Thursday, October 23, 2014

UCS climate scientist tells litany of lies denying the 'pause' in global warming satellite data

At the "UCLA Hammer Forum on Climate Change" held tonight, the only speakers were warmists Michael Mann and Brenda Ekwurzel, a senior climate scientist for the Union of Concerned Scientists (UCS). Although audio and video recording was prohibited, my notes on a few of the litany of lies in the presentation by Dr. Ekwurzel are below [I'll post separately on Mann's presentation].

Following a 15 minute presentation each by Mann and Ekwurzel, the audience was allowed to ask questions by writing them down on index cards. No verbal questions were permitted from the audience. My question was the only "skeptical" question from the audience of about 150 mostly elderly academics & a few UCLA students, and was directed to Dr. Ekwurzel by the moderator:
Q: Why does satellite data show that global warming has stopped or "paused" for more than 18 years, despite climate models predicting continued warming from increased CO2?
The UCS chief of climate science education, Dr. Ekwurzel, answered the question by denying that there was any "pause" of global warming, falsely claiming that the reason satellite data shows no warming for the last 18 years is that "things were forgotten when the early satellite data was collected," and that after these "forgotten" things were corrected, the satellite data allegedly shows no pause in warming. She claimed that these "forgotten things" included not distinguishing temperatures collected at night vs. daytime, degradation of the sensors on the satellites, and degradation of satellite orbits. 

This is blatantly false information. The fact is both the RSS and UAH satellite datasets have corrected for all of these not-forgotten things, and after all of these corrections, still show a clear "pause" of zero warming for 18+ years. The satellites are equipped with laboratory-calibrated platinum resistance thermometers, which have demonstrated stability to thousandths of a degree over many years, and which are used to continuously calibrate the satellite instruments once every 8 seconds, and thus provide far more accurate and complete temperature data than surface thermometer data. In addition, there are over 50 papers published in the climate literature acknowledging the "pause" or "hiatus" of global warming and attempting to explain it, but apparently Dr. Ekwurzel hasn't gotten around to reading any of those. 


It was difficult keeping up with the additional litany of misrepresentations from Dr. Ekwurzel's presentation, but here are a few:
  • Said she knew AGW was real when she went on an Arctic expedition and saw an area of open water, which she photographed from a helicopter. The ice-free area was only about 1000 feet in diameter, based upon the size of the ship shown in her picture. This proves nothing, and is certainly not unprecedented or unusual in the Arctic.
  • Claimed there is "strong evidence" that heat waves, drought, extreme precipitation, and floods have increased from AGW. In fact, there is no such evidence, and much opposing evidence.
  • Claimed the California drought is unprecedented and caused by AGW. In fact, California mega-droughts were far worse in the past. 
  • Claimed recent California fires were caused by AGW. The data instead shows a decrease in wildfires.
  • Claimed AGW is causing "higher tree mortality." The data instead shows significant global greening from CO2 and warming. 
  • Claimed California citizens voted to approve California's cap and trade law. In fact, California bill AB 32 was passed by the legislature and never voted on by California citizens. 
  • Claimed CO2 lifetime in atmosphere is 800 years. This is slightly higher than the 14 year lifetime proven by the bomb tests.
  • Claimed CO2 levels with business as usual will double before 2100. At current business as usual rate of increase of ~2 ppm per year, doubling of CO2 would require 200 years. Although the CO2 level data is very slightly exponential, extrapolation of the slight exponential component still places doubling well beyond 2100.
Esteemed Union of Concerned Scientists member Kenji would not be proud of Dr. Ekwurzel's highly misleading presentation.

The presentations were recorded on video by the UCLA Hammer Museum, and hopefully will be posted on the internet soon. 

New paper demonstrates natural variability controls floods and typhoons in Taiwan

A new paper published in Climate of the Past reconstructs climate in Taiwan over the past 1,900 years and finds typhoons & floods were at "normal" levels over the 20th century, and were at much higher levels during the pre-Medieval Warm Period and second half of the Little Ice Age. 

