Monday, December 31, 2007

Cloud Cover in Australia

We showed in our previous post that the variable "sunshine duration" accounts for 93% of all warming since 1943. Quite an amazing find. So how does variation in the variable sunshine duration occur?

Well unless there is a tilt in th earth axis, the only way for it to occur is due to cloud cover. Recent increases in sunshine duration (accompanied with warmer weather) is an indication that perhaps we are just experiencing less clouds than normal, and that clouds is the sole reason why we are warming up.

However this website suggests that despite cloud cover decreasing from 1975 to 1998, cloud cover levels were greater than the 20 years before that.

Of course it really matters when the cloud cover is occurring. More cloud at night means warmer nights, whilst more clouds during the day generally means colder days. So is Australia experiencing any trends in cloud covers during the day and at night? We'll find out next.

Ohh, and Merry Christmas all and happy new year! (thats the reason why there hasn't been a post of late - my liver is feeling it!)

Thursday, December 20, 2007

Sunshine duration accounts for 93% of all warming since 1951

Please Note: Added Edit:

On closer examination of the below analysis, a calculation error was found in the analysis of temperature and sunshine duration. The calculation error has a large effect on the results and the conclusion. The information below should not be taken as evidence or for any talking or arguementive point. On ocrrection of the error it was found that the effect of sunshine duration on maximum tempertaures is a lot smaller than as shown below. This will be discussed in analysis shortly to come. Apologies for the error involved and I will be providing more analysis and more in depth analysis of Australian temperatures in the very near future.
Jonathan Lowe

Abstract: Using twenty two weather stations across Australia, the variable sunshine duration is shown to have significantly increased since 1951. Its correlation with maximum temperature anomalies is highly statistically significant. By eliminating the influence of sunshine duration from the maximum temperature dataset, maximum temperature trends were shown to drop from an average of 1.4 to 0.1 degrees increase per 100 years. Hence the variable sunshine duration accounts for 93% of all positive trends in maximum temperature since 1951 in Australia. Implications of these findings and the relationship of the variable sunshine duration with respect to cloud cover trends and how they is measured will be discussed.

Our introduction on Tuesday laid out that we intend on looking at the variable sunshine duration to see if it has any effect on temperature change over the years.

Using our dataset we found a highly significant increase in maximum temperatures (t = 5.95, p < 0.001). Maybe because we have used urban stations or maybe because the bulk of the weather stations occur on the east coast of Australia (an area which has seen the majority of increase), that the rate of increase of temperature as shown on that graph (linked) is at 1.42 degrees per 100 years, which is more than greater Australia and the rest of the world.

Either way, this doesn't matter, as we are merely looking at the relationship between sunshine duration and temperature. Because some stations have data for maximum temperature that goes back further than sunshine duration (and vice versa), all years that did not have recordings for sunshine duration as well maximum temperatures were eliminated from the dataset for each individual station.

Interestingly, sunshine duration also significantly increased since 1951 (t = 2.58, p = 0.013). The strength of the trend is not as strong as temperature, but is still statistically significant.

The two variables shown on the same graph is shown above. Note that in general when temperatures are high, so too is sunshine duration and vice versa. The last six years of data highlights this. anomalies

The relationship between the maximum temperature per year per station as well as sunshine duration per year per station is shown below. The correlation between them is highly significant (t = 14.71, p < 0.001), and the r squared indicates that 17.5% of the variance of temperature can be explained by sunshine duration.

That might not sound like much, but when we account for the variable sunshine duration (i.e. minus its relationship with temperature off the original dataset), then we can analyse temperature without any influence of sunshine duration. In other words, we can look at temperature trends over the past 50 years by assuming that there has been no trends and no anomalies in sunshine duration at all.

The results are amazing. The following graph shows the temperature trend since 1951 should there be no variance in sunshine duration. The increase in temperature since 1951 still occurs, as is statistically significant (t = 5.8, p < 0.001), but take a look the rate of change of temperature, in particular the formula for the line of best fit as well as the left hand axis.

