TCS Daily

The French Climate Skeptic

By Hans H.J. Labohm - September 11, 2006 12:00 AM

Skeptical voices in the international global warming debate are predominantly Anglo-Saxon, with occasional smatterings of Nordic, Russian, Italian and Dutch. But the French are conspicuously absent. How come? French intellectuals are reputed for their independence and dissenting views on any conceivable subject. Consequently, the French have a tradition of a very lively political debate -- yes, even of passionate polemics on just about any issue. But one topic has been conspicuously absent from the debate so far: global warming. Or has it?

Not exactly. But because of the language barrier, French climate skepticism has hardly been noticed outside the francophone world, while it has generally been ignored by politicians and the established climate community in France itself.

One of the most prominent French climate skeptics, Marcel Leroux, has recently published a magnum opus (more than 500 pages) on the subject: Global Warming: Myth or Reality? The Erring Ways of Climatology. The author is no stranger in climate Jerusalem. He is professor of climatology at the University J. Moulin and director of the Laboratoire de Climatologie, Risques, Environnement, both in Lyon. He has already been criticizing the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) for some 20 years. He believes that temperatures are the result of the dynamics of weather systems in the context of the various distinct aerological spaces in the world, not of the hypothetical equations of climate models.

Leroux started to write his book in order to comment on the sad state into which climatology has drifted during the last 20 years, since its entering into the political arena, and to show that climatology is also itself to blame for this drift.

"Hardly a week goes by without some new 'scoop' ... filling our screens and the pages of our newspapers," he writes. "'Global warming' caused by the 'greenhouse effect' is our fault, just like everything else, and the message/slogan/ misinformation becomes even more simplistic, ever cruder! It could not be simpler: if the rain falls or draught strikes; if the wind blows a gale or there is none at all; whether it's heat or hard frost; it's all because of the 'greenhouse effect', and we are to blame. An easy argument, but stupid!"

"The Fourth Report of the IPCC might just as well decree the suppression of all climatology textbooks, and replace them in our schools with press communiqués. ... Day after day, the same mantra -- that 'the Earth is warming up' -- is churned out in all its forms. As 'the ice melts' and 'sea level rises' the Apocalypse looms ever nearer! Without realizing it, or perhaps without wishing to, the average citizen in bamboozled, lobotomized' lulled into mindless acceptance. ... Non-believers in the greenhouse scenario are in the position of those long ago who doubted the existence of God ... fortunately for them, the Inquisition is no longer with us!"

In his book he also meticulously analyzes the development of climate science, focusing on the successive reports of the IPCC, which appeared in 1990, 1995, and 2001. According to Leroux, the first report already contains the core ideas of what is known as "global warming", but its tone is moderate and it makes no mention of human responsibility for it. The second report contributes nothing new from a scientific point of view, but suddenly and surprisingly, the human race is held responsible for global warming.

How was this turnaround achieved? New scientific insights? No, it was the result of a veritable scientific coup by sleight of hand. The scandal was brought to light by various people involved, including Frederick Seitz, president emeritus of Rockefeller University and chairman of the George C. Marshall Institute (Washington). In his letter to the Wall Street Journal, on June 12, 1996, he wrote:

"[But] this [IPCC] report is not what it appears to be -- it is not the version that was approved by the contributing scientists listed on the title page. In my more than 60 years as a member of the American scientific community, including service as president of both the National Academy of Sciences and the American Physical Society, I have never witnessed a more disturbing corruption of the peer-review process than the events that led to this IPCC report.

A comparison between the report approved by the contributing scientists and the published version reveals that key changes were made after the scientists had met and accepted what they thought was the final peer-reviewed version. ... Few of these changes were merely cosmetic; nearly all worked to remove hints of the skepticism with which many scientists regard claims that human activities are having a major impact on climate in general and on global warming in particular.

The following passages are examples of those included in the approved report but deleted from the supposedly peer-reviewed published version:

- 'None of the studies cited above has shown clear evidence that we can attribute the observed [climate] changes to the specific cause of increases in greenhouse gases.'

- 'No study to date has positively attributed all or part [of the climate change observed to date] to anthropogenic [man-made] causes.'

- 'Any claims of positive detection of significant climate change are likely to remain controversial until uncertainties in the total natural variability of the climate system are reduced."

Instead, the following text was inserted: "The balance of evidence suggests a discernable human influence on global climate." In spite of the way this view was imposed, and all the subsequent controversy, the idea was never retracted.

The third report brought a second scientific coup. It increased the value of the predicted rise in temperature, and clinched the argument with the hockey stick diagram -- more recently exposed as a hoax -- stating that temperatures in recent times are higher than they have been for a thousand years. Moreover, the spectrum of the consequences of the greenhouse effect was considerably broadened, to the extent that it included every meteorological phenomenon.

Leroux also draws attention to the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change, of which article 6 on education and training, obliges participants to sensitize the public, at a national level, to climate change and its effects. States signatories to the Convention are thus bound to adopt the concept of "global warming" at the highest institutional level, to impose it as an incontrovertible dogma (i.e., a sort of state religion impervious to debate). In France, Leroux adds, the "servants" of the state -- and in their name, both audio-visual media and institutes -- feel bound to propagate the official dogma, just like a certain press agency in the East in its heyday; echoing the triumph of Lysenkoism, they shape public opinion in favor of the official theses.

In his treatment of the relative contributions of various greenhouse gases, including the most important one, water vapor, which represents 95 percent of the total greenhouse effect, he calculates that human activities account for only 0.28 percent, which is less than exciting. Consequently, he argues that we must shake off our unfounded obsession with the anthropogenic greenhouse effect, and reconsider the problem of climate change in a different way, re-establishing the proper hierarchy of phenomena and giving the "water effect" the major climatic importance it deserves.

All in all, Leroux believes that climatology has gradually become distanced from the treatment of real facts, the dynamics of weather and climate, especially under the growing influence of modeling. It has been in a conceptual deadlock for more than 50 years. "We can't really know what the weather will be like more than two or three days ahead," he writes, "but now all this has been erased in a trice! Now it is unhesitatingly claimed, we can predict weather and climate (which is the sum of weather) as far ahead as the year 2100. ... Astrology or science?"

Hans Labohm, co-author of Man-Made Global Warming: Unravelling a Dogma, recently became an expert reviewer of the IPCC.



What climate consensus, indeed?
I am particularly pleased to learn of Professor Leroux's (tome-like!) book and helpful perspective. I have been fighting something of a lone battle as a journalist familiar with the science here in the UK to get the Bbritish mainstream media to review its assumptions when there is in fact NO such thing as a climate science consensus.

What particularly fascinated me is the concluding reference in this review article which is uncannily similar (how can climate - for which, read weather - 'experts' be so sure about future climate assessments when they cannot get next weeks right with any accuracy?) to my own conclusion in my piece What Climate Consensus? published this month by the British Journalism Review magazine (access here at

Immediate ST vs Medium and Long Term fcasts - from a man-made GW skeptic
I'm pretty much a skeptic of the "overwhelming" evidence of man-made GW, but I would like to point out a defense of Medium term forecasting vs a short-term forecast.

For example, it is very difficult to fcast how many American males between the ages of 50-55 will die in the next 1-3 days. However, if the model is accurate, then the accuracy of how many will die in the next 12-24 months is quite a bit more accurate as short-term fluctuations will even out.

So, in my opinion, the accuracy of a weather/climate model over the next few days is not a good test of the model. A good model should be able to predict the weather/climate in the past. My understanding of the current models is that they can NOT do this without having "fudge" factors be a part of the model.

Also, I rarely see any mention when discussing these models of the 2-3 key variables that cause the greatest sensitivity of model's output compared to other variables.

Where you analogy fails

Your argument 'for' the climate models is similar to other arguments I have heard, but is not valid. Your example of predicting deaths on a long-term basis is really just the extention of identifiable trends. It is basically a linear computation.

The climate models start by ignoring much of the long term trend (climate history) and then assuming a much greater forcing from anthroprogenic effects than any evidence currently indicates. Then everything is run through a very expensive and complicated process to deliver results that are basically predetermined by the initial assumptions!

To make your analogy more like the GCMs, start with the number of deaths of U.S. 50-55 year old males over the last year who died from smoking related illness. Then inflate those deaths by claiming that smokers who died in accidents while possessing cigarettes, fall into the proper category. You can even throw in some deaths from people who did not smoke at the time of death, but did smoke at least one time in the past. Next, assume that the number of smokers and accidents will continue to increase by 1% a year (even though that has never happened) and run the calculations. Is it any wonder that your model will predict a startling increase in the number of deaths due to smoking in 100 years? In fact, the number of smoking related deaths will likely exceed the total number of deaths. Eventually, we can predict that more men will die from smoking related causes than have ever lived!

That is a simplified version of what the GCMs are doing! Garbage in/garbage out!

Possible rebuttal - my post was more (I thought) about very ST vs Medium term fcasts
I am certainly NOT going to defend current politicized climate models. I agree with you that if your model is trying for a pre-determined outcome, it is will be a useless GIGO model.

My point (which I guess I failed to make) was that most accurate models could NOT have their accuracy/validity determined by how well the model predicted short-term outcomes (ie the number of 50-50 year-old Male deaths in the next 2-3 days).

My lesser point is that I would guess (could be totally wrong here) that a TEST of an accurate (not politicized) climate model would how well it predicted the ACTUAl weather in the past. Now this guess could be way off base due to the changes in variables and the weighting of those variables in the climate model on a go-forward basis.

You did fine
i understood you very well and tend to agree. It isn't modeling that is a problem, but the ability of models to actually work even in known outcomes (past climate). You are also right, to a degree, about short-term vs. long term. But weather is very complex and many variables come into play bot short terma nd long term.

Still, you made some very good points, thank you.

On Climate Models
I have commented elsewhere on TCS about climate models (and how the modellers force-fit their history-match using fabricated aerosol data), but this is a much more interesting story that illustrates the point:

I am reminded of Freeman Dyson’s story of taking his results to Enrico Fermi for evaluation:

. . .[Fermi] delivered his verdict in a quiet, even voice: “There are two ways of doing calculations in theoretical physics”, he said. “One way, and this is the way I prefer, is to have a clear physical picture of the process that you are calculating. The other way is to have a precise and self-consistent mathematical formalism. You have neither.”

. . .”To reach your calculated results, you had to introduce arbitrary cut-off procedures that are not based either on solid physics or on solid mathematics.” In desperation, I asked Fermi whether he was not impressed by the agreement between our calculated numbers and his measured numbers. “How many arbitrary parameters did you use for your calculations?” I thought for a moment about our cut-off procedures and said “Four.” He said “I remember my friend Johnny von Neumann used to say, with four parameters I can fit an elephant, and with five I can make him wiggle his trunk.” With that, the conversation was over.

