Wednesday, November 28, 2007

Temperature Reconstructions without Tree Rings

Loehle (2007) reconstructs the temperature record without tree ring data, which of course, has received a lot of negative literature of late.

His abstract is shown below with a graph of the temperature record following:

Historical data provide a baseline for judging how anomalous recent temperature changes are and for assessing the degree to which organisms are likely to be adversely affected by current or future warming. Climate histories are commonly reconstructed from a variety of sources, including ice cores, tree rings, and sediment. Tree-ring data, being the most abundant for recent centuries, tend to dominate reconstructions. There are reasons to believe that tree ring data may not properly capture long-term climate changes. In this study, eighteen 2000-year-long series were obtained that were not based on tree ring data. Data in each series were smoothed with a 30-year running mean. All data were then converted to anomalies by subtracting the mean of each series from that series. The overall mean series was then computed by simple averaging. The mean time series shows quite coherent structure. The mean series shows the Medieval Warm Period (MWP) and Little Ice Age (LIA) quite clearly, with the MWP being approximately 0.3°C warmer than 20th century values at these eighteen sites.

Saturday, November 24, 2007

Save the planet - kill your child

As Andrew Bolt explains:

And, no, that’s not an exaggeration. Meet Toni Vernelli, who works for PETA, the animal rights group, and is a shiny-eyed believer in apocalyptic man-made global warming:

When Toni terminated her pregnancy, she did so in the firm belief she was helping to save the planet…

“I didn’t like having a termination, but it would have been immoral to give birth to a child that I felt strongly would only be a burden to the world.”

And meet, too, Sarah Irving, who works for the Ethical Consumer magazine:

Most young girls dream of marriage and babies. But Sarah dreamed of helping the environment - and as she agonised over the perils of climate change, the loss of animal species and destruction of wilderness, she came to the extraordinary decision never to have a child.

“I realised then that a baby would pollute the planet - and that never having a child was the most environmentally friendly thing I could do.”

This new warming faith is loathsome and inhuman. Pagan gods were always cruel, but few actually demanded the sacrifice of the believers’ own children. Evil is on foot, and I fear even worse will come.

Tuesday, November 20, 2007

Bumper Snow season start in Switzerland

Swiss ski resorts are expecting a record season after promising early snowfall, it has been reported. Ski break spots including Davos, St Antonien and Braunwald have experienced exceptionally strong snowfall for so early in the season, swissinfo has reported.Last weekend, some 62 cm of the white stuff fell in the eastern resort of Davos, while St Antonien received 64 cm and Braunwald got 72 cm of snow on Sunday, states national weather service Meteo Swiss.

According to the report, Switzerland has not received such a strong start to its winter ski season since 1952, with the amount of snow being swept to the southern areas by the wind cited as a particularly interesting feature of the weather.

Maybe they didn't need to adapt to a report that said that

"Skiing will have to become just a side attraction, and not the main attraction anymore," said the report's author Hansruedi Muller, who is professor of leisure and tourism at the University of Berne.

Thursday, November 15, 2007

Who should cricketers vote for at the election?

As written by me to our cricket club:

Well we have on one hand Johnny Howard, the self processed cricket lover who still owes a slab to the Indians for bowling a ball that bounced near his feet. Then there’s KV07, who has nothing really to do with cricket, but at least Bob Hawke had some skill at the game despite being smashed in the face by a West Indies fast bowler. But probably the most important thing for us cricketers that the governments can manage is water. Whilst technically a state issue, both parties have in their budgets water plans.

Water is crucial to our game. In Geelong the whole season was cancelled and this could apply to us in the future. Our own ground hasn’t been watered for 2-3 years now and it is showing. The dirt is so hard only weeds grow and there is a very good chance that the ground will be dug up in the next year or two, hence making our ground unavailable for usage by either soccer or us (like other teams in the competition in the past years). I really can’t imagine our firsts playing at freeway, but that might have to be the way.

