Tuesday, September 22, 2009

Hellooo ... This is Mr. Clue calling.

The newspaper of record has a front page story*, providing even more evidence of man-made global warming:
Pause in rise of global temperatures blurs a cause

Decade-long plateau tied to ocean conditions may hamper climate treaty.

The world leaders who met at the United Nations to discuss climate change on Tuesday are faced with an intricate challenge: building momentum for an international climate treaty at a time when global temperatures have been relatively stable for a decade and may even drop in the next few years.
Which should, but did not, raise this question: What combination of facts would be sufficient to cause its believers to reconsider AGW?

Of course, there is a reason it is still warming even though it isn't:
Scientists say the pattern of the last decade — after a precipitous rise in average global temperatures in the 1990s — is a result of cyclical variations in ocean conditions and has no bearing on the long-term warming effects of greenhouse gases building up in the atmosphere.
Which should, but did not, raise this question: Which part of the latest IPCC report predicted this?

If I have parsed the above para correctly, the warming in the 1990s was not due to cyclical oceanic changes, but the not warming is. Which also means, if I have my basic physics, conservation of energy division, right, that the cyclic ocean changes that did not make heat appear made heat disappear, because the only other alternative is that it radiated into space. Which would mean, well, ummm ... I know, the pause in rise of global temperatures blurs a cause.

In other news, the tornadoes are not getting more frequent, hurricanes are quiescent, and Arctic sea ice coverage appears heading towards its "long" term average.

In the print edition of today's International Herald Tribune, anyway.


Anonymous Anonymous said...

That NYT article shows the scientific establishment is now demanding the general public accept their predictions and act dramatically on them regardless of what happens to climate and weather over the next decade.

September 24, 2009 7:17 AM  
Blogger Bret said...

I'm happy. It looks like cap and trade will go nowhere, Copenhagen will be just a lot of bloviatin' but no real action.

The warmenists are being marginalized and the rest of the world is adopting a wait and see attitude.

September 24, 2009 10:58 AM  
Blogger Hey Skipper said...

The Anchorage Daily News (A McClatchy organ) typically puts at least three AGW propaganda pieces in a week. Rapid Arctic warming bucks orbital cooling trend is typical. A study purports to show not only that the last decade is the warmest in the Arctic in the last 2,000 years, but that the last century should have been getting cooler. Quoting from the article:

The finding adds fuel to the debate over a House-passed climate bill now pending in the Senate. The administration-backed measure would impose the first limits on greenhouse gases and eventually would lead to an 80 percent reduction by putting a price on each ton of climate-altering pollution.
It is the latest in a drumbeat of reports on warming conditions in the Arctic, including:
• A marine scientist reports that Alaskan waters are turning acidic from absorbing greenhouse gases faster than tropical waters, potentially endangering the state's $4.6 billion fishing industry.
• NASA satellite measurements show that sea ice in the Arctic is more than just shrinking in area, it is dramatically thinning. The volume of older crucial sea ice in the Arctic has shrunk by 57 percent from the winter of 2004 to 2008.
• Global warming effects in Alaska also include shrinking glaciers, coastal erosion and the march north of destructive forest beetles formerly held in check by cold winters.
And with the melting of land-based ice, such as the massive Greenland ice cap, sea levels could rise across the world, threatening millions who live in coastal cities.

Apparently, this is journalism.
Regarding shrinking glaciers, the article is correct. I visited Exit Glacier about a month ago. Its shrinkage over the last 40 years is indeed dramatic. But not one whit more dramatic than the preceding 160 years -- as far back as glaciologists can go.

Just a week before that, I was in Denali NP, and happened to see a weather station. Thinking that there must be more than one, and that, as isolated as they are, they should provide a pretty pristine temperature record.
Sure enough.

"In 1976, the North Pacific underwent a dramatic shift to a warmer climate, with dramatic increases [temperatures] ... when compared to the previous 25-year period."

"... the decades sinc 1977 have averaged two degrees warmer than the previous three decades ..."

But wait, there is more:

"... those decades were in turn two degrees colder than 1923-45. Therefore, the net change in annual temperatures is less than 0.5 degrees F. If a 30 year record were analyzed, it would show significant warming in the region, but with 80 years of data, the decadal variability becomes more apparent."

