Thursday, March 29, 2007

IPCC wrong!!

Sadly I must admit to being wrong about the whole climate change thing as well. Reader Adrianne has set me straight. Click on the link to behold, wait for it....... the 'war causes global warming' theory.
The late years of the 1930th decade had been the warmest for several hundred years. The warmest autumns covering the last 507 years were in 1938, 1772, 2000 and 2006. The subsequent autumn/winter of 1938/39 was due to follow the trend. Instead winter 1939/40 became the coldest winter in Europe north of the Alps for more than 100 years. Why? North- and Baltic Sea had become a naval battleground. 1000 naval vessels ploughed the waters day and night. Millions of small and big explosives swirled the water about. The autumn warm seawater, serving Europe like a central heating, was quickly squeezed out. It rained cats and dogs along the battle line between France and Germany from September to November 1939. The general wind direction changed from SW to NE. Atlantic depressions were barred to cross the continent, as demonstrated by the weather map of December 7th, 1939. The Neue Zrcher Zeitung observed this already in January 1940, which is all explained in detail in the BOOKLET presented on this site.
Excellent work. Makes perfect sense. Don't know why nobody spotted this earlier. Thankfully, science has progressed.


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Wednesday, March 28, 2007

A performance that will never be bettered

Robert Johnson, perhaps the greatest of the Delta bluesmen, recorded just 29 songs. Legend has it that Johnson met the Devil at a cross-road, and traded his immortal soul for mastery of the guitar.

Johnson didn’t invent the blues. As he traveled throughout the Mississippi Delta, he picked up and remembered many hundreds of tunes, including those he had only heard on a single occasion. His genius lay in the fact that he took this plethora of musical experiences and incorporated and condensed them into those 29 songs. Perhaps Johnson traded his soul for far more than just technical guitar playing ability? One thing is for sure, those recordings haven’t been surpassed to this day, and it’s unlikely they ever will be.

Yesterday I came across a short piece of work that reminded me of Johnson. Unfortunately the author of this piece is unnamed, but his or her innate talent is there for all to see. The article is a masterpiece, a work of the true virtuoso.

The author has seemingly taken every single delusional scribble that denies the link between human activity and current climate change and compressed them into a single article of just 1458 words. Considering the vast amount of crapolla that has been pumped out, this is an awe-inspiring feat. Every loony hypothesis, cherry-picked result, non-causative correlation and conspiracy theory is there. There’s even some Ray Evans. I present to you the first six paragraphs (click on the link for the rest) from the opinion piece in the Geelong Advertiser:
Hold on to your hats. Man-made carbon dioxide emissions are not to blame for global warming.

They're not to blame for rising temperatures, not for polar melting, not for sea levels and not for endangering species around the world.

No way. And all the scientists, environmentalists, politicians, even businesses, arguing CO2 is to blame are only doing so to protect vested financial or idealistic interests. They lack scientific data to back up their claims, readily berate and demonise any arguments to the contrary and merrily extend Oscar awards to the lobbyist propaganda movie of their own hypocritical champions.

What's more, rather than helping save the Earth, their misguided claptrap and zealotry is working against the interests of the planet and the humanity it sustains.
Global warming as a result of CO2 emissions is all the result of bad science, an incorrect moral stance and blinkered vision.

It's not that global warming isn't happening. It's just . . . well, it's just not all caused by CO2. It's also caused by solar activity and cosmic radiation -just like droughts. And if Earth's green warriors don't wake up to this reality they'll be consigning resource-rich, developing Third World countries to further subjugation by imperialist Western economies.
Did the author similarly sell their soul to the devil? It is a question that must be asked.

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Friday, March 23, 2007

Ray Evans' 'Nine facts about climate change' debunked. Pt. 5.

How Ray even thinks this one could be a fact is beyond me. He certainly is the mental gymnast.

The general gist is that climate scientists are part of some grand conspiracy to commit fraud on a global scale. They probably cut their teeth convicting and administering hemlock to Socrates, before moving on to assassinating JFK and faking the moon landing.

Yet again, it’s filled with the usual fluff.

The progress of science since the Middle Ages has not been made through consensus and censorship but through individuals who have challenged existing orthodoxies and shown them to be either wrong or inadequate. Galileo and his challenge to the Jesuits is a well known example. It is a revealing commentary on the global warming debate that the anthropogenists place so much weight on their claimed monopoly of scientific opinion.
For every Galileo there are 10 000 cranks who fervently believe they’ve overturned the scientific orthodoxy, when they’re simply misinformed, wrong, and in many cases, idiots. Disagreeing with scientific orthodoxy in itself should never be seen as a way to advance science. Disagreeing with scientific orthodoxy because you have a new testable theory that better explains observations than a previously existing theory most certainly is. Climate change denialism doesn’t fit into this category because denialists are manifestly unable to explain recent observed warming without anthropogenic factors. They have to invent way-out theories that are implausible when rigorously examined. As each theory fails, it’s on to the next one, with never a hint that the scientific consensus they are trying to overturn may in fact be correct. In this way climate change denialism is like Intelligent Design, Creationism and numerous other ideology-driven rather than evidence-based theories.
When political leaders identify themselves with a scientific theory, they can often exert great pressures to ensure that critics are squeezed out of research grants and career opportunities.
Considering the current long-serving conservative Australian and US governments are only recent converts to AGW due to poll-based evidence, this theory is as silly as, well, all of Ray’s other theories. Most members of these governments were either disinterested or actively denialist until recently, so if political patronage meant so much, denialists should be rolling in cash.
These tactics do not compare with Stalin’s treatment of critics of Lysenko and his theories of the inheritability of acquired characteristics and other bizarre notions. The consequences for many Russian geneticists who opposed Lysenko were fatal.
If these tactics don’t compare to Stalin’s treatment of critics of Lysenko, why mention Stalin’s treatment of critics of Lysenko? Ray’s point is………no idea. On second thoughts it could be to show how fair a man Ray is, how he weighs things up and gives an honest disinterested appraisal; ‘Those scientists are really, really evil, but not quite as evil as Stalin’. Or it could just be a typo and Ray thinks they’re worse. Who knows?

