|The Week That Was
February 3 , 2007
Quote of the Week:
H.L. Mencken: The urge to save humanity is almost always a false front for the urge to rule it.
The big news this week is the release of the Summary for Policymakers (SPM) of the 4th IPCC report. For IPCC-SPM see:
For a briefing on the SPM see ITEM #1 and learn why we disagree with its most important conclusion: that current global warming is anthropogenic (human-caused). We maintain, with good evidence, that AGW is not significant in comparison with natural climate changes.
A Wash Times editorial on the politicization of the IPCC (ITEM #2)
An op-ed in the NY Sun questions the “evidence” cited in support of AGW (ITEM 3)
Critiques by the Scientific Alliance (UK) and the Financial Post (Toronto) (ITEMS #4 and 5)
Contrasting statements by IPCC leaders: politicians vs scientists (ITEM #6)
Two new books support natural causes for GW (ITEM #7)
The IPCC predicts catastrophes and disasters (ITEM #8). With comments by Singer and Monckton. The new IPCC ‘contrarians’ say: “The report is too optimistic” (ITEM #9)
Chris Horner updates us on Kyoto (ITEM #10)
Chirac threatens trade sanctions against Kyoto non-compliers (i.e., US) (ITEM #11)
Green moolah: Kyoto can be a money-maker for India (ITEM #12)
Patrick J. Michaels, "Live with climate change," USA Today, February 2, 2007.
For a detailed critique of SPM by Lord Monckton, see
The Drudge report on “Unstoppable Global Warming” (which reached #42 on Amazon last week)
and for discussion http://www.freerepublic.com/focus/f-news/1776091/posts
Global Warming Skeptics Contest Al Gore’s Logic on ‘Hannity and Colmes’
Posted by Noel Sheppard on January 31, 2007 - 12:51:
“As global warmingists breathlessly await a new report from the United Nations about the imminent doom of our planet, and Democrats convene highly publicized panels in Congress to discuss how only they can save the world, two well-known skeptics were guests on “Hannity and Colmes” Tuesday.
What ensued could only be improved upon if the discussion was to be required viewing all over the country – especially in public schools – as a rebuttal to Al Gore’s schlockumentary “An Inconvenient Truth.”
Transcript of the Hannity and Colmes show: http://newsbusters.org/node/10525
Vancouver (Canada) PR flack Jim Hoggan has made quite a name for himself by slagging the credentials, motives and ethics of scientists who don't meekly accept the revealed wisdom of AGW. He gained national notoriety with a TV appearance in which he blasted Friends of Science for accepting indirect funding from evil big oil.
Hoggan's muckraking blog (www.desmogblog.com)reportedly employs two "researchers". Hogan’s backers and clients include the Suzuki Foundation (he sits on its board) and other Luddite outfits. (No conflict of interest there, eh?) He rails against anyone remotely connected with Exxon for unethically touching dirty money, but he apparently has no qualms about the hefty support he has been receiving from multimillionaire internet gambling tycoon, John Lefebvre. Well guess what, yesterday, noted philanthropist and community pillar Lefebvre was arrested by U.S. federal agents and charged with money laundering. If convicted, he faces up to 20 years in the slammer. He's free on $5 million bail.
I wonder what ol' Jim will have to say about that?
Posted by: Zog at January 18, 2007 05:16 PM
“The program of [Green presidential candidate] Nicolas Hulot is dangerous”
by Claude Allègre
Allègre is emeritus professor at the Denis-Diderot University (Paris) and with the Institute of Physics of the Earth (IPG) of Paris, and former Minister of Education.
Le Figaro, January 29, 2007
Late news: Gore is cleaning up:
Rumor: Al Gore to be nominated for the Nobel Peace Prize: the Mother Theresa of the climate.
Except that Mother Theresa gave of herself unselfishly while Gore asks for $120,000 for a lecture
1. SUMMING UP IPCC:
S. Fred Singer/February 3, 2007
1. Granted that world climate has warmed since 1975 – although it hasn’t since 1998 – what is the cause? Is it natural or human? That’s the key question. The IPCC claims it is “very likely” that human-produced greenhouse gases, like carbon dioxide, are the main cause. But what is their evidence? Correlation does not establish a cause; anyway, what about 1940-1975 when climate cooled while CO2 rose?
2. Any agreement of the global mean trend with the result of a particular climate model is certainly fortuitous. Models provide a wide choice of trends – from 1.4 C to 11.5 C per century. More important, the IPCC ignores the evidence that patterns of warming, temperature trends versus latitude and altitude, disagree with greenhouse models. The inevitable conclusion – in direct contradiction to IPCC – must be: The human contribution to current warming is minor; most of it must be due to natural causes.
3. If indeed natural causes, most likely solar variability, outweigh human causes, then there is little that one can do – even with extreme measures of mitigation. [It is agreed by all that Kyoto is quite ineffective; at very best, a reduction of only 0.07 C by 2050.]
4. So what is left? Adaptation to inevitable climate change – as humanity has done for millennia. And many economists conclude that a warmer climate would be beneficial overall. Temperatures will continue to fluctuate with natural cycles and sea levels will continue to rise, as they have since the peak of the most recent ice age, 18,000 years ago.
