Wednesday, October 28, 2009

Wishing for Energy- It won't work

One of the dreams of the global warming crowd is carbon free energy. Being in the energy industry and knowing that oil is beginning to run out, I am always interested in what articles say about how we are going to get more energy. And I am always, always, disappointed by what I read.

This month's Scientific American has an artricle by Mark Z. Jacobson and Mark A. Delucchi, "A path to Sustainable Energy by 2030" Scientific American Nov 2009, p. 58-65. What I notice in articles which tell us how we are going to get off carbon is a constant use of worlds like "could", and "might". These words are used to 'solve' every problem.

"Photovoltaic cells rely on amorphous or crystalline silicon, cadmium telluride, or copper indium selenide and sulfide. Limited suplies of tellurium and indium could reduce the prospects for some types of thin-film solar cells, though not for all; the other types might be able to take up the slack.Large-scale production could be restricted by the silver that cells require, but finding ways to reduce the silver content could tackle that hurdle. Recycling parts for old cells could ameliorate material difficulties as well."
"Three components could pose challenges for building millions of electric vehicles: rare-earth metals for electric motors, lithium for lithium-ion batteries and platinum for fuel cells. More than half the world's lithium reserves lie in Bolivia and Chile. That concentration, combined with rapidly growing demand, could raise prices significantly. More problematic is the claim by meridian International Research that not enough economically recoverable lithium exists to build a global electric-vehicle ecnomy. Recycling could change the equation, but the economics of recycling depend in part on whether batteries are made with easy recyclablility in mind, an issue the industry is aware of. The long-term use of platinum also depends on recycling; current available reserves would sustain annual production of 20 million fuel-cell vehicles, along with existing industrial uses, for fewer than 100 years." Mark Z. Jacobson and Mark A. Delucchi, "A path to Sustainable Energy by 2030" Scientific American Nov 2009, p. 62

A couple of years ago an article discussing rare-earth resources claimed that we only have a 5-10 year supply of indium at current levels of usage.

"Take the metal gallium, which along with indium is used to make indium
gallium arsenide. This is the semiconducting material at the heart of a
new generation of solar cells that promise to be up to twice as
efficient as conventinal designs. Reserves of both metals are disputed,
but in a recent report Rene Kleljn, a chemist at Leiden University in
the Netherlands, concludes that current reserves 'wouldnot allow a
substantial contribution of these cells' to the future supply of solar
electricity. He estimates gallium and indium will probably contribute to
less than 1 percent of all future solar cells--a limitation imposed
purely by a lack of raw material." David Cohen, Earth Audit," New
Scientist May 26, 2007, p.35

Recycling won't help that. The same article noted that silver reserves are good for about another 15-20 years at current rates of usage. Yes, recycling will help, but it will stop massive solar conversions. One estimate said that to make a 5% contribution to electrical generation, 30% of the world's silver production would be consumed.source

When these authors claim that platinum will last for fewer than 100 years, that is not very forthcoming.

"Suppose that the 500 million vehicles estimated to be in use worldwide in 2000 were converted to fuel cell operation operating on pure hydrogen (i.e., no reforming of fuel needed), that the platinum requirement was 0.4 g/kW, that the average vehicle power was 75 kW, that the fuel cell life was 10 years with a 90% recycling rate, and that recycling achieved 50% recovery of the platinum content. The platinum stock-in-use for these vehicles would be 15 Gg. Maintaining this stock would require a flow of new metal into use of ~1 Gg per year. If all of the remaining lithospheric stock of platinum were devoted to operating a fleet of 500 million vehicles with fuel cells, the platinum resource in the lithosphere would sustain this fleet for ~15 years. There would be competition for this platinum for use in jewelry, stationary power fuel cells, industrial catalysts, and catalytic converters for motor vehicles still using petroleum fuel.
R.B. Gordon et al, “Metal Stocks and Sustainability,” PNAS v.103(2006):5:1213

How much would the price rise? The world simply doesn't have lots of platinum.

One of the things that these energy guys don't think about is the increasing amounts of energy required to refine the lower and lower quality ores of all types. In the 1930s, iron ores had 60% iron. Today it is 25%

"The hematite ore of the Mesabi Range in Minnesota contained 60 percent iron. But now it is depleted and society must use lower-quality taconite ore that has an iron content of about 25 percent. [ [5]]

The average energy content of a pound of coal dug in the US has dropped 14 percent since 1955. [ [6]]

In the 1950s, oil producers discovered about fifty barrels of oil for every barrel invested in drilling and pumping. Today, the figure is only about five for one. Sometime around 2005, that figure will become one for one. Under that latter scenario, even if the price of oil reaches $500 a barrel, it wouldn't be logical to look for new oil in the US because it would consume more energy than it would recover. [ [7]]
Jay Hansen, Energy Magazine, Spring 1999,p.

“Figure 3-16 shows what mineral depletion looks like-gradually decreasing ore concentration. Figure 3-17 shows the consequence of depletion. As the amount of usable metal in the ore falls below 1 %, the amount of rock that must be mined, ground up, and treated per ton of product rises with astonishing speed. As the average grade of copper ore mined in Butte, Montana, fell from 30% to 0.5% the tailings produced per ton of copper rose from 3 tons to 200 tons. This rising curve of waste is closely paralleled by a rising curve of energy required to prooduce each ton of final material. Metal ore depletion hastens the rate of fossil fuel depletion.” Donella H. Meadows, Dennis L. Meadows, Jorgen Randers, Beyond the Limits, (Post Mills, VT: Chelsea Green Publishing Co., 1992), p. 84-85

Such realities require more and more energy.

Solving problems by wishful thinking, as is done in this article is not going to actually work but it feels so good saving the planet and even gets you an article in Scientific American.

Sunday, October 25, 2009

Eat Your Dog and Cat

Having lived in China and having eaten dog, the above title is not something that repels me. I ate dog several times, including my last meal in China and found the meat to be quite sweet and tasty, especially in a stew. I looked for but didn't find, a place to serve kitty (I was told that they existed), so I missed the exquisite culinary delight of eating a feline, although my pet cat, shown above, is plumping up quite well. Sadly, I doubt I can find anywhere in the US to serve up a claw and claw dish (crab and kitty sounds yummy).