Ray then craps on and on about how the CSIRO was infiltrated blah blah blah conspiracy blah blah. More guff along the lines of; ‘when a contrarian misses out on a grant it’s because of their denialism, and for no other reason. Just because there isn’t a shred of evidence to support this doesn’t mean it isn’t true!!!”
One of the idiocies which has followed from the capture of the science establishment by the anthropogenists is that research into the causes of the periodicity of the longlasting ice ages and the brief interglacials is being carried out mostly by people who are cut off from the official science establishment, without recourse to research funds or access to the so-called peer-reviewed literature.
Wrong. There are many, many peer-reviewed papers on climate change and its drivers during past glacial and interglacial periods. Ray mustn’t know how to use the interweb tube thingies if he can’t find ‘em. However, I do admit, some scientists and pretend scientists quite rightly don’t get funded or published because their research is infantile garbage, not because ‘we can’t handle the truth’.
The anthropogenists, contrariwise, control huge budgets which are devoted to proving the anthropogenic carbon dioxide theory of climate control. The complete intellectual failure of this enterprise has led to demands by establishment scientists and their supporters in the media for censorship of the sceptics, and even the imprisonment of people who are called ‘climate change deniers’.
Nah…we shouldn’t imprison them. The world needs more laughter, and they certainly provide a bit of comedy. Highly educational for young scientists too; “This, son, is exactley how not to advance human knowledge - learn from this, and don't do it”.

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Wednesday, March 21, 2007

Ray Evans' 'Nine facts about climate change' debunked. Pt. 4.

Short post tonight.

The point that Ray makes comes up over and over again in denialist circles. It is so dim-witted and obviously false, that I’m sure no one with any interest in climate science, contrarian or not, believes it.

The reason it is constantly raised is to trick the unwary; those with only a casual interest in climate change who are looking for an impossibly simple explanation as to why the scientific consensus is wrong.

This is truly the ultimate AGW straw man.
4. The evidence linking anthropogenic (man-made) carbon dioxide emissions and current warming is limited to a correlation which holds only for the period 1976 to 2000. Attempts to construct an holistic theory in which atmospheric carbon dioxide controls the radiation balance of the earth, and thus determines average global temperatures, have failed.
There is not, has not, and never will be, any attempt to construct a theory, holistic or otherwise, in which atmospheric CO2 controls the radiation balance of the earth, and thus determines average global temperatures.

Many factors impact on average global temperature apart from atmospheric CO2. There’s internal variation, of which the ENSO cycle is an example. There’s solar radiation, which isn’t constant. There are many other anthropogenic radiative forcing components. Unsurprisingly, the recent IPCC summary covers this with a nice simple, colourful pic:

As other factors have impacted on global average temperature, it is not expected that there will be a close correlation with atmospheric CO2 levels over the past 100 years. When these other factors are accounted for, along with CO2, temperatures for the past 100 years can be reasonably accurately modeled.

This graph demonstrates why only a recent ‘sort-of’ correlation with CO2 exists.

None of this means or implies that increased atmospheric CO2 due to human activity is not the largest radiative forcing component currently.

As for the solar guff, the problem for Ray is that there is no conceivable way that either solar cycle amplitude, period or abstract theories involving cosmic rays, can explain recent warming when subjected to rigorous scientific enquiry.

Solar forcing is real, but its magnitude is insufficient to explain recent warming.

Sad for denialists, but very true.

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Monday, March 19, 2007

The Cabal

Seed has an image of a pretty extraordinary map detailing the relationships between different scientific paradigms (based on scientific papers and citations contained within). It's really worth having a close look to see where your expertise or interests fit in.

Here's what it looks like from a distance.

But when I did look closely, I had this feeling of wrongness. There was something.....missing, I guess you'd say.

Then it struck me. I remembered.

It was only yesterday, in fact, that I'd read this:
Mr. Wegman brings to bear a technique called social-network analysis to examine the community of climate researchers. His conclusion is that the coterie of most frequently published climatologists is so insular and close-knit that no effective independent review of the work of Mr. Mann is likely. ‘As analysed in our social network’, Mr. Wegman writes,‘there is a tightly knit group of individuals who passionately believe in their thesis’. He continues: ‘However, our perception is that this group has a self-reinforcing feedback mechanism and, moreover, the work has been sufficiently politicized that they can hardly reassess their public positions without losing credibility’.

In other words, climate research often more closely resembles a mutual-admiration society than a competitive and open-minded search for scientific knowledge. And Mr. Wegman’s social-network graphs suggest that Mr. Mann himself—and his hockey stick—is at the centre of that network.
Clearly Wegman didn't go far enough. Even he didn't comprehend the scope of this highly secretive organisation.

