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Earth Changes


Global Warming and the Media - Give Us All the Facts

You may have noticed that some of President Obama's most ardent supporters speak of him in almost messianic terms. But there's one public figure who apparently means it literally: James Hansen of NASA.

Hansen, who is the "father" of the global warming movement, recently told the U.K. Guardian that the new President "has only four years to save the world." Unless we implement drastic measures like a "moratorium on new power plants that burn coal" and a hefty "carbon tax," we face an apocalyptic future - "global flooding, wide-spread species loss and major disruptions of weather patterns."

Of course, Hansen's warnings made headlines around the world. Not only because "doom and gloom" sells, but because the mainstream media treats any claim about man-made global warming with the utmost credulity.


Snow job in Antarctica - digging out the data source

It seems that folks are all "wild about Harry" over at Climate Audit, with the revelations occurring there, and no good kerfluffle would be complete without some pictures of the weather stations in question. It seems a weather station used in the Steig Antarctic study , aka "Harry", got buried under snow and also got confused with another station, Gill, in the dataset. As Steve McIntyre writes:
Gill is located on the Ross Ice Shelf at 79.92S 178.59W 25M and is completely unrelated to Harry. The 2005 inspection report observes:
2 February 2005 - Site visited. Site was difficult to locate by air; was finally found by scanning the horizon with binoculars. Station moved 3.8 nautical miles from the previous GPS position. The lower delta temperature sensor was buried .63 meters in the snow. The boom sensor was raised to 3.84 m above the surface from 1.57 m above the surface. Station was found in good working condition.
I didn't see any discussion in Steig et al on allowing for the effect of burying sensors in the snow on data homogeneity.

The difference between "old" Harry and "new" Harry can now be explained. "Old" Harry was actually "Gill", but, at least, even if mis-identified, it was only one series. "New" Harry is a splice of Harry into Gill - when Harry met Gill, the two became one, as it were.

Considered by itself, Gill has a slightly negative trend from 1987 to 2002. The big trend in "New Harry" arises entirely from the impact of splicing the two data sets together. It's a mess.
So not only is there a splice error, but the data itself may have been biased by snow burial.

Bizarro Earth

Rapid snowmelt triggers U.S. flooding

Rapid snowmelt and ice jams caused flooding in three northern U.S. states Monday while winds and rain lashed Southern California, meteorologists said.

Quickly rising temperatures in Pennsylvania, Ohio and western New York produced a flood of snowmelt, officials said. The Rocky River in suburban Cleveland overflowed its banks Sunday, flooding several houses, and giant ice floes pushed marina docks out into Lake Erie, the Cleveland Plain Dealer reported.

The National Weather Service issued a flash-flood watch through Thursday morning for three creeks in suburban Buffalo, N.Y., citing reports of ice jams following the snowmelt and recent warm temperatures. A flood warning was also in effect for Lawrence County, Pa., southeast of Youngstown, Ohio, the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette said.

Bizarro Earth

High winds shut down Paris airports

Stiff winds are keeping all planes on the ground at Paris airports until Tuesday morning, French officials said.

The French Civil Aviation Authority ordered Paris-Charles de Gaulle and Paris-Orly airports shut down from 8 p.m. Monday to 10 a.m. Tuesday, Travel Agent Central reported.

Air France asked its passengers to avoid traveling to the airports, the travel Web site said.

Bizarro Earth

Trees Migrating North Due to Warming

© James P. Blair/NGS
Sugar maples stand interlaced with mist in West Virginia's Monongahela National Forest.
Other than the Ents of Lord of the Rings fame, trees generally aren't known for their mobility. So news that some tree species may be headed north at an average clip of 62 miles (100 kilometers) a century may come as a surprise.

At that rate, stands of yellow birch in the U.S., for example, may move well north of the Canadian border by the early 2100s.

That's the finding of a new study led by the U.S. Forest Service, which concludes that a few dozen tree species in the eastern U.S. are moving north at an unexpected rate, likely due to global warming.

