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Archive for February, 2008

Spiked Online: Sir David “King of the Climate Porn”

2008/02/29 1 comment

A commentary of “The Hot Topic“, the new book on Climate Change by Sir David King (with Gabrielle Walker) in the February 2008 issue of the spiked review of books:

The King of ‘Climate Porn’
A new book by the UK government’s former chief scientific adviser sheds yet more heat than light on the global warming debate – despite its promises of balance.
by Tony Gilland

Mr Gilland does not sound impressed with the thoughts of somebody, like Sir David, that once described climate change as a worse threat than terrorism. Here a few quotes:

[…] The Hot Topic adds about as much cool science and clarity to the global warming debate as the celebrity chef wars add to our understanding of nutrition […]

 […] As soon as you go beyond the jacket of The Hot Topic, King and Walker seem less interested in promoting understanding and reasoned debate than in foisting a one-sided account of climate science, coupled with narrow and constraining policy prescriptions, on to their readers.  […]

 […] what is probably most irritating about The Hot Topic is the way in which one particular response to global warming is promoted as the only sensible response – do everything possible to restrict climate change to no more than two degrees Celsius above pre-industrial levels – without providing any sense of the substantial controversy that surrounds such a target.  […]

 […] Ultimately Walker and King appear to regard their trump card as the threat of the Greenland Ice Sheet melting  […] they point out that ‘the vulnerability of Greenland depends on aspects of its internal dynamics that are as yet uncertain’  […] What Walker and King do not draw their readers’ attention to is the fact that the IPCC has excluded such factors from their projections […]

E-Day: Fudge or Fraud?

2008/02/28 9 comments

There is something supremely odd about the results published on the E-Day website.

The Energy Saving Day (E-Day) has been a UK-based “experiment” running between 6PM GMT on Feb 27 to 6PM GMT on Feb 28, “to show how even small energy saving measures can be made to add up, and potentially play a part in tackling climate change.”

Fact is that nothing has added up, and consumption has been higher than expected all through the day. At 4:21GMT it was showing “current savings” of -4.8% and “total savings” of -1.6%.

That is, the UK was actually “wasting” energy, compared to the predicted values according to National Grid.

At 13:42GMT, “current savings” was -1.6%, and “total savings” -0.8%. No sign of any “total savings of money, energy and carbon associated with E-Day” that were supposed to be “calculated and made available in time of the evening news bulletins“.

On the website it is also displayed a chart of ongoing energy consumption, with a green line for the actual values and a red line for the predicted ones. 

Having followed that on and off for most of the day, I only noticed around 4pm finally, for the first time since the beginning of the E-Day the green curve dipping just a little bit below the red one.

For the rest of the day, the green line was consistently and evidently above the red line: that means, the UK has kept consuming more energy than usual, thereby nullifying the whole point of the E-Day.

==========

Imagine my surprise then checking the site at 6PM today (officially the closing time of the e-day) to see “current savings” of -1.5% and

(a) “total savings” of -0.1%

(b) green and red lines almost exactly superimposed, with the red one slightly higher above the other in two points, and the green one shooting up only at the very end

The above is simply not possible…the only way for savings to go from -0.8% at 1342GMT to -0.1% at 1800GMT would have been for actual consumption to be significantly below the predicted one.

And the graph does not show at all the giant 4:21GMT wastage of 4.8%.

The only explanation is that the E-Day organizers have retroactively moved the “predicted” red line up just enough to show a negligible difference with the actual “consumed” green line.

