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Less feedback forcing than previously guessed at

Most of the long-term climate models show feedback from an increase of carbon dioxide that ultimately creates more carbon dioxide. The theory is that as CO2 increases, the temperature increases. As the temperature increases, it forces more CO2 to be released from CO2 sinks or it causes less CO2 to be absorbed. This extra CO2 causes a dramatic increase in temperature – which releases more CO2. Many of the models that predicted the end of world had this increase in CO2 and temperature. It really wasn’t the CO2 from man that was the problem, it was the tipping point that was reached by man’s CO2.

Time for a Climate Change Plan B

Nigel Lawson has done a remarkable job of explaining the basic problem with limiting the use of carbon based fuels in our world today. His argument doesn’t really take a side on the merits of the science but rather on the realities of economics. His opinion recently showed up in the Wall Street Journal and I have taken the liberty to include selected parts here.  I suggest that you click through to read the entire article.

Lord Lawson was U.K. chancellor of the exchequer in the Thatcher government from 1983 to 1989. He is the author of “An Appeal to Reason: A Cool Look at Global Warming” (Overlook Duckworth, paperback 2009), and is chairman of the recently formed Global Warming Policy Foundation (www.thegwpf.org).

IPCC and the Trick

Steve McIntyre of Climate Audit(one of the MMs of the Climategate emails) recently published an analysis and history of the “trick” that was accomplished and discussed in the “stolen” emails from the CRU of East Anglia.  I encourage you to jump over to Steve’s article to read the full analysis but I would like to include a few paragraphs here in the hope that you will want more information that Steve supplies.

Much recent attention has been paid to the email about the trick and the effort to hide the decline. Climate scientists have complained that this email has been taken out of context. In this case, Im not sure that its in their interests that this email be placed in context because the context leads right back to a meeting of IPCC authors in Tanzania, raising serious questions about the role of IPCC itself in hiding the decline in the Briffa reconstruction.

Lord Turnbull’s comments

I thought that Lord Turnbull’s speach in front of the House of Lords on December 8, 2009 was very well done. It does an excellent job of praising many in the community for their efforts in addition to appropriately questioning the correct next action. As this is a public forum paid for by British taxpayers, I feel that I can include his complete comments here.

I especially like the realism in his comments about the exporting of carbon usage to China (or other less developed countries) and then blaming those countries for their dramatic increase. This is an issue that is often overlooked in the discussion of curtailing carbon output in any individual country.

A Reason To Be Skeptical

David Harsanyi has an excellent editorial on the ClimateGate fiasco that has been dominating this blog and many others across the blogosphere.  His editorial originally appeared on RealClearPolitics.  He is allowing me to reproduce parts of it here and I encourage you to jump over to the full article to read more.

Who knows? In the long run, global warming skeptics may be wrong, but the importance of healthy skepticism in the face of conventional thinking is, once again, validated.


We found out that respected men discussed the manipulation of science, the blocking of Freedom of Information requests, the exclusion of dissenting scientists from debate, the removal of dissent from the peer-reviewed publications, and the discarding of historical temperature data and e-mail evidence.

Michael Mann to be investigated over CRU emails

It appears that Michael Mann, the Associate Professor of Meteorology from Penn State, will be investigated regarding concerns that were brought up after the release of the East Anglia CRU emails and documents.

When I first saw the release for this investigation, it seemed a bit suspicious. It did not contain any formatting, contact information, or logos.  However, I have confirmed that, as of this writing, the link to the announcement is live on the College of Earth and Mineral Sciences website (see Climate Change issue in the right column).

I am a bit skeptical that this investigation will be fair and complete but at least it is a first step to getting to the bottom of the issue.

No scientist had email stolen from East Anglia!

Most people that read this site have likely heard of the emails that were stolen from the University of East Anglia’s Climate Research Unit (CRU). I would like to offer a few of my thoughts on the subject.

First, catch the people responsible for breaking into the property of the University of East Anglia. Prosecute the offenders to the fullest extent of the law. I am not versed in the laws of the UK but I would assume that each document and email that was illegally stolen from those servers would be an individual count of theft, so the parties involved would be liable for several thousand counts of theft. No one should ever break the law to further their political interest (and remember there was nothing purely scientific in these emails – they are simply emails with opinions and, as such, are not facts). Breaking the law is simply not a way to discuss the scientific relevance of information. So just as I condemn Mr. Al Gore, former Vice President of the US, for suggesting civil disobedience, I condemn the stealing of information from the University.

A Tour of the Cryosphere 2009

I first saw this on Net-Cool which is a great site to subscribe to for finding really interesting things on the web.

This movie explains some of the reasons of concern for monitoring the increase in temperatures that we have felt since the 1960s.  It is very well done and enjoyable to watch.  Unlike An Inconvenient Truth, it admits that this is not pure imagery but some CGI has been done.

If you can handle the bandwidth, you will see better graphics here rather than watching the embedded YouTube video below.

Are the glaciers our fault?

I am often asked if the reduction of the size of glaciers is the fault of global warming. My standard answer is that I don’t know as the evidence is far from conclusive.

A case in point is a graph from the USGS fact sheet:

Two conclusions are fairly obvious from the above graph.  First, the size of glacier recession has been occurring almost since the time when we started measuring the size back in the late 50s.  The second is that the reduction seemed to increase rather rapidly in the late 80s and early 90s. If we draw a straight line to average the reduction from 1960 to 1975, we will see a totally different rate as compared to the line that averages 1980 to 2005.

Scientists and Engineers are upset

If you read this site often, you will know that I am an engineer by training (even though I don’t currently practice). I tend to respect this profession a great deal as being fairly straight-forward and hard working. As a group, they also tend to be a pretty smart bunch.

One of the major trade rags in engineering is C&EN (Chemical and Engineering News). It is edited by Mr. Rudy Baum. If you aren’t in that trade, you would probably never pick up an issue so you may not be familiar with it. I haven’t read the publication in a long time but was recently made aware of a bit of controversy by Climate Depot. While the readers of C&EN are likely not climatologists, the science of CO2 and its affect on the atmosphere is very steeped in chemistry which their target market knows a bit about.