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Rog Tallbloke
(tallbloke) - F

Locale: DON'T LOOK DOWN!!
Craig Loehle Phd: 10 reasons not to be alarmed by alarmists on 03/08/2012 08:54:55 MST Print View

Craig Loehle, Ph.D.

Many government reports by NASA, NOAA, EPA, USFWS, USFS, USDA and other agencies mention that climate change impacts are already observable in the USA. This is discussed in the context of endangered species conservation, forest resource assessment, future water availability, disaster planning, agriculture policy, etc. I have read many of these reports, which often refer back to the IPCC or the US Global Change Research Program. But they are usually vague on details of what bad things are expected to happen, generally referring to increases in extreme events. Nevertheless, these vague bad things are being used to guide policy.

The USA has some of the best data and is a large country. Are bad effects of climate change really visible already? In what follows, I address the evidence often put forward to support these claims and compare these to the literature. The true story is far from alarming.

Ocean Acidification

One government draft report indicated that ocean pH has decreased (become more acid) by 0.1 units, and that this represents a 30% increase in acidity since 1750. Because pH is a log scale, estimating percent increases in acidity is problematic and a change of 0.1 units could not represent a 30% change in acidity as stated. A serious issue not addressed by the report is that a global time series of pH data for the oceans does not exist. Thus, the provenance of the 0.1 unit change in value is dubious, and the confidence intervals on such an estimate would no doubt be large. Furthermore, daily, seasonal, and between year pH fluctuations at any given location are on the order of ±0.3 pH units or more (Middelboe and Hansen 2007; Pelejero et al. 2005).

Sea Level Rise

Some reports state that sea level rise poses a threat to United States natural habitats, with other reports focusing on risks to developed areas. According to the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) temperatures due to human activity began to rise after 1980, but estimates of sea level show a rise from about 1870 (earliest records) at a nearly linear rate and with no sign of acceleration. Sea level rise from 1870 to 1980 is not likely due to human activity. One report indicates that IPCC has projected a sea level rise of 0.4 to 2 m by 2090, but the fourth IPCC report does not make such a claim, instead giving a best estimate of 0.28 to 0.43 m. Recent levels of rise (http://sealevel.colorado.edu), at 3.1 mm/year long-term trend or 0.31 m in 100 years with no indication of “acceleration,” are only consistent with the lowest IPCC projections. In fact, recent deceleration of the rate of rise (Houston and Dean 2011) has been detected. Examples of papers that projected sea level increases lower than the range discussed in the fourth IPCC report are Bouwer (2011), Chu et al. (2010), Czymzik et al. (2010), and Xie et al. (2010).

Temperature Increases

Governement assessment reports note that US temperatures have risen 2°F since 1961. However, conclusions about the extent of temperature increase depend heavily upon the start date for the calculation. Perhaps by coincidence, a start date of 1961 gives the most alarming rise. In contrast, there is almost no rise from 1938 to 2011 in the US. The same is true for sea surface temperature changes. This is because natural climate oscillations (e.g., Wyatt et al. 2011) produced a warm period in the mid-twentieth century with a cool period in the 1960s.

Floods

Reports assert that floods are increasing, but data do not bear this out. Hirsh and Ryberg (2011) showed that there is no trend toward increasing flood magnitudes in any region of the US, and a small decrease in the Southwest. Arrigoni et al. (2010) showed that climate change in the northern Rocky Mountains over 59 years has not significantly affected basin flows, although human habitat modifications have reduced the difference between minimum and maximum flows. Kundezewicz et al. (2005), in a global analysis of 195 long series of daily flow records, rejected the hypothesis of a growth in maximum daily flows. Increasing trends in flood damage can be fully accounted for by rising population and wealth.

Regional Drought Frequency

According to assessment reports, regional droughts are increasing in frequency and severity. However, they typically do not support this contention with any reliable data. Droughts are difficult to characterize and methods for doing so have become more sophisticated over time. The actual quantification of the “area” of a drought is also extremely subjective and no standard methods exist, nor do long-term standardized data.

Data related to precipitation and drought activity do not appear to support the contention of increasing drought frequency and severity and suggest that drought patterns are complex. For example, there has been a 5% increase in overall precipitation in the US rather than increasing drought. Sheffield et al. (2009) found that large-scale droughts follow ENSO and northern Pacific and Atlantic SSTs. This relation to ENSO activity is confirmed in a study in the US Southwest (McCabe et al. 2010). Globally, the mid 1950s had the highest drought activity and the mid 1970s to mid 1980s had the lowest, rather than a simple increasing trend. Again, picking the mid-1970s as a start date will give a false appearance of an increasing trend.

