Archive for the ‘Nature’ Category
The notion that our carbon dioxide emissions are causing the oceans to warm at an alarming rate making glaciers flow faster into the sea (Staying afloat in a sinking world, Bangkok Post, November 24, 2010) is logically and scientifically flawed in many ways. I would like to cite only one of them and it has to do with the Argo Project. It was launched with much fanfare about six years ago. Thousands of robotized floats were installed in oceans around the globe to measure “just how fast the ocean is warming”. By their own reckoning, these measurements provide the most accurate and comprehensive sea temperature data available to them. Yet, mysteriously, the hype went out of the Argo Project almost as soon as it was implemented. Not only that, the Argo data are apparently being shunned by climate scientists who prefer the old measuring devices whose inadequacy was apparently the reason that they had sought funding for Argo. NASA’s JPL, the keepers of the Argo data, admitted that it is because there are no trends in the temperature or salinity data from the Argo floats. Had the data showed the kind of warming they had hoped to find, the media would have been inundated with that information. The fundamental bias in climate science is that data that do not support its presumptions are not considered valid.
The so called “climate change vulnerability index”, that is likely causing great economic harm to countries like Bangladesh and India by implying that they pose higher risk to investors, is based on the proposition that “there is growing evidence that climate change is increasing the intensity and frequency” of weather related natural disasters. In fact there is no such evidence. This idea was included in the IPCC’s 2007 assessment report based on a peer reviewed research paper but that paper having been shown to be flawed, the IPCC has since made a full retraction of this claim (UN wrongly linked global warming to natural disasters, The Sunday Times, January 24, 2010). However, this orphaned idea has taken on a life of its own and remains in the media and apparently even with the architects of the “climate change vulnerability index”. The perpetrators of this falsehood are likely the real vulnerable parties having exposed themselves to lawsuits by countries suffering economic harm from their flawed prophecies of doom.
It is reported that there are 6.8 billion humans living on our planet but that it is endowed with natural resources and ecosystems that can support only 4.5 billion and that the pressure on the ecosystem thus induced will cause a mass extinction of species comparable with the extinction of dinosaurs (UN urges action to save species, Bangkok Post, October 19, 2010). It is the old and completely discredited overpopulation hype of the 1970s (2001: an overpopulation odyssey, Los Angeles Times, October 22, 1974) recycled in the language of global warming as a way of presenting this rubbish as a new science. The new global warming hype is thus exposed as nothing more than the old overpopulation hype. It is a continuation of the movement against the inhabitation of the planet by human beings with carbon dioxide emissions as a proxy for human activity. Ironically, in the same issue of the paper we read that the Europeans are alarmed that phthalates in toys can damage the sexual development of children (The problem with hazardous phthalates, Bangkok Post, October 19, 2010). Those who really believe in the alleged dangers of overpopulation should be comforted by these findings, not alarmed.
1960s: The over-population theory explores the fear that there are too many people on earth and they are breeding too fast. It is predicted that by 1987 human activity will exceed the planet’s ability to sustain us with food, energy, and raw materials. The scenario, explored in the movie “Soilent Green”, is predicted to includes Biblical famine and death, anarchy, and the devolution of human society possibly including cannibalism. Human activity will have destroyed the earth’s ability to sustain human beings.
1970s: The “limits to growth” theory disseminates the fear that society will collapse by the year 2000 because there is a hard upper limit to the amount of fossil fuels, minerals, and other planetary resources that we can consume and therefore a limit to the level of economic growth that is achievable. Continued economic growth will run into this upper limit and cause a complete collapse of civilization as we know it.
1970s: The first ozone depletion scare campaign is waged against the development of the SST high altitude airliner with the allegedly scientific argument that nitric oxide (NOx) in the jet exhaust will deplete ozone in the ozone layer. The campaign is successful and the SST program is canceled. Their success emboldens environmental extremists and the modern version of planetary environmentalism based on fear takes form. Twenty years later the same scientists, alarmed by falling NOx concentration in the lower atmosphere declared that “NOx is the immune system of the atmosphere” because it prevents chlorine from depleting ozone.
1980s: The second ozone depletion scare campaign is waged against refrigerants that contain CFC chemicals saying that human activity was causing an ozone hole over the Antarctic and causing the establishment of the Montreal Protocol and a comprehensive ban on the most efficient and inexpensive refrigerants used worldwide. The ozone depletion science is proven wrong but the media that helped hype the ozone hole scare are silent on the issue. The ozone hole scare quietly disappears from the media.
1990s to present: The global warming scare campaign rises like a Phoenix from the ashes of the failed ozone hole scare campaign with the theory that carbon dioxide from fossil fuels accumulates in the atmosphere, traps heat, and warms up the planet with catastrophic consequences of Biblical proportions.
Reference: Is the weather chaos linked to warming, Bangkok Post, August 25, 2010
A recent article on global warming (Is the weather chaos linked to warming, Bangkok Post, August 25, 2010) refers to the heat wave in Russia and the floods in Pakistan to imply that there exists empirical evidence that shows that global warming is causing extreme weather. There are repeated references to alleged statistical evidence as in the following sentence fragments: “the statistical evidence shows that much of this is starting to happen”, “the statistics suggest that this is happening”, “climate change skeptics dispute statistical arguments”, “researchers offer evidence to show that weather extremes are getting worse”, and so on. Yet, hidden in the mass of alarmist statements about catastrophic man made climate change are these complete contradictions: “It will be a year or two before scientists publish definitive analyses of the Russian heat wave and the Pakistani floods”; “If you ask me as a person do I think that the Russian heat wave has to do with climate change , the answer is yes, but if you ask me as a scientist whether I have proof, the answer is no”. In other words there is no statistical evidence. Contradictions of this kind are characteristic of the post Climategate genre of climate catastrophe alarmism. The contradictions cancel out and leave a net information content of zero.
The dynamics of glaciers that feed rivers are best understood in terms of a mass balance which states essentially that
input – output = accumulation.
The input term is usually the amount of precipitation in the glacial basin that flows to the glacier. The output term is the meltwater that feeds the river plus evaporation. If the accumulation is positive the glacier is growing and if it is negative it means that the glacier is shrinking.
If it is shrinking it could mean one of two things. Either the amount of precipitation is declining relative to the melt rate; or the melt rate is increasing relative to precipitation. There is a big difference between these two scenarios in terms of water flow in downstream rivers.
In the former case, the water flow in downstream rivers would remain unchanged while in the latter case, there would be an increase in flow possibly associated with rising river levels and flooding. In the absence of rising river levels downstream, it is not possible to conclude that the glacier is retreating because of an increase in the melt rate.
Yet, all instances of glacial retreat are presented by the IPCC as an effect of increased melt rate caused by global warming without providing the necessary data on changes in the flow rates of downstream rivers that the glacier feeds.