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Index of Editorials
Global Warming

All Editorials for


Antarctic Warming
Skepticism [2]

Review [3]

Climate Change
CO2 Emissions [1]

Climate Models
Uncertainty [2]

Climate Science
Climate Cycles [1]
Climate Sensitivity [1]
Holes [1]
Thermal History [1]
Unsolved Problems [1]

Energy Issues
American Power Act [1]
Clean and Sustainable [1]
Nuclear Waste Storage [1]
Renewable Electricity Standard (RES) [1]

Surrogate Religion [1]

Energy Primer for Kids [1]

Applications [2]

Global Climate - International
French Academy [1]

Global Warming
Anthropogenic Global Warming (AGW) [6]
Confusion [1]
Economics [1]
General [2]
Greenhouse Gases [1]
Hockeystick [4]
Ice Cores [1]
Junkscience [9]
Oceans' Role [2]
Skepticism [1]
Sun's Role [2]

Health Issues
Second Hand Smoke [1]

Arctic Sea Ice [1]
Atmospheric Temperature Data [2]
Sea Surface Temperature [1]
Surface Data [2]

Statistics Misuse [1]

Modern Empirical Science
v. Medieval Science [1]

China [1]

Nuclear Fuel
Supplies [1]

Climate Research Unit (CRU) [1]
International Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) [2]
Nongovernmental International Panel on Climate Change (NIPCC) [1]
UK Met Office [1]
World Meteorological Organization (WMO) [1]

Political Issues
Climate Realism [1]
Climategate [3]
Independent Cross Check of Temperature Data [1]

IPCC Assessment Report [2]
NOAA State of the Climate 2009 [1]
NRC-NAS Advancing the Science of Climate Change [1]

Sea-Level Rise
West Antarctic Ice Sheet (WAIS) [1]
Alarmism [1]

Types of Energy
Nuclear Energy [1]
  • 23-Mar-13 The continuing battle over Marcott et al.
  • 27-Nov-12 Fact and Fancy on Greenhouse Earth (from the archives)
  • 05-Nov-11 Why I Remain a Global-Warming Skeptic - Searching for scientific truth in the realm of climate.
  • 29-Jan-11 Oreskes O-15 Blunder
  • 30-Oct-10 Why the Confusion about Global Warming?
  • 06-Feb-10 Junkscience #8: The warmest year, decade, century game
  • 30-Jan-10 Global Mean Surface Temperature (GMST)
  • 23-Jan-10 Junkscience: Climategate Distortion of Temperature Data
  • 16-Jan-10 Junk Science #5: IPCC's Fourth Assessment Report [IPCC-AR4, 2007]
  • 09-Jan-10 Junk Science #4: IPCC Third Assessment Report [IPCC-TAR, 2001]
  • 02-Jan-10 Junk Science #3: IPCC Third Assessment Report (AR-3, 2001): Hockeystick and ClimateGate (CG)
  • 26-Dec-09 Junk Science #2: IPCC Second Assessment Report (IPCC-AR-2, 1995, published in 1996)
  • 19-Dec-09 Junk Science #1: IPCC
  • 07-Nov-09 No Consensus about Anthropogenic Global Warming (AGW)
  • 31-Oct-09 The rebirth of the hockey-stick?
  • 24-Oct-09 What has happened to global warming since 1998
  • 10-Oct-09 UNEP updates IPCC and brings back the 'Hockeystick' (Part 2)
  • 03-Oct-09 UNEP updates IPCC and brings back the 'Hockeystick' (Part 1)
  • 19-Sep-09 Short-term climate prediction: An unrealistic project
  • 05-Sep-09 Critique of "Recent Warming Reverses Long-Term Arctic Cooling"
  • 29-Aug-09 Sun spot frequency has an unexpectedly strong influence on cloud formation and precipitation
  • 25-Jul-09 Human Heat Input or GH Effect? A false choice
  • 16-May-09 The IPCC's Evidence for Anthropogenic GW deconstructed #3
  • 18-Apr-09 The IPCC's Evidence for Anthropogenic GW deconstructed #2
  • 11-Apr-09 The IPCC's Evidence for Anthropogenic GW deconstructed
  • 28-Feb-09 Why don't we see any Anthropogenic Greenhouse Warming (AGW) in the Climate record?
  • 14-Feb-09 Cost-Benefit Analysis of Climate Change and the Lifetime of CO2
  • (in TWTW Mar 23, 2013)
    Guest Editorial by Gordon J. Fulks, (PhD (Physics))

    The continuing battle over Marcott et al.

    Mar 18, 2013

    Technical fields, whether they be climate science or physics or meteorology or medicine or engineering or law, require some measure of training and competence. Practitioners are supposed to know more than just some of the technical jargon. That is why many are licensed. The public needs to be protected from charlatans. In many fields, it is illegal to claim expertise if you have none.

    Unfortunately, it is impractical to license scientists because our field is so broad. Hence, we use education as the rough equivalent, because that is the first requirement in most licensing processes. It is not a foolproof substitute but then neither is licensing. There are still accomplished physicians and those not so accomplished.

    Many complete amateurs post on popular blogs, substituting personal attacks, sarcasm, and 'cut and paste' for knowledge of a subject. With climate science, you can find material to back up just about any position you want to take. A real scientist (on whatever side of Global Warming) will usually be careful to choose those positions that have some validity.

    For instance, I have been surprised to find myself in agreement with the famous Global Warming Guru James Hansen on some topics, not to include carbon dioxide. On closer inspection that is not really surprising, because we are both PhD astrophysicists from well-known astrophysics groups at the University of Iowa and University of Chicago. In other words, we evaluate each subtopic in climate science separately, based on our personal knowledge and our ability to critique the logic and evidence. That leads to many agreements on, for instance, the overall cooling trend during this interglacial period we call the Holocene, caused by an advancing Milankovitch cycle.

    I have not heard Hansen weigh in on the Marcott et al. paper. He will surely like the conclusions that resurrect Michael Mann's Hockey-Stick graph but may be leery of Marcott's strong temperature upturn in the 20th century, if he looks at the proxies used by Marcott. They show such a confused mess that no one (especially an experienced scientist) would want to risk his reputation by claiming to be able to make something out of the mess. Marcott's re-dating of other researcher's temperature proxies is a huge red flag. If he were to read Steve McIntyre's analysis that demonstrated the upturn to be an artifact of the analysis and heard Marcott's admission that his 20th century results were "not robust," he might avoid getting entangled in such a bad paper.

    After all, however much of a partisan Hansen is, he must realize that the peer-review process at both Science and Nature is broken and many incompetent papers are being published.

    Hansen does not display good scientific judgement in many instances, as one would expect of a PhD astrophysicist, but he is far from a total loss BECAUSE HE HAS THE REQUISITE EDUCATION.

    Those who wish to express an opinion on the theory of Catastrophic Anthropogenic Global Warming not only need to understand the relevant science but also how science works. Although climate science may seem like a purely political exercise, real scientists realize that all science rests on logic and evidence - and nothing else.

    Gordon J. Fulks, PhD (Physics)
    Corbett, Oregon USA

    View The Week That Was in which this editorial appeared.

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    (in TWTW Nov 27, 2012)
    S. Fred Singer, Chairman and President , Science and Environmental Policy Project (SEPP)

    Fact and Fancy on Greenhouse Earth (from the archives)

    Originally appeared in Wall Street Journal, Aug 30, 1988

    A hot summer, plus drought in parts of the U.S. has renewed longstanding concerns about the atmospheric greenhouse effect and spawned both doomsday scenarios and legislative proposals to stabilize the climate. As usual, we are dealing with a mixture of fact and fancy. Here are some of the facts:

      The concentration of several minor atmospheric constituents is increasing because of human activities. These trace gases include carbon dioxide, mainly from fossil-fuel burning and cutting down of forests; nitrous oxide, mainly from fertilizers; methane from a variety of natural and human sources; and chlorofluorocarbons (CFC's), synthetic chemicals widely used in refrigeration, air conditions and plastic-foam manufacture.

      These molecules, because of their inherent radiative properties, enhance the normal greenhouse effect of the atmosphere that relies mainly on existing water vapor and carbon dioxide.

      The enhanced greenhouse effect should increase the earth's average temperature -- provided that all other factors remain the same. Any climatic change has a multitude of consequences; some are beneficial, many are not.

    Aside from these facts, all the rest is theory at best, speculation at worst. The crucial issue is to what extent "other factors remain the same." In technical language; Will changes in the atmosphere, ocean or land surface reinforce the climate change (thus causing positive feedback) or will these changes counteract and partly cancel the climate warming (negative feedback)? For example, as oceans warm and more water vapor enters the atmosphere, the greenhouse effect will increase somewhat, but so should cloudiness--which can keep out incoming solar radiation and thereby reduce the warming.

    More Research Is Needed

    The theory of climate change is not yet good enough to provided a sure answer to the fundamental question: How important is the enhanced greenhouse effect? More research is needed on atmospheric physics and on modeling and atmosphere-ocean system. More can observations over the past century positively disentangle climate fluctuation from long-term trends.

    Observed trends do not agree with expectation from greenhouse theory. A large temperature increase of 0.6 degree Celsius, or about 1 degree Fahrenheit, occurred between 1880 and 1940, well before human influences were important. (Despite the growth of heavy industry during that period, the amount of fossil fuels burned for energy was small compared with those burned today.) A temperature decline occurred between 1940 and 1965, followed by a sudden warming of about 0.3 degree Fahrenheit since 1975--too short a period to discern a trend.

    We have had more than enough examples of inadequate theories during the past decades:

    * In the early 1970s it was believed that a fleet of supersonic transports could destroy the stratospheric ozone layer. Now we suspect that the opposite is true--thanks to better data and theories. In fact SST exhausts are likely to counteract the damaging effects of CFCs on ozone.

    * Only a few years ago, it was thought that acid rain could be reduced just by cutting smokestack emissions of sulfur dioxide. Now we recognize nitrogen oxides as a culprit as well; without cutting nitrogen oxides, reduction in sulfur dioxide may not be effective.

    * "Nuclear winter" was supposed to freeze the earth and possibly destroy all human existence. Now we realize that while smoke clouds from fires can darken the sky, the temperature may not fall by much. The theory had neglected the possibility that the smoke cloud may act as a heat blanket, causing its own greenhouse effect. Under some circumstances, a low altitude smoke cloud would even warm the earth, not cool it.

    These examples should induce a certain amount of skepticism and make us somewhat more humble about the ability of theory to predict the future of the atmosphere and of climate.

    In the meantime, however, a cottage industry has sprung up on "climate policy"--not climate science--populated by professional regulators, environmental activists and assorted scientists -- all heavily supported by foundations. They attend delightful international conferences, write repetitive papers and testify before important congressional committees--all about a problem that may or may not be real--and which in any case may defy any easy solution.

    Consider some of the remedies proposed:

      Drastically limiting the emission of carbon dioxide means cutting deeply into global energy use. But limiting economic growth condemns the poor, especially in the Third World, to continued poverty, if not outright starvation.

      Substitutes for fossils, such as hydro, geothermal, solar energy, and wind, are all useful in particular applications but not enough to reverse the growth of atmospheric carbon dioxide. In addition, their wide use would require exorbitant capital investments and could be environmentally damaging. (For example, the energy needs of a three-member household could be met by solar cells covering a whole football field's worth of vegetation.) Curiously, the N-word is only occasionally mentioned--yet nuclear energy is the only realistic, abundant, economic and widely accepted energy source that produces no greenhouse effect and little environmental impact--if properly handled.

      Energy conservation is much to be desired, and there are many unexploited opportunities, to be sure. But there are also great costs involved if carried too far, as indoor air pollution, including radon, in energy-efficient buildings. Realistically speaking, more conservation can only nibble at the carbon dioxide problem, not solve it.

      While we might limit the emission of CFCs, and even carbon dioxide and nitrous oxide, by drastic controls and world-wide regulation, no one has figured out what to do about the growing atmospheric concentration of methane, an important greenhouse gas, contributing about 20% of the effect--as against 50% for carbon dioxide. Scientific data from the past tell us that methane has been increasing steadily from sources and for reasons we don't fully understand. There is little point in making extreme efforts to control one set of gases while leaving another untouched.

    No Palm Trees in New York

    But the climate can and does change--and we should be aware of the need to adjust to change. In the last interglacial period, 125,000 years ago, sea level was up 20 feet--all without any human help. What should concern us most is a very rapid change in climate, one to which our economy cannot adjust. Adjustment problems certainly would exist for agricultural soils, which require hundreds or thousands of years for their generation. Climate may indeed change, with or without human interference, but there won't be palm trees in New York, cotton in Toronto, or wheat in Labrador--even by the year 2100.

    Congress has heard from a reputable scientist, James E. Hansen of NASA's Goddard Institute, who is "99 percent sure" that the greenhouse effect "is here." Perhaps this means that temperature should rise according to the prediction of standard greenhouse theory. That rise is at least 1 degree Fahrenheit per decade: we won't be able to miss it if it happens. Other reputable but less vocal atmospheric scientists estimate the rise as much less, however.

    Public policy about whether to take immediate drastic action thus faces the perennial problem of decision-making with incomplete and conflicting scientific information. We need an analysis that weighs the risk from a delay in instituting far-reaching controls against the possibility of substantially improving the science so that predictions will be more certain.

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    (in TWTW Nov 5, 2011)
    S. Fred Singer, Chairman and President , Science and Environmental Policy Project (SEPP)

    Why I Remain a Global-Warming Skeptic - Searching for scientific truth in the realm of climate.

