Global Warming News - September 2009
Real News Stories To Share With Global-Warming Skeptics
On September 10th, NOAA’s National Climatic Data Center in Asheville, N.C. reported that this year's U.S. summer temps were below average. The average June-August 2009 summer temperature for the contiguous United States was the 34th coolest on record, based on records dating back to 1895. The average temperature for August was also below the long-term average.
Summer 2009 temp rankings (click to enlarge)
For the 2009 summer, the average temperature of 71.7ºF was 0.4ºF below the 20th Century average. The 2008 average summer temperature was 72.7ºF. A recurring upper level trough held the June-August temperatures down in the central states, where Michigan experienced its fifth coolest summer on record. Wisconsin, Minnesota, and South Dakota had their seventh coolest summer on record. Nebraska had its eighth, and Iowa had its ninth coolest summer on record. The region of Michigan, Wisconsin, Iowa and Minnesota experienced its sixth coolest summer on record. There were more than 300 low temperature records (counting daily highs and lows) set across states in the Midwest during the last two days of August.
On September 20th, Penn State University was reporting early fall colors. A severe August drought followed by cool temperatures in early September resulted in many pockets of early fall color in central and northeastern Pennsylvania and southeastern New York, according to a forest expert in Penn State's College of Agricultural Sciences. Peak colors normally occur in mid-October, but by the middle of September this year a significant number of trees already were turning red, orange and yellow. These include red maple, sugar maple, ash, black gum and sumac, thanks to the unusual weather conditions over the last six weeks.
On September 29th, the Meadows ski resort at Mount Hood was hoping for early skiing following the first real snow of the season. "It certainly serves as a wake up call and we're on schedule to open early if the snow allows. George Taylor, former state climatologist, has already identified this season as having the potential to start early. The Farmer's Almanac seems to agree - predicting above average precip and below average temperatures in November, December and January."
Mount Hood - September 29.
According to an article at Bloomberg, the U.S. Northeast may have the coldest winter in a decade. This is due to a weak El Nino, a warming current in the Pacific Ocean, according to Matt Rogers, a forecaster at Commodity Weather Group. “Weak El Ninos are notorious for cold and snowy weather on the Eastern seaboard,” Rogers said in a Bloomberg Television interview from Washington. “About 70 percent to 75 percent of the time a weak El Nino will deliver the goods in terms of above-normal heating demand and cold weather. It’s pretty good odds.”
While The Sun Sleeps: On September 10th, Anthony Watts at his Watts Up With That? blog, posted an English translation of a Danish article by Professor Henrik Svensmark originally published on September 9th in the Danish newspaper Jyllands-Posten. Anthony updated the posting on September 12th with a better translation.
Henrik Svensmark is a physicist and the director of the Center for Sun-Climate Research at the Danish Space Research Institute (DSRI), Which is a part of the Danish National Space Center in Copenhagen. He studies the effects of cosmic rays on cloud formation. His work has produced findings that conflict with the theory of man-made climate change, which considers solar activity unlikely to be a major contributor to recent global warming.
Here are some excerpts...
The star that keeps us alive has, over the last few years, been almost free of sunspots, which are the usual signs of the Sun’s magnetic activity. Last week [4 September 2009] the scientific team behind the satellite SOHO (Solar and Heliospheric Observatory) reported, “It is likely that the current year’s number of blank days will be the longest in about 100 years.” Everything indicates that the Sun is going into some kind of hibernation, and the obvious question is what significance that has for us on Earth.You can read the whole article HERE.
If you ask the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) which represents the current consensus on climate change, the answer is a reassuring “nothing”. But history and recent research suggest that is probably completely wrong. Why? Let’s take a closer look.
Solar activity has always varied. Around the year 1000, we had a period of very high solar activity, which coincided with the Medieval Warm Period. It was a time when frosts in May were almost unknown – a matter of great importance for a good harvest. Vikings settled in Greenland and explored the coast of North America. On the whole it was a good time. For example, China’s population doubled in this period.
But after about 1300 solar activity declined and the world began to get colder. It was the beginning of the episode we now call the Little Ice Age. In this cold time, all the Viking settlements in Greenland disappeared. Sweden surprised Denmark by marching across the ice, and in London the Thames froze repeatedly. But more serious were the long periods of crop failures, which resulted in poorly nourished populations, reduced in Europe by about 30 per cent because of disease and hunger...
