Tuesday, April 28, 2009

Spending billions on a non-existent problem

“From error to error one discovers the entire truth.” Sigmund Freud.

The Issue
The US Congress is currently discussing the Obama climate change strategy and Cap and Trade. One part of the plan says, “Implement an economy-wide cap-and-trade program to reduce greenhouse gas emissions 80 percent by 2050.”

The term “greenhouse gas emissions” is either deliberately misleading or indicates complete ignorance of the science, or both. What they really mean is CO2, yet it is less than 4% of greenhouse gases and the human portion a fraction of that. Why do they want it reduced? It is not a pollutant and not causing global warming or climate change. Reducing it is completely unnecessary and harmful for the plants and will cost trillions. They propose energy alternatives that are potentially more dangerous because they don’t work and can replace only a fraction of existing energy sources. This pattern of identifying the wrong agent of change, blaming humans, and proposing inadequate replacements at great cost is not new. We saw very similar events and sequences with claims that Chlorofluorocarbon (CFC) was destroying the ozone layer.

The Pattern

Many cite the Montreal Protocol as a template for dealing with global warming because it supposedly resolved the ozone crisis. It didn’t! It’s a template not because it worked but because it was completely unnecessary, cost a lot of money and created other problems. It is also a template for understanding the deception that human CO2 is causing global warming. Chlorofluorocarbons (CFC) were blamed for atmospheric ozone destruction without evidence and natural processes were ignored.

They said CFCs would remain in the atmosphere for up to 100 years. Recovery of the ozone would take a very long time. They were wrong!

Today the failed predictions are essentially ignored although some scientists continue to seek the truth. Recently, University of Waterloo physics and astronomy professor, Qing-Bin Lu published a paper showing that cosmic rays are a major factor in the extent of the so-called ozone hole.

The issue has faded and only lingers in the massive sales of sun blockers. When I ask people what happened to the ozone issue, they invariably pause for a moment and say, “Yes, whatever happened to that?” The answer is there was no problem and the variations in ozone were perfectly natural.

A major tenet of the environmental paradigm is that almost all change is due to human activity. Once a change is determined it triggers a search for the human cause without consideration of natural change.

Measurements of ozone in Antarctica by the British Antarctic survey team in the early 1980s determined levels were lower than measures taken in 1957. I recall the press reports on this event and James Lovelock, the British scientist who proposed the Gaia hypothesis, warning against overreaction, but he was ignored.

Later they said he was wrong. In fact, he was right but it didn’t matter. It was an issue that fit environmental hysteria and was quickly deemed an unnatural change and the search for a human cause began. In 1974, Sherwood and Molina provided what they were looking for. In lab experiments they determined chlorine as the active ingredient in chlorofluorocarbon that destroys ozone. An unproven hypothesis became a fact and science was sidelined. As Richard Lindzen said about global warming and CO2, the consensus was reached before the research had even begun.
The Facts

There are no holes in the ozone, there were none when it became a political issue in the 1990s and there are none today. This is not an issue of semantics, but an important fact in the relationship between scientific accuracy and the public perception and political reaction. The amount of ozone in the ozone layer varies considerably in different regions, at different altitudes and over time. The so-called “ozone hole” is a region in the ozone layer generally located over Antarctica in which the ozone level is the lowest during the Southern Hemisphere winter. Even at this time the thickness of the ozone layer is approximately 1/3 of the global average. It is an area of thinning due to natural causes.

Ozone is produced when portions of ultraviolet light (UV) strike free atmospheric oxygen. This splits the oxygen (O2) into single oxygen (O) molecules that combine in threes to create ozone (O3). This occurs in the ozone layer from approximately 40 km down to 15 km. Height and depth of the layer varies with latitude and season. Ozone amounts vary at different altitudes, but only decreases were reported in the media particularly those over Antarctica. The system is self-correcting because as more ultraviolet penetrates deeper into the atmosphere it confronts more free oxygen. By 15 km above the surface over 95% of the UV has been expended in the creation of ozone.

A major cause of changes in the size and extent of the Antarctic ozone hole are the intense wind patterns and circulations associated with the extensive Antarctic high-pressure zone and the surrounding wind pattern known as the Circumpolar Vortex. A second factor is Polar Stratospheric Cloud (PSC) that forms when gases including water vapor sublimate directly to crystals because of the intensely low temperatures (-70°C and below) and pressures over the South Pole. But just as evidence against CO2 is ignored the environmentalists and politicians pushed ahead while deriding and demeaning those who wanted all the facts on the table.

Thursday, April 23, 2009

Is the Sun a ‘Global Warming’ Denier?

The Sun isn’t playing ball with the ‘global warmers’. Indeed, I expect one of our more rabid Labour ministers to come out any day now fatuously accusing the fading star of ‘global warming’ denial on a par with denying the effects of smoking or the link between HIV and AIDS.

But one has to laugh. The sun is currently so inactive that even our ‘global warming’-obsessed media has been forced, through heavily rose-tinted sunglasses, to admit the phenomenon, rushing to add, of course, that this doesn’t mean that ‘global warming’ has halted, or that we must stop mending our evil ways.

‘Global Warming’ In Trouble

Yet, the truth is that ‘global warming’ [not, let’s be clear, climate change] is possibly in trouble. The whole point is that climate is the most complex of systems, and that it is impossible - madness even - to try to predict future climates with respect to one politically-selected variable.

