Category Archives: Data

China and the BBC Warming Bias

(here and here and here some more thoughts on the all-too-apparent bias at the BBC towards global warming and doom-and-gloom news in general)

There is almost no need to comment the following at all…

(1) Almost six years ago
BBC News – Wednesday, 17 July, 2002, 07:53 GMT 08:53 UK
Seven die in Chinese heat wave

[…] The heat has intensified in recent years as a result of the increase in vehicles on the roads, which raise street temperatures.

(2) One year ago
BBC News – Tuesday, 6 February 2007, 12:34 GMT
Climate change ‘affecting’ China – Unseasonably warm weather in north China has been linked to climate change
(page is chock-full of climate change links)

At least 300,000 people in north-west China are short of drinking water because of unseasonably warm weather, which officials link to climate change. Parts of Shaanxi province face drought after January saw as little as 10% of average rainfall, state media say. Frozen lakes are melting and trees are blossoming in the capital Beijing as it experiences its warmest winter for 30 years, the China Daily reported.
[…] The country’s top meteorologist, Qin Dahe, said the recent dry and warm weather in northern China was related to global warming. […]

(3) January 2008
BBC News – Thursday, 31 January 2008, 13:53 GMT
Food warnings amid China freeze – Millions of people have been affected by the severe snow
(not one climate change link in sight)

China is struggling to cope with its worst snowfall in decades, with officials warning of future food shortages as winter crops are wrecked.[…]
Dozens are thought to have died as much of the country endures one of its harshest winters for half a century.

How many people died in the 2007 heatwave? Perhaps…zero.

(4) How about Shaanxi? Sadly, no space for it this year on the BBC (at least, so far). Here’s what is happening though:
rediff – January 30, 2008
Snowstorms paralyse China

[…] In northwestern Shaanxi province alone, 1,200 people were reportedly ill or injured in snow-related incidents […]

UPDATE: This particular post has become quite popular having been linked from “Biased BBC”

HadCRUT Data Rank Analysis (IV)

Click here for HadCRUT Data Rank Analysis (I)
Click here for HadCRUT Data Rank Analysis (II)
Click here for HadCRUT Data Rank Analysis (III)
Click here for HadCRUT Data Rank Analysis (IV)
Click here for Results of HadCRUT Data Rank Analysis (V)

This is the fourth posting in a series analyzing the information that can be obtained from the available HadCRUT data, recently updated to December 2007.

As in the previous blogs, the focus is on rank analysis, since it is widely claimed that global warming can be discerned by the fact that most of the warmest years have occurred very recently.

It is actually possible to obtain a rough indication on what is behind the recorded warming in the HadCRUT data by going one step below the usual globe-averaged, year-averaged figures.

(a) A strong hemispheric component is already visible in the yearly averages of the month-by-month ranks:

Yearly averages of the month-by-month ranks

Note how for example SST/Southern-hemisphere is much more similar to Land/Southern-Hemisphere than to SST/Northern-hemisphere.

(b) Similar considerations apply at a seasonal level. See the graphs for the January-March period:

January-March rankings

Obviously the Jan-Mar period is Southern Summer and Northern Winter. Let’s have a look at the Summer-to-Summer plots then:

Summer-to-summer graphs

I have computed the same graphs for all quarters, and for all seasons.

(c) It always looks more important to be in the same hemisphere, rather than in the same season or the same surface.

But visual inspection may be misleading, so a good round of correlations is in order (for the sake of clarity, the full list is at the end of this entry). These are the results:

(d) Correlation is highest intra-hemispherically (that is, when, say, the Northern Hemisphere’s land temperatures have placed near the top ranks, the NH sea-surface temperatures too have done the same) with a maximum of 98.6% (Southern Hemisphere, local Autumn) and a minimum of around 80% (Northern Hemisphere, local Winter).

(e) Same-season correlations are among the lowest, with a maximum of 74.5% (Spring) and a minimum of 68.8% (Summer).