When taking into account sunshine duration, temperature rise in Australia is at the rate of 0.00099 per year or 0.099 degrees per 100 years. Now a 0.1 degree increase every 100 years is hardly anything to get worries about. It's not going to cause any great catastrophe. So we've gone from 1.4 degrees of warming per 100 years to 0.1 degrees of warming per 100 years. The variable sunshine duration has accounted for 93% (1.3/1.4) of all warming trend that we have seen since 1951.

So therefore the warming that we are seeing, is by and large highly correlated with sunshine duration. So does this mean that clouds are the major cause of global warming? Well, probably not. In order to discuss why the variable "sunshine duration" has a major effect on temperature change, we have to look into how it is measured, and the trends of clouds in Australia. And that will be in the next post

Tuesday, December 18, 2007

Clouds and Global Warming

Clouds have often been a problem for climate scientists. Global dimming or global brightening? Wikipedia states that

Feedback effects due to clouds are an area of ongoing research. Seen from below, clouds emit infrared radiation back to the surface, and so exert a warming effect; seen from above, clouds reflect sunlight and emit infrared radiation to space, and so exert a cooling effect. Whether the net effect is warming or cooling depends on details such as the type and altitude of the cloud. These details are difficult to represent in climate models, in part because clouds are much smaller than the spacing between points on the computational grids of climate models.

Recently when questioning embers of the CSIRO as to why north-west Australia has seen a cooling trend in the last 50 years, he replied that it was due an increase in clouds in that area, possibly, due to an increase in aerosol usage in Asia.

And increase in clouds in that area made sense. IT has, after all, seen a massive increase in rainfall in the last 20 years, so one would also expect an increase in cloud activity. I asked him if eastern Australia is warming up due to less clouds, as the east also, has received less rain. His response was it could have a small minor effect, but that greenhouse gases were shown through models to be the major cause.

I needent have asked.

So, is what he says is true? Are we seeing more clouds in the north west, and no difference in clouds in the east? One would expect more or less clouds would cause an decrease and increase in temperature. How much of an effect it has we shall see. Luckily, the Australian Bureau of Meteorology has the data so we can look into it.

However, the data is not as extensive as temperature based data, and to get a good sized data range, we've had to include stations that are classified as urban.

The following stations have data on "sunshine duration" that go back to at last 1961, (the standard of comparison over years in climate data is from 1961 to 1990):


The placements of the stations are shown at this link.

Unfortunately, Western Australia is not very well surveyed, with only one station at Giles having accurate and lengthy data on sunshine duration. Similarly country Queensland and New South Wales have gaps. Conversely Tasmania and Cairns are over sampled.

But the purpose of this exercise is not to formulate whether Australia is warming or cooling based on the stations, but rather what relationship does sunshine duration have on temperature. If we account for sunshine duration, do we still see an increase in temperature over the past 50 years?

But to start off with, we will look into if sunshine duration, in the stations provided has increased or decreased or stayed around the same in the past 50 years. And this will be in the next post

Sunday, December 16, 2007

Daying Summer/Winter effect goes against man made global warming

We previously showed that overnight temperatures had no summer/winter effect, as well as showing that summer has increased in temperature significantly greater at 6pm and 9pm than winter. If global warming was caused by CO2, then there should be no summer/winter effect, in that, temperatures are increasing relatively constant at any time. However this has shown not to be the case, and 6pm and 9pm temperatures increased more during summer when the sun is still int he sky than in winter when it is long set.

But what happens at 9am, Noon and 3pm. The details are below.

Interestingly, Winter was increasing at a significantly greater rate than summer at 9am (t = 5.62 , p 0.001). Likewise, Noon temperatures in winter were increasing in temperature significantly greater than summer since 1950 at Noon(t = -3.5, p = 0.001). However at 3pm, there was no significant summer / winter effect (t = -1.3, p = 0.21)

Lets look at the individual temperatures or summer and winter. No significant temperature increase was found during summer at 9am (t = -0.76, p = 0.45), Noon (t = 0.51, p = 0.61) and 3pm (t = 1.92, p = 0.06). Note here that an increase in temperature was found at 3pm in summer, but was only just insignificant.

