Wednesday, June 15, 2016

GWPF Newsletter: Science On The Verge Of A Nervous Breakdown








Rodney Leach, Baron Leach of Fairford (1934 – 2016)

In this newsletter:

1) Science On The Verge Of A Nervous Breakdown
Financial Post, 14 June 2016
 
2) NOAA: 75% Chance Of La Nina By September, Cooler Temps Coming
Environment Examiner, 13 June 2016


3) Will 2016 See More Atlantic Hurricanes? Scientists Disagree
Bloomberg, 7 June 2016
 
4) Ron Clutz: Cooling Outlook
Science Matters, 13 June 2016
 
5) 30th Anniversary Of Jim Hansen’s First Great Global Warming Fail
Real Science, 13 June 2016
 
6) Rodney Leach, Baron Leach of Fairford (1934 – 2016)
Global Warming Policy Forum, 14 June 2016 

Full details:

1) Science On The Verge Of A Nervous Breakdown
Financial Post, 14 June 2016
Terence Corcoran

Just about everything we take for granted in modern science, from the use of big data to computer models of major parts of our social, economic and natural environment and on to the often absurd uses of statistical methods to fish for predetermined conclusions.
  
Science, in short, has already been corrupted. We explore just some of the examples in this year’s Junk Science Week: Terence Corcoran.
Science, in short, has already been corrupted. We explore just some of the examples in this year’s Junk Science Week: Terence Corcoran.

Welcome to Financial Post Comment’s 18th annual Junk Science Week, dedicated to exposing the scientists, NGOs, activists, politicians, journalists, media outlets, cranks and quacks who manipulate science data to achieve their objectives. Our standard definition over the years has been this: junk science occurs when scientific facts are distorted, risk is exaggerated and the science adapted and warped by politics and ideology to serve another agenda.

Much of our content over the past 18 years has focused less on science itself and more on the NGOs, politicians and others who have found it convenient to use and abuse science as a springboard to political action. It is easy, perhaps too easy, to follow the empty-headed foibles of a media culture that mindlessly recycles reports that bacon may cause heart disease or that cell phones cause cancer. Less easy is dealing with the much bigger problem: the break down of science itself.

In The Guardian last week, Jerome Ravetz, considered one of the world’s leading philosophers of science, reviewed what he and many others describe as “the crisis in science.” Ravetz, who has been warning of the emerging internal conflicts in science for decades, sees the crisis is spreading to the general public. “Given the public awareness that science can be low-quality or corrupted, that whole fields can be misdirected for decades (see nutrition, on cholesterol and sugar), and that some basic fields must progress in the absence of any prospect of empirical testing (string theory), the naïve realism of previous generations becomes quite Medieval in its irrelevance to present realities.”

Present reality is that science is on the verge of a nervous breakdown. That’s the not-so-tongue-in-cheek message in Science on the Verge, a new book by European scientist Andrea Saltelli and seven other contributors. Science on the Verge is a 200-page indictment of what to the lay reader appears to be a monumental deterioration across all fields, from climate science to health research to economics. The mere idea that “most published research results are false” should be cause for alarm. But it is worse than that.

Just about everything we take for granted in modern science, from the use of big data to computer models of major parts of our social, economic and natural environment and on to the often absurd uses of statistical methods to fish for predetermined conclusions.

Examples from the book help prove the point. In a chapter titled “Numbers Running Wild,” one of the book’s authors, Jeroen P. van der Sluijs of the University of Bergen, asks how is it possible for a paper in Science magazine to claim that precisely 7.9 per cent (not eight per cent or seven per cent) of the world’s species would become extinct as a result of climate change — when the total number of species is unknown? Even odder, the species study concluded that the 7.9 per cent demonstrates “the importance of rapid implementation of technologies to decrease greenhouse gas emissions and strategies for carbon sequestration.” How, asks van de Sluijs, do the researchers jump from species extinction to carbon sequestration? “This sounds like an opinion for which the underlying arguments are not even given.”

