Wind and waves scatter sea ice, not AGW

Antarctic sea ice

Antarctic sea ice can be breathtaking.

Waves  chase away warming

A paper has arrived from NIWA that says, in effect, warming is not necessary to explain the disappearance of much sea ice. That it removes a warming element from the polar pieces of the global warming puzzle gives me great pleasure. Well done, them!

I’m talking about “Storm-induced sea-ice breakup and the implications for ice extent” (Nature 509, 604–7), published online in Nature on 29 May, by A.L. Kohout, M.J. Williams, S.M. Dean and M.H. Meylan (KWDM). Its major discovery is that large waves travel much farther through pack ice than hitherto realised, thus breaking up much more ice than we realised and allowing it to be swept away by wind and wave—it hasn’t been melting from the heat of global warming. Continue Reading →

Science with forked tongue

Professor Gary Wilson

TV3 had another go at making us believe in scary climate change on Saturday. Oceanographer Professor Chuck Kennicutt and Otago marine scientist Professor Gary Wilson were incited, sorry, I mean interviewed by Lisa Owen (inciting was scarcely necessary with these two — for all they receive in funding they are truly grateful to dangerous man-made climate change). Continue Reading →

Notes on ocean “warming”

I don’t have much time for research or writing these days, more’s the pity. So I must make do with snippets when they’re available. My favourite oceanographer made a few comments the other day on the ocean “heating” being discussed in the blogosphere. I’d like to pass them on.

He made some interesting and helpful remarks for the benefit of those of us not intimately acquainted with oceanography. However, to quieten the discussion which was threatening to get out of control he said pointedly, “I don’t have time to waste on Skeptical Science distortions.” We must hope that doesn’t make John Cook feel too inadequate. Continue Reading →

Accelerated SLR given the kibosh

A German survey has gone carefully through the literature on sea level and finds no evidence of acceleration over the last 30 years.

There’s a handy article in English at NoTricksZone with a link to the original in German.

They include a reference to New Zealand research, citing Hannah and Bell (2012), who show NZ SLR steady at 1.7 mm per year since 1940.

Perhaps now the zealots and alarmists will stop crying wolf on sea level. Which leaves just ocean acidification, ice cap and glacial melt, increased tornado frequency…

— h/t reader Marian, and Climate Depot for the links.

Ross Ice Shelf melt and other cool fables

Ross Ice Shelf

Rob Fenwick, in Accelerating melt reason to worry (The Press, 21 May 2012), launches into a worry-fest about all the fabulous calamities said to be on the way with “continued” man-made global warming.

The astute reader will know that the word “fabulous” is derived from “fable”. It means unreal or imagined more than it means magnificent. I chose that word because all the disasters Mr Fenwick briefly catalogues are fantastic (cf. “fantasy”). But I should begin at the beginning of his niggle-gala. He says:

When the world’s polar scientists gathered in Montreal last month – all 3000 of them – it seemed like a case of preaching to the choir.

After 20 years of intense study of the effects of changing climate conditions at the poles, there is certainly no longer any debate over what is going on. Continue Reading →

Our water use raises sea levels

A new article in Nature Geoscience attributes 42% of recent sea level rise to discharge of groundwater to the oceans by human activities.

Pokhrel, Y.N. et al., 2012. Model estimates of sea-level change due to anthropogenic impacts on terrestrial water storage. Nature Geoscience, advance online publication.

Abstract

Global sea level has been rising over the past half century, according to tide-gauge data. Thermal expansion of oceans, melting of glaciers and loss of the ice masses in Greenland and Antarctica are commonly considered as the largest contributors, but these contributions do not entirely explain the observed sea-level rise. Continue Reading →

Levitus rewarmed

lovely iceberg in boundary conditions

Yes, the ocean has warmed; no, it’s not ‘global warming’

And warm water does not sink

Oceanographer Dr Willem de Lange has referred us to a really clear treatment of ocean warming and ocean-atmosphere interaction in an article by a noted oceanographer (now deceased). It appeared in 21st Century Science & Technology magazine in 2000 and carried the “Yes, the ocean has warmed” headline you see above. Though written 12 years ago, it makes a solid rebuttal to the substance of the modern warming scare, emphasizing, as though marine scientists needed to be told, that warm water cannot sink.
 
