$30,000 Challenge Submission – Antarctic Ice

Jim Steele
Christopjer says “That also debunks the deniers claims of urban heat island affect.”
Mr Keating you are a joke and obviously lack any scientific understanding of the dynamics of climate change. Your $30,000 is just a gimmick to satisfy some egotistical fantasy that you are the “Denier Slayer” and attract people to your website. The first clue is your bizarre claim “One of the reasons sea ice is increasing is because it is coming from the land ice that is sliding into the ocean”
No one can disprove CO2 warming any more than you or anyone else can prove it. I offered you $30,000 but you duck the challenge and every piece of scientific evidence I presented about the Antarctic. You again expose your complete lack of knowledge by offering the hilarious defense that warming on the peninsula “debunks the deniers claims of urban heat island affect”. You claim to teach logic????? ROTFLMAO. I am not distracted!
Your misdirection via another sophomoric attack on “deniers” is only an attempt to obscure your total lack of knowledge and critical thinking skills. Although CO2 warming should operate 24/7, the warming on the peninsul a varies dramatically by location and season. That should be a hint to any legitimate scientists that regional dynamics are in play.
On the west side, the changing direction and intensity of the winds has inhibited sea ice advance in the spring and promoted a greater retreat in the fall, in contrast to the ever increasing sea ice elsewhere. Much of the dramatic warming on the peninsula’s west side is occurs only in the winter when less ice allows more heat to ventilate. No such trend in the summer.
All those trends reverse on the eastern side, where identical latitude s experience temperatures 10 degrees colder, because sea ice is not similarly affected by those same winds. However those winds have shifted. Instead of going around the mountainous peninsula, the winds are currently flowing over the mountains causing more foehn storms, that can raise temperatures adiabatically by 20 degrees or more. Adiabatically means “no heat is added”.
These are just other non-CO2 related dynamics that , in addition to the urban heat effect, have driven a rise in the global average statistic. If the global average statistic was to accurately reflect the amount of heat accumulated due to CO2, then the dramatic warming over the peninsula should be subtracted from the average, not added to skew the trend.
5:27 p.m., Sunday July 13
Jim Steele
I forgot to suggest you improve your knowledge by reading some scientific papers about the dynamics causing the peninsula’s temperatures.
1. Stammerjohn, S., et a., (2008) Trends in
Antarctic annual sea ice retreat and advance and their relation to El Niño southern oscillation and southern annular mode variability. Journal of Geophysical Research. Vol. 113, C03S90.doi:10.1029/2007JC004269.
2. Stammerjohn, S., et a., (2008) Sea ice in the
western Antarctic Peninsula region: spatiotemporal variability from ecological and climate change perspectives. Deep Sea Research II 55.
doi:10.1016/j.dsr2.2008.04.026.
3. Orr, A., et al., (2008), Characteristics of summer airflow over the Antarctic Peninsula in response to recent strengthening of westerly circumpolar winds, J. Atmos. Sci., 65, 1396–1413.
5:31 p.m., Sunday July 13
Jim Steele
Reply to
Christopher Keating says, “I keep hearing deniers
say Antarctica is cooling. This is not only false, but is irrelevant”
Mr. Keating, Your persistent denigrating use of deniers, and your graph of a warming Antarctica http://earthobservatory.nasa.g…
reveals your general lack of critical scientific analyses. I’ll give you $30,000 if you can prove CO2 is causing any of the changes in Antarctica!
It is most apropos that the NASA writes, “The image paints a different picture of temperature trends in Antarctica than scientists had previously observed.” Indeed it differs from what scientists had observed. Your map is based on a trend that
1) Cherrypicks the time frame,
2) statistically smears warming on the peninsula across the continent
3) and then erroneously assumes the warming around the
western peninsula region is due to rising CO2.
1) Cherrypicking the Trend.
Trends since 1966 shows a cooling trend. Read Chapman, W., and
Walsh, J., (2006) A Synthesis of Antarctic Temperatures. Journal of Climate,
vol. 20, p. 4096-4117. They reported “Linear temperature changes calculated using starting dates prior to 1965 are positive for land only, ocean-only, and total area. Starting dates of 1966– 82 have negative trends for the Antarctic land-only grid points with mixed results for ocean-only and total area.”
Furthermore the year before his “new warming trend,” Steig
himself co-authored a paper using ice core data to show it was warmer around 1940 as seen here http://landscapesandcycles.net….
He wrote, “This record, representative of West Antarctic surface temperature, shows extreme positive anomalies in the 1936-45 decade that are significant in the context of the background 20th Century warming trend. We interpret these anomalies, previously undocumented in the high-latitude SH, as
indicative of strong teleconnections in part driven by the major 1939-42 El Nino.”
However to suggest “previ ously unobserved warming” his next paper chose a starting point in the 50s after temperatures had plummeted.
Read Schneider, D., and Steig, E., (2008) Ice cores record
significant 1940s Antarctic warmth related to tropical climate variability.
Proc. Natl Acad. Sci. USA 105, 12154–12158
2) Statistically smearing the warmth
British Antarctic Survey Stations such as Dumont D’Urville show warming on the linked map when no such thing is happening as seen in the observed data
3) Finally the warmth along the peninsula has been repeatedly documented
to be caused when winds inhibited regional sea ice growth and allowed greater ventilation of subsurface heat on the western peninsula in the winter and more foehn storms causing ad iabatic heating on the eastern side in the summer.
I suggest you spend less time hurling insults and start
reading the scientific literature to get a more well rounded perspective.
12:53 p.m., Sunday July 13

