Tag Archives: cooling

My Solar Cycle 25 Amplitude Prediction

Solar Cycle 25 will peak somewhat lower than the current one (SC24) but far higher than the nothingness currently predicted (see here).

Solar cycle record
Solar cycle record

My prediction is based on the fact that predictions are hard especially about the future and doubly especially when they imply a wholesale change compared to the present.

If Freud Had Met Climate Catastrophists…

Some quick rewording on an old statement by Sigmund Freud, referred to by Gordon Marino on the NYT:

The climatology of catastrophic anthropogenic global warming (cAGW) is not opposed to science, it behaves itself as if it were a science, and to a certain extent it makes use of the same methods; but it parts company with science, in that it clings to the illusion that it can produce a complete and coherent picture of the future of the Earth’s climate. Its methodological error lies in the fact that it over-estimates the epistemological value of its computer-based operations… But cAGW has no immediate influence on the great majority of mankind; it interests only a small number even of the thin upper stratum of intellectuals, while all the rest find it beyond them.

A Bovine Solution To Seasonal Forecasting

(the following has been translated and adapted from an article in Italian by Peppe Caridi of Meteoweb)

Yaks in South Tyrol
Yaks in South Tyrol

Is the European Summer coming to an abrupt end? That’s what looks like according to the yaks of South Tyrol, already back to their winter home in Solda having come down from the area around the “Città di Milano” mountain hut. According to local journalist Ezio Danieli that’s “an unequivocal sign that we are going to get cold and snow“.

For a bit of background, let’s take a step back to 26 years ago and the arrival in Solda, South Tyrol, Italy of several yaks, animals typical of the Himalayas. What happened is that during their 1983 climbing of the Cho Oyu (8,201m, 29,906ft), Reinhold Messner and Paul Hanny were helped by local cattle carrying materials to their base camp.

Messner and Hanny returned in 1985 and for the first time brought the herd of yaks to the “Città di Milano” mountain hut.. The animals remained there until the first snowfall, then returned by themselves down to the valley below, to their stables.

Since then, every Summer in early July Reinhold Messner and Paul Hanny accompany the group of Tibetan animals up to the Madriccio/Madritchspitze mountain,

Madritschspitze
Madritschspitze

surrounded by crowds of tourists and onlookers from around the world. Up the Ortles/Ortler ramps, Messner leads the herd of yaks (see at the bottom of this link the photos by Bruno Pileggi) to a spectacular alpine transhumance that ends spontaneously, every year between late August and early September when, with the arrival of the first cold and the first snow, the cattle return to the valley on their own.

This year they have returned before mid-August, and that had never happened so early since 1985! After all in the past weeks there hasn’t been much warm and heat up there, and besides the cool temperatures, thunderstorms are occurring almost on a daily basis.

Messner too is surprised by the behavior of the animals: “Normally, the descent to the valley means that their season up in the mountains is over and winter is coming, or at least the first snowfalls of the Autumn. It must be said however that at the foot of the Madriccio mountain, as I have personally verified in the past few days, the grass is still plenty even if the cold has arrived alongside the first snowflakes. Anyways, the “signal” is clear, let’s see what will happen in the coming days“.

(Bastards!) Mass Manslaughter By AGW (CO2) Obsession

The EU policy on CO2 emissions has turned into a mindless, obsessed monster that cares not about climate, people or the planet. And it is getting its hands dirty with the lives of those it refuses to save.

In fact: the EU Commission has just let everybody know that the wholly preventable, daily killing of more than 4,000 people by black carbon (soot) is not a “top priority” and “should not divert attention away from carbon dioxide“.

It gets worse.

The reason for dismissing any attempt at limiting black carbon? It’s because “more research must be carried out to ascertain its impact more accurately“. Impact on what? On global warming. Yes: because, according to Frank Raes, head of the climate change unit at the European Commission’s Joint Research Centre (JRC), black carbon is “‘likely’ to contribute to climate change” but “the regional impacts of black carbon may be even more significant than its global warming effect” (my emphasis). Also, “the existence of both black and white aerosols, with warming and cooling impacts, makes it less straightforward to make a case for political action on black carbon“.

Talk about choosing the wrongest path.

Reduction of black carbon emissions is by far the easiest, clearest, fastest way to solve a lot of issues, in a win-win scenario that would include Himalayan glaciers and the rescuing of little children from certain death via easily-approved legislation:

1.  Black carbon has profound health effects, contributing to around 1.6M deaths every year. According to the WHO, for under-5s it is a bigger killer than malaria.

Even the “EU policymakers speaking in Brussels” on 22 June say as much. According to EurActiv.com, “the health implications of particulate pollution make a compelling case for tackling black carbon, speakers agreed. Like other small particulates, it causes premature death and respiratory disease, they claimed“.

2. Mainstream science agrees: black carbon contributes to warming.

The IPCC AR4 reported the radiative forcing of black carbon as a total of +0.3 W/m2, not far from methane’s. And “given black carbon’s relatively short lifespan, reducing black carbon emissions would reduce warming within weeks“. Why, “tackling black carbon [may] have a beneficial impact on the climate only 5-10 years after its emissions are cut“.

3. Black carbon is also an issue that could be tackled immediately.

Seventy percent of it comes from “Open biomass burning (forest and savanna burning)“, “Residential biofuel burned with traditional technologies” and “Residential coal burned with traditional technologies“. In South-East Asia, “the majority of soot emissions […] are due to biofuel cooking“. There isn’t anything particularly difficult preventing drastic reductions, and in fact “developed nations have reduced their black carbon emissions from fossil fuel sources by a factor of 5 or more since 1950“. Sometimes, all it takes is a new stove, and access to better fuel than dessicated cow dung.

4. By dealing with black carbon, an example of future emission-related interventions could be set.

Policy-wise, the reduction of black carbon emissions is extremely easy: there is no “black carbon skeptic”, no “black carbon is natural” blog, no “alternative consensus on black carbon” international conference. No fossil-fuel-industry lobbyst has ever pushed against limiting black carbon emissions, and anybody and everybody can be easily convinced that there is something wrong in freeing up in the atmosphere notoriously unhealthy particulates.

