On Global Warming

Arguing about Global Warming is difficult. Scientific argument should be about examining hypothesis, critically reviewing data, both supporting and contradicting said hypothesis, addressing concerns (scientific concerns) of opponents in the way that satisfies them, developing scientifically irrefutable proof. I can go on.

None of this seems to be happening around Global Warming. Instead, most of the arguments, on both sides, seem to be highly politicized, emphasizing data that supports one point of view and suppressing or ignoring the data that supports the other point of view.

It resembles religious debate more than a scientific one. It comes as no surprise that several people, apparently as frustrated about this as I am, have called Global Warming a religion.

I am biased towards the skeptics in this debate, because it seems to me that falsifications, and arguments appealing to emotions rather than facts, seem to reside more on the side of Global Warming proponents. And the skeptics seem to appeal to scientific facts and proof more. Probably because they have to fight an uphill battle against the government organizations, U.N., Greenpeace and wide variety of environmental activist groups that have a lot to gain from Global Warming becoming “settled science”.

Let’s examine some of the data that makes Global Warming a controversy.

We’ll start with the interview given by Dr Phil Jones to BBC. Dr Jones is the director of the Climatic Research Unit (CRU) at the University of East Anglia (UEA). Those of you who read liberal press exclusively, have probably missed the scandal around emails from UEA, which exposed some irregular practices around handling weather data. Conservative press made a big deal out of it, and rightly so, but in most of liberal press this story, nicknamed “climategate”, hardly got a passing mention. What you need to know before we dive into dissecting the interview is that CRU data is one of main sources of information on climate change, heavily used in Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) 2007 report. We will talk more about this report later, let’s get back to Dr Jones. He is, of course, among supporters of Global Warming, so asking him questions like Do you believe in Global Warming? is about as silly as analyzing his answers to such questions. We’ll focus on questions that are far more interesting:

Q: Do you agree that according to the global temperature record used by the IPCC, the rates of global warming from 1860-1880, 1910-1940 and 1975-1998 were identical?

This is a very important question. The period 1975-1998 is flagged as the period with major increase in effects of man-made Global Warming

A: … I have also included the trend over the period 1975 to 2009, which has a very similar trend to the period 1975-1998. So, in answer to the question, the warming rates for all 4 periods are similar and not statistically significantly different from each other.

OK, so 1860-1880, 1910-1940, 1975-1998, 1975-2009 – all these periods had similar trend in global temperature change. No recent anomalies due to man-made effects. This bears repeating: no significant recent Global Warming, that would differ in trend or in rate from earlier periods. Remember “hockey stick”? It was a lie. More on that later. This is a very serious concession. Equivalence of modern trend to any previous period was not something that Global Warming proponents previously publicly acknowledged.

Q: Do you agree that from 1995 to the present there has been no statistically-significant global warming?
A: Yes, but only just. I also calculated the trend for the period 1995 to 2009. This trend (0.12C per decade) is positive, but not significant at the 95% significance level. The positive trend is quite close to the significance level.

Let’s look at this question in conjunction with the next one

Q: Do you agree that from January 2002 to the present there has been statistically significant global cooling?
A: No. This period is even shorter than 1995-2009. The trend this time is negative (-0.12C per decade), but this trend is not statistically significant.

Of course he wouldn’t agree. That’s a Do you believe in Global Warming? type of question. But note something else – his choice of words. The positive trend is “quite close to significance level”. Nothing of a kind is said about negative trend. BOTH TRENDS ARE IDENTICAL: +0.12C per decade, and -0.12C per decade, respectively. If one is close to significance level, so is the other.

Q: There is a debate over whether the Medieval Warm Period (MWP) was global or not. If it were to be conclusively shown that it was a global phenomenon, would you accept that this would undermine the premise that mean surface atmospheric temperatures during the latter part of the 20th Century were unprecedented?
A: There is much debate over whether the Medieval Warm Period was global in extent or not. The MWP is most clearly expressed in parts of North America, the North Atlantic and Europe and parts of Asia. For it to be global in extent the MWP would need to be seen clearly in more records from the tropical regions and the Southern Hemisphere. There are very few palaeoclimatic records for these latter two regions.
Of course, if the MWP was shown to be global in extent and as warm or warmer than today (based on an equivalent coverage over the NH and SH) then obviously the late-20th century warmth would not be unprecedented. On the other hand, if the MWP was global, but was less warm that today, then current warmth would be unprecedented.