In a paper appearing this month in the journal Forest Ecology and Management, the study authors documented the northward march of 40 major tree species over 30 eastern states based on the distribution of seedlings versus mature trees.

Bizarro Earth

Magnitude 6.1 - Near Coast of Northern Peru


Monday, February 09, 2009 at 14:09:06 UTC

Location 6.467°S, 80.863°W

Depth 35 km (21.7 miles) set by location program

Distances 125 km (75 miles) WNW of Chiclayo, Peru

135 km (85 miles) S of Piura, Peru

740 km (460 miles) SSW of QUITO, Ecuador

750 km (465 miles) NW of LIMA, Peru


Mama Whales Teach Babies Where to Eat

© John Atkinson, Ocean Alliance
For a month after birth, Southern right whale mothers and their calves rest and nurse.
University of Utah biologists discovered that young "right whales" learn from their mothers where to eat, raising concern about their ability to find new places to feed if Earth's changing climate disrupts their traditional dining areas.

"A primary concern is, what are whales going to do with global warming, which may change the location and abundance of their prey?" asks Vicky Rowntree, research associate professor of biology and a coauthor of the new study. "Can they adapt if they learn from their mother where to feed - or will they die?"

Previous research by Rowntree and colleagues showed that when climate oscillations increase sea temperatures, southern right whales give birth to fewer calves because the warm water reduces the abundance of krill, which are small, shrimp-like crustaceans eaten by the whales.

The new study - scheduled for publication in the Feb. 15 issue of the journal Molecular Ecology - used genetic and chemical isotope evidence to show that mothers teach their calves where to go for food.


Three New Species Discovered on Deep-sea Voyage

sea squirt
© Jess Adkins, Caltech
New species of carnivorous sea squirt that "looks and behaves like a Venus fly trap," according to researchers.
Scientists from the California Institute of Technology (Caltech) and an international team of collaborators have returned from a month-long deep-sea voyage to a marine reserve near Tasmania, Australia, that not only netted coral-reef samples likely to provide insight into the impact of climate change on the world's oceans, but also brought to light at least three never-before-seen species of sea life.

"It was truly one of those transcendent moments," says Caltech's Jess Adkins of the descents made by the remotely operated submersible Jason. Adkins was the cruise's lead scientist and is an associate professor of geochemistry and global environmental science at Caltech. "We were flying--literally flying--over these deep-sea structures that look like English gardens, but are actually filled with all of these carnivorous, Seuss-like creatures that no one else has ever seen."


Another Dalton Minimum Possible!

By C. de Jager, S. Duhau in paper "Forecasting the parameters of sunspot cycle 24 and beyond.", Journal of Atmospheric and Solar-Terrestrial Physics, vol. 71 (2009), pages 239 - 245.
Abstract: Solar variability is controlled by the internal dynamo which is a nonlinear system. We develop a physical-statistical method for forecasting solar activity that takes into account the non-linear character of the solar dynamo. The method is based on the generally accepted mechanisms of the dynamo and on recently found systematic properties of the long-term solar variability. The amplitude modulation of the Schwabe cycle in the dynamo's magnetic field components can be decomposed in an invariant transition level and three types of oscillations around it. The regularities that we observe in the behaviour of these oscillations during the last millennium enable us to forecast solar activity. We find that the system is presently undergoing a transition from the recent Grand Maximum to another regime.

This transition started in 2000 and it is expected to end around the maximum of cycle 24, foreseen for 2014, with a maximum sunspot number Rmax = 68 plus/minus 17. At that time a period of lower solar activity will start. That period will be one of regular oscillations, as occurred between 1730 and 1923. The first of these oscillations may even turn out to be as strongly negative as around 1810, in which case a short Grand Minimum similar to the Dalton one might develop. This moderate to low-activity episode is expected to last for at least one Gleissberg cycle (60 - 100 years). See full paper PDF here.


Pro-Global Warming Study Receives Worldwide Headlines; Discovery of Error in Study Garners Op-Ed in One Paper

When University of Washington Professor Eric Steig announced in a news conference and a published paper in the January 22 edition of the journal Nature that he and several colleagues removed one of many thorns in the sides of climate alarmists -- in this case, evidence that Antarctica is cooling -- he received extensive worldwide attention in the mainstream press.