In addition, the paper shows in fig. 9 that ENSO events have been relatively uncommon during the modern era [opposite of alarmist claims], and that sea surface temperatures were warmer during the Medieval Warm Period and pre-Medieval Warm Period than during modern times since 1850. 

The paper corroborates many others demonstrating drought and flooding cycles are controlled by natural variability of ocean oscillations and accumulated solar activity, not CO2 levels. Several papers also find the hydrological cycle linked to solar activity, another of many potential solar amplification mechanisms.


Clim. Past, 10, 1857-1869, 2014
www.clim-past.net/10/1857/2014/
doi:10.5194/cp-10-1857-2014



L.-C. Wang1,2, H. Behling1, T.-Q. Lee3, H.-C. Li4, C.-A. Huh3, L.-J. Shiau5, and Y.-P. Chang6
1Department of Palynology and Climate Dynamics, Albrecht-von-Haller Institute for Plant Sciences, University of Göttingen, 37073 Göttingen, Germany
2Collection Management Department, National Taiwan Museum, Taipei 100, Taiwan
3Institute of Earth Sciences, Academia Sinica, Taipei 128, Taiwan
4Department of Geosciences, National Taiwan University, Taipei 106, Taiwan
5Institute of Applied Geosciences, National Taiwan Ocean University, Keelung 202, Taiwan
6Department of Oceanography, National Sun Yat-sen University, Kaohsiung 804, Taiwan

Abstract. We reconstructed paleoenvironmental changes from a sediment archive of a lake in the floodplain of the Ilan Plain of NE Taiwan on multi-decadal resolution for the last ca. 1900 years. On the basis of pollen and diatom records, we evaluated past floods, typhoons, and agricultural activities in this area which are sensitive to the hydrological conditions in the western Pacific. Considering the high sedimentation rates with low microfossil preservations in our sedimentary record, multiple flood events were. identified during the period AD 100–1400. During the Little Ice Age phase 1 (LIA 1 – AD 1400–1620), the abundant occurrences of wetland plant (Cyperaceae) and diatom frustules imply less flood events under stable climate conditions in this period. Between AD 500 and 700 and the Little Ice Age phase 2 (LIA 2 – AD 1630–1850), the frequent typhoons were inferred by coarse sediments and planktonic diatoms, which represented more dynamical climate conditions than in the LIA 1. By comparing our results with the reconstructed changes in tropical hydrological conditions, we suggested that the local hydrology in NE Taiwan is strongly influenced by typhoon-triggered heavy rainfalls, which could be influenced by the variation of global temperature, the expansion of the Pacific warm pool, and the intensification of El Niño–Southern Oscillation (ENSO) events.

New paper finds cooling, not warming, of mid- to upper troposphere increases likelihood of tropical cyclones

A paper published today in the Journal of Climate finds that cooling, not warming, of the mid- to upper troposphere increases the development of tropical cyclones. The mid- to upper troposphere mythical "hot spot" is predicted to warm the most from AGW, but despite millions of weather balloon and satellite measurements, has not been found in observations. Thus, if the mid- to upper troposphere missing "hot spot" ever does form, this paper implies that the probability of tropical cyclones would decrease, not increase as claimed by alarmists. 

In addition, global warming decreases the temperature gradients between the poles and the equator. Since temperature gradients drive all "extreme weather," global warming tends to decrease "extreme weather," not increase as claimed by alarmists.

The paper thus corroborates many others finding that if global warming resumes, it is expected to decrease tropical cyclones and hurricanes in the future. 

Note the paper refers to changing the "parameterized convection" in the climate model, which means that the model cannot directly simulate the physics of convection [due to low resolution] and thus uses fudge factors or "parameterizations" to simulate real convection, as do all IPCC climate models. Here's why and here.