Extreme Storm Events

Assessment reports allege that extreme storm events are increasing even though storm severity per se is not reported or documented in any government archives. A “storm” is not even a well-defined object in climatology. There is an apparent increase in the number of tornados over time. However, improvements in radar quality and coverage over the past decades cause a detection bias trend, with more, smaller tornados being detected and recorded over time. Furthermore, increases in available disaster assistance aid have encouraged more frequent reporting of smaller storms in efforts to get disaster aid. Counting only category F4 and F5 events, which are relatively consistently detectable and recorded, there is no trend over the past 100 years (Balling and Cerveny 2003).

Hurricanes

Hurricane strength is said to be increasing. This can likely be attributed to increasing satellite coverage and resolution, which tends over time to more accurately capture the hours when a storm is at maximum strength. A study that corrects for storm detection ability over time (Vecchi and Knutson 2011) finds no trend in Atlantic hurricanes over the period of 1878 to 2008. Studies of landfall hurricanes (Balling and Cerveny 2003) also show no trend. The last landfall hurricane to hit (i.e., with the hurricane eye) the continental US was Katrina in 2005.

Fires

Reports suggest that warmer temperatures and changing precipitation patterns will cause more fires and affect the seasonality of fires. Indians and early European settlers both used fire extensively. Areas converted to agriculture (e.g., the Great Plains) now see almost no fire. Some western forests have higher fuel loads than 200 years ago. In the context of these and other large landscape changes, no one has documented a change in fire regimes in the US that can be attributed to climate change. In fact, the largest historical fires were in the West around 100 years ago. Human activities (changes in fuel loads, increased ignition sources, arson) have on the other hand been clearly documented effects on fire extent, as have “let burn” policies in the West, which have only been implemented in the past few decades..

Algal Blooms

Reports indicate that harmful algal blooms in aquatic ecosystems have become more frequent, intense, and widespread. Climate change is only one factor potentially causing harmful algal blooms, with increasing nutrient runoff a clearly important factor. There is no basis for ascribing trends in blooms to climate change. There is also an increasing ability to detect them as satellite imagery improves over time.

Changes in Ecosystems

There are studies showing responses to biota that are “consistent with” warming, but most of these are actually positive, whereas negative effects are hypothetical (e.g., phenology “might” be disrupted). For example, changes in bird migration and nesting dates indicate adaptation to changes rather than an alarming situation. The clearest data pertain to long-term trends in plant growth. These studies, with a few local exceptions, show regional to global net primary productivity (NPP) to have been increasing in the past 50 to 100 years (Alcaraz-Segura et al. 2010; Bellassen et al. 2011; Jia et al. 2009; Kohler et al. 2010; Lin et al. 2010; Nemani et al. 2003; Tian et al. 2010) due to both rising CO2 levels and increasing temperatures. If warming since the Little Ice Age is leading to increased NPP, this is difficult to construe as problematic.

Conclusions

Within the United States, the claim that bad climate effects can “already” be detected is a totally subjective and unsupported hypothetical.

Literature Cited

List removed for brevity but the full citation list is available.

jerry adams
(retiredjerry) - MLife

Locale: Oregon and Washington
Re: Craig Loehle Phd: 10 reasons not to be alarmed by alarmists on 03/08/2012 09:19:04 MST Print View

I see Rog is already beginning to see the light

You forgot to mention the military, they're also planning on effects of global warming.

And insurance companies.

It's good that all those agencies are planning for it even if the politicians are stuck on politics.

Rog Tallbloke
(tallbloke) - F

Locale: DON'T LOOK DOWN!!
Re: Re: Craig Loehle Phd: 10 reasons not to be alarmed by alarmists on 03/09/2012 01:12:08 MST Print View

All responsible agencies and individuals should plan for climate change, whatever it may be caused by, and whatever direction it changes in.

Unfortunately, whatever politicians, the military and the money shufflers may be up to, they don't seem to be interested in protecting the interests of the public at large, living as we do in a 'just in time' agricultural economy.

Rog Tallbloke
(tallbloke) - F

Locale: DON'T LOOK DOWN!!
Heartland document fraudster Gleick up to his neck in trouble on 03/09/2012 07:23:52 MST Print View

It seems Dan MacHale's interest in Heartland a few weeks ago was rather prescient. This from the financial post:

Document from skeptical think-tank turns out to have been forged

A few weeks ago, a number of websites received copies of allegedly confidential documents from the Heartland Institute, a Chicago-based libertarian think-tank that organizes conferences featuring skeptics of catastrophic man-made climate change. Most of the documents, which purported to come from a “Heartland insider,” related to Heartland’s donors, but one was a “strategy” document that suggested that the institute was trying to subvert the teaching of climate science in schools. Here was the smoking gun that ardent warmists had long sought.