Black carbon should be the “motherhood and apple pie” of environmental policy, and legislation and aid organization and distribution regarding the reduction in black carbon emissions could be in place in weeks.. Have a look at this video (from here):

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And still…since black carbon may contribute to regional instead of global warming (as if anybody cared about the difference), plus it might or might not have cooling impacts in the form of “white aerosols”, then the cabinet of the EU Climate Action Commissioner simply does not want “the black carbon discussion to distract from the EU’s focus on cutting CO2 emissions“.

In other words: current EU policy is to cut CO2 emissions, rather than to do anything to the climate, or the well-being of anybody on this planet.

The monster of AGW/CO2 obsession is now fully in action.

ps What if the EU “is already dealing with the problem under its air quality legislation“? Well, so much for the global focus of climate action…also, somebody should be made aware of how far black carbon can travel from where it has been emitted…

pps Is any AGWer suggesting that black carbon emissions could be a good thing, regarding their cooling impacts, and who cares about dying children?

ppps Bastards!

How I Learned to Stop Worrying and Love the Climate Change

(yes, it has already been used: here, here, here, here, here)

Will human civilization survive the giant climate shifts that will be caused by our SUVs (or by any other cardinal sin brought about by the comforts of modern life)? And what about humanity?

Who knows?

But one thing I am now more sure of. The biosphere will do just fine. Plenty of animals and plants and bacteria and archeas and viruses will prosper if the world will get warmer, if it will get cooler, or if it will continue as before (whatever the meaning of “continue as before” is).

And it’s all written loud and clear in scientific, peer-reviewed literature. For example:

Jeffrey P. Severinghaus and Edward J. Brook, “Abrupt Climate Change at the End of the Last Glacial Period Inferred from Trapped Air in Polar Ice“, Science, 29 October 1999: Vol. 286. no. 5441, pp. 930 – 934 DOI: 10.1126/science.286.5441.930 (Abstract)

The last glacial period was terminated by an abrupt warming event in the North Atlantic ~15,000 years before the present, and warming events of similar age have been reported from low latitudes […] the Greenland Summit warmed 9 ± 3°C over a period of several decades, beginning 14,672 years ago […]

Jørgen Peder Steffensen et al., “High-Resolution Greenland Ice Core Data Show Abrupt Climate Change Happens in Few Years“, originally published in Science Express on 19 June 2008, Science 1 August 2008: Vol. 321. no. 5889, pp. 680 – 684 DOI: 10.1126/science.1157707 (Abstract, free Full Text)

The last two abrupt warmings at the onset of our present warm interglacial period, interrupted by the Younger Dryas cooling event, were investigated at high temporal resolution from the North Greenland Ice Core Project ice core […] A northern shift of the Intertropical Convergence Zone could be the trigger of these abrupt shifts of Northern Hemisphere atmospheric circulation, resulting in changes of 2 to 4 kelvin in Greenland moisture source temperature from one year to the next.

Let’s also keep in mind that 8 ice ages and 8 warm ages have happened during the last 800,000 years.

What can we conclude?

  1. Abrupt climatic changes happen quite often
  2. There is a sizable amount of evidence of climate changes more abrupt than anything experienced in recorded human history. In other words, present-day temperature changes are neither special nor unprecedented
  3. All existing species have gone through several rounds of those abrupt climatic changes. ADDENDUM: And since there is no evidence for periodic widespread extinction episodes linked in any way to the changes in climate, we can rest assured that the overwhelming majority of species adapt to cooler and warmer environments
  4. With or without humanity, another climate change is bound to happen. And another. And another. (etc etc)

Hence, there is very little sense in all the cries about global warming being the destroyer of life on Earth, or of any species in particular.

Note that Humanity itself has survived everything that has been thrown at it. If anybody is seriously worried, rather than overcomplicated and resultless negotiations on carbon emissions, they should dedicate all their efforts to mantaining civilization (=adaptation).

And if we take the LIA into account: who can seriously think that present-day humanity has feebler defences than 1650’s?

Arctic Sea Ice Extent: In October 2008, Fastest Ever Growth

As expected a few days ago: October 2008 has seen the fastest Arctic sea ice extent growth ever recorded. According to the data published by IARC-JAXA, the amount of growth has reached 3,481,575 square kilometers for the month, or 112,319 sq km per day on average.

The previous maximum was October 2007, with 3,330,937 sq km for the month and 107,450 sq km per day on average. Record shrinkage remains July 2007, with 2,913,593 sq km lost and 93,987 sq km per day on average.

Growth should be starting levelling off now. November values could be as high as 2,179,844 sq km (2002) or as low as 964,688 sq km (2006).

UPDATE NOV 6: I should have known it. OF COURSE the above is an indication that Climate Change is upon us. Read this comment by Georg Hoffman at Tamino’s:

So I would make the specific prevision that 1) a seasonal cycle will show up in sea ice data and 2) due to 1) the october/november increase and the may/june decrease of seaice will become bigger and faster. I might check that with CMIP model data but I am pretty sure that this is what the model show

Here’s a link for the “CMIP model“. It never ceases to amaze me how elastic AGW theory truly is.

October Snow in London

The BBC is forecasting a sunny, cloudy, rainy, snowy day for Oct 29 in London, UK.  Guess that’ll make it very difficult for such a forecast to be wrong.

But how often has it snowed in October in relatively mild England? From the Hollinsclough website:

1762, 1783, 1784, 1785, 1825, 1829, 1836, 1838, 1880, 1885, 1888.

Those values are confirmed at Netweather.tv.

Another website indicates snow in London on Oct 29 in 1922, and other episodes in England in 1925, 1926, 1934 (as snow showers), 1950, 1964, 1974, 1992, 2000.

Taking all the above as “true”, the average wait is 12.5 years (stdev: 13.1). A snowfall in two days’ time would therefore be not exceptional, really.

Also, there is no much sign of a warming either. The ongoing average has been between 10.8 and 15.75 years since 1825.

OCT 29 UPDATE: It actually did snow in London, but not where I live so I will proceed to shrug it off as a non-event 😎 . No, really: the BBC and the Evening Standard reported it as the first London snow in October since 1934: I suspect the actual date depends on the definition of “London”.

October 2008 Possibly Set for Record Sea Ice Extent Increase Rate

UPDATE NOV 10: October 2008 did show the fastest ever growth in sea ice extent

What is the reason behind the fact that “[Arctic] sea ice area [is] approaching the edge of normal standard deviation“?