Response:

So, let me see, your submission consists of making personal attacks. Not very scientific. Nor, are they very well informed, just like your misguided opinions on global warming. I don’t really hurl insults, I just point out the truth about deniers. It isn’t my fault that the characteristics of deniers are not complimentary. You are a perfect example. What part of science includes all of your personal attacks? Since you have no science to support your claims, you act like a jerk as if that will make you seem more credible. You really are denier. You not only deny global warming, science and the rights of other people to make up their minds without your lies, but you deny any kind of civility in a discussion on an open forum. Tell me, do you make this kind of example for your children? Do you act this way in front of your parents?  What an ass. And, your argument reflect that in you.

You make a bunch of senseless claims about the Antarctic ice without any supporting evidence. Well how about this for supporting evidence:

https://i0.wp.com/www.nature.com/ngeo/journal/v6/n8/images/ngeo1874-f1.jpg
a, Mass anomalies observed by GRACE (January 2003–September 2012) for Greenland (red) and Antarctica (blue; arbitrarily vertically shifted for clarity). b, RACMO2 SMB, illustrating interannual variability (note the different scale for Antarctica). c, Estimated trend in the GRACE time series as function of record length since the start of the observations. For example, at x=6, trends in the six-year window for January 2003–December 2008 are shown for Greenland (red) and Antarctica (blue). d, As in c, but for accelerations; for explanation on error bars (95% range), see Supplementary Information. SMB, surface mass balance. Source: Nature GeoScience          

There are plenty more, but this is a good one. Figure a shows the mass balance for Greenland (red) and Antarctica (blue) for the period January 2003 – September 2012. You can easily see the total mass has decreased in both ice sheets during that time span. For Antarctica, there was a loss of about 1000 gigatons. that comes out to about 100 gigatons of ice loss per year. I’m not sure you can understand what that means, so I’ll translate it. A gigaton is 1 billion tons. So, Antarctica is losing 100 billion tons of ice every year. In fact, a study by NASA and the ESA shows that loss rate is accelerating.

As for CO2 warming the planet, it has most certainly been proved and the only ones that don’t accept that evidence are deniers that reject any science that doesn’t agree with their preconceived conclusion. If you are not intelligent enough to find that proof yourself, I suggest you check out several of the challenge submissions that have to do with the composition of the atmosphere and CO2 effects. You offered no science or logical argument there, just another senseless personal attack, so I don’t need to deal with that issue any further.

Let’s look at these scientific papers you referenced. You threw them out there without any kind of claim about how they supported any kind of logical argument you might make. At this point in your submission, you still have not made any scientific claims, just personal attacks, so I am not sure what your point is. But, let’s look at these papers and see what they have to say.

1. Stammerjohn, S., et a., (2008) Trends in
Antarctic annual sea ice retreat and advance and their relation to El Niño southern oscillation and southern annular mode variability. Journal of Geophysical Research. Vol. 113,
C03S90.doi:10.1029/2007JC004269.

Here is the abstract for this paper:

