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Igloo

US: Rare snow blankets South as East braces for storm

Alabama snow
© Associated Press/Dave Martin
An early March snowstorm dumped snow across Alabama, Sunday, March 1, 2009. The storm then moved into Georgia, causing plane cancellations and threatening the East coast.
A potent March snowstorm blanketed much of the Southeast with snow Sunday before barreling toward the Northeast, where officials prepared snowplows and road-salt for a wintery assault.

The icy blast threatened to drop up to a foot of snow in the Philadelphia area, 13 inches in New York and 15 inches across southern New England late Sunday.

Thousands of New York City sanitation workers prepared to salt city streets, and airlines preemptively canceled flights Sunday at the region's major airports.

The Pennsylvania Department of Transportation planned to attack the snow in the Philadelphia area with 400 trucks and 77,000 tons of stockpiled salt, assistant press secretary Gene Blaum said.

Better Earth

Steig's Antarctic Heartburn

Foreword by Anthony Watts:
penguin flames
© Dave Stephens

This article, written by the two Jeffs (Jeff C and Jeff Id) is one of the more technically complex essays ever presented on WUWT. It has been several days in the making. One of the goals I have with WUWT is to make sometimes difficult to understand science understandable to a wider audience. In this case the statistical analysis is rather difficult for the layman to comprehend, but I asked for (and got) an essay that was explained in terms I think many can grasp and understand. That being said, it is a long article, and you may have to read it more than once to fully grasp what has been presented here. Steve McIntyre of Climate Audit laid much of the ground work for this essay, and from his work as well as this essay, it is becoming clearer that Steig et al (see "Warming of the Antarctic ice-sheet surface since the 1957 International Geophysical Year", Nature, Jan 22, 2009) isn't holding up well to rigorous tests as demonstrated by McIntyre as well as in the essay below. Unfortunately, Steig's office has so far deferred (several requests) to provide the complete data sets needed to replicate and test his paper, and has left on a trip to Antarctica and the remaining data is not "expected" to be available until his return.

To help layman readers understand the terminology used, here is a mini-glossary in advance:

RegEM - Regularized Expectation Maximization
PCA - Principal Components Analysis
PC - Principal Components
AWS - Automatic Weather Stations

One of the more difficult concepts is RegEM, an algorithm developed by Tapio Schneider in 2001. It's a form of expectation maximization (EM) which is a common and well understood method for infilling missing data. As we've previously noted on WUWT, many of the weather stations used in the Steig et al study had issues with being buried by snow, causing significant data gaps in the Antarctic record and in some burial cases stations have been accidentally lost or confused with others at different lat/lons. Then of course there is the problem of coming up with trends for the entire Antarctic continent when most of the weather station data is from the periphery and the penisula, with very little data from the interior.

Expectation Maximization is a method which uses a normal distribution to compute the best probability of fit to a missing piece of data. Regularization is required when so much data is missing that the EM method won't solve. That makes it a statistically dangerous technique to use and as Kevin Trenberth, climate analysis chief at the National Center for Atmospheric Research, said in an e-mail: "It is hard to make data where none exist." (Source: MSNBC article) It is also valuable to note that one of the co-authors of Steig et al, Dr. Michael Mann, dabbles quite a bit in RegEm in this preparatory paper to Mann et al 2008 "Return of the Hockey Stick".

For those that prefer to print and read, I've made a PDF file of this article available here.

Comment: The basic point of this paper is that the highly glorified global warming paper recently produced by Eric Steig that shows Antarctica to be warming, seems at this point and time to be highly flawed. Until Eric Steig is more forthcoming with the data he used to produce his conclusions that Antarctica is warming, the evidence at this point appears that he chose specific methods, specific data points, and specific algorithms that all provided him with the greatest possible outcome that he was seeking.

It is starting to look like the Michael Mann hockey stick debacle all over again. But in the global warming world this makes no difference. The Steig paper accomplished what it set out to do, "influence the world and reinforce the global warming propaganda."


Fish

Historical Photographs Expose Decline In Florida's Reef Fish, Study Finds

Image
© University of California - San Diego
Trophy fish caught on Key West charter boats: a) 1957, b) early 1980s and c) 2007.