Fudge or fraud? Let’s see what they report:

E-Day did not succeed in cutting the UK’s electricity demand. The drop in temperature between Wed 27 Feb and Thurs 28 Feb days probably caused this, as a result of more lights and heating being left on than were originally predicted. The National Grid refined their assessments, based on actual weather data, during Thursday afternoon but I am afraid that E-Day did not achieve the scale of public awareness or participation needed to have a measurable effect. I will do my best to learn the relevant lessons for next time. Thank you to everyone who helped me or left something off specially as their contribution to E-Day, and this Leave It Off experiment. Please enjoy E-Day’s solution, video and science sections which all worked well. Warmest regards, Matt

So they admit they have changed the rules on-the-fly. But blaming the temperatures doesn’t appear a smart move. How are they supposed to demonstrate “how even small energy saving measures can be made to add up” if all it takes is a minor “drop in temperature” (if one indeed has happened!) to nullify every effort?

The organizers have said they were hoping for +3% savings. National Grid must have “refined their assessments” by around 2%, and the almost absolute coincidence between the final green and red lines looks very very suspicious.

I am not even sure the UK experienced as a whole a “drop in temperature” (London definitely did not). And how come nobody thought nor said beforehand a thing about possible variations due to temperature changes?

Let’s leave aside the “solution, video and science sections which all worked well” shall we. Is that some kind of a joke?

Obviously a lot of work has gone into organising the E-Day: if it has been an abysmal failure on all fronts (and it has), that should be a major learning point (nobody cares? switch-offs are less important than thought?).

Otherwise, it’s all a touchy-feely web equivalent of snake oil.

E-Day Off to an Odd Start

2008/02/28 1 comment

As of 4:21GMT

Current savings: -4.8%
Total savings: -1.6%

(ie: no savings at all. Energy Saving Day, that started 10 hours ago, at 18:00 GMT, has so far meant a net waste of energy)

Consumption on the e-day has actually been consistently larger than usual since the beginning. They are running now some 6000 MWh behind schedule.

Perhaps it’s due to people checking out how the e-day is going?

And with e-days like these…who needs a SUV???

p.s. Details of this latter-day of atonement:
http://e-day.org.uk/
http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/sci/tech/7267915.stm

Venus: Cool Greenhouse?

2008/02/27 20 comments

(originally published as “Venus Forecast” on Aug 17. 2007):

(first post in a series dedicated to the planet Venus as “example” of runaway greenhouse warming)
Venus post #1: Venus: Cool Greenhouse?
Venus post #2: Venus Warming Revisited
Venus post #3: Venus Missing Greenhouse Warming
Venus post #4: Venus and a Thicker-Atmosphere Earth

In a few years, the old ideas of Fred Singer will come back into fashion.

Venus’ retrograde rotation, incredibly massive atmosphere and relatively young (<500 million years) surface will be elegantly explained by the crash of a massive satellite half a billion years ago (with subsequent melting of much if not the whole crust, and humongous outgassing).

UPDATE FEB 28 2008: Space.com: Venus Mysteries Blamed on Colossal Collision

Current lead-melting surface temperatures will be just as beautifully explained by simple adiabatic processes.

The role of CO2 in the heating of the atmosphere via some “greenhouse effect” will be seriously reconsidered and almost completely dismissed.

========

Some quick computations:

Ratio of available solar energy Venus/Earth: 190%

Earth, surface pressure: 1000 mbar; temperature: 288K
Venus, 50km altitude pressure: 1000 mbar; temperature: 330K
330K/288K = 114% < 190%

Venus, surface pressure: 90,000 mbar; temperature: 735K
Temperature of terrestrial air compressed from 288K/1,000mbar to 90,000mbar: 887K
735K/887K = 82.9% < 190%

Far from showing any CO2-induced global warming, Venus is much cooler than expected, likely because of the high-altitude clouds that prevent us from looking at the surface.

The Meaning of “Unprecedented”

More evidence that things may change, but human nature doesn’t…at least on the centennial timescale:

Astronomer Giovanni Battista Donati writes in 1872:

It is true that everything undergoes transformation; but yet everything also repeats itself, and is reproduced in the eternal, universal, and cyclical course of nature. The rains, the heats, the frosts, the storms, volcanic eruptions, earthquakes, comets, falling stars, auroras, sicknesses, etc., etc., have in our days been on such a scale as has never before been remembered. Man easily forgets the past, exaggerates the present, and fancifully speculates on the future. Hence the greater part of vain fears, and of hopes that are not less vain.