(f) Among all the season-to-following-season correlations, the lowest values belong to the Oct_Dec-Jan_Mar periods (between 71% for Land, Northern Hemisphere and 80.5% for Land, Southern Emisphere).

(g) There is little, or perhaps even none, appreciable difference between Land and Sea-surface results

Conclusions and working hypotheses for the future will be discussed in next blog in the series.

Correlations

SH SST/Land (V3)
Jan_Mar: 98.40%
Apr_Jun: 98.58%
Jul_Sep: 98.17%
Oct_Dec: 98.28%

NH SST/LAND (V3)
Jan_Mar: 80.89%
Apr_Jun: 93.32%
Jul_Sep: 95.71%
Oct_Dec: 88.70%

SST NH
Jan_Mar/Apr_Jun: 89.06%
Apr_Jun/Jul_Sep: 89.17%
Jul_Sep/Oct_Dec: 90.54%
Jan_Mar/Oct_Dec: 73.89%
Jan_Mar/Jul_Sep: 76.04%
Apr_Jun/Oct_Dec: 83.51%

SST SH
Jan_Mar/Apr_Jun: 89.42%
Apr_Jun/Jul_Sep: 91.10%
Jul_Sep/Oct_Dec: 90.55%
Jan_Mar/Oct_Dec: 75.05%
Jan_Mar/Jul_Sep: 81.82%
Apr_Jun/Oct_Dec: 84.84%

Land NH
Jan_Mar/Apr_Jun: 80.78%
Apr_Jun/Jul_Sep: 88.93%
Jul_Sep/Oct_Dec: 85.48%
Jan_Mar/Oct_Dec: 70.99%
Jan_Mar/Jul_Sep: 74.35%
Apr_Jun/Oct_Dec: 79.26%

Land SH
Jan_Mar/Apr_Jun: 92.07%
Apr_Jun/Jul_Sep: 92.39%
Jul_Sep/Oct_Dec: 92.30%
Jan_Mar/Oct_Dec: 80.51%
Jan_Mar/Jul_Sep: 86.31%
Apr_Jun/Oct_Dec: 87.80%

SST Seasonal NH/SH
Winter: 73.52%
Spring: 74.47%
Summer: 68.76%
Autumn: 73.08%

Land Seasonal NH/SH
Winter: 75.87%
Summer: 71.33%
Spring: 78.98%
Autumn: 75.93%

SST NH/SH
Jan_Mar: 75.03%
Apr_Jun: 79.00%
Jul_Sep: 77.68%
Oct_Dec: 76.93%

Land NH/SH
Jan_Mar : 75.95%
Apr_Jun: 82.84%
Jul_Sep: 77.33%
Oct_Dec: 77.41%:

HadCRUT Data Rank Analysis (III)

Click here for HadCRUT Data Rank Analysis (I)
Click here for HadCRUT Data Rank Analysis (II)
Click here for HadCRUT Data Rank Analysis (III)
Click here for HadCRUT Data Rank Analysis (IV)
Click here for Results of HadCRUT Data Rank Analysis (V)

Let’s have a look now at the graphs for yearly averages, ranked from #0 (coldest) to #157 (warmest) for the period 1850-2007. Source is once again the HadCRUT data.

We are looking for trends, so instead of simply taking the published average temperatures for the year, I have averaged the monthly ranking for each year taken into consideration. There is anyway no considerable difference between the results of the two approaches.

Fig. 1: Yearly temperature rankings between 1850 and 2007

Figure 1 above shows the rankings for the whole period. Things to note:

(a) There is a clustering of warmer years during the past 20 years or so. This does suggest an overall warming. Taking the HadCRUT data for good (otherwise there would be no point examining them), it is also possible to say that the “warmest X years happened within the past Y years”.

(b) The steepest gradient IN TERMS OF RANKING  is by far between the cold years around 1910 and the warm years around 1938.