So what does this have to do with global warming? The latest scary story from the environmental hysteriacs is the environmental impact of your dog and cat. Feeding our pets, it seems uses energy and land all of which produce a carbon footprint. Yes, you are a guilty resource hog if you have a cat. New Scientist says it this way,

"According to the authors of the new book, Time to Eat the Dog, it takes 0.84 hectares of land to keep a medium-sized dog fed. In contrast, running a 4.6-litre Toyota Land Cruiser, including the energy required to construct the thing and drive it 10,000 kilometers a year requires 0.41 hectares. Dogs are not the only environmental sinners. The eco-footprint of a cat equates to that of a Volkswagen Golf."

"If that's troubling, there is an even more shocking comparision. In 2004, the average citizen of Vietnam had an ecological footprint of 0.76 hectares. For an Ethiopian, it was just 0.67 hectares. In a world where scarce resources are already hogged by the rich, can we really justify keeping pets that take more than some people?"
Anonymous, "Cute, Fluffy and Horribly Greedy," New Scientist, Oct 24, 2009, p. 5

It seems that the editors of the New Scientist think we should all live the lives of the typical Ethiopian. While I have never figured out how my moving into a hut helps the Ethiopian move out of his, I know that the editors at New Scientist have it all figured out, they are scientists, after all and we can trust them. I can see the property values in their London neighborhoods falling as they dash to sell their houses and move into that oh-so-wonderful life in a thatched-roofed hut, never knowing where your next meal is coming from. How idyllic,living a life without medicine, roads or air conditioning (not to mention no deodorant) and no dental care. Yes, just imagine kissing your spouse with 30 years of accumulated morning mouth. What joy.

Speaking of joy, I would love to be there when they tell their wives and girl friends that they must now cohabit in a hut in Ethiopia, where they will swat away tse-tse flies, and fight off jackals and hyaenas. What joy shall fill the hearts of their wives and children. How grateful they will be to know that they no longer have a closet for their shoes while they save the planet. No more will they have to shop at Harrod's or walk past that gaudy Di and Dody memorial on their way to more boring, burdensome shopping to keep up with the Jones'. While I think the goal actually should be to give the Ethiopians the tools with which to raise their standard of living and join those plumpish, if hypocritically challenged, editors at New Scientist, no doubt the editor's spouses will see things differently than I and gladly move to Ethiopia, the ecological Eden, with its fresh air and sunshine.

John Barrett, a UK environmentalist, is quoted in the relevant article saying,

"Owning a dog really is quite an extravagance, mainly because of the carbon footrpint of meat," Kate Ravilious, "How Green is Your Pet?" New Scientist, Oct 24, 2009, p. 46

Yep, your pet is melting the glaciers. I always suspected as much. It isn't CO2 killing the planet, it is Fido, Tweety-pie, and Garfield. And they do it in more ways that you can imagine. If only we didn't have pets, the seas would drop and glaciers would return.


The article referred to by the editors contains the following little guilt trip for you cat owners.

"Another major environmental problem in urban areas, is pet faeces. A study carried out in Nashville, Tennessee, indicated that it is a significant cause of high bacterial levels in local rivers and streams, particularly after heavy rain. As well as making the water unsafe to drink, high bacterial levels can starve waterways of oxygen and kill aquatic life."
"Cat excrement is particularly toxic. In 2002, it emerged that sea otters along the Californian coast are dying from a brain disease caused by Toxoplama gondii. The parasite, which is found in cat faeces, ends up in rivers and estuaries thanks to cat owners who flush their cat litter down the toilet or allow their cats to defecate outside. Dophins and whales are also affected."
Kate Ravilious, "How Green is Your Pet?" New Scientist, Oct 24, 2009, p. 47.

Let's take the first paragraph first. Yes, if it weren't for your dogs dumping on your neighbor's yard as you walk him each morning, the lakes and streams all across America would be pristine pure and drinkable as they once were before man appeared on the planet. We could retire all those water treatment plants because there would be no bacteria in the waters, if only man with his best friend didn't bespoil them. The author of this article must know something about poop that the rest of us don't know. Apparently the poop of deer, bunny rabbits, birds, skunks, otter, coyotes, wolves and all sorts of other wild animals that defecate outdoors, contains zero bacteria. Shoot, we can use their bacteria-free poop to clean our kitchen counters. A good self-respecting deer would never allow a bacteria to be pooped out of his behind, deer being far too fastidious and sanitary for such garish behavior. And should the coyote dung chance to contain a single bacteria, it would, of course, NEVER wash down into the lakes or rivers. No, only pet poop causes high bacterial levels in the lakes and rivers, bacteria knowing that it is totally uncouth to flow into the rivers if it didn't come out the backside of a pet. Wild animals aren't and can't be the problem, you are. You and your bad-breath dog. I strongly suspect that if only Fido's mouth smelled better his poop would lack bacteria, so brush his teeth every day. And no doubt, the author of that article knows that fish poop is equally lacking in bacteria. Fish would never defecate outdoors either. They love the earth too much to do THAT! (Besides, it really is rude to poop in sight of other animals.).

I didn't mention cattle in the above discussion of poop-fest. The enviro-hysteriacs don't like cattle at all and would claim that their poop is worse than anything else. If only man hadn't gotten involved, bringing those germy cattle from Europe. The native grazers, the tens of millions of bison that roamed the plains before mankind arrived on this continent never engaged in outdoor defecation. We have heard the stories of bison herds taking days to pass a given point (before evil humans nearly killed them all). What those lines were were the lines for the loo. Like good Brits, they all qued up for the loo (several days away), and they all took their turns pooping indoors into proper facilities. Yep, that was clearly better than what cows do. Owning a ranch, I can tell you that even a small herd of bovines can produce quite a bacterial mess into which one will step if one is not careful. Maybe I should get some of those house-broken buffalo instead.

Now lets look at the cat problem. She blames the otter problem on cats, particularly on pet owners. Yep, you owners are the problem. There are .713 cats per household in the US. That means that there are 81 million household cats according to a formula found here.

That same formulation gives 250 million total cats, most are feral and are not pets. Given the 12 million households in California it means that that state has about 26 million cats. Of course, the enviro-hysteriacs don't mention the feces of the feral cats, who also defecate outdoors, due to their sad inability to learn the proper use of a toilet and their inability to carry 30 lb bags of Fresh Step back to their liter boxes in the woods. No, the fault is entirely with the pet owner; not the feral kitties, whose poop never contains Toxoplasma, a disease most certainly (if I am inferring from the article correctly) only of pet cats.