Accordingly, I've adjusted the map so it suits....Republican sensibilities.

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Sunday, March 18, 2007

Ray Evans' 'Nine facts about climate change' debunked. Pt. 3.

More Ray. Sad, I know - but we must finish what we begin.
3. The twentieth century was almost as warm as the centuries of the Mediaeval Warm Period, an era of great achievement in European civilisation. The recent warm period, 1976–2000, appears to have come to an end and astro-physicists who study sunspot behaviour predict that the next 25–50 years could be a cool period similar to the Dalton Minimum of the 1790s-1820s.

Like a musician with an extremely limited repertoire, Ray Evans has put his strongest ‘facts’ in positions one and two, with the quality rapidly diminishing thereafter. Considering how screwed up facts one and two are on all levels, that’s really saying something.

Fiction 3 is really just a variation on the ‘hockey stick is broken’ theme that’s been doing the rounds since a political hatchet job on one particular study last year, with the addition of a few random Ray wanderings.

Because this hockey stick silliness has been debunked over and over again of late, I don’t intend to go into it too much. Best to click here.

Ray’s first point appears to be that there has been a great cover up between the first IPCC report in 1990 and the third in 2001. All major multi-proxy reconstructions since 2001 he ignores.

What it all boils down to for Ray is that the IPCC Grinch stole the medieval warm period (MWP), making it currently warmer than at any time in the past 1000 years.

Ray claims:
In particular, the well-known history of the Mediaeval Warm Period, 800 AD to 1300 AD, an era which was warm enough for Vikings to establish a colony in Greenland which lasted for at least 500 years, was to be airbrushed out of the historical record. Also deleted from the record was the Little Ice Age which ran from about 1350 AD to about 1850 AD.
(Notice the MWP ends at 1300 now, not at 1100 as mentioned in Ray’s fiction 1 or 1000 in figure 4. Consistency isn’t his strong point)

So did the IPCC steal the MWP in 2001?

No, of course not.

The non-quantitative graph shown in the 1990 report (and re-created in Ray’s spiel) was gone by 1992. Even in the 1990 report the MWP was never mentioned as global. This link covers the discussion of the MWP and little ice age (LIA) in each IPCC report from 1990 to 2001.

Was the MWP completely gone by 2001? Was it.....airbrushed out?

Well, only if by ‘airbrushed out’ you mean ‘discussed at length’.

As is usual among denialists, Ray assumes that the entire TAR paleoclimatology section is based on the hockey stick graph, which is itself the product of one man; adolfosamastalinghengis Michael Mann. The other authors on the land mark 1998 study get left out of the soundbite as usual. The ‘Mann hockey stick’ indeed.

Firstly, other studies are cited in TAR, and other studies are shown graphically:

Funny how that graph never shows up in the writings of crazies.

Secondly, note Ray’s figure, then look at the actual figure from TAR.

That’s right; Ray has removed the standard error limits to make it look like the Mann et al. reconstruction has specifically ruled out the MWP and LIA.

Is that fraud, do you think?

Now, the sensible thing to do would be to show the results of all the major multi-proxy reconstructions to see if the hypothesis that late 20th century temperatures are warmer than at any time in the past 1000 years is incorrect.

You can see why Ray avoided this:

Ray’s next move is to laud the contributions of well-known shills McIntyre and McKitrick. Instead of posting at length on their mistake-ridden criticisms, I recommend reading this excellent Juckes et al. paper, which succinctly describes their all-too-common failings.

Somehow, all this leads Ray to opine that anyone associated with organising the IPCC should be jailed.
If the IPCC were a commercial corporation operating in Australia, its directors would now be facing criminal charges and the prospect of going to jail.
Rather typical of conservatives I believe.

Next, we have Ray claiming conclusive evidence that it was warmer during the MWP than today. His source (wrongly cited in his references) is Huang et al. 1997, a study based not on multiple proxies, but just boreholes. The problem for Ray is that even the authors now don’t believe boreholes provide high enough resolution data beyond 500 years ago to make concrete claims. All their more recent papers do not look back beyond 500 years into the past. This particular issue was discussed in TAR.

Now we depart from the rest of the world and look at recent Australian temperatures.

Instead of looking at mean temperatures to detect warming in each Australian state, Ray chooses to look only at when the maximum temperature was recorded in each state. If they weren’t recently, that proves it’s not warming in Oz according to Ray (it makes no sense to me either). He didn’t reproduce this graph from some reason:

Then, warming has stopped since 1998.

Wrong (discussed here).

It’s all to do with solar cycles `cause my mate David Archibald says so.

Wrong (discussed here)

And last, but certainly not least, the moronic claim that delusionists often come up with: warm = great human achievement.
It was during this period that Europeans enjoyed agricultural prosperity with an abundance of food and population growth. They made huge progress in technology, inventing, for example, mechanical clocks and windmills, building the great cathedrals, and establishing cities such as Venice, Florence, Milan, Genoa, Amsterdam, and eventually London, which became great banking and trading cities which laid the foundations of Western growth and development.
How is it that always-warm tropical nations do not rule the Earth? I do not know. How is it that the Renaissance occurred during the LIA? I do not know. How did the New World and the Antipodes got discovered and settled during the LIA? I do not know. How did the two greatest scientists of all, Newton and Darwin, make their breakthroughs during the LIA? I do not know.