    Originally appeared in WSJ-EUROPE, Nov 4, 2011
    Last month the Berkeley Earth Surface Temperature Project released the findings of its extensive study on global land temperatures over the past century. Physics professor Richard Muller, who led the study, heralded the findings with a number of controversial statements in the press, including an op-ed in this newspaper titled "The Case Against Global-Warming Skepticism." And yet Mr. Muller remains a true skeptica searcher for scientific truth. I congratulate Mr. Muller and his Berkeley Earth team for undertaking this difficult task in the realm of climate. The Berkeley study reported a warming trend of about 1º Celsius since 1950, even greater than the warming reported by the U.N.'s Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC). I disagree with this result, which perhaps makes me a little more of a skeptic than Mr. Muller.

    Mr. Muller has been brutally frank about the poor quality of the weather-station data, noting that 70% of U.S. stations involve uncertainties of between two and five degrees Celsius. One could interpret the Berkeley study's results as confirmation of earlier studies and of the IPCC's conclusions, despite the poor quality of the stations used. But perhaps the issue is that the Berkeley study and the ones that came before suffer from common errors. I suspect that the temperature records still are affected by the urban heatisland effecta term given to any local warming, whatever its causedespite efforts to correct for this. The urban heat-island effect could include heat produced not only in urban areas, but also due to changes in land use or poor station siting. Therefore, I suggest additional tests:

    1. Disassemble the "global average" temperature to get a better picture of what's going on regionally. This could involve plotting both the IPCC's and the Berkeley study's data only for tropical regions, separating the northern and southern hemispheres and testing for seasonal variation and differences between day and night.

    2. Better describe what we can think of as the demographics of weather stations, a major source of possible error. The IPCC used 6,000 stations in 1970 and only about 2,000 in 2000. Let's examine their latitude, altitude and possible urbanization, and see if there have been major changes in the stations sampled between 1970 and 2000. For example, it is very likely that airports were used as temperature stations in both 1970 and 2000, because airport stations are generally of high quality. But airports are likely warming rapidly because of increasing traffic and urbanization. So if the number of airport stations remained constant at, say, 1,200 over that 30-year interval, the warming observed there might have increased between 20% and 60% over the same period of time, thereby producing an artificial warming trend.

    3. The Berkeley study used a total of 39,000 weather stations, an impressive number. But again, we need to know if that number changed significantly between 1970 and 2000, and how the demographics of the stations changedboth for stations that showed cooling and for those that showed warming. But the main reason that I am skeptical about the IPCC, and now the Berkeley, findings, is that they disagree with most every other data source I can find. I confine this critique to the period between 1978 and 1997, thereby avoiding the Super El Niño of 1998 that had nothing to do with greenhouse gases or other human influences.

    Contrary to both global-warming theory and climate models, data from weather satellites show no atmospheric temperature increase over this period, and neither do the entirely independent radiosondes carried in weather balloons. The Berkeley study confined its findings to land temperatures as recorded by weather stations. Yet oceans cover 71% of the earth's surface, and the marine atmosphere shows no warming trend. The absence of warming is in accord with the theory that climate is heavily impacted by solar variability, and agrees with the solar data presented in a 2007 paper by Danish physicist Henrik Svensmark in the journal Proceedings of the Royal Society A. Moreover, independent data using temperature proxiesvarious non-thermometer sources such as tree rings, ocean and lake sediments, ice cores, stalagmites, and so onalso support an absence of warming between 1978 and 1997. Coral data also show no pronounced warming trend of the sea surface, and there are good reasons to believe that reported sea-surface warming is an artifact of thermometer measurements.

    The IPCC's 2007 Summary for Policy makers claims that "Most of the observed increase in global average [surface] temperatures since the mid-20th century is very likely [90-99% sure] due to the observed increase in anthropogenic greenhouse gas concentrations." While Mr. Muller now seems to agree that there has been such global average warming since the mid-20th century, he nonetheless ended his op-ed by disclaiming that he knows the cause of any temperature increase. Moreover, the Berkeley team's research paper comments: "The human component of global warming may be somewhat overestimated." I commend Mr. Muller and his team for their honesty and skepticism.

    Mr. Singer is professor emeritus at the University of Virginia and director of the Science & Environmental Policy Project, with specialties in atmospheric and space physics.

    View The Week That Was in which this editorial appeared.

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    SEPP Science Editorial #2011-3
    (in TWTW Jan 29, 2011)

    S. Fred Singer, Chairman and President , Science and Environmental Policy Project (SEPP)

    Oreskes O-15 Blunder

    Jan 30, 2011

    My article in the American Thinker has been attacked in many blogs - which I have always ignored. I had pointed out that Prof. Naomi Oreskes shows a deplorable lack of scientific knowledge in her book Merchants of Doubt. I have now received a letter (below) from a retired French science administrator, in which he accuses the late Dr Frederick Seitz, a distinguished US physicist and former chairman of SEPP, of scientific ignorance. His highly misleading letter went to many addressees. I therefore decided to respond -- to set the record straight (see below).


    From: "Earl Evleth"
    Sent: Thursday, January 27, 2011 11:48 AM
    To: "S. Singer"
    Subject: WEBFORM: citation of Oreskes and Conway's book

    You wrote in the American thinker article that

    Oreskes' and Conway's science is as poor as their historical expertise. To cite just one example, their book blames lung cancer from cigarette smoking on the radioactive oxygen-15 isotope. They cannot explain, of course, how O-15 gets into cigarettes, or how it is created. They seem to be unaware that its half-life is only 122 seconds. In other words, they have no clue about the science, and apparently, they assume that the burning of tobacco creates isotopes - a remarkable discovery worthy of alchemists.

    In fact they wrote:

    After all, the natural environment was hardly carcinogen-free [Seitz] noted, and even "the oxygen in the air we breathe. plays a role in radiation-induced cancer".98 (Oxygen, like most elements, has a radioactive version - oxygen 15 - although it is not naturally occurring.
    My response to Evleth (Jan 27):


    You are quite wrong!

    And -- you are a scientific ignoramus.

    You obviously don't know the difference between REACTIVE oxygen (which Seitz was referring to) and RADIOACTIVE oxygen. To paraphrase that ancient biblical teacher Hillel: "Go Google"

    And furthermore, you are being despicably deceptive. The FULL quote on page 28 reads:

    After all, the natural environment was hardly carcinogen-free, [Seitz] noted, and even "the oxygen in the air we breathe plays a role in radiation-induced cancer".98 (Oxygen, like most elements, has a radioactive version - oxygen-15 - although it is not naturally occurring.)99

    Ref 99 refers to a paper by Ter-Pergossian that discusses the use of O-15 as a tracer in respiration studies. By deleting ')99' you tried to make it appear as if Seitz said that O-15 was the cause of cancer.

    In fact, the sentence in parenthesizes is a comment added by Oreskes/Conway.

    Therefore, I stick with my assertion that Oreskes/Conway are as incompetent in science as they are in historical studies.

    To emphasize my point, I refer you to page 29 [of Merchants of Doubt] where they refer to beryllium as a HEAVY METAL.

    S. Fred Singer, PhD
    Chairman, SEPP
    [Beryllium has an atomic number of 4 and atomic weight of 9]

    View The Week That Was in which this editorial appeared.

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    (in TWTW Oct 30, 2010)

    S. Fred Singer, Chairman and President , Science and Environmental Policy Project (SEPP)

    Why the Confusion about Global Warming?

    Oct 30, 2010

    No one denies that the Earth has warmed in the past century. So of course, the past decade must be the warmest - even though there has been no upward trend since the 1998 temperature peak. [Note the important distinction between temperature level (measured in deg C or deg F) and trend (expressed in deg C per year).] The dispute is (and always has been) about the cause of the warming. In fact, the major warming during the first 50 years of the 20th century and the latter part of the 19th century is generally accepted to be natural - a recovery from the Little Ice Age. But there's no credible evidence that identifies the most recent warming as human-caused. On the contrary, while the UN's IPCC claims to be quite certain that it is anthropogenic, the independent NIPCC (Non-governmental International Panel on Climate Change) concludes that Nature - Not Human Activity - Rules the Climate. See

    In this connection note the obfuscatory language used by "Petitions for Reconsideration" of its Endangerment finding on CO2: The scientific evidence supporting EPA's finding is robust, voluminous, and compelling. Climate change is happening now, and humans are contributing to it. Multiple lines of evidence show a global warming trend over the past 100 years. Beyond this, melting ice in the Arctic, melting glaciers around the world, increasing ocean temperatures, rising sea levels, altered precipitation patterns, and shifting patterns of ecosystems and wildlife habitats all confirm that our climate is changing.

    Yet there is no evidence at all that humans are indeed contributing to warming in a significant way. We'll see you in court, dear EPA, and gladly examine your compelling evidence!

    View The Week That Was in which this editorial appeared.

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    (in TWTW Oct 2, 2010)

    Guest Editorial by Dr. Harrison "Jack" Schmitt


    Oct 2, 2010

    Policy makers at the head of government in the United States and elsewhere apparently want to believe, and to have others believe, that human use of fossil fuels accelerates global warming. They pursue this quest in order to impose ever greater and clearly unconstitutional control on the economy and personal liberty in the name of a hypothetically omnipotent government. There exists no true concern by the President or Congressional Leadership about the true effects of climate change - only a poorly concealed, ideologically driven attempt to use conjured up threats of catastrophic consequences as a lever to gain authoritarian control of society.

    There has been an absolute natural increase in global surface temperature of half a degree Centigrade per 100 years (0.9 degrees Fahrenheit) over the last three and a half centuries.[1] Observational climate data and objective interpretations of those data strongly indicate that nature, not human activity, exerts the primary influence on this current long term warming and on all global climate variations. Human influence through use of fossil fuels has been and remains minor if even detectable.[2] Claims to the contrary only find support in highly questionable climate models that fail repeatedly against the reality of nature. What, then, stimulates historically and geologically observed, sometimes slow and sometimes radical, changes in climate?

    The primary alternative hypothesis to human-caused global warming is natural climate change driven by the Sun.[3] Unfortunately, the "human-caused global warming" or carbon dioxide forcing hypothesis has become embedded in the minds of otherwise strong teams of observational scientists and their publication outlets. They cannot entertain any other alternative to enhance and amplify variations in the natural heating of the Earth by the Sun[4] - nor can they prove their own hypothesis of human-caused global warming.[5]

    As many scientists have documented, the position and orientation of the Earth in its orbit around the sun, and the Sun's variable influence and activity, determine weather and climate.[6] Seasons vary because of changing solar energy input in annual response to the varying orientation of Earth's Northern and Southern Hemispheres. Indeed, the Earth's 23-degree inclination to the rays from the Sun and its annual orbit around that star guarantee large seasonal changes away from the equator. Further, variations in solar radiation received by the Earth correlate with short-term variations in Earth's weather, based on the slow movement of loops called "Rossby waves"[7] in atmospheric jet streams.[8]

    Observations by astronomers over the centuries, as well as studies of tree rings,[9] stalagmite layers,[10] and other pre-historic and geological records[11], have defined an 11-year sunspot cycle superposed on a number of longer climate cycles[12]. Much modern research documents that the sunspot cycle also correlates with variations in stratospheric winds[13] and ozone production,[14] cosmic ray flux,[15] ionospheretroposphere interactions,[16] and the global electrical circuit that exists between the ionosphere and the Earth's surface[17]. Correlations of records of seasonal changes, solar activity cycles, and local and regional rainfall oscillations all confirm that in some way radiation emanating from the Sun drives changes in weather and climate.[18] Solar interplanetary magnetic fields, whose polarity varies every 22 years or twice the sunspot cycle, may play an additional role as their strength varies directly with increases and decreases in numbers of sunspots.[19]

    As a further natural demonstration of the importance of the Sun in determining climate variation, the well-documented solar shielding effects of atmospheric ash and aerosols from volcanic eruptions document the tie between solar irradiance and at least short-term climate swings. Particularly illustrative have been eruptions such as Huaynaputina (1600)[20], Tambora (1815)[21], Krakatoa (1883)[22], and Pinatubo (1991)[23]

    More broadly, geological and planetological observations show that major perturbations in climate relate to the position and orientation of the Earth in its orbit around the Sun. For example, as Serbian mathematician Milutin Milankovic pointed out in 1941,[24] has have many others since,[25] initiation of the major ice ages on Earth correlate with a 23,000-year precession cycle, a 41,000-year obliquity cycle, and a 100,000-year eccentricity cycle in the position of the Earth relative to the Sun. Cyclic variations measured in oxygen isotope ratios that correlate with the growth of ice sheets and biogeochemical responses closely reflect the 23,000-year precession cycle.[26] Also, a half-precession cycle appears to be related to the dynamics of the East African Equatorial monsoon[27]. In addition, the 41,000-year obliquity cycle shows strongly in North American marine depositional records.[28]

    Climate cycles related to internal solar activity are superposed on long-term orbital cycles. For example, the Medieval Warm Period (800-1300) and the Little Ice Age (1400-1900) correlate, respectively, with very active and very passive periods of recorded sunspot activity.[29] As a fairly recent example of solar influence on climate, the Little Ice Age occurred during a 500-year long sequence of three deep reductions in sunspot frequency.[30] The coldest temperatures came during the last of these minima, a 70- year period of exceptionally few sunspots (the Maunder Minimum).[31] The Medieval Warm Period, (when the Vikings colonized Greenland, glaciers retreated, and farmers could at least survive)[32] also correlates to repeated multi-century long, high sunspot frequency.33 Since the end of the early 1900s, peak values in sunspot activity rose steadily until 1960, leveling off at higher than normal values until apparently starting to fall about 2000.[34]

    The 11-year sunspot cycle repetitions are superposed on a number of long-term cycles of past highs and lows in solar activity. For example, the Gleissberg cycle has imprecisely defined periods of 90±30 years in length.[35] More energetic sunspot activity in the Gleissberg cycle may correlate with temporary decades of warming, such as in the 1930s and 1990s with the reverse being true in the 1810s and 1910s. Analyses of tree rings, lake levels, cave deposits, tree ring variations in cosmic ray-produced isotopes (14C and 10Be)[36], and oxygen isotope ratios record what appear to be other long period solar cycles, specifically, 2400, 1500 years, 200, as well as the Gleissberg cycle[37].

