Friday, 30 April 2010

No Significant Warming Since 1995

source: Gisborne Herald
by: Neil Henderson

I attended the meeting addressed by Mr Barry Coates of Oxfam on April 23. I consider that many points made by him were incorrect. I will comment on two.

He claimed the IPCC reports are robust, peer-reviewed documents. A report has just been released by “Citizens Audit Project” that has checked every paper quoted in the 44 chapters of the IPCC’s fourth report. One chapter has only 15 percent of its papers peer reviewed. Twelve have less than 50 percent of their papers peer reviewed. Another 18 chapters have less than 75 percent of the papers peer reviewed.

Mr Coates claimed the science is settled. Our planet’s climate is very complex, and even the IPCC admits that there are still many unknowns, making this an outrageous claim. But we hear it all too often. Let me list three recent items that detract from the theory that the globe is warming dangerously.

1. Many scientists, including Phil Jones, a lead author of the IPCC and part of the “Climategate” scandal at East Anglia University, now concede there has been no significant warming since 1995. Mr Coates is wrong when he asserts that the world is warming even faster than the IPCC originally predicted.

2. Ice has built up over the last three years in the Arctic, replacing the ice that melted over the preceding six. Mark Serreze, director of the National Snow and Ice Data Centre, has admitted that it had been an overstatement to conclude in 2007 that global warming had pushed the Arctic to a tipping point from which it might not recover.

3. Many scientists believe the sun’s solar cycle is the main driver of temperature on Earth. These scientists, among whom is NASA’s chief solar scientist, Dr David Hathaway, now believe that a recurrence of the Dalton Minimum, a very cold period in the early 1800s, is possible. The previous three cold Northern Hemisphere winters are evidence of this.

I do agree with Mr Coates that the Emissions Trading System and growing biofuel will do nothing for climate change and that biofuel production hurts people in poverty. But planting trees to soak up carbon dioxide does not work either. Eventually the trees reach maturity and more need to be planted, taking more land that should be growing food for hungry people.

If carbon dioxide really is causing global warming, the only solution is to stop producing it. It was suggested that New Zealand needed to reduce its emissions to 40 percent below 1990 levels. But we are currently about 24 percent above 1990 levels, so we need to reduce our emissions by over 60 percent. This means every person will have to drive their car only 400 kilometres for every 1000km they drive now.

The food we eat also has emissions from growing, processing, transporting etc. Efficiency gains may help reduce emissions, but each person will have to account for the balance of their share. If they do not wish to go hungry, they will have to drive even less. The same applies to the clothes they wear and the house they live in. It is possible that no one will be able to use a car if we are to achieve the 60 percent target.

I admire Mr Coates’ concern for the poverty-stricken people of the world. But is it climate change that is the primary cause of their condition? Or is it man’s inhumanity to man in the form of corrupt government, ethnic violence, greed for power etc that is adding to the list of poverty-stricken people of the world?

Wednesday, 28 April 2010

Australia Won’t Cap and Trade

source: FinancialPost
by: Lawrence Solomon

Seeing countries around the world back away from their climate change commitments, and seeing his own electoral support crumble, Australian Prime Minister Kevin Rudd announced today that Australia will be shelving its cap and trade program for at least three years, until after the next election. “That will provide the Australian government at the time with a better position to assess the level of global action on climate change," he told the Australian press.

In recent weeks, Rudd has been embarrassed by decisions by the US and Japanese governments to put climate change on the back burner and alarmed by the growing opposition at home to climate change legislation. His once popular plans to cut back emissions by 5% by 2020, which were scheduled to begin next year, have been twice rejected by Australia’s Senate faced certain defeat in a third vote that was expected in several weeks.

Once the darling of the environmental movement, Rudd is now widely seen as ineffectual. A poll commissioned by the Climate Institute and the Conservation Foundation found that just 36% of voters saw Rudd as the best person to handle climate issues, and that 40% found no difference between his Labour government and opposition conservatives. Other polling shows the opposition gaining in the public opinion polls, as an increasingly skeptical public turns against the climate change orthodoxy.

By scrapping next year’s cap and trade plan, the Rudd government – and the Australian public – will see benefits in the upcoming budget, expected May 11. With Australians no longer needing to finance the cap and trade program, budget watchers predict a saving of some $2.32 billion.

Tuesday, 27 April 2010

Russian Scientist: Expect Cooling – Pols Sitting On The Wrong Horse

source: climate realist

In the German edition of Ria Novosti, Russian scientist Oleg Pokrovsky of the Main Geophysical Observatory says the world should expect cooling – and not warming – and that this will interfere with Russia’s plans to exploit the Arctic’s rich resources. The climate has been cooling since 1998.

At a climate research conference for the Arctic and Antarctic in St. Petersburg, Friday, Pokrovsky said the Earth’s temperature fluctuates in 60-year cycles.

There isn’t going to be an ice age, but temperatures will drop to levels last seen in the 1950s and 1960s.

Pokrovsky adds:

Right now all components of the climate system are entering a negative phase. The cooling will reach it’s peak in 15 years. Politicians who have geared up for warming are sitting on the wrong horse.

The Northeast Passage will freeze over and will be passable only with icebreakers.

Pokrovsky also claims that the IPCC, which has prophesized global warming, has ignored many factors. He also noted that most American weather stations are located in cities where temperatures are always higher.

We don’t know everything that’s happening. The climate system is very complex and the IPCC is not the final truth on the matter.

Friday, 23 April 2010

Volcanic Climate Change? Not likely, Say Experts

source: BBC
by: Richard Black

Watching the enormous plumes of dust and ash rising from Eyjafjallajokull, it is hard to imagine that this almost week-long eruption would not have any effect on weather and climate.

But that is the likelihood; that the impact on Britons, Europeans and the citizens of the wider world will be limited to cancelled flights, with no other effects on the skies.

Volcanoes produce tiny particles - aerosols - which have a net cooling effect on the world because they reflect solar energy back into space.

They also produce carbon dioxide, a greenhouse gas.

Historically, the cooling has outweighed the warming. The 1991 eruption of Mount Pinatubo in The Philippines lowered global temperatures by about 0.4-0.5C - but Eyjafjallajokull, dramatic as it looks, is simply not in that league.

"Icelandic scientists have made a first estimate of the volume of material ejected, and it's about 140 million cubic metres," says Mike Burton from Italy's National Institute of Geophysics and Vulcanology.

"That's a lot in five days; but Pinatubo ejected 10 cubic kilometres - that's 100 times as much.
"So this is not the big climate changing eruption that some people seem to think it is."

As well as the sheer volume of aerosols, the other factor influencing the size of its climatic impact is the altitude they attain.

If material reaches the stratosphere, it can remain aloft for several years; but if it stays in the troposphere, the lowest layer, it tends to come back to Earth in days or weeks.

"At the moment, the eruption cloud reaches around 22,000 feet (7km)," says Anja Schmidt from the School of Earth and Environment at the UK's Leeds University.

"That's high enough to affect aviation but is unlikely to be high enough to have a strong effect on the climate system."

Low Carbon Life

Dr Burton's team has spent more than a decade refining methods for measuring the gas output from volcanoes, and made a trip to Iceland in early April, before the Eyjafjallajoekull eruption began but after the earlier, less vigorous spell of activity at nearby Fimmvorduhals.

They found Fimmvorduhals was producing about 20-25,000 tonnes of CO2 each day.

Based on the relative size of the volcanoes, he estimates that Eyjafjallajoekull could have emitted about 10 times that amount per day at its peak.

But that lasted for less than a week; things now appear to be much quieter.
And even over that peak period, its daily CO2 output was only about one-thousandth of that produced by the sum total of humanity's fossil fuel burning, deforestation, agriculture and everything else.

In fact, the extra CO2 produced from the volcano is probably less than the volume "saved" by having Europe's aeroplanes grounded.

But any precise comparison of those two effects will depend on the eventual duration of the grounding as compared with the eventual duration and intensity of the eruption.

The last Eyjafjallajokull eruption lasted for two years, and it is possible that this one will do the same; whether it does or not is anyone's guess at present.

"But the thing to realise is that there are already a number of volcanoes around the world, including Etna and Popocatepetl, that are continually outgassing CO2 now," says Dr Burton.

"The amount of CO2 output still pales into insignificance beside human emissions."

The Italian team is planning another trip to Iceland as soon as travel conditions allow, to get more precise measurements of gas emissions from Eyjafjallajokull.

Weather Whys

Ash in the sky, but no aeroplanes: a recipe, you might think, for a change in the weather.

When US authorities banned flying following 9/11, the temperature difference between night and day over the continental US increased by at least 1C.

Jet contrails were effectively acting as cirrus clouds, researchers concluded - reflecting solar energy in the day, acting as a blanket by night.

But nothing of that kind has been observed following the Eyjafjallajokull eruption - or indeed any other impact on weather, according to UK Met Office scientist Derrick Ryall.

"Given the size of the eruption, we wouldn't expect any impact, except perhaps around Iceland itself," he says.

"If it goes on for a few months, someone will certainly be keeping an eye on it but it would be hard to ascertain - you'd need some pretty sophisticated analysis."

Dramatic though the pictures from Eyjafjallajokull have been, the likelihood is that history will not rank it as a volcano that shook the world - not a Pinatubo, not a Krakatoa, and definitely not a Toba - the eruption some 70,000 years ago that apparently brought on a six-year global freeze.

