Friday, August 17, 2007


Southern Hemisphere is the bottom line

Spencer and Christy have updated their tools to calculate the tropospheric temperatures between 1979 and the present era from their and NASA's satellite data to a new version 6.0 beta (readme file). The three graphs above show the global average, the Northern Hemisphere, and the Southern Hemisphere. This upgrade is also discussed by Steve McIntyre. If you look at the third graph, you see that there was no warming on the Southern Hemisphere in the last 25 years even though the "global warming theory" and the corresponding models are predicting even faster rise of the tropospheric temperatures than for the surface temperatures. The decadal trend is quantitatively around 0.05 degrees which is noise whose sign can change almost instantly.

Normally, I would think that one should conclude that according to the observations, there is no discernible recent warming on the Southern Hemisphere, and an experimental refutation of a far-reaching hypothesis by a whole hemisphere is a good enough reason to avoid the adjective "global" for the observed warming. Of course, the proponents of the "global warming theory" will use a different logic. The troposphere of the Southern Hemisphere is bribed by the evil oil corporations, and even if it were not, the data from the Southern Hemisphere can't diminish the perfect consensus of all the hemispheres of our blue planet: the debate is over. All the hemispheres of our planet decide equally about the catastrophic global warming, especially the Northern Hemisphere that shows that the warming is truly global and truly cataclysmic. Be worried, be very worried.

James Hansen, one of the fathers of the "global warming theory", has a new paper. When Hansen writes a paper, the media immediately publish hundreds of articles. The present temperatures are warmest in 12,000 or one million years, depending on the source. However, when you open their paper, you see that it looks like one of these jokes propagating through the blogosphere and the authors are kind of comedians.

First of all, most of the paper is dedicated to not-too-substantiated arguments with Michael Crichton. Michael Crichton stated in "State of Fear" as well as the U.S. Congress that Hansen's predictions from a 1988 testimony were wrong by 300 percent: a calculation based on a particular choice of time period and scenarios. Hansen then proposed three scenarios - "A,B,C" - how the temperatures would rise. "A" is a catastrophe in which no action is taken and the emissions continue to rise. "B" involves a peaceful limit in which emissions stabilize around 2000 and the warming is smaller. "C" is the scenario assuming drastic cuts of CO2 emissions.

The result as we know it in 2006? The reality essentially followed the temperatures of the scenario "C" even though the CO2 emissions continued to rise just like in the scenario "A". More details are summarized by Willis E who discusses the content of the figure 2 of the new Hansen paper. Isn't it enough to admit that Hansen was just wrong? If it is not enough, what kind of wrong prediction does he have to make in order for us to know that he has made an error? I just can't understand it.

The new paper contains even crazier assertions - e.g. the present temperature is probably the maximum temperature in the last 12,000 or one million years. This is probably based on the graph 5 on the bottom of page 5 (or 14291) and this graph's data is taken from a completely different paper written by very different authors: Hansen's only role is to hype and politicize their numbers. You see in that graph that since 1870, the oceans' surface temperature was more or less constant and the previous temperature probably can't be trusted, especially not the relative vertical shift of the graph in comparison with the current temperatures.

Even more amusingly, the paper is filled with a lot of completely off-topic comments that indicate that Hansen et al. are unable to focus on rational thinking. When I was reading one of the last sentences, I started to laugh loudly. Hansen et al. criticize the "engineering fixes" of the global climate recently discussed by Paul J. Crutzen, the 1995 Nobel prize winner for chemistry, and Ralph Cicerone, the current president of the National Academy of Sciences. Hansen says that these fixes are "dangerous" because they could diminish the efforts to reduce the CO2 emissions.

That's very funny because this is, indeed, exactly the purpose of these papers - to propose more efficient methods than the most stupid method you can imagine for the hypothetical case that we would ever need to regulate the global climate. The papers are indeed intended to diminish the role of the most uncultivated proposals how to fight with the hypothetical "climate change". As Hansen explains, that's exactly his problem with those papers.

It is very clear that the paper was only written in order to misinterpret another paper, draw media attention (which is guaranteed with Hansen), and make a purely political statement about the programs that are beginning to supersede the naive carbon dioxide cuts - political statements that have nothing do with science - in a scientific journal. Steve McIntyre and Ross McKitrick's comments on the paper are here. Hansen's reasoning is not too unsimilar to the reasoning of Quantoken.

Incidentally, Crutzen's proposed technology involves artificial volcanos. A major natural volcano eruption can cause 0.2-0.5 degrees of cooling over 2-3 years. Using the favorite technologies of Hansen and Gore - namely stifling the civilization - such a cooling would cost tens of trillions of dollars or many thousands of Virgin corporations. Al Gore would have to fly roughly millions of times to give his prayers for impressionable billionaires - because not all of them would decide in the same way as Branson - and these flights would probably overcompensate the cooling effect anyway.

When we note that there is a far greater human presence in the Northern hemisphere, a point that could be made is that the results discussed above point to the Northern hemisphere being one big "heat island" -- i.e. the temperature rise is a heat artifact, a direct result of human heat generation, not an effect of CO2 emissions

The above article was included in a post that went up on Greenie Watch on Oct 1, 2006 and was reproduced from a post by Lubos Motl. It is reproduced here as a separate file for convenience.

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