Good news about global warming!

Evidence continues to trickle in that we need not fear global temperatures rising to ruinous levels.  Anthony Watts provides a reality check at his invaluable site “What’s Up with That?”  This is the same material, reformatted and condensed — with some additional material to give a better context.  As always, I recommend reading the full articles.

(1)  “Current melting of Greenland’s ice mimics 1920’s – 1940’s event“, Ohio State University Research, reporting on a presentation of 10 December 2007 — Excerpt:

Two researchers here spent months scouring through old expedition logs and reports, and reviewing 70-year-old maps and photos before making a surprising discovery: They found that the effects of the current warming and melting of Greenland ‘s glaciers that has alarmed the world’s climate scientists occurred in the decades following an abrupt warming in the 1920s.

(2)  “Media Hype on ‘Melting’ Antarctic Ignores Record Ice Growth“, the Inhofe Press Blog at the site of the Senate Committee on Public Works and the Environment, 27 March 2008 — Includes a wealth of links.  Excerpt:

This time the media is promoting the ice loss of one tiny fraction of the giant ice-covered continent and completely ignoring the current record ice growth on Antarctica. Contrary to media hype, the vast majority of Antarctica has cooled over the past 50 years and ice coverage has grown to record levels since satellite monitoring began in the 1979, according to peer-reviewed studies and scientists who study the area.

(3)  Here is a comment by Ernst-Georg Beck about — or a rebuttal of — the alarming news stories about cooling of the arctic.  Beck is a teacher of biology at Merian-Schuleat Freiburg Germany, which seems to be a combination vocational high school and community college.  He has published several papers in peer-reviewed journals, available at his web site.  His conclusion:

The news item: “Arctic air temperatures climb to record levels” (Reuters, {16 October 2008} is selective science and wrong because the Arctic Ocean (covering an area of more than 50% of the Arctic circle) has been left unconsidered. The NOAA study summarizes: “5°C record levels in temperature in autumn“, presents the averaged temperatures only on land stations and discusses melting sea ice as a cause! This is pseudoscience.

In contrast the current Arctic warming mimics the 1920s-1940s event, as a recent study from the Ohio State University reveals. The scientists recognized from using weather station records, maps and photos from the past century that temperatures in Greenland had warmed in the 1920s at rates equivalent to the recent past.

(4) “Thirty years of warmer temperatures go poof“, Lorne Gunter, National Post, 20 October 2008 — Excerpt:

In early September, I began noticing a string of news stories about scientists rejecting the orthodoxy on global warming. Actually, it was more like a string of guest columns and long letters to the editor since it is hard for skeptical scientists to get published in the cabal of climate journals now controlled by the Great Sanhedrin of the environmental movement.

Still, the number of climate change skeptics is growing rapidly. Because a funny thing is happening to global temperatures — they’re going down, not up.

On the same day (Sept. 5) that areas of southern Brazil were recording one of their latest winter snowfalls ever and entering what turned out to be their coldest September in a century, Brazilian meteorologist Eugenio Hackbart explained that extreme cold or snowfall events in his country have always been tied to “a negative PDO” or Pacific Decadal Oscillation. Positive PDOs — El Ninos — produce above-average temperatures in South America while negative ones — La Ninas — produce below average ones.

… Also in September, American Craig Loehle, a scientist who conducts computer modeling on global climate change, confirmed his earlier findings that the so-called Medieval Warm Period (MWP) of about 1,000 years ago did in fact exist and was even warmer than 20th-century temperatures.

… While not stooping to such name-calling, weather-satellite scientists David Douglass of the University of Rochester and John Christy of the University of Alabama at Huntsville nonetheless dealt the True Believers a devastating blow last month.

For nearly 30 years, Professor Christy has been in charge of NASA’s eight weather satellites that take more than 300,000 temperature readings daily around the globe. In a paper co-written with Dr. Douglass, he concludes that while man made emissions may be having a slight impact, “variations in global temperatures since 1978 … cannot be attributed to carbon dioxide.”

(5) Just as the mainstream media excitedly reports that the arctic ice is disappearing, the cycle may have turned. 

  1. Experts Confirm Open Water Circling Arctic“, NY Times Science blog, 6 September 2008 — A somewhat balanced, in a confused way, article about arctic ice.
  2. Arctic sea ice now 28.7% higher than this date last year – still rallying“, Anthony Watts, posted at his blog Watt’s Up with That?, 15 October 2008 — This years data may mark an inflection point in arctic cooling.