(c) All the graphs end up with a “cap”

Fig. 2: Yearly temperature rankings between 1997 and 2007

To investigate point (c), Figure 2 above shows the rankings for the past 10 years. Things to note:

(d) Only Land/Northern-Hemisphere gives any indication of continuous warming to date.

(e) Temperatures in the Southern Hemisphere have not been warming on a decadal scale.

I have been notoriously bad at making predictions but on the basis of figures 1 and 2 it is plausible that at least for now, and at least everywhere but on Land/Northern-Hemisphere, temperatures have reached a high and may not increase further.

HadCRUT Data Rank Analysis (II)

Click here for HadCRUT Data Rank Analysis (I)
Click here for HadCRUT Data Rank Analysis (II)
Click here for HadCRUT Data Rank Analysis (III)
Click here for HadCRUT Data Rank Analysis (IV)
Click here for Results of HadCRUT Data Rank Analysis (V)

The following contains a list of warmest/coldest year, by data set and by month, plus the ranking for 2007 (where #1=warmest).

Among the values to note :

(a) The year 2007 has seen the warmest month of January since 1850 for Land/Northern Hemisphere and Land/Global. It also ranked second warmest for Sea-surface/Northern Hemisphere in January and February.

(b) For Sea-surface/Southern Hemisphere, November 2007 has been the 29th warmest, and December 2007 the 34th warmest. That is, they were quite cool compared to the maximum values, achieved in both cases in 1997. The same can be said for Sea-surface/Global, ranked #20 in December 2007.

(c) In 2007, Land/Southern Hemisphere temperatures ranked #19 (August), #23 (November) and #33 (December)

