Annals of global warming: Records from Mauna Loa show continuing rise in atmospheric CO2

March 26, 2011

NOAA's Mauna Loa Observatory, NOAA photo, 1982, Cmdr. John Bortniak

NOAA's Mauna Loa Observatory, from NOAA At the Ends of the Earth Collection, 1982 NOAA photo by Commander John Bortniak

John Adams observed, and Ronald Reagan was fond of quoting, “Facts are stubborn things . . .”

Here are the facts on atmospheric carbon dioxide (CO2):

 

Monthly CO2 levels since 1960, Mauna Loa Observatory (Scripps Inst of Oceanography)

Mauna Loa Observatory, Scripps Institution of Oceanography, UCSD (University of Calfornia-San Diego); CO2 concentrations in parts per million (ppm)

As described at the Scripps Institution of Oceanography site:

Description:
Monthly average atmospheric carbon dioxide concentration versus time at Mauna Loa Observatory, Hawaii (20°N, 156°W) where CO2 concentration is in parts per million in the mole fraction (p.p.m.). The curve is a fit to the data based on a stiff spline plus a 4 harmonic fit to the seasonal cycle with a linear gain factor.

Data from Scripps CO2 Program.

For perspective, here’s a chart from Scripps that shows why there is concern over current levels of CO2:

CO2 over the past 420,000 years - Scripps Institution of Oceanography

CO2 over the past 420,000 years - Scripps Institution of Oceanography

Resources, More:


Lens incompetence: Watts Up looks through the wrong end of the telescope

December 27, 2010

The wags and denialists over at Anthony Watts’ joint are up to their old tricks, accusing others of their own errors.  Today it’s a guest post by Bernie Lewin, in which he claims that climate warming was all psychological, a “scare”:

Yet we can find precedents to this science-base scare in many health scares of recent decades, and also in environmental scares since the DDT cancer scare triggered by Silent Spring, politicised by the EDF and legalized by the newly formed EPA. (See Scared to Death which finds a repeating pattern to these science-based scares.)

Woman looking through the wrong end of a telescope

This woman might be corrected; global warming denialists will staunchly insist she knows what she’s doing and doesn’t need YOUR advice.

He fails to even think that Rachel Carson was right.  Lewin demonstrates incompetence at history, law and science, and the first point of the Scout Law, all in one sentence.

So much error.  So little time to correct.

  1. Carson didn’t claim DDT caused cancer. She noted that we create thousands of chemicals that may cause cancer, that cancers were rising in frequency, and that there was no testing of the new substances prior to their marketing.   Was there a DDT/cancer scare?  Lewin doesn’t offer any evidence.  (We had to correct Matt Ridley on this a couple of weeks ago — see his post here.)
  2. EDF (Environmental Defense Fund, now known as Environmental Defense) was on DDT without Carson — suing to stop DDT spraying (for no good reason) on Long Island in 1968.  EDF relied on science that was courtroom ready.  (I had misremembered the year of EDF’s suit in an earlier version of this post; my apologies to the two or three who may have read it.)  EDF’s suits established, on the basis of science, that DDT is an uncontrollable poison in the wild.  Lewin ignores science and law in his off-hand indictment of Carson’s book and ED.
  3. EPA didn’t act against DDT until 1972.  EPA banned DDT use on agricultural crops in the U.S. because DDT kills non-target species and, basically, entire ecosystems.  EPA was specific:  The ban had nothing to do with cancer.  Once again, Lewin ignores history, science and law.

So, in Lewin’s guest post, we see the pattern that continues at Watts’s place — unfair and wrong indictments of science, ignorance of history, little understanding of law.

All while trying to mock scientists:  ‘Of course scientists are almost always wrong,’ Watts’s blog argues, once again.

Watts won’t let me correct his errors there, even though he’s still coddling those who misdescribe Rachel Carson as a mass murderer, while denying he does it himself.  Consequently his readers won’t be alerted to this post because Watts or his minions will edit out the automatic ping his blog gets that this post is here.  Propaganda promoting falsehood can’t stand the sunlight of fact and truth.

