Tag Archives: temperature

Bits and Pieces – 20160115, Wednesday

Commentary: It’s always been a matter of timing. We have a fairly good ability to predict where the next “big one” will hit but few ever get the timing right. The collapse of the housing bubble in the US in 2007 was forecast by many. A habdul of people actually got the timing right and were paid handsomely for their effort. Many say that we are in a stock market bubble in the US, in a bond market bubble, that we have a credit market bubble. The EU is fraught with financial fault lines.

Today I came across a short essay by Howard Kunstler: Made For Each Other. In it, he argues that our financial system is the least well-grounded to survive the coming debt ceiling debate in the US and the geopolitical turmoil from elections in the EU this year. Victor Sperandeo forecast 10 days ago in a KWN interview: ALERT: Former Soros Associate Just Warned We Are About To Witness ‘Absolute F*cking Chaos’ Across The Globe, that the EU elections would cause a major crisis in late March or April.

Flash Point: Hot It’s Not – Get Your Bias Right

We have written many articles under the Climate category on this site that deal with the “global warming” issue and climate temperature. The IPCC and AGW adherents have been confounded by the fact that temperatures have not risen since 1998 (their grudging admission). They have been working overtime (read: Excuse #52 for ‘the pause’ in global warming – natural climate variability as secular trends) to explain this “hiatus” as a pause in a trend towards planetary ignition due to anthropogenic CO2 in the atmosphere.

Today we became aware of an academic paper by Dr. Ross McKitrick, an economist and statistician specializing in environmental science, titled HAC-Robust Measurement of the Duration of a Trendless Subsample in a Global Climate Time Series. (McKitrick, R. (2014) HAC-Robust Measurement of the Duration of a Trendless Subsample in a Global Climate Time Series. Open Journal of Statistics, 4, 527-535. doi: 10.4236/ojs.2014.47050.) From the abstract (emphasis ours):

The IPCC has drawn attention to an apparent leveling-off of globally-averaged temperatures over the past 15 years or so. Measuring the duration of the hiatus … Application of the method [described in the abstract but technically complex] shows that there is now a trendless interval of 19 years duration at the end of the HadCRUT4 surface temperature series, and of 16 – 26 years in the lower troposphere.

In other words, temperatures have not increased at the planet’s surface for the last 19 years (since 1995). In the lowest layer of the atmosphere (the troposphere) the “hiatus” – the term widely used to identify this period – may extend to 26 years.

Too many PhDs and Not Enough Common Sense

Thousands of investors, both professional and amateur, build models of markets, hopefully with sufficient predictive power to make money – or avoid loosing too much. To validate their models, they back-test them. That is they run the model over a number of previous years of data to study the accuracy of their models’ predictions over the time frame chosen.

The most celebrated case is that of Long-Term Capital Management L.P. (LTCM). Founded in 1994 as a hedge fund, it counted 2 economic Nobel laureates on its staff as well as dozens of PhDs in math, physics and economics. They produced spectacular returns based on their models and strategies that were highly leveraged to produce these outsized results. Then in 1997 and 1998, the Asian and Russian financial crises produced adverse conditions of a nature that their back-testing had failed to include. A story we recall reading but could not find was that their data set stopped just short of the 1987 market crash. Had they gone back further, the outcome may have been radically different. As it was their high leverage worked against them, bankrupting the company and threatening the stability of thew entire financial system. Only Fed intervention saved it.

With this background we are perplexed that we have not heard about back-testing of climate models. The importance of such may be understood in the butterfly effect. Based on a set of mathematical equations developed by Edward Norton Lorenz, an American mathematician and meteorologist, and a pioneer of chaos theory, this effect also called the Lorenz attractor, has characteristics that show up widely in natural systems and particularly climate systems. The idea is that where your model goes depends on what set of initial conditions you use. In some systems the results of very small changes in the initial parameters create widely divergent results.

Flash Point: Typhoons in Perspective

Typhoon Haiyan that hit the Philippines recently has been classifies as a ‘super typhoon’ and the most powerful storm ever (read CNBC: ‘Most powerful storm ever to make landfall’ batters Philippines …); Express: ‘Biggest ever storm’ devastates Philippines …; The Guardian: Typhoon Haiyan the biggest yet as world’s tropical storms gather force). Anthropogenic global warming (AGW) enthusiasts have been quick to blame climate change (e.g.: The Visible Face of Anthropogenic Global Warming). The truth is somewhat different.

Global Warming Update

We just came across the data compiled by Dr. Roy Spencer in a June 6, 2013 article titled STILL Epic Fail: 73 Climate Models vs. Measurements, Running 5-Year Means. He plots predictions from 73 climate models showing their mean prediction. He also plots 6 data set s on observations made by satellite and balloons. The result is shown in Figure 1 taken from his blog.

