Learning from Dogs

Dogs are integrous animals. We have much to learn from them.

Posts Tagged ‘Met Office

The power of the atmosphere.

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Now I did say this was going to be an odd assortment of posts for a few days!

Back in my ‘previous’ life in SW England and together with a group of friends we formed an online aviation briefing company, called AvBrief rather unimaginatively!  The UK Met Office have their headquarters in Exeter, Devon and AvBrief had a commercial relationship with the Met Office.

UKMO

Although no longer resident in the UK, I still subscribe to the UK Met Office blog and find many of their posts interesting.  Such as this one that came in yesterday.

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Cyclone twins form in the Indian Ocean by Dave Britton

11th May, 2013

April to June each year usually sees the transition from the southern to the northern hemisphere tropical cyclone season.

During this time it is possible to see cyclones in both hemispheres simultaneously. Furthermore, cyclone ‘twins’ sometimes develop at approximately the same longitude either side of the equator.

For the first time since 2009 cyclone twins have developed in the Indian Ocean.

This was caused by a strong burst of westerly winds along the equator about a week ago. A large mass of clouds located in the same area initially moved eastwards with the wind.

The clouds furthest from the equator then started to curl northwards in the northern hemisphere and southwards in the southern hemisphere due to the earth’s rotation. Over time these cloud masses have consolidated and started to rotate to produce twin tropical storms.

The southern hemisphere storm has been named Jamala and is currently not expected to affect any land areas.

The northern hemisphere storm has been named Mahasen and there is a stronger likelihood of this making landfall next week on one of the Bay of Bengal’s coastal regions.

Regional warnings for Tropical Storm Jamala are produced by the Tropical Cyclone warning Centre at La Réunion in the South Indian Ocean.

Regional warnings for Tropical Storm Mahasen are produced by the Tropical Cyclone Warning Centre at New Delhi, India.

The Met Office routinely supplies predictions of cyclone tracks from its global forecast model to regional meteorological centres worldwide, which are used along with guidance from other models in the production of forecasts and guidance.

You can keep up to date with tropical cyclones around the world on our website or follow us on Twitter.

You can see the latest image of Tropical Storms Jamala and Mahasen at:

http://tropic.ssec.wisc.edu/real-time/indian/images/xxirm5bbm.jpg

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Fascinating.  Well, it is this far from the Indian Ocean.

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Breaking news!

with 6 comments

Recent news items reinforce messages from yesterday’s book review.

In my review published yesterday of Martin Lack’s book Denial of Science, I wrote, “the continuing and accelerating loss of the Arctic ice-cap“.  Back on the 22nd in More new tomorrows, I included:

study published in 2012 showed that by changing the temperature balance between the Arctic and mid-latitudes, rapid Arctic warming is altering the course of the jet stream, which steers weather systems from west to east around the northern hemisphere. The Arctic has been warming about twice as fast as the rest of the Northern Hemisphere, due to a combination of human emissions of greenhouse gases and unique feedbacks built into the Arctic climate system. The jet stream, the study said, is becoming “wavier,” with steeper troughs and higher ridges.

A new study published in the journal Environmental Research Letters shows that reduced sea ice cover can favor colder and stormier winters in the northern midlatitudes. [my emphasis – UK readers will need no reminding of this!]

So bear those references in mind as you read:

Breaking News (Literally): NOAA Video Confirms Early Breakup

March 23, 2013

Compare to our recent discussion of these developments in the Beaufort Sea.

NOAA Visualizations:

Published on Mar 22, 2013

A series of intense storms in the Arctic has caused fracturing of the sea ice around the Beaufort Sea along the northern coasts of Alaska and Canada. High-resolution imagery from the Suomi NPP satellite shows the evolution of the cracks forming in the ice, called leads, from February 17 — March 18 2013. The general circulation of the area is seen moving the ice westward along the Alaskan coast

“Intense storms” are not an unheard of thing in the arctic. What’s new is that the ice is so fragile that normal storm activity is breaking it up much earlier than has been seen in the past.

Arctic Sea Ice Blog:

To recapitulate: It is normal for the ice to crack and for leads to occur. However, this is very extensive cracking and there are some very big leads, and all of it seems to come earlier than expected. Given last year’s melting mayhem and the low amount of multi-year ice, it makes one wonder whether this early cracking will have any effect in the melting season to come.

There are still several weeks to go before this part of the Arctic is going to start melting, up till then the ice will actually thicken some more, even when the Sun’s rays start to reach the ice. But the ice is already getting broken up in smaller pieces, which means that 1) the pack becomes more mobile (like we saw last year), and 2) the thin ice that now grows to fill up the leads will go first when the melting starts, potentially leading to more open water between floes to absorb solar energy and convert it to heat.

But maybe not. Maybe this will have zero influence. We don’t know. That’s why we watch.

Nothing more to add except to ponder on what strange weather we will be experiencing this year!  Actually, no need to ponder.  The UK Met Office issued a weather warning last Sunday that included this sentence, “Cold easterly winds will persist through the coming week with bitterly cold conditions.”  That came on the back of a blog entry from the Met Office that same day that included:

Many areas also saw strong winds, with a gust of 61 mph recorded at Shap, Cumbria and 48 mph recorded at Machrihanish, Argyll . These winds have caused even deeper drifts of snow in some areas. [my emphasis].