Maybe, just maybe, the Earth’s average temperature hasn’t had a lot to do with progress, of the lack of it, in individual societies over the past 1000 years. If delusionists weren’t so friggin’ dumb, you’d think they’d make a little more of that point, wouldn’t you?

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Thursday, March 15, 2007

The Oz editorial - still wing-nut central. Part IV

Clearly Chris Mitchell, the editorial writer for our only national newspaper, the Australian, is trying to piss me off.

On Tuesday I commented on this fawning appraisal of the recent C4 programme:
A recent Channel Four documentary in Britain, The Great Climate Change Swindle, presents a coherent argument for why governments must hasten slowly in responding. The British documentary highlights the anomaly that temperatures are rising faster at the earth's surface than in the upper atmosphere, directly contradicting the greenhouse hypothesis. It also highlights the fact that ice core data relied on by global warming alarmists actually shows world temperature increases occurred hundreds of years before corresponding rises in the level of atmospheric C02, again contradicting greenhouse theory. The program puts forward evidence to show the world's climate is controlled by clouds, which are controlled by cosmic rays, which are in turn controlled by the sun.
And from today's editorial, entitled "Warming to debate: public dissent over climate change is a good thing" (Dissent,
Other respected scientists have told a British documentary, The Great Climate Change Swindle, that the scientific data actually demolishes the central global warming hypothesis that carbon emissions are responsible for rising temperatures. This, they say, is demonstrated by the absence of a temperature increase in the middle atmosphere, relative to the earth's surface. Another anomaly is that ice-core samples show atmospheric carbon build-up had followed higher temperatures so could not have caused them. These scientists favour solar activity as the answer to global warming.

I gotta admit, though, these crazies have got some staying power. They're like the Terminator; no matter how much you kick their arse, blow them up and rain destruction on them (using such weapons as logic, good science and an association with reality), they still keep on coming.

If we could only harness this pathological determination to prove reality wrong as a novel renewable form of, there's a thought!

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Tuesday, March 13, 2007

The Oz editorial - still wing-nut central. Part III

And now folks, a short break from pointing out Ray Evans’ silliness to point out yet more equal silliness in the form of the latest editorial from the Australian.

Surprise, surprise; there is mention of some sort of debate, and a recent obscure program on British TV.
While Australian commercial television networks are jumping on the climate change bandwagon with sophisticated graphics showing tornadoes ripping through Sydney Harbour Bridge, debate is increasing about the quality of the science underpinning global warming hysteria. A recent Channel Four documentary in Britain, The Great Climate Change Swindle, presents a coherent argument for why governments must hasten slowly in responding. The British documentary highlights the anomaly that temperatures are rising faster at the earth's surface than in the upper atmosphere, directly contradicting the greenhouse hypothesis. It also highlights the fact that ice core data relied on by global warming alarmists actually shows world temperature increases occurred hundreds of years before corresponding rises in the level of atmospheric C02, again contradicting greenhouse theory. The program puts forward evidence to show the world's climate is controlled by clouds, which are controlled by cosmic rays, which are in turn controlled by the sun.
Increasing debate? Wing-nuts sticking their fingers in their ears and yelling: “La, la, la, cosmic rays, la, la, green religion, la, la, la, Left-wing conspiracy, la, la…..” doesn’t sound like it to me, but I wasn’t in the debating team at school, so what would I know?

And this recent C4 fictional piece; something to do with swindling the gullible, I believe?

A complete demolition of all the program’s many-times-in-the-past debunked points is up at RealClimate.

As is usual, the Oz can’t even get the denialist point of view right. The troposphere isn’t the upper atmosphere; it’s the ‘lower’ atmosphere. (The punters aren’t important enough to be actually accurate with words, I guess).

Apart from that, what does IPCC AR4 have to say about the discrepancy that was noted in TAR (So much for swindling, hey? The greenleftislamofascists wanted to hide the anomaly so bad, they discussed in both of the two most recent IPCC reports. How tricky is that?).

First, TAR (2001):
After the shift in the late 1970s, the overall tropospheric temperature trend is near zero but the surface has warmed.
Then AR4 (2007):
New analyses of balloon-borne and satellite measurements of lower- and mid-tropospheric temperature show warming rates that are similar to those of the surface temperature record and are consistent within their respective uncertainties, largely reconciling a discrepancy noted in the TAR.
Next, we have CO2
levels rising slightly after temperature had began climb in the past. Proves some bloke called Al Gore is a fraud, I believe.

Well, not quite.

It just so happens that the lag fits in exactly with current theory. CO2 in past major warming events was a feedback agent rather than a forcing agent. The initial warming was most likely caused by orbital variations. Currently CO2 is a forcing agent (as we are releasing it by burning fossil fuels etc.). The possibility exists for it to become yet again a feedback agent due to current warming (i.e. warmer oceans holding less dissolved CO2, another point misrepresented by the program). That would be a bad thing.

A then it’s the flavour of the month – cosmic rays.

Yes, well, let me see.

The Australian editorial writers definitely hate science and, perversely, they seem to like being swindled.


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Saturday, March 10, 2007

Ray Evans' 'Nine facts about climate change' debunked. Pt. 2.

