Earth ChangesS

Better Earth

The Global Warming Hypothesis and Ocean Heat

Ocean Heating model versus actual
© William DiPuccio

Albert Einstein once said, "No amount of experimentation can ever prove me right; a single experiment can prove me wrong." Einstein's words express a foundational principle of science intoned by the logician, Karl Popper: Falsifiability. In order to verify a hypothesis there must be a test by which it can be proved false. A thousand observations may appear to verify a hypothesis, but one critical failure could result in its demise. The history of science is littered with such examples.

A hypothesis that cannot be falsified by empirical observations, is not science. The current hypothesis on anthropogenic global warming (AGW), presented by the U.N.'s Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC), is no exception to this principle. Indeed, it is the job of scientists to expose the weaknesses of this hypothesis as it undergoes peer review. This paper will examine one key criterion for falsification: ocean heat.

Ocean heat plays a crucial role in the AGW hypothesis, which maintains that climate change is dominated by human-added, well-mixed green house gasses (GHG). IR radiation that is absorbed and re-emitted by these gases, particularly CO2, is said to be amplified by positive feedback from clouds and water vapor. This process results in a gradual accumulation of heat throughout the climate system, which includes the atmosphere, cryosphere, biosphere, lithosphere, and, most importantly, the hydrosphere. The increase in retained heat is projected to result in rising atmospheric temperatures of 2-6ºC by the year 2100.


Danger: Ice Age Ahead

"We're well on our way into the next ice age," says this video from the National Geographic. "One of our major challenges will be how to keep us from killing each other." (I agree.)

"We are hardwired at a genetic level to seek survival at almost any cost," says Dr. Irwin Redlener of Columbia University. Our base survival instincts will kick in as the food chain collapses, says Redlener, an expert at the National Cdnter for Disaster Preparedness. Civilization as we know it will change forever. We could see deadly competition for food, for water, and for power, as civilization collapses. (I agree.)


It's (still) snowing all over the world.

Heavy snow once more in the Alps -- First tracks for 2009 set in southern hemisphere. -- Up to another foot or so of snow for resorts still open in US. -- Big Pre-season snowfalls In Australia

Although the number of ski areas around the world still open for skiing and boarding continues to diminish, heavy snow is still falling in the Alps and the Rockies, even though May is just days away. In the southern hemisphere Australian resorts have reported big pre-season snowfalls. Despite the late date in the season, powder alarms were in double figures this week with many of the resorts that are still open in the Alps reporting falls of 30-60cm (12-24 inches).

Bizarro Earth

Heavy Pre-Season Snow in Australia

Perisher New South Wales Ski Resort
© SkiInfoPerisher

Over half-a-metre (20 inches) of snow has been falling on Australia's ski slopes over the past 48 hours, with most still not expecting to open for nearly six weeks or more.

Snow continues to fall at Perisher in New South Wales. From the peaks to the valleys, a thick layer of snow can be found, making the resort look more like July than April. Another 25cm (10 inches) of snow settled across the upper elevations on Monday night, April 27th.

Overnight temperatures dropped to -5 degrees Celsius and it is currently 0 degrees Celsius at the bottom of the Forester Quad Express. Weather forecasters have predicted that overnight temperatures will stay nice and cool with more snow showers expected in early May. Cold temperatures will also allow Perisher to commence its snowmaking operations earlier as well.

Better Earth

Southern Hemisphere Ski Season Starts Five Weeks Early

Mt Buller
© SkiInfoMt Buller

The southern hemisphere's ski season will have one of its earliest openings on record this weekend when Mt Buller in Australia runs its lifts on Saturday, May 2nd.

The resort, in Victoria province, had not planned to open before June and the new date is five weeks ahead of schedule. It's the area's earliest opening in its 45 year history.

The opening is the result of unseasonably cold weather which brought up to 50cm (20 inches) of snow to many of Australia's ski fields (Buller has 35cm/14 inches), although currently there are no reports of any others planning to follow Mt Buller and open early.


