Wednesday, April 22, 2009

Miscellania on a Cooling World

Hagiograph has asked some interesting questions that I will try to answer. He says in a comment in the Mosy across Missouri post that because the temperature data is so bad that it is good that scientists have other means of measuring temperature. In reality they don't have too many other methodologies. Let's compare the satellite data from the University of Alabama, Huntsville with the temperature data.

The red dots are the yearly temperature anomaly. One can see it going up and down pretty much in sync with the satellite data, but it doesn't go down in 2008 and 2008 was a very cold year. I would point out that the thermometer data, the red dots are going up at .016 deg F per year (the regression slope) but the satellite data is only going up at the rate of .004 deg F per year. It seems that the land thermometers are being biased. We will see more of that below.

At this site one can find the weekly temperature anomaly for subdivisions of the US. In 2008, this is what the histogram of the US looked like

You can see that this is weighted towards the cooler temperatures, yet they say that 2008 was warm. It wasn't. There were multi-decadal temperature records broken all over the world in 2008. Do a google on it.

This same NOAA site allows one to get the temperature trend for central Greenland by making a map and then clicking on one of the dots. This is what I get for the temperature trend in central Greenland for 2003 to 2007.

I would like to ask anyone who actually believes in global warming how Greenland is going to melt when the temperature is getting colder? Today I read a Scientific American article where the author thinks that Greenland is going to melt in a few years. How can it do that if it is getting cooler?

Another means of looking at the temperature is via Global Climate at a Glance. It shows that the oceans have been cooling but the land warming since 2003. If there is a single cause of warming, CO2, then the oceans should be warming along with the land, but it isn't.

Note that the oceans are cooling since 2003 and the land warming, and that most of the warming is in northern Russia. I find this strange since the download of the data for Russia doesn't show the warming. I have lots of them fromthis Dutch site The Siberian temperatures all look like this, which show no warming.

Where in the world is that warming they are talking about. What a scam!

The dear reader should ask himself this: if CO2 is the main driver of climate, why does the temperature record at Amundsen-Scott station at the South Pole not show any warming given that the CO2 content of the atmosphere has risen by nearly a third since the 1950s.

Amundsen-Scott seems to be cooling slightly in a world of increasing CO2 and hysteria over the melting of the Antarctic ice.

One final picture to show the relative amount of carbon 14 as one goes deeper into the ocean. At 1000 feet in the North Pacific, the content of carbon 14 is about 60% depleted, meaning that water is over 5700 years old, and probably closer to something like 9000 years old.

In short, the data doesn't support the views of the Holocene deniers. There is nothing to fear.

Tuesday, April 21, 2009

A Mosy across Missouri

A few months back I downloaded the raw records for Missouri--all the stations. I then compared nearby cities across the state to see how repeatable the data is. After all, two nearby cities ought to have annual temperatures which are quite nearly identical. Unfortunately that is not what one finds when one compares nearby cities.

So, lets look at Bowling Green, MO and Warrenton, MO. I subtracted the annual temperature of Warrenton from Bowling Green's. The two towns are 40 miles apart and the annual temperature difference varies from -4 to +5, meaning that the temperature profile between the two towns, measured by the thermometers is highly eratic and varies by a swing of 9 degrees fahrenheit.

These kinds of temperature differences, and reversals of which town is hot should not be happening over a distance of 40 miles. Temperature differences cause thunderstorms--that is what a cold front coming through Missouri causes. But, if we are to believe the temperature record, we are supposed to believe that a 5 deg F temperature difference existed between Bowling Green and Warrenton for an entire yea without any thunderstorms or winds arising from that temperature difference. If you believe that I have some swamp land to sell you.

A few months ago a friend of mine loaded the Missouri temperature data into a program used in the oil industry to evaluate 3D cubes of seismic data. I just got that data today and have begun to analyze it. We loaded the temperature data for each city and contoured each year and made a 3D cube of it over Missouri, over X, Y and year. I thought I would share a couple of time slices (years). They illustrate the problems quite effectively.

The first is from 1972. It shows an isolated cold area in SW Missouri. Doniphan was quite cold, Marble Hills slightly cold. When we contoured the data, it made the cold area you see (blue). Now, if there is no error in the data, we are forced to believe that the coldest part of the state in 1972 was near Doniphan in the SW part of the state. There is only one problem. I drove through there that Christmas on my way to a fraternity convetion. It got colder as we went northeast. Sure that was only during the winter months, but at least on that drive, it doesn't verify the map.

The second map is from 1950. If we are to believe the data, the coldest part of the state is the SE part of the state--Caruthersville. Yes, all that cold air avoided the northern part of Missouri, going either through Kansas, Oklahoma and Arkansas to end up at Caruthersville, or it went through Illinois, Kentucky, Tennessee and Mississippi to end up there. This data makes no sense.

One final thing. I took each pair of nearest cities, marching across the state and captured the maximum positive and maximum negative annual temperature difference between each city and its two nearest neighbors. Remember these temperature differences should be small if the the yearly temperatures vary together, as they ought to over small distances. But, the differences are anything but small.