Just because there’s a scare doesn’t mean there’s not a reason to be scared.  DDT is a deadly toxin, so long-lived that it almost cannot ever be eradicated from the environment.  It kills everything small, quickly, unless so much of it is used that the small things evolve quickly to be resistant and immune to it.

So, if we are to assume, as Lewin wrote, that the anti-warming bunch is to warming what the campaign against Rachel Carson by the DDT manufacturers was to DDT’s harms, we get a hint of what’s really up at Watts Up:  Any anti-warming claim is a hoax.  Why put it so cryptically, if that’s what they meant to say?

When Lewin looks at the history of DDT and Rachel Carson, he’s looking at the false history, and he draws the wrong conclusions.  Should we trust a guy so sloppy with the facts to be right on anything else?


Wegman Scandal: Attack on climate scientists based on shoddy scholarship

October 4, 2010

John Mashey assembled a massive document that nails down the case that bad science and politics make the complaints against scientists and the science that indicates global warming occurs, and can be attributed to greenhouse gases.  It is a scandal, though it’s unlikely to be reported that way.

Mashey’s entire paper — and it’s very, very large — is published at Deep Climate.

Mashey’s paper indicts staff work done for Rep. Joe Barton, R-Texas — not that any of the voters in Barton’s district will let this major breach of ethics sway their votes, but those who want to vote against him can be gratified that they are on the moral side of the ballot.

Mashey wrote:

This report offers a detailed study of the “Wegman Report”: Edward J. Wegman, David W. Scott, Yasmin H. Said, “AD HOC COMMITTEE REPORT ON THE ‘HOCKEY STICK’ GLOBAL CLIMATE RECONSTRUCTION”(2006).

It has been key prop of climate anti-science ever since. It was promoted to Congress by Representatives Joe Barton and Ed Whitfield as “independent, impartial, expert” work by a team of “eminent statisticians.” It was none of those.

A Barton staffer provided much of the source material to the Wegman team. The report itself contains numerous cases of obvious bias, as do process, testimony and follow-on actions. Of 91 pages, 35 are mostly plagiarized text, but often injected with errors, bias and changes of meaning. Its Bibliography is mostly padding, 50% of the references uncited in the text.  Many references are irrelevant or dubious.  The team relied heavily on a long-obsolete sketch and very likely on various uncredited sources. Much of the work was done by Said (then less than 1 year post-PhD) and by students several years pre-PhD. The (distinguished) 2nd author Scott wrote only a 3-page standard mathematical Appendix.  Some commenters were surprised to be later named as serious “reviewers.”  Comments were often ignored anyway.  People were misused.

The Wegman Report claimed two missions: #1 evaluate statistical issues of the “hockey stick” temperature graph,  and #2 assess potential peer review issues in climate science.  For #1, the team might have been able to do a peer-review-grade statistical analysis, but in 91 pages managed not to do so.  For  #2, a credible assessment needed a senior, multidisciplinary panel, not a statistics professor and his students, demonstrably unfamiliar with the science and as a team, unqualified for that task.   Instead, they made an odd excursion into “social network analysis,” a discipline  in which they lacked experience, but used poorly to make baseless claims of potential wrongdoing.

In retrospect, the real missions were: #1 claim the “hockey stick” broken and #2 discredit climate science as a whole. All this was a facade for a PR campaign well-honed by Washington, DC “think tanks” and allies, underway for years.

Now, if only Mashey had some e-mails stolen from Joe Barton, we could get some traction on the issue, eh?  ::wink-wink, nudge-nudge::

One may wonder what it will take to rehabilitate the skeptical side of the debate, to the point that they contribute more than mau-mauing.

Mashey’s paper makes that case that Joe Barton worked hard to pull off a great, hoaxed political smear, with a high degree of success.  Who will have the backbone to do anything about it?  Global cooling will proceed to the next ice age before any Republican shows backbone, I predict.