So what precisely is all the fuss about this very big other variable, the Sun? Put simply, a thing called ‘Solar Cycle 24’ is long overdue; it just can’t seem to get going. Solar-cycle intensity is measured by the maximum number of sunspots. Sunspots are dark blotches on the Sun that mark areas of heightened magnetic activity. The more sunspots, the more likely it is that major solar storms will occur. The next 11-year cycle of solar storms (i.e. ‘Solar Cycle 24’) was predicted to begin in Autumn, 2006, but it appears to have been seriously delayed.

This is what Paul Stanko of the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) is reported as saying about this on the wonderful Watts Up With That? web site:

Thursday, April 16, 2009

Claude Allegres befürchtete Rückkehr in die Politik.

A post for Silvia.

Die Gerüchte gingen bereits vorher hier in Frankreich herum und scheinen sich jetzt zu bestätigen. Claude Allegre, einst sozialistischer Forschungsminister und hard-boiled climate sceptic, ist auf den Weg zurück, diesmal in die konservative Regierung unter Francois Fillon. Allegre hat mehrere klimakritische Texte herausgegeben, die teilweise am Rande der Lächerlichkeit herschrammend ein Sammelsurium aus im Netz zusammengegoogelten Texten darstellen. Ich hatte bereits einmal einen nur so vor Fehlern überlaufenden Text von Ihm korrigieren müssen. In einer vor kurzen stattfindenden Fernsehshow bezeichnete er gar meinen Chef und offiziellen französischen IPCC Abgesandten, Jean Jouzel, gar als "tricheur" ("Betrüger").

Bild 1: Claude Allegre war unter Lionel Jospin Forschungsminister und musste nach heftigen Protesten in der Lehrerschaft.

Seine Kontakte zu Sarkozy intensivierten sich wohl in der letzten Zeit und heute ging ein Fax an alle Institute des IPSL (eine Gruppe von in Paris gelegenen Labors, die zu Klimafragen arbeiten), dass Allègre im Laufe dieser Woche als Nachfolger des französischen Umweltminister, Jean Luis Borloo, eingesetzt wird. Borloo hatte sich in der Klimadebatte immer wieder für eine weitsichtige Energiepolitik gekennzeichnet durch eine Forderung nach starken Emissionsauflagen hervorgetan. Er hatte intensiv mit uns und insbesondere Jean Jouzel zusammengearbeitet.

Bild 2: Jean Luis Borloo wird diese Woche das Ministerium für Umweltschutz dem Klimaskeptiker Claude Allegre räumen müssen.

Allègres Nominierung, so ist hier die allgemeine Meinung, bedeutet wahrscheinlich einen generellen Umschwung in der französischen Klimapolitik. Einige Kollegen hier am IPSL fürchten sogar einen Einfluss auf den Teil des Etats, der für Klimaorschung aufgewandt wird. Wie das hier so üblich ist, wird bereits von Streik und Demonstrationen gesprchen. So oder so, es wäre ein harter Schlag für das IPSL und die von uns geplanten Grossprojekte, insbesondere die geplanten Antarktis Bohrungen.
Ich kann mir nicht vorstellen, dass Allegres Nominierung nicht auch die restliche französische Politik beeinflussen wird. Die Spannungen, die etwa hier zwischen der Sarkozy Regierung und den restlichen Mitgliedern des G20 erwähnt werden, könnten durchaus auch mit einem Ausscheren Frankreichs aus dem Kyoto Protokoll zu tun haben. Falls es soweit kommt, werde ich hier die Koffer packen.

PS Ich werde versuchen einige der Links noch durch deutsche Texte zu ersetzten. Wir sind hier aber alle noch ein wenig perplex und ich wollte diese sicher weitreichenden Neuigkeiten erstmal gepostet haben.

Monday, April 6, 2009

C02 Global Warming’s IPCC-created Hobglobin

The UN Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) is responsible for providing the hobgoblin of global warming. They claim CO2 is almost the sole cause of warming while effectively ignoring the sun. Their claim that the sun is of little consequence is unbelievable and only a measure of their deception and lousy science. They only looked at one part of solar influence on weather and climate and didn’t do that accurately. Instead they used it to support their claim the temperature changes are not caused by the sun and therefore must be due to CO2. They only considered irradiance (heat and light) and concluded, incorrectly, it was of little consequence. They assume, because the variation is approximately 0.1% over approximately a 30-year period, it is of little consequence.

The number certainly seems small when expressed as a percentage of 100. However, it is estimated that only a 6% variation is sufficient to explain all known temperature variation in the history of the Earth. So 0.1% is significant in relation to 6%. To put this in context consider how much the temperature drops between night and day or even for the brief period of a total eclipse. As solar and climate scientist Willie Soon said, “We have known for 80 years that even small changes in solar radiation have a strong effect on Earth’s temperature and climate.”

The IPCC do not include changes in sun/earth relationships collectively called the Milankovitch effect, a major cause of temperature change.

They ignore the high correlation between sunspots and global temperature which has a warmer Earth with many sunspots and colder with fewer. They claimed, legitimately, you must not assume cause and effect. However, they made the illegitimate claim there was no mechanism and the research was not produced in time to meet their deadline for inclusion. Both claims are wrong. A proposed mechanism first appeared in Science in 1991 when Christensen and Lassen published “Length of the Solar Cycle: An indicator of solar activity closely associated with Climate.” Since then several articles appeared elaborating on the mechanism, most before the IPCC deadline. Why did they ignore it? Likely because it showed the sun explained temperature changes. Typical of the pattern of their manipulations they did break the deadline rule when it suited their argument.