The data upon which we base our conclusions of global warming is so bad, so noisy and leads to silly conclusions(like SE Missouri being the coldest for the year 1950, that to beleive anything about what the climate is doing from the thermometer data is quite silly.

Sunday, April 19, 2009

The Dogleg in the Keeling Curve

The Keeling curve is the one you always see with the rising level of CO2. It is that curve of doom that marks, according to the global warming hysteriacs, the demise of human civilization and the earth. The line is a wiggly upward trending line of CO2, starting at 315 parts per million in 1958 and rising now to the now horrific level of 385 parts per million. All of this increase in CO2, we are told, is due to human influences which must be stopped.

Well, not so fast. Consider this, partly touched on in a previous bloghere:

"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 has now come to my attention is a Lamont-Doherty press release that goes with that article. It says:

"The faster the ocean turns over, the more deep water rises to the surface to release CO2," said lead author Robert Anderson, a geochemist at Lamont-Doherty. "It's this rate of overturning that regulates CO2 in the atmosphere." In the last 40 years, the winds have shifted south much as they did 17,000 years ago, said Anderson. If they end up venting more CO2 into the air, manmade warming underway now could be intensified." Source

Bolding mine

Now, this is 2009. If the winds changed 40 years ago, shouldn't we see the deep CO2 that this study speaks of? Shouldn't we see some impact on the world's CO2 level?

Yes. So, I took the Keeling Curve and put a straight line fitting the rate of change between 1958 and 1969. That is the blue line on the photo at the top. You can see that in about 1969, CO2 started increasing at a faster rate. That is probably due to the winds shifting south, as they did in the era of deglaciation spoken of by Anderson.

If Anderson et al are right, much of the increase in CO2 is natural, not due to man and his evil life style.

Saturday, April 18, 2009

Jeremy Bentham On the Politics of Global Warming

Jeremy Bentham was a late 18th and early 19th century philosopher. Only those crazy enough to actually read philosophy will run across his name from time to time, or, actually read his book. He founded the utilitarian school of philosophy, whose main contribution to philosophy was the definition of what is moral

" is the greatest happiness of the greatest number that is the measure of right and wrong,..." Jeremy Bentham, On Utilitarianism and Government, (Hertfordshire: Wordsworth Editions, 2001), p. 3

His work on government was a reaction to the publication of Blackstone's Commentary on the Laws of England. He saw Blackstone as I see the global warming advocates. Blackstone denied that the law should be changed--it was 'settled law' to put it in a modern phraseology of some repute. Blackstone, according to Bentham, claimed that the law, the law of government couldn't be improved, it was settled.

"It is not here that he assures us in point of fact, that there never has been an alteration made in the Law that men have not afterwards found reason to regret." Jeremy Bentham, On Utilitarianism and Government, (Hertfordshire: Wordsworth Editions, 2001), p. 19

The footnote in the book quotes Blackstone

"That whenever a standing rule of Law, of which the reason, perhaps, could not be remembered or discerned, has been [wantonly] broke in upon by statutes or new resolutions, the wisdom of the rule hath in the end appeared from the inconveniences that have followed the innovation," William Blackstone, Commentaries on the Laws of England, quoted in Jeremy Bentham, On Utilitarianism and Government, (Hertfordshire: Wordsworth Editions, 2001), p. 19 note

The law is settled. It can't be changed. I hear echoes of what the politically active global warming hysteriacs say. The science is settled, it can't be changed. So, read this next quotation by Bentham in the light of the settled science of global warming and in light of the data in previous posts that show that nothing unusual is going on in the modern climate, save the claim that the science is settled.

"Thus destitute of foundation are the terrors, or pretended terrors, of those who shudder at the idea of a free censure of established institutions. So little does the peace of society require the aid of those lessons which teach men to accept of anything as reason, and to yield the same abject and in discriminating homage to the Laws here, which is paid to the despot elsewhere. The fruits of such tuition are visible enough in the character of that race of men who have always occupied too large a space in the circle of the profession: a passive and enervate race, ready to swallow any" thing, and to acquiesce in any thing: with intellects incapable of distinguishing right from wrong, and with affections alike indifferent to either: insensible, short-sighted, obstinate: lethargic, yet liable to be driven into convulsions by false terrors: deaf to the voice of reason and public utility: obsequious only to the whisper of interest, and to the beck of power." Jeremy Bentham, On Utilitarianism and Government, (Hertfordshire: Wordsworth Editions, 2001), p. 12

Notice that the claim that we can't question is viewed by Bentham as the claim of the despot and the willingness not to doubt is the character of those who will willingly swallow anything.

Thursday, April 16, 2009

Mea Culpas, Dry Holes and the Psychology of Hysteriacs

I make mistakes. (Gasps, quick intakes of breath, and thousands saying "tell me it isn't so", comes from the crowd). I know, it is impossible to believe, although my wife says she learned of this human failing of mine in the months before we got married. Dave, who posts under the memorable and pronounceable moniker of woox0LAVhIhtvEOQoeAC7D7Bm6_eesOdZg-- has accused me of making some math errors (more gasps). One I agree with one I don't. But hey, that's life.

