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Thursday, August 21, 2008

The Sun Done Did It

Temperatures that matter are temperatures that affect ag, so I tend to follow the Weekly Crop reports, which you can get here. If you go to page 8 (you'll have to rotate the image in Acrobat) of the reports you'll see degree day totals compared to norms over the season. Check out the most recent report, and also go on to the next few pages to look at the average temp departures from normal. Those are comparisons to 1971-2000 averages.

Most of the US is cooling very fast. The cause is unequivocally the dampening of solar activity, which has reached levels that are much lower than the recent solar patterns. However, those recent solar patterns are themselves abnormal over the previous four centuries. As Baliunas and Soon remark in their paper on the influence of solar activity on recent warming and the inaccuracy of the IPCC theory (quoting Feynman):
The test of all knowledge is experiment. Experiment is the sole judge of scientific 'truth'
Well, we are conducting an uncontrolled experiment in which the effect of changes in solar radiance on temperature are compared to the effect of changes in CO2 atmospheric content on temperature. Guess which is winning?

The historical correlation is strong (this is an enlarged version of Figure 3 from the above-linked paper):

Now the modern correlation is proved out also: (See Wood For Trees)

Note, please, that the change in temperature direction occurred years ago, when Cycle 23 (still not over) failed to reach the abnormal highs of the last two cycles. Also note that there is an overall correlation between cycle low points and multi-annual temperature averages. The last two years have been abnormal, but Cycle 23 was high normal, although lower than the previous two very high cycles. And as soon as the very high cycles ended, global warming ended. Now we are entering a period of global cooling, because late in cycle 23 we entered into a period of abnormally low solar activity.

The basics are these: Sunspot cycles vary in both peak-to-valley amplitude and in duration. In general, in periods of lower solar activity the cycles become longer as well as showing lower peaks. In the 20th century, sunspot cycles averaged higher and shorter compared to previous cycles, resulting in much more overall time spent at highs as compared to lows. That produced warming. The long term correlation between variation in temperature with the two sunspot measures (cycle length and peak strength) is very strong. Another way to measure the same thing historically is with Be-10 sampling, which shows the same correlations. See this page for more, and some references to the counter-arguments on the Danish work. The Armagh archive showed the same correlation.

Needless to say those who are farming the AGW grants for a living are not giving up without a struggle, but month by month the opposition is growing, and it is becoming more successful, due to having the experimental outcomes on the other side.

So what is the response? Calls for censorship from government scientists, such as Hansen, and growing support for that argument from the propagandized public. See, for example, Climate Skeptic's look at a journalist's call to censor bloggers and other such subversive elements. From the journalist's posting ("How To Balance Freedoms"):
So, let’s ask: what would happen if denial of both a) human-caused climate change and b) the dangers of such rapid change, were to be censored? If the science is beyond reasonable doubt, and miscommunication and denial leads to damaging inaction, should it not be censored? Beyond reasonable doubt is all we need to put someone in prison, or in the US, put them to death.

This issue of censorship is complex. If you shut it up, does it go away? No.

However. Perhaps more importantly is the question. Where do we draw the line between the different gradations of scepticism:

* honestly held views that do not lead to inaction for the majority
* views that inadvertently foster inaction
* views that purposefully foster inaction
* views that lead to deeds that lead to counter-action against the majority
* counter-action against the majority

And if we do this, as we have done in other areas (e.g. incitement to racial hatred or violence; holocaust denial) on what basis do we make those judgements? The science? Or the ethical imperative? And what is the censure?

Can words be dangerous? That is, I believe, ‘proven beyond doubt’. Think of the propoganda of the Rwandan radio station Rwanda RTLM, that incited the death of thousands. And think also of the inaction of the international community–inaction fuelled by a control of the discourse around what was happening in Rwanda.

Words are what we use to shape law and uphold law. As Freud said, ‘words are deeds’.

