Thursday, January 31, 2008

Warming sure doesn’t make Chinese burn

As Andrew Bolt explains:

China is suffering from climate change, but not of the kind you'd expect:

One of the worst snowstorms to hit China since the government began keeping records in 1950 has wreaked havoc throughout the country. At least two dozen people have died in accidents and 827,000 people have been displaced. Heavy snowfall has caused gridlock at train stations and airports, just two weeks before the Chinese New Year begins and hundreds of millions of Chinese return home for the holidays.

The weather is already taking its toll on the Chinese economy. So far the snowstorms have cost $3 billion in damages, according to the Civil Affairs Ministry. The heavy snow, sleet, and freezing rain have created transportation bottlenecks for travelers as well as for shipments of coal, vital to fueling China’s power plants.

But colder or hotter, the same culprit is always to blame:

Chinese meteorologists blame global climate change for the unseasonably high snowfall.

This of course follows an unusually cold and snowy winter in Argentina, Chile, Uruguay and New Zealand. Global warming sure is a trickster.

Monday, January 28, 2008

Australia's Climate Change Rainfall Non-Crisis

We've been told over and over again how global warming will result in a decrease of rainfall over Australia.

The CSIRO have said that

"Projected reductions in precipitation and increases in evaporation are likely to intensify water security problems in southern and eastern Australia"

"In no regions or season do models suggest a 'likely' increase in rainfall"

"For 2030, best estimates of rainfall change indicate little change in the far north and decreases of 2% to 5% elsewhere"

and "The rainfall decrease in south western Australia since the mid-1970s is likely to be at least partly due to human-induced greenhouse gases"

Notice the language, "likely", "Best estimates" (not average estimates??) and "partially due". In other words, no-one is really sure, and it is clear that no-one has done the appropriate statistical analysis to prove or disprove the argument.

So how did we go in 2007 with rainfall? With decreases predicted Australia wide, lets take a look at the stats.

8.8% more rainfall than normal
New South Wales 3.8% more rainfall than normal
Northern Territory 23.3% more rainfall than normal
Queensland 6.9% more rainfall than normal
South Australia 2.3% less rainfall than normal
Tasmania 8.9% less rainfall than normal
Victoria 3.1% less rainfall than normal
Western Australia 8.6% more rainfall than normal.

So some up, a few down. But the general nature of it is pretty obvious, Australia wide we have seen an increase in rainfall in 2007 than the norm.

This complements our findings that show that every state in Australia has had an increase in rainfall in since 1950 compared to the 50 years before that. Almost a 10% increase in fact, with south Australia, our driest state, recording a 14% increase.

Australia's rainfall deficiency's graphs show, well, not a lot. The last 3 months show no deficiency at all, anywhere in Australia.

Even the last 12 months show only a small patch in central western Western Australia with low rainfall.

But that doesn't the BOM from reporting Australia wide deficiencies.
Notice the title,

"Short-term deficiencies ease, long-term deficiencies remain"

Which, would at first glance make people believe that the short term problems have gone away, but the long term problems are hear to stay.

However, this is just more spin. In reality it means that 2 years ago we had lower than normal rainfall, but the last year was just fine. In fact last year, we had great rainfall. If we get something similar in 2008, there will be no drought statement from the BOM, and someone will be out of a job.

Warming Trend: PDO And Solar Correlate Better Than CO2

Whilst I have to be very critical of the statistical techniques used in this analysis, as shown on whatts up with that, the results are quite interesting never the less

Joe D'Aleo, an AMS Certified Consulting Meteorologist, one of the founders of The Weather Channel and who operates the website ICECAP took it upon himself to do an analysis of the newly released USHCN2 surface temperature data set and compare it against measured trends of CO2, Pacific Decadal Oscillation, and Solar Irradiance. to see which one matched better.

It's a simple experiment; compare the trends by running an R2 correlation on the different data sets. The result is a coefficient of determination that tells you how well the trend curves match. When the correlation is 1.0, you have a perfect match between two curves. The lower the number, the lower the trend correlation.

If CO2 is the main driver of climate change this last century, it stands to reason that the trend of surface temperatures would follow the trend of CO2, and thus the R2 correlation between the two trends would be high. Since NCDC has recently released the new USHCN2 data set for surface temperatures, which promises improved detection and removal of false trends introduced by change points in the data, such as station moves, it seemed like an opportune time to test the correlation.

At the same time, R2 correlation tests were run on other possible drivers of climate; Pacific Decadal Oscillation (PDO), Atlantic Multidecadal Oscillation (AMO), and Total Solar Irradiance (TSI).

First lets look at the surface temperature record. Here we see the familiar plot of temperature over the last century as it has been plotted by NASA GISS:


The temperature trend is unmistakeably upwards, and the change over the last century is about +0.8°C.