The author was Dr. Robert E. Stevenson, an oceanography consultant, who trained NASA astronauts in oceanography and marine meteorology, was Secretary General of the International Association for the Physical Science of the Oceans from 1987 to 1995 and was an oceanographer for the U.S. Office of Naval Research for 20 years.

Having completed the post, I’ve discovered the new Levitus paper. How does Levitus et al. 2012 compare with the old Levitus et al. 2000? The new paper is in press, so we only have the abstracts to compare. In 2000, the heat content of the world ocean increased by ∼2 × 1023 joules between the mid-1950s and mid-1990s, representing a volume mean warming of 0.06°C. In 2012, the heat content of the world ocean increased by 24.0 × 1022 J for 1955-2010, corresponding to a volume mean warming of 0.09ºC.

With 24.0 × 1022 being 20% greater than 2 × 1023, and the temperature going from 0.06 to 0.09°C giving an increase of 50%, we have a familiar picture. It’s deja vu, only warmer.

Here’s the article’s original introduction:

Contrary to recent press reports that the oceans hold the still-undetected global atmospheric warming predicted by climate models, ocean warming occurs in 100-year cycles, independent of both radiative and human influences.

Which echoes today’s headlines about ocean heat content trying to explain why climate models don’t predict the climate. Continue Reading →

Deadly effective manipulation

This excellent post is from our friend Rupert Postlethwaite, a real scientist who is so good at putting two and two together he often has trouble getting them apart. However, he pretends to be so many people he can also, like any properly absent-minded professor, quite forget who he is. Rupert says a glance at this conference programme will reveal how professionally clever the climate alarmists are and I agree. But, given global temperatures have not risen significantly since about 1995, while at the same time the carbon dioxide concentration in the atmosphere went up by about 9%, it is obvious that FACTORS OTHER THAN CO2 have a controlling influence on temperature. To douse this oh-so-serious sea level conference with copious quantities of cold sea water, you can easily find objective data on sea level rise in our part of the world. Visit the Australian South Pacific Sea Level and Climate Monitoring Project and check out the February 2012 report (pdf). From the Executive Summary on page 3: “Monthly sea levels during February 2012 were around 5cm higher than normal at Marshall Islands, PNG, Samoa and Cook Islands and as much as 12cm higher than normal at Solomon Islands. Sea levels were around 7cm lower than normal at Vanuatu. Sea levels at Kiribati, Nauru, Tuvalu, Fiji and Tonga were all near normal for this time of the year.” What was that about global sea levels rising with global temperature and always going up, never going down? Explain this, NIWA! – Richard Treadgold

the ocean

CO2 imagined to raise the oceans

Assisted by some mainly taxpayer or citizen-funded organisations, including the Royal Society of New Zealand, GNS Science, Victoria University and the Wellington City Council, the New Zealand Climate Change Centre is hosting yet another expensive climate jamboree in Wellington on May 10-11.

Sea-level Rise, Meeting the Challenge is nominally concerned with discussions of sea-level rise that is imagined as being caused by human carbon dioxide emissions.

Many Kiwis are concerned that New Zealand already has an expensive and ineffectual emissions trading scheme to help “stop climate change” (a banal and utterly impractical notion, if ever there were), and which the government shows no sign of repealing despite almost complete recalcitrance by other countries to mimic its crazy brave venture. Continue Reading →

Solving the non-existent toothfish problem

The Antarctic Ocean Alliance wants to create the largest-ever marine reserve around most of Antarctica. Why? The Herald published an article the other day by Geoff Keey, outlining the main issues. He makes a couple of strange comments.

First, he says the Ross Sea is “likely to be one [of] the last places in the Southern Ocean to lose sea ice because of climate change, making it an important refuge for ice-dependent animals.”