Ray’s outdone himself with ‘Fiction 2’.
2. Carbon dioxide is necessary for all life on earth and increasing atmospheric concentrations are beneficial to plant growth, particularly in arid conditions. Because the radiation properties of carbon dioxide in the atmosphere are already saturated, increasing atmospheric concentrations beyond current levels will have no discernible effect on global temperatures.
Here we go:
Carbon dioxide (CO2) is a colourless, odourless, tasteless, non-toxic gas which is essential to all life on earth.
CO2 is not essential to all life on earth; obviously humans and many other organisms don’t require it. Even if all CO2 were removed from the planet, and photosynthesis stopped, some organisms would survive, so it’s not even indirectly essential to all life on earth. Some classes of organisms do not source their carbon from either directly from CO2 or indirectly from organisms that do. Such a group of organisms are the ‘hydrogenogens’, which include bacteria that utilise CO (carbon monoxide) from deep-sea hydrothermal vents as their sole carbon source.

Ray has a habit of making blanket statements which are only partly correct (or, in other words, wrong).
As concentrations of carbon dioxide increase, the rate of growth of plants also increases. Flowers and vegetables grown in hothouses are frequently fed with extra carbon dioxide for faster growth and higher yields.
Wrong. The rate of plant growth does not increase if CO2 is not limiting. Excess CO2 does provide some advantage to some plants some of the time, but certainly not all plants all of the time. Hothouses like Ray has mentioned are useless at indicating how plants will perform in the field. Due to basically ideal conditions they drastically overestimate plant response to treatments such as excess CO2. I’ve posted more on this topic here.
As atmospheric concentrations of carbon dioxide have increased from approximately 325 ppmv (parts per million by volume) in 1970 to 375 ppmv today, wheat yields in Australia have increased in the last 30 years, in part because of CO2 enrichment.
Wheat yields in Australia have primarily increased due to improved farm management and agronomic practices, along with elite varieties produced by our excellent plant-breeding programs. Excess CO2 had virtually nothing to do with it. Rays example is akin to standing in the street and blowing at the back of a car as it accelerates past you, and then claiming some responsibility when it hits 100 kph.
Changes in the natural transport of carbon, as well as human activities, have led to recent increases in atmospheric concentrations of carbon dioxide.
As usual; misleading bordering on wrong. ‘Natural’ flux of CO2 in and out of the atmosphere is basically in balance. Detection of the carbon isotopes produced from anthropogenic sources indicates that increasing anthropogenic CO2 outputs are the overwhelming source of atmospheric CO2 increases. Occurrences of ‘natural’ CO2 emitting events, such as earthquakes and volcanoes, are accounted for and obviously don’t lead to a year-after-year increases like those that have been detected.
As the graphs shown in Figures 6 and 7 show, once CO2 concentrations exceed 200 ppmv, further increases have diminishing impact on the radiation balance, and doubling present concentrations from 375 to 750 ppmv will have only marginal impact on that balance.
Ray goes on and on about something that is clearly stated in IPCC reports and well known to just about anyone who has any interest in climate science. That is: as CO2 concentration is doubled, there is only a linear radiative forcing response due to high levels of band saturation. He throws in a few graphs of results from running David Archer’s MODTRANS program to make it look all, well, professional.

Big deal, Ray! This is all well known. Surely you realise this?
Such an increase would have a marvelously beneficial effect on plant growth everywhere and, according to eminent hurricane scientist William Gray, will also lead to an increase in rainfall of about 3 per cent.
The silly plant growth statement I’ve already discussed. William Grey’s statement of a 3% increase in rain is utterly meaningless; it isn’t backed by any experimental evidence. Computer modeling in of rainfall in SE Australia, which encompasses a good portion of our agricultural production systems, shows a decrease over the coming years. What rain does fall is likely to be heavier over shorter periods. This is not what could be considered a good thing.
The IPCC’s radiation balance model of climate assumes that at the upper boundary of the stratosphere, radiation from the sun is matched by radiation from earth to space.
Wrong. The model discussed in IPCC TAR assumes radiative balance is at the tropopause, which is the upper boundary of the troposphere, and sits below the stratosphere.

The IPCC TAR states:
In an equilibrium climate state the average net radiation at the top of the atmosphere is zero. A change in either the solar radiation or the infrared radiation changes the net radiation. The corresponding imbalance is called “radiative forcing”. In practice, for this purpose, the top of the troposphere (the tropopause) is taken as the top of the atmosphere, because the stratosphere adjusts in a matter of months to changes in the radiative balance, whereas the surface-troposphere system adjusts much more slowly, owing principally to the large thermal inertia of the oceans. The radiative forcing of the surface troposphere system is then the change in net irradiance at the tropopause after allowing for stratospheric temperatures to re-adjust to radiative equilibrium, but with surface and tropospheric temperatures and state held fixed at the unperturbed values.
Ray again:
However, unlike other greenhouse gases, radiation to space from the active radiation bands of carbon dioxide is originating in the stratosphere where the earth’s temperature is about -50°C.
Ray just doesn’t seem to comprehend that most infrared photons radiated to space come from the troposphere, and that includes those from well mixed GHGs, including CO2. Wikipedia has an excellent description:
The starting point is to note that the opacity of the atmosphere to infrared radiation determines the height in the atmosphere from which most of the photons emitted to space are emitted. If the atmosphere is more opaque, the typical photon escaping to space will be emitted from higher in the atmosphere, because one then has to go to higher altitudes to see out to space in the infrared. Since the emission of infrared radiation is a function of temperature, it is the temperature of the atmosphere at this emission level that is effectively determined by the requirement that the emitted flux balance the absorbed solar flux.