Another little fact that the article fails to tell its readers is that 10-20% of humans are infected with Toxoplasma. We don't get it from cats directly, or at least we don't most often get it from cats directly. We get it from eating raw meat or unwashed fruit. Now, given this, lets re-look at the Toxoplasma problem of the otters. If 15% of Californians are infected (given the general nutty-ness out there, I suspect it is more like 30%), then 5.5 million people are pooping Toxoplasma into the toilets (or are defecating outdoors), thus bringing this plague to the otters. I wouldn't rule out the possibility that during the night, millions of Californians are emerging into the dark to defecate outdoors, thus killing the otters. To solve this problem, I suggest that all the infected Californians no longer flush their toilets. Stop right now in order to save the earth! It is, after all your duty. It is such a small sacrifice that you make for the good of us all.

In honor of all you infected Californians who are sacrificing the flushing of their toilets so that the otters may live, I, too, shall make a sacrifice. I will eat my cat--for the good of the world, you understand, all for the saving of our planet.


Land vs Ocean temperatures

Every month, GISS publishes the latest horror in the continuing drama of the earth going to hell, or at least becoming Gehenna, if not hell itself. Yes, soon it will be so hot on earth that we will all be able to be sun burned merely by standing in the shade. Don't invest in Coppertone, it won't do you any good in this future world, which is really a return to the past. Herodotus, five centuries before the current era, thought that Africans were black because living so close to the sun burned them. Oh well so much for that piece of pseudo-science. Let's look at the prevalent pseudo science of today.

We are going to compare land, sea and satellite data to see how badly we measure the temperature. The data for the graphs below can be found atthis location.

What I have plotted above is the monthly global anomalies from Dec 1978 to the present. "What an odd time frame," you might say. Yes, it is, but it is the time over which the satellites data has been measured. Besides that, the chart is of the proper scale to see the details.

And what interesting details we see. The land is heating quicker than the sea is. [sarcastic mode on] I guess CO2 must only work over land, or work twice as efficiently over land than over the sea. [sarcastic mode off] In reality this is a clear sign that we are not measuring the land temperature correctly, and that its more rapid rise is not entirely due to CO2 but to urban heating.

But, lets play their ridiculous game of taking short periods of measurements and then projecting ridiculously far into the future while at the same time ruling out or ignoring natural cyclicity and only allowing monotonically increasing extrapolations. The oceans, according to the time period under study, are warming at 0.11 deg C per decade. The land is warming at 0.29 deg C per decade--approximately 3 times as fast as the oceans. By the logic of the hysteriacs, by the end of this century, the oceans will have warmed by 1.1 deg C and the land by 3 degrees. This will eventually make the lands warm enough that the winds will always blow offshore and we can use the winds generated by global warming to run our ecologically friendly wind turbines to generate our electricity. See what benefits we can derive from such a simple observation? See what benefit there is from warming the earth? :-)

The second detail to pay attention to is the rapid changes in land temperature. There are months in which the anomaly rises as much as 1.25 degrees over the entire land area of the globe and then drops as much as 1.37 degrees over the entire globe. What causes that? Does the land suddenly absorb more energy than it did last year at that time? Does the sun stop shining so that the land cools rapidly? This is more likely due to the turning on and off of heaters and air conditioners stationed nearby the global thermometer system on land. By comparison the oceans rise and fall on a monthly anomaly basis by only about 1/10th of a degree.

The third detail is the standard deviation of the land (.41 deg C) and the ocean (.13 deg C). The noisiness of the land data is 3 times that of the seas. This means that for a 95% confidence in a conclusion that the land has warmed, we must see more than 1.2 deg C warming. The trend line shows that since Dec 1978 we have warmed the land by .9 deg C--this is as much as the earth is said to have warmed over the past century. Clearly this is a problem and just as clearly the land's temperature rise is driving the rise in global temperature as measured by the thermometers. And clearly the fact that the land is rising 3x faster than the seas, most of the land's temperature rise is not due to CO2.

The astute reader will say that with a rapidly rising curve the standard deviation from the average might not be the best measurement of the noise and that the standard deviation from the trendline is what should be done. I did that and it makes the comparison worse. If I subtract the trendline from the land and ocean temperature series respectively, we find that the standard deviation away from the trend line is 0.08 deg C for the oceans and 0.32 deg C for the land. There is almost 4x more noise in the land data than in the seas when viewed in this fashion. Remember that the world is said to have warmed by .84 deg C over a century, yet the data for this period of time says that a 95% confidence bound is .96 deg C when the deviation is measured from the trend line.

Now lets compare the GISS with the satellite data. In the picture below you can see that the reported anomalies are almost always higher for the thermometer record.

Now, to compare these two different measurement systems, whose anomalies are differently based, I subtract from each series, the average value of that series and then plot the two together. That is shown below and at first glance one would think this is not a bad fit.

Now, in this form I will subtract the two series to see how closely the satellite and thermometer system can measure changes in temperature over this time period.

What you can see is that there is a lot of difference in the measurment of global temperature by these two methods. While the average temperature difference is 0.1 deg C, some months vary by as much as .43 deg C, or half the amount of purported warming. Clearly we are not very good at measuring the globe's temperature, yet we are going use this data to try to save the planet.

Tuesday, October 20, 2009

All the climate models are wrong!

The global warming hysteriacs have gained their worries from the output of global climate models. The models have become a proxy for actual observational data. If the models say the world will warm, no one looks out the window to actually see that the world is freezing. The world can't be freezing if the models say it is warming. There is an implicit belief that like the Bible, the models are infallible.

But then, along comes a study of the outgoing radiative flux --the heat leaving the earth--which shows that not all things are as the models say. Typical climate models say that as the world heats up, and thus heats the oceans less heat will escape to space. This leads people to talk about tipping points. If the feed backs to an increase in CO2 is positive then the climate system will be driven further and further from the present state, causing a tipping point.