But Keey must be unaware that the Antarctic continent has lost no sea ice to climate change or any other cause. On the contrary, it has been gradually cooling over 30 years of observations. So it may be an important refuge, but not because its capacity to provide a refuge is diminishing or even threatened. Continue Reading →

People are starving so let’s hide the food

These people don’t know what’s happening on their own planet. The idea of locking up most of the Antarctic’s marine environment in what’s loosely called a “park” seems destined to kill a lot of the starving Third World.

Surely the idea is strictly for those who don’t like humans?

Never mind mineral resources that might be available down there, why stop all fishing activities? They grow back. Fish are the definition of a renewable resource.

If fishing practices need modifying, modify them, but don’t ban the harvesting of food. This strange call for a “massive Antarctic reserve” (what would it achieve?) was reported in the Herald today:

An Antarctic lobby group, backed by major conservation groups and celebrities, is calling for a massive marine reserve in the Ross Sea as part of an even bigger reserve surrounding Antarctica.

It would include a substantial proportion of New Zealand’s dependency area of the Ross Sea, extend out to 60 degrees south and be comparable to the area of Australia. Continue Reading →

More mindless moping on the Maldives

Maldives

Hot Air carries good comment on the Maldives’ latest efforts to extort money from wealthy westerners, prompted by President Mohammed Nasheed’s urging of Australia to get ready to receive them. Fat chance.

Straight after he made his appeal, Nasheed went to a ceremony to mark the building of a new airport. Which was strange if he believes it will soon be drowned under flooding seas. Continue Reading →

Ocean acidification and then what?

shellfish

The School of Chemical Sciences at the University of Auckland hosted a lecture by Assoc-Prof. Mary A. Sewell, of the School of Biological Sciences, on “Ocean Acidification: Integrating chemistry and marine biology and what it means for you.
 
Our friend Roger Dewhurst, engineering geologist and founding member of the NZ Climate Science Coalition, went along and paid close attention. Then he sent Mary Sewell the following entertaining and informative letter, which he kindly shares with us to provoke conversation.

Past is key to future; CO2 ruined nothing before; there’s no evidence of ruin to come; alarming climate predictions are inconsistent and unconvincing.
Roger Dewhurst writes:

Thanks for an interesting seminar.

Demonstrating that the appendages of a larval echinoderm tend to be stunted when the little beastie is grown in soda water is one thing. To extrapolate that to an absence of oysters, mussels and scallops on the dinner table next year is, in my view, stretching things a little too far. I was reminded of Al Gore’s polar bear on an iceberg!

When I was at Victoria University in the 1960s science was divorced from politics, and zoology, botany and geology were separate subjects. Now zoology and botany are lumped together as biology, and geology has been lumped in with geography as earth science and includes — would you believe it — a strand called ‘feminist geography’. I suppose that feminist mathematics is next in the pipeline. Sic transit gloria ["thus fades the glory of the world" – RT].

I suspect, on the basis of opinions from two universities, that no science student will get a decent degree now without paying obeisance to anthropogenic global warming and its apostles, ‘Piltdown’ Mann and his gang who, I presume, you know as ‘The Team’. This is not science as I know it but the ‘science’ of Lysenko. Continue Reading →

Only threat to Christchurch is Salinger’s alarmism

the beginning of the Christchurch earthquakes

From the Christchurch Press today comes alarming news:

Rising sea levels are a greater threat to Christchurch’s seaside suburbs than previously realised, a climate scientist is warning.

Speaking at Canterbury University this afternoon, Jim Salinger said latest estimates could have major implications for Christchurch’s earthquake rebuild.

Christchurch City Council should be working to a one-metre estimate for sea level rise, he said.

“It’s the opportunity for Christchurch in its rebuild, it should be looking at at least a metre. Some local bodies in Australia are using one metre.”

Salinger plucks the same alarmist harp strings he’s been picking for decades. He specifies one metre: does he include those places which are 500mm higher after the earthquake? They should get a discount.

But the Coalition chairman Barry Brill decisively puts this loose cannon of a climate scientist down, demanding evidence: Continue Reading →

Miraculous: computer game finds missing heat

Argo buoy being deployed

From today’s Summit County Citizen’s Voice, we read Bob Berwyn’s account of Kevin Trenberth’s favourite paper so far this century.

