Tag Archives: global warming

Climate scientists criticize government paper that erases ‘pause’ in warming

 

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File photo. (REUTERS/Peter Andrews/Files)

Until last week, government data on climate change indicated that the Earth has warmed over the last century, but that the warming slowed dramatically and even stopped at points over the last 17 years.

But a paper released May 28 by researchers at the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration has readjusted the data in a way that makes the reduction in warming disappear, indicating a steady increase in temperature instead. But the study’s readjusted data conflict with many other climate measurements, including data taken by satellites, and some climate scientists aren’t buying the new claim.

“While I’m sure this latest analysis from NOAA will be regarded as politically useful for the Obama administration, I don’t regard it as a particularly useful contribution to our scientific understanding of what is going on,” Judith Curry, a climate science professor at Georgia Tech, wrote in a response to the study.

And in an interview, Curry told FoxNews.com that that the adjusted data doesn’t match other independent measures of temperature.

“The new NOAA dataset disagrees with a UK dataset, which is generally regarded as the gold standard for global sea surface temperature datasets,” she said. “The new dataset also disagrees with ARGO buoys and satellite analyses.”

The NOAA paper, produced by a team of researchers led by Tom Karl, director of the agency’s National Climatic Data Center, found most of its new warming trend by adjusting past measurements of sea temperatures.

 Global ocean temperatures are estimated both by thousands of commercial ships, which record the temperature of the water entering their engines, and by thousands of buoys – floatation devices that sit in the water for years.

The buoys tend to get cooler temperature readings than the ships, likely because ships’ engines warm the water. Meanwhile, in recent years, buoys have become increasingly common. The result, Karl says, is that even if the world’s oceans are warming, the unadjusted data may show it not to be warming because more and more buoys are being used instead of ships. So Karl’s team adjusted the buoy data to make them line up with the ship data. They also double-checked their work by making sure that the readjusted buoy readings matched ships’ recordings of nighttime air temperatures.

The paper came out last week, and there has not been time for skeptical scientists to independently check the adjustments, but some are questioning it because of how much the adjusted data vary from other independent measurements.

First, it disagrees with the readings of more than 3,000 “ARGO buoys,” which are specifically designed to float around the ocean and measure temperature. Some scientists view their data as the most reliable.

The ARGO buoy data do not show much warming in surface temperature since they were introduced in 2003. But Karl’s team left them out of their analysis, saying that they have multiple issues, including lack of measurements near the Arctic.

In an email, Karl told FoxNews.com that the ARGO buoy readings may be added to his data “if scientific methods can be found to line up these two types of temperatures together … (of course after correcting the systematic offsets) … This is part of the cumulative and progressive scientific process.”

Karl’s study also clashes with satellite measurements. Since 1979, NOAA satellites have estimated the temperature of Earth’s atmosphere. They show almost no warming in recent years and closely match the surface data before Karl’s adjustments.

The satellite data is compiled by two separate sets of researchers, whose results match each other closely. One team that compiles the data includes Climate Professors John Christy and Roy Spencer at the University of Alabama in Huntsville, both of whom question Karl’s adjusted data.

“The study is one more example that you can get any answer you want when the thermometer data errors are larger than the global warming signal you are looking for,” Spencer told FoxNews.com.

“We believe the satellite measurements since 1979 provide a more robust measure of global temperatures, and both satellite research groups see virtually the same pause in global temperatures for the last 18 years,” he said.

Karl said satellite data also have issues, including “orbital decay, diurnal sampling, instrument calibration target temperatures and more.”

Spencer said he agreed that those are issues, but they are less problematic than using data from thousands of ships and buoys. He added that there are a couple of satellites monitoring temperature at any given time, and that they are used to check each other.

Skeptics say there are yet more measurements, including those coming from balloon data, that line up with existing data more than with Karl’s newly adjusted data. They also note that even with Karl’s adjustments, the warming trend he finds over the last 17 years is below what U.N. models had predicted.

Some climate scientists applaud Karl’s adjustments and say they debunk the idea that the Earth has stopped warming.

“[This] points out just how small and fragile a notion that was,” Peter Frumhoff, director of science & policy at the Union of Concerned Scientists, told FoxNews.com

Asked about the contradiction with satellite data, he said he trusted the new paper.