A unique study by a scientist at Scripps Institution of Oceanography at UC San Diego has provided fresh evidence of fishing's impact on marine ecosystems. Scripps Oceanography graduate student researcher Loren McClenachan accessed archival photographs spanning more than five decades to analyze and calculate a drastic decline of so-called "trophy fish" caught around coral reefs surrounding Key West, Florida.

In a paper published online in January and printed in an upcoming issue of the journal Conservation Biology, McClenachan describes a stark 88 percent decline in the estimated weight of large predatory fish imaged in black-and-white 1950s sport fishing photos compared to the relatively diminutive catches photographed in modern pictures. In a companion paper being published in the Endangered Species Research journal, McClenachan employs similar methods to document the decline of the globally endangered goliath grouper fish.

Phoenix

Texas, US: Forest fire burns hundreds of acres in Bastrop County

The fire is between Bastrop and Smithville.

More than 650 acres have been burned in Bastrop County and 150 homes have been evacuated. Highway 71 at McAllister remains shut down. The fire started about 12:30 this afternoon after heavy winds knocked down power lines.

County Judge Ronnie McDonald declared the area a disaster.

"I'm concerned about every piece of the city any time land course even lives threatened is a big concern so we're working hard," he said.

Bulb

The High Cost of Climate Lies

The global warming hoax didn't happen over night. It is generally dated from an appearance before Congress by Dr. James E. Hansen in 1988 predicting a dramatic rise in the Earth's temperature based on the increase of carbon dioxide (CO2) in the atmosphere. At that time, Dr. Hansen, Director of NASA's Goddard Institute for Space Studies, warned that steps had to be taken quickly to reduce CO2 emissions.

Ever since then, Hansen has been active in his effort to convince everyone that he's right and condemning anyone an opposing point of view. "The science is settled" has been the mantra of men like Hansen and, of course, the bilious Albert Gore of "An Inconvenient Truth" fame.

The background music has been supplied by the UN's Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change that has merrily falsified alleged scientific data to advance the hoax while the UN Kyoto Protocol imposed limits on CO2 emissions. Most of the nations that signed it have largely ignored it, discovering that it harms their economies. The U.S. avoided signing, but Americans have elected a President who is utterly devoted to this "solution" to a problem that does not exist.

HAL9000

The 'Gore Effect' Strikes again - this time it impacts NASA's James Hansen!

Breaking: Not again! Big DC March Snowstorm to Greet 'Largest public protest of global warming ever in U.S.!' - Unseasonably Cold March Temps!
DC under 'Winter Storm Watch'...Snow and unseasonably cold temps!

'Largest public protest of global warming ever in U.S.' set for Monday March 2, 2009 at U.S. Capitol with NASA's James Hansen - Fox News - Feb. 27, 2009

Excerpt: NASA's chief climate scientist is in hot water with colleagues and at least one lawmaker after calling on citizens to engage in civil disobedience at what is being billed as the largest public protest of global warming ever in the United States. In a video on capitolclimateaction.org, Dr. James Hansen is seen urging Americans to "take a stand on global warming" during the March 2 protest at the Capitol Power Plant in Southeast Washington, D.C. "We need to send a message to Congress and the president that we want them to take the actions that are needed to preserve climate for young people and future generations and all life on the planet," says Hansen, who has likened coal-fired power plants to "factories of death" and claims he was muzzled by the Bush administration when he warned of drastic climate changes.

Alarm Clock

Cold winter doesn't buck global warming trend

Temperatures sink to record lows while snow depths are twice the normal level - is Switzerland's seemingly abnormal winter another indicator of climate change?

Switzerland record snow
© unknown
And the snow just keeps on falling (Keystone)

Bern University climatologist Heinz Wanner tells swissinfo that although the current winter season may appear colder and snowier than usual the larger historical picture shows it isn't as severe as it seems.

The head of the Climatology and Meteorology Research Group (Klimet), Wanner has for three decades been studying the climate to reconstruct conditions as they were up to 10,000 years ago. He's also working to understand the influence humans have had on weather patterns.

Wanner explains that the deep cold and record snow has to do largely with changes in the air pressure thousands of kilometres away between the Azores and Iceland. Conditions there influence Europe's wind patterns, which this year have sent storm after storm barreling across Switzerland.

It's a natural cycle, he says, but that doesn't mean humans aren't influencing those events.