It’s because October 2008 is set to break all records in the daily rate of increase in sea ice extent in the Arctic, that’s why.

Just look at the graph below, extracted from the values available at the IARC-JAXA website.

Daily Change Rate (Sea Ice Extent) (sq km, by month)
Daily Change Rate (Sea Ice Extent) (sq km, by month)

(The Y values are the daily rates of change in sea ice extent in the Arctic, averaged across each month. Note that for October I have only computed and plotted the rates between the 1st and the 23rd day of the month).

Some considerations:

(a) The October 2008 average daily rate so far is the largest overall, both in actual value (around 122,400 sq km of increase per day, previous record 100,500 in 2005) and in absolute terms (the overall minimum is around 94,000 sq km of decrease per day, in July 2007)

(b) If confirmed in a week’s time, the above will become the fifth record set in 2008:

largest January daily increase rate (44,000, previous record 39.800 in 2003)
largest February daily increase rate (27.500, previous record 25,400 in 2005)
largest May daily decrease rate (47,100, previous record 46,000 in 2005)
largest August daily decrease rate (66,800, previous record in 62,600 in 2004)

(c) Compared to 2007, the current year 2008 has so far shown

larger daily rates of increase in January (44,000 vs 35,400), February (27,500 vs 12,100), September (8,800 vs -600) and October (122,400 vs 93,500)
larger daily rates of decrease in April (39,800 vs 27,100), May (47,100 vs 44,200) and August (66,800 vs 55,400)
smaller daily rates of decrease in March (11,900 vs 12,200), June (57,900 vs 63,000) and July (78,800 vs 94,000)

========

Let’s see what happens during the upcoming week.

Past values suggest that the final average daily rate of increase for October may be slightly less than today’s. Still, as the current rate is some 20% larger than the previous record in October 2005, it would surprise nobody if October 2008 will remain the month with the largest value ever recorded by JAXA.

ps Who knows what NASA will have to say?

Response to Zombie Blog (Greenfyre’s)

Hello Greenfyre

I certainly support letting everybody perfectly free to use their own definitions. As long as it is clear what they are talking about.

That 1961 New York meeting I have blogged about, was sponsored by the American Metereological Association and The New York Academy of Sciences. That should be enough to consider it an important conference. And it was co-chaired by Rhodes W. Fairbridge, not a minor figure in the last 40/50 years of climatology. Furthermore, it was followed by another meeting in Rome, organized by UNESCO and again with major climatologists in attendance (J. Murray Mitchell, Jr. C. C. Wallén , E. Kraus).

Once again in Rome, they all agreed that the world was cooling. The full proceedings are available and I extracted some interesting snippets.

If scientific experts meet once, and then meet again, and there is general agreement among them that the world is cooling, I’d say most people will agree that THAT is evidence for “global cooling scientific consensus”.

I am just using perfectly common and sensible definitions for “cooling”, “global” and “consensus”.

If instead you decide e.g. that “global cooling” has to mean “predicting future cooling”, feel free to do so: but please do yourself a favor and provide reasons for your choice.

Because of course the more we restrict a definition, the less the chance that anything will fall into that category.

This “restricting the definition until there is nothing left” is after all what Thomas C. Peterson, William M. Connolley, and John Fleck have done in their largely mistitled “The Myth of the 1970s Global Cooling Scientific Consensus”.

Definitive Evidence for Global Cooling Consensus in the 1970s (3)

A series of blogs analizing Thomas C. Peterson, William M. Connolley, and John Fleck’s (PCF) largely mistitled “The Myth of the 1970s Global Cooling Scientific Consensus” (Bulletin of the American Meteorological Society Volume 89, Issue 9, September 2008, pp 1325-1337). Previous considerations about a global cooling consensus in the 1960’s can be read here and here.

4 – AN INCOHERENT TIME FRAME

In the previous blogs in the series, we have seen how the very statements made by Thomas C. Peterson, William M. Connolley, and John Fleck’s (PCF) The Myth of the 1970s Global Cooling Scientific Consensuscan be used to demonstrate that there was indeed a global cooling scientific consensus, in the 1970s.

The whole concept of the “myth” is merely based on definitions. Besides, PCF’s own methodology meant disregarding almost everything written about global cooling anyway.

Moreover: they have been cavalier with the temporal series of events.

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What is the meaning of “the 1970’s”? In the “Perpetuating the Myth” Box (page 1326, page 2 in the PDF file), PCF are particularly disingenuous in their criticism of Singer and Avery (2007), Balling (1992), Giddens (1999), Michaels (2004) and pretty much everybody else.

From PCF’s own analysis, in fact, one can distinguish two eras, with a “cooling consensus” up to 1975:

PCF: “Indeed, the Earth appeared to have been cooling for more than 2 decades when scientists first took note of the change in trend in the 1960s. The seminal work was done by J. Murray Mitchell [in 1963, showing that] global temperatures had increased fairly steadily from the 1880s, the start of his record, until about 1940, before the start of a steady multidecade cooling (Mitchell 1963). By the early 1970s, when Mitchell updated his work (Mitchell 1972), the notion of a global cooling trend was widely accepted, albeit poorly understood.

The first satellite records showed increasing snow and ice cover across the Northern Hemisphere from the late 1960s to the early 1970s. This trend was capped by unusually severe winters in Asia and parts of North America in 1972 and 1973 (Kukla and Kukla 1974),which pushed the issue into the public consciousness (Gribbin 1975). The new data about global temperatures came amid growing concerns about world food supplies, triggering fears that a planetary cooling trend might threaten humanity’s ability to feed itself (Thompson 1975).

The start of the “warming” era is placed by PCF around 1976:

PCF: “It was not long, however, before scientists teasing apart the details of Mitchell’s trend found that it was not necessarily a global phenomenon.Yes, globally averaged temperatures were cooling, but this was largely due to changes in the Northern Hemisphere. A closer examination of Southern Hemisphere data revealed thermometers heading in the opposite direction (Damon and Kunen 1976).

Therefore, according to PCF themselves, scientists up to 1975 would have mostly agreed that the world was cooling. What is wrong then in stating that global cooling was at the time “scientific verity” (Bray 1991)? “Orthodox scientific opinion” in 1974, that is 25 years before Giddens wrote the text below, was exactly as he described it:

Giddens: “Yet only about 25 or so years ago, orthodox scientific opinion was that the world was in a phase of global cooling.

