November 28, 2007

Terminating Warming? A Look at California

Filed under: Temperature History

Many manly men around our country were undoubtedly thrilled to see super-hero Arnold Schwarzenegger become the leader of one of the largest and most powerful states in the nation, and we all knew that the Terminator would tackle problems in new and authoritative ways. However, the manly men have been a bit surprised that Governor Schwarzenegger has become such an outspoken leader in the fight against emission of carbon dioxide. Taking on a naturally-occurring molecule exhaled every minute by 150 pound weaklings seems a bit too soft for one of the physically strongest men to ever live.


November 20, 2007

The Big Secret: Climate Bills Result in No Meaningful Impact on Global Temperature

Filed under: Climate Politics

Three bills have been introduced to Congress which have as a goal to slow the rate of global temperature rise, and in doing so, avert some type of putative global climate catastrophe. They propose to do so by reducing U.S. emissions of greenhouse gases.

At the requst of Senators Bingaman and Spector, the EPA has analyzed the effectiveness these bills as measured by the net impact each will have ameliorating the rise of global atmospheric carbon dioxide (CO2) concentrations (and thus global climate change) by the end of this century. What they found was certainly not encouraging, at least for anyone who thinks that the U.S. alone can have any impact on global climate via new regulation of emissions.


November 19, 2007

Changes in European Storminess?

Filed under: Climate Changes

One of the popular tenets of the greenhouse scare is that storms will become more fierce and more common in the future due to global warming. Whether we are looking at tropical storms (hurricanes) or extra-tropical storms, anything and everything should be blamed on the ongoing build-up of greenhouse gases. Given that the global weather system produces tropical and extra-tropical storms every single day, there is no end of fresh material needed to keep the greenhouse story alive and well.

However, a recent article will soon appear in Climate Dynamics, and we suspect it will not be carried by any news service. The international team of scientists is from the Climate Research Division of Environment Canada, the Central Institute for Meteorology and Geodynamics in Austria, the Swedish Meteorological and Hydrological Institute, and the Institute for Coastal Research in Germany. The Matulla et al. group begin by noting “Severe storms can do widespread damage to ecosystems, property and society. Inland areas are affected by wind-throw uprooting trees, soil erosion and damage to construction. Coastal regions are not only exposed to the wind force but to storm surges and wind waves in the wake of storms as well. Due to its impact on socioeconomic structures storm-climate naturally attracts public attention. In the North–East Atlantic and the North Sea a roughening storminess was perceived and public concern was raised in the early 1990s.” Of course, the early 1990s was also the time when the global warming scare was launched and thrown into high gear, and we suspect that Europeans made the link between global warming and their perceived increase in storminess.


November 13, 2007

Centuries of Yellow River Climate

Filed under: Droughts, Floods, Precipitation

According to 1,000s of websites trumpeting the horrors of global warming, we find countless claims that the ongoing build-up of greenhouse gases is causing droughts and floods all over the world. Hardly a week goes by nowadays without a front page news story about some weather or climate calamity occurring somewhere on the planet, and global warming is repeatedly claimed to be the cause. Turn the radio to NPR for an hour or so, and you will certainly be told how the failure of the United States to sign the Kyoto Protocol has caused some disastrous flood or drought.

Several articles have been published recently allowing us to catch a glimpse of centuries of climate variations in China, and as we have seen in hundreds of other similar studies, nothing all that unusual has been happening lately. The first of these recent articles will soon appear in Climate Dynamics and was written by the team of Shen, Wang, Hao, and Gong of the Atmospheric Sciences Research Center of the State University of New York. They note that “In recent decades, eastern China has suffered increased droughts in its north and increased floods in its south. The studies of climate models suggested that this trend could probably be attributed to the climate effects of black carbon aerosols and human-induced land cover changes”. Holy smokes – black carbon and land use? Shen et al. apparently haven’t been listening to enough NPR for surely drought and floods in China are related to global warming!


November 8, 2007

Snow and Ice Surprises

A recent headline carried around the world certainly caught our eye as it proclaimed “Mont Blanc Growing Due to Global Warming.” When we first saw the piece, we fully expected to read about a process called isostatic rebound. If you are rusty in basic earth science principles, isostatic rebound occurs when weight is reduced from the earth’s crust (as is the case when a substantial amount of ice disappears from a region), the crust rebounds upward, and the land surface increases its elevation with respect to sea level. Oppositely, when ice accumulates over a region (e.g., Greenland, Antarctica), the crust is depressed, sometimes well below sea level. So when we first saw the piece about Mont Blanc, the highest peak in the Alps, we assumed the article would be about how melting of the mountain glaciers has now led to crustal rebounding and a higher summit. However, we were in for a huge surprise.


November 5, 2007

Greenland Climate: Now vs. Then, Part II. Record Greenland Melt Area?

Filed under: Arctic, Climate History, Polar

Recently the press was more ablaze than California with NASA proclamations that the surface area of Greenland had melted in 2007 at a record-high rate. This is true, if the record only extends back only 20 years or so—which is the case of the NASA dataset. If you could peer back a bit further into the past, say back into the 1950s, it is quite likely that the melt area in Greenland then was about the same as it is now, effectively rendering the 2007 melt area hardly newsworthy. Just another NASA climate-change exaggeration?


November 2, 2007

Fires Contribute to Global Warming?

The recent wildfires in California have certainly provided an opportunity for the greenhouse crusade to further claim that global warming is already increasing fire frequency, duration, and intensity all over the planet. In the midst of the disaster in California, Nevada Democrat and Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid told reporters that “One reason why we have the fires in California is global warming.” However, when pressed by astonished reporters on whether he really believed global warming caused the fires, he appeared to back away from his comments, saying there are many factors that contributed to the disaster. Since then, literally hundreds of newspaper articles appeared throughout the country reinforcing the idea that emissions of greenhouse gases have warmed the earth, dried the forests, and made fires a lot worse.


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