I used to be very good with elementary math, then I took calculus. My error reminds me of Eduard Kummer

“Eduard Kummer, another professional mathematician who lived and taught in Germany in the 1840s, was also bad at elementary arithmetic: "One story has him standing before a blackboard, trying to compute 7 times 9. 'Ah,' Kummer said to his high school class, '7 times 9 is eh, uh, is uh .. : '61' one of his students volunteered. 'Good: said Kummer, and wrote 61 on the board. 'No' said another student, 'it's 69' 'Come come, gentlemen' said Kummer, 'it can't be both. It must be one or the other.' " Paul Hoffman, The Man Who Loved Only Numbers, (London: Fourth Estate, 1998), p. 192-193 cited by Karl Sabbagh, The Riemann Hypothesis, (New York: Farrar, Straus and Giroux, 2002), p. 117

I did not change the post for an important reason. I wanted to examine the psychology of global warming hysteriacs. There are several approaches one can take in life to contradictory data. One can try to discount the messenger, one can try to discount the data, or one can explain why the data doesn't mean what he thinks it does. I want to examine the general reaction to any error made by a skeptic.

I have noticed on the blogs, that some global warming skeptic makes a mistake on some thing or another, and the global warming advocates will hoot holler and act as if that single mistake invalidates everything that the skeptic says. That is discounting the messenger. The logic behind it is as follows. Glenn made a math mistake, therefore everything Glenn says about permafrost being melted 8000 years ago, about the seas being higher 8000 years ago, is false. This of course is a nonsequitur. One can be wrong on one issue and right on many others. So, such logic is flawed. Is Dave doing that? I don't know. I do know that he isn't actually responding to the data I have presented for trees further north, for higher seas, for melted alpine glaciers all having been the state of affairs 5000 years ago.

Dave does seem to think that I should be less cocksure of myself. I suspect that Dave thinks the finding of a math error is going to shame me into crawling into that cyber-cave where failed and embarassed bloggers go. But I would ask why should I be less sure of myself in the data I have presented on this blog just because Dave found a math error? Lets look at the logic here.

The logic seems to be: Dave found a math error in what Glenn wrote on a particular post, therefore the trees didn't live further north 5000 years ago, therefore the seas were not higher 5000 years ago, therefore the Holocene was not warmer than today, therefore the permafrost was not melted back then. The problem is that none of those conclusions seem to come from the assumption that Glenn made a math error. That data stands and that is why I am still cocksure of myself that the global warming hysteria is just hysteria Dave and other hysteriacs are ignoring the fact that all the evils they think are coming upon the world have already been experienced 5000-8000 years ago. They would rather discuss anything other than that data.

I make my living by finding oil. I talk rich people into investing in oil wells. They are hoping to get richer. Unfortunately, oil exploration is like being a major league batter. If you are right 33% of the time, you are very very good at oil finding. Most explorationists don't find oil at that rate. I have been wrong about 66% of the time in my career, so being wrong is not a new thing to me. Being wrong on 66% of my prospects (places where I think oil is found) does not negate the fact that I have been involved in finding just about a billion barrels of oil. If an investor stayed with me for a long enough time, I made them much richer. I once drilled a string of 9 dry holes in a row (my longest bad streak), but the tenth well found enough oil to pay for all the previous 9 dry holes plus. I was correct enough to make my investors rich, assuming the investors stayed through the bad times. Similarly, being wrong on the rate of fall on the Tuvalu tide does not negate the rest of the data. Mentally what I was doing was subtracting 66 hundred from 71 hundred, and thinking in terms of 71 and 66 meters resulting in a wrong obviously wrong answer. Mental block. It was an error which arrived at a fall of 5 meters (the chart on that page is in millimeters). But hey, I am wrong. Does that mean the seas were not higher 5000 years ago as found in numerous studies by people other than me, the erroneous one, the one who must wear the scarlet M for 'MISTAKEN'?

Now, why do zealots like to find error in their opponents? It is for the purpose of not having to deal with the rest of the data. Finding an error allows one to pull a huge bait and switch game. The zealot gets to discuss the error rather than the fundamental issue. I saw on a few weeks back that Anthony Watts was purported not to understand something the writer thought was fundamental. The writer of that particular comment was railing about how bad Anthony Watts was and that seemed to allow him to ignore the main piece of data that Anthony Watts has brought to everyone's attention--thermometers are sited next to airconditioners, on top of hot cement and next to other heat sources. Watts critic, who may have been right about his criticism, was not dealing with the real issue--what is a thermometer doing next to an airconditioner? That writer found his reason to ignore the fundamental issue. That is a clear sign of zealotry, not science.

Another example. John says there is a mouse in the house. Sally looks as says he is wrong, there isn't a mouse in the house, ignoring the rat sitting on the couch. Just because someone called a rat a mouse, doesn't negate the fact that that a rodent, the real issue, is sitting on the couch.

