Archive for February, 2010

‘Urricanes ‘ardly Hever ‘appen

Sunday, February 28th, 2010

From The Viscount Monckton of Brenchley

  • A reader of the SPPI Blog has seen an article in Britain’s Sunday Times pointing out that Al Gore has now been shown to have been wrong in claiming that hurricanes will become stronger or more frequent if and when “global warming” resumes. The reader asks for some scientific background. We are always happy to answer questions of this kind. Here is our reply.

Dear Enquirer, – Thank you for your enquiry. The IPCC, in its 2007 Fourth Assessment Report, came to its alarmist conclusions that hurricane frequency and intensity might worsen as a result of “global warming” because it relied, in part, upon a paper by Webster et al. which showed the hurricane record since 1970. This date, frankly, was cherry-picked, both by Webster and by the IPCC. (more…)

Contribution of USHNC and GISS bias in long-term temperature records for a well-sited rural weather station

Saturday, February 27th, 2010

Source: Watts Up With That?

by David W. Schnare, Esq. Ph.D.

When Phil Jones suggested that if folks didn’t like his surface temperature reconstructions, then perhaps they should do their own, he was right. The SPPI analysis of rural versus urban trends demonstrates the nature of the overall problem. It does not, however, go into sufficient detail. A close examination of the data suggests three areas needing address. Two involve the adjustments made by NCDC (NOAA) and by GISS (NASA). Each made their own adjustments and typically these are serial, the GISS done on top of the NCDC. The third problem is organic to the raw data and has been highlighted by Anthony Watts in his Surface Stations project. That involves the “micro-climate” biases in the raw data.

As Watts points out, while there are far too many biased weather station locations, there remain some properly sited ones. Examination of the data representing those stations provides a clean basis by which to demonstrate the peculiarities in the adjustments made by NCDC and GISS. (more…)

NCDC UrbanGate: how the urban warming was exported to U.S. countryside

Saturday, February 27th, 2010

Source:  The Reference Frame

by Lubos Motl

Edward Long, a retired NASA physicist, wrote a fascinating 14-page paper for SPPI that needs to be read and verified:

Contiguous U.S. temperature trends using NCDC raw and adjusted data for one-per-state rural and urban station sets (PDF, frames)

He looked at the NCDC surface temperature records of the 48 main U.S. states (you don’t want me to spell “contiguous” right, do you?). If his work is valid, it is a shocker that actually reveals how the urban effects work and what a major team has done with them.

He took one rural and one urban station from each state among 48 of them. And let’s hope he didn’t cheat or cherry-pick. (more…)

U.S. Climate Data Compromised by Sensors’ Proximity to Heat Sources, Critics Say

Friday, February 26th, 2010
Source: http://www.foxnews.com/scitech/2010/02/26/climate-data-compromised-by-heat-sources/

[SPPI Note: Two recent papers on this subject can be read here:

http://scienceandpublicpolicy.org/originals/temperature_trends.html

http://scienceandpublicpolicy.org/originals/policy_driven_deception.html ]

The predicted temperature changes (darker red indicating greater change) due to global warming, based on data that scientists, policymakers and the public are now questioning. (more…)

Many leading scientists tell the EPA to think again

Friday, February 26th, 2010

From The Viscount Monckton of Brenchley

  • This letter from numerous leading scientists in climate and related fields to Lisa Jackson, the administrator of the Environmental Protection Agency, is worthy of wider circulation.

The Honorable Lisa P. Jackson, Administrator
Environmental Protection Agency
1200 Pennsylvania Ave., NW
Washington, DC 20460

Dear Administrator Jackson:

We congratulate you on your appointment to EPA Administrator and commend you for your commitment to “science-based policies and programs, adherence to the rule of law, and overwhelming transparency.” We write today because the United States finds itself at a crossroads where these values are sure to be tested.

Recently, the U.S. Chamber of Commerce submitted a petition for an on-the-record hearing under the Clean Air Act before the EPA proceeds with its proposed rulemaking on the regulation of greenhouse gases, Proposed Endangerment and Cause or Contribute Findings for Greenhouse Gases Under Section 202(a) of the Clean Air Act, Proposed Rule, 74 Fed. Reg. 18,886 (Apr. 24, 2009) (hereinafter “Endangerment Finding”).

The Chamber requested a hearing based on 5 U.S.C. §§ 556-57 where: all proceedings would be conducted on the record; the decision-maker would be the Administrator, Deputy Administrator, or an Administrative Law Judge; the decision-maker would have the benefit of the full Clean Air Scientific Advisory Committee; parties could submit supporting documents, data, and presentations; and agencies other than the EPA designated in Executive Order No. 13,432 could designate a single official to observe and participate in the proceedings.

