Posts Tagged 'anthropogenic global warming'

UN IPCC: Rotting from the Head down


(Apologies to Stahler)

The UN Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) is stinking like a dead fish, rotting from the head down. In what has been dubbed ‘Glaciergate’, the IPCC has been exposed as conspiring to present a tissue of lies about the melting of glaciers in the Himalayas, claiming with greater than 90% confidence that they would disappear by 2035 or sooner. There was never any scientific basis whatsoever for such claims, and the ‘source’ quoted was WWF, an avowed advocacy group. Both the IPCC and WWF have recently admitted that the claims were false, long after these claims have become embedded in countless papers, books and presentations and caused alarmism about the fate of hundreds of millions of people who rely on the rivers that run from the Himalayas. But the damage this has done goes very deep: not only were the claims in the IPCC Fourth Assessment report (AR4) based on lies, but the lies have for years been peddled by the head of the IPCC himself, who sought to belittle those who drew attention to the problem.

This post deals briefly with the extraordinarily arrogant, unprofessional and dishonest nature of Rajendra K Pachauri, Chairman of the IPCC, but goes on to show in detail that the UN and the scientific community were well aware from 2004, as demonstrated in a work by a Himalayan expert, which was described in 2006 by the editor of the peer-reviewed Himalayan Journal of Sciences (HJS) as “probably the single most influential monograph ever published on Himalayan environmental issues”, and from an article that appeared in the HJS in 2005, that the claim of the disappearance of the Himalayan glaciers by 2035 or within 40 years was a lie propagated by advocacy groups and vested interests, and yet the IPCC deliberately incorporated the lie into the AR4 report in 2007. We show how the falsehood was embroidered stage by stage by advocacy groups, politicians and bent ‘scientists’ to appear as one of the most outrageous scientific claims in modern times.

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Climate Change and the Death of Science


[Note: the following was written on October 31 and updated November 3, before the ‘Climategate’ CRU email scandal broke, and it is all the more pertinent in the light of those disclosures. The CRU emails show how science has been perverted into a political movement, and how scientists conspired to serve a ‘post-normal’ agenda where truth is trampled – exactly as the proponents of ‘post-normal’ science had anticipated. With the association between ‘post-normal’ science developed by Ravetz and its application in climate science by Hulme now widely exposed by this present post, Ravetz and Hulme jointly authored an article, published by the BBC on December 1, entitled ‘Show Your Working’: What ‘ClimateGate’ means in which they sought to promote post-normal science further by capitalizing on the public disgust at the corruption of ‘normal’ science. This is cynical because normal science was corrupted by covertly introducing post-normal activities in the first place.]

What has become of science? We thought that science was about the pursuit of truth. Then we became perplexed at how quickly scientists have prostituted themselves in the service of political agendas. We have seen the unedifying spectacle of scientists refusing to share their data, fiddling their results, and resorting to ad hominem attacks on those who have exposed their work to be fraudulent. We have seen the Royal Society becoming a shamelessly crude advocacy society. We have seen President Obama choosing notorious climate alarmists and liars to be his personal advisors. We have seen the peer review process and journal editors colluding to prevent publication of results that do not serve the politically-correct agenda, and scientists refusing to consider results that demolish their pet theories. What is going on here?

What is going on is that science is no longer what we thought it was. It is now a tool in the hands of socialists, and the smart money is flowing into the pockets of ‘scientists’ who will serve their agenda. Follow the money. Whilst traditional physics and chemistry departments are closing in British universities, and there is a shortage of science teachers, there is an abundance of cash being poured into departments that will serve socialist ends, and no shortage of acolytes desirous to use this as a route to power. Once there was modern science, which was hard work; now we have postmodern science, where the quest for real, absolute truth is outdated, and ‘science’ is a wax nose that can be twisted in any direction to underpin the latest lying narrative in the pursuit of power. Except they didn’t call it ‘postmodern’ science because then we might smell a rat. They called it PNS (post-normal science) and hoped we wouldn’t notice. It was thus named and explicated by Silvio O. Funtowicz and philosopher Jerome R. Ravetz, who in 1991 wrote the paper A New Scientific Methodology for Global Environmental Issues, followed in 1992 by The good, the true and the postmodern, and in 1993 by Science for the post-normal age, where they promoted the idea that

…a new type of science – ‘post-normal’ – is emerging…in contrast to traditional problem-solving strategies, including core science, applied science, and professional consultancy…Post-normal science can provide a path to the democratization of science, and also a response to the current tendencies to post-modernity.