So what should we do?
Ladle et al (2005, Interdisciplinary Science Reviews, 30:3) looked at the use of online sites and blogs dealing with the issue of climate change. It showed how scientific reports were taken and polarized by the two different communities–those advocates for action against AGW, and those sceptical of AGW, the harder edge of which you could call denialists.

Ladle et al advocated two possible responses. They saw:

[the] obvious need for a clear, definitive, authoratitive and realistic web resource written in accessible language that is explicit about the assumptions and limitations of the work. [and] a framework within which people can access information about new science, allowing them to access and judge information and its implications.

I’m an advocate for something stronger. Call it regulation, law, or influence. Whatever name we give it, it should not be seen as regulation vs. freedom, but as a balancing of different freedoms. In the same way that to enjoy the freedom of a car you need insurance to protect the freedom of other drivers and pedestrians; in the same way that you enjoy the freedom to publish your views, you need a regulatory code to ensure the freedoms of those who can either disagree with or disprove your views. Either way. While I dislike Brendan O’Neill and know he’s wrong, I can’t stop him. But we need a body with teeth to be able to say, “actually Brendan, you can’t publish that unless you can prove it.” A body which can also say to me, and to James Hansen, and to the IPCC, the same.

(Which is of course peer-review in the academic/scientific world. Why is it not trusted?)

The recent Channel4/Ofcom/Global Warming Swindle brought to stark attention either a) that Ofcom is strong and got it right or b) that the current regulatory rules for broadcast (and for th PCC, print and online) aren’t yet equipped to deal with such a global, complex issue as ”broadcast/published climate denial” (not scepticism: James Hansen disagrees with the IPCC, so he’s a sceptic; Monckton and Durkin are denialists, because they makes things up. Gore could be a propogandist if he also makes things up, as some claim).

What do you think? Perhaps a starting point is a draft point in the codes for governing how the media represent climate change, and a method for enforcing that code. And that code needs to extend out to cover new media, including blogs. And perhaps taking a lesson from the Obama campaign’s micro-response strategy: a team empowered with responding to complaints specifically dealing with online inaccuracy, to which all press and blogs have to respond. And so whatever Jennifer Mahorasy, or Wattsupwiththat, or Tom Nelson, or Climate Sceptic, or OnEarth, or La Marguerite, or the Sans Pretence, or DeSmog Blog, or Monckton or me, say, then we’re all bound by the same freedoms of publishing.

Would really love to hear your thoughts/feedback, so that it can help shape my upcoming paper on this. Thanks.
The comments were hostile, and in a later post the individual announced that he doesn't believe in censorship, well, sorta:
I made two errors in my blog post.

1. I made the error of confusing the question:

* ‘do we have the right media regulatory framework for monitoring and assessing harm and offence done by misleading information and purposeful disinformation?’

with the broader issue of censorship of free expression.

I shouldn’t have done that, because it muddied the issue, and more importantly, my second error:

2. I don’t believe in censorship.

Some of the commenters won’t believe that statement now, after the previous post. But I don’t. At some moment I became convinced that climate change as an issue was even more important that freedom of expression (where it doesn’t cause harm). And I still think we have to look hard at the regulatory framework and the social as well as the physical sciences of the relations, of power, politics, economy and of language, around the reporting and media representation of climate change. But the blog post was a bit too off the cuff and confused two distinct issues, and I did myself no favours for that.
A remarkable instance of a person propagandized to the point of being willing to violate his own conscience, based on his own experience, and a person who doesn't even understand what science is, what differentiates science from other fields of human ideation, purporting to base his willingness to violate his own conscience on the authority of science.

There is an epic joke here, as explained by a commenter identified as Passer By on the second post:
Its quite simple, Science is an opened ended dialectic process, you put your theory up and if it cannot be shoot down it stands. Science progresses best in an open society for obvious reasons.
When science may not be questioned, it is no longer science. Every US resident of my generation learned what happened to Galileo when his theory of the earth's rotation conflicted with the church's (of that time). He was arrested and made to recant. How is it possible that so many persons can not see that they are attempting to reproduce the same situation, and how is it possible that so many persons cannot understand that making science unquestionable converts science into knowledgeable superstition?