Now, to my critic Dave. I would ask you Dave, to explain why we should worry about global warming when the earth 5000 years ago was warmer then than it is now. That is the real issue. that is the rat sitting on the couch amidst a math error. Explain why the studies I have cited are all flawed or acknowledge that what you fear in global warming has already been experienced in human history.

Wednesday, April 15, 2009

Talking Trees

Trees talk, if only we would listen. The trees I am talking about are trees that used to grow in areas they now don't. I have spent a fair amount of time discussing Holocene denial, an affliction that global warming advocates have. They think that everything that they predict will happen, melting glaciers, melting permafrost and higher seas, is brand new and has never ever happened ever before.

But as we saw in earlier blogs everything happened 5000 years ago. Tonight we will see that the trees tell the same story. The trees are saying that the world was warmer in the past than it is today. The only way to do this properly is let the trees speak.

“However, conifers have not yet recolonized many areas where trees were present during the Medieval Warm period (ca AD 800-1300) or the Holocene Thermal Maximum (HTM; ca 10 000-3000 years ago).” G. M. MacDonald, K. V. Kremenetski, and D. W. Beilman “Climate change and the northern Russian treeline zone” (in The boreal forest and global change) Philosophical Transactions - Royal Society of London. Biological Sciences (July 2008), 363(1501):2285-2299

That shows that the Medieval Warm period was warmer than this, the automobile age.

“Pollen and macrofossils were analyzed at two sites above today's treeline (or tree limit) in the Swiss Central Alps (Gouille Loere, 2503 m a.s.l., and Lengi Egga, 2557 m a.s.l.) to test two contrasting hypotheses about the natural formation of timberline (the upper limit of closed forest) in the Alps. Our results revealed that Pinus cembra-Larix decidua forests near timberline were rather closed between 9000 and 2500 B.C. (9600-4000 14 C yr BP), when timberline fluctuations occurred within a belt 100-150 m above today's tree limit. The treeline ecocline above timberline was characterized by the mixed occurrence of tree, shrub, dwarf-shrub, and herbaceous species, but it did not encompass more than 100-150 altitudinal meters. The uppermost limit reached by timberline and treeline during the Holocene was ca. 2420 and 2530 m, respectively, i.e., about 120 to 180 m higher than today.” Willy Tinner and Jean-Paul Theurillat Uppermost limit, extent, and fluctuations of the timberline and treeline ecocline in the Swiss Central Alps during the past 11,500 years Arctic, Antarctic, and Alpine Research (May 2003), 35(2):158-169

When trees live higher up the mountain side, it means that the weather used to be warmer up that mountain. The cold is what stops the trees from growing, so the above says that the trees used to live 150m higher and that means it used to be warmer than it is now.

“Most Arctic treelines reached their northernmost positions in the early Holocene and receded to present positions starting at about 5.8 ka.” Serge Payette, Matti Eronen, and J. J. Paul Jasinski The circumboreal tundra-taiga interface; late Pleistocene and Holocene changes (in Dynamics of the tundra-taiga interface, Callaghan,)Ambio (August 2002), 12, Special report 15-22

They went further north, then the cold pushed the trees further south than they used to be.

The early Holocene was probably the warmest period of the present interglacial, as summer climate was influenced by a strong positive insolation anomaly. Picea glauca expanded in major river valleys ca. 9000 yr ago and slightly later at upland sites in the Brooks and Alaska ranges. At some sites a Juniperus subzone, which suggests particularly warm and dry conditions, occurs between ca. 10,000 and 8000 yr B.P. Early mid-Holocene expansions of Alnus (8500-7000 yr B.P.) and Picea mariana (7500-5000 yr B.P.) suggest the subsequent development of moister conditions, which have continued to the present.” Mary E. Edwards and Edward D. Barker Climate and vegetation in northeastern Alaska 18,000 yr B.P.-present (in Pollen and climate)Palaeogeography, Palaeoclimatology, Palaeoecology (June 1994), 109(2-4):127-135

"Upper timberline was 270 m above its modern limit, suggesting that mean annual and mean July temperatures were 1–2 °C warmer than today.” Patricia L. Fall, “Timberline fluctuations and late Quaternary paleoclimates in the Southern Rocky Mountains, Colorado,” Geological Society of America Bulletin 109: 1306-1320.

"Scots pine (Pinus sylvestris, L.) immigrated to northern Finnish Lapland by 9.5 - 9 ka calBP and spread in favourable climatic conditions to a larger area than that occupied by pine forests today. The time of the maximum extent was between 7 and 4.5 ka calBP. A large number of subfossil pine trunks and stumps have been preserved in small lakes in Lapland in the present treeline area and also beyond it.” Matti Eronen, Samuli Helama, Markus Lindholm, and Mauri Timonen “A 7500-year unbroken Scots pine tree-ring chronology for Finnish Lapland (in XVI INQUA congress; Shaping the Earth; a Quaternary perspective, Anonymous,), Congress of the International Union for Quaternary Research (2003), 16 80

I just ran across a picture showing how far north the trees used to live.

The trees are talking, if only holocene deniers would listen.