2. CHANGING THE CLIMATE: THE UN CLIMATE REPORT
Editorial in Wash Times, Feb. 2, 2007
Today the UN-Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) releases its long-awaited Fourth Assessment Report (AR-4). Well, not quite. Actually, the IPCC releases just the 20-page Summary for Policymakers (SPM) – and of course, a press release for those too busy to read the SPM. The rest of the report, about 1600 pages, will be available only in May 2007. Why the long delay? As the IPCC so charmingly explains: it’s to permit adjustments to the scientific report -- to make it consistent with its Summary, a document severely edited by some 150 government delegations that met in Paris last week. In other words, the IPCC, which prides itself on being strictly scientific and policy-neutral, wants to be sure that its Report is politically correct.
We think this IPCC procedure is a little strange – reminiscent of Alice in Wonderland: Summary first, Report later. It will undoubtedly raise some doubts about the scientific credibility of the IPCC’s conclusions. Will the IPCC fully document the post-SPM “adjustments” to the Report? We are not holding our breath.
We wonder also if Mr. Waxman will hold hearings on these IPCC efforts to “cleanse” its Scientific Report of anything that might contradict the SPM. His Jan. 30 hearing (on government interference with science) delved into allegations that the White House modified an EPA document. Actually, a Gore clone in EPA had put words into a US report to the UN that would have distorted administration policy positions. The policy people in the White House, quite properly it seems to us, changed the offending phrases.
The cleansing of the IPCC Report – and delay in publication – is leading to wild speculations about climate catastrophes, with many leaks to compliant newspapers. We already have the remarkable statement (reported by Reuters on Jan. 25) of Mr. Rajendra Pachauri, chairman of the IPCC: “I hope this report will shock people, governments, into taking more serious action.-- as you really can't get a more authentic and a more credible piece of scientific work.” And he helpfully added: “So I hope this will be taken for what it's worth." Indeed.
Compared to earlier IPCC reports, the 4th Assessment is really quite restrained, perhaps because the effort is chaired by a real scientist, less given to ideology. For example, the last IPCC report (in 2001) featured the “Hockeystick,” a graph that claimed the 20th century was “unusually warm.” Hearings last year before Congressman Joe Barton established that the underlying science was flawed, based on incorrect statistics. The IPCC-AR4 agrees implicitly; the Hockeystick no longer appears in the Summary.
The IPCC numbers for sea level rise are quite reasonable. We note with some amusement that the IPCC is under attack by extremist scientists who think the numbers should be more catastrophic. NASA scientist Jim Hansen's values are about 20 times higher than the IPCC “consensus.” We suppose that makes him (and Al Gore) climate “contrarians”. Join the crowd, Al!
But the IPCC still fails to provide real proof for its key conclusion: “It is very likely that anthropogenic greenhouse-gas increases caused most of the observed increase in globally averaged temperatures since the mid-20th century.” [Emphasis in the original] The evidence they present is not at all convincing – and indeed, there is contrary evidence that’s been ignored by the IPCC. The whole question of anthropogenic (human-caused) global warming is of obvious importance and is key to any policy of climate mitigation. It warrants closer examination of the arguments, which unfortunately must await publication of the full report.
3. NO EVIDENCE FOR HUMAN-CAUSED GLOBAL WARMING
By S. Fred Singer
Published in the New YorkSun, Feb. 2, 2007
This morning, the U.N. Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change released its “Fourth Assessment Report,” but just in the form of a 20-page “Summary for Policymakers.” The report itself, about 1600 pages, will be available only in May. The IPCC explains it needs time to “adjust” the scientific report to make it consistent with its summary.
The summary actually is a semi-political document negotiated by delegates from 150 governments. Evidently, the IPCC, which prides itself on being strictly scientific and policy-neutral, wants to make its report politically correct.
This raises legitimate doubts about the scientific credibility of the IPCC’s conclusions. The “cleansing” of the report — and the attendant delay in publication — is also feeding wild speculation about climate catastrophes, with many leaks to compliant newspapers.
Compared to earlier reports, the “Fourth Assessment” is really quite sober, perhaps because a real scientist less given to ideology heads the effort. The summary projects slightly lower temperature increases than previous reports, for example. Also, the last report, in 2001, featured the Hockeystick, a graph that purportedly illustrated that the 20th century was “unusually warm.” Its underlying science was flawed by incorrect statistics, and apparently the IPCC now implicitly agrees, for the Hockeystick does not appear in the Summary.
The IPCC’s estimates for sea level rise are about half of previous values given. I note with amusement that the IPCC is under attack by extremist scientists who think it is too optimistic and that the numbers should be more catastrophic. NASA scientist Jim Hansen’s sea-level value is about 20 times higher than the IPCC’s.” I suppose that makes him, as well as Al Gore, climate “contrarians.”
Notwithstanding these more restrained points, the IPCC fails to provide any real support for its key conclusion: “It is very likely that anthropogenic greenhouse-gas increases caused most of the observed increase in globally averaged temperatures since the mid-20th century.” The IPCC ignores contrary evidence.
The whole question of anthropogenic, or human-caused, global warming is central to setting any policy of climate mitigation and therefore warrants closer examination.
A commonly cited “proof” for human-caused global warming claims there is a scientific consensus. This claim is based mainly on a flawed essay by Naomi Oreskes of the University of California, San Diego, which appeared in the journal Science in December 2004. But even if a majority of scientists had voted for human-caused global warming, that’s not how science works. Unlike in politics, the majority does not rule. Rather, every advance in science has come from a minority that found that observed facts contradicted the prevailing hypothesis. Sometimes it took only one scientist; think of Galileo or Einstein.
Another so-called “proof” offered for human-caused global warming is that glaciers are melting and Arctic sea-ice is disappearing. But this is a necessary consequence of warming and says nothing about its cause. Any warming — whether man-made or natural — will melt ice. Confusing cause and effect is faulty logic, not proof.