The problem was that the strategy document was a forgery. Soon afterwards, Peter Gleick, a prominent environmentalist and president of the Pacific Institute, admitted that he had obtained the genuine documents by imitating a Heartland board member. He claimed that he had received the strategy document separately. His ethical lapse (or crime) appeared the more egregious because he was chairman of the task force on ethics at the American Geophysical Union, and had previously addressed a congressional committee on scientific integrity. He was a member of the National Academy of Sciences and the National Center for Science Education. He had also been the winner of a MacArthur “Genius” award.

Textual analysis of the smoking-gun strategy document led some to suggest that the likely author was Mr. Gleick himself, although this has not been proved. Megan McArdle of Atlantic magazine noted wryly that the document read “like it was written from the secret villain lair in a Batman comic. By an intern.”

Mr. Gleick claimed that he donned a false identity merely to confirm the accuracy of the strategy document, which he said had been given to him anonymously. This, he admitted, was “a serious lapse of … professional judgment and ethics.” However, Mr. Gleick justified his actions by claiming that “the scientific understanding of the reality and risks of climate change is strong, compelling, and increasingly disturbing, and a rational public debate is desperately needed.”

Mr. Gleick’s “deep regret” and “personal apologies” were also leavened by the claim that “My judgment was blinded by my frustration with the ongoing efforts — often anonymous, well-funded and co-ordinated — to attack climate science and scientists and prevent this debate.”

But wasn’t the debate meant to be “over”? In fact, shortly before he had released the allegedly incriminating cache, Heartland had invited Mr. Gleick to a public debate. He had turned the offer down. Andy Revkin of The New York Times noted that Mr. Gleick had “destroyed his credibility and harmed others,” but went on to say that “The broader tragedy” was that his actions had set back the prospect of the country having the “‘rational public debate’ that [Gleick] wrote — correctly — is so desperately needed.”

However, Mr. Gleick and his supporters appear incapable of “rational public debate.”

What is intriguing about the aftermath to what British journalist James Delingpole called “Fakegate” is the vituperation that has been unleashed not against Mr. Gleick but against Heartland, while Mr. Gleick has been treated as some kind of slightly misguided “hero.”
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Naomi Klein tweeted that Mr. Gleick “took big risks to bring important truths about the deniers to light.” But what important truths? That they received donations? David Suzuki claimed that Mr. Gleick had done nothing worse than the Climategate hacker(s). He/she/they had been cheered on by Heartland, thus Heartland was hypocritical. He accused Heartland of lying about “the most serious threat to humanity.”

Was that the kind of rational “debate” for which Mr. Gleick and Mr. Revkin were calling?

Other Gleick supporters pulled out the whole sophistic bag of tricks: those who questioned catastrophic man-made climate change were “deniers” who ranked with creationists or homeopaths. Philosophers came forward to argue that Mr. Gleick’s actions were in fact ethical because aimed at the “greater good” and weren’t “for gain.” He was compared to Winston Churchill and Daniel Ellsberg, the man who released the Pentagon Papers. His action was “moral,” claimed Scientific American’s John Horgan (who dragged in philosopher Immanuel Kant as backup) “because he was defending a cause that he passionately views as righteous.”

Unfortunately, however, being “righteous” doesn’t necessarily go with being right, and can be a major barrier to seeing others’ points of view.

Warmist website DeSmog Blog declared that Mr. Gleick deserved “gratitude and applause” for his fraudulent activities. The Guardian’s George Monbiot claimed Mr. Gleick was a “democratic hero” and dumped on Daily Telegraph skeptic Christopher Booker for once having taken a speaking fee of $1,000 from Heartland (Mr. Monbiot is reported to have received $20,000 from filthy Canadian capitalist Peter Munk to promote climate catastrophe in a Munk Debate, but of course if you’re a warmist you are being rewarded for speaking inconvenient truth, whereas if you are a skeptic, you are a “shill.”)

There was lots of condemnation of bullying right-wing “ideologues.” Mr. Gleick was just a David facing the Goliath/Golem of corporate power. The problem was that Heartland is hardly a Goliath. Its income is smaller than that of the David Suzuki Foundation and is minuscule compared with organizations such as WWF and Greenpeace. It is micro-minuscule compared with the tens of billions that governments have poured into the cause of climate alarmism.

The late Stephen Schneider, a prominent climate catastrophist, suggested that in 1989 that scientists had to offer up “scary scenarios” to get attention. He claimed that scientists were thus in an ethical bind. “Each of us,” he said, “has to decide what the right balance is between being effective and being honest. I hope that means being both.”