What one could say is that Singer, Avery, and most of those mentioned in that Box, are as guilty as PCF in viewing the 1970’s with glasses tinted with today’s mindframes (eg exaggerating any mention of “global cooling” into “ice ages”).

But is PCF’s the one truly unmissable statement:

PCF: “Clearly, if a national report in the 1970s advocates urgent action to address global warming, then the scientific consensus of the 1970s was not global cooling.

The U.S. National Research Council report they refer to, is from 1979. How could people know about that report, in 1975?

PCF’s analysis is not temporally sensible.

QED.

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In a lyrical passage, PCF state their research is all the more interesting because it shows the emerging in the 1970s of “the integrated tapestry that created the basis for climate science as we know it today“. That’s a myth in its own right, and the topic for the next blog in the series.

(continues…)

Definitive Evidence for Global Cooling Consensus in the 1970s (2)

A series of blogs analizing Thomas C. Peterson, William M. Connolley, and John Fleck’s (PCF) largely mistitled “The Myth of the 1970s Global Cooling Scientific Consensus” (Bulletin of the American Meteorological Society Volume 89, Issue 9, September 2008, pp 1325-1337). Previous considerations about a global cooling consensus in the 1960’s can be read here and here.

3 – GLOBAL COOLING: PRESENT VS. IMMINENT

In the previous blog in the series, we have seen how the very statements made by Thomas C. Peterson, William M. Connolley, and John Fleck’s (PCF) The Myth of the 1970s Global Cooling Scientific Consensuscan be used to demonstrate that there was indeed a global cooling scientific consensus, in the 1970s.

The whole concept of the “myth” is merely based on definitions. But an even larger issue lies with PCF’s methodology, to the point of showing that despite their claims, they have not done “a review of the climate science literature from 1965 to 1979” looking for a global cooling consensus.

Rather, they have carefully made sure they could find no such a thing, under any circumstance.

PCF: “the literature search was limited to the period from 1965 through 1979. While no search can be 100% complete, this methodology offers a reasonable test of the hypothesis that there was a scientific consensus in the 1970s regarding the prospect of imminent global cooling

Apparently, they have chosen to restrict their interest only to scientific works about future climate prospects (note the slightly different and unexplained definition for “global cooling”, as “the prospect for imminent global cooling”).

But this has meant disregarding all the (ultimately, scientifically right at its time) bibliography about global cooling up to around 1975. In fact: were “projections” of future climates really of much interest to scientists in the 1970s? Not really, as shown by PCF themselves:

PCF: “While some of these articles make clear predictions of global surface temperature change by the year 2000, most of these articles do not. Many of the articles simply examined some aspect of climate forcing.

Most” of the available articles for the chosen period 1965-1979 “do not […] make clear predictions”. Sounds like an apparent article-killing flaw, doesn’t it?

How do you conduct a survey when the subjects are not interested in responding?

And still, PCF decided to move on nevertheless. Where the texts would not reach, PCF’s interpretation will do:

PCF: “However, it was generally accepted that both CO2 and anthropogenic aerosols were increasing. Therefore, for example, articles that estimated temperature increases resulting from doubling CO2 or temperature decreases resulting from anthropogenic aerosols would be listed in Table 1 as warming or cooling articles, respectively. […] Articles were not included in the survey if they examined the climate impacts of factors that did not have a clear expectation of imminent change, such as increases in volcanic eruptions or the creation of large fleets of supersonic aircraft.

This is why we cannot say that PCF have reviewed “the climate science literature from 1965 to 1979”. Simply, they have been looking at 30/40-year-old articles that would ultimately fit today’s patterns: making future climate predictions, and strictly fixated around “forcings”.

There was no chance for them to find many articles about “global cooling”. And they didn’t.

QED.

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PCF’s work is about the 1965-1979 period. One would expect good care to be taken with the time series of events. That’s the topic for the next blog in the series.

(continues…)

Definitive Evidence for Global Cooling Consensus in the 1970s (1)

A series of blogs analizing Thomas C. Peterson, William M. Connolley, and John Fleck’s (PCF) largely mistitled “The Myth of the 1970s Global Cooling Scientific Consensus” (Bulletin of the American Meteorological Society Volume 89, Issue 9, September 2008, pp 1325-1337). Previous considerations about a global cooling consensus in the 1960’s can be read here and here.

1 – INTRODUCTION

In an act of supreme irony, incontrovertible evidence for a “global cooling scientific consensus in the 1970s” is spelled out loud and clear in Thomas C. Peterson, William M. Connolley, and John Fleck’s (PCF) The Myth of the 1970s Global Cooling Scientific Consensus.

How did they manage then to show “global cooling scientific consensus in the 1970s” to be a “myth”?

By carefully adopting their own particular definitions for common words; by using the very “selective misreading of the texts” they accuse others to be guilty of (page 1326); and by using quite uneven criteria, strict regarding “cooling” and “consensus”, and loose on the “warming” side.

In the process, they have ended up discarding or having to liberally interpret most of the available literature. Furthermore, for an article dealing with a particular time period, PCF’s comments do appear temporally jumbled up. And they have created their own myths: the isolation of different types of climate research before the 1970’s, and the sudden appearance of CO2 as a factor affecting climate.

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2- THE SCIENTIFIC CONSENSUS FOR GLOBAL COOLING

What is “global cooling”? At least at the beginning, PCF take it as synonym of “imminent ice age”:

PCF: “There was no scientific consensus in the 1970s that the Earth was headed into an imminent ice age. Indeed, the possibility of anthropogenic warming dominated the peer-reviewed literature even then.

Isn’t that a tad too catastrophist, too “2008”, to say the least?

Couldn’t there have been people in the 1970s convinced of, and worried about global cooling, without necessarily expecting “an imminent ice age”? It’s like trying to look at the past with our thoughts firmly anchored to the present, catastrophiliac era.

And what is a “scientific consensus”? Here’s PCF’s definition:

PCF: “[A global cooling scientific consensus] would be easily shown by both the presence of many articles describing global cooling projections and the absence of articles projecting global warming

So they would be satisfied of a “global cooling scientific consensus” only by “the absence of [scientific] articles projecting global warming”.

But that is an almost impossible feat. Even now in 2008, still there are peer-reviewed articles that do not agree with what is incessantly referred to as the “global warming consensus”.