Some cite the fact that the climate is currently warming and the level of carbon dioxide in the atmosphere is increasing. This is true, but correlation is never proof of causation. In Europe, the birth rate is decreasing and so is the number of storks. Does this correlation prove that storks bring babies? Besides, the climate cooled for much of the 20th century, between 1940 and 1975, even while carbon dioxide was increasing rapidly.
Well, what about some 20 greenhouse climate models, all predicting warming — all the way to 11.5 C from as low as 1.4 C, for a doubling of atmospheric carbon dioxide. Yet no one can tell us which of these models is correct — if any. And none of these models can explain why the climate cooled between 1940 and 1975 — without special assumptions. In any case, model results are never evidence. Only actual observations count.
Crucially, greenhouse models cannot explain the observed patterns of warming — temperature trends at different latitudes and altitudes. These data, published in a U.S. government scientific report in May 2006, lead us to conclude that the human contribution is not significant. Most of current warming must therefore stem from natural causes. It may well be part of an unstoppable solar-driven 1,500-year cycle of warming and cooling that’s been documented in ice cores, ocean sediments, stalagmites, and so forth — going back a million years.
If indeed most of current warming is natural rather than from greenhouse gases, there is little point in reducing carbon-dioxide emissions. Further, carbon dioxide is not an atmospheric pollutant. Programs and policies for carbon-dioxide control should therefore be scrapped — including uneconomic alternative energy sources, carbon-sequestration efforts, and costly emission-trading schemes. All of these waste money and squander scarce resources, without in any way affecting the atmosphere or climate. Humans have adapted to major climate changes in the past, and we should have no problem doing so in the future.
Mr. Singer, professor emeritus of environmental sciences at the University of Virginia and former director of the U.S. Weather Satellite Service, is the author with Dennis Avery of “Unstoppable Global Warming — Every 1500 Years.”
4. CLIMATE CHANGE: IS THE SCIENCE REALLY SETTLED?
Scientific Alliance, 2 February 2007
Today, the IPCC releases its latest report on the science of climate change. At least, that's what the headlines will say. In fact, this is the first stage of a staggered publication of the organization’s Fourth Assessment Report (FAR), which supersedes the third report, published in 2001. But this first tranche is not, as might be expected, the full weighty document, in which all available evidence is evaluated and carefully summarised. Instead this is the so-called Summary for Policymakers (SPM), a short (only 14 pages in draft) summary of the key points. This is the text that nearly everyone will be quoting from over the coming months and years.
Not only is it an unusual step to publish the summary of a document that has not yet been finalised and released into the public domain, but also the summary itself is not necessarily quite what it seems. Rather than simply being an attempt to summarise the main points from the much longer report, the SPM is a political document, agreed line by line by the governments of the countries that are members of the IPCC. Only the release of the complete chapter will enable those with sufficient staying power and understanding of the science to compare this with today’s document, but the experience from the Third Assessment report was that there were clear messages coming from the SPM, which did not necessarily represent a balanced view of the science. In other words, there was spin.
Interestingly, after a ramping up of concerns as the previous three assessment reports were published, the TAR tones down some of the more extreme projections that have been headlined in the past. The report seems set to say that, if carbon dioxide levels reach (and are constrained to) 550ppm (effectively a doubling of the reported pre-industrial average of 280ppm) the ultimate average temperature rise is likely to be 2-4.5 degrees C, which is a narrower range with a reduced upper limit. By the last decade of the century, projected temperature rise is in the range 1.7-4 degrees C compared with the 1980s, for a range of emissions scenarios. Sea level rise is projected as 28 to 43 centimetres over the century, with two-thirds of that being due to thermal expansion. These figures are lower than previously suggested.
However, the headline news will not be these projections or the fact that they have been moderated, but the fact that the IPCC now says that anthropogenic greenhouse gas emissions are 'very likely' to be the primary driver of recent climate change. 'Very likely' is defined as between 90 and 95% certain. But this 'certainty', which will be used constantly to discredit any dissenters, is based on the unproven assumption that the climate scientists and modellers have such a good understanding of natural climate processes that additional greenhouse gas emissions are the only possible cause of rising temperatures in recent years.
At present, we regard the link as a plausible but unproven hypothesis. While modellers claim to be able to reproduce the very variable trends of the twentieth century (by including allowances for aerosols, for example), this smacks of tinkering to get the right answer rather than a way of improving the realism and reliability of the models. Only time will tell whether the projections are anywhere near right but, in the meantime, we should remember that there has been no upward temperature trend in the last eight years.
We are quite prepared to have our scepticism proved wrong if new and convincing evidence emerges. We could be wrong. It will be progress indeed when the IPCC and scientific establishment says the same.
The Scientific Alliance
St John's Innovation Centre, Cowley Road, CambridgeCB4 0WS Tel: +44 1223 421242
5. POLITICS FIRST, SCIENCE SECOND
Financial Post, 27 January 2007
If you've been lifting intellectual weights and taking extra runs around the science track to build mental stamina for next Friday's release of the much-hyped 1,600-page science report on climate change, you can now take it easy. There will be no report. You will not need to know about or read any science, because there will be no science. Instead, we are going to get a few ginned-up pages of generalized political scaremongering.
The advance billing for the report has been immense and spectacular. It's the Fourth Assessment Report from the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change, five years in the making and jam-packed with scientific, technical, social and economic research into climate change.