"A number of sessions examined the frightening possibility that warming temperatures could trigger catastrophic tipping points, such as the loss of the Amazon rainforest through drought, which would create a vicious feedback. For example, modelers from the U.K.’s Met Office presented new data showing that even a global cessation of greenhouse gas emissions by 2050 could lead to a loss of up to 40% of the Amazon rainforest. “We thought we didn’t need to worry till we got to 3°C of warming,” says Pope (see graphic)." Eli Kintisch, "Projections of Climate Change Go From Bad to Worse, Scientists Report," Science, 323(2009), p.1546-1547

"The Intergovernmental Panel on
Climate Change (IPCC) reports indicate that,
if concentrations of atmospheric carbon
dioxide continue to increase, other serious
impacts on human society (e.g., sea level
rise) will probably occur. Undoubtedly,
other tipping points or breakpoints are
looming at higher concentrations, such as 535
ppm atmospheric carbon dioxide.” John Cairns, Jr. “Assimilative Capacity Revisited” Asian J. Exp. Sci., Vol. 22, No. 2, 2008; 177-182, p. 178

The problem is that all of this talk about tipping points is based upon global climate models, which have become gospel. Don't look out the window; believe the models.

Now along comes Lindzen and Choi who point out that actual observation of the outgoing radiative heat flux increases as the sea surface temperature (SST) rises. In other words, as the sea's temperature rises, the amount of heat leaving the earth also rises.

Why is this important? Because all the climate models say the exact opposite. All the climate models say that as the sea surface temperature rises, the outgoing radiative heat flux declines. Observation, which is what science is supposed to be based upon, says something entirely different.

Below is a picture showing the Earth Radiation Budget Experiment (ERBE) observational relationship between sea surface temperature and outgoing flux. The relationship is positive. More SST heat, more outgoing flux. Notice the upper left picture. That is the actual observational data. All the other pictures are from cllimate models. Notice that the climate models don't match the observational data.

What does this mean? It means that science should not trust models. It should trust observational data. It means that computer models are just that--computer models. They aren't reality even if the hysteriacs try to say that they represent reality.

If the models miss a major negative feedback loop then their conclusions can't be correct. And if the conclusions are not correct, then we don't need to fix what ain't broken. We don't need to destroy the economy with carbon taxes in order to prevent what won't happen.

The IPCC says this about the climate sensitivity to additional CO2. The definition of climate sensitivity is in the first sentence below. The amount the IPCC claims is in the second sentence and is bolded.

"The equilibrium climate sensitivity is a measure of the
climate system response to sustained radiative forcing.
It is not a projection but is defined as the global average
surface warming following a doubling of carbon
dioxide concentrations. It is likely to be in the range
2°C to 4.5°C with a best estimate of about 3°C
, and is
very unlikely to be less than 1.5°C. " 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. 12

Lindzen and Choi note

"For sensitivities less than 2[deg]C, the data readily distinguish
different sensitivities, and ERBE data appear to
demonstrate a climate sensitivity of about 0.5 [deg]C which is
easily distinguished from sensitivities given by models." Lindzen, R. S., and Y.-S. Choi (2009), On the determination of climate feedbacks from ERBE data, Geophys. Res. Lett., 36, L16705, page 5

In other words, the sensitivity is 1/6th of what the global warming hysterical IPCC says it is. That means that we are not about to destroy the earth by more CO2.

A couple of months ago I posted a backward look at the sensitivity. I showed that the world is NOT warming as the IPCC expects.

Notice the two straighter lines are the 2 deg C and 5 deg C for a doubling of CO2. The actual temperature has not risen as the IPCC says and it has risen more closely to what the

Monday, October 19, 2009

1880-1930 Hot; 1950-2000 Cold. Extreme Temperature Records

As the world warms, we should expect that we should find more heat records as time goes on and more cold records early on. But this is not what is found. Let's go through the continents.

The hottest temperature in Africa happened at El Azizia, Libya in 1922. It was 136 deg F. Since then we have added about 100 parts per million of CO2 into the atmosphere--1/3 more CO2 than at that time. Yet, neither El Azizia nor any other spot in Africa has exceeded that temperature since. But we are supposed to be warming.

The coldest temperature in Africa didn't happen back when the world was cold. It happened Ifrane, Morocco in 1935 when the world, once again had more CO2 than it had in 1922. The temperature reached an amazing -11 F.

In Antarctica, the warmest temperature happened at Vandia Station in 1974. It was 59 F. In 1974 there was only 330 ppm of CO2. Today we have 385 ppm and that temperature has never been exceeded. Why doesn't CO2 work to warm the land after it gets into the atmosphere?

In Antarctica the coldest temperature happened at Vostok Station when it reached -129 F. This was in July 1983 when the atmosphere had about 342 ppm. More CO2 didn't keep the coldest temperature record on earth from happening.

Asia has the only record where the coldest temperature occurred before the hottest--something consistent with the thesis that the world is warming. All other continents reverse what should be expected.In Asia, the hottest temperature is 129 F at Tirat Tisvi, Israel in June 1942. The coldest record in Asia happened in Oimekon, /Verkhoyansk, Russia 1933 and 1892 respectively. That temperature was -90 F. Other than this, all other warm temperature records occur decades before the cold weather records.

Australia saw its hottest temperature at Cloncurry, Queensland in 1889. The temperature was 128 F. At that time the world had about 280 parts per million CO2 in the atmosphere. But when Australia saw its coldest day -9.4 F at Charlotte Pass in 1994, the world had 355 parts per million, 25% more CO2 than when the warm record was set.

Europe saw its hottest day in 1881 at Seville, Spain when the temperature rose to a blistering 122 F. One would think that there was a lot of CO2 in the atmosphere but in reality it was almost at the pre-industrial levels of 280 ppm. Interestingly after the world added CO2, the coldest day occured at Ust'Shchugor, Russia which reached a bone-chilling -67 F after 1950. That is all I can tell you because the weather records don't have a date. I know it was after 1950 because the temperature record starts in 1950 for Ust'Schchugor, Russia. In any event the coldest temperature occurred decades after the record warmth.

North America is similar. The hottest temperature occurred in July 1913 in Death Valley. The temperature was 134 deg F. In spite of over 100 ppm more of CO2, Death vally has yet to exceed that horrible temperature. One would think that with the increasing CO2 we should not see cold temperature records decades later, but at Snag, Yukon, Canada, the coldest North American temperature reached -84.4 F in 1947.
Yep, global warming at work for you.