Wednesday, 21 April 2010

Met Office Blasted For 'Unnecessarily' Triggering Six-Day British Airspace Closure

source: Daily Mail
by: Paul Bentley

The Met Office unnecessarily triggered the six-day closure of British airspace which has cost passengers, airlines and the economy more than £1.5billion, according to senior officials.

A scientific model based on ‘probability’ rather than fact was used by the government agency to forecast the spread of the volcanic ash cloud, according to critics.

Matthias Ruete, the European Commission’s director general of transport, said air traffic authorities should not have imposed a widespread ban.

He suggested the ban should have been restricted to a 20 to 30 mile limit around the volcano in Iceland.

He said: 'The science behind the model we are running at the moment is based on certain assumptions where we do not have scientific evidence. It is a black box in certain areas.'

Results of 40 or so European test flights over the weekend, including a British Airways flight on Sunday, suggested the risks were not as high as computer models predicted.

None found evidence of any ash in engines, windows or lubrication systems.

'We don’t even know what density the cloud should be in order to affect jet engines. We have a model that runs on mathematical predictions.

'It is probability rather than actual things happening,' Mr Ruete said.

However, NATO have taken the ash threat seriously enough to limit military exercises after volcanic glass built up in fighter engines.

A spokesman from the UK Met Office said while computer models were used to make forecasts, they were being checked against actual evidence.

'We have been sending up instruments since Friday to measure dust levels, such as altered cloud based recorders,' she told the Mail On-line.

'We have also launched special aircraft flown by experienced research pilots to look at the concentrations of dust in the atmosphere.

'On Sunday they detected six layers of ash up to 20,000ft over the UK.

'We are giving this information to the aviation authorities - it is then up to them to judge what action to take.'

Volcanic ash guidelines are drawn up by the International Civil Aviation Organisation, a UN body, however experts say there is no commonly agreed safe concentration of ash.

Airlines have lost an estimated £130m a day in revenue because of the ban.

In a joint letter to Lord Adonis, the transport secretary, the 11 British airlines said the official response to the eruption presented 'a clear case for government compensation'.

Giovanni Bisignani, head of the International Air Transport Association added: 'The chaos, inconvenience and economic losses are not theoretical.'

He said decision-makers should consider setting up 'corridors' to repatriate the estimated 7million passengers stranded across the globe.

However, Professor Joachim Curtis, said this was too dangerous as few airlines had instruments on board that could accurately measure ash particles and only a few are made each year.

Stewart John, ex-president of the Royal Aeronautical Society, added that planes would not necessarily be able to avoid ash even if they could detect it.

'You could think you're safe flying along at 20,000ft rather than up at 40,000ft where the ash is, only to find that the wind has dropped and the ash is now at 20,000ft,' he said.

Tuesday, 20 April 2010

WeatherActions Warnings of Volcano and Wind Changes Confirmed

source: WeatherAction
by: Piers Corbyn

The volcano eruption in Iceland has strengthened and a new ash cloud is spreading south and east towards the UK," said the Air Traffic Services Nats later on Monday 19th April.

This updated the UK MetOffice statement that eruptions had weakened (early 19th) and confirmed Piers Corbyn’s WeatherAction warning of increased risk of new eruptions of Iceland’s volcano and earthquakes in his newly forecasted Solar-Lunar Impact Period 18th-24th April announced on 17th & repeated on SunTalkRadio on 19th { 12.25pm about 80% through the show} Piers said “We are very pleased with this confirmation of our forecast.

It generally speaking means extra dust risk but the precise implications depend both on the detailed mechanics of the eruptions and wind directions. Very importantly we predicted on 17th March that the last 5 days of April would see high pressure decisively dominate Europe and give winds from the outh/SouthEast which are going to clear the ash from Europe, Britain & Ireland (see map).

We also correctly identified the immediately preceding developments towards this situation which will start some clearance.

“Some politicians have been saying ‘no-one could have seen these developments’. This of
course is not true and comes notably from self-styled ‘new’ poseurs who – along with the other Parties – do not want to admit these things are predictable and are controlled by solar-magnetic & lunar factors and NOTHING to do with CO2. As long as politicians continue to put dogma before evidence-based science the public will suffer unnecessary.

And Earthquakes…

“There are also be signs of increased earthquake activity around 18th-24th April such as an
M=6.2 quake in Papua New Guinea on 17th at 23.15hrs but we need to wait till after 24th for a
fuller measure of relative activity in this period. These are interesting times”, said Piers.
WeatherActionnewsno16 of April 17th .

“If the Government took our long range – months ahead - forecasts of important Weather situations (and volcano/earthquake risk) we could make them free to the public and the BBC”, said Piers. “Surely this is a no-brainer. The Met Office can’t do it but we can.

“However Minister Benn like all the major parties ignore letters and forecasts from WeatherAction - putting Global Warming dogma before duty to serve the public. I urge
people to lobby their politicians & the BBC on this during this election campaign.

Loads of people want to see our detailed forecasts on TV”.

Monday, 19 April 2010

Climategate: A Scandal That Won’t Go Away

source: telegraph

If you were faced with by far the biggest bill of your life, would you not want to be confident that there was a very good reason why you should pay it? That is why we need to know just how far we can trust the science behind the official view that the world is threatened with catastrophe by global warming – because the measures proposed by our politicians to avert this supposed disaster threaten to transform our way of life out of recognition and to land us with easily the biggest bill in history. (The Climate Change Act alone, says the Government, will cost us all £18 billion every year until 2050.)

Yet in recent months, as we know, the official science on which all this rests has taken quite a hammering. Confronted with all those scandals surrounding the “Climategate” emails and the UN’s Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change, the political and academic establishments have responded with a series of inquiries and statements designed to show that the methods used to construct the official scientific case are wholly sound. But as was illustrated last week by two very different reports, these efforts to hold the line are themselves so demonstrably flawed that they are in danger of backfiring, leaving the science more questionable than ever.

The first report centred directly on the IPCC itself. When several of the more alarmist claims in its most recent 2007 report were revealed to be wrong and without any scientific foundation, the official response, not least from the IPCC’s chairman, Dr Rajendra Pachauri, was to claim that everything in its report was “peer-reviewed”, having been confirmed by independent experts.

But a new study put this claim to the test. A team of 40 researchers from 12 countries, led by a Canadian analyst Donna Laframboise, checked out every one of the 18,531 scientific sources cited in the mammoth 2007 report. Astonishingly, they found that nearly a third of them – 5,587 – were not peer-reviewed at all, but came from newspaper articles, student theses, even propaganda leaflets and press releases put out by green activists and lobby groups.

In its own way even more damaging, however, was the report from a team led by Lord Oxburgh on the scientific integrity of the East Anglia Climatic Research Unit (CRU). Two sets of evidence have been used more than anything else to drive the worldwide scare over global warming. One is a series of graphs showing how temperatures have suddenly shot up in recent decades to levels historically unprecedented. The other is the official record of global surface temperatures. For both of these, the CRU and the key group of top British and American scientists involved in those Climategate emails have been crucially responsible.

Lord Oxburgh himself is linked to various commercial interests which make money from climate change, from wind farms to carbon trading. None of the panel he worked with on his report were climate “sceptics”; and one, Dr Kerry Emanuel, is an outspoken advocate of man-made global warming. Even so, it was surprising to see just how superficial their inquiry turned out to be, based on two brief visits to the CRU and on reading 11 scientific papers produced by the research unit in the past 24 years, chosen in consultation with the Royal Society (which is itself fanatical in promotion of warming orthodoxy).

The crown jewels of the IPCC’s case that the world faces catastrophic warming have been all those graphs based on tree rings which purport to show that temperatures have lately been soaring to levels never known before in history – thus eradicating all the evidence that the world was hotter than today during the Medieval Warm Period, long before any rise in CO2 levels. Best known of these graphs, of course, was Michael Mann’s “hockey stick”, comprehensively discredited by the expert Canadian statistician Stephen McIntyre and Professor Ross McKitrick. But the IPCC was able to defend its case with the aid of another set of “hockey sticks”, based on different tree rings, produced by Mann’s close allies at the CRU.

The most widely quoted of the Climategate emails was that from the CRU’s director, Philip Jones, saying that he had used “Mike’s Nature trick” to “hide the decline”. If there was anything in the CRU’s record which a proper inquiry should have addressed it was the story behind this email, because what it highlighted was the device used by the CRU to get round the fact that its tree-ring data hopelessly failed to show the result the warmist establishment wanted. When their Siberian tree rings showed temperatures in the late 20th century sharply dropping rather than rising, the “trick” used by Prof Jones and his colleague Dr Keith Briffa, copied from Mike Mann’s own “hockey stick”, was simply to delete the downward curve shown by the tree rings, replacing them with late 20th-century temperature data to show the dramatic warming
they wanted.

The significance of this sleight of hand can scarcely be exaggerated. Why, in using this misleading graph, did the IPCC not explain the trick that had been played by its leading scientists? If tree rings were so inadequate in reflecting 20th-century temperatures, why should they be relied on to reflect temperatures in earlier centuries? Why, when fresh Siberian tree ring data came to light, making a nonsense of the CRU’s earlier temperature reconstructions, did the CRU simply ignore the new data?

Anyone who has followed the meticulous analysis of this curious story by Steve McIntyre on his Climate Audit website might well conclude that we are looking here at a complete travesty of proper scientific procedure, matched only by the bizarre methods used by Mann himself to construct his original hockey stick. Yet these are the men, Mann, Jones and Briffa, who acted as the “lead authors” of the key chapters of the IPCC’s 2001 and 2007 reports.