Leopardi (1832) on…Climate Change

2008/02/26 3 comments

Wholly convinced that civilizations make climate milder as they progress, Italian poet and essayist extraordinaire Giacomo Leopardi wrote about Anthropogenic Climate Change around 1832 (from “Thoughts”, “Pensieri”):

(39) […] I think everybody will remember having heard from his parents several times, just as I remember hearing from mines, that years have become colder than they were, and winters longer; and that when they were younger, already around Easter they would leave the winter clothes for the summer ones; whilst such a change today, or so they say, is only bearable in May, and sometimes in June.

And not many years ago, some physicists seriously searched for a cause to this alleged cooling of the seasons. Some said it was the fault of the deforestation of the mountains, and some others said something else I don’t remember: all to explain a fact that is not happening: because actually, on the contrary, it has been noted, for example, in quotes from ancient writers, that Italy at the time of the Romans must have been cooler than today.

That is wholly believable as experience makes apparent that as the men’s civilization progresses, so the air, in the lands inhabited by them, gets progressively milder: and such an effect has been evident in America where, so to speak, according to memory, a fully-fledged civilization has replaced in part a barbarian state, and in part empty deserts. […]

[One and a half centuries ago Magalotti wrote] in the Family Letters: “It is certain that seasons’ natural order is worsening. Here in Italy it is common saying and lamentation that the half-seasons have disappeared; and in this confusion, it’s without doubt that the cold is advancing. I have heard my father that in his youth, in Rome, on the morning of Easter Sunday, everybody would change into summer clothes. Nowadays whoever can afford not to sell his shirt, I can tell you he’s very careful not to abandon any winter piece of clothing”. This is what Magalotti wrote in 1683.

Italy would be cooler than Greenland, if between then and now, it would have cooled as much as they were saying at the time.

It goes almost without saying that the continuous cooling that is said to be occurring due to intrinsic reasons in the Earth mass, is of no interest whatsoever with the present thoughts, as it is so slow to be impossible to appreciate in tens of centuries, let alone a few years.

Hitler on…Climate Change

An interesting window on how people justified changes in climatic conditions when there was no much talk about CO2:

From page 111 (155 of 790 in the Hitler Table Talks file):

We owe the present fertility of our soil to the deforestation of Italy. If it weren’t for that, the warm winds of the South would not reach as far as here. Two thousand years ago Italy was still wooded, and one can imagine how our untilled countries must have looked.

Well, that is a description of Anthropogenic Climate Change: only, of a different sort.

Given Mussolini’s ideas on planting million of trees to cool down and strengthen up the Italians, one wonders if anybody was getting worried about an upcoming climate war, already at the time…

Categories: AGW, Omniclimate Tags: , ,

Results of HadCRUT Data Rank Analysis (V)

2008/02/26 6 comments

Click here for HadCRUT Data Rank Analysis (I)
Click here for HadCRUT Data Rank Analysis (II)
Click here for HadCRUT Data Rank Analysis (III)
Click here for HadCRUT Data Rank Analysis (IV)
Click here for Results of HadCRUT Data Rank Analysis (V)

This is the fifth and final posting in a series analyzing the information that can be obtained from the available HadCRUT data up to December 2007.

In summary: the world does appear to have warmed (but by the same token, it has cooled considerably during the year 2007). There are strong indications that it has been a very much hemispheric phenomenon, with little seasonality and hence minimal if any contribution from CO2. Likely culprits are therefore hemispheric-wide effects, such as those caused by the Sun and land use.