In light of the monumental importance of the EPA’s proposed rulemaking, we urge the adoption of the Chamber’s request. Additionally, we urge the EPA to address four critical questions, which, in addition to the issues enumerated in the Chamber’s Petition, are central to the EPA’s proposed rulemaking. Indeed, these questions require careful analysis before intelligent public policy can be promulgated. They are:

1. Is the Earth’s climate changing in an unusual or anomalous fashion?

2. Does the science permit rejection of the hypothesis that CO2 is only a minor player in the Earth’s climate system?

3. Can climate models that assume CO2 is a key determinant of climate change provide forecasts of future conditions that are adequate for policy analysis?

4. Can we reject the hypothesis that the primary drivers of the Earth’s climate system will continue to be natural (non-anthropogenic) forces and internal climate variability?

The fundamental issue facing the EPA is whether or not human-caused CO2 emissions have already led to, or can be expected in the future, to lead to significant adverse changes in the Earth’s climate system. That is, in order to justify the current proposed Endangerment Finding, a very critical theory or assumption that must stand up to rigorous scientific analysis is that highervatmospheric CO2 levels will, with some appropriate level of confidence, lead to measurably higher surface temperatures.

This theory can only be tested or validated by testing the so-called null hypothesis that CO2 is a minor player in the Earth’s climate system. If this null hypothesis cannot be rejected, there is no basis for regulating CO2, particularly given the enormously negative implications of such regulation on the Nation’s Energy, Economic and National Security.

Is the Earth’s climate changing in an unusual or anomalous fashion?

Atmospheric CO2 levels have increased by more than 20% over the last 50 years. If atmospheric CO2 levels, in fact, have more than a minor impact on the Earth’s climate system, one would expect to see the impact in the relevant climate data. So, to answer the question, “Is the Earth’s climate changing in an unusual or anomalous fashion?” it is necessary to rigorously seek answers to at least the following five questions:

• Is the Earth’s air temperature change unusual?
• Are droughts becoming longer and more intense due to increasing CO2?
• Are floods and heavy rainfall events increasing due to increasing CO2?
• Are hurricanes and tropical storms becoming stronger and more intense?
• Are sea levels rising dramatically due to increasing CO2?

The scientific evidence and empirical data strongly suggest there are respected scientists who would answer “no” to each of these five questions. Thus, despite the over 20% rise in CO2 over the last 50 years, there is little credible evidence that any of these dimensions of the Earth’s climate system have shown anomalous behavior.
Does the science permit rejection of the hypothesis that CO2 is only a minor player in the Earth’s climate system?

Whether or not the EPA, at this point, concurs with “no” answers to all of these questions, correlation does not imply causation. For example, the fact that CO2 concentration and surface temperature both rose over the period 1975 to, say, 1998 does not imply that rising CO2 was the primary cause, which is clearly indicated by the fact that while CO2 concentration continued to rise, temperatures have recently been falling. Therefore, we feel that it is critical that the EPA utilize a rigorous process to address the question: “Does the science permit rejection of the hypothesis that CO2 is a minor player in the Earth’s climate system?” To properly answer this question, one must address each of the following issues:

• Is carbon dioxide (CO2) the most important of the greenhouse gases in the atmosphere?
• Does a “tipping point” exist where more CO2 will ultimately lead to “run away” warming?
• In the past, did increases in CO2 cause increases in the Earth’s temperature?
• Since CO2 concentrations have recently risen dramatically, is the warming consistent with a “Greenhouse Gas fingerprint”?
• Is there evidence that rising CO2 levels are leading to acidification of the oceans which threatens calcium carbonate-based marine life?

An unbiased, critical review of the literature by respected scientists would have many of them answering “no” to each of these five questions.

Thus, if the EPA would come to believe that the answers to the questions spelled out above were all “no”, it would imply that the scientific evidence and experimental data to date suggest that the Earth’s climate system has not been behaving in an anomalous fashion; and, as of today, there is no known credible reason why further increasing CO2 levels will cause harm in the future.

Can climate models that assume CO2 is a key determinant of climate change provide forecasts of future conditions that are adequate for policy analysis?

