Wednesday, September 21, 2011

Global Warming Redux

That the theory of anthropogenic global warming is anything but “settled science” can readily be seen in the various articles and comments about the latest data from a CERN test supporting the theory presented by Dr. Henrik Svensmark, a physicist at the Danish National Space Center in Copenhagen who studies the effects of cosmic rays on cloud formation.  Svensmark presented his theory in a very readable book “The Chilling Stars”.  He studies a phenomena that is poorly understood, but may be critical to the understanding of temperature variation.

It sounds like a conspiracy theory: 'cosmic rays' from deep space might be creating clouds in Earth's atmosphere and changing the climate. Yet an experiment at CERN, Europe's high-energy physics laboratory near Geneva, Switzerland, is finding tentative evidence for just that.

For years, physicist Henrik Svensmark of the Danish National Space Institute (who has presented at conferences organized by CFACT and EIKE) has been asking inconvenient questions about the relationship between the sun, clouds and climate.  He demonstrated in the lab that cosmic rays from the sun affect cloud formation.  Cosmic rays are a factor not meaningfully considered in the computer climate models which global warming proponents have declared to be so robust that they are beyond discussion.
To the vexation of true climate believers, Svensmark’s work has been confirmed at CERN, the European Organization for Nuclear Research.  CERN is home to the Hadron super conducting super collider near Geneva.  CERN simulated the effect of cosmic rays in the earth’s atmosphere and found that it does indeed influence cloud formation.
This is very inconvenient science for the global warming campaigners, researchers and myriad carbon carpetbaggers, all of whose incomes have come to depend on government willingness to accept the authority of climate models as gospel.  The more people know about computer climate models, the less they are willing to curtail the freedom and prosperity of the developed world.

Physics World
Kirkby shares Pierce's caution. He argues that CLOUD's results "say nothing about cosmic-ray effects on clouds" because the aerosols produced in the experiment are far too small to seed clouds. But he adds that the collaboration will have some "interesting new results" to present later this year regarding the role of organic molecules in aerosol formation. "What is needed now to settle this question are precise, quantitative measurements," he adds.

Science Magazine
It has been proposed that Earth's climate could be affected by changes in cloudiness caused by variations in the intensity of galactic cosmic rays in the atmosphere. This proposal stems from an observed correlation between cosmic ray intensity and Earth's average cloud cover over the course of one solar cycle. Some scientists question the reliability of the observations, whereas others, who accept them as reliable, suggest that the correlation may be caused by other physical phenomena with decadal periods or by a response to volcanic activity or El Niño

And then there’s that inevitable response by Al Gore, who’s quoting Media Matters as a scientific source.

In another recent development that shows the frequent exaggerations that have made in support of the AGW claims, only now beginning to get serious criticism from traditional media, Harper Collin’s published new ice sheet maps of Greenland.
"These new maps are ridiculously off base, way exaggerated relative to the reality of rapid change in Greenland," said Jeffrey S. Kargel, senior research scientist at the University of Arizona.
The Times Atlas suggested the Greenland ice sheet has lost 300,000 square kilometers in the past 12 years, at a rate of 1.5 percent per year.
However, measurements suggest this rate is at least 10 times faster than in reality, added J. Graham Cogley, Professor of Geography at Trent University, Ontario, Canada.
"It could easily be 20 times too fast and might well be 50 times too fast," he added.
Last year, a U.N. committee of climate scientists came under fire for bungling a forecast of when Himalayan glaciers would thaw.
The panel's 2007 report, the main guide for governments in fighting climate change, included an incorrect projection that all Himalayan glaciers could vanish by 2035, hundreds of years earlier than scientists' projections.

And finally, scientists are becoming more vocal in rebelling against the idea that the science is  “settled”, and especially with the APS (American Physical Society), and the distortion to the scientific process that this monolithic conformity creates.  This takes enormous courage and motivation, because of the very real threat of ostracism that they face as a result.

Nobel Prize-Winning Physicist Resigns Over Global Warming
here and here
September 14, 2011 Giaever explained in his email to APS: "In the APS it is ok to discuss whether the mass of the proton changes over time and how a multi-universe behaves, but the evidence of global warming is incontrovertible? The claim (how can you measure the average temperature of the whole earth for a whole year?) is that the temperature has changed from ~288.0 to ~288.8 degree Kelvin in about 150 years, which (if true) means to me is that the temperature has been amazingly stable, and both human health and happiness have definitely improved in this 'warming' period."

Top Physics Professor Resigns From Post, Denouncing Global Warming "Fraud"
here and here
October 13, 2010 In perhaps the biggest critique delivered against the current state of global warming research "consensus", since "climategate" at the University of East Anglia, a renowned physics professor has written a lengthy letter resigning from the American Physical Society and condemning the state of warming research.

California meteorologist turned blogger Anthony Watts describes it as "a letter on the scale of Martin Luther, nailing his 95 theses to the Wittenburg church door".  Whether you agree or disagree with the current state of global warming research, it's hard to argue with that assertion.

Here we have a prominent researcher in one of the primary fields of global warming research -- physics -- putting his reputation on the line to challenge what he feels is clear and present wrongdoing.

Earlier groups had voiced their strong dissent, one example from August 05, 2009
More than 60 prominent German scientists have publicly declared their dissent from man-made global warming fears in an open letter to German Chancellor Angela Merkel. The more than 60 signers of the letter include several United Nations IPCC scientists.

The scientists declared that global warming has become a “pseudo religion” and they noted that rising CO2 has “had no measurable effect” on temperatures. The German scientists, also wrote that the “UN IPCC has lost its scientific credibility.”

How prescient, since the many public evidences were yet to be revealed, Climategate and the fascinating "Harry Readme" file in November, and the AfricaGate and Glaciergate the following January (2010).

So where does the Al Gore promoted myth of near total consensus came from?

You Call This ‘Consensus’ on Climate Change?
What of the claim that “97% of climate scientists believe in AGW”? The origin of this spurious claim is a 2009 online survey of scientists by two University of Illinois professors who claimed to have found that 75 out of 77 climate scientists (yes, only 77 climate scientists!)

Regarding the sample size … according to Lawrence Solomon, the two researchers who produced the survey deliberately left out solar scientists, space scientists, cosmologists, physicists, meteorologists, and astronomers … all scientists likely to be aware of natural causes of climate change. Only scientists employed by governments or universities were chosen to be surveyed, introducing another source of bias. Of the 10,000 or so scientists left, about 3,000 replied to the 2-minute online survey. No surprise, 82% of that unrepresentative sample answered yes to the ambiguous question. The authors then looked at a subset of just 77 scientists who participated in the survey and were successful in getting more than half their papers accepted by peer-reviewed climate science journals and found that 75 of those answered “yes.” 75/77 = 97%.
This may be how sausage is made, but it is not how accurate surveys are conducted. The “97% of climate scientists” claim is garbage. Anyone who cites it ought to be ashamed.

There is strong evidence that the earth has been warming since the "Little Ice Age".  And cooling before that (hence the "Little Ice Age"), and warming, in fact many cycles.  The real question is how much of the warming in the last 150 years might be due to natural effects and what part human interaction?  Is man’s impact significant, or very small?  The study of climate change is a very complex one, an inescapable understatement.  That the present models are woefully inadequate to be able to include many very basic influences like clouds and precipitation systems, is becoming more known and discussed is a good thing.  Perhaps we can take the discussion out of the realm of a political tool and restore credibility to the system.

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