May 24, 2007

Cooling the Permafrost Scare

The global warming story is told over and over, and today every school child in America is aware that burning fossil fuels increases the atmospheric concentration of carbon dioxide, and they have learned that carbon dioxide is a greenhouse gas that will warm the Earth as its concentration increases. Of course, the United States is largely responsible for this mess, and children are given terrific suggestions on how they can get their parents to stop global warming.

Should someone begin to look more into the global warming issue, they will uncover literally hundreds of additional gems in the greenhouse apocalypse – they will rather quickly discover that Arctic region permafrost is melting at an unprecedented rate, and somehow this will lead us to a runaway greenhouse effect that might warm the Earth far more than any of us ever feared. The melting of permafrost is a solid, never-weakening pillar, of the greenhouse – global warming story.

But all is not as it seems (or as Al Gore would have you believe).

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May 21, 2007

Actual South American Snow Cover Data Show No Climate Change

Within the Fourth Assessment Report (AR4) of the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC), the authors of the chapter focusing on snow, ice, and frozen ground (Chapter 4) state that “The cryosphere integrates climate variations over a wide range of time scales, making it a natural sensor of climate variability and providing a visible expression of climate change.” In their very next sentence, the authors concede that “the cryosphere has undergone large variations on many time scales associated with ice ages and with shorter-term variations.” This is a conscientious caveat to their report, because it is widely accepted that Earth’s cryosphere, or frozen realm, has changed significantly in the past with variability in planetary temperature. It should not be too difficult to understand the concept that periods of reduced snow and ice across Earth have historically coincided with planetary warmth. With a risk of tugging on that particular linchpin of Al Gore’s scientific knowledge, here comes new research findings associated with snowpack variability in the Andes Mountains of South America.

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May 14, 2007

Questioning Ocean Warming?

We just did an internet search on “Ocean Warming” and found an incredible 7.2 million sites! We sampled a few and found exactly what we expected – endless stories of how the oceans of the world are heating up at an unprecedented rate; absolutely anything and everything related to the ocean is currently in peril according to these sites. Even if you live thousands of miles from the sea, ocean warming will negatively impact you given how ocean temperatures influence weather and climate any place on the planet. Our survey of “Ocean Warming” internet sites did not reveal anyone questioning whether or not the oceans are actually warming up – “Ocean Warming” is simply assumed to be a fact.

Well, in a recent issue of theJournal of Physical Oceanography, an article appears entitled “Is the World Ocean Warming? Upper-Ocean Temperature Trends: 1950–2000”. Once again, we at World Climate Report are attracted to research that dares to question any of the pillars of the greenhouse scare, and from just the title alone, we knew we would enjoy this article. We were not disappointed.

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May 8, 2007

Neptune News

Filed under: Climate Changes

Neptune is the planet farthest from the Sun (Pluto is now considered only a dwarf planet), Neptune is the planet farthest from the Earth, and to our knowledge, there has been absolutely no industrialization out at Neptune in recent centuries. There has been no recent build-up of greenhouse gases there, no deforestation, no rapid urbanization, no increase in contrails from jet airplanes, and no increase in ozone in the low atmosphere; recent changes at Neptune could never be blamed on any human influence. Incredibly, an article has appeared in a recent issue of Geophysical Research Letters showing a stunning relationship between the solar output, Neptune’s brightness, and heaven forbid, the temperature of the Earth. With its obvious implications to the greenhouse debate, we are certain you have never heard of the work and never will outside World Climate Report.

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May 2, 2007

Arctic Ice and Polar Bears

A new study looking at observed and projected rates of Arctic sea ice loss concludes that the Arctic oceans are losing ice faster than expected considering anthropogenic greenhouse effect changes alone (or, alternatively, our expectations are in error). But before anyone goes off and starts pointing to the imminent demise to polar bears… oops, too late…

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Global View of Wildfires

Filed under: Droughts

Wildfires have been associated with the global warming scare for decades, and nearly two million websites found for “Forest Fires and Global Warming” continue to stoke the flames. The argument seems rather simple – the world warms and in the absence of a compensating increase in precipitation, many areas of the world become drier. The drier vegetation is more vulnerable to fires, and more wildfires result. A few pictures of Yellowstone Park and/or San Diego hillsides on fire will help make the point. Add comments about how vegetation is stressed trying to cope with rapid environmental change, and fires seem even more inevitable. Furthermore, a not-so-complicated set of feedbacks can make it seem even worse – note that fires contribute enormously to the atmospheric carbon dioxide concentration and then describe how a darker surface resulting from fires can decrease the reflectivity of the surface (making it as black as a parking lot) thereby resulting in even more warming. Given that wildfires are impacting some part of the Earth every day, there is no end to up-to-date photo opportunities, there are plenty of folks are willing to speculate that “we may be seeing the impacts of climate change,” and a pillar of the greenhouse earth is reinforced. Through in some heart-wrenching pictures of animals coping with a burned forest or grassland, and to say the least, you are part of the global warming fraternity.

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