But the temperature of the atmosphere generally decreases with height above the surface, at a rate of roughly 6.5 °C per kilometer on average, until one reaches the stratosphere 10-15 km above the surface. (Most infrared photons escaping to space are emitted by the troposphere, the region bounded by the surface and the stratosphere, so we can ignore the stratosphere in this simple picture.) A very simple model, but one that proves to be remarkably useful, involves the assumption that this temperature profile is simply fixed, by the non-radiative energy fluxes. Given the temperature at the emission level of the infrared flux escaping to space, one then computes the surface temperature by increasing temperature at the rate of 6.5 °C per kilometer, the environmental lapse rate, until one reaches the surface. The more opaque the atmosphere, and the higher the emission level of the escaping infrared radiation, the warmer the surface, since one then needs to follow this lapse rate over a larger distance in the vertical. While less intuitive than the purely radiative greenhouse effect, this less familiar radiative-convective picture is the starting point for most discussions of the greenhouse effect in the climate modeling literature.

Ray, however, doesn’t understand this, and is only thinking about the stratosphere. And there is something interesting going on there.

What happens in the stratosphere is that at very low temperatures, CO2 emits more radiation than it absorbs, leading to a negative radiative forcing, and to reach equilibrium, the stratosphere must cool.
Adding more carbon dioxide through anthropogenic emissions does not significantly alter the radiation to space because the temperature of the stratosphere varies little with altitude.
Clearly wrong. Even just looking at the stratosphere, observational results show recent cooling, though there is some debate over whether this is primarily caused by ozone reduction, as ozone heats the stratosphere, or an increase in CO2 concentration in the stratosphere.

Which brings me to my next point; temperatures are not static in the stratosphere anyway. Due to ozone, and unlike the troposphere, temperature rises with altitude.

This image nicely indicates the radiative effects of CO2 and ozone at different altitudes in the stratosphere.

Ray isn’t doing so well, me thinks.
The radiation to space is governed by the temperature of the emitting molecules and the projected doubling of CO2 concentrations to 760 ppmv, on the IPCC’s own hypothesis and using the IPCC’s data, further reduce IR radiation to space by less than a trivial 4 watt per square metre which generates, using the IPCC’s model, an average global temperature increase of 0.8°C.
3.7 watts per square meter in fact. As stated earlier, this is included and discussed at length in IPCC TAR (and 4AR I would assume). Ray is simply repeating (with emotive terms to give it some oomph) basic stuff.

But as usual, Ray then misleads, as radiative forcing cannot be converted to climate sensitivity in that way.


According to TAR:
...for a full understanding of the greenhouse effect and of its impact on the climate system, dynamical feedbacks and energy transfer processes should also be taken into account.
Internal climate processes and feedbacks may also cause variations in the radiative balance by their impact on the reflected solar radiation or emitted infrared radiation, but such variations are not considered part of radiative forcing.
Feedbacks are not considered in the basic radiative forcing model. The radiative forcing model is not designed to be used in this way. It has other purposes.

Climate sensitivity, or the global mean temperature response to a doubling in CO2 concentration, is estimated in 4AR at between 2 and 4.5C. Neither the IPCC, nor any scientist or relatively sensible person, predicts an average rise in global temperatures with the doubling of CO2 at 0.8C.
The IPCC’s radiation balance model of climate is seriously flawed. There is no energy balance at the top of the stratosphere; but the point remains that on the assumptions which underpin the climate models on which the IPCC relies, a doubling of atmospheric CO2 will have minimal impact on global temperatures.
If it worked the way Ray thought it did, then it would be seriously flawed. Luckily it doesn’t.

And last, but not least:
The saturation effect is something which should be fully understood by the IPCC, but it is completely ignored by the anthropogenists.
What the...!

Ray, you are a very silly man.

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Wednesday, March 07, 2007

Ray Evans' 'Nine facts about climate change' debunked. Pt. 1.

Well, I guess someone has gotta do it.

A book entitled “Nine Facts About Climate Change”, written by Ray Evans, has just been released with much fanfare at our Parliament House. The host was Liberal MP Dennis Jensen.

Ray Evans isn’t a climate scientist, but he sure does have impeccable Right-wing political and mining connections. According to Source Watch:
Ray Evans is an office-holder - and apparent creator - of a string of Australian front groups. He is President of the HR Nicholls Society, Secretary of the Bennelong Society, Treasurer of the Samuel Griffith Society and Secretary of, and main contact for, the Lavoisier Group.

Evans was Executive Officer at Western Mining Corporation (WMC) from 1982 until 2001, during which time he was a close associate of WMC CEO Hugh Morgan. "My role was to engage in the culture wars and provide him with feedback," Evans says of his work for Morgan.

Together with Morgan, he helped found the HR Nicholls Society in 1985.
I’ll look at each of Ray’s nine ‘facts’ and show how they are either wrong, distorted, trivial or just plain idiotic. I was going to do it in one post, but there’s so much wrongness, I’ll have to look at each ‘fact’ individually.