The answer, of course, is money. The "scientists" who are pushing the idea that questioning the role of CO2 in climate variation is a crime are getting a lot of grant money from the fears over global warming, and if the theory is questioned when the factual underpinning is so deeply devalued, they are likely to see that funding dry up. As Dr. Herman commented on the proposed CCSP release:
This report will undoubtedly play an important role in future climate related research programs supported by both NASA and NOAA, and therefore it is very important that all issues identified as important in the report be clearly and completely explained, and where controversial, both sides of the issue be included. This is important to ensure all important aspects of future research are given equal opportunity for funding, which is the basic reason I am requesting your input.
Then monetarily-motivated scientists are followed by idealists lacking enough common sense to dilute their idealistic and religious fervor.

This post now ends. I wanted to return to the issues of energy prices and their economic effects as well as the Obama post-modernist theory, and this post is part of the necessary background. The bottom line is that we are close to reaching the gradient at which northern harvests could be affected, and speculation on that is raising corn prices, for example, and that space-heating needs will be higher than normal. And politically, both Obama and McCain are proposing carbon-oriented schemes that will inflict great harm on economies, and harm that will disproportionately impact the poor around the world.

This is a pretty bad situation, and it's a pervasive wrong that cuts across a lot of societal structures.

MoM, thank you.

Arrived at you conclusions independently - why is that so satisfying? And I agree as well that both candidates are persuaded to accept the conventional warming scenario and are in the ethanol camp.

But will we be cool enough soon enough? My guess is a few harsh winters are more likely to have the desired effect than all the reason on tap.
I'm doing a lot of caulking/weatherstripping. I'd like there to be a mild winter, but....
M.G. - But, indeed. The thing about middle-age is that you've either gone insane or absorbed the reality that the world doesn't do what you would like it to do. I'm doing the same.

Burnside - It's satisfying because human beings are made to think and puzzle things out. It's also reassuring, because it says something about the health of democracies - they are capable of correcting pools of self-interest and groupthink that inevitably develop in any social system.

But I beg to differ about the impact of several harsh winters and cool summers. The kids in school have already been taught that cold weather is the product of global warming, and as the facts support the IPCC-type scenarios of catastrophic CO2-induced warming LESS, the rhetoric gets MORE passionate and doom-filled.

Current August weather on the east coast is running very close to the cool period in the 60s and early 70s, but NOAA does not seem to realize that. Although the crops do - one more year of this and it will be too cool to plant some crops at the extreme north of the US.
Question is, will all the people who yelled for censorship and who tried to impose draconian burdens on other by government power LEARN from this experience so they won't do it the next time?

Will the schoolkids realize what they just witnessed and learn a healthy skepticism from it?

I fear not. But don't take my word for it! See what happens.

Excellent write-up. But I think you don’t get it (please read on).

Global warming isn’t about science or scientific theories. It’s about being in the vanguard of a transcendental movement that will radically reshape the world to be a better place, a happier place, a place of social justice. It’s about blind faith.

Broadly speaking, in the past 100 years, the West has tried this before. After the West gave up on traditional organized religion as a transcendental movement, it tried socialism (limited success), national socialism (50 million dead), communism (100 million dead). In the past 50 years we’ve become less ambitious; free love in the sixties, indigenous peoples rights, Tibet, Darfur, etc. etc.

GW is nothing more than another attempt to form a transcendent movement in the West. It’s about feeling good about ourselves. And it has, like any other faith based movement, its own dogmas and rituals. And you, MoM are a heretic. Trying to discuss the truthfulness of GW is comparable to discussing the existence of Allah in Mecca.

So keep up the brave work – you are swimming against the tide and doing good.
I'm concerned about the state of science teaching in the schools. Apparently, a lot of stuff that once involve actual lab work is now taught via "experiments" based on computer simulation. Instead of rolling real balls down real inclined plains, you do it on a computer screen.