This is also a big thing. Take a look at “battle of the graphs”
Battle of the Graphs
The top graph is the famous “hockey stick” – Northern Hemisphere mean temperature change graph, which has been referred to by Al Gore in his famous presentation and film. The hockey stick has since been successfully disputed and proven to be over-dramatised. The bottom graph shows the average temperature in Northern Hemisphere over same time period as the hockey stick, but according to newer research.
See the big bump around 1200? That’s the peak of MWP, which obviously could not have been caused by any man-made activities. Why is MWP not considered global? There is no data for southern hemisphere for that period. Probability that it was global is, actually, pretty high, which is why most Global Warming proponents exhibit great scientific integrity and insist that MWP was purely local. It is also interesting that all historical models built by pro-Global Warming researchers assume that MWP was not global. Why? It shows better numbers to support Global Warming, that’s why. That is not how I was taught to do science.

Q: Do you agree that natural influences could have contributed significantly to the global warming observed from 1975-1998, and, if so, please could you specify each natural influence and express its radiative forcing over the period in Watts per square metre?
A: …Natural influences (from volcanoes and the Sun) over this period could have contributed to the change over this period. Volcanic influences from the two large eruptions (El Chichon in 1982 and Pinatubo in 1991) would exert a negative influence. Solar influence was about flat over this period. Combining only these two natural influences, therefore, we might have expected some cooling over this period.

This is interesting, in that it’s simply not true. Solar activity has been increasing since 19th century, and in the period where it was actually being measured (since late 1970s), it has been increasing by 0.5% per decade.

UPDATE: I seem to have misread the article, it’s .05%, not 0.5%. Other resources show it to be 0.1%. Not flat, as Dr Jones stated, but not as dramatic as I first thought.

This one is priceless, folks:

Q: If you agree that there were similar periods of warming since 1850 to the current period, and that the MWP is under debate, what factors convince you that recent warming has been largely man-made?
A: The fact that we can’t explain the warming from the 1950s by solar and volcanic forcing – see my answer to your question D (Starik: the question above)

Did you get this? They have no explanation for it, therefore it has to be man-made. Where was the last time I heard this kind of argument? About 10 years ago, talking to a religious fanatic, who was trying to convince me that since there are things that modern science cannot explain, the only logical conclusion from that fact is that Jesus is my savior. Tell me again, is Global Warming a science or a religion?

Q: When scientists say “the debate on climate change is over”, what exactly do they mean – and what don’t they mean?
A: It would be supposition on my behalf to know whether all scientists who say the debate is over are saying that for the same reason. I don’t believe the vast majority of climate scientists think this. This is not my view. There is still much that needs to be undertaken to reduce uncertainties, not just for the future, but for the instrumental (and especially the palaeoclimatic) past as well.

This is another first. Remember all the statements we heard from politicians that “science is solid”, “debate is over”, “scientific debate has now closed”? Here is one of the top-of-the-food-chain pro-Global Warming scientists, telling you, that majority of climate scientists, including himself, do not share that opinion. The debate is not over, and the science isn’t settled.

This one is a bit lengthy, but probably most important, read carefully:

Q: Let’s talk about the e-mails now: In the e-mails you refer to a “trick” which your critics say suggests you conspired to trick the public? You also mentioned “hiding the decline” (in temperatures). Why did you say these things?
A: This remark has nothing to do with any “decline” in observed instrumental temperatures. The remark referred to a well-known observation, in a particular set of tree-ring data, that I had used in a figure to represent large-scale summer temperature changes over the last 600 years.
The phrase ‘hide the decline’ was shorthand for providing a composite representation of long-term temperature changes made up of recent instrumental data and earlier tree-ring based evidence, where it was absolutely necessary to remove the incorrect impression given by the tree rings that temperatures between about 1960 and 1999 (when the email was written) were not rising, as our instrumental data clearly showed they were.
This “divergence” is well known in the tree-ring literature and “trick” did not refer to any intention to deceive – but rather “a convenient way of achieving something”, in this case joining the earlier valid part of the tree-ring record with the recent, more reliable instrumental record.

So, this is what happened: the tree ring data, was used as a reliable source for temperature information over last 600 years. However, when the tree ring data from 1960-1999 was compared to actual instrumental measurements, the tree ring data was showing temperature as flat or declining, while the instruments were showing temperature increase. So, the tree ring data for that period was deleted and replaced with instrumental measurements.

OK, is it just me, or do you also get a WTF moment, reading this? If the tree ring data just flat contradicts the instrumental measurements for the same period, what makes us believe the tree ring data for previous 600 years was correct? How do we know there isn’t the same contradiction there? Or, maybe, the problem is with the instrumental measurements and the tree ring data is correct? There are serious reasons to doubt the instrumental measurements.
Ross McKitrick, University of Guelph, Canada:

We concluded, with overwhelming statistical significance, that the IPCC’s climate data are contaminated with surface effects from industrialisation and data quality problems. These add up to a large warming bias.