Now lets look at the familiar carbon dioxide graph, known as the Keeling Curve, which plots atmospheric CO2 concentration measure at the Mauna Loa Observatory:


CDIAC (Carbon Dioxide Information Analysis Center - Oak Ridge National Lab) also has a data set for this that includes CO2 data back to the last century (1895) extracted from ice core samples. That CO2 data set was plotted against the new USHCN2 surface temperature data as shown below:


A comparison of the 11year running mean of the USHCN version 2 annual mean temperatures with the running mean of CO2 from CDIAC. An r-squared of 0.44 was found.

The results were striking to say the least. An R2 correlation of only 0.44 was determined, placing it between fair and poor in the fit between the two data sets.

Now lets look at other potential drivers of climate, TSI and PDO.

Scafetta and West (2007) have suggested that the total solar irradiance (TSI) is a good proxy for the total solar effect which may be responsible for at least 50% of the warming since 1900. To test it, again the same R2 correlation was run on the two data sets.


In this case, the correlation of TSI to the surface temperature record is better than with CO2, producing an R2 correlation of 0.57 which is between fair and good.

Finally. Joe ran the R2 correlation test on PDO, the Pacfic Decadal Oscillation. He writes:

We know both the Pacific and Atlantic undergo multidecadal cycles the order of 50 to 70 years. In the Pacific this cycle is called the Pacific Decadal Oscillation. A warm Pacific (positive PDO Index) as we found from 1922 to 1947 and again 1977 to 1997 has been found to be accompanied by more El Ninos, while a cool Pacific more La Ninas (in both cases a frequency difference of close to a factor of 2). Since El Ninos have been shown to lead to global warming and La Ninas global cooling, this should have an affect on annual mean temperature trends in North America.

This PDO and TSI to surface temperature connection has also been pointed out in previous post I made here, for former California State Climatologist, Jim Goodridge. PDO affects the USA more than the Atlantic cycle (AMO) because we have prevailing westerly wind flow.

Here is how Joe did the data correlation:

Since the warm modes of the PDO and AMO both favor warming and their cold modes cooling, I though the sum of the two may provide a useful index of ocean induced warming for the hemisphere (and US). I standardized the two data bases and summed them and correlated with the USHCN data, again using a 11 point smoothing as with the CO2 and TSI.

This was the jackpot correlation with the highest value of r-squared (0.83!!!).


An R2 correlation of 0.83 would be considered “good”. This indicates that PDO and our surface temperature is more closely tied together than Co2 to surface temperature by almost a factor of 2.

But he didn’t stop there. He also looked at the last decade where it has been commonly opined that the Top 11 Warmest Years On Record Have All Been In Last 13 Years to see how well the correlation was in the last decade:

Since temperatures have stabilized in the last decade, we looked at the correlation of the CO2 with HCSN data. Greenhouse theory and models predict an accelerated warming with the increasing carbon dioxide.

Instead, a negative correlation between USHCN and CO2 was found in the last decade with an R or Pearson Coefficient of -0.14, yielding an r-squared of 0.02.


According to CO2 theory, we should see long term rise of mean temperatures, and while there may be yearly patterns of weather that diminish the effect of the short term, one would expect to see some sort of correlation over a decade. But it appears that with an R2 correlation of only 0.02, there isn’t any match over the past ten years.

As another test, this analysis was also done on Britain’s Hadley Climate Research Unit (CRU) data and MSU’s (John Christy) satellite temperature data:

To ensure that was not just an artifact of the United States data, we did a similar correlation of the CO2 with the CRU global and MSU lower tropospheric monthlies over the same period. We found a similar non existent correlation of just 0.02 for CRU and 0.01 for the MSU over troposphere.


So with R2 correlations of .01 and .02 what this shows is that the rising CO2 trend does not match the satellite data either.

Here are the different test correlations in a summary table:


And his conclusion:

Clearly the US annual temperatures over the last century have correlated far better with cycles in the sun and oceans than carbon dioxide. The correlation with carbon dioxide seems to have vanished or even reversed in the last decade.

Given the recent cooling of the Pacific and Atlantic and rapid decline in solar activity, we might anticipate given these correlations, temperatures to accelerate downwards shortly.

While this isn’t a “smoking gun” it is as close as anything I’ve seen. Time will give us the qualified answer as we have expectations of a lower Solar Cycle 24 and changes in the Pacific now happening.

Sunday, January 13, 2008

Baghdad snow blamed on global warming

The first snow to have fallen on Baghdad in 100 years has been blamed on global warming.

The director of the meteorology department, Dawood Shakir, told AFP that climate change was possibly to blame for the unusual event.

"It's very rare," he said. "Baghdad has never seen snow falling in living memory.

"These snowfalls are linked to the climate change that is happening everywhere. We are finding some places in the world which are warm and are supposed to be cold."


Saturday, January 05, 2008

2007 warmest year on record? Coldest in this century

As Lubos explains,

One month ago, we noticed that November 2007 was the coldest month since January 2000. Well, the RSS MSU satellite data prepared by show that December was even cooler. The December anomaly was -0.046 °C, compared to -0.014 °C in November. That means that December 2007 was also cooler than the average December from 1979. Moreover, we can finally complete the ranking of the years!