Since I don’t have the book, I’ll use Ray’s pamphlet of the same name – I assume it’s pretty much the same stuff.
1. Climate change is a constant. The Vostok Ice Cores show five brief interglacial periods from 415,000 years ago to the present. The Greenland Ice Cores reveal a Minoan Warm Period 1450–1300 BC, a Roman Warm Period 250–0 BC, the Medieval Warm Period 800–1100AD, the Little Ice Age and the late 20th Century Warm Period 1900–2010 AD.
Climate change is a constant! I’m shocked!! Nobody denies this as far as I know.

As always, the devil is in the detail.
Measurements of isotopic concentrations found within gas bubbles contained within the ice recovered from the Vostok Ice Core, and also from isotopes recovered from ocean sediments, reveal that over the last 500,000 years the earth has experienced mostly Ice Age conditions with average temperatures between 10 and 12 degrees lower than we now enjoy.
Average temperatures over that past 450 000 years were not mostely 10 to 12 degrees lower than today. Even Ray’s own figure 1 shows this. What Ray meant to say was that the lowest average temperatures (as reconstructed from the Vostok ice core in Antarctica) were 10 to 12 degrees lower than today. Simple oversight, I’m sure.

The funny thing is, when I look at seminal Vostok temperature reconstruction, Petit et al. (1999) Climate and atmospheric history of the past 420,000 years from the Vostok ice core, Antarctica. Nature 399: 429-436, I note that reconstructed average temperatures never even got to 10 degrees lower than present.

Ray directs readers to his figure 1, unfortunately sourced from a paper I don’t have access to. Is it accurate though? It doesn’t match Petit’s reconstruction over the past 8000 years. Look at the area under the red circle. According to Ray:
Earth reached that upper bound about 8,000 years ago and the long-term projection is for a cooling trend.
Quite simply, the data do not show a downward temperature slope from a peak 8000 years ago. The deuterium measurements from which the temperatures were reconstructed do not show this. The portion of Ray’s graph under the red circle is wrong.

Oh well!!
There are two schools of thought with competing theories which seek to explain this history. Those who follow Milankovitch argue that periodic changes in the earth’s position and inclination relative to the Sun provide sufficient cause for the glacial and interglacial cycle. Others argue that these manifestations of huge energy changes in the state of the earth can only arise from perturbations in the state of the Sun and the other giant planets of the solar system, Jupiter and Saturn particularly, and the impact which these perturbations have on the earth.
Two schools of thought? What tosh.

I’m not sure that anyone who could be considered a realist agrees with either; the first is only a partial explanation and the second is utterly ludicrous.

Changes in Earth’s position and inclination are thought to be forcing agents that lead to a positive feedback loop, in the form of CO2 and methane released into the atmosphere by initial warming, which leads to further warming and further CO2 and methane release. On their own, changes in Earth’s position and inclination are not enough to lead to the temperature changes demonstrated in temperature reconstructions. This is why atmospheric CO2 and methane concentrations rise with temperature, though the lag in the initiation of the rises is hundreds of years. In the pasts GHGs were part of the feedback mechanism, and not forcing agents in themselves.
Lance Endersbee states ‘I suspect that the explanation of this phenomenon of such large variations and regular behaviour may be due to geotectonic activity induced by orbital variations’.
Lance Endersbee is a retired civil engineer and his ‘research’ is in the form of a self-published book.

Strange thing to cite. Sort of goes against, well, every peer-reviewed paper ever.
Despite the significant natural increase in carbon dioxide and other greenhouse gas concentrations during the warming periods, there has been a recurring upper bound to earth’s temperature over the past million years.
Note that Ray forgets to mention there is also a recurring upper bound to CO2 concentrations, and that that upper bound is well below today’s levels.
Past fluctuations of climate provide a benchmark against which to assess the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC’s) high-end projections of global warming. The IPCC’s computer projections grossly violate earth’s historical experience.
Grossly violate? Did they commit rape or something?

Predictions for warming in the near future are unprecedented, that’s the whole point.

Now it gets really sticky for Ray.

He now disregards the Vostok ice core and uses the Greenland-extracted GISP2 and GRIP ice cores to look at temperatures over the past 5000 years? Or does he?

Rays claims his figure 4 is from Grootes et al. (1993) in Nature.

Only this figure didn’t appear in that paper. There isn’t even a figure remotely like it. The paper is a comparison between the GISP2 and GRIP ice cores. There is no plot of temperature or O18 verses time. Indeed (and this is 1993 remember), the authors state it is impossible to resolve much at all about the recent Holocene period. What the authors most certainly did not state or imply was that:
Clearly manifest are the Minoan, Roman, Medieval and contemporary Late Twentieth Century Warm Periods.

Yet Ray cites Grootes et al. for this statement.

Remember, this is Ray Evans who calls AGW the 20th century's greatest scientific fraud.

Fraud, Ray, fraud?

Note for a latter post on Ray’s guff that he’s delineated the medieval warm period as between 800 and 1000 CE. Kind of strange, don’t you think?

So what do all the other temperature reconstructions over this period say? Why has Ray tried to make broad claims about Earth’s climate from two Greenland ice cores and forgotten to mention all the other data that may have helped him make a case for being representative of global temperatures?

Here’s why:

The reconstructions are all over the place. Ray’s clearly delineated warm periods, particularity the older ones, are not demonstrated based on the range of data available. Ray just cherry-picked the one data set that showed what he wanted it to!
Anthropogenic carbon dioxide cannot provide an explanation for this temperature history, particularly for the Medieval Warm Period.
No shit!