This is of course a return to the medieval concept of science: instead of "it's true because Aristotle said so," it's "it's true because the computer says so." Not much difference.

There *are* potential legimitate uses for simulation in teaching, but they would involve comparing the simulation results with actual experimental results. "Experiments" based on black-box simulations tend to seriously undercut the fundamental understanding of the scientific method.

I have enjoyed so much of your analysis on the financial front, and your writing on other issues, that I'm almost at a loss as to what to say about this post.

Your own graph show quite clearly that in the previous two cycles temperature began to drop immediately along with total solar irradiation (TSI) and to pretty much track TSI, but in the current cycle did not do so. Indeed, despite a long and deep drop in TSI, temperature has continued to oscillate at a level at or above its levels at the earlier TSI peaks.

Yes, this remarkable trough in TSI is moderating global warming. But not by very much, despite its depth. What is going to happen when it ends and rises again, as we know it will? Have you not considered the possibility that this remarkably weak minimum might be followed by an equally remarkable maximum?

As I wrote here once before, the most important question to ask about any decision is, "What if we are wrong?".

If we slow our insertion of CO2 into the atmosphere and it discover later we were wrong, we will only have lost a little economic growth. If we do not slow it and are wrong, we will have no way to get it back out of the atmosphere and will have a catastrophe on our hands.

Although you are quite right that there are some scientists who will produce junk science to get grant money, they are a minority, and I'm extremely skeptical that the large number of scientists who now believe greenhouse gases pose serious hazards are all junk scientists. It looks to me like the junk science is being done in the opposing camp (where there appears to be much more easy money for the taking).

I strongly urge you to rethink your position. What are you going to say to the world if at the next TSI peak temperatures soar to record highs, and we're ten more years behind the curve in getting CO2 emissions under control?

Global warming theory opponents seem to love to point out that the climate prediction models have many weaknesses and may be over-predicting problems. They don't consider the possibility that the models might be under-predicting the problems, and the implications of that possibility.

Note that shrinkage of the Arctic summer ice cover has been going on despite the remarkable TSI decline you point out, and that if that shrinkage has indeed stopped this year, it has stopped at by far the lowest TSI since 1970. When TSI turns up again, an ice-free summer Arctic is a very real possibility.

The more you think that climate prediction models are unreliable, the more you should worry about an ice-free Arctic. If you look at the Wikipedia article on ice ages and Milankovitch cycles, you will see that climate variation is highly non-linear and apparently quite modal. The greatest risk of global warming is that we may tip the system over into a fundamentally different mode of operation, and an ice-free Arctic has the potential to do that.

Do you have an economically realistic plan for getting the CO2 back out of the atmosphere if it turns out you are wrong?

Are you really sure the junk scientists are the majority who believe CO2 is a problem, and that it's not those who deny it?
In the above I noted that the shrinkage of Arctic sea ice might have stopped this year, based on something I had read a month or so ago. But the latest reports are that this year may set another record.


You'll have a better picture of arctic ice from a substantial time series. Look at:


There were indeed some forecasts earlier this year for new record reductions this Summer. And they're still quoted, though I don't know why. Finding these data took me all of four minutes.

You remind me of Sebastian over at CR -- you apparently can't even recognize the clear import of the references you give. The data series you reference has a very clear downtrend.

And you completely ignore the far more important issues in my main post.

I'm no great fan of Sebastian - was responding to your 9:16AM reference to reportage on the Arctic ice cap, with the idea of providing more data.

I recognize the trend it shows over the series. I intended only to show the reports of record melts are probably not going to pan out.

But to take up the larger question, ice cores and sediment cores from the ocean bottom have been used in sun cycle studies to identify and measure two activity cycles which are of far longer duration than the eleven-year cycle most often cited in news items. At the moment, all three have crested and are presumed to indicate a long period of minimal (or absent) warming effects here on earth. So don't expect much change, if any, when that shortest cycle reverts in a few years.