But what have the governments got to do with water? Well unbeknown to many, Melbourne’s rainfall is not showing any significant decrease. The media suggests we might be having the worst drought in a thousand years (even though records only go back 100 years), but the graph below shows no downward trend. Ok, the last 5 years have been a little lower than normal, but nothing like the drought of the early 1940s. In fact, every single state, Victoria included, has had more rainfall in the past 50 years than the 50 before that - at an average of 10% more.

So why are we so short of water? Obviously the last 5 years of below average rainfall has caused some of this, but also because Melbourne’s water usage increases in general by 2% each year, largely due to an increasing population. With Melbourne having the biggest increase in population than any other city in the past year (and tipped to outgrow Sydney), something has to be done waterwise. Melbourne has not built a dam since the Thomson in 1978, despite Melbourne’s water usage per year almost doubling since.

Hence the government, albeit a little late, has been working on solutions to this problem. The Mitchell river in Gippsland was previously allocated space for a dam, however the labor party, in their green ideology, made the Mitchell river a national park with the sole intention so that a dam cannot be built there. The labor party (and Vic Water) website said that “new dams do not create new water, but rather steal it from the rivers”. If new dams don’t create new water, then why are we so reliant on the current ones? Twice this year the Mitchell river has over flooded (last time just recently), causing major flood damage in the Gippsland area. Water caused damage which would otherwise be held in a dam for all of us, including our cricket ground, to use.

With Melbourne’s water usage increasing by 2% each year, no extra dams built since the mid 70s, and the labor ideology of not creating another one, labor have turned to a $1 billion National Urban Water and Desalination Plan. A good idea, however this produces one tenth of the water at more than ten times the cost. With desalination plants working hard (desalination plants are high energy producing huge amounts of greenhouse gases), it will only be a year or two before we need more water again due to an increasing population.

The only way to secure cricket being played comfortably and safely is to build a new dam in Gippsland. Desalination plants are merely a short term waste of money, and whilst dams are largely a state not federal issue, labor – state and federally – have clearly said that dams are a no-no. Liberal at least put a new dam on the agenda at their last state election. Water is crucial for our cricket club, and under a labor government, their green ideology will prevent us stealing from rivers that feed the ocean, so that we can play cricket. But hey, at least we all can bowl better than John Howard.

Monday, November 12, 2007

Klaus: Merkel is the new 5-year planner

As reported by Lubos

Interview of the President of the Czech Republic for the Wirtschaftswoche

Mr. President, German chancellor Angela Merkel fights for climate protection during her state visits throughout the world. She finds listeners in all countries except for yours. Why?

The unfair and irrational debate on global warming annoys me. The topic is increasingly evolving into the fundamental ideological conflict of the present era.

Has Mrs Merkel been caught into an ideology?

She probably thinks about these ideas. That surprises me. Because as a trained physicist, she should be undoubtedly able to test controversial hypotheses. But it also shows that this is not about science. The movement for the protection of the atmosphere embodies a new ideology. Surprisingly, it is espoused by Mrs Merkel who herself lived in socialist society. But she should know the risks associated with those ideologies that are directed against freedom.

Do you consider the chancellor to be a savior of the world?

I don't want to analyze Ms Merkel. The utopians are those who want to improve the world. However, politicians may find utopias to be an excellent thing because these politicians may start to talk about the distant future and avoid their everyday business. Such politicians are "escapists" because they want to escape reality. The issue of climate change is ideally suited for this purpose because we can spend 50 or even 100 years in the future by developing visions - while voters remain unable to control the consequences.

What are they escaping?

Politicians flee away from the emptiness of their own imagination. They have no ideas rich in content that could fill the present.

Does this also apply to the U.S. President George W. Bush who has apparently also warmed up to the climate debate?

I have talked about this topic with Bush several times. During our last meeting in the context of the U.N. high climate event in September, he asked me: "Václav, where is your book? I look forward (laughs)." As many Americans, he views the topic a bit more pragmatically. Americans have never been truly interested in utopias.

In your book, "Blue, Not a Green Planet", you only describe the environmentalists, as you call them, vaguely. Who are those conspirators whom you find so dangerous?

