Tuesday, January 20, 2009

Wheels Falling Off Global Warming Bandwagon

Over the past decade the global average temperature has fallen to its lowest levels in 30 years:

1. International Falls, Minnesota -- the coldest location in the continental United States -- set a new record in January with a low temperature of minus 40 degrees and snowfall records have recently been set in 63 U.S. locations.

2. After two years of ice-cap melting in the Arctic, an abrupt turnaround occurred in 2008, with ice forming at a record pace.

3. More and more scientists are paying attention to the evidence and rejecting the link between human actions and the recent warming trend.

"The wheels are falling off the global warming bandwagon," says H. Sterling Burnett, senior fellow with the National Center for Policy Analysis. "While climate action boosters continue to call for politicians to ignore reality -- even in the face of mounting contrary evidence against catastrophic warming -- scientists, the public and politicians are wising up."

32 Comments:

At 1/20/2009 11:32 AM, Blogger Bruce Hall said...

Just updated: U.S. statewide, monthly records for high/low temperatures [1880-2008].

http://hallofrecord.blogspot.com/2009/01/where-is-global-warming-extreme_19.html

Another nail in the coffin of the global warming theory and tenets?

What has been demonstrated over almost 130 years is the cyclical nature of climate with influences from solar activity and ocean current variation [El Nino/La Nina].

 
At 1/20/2009 11:43 AM, Blogger lineup32 said...

"The National Center for Policy Analysis (NCPA) is an American non-profit conservative think tank. NCPA states that its goal is to develop and promote private alternatives to government regulation and control, solving problems by relying on the strength of the competitive, entrepreneurial private sector. Topics include reforms in health care, taxes, Social Security, welfare, education and environmental regulation."

The recession is impacting non-profits of all stripes as donations funded by various tax dodge foundations lose their equity value. We can expect many a PR releases claiming the end or the beginning regarding any issue that might generate a donation.

 
At 1/20/2009 12:05 PM, Blogger randian said...

Another nail in the coffin of the global warming theory and tenets?

Not in the least. Why else do you think global warming pundits changed their rhetoric to "climate change"?

 
At 1/20/2009 12:58 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Another nail ...?

No b/c the question assumes global warming (or climate change or whatever) is an issue that can be resolved using reason. It is not; instead it is a religion whereby smug folks get to feel good about themselves for coercing other people to change their behavior.

Frank

 
At 1/20/2009 1:35 PM, Blogger misterjosh said...

Now, I'm a skeptic, but I have to speak up here.

1) Anecdotal single point data like this is completely worthless. It's about as relevant as the price of manure in China.

2) It formed at a record pace for a while, but is now back on track, or rather a bit below average for this time of year.

3) If there's a recent warming trend what's the point of the first two items?

The wheels of the global warming bandwagon are as safe as ever. Unfortunately. I'm not a big fan of bandwagons.

 
At 1/20/2009 1:38 PM, Blogger J.S.O. said...

Here's that Hadley data set that everyone now seems to think illustrates that "global warming" is "over":

http://hadobs.metoffice.com/hadcet/

So, not as a scientist, but even a casual observer using common sense, does that tiny downturn at the right side of the graph mean everything's "back to normal" now, that there will be no more rapid change?

In talking to people about this, one of the most frustrating things is when people don't understand the need to project current trends into the future to predict a range of possible outcomes. Another frustration is when folks fail to take scale into account, assuming that 8 years of slight downturn is a significant aberration in a signal that has shown a much, much larger upward trend over the last 115 years.

None of this means that the average temperature will or won't keep warming over time. It does mean that talk of "nails in the coffin" is a bit overhyped at the moment. If this short-term downward tick persists for another decade and becomes measurably more severe, then there will be more scientific cause to speculate on these things.

And regarding "climate change" versus "global warming," I'm disappointed in this development, since "climate change" suggests something that happens naturally over the centuries, while "global warming" was meant to refer to a specific and apparently abnormal trend not much more than a century long.

 
At 1/20/2009 1:50 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

" ... assuming that 8 years of slight downturn is a significant aberration in a signal that has shown a much, much larger upward trend over the last 115 years."

There is no "much, much larger upward trend over the last 115 years".

