News Roundup September 13, 2007
Antarctic ice grows to record levels & Over 500 scientists published studies countering global warming fears
By EPW Blog
Saturday, August 4, 2007
Antarctic ice grows to record levels
(By Meteorologist Joe D'Aleo)
Excerpt: While the news focus has been on the lowest ice extent since satellite monitoring began in 1979 for the Arctic, the Southern Hemisphere (Antarctica) has quietly set a new record for most ice extent since 1979. This can be seen on this graphic from this University of Illinois site The Cryosphere Today, which updated snow and ice extent for both hemispheres daily. The Southern Hemispheric areal coverage is the highest in the satellite record, just beating out 1995, 2001, 2005 and 2006. Since 1979, the trend has been up for the total Antarctic ice extent. While the Antarctic Peninsula area has warmed in recent years and ice near it diminished during the Southern Hemisphere summer, the interior of Antarctica has been colder and ice elsewhere has been more extensive and longer lasting, which explains the increase in total extent. This dichotomy was shown in this World Climate Report blog posted recently with a similar tale told in this paper by Ohio State Researcher David Bromwich, who agreed "It's hard to see a global warming signal from the mainland of Antarctica right now". Indeed, according the NASA GISS data, the South Pole winter (June/July/August) has cooled about 1 degree F since 1957 and the coldest year was 2004. This winter has been an especially harsh one in the Southern Hemisphere with cold and snow records set in Australia, South America and Africa. We will have recap on this hard winter shortly.
Former Harvard Physcist Lubos Motl Weight in on Antarctic Ice
Excerpt: Satellites began to measure the Earth's cryosphere in 1979. Because of a warm summer, the Northern Hemisphere sea ice area has reached new historic lows in 2007. Around August 28th, the new minimum of 2.99 million squared kilometers of sea ice easily surpassed the previous record of 4.01 million squared kilometers set in 2005. These numbers available at the web page of Dr William Chapman and his team at University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign were widely publicized. Some analysts have speculated that the new record could be evidence of global warming. But is it? Even though it may sound very complicated, it turns out that the Earth is round. At the global scale, there is not one polar region but, in fact, two. There is also sea ice on the Southern Hemisphere. It turns out that the Antarctic sea ice area reached 16.2 million squared kilometers in 2007 - a new absolute record high since the measurements started in 1979: see this graph. During the year, the Southern Hemisphere sea ice area fluctuates between 2 and 16 million squared kilometers or so while the Northern Hemisphere sea ice area fluctuates approximately between 3 and 14 million squared kilometers. The climate models predict warming in Antarctica and they are increasingly inconsistent with the observations.
Analysis finds over 500 scientists published studies countering global warming fears
Excerpt: Challenge to Scientific Consensus on Global Warming: Analysis Finds Hundreds of Scientists Have Published Evidence Countering Man-Made Global Warming Fears - A new analysis of peer-reviewed literature reveals that more than 500 scientists have published evidence refuting at least one element of current man-made global warming scares. More than 300 of the scientists found evidence that 1) a natural moderate 1,500-year climate cycle has produced more than a dozen global warmings similar to ours since the last Ice Age and/or that 2) our Modern Warming is linked strongly to variations in the sun's irradiance.
"This data and the list of scientists make a mockery of recent claims that a scientific consensus blames humans as the primary cause of global temperature increases since 1850," said Hudson Institute Senior Fellow Dennis Avery. Other researchers found evidence that 3) sea levels are failing to rise importantly; 4) that our storms and droughts are becoming fewer and milder with this warming as they did during previous global warmings; 5) that human deaths will be reduced with warming because cold kills twice as many people as heat; and 6) that corals, trees, birds, mammals, and butterflies are adapting well to the routine reality of changing climate. Despite being published in such journals such as Science, Nature and Geophysical Review Letters, these scientists have gotten little media attention. "Not all of these researchers would describe themselves as global warming skeptics," said Avery, "but the evidence in their studies is there for all to see."
"We've had a Greenhouse Theory with no evidence to support it-except a moderate warming turned into a scare by computer models whose results have never been verified with real-world events," said co-author Singer. "On the other hand, we have compelling evidence of a real-world climate cycle averaging 1470 years (plus or minus 500) running through the last million years of history. The climate cycle has above all been moderate, and the trees, bears, birds, and humans have quietly adapted." "Two thousand years of published human histories say that the warm periods were good for people," says Avery. "It was the harsh, unstable Dark Ages and Little Ice Age that brought bigger storms, untimely frost, widespread famine and plagues of disease."
"There may have been a consensus of guesses among climate model-builders," says Singer. "However, the models only reflect the warming, not its cause." He noted that about 70 percent of the earth's post-1850 warming came before 1940, and thus was probably not caused by human-emitted greenhouse gases. The net post-1940 warming totals only a tiny 0.2 degrees C.
Time Magazine calls Model T one of the 'worst cars of all time' due to negative environmental impact
(From current issue September 17, 2007)
Excerpt: 1909 Ford Model T - Uh-oh. Here comes trouble. Let's stipulate that the Model T did everything that the history books say: It put America on wheels, supercharged the nation's economy and transformed the landscape in ways unimagined when the first Tin Lizzy rolled out of the factory. Well, that's just the problem, isn't it? The Model T -- whose mass production technique was the work of engineer William C. Klann, who had visited a slaughterhouse's "disassembly line" -- conferred to Americans the notion of automobility as something akin to natural law, a right endowed by our Creator. A century later, the consequences of putting every living soul on gas-powered wheels are piling up, from the air over our cities to the sand under our soldiers' boots. And by the way, with its blacksmithed body panels and crude instruments, the Model T was a piece of junk, the Yugo of its day.
[Note: It appears Time Mag. is joining the growing environmental chorus to lament the advancements of the 20th Century. [ Also See 2002 article: Friends of the Earth's spokesman Fred Edwards believes that economic growth and development were earth-friendly only until 1900. "We are living off our natural capital. It was okay when growth was on such a slow scale, but look at what has happened in the last 100 years." - Comments made during 2002 Earth Summit in Johannesburg, South Africa
Surprisingly Skeptical Global Warming Article at New York Times
Excerpt: Whether satirical in nature or not, John Tierney's "'Feel Good' vs. 'Do Good' on Climate" should be must-reading for liberals around the country who need a little sanity from a source they trust to offset the alarmism they're receiving from other outlets they also hold in undeserved esteem (h/t Glenn Reynolds, emphasis added throughout): After looking at one too many projections of global-warming disasters - computer graphics of coasts swamped by rising seas, mounting death tolls from heat waves - I was ready for a reality check. Instead of imagining a warmer planet, I traveled to a place that has already felt the heat, accompanied by Bjorn Lomborg, the Danish political scientist and scourge of environmentalist orthodoxy.Methinks soon-to-be-Dr. Al Gore is ready for a similar reality check.
Yet another global warming myth debunked: Global warming does not increase Variability
Excerpt: "This investigation, carried out for a low (Basel) and a high (Saentis) elevation site in Switzerland, has shown that contrary to what is commonly hypothesized climate variability does not necessarily increase as climate warms. Indeed, it has been shown that the variance of temperature has actually decreased in Switzerland since the 1960s and 1970s at a time when mean temperatures have risen considerably. Nevertheless, these findings are consistent with the temperature analysis carried out by Michaels et al. (1998) [that would be usn's -eds.] where their results also do not support the hypothesis that temperatures have become more variable as global temperatures have increased during the 20th century."
Meteorologist Craig James explains Earth's Temperature Regulator
Excerpt: It seems to me as if there hasn't really been much attention given to the fact that CO2 increases occur AFTER the temperature begins rising and therefore cannot be the initial cause of global warming. Even the most vocal proponents of anthropogenic global warming (AGW) acknowledge this fact. The web site Real Climate states:From studying all the available data (not just ice cores), the probable sequence of events at a termination goes something like this. Some (currently unknown) process causes Antarctica and the surrounding ocean to warm. This process also causes CO2 to start rising, about 800 years later.
Then CO2 further warms the whole planet, because of its heat-trapping properties. This leads to even further CO2 release.They are well aware that CO2 does not cause the initial warming but they say it does amplify the warming once underway. The interesting thing to me though is what causes the warming to stop, even though CO2 is still RISING? Take a look at this chart from the Vostok ice core record over the last 460,000 years. The second chart is a close up of the last 18,000 years (since the last glacial maximum). The third chart is of the last 200 years, encompassing the industrial revolution. Click on the charts for full screen versions.
The charts were all taken from this web page. (Sorry for the way the charts are spaced on this page, the blog editor does not handle graphics well). Notice on all three charts the recent rapid rise in CO2 on the right hand side of the chart WITHOUT an equivalent rise in the temperature. There was a rise in temperature but you would expect it to be more if the response was linear. This seems to be good evidence that the temperature response to rising CO2 levels is logarithmic, not linear. A subsequent doubling of CO2 concentrations in the atmosphere will not produce the amount of temperature increase the first doubling did. But what is even more interesting to me can be seen on the first chart going back 460,000 years. There are five warm periods, or interglacials, on the chart. The current one has lasted the longest. Every time the temperature has warmed to more than 2 degrees Celcius above the mid 20th century benchmark (the 0 degree line) for a significant time, cooling followed.
It appears that if the +2C threshold is exceeded for some period of time, a new glacial, or cooling, phase follows. According to the authors of the web site where I got the chart: A linear trend line fitted to the temperature data would indicate that the critical +2C level would be reached in about 40 years. But we don't know that the trend is linear. I think it is logarithmic, not linear or exponential as the authors suggest, meaning it will take much longer than 40 years to reach the +2C threshold. But once it reaches that threshold, what makes the temperature start to fall again, especially if CO2 levels are still rising? Does the earth have a built in temperature regulator?
Does melting of the Arctic ice slow down the thermohaline circulation enough to initiate a new ice age? Or is the "iris effect" real as described in this article? Whatever it is, there certainly seems to evidence from the Vostok ice core, which the AGW people accept, that the Earth will again regulate itself to prevent any runaway global warming.