The climate debate itself deserves a sociological analysis. The politicians come first; they use the climate for the reasons explained above. Then we see the journalists who use the issue as a free ticket for a catchy theme on the title page. And finally the climate researchers only act to benefit and to maximize their profit by looking for subjects with the most promising funding situation.

Serious and prestigious researchers are among those who attack you. Are all of them opportunistic small minds?

Let's take for example the United Nations report on the climate. The presidium of the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) decides on what is in it. People like IPCC chairman Rajendra Pachauri may have been scientifically active in the past, but since then they have become bureaucrats. These people published their last journal article years ago. Today they work on policymaking. And among the real scientists, there are many who can't offer any new approaches. They simply follow the mainstream.

One can analyze scientists ad hominem. But if there is a critic with a legitimate criticism, why is he not heard?

Whatever the climatologists find incompatible with the so-called consensus is even not included in the U.N. climate report. Every day, I receive letters from all around the world in which scientists disagree with the prevailing opinion but no one wants to listen to or print their hypotheses. They are simply unfashionable.

You seem to suppose that the climate research is being censored.

You know, the whole thing is very familiar to me. After the Warsaw Pact troops intervened to terminate the Prague Spring, I was dismissed from the Czechoslovak Academy of Sciences as an enemy of Marxism. In the 1970s, I couldn't write any articles on economics.

You are trained as en economist, not a climate researcher - are you able to judge the scientific debate?

As an unemployed economist, I had a job in the State Bank of Czechoslovakia. We had the first computer over there. My task was to work on statistical and econometric models and against my will, I became busy with things that are important and relevant for climatology. Climatology is not one of the fields of physics and chemistry where a controlled experiment can be repeated a thousand times. It deals with data and hypotheses which can either be accepted or not. It works with time series that require statistical analysis.

Do you therefore distrust the method of climate researchers?

I have played with similar models for years. In hundreds or thousands of similar equations, I could always see that a slight change of a parameter or the addition of another parameter may radically change the outcome of complex models. That is why I am very critical about this methodology.

Do you flatly disagree that climate is changing?

No, of course not. The fact is that the climate is changing but every child knows that. There have to be no Nobel prize winners or a professor at the Potsdam Institute for Climate Impact Research. Of course, humans also play a role. But the crucial question is: How big is the influence of people on this process? The dispute is about orders of magnitude. Is the induced temperature change nonzero in the third, fourth, or fifth digit after the decimal point? This is a serious question that we must answer. And there is no consensus.

You say that the environmentalists such as the former U.S. Vice-President Al Gore threaten the freedom of thought. It is easy to argue against it. Who would be against freedom? What do you actually mean?

It is hard to answer in a few sentences. I have both political as well as economic and scientific freedom in mind. It is important that we don't lose either of them. Communism was another version of this ideology that placed something else as a "sacred" value above freedom. Environmentalism follows the same logic. First, the climate, then comes freedom followed by prosperity. Such priorities are wrong. For me, freedom is an important value. We Czechs have some experience with a lack of freedom. We sensitively and perhaps oversensitively respond to the threats to freedom - including those that the people in Western Europe don't understand too well.

The European Union has set - with the approval by the Czech government - ambitious climate targets. Your views make you totally lonely.

I am not alone. But I do find the current situation in Europe and the U.S. somewhat tragic. During the recent climate change conference in New York, my speech was the only one that criticized the climate policies. I didn't hear applause. Only after the dinner, many heads of state came to me and congratulated me. "There must have been someone to tell it," they said. One already probably needs political courage to speak against the policy of climate.

Who has thanked you?

I can't give you the names. It wouldn't have the right effect.

You argue that the economy and technological progress has the capacity to solve all problems resulting from climate change. What makes you so sure?

I didn't say the economy, I mean the market! This difference is fundamental. I believe in the market. Throughout my life, I have studied the economy in all of its manifestations, including communism. Plans vs market, external control vs spontaneity - these have been the eternal debates since Adam Smith. Why am I so confident? Because of my life experience. I have seen governments being mistaken hundreds of times. The market is not perfect, but its shortcomings are slight in comparison with the mistakes governments make. I lived in the regime of the planned economy - I consider the 50-year long plans of Angela Merkel just as misleading as the former five-year-plans.