Global warming: ‘Missing’ heat found deep in the ocean

Changes in ocean currents and circulation are capturing some of the sun’s incoming heat deep in the ocean, according to researchers with the National Center for Atmospheric Research, who said their latest computer models account for some of the global warming heat that’s “missing” from land and sea surface temperature readings.

This implied that heat was building up somewhere on Earth, according to a 2010 study published in Science by NCAR researchers Kevin Trenberth and John Fasullo.

Observations from a global network of buoys showed some warming in the upper ocean, but not enough to account for the global build-up of heat. Although scientists suspected the deep oceans were playing a role, few measurements were available to confirm that hypothesis.

To track where the heat was going, Meehl and colleagues used a powerful software tool known as the Community Climate System Model, which was developed by scientists at NCAR and the Department of Energy with colleagues at other organizations.

Well, well, who would have thought? All the missing heat, safe in the ocean deep, alive and well, having nipped through the upper reaches of the ocean without warming it. I never guessed — did you? Truly amazing.

But there’s no data, just more modelling

The computer game doesn’t care about realism, so the lack of any plausible mechanism whereby the heat might have reached more than 1000 ft (305 m) deep while leaving the upper levels unwarmed didn’t affect its findings.

When the game “found” extra heat deep in the ocean, there was nothing to say “that’s impossible.”

So, because they’re real scientists, we can expect an announcement very soon of a new study aimed at discovering how the missing heat got to where it was found.

One day they’ll get around to actually observing the climate effects they report. When they do, you can read about it here!

Climate science learns more — not settled at all

sky, location of climate

Yesterday I saw the headline: Climate change reducing ocean’s carbon dioxide uptake. If they mean the temperature’s been rising, I thought, these guys need a lesson in 1) recent, 15-year-long atmospheric temperature non-rise and 2) the gas laws, or specifically, Henry’s Law.

Henry’s Law states that the solubility of a gas in a liquid at a particular temperature is proportional to the pressure of that gas above the liquid. If the temperature of the liquid rises, it can’t hold so much gas, so some will leave (“outgas”). It hardly requires a paper based on 28 years of observations to confirm this. Continue Reading →

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 →

Why is Greenland losing ice?

New report seems to assume it’s melting, but is it?

Greenland is the world’s largest island, about 2600 km long and 1100 km wide at its widest point. Most of the interior is covered by the world’s second-largest permanent ice sheet. Average temperatures rise above freezing only briefly, during the summer. Here’s a simplified graph of monthly temperatures taken from a tourism site.

Greenland temperatures

Yesterday the NZ Herald reported a study finding faster melting of Arctic and Greenland ice. The scientific team thinks global sea levels could rise by as much as five feet (1.5 metres) this century. Continue Reading →

UNEP prediction fails

Tuvalu

Bad luck, Helen

In 2005, the UNEP (now headed by ex-NZ Prime Minister Helen Clark) predicted at
least 50 million climate refugees by 2010.

A map setting out the areas predicted to be at risk in several ways from global warming was available at the UNEP/GRID-Arendal web site.

A well-researched story by Gavin Atkins of Asian Correspondent posted at Watts Up With That yesterday explains how that map was taken down in a fumbled attempt to cover up the existence of the UNEP prediction.

Silly people. Everything has been resurrected at WUWT through the magic of the Internet and sits there now, quietly mocking both the original prediction and the inept cover-up attempt by our premier international agency — you know, the one with ambitions to rule the world.

The latest update to the story says a UCLA professor has just repeated the prediction, but for 2020, not 2010, and presents no evidence for it. Nuts.


Tuvalu survives

The 11,600 inhabitants of the low-lying Pacific island state of Tuvalu were several years ago offered a home in New Zealand.

How many have taken up this offer? Have their islands disappeared? None. No.

Any members of the MSM reading this? Bear in mind that this failed prediction is what we call a fact so it is held to be true regardless of what we might want to believe.