“I trust the process of legitimate scientific peer review that this paper has undergone, as well as the care that its authors bring to their respected work,” he said, adding that, “the faux debate over a so-called ‘hiatus’ has been an unfortunate diversion from meaningful dialogue about how best to address the broadly recognized serious problem of climate change.”

But skeptics say Karl’s adjusted data is the outlier that conflicts with everything else. “Color me ‘unconvinced’,” Curry wrote.

Maxim Lott can be reached at www.maximlott.comor at maxim.lott@foxnews.com

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Antarctica sets low temperature record of -135.8 degrees

Antarctica sets low temperature record of -135.8 degrees

Published December 10, 2013

Associated Press

WASHINGTON –  Feeling chilly? Here’s cold comfort: You could be in East Antarctica which new data says set a record for “soul-crushing” cold.

Try 135.8 degrees Fahrenheit below zero; that’s 93.2 degrees below zero Celsius, which sounds only slightly toastier. Better yet, don’t try it. That’s so cold scientists say it hurts to breathe.

A new look at NASA satellite data revealed that Earth set a new record for coldest temperature recorded. It happened in August 2010 when it hit -135.8 degrees. Then on July 31 of this year, it came close again: -135.3 degrees.

The old record had been -128.6 degrees, which is -89.2 degrees Celsius.

Ice scientist Ted Scambos at the National Snow and Ice Data Center said the new record is “50 degrees colder than anything that has ever been seen in Alaska or Siberia or certainly North Dakota.”

“It’s more like you’d see on Mars on a nice summer day in the poles,” Scambos said, from the American Geophysical Union scientific meeting in San Francisco Monday, where he announced the data. “I’m confident that these pockets are the coldest places on Earth.”

However, it won’t be in the Guinness Book of World Records because these were satellite measured, not from thermometers, Scambos said.

“Thank God, I don’t know how exactly it feels,” Scambos said. But he said scientists do routinely make naked 100 degree below zero dashes outside in the South Pole, so people can survive that temperature for about three minutes.

Most of the time researchers need to breathe through a snorkel that brings air into the coat through a sleeve and warms it up “so you don’t inhale by accident” the cold air, Scambos said.

On Monday, the coldest U.S. temperature was a relatively balmy 27 degrees below zero Fahrenheit in Yellowstone, Wyo., said Jeff Masters, meteorology director of the private firm Weather Underground.

“If you want soul-crushing cold, you really have to go overseas,” Scambos said in a phone interview. “It’s just a whole other level of cold because on that cold plateau, conditions are perfect.”

Scambos said the air is dry, the ground chilly, the skies cloudless and cold air swoops down off a dome and gets trapped in a chilly lower spot “hugging the surface and sliding around.”

Just because one spot on Earth has set records for cold that has little to do with global warming because it is one spot in one place, said Waleed Abdalati, an ice scientist at the University of Colorado and NASA’s former chief scientist. Both Abdalati, who wasn’t part of the measurement team, and Scambos said this is likely an unusual random reading in a place that hasn’t been measured much before and could have been colder or hotter in the past and we wouldn’t know.

“It does speak to the range of conditions on this Earth, some of which we haven’t been able to observe,” Abdalati said.

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Cow Fart Apocalypse!

Big methane burp: Cow farts a greater problem than EPA previously thought, study says

Published November 26, 2013

Associated Press
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    AP GRAPHICSBANK
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    A Cessna plane, making continuous observations of carbon dioxide, flying over an Atmospheric Radiation Measurement tower used by the Energy Department near the town of Lamont, Oklahoma. (AP PHOTO/ROY KALTSCHMIDT, LAWRENCE BERKELEY NATIONAL LABORATORY)

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    July 16, 2013: Cows feed at a dairy owned by Lucas Loganberg and his family, that sits on one of the proposed routes of California’s high-speed rail system, near Hanford, Calif. (AP PHOTO/RICH PEDRONCELLI)

WASHINGTON –  The United States is spewing 50 percent more methane — a potent heat-trapping gas — than the federal government estimates, a new comprehensive scientific study says. Much of it is coming from just three states: Texas, Oklahoma and Kansas.

That means methane may be a bigger global warming issue than thought, scientists say. Methane is 21 times more potent at trapping heat than carbon dioxide, the most abundant global warming gas, although it doesn’t stay in the air as long.

Much of that extra methane, also called natural gas, seems to be coming from livestock, including manure, belches, and flatulence, as well as leaks from refining and drilling for oil and gas, the study says. It was published Monday in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Science.