MONTHLY TEMPERATURES

Sea-surface Northern Emisphere
January
Warmest: 1998
Coldest: 1861
2007: #2

February
Warmest: 1998
Coldest: 1861
2007: #2

March
Warmest: 1998
Coldest: 1864
2007: #4

April
Warmest: 1878, 2004
Coldest: 1911
2007: #6

May
Warmest: 2005
Coldest: 1910
2007: #8

June
Warmest: 2005
Coldest: 1858
2007: #10

July
Warmest: 1868
Coldest: 1863
2007: #9

August
Warmest: 2005
Coldest: 1862
2007: #8

September
Warmest: 2003
Coldest: 1858
2007: #6

October
Warmest: 2006
Coldest: 1863
2007: #10

November
Warmest: 2006
Coldest: 1863
2007: #14

December
Warmest: 2004
Coldest: 1862
2007: #13

Sea-surface Southern Emisphere

January
Warmest: 1998
Coldest: 1852
2007: #7

February
Warmest: 1998
Coldest: 1911
2007: #8

March
Warmest: 1998
Coldest: 1861
2007: #9

April
Warmest: 1998
Coldest: 1911
2007: #11

May
Warmest: 1998
Coldest: 1858
2007: #10

June
Warmest: 1998
Coldest: 1911
2007: #6

July
Warmest: 1998
Coldest: 1861
2007: #7

August
Warmest: 1998
Coldest: 1862
2007: #16

September
Warmest: 1997
Coldest: 1911
2007: #10

October
Warmest: 1997
Coldest: 1903
2007: #16

November
Warmest: 1997
Coldest: 1910
2007: #29

December
Warmest: 1997
Coldest: 1910
2007: #34

Sea-surface Global

January
Warmest: 1998
Coldest: 1864
2007: #4

February
Warmest: 1998
Coldest: 1861
2007: #4

March
Warmest: 1998
Coldest: 1850
2007: #7

April
Warmest: 1998
Coldest: 1911
2007: #8

May
Warmest: 1998
Coldest: 1858
2007: #8

June
Warmest: 1998
Coldest: 1858
2007: #7

July
Warmest: 1998
Coldest: 1857
2007: #9

August
Warmest: 1998
Coldest: 1862
2007: #10

September
Warmest: 2003
Coldest: 1859
2007: #9

October
Warmest: 2003
Coldest: 1903
2007: #10

November
Warmest: 1997
Coldest: 1910
2007: #17

December
Warmest: 1997
Coldest: 1862
2007: #20

Land Northern Emisphere

January
Warmest: 2007
Coldest: 1893
2007: #1

February
Warmest: 1998
Coldest: 1862
2007: #6

March
Warmest: 1990
Coldest: 1867
2007: #4

April
Warmest: 1998
Coldest: 1884
2007: #3

May
Warmest: 2005
Coldest: 1866
2007: #3

June
Warmest: 2005
Coldest: 1913
2007: #5

July
Warmest: 2005
Coldest: 1913
2007: #7

August
Warmest: 1998
Coldest: 1912
2007: #5

September
Warmest: 2005
Coldest: 1912
2007: #5

October
Warmest: 2003
Coldest: 1864
2007: #6

November
Warmest: 2004
Coldest: 1862
2007: #7

December
Warmest: 2006
Coldest: 1870
2007: #10

Land Southern Emisphere

January
Warmest: 1998
Coldest: 1864
2007: #8

February
Warmest: 1998
Coldest: 1911
2007: #7

March
Warmest: 1998
Coldest: 1850
2007: #9

April
Warmest: 1998
Coldest: 1911
2007: #8

May
Warmest: 1998
Coldest: 1858
2007: #10

June
Warmest: 1998
Coldest: 1911
2007: #11

July
Warmest: 1998
Coldest: 1909
2007: #11

August
Warmest: 1998
Coldest: 1862
2007: #19

September
Warmest: 1997
Coldest: 1911
2007: #7

October
Warmest: 1997
Coldest: 1903
2007: #11

November
Warmest: 1997
Coldest: 1910
2007: #23

December
Warmest: 1997
Coldest: 1910
2007: #33

Land Global

January
Warmest: 2007
Coldest: 1893
2007: #1

February
Warmest: 1998
Coldest: 1862
2007: #5

March
Warmest: 2002
Coldest: 1917
2007: #7

April
Warmest: 1998
Coldest: 1911
2007: #4

May
Warmest: 1998
Coldest: 1861
2007: #6

June
Warmest: 1998
Coldest: 1907
2007: #7

July
Warmest: 1998
Coldest: 1909
2007: #7

August
Warmest: 1998
Coldest: 1862
2007: #9

September
Warmest: 2003
Coldest: 1859
2007: #8

October
Warmest: 2003
Coldest: 1864
2007: #9

November
Warmest: 2004
Coldest: 1862
2007: #11

December
Warmest: 2006
Coldest: 1892
2007: #15

HadCRUT Data Rank Analysis (I)

Click here for HadCRUT Data Rank Analysis (I)
Click here for HadCRUT Data Rank Analysis (II)
Click here for HadCRUT Data Rank Analysis (III)
Click here for HadCRUT Data Rank Analysis (IV)
Click here for Results of HadCRUT Data Rank Analysis (V)

PLEASE LOOK AT POST (V) FOR A DISCUSSION OF THE RESULTS

=============

Finally the HadCRUT data for the whole of 2007 have been published.

As we have been told time and again that the world has been the warmest most recently, I have conducted a rank analysis on those values.

Three things of note for now:

(a) The year 2007 has been the coolest this century in most data sets, apart from Sea-Surface Northern Emisphere (second coolest) and Land Northern Emisphere (third warmest)

(b) In all data sets, there has been considerable cooling in November and December (and partly, in October 2007)

(c) Sea-surface Southern Emisphere temperatures in December 2007 have been the coolest since December 1995

There is more to the HadCRUT data and I shall return to this shortly.

