Thursday, June 15, 2006

Be Very Scared

Time Magazine’s cover story was a Special Report on Global Warming: Be Worried. Be Very Worried. Al Gore’s new documentary movie on global warming could be a great campaign ad: Elect me or we will all die. So what is all this fuss about?

In a recent post (“You Say Warming, I say Cooling,” 6/6/06) I mentioned some of the myths of the global climate change religion and generated a firestorm of comments. JJ quoted a World Book Encyclopedia website that said: A majority of climatologists have concluded that human activities are responsible for most of the warming. Mel wrote that the official position of nearly all scientific earth science and meteorological societies is that climate change is for real, it is caused primarily by human activity, and, if left unchecked, it will cause great problems.

Apparently either a majority or nearly all relevant scientists agree with Algore. Do you remember when he wrote Earth in the Balance, the passionate bestseller that detailed the dangers of global warming? We must make the rescue of the environment the central organizing principle for civilization, Al said.

In 1992 Gore claimed that 98 percent of scientists agreed with him on global warming. He was wildly wrong. For example, a survey that year found that a mere 17 percent of members of the American Geophysical Union and American Meteorological Society believed in greenhouse-gas climate change. Now the number is higher than 17%, but when one asks the experts who actually specialize in climate change the opinion is sharply divided. Here are a few examples of prominent scientists who disagree with Gore.

Neil Frank, former director of the National Hurricane Center, told The Washington Post that global warming is "a hoax."

Climate scientist Robert Lindzen of MIT believes that clouds and water vapor will counteract greenhouse gas emissions.

Hurricane expert William Gray of Colorado State University believes the Earth will start to cool within 10 years.


Russian scientist Khabibulo Absudamatov predicts that a decrease in the sun's radiation beginning in 2012 will cause global temperatures to decline into the middle of the 21st century.

NASA scientist Roy Spencer of the University of Alabama believes that it is more likely that the higher temperatures increased carbon dioxide levels, not the other way around. It comes down to whether you believe the climate system is fragile or resilient, he writes.

Vladimir Shaidurov of the Russian Academy of Sciences notes that the effects of atmospheric water vapor on global temperatures overwhelm the impact of carbon dioxide and other gases released by human activity.

The UN-sponsored Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change estimates human activity is responsible for just 7 billion metric tons of global carbon dioxide emissions out of a total of 157 billion tons released annually. That's just 4.5 percent, with 57 percent coming from oceans, 19 percent from decaying vegetation and 19 percent from plant and animal respiration.

N. Scafetta and B. J. West wrote in the latest issue of Geophysical Research Letters that the sun contributed some 46-49% of the 1900-2000 global warming of the earth, and depending on parameters, as much as 60% of the 20th-century temperature increase. The role of the sun in 20th-century global warming, according to Scafetta and West, has been vastly underestimated by the climate modeling community.

University of Winnipeg climatology professor Tim Ball wrote: These models have been consistently wrong in all their scenarios. Since modelers concede computer outputs are not predictions but are in fact merely scenarios, they are negligent in letting policy-makers and the public think they are actually making forecasts.

Appearing before the Commons Committee on Environment and Sustainable Development last year, Carleton University paleo-climatologist Tim Patterson testified, There is no meaningful correlation between CO2 levels and Earth's temperature over this [geologic] time frame. In fact, when CO2 levels were over ten times higher than they are now, about 450 million years ago, the planet was in the depths of the absolute coldest period in the last half billion years. On the basis of this evidence, how could anyone still believe that the recent relatively small increase in CO2 levels would be the major cause of the past century's modest warming?

Patterson concluded his testimony by explaining what his research and hundreds of other studies reveal: on all time scales, there is very good correlation between Earth's temperature and natural celestial phenomena such changes in the brightness of the Sun.

Boris Winterhalter professor in marine geology at the University of Helsinki takes apart the dramatic display of collapsing Antarctic glaciers. The breaking glacier wall is a normally occurring phenomenon. In Antarctica the temperature is low enough to prohibit melting of the ice front, so if the ice is grounded, it has to break off in beautiful ice cascades.