Full post

2) NOAA: 75% Chance Of La Nina By September, Cooler Temps Coming
Environment Examiner, 13 June 2016
Thomas Richard

NOAA announced this weekend that there is a 75 percent chance a La Niña will form in the equatorial Pacific Ocean by fall, a phenomenon that is the flip side of the now-deceased El Niño. Currently, sea surface temperatures (SSTs) have returned to normal and experts think a La Niña will develop from July through September, bringing cooler temps this winter. La Niña events occur when cooler-than-normal surface waters of the equatorial (tropical) Pacific Ocean are observed (see video).
Maps of sea surface temperature anomaly in the Pacific Ocean during a strong La Nina and El Nino.

NOAA Climate.gov

Scientists use the Oceanic Niño Index to determine, measure, and predict any deviations from normal—or neutral—sea surface temps in the equatorial Pacific Ocean. The National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) first speculated in mid-May that a La Niña episode was likely to occur and has created a La Niña watch page.

La Niña events are designated when surface waters in the tropical Pacific decreases 0.5 degrees Celsius (0.9 degrees Fahrenheit) or more for at least five successive and overlapping three-month periods. An atmospheric response above the ocean waters is also associated with La Niña events. Right now, NOAA is reporting that the equatorial Pacific is neutral, meaning SSTs have returned to normal, though many forecasters don’t predict it will last very long.

When the strong, naturally occurring El Niño of 2015-2016 occurred, temperatures across the planet spiked higher than normal, caused widespread “nuisance flooding,” above-normal heat, and hottest-year-ever claims (under investigation by the House Science Committee). It also brought much-needed rain to the upper half of California, where reservoirs and lakes have reached capacity or surpassed previous levels.

So if the 2015-2016 El Niño was the powerful “king” behind our recent warm weather and so-called hottest-year-ever claims, La Niña is the “queen” who plans to take back the throne. This flipping back and forth is part of the El Niño-Southern Oscillation (ENSO) cycle, and it occurs every 5 to 7 years. As Emily Becker writes on NOAA’s official blog, “Both human forecasters and computers are reasonably confident (75% chance) that sea surface temperatures will cross the La Niña threshold by the winter.”

Full post

3) Will 2016 See More Atlantic Hurricanes? Scientists Disagree
Bloomberg, 7 June 2016
Brian K Sullivan

This summer and fall, the Atlantic Ocean might become a testing ground for competing scientific theories. After decades of warmth, there’s evidence that the ocean is cooling, a change that could mean fewer of the hurricanes that wreak havoc on coastal communities and their economies.
http://ads.wellsmedia.com/www/delivery/lg.php?bannerid=5109&campaignid=1334&zoneid=79&loc=http%3A%2F%2Fwww.insurancejournal.com%2Fnews%2Fnational%2F2016%2F06%2F07%2F411094.htm&referer=https%3A%2F%2Fwww.google.co.uk%2F&cb=997c5ba2c8Part of a cycle called the Atlantic Multidecadal Oscillation, the chill probably will even overshadow the fading El Niño in the Pacific that should have made the 2016 hurricane season one of the more active in recent years.

“It is a very important pattern,” said Gerry Bell, a hurricane climate specialist with the U.S. Climate Prediction Center in College Park, Maryland.

The theory is that the Atlantic cools and warms every 25 to 40 years, changing the African monsoon and easterly jet stream, air pressure over the ocean and levels of wind shear, Bell said. All of these can add or detract from the lifespans of hurricanes, which can have consequences from Newfoundland to Nicaragua.

The thing is, not everyone believes the AMO affects hurricanes that way.

“There are competing hypotheses” for what has been happening in the Atlantic for the past 20 years, said James Done, a research scientist with the National Center for Atmospheric Research in Boulder, Colorado.

Warm Phase

The AMO has been in its warm phase since 1995, when the number of storms across the basin jumped after two decades of comparatively minimal activity.

The last time there was a cold phase was 1971 to 1994, and it clamped down on storm activity in the Atlantic, Bell said. “That is how strong that AMO signal really is.”

This is why the Bell and other seasonal forecasters, including Phil Klotzbach at Colorado State University, are calling for a near-average hurricane season this year.

Usually when an El Niño fades, as is currently occurring, weather conditions across the Atlantic interact to form more hurricanes. In 2010, after the last El Niño diminished, 19 Atlantic systems reached tropical storm strength or greater. The 30-year average is 12.

