Climate Science Update (2) from the ABD
In the second of a series of press releases relating to climate science and its relevance to the over-taxed, over-regulated British motorist, some of the latest research is briefly reviewed below.
Research findings that are inconvenient to the political establishment's view of man-made climate change are rarely if ever reported in the media, possibly due to the lack of an alarmist element and the prevalent view of man-made climate change as the politically correct and fashionable new religion.
Equally these findings are not properly represented in climate models - which are the only location that man-made climate change can be observed. Actual data shows no shift outside the normal range of natural variability.
This second review from the ABD aims to help balance UK media coverage of an aspect of science that is seen by politicians as providing a carte blanche for imposing ever higher taxes, and controls on mobility.
As these research summaries show, there is no justification for premature drastic actions such as these. Given the lack of direct observational evidence for man-made global warming the 'Precautionary Principle' actually dictates that politicians refrain from Armageddonist scaremongering as a means to political ends.
- Warming can thin heat-trapping clouds
The widely accepted (albeit unproven) theory that man-made global warming will accelerate itself by creating more heat-trapping clouds is challenged this month in new research from The University of Alabama in Huntsville involving IPCC Lead Author Prof John Christy.
Instead of creating more clouds as climate models currently envisage, individual tropical warming cycles that served as proxies for global warming actually saw a decrease in the coverage of heat-trapping cirrus clouds, says Dr. Roy Spencer, a principal research scientist in UAH's Earth System Science Center.
This was not what he expected to find.
"To give an idea of how strong this enhanced cooling mechanism is, if it was operating on global warming, it would reduce estimates of future warming by over 75 percent," Spencer said.
Spencer and his colleagues anticipate these new findings will be controversial, but they are consistent with observations that show a troposphere failing to heat up according to predictions for an enhanced greenhouse effect with water vapour feedback. Instead it supports the view that an already warm atmosphere has more degrees of freedom than represented in climate models, allowing the transfer of energy and preventing further warming.
Spencer, Roy W.; Braswell, William D.; Christy, John R.; Hnilo, Justin
'Cloud and radiation budget changes associated with tropical intraseasonal oscillations'.
Geophys. Res. Lett., Vol. 34, No. 15, 9 August 2007
- 1934, not 1998, was the warmest year on record in the USA
Steve McIntyre, best known for his effective critique of the flawed 'hockey stick' temperature reconstruction, has now identified a major error in the NASA (GISS) USA annual mean temperature records. The record has been duly corrected and reveals that 1934 was the warmest year recorded, despite much lower levels of atmospheric carbon dioxide than in 1998, which is now the second warmest. Once again there is clear evidence that carbon dioxide levels are not paramount in determining climate change.
- A new dynamical mechanism for major climate shifts
In the mid-1970s, a climate shift cooled sea surface temperatures in the central Pacific Ocean and warmed the coast of western North America, bringing long-range changes to the northern hemisphere. After this climate shift waned, an era of frequent El Ninos and rising global temperatures began.
Tsonis et al. have investigated the collective behavior of known climate cycles such as the Pacific Decadal Oscillation, the North Atlantic Oscillation, the El Nino/Southern Oscillation, and the North Pacific Oscillation. By studying the last 100 years of these cycles' patterns, they find that the systems synchronized several times.
Further, in cases where the synchronous state was followed by an increase in the coupling strength among the cycles, the synchronous state was destroyed. Then. a new climate state emerged, associated with global temperature changes and El Nino/Southern Oscillation variability.
The authors show that this mechanism explains all global temperature tendency changes and El Nino variability in the 20th century.
Major climate shifts have occurred or will occur around 1913, 1942, 1978, 2033, and 2072 according to the authors of this recent paper, who also predict a 0.2 Celsius cooling between 2005 and 2020 which should be followed by a 0.3 Celsius warming until 2045 or so - then cooling for the rest of the 21st century.
Tsonis, Anastasios A.; Swanson, Kyle; Kravtsov, Sergey:
'A new dynamical mechanism for major climate shifts'
Geophys. Res. Lett., Vol. 34, No. 13, 12 July 2007
- Surface warming and the 11-year solar cycle
Camp and Tung have compared surface temperature measurements across the globe between years of solar maximum (with higher heat output) and years of solar minimum. They find that times of high solar activity are on average 0.2º C warmer than times of low solar activity, and that there is a polar amplification of the warming. This result is the first to document a statistically significant globally coherent temperature response to the solar cycle, the authors note.
Camp, Charles D.; Tung, Ka Kit:
Surface warming by the solar cycle as revealed by the composite mean difference projection.
Geophys. Res. Lett., Vol. 34, No. 14 18 July 2007
- Belgian weather institute (RMI) study dismisses role of CO2
Brussels: Carbon dioxide is not the big bogeyman of climate change and global warming. This is the conclusion of a comprehensive scientific study performed by the Royal Meteorological Institute, which will be published this summer. The study does not state that CO2 plays no role in warming the earth. "But it can never play the decisive role that is currently attributed to it," climate scientist Luc Debontridder says.
"Not carbon dioxide, but water vapor is the most important greenhouse gas, responsible for at least 75 % of the greenhouse effect. This is a simple scientific fact, but Al Gore's movie has hyped carbon dioxide so much that nobody seems to take note of it." said Luc Debontridder. "Every change in weather conditions is blamed on carbon dioxide. But the warm winters of the last few years (in Belgium) are simply due to the 'North-Atlantic Oscillation'. And this has absolutely nothing to do with carbon dioxide."
Notes for Editors about the ABD