Arctic ice definitely melting

iceberg melting

From the Washington Post

Associated Press

The Arctic ocean is warming up, icebergs are growing scarcer and in some places the seals are finding the water too hot, according to a report to the Commerce Department yesterday from Consulafft, at Bergen, Norway.

Reports from fishermen, seal hunters and explorers all point to a radical change in climate conditions and hitherto unheard-of temperatures in the Arctic zone.

Exploration expeditions report that scarcely any ice has been met as far north as 81 degrees 29 minutes. Soundings to a depth of 3,100 metres showed the Gulf Stream still very warm. Great masses of ice have been replaced by moraines of earth and stones, the report continued, while at many points well known glaciers have entirely disappeared.

Very few seals and no white fish are found in the eastern Arctic, while vast shoals of herring and smelts which have never before ventured so far north, are being encountered in the old seal fishing grounds.

Within a few years it is predicted that due to the ice melt the sea will rise and make most coastal cities uninhabitable.

 


Continue Reading →

Ooh! Real blog wars

Hah! Gareth’s upset about the Alexa rankings I’ve started publishing in the sidebar.

He gets going in a scholarly way and lengthily, but listen:

Treadgold’s Climate Conversation blog ranks at around 500,000. By way of comparison, David Farrar’s Kiwiblog.co.nz is ranked #68,226 in the world (#88 in NZ). Climate Conversation is so far down in Alexa’s long tail that the Alexa rank Treadgold is keen to trumpet is effectively meaningless.

What he fails to mention is that we’re not so far down Alexa’s long tail as he is. Where is Hot Topic ranked by Alexa? Anywhere meaningful? Continue Reading →

Czech Republic steadfast against the carbon madness

Prague Castle

The Czech Republic, led by courageous President Vaclav Klaus, resists the latest European efforts to deepen the climate crisis. For the crisis is man-made, just as it is in New Zealand, consisting entirely of increasing the financial pressure on families and depriving them of modern conveniences in order to “save” the world’s climate, using expensive mechanisms that can’t affect the climate. Even though the climate continues to regulate itself within ancient, well-known thresholds entirely suitable for life. Continue Reading →

First icebergs, now penguins

Emperor penguin on Pekapeka Beach.

Oh, it’s cooling all right

It’s got so cold here that penguins are arriving.

A penguin's journey

The NZ Herald has some great shots of Mr Emperor on the beach, taking in the sights and getting used to the adulation.

On the Google Earth clip at right you can see the shortest possible track he could have swum in reaching us from the nearest part of the Antarctic coast. It measures a mind-bending 3300 kilometres. Of course, it’s beyond question that he would have travelled far more than that, because of ocean currents.

Nice to see him here, but I hope he goes on his way soon, because there’s not much future for his kind in New Zealand. We’re not cooling that much.

NZ blog rankings

Alexa rulz!

Just a quick note to draw your attention to a new feature on the sidebar: scroll down one page and you should see it. There’s a little table showing the recent Alexa rankings for the Climate Conversation, SciBlogs and Hot Topic. At the moment we’re leading them by big margins.

It’s not automated, just a table I’ll fill in when I remember.

My wife and son just accused me of boasting, and I suppose to some degree I am boasting. However, it’s humbling to see that this modest little blog is more popular and thousands more people visit it than other, brasher sites around the country that even get into the newspapers.

I’m content to boast a little if it means that more ordinary Kiwis hear about us and get the opportunity to participate in a calm, polite and informative conversation about “the biggest challenge facing humanity today.”

This is a bit of bragging I won’t apologise for and the mainstream media can go hang. Notice we’ve just gone under 1000, which means we’re one of the thousand most popular sites in the country. Course, it could change tomorrow!

Now sea levels are rising fast

Rash of news alerts

From News.Scotsman.com comes worrying information of rapid sea level rise.

Global warming is causing sea levels to rise at a faster rate today than at any time in the past 2,100 years, according to new research.

Scientists used the fossils left by tiny marine animals to record two millennia of sea levels along the US Atlantic coast.