Take a look at this map. What you see here are the weather stations in the US. These are the stations that provide data on temperatures, later used by the CRU, and IPCC. Blue color marks stations with measurement error of less than one degree. Orange marks stations with measurement error greater than 2 degrees. What color dominates this map? Take a look at the two photos at the bottom of the page, and compare the data trend from correctly placed station, and from a station placed right above the parking lot. Can you guess which one is blue, and which one is orange? More about that in Segment 7 of John Coleman’s Meltdown documentary:

Maybe, we should believe the tree rings that Dr Jones so eagerly discarded to “hide the decline” more than his instrumental measurements?
There’s more. Here’s Dr. Christy, a climatologist, working for NASA, explaining that the surface temperature dataset is not consistent with the data measured from satellites since 1970s, as well as a reference to Argos buoys program detecting cooling of the ocean water temperatures, inconsistent with global warming predictions:

Now let’s talk about our “heroes”, the Nobel Peace Prize recipients for their efforts to build up and disseminate greater knowledge about man-made climate change, and to lay the foundations for the measures that are needed to counteract such change, Al Gore and the IPCC:

I already discussed the “hockey stick” lie. Unfortunately, it’s not the only thing that’s wrong with their “settled science”.

Remember this photo:


Al Gore used it to tell a touching story of polar bears plight in global warming, remember?
It’s a lie. Here’s the real story behind this photo:

And here’s what actually is happening to polar bears – their population “may now be near historic highs

Oh, and speaking of polar, remember the statements about Arctic ice melting, and Antarctic ice in danger as well? Also a lie. Both Arctic and Antarctic ice covers are actually growing.

Oh, and speaking of ice, remember the Himalayan glacier that is supposed to melt by 2035? How about by 2350 instead? Or maybe, not at all?

The most glaring mistake in the 2007 report is the claim that Himalayan glaciers could disappear by 2035, several IPCC authors say. That claim wasn’t based on any peer-reviewed scientific paper, but on a decade-old interview given by an Indian glacier expert. Some within the IPCC suggest the mistake may be a typo traced back to a 1996 U.N.-sponsored study—which also wasn’t peer-reviewed—that said the glaciers would disappear by 2350.

Wait, the IPCC’s report, supposedly all peer-reviewed and representing most solid climate science had claims based on an interview that mixed up dates? Yep. And not just that.

The interview was given by Dr Syed Hasnain, and referred only to glaciers in central and eastern Himalayas. Dr Hasnain has never repeated this claim in a peer-reviewed publication, and since then has commented that his statement was “speculative”. IPCC repeated the original claim, and expanded it to cover entire Himalayan glacier. When a leading Indian glacier expert, Dr Raina, spoke up about absurdity of this date, chairman of IPCC Dr Pachauri (he’s the guy who stood next to Al Gore, receiving the Nobel Prize on behalf of IPCC) dismissed him, and called his statements “voodoo science”. It got to the point that India will now basically ignore IPCC and establishes its own organization to monitor “global warming” effects.
And what is, one may ask, Dr Pachauri’s scientific background that allows him to determine what is or isn’t real science? He has a PhD degree in … Industrial Engineering and Economics … Apparently this qualifies someone to become chairman of U.N. climate research body. That makes me trust IPPCC’s credibility so much more.

There’s more:

One of the most widely quoted and most alarmist passages in the main 2007 report was a warning that, by 2020, global warming could reduce crop yields in some countries in Africa by 50 per cent. Dr Pachauri not only allowed this claim to be included in the short Synthesis Report, of which he was co-editor, but has publicly repeated it many times since.
The origin of this claim was a report written for a Canadian advocacy group by Ali Agoumi, a Moroccan academic who draws part of his current income from advising on how to make applications for “carbon credits”. As his primary sources he cited reports for three North African governments. But none of these remotely supported what he wrote. The nearest any got to providing evidence for his claim was one for the Moroccan government, which said that in serious drought years, cereal yields might be reduced by 50 per cent. The report for the Algerian government, on the other hand, predicted that, on current projections, “agricultural production will more than double by 2020

Watch this interview with Prof Robert Watson, Chief Scientist for the department of the Environment in the U.K., who preceeded Dr Pachauri as chairman of the IPCC. Do you find him reassuring and believable? He begins by saying “the evidence is absolutely solid” and then cannot refer to one bit of untainted evidence:

Notice a pattern yet? IPCC cherry-picked and presented as science non-peer-reviewed speculative opinions, generalizing them even further. In fact, the original drafts of the IPCC report were so bad that one of the reviewers, Dr Andrew Lacis of the NASA Goddard Institute (who was at the time, and maybe still is, pro-Global Warming) had this to say:

There is no scientific merit to be found in the Executive Summary. The presentation sounds like something put together by Greenpeace activists and their legal department. The points being made are made arbitrarily with legal sounding caveats without having established any foundation or basis in fact. The Executive Summary seems to be a political statement that is only designed to annoy greenhouse skeptics. Wasn’t the IPCC Assessment Report intended to be a scientific document that would merit solid backing from the climate science community – instead of forcing many climate scientists into having to agree with greenhouse skeptic criticisms that this is indeed a report with a clear and obvious political agenda. Attribution can not happen until understanding has been clearly demonstrated. Once the facts of climate change have been established and understood, attribution will become self-evident to all. The Executive Summary as it stands is beyond redemption and should simply be deleted.

There’s an interesting documentary by John Coleman, one of the founders of the Weather Channel – Global Warming: The Other Side, and Global Warming: Meltdown. The documentaries are pretty long. If you aren’t willing to spend the time, watch at least Segment 3 (debunking Al Gore’s claims):

and Segment 4, part 1 (explains ridiculous manipulations with weather station data to show more warming: 6000 measurement points for “baseline” were compared with 1500 measurement points, derived by systematic removal of data from colder areas):

Over the past few months I had several half-conversations, half-arguments with my pro-Global Warming friends, some in person, some by email, some in blog comments, of which I want to address the following claims:

  • Frequency and severity of both tornadoes and hurricanes has risen sharply since the 50s.

Don’t know about hurricanes, but in regard to tornadoes this is simply not true. Even IPCC doesn’t believe this to be true and states in their report: There is insufficient evidence to determine whether trends exist in small scale phenomena such as tornadoes, hail, lighting, and dust storms. In fact, if we look at statistics for violent tornadoes in the US, they appear to be decreasing since 1950s.

  • Little Ice Age was caused by a volcanic eruption (and so was the winter of 1812).

The cause of Little Ice Age has not been established. Volcanic eruptions are one of the hypotheses. Other suspects – lows in solar radiation and ocean current changes. There’s even a theory that Little Ice Age was caused by the decrease in the population as a result of Black Death, and subsequent forestation of large parts of European farmlands. I am surprised that my friends didn’t pick this over volcanic activity. Claiming that Little Ice Age was man-made global cooling would be very much in line with their beliefs. Here’s where it gets funny. I made a mistake in our conversation, and referred to winters of 1812 and 1941 as examples of extreme weather fluctuations that clearly weren’t man-made.My friends chose to ignore the winter of 1941 and attributed winter of 1812 to volcanic activity. With no reference to any supporting evidence, of course. I read up on it a little, and found no evidence that the winter of 1812 was actually any colder than usual :). The only place where it apparently was cold, was in the memoirs of retreating French soldiers, who were not ready for any Russian winter, cold or not. I do not want to think of my friends as people who would invent evidence, but it looks like they were seriously misled in this case.

  • I lack even basic understanding of how the weather works.

This was a response to my many references to colder weather last couple of winters in the context of my anti-Global Warming comments. I have responded to that several times, but in the interest of putting everything in one entry, here it is. Folks, you can’t have it both ways. If colder winters are not evidence against Global Warming, then warmer winters in exact same area are not evidence for it, either. And if winters are supposed to be colder in Global Warming (makes no sense, but I’m willing to humor it), then warmer winters in exact same area are evidence against global warming. Consider my references to colder weather as “payback” for all the references to warmer weather done by pro-Global Warming politicians. Watch this. If you choose to whine that weather is not climate and it’s stupid to use weather as evidence, and if you have an ounce of integrity left, call your elected representatives and tell them how stupid you consider them to be. Better yet, vote them out. 2010 sounds like a good year to do it. And cancel your subscriptions to liberal newspapers too, because obviously they have no idea what they are writing about, either.

  • And what’s your stake in this anyway? You don’t own a coal-fired power plant, right?

Apart from firmly believing that government intervention in business (which is what the outcome of all Global Warming discussions is – government power-grab for more regulation) is bad, this stuff is going to negatively affect me personally. And if you live in US, it will affect you too. Mostly negatively. Here’s just one example.