In our view, particularly with temperatures now falling, the argument for CO2 regulation rests solely on the “validity” of the climate models relied upon by the IPCC and the EPA. Thus it is crucial to answer the questions, “Can climate models that assume CO2 is a key determinant of climate change, provide a forecast quality sufficient for such critical regulatory policy decisions?” To properly address this issue, it is necessary to seek rigorously developed answers to the following questions:

• Do global climate models properly handle “feedbacks” in the Earth’s climate system?
• Do global climate models perform well in simulating the climate and compare well when forecasting the impact of increased levels of CO2?
• Have modelers followed the well-documented and validated rules set forth by academic forecasting professionals?
• Did these models forecast the recent decline in temperatures?

Evidence in the literature would strongly suggest that many respected scientists would answer “no” to each of these four questions, which may well eliminate any possible rationale for regulating CO2. It should be noted that it should not be surprising that models that assume CO2 is a critical player in the Earth’s climate system cannot be validated for policy analysis when we can demonstrate that rising CO2 levels have had little impact on the Earth’s climate so far, and at this point, there is little theoretical reason to believe they will ever have a significant impact.
Can we reject the hypothesis that the primary drivers of the Earth’s climate system will continue to be natural (non-anthropogenic) forces and internal climate variability?

Finally, since atmospheric CO2 levels are not demonstrably relevant determinants of the Earth’s climate, it is highly relevant to ask, what is really driving changes in the Earth’s climate? To address this issue, climate science literature would suggest that the following question be answered: “Can we reject the hypothesis that the primary drivers of the Earth’s climate system will continue to be natural (non-anthropogenic) forces and internal climate variability? More specifically, one must at least ask:

• Does the sun play a significant role in climate variations on short (multi-decadal or shorter) time scales?
• Can volcanic activity and changes in stratospheric aerosols affect climate on short (multi-decadal or shorter) time scales?
• Do oscillations in ocean temperatures and the oceanic conveyor belt have a significant effect on the Earth’s climate?
• Do cloud/water vapor feedback mechanisms significantly affect the climate system on short (multi-decadal or shorter) time scales?

It is clear from the literature that many respected scientists would answer each of these four questions independently with a resounding “yes”.

Recommendation

We feel strongly that the EPA must not only rigorously address all four of the additional questions outlined at the outset, but also deal with at least the 18 supporting issues. As can be clearly seen by an analysis of the different fields of knowledge and academic skills required to answer the 18 detailed questions listed above, no one scientist should feel comfortable answering each and every question. And yet, without thoughtful, fully-informed judgments on all of the questions by the scientists who are expert in the particular issue area, the EPA should not feel comfortable issuing an Endangerment Finding in support of CO2 regulation.

Because of the need to have only those highly qualified to provide answers to each of the questions outlined above, we strongly suggest that the EPA grant the U.S. Chamber of Commerce Petitions, and in particular, adopt its recommendation regarding the use of the an on-the-record hearing conducted pursuant to 5 U.S.C. §§ 556-57.

While following such an analysis process may well be more arduous than planned, the implications of ill-founded CO2 regulation could be truly catastrophic. Hardly a day goes by without another prominent scientist joining the ranks of those who reject the conclusion of the IPCC that the primary driver of the Earth’s climate system is CO2 emissions from human use of fossil fuels rather than other natural forces.

The EPA has the authority to hold on-the-record hearings under the Clean Air Act using procedures based on 5 U.S.C. §§ 556-57. As the Administrative Conference of the United States said, such authority should be exercised whenever (a) the scientific, technical, or other data relevant to the proposed rule are complex, (b) the problem posed is so open-ended that diverse views should be heard, and (c) the costs that errors may impose are significant. See 1 C.F.R. § 305.76-3(1) (1993). The Chamber noted in its petition that “it is hard to imagine a situation where each part of this test is more easily met.” We concur and urge the EPA to hold a formal, on-the-record hearing before proceeding with any proposed Endangerment Finding.

Thank you for your consideration.

Dr. J. Scott Armstrong
Professor at The Wharton School
University of Pennsylvania

Dr. Robert H. Austin
Professor of Physics
Princeton University

Dr. Robert M. Carter
Professor in the Marine Geophysical Laboratory
James Cook University (Australia)

Dr. Ian Clark
Professor of Earth Sciences
University of Ottawa (Canada)

Dr. Roger W. Cohen (Retired)
Manager, Strategic Planning and Programs
ExxonMobil Corporation

Dr. Susan J. Crockford
Adjunct Professor of Anthropology
University of Victoria (Canada)

Dr. Chris de Freitas
Associate Professor of Geography and Environmental Science
The University of Auckland (New Zealand)

Dr. David Deming
Associate Professor of Arts & Sciences
University of Oklahoma

Dr. Donald Easterbrook (Emeritus)
Professor of Geology
Western Washington University