So we have watched the Sun’s magnetic activity with increasing concern, since it began to wane in the mid-1990s. That the Sun might now fall asleep in a deep minimum was suggested by solar scientists at a meeting in Kiruna in Sweden two years ago. So when Nigel Calder and I updated our book The Chilling Stars, we wrote a little provocatively that “we are advising our friends to enjoy global warming while it lasts.”
In fact global warming has stopped and a cooling is beginning... The outcome may be that the Sun itself will demonstrate its importance for climate and so challenge the theories of global warming. No climate model has predicted a cooling of the Earth – quite the contrary. And this means that the projections of future climate are unreliable. A forecast saying it may be either warmer or colder for 50 years is not very useful... [emphasis added]
--Henrik Svensmark, While The Sun Sleeps, 9 September 2009
No Ocean Heat = No Global Warming: On September 11th, the SPPI (Science and Public Policy Institute) Monthly announced "the publication of a major paper by Professors David Douglass and Robert Knox of the Physics Department in the University of Rochester, New York, demonstrating that the heat buildup in the oceans that is a necessary fingerprint of manmade global warming is not occurring." The findings are described as "another mortal blow to the alarmist cause in the climate debate."
You can read the SPPI announcement HERE, or read the full SPPI Monthly Report for August 2009 (PDF) HERE. The SPPI report contains a number of great graphs that undercut the IPCC "consensus", including the following...
Actual temps vs IPCC, 29 years (click to enlarge)
Actual temps vs IPCC, 15 years (click to enlarge)
Actual temps vs IPCC, 7 years (click to enlarge)
Sea Ice: As of mid-September, global sea ice was at higher levels than it was during the previous two years. This contradicts the predictions of alarmists who said that by 2009 the Arctic would be ice-free and global sea ice would be at an all-time low.
Global sea ice, September 15 (click to enlarge)
Arctic sea ice, September 15 (click to enlarge)
Antarctic sea ice, September 13 (click to enlarge)
An Inconvenient Truth For Alarmists: On September 16th, Tom Feilden, science correspondent of the BBC posted an article at his blog entitled An Inconvenient Truth About Global Warming. In the article, he points to new data that suggests the world may be in for steady temperatures or even global cooling rather than warming...
Far from suggesting the planet will get warmer, one of the world's leading climate modellers says the latest data indicates we could be in for a significant period of steady temperatures and possibly even a little global cooling.You can read the whole article and listen to more than 12 minutes of interview clips HERE.
Professor Mojib Latif, from the Leibniz Institute of Marine Sciences at Kiel University in Germany, has been looking at the influence of cyclical changes to ocean currents and temperatures in the Atlantic, a feature known as the North Atlantic Oscillation. When he factored these natural fluctuations into his global climate model, professor Latif found the results would bring the remorseless rise in average global temperatures to an abrupt halt.
"The strong warming effect that we experienced during the last decades will be interrupted. Temperatures will be more or less steady for some years, and thereafter will pickup again and continue to warm". With apologies to Al Gore, professor Latif's finding is something of an "inconvenient truth" for the global warming debate.
--Tom Feilden, An Inconvenient Truth About Global Warming, 16 September 2009
Preliminary GOSAT Results: On January 23rd of this year, the Japan Aerospace Exploration Agency (JAXA), in conjunction with the National Institute for Environmental Studies (NIES), and the Ministry of the Environment (MOE) launched the Greenhouse gasses Observing SATellite (GOSAT), also known as "IBUKI". The preliminary results have started to come in, and there are some interesting "hot spots" where CO2 and methane are being generated.
GOSAT "IBUKI" (click to enlarge)
The first preliminary data covered the period of April 20-28th and included the CO2 and methane "averaged dry air mole fraction distribution" over land using "clear-sky observations" (i.e., no readings were taken where there was cloud cover). JAXA states that the satellite sensors were not yet fully calibrated at the time of these measurements, but note the "hot spots" in China, Africa and the Middle East...
CO2 levels, April 20-28 (click to enlarge)
Methane levels, April 20-28 (click to enlarge)
On September 18th, JAXA released more measurement information, this time for the period August 1-31st. According to JAXA, the initial calibration for the CO2 data had been completed at this point. The following image shows that there are still "hot spots" in Africa, but China is mostly covered in white, which means that it was shrouded in clouds for most of this period. Perhaps more surprisingly, there are not as many "hot spots" in the industrialized U.S. or Europe as you might imagine...