Some inspired comments

In the most detailed look yet at sea level change, scientists on Monday reported that waters along the East Coast have risen far faster over the past century than at any time in the previous 2000 years. [Philadelphia Inquirer]

20th-Century sea-level rise on the U.S. Atlantic coast is faster than at any time in the past two millennia. [Real Climate]

The research confirms what has often been assumed, that there’s a very strong link between sea levels and temperatures. More worryingly, it also seems to confirm just how uniquely pronounced the current climate change really is. [io9]

Wool gets in the eyes

wool over eyes

Royal Society banner

With the Royal Society smoke ‘n’ sea level rise

Last September, the Royal Society published a report entitled “SEA LEVEL RISE Emerging Issues”, available as a pdf (645 KB). In the accompanying press release they had this to say:

Professor Keith Hunter, the Society’s Vice President of Physical Sciences, who contributed to the paper, says researchers are starting to be able to estimate the amount of rise that we should expect to see over this century and beyond. But he says these projections of future sea level rise depend upon the future melting of ice sheets, which is poorly known.

“The uncertain knowledge about ice sheet behaviour is the key reason why IPCC projections in 2007 did not state upper bounds for sea level rise. Similarly, Ministry for the Environment guidance in 2008 wisely left open the question of any upper limit on sea level rise.”

The paper states that some early scientific work into the effect of a warming climate on ice sheets in Greenland and Antarctica suggested that many metres of sea level rise could occur within a century. However, it says few scientists now consider that such rates are possible.

What do we learn from this?

We learn that we can’t guess future sea level rise, since we can’t guess future ice sheet melting; our mates at the UN and the MfE won’t touch it, and our first guess was several metres but now only the cranks go that far.

The press release expresses complete ignorance on future sea level rise. Great. So we also learn that scientists can make complete ignorance appear very interesting. Continue Reading →

All the trusting children of the world

lots of children

1.2 billion screaming babies

Scientific American, under the title Doctors Prepare to Explain and Treat Climate-Related Symptoms, discusses the role of medical practitioners in supporting public health measures. Measures which may, it says, legitimately involve them in activism, if they truly care about public health. Fair enough.

Note the reference in the title to preparing for the future. But in the sub-heading Climate change is beginning to impact public health, the view shifts. Suddenly we’re talking about the present. However, our not-so-Scientific American has overlooked the evidence.

For there’s been no global warming for about 15 years.

I found out how many babies have been born during the last 15 years. It’s staggering — over 1.2 billion. That’s a lot of nocturnal screaming. Continue Reading →

Oh, IPCC, how dare thee?

Perhaps it was simply poor management. Although it would still be grounds to disband the whole dysfunctional team.

Mark Lynas, of all people (for he’s a confirmed believer in man-made warming), writes an excellent article on the ramifications of one Sven Teske, an IPCC lead author and also, by-the-by, a lead author for Greenpeace, using his elevated position on the UN body to get world exposure for his Greenpeace activism.

In applauding Steve McIntyre’s discovery of the latest embarrassment from the IPCC, Mark comments: “McIntyre and I have formed an unlikely double-act.” He’s got that right.

Steve concludes:

The public and policy-makers are starving for independent and authoritative analysis of precisely how much weight can be placed on renewables in the energy future. It expects more from IPCC WG3 than a karaoke version of [a] Greenpeace scenario.

I concur.

We’ve moved

A hard disk drive

WordShine moving tomorrow today

Saturday 14:50: Done. Whew!

After spending two days studying the database material I last looked at about six years ago, altering files, moving files and creating and deleting databases, I’ve finally managed to migrate the WordPress installation without breaking it.

Hurrah! This calls for a celebration!

I’m sorry for the interruption to normal service, and I’ve missed you all! But the advantages of moving to the new hosting company include accommodating all the conversations you could ever want to have, even inviting the rest of the world! And if more disk space is needed, it’s fantastically cheap to add it.

Please tell me of glitches

I should ask you (please) to let me know if you come across errors or anomalies on the blog, because I can’t be everywhere.

Thursday 21:56: Still waiting.

I love it that computer equipment is getting cheaper by the month and competition makes the leading entrepreneurs more creative in attracting customers. Because after being hit with an extraordinary invoice for over $2000 for next year’s hosting, I knew I must change web hosts.

That’s when I discovered how inexpensive web hosting has become!

Annual hosting of the Climate Conversation Group (plus WordShine itself) will cost less than half what it did last year. At the same time, we get unlimited bandwidth! Instead of biting my fingernails as the bandwidth rose inexorably and the end of the month approached, I can forget paying for extra bandwidth and concentrate on research and writing. Continue Reading →

Slowing Sun = cooling Earth

Science story of century

Mini Ice Age on way?

Strange happenings in the sun

End of global warming?

