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Monday, May 12, 2008

Very Expensive Myths

There was recently a meltdown in arctic ice, but the arctic ice expanse is right back this year. (For what is really happening, go to this blog post.) There, is in fact, no evidence that the world is getting warmer, and considerable evidence that the short-term trend is one of cooling. But truth moves slowly at federal levels, and in DC the Arctic icecap is almost gone, taking the polar bears with it. One is tempted to suggest that we should ask the Canadian government to give them up, because when Canada ruled on the status of the polar bears it said there were plenty.

It may or may not surprise us all that a shift in sunspot cycles has occurred and now we are getting cooler. That is the historical correlation; if you graph sunspot cycles by intensity and length, when the cycles get low and slow, the earth cools. We are now in the extended interim between cycle 23 and 24. 23 keeps hanging around; 24 has popped a few sunspots but can't seem to get going, and we're chilly. We are so chilly that a big chunk of planned US corn may not have been planted due to conditions in the upper midwest. Timing is important on corn.

In any case, while only Al is left looping the world in his jet, making speeches with frenetic arm motions bewailing the demise of the polar bears, an environmentalist group has gone to court to make the Interior Dept declare the polar bear threatened by global warming. That would make it a matter of federal law that CO2 emissions directly threaten the polar bear.

They don't, of course, because the polar bear has been around during periods with temperatures significantly warmer than ours. But facts no longer matter.

I'm hoping that the inevitable happens, because all our energy decisions are now controlled by courts and leftist environmental nutcases. This will not end until the population rebells, and REBELLION IS ON THE WAY!

Here's an article in an Alaskan paper regarding the judge's order. The way this works is that since the Supreme Court ruled that CO2 is a pollutant, if the polar bear is endangered, and if the polar bear is endangered because of global warming, then almost any type of energy project or any project using energy can be blocked.

Also, the law mandates all federal agencies not to do anything that harms the environment of endangered species. This will have many interesting results, because almost anything emits CO2. Did you know that making concrete emits a great deal of CO2 into the atmosphere?

I have been laughing for days about this. Consider what might have happened if polar bears had been ruled endangered and the SC had ruled CO2 a pollutant, oh, say ten years ago:

The FEMA caravan for relief of a drowned New Orleans after Katrina would have been awesome. The bicycle convoy would have extended for hundreds of miles, and we'd all have had a great deal of time to cheer it as it went through our communities. I'm sure the first shipments of medical supplies and water would have reached the people in slightly under 3 weeks.

This is real, and hilarious.

Comments:
Even if we all stopped producing CO2 from anything resembling an industrial activity, including cooking the rabbit we just caught in a snare over a communal open fire, it would make no difference to the earth's temperature.

Since any sort of sacrifice would have an effect that is simply symbolic, I think our sacrifices themselves should be simply symbolic. I personally have given up the idea of buying a Hummer. Not just for this month, but next month as well. And probably the one after. I figure this ought to get me carbon credits up the wazoo.

Watch how fast global warming ideology loses its appeal once people find out they can't have electricity.
 
So perhaps we should all be able to burn all the fossil fuels we want in a vehicle, as long as the vehicle carries a "Save The Polar Bears" bumper sticker.

Come to think about it, that is pretty much the Al Gore way of saving the world, isn't it? No wonder he is so enthused, because he is selling the bumper stickers.

This is serious even though it is terribly funny. Unless the Canadians are willing to give the US govt back those missing polar bears, they are going to be named an endangered species. They aren't in fact, but they endangered are in DC no matter how many Canadians get eaten by polar bears.
 
Just out of curiosity, do you simply dislike people who want perserve the vitality (or that which remains) of the Earth or do you just like to pollute? You're right, there will be a rebellion, you'll just be on the wrong side of it. What's hilarious is your reactionary arguments you proffer in defense of pollution. On so many things you have such well-thought, reasoned arguments but when it comes to this stuff you sound like Lee Raymond.
 
I don't know who Lee Raymond is, but I do know that our climate is dominated by quite long cycles, and that this 70 year cycle poses absolutely no threat to the polar bears.

No, I don't like to pollute.

Try this for starters, and consider whether there isn't some reason behind my position here as well.

Here are the steps:
The temperatures now are well below their 1,000 year maximum.
The polar bears were doing just fine in those higher temperatures.
The polar bears are not threatened now.