 
At 1/20/2009 2:09 PM, Anonymous Machiavelli999 said...

I support many liberal positions, but not the global warming one. The reason being that many of the men and women who cover the weather, the meteorologists, don't see global warming in the data.

Also, one of the most reliable long-term weather prognosticating tools, the Old Farmer's Almanac, is predicting global cooling due to lower sunspot activity.

 
At 1/20/2009 2:13 PM, Blogger J.S.O. said...

Anonymous,

You can't be looking at the same graph as me. Look at the mean temperature before about 1890. You can draw a horizontal line right through the middle of it. If you then start at 1890 and consider up to the present, the trend line over that period is up by nearly 1 degree C. That's a big change for a short time period. If that kind of change were to continue, I think virtually all relevant scientists would agree it was a problem to be dealt with.

 
At 1/20/2009 2:17 PM, Blogger J.S.O. said...

Machiavelli999,

I think it's a shame global warming is considered a "liberal position." It is a scientific theory, so this type of thinking links liberals with science, data, and a search for fact, and conservatives with... what? Do you feel the data pointing to man-made global warming are unscientific, or just inconclusive?

 
At 1/20/2009 2:44 PM, Blogger Bruce Hall said...

Look at the mean temperature before about 1890. You can draw a horizontal line right through the middle of it. If you then start at 1890 and consider up to the present, the trend line over that period is up by nearly 1 degree C. That's a big change for a short time period. If that kind of change were to continue, I think virtually all relevant scientists would agree it was a problem to be dealt with.

Look at the same graph and draw a straight line from 1930 and you will see a negative slope.

Draw a straight line from 1850 data not generally shown and you will get a relatively flat slope.

It all depends on the starting point and if you pick a low value the slope will always go up.

 
At 1/20/2009 3:02 PM, Blogger 1 said...

"I think it's a shame global warming is considered a "liberal position." It is a scientific theory, so this type of thinking links liberals with science, data, and a search for fact, and conservatives with..."...

I think your grip on reality needs some work...

Who but a liberal believes in global warming?

I mean Al Gore is just the perfect centerist, right?... LOL!

Meanwhile in the real world: U.S. Senate Environment and Public Works (EPW) Committee’s list of more than 400 prominent scientists who question man’s impact on climate change.

'GLOBAL WARMING': AN OFFICIAL PSEUDOSCIENCE

 
At 1/20/2009 3:06 PM, Blogger Milena said...

I thought "global warming" had been replaced by "climate change" to indicate negative climate effects could mean excessively cold or hot. In other words, any changes that signal weather anomolies (hot/cold) are now bad, and man-made.

 
At 1/20/2009 3:08 PM, Blogger QT said...

One might also consider this recent paper from John Christie regarding analysis of extensive climate data compared with climate modelling. From this work, it would appear that the effects of carbon forcings are far less than computer models suggest.

J.S.O.,

Just to clarify one point.

The actual warming in the last 100 years is 0.6 degrees Celsius which is not exactly "close to 1 degree". This fact is undisputed in the scientific community, GG skeptics and GG proponents alike.

Just wanted to make sure we agree upon the basic facts.

There is certainly evidence of warming which is not in dispute. Understanding the complex array of natural and man-induced forcing mechanisms (the most obvious being land-use changes ie. from forests to agriculture) and feedback loops is incredibly complex. Hot-spots in the atmosphere which one would expect to find if CO2 forcings were a dominant factor are simply not there.

In short, the case for anthropogenic forcing is inconclusive.

Evidence of warming does not prove the greenhouse gas theory because the warming is within the documented range established by archeological records. Viking cemetaries in Greenland for example are in areas that today are permafrost. It is evident that Greenland supported a large population base and was able to grow crops which it cannot today.

What caused the climate to warm in Roman times and again in the middle ages? Certainly not CO2.

 
At 1/20/2009 3:11 PM, Blogger J.S.O. said...

Bruce,

I'm sorry, but I think you, too, are looking at a different graph. Look here at this simple plot of annual data overlaid with a smoothed average:

http://hadobs.metoffice.com/hadcet/

1930 was in the middle of a period that was warmer on average than the time before 1890, but cooler on average than our last few decades. If you disagree with this, you've got to tell my why in more detail. If you're picking just one year out, then you are the one being arbitrary.