But, how long before the Fort Worth Star-Telegram or the Dallas Morning News picks up the story?

Other Texas bloggers?  Anyone?

It’s not an air-tight legal brief (I could quibble with some of the legal material), but in a better world, a world where politicians actually do good politics and public servants do public service, the House Rules Committee and Ethics Committee would be reading Mashey’s piece, and asking pointed questions.  U.S. attorneys in Washington, D.C., and the Northern District of Texas, would also be downloading Mashey’s piece, and puzzling it out.  Journalists in Dallas, Fort Worth, Austin, Galveston and Houston in Texas, and Washington, D.C., and New York, would also be poring over the piece.  Ken Cuccinelli in Virginia would also be paying attention to it, if he were concerned about justice.

More (watch for updates):


Carbon-cutting schemes work, in Great Britain

August 11, 2010

Another press release that will have the climate change critics pulling their hair, from Great Britain’s Department of Energy and Climate Change about the Carbon Reduction Commitment plan (CRC):

50 days for businesses to register for carbon cutting scheme (Press Release)

With just 50 days to go until the end of registration for the Carbon Reduction Commitment Energy Efficiency Scheme (CRC), Greg Barker is calling on the remaining organisations to register now.

Currently 1229 of the organisations required to register have done so.

Launched in April 2010 the CRC requires large public and private sector organisations to register with the Environment Agency by 30th September 2010.

Greg Barker, Energy and Climate Change Minister, said;

“This new Coalition Government wants to boost energy efficiency in business because we know that saving energy saves money. The CRC will encourage significant savings through greater energy efficiency and importantly will make carbon a boardroom issue for many large organisations.

My message to businesses today is to register now. I understand the original complexity of the scheme may have deterred some organisations and I want to hear suggestions as to how we can make the scheme simpler in the future.”

GB Energy Minister Greg Barker and Westminster Fire Station

With just 50 days to go until the end of registration for the Carbon Reduction Commitment Energy Efficiency Scheme (CRC), Greg Barker is calling on the remaining organisations to register now. The Minister visited Westminster Fire Station this month to meet fire fighters and see some of the measures recently installed to improve the station’s energy efficiency.

The London Fire Brigade is one organisation that has registered for the CRC. Energy efficiency projects put in place by the Brigade have led to savings of £260,000 in 2009/10 and over £1 million since the Brigade started focusing on the need to be greener. Despite the organisation growing overall carbon emissions on their buildings are down by over 18% on 1990s levels.

Greg Barker visited Westminster Fire Station this month to meet fire fighters and see some of the measures recently installed to improve the station’s energy efficiency. Chairman and Leader of London Fire and Emergency Planning Authority Councillor Brian Coleman AM, FRSA, said:

“This isn’t just about protecting the environment, it makes excellent business sense. Last year we saved the taxpayer over a quarter of a million pounds by making our fire stations greener and reducing our energy bills.”

The CRC will help to ensure that organisations play their full role in contributing to the UK’s emissions reductions of at least 34% on 1990 levels by 2020 through improved energy efficiency.

  • Find out more about CRC on the DECC website
  • Imagine that: Saving energy both reduces carbon emissions and saves money.

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    Another blog, shocked — shocked! — at cold in Argentina in July

    August 10, 2010

    Unlike the blog discussed in an earlier post at first, this blog seems to understand that it’s winter in South America.  Still, the author can’t understand why record cold in one small spot doesn’t completely negate warming in the rest of the world:  Minnesotans for Global Warming.

    One almost expects to find it has sister sites:  Minnesotans Love Cancer, Minnesotans for Child Abuse, and Self-Lobotomies R Us.

    Maybe it’s not the concept of climate that confuses these people, but the entire notion of “average global temperature.”  People who spend their entire lives below average, probably expect that’s the way it is in temperatures, too.  (Is that nasty enough for today?  I’m feeling crabby about idiocy.)