Now, the only way you can dispute this is by claiming that the temps now are above the 1000 year maximum. But the geological records, history, crop records, glacial records and so forth do not agree.

I AM NOT THE PROBLEM. When I was a little kid they told me about the warming in the early part of the century and the 70 year cycle. That keeps happening. The global weather models are the problem. They are what is out of sync with what is happening.

There were dust storms in the midwest due to drought in the 1850s and in the 1930s. Both of those periods were followed by periods of cold in the Northern Hemisphere. In 1868 over 7.5% of the Finnish population died after a series of crop failures.

What is going on right now is the equivalent of people looking at the temperature trend for half a year and claiming that it is proof that the world is either heating or cooling.

After the drought and warmth, the cycle shifts into cold and wet. Now we have that shift along with a period in which the sun appears to be abnormally weak for the 20th century, and it is a real worry for crops.
 
Your views on global warming are incredibly ignorant and simply ideologically driven. Facts despite your claims have no place in your world. No facts, no reason but ALWAYS lots of emotion, utterly amusing if it weren't so serious. Just look at the FACTS in this article. They blows your whole post away!

Arctic ice seen shrinking to smallest size recorded

Arctic ice seen shrinking to smallest size recorded

The Yomiuri Shimbun

Ice sheets in the Arctic Ocean could shrink this summer to the smallest area on record since satellite observation of the sheets began in 1978, according to researchers.

Researchers at the Japan Aerospace Exploration Agency made the prediction based on their analysis of satellite images. JAXA's satellite observations from September last year showed that the area covered by ice sheets in the Arctic Ocean had withered to the smallest on record.

Arctic ice is gradually shrinking year by year due to global warming. It expands in winter and shrinks in summer.

Their observations this winter also showed that the total area of ice in the Arctic had recovered to levels seen in previous years, according to the researchers.

Through observations conducted with the help of a Japanese device installed in a U.S. National Aeronautics and Space Administration earth observation satellite, JAXA confirmed a decline in the amount of thick perennial ice, or long-lasting sea ice.

A comparison of images taken on April 20 over the last six years also indicated that areas covered with perennial ice, which is light green in color, have been gradually shrinking since 2005. This year, areas with perennial ice further withered to nearly half the size seen in 2005, according to the researchers.

The researchers are particularly worried about the disappearance of perennial ice from around the North Pole.

It is understood that the thinner the ice is, the more easily it melts due to higher air and water temperatures.

(May. 12, 2008)
 
On the positive side, I do enjoy your posts regarding economics. You do cover some broad topics though your political views again prevent you from developing a decent understanding of European and many world issues.
 
The FEMA caravan for relief of a drowned New Orleans after Katrina would have been awesome. The bicycle convoy would have extended for hundreds of miles, and we'd all have had a great deal of time to cheer it as it went through our communities. I'm sure the first shipments of medical supplies and water would have reached the people in slightly under 3 weeks.

Most of Nawlins would have died in the Superdome, but think of the Boost in Self-Esteem among all the Katrina Bicycle Convoy and all the Communities that waved on the parade!

So perhaps we should all be able to burn all the fossil fuels we want in a vehicle, as long as the vehicle carries a "Save The Polar Bears" bumper sticker.

Why not? The more expensive the SUV and the more timid it's driven, the more likely it is to have a "Save the Polar Bears" or "Bushitler Stole the Election!!!!" bumper sticker. I had to read enough "9/11 TRUTH!" stickers when stuck behind some timidly-driven blinged-out Hummer (list price equivalent to a Ferrari) on two-lane backroads.

P.S. Out here in California, one of the propositions on the latest ballot (one of two battling anti-Kelos) is being denounced by the other's because "It Will Cause GLOBAL WARMING!!!!!"
 
Your views on global warming are incredibly ignorant and simply ideologically driven. Facts despite your claims have no place in your world. No facts, no reason but ALWAYS lots of emotion, utterly amusing if it weren't so serious. -- Re

doubleplusgoodthink, comrade re!
doubleplusgood doubleplusduckspeak!
doubleplusgood doubleplusbellyfeel GLOBAL WARMING!
all proles bend the knee before comrade re's superior intellect!
and, comrade re, what should be done to heretics and thought-criminals who deny global warming?
 