According to the usual sources, this latest official United Nations' science project, billions of dollars in the making, is the "smoking gun" that leaves no doubt that humans are the cause of a major wave of climate warming that is set to engulf the world over the next 100 years.
"The smoking gun is definitely lying on the table as we speak," said Jerry Mahlman, a U.S. government scientist and long-time proponent of climate change theory. "The evidence ... is compelling."
The University of Victoria's Andrew Weaver, official Canadian government climate modeller --and the CBC's go-to scientist for suggestive but unproven links between bad weather and climate change --blew himself right out the galaxy over the Fourth Assessment Report. "This isn't a smoking gun; climate is a battalion of intergalactic smoking missiles."
Somebody else said the report to be released in Paris on Friday contained an "explosion of new data."
All of this, however, is just the usual stage-managed showmanship that surrounds all climate science. First of all, what we are going to get on Friday is not the smoking gun, but the smoke without the gun, an explosion of data without the data, an intergalactic blast that never gets off the ground, the proof without the evidence.
Despite all the advance promotion, the full 1,600-page report will remain in quarantine, embargoed and locked up in secrecy for another two months. While the science remains shrouded in secrecy and subject to leaks and speculation, the IPCC will stage a major event, webcast to a world that's been whipped into a frenzy of anticipation. Live on the Web, officials will produce a brief 12-page document called the "Summary for Policymakers." Everything else, including the official summary of the science in the assessment report, will be kept under wraps.
Here's the official IPCC release plan: Next week in Paris, behind closed doors, the IPCC will give final approval to the 1,600-page report. At the end of the sessions on Friday, the panel will release the brief "Summary for Policymakers." Then, for the next two months, the IPCC will subject the 1,600 pages of heavy science to "the final stages of review and revision to be carried out in a balanced way." This will take two months, with the final report to be released in May.
What do they review and balance? The words in the IPCC process document are not encouraging. "Changes ... made after acceptance by the working group or the panel shall be those necessary to ensure consistency with the 'Summary for Policymakers' or the overview chapter."
Steve McIntyre, the Canadian statistics expert who blew the whistle on the IPCC's junk-science creation -- the 1,000-year-old climate record, the infamous hockey stick -- reads those words to mean the IPCC will go through the science to get the science to back up the summary. "IPCC insiders should not be allowed to change a comma of the [final] report after Feb. 2," he says.
We have, therefore, an extraordinary operating scheme in which brief sensational summary statements are produced, while the basis for the summary is kept confidential so they can get the science to correspond to the summary.
Will the government of Canada make any attempt, on behalf of Canadians, to get the IPCC to release the final report immediately? More likely, given current trends in Ottawa, the Tories have every intention of using the summary for their own political purposes.
These policymakers' summaries have a troubled history. One was once altered at the last minute to change wording that had already been approved by scientists. The summary release format also makes it clear that climate is a political issue first and a science issue second.
Another U.S. official says next week's summary will be an "iconic statement" rather than a sound science document. No surprise there. The policymakers' summary of the last report in 2001 highlighted the greatest climate icon of all, the 1,000-year hockey-stick graph. There it sits on page 3, the first graph, allegedly proof that 1998 was the warmest year of the millennium.
Today, the IPCC says the 1,000-year graph, the focal point of the February, 2001, summary, was a very minor part of the climate-science effort. The hockey stick, they say, played no big scientific role. But it played a major political role as part of the IPCC's campaign, which will be the sole purpose of next Friday's over-hyped event.
6. SCIENCE PANEL CALLS GLOBAL WARMING ‘UNEQUIVOCAL’
By ELISABETH ROSENTHAL and ANDREW C. REVKIN
New York Times, Feb 3, 2007
PARIS, Feb. 2 — In a grim and powerful assessment of the future of the planet, the leading international network of climate scientists has concluded for the first time that global warming is “unequivocal” and that human activity is the main driver, “very likely” causing most of the rise in temperatures since 1950.
While the report provided scant new evidence of a climate apocalypse now, and while it expressly avoided recommending courses of action, officials from the United Nations agencies that created the panel in 1988 said it spoke of the urgent need to limit looming and momentous risks.
["There are a lot of signs and evidence in this report which clearly establish not only the fact that climate change is taking place, but also that it really is human activity that is influencing that change," R.K. Pachauri, the IPCC chairman, told Reuters (New Delhi, Jan 25). "I hope this report will shock people, governments into taking more serious action as you really can't get a more authentic and a more credible piece of scientific work. So I hope this will be taken for what it's worth." ]
Dr. Susan Solomon is the co-leader of the team writing the summary and the section of the panel’s report on basic science. She is an atmospheric scientist for the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration.
In a news conference in Paris, she declined to provide her own views on how society should respond to the momentous changes projected in the study. “I honestly believe that it would be a much better service for me to keep my personal opinions separate than what I can actually offer the world as a scientist,” she said. “People are going to have to make their own judgments.”
Inhofe Calls UN IPCC Summary For Policymakers Corruption of Science
Washington, DC Sen. James Inhofe, (R-Okla.), Ranking Member of the Environment & Public Works Committee, today commented on the UN Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Changes (IPCC) Fourth Assessment Summary for Policymakers.
"This is a political document, not a scientific report, and it is a shining example of the corruption of science for political gain. The media has failed to report that the IPCC Summary for Policymakers was not approved by scientists but by UN political delegates and bureaucrats.