If I sounded dismissive, I apologize. Anytime I catch someone with good critical sense, it's a good day.
An afterthought:

The people doing work on solar effects don't question the credibility of greenhouse effects - they don't see an either/or paradigm. It's their view that both are operative, and that neither should be ignored.

My apologies for over-reaction.

I misinterpreted the intent of your "four minutes" sentence.

As someone who 30+ years ago was aware of the Milankovitch cycles and concerned that our current interglacial might be nearing its end, has been paying moderate attention to advances in the field ever since, and has some experience in modeling physical systems, I'm well aware that there are many unknowns and uncertainties, and that no one has a definitive model.

But for those very reasons I think great caution is in order. This is as much -- and from a public policy viewpoint more -- a matter of engineering than of science, and in engineering, when you don't really understand how a system works, and you know that perturbation of the system may have catastrophic consequences, you proceed with great caution.

Although the correlation between the Milankovitch cycles and the ice ages is well known, the exact mechanisms by which those cycles drive the glaciations seem hardly understood at all, and if the abruptness with which the earth transitions between glacial and interglacial states is as great as it appears, it is strong evidence that there are "tipping points" and regenerative mechanisms lurking out there whose nature we don't understand.

It's really not a good idea to mess with a system like that. A slowly varying change in conditions may have little or no effect until a tipping point threshold is crossed, causing regenerative effects to drive the system to a very different state.

The electronic analog is a circuit know as a "Schmitt trigger", which converts inputs that vary at a leisurely rate into nice, abrupt square waves.
jm - Could you possibly explain by what you mean by writing This is as much -- and from a public policy viewpoint more -- a matter of engineering than of science? I'm not following you there.

Most of your comments I will respond to with an update to the post above, because I keep wanting to post graphs and such which doesn't go in the comments well.

I like the Daily Arctic Sea Ice maps available here.

It's gotten so that I check them every day, and the best thing is that you can see the ice blowing around. It really does seem as if Arctic sea ice has less to do with temperatures than wind and currents, which makes sense. Arctic Oscillation varies apparently independently of temperature. Using that site, you can check it out for yourself. I did.

Arctic Oscillation explanation.:
Over most of the past century, the Arctic Oscillation alternated between its positive and negative phases. Starting in the 1970s, however, the oscillation has tended to stay in the positive phase, causing lower than normal arctic air pressure and higher than normal temperatures in much of the United States and northern Eurasia.
Here are graphs of its variation NOAA graph.

Regarding the assertion that this is as much or more a matter of engineering than of science, I was referring to the fact that while science is a search for truth and knowledge, engineering is a matter of getting things to work (implicitly, without catastrophic failure) regardless of the level of one's knowledge.

Duke University engineering professor Henry Petroski's book "Design Paradigms: Case Histories of Error and Judgment in Engineering" discusses a variety of examples of good and bad engineering.

The less certain one's knowledge about the behavior of a critical system element, and the greater the harm that will come from a failure, the greater the safety margins one must use.

The bridge engineers history rates as great weren't those who built their bridges most economically, but rather those whose bridges didn't fail. Overly clever attempts to economize on materials led to many bridge collapses whose costs far exceeded the savings. Of course, the fellows who designed the bridges that collapsed had stress analyses to prove they were safe -- but time would show that there were factors at play their static stress analyses had not considered, like the aerodynamic resonance phenomena that brought down the Tacoma Narrows Bridge -- one of many suspension bridge disasters that should never have occurred, because although scientific knowledge was insufficient to model that failure mode, engineers had known for more than a hundred years that it existed.

Indeed, John Roebling had addressed that failure mode consciously -- and successfully -- in his bridges back in the 19th Century by making his bridge spans much, much stiffer than static stress analysis required. Regarding this Petroski writes, "Roebling's repeated successes in suspension bridge design can all be attributed not to his copying his own successful designs, for he simply did not do that, but to his constant and explicit concern with the avoidance of failure as guiding principle in design."