Wibjörn Karlén, emeritus professor of Physical Geography at Stockholm University explains, The temperature in this part of Antarctica has increased recently, probably because of a small change in the position of the low pressure systems. Karlén clarifies that the 'mass balance' of Antarctica is positive - more snow is accumulating than melting off. When Greenland and Antarctica are assessed together, their mass balance is considered to possibly increase the sea level by 0.03 mm/year - not much of an effect, Karlén concludes.

University of Virginia climate scientist Patrick J. Michaels adds: Antarctica has been gaining ice. There has been a cooling trend over most of Antarctica for decades. At the same time, one tiny portion of the continent - the Antarctic Peninsula - has been warming, and its ice has been melting. The peninsula constitutes only about 2 percent of Antarctica's total area, but almost every study of melting Antarctic ice you've heard of focuses on it.

In a 2005 study published in Science, Curt Davis used satellite measurements to calculate changes in the ice sheet's elevation, and found that it gained 45 billion tons of ice per year between 1992 and 2003.

University of Alaska professor Igor Polyakov shows that the region of the Arctic where rising temperature is supposedly endangering polar bears showed fluctuations since 1940 but no overall temperature rise. For several published records it is a decrease for the last 50 years. Furthermore, there has been some decrease in ice thickness in the Canadian Arctic over the past 30 years but no melt down.

The Canadian Ice Service records show that from 1971-1981 there was average, to above average, ice thickness. From 1981-1982 there was a sharp decrease of 15% but there was a quick recovery to average, to slightly above average, values from 1983-1995. A sharp drop of 30% occurred again 1996-1998 and since then there has been a steady increase to reach near normal conditions since 2001.

Regarding Arctic temperature changes, studies found the coastal stations in Greenland had actually experienced a cooling trend: The average summer air temperatures at the summit of the Greenland Ice Sheet, have decreased at the rate of 4 degrees F per decade since measurements began in 1987. Add in Russian and Alaskan temperature data and Arctic air temperatures were warmest in the 1930s and near the coolest for the period of recorded observations in the late 1980s.

You get the idea: there is plenty of data and plenty of doubt. But how about the basic fact: that the overall Earth is warming up?

The consensus appears to be that mean global surface temperature has increased about 0.5 degree Celsius between 1850 and 1940 and by another 0.3 degrees since then. Note that most of the warming in the 20th century was in the period 1900-1940, when man-made greenhouse gases were considerably less influential. So can we agree on the roughly 0.8 degree Celsius rise?

Richard Morgan, climatology researcher at University of Exeter, U.K. answers: Had the IPCC used the standard parameter for climate change (the 30 year average) and used an equal area projection, instead of the Mercator projection (which doubled the area of warming in Alaska, Siberia and the Antarctic Ocean) then warming and cooling would have been almost in balance. Oh well.

The United Nations Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) agrees that half the observed 20th century warming occurred before 1940 and cannot be attributed to human causes, and changes in solar radiation can account for 71 percent of the variation in global surface air temperature from 1880 to 1993.
The IPCC Climate Science study concludes that computer models consistently project a rise in temperatures over the past century that is more than twice as high as the measured increase.

The IPCC study also concludes that projections of global warming over the next century have decreased significantly since early modeling efforts and that global air temperatures should increase by 1.5 degrees Celsius (and by about 0.6 degree Celsius in the United States) over the next hundred years.

Even is we accept this modeling scenario, is it something to get in a tizzy over?

Professor Bob Carter of the Marine Geophysical Laboratory at James Cook University in Australia says about Al Gore’s scaremongering movie: Gore's circumstantial arguments are so weak that they are pathetic. It is simply incredible that they, and his film, are commanding public attention. The man is an embarrassment to US science and its many fine practitioners, a lot who know (but feel unable to state publicly) that his propaganda crusade is mostly based on junk science.