So yes, the models can reproduce the past, and the elephant can wiggle his trunk …

Original Comment by Willis Eschenbach, Aug. 28, 2006

Best regards, Allan

I wasn't disagreeing all that much...

I really agreed with your original post and understood the point that you were trying to make with your analogy. My point was that your analogy only touched on one of the shortcomings of the GCM's and I just wanted to emphasize that there are many more.

I didn't mean to come off critical of your post, just critical of the GCMs.

Great Story!

Thanks for sharing! How many 'parameters' do think exist in the climate models? Is there room for a herd of elephants (with or without trunks wiggling)?

With these parameters (fudge factors), the models can reproduce past climate, but only back to the time of stable atmospheric CO2. Since the models assume that CO2 is far and away the main climate driver, stable CO2 must generate a stable climate in the models.

That is why the 'Hockey Stick' was so vital to the AGW debate. If the global climate was variable over the last 2,000 years, while concentrations of atmospheric CO2 were stable, then the inability of the models to model climate change is plain for all to see.

Now that the 'Hockey Stick' has been debunked, AGW supporters are saying that it never really mattered any way. They are kidding themselves! If climate changed significantly (meaning similarly to the climate change of the last 100 years) while CO2 remained constant, than the basic assumption of all the GCMs is incorrect and the models are useless. That certainly appears to be the case!

The "Divergence Problem".
You may find this interesting Jim,

In the recent Whitfield SubCommittee hearings on Mann's "hockey stick", the issue of the “Divergence Problem” entered into the public forum.

The Divergence Problem can be described as follows: The post~1975 tree ring proxy data shows COOLING, not warming.

Mann did not show this in his famous hockey stick graph - Mann grafted post~1975 thermometric temperature measurements onto his pre~1975 tree ring proxy data to produce his scary hockey stick.

It is technically inappropriate to graft together such dissimilar datasets - however if Mann had not done so, his graph would not have shown scary global warming, would it?

It is astonishing to me that the Divergence Problem has remained essentially hidden for such a long time. What the Divergence Problem really says is that tree ring data is a very poor proxy for temperature.

Many of us have always known that Mann's hockey stick was wrong, because it eliminated from the historic record both the Little Ice Age and the Medieval Warm Period.

It took McIntyre and McKitrick to conduct a detailed audit to prove exactly how and where the hockey stick was wrong, and we are indebted to them.

It is truly amazing that we continue to waste hundreds of billions "to fight global warming", based on such obvious misinformation.

The hockey stick matters all right - it is clear evidence that we have been misled, either by deliberate fraud or incredible incompetence.

Fearless predictions:

Further detailed examination of the rest of the pro-Kyoto scientific case will lead to the discovery of similar technical debacles.

The climate computer models will be shown to be deeply flawed. The sensitivity of the models to atmospheric CO2 will be shown to be far too high - by perhaps a factor of ten. The history-matching that has been achieved in these models will be shown to be the result of inappropriate methodologies and the use of fabricated aerosol data.

Finally (and I hope I'm wrong on this one), Earth will enter a cooling phase as early as 2012 that could dwarf the current warming trend. We will conclude that the recent warming trend has been at least 80% natural.

Best regards, Allan


Canadian Underwriter 12 September 2006

The hurricane forecast for 2006 has been revised from Tropical Storm Risk's original prediction of above-average activity to slightly below-normal activity.

The London-based group of insurance, risk management and seasonal climate experts, led by the Benfield centre, say the new forecast indicates hurricane activity will be 10% below what has been the norm from 1950-2005. This new outlook is a far departure from the group original statement that indicated hurricane activity would be 40% above the norm for the same period.
This revision to a hurricane prediction is the first time Tropical Storm Risk marked has been required to reduce an earlier forecast by such a great degree.

According to professor Mark Saunders, the TSR lead scientist and head of seasonal forecasting and meteorological hazards at the Benfield Hazard Research Centre at University College London, said in a media interview with Business Insurance that "the forecast has been revised in response to 'unexpected and influential presence' of dry air and Saharan dust blowing off Africa over the main hurricane development region between the west coast of Africa and the Caribbean."

According to Tropical Storm Risk, the new forecast is 13 tropical storms for the Atlantic basin, with six of becoming hurricanes and two becoming intense hurricanes. This is a slight reduction from the original forecast of15 storms, with eight of these becoming hurricanes and three to four becoming intense hurricanes.

Currently the 2006 Hurricane season has seen six tropical storms, with two being hurricanes.

Tropical Storm Risk says it will use modeling to identify why the dry air and dust appears to be affecting the storm season this year as, in the past hurricane seasons it has not appeared to be a significant factor.

Copyright © 2006 Business Information Group. All rights reserved.

Common sense - cut real air pollution, not CO2.
The former Liberal Government of Canada signed the Kyoto Protocol a few years ago. Why? Prime Minister Jean Chretien said he did it on a "hunch". The hunch likely had more to do with the opportunity for corruption and kick-backs than climate change - the Liberals approve of big boondoggles like Kyoto because they can skim off huge dollars under the table. Central to their Kyoto compliance plan was the purchase of billions in CO2 credits from Russia - just imagine the possibilities for graft! Tabarnac!

The new Conservative Government of Canada has a better plan - combat real air pollution that produces smog. The jury is still out on how they will tackle CO2 - let's hope they continue to show common sense.

Regards, Allan

Conservatives plan tough restrictions on smog
To stick with Kyoto accord even though targets unreachable

John Ivison, National Post
Published: Wednesday, September 13, 2006

OTTAWA - The Conservative government's $2-billion plan for the environment will introduce rigid regulations on smog-causing pollutants, but will likely be far less tough on greenhouse gas emissions that cause climate change, according to people familiar with the legislation.

The "made in Canada" plan was shown to Cabinet this week and, if approved, the first component -- a Clean Air Act -- will be tabled in the Commons as soon as the parliamentary schedule allows, probably early next month.

Rona Ambrose, the Environment Minister charged with selling the plan, will likely emphasize that Canada remains committed to reducing greenhouse gas emissions in the long term and the country will remain part of the Kyoto accord, even though the government has said it will not be able to meet an initial target of reduction by 2012.

But Ms. Ambrose will place the most emphasis on the thousands of Canadians, particularly children and seniors, who die from smog-related illnesses.

One source said the Clean Air Act is "surprisingly regulatory in nature," and is aimed at cutting the amount of nitrogen oxides and sulphur dioxides in the air, toxic emissions that cause air pollution.

"On clean air, they will do some very substantial stuff. On climate change, the jury is still out," the source said.

The backbone of the new act will be the existing Canadian Environmental Protection Act, which environmental experts believe gives the government the authority to regulate the output of smog-producing substances by large emitters such as power stations. The government will likely rebut criticisms from the opposition parties by pointing out that the Liberals did not enforce any of the initiatives it undertook to improve air pollution, despite having the legislation in place.

There will also be moves to reduce air pollution from cars and trucks by providing incentives to people who buy hybrid cars and encouraging freight operators to move towards fleets powered by biodiesel fuels.

However, while the government will be clear about its goals for air pollution, it is likely to be more nuanced on its plans for climate change. The government said this year Canada could not meet the goals of the Kyoto accord, which committed it to reducing greenhouse gas emissions to 6% below 1990 levels by 2012. Conservative sources say that long-term reduction targets under Kyoto are still on the table but all polluting countries, including China and India, need to be included in any future agreement.

In the short term, the government will rebrand a Liberal program to retrofit homes, which was killed after the Auditor-General's department criticized it for failing to justify its hefty price tags with effective results.

The Conservatives have also indicated previously that money will be directed toward new clean technologies such as carbon capture and storage, which experts suggest could mitigate climate change by trapping carbon dioxide instead of releasing it into the atmosphere. The technology for capturing CO2 is already commercially available, but storage remains a relatively untested concept. Some estimates suggest up to 90% of CO2 emissions could be reduced by applying carbon capture and storage to a conventional power plant.

But while the government will maintain its commitment to reducing greenhouse gas emissions in the longer term, it is likely to be attacked for having no short-term plan. The Climate Action Network, a coalition of 40 environmental groups, reiterated its call yesterday for the government to regulate carbon pollution under Canada's existing environmental protection law.

A package of measures to improve water quality will also be included in the fall environmental package. In its election platform, the Conservatives pro-mised to protect the Great Lakes Basin, impose penalties on bilge oil dumping and ban interbasin water transfers.

© National Post 2006

You're all wrong
In fcasting the future, a robust rule of thumb is that the greater the number of active variables and the greater their volatility, the less one's fcast is likely to be accurate. Don't forget that volatility is a key element of statistics due to its capacity to modify the relevance of time in a sample, which is why three days of weather is more difficult to predict accurately than the outcome of 55 years of deadly human habits.

Climate systems are driven by more active variables of greater volatility than science can measure and thus know through measurement. Climatologists then assume these missing into their climate models based on nature's mechanics and past data, thereby sentencing them to assumicide.

Simply put, climate models based on incomplete data are not based on certain knowledge, for to know something with certainty is either to have measured it (and having measured it, participated in it) or to believe it. And it's this last kind of knowledge, belief, that has legitimized the global warming industry politically. For there is always political power to be reaped from common beliefs, which are more often unscientific as not.

1816 - The Year Without Summer.
1816 - The Year Without Summer.

A weak solar maximum, a major volcanic eruption, and possibly even the wobbling of the Sun conspired to make the summer of 1816 one of the most miserable ever recorded.

by Willie Soon and Steven H. Yaskell

The year 1816 is still known to scientists and historians as “eighteen hundred and froze to death” or the “year without a summer.” It was the locus of a period of natural ecological destruction not soon to be forgotten. During that year, the Northern Hemisphere was slammed with the effects of at least two abnormal but natural phenomena. These events were mysterious at the time, and even today they are not well understood. First, 1816 marked the midpoint of one of the Sun's extended periods of low magnetic activity, called the Dalton Minimum. This particular minimum lasted from about 1795 to the 1820s. It resembled the earlier Maunder Minimum (about 1645-1715) that was responsible for at least 70 years of abnormally cold weather in the Northern Hemisphere. The Maunder Minimum interval is sandwiched within an even better known cool period known as the Little Ice Age, which lasted from about the 14th through 19th centuries.

But the event that most severely shaped 1816's cold phenomena was the catastrophic eruption the previous year of Tambora on the island of Sumbawa, in modern-day Indonesia. The ash clouds and sulfur aerosols spewed by this volcano were widespread, chilling the climate of the Northern Hemisphere by blocking sunlight with gases and particles.