End Of Season Snow Boost For French Alps

French Alps Snow
© SkiInfoStill more fresh snow to groom in France

Despite the late date in the season, powder alarms were in double figures this week with many of the resorts that are still open in the Alps reporting falls of 30-60cm (12-24 inches).

France got the best of the snow yesterday with Tignes, Val d'Isere, Val Thorens, Argentiere and Chamonix all reporting heavy new snowfalls on Tuesday (28 April), La Grave had 20cm (eight inches) of new snow on Sunday (26 April).


Last Week of Winter in France, But it's Still Snowing

Tignes ski slope
© SkiInfoTignes

Two resorts are left open in France, but both Chamonix and Tignes will close for the winter this weekend on Sunday May 10th. Then there's a month's wait until the country's three summer ski options - Tignes, Val d'Isere and Les 2 Alpes open. In the meantime the only snow skiing in France will be indoors, at the Amneville indoor slope.


Thick Arctic ice surprises scientific expedition

Ice in the Arctic is often twice as thick as expected, report surprised scientists who returned last week from a major scientific expedition. The scientists - a 20-member contingent from Canada, the U.S., Germany, and Italy - spent one month exploring the North Pole as well as never-before measured regions of the Arctic. Among their findings: Rather than finding newly formed ice to be two metres thick, "we measured ice thickness up to four metres," stated a spokesperson for the Alfred Wegener Institute for Polar and Marine Research of the Helmholtz Association, Germany's largest scientific organization.

The Alfred Wegener Institute is one of the six research organizations involved in the month-long expedition, called Pan-Arctic Measurements and Arctic Climate Model Inter Comparison Project. The other five include three from Canada (Environment Canada, University of Alberta, York University) one from the U.S. (National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration) and one from Italy (Institute of Atmospheric Sciences and Climate.

Comment: You also see a story on this research here.

Inconvenient Eisdicken - "surprising results" from the Arctic

Evil Rays

Sorry, Al Gore, but Public Cares About the Economy, Not Global Warming

He admits that it's counterintuitive, but Gallup Poll Editor Frank Newport says he sees no evidence that Al Gore's campaign against global warming is winning. "It's just not caught on," says Newport. "They have failed." Or, more bluntly: "Any measure that we look at shows Al Gore's losing at the moment. The public is just not that concerned." What the public is worried about: the economy. Newport says the economy trumps the environment right now, a strong indicator that President Obama's bid to put a cap-and-trade pollution regime into operation isn't likely to be politically popular.


NOAA SWPC Solar Cycle 24 Prediction: "weakest since 1928″

Hot off the press from noon today, published at 12:03 PM. Looks like a peak of 90 spots/month in 2013 now. Place your bets on whether that will be an overshooting forecast or not. - Anthony

UPDATE2: Minutes later @12:15PM. Dammit, they changed the graphs back! Anybody have cache files? - Anthony

UPDATE3: @12:20 PM And now it's back.

UPDATE4: @ 12:45PM There are some serious problems with the SWPC page, the sunspot graph content keeps changing and the 10.7 flux graph is just plain wrong. They also have no written press release. What a train wreck.

UPDATE5: @1:00PM I called Doug Biesecker, SWPC's "media relations" director at both of his numbers, to ask what is going on. No answer. Left a request for a call-back.

UPDATE6: @1:40PM I heard from Doug Biesecker, he said they are having server issues, he and his webmaster were working to fix the problem. He also said the press conference was recorded and he would be sending an audio link. Look for it here soon.

UPDATE7: @2:10PM looks like SWPC has their web page fixed now. Thanks Doug.

UPDATE8: @2:18PM Found the NOAA SWPC press release (linked at and it is reprinted below the "read more" line. I also changed the title of this post to reflect the quote in the feature story/PR from SWPC.