When one is making suggestions on public policy, one is no longer in the realm of science -- the realm of search for truth and knowledge without regard to consequences -- one is in the realm of engineering -- suggesting how to design policies whose failure have the potential to cause vastly more harm than the collapse of a bridge.

Can there be any realm in which the paradigm of "constant and explicit concern with the avoidance of failure as guiding principle in design" is more apropos?

An even better example of this -- because as in case with climate they were heading off into the unknown -- is perhaps the Wright brothers' approach to engineering, so ably described by James Tobin in "To Conquer the Air", in which he explicitly recognizes that what made the Wrights successful was an extremely rigorous incremental development methodology in which their overriding concern was to avoid the kind of accidents that had ended the lives of so many of their predecessors.

In the case of climate, we know from the behavior in response to the Milankovitch cycles that there are at play highly non-linear and regenerative mechanisms which we do not understand. We also know that we don't really understand the behavior of the sun, cannot reliably predict variations in insolation -- and can't even reliably back-test any models of solar output cycles, because the sediment-core isotope ratio histories that are the only means we have to do that are not sufficiently reliable.

We do know that CO2 and CH4 are greenhouse gases, that greenhouse effects are potentially powerful, and that there is risk of regenerative release of greenhouse gases from the Arctic Tundra as temperatures rise.

To suggest that we don't need to reduce CO2 emissions because the observed warming trends might be due to solar output variations is contrary to the paradigm of "constant and explicit concern with the avoidance of failure as guiding principle in design".
MoM and jm,

Found a source to track arctic snow and ice conditions - National Snow and Ice Data Center.


We may get something close to last year's melt after all.
Problem is, M-o-M, Global Warming being All Our Fault is now Dogma.

And when Dogma is spurned,
All Heretics must be Burned.

(P.S. Even Courage the Cowardly Dog was Saving the Planet from Global Warming when I tuned into Cartoon Network this weekend. Don't know if the subsequent Scooby-Doo Marathon did the same, but All Children Must Be Properly Catechized...)
M-o-M, have you ever heard the second Canadian National Anthem, Northwest Passage?

Two-three hundred years ago, explorers died in droves in a quest for the Northwest Passage, that open-water route around North America that would link Europe with the riches of Asia.

The Passage exists -- through the glacier-crowned islands where Canada meets the Arctic Ocean, well above the Arctic Circle -- but was impassible, under ice most or all of the year.

Now, in the 21st Century, the Northwest Passage is opening; the dream of three hundred years that cost thousands of lives, that open-water route across the top of Canada, is finally coming true. And our reponse?


The NSIDC data is wrong.
Carl, according to your link, Goddard has recanted and provided an explanation for his error.

So he's changed his position and now says NSIDC is correct.

You're right, and I've updated the link on my site.
To Feynman's observation, I would add:

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

Leading one to grasp that GW as a theory has literally no validity. It yields only to the Texas Sharpshooter.
> will all the people who yelled for censorship and who tried to impose draconian burdens on other by government power LEARN from this experience so they won't do it the next time?


There are several qualities I've noticed about libtards which are almost uniformly present...

One of them is a sheer and utter lack of wisdom -- a form of intelligence measured not by IQ but by the all-too-uncommon "common sense".

Common sense is the ability to learn from experience. Minimally, your own, but ideally, from that of others, too:

Fools say that they learn by experience. I prefer to profit by other's experience.
- Bismarck -

I cite to you that, if you go looking for it, you will find that all the people on the Left -- almost uniformly -- lack any ability to actually learn from experience.

Most of their whining and caterwauling comes from this failure to learn.

They still believe in socialism, marxism, and communism, despite almost a century of drastic, woeful failures.

The support Public Education. 'nuff said.

They *insist* Bush is an idiot. He's outsmarted them time and again, but he's the one who is "stupid". LOLOLOL... ROTLMAO.