Sensitivity of Tropical Cyclones to Parameterized Convection in the NASA GEOS5 Model

Young-Kwon Lim,1,2 Siegfried D. Schubert,1 Oreste Reale,1,3 Myong-In Lee,5 Andrea M. Molod,1,4 and Max J. Suarez1,3
1 Bldg. 33, code 610.1, 8800 Greenbelt Rd., Global Modeling and Assimilation Office, NASA/GSFC, Greenbelt, Maryland, 20771
2 Goddard Earth Sciences Technology and Research, I. M. Systems Group
3 Goddard Earth Sciences Technology and Research, Universities Space Research Association (USRA)
4 ESSIC, University of Maryland, College Park, Maryland
5 Ulsan Institute of Science and Technology (UNIST), Ulsan, South Korea
Abstract
The sensitivity of tropical cyclones (TCs) to changes in parameterized convection is investigated to improve the simulation of TCs in the North Atlantic. Specifically, the impact of reducing the influence of the Relaxed Arakawa-Schubert (RAS) scheme-based parameterized convection is explored using the Goddard Earth Observing System version5 (GEOS5) model at 0.25° horizontal grid spacing. The years 2005 and 2006 characterized by very active and inactive hurricane seasons, respectively, are selected for simulation.
A reduction in parameterized deep convection results in an increase in TC activity (e.g., TC number and longer life cycle) to more realistic levels compared to the baseline control configuration. The vertical and horizontal structure of the strongest simulated hurricane shows the maximum wind speed greater than 60 ms-1 and the minimum sea level pressure reaching ~940mb, which are never achieved by the control configuration. The radius of the maximum wind of ~50km, the location of the warm core exceeding 10°C, and the horizontal compactness of the hurricane center are all quite realistic without any negatively affecting the atmospheric mean state.
This study reveals that an increase in the threshold of minimum entrainment suppresses parameterized deep convection by entraining more dry air into the typical plume. This leads to cooling and drying at the mid- to upper-troposphere, along with the positive latent heat flux and moistening in the lower-troposphere. The resulting increase in conditional instability provides an environment that is more conducive to TC vortex development and upward moisture flux convergence by dynamically resolved moist convection, thereby increasing TC activity.

Related: Why the AGW "Hot Spot" Won't Happen

New paper demonstrates droughts are controlled by natural variability, not man-made CO2

A paper published today in Palaeogeography, Palaeoclimatology, Palaeoecology finds drought in North China is linked to cycles of sea surface temperatures in the tropical Indian-Pacific Ocean and the East Asian summer monsoon (EASM). In turn, sea surface temperatures are linked to natural ocean oscillations and cumulative solar activity, and both the East Asian summer monsoon (EASM) and ocean oscillations have been linked to solar activity as a driver.

The paper also shows the North China drought from 1827-1850 (during the Little Ice Age) was more severe than recent drought 1984-2012 and that drought conditions have returned to the average range since 2012.  

In addition, global droughts have decreased despite a steady rise of CO2 levels:



These findings thus clearly demonstrate drought cycles are controlled by natural variability of ocean oscillations and accumulated solar activity, not man-made CO2. Several other papers also find the hydrological cycle linked to solar activity, another of many potential solar amplification mechanisms.

PDSI is Palmer Drought Severity Index, low values are associated with severe drought
Reconstructed drought periods shown in brown, wet periods shown in green, intermediate periods in white

Highlights

Temperature induced moisture stress limits the tree growth in North China.
The PDSI reconstruction since 1767 AD is regionally representative.
The reconstruction exhibits a significant drying trend since the mid- 1960s.
Drought in North China is linked to the SST in tropical Indian-Pacific Ocean.

Abstract

Using tree-ring data from the northernmost marginal area of the East Asian summer monsoon (EASM) in North China, May–July mean Palmer drought severity index (PDSI) was reconstructed back to 1767 AD. The reconstruction captured 52.8% of the variance over the calibration period from 1945 to 2005 AD and showed pronounced pluvial periods during 1850–1905, 1803–1811 and 1940–1961 and dry periods during 1814–1844, 1916–1932 and 1984–2012. These anomalous periods have previously been reported in other parts of North China. Spatial correlation analyses and comparisons with other hydroclimatic indices in North China indicated that our new PDSI reconstruction could represent spatial and temporal drought variability in this region well. Our work also suggested that the drying tendency currently observed in the northern part of North China (including the study area) is consistent with the weakening of the EASM. Meanwhile the drying trend was seemingly restrained at present in the southern part of North China. Spatial correlation patterns with global sea surface temperature (SST) indicated that the regional hydroclimatic variability in North China was tightly linked to SST over the joining area of Asia and Indian-Pacific Ocean (AIPO), especially over the tropical western Pacific. When SST from prior November to current July (NJ-SST) in the AIPO area was anomalously high (low), the thermal contrast between Asian land and ocean was weakened (strengthened), and the EASM was correspondingly weakened (strengthened), thereby causing droughts (pluvials) in North China. The results of this study do not only provide useful information for assessing the long-term climate change in North China, but also suggest that abnormal variability in NJ-SST over the AIPO area could be used to forecast hydroclimatic conditions in north China.