At WUWT Anthony Watts announces: The American Astronomical Society meeting in Los Cruces, New Mexico, has just made a major announcement on the state of the sun. Sunspots may be on the way out and an extended solar minimum may be on the horizon.

“This is highly unusual and unexpected,” Dr. Frank Hill, associate director of the NSO’s Solar Synoptic Network, said of the results. “But the fact that three completely different views of the Sun point in the same direction is a powerful indicator that the sunspot cycle may be going into hibernation.”

Spot numbers and other solar activity rise and fall about every 11 years, which is half of the Sun’s 22-year magnetic interval since the Sun’s magnetic poles reverse with each cycle. An immediate question is whether this slowdown presages a second Maunder Minimum, a 70-year period with virtually no sunspots during 1645-1715.

“We expected to see the start of the zonal flow for Cycle 25 by now,” Hill explained, “but we see no sign of it. This indicates that the start of Cycle 25 may be delayed to 2021 or 2022, or may not happen at all.”

All three of these lines of research to point to the familiar sunspot cycle shutting down for a while.

“If we are right,” Hill concluded, “this could be the last solar maximum we’ll see for a few decades. That would affect everything from space exploration to Earth’s climate.”

h/t Andy Scrase.

Off-line again, sorry

The doctors wanted to give me a life-saving procedure in the hospital tomorrow (Monday) and I decided to let them. Hope to be home again on Tuesday.

Please don’t worry, I’ll be fine — I’ve done this before. I think the surgeons have, too.

UPDATE 14 JUNE

I’m back with more health than before.

The kind thoughts you wrote here gently overspoke my fears of what could be and my heart lightened.

You didn’t have to do that — thank you.

Contrary climate voices grow in confidence

Obsession with climate change ‘damaging Britain’

The Government’s highly damaging decarbonisation policy, enshrined in the absurd Climate Change Act, does not have a leg to stand on. It is intended, at massive cost, to be symbolic: To make good David Cameron’s ambition to make his administration “the greenest government ever”.

So says Lord Lawson, respected former Chancellor under Margaret Thatcher, in a scathing attack in the Daily Mail against Prime Minister David Cameron’s energy policy. Continue Reading →

Bogus profits from solar power axed

solar panels on a house

UK solar industry feels chill

Complaints are purpling the British air after the government announced drastic cuts in formerly cosy subsidies for solar panels.

The Government’s decision to cut subsidies for solar energy to all but the smallest projects will threaten investment and job creation in the alternative energy sector, environmental and industry groups warned yesterday.

The Department of Energy and Climate Change (DECC) said the change to feed-in tariffs would maintain funding for households to put up panels by diverting them from larger projects.

So-called feed-in tariffs provide an operator with a guaranteed price for surplus power sold (or “fed in”) to the national grid. The subsidy is all that makes the expensive solar panel technology profitable. Continue Reading →

Guess, meet fact

Clive Best IPCC comparison

Several readers, among them the evergreen Mike Jowsey (thanks, Mike!) have drawn my attention to Clive Best’s simple yet remarkable post from yesterday. It brings together in a most accessible way the early IPCC forecasts (or “scenarios”, actually — they were never predictions) and the latest observations of global temperature.

So, after 20 years, how well have the consensus scientists done in forecasting the climate? It could be said the results are patchy. Continue Reading →

Methane, m’thane: methinks it stinks

The methane molecule

In July last year, and after more than a year’s absence, NIWA got around to publishing another issue of their “flagship” publication, Water & Atmosphere. It’s an attractive magazine, but it contains some curious information which deserves comment.

First, we notice a helpful comment by NIWA Chief Executive, John Morgan:

NIWA has a responsibility as a Crown Research Institute to share the results of publicly-funded science.

Hmm. Morgan should compare that statement with the conclusion of the methane article in the same issue:

if any real solution [to agricultural emissions] is on the horizon it’s likely to be a closely kept secret.

The article has some gems:

methane levels have grown by 150 per cent since organised animal farming began in the early 1700s.

They tell us methane’s a problem

Was farming disorganised until the 18th century? That’s not what the history books say. Continue Reading →

Global warming not for Kiwis

thermal pools

Countless people

  • told us we’ve been warming
  • warmed up to the warming
  • watch the warming
  • guard against the warming

But…

But there’s been no warming — and NIWA’s graphs prove it. Not only that, but NIWA’s chief climate scientist says firmly that there’s little warming on the way.