Dear anonymous,

I actually would have them read from slightly more varied sources. It does help expand your horizons, you know?

BTW, did you read the article?
 
RE - so I gather your theory is that an increase in global temperatures melted the arctic ice, rather than a change in currents?

Is that your understanding?
 
Yes, it is. It seems pretty obvious though clearly temperatures vary over time and do go in cycles. In any measurements, one needs to take into consideration climate cycles.

Here are is a chart that shows the developments for four selected glaciers from the Swiss Alps since around 1880. The gaps are because there were no measurements were taken during these periods.

Swiss Glaciers - Expansion/Retreat

Here are two pictures comparing the Rhone Glacier. You can see the difference between 1911 and 2000. Quite dramatic, isn't it though the Aletsch is much worse as can be seen in the chart.


Rhone Glacier - 1911 & 2000

Joseph D’Aleo chooses his data quite selectively. The data above does not match his conclusions at all. Now clearly there are other factors than temperature that can influence glacier melt, i.e. pollution, but temperature is obviously a major reason. There are a number of websites that show comparisons (photographic etc.) of glacier data over extended periods of time but the Swiss data is so valuable because it captures a long duration and is known to be reliable (ETHZ).

http://glaciology.ethz.ch/messnetz/glacierlist.html
 
Have you heard of Arctic Oscillation?

Because global temps are not rising, nor are ocean temps.
 
Because global temps are not rising, nor are ocean temps.

Looks like the data disagrees with you unless you mean this chart at your quoted site?

Icecap Archibald Charte

No, that can’t be because the data is not consistent with the following chart based on GISS data. Now this one correlates rather well with the melting glaciers in Switzerland.

NASA GISS Land-Ocean Temperature

Based on this:

Raw Data

BTW, it seems pretty obvious that temperatures are on a consistent upward slope with expected corrections and outliers. The trend over the past 130 years seems pretty clear.
 
Mom, I want to thank you for your wonderful blog. You are incredibly informed and do a great job interpreting news and data as it occurs in the world. Please don't stop!

I do want to say that I believe a lot of the new trends in climate change is due to the magnetic poles shifting. The magnetic poles contribute greatly to maintaining our magnetosphere, which is what shields us from the solar wind (plamsa from the sun). So while we have cycles in sunspot activity, the contribution of our pole shifts is exacerbating the situation. As our magnetosphere weakens, the effects of other planets (other planets' magnetospheres) on earthquakes, volcanoes and extreme weather phenomenon on Earth will increase.

I've read (sorry no link) that studies of the ocean floor setiments have shown that the poles have shifted at least 4 times in the history of Earth. This is also confirmed in studying the polarities of old carbon-dated rocks on land. From the many of well-preserved extinct animals frozen in ice that have been found, it suggests that these changes were sometimes abrupt.

Also, a friend of mine who has studied the egyptian cultures and the pyramids says that the Egyptian records show that they have gone through 7 pole shifts!

You are correct that the modern models that 'scientists' have created have no where near the necessary data set size required to create accurate models.
 
BTW, Barry Ritholz at the Big Picture used a similar chart in his take:

Global Warming Denialists... We Suck at Math Also!
 
As is often the case, the changes taking place in climate don't submit to ideology or to facile explanations.

Much of what I've read above is correct as far as it goes. We have done a number of things which contribute to warming the atmosphere, to say nothing of changing its composition, and to altering the Ph balance of our oceans.

If your concerns are limited to temperatures, you may relax. Global cooling is expected over the next several decades.

While the specific mechanism for cooling cycles is getting plenty of debate, polar ice core samples and North Pacific sediment analysis covering many thousands of years cross-confirm the composition of ancient air, the microbes and pollens present in prehistory and, by these means, a very specific reading of global temperature over extremely long periods.

While work continues on precisely how and why these cycles operate (Cycles plural. There are three - the 70 year cycle mentioned above having the shortest duration by far), they do correlate with identical sunspot activity cycles. Whether the solar wind debate is settled or not among the scientific community remains to be seen. But the argument getting all the press is not about cooling. It's about how the cooling works. Short answer? We don't know yet.

On the other hand, this grants no license to continue loading the environment with the effluvia of contemporary living. There's ample evidence we're damaging the planet regardless of what readings we may expect from the thermometer.

