Day by Day

Tuesday, May 29, 2012

Climate Models Have No Clothes

The climate models have no clothes. They have no predictive ability. The proof that they don’t is in the observations of what has happened compared to model predictions. Warming is at a standstill. So is sea level rise. Glaciers in Glacier Bay retreated ten times more from 1780 to 1912 as 1912 to present. Warming still precedes CO2 increases. The “hot spot” ain’t there. Severe weather is not as severe as it used to be. A review of cycles of glaciation and warming during the past 500,000 years show Earth is now in what is established as long periods of glaciation and short inter-glacials.
Ocean pH was 0.8 units lower and atmospheric CO2 was five times higher one hundred million years ago (when marine invertebrates had already been established and successful for over four hundred million years). Recent studies show that some marine invertebrates do better in higher acidity, and that models using strong acids have led to incorrect conclusions about increased ocean acidity. Since very little CO2 absorbed in water becomes carbonic acid, it has very little effect on pH anyway Between 1751 and 1994 surface ocean pH is estimated to have decreased from approximately 8.25 to 8.14 – since we have many studies that show the warming ending the Little Ice Age began about three hundred years ago, the relationship between current warming, CO2, and ocean acidification seems specious. Since CO2 is released to the atmosphere as oceans warm, there is a disconnect between oceans warming and atmospheric CO2 being absorbed by the oceans. It would appear more likely that oceans would have absorbed CO2 and created more carbonic acid during the Little Ice Age than during the warming that followed. Since atmospheric warming following the Little Ice Age would have preceded ocean warming, a timeline of decreasing pH over three hundred years ago makes more sense.
But back to models. If the models were right, US temperature would have increased at least three times the 1 degree F since 1900 (with most of the increase in the 1930s). Sea levels would be up more than 6 inches since 1999, instead of less than one inch. Major hurricanes would be hitting the US annually, instead of none in over 3 years. Texas temperatures would be up more than the observed 0.04 degree F since 1884. Or to put it simply, the models would not be so crappy at predicting the future, or in explaining the past.

Ocean Acidity Scare Debunked

A writer to our Gualala weekly newspaper noted (Oyster evidence, ICO, May 11, 2012) that acidity of the oceans are increasing “at a rate in the last 100 years that is 10 times faster than any 100-year span in the last 300 million years.” This is interesting on many levels, most conspicuously because it’s not true. An obvious fault is that ocean pH changes cannot be measured in precise 100-year increments covering the past 300 million years.  However, there’s more.

A 2005 study (Pelejero et al.) spanning the period 1708-1988 found a clear interdecadal oscillation of pH between 7.9 and 8.2 pH units. The study showed many oscillations of 0.2 pH units within the three 100-year periods examined.

A 2009 study (Liu et al.) of the pH history of the South China Sea covering the past 7,000 years shows oscillations of 0.4 pH units, some of which decreased 0.2 pH units in a 100-year period.  About recent increases in ocean acidity, this study concluded: “(T)here is nothing unusual, unnatural or unprecedented about the two most recent pH values. They are neither the lowest of the record, nor is the decline rate that led to them the greatest of the record.”

It’s hard for a statement about acidity increasing “faster than any 100-year span in the last 300 million years” to be true when the rate isn’t the even the fastest in the last 300 years, as one study shows, or in the last 7,000 years per another study.

A 2009 Australian study (Wei et al.) found a decrease in pH of 0.4 units 1935-1940, and an earlier decrease of 0.3 units 1860-1865. Both of these reductions, as all of the previous examples, were obviously not caused by increased atmospheric CO2. It is also obvious that Oregon oysters survived them all, and should persevere.

(The writer sent another letter to our weekly newspaper that basically repeated his first letter without the slightest indication that he had read my refutation above)

According to him, a Columbia University study found we had increased the ocean’s acidity, in his words, “10 times faster than any time in the last 300 million years,” but that’s not what it says. Its headline is “Ocean Acidification Rate May Be Unprecedented,” and the report findings are qualified with the word “may” throughout.

The pH change in question is only a decrease from 8.2 to 8.1 in 200 years. To put this in perspective, a 2011 study, Hofmann, et al., High-Frequency Dynamics of Ocean pH: A Multi-Ecosystem Comparison, found many non-open ocean sites where pH varied by up to 1.4 units in a month. In the more stable and vast open ocean, Hofmann wrote: “Open-water areas (in the Southern Ocean) experience a strong seasonal shift in seawater pH (~0.3–0.5 units) between austral summer and winter.”

