Skeptical Thoughts on Energy, Science and Global Warming

Crank of the Week - July 27, 2009 - The International Council for Science

We have all become familiar with the sloppy, bureaucracy driven science promulgated by the UN IPCC. Now a another organization, the International Council for Science (ICSU), is vying for leadership in ruining free scientific inquiry world wide. “Natural sciences should no longer dictate the Earth system research agenda,” proclaimed their manifesto, which appeared in the July 17, 2009, issue of Science. “Social sciences will be at least as important in its next phase.”

Cloud Study Claims Unsuspected Positive Feedback

In a stunning paper in Science, researchers claim to have reversed the impact of clouds on global climate. It has long been known that low level cloud cover creates a net cooling effect on climate. This new study, which concentrated on a restricted area of the Pacific Ocean, claims that warming oceans reduce low cloud cover letting in more sunlight that further warm the ocean and hence provide a positive feed back that adds to global warming. Based on a warming episode that started in 1978, the article claims that observational analysis showed that clouds act as a positive feedback in this region on decadal time scales. But a cometary on the article in the same issue of Science says that the analysis suggests—but falls short of proving—that clouds are strongly amplifying the warming. If it's true, then almost all climate models have got it wrong.

Modeling Ice Age's End Lessens Climate Change Worries

Two articles in the July 17 edition of Science describe efforts to model Earth's rapidly changing climate at the end of the last glacial period, between 21 and 11 thousand years years ago (ka). After a year and a half of number crunching on Oak Ridge National Laboratory's Jaguar supercomputer, the first results indicate that climate experienced cooling 17 ka, during the Heinrich Event 1 (H1), followed by an abrupt warming at the onset of the Bølling-Allerød Warming 14.5 ka. These abrupt climate changes were accompanied by large changes in the “ocean conveyor belt”: the Atlantic meridional overturning circulation (AMOC). The results suggest that this transition can be viewed simply as the North Atlantic climate response to rapidly changing glacial meltwater flow. The findings call for a paradigm shift in our understanding of abrupt climate change and weakens the threat of “irreversible tipping points” so popular with climate change extremists.

Chilling Stars Author Henrik Svensmark On Video

In a five-part video series featuring Danish scientist Henrik Svensmark, the author of The Chilling Stars talks about his research into the effects that cosmic rays have on cloud formation. His theories contradict the IPCC’s theory of anthropogenic global warming, which basically blames last century's rise in average global temperature on human CO2 emissions. As many good scientists outside of the inbred climate change community have noticed, carbon dioxide just isn't up to the job of causing last century's observed global temperature rise. Instead, Svensmark and his colleagues hypothesize that clouds created by cosmic rays, which are in part controlled by the activity of the sun, regulate Earth's climate. Because this contradicts the IPCC's view of global warming, Svensmark's theory has been ignored by the climate alarmists and Svensmark himself vilified.

Warming Caused by Soot, Not CO2

A new paper in Science reports that a careful study of satellite data show the assumed cooling effect of aerosols in the atmosphere to be significantly less than previously estimated. Unfortunately, the assumed greater cooling has been used in climate models for years. In such models, the global-mean warming is determined by the balance of the radiative forcings—warming by greenhouse gases balanced against cooling by aerosols. Since a greater cooling effect has been used in climate models, the result has been to credit CO2 with a larger warming effect than it really has.

CO2 World Police Crack Down on Top Billion Polluters

A new paper by a group of “sustainability scientists” has called for an end to “business as usual” in efforts to curb CO2 emissions. The authors advocate allocating CO2 emissions targets based on the ‘‘common but differentiated responsibilities’’ of individuals, rather than nations. Their proposal moves beyond per capita considerations to identify the world’s high-emitting individuals, regardless of the country they live in. Don't laugh—if you are reading this post on the Internet you are probably one of the targeted billion.

Could Human CO2 Emissions Cause Another PETM?