Here the first results:

(1) In terms of YEARLY TEMPERATURE AVERAGES:

Sea-surface Northern Emisphere
Warmest: 2004
Coldest: 1910
#7: 2007

Sea-surface Southern Emisphere
Warmest: 1998
Coldest: 1911
#11: 2007

Sea-surface Global
Warmest: 1998
Coldest: 1910
#9: 2007

Land Northern Emisphere
Warmest: 2005
Coldest: 1862
#4: 2007

Land Southern Emisphere
Warmest: 1998
Coldest: 1911
#10: 2007

Land Global
Warmest: 1998
Coldest: 1911
#8: 2007

(2) In terms of INDIVIDUAL MONTHLY TEMPERATURES:

Sea-surface Northern Emisphere
Warmest: Jul 1868
Coldest: Feb 1861
#45 Jan 2007
#55 Aug 2007
#57 Feb 2007
#58 Jul 2007
#66 Jun 2007
#70 Sep 2007
#81 Mar 2007
#87 Oct 2007
#95 Apr 2007
#105 May 2007
#144 Dec 2007
#147 Nov 2007

Sea-surface Southern Emisphere
Warmest: Mar 1998
Coldest: May 1858
#61 Feb 2007
#73 Jan 2007
#73 Jul 2007
#88 Jun 2007
#97 Mar 2007
#110 Apr 2007
#131 May 2007
#144 Sep 2007
#205 Aug 2007
#258 Oct 2007
#330 Nov 2007
#426 Dec 2007

Sea-surface Global
Warmest: Aug 1998
Coldest: Feb 1861
#56 Jan 2007
#58 Feb 2007
#63 Jul 2007
#77 Jun 2007
#85 Mar 2007
#93 Sep 2007
#95 Apr 2007
#97 Aug 2007
#104 May 2007
#126 Oct 2007
#195 Nov 2007
#246 Dec 2007

Land Northern Emisphere
Warmest: Jan 2007
Coldest: Jan 1893
#1 Jan 2007
#21 Feb 2007
#33 Apr 2007
#43 Mar 2007
#47 Aug 2007
#62 Jul 2007
#65 May 2007
#67 Sep 2007
#68 Oct 2007
#70 Jun 2007
#103 Nov 2007
#109 Dec 2007

Land Southern Emisphere
#Warmest: Jul 1998
#Coldest: May 1858
#52 Feb 2007
#75 Apr 2007
#78 Jan 2007
#93 Sep 2007
#96 Mar 2007
#110 Jul 2007
#120 Jun 2007
#137 May 2007
#161 Oct 2007
#209 Aug 2007
#297 Nov 2007
#396 Dec 2007

Land Global
Warmest: Feb 1998
Coldest: Jan 1893
#3 Jan 2007
#23 Feb 2007
#42 Apr 2007
#58 Mar 2007
#78 Sep 2007
#82 Jul 2007
#87 Jun 2007
#88 May 2007
#92 Aug 2007
#99 Oct 2007
#144 Nov 2007
#174 Dec 2007

Bali: Gambling the Present for an Unknown Future

Very wise words about the results of the Bali “climate deals” in December 2007, from Dr. Sonia Boehmer-Christiansen (University of Hull, UK), editor of the journal “Energy and Environment“:

What the Bali agreements (i.e. a small adaptation fund, more CDM projects/policies, more negotiations on targets and timetables; technology transfer) are likely to mean for international efforts is simple to predict for a long-time observer. Great rhetorical efforts will continue with little effective actionother [than] more centralization of state power – in most countries […]

many agendas and several regions are likely to benefit from developments of less carbon intensive economies and lifestyles. The political consequences of such attempted developments may nevertheless be disastrous where economic growth or prosperity is undermined […]

Food, water, education and health are already more urgent ‘real’ global problems than climatic changes. Our primary (and more arduous) responsibility therefore is to current generations, though politics favors the future. People alive today are expected to pay for the implementation of an agenda too little concerned with conflict resolution but based on fear derived from computer model predictions generated and used by institutions that cannot be absolved of political motivations, however honorable.

For scientific reasons, all climate change policymakers and activists might familiarize themselves with the many voices – admittedly not proclaiming consensus – that are critical of the IPCC ‘scientific consensus’. More efforts needs to be devoted to observing climatic reality, understanding climate and only then, perhaps, on preparing for adaptation to real change. In the meantime, there are enough real problems to solve.