    Warming deniers surprised by winter

    July 27, 2010

    Were you writing fiction, you couldn’t make this stuff up.

    Another bastion of people misled by the lack of a Hemingway-brand Solid Gold Sh*t Detector™.

    Another person proud as heck of her denial of global warming, points to cattle freezing in South America in July as proof that the Earth’s atmosphere is not warming.

    At a blog called Frugal Café Blog Zone, “Where it’s chic to be cheap… Conservative social & political commentary, with frugality mixed in,” blogger Vicki McClure Davidson headlined the piece:

    “Remember Al Gore’s “Global Warming” Hoax? People & Cattle in South America Are Dying from Extreme Cold in July”

    Gee, how to break this news to her?

    Vickie, sit down.  This is something you should have learned in geography in junior high:  In the Southern Hemisphere, winter starts on June 21It’s cold in South America in July, because it’s winter in South America in July.

    Cold in winter.  They don’t expect it.  These warming denialists provide the evidence those crabs need, who wonder whether there shouldn’t be some sort of “common sense test” required to pass before allowing people to vote, or drive, or have children.

    Oh, it gets worse:

    Another site picked up the post.  No, seriously.  (Has Anthony Watts seen this yet?)

    • Voting Female [I am convinced that is a sock puppet site designed to insult women; no woman could be that stupid, could she?]
    Earth at northern solstice

    Earth at northern solstice - Wikimedia image


    Stolen e-mails report: Scientists in the clear, science solid

    July 7, 2010

    So far it’s a shut out against the “skeptics” of global warming.*

    From Science Insider (the AAAS breaking news blog):

    The fifth and, so far, most thorough major investigation into the published mails from the University of East Angia’s Climatic Research Unit (CRU) has given the CRU a relatively clean bill of health. (See the full report.) The independent inquiry into so-called “Climategate”, instigated by UEA and headed by former civil servant Muir Russell, examined the conduct of the CRU scientists following allegations sparked by the so-called “Climategate” e-mails. It looked at selective use of data, subverting of peer review, and failure to respond fully to requests under the Freedom of Information Act (FOIA).

    The report was unequivocal in its backing of the scientists in terms of research integrity, though it did criticize their openness. “Their rigour and honesty as scientists are not in doubt,” it said. In response to the assertion that CRU had withheld data, the report found that it was mostly not theirs to withhold but was easily accessible in public databases. One of the report’s authors, physicist Peter Clarke of the University of Edinburgh in the United Kingdom, told a press briefing today that they were able to download the relevant data “in a few minutes” and then process it in the same way as CRU had done, producing similar final results. “It took a couple of days of code writing,” he said. The authors found no evidence of bias by CRU in its selection of data. Allegations of misuse of tree ring data were also put aside.

    Some of the 1000 e-mails that appeared on the Internet suggested that CRU Director Phil Jones had tried to influence peer review of papers he disagreed with and prevented them from being cited by reviews of the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC).

    On the subject of peer review, Russell said that expressing “robust opinions [about papers] was typical during peer review.” And after consulting with editors of the IPCC report, the panel concluded that the CRU scientists were “parts of teams and not individuals responsible for the wording of the reports,” Russell says.

    Where the CRU scientists did fall down was in their openness to requests for data. “There was a consistent pattern of failing to display the proper degree of openness,” Russell says. And the report criticizes UEA for failing to recognize its statutory requirements under the FOIA and also the risk to the reputation of the university and to the credibility of U.K. climate science. Panel member James Norton said that “now more than ever scientists need to be open. Scientists don’t own their own data and at most have a temporary lease.”

    More:

    _____________

    *  They’ve complained about being called denialists — maybe we should start calling them “gullibles,” especially since they seized on the thin reed of these stolen e-mails to claim that the victimized scientists were the ones who had done something wrong, since they fell for the fourth-grade science project hoax, and since they fell for the Spanish bomb-in-the-mail hoax.


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