So long as you stay busy arguing global warming, or accusing each other of bad sources and wrong thinking, you add more heat than light. Mr. Gore and a host of others have come out very strongly - and on the evidence, probably a bit prematurely - on the side of warming. They may be made to look foolish eventually, but that's of no real concern.

What is of concern is that you and I should be quite sure (and very skeptical) of a correct path before we set out. We're going to do some very expensive and disruptive things in the name of environmental policy.

Are you sure you're correct? Really sure?
 
What troubles me is that the facts are not at all in your favor. The first time you were wrong was in your statement: “Because global temps are not rising, nor are ocean temps.”

Now you say:
”While the specific mechanism for cooling cycles is getting plenty of debate, polar ice core samples and North Pacific sediment analysis covering many thousands of years cross-confirm the composition of ancient air, the microbes and pollens present in prehistory and, by these means, a very specific reading of global temperature over extremely long periods.

While work continues on precisely how and why these cycles operate (Cycles plural. There are three - the 70 year cycle mentioned above having the shortest duration by far), they do correlate with identical sunspot activity cycles. Whether the solar wind debate is settled or not among the scientific community remains to be seen. But the argument getting all the press is not about cooling. It's about how the cooling works. Short answer? We don't know yet.”


It is not that we have absolute positive proof but we have EXCELLENT supportive research. Research that any responsible person has to respect and take very seriously. Let me quote:

Deep ice tells long climate story

”… Earlier results from the Epica core were published in 2004 and 2005, detailing the events back to 440,000 years and 650,000 years respectively. Scientists have now gone the full way through the column, back another 150,000 years.

The picture is the same: carbon dioxide and temperature rise and fall in step.

Like tiny time capsules, bubbles trap ancient samples of atmosphere "Ice cores reveal the Earth's natural climate rhythm over the last 800,000 years. When carbon dioxide changed there was always an accompanying climate change. Over the last 200 years human activity has increased carbon dioxide to well outside the natural range," explained Dr Wolff.

The "scary thing", he added, was the rate of change now occurring in CO2 concentrations. In the core, the fastest increase seen was of the order of 30 parts per million (ppm) by volume over a period of roughly 1,000 years.

"The last 30 ppm of increase has occurred in just 17 years. We really are in the situation where we don't have an analogue in our records
," he said.”



I don’t think assessments such as these can be ignored any longer. The correlation here was not with solar activity but with actual CO2 concentrations.

You then bring up another favorite theme of climate change deniers. You say: “…the 70 year cycle mentioned above having the shortest duration by far), they do correlate with identical sunspot activity cycles.”

This doesn’t stand up to scrutiny either as the FACTS say otherwise:

Sun's activity rules out link to global warming

Direct satellite measurements of solar activity show it has been declining since the mid-1980s and cannot account for recent rises in global temperatures, according to new research.

The findings debunk an explanation for climate change that is often cited by people who are not convinced that greenhouse gas emissions from human activities are causing the Earth's climate to warm.”

"We decided to do a simple and direct analysis of the potential role of the Sun in recent climate change without using any model output," says Lockwood.

Lockwood and colleague Claus Fröhlich, at the World Radiation Center in Switzerland, used direct measurements only for their study. As Lockwood puts it: "This is just what the spacecraft have seen."

Looking at data from the past 40 years, the two researchers noticed that solar activity did what Lockwood describes as a "U-turn in every possible way" in the mid-1980s.

"The upshot is that somewhere between 1985 and 1987 all the solar factors that could have affected climate have been going in the wrong direction. If they were really a big factor we would have cooling by now," Lockwood told New Scientist. He adds that he wishes he knew why the Sun's activity had changed in this way.



As you can see, observable facts and evidence gathered by a wide variety of scientists from around the world have corroborated the current level of knowledge and it confirms with a very high degree of certainty that climate change strongly influenced by human activity is occurring.

Therefore, from any responsible risk analysis standpoint, it is high time to reduce the likelihood of a worsening of the situation unless further research tells us that it is a non issue. This is what responsible people and politicians should do. If we consider it a major issue to load our children with debt that they will never be able to pay back, then running the risk of creating an inhospitable habitat for our children is by far more irresponsible. The first one can at least be defaulted on, the second one may not be correctable in their lifetime or even for many generations thereafter. To risk such an outcome in the face of overwhelming evidence though still not absolutely proven, is the height of arrogance for a very selfish generation.

