Tuesday, March 31, 2009

Petrified of Permafrost

Young-earth climatologists are petrified of permafrost. I call them young-earth climatologists because they never look at any event which occurred prior to the invention of the sacred thermometer about 300 years ago. According to the beliefs of the climatological sect, only a thermometer can discern the future. The past isn't important. Today, while reading one of the numerous journals I subscribe to, I rand into this statement.

"The rapid warming in the Arctic means that a global temperature rise of 3[sup]o[/sup] C, likely this century, could translate into a 10o C warming in the far north. Permafrost hundreds of metres deep will be at risk of thawing out."
"This is where things go global. The Arctic is not just a reflective mirror that is cracking up, It is also a massive store of carbon and methane, locked into the frozen soils and buried in icy structures beneath the ocean bed.
" Fred Pearce, "Meltdown," New Scientist, march 28, 2009, p. 34

The article goes on to say that they fear that much methane will be emitted into the atmosphere as the permafrost melts.

Well, lets see how reasonable all this is. Shmelev says

"The limit of permafrost distribution is now to about 64 degrees N. A zoning of permafrost is presented. North of 68 degrees N the presence of relict syngenetic ice veins is noted. " L. M. Shmelev Paleogeokriologicheskiye issledovaniya v Zapadno-Sibirskoy nizmennosti Paleogeocryologic investigation in the West Siberian lowland (in Nauchnoye soveshchaniye geografov Sibiri...Materialy no. 1) (1966) 23-26

At the height of the last glaciation, about 18,000 years ago, the permafrost was much much further south.

"The permafrost extent at the LGM reached about 45 degrees N latitude at sea level in the Northern Hemisphere. It is mostly absent in Southern Hemisphere, with the exception of Patagonia and the south island of New Zealand. The present extent of continuous and discontinuous permafrost respresents about 30% of the full glacial extent. " Brigitte M. J. van Vliet-Lanoe and Olga Lisitsyn Permafrost extent at the last glacial maximum and at the Holocene optimum; the CLIMEX map (in Permafrost response on economic development, environmental security and natural resources) NATO Science Series. Partnership Sub-series 2, Environmental Security (2001), 76 215-225

This is a picture of the extent of ice in the last ice age. In previous ice ages it was even further south.

While some people say that permafrost occupies 25% of the earth's surface (Anisimov and Nelson), that can't possibly be unless one includes Antarctica in that value. Below is a map of the present permafrost in the northern hemisphere. Permafrost is almost completely absent today in the southern hemisphere save for Antarctica.

I calculated the land area north of 64 degrees and came up with 4.9 million square miles. The earth contains 57.3 million square miles so this represents about 8 percent of the earth's surface. Even adding Antarctica one doesn't get to 25% of the earth's land covered by permafrost, one would get only 17% and note that my 4.9 million square miles counts some non-permafrost areas, like Norway. I am going to bold the next statement: One should note that the picture above only shows the earth from the North Pole down to 50 degrees latitude. One should realize that at the height of the last glaciation, every bit of land, and more was permafrost or glacier. Indeed, according to my calculations 31% of the world was permafrosted areas at that time. That is 18 million sq. miles of permafrost!

Remember today we only have 8 percent of the land as permafrost--not counting Antarctica, which doesn't so much as have permafrost as ice on top of rocks. So, we have already seen a melting of 13 million square miles but the hysteriacs are worried about a melting of another 5 million square miles, as if this 5 million is going to be the 5 million that kills us! What a crock.

So, why should we expect the melting of 5 million square miles of permafrost to kill us when the melting of the previous 13 million didn't? The only reason I can think of is to scare the citizenry into funding more research into the melting of the permafrost.

But wait. We have already had the permafrost melt. Of course the reader won't believe me but believe what is in the scientific literature

"In this study, the Holocene development of a peat plateau area in the east-European Russian Arctic is reconstructed based on detailed macrofossil, physico-chemical and radiocarbon analyses from two peat sequences. Basal dates from these two, c. 2 m long, peat profiles are c. 9420 BP and c. 9250 BP. From another six peat sequences gross-stratigraphic descriptions and additional radiocarbon dates are available. Basal dates from two short (<1 m) peat profiles indicate further peatland expansion at c. 3635 BP and c. 1285 BP. The oldest macrofossils of tree birch are dated to c. 9500 BP and those of conifers, presumably spruce, to c. 8000 BP. Tree stands became rare in the study area after c. 2800 BP, but occasionally occur until present. Peatlands formed through terrestrialization of ponds or paludification of forested uplands. Between 9000 and 3100 BP the peatlands were wet rich fens. Beginning from c. 3100 BP there are marked changes in their surface hydrology, connected with climatic cooling and permafrost aggradation. Sphagnum species started to play a dominant role. Permafrost aggradation at the six peat plateau sites is tentatively dated to c. 3100 BP, c. 2200 BP and <600 BP. Nowadays the area is mostly dry peat plateau with interspersed thermokarst lakes. Generally, peat accumulation rates are lower in the upper layers, which consist mostly of Sphagnum peat, than in the lower layers of sedge/brown moss peat. This is most probably due to ceased accumulation or even erosion in the currently widespread dry lichen stage in the peat plateau. Very high accumulation rates are recorded from moist sites with incipient permafrost. This study supports previous multi-proxy climate reconstructions in the area according to which temperatures were at least 2-3 degrees C higher during the mid-Holocene compared to present. " P. O. Oksanen, P. Kuhry, and R. N. Alekseeva Holocene development of the Rogovaya River peat plateau, European Russian Arctic The Holocene (2001), 11(1):25-40

Now, I want you to notice the temperature increase that Oksanen et al are speaking of. They say that in the Holocene Climate Optimum (oh around 8000-5000 BP) the temperature was 2 to 3 deg C higher than it is now. The young-earth climatologists, who do not tell you about anything which happened prior to the invention and dissemination of their sacred thermometer (about 300 years ago), certainly don't tell you about this. The Siberian Arctic was lots hotter within the time span of human history, at a time when there were no automobiles nor any coal plants.

Now, what do the global warming hysteriacs say will happen if the earth warms 2 degrees (as already happened 5000 years ago or so)? Well Anisimov and Nelson relate to us:

"Maps of permafrost distribution in the northern hemisphere were generated using three general circulation models and an empirical paleoreconstruction, all scaled to a 2 degrees C global warming, in conjunction with a permafrost model that has successfully replicated the arrangement of contemporary permafrost zones in several high-latitude regions. The simulations indicate a 25-44% reduction in the total area occupied by equilibrium permafrost." Oleg A. Anisimov and Frederick E. Nelson Permafrost distribution in the Northern Hemisphere under scenarios of climatic change," Global and Planetary Change (August 1996), 14(1-2):59-72

Ok, so we get as much as a 50% reduction of permafrost--that is about 2.5 million more square miles melted, 2.5 million square miles that probably melted previously 5000 years ago; 2.5 million square miles that didn't end civilization as we know it 5000 years ago.

We had 18 million square miles of permafrost but now 13 million of it has already melted and the climate fear-mongers are scared to death of melting another 2.5 million. Our fear is 5 times smaller than what has already happened. What a crock; what a sad commentary on geologic knowledge about earth history--and these guys think they are the ones who are intellectually superior to everyone else.

So, we have previously seen that 18 million sq miles were melted from the peak of the last ice age until the present. And the hysteriacs are worried about 2.5 million square miles disappearing over the next 100 years. That is a worry about only 13% of what has already melted. The hysteriacs simply don't understand math. Surely the permafrost which will melt if the world warms this century won't cause as much damage as it did when it melted the first time 5000 years ago. After all, it should have disgorged its methane content the first time it melted!

Of course climatologists can't be bothered to discuss anything that happened in the past. That isn't important because their mission to scare the hell out of us so that we will fund them is what is ultimately important. It is sad, but that is the way it is.

Other unquoted references

Oleg A. Anisimov and Frederick E. Nelson Permafrost distribution in the Northern Hemisphere under scenarios of climatic change Global and Planetary Change (August 1996), 14(1-2):59-72

Sunday, March 29, 2009

As sunspots go away, so do hurricanes

I had wanted to post on permafrost tonight, but I got a call from the guy leasing my ranch to discuss several issues, so I didn't have time to write the permafrost issue. Thus, we will discuss hurricane energy levels. The global warming hysteriacs, as well as movies (Hypercane) depict a world of global warming with extreme hurricanes. The problem is that the sun, the driver of the earth's energy, decided to go on strike.

One of the fascinating things that is happening right now is that the sunspot cycle, cycle 23, has turned out to be one of the longer cycles. If cycle 23 was an average cycle, cycle 24 would have started at least by early 2007. But here we are in 2009 and the sun is still not producing very many sunspots.

You can see that the present cycle has only 1 possible sunspot this month, yet by this time the previous 5 cycles are producing anywhere from 40-160 sunspots per month. Clearly something has changed with the sun. Whatever it is it changes the quantity of energy sent to the earth. Below is a graph of how the energy of the sun varies over the sunspot cycle.

The dips in the graph are when the sun is not producing sunspots. You can see that at sunspot minimum the sun sends to the earth about 3 watts per meter squared less than it does at sunspot maximum. That is a huge quantity of energy not reaching the earth.

But when the sun is emitting less energy, that has impacts on the earth. Right now we are experiencing one of the longer periods of low solar irradiance and we are also seeing the energy dissipated by hurricanes plummet. Below is a chart of the accummulated energy released by hurricanes all over the world. You can see that it has absolutely plummeted since 2006, the year when the first day without sunspots occurred in this cycle. Note that the hurricane energy plummeted about the same time that the number of sunspots started to plummet--in 2006.