The ‘response’ wasn’t to be a reaction against postmodernism, but an embracing of it, and going beyond it. And it has sinister ramifications.

We had already been warned about Ravetz in the 1987 work Changing Boundaries of the Political, which stated

From the perspective of Anglo-American liberalism it seems easy enough to…point out that the old predictions of the British Marxist J.D. Bernal about the triumph of basic research under socialism have proved hopelessly wrong, and that the demands of J.R. Ravetz of the University of Leeds that science be made instrumental and moral will destroy the enterprise whatever its short-term benefits.

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Filthy Dreamers

If you are the President’s chief scientific advisor then you have a duty to be informed and keep informed, and a duty to refrain from making indisputably false statements. Such responsibility is obviously too much for John Holdren, who has shown himself again as an inveterate liar (see earlier posts All who hate Me love Death and Growth of Crops, Weeds, CO2 and Lies). In a recent interview with New Yorker writer Elizabeth Kolbert, Holdren repeats the litany of ‘evidences’ for anthropogenic global warming, which he must know are patently untrue if he has read any scientific literature over the past few years. Holdren said

We all talk about the acceleration of climate change in its impacts that we’re observing. One sees the incidence of wildfires going up more rapidly than people expected, the incidence of heat waves and droughts going up more rapidly, sea level is rising more rapidly… All of these indicators are moving more rapidly.

Wrong on all counts. It’s simply impossible for Holdren to be honestly mistaken here, because the data in some cases comes from US government agencies. Consider sea level rise. There is not the slightest evidence that “sea level is rising more rapidly”, that this represents an “acceleration of climate change in its impacts”. When Holdren says “One sees…” he cannot mean to ‘foresee’ as a ‘seer’ might do, since his previous statement makes it clear that this is one of the accelerating ‘impacts that we’re observing’. Well, it’s really very easy to determine Holdren’s integrity since we can simply look at the data that ‘we’re observing’. Do records show that sea level rise is accelerating, “rising more rapidly”? Not at all: sea level rise has been pretty steady over the last 100 years, except in the last few years when it has appeared to slow down significantly, even to the extent of appearing to show a declining trend since 2006. Wolfgang Scherer, Director of Australia’s National Tidal Facility correctly states

One definitive statement we can make is that there is no indication based on observations that sea level rise is accelerating.

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Missing Fingerprints

According to the climate models used by the IPCC and other climate alarmists, the mid-troposphere should be rapidly warming if increasing CO2 is a forcing for warming. If this warming does not occur roughly as predicted then the climate models are proved to be worse than useless. The ‘fingerprint’ evidence of anthropogenic warming due to increasing CO2 is predicted to be a pronounced ‘hotspot’ in the troposphere between latitudes 30N and 30S (which comprises exactly half the surface of the earth) at a height of around 10km (cruising altitude for jet planes), see below for expected change during the 20th century from the latest IPCC report. Obviously, if anthropogenic global warming is going to ‘take off’ this century, then this hotspot will be considerably more pronounced in the 21st century. The models used by the IPCC predict warming of the troposphere some 12 km high at the rate of 4-5 degrees per century for this century. This hotspot is absolutely essential if the climate models have any validity at all.


Other climate models predict the same thing: here are four others (showing effect of doubling of CO2). Note that all predict a pronounced tropospheric ‘hotspot’ 10km up and between the tropics.


However, this hotspot has never been found – if it had been, we would certainly have heard about it, shouted from the rooftops by the climate alarmists. This missing fingerprint that they are peculiarly silent about (for obvious reasons) invalidates their models. It shows their models and their whole hypotheses to be trash. Below are the actual measured anomalies, and it is evident that not the slightest hotspot can be found.


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Climate Robustness

Past behaviour can give very strong indications of just how robust systems are to perturbations and forcings. Applying this to climate, we will take a view on how believable are the UKCP09 projections of warming in the UK over the next 45 years (see the post Met Office Fraudcast). The UKCP09 projections are based on computer modelling. Below are UKCP09 ‘central estimate’ projections for changes in Summer Mean Temperatures (medium emissions scenario) for the UK.


Note that in Northern Ireland the central estimate is for a rise of 2.1 to 3.0 degrees in Mean Summer Temperature in the 2050s (and up to 4 degrees by the 2080s). Temperatures in Northern Ireland have been recorded for over 200 years, and we have a fairly good record covering the last 160 years, see below.