They quite shamelessly promoted the rewriting of history produced by themselves and a small group of colleagues – the so-called Hockey Team – which the IPCC in turn used as its main evidence to convince the politicians that the world faces unprecedented warming.

Yet scarcely a hint of this hugely important story is contained in the Oxburgh report, which simply glosses it over, hoping to appease critics by throwing in a few vaguely critical comments about how Jones and his team were a trifle “disorganised” in archiving their data. It ignores the utterly damning critiques of the CRU’s methodology produced by McIntyre and McKitrick. It does not even begin to question the way the CRU has compiled its global temperature record, relied on by the IPCC as the most authoritative of all the official data sources for surface temperatures.

Yet this in turn has given rise to all sorts of controversies, not least when Prof Jones last year admitted that much of his data had been “lost” (following his repeated refusals of applications to see it by McIntyre and others). More damaging still was the charge by senior Russian scientists that, in compiling its global record, CRU had cherry-picked the data supplied from Russia, suppressing that from most of the country while retaining the data from the vicinity of cities which, thanks to the “urban heat island” effect, showed a warming trend. So even the accuracy of CRU’s temperature record has been called seriously in doubt, although one would never have guessed it from Oxburgh.

As is reflected in so many political tragedies, from Macbeth to Watergate, it is often not the original dark act itself which leads to nemesis but the later attempts to “trammel up the consequence”. Nothing will do more to reinforce suspicion of the CRU’s conduct than the failure, first by those MPs, and now by the team led by Lord Oxburgh, to address properly the way in which it appears to have abused the principles of true science – a scandal which should be of concern not just to us here in Britain, who paid for it, but across the world.

Friday, 16 April 2010

Global Warming Monitoring Needs to Find 'Missing Heat', say Scientists

source: guardian
by: David Adam

Experts need to beef up ways to measure the heat content of oceans as a way to track more reliably the course of global warming, scientists say today.

Kevin Trenberth and John Fasullo, climate scientists at the National Centre for Atmospheric Research in Boulder, Colorado, say that only about half of the heat believed to have built up in the Earth in recent years can be accounted for. New instruments are needed to locate and monitor this missing heat, they say, which could be storing up trouble for the future.

"The heat will come back to haunt us sooner or later," Trenberth said. "The reprieve we've had from warming temperatures in the last few years will not continue. It is critical to track the build-up of energy in our climate system so we can understand what is happening and predict our future climate."

Although the rise in surface temperature in recent decades is the most well-known consequence of the thickening blanket of greenhouse gases around the Earth, it represents just a tiny fraction of the extra heat trapped. Most of the extra solar energy heads straight into the oceans, where it is stored as warmer water. Some goes into melting glaciers and polar ice, as well as warming the land and atmosphere.

Writing in the journal Science, the scientists say their calculations show that current measurements can only account for half the extra heat trapped by human emissions. Much of the rest is probably in the deep ocean, they say. Some heat increase has been detected in the upper ocean, but there is no routine monitoring below depths of about 3,000m.

Fasullo said: "Global warming at its heart is driven by an imbalance of energy. More solar energy is entering the atmosphere than leaving it. Our concern is that we aren't able to entirely monitor or understand the imbalance. This reveals a glaring hole in our ability to observe the build-up of heat in our climate system."

The missing heat is important, they say, because it could be released as weather phenomena such as El Niño, in which the upper waters of the tropical Pacific ocean warm, and La Niña, which often follows. La Niña events have been linked to cold weather, while El Niños drive storms.

The scientists say: "How can we understand whether the strong cold outbreaks of December 2009 are simply a natural weather phenomenon, as they seem to be, or are part of some change in clouds or pollution, if we do not have adequate measurements?"

Thursday, 15 April 2010

From Bonn with Love

source: WUWT

The UN’s international climate conference here in Bonn has decided that the wealthier nations among the 192 States Parties to the UN Convention on Climate Change should make plenty of taxpayers’ money available to hold two additional weeks of pre-negotiation negotiations between now and December, when the legally-binding World Government Climate Treaty is to be signed in Cancun, Mexico.

Dr. Yvo de Boer, who will shortly retire as secretary to the Conference of the States Parties to the Convention, told observers here in Bonn yesterday that the extra time was essential so that details which could otherwise wreck the negotiations could be sorted out before Cancun.

There will also be a meeting of Heads of Governments at the Peterberg Hotel, near Bonn, in June. The purpose of that meeting is to allow the UN to identify potentially recalcitrant heads of government and mount a charm offensive in their direction between June and December.

Dr. de Boer said he was not sure that a legally-binding Treaty would be agreed upon at Cancun: he thought a further year might be necessary. He said he hoped the negotiators would take the approach that had worked during the discussions that led to the Kyoto Protocol: they should keep the Treaty short and to the point, establishing general principles and allowing the details to be worked out once the Treaty was in force.

The world-government faction at the UN faces a dilemma. If the bureaucrats push the process too fast, as they did in the run-up to the Copenhagen meeting last December, the train will come off the tracks. However, if they slow things down to allow the caboose to catch up with the locomotive, the passengers may start to notice that the climate is not in fact changing anything like as rapidly as the UN’s climate reports have been predicting.

There is a possibility that the UN may try to surprise everyone by persuading the Heads of Government to reach full agreement on a binding Treaty as early as the Peterberg meeting in June. The priceless advantage of this, from the world-government wannabes’ point of view, is that the Treaty could then be put before the US Senate while President Obama still has a strong majority there.

Everyone here is keenly aware that the Obama experiment has not been seen as successful in the eyes of voters in the US, and that an increase in the Republican presence in both Houses of Congress will, in practice, make acceptance of any climate Treaty – especially one that reactivates the now-ditched world-government proposals of last year’s draft – unlikely.

The US Senate has the power to ratify Treaties, and no Treaty can pass unless it receives 67 of the 100 available votes. This two-thirds majority will be difficult to achieve as things now stand: most serious observers reckon it will be impossible after the US mid-term elections this December, at the same moment as the Cancun climate conference.

For the world-government group among the UN’s bureaucrats and fellow-travelers, therefore, Cancun is too late. And, if Mr. de Boer is right that an agreement will not even be reached there, another year’s delay will make it still more obvious to voters in those countries lucky enough to have universal suffrage that the climate is not behaving as ordered.

In short, the climate train is about to tip into the gulch, and almost everyone here knows it. There are still some true-believers who have drunk too deeply of the Kool-Aid. One of these came up to the CFACT stand at the conference and conversed with me quite pleasantly until I mentioned that the science behind the IPCC’s documents is collapsing. He instantly changed his demeanor. His smile vanished, and he stumped off in a huff.

There is an interesting difference between the First and Third Worlds in the behavior of the delegates. The delegates from Western countries tend to be far less willing to question the science and economics underpinning the UN’s case for its own glorification, expansion and enrichment, and they tend to be considerably less polite than their counterparts in the Third World.

The African delegates, in particular, exhibit a charming, old-world courtliness that used to be universal in the West and is now loutishly absent. One of them, the Permanent Secretary of the Environment Department in his country, was fascinated to hear that a tiny fraction of the money wasted on the non-problem of “global warming”, if spent on addressing real problems, could help to rid Africa of starvation and disease. He had not previously thought about the opportunity cost of not spending the money thrown away on the climate in a manner that would be more likely to do real good.

CFACT’s policy of diverting some – or preferably all – of the cash now spent on the climate towards spending on real societal and environmental problems, such as deforestation or overfishing, won a number of supporters. Very few of those we have spoken to were wholly against it, and most of those gave indications that they were on the extreme Left politically. For the Left, belief in the wickedness of CO2 and of the filthy capitalists who emit it is at the very center of their credo, and anyone who disagrees with them is treated with contempt.

There have been some comic moments, though. At Dr. de Boer’s meeting with observers at the Bonn conference, two messily-dressed ladies of uncertain age, with untidy hairdos and a hectoring, bossy manner, asked why it was that “those climate skeptics” had been given the best display booth in the conference center, right next door to the entrance to the conference hall.

Mr. de Boer, far more urbane at this conference than he had been at Bali, Poznan, or Copenhagen, purred that any recognized non-government organization, whatever its views, was welcome to attend UN conferences, and neither he nor his staff had given any thought at all to the question which NGO should occupy which display stand. The two ladies quivered with displeasure at this answer. To them, tolerance was intolerable.

Wednesday, 14 April 2010

Sun Blamed For Europe’s Colder Winters

by: Edwin Cartlidge

When the Sun’s magnetic output is low, winters in Europe tend to be cooler than average – whereas higher output corresponds to warmer winters. That is the conclusion of a new study by physicists in the UK and Germany that looked at the relationship between winter temperatures in England and the strength of the Sun's magnetic emissions over the last 350 years. The group predicts that, global warming notwithstanding, Europe is likely to continue to experience cold winters for many years to come.

The possibility of a link between European winter temperatures and solar activity can be seen in historical records from the second half of the seventeenth century. For about 50 years the Sun remained free of sunspots (in contrast to its normal 11-year cycle of sunspot highs and lows) and at this time Europe experienced a number of harsh winters. Motivated by the fact that the relatively cold winters of the past few years have come at a time when solar activity fell to the lowest values for 100 years, Mike Lockwood of the University of Reading and colleagues set out to establish whether or not there is a strong connection.