This picture is from this source. That site says that tropical cyclone energy is at a 30 year low. I thought we were supposed to have hypercanes.

The global warming hysteriacs are not paying attention to the sun and its impact on the climate. According to them, the sun isn't powerful enough to impact the climate. Only CO2 is powerful enough to impact the climate.

Regression Slope Voodoo

Anyone who is interested in the issue of global warming is immediately faced with the claim that the regression line of the temperature line shows an increase of, say for example, .5 deg / decade. The term comes under several names, such as 'trend' or 'warming per decade' etc These statistics sound so, impressive, so incontrovertable. After all, most people don't know what a regression line is.

A site that deals in statistics defines it this way:

"A regression line is a line drawn through a scatterplot of two variables. The line is chosen so that it comes as close to the points as possible." source

That actually is a more understandable definition than the one on Wikipedia found here.

Now, a regression line is wonderful if the data you are trying to represent is actually linear, that is, the the data is expected to go up in a line. But what is one to do when one is dealing in cyclical data? Linear regressions force fit a line to cyclical data every bit as much as to linear data. The problem is that fitting a line to cyclical data gives stupid results. I am going to illustrate that point in several manners.

I generated a sine wave in Excel. The data going into this sine wave are demarcated at every degree. Thus there are 360 values in my sine wave data. Below is my sin wave.

Let us pretend that when the sine wave is above the x-axis, we have a warming trend and when it is below the line it is colder. By viewing this simple sine wave in this fashion we can see what stupidities the global warming hysteriacs are foisting off on the mathematically ignorant. You must be clear on the fact that this is what the global warming hysteriacs do. And then they claim that the temperature is warming or cooling based upon the slope of the linear line. In order to evaluate that claim we need to see what a regression line does with a simple sine wave. The results are below, for a simple one cycle duration.

This shows what is wrong with applying a linear analysis to a decidedly non-linear data stream like the temperature data. The temperature like the the sine wave, goes up and down with a complex of frequencies.

It is clear that with the sine wave that over the entire cycle, you are exactly where you were when you started. You have not gone up or down, yet, the regression slope says you are 'cooling'. If we had used -sin(x) instead of +sin(x) the regression line would have been reversed and the slope would make it appear to be warming. Yet, at the end of the sine wave you are right back where you started. So, how do we end up with a situation where the regression says we are cooling or warming when we have, in fact, ended up exactly where we were?

It lies in the mathematics of the regression curve, which I won't go deep into here, but if you remember from your High School Geometry and Algebra classes a line has a slope and an intercept. The intercept of the regression line is zero at 1 degree but never gets back to zero during the first cycle. In fact that intercept goes up to high values, higher than the sine wave can go and thus forces a negative slope on the regression, giving the appearance of a cooling or warming when in fact there is no change at all.

To better illustrate the problem of representing a sinusoid with a linear regression line we will calculate the linear regression of my sinusoid over one cycle, starting at 0 degrees and going to 360 degrees. As I said, at 360 degrees the sine function is back where it started. But the regression isn't. It says that the make beleive temperature curve we have is cooling.

We know that when it comes to climate there are sinusoids in the data which have lengths from one day's duration to hundreds of thousands of years. For many of those periodicities in the earth's climate our data, our thermometer data, doesn't even begin to cover one cycle. Yet the incompetent climatologists use the regression slope to scare us into believing that they and they alone know what the future holds. Like novice investors, they think the temperature can only go up one way.

How does the slope and regression vary over several cycles? That is interesting. See below. first the intercept then the slope

Now the slope, which wiggles around, with less amplitude than the intercept but still it shows a positive or negative trend even after 12 cycles.

We can see that the value of the 'warming' or 'cooling' depends upon how many cycles one has. With only 100 years of climate data, we don't have enough data to know what the climate is doing if the climatological cycles are longer than 100 years in duration. And we know that those cycles are longer than 100 years in duration. As documented in previous posts, the glacial cycles have durations of 19 thousand, 23, thousand, 41 thousand and 100 thousand years. Given those cycle lengths, it means that the climatologists are stupidly applying linear regression to a sinusoid with frequencies much longer duration than its data set, which is a very improper thing to do. But hey, what is science when you can scare people into giving you research money?

Now lets look at how the regression slope works for real data. It is pretty much as expected, lots of variation when the time series are short, but tending towards zero as time goes on. The chart below is for the Global temperature anomaly downloaded from NOAA's Climate at a Glance site.

The above is for 1880 to 2007. I then repeated the calculation for 1900-2007, 1920-2007, 1940-2007, 1960-2007 and 1980-2007. Then I ploted the regression slopes as a function of how long the data series is in years. You can clearly see that the slope drops as the data set becomes longer.

Below is an example from Hatanga, Russia

Now lets look at a very long data set, the Deuterium temperature data from the Vostok ice core. It can be accessed at this site. The chart below is in deg/decade and the scale is in decades, not years, so this chart is 164,000 years long.

You can see that at this scale of climatology, dealing with cycles of 100,000 years or longer, it still takes a long while for the linear regression to tend towards zero. That means that any value of the linear regression is just a number with no meaning because sinusoidal curves don't have long term up and down trends.

One final example. The regression curve on the Amundsen-Scott South Pole station says it is warming by .06 deg/decade. And the regression says that the minimum is cooling by -.3 deg/decade. Here is the plot of the data. Look at it and ask yourself if you think either of those curves is really going up or down significantly.

Now lets look at the moving regression values.

Clearly the longer the temperature sequence goes, the closer to zero the regression slope comes. But, since this is a linear measurement made on cyclical data, there will always be some value to the regression line. And the climatologists can use it to scare you.

You can see that the longer a sinusoidal temperature dataset goes, the lower is the slope. But, of course, linear-minded climatologists will continue to ply their linear snake-oil to the temperature data. Just remember when you hear again that the world is warming at .05 deg C/decade or some such number that you really shouldn't take it all that seriously. It is merely a mathematical artifact.

Bipolar Flatlines

One of the failed predictions of global warming hysteriacs is that the high latitudes will warm the most. This means that the temperatures at these sites should be warming a lot. Vince Stricherz of The University of Washington writes:

"The impact of global warming has become obvious in high latitude regions, including Alaska, Siberia and the Arctic, where melting ice and softening tundra are causing profound changes. But, contrary to popular belief, the most serious impact in the next century likely will be in the tropics, says a group of researchers headed by a University of Washington ecologist."
Vince Stricherz, "Warming most evident at high latitudes, but greatest impact will be in tropics" Aug. 11, 2005 http://uwnews.washington.edu/ni/article.asp?articleID=11632

And with lots of press, Meehl et al proclaimed that the higher latitudes would warm the most--not this is from the scientific literature, and represents the 'consensus' view.

"Geographic patterns of warming (Fig. 2) show more warming at high northern latitudes and over land, generally larger-amplitude warming in the CCSM3 as compared to the PCM, and geographic temperature increases roughly proportional to the amplitude of the globally averaged temperature increases in the different scenarios (Fig. 1B)." Gerald A. Meehl et al, "How Much More Global Warming and Sea Level Rise?" Science 307(2005):1772

Of course, the conclusion of this paper was not based upon observational evidence, it was based upon computer models that they think are valid. Consensus has no need of actual observational data.

Since we supposedly have had so much global warming over the past 100 years, surely we can see this enhanced warming in the high latitudes. The problem is, you don't. Let's start with the Russian data. Siberian data doesn't show much warming.

I have posted the max and min temperatures for each year. I have chosen to do that rather than deal with the annual mean temperature because the data sets have a lot of missing data. The maximum and minimum monthly temperature are more understandable than mean values which must be biased to some preferred value. All values are in degree C.

Here is Hatanga, Russia. Note that the temperature doesn't seem to be rising very quickly.

Here is Suntar, Russia. It too shows no sign of this wonderful and amazing rise in temperature which we are assured of.

Here is Vanavara, Russia

One final picture from Russia, the temperature which shows the largest rise of those I downloaded. And it too doesn't show much rise to the eye. It shows the largest regression slope of all that I downloaded. In my next post, probably tomorrow, I am going to explain why a regression slope might be misleading, especially in a cyclical phenomenon, which the temperature is.

OK, we have seen little warming in Siberia, let's go to the other end of the world, a place I was at in January, 2009, Antarctica. The data can be downloaded at this place. The Amundsen-Scott station is at the South Pole. This is the one place on earth where one should see the rise in temperature merely due to radiative effects. The site is thousands of miles from the ocean, so there is no amelioration of the temperature from that source. There is no urban heat island effect. Doing the same thing to the Antarctican data shows once again, little warming, especially since we are told that it is at high latitudes that we should see the most warming.

Here is the Amundsen Scott Station at the South Pole

Not much warming there, infact the annual mean temperature there is actually cooling since 1958 when the station started, at least that is what the regression slope says. Why doesn't CO2 work there to warm it up?

Here is the Russian Vostok Station Max Min temperature

And here is the Mawson Station

Not much warming there. Mawson's annual average temperature as well as yearly maximum temperature are cooling off. Once again, this raises the question, why doesn't CO2 work in Antarctica, the place where one should get the purest CO2 forcing signal.

Speaking of the annual mean temperature, let's look at Mawson's with a linear CO2 curve placed on top of it. One can see that the Mawson annual mean temperature doesn't rise when CO2 rises.