In summary -- No, they won't learn jack. This is the inevitable downside to civilization, which protects the stupid from their own capriciousness as it does the smart from the capriciousness of the universe.

Too Much Tiger Food.
Not Enough Tigers.
> As I wrote here once before, the most important question to ask about any decision is, "What if we are wrong?".

Equally important is "What if YOU are wrong?".

Global Cooling --
Does it not occur to you that it may well be that human activity of the last five centuries has been to offset the onset of another Ice Age?

Trust me, that would be a human catastrophe the likes of which would put the worst-imagined depictions of "global warming" to shame. Fossil evidence shows that, in at least one previous climate shift, the Thames went from wallowing hippopotomi to polar bears in less than a century.

So what happens to the world's SIX BILLION PLUS when the breadbaskets -- the Canadian Plains and the US Central West -- get their production reduced by more than half?

What happens when Florida and California, two of the largest ag states, start producing food like Pennsylvania?

What then?

WAR is "what then". Decimation after decimation of the human species (and f*** all the other species we worry so much about! "Snail Darter" -- "Snail this, mothaf***a!!" >:-/ That's what!) in a long series of wars for shrinking food resources.

Thanks, I'd like to have a better idea of what is happening before I start screwing with a system as though I had a clue.


If you don't know jack about electricity, but the lights keep blinking out, is your first technique to shove a screwdriver into the socket to see if that solves the problem? To pound the electrical circuit box at random with a hammer?

No, you learn what is going on *first*, lest you render the situation WORSE OFF than it was before.

Sure, the problem may get worse before you learn what's needed to fix it -- but you are far, far more likely to screw it up with your screwdriver pokes than it is to screw itself up without your help.
> Global warming theory opponents seem to love to point out that the climate prediction models have many weaknesses and may be over-predicting problems. They don't consider the possibility that the models might be under-predicting the problems, and the implications of that possibility.

No, you don't get it AT ALL.

They haven't made one valid prediction of any kind YET

They did not predict the current cooling trend.

They did not predict the virtually complete lack of warming in the deep ocean (the opposite, in fact).

They don't explain the steady increase in Antarctic ice cap (80%, vs. the 20% that the media reports).

The current Arctic situation is no different than many other times in the last century, since we started getting regular measurements (again, despite media hysterical pronouncements to the contrary).

Half of the idiots are talking about dryer conditions (drought, etc.), which are directly at odds with GW -- which means more heat, which means more evaporation, which means MORE RAIN -- not less.

Record cold temperatures worldwide are NOT something they predicted even 5 years ago -- And we ARE having record cold temps -- less hot days in the summer, and longer cold periods for the winter. In 2006, it snowed in Sydney at the end of November. Latitude-wise, this is like it snowing in Atlanta, GA, or Los Angeles, CA, in MAY. Yes, it's not quite the same, world weather patterns and all, but **winterlike temperatures in MAY** ought to be kicking something in your head into gear making it go "WHOA!! Wait a minute! That sounds remarkably *ODD* and out of sync with expectable observations."

Or are you just so utterly without clue, and so absolutely, mindlessly committed to the notion, that you can't grasp when it's time to re-appraise the available data and reconsider the THEORY upon which your presumptions are based?

By the data we have now, GW is sheer, unmitigated crap.
P.S. In Denver, two weeks ago, the cold temperature was so low it broke a record from all the way back in 1890. Yes, Eighteen90.

Snow in Saudi Arabia and Iraq last winter. Early, crop-destroying frosts in Chili. A long, late-ending winter, leading to record floods in the spring. Colder temps across the nation and the world.

It's all anecdotal, sure... It may allll be coincidental -- but at some point, you have to start to ask: "What is that trout doing in the milk?"

And an honest person would also ask:
If it were the other way around -- a longer summer, hotter temps -- wouldn't these same people be saying this is a sign of -- supportive of -- their GW concerns?