Mr. Gleick demonstrates, however, that once you abandon honesty you also likely abandon effectiveness. Insofar as that effectiveness relates to peddling ideology cloaked in science, less of it is much to be desired.

Climate scientist Judith Curry, of the Georgia Institute of Technology, suggested that Mr. Gleick’s idea of scientific integrity in fact amounted to loyalty to the UN’s climate “ideology,” which involves demonizing deniers and the fossil fuel industry.

This week, Heartland announced a legal team to “represent the organization in connection with Peter Gleick’s fraudulent conduct.” Mr. Gleick has reportedly retained the lawyer used by Andy Fastow of Enron. Forensic investigation into the origins of the fake strategy document continue.

jerry adams
(retiredjerry) - MLife

Locale: Oregon and Washington
Re: Re: Re: Craig Loehle Phd: 10 reasons not to be alarmed by alarmists on 03/09/2012 07:56:18 MST Print View

"All responsible agencies and individuals should plan for climate change, whatever it may be caused by, and whatever direction it changes in.

Unfortunately, whatever politicians, the military and the money shufflers may be up to, they don't seem to be interested in protecting the interests of the public at large, living as we do in a 'just in time' agricultural economy."

Wow! One of those rare confluences where Rog and I agree.

"just in time" agriculture optimizes profits but ignores risk

The government should subsidize stockpiling of a year's worth of food

Sean Staplin
(mtnrat) - MLife

Locale: Southern Cdn Rockies
RE stockpile food on 03/09/2012 09:55:23 MST Print View

Why should the government subsidize your stockpile of food. Get off yer ass and do it for yourself if you think it necessary.

Edited by mtnrat on 03/09/2012 10:22:21 MST.

jerry adams
(retiredjerry) - MLife

Locale: Oregon and Washington
RE stockpile food on 03/09/2012 11:26:06 MST Print View

"Why should the government subsidize your stockpile of food."

Because if they didn't, it won't happen (much). If there was a famine we would all be happy about it.

I stockpile some food, but if there was a famine it wouldn't be good. Should I just ignore my starving neighbors? What about the roving gangs that would steal my food?

Rog Tallbloke
(tallbloke) - F

Locale: DON'T LOOK DOWN!!
Re: RE stockpile food on 03/09/2012 13:39:04 MST Print View

Hi Sean.

"Why should the government subsidize your stockpile of food."

Because it's a good value for money investment from the taxpayers point of view. OK, some years it will seem like a waste of money, but when a bad harvest is widespread, the avoidance of widespread rioting looting murder and mayhem will seem like a smart move. It would save the state a bundle of money in looking after the survivors, mobilising the troops etc etc.

"Get off yer ass and do it for yourself if you think it necessary."

I still have potatos, onions and brussel sprouts viable from last growing season.

Rog Tallbloke
(tallbloke) - F

Locale: DON'T LOOK DOWN!!
Peter Gleick and the watergate burglaries on 03/11/2012 07:39:31 MDT Print View

Some interesting historical parallels here. Both the Watergate burglars and Peter Gleick were hunting for donor lists to discredit and damage the organisations they were opposing.

http://climateaudit.org/2012/03/10/gleick-and-the-watergate-burglars/

jerry adams
(retiredjerry) - MLife

Locale: Oregon and Washington
State of Texas water plan acknowledges climate change on 03/22/2012 20:49:11 MDT Print View

PBS did a story:

http://www.pbs.org/newshour/updates/science/jan-june12/texaswater_03-20.html?print

State of Texas has acknowledged that droughts are worse than they used to be so are planning for it.

Interesting that all the Republican candidates for president, and almost all Republican politicians refuse to acknowledge that the climate is changing.

David Olsen
(oware)

Locale: Steptoe Butte
Why the Global Warming Skeptics Are Wrong on 04/03/2012 17:35:40 MDT Print View

"William Nordhaus, Sterling Professor of Economics at Yale University, was among many distinguished academics noted by the authors in support of their premise – that climate change is a grand hoax played on modern democracies by politicians with myriad conflicts of interest.