Claim: All global warming since 1940 is due to artificial "processing" of data, not found in raw data

"If you torture the data long enough, it will confess." -Ronald Harry Coase 

From the WUWT post "Weather Channel Founder John Coleman: There is no significant man-made global warming at this time," a comment and link demonstrates that all of the alleged global warming including average, minimum, and maximum surface temperature anomalies since 1940 is due to the artificial "processing" of data, and not found in the raw data:
"Taken together a couple of things are clear, for most of the world there was no trend in minimum temperature when CO2 increases became significant, and then in the early 70’s most of the planet experienced a significant drop in minimum temperature, followed by a slow recovery."




    • OldDude commented
      I haven’t seen this before. Can you point me to a url or paper explaining the data? Thanks
      Follow the URL in my name for code and data, I have more of a description here
      It has evolved over time, but for the most part it’s been tightening up the data selection to have better control over whether partial year stations are included or not.

  • Thom commented
    Micro: Surface temperature of what (US/World?). Also link so I can post. Thanks.
    95 million surface station records, from around the globe, from the NCDC Global Summary of Days dataset.
    This graph is fresh from this morning where I added average temps to min and max. For this, just right click and copy url link, the data (previous version without average temps) at the url in my name, and you can follow the science 2.0 link for more wordy stuff.
  • milodonharlani commented
    Before or after adjustments?
    NCDC says here ftp://ftp.ncdc.noaa.gov/pub/data/gsod/readme.txt they do some QA
    As for quality control (QC), the input data undergo extensive
    automated QC to correctly ‘decode’ as much of the synoptic data as
    possible, and to eliminate many of the random errors found in the
    original data. Then, these data are QC’ed further as the summary of
    day data are derived. However, we expect that a very small % of the
    errors will remain in the summary of day data.
    I have found some bad temps that I filter out (above and below 199F/-199F, so I presume they are actually bad). I do no adjustments.

above comments from the WUWT post:



Weather Channel Founder John Coleman: There is no significant man-made global warming at this time


johncoleman_TWCJohn Coleman, the founder of Weather Channel, has written an open letter, in which he claims the theory of anthropogenic climate change is no longer scientifically credible. So far The Express, a major British newspaper, and the American news service WND, have provided favorable coverage of the letter. The Express article has also been linked to by the Drudge Report, giving it wide exposure. The full text of the letter is as follows:
_______________________________________
Dear UCLA Hammer Forum officials,
There is no significant man-made global warming at this time, there has been none in the past and there is no reason to fear any in the future. Efforts to prove the theory that carbon dioxide is a significant “greenhouse” gas and pollutant causing significant warming or weather effects have failed. There has been no warming over 18 years. William Happer, Ph.D., Princeton University, Richard Lindzen, Ph.D., Massachusetts Institute of Technology, Willie Soon, Ph.D., Harvard Smithsonian Observatory, John Christy, Ph.D., University of Alabama and 9,000 other Ph.D. scientists all agree with my opening two sentences.
remainder at WUWT

Friday, October 17, 2014

New paper debunks "acidification" scare, finds warming increases pH

A paper published today in Climate of the Past reconstructs water pH and temperature from a lake in central Japan over the past 280,000 years and clearly shows that pH increases [becomes more basic or alkaline] due to warmer temperatures, and vice-versa, becomes more acidic [or "acidified" if you prefer] due to cooling temperatures. This finding is the opposite of the false assumptions behind the "ocean acidification" scare, but is compatible with the basic chemistry of Henry's Law and outgassing of CO2 from the oceans with warming. 