What we have is bipolar flat lines. Neither pole is warming as the global warming hysteriacs claim. They don't care about observational data.

While I was working with the Russian data, downloaded from here a friend on another list alerted me to another source of Russian temperature charts which should be mentioned not because I got any data there but this site also lets people see the raw data. The other site is here

Saturday, March 28, 2009

Deep CO2 invades the Atmosphere

Last week in Science there was an article on why the CO2 levels of the atmosphere rose as the world deglaciated. The article and the comment upon it illustrates how climatologists interpret data always in their favor. Any critic is in the position of betting with a guy who says, 'heads I win; tails you lose'. While we all like to think that scientists are simply looking for the truth, sometimes it is that a scientist is simply looking for confirmation of his belief system.

It has generally been agreed that solar insolation changes cause the rise and fall of glaciers. CO2 doesn't actually cause glaciation because the periodicity of the glacial ages matches what Milutin Milankovic calculated almost a hundred years ago. Their periodicities are predicted by the earth's orbital parameters and the distribution of sun over the earth's surface. These periodicities are about 100,000 years in duration, 41,000 years in duration, 23,000 years in duration and 19,000 years in duration. These periods are set by fundamental physics and the laws of Newton.

As with most issues in science, there was controversy about Milankovitch's theory but in 1976, Hays, Imbrie and Shackleton published "Variations in the Earth's Orbit: Pacemaker of the Ice Ages" in Science magazine, 194(1976): p. 1121 ff. They performed spectral analyses of oceanic cores which showed patterns of temperature variation exactly as Milankovitch calculated. That work, which has stood the test of time, pretty much settled the fact that solar insolation variations had to play at least the role of trigger to the glacial rhythms. The climate system is very complex and there might be other causes which amplify the insolation effect, but they can't be the causal trigger. Thus, any claim that CO2 is the cause of glaciation or deglaciation should be highly suspect. I say this for a reason.

CO2 does not have a periodicity, it just is. Earth's orbital parameters do have a periodicity. Remember this as we go further into this interesting article and comments upon it.

The article abstract says it all, almost

"Wind-driven upwelling in the ocean around Antarctica helps regulate the exchange of carbon dioxide (CO2) between the deep sea and the atmosphere, as well as the supply of dissolved silicon to the euphotic zone of the Southern Ocean. Diatom productivity south of the Antarctic Polar Front and the subsequent burial of biogenic opal in underlying sediments are limited by this silicon supply. We show that opal burial rates, and thus upwelling, were enhanced during the termination of the last ice age in each sector of the Southern Ocean. In the record with the greatest temporal resolution, we find evidence for two intervals of enhanced upwelling concurrent with the two intervals of rising atmospheric CO2 during deglaciation. These results directly link increased ventilation of deep water to the deglacial rise in atmospheric CO2." R. F. Anderson,et al " Wind-Driven Upwelling in the Southern Ocean and the Deglacial Rise in Atmospheric CO2," Science, 323(2009), p. 1443

What is happening at the end of a glacial period is that as the insolation changes, it causes the westerly winds move south, causing the ocean to upwell and those deeper waters give off lots of CO2 to the atmosphere. That is why CO2 lags temperature change. In other words, the initial slight temperature rise causes then the rise in CO2 which acts as a positive feedback loop, further increasing the temperature.

This article, and the commentary upon it, though, don't bother to mention poor old Milutin Milankovitch. One can only wonder why, but ascribing other causes to earth's temperature rises might be counterproductive if one wants to blame everything on CO2.

Interstingly, the commentary on this article says the following, which is why I said some of the things I said above. The commentary says two things which Anderson et al, do not say. First, Toggweiler says that the westerlies shifted before the temperature rise or the CO2 rise:

"Data reported by Anderson et al. on page 1443 of this issue suggest that the shift 17,000 years ago occurred before the warming and that it caused the CO2 increase."J. R. Toggweiler, "Shifting Westerlies," Science, 323(2009, March 13, 2009, p. 1434


"Something similar appears to have happened 17,000 years ago at the end of the last ice age: Earth warmed, atmospheric CO2 increased, and the Southern Hemisphere westerlies seem to have shifted toward Antarctica (5, 6). Data reported by Anderson et al. on page 1443 of this issue suggest that the shift 17,000 years ago occurred before the warming and that it caused the CO2 increase. The CO2 that appeared in the atmosphere 17,000 years ago came from the oceans rather than from anthropogenic emissions. It was vented from the deep ocean up to the atmosphere in the vicinity of Antarctica. The southern westerlies are important in this context because they can alter the oceanic circulation in a way that vents CO2 from the ocean interior up to the atmosphere. The prevailing view has been that the westerlies shifted 17,000 years ago as part of a feedback: A small CO2 increase or small warming initiated a shift of the westerlies toward Antarctica; the shifted westerlies then caused more CO2 to be vented up to the atmosphere, which led to more warming, a greater poleward shift of the westerlies, more CO2, and still more warming (5). But Anderson et al. show that the westerlies did not shift in response to an initial CO2 increase; rather, they shifted early in the climate transition and were probably the main cause of the initial CO2 increase." J. R. Toggweiler, "Shifting Westerlies," Science, 323(2009, March 13, 2009, p. 1434

I bolded this last part of the statement because for the life of me, I can't find where Anderson et al say what Toggweiler says they say. No where in the Anderson et al article does it say that the winds shifted before the temperature rise-at least I can't find it anywhere.

In fact, Anderson specifically say this:

"During the interval between 30 and 60 ka, when we have the best constraints on the age model of TN057-14PC (see Supporting Online Material), the opal flux record provides evidence for increased upwelling associated with each period of elevated CO2. Uncertainties in the age model for TN057-14PC do not allow for meaningful assessments of apparent lead-lag relationships between upwelling and CO2." R. F. Anderson,et al " Wind-Driven Upwelling in the Southern Ocean and the Deglacial Rise in Atmospheric CO2," Science, 323(2009), p. 1447

If you can't do lead lag between upwelling and CO2 you also can't do it between CO2 and temperature from this data.

Anderson et al, also show a chart trying to correlate various events from the southern to the Northern Hemisphere.

Note the last sentence in their caption--at the bottom of their core, the age uncertainty is 5000 years plus or minus. Yet, Toggweiler assured us that this work showed that CO2 leads temperature. That means that Toggweiler has implicitly dismissed the Milankovitch trigger for glaciation (without having any explanation then for why CO2 varies with precisely the Milankovitch periodicities of 100,000 year, 41,000 year, 23,000 year and 19,000 year periods.

Because we must play a game of 'heads the anthropogenic global warming believer wins; tails the anthropogenic global warming skeptic loses,' Toggweiler can assure us that CO2 leads temperature AND therefore implicitly, Milankovitch is wrong and CO2 miraculously varies with the same periodicities.

One other issue, which I am not going to push hard concerns the source of today's CO2. This article at least makes one want to take another look at the rational for blaming mankind

"Climate variability in the high-latitude Southern Hemisphere (SH) is dominated by the SH annular mode, a large-scale pattern of variability characterized by fluctuations in the strength of the circumpolar vortex. . . .During the summer-fall season, the trend toward stronger circumpolar flow has contributed substantially to the observed warming over the Antarctic Peninsula and Patagonia and to the cooling over eastern Antarctica and the Antarctic plateau. David W. J. Thompson and Susan Solomon,"Interpretation of Recent Southern Hemisphere Climate Change", Science 296(2002):895

The data they study is for the past 30 years, and they say that the winds have been strengthening over that period--and at the same time Antarctica is warming, and thus, even more CO2 has been sent into the Atmosphere by the upwelling gases caused by the stronger winds.

How much CO2 comes from this source? I don't know. I do know that it weakens one argument that is used to say that no natural phenomenon can explain the isotopic composition of CO2 in the atmosphere.

"Are the Increases in Atmospheric Carbon Dioxide and Other Greenhouse Gases During the Industrial Era Caused by Human Activities?"

" The relative amount of the carbon-13 isotope in the atmosphere has been declining, showing that the added carbon comes from fossil fu¬els and vegetation. Carbon also has a rare radioactive isotope, carbon-14, which is present in atmospheric CO2 but absent in fossil fuels. Prior to atmospheric testing of nuclear weapons, decreases in the relative amount of carbon-14 showed that fossil fuel carbon was being added to the atmosphere." IPCC, 2007: Climate Change 2007: The Physical Science Basis. Contribution of Working Group I to the Fourth Assessment Report of the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change [Solomon, S., D. Qin, M. Manning, Z. Chen, M. Marquis, K.B. Averyt, M.Tignor and H.L. Miller (eds.)]. Cambridge University Press, Cambridge, United Kingdom and New York, NY, USA." http://oceanservice.noaa.gov/education/pd/climate/factsheets/areincrease.pdf

The thing that strikes me is that the deep oceanic water will be depleted in C13 and C14 and then CO2 made from them enters the atmosphere, they will at least in part, mimic the signature of some fossil fuel burning. Burned petroleum and CO2 from the deep water will have the same CO2 signature and water not in the North American Deep Water circulation, water which upwells off Antarctica may have been away from the surface for 10,000 years or more, and thus would also be depleted in C14, which would mimic anthropogenic carbon.

So, what is the 'age' of the deep waters off of Antarctica? Well, Marchitto et al report on a study they did of the age of the C14 in deep ocean waters.