In addition to references in the post, I want to give h/t to several sites, on whose posts I built some of my analysis, and without whose material and pointers this post would not be written:
Powerline
Ace of Spades HQ
Bayou Renaissance Man
The Foundry

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Published in: on March 7, 2010 at 6:47 am  Comments (5)  

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  1. Some quick nit picking…

    Battle of the graphs: They aren’t looking at the same thing. One reportedly shows the northern hemisphere. The other is labled EUROPE. Not the same thing – you are arguing against a total set by cherry picking a subset.

    Solar Activity: You claim a 0.5% annual increase since 1850. Interesting as when I look it up, I find a 0.1% variance, and we are currently going into a minimum (as of 2004). Also, for the past 50 years, solar brightness at the surface has dropped 25%. I wonder what happens to the poor little photons -oh, I know! IF they are being absorbed – that would translate to heat energy (basic thermogoddamics…)

    As for colder winters, yes we can have it both ways. If the air is warmer between the tropics then the air will be less dense. That means the pressure gradient between the poles and the equator will be greater, which will cause two things to happen. Cold denser air will slide farther south. When it gets there, it will run into much more humid air.

    Larger ice pack….. Then why is the Northwest passage now considered navigable most of the year? The current complications for the Northwest passage are legal, not frozen….

    1812 – Also interesting. It was noted to be the hardest and longest winters in New England. Not a lot of whinging French soldiers there.

    1960′s tree rings: Well, back in 1800, there is this moth that liked to hang out on English trees. It comes in two colors – white wings, or black wings. In 1800, there were observed to be 95% or so white, with less then 5% black. The white ones were harder for birds to see. The black ones were easier to see and so they got eaten. Flash forward to the 1960′s. The predominant color was black. The black ones were harder to see – so wtf?? Coal. The trees were coated with coal dust. Which, as you may recall, is black. In the 1960′s, London was getting hit with killer smogs from all the coal smoke. As I recall from the articles of the time, they had been ocurring, but the smogs became very devestating in the 1960′s. So, I wonder what grows better? A slightly cooler, non-sooted tree, or a slightly warmer, totally sooted tree?

    I’ll stop here as it’s all I have time for.

    • Hi Tom, and welcome!
      I will respond to your comments, though I have to admit to being somewhat disappointed that you have provided no references to substantiate your claims. Thus, you’re forcing me to do both my job, and yours: first I have to find references that support my argument, and now I have to find references that support yours, and then dispute them. This strikes me as somewhat disrespectful of my time, implying that your time is somehow more valuable than mine. Of course, to you, it would be :)

      Anyway, let’s get into it:

      Battle of the graphs. Now, answer me this: given that main landmasses in northern hemisphere, where the data comes from are Europe, Asia, and North America, given that Europe is showing about .7C temperature increase from 1000 AD to 1200 AD, looking at the graph, given that Dr Jones concedes that “MWP is most clearly expressed in parts of North America, the North Atlantic and Europe and parts of Asia” (note that he doesn’t say that it’s not expressed in all of northern hemisphere, he just points out where it’s most clearly expressed – do you think that if there were regions where he had proof of opposite tendency, he would have mentioned it?) – so, given a huge rise of temperature in Europe and same or lesser rise of temperature pretty much everywhere else in Northern hemisphere, how do you explain about -.1 drop in temperature in 1200AD shown on “hockey stick” graph?

      “Solar Activity: You claim a 0.5% annual increase since 1850.”
      I make no such claim. Here’s what I said: “Solar activity has been increasing since 19th century, and in the period where it was actually being measured (since late 1970s), it has been increasing by 0.5% per decade.” Where in that statement do you see a claim of annual 0.5% increase??? Please, please, please, at least read the points you are disputing.

      “As for colder winters, yes we can have it both ways.”
      You can have it both ways in different regions. You cannot have it both ways in the same region, and this is what I said: “If colder winters are not evidence against Global Warming, then warmer winters in exact same area are not evidence for it, either.” If we truly have an average global temperature increase at catastrophic rate, we should see a trend in local temperatures of most locales. What we see instead is more consistent with year-to-year fluctuations around stable or slowly changing local average.

      Arctic Ice.
      What we see is larger fluctuations in how much ice melts in the summer, compensated by how much freezes again in winther. It should be pretty clear from the graphs I referred to. As for navigability, leaving aside the fact that it was only attempted in the summer, so far it seems to be more wishful thinking:”An expedition in May 2008 reported that the passage was not yet continuously navigable even by an icebreaker and not yet ice-free”.