Thus, if global warming resumes after the "pause," ocean temperatures will rise along with CO2 outgassing, which will make the oceans more basic, not acidic. You simply cannot have it both ways:
"Either the oceans are getting warmer and the CO2 concentration in seawater is decreasing, which means that ocean acidification from man-made CO2 from the atmosphere is nonsense. 
Or the oceans are getting cooler and the man-made CO2 from the atmosphere is dissolving in those cooler oceans and causing – insignificant – ocean acidification, which means that warming oceans and the associated sea level rises are nonsense. 
Take your pick – REAL SCIENCE says you can’t have both."
In addition, the paper shows that pH of the lake varied over a wide range from ~7.5 to 8.8 simply depending on the temperature of each month of the year. As the "acidification" alarmists like to say, a variation of 1.3 pH units is equivalent to a 1995% change in hydrogen ions due to the logarithmic pH scale, just over a single year! Summer months are of course associated with warmer temperatures and more alkaline, higher pH and winter months associated with colder temperatures and much more "acidified" lower pH values. Note also how pH varies widely over ~7.5 to 8.8 simply dependent on the depth at a given time, because colder deeper waters can hold higher partial pressures of CO2 than the warmer surface waters:



Second graph from left shows reconstructed pH over the past 280,000 years, third graph from left shows temperature reconstruction. Note how these move in sync, although the paper says pH lags temperature sometimes by up to several thousand years, i.e. just like CO2 lags temperature in the ice core records also by about 1000 years. 
"Comparison with pollen assemblage in Lake Biwa cores suggests that lake water pH was determined by summer temperature in low-eccentricity periods, while it was determined by summer precipitation in high-eccentricity periods. From 130 to 55 ka, variation in lake pH (summer precipitation) lagged behind that in summer temperature by several thousand years."
These findings completely contradict the basis of the CAGW "acidification" scare and instead show that warming should make the oceans more alkaline, not "acidic."

Clim. Past, 10, 1843-1855, 2014
www.clim-past.net/10/1843/2014/
doi:10.5194/cp-10-1843-2014



T. Ajioka1, M. Yamamoto1,2, K. Takemura3, A. Hayashida4, and H. Kitagawa5
1Graduate School of Environmental Science, Hokkaido University, Kita-10, Nishi-5, Kita-ku, Sapporo 060-0810, Japan
2Faculty of Environmental Earth Science, Hokkaido University, Kita-10, Nishi-5, Kita-ku, Sapporo 060-0810, Japan
3Institute for Geothermal Science, Kyoto University, Noguchihara, Beppu, Ohita 874-0903, Japan
4Department of Environmental Systems Science, Doshisha University, 1–3 Tatara-Miyakodani, Kyotanabe, Kyoto 612-0321, Japan
5Graduate School of Environmental Studies, Nagoya University, Nagoya 464-8601, Japan

Abstract. We generated a 280 000 yr record of water pH and temperature in Lake Biwa, central Japan, by analysing the methylation index (MBT) and cyclisation ratio (CBT) of branched tetraethers in sediments from piston and borehole cores. Our aim was to understand the responses of precipitation and air temperature in central Japan to the East Asian monsoon variability on orbital timescales. Because the water pH in Lake Biwa is determined by phosphorus and alkali cation inputs, the record of water pH should indicate the changes in precipitation and temperature in central Japan. Comparison with a pollen assemblage in a Lake Biwa core suggests that lake water pH was determined by summer temperature in the low-eccentricity period before 55 ka, while it was determined by summer precipitation in the high-eccentricity period after 55 ka. From 130 to 55 ka, the variation in lake pH (summer precipitation) lagged behind that in summer temperature by several thousand years. This perspective is consistent with the conclusions of previous studies (Igarashi and Oba, 2006; Yamamoto, 2009), in that the temperature variation preceded the precipitation variation in central Japan.