Sea level rise is normal, my friends

countries in sea level monitoring project

Accelerated sea level rise debunked

A new analysis finds evidence of a weak deceleration in mean sea level rise in the Australasian region from 1940 to 2000 in four very long-term tide gauge records.

It brings long-term confirmation to what the South Pacific Sea Level and Climate Monitoring Project (SPSLCMP) has been reporting for about 10 to 15 years — slow, non-alarming sea level rise. Continue Reading →

Call for calm over hot, rising seas

underwater light

Richard Cumming takes a look at recent observational data on two topics often raised and guaranteed to cause concern. They are used both to “prove” the existence of rapid warming and as an example of the ills soon to befall us if we don’t prevent them. But both uses fail on a cool examination of the facts. The Climate Conversation Group calls for calm to prevent public hysteria.

Recent global mean sea level and ocean heat content trends

UPDATE 31 JAN 2011

“The sea level continues to rise” is a familiar refrain, but the AGW hypothesis, along with the IPCC AR4, both predict an accelerating rate of rise in the global mean sea level. The IPCC prediction is simply:

“Anthropogenic forcing is also expected to produce an accelerating rate of sea level rise.”

That sea levels are rising is undisputed, but what are the recent trends of both mean sea level (MSL) and its companion, ocean heat content (OHC)? Is MSL accelerating in accordance with the predictions?

Cumulative sea level change from 1905 to 2000, adapted from Holgate (2007), shows a steadily decelerating trend over the period: Continue Reading →

Trenberth and Royal Society clash head-on

A few fish in the sea

Here’s an article by Kevin Trenberth from this week’s Science Journal that directly contradicts the recent statement on Science, Climate Change and Integrity by Professor Keith Hunter, Vice-President of the NZ Royal Society. We look forward eagerly to the public debate that will surely follow this disclosure of discord within the formerly close-knit climate science community.

‘Missing’ heat may affect future climate change

Satellite instruments and ocean sensors limited

Current observational tools cannot account for roughly half of the heat that is believed to have built up on Earth in recent years, according to a “Perspectives” article in this week’s issue of the journal Science.

Scientists at the National Center for Atmospheric Research (NCAR) in Boulder, Colorado, warn that satellite sensors, ocean floats and other instruments are inadequate to track this “missing” heat, which may be building up in the deep oceans or elsewhere in the climate system.

“The heat will come back to haunt us sooner or later,” says NCAR scientist Kevin Trenberth, the article’s lead author. Continue Reading →

Oceans don’t warm as they lose heat

Royal Society web site banner

Keith Hunter’s statement gives another reason to believe in Anthropogenic Global Warming:

It is also clear that the oceans absorb about 85% of the excess heat resulting from this radiative forcing by greenhouse gases (as well as about 40% of the carbon dioxide). Detailed measurements of the changes in oceanic heat content, and the temperature rise that accompanies this, agree quantitatively with the predicted radiative forcing.

This is far from “clear”. It is both absurd and wrong.

  • The ARGO programme has found that the ocean has been cooling since 2003. Despite expectations of warming, temperature measurements of the upper 700 m of the ocean from the ARGO array show no increase from 2003 to 2008.
  • It is physically impossible. CO2 radiates infrared at wavelengths of about 12 microns, while the limit for sea absorption is 3 microns.

The greenhouse effect involves wavelengths greater than 3 microns (mostly around 14 for CO2), while the absorption spectra for the oceans cover wavelengths less than 3 microns (mostly in the visible light range). It is not physically possible for the oceans to absorb 85% of the energy recycled by the Greenhouse Effect – and it’s even harder if you accept the IPCC argument that the impact of an enhanced greenhouse effect occurs near the tropopause (10-15 km above the ocean surface with a CO2 optical depth of the order of 10 m).

Is Prof Hunter right? Is this a reason to believe in Anthropogenic Global Warming?

Global warming first: oxygen involved!

The mighty Merz Glacier

A story in the NZ Herald a few days ago talked about giant Antarctic icebergs:

A massive iceberg struck Antarctica, dislodging another giant block of ice from a glacier, Australian and French scientists said.