The study estimates that in 2008, the U.S. poured 49 million tons of methane into the air. That means U.S. methane emissions trapped about as much heat as all the carbon dioxide pollution coming from cars, trucks, and planes in the country in six months.

While the world has a good handle on how much carbon dioxide is pumped into the air, scientists have been more baffled by methane emissions.

That’s more than the 32 million tons estimated by the U.S. Environmental Protection Administration or the nearly 29 million tons reckoned by the European Commission.

“Something is very much off in the inventories,” said study co-author Anna Michalak, an Earth scientist at the Carnegie Institution for Science in Stanford, Calif. “The total U.S. impact on the world’s energy budget is different than we thought, and it’s worse.”

EPA spokeswoman Alisha Johnson said her agency hasn’t had time to go through the study yet, but hopes it will help “refine our estimates going forward.”

While the world has a good handle on how much carbon dioxide is pumped into the air, scientists have been more baffled by methane emissions. They have had to use computer models to estimate how much methane is going into that air.

This study, however, was based on nearly 13,000 measurements from airplane flights and tall towers, the most used in any such research.

The information was collected in 2008, right at the beginning of the natural gas boom from hydraulic fracturing. So these measurements, which will be repeated for 2012, don’t include much impact from fracking, Michalak said. Studies recently have shown conflicting results about how much methane escapes during fracking and other forms of fossil fuel drilling.

Outside experts praised the study. Robert Howarth at Cornell University called “it very compelling and quite important. This is the most comprehensive study yet.”

Michalak said because of the way they measured methane — just looking for it in the air as opposed to tracking it from a source — it is hard to say what is putting more methane into the air. But she said by looking at concentrations — especially within Texas, Oklahoma and Kansas — the scientists have a good idea: Cows, oil and gas.

Nearly one-quarter of the U.S. methane emissions came from those three states. Texas is by far and away the No. 1 state for refineries that turn oil into gasoline. Texas and Oklahoma have been big oil and gas drilling states and Kansas is a big cow state.

Cows seem to be spewing twice the methane that scientists previously thought, Michalak said.

While burps and flatulence are part of the methane emission from cattle, University of California Santa Barbara professor Ira Leifer said a bigger factor is manure.

“If you shovel it into an artificial lagoon you are creating the perfect production for methane, but it cuts down on the smell and your neighbors complain less,” he said.

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Online:

Journal: http://www.pnas.org

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Seth Borenstein can be followed at http://twitter.com/borenbears

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Arctic sea ice up 60 percent in 2013

Arctic sea ice up 60 percent in 2013

Published September 09, 2013

FoxNews.com
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    NASA satelite images show the changing Artic sea ice coverage. from August 2012 (left) to August 2013 (right) — a growth of about a million square miles. (NASA)

About a million more square miles of ocean are covered in ice in 2013 than in 2012, a whopping 60 percent increase — and a dramatic deviation from predictions of an “ice-free Arctic in 2013,” the Daily Mail noted.

Arctic sea ice averaged 2.35 million square miles in August 2013, as compared to the low point of 1.32 million square miles recorded on Sept. 16, 2012, according to the National Snow and Ice Data Center. A chart published Sept. 8 by NSIDC shows the dramatic rise this year, putting total ice cover within two standard deviations of the 30-year average.

Noting the year over year surge, one scientist even argued that “global cooling” was here.

“We are already in a cooling trend, which I think will continue for the next 15 years at least. There is no doubt the warming of the 1980s and 1990s has stopped,” Anastasios Tsonis of the University of Wisconsin told London’s Mail on Sunday.

The surge in Arctic ice is a dramatic change from last year’s record-setting lows, which fueled dire predictions of an imminent ice-free summer. A 2007 BBC report said the Arctic could be ice free in 2013 — a theory NASA still echoes today. 

“[An ice-free Arctic is] definitely coming, and coming sooner than we previously expected,“ Walt Meier, a glaciologist at NASA’s Goddard Space Flight Center in Greenbelt, Md, told LiveScience last month. “We’re looking at when as opposed to if.”

Noting the growth in ice, the Snow and Ice Data Center said that coverage was still well below the 30-year average. And the year over year growth in ice is “largely irrelevant,” argued The Guardian, noting that more ice is to be expected after the record low a year ago.

“We should not often expect to observe records in consecutive years. 2012 shattered the previous record low sea ice extent; hence ‘regression towards the mean’ told us that 2013 would likely have a higher minimum extent,” wrote Dana Nuccitelli.