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Note that the HadCRUT data has just been updated to January 2008, with the following anomalies:

Land NH: 0.058 (coldest since 1989; 3rd coldest since 1983)
Land SH: 0.058 (suspiciously identical to NH’s; coldest since 1986)
Land Global: 0.058 (not hard to guess; coldest since 1985; 3rd coldest since 1979)

Sea NH: 0.200 (only 0.003 warmer than the coldest value this century)
Sea SH: 0.027 (coldest since 1986; 3rd coldest since 1980)
Sea Global: 0.114 (3rd coldest since 1991)

TWO ISSUES I WILL NOT DISCUSS HERE: (a) the meaning of using 3 decimal digits; (b) the meaning of obtaining a Global sea-surface temperature value simply as the arithmetic mean of Northern’s and Southern Hemisphere’s

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In HadCRUT Data Rank Analysis (I) we have seen that 2007’s yearly temperature averages have been among the top-11 ever but broke no record.

In HadCRUT Data Rank Analysis (II) the 2007 monthly temperature averages are shown as having broken only one record (January’s, for Land/Northern Hemisphere), with rankings getting higher and higher over the year reaching as much as #34 for December/Sea surface/Southern Hemisphere).

In HadCRUT Data Rank Analysis (III) a plot of the yearly temperature averages’ rankings shows a clustering of warm years in the past couple of decades, although most graphs have a “capped” shape suggesting the maximum values have already been reached, at least for now. The steepest gradient in terms of rankings is by the way between 1910 and 1938, again suggesting we may be experiencing just the upper end of a temperature peak. Finally, graphs are much similar intra-then inter-hemispheric (Land NH looks much more like Sea NH than Land SH).

In HadCRUT Data Rank Analysis (IV), the analysis moves a step further by comparing seasons. Correlations can be divided in three groups: Land/Sea, same hemisphere (between 80% and 98.6%, in all seasons); Season-to-following-Season (between 71% and 80.5%, land/sea, all hemispheres); and Season-to-Season (between 64.5% and 78.8%). In other words, there is a much weaker link between the ranking of, say, Northern and Southern Hemisphere Land Spring temperatures (intra-seasonal), than between the ranking of, say, Northern Land and Sea Spring temperatures (intra-hemispheric).

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The last result does not look obviously compatible with the theory that world-wide warming  has been caused by CO2 and other so-called greenhouse gases. If that were true, the intra-seasonal correlations would be higher, as CO2 concentration has a strong seasonal component: instead, they are generally even lower than the link between, say, Winter temperatures to Spring temperatures.

The main variable to factor is in all evidence the hemisphere. Now, what can have an effect on sea and land temperatures all over a hemisphere, and in a different way all over the other hemisphere? First hypotheses could be the Sun, via some kind of different coupling with the Northern and Southern terrestrial hemispheres; or changes in land use, that do not have the same impact on land-rich NH compared to ocean-rich SH.

Climatology would be a very exciting science indeed, had it not been hijacked by people on a mission to save the world based on inexact data.

Monbiot, Stern and…Schadenfreude

It appears that George Monbiot himself is finally starting to grasp the issue of unintended consequences…

An Exchange of Souls – As government documents show, Sir Nicholas Stern accidentally launched a trade in human lives. by George Monbiot

Will this herald a new era in which things won’t be separated by using the idiotic climate-change-is-bad reference stick?

Climate Debate (4): Laypeople vs AGW Clergy

2008/02/15 4 comments

(fourth and likely final entry in my series of exchanges “On Climate Debate and Debate Climate” with a person genuinely convinced AGW is a settled argument)

This is a list of previous blogs on the topic:

On Climate Debate and Debate Climate (1)

Consensus, Actions and the Sun (2)

The Church of AGW (3)

(again on plausible mechanisms causally linking solar *wind* and terrestrial weather)

I have already specified I don’t particularly subscribe to the “it’s the solar wind” hypothesis. But heaven forbid we discover effects before knowing the “plausible mechanisms” about them.

For a speculation on a direct path for an effect, look at figure 7 (page 5) in the Ørsted satellite results paper (“The Ørsted Satellite Project“, by Peter Stauning, Danish Meteorological Institute (DMI), 22.1.2008/PSt-DMI), to see the areas where high-energy radiation is capable to penetrate lower in the atmosphere, to around 700km.