La Niña, a Pacific cooling, can also kill off wind shear in the Atlantic, allowing more hurricanes to form. If a La Niña develops this year, as expected, its impact on the Atlantic probably won’t be as potent because of the AMO. The AMO is a naturally occurring cycle and not part of patterns created by climate change.

Scientists Disagree

Another explanation for the drop in hurricane activity in the 1970s and 80s, as well as the dip in Atlantic sea surface temperatures, is air pollution, said Kerry Emanuel, a professor of atmospheric science at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology in Cambridge.

Full story
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4) Ron Clutz: Cooling Outlook
Science Matters, 13 June 2016

In the comments on a previous post (here) ren points to the declining NAO, with the implication that a cooling phase is underway in the North Atlantic SSTs. The cold blob in the North Atlantic was subject of a post here and elsewhere, and Paul Homewood posts today (here) on the increasing cold water, not only surface but coming from below.

Dr. Gerard McCarthy is a lead researcher on the RAPID array project measuring the AMO heat transport and provides a good context on their observations and the implications for the climate cooling in coming decades.



Our results show that ocean circulation responds to the first mode of Atlantic atmospheric forcing, the North Atlantic Oscillation, through circulation changes between the subtropical and subpolar gyres – the intergyre region. This a major influence on the wind patterns and the heat transferred between the atmosphere and ocean.

The observations that we do have of the Atlantic overturning circulation over the past ten years show that it is declining. As a result, we expect the AMO is moving to a negative (colder surface waters) phase. This is consistent with observations of temperature in the North Atlantic.


Summary:
The Atlantic Ocean’s surface temperature swings between warm and cold phases every few decades. Like its higher-frequency Pacific relative El Nino, this so-called “Atlantic Multidecadal Oscillation” can alter weather patterns throughout the world. The warmer spell we’ve seen since the late 1990s has generally meant warmer conditions in Ireland and Britain, more North Atlantic hurricanes, and worse droughts in the US Midwest.

However a colder phase in the Atlantic could bring drought and consequent famine to the developing countries of Africa’s Sahel region. In the UK it would offer a brief respite from the rise of global temperatures, while less rainfall would mean more frequent summer barbeques. A cold Atlantic also means fewer hurricanes hitting the southern US.
https://www.weforum.org/agenda/2015/06/how-the-atlantics-cool-phase-will-change-the-worlds-weather/

Implications for Arctic Ice

A 2016 article for EOS is entitled Atlantic Sea Ice Could Grow in the Next Decade

Changing ocean circulation in the North Atlantic could lead to winter sea ice coverage remaining steady and even growing in select regions.

The researchers analyzed simulations from the Community Earth System Model, modeling both atmosphere and ocean circulation. They found that decadal-scale trends in Arctic winter sea ice extent are largely explained by changes in ocean circulation rather than by large-scale external factors like anthropogenic warming.

Full post
 
5) 30th Anniversary Of Jim Hansen’s First Great Global Warming Fail
Real Science, 13 June 2016
Tony Heller

Thirty years ago, James Hansen made some spectacularly poor global warming predictions before Congress.

2016-06-13-04-32-47
2016-06-13-04-33-17
2016-06-13-04-33-44
 12 Jun 1986, Page 12 – The Evening Times

Hansen predicted two degrees global warming by 2006.

2016-06-13-04-34-19

He was off by a factor of ten. Earth warmed about 0.2 degrees from June 1986 to June 2006.
2016-06-13-04-42-29
Wood for Trees: Interactive Graphs

Hansen predicted 3 or 4 degrees of US warming between 2010 and 2020.

2016-06-13-04-53-03

The US has seen little or no warming since 1986.
2016-06-13-04-48-37
Full post

6) Rodney Leach, Baron Leach of Fairford (1934 – 2016)
Global Warming Policy Forum, 14 June 2016

Rodney Leach (Lord Leach of Fairford), who has died aged 82, was a conservative member of the House of Lords, a vehement critic of global warming alarmism and a supporter of the GWPF. In his memory we re-publish his 2009 House of Lords speech on the UK’s Climate Change Act and climate policy.