The above is from the Roundtable Forum “Tackling Climate Change” at IA-forum.org.

January Warmth Weakens BBC Meteorologist's Logical Skills

How many times have we been told that “weather” is not “climate”, that a heatwave or a cold front or heavy winds or hurricanes or the lack thereof, can say absolutely nothing about the state of the global climate?

Lo and behold, here comes the BBC’s John Hammond in the current “Monthly Outlook” for the UK:

The predominance of south or southwesterly winds kept temperatures at or above average in many parts in the early days of 2007. This theme looks set to continue for a greater part of the next month.
This comes on the back of recently released figures for 2007, which showed that on a global level 2007 was the seventh warmest on record since 1850.

Should it really be necessary to tell a meteorologist that if local above-average temperatures are due to “south/southwesterly winds” THEN the only way to connect the temperatures to global warming would be by demonstrating a link between those winds, and that warming?

Furthermore: the Hadley Centre has not published yet the final figures for 2007. Data so far show sea-surface temperatures for 2007 to be the 9th on record, globally (the southern oceans have actually recorded in December the coolest value in 13 years).

UPDATE JAN 26: HadCRUT data now available up to December 2007

Scientific Literature on Patagonian Glaciers

And so once more Global Warming has meant the publication of misleading pictures, with a wrong caption…why oh why does the mere mention of AGW force so many otherwise thoughtful and wise people to switch their brains off?

Here a “Letter to the Editors” just sent to the New York Review Of Books:

Dear Editors

Clarifications and at least one correction are required about the pictures of the Upsala Glacier in Patagonia, Argentina, “from Al Gore’s An Inconvenient Truth (2006)”, on the first page of Bill McKibben’s “Warning on Warming” (NYRB, March 15, 2007).

At the top, the 1928 photograph of a vast flat glacier; at the bottom, the 2004 ice-free landscape as captured from a similar vantage point as the one 76 years earlier (at least two peaks are clearly distinguishable).

I was surprised indeed to see the New York Review of Books reproduce without much commentary and with a wrong caption a couple of photographs that may turn out to be exceedingly misleading.

(A) CORRECTION

First of all: the caption is wrong. Contrarily to the published text, it is _not true_ that by 2004, “most of the glacier had melted“.

Upsala Glacier still occupies well in excess of 850 sq km (330+ sq mi), an area vastly larger than the one covered by the photographs.

You can see pictures of Upsala taken from the Space Shuttle in January 2004 at the NASA website.

A discussion of the situation 2001-2004 is available on the same site.

================

(B) CLARIFICATIONS

If one could rely on photographs alone, those of Upsala could be the definitive, final, closing, incontrovertible evidence that something has warmed up during the XX century, at least at the location of the Upsala Glacier.

Pictures, however, are not everything, as any modern consumer must have learnt one way or another by now.

Do some little research about Upsala, in fact, and more than one doubt arises about the glacier’s changes having not been mostly caused by warming, global or local or otherwise.

They may be the result instead of the behavior of a large glacier when subjected to particular mechanical stresses.

See for example “Historic Fluctuations of Outlet Glaciers from the Patagonian Ice Fields” at the USGS web site.

That web site reports a picture from “Thinning and retreating of Glaciar Upsala, and an estimate of annual ablation changes in southern Patagonia“, by R. Naruse, P. Skvarca and Y. Takeuchi (Annals of Glaciology, Vol. 24, 1997).

In that paper, it is suggested that “considerable retreat due to calving may have resulted in reduction of longitudinal compressive stress exerted from bedrock rises and islands near the glacier front, causing a considerable decrease in the emergence flow.”

R. Naruse repeated similar considerations at the 2nd International Symposium on Arctic and Antarctic Issues, at Punta Arenas, Chile, in November 1998 (“Dynamic features of glaciers in Patagonia“).

