By Ed Caryl
A reader who goes by the name of “renewable guy” and I had a recent exchange on the credibility of James Hansen and his crew at GISS a short time ago. He gave me the following list of 9 observations to support Hansen and GISS:
1. “Observations show that the planet is changing in accordance with global warming theory.”
It is nice to see someone admit it is a theory rather than “settled science.”
2. “The evidence for global warming is being meticulously accumulated by scientists all over the world. This evidence includes the independent observations that paint a consistent picture of global warming. Our planet is suffering an energy imbalance and is steadily accumulating heat (Hansen 2005, Murphy 2009, von Schuckmann 2009, Trenberth 2009)”
3. “The height of the tropopause is increasing (Santer 2003, press release).”
Two related papers, the first one refutes Santer: read here and here. Figure 9 of the second paper by Hoinka shows no long term trend of tropopause height over the period 1979 thru 1993. There is however, great year to year variability.
4. “Jet streams are moving poleward (Archer 2008, Seidel 2007, Fu 2006).”
Not anymore. The ozone hole closing is counter-acting the warming affect. But this study is still using models, read here. The models depend on the temperature increasing. What if the temperature doesn’t follow the rules? And it has not over the last decade plus.
5. “The tropical belt is widening (Seidel 2007, Fu 2006).”
Same as above; two sides of the same coin. If the jets move poleward, the tropical zone gets wider.
6. “There is an increasing trend in record hot days versus record cold temperatures with currently twice as many record hot days than record cold temperatures (Meehle 2009, see press release).”
Have you heard of UHI? Here is an excellent compendium of the problem. Even NOAA knows the truth about that, and has known it for over 20 years, read here. There is also the increased reporting phenomenon; blame the Internet. This, and satellites, are responsible for much of the recent extreme weather reporting. NASA also knows.
7. “A shift towards earlier seasons (Stine 2009).”
I found this paper change was 1.7 days over 50 years. There are cyclic changes in temperature. The beginning year in this study was 1954, a relatively cool year for the twentieth century. If the study had begun 20 years earlier, the change would have been smaller, see here. The earth has been slowly warming since the end of the Little Ice Age. Seasons were much longer during the Medieval Warm Period, when grapes were cultivated in Scotland, as they can be cultivated now (with proper care, it’s still not as warm as southern England). In the last two thousand years, there have been two other periods when the growing season in northern Europe was as long as now: the Roman Warm Period, and the Medieval Warm Period. The cycle is now turning colder and will repeat learn about it here.
8. “Cooling and contraction of the upper atmosphere consistent with predicted effects of increasing greenhouse gases (Lastovicka 2008).”
Not quite, the sun has a much larger effect: read and learn something here.
9. “Lake warming (Schneider & Hook 2010).”
Sure, since 1985. Look again in another 25 years. All the above points have the same problem. If you look at a particular section of data, or a model, for just a few years, trends can be seen that disappear over a longer time interval. The sun and long ocean cycles last from 70 to several hundred years. Making judgements over shorter intervals is foolish.
Models have problems such as lack of spatial and time resolution, and assumptions that may or may not correspond to how nature actually works. Due to the complexity of the actual climate system, even a tiny piece of garbage in the input to a climate model will quickly make the output all garbage. If one knows anything about Chaos Theory, one will doubt any present or even future climate model.
The sun, ocean cycles, recovery from the little ice age, and urban heat island effects, account for all but about 0.2 to 0.3 degrees C of the recent warming. Climate sensitivity to CO2 is about 0.5 to 0.6 degrees C for CO2 doubling.
Thanks Ed for this fine job of debunking junk science. – PG