"Ages of up to 5000 years have been reported for glacial deep waters near New Zealand (41), but more northerly sites in the Pacific show little difference from today, at least at depths shallower than ~2 km (40). We infer that the greatest 14C depletion of the glacial deep ocean was probably concentrated in the Southern Ocean region (and deepest Pacific), coincident with the highest densities (22) and lowest d13C values (24)." Thomas M. Marchitto, et al."Marine Radiocarbon Evidence for the Mechanism of Deglacial Atmospheric CO 2 Rise,"Science 316, (2007) p. 1459;

While 5000 years does not represent total depletion of C14 from the deep upwelling waters reported by Anderson et al, it does mean that nearly half of it is gone via decay and so, the CO2 sent into the atmosphere, this deep invading CO2, is old CO2.

Thus this article raises some interesting questions with regard to the global carbon cycle. Because of this article there might have been more CO2 sent into the atmosphere than is currently believed, and correspondingly more removed. How can this be? The current atmospheric CO2 level is nothing but the difference between input and output--even if both input and output are larger, the current CO2 level would be the same.

As one friend always says, the climate is so complex that no one will be able to understand all its feedback loops, which means that man's control of the climate and the ability to predict what will happen is poor.

Thursday, March 26, 2009

A claim was made by a certain person on the Christian forums that we are not having a longer than normal sunspot cycle. Clearly this gentleman doesn't know didly about the sunspot cycle. I have posted the number of sunspots per month, for the past 5 cycles. The x-axis is the number of months since the start of the cycle. You can see from the picture below, that Cycle 23, the one we are currently in, has not ended and that all other previous cycles, have, by this time in their cycle, moved on to the next cycle. Cycle 23 remains in place with cycle 24 refusing to start. Cycle 19 started in 1957 and clearly cycle 23 is a bit long in the tooth.

Now, I did not say that cycle 23 was a record. We have about a year to go in that department to match the longest cycles back in the early 1800s, right after the sunspot cycles had restarted after the Maunder minimum. But, this cycle is now is among the largest with spotless days, days where the sun has no spots.


The above page was updated in January. Since then we have had over 60 more spotless days. and March looks to add even more.

Now, why is the sun not producing sunspots? An Australian astronomer, a solar scientist explains:

We propose that every 55 to 115 yr, the planetary driving
mechanism for the solar cycle experiences a phase
catastrophe that subdues the level of solar activity for
roughly one Hale cycle. The timing of the phase catastrophe
is a quasi-stochastic process that is loosely set by the
temporal phase difference between the length of the Hale
Cycle (?22.3 yr) and the synodic period of Jupiter and Saturn
(19.86 yr). The quasi-stochastic nature in the timing of
the phase catastrophe comes about simply because neither
of the two interacting cycles has a fixed length. The length
of the solar sunspot cycle can vary from 8.7 to 12.7 yr
(Usoskin&Marsula 2003), while the length of the synodic
period of Jupiter and Saturn can vary between 18.9 and
20.6 yr. However, on average, we expect the phase catastrophes
to reoccur roughly every 90 yr (? one Gleisberg
cycle).” I. R. G. WilsonA,, B. D. Carter, and I. A. Waite, “Does a Spin–Orbit Coupling Between the Sun and the Jovian
Planets Govern the Solar Cycle?,”
Publications of the Astronomical Society of Australia, 2008, 25, 85–93, p. 92

And he says that this hiatus will last for a while. Time will tell

“Interestingly, the Sun’s solar cycle has been in the phase
locked mode for the last 105 yr (1900–2005) and the
indications are that it is about to suffer another phase catastrophe
in the later part of cycle 24 (i.e. the solar cycle
that will peak in ?2011–2012). If this is the case, then
we should expect that in the two decades following the
phase catastrophe, the world’s mean temperature should
be noticeably cooler i.e. the cooling should start in the late
2010s. This claim is based on the precedent that there were
noticeable decreases in the world’s mean temperature following
the last two phase catastrophes. The cool period
know as the Dalton Minimum (1800–1820) that followed
the phase catastrophe in the early 1790s and a similar cool
period called the Victorian Minimum (1880–1900) that
followed the phase catastrophe in the late 1870s.”
I. R. G. WilsonA,, B. D. Carter, and I. A. Waite, “Does a Spin–Orbit Coupling Between the Sun and the Jovian
Planets Govern the Solar Cycle?,” Publications of the Astronomical Society of Australia, 2008, 25, 85–93, p. 93

8000 BC: Another Antarctic Ice Shelf collaped

We are reading all this doom and gloom about the collapse of the Antarctic Ice shelves, as if this is unprecedented in human's time on earth. It isn't.

The George VI ice shelf lies at 70 degrees south. As of today, this shelf is not showing signs of collapse due to global warming. The George VI shelf is 100 to 500 meters thick. It's location is shown on the picture below.

The author's point out

"Some studies in the northern Antarctic Peninsula suggest iceshelf
collapse in the mid-Holocene (Pudsey and Evans, 2001). To date, ice shelves farther south (south of 708S) have shown no catastrophic breakup, although some ice-shelf fronts are in retreat. This paper presents the first evidence of an early Holocene collapse of one of these more southern ice shelves."
M. J. Bentley, “Early Holocene Retreat of the George VI Ice Shelf, Antarctic Peninsula,” Geology, 33(2005):173-176, p. 173

They further note the time of its disappearance.

"“Our core chronology shows that the George VI Ice Shelf disappeared in the early Holocene, with the onset of collapse by 8170 14C yr B.P. (9595 cal. yr B.P.) and complete reformation by 7300 14C yr B.P. (7945 cal. yr B.P.). This coincides with deglaciation in many Antarctic coastal areas (Ingo´lfsson et al., 1998), and follows deglaciation of the western Antarctic Peninsula shelf (Anderson, 1999). The record of the George VI Ice Shelf collapse immediately postdates ice-core evidence of a widespread, sustained early Holocene climatic optimum (Masson et al., 2000; Masson-Delmotte et al., 2004) ca. 11–9.5 ka (Fig. 4). The collapse is also coincident with the influx of Circumpolar Deep Water onto the Antarctic Peninsula continental shelf, as demonstrated in the Palmer Deep marine record (Domack et al., 2001; Fig. 4).” M. J. Bentley, “Early Holocene Retreat of the George VI Ice Shelf, Antarctic Peninsula,” Geology, 33(2005):173-176, p.175

Now, given the 'consensus' that the earth's present temperature is 'unprecedented' what do these scientists conclude?

“Thus, both atmospheric and oceanographic warming occurred immediately prior to, and coincident with, ice-shelf collapse. Finally, the timing of the iceshelf collapse predates collapse at more northern Antarctic Peninsula sites (Pudsey and Evans, 2001), that has been linked to a mid-Holocene warm period (Jones et al., 2000; Hodgson et al., 2004). We have three main conclusions: (1) High-resolution multiproxy sediment records show that the George VI Ice Shelf collapsed in the early Holocene. (2) The timing of collapse is consistent with both iceand marine sediment–core evidence of early Holocene warmth. (3) The collapse of a currently extant ice shelf shows that early Holocene natural ocean-atmosphere variability in the Antarctic Peninsula was greater than the recent, potentially anthropogenically influenced changes.
M. J. Bentley, “Early Holocene Retreat of the George VI Ice Shelf, Antarctic Peninsula,” Geology, 33(2005):173-176, p.176

My bolding. The reality is that in spite of what the hysteriacs say, today's warming is not as warm as it was 8000 years ago. The science of geology shows it yet they ignore it.

Do climatologists beleive in backwards causation?

One of the most fascinating issues to me is that we are constantly told that CO2 will lead to a temperature increase. Physics would predict that. Of that there is no doubt. But, what is utterly fascinating is that the geologic record clearly shows that CO2 lags temperature by many years. According to geologic records, be it ice cores or sediments, when the temperature goes up (which happens first) CO2's rise comes later. Then when the temperature goes down (which happens first) CO2's fall comes later.

This of course is backwards to what the young-earth climatologists tell us is the causation. They say, CO2 rise --> Temperature rise; CO2 fall--> temperature falls. Geology says Temperature Rise--> CO2 rise; Temperature fall--> CO2 falls.

Below are charts from two papers on this issue. The first is from the Little Ice Age when the temperature fell dramatically in the 1600s. Note that the CO2 change comes 50 years after the temperature change--something else (the sun) caused the temperature change.

“The perturbations of climate and CO2 during the LIA period from 1500 to 1750 are strongly correlated, with climate leading CO2 by ~50 years (11). These records indicate a tight relation between CO2 and cliimate, with a gradient of 40 ppmv/K. However, given the discrepancies between different temperature reconstructions, and the uncertainties associated with interpreting Northern Hemisphere climate proxies in terms of global mean temperature, we estimate a gradient of 20 to 60 ppmv of CO2 per kelvin of global warming (see the figure, middle panel).”
“This is a conservative estimate based on the assumption that human CO2 emissions from land-use change (12) were not significant in the LIA, which seems consistent with the strong lead-lag relationship between climate and CO2 during this period.”
Peter Cox and Chris Jones, “Illuminating the Modern Dance of Climate and CO2,” Science, 321(2008), p. 1643

And even on longer scales CO2 lags temperature--during the glacial age changes

Yes, New Scientist, on May 17, 2007 tried to explain this away, even their data shows that temperature fall precedes CO2 fall, and in most cases CO2 rise follows most temperature rises.