A third factor also could have played a role. During both the Dalton and the Maunder minima, the Sun shifted its place in the solar system — something it does every 178 to 180 years. During this cycle, the Sun moves its position around the solar system's center of mass. This particular trick of gravity is known as “inertial solar motion.” Scientists have not yet confirmed whether or not inertial solar motion affects Earth's climate directly, but it remains a possibility.

Latest Economist prints more misinformation on climate change.
The latest edition of the Economist is a source of more climate-alarmist misinformation.

The Economist continues to spread the falsehood that the science of climate change is settled. I scanned the Economist articles and found no mention of the recent Wegman report, which completely debunks the Mann hockey stick.

Here are excerpts from the Wegman report, for the record:

Report Raises New Questions
About Climate Change Assessments

‘It is important to note the isolation of the paleoclimate community; even though they rely heavily on statistical methods they do not seem to be interacting with the statistical community. Additionally, we judge that the sharing of research materials, data and results was haphazardly and grudgingly done. In this case we judge that there was too much reliance on peer review, which was not necessarily independent. Moreover, the work has been sufficiently politicized that this community can hardly reassess their public positions without losing credibility. Overall, our committee believes that Dr. Mann’s assessments that the decade of the 1990s was the hottest decade of the millennium and that 1998 was the hottest year of the millennium cannot be supported by his analysis.’

– Excerpt from Wegman report

Background: On June 23, 2005, following reports of a dispute surrounding two key historical temperature studies prominently used in the U.N.’s Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) 2001 assessment report, the Energy and Commerce Committee wrote the three authors of the studies, the IPCC, and the National Science Foundation for information relating to the use of the studies by IPCC.

The studies in question, by Dr. Michael Mann, et al, formed the basis for the IPCC assessment’s conclusion that the increase in 20th century Northern Hemisphere temperatures is “likely to have been the largest of any century during the past 1,000 years” and that the “1990s was the warmest decade and 1998 the warmest year” of the millennium.

Questions about the reliability of the Mann studies were of interest because they raised policy-relevant questions concerning the objectivity of the IPCC and its reliance upon and “promotional” use of the studies’ ‘hockey stick’ shaped historical temperature reconstruction.

Following receipt of the letter responses, committee staff informally sought advice from independent statisticians to determine how best to assess the statistical information submitted. Dr. Edward Wegman, a prominent statistics professor at George Mason University who is chair of the National Academy of Sciences’ (NAS) Committee on Applied and Theoretical Statistics, agreed to independently assess the data on a pro bono basis. Wegman is also a board member of the American Statistical Association.

About the Wegman committee: Dr. Wegman assembled a committee of statisticians, including Dr. David Scott of Rice University and Dr. Yasmin Said of The Johns Hopkins University. Also contributing were Denise Reeves of MITRE Corp. and John T. Rigsby of the Naval Surface Warfare Center. All worked independent of the committee, pro bono, at the direction of Wegman. In the course of Wegman’s work, he also discussed and presented to other statisticians on aspects of his analysis, including the Board of the American Statistical Association.
- more -

Among the panel’s findings and recommendations:

• Mann et al., misused certain statistical methods in their studies, which inappropriately produce hockey stick shapes in the temperature history. Wegman’s analysis concludes that Mann’s work cannot support claim that the 1990s were the warmest decade of the millennium.
Report: “Our committee believes that the assessments that the decade of the 1990s was the hottest decade in a millennium and that 1998 was the hottest year in a millennium cannot be supported by the MBH98/99 analysis. As mentioned earlier in our background section, tree ring proxies are typically calibrated to remove low frequency variations. The cycle of Medieval Warm Period and Little Ice Age that was widely recognized in 1990 has disappeared from the MBH98/99 analyses, thus making possible the hottest decade/hottest year claim. However, the methodology of MBH98/99 suppresses this low frequency information. The paucity of data in the more remote past makes the hottest-in-a-millennium claims essentially unverifiable.”

• A social network analysis revealed that the small community of paleoclimate researchers appear to review each other’s work, and reuse many of the same data sets, which calls into question the independence of peer review and temperature reconstructions.
Report: “It is clear that many of the proxies are re-used in most of the papers. It is not surprising that the papers would obtain similar results and so cannot really claim to be independent verifications.”

• Although the researchers rely heavily on statistical methods, they do not seem to be interacting with the statistical community.
Report: “As statisticians, we were struck by the isolation of communities such as the paleoclimate community that rely heavily on statistical methods, yet do not seem to be interacting with the mainstream statistical community. The public policy implications of this debate are financially staggering and yet apparently no independent statistical expertise was sought or used.”

• Authors of policy-related science assessments should not assess their own work.
Report: “Especially when massive amounts of public monies and human lives are at stake, academic work should have a more intense level of scrutiny and review. It is especially the case that authors of policy-related documents like the IPCC report, Climate Change 2001: The Scientific Basis, should not be the same people as those that constructed the academic papers.”

• Policy-related climate science should have a more intense level of scrutiny and review involving statisticians. Federal research should involve interdisciplinary teams to avoid narrowly focused discipline research.
Report: “With clinical trials for drugs and devices to be approved for human use by the FDA, review and consultation with statisticians is expected. Indeed, it is standard practice to include statisticians in the application-for-approval process. We judge this to be a good policy when public health and also when substantial amounts of monies are involved, for example, when there are major policy decisions to be made based on statistical assessments. In such cases, evaluation by statisticians should be standard practice. This evaluation phase should be a mandatory part of all grant applications and funded accordingly.”

• Federal research should emphasize fundamental understanding of the mechanisms of climate change, and should focus on interdisciplinary teams to avoid narrowly focused discipline research.
Report: “While the paleoclimate reconstruction has gathered much publicity because it reinforces a policy agenda, it does not provide insight and understanding of the physical mechanisms of climate change… What is needed is deeper understanding of the physical mechanisms of climate change.”


More on global cooling.
CCNet 123/06 - 15 September 2006

A growing number of scientists believe that there are clear links between the sun's activity and the temperature on Earth. While solar magnetic activity cannot explain away global warming completely, it does seem to
have a significant impact. "A couple of years ago, I would not have said that there was any evidence for solar activity driving temperatures on Earth," says Paula Reimer, a palaeoclimate expert at Queen's University, Belfast, in the UK. "Now I think there is fairly convincing evidence."
--New Scientist, 16 September 2006

If you look back into the sun's past, you find that we live in a period of abnormally high solar activity. Periods of high solar activity do not last long, perhaps 50 to 100 years, then you get a crash. It's a boom-bust system, and I would expect a crash soon.
--Nigel Weiss, University of Cambridge, 16 September 2006

Sunspot numbers are well on the way down in the next decade. Sunspot numbers will be extremely small, and when the sun crashes, it crashes hard. The upcoming sunspot crash could cause the Earth to cool.
--Leif Svalgaard, Stanford University, 16 September 2006

Global cooling could develop on Earth in 50 years and have serious consequences before it is replaced by a period of warming in the early 22nd century, a Russian Academy of Sciences' astronomical observatory's report
--MosNews, 25 August 2006

The Kyoto initiatives to save the planet from the greenhouse effect should be put off until better times. The global temperature maximum has been reached on Earth, and Earth's global temperature will decline to a climatic
minimum even without the Kyoto protocol.
--Khabibullo Abdusamatov, Russian Academy of Science, 25 August 2006

Global cooling - Prediction of Sept.1, 2002 (Part 1 of 2)
"If solar activity is the main driver of surface temperature rather than CO2, we should begin the next cooling period by 2020 to 2030."

Full article (Part 1 of 2)

Kyoto hot air can't replace fossil fuels

Allan M.R. MacRae
Calgary Herald

September 1, 2002

The Kyoto accord on climate change is probably the most poorly crafted piece of legislative incompetence in recent times.

First, the science of climate change, the treaty's fundamental foundation, is not even remotely settled. There is even strong evidence that human activity is not causing serious global warming.

The world has been a lot warmer and cooler in the past, long before we ever started burning fossil fuels. From about 900 to 1300 AD, during the Medieval Warm Period or Medieval Optimum, the Earth was warmer than it is today.

Temperatures are now recovering from the Little Ice Age that occurred from about 1300 to 1850, when the world was significantly cooler. Cold temperatures are known to have caused great misery -- crop failures and starvation were common. Also, Kyoto activists' wild claims of more extreme weather events in response to global warming are simply unsupported by science. Contrary to pro-Kyoto rhetoric, history confirms that human society does far better in warm periods than in cooler times.

Over the past one thousand years, global temperatures exhibited strong correlation with variations in the sun's activity. This warming and cooling was certainly not caused by manmade variations in atmospheric CO2, because fossil fuel use was insignificant until the 20th century.

Temperatures in the 20th century also correlate poorly with atmospheric CO2 levels, which increased throughout the century. However, much of the observed warming in the 20th century occurred before 1940, there was cooling from 1940 to 1975 and more warming after 1975. Since 80 per cent of manmade CO2 was produced after 1940, why did much of the warming occur before that time? Also, why did the cooling occur between 1940 and 1975 while CO2 levels were increasing? Again, these warming and cooling trends correlate well with variations in solar activity.

Only since 1975 does warming correlate with increased CO2, but solar activity also increased during this period. This warming has only been measured at the earth's surface, and satellites have measured little or no warming at altitudes of 1.5 to eight kilometres. This pattern is inconsistent with CO2 being the primary driver for warming.

If solar activity is the main driver of surface temperature rather than CO2, we should begin the next cooling period by 2020 to 2030.

The last big Ice Age, when Canada was covered by a one-kilometre-thick ice sheet, ended only about 10,000 years ago, and another big one could start at any time in the next 5,000 years. Mankind clearly didn't cause the rise and fall of the last big Ice Age, and we may not have any ability to control the next big one either.

It appears that increased CO2 is only a minor contributor to global warming. Even knowing this is true, some Kyoto advocates have tried to stifle the scientific debate by deliberate misinformation and bullying tactics. They claim to be environmentalists -- why do they suppress the truth about environmental science?

Some environmental groups supporting Kyoto also lack transparency in their funding sources and have serious conflicts of interest. Perhaps they are more interested in extorting funds from a frightened public than they are in revealing the truth.

Do they not know or care that Kyoto will actually hurt the global environment by causing energy-intensive industries to move to developing countries, which are exempt from Kyoto emission limits and do not control even the most harmful forms of pollution?

The Canadian government wants to meet its Kyoto targets by paying billions of dollars a year for CO2 credits to the former Soviet Union. For decades, the former Soviet Union has been the world's greatest waster of energy. Yet it will receive billions in free CO2 credits because of the flawed structure of Kyoto. No possible good can come to the environment by this massive transfer of wealth from Canadians to the former Soviet Union.

