Sunday, January 12, 2014


Disagreeable Old Phil Plait, the Bad Astronomer

Boulder, Colorado resident and astronomer Phil Plait leaves his field of expertise to write on global warming here in Slate. His article goes after a straw horse as you can tell from the title: "No, the Polar Vortex Does Not Disprove Global Warming." Who said it did? And he's liberal with the insults throughout the piece. Let me back up a bit. There's a pretty good Dutch movie out there called Black Book by Paul Verhoeven about the end of WWII in the Netherlands and the nasty Nazi collaborators are being just horrible right up to the last day of the war. I'm thinking as I watched it, were they not keeping up on current events? Wouldn't the better course be to stop being a horrible war criminal and try to sneak out of the country before the Allies fully liberate it and people start looking for collaborators and war criminals? Nope, the bad guys went full bore war criminal right into April 1945.

With things going poorly for the alarmist global warming true believers in the past few years, I would think that they would at least stop calling people with whom they disagree stupid at every turn. If things continue to go against them, they'll be wrong, duped, mistaken of course, but if things continue go south for them and they're still being disagreeable and calling the people who are right stupid, they'll be assholes as well as wrong. I've dialed my rhetoric way back down (I no longer call them Warmies) and I'm on the winning team. Just a thought, alarmists. Back to the Plait article.

Again, I won't go through the whole thing but just the key claim from Dr. Plait:

And nothing the deniers say about the polar vortex and frigid temps does anything to change the overwhelming evidence that the world is, on average, warming up, and we're the cause.
Plait is complaining that a cold snap in Winter is too short a period of time to be evidence of anything about long term weather, the climate. You have to look at a longer period, a statement with which I completely agree. I can't let his other statement go unchallenged, however. The world, on average, is not warming up. Even the HadCRUt4 temperature data set, the latest from the Hadley Center at the Met Office and the Climate Research Unit at the University of East Anglia, UK, shows that there has been no warming for 14 years, and in fact, from 2002, the average global temperature has started to fall.

The Met office and the CRU at East Anglia U. are what I used to call Warmie Central; they are places where scientists go to profess their faith in the theory of alarming anthropogenic global warming. It's not helpful for Mr. Plait and his ilk to continue to allege the Earth is warming when it is not. Now, had I brought this graph Mr. Plait's attention, he might well have defended his position with: "That's too short a time period, you stupid denier. It doesn't mean a thing." He would be charming to the last, I'm sure. Well 11 years might well not be long enough. The satellite data sets from Remote Sensing Services (RSS) and the U Alabama at Huntsville (UAH) show no warming for 19 and 15 years respectively. Long enough?

The alarmist generally chose a starting point for their graphs in the early to late 18th C. Such a graph shows a .8 degrees C temperature rise in 131 years or .06 degrees C rise per decade. That rate's not very alarming.

Let's look a little wider than that. Let's go back 1,000 years.

This reconstruction was from the International Panel on Climate Change just over a decade ago. The Medieval Warm Period was clearly hotter than the latest turn of the century and the .6 degree C rise we experienced in the 20th C. Although 140 to 180 years is clearly long enough for the true believers, perhaps a thousand years is not long enough to discern the truth about climate change.

OK. Let's look back 10,000 years, pretty much the whole of our the interglacial, the Holocene.

This is a temperature reconstruction based on ice cores from Greenland, which shows known historical warm periods (the ones that have names) as well as the well known Little Ice Age, from whose frozen depths we began to climb about 180 years ago. But this reconstruction of temperatures shows most of the Holocene was much warmer than today or at least much warmer than 1908. Still not long enough?

OK. Let's look back 400,000 with ice cores from the opposite side of the globe from Greenland.

This reconstruction shows that each of the 4 interglacials before our present one were much hotter than now and there was certainly no man made CO2 in the air then; in fact, we know that there was much less CO2 in the air then than there is now, yet it was still hotter. What made the prior interglacials hotter than now without any additional CO2 in the air? Natural cycles of heating and cooling? If so, how do we know that the natural cycles aren't still working and CO2 has no real heating effect above 300 ppmv in the atmosphere (.03% of the atmosphere)? The short answer is that we don't and neither do the alarmist global warming true believers. They claim they know. It is a false claim. The models they use are not evidence, nor are they reliable.

Maybe 400 millennia makes too short a period for Mr. Plait and his ilk. Let's go back 600 Million years.

No matter what the CO2 concentration in the atmosphere in the past, most of the history of the World with multi-cellular plants and animals has had an average world temperature at the 22 degrees C range (We're around 14 degrees C now). So with temperatures here nearly 8 degrees C less than the normal temperature of 22 degrees C for the World for the overwhelming majority of the time, how is the .8 degrees C warming we've seen since 1880 something to cause us to wail and gnash our teeth and scream: "It's the end of the World?"

Obviously it's nothing to be alarmed at. And for a scientific consensus that relies on cherry-picking a starting point at the end of the Little Ice Age, in the19th Century, so that temperatures have risen from the lowest temperatures in the past 1000 years, it seems a little disingenuous for the alarmist to accuse the deniers of cherry-picking too short a period of data. The current average world temperature is lower the normal for the Holocene or for that matter much lower the average for last 600 Million years.

So even though the alarmist have time and time again predicted milder winters, if a very cold Winter in North America is not evidence that refutes the alarmist Global Warming theory, what evidence could ever refute it?


I saw a presentation Saturday by a solar physicist, at the Colorado QRP Club meeting. One thing he mentioned was that there are indications we could be headed into another Dalton Minimum. Won't that be nice?
Reasonable expectation of that but not before 2034, I don't think. I might not last that long.
Here's another take on it. Solar Twin Peak -- David Lynch unavailable for comment.
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