Lockwood and colleagues used data from the Central England Temperature record. This provides monthly temperature data from several monitoring stations in central England all the way back to 1659 – the world's longest instrumental temperature record. The researchers first removed the estimated contribution from the warming recorded in the northern hemisphere as a whole over the past century – which is widely believed to have been caused by increasing levels of manmade carbon dioxide in the atmosphere. Hemispheric temperature records data back to 1850; to extend the analysis back to 1659 they used data from a number of different proxy sources, such as tree rings, isotope concentrations in stalagmites, sediment depths, lake heights and documentary evidence.

Sunspot counting in the 1600s

To establish how solar activity varied over the same time period, Lockwood's group calculated changes to the total magnetic flux carried away from the Sun by the solar wind. This they could do dating back to 1868 based on measurements of fluctuations in Earth's magnetic field (caused by the solar changes). To extend these data back to 1659 they used a model that links solar magnetic flux levels to sunspot numbers, observations of which extend back to 1600. They did not use sunspot numbers directly because this exhibits very little variation from one minima to the next and therefore cannot be used to create a meaningful long-term trend.

Comparing the changes in English temperatures (which the researchers say are representative of European temperatures as a whole) with fluctuations in solar activity, the researchers found a strong correlation. Indeed, they say, winter temperatures are on average about a half degree centigrade lower when solar activity is low. Further analysis of the data allowed the team to conclude that the probability of the connection being a statistical fluke was less than 5%.

But what causes these changes in the Sun to modify winter temperatures, and why should this effect be limited to Europe, rather than apply to the Earth as a whole? The answer, believes Lockwood, lies in changes to the behaviour of a current of air known as a jet stream that travels west to east across the Atlantic. The jet stream can get caught up in itself and remain blocked over the ocean, preventing mild maritime winds from reaching Europe and allowing icy arctic winds to take their place. Changes in solar magnetic activity would affect the amount of ultraviolet radiation emitted by the Sun, which could then affect temperatures and wind patterns in the stratosphere, effects which, as shown by other recent research, can feed down to the troposphere – the lowest portion of the atmosphere.

According to Lockwood, lower solar activity does not guarantee a cold winter. He points out that England’s coldest winter on record was 1684 but that the following year was the third warmest on record, even though solar activity remained very low. Conversely, he adds, 1947 was a cold winter even though solar activity was high. However, he says, the results show that there are more cold winters when solar activity is low and more warm ones when it is high.

Extrapolating forward, Lockwood predicts that European winters in the coming years are likely to be colder than they have been in recent decades. He has calculated, based on evidence of past solar activity contained within cosmogenic isotope data from tree rings and ice cores, that there is an 8% chance that we will see another 50-year solar low starting within the next 50 years and that this would lower the average winter temperature in central England by half a degree.

No insight into global climate change

However, Lockwood is keen to emphasize that this research can tell us nothing about global climate change. He and his colleagues also analysed temperature data from central England in their raw state, rather than corrected for the underlying hemispheric warming trend, and found the relationship with solar activity breaks down after about 1900, when other studies show that central England temperatures began to respond to global climate change. "There is a tendency to see a local or regional effect as evidence for or against global warming," says Lockwood. "But our work shows how one can have a regional and seasonal variation that shows solar influence but which is different from the trends in global average data."
Michael Mann of Penn State University in the US says the research "appears to be a very solid analysis", which "provides further support" for the idea that the Sun was behind Europe's cold winters 300 years ago. He adds that he and other researchers have shown that fluctuations in solar activity can also explain the relatively warm winters that occurred in Europe about 1000 years ago.

The research is reported in Environmental Research Letters.

Tuesday, 13 April 2010

Confidential Document Reveals Obama's Hardline US Climate Talk Strategy

source: guardian
by: John Vidal

A document accidentally left on a European hotel computer and passed to the Guardian reveals the US government's increasingly controversial strategy in the global UN climate talks.

Titled Strategic communications objectives and dated 11 March 2010, it outlines the key messages that the Obama administration wants to convey to its critics and to the world media in the run-up to the vital UN climate talks in Cancun, Mexico in November. (You can read the document text below).

Top of the list of objectives is to: "Reinforce the perception that the US is constructively engaged in UN negotiations in an effort to produce a global regime to combat climate change." It also talks of "managing expectations" of the outcome of the Cancun meeting and bypassing traditional media outlets by using podcasts and "intimate meetings" with the chief US negotiator to disarm the US's harsher critics.

But the key phrase is in paragraph three where the author writes: "Create a clear understanding of the CA's [Copenhagen accord's] standing and the importance of operationalising ALL elements."

This is the clearest signal that the US will refuse to negotiate on separate elements of the controversial accord, but intends to push it through the UN process as a single "take it or leave it" text. The accord is the last-minute agreement reached at the chaotic Copenhagen summit in December. Over 110 countries are now "associated" with the accord but it has not been adopted by the 192-nation UN climate convention. The US has denied aid to some countries that do not support the accord.

The "take it or leave it" approach divided countries in Bonn this weekend and alienated most developing countries including China, India and Brazil who want to take parts of the accord to include in the formal UN negotiations. They say the accord has no legal standing and should not be used as the basis of the final legally binding agreement because it is not ambitious enough. It lacks any specific cuts in greenhouse gas emissions and sets a temperature rise limit of 2C, which critics say is too high to prevent serious harm to Africa and other parts of the world.

Last night Jonathan Pershing, lead US negotiator at the Bonn talks, said he "had no knowledge" of the document. But he endorsed one of its key messages. "We are not prepared to see a process go forward in which certain elements are cherry-picked. That was not the agreement we reached in Copenhagen," he said.

Text of the leaked document:

Strategic communications objectives

1) Reinforce the perception that the US is constructively engaged in UN negotiations in an effort to produce a global regime to combat climate change. This includes support for a symmetrical and legally binding treaty.

2) Manage expectations for Cancun – Without owning the message, advance the narrative that while a symmetrical legally binding treaty in Mexico is unlikely, solid progress can be made on the six or so main elements.

3) Create a clear understanding of the CA's standing and the importance of operationalising ALL elements.

4) Build and maintain outside support for the administration's commitment to meeting the climate and clean energy challenge despite an increasingly difficult political environment to pass legislation.

5) Deepen support and understanding from the developing world that advanced developing countries must be part of any meaningful solution to climate change including taking responsibilities under a legally binding treaty.

Media outreach

• Continue to conduct interviews with print, TV and radio outlets driving the climate change story.

• Increase use of off-the-record conversations.

• Strengthen presence in international media markets during trips abroad. Focus efforts on radio and television markets.

• Take greater advantage of new media opportunities such as podcasts to advance US position in the field bypassing traditional media outlets.

• Consider a series of policy speeches/public forums during trips abroad to make our case directly to the developing world.

Key Outreach Efforts

• Comprehensive and early outreach to policy makers, key stakeholders and validators is critical to broadening support for our positions in the coming year.

• Prior to the 9-11 April meeting in Bonn it would be good for Todd to meet with leading NGOs. This should come in the form of 1:1s and small group sessions.

• Larger group sessions, similar to the one held at CAP prior to Copenhagen, will be useful down the line, but more intimate meetings in the spring are essential to building the foundation of support. Or at the very least, disarming some of the harsher critics.

Monday, 12 April 2010

Lindzen: “Earth is Never in Equilibrium”

source: wattsupwiththat

To a significant extent, the issue of climate change revolves around the elevation of the commonplace to the ancient level of ominous omen. In a world where climate change has always been the norm, climate change is now taken as punishment for sinful levels of consumption. In a world where we experience temperature changes of tens of degrees in a single day, we treat changes of a few tenths of a degree in some statistical residue, known as the global mean temperature anomaly (GATA), as portents of disaster.

Earth has had ice ages and warmer periods when alligators were found in Spitzbergen. Ice ages have occurred in a 100,000-year cycle for the last 700,000 years, and there have been previous interglacials that appear to have been warmer than the present despite lower carbon-dioxide levels. More recently, we have had the medieval warm period and the little ice age. During the latter, alpine glaciers advanced to the chagrin of overrun villages. Since the beginning of the 19th century, these glaciers have been retreating. Frankly, we don’t fully understand either the advance or the retreat, and, indeed, some alpine glaciers are advancing again.

For small changes in GATA, there is no need for any external cause. Earth is never exactly in equilibrium. The motions of the massive oceans where heat is moved between deep layers and the surface provides variability on time scales from years to centuries. Examples include El Nino, the Pacific Decadal Oscillation, the Atlantic Multi-decadal Oscillation, etc. Recent work suggests that this variability is enough to account for all change in the globally averaged temperature anomaly since the 19th century. To be sure, man’s emissions of carbon dioxide must have some impact. The question of importance, however, is how much.

A generally accepted answer is that a doubling of carbon dioxide in the atmosphere (it turns out that one gets the same value for a doubling regardless of what value one starts from) would perturb the energy balance of Earth about 2 percent, and this would produce about 2 degrees Fahrenheit warming in the absence of feedbacks. The observed warming over the past century, even if it were all due to increases in carbon dioxide, would not imply any greater warming.

However, current climate models do predict that a doubling of carbon dioxide might produce more warming: from 3.6 degrees F to 9 degrees F or more. They do so because within these models the far more important radiative substances, water vapor and clouds, act to greatly amplify whatever an increase in carbon dioxide might do. This is known as positive feedback. Thus, if adding carbon dioxide reduces the ability of the earth system to cool by emitting thermal radiation to space, the positive feedbacks will further reduce this ability.