The end of the mighty Mertz Glacier had been repeatedly hammered by the 97-kilometre-long iceberg as it moved in the ocean currents. Note that there’s no mention of global warming to explain this “breakup” of ice.

This event was driven entirely by mechanical forces …

… until the final paragraph, when the article talks about oxygen levels and quotes “a leading climate expert”, Steve Rintoul:

Oxygen levels being fed into the world’s ocean currents are now changing “and the overturning circulation currents will respond to that change,” Rintoul said. Observing what happens “will … allow us to improve predictions of future climate change.”

One wonders whether Rintoul is accurately quoted.

It is understandable that the overturning circulation might transport water of differing oxygen levels around the oceans, but it is incredible that differing oxygen levels might affect the overturning circulation.

I do not understand how observing the effects of oxygen on the overturning circulation might have any effect on our predictions of “climate change”, much less allow us to improve them.

Further explanation is required, and it ought to have been obtained by our beloved Herald before publication of this nonsense.

Just 90 yrs before we’re steaming

sea lion eating a juvenile shark

Yesterday, under the heading “Warming link to sea lion exodus” the NZ Herald carried a story about sea lions leaving their native Galapagos Islands. Apparently about 30 of them moved 1400 kilometres south-east to the island of Foca, off the coast of Peru.

The reason for the move, described as unexpected, was put down to “what may be another symptom of global warming”.

That’s a most alarming piece of news, because the sea surface temperatures around Foca Island are described as rising “over the past 10 years from an average of 17°C to 23°C”.

That’s a rise of 6°C in only 10 years! Which is the equivalent of 60 degrees over 100 years! And they think it’s caused by so-called “global warming”? I’ve never heard such nonsense, and I’ve heard some nonsense.

Even the sea lions, whose enthusiasm for warm water apparently motivates 1400-km marathon swim events, would be seriously discombobulated by sea surface temperatures quite this high.

For the Herald to uncritically re-publish this piece from The Independent is reprehensible, particularly since they must be aware that there are currently serious discussions taking place here and overseas about the inadequacies of global and local temperature records. Continue Reading →

Kiwis and icebergs — they go together well

This post has been in the works for several weeks now but it hasn’t lost its fascination. A story appeared in the NZ Herald on 8 November about the latest sighting of icebergs, which annoyed me for its references to global warming. But on investigating I discovered some interesting science.

Icebergs are beautiful

Let’s do something for the language
There’s no collective noun for icebergs (the situation is worse than we thought!). Here are some suggestions: a group, a herd, a glide, a float, a thunder, sizzle, swish, a gleam, a crackle or a slush? That has a lovely rhythm. Let me know your preference, or send in your suggestions. When the list is a bit longer we’ll put up an online poll.

The story is stale and the icebergs have melted, but two issues remain: The first is that there’s nothing new about icebergs floating past New Zealand. It doesn’t happen often, but evidence proves regular visits going back millennia. Believe it or not, we have photographs! Not of icebergs exactly, but where they’ve been… well, you’ll see, read on.

The second point is that NIWA scientists can be relied on to mention the magic words “climate change” any time they’re talking about ice, water, wind or weather and that, my friends, makes me angry. Continue Reading →

Tuvalu’s problems not caused by CO2

It’s been a busy day and it’s close to its end. I check out the NZ Herald for the first time and see a headline: “Tiny Tuvalu outgunned by oil giant”. Curious, I click on it. Now I’m furious. That was yesterday, it’s taken until now to finish researching and writing this damned rebuttal and adjust the images and I’m still furious.

There is no justification for a high level of alarm over future sea level rise and no reason to blame human emissions of carbon dioxide.

The “oil giant” is Saudi Arabia, apparently anxious not to have its oil exports reduced too much. “Outgunned” means opposing votes squash Tuvalu’s motion for developed nations to more aggressively curb their emissions. So Tuvalu’s leaders are distressed, thinking their island nation will soon disappear beneath the waves.

