Al Gore's film An Inconvenient Truth does indeed have some correct facts, but he says "sometimes you have to exaggerate to send the message to people". So, how are we supposed to know fact from fiction in the global warming debate?

It's easy to see why Al gore's movie should not be shown in schools. An Inconvenient Truth is a political commercial that misrepresents a whole area of science. He admittedly uses scare tactics to get people to listen then shows them a professional slide show that blames every thing bad on so called man made global warming.

Al did not make and publicize this movie because he cares; something obvious when you consider his own lifestyle. He did not make this movie to run for president. This movie has grossed over 60 million dollars to date and it hasn't even made it to cable. Al charges over $100,000 per slide show. But the real money that Al will make is through his new company, Generation Investment Management, a company that seeks to establish the rules and licensing for the new carbon-trading scheme. We have all heard of politicians who lie for money and power; it looks as if Al did not retire after all.
Facts and Fictions of Al Gore's "An Inconvenient Truth" by Kristen Byrnes

Ponder the Maunder is an extra credit assignment for Honors Earth Science, Portland High School, by Kristen Byrnes of Portland Maine.

This report is a comprehensive look at the global warming issue without financial or political bias. It uses the most updated information provided by scientists and researchers and interjects common sense, an important component missing from the global warming debate.

As will be revealed post haste, this newest - and likely youngest - member of the growing list of folks skeptical about man's role in climate change actually walks the walk better than she talks the talk.

Yet, despite her youth and precocious scientific acumen, it seems quite unlikely that she'll be sitting down with Matt Lauer or Diane Sawyer any time soon to discuss her research concerning one of the most popular subjects on the media's front-burner. Why?

Because a prediction that she made last month concerning Australia's drought has marvelously borne fruit making the scientists employed by the United Nations' Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change look a bit foolish.

To set this up, here's what the IPCC Summary for Policymakers report released on April 7 predicted regarding Australia:
As a result of reduced precipitation and increased evaporation, water security problems are projected to intensify by 2030 in southern and eastern Australia and, in New Zealand, in Northland and some eastern regions. ** D [11.4]


Production from agriculture and forestry by 2030 is projected to decline over much of southern and eastern Australia, and over parts of eastern New Zealand, due to increased drought and fire.
About two weeks later, in an Internet discussion group which I belong to that deals exclusively with anthropogenic global warming issues, Byrnes wrote the following to an Australian participant (released with her permission and that of her parents):
I was just looking at my ENSO 3.4 chart when I was responding to Eduardo's email. It looks like the ENSO has been positive for 95% of the last 6 years. Since Austrailia [sic] experiences warm and dry conditions during positive ENSO, six years of drought would not surprise me. But it is headed negative very quickly now, so you might want to dust off your umbrella.
Well, just last week, there were signs from Australia that the six-year-old drought might be over. As reported by News.com.au on May 18 in an article deliciously titled "Drought Could Be Ending":
THE El Nino weather system has run its course and the weather bureau says the worst drought in a century could be coming to an end, as heavy rain soaked parched southeastern Australia.

Inland NSW and north-east Victoria enjoyed heavy rainfall today, with reports from 20-30mm falling in some areas and as high as 53mm in country Victoria, Bureau of Meteorology (BoM) senior forecaster Phil King said.


Mr King said the rainfall reflected a shift in weather patterns back to a more normal situation following an end to the drought-making El Nino and signs emerging of its opposite, a La Nina, which brings rain.

'The El Nino is over,' he said.

'The global patterns are indicating there are more neutral and natural conditions and with the rainfalls, there are signs we have returned to more normal patterns.'
Certainly great news for Australians, wouldn't you agee? And, the Canberra Times reported Wednesday:

Winter has arrived early on the Snowy Mountains in spectacular fashion.

A blanket of snow has covered much of the high ranges of the Kosciuszko National Park over the past two days and hopes are running high for the coming ski season.

After spending much of the summer season enduring the drought and feeling the threat of climate change, the residents of Jindabyne are alight with anticipation of a good season. The town, at the foot of the national park, almost triples in size during the snow season and relies heavily on the tourist dollar.

Don't you worry, this season will be a good one, this is a big one. You'll see, we can feel it," one long-time resident said.
As for agriculture, The Age reported Thursday:

A good wet season in northern Australia has put Queensland-based cattle producer Australian Agricultural Co Ltd (AAco) on track for an improved performance this year.

AAco managing director Don Mackay said recent rain in some parts of southern states had also boosted prospects.
And, News.com.au reported the following on Thursday as well:

Recent storms over the northeast Top End put the icing on the cake for the Nothern [sic] Territory's rain totals, which have been more than 5 times the May average in some areas.

Places such as Batchelor Airport in the north, and Kulgera in the Alice Springs district have had more than 500% of their average monthly rainfall.

Lajamanu has done particularly well with more than 7 times their average monthly rain. Most of that was from a heavy downpour of 44mm. 20mm of that fell within 1 hour.

On Thursday storms crossing the eastern Top End drenched Nhulunbuy, with 41mm recorded from this event. Showers will continue on Friday in moist, unstable easterly winds, with falls heaviest in the east.
Obviously, Kristen's April 20 suggestion that folks in Australia better dust off their umbrellas was rather prescient. Just imagine if this 15-year-old's prediction supported the Global Warmingist-in-Chief Al Gore's position on man's role in climate change. Think she'd be Matt, Meredith, and Diane's guest tomorrow?

Regardless of the answer, here's what Kristen saw in the climate data that the global warming alarmists working for the U.N. either didn't recognize or chose to ignore as shared with me by e-mail:

There are certain rules in climate. One of them is that when there is an El Nino, there is dry weather in Australia, especially during their summer.

...and during their winter...

Australia has been in drought for about 6 years because there have been positive ENSO conditions for most of the past 6 years.
ENSO stands for El Niño/Southern Oscillation; more information on this indicator is available here and here. Kristen continued her explanation:

This is the NOAA Oceanic Nino Index. There are many different ENSO indexes. I use this one because it is updated all the time.

NOAA also publishes ENSO forecasts. They are usually pretty good a few months in advance but not perfect. Last month the La Nina was starting much faster but it has slowed down. This means that Australia will have normal rainfall for the planting season.
Kristen then addressed why so much of the alarmism is based on specious science:

The reason that computer climate models do not work is because they cannot predict volcanoes, ENSO and solar variance. They also do not understand how water vapor and clouds work.

Another rule in climate is that El Nino warms the average global temperature and La Nina is the opposite. During normal conditions the trade winds at the equator blow cool water off the coast of Peru to the east and cause warm water to pile up near Indonesia, the wind pressure actually causes sea water levels to be higher there. During La Nina, the winds blow even harder and pile the water up even more. During El Nino the winds slow down and the warm water flows back to Peru.

The result is, during La Nina (cool event) the cold water coming from the bottom of the ocean near Peru is blown across the surface to Indonesia. The Earth's normal circulation that takes heat from the equator towards the poles has less heat to move to the poles.

On the other hand, when there is an El Nino, the warm water spreads across the surface back to Peru. More warm water is in contact with the air above and the Earth's circulation takes that heat toward the poles.

From about 1944 to 1976 the ENSO was mostly negative and solar increased then decreased. Temperatures during this time cooled a little. Since 1976 the ENSO has been more positive. This along with increasing solar activity has combined to warm the globe. What is expected over the next few years is for the ENSO to move back to a negative phase and for solar activity to level off then go down. That is why the weather guy said that in 5 years global warming will be a joke.
Kristen was referring to a NewsBusters' article about New Zealand's favorite weatherman, Augie Auer, who was quoted last week as saying that over-hyped fears regarding climate change are "all going to be a joke in five years."

Kristen continued:

I am already seeing signs that the climate is cooling. Since 2001 the oceans have not warmed. 2005 was supposed to be the warmest year on record but ENSO went a little negative that year. That means the base temperature (the oceans) was as warm as it is going to get because 2006 was an El Nino year and it was the 6th warmest on record. Keep in mind that for the last 70 years there has been an 11,000 year solar high. It takes time for all that heat to build up in the oceans, but it seems that the oceans are as warm as they will get from this 11,000 year solar high. This year will be cooler than last year because it will be an ENSO negative year and the solar cycle still has not started yet.

Also keep in mind that just because there is no El Nino or La Nina, there is still heating or cooling. ENSO positive that does not get to the level of El Nino will still warm the climate, just a lot less. Same with ENSO negative that does not make the level of La Nina.
So, what does all this tell us?

Well, if the drought in Australia and New Zealand is indeed ending - and, certainly, early-season rains and snowstorms do not yet prove this - one must question the models being used by the IPCC to forecast climate change in the future.

After all, if a long-range forecast issued April 7 ends up being wrong five weeks later, why on earth would we trust these folks from the U.N. to be able to accurately predict what's going to happen next year, or fifty to a hundred years from now?