Dr. Robert H. Essenhigh
E.G. Bailey Emeritus Professor of Energy Conversion
The Ohio State University

Dr. Patrick Frank
SLAC National Accelerator Center
Stanford University

Dr. Stewart W. Franks
Associate Professor of Engineering
University of Newcastle (Australia)

Dr. William M. Gray (Emeritus)
Professor of Atmospheric Science
Colorado State University

Dr. Laurence I. Gould
Professor of Physics
University of Hartford

Dr. Kesten C. Green
Business & Economic Forecasting Unit
Monash University (Australia)

Dr. Sultan Hameed
Professor of Atmospheric Science
Stony Brook University

Dr. William Happer
Cyrus Fogg Brackett Professor of Physics
Princeton University

Dr. Craig D. Idso, Chairman
Center for the Study of Carbon Dioxide and Global Change
Tempe, Arizona

Mr. William Kininmonth
Australasian Climate Research
Kew, Victoria (Australia)

Dr. George Kukla
Special Research Scientist
Lamont-Doherty Earth Observatory

Dr. David R. Legates, C.C.M.
Associate Professor of Climatology
University of Delaware

Dr. Richard S. Lindzen
Alfred P. Sloan Professor of Atmospheric Sciences
Massachusetts Institute of Technology

Anthony R. Lupo
Professor of Soil, Environmental, and Atmospheric Sciences
University of Missouri

Dr. Ross R. McKitrick
Professor of Economics
University of Guelph (Canada)

Dr. Patrick J. Michaels
School of Public Policy
George Mason University

Dr. Paul B. Queneau Metallurgical Engineer and Educator
Golden, Colorado

Dr. Tim R. Patterson
Professor of Earth Sciences
Carleton University (Canada)

Dr. Nicola Scafetta
Department of Physics
Duke University

Dr. Harrison Schmitt
Adjunct Professor of Engineering
University of Wisconsin-Madison

Dr. S. Fred Singer (Emeritus)
Professor of Environmental Sciences
University of Virginia

Dr. Willie Soon
Astrophysicist and Geoscientist
Salem, Massachusetts

Mr. George H. Taylor, C.C.M. Applied Climate Services, LLC
Corvallis, Oregon

Dr. Mitchell Taylor
Lecturer in Geography
Lakehead University (Canada)

Dr. Brian G. Valentine, PE
US Department of Energy
Washington, DC

Dr. George T. Wolff
Air Improvement Resource, Inc.
Novi, Michigan

More on NCDC Temperature Data “Adjustments”, Reports SPPI

Thursday, February 25th, 2010

Source:  SPPI

The Science and Public Policy Institute (SPPI) has released another paper examining the surface temperature data adjustments by U.S. Government-funded scientists.

Both the Goddard Institute for Space Science (GISS), the National Climatic Data Center (NCDC),  have come under increasing scrutiny and criticism for their station selections and the protocols used for adjusting raw data.  The outcome of the on-going tampering with raw data is the appearance of significant warming in the contiguous 48 States. (more…)

Climategate Meets the Law: Senator Inhofe to Ask for DOJ Investigation

Thursday, February 25th, 2010

Source:  Pajamas Media

Senator James Inhofe (R-OK) today asked the Obama administration to investigate what he called “the greatest scientific scandal of our generation” — the actions of climate scientists revealed by the Climategate files, and the subsequent admissions by the editors of the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) Fourth Assessment Report (AR4).

Senator Inhofe also called for former Vice President Al Gore to be called back to the Senate to testify. (more…)

More on EPA’s Climate Science Problem: The Peabody Petition

Thursday, February 25th, 2010

Source:  The Master Resourse

by Chip Knappenberger

In my last post, I pointed out a problem with the EPA’s major finding that:

Most of the observed increase in global average temperatures since the mid-20th century is very likely due to the observed increase in anthropogenic GHG [greenhouse gas] concentrations.

I showed that it could be reasonably and straightforwardly argued that less than half of the warming since 1950 contained in the “observed” global temperature history can be attributed to anthropogenic greenhouse gas emissions. This is bad for the EPA, as this finding was simply parroted by the EPA from the IPCC Fourth Assessment Report (AR4)—a report relied on heavily by the EPA in underpinning its Endangerment Finding (that greenhouse gases released by human activities “threaten the public health and welfare of current and future generations.”). When the IPCC is wrong, so is the EPA. (more…)

UK: belief in climate change plummets

Thursday, February 25th, 2010

Source:  http://www.australianclimatemadness.com/?p=3261

A poll in the UK Guardian shows that belief in man-made global warming is disappearing faster than a Himalayan glacier, thanks to Climategate and daily revelations of IPCC blunders:

Public conviction about the threat of climate change has declined sharply after months of questions over the science and growing disillusionment with government action, a leading British poll has found. (more…)

Updated WMO Consensus Perspective on Tropical Cyclones

Thursday, February 25th, 2010

Source: Roger Pielke, Jr. Blog

A team of researchers under the auspices of the World Meteorological Organization has published a new review paper in Nature Geoscience (PDF) updating consensus perspectives published in 1998 and 2006. The author team includes prominent scientists from either side of the “hurricane wars” of 2005-2006: Thomas R. Knutson, John L. McBride, Johnny Chan, Kerry Emanuel, Greg Holland, Chris Landsea, Isaac Held, James P. Kossin, A. K. Srivastava and Masato Sugi. (more…)

Climate change exaggerated, opines Wisconsin student

Thursday, February 25th, 2010

Source: http://media.www.spectatornews.com/media/storage/paper218/news/2010/02/25/Editorialopinion/Climate.Change.Exaggerated-3879203.shtml

By: Sean McCormick

Issue needs to be approached with humility, more sense

The past couple of weeks haven’t been good for proponents of climate change. Professor Phil Jones, formerly of University of East Anglia’s Climatic Research Unit, admitted that there has not been any “statistically significant” global warming since 1995. He also stated that there were two warming periods in the 20th century that were due to natural phenomena rather than human interference, totaling just more than half a century. Despite fears of global warming, most of the U.S. and Europe is experiencing one of the worst winters in recent history.

None of this should be surprising to anyone. Global temperature has only risen 0.7° F since the 1800s. Polar bears, long considered to be threatened by climate change, are at “historic” high population levels, according to the U.S. Fish & Wildlife Service. Increasing levels of CO2 will cause the global mean surface temperature to increase by only one degree by 2100. So why do we constantly hear that climate change is going to cause droughts, flooding and other disasters? (more…)

A scientist speaks out

Wednesday, February 24th, 2010

From The Viscount Monckton of Brenchley

  • SPPI receives many kind emails from members of the public who support our quiet but increasingly successful work in bringing some scientific and economic truth and perspective to the over-politicized debate about the climate. Here is a letter from an eminent scientist who has recently discovered what nonsense “global warming” is. (more…)

Senators Boxer and Merkley Owe Apology, says SPPI

Wednesday, February 24th, 2010

Source:  SPPI

In Senate EPA hearings today false claims were made by Senators Boxer (D-CA) and Merkley (D-OR) that the Science and Public Policy Institute (SPPI) is Exxon Mobil funded, implying its work and findings should be cast aside.

Says SPPI president, Robert Ferguson, “SPPI has never been offered or accepted funds or support in any form from Exxon Mobil.  Senators Boxer and Merkley owe an apology and a correction in the record.”  Added Ferguson, “It is rather simple for any senate staffer to call Exxon Mobil to verify the facts, or examine public filings for Exxon Mobil’s Contributions and Community Investments. (more…)

World cools toward warmists

Wednesday, February 24th, 2010

Source:  Washington Times

by Paul Chesser

The global-warming industry is getting several bailouts, none of which it wants. Last week, three major corporations – Conoco/Phillips, BP and Caterpillar – bailed out on the U.S. Climate Action Partnership lobbyist collaboration. Arizona bailed on the Western Climate Initiative (WCI) cap-and-trade plan. The Utah House presumably wants to bail on WCI, too, because it overwhelmingly passed a resolution requesting the Environmental Protection Agency to bail on its planned regulation of carbon dioxide under the Clean Air Act. Texas and Virginia also want the nation’s top environmental regulator to cease and desist.

On Thursday, the Netherlands’ Yvo de Boer, executive secretary of the U.N. Framework Convention on Climate Change, resigned. The guru of global-warming diplomacy, after a disastrous December summit in Copenhagen did not produce an international agreement on greenhouse gas reduction, favored bailing over failing. (more…)

A dying initiative

Tuesday, February 23rd, 2010
Source: Financial Post
by Lawrence Solomon

The Western Climate Initiative’s cap and trade market may soon need to be renamed The Canada Climate Initiative.

Until last week, the Western Climate Initiative boasted seven U.S. states and four Canadian provinces who were working toward the launch of a regional cap and trade system on Jan. 1, 2012. Last Thursday, Arizona formally announced it was backing out of cap and trade. As the state with the fastest rate of emission growth — 61% between 1990 and 2007 — many feared a body blow to Arizona’s economy if it tried to meet the initiative’s carbon reduction goals. (more…)

  • pyaemia