It is again acknowledged that such processes are poorly handled in current models, and there is substantial evidence that the feedbacks may actually be negative rather than positive. Citing but one example, 2.5 billion years ago the sun’s brightness was 20 percent to 30 percent less than it is today (compared to the 2 percent change in energy balance associated with a doubling of carbon-dioxide levels) yet the oceans were unfrozen and the temperatures appear to have been similar to today’s.

This was referred to by Carl Sagan as the Early Faint Sun Paradox. For 30 years, there has been an unsuccessful search for a greenhouse gas resolution of the paradox, but it turns out that a modest negative feedback from clouds is entirely adequate. With the positive feedback in current models, the resolution would be essentially impossible. [Note: readers, see this recent story on WUWT from Stanford that shows Greenhouse theory isn't needed in the faint young sun paradox at all - Anthony]

Interestingly, according to the U.N.’s Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change, the greenhouse forcing from manmade gases is already about 86 percent of what one expects from a doubling of carbon dioxide (with about half coming from methane, nitrous oxide, freons, and ozone). Thus, these models should show much more warming than has been observed. The reason they don’t is that they have arbitrarily removed the difference and attributed this to essentially unknown aerosols.

The IPCC claim that most of the recent warming (since the 1950s) is due to man assumed that current models adequately accounted for natural internal variability. The failure of these models to anticipate the fact that there has been no statistically significant warming for the past 14 years or so contradicts this assumption. This has been acknowledged by major modeling groups in England and Germany.

However, the modelers chose not to stress this. Rather they suggested that the models could be further corrected, and that warming would resume by 2009, 2013, or even 2030.

Global warming enthusiasts have responded to the absence of warming in recent years by arguing that the past decade has been the warmest on record. We are still speaking of tenths of a degree, and the records themselves have come into question. Since we are, according to these records, in a relatively warm period, it is not surprising that the past decade was the warmest on record. This in no way contradicts the absence of increasing temperatures for over a decade.

Given that the evidence (and I have noted only a few of many pieces of evidence) suggests that anthropogenic warming has been greatly exaggerated, so too is the basis for alarm. However, the case for alarm would still be weak even if anthropogenic global warming were significant. Polar bears, arctic summer sea ice, regional droughts and floods, coral bleaching, hurricanes, alpine glaciers, malaria, etc., all depend not on GATA but on a huge number of regional variables including temperature, humidity, cloud cover, precipitation, and direction and magnitude of wind and the state of the ocean.

The fact that some models suggest changes in alarming phenomena will accompany global warming does not logically imply that changes in these phenomena imply global warming. This is not to say that disasters will not occur; they always have occurred, and this will not change in the future. Fighting global warming with symbolic gestures will certainly not change this. However, history tells us that greater wealth and development can profoundly increase our resilience.

One may ask why there has been the astounding upsurge in alarmism in the past four years. When an issue like global warming is around for more than 20 years, numerous agendas are developed to exploit the issue. The interests of the environmental movement in acquiring more power, influence and donations are reasonably clear. So, too, are the interests of bureaucrats for whom control of carbon dioxide is a dream come true. After all, carbon dioxide is a product of breathing itself.

Politicians can see the possibility of taxation that will be cheerfully accepted to save Earth. Nations see how to exploit this issue in order to gain competitive advantages. So do private firms. The case of Enron (a now bankrupt Texas energy firm) is illustrative. Before disintegrating in a pyrotechnic display of unscrupulous manipulation, Enron was one of the most intense lobbyists for Kyoto. It had hoped to become a trading firm dealing in carbon-emission rights. This was no small hope. These rights are likely to amount to trillions of dollars, and the commissions will run into many billions.

It is probably no accident that Al Gore himself is associated with such activities. The sale of indulgences is already in full swing with organizations selling offsets to one’s carbon footprint while sometimes acknowledging that the offsets are irrelevant. The possibilities for corruption are immense.

Finally, there are the well-meaning individuals who believe that in accepting the alarmist view of climate change, they are displaying intelligence and virtue. For them, psychic welfare is at stake.

Clearly, the possibility that warming may have ceased could provoke a sense of urgency. For those committed to the more venal agendas, the need to act soon, before the public appreciates the situation, is real indeed. However, the need to courageously resist hysteria is equally clear. Wasting resources on symbolically fighting ever-present climate change is no substitute for prudence.

Richard S. Lindzen is the Alfred P. Sloan professor of atmospheric science at MIT. Readers may send him e-mail at He wrote this for The Free Lance-Star in Fredericksburg, Va.

Friday, 9 April 2010

UN Climate Talks to Resume Amid Fear of More Divisions

source: BBC
by: Richard Black

The first round of UN climate talks since December's bitter Copenhagen summit opens in Bonn on Friday with the future of the process uncertain.

Developing countries are adamant that the UN climate convention is the right forum for negotiating a global deal and want it done by the year's end.
But others, notably the US, appear to think this is not politically feasible.

Some delegates are concerned that the whole process could collapse, given the divisions and lack of trust.

"There is the political will among developing countries. They are working for an agreement that includes further emissions reductions under the Kyoto Protocol," Martin Khor, executive director of the South Centre, an intergovernmental organisation of developing countries, told the BBC.

"Whether there is political will among the industrialised countries is another matter," he said.

Developing nations have been pressing to agree a series of preparatory meetings this year - as many as five - in order that outstanding differences on the text of a new agreement can be worked out in time for the next major summit in Mexico, in November and December.

But delegates here said that richer countries were resisting this, holding out for just one more meeting before November, which would leave no chance of agreeing a new global treaty or even agreeing a framework.

Analyses released since the end of the Copenhagen summit suggest that without further constraints soon, it will be very difficult to keep the rise in average global temperatures since pre-industrial times below 2C, a threshold commonly cited as indicating dangerous climate change.

Cross parties

The US, in particular, is in a sticky situation regarding domestic legislation.
An initial bill, introduced to the Senate last September, is widely seen as having no chance of passing.

A cross-party group of senators has been drawing up a new one, containing concessions to some states and industries.

The accord from Copenhagen proved as controversial as the summit.

But this version, if enacted, may reduce US emissions by considerably less than the 17% figure (from 2005 levels by 2020) that President Barack Obama pledged when he addressed Copenhagen.

"There's considerable uncertainty about whether there is going to be a US domestic bill that follows through on the president's 17% commitment," said Alden Meyer, director of strategy and policy at the Union of Concerned Scientists (UCS).

"[The administration is] very sceptical about the ability to get a full-blown legal deal that replaces the Kyoto Protocol or builds on it, given the state of play back home."

As to whether growing scepticism about the science of climate change - evidenced in some US opinion polls - was slowing the legislative process, Mr Meyer suggested it was not.

"The manufactured debate over the science is in our view just an excuse for [opposing senators] not to do what they weren't going to do anyway," he said.

"The attempts to swing votes behind the new bill aren't anything to do with climate science, they're to do with alleviating concerns from industries the senators are close to."
BASIC instinct

Immediately after the Copenhagen summit, the US appeared to have formed a powerful new alliance with the BASIC group of countries - Brazil, China, India and South Africa - that steered through the controversial and weak Copenhagen Accord on the summit's final day.
There were signs that this group saw the accord, with its voluntary nature, as more attractive than the traditional negotiations and supposedly binding commitments of the UN process.

However, the BASIC countries have now affirmed that the UN climate convention (UNFCCC) should be the sovereign body for international climate talks.

More than 120 countries have sent letters to the UNFCCC secretariat saying whether or not they endorse the accord.

A majority do endorse it, but many with the rider that they see it as just a political declaration leading to a full-blown treaty at some stage, and certainly not be a replacement for such a treaty.

Sources said the US was "bullying" small developing countries into endorsing the accord, claiming they would not be eligible for financial help from rich nations unless they did so.
Whereas this accusation appears to be straining relations that were already stretched, there are signs that the EU is preparing to give ground on one of the major demands of developing countries - that further emissions cuts for rich countries are made under the Kyoto Protocol.

In a strategy document released last week, the UK said it was prepared to consider the idea; and other EU leaders are also reportedly sympathetic.

"This is a pretty good first step," said Mr Khor. "It's not enough, but if more countries in the EU take this position, that could be the foundation of something that could be a salvation to this situation."

However, if the EU did formally move in this direction, it would put the bloc at odds with traditional allies such as the US, Canada and Japan.

The meeting here runs until Sunday evening.

Thursday, 8 April 2010

CryoSat-2 Satellite Launches on Mission to Monitor Climate Change in Arctic

source: guardian
by: Damian Carrington and Alok Jha

European Space Agency satellite takes off succesfully to measure Arctic and Antarctic ice with unprecedented precision

A resurrected satellite, carrying the hopes of climate scientists, successfully made a second attempt to reach orbit today from the Baikonur cosmodrome in Kazakhstan. The first CryoSat satellite crashed minutes after launch in 2005, ditching - with cruel irony - into the Arctic Ocean it was meant to study.

The €140m (£122m) CryoSat-2 is a replica built by the European Space Agency, but with some additional instruments. The satellite is currently in orbit after a successful separation and has sent communication signals which have been received by a ground team in Malindi, Kenya. The satellite will be able to measure the thickness of Arctic and Antarctic ice to within a centimetre - an accuracy unmatched until now. Lift-off was shown live online and took place during the scheduled launch of 1457 BST.