During winter, temperature increases were significant at 9am (t = 7, p < 0.001), as well as at Noon (t = 4.7, p < 0.001) and 3pm (t = 3.1, p < 0.01).

So what does this all mean? What it means is that during winter we are seeing over time no temperature increasing trends overnight, then a dramatic increase in temperature at 9am. Increases over time in temperature continue at Noon and 3pm (although not as strong), and then from 6pm onwards there is no significant increases in temperature over the years.

In Summer we also are seeing no positive trends in temperature overnight, but it is taking longer to warm up. Positive trends in temperature over the years start to occur at around 3pm and last till 9pm, and from then on no increase.

In other words, in winter, massive increases when the sun rises, in summer, increases from the middle of the day until sunset. Perhaps this is because a warmer sun will increase a colder place quicker than it will a warmer place. I'm not entirely sure.

But either way, we are seeing a very strong summer/winter effect. Something that should be present if global warming was mainly sun induced, and would not be present if the world was warming up due to CO2.

But is it just the sun that is causing the warming? What about clouds and sun duration? We'll take a look at that next.

Friday, December 14, 2007

What consensus? Experts protest the Bali madness

Distinguished academics and researchers have sent an open letter to the UN Secretary General and the alarmists in Bali, saying there’s no proof man is heating up the world to hell. Excerpts:

It is not possible to stop climate change, a natural phenomenon that has affected humanity through the ages…

The United Nations Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) has issued increasingly alarming conclusions about the climatic influences of human-produced carbon dioxide (CO2), a non-polluting gas that is essential to plant photosynthesis. While we understand the evidence that has led them to view CO2 emissions as harmful, the IPCC’s conclusions are quite inadequate as justification for implementing policies that will markedly diminish future prosperity. In particular, it is not established that it is possible to significantly alter global climate through cuts in human greenhouse gas emissions. On top of which, because attempts to cut emissions will slow development, the current UN approach of CO2 reduction is likely to increase human suffering from future climate change rather than to decrease it.

The IPCC Summaries for Policy Makers are the most widely read IPCC reports amongst politicians and non-scientists and are the basis for most climate change policy formulation. Yet these Summaries are prepared by a relatively small core writing team with the final drafts approved line-by-line by ­government ­representatives. The great ­majority of IPCC contributors and ­reviewers, and the tens of thousands of other scientists who are qualified to comment on these matters, are not involved in the preparation of these documents. The summaries therefore cannot properly be represented as a consensus view among experts.

Contrary to the impression left by the IPCC Summary reports:

z Recent observations of phenomena such as glacial retreats, sea-level rise and the migration of temperature-sensitive species are not evidence for abnormal climate change, for none of these changes has been shown to lie outside the bounds of known natural variability.

z The average rate of warming of 0.1 to 0. 2 degrees Celsius per decade recorded by satellites during the late 20th century falls within known natural rates of warming and cooling over the last 10,000 years.

z Leading scientists, including some senior IPCC representatives, acknowledge that today’s computer models cannot predict climate. Consistent with this, and despite computer projections of temperature rises, there has been no net global warming since 1998. That the current temperature plateau follows a late 20th-century period of warming is consistent with the continuation today of natural multi-decadal or millennial climate cycling.

In stark contrast to the often repeated assertion that the science of climate change is “settled,” significant new peer-reviewed research has cast even more doubt on the hypothesis of dangerous human-caused global warming. But because IPCC working groups were generally instructed (see to consider work published only through May, 2005, these important findings are not included in their reports; i.e., the IPCC assessment reports are already materially outdated.