Oceania, the area of the Pacific experienced its hottest temperature at Tuguegarao, Philippines when the temperature rose to 129 F in April 1912. But in spite of huge increases in CO2, the temperature has never risen above that old record. The coldest day in Oceania occurred at Mauna Kea Hawaii in 1947 when the temperature reached a low of 12 degrees in 1979.

South America is a bit unique in that the hottest day at Rivadavia, Argentina happened in 2005 when the temperature was 120 F. The coldest day occurred two years later in 2007 when Sarmiento, Argentina recorded a low of -27 F.

As you can see almost all of the cold weather records occur AFTER the hot weather records. This is precisely backwards to what global warming should predict. This is a failed prediction of global warming.

Saturday, October 17, 2009

The Prevarications about Greenland

All the headlines say Greenland is melting.

"Melting Greenland Ice Sheets May Threaten Northeast United States, Canada"

"High Water: Greenland ice sheet melting faster than expected and could raise East Coast sea levels an extra 20 inches by 2100 — to more than 6 feet"

As ice melts, species will die and new territorial fights emerge

Dire predictions for future of Arctic ice

Yep, it is close to Halloween and the hysteriacs are about their normal scare tactics. The boogey man is out there waiting to get you in just a few years. Give us money to study this.

The other day I ran across a study that showed that Greenland was subsiding.

"As mentioned earlier, when we use the Ice-3G model for the melting of Pleistocene ice prior to 4000 years ago, and convolve these data with viscoelastic Green's functions, we estimate a viscoelastic uplift of 3.5 ± 2.5 mm/yr at KELY. The uncertainty on this value represents the range of possibilities in our estimate, given the uncertainty in the earth's viscosity profile. If we remove this rate of uplift from the GPS secular subsidence value (~ 5.7 ± 0.9 mm/yr), we obtain an effective elastic subsidence of 9.2 ± 2.7 mm/yr. Tonie van Dam, Kristine Larson, John Wahr, Olivier Francis, " Using GPS and Gravity to Infer Ice Mass Changes in Greenland," Eos Trans. AGU, 81(37), 421
accessed 10-16-09

Then I found a powerpoint of a talk showing the measurements of elevation over an 8 year period

When I saw that I thought "That is odd. When you remove ice from a land, like Scandinavia, the land RISES!" Only thicker ice causes subsidence. Less ice causes UPLIFT. So, I looked further. I ran into a 2005 Science article which show that Greenland's ice fields are gaining snow. Yep, you heard it correctly. Greenland, according to this recent study is adding ice, not losing ice.

"A continuous data set of Greenland Ice Sheet altimeter height from European remote Sensing satellites (ERS-1 and ERS-2), 1992 to 2003, has been analyzed. An increase of 6.4 +/- 0.2 centimeters per year (cm/year) is found in the vast interior areas above 1500 meters, in contrast to previous reports of highelevation balance. Below 1500 meters, the elevation-change rate is –2.0 +/- 0.9 cm/year, in qualitative agreement with reported thinning in the ice-sheet margins. Averaged over the study area, the increase is 5.4 +/- 0.2 cm/year, or ~60 cm over 11 years, or ~54 cm when corrected for isostatic uplift. Winter elevation changes are shown to be linked to the North Atlantic Oscillation." Ola M. Johannessen, Kirill Khvorostovsky, Martin W. Miles, Leonid P. Bobylev "Recent Ice-Sheet Growth in the Interior of Greenland," Science 310(2005), p. 1013

How can this be when all the headlines are screaming that Greenland is melting??? What the hysteriacs are doing is looking at the edges of the continent and using that as headlines while they ignore the growth in Greenland's interior. Shame on them. Here is a picture showing ice sheet growth. Notice that only the edges of the continent show thinning. Red is indicative of the ice surface dropping, blue is evidence of the ice surface rising.

The hysteriacs and their followers in the press scream loudly about the tiny amounts of red on the picture above and tell no one about the vast quantities of blue. Shame on this unscientific attitude.

This Science article also has a chart of the growth of the ice sheet over time showing that above 1500 m the ice is getting thicker while below that elevation it is getting thinner, but the over all effect is that Greenland has more ice today thay yesterday, metaphorically speaking.

This finally makes some other data fit. In order for Greenland to melt, the temperature must rise. But NOAA's Global Climate at a Glance site allows pop up charts showing the temperature trends for various spots on earth. Since 2001 central Greenland has been getting colder. Below are some of those pictures.

For a full set of temperature trends in Greenland see greenland-holophobic-fear-is-over

Selective use of data to propel a political agenda is a shameful thing for scientists to do.

Monday, October 12, 2009

Antarctica's Ice is Growing Not Melting

All the global warming hysteriacs will tell you that Antarctica is melting. Yes, that evil CO2 is doing the ice in down there. I have spent a fair amount of time researching this claim. As with the Arctic, nothing is simple and to understand what is happening, it takes some sleuthing. I will first post the data in favor of snow accumulation in Antarctica. At the end, I will put a discussion of the GRACE satellite data which is a widely cited work that purports to show that the ice is thinning. I put that discussion at the bottom because it will be a bit technical. I put the data for snow accumulation at the start because anything against global warming hysteria never gets into the press. Indeed, NASA has not commented on some of the work discussed below. It doesn't fit their story line.

I ran across the following picture in Science, a peer reviewed journal. Red/brown shows areas which are increasing in ice thickness. This is determined by measuring the altitude of the ice surface.

The continent is mostly reddish, meaning that the ice surface is rising and thus presumably the ice thickness is increasing, not melting. Only on a tiny part of the continent is the ice surface falling. You can see the blue on the west coast of the Antarctic Peninsula in the first picture. But that doesn't mean that the entire Antarctic continent is losing ice. But it is events here which the press and scientists constantly use to proclaim that Antarctica is melting.

Here is a look at the time series of the surface height of Antarctica. It is rising, not falling. It is collecting more ice.

Antarctica is gaining 1.8 cm per year of ice after the corrections are made. Yet, everyone says that Antarctica is melting. How can that be? It can be because evidence doesn't matter to many of the hysteriacs. They select the areas they want the average person to look at and then they loudly proclaim that Antarctica is melting. If one only looks at the Peninsula, then it is losing mass and the Peninsula is warming. But if you look elsewhere, you see the opposite.