    Many advocates of human-caused global warming agree that solar cycles show correlations with regional climate variations[38]; but, absent a proven amplification mechanism to enhance small solar energy (irradiance) variations, they reject nature in favor of fossil fuel burning. These reviews all document broadly accepted relationships of weather and climate with many different repetition cycles in solar activity[39], ranging from significant but random solar flares affecting jet stream tracks,[40] to the 11-year sunspot cycle,[41] to the long-term Milankovic orbital repetitions discussed above.

    Specifically with respect to the last 120 years, the correlation of measured solar energy input variations with global surface temperature and sea surface temperature is very strong.[42] The statistical correlation of solar irradiance with air temperature has been about 79%.[43] In contrast, during the last 50 years, the correlation of measured carbon dioxide increases with global surface temperature has been only about 22%. This directly contradicts the assumption that carbon dioxide has had a large influence on climate in the last 50 years.[44]

    Since the end of the last Ice Age 10,000 years ago, the increase in total energy from the Sun has been about 0.6 watts per square meter,[45] an increase of less than 0.05% over an average total of about 1367 watts per square meter. On shorter time scales, total variations reach about 3 watts per square meter, or 0.22% from the average.[46] Considering the actual amount of possible atmospheric heating (30% of incoming solar energy is reflected to space), this variation results in a third to a half a degree Centigrade (0.6 to 0.9 degree Fahrenheit) global temperature change over seven years, that is, a half solar cycle.[47] Various natural mechanisms for visible, infrared, and UV light reflection, adsorption, emission, and water vapor feedback determine the net solar heating effect on the Earth.[48] Global atmospheric circulation moderates the short-term solar energy inputs, particularly upward convection of oceanic heat and water vapor in the large scale equatorial Hadley Cells that span latitudes from 30ºS to 30ºN .[49] Ocean circulation overall moderates the long-term transfer of solar energy around the globe.[50]

    Evidence for the existence, if not the nature, of a means for amplifying solar energy-solar magnetic field interactions with Earth comes from the oceans. Determination of the total contribution of the oceans to heating of the atmosphere, using three independent observational measures of oceanic heat flux, shows that the oceans' heat contribution to be five to seven times larger than variations in total solar energy input.[51]

    Additional support that an amplification mechanism exists comes from recent observational data on variations in stratospheric water vapor concentrations over three decades. These data suggest that decreases in water vapor have contributed to amplified sea surface cooling since 2000 while increases between 1980 and 2000 accented surface warming.[52] This relationship may correspond with stratospheric cooling and lower water retention due to lower than average solar energy input since 2000.

    Climate change driven by the Sun constitutes a strongly competitive, purely scientific hypothesis to the climate modeling-political hypothesis of human-caused global warming advocated by climate modelers and their acolytes in the science, media, and political establishments. Solar influence ranges from significant but random solar flares affecting jet stream tracks[53], to the 11-year sunspot cycle,[54] to the 22- year magnetic cycle, up to the long-term Milankovic orbital repetitions discussed above. The current decade or longer period of cold winters in the northern United States and Europe coincide with a relatively prolonged reduction in sunspot activity below even the norm for a minimum in the 11-year cycle.[55]

    Actual observations show that climate varies in response to natural forces and that human burning of fossil fuels has had negligible effect over the last 100 years.[56] Lets us hope that State and national policy makers taking office in 2011 and 2013 will understand the facts about natural climate change and the fictions about human influence on change before taking enormous constitutional and economic risks - and before liberty and incomes suffer further erosion.

    References can be found in the TWTW document for this Science Editorial.

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    (in TWTW Sep 25, 2010)

    Guest Editorial by Dr. Harrison "Jack" Schmitt


    Sep 25, 2010

    The scientific rationale behind the Environmental Protection Agency's proposed massive intrusion into American life in the name of fighting climate change has no scientific or constitutional justification. This hard left excursion into socialism, fully supported by the Congressional Leadership and the President, has no basis in observational science, as has been discussed previously relative to climate history, temperature, and carbon dioxide.

    In addition, oceans of the Earth play the dominant role in the perpetuation and mediation of naturally induced change of global climate.[1] Density variations linking the Northern and Southern Hemisphere portions of the Pacific and Atlantic Oceans through the Southern Ocean drive the primary circulation system that controls hemispheric and global climate. Differences in temperature and salt concentration produce these density variations that circulate heat around the planet. For the last several years in this circulating environment, the sea surface temperature of the oceans appears to be leveling off or decreasing[2] with no net heat increase for the last 58 years[3] and particularly since 2003[4] and possibly since 1990[5]. The long-term climatic implications of this recent broad scale cooling are not known.

    Density increase due to evaporation in the North Atlantic creates a salt-rich, cold, deepwater current that flows south to join the Antarctic Circumpolar Current. Upwelling from that Circumpolar Current brings nutrient and carbon dioxide-rich deep seawater into the upper Southern Ocean. This Southern Ocean water then moves north toward the equator where it joins a warm water current flowing from the North Pacific, through the tropics and the Indian Ocean, and then northward through the Atlantic to become the Gulf Stream. The Gulf Stream flows into the North Atlantic where, as part of a continuous process, winddriven evaporation increases salt concentration and density and feeds the deepwater flow back to the south. Natural interference in the normal functioning of the ocean conveyor can occur. For example, melting of Northern Hemisphere ice sheets, accumulation of melt-water behind ice dams, and abrupt fresh water inputs into the North Atlantic cause major disruptions in global ocean circulation.[6]

    The oceans both moderate and intensify weather and decadal climate trends due to their great capacity to store solar heat as well as their global current structure, slow mixing, salinity variations, wind interactions, and oscillatory changes in heat distribution over large volumes.[7] The Northern Pacific Decadal Oscillation (PDO),[8] the El Nino-La Nina Southern Pacific Oscillation (ENSO),[9] the long period anchovy-sardine Southern Pacific Oscillation,[10] the Gulf Stream Northern Atlantic Oscillation (NAO),[11] the Indonesian Through-Flow (ITF),[12] the Agulhas Current[13], and other related ocean currents and cycles have demonstrably large, decadal scale effects on regional as well as global climate.[14]

    Possibly the greatest oceanic influence on global climate results from the full hemispheric reach and scale of the Southern Ocean's Circumpolar Current as it circulates around Antarctica and between the continents of the Southern Hemisphere.[15] In particular, the northward migration of the cold to warm water front off South Africa during ice ages may restrict warm, salty water of the western Indian Ocean's Agulhas Current from entering the South Atlantic and eventually amplify ice age cooling in North America and Europe.[16]

    In several major portions of the global ocean heat conveyor, natural variations in heating, evaporation, freshwater input,[17] atmospheric convection, surface winds, and cloud cover can influence the position and strengths of related, but local ocean currents near the continents. This variation in current positioning, therefore, modifies carbon dioxide uptake and release, storm patterns, tropical cyclone frequency,[18] phytoplankton abundance,[19] drought conditions, and sea level rise that drive the reality of, as well as our perceptions of climate change.

    For example, since about 7000 years ago, sea level rise has averaged about eight inches (20cm) per century for a total of about 55 feet (16m).[20] This same approximate rate appears to have held from 1842 to the mid-1980s.[21] The trend in sea level rise between the early 1900s and 1940 showed no observable acceleration attributable to increasing atmospheric carbon dioxide.[22] Satellite data show an apparent 50% increase of this rate after 1992, but this presumably will slow again soon due to the effects of the current period of global cooling. If the current slow rate of long-term global warming should continue for 100 years, the total sea level rise attributable to worldwide glacier melting and ocean thermal expansion would be no more that about four inches (10cm).[23]

    Greenland's ice sheet also plays a cyclic role in sea level changes. In the 1950s, Greenland's glaciers retreated significantly only to advance again between 1970 and 1995,[24] a pattern of retreat and then advance repeated again between 1995 and 2006[25]. Predicting future sea level rise from short-term observation of Greenland's glaciers would seem to have little validity, particularly as there appears to be a half a decade lag in observable melting and accretion responses relative to global temperature variations[26]. The same conclusion now can be made relative to Himalayan glaciers.[27]

    There also seems to be little danger of a catastrophic melting of the East Antarctic Ice Sheet that would cause a major rise in sea level.[28] Great uncertainty also exists relative to the natural dynamics and history of the West Antarctic Ice Sheet with Ross Sea sedimentary cores suggesting that major cycles of ice cover changes have occurred over the last five million years.[29] Overall, short-term sea level changes relate more to local geological dynamics that to glacial variations.[30]

    Compilations of temperature changes in the oceans and seas, as preserved by oxygen isotope variations in shells from cores of bottom sediments, provide a record of natural oceanic reactions to cycles of major climate change back for 1.8 million years.[31] For example, geological analysis of sea level changes over the last 500,000 years show a remarkable correlation with major natural climate change.[32] These data further indicate that the Earth probably is approaching the peak of the warming portion of a normal climate cycle that began with the end of the last Ice Age, about 10, 000 years ago.[33]

    The oceans play the major role in removing carbon from the atmosphere. Seawater calcium and various inorganic and organic processes in the oceans fix carbon from dissolved carbon dioxide as calcium carbonate,[34] planktonic and benthic organisms, and inedible forms of suspended carbon[35]. In so doing, these processes constitute major factors in global cycles of atmospheric carbon dioxide concentration. Calcium availability in the oceans, in turn, relates to major geological dynamics, including mountain building, volcanism, river flows, and the growth, alteration, and destruction of crustal plates beneath the oceans.

    Over the last 28 million years, marked variations in precipitated seawater calcium isotopes, particularly beginning about 13 million years ago, indicate major changes in sources of calcium rather than major variations in the quantity of atmospheric carbon dioxide.[36] This change in seawater calcium isotopic makeup may relate to events that included the partial deglaciation of Antarctica[37]. As most plant activity requires carbon dioxide, low atmospheric carbon dioxide values would reduce the rate of biologically assisted rock weathering. A limit on such weathering may buffer minimum atmospheric carbon dioxide to between 150 and 250ppm by limiting levels of seawater calcium.[38]

    Significant introductions of calcium into the oceans from any source would be expected to result in a drawdown of atmospheric carbon dioxide to maintain chemical balances in local as well as global seawater. Ultimately, the history of seawater calcium concentrations may explain many of the long-term variations in carbon dioxide levels shown in various studies; however, correlations between calcium dynamics and carbon dioxide levels are not at sufficient geological resolution to make firm, dated correlations.

    Slightly increased acidification of the local environments of sea dwelling organisms in the oceans may occur related to the absorption of new emissions of carbon dioxide. On the other hand, in spite of extreme alarmist hand wringing to the contrary[39], loss of ocean carbon dioxide due to naturally rising temperature works to mitigate this trend as will the broad chemical buffering of ocean acidity by both organic and inorganic processes[40].

    Iron ion and iron complex concentrations in seawater, mediated by oxidation potential (Eh) and hydrogen ion concentration (pH or acidity), play an additional role in organic carbon fixation. Relatively simple laboratory experiments suggest that increases in ocean acidity might reduce availability of chelated iron in the life cycle of phytoplankton.[41] The complexity of this process in nature, however, and the many other variables that potentially would play a role in iron metabolism, indicate a need for a much more comprehensive experimental analysis before conclusions can be drawn.

    Exactly what may happen in specific ecosystems remains uncertain relative to small increases or decreases in the acidity of ocean habitats or the change in the ratios of dissolved oxygen and carbon dioxide. Coral reefs, for example, have been very adaptable over geologic time and extensive research strongly suggests that they adapt well, on a global scale, to climatic changes and the small associated chemical changes in the oceans.[42] So far, research indicates that some organisms benefit and some do not, as might be expected.[43] Indeed, this interplay between losses and gains has occurred many times in the geologic past as nature has continuously adjusted to climatic changes much greater than the slow warming occurring at present. The Earth's vast layers of carbonate rocks derived from carbon fixing organisms, including ancient, now dead coral reefs, as well as deeply submerged coral reefs on existing sea mounts,[44] show that the production and evolution of such organisms remains a continuous, if possibly, locally or regionally punctuated process.

    In the face of the overwhelming dominance of the oceans on climate variability, it would appear foolish in the extreme to give up liberties and incomes to politicians in Washington and at the United Nations in the name of "doing something" about slow climate change.

    The President, regulators, and Congress have chosen to try to push Americans along an extraordinarily dangerous path. That path includes unconstitutional usurpation of the rights of the people and the constitutionally reserved powers of the States as well as the ruin of economic stagnation. The Congress that takes office in 2011 absolutely must get this right!

    References can be found in the TWTW document for this Science Editorial.

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    (in TWTW Sep 18, 2010)

    Guest Editorial by Dr. Harrison "Jack" Schmitt


    Sep 18, 2010

    Analysis of ice cores from Antarctica [1] and Greenland [2] play an important role in understanding the history of global temperatures and atmospheric concentrations of carbon dioxide, methane, and other gases and aerosols. Through analysis of dust, they also provide up to 800,000-year chronologies of global scale volcanic eruptions and major trends toward desertification. Clearly, data from ice cores play a critical underlying role in the science of climate change.