The UN climate conference in Bali has been planned to take the world along a path of severe CO2 restrictions, ignoring the lessons apparent from the failure of the Kyoto Protocol, the chaotic nature of the European CO2 trading market, and the ineffectiveness of other costly initiatives to curb greenhouse gas emissions. Balanced cost/benefit analyses provide no support for the introduction of global measures to cap and reduce energy consumption for the purpose of restricting CO2 emissions. Furthermore, it is irrational to apply the “precautionary principle” because many scientists recognize that both climatic coolings and warmings are realistic possibilities over the medium-term future…

Attempts to prevent global climate change from occurring are ultimately futile, and constitute a tragic misallocation of resources that would be better spent on humanity’s real and pressing problems.
The Great Barrier Reef and other coral reefs will be annihilated by global warming, even if the world's governments slash greenhouse gas emissions, scientists say. And its also probably too late to save the Great Barrier Reef and other coral reefs from global warming.

Ummm...what warming?

Monday, December 10, 2007

Significant Summer/Winter effect in evening points towards sun induced global warming

If global warming was largely man induced, then we would not see a summer/winter effect. Basically, temperatures would rise throughout the day and night at a constant rate irrespective of the time of the year.

However if the sun was one of the major causes of global warming, then we would see no or little summer/winter effect overnight (as we previously showed), but would find that summer would be increasing in temperature at a greater rate than winter at 6pm and 9pm.

This is because during summer, the sun is still heating up the surface, whilst in winter, it is long set.

So what do we find? Firstly we find a significant increase in temperature for summer minus winter at 6pm (t = 2.85, p < 0.01). Likewise we also find a significant increase in summer minus winter temperatures at 9pm (t = 3.98, p < 0.001).

Both these two results give more evidence of sun induced global warming as opposed to man made global warming.

In fact both 6pm and 9pm showed significant increase in temperatures during summer (6pm: t = 2.24, p < 0.05; 9pm: t = 4.3, p < 0.001), whilst in winter, both 6pm and 9pm showed no significant increase or decrease in temperature (6pm: t = -1.88, p = 0.067; 9pm: t = -0.98, p = 0.33). Statisticians will note that the above figures actually indicate a decrease in temperature at 6pm and 9pm during winter, however insignificant.

So what we are seeing is that throughout the year, we we seeing no significant increase or decrease in temperature when the sun is not risen, however when the sun is in the air and influencing the earth, it is only then that we are seeing an increase in temperature in the last 50 years.

This points towards very strong proof that global warming is largely caused by the sun and not by man.

Road To Bali

Ecomyths writes:

A short, easy to comprehend and an accurate assessment of the Bali conference is offered here.  The central premise?
  • ...the issue is not whether humanity will succumb to a "climate crisis," or how the international community might craft a successor to the tattered Kyoto Accord (Let's call it KyoTwo). The real theme of this United Nations gabfest -- like that of its 12 predecessors, and of the hundreds, if not thousands, of related meetings --is whether globalization and trade liberalization will be allowed to continue, with a corresponding increase in wealth, health and welfare, or whether the authoritarian enemies of freedom (who rarely if ever recognize themselves as such) will succeed in using environmental hysteria to undermine capitalism and increase their Majesterium.
How did this situation evolve?  Just how did the science become so politicized to be unrecognizable as science?
Phillip Stott provides a brilliant summary in this essay where he examines the role of science in a postmodern world.  As he states:
  • Science has to learn that science no longer controls the debate, and that 'truth' will not be legitimised by science alone.
  • ...the language games of science are no longer self-legitimised, but are legitimised against the power and media relations in which they are embedded. They are, accordingly, legitimised by the social bond, which seeks out the 'science' that supports the bond, but actively rejects, and pours scorn on, the 'science' that challenges the bond.
  • The social bond has created a desire for 'global warming' to be true in order to legitimise a whole suite of pre-ordained Neo-Malthusian agendas and fears....from anti-growth to anti-Americanism. Thus, the science is also uncritically legitimised...
  • Science can no longer function in a vacuum and legitimise itself. Indeed, it is questionable whether this was ever the case. The fight for 'truth' involves, above all, the use of language, of words of power...
  • Language is everything. One mythical phrase employed by one clever media outlet can overthrow the whole edifice of science at the press of a computer key.
  • The battle ground is the social bond, not science.
  • And, paradoxically, and perhaps amusingly, this is something that 'global warming' scientists are about to learn to their cost at Bali, where a different, but equally powerful, grand narrative from the developing world could well topple the 'global warming' grand narrative of a rich and ecochondriac North.
Now, the challenge is to foster a new social bond: one that is inherently dynamist in its constructs, that empowers the individual rather than holding power over them, one that celebrates creative enterprise and not censure, and one that sustains globalization rather than the false mythology of a global sustainability.
This new paradigm is emerging.  It is evident in the blogosphere and in the advent of new media and social networks, What is needed now is a leader around which a new social bond can coalesce, take shape and gather momentum.  The times, they are a changing once again.