Tuvalu

Activists claim that sea level rise is already making life difficult for islanders on Tuvalu and on Kiribati, another set of low-lying Pacific islands to the north-east of Australia.

They quote damaging effects such as fortnightly “king tides” attacking the coastline, wells contaminated with sea water—even one village in Kiribati abandoned to “waist-high water”. It is very distressing. Continue Reading →

Science unsettled: shells thrive on ‘acidification’

The science is never settled. Only we are settled. What we knew for certain last week, last year or even for half a life might need reforming today.

Over the last ten years or so, as the heat faded from the warming dimension of climate change, so alarm was raised about the dire effects of ocean “acidification”. The mainstream media began to describe the appalling effects on sea life, especially creatures with exoskeletons, of the increasingly “acid” waters being created by higher and higher levels of carbon dioxide (CO2) in the atmosphere.

Coral reefs were doomed, many even now were “suffering” and all were in peril of destruction if we continued “spewing” huge quantities of CO2 into the air. Crabs, crayfish, shellfish of all kinds, plankton and krill were all at risk, and their decline spelt doom for the higher creatures in the sea, even unto man himself, who eats them.

Conch shells

The conch shell at left was exposed to current CO2 levels; the shell at right was exposed to the highest levels in the study. (Tom Kleindinst, Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution)

Now, published in the December 1 issue of Geology, comes a remarkable—and remarkably courageous—study from the Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution that shows many denizens of the oceans benefit hugely from that increased CO2. Did you predict that?

The study makes it clear that many forms of oceanic life are disadvantaged to some degree by increased acidification, but this message is very different from the hitherto confident, ceaseless prognostications of universal doom proceeding from the pens of the alarmists. The scientists are calling for more detailed studies to be done, because there is so much to learn.

Anthony Watts, over at WUWT (hat-tip to Anthony), puts it succinctly:

And some thought ocean acidification would destroy everything.

Here’s how the media release from WHOI begins:

In a striking finding that raises new questions about carbon dioxide’s impact on marine life, Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution (WHOI) scientists report that some shell-building creatures—such as crabs, shrimp and lobsters—unexpectedly build more shell when exposed to ocean acidification caused by elevated levels of atmospheric carbon dioxide (CO2).

Sorry, but I guess the paper itself is behind a pay-wall; there’s no link I can find at WHOI.

More unfounded alarmism at Hot Topic

Science Daily reports a week ago that the Pine Island Glacier, in Antarctica, is thinning four times faster than it did ten years ago. Gareth Renowden at Hot Topic pounces on this news with an enthusiastic lack of scepticism and hastens to paint it as alarming, saying:

At this rate of thinning, the glacier could disappear in 100 years, instead of the 600 years earlier estimates had suggested.

Although that merely confirms the error in the previous estimate. To raise alarm, one should always quote facts, even out of context, so he says: Continue Reading →

Sea level raises funding hopes

A worrying story surfaced recently of yet another proclamation that global warming grows and grows. The headline was “Rate of Sea Level Rise Increasing“.

That’s scary, and it sounds like a new result, doesn’t it? Well, it isn’t. It raises fears only as a means to raise funds.

It appeared at SciencePoles, the web site of the International Polar Foundation.

It said a new study in Nature announces that global mean sea-level change has increased from a few centimeters per century over recent millennia to a few tens of centimeters per century in recent decades. Moreover, quoting the abstract, they say: “This tenfold increase in the rate of rise can be attributed to climate change through the melting of land ice and the thermal expansion of ocean water.” The mere mention of “climate change” means it’s our fault, and it’s there to alarm us. Continue Reading →

Nature, not man, responsible for recent global warming

Now the cat is put among the pigeons.

Research recently completed by two Kiwis and an Aussie reveals that natural forces are the dominant influence on climate. They say little or none of the late 20th century global warming and cooling can be attributed to human activity.

John McLean, Chris de Freitas and Bob Carter published their paper, “Influence of the Southern Oscillation on tropospheric temperature”, in the prestigious Journal of Geophysical Research on July 23, 2009.