A more open-minded approach would be to define as “scientific consensus” what most people would consider a “consensus”: having a large majority of scientists thinking global cooling was underway (just as a large majority of scientists think global warming is underway right now).

And that is exactly what PCF describe (referring to the 1972/1974 period):

PCF: “Meanwhile, newly created global temperature series showed cooling since the 1940s.[…] By the early 1970s, when Mitchell updated his work (Mitchell 1972), the notion of a global cooling trend was widely accepted, albeit poorly understood

“Widely accepted”: check. “Global cooling”: check.

So according to PCF, a lowering of global temperatures was indeed the mainstream view in 1972. And up to sometimes in the 1970s at least, the available scientific evidence pointed towards global cooling being a reality.

On the basis of what PCF have written, a “global cooling scientific consensus” did exist in the 1970s, if only for a few years.

QED

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One could still wonder, if there was indeed a “global cooling scientific consensus” in the 1970s, why didn’t PCF find more articles supporting it? That’s the subject of next blog in the series.

(continues…)

Yet More Evidence Of Global Cooling Consensus In 1961

As pointed out by Nigel Calder in a comment to my “Global Cooling Consensus Not A Myth” blog, UNESCO hosted in October 1961 a Symposium on Climate Change.

The Proceedings of that Symposium indicate the existence at the time of a general (mild) consensus about world temperatures getting cooler, thereby confirming what reported by Walter Sullivan in The New York Times at the end of January that very same year. And thereby also further undermining the results of the Peterson, Connolley and Fleck paper “The Myth of the 1970s Global Cooling Scientific Consensus” in the Bulletin of the American Metereological Society.

(Yes: I do know that Peterson et al claim to be referring to the 1970s. However, they did include, or claim to have included, the analysis of all scientific research from 1965 onwards, a mere four years before the Symposium here discussed took place)

======

First of all, many thanks to renowned science popularizer and formed editor of New Scientist Nigel Calder for writing this comment:

In October 1961, following the US meeting you describe, the World Meteorological Organization and UNESCO organized an international Symposium on Changes of Climate, in Rome. The discussions were led by H.H. Lamb of the UK Met Office, who went on to found the Climatic Research Unit at the University of East Anglia.

The dominant theme of the meeting was the threat posed by the all-too-evident global cooling to world food supplies. The proceedings were published by UNESCO (Arid Zone Research Series XX, 1963).

I know all this because I was at that symposium. An advantage of old age in this subject is to know just how often the global warmers try to rewrite history, in the Orwellian way.

From Mr Calder’s information, I have managed to find the whole Proceedings of the Symposium on Changes of Climate with Special Reference to Arid Zones online:

CHANGES OF CLIMATE Proceedings of the Rome Symposium organized by Unesco und the World Meteorological Organization – ARID ZONE RESEARCH – XX
Published in 1963 by the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organisation

The 473-page PDF is here, for a total of around 45MB.

Admittedly, it is easy to miss something in a document so big, but I am fairly confident the following are the most relevant findings for the present discussion (note that “some 115 scientists from 36 countries took part in the symposium“):

(page numbers in the following refer to the PDF’s, not the original)

(1) At page 182, an intervention by E. Kraus of the Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution, Woods Hole, Mass., U.S.A., commenting a presentation by J. Murray Mitchell Jr. United States Weather Bureau, Washington, D.C.

Perhaps the most interesting part of the evidence presented by Dr. Murray Mitchell, Dr. Rodewald and some of the other speakers is the way in which it falls into a pattern. Not only air temperature, but also subtropical rainfall, the tendency of hurricanes to move along certain tracks or seasurface temperatures, show a reversal of the preceding [warming] climatic trend during the last one or two decades. The true physical signiñcance of Dr. Murray Mitchell’s result lies perhaps in the combined evidence, based on so many different variables.

(2) On the same page, another comment by C. C. Wallén of the Swedish Hydrological and Meteorological Office

I wish also to state how much I agree with Dr. Kraus that this downwards trend in temperature should be considered significant from a physical point of view although it may not be so from a statistical point of view. It certainly renders itself extremely well to studies of the relationship between changes in climate elements on one side and fluctuations in the general circulation

(3) From the presentation mentioned above, at page 162, “On the World-Wide Pattern of Secular Temperature Change” by J. Murray Mitchell Jr.

it has been extremely difficult by this means to avoid the conclusion that the warming trends [up to the 1940s] for the world as a whole, and for the Northern Hemisphere in particular, are truly planetary in scope. On the other hand, it cannot yet be demonstrated in this way beyond a reasonable doubt that the net cooling since the 1940s has likewise been planetary in scope. That this cooling is of such nature, however, seems reasonable and this should be verifiable if the cooling in the data areas were to continue for another decade or two in the future.

(4) C. C. Wallén must have been a scientist of repute, as he was asked to take care of the concluding lecture for the Symposium, “Aims and Methods in Studies of Climatic Fluctuations” (page 449), that included this:

All authors have been able to show, by using records dating back to the end of the eighteenth century that the warming up of large parts of the world from the middle of the nineteenth century until recently has been statistically significant. However, as pointed out especially by J. M. Mitchell and also shown for sea temperatures by M. Rodewald this increase in temperature has recently declined. The decreasing trend is significant if we consider the last 20-50 years or even further back but may lose most of its significance by applying several of the statistical methods commonly used to show fluctuations during a longer period.

There we have it then: several speakers presenting work on “a reversal of the preceding [warming] climatic trend” about which everybody atteding the Symposium appeared to be “physically” sure but “statistically” less certain. Still, they thought it reasonable for that aspect to be considered valid too.

Is that enough for a “global cooling consensus”? I think it is.

Global Cooling Consensus Not A Myth

Timely but alas flawed contribution by Thomas Peterson of NOAA, William Connolley of the British Antarctic survey and science reporter John Fleck, reporting on the “Bulletin of the American Meteorological Society” about the apparent lack of peer-reviewed papers predicting global cooling, between 1965 and 1979 (it’s reported here in Nature’s Climate Feedback blog).

Unfortunately, it really does look like Messrs Peterson, Connolley and Fleck simply have not looked well enough… or have conveniently restricted their search just enough to miss a 1961 article describing a Global Cooling consensus among scientists at a meeting supported also by…the American Metereological Association.