Global warming hysteriacs can't explain this backwards causation and their continual claims that the emperor has clothing, doesn't mean the emperor has clothing.

Tuesday, March 24, 2009

5000 B. C.: No Norwegian Glaciers

Between 8000 and 5000 years B.P (before present), there were no glaciers in mid-Norway, a place that has glaciers today. I know that comes as a shock to most as we are told over an over that the present glacial melting is 'unprecedented', as is everything that the young-earth climatologists say. But that is said because they dare not look at the Holocene Climatic optimum. After 8000 B. C. until 6400, there is no evidence for glaciers in mid-Norway. Then for about 500 years, there were glaciers, which then melted again.

"With the exception of the 6400-5900 yr B. P. sedimentation event at Gjuvvatnet, evidence for glaciers in the early Holocene is absent." Asynchronous Neoglaciation and Holocene Climatic Change Reconstructed from Norwegian Glaciolacustrine Sedimentary Sequences,” Geology, 20(1992):992

So, how long is the 'early Holocene' From 5900 to 4900 B.P., once again there were no glaciers in this part of Norway. The picture below shows when the glaciers existed. It is modified from the above article.

We are constantly told by the global warming hysteriacs that the melting of the glaciers is unprecedented. Such AGW hysteriacs are people without a history. They don't seem to know earth history and act like nothing important happened climatologically during historical times prior to the invention of the sacred thermometer, that grand oracle through which they think they see all future events clearly. The problem is that geology teaches us something entirely different from what they see. The early Holocene had 2 meters high sea levels, was warmer, a 500 m thick Antarctic shelf had collapsed and was 80 km south of its present location and Norway's mid-section had no glaciers(see the previous 2 day's posts for info on these items).

Unprecedented is a word they use that says more about the AGW fanatics than it does about science.

Monday, March 23, 2009

The Antarctic Ice Shelf collapsed 5000 years ago

In my March 19th post, which is long, I pointed out that the world was much warmer than it is now between aroune 8000-5000 years ago. I also pointed out that the seas were higher by 2 meters (6.6 feet). Clearly some of the world's ice had melted back then and caused the seas to rise. Global warming hysteriacs never look back to any geologic event prior to the invention of the sacred thermometer. I have labeled the climatologists who don't look back before the invention of the thermometer as young-earth climatologists. Nothing of importance to them happened prior to about 200 years ago. Because they don't look back, the climatologists neither know of, nor tell you about this previous sea-level and temperature rise during historical times. They all say sea level and temperature rise is unprecedented. It isn't of course.

And neither is the collapse of the Antarctic ice shelves. Five thousand years ago, the 479 meter thick Amery Ice shelf was at least 80 km south of its present position. That means it had melted that much! Consider this:

The stability of floating ice shelves is an important indicator of ocean circulation and ice-shelf mass balance. A sub–ice-shelf sediment core collected during the Austral summer of 2000–2001 from site AM02 (69842.89S, 72838.49E) on the Amery Ice Shelf, East Antarctica, contains a full and continuous record of glacial retreat. The AM02 core site is ;80 km south of the floating ice shelf edge and contains a 0.5-m-thick Holocene surface layer of siliceous mud and diatom ooze of marine origin. Core data are supportive of sub– ice-shelf circulation models that predict the landward flow of oceanic water, and prove that the landward transport of hemipelagic sediments occurs beneath floating ice shelves over distances of at least ~80 km. An increase in sea-ice–associated diatom deposition in the upper part of the Holocene suggests that a major retreat of the Amery Ice Shelf to at least 80 km landward of its present location may have occurred during the mid-Holocene climatic optimum." Mark A. Hemer and Peter T. Harris, " Sediment core from beneath the Amery Ice Shelf, East Antarctica,"Geology; February 2003; v. 31; no. 2; p. 127–130, p. 127

The fact that 5000 years ago the ice shelf was melted by 80 km, about 50 miles, shows that the current supposed melting of the Antarctic ice shelves is certainly not an unprecedented event. Almost nothing these young-earth climatologists say is true. For more information on the Holocene Climate Optimum see the post just below this one.

Saturday, March 21, 2009

Don't the Polar Bears know when to die?

Now that I have your attention, this post is about sea level rise and its effect on the bears. If you read nothing else from this post, look at Fielding et al's chart of sea level over the past 10,000 years. That will be the guts of the post. There will be sarcasm in this, as I really have no desire for the bears to go extinct. I have had a few bear friends in my time and harbor them no ill. But I do find it utterly ridiculous what is being said about the bears in the literature and I hope that my sarcasm will be properly interpreted.

My blog is called the migrant mind because I wander all over the intellectual landscape--always have. I also make connections between topics that others don't see or don't like. Today, I have discovered an amazing connection. Climatologists are the true young-earth creationists. I have spent much of the past 15 years arguing against young-earth creationism with their view that all was created within the past 6,000 years. Nothing at all happened prior to 6000 years ago.

Well, young-earth creationists are old earthers compared to the climatologists who believe that nothing of significance climatologically speaking happened prior to 200 years ago with the invention of the thermometer. It is truly an interesting religion these climatologists have. They come out of their caves with their gloomy prognostications of thermal doom, looking solely at their mercury filled tubes, spiraled wire thermal expansion-based thermometers and with a finger in the air, pronounce our future deaths--as if we didn't all already know we are going to die. They also pronounce the death of more species, as if every paleonlogist didn't know that the average life span of a mammalian species was 3 million years. (Stanley 1983). All are doomed to die.

So, what is it about polar bears and the melting ice that worries people today? I think it is because GW advocates are really young-earthers for whom nothing of importance happened before 200 years ago. My point in all this argument is that the world has already experienced everything that the global warming hysteriacs fear. The earth has already seen high CO2 levels and high sea levels, but it all happened prior to the creation of the thermometer--the sacred object of the climatologists. And, of course nothing existed BT (Before Thermometer).

I was, on another forum, debating with a gentleman about the fate of the poor polar bears. He contended that the melting of the ice would bring about their demise. I pointed out that the amount of ice on earth has gone up and down several times, with sea levels doing the opposite dance. I pointed to several times in history when the ice was much less and the seas higher. I pointed him to the city I lived in for a year and a half, Beijing, China. Wei, of Scripps Institute wrote:

"Examination of published data reveals that a marine bed in Beijing can be dated as 80 ka or younger on the basis of abundant nannofossils. This age is 30 times younger than that published previously on the basis of magnetostratigraphic and biostratigraphic interpretations. The abundant nannofossils and foraminifers suggest that Beijing was inundated by the sea within the past 80 k.y. The very recent nature of this marine transgression has profound societal and geological implications and thus calls for new studies and thorough evaluation of all relevant data sets." (Wei, 2002)

80 ka, for those who might not know is geo-speak for 80,000 years before themometer (BT)

There is also a 136,000 year old raised beach on Barbados at +7.4 meters (Johnson,1998) . But my favorite high sea level is the Suffolk strandlline spoken of by Flint.

"The Suffolk strandline, at 20-30 ft altitude, extends discontinuously from New Jersey to the eastern Gulf coast, with a mapped extent, including gaps, of at least 800 mi. The plain extednig eastward from it is covered with sediments (Cap May formation, Pamilico formation) containing a marine fauna recording temperatures slightly higher than those of today. At four localities these sediments overlie a zone of rooted tree stumps (cypress and cedar), showing that the Suffolk sea was preceded by a sealevel lower than the Suffolk and possibly lower than that of today. Radiocarbon dates on wood from two of these localities imply that the pre-Suffolk low sealevel antedates the last major glacial maximum." (Flint, 1957, p. 266-267)

I believe that the Suffolk strandline is now called the Pamlico. It matches strandlines on other continents which are also at 25 feet elevation.

"Shorelines at 360, 70, and 25 ft above sea level in the Coastal Plain of the United States agree perfectly with levels in Victoria, Australia. Intermediate levels in Australia are somewhat lower than in America, possibly indicating that they are levels on the terraces rather than at the shorelines. This correlation shows that both the Coastal Plain and Victoria have been stable areas ever since early Pleistocene time; neither has changed level with respect to the other. It also corroborates my opinion that the higher terraces in the Coastal plain are Quaternary for in both regions the terraces transgress Pliocene and older deposits. Table 1 compares my interpretation which differs fundamentally with that of Ward, Ross, and Colquhoun." (Cooke, 1971, p. 3231)

I also pointed out to my debate opponent that 125,000 years ago BT, during the MIS5e oxygen isotope stage, Greenland was half melted and held forests of spruce.

“de Vernal and Hillaire-Marcel analyzed a marine sediment core from the Ocean Drilling Program (ODP) site 646, raised from a depth of 3460 m. At this site, sediment has been deposited continuously since at least MIS 17 (7). The core contains a rich terrestrial pollen record, because the core is located on the south Greenland continental rise, which captures runoff from the adjacent land mass. Taxa currently extant in southern Greenland are well represented, including spores from mosses and club mosses and pollen from shrub birch and alder. During inter-glacials, the record is punctuated by marked increases in total pollen concentrations and additional contributions from boreal coniferous trees, namely spruce and pine, neither of which survives in Greenland today. The pollen assemblages differ tremendously between inter-glacials, with direct implications for the past development of ecosystems in south Greenland. For example, spruce pollen concentrations were three times as high during MIS 13 and 5e, and more than 20 times as high during MIS 11, as during the Holocene. On the other hand, MIS 9 and 7, have unspectacular conifer pollen signatures similar to those in the Holocene.”