John Wonnacott Lord Leach of Fairford at Lombard Street 2013 Oil on board 27 x 17 1/2 in (69 x 45 cm)
Rodney Leach, Baron Leach of Fairford (painting by John Wonnacott)

Lord Leach of Fairford: My Lords, the noble Lord, Lord Lea, referred to ships passing in the night, and rightly so on the economic front. I hope that I shall find myself on HMS “Lawson”, rather than HMS “Stern”. The same goes for ships passing in the night in science, which has now devolved largely into a shouting match between extreme alarmists and sceptics, with not nearly enough moderate dialogue between them. Perhaps I could help to gain a little perspective on this by referring to what my noble friend Lord Lawson referred to as the unsubstantiated assertions of the Government, to see where common sense stands on those.

Since the end of the little ice age in the late 19th century, the world has been re-warming at a rate of about 0.6 degrees centigrade per century. There have been fluctuations in that. There was a period of rapid warming from 1920 to 1940, much as there was more recently. There was no explanation for that. There was a period of cooling until 1975, when emissions rose quite rapidly. There was no explanation for that. There was a period of rapid warming from 1975 until the end of the century, much as there was from the 1920s to the 1940s. This has been seized on by alarmists as evidence of really frightening growth in temperatures. However, it has been succeeded in the 21st century by nine years of static and, more recently, falling temperatures. Again, that is completely against all the prognostications of the alarmists and the IPCC and wholly unexplained.

When you look more deeply into this at where all these measurements are coming from, you find a large number of them are extremely unreliable or, in the case of the Antarctic and the Arctic, almost non-existent. By far the most reliable database, which is not all that reliable, of any large land mass is in the United States of America, where there is a huge number of recording stations. We now know that temperatures in the United States in the 1930s were the same as, maybe even very marginally warmer than, they were in the 1990s. That is probably the best approximation there is for what has really been happening in temperatures—that is, a growth of about 0.5 to 0.6 of a degree per century, a figure that fluctuates for a whole variety of reasons that I shall not go into here.

A lot of what you read in the media or hear on the BBC is highly anecdotal, and there is a widespread impression that the polar ice caps are melting. It is worth spending a minute or two on that. The Arctic ice cap is, at the moment, bang on normal in the winter. In the summer, it has been melting a little bit. The Antarctic is considerably above normal. If you add together the Arctic and the Antarctic ice, they have measured about 700 square kilometres above normal in all the time that they have been accurately recorded. So the idea of great warming and melting in the polar ice caps is a complete figment of the imagination. I have, for Members who may be interested, a picture of the US nuclear submarine “Skate” at the North Pole in the winter of 1958, before the summer melt—14 March, to be accurate. […]

Laboratory science theory states that doubling the concentration of carbon dioxide in the atmosphere would increase temperatures by 1 degree. A doubling of carbon dioxide takes place approximately every 200 years at the current rate of emissions, perhaps a bit more. Therefore, the whole argument hangs by a thread. Do other factors such as currents, sun and clouds accentuate that warming or do they decrease it? The IPCC’s theory is that they increase that warming. That is why the Government have, as my noble friend Lord Lawson, said, made the completely unsubstantiated assertion that temperatures will rise by 4 degrees this century.

Probably the best climatologist in the world is Professor Lindzen and another good one is Professor Singer. Professor Lindzen calculates that the effect of all these other feedbacks, as they are known in the jargon, is to reduce temperatures not increase them. He calculates that a doubling of carbon dioxide in the atmosphere would increase temperatures by about 0.3 of a degree. You can argue about the science and I am not a good enough climate physicist to make any direct contribution on that. What you cannot argue about are the facts. The facts are that there has been no acceleration whatever in global warming since emissions took off after World War 2 and that temperatures today, after the past nine years of static or cooling temperatures, are bang on that consistent recovery of 0.6 degrees from the little ice age and are well below even the lowest estimates of the IPCC range. So observation suggests that Professor Lindzen may be right and the IPCC completely wrong.

The London-based Global Warming Policy Forum is a world leading think tank on global warming policy issues. The GWPF newsletter is prepared by Director Dr Benny Peiser - for more information, please visit the website at www.thegwpf.com.

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