No normal person has ever claimed that CO2 produced from human activities is responsible for anything but a portion of warming in the last 100-odd years.
The most fruitful area of research seems to be in the field of astro-physics where sunspot activity provides good correlations with temperatures.
It’s so fruitful it’s gone nowhere, and silly cosmic ray theories have to be invented, which in turn are schlock.

That’s all until ‘fact’ 2 folks!!

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Sunday, March 04, 2007

Not the post I expected to write tonight

I'd hoped to sit down this evening and finish off a post I'd been writing that debunks all of Ray Evans' idiotic "Nine Facts about Climate Change". Instead, a little stack off the mountain bike meant I had to pay a visit to Adelaide Royal Hospital emergency ward (I shall live to fight another day though).

It was an experience. One chase through the ward. One arrest. One bloke lying on the floor incoherently drunk. Lots of very unhappy people.

It did make me stop and think how lucky I am to be a scientist, and to not have to deal with anything like this day in, day out.

Much respect to emergency room staff. Much respect.

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Thursday, March 01, 2007

To Albrecht

Perhaps the funniest article concerning climate change I’ve read for some time was produced this week by lawyer Janet Albrechtsen in the Australian. Yes, the Oz; delusion central. So not surprising really.

Firstly, a little about Janet for non-Australian readers. Janet’s our very own Ann Coulter, only she’s tax-payer funded. No matter what the subject, she’ll take the most right-wing, crazed position imaginable. If she just has to make stuff up to support her position, she’ll do it in a flash. When opining about some gang-rapists who happened to be Muslim, she misrepresented the work of two researchers to claim the gang-rapists did their evil deeds because they were Muslim. Poor old Janet was publicly humiliated when she was caught out by ABC MediaWatch on the misrepresentations. Our lovely government was so concerned about this they appointed her to the board that oversees the ABC, our main public broadcaster. That’ll teach ‘em to investigate whether wing-nuts are telling the truth or not.

Now for the article we’re concerned with today. Janet has taken all her source material from the silly, fully-debunked Duel Critique of the Stern Review. There’s the usual stuff; it’s a Green conspiracy; it’s humanity’s deep-seated desire for doom and gloom etc.. Same old, same old. I do note, however, that it seems it has become impossible for a delusionist to write a story concerning climate change without the words “preaching” and “hysteria” appearing. Original thought ain’t their big thing. Come one, crazies, I’m sure you can think up new taunts!!

Here’s a little something that shows how our Janet’s thought processes work. How she likes to embellish a little for, you know, added effect.

The Duel critique states (wrongly):
If comparison is made with the ‘global average temperature’ statistic since 1860 that is computed from near-surface thermometer measurements, then the late twentieth-century warming is similar in both amount and rate to an earlier (natural) warming between 1905 and 1940.
Why’s it wrong? Earlier warming had a significantly greater 'natural' component than recent warming, but as CO2 and other GHGs had been belched out since the industrial revolution, they had began to play role before 1940 (i.e. relatively small by today’s terms, but not non-existent).

Janet, however, couldn’t help herself. She just had to spruce it up a little. Here’s what she had to say.
The critique of Stern points out that the rate of warming during the late 20th century was similar to an earlier natural warming period between 1905 and 1940, a period preceding industrial-driven greenhouse gas emissions.
There were no industrial green-house emissions prior to 1940?

No power stations? No industry.? Really Janet?

The industrial revolution actually happened in 1941? Or did we once have clean-coal technology and the islamofascists stole it?

Are you really that stupid? The question must be asked.

Janet goes on:
Stern’s most glaring omission is the human ability to adapt to changes.

Technology has transformed the world because people adapt. Ignoring such a basic feature of human history and progress tells you much about the lack of rigour behind the evangelists who preach the global warming message.
Does Janet blatantly lie? You be the judge.

Stern says this about adaptation.
In Chapters 3 to 5 of the report, when highlighting the risks of climate change, estimates of the costs assume individual-level actions to reduce damages from climate change (autonomous adaptation), but little policy intervention on adaptation. All figures are presented on this basis in these Chapters. In Part V, we consider how adaptation policies could reduce the costs of climate change identified in Chapters 3 to 5. In the economic modeling of climate-change impacts (Chapter 6), which contains the estimates of impacts on average world consumption, it is assumed that significant adaptation occurs. The model used (PAGE) assumes that 90% of the impacts are adapted to in rich countries, and 50% in poor countries. Our assessment includes the costs of adaptation in the damages.
Let me get this straight.

Stern says: The model used (PAGE) assumes that 90% of the impacts are adapted to in rich countries, and 50% in poor countries.

Janet says: Stern’s most glaring omission is the human ability to adapt to changes.

Am I missing something here? Or has Janet written this whole article criticising the Stern Review without actually having read the Stern Review?

Shocked, I am!!!!

Janet, stick to destroying our public broadcasting institutions. Whining about climate change just isn’t your thing. But then again, maybe crazies like Janet and Andrew Bolt are doing climate-change realists the ultimate favour by making such outrageous and obviously false claims. Who knows? They sure ain't helping their cause.

N.B. What's 'to Albrecht' mean? MediaWatch again:
The verb "to albrecht" meaning to lift and twist - entered the language a couple of years ago when we reported columnist Janet Albrechtsen lifting and twisting academic sources to suit her purposes.
I've used it in a wider sense; lifting and twisting wing-nuttery rather than academic sources.

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