“How can we be sure that spruce grew in southern Greenland during MIS 13, 11, and 5e, and thus that the ice sheet was sufficiently reduced to allow for regional development of boreal forests? The spruce pollen in these interglacial sediments cannot be attributed to enhanced long-distance transport from North America or Europe. Because spruce pollen is far less easily dispersed than pine pollen, long-distance transport would lead to reduced spruce/pine ratios. Instead, increased spruce/ pine ratios are found in each warm episode recorded in the core. The exquisite preservation of the spruce grains, and their morphological affinities to Norway spruce, lend further credence to local sources.”

“There is independent evidence that spruce lived in Greenland in the mid-Pleistocene, in a region now covered by more than 2 km of ice. In 2007, Willerslev et al. (8) amplified DNA from sediment-rich ice at the base of the Dye 3 ice core, showing not only the presence of spruce but also of pine and yew, consistent with an ancient boreal forest. They could not assign an unambiguous date to the sediments entombing these genetic fossils, but their estimate of between 450,000 and 800,000 years is close enough to MIS 11 to be more than coincidental.”
(Steig and Wolfe, 2008, p. 1595)

Interestingly, at this time, 125,000 years ago, when spruce forests populated now ice ridden Greenland, Bermuda was experiencing a high sea level and Stephen Jay Gould was one of the authors on that paper. Here is their chart. The MIS5e time is about 125,000 years ago. Note the sea level at Bermuda (and there wasn't a single car in sight at that time)

Doesn't that all fit together just too nicely? Warmer weather in Greenland melts the ice producing higher sea levels which Land, Mackenzie and Gould observe in Bermuda, and the stupid polar bears don't realize that they should have died at that time.

Of course, such data didn't impress my friendly debate opponent. He pointed out that the polar bear didn't evolve until long after this. Indeed, this gentleman said that the modern polar bear didn't get his teeth until within the past 10,000 years.

" Hecht (in Chaline, 1983) describes polar bear evolution: the first "polar bear", Ursus maritimus tyrannus, was essentially a brown bear subspecies, with brown bear dimensions and brown bear teeth. Over the next 20,000 years, body size reduced and the skull elongated. As late as 10,000 years ago, polar bears still had a high frequency of brown-bear-type molars. Only recently have they developed polar-bear-type teeth" http://www.geol.umd.edu/~candela/pbevol.html

So, my adversary countered that all those past rises and falls of sea level were irrelevant to the issue of the survival of the MODERN polar bear. They would die, he said because now they were specialized eaters and couldn't adapt. (which always seems odd to me as that gentleman was an evolutionist and the bear got his teeth by adaptation). I was stumped. Like many advocates of an ideology, my conversant was finding excuses not to deal with past rises in sea level. One can't easily argue against such an approach.

No one can doubt that when the world's ocean levels rise because of global warming, there will be less ice on the earth. No one seems to care that the future conditions are the same as the past conditions and for some reason the same conditions in the future will kill the bears when those conditions in the past didn't. Such logic!

GW advocates argue for the imminent demise of the polar bear, even if they are not knowledgeable in biology or ecology. There are lots of examples of it. James Hansen, professional Cassandra extraordinaire, has proclaimed it so it must be true.

"Arctic polar bears are also feeling the pressure of melting sea ice. Polar bears hunt seals on the sea ice and fast in the summer, when the ice retreats from shore. As ice is receding earlier, populations of bears in Canada have declined about 20%, with the weight of females and the number of surviving cubs decreasing a similar amount." James E. Hansen," Testimony of James E. Hansen, " Dangerous Human-Made Interference with Climate " here

Yet, he is a climatologist, not a biologist. But that doesn't matter. When a climatologist consults his sacred object, the thermometer, all things become clear. Even university reports by students, talk about the plight of the poor polar bear.

" *Polar Bears are drowning because they are forced to swim longer distanceslonger distances
*Food will become scarce
*Cubs have less of a chance to make it through their first year through year."


And then the other camel-hair attired people start singing the same song.
Polar Bears Are In Serious Trouble
By EarthTalk
Mar 14, 2009 - 3:57:39 PM

"(HealthNewsDigest.com) - There is no doubt that polar bears are in serious trouble. Already on the ropes due to other human threats, their numbers are falling faster than ever as a result of retreating ice due to global warming. The nonprofit International Union for the Conservation of Nature, which added the polar bear to its “Red List” of the world’s most imperiled wildlife back in 2006, predicts a 30 percent decline in population for the great white rulers of the Arctic within three generations (about 45 years)."

Yes, Virginia, the sky is falling for the poor polar bear. Consensus sheeple-think says so.

So, why am I so sarcastic about their demise? Because it is all a bunch of hooey group think. I think the following quotation captures it perfectly, especially in response to James E. Hansen's proclamations. Just exchange Dr. Hansen for Mr. Yare.

‘Mr Yare...seems to consider us all in a very deplorable state of ignorance. Indeed, it must be confessed, the remarks this gentleman makes...are by no means flattering. May we not fairly ask—what is the amount of all the real information this gentleman has been so kind as to give us in the...lengthy communications which he has thought proper to push into the world? Do not these productions remind one of the mountain in labour? May it not, in truth, be said of them—there is great cry and little wool? For my own part, I protest I felt sadly disappointed on perusing what I cannot help designating a tissue of irrelevant, profitless twaddle. In saying this, I mean no offence to Mr Yare...” (Castley, 1830, p. 665-675)

Here is what is being proposed by the global warming hysteriacs. The earth is warming. The polar bear's ice is melting causing the sea level to rise and making the poor polar bear swim longer and further, starving them into a death spiral. And all of this is due to the evils of mankind, the oil and coal companies.

So, if this is all true, why didn't the polar bears know that it was time for them to die when 5000 years BT, the oceans were as much as 7 feet higher than they are today? Global warming hysteriacs, of course know of no such thing because they don't read geology any more than do the young-earth creationists and nothing of importance happened in the BT world anyway.

All the boogey men who exist beneath the beds of global warming hysteriacs have already visited our planet. Today our planet has 385 ppm of CO2 in its atmosphere. But 55 million years ago, it had 1000 ppm. 150 million years ago, the atmosphere had 2800 ppm, almost 6 times more CO2 than we have today. (Of course, global warming hysteriacs don't know this). But, 300 million years ago, the atmosphere was about 300 ppm, about what we have today. Then 500 million years ago, the atmosphere had 8000 ppm. The earth has previously been where global warming hysteriacs fear we are going. And, the world didn't die. Global warming hysteriacs fear to go where we have already been.

Well, of course, the hysteriacs will say that CO2 wasn't that high since the polar bear evolved, and they would be correct. But they would be incorrect to conclude that warming since the bears evolved didn't produce sea levels higher than today. Indeed, 5000 years ago, er, 5000 years BT in that primitive, mysterious world before the thermometer, when some people were called Sumerians, the seas were considerably higher. Geology teaches us that. Climatologists, worshiping their thermometers, don't pay any more attention to events prior to 200 years ago than the young-earth creationists pay attention to events more than 6000 years ago. They don't know that we have had higher seas during historical times. Because of this, their knees quake and bowels get loose just thinking of sea level rise. "Oh my gosh," they say, "the sea is going to rise and drown us all, including those poor polar bears, these events, are totally unprecedented!" and of course, the climatologists clamber back into their dark caves to consult with the sacred thermometers never looking or knowing about anything beyond 200 years ago. Nothing, as I said, happened of importance in the world before the thermometer.

So, what are we to think of the fact that 7000 years ago the seas were 2 meters higher then than now? Two meters is almost 7 feet higher! Oh, I know, I haven't shown you the data yet. For the hysteriacs (and young-earth creationists) who don't read geological literature, the Holocene is the post-glacial times and is from 10,000 years ago to the present. Below is a chart of the Holocene sea level chart. What I want you to note is that the sea level on this chart was 2 meters higher than at present from about 5,500 to 3,000 years ago.

Fielding discusses this high sea level event. He says

"The highstand persisted from 5.5 to about 3 kyr BP, following which there was a slight (1–2 m) sea-level drop to the present level, achieved at about 2.5 kyr BP." (Fielding et al, , p. 420)

Oh my, the hysteriacs never tell us this.The sea level has FALLEN OVER THE PAST 3,000 years????? They never tell us that the sea levels were actually higher 5000 years ago, and those pesky polar bears didn't die when they were supposed to. Why didn't those poor pesky polar bears know they were supposed to die when there was less ice and higher sea levels? Bad bears! Where's my rolled newspaper (bops them on the nose) bad bears! Naughty, naughty, naughty, bears. Didn't the climatologists pronounce that if the seas rose polar bears would die? If they were proper bears they would have done the polite thing and kicked off in accord with the pronouncements of the sacred thermometer and then we wouldn't have to worry about them dying off today in the AT world (AT=After Thermometer). Such rudeness is something one comes to expect of bears, polar or not. Not that I am particularly hateful of bears, as I said, I have a few friends who are bears and if you just get used to their flatulence, they really aren't much of a problem and they enjoy watching American Idol.

Well, besides this chart, is there any real data that shows that the seas were higher during the past 5,000 years? Of course, science works on having data BEFORE they draw charts. Hysteriacs, however, like to make predictions about the future,without looking at the previous data--that is how global warming works. Their predictions also work without any real observational data because, in my years alive on this earth, I have found it rather difficult to get observational evidence on events that haven't happened yet. While it is hard to re-measure the temperature in Dallas, Texas in 1950, it is impossible in 2009 to measure the temperature in Dallas, Texas in 2050. Thus, the predictions are conveniently lacking any observational support.