The melting of sea ice, ice caps and glaciers across the planet is one of the clearest signs of global warming and the UK-led team of scientists will use the data from CryoSat-2 to track how this is affecting ocean currents, sea levels and the overall global climate.

Duncan Wingham, a climate physicist at University College London and the lead scientist for both missions, is hoping this will be second time lucky. "Satellites have transformed our knowledge of what is happening to these distant and uninhabited parts of the planet. CryoSat-2 will help unravel the consequences of the dramatic changes in the poles that we've seen in the past two decades."

Wingham said that, without CryoSat-2, there would be a significant gap in the data needed to track climate change. "The data we do have is patchy because the instrumentation on the earlier generation of satellites was not designed to deal with the ice-sheets," said Wingham.

The first CryoSat mission was launched from the Plesetsk cosmodrome in northern Russia on 8 October 2005, but it crashed into the icy sea shortly afterwards, due to a malfunction in the launch vehicle.

Approval for a successor mission to CryoSat was given by Esa within months of the accident. The new probe was built using improved electronics and batteries, and an extra radar altimeter, a device that will fire microwaves at the Arctic and Antarctic ice to reveal its thickness.

Scientists have already shown that the amount of sea ice in the Arctic is falling, and the latest data confirms the long-term trend. But some data also suggests that the ice that remains is thinning. If the measurements from CryoSat-2 bear out this thinning theory, it would mean the ice is being lost more quickly. Scientists are concerned that the loss of sea ice is leading to a feedback effect where the newly exposed, darker ocean absorbs more sunlight, warming the water yet further. In addition, sea ice can block glaciers on land from falling into the ocean, so its loss could raise sea levels.

"We are altering the Arctic climate far faster than anywhere else on Earth," said Wingham. "We're changing the whole structure of the Arctic Ocean, but we still don't know what the consequences will be. We have to find out what is going on up there. CryoSat-2 will do that."

Another antenna on CryoSat-2 will measure the shape of the ice and tell researchers about slopes and ridges at the edges of the great Antarctic and Greenland ice sheets.

Alan O'Neill, director of the National Centre for Earth Observation at the University of Reading said: "These measurements are absolutely crucial to our understanding of climate variability and climate change. Not only are they early indicators of climate change because of feedbacks in the system. But they're not remote from what affects people's lives and the weather that affects the rest of the planet. The polar regions are connected to the rest of the planet by the atmosphere and the ocean."

Richard Francis of Esa, who led the team that built CryoSat-2, said scientists were holding their breath until launch. "There'll be a lot of relief when we acquire that signal [after launch], I can tell you."

Wednesday, 7 April 2010

A New And Effective Climate Model

source: wattsupwiththat

Even those who aver that man’s activity affects climate on a global scale rather than just locally or regionally appear to accept that the existing climate models are incomplete. It is a given that the existing models do not fully incorporate data or mechanisms involving cloudiness or global albedo (reflectivity) variations or variations in the speed of the hydrological cycle and that the variability in the temperatures of the ocean surfaces and the overall ocean energy content are barely understood and wholly inadequately quantified in the infant attempts at coupled ocean/atmosphere models. Furthermore the effect of variability in solar activity on climate is barely understood and similarly unquantified.

As they stand at present the models assume a generally static global energy budget with relatively little internal system variability so that measurable changes in the various input and output components can only occur from external forcing agents such as changes in the CO2 content of the air caused by human emissions or perhaps temporary after effects from volcanic eruptions, meteorite strikes or significant changes in solar power output.

If such simple models are to have any practical utility it is necessary to demonstrate that some predictive skill is a demonstrable outcome of the models. Unfortunately it is apparent that there is no predictive skill whatever despite huge advances in processing power and the application of millions or even billions of man hours from reputable and experienced scientists over many decades.

As I will show later on virtually all climate variability is a result of internal system variability and additionally the system not only sets up a large amount of variability internally but also provides mechanisms to limit and then reduce that internal variability. It must be so or we would not still have liquid oceans. The current models neither recognise the presence of that internal system variability nor the processes that ultimately stabilise it.

The general approach is currently to describe the climate system from ‘the bottom up’ by accumulating vast amounts of data, observing how the data has changed over time, attributing a weighting to each piece or class of data and extrapolating forward. When the real world outturn then differs from what was expected then adjustments are made to bring the models back into line with reality. This method is known as ‘hindcasting’.

Although that approach has been used for decades no predictive skill has ever emerged. Every time the models have been adjusted using guesswork (or informed judgment as some would say) to bring them back into line with ongoing real world observations a new divergence between model expectations and real world events has begun to develop.

It is now some years since the weighting attached to the influence of CO2 was adjusted to remove a developing discrepancy between the real world warming that was occurring at the time and which had not been fully accounted for in the then climate models. Since that time a new divergence began and is now becoming embarrassingly large for those who made that adjustment. At the very least the weighting given to the effect of more CO2 in the air was excessive.

The problem is directly analogous to a financial accounting system that balances but only because it contains multiple compensating errors. The fact that it balances is a mere mirage. The accounts are still incorrect and woe betide anyone who relies upon them for the purpose of making useful commercial decisions.

Correcting multiple compensating errors either in a climate model or in a financial accounting system cannot be done by guesswork because there is no way of knowing whether the guess is reducing or compounding the underlying errors that remain despite the apparent balancing of the financial (or in the case of the climate the global energy) budget.

The system being used by the entire climatological establishment is fundamentally flawed and must not be relied upon as a basis for policy decisions of any kind.

A better approach:

We know a lot about the basic laws of physics as they affect our day to day existence and we have increasingly detailed data about past and present climate behaviour.

We need a New Climate Model (from now on referred to as NCM) that is created from ‘the top down’ by looking at the climate phenomena that actually occur and using deductive reasoning to decide what mechanisms would be required for those phenomena to occur without offending the basic laws of physics.

We have to start with the broad concepts first and use the detailed data as a guide only. If a broad concept matches the reality then the detailed data will fall into place even if the broad concept needs to be refined in the process. If the broad concept does not match the reality then it must be abandoned but by adopting this process we always start with a broad concept that obviously does match the reality so by adopting a step by step process of observation, logic, elimination and refinement a serviceable NCM with some predictive skill should emerge and the more detailed the model that is built up the more predictive skill will be acquired.

That is exactly what I have been doing step by step in my articles here:

For some two years now and I believe that I have met with a degree of success because many climate phenomena that I had not initially considered in detail seem to be falling into line with the NCM that I have been constructing.

In the process I have found it necessary to propound various novel propositions that have confused and irritated warming proponents and sceptics alike but that is inevitable if one just follows the logic without a preconceived agenda which I hope is what I have done.

I will now go on to describe the NCM as simply as I can in verbal terms, then I will elaborate on some of the novel propositions (my apologies if any of them have already been propounded elsewhere by others but I think I would still be the first to pull them all together into a plausible NCM) and I will include a discussion of some aspects of the NCM which I find encouraging.

Preliminary points:

1. Firstly we must abandon the idea that variations in total solar output have a significant effect over periods of time relevant to human existence. At this point I should mention the ‘faint sun paradox’:

Despite a substantial increase in the power of the sun over billions of years the temperature of the Earth has remained remarkably stable. My proposition is that the reason for that is the existence of water in liquid form in the oceans combined with a relatively stable total atmospheric density. If the power input from the sun changes then the effect is simply to speed up or slow down the hydrological cycle.

An appropriate analogy is a pan of boiling water. However much the power input increases the boiling point remains at 100C. The speed of boiling however does change in response to the level of power input. The boiling point only changes if the density of the air above and thus the pressure on the water surface changes. In the case of the Earth’s atmosphere a change in solar input is met with a change in evaporation rates and thus the speed of the whole hydrological cycle keeping the overall temperature stable despite a change in solar power input.

A change in the speed of the entire hydrological cycle does have a climate effect but as we shall see on timescales relevant to human existence it is too small to measure in the face of internal system variability from other causes.

Unless more CO2 could increase total atmospheric density it could not have a significant effect on global tropospheric temperature. Instead the speed of the hydrological cycle changes to a minuscule and unmeasurable extent in order to maintain sea surface and surface air temperature equilibrium. As I have explained previously a change limited to the air alone short of an increase in total atmospheric density and pressure is incapable of altering that underlying equilibrium.

2. Secondly we must realise that the absolute temperature of the Earth as a whole is largely irrelevant to what we perceive as climate. In any event those changes in the temperature of the Earth as a whole are tiny as a result of the rapid modulating effect of changes in the speed of the hydrological cycle and the speed of the flow of radiated energy to space that always seeks to match the energy value of the whole spectrum of energy coming in from the sun.

The climate in the troposphere is a reflection of the current distribution of energy within the Earth system as a whole and internally the system is far more complex than any current models acknowledge.

That distribution of energy can be uneven horizontally and vertically throughout the ocean depths, the troposphere and the upper atmosphere and furthermore the distribution changes over time.

We see ocean energy content increase or decrease as tropospheric energy content decreases or increases. We see the stratosphere warm as the troposphere cools and cool as the troposphere warms. We see the upper levels of the atmosphere warm as the stratosphere cools and vice versa. We see the polar surface regions warm as the mid latitudes cool or the tropics warm as the poles cool and so on and so forth in infinite permutations of timing and scale.