Related: 

New paper finds global carbon cycle datasets may be biased

Tuesday, October 14, 2014

WSJ: Cheap Oil Pops the Green Policy Bubble. Western politicians keep betting on $10 gasoline that never comes

Cheap Oil Pops the Green Policy Bubble

Since the 1970s, Western politicians keep betting on $10 gasoline that never comes.


By HOLMAN W. JENKINS, JR. Updated Oct. 14, 2014 7:24 p.m. ET  THE WALL STREET JOURNAL
6 COMMENTS

Tesla, an electric-car company on which the political class has showered subsidies, rolled out its newest model last week, complete with high-tech safety features like lane-departure warning, blindspot monitoring, collision avoidance and self-parking. Tesla’s stock dropped 8%, but probably not because these mundane features long have been available in other luxury models.

At $2.99, the price to which gasoline had fallen at some California stations last week, electric cars becoming a mass-market taste and not just an item for wealthy hobbyists recedes from probability. If Democrats especially start to find it politically no longer saleable to subsidize a toy for the rich, the company may be in real trouble.

Since World War I, the retail price of gasoline has fluctuated in a band between $2 and $4 (using 2006 dollars as a benchmark). Since the 1970s, though, politicians have repeatedly wedded themselves to policies premised on the idea that oil prices can only go up, up, up, in prelude to oil running out altogether.


A Renault Twizy electric car charging at a car-sharing station in Rome.

In fact, Tesla illustrates a theme from a column here back in 2008, when everyone from President George Bush to Nancy Pelosi to freshman Sen. Barack Obama was in a fever to simulate a deeper understanding of our Middle East entanglements by calling for new auto gas-mileage mandates.

These mandates, we pointed out at the time, would only divert tens of billions of auto-industry investment dollars to relatively mingy and uneconomic improvements in fuel mileage that car buyers don’t highly value. The real opportunity, meanwhile, was for revolutionary safety technologies like those Tesla is now belatedly introducing, which would necessarily be delayed by Washington’s misallocation of industry resources.

All through the 2000s this column applauded rising oil prices to ration existing supplies and stimulate new supplies to accommodate the growth of China and India. What goes up, though, must come down when investment produces a glut, when demand can’t keep pace with supply—and when major producers keep goosing production even at a falling price in order to keep producing revenues for domestic governments.

That’s what’s happening now. Saudi Arabia and Iran are slashing prices in pursuit of market share in suddenly slower-growing Asian markets. Vladimir Putin , whose budget goes red at an oil price below $110 (oil hit $84.43 Tuesday in London), is being pressed by his No. 1 crony, Igor Sechin of Rosneft, for $40 billion from the Kremlin’s welfare reserve to boost the Russian oil company’s output at a time when sanctions are cutting it off from Western capital and knowhow.

The price of fossil energy may well be depressed for a while given a strong dollar and the Western world’s governance-cum-growth failures. If so, undermined will be a lot of fantasy policies. Germany and Britain already rue their expensive commitments to renewables, which has caused local manufacturers to pull up stakes for North America and its cheap shale gas.

The Obama administration is not peopled exclusively by naïfs. An official once anonymously acknowledged that its bailout of the U.S. auto industry was certain at some point to run smack into its extreme fuel-mileage mandates (54.5 miles per gallon by 2025) that require the auto industry to invest in fuel-saving technology of little value to consumers.

We can be pretty sure, though, this non-naïf was not President Obama himself, who has acted consistently as if $10 gasoline must appear ahistorically and mystically to redeem his policies. In a major speech in 2011, he declared as a “fact” that oil prices must rise, demand must exceed supply, and America cannot depend on a “resource that will eventually run out.”

He obviously has not taken an inventory of the planet’s vast hydrocarbon stores, including methane hydrates.

What will happen next is easy to predict. Ex-GM Vice Chairman Bob Lutz , seeing the world through reality glasses, has long called for a European-style gas tax to make Americans want the cars Washington is forcing GM to build.

Green energy promoter Vinod Khosla in the past lobbied a receptive Nancy Pelosi for a floating oil tax to “correct” periodic low prices, which he attributed to an oil-industry conspiracy.