Ok, so let's look at the observational data beyond Australia, which records past not future events.. Let's start in my state.

" Second, a series of ridges along the Copano Bay margin farther south consist of shelly mud and fine sand with subtidal foram assemblages, occur at elevations of 1.95 m above the modern intertidal zone, and have produced calibrated radiocarbon ages on foram tests of ca. 6.8 to 4.8 ka. These ridges are interpreted to represent relict shallow subtidal to intertidal spits that provide minimum sea-level positions for the middle Holocene, and are now emergent because of later sea-level fall
(Blum et al, 2001, p. 581)

My boldings.

There were no automobiles, no coal fired electrical generation plants, and no oil industry to cause global warming, yet the beaches were higher. Surely this couldn't be due to, gasp, natural causes, could it??

Blum et al continue:

"It is clear that interpretation of a middle Holocene highstand along the Texas Coast runs counter to prevailing views and to some of the most recent studies in this same area. Yet, middle Holocene highstands of similar age and magnitude have been interpreted for low-latitude coasts of west Africa, eastern South America, Australia, and for many Pacific Islands (see the compilation by Pirazzoli 1991), whereas more recent studies in Hawaii (Fletcher and Jones 1996) and Australia (Beaman et al. 1994) continue to document these highstand events. These international sites are important for purposes of comparison because they, like the western Gulf of Mexico coast, are far removed from isostatic effects associated with deglaciation."
(Blum et al, 2001, p. 586)
My boldings

What? There is evidence for a 2 m higher sea level (7 foot higher) on other continents? That is what this geologist says on the pages of a science journal, something global warming hysteriacs think global warming denier's don't read. (the term global warming denier actually denigrates the term holocaust denier) But, here is more evidence.

"The post-glacial sealevel rose to ca. 3 m above the present in the northern Great Barrier Reef ca. 6,000 yrs BP. It oscillated with at least one younger highstand ca. 3,500 yrs BP, and two intermittent lowstands. The present level was reached only a few hundred years ago." (Meischner, 1996).

And more data:

"Swales in the Little Point Clear beach-ridge set are now flooded, and beach ridges in this set rise 1–2 m above modern sea level or roughly 6 m above proposed sea level 5,400 cal. yr BP (Tornqvist et al. 2002). Younger beach ridges in the Edith Hammock set are higher and often 5 m above modern sea level or roughly 6 m above proposed sea level (21 m) 2,500 cal. yr BP (Tornqvist et al. 2002)." (Rodriquez and Meyer, 2006, p. 267)

Friedman notes of the Gulf of Aqaba in the Middle East.

“For the middle Holocene centuries between 7.07 ± 0.38 and 2.62 ± 0.23 14C ka, an interval of approximately 4500 yr, a decrease of wide ranging sea-surface temperature is indicated (Figure 3). The interval 6–5 ka corresponds to the Flandrian or Atlantic period, when climate in many places was warmer and more humid, and sea levels in most oceans was +2m (+6.6 ft). ...Oxygen isotopes confirm that the climate in Britain 5000 yr ago was about 2[deg] C warmer than the area today (Evans et al., 2001). This conclusion contradicts the general impression gained from reading news reports, which project a warming trend for the recent past (last 100 yr)." (Friedman,, 2006, p. 979-980)

Oh my gosh, the temperature has COOLED since 5000 years ago. This is consistent with the Deuterium Temperature record of the Vostok core. Above the zero line is hotter than today. Below is cooler. Note that after the rise in global temperature out of the last glaciation about 12,000 years ago, the deuterium temperature record says that the earth was hotter than at the age of the last sample from the core which dates to 1933 (.017 kyr BP where 0 BP = 1950).

Note again the nice fit. While the sea levels were 2 m higher than at present, the deuterium curve shows a general period of hotter weather, from 9900 years BP to about 3800 years BP. And that matches most of the time that the sea levels were higher as shown in the sea level chart above. Hysteriacs never show the Vostok data on this scale because it can't be used to scare people with the coming doom predicted by the sacred thermometer.

Some will complain that the Vostok core ends before the massive influx of CO2 to the atmosphere after 1940. Not so fast. A Russian core shows that we are still cooler than in 1940--all the charts on this graph show that. But, the sacred thermometer, which is ritually placed next to air conditioners or on parking lots with great regularity, does not show this. I would believe the O18 and Deuterium before I would believe the sacred thermometer next to the air conditioner, or in a parking lot (see here)

Geology disputes what the young-earthers and the climatologists say. The sea level was also higher 5000 years ago. The earth was warmer 5000 years ago. Both the temperature and the sea level has fallen over the past 5000 years. Geology even disputes the supposed climate consensus because we have a very famous geologist, Friedman, expressing doubts about global warming on the pages of a scientific journal.

The seas were higher, the ice was less, and the polar bears didn't know they were supposed to die. Die bear die! You are already supposed to be dead. Why don't you know it? Why don't you DO it?

If the climatologists are right, all you polar bears will have another opportunity to behave like a good polar bear and die according to the role scripted for you by the sacred thermometer. This will happen when the earth gets as warm as it was 5000 years ago, and when the seas rise 2 meters as they did 5000 years ago. In other words you will have your opportunity when conditions become as they were in 5000 BT when you failed to do the right thing the first time and die, as the sacred thermometer has declared. Amen.


Michael Blum, et al, “Middle Holocene Sea-Level rise and Highstand at +2 m, Central Texas Coast, “JOURNAL OF SEDIMENTARY RESEARCH, VOL. 71, NO. 4, JULY, 2001, P. 581–588

J. Castley, 1830. “On the Habits and Vices of Horses.” The Veterinarian, 3 1830):665-675.

C. Wythe Cooke, “American Emerged Shourlines compared with Levels of Australian Marine Terraces,” Geological Society of America Bulletin, V 82(1971) P 3231-3234, p. 3231


Richard Foster Flint, Glacial and Pleistocene geology, (New York: John Wiley and Sons, 1957) p. 266-267

Gerald M. Friedman, “Climatic significance of Holocene beachrock sites along shorelines of the Red Sea: Reply,” AAPG Bulletin, Jun 2006; 90: 975 – 982, p 979-980

R. G. Johnson 1998, "Last interglacial sealevel of +7.4 m at 136,000 yr BP on Barbados was coeval with the Vostok temperature maximum (in , Anonymous,)"American Geophysical Union, United States, Washington, DC

Dieter Meischner " Sealevel oscillations and growth history of the Great Barrier Reef."-- Göttinger Arb. Geol. Paläont., Sb 2: 71-76, 1 tab., 4 fig., Göttingen 1996.


Steven M. Stanley, "Evolution of Life: Evidence for a New Pattern", Great Ideas Today, 1983, (Chicago: Encyclopaedia Britannica, 1983), p. 11

Eric J. Steig ad Alexander P. Wolfe, “Sprucing Up Greenland,” Science, 320(2008), p. 1595

Wuchang Wei, "Beijing inundated by the sea within the past 80 k.y.: Nannofossil evidence," Geology; April 2002; v. 30; no. 4; p. 379-381

Friday, March 20, 2009

Noise in the System-Guest post with addendum

There has been some discussion that in the commentary about the ability of climatologists to fix the noise in the raw data which I showed in my posts of March 15 (here )and March 19, 2009 ( here ). The incredible variability of the data, at least as far as this scientist is concerned, makes it impossible to dig signal out of the incredible level of noise.

A good friend, counselor, and fellow DNA counter of mine saw the comments and sent me this note with kind permission to use it as I saw fit. His note addresses a criticism in the comments on the March 15th post.

This intro is partly taken from a bio on one of his papers. Gordon Simons is a professor emeritus of statistics at the University of North Carolina. He has twice served as the Chairman of the Department of Statistics. He earned his PhD in statistics at the University of Minnesota in 1966. He has published numerous papers concerned with probability and statistics, mostly of a theoretical nature.

{start of G. Simons' note}
I would like to submit an informal rebuttal-to-the-rebuttal comment,
relating to Glenn's March 15 posting "The Raw Truth: The Actual
Temperature readings." Here is the rebuttal:

{inserted by GRM -Queen-of-fractal-beauty wrote:}
"Knowing how to throw out the noise so that you are left with meaningful information is a science unto itself. Raw meteorlogical data is nearly impossible to read. That's why all the charts and graphs put out by the community show corrected or smoothed data. They aren't "hiding" the truth. They're removing the noise so that we can see the truth."{GRM -end of queen's quotation}

It seems to me that this encapsulates the case for the dismissal of Glenn's argument in this posting. If what the rebutter says here is correct, then Glenn's position is devastated. No doubt, the rebutter felt that he has served up a coup de grace. Glenn and I were served the same argument by one of my statistical colleagues at UNC. So, I think it is important to address this argument head on.

The real problem with this kind of rebuttal traces to the word "noise," and, more importantly, to how it is modelled. The "science onto itself" that the rebutter refers to is a science BASED ON MODELLING. If the "noise" is merely that resulting from randomness and nothing more, then the rebutter's conclusion seems valid to this statistician. BUT, if this "noise" contains significant components of bias, then one will unwittingly draw a flawed conclusion from the smoothing process. Why? Because the usual statistical tools of averaging and smoothing over large aggregates of data will not, indeed can not, defang bias in the data, rendering it as "of no concern."

