Among the issues most commonly discussed are individuality, the rights of the individual, the limits of legitimate government, morality, history, economics, government policy, science, business, education, health care, energy, and man-made global warming evaluations. My posts are aimed at intelligent and rational individuals, whose comments are very welcome.

"No matter how vast your knowledge or how modest, it is your own mind that has to acquire it." Ayn Rand

"Observe that the 'haves' are those who have freedom, and that it is freedom that the 'have-nots' have not." Ayn Rand

"The virtue involved in helping those one loves is not 'selflessness' or 'sacrifice', but integrity." Ayn Rand

For "a human being, the question 'to be or not to be,' is the question 'to think or not to think.'" Ayn Rand

28 February 2018

Will a Warmer Earth Really be a Drier Earth?

According to a recent Popular Science video and article, a 2C increase in temperature will cause the Earth to be a lot drier Earth, but one which also will have increased “extreme precipitation” events, such as the National Climate Assessment says has occurred “in every region of the contiguous states since the 1950s.”  It claims that “droughts and heat waves have also intensified, as is evident in California, which in recent years has seen less rain, drier soil, and the spread of wildfires.”  The United Nations ascribes to this same viewpoint.

It fails to note that for a few hundred years prior to 200 years ago, California was also drier than it has been in the last couple hundred years.  It does note that the world’s surface is 70% ocean.  It fails to note that a 2C temperature increase would cause more water to evaporate from the oceans, which has to be cycled back to the surface as more rain and snow.  It fails to note that much of the warmer land on the Earth’s surface is covered with rainforest, which is hardly dry.  It fails to note that the driest land areas on the Earth are those in very cold regions near the poles.  Is it not logical that warming the polar regions might make them less dry?  And one must not forget that this is the water planet with 71% of its surface covered with water, both ocean and fresh water.

The video and article state that:
The last time the Earth was as warm as it is now was over 11,000 years ago. Oceans covers 70% of our planet, and it takes a lot of energy to heat up that much water, not to mention the air and land. So a two-degree increase in the average global temperature means that temperature increases across the board are a lot more than 2°C.
This statement ignores the Medieval Warm Period, the Roman Warming, and the Minoan Warm Period, which were as warm, or warmer, than the present moment -- a moment brief as yet compared to those much longer periods and one not yet clearly established as climate rather than just weather.  It was not observed that when California was previously drier than in the last couple hundred years, the Little Ice Age was underway.

And what does that foolish third sentence in the quote above mean?  The average is the across the board temperature.  Yes, if the Earth were to warm, the warming would be greater in some areas than other areas.  There is a tendency for the warming to be greater over land areas and to be greater where the temperature is colder than where it is warmer.  The tropics would not warm up as much as would areas of land at higher latitudes because water evaporation tends to limit the temperature increase.  However, the third sentence in the quote does not say this.  It is nonsense.

There are many natural cycles that cause the climate to change.  As I have shown in numerous articles on this blog, the physics used to claim catastrophic effects due to man-made global warming caused by carbon dioxide emissions is very wrong.  There is as yet no empirical or experimental evidence that further increases in the concentration of carbon dioxide in the atmosphere will cause significant global warming.  It may well actually cause an insignificant cooling for reasons I have discussed a number of times.

What we do know for sure is that more carbon dioxide in the atmosphere will greatly aid plant growth, making it easier for us to feed a growing human population.  Unlike many of the anti-human proponents of the idea that man is destroying the Earth, I think a growing human population is a good thing, at least if we can see to it that most of them are free to use their minds and free to be productive.

Apparently, the increased rain events noted in this foolish article and video are to be the precipitation of anhydrous water, which will create terrible droughts.

Is it perhaps the case that part of the reason the Industrial Revolution got underway when it did is because the Little Ice Age was ending?  Warming on Earth is usually a good thing for mankind, not a bad thing.  But note that those hawking alarmist and catastrophic man-made effects on climate love to start the reference clock at the end of the Little Ice Age.  We are still warming as a result of the end of that cooling period primarily due to the large heat capacity of our oceans.

Thanks to Prof. Howard “Cork” Hayden for bringing this article and video to my attention.

Update on 12 June 2018:  Prof. Howard "Cork" Hayden's The Energy Advocate for June 2018 has a brief discussion of a paper by J. Warren Beck, et al., "A 550,000-year record of East Asian monsoon rainfall from 10Be in loess, " Science 360, May 25, 2018, that shows that higher rainfall results from higher temperatures.