So why is there now a giant bureaucracy in Wellington dedicated to “fighting” the warming? Why, in the 2008-09 financial year alone, have government contracts to research climate change been let worth over $2,700,000?

Claims of harm to New Zealand from future global warming have been made for a long time. Here are just a few to remind ourselves what we’ve been listening to for about 20 years. Continue Reading →

Truth about climate is winning

We often wonder about the prevailing mood in the population towards our favourite subject. What do people really think about global warming?

Opinion polls are the only credible way of determining this, of course, so we tend to examine them for signs. Sometimes, we make do with small samples and apocryphal stories impossible to verify. Here’s one of those.

A member of the NZ Climate Science Coalition gave this concise description of a silly television story a while back:

And this morning’s TV One Breakfast Session showed a photo of a polar bear cub on its mother’s back because there is now so little polar ice that they have to ride on mummy’s back since they cannot swim – all because of global warming – and the item came from the WWF, who are a trusted outfit with authority on the subject……… Yeah , Right !! This was dwelt on a couple of times as a heart-wrenching thingy showing how serious global warming is. TV1 has a large audience. Unfortunately, political decisions are based on what the great unwashed voting public want, not on unpopular facts or logic. The latter does not win elections. As we are all painfully aware, the “silly” side is what sells newspapers and TV time – and attracts funding.

A member of the NZ Climate Science Coalition, addressing another member on a silly polar bear item aired on TV1, said this earlier: Continue Reading →

Open question for the NZ Herald

Editorial writers – please glance over here

I have a question.

The aftermath of United Nations climate change summits is becoming depressingly familiar.

With these words last December 14, the New Zealand Herald editorial writer signalled his slant. It’s a bias towards the official line on global warming. The Herald joins the chorus of activists baying for Western compensation for the third world to answer the allegations of “injury by climate”.

According to this view, every other good and time-honoured cause for foreign aid is eclipsed by this one: that the effects of global warming will be — even are already — too onerous for emerging nations to bear, therefore we must stop doing what has created our wealth and, on top of that, pay heavy fines for many years to come, perhaps forever — they haven’t told us when to stop.

There must be a reason for this.

What is it?

Perspective, raw and bleeding

Alexa NZ rankings

The best in New Zealand is no. 1. All others fall into line astern according to their number. So far, we at the Climate Conversation are proud of our standing. However, should this ranking fall, we will still be proud of our standing.

Latest rankings – 21 June, 2011

(The closer the number is to 1, the more popular the site.)

Climate Conversation – 928    SciBlogs1879    Hot Topic3478    Open Parachute3602

This is a dose of reality. Has the warmist bluster lost its lustre?

20 June, 2011 — CCG 989;           SB ;           HT 4204;           OP
14 June, 2011 — CCG 1021;           SB 1709;           HT 4142;           OP 4988
12 June, 2011 — CCG 1038;           SB 1611;           HT 4398;           OP 6013
9 June, 2011 — CCG 1045;           SB 1584;           HT 4122;           OP 7113
8 June, 2011 — CCG 1100;           SB 1541;           HT 4113;           OP 6504

Taxus, taxus, hurryup and taxus!

no dice? loaded dice?

Altogether now: taxus, taxus…

What an unedifying spectacle: thousands of moronic Australians shouting for more taxes. There’s hardly anything I can add. Let’s lend the sensible Australians our voices against the utterly useless expense of it.

SYDNEY — Thousands of Australians across the country rallied on Sunday to support a tax on the carbon emissions blamed for global warming, as a new report outlined the risks of rising sea levels from climate change.

In Sydney, demonstrators carried banners reading “Say yes to cutting carbon pollution” and “Price carbon — our kids are worth it” while similar rallies attracted crowds in Melbourne, Adelaide, Perth, Brisbane, Hobart and Canberra.

“This should send a clear message to the government to set an ambitious price on carbon that will kick-start investment in clean energy,” said rally organiser Simon Sheikh, national director of the activist group GetUp.

Kick the habit?

Those who describe our emissions of carbon dioxide as a habit in the same vein (sorry, pun intended) as heroin are evilly misled and wickedly mislead others. Continue Reading →

Listener lambasted concerning climate claims

An excellent sceptical letter sent to the NZ Listener on 14 May and copied today to Climate Conversation.