It is clear that summer temperatures in the 1840s and 1850s at the beginning of the record were more consistently warm from year to year and averaged higher maximum temperatures than those over the supposedly sizzling last 20 years – maximum summer temperatures never fell below 18 degrees from 1844-1860. The upper red trace represents the daily maximum temperatures during the day (averaged across June, July and August each year), the lower blue trace represents the minimum temperature (at night), and the central purple trace is the mean of the red and blue traces, this being the Mean Summer Temperature. The straight lines through the traces are the trend lines from the values from 1844 to 2004, 160 years. It will be seen that there is practically no trend in the maximum summer temperatures – on average, summers now are not warmer than they were 160 years ago. There is a slight trend in the minimum temperatures – the nights have been getting a little warmer over the period, and who is going to worry about that? Because of the averaging between the max and min traces, this creates a slight trend also in the Mean Temperature, but it is still an extremely minor effect over the 160 year record. Although there have been periods when the mean temperature has been a little higher (the 1840s and 1850s, for example) there have also been periods when it has been a little lower (e.g. the 1870s to 1920s). A definite period is evident when there was a noticeable short-term cooling trend (1859-1884) yet there is no significant long-term trend when considered over the full 160 years (this accords with the observations in 130-year datasets from other parts of the world as indicated in the post Crops and 130 Years of Climate Records).

Yet the Met Office and Defra are now trying to make us believe that a trend line will suddenly ‘kick up’ and take off as shown in the extended part on the right because of mankind’s carbon emissions. It certainly does look fanciful.

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Crops and 130 Years of Climate Records

Before we get into detail about plant biology and ecology, let us see what is being said about the effect of CO2 emissions on climate. Specifically, it is said that the earth warmed during the twentieth century. In truth, taking the earth as a whole, including parts of the earth where no-one lives and where crops are not grown (i.e most of the earth), a very small amount of warming occurred, about half a degree overall, none of which can be attributed to CO2 emissions in any robust scientific way – it has all the hallmarks of natural variation. Some parts of the earth cooled and some warmed.

We are told that the effects of future warming, coupled with decreasing rainfall, will cause terrible difficulties for crop production in the tropics and equatorial areas, because many crops in those regions are already on the limits for heat damage, and are already badly stressed due to drought (we will see the evidence in later posts that the best solution for crops that are heat or drought stressed is increased atmospheric CO2). We are told that the likely future scenarios will be worst for countries in the tropics and equatorial zones. Seldom are we told that the same scenarios predict much-needed warmth to northern Canada, northern Europe and Siberia, bringing vast tracts of land into agricultural use, which with the increased atmospheric CO2 will enable greatly increased food production – and that in countries that have the infrastructure, the technology, and the capital to make the best use of it.

But is it true that trends are pointing towards impending catastrophe in sub-Saharan Africa and South Africa? Not at all, if trends from the nineteenth century are anything to go by.

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Toxic Seawater Fraud

[Note: some understanding of chemistry (approximately A-Level) is necessary to understand this post, and it will be helpful to read the background in the previous post Ocean Acidification Scam.]

The theory behind the ‘toxic ocean acidification’ scam proceeds like this: as the concentration of CO2 in the atmosphere increases, the concentration in the oceans also increases due to dissolution [true – all other things being equal]. CO2 dissolved in water reacts with water to form carbonic acid, making the seas acidic [a half truth – they become very slightly less basic]. This acidity dissolves the shells of marine life causing mass extinction [an utter falsehood].

As a matter of fact, seawater is alkaline and basic. Dissolving the carbon dioxide from all the world’s known fossil fuel reserves would never make the sea acidic. The climate alarmists coined the phrase “ocean acidification” to make it sound alarming, whereas the process is actually what is known as neutralization. The term ‘acidification’ of course sounds more scary than talking about the oceans becoming slightly less basic or a little more neutral.

To put this into perspective, the pH of seawater is, on average, around pH 8.2. Pure water is pH 7.0, and clean rainwater is pH 5.6. What is more, seawater is a highly buffered solution – it can take up a huge amount of dissolved inorganic carbon without significant effect on pH. There is not the slightest possibility that the oceans could approach the neutral pH of pure water even if all the fossil fuel reserves in the world were burned, so all talk of ‘acid’ oceans is utter nonsense. What sort of change are we talking about? Possibly a change of pH of 0.2 units this century, say from 8.2 to 8.0. That would mean by definition that the concentration of the ‘acidic’ H+ ions would still be no more than 10% of their concentration in pure water.