"On December 7, 2005, I followed up my speech with a letter to the IPCC Chairman noting that the science had been manipulated in order to reach a predetermined conclusion. Sadly, the IPCC has refused to make any of the reforms necessary to ensure scientific integrity," http://epw.senate.gov/public/index.cfm?FuseAction=PressRoom.PressReleases&ContentRecord_id=B5B423AC-B42C-4879-91CE-348E78AAE64B
The IPCC concedes it alters the underlying scientific conclusions on page 4 of "Appendix A to the Principles Governing IPCC Work":
"Changes (other than grammatical or minor editorial changes) made after acceptance by the Working Group or the Panel shall be those necessary to ensure consistency with the Summary for Policymakers or the Overview Chapter." (http://www.ipcc.ch/about/app-a.pdf )
Other critics of the IPCC process like Steve McIntyre (one of the individuals responsible for debunking the Hockey Stick temperature graph) agree with Senator Inhofe and have already pointed out the serious problems with the UN mandating that the scientific work be altered to fit its political agenda.
So the purpose of the three-month delay between the publication of the (IPCC) Summary for Policy-Makers and the release of the actual WG1 (Working Group 1) is to enable them to make any necessary adjustments to the technical report to match the policy summary. “Unbelievable. Can you imagine what securities commissions would say if business promoters issued a big promotion and then the promoters made the necessary adjustments to the qualifying reports and financial statements so that they matched the promotion. Words fail me,” McIntyre explained. (Link: http://www.climateaudit.org/?p=1101 )
Harvard University physicist Lubos Motl also slammed the UN.
"These people are openly declaring that they are going to commit scientific misconduct that will be paid for by the United Nations. If they find an error in the summary, they won't fix it. Instead, they will "adjust" the technical report so that it looks consistent," Motl said. (Link: http://motls.blogspot.com/2007/01/ipcc-ar4.html )
Motl also cited climate scientist Fred Singer’s claims that IPCC lead author Ben Santer was told (?) to revise Chapter 8 of 1996 IPCC-SAR (Second Assessment Report) to "conform" to the politically adopted Summary for Policy Makers. See Motls website:
and “Climate Policy: The Road from Rio to Kyoto”
7. TWO NEW BOOKS CLAIM THAT GLOBAL WARMING IS NATURAL, MODERATE
Center for Global Food Issues, 30 January 2007
Two powerful new books say today’s global warming is due not to human activity but primarily to a long, moderate solar-linked cycle. Unstoppable Global Warming Every 1500 Years, by physicist Fred Singer and economist Dennis Avery was released just before Christmas. The Chilling Stars: A New Theory of Climate Change, by Danish physicist Henrik Svensmark and former BBC science writer Nigel Calder (Icon Books), is due out in March.
Singer and Avery note that most of the earth’s recent warming occurred before 1940, and thus before much human-emitted CO2. Moreover, physical evidence shows 600 moderate warmings in the earth’s last million years. The evidence ranges from ancient Nile flood records, Chinese court documents, and Roman wine grapes to modern spectral analysis of polar ice cores, deep seabed sediments, and layered cave stalagmites.
Unstoppable Global Warming shows the earth’s temperatures following variations in solar intensity through centuries of sunspot records, and finds cycles of sun-linked isotopes in ice and tree rings. The book cites the work of Svensmark, who says cosmic rays vary the earth’s temperatures by creating more or fewer of the low, wet clouds that cool the earth. It notes that global climate models can’t accurately register cloud effects.
The Chilling Stars relates how Svensmark’s team mimicked the chemistry of earth’s atmosphere, by putting realistic mixtures of atmospheric gases into a large reaction chamber, with ultraviolet light as a stand-in for the sun. When they turned on the UV, microscopic droplets --- cloud seeds -- started floating through the chamber.
“We were amazed by the speed and efficiency with which the electrons [generated by cosmic rays] do their work of creating the building blocks for the cloud condensation nuclei,” says Svensmark.
The Chilling Stars documents how cosmic rays amplify small changes in the sun’s irradiance fourfold, creating 1-2 degree C cycles in earth’s temperatures: Cosmic rays continually slam into the earth’s atmosphere from outer space, creating ion clusters that become seeds for small droplets of water and sulfuric acid. The droplets then form the low, wet clouds that reflect solar energy back into space. When the sun is more active, it shields the earth from some of the rays, clouds wane, and the planet warms.
Unstoppable Global Warming documents the reality of a moderate, natural, 1500-year climate cycle on the earth. The Chilling Stars explains the why and how.
8. GLOBAL WARMING: THE FINAL VERDICT
A study by the world's leading experts says global warming will happen faster and be more devastating than previously thought
Robin McKie, science editor
Sunday Observer, January 21, 2007
(WITH COMMENTS BY SFS and LORD MONCKTON))
Global warming is destined to have a far more destructive and earlier impact than previously estimated, the most authoritative report yet produced on climate change will warn next week.
NO WORSE THAN PREVIOUS IPCC REPORTS -- AND BETTER IN SOME RESPECTS
A draft copy of the Fourth Assessment Report of the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change, obtained by The Observer, shows the frequency of devastating storms - like the ones that battered Britain last week - will increase dramatically.
Sea levels will rise over the century by around half a metre;
REPORT DRAFT SAYS 14-43 CM
snow will disappear from all but the highest mountains; deserts will spread; oceans become acidic, leading to the destruction of coral reefs and atolls; and deadly heat waves will become more prevalent.
The impact will be catastrophic, forcing hundreds of millions of people to flee their devastated homelands, particularly in tropical, low-lying areas, while creating waves of immigrants whose movements will strain the economies of even the most affluent countries.