CO2 levels, August 1-31 (click to enlarge)
You can read the whole report (PDF) on the April measurements HERE.
You can read the whole report (PDF) on the August measurements HERE.
Arctic Temps - No Hockey Stick: There is an interesting web page worth checking out called "Circling the Arctic", which is based on the work of John Lawrence Daly.
John L. Daly (March 31, 1943 – January 29, 2004), was an Australian teacher and self-declared "Greenhouse skeptic." He was known for speaking out publicly against what he called the "Global Warming scare," and authored the book The Greenhouse Trap: Why the Greenhouse Effect Will Not End Life on Earth, published in 1989 by Bantam Books. Since his death, his website Still Waiting for Greenhouse is maintained by Jerry Brennan. Daly investigated various studies by scientists which appear to support global warming scenarios and raised objections to them. For example he denied that the average sea level is rising, on the basis the 'Isle of the Dead' mean ocean level benchmark.
Daly, among other things, collected temperature data from all over the world. This data has been is available at his web page What The Stations Say. The web page I referred to earlier called "Circling the Arctic" draws its information from this data.
What is of particular interest here, is that the temperature records of these various Arctic area weather stations seem to show little if any long-term temperature increase. And while some of these records may show a minor temperature increase over time, it looks nothing like the "hockey stick" of Al Gore alarmism.
Click for interactive Arctic temp records.
Go to the "Circling the Arctic" web page HERE.
Spotless Days Increasing: During the month of September, the sun remained essentially spotless. I went to "Solaemon's Spotless Days Page" in hopes of finding that the 32 spotless days of July 31st-August 31st had continued even longer into September (as I suspected they would). I wanted to know how long the actual spotless period lasted, but I was disappointed to find that as of mid-October the page had still not been updated since September 1st.
On September 22nd, Anthony Watts at his Watts Up With That? blog, posted an article saying that some "real" sunspots actually showed up for the first time during the month...
September's only sunspots.
Following a few brief days of sunspot activity, the sun went back into hibernation. According to an e-mail from Paul Stanko to Anthony Watts, the current solar cycle (#24) is now in "7th place" for the most number of spotless days...
Only [solar cycles] 5, 6, and 7 of the Dalton Minimum and cycles 12, 14, and 15 of the Baby Grand Minimum had more spotless days. Since we’ve now beaten cycle #13, we are clearly now competitive with the Baby Grand minimum.Stanko also provided some graphs worth looking at. It should be noted that for the second graph, 2009 is not yet over, so it will probably continue to climb in the ratings...
--Paul Stanko, E-mail to Anthony Watts, 3 October 2009
Spotless days, current solar cycle (click to enlarge)
Spotless days in last 100 years (click to enlarge)
According to an article at The Age in Australia, "Scientists expect to record 290 spotless days this year. Last year, there were 266, the most spotless days since 1913, when there were 311 recorded." Of course we are nowhere near the Maunder Minimum when the sun was spotless for nearly 70 years, but if the current trend continues, we can expect more global cooling rather than warming.
You can read the whole article HERE.
Skeptic Stossel Moves to FoxNews: Fox News announced on September 10th, that award-winning journalist John Stossel is joining FOX News Channel and FOX Business Network. Stossel is best known for his work as co-anchor of the ABC News program "20/20." He will anchor a new weekly program called "Stossel" on FOX Business Network, and make regular appearances on the FOX News Channel. Stossel did an excellent piece for 20/20 back in 2007 on global warming which is worth watching again...
New Poll Findings: On September 16th, Bloomberg ran a story about a recent poll. The nature of the poll was primarily geared towards evaluating President Obama's job approval rating, but in the very last paragraph of the article, almost as an aside, it mentions a question about climate change...
The poll also probes attitudes on climate change, finding that 40 percent of Americans view it as a major threat, compared with 31 percent who say it’s a minor threat and just 27 percent who say it’s no real threat at all.This poll suggests then, that as many as 58% of Americans consider climate change inconsequential ("minor threat" or "no threat"), while only 40% consider it a major threat.
--Heidi Przybyla, Obama Gets 56% Job Approval Amid Deficit Concerns, Poll Shows, 16 September 2009
An Inconsistent Truth: According to the Gore Lied website, a new movie will be coming out this winter called "An Inconsistent Truth". Radio host Phil Valentine is making the movie, and from the looks of the trailers it might be worth seeing...