You, me, and all the ones reading this know it would be. So why is it that the exact opposite is not evidence against it? At least enough to make you DOUBT the assertion's validity?


> The data series you reference has a very clear downtrend.

jm. a quick comment on the above: Even a casual review of the information available would also show you that the late 70s were a peak time of cold weather (in the early 80s, Global cooling, not warming, was the Big Media Issue).

So the notion that the time-series shows a downward trend since a known peak is not what I'd call particularly indicative. It obviously encourages/demonstrates selection bias.
> It's really not a good idea to mess with a system like that.

Quite true. But that includes inaction as well as action. As I noted, perhaps the only reason for the upward trend IS human activity. Perhaps if we DO stop, we WILL enter an Ice Age.

So you can produce catastrophe just as readily by acting ignorantly and stopping as you can by acting ignorantly and not stopping. In fact, stopping generally involves a substantial reduction in economic activity, and/or a substantial redirection of our economic output towards the neutralization of it -- generally the latter is of trivial consequence in comparison to the numbers involved (i.e., CO2), but not to the finances involved (literally trillions of dollars).

So acting to stop it reduces our ability to respond to the results -- we're poorer, both in available resources but also in our ability to produce new resources.

So, by being LESS ABLE to respond once we DO understand what is going on, we HARM our ability to deal with it.

Study it more, make models until they actually DO work when applied to time-data we actually have and we can show a correllation between what the models say should happen and what actually DID happen.

THEN is the time to start futzing with things. Not one minute before.
> that there is risk of regenerative release of greenhouse gases from the Arctic Tundra as temperatures rise.

1) Assuming temperatures rise
2) Ignores the fact that there is an equally large mass of CO2 and Methane trapped in sea-shelf (esp. Arctic sea-shelf) clathrates. We need to be able to deal with these at some point, anyway, as anything could trigger those clathrates to break and release. Better to be rich and nimble and assume at some point we're going to have to deal with something like this, than to be poor trying to deal with just one possible problem.

I believe the worst thing we could do would be to focus our wealth on one narrow possibility of concern.
BTW -- your discussion of Greenhouse Gas Theory of GW ignores the fact that the expected signature isn't there -- one key thing predicted by the theory is that the upper atmosphere should be showing signs of warming.

It ain't happening, folks.

So the entire notion that so-called "greenhouse gases" drive warming is inherently defective, doesn't pass predictive muster on even the most basic level.

This also ties to the fact that the cores seem to be telling us that the rise in so-called GGs is a trailing event, not a leading event. A rise in GGs seems to time to about 500 years AFTER the substantial temperature rise, not before.

References to much of anything I've describes here or above can be found in the archives of Greenie Watch, btw. It's an excellent agregator site for counter-GW information.
> Now, in the 21st Century, the Northwest Passage is opening; the dream of three hundred years that cost thousands of lives, that open-water route across the top of Canada, is finally coming true.

Anon, this is yet another hoary lie put forth by the hysterical media and their "GW ***MUST*** be happening!!" Agenda.

Not as clear as they've been telling you

And, even if it were...

Not as unusual as they claim:
Last summer, the headlines read "First ever traversal of the Northwest Passage". This sounds very dramatic, except that it is entirely incorrect. As the BBC reported: "In 1905, Norwegian explorer Roald Amundsen became the first person to successfully navigate the Northwest Passage, in a wooden sailboat." The Northwest Passage has been navigated at least one hundred times over the last century.

According to official US Weather Bureau records (pdf) from 1922, there was open sailing very close to the North Pole that year. Anthony Watts unearthed this quote from the Weather Bureau:

"In fact, so little ice has never before been noted. The expedition all but established a record, sailing as far north as 81 degrees in ice-free water.

(The above quote is on page 3)
'nuff said.

They're a bunch of #$^%^@%#$%^ lying SONSABITCHES.


Unrelated to the above, but good. Specifically mentions the "GG signature" I mentioned earlier.
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