Sunday, March 8, 2009

Saturday Pick Points

Running a little late today (because of the time change.)

Well it’s time to meander around the Climate Change sites again, for another week, and catch up on the gossip. Since their comment on George Will over a week ago, Real Climate has not been posting. I notice that Joe Romm has a “who am I” piece up, at Climate Progress, after being called
Joe Romm, a physicist and climate expert who writes the indispensable blog
by Tom Friedman, whose book, Hot, Flat and Crowded, has been sitting unread by this laptop for over a week now. (From my pre-Kindle days). Anyway if you really want the ”doomerish” side of the Climate Change debate, I guess this site is it. By the way, apropos the post earlier Saturday, he can’t read those graphs either. I note that he worked for John Podesta, who headed up the Transition Team for President Obama, so no doubt his influence at present could be quite pervasive.

At Climate Audit Steve McIntyre is off to Thailand for a couple of weeks, and only had a couple of posts over the week, on upper tropospheric humidity and on the number of Principal Components to use in an analysis. The former post explains why the measurement of humidity in the troposphere is important to global temperature, since it controls the feedback that water vapor has on the process. The problem that is arising is that there is now a possibility that the feedback is negative rather than positive, and
And if the pattern were to continue into the future, one would expect water vapour feedback in the climate system to halve rather than double the temperature rise due to increasing CO2.
Oddly (well not really) it has been quite difficult to find a journal that would print the information (since it goes against prevailing political correctness), but it has now been published.

The earlier post on PC’s contrasts the arguments of Steig (who we have been discussing recently because of his Antarctic paper) with those of Mann, who had used some of the same approach in his “hockey stick” work. It also points out that some of this has “no statistical integrity.”

Anthony Watt quotes the Boston Globe, who asks, in regard to 2008 being the coldest year since 1998, the interesting question
But considering how much attention would have been lavished on a comparable run of hot weather or on a warming trend that was plainly accelerating, shouldn’t the recent cold phenomena and the absence of any global warming during the past 10 years be getting a little more notice? Isn’t it possible that the most apocalyptic voices of global-warming alarmism might not be the only ones worth listening to?
. But before you think much has changed, the last paragraph of the article should be thought about, since I fear that sadly it is all too true.
But for many people, the science of climate change is not nearly as important as the religion of climate change. When Al Gore insisted yet again at a conference last Thursday that there can be no debate about global warming, he was speaking not with the authority of a man of science, but with the closed-minded dogmatism of a religious zealot. Dogma and zealotry have their virtues, no doubt. But if we want to understand where global warming has gone, those aren’t the tools we need.

Anthony also had a guest post from Roger Pielke Snr’s Climate Science site which, in turn, quotes a paper from Urban and Keller (pdf). One of the debating points in the climate debate has related to heat storage in the oceans and its possible contribution to future warming. The paper says it won’t happen. There are also a couple of graphs in an earlier post that help explain the humidity issue that was discussed at CA.

And over at Climate Skeptic there is a post on the relevance of feedbacks, and how they work.

Gristmill is outraged that the Governor of New York is easing the restrictions on coal plant emissions. Basically he is increasing the amount of carbon dioxide the plants are allowed to produce. Gristmill also however give warning that the climate and energy bills of this year will likely be combined, which they don’t think is a good idea).

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