    Unfortunately, ice cores do not always appear to be a reliable record of past carbon dioxide or methane concentrations in the atmosphere. Their information needs to be confirmed by consistency with data from other sources. Particular care must be taken in the interpretation of the carbon dioxide record in ice cores due to uncertainties in the mechanics of gas preservation over time.[4]

    In some cases, the trapped atmosphere in the ice sheets may not be part of a closed system. To be a closed system for carbon dioxide or methane, no gas components can escape or be added during the burial process; liquid water cannot have interacted with the gases; none of the trapped gas components can combine, separate, diffuse, or solidify; and all components must stay in the same proportions as pressure increases with time due to added ice above. The observational science of ice has demonstrated that for some cores all these conditions do not hold. Further, the process of core extraction from great depth to surface pressure may open and disturb the gas systems.

    For example, the Siple Antarctic ice core indicates that carbon dioxide reached a level of about 330ppm in about 1900. Comparison with the 1960 initial Mauna Loa measurement of 260ppm suggests that either (1) the Siple data is just wrong, or (2) there was a drop of about 60ppm in carbon dioxide level between 1900 and 1960, or (3) it takes 80-some years for the carbon dioxide gas system to close.[4] This discrepancy does not appear to have been resolved;[5] but the smooth shape of the Siple core carbon dioxide curve as a function of core depth (approaching a constant level with increasing core depth/age) suggests it might not ever have been a closed system. Over time, carbon dioxide in the sampled Siple ice may have gradually equilibrated to a constant carbon dioxide value of about 280ppm now indicated for the 1720-year old and older layers. Also, this core suffered some melting during transport and prior to analysis.[6]

    Not surprisingly, considering the known variability in ice preservation, measured carbon dioxide concentrations in the trapped gases of many cores older than about 300 years hold remarkably constant over the last 7-8000 years of ice accumulation.[7] This constancy is incompatible with other data, including that from other ice cores and from preserved Ginkgo leaf stomata, both indicating significant variation during that period. Stomata are pores through which a plant takes in carbon dioxide. They vary in size depending on the carbon dioxide concentration in the air, and preserved stomata suggest that carbon dioxide levels ranged between 270 and 326ppm over the last 7-8000 years.[8]

    Some Greenland ice cores do not show expected temperature-driven carbon dioxide increases during the Medieval Warm Period (~800-1300) or the expected decreases during the Little Ice Age (~1400-1900)[9], although these events show clearly in other cores[10]. This further indicates that some ice cores potentially give an unreliable history of atmospheric carbon dioxide, nitrogen, and methane concentrations.

    Analyses from the EPICA Dome C and Vostok cores of the Antarctic ice sheets, on the other hand, show plausible parameter variations. A strong correlation exists back to ~800,000 years ago between carbon dioxide and methane concentrations and deuterium and oxygen isotopic temperature determinations.[11] The five hundred year time resolution of these correlations, however, remains insufficient to determine if carbon dioxide and methane changes lead or lag temperature changes. Similarly, up to 123,000 years of climate temperature variations measured in three deep cores from the Greenland ice sheet (GRIP, GISP2, and NGRIP) appear to be consistent with other climate proxy data, such as North Atlantic sediment cores.[12]

    Although carbon dioxide measurements can be suspect in some ice cores, data from many others constitute extremely valuable records of additional parameters that exist within truly closed subsystems. For example, Greenland ice core data indicate that large climatic temperature shifts can occur over a very few years. Oxygen isotopes, deuterium, dust and calcium, sodium, and ice accumulation rates support data from cave deposits that indicate rapid cooling often follows periods of gradual natural warming.[13]

    A particularly prolonged warm period between 9000 and 6000 years ago, within the current interglacial, has been documented, most recently in oxygen isotopic analyses of Greenland ice cores.[14] That prolonged warm period resulted in significant thinning of Greenland's ice sheet to thicknesses within a 100m of those of today. Several other warm periods have occurred since, the most pronounced of which has been termed the Medieval Warm Period (500-1300)[15]. Warm periods of this nature were initially highly beneficial to fledgling human cultures. During the latter centuries of the Medieval Warm Period, however, severe weather and drought, overpopulation relative to available agricultural technology, and other factors forced migrations from many centers of civilization,[16] primarily to locations with more reliable water resources and better defensive positioning.

    Adverse effects of warming, however, stand in contrast to the general advancement of human civilization during the 10,000 years of warming since the last Ice Age. On the other hand, adaptation to the stresses of climate change, including cold periods, probably was a major factor in the evolution of modern humans.[17] The last Ice Age also permitted the advantageous migrations of modern humans from Asia into the Americas about 22,000 years ago. At that time, low sea levels created a land bridge between Asia and North America.[18] Adaptability has been the key for human survival and advancement.

    References can be found in the TWTW document for this Science Editorial.

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    Science Editorial #6-2010
    (in TWTW Feb 6, 2010)

    S. Fred Singer, Chairman and President , Science and Environmental Policy Project (SEPP)

    Junkscience #8: The warmest year, decade, century game

    Feb 6, 2010

    [Note: This is another of a series of mini-editorials on the junk science influencing the global warmingissue. Other topics will include the UN Environmental Program, and some individuals heavily involved in these matters.]

    A NASA press release claims that January 2000 to December 2009 was the warmest decade on record," citing James Hansen and Gavin Schmidt (of NASA-GISS). They are practicing what magicians call "misdirection," designed to mislead the unsuspecting reader. Let me explain:

    Let us grant that the past decade was the warmest on record. What exactly does this prove? Since the warming trend started well before the release of substantial amounts of greenhouse gases, the most likely cause is simply a natural recovery of the global climate from the Little Ice Age, which historical records place between around 1400 and 1800 AD. And since we are still well below the temperatures seen during the Medieval Climate Optimum (when Norsemen were able to grow crops and raise cattle in Greenland), we will likely experience even warmer decades during the 21st century. But this is a pure guess; we still don't understand what controls millennial climate cycles of warming - and cooling.

    However, the data do not support a human influence on climate. Temperatures have not warmed (i.e., shown an upward trend) during the past decade -- in spite of sharply rising levels of atmospheric CO2. The confusion comes about when people mix up temperature level (measured in deg C) with temperature trend (measured in deg C per decade). They are entirely different concepts. We currently have a record temperature level but no upward trend -- and possibly even a slight cooling.

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    (in TWTW Jan 30, 2010)

    S. Fred Singer, Chairman and President , Science and Environmental Policy Project (SEPP)

    Global Mean Surface Temperature (GMST)

    Jan 30, 2010

    [Note: This is another of a series of mini-editorials on the "junk science" influencing the global warming issue. Other topics will include the UN Environmental Program, and some individuals heavily involved in these matters.]

    The Global Mean Surface Temperature (GMST) is largely determined by the Sea Surface Temperature (SST) - since oceans cover 71% of the earth's surface. So even if the land data are manipulated to show a major warming (as the ClimateGate e-mails suggest), this should not affect the SST data - one would think. Unfortunately, SST has problems of its own: (1) Scarcity of data; and (2) Lack of compatibility of different methods of collecting data.

    For much of the 20th century, data came only from shipping routes -- and large parts of the world's oceans were not contributing data. Data collection came from samples gathered with buckets from sailing ships, first wooden buckets and later canvas ones (which required substantial corrections). After the advent of steamers, temperatures were measured at the inlets for engine cooling water (inlet temperature).

    Around 1980, satellites produced major changes: (1) Infrared emission from the sea surface was thought to measure temperature directly, But the method worked only in the absence of clouds and haze, and it responded to "skin" temperature rather than the bulk of the sea surface (as inlet temperatures). (2) The introduction of buoys, first "drifters"and then diving buoys, expanded geographic coverage. But this introduced a new problem: As I have discussed (see also NIPCC 2008 Fig 20), drifters measure temperatures in the upper 50cm, which are usually warmer than the "inlet temperatures." It is easily shown that the increasing fraction of data from drifters leads to an artificial warming trend.

    But don't the measurements of Ocean heat content show a warming? What better authority than the flawed paper by Hansen et al [Science 308:1431-35 (2005)]-that had proudly claimed to be the smoking gun for AGW. Its Fig 2 shows hardly any increase in observed stored heat between 1992 and 1996; Fig 3 shows a cooling of the upper layers in the equatorial region. There is poor correspondence to model runs (which strongly disagree with each other).

    These are all problems that require detailed corrections before one can accept the published SST results - and therefrom the IPCC's global surface warming trends. By comparison, the MSU (satellite) data show good agreement between tropospheric temperature over land and ocean (see NIPCC 2008 Fig 13), with little warming over land and even slightly less over oceans.

    To sum up: Both the land data and SST data tell us that the claimed rise of global surface temperature between 1979 and 1997, shown by IPCC, is probably much smaller or may even be non-existent.

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    (in TWTW Jan 23, 2010)

    S. Fred Singer, Chairman and President , Science and Environmental Policy Project (SEPP)

    Junkscience: Climategate Distortion of Temperature Data

    Jan 23, 2010

    [Note: This is the sixth of a series of mini-editorials on the "junk science" influencing the global warming issue. Other topics will include the UN Environmental Program, and some individuals heavily involved in these matters.]

    We discuss here in some detail the way in which warming trends were introduced into the IPCC Report -- when in fact they did not exist or were extremely small. We focus on the period 1979 to 1997. There was cooling up to 1976; in 1998 there was a super-El-Nino and no subsequent warming. Our discussion is in three parts: (1) a "bottoms-up" approach; (2) the "top-down" approach; and next week I shall discuss (3) the treatment of sea surface temperatures (SST).

    (1) Bottoms-Up Distortion of Temperature Data

    The Climate Research Unit of the University of East Anglia (CRU-UEA), under the direction of Dr. Philip Jones, collected data from weather stations from around the world. These are almost all land-based stations, showing a high concentration in the United States and Western Europe and a lower concentration elsewhere -- with many parts of the globe hardly covered by reliable stations.

    There are a variety of problems with such data, and the investigators were aware of most of them. Many stations produce useless data, either because of inadequate maintenance, or because of their location. Anthony Watts (in his WUWT blog) has shown that even stations in the USA were badly placed and subject to local warming influences that were not adequately corrected.

    The surface of the earth is then divided into grid boxes, usually five degrees by five degrees. When there are several stations in a grid box, the investigators would choose those they considered most reliable - which in many cases meant urban stations, or stations at airports, that are well maintained. However, because of their location, they generally are subject to "urban heat-island" (UHI) effects, a local warming that increases with population and urban growth over time and suggests a temperature trend of a global nature. The investigators tried various ways to eliminate such local UHI trends, but were not very successful.

    The problem was greatly exacerbated by the closing of over half the world's weather stations between 1970 and 2000 (see NIPCC Summary, Fig 12- which in most cases removed rural stations but also stations from higher latitudes and altitudes that tended to show a lower warming trend or no warming trend at all. It should be obvious therefore that this drastic change in the sampling population would introduce a fictitious warming trend which is an artifact of the change. E. Michael Smith and Joseph D'Aleo have documented in some detail how such artificial temperature trends could be produced even when there was no global trend. [See ]

    (2) The Top-Down (TD) Approach

    In many ways, the "Top-Down" (TD) approach to derive the Global Mean Surface Temperature (GMST) is to be preferred over "bottom-up" (deriving GMST by collecting data from weather stations and sea surface readings). The TD approach relies primarily on the data from weather satellites, the only truly global measuring system, using a single microwave sounding (MSU) instrument and therefore independent of the vagaries of individual weather stations and their thermometers.

    There are of course certain disadvantages: The MSU cannot measure temperatures at different levels of the atmosphere but derives instead a "weighted mean" of the vertical temperature profile; the times of observation are fixed by the orbit of the satellite; a change of satellite, and MSU instrument, requires an overlap in operating time to permit a recalibration. Nevertheless, by comparing different view angles, one can change the weight factors and obtain a temperature value for "Lower Troposphere." The University of Alabama, Huntsville (UAH) group has shown good agreement of UAH results with those of radiosondes from weather balloons.

    As early as 1997, I noticed a disparity between temperature trends of satellites and surface trends, esp. in the tropics. (See Fig 9 in Hot Talk, Cold Science, 1997) The troposphere trends (between 1979 and 1995) were close to zero or even slightly negative, while surface trends showed a warming of about 0.05 deg per decade. This disparity is just the reverse of what one would expect from GH models [see IPCC-SAR] - namely a positive (warming) troposphere trend up to twice as large as the surface trend.

    In addition, I noticed that the proxy data to which I had access showed no surface warming (tree-ring data of Jacoby et al (Fig 16 in HTCS) and ice core data of Dahl-Jensen et al]. I tried very hard to obtain more proxy data but was not successful. For example, I noticed that Michael Mann's infamous hockeystick graph did not extend beyond 1979 and suspected that his proxy temperatures diverged from the instrumented surface results. Yet when I wrote to Mann about post-1980 proxy data, I received only a brusque negative reply. Thanks to "Climategate" we now know, what I had then suspected, i.e., that Mann and Jones were engaged in a scheme to "hide the decline [in post-1979 proxy temperatures]"

    To sum up: Both the satellite results and the proxy data tell us that the claimed rise of surface temperature between 1979 and 1997, shown by IPCC, is probably much smaller or even non-existent.

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    (in TWTW Jan 16, 2010)

    S. Fred Singer, Chairman and President , Science and Environmental Policy Project (SEPP)

    Junk Science #5: IPCC's Fourth Assessment Report [IPCC-AR4, 2007]

    Jan 16, 2010

    [Note: This is the fifth of a series of mini-editorials on the junk science influencing the global warming issue. Other topics will include the UN Environmental Program, and some individuals heavily involved in these matters.]