Tuesday, April 14, 2009

Baltic Dry and the Market

I am going to take a break from the global warming issue to talk about the economy. Those who know me know that I do a lot of investing. While I claim no particular expertise, I do see some real problems right now with the economy that many, in this period when everyone is thinking the market has bottomed out. I don't know if the market has bottomed, no one does right now, but I do know this. If the economy is turning around, the world should be shipping more goods.

Most people don't know what the Baltic Dry Index is. That is an index which measures the cost of shipping product overseas. When there is lots of economic activity, the Baltic Dry Index is high, like it was last May at 11793. By December, the shipping index had fallen to 693! Ships were and still are parked all over Singapore and Hong Kong according to friends and family reports (my daughter-in-law is from Singapore and I used to live in China and have several friends in Hong Kong.

Now, by March 10, 2009, the Baltic Dry Index had risen to 2298, quite a rise from the low of 693. But, by today, the index had dropped to 1498, a 35% drop since March. If international business, and the shipping of products to customers over seas was improving, if the economy was actually improving, one has to ask why is the index for international economic activity declining again?

This also has implications for the price of oil. If no one is making goods (spending energy) and no one is shipping many goods (spending energy), the price of oil will continue to be weak for a while until the natural decline of the oil fields will bring supplies into balance with the demand.

Now back to global warming for a while.

Monday, April 13, 2009

Gulf of Mexico Sea Surface Temperatures Higher in the Past

For all the hype about global warming and its impact on hurricanes, the plain fact is that 1200 years ago, the surface waters of the Gulf of Mexico were warmer than they are today. That means, that the Native Americans probably experienced the 'worse hurricanes' which the global warming hysteriacs think we will experience this century--and they didn't all die out.

But, it isn't just the Gulf of Mexico where the recent past experienced higher sea surface temperatures. Consider the picture below which is taken from the southern oceans. All the sites show that about 10,000 years ago, the sea surface temperatures where higher than they are at present. Global warming hysteriacs simply don't look at the science of geology. They only look at their thermometers for the last 100 years.

Saturday, April 11, 2009

Rate of Sea Level Change

When I point out to global warming advocates that the sea level was 2 meters higher 5000 years ago than it is now, and that therefore the world has already experienced what the global warming advocates fear, I am often faced then, with another objection, that it isn't necessarily the height of the ocean but the rate of change that is so bad. I often think that these objections are psychological mechanisms used to avoid having to change one's mind. Most of the time they are, but occasionally, like with this objection, there is an interesting scientific issue involved.

Many hysteriacs say that the rate of rise is going to be cataclysmic. After pointing out that a new study says that sea levels are going to rise 1 to 2 meters this century, and citing a Science article, Dana Nuccitelli says,

"This is a rather dire predicition. A one meter sea level rise would flood 17% of Bangladesh, displacing tens of millions of people, and reducing its rice-farming land by 50 percent. Globally, it would create more than 100 million environmental refugees and inundate over 13,000 square miles of the United States. These studies provide further evidence that we must take action to address global warming as soon as possible to avoid such consequences."

The article that brought about Nuccitelli's comments is W. T. Pfeffer, J. T. Harper, S. O'Neel , " Kinematic Constraints on Glacier Contributions to 21st-Century Sea-Level Rise," Science 321(2008), p. 1340

I went looking for sea level data and found an interesting data set for Ireland at this website. There they have a database for Ireland's sea level record. I sorted the data according to the midpoint C14 date and then calculated the rate of change per century between the successive points. The chart below is what I arrived at.

I don't believe the rates of sea level change which are larger than about 3 meters per century, so I made the axes of the graph such that I cut off those values above 5 m/century to accentuate the fact that there are lots of periods in Irish history where the sea level was changing in relation to the land by as much as 1 to 3 m per century.

There is also the matter of tide gauges which don't show a currently rising sealevel, in spite of all the news stories.

{edited to add, this following paragraph has been fixed. Thanks to Dave, in the comments for pointing it out. It is explained in the April 16th 2009 post}

Looking at the above chart, one can see that between 1982 and 1984, there is a -.5 meter drop in monthly mean sea level!!!! That works out to be a rate of change of -25 meters per century!!!! Between 1985 and 1986 there is a .3 meter rise in sea level. That works out to be a rate of sea level change of +30 meters per century! Starting in 1993 the next two and a half years brings a rise in sea level of .43 m--that works out to be a 17.2 m/century. Yes, we should all worry about the rate of sea level rise. But not for the usual reasons. With every period of rising sealevel Tuvula gets lots of press as a victim of global warming, with no one looking back to see what has happened in the past, even the recent past.

There is no doubt that a 2m rise in sea level would be problematic. But, like everything else in the scary world of the climate hysterics, human history has seen rates of sea level change bigger than this within the past 10,000 years, long before there was a CO2 "problem". Because of this, one must ask why we must act to change that which the world has already seen before CO2 became the cause celeb?

There is an oft told story of King Canute setting his chair on the beach and commanding the tides not to rise. Of course, the tide refused to obey King Canute. Canute did this, according to the story, to teach his flatterers that even kings have limits to their powers. Unfortunately modern global warming hysteriacs seem to think that they can do what King Canute couldn't--stop the sea from rising.