“The surge in global temperatures since 1977 can be attributed to a 1976 climate shift in the Pacific Ocean that made warming El Niño conditions more likely than they were over the previous 30 years and cooling La Niña conditions less likely” says co-author de Freitas, quoted at Climate Depot.

“We have shown that internal global climate-system variability accounts for at least 80% of the observed global climate variation over the past half-century. It may even be more if the period of influence of major volcanoes can be more clearly identified and the corresponding data excluded from the analysis.”

That’s all for now; more later.

UPDATE: 24 July 2009, 23:59

This is one of those (apparently) rare things in the climate debate: a peer-reviewed paper that casts doubt on the theory of strong anthropogenic global warming. Here’s hoping the alarmists note this new paper and grant it the respect it deserves without heaping the authors with ad hominem insults, though I’m not holding my breath. Please note that by ‘respect’ I mean refuting it with observation and reason, not hyperbole and obfuscation.

Abstract

J. D. McLean, C. R. de Freitas, and R. M. Carter
Received 16 December 2008; revised 23 March 2009; accepted 14 May 2009; published 23 July 2009.

Time series for the Southern Oscillation Index (SOI) and global tropospheric
temperature anomalies (GTTA) are compared for the 1958–2008 period. GTTA are
represented by data from satellite microwave sensing units (MSU) for the period
1980–2008 and from radiosondes (RATPAC) for 1958–2008. After the removal from the
data set of short periods of temperature perturbation that relate to near-equator volcanic
eruption, we use derivatives to document the presence of a 5- to 7-month delayed close
relationship between SOI and GTTA. Change in SOI accounts for 72% of the variance
in GTTA for the 29-year-long MSU record and 68% of the variance in GTTA for the
longer 50-year RATPAC record. Because El Niño Southern Oscillation is known to
exercise a particularly strong influence in the tropics, we also compared the SOI with
tropical temperature anomalies between 20S and 20N. The results showed that SOI
accounted for 81% of the variance in tropospheric temperature anomalies in the tropics.
Overall the results suggest that the Southern Oscillation exercises a consistently dominant
influence on mean global temperature, with a maximum effect in the tropics, except
for periods when equatorial volcanism causes ad hoc cooling. That mean global
tropospheric temperature has for the last 50 years fallen and risen in close accord with
the SOI of 5–7 months earlier shows the potential of natural forcing mechanisms to
account for most of the temperature variation.

Citation: McLean, J. D., C. R. de Freitas, and R. M. Carter (2009), Influence of the Southern Oscillation on tropospheric temperature, J. Geophys. Res., 114, D14104, doi:10.1029/2008JD011637.

Attenborough enters deep water over coral

Climate Debate Daily reports that in the Guardian last Tuesday, the wonderful, inimitable David Attenborough warned alleged that carbon dioxide in the atmosphere is already above the level which condemns coral reefs to extinction in the future, adding the world had a “moral responsibility” to save corals.

This caught my attention. Already condemned to extinction? That is alarming.

But just a moment. Does he know the conditions corals have survived since they evolved? Does he know the current pH level of surface waters and the rate of change? Does he know that bleaching events cannot be linked to global warming? Has he heard of studies that show no change in marine biota even at pH levels ten times less alkaline than now? Continue Reading →

Another environmental disaster…

Reuters announced “Seagrass losses reveal global coastal crisis“, lamenting:

Mounting loss of seagrass in the world’s oceans, vital for the survival of endangered marine life, commercial fisheries and the fight against climate change, reveals a major crisis in coastal ecosystems, a report says.

Crikey! It’s so important, it’s even vital for the fight against climate change. It’s VIG: Very Important Grass.

The story continued: “The study by Australian and American scientists found seagrass meadows were “among the most threatened ecosystems on earth” due to population growth, development, climate change and ecological degradation.”

Why have they used the non-scientific phrase “most threatened”? It’s clear they didn’t measure the level of threat, or they would have explained it. They are simply using hyperbole. The trouble is that when they do that, their science comes under question for their lack of objectivity.

It turns out to be an interesting report concerning marine changes over about 127 years, but it has a more general view, rather than being concerned precisely with global warming (climate change).