A Mediterranean experiment found that corals and mollusks transplanted to lower pH sites were “able to calcify and grow at even faster than normal rates when exposed to the high [carbon-dioxide] levels projected for the next 300 years.” That’s not surprising, since corals and shellfish evolved with CO2 levels 10-20 times higher than present.

Contradicting the Oregon State oyster study he cited, a 2012 Parker et al. study of Sydney rock oysters found that "larvae spawned from adults exposed to elevated CO2 were larger and developed faster" than those from nearby ambient seawater. This study exposed the flaw in the Oregon study that only considered the impacts on larvae, ignoring the carry-over effects passed from adult to offspring.

A 2012 Armin et al. study of cold-water coral found it acclimated quickly and appeared to increase growth under lower pH levels. Again, science robustly debunks ocean acidification fears and alarmism.

We have nothing to fear but Al Gore himself.

Obama's Bummer Week

The news of a week in April reminds me of a joke about a racer who was "so far behind he thought he was leading." Obama began by blurting out that a foul-Tweeting hood (Trayvon Martin) looked like his son. Such hurried race-baiting is more worthy of a Jesse Jackson or an Al Sharpton; certainly neither Bush nor Reagan would have made such a statement. However, if Bill Clinton made a similar remark, DNA matching would be in order, but that's another story.

Speaking of remarks, we now know Obama can speak without a TelePrompTer, at least to Russians, and that his flexibility includes bending over backwards.

Obama's budget lost 412-0 in the House, and since there aren't 412 Republicans in the House (yet), that means every Democrat who voted, voted against it. Obama would have slightly better luck in the Democrat-dominated Senate, where no budget has been passed since 2009.

Finally, the Supreme Court wrecked the Obamacare train, news and pictures to follow (in June) as they say on TV news.

If Obama ran unopposed, he would lose big.

Unscientific San Francisco Chronicle

John Diaz’s article “Truth and Denial” (Insight, page E3, San Francisco Chronicle, February 26, 2012) was remarkable for its lack of science in a supposedly scientific editorial. Diaz made a perfunctory denunciation of the fraud (and probable forgery) perpetrated by “Scientist” Peter Gleick on The Heartland Institute, a libertarian think tank based in Chicago.

In his article Mr. Diaz lightly condemned Gleick while trying and convicting The Heartland Institute and man-caused global warming skeptics of crimes against humanity. According to Mr. Diaz: "The scientific consensus that human activity is accelerating global warming is solid; the only real debate is about the magnitude and timing of the consequences. Its effects are already apparent. Melting glaciers and ice caps. Sea-level rise. Severe storms and drought. Devastated crops."

The fact that global warming is not accelerating, and that numerous reputable and respected scientists deny its consequences did not enter into Mr. Diaz's labeling of skeptics as "deniers", furthering the ongoing effort to establish and maintain an odious link with Holocaust deniers. Mr. Diaz obviously is unaware that glaciers have been retreating for over 300 years since the end of the Little Ice Age. In Glacier Bay, Alaska, retreat was over 50 miles from 1780 to 1912, and only six miles since. Sea level rise has decelerated, according to Europe's new sophisticated satellite system, and is trending at about six inches per century or less, the same as the two previous centuries. The alarmist forecast for the San Francisco Bay Area of six feet by 2100 would equal the highest rate of increase per century experienced at the end of the Ice Age about 10,000 years ago, when there was vast quantities of ice to melt and global temperature was much higher than today. Concerning severe storms and drought, and devastated crops, even dedicated "warmist" scientists deny linkages, and respected neutral scientists such as the Doctors Pielke, Senior and Junior, dismiss it entirely.

Mr. Diaz also assumes with no evidence that skeptics are well funded, but if he had chosen to read the fraudulently acquired Heartland Institute budget, and compared it to warmist organization budgets - Sierra Club, Greenpeace, World Wildlife Federation, etc. - he would be confronted by the facts that the Heartland Institute budget is only a small fraction of the budgets of any one of these organizations, that only a small portion of Heartland's budget was applied to climate change, and that Big Oil provides far more money to warmists than to skeptics.

Mr. Diaz, I can easily substantiate skeptic science positions by inquiring government, not skeptic, sources. Mr. Diaz, it seems you and many other "reporters" have lost your nose for news when it comes to natural climate change.