Kyoto would be ineffective even if the pro-Kyoto science was correct, reducing projected warming by a mere 0.06 degrees Celsius over the next half-century. Consequently, we would need at least 20 Kyoto's to stop alleged global warming. This would require a virtual elimination of fossil fuels from our energy system. Environment Canada knows this but doesn't really want to tell you all the economic bad news just yet.

What would the economic impact of 20 Kyoto's be? Think in terms of 20 times the devastating impact of the oil crisis of the 1970s (remember high unemployment, stagflation and 20 per cent mortgage rates) or 20 times the impact of Canada's destructive and wasteful National Energy Program. Be prepared for some huge and unpleasant changes in the way you live.

(continued in Part 2)

Global cooling - Prediction of Sept.1, 2002 (Part 2 of 2)
(... continued from Part 1)

Fossil fuels (oil, natural gas and coal) account for 87 per cent of the world's primary energy consumption, with 13 per cent coming from nuclear and hydroelectricity. Is it possible to replace such an enormous quantity of fossil fuels?

Hydrogen is not an answer -- it is a clean secondary energy currency like electricity, but it is made from primary energy such as fossil fuels, nuclear or hydro.

Kyoto advocates want expanded renewable energy such as geothermal, wind, and solar power and biomass to provide our future needs. Is this possible?

In 2001, there was a total global installed capacity of eight gigawatts (GW) of geothermal power and 25 GW of wind power. Even assuming the wind blows all the time, this equals only one quarter of one per cent of worldwide primary energy consumption. The contribution of solar electrical power generation is so small as to be inconsequential. To replace fossil fuels, we would need to increase all these renewables by a staggering 33,000 per cent.

Of course, wind doesn't blow all the time -- wind power works best as a small part of an electrical distribution system, where other sources provide the base and peak power. Although wind power has made recent gains, it will probably remain a small contributor to our overall energy needs. A 1,000-megawatt wind farm would cover a land area of 1,036 square kilometres, while the same-size surface coal mine and power plant complex covers about 36 square kilometres. Wind farms cover a much bigger area, are visible for miles due to the height of the towers and kill large numbers of birds.

What about solar? The electricity generated by a photovoltaic solar cell in its entire lifetime does not add up to the energy used to manufacture it, not to mention the requirement for vast areas for solar farms. These solar cells make sense only in limited special applications or in remote locations.

Hydroelectric power is another renewable, but environmental activists don't want more hydro because it dams rivers.

What about biomass solutions such as ethanol? Canada, the United States and a few other countries may have available crop land for ethanol to partially meet our local needs, but it is clearly not a global solution.

Many developing countries will reject renewable energy due to higher costs, since renewables usually require subsidies to compete with fossil fuels.

Conventional nuclear fission or, someday, fusion are the only two prospects that could conceivably replace fossil fuels. But Kyoto activists hate nuclear.

Conservation is a good solution, but Canada has been improving its energy efficiency for decades, in response to rising energy prices. Significant improvements have been achieved in heating and insulation of homes, automotive mileage and industrial energy efficiency. However, Canadians live in a cold climate and our country is vast. There are practical limits to what we can achieve through energy conservation.

So where will all the energy come from if we eliminate oil, natural gas and coal? Kyoto supporters have provided no practical answers, they just want to ratify this flawed treaty. It would be nice if our energy supply solutions were simple, but they're not. In the long run, if we implement Kyoto we will have only two choices -- destroy our economy and suffer massive job losses and power blackouts, or break the terms of Kyoto, which will be international law.

Instead of Kyoto, a new global anti-pollution initiative should be drafted by people who have a much better understanding of science, industry and the environment. It should focus, not on global warming and CO2, but on real atmospheric pollutants such as SO2, NOx and particulates as well as pollutants in the water and soil -- and no country should be exempt.

Then there might be a chance to actually improve the environment, rather than making it worse and wasting billions on the fatally flawed Kyoto Accord.

Allan M.R. MacRae is a professional engineer, investment banker and environmentalist.

© Copyright 2002 Calgary Herald


New Scientist magazine, 16 September 2006

It is known as the Little Ice Age. Bitter winters blighted much of the northern hemisphere for decades in the second half of the 17th century. The French army used frozen rivers as thoroughfares to invade the Netherlands. New Yorkers walked from Manhattan to Staten Island across the frozen harbour.
Sea ice surrounded Iceland for miles and the island's population halved. It wasn't the first time temperatures had plunged: a couple of hundred years earlier, between 1420 and 1570, a climatic downturn claimed the Viking colonies on Greenland, turning them from fertile farmlands into arctic wastelands.

Could the sun have been to blame? We now know that, curiously, both these mini ice ages coincided with prolonged lulls in the sun's activity - the sunspots and dramatic flares that are driven by its powerful magnetic field.
Now some astronomers are predicting that the sun is about to enter another quiet period. With climate scientists warning that global warming is approaching a tipping point, beyond which rapid and possibly irreversible damage to our environment will be unavoidable, a calm sun and a resultant cold snap might be exactly what we need to give us breathing space to agree and enact pollution controls. "It would certainly buy us some time," says Joanna Haigh, an atmospheric physicist at Imperial College London.

Global average temperatures have risen by about 0.6 °C in the past century, and until recently almost all of this has been put down to human activity. But that may not be the only factor at work. A growing number of scientists believe that there are clear links between the sun's activity and the temperature on Earth. While solar magnetic activity cannot explain away global warming completely, it does seem to have a significant impact. "A couple of years ago, I would not have said that there was any evidence for solar activity driving temperatures on Earth," says Paula Reimer, a palaeoclimate expert at Queen's University, Belfast, in the UK. "Now I think there is fairly convincing evidence."

What has won round Reimer and others is evidence linking climate to sunspots. These blemishes on the sun's surface appear and fade over days, weeks or months, depending on their size. More than a mere curiosity, they are windows on the sun's mood. They are created by contortions in the sun's magnetic field and their appearance foretells massive solar eruptions that fling billions of tonnes of gas into space. Fewer sunspots pop up when the sun is calm, and historically these periods have coincided with mini ice ages.

The number of sunspots and solar magnetic activity in general normally wax and wane in cycles lasting around 11 years, but every 200 years or so, the sunspots all but disappear as solar activity slumps (see "Field feedback"). For the past 50 years, on the other hand, the sun has been particularly restless. "If you look back into the sun's past, you find that we live in a period of abnormally high solar activity," says Nigel Weiss, a solar physicist at the University of Cambridge.

Fortunately, an indirect record of the sun's moods stretching back thousands of years has been preserved on Earth in the concentrations of rare isotopes locked into tree rings and ice cores. The story begins way out beyond the orbit of Pluto, at the boundary of the sun's magnetic field. While the sun is magnetically calm, its field extends around 12 billion kilometres into space, but the field puffs up to 15 billion kilometres when the sun is active. Cosmic rays - the high-energy particles from deep space that are constantly hurtling towards us - are deflected by the field, so at active times far fewer of them reach the Earth.

Cosmic correlation

The rays that do reach our planet leave traces in the form of carbon-14 and beryllium-10, isotopes that are only created when cosmic rays slam into the Earth's atmosphere. Plants and trees then absorb carbon-14, while beryllium-10 settles onto the polar ice sheets and becomes incorporated into that year's ice layer. So by measuring the levels of the isotopes in tree rings and polar ice cores, we can work out how many cosmic rays were reaching Earth when the rings or ice layers were formed, and so estimate how active the sun was at those times.

Sami Solanki and his team at the Max Planck Institute for Solar System Research in Katlenburg-Lindau, Germany, have looked at the concentrations of carbon-14 in wood and beryllium-10 in ice as far back as back 11,000 years ago. The similarity of the fluctuations in both isotopes convinced them that they were seeing effects due to the sun. The peaks and slumps showed a recognisable pattern: "Periods of high solar activity do not last long, perhaps 50 to 100 years, then you get a crash," says Weiss. "It's a boom-bust system, and I would expect a crash soon."


(continued from Part 1...)

Although another crash is likely, predicting the sun's activity with any certainty is difficult because of the chaotic way in which the solar magnetic field is generated. If anyone can do it, though, it's solar physicist turned computer programmer Leif Svalgaard, from Stanford University in California, who has been forecasting solar activity for nearly three decades. In the 1970s, he pioneered the best forecasting method yet devised, which uses the strength of the magnetic field at the sun's poles to predict future levels of solar activity.

He too expects a crash. The sun's polar field is now at its weakest since measurements began in the early 1950s, and to Svalgaard, the latest figures indicate that the sun's activity will be weaker during the next decade than it has been for more than 100 years. "Sunspot numbers are well on the way down in the next decade," he predicts. He expects fewer than six new sunspots per month, less than half the average number seen over the past decade.

This is hardly the sunspot crash that observations from 1645 to 1715 suggest. Back then, the appearance of even a single sunspot was major astronomical news, sparking hurriedly penned communications from one observatory to another. Nevertheless, it's a sign of things to come. "Sunspot numbers will be extremely small, and when the sun crashes, it crashes hard," says Svaalgard. "The upcoming sunspot crash could cause the Earth to cool"

Hot link

So what does the sun's magnetic activity have to do with the climate on Earth? To pin down the connection, Solanki and his colleagues compared records of solar activity derived from tree rings with meteorological records from 1856 to the present day. They found that the temperature of the Earth's atmosphere changed in step with sunspot numbers until 1970. This is the evidence that has done more than anything else to convince climatologists to take the link seriously. What's more, the most recent calculations by Solanki's team suggest that the sunspot crash could lead to a cooling of the Earth's atmosphere by 0.2 °C. It might not sound much, but this temperature reversal would be as big as the most optimistic estimate of the results of restricting greenhouse-gas emissions until 2050 in line with the Kyoto protocol.

There is still a big puzzle, though. Astronomers and climate scientists have always struggled to understand exactly how solar activity could influence the temperature on Earth. Whatever the variations in the sun's magnetic activity, the total energy it emits changes by only 0.1 per cent - too small a change to have any direct effect. As a result, the sun's role in climate change is highly controversial. "People have been arguing over this for years," says Reimer.

What other factor is at work? Important clues have emerged recently from solar observatories, including the SOHO spacecraft operated by NASA and the European Space Agency for the past 10 years. Although the change in overall solar energy is small, measurements made by SOHO and other solar observatories have revealed much greater variation in the levels of ultraviolet radiation, which can peak at up to 100 times its minimum level. "This means that there is scope for ultraviolet to have a much larger effect on our atmosphere," says Haigh, who for the past decade has been studying the impact of the sun's variability on climate.

According to computer models she has developed, ultraviolet radiation heats the upper reaches of the Earth's atmosphere by energising atoms and molecules there. This drives chemical reactions involving ozone and other molecules, which can release still more heat. This heating changes the temperature structure of the atmosphere at all altitudes, although the details are unclear because of the sheer complexity of Haigh's model. "By varying the amount of ultraviolet radiation, solar activity changes the circulation of the whole atmosphere," she says. Change the circulation, and you change the weather.