Tesla’s Elon Musk will be heard again (as he was a few years ago) calling for a gas tax to turn a $2 wholesale commodity into $10 gasoline at the pump.

The ethanol industry, just now opening its first “cellulosic” ethanol plants, which require $3-plus gas to be profitable, will present its list of demands backed by the clout of corn-state senators.

Their rationale will be global warming. But U.S. cars and light trucks account for 3% of global emissions, a share rapidly vanishing to nothingness as India and China develop. The real motive will be bailing out the joint public-private (i.e., crony) investment in policies that don’t work in a world of falling gas prices.

WSJ: 'Pentagon Goes to Climate War: The principal threats being multiplied here are hype and hysteria'

The Pentagon Goes to Climate War

Hagel wants to retool the military to stop glaciers from melting

Oct. 14, 2014 7:36 p.m. ET 14 COMMENTS   THE WALL STREET JOURNAL

Army Chief of Staff Ray Odierno delivered a stark message on Monday, warning that the U.S. Army is shrinking to a dangerously small size even as the threats it faces are multiplying.

“We’ve seen Russian aggression in Eastern Europe, we’ve seen ISIS, we’ve seen some increased instability in other places,” the general told a military conference. “So I now have a concern whether even going below 490,000 [troops] is the right thing to do.” Defense Secretary Chuck Hagel announced in February that the Army would shrink to about 450,000 soldiers by 2017. General Odierno’s modest suggestion to the political class: Maybe now is a good time to rethink the cuts.


Defense Secretary Chuck Hagel

How quaint. As General Odierno was fielding questions about whether ISIS—currently 15 miles from Baghdad airport—could take the Iraqi capital, the Pentagon released its 2014 “Climate Change Adaptation Forecast,” a roadmap for how the Pentagon intends to deal with what Secretary of State John Kerry recently called “the biggest challenge of all that we face right now.”

The report contains the usual global-warming platitudes that have become standard government and industry fare. The goal is to “integrate climate change considerations across the Department and manage associated risks,” and “collaborate with internal and external stakeholders on climate change challenges.” In a foreword, Mr. Hagel explains that climate change is a “threat multiplier” that “has the potential to exacerbate many of the challenges we are dealing with today—from infectious disease to terrorism.”

The principal threats being multiplied here are hype and hysteria. Current fears about the Ebola virus notwithstanding, the last century of increasing carbon-dioxide emissions has also been the era of the conquest of infectious disease, from polio to HIV. No one has made a credible link between Ebola and climate change, though no doubt somebody will soon try.


As for terrorism, the Pentagon’s job is to defeat jihadist forces that are advancing under the flag of Islamist ideology. Maj. Nidal Malik Hasan did not murder his fellow soldiers at Fort Hood because the heat got to him, and Americans who might die at the hands of the Islamic State won’t care that Mr. Hagel is mobilizing against melting glaciers.

The report doesn’t spell out particular steps beyond the usual surveys and studies, though these inevitably take their toll in expensive paperwork and bureaucratic attention. But it’s of a piece with efforts by the military to go green that are a costly drain on scarce Pentagon resources. The Navy has a plan to generate 50% of its energy from alternative sources by 2020, including buying $3.5 billion in biofuels, and it has also awarded contracts to build so-called biorefineries. It’s partly through ideologically motivated boondoggles like these that the Navy finds itself with a mere 283 ships, down from 337 in 1999.

The military has often been used as a vehicle for social change, and sometimes—as in Harry Truman ’s 1948 desegregation order—that can be a force for good. For now, what the U.S. and the world most need is credible and sufficient American military power to deter and defeat our enemies. Issuing politically correct bows against a speculative threat from climate change when ISIS is at the gates of Baghdad will only convince those enemies that we lack the will to do so.

New paper claims after 6,000 year 'pause', sea levels began rising 150 years ago

A new paper published in PNAS finds global sea levels rose up to 8 times faster than the present after the peak of the last ice age ~20,000 years ago, followed by a large deceleration starting ~6,000 years ago to stable levels until "the renewed sea-level rise [beginning] at 100–150 years ago."