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Ocean Acidification Scam


The evidence is inexorably mounting that the climate alarmists have been taking us all for a ride. It is only be a matter of time before their agenda is exposed as one of the biggest con tricks of all time. Thus they are already scrambling to breathe new life into the CO2 emissions scare. It will become obvious (by the passage of years if nothing else) that increasing carbon dioxide in the atmosphere does not, after all, cause any significant climate change, thus it will be necessary to blame CO2 (and hence man) for some other catastrophic event. So, prepare yourself for the coming “ocean acidification” scam.

The media have already entered the fray with lying narratives that sound like science fiction scripts, warning about the catastrophe of ‘acid oceans’ and ‘toxic seas’. The BBC have churned out headlines such as ‘Marine life faces ‘acid threat”, ‘Acid oceans ‘need urgent action” and ‘Acidic seas fuel extinction fears’. Newspapers such as the Daily Telegraph and the Times have got in on the act with scary headlines such as ‘Mussels face extinction as oceans turn acidic’, ‘Pollution to devastate shellfish by turning seas acidic’ and ‘Acid seas threaten to make British shellfish extinct’. Just recently, it has got all the more strident: the Sunday Times (March 8, 2009) chimes in under the headline The toxic sea:

Each one of us dumps a tonne of carbon dioxide into the oceans every year, turning them into acidified soups — and threatening to destroy most of what lives in them.

And from the Guardian (March 10, 2009) under the headline Carbon emissions creating acidic oceans not seen since dinosaurs:

Human pollution is turning the seas into acid so quickly that the coming decades will recreate conditions not seen on Earth since the time of the dinosaurs…The rapid acidification is caused by the massive amounts of carbon belched out from chimneys and exhausts that dissolve in the ocean…the pH of surface waters, where the CO2 is absorbed from the atmosphere, has fallen about 0.1 units since the industrial revolution, though it will take longer for the acid to reach deeper water.

Note the continual use of the word acid. Yet there is not the slightest possibility that seawater will turn to acid, or even become mildly acidic, so this is drivel. Note also the claim that pH has changed by 0.1 units over the last 200 years: it was not possible a hundred years ago, never mind 200 years ago, to measure pH to the accuracy necessary to support that assertion, so it’s just posturing. Finally, notice that CO2 is branded ‘human pollution’, though CO2 is an entirely natural and absolutely essential nutrient for plant photosynthesis, without which all life on earth would certainly become extinct very quickly.

As an aside, we should note that if lower alkalinity per se were so unfavourable to shellfish as is claimed then we would have no freshwater shellfish and snails – but we do. The freshwater mussel has lived for thousands of years in waters that are genuinely acidic and with highly variable pH, not only seasonally, but geographically. With spring snowmelt and high rainfall, the pH of rivers and lakes can fall to below pH 5, and experiments have shown that mussels can survive this acidity indefinitely without any deleterious effects to their shells. Note: a pH of 5 has 1,000 times as many ‘acidic’ H+ ions per litre as seawater, and 100 times more than pure water. This is not to say that sea creatures can survive in fresh water – they are adapted to a radically different saline environment – the point at issue is that the idea of a small change in ocean pH due to increased dissolved carbon dioxide having a deleterious effect on marine shells of living organisms is not as obvious as the alarmists make out.

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Alchemy and science

Last night the BBC ran a news item that stated that scientists had ‘proved’ that warming in the polar regions was due to man. Well, considering that scientists have not yet proved anthropogenic global warming to be real, this would prove to be a very interesting find indeed. The findings are published in Nature Geoscience as a letter, Attribution of polar warming to human influence.

Today, the news media are saturated with the hype, from which one would think that something really significant had been discovered. I found over 150 news articles being run from all over the world.

New study another ‘nail’ in debate over warming
Done. Proven. Humans are making the Arctic and Antarctica warm up. Case closed, says an influential group of climate scientists. – Ottawa Citizen

Climate change at the poles IS man-made
Scientists refute sceptics by proving that human activity has left its mark on the Arctic and Antarctic. – The Independent

‘Mankind is responsible for the warming up of the Antarctic, not just mother nature’ scientists say
The first hard evidence that mankind is responsible for the heating up of the Antarctic has been uncovered by Met office scientists. – Daily Mail

It’s Official: People Are Warming the Poles
The verdict is in. Warming near the poles is caused by human activity, according to new research. – Discovery Channel