      1812. I made a foolish assumption that a reference to winters of 1812 and 1941 in the same sentence would make it clear to anyone that I was referring to Russian winter. My apologies. Are you stating that there was a harsh winter in New England in 1812, and it was caused by volcanic eruption? Which eruption caused it? Is it even relevant to this discussion? (I only included this to address a point in previous conversation, nothing in my arguments is really based on this)

      Tree rings: Are you suggesting that all the tree ring data that CRU edited came from English trees only? CRU used tree data from every region in the world where they could get it, there’s a specific reference in the interview (read the full text) to a tree in Siberia that some of the data came from. There are also allegations that CRU actually cherry-picked the tree data, and eliminated from the data set the trees that didn’t show the trend that they were looking to prove. I fail to see your “coal on trees in England” explanation (unsubstantiated, I might add), adresses a discrepancy between instrumental measurements and a GLOBAL tree ring data set.

  2. You wrote:
    I will respond to your comments, though I have to admit to being somewhat disappointed that you have provided no references to substantiate your claims. Thus, you’re forcing me to do both my job, and yours: first I have to find references that support my argument, and now I have to find references that support yours, and then dispute them. This strikes me as somewhat disrespectful of my time, implying that your time is somehow more valuable than mine. Of course, to you, it would be
    No disrespect intended. I get yelled out when I do cite, and only occasionally yelled out for not citing. When all of “you” decide which way ya’ll want me to go, I will be more consistent. With respect, you are not terribly consistent about it either.
    Anyway, let’s get into it:
    Battle of the graphs. Your question is irrelevant. The graph you are using clearly states EUROPE. Any statement regarding the rest of the world based on that graph is meaningless, as by definition the rest of the world is NOT Europe. If people are making statements about elsewhere, then that too needs citation. I don’t consider interviews relevant citations. I am interested in the science, not someone’s abilities regarding public speaking or thinking on the fly. At http://web.utk.edu/~grissino/images/recon.gif, you can find a tree ring timeline for New Mexico. It doesn’t match the graph for Europe.
    “Solar Activity:
    My apologies for typing “annual” instead of “decadal”. Either way, rate of change has been 0.1% variance. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Solar_variation
    Nice sidestep on falling illumination and the current minimum.
    You wrote: “As for colder winters, yes we can have it both ways.”
    You can have it both ways in different regions. You cannot have it both ways in the same region, and this is what I said: “If colder winters are not evidence against Global Warming, then warmer winters in exact same area are not evidence for it, either.” If we truly have an average global temperature increase at catastrophic rate, we should see a trend in local temperatures of most locales. What we see instead is more consistent with year-to-year fluctuations around stable or slowly changing local average.

    Incorrect. This planet has bounced between being an Iceball and a no water sauna. This is the result of the fact of weather is the result of the system trying to balance out all of the inequalities. A real read of the articles has been predicting WILDER weather swings. Not smooth ones. This is well understood by cyberneticists (go look up Gregory Bateson). Nor have we reached “catastrophic”.
    Arctic Ice.
    You wrote: wishful thinking:”An expedition in May 2008 reported that the passage was not yet continuously navigable even by an icebreaker and not yet ice-free”.
    http://www.cnn.com/2009/TECH/science/08/24/northwestpassage.august/index.html
    http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/6995999.stm from 2007. Note that this is a 10 year trend. That’s climatology
    http://www.canada.com/topics/news/national/story.html?id=66e11c80-9593-4ea2-a1e5-10afcbc87d7d
    dated 2008. We will have to wait and see for 2009.