The article, written by Walter Sullivan for The New York Times (cited by Peterson et al. for his 1975 climate-related articles), refers to a 5-day Conference co-chaired by Rhodes W. Fairbridge of Columbia University and Charles G. Knudsen of the United States Weather Bureau, in the January of 1961.

Perhaps the AMA’s own archives could clarify what climatologists exactly talked about at the time.

Notably, the 1961 Conference is described as as varied and multidisciplinary as any today. And yes, scientists at the time were aware of the “greenhouse effect” of carbon dioxide.

UPDATE OCT 10: Nigel Calder’s comment was particularly interesting, so I managed to find online the Proceedings of the 1961 UNESCO Symposium he was referring to. The contents do appear to indicate a global cooling consensus, as suggested, that was important enough to be mentioned in the concluding Lecture.

Warm Weather Does Not Concern The UK Met Office

An entire article about the unfavourable effects of the weather on people’s health, and not a single mention of anything relating to warmer conditions…

Does anybody know why the BBC and the UK Met Office are unable to logically follow the above, and proclaim a very, very good side of the expected warming in the next years?

Against-AGW-Consensus Article on the FPS Before Monckton's

I can’t help but laugh at the incredible somersaults being performed by the Council of the American Physical Society (APS) to reaffirm thieir unshakeable belief in AGW, after allowing the publication in their “Forum on Physics & Society” (FPS) of an article by Christopher Monckton, “Climate Sensitivity Reconsidered“.

Note: there is one thing I agree with the APS. Monckton’s paper has not undergone any scientific peer review. You see, he’s a Lord (a Viscount, no less) whilst on the “Council of the APS”‘s side there is obviously no trace of nobility. They have been “discorteous” indeed.

Time will tell about the position (and nobility) of Jeffrey Marque, the Editor of the FPS that has seen his July 2008 comments severely rebuked by the Executive Committee of the FPS. Who’s going to choose what will be published in the October 2008 issue, is anybody’s guess.

Interestingly, the FPS and the APS did not make too much of a fuss in the past, when publishing “heretical” climate-related opinions. For an example, see Gerald E. Marsh’s “Climate Stability and Policy” in April 2008.

Mr Marsh is not exactly your average AGW proponent: he argues that current CO2 levels are too low and contributing to climate instability, suggests that even 750ppmv could still be not enough to stop an upcoming, catastrophic Ice Age. and recommends that the IPCC switch its focus towards “determining the optimal range of carbon dioxide concentrations that will stabilize the climate, and extend the current interglacial period indefinitely”.

For some reason, the above did not cause any digestive pain at the FPS, either with its Editor, with its Executive Committee, or with the Council of the APS itself.

Is Monckton’s paper simply too hot to handle? Plenty of nutrients for conspiracy theorists there, no doubt.

Is It Ethical To Hold a Biased, Negative View on Climate Change?

There are at least two key omissions in John Broome’s “The Ethics of Climate Change” (Scientific American, June 2006). One is about the uncertainties of predicting the future. The other concerns the unethical stance of considering Climate Change as purely a collection of negatives.

(1) There are many things we do not know about future climate. The IPCC itself is not in the business of predicting anything, rather of working on projections of where the global climate may be heading to, for those variable that we can compute. There are other variables involved, that are not captured by climate models (for example, of course volcanoes cannot be foretold). In other words, there is no way to know what the climate of 2058 or 2108 will actually be.

There is no trace of such uncertainty in Broome’s discourse. I would go as far as to say, Prof. Broome completely disregards the concept of risk management.

And so we are told at some point that we should take a “temporally impartial” stance, that is the death of a child today is as important as the death of a child in 100 years’ time (Broome rather unethically recommends to read his books to find out why).

But a child dying today is a certainty, whilst little can be said about children decades in the future: their very lives, and their deaths are a matter of probabilities. And surely the longer we try to see in the future, the fewer the chances of getting those probabilities right.

A Victorian scientist would have had no idea of how many children would survive today into adulthood. To claim that we are better today at seeing the XXII century is truly preposterous.

(2) As many sad articles about Climate Change, Broome’s is a collection of negatives.

Now, does one have to be a philosopher to understand that, as in almost everything else, in climate matters too there are positives and negatives whatever happens? Because the alternative would be, to consider a cooling world as a collection of positives…

We are told for example of how many deaths and disasters will Climate Change bring. Is Prof Broome aware of the fact that heat waves kill the already-dying, whilst cold waves simply kill? Death rates get below average at the end of a heat wave: they only get back to normal at the end of a cold wave.

Where are the people whose lives will be saved by an increase in global temperature? Certainly nowhere to be seen or taken care of in Broome’s article. And why not? Are some deaths more equal than others?

WIll people matter if they die because of heat, and matter less or not at all if they die because of cold?

=========

Until such huge reasoning and moral gaps are not filled up properly, I will say thank you, but no thank you, I don’t need your ethical lessons, Prof. Broome.

So What has the BBC's Roger Harrabin Actually Done?

There is considerable buzz about reports that “the BBC has changed the news to accommodate an activist“.

The BBC journalist involved is environmental correspondent Roger Harrabin, with whom I must say I have privately exchanged views in the past (wrong…it was Richard Black).

And the BBC article is “Global temperatures ‘to decrease‘”, Friday April 4, 2008.

The “accusation” regards the contents (and title) of the article having been changed to please an environmental activist, allegedly called “Jo Abbess”.

This being the internet, with Fool’s Day not that much in the past, there is not much one can be sure of. So I have compared the three available version of Mr Harrabin’s article. Versions (1) and (2) as per Jennifer Marohasy’s blog. Version (3) as currently on the BBC web site (I am sorry but I have to take (1) and (2) at face value, hoping they are not the product of fakery).

My conclusions are: Mr Harrabin’s article is clearly biased in favour of AGW but not more than other articles in the past by Harrabin and others (see here for more about BBC’s biased reporting); and the whole evolution of the article’s text is compatible with the story of “Jo Abbess” being true. Despite of that, there is still hope.

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

a. Differences between (1) and (2)

Version (1) starts with:

Global temperatures this year will be lower than in 2007 due to the cooling effect of the La Nina current in the Pacific, UN meteorologists have said. […] But experts have also forecast a record high temperature within five years.