MORE OLD HAT
'The really chilling thing about the IPCC report is that it is the work of several thousand climate experts who have widely differing views about how greenhouse gases will have their effect. Some think they will have a major impact, others a lesser role. Each paragraph of this report was therefore argued over and scrutinised intensely. Only points that were considered indisputable survived this process. This is a very conservative document - that's what makes it so scary,' said one senior UK climate expert.
GIVE ME A BREAK!
Climate concerns are likely to dominate international politics next month. President Bush is to make the issue a part of his state of the union address on Wednesday while the IPCC report's final version is set for release on 2 February in a set of global news conferences.
Although the final wording of the report is still being worked on, the draft indicates that scientists now have their clearest idea so far about future climate changes, as well as about recent events. It points out that:
· 12 of the past 13 years were the warmest since records began;
IT HAS COOLED SINCE 1998
· ocean temperatures have risen at least three kilometres beneath the surface;
JUST FOUND TO COOL SINCE 2002 (LYMAN et al GRL 2006)
· glaciers, snow cover and permafrost have decreased in both hemispheres;
SOME ARE INCREASING; SEE IPCC-3, p.128
· sea levels are rising at the rate of almost 2mm a year;
AS THEY HAVE BEEN FOR CENTURIES AT THIS SAME RATE
· cold days, nights and frost have become rarer while hot days, hot nights and heat waves have become more frequent.
NOT ACC TO TROPOSPHERE DATA
And the cause is clear, say the authors: 'It is very likely that [man-made] greenhouse gas increases caused most of the average temperature increases since the mid-20th century,' says the report.
THEY GIVE ABSOLUTELY NO PROOF – EXC FOR MODELS
To date, these changes have caused global temperatures to rise by 0.6C.
SINCE A LOW AT THE END OF LITTLE ICE AGE
The most likely outcome of continuing rises in greenhouses gases will be to make the planet a further 3C hotter by 2100, although the report acknowledges that rises of 4.5C to 5C could be experienced. Ice-cap melting, rises in sea levels, flooding, cyclones and storms will be an inevitable consequence.
THE RANGE OF MODEL RESULTS IS 1.4 TO 11.5 C – TAKE YOUR PICK
Past assessments by the IPCC have suggested such scenarios are 'likely' to occur this century. Its latest report, based on sophisticated computer models and more detailed observations of snow cover loss, sea level rises and the spread of deserts, is far more robust and confident. Now the panel writes of changes as 'extremely likely' and 'almost certain'.
And in a specific rebuff to sceptics who still argue natural variation in the Sun's output is the real cause of climate change, the panel says mankind's industrial emissions have had five times more effect on the climate than any fluctuations in solar radiation. We are the masters of our own destruction, in short.
THAT’S BECAUSE THEY STILL IGNORE THE MOST IMPORTANT SOLAR EFFECT – INDIRECTLY THROUGH MODULATION OF COSMIC RAYS AND THEREBY CLOUDINESS
There is some comfort, however. The panel believes the Gulf Stream will go on bathing Britain with its warm waters for the next 100 years. Some researchers have said it could be disrupted by cold waters pouring off Greenland's melting ice sheets, plunging western Europe into a mini Ice Age, as depicted in the disaster film The Day After Tomorrow.
WHAT A RELIEF!
The report reflects climate scientists' growing fears that Earth is nearing the stage when carbon dioxide rises will bring irreversible change to the planet. 'We are seeing vast sections of Antarctic ice disappearing at an alarming rate,' said climate expert Chris Rapley, in a phone call to The Observer from the Antarctic Peninsula last week. 'That means we can expect to see sea levels rise at about a metre a century from now on - and that will have devastating consequences.'
CHRIS: READ THE IPCC REPORT.
However, there is still hope, said Peter Cox of Exeter University. 'We are like alcoholics who have got as far as admitting there is a problem. It is a start. Now we have got to start drying out - which means reducing our carbon output.'
SO GLAD THERE IS HOPE. I WAS ABOUT TO GIVE UP AND HAVE ANOTHER SCOTCH.
Sir, - Robin McKie (January 21) says the UN predicts warmer, harmful weather: its estimate of our climate impact since 1750 is down 25%.
He says oceans will rise 50cm this century: the UN says 13-43cm, halving its upper estimate..
He says oceans rise 2mm a year: unchanged since 1920.
He says 12 recent years were the warmest ever: temperature hasn’t risen since 1998.
He says the UN predicts worse storms: the UN projects unchanged hurricane frequency..
He mentions desertification: 300,000km2 of the Sahara has greened in 30 years.
He says temperature will rise 3C to 2100: calculations using UN methods give 0.6C.
He says the UN dismisses the Sun’s effect on warming: since its draft, papers from America, Sweden, Russia and China say the Sun (hotter for longer in the past 50 years than in the previous 11,400) caused ~70% of recent warming, but will cool by 2015.
He says Antarctica is melting: the Antarctic and Greenland plateaux have cooled and gained ice-mass this decade.
He says the UN talks of changes as almost certain: it misleads by using 90% confidence intervals, not the customary 95%, despite reviewers complaints.
Monckton of Brenchley, Rannoch.