You mention "1850 data generally not shown." How do you have access to secret data that is reliable yet unknown to the scientific community?

If we took the same graph and talked about a business, a sport, or the stock market, wouldn't we be talking all about trends and averages? Sure, one player's spectacular season or one company's bad quarterly report stands out, but it is the average and the trend that is important.

The same is true for the environment. I feel we cannot pick an arbitrary year's data to compare to another arbitrary year's data like you seem to be suggesting. We have to look at changing trends. Looking at this graph one cannot help but see an upward trend.

If you have trouble with this, imagine looking through a little 30-year window at the red line. Starting at the left-hand side, the range of temperatures within this 30-year window are roughly -.8°C to 0°C. Sliding the window along, this remains true within one or two tenths of a degree for ANY 40-year period up until about 1895. Starting there, the range moves steadily upward, until we come to the most recent 40-year window where it runs from about -.1°C to +1°C. This is an undeniable change that has been going on for long enough, rapidly enough, and on a grand enough scale to warrant our attention and concern.

 
At 1/20/2009 3:20 PM, Blogger J.S.O. said...

"1",

Not every liberal holds Al Gore up as an exemplary scientific spokesman. I sure don't. And that wasn't my question. As for 400 scientists who question man's impact on climate change—good. People ought to question. Science survives on truth and fact, so blindly accepting an unproven theory does nobody any good. Unfortunately there are still far more relevant scientists and scientific papers suggesting this is a reality.

Milena,

Thanks. I suppose you're right. You sound cynical about it, too—so am I. We don't need to be told everything is our fault. We need to be told what is within our power to change, and how important it is to change it.

Q.T.,

I'll take you at your word without any citations. The "universally accepted" number stuck in my head was 0.8°C, but this may apply to a bit more than 100 years, since it would seem to be a few decades more since we departed from the horizontal trend. And you make fantastic points about inconclusiveness. That is something which many on both sides of this issue seem to have difficulty accepting. There is no definitive answer. The IPCC reports use numbers in the range from 80-95% likelihood, if I'm not mistaken. Frankly, even if it's 20% likely, I feel it's worth looking into, as long as other possible causes aren't getting shoved to the side in the process.

Good to hear such rational skeptical voices.

 
At 1/20/2009 3:34 PM, Anonymous diz said...

Sliding the window along, this remains true within one or two tenths of a degree for ANY 40-year period up until about 1895. Starting there, the range moves steadily upward, until we come to the most recent 40-year window where it runs from about -.1°C to +1°C. This is an undeniable change that has been going on for long enough, rapidly enough, and on a grand enough scale to warrant our attention and concern.

I'm not sure what you're seeing but most data sets show a similar warming from 1910 to 1940 as occurred from 1970 to 2000.

Of course the 1910-1940 warming that was before there was much of a run up in CO2, so it's generally not considered an AGW.

You can divide the last 100 years into 4 periods:

1910-1940: Warming, no significant CO2 increase

1940-1970: No warming, significant Co2 increase

1970-2000: Warming, significant CO2 increase

2000-present: No warming, significant Co2 increase

The AGW case empirically seems to rest entirely on the period between 1970-2000.

I'm most curious about how the climate models explain the lack of warming during periods with rising CO2, and the warming when there was no CO2. I don't have any doubt how they explain the 1970-2000 period - they assume there is a causal effect from the CO2 and it produces rising temps.

 
At 1/20/2009 3:48 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Honestly, if you actually listened to what they said, you'd realize this is exactly what they predicted. The climate getting hotter causes the weather to be more extreme. You don't seem to understand the difference between climate and weather and it makes you look very bad.

 
At 1/20/2009 3:49 PM, Blogger Bruce Hall said...

JSO,

Recently James Hansen has manipulated historical data to support his contention of continued warming. You can compare pre and post here:

http://hallofrecord.blogspot.com/2008/11/its-much-hotter-now-that-we-revised_15.html

The point is that whether you falsify history or cherry-pick your starting point, you are just not going to get here from there. Global warming has given way to climate change which is about to give way to man-made climate impact... all of which miss the bigger point that CO2/AGW is a red herring for other causes... and that we are probably entering a cyclical cooling period with the convergence of La Nina and minimal sunspot activity.