Meanwhile, global surface temperatures have been relatively flat over the past decade and a half, according to data from the U.K.’s weather-watching Met Office.

A leaked draft of the next major climate report from the U.N. cites numerous causes to explain the slowdown in warming: greater-than-expected ash from volcanoes, a decline in heat from the sun, more heat being absorbed by the deep oceans, and so on.

Climate skeptics have spent months debating the weather pattern, some citing it as evidence that global warming itself has decelerated or even stopped.

“The absence of any significant change in the global annual average temperature over the past 16 years has become one of the most discussed topics in climate science,” wrote David Whitehouse of the Global Warming Policy Foundation in June. “It has certainly focused the debate about the relative importance of greenhouse gas forcing of the climate versus natural variability.”

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Funny, Sarcastic Cards

Funny sarcastic cards.  Hard to describe them beyond that.  Enjoy:

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Must See On Global Warming

I have an earlier post on global warming in which I express my personal views on the topic.  I believe the Earth cools and warms and has dramatic shifts, but do not believe we have reached the point where as humans are we are able to significantly impact this.  Others I respect totally believe in a crisis, while others think climate change is a myth created to help form a global government.  Every show I have seen, except one, takes one extreme or the other.

It was with surprise I saw a very balanced documentary and discussion of the issue:

http://www.imdb.com/title/tt1694015/

cool it

It is called “Cool It”.  The documentarians believe in global warming and that it is man-made.  They also believe we need to take immediate action.  So, given I disagree, why would I like it? Well, quite frankly, it is upbeat and talks about all the current and future technology underway in a very sensible and optimistic way I find refreshing.  I encourage everyone to watch the documentary, whatever your position on it is.

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Could Wind Farms Be Adding to Global Warming?

I personally don’t believe in man-made global warming (yet, thought I will in the future), though I DO believe in global warming.  I think the Earth cools and heats and we’re not altogether sure why all the reasons are, or if changing the cycle would be good or bad.  I simply don’t think man has outstripped nature’s ability to control temperatures – YET.  I might be wrong, or I might be right, time will tell.  I wrote an earlier post on the topic and I certainly understand both points of view.

Nonetheless, in the area of unintended consequences, I found this excerpt of an article quite fascinating:

 

 

 

 

 

BOLDED sections are taken verbatim from the article.

New research finds that wind farms actually warm up the surface of the land underneath them during the night, a phenomenon that could put a damper on efforts to expand wind energy as a green energy solution.

Researchers used satellite data from 2003 to 2011 to examine surface temperatures across as wide swath of west Texas, which has built four of the world’s largest wind farms. The data showed a direct correlation between night-time temperatures increases of 0.72 degrees C (1.3 degrees F) and the placement of the farms.

“Given the present installed capacity and the projected growth in installation of wind farms across the world, I feel that wind farms, if spatially large enough, might have noticeable impacts on local to regional meteorology,” Liming Zhou, associate professor at the State University of New York, Albany and author of the paper published April 29 in Nature Climate Change said in an e-mail to Discovery News.

FAA data shows that the number of wind turbines over the study region has risen from 111 in 2003 to 2358 in 2011, according to the study.The warming could hurt local farmers, who have already suffered through a killer drought over the past few years. Texas agriculture contributes $80 billion to the state’s economy, second only to petrochemicals, according to the Texas Department of Agriculture.

West Texas is a dry area that uses irrigation to grow wheat, cotton and other crops, as well as raise cattle. But increased warming can play havoc with plant growth, as well as change local rainfall patterns.

Texas wind farms produce more than 10,000 megawatts of electricity, more than double the capacity of the nearest state, Iowa, and enough to power three million average American homes, according to the American Wine Energy Association.

Again, my overall position is that the Earth is way more complicated than we understand and that temperature if effected by so many different factors, only a small portion of which is mankind.  I strongly believe in seeking alternative sources of energy to petroleum and I strongly believe in reducing pollution.  I think though that too many of us jump onto a particular theory and oversell it, often finding later we were wrong.’

The flat Earthers still have a few adherents, Earth as the center of the Universe was certainly popular.  Mankind would dissintegrate if we went over 50 miles per hour scared people from riding trains when they first came out.  As with most science, time will tell.  With global climatology, I think a lot more time will pass than we think before we KNOW anything for certain.  I doubt it will happen in my lifetime.

What do you think?

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