Posts Tagged ‘climate change’

Shouting match?

Shouting match?

Is the political element of the climate change debate taking over from the science factors? That seems to be the implication of the opinion piece reported on here.

An excellent new meme has entered the climate change debate thanks to David Harsanyi, writing in The Federalist. In his article he articulates why wide acceptance of catastrophic climate change is failing to manifest: because it comes along with an enormous amount of left wing baggage. He summarises it as ‘leftist malware’.

For those not familiar, ‘malware’ is a term used to describe software that is often harmful or intrusive and usually installs itself on your computer without your consent or knowledge. I can’t think of a better metaphor that captures the essential noxiousness of the climate change movement so neatly.


Going nowhere

Going nowhere

Trend or exception: after two consecutive winters with 90% freeze-overs of the North American Great Lakes, plus this assessment(see below), what are the chances of an ‘Arctic death spiral’ as trumpeted in certain quarters over recent years?

Christopher Booker reports in the Sunday Telegraph (h/t GWPF):
As Britain emerges from an unusually sunny and comparatively mild winter, spare a thought for the people of eastern Canada, still in the grip of their most terrifying winter for decades. Recent pictures online of “Photographic proof that Canada’s east coast is basically the ice planet Hoth” show hapless residents standing below ice cliffs and snow drifts 20ft high. This month the Globe and Mail of Toronto, which endured its coldest February on record, described 2015 for Canada’s Atlantic provinces as having been like living in a “prison of snow and ice”.


Heads in the clouds?

Heads in the clouds?

If temperatures won’t go up, bring the so-called ‘target’ down. That’s the latest brainwave of climate fear merchants, seemingly oblivious to the lack of any temperature rise this century.

Former Guardian writer Fred Pearce reports:
Is the world’s target of limiting global warming to 2 °C too high, or too low? Does it even make scientific sense? The consensus around the target, which was agreed at climate talks in Copenhagen in 2009, seems to be coming unstuck.

Back in October, US climate analysts David Victor and Charles Kennel called it scientifically meaningless and politically unachievable. We should get used to the idea of something warmer, they said.

Now the target has been denounced as “utterly inadequate”, by Petra Tschakert of Penn State University in University Park, who has been involved in a UN review of the target. She wants a 1.5 °C target instead. Writing in the journal Climate Change Responses, she says this lower limit is necessary if we want sea levels to rise less than a metre, to protect half of all coral reefs, and to still have some ice during Arctic summers.


My thanks to Astrophysicist Ian Wilson who has left a long comment which I’m reposting here for further discussion, because it contains findings which are as Ian says, amazing (and Ian isn’t a man of hyperbole) . The summary below is further explained in Ian’s new paper which I’ll be putting up a further post on soon: 

Are Changes in the Earth’s Rotation Rate Externally Driven and Do They Affect Climate? 

sun-earth-moonwhich is available from this link. This is a stupendous work, containing many exact period matches, rather than being dominated by tenuous statistical derivations like so many other climate papers are. Top quality science on the talkshop. In the meantime, to whet your appetite:

Ian Wilson:
We know that the strongest planetary tidal forces acting on the lunar orbit come from
the planets Venus, Mars and Jupiter, in order of the size of their respective tidal
influences. In addition, we known that, over the last 4.6 billion years, the Moon has
slowly receded from the Earth. During the course of this lunar recession, there have been
times when the orbital periods of Venus, Mars and Jupiter have been in resonance(s) with
the precession rates for the line-of-nodes and line-of-apse of the lunar orbit. When these resonances have occurred, they would have greatly amplified the effects of the planetary tidal forces upon the shape and tilt of lunar orbit. Hence, the observed synchronization between the precession rates of the line-of-nodes and line-of-apse of the lunar orbit and the orbital periods of Venus, Earth, Mars and Jupiter, could simply be a cumulative fossil record left behind by these historical resonances.

The Rt. Hon. David Cameron MP
Prime Minister
10 Downing Street
London SW1A 2AA
18th January 2013


Dear Prime Minister,

Like you I read PPE at Oxford and I was lucky enough to be taught Economics by Professor Wilfred Beckerman. He has an interest in the economics of environmentalism, having worked in that field with the World Bank in the 1960s, advised the Labour Party on it and he was a member of the Royal Commission on Environmental Pollution from 1970 to 1973. He wrote an excellent book in 1974 called “In Defence of Economic Growth” which was a rebuttal of the famous Club of Rome 1972 book “The Limits to Growth”.

In 2002, Prof. Beckerman published a book called “A Poverty of Reason: Economic Growth and Sustainable Development”. If you or your advisers on environmental policies haven’t read it before, I thoroughly recommend it as a succinct and massively sensible analysis of many environmentalists’ arguments by a brilliant economist and excellent teacher. He is still going strong at 87; he’s still teaching at UCL, mainly on ethical issues in Economics which he touches on in this book when addressing the mistakes made by many environmentalists about intergenerational ethics, rights and basic economics when considering issues like resource depletion, climate change and the precautionary principle.


I’m reposting this from Erl Happ’s blog because it deserves wider attention. This is a tour de force, pulling together the different strands of climate knowledge and weather lore Erl has been building up over the years. Hi ideas fit well with those of Marcel Leroux, who worked out that climate change is largely driven by longer term changes in the polar oscillations. Erl believes these are largely due to  ozone changes caused by solar variation which drive the global air flows via consequent surface pressure changes. As Hans Jelbring tells us: Wind controls climate. As Nikolov and Zeller tell us, surface pressure and insolation control temperature. Erl delves into the underlying causes of those polar variations, and connects the levels and latitudes of the atmosphere for us in a novel, logical and interesting way.

Climate changes – oh so naturally
Erl Happ Dec 2011


Change in the planetary winds (conceptually documented in the diagram above) is the least remarked but most influential dynamic affecting surface temperature.  Wind is a response to pressure differentials. So, a change in the wind is due to a change in these pressure differentials.

The following post describes why pressure differentials and the the planetary winds change over time.

From Wikipedia we have: “the troposphere is the lowest portion of Earth’s atmosphere. It contains approximately 80% of the atmosphere’s mass and 99% of its water vapor and aerosols. The average depth of the troposphere is approximately 17 km (11 mi) in the middle latitudes. It is deeper in the tropical regions, up to 20 km (12 mi), and shallower near the poles, at 7 km (4.3 mi) in summer, and indistinct in winter.”

The notion that there is  a tropopause in high latitudes or that it is somehow ‘indistinct in winter’ represents sloppy thinking.  At high latitudes, in winter, the air is not heated by the surface (very cold) or the release of latent heat (a cold desert). Neither is it heated directly by the sun (below the horizon). It is heated by the absorption of long wave radiation from the Earth by ozone. In consequence parts of the polar stratosphere and the troposphere are permanently locked together in convection. Consequently ozone descends into the near surface atmosphere.  This process changes the distribution of atmospheric mass and therefore surface pressure. It governs the strength of the planetary winds and cloud cover in the troposphere.  The process manifests as the Northern Annular Mode (or the Arctic Oscillation) and the Southern Annular Mode. These well recognized modes of inter-annual climate variation affect mid and high latitude temperatures and winter snow cover. But this is not the half of it. The influence of the circulation at the winter pole extends to the equator and the alternate hemisphere, especially in the case of the Arctic where stratospheric ozone concentration is more elevated than over Antarctica. If we imagine that this phenomenon is responsible for just the inter-annual climate variation, we reveal a blindness to the evolutionary nature of the phenomenon and its capacity to change climate over decadal and longer time scales.