Haigh's work may help to explain one of the most puzzling aspects of the Little Ice Age: "Europe was badly hit, but other parts of the world may not really have noticed it," says Solanki. This might have been due to the different distribution of land masses in the northern and southern hemispheres. While Antarctica is surrounded by a wide belt of ocean, the distribution of land and oceans in the northern hemisphere is much less regular. This means that the interaction between the circulating atmosphere and the ground is more complex in the northern hemisphere. It gives rise to the North Atlantic Oscillation, an interplay of low and high pressure that dictates the movement of storms across the continents bordering the north Atlantic.

Haigh has found that at times of low solar activity the air pressure over the North Pole is higher than normal and forces storms south, funnelling colder weather to lower latitudes. What happens in the southern hemisphere is less well known, but Haigh says she wouldn't be surprised if the reaction here to changes in solar activity is different.

Solar activity might also influence climate through its effect on cosmic rays. In another study, Solanki has found an intriguing correlation between the temperature of the Earth's atmosphere and the number of cosmic rays striking it, with lower temperatures in periods of high numbers of cosmic rays.

How could cosmic rays lead to cooler temperatures? Enter a theory proposed by Henrik Svensmark and Eigil Friis-Christensen of the Danish Meteorology Institute in Copenhagen almost a decade ago. They suggested that cosmic rays create an electric charge in particles in our atmosphere that then act as seeds for the formation of clouds at low altitudes. A spell of low solar activity would mean more cosmic rays and therefore more clouds and lower temperatures.


(continued from Part 2...)

Svensmark and Friis-Christensen's idea is controversial, however (New Scientist, 11 July 1998, p 45). Most climatologists accept that more low clouds would reflect more radiation back into space, thus lowering temperatures.

But many dismiss Svensmark and Friis-Christensen's evidence of a link between cosmic rays and cloud cover as coincidence (see "Cloud cover"). Others want the theory investigated, if only to rule it out. To this end, an international group of more than 50 scientists have proposed an experiment at the CERN particle physics laboratory near Geneva, Switzerland, to begin in 2008.

No room for complacency

The coming years could settle the sun's role on temperatures once and for all. If the expected sunspot crash does takes place, Solanki's work could receive dramatic confirmation. "Having a crash would certainly allow us to pin down the sun's true level of influence on the Earth's climate," says Weiss.

None of this means that we can stop worrying about global warming caused by emissions into the atmosphere. "The temperature of the Earth in the past few decades does not correlate with solar activity at all," Solanki says. He estimates that solar activity is responsible for only 30 per cent, at most, of the warming since 1970. The rest must be the result of man-made greenhouse gases, and a crash in solar activity won't do anything to get rid of them.

What might happen is that the sun gives the planet a welcome respite from the ravages of man-made climate change - though for how long, nobody knows. During the Little Ice Age, the fall in average global temperature is estimated to have been less than 1 °C and lasted 70 years. The one before that persisted for 150 years, but a minor crash at the beginning of the 19th century lasted barely 30. For now, we will have to keep watching for falling sunspot numbers. "The deeper the crash, the longer it will last," Weiss says.

There is a dangerous flip side to this coin. If global warming does slow down or partially reverse with a sunspot crash, industrial polluters and reluctant nations could use it as a justification for turning their backs on pollution controls altogether, makingmatters worse in the long run. There is no room for complacency, Svalgaard warns: "If the Earth does cool during the next sunspot crash and we do nothing, when the sun's magnetic activity returns, global warming will return with a vengeance."

Field feedback

Sunspots and solar activity are driven by the strength of the sun's complex magnetic field. Although solar scientists are still debating the detail, most believe that the magnetic field is generated in a shell of hot gas 35,000 kilometres thick and buried some 200,000 kilometres deep inside the sun. Known as the tachocline, this layer is made of plasma - a gas so hot that the atoms break up into charged electrons and ions.

Material at different latitudes and depths of the tachocline rotates at different rates. This variability moves electric charges and generates the sun's magnetic field. Once created, the magnetic field is strong enough to influence the movement of the electrically charged gas that creates it, a feedback mechanism that can either strongly amplify or diminish the overall strength of the field. For the past 50 years the field has been building, and the sun has been experiencing a period of unusually high magnetic activity.

Predicting future solar activity is tricky because of this complexity. The best method in use today was formulated in the 1970s by Leif Svalgaard, then at Stanford University. He showed that the magnetic field at the sun's poles is the best predictor. "The polar field is the magnetic seed for solar activity," Svalgaard says.

The polar fields are the accumulation of dead sunspots, transient dark patches on the sun's surface that have immense magnetic fields. When a spot fades from view, its residual magnetic field is gradually swept polewards by a surface current of solar gas known as the meridional flow. At the poles, this flow turns down into the sun, where astronomers believe it sinks to the tachocline and begins a return journey towards the sun's equator. En route, the magnetic field is rejuvenated by the tachocline to produce new sunspots.

Cloud cover

In 1997, meteorologists Henrik Svensmark and Eigil Friis-Christensen of the Danish Meteorology Institute in Copenhagen analysed weather satellite records from 1979 to 1992. This was long enough for the sun's activity to complete one of its regular 11-year cycles.

The researchers found that the Earth was 3 per cent cloudier when the sun's activity was at a minimum than when it was at its peak. They also noted the influx of cosmic rays at five experiments across the globe and found that it was as much as 25 per cent higher at the solar minimum. They called their discovery a "missing link in solar-climate relationships" and argued that cosmic rays were responsible for increasing cloud formation by electrically charging the lower atmosphere.

Intriguing as this link is, it is far from proof that solar activity and cloud cover are connected. "You have to demonstrate such an effect with an experiment, otherwise it is not physics," says Robert Bingham, a physicist at the UK's Rutherford Appleton Laboratory in Didcot, Oxfordshire.

Bingham is part of an international collaboration building an experiment called CLOUD to test the idea that cosmic rays seed clouds. CLOUD will start up in 2008 using a particle accelerator at the CERN laboratory near Geneva as a source of simulated cosmic rays. The researchers will fire charged particles through a chamber holding a mixture of gases similar to the Earth's atmosphere to determine how often the particles trigger cloud formation. "CLOUD will go a long way towards understanding the microphysics of droplet formation," says Bingham.

Copyright 2006, New Scientist

While I generally like much of this article, there are unfortunate comments by several scientists that reflect their fanatical belief in the religion of global warming.

I would summarize my differences with the "holy warmers" as follows:

1. I believe that the current warming is at least 80% natural - the warmers tend to think this warming is more than 80% due to human activities.

2. I do not see the future cooling as "a welcome respite from the ravages of man-made climate change". If the future cooling is severe, it poses a much greater threat to humanity and the environment than the current warming trend.

Best regards, Allan

Right on point (asalways) allen
I believe the current warming trend in much closer to 100% natural. The largest problem with human actions is the destruction and burning of the rain forests, the deforestation of other parts of the world (through fire and careless management) and damage to the oceans.

Production of CO2 isn't even in the top ten (though air pollution in general is). I'm all for protecting the environment; through good, multi-use, common-sense management.

If a downturn in global temps is soon coming, it will be a very bad thing. It does not have to reach ice-age proportions to cause severe damage to vegetation, wildlife and humans (through crop loss, increase energy needs and expenses).

Agree Pauled
I believe that the current warming is at least 80% natural - that is as precise as I can be at present, given all the uncertainties. You could be entirely correct that the warming is close to 100% natural.

The arguments in favor of CO2 being the primary driver of the current warming are really weak - I have examined the evidence of the pro-AGW side and it is virtually non-existent.

The climate computer models prove absolutely nothing. The manipulation of these models to allegedly prove the existence of AGW is science fiction.

And then there is the famous hockey stick, created by Dr. (Piltdown) Mann. The hockey stick has now been completely discredited by McIntyre and McKitrick and more recently by the Wegman report. Please also see my post (above) on the "Divergence Problem".

The only possible pro-AGW evidence I've found so far is seasonal US temperatures - which show slight (average) seasonal cooling since 1930 in Summer and Fall, and warming only in Winter and Spring. This is consistent with a very mild enhanced greenhouse effect, but overlain on a slight average cooling trend. This is certainly not evidence of a warming crisis, and may be an early indicator of a cooling problem.

The data source is: http://www.nod.NOAA.go/oak/climate/research/cage/an.html

Best regards, Allan

Thanks again
I'm not eric, you don't have to reference everything as far as I'm concerned. Since I'm a weather observer with a NWS/NOAA certified weather station, I know their site(s) well.

Sorry I can't argue with anything you've posted here.

BTW, if you want to talk about the weather data and how it is measured and collected and then explain to me how, with the equipment used, you can ever prove less than a collective 5 degree F warming or cooling, I'll buy you a steak dinner. The measurement of a .6 degree C tempature rise over 150 years could be nothing more than better equipment or divergence in the inaccuracy of the equipment used from one time to the next.

Enjoy the weekend.
I posted the data link and then found it was expired, so corrected with the new one. I thought others might like to look at the data for themselves - it frustrates me when someone makes a claim and I cannot verify it without substantial effort.

Given your expertise, it concerns me a bit if you believe the ST data accuracy is as low as you suggest. I have read some of Pielke Sr.'s papers and he has similar concerns.

I note that different databases (US-NOAA and Hadley), even though they "overlap" somewhat (share some common data), show the same detailed warming and cooling trends over the 20th Century - even though these amount to little more than a few tenths of a degree. Can you comment on this similarity?

Best regards, Allan

Most records of actual measured temeratures are coming from sources with the same or similar equipment and located in similar areas. The location is very sensitive if you want to get accurate tempature reading without large spikes due to over exposure to the sun or , for that matter, being in a constantly (in the winter) northern shade. They have a device that handles these concerns vrey well. This is all good.

Then they use a crappy little metal differentiation temperature probe that isn't necessarily bad; or all that accurate. (We will not dicuss the problems with the interesting wiring and other issues.)

I'm not knocking the weather station, it keeps me from having to freeze my rear off to check temps in the winter, but they admit it has notable limitations. Still, I am sure it is much better than what they used in 1900 or even 1960. if for no other reason than accumulated knowledge of how and where to place the probe.

That is where the problem actually lies.

If they used the exact same measuring devices in the exact same locations, they would have temperature variation results that are accurate, even if the devices were all off by 20 degrees all the time. I know for a fact they have used three different devices in the last 20-25 years and the station has been in four different locations in our tiny town. Granted, these locations are seperated by less than a mile; but any number of things in the location will affect the temperatures; more trees or grass in one location than another for example.