When it comes to climate, the early Paleogene period (~65-34 mya), at the start of the Cenozoic Era, had one of the most Eden like climates of the Phanerozoic Eon. As the Cenozoic progressed a cooling trend set in leading up to the formation of permanent ice caps and the Pleistocene Ice Age we are still experiencing. But before the world started to ice up our planet underwent one of the most dramatic bouts of global warming known to science—the Paleocene Eocene Thermal Maximum or PETM. Recently, global warming activists have tried to liken human CO2 emissions to the cause of the PETM, 55 million years ago. Is it true, that our actions may trigger a sudden sharp rise in global temperature?

Join Us in Springfield, August 13

Al Simmons and Doug L. Hoffman, the authors of The Resilient Earth and this web site, will be attending the Scientists for Truth conference, “Debunking Climate Change Myths,” in Springfield, Missouri on August 13, 2009.

Banned by the EPA

Many news outlets are reporting that the Environmental Protection Agency may have suppressed an internal report that was skeptical of claims about global warming. While this has conspiracy theorists all a twitter, the truly shocking thing is the content of that report. The executive summary contains a list of items contradicting claim after claim put forth by the IPCC and global warming alarmists. The contents are nothing short of incendiary.

Crank of the Week - June 29, 2009 - The U.S. House of Representatives

The US House of Representatives has barely managed to pass a sweeping climate change bill that had the bill's supporters bringing at least one house member out of rehab to ensure passage. The 1,200 page bill—formally known as the “American Clean Energy and Security Act”—has been called “the worst piece of legislation in the history of the House.” The massive bill would affect all aspects of the U.S. economy: the way electricity is generated, how homes and offices are designed, how foreign trade is conducted and how much Americans pay to drive cars and to heat their homes.

Skeptical Inquirer Abandons Reason, Embraces Global Warming

For many years the Committee for Skeptical Inquiry (formerly CSICOP) has published the Skeptical Inquirer, a magazine dedicated to rational thought and a scientific view of the world around us. Mostly concerned with debunking pseudoscience and mystical beliefs, its articles mostly concerned UFOs, bigfoot sightings, psychic spoon benders and spirit mediums. Now, unfortunately, it seems they have allied this previously skeptical magazine with one of the biggest scientific scams of our time, anthropogenic global warming.

Ice Ages & CO2, Part II – Rising Sea-levels in Tahiti

Having reported that scientists did not find CO2 responsible for a change in the duration of ice age glacial periods 700,00 years ago, another new report takes a look at the conditions around the last interglacial warm period and our own Holocene warming. Using corals from the south seas paradise of Tahiti to track sea-level changes, researchers probed the mechanisms driving Earth's climate between glacial and interglacial states. Almost as an after thought they added that there is no longer any doubt: changes in sea-level drive changes in CO2, not the other way around.

Change In Ice Ages Not Caused By CO2

Around 1.2 million years ago, a shift in global climate began that caused a change in the timing of the alternating warm and cold periods—called interglacials and glacials—that have persisted during the Pleistocene Ice Age. Prior to that time, ice age glacial periods lasted about 40,000 years but since ~700,000 years ago ice-age cycles have lasted for around 100,000 years. Orbital variations, called the Croll-Milankovitch cycles, do exert some forcing on the 100,000 year time scale, but it is relatively weak. Orbital cycles seem to many too feeble an explanation for the change in glacial-interglacial timing. Some scientists have attempted to attribute the timing shift to a drop in CO2 but a new study confirms that carbon dioxide levels were not the cause of the climate shift.

Seven Climate Models, Seven Different Answers

In a new report, scientists used seven different climate models to assess human induced land cover change (LCC) at regional and global scales. The first results from the LUCID (Land-Use and Climate, IDentification of robust impacts) intercomparison study by Pitman et al. show no agreement among the models. This study indicates that land cover change is “regionally significant, but it is not feasible to impose a common LCC across multiple models for the next IPCC assessment.” In other words, this important factor is missing from current models and scientists are at a loss as to how to add it.

Too Little CO2 To End Life On Earth

It is no surprise to anyone who has studied the history of our planet and the life it harbors that CO2 levels have been falling for billions of years. Despite all the hoopla over rising CO2 levels, eventually Earth will have lost so much carbon dioxide from its atmosphere that plants and trees will suffocate, signaling an end to life as we know it. Now, a team of scientists from the California Institute of Technology, led by physicist King-Fai Li, have proposed a way to avert disaster—get rid of much of the atmosphere.

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