Friday, April 10, 2009

Consensus and the Sunspots

I have commented on the lack of sunspots before. Last night I compiled a plot of spotless days from 1818 to the present. The chart is up to date as of yesterday, April 9, 2009. Note that the number of spotless days in this solar minimum is now only days away from being the 5th lowest of all the cycles. It is only about a month or so away from being the 4th most inactive period. Clearly this period is an anomaly.

I ran a 2 year running sum of the monthly number of spotless days. That is the chart below.

So, what does this mean? An article online says it well, the sun outputs less energy when there are no sunspots.

"And less energy means a cooler planet.

"There were very few sunspots in 2008 and by all measures, 2008 was a cold year," said Dr. Soon. And that link between temperatures on Earth and sunspot activity can be picked out many times from past history.

"For example, from 1645 to 1715 there were no sunspots and it was a very, very cold period for our planet. Most call it the "Little Ice Age," said Dr. Soon. "Based on my research, I tend to be in support of a very, very strong role by the Sun's energy input as a climate driver. If you were to ask me about the role of CO2, I would say its very, very small," he added."
Mish Michaels, Curious Why the Sun has Been So Dim Lately," Source

It seems that there isn't so much of a consensus as we are told about the evils of CO2.

Tuesday, April 7, 2009

Alpine Angst

The hysterical Holocene denying global warming advocates are all worried about the melting of the glaciers in the Alps.

"Glaciers are quickly disappearing from the Alps and will be all but gone by 2050, a climate expert said Monday. That's 50 years earlier than a July 2006 study predicted."
John Roach, "Alps Glaciers Gone by 2050, Expert Says," National Geographic News," January 23, 2007Source

And of course, they all blame global warming, the modern devil, who does everything evil on earth.

"Global warming fueled by greenhouse gas emissions appears to be the main cause of the melting glaciers, according to the University of Innsbruck's Psenner (see our global warming fast facts)."John Roach, "Alps Glaciers Gone by 2050, Expert Says," National Geographic News," January 23, 2007

But, these Holocene deniers are too unstudied to know that there have been 8 times in the past 10,000 years, when the glaciers in the Alps were smaller than they are today.

"Glacially deformed pieces of wood, organic lake sediments and clasts of reworked peat have been collected in front of Alpine glaciers since AD 1990. The palaeoglaciological interpretation of these organic materials is related to earlier phases of glacier recession surpassing that of today's shrunken glaciers and to tree growth and peat accumulation in the valleys now occupied by the glaciers. Glacial transport of the material is indicated by wood anatomy, incorporated silt, sand and gravel particles, missing bark and deformed treerings. A total of 65 samples have been radiocarbon dated so far, and clusters of dates provide evidence of eight phases of glacier recession: 9910-9550, 9010-7980, 7250-6500, 6170-5950, 5290-3870, 3640-3360, 2740-2620 and 1530-1170 calibrated years BP. Allowing for the timelag between climatic fluctuations, glacier response and vegetation colonization, these recession phases may lag behind climatic changes by 100-200 years."
Anne Hormes, Benjamin U. Mueller, and Christian Schluechter "The Alps with little ice; evidence for eight Holocene phases of reduced glacier extent in the Central Swiss Alps" The Holocene (2001), 11(3):255-265

If the glaciers have been more melted eight times in the past, long before there were any CO2 spewing automobiles, what is the big deal about global warming?

Sunday, April 5, 2009

Holocene Denial Syndrome

First came the holocaust--a horrible mass-murder, a genocide, in that day condemned by one and all. Then came the holocaust deniers, people who were rightly condemned for denying the obvious killing of 6 million people. Then came the idea of global warming; and in the rush to shut up anyone who doubted what the global warming community, with its political allies, said, the term 'global warming denier' was coined. Besides denigrating the severity of opprobrium which should be given to holocaust deniers, the term attempts to transfer some of that opprobrium to those who would dare disagree with this political, not science, movement. Such things are done in political movements, not in scientific movements--or it should be that way, unfortunately such terminological predjudices are used everywhere. Since I can't stop it, I will join in the fun.

Thus, I will define my own term, Holocene deniers. What is a Holocene denier? It is a global warming advocate who refuses to deal with the geological data showing that all of the things they fear have already been visited upon the earth, in the Holocene, the geologic epoch which occupies the last 10,000 years of earth history. What are the predictions ? Well, every thing that comes from higher temperatures. The predictions of temperature rise this century hover around 2-3 deg C warming. That will melt some of the glacial ice causing the oceans to rise by 18-59 cm, about half a meter. (Wikipedia) The IPCC2007 says that the present temperatures, which everyone fears greatly is the highest temperatures in the past 1300 years.

"Palaeoclimatic information supports the interpretation that the warmth of the last half century is unusual in at least the previous 1,300 years. The last time the polar regions were significantly warmer than present for an extended period (about 125,000 years ago), reductions in polar ice volume led to 4 to 6 m of sea level rise. {6.4, 6.6}" (IPCC, 2007)

But this is the most amazing statement. If all we can say about the present climate is that we are no warmer than 700-800AD, that clearly argues that the present warmth is in no way unprecedented nor scary. But, everyone loves a good scary story, which is why the horror genre sells so well.