Apparently, Mr. Nordhaus took umbrage with the conclusions drawn by scientists based on his research. In an article published March 22 in the New York Review of Books, Nordhaus lays out an imminently readable six-point argument disputing the commentary, titled, “Why the Global Warming Skeptics Are Wrong.”


http://www.alaskadispatch.com/article/climate-change-deniers-corrected-academic

" Is the planet in fact warming?
Are human influences an important contributor to warming?
Is carbon dioxide a pollutant?
Are we seeing a regime of fear for skeptical climate scientists?
Are the views of mainstream climate scientists driven primarily by the desire for financial gain?
Is it true that more carbon dioxide and additional warming will be beneficial?"

http://www.nybooks.com/articles/archives/2012/mar/22/why-global-warming-skeptics-are-wrong/?pagination=false

David Olsen
(oware)

Locale: Steptoe Butte
Ice age data bolsters greenhouse gas, warming link on 04/04/2012 14:49:18 MDT Print View

"n the new study, scientists show the atmospheric concentration of that heat-trapping greenhouse gas jumped more than 40 percent. Then global temperatures went up about 6 degrees Fahrenheit (3.5 degrees Celsius).

What is remarkable is that when the two are plotted they rise, plateau and rise again in a striking similar way with a slight lag. The warming over 6,000 years follows the greenhouse gas increase, just as scientific theory has long held."

David Olsen
(oware)

Locale: Steptoe Butte
More news about global warming today on 04/04/2012 16:41:28 MDT Print View

Satellites show thawing of Alaska's permafrost

"In a sense, we might be glimpsing a preview of Earth’s worst climate nightmare.

Once a big chunk of the home planet’s permafrost thaws in earnest, organic material frozen solid for thousands of years will decay and release vast quantities of greenhouse gases into the atmosphere, including an outsized bubble of the super greenhouse gas methane."

Animated GIF showing the thawing.
http://esamultimedia.esa.int/images/EarthObservation/NS_animation.gif



http://www.alaskadispatch.com/article/satellites-show-thawing-alaskas-permafrost

jerry adams
(retiredjerry) - MLife

Locale: Oregon and Washington
Re: More news about global warming today on 04/04/2012 17:46:57 MDT Print View

And there's a lot more methane on the ocean bottom

If the ocean warms up and melts this and releases it to the atmosphere it'll be a lot worse.

That's called positive feedback

Randy Martin
(randalmartin) - F

Locale: Colorado
Re: State of Texas water plan acknowledges climate change on 04/04/2012 18:01:51 MDT Print View

"Interesting that all the Republican candidates for president, and almost all Republican politicians refuse to acknowledge that the climate is changing."

I think what you will find is they disagree that it's a man made problem and therefore there isn't a man made solution to every environmental problem. Certainly not on that scale.

jerry adams
(retiredjerry) - MLife

Locale: Oregon and Washington
Re: Re: State of Texas water plan acknowledges climate change on 04/04/2012 18:43:51 MDT Print View

"I think what you will find is they disagree that it's a man made problem and therefore there isn't a man made solution to every environmental problem. Certainly not on that scale."

I think it's clear the increase in CO2 is a man made problem.

Not clear what the effect will be.

I think the reason the politicians don't acknowledge this is that they get political contributions from people that have a vested interest in continueing CO2 emmisions.

Dale Emery
(emeryd) - M

Locale: Montana
Re:State of Texas... on 04/04/2012 20:40:54 MDT Print View

"from people that have a vested interest in continueing CO2 emissions."

I would like to continue my CO2 emissions (breathing).

David Olsen
(oware)

Locale: Steptoe Butte
Re: Re: State of Texas water plan acknowledges climate change on 04/04/2012 21:28:11 MDT Print View

"I think what you will find is they disagree that it's a man made problem and therefore there isn't a man made solution to every environmental problem. Certainly not on that scale."

They only say that when pressed into a corner with the facts that it really is happening.
I think what you will find is that they are also, in their own businesses, doing planning tomitigate its effects on their enterprises, be it farming, ski areas, water management,
real estate etc.
They just don't want to be held responsible for being part of the problem or pay to be
part of the solution.

jerry adams
(retiredjerry) - MLife

Locale: Oregon and Washington
Re: State of Texas water plan acknowledges climate change on 04/05/2012 07:42:02 MDT Print View

"They just don't want to be held responsible for being part of the problem or pay to be part of the solution."

They want to delay doing anything about it.

They're making tons of money right now, and if, for example, we make more efficient cars, they'll sell less gas, so they'll make less money.

Nick Gatel
(ngatel) - MLife

Locale: Southern California
Re: Re: State of Texas water plan acknowledges climate change on 04/05/2012 09:45:36 MDT Print View

"They're making tons of money right now, and if, for example, we make more efficient cars, they'll sell less gas, so they'll make less money."

How do you know they will make less money?

Are you aware of the trend of vehicle sales in India and China?

Oil and gasoline is a global commodity.

The average car in the US is much more efficient than it was in 1970, but gas is more expensive today than in 1970, even when the price is adjusted for inflation. How do you explain that?