 
At 1/20/2009 4:01 PM, Blogger misterjosh said...

Bruce, I forgot to mention - the hallofrecord study doesn't pass my gut check. Any measure of records of a given items is always going to favor earlier events.

 
At 1/20/2009 6:26 PM, Blogger QT said...

Bruce,

To be fair, it is the IPCC (the International Panel on Climate Change). By contrast, catastrophic global warming is a sound byte of Al Gore & the media.

J.S.O.,

0.6 degrees Celsius per Richard Lindzen, member of IPCC scientific committee, climatologist and Alfred P.Sloan Chair at MIT. His observations regarding the way that complex scientific information has been oversimplified by the Summary for Public Policy Makers and the media are most interesting.

 
At 1/20/2009 7:48 PM, Blogger J.S.O. said...

Mister Josh,

Great point. We've had a little fall-off in mean temperature the last several years, and it seems logical that this would very suddenly make it unlikely for any new records that surpass those previously set during the warmest period of this entire data set.

Q.T.,

Love this link. I agree that alarmism is counterproductive and see I said in layman's terms what he says like an expert: there is no certainty. It does harm to the whole cause of environmental stewardship when alarmism reigns.

And now we're all so deep in the global warming thing that the knee-jerk reaction is probably just around the corner. The media will have a field day "exposing" how global warming is "not true" and we can all just relax...

 
At 1/20/2009 7:54 PM, Blogger Dan Pangburn said...

There is only one complete and exact computer of global climate and that is the planet itself. The results from the ‘planet computer’ are archived in the Vostok and EPICA ice cores. Temperature and carbon dioxide level were extracted from these ice cores. The Vostok, Antarctica temperature data are available on line at http://cdiac.ornl.gov/ftp/trends/temp/vostok/vostok.1999.temp.dat and the carbon dioxide levels at http://cdiac.ornl.gov/trends/co2/vostok.html . Google ‘dan Pangburn global warming’ and select the Middlebury site (usually the first or second hit) to see this data plotted (on the second graph). Notice that, repeatedly during the last and previous glacial periods, a temperature increasing trend changed to a decreasing trend with the atmospheric carbon dioxide level higher during the temperature down-trend than it had been when the temperature trend was increasing. This proves that there is no net positive feedback in climate and that, at least then, atmospheric carbon dioxide did not drive average global temperature (agt).

Many in the climate science community appear to be unaware of that area of science that proves, using the ice core data, that added atmospheric carbon dioxide does not significantly increase average global temperature. They incorporate features in their atmosphere/ocean global climate models (AOGCMs) that result in significant net positive feedback. This causes the AOGCMs to erroneously predict substantial global warming. Without significant net positive feedback AOGCMs do not predict significant global warming. (Zero feedback results in 1.2°C from doubling of atmospheric carbon dioxide per p631 of ch8 of IPCC AR4. This prediction is probably still high because of faulty parameterization etc.).

One of the well known observations in science is that an added increment of carbon dioxide when atmospheric carbon dioxide level is high has less influence on anything than adding the same size increment did when atmospheric carbon dioxide level was lower. Knowing this, it is easy to deduce that added atmospheric carbon dioxide level now has even less influence on agt than it did during the last (and previous) glacial periods when atmospheric carbon dioxide level was lower and atmospheric carbon dioxide level did not drive agt. Thus added atmospheric carbon dioxide level does not now and never will cause a significant increase in agt. Any action that is taken to reduce human produced carbon dioxide to reduce global warming is a mistake and puts freedom and prosperity at risk.

 
At 1/20/2009 10:12 PM, Blogger Charles Pierce said...

I was interested to find your Carpe Diem blog. 20 years ago I had a book published on different economic concepts to point the way to a sustainable world economy. Someone who liked the book contacted me this year to suggest that I update and re-publish it as a blog. She set up the blog, and the book is now complete on the blog in a series of postings. There are now also additional pieces on global warming and other subjects. Here is the link:

http://www.economicsforaroundearth.com

With all good wishes,
Charles Pierce

 
At 1/20/2009 11:24 PM, Blogger QT said...

What NASA Says Is Really Happening to the Arctic Ice Cap.