    In line with its policy of "ramping up" its case for Anthropogenic Global Warming (AGW) and escalating climate fears, IPCC-AR4 concludes: "Most of the observed increase in global average temperatures since the mid-20th century is very likely due to the observed increase in anthropogenic GHG concentrations" [my emphasis]. They helpfully explain that very likely means 90 to 99% certain. One wonders just how IPCC arrived at this rather precise estimate - since there is nothing in the report to back it up.

    By now, the IPCC has mercifully abandoned some of the "evidence" given in their earlier reports: They no longer feature the discredited "Hockeystick" graph (that had done away with the Medieval Warm Period and the Little Ice Age). They recognize that melting glaciers cannot illuminate the cause of warming and that shifting and often reversing CO2-temperature correlation does not support AGW. Instead, the "evidence" now advanced is essentially circumstantial. The logic which gets the IPCC to this conclusion (as pointed out in Scientific Alliance Newsletter 160) is as follows:

    1. There has been a general rise in averaged measured surface temperatures over the past century.
    2. At the same time, atmospheric concentrations of so-called 'greenhouse' gases, particularly carbon dioxide, have been rising. All the evidence points to the net increase being caused largely by burning fossil fuels.
    3. Computer models of the climate (General Circulation Models) cannot account for the temperature changes on the basis of known natural variability in climate.
    4. Therefore, the additional 'anthropogenic' carbon dioxide must be the primary driver of this change. Yet as Scientific Alliance states: On this unproven argument, a whole climate change industry has been built; academic researchers, civil servants, carbon traders, environmental and development NGOs, taxpayer-subsidised renewable energy companies and, of course, UN agencies beaver away in the shared assumption that this logic is compelling and demands concerted action."

    Can you spot the "hole" in the IPCC "logic"? The key word is "known." But they totally ignore the most important natural forcing: changing solar activity that modulates the intensity of galactic cosmic radiation (GCR) incident on the Earth. This fact seems known to everyone except the IPCC group dealing with the most important issue: the cause of climate change in the 20th century. See evidence in Fig 14 of NIPCC.

    It gets worse: IPCC-AR4 claims they can simulate past century's Global Mean Surface Temp (GMST) with "known" natural and anthropogenic forcings (as displayed in Fig 5 of NIPCC). But the uncertainties shown there are huge, especially for the indirect effects of aerosols. Of course, the major forcings from solar activity-GCR are not even considered; nor the effects of clouds that likely produce negative feedbacks rather than reinforcing the warming of GH gases.

    The upshot is that the IPCC's claim of matching the GMST is nothing else but an exercise in curvefitting, with several suitably chosen parameters. I would be impressed if IPCC could match mean zonal temp, not just GMST - or the atmospheric temp obtained from radiosondes and satellites - using the same chosen parameters.

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    (in TWTW Jan 9, 2010)

    S. Fred Singer, Chairman and President , Science and Environmental Policy Project (SEPP)

    Junk Science #4: IPCC Third Assessment Report [IPCC-TAR, 2001]

    Jan 9, 2010

    [Note: This is the fourth of a series of mini-editorials on the junk science influencing the global warming issue. Other topics will include the IPCC's Assessment Report 4, the UN Environmental Program, and some individuals heavily involved in these matters.]

    In line with what seems to be an IPCC plan of claiming increasing confidence in AGW (anthropogenic global warming) with each successive report, the Summary of IPCC Third Assessment Report [IPCCTAR, 2001] promised new information to support a conclusion of AGW. This new information turned out to be the Hockeystick, a dramatic graph that showed temperatures since 1000 AD steadily decreasing - until, suddenly, here was a huge warming in the 20th century. No trace of the Medieval Warm Period (MWP) and the Little Ice Age (LIA), so clearly shown in earlier IPCC reports and supported by both physical and historic data. [See figure]

    See TWTW link below for Graphic.
    Source : Nature, Not Human Activity, Rules the Climate: Summary for Policymakers of the Report of the Nongovernmental International Panel on Climate Change, Chicago, IL: The Heartland Institute, 2008. Figure 1 Difference in 1000 Year Temperature History from First to Third IPCC Report Historic Temperature Based On Empirical Data "Reconstructed Temperatures" from proxy analysis [Mann, Bradley, Hughes 1998] - "Observed Temperatures" from analysis of thermometer data [Jones, Hadley- CRU]

    The hockeystick (HS) graph was based on the "multi-proxy" (mainly using tree-ring data) analysis of Mann, Bradley, and Hughes (MBH) [Nature 1998]. Strangely, there was little challenge from the paleoclimate community, perhaps because the statistical method used to combine different kinds of proxy data was not familiar. Soon and Baliunas published a paper (with great difficulty) that contradicted MBH but they were shouted down. As I related (in Science Editorial #1-2010), I questioned Mann as to why his proxy analysis did not go beyond 1980. And Steve McIntyre and Ross McKitrick (MM), in Energy & Environment 2003, found many irregularities in the data that MBH had assembled.

    But it was only later that MM and Wegman discovered fatal errors in MBH's statistical methodology and in their tree-ring calibration. A convincing demonstration of this was that even random data treated with Mann's methodology would always yield a HS. While I consider it likely that Mann was not fully aware of his statistical problems in 1998, when he first published his analysis, any subsequent use of the HS to support AGW certainly borders on fraud.

    The National Academy of Sciences undertook to investigate the HS controversy and produced an ambivalent report that was used by some to "whitewash" MBH. It mildly criticized the MBH analysis but confusingly claimed that the 20th century was the warmest in the past 400 years - without mentioning that the 16th century was near the depth of the LIA. A Congressional investigation (headed by Rep. Joe Barton) pulled no punches and condemned not only the HS analysis but also the clique of scientists that protected it from legitimate criticism by withholding information, misusing the peer-review process, and even pressuring editors of scientific journals to turn down dissenting papers. The ClimateGate e-mails have served to confirm what had been known or suspected.

    A final word: The IPCC-TAR's case for AGW rested on the claim that the 20th century was "unusual" in the past 1000 years. But it was not. See, for example, the paper by Craig Loehle [E&E 2007], who did not use tree-ring data and showed a MWP substantially warmer than the 20th century. (For other examples, see the NIPCC Summary report.) Besides, there is nothing magic about 1000 years; there are many periods in the Holocene that are even warmer than the MWP.

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    (in TWTW Jan 2, 2010)

    S. Fred Singer, Chairman and President , Science and Environmental Policy Project (SEPP)

    Junk Science #3: IPCC Third Assessment Report (AR-3, 2001): Hockeystick and ClimateGate (CG)

    Jan 2, 2010

    [Note: This is the third of a series of mini-editorials on the junk science influencing the global warmingissue. Other topics will include the IPCC's Assessment Report 4, the UN Environmental Program and some individuals heavily involved in these matters.]

    Has the Climate Really Warmed in the Past 30 Years?

    Around 1996-97, while writing my book Hot Talk Cold Science, I had a chance to study some published tree-ring data [by d'Arrigo and Jacoby] and ice-core data [Dahl-Jensen et al] that showed essentially no warming since 1940. At the same time, the available satellite data also showed essentially no warming since 1979. But all of the surface data did show a warming, and while US temperatures did not exceed those reached in the 1930s, the global temperatures were very much higher. Something didn't quite fit. Could it be that the global data were contaminated by urban heat island effects? Or perhaps by the fact that rural stations worldwide had been closed down after 1970? Could it be that just airports were warming?

    It seemed important to me to check out the available proxy data. The 1998 "hockey-stick" paper by Michael Mann et al. seemed like a good place to start. But I noticed that his analysis of proxy data stopped at 1979, just when things became interesting. I e-mailed him and asked him if post-1980 data were available and why he hadn't included them. He replied brusquely that suitable data were not available. I suspected then and I am more certain now that the reason he didn't use post-1980 data is that they would have showed no warming - and that would have destroyed his calibration and the rationale of the "hockey-stick." I have saved this exchange of e-mails.

    Of course, the hockeystick graph (with proxy data stopping in 1979 and instrumented data showing a steep rise after 1979) became the "clincher" in IPCC-TAR (AR-3): The 20th century was supposed to be the warmest in the past 1000 years. Baloney! The ice-core data of Dahl -Jensen and ocean-sediment data of Keigwin clearly showed the Medieval Warming Period and Little Ice Age. The CG mafia jumped on Soon and Baliunas who had collected many references showing a MWP and LIA. Besides, there was historical evidence supporting Soon-Baliunas. All that was attacked as being purely "local" but not global warming and cooling.

    Craig Loehle has now published a definitive temp record from proxy data (but omitting tree-ring data) that clearly shows a global warming 1000 years ago, exceeding current temperature. Of course, there was nothing ever magic about "1000 years." Everyone agrees that much warmer periods occurred during earlier periods of the Holocene.

    The CG mafia also attacked the satellite data - even after the researchers made minor corrections that produced hardly any change in reported temperature trends. Things looked good for the Hockeystick, and Michael Mann soon became the IPCC's poster boy. I took up the matter again in 2003 when McIntyre and McKitrick started to publish their critiques of the hockeystick. [I served as a reviewer of their first paper in Energy & Environment.] I corresponded extensively with Steve McIntyre in the hope of getting post-1980 proxy data, but he didn't seem very interested. In pursuing the matter further, I came across an e-mail message from Chick Keller claiming to have such proxy temperatures. When I asked for them, he replied that they were not his and he couldn't release them. I understood that, but asked for the source of the data so I could contact the source directly. After repeated attempts to get a reply from him, I concluded that he really did not have such data.

    Five years later I'm still looking to collect more proxy data that would give post-1980 surface temperatures and allow a comparison with instrumented values and with atmospheric temperatures from radiosondes and satellites. Once the CG investigations get underway, we may finally find out how a warming trend was "manufactured" from data that showed no such trend. Truly, we have "manmade" warming after all; except it may all be fake.

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    (in TWTW Dec 26, 2009)

    S. Fred Singer, Chairman and President , Science and Environmental Policy Project (SEPP)

    Junk Science #2: IPCC Second Assessment Report (IPCC-AR-2, 1995, published in 1996)

    Dec 26, 2009

    [Note: This is the second of a series of mini-editorials on the junk science influencing the global warming issue. Other topics will include the IPCC's Assessment Reports 3 and 4, the UN Environmental Program and some individuals heavily involved in these matters.]

    IPCC assessment reports, and particularly their Summaries for Policymakers (SPM), are noted for their selective use of information and their bias to support the political goal of control of fossil fuels in order to fight an alleged anthropogenic global warming (AGW).

    Perhaps the most blatant example is IPCC's Second Assessment Report (SAR), completed in 1995 and published in 1996. Its SPM contains the memorable phrase "the balance of evidence suggests a discernable human influence on global climate." You may recall that this 1996 IPCC report played a key role in the political deliberations that led to the 1997 Kyoto Protocol.

    This ambiguous phrase suggests a group of climate scientists, examining both human and natural influences on climate change, looking at published scientific research, and carefully weighing their decision. Nothing of the sort has ever happened. The IPCC has consistently ignored the major natural influences on climate change and has focused almost entirely on human causes, especially on GH gases and more especially on carbon dioxide, which is linked to industrial activities and therefore "bad" almost by definition.

    How then did the IPCC-SAR arrive at balance of evidence? It was the work of a then-relatively-junior scientist, Dr Benjamin D. Santer of the Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory (LLNL), who has recently re-emerged as a major actor in ClimateGate. As a Convening Lead Author of a crucial IPCC chapter, Santer carefully removed any verbiage denying that human influences might be the major or almost exclusive cause of warming and substituted new language. There is no evidence that he ever consulted any of his fellow IPCC authors, nor do we know who instructed him to make these changes and later approved the text deletions and insertions that fundamentally transformed IPCC-SAR.

    The event is described by Nature [381(1006):539] and in a 1996 WSJ article by the late Professor Frederick Seitz (See also my Science Editorial #2-09). Seitz compared the draft of IPCC Chapter 8 (Detection and Attribution) and the final printed text. He noted that, before printing, key phrases had been deleted from the draft that had earlier been approved by its several scientist-authors. For a full account of these text changes see my Hoover Essay in Public Policy No. 102 [2000] "Climate Policy: From Rio to Kyoto"

    Exec Summary
    Essay pdf
    Essay Notes
    Seitz wrote [WSJ, Aug 13, 1996]:

    "Last week the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change, a United Nations organization regarded by many as the best source of scientific information about the human impact on the earth's climate, released "The Science of Climate Change 1995," its first new report in five years. The report will surely be hailed as the latest and most authoritative statement on global warming. Policy makers and the press around the world will likely view the report as the basis for critical decisions on energy policy that would have an enormous impact on U.S. oil and gas prices and on the international economy.

    This IPCC report, like all others, is held in such high regard largely because it has been peer-reviewed. That is, it has been read, discussed, modified and approved by an international body of experts. These scientists have laid their reputations on the line. But this report is not what it appears to be--it is not the version that was approved by the contributing scientists listed on the title page. In my more than 60 years as a member of the American scientific community, including service as president of both the National Academy of Sciences and the American Physical Society, I have never witnessed a more disturbing corruption of the peer-review process than the events that led to this IPCC report.

    A comparison between the report approved by the contributing scientists and the published version reveals that key changes were made after the scientists had met and accepted what they thought was the final peer-reviewed version. The scientists were assuming that the IPCC would obey the IPCC Rules--a body of regulations that is supposed to govern the panel's actions. Nothing in the IPCC Rules permits anyone to change a scientific report after it has been accepted by the panel of scientific contributors and the full IPCC.