Let me also address you statement “So long as you stay busy arguing global warming, or accusing each other of bad sources and wrong thinking, you add more heat than light. Mr. Gore and a host of others have come out very strongly - and on the evidence, probably a bit prematurely - on the side of warming. They may be made to look foolish eventually, but that's of no real concern.”

I have supported my argument with facts and research. You were wrong with regard to temperatures not increasing in the past 100 years, higher levels of CO2 not affecting temperature levels, solar factors correlating to temperatures. The facts are clearly in Mr. Gore’s favor and not at all premature.


You mention that it is unproductive to take as forceful position as I have taken. Well, that may be true but given the fact that you were wrong on so many points and consistently make unsupported and inflammatory statements in your blog such as the following, why would you wonder? At least I can back mine up using established scientific sources… and not with items from (in)credible places like worldnetdaily, etc…

Your statements:

5/12/2008 There, is in fact, no evidence that the world is getting warmer, and considerable evidence that the short-term trend is one of cooling. But truth moves slowly at federal levels
Comment: your truth according to all the evidence is simply not the truth but some wishful thinking!

4/3/2008 Al Gore is rich enough already and has lost all perspective on this issue. He is the climate change equivalent of a mortgage banker claiming that giving liar loans to borrowers is the only way to uplift the US economy
Comment: given current research who is trying to do the liar loans. Remember the chart I posted above from icecap? It doesn’t track the data! It blatantly lies!

3/24/2008 This doesn't mean that CO2 doesn't cause warming at all, but it strongly suggests that all those who have been claiming that solar variance is a much weaker driver of climate than CO2 levels might have a screw loose.
Comment: well, in your opinion, I might have a screw loose but given the above link on REAL research regarding solar variance, I am not so sure who has the problem.


I could go on but I think I made my point. Your language is not very tolerant of different (AND well founded) opinions. Therefore don’t be surprised if some readers of your blog suddenly call you out in similar language and I did!
 
burnside,

Sorry, I attributed your comments to MoM. However, I'll let them stand as I think they capture both yours and her arguments.
 
RE - thanks for your participation. I'm sorry that I have not responded but I haven't been getting any real sleep since Saturday night. One of my dogs became very sick and I've only been able to catch a couple of hours at time.

I will explain what I mean later.

I'm utterly intolerant of Al Goreism. That man is a liar and a bully. He is not interested in the science at all.

I stand by my statements. The correct way to measure these things is from one peak to the next and from one valley to the next. One of the biggest puzzles of our recent time is that CO2 at these levels (if we understand its atmospheric properties well) should have produced higher temperatures than it has.

The solar activity measurements to which you refer might be showing now. The clear correlation with the much older sunspot records is hard to integrate with the newer measurements, but cycle 23 was lower at peak than the previous two, and now the transition to cycle 24 seems exceptionally slow.

And no, in recent years there has been no warming at all. Cooling, yes, warming no.

I will try to return to this later after I get some sleep. I now understand why they used to use this as a torture.
 
RE . . .

If you re-read, you'll find I do not argue against carbon dioxide as coincident with rising temperatures. It is.

But the ice cores reflect additional data which indicate CO2 is not the only operative, and perhaps not even the major one.

I should think the flaws in the Lockwood New Scientist study would be clear. They are measuring solar intensity over forty years. You must distinguish between solar activity on the one hand and cyclical sunspot effects on the other in order to recognize the fallacy here. They are not the same thing. Both are valid data sets. But Lockwood reports the irrelevant set. It's not bad science, it's shoddy interpretation, at best.

To repeat and amplify, then, a cyclical decrease in sunspot activity - especially when more than one of three know cycles is waning - has been shown to correspond to significant cooling of the earth's surface; there is discussion, and research, but no consensus so far on the precise mechanism for this phenomenon.

Quite all right about conflating MoM and myself. I take it as a compliment.
 
An afterthought.

You will read reportage which seeks to discredit models which don't fit the greenhouse gas scenario. Some of the undermining is quite subtle.

I think what we want here is genuine understanding - to make our plans for the future based on good and complete information.

So far as I can see, the greenhouse gas model requires no defense. And properly speaking, the global cooling construct is not an opposing view. All indications are the two operate simultaneously. What sort of mind or character accepts without question that one must choose either the one or the other?
 
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