    Regarding Russian winters, you made it sound regional. It was part of a larger cooling trend as noted by those living in New England at the time.
    You wrote: Are you suggesting that all the tree ring data that CRU edited came from English trees only? CRU used tree data from every region in the world where they could get it…
    Not at all. However, I bet they standardize their methodology on English trees.
    You wrote: I fail to see your “coal on trees in England” explanation (unsubstantiated, I might add), adresses a discrepancy between instrumental measurements and a GLOBAL tree ring data set.
    In point of fact, if English trees can be so impacted by local environmental conditions, one has to wonder about how exact are the other tree rings? I don’t know Russian or Chinese tree histories all that well. I do know a little something about English and North American histories. As for unsubstantiated, for moths see http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Peppered_moth_evolution, and for how bad it was in England see http://hubpages.com/hub/Th-London-Smog-of-1952. Given that China had to shut down industries and severely limit vehicles during their Olympic games because of air pollution, someone is going have to explain when and where I can trust any tree ring date for the latter half of the 20th century. To make it plainer – it isn’t just English trees we should be wondering about.
    You wrote:
    “There are also allegations”
    I suggest you read Structure of Scientific Revolutions. Standard for paradigm shifts is first you attack the measurements. Then you personally attack the offending scientist/s. I am not interested in hearing about allegations. Either have a fact, or leave it alone. There are allegations about a certain grassy knoll, despite at least 3 different studies showing nothing happened there (Failure Analysis comes readily to mind), and the shots Oswald made have been reproduced. I see no semantic difference between 17th century accusations of witchcraft and modern assertions about conspiracies. The date on tree rings are available to all, and if someone has something to say, they can damn well do it. In point of fact, in science one is not allowed to say “no”. One is supposed to demonstrate that something else is happening. And demonstrate it well.
    One of the problems with the conversation is the time scale. You mentioned 1812 and 1941 as specific examples. That’s good meteorology, it’s lousy climatology. Cybernetics/feedback loops would lead us to predict that year to year, things will swing. For climatology, the question becomes do the events fit into a larger picture/pattern overall. The Pacific Ocean has a 30 year heating trend, and a 30 year cooling trend. We are now in the beginning of the cooling cycle. The question becomes will this cooling cycle be as deep as previous ones, or shallower because of atmospheric heating? Citation as requested: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Pacific_decadal_oscillation
    As for volcanic eruptions and weather, that has been understood for a long time, and nothing you have stated so far substantiates any questioning of that. You requested citations – I didn’t see any that would obviate the relationship between sulfur dioxide release and weather.

    • Thank you for the comment, Tom. Let’s discuss.

      “No disrespect intended. I get yelled out when I do cite, and only occasionally yelled out for not citing. When all of “you” decide which way ya’ll want me to go, I will be more consistent. With respect, you are not terribly consistent about it either.”
      Well, this blog is just me, I don’t know who these “you” would be. I don’t weigh nearly enough to be referred to in plural, and as for my split personalities, we had a quick discussion and decided that all of me do want references.

      “Battle of the graphs. Your question is irrelevant. The graph you are using clearly states EUROPE. Any statement regarding the rest of the world based on that graph is meaningless, as by definition the rest of the world is NOT Europe. ”

      My question about the graphs is relevant. First of all, you are inaccurate: we’re are not talking about rest of the world in the “battle of the graphs”, just the Northern Hemisphere. Let’s consider: We have three large territories in Northern Hemisphere (Europe, Asia, North America), from which we have rough historic temperature data. One of them had a 0.7C temperature increase, two others were either flat or also had an increase, which is pretty clearly implied from what Dr Jones said. This means that the top graph should have an increase around that time. It shows a decrease. Your own link for New Mexico shows an increase around 1200AD – you’re hoist by your own petard, Sir! :) And if you still insist on apples-to-apples comparison, take a look here: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/File:1000_Year_Temperature_Comparison.png. Compare the dark blue and the red lines on the graph. The dark blue is older data that was used in IPCC and Al Gore’s “hockey stick”. The red is newer data. Notice how the older graph is showing the temperature almost flat, very small fluctuations, and the newer data shows very significant climate changes. This is the point: we’ve had significant climate change in very recent history (geologically it’s pretty much just yesterday) that were clearly not man-made.

      “My apologies for typing “annual” instead of “decadal”. Either way, rate of change has been 0.1% variance.”

      Apologies accepted, and offered in turn. I read .05 as 0.5 in the NASA article in my reference:
      “The accurate long-term dataset, therefore, shows a significant positive trend (.05 percent per decade) in TSI between the solar minima of solar cycles 21 to 23 (1978 to present).”
      I’ve put an update into the post.

      “This planet has bounced between being an Iceball and a no water sauna. This is the result of the fact of weather is the result of the system trying to balance out all of the inequalities. A real read of the articles has been predicting WILDER weather swings. Not smooth ones.”

      Show me the articles by climatologists from 5-10 years ago that have been predicting wilder weather swings. What I saw was pretty consistent use of warmer winters as “evidence” of Global Warming, and predictions that they will get even warmer. The articles with wider weather swings “predictions” started to appear about 2 years ago, when the winters actually started to get colder. That’s Monday morning quarterbacking, and attempts to keep their sinking ship afloat, not predictions.

      Arctic Ice.
      You link to three articles – from 2007, 2008, and 2009. It’s actually quite an interesting illustration of my point, how the 2007 (which was the year with smallest ice cap) article says that “The most direct shipping route from Europe to Asia is fully clear of ice”, the 2008 (when the ice cap started to recover) article says “A modest recovery of the Arctic ice cover had been predicted for this summer after a cool winter, but accelerating ice loss this month has increased the chance that 2008’s melt could come close to last year’s.” and “the southern route of the passage is “not yet open water” and that “lots of ice” remains in the Larsen Sound area”, and finally the 2009 (continued re-growth of the ice cap) article says “Early predictions that 2009 would be another big melt are being proven wrong. Ice conditions have been heavier this summer than they were in 2007 and 2008.”

      “Regarding Russian winters, you made it sound regional.”
      Of course I make it sound regional. The argument was about regional weather fluctuations as “evidence” of Global Warming. What caused the Russian winter of 1941? Exhaust from tank engines?

      “However, I bet they standardize their methodology on English trees.”
      So, they standardized the methodology, noticed that English trees have data tainted by coal residue, and made it a part of methodology to discard all tree data from that period, whether it was tainted or not? How does that make any sense?

      Also, you write about soot. 50s and early 60s have seen lots of regulations in that area, and what we’re looking at now is mostly CO2, not soot. That’s consistent with what IPCC is reporting – according to them, main danger is CO2. While soot on the trees (on leaves, not on bark, btw) would, indeed, lead to thinner tree rings, soot on leaves only exists in the years when soot is thrown into the air in the vicinity of the trees. So, the trees might have shown smaller rings for some time in 50s and 60s. In the later years, when CO2 was the factor, rather than soot, we should see the opposite effect – CO2 is what trees “eat”. More CO2 – more “food”, therefore larger rings even in colder weather. So, why do the tree rings show a cooling trend throughout 1960-1999? Also, the older trees are typically found farther from industrial regions, where they are less exposed to soot, even in parts of the world where the regulations on air pollution are less strict.

      “I am not interested in hearing about allegations. Either have a fact, or leave it alone.”
      That’s fine. This is the reason why I also didn’t mention these allegations in the post itself.

  3. My apologies. I checked back to your blog wondering why no response, only to discover my comment wasn’t posted.
    Battle of the Graphs…..
    Look at that graph again. It also shows TWO DIPS more than a decade long. The MWP per your graph starts about 1000 and ends about 1400. The graph I cited shows a very pronounced serration. The EUROPE graph is continuous for four hundred years. The New Mexico graph has its highest peak in 600. In 900, it has its 7th strongest dip, while Europe was “at average”. The graphs in fact do not match. Going by eyeball, the New Mexico Graph has less than 1/2 the area covered by the Europe Graph.
    Not only that, but the site you gave clearly states “though it is still disputed whether these were truly global or only regional events.” What was that about petards??
    Europe is NOT North America nor Asia, nor Africa (oh yes, a good chunk of Africa is in the Northern Hemisphere – check it out!), the India subcontinent and Indonesia. At this point we cannot determine whether it was EUROPE only, such as a shift in the Gulf Current, or something else. If you are going to insist on citations, you are going to need to use them properly. Things labeled Europe may only be used for Europe. Things labeled thingamajiggies belong in a thermogoddamics discussion.
    Leaves only?? Wow – and all those pictures on the moths show them on the BARK!!!!!
    http://img.photobucket.com/albums/v497/crowskyler/animania/peppered_moth3.jpg
    http://www.genetologisch-onderzoek.nl/wp-content/image_upload/moths3.jpg
    http://2.bp.blogspot.com/_sEANHwQJN-4/RqFL6U61YLI/AAAAAAAAA1E/v8Tn-L88i_o/s400/Peppered+moths.jpg
    Maybe they avoid leaves because they know something?
    http://www.birdguides.com/i/articles/001665/PepperedMoths(ChrisManley)lowres.jpg
    Think they might stand out just a bit against a green background?? Take a good look at the bark shots – notice that white stuff that isn’t a moth? That is what the moth uses as back ground for camouflage.
    As for tree ring divergence in the modern age, see http://scienceblogs.com/pharyngula/2009/12/why_climatologists_used_the_tr.php. Kindly note that this is for trees in Minnesota in particular, and high latitude trees in general.
    Please also note that the heat island effect is well understood and accounted for in terms of thermometer reading.
    From about 10 years ago; http://www.newscientist.com/article/mg16722564.400-is-weather-getting-wilder.html. Kindly note that wilder weather and global warming go hand in hand. There were predictions about that prior to 2000. This is from 1995; http://news.google.com/newspapers?nid=1454&dat=19950604&id=uKwsAAAAIBAJ&sjid=DxUEAAAAIBAJ&pg=5818,1315190.
    Where are your citations for large volcanoes not causing climatic changes? Where are your citations that tree rings should be trusted from 1960 on?


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