    The participating scientists accepted "The Science of Climate Change" in Madrid last November; the full IPCC accepted it the following month in Rome. But more than 15 sections in Chapter 8 of the report--the key chapter setting out the scientific evidence for and against a human influence over climate--were changed or deleted after the scientists charged with examining this question had accepted the supposedly final text.

    Few of these changes were merely cosmetic; nearly all worked to remove hints of the skepticism with which many scientists regard claims that human activities are having a major impact on climate in general and on global warming in particular.

    The following passages are examples of those included in the approved report but deleted from the supposedly peer-reviewed published version:

    "None of the studies cited above has shown clear evidence that we can attribute the observed [climate] changes to the specific cause of increases in greenhouse gases." "No study to date has positively attributed all or part [of the climate change observed to date] to anthropogenic [man-made] causes." "Any claims of positive detection of significant climate change are likely to remain controversial until uncertainties in the total natural variability of the climate system are reduced." The reviewing scientists used this original language to keep themselves and the IPCC honest. I am in no position to know who made the major changes in Chapter 8; but the report's lead author, Benjamin D. Santer, must presumably take the major responsibility.

    IPCC reports are often called the "consensus" view. If they lead to carbon taxes and restraints on economic growth, they will have a major and almost certainly destructive impact on the economies of the world. Whatever the intent was of those who made these significant changes, their effect is to deceive policy makers and the public into believing that the scientific evidence shows human activities are causing global warming.

    If the IPCC is incapable of following its most basic procedures, it would be best to abandon the entire IPCC process, or at least that part that is concerned with the scientific evidence on climate change, and look for more reliable sources of advice to governments on this important question."

    But in addition to these text changes there are also two key graphs that were doctored in order to convey the impression that anthropogenic influences are dominant. Again, my Hoover essay gives the details.

    1. According to all climate models, GH warming shows a characteristic "fingerprint": a "hot spot" in temperature trend values in the tropical upper troposphere. Michaels and Knappenberger [Nature 384 (1996):522-523] discovered that the IPCC's claimed agreement with observations was spurious and obtained by selecting a convenient segment of the radiosonde temperature data and ignoring the rest.

    2. Santer also claimed that the modeled and observed patterns of geographic surface temperatures were correlated, with the correlation coefficient increasing over time (suggesting to the reader that a growing human component gradually emerged from background noise). I found, however, that Santer had obtained this result by simply deleting from a published graph all the trend lines that disagreed with his desired outcome [Eos 80 (1999):372]. In fact, the original paper had Santer himself as lead author and did not appear in print until after the IPCC report was completed - in contravention of IPCC rules.

    It is interesting that these several documented falsifications went largely unreported and had little impact on scientists and politicians, who went on to support the passage of the Kyoto Protocol -- in spite of the absence of any scientific support. A wide-ranging investigation of ClimateGate may yet serve to bring this IPCC triple-malfeasance to light.

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    (in TWTW Dec 19, 2009)

    S. Fred Singer, Chairman and President , Science and Environmental Policy Project (SEPP)

    Junk Science #1: IPCC

    Dec 19, 2009

    [Note: This will be the first of a series of mini-editorials on the junk science influencing the global warming issue. Other topics will include the IPCC's Assessment Reports 2, 3, and 4, the UN Environmental Program and some individuals heavily involved in these matters. ]

    In 1988, two UN agencies, the UN Environment Programme (UNEP) and the UN World Meteorological Organization (WMO), set up a climate science panel, the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC). Its Charter directs the IPCC to assess worldwide scientific, technical and socio-economic literature relevant to the understanding of the risk of human-induced climate change.

    And indeed, the IPCC has steadfastly pursued this goal and has given a short shrift to any possible natural influences on climate. (This despite the fact that the historic record shows unending changes in climate, both warming and cooling, on time scales ranges from years to eons.) It would be strange indeed to think that such natural changes stopped with the onset of the Industrial Revolution, but this logical point seems to have been ignored by the IPCC and many others. The IPCC charter also states that IPCC will assess the science on a "comprehensive, objective, open and transparent" basis. Unfortunately, none of these aims have been realized - as was brought home by the recent revelations contained in the e-mails of ClimateGate.

    The first IPCC science assessment, FAR or AR-1, was published in 1990 and formed the science basis for the Rio Climate Summit of 1992 that led to the Framework Convention on Climate Change (FCCC or "Global Climate Treaty"), which in turn forms the basis for the 1997 Kyoto Protocol, the COP (Conference of the Parties - to Kyoto), and all national and international efforts to control the emission of greenhouse gases.

    The Summary for Policymakers (SPM) of IPCC-FAR concluded that observations and Greenhouse (GH) models (all of which show a steady increase of global temperature as the level of GH gases rises) are broadly consistent. They ignore not only the lengthy period of cooling (from 1940 to 1975) but also the existence of weather satellites, which, at that time, had shown no warming since 1979 (when data from MSU - microwave sounding units -- became available) -- or even a slight cooling. No wonder that IPCC denied the existence of such 'inconvenient truth.' To correct such biases and deficiencies, we set up the NIPCC (Non-governmental International Panel on Climate Change) to examine the same peer-reviewed science literature as the IPCC, but including also papers ignored by the IPCC. Our conclusion is given by the title of the NIPCC summary report of 2008: "Nature, not human activity, rules the climate."

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    SEPP Science Editorial #35-2009
    (in TWTW Nov 7, 2009)

    S. Fred Singer, Chairman and President , Science and Environmental Policy Project (SEPP)

    No Consensus about Anthropogenic Global Warming (AGW)

    Nov 7, 2009

    There is a general impression, based on flawed analyses [Oreskes in Science 2004] that scientists support nearly unanimously the so-called scientific consensus on AGW. But more than 31,000 scientists and engineers disagree and have signed a petition that affirms their disbelief in AGW [for a listing of names see pp. 745-855, in Climate Change Reconsidered, available at ]

    There is even widespread belief that major scientific societies, like the American Geophysical Union (AGU), have polled their membership before issuing formal Statements which essentially endorse the IPCC conclusion that the temperature rise of the past 50 years has been caused by human activity - and more specifically by the emission of greenhouse (GH) gases. Not so: This false impression seems to be due to a misleading survey result published in an AGU journal [P. Doran and M. Kendall-Zimmerman, Eos 90, 20 Jan 2009, pp 22-23].

    We will discuss this survey here and the question of bias and confounding factors.

    The Eos authors report the response of 3146 earth scientists to two questions:

    1. Has the climate warmed, cooled, or remained constant -- compared to pre-1800?

    Regardless of what one may believe about the causes of climate change, the answer must be: 'Warming.' Pre-1800 refers to the Little Ice Age, which ended around 1800. [If the question were changed to 'compared to 1998,' then the answer would be 'Cooling.']

    2. Do you think human activity is a significant factor in changing global mean temperature?

    Here the answer will depend on what is meant by 'significant' -- and whether 'human activity' should include urbanization, land changes, agriculture, irrigation, deforestation, etc. Many might answer 'Yes' - even if they don't think that GH gases are a significant factor in climate change.

    The authors report that their selection involved faculty in relevant academic departments and employees of government establishments. Presumably, they did not include retirees or those in the private sector. The authors claim that known dissenters were included. But my casual inquiries did not find anyone who participated.

    Most of the responders described themselves as geochemists; only 5% claimed to be 'climate scientists.' (But where are the 'atmospheric scientists'?) The widely quoted result of the survey is a 97.4% 'Yes' to question #2; it is based on a sample of only 77 responses from 'actively publishing climate scientists.' Disregarding the claimed accuracy, what can we deduce from this response? That these are likely individuals who derive large research grants and contracts from a federal budget that almost exclusively supports research designed to affirm AGW. [Of this same group, only 96.2% (rather than 100%) thought that the climate had warmed since 1800. It would be interesting to learn who these individuals are.] By contrast, on question #2, less than half of 'economic geologists' (103 responses) said 'Yes' and slightly more than one-third of 'meteorologists' (36 responses) said 'No.'

    The American Physical Society (APS) in 2007 published a position statement enthusiastically endorsing AGW, without reference to the views of its members. Recently, some 200 APS members and Fellows have petitioned the APS Council to change or withdraw the Statement, in view of scientific evidence that is counter to AGW. Perhaps there will develop a similar initiative within the AGU.

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    SEPP Science Editorial #34-2009
    (in TWTW Oct 31, 2009)

    S. Fred Singer, Chairman and President , Science and Environmental Policy Project (SEPP)

    The rebirth of the hockey-stick?

    Oct 31, 2009

    The hockeystick is attempting a comeback - and instead of relying on tree rings, it now relies on ancient midge larvae in lake sediments. It's all part of a determined effort to show that the 20th century is 'unusual' -- and therefore supports the IPCC claim of AGW.

    Here is the press release:

    WASHINGTON (AFP) Oct 19, 2009: Sediment cores from a small Arctic lake in Canada stretching back 200,000 years show unprecedented gains in global warming since 1950, indicating human activity is the likely cause. "The past few decades have been unique in the past 200,000 years in terms of the changes we see in the biology and chemistry recorded in the cores," University of Colorado glaciologist Yarrow Axford said in the study by Canadian and US researchers. "We see clear evidence for warming in one of the most remote places on Earth at a time when the Arctic should be cooling because of natural processes," added the chief author of the study published in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences.

    One suspicious item is the fact that the editors of PNAS, in their obvious desire to publish this paper, assigned its review to an editor [Mark Brenner, U of FL] of their own choosing. So the paper has not been peer reviewed in the usual sense; this depreciates its credibility and also that of the PNAS, particularly in a contentious area like climate science.

    It is difficult for a non-specialist on midges like me to judge the quality of the data. But it would have been reassuring if similar results were to be published from other lakes in the Arctic, of which there are many thousands, rather than from just a single one. Obviously, even if there is a warming, one cannot identify its cause from the data presented. Actual temperature data of the Arctic, taken with thermometers, show a peak in 1935 followed by a cooling trend that reversed only in the 1970s.

    Of course, there has been warming since 1950, a low point in temperature. First, we had the sudden temp jump in 1976-77 (certainly not caused by CO2); then the large El Nino warming of 1998. How can the authors possibly claim a human influence? In addition, their claim that there should have been a significant 'cooling' trend over just 50 years from astronomical causes makes no sense either.

    Of interest, below, is the abstract of what appears to be a very similar study (May 2004), complete with diatoms and chironomids (midge larvae), but with dissimilar results

    Similarities and discrepancies between chironomid- and diatom-inferred temperature reconstructions through the Holocene at Lake 850, northern Sweden.

    A quantitative temperature reconstruction using chironomids and diatoms has been attempted from a high-elevation lake in northern Sweden (Lake 850). Since 7000 cal. years BP, both chironomids and diatoms recorded similar temperatures (in the range of present-day estimates) but the correspondence between chironomid and diatom-inferred temperatures was highest in the recent Holocene (2500 cal. years BP to the present). Between ca. 9000 and 7000 cal. years BP, inferred temperatures from chironomids were warmer than today (ca. 12°C), in accord with other climate reconstruction using pollen, plant macrofossils and oxygen isotope analysis in lakes of northern Scandinavia. In contrast, diatom analysis did not infer warmer temperatures during this period. The insensitivity of diatoms to temperature in Lake 850 between 9000 and 7000 cal. years BP could be attributed to other environmental factors affecting the diatom assemblages through time, especially lake-water pH. Diatom-inferred pH showed a gradual decrease (0.5 pH units) between 9000 and 7000 cal. years BP, while it remained more or less constant since 7000 cal. years BP. Changes in lake-water pH acting on diatoms seem to mask the effect of climate, leading to temperature reconstructions that are inaccurate. Ways of disentangling climate and other environmental factors when attempting climate reconstruction should be further investigated.

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    SEPP Science Editorial #33-2009
    (in TWTW Oct 24, 2009)

    S. Fred Singer, Chairman and President , Science and Environmental Policy Project (SEPP)

    What has happened to global warming since 1998

    Oct 24, 2009

    The respected science journalist Richard Kerr discusses the anxieties of the 'warmistas,' who try to explain away the fact that the climate has not been warming since 1998. They now admit that the data are sound and that indeed there has been a slight cooling trend in the last few years. The only exception is the data compilation by Jim Hansen's GISS which still shows warmer years after 1998 - contrary to the compilations of NOAA-NCDC, and of Hadley-CRU. But GISS is simply contrarian, as can be seen from the satellite data that show no warming either.

    Now as we have pointed out repeatedly, this lack of a warming trend should not be taken as evidence against the existence of AGW; but it clearly indicates that the IPCC discussion is quite incomplete, since it omits any forcing that would counteract, or more than counteract, the warming effects of GH gases. This time around, unlike during the cooling of 1940-75, the warmistas don't blame the cooling on aerosols. Instead, they seem to be about evenly divided between those who attribute the lack of warming to a change in ocean circulation and those who blame the sun [Rind and Lean]. Except that in the latter case, Rind and Lean attempt to explain the data on a change in Total Solar Irradiance [TSI]; they seem to not have heard of the climate effects of cosmic rays, yet they refer to TSI as 'solar activity.'

    What I find interesting is that the modelers have now admitted that GH models can occasionally produce ten-year long periods of no warming; I'm willing to accept this. According to the modelers even 15-year periods can occur, but very rarely. So perhaps in five years we will be able to judge whether the current absence of warming is a stochastic event or due to real climate forcing, be it a change in ocean circulation or solar activity.

    Wouldn't it be prudent therefore to delay long-term commitments to mitigation until we understand more fully the cause of this puzzling absence of warming and its apparent contradiction to greenhouse models?