Version (2) instead:

Global temperatures will drop slightly this year as a result of the cooling effect of the La Nina current in the Pacific, UN meteorologists have said. […] But experts say we are still clearly in a long-term warming trend – and they forecast a new record high temperature within five years. The WMO points out that the decade from 1998 to 2007 was the warmest on record. Since the beginning of the 20th Century, the global average surface temperature has risen by 0.74C. While Nasa, the US space agency, cites 2005 as the warmest year, the UK’s Hadley Centre lists it as second to 1998. Researchers say the uncertainty in the observed value for any particular year is larger than these small temperature differences. What matters, they say, is the long-term upward trend.

There is a slight “style” change from “lower” to “drop slightly”. Not sure one can make much of a fuss about that. More important, there is a whole new section reiterating that there is a “long-term warming trend”.

This doesn’t appear much of a “scandal” to yell about, even if it clearly shows the BBC party-line of driving home the “world is warming” message no matter what, perhaps even no matter where.

b. Differences between (2) and (3)

Version (2) starts with:

Global temperatures will drop slightly this year as a result of the cooling effect of the La Nina current in the Pacific, UN meteorologists have said. […] This would mean global temperatures have not risen since 1998, prompting some to question climate change theory. But experts say we are still clearly in a long-term warming trend – and they forecast a new record high temperature within five years.

Version (3) starts with:

Global temperatures for 2008 will be slightly cooler than last year as a result of the cold La Nina current in the Pacific, UN meteorologists have said. […] But this year’s temperatures would still be way above the average – and we would soon exceed the record year of 1998 because of global warming induced by greenhouse gases.

So we are back to “slightly cooler” instead of “drop slightly”, some sort of “middle way” as AGWers won’t like the use of “cooler” and skeptics will object to “slightly”.

Another change is that there is no more mention, at least at the beginning of the article, of those “questioning climate change theory”. AGWer Ms or Mr “Jo Abbess” will be surely happier.

Furthermore, in the latest version Mr Harrabin has added yet another mention of “greenhouse gases”, in what looks like a clarification: a clarification, that is, that Mr Harrabin’s article really does follow the aforementioned BBC “party-line”.

Conclusions

The BBC article is clearly biased in favour of AGW but no more than previous pieces (see here for more about BBC’s biased reporting). The whole evolution of the text is actually compatible with the story of “Jo Abbess” being true.

There is hope though: Mr Harrabin’s “initial forgetfulness” allegedly corrected after exchanging e-mails with “Jo Abbess” might be a sign that, when free to think, even BBC journalists are not fixated with accusing mankind of burning up the planet.

Former BBC science correspondent David Whitehouse, in fact…

UPDATE: The Register’s Andrew Orlowski has something to say about “blog bully” Jo Abbess

Too Much Ice? Who Knows?

Much blogosphere talk about a report by “Svend Erik Hendriksen, a certified weather observer in the Kangerlussuaq Greenland MET Office, who is responsible for all the weather observations at Kangerlussuaq Airport (near to Sisimiut)” according to whom polar bears this year are “very hungry” because of “too much sea ice“.

Since skepticism is not something to turn on and off at will, I have done some research on the topic. Turns out that there is at least one member of a forum that calls himself “S.E. Hendriksen” and claims to be from Kangerlussuaq.

He mentions metereological stuff in at least one post.

Has Mr Hendriksen commented about hungry polar bears in 2008, and too much sea ice? I haven’t found any “original” text so I am simply unable to tell.

One thing for sure, he is not your average AGWer, and publishes curious if somehow jaw-dropping “Roschach-like” analysis of Al Gore’s movie.

Let’s wait a few more days…usually, fake or overblown remarks don’t live that long.

Venus Warming Revisited

(third post in a series dedicated to the planet Venus as “example” of runaway greenhouse warming)
Venus post #1: Venus: Cool Greenhouse?
Venus post #2: Venus Warming Revisited
Venus post #3: Venus Missing Greenhouse Warming
Venus post #4: Venus and a Thicker-Atmosphere Earth

In reply to Dr. John W. Nielsen-Gammon‘s comment published at Eric Berger’s SciGuy blog entry “Is the global temperature now falling?

I am the author of the Venus blog originally pointed out in a comment by Jim Mayeu.

I am all for understanding the behavior of atmospheres and the reasoning behind current scientific theories. Chances are, I have not discovered anything major, or nothing at all. But do allow me to probe this further.

(1) First question that springs to mind is, if the terrestrial and venusian atmospheres behave so differently, how could any “greenhouse effect” act similarly in both? Wouldn’t moist convection for example drastically change the consequences of an increase in atmospheric CO2?

Is it a matter then of asking people that mention Venus when talking of anthropogenic global warming, to please shut up in the name of Science?

(2) Also, the “albedo” as a single number for a whole planet is a good approximation to start from, but once again the differences between those atmospheres will surely reflect in different albedo/radiation frequency curves (not to mention how solar radiation diminishes the nearer it gets to the planetary surface).

(3) But let’s go back to the whole adiabatic business.

Lapse rates depend on gravity, and the heat capacity of the atmosphere. Gravity is similar between Venus and Earth, and CO2 responds to compression in a manner similar to air. Is that not enough to expect a similar lapse rate?

In fact, or at least in theory, the “dry” values are:

Venus: 10.468 K/km
Earth: 9.760

In practice, the Pioneer-Venus descent probes actually measured a lapse rate of 8K/km between 60 and 10km above the venusian (or shall I say, Cytherean) surface, and of around 2 between 120 and 60km.

Under normal conditionson Earth the lapse rate is assumed to be around 6.38, with a maximum for “dry” air of 10 and a minimum for 100% saturated air of 5.46.

(4) The “energy balance” computation you mention simply assumes a specific “greenhouse effect”. But we cannot use the thesis to demonstrate the hypothesis, so to speak.

All we know is that in terms of flux at the surface, there are 500K left to be explained.

For example, has anybody tried to compute the Earth’s surface temperature with 90-100 times more atmospheric pressure than it has, or better yet, Venus’s with 90-100 times less? (chances are, somebody has done that already). Any “greenhouse effect” would be on top, not instead of that.

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

The elegance of the Fred Singer’s “explanation” recently partially revisited by John Huw Davies, a geodynamicist at Cardiff University in the UK, is after all the fact that it considers all of the Venus’ peculiarities.