More recently, in “Recent behavior of Glaciar Upsala, a fast-flowing calving glacier in Lago Argentino, southern Patagonia” (Annals of Glaciology, 36, 2003), P. Skvarca, B. Raup and H. De Angelis proposed again that “drastic glacier retreat in the last two decades” may be explained “partly due to the release of back stress when the glacier retreated beyond the islands in Brazo Upsala […] which acted as pinning points.”

You can also read an earlier paper by Mr Skvarca: “Significant Ice Retreat in the Region Patagonia – Antarctic Peninsula Observed by ERS SAR” (ESA ERS 1997 Workshop, 1997) by H. Rott, W. Rack, M. Stuefer and P. Skvarca:

It cannot yet be assessed if the ice retreat in Patagonia […] indicates just regional changes of the atmospheric circulation patterns or can be assigned to global climatic change.”

Last but not least, Upsala is not the only glacier in Patagonia.

Surely if the dramatic retreat of Upsala were related to global warming, all the other glaciers would be retreating too? And yet that is clearly not the case.

Read “Recent Fluctuations and Damming of Glacier Perito Moreno, Patagonia” by H. Rott, M. Stuefer, T. Nagler and C. Riedl (ESA Envisat and ERS 2004 Symposium):

The satellite data, in synergy with field measurements, confirm the stability of the [Perito Moreno] glacier, showing only minor front fluctuations and indicating an approximately balanced mass budget since many years.”

Furthermore, they report the Pio XI glacier as having experienced a “net advance of about 10 km […] from 1945 to 1995“.

=================

Some revealing considerations should be made about Perito Moreno glacier indeed, the advancing glacier whose pictures have been used by Frank Capra in 1958 and by Al Gore in 2006 to demonstrate the retreat of glaciers due to global warming: but those will have to wait for a future article or letter.

For the time being, I am confident the above makes the main points clear:

(1) Most of the Upsala glacier has not melted.

(2) The Upsala glacier 1928-2004 pictures can only be seriously understood with an in-depth commentary of what is being shown, including “what lies beneath”.

And there are all the indications that the local characteristics of the terrain, rather than “Global Warming”, have had a major role in what has been happening.

======================

Given the reputation of the New York Review of Books then, I will be expecting a prompt publication of this letter and of all the necessary explanations.

Keep up the good work

Regards

Maurizio Morabito

UPDATE: The NYRB went only as far as admitting the caption was wrong (read it here)…

Solar Oddities from Ulysses

Science@NASA (Jan 14, 2008): “Posner explains: “Eleven years ago, during a similar ‘sea change’ between solar cycles, the polar wind spilled down almost all the way to the sun’s equator. But this time it is not. The polar wind is bottled up, confined to latitudes above 45 degrees

Science@NASA (Feb 20, 2007): “One pole of the sun is cooler than the other. That’s the surprising conclusion announced by scientists who have been analyzing data from the ESA-NASA Ulysses spacecraft.

Cooling Kills More Than Warming

Something to keep firmly in mind…

W R Keatinge et al, “Heat related mortality in warm and cold regions of Europe: observational study” BMJ 2000;321:670-673 (16 September)

All regions showed more annual cold related mortality than heat related mortality.

Some of those who died in the heat may not have lived long if a heat wave had not occurred. Mortality often falls below baseline for several days after the end of a heat wave, and this has been interpreted as indicating that some of the people dying during the heat wave were already close to death.

Some of the excess deaths in the cold may have resulted from non-thermal seasonal factors such as winter diet, but deaths due to such factors are likely to be few.

Falls in temperature in winter are closely followed by increased mortality, with characteristic time courses for different causes of death.

The increases are of sufficient size to account for the overall increase in mortality in winter, suggesting that most excess winter deaths are due to relatively direct effects of cold on the population.

In other words: Heat kills the already-dying. Cold kills.

As per the following diagrams: the slopes to the left (cooling) of the “black squares” (minimum mortality temperature bands) are steeper than to the right (warming).