Given the above statement from the IPCC, anyone who says that the current warmth is unprecedented in human history is a Holocene denier. They are denying what happened in the last 10,000 years.

The above information, from the IPCC implies strongly that if we have seen this before, as well as before the Holocene, why should we consider the present temperature increase as anything other than a natural fluctuation.

Now it is interesting that the figure 1300 years is used, because 1000 years ago, the forests grew higher up the hills in Siberia than they do now. That means it was warmer then than now.

"While the decomposition rate of Pinus sibirica and Picea obovata remnants in the cold and dry Siberian climate is unknown, stumps and logs of Larix sibirica can be preserved for hundreds of years [Shiyatov, 1992]. Above the treeline in the Polar Urals such relict material from large, upright trees were sampled and dated, confirming the existence, around AD 1000, of a forest treeline 30 m above the late 20th century limit [Shiyatov, 2003]. This previous forest limit receded around 1350, perhaps caused by a general cooling trend [Briffa, 2000; Esper et al., 2002]." (Esper and Schweingruber, 2004, p. L06202)

Using the adiabatic lapse rate, the rate at which the air gets cooler as one goes up, one can calculate that Siberia was at least .2 deg C warmer then than it is now. Those who think we are the warmest time in history are Holocene deniers--denying what has happened in the past 10,000 years.

Not only that, the Siberian treeline was further north then

December 1998
"The migration of trees into the region is expressed at our site by the macrofossil pattern of larch (Larix siberica) and birch (Betula pubescens) arrival, followed by spruce (Picea obovata). About six thousand years ago, spruce trees moved even further northward. Climate at that time was warmer than today. Since that time, however, the treeline retreated to its present position, and tundra replaced the old trees. The redevelopment and spread of peatland resulted in increases in moisture and acidity. This vast spread of tundra within the last few millennia indicates that climate cooled after the mid-Holocene warming." (Anonymous, NASA,)

And this is from NASA. It seems that the 'consensus' that the modern temperature should be a danger isn't as consensual as it is often claimed.

If one goes back to a time before the Holocene, to that of the last interglacial, one finds that the trees were 600 km north and west of their present location and some studies say that the trees were at the arctic coast line. (

But more importantly, there is one fact that is true. Trees don't grow in permafrost. So, if the trees were further north a few thousand years ago, that means that the pemafrost, of which Holocene deniers fear is melting, wasn't there a few millennia ago. That means that the permafrost they fear melting is NEW permafrost. It isn't primordial. Indeed one source says that much of it is only 300-400 years old. They call it Little Ice Age permafrost. That means it formed since 1300 AD, just when those older forests in Siberia were dying.

" Thawing of the Little Ice Age permafrost is going on at many locations and there are some indications that the late-Holocene permafrost started to thaw at some specific undisturbed locations in the European North-East, in the northwest of West Siberia, and in Alaska. Some projections of possible changes in permafrost during the current century based on application of calibrated permafrost models will be provided in our presentation. The possible consequences of permafrost degradation will also be discussed.” (Romanovsky et al, 2008, p. 397)

The hysterical Holocene deniers are worried that the permafrost will melt, giving off huge quantities of methane and tipping the world into a runaway greenhouse. But, this permafrost they fear melting wasn't frozen 700 years ago at the time that the IPCC implies had a warmer temperature than the present.

What about the glaciers? Well, if the temperature rises, the glaciers will melt. But, once again, the Holocene deniers deny that this all happened before but it has. In mid-Norway, there are glaciers today. Before 6400 years ago, there were no glaciers there. This knowledge can be used to infer how much warmer it was then than it is now. It was 1 deg C warmer then than now.

“Neoglaciation began as early as Ca. 6400 yr B.P. at Gjuvvatnet, ca. 3400 yr B. P. At Midtivatnet, and later than ca. 1000 yer B. P. At Storevatnet. These differences in glacierization provide a key to reconstructing the fluctuating decline in mean summer temperature (relative to the present) from at least +1 o C during the mid-Holocene to below -2o C in the ‘Little Ice Age.” (Matthews and Karlen, 1992, p. 991)

In the picture below, he glaciers (in black) weren't there 5000 years ago or so.

And what of sea level then? Well, because it was warmer than now, the seas were higher. Below is the band of possible sea levels along the Paraguayan coast over the mid- to late-Holocene. Note that the seas were higher.