Otherwise, we must imply it’s only by chance that the hottest temperatures belong to the youngest surface, in the one planet with an almost perfectly retrograde rotation (Uranus’ axial tilt is 98deg, Venus’ 177.36deg).

That’s 2.64deg away from the planet’s orbital plane’s vertical. If such a “coincidence” doesn’t scream for an explanation, I don’t know what does.

Venus: Cool Greenhouse?

(originally published as “Venus Forecast” on Aug 17. 2007):

(first post in a series dedicated to the planet Venus as “example” of runaway greenhouse warming)
Venus post #1: Venus: Cool Greenhouse?
Venus post #2: Venus Warming Revisited
Venus post #3: Venus Missing Greenhouse Warming
Venus post #4: Venus and a Thicker-Atmosphere Earth

In a few years, the old ideas of Fred Singer will come back into fashion.

Venus’ retrograde rotation, incredibly massive atmosphere and relatively young (<500 million years) surface will be elegantly explained by the crash of a massive satellite half a billion years ago (with subsequent melting of much if not the whole crust, and humongous outgassing).

UPDATE FEB 28 2008: Space.com: Venus Mysteries Blamed on Colossal Collision

Current lead-melting surface temperatures will be just as beautifully explained by simple adiabatic processes.

The role of CO2 in the heating of the atmosphere via some “greenhouse effect” will be seriously reconsidered and almost completely dismissed.

========

Some quick computations:

Ratio of available solar energy Venus/Earth: 190%

Earth, surface pressure: 1000 mbar; temperature: 288K
Venus, 50km altitude pressure: 1000 mbar; temperature: 330K
330K/288K = 114% < 190%

Venus, surface pressure: 90,000 mbar; temperature: 735K
Temperature of terrestrial air compressed from 288K/1,000mbar to 90,000mbar: 887K
735K/887K = 82.9% < 190%

Far from showing any CO2-induced global warming, Venus is much cooler than expected, likely because of the high-altitude clouds that prevent us from looking at the surface.

Leopardi (1832) on…Climate Change

Wholly convinced that civilizations make climate milder as they progress, Italian poet and essayist extraordinaire Giacomo Leopardi wrote about Anthropogenic Climate Change around 1832 (from “Thoughts”, “Pensieri”):

(39) […] I think everybody will remember having heard from his parents several times, just as I remember hearing from mines, that years have become colder than they were, and winters longer; and that when they were younger, already around Easter they would leave the winter clothes for the summer ones; whilst such a change today, or so they say, is only bearable in May, and sometimes in June.

And not many years ago, some physicists seriously searched for a cause to this alleged cooling of the seasons. Some said it was the fault of the deforestation of the mountains, and some others said something else I don’t remember: all to explain a fact that is not happening: because actually, on the contrary, it has been noted, for example, in quotes from ancient writers, that Italy at the time of the Romans must have been cooler than today.

That is wholly believable as experience makes apparent that as the men’s civilization progresses, so the air, in the lands inhabited by them, gets progressively milder: and such an effect has been evident in America where, so to speak, according to memory, a fully-fledged civilization has replaced in part a barbarian state, and in part empty deserts. […]

[One and a half centuries ago Magalotti wrote] in the Family Letters: “It is certain that seasons’ natural order is worsening. Here in Italy it is common saying and lamentation that the half-seasons have disappeared; and in this confusion, it’s without doubt that the cold is advancing. I have heard my father that in his youth, in Rome, on the morning of Easter Sunday, everybody would change into summer clothes. Nowadays whoever can afford not to sell his shirt, I can tell you he’s very careful not to abandon any winter piece of clothing”. This is what Magalotti wrote in 1683.

Italy would be cooler than Greenland, if between then and now, it would have cooled as much as they were saying at the time.

It goes almost without saying that the continuous cooling that is said to be occurring due to intrinsic reasons in the Earth mass, is of no interest whatsoever with the present thoughts, as it is so slow to be impossible to appreciate in tens of centuries, let alone a few years.

Joe Bastardi: Love the Weather, Hate the Climate (Models)

From “Today, We Have “Gods” Walking Among Us That Know The Future, Armed With Idols Known as Models“, by Joe Bastardi, Meteorologist at Accuweather.com

To those who want this debate shut down, it seems to me that you simply wish to run away from discussing what you don’t have the facts to fight. Or do you have other reasons, perhaps unrelated to the issue of climate change […]

Instead of confronting cold, hard facts with open and free debate to try to get to the right answer, we have a group of people that know better and will use future projections of a model as fact. And I ask how can it even be allowed to assume that a model knows the answer?
This is not just a problem of prediction – who is right and who is wrong. It is bad for democracy and bad for science, too. And it can ruin the lives of many through the turmoil it can cause in unintended results.
And what about those models. Has anyone in the media paid attention to how how bad the forecasts of the last El Nino and the La Nina have been? […]

Why the model bust? It is because most of these climate models have little or no ability to foresee regime changes in the oceans short and long term. It should be a warning shot to climate modelers that their longer term climate models are clueless as to the parameters predicted. In the end, it may be ice, not fire, that is the problem. As this powerful La Nina could be the sign of the regime change back to cool like the one in 1949/50 […]

My fondest hope is that you take this in the spirit I am writing it. The weather is calling you to get involved in this argument for the sake of yourselves and the sake of your children. You must look at all the ideas to make your decision, not accept pat answers or answers that refuse to accept scrutiny and be tested. And I don’t ask you to believe what I say as far as what I think the answer is, no matter how much research I do. I am but a man. But do go look for yourself, at all the information, while there is still the chance to do so.

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”

China: Quasi-Tropical Snowstorm

I know that weather is not climate but this is too good to pass…(thanks to D88 for pointing this out)

The extraordinary 2008 snowstorms in China may have to be remembered also for having reached so far south.

Look at the NOAA’s “current snow” picture for Asia and Europe as it is at the time of writing:

NOAA Current Snow as of Jan 29 2008

The southernmost tongue of white stuff is ominously pointing towards Hong Kong itself. Actually, it can be estimated to have reached the city of Guiyang (26.32N, 106.40E: around 200 miles north of the Tropic of Cancer).

In fact, the current weather forecast for Guiyang is light snow, between 1C and -6C between January 31 and February 2 at least.

Climate-wise, placed at an elevation of 1,100 meters, Guiyang is know for the occasional flurry, although the average January temperature is 10C.

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

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