17 February 2018

Overheated claims on temperature records by Dr. Tim Ball and Tom Harris

It’s time for sober second thoughts on climate alarms

Now that the excitement has died down over the news that Earth’s surface temperature made 2017 one of the hottest years on record, it is time for sober second thoughts.
Did the January 18 announcement by the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) that 2017 was our planet’s third-hottest year since 1880, and NASA’s claim that it was the second hottest year, actually mean anything?
Although the Los Angeles Times called 2017 “a top-three scorcher for planet Earth,” neither the NOAA nor the NASA records are significant. One would naturally expect the warmest years to come during the most recent years of a warming trend. And thank goodness we have been in a gradual warming trend since the depths of the Little Ice Age in the late 1600s! Back then, the River Thames was covered by a meter of ice, as Jan Grifier’s 1683 painting “The Great Frost’ illustrates.
Regardless, recent changes have been too small for even most thermometers to notice. More important, they are often less than the government’s estimates of uncertainty in the measurements. In fact, we lack the data to properly and scientifically compare today’s temperatures with the past.
This is because, until the 1960s, surface temperature data was collected using mercury thermometers located at weather stations situated mostly in the United States, Japan, the United Kingdom and eastern Australia. Most of the rest of the planet had very few temperature sensing stations. And none of the Earth’s oceans, which constitute 70 percent of the planet’s surface area, had more than an occasional station separated from its neighbors by thousands of kilometers or miles.
The data collected at the weather stations in this sparse grid had, at best, an accuracy of +/-0.5 degrees Celsius (0.9 degrees Fahrenheit). In most cases, the real-world accuracy was no better than +/-1 deg C (1.8 deg F). Averaging such poor data in an attempt to determine global conditions cannot yield anything meaningful. Displaying average global temperature to tenths or even hundreds of a degree, as is done in the NOAA and NASA graphs, clearly defies common sense.
Modern weather station surface temperature data is now collected using precision thermocouples. But, starting in the 1970s, less and less ground surface temperature data was used for plots such as those by NOAA and NASA. This was done initially because governments believed satellite monitoring could take over from most of the ground surface data collection.
However, the satellites did not show the warming forecast by computer models, which had become so crucial to climate studies and energy policy-making. So bureaucrats closed most of the colder rural surface temperature sensing stations – the ones furthest from much warmer urban areas – thereby yielding the warming desired for political purposes.
Today, virtually no data exist for approximately 85 percent of the earth’s surface. Indeed, fewer weather stations are in operation now than in 1960.
That means surface temperature computations by NOAA and NASA after about 1980 are meaningless. Combining this with the problems with earlier data renders an unavoidable conclusion: It is not possible to know how Earth’s so-called average surface temperature has varied over the past century and a half.
The data is therefore useless for input to the computer models that form the basis of policy recommendations produced by the United Nations Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) and used to justify eliminating fossil fuels, and replacing them with renewable energy.
But the lack of adequate surface data is only the start of the problem. The computer models on which the climate scare is based are mathematical constructions that require the input of data above the surface, as well as on it. The models divide the atmosphere into cubes piled on top of each other, ideally with wind, humidity, cloud cover and temperature conditions known for different altitudes. But we currently have even less data above the surface than on it, and there is essentially no historical data at altitude.
Many people think the planet is adequately covered by satellite observations, data that represents global 24/7 coverage and is far more accurate than anything determined at weather stations. But the satellites are unable to collect data from the north and south poles, regions that the IPCC, NOAA and NASA tout as critical to understanding global warming. Besides, space-based temperature data collection did not start until 1979, and 30 years of weather data are required to generate a single data point on a climate graph.
So the satellite record is far too short to allow us to come to useful conclusions about climate change.
In fact, there is insufficient data of any kind – temperature, land and sea ice, glaciers, sea level, extreme weather, ocean pH,  and so on – to be able to determine how today’s climate differs from the past. Lacking such fundamental data, climate forecasts cited by climate activists therefore have no connection with the real world.
British Professor Hubert Lamb is often identified as the founder of modern climatology. In his comprehensive 1972 treatise, Climate: Past, Present and Future, he clearly showed that it is not possible to understand climate change without having vast amounts of accurate weather data over long time frames. Lamb also noted that funding for improving the weather database was dwarfed by money being spent on computer models and theorizing. He warned that this would result in wild and unsubstantiated theories and assertions, while predictions failed to improve. That is precisely what happened.
Each and every prediction made by the computer models cited by the IPCC have turned out to be incorrect. Indeed, the first predictions they made for the IPCC’s 1990 Assessment Report were so wrong that the panel started to call them “projections” and offered low, medium and high “confidence” ranges for future guesstimates, which journalists, politicians and others nevertheless treated as reliable predictions for future weather and climate.
IPCC members seemed to conclude that, if they provided a broad enough range of forecasts, one was bound to be correct. Yet, even that was too optimistic. All three ranges predicted by the IPCC have turned out to be wrong.
US Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) Administrator Scott Pruitt is right to speak about the need for a full blown public debate among scientists about the causes and consequences of climate change. In his February 6 television interview on KSNV, an NBC affiliate in Las Vegas, Mr. Pruitt explained:
“There are very important questions around the climate issue that folks really don’t get to. And that’s one of the reasons why I’ve talked about having an honest, open, transparent debate about what do we know, and what don’t we know, so the American people can be informed and they can make decisions on their own with respect to these issues.”
On January 30, Pruitt told the Senate Environment and Public Works Committee that a “red team-blue team exercise” (an EPA-sponsored debate between climate scientists holding differing views) is under consideration. It is crucially important that such a debate take place.
The public needs to understand that even the most basic assumptions underlying climate concerns are either in doubt or simply wrong. The campaign to force America, Canada, Europe and the rest of the world to switch from abundant and affordable coal and other fossil fuels – to expensive, unreliable, land intensive alternatives – supposedly to control Earth’s always fluctuating climate, will then finally be exposed for what it really is: the greatest, most damaging hoax in history.

Dr. Tim Ball is an environmental consultant and former climatology professor at the University of Winnipeg in Manitoba. Tom Harris is executive director of the Ottawa, Canada-based International Climate Science Coalition.

My Note:
I added the yellow highlighting.  This is a point I have also long made.  I will add another point, much of the historical data has been "corrected" in recent times and the corrections are very substantial compared to the temperature trends and somehow almost always make the older temperatures colder.  If the older data really does need to have such large corrections, then the older data is worthless as scientific data and should be treated as such.  There is no point in making the corrections on such a wobbly, uncertain base.