9. THE NEW CLIMATE CONTRARIANS
(Letter from Myron Ebell to Benny Peiser)
The complaints from the alarmists about the forthcoming Fourth Assessment Report are hilarious. There must be a full moon. The funny thing about the claims of scientific consensus and especially the references to the IPCC as representing that consensus is that it only works to silence people who are less alarmist. Al Gore and Sir David King and James Hansen (a former elected leader, a chemist, and an astronomer, respectively) can make outlandish claims about sea level rise, but if I, as a non-climatologist, refer to the authoritative Third Assessment Report, which predicts 20 inches by 2100, not 20 feet (or 80 in Hansen's case), guess who's outside the mainstream? I'm called a denier.
The claims about the Greenland or Antarctic ice sheets melting are less likely than the claim that the world is about to enter a cooling period, which claim at least has some research supporting it. If winter low temperatures rise in the polar regions, as is predicted by greenhouse theory, there won't be any melting because it will still be below freezing, but there will be more days when it's warm enough to snow. Of course, on the other hand, the ice sheets have been melting and sea levels have been rising at varying rates since the end of the last ice age and will continue to do so until the next ice age begins. So eventually Gore et al. could be proved right, but I'd rather see a few more thousand years of melting than a new ice age.
It's interesting to look at the complainers. Turner talks about the Antarctic Peninsula, where it has been warming significantly, but nearly all the ice is on the continent, where temperatures according to the British Antarctic Survey weather station data (easily found on their web site) have been generally stable or cooling. So he is being intentionally misleading. Thompson is not a polar ice expert, but a tropical glaciers expert, and his claims in the public debate seem to go far beyond his research. Corell is an oceanographer who spent his career as a scientific administrator. He was chairman of the ACIA, which redefined the Arctic in order to show a bigger warming trend and cut off the temperature record before 1950 so that they wouldn't have to explain why it was at least as warm in the 1930s as today in the Arctic (the reason claimed is a hoot: there weren't enough weather stations before 1950--even though there were more then than in recent decades). MacCracken is I believe a computer modeller, whose main claim to fame is that he was one of the top people who produced the National Assessment, which is a bad joke.
10. KYOTO HYPOCRISIES
By Christopher C. Horner
The Washington Times, Published February 2, 2007
The president's annual State of the Union speech is guaranteed to disappoint. Even in far less troubled times, rare is the speech that doesn't infuriate large segments of both his base and the opposition. This year, President Bush built on 2006's "grow your own energy" riff with winking repetition of the woodchip and switchgrass references. But this time, he vowed that alternative fuels will help address the "serious challenge" of climate change. While this is admittedly the first time Mr. Bush invoked climate change in such an address, it was in such passing fashion as to seem an out-of-place throwaway line. Yet it constituted the widely if inaccurately hyped policy shift on this hot-button issue: We expect to lower greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions, particularly carbon dioxide (CO2), as a co-benefit of diversifying our energy sources.
While theoretically possible, experience suggests that maintaining a healthy and growing economy will do much more to reduce (or at least further reduce the rate of growth of) man's potentially disruptive contribution of about 2 percent of total global GHGs to a massively complex climate system. However well-intentioned this invocation of climate change, it marked another in a long series of missed opportunities by the Bush administration to seize the politically hot-button climate change debate by its rhetorical horns, and inject much-needed reality into a discourse gorged with increasingly shrill, misleading rhetoric. The speech that Mr. Bush should have given would assert the America's leadership position relative to major economies. Pick any year since the Kyoto Protocol was agreed to in 1997, Mr. Bush should have said, and the U.S. CO2 emission performance is superior to that of all major Kyoto parties, including and most notably Europe (CO2 being the focus of the many pending legislative proposals). One would never know this from reading European Union press releases, most any media account or even White House statements on the issue. The latter fact is deeply troubling, given the political and diplomatic capital lost over public misunderstanding of this matter, and also the traction that proposals to mimic Europe's failed approach are gaining in Congress.
In truth, Europe's CO2 emissions are rising twice as fast as those of the U.S. since Kyoto, three times as fast since 2000. This figure balloons to more than five times as fast when one tallies the individual country average of the EU-15. Instead, this invited more cheap rhetorical shots about Mr. Bush's purported dereliction, and teed up the Greens to express deep disappointment with his remarks. This is not surprising; time has proven that approval among President Bush's antagonists on this issue is not attainable. The reality is that even were he to reverse the Kyoto course set by President Clinton and ask the Senate to ratify the treaty, the Kyoto Industry would simply sniff that it was too late, and that, to show he's serious, he must agree now to deeper cuts for when Kyoto expires in 2012. Climate change and Kyoto have simply become totems in the larger anti-Bush struggle. When he is gone the rhetoric will calm, the world will get used to the idea that, like 155 other countries including China, India, Mexico, South Korea and Brazil, under no president will the U.S. ratify a global pact rationing greenhouse emissions.
This is particularly true regarding a regime with such a miserable record already, with its perverse incentives, economic cost and, frankly, the pervasive cheating. Even a scaled-back and solely domestic replication of Kyoto would simply be a smaller mistake on the road to the same disastrous goal of ensuring energy poverty and economic outsourcing in the developed world. Yet given as the longstanding goal of a vocal and powerful yet tiny minority, Congress is now making loud noises about doing just that. A cadre of Wall Street insiders within the administration is also urging such action, Wall Street standing to gain greatly under this scheme at consumers' expense. That, too, is a current European reality that must be brought to the fore of the debate.
There remains time. The Democrat majority sees no need to rush "climate change" off the stage before the 2008 elections, given the free pass they are granted on the issue -- in no small part to the administration's reluctance to fight back. President Bush failed to right the rhetorical ship on climate change in his State of the Union address, though fortunately he volunteered nothing to deepen the policy conundrum. The administration must articulate the facts of superior U.S. emissions performance to avoid the absurd outcome of leaping onto a sinking policy ship, leaving behind the most successful approach in a futile struggle for elite approval.