Let me start with forecasts in the mainstream media.

In January 2007, we were informed that 2007 was either likely or certain to surpass 1998 and become the world's warmest year on record by most media, including:
AP & Foxnews
USA Today
The New York Times
The New York Sun
The Washington Post
National Geographic
The Guardian
The Independent
China People Daily
ABC Australia
Discovery Channel
Science Daily
Met Office
as well as virtually all other media you know. They justified this statement by referring to scientists who have combined greenhouse gases with the observed El Nino. Many sources, such as the New York Sun, even gave you the probability that 2007 would be the hottest year as 60 percent. They immediately added that this should "add momentum for the next phase of the Kyoto protocol", a comment that clarifies what is the actual goal of many of the people who study these questions professionally.

In the middle of the year when it started to be clear that the prediction was bogus, Phil Jones (Reuters) changed his mind only infinitesimally. It would be the second hottest year, he said. These big-shot agenda-driven scientists never have the courage to say that they were simply wrong.

Reality: thermometers

However, the greenhouse gases are not too important and El Nino was replaced by La Nina. As a consequence, RSS MSU data for the lower troposphere (graph, more graphs) show that 2007 was the coldest year in this century so far. In alarmist jargon, it was the ninth hottest year on record: the most recent year was cooler than all other years in this century as well as 1998 (by a whopping 0.41 °C) and even 1995. According to different datasets (HadCRUT3, UAH MSU, NOAA), the year is going to be approximately the 8th (HadCRUT3) or 7th (NOAA) or 6th warmest year. UAH might report 2007 as the 4th warmest year and GISS will be a real exception because 2007 will be almost certainly its 2nd warmest year (as James Hansen said a few weeks ago, after 2005 but slightly above 1998) - but it is still very far from the hype about the hottest year. Your humble correspondent is not the only one who believes that the satellite measurements such as RSS, UAH are more accurate than GISS, HadCRUT3. It just happens that HadCRUT3 is closer to RSS than UAH to RSS, as far as the recent rankings go.

The RSS MSU linear trend extracted from the 1998-2007 interval is -0.48 °C per century of cooling! Numerically, it's almost the same trend that we assign to the 20th century but with the opposite sign. The RSS MSU data imply that 2007 was 0.12 °C cooler than the already cool year 2006. Other teams will generate qualitatively compatible results but substantially different numbers, raising doubts about the reliability of the temperature measurement even in the modern era.

Figure 1: Global cooling. Nine hottest years on record as shown by the RSS MSU calculations, from the hottest year 1998 to the coolest year 2007.

The choice of 1998 as the beginning of this graph is, of course, a P.R. trick to make the trend look as cooling as possible. If someone chooses e.g. a year in 1970s - the coldest year in the last 70 years - as his beginning, it is a P.R. trick, too, even though the goal has the opposite one. Certain qualitative conclusions simply depend on these choices and one must be careful about this fact. Similar issues are also discussed in the fast comments. Moreover, I only included the last 10 years for efficiency because typing three times as many numbers to the Excel file would be rather tiresome. Incidentally, if I wanted to demonstrate recent global cooling, I could have been even tougher and show you 36 months since January 2005, including the linear regression:

Figure 2: Global cooling 2005-2007. The trend is over 15 °C of cooling per century. ;-) Also, the trend is accelerating: for the 12 months of 2007, a similar linear regression gives about 35 °C of cooling per century. :-)

Friday, January 04, 2008

Sunshine duration vs Cloud Cover

One would expect a significant relationship between sunshine duration and total cloud cover. Greater cloud equals less sunshine, and less cloud equals greater sunshine.

And just to test this I looked at the relatioship between sunshine duration and total average monthly cloud cover at 3pm. Results were highly significant for at eh Giles weather station (t = -6.33, p < 0.001), as well as at Darwin (t = -4.77, p < 0.001) and at Tennant Creek (t = -3.03, p < 0.01).

So expectedly, the variable sunshine duration is a good measure of cloud cover throughout the whole day. But even better than that, we have a very extensive data set of total cloud cover (in eights) Australia wide.

So instead of having to look at the variable Sunshine duration, we can look at total cloud cover at eight different times of the day, too see what effect, if any, it has on recent warming trends.

And the results, will startle you....

Wednesday, January 02, 2008

In 2008, a 100 Percent Chance of Alarm

A highly recommended article

More Global Ice than Average

Currently the world has more ice cover than normal. As shown here, there is currently around 1 million squared kilometers more of ice on the worlds surface than normal. The webpage also shows no obvious increasing or decreasing trend since 1979. In other words, as the north decreased in ice, the south increased.

Admittedly, from 2004 to late 2007 we saw a big decrease in ice levels, however no doubt thanks to some record cold temperatures and record snow levels of late, the global sea ice levels have increased to very high levels.

So should we be worried about global ice melting. Once again I'll show the graph, because it clearly says "no".