The great non-event of 2008 that never happened...the disappearance of the arctic ice cap...and we wonder why the public are starting to have doubts?

 
At 1/20/2009 11:31 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

My scientists can beat up your scientists.

The earth is on the brink of anther ice age.

http://english.pravda.ru/science/earth/106922-0/

But, it is amusing to watch the eco-fascists squirm and cling to "global warming" as it freezes to death.

 
At 1/21/2009 5:21 PM, Blogger Every Inch Counts said...

More headlines for webhits eh? Can't get any attention with reality, but these mental migets squeeze out the cracks to support your idiocy.

http://www.google.com/hostednews/afp/article/ALeqM5i2WPmF04m5iek4RQKP2RL6BKSu4w

http://silverscorpio.com/global-warming-bacteria-threaten-coral-health/

But if you don't like the news, make up your own.

 
At 1/22/2009 1:00 PM, Blogger Brucest said...

I wish your post was right, but as is most often the case, the facts don't seem to fit. Arctic ice is not expanding at a record rate.http://www.nsidc.org/arcticseaicenews/

 
At 1/22/2009 4:05 PM, Blogger 1 said...

"Unfortunately there are still far more relevant scientists and scientific papers suggesting this is a reality"...

Prove it...

 
At 1/22/2009 4:15 PM, Blogger 1 said...

How the world was bullied into silence

By Dr. Tim Ball

One of the most disturbing aspects of the global warming scam is the number of prominent people and entire segments of society bullied into silence. Consider the case of Dr. Joanne Simpson described as follows.... (there's more)

More by Dr. Ball

 
At 1/24/2009 10:37 AM, Blogger Kyle Cooper said...

Maybe the winter in Michigan is affecting your judgment. This debate is surely open to everyone, but with all due respect I don't think it's your field of expertise, nor is it that of everyone who tidily rejects climate change in these comments. In any case, you should recognize that, as misterjosh said, single-point evidence is absolutely worthless. And if you want a discussion of what the real "scientific consensus" is, go here:

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/File:Global_Warming_Predictions.png

 
At 1/26/2009 6:20 AM, Blogger OBloodyHell said...

> So, not as a scientist, but even a casual observer using common sense, does that tiny downturn at the right side of the graph mean everything's "back to normal" now, that there will be no more rapid change?

J.S.O.:

I've lived in sunny Florida, USA, for my entire life.

One metric you become aware of here is something called the "citrus line" -- it's the line north of which you don't grow citrus, because citrus trees get easily destroyed/harmed by substantial periods of frost formation.

Now, I've seen historic graphs of the citrus line. Back in the 1880s, it was waaaay up in Georgia. NOW, it's down at or below Orlando, Florida, and there is a hilly area to the immediate north of Orlando along the Florida Turnpike which used to be covered with orange trees as far as the eye could see back in the 70s and into the early 80s, but which hasn't had citrus trees on it for over 20 years now. I know, I've driven that route on regular occasions for the last 30 years.

Now, it might be that something else is coming into play, here, but I have yet to hear any GW proponent explain that, because it's pretty damned obviously a long-term climate metric. I'm sure there ought to be similar data out in California, and there may be other ag numbers which can be similarly derived for other crops besides citrus.

Another thing which the warming suggested by your graph is sea levels. If the earth is getting consistently warmer, then it should be true that the various ice fields are shrinking, and that means, necessarily, that sea levels have to be rising -- the atmosphere can only pick up a small percentage of the additional water, even with the increased capacity that warmer air has.

And yet, there is no evidence that sea levels have risen substantially in the last 160 years. In fact, they appear to have lowered. That picture is a mean tide mark created in 1841, in a tectonically stable area (read the information on the site for more). While it's possible that:
a) The mark wasn't actually at mean tide.
b) The land has shifted upwards due to changes in the crust.

...this still leaves one with the choice of believing a claim which seems questionable, or applying Occam's Razor and doubting it sufficient to, at the least, demand more proof.

In short, that's two clear predictions which GW claimants should be able to provide supporting evidence from, which fail, and dismally at that.

The Swartzberg Test:
The validity of a science is its ability to predict.

Thus I am led, to this point, about GW theory: it's not valid science.

 

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