As I have said elsewhere:

“It is becoming increasingly obvious that the rate of energy transfer varies all the time between ocean and air, air and space and between different layers in the oceans and air. The troposphere can best be regarded as a sandwich filling between the oceans below and the stratosphere above. The temperature of the troposphere is constantly being affected by variations in the rate of energy flow from the oceans driven by internal ocean variability, possibly caused by temperature fluctuations along the horizontal route of the thermohaline circulation and by variations in energy flow from the sun that affect the size of the atmosphere and the rate of energy loss to space.

The observed climate is just the equilibrium response to such variations with the positions of the air circulation systems and the speed of the hydrological cycle always adjusting to bring energy differentials above and below the troposphere back towards equilibrium (Wilde’s Law ?).

Additionally my propositions provide the physical mechanisms accounting for the mathematics of Dr. F. Miskolczi..

He appears to have demonstrated mathematically that if greenhouse gases in the air other than water vapour increase then the amount of water vapour declines so as to maintain an optimum optical depth for the atmosphere which modulates the energy flow to maintain sea surface and surface air temperature equilibrium. In other words the hydrological cycle speeds up or slows down just as I have always proposed.

3. In my articles to date I have been unwilling to claim anything as grand as the creation of a new model of climate because until now I was unable to propose any solar mechanism that could result directly in global albedo changes without some other forcing agent or that could account for a direct solar cause of discontinuities in the temperature profile along the horizontal line of the oceanic thermohaline circulation.

I have now realised that the global albedo changes necessary and the changes in solar energy input to the oceans can be explained by the latitudinal shifts (beyond normal seasonal variation) of all the air circulation systems and in particular the net latitudinal positions of the three main cloud bands namely the two generated by the mid latitude jet streams plus the Inter Tropical Convergence Zone (ITCZ).

The secret lies in the declining angle of incidence of solar energy input from equator to poles.

It is apparent that the same size and density of cloud mass moved, say, 1000 miles nearer to the equator will have the following effects:

1. It will receive more intense irradiation from the sun and so will reflect more energy to space.

2. It will reduce the amount of energy reaching the surface compared to what it would have let in if situated more poleward.

3. In the northern hemisphere due to the current land/sea distribution the more equatorward the cloud moves the more ocean surface it will cover thus reducing total solar input to the oceans and reducing the rate of accretion to ocean energy content

4. It will produce cooling rains over a larger area of ocean surface.

As a rule the ITCZ is usually situated north of the equator because most ocean is in the southern hemisphere and it is ocean temperatures that dictate it’s position by governing the rate of energy transfer from oceans to air. Thus if the two mid latitude jets move equatorward at the same time as the ITCZ moves closer to the equator the combined effect on global albedo and the amount of solar energy able to penetrate the oceans will be substantial and would dwarf the other proposed effects on albedo from changes in cosmic ray intensity generating changes in cloud totals as per Svensmark and from suggested changes caused in upper cloud quantities by changes in atmospheric chemistry involving ozone which various other climate sceptics propose.

Thus the following NCM will incorporate my above described positional cause of changes in albedo and rates of energy input to the oceans rather than any of the other proposals. That then leads to a rather neat solution to the other theories’ problems with the timing of the various cycles as becomes clear below.

4. I have previously described why the solar effect on climate is not as generally thought but for convenience I will summarise the issue here because it will help readers to follow the logic of the NCM.Variations in total solar power output on timescales relevant to human existence are tiny and are generally countered by a miniscule change in the speed of the hydrological cycle as described above.

However according to our satellites variations in the turbulence of the solar energy output from sunspots and solar flares appear to have significant effects.

During periods of an active solar surface our atmosphere expands and during periods of inactive sun it contracts.

When the atmosphere expands it does so in three dimensions around the entire circumference of the planet but the number of molecules in the atmosphere remains the same with the result that there is an average reduced density per unit of volume with more space between the molecules. Consequently the atmosphere presents a reduced resistance to outgoing longwave energy photons that experience a reduced frequency of being obstructed by molecules in the atmosphere.

Additionally a turbulent solar energy flow disturbs the boundaries of the layers in the upper atmosphere thus increasing their surface areas allowing more energy to be transferred from layer to layer just as wind on water causes waves, an increased sea surface area and faster evaporation.

The changes in the rate of outgoing energy flow caused by changes in solar surface turbulence may be small but they appear to be enough to affect the air circulation systems and thereby influence the overall global energy budget disproportionately to the tiny variations in solar power intensity.

Thus when the sun is more active far from warming the planet the sun is facilitating an increased rate of cooling of the planet. That is why the stratosphere cooled during the late 20th Century period of a highly active sun although the higher levels of the atmosphere warmed. The higher levels were warmed by direct solar impacts but the stratosphere cooled because energy was going up faster than it was being received from the troposphere below.

The opposite occurs for a period of inactive sun.

Some do say that the expansion and contraction of the atmosphere makes no difference to the speed of the outward flow of longwave energy because that outgoing energy still has to negotiate the same mass but that makes no sense to me if that mass is more widely distributed over a three dimensional rather than two dimensional space. If one has a fine fabric container holding a body of liquid the speed at which the liquid escapes will increase if the fabric is stretched to a larger size because the space between the fibres will increase.

Furthermore all that the NCM requires is for the stratosphere alone to lose or gain energy faster or slower so as to influence the tropospheric polar air pressure cells. The energy does not need to actually escape to space to have the required effect. It could just as well simply take a little longer or a little less long to traverse the expanded or contracted upper atmospheric layers.

The New Climate Model (NCM)

1. Solar surface turbulence increases causing an expansion of the Earth’s atmosphere.

2. Resistance to outgoing longwave radiation reduces, energy is lost to space faster.

3. The stratosphere cools. Possibly also the number of chemical reactions in the upper atmosphere increases due to the increased solar effects with faster destruction of ozone.

4. The tropopause rises.

5. There is less resistance to energy flowing up from the troposphere so the polar high pressure systems shrink and weaken accompanied by increasingly positive Arctic and Antarctic Oscillations.

6. The air circulation systems in both hemispheres move poleward and the ITCZ moves further north of the equator as the speed of the hydrological cycle increases due to the cooler stratosphere increasing the temperature differential between stratosphere and surface.

7. The main cloud bands move more poleward to regions where solar insolation is less intense so total global albedo decreases.

8. More solar energy reaches the surface and in particular the oceans as more ocean surfaces north of the equator are exposed to the sun by the movement of the clouds to cover more continental regions.

9. Less rain falls on ocean surfaces allowing them to warm more.

10. Ocean energy input increases but not all is returned to the air. A portion enters the thermohaline circulation to embark on a journey of 1000 to 1500 years. A pulse of slightly warmer water has entered the ocean circulation.

11. Solar surface turbulence passes its peak and the Earth’s atmosphere starts to contract.

12. Resistance to outgoing longwave radiation increases, energy is lost to space more slowly.

13. The stratosphere warms. Ozone levels start to recover.

14. The tropopause falls

15. There is increased resistance to energy flowing up from the troposphere so the polar high pressure systems expand and intensify producing increasingly negative Arctic and Antarctic Oscillations.

16. The air circulation systems in both hemispheres move back equatorward and the ITCZ moves nearer the equator as the speed of the hydrological cycle decreases due to the warming stratosphere reducing the temperature differential between stratosphere and surface.

17. The main cloud bands move more equatorward to regions where solar insolation is more intense so total global albedo increases once more.

18. Less solar energy reaches the surface and in particular the oceans as less ocean surfaces north of the equator are exposed to the sun by the movement of the clouds to cover more oceanic regions.

19. More rain falls on ocean surfaces further cooling them.

20. Ocean energy input decreases and the amount of energy entering the thermohaline circulation declines sending a pulse of slightly cooler water on that 1000 to 1500 year journey.

21. After 1000 to 1500 years those variations in energy flowing through the thermohaline circulation return to the surface by influencing the size and intensity of the ocean surface temperature oscillations that have now been noted around the world in all the main ocean basins and in particular the Pacific and the Atlantic. It is likely that the current powerful run of positive Pacific Decadal Oscillations is the pulse of warmth from the Mediaeval Warm Period returning to the surface with the consequent inevitable increase in atmospheric CO2 as that warmer water fails to take up as much CO2 by absorption. Cooler water absorbs more CO2, warmer water absorbs less CO2. We have the arrival of the cool pulse from the Little Ice Age to look forward to and the scale of its effect will depend upon the level of solar surface activity at the time. A quiet sun would be helpful otherwise the rate of tropospheric cooling as an active sun throws energy into space at the same time as the oceans deny energy to the air will be fearful indeed. Fortunately the level of solar activity does seem to have begun a decline from recent peaks.

22. The length of the thermohaline circulation is not synchronous with the length of the variations in solar surface turbulence so it is very much a lottery as to whether a returning warm or cool pulse will encounter an active or inactive sun.

23. A returning warm pulse will try to expand the tropical air masses as more energy is released and will try to push the air circulation systems poleward against whatever resistance is being supplied at the time by the then level of solar surface turbulence. A returning cool pulse will present less opposition to solar effects.

24. Climate is simply a product of the current balance in the troposphere between the solar and oceanic effects on the positions and intensities of all the global air circulation systems

25. The timing of the solar cycles and ocean cycles will drift relative to one another due to their asynchronicity so there will be periods when solar and ocean cycles supplement one another in transferring energy out to space and other periods when they will offset one another.