Tehran Joins Axis of Evil Places Refusing to Warm

News from South Asia are of exceptional cold, with exceptional amounts of snow.

Tehran in particular had really a lot of snow. “heaviest in 40 years”…here some pictures.

Never mind though…what gets to the BBC Science pages is “strictly come warming” stuff. 

=======

Current forecast for Tehran, Iran
Jan 10
28° F | 12° F
-2° C | -11° C

Monthly averages for January:
45° F | 33° F
7° C | 1° C

Is your SUV Destroying the Universe?

Supernovae data from the 1950’s to 2007 show trends very worrying for the fate of the whole universe.

The Magnitude (brightness) of observed explosions, after hovering for several decades around the 20 mark, has recently dropped to 15 (i.e. towards brighter supernovae).

Furthermore, the number of observed supernovae has been increasing at an exponential rate, again after many decades below 50 per year, to 95 in 1996 and a little less than 600 in 2007.

The fact that this is happening exactly as anthropogenic greenhouse-gases emissions are on the increase, cannot be just a coincidence. If this will not convince Governments about the importance of stopping CO2 emissions, nothing will!

UPDATE: In case you missed it…the rings of planet Uranus are changing too. Help! Help!

HadCRUT Data Reveal the World is (Mostly) Cooling

Contrarily to what hastily announced at Bali and acritically repeated in news reports including on the BBC web site, the published HadCRUT data strongly support the notion that warming has stopped, globally.

The month of November 2007 has been:

In terms of global sea-surface temperatures, the 2nd coldest November since 1994, and the coldest month since January 1997.

In terms of southern hemispheric sea-surface temperatures, the 2nd coldest November since 1988, and the coldest month since January 1997.

Regarding northern hemispheric sea-surface temperatures, the 2nd coldest November since 1996, and the 2nd coldest month since March 2001.

In terms of global land temperatures, the 2nd coldest November since 2000, and the coldest month since January 2001.

In terms of southern hemispheric land temperatures, the 2nd coldest November since 1989, and the 2nd coldest month since January 1993.

Regarding northern hemispheric land temperatures, the 2nd coldest November since 2000. and the 11th coldest month since January 2001.

Records broken and almost-broken in most sets, but on the cooling side…is that perhaps why there has been no indication of the above in news releases?

Global Warming May Be Just European

(originally published as “Global Warming May Be Just European” on Dec 11, 2007)

Readers of the IPCC Fourth Assessment Report – Working Group 2 (AR4-WG2) may be forgiven to think a colossal misreading of available data may be at the foundation of contemporary Climate Change/Global Warming scares.

That report contains a map of “significant changes” (SC) already observed around the world. It is repeated throughout, and you can see it in the Summary for Policymakers, page 10, Figure SPM.1.

A total of 29,459 SCs are reported. An impressive number, at first glance.

Only, 96% of those changes regard just Europe.

The IPCC itself could not list more than 1,225 SCs not related to Europe.

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This enormous geographical bias does not get better when we count how many of those SCs are actually “consistent with a warming world”.

Planet-wise, there are 26,285. Of those, 96% are in Europe. Actually, 25,022 are European SCs related to “biological systems”.

That’s 95% of the total.

That means that outside of Europe, the IPCC could not find more than 1,150 SCs “consistent with warming”.

Compare that to the number of European SCs NOT-“consistent with warming”: 3,100

We have twice as many changes that are INCONSISTENT with warming in Europe, than CONSISTENT with warming in the rest of the world.

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Note also the distribution of the other “observed changes”. Only 7 for the whole of Africa, 114 for Asia, and 144 for the Polar Regions.

But what is most notable is that in the whole of North America (where, one would expect, a lot of researchers reside), only 810 SCs have been reported. Of those, 752 are consistent with warming.

That’s 3% of the total.

So for a summary: 96% from Europe. 3% with North America. Almost nothing for everywhere else.

How global can that be?