There is a conceit among the American left that its side is all-science, all-the-time, yet the hysteria about global warming shows how unscientific -- and downright faith-based -- the left has become.


24 Comments:

Anonymous Doc said...

Hey there Bill.... correct me if I'm wrong here, but - 30 years ago, wasn't the scientific community worried about global COOLING???

7:10 AM  
Blogger Ralph said...

Good Work

7:35 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Every scientist you quoted is a known global warming skeptic, most of them funded by Exxon-Mobil. Get some objective sources.
Thanks

9:20 AM  
Blogger Bill Lama said...

Every scientist I quoted is a "known global warming skeptic." Amazing how perceptive you lefties are! In fact they are renowned climate scientists who study the data and come to a different conclusion. Almost none of them are "funded by Exxon-Mobil."

9:55 AM  
Blogger fetching jen said...

Don't you love the way lefties try, without factual substantiation, to deflate your research?

Al Gore is an embarassment not only to American politics, but now he is a scientist? His ego is so far out-of-check that he believes his own press. Pathetic. I just wish the star-struck media would end their love affair with opportunistic idiots like algore.

10:41 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I think that for every ONE scientst[?] you quote there is 100 who will contradict their findings. Come on, Bill, acknowledge you are probably wrong. Gore for Prez.

Vic

3:04 PM  
Blogger Bill Lama said...

Vic,
Do you question the credentials of my scientists? Check them out yourself. Do you have any evidence for your 100:1 statistic? I've been studying this topic for some time and am becoming more and more convinced that the Gore viewpoint is hysterical. Fortunately his movement is losing steam as more legitimate scientists study the data. Ridicule is the end game of a failed religion.

Bill

ps Gore for president is my fondest dream. Do you remember what happened to Jimmy Carter?

3:05 PM  
Blogger Wadard said...

Yes , but Dr Bob Carter really is a well known oil industry stooge: :::[Global warming denial funded by ExxonMobil]. So how can you believe him?

9:59 PM  
Blogger Free Agency Rules said...

So, let me understand this. If the defense brings in an expert who testifies for the defense and he is paid for his trouble, then you are to summarily dismis his expertise because he was "paid" by the defense?

What are they supposed to do, bring in an expert that will convict the defendant and pay him?



FAR.

10:13 PM  
Blogger Wadard said...

So, let me understand this. If the defense brings in an expert who testifies for the defense and he is paid for his trouble, then you are to summarily dismis his expertise because he was "paid" by the defense?

But Bob Carter is not an expert on climate science, they are called meterologists, he is an expert on finding coal and oil - he is a geologist. And it is not a real court where he would not even get to he 'expert witness' stage, it's the court of public opinion. And so I cry, "Foul, Bob Carter" so that people like you are not unwittingly misinformed. Isn't that fair enough?

7:41 AM  
Blogger Free Agency Rules said...

Wadard,

Fair enough. I appreciate all information that I can get, especially information that is supported with facts.


Are you implying as Anon was that "most" of the references are not "expert?"

Anon said "100:1", why not 96:1 or 56:1, why "100:1?" He must have facts to back it up, but where are they?

P.S.

Thanks for being civil and not attacking personally when someone has a different understanding. That is what makes this country great, and what makes those that attack personally in the wrong. Hate is not a virtue.

Thanks,

FAR.

12:47 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

FAR,
Please stop pretending like you have an open mind. It doesn't matter how many "facts" or "science" people throw at you. You believe what you believe regardless of reality. Admit it.

1:40 PM  
Anonymous Mel said...

Bill, many of the skeptics you named were recently covered in an excellant article by Joel Ahenback and it well worth reading(Washingtonpost.com, "The Tempest", 5/28/06). A brief quotation from it follows:

"But when you step into the realm of the skeptics, you find yourself on a parallel Earth.

It is a planet where global warming isn't happening -- or, if it is happening, isn't happening because of human beings. Or, if it is happening because of human beings, isn't going to be a big problem. And, even if it is a big problem, we can't realistically do anything about it other than adapt.