Understand, I'm not saying their data is incorrect; I'm saying there is strong reason for doubt. Much in the same vein as the obvious problems with the data used for Mann's Hockey Stick. (dissimilar measuring criteria durring different time frames)

I have no first hand knowledge of the way Hadley collects data; but I have to wonder if they have also used more advanced technology as it became available. Also, who collects the data? If it is volunteers, people die, lose interest, move, etc. and the locations of these change.

The use of better instruments may be the reason their numbers jibe. The movement of collection sites should set up minor irregularities that might not necessarily have a major effect on the overall data set.

But, when we are talking a degree F total change in 150 years, I have to question the ability to collect data that accurate; even with the most modern equipment. Tree rings might prove more accurate; especially when you get to a time before accurate thermometers.

Still, I have little real arguement with the stated increase of .6 degree C; I just have a problem with science that claims to be accurate in light of the inconsistancies.

Then there is the many points you have made here, and in the past, concerning natural phenomen that would account for much, if not all, of the warming we have experienced. When you start adding it all up, I have a hard time understand how anyone can claim that human activity is responsible and is going to drastically alter the climate.

Financial Post editorial on global cooling.
Global cooling effect

Terence Corcoran, National Post
Published: Saturday, September 16, 2006

News that the Conservatives might be taking a more cautious approach to Kyoto and climate change could not come at a more appropriate time. The science behind the idea of man-made global warming, always theoretical and often speculative, appears set to receive another blow. A report in New Scientist magazine yesterday chronicles the work of a crew of scientists who forecast a new wave of global cooling brought on by a decline in activity in the sun.

The New Scientist report, along with other scientific assessments warning of global cooling, also come as a blow to the campaign -- led by David Suzuki and one of the directors of his foundation -- to portray all who raise doubts about climate change theory -- so-called skeptics -- as pawns of corporate PR thugs manipulating opinion. If the Suzuki claim is true, then the tentacles of Exxon-Mobil reach deeper into science than anyone has so far imagined.

Dramatic global temperature fluctuations, as New Scientist reports, are the norm. A Little Ice Age struck Europe in the 17th century. New Yorkers once walked from Manhattan to Staten Island across a frozen harbour. About 200 years earlier, New Scientist reminds us, a sharp downturn in temperatures turned fertile Greenland into Arctic wasteland.

These and other temperature swings corresponded with changing solar activity. "It's a boom-bust system, and I expect a crash soon," says Nigel Weiss, a solar physicist at the University of Cambridge. Scientists cannot say precisely how big the coming cooling will be, but it could at minimum be enough to offset the current theoretical impact of man-made global warming. Sam Solanki, of the Max Planck Institute for Solar System Research in Germany, says declining solar activity could drop global temperatures by 0.2 degrees Celsius. "It might not sound like much," says New Scientist writer Stuart Clark, "but this temperature reversal would be as big as the most optimistic estimate of the results of restricting greenhouse-gas emissions until 2050 in line with the Kyoto protocol."

The New Scientist says this gives the Earth some breathing room in the face of climate change over the next 50 years, but it warns against complacency. "If the Earth does cool during the next sunspot crash and we do nothing [about man-made global warming], when the sun's magnetic activity returns, global warming will return with a vengeance," says Leif Svalgaard of Stanford University in California.

Well, that's one man's view based on his take on the science. But other scientists have differing views. Last month, the Russian Academy of Sciences' astronomical observatory reported that global cooling could develop in 50 years. Khabibullo Abdusamatov, head of the agency's space research branch, is reported to have said a period of global cooling similar to one seen in the late 17th century could start in 2012-2015 and reach its peak in 2055-2066. "The Kyoto initiatives to save the planet from the greenhouse effect should be put off until better times," he said.

A few excerpts from the New Scientist report appear below, and the full text is available through the magazine's Web site for a nominal fee. Readers can judge for themselves to what degree the magazine's report highlights the need for much greater scientific certainty over the causes of climate change.

Debate over the role of the sun in forcing temperature change is nothing new. Professor Ian Clark of the Department of Earth Sciences, University of Ottawa, wrote on this theme on this page in 2004. The climate models used by the United Nations' Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change do not take adequate account of solar activity, Mr. Clark said. "Past and recent climate warming can be explained by changes in solar activity," he said.

Another scientist tracking the sun, one among many, was Theodor Landscheidt, the late and renowned German solar expert and forecaster. "Analysis of the sun's varying activity in the last two millennia indicates that contrary to the IPCC's speculation about man-made global warming as high as 5.8 degrees Centigrade within the next 100 years, a long period of cool climate with its coldest phase around 2030 is to be expected."

Worth noting here is Timothy Ball, the former University of Manitoba climatologist and frequent contributor to the idea that official government science is ignoring the role of the sun and that global cooling may be looming, not warming. Mr. Ball, for his thoughts, has become the victim of a slanderous campaign by David Suzuki and his associate, Vancouver public relations guru James Hoggan. They charge Mr. Ball with being a climate change "denier" -- as if it were akin to denying the Holocaust. They also portray him, and all "skeptics" who raise doubts about official climate science, as being in the pockets of corporations.

Mr. Hoggan and Mr. Suzuki appear to be the leading backers of a major disinformation campaign run out of the Vancouver offices of James Hoggan & Associates. Mr. Hoggan sits on the Suzuki Foundation board, and among other things somehow funds two full-time researchers to operate a blog that is focused solely on discrediting scientists who do no uphold the official UN view on climate change.

It's all a corporate scam, they claim. "There are people," says Mr. Hoggan, a veteran self-promoting pro in the PR business, "mainly people who are getting paid by oil and coal interests, and [some] who are just basically ideologues, who are trying to confuse the public about climate change." Says Mr. Suzuki: "The skeptics are a small group known for their support of corporations like the fossil fuel industry. In fact, many are receiving money directly from the industry."

The New Scientist article yesterday, and many other science studies and reports over the years, suggest the Suzuki group is operating an empty political campaign. The Harper Conservatives should fear nothing as they work to set a Kyoto policy.

© National Post 2006

Follow the money.
Excerpt from the above Financial Post Editorial:

Worth noting here is Timothy Ball, the former University of Manitoba climatologist and frequent contributor to the idea that official government science is ignoring the role of the sun and that global cooling may be looming, not warming. Mr. Ball, for his thoughts, has become the victim of a slanderous campaign by David Suzuki and his associate, Vancouver public relations guru James Hoggan. They charge Mr. Ball with being a climate change "denier" -- as if it were akin to denying the Holocaust. They also portray him, and all "skeptics" who raise doubts about official climate science, as being in the pockets of corporations.

Mr. Hoggan and Mr. Suzuki appear to be the leading backers of a major disinformation campaign run out of the Vancouver offices of James Hoggan & Associates. Mr. Hoggan sits on the Suzuki Foundation board, and among other things somehow funds two full-time researchers to operate a blog that is focused solely on discrediting scientists who do no uphold the official UN view on climate change.

It's all a corporate scam, they claim. "There are people," says Mr. Hoggan, a veteran self-promoting pro in the PR business, "mainly people who are getting paid by oil and coal interests, and [some] who are just basically ideologues, who are trying to confuse the public about climate change." Says Mr. Suzuki: "The skeptics are a small group known for their support of corporations like the fossil fuel industry. In fact, many are receiving money directly from the industry."

[End of excerpt]

My comments:

Follow the money indeed. The billions of dollars spent pushing the global warming fraud vastly exceed the miniscule resources of the so-called "climate skeptics".

Every academic who wants research funding knows by now that he can get money by putting a global warming spin on his grant application.

Research money is showered not just on climate scientists, but also on fields ranging from geography to biology, just so long as the spin is alarmist and pro-warming.

In the future, anthropologists will write papers about the avalanche of shoddy research from our time, all funded by global warming hysteria.

At the top of the heap are attention seekers and/or profiteers like David Suzuki, Piltdown Mann, the Hansen's (the hockey team) and others.

I'm not saying they are only in it for the money, since they have political/ideological objectives as well.

Pushing the pro-global warming agenda is about notoriety, power, influence, political ideology and money - it certainly is not about the science, or the well-being of humanity or the environment.

Best regards, Allan

50% going once, 50% going twice, do I hear 80?
80% ladies and gentlemen, can I have an 80...

Best regards, Allan

P.S. Another recent study reportedly says solar variation has no effect on climate, but consider the source - Tom Wigley, another high priest of the pro-Kyoto movement.


N. Scafetta and B. J. West, GEOPHYSICAL RESEARCH LETTERS, VOL. 33, L17718, doi:10.1029/2006GL027142, 2006

Phenomenological solar signature in 400 years of reconstructed Northern Hemisphere temperature record

N. Scafetta1 and B. J. West1,2

1 Physics Department, Duke University, Durham, North Carolina, USA.
2 Now at Mathematical and Information Science Directorate, U.S. Army Research Office, Research Triangle Park, North Carolina, USA.

Received 7 June 2006; revised 25 July 2006; accepted 2 August 2006; published 15 September 2006.

[1] We study the solar impact on 400 years of a global surface temperature record since 1600. This period includes the pre-industrial era (roughly 1600–1800 or 1600–1900), when negligible amount of anthropogenic-added climate forcing was present and the sun realistically was the only climate force affecting climate on a secular scale, and the industrial era (roughly since 1800–1900), when anthropogenic-added climate forcing has been present in some degree. We use a recent secular Northern Hemisphere temperature reconstruction (Moberg et al., 2005), three alternative total solar irradiance (TSI) proxy reconstructions (Lean et al., 1995; Lean, 2000; Wang et al., 2005) and a scale-by-scale transfer climate sensitivity model to solar changes (Scafetta and West, 2005, 2006). The phenomenological approach we propose is an alternative to the more traditional computer-based climate model approach, and yields results proven to be almost independent on the secular TSI proxy reconstruction used. We find good correspondence between global temperature and solar induced temperature curves during the pre-industrial period such as the cooling periods occurring during the Maunder Minimum (1645–1715) and the Dalton Minimum (1795–1825). The sun might have contributed approximately 50% of the observed global warming since 1900 (Scafetta and West, 2006). We briefly discuss the global cooling that occurred from the medieval maximum (1000–1100 AD) to the 17th century minimum.

Citation: Scafetta, N., and B. J. West (2006), Phenomenological solar signature in 400 years of reconstructed Northern Hemisphere temperature record, Geophys. Res. Lett., 33, L17718, doi:10.1029/2006GL027142.

1. Introduction

[2] A number of secular reconstructions of global temperature and TSI have been carried out in order to understand the causes of climate variability, and in particular to identify the relative natural vs. anthropogenic contribution of the observed variations. However, the mechanisms by which solar activity might cause climate changes are not well understood [Hoyt and Schatten, 1997; Pap and Fox, 2004].