For more information from the FM site

To read other articles about these things, see the following:

Reference pages about other topics appear on the right side menu bar, including About the FM website page.

Some of the posts about global cooling on the FM website:

  1. More forecasts of a global cooling cycle, 15 July 2008
  2. One of the most interesting sources of news about science and nature!, 27 October 2008
  3. An important letter sent to the President about the danger of climate change, 21 October 2009
  4. About those headlines from the past century about global cooling…, 2 November 2009


Please share your comments by posting below.  Per the FM site’s Comment Policy, please make them brief (250 word max), civil and relevant to this post.  Or email me at fabmaximus at hotmail dot com (note the spam-protected spelling).

34 thoughts on “Good news about global warming!”

  1. As can be seen from this recent publicised report in Science our understanding of rapid changes in weather patterns is lacking.

    Science, 19 July 2008, “High-Resolution Greenland Ice Core Data Show Abrupt Climate Change Happens in Few Years” (Subscription only)

    For a summary of the above report see Science News: “Now that’s abrupt“, 19 July 2008 — “Ancient ice cores show North Atlantic went from cold to warm in just three years.” Excerpt:

    “Slicing into and studying ancient, Greenlandic ice, an international science team has now dissected the year-by-year anatomy of abrupt climate change events — the kind where typical Minnesotan weather can become Texan in merely four to five years.

    “’We, in modern society, have never seen abrupt climate change,’ says James White, a paleoclimatologist at the University of Colorado at Boulder and one of the team members. ‘We would be dumbstruck if we went through it. We would be like, “Damn that was climate change”.’

    According to ice core evidence, abrupt changes did occur thousands of years ago. Weather patterns changed in one to three years, and the amount of dust in the atmosphere decreased five-fold in less than four decades. That means, within 30 years, the climate change was complete, reports a new study published in ScienceXpress, the online supplement to the June 19 Science.

    “’This can only happen if the atmospheric circulation has made a significant and permanent change,’ says University of Copenhagen paleoclimatologist Jørgen Peder Steffensen, who is lead author on the new paper. ‘The people living at that time would have noticed that winds and precipitation and temperatures over the seasons behaved completely different. The wind simply started to blow from another direction.’”

    “… The measurements will also “put the ball back in climate modelers’ court,” White explains. Current global climate models cannot replicate abrupt climate changes that are as rapid as those recorded in the ice cores. “If you are looking at it like a disease, the symptoms don’t match,” so the input triggers in the models must be wrong, he adds. But by pinpointing triggers of abrupt climate change episodes of the past, he says, modelers can make better predictions of future episodes.”

  2. James Hansen, my dear boy, familiarize yourself with the work of James Hansen, the NASA climatologist. Normally your are quite brilliant, FM, but this post is credibility shattering.
    Fabius Maximus replies: In what way? These are all reports of scientists working on climate issues.

    As for Hansen, I have followed his work for 20 years. I saw one of his early presentations, soon after his 23 June 2008 presentation to the US Senate (on a very hot day, which many of observers seemed to regard as Divine endoresement of his claims for anthropogenic global warming. I, like others at that time, thought his model was a joke. It did not even back-track successfully (i.e., run backwards to predict the past), and was even to layman grossly oversimplified.

    The field seems, to an layman, to have lumbered along in a similar fashion since then. Only lately have they began releasing critical information about data and methods — absolutely necessary for review and replication by outside experts. And that data has justified their secrecy, as examination has substantially weakened their case. As seen in the NAS “North Report” and the US House-commissioned “Wegman Report” (links available on the FM reference page Science, Nature, and Geopolitics.

    The factual basis has been severely weaken by outsiders’ examination of the data. Such as the survey of the stations in the United States Historical Climatology Network (USHCN) organized by Anthony Watts at — proving that it is not, as claimed on their website, a “high quality” network for the purposes of climate studies. Or the work by Steve McIntyre at Climate Audit on the dendroclimatology studies that formed the basis for Mann’s “hockey stick” — once the top icon of the Anthropogenic Global Warming theory, now almost totally discredited (among its many flaws was the conclusions’ reliance on a small number of bristlecone pine trees).