Certainly there's no consensus on global warming, they say. There is only abundant uncertainty. The IPCC process is a sham, a mechanism for turning vague scientific statements into headline-grabbing alarmism. Drastic actions such as mandated cuts in carbon emissions would be imprudent. Alternative sources of energy are fine, they say, but let's not be naive. We are an energy-intensive civilization. To obtain the kind of energy we need, we must burn fossil fuels. We must emit carbon. That's the real world."

You can keep finding the few skeptics on Climate Change, but I wiil go with the vast majority of the world's scientists who have been honestly working on this issue for the better part of their careers.

3:23 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Richard Lindzen "charges oil and coal interests $2,500 a day for his consulting services; his 1991 trip to testify before a Senate committee was paid for by Western Fuels, and a speech he wrote, entitled 'Global Warming: the Origin and Nature of Alleged Scientific Consensus,' was underwritten by OPEC."
Sounds like a real objective source of info!

6:37 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Patrick Michaels:
"Known funding includes $49,000 from German Coal Mining Association, $15,000 from Edison Electric Institute and $40,000 from Cyprus Minerals Company, an early supporter of People for the West, a "wise use" group. He recieved $63,000 for research on global climate change from Western Fuels Association, above and beyond the undisclosed amount he is paid for the World Climate Report/Review. According to Harper's magazine, Michaels has recieved over $115,000 over the past four years from coal and oil interests. Michaels wrote "Sound and Fury" and "The Satanic Gases" which were published by Cato Institute."

9:08 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Wibjörn Karlén? Come on! And referencing "scientists" from the Russian Academy of Sciences? Those are the same dudes that doubt evolution! Please, get me real peeps bro.

9:17 PM  
Blogger Free Agency Rules said...

Anon,

Said: "It doesn't matter how many "facts" or "science" people throw at you. You believe what you believe regardless of reality. Admit it."

Both sides have many points that seem valid. If it were easy to discern which side were right we would not have 5-4 decisions on the SCOTUS.

The left says "We are always right and the conservatives are always wrong."

Many on the right say the same things about the left.

Both sides need to understand that it all depends upon your woldview and that your filter my not be right, so we should be respectful of the other view and if we say "our side is clearly right, and they are always clearly wrong", then it is clear who has the closed mind.

Now, aren't you saying that your worldview is always right and the dumb conservatives are always wrong?

So, who has the closed mind?


:)

FAR.

7:45 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Here's what NASA's chief climate scientist has to say: http://www.time.com/time/archive/preview/0,10987,1176828,00.html

10:01 AM  
Blogger Free Agency Rules said...

Anon,

That link is broken.

How about answering the question...

"aren't you saying that your worldview is always right and the dumb conservatives are always wrong?"

Well?


FAR.

10:47 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

"aren't you saying that your worldview is always right and the dumb conservatives are always wrong?"
No that's would you said. Stop putting words in my mouth.

2:46 PM  
Blogger Wadard said...

Both sides have many points that seem valid.

That is not true, this is not a debate! The scientific consensus is in - mankind causes global warming. Full Stop. You don't debate the scientific consensus on gravity, do you?

You are thinking you can subject climate science to a Fox News 'fair and balanced' treatment, but you can't because climate science is not about peoples subjective opinions.

8:47 AM  
Blogger Wadard said...

For example, a survey that year found that a mere 17 percent of members of the American Geophysical Union and American Meteorological Society believed in greenhouse-gas climate change.

Interesting stuff, other than the fact that Fairness and Accuracy in Reporting demostrated the publicity surrounding the report to be false. It states that the report said that 66 % of the scientists said that human-induced global warming was occurring, with 10 % disagreeing and the rest undecided. In a correction Gallup stated: "Most scientists involved in research in this area believe that human-induced global warming is occurring now."

Sounds like the oil industry did a pr hatchet job

3:51 PM  
Blogger Wadard said...

Reference for above post

3:56 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

wow - court documents

www.desmogblog.com

7:13 PM  

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