It’s still quite a way to the troposphere, of course.

(on why I do not believe in qualified climatologists)

Because I am free to make out my own opinion.

Boy have some people a problem with that or what? Even if 95% of people agree with AGW, they’re still trying to stamp out the remaining 5%…

(on “lay opinion” vs. “qualified scientists’ opinion”)

In non-scientific matters (such as public health policymaking: the stuff also called “action“…), a “lay opinion” is no better or worse than a “qualified scientist’s”.

It’s called “democracy“.

That’s why people can choose between different economic policies, for example, voting this or that candidate: otherwise it’d all be done behind close doors by a bunch of Professors in Economics.

In scientific matters, any given “lay opinion” is expected to be generally less authoritative than any given “qualified scientist”‘s. Obviously it depends on the “qualification”. A geologist’s take on climate is not necessarily any more or less informed than a biologist’s.

In any case: what about the opinion of John Christy, a very qualified scientist, and of others like him, members of the IPCC that do not subscribe to the AGW panic?

What’s wrong with them, or with the IPCC that still gives them credit?

(on my alleged arguing that “lay people” can challenge scientists because science was wrong in the past)

That would be a mistaken mixing up of my arguments.

I have said that lay people can challenge any scientific opinion, and the scientists should not be afraid of accepting the challenge.

This also because a “lay person”, say, in climatology, could very well be an “authority”, say, in systems engineering. And there are obvious similarities between modeling the “climate system” and modeling other kinds of complex system, either natural or man-made.

This applies also to software, as climate models are ultimately bunches of computer codes. Etc etc.

The IPCC itself has recognized this point, and is not limited to climatologists.

Anyway: everybody’s contribution to a topic should always be welcome, and especially so if it potentially has far-fetching policy and lifestyle consequences.

The point about helicobacter and cholesterol is different.

It is about the vast majority of scientists still being capable of being wrong. Other scientists found a way to make progress: but they would not have been able to do so, had they subscribed to the “follow the consensus” strategy.

Now…if anybody keeps refusing to acknowledge the very existence of at least two IPCC Lead Authors, it is not my problem.

Me “Denier”? You “Goebbelite”!

2008/02/14 4 comments

From a comment by “Aaron” on Accuweather Global Warming’s blog:

[…] the AGW proponents have resorted to name calling and personal smears. They subscribe to the Bushism “if you’re not with us, you’re against us“. This is somewhat ironic as nearly all of them hate the president with every fiber of their beings.

They have also taken to using the term “denier” to describe anyone in disagreement with their beliefs in a not so subtle attempt to compare those who don’t agree with those who deny the fact that Nazi Germany was responsible for the extermination of six million Jews, ethnic minorities, intellectuals, and political adversaries.

It’s an ugly term, and personally I find it’s use to be quite offensive. In response, about the best the skeptics and AGW opponents can respond with is “Global Warming Alarmist” which isn’t a comparison to anything, but entirely accurate.

So, in the spirit of fairness, I’m proposing that a new term be adopted to describe AGW proponents: Goebbelites. I’ve seen the term goebbelsian used in another context, but I prefer Goebbelites. It will be used to describe anyone who can be described as adhering to the following quotation from Joseph Goebbels:

If you tell a lie big enough and keep repeating it, people will eventually come to believe it. The lie can be maintained only for such time as the State can shield the people from the political, economic and/or military consequences of the lie. It thus becomes vitally important for the State to use all of its powers to repress dissent, for the truth is the mortal enemy of the lie, and thus by extension, the truth is the greatest enemy of the State.

[…] Civil discourse is essential to the solution of any problem, and the use of derogatory and offensive terms to describe those who disagree with you isn’t civil.