[3] A traditional approach relies on theoretical climate models [Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change, 2001; Hansen et al., 2002] where a certain number of climate forcing and feedback mechanisms are pre-determined in the model. By adopting this philosophy the solar impact on climate would significantly depend on the amplitudes of secular trends of the adopted TSI forcing, (compare Figure 1A and 1B of Foukal et al. [2004]). In fact, by keeping the model unaltered in its mechanisms, weaker TSI forcing would yield to weaker climate feedback to TSI variation, and the total effect of solar change on climate would be weaker. One difficulty with this approach is that the feedback mechanisms and alternative solar effects on climate (for example, UV energy changes are involved in production and loss of ozone, variations in the solar wind affect the size and intensity of the heliosphere and modulate the cosmic rays that may affect formation of clouds affecting Earth’s albedo [Pap and Fox, 2004]), since they are only partially known, might be poorly or not modeled at all.

[4] To circumvent the lack of knowledge in climate physics, we adopt an alternative approach that attempts to evaluate the total direct plus indirect effect of solar changes on climate by comparing patterns in the secular temperature and TSI reconstructions. Herein, a TSI reconstruction is not used as a radiative forcing, but as a proxy of the entire solar dynamics. We find that this phenomenological approach yields a result that is less sensitive to the particular TSI reconstruction adopted in the analysis because a weaker TSI forcing would simply imply the presence of stronger climate feedbacks to TSI variation and/or a stronger climate sensitivity to other solar changes (UV and cosmic rays) in such a way as to reproduce the same observed temperature patterns. This phenomenological approach is justified by the findings of several authors [Eddy, 1976; Lassen and Friis-Christensen, 1995; Lean et al., 1995; Crowley and Kim, 1996; Hoyt and Schatten, 1997; White et al., 1997] who have noted an apparent secular correlation between global surface temperature and TSI reconstructions. We use a novel scale-by-scale transfer climate sensitivity model (SbS-TCSM) [Scafetta and West, 2005, 2006] to solar changes for this purpose.


[18] In any case, as some authors have already noted [Douglass and Clader, 2002; Scafetta and West, 2005, 2006], solar change effects are greater than what can be explained by several climate models [Stevens and North, 1996; Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change, 2001; Hansen et al., 2002; Foukal et al., 2004]. For example, Douglass and Clader [2002] and Scafetta and West [2005] found that the amplitude of the 11-year solar signature on the temperature record seems to be 3 times larger than the theoretical predictions, and similar or larger factors are likely to persist at lower frequencies as well.

[19] In conclusion, a solar change might significantly alter climate. It might trigger several climate feedbacks and alter the GHG (H2O, CO2, CH4, etc.) concentration, as 420,000 years of Antarctic ice core data would also suggest [Petit et al., 1999]. Most of the sun-climate coupling mechanisms are probably still unknown. However, they should be incorporated into the climate models to better understand the real impact of the sun on climate because they might strongly amplify the effects of small solar activity increases.


Copyright 2006 by the American Geophysical Union.

Summary of paper: As people get older, they drive less and consume less, so they produce less greenhouse gases. Also there will fewer of them around.

Critique: However, older people also heat their homes to about a million degrees. And what about driving all those Lincolns and Caddies to all those golf courses? I say it's a wash...

Best, Allan :-)


Energy Economics. Article in Press, Corrected Proof

Population aging and future carbon emissions in the United States

Michael Dalton a, Brian O'Neill b, d, Alexia Prskawetz c, Leiwen Jiang d and John Pitkin e

A California State University Monterey Bay, CA, USA
B International Institute for Applied Systems Analysis, Laxenburg, Austria
C Vienna Institute of Demography, Vienna, Austria
D Brown University, Providence, RI, USA E Analysis and Forecasting, Inc., Cambridge, MA, USA

Changes in the age composition of U.S. households over the next several decades could affect energy use and carbon dioxide (CO2) emissions, the most important greenhouse gas. This article incorporates population age structure into an energy-economic growth model with multiple dynasties of heterogeneous households. The model is used to estimate and compare effects of population aging and technical change on baseline paths of U.S. energy use, and CO2 emissions. Results show that population aging reduces long-term emissions, by almost 40% in a low population scenario, and effects of aging on emissions can be as large, or larger than, effects of technical change in some cases. These results are derived under standard assumptions and functional forms that are used in economic growth models. The model also assumes a closed economy, substitution elasticities that are fixed, and identical across age groups, and patterns of labor supply that vary by age group, but are fixed over time.


Vincent Gray

Dear Mr. Shepard

I have been an "expert reviewer" for the IPCC since the beginning, and I have written many pages of comments and objections on their numerous drafts. I have also published critical articles on each volume, and for the last, a book "The Greenhouse Delusion, a Critique of 'Climate Change 2001'" which is currently available from the website of the publisher

These volumes are a mine of information on all matters concerned with the climate. they have no index, so only an intimate knowledge can turn up information on any one subject. Anybody can become an "expert reviewer", so you can obtain a copy of the latest draft merely on application.

The IPCC is a propaganda exercise for the supporters of the theory that greenhouse gases have harmful effects on the climate. The Editors and Lead Authors are carefully chosen for their known advocacy, and just to make sure, the "Summary for Policymakers" which is the only part most
people read, is agreed line-by-line by Government representatives.

Despite all these precautions they have never made a firm commitment to their theory. A typical statement is the notorious "The balance of the evidence suggests a discernible human influence on the global climate".
Note, this is only a "suggestion" (by whom?) and it does not mention greenhouse gases.

The "balance of the evidence" is distorted throughout the volumes, and their treatment of solar influences is typical. Most of the relevant published papers are mentioned, but any that suggest that the sun's influence is important are marginalised or deflated. When in doubt they leave really challenging papers out altogether.

They have the support of most of the important Journals in this exercise. Papers which emphasize the importance of the sun are sometimes published, but they often insert a phrase in the title which discourages readers from finding evidence in favour of the sun's influence. Many of
the editors are environmental activists.

Not many people seem to bother with the actual IPCC reports. They are voluminous and require hard work to oppose. However, they are the source of most scientific argument in favour of "climate change" and they
deserve more attention from scientists.


Vincent Gray
Wellington 6035
New Zealand

"It's not the things you don't know that fool you.
It's the things you do know that aint so"
Josh Billings

Note the date on this article - it is over one year old.
Apparently the Royal Society is at it again.
Best regards, Allan


The Daily Telegraph, 16 May 2005

By Neil Collins

I've had a letter from Sir David Wallace, CBE, FRS. In his capacity as treasurer and vice-president of the Royal Society, he writes: "We are appealing to all parts of the UK media to be vigilant against attempts to present a distorted view of the scientific evidence about climate
change and its potential effects on people and their environments around the world. I hope that we can count on your support."

Gosh! The V-P of the Royal Society! How could anyone not support such an eminent body, especially as Sir David warns: "There are some individuals on the fringes, sometimes with financial support from the oil industry,
who have been attempting to cast doubt on the scientific consensus on climate change."

I say! A conspiracy as well. Definitely time to rally round, chaps, and repel fringe individuals. To help us do so, there's a "guide to facts and fictions about climate change written in a non-technical style" that even non-members of the Royal Society can grasp.

There's no doubt that this is a difficult subject that arouses strong emotions and which, if the more pessimistic projections turn out to be anywhere near the truth, will cause mankind some serious problems in the coming decades. Yet I fear I am going to be a great disappointment to
Sir David.

However vigilant we may be against attempts to present a distorted view of the scientific evidence, he cannot count on my support, and it's not merely because of my instinctive leaning towards individuals on the fringe.

In his helpful, non-technical guide, he refers to a survey of 928 papers (count 'em) on climate change published between 1993 and 2003, which found that three quarters of them accepted the view that man's activities (anthropogenic, in the jargon) have had a major impact on the climate.

Amazingly, not a single one rejected it. Never mind that this is probably a greater consensus than can be found for the theory of evolution, the lack of a single dissenting voice smacks of the sort of result Nicolae Ceausescu used to get in his Romanian elections. So just what was this survey?

It is by one Naomi Oreskes, and was published in Nature last December, and it has surprised those whom Sir David might describe as fringe individuals. Among them are eminent researchers who have discovered periods in history when the Earth was hotter, even with lower levels of
carbon dioxide than in today's atmosphere, and other scientists who believe that solar activity is the biggest cause of recent climate change.

These people are not nutcases, nor are they in thrall to the oil companies (even if they were, does anyone seriously believe that Big Oil wants to destroy the planet?). They are just as capable of doing serious
science as those who take it as an article of faith that global warming is all our fault.

Six such individuals have just published a paper* arguing that cosmic ray intensity and variations in solar activity have been driving recent climate change. They even provide a testable hypothesis, predicting some modest cooling over the next couple of years, as cosmic ray activity
increases cloud cover. Since the conventional - sorry, consensus - wisdom says we are on a rising temperature curve to disaster, a couple of cool years would deal a serious blow to the anthropogenists.

There is much more in Sir David's briefing paper that other experts could challenge. One of the more terrifying aspects of global warming is the threat of rising sea levels as the polar ice melts, and the oceans expand through rising temperatures, threatening the millions of people who live in places only a few feet above sea level.

Dramatic pictures of receding ice shelves in Antarctica seem to back this up, but a report in February to the Earth Observation summit in Brussels found that the ice masses there seem to be growing. Sea level does not appear to be rising; satellites can't detect any change, and
low-lying islands such as Tuvalu are refusing to disappear beneath the waves.

As I said, this is a difficult subject, and it would be foolish to assume that everything will turn out fine, whatever we do. But that hardly justifies Draconian measures that will make us poorer, unless the scientific evidence is overwhelming. This was what the Inter-Governmental Panel on Climate Change was set up to do, and its findings form the basis for the Kyoto treaty. Yet a closer examination of the scientific case shows that what are now considered by the doomsayers to be firm forecasts of temperature rises are actually "scenarios" of what might happen on different assumptions.

There is a huge margin for error here, certainly enough to justify America's refusal to sign up to the treaty. It's fashionable to claim that George W. Bush has rejected Kyoto because he's too stupid to see the problem (and, of course, he's in thrall to Big Oil), but he can just
as plausibly argue that the treaty is based on bad science.

Climate change is an important, perhaps vital, debate, but it remains just that. Warning of disaster has become a global industry, and the livelihoods of thousands of scientists depend on our being sufficiently spooked to keep funding the research. The worry is that many of these
researchers have stopped being scientists and become campaigners instead. I do hope that the vice-president of the Royal Society is not one of them.

* Advances in Space Research, May 2005

Copyright 2006, The Daily Telegraph

More Scary Falsehoods from the Royal Society and the Guardian.