61mph?  That’s Storm Force 10 under the Beaufort scale and 3mph under the lower boundary of a Violent Storm; Beaufort Force 11!

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The next item that caught my eye was some ‘goodish’ news from the US Senate via a recent post on 350.org.

Bill’s Response to the Senate Vote Today

Posted by Duncan Meisel – 03/22/13, 4:51pm

Friends,

After a very chaotic week on Capitol Hill, I wanted to write you with an update on what just happened in the Senate today.

First and foremost: the oil industry’s Senators did not manage to pass legislation that would force President Obama to build Keystone XL.

Because you — and people like you, all across the country — jumped into action this week, they backtracked and instead held a vote on a nonbinding resolution that says it would be nice to build the pipeline, but doesn’t actually do much about it. For that vote, they got the stomach-churning number of 62 Senators to vote with them. As usual, the ones who had taken the most money from the fossil fuel industry lined up to cast their votes—the cosponsors of the bill, on average, had taken $807,000 in dirty energy money.

Now, this amounts to symbolic chest thumping by the oil industry: showing just how many Senators they can get to jump when told to. It’s not the worst thing that could have happened, but it reminds everyone why, in one recent poll, congress had approval ratings lower than head lice and colonoscopies — even on the symbolic stuff, they can’t get it together to stand up to the oil industry guys cutting them checks.

In a certain way though, this vote couldn’t come at a better time. Congress is going on break, and for the next two weeks, these 62 Senators will be back in their home states, doing things like meeting with constituents — people like you.

Home states are where some of the most heroic work took place the last week — in Minneapolis, say, where 150 350MN.org activists showed up on very short notice at Sen. Klobuchar’s office in a snowstorm to tell her to vote no on Keystone (and she did, it should be added).

If you’re interested in following in the fine example of those leaders who held actions at their senators offices, you have a chance in the next two weeks.

We’re looking for people who can step up to lead, and then we’ll put the 350 network into action to get people to join you. If you want to lead an action, just click here to tell us when you’d like to do so: act.350.org/survey/kxl-senate-accountability-2013/

Look, there are two ways to react to a democracy for sale. One is to walk away in disgust, which is what the Koch Brothers count on. The other is to stand up and say: no more. If you visit your Senator, take some pictures or some video so we can share them around. It’s time to build this broader fossil fuel resistance.

And remember, Capitol Hill is not the center of the world. Around the country this week our friends at Tar Sands Blockade have been actively targeting Keystone investors; faith groups have been hauled off to jail in front of the White House to protest the pipeline; and the divestment campaign has expanded off college campuses and into municipal and state governments.

The movement is doing amazing stuff — we just need more of it. We can’t outspend the oil industry, but we can out-organize them. In fact, we have to.

Forward,

Bill McKibben

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the cosponsors of the bill, on average, had taken $807,000 in dirty energy money.”  Words utterly fail me!

Funny old world!

A letter to Dan.

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But first Happy Valentine’s Day to you and Cynthia.

sunset

(Image courtesy of UK’s Met Office blog post: Top ten romantic weather phenomena.)

My dear Dan,

In a way this stunningly beautiful photograph is a reflection of our long relationship.  Over the 33 years that we have been friends you and I have enjoyed many calm moments and tried to make sense of this crazy world.  Yes, we have often disagreed about many things but never fallen out; not even come close to it.  No better illustrated than me wanting you as my Best Man when Jean and I were married November 20th, 2010.

IMG_4040ps

Payson, Arizona, November 20th 2010
Bridesmaid Dianne and Best Man Dan with the happy couple!

Your email to me of the 4th February was a difficult one to embrace; the Controversy Continues one.  The last thing I wanted to do was to react impulsively because I knew you would disregard such a thoughtless response.  After all, we have known each other’s views on the matter of climate change for a very long time.

Thank goodness I did sit on my hands. It allowed a more reflective part of my aged brain to compose a blog post on Learning from Dogs.  The post that came out on the 12th under the title of Doggedly seeking the truth.

That post then led to yesterday’s post Truth never follows a straight line.  Two essays that gave me much joy.  Thank you.

But the plain fact of the matter is that I profoundly disagree with the idea, as expressed in your email heading, that there is any controversy over the question of global warming resulting from man’s behaviours.  I know from our years of friendship that you are open to all sorts of ideas. Meaning you wouldn’t be closed-minded to the biggest issue facing Homo sapiens and all the species on this planet, the one of anthropogenic global warming (AGW).

So let me offer you some links that make it very clear as to the reality of what is happening to this planet.

Start with this one Why Climate Deniers Have No Scientific Credibility – In One Pie Chart. Or this one IPCC Draft Report Leaked, Shows Global Warming is NOT Due to the Sun.

Then there’s this one A Brief Note on the Latest Release of Draft IPCC Documents and this one Global Extinction within one Human Lifetime as a Result of a Spreading Atmospheric Arctic Methane Heat wave and Surface Firestorm.  I could go on and on.

Perhaps the reason that so many intelligent people ‘avoid’ the truth of what we are doing to this planet was voiced in a recent comment by Prof. Guy McPherson on Learning from Dogs, “Perhaps Upton Sinclair had it right, years ago: “It is difficult to get a man to understand something, when his salary depends on his not understanding it.

Even though you and I are well past salary days it doesn’t alter the chilling realisation that comes from embracing the truth of climate change and global warming: The undermining of just about everything that we have embraced over our years.  No wonder it’s so much easier to stay within familiar comfort zones!  To remain hypocrites as Jean and I do!

Let me close with the words uttered by mother Dellarobia to son Preston in Barbara Kingsolver’s book Flight Behavior: “It won’t ever go back to how it was, Preston.

In my heart I know that to be the truth.

Jean and I send you and Cynthia our fondest love,

Paul

Plus ça change – sequel

with 3 comments

Plus ça change, plus c’est la même chose (“the more it changes, the more it’s the same thing”).

As I wrote yesterday, “… out of curiosity I wondered what I had published a year ago, in early February 2012.  To my amazement what was published was as fresh and relevant as if it had been published today.

So here’s the second part of that trilogy of posts from February, 2012.  (It reads in its original form with the links and references unchanged.)

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Climate, truth and integrity, part two

Continuing from Part One last Friday.

Last Friday I started re-publishing the wonderful comments that had appeared on Climate Sight in response to a question that I had raised, namely,

While in every way that I can think of, I support the premise of mankind affecting global climate, I would love to hear from someone who could reconcile the Post above with these recent items:” and then included the links to the WSJ and Daily Mail items.

If you are not familiar with those WSJ and Daily Mail items, then you will need to go back to Friday’s Post.

So moving on.

The third response was from chrisd3, here’s what he wrote,

Paul, here is the Met Office’s response, which begins, “[The Daily Mail] article includes numerous errors in the reporting of published peer reviewed science undertaken by the Met Office Hadley Centre and for Mr. Rose to suggest that the latest global temperatures available show no warming in the last 15 years is entirely misleading.”

Here is Deltoid taking David Rose apart on some earlier pieces:

And NASA never said anything about the Thames freezing over. Rose just made that bit up.

Finally, here is a chart of global temps from HadCRU:

From this, it is pretty clear why Rose chooses 15 years as his starting point: 1997-1998 was the time of the largest El Nino ever recorded, resulting in a huge temperature spike. Using that as the starting point for a temperature comparison is absolutely classic cherry-picking.

And in any event, you can’t say anything about trends in noisy data by simply comparing two arbitrary points. That is not a valid way to analyze the data (especially if you pick an obvious outlier as your starting point!). It is like trying to say whether the tide is coming in or going out by looking at the height of two waves. It just doesn’t work that way. You have to look at the long-term trend to remove the noise.

Let me take you to that Met Office response (and I’m republishing it in full).

Met Office in the Media: 29 January 2012

Today the Mail on Sunday published a story written by David Rose entitled “Forget global warming – it’s Cycle 25 we need to worry about”.

This article includes numerous errors in the reporting of published peer reviewed science undertaken by the Met Office Hadley Centre and for Mr. Rose to suggest that the latest global temperatures available show no warming in the last 15 years is entirely misleading.

Despite the Met Office having spoken to David Rose ahead of the publication of the story, he has chosen to not fully include the answers we gave him to questions around decadal projections produced by the Met Office or his belief that we have seen no warming since 1997.

For clarity I have included our full response to David Rose below:A spokesman for the Met Office said: “The ten year projection remains groundbreaking science. The complete period for the original projection is not over yet and these projections are regularly updated to take account of the most recent data.
“The projections are probabilistic in nature, and no individual forecast should be taken in isolation. Instead, several decades of data will be needed to assess the robustness of the projections.

“However, what is absolutely clear is that we have continued to see a trend of warming, with the decade of 2000-2009 being clearly the warmest in the instrumental record going back to 1850. Depending on which temperature records you use, 2010 was the warmest year on record  for NOAA NCDC and NASA GISS, and the second warmest on record in HadCRUT3.”

Global average temperatures from 1850 to 2011 from the three individual global temperature datasets (Met Office/UEA HadCRUT3, NASA GISS and NOAA NCDC)

Furthermore despite criticism of a paper published by the Met Office he chose not to ask us to respond to his misconceptions. The study in question, supported by many others, provides an insight into the sensitivity of our climate to changes in the output of the sun.

It confirmed that although solar output is likely to reduce over the next 90 years this will not substantially delay expected increases in global temperatures caused by greenhouse gases. The study found that the expected decrease in solar activity would only most likely cause a reduction in global temperatures of 0.08 °C. This compares to an expected warming of about 2.5 °C over the same period due to greenhouse gases (according to the IPCC’s B2 scenario for greenhouse gas emissions that does not involve efforts to mitigate emissions).  In addition the study also showed that if solar output reduced below that seen in the Maunder Minimum – a period between 1645 and 1715 when solar activity was at its lowest observed level – the global temperature reduction would be 0.13C.

Back to that response from chrisd3.  He offered this, “Finally, here is a chart of global temps from HadCRU.”  Here is that chart, remember we are looking at Global temperatures.

Global temperature trend

OK, between this Post and my Post last Friday, you probably get the message!  There were many other contributions and I could go on and on quoting the great responses I got, all of them uniformly saying there IS global warming unprecedented in recent years.  The message is crystal clear and those who wish to deny the evidence … well, I can’t come up with a polite term, so will just leave it at that!

My final contribution is from Martin Lack, author of the Blog Lack of Environment, and a good friend of Learning from Dogs.  Here is what he wrote in a recent email,

You may have seen my latest response to How much is most?

When I eventually saw your earlier comment, I was surprised and disappointed in equal measure because I almost feel that I have failed in some way. Let me explain:  Unlike ClimateSight and SkepticalScience, which both do an excellent job of focusing on the science of climate change, my blog is deliberately focused on the politics underlying the denial of all environmental our problems; including 2 key aspects to my MA dissertation, namely the political misuse of scepticism; and the psychology of denial.  See my How to be a Climate Change ‘Sceptic’  for more detail.

Therefore, although not specifically categorised as such, just about everything I have posted is traceable back to Paul and Anne Ehrlich’sBetrayal of Science and Reason (1996) and/or Naomi Oreskes and Erik Conway’s Merchants of Doubt (2010).  For someone who does not currently go to any Church, I am remarkably fond of quoting Scripture so, if necessary, please forgive me but, as the Good Book says:  “What has been will be again, what has been done will be done again; there is nothing new under the sun” (Ecclesiastes 1:9).

Therefore, I do not think you should be surprised by the amount of misinformation and misrepresentation contained in the original WSJ Sixteen’s article; and/or the fact that denialist arguments are repeated no matter how many times they have been shown to be false.  Furthermore, I would warn against trying to summarise it all on Learning from Dogs.  This is definitely Book territory and, in addition to the two mentioned above, the market is already saturated by the likes of Climate Change Cover-up by James Hoggan and Climate Change Denial by Haydn Washington and John Cook.

With very best wishes for a fog-free future,

What to say to close these two Posts off?  Frankly, it’s difficult to know how to pitch it.  The science seems clear beyond reasonable doubt.  But if you are reading this and disagree, then PLEASE offer the science to refute the conclusions presented here.  I promise you that I will present it on Learning from Dogs.

So let me end with a simple photograph.

Earthrise

This is the photograph that wilderness photographer Galen Rowell called, “the most influential environmental photograph ever taken.”

The now world-famous photograph was taken by Astronaut William Anders from Apollo 8, the first manned mission to the Moon, a little over 43 years ago on December 24th, 1968.

As the Earth rose above the horizon of the moon, NASA astronaut Frank Borman uttered the words, “Oh my God! Look at that picture over there! Here’s the Earth coming up. Wow, is that pretty.”  Bill Anders then took the ‘unscheduled’ photograph.

Now project forward 43 years to the year 2055 and play with the idea of what ‘pretty‘ planet Earth will be like for mankind and so many other species, including our longest companion, the dog, if we don’t get our act together pretty soon!

Plus ça change

with 9 comments

Plus ça change, plus c’est la même chose (“the more it changes, the more it’s the same thing”).

I’m at my PC thinking about tomorrow’s post.  It’s past 4pm and my creative juices are elsewhere!  So out of curiosity I wondered what I had published a year ago, in early February 2012.  To my amazement what was published was as fresh and relevant as if it had been published today.  So that’s what I am doing.  Republishing it along with the sequels on Tuesday and Wednesday.

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Climate, truth and integrity, part one.

It ought to be straightforward, but the reality is different!

Those of you, dear readers, that have been following these ramblings and musings over the last 30 months, now amounting to more than 1,200 Posts [now 1,582, Ed.] , will hopefully have sensed that Learning from Dogs is much more than a blogsite about dogs!  It is, as I say here, about truth, integrity, honesty and trust using dogs as a powerful metaphor for these essential qualities of a civilised society.

But perhaps there is no topic more challenging for people to determine the truth than the topic of man’s impact on the earth’s climate.  I’m sure that millions intuitively sense that we are over-consuming ourselves to oblivion.  That is where I come from.  I am not a scientist, just a humble writer, and rely on quality sources of information and instinct to form my conclusions in this area.  I am also deeply suspicious of the largely out-of-sight relationships between large corporations, big money and politics!

I have no doubt that there are other millions of people who do believe that mankind is changing our planet’s climate.

So when I saw this article in the Wall Street Journal, I was dumbstruck.  Here’s the headline and opening paragraph,

No Need to Panic About Global Warming

There’s no compelling scientific argument for drastic action to ‘decarbonize’ the world’s economy.

Editor’s Note: The following has been signed by the 16 scientists listed at the end of the article:

A candidate for public office in any contemporary democracy may have to consider what, if anything, to do about “global warming.” Candidates should understand that the oft-repeated claim that nearly all scientists demand that something dramatic be done to stop global warming is not true. In fact, a large and growing number of distinguished scientists and engineers do not agree that drastic actions on global warming are needed.

The long article closes with this paragraph just ahead of the ‘signatures’ of the scientists.

Every candidate should support rational measures to protect and improve our environment, but it makes no sense at all to back expensive programs that divert resources from real needs and are based on alarming but untenable claims of “incontrovertible” evidence.

Then in short order, up came this from the Daily Mail online,

The supposed ‘consensus’ on man-made global warming is facing an inconvenient challenge after the release of new temperature data showing the planet has not warmed for the past 15 years.

The figures suggest that we could even be heading for a mini ice age to rival the 70-year temperature drop that saw frost fairs held on the Thames in the 17th Century.

Based on readings from more than 30,000 measuring stations, the data was issued last week without fanfare by the Met Office and the University of East Anglia Climatic Research Unit. It confirms that the rising trend in world temperatures ended in 1997.

I subscribe both to Climate Sight and Lack of Environment, although wish I spent more time thoroughly reading these fabulous sources of information.  However, I did spot an article on Climate Sight that came out on the 31st January with the heading of How much is most?  It opened thus,

A growing body of research is showing that humans are likely causing more than 100% of global warming: without our influences on the climate, the planet would actually be cooling slightly.

In 2007, the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change published its fourth assessment report, internationally regarded as the most credible summary of climate science to date. It concluded that “most of the observed increase in global average temperatures since the mid-20th century is very likely due to the observed increase in anthropogenic greenhouse gas concentrations”.

A clear question remains: How much is “most”? 51%? 75%? 99%? At the time that the IPCC report was written, the answer was unclear. However, a new frontier of climate research has emerged since, and scientists are working hard to quantify the answer to this question.

The timing was impeccable, so far as I was concerned.  I posted a comment, “While in every way that I can think of, I support the premise of mankind affecting global climate, I would love to hear from someone who could reconcile the Post above with these recent items:” and then included the links to the WSJ and Daily Mail items.

Little did I realise what a response I would get.  Just wonderful!  I will offer some of them to you in this piece, but please do read all the comments offered on that Climate Sight post.

First up was Dana Nuccitelli.  Dana is an environmental scientist at a private environmental consulting firm in the Sacramento, California area. He has a Bachelor’s Degree in astrophysics from the University of California at Berkeley, and a Master’s Degree in physics from the University of California at Davis.  (Taken from here.)  This is what he wrote,

How to reconcile the two? The folks who wrote those two articles you linked are misinformed and/or misinformers. I covered the first here  (and) SkS will shortly have a post on the second as well, but I covered the solar cycle issue recently here.

Dana’s article in Skeptical Science, that first link, included this:

Nearly half of the list (at least 7 of 16) have received fossil fuel industry funding, and the list also includes an economist, a physician, a chemist, an aerospace engineer, and an astronaut/politician.  These are apparently the best and brightest the climate denialists can come up with these days?

  • Claude Allegre, former director of the Institute for the Study of the Earth, University of Paris
  • J. Scott Armstrong, cofounder of the Journal of Forecasting and the International Journal of Forecasting;
  • Jan Breslow, head of the Laboratory of Biochemical Genetics and Metabolism, Rockefeller University;
  • Roger Cohen, fellow, American Physical Society;
  • Edward David, member, National Academy of Engineering and National Academy of Sciences;
  • William Happer, professor of physics, Princeton; 
  • Michael Kelly, professor of technology, University of Cambridge, U.K.;
  • William Kininmonth, former head of climate research at the Australian Bureau of Meteorology;
  • Richard Lindzen, professor of atmospheric sciences, MIT;
  • James McGrath, professor of chemistry, Virginia Technical University;
  • Rodney Nichols, former president and CEO of the New York Academy of Sciences;
  • Burt Rutan, aerospace engineer, designer of Voyager and SpaceShipOne;
  • Harrison H. Schmitt, Apollo 17 astronaut and former U.S. senator;
  • Nir Shaviv, professor of astrophysics, Hebrew University, Jerusalem;
  • Henk Tennekes, former director, Royal Dutch Meteorological Service;
  • Antonio Zichichi, president of the World Federation of Scientists, Geneva.

RED – No climate science publications, member of at least one climate denialist group – GWPF (advisory board), George C. Marshall Institute (board of directors or roundtable speakers), Australian Climate Science Coalition (advisory panel), Heartland Institute (board of directors), and/or ExxonMobil

BLUE – Published climate science research

Orange – both a member of a climate denialist group and has published climate science research

Black – no climate science publications or climate denialist group membership

Next was Gail Zawacki who writes a compelling Blog Dead Trees and Dying Forests.  She commented thus,

Paul, try climate progress, first link here and second link here.  I suggest you read those refutations very carefully.

The first link went to this,

Panic Attack: Murdoch’s Wall Street Journal Finds 16 Scientists to Push Pollutocrat Agenda With Long-Debunked Climate Lies

By Joe Romm on Jan 29, 2012 at 12:33 pm

A lot of folks have asked me to debunk the recent anti-truthful Wall Street Journal article with the counterfactual headline, “No Need to Panic About Global Warming.”  I’ll combine my debunking with the rapidly growing list of debunkings from scientists and others.  And I’ll update this as new debunkings come in.

That the WSJ would publish an amateurish collection of falsehoods and half truths is no surprise.   The entire global Murdoch enterprise is designed to advance the pollutocrat do-nothing agenda (see Scientist: “The Murdoch Media Empire Has Cost Humanity Perhaps One or Two Decades in Battle Against Climate Change”).  As National Academy of Sciences member Peter Gleick explains in his evisceration of the piece, “Remarkable Editorial Bias on Climate Science at the Wall Street Journal“:

But the most amazing and telling evidence of the bias of the Wall Street Journalin this field is the fact that 255 members of the United States National Academy of Sciences wrote a comparable (but scientifically accurate) essay on the realities of climate change and on the need for improved and serious public debate around the issue, offered it to the Wall Street Journal, and were turned down. The National Academy of Sciences is the nation’s pre-eminent independent scientific organizations. Its members are among the most respected in the world in their fields. Yet the Journal wouldn’t publish this letter, from more than 15 times as many top scientists. Instead they chose to publish an error-filled and misleading piece on climate because some so-called experts aligned with their bias signed it. This may be good politics for them, but it is bad science and it is bad for the nation.

Science magazine – perhaps the nation’s most important journal on scientific issues – published the letter from the NAS members after the Journal turned it down.

A tad more surprising is that 16 admittedly non-leading scientists would choose to soil their reputations by stringing together a collection of long-debunked falsehoods.  What is surprising is that these falsehoods are more easily debunked than the typical disinformer clap-trap because they are so out-of-date!

This is a long, detailed and powerful response to that WSJ article.  Do try and read it in full.

Gail’s second link went to this,

Human emissions of heat-trapping greenhouse gases have risen so rapidly that they now overwhelm any plausible decrease in solar activity.  Indeed, a paper from last June found that even if the Sun goes into “Hibernation” it won’t stop catastrophic global warming.

But that doesn’t stop serial disinformer David Rose of the UK’s Daily Mail from misleading the public — even after being slammed by top scientists in 2010 for falsely asserting “no global warming since 1995″ — see “Error-riddled articles and false statements destroy Daily Mail’s credibility.“  Rose has another willfully misleading piece, “Forget global warming – it’s Cycle 25 we need to worry about (and if NASA scientists are right the Thames will be freezing over again): Met Office releases new figures which show no warming in 15 years.”

OK, I think this is going to end up too long for one Post.

So let’s pause there and I will continue on Monday. [Tomorrow, Ed.]

Would love your comments, of course!

The unacceptable face of The Daily Mail

with 24 comments

The shocking distortions made by The Daily Mail newspaper.

On the 9th January, 2013 The Daily Mail published this item:

The crazy climate change obsession that’s made the Met Office a menace

  • The £200 million-a-year official weather forecaster often gets it wrong
  • This week it has admitted there is no evidence that ‘global warming’ is happening
  • The Met Office quietly readjusted its temperature projections on its website on Christmas Eve

By JAMES DELINGPOLE

PUBLISHED: 19:45 EST, 9 January 2013 | UPDATED: 02:56 EST, 10 January 2013

Was there ever a government quango quite so useless as the Met Office?

From its infamous ‘barbecue summer’ washout of 2009 to the snowbound winter it failed to predict in 2010 and the recent forecast-defying floods, our £200 million-a-year official weather forecaster has become a national joke.

But of all its recent embarrassments, none come close to matching the Met Office’s latest one.

Without fanfare — apparently in the desperate hope no one would notice — it has finally conceded what other scientists have known for ages: there is no evidence that ‘global warming’ is happening.

If you want to read the full article, it’s here.

Needless to say the UK Met Office published a detailed rebuttal.  One of the comments that I spotted following that rebuttal was this lovely one from MD Dalgleish:

The Daily Mail does not let the facts get in the way of a story! Nothing new there, they’ve been doing that since before the war. What baffles me is why so many people buy this paper.

Quite so!

It would all be a bit of a laugh if it were not for what follows.

Last Friday, Naked Capitalism, the fabulous blog run by Yves Smith published in her set of links this item, “Climate change set to make America hotter, drier and more disaster-prone.”  Newly living here in Southern Oregon, that obviously caught my eye!

The item referred to a detailed account in the British Guardian newspaper by Suzanne Goldenberg, the newspaper’s US Environment Correspondent.

Climate change set to make America hotter, drier and more disaster-prone

Draft report from NCA makes clear link between climate change and extreme weather as groups urge Obama to take action

The report says steps taken by Obama to reduce emissions are 'not close to sufficient' to prevent the most severe consequences of climate change. Photo: Saul Loeb/AFP

The report says steps taken by Obama to reduce emissions are ‘not close to sufficient’ to prevent the most severe consequences of climate change. Photo: Saul Loeb/AFP

Future generations of Americans can expect to spend 25 days a year sweltering in temperatures above 100F (38C), with climate change on course to turn the country into a hotter, drier, and more disaster-prone place.

The National Climate Assessment, released in draft form on Friday , provided the fullest picture to date of the real-time effects of climate change on US life, and the most likely consequences for the future.

The 1,000-page report, the work of the more than 300 government scientists and outside experts, was unequivocal on the human causes of climate change, and on the links between climate change and extreme weather.

“Climate change is already affecting the American people,” the draft report said. “Certain types of weather events have become more frequent and/or intense including heat waves, heavy downpours and in some regions floods and drought. Sea level is rising, oceans are becoming more acidic, and glaciers and Arctic sea ice are melting.”

Here’s a pithy question for Mr. James Delingpole of The Daily Mail, “Which part of this sentence are you having trouble with – The 1,000-page report, the work of the more than 300 government scientists and outside experts, was unequivocal on the human causes of climate change, and on the links between climate change and extreme weather.?” [my emphasis]

Suzanne goes on to say:

The report will be open for public comment on Monday.

Environmental groups said they hoped the report would provide Barack Obama with the scientific evidence to push for measures that would slow or halt the rate of climate change – sparing the country some of the worst effects.

The report states clearly that the steps taken by Obama so far to reduce emissions are “not close to sufficient” to prevent the most severe consequences of climate change.

“As climate change and its impacts are becoming more prevalent, Americans face choices,” the report said. “Beyond the next few decades, the amount of climate change will still largely be determined by the choices society makes about emissions. Lower emissions mean less future warming and less severe impacts. Higher emissions would mean more warming and more severe impacts.”

As the report made clear: no place in America had gone untouched by climate change. Nowhere would be entirely immune from the effects of future climate change.

One might argue that it won’t be very long before no sane person on this planet would swallow that crap from The Daily Mail.  But when we get to that stage of every person being aware of the forces at work upon our fair planet it will be a tad too late.

The only home we have.

The only home we have.

That’s why this report is to be encouraged, nay embraced.  Of all the nations in the world, the one that should be setting the lead is the United States of America.  As the banner on that globalchange.gov website proclaims: Thirteen Agencies, One Vision: Empower the Nation with Global Change Science

So go and read the report.  For your sake and all our sakes.

Because the more informed you and I are, the better the chances of real political leadership taking place in this fine nation.

Download Chapters of the NCADAC DraftClimate Assessment Report!   
Download the Full Report (warning, 147Mb. Very large file)Between chapters, there are some page numbers that are not used. This is intentional and does not reflect missing pages.or download each chapter separately:

Cover page

Introduction: Letter to the American People

1. Executive Summary

2. Our Changing Climate

Introduction to Sectors

3. Water Resources

4. Energy Supply and Use

5. Transportation

6. Agriculture

7. Forestry

8. Ecosystems, Biodiversity, and Ecosystem Services

9. Human Health

10. Water, Energy, and Land Use

11. Urban Systems, Infrastructure, and Vulnerability

12. Impacts of Climate Change on Tribal, Indigenous, and Native Lands and Resources

13. Land Use and Land Cover Change

14. Rural Communities

15. Interactions of Climate Change and Biogeochemical Cycles

Introduction to Regions

16. Northeast

17. Southeast and Caribbean

18. Midwest

19. Great Plains

20. Southwest

21. Northwest

22. Alaska and the Arctic

23. Hawaii and the U.S. Affiliated Pacific Islands

24. Oceans and Marine Resources

25. Coastal Zone Development and Ecosystems

Introduction to Response Strategies

26. Decision Support: Supporting Policy, Planning, and Resource Management Decisions in a Climate Change Context

27. Mitigation

28. Adaptation

29. Research Agenda for Climate Change Science

30. The NCA Long-Term Process: Vision and Future Development

Appendix I: NCA Climate Science – Addressing Commonly Asked Questions from A to Z

Appendix II: The Science of Climate Change

Climate, truth and integrity, part two

with 11 comments

Continuing from Part One last Friday.

Last Friday I started re-publishing the wonderful comments that had appeared on Climate Sight in response to a question that I had raised, namely,

While in every way that I can think of, I support the premise of mankind affecting global climate, I would love to hear from someone who could reconcile the Post above with these recent items:” and then included the links to the WSJ and Daily Mail items.

If you are not familiar with those WSJ and Daily Mail items, then you will need to go back to Friday’s Post.

So moving on.

The third response was from chrisd3, here’s what he wrote,

Paul, here is the Met Office’s response, which begins, “[The Daily Mail] article includes numerous errors in the reporting of published peer reviewed science undertaken by the Met Office Hadley Centre and for Mr. Rose to suggest that the latest global temperatures available show no warming in the last 15 years is entirely misleading.”

Here is Deltoid taking David Rose apart on some earlier pieces:

And NASA never said anything about the Thames freezing over. Rose just made that bit up.

Finally, here is a chart of global temps from HadCRU:

From this, it is pretty clear why Rose chooses 15 years as his starting point: 1997-1998 was the time of the largest El Nino ever recorded, resulting in a huge temperature spike. Using that as the starting point for a temperature comparison is absolutely classic cherry-picking.

And in any event, you can’t say anything about trends in noisy data by simply comparing two arbitrary points. That is not a valid way to analyze the data (especially if you pick an obvious outlier as your starting point!). It is like trying to say whether the tide is coming in or going out by looking at the height of two waves. It just doesn’t work that way. You have to look at the long-term trend to remove the noise.

Let me take you to that Met Office response (and I’m republishing it in full).

Met Office in the Media: 29 January 2012

Today the Mail on Sunday published a story written by David Rose entitled “Forget global warming – it’s Cycle 25 we need to worry about”.

This article includes numerous errors in the reporting of published peer reviewed science undertaken by the Met Office Hadley Centre and for Mr. Rose to suggest that the latest global temperatures available show no warming in the last 15 years is entirely misleading.

Despite the Met Office having spoken to David Rose ahead of the publication of the story, he has chosen to not fully include the answers we gave him to questions around decadal projections produced by the Met Office or his belief that we have seen no warming since 1997.

For clarity I have included our full response to David Rose below:A spokesman for the Met Office said: “The ten year projection remains groundbreaking science. The complete period for the original projection is not over yet and these projections are regularly updated to take account of the most recent data.
“The projections are probabilistic in nature, and no individual forecast should be taken in isolation. Instead, several decades of data will be needed to assess the robustness of the projections.

“However, what is absolutely clear is that we have continued to see a trend of warming, with the decade of 2000-2009 being clearly the warmest in the instrumental record going back to 1850. Depending on which temperature records you use, 2010 was the warmest year on record  for NOAA NCDC and NASA GISS, and the second warmest on record in HadCRUT3.”

Global average temperatures from 1850 to 2011 from the three individual global temperature datasets (Met Office/UEA HadCRUT3, NASA GISS and NOAA NCDC)

Furthermore despite criticism of a paper published by the Met Office he chose not to ask us to respond to his misconceptions. The study in question, supported by many others, provides an insight into the sensitivity of our climate to changes in the output of the sun.

It confirmed that although solar output is likely to reduce over the next 90 years this will not substantially delay expected increases in global temperatures caused by greenhouse gases. The study found that the expected decrease in solar activity would only most likely cause a reduction in global temperatures of 0.08 °C. This compares to an expected warming of about 2.5 °C over the same period due to greenhouse gases (according to the IPCC’s B2 scenario for greenhouse gas emissions that does not involve efforts to mitigate emissions).  In addition the study also showed that if solar output reduced below that seen in the Maunder Minimum – a period between 1645 and 1715 when solar activity was at its lowest observed level – the global temperature reduction would be 0.13C.

Back to that response from chrisd3.  He offered this, “Finally, here is a chart of global temps from HadCRU.”  Here is that chart, remember we are looking at Global temperatures.

Global temperature trend

OK, between this Post and my Post last Friday, you probably get the message!  There were many other contributions and I could go on and on quoting the great responses I got, all of them uniformly saying there IS global warming unprecedented in recent years.  The message is crystal clear and those who wish to deny the evidence … well, I can’t come up with a polite term, so will just leave it at that!

My final contribution is from Martin Lack, author of the Blog Lack of Environment, and a good friend of Learning from Dogs.  Here is what he wrote in a recent email,

You may have seen my latest response to How much is most?

When I eventually saw your earlier comment, I was surprised and disappointed in equal measure because I almost feel that I have failed in some way. Let me explain:  Unlike ClimateSight and SkepticalScience, which both do an excellent job of focusing on the science of climate change, my blog is deliberately focused on the politics underlying the denial of all environmental our problems; including 2 key aspects to my MA dissertation, namely the political misuse of scepticism; and the psychology of denial.  See my How to be a Climate Change ‘Sceptic’  for more detail.

Therefore, although not specifically categorised as such, just about everything I have posted is traceable back to Paul and Anne Ehrlich’sBetrayal of Science and Reason (1996) and/or Naomi Oreskes and Erik Conway’s Merchants of Doubt (2010).  For someone who does not currently go to any Church, I am remarkably fond of quoting Scripture so, if necessary, please forgive me but, as the Good Book says:  “What has been will be again, what has been done will be done again; there is nothing new under the sun” (Ecclesiastes 1:9).

Therefore, I do not think you should be surprised by the amount of misinformation and misrepresentation contained in the original WSJ Sixteen’s article; and/or the fact that denialist arguments are repeated no matter how many times they have been shown to be false.  Furthermore, I would warn against trying to summarise it all on Learning from Dogs.  This is definitely Book territory and, in addition to the two mentioned above, the market is already saturated by the likes of Climate Change Cover-up by James Hoggan and Climate Change Denial by Haydn Washington and John Cook.

With very best wishes for a fog-free future,

What to say to close these two Posts off?  Frankly, it’s difficult to know how to pitch it.  The science seems clear beyond reasonable doubt.  But if you are reading this and disagree, then PLEASE offer the science to refute the conclusions presented here.  I promise you that I will present it on Learning from Dogs.

So let me end with a simple photograph.

Earthrise

This is the photograph that wilderness photographer Galen Rowell called, “the most influential environmental photograph ever taken.”

The now world-famous photograph was taken by Astronaut William Anders from Apollo 8, the first manned mission to the Moon, a little over 43 years ago on December 24th, 1968.

As the Earth rose above the horizon of the moon, NASA astronaut Frank Borman uttered the words, “Oh my God! Look at that picture over there! Here’s the Earth coming up. Wow, is that pretty.”  Bill Anders then took the ‘unscheduled’ photograph.

Now project forward 43 years to the year 2055 and play with the idea of what ‘pretty‘ planet Earth will be like for mankind and so many other species, including our longest companion, the dog, if we don’t get our act together pretty soon!

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