Saturday, May 13, 2006

Hot Air

Dr. Lindzen, the Alfred P. Sloan Professor of Atmospheric Science at MIT, tears global warming junk science to shreds in a recent article in the Wall Street Journal.
Scientists who dissent from the alarmism have seen their grant funds disappear, their work derided, and themselves libeled as industry stooges, scientific hacks or worse. Consequently, lies about climate change gain credence even when they fly in the face of the science that supposedly is their basis.
Basically, the alarmists aren't even being self-consistent in the claims they make.
Global temperature has risen about a degree since the late 19th century; levels of CO2 in the atmosphere have increased by about 30% over the same period; and CO2 should contribute to future warming. These claims are true.

However, what the public fails to grasp is that the claims neither constitute support for alarm nor establish man's responsibility for the small amount of warming that has occurred. In fact, those who make the most outlandish claims of alarm are actually demonstrating skepticism of the very science they say supports them. It isn't just that the alarmists are trumpeting model results that we know must be wrong. It is that they are trumpeting catastrophes that couldn't happen even if the models were right as justifying costly policies to try to prevent global warming.
As one example, he mentions that the supposed global warming model predicts temperature and humidity effects that are exactly opposite what is required to make weather and storms "more severe", which we have also been gravely told our "carbon footprint" will produce.

Actually, increases in solcar activity, as measured by sunspots, can explain the recent warming trend -- which is only relatively warm compared to a significant cold snap around the 16th century, in which we were nearly plunged into another ice age.


It was in fact warmer than it is now about 10,000 years ago, just after the last ice age, as well as around 1000 years ago, in the Middle Ages. Greenland was called Greenland when it was settled because it was actually green, and not as an ironic joke (as I recall one of my school teachers suggesting), but has now succumbed to the glaciers.

According to wikipedia,
The Little Ice Age brought bitterly cold winters to many parts of the world, but is most thoroughly documented in Europe and North America. In the mid-17th century, glaciers in the Swiss Alps advanced, gradually engulfing farms and crushing entire villages. The river Thames and the canals and rivers of the Netherlands often froze over during the winter, and people skated and even held frost fairs on the ice. The winter of 1794/95 was particularly harsh when the French invasion army under Pichegru could march on the frozen rivers of the Netherlands, whilst the Dutch fleet was fixed in the ice in Den Helder harbour. In the winter of 1780, New York Harbor froze, allowing people to walk from Manhattan to Staten Island. Sea ice surrounding Iceland extended for miles in every direction, closing that island's harbors to shipping. "The Arctic pack ice extended so far south that there are six records of Inuit landing their kayaks in Scotland, and there are even reports of a Polar Bear harassing crofters in the Orkney Islands."

The severe winters affected human life in ways large and small. The population of Iceland fell by half, and the Viking colonies in Greenland died out. In North America, American Indians formed leagues in response to food shortages


During the period 1645–1715, right in the middle of the Little Ice Age, solar activity as seen in sunspots was extremely low, with some years having no sunspots at all. This period of low sunspot activity is known as the Maunder Minimum. The precise link between low sunspot activity and cooling temperatures has not been established, but the coincidence of the Maunder Minimum with the deepest trough of the Little Ice Age is suggestive of such a connection [20]. The Sporer Minimum has also been identified with a significant cooling period during the Little Ice Age. Other indicators of low solar activity during this period are levels of carbon-14 and beryllium-10. The low solar activity is also well documented in astronomical records. Astronomers in both Europe and Asia documented a decrease in the number of visible solar spots during this time period.
If not for the recent warming, we could easily see everything down to around Boston under a sheet of ice -- a mile thick.

Furthermore, what's another very effective "greenhouse gas"?

Water vapor. I.e., clouds.

And warming due to CO2, it turns out, reduces upper-atmospheric clouds.

Which basically counterbalances the whole effect. Back to Prof. Lindzen,
When I, with some colleagues at NASA, attempted to determine how clouds behave under varying temperatures, we discovered what we called an "Iris Effect," wherein upper-level cirrus clouds contracted with increased temperature, providing a very strong negative climate feedback sufficient to greatly reduce the response to increasing CO2.
They don't tell you that though, do they?

The alarmists aren't interested in really following through their arguments to their logical conclusion, because their objective is not Truth, but rather control.

Control of your energy consumption.

Energy use is called an "addiction", treated as some sin for which we must repent.

In fact, cheap abundant energy produces freedom of the human spirit by releasing us from the bonds of drudgery and limitations of time and distance than anything else.

Prof. Lindzen points to disturbing developments, giving several examples of intimidation of scientists who don't toe the Politically Correct line and follow the pre-arranged script for the results of their scientific inquiries, in the form of a hostile media, loss of grant money, and dismissial by journal editors.

But say the right things and fame and fortune await! Scientists are only human after all.

Prof. Linden concludes with:
Indeed, there is a strange reluctance to actually find out how climate really behaves. In 2003, when the draft of the U.S. National Climate Plan urged a high priority for improving our knowledge of climate sensitivity, the National Research Council instead urged support to look at the impacts of the warming--not whether it would actually happen.

Alarm rather than genuine scientific curiosity, it appears, is essential to maintaining funding. And only the most senior scientists today can stand up against this alarmist gale, and defy the iron triangle of climate scientists, advocates and policymakers.

Mr. Lindzen is Alfred P. Sloan Professor of Atmospheric Science at MIT.


Blogger Russ said...

By the way, does this Mr. Lindzen have any ties to Exxon or big oil and coal?

10:11 PM, May 13, 2006  
Blogger RDS said...

By the way, thanks for helping to support his argument that enviromental skeptics get smeared with ad hominem innuendo.

If you've got actual evidence of tainted science, show it.

Ah, but you don't, do you?

And why don't you specifically respond to the issues at hand, namely that the warming claims that make it to the popular press are internally inconsistent according to the very models they rely on?

Oh, you can't?

The Iris Effect is undergoing serious discussion and experimentation at NASA. See here.

The more general notion of negative feedback in the tropics is also supported here and here.

All those NASA scientists also connected to Exxon?

Maybe this guy, Dr. of Physical Sciences Khabibullo Abdusamatov - chief of the Space Exploration Department of the Central Astronomical Observatory of the Russian Academy of Sciences, and the supervisor of the Astrometria project of the Russian part of the International Space Station, is also in the pocket of Exxon?

He says in Pravda:

a global reduction of temperatures would hit planet Earth in the middle of the 21st century because of receding solar radiation. Mr. Abdusamatov told Pravda.Ru that the new Ice Age will start very slowly. According to the scientist, the process will gather pace in 2050-55.

Abdusamatov compares the imminent reduction of temperatures with Maunder's minimum of solar activity registered in 1645-1715 (named so in honour of the English astronomer of the 19th century, Walter Maunder), when all canals froze in Holland and severe cold forced many people to leave their settlements. “The coldest years of the middle of the 21st century will be warmer than at the end of the 17th century,” the scientist clarified.

Left-wing commies like you usually believe what your Comrades say in Pravda, don't you? -- there, see how easy ad hominem innuendo is?

1:41 PM, May 14, 2006  

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