 [1] Previous studies have shown strong contrasting trends in annual sea ice duration and in monthly sea ice concentration in two regions of the Southern Ocean: decreases in the western Antarctic Peninsula/southern Bellingshausen Sea (wAP/sBS) region and increases in the western Ross Sea (wRS) region. To better understand the evolution of these regional sea ice trends, we utilize the full temporal (quasi-daily) resolution of satellite-derived sea ice data to track spatially the annual ice edge advance and retreat from 1979 to 2004. These newly analyzed data reveal that sea ice is retreating 31 ± 10 days earlier and advancing 54 ± 9 days later in the wAP/sBS region (i.e., total change over 1979–2004), whereas in the wRS region, sea ice is retreating 29 ± 6 days later and advancing 31 ± 6 days earlier. Changes in the wAP/sBS and wRS regions, particularly as observed during sea ice advance, occurred in association with decadal changes in the mean state of the Southern Annular Mode (SAM; negative in the 1980s and positive in the 1990s) and the high-latitude response to El Niño–Southern Oscillation (ENSO). In general, the high-latitude ice-atmosphere response to ENSO was strongest when -SAM was coincident with El Niño and when +SAM was coincident with La Niña, particularly in the wAP/sBS region. In total, there were 7 of 11 -SAMs between 1980 and 1990 and the 7 of 10 +SAMs between 1991 and 2000 that were associated with consistent decadal sea ice changes in the wAP/sBS and wRS regions, respectively. Elsewhere, ENSO/SAM-related sea ice changes were not as consistent over time (e.g., western Weddell, Amundsen, and eastern Ross Sea region), or variability in general was high (e.g., central/eastern Weddell and along East Antarctica).

What are they saying here?

Very simply, they are saying the different parts of the Antarctic sea ice is melting and freezing at different times of the year and this change appears to be linked to El Nino – Southern Oscillation (ENSO).

What is relevant to any argument here? ENSO affects the sea ice around Antarctica. So what? This is important information and stuff we need to know, but it has no bearing on the reality of man made global warming, one way or the other. This information would not impact either scenario.

So, you submitted an irrelevant scientific journal to try and sound intelligent. It didn’t work. Maybe you’ll do better with the next one.

2. Stammerjohn, S., et a., (2008) Sea ice in the
western Antarctic Peninsula region: spatiotemporal variability from ecological and climate change perspectives. Deep Sea Research II 55.
doi:10.1016/j.dsr2.2008.04.026.

Here is the abstract for this paper:

The Antarctic Peninsula region is undergoing rapid change: a warming in winter of almost 6 °C since 1950, the loss of six ice shelves, the retreat of 87% of the marine glaciers, and decreases in winter sea-ice duration. Concurrently, there is evidence of ecosystem change along the western Antarctic Peninsula (wAP). Since the life histories of most polar marine species are synchronized with the seasonal cycle of sea ice, we assess how the seasonal sea-ice cycle is changing in the wAP region. Four new metrics of seasonal sea-ice variability were extracted from spatial maps of satellite derived daily sea-ice concentration: (a) day of advance, (b) day of retreat, (c) the total number of sea-ice days (between day of advance and retreat), and (d) the percent time sea-ice was present (or sea-ice persistence). The spatio-temporal variability describes distinct on-to-offshore and alongshore differences in ice–ocean marine habitats, characterized overall by a longer sea-ice season in coastal regions (6.8–7.9 months) versus a shorter sea-ice season over the shelf (4.1–5.3 months), with on-to-offshore differences increasing south-to-north. Large perturbations in the seasonality of the marine habitat occur in association with ENSO and Southern Annular Mode (SAM) variability. The local atmospheric response to these climate modes is largely a strengthening of the meridional winds during spring-to-autumn, which in turn affect the timing of the sea-ice retreat and subsequent advance. These perturbations are embedded in overall trends towards a later sea-ice advance, earlier retreat and consequently shorter sea-ice season, the impacts of which are expected to affect ecosystem functionality in the wAP region. A suite of ocean–atmosphere–ice interactions are described that are consistent with the amplified warming in late autumn, early winter.
What are they saying?
The Antarctica Peninsula is a long peninsula that extends from the main continental body and projects towards South America. This paper says this peninsula has gotten 6 degrees C warmer since 1950 and has lost 87% of its land ice. They then discuss how they analyze this situation in the paper and give details on what they examine. 
At least you referenced a paper that was relevant this time, but it was relevant to showing AGW is real. The AP is getting warmer and is losing its ice. How can this help any argument you wish to make that AGW is not real? It certainly doesn’t help make you look more intelligent or to make you more credible in your rants and personal attacks. You are not doing very well. Two scientific papers and neither one helps you.
Third times the charm? Let’s see.
 3. Orr, A., et al., (2008), Characteristics of summer airflow over the Antarctic Peninsula in response to recent strengthening of westerly circumpolar winds, J. Atmos. Sci., 65, 1396–1413.
Summer near-surface temperatures over the northeast coast of the Antarctic Peninsula have increased by more than 2°C over the past 40 years, a temperature increase 3 times greater than that on the northwest coast. Recent analysis has shown a strong correlation between this striking warming trend and significant change in the summer Southern Hemisphere annular mode (SAM), which has resulted in greatly increased summer westerlies across the northern peninsula. It has been proposed that the strengthening westerlies have resulted in increased vertical deflection of relatively warm maritime air over the northern peninsula, contributing significantly to the observed warming and the recent collapse of northern sections of the Larsen Ice Shelf. