Earth ChangesS


In computer models we trust!

The coming Senate vote on the badly misnamed Carbon Pollution Reduction Scheme (CPRS) is the culmination of intense propaganda spanning more than three decades. The Senate Bill aims at restricting emissions of carbon dioxide, a colourless, odourless gas essential to life, and has nought to do with smokestack carbon particles and other pollutants that have been regulated since the 1950s. The basis of the Bill is an unsustainable hypothesis that dangerous global warming will be an outcome of continued burning of fossil fuels and the rising concentrations of carbon dioxide in the atmosphere.

It is nearly 20 years since the UN's Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (the IPCC) in 1990 gave its first assessment of the likelihood and potential magnitude of human-caused global warming. In their first report in 1990 they confirmed that humans would have an impact on global temperatures as carbon dioxide levels increased. Importantly, the magnitudes of impacts were considered conjectural and subject to large uncertainty, because computer models of the time were rudimentary in their ability to represent the complex processes in the climate system.

The IPCC's second report in 1995 was more confident, saying that the balance of evidence suggested a discernible human influence on global climate. By the time of the 2001 third report the IPCC was concluding that the ability of computer models to project future climate had increased and 'the warming over the past 100 years is very unlikely to be due to internal variability alone, as estimated by current [computer] models'.

Evil Rays

It's all in the rocks

Here's the simple lesson in geology that all politicians need

Planet Earth is a warm wet greenhouse volcanic planet. The planet is dynamic, change is normal.

For less than 20% of its history Earth has had ice, five of the six major ice ages occurred when the atmospheric carbon dioxide (CO2) content was up to 1,000 times higher than at present, and for half of Earth history CO2 has been sequestered naturally into algal reefs, coral reefs, sediments, altered rocks, bacteria, plants, soils and oceans.

The Earth's atmospheric CO2 initially derived from volcanic degassing. Much of it still does and the rest is recycled CO2 from the oceans, rocks and life.

At present we enjoy a period of volcanic quiescence, but one big volcanic eruption can add as much CO2 to the atmosphere in a day as humans do in a year. Submarine supervolcanoes constantly pump out heat and CO2 into ocean waters, the effects of which are commonly not seen for thousands of years.


'Global weirdness' a weird way to argue with the weather facts

On June 24, 1974, Time magazine published a story titled "Another Ice Age?" The article reported in its lead, "When meteorologists take an average of temperatures around the globe they find that the atmosphere has been growing gradually cooler for the past three decades. The trend shows no indication of reversing."

I grew up in Florida where my parents were citrus growers on a 150-acre farm. A series of freezes in the 1970s and early 1980s seriously damaged Florida crops. On Christmas Eve night in 1983, a severe freeze came along when the temperature plummeted to 18 degrees and destroyed my parents' citrus trees and sole source of income. My wife and I were there and witnessed the results of the weather's devastation on Christmas morning. All of those trees were later bulldozed and burned.

According to the National Weather Service, Muncie, Anderson, South Bend and Fort Wayne recorded their lowest average monthly temperatures for July since official record keeping started in the 1890s. The average temperature in Indianapolis of 70.9 degrees was the second coolest on record, just 0.3 degrees warmer than the July of 1947. It was also the coldest July on record in Illinois. The statewide average temperature for July was 70.4 degrees, 5.3 degrees below normal and a degree colder than the previous record set in 1924 (71.5 degrees). Use "July temperatures" as an Internet search term, and you will find dozens of newspaper articles about record or near-record cool temperatures throughout the Midwest.

Cloud Lightning

Tropical Storm Ana forms over the Atlantic

Miami - Tropical Storm Ana has formed over the Atlantic and could strengthen as it heads toward the Leeward Islands, forecasters said Saturday.

The National Hurricane Center in Miami said Ana could trigger a tropical storm watch for parts of the Leeward Islands later Saturday. It may pick up speed and approach the islands by Monday, the hurricane center said. It was 1,010 miles east of the islands early Saturday.


US: Wildfires force state of emergency in California county

California's Lieutenant Governor John Garamendi declared a state of emergency Friday in Santa Cruz county, where wildfires have burned for three days, prompting the evacuation of 2,000 people.

"A major fire has engulfed Santa Cruz county, and they are in great need of resources to bolster what is being done at the local level to fight these fires," he said in a statement.

"I have toured the damage and visited the operational center, and this fire is far from over," he added.

California's fire prevention agency Calfire said on its website Friday that Santa Cruz county, 560 kilometers (348 miles) northwest of Los Angeles, had ordered the evacuation of between 2,200 and 2,400 people and that more than 250 homes were threatened by the flames in the communities of Swanton and Bonny Doon.


Millions of salmon fail to turn up in Canada

Millions of salmon have mysteriously failed to turn up in a Canadian river as part of their annual spawning, leaving experts baffled and the local fishing industry in despair.

The Canadian government's Department of Fisheries and Oceans projected that between six and 10 million sockeye salmon would return to the Fraser river this month.

But the official count for the annual 'summer run' -- by far the largest of four salmon migrations that see millions of fish return to Canada's lakes and rivers from the Pacific each year from June to late August -- is now just 600,000.

Arrow Up

Study Finds Big Storms on a 1,000-Year Rise

The North Atlantic Ocean has spawned more hurricanes and tropical storms over the last decade than it has since a similarly stormy period 1,000 years ago, according to a new study.

The research, published yesterday in the journal Nature, tries to trace the pattern of storms along North America's Atlantic and Gulf coasts back to A.D. 500, well before humans were recording weather observations.

The study's lead author, climate scientist Michael Mann of Pennsylvania State University, said finding a reliable way to reconstruct centuries of past hurricane activity could help scientists tease out whether future climate change will alter storm patterns.

Mr. Potato

We Lost The original Data - British Climatic Research Unit

dog eats homework
© unknown

Steve McIntyre, of Climate Audit, is a determined individual. While this may be no fun for those who fall under his focus and happen to have something to hide, more sunlight on climate science cannot be a bad thing.

Lately Steve has been spearheading an effort to get the Climatic Research Unit (CRU) at the University of East Anglia to release the data that underlie its analysis of global temperature trends. Such a request should not at all be controversial. Indeed the atmospheric sciences community went to great lengths in the 1990s to ensure that such data would be openly available for research purposes, culminating in World Meteorological Organization (WMO) Resolution 40 on the international exchange of meteorological and related data and products. The Resolution states:
Members should provide to the research and education communities, for their non-commercial activities, free and unrestricted access to all data and products exchanged under the auspices of WMO . . .


McIntyre versus Jones: climate data row escalates

Many of our readers will no doubt be aware of the long-standing dispute between Steve McIntyre and members of the climate science community whose data McIntyre is keen to get hold of.

For those of you less familiar with the story, here's some background. McIntyre, who runs the Climate Audit blog, is best known for questioning the validity of the statistical analyses used to create the 'hockey stick' graph. The 'hockey stick' is the graph that illustrates the past 1000 years of climate based on palaeo proxy data and was published by Penn state climatologist Michael Mann and co-authors in Nature back in 1998.

More recently, McIntyre has turned his attention to criticizing the quality of global temperature data held by institutes such as NASA's Goddard Institute of Space Studies. Several organizations worldwide collect and report global average temperature data for each month. Of these, a temperature data set held jointly by the Climatic Research Unit (CRU) at the University of East Anglia and the UK Met Office's Hadley Centre in Exeter, known as HadCRU , extends back the farthest, beginning in 1850.

Since 2002, McIntyre has repeatedly asked Phil Jones, director of CRU, for access to the HadCRU data. Although the data are made available in a processed gridded format that shows the global temperature trend, the raw station data are currently restricted to academics. While Jones has made data available to some academics, he has refused to supply McIntyre with the data. Between 24 July and 29 July of this year, CRU received 58 freedom of information act requests from McIntyre and people affiliated with Climate Audit. In the past month, the UK Met Office, which receives a cleaned-up version of the raw data from CRU, has received ten requests of its own.

Evil Rays

The British Climatic Research Unit Gong Show: Refusing Ross McKitrick

Today brought in some CRU refusals- their rejections of Ross Mc, Roman M, myself. (They're going to have to re-do their Roger Pielke rejection, since they replied to the wrong request in his case.) Each one deserves to be savored. So today I'll post up their obstruction of Ross McKitrick.

FOI officer Palmer denied the request on the grounds that the request is "manifestly unreasonable" as the data is "available elsewhere", that its disclosure would have an "adverse effect on international relations" and would have an adverse impact on the institutions supplying the data.

CA readers will recall that I requested the same version of CRU station data as was sent to Peter Webster and that they refused on the grounds that they had "confidentiality agreements" (all of which have been destroyed or lost other than stale agreements with Norway and Bahrain and and an agreement with Spain that does not require confidentiality) with parties that they can no longer identify, but the one thing that they were certain of was that these agreements prohibited the delivery of the data to a "non-academic".