Ocean Circulation May or May Not Weaken with Global Warming

Ocean circulation in a warming climate – J. R. Toggweiler & Joellen Russell
Nature 451, 286-288 (17 January 2008) | doi:10.1038/nature06590; Published online 16 January 2008
Abstract: Climate models predict that the ocean’s circulation will weaken in response to global warming, but the warming at the end of the last ice age suggests a different outcome.

And so AGW studies start resembling dieting advice. Whatever you like to eat, just wait long enough and some paper will say it’s good for you.

ps a more serious note: how much more exciting would climatology be, were it not poisoned by all the save-the-planet agitation!!

Climate Debate (3): The Church of AGW

2008/02/14 4 comments

(third entry in my series of exchanges “On Climate Debate and Debate Climate” with a person genuinely convinced AGW is a settled argument. Part 2 is here):

(about the IPCC conclusions, and the supposed scientific consensus on AGW)

Clearly you haven’t spent any time reading the IPCC reports rather than just their conclusions. You’ll be surprised at your findings (like the thousands of data the IPCC themselves report as “not compatible” with warming).

And you have not said a word about scientific papers like those on Geophys Res Lett, and the fact that scientists of all sorts hold all kinds of opinions about AGW, even up high in the IPCC.

They are not all convinced a catastrophe is upon us.

LET ME REPEAT THIS CLEARLY: There are peer-reviewed articles by esteemed scientists holding important academic posts, published in renowned scientific journals, advancing doubts about the mechanisms, effects, and urgency of AGW and CO2 emissions, and they are often published ALONGSIDE pro-AGW papers, by esteemed scientists etc etc “on your side” that evidently consider those journals serious enough to warrant their appearance in their Resumes.

Also, if you bother to actually read the original articles, you will see that some foretell the end of the world, others talk of major disruptions, others still say AGW is a nuisance that can be dealt with. And that, among the people convinced AGW may force us the way of the Dodo.

Please decide: either you follow the scientists, or you don’t. AGW is not a “settled issue” in scientific terms, otherwise what is Geophys Res Lett publishing, and what is John Christy doing at the top echelons of the IPCC?

You may argue that AGW is a “settled issue” in public health terms: perhaps, but then it’s a policy matter. It’s not science. CO2 reduction vs. harm-reduction, it’s a policy discussion. The opinions of scientific bodies are only a part of the whole issue (we’re blessed not to live in technocratic societies).

Even economists get called in to talk about this: and that is perhaps the biggest trouble 😎

In any case do consider that argumenting “ad authoritatem” has been discounted since the times of Galileo. When we followed the 99.999% of scientists about stomach ulcers, we were in trouble.

(about the way solar wind may interact with the weather)

As for the solar wind, there are people that have made hypotheses about the way it may interact (Svensmark and others). I do not “believe” in their findings and am just waiting to know more. I have just remarked that if it’s not the solar wind, surely there must be something else in the Sun that affects the weather: and if there isn’t, that’ll be a major discovery on its own.

(about belief in AGW)

It’s you “believing” in things and treating them religiously (hence your vehemency: as a matter of fact, I am not trying to disprove your assertions when based on standard physics. I am not “vehement” at all, in this discussion).

You even keep repeating the word “believe” like if there were an AGW Church. If people were asked to believe in science, SciAm would close down and become a news agency.

I do not “believe” in the IPCC, in the AGU, in the Hadley Centre, in 2,500 scientists and experts, in Svensmark, in Lindzen, in Crichton, in yourself, in SciAm, in American Scientist, in any skeptic or AGW believer. I take everybody’s remarks as a step forward in the discussion and in the understanding of this or any other issue.

From that, I extract, polish, and sometimes destroy my own opinion.

I am not arguing that “lay people” can “challenge scientific opinion”. It is a given. A scientist that cannot defend his argument (for example, on the pages of SciAm) is clearly in trouble.