But when a noteworthy error was found in Stieg's research less than two weeks after it's publication, of the mainstream press, only an opinion column in the London Telegraph and a blog associated with the Australian Herald Sun carried the news.

The Stieg paper's release was covered by 27 newspapers, including the New York Times, San Francisco Chronicle & Los Angeles Times, by CNN, by the Associated Press, by NPR and quite a few others (see reviews of the coverage at the end of this post).

After independent analyst Steve McIntyre discovered a major error in the data, and released his results on his influential blog Climate Audit beginning on February 1, based on a Nexis search I conducted today, none of these outlets chose to inform their readers.

Comment: This is how the propaganda machine works. The release of Steig's paper was truly a grand media event. Everyone in the Manmade Global Warming camp has been waiting for something like this so they could vent and fume and degrade any scientist or media person not in sync with their agenda. Several of the authors of the paper are among the most radical promoters of Manmade Global Warming.

Now here is some perspective on what Steig's paper claims to have found -

The proposed 50 year warming of Western Antarctica is 0.17 degrees Fahrenheit every 10 years.
That is 0.017 degrees each year.
Yes you got it, seventeen one-thousandths of a degree Fahrenheit per year.
Over 5 decades (50 years) this amounts to 0.85 degrees Fahrenheit.
The claim is that this is so significant that it outweighs the Eastern Antarctic cooling.

Let's take a look at how the Anthropogenic Global Warming promoters reacted. In particular let's pay attention to the words they use, the quotes they chose and who they are aimed at.

From the above article:
Ira Flatow in a National Public Radio interview,
called Steig's paper "probably historic."
Seattle Times science reporter Sandi Doughton wrote,
By bringing Antarctica in from the cold, the new study could undermine the small cadre of global-warming skeptics who still argue that the planet is not getting hotter, or that humans are not to blame. Many have used the apparent cooling in Antarctica to attack global climate models and point out perceived weaknesses in the scientific consensus that emissions from automobiles and factories are beginning to change global climate.
New York Times reporter Kenneth Chang, in his piece quoted a scientist saying,
"But the idea of a long-term cooling is pretty clearly debunked."
Seth Borenstein of the Associated Press said,
"Antarctica, the only place that had oddly seemed immune from climate change, is warming after all, according to a new study."

Seth Borenstein also included a quote from global warming activist scientist and study co-author Michael Mann, saying the study refuted the views of climate "contrarians."
Thomas H. Maugh II of the Los Angeles Times wrote,
Global-warming skeptics have pointed to the presumed cooling of the continent as evidence that researchers' computer projections of climate change are in error, but the new findings reported Thursday appear to refute their criticisms...
The San Francisco Chronicle Science editor David Perlman told his readers,
"the issue [of Antarctic warming] has apparently been resolved."
Damian Carrington of the Guardian tells his readers,
"Research 'kills off' the climate skeptic argument by showing average temperature across the continent has risen over the last 50 years."
Carrington also quotes Steig,
The issue, which had been highlighted by global warming sceptics, was an annoyance, said Steig, despite the science having been reasonably well understood. "But it has now been killed off," he said.
Carrington adds,
The rapid warming now revealed in the west concerns some scientists.
This is how it works. Big media, big money, big promotion.

AS SOTT mentioned in another article, when errors were found in the Steig paper by Steve McIntyre the reaction was far less than scientific.
When Steve McIntyre revealed this on ClimateAudit, Gavin Schmidt closed comments on the RealClimate blog, and the British Antarctic Survey removed the faulty data from their site without explanation.
Remember Stieg himself is a contributor to the ardently pro-alarmist and environmentalist-supported PR blog RealClimate.

Apparently the data errors were so embarrassing that GISS employee Gavin Schmidt claimed the discovery of the data errors himself when reporting them for correction, causing another embarrassing incident.

The saga is ongoing at this moment. Steve McIntyre's site ClimateAudit is attempting to make sense of the errors and the behaviors.