Friday, December 07, 2007

No summer/winter effect on overnight temperatures

As shown on the previous post we intend to see whether a summer/winter effect occurs with temperature anomalies in Australia. If global warming was man made then we should see no summer/winter effect at any time. Similarly, if global warming was sun induced, then we should see no summer/winter effect overnight but will see an effect at other times.

So we will first see whether a summer/winter effect occurs overnight. We obviously hope that we don't see an effect here, anything else would prove very interesting. However the overnight summer/winter analysis should not prove or disprove any global warming theory.

As shown below, all of Midnight, 3am and 6am had no significant increase or decrease in summer temperature anomalies over winter temperature anomalies. (Mid: t = 0.7, p = 0.44; 3am: t = 1.0, p = 0.32 ;6am: t = -0.25, p = 0.8).

Also, Midnight, 3am and 6am for summer, as well as Midnight, 3am and 6am for winter each recorded no significant increase or decrease in temperature anomalies over time. (Summer: Midnight: t = 1.3, p = 0.17; 3am: t = 1.7, p = 0.8; 6am: t = 0.9, p = 0.39; Winter: Midnight: t = 0.06, p = 0.96; 3am: t = 0.02, p = 0.99; 6am: t = 0.85, p = 0.4)

Hence it can be safely concluded that there is no summer/winter effect on overnight temperatures. But what happens at other times of the day? We will lok at evening temperatures next.

Tuesday, December 04, 2007

Summer/Winter hypothesis

Recently it was suggested to me, that if the sun was a major cause of global warming, then we should see some sought of summer winter effect. There are obviously more daylight hours during summer, so we should get some changes.

But before we go into the analysis, lets hypthesise what changes we should see.

During the night (at Midnight,3am and possibly 6am) we should see very little change between summer and winter. Summer temperature increases may be slightly more, but I doubt that they would be significant. Hence we would hypothesise that there would be no differences between summer and winter temperature anomalies at Midnight, 3am and possibly 6am.

During summer the sun generally sets at around 8.30 to 9pm in many parts of Australia, as opposed to winter when it goes down at 5pm to 6pm. Given this, if the sun was a major contributer to global warming, we should see a positive summer effect at 6pm and 9pm. That is, temperature is increasing at a greater rate at 6pm and 9pm in the summer than it is in the winter.

However what will happen at 9am, Noon and 3pm is interesting. 9am in winter is closer to the minimum temperature time than summer, a time where we see the biggest increase in the day. However in summer, the sun has had a longer effect than in winter.

Does a hotter sun with less staying power increase a colder place more than a hotter sun with greater staying power in a hotter place?

I'm not so sure. But either way if there is a summer/winter effect, it is evidence for the sun being a major part in global warming. If CO2 were the major cause of global warming, then we should so no sumer winter effect, in that all temperature at all times are increasing at constant rate.

We'll find out in the next post if this is or isn't the case.