Man is to blame for Antarctic temperature rise
Scientists say they now have conclusive proof that warming is due to man’s influence mainly through greenhouse gases and ozone depletion. – Daily Telegraph

Humans to blame for polar warming
Evidence has emerged that human activity, not natural phenomena, is directly responsible for heating up the polar ice caps. – New Scientist

Scientific proof that humans are causing polar warming
A new research has provided conclusive proof that human activity is responsible for significant warming in both polar regions. – Indian Express

Humans Guilty Of Melting Ice Caps
It’s official – humans are to blame for melting the ice caps as natural forces are not powerful enough to do it alone, a new experiment has revealed. – Sky News

So what is this amazing ‘conclusive proof’ from this ‘new experiment’? We find that there is no genuine evidence or proof at all. Quite simply, a computer model has had various ‘forcings’ tweaked – certain input variables adjusted – and when selected variabilities of a selected set of natural variations (e.g. in the sun and volcanoes) were entered, the output did not match the observed temperature, but when selected agents such as carbon dioxide, ozone and sulphate aerosols were added at selected amounts (all variations claimed to be due to man – but this is itself disputable), the model gave the ‘correct’ results. Well, what do you know! If you construct a model that is insensitive to natural variations and highly sensitive to man-made variations, it’s no surprise that the man-made variations create the most significant effect, and practically any effect can be said to be anthropogenic (man made). The authors declare:

We compare observed temperatures with simulations from four CMIP3-coupled climate models…To objectively test for the presence of an anthropogenic or natural response in observations of polar temperature, we use a detection and attribution analysis to compare simulated and observed changes. Such methods, first developed to detect anthropogenic influence on global temperature, have more recently been used to detect anthropogenic influence on temperature on continental scales.

But this is junk science. No climate model has in the past been anywhere close to predicting (i.e. arguing from causes to effects) what will happen to temperature as the variables are adjusted, so climate models are, to date, proven to be completely useless as models of reality. And analysis methods might very well have been ‘developed to detect anthropogenic influence on global temperature’, but they have spectacularly failed to be of any use in that for which they were developed used in conjunction with computer models. Therefore, arguing backwards via a flawed model and/or analysis from effect to cause is insanity, and any claim based on climate models that a certain observed phenomenon is caused by a certain ‘forcing’ (in this case man-made) is certainly spurious – be sure of it.

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A Fortunate Mistake

I return to the issue of the history of climate change ‘science’. The article in the October BBC History magazine by Dr Paul Parsons is a mass distortion of history and science. We gave one example in the post Convenient Lies.

One of the authorities underpinning this article is Spencer Weart, Director of the Center for History of Physics of the American Institute of Physics. It looks as though Parsons has cobbled together most of his article from Weart’s book The Discovery of Global Warming. Weart, for his part, has attracted public funding to the tune of $184,177 for studies in the ‘history’ of climate change. One would expect better value for money, because out of such studies emerges a string of scientists with phoney ideas and methods who are now hailed and adopted by the climate alarmists as visionaries because they ‘predicted’ anthropogenic global warming. One such is Guy Stewart Callendar (1898-1964), the steam engineer and amateur meteorologist.

Even the American Meteorological Society have been sucked into this. In 2006 they published The Callendar Effect with the blurb

This is the untold story of the remarkable scientist who established the carbon dioxide theory of climate change. Guy Stewart Callendar discovered that global warming could be brought about by increases in the concentration of atmospheric carbon dioxide due to human activities, primarily through burning fossil fuels.

But as meteorologists should know, climate warms and cools dramatically quite independently of man’s activities. At the beginning of the nineteenth century the problem was cooling, leading to serious crop failures, riots, and mass migrations, and, in 1816, the famous ‘Year without a Summer’. We are still, in our present day, recovering from these low temperatures, which caused great hardship and famine.

The view from North America in 1818 makes fascinating reading (fuller details at the bottom of the post):

But what may be considered as coming more home to the present generation is, that on ground where the vine once flourished, even the apple has of late years scarcely ripened. It is now sixteen years since the orchards have afforded a plentiful crop.
We are not however, it seems, alone; for in all the northern parts of our hemisphere the mean annual temperature is on the decline: and…in mountainous parts of Europe the accumulation of ice and snow is very sensibly increasing… From America, too, we learn, that, in consequence of the coldness of the seasons, Indian corn will no longer ripen in New England, and that the farmers have consequently taken to the cultivation of wheat, which has succeeded so well as to render it likely to supersede maize.

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