The Guardian, 20 September 2006,,1876538,00.html


David Adam, environment correspondent

Britain's leading scientists have challenged the US oil company ExxonMobil to stop funding groups that attempt to undermine the scientific consensus on climate change.

In an unprecedented step, the Royal Society, Britain's premier scientific academy, has written to the oil giant to demand that the company withdraws support for dozens of groups that have "misrepresented the science of climate change by outright denial of the evidence".

The scientists also strongly criticise the company's public statements on global warming, which they describe as "inaccurate and misleading".

In a letter earlier this month to Esso, the UK arm of ExxonMobil, the Royal Society cites its own survey which found that ExxonMobil last year distributed $2.9m to 39 groups that the society says misrepresent the science of climate change.

These include the International Policy Network, a thinktank with its HQ in London, and the George C Marshall Institute, which is based in Washington DC. In 2004, the institute jointly published a report with the UK group the Scientific Alliance which claimed that global temperature rises were not related to rising carbon dioxide levels in
the atmosphere.

"There is not a robust scientific basis for drawing definitive and objective conclusions about the effect of human influence on future climate," it said.

In the letter, Bob Ward of the Royal Society writes: "At our meeting in July ... you indicated that ExxonMobil would not be providing any further funding to these organisations. I would be grateful if you could
let me know when ExxonMobil plans to carry out this pledge."

The letter, a copy of which has been obtained by the Guardian, adds: "I would be grateful if you could let me know which organisations in the UK and other European countries have been receiving funding so that I can
work out which of these have been similarly providing inaccurate and misleading information to the public."

This is the first time the society has written to a company to challenge its activities. The move reflects mounting concern about the activities of lobby groups that try to undermine the overwhelming scientific evidence that emissions are linked to climate change.

The groups, such as the US Competitive Enterprise Institute (CEI), whose senior figures have described global warming as a myth, are expected to launch a renewed campaign ahead of a major new climate change report.
The CEI responded to the recent release of Al Gore's climate change film, An Inconvenient Truth, with adverts that welcomed increased carbon dioxide pollution.

The latest report from the UN Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC), due to be published in February, is expected to say that climate change could drive the Earth's temperatures higher than previously predicted.

Mr Ward said: "It is now more crucial than ever that we have a debate which is properly informed by the science. For people to be still producing information that misleads people about climate change is unhelpful. The next IPCC report should give people the final push that they need to take action and we can't have people trying to undermine

The Royal Society letter also takes issue with ExxonMobil's own presentation of climate science. It strongly criticises the company's "corporate citizenship reports", which claim that "gaps in the scientific basis" make it very difficult to blame climate change on
human activity. The letter says: "These statements are not consistent with the scientific literature. It is very difficult to reconcile the misrepresentations of climate change science in these documents with ExxonMobil's claim to be an industry leader."

Environmentalists regard ExxonMobil as one of the least progressive oil companies because, unlike competitors such as BP and Shell, it has not invested heavily in alternative energy sources.

ExxonMobil said: "We can confirm that recently we received a letter from the Royal Society on the topic of climate change. Amongst other topics our Tomorrow's Energy and Corporate Citizenship reports explain our views openly and honestly on climate change. We would refute any suggestion that our reports are inaccurate or misleading." A spokesman
added that ExxonMobil stopped funding the Competitive Enterprise Institute this year.

Recent research has made scientists more confident that recent warming is man-made, a finding endorsed by scientific academies across the world, including in the US, China and Brazil.

The Royal Society's move emerged as Chris Rapley, director of the British Antarctic Survey, warned that the polar ice caps were breaking up at a faster rate than glaciologists thought possible, with profound consequences for global sea levels. Professor Rapley said the change was almost certainly down to global warming. "It's like opening a window and seeing what's going on and the message is that it's worse than we thought," he said.

Copyright 2006, The Guardian


Roger Pielke Jr, Science Policy, 21 September 2006

David Whitehouse is [was until recently, BJP] the online science editor for the BBC. He has sent a letter to Benny Peiser, a prominent climate provocateur [well, that's a new one ...] from the University of Liverpool [actually, Liverpool John Moores University to be correct] who oversees the CCNet mailing list. Benny included Dr. Whitehouse's correspondence on the Royal Society's letter to ExxonMobil (PDF) in his compilation yesterday (Guardian story here ). There is also apparently a second letter from the Royal Society to journalists, asking them to ignore people with perspectives outside the IPCC consensus.

Let me say in no uncertain terms that in my opinion the actions by the Royal Society are inconsistent with the open and free exchange of ideas, as well as the democratic notion of free speech. Here in the U.S. we have recently won a battle to allow scientists employed by government to speak freely even if their views are inconvenient to the current Administration. Such lessons should work in all directions. The Royal Society is seeking to use the authority of science to limit open debate. This is not, to put it delicately, the most effective use of scientific authority in political debates. Climate scientists and advocates confident of their positions should welcome any and all challengers, and smack them down with the power of their arguments, not the weight of their influence or authority. A strategy based on stifling debate is sure to backfire, not just on the climate issue, but for the scientific enterprise as a whole.

Here is Dr. Whitehouse's letter, which I endorse 100%:

Dear Benny,

I wonder if I am not alone in finding something rather ugly and unscientific about the letter the Royal Society has sent to EssoUK (part of Exxon). It is reproduced in today's Guardian newspaper.

It demands EssoUK stop giving money to groups and organisations who do not believe that human activities are totally responsible for global warming. It also asks EssoUK to provide details of all the groups it funds so that the Royal Society can track them down and vet them, "so that I can work out which of these have been similarly providing inaccurate and misleading information to the public," the letter says.

My disquiet about this is nothing to do with the status of the debate about anthropogenic global warming but about the nature of the debate and the role of the Royal Society in it and the sending of such a hectoring and bullying letter demanding adherence to the scientific consensus.

Theories come and go. Some become fact, others do not. As scientists our ultimate loyalty is not to theory but to reason and to open enquiry even when some think it ill judged. We should value that above all and I am surprised the Royal Society is acting this way. Einstein once said, "Unthinking respect for authority is the greatest enemy of truth."

However the Royal Society sees its role in debates about science, is it appropriate that it should be using its authority to judge and censor in this way?

Yours sincerely,

Dr David Whitehouse

What if the Royal Society is all wrong about the science of climate change?
What if the Royal Society (RS) is wrong about the science of climate change?

The RS says we should not debate the science of climate change because the science is settled. This is one of many such attempts to stifle the legitimate debate about the science of climate change.

What if the RS is proven to be wrong about the science? It will have cast itself in the role of intellectual ogre, enemy of free speech and scientific pariah. If this scenario unfolds, the RS should apologize and then abolish itself, having discredited itself and outlived its usefulness.

How will we know if the RS is right or wrong? In a few decades, if the RS is correct, it will become much warmer. If they are wrong, the temperature will stay the same or become cooler.

I don't like the RS's chances - according to the Hadley record of global temperatures, it has been cooling slightly since 1998. Also, many scientists are predicting that Earth is about to enter a more significant cooling trend. Also, the oceans have started to cool.

Too bad for the RS - it should be encouraging this debate instead of trying to suppress it - which is all the climate skeptics have been asking for all along.

Best regards, Allan

The "holy warmers" would have us believe that all climate warming is caused by man. Their typical response to this paper will be to reject it, and blame ancient Californians for any warming observed during the past 2000 years.

Next, the Attorney General of California will sue ancient Californians for causing global warming.

The Governator will sign a treaty between ancient Californians and ancient Britons to fight climate change by reducing greenhouse gases. Tree clearing and subsistance agriculture will be discouraged. A burp and fart tax will be introduced...

Best regards, Allan :-)


Marine Micropaleontology. Article in Press, Corrected Proof

Solar forcing of Gulf of California climate during the past 2000 yr suggested by diatoms and silicoflagellates

John A. Barron and David Bukry

U.S. Geological Survey, MS910, Menlo Park, CA, 94025 United States

High-resolution records of the past 2000 yr are compared in a north-south transect (28° N to 24° N) of three cores from the eastern slopes of the Guaymas, Carmen, and Pescadero Basins of the Gulf of California (hereafter referred to as the "Gulf"). Evenly-spaced samples from the varved sediments in each core allow sample resolution ranging from 16 to 37 yr.

Diatoms and silicoflagellates capture the seasonal variation between a late fall to early spring period of high biosiliceous productivity, that is driven by northwest winds, and a summer period of warmer, more stratified waters during which these winds slacken and/or reverse direction (monsoonal flow). As these winds decrease, tropical waters enter the Gulf and spread northward. Individual samples represent a composite of 7 to 23 yr of deposition and are assumed to record the relative dominance of the winter vs. summer floral components.

Intervals of enhanced summer incursion of tropical waters, alternating with periods of increased late fall to early spring biosiliceous productivity are recorded in all three cores. Regularly spaced cycles (100 yr duration) of Octactis pulchra, a silicoflagellate proxy for lower SST and high productivity, and Azpeitia nodulifera, a tropical diatom, occur between A.D. 400 and 1700 in the more nearshore Carmen Basin core, NH01-21 (26.3° N), suggesting a possible solar influence on coastal upwelling.

Cores BAM80 E-17 (27.9° N) and NH01-26 (24.3° N) contain longer-duration cycles of diatoms and silicoflagellates. The early part of Medieval Climate Anomaly ( A.D. 900 to 1200) is characterized by two periods of reduced productivity (warmer SST) with an intervening high productivity (cool) interval centered at A.D. 1050. Reduced productivity and higher SST also characterize the record of the last 100 to 200 yr in these cores. Solar variability appears to be driving productivity cycles, as intervals of increased radiocarbon production (sunspot minima) correlate with intervals of enhanced productivity. It is proposed that increased winter cooling of the atmosphere above southwest U.S. during sunspot minima causes intensification of the northwest winds that blow down the Gulf during the late fall to early spring, leading to intensified overturn of surface waters and enhanced productivity.

A new silicoflagellate species, Dictyocha franshepardii Bukry, is described and illustrated.


Copyright © 2006 Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved.


Worth the read.
Best, Allan

An indirect way for the Sun to influence Earth's climate
(apologies for the formatting)--------------

"Exploding Stars Influence Climate Of Earth"--------------

"It is known that low-altitude clouds have an overall cooling effect on the Earth's surface. Hence, variations in cloud cover caused by cosmic rays can change the surface temperature. The existence of such a cosmic connection to Earth's climate might thus help to explain past and present variations in Earth's climate.--------------

Interestingly, during the 20th Century, the Sun's magnetic field which shields Earth from cosmic rays more than doubled, thereby reducing the average influx of cosmic rays.

The resulting reduction in cloudiness, especially of low-altitude clouds, may be a significant factor in the global warming Earth has undergone during the last century"

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