    So I will continue to post research as it becomes available, even if you consider it “credibility shattering”.

  3. Comment #2 has the virtue of being under FM’s 250-word limit. While trained in a field at least distantly related to climatology (earth sciences), I find evaluation of the pro and con arguments to be daunting. Long ago, Dr. Hansen subordinated technical matters to political considerations. That is his right, but it necessarily affects the credibility of *his* assertions.

    The website “Climate Debate Daily” is a useful compendium of online material from all sides of this debate.

  4. The climate change debate in the US is really nothing about science. It’s always funny to see the smattering of papers brought forth (notably by biologists and geologists and political scientists but very very few climatologists) as if there aren’t dissenting views and noisy data in science. Almost as funny as the core belief that there is a global conspiracy of climatologists to destroy (the US) economy. Luckily we have Big Oil out there to save us from them eh ?

    It not only shows a lack of understanding about how science works – but that is not unusual in the world – but more interestedly it is really a proxy for the real worries.

    Americans are afraid of their economic future and are looking for reasons why they are in decline – but only reasons that are compatible with the ideology that has been hammered into place by the cold war. A nefarious conspiracy is just the sort of stuff people are more than willing to accept.
    Fabius Maximus replies: I don’t believe that characterizes the debate very well. Not only does this display little knowledge of the history and sociology of science — in which minority positions, often largely of those outside the relevant scientific community, proved correct — it also ignores key aspects of the debate. On one side, the refusal to reveal data and methods, necessary for replication. On the excellent work done to critique the dominant paradigm, often by distinguished scientists.

    In short, this is gives a child’s cartoon version of the debate.

  5. Piltdown warming anyone? When ideology and science get together the results are pretty ugly. The answer is more socialism. . . What was the question?

  6. Awwww, Nic, bless your heart.

    You think a disagreement about how to interpret the available data reflects a misunderstanding about how science works? You think Americans are >more< worried about their economic future than citizens of far less wealthy countries? You think US public opinion is stuck in the cold war?!?

    You’re a pip, that’s what you are, Nic.

  7. “The climate change debate in the US is really nothing about science.”

    As it should be . . . none of the interesting questions are really “science questions.” Who really cares if climate change is man-made or natural? The real issue is do we want to change the current climate? To answer that, we need to know what will be the positive and negative effects of that change and, of course, how much will it cost to do it. ‘Science’ can only play a small part in that analysis.

  8. The “climate debate” is the product of the grant-induced beliefs of vocal scientists, it is not the result of actual science. Mention global warming to any of my fellow geologists and they all will roll their eyes and chuckle – unless they’re up for grant money.

  9. {FM note: I have reformatted and added links to this comment. These look quite interesting.}

    Global cooling means more volcanic action: “Stop Global Warming For Free“, posted by M. Simon at Power and Control, 12 October 2008 — An easy low cost way of stopping global warming has been found. Of course nothing is for sure. But it is interesting that volcanic action peaks in cold eras.


    A Global Temperature Chart Not in Gore’s Movie“, Newsbusters, 12 November 2007

    Long Range Weather” — Harris-Mann Climatology, a site run by climatologist Cliff Harris and meteorologist Randy Mann.

    120-Year Climate Study“, posted on the Harris-Mann site.

  10. Nic,

    From a non-professional perspective, my doubts about AGW have little to do with the “noise” and “dissenting positions” you speak of. When the True Believers declare that the debate is over, I get quite skeptical. Some nifty computer models say, “Look, look, we’re getting really warm, and the pace of the change will only accelerate.” I simply ask a few questions:

    1) Do these models “predict” the Medieval Warming Period and the Little Ice Age? Can they duplicate or otherwise account for the rapid changes observed in Greenland in the 1920’s and 1930’s?

    2) Why does the loss of Arctic ice prove the theorem, but the gain of Antarctic ice not disprove the theorem? How does that make sense? Did the models “predict” the gain in Antarctic ice and still predict global warming?

    3) If we’re warming, why are we seeing global temp graphs flat for the last 8-10 years? Do the models that started this whole discussion (the hockey stick graph) predict this result based on the empirical data re: solar activity and other variables from the last couple of years?

    4) This is science, aren’t we non-scientists supposed to be empirical about the matter? Can I have a copy of the computer model software used, so that I can input the data as of 1998, see the hockey stick, then put in the last 10 years of observations, and end up with today’s conditions?