Now, I must admit I slightly selectively quoted from the report to make it sound slanted; actually, it is not: as the report concludes, absent the Pacific Decadal Oscillation, there is no temperature change over the last 80 years worth talking about.

Not that you would know from the hysterical Anchorage Daily News.

September 24, 2009 9:46 PM  
Blogger Bret said...

I analyzed the Kaufman paper (that instigated the article you referenced). There's very little in it to base any sort climate hysteria on. In fact, it's a great example of a fine, but innocuous scientific paper, where the authors then do an alarmist press release totally not supported by the paper, then MSM amplifies the hysteria to a whole new level with further mistruths and distortions.

On a mailing list here is an exchange between me and an earth sciences professor (also a friend) regarding the paper and press release:

Him: OK, then how would you explain the mid-20th century spike, when (as this paper documents) all the natural climate drivers were pushing in the other direction?

Me: Rejecting the conclusion that CO2 doesn't explain the mid-20th century spike of Arctic temperatures does not require an alternate explanation. In other words, "assume CO2 unless other explanations can be found" doesn't make sense when changes in CO2 correlate poorly with the observed temperature anomalies. Correlating CO2 with the Arctic Temperature Anomalies yields an R squared of .33, leaving 2/3 unexplained. Even if I smooth the temperature anomalies so that they are monotonically increasing only increases R squared to about .5, which is pretty low given that we know a priori that: (a) 2 monotonically increasing trends will have a positive correlation; and (b) CO2 is likely to have at least a little effect on temperature anomalies.

September 25, 2009 7:24 AM  
Blogger Hey Skipper said...

Rejecting the conclusion ...

That makes AGW sound like somewhat of ID / Creationism: disproving Darwinism would not prove intelligent design.

Even if I smooth the temperature anomalies so that they are monotonically increasing only increases R squared to about .5, which is pretty low ...

But about the right value for a coin toss.

In case you haven't had your dose of appalling reading for the day, here is The Economist's latest propaganda onslaught.

September 26, 2009 12:05 AM  
Blogger Harry Eagar said...

Bret,visit Climate Audit for another take on whether Kaufman is a fine scientific paper.

September 27, 2009 11:24 AM  
Blogger Bret said...


Then let me restate what I've said. Whether or not there are errors in the paper itself (such as the calibration issues put forth by McIntyre of climate audit), the paper itself contains no climate hysteria. The press release by Kaufman does, even though there is no support for that in the paper.

By the way, it can still be a fine scientific paper even if there are errors. People put forth imperfect stuff all the time. It gets corrected, people learn from it, and knowledge moves forward.

September 27, 2009 12:53 PM  
Blogger Harry Eagar said...

Go back to CA. More has been revealed.

(And it set off something akin to hysteria among the CA'ers, with over 250 posts in a couple hours, something I've never seen there before.)

September 29, 2009 1:57 AM  
Blogger Bret said...

Much more has been revealed regarding the Kaufman paper? I assume you meant 250 comments, not 250 post? Which post are you referring to? The yamal tree ring issue? Does that have anything to do with Kaufman, et al?

September 29, 2009 2:58 AM  
Blogger Susan's Husband said...

Apparently it's very important / interesting, but not important or interesting enough to actually write what it's about. It must be back a bit because none of the posts on the front page have 250 or more comments.

September 29, 2009 9:27 AM  
Blogger Harry Eagar said...

According to McIntyre, Yamal accounts for all the HS-ness of Kaufman, or very nearly; and now he has determined a divergence between Yamal and Polar Urals, not to mention some extreme cherrypicking at Yamal.

A couple of the tackier English papers have picked up the story but not, so far as I've noticed, any in America.

You're better able than I am to assess the stats in McIntyre's analysis.

The access to background data, which do not appear to support the published papers, is what got the followers of McI so exited.

It's like following 'The Guiding Light.' It's either intensely interesting or boring beyond words.

September 29, 2009 6:10 PM  
Blogger Bret said...

I see McIntyre has been busy the last few days.

It does rather look like Kaufman's latest paper is little more than garbage in, garbage out at this point. It'll be interesting to see Kaufman's rebuttal.

OK, so a fairly poor scientific paper (still without containing any real climate hysteria), followed by a press release with hysteria not supported by said poor scientific paper, followed by even more hysteria in a front page NY Times article.

Would you agree with that characterization?

September 29, 2009 10:03 PM  

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