    Ref: R. Kerr. Science 326. pp. 28-29, Oct 2, 2009

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    SEPP Science Editorial #31-2009
    (in TWTW Oct 10, 2009)

    S. Fred Singer, Chairman and President , Science and Environmental Policy Project (SEPP)

    UNEP updates IPCC and brings back the 'Hockeystick' (Part 2)

    Oct 10, 2009

    Well, it seems that UNEP has now removed the Hockeystick graph (on page 5 of its report, which claims to 'update' IPCC - I wonder, however, if IPCC agrees). They must have been greatly embarrassed when it was revealed that they copied the graph from an obscure Norwegian biologist, who found it on Wikipedia! "Those damn dirty bloggers muck up the reporting of science to the masses yet again." Climate Report

    See also: "UN climate reports: They lie." The hockeystick flap again; this time by UNEP not IPCC Climate Reports They Lie

    But this is not the end of the story: There is also a problem with the new graph on p.5 of this 'modified' UNEP report (that supposedly updates IPCC-4) at It uses the problematic GISS data for global surface temperature, which shows post-1998 temp that are warmer than 1998 -- in contradiction to Hadley-CRU and to NOAA-NCDC!** And of course, the satellite MSU data (both UAH and RSS) disagree with GISS also. So we willl just have to get after UNEP until they change the graph again. Stay tuned.

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    SEPP Science Editorial #30-2009
    (in TWTW Oct 3, 2009)

    Ken Haapala, Executive Vice President , Science and Environmental Policy Project (SEPP)

    UNEP updates IPCC and brings back the 'Hockeystick' (Part 1)

    Oct 3, 2009

    The UN's Environment Program has released a report that claims to update IPCC-4. It is edited by Catherine McMullen and Jason Jabbour and can be downloaded at More on UN Climate Report

    A few gems from the UNEP Report are shown below. Report My comments are in the square brackets [&]:

    "The pace and scale of climate change may now be outstripping even the most sobering predictions of the Intergovernmental Panel of Climate Change (IPCC), according to the findings of a new report by the United Nations Environment Programme (UNEP)." [Just shows that the IPCC cannot be trusted]

    "This analysis of the very latest, peer-reviewed science indicates that many predictions at the upper end of the IPCC's forecasts are becoming ever more likely."[Meanwhile, the climate has been cooling and will likely continue to cool]

    "Some scientists are now warning that sea levels could rise by up to two meters by 2100 and five to ten times that over following centuries." [That's more than ten times the NIPCC estimate; we'll soon see whos right]

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    SEPP Science Editorial #29-2009
    (in TWTW Sep 19, 2009)

    S. Fred Singer, Chairman and President , Science and Environmental Policy Project (SEPP)

    Short-term climate prediction: An unrealistic project

    Sep 19, 2009

    Two widely acclaimed research papers have tried to explain the current lack of warming in terms of natural influences on climate, but have limited their discussion entirely to internal oscillations of the ocean atmosphere system. I do not find this explanation satisfactory. First, there is no theory to account for the various internal oscillations and they do not appear in current climate models. More to the point, the authors neglect the effect of any external forcing from variable solar activity. Yet geological evidence conclusively demonstrates such solar-forcing effects on climate; it is difficult to account in other ways for the detailed correlation, observed in stalagmites, between carbon-14, a cosmic-ray produced isotope, and oxygen-18, the conventional indicator of terrestrial climate. While the exact mechanism at work is not completely settled, it is quite unrealistic to assume that this well-established process, which operated for millennia during the Holocene, is no longer operating today. It is unreasonable also to assume also that two independent forcings are causing decadal-scale climate variations. I am therefore of the opinion that solar activity provides the trigger for the quasi-periodic internal oscillations, like PDO etc, -- which is not a new idea.

    In addition, both papers subscribe to the basic (and unsupported) IPCC claim of a substantial anthropogenic contribution from GH gases - contrary to the NIPCC summary report "Nature - Not Human Activity" Rules the Climate"

    1. "Long-term natural variability and 20th century climate change" by Kyle L. Swanson, George Sugihara, and Anastasios A. Tsonis; PNAS, 14 September 2009, 10.1073/pnas.0908699106 - expanding on their paper in GRL (2009)

    Abstract: Global mean temperature at the Earth's surface responds both to externally imposed forcings, such as those arising from anthropogenic greenhouse gases, as well as to natural modes of variability internal to the climate system. Variability associated with these latter processes, generally referred to as natural long-term climate variability, arises primarily from changes in oceanic circulation. Here we present a technique that objectively identifies the component of inter-decadal global mean surface temperature attributable to natural long-term climate variability. Removal of that hidden variability from the actual observed global mean surface temperature record delineates the externally forced climate signal, which is monotonic, accelerating warming during the 20th century.

    2. Keenlyside et al. 2008, Nature 453, 84 - 88 Coauthor Prof Mojib Latif, from the Leibniz Institute of Marine Sciences at Kiel University in Germany, has been looking at the influence of cyclical changes of ocean currents and temperatures in the Atlantic, a feature known as the North Atlantic Oscillation. When he factored these natural fluctuations into his global climate model, he found the results would bring the rise in average global temperatures to an abrupt halt. He told more than 1500 gathered in Geneva at the UN's World Climate Conference (WCC-3 Aug 31-Sept 4, 2009) that in the next few years a natural cooling trend would dominate over any warming caused by humans. The NAO is now moving into a colder phase. Breaking with climate-change orthodoxy, he said NAO cycles were probably responsible for some of the strong global warming seen in the past three decades. "But how much? The jury is still out," he told the conference.

    Latif claimed that NAO cycles also explained the recent recovery of the Sahel region of Africa from the droughts of the 1970s and 1980s. Few climate scientists go as far as Latif, an IPCC author. But more and more agree that the short-term prognosis for climate change is much less certain than once thought. James Murphy, head of climate prediction at the UK Met Office, agreed and linked the NAO to Indian monsoons, Atlantic hurricanes and sea ice in the Arctic. "The oceans are key to decadal natural variability," he said.

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    SEPP Science Editorial #28-2009
    (in TWTW Sep 5, 2009)

    S. Fred Singer, Chairman and President , Science and Environmental Policy Project (SEPP)

    Critique of "Recent Warming Reverses Long-Term Arctic Cooling"

    Sep 5, 2009

    Critique of "Recent Warming Reverses Long-Term Arctic Cooling" by D.S. Kaufman, et al, published in Science, 4 September 2009.

    Abstract: The temperature history of the first millennium AD is sparsely documented, especially in the Arctic. Here we present a synthesis of decadally-resolved proxy temperature records from polewards of 60N covering the last 2000 years that highlights a pervasive cooling from the early part of the first millennium through the Middle Ages and into the Little Ice Age. A 2000-year transient climate simulation with the Community Climate System Model shows the same temperature sensitivity to changes in insolation as does our proxy reconstruction, supporting the inference that this long-term trend was caused by the steady orbitally-driven reduction in summer insolation. The cooling trend was reversed during the 20th century, with four of the five warmest decades of our 2000-year-long reconstruction in the last half-century (1950-2000 AD). =============================================================== Based on a quick reading, here are just four problems with this paper (marked in red in the Abstract):

    1. Actual thermometer data (Polyakov et al) - not indirect proxy data -- for the Arctic are available for the 20th century, showing the warmest years around 1935. See also Soon (PhysGeogr 2009). This can also be seen clearly in the CRUTEM data of their Fig 2 (black curve).

    2. The Abstract mentions the [warm] 'Middle Ages' and the [cold] 'Little Ice Age.' Both are well established; for example, Loehle and many other researchers (e.g., Dahl-Jensen) show the Medieval Warm Period with higher temperatures than the past 30 years. But these and other key references, such as the extensive compilation at are never mentioned. Fig 3 of this paper goes back to the discredited hockey stick temp curve of Mann (which even the IPCC no longer uses).

    3. The Abstract tries to relate the temperature changes to insolation changes that are 'orbitally driven.' This is highly unlikely: orbital changes are much slower, and generally measured in multi-millennia, while significant temperature changes occur on a time scale of decades and centuries (Singer and Avery, Unstoppable Global Warming - every 1500 years).

    4. Most important: The implication that warming by GH gases 'reversed the cooling trend' is contradicted by the NIPCC summary report "Nature - Not Human Activity - Rules the Climate"

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    SEPP Science Editorial #27-2009
    (in TWTW Aug 29, 2009)

    S. Fred Singer, Chairman and President , Science and Environmental Policy Project (SEPP)

    Sun spot frequency has an unexpectedly strong influence on cloud formation and precipitation

    Aug 29, 2009

    Climate modelers seem puzzled that small fluctuations in total solar irradiance (TSI) appear to have large influence on the climate. They feel it necessary to take recourse to complicated mechanisms. For example, Gerald Meehl of the US-National Center for Atmospheric Research (NCAR) and his team [1] have been able to calculate how the extremely small variations in TSI bring about a comparatively significant change in the system "Atmosphere-Ocean" They try to explain how 'sunspot frequency' has an unexpectedly strong influence on cloud formation and precipitation, according to a press release from the GFZ (German Research Centre for Geosciences), the home of Katja Matthes, a co-author of the study. One suggested mechanism is a solar-UV enhancement of stratospheric ozone, leading to circulation changes in the troposphere, a possibility explored earlier by British researcher Joanna Haigh. Another complicated mechanism suggested is increased heating and evaporation from cloud-free regions of the ocean, with the additional moisture transported into the equatorial zone, followed by some kind of positive feedback. But the answer may really be very simple: the tiny (~0.1%) variation of TSI during the solar cycle is only the '1tip of the iceberg.' The much stronger variability is that of solar activity (solar wind and magnetic fields), which explains the observed modulation of Galactic Cosmic Radiation (GCR); in turn, the GCR affect cloudiness in the lower troposphere (the 'Svensmark mechanism'). And what makes me so sure about the GCR hypothesis? It is the observational evidence from isotopic data in stalagmites (shown in the NIPCC summary report [2] and used there to challenge the IPCC conclusions).

    But the GCR explanation is not congenial to AGW alarmists, who have been brainwashed by the IPCC. The latest (2007) IPCC report ignores the cosmic-ray effects, and by focusing only on TSI, disingenuously considers solar influences on climate to be insignificant when compared to the forcing by GH gases.

    In this sense then, the paper by Meehl et al constitutes some kind of conceptual breakthrough -even if it is not correct in all its conclusions. Professor Reinhard Huettl, Chairman of the Scientific Executive Board of the GFZ agrees: "The study is important for comprehending the natural climatic variability, which - on different time scales - is significantly influenced by the sun. In order to better understand the anthropogenically induced climate change and to make more reliable future climate scenarios, it is very important to understand the underlying natural climatic variability."

    1. Meehl, G.A., J.M. Arblaster, K. Matthes, F. Sassi, and H. van Loon (2009), Amplifying the Pacific climate system response to a small 11 year solar cycle forcing, Science, 325, 1114-1118. [We note that one of the coauthors is Harry van Loon, a pioneer in studies of solar influences on climate.]

    2. NIPCC summary report Nature - Not Human Activity - Rules the Climate

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    SEPP Science Editorial #23-2009
    (in TWTW Jul 25, 2009)

    S. Fred Singer, Chairman and President , Science and Environmental Policy Project (SEPP)

    Human Heat Input or GH Effect? A false choice

    Jul 25, 2009

    Two recent papers in peer-reviewed journals claim that the direct input of heat into the earth's atmosphere by human energy generation is comparable to solar heating -- and more important than the calculated greenhouse effect from fossil-fuel burning. The paper by Nickolaenko from the Ukrainian Academy of Sciences is published in the Journal of Geophysical Research (2009), while the paper by Nordell from the Technical University of Lulea in Northern Sweden is published in the International Journal of Global Warming, vol 1, 2009. [Alas, all this proves is that peer-review doesn't guarantee correctness.] These two papers have caused much jubilation among skeptics of AGW - but such jubilation may be premature. Simple considerations show that the ratio of heat input from the sun compared to human energy activity is of the order of 10,000. In other words, one hour of solar input is equivalent to one year of human energy generation and heat dissipation. It is hardly necessary to read beyond the abstract to reach such a conclusion. A simple back-of-the-envelope calculation may be sufficient.

    Nickolaenko, A. P. (2009), Concept of planetary thermal balance and global warming, J. Geophys. Res., 114, A04310, doi:10.1029/2008JA013753.
    Abstract: The concept of Earth's thermal balance is used to suggest that solar energy absorbed by a planet is equal to the heat radiated from that planet. Such an approach substantially simplifies estimating the anthropogenic warming of the planet. We compare the solar irradiance with the current heat production caused by burning different kinds of fuel. We show that anthropogenic heating is able to cause global warming of 1°C in a century.

    Just reading the abstract suggests that the paper is nonsense and involves a huge numerical error. One can compare human energy generation with solar -- just by rough estimation:

    Heat/sec generated by human activity: ~ 2kW/person x 6*10^9 persons = ~12*10^12 Watt Solar heating 240 W/m2 x 4pi*(6.4*10^6m)^2 = 10^5*10^12 Watt. Even extreme assumptions for 2050, of 10 billion people consuming 10kW yields = 100*10^12 watt, just 0.1% of solar input According to a report in Global Fuels and Refining Today, the Swedish findings could have a "devastating impact" on supposed climate-friendly solutions, including biofuels combustion and nuclear power, since such schemes cut net CO2 but don't reduce heat emissions. "Our study shows that anthropogenic heat emissions are the main cause (three-fourths) of global warming," researcher Bo Nordell told in an exclusive interview. Given this conclusion, we then asked Nordell: If CO2 sequestration isn't important for stopping global warming, then what if anything can be done to stop it in the next few decades? "More efficient use of fossil energy reduces the global warming - this is also the least expensive method," Nordell said. It has been shown that 40% to 50% reduction of the energy consumption is feasible in most industries. Replacing fossil fuels with renewable energy also reduces the net heat emissions, especially any renewables (such as solar and wind) that don't release heat to make energy, he said.