What do you think about emissions trading? If carbon dioxide gets a price, the forces of the market will operate freely.

That's nonsense. This is a fraud by climatologists and environmentalists. Only fake economists could say what you did. This is about dirigism and not a free market. This method only pretends to be market-friendly. Emissions trading is just a game that looks like a market and as a classical liberal, I disagree with it.

There are entrepreneurs who earn money with the help of the environment. Germany has become the market leader in environmental technologies. It seems that the environment and the entrepreunerial spirit fit together wonderfully.

It is completely appropriate when entrepreneurs earn money by their effort to save energy. All of us should be thrifty regarding the energy, after all. Something else happens when entrepreneurs make profits out of alternative technologies. Transactions involving solar and wind energy are only possible because of the high subsidies paid for by the governments. These companies thus have political objectives and they don't play according to the rules of the free market.

No one doubts that we need traffic signs. Without minimal rules, chaos would threaten whole societies. Don't we need a couple of warning signs for the environment as well?

It depends on whether we talk about the environment or climate change. I have nothing against laws that protect ponds against waste disposal. But the environment protection laws, especially those in the EU, now go too far. But in this case we at least know what are the negative consequences of our actions or sins, if you wish. When the lake is polluted, it becomes contaminated. On the other hand, one cannot see how large and important the human influence on climate change is. It is an equation with too many unknowns - I am against climate restrictive laws and other forms of dirigism.

Václav Klaus, Wirtschaftswoche, November 10th, 2007

Wednesday, November 07, 2007

More evidence of sun induced Global Warming

If CO2 emissions were the major cause of global warming then we would see constant increases in temperature across the day and night as the CO2 blanket keeps the heat inside our atmosphere. Scientific research has shown that this has occurred with both minimum and maximum temperature increasing.

We have pointed out time and time again how minimum temperatures are not a good indication of night time warming, especially when it rarely occurs at night.

But what about the rate of change of temperature anomalies between neighboring times? If CO2 was the major cause of global warming then we would see no significant difference in rate of change of temperature anomalies, in other words, all temperatures should increase equally. If the sun was a major cause of global warming then we would see no or limited changes at night, an increase int he rate of change approaching the middle of the day, and then a decreasing rate of change of temperature anomalies when the sun starts to lose its daytime strength.

So what do we find when looking at the data?

Rate of change in temperature anomalies between Midnight and 3am as well as 3am and 6am proved insignificant. However when the sun rises, we see a significant increase in the rate of change of temperature anomalies as compared to 6am. The increase is amplified int he last few years which, interestingly is the same period where maximum temperatures Australia wide have been high.

However rate of change of temperature anomalies at Noon was not significantly higher than 9am, nor 3pm compared to Noon (despite large cyclic variations in the latter). However when the sun starts to lose its power, the rate of change of temperature anomalies significantly decreases. The pattern in this decrease as shown below is strong and obvious.

Interestingly, 9pm saw significant increases in temperature as compared to 6pm, which goes against the Sun induced global warming theory. However there is no significant increase since 1960, and the rate of change of temperature anomalies from 9pm as a decreasing trend, although not quite significant in comparison to 9am, Noon and 3pm. Midnight had significant lower rate of change of temperature anomalies as compared to 9pm.

So what does all this mean? Well it shows once again that we are not having any changes in overnight temperatures despite increases in minimum temperature. The minimum is strongly influenced by the sun, and this shows in massive increases at 9am temperatures. Whilst temperatures have seen sudden increases at 9am, the increases have been constant throughout the day. But when the sun starts to lose its strength, we have seen a decreasing rate of change of temperature in comparison to neighboring times.

This shows the power of looking at temperatures at constant times of the day. Whilst maximum and minimum temperatures are increasing, we have shown that night time temperatures are not, and temperature increases are occurring moreso at and around 9am and decreasing in rate of change at 9pm.

A CO2 temperature blanket cannot be the cause of such results. The data points heavily towards sun induced global warming.