All along the east coast of the US is the Silver Bluff strandline that sits a few meters above current sea level. (Colquhoun, 1969). Blum et al note that the Texas coast showed that during the Holocene Climatic Optimum, the seas were 2 meters higher

"These models provide plausible explanations for much of the observed variability in Pirazzoli’s (1991) global compilation of Holocene sea-level curves, including observations of middle Holocene sea-level positions at 2 to 3 m above present for many low-latitude sites outside of North America" (Blum et al, 2001, p. 581)

Namibia, likewise shows evidence of this highstand

The radiocarbon ages of mollusc shells from the Bogenfels Pan on the hyper arid southern coast of Namibia provide constraints on the Holocene evolution of sea level and, in particular, the mid-Holocene highstand. The Bogenfels Pan was flooded to depths of 3 m above mean sea level (amsl) to form a large subtidal lagoon from 7300 to 6500 calibrated radiocarbon years before present (cal yr BP). " (Compton, 2006, p. 303)

Australia also shows evidence of higher seas at this time. There are beaches sitting a couple of meters above sea level there as well, dated to the same time

The catastrophe? Nada. There was no catastrophe, even with the seas 2 meters higher then than now. But the Holocene deniers keep trying to say that all these coming changes are due to man, that they are outside of the natural variation, which means, they are denying the Holocene.

Reefs, not reefers, anyone? Holocene deniers worry about the rising seas killing off the reefs. But, of course, this too has happened and the Holocene deniers deny it.

" I have recently shown that modern breakwater reefs around Grand Cayman lie at a uniform distance (300+ or -50 m) from a mid-shelf slope break, and have suggested that this distance is proportional to the power and carrying capacity of hurricane waves (Blanchon et al. 1997; J. Sed. Res. 67, p. 1-16). During the summer of '96, I tested this prediction by drilling 300 m back from the shelf edge with the hope of finding relict breakwater reefs associated with the mid-Holocene sea-level lowstand from ca. 11.0 to 7.6 cal. ka. Here I confirm that prediction and report the successful discovery of the crest of a relict Acropora palmata reef off the eastern shelf of Grand Cayman. Ten short cores drilled at 4 localities along the feature show that the crest of the relict reef lies in 21.3 m of water and consists not of in-place coral framework but of cobbles of A. palmata in a cemented matrix of skeletal sand. The surface of the relict reef, which slopes seaward to 23.5 m, is encrusted by a cm-thick layer of coralline algae and is abruptly overlain by up to one metre of mixed-coral framework containing stumps of in-place A palmata and other corals. Although dating (U/Th TIMS) is still in progress, the depth of the relict breakwater reef is close or identical to the depth of relict reefs reported from other Caribbean islands. Dating of those reefs indicates that they ceased accreting between 7.6 and 7.5 cal. ka ago and had backstepped to new positions 6.5+ or -2.5 m up slope by at least 7.5 cal. ka. This abrupt backstepping, and the discovery of yet another relict reef around Grand Cayman, further indicates that Caribbean reefs were drowned by a rapid, metre-scale, sea-level rise event (CRE-3) during the mid-Holocene climatic optimum. " (Blanchon, 1997, p. 112 )

The Holocene highstand drowned many reefs around the world, and guess what? the reefs re-established themselves in the warmer world with higher sea levels. That is what reef polyps do--they figure out how to survive in changing conditions just like every other organism. There is no sign that they will die either with higher seas or higher CO2. If the seas warm, the reefs will move northward as they have in the past when the seas warmed. Given the fear among the Holocene deniers, one would think they believe in the fixity of species.

Holocene deniers always criticise others for not paying attention to science, while, they deny the science of geology, especially the Holocene science of geology. Unfortunately, Holocene deniers will deny this.

Anonymous, NASA, "The Ancient Treeline and the Carbon Cycle in the Siberian Arctic"

Blanchon, Paul, "Mid-Holocene reef-drowning event; new evidence from Grand Cayman" (in Geological Society of America, 1997 annual meeting, Anonymous,)
Abstracts with Programs - Geological Society of America (1997), 29(6):112

Blum, Michael, 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, p. 581

Cape Last Interglacial Project Members, “Last Interglacial arctic warmth confirms polar amplification of climate change”, Quaternary Science Reviews Volume 25, Issues 13-14, July 2006, 1383-1400, p. 1385-1387

Colquhoun, D.J., 1969, Coastal plain terraces in the Carolinas and Georgia, U.S.A.: in Wright, H.E., Jr., editor, Quaternary Geology and Climate: Volume 16 of the Proceedings of the VII Congress of the International Association for Quaternary Research, v. 16, p. 150-162

Compton, John S. The mid-Holocene sea-level highstand at Bogenfels Pan on the southwest coast of Namibia Quaternary Research (September 2006), 66(2):303-310

Esper, Jan and Fritz H. Schweingruber, “Large-Scale Treeline Changes Recorded in Siberia,” Geophysical Research Letters, vol. 31, no. 6, March 16, 2004., p. L06202,

IPCC, 2007: Summary for Policymakers. In: 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. , p. 9

Matthews, John A. “Asynchronous Neoglaciation and Holocene Climatic Change Reconstructed from Norwegian Glaciolacustrine Sedimentary Sequences,” Geology, 20(1992):991

Romanovsky, Vladimir, and Guido Grosse, and Sergei Marchenko Past, present, and future of permafrost in a changing world (in Geological Society of America, 2008 annual meeting, Anonymous,) Abstracts with Programs - Geological Society of America (October 2008), 40(6):397