science'.
Dr. Tom Wigley of NCAR, defending his position against Singer's critique of one of his papers published in `Science', revealed these review comments by three of his supposedly anonymous `peers'.
Referee #1: "Overall evaluation: ...presents an insightful and deceptively simple analysis..."
Referee #2: "Overall evaluation: ...an exciting paper using an underutilized technique...deserves rapid publication..."
Referee #3: "This is an paper...has some very interesting and important results...a novel, yet simple approach..."
And Wigley's conclusion? - "I hope you will note the uniformity of the referees opinions.". Indeed we do !
Uniformity? How three anonymous `peers', supposedly working in complete isolation from each other, can all come up with the same sycophantic cliche "excellent and exciting", emphasises the need for `Peer Review' itself to be seriously reviewed.
Put simply - Peer Review in the climate sciences has become a political sham, a cover to bestow scientific authority on work which may otherwise have little genuine scientific merit at all.
This is why the policy of this website towards guest papers published here, is that of Open Review, not the secretive unaccountable process now practiced by journals. Peer Review in Greenhouse science has become a sinister form of censorship to exclude all but those papers which promote the Green ideology.
Tom Wigley Demands Retraction and Apology:
A few people, including Fred Singer and John Daly, have recently suggested that there was some collusion between referees with regard to my recent Science paper (vol. 282, pp. 1676-1679, 1998). The basis for this suggestion is the fact that all three referees judged the paper to be "excellent and exciting". This is a piece of information I passed on to Fred Singer last December in a letter I considered to be personal, but which he apparently distributed widely.
In Science's review comments form, the journal gives referees four possible assessments under the heading "Overall Evaluation". These are: "excellent and exciting", "above average", "mediocre or poor" and "belongs in a more specialized journal". Given these categories, all three referees of my paper judged it to be "excellent and exciting".
In passing information on to Fred, I assumed that he was sufficiently aware of Science's refereeing system to be aware of this. Instead, he (and others) seem to have interpreted this as some sort of pro-greenhouse conspiracy. This is a sad indictment of the individuals concerned. I hope that they will retract any statements they have made suggesting collusion, and issue public apologies that will be seen by the (anonymous) referees.
John Daly Replies:
Tom Wigley (left) claims that my "Peer Review or Sycophancy?" item (see it above in the `Stop Press' section) alleges collusion between referees in their identical "excellent and exciting" description of Wigley's recent paper to Science.
Not so. I was simply showing how the odious practice of anonymous peer review in Greenhouse science circles has degenerated into little more than mutual back-slapping, where the review process becomes sycophantic rather than rigorously critical. Furthermore, the words "collusion" and "conspiracy" were never mentioned once, so that part of Wigley's allegation is an imputation he has put on the item not justified by the wording or the intended meaning.
The fact that three reviewers would express the same congratulatory sentiment would lead any reasonable person to suspect that the review was not as rigorous as it should be on a matter so important to public policy. I clearly attributed the remarkable unanimity of opinion to sycophancy, not collusion.
"Global warming will bring the world to an end." - excellent! - exciting!
How more ridiculous can it get?
We now know that the phrase "excellent and exciting" was but one of four choices in a `tick-a-box' scheme devised by Science. "Review by Tick-A-Box" - is that what science is now reduced to?
Tom Wigley's own revelation about the `tick-a-box' procedure fully vindicates my claim that peer review "has become a political sham" (quoted from my article).
Contrast this with the `Open Review' policy operating on guest papers on this website - very rigorous and demanding, yet also very transparent, and open to all to contribute to.
Since I have not claimed collusion, but merely sycophancy, I see no reason to retract anything as this is within the realm of legitimate public comment. As to public apologies to anonymous referees, the only person who should apologise to them is Tom Wigley himself as he was the source of the leak in the first place, not Prof Singer. (And how exactly is one supposed to apologise to people who remain anonymous?).
By sending a letter to Prof Singer (to a known critic of Wigley's work, no less), Tom Wigley himself compromised the confidentiality of his own reviewers. Since a letter once sent, becomes the property of the recipient, not the sender, Wigley had no control over who might or might not get to see the anonymous reviewers' ticks and crosses.
Although Prof Singer quoted from the three reviews (well, three ticks anyway) to the public domain, the information itself originated with Wigley, no-one else. Indeed, it was Wigley who proudly drew particular attention to the remarkable unanimity of opinion by the reviewers.
For the record, this reply has not been drafted in `collusion' with Prof Singer, nor as part of a `conspiracy' with the Dark Side. It is my personal response only to what seems to me to be a hyper-sensitive response to a minor side issue.
- John L. Daly
Is it time you thought about getting yourselves a new Environment Minister?
Christine Stewart, Canada's Minister of the Environment was quoted by the Calgary Herald recently -
"No matter if the science is all phony, there are collateral environmental benefits.... Climate change [provides] the greatest chance to bring about justice and equality in the world."
Don't say we didn't warn you. There's more to the climate change agenda than just a change in the weather.
This year's Sydney-Hobart ocean yacht race ended with the tragic loss of 6 lives, two of whom were from Launceston, Tasmania.
In addition, there were numerous injuries and a total of 56 men had to be snatched from certain death by helicopters whose crews risked their own lives braving impossible conditions. Without this rescue operation, the biggest maritime rescue in Australian history, many more lives would have been lost. This disaster was the result of a massive storm which intensified rapidly off the east coast of Australia, locally known as `southerly busters', which can occur at this time of year.
In the wake of this tragedy, several issues are now surfacing.
The first concerns the adequacy or otherwise of the storm warning and forecasts given by the Bureau of Meteorology.
The second relates to the suitability of the life rafts carried by some of the boats. Three of the deaths occurred following damage to one of the liferafts.
Finally, there is the question of whether the race should have been cancelled by the organisers immediately it became apparent there was a disaster in the making. The winner of the race, American yacht "Sayonara", survived the storm, but her skipper took little pleasure in the win, expressing deep shock at what had happened to the rest of the fleet. The inquiry will presumably determine to what extent, if any, the continuation of the race may have contributed to the tragedy.
It does no credit to those now in the forefront of public scrutiny over this tragedy to be actively engaged in `damage control'.
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