Christopher C. Horner is senior fellow at the Competitive Enterprise Institute in Washington.
11. France Tells U.S. to Sign Climate Pacts or Face Tax
NY Times ^ | 2/1/07 | Katrin Bennhold
PARIS, Jan. 31 President Jacques Chirac has demanded that the United States sign both the Kyoto climate protocol and a future agreement that will take effect when the Kyoto accord runs out in 2012.
He said that he welcomed last weeks State of the Union address in which President Bush described climate change as a serious challenge and acknowledged that a growing number of American politicians now favor emissions cuts.
But he warned that if the United States did not sign the agreements, a carbon tax across Europe on imports from nations that have not signed the Kyoto treaty could be imposed to try to force compliance. The European Union is the largest export market for American goods.
A carbon tax is inevitable, Mr. Chirac said. If it is European, and I believe it will be European, then it will all the same have a certain influence because it means that all the countries that do not accept the minimum obligations will be obliged to pay.
Trade lawyers have been divided over the legality of a carbon tax, with some saying it would run counter to international trade rules. But Mr. Chirac said other European countries would back it. I believe we will have all of the European Union, he said.
Mr. Chirac spoke as scientists from around the world gathered in Paris to discuss an authoritative international report on climate change, portions of which will be released on Friday.
Mr. Chirac's critics say that despite his comments in support of environmental measures, his record as president is far from green. He angered environmentalists across the globe when he conducted nuclear tests in a Pacific atoll within months of coming into office in 1995. He has been a loyal ally of French farmers and their pollution-causing practices, blocking some proposed Europe-wide reforms.
Most recently, Frances national plan for allocating carbon emission credits to businesses had to be revised after the European Union rejected it as too generous.
12. GREEN MOOLAH AND KYOTO RIP OFF: MILKING THE EUROPEAN CARBON MARKET
The writer teaches at IIM, Bangalore.
The Times Of India, 29 January 2007
A big market in Clean Development Mechanism (CDM) is opening up; it is worth about $50-60 billion. China is the major beneficiary now. The question is whether India can cash in on this emerging market.
Countries that ratify the Kyoto Protocol commit to reduce their emissions of carbon dioxide and five other greenhouse gases, or engage in emissions trading if they maintain or increase emissions of these gases. The protocol covers more than 160 countries globally, and 55 per cent of the emissions.
The component in the protocol that is of interest to developing countries is the CDM whereby the excess emissions of developed countries may be offset by reduced emissions of developing countries, whose Certified Emission Reductions (CERs) can be traded in the market thus financially rewarding the developing countries for their emission reduction efforts.
Making money in CDM market is a two-step process. First you have to earn the CERs. Next you have to find a buyer for your CER. Emission reductions in developed countries (called Annex 1 countries) are very costly, and they are better off buying emission credits from developing countries.
Developing countries get some funds in the process. However, the motivations of developed and developing countries in carbon trading are opposite: the former want low carbon prices, while the latter want high carbon prices.
The CDM market is worth (at current prices of $12-15 per tonne) about $40 billion for CO2 and another $10-20 billion of other GHG gases like hexafluorocarbons. The impact, and hence the price, of GHG gases other than CO2 is about 5-6 times that of latter. In the first half of 2006, $15 billion worth of carbon was traded, five times that in the corresponding period in 2005.
The Annex 1 countries are expected to produce 3.5 billion tonnes in excess of their target by 2012. At present there are two carbon exchanges in Europe, one headquartered in Amsterdam but operating from London, and another from Leipzig, Germany. There is also the Chicago Climate Exchange (CCX) in the US and one in Singapore.
A worry is that China levies a tax of 65 per cent on emission reduction credit receipts, and China is also the major beneficiary of the CER market, reaping 2/3rd of the credits. The marginal cost of GHG abatement in developing countries is about $1 per tonne of carbon or equivalent, while the marginal benefit that they receive is about $24 per tonne.
The European companies which pay this difference would pass it on to their customers, depending on how much they can absorb. Customers will eventually revolt when they realise how much money they pour into Chinese coffers.
There is also a market for surrogate emission reductions called offsets, i.e. carbon reduction by firm B to offset carbon emission by firm A. The difference between the offset market (that is there mainly in the US) and the CDM market is that the former is voluntary at the firm level, while the latter is not.
The whole thing is evolving. Methodologies for offset determination are not yet on firm grounds and are indexed in terms of firm specific applications, much like case law precedents. One firm has claimed offsets for producing electricity out of gas, and another firm has claimed credits for producing electricity out of its byproduct in the manufacture of steel, Korex gas.
The general methodology requires additionality to be established; the project would not have come up, or would not have been financially viable, in the absence of CDM benefits. The challenge is how to avoid free riders? My colleagues in the campus go to office in car; I walk. Am I eligible for carbon credit?
Individual companies line up for the gravy assisted by consultants. However, each country has to have a nodal agency. India has designated the ministry of environment and forests as the nodal agency. It is not clear if MoEF is nimble enough and has the commercial savvy to exploit this market.
A recent study found electricity sector accounting for 52 per cent and energy sector accounting for about 80 per cent of the emissions. In that context one is not sure if MoEF is the right choice for being the nodal agency. Even the ministry of commerce may have been a good choice, since it is acquainted with exchanges and trading.