A very simple example is in order to clarify my point: imaging that the length of an object is measured 1 million times with a ruler, with each measurement recorded to several decimal points of accuracy, and an average is computed. One will come up with an explicit length estimate with a very small standard error. However, suppose the ruler is flawed and that all of its measurements are too large by 1 cm. This cm is what statisticians call bias. If one knows the precise size of the bias, then no harm is done, because it can be subtracted from all of the recorded measurements before the averaging is performed. Or it can be subtracted from the average itself, to the same effect. But if one only knows that a significant bias is present without knowing its size, then the statistician is helpless. There is no tool of statistical science that can rescue the situation.

So must a realistic model of historical temperature data include a bias component? Absolutely! Stripped of a lot of verbiage, this is the content of Glenn's argument in this posting. And, unfortunately, no one really know how large the various biases in the temperature data are. Faced with this intractable situation, it is tempting to ignore the issue of bias -- acting, in effect, as if it does not exist. But then, one is fooling oneself when one declares, as the rebutter does: "They're removing the noise so that we can see the truth." This simply is not "truth."

Glenn, you can use these comments in any way you wish.
{grm-end of Gordon's comments}

Addendum: I want to make a further comment on the issue above, which in part involves signal to noise. I want it clear that the responsibility for this part of the post is mine, not Gordon's, He has neither seen nor approved this, but this comes from my experience with digital signal processing. Any errors are mine.

When the noise, even if it is random, has too large of an amplitude in relation to the signal you are trying to extract from the data stream (which consists of signal plus noise), the signal is totally lost in the noise and it is impossible to recover--even if one knows that it is Gaussian in distribution.

I took all of California temperature stations and calculated the standard deviation of all the temperatures from the start to 2005. In the raw data, the standard deviation of all temperatures is 6.2 deg F. Then I took the edited data, that which is supposed to clean up the noise. After editing, the standard deviation was 6.3 deg F. Now, If all these temperatures are considered measurements of California's climate, then the change in California climate must be known only to within +/-6.3 degree, a nearly 13 degree spread.

So, if California is said to have warmed up over the past century at the same rate as the globe, then California would have warmed by 1.1 deg F +/- 6.3 degrees.

The 6.3 standard deviation is related to actual temperatures. Some think that moving to an anomaly representation of the data will fix this. The interesting thing is that an anomaly is merely the temperature minus some base line--say the average temperature between 1950 and 1961 or some such. That means you are subtracting a constant. And in any statistical set of numbers, the subtraction of a constant doesn't change the standard deviation.

So, if the anomaly shows a warming of 1.1 deg, the standard deviation (SD) will still be 6.3.

And that then brings into play another statistical point of interest, the CV, the coefficient of variation. This is the standard deviation divided by the mean * 100. That means that the Coefficient of variation for the anomaly would be 6.3/1.1 * 100 = 572.The interesting thing about the CV is that if one inverts it, one gets the signal to noise ratio, at least that is what time series folk, like EE’s do. That means that the strength of the signal (the 1.1 deg F of warming) is only .0017 the strength of the noise. In this case the noise would overwhelm any signal.

I prepared a few pictures to illustrate the effect of signal to noise. The first picture is of a pyramid with a hole in the middle of it. That is the signal. I made this in Excel.

Here is the pyramid with the signal 9 times bigger than the noise. The pyramid is quite clear

In this next picture, the signal is a little more than twice the amplitude of the noise. You can see that it is getting difficult to see the pyramid

The next picture shows a 1 to 1 signal strength to noise strength. One can barely make out the pyramid.

The third picture illustrates what we know in geophysics. When the signal to noise ratio is 1/2 (the noise is twice the strength of the signal) you can't see the signal.

In the case of a 6.3 standard deviation, the noise is 6 x the level of the signal. That is what it means statistically when one claims that the earth has warmed by 1.1 deg F +/- 6.3 deg.

There is not much point in showing you a picture which would match that applicable from California. It doesn't get better than the picture above, which is 3 times less noisy than the California temperature data.

Now, how would one over come this noise level? Taking numerous measurements and adding them together, properly aligned will bring the pyramid out of the noise at the rate of the square root of N where N is the number of measurements. That is how COBE and WMAP bring tiny signals out of the noise when they look at the microwave background. This is how we in geophysics bring out tiny signals from the sound wave field of the earth, which enable us to clearly picture the subsurface of the earth with sound wave reflections that have amplitudes of about one-angstrom!

But, with temperature, you can't go back to 1957 and re-measure the temperature in Peoria Illinois. You get one measurement of it. That measurement has both signal and noise in it. You don't know what part of that temperature is signal and what is noise. If it has a bias, then, as Gordon says, unless you know the amount of bias, you can't remove it. If it has a statistically random part plus the true temperature, I would still contend that you can't even remove it because you have only one sampling of the temperature on that day in that place. You don't have multiple measurements with which to judge the statistical estimate of the inherent fluctuations in the temperature for that day.

One final issue. This new blog has gotten some comment on other lists.
Rich Blinne wrote of my Trees don't lie Post here

"One data series using one technique in one location
simply doesn't cut it. Good science is not only peer review it's also
repeatability, specifically repeatability using multiple techniques.
You will note the dates of the cited references (2000 and 2002) Quite
a few proxy studies have been done since then. When Mann did his
original hockey stick diagram in 1998 it was novel. Now it's consensus
because it showed up over and over and over using different kinds of
proxies and with greater geographic dispersal"

Rich makes three points: One he claims that I used one data series. That is false. I cited two studies.

Secondly he claims that the one study was at one location. That too shows that he did not do his research and simply engaged in a knee jerk reaction. Below is the picture of the locations for the Espers study. Clearly this is far more than merely one location.

Rich also points everyone to two pictures. I would note that if you look closely at the pictures Rich points us to in that note, only the instrumental temperature records go shooting upwards like rockets. All the other proxies seem to be much like what I posted in my Trees don't Lie post. Apparently Rich hasn't actually looked closely at the data he claims supports his position.

In http://www.pnas.org/content/105/36/13252/F3.large.jpg, the red CRU instrumental record and the grey, HAD record end up at +.9 and +.6 respectively. No other proxy is higher than +.2. Rich seriously needs to actually examine the data he puts forth. Clearly the data he puts forth as supportive of global warming shows merely that the instrumental temperature record is out of line with the proxy record--all of them.

Thirdly he claims that science is only done with peer review. Peer review is merely a way to enforce conformity. Newton, Maxwell, Darwin, Einstein and even Murry Gell-Mann produced important scientific works which were not peer reviewed. Gell-Mann's "The Eight-fold Path" was the most important particle physics paper ever published, yet it never was actually published. It just circulated. At some point I will post a post on the stupidity of peer review and consensus group think of the sheeple scientific community, but one example will suffice. This is what peer review did for a couple of Nobel prize winning papers.

"One example is Rosalyn Yalow, who described how her Nobel-prize-winning paper was received by the journals as follow: 'In 1955 we submitted the paper to Science...the paper was held there for eight months before it was reviewed. It was finally rejected. We submitted it to the Journal of Clinical Investigations, which also rejected it.' Another example is Gunter Blobel, who in a news conference given just after he was awarded the Nobel Prize in Medicine, said that the main problem one encounters in one's research is 'when your grants and papers are rejected because some stupid reviewer rejected them for dogmatic adherence to old ideas." According to the New York Times, these comments 'drew thunderous applause from the hundreds of sympathetic colleagues and younger scientists in the auditorium." Frank Tipler, "Refereed Journals," in William Dembski editor, Uncommon Dissent, (Wilmington Delaware: ISI Books, 2004), p. 118

Another Nobel prize winning work was rejected because --well see below

“Glaser realized that charged particles shooting through a superheated liquid will create a disturbance and trigger the boiling process as they ionize the atoms of the liquid along their paths. For a fraction of a second, a trail of bubbles will form where a particle has passed, and this trail can be photographed. But you must act quickly, or the whole liquid will begin to boil violently. Glaser therefore planned to release the pressure and then immediately restore it. Particles entering the liquid during the critical moments of low pressure would leave trails that could be photographed. The immediate restoration of pressure would mean that the liquid was once again just below boiling point, and the whole process could be repeated.”
In the autumn of 1952, Glaser began experiments to discover if his 'bubble chamber' would work. After thoroughly considering possible liquids, he chose to use diethyl ether. With a small glass vessel holding just 3 centilitres of the liquid, he successfully photographed the tracks of cosmic rays. But he faced an uphill battle in developing his invention. He was refused support by the US Atomic Energy Commission and the National Science Foundation. They said his scheme was too speculative. And his first paper on the subject was rejected on the grounds that it used the word bubblet', which was not in the dictionary. But his luck changed in 1953, when a chance meeting brought the bubble chamber to fruition.
“Glaser's first talk on his idea was to be given on the last day of the American Physical Society's meeting in Washington DC in April 1953. Among the participants at the meeting was Luis Alvarez, a distinguished physicist.”
Frank Close, Michael Marten, and Christine Sutton, The Particle Odyssey,” (Oxford: Oxford University Press, 2002), p. 92-93

I would note that J. Tuzo Wilson's paper, the one which revived continental drift was rejected by the major journals and had to be published in an obscure journal that had less stringent standards. Peer review does too much harm to be taken seriously as an arbitor of truth. In the spirit of this post, peer review seems to be a mechanism to maintain scientific noise and reject scientific truth.

Yes, Rich, let's hear it for consensus peer review, a process that can't even recognize Nobel Prize quality work!