Rupert Wyndham in New Zealand

To the Editor
NZ Listener

quill pen

14th May 2011

Dear Ms. Stirling,

I am a visitor to New Zealand, and only yesterday had sight of your 14 May edition of the New Zealand Listener with its entertainingly fanciful lead story, accompanied by appropriately lurid graphics.

Since this is a topic which raises much controversy, let me try and see if I can encapsulate in a few lines what it is that you would wish your readers to believe. You propose, it would seem, that marginal increases in the concentrations of what is no more than a trace gas, amounting in total not to 10% of the earth’s atmosphere, not even to 5% — nay, not even to 1%, can bring about cataclysmic changes in global climate.

So, what exactly is the percentage concentration of CO2 in the atmosphere? Why, to be sure, it is a gasping, asphyxiating 1/27th part of a single percentage point. But even that’s not the complete picture, is it? After all, as someone (such as you) who has addressed the data for herself will know, even human-induced climate change proselytisers acknowledge that, by itself, the radiative potential of CO2 (vanishingly small anyway) fails to account for the “scenarios” promoted by them and by unquestioning and compliant organs of the media — such, indeed, as The New Zealand Listener.

So, to get over this little inconvenience, what should be done? Continue Reading →

Prof Kelly shows the middle way

Principled sceptical stance

An extraordinary letter to the Taranaki Daily News (copied to Climate Conversation) from a climate sceptic well-placed to hear and and well-qualified to judge competing sides in the global warming controversy. Professor Kelly’s written testimony to the House of Commons Science and Technology Committee, for The Reviews into the University of East Anglia’s Climatic Research Unit’s E-mails, published on 25 January 2011, set out pointed questions directed to Jones and Briffa. This letter, clear and moderate, is in stark contrast to Miss Stewart’s anguished squalling and offers those who share her beliefs an easy delivery from the gut-wrenching fears of their own alarming predictions: check the facts. We echo Prof Kelly’s appeal for moderate language because so-called climate change has a profound importance for the vast amounts of money in it, the tyranny it’s bringing over our lives and the damage being done in its name to scientific integrity. (I hope the Daily News publishes the letter.)

4 June 2011

Dear Editor,

As a New Plymouth Boy, I would like you to do me a favour and let Rachel Stewart know that I think she is doing journalism a disservice.

I expect better from my home town.

An ancient foot in the mouth

It is perfectly possible to adopt a position, as I have, of ‘a principled climate science scepticism.’ It is based on the fact that every time an engineering-standard analysis is done of the climate data, one ends up contradicting the results of the climate change modellers. I am heavily involved in the debate in the UK.

My views on the East Anglian Science are on the web, and in the UK Parliamentary record. See pp21ff of The Reviews into the University of East Anglia’s Climatic Research Unit’s E-mails.

If she cares to take a look at the attached ppt slides, she will see that there is a systematic divergence, now 16 years old, between the modelling results and the actual data on climate temperatures. At what point do we accept the data over the IPCC models?

She might like to look at the recent analysis by Pat Franks which tightens the conclusion that the anthropogenic contribution is at most 0.3°C per century. This concludes that it is rising temperatures that are increasing the atmospheric carbon dioxide, not the other way round. Continue Reading →

Rachel recycles climate con

The Taranaki Daily News two days ago published a polemic notable more for its rancour than its precision regarding climatic facts.

It’s a good example of one-eyed thinking, skewed views and perfectly furious ad hominem attacks — all teeth and talons and only the hissing missing.

Rachel Stewart

Written by the doubtless-locally-renowned scribe Rachel Stewart, it strikes some of the sourest notes I’ve come across in the climate debate since finding Hot Topic. But her thunderous venom simply accents her foolhardy logic. She wears a filthy expression in the accompanying photo. Did someone steal her favourite cuddly toy? It would certainly explain the spleen.

With a headline recalling Gore’s thoroughly discredited film “An inconvenient truth”, you’d think the article was about global warming. But it quickly becomes clear that Miss Stewart has it in for farming itself, not just its emissions. Don’t know how she thinks we’ll eat. Or, in this country, import buses or computers.

Last refuge of the defeated

She repeats lies about Bob Carter and the alleged funding of his opinions, as though that’s all that produces his opinions, but I would like to point out some of the fraudulent assertions she repeats about global warming. I like Bob and I could listen to him all day, but he would himself agree that his personal reputation, though valuable, is meaningless beside the lies being told about climate science. They are my target. Continue Reading →