UK Department of Health Sees the Light About Warming

Finally!! Somebody is realizing that a warmer world can have a positive side…and that the negatives are there to be managed, not panicked upon.

there is at present a 25% chance that by 2017 south-east England will see a severe heatwave which could cause 3,000 immediate deaths and the same number of heat-related deaths throughout the summer…owever, even 6,000 deaths pales in comparison with the number of cold-related deaths, which in the UK currently average about 20,000 per year.

Climate Debate (2): Consensus, Actions…and the Sun

2008/02/13 2 comments

(second entry in my series of exchanges “On Climate Debate and Debate Climate” with a person genuinely convinced AGW is a settled argument):

(on “deniers” being able only to appear on web sites)

You’re assuming that there is some kind of scientists vs lay people war around AGW. And that all scientists think AGW in the same terms. That is incorrect.

This is from an IPCC Reviewer, Lead Author, Co-chair.

This is from an IPCC Lead Author and Contributing Author.

It’s two, but they are pretty high in the hierarchy. I personally know another IPCC reviewer that disagrees with the IPCC conclusions.

I suspect if anybody did a survey of the 2,500 IPCC scientists and experts, we will see the whole gamut of opinion.

In any case, I suggest reading the “Geophysical Research Letters“, a publication that is hosting very interesting and very scientific exchanges from all sides, and by that I mean scientists believing in catastrophic AGW, or in strong-but-manageable AGW, or in mild AGW, or in minute AGW, or finally in negligible or no AGW at all.

I strongly object this quasi-religious distinction in “scientists” and “lay people”.

I have some peer-reviewed scientific articles myself: does that suffice to become a scientist? And if AGW is for “scientists” and not for “lay people” then what are we discussing about? I am not in any major climate research center. Are you?

(on the reasons why one would not believe in “bodies of expertise”)

I do not believe in any “body of expertise”. If that was requested, neither Scientific American nor American Scientist would be around.

I can read the scientific articles, and I am in a 4-year quest to find evidence for AGW. A change in any weather pattern would suffice, but so far none has been reported. RealClimate are actually adamant they are not even interested in finding any.

(on alternative quantitative analyses)

The IPCC AR4-WG2 has a whole chapter about AGW-related changes: I have read it all and can definitely report a curious, very strong European bias in observations.

https://omniclimate.wordpress.com/2007/12/21/global-warming-may-be-just-european/

The rest is lots of ifs, buts, maybes, coulds and the like. Including thousands of observations not compatible with warming.

(on the necessity of cutting down emissions if AGW is real)

That is incorrect. There are indications that harm-reduction can be a better strategy. It is an ongoing debate, and no guess which side I am on.

http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/health/7240463.stm

(on the central role of CO2)

You’ll read that again in 10 years’ time and realize how incredibly exaggerated such a claim is. Climate is a chaotic system, very complex, hard to model (nobody has modelled clouds very well, figure that out!)

http://www.economist.com/science/displaystory.cfm?story_id=9433721

Focussing on CO2 may be worse than trying to lose weight eliminating fat from food without taking care of sugars.

(on mechanisms linking solar wind and earth weather)

I do not “believe” in a correlation between solar wind and earth weather. I am “curious” in seeing if there is any correlation between any part of the solar activity and earth weather. We have several years of data, also from the Ulysses probe, but all of them in a period of a relatively active Sun.

If the Sun goes quiet for a while, in terms of sunspots, eruptions, coronal activity, or whatever else, then we will know more about any such “correlation”.

On the other hand, with a star only 8 light-minutes away, basking in its rays, travelling at high speed with our magnetic field through its electromagnetically active corona, constantly hit by a “wind” of particles, etc etc, I find the idea that the Sun does not influence the weather preposterous.

And to think it as true instead , I want to see pretty hard evidence in its favor.