Figure 1. Temperature data, model predictions versus real observations.

Updating Our Position on CO2 and Global Warming

Discussion is making the rounds about a paper published by SABER, an entity within NASA that collects and analyses data on the upper atmosphere (the mesosphere and the troposphere). SABER recorded a solar storm in March 2012 and reported it in a news item: Solar Storm Dumps Gigawatts into Earth’s Upper Atmosphere. Unlike the bulk of SABER’s publications (freely available online) which are highly complex science and unreadable by the layman, the news report offers valuable insight into the role of greenhouse gases in cooling the upper atmosphere.

The report notes:

“Carbon dioxide and nitric oxide are natural thermostats,” explains James Russell of Hampton University, SABER’s principal investigator.  “When the upper atmosphere (or ‘thermosphere’) heats up, these molecules try as hard as they can to shed that heat back into space.”

For the three day period, March 8th through 10th, the thermosphere absorbed 26 billion kWh of energy.  Infrared radiation from CO2 and NO, the two most efficient coolants in the thermosphere, re-radiated 95% of that total back into space.

We see that CO2 plays an essential role in protecting the planet from overheating caused by solar radiation. The data cannot be used to infer global surface temperature cooling caused by CO2 because the total dynamics of the entire atmosphere are complex and SABER only deals with part of the picture.

That being said, global (surface) temperatures have been static for about the last 15 years. The site C3 Headlines has a collection of temperature graphs from a wide array of sources that demonstrates this fact. Even James Hanson, one of the most prominent anthropogenic global warming (AGW) proponents admits this in a paper titled Global Temperature Update Through 2012 (we hope to discuss Hanson’s paper in another post). The importance of this observation is that global CO2 emissions have continued to rise during this period (see: Global Temperature and CO2 Update – December 2012). One must consider the question if the CO2 in the atmosphere is forcing up the temperature, why has the rise stopped?


The CO2 / Global Warming Issue Clarified in Thirteen Minutes

All the climate models used by climate scientists to predict temperature rise due to CO2 are flawed. The predictions by the models for air temperature and ocean temperature trend rises all exceed the observed temperature changes which are essentially flat over the period of accurate observation. Predictions of atmospheric hot spots have not been validated. Predictions for for outgoing radiation from the earth are opposite from observed values.

The climate theory behind the models posits a negative feedback or “amplification” factor for CO2 production that gives the predicted temperature increases. In this case, the observed measurements do not support the theory. Therefore the theory is wrong. The precise error is in the assumed value of the amplification factor which theorists have estimated to be 3. Climate scientists on the “skeptical” side of the debate argue that the amplification factor is about 0.5 due to increased cloud production and sunlight reflection. Support for their position comes from direct measurement of outgoing radiation from the earth. It increases with temperature whereas all the models have it decreasing.

All of this is explained eloquently in this 12:53 minute video.

Why then do we still have a popular mistaken picture of Co2’s role in climate temperature change? One reason is that the high profile supporters of the theory in the scientific community have held so tenaciously to their position that their professional reputations and careers are now at stake. And the government scientist are just that, individuals hired to espouse the government position. This brings us to the core issue. Climate science is being used by some interests to create vast fortunes for themselves through carbon credit trading while others such as those at the UN are using it as a mechanism to further their political objectives of wealth redistribution.

A Floor on CO2 Reduction

From What Is Your Carbon Foolprint?, looking at the CO2 maximal concentrations at the peak of the previous three inter-glacial periods in Figure 1, the number is estimated at an average of about 280 ppm. This is the CO2 generated by the natural temperature increase.

Looking at the current inter-glacial warm period since the last ice age, we would estimate the average CO2 maximum at about 260 ppm. With the current (as per the graph) CO2 concentration at 383 ppm, if we assume the different is anthropogenic, then the best reduction we could hope to get would be of about 180 ppm. This of course would necessitate the cessation of all human activity.

We throw out this thought as we haven’t encountered it elsewhere.

The Problem with Our Weather

The problem with our perception of weather in general is that most people mistake it for climate. According to The Free Dictionary, weather is:

The state of the atmosphere at a given time and place, with respect to variables such as temperature, moisture, wind velocity, and barometric pressure.

According to dictionary.com, climate is:

the composite or generally prevailing weather conditions of a region, as temperature, air pressure, humidity, precipitation, sunshine, cloudiness, and winds, throughout the year, averaged over a series of years.

Weather is what is happening locally today. Climate is what is happening over a much longer period of time and a much larger area. Weather is what we experience firsthand or read about on the nightly news secondhand as weather-related events of import.

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