Comment: SwissInfo seems to be trying to ask some difficult questions, but in the end they are just another mouthpiece for the self-referencing global political juggernaut that is "Global Warming".

The link to the original article has a couple of interesting related stories. Both related stories are also purely pro-global-warming-alarmist in nature, just as this story itself is.

Story box reproduced below:

The one encouraging thing to notice with this story if you visit the original link is the comments that it received which are reproduced below:
David, United Kingdom
A classic example of climate scientist caught up in the politics of global warming. Read between the lines, he essentially acknowledges that climate variability is cyclic, but has to insert the obligatory "man is responsible" rubbish to ensure that the grant money keeps rolling in.
Manfred , Germany
Nature does obviously not care about the consensus of the IPCC politicians. Temperatures are not higher than 20 years ago, when the hysteria began. (Link) And Mr. Wanner is wrong in another issue: water scarcity would improve with warming, the IPCC report about this comes close to a lie: (Link) By the way, african deserts are in spectecular retreat: (Link)
retroproxy, United States
The climate is cooling and has been for about 10 years. The sun has entered a period of low sunspot activity. The Pacific Decadal Oscillation has switched to its cool phase meaning cooler La Nina events will be the norm. The North Atlantic Decadal Oscillation is switching to its cool phase. That's why it's colder and snowier now. Previously the climate was a bit warmer because the sun was in a period of high sunspot activity and because the PDO was in its warm phase meaning warmer El Nino events were the norm. Mankind's paltry CO2 emissions aren't altering the climate. It's against the laws of nature for "greenhouse" gases to heat the atmosphere. It can't happen. Experiments by R.W. Wood and Neils Bohr in the early 20th Century proved that CO2 cannot by nature trap infrared radiation and heat the atmosphere. This is well-documented. Anthropogenic climate change is one of the biggest lies ever told by governments and radical environmentalists. Numerous scientists believe the Earth is entering a prolonged cooling period or possibly a mini ice age event that would have terrible consequences for humans. Looking at both the 100,000 and 11,500 year pattern of glaciation and short-term interglacial periods, we are due for glaciation. The 0.038 percent concentration of CO2 in the atmosphere, a fraction due to human activity, is a drop in the bucket. Don't believe the lie of anthropogenic climate change/global warming.



Newspaper

The Year of the Man-made Global Warming Skeptic

In 2008, scientists from all over the world are jumping off the man-made global warming bandwagon. This is due to the fact that environmental study after study concludes that the behavior of man is not the cause of significant global warming.

In a recently released Geological Society of America abstract, Dr. Don Easterbrook, Professor of Geology at Western Washington University, presented data showing that the global warming cycle from 1977 to 1998 is now over and that we have entered into a new global cooling period that should last for the next three decades.

He also suggests that since the IPCC climate models are now so far off from what is actually happening that their projections for both this decade and century must be considered highly unreliable.

Evil Rays

Space Weather Prediction Center moves the solar cycle goalpost again

SWPC has just made a change in their solar cycle predictions in the middle of the month without any pre-announcement. Both Sunspot and F10.7cm predictions were altered significantly.
sunspot prediction
© NOAA / SWPC

Comment: Two things of note regarding this short blog article.

One: The solar cycle continues to baffle the scientists and their models.

Two: It is easier to keep shifting one's expectations than to admit that the expectations may be off.


Snowman

Snowiest Winter Ever Recorded in North Dakota

North Dakota Snow Feb 2009
© Crosby Journal
A snowmobiler negotiates the streets of Crosby, North Dakota.

Snow, wind, and cold have assaulted North Dakota yet again in the past 24 hours. In Bismarck Friday morning the temperature was 12 below zero with a new inch or two of snow expected following Thursday's more significant storm.

Snow in the southern part of the state was bad enough Thursday that snowplow operators were pulling off the road, blinded by the whiteout conditions. A foot of snow was common in the heaviest band.

The National Weather Service predicts a high temperature of 3 degrees Fahrenheit Friday in Bismarck, as well as additional snow. As of Thursday, three-quarters of the state's roads were still snow-covered, in whole or in part, from the storm that just ended the day before.

More than once during the winter, the Department of Transportation has issued a no-travel advisory, most recently on February 10.