Spot-The-Warming

UHI corrected average annual temperature in Central Europe:
UHI corrected average annual temperature in Central Europe

CRU Central England Temperatures for the month of January:
CRU Central England Temperatures for the month of January

They are both from comments in Climate Audit, where there is this telling map about the distribution of actual measurement stations across the world, over the years. This is the most up-to-date:

Registrations Open For FAO Stakeholder Consultation on Climate Change

FAO: Announces Stakeholder Consultation, 15-16 February

From 15-16 February 2008, FAO will host a civil society stakeholder consultation as part of the preparatory process for the High Level Conference on World Food Security and the Challenges of Climate Change and Bioenergy to be held in Rome, 3-5 June 2008. The consultation will also be held in Rome.

This will be a unique opportunity for civil society to voice its views on the complex relationships and strategic choices needed to keep food available and accessible given the diverse impacts of climate change and bioenergy.

The consultation will be an opportunity for civil society to influence the preparatory discussions held during the expert meetings in February and March, as well as other preparations for the conference.

You will note that the registration on the website is open. We will review the requests to guarantee a fair balance of regions, constituencies and types of organizations.

The general conference website is here.

For questions or to provide feedback, please visit here.

Skeptics Society: How Broadcast Journalism Is Flawed

2008/02/13 3 comments

I have already exposed in the recent past the obvious bias in global warming reporting by publicly-funded BBC.

Around very similar notes, but with a much much wider outlook, the Skeptics Society has now published a very interesting essay by investigative and feature journalist Steve Salerno, titled

Journalist-Bites-Reality!
How broadcast journalism is flawed
in such a fundamental way that its utility as a tool for informing viewers is almost nil.
.

It exposes broadcast journalism as reporter-of-nothing, when not creating panic out of that same nothingness. And it is especially critical of “campaign journalism”.

A couple of quotes:

In truth, today’s system of news delivery is an enterprise whose procedures, protocols, and underlying assumptions all but guarantee that it cannot succeed at its self described mission. Broadcast journalism in particular is flawed in such a fundamental way that its utility as a tool for illuminating life, let alone interpreting it, is almost nil.

You’re in Pulitzer territory for writing about something that — essentially — never happens.

In upcoming blogs I will return to parts of this essay that may be used to explain pretty much all the Climate Change scares that have ever (not) happened.

For now I strongly recommend reading it in full.

The Killer Consensus Called “Public Health”

How many remember that in revolutionary France, the very unsafe Reign of Terror was unleashed by a self-styled “Committe of Public Safety“?

Times have changed, but “Public” concerns have only become slightly less obnoxious. And so, we have now several examples of “public health” decisions that end up making public health worse than necessary.

The rule looks like the following: when science becomes a matter of public health, politics steps in, kills off the scientific debate, stifles independent research and opts for the (politically) safest option, that is (a) likely to be an oversimplification (effects taken as causes), (b) unlikely to be the best choice by a long shot, and (c) likely to be centered around people having to change their behaviors and just lead a more saintly life (eat bland food against cholesterol, avoid stress against stomach ulcer, burn less coal against climate change, stop using DDT against malaria-carrying mosquitos, or whatever else).

The end result is millions of people feeling the guilt of having brought ill health to themselves (or left almost powerless against diseases, in the case of DDT and ulcers), despite there being no actual good reason whatsoever.

Their underlying problems may or many not be managed but are never solved, and their lives are un-necessarily ruined.

It’s all for the good of Public Health, you know!

First It Was “Congestion”, Now It’s “CO2 Emissions”

Isn’t it telling that the London road pricing scheme originally called “Congestion Charge” in 2002, has now been tramsmogrified into a “CO2 emissions Charge”? (“Mayor gets tough on London’s ‘Chelsea tractors‘”, IHT, Feb 13)

Having evidently excelled in cutting down gridlocks (not at all!!!), Mayor Ken Livingstone has now found a new, populist target.

Perhaps it was just too fashionable to pass: a swipe against evil CO2-producing machines reviled by pretty much anybody unable to afford them.

Experience suggests the new scheme will only slightly ameliorate the status of the City Council’s coffers, whilst congestion and CO2 emissions will keep growing unabated. And so the point as usual will have been about being _seen_ to be doing something, rather than to achieve any practical result.

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