26. During the current interglacial the solar and oceanic cycles are broadly offsetting one another to reduce overall climate variability but during glacial epochs they broadly supplement one another to produce much larger climate swings. The active sun during the Mediaeval Warm Period and the Modern Warm Period and the quiet sun during the Little Ice Age reduced the size of the climate swings that would otherwise have occurred. During the former two periods the extra energy from a warm ocean pulse was ejected quickly to space by an active sun to reduce tropospheric heating. During the latter period the effect on tropospheric temperatures of reduced energy from a cool ocean pulse was mitigated by slower ejection of energy to space from a less active sun.

Discussion points:


Every serious hypothesis must be capable of being proved false. In the case of this NCM my narrative is replete with opportunities for falsification if the future real world observations diverge from the pattern of cause and effect that I have set out.

However that narrative is based on what we have actually observed over a period of 1000 years with the gaps filled in by deduction informed by known laws of physics.

At the moment I am not aware of any observed climate phenomena that would effect falsification. If there be any that suggest such a thing then I suspect that they will call for refinement of the NCM rather than abandonment.

For true falsification we would need to observe events such as the mid latitude jets moving poleward during a cooling oceanic phase and a period of quiet sun or the ITCZ moving northward whilst the two jets moved equatorward or the stratosphere, troposphere and upper atmosphere all warming or cooling in tandem or perhaps an unusually powerful Arctic Oscillation throughout a period of high solar turbulence and a warming ocean phase.

They say nothing is impossible so we will have to wait and see.

Predictive skill:

To be taken seriously the NCM must be seen to show more predictive skill than the current computer based models.

In theory that shouldn’t be difficult because their level of success is currently zero.

From a reading of my narrative it is readily apparent that if the NCM matches reality then lots of predictions can be made. They may not be precise in terms of scale or timing but they are nevertheless useful in identifying where we are in the overall scheme of things and the most likely direction of future trend.

For example if the mid latitude jets stay where they now are then a developing cooling trend can be expected.

If the jets move poleward for any length of time then a warming trend may be returning.

If the solar surface becomes more active then we should see a reduction in the intensity of the Arctic Oscillation.

If the current El Nino fades to a La Nina then the northern winter snows should not be as intense next winter but it will nevertheless be another cold though drier northern hemisphere winter as the La Nina denies energy to the air.

The past winter is a prime example of what the NCM suggests for a northern winter with an El Nino during a period of quiet sun. The warmth from the oceans pumps energy upwards but the quiet sun prevents the poleward movement of the jets. The result is warming of the tropics and of the highest latitudes (but the latter stay below the freezing point of water) and a flow of cold into the mid latitudes and more precipitation in the form of snow at lower latitudes than normal.

So I suggest that a degree of predictive skill is already apparent for my NCM.

Likely 21st Century Climate Trend:

There are 3 issues to be resolved for a judgement on this question.

i) We need to know whether the Modern Warm Period has peaked or not. It seems that the recent peak late 20th Century has passed but at a level of temperature lower than seen during the Mediaeval Warm Period. Greenland is not yet as habitable as when the Vikings first colonised it. Furthermore it is not yet 1000 years since the peak of the Mediaeval Warm Period which lasted from about 950 to 1250 AD

So I suspect that the Mediaeval warmth now emanating from the oceans may well warm the troposphere a little more during future years of warm oceanic oscillations. I would also expect the CO2 levels to continue drifting up until a while after the Mediaeval Warm Period water surface warming peak has begun it’s decline. That may still be some time away, perhaps a century or two.

ii) We need to know where we are in the solar cycles. The highest peak of solar activity in recorded history occurred during the late 20th Century but we don’t really know how active the sun became during the Mediaeval Warm Period. There are calculations from isotope proxies but the accuracy of proxies is in the doghouse since Climategate and the hockey stick farrago. However the current solar quiescence suggests that the peak of recent solar activity is now over.

iii) Then we need to know where we stand in relation to the other shorter term cycles of sun and oceans.

Each varies on at least two other timescales. The level of solar activity varies during each cycle and over a run of cycles. The rate of energy release from the oceans varies from each El Nino to the following La Nina and back again over several years and the entire Pacific Decadal Oscillation alters the rate of energy release to the air every 25 to 30 years or so.

All those cycles vary in timing and intensity and interact with each other and are then superimposed on the longer term cycling that forms the basis of this article.

Then we have the chaotic variability of weather superimposed on the whole caboodle.

We simply do not have the data to resolve all those issues so all I can do is hazard a guess based on my personal judgement. On that basis I think we will see cooling for a couple of decades due to the negative phase of the Pacific Decadal Oscillation which has just begun then at least one more 20 to 30 year phase of natural warming before we start the true decline as the cooler thermohaline waters from the Little Ice Age come back to the surface.

If we get a peak of active sun at the same time as the worst of the cooling from the Little Ice Age comes through the oceanic system then that may be the start of a more rapid ending of the current interglacial but that is 500 years hence by which time we will have solved our energy problems or will have destroyed our civilisation.

Other climate theories:

Following the implosion of the CO2 based theory there are lots of other good ideas going around and much effort being expended by many individuals on different aspects of the climate system.

All I would suggest at the moment is that there is room in my NCM for any of those theories that demonstrate a specific climate response from sources other than sun and oceans.

All I contend is that sun and oceans together with the variable speed of the hydrological cycle assisted by the latitudinal movements of the air circulation systems and the vertical movement of the tropopause overwhelmingly provide the background trend and combine to prevent changes in the air alone changing the Earth’s equilibrium temperature.

For example:

Orbital changes feed into the insolation and albedo effects caused by moveable cloud masses.

Asteroid strikes and volcanoes feed into the atmospheric density issue.

Changing length of day and external gravitational forces feed into the speed of the thermohaline circulation.

Geothermal energy feeds into temperatures along the horizontal path of the thermohaline circulation.

Cosmic ray variations and ozone chemistry feed into the albedo changes.

The NCM can account for all past climate variability, can give general guidance as to future trends and can accommodate all manner of supplementary climate theories provided their real world influence can be demonstrated.

I humbly submit that all this is an improvement on existing modelling techniques and deserves fuller and more detailed consideration and investigation.

Novel propositions:

I think it helpful to set out here some of the novel propositions that I have had to formulate in order to obtain a climate description that complies both with observations and with basic laws of physics. This list is not intended to be exhaustive. Other new propositions may be apparent from the content and/or context of my various articles

i) Earth’s temperature is determined primarily by the oceans and not by the air (The Hot Water Bottle Effect). The contribution of the Greenhouse effect is miniscule.

ii) Changes in the air alone cannot affect the global equilibrium temperature because of oceanic dominance that always seeks to maintain sea surface and surface air equilibrium whatever the air tries to do. Warm air cannot significantly affect the oceans due to the huge difference in thermal capacities and by the effect of evaporation which removes unwanted energy to latent form as necessary to maintain the said equilibrium.

iii) Counterintuitively an active sun means cooling not warming and vice versa.

iv) The net global oceanic rate of energy release to the air is what matters with regard to the oceanic effect on the latitudinal positions of the air circulation systems and the associated cloud bands. All the oceanic oscillations affecting the rates of energy release to the air operate on different timescales and different magnitudes as energy progresses through the system via surface currents (not the thermohaline circulation which is entirely separate).

v) More CO2 ought theoretically induce faster cooling of the oceans by increasing evaporation rates. Extra CO2 molecules simply send more infra red radiation back down to the surface but infra red cannot penetrate deeper than the region of ocean surface involved in evaporation and since evaporation has a net cooling effect due to the removal of energy as latent heat the net effect should be increased cooling and not warming of the oceans.

vi) The latitudinal position of the air circulation systems at any given moment indicates the current tropospheric temperature trend whether warming or cooling and their movement reveals any change in trend

vii) All the various climate phenomena in the troposphere serve to balance energy budget changes caused by atmospheric effects from solar turbulence changes on the air above which affect the rate of energy loss to space or from variable rates of energy release from the oceans below.

viii) The speed of the hydrological cycle globally is the main thermostat in the troposphere. Changes in its speed are achieved by latitudinal shifts in the air circulation systems and by changes in the height of the tropopause.

ix) The difference between ice ages and interglacials is a matter of the timing of solar and oceanic cycles. Interglacials only occur when the solar and oceanic cycles are offsetting one another to a sufficient degree to minimise the scale of climate variability thereby preventing winter snowfall on the northern continents from being sufficient to last through the following summer.

x) Landmass distribution dictates the relative lengths of glacials and interglacials. The predominance of landmasses in the northern hemisphere causes glaciations to predominate over interglacials by about 9 to 1 with a full cycle every 100, 000 years helped along by the orbital changes of the Milankovitch cycles that affect the pattern of insolation on those shifting cloud masses.

xi) Distribution of energy within the entire system is more significant for climate (which is limited to the troposphere) than the actual temperature of the entire Earth. The latter varies hardly at all.

xii) All regional climate changes are a result of movement in relation to the locally dominant air circulation systems which move cyclically poleward and equatorward.

xiii) Albedo changes are primarily a consequence of latitudinal movement of the clouds beyond normal seasonal variability.

ix) The faint sun paradox is explained by the effectiveness of changes in the speed of the hydrological cycle. Only if the oceans freeze across their entire surfaces thereby causing the hydrological cycle to cease or if the sun puts in energy faster than it can be pumped upward by the hydrological cycle will the basic temperature equilibrium derived from the properties of water and the density and pressure of the atmosphere fail to be maintained.