Examination of the data from the paper, however, shows the range of proxy sea levels is approximately 10 meters, far too large to discern the tiny ~1.5 mm/yr sea level rise over the past 150 years. The authors instead assume from other published studies of tide gauge measurements that the ~1.5 mm/yr sea level rise over the past 150+ years began at that point in time. Other papers find sea levels rising only 1.1-1.3 mm/yr over the past 203 years, and without acceleration. 


Regardless, even the IPCC concedes that there was no significant anthropogenic influence on climate prior to 1950, thus man is not be responsible for sea level rise beginning 150-200 years ago, at the end of the Little Ice Age. 

The sea level rise over the past ~200 years shows no evidence of acceleration, which is necessary to assume a man-made influence. Sea level rise instead decelerated over the 20th centurydecelerated 31% since 2002 and decelerated 44% since 2004 to less than 7 inches per century. There is no evidence of an acceleration of sea level rise, and therefore no evidence of any man-made effect on sea levels. Sea level rise is primarily a local phenomenon related to land subsidence, not CO2 levels. Therefore, areas with groundwater depletion and land subsidence have much higher rates of relative sea level rise, but this has absolutely nothing to do with man-made CO2. 

As this post was being written, WUWT posted on this same journal article, which makes additional recommended points regarding much higher sea levels during prior interglacials, etc. 


Fig. 1. Global sea levels over the past 35,000 years. Horizontal axis is thousands of years before the present [i.e. present at the left side of graph]. Range of proxy studies of sea levels is approximately 10 meters over the past ~15,000 years.

Sea level and global ice volumes from the Last Glacial Maximum to the Holocene
  1. Malcolm Sambridgea
  1. Contributed by Kurt Lambeck, September 12, 2014 (sent for review July 1, 2014; reviewed by Edouard Bard, Jerry X. Mitrovica, and Peter U. Clark)
    1. Abstract

    Significance

    Several areas of earth science require knowledge of the fluctuations in sea level and ice volume through glacial cycles. These include understanding past ice sheets and providing boundary conditions for paleoclimate models, calibrating marine-sediment isotopic records, and providing thebackground signal for evaluating anthropogenic contributions to sea level. From ∼1,000 observations of sea level, allowing for isostatic and tectonic contributions, we have quantified therise and fall in global ocean and ice volumes for the past 35,000 years. Of particular note is that during the ∼6,000 y up to the start of the recent rise ∼100−150 y ago, there is no evidence forglobal oscillations in sea level on time scales exceeding ∼200 y duration or 15−20 cm amplitude.

    Abstract

    The major cause of sea-level change during ice ages is the exchange of water between ice and ocean and the planet’s dynamic response to the changing surface load. Inversion of ∼1,000 observations for thepast 35,000 y from localities far from former ice margins has provided new constraints on the fluctuation of ice volume in this interval. Key results are: (i) a rapid final fall in global sea level of ∼40 m in < 2,000 y at the onset of the glacial maximum ∼30,000 y before present (30 ka BP); (ii) a slow fall to −134 m from 29 to 21 ka BP with a maximum grounded ice volume of ∼52 × 106 km3 greater than today; (iii) after an initial short duration rapid rise and a short interval of near-constant sea level, the main phase of deglaciation occurred from ∼16.5 ka BP to ∼8.2 ka BP at an average rate of rise of 12 m⋅ka−1 punctuated by periods of greater, particularly at 14.5–14.0 ka BP at ≥40 mm⋅y−1 (MWP-1A), and lesser, from 12.5 to 11.5 ka BP (Younger Dryas), rates; (iv) no evidence for a global MWP-1B event at ∼11.3 ka BP; and (v) a progressive decrease in the rate of rise from 8.2 ka to ∼2.5 ka BP, after which ocean volumes remained nearly constant until the renewed sea-level rise at 100–150 y ago, with no evidence of oscillations exceeding ∼15–20 cm in time intervals ≥ 200 y from 6 to 0.15 ka BP.