    The study found that the net heat emissions from the industrial age (from 1880 to 2000) correspond to 74% of the earth's accumulated heat - that is, global warming. "The missing heat (26%) must have other causes, e.g., the greenhouse effect, the natural variations in the climate and/or the underestimation of net heat emissions," "Since net heat emissions account for most of the global warming, there is no or little reason for carbon dioxide sequestration," Nordell concluded. Asked about the urban heat island effect on global warming - caused by the expansion of cities during the past 130 years - Nordell said that "in our opinion, heat islands have the same origin - it is mainly a result of heat emission in cities." [Nordell is correct about UHI.]

    About forty years ago, local heat pollution from power stations was considered to be a big environmental problem -- until it was discovered that fish and other marine biota thrived in the warm region of the cooling water. In my book The Changing Global Environment, published by Reidel Publishing Company in 1975, I actually compared (page 42) solar warming with thermal power generation in the Los Angeles basin. In 1970, this area of 4,000 square miles generated thermal power equivalent to more than 5% of solar energy absorbed at the ground. I estimated then that by the year 2000, this value would rise to 18 percent, based on extrapolated electric power consumption with a doubling time of ten years and other energy at a lower rate. Fig 8 showed the expected heat released by automobiles, by residential-commercial heating, and by electric power generation; the sum being the total thermal power. Even if these estimates are not quite correct, the waste heat loads are large and can certainly lead to changes in local climate.

    This released heat forms an important part of the Urban Heat Island Effect. Another part comes from solar heat, stored during the day in concrete and other structures and released during the night, and from reduced evaporation. These effects are of course quite independent from known difficulties of temperature measurements in urban areas, which often suffer from poor placement of observing stations and other problems, as discussed by Anthony Watts. See:

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    SEPP Science Editorial #14-2009
    (in TWTW May 16, 2009)

    S. Fred Singer, Chairman and President , Science and Environmental Policy Project (SEPP)

    The IPCC's Evidence for Anthropogenic GW deconstructed #3

    May 16, 2009

    In our SciEd #13-2009, we pointed to IPCC's omission of significant forcings when trying to compare model simulation with real atmospheric temperature data. Here from

    Apart from the direct localised pollution caused by smoky fires, black carbon has a direct warming effect on the air when suspended in the atmosphere, and also contributes to melting of glaciers and polar ice by settling on the surface and changing its albedo. According to the article, recent research suggests that soot may be responsible for 18% of global warming, compared to 40% for carbon dioxide. And the effect on Arctic ice may be even more marked: black carbon could account for 40% of the loss.

    Given the certainty of so many scientists that they understand the drivers of climate change, and that carbon dioxide dominates, it is sobering to note that the last IPCC Assessment Report, published just two years ago, makes no mention of the significant effect of soot. Moving from certainty that all drivers were accounted for to suddenly finding a basic 18% error is not calculated to build confidence in the state of knowledge. But the effect of black carbon now seems to be generally acknowledged, as witnessed by the recent unprecedented agreement of both climate activists and sceptics in the US Senate to instruct the Environmental Protection Agency to make a study of options to reduce levels of soot entering the atmosphere.

    The problem is that, if climate modellers have completely left out a factor which appears to account for nearly one fifth of climate change, what else might they have overlooked or underestimated? The obvious answer is the role of the Sun, where most mainstream scientists dismiss the changes in total radiance as trivial in climate terms, while many sceptics insist that its effect is far more complex and significant than that. They also point to the well-established historical correlation between sunspot numbers and weather patterns. Periods of low activity correlate with poor harvests and high food prices due to cooler weather in mid-latitudes. Since the Sun is now entering a period of extremely low activity, we can expect to see its influence on the weather over the next decade or so if a causative correlation is valid.

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    SEPP Science Editorial #13-2009
    (in TWTW Apr 18, 2009)

    S. Fred Singer, Chairman and President , Science and Environmental Policy Project (SEPP)

    The IPCC's Evidence for Anthropogenic GW deconstructed #2

    Apr 18, 2009

    The IPCC claims, with near certainty, that the temperature history of the 20th century can be explained in terms of a combination of anthropogenic and natural forcings. This claim is entirely based on curve fitting with the use of adjustable parameters. It is also based on the forcings shown by IPCC that do not include, e.g., the forcing due to changing solar activity  a major influence on climate. [IPCC-AR4 shows solar forcing since 1750 as only 0.1 W/m2, compared to GH gases of >2.1 W/m2] Quoting Dr Norman Rogers:

    "The IPCC has tried very hard to convince us that the climate models can reproduce the 20th century climate. They have to. If the models cant do that, how good are they? Allowing each modeling group to customize forcing to make its model show a good fit is unscientific. It is not a minor error. It is very bad science and there is no excuse for trying to fool people with fudged graphs. Adding speculative solar forcing in the early 20th century suggests cherry-picking in order to make the fit look better. Clearly, the IPCC is engaging in slanting the presentation for propaganda reasons. This is not the first time that the IPCC has engaged in this type of behavior. The well-known hockey-stick scandal associated with the 2001 report is another. This is far from being the only defect in the IPCC reports. Dozens of commentators have pointed out many more inconsistencies."

    The IPCC claim that models [which one of the more than 20?] can uniquely match the (global mean surface) temperatures of the 20th century is just not credible. I view it purely as an exercise in 'curve fitting,' achieved by arbitrarily choosing several adjustable parameters. I note with some amusement that IPCC partisans still maintain this claim -- even after the recent discovery that Black Carbon aerosols account for much of observed warming. Will the IPCC now adjust their choice of parameters to match the observed temperature record by including this new forcing?

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    SEPP Science Editorial #12-2009
    (in TWTW Apr 11, 2009)

    S. Fred Singer, Chairman and President , Science and Environmental Policy Project (SEPP)

    The IPCC's Evidence for Anthropogenic GW deconstructed

    Apr 11, 2009

    The IPCC claims, with near certainty, that the temperature history of the 20th century can be explained in terms of a combination of anthropogenic and natural forcings. This claim is entirely based on curve fitting with the use of adjustable parameters. It is also based on the forcings shown by IPCC that do not include, for example, the forcing due to changing solar activity -a major influence on climate. In particular:

  • While the forcing from GH gases can be reasonably well estimated, its effect on climate is highly uncertain - mainly because of uncertainties about cloud microphysics and the unknown amount (and even the sign) of feedback from clouds and water vapor. For example, IPCC's climate models show a climate sensitivity typically ranging from 1.5 degC to 4.5 and higher. (Stainforth et al, Nature 2005, have shown that a certain choice of cloud parameters can get values as high as 11.5 degC.) In fact, the absence of agreement between patterns (-fingerprints) of observed and calculated temperature trends leads to climate sensitivities of 0.5 degC or even less.
  • The forcings from aerosols are highly uncertain, particularly the indirect effects. This can be seen clearly from the IPCC's graph showing such forcing. In addition, aerosol forcings have a particular geographic and temporal dependence, which is often not incorporated consistently into climate models. Finally, 'black carbon' and 'mineral dust' introduce additional uncertainties that are not even discussed by the IPCC.
  • Major internal climate oscillations, such as the North Atlantic Oscillation and the Pacific Decadal Oscillation, are not incorporated into current climate models and must be brought in on an ad hoc basis in order to try to explain observed 20th century climate changes.
  • The IPCC's treatment of solar effects is disingenuous. Their forcing table only shows changes in Total Solar Irradiance (TSI), which are much too small to produce appreciable climate effects. On the other hand, changes in solar activity, by modulating cosmic ray intensity, can change cloudiness and thereby produce a major impact on climate. But the IPCC totally ignores such effects.

    In view of these many uncertainties, the IPCC claim that models can uniquely match the (global mean surface) temperatures of the 20th cy is just not credible. I view it as an exercise in 'curve fitting,' achieved by arbitrarily choosing several adjustable parameters. I note with some amusement that they still maintain this claim --even after the temperature record (of SSTs) had recently been corrected. Will they now adjust their parameters?

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    SEPP Science Editorial #8-09
    (in TWTW Feb 28, 2009)

    S. Fred Singer, Chairman and President , Science and Environmental Policy Project (SEPP)

    Why don't we see any Anthropogenic Greenhouse Warming (AGW) in the Climate record?

    Feb 28, 2009

    After all, CO2 is a GH gas whose level is increasing because of fossil-fuel burning. So where is AGW?

    Using a number of lines of evidence, we suggest that there has been little if any warming after 1940 that can be assigned to the anthropogenic increase in GH gases. Nor is there any significant AGW pre-1940. We have used proxy data such as ice-core bore holes, tree rings, corals, etc. as well as instrumented data from the surface and satellites and have tried to explain the reported SST increases as an artifact of the observational method.

    Much of the confusion has come about from drawing straight-line trends through data sets that showed clear evidence of sudden 'jumps' that had nothing to do with GH gases. Other statistical problems involved selective use of data and inappropriate 'data-smoothing' procedures.

    Our conclusion is that because of negative feedbacks the Climate Sensitivity is quite small, well below 0.5 degC for doubling of CO2 - in line with the conclusions of several other investigations.

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    SEPP Science Editorial #7-09
    (in TWTW Feb 14, 2009)

    S. Fred Singer, Chairman and President , Science and Environmental Policy Project (SEPP)

    Cost-Benefit Analysis of Climate Change and the Lifetime of CO2

    Feb 14, 2009

    Economists seem to be making a career out of applying the tools of cost-benefit analysis (CBA) to the climate problem, ending up most recently with the truly grotesque conclusions of the Stern Review. {Nearly two decades ago, I wrote that Wm Cline (The Economics of Global Warming, 1992) was using unrealistically low discount rates to justify huge present costs in order to avoid speculative future damages.}

    But as other economists have convincingly demonstrated (Mendelsohn et al, The Impact of Climate Change on the US Economy, 1994), a modest 2-3 degC greenhouse warming would lead to overall benefits rather than damages. Pray then, what happens to cost-benefit analysis?

    Well, they found a new wrinkle: "Catastrophic" warming. As Ron Bailey of Reason magazine tells the story [Reason Online, 10 Feb 2009 ]: How much should we pay to avoid the tiny risk of total destruction? Harvard University economist Martin Weitzman raised the issue by putting forth a Dismal Theorem -- arguing that some consequences, however unlikely, would be so disastrous that conventional cost-benefit analysis should not apply.

    The IPCC-AR4 finds that climate sensitivity is "likely to be in the range 2 to 4.5 degrees Celsius, with a best estimate of 3 degrees, and is very unlikely to be less than 1.5 degrees. Values substantially higher than 4.5 degrees Celsius cannot be excluded." Without going into detail, Weitzman assumes that uncertainties over values higher than 4.5 degrees Celsius can yield catastrophic climate change.

    Then again, Bailey continues, perhaps Weitzman is premature in declaring the death of cost-benefit analysis. Yale University economist William Nordhaus certainly thinks so and has written a persuasive critique of Weitzman's dismal conclusions. First, Nordhaus notes that Weitzman assumes that societies are so risk-averse that they would be willing to spend unlimited amounts of money to avert the infinitesimal probability that civilization will be destroyed. Nordhaus then shows that Weitzman's dismal theorem implies that the world would be willing to spend $10 trillion to prevent a one-in-100 billion chance of being hit by an asteroid. But people do not spend such vast sums in order to avoid low-probability catastrophic risks. For example, humanity spends perhaps $4 million annually to find and track possibly dangerous asteroids.

    Nordhaus also notes that catastrophic climate change is not the only thing we might worry about. Other low-probability civilization-destroying risks include "biotechnology, strangelets, runaway computer systems, nuclear proliferation, rogue weeds and bugs, nano-technology, emerging tropical diseases, alien invaders, asteroids, enslavement by advanced robots, and so on." If we applied Weitzman's analysis to our individual lives, none of us would ever get out of bed for fear of dying from a slip in the shower or a car accident on the way to work.

    Weitzman's analysis also assumes that humanity will not have the time to learn about any impending catastrophic impacts from global warming. But mid-course corrections are possible with climate change.

    People would notice if the average temperature began to increase rapidly, for example, and would try to counteract it by cutting emissions, deploying low-carbon technologies, or even engaging in geoengineering. SEPP: Only one thing might save Weitzman's bleak assessment from Nordhaus' devastating analysis: the 'Bern formula.' BF deals with the 'lifetime' of CO2 emitted into the atmosphere and considers its removal by various natural processes. As opposed to calculations that postulate a decay using a simple 'half-life' of around 50 to 100 years, the BF leads to the conclusion that about half of emitted CO2 will survive for centuries and even millennia. The BF has been enshrined into 'truth' not only by the Bern group (Joos et al), but also by IPCC, James Hansen, David Archer (U of Chicago), and (most recently) by Susan Solomon et al in PNAS [2009] Irreversible climate change due to carbon dioxide emissions. Susan Solomon, Gian- Kasper Plattner, Reto Knutti, and Pierre Friedlingstein. Proc. Natl. Acad. Sci. USA. 2009; 106:1704-1709.

    If the Bern formula were really correct, then the 'peak value' of CO2 would govern the fate of the climate. 'Mid-course' corrections would be ineffective if a substantial fraction of emitted CO2 really had - for all practical purposes - an infinite lifetime. The Nordhaus analysis would have to be modified. One thing can save it though. The BF could be all wrong -- as I once claimed in an impromptu debate with Eric Sundquist (USGS-WHOI) at an AGU Council meeting a few years ago.

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