    If not, the models are garbage. Models that can’t predict the present are unlikely to predict the future.


  11. Well now isn’t that interesting, Bob thinks he’s found himself a fool in Nic… You know I think Bob is spot on…
    Fabius Maximus replies: Please, no personal comments. They are just chaff in the discussion. I will edit as necessary to remove these, and moderate future comments of repeat offenders.

  12. The desire to place the entire world economy under the control of a secular priesthood of socialist bureaucrats long preceded any plausible data regarding global climactic warming. When it became apparent in the late 20th century that centralized control of command economies leads rather monotonously to failure and even starvation, the aficionados of state control required a novel rationale for their struggle. They found that in an appeal to save “the planet,” which they elevated into the Gaia-goddess of a pseudo-religion that regards the Cathedral of Chartres, for example, as no different, ontologically, than a termite mound in the desert. What motivates them is not climate science, but an underlying disgust with and hatred of authentic human life.

  13. The most interesting thing about this intellectually is that it reveals just how unscientific the scientific method is. Belief always trumps fact but also how fact is perceived is a function of belief.

    As to the rapid climate change mentioned above: could be. But I read Hapgood’s 1958 work on sudden polar shifts explaining the formation of mountain ranges, why tropical debris was found deep under Arctic ice formations and so forth and suspect he stumbled onto something there. If such axis wobbles did indeed happen, then even if there were no rapid climate change globally apart from huge amounts of dust going up etc., the local terrain in shifting from mid-level to polar regions, or vice versa, certainly would go through very rapid change.

    Which is not to say this theory is necessarily correct, though he did back it up with rather convincing circumstantial evidence in the book, but simply that there are always many other variables (aka possibilities) often ignored when certain specific data is examined. Data alone is neither knowledge nor science.

  14. I believe the climate question is so politicized that it hard to trust anyone. As an lay person I wondered if the movement of the magnetic pole could have an effect onthe arctic warming. I asked Dr. Richard Lindzen of MIT (atmospheric physicist), what he thought.

    His short response is first, followed by my query: “I doubt it. The ice was a bit increased this summer, and depends on many factors — including wind direction.”

    Dr. Lindzen:
    I wonder if you could help me with a question about the loss of summer sea ice in the arctic? Apparently, the magnetic north pole has moved northward about 1,100 km in the past 100 years. It is now at about 83 degrees north latitude. Could the movement of the magnetic pole bring a thinner layer of ozone to the polar cap area thus slightly increasing the solar radiation reaching the polar cap? Could that partially explain the loss of sea ice?

    By the way, I enjoyed the article you published in the WSJ about a year ago that described a sort of herd mentality in the field of climate study.

    From “name deleted”, ScD MIT 1970

  15. And now “Frontline” comes on tonight telling us we’re all going to fry. Why do I get the feeling this global warming is going to somehow replace publishing as a revenue source for a select group. Meet the new boss, same as the old boss.

  16. If Global Warming don’t get you then Peak Oil will. If war is the health of the state then politicized doom is the vitamin supplement. Y2K, Peak Oil, Overpopulation, Global Warming, Resource Depletion, etc. Take your pick.

  17. I’m no believer in man-made global warming, but you’re going to take the word of a biologist who teaches at a trade school over NOAA? Would you make that same bet during hurricane season if you lived on the Gulf Coast?
    Fabius Maximus replies: Einstein was a patent clerk. There are similar instances. Note that he has been published in peer-reviewed professional journals.

  18. “you’re going to take the word of a biologist who teaches at a trade school over NOAA?”

    Yep. Just like I take the word of my old science books over the IAU that Pluto is a planet. Manmade Global Warming is an asinine theory. It disregards the phenomenon of ‘weather,’ in attempting to explain the weather. It is one step below UFOlogy; at least we can claim that the odds favor some life in the universe, unlike AGW which has no predictative power.

  19. Pingback: Global Warming? Where? | Democrat=Socialist

  20. Science has been defined as ‘systematic knowledge of the physical or material world gained through observation and experimentation’. I have often read that to support a thesis, an experiment must be repeatable.

    I submit we are collectively still working on the first global experiment, and are nowhere near starting any repeat.

    Full disclosure: I deny AGW (the sun’s cycles have an obvious impact – duh); I am not a scientist; grasping, clawing efforts at increasing hegemonic central government control sucks.

  21. Of course nothing is for sure.

    On the contrary, there are plenty of things that are “for sure”. For example, when any issue enters the political domain, the Left will take up the side that offers the greatest promise of expanding government power.

  22. Pingback: Meanwhile, in the Climate « Buttle’s World

  23. Robbins Mitchell

    Even MORE good news about ‘global warming’….anAL GOREtentive continues his long slow slide into utter irrelevance and hopes to at least be remembered as ‘the father of midnight basketball’

  24. If you postulate that the global warming consensus has nothing to do with climate, but instead represents a desire to destroy the free market and institute socialism worldwide, then it all makes perfect sense.

  25. There have been no significant new data supporting the anthropogenic global warming theory for some years now. There have been numerous studies and data throwing doubt, to put it very mildly on the theory.

    One was the peer-reviewed study done by Brookhaven Labs, the large government lab complex on Long Island, published last year: “Heat Capacity, Time Constant, and Sensitivity of Earth’s Climate System“, Stephen E. Schwartz, Brookhaven National Laboratory, June 2007

    It concluded
    (1) there is human-caused global warming, but it will amount to far less than even the lowest NOAA and IPCC estimates,
    (2) the effects of CO2 peak after a time, like “painting a window black, subsequent coats don’t block out additional light,
    (3) there is no delay effect—you get the effect you’re going to get right away or not at all. Among other things, this means the leveling/lowering of average surface temps over the last decade may mean, as the study suggests, that we have already experienced most of the warming effect we will ever experience from CO2 and that adding more won’t make much of a difference.

    This study received no publicity in the media, of course, and presumably its publishers could not be dismissed as pawns of Exxon Mobil, so we heard…silence.

    Other studies have encountered similar media silence. See “Peer Reviewed Scientific Studies Chill Global Warming Fears“, Right Side News, 28 July 2008.

    So many scientists, politicians, ecofundamentalists, Marxists in disguise and Gore-like messianic figures (and, BTW corporations hoping to cash in on the insanity) have their grants, publications, money, power, careers and credibility staked on the GW myth, that it will be many years before the truth trickles down to the masses. The liars and hysterics simply have too much at stake to allow mere fact to intrude on their growth industry. Once again, the self-styled “reality-based community” reveals itself to be far more based on blind faith, demagoguery and humbug than the supposedly knuckle-dragging skeptics.

  26. I have long suspected that ‘climate change’ will be the mantra, not ‘global warming’. The increase in CO2 is most likely to cause more different changes than ‘merely’ warming.

    I also will still favor gas taxes / carbon taxes rather than regulations, and rather than income taxes.

    The Kyoto Protocol should be revised so that gov’ts have target amounts of cash to raise from taxing CO2 / pollution. For instance, 10% of total Fed gov’t revenue. I can even imagine this percentage going up whenever oil prices go down, to stabilize the pump price, but at ever higher levels.

    I don’t like taxes, but gov’t spending must be reduced to reduce taxes. Perhaps the most likely way to reduce spending is to require increased gas taxes for all increased gov’t spending.

  27. Sorry guys, I’m the real skeptic. Going way back to previous posts I’ve downloaded the historial data, recent and forecast data. I’ve gone through it in detail.

    Now living in Australia, now in its 12th year of drought does give you a bit of different perspective. We are the “canary in the mine”.

    Currently we are in a La Nina cycle, cooler and wetter .. except there is no rain, bit cooler though. But the La Nina/El Nino cycle is just about transport of heat. No heat is destroyed, just moved (you can’t destroy energy).

    Now basic, (I mean really basic 1st year Physics level), tells us that more energy is being trapped on the Earth. No need for a computer you can do it on paper (as we did in the old days), or a slide rule or a calculator. There are complex transport mechanisms that move enery (ie heat) through the World. The classic example is the Gulf Stream, without which North Western Europe (inc the UK) would be much colder.

    Not all of these systems of energy transfer are completely understood (thanks to ridiculous underfunding for science and research, we can spend a squillion on a B2 or a Ferrari but virtually nothing to understand our World). But the energy is still there, subducted into the deeper ocean at certain times, with effects we know nothing about.

    So to the the “climate skeptics” as they call themselves, a challenge: basic physics vs unfounded belief. The last challenge like that was the Catholic Church vs Gallileo. I think history proved who was right (yes the Earth really does go around the sun and the Earth is a ball not a flat plate .. for the sillies out there).
    Fabius Maximus replies: You are a bright guy, but this is absurd. Climate systems are complex systems with multiple layers of feebacks. One might as well say that Earth’s temperature depends only on its net energy balance (solar energy received minus radiation away). These child-like over-simplifications tell us nothing. If they were true, global circulation models would be toy-like, not massive and rapidly-evolving constructs.

    The debate is over data collection, statistical analysis, alternative explanations of past cycle, etc. Nobody who actually read the papers involved — some listed on the FM reference page “Science, Nature, and Geopolitics” (e.g., the Wegman and North reports) — could write such a comment in good faith.

    This suggests that you are commenting on matters about which you have not bothered to spend even an hour reading both sides. That attitude is like that of a Medieval churchman — certain of the truth, no need to read Gallileo!

    To consider a 12-year drought in Australia a “canary in the coal mine” is astonishing, as Australia has a long history of long droughts. What is your basis for belief that this is not a normal cyclical event? This is not just superstition, I hope?

    Speaking of psy

  28. OldSkeptic:
    I think you are oversimplifying the problem. The Earth and the system in which the Earth operates are a very large, multivariable problem. If it were a simple matter to discretize the variables, undoubtedly a closed-form solution would have already been devised. Unfortunately it isn’t that simple, and IMO it merely illustrates that we still lack knowledge on how the system operates and the relations between the varibles.

    The slide rule approach works well when you understand the variables and can readily make assumptions or linearize them. I don’t think that is the case.

    Don’t you think using a 12-year drought as an example to extrapolate to millions of years of climate is a bit of a stretch?

  29. OldSkeptic,

    Your points are well taken–we can’t just replace sneering credulity on the one side with the same on the other side.

    I also think how heat is being trapped is a key question. Heat doesn’t have to remain in an energy state and merely moved about, though; it can be converted to matter. The oil and coal in the ground represents the solar energy of millions of years ago. Fantastic amounts of energy are being converted to organic matter every day. To the extent that this matter sinks to the ocean floor or is fixed in the soil or tectonically moves under the earth’s surface, energy (heat) is removed from the atmosphere, albeit temporarily. I think the key question to ask is how robust is the earth’s ability to regulate total atmospheric energy levels via this method and others such as the increased reflectivity of cloud cover (water in a higher energy state).

    Today’s climate models are, I think, pitifully inadequate to address these factors and those you mention. Certainly, it is premature and downright wasteful to move our financial chips onto either black or red when we have scarcely uncovered a fraction of the board, let alone the rules of the freakin’ game.

  30. I will limit my comments to the graph included in the National Post article by Lorne Gunther. The graph shows a time series of lower tropospheric temperatures along with a low-pass filtered version of the data. The latter is erroneously labelled a ‘global trend line'(*) and Mr. Gunther notes that “all of the rise in global temperatures since 1979 has disappeared.” He concludes from this that the data indicate there has been no global warming.

    This interpretation is groundless. The data show both a secular trend, as well as low frequency variability. The low frequency variability is due, among other things, to relatively short term El Nino/La Nina events, as well as slower variations in the PDO. The amplitude of this variability is large and can overwhelm, temporarily, the changes associated the secular trend. For example, it might be noted that the data return to the baseline of zero in 1999. This followed a large positive excursion which was associated with the 1998 El Nino event. It is worth keeping in mind that PDO-type variability has a decadal time scale and so can obscure the secular trend for years.

    (*) The proper way to estimate the trend is to do a linear fit to the data, and then test if the trend is statistically significant, given the noise presented by the low frequency variability. Long time series data are required for this purpose.
    Fabius Maximus replies: These issues are endlessly debated in the Climate Science literature. In fact, the instrument resolution is less than the changes — making any conclusions of dubious weight. This is also true of the surface station and satellite records. Esp since both of these are heavily adjusted, with the adjustments larger than the variations in the signal.

  31. Dosco, our CSIRO is one of the premier scientific organsiations in the world. What is happening here is exactly in line with their predictions. Translated: We are in a La Nina cycle, yes we are colder .. a bit, not much though today was 25c .. but there is no rain.

    Exactly as predicted.

    Now this means that there is no water allocations for farmers, etc, next year (2009) along the Murray-Darling system. None, zilch. The cotton farms have dried up, the orange trees are being bulldozed. The winter wheat crop has failed.

    Basically Australia, normally a large exporter of food can now just, possibly, feed itself, maybe. Despite being in the cold ‘wet’ cycle our water reserves have fallen to new lows. Melbourne is about 30%, the State Govt is planning to build an (idiotic) desalination plant (even more CO2).

    Bit like the financial crisis, BAU is gone, the longer we try to keep it going the worse it is. Let us (all of us) change now.
    Fabius Maximus replies: You did not address the point Docso and I raised. You are taking what is a common event for Australia’s climate — a long drought — and assuming that this tells us the global climate has changed. I see no basis for this conclusion.

  32. Ok, we measure surface temperatures, with increasing accuracy. This = energy at the surface (up to 50m if I remember). But the Earth’s climate system moves tremendous amounts of energy. It moves hugee volumes from area to area everyday. The mechanisms are air and water. Air is the fastest. Water, because of its specific heat capacity and its volume (Earth is a misnomer, Water is more accurate) is the dominant force for long term change.

    Now unless Earth’s albedo (the measure of reflectiveness) increases then with greater GG gasses then more energy stays within the atmosphere (physics 101). Greater albedo would require more ice or more clouds. Ice, in all forms, is declining, clouds have not increased (we measure these things very carefully). Therefore more energy is being trapped in the Earths climate systems. Most of which goes into the oceans (75% of the Earth after all).

    Now surface temperatures (heat = energy) varies tremendously from day to day by transport mechanisms, largely air based. But there are underlying systems that create systemic changes, mostly water based . The example I gave was El Nino/La Nina (or the Southern Ocean Oscillation -SCO). Heat (energy) moves back and forwards in ocean areas.

    Other, largely poorly understood, systems move heat (energy) deep underwater, as in the case of the Gulf stream, it goes down deep and then reappears later, sometimes a lot later.

    But however you put it, more energy is in the Earths climate systems. The extra heat in the oceans does not disappear. It just does things that we largely we don’t understand and pops up later, not necessarily in good ways. To give a rhetorical example, what if it heats up all the trapped methane at the bottom of the ocean?

    A symptom of this is ocean rising. The single biggest factor in this to date is that the oceans are getting hotter and hot water expands. Yes there is ice melting, but this will not start to impact for a while yet.

    Now I used the Australian example deliberately, because we are so marginal we have done tremendous work understanding the SCO cycle. A cycle will still happen, but instead of moving from cool and wet to warm, it moves from dry and warm to very dry and hot. Still a cycle. Just the new ‘cool’ part is the same as the old ‘warm’ part = a drought here. Predicted.

    Which is what has happened.
    Fabius Maximus replies: For someone lecturing us about basic science, I don’t see any numbers or citations here. Much of this is just wrong, much just a cartoon version of climate science (aka pseudoscience).

    “A symptom of this is ocean rising. The single biggest factor in this to date is that the oceans are getting hotter and hot water expands.”

    First, ocean temperature (average, not just surface temp) increases slowly — with a lagged effect of many decades vs. atmospheric temperatures. With a total mass of about 10^24 grams, it takes a lot of heat to increase the ocean’s temperature. You do not tell us the rise in the ocean’s average temperature since CO2 levels began a steep ascent, but its likely quite small.

    Second, the tiny measured increase in the ocean’s temp cannot have significantly increased its volume. I doubt it has risen by 1% since 1900. The “Handbook of Chemistry and Physics” tells us that an increase of 10 degree C will increase water’s density by .0025 (i.e., .25%).

    You also ignore contra effects. Feedback, such as increase temperature increasing evaporation — more clouds, which reflect sunlight. And increase airporne particulates (pollution), which was the cause of the global cooling scare in the 1970’s.

    Last, and most important, you give no basis for your confidence in the surface temperature network. Where there is a large body of evidence showing that it is adequate for its intended purpose (local weather measurement and forecasting) but inadequate to measure tiny variations in temperature over long periods (climate trends). Not only do the stations not follow the operating criteria (see Anthony Watts’ surface stations site), but the necessary adjustments for changed equipment, location, and urban heating are larger (often far larger) than the “measured” trend (Climate Audit has run many articles about this).

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