Given all the above it is really interesting to find out that Antarctica didn't melt much this year, in 2009, while I was down there in January, and the trend has been towards less and less melting for the past 4 years. I ran into this information on another blog which had a picture of Antarctica's snowmelt anomaly plublished at this blog

Now, if snow is growing, as the first two pictures shows, and the melting is going down, as the picture above shows it has over the past 4 years, then the conclusion has to be that more snow is piling up on Antarctica, lowering the sea level. Halleluyah, we are not going to drown the Bangladeshi's.

But, I do want to use a tool that the hysteriacs always use to support their position--the trend line. I took the values off of Tedesco's and Monaghan's chart and calculated a slope. It works out to a melt anomaly trend line of -.32 per decade. In otherwords, the entire time of the record keeping, Antarctica has been melting less and less on average every year. Sauce for the goose is sauce for the gander.

I looked up the Tedesco and Monaghan Geophysical Research Letters article and found some very interesting information. The melting index is:

". . . Antarctic snowmelt index in 2009 (e.g., the number of melting days times the area subject to melting with the year referring to the January of a reported melt season, but including melt from November and December of the previous year) set a new historical minimum for the period 1980–2009 (Figure 1). . . .The snowmelt index in 2009 was about ~17.8 million km^2 × days, below the average (1980–2008) value of about 35 million km^2 × days. Snowmelt extent in 2009 was ~690,000 km^2, also significantly smaller than the average value of ~1,294,000 km^2, being the second lowest value in the 30-year record." Marco Tedesco and Andrew J. Monaghan, “An updated Antarctic melt record through 2009 and its linkages to high-latitude and tropical climate variability,” Geophysical Research Letters, 36(2009), p. L18502

I would like the readers to note that the warming isn't happening in the white area. A close look at the scale in the picture above, zero is white on that scale. Most of Antarctica isn't melting in those regions because the temperature is always below zero! How in the hell can Antarctica melt if it is constantly below zero C and has zero melting days???? Such are the mysteries of the minds of global warming hysteriacs that they can believe that a continent which is showing melting only around the tiny edges is about to cause a catastrophe.

Secondly, I can assure you there is lots of ice on the peninsula. Below is a photo, I took of a 500 ft high glacier edge taken in January 2009. There is an almost infinite supply of ice for my margharitas!

I was in a rubber Zodiac on the water a little over a mile from that ice cliff. The scenery is grand in Antactica.

Thirdly, as mentioned above, I would also point out to people that it is hard for Antarctica to melt if the temperature is below zero. Such niceties escape the notice of the global warming hysteriacs. Below is the graph of the yearly maximum and minimum temperature for Vostok station in Antarctica. Note that the station is always below freezing and thus can't be melting, no matter what the GRACE satellite says. One can have it flow away, as glacial ice does, but one can't have it melting, for the simple reason that the temperature is below freezing

Here are more stations from East Antarctica. I have over-represented the number of stations which go above zero during the year. Notice that Mawson and Novolazarevskaya have been cooling down for a few years. They are NOT currently warming.

Finally, not only the studies above show that Antarctica is GAINING mass and lowering the sea level, there are others.

"We find that data from climate model reanalyses are not able to characterise the contemporary snowfall fluctuation with useful accuracy and our best estimate of the overall mass trend—growth of 27+/-29 Gt yr^-1 —is based on an assessment of the expected snowfall variability. Mass gains from accumulating snow, particularly on the Antarctic Peninsula and within East Antarctica, exceed the ice dynamic mass loss from West Antarctica." D. J. WINGHAM, et al, "Mass balance of the Antarctic ice sheet," Phil. Trans. R. Soc. A (2006) 364, 1627–1635, p. 1627

"We show that 72% of the Antarctic ice sheet is gaining 27+/-29 Gt yr^-1, a sink of ocean mass sufficient to lower global sea levels by 0.08 mm yr^-1." D. J. WINGHAM, et al, "Mass balance of the Antarctic ice sheet," Phil. Trans. R. Soc. A (2006) 364, 1627–1635, p. 1634

"We have used ice-flow velocity measurements from synthetic aperture radar to reassess the mass balance of the Ross Ice Streams, West Antarctica. We find strong evidence for ice-sheet growth (26.8 gigatons per year), in contrast to earlier estimates indicating a mass deficit (20.9 gigatons per year). Average thickening is equal to ~25% of the accumulation rate, with most of this growth occurring on Ice Stream C. Whillans Ice Stream, which was thought to have a significantly negative mass balance, is close to balance, reflecting its continuing slowdown. The overall positive mass balance may signal an end to the Holocene retreat of these ice streams." Ian Joughin and Slawek Tulaczyk, "Positive Mass Balance of the Ross Ice Streams, West Antarctica" Science, 295(2002), p. 476

GRACE Satellite Data

The global warming crowd will point to the GRACE satellite which is supposed to show that the entire Antarctican ice cap is losing mass. They use a technique used by young-earthers. If they can find one article that supports their position, they act as if it is a trump card for any and all other data. That is why this GRACE satellite data is used so much and unfortunately most people don't understand gravity data.

What the hysteriacs don't tell you is that with gravitational data, you can't tell where the mass change is occurring. Just so people will know that I am familiar with gravitational data, two of my published geophysical papers are gravitational papers. here and here. I have used gravity with great regularity in the search for oil and gas, especially in areas covered by thick salt deposits. We need to know the salt thickness, and use gravity to estimate it, but it isn't very accurate, and it can't be more accurate when it comes to estimating thicknesses of ice. Tiny changes in the density of the sub-salt sediments will move the base of the salt by hundreds of feet up or down. This same thing would happen with densities beneath the ice.

But, the above being said, I will cite the GRACE authors themselves stating exactly what I said above.

"GRACE (5) provides monthly estimates of Earth's global gravity field at scales of a few hundred kilometers and larger. Time variations in the gravity field can be used to determine changes in Earth_s mass distribution. GRACE mass solutions have no vertical resolution, however, and do not reveal whether a gravity variation over Antarctica is caused by a change in snow and ice on the surface, a change in atmospheric mass above Antarctica, or postglacial rebound (PGR: the viscoelastic response of the solid Earth to glacial unloading over the past several thousand years)." Isabella Velicogna and John Wahr, "Measurements of Time-Variable Gravity Show Mass Loss in Antarctica, Science, 311(2006), p. 1754

Note the bolded part. As I said above, they admit that they can't tell at what level the mass change happens so they correct the data to make it appear as if the ice is melting. What hooey.

The GRACE satellite paper was published in 2006 and Figure 2 of that paper is shown below.

If you look at the blue dots, the raw data, it doesn't look like there is much change in mass. Only after the corrections which I will describe below does it look like there is a change in ice thickness. As with the US temperatures which don't get hotter unless one 'corrects' the raw data, the raw data here doesn't show melting unless a 'correction' is made.

The gravitational field consists of the summation of the gravitational constant times each mass element divided by the square of the distance to the point of observation. Nearby mass has greater effect than far away mass. But as with any sum, you can't tell what two numbers were summed to form the total. Example: What numbers did I sum to make the number 10,567? Not only do you not know what numbers, you don't know how many numbers went into the sum. GRACE satellite observes a sum, not the numbers going into the sum. The researcher must assume his way into knowing the distribution of mass, or he must have hard data for the densities of various layers. All that is lacking in Antarctica.

To come up with a chart of ice thickness, one has to assume a model of the mass changes at all levels. Below is a chart showing the atmosphere, ice layer, crustal layer and earth mantle. Listed are all the things one must know before one can determine the ice thickness. If you don't know any of these items, you can't determine the ice thickness from gravity.

Only after you know a whole lot about everything else can you successfully estimate the thickness of the ice. While the GRACE people come out with a chart that looks oh so convincing, I can tell you that minor changes to density in the mantle beneath Antarctica will change the estimate of ice thickness drastically. I have experienced this problem trying to determine salt thickness in the Gulf of Mexico and it is exactly the same problem, mathematically speaking. One wonders how much of the correction is mere bias.

As to a post-glacial rebound, we don't know what the past ice thickness on Antarctica was or precisely when it flowed off the continent (note that I didn't say it melted). We can't possibly know that because the ice flows(not melts) and we don't have a well enough defined velocity history over the past centuries to define the past unloading of ice.

Let's hear from the scientific literature on this point. GIA = glacial isostatic uplift=post-glacial rebound.

The predicted present-day GIA uplift rates peak at 14–18 mm yr^−1 and geoid rates peak at 4–5 mm yr^−1 for two contrasting viscosity models. If the asthenosphere underlying West Antarctica has a low viscosity then the predictions could change substantially due to the extreme sensitivity to recent (past two millennia) ice mass variability. Future observations of crustal motion and gravity change will substantially improve the understanding of sub-Antarctic lithospheric and mantle rheology. Irvins and James, "Antarctic glacial isostatic adjustment: a new assessment", Antarctic Science (2005), 17:4:541-553

Note that they don't know the viscosity--they haven't been observing it long enough.

There are so many unknowns that to claim that we know the ice thickness and timing of melting from gravity data is ridiculous. I also can't figure out how Antarctica is melting given that central Antarctica doesn't get above zero deg C-see below.

To conclude, it appears that Antarctica is gaining ice and thus the seas must be going down. I wish the story were simpler, but, as I said, nothing in nature is simple.

Tuesday, October 6, 2009

Innacuracies in the Temperature Record

I have pounded the accuracy of the measurement issue hard in this blog. My main assumption is that, barring elevational changes, two closely spaced thermometers should give a quite similar temperatures. Indeed they should be quasi-duplicate measurements which is why this is such a valuable way to look at the data. The temperature difference should be almost zero or bounce around zero.

But, as readers of this blog know, such is not the case. The temperature differences are huge, sometimes exceeding 10 degrees for the average temperature difference. And this, in turn, raises the question of how accurately can we measure the temperature. The claim is made that the world has warmed by 1.1 deg F. To make that statement we must, in turn, have a capability of measuring the temperature to an accuracy of less than 1.1 deg F.

Now since two nearby measurements can be taken as duplicate measurements on the same day we can use that information to determine the measurement error. The standard deviation of the temperature differences represents the measurement error. In other words, from the standard deviation, you know that the true temperature has a 68% chance of being within 1 standard deviation of the thermometer reading. If the standard deviation is 2 and your read the thermometer as 73, you know that 68% of the time the true temperature is between 71 and 75 degrees. That is how it works.

Now below are pictures of the standard deviation of the temperature for each day of the year for the temperature difference between Chippewa Lakes, OH and Wooster, OH. A perfect measurement system would have the line at zero. You can see that it isn't at zero. And it varies throughout the year. One has more accuracy in the summer than in the winters.

At these two towns, separated by 1/12000ths of the earth's circumference, we can only measure the temperature to an accuracy of +/- 3 degrees.

It is no better when one looks at other closely spaced towns. Carlinville, IL and Hillsboro, IL, separated by 20 miles, show that this spot can only measure the temperature to within +/- 2.5 degrees.

Global warming is said to have warmed the earth by 1.1 deg F, which is 1/2 or 1/3 of the error in the measurement. When your measurements are that erroneous, you can't say the world has warmed from this data.

And the worst yet is between Mondevideo and Milan MN. The standard deviation for the entire data set shows that we can't measure the same temperature closer than +/- 4.4 deg F

Sunday, October 4, 2009

Let's hear it for hurting the poor!

One of the lunatic dreams of the global warming hysteriacs is the capture and storage of carbon dioxide from the atmosphere. We are supposed to terraform the earth, capturing carbon dioxide from the air and injecting it into underground storage all for the purpose of returning the world to a low level of CO2, around 280 ppm. Science last week had a special section on carbon sequestration (storage and isolation). This special section made it perfectly clear why this will never ever work. It is terribly uneconomic. It will hurt the poor and make their lives more miserable but the global warming hysteriacs don't really think about the poor. They don't care that what they suggest will increase the old misery index, raise the cost of food and make shoes for poor school children less affordable. They only care about carbon.

Let's start with what Stuart Hazeldine said. I will post more from that section

"Separation of CO2 is the step that consumes the most energy and results in the highest cost. Historical examples of CO2 separation, if scaled-up, could consume 25 to 40% of the fuel energy of a power plant and be responsible for 70% or more of the additional costs in CCS (8). The developments currently under way should result in tangible improvements toward a 10 to 20% energy penalty. For commercialization, it is normal practice to construct progressively larger equipment from pilot to demonstration plants (Fig. 2). This practice enables learning to increase reliability and reduce cost. The three capture methods are currently indistinguishable in cost and efficiency." R. Stuart Haszeldine,"Carbon Capture and Storage: How Green Can Black Be?" Science, 325(2009), p. 1648

So, to capture the CO2 we must spend say 30% of the current energy of the power plant. This is like throwing away 1/3 of the energy we generate just for fun. This is as lunatic as getting your pay check and throwing 1/3 of it down the toilet. Energy is a valuable gift and throwing away 1/3 of it for something that is absolutely unessential is sheer madness.

How many of you are willing to do with 30% less electricity? To put this into perspective, to capture CO2 would take more energy than is currently used on PCs.

"They[IEA study--grm] hold computers, related equipment and consumer electronics responsible for close to 15 percent of total residential electricity consumption today, a share similar to that of other major appliance categories such as water heating or refrigeration. However, they add, the growth has been faster, about 7 percent per year since 1990."

Given that cooking (26% of consumption) and AC/Heating (31% of consumption) are necessities, a loss of 30% of our electricity for the purpose of capturing carbon would lead to dropping our computer use, ipods and cell phones. Are you willing to do this? I know the answer. You are not.

But at least in the short term, carbon capture would raise the cost of electricity by more than 30% in order to balance supply and demand. This is supported by a recent economic study showing that at at a coal gassification plant carbon capture would raise the cost of electricity by 34%. At a natural gas fired plant the cost would rise 48% and at a pulverized coal plant the cost of electricity would rise by 75%. source Yeah, this is a wonderful way to help the poor--raise the cost of everything.

Such cost rises would have huge implications. Food companies can't do without the electricity they use to refrigerate our food; they can't reduce consumption. Unless we are willing to cut out our personal refrigerators and eat unrefrigerated products, it is hard to see how we will cut down the onsumption. Iron ore miners and aluminum smelters use electricity and unless people don't buy steel or aluminum, they can't cut consumption. Companies today rely on computers and can't reduce those costs either. All their records are kept on computers. That means that prices will sky-rocket. In modern office buildings you can't open the windows so you must have air conditioning or you can't work in that building. Rental costs go up to pay for the electricity. The cost for everything will go up as the cost of electricity rises. Food costs will go up, clothing costs will rise, and shelter costs will rise. All of this will hurt the poor. In a carbon sequestration world, the poor, it seems, will just have to eat, well, more poorly. Yep, let's hurt those poor people--they are too fat anyway!

Last year when oil prices were so high, I had a conversation with an electrical company employee who told me that many of the rural poor in the region around my ranch were having to chose between buying electricity for air conditioning in the hot brutal Texas summers, or buying gasoline so they can drive to work. They were choosing to have their electricity cut off. They were being hurt by high energy prices.

Since carbon sequestration will lead to the short term increase in electrical prices, once again, the poor will have to chose between electricity in their homes or gasoline with which to drive to work. Of course, why should the poor have nice lives? The global warming hysteriacs clearly don't care about the quality of life the poor live. They want all of us to pay for reducing our carbon footprint. The rich will suffer through; the poor will merely suffer. Hip-hip-hooray for hurting the poor!!! We can lower the atmospheric carbon on the backs of the poor.

Seriously, shame on those who don't think about the consequences of capturing carbon and what it will do to the poor. They are heartless ideologues.

The second effect of carbon sequestration is vastly more coal mining. Most of our electricity comes from burning coal. Humans will NOT want to reduce their electricity usage so because of the high price of electricity, driven by the insane usage of energy to sequester carbon, more and more electrical plants will be built resulting in more coal mining to get the fuel with which to make electricity. While that will provide some jobs for the poor, it will result in more strip mines being built, something the hysteriacs in general don't like. But they don't care about that either--they just want to reduce carbon emissions. To heck with anything else.

Because each electrical plant will now requires a costly companion plant to capture the carbon, we can expect to see little no economic growth. Of carbon capture demonstration plants, Haszeldine writes:

"Each demonstration coal plant requires a system for price support for many years to recover the $1.5 billion extra capital and operational cost of generating decarbonized electricity. The pricing provided by the current carbon market is far too low and erratic." R. Stuart Haszeldine,"Carbon Capture and Storage: How Green Can Black Be?" Science, 325(2009), p. 1650

This means that companies will have to pay more for electricity in order to pay for the stupid carbon sequestration plants. Every product they make will cost more--shoes for the children of the poor will cost more. Fewer shoes will be sold. Those companies will have less money with which to hire people because the people who buy their products will have less money with which to buy them. So, some jobs must go.
How will the jobs go? Some of the companies will simply move overseas to places where they don't have a carbon sequestration rules. It is cheaper to make the product overseas and then ship it here than to pay 34-75% more in electricity costs. So, who loses their jobs? Not the executives who manage the plants over seas. It is the US poor who used to work in those factories driven out of the US by the lunacy of carbon capture.

Because of the inevitable export of jobs, families will have less disposable income and will go out to eat less often, meaning waiters and cooks will get laid off. That old car I am driving? Well, I think I can nurse it along another year--meaning more auto workers laid off. Store clerks will not be needed as much because there will be less money spent on clothing and everything else. The global warming hysteriacs forget taht 70% of the economy is consumer spending and they want less of it. Yep, lets make more poor people; it is such an environmentally friendly thing to do.

Let me try to illustrate this by something from the unemployment figures yesterday. The Wall Street Journal Oct 3-4, 2009, p. A2 said this:

"More troubling: Several indicators pointed to a weaker job market in the months ahead. Overtime fell, a sign that employers can get by with existing staffing. The number of hours fell by 0.1 to 33.0. Hourely wages of private-=sector nonsupervisory workers rose only one cent an hour to $18.67, but a shrinking average work week reduced average weeklly wages by $1.54 to $616.11."

Now, there are about 160 million people in the US work force (or who want to be in the work force). A reduction of income of $1.54/week results in a reduction of spending by those same people of $246 million dollars per week, or about a billion dollars per month. There is no way this won't cause more job losses in the future. If people don't buy the product, someone gets laid off. Of course it is the poor who will suffer the most.

Yep, the global warming hysteriacs don't think about the consequences of increasing the costs of doing business. Product prices must rise to pay for the increased costs. People then have less money to buy those products and so buy fewer of them and that means fewer people are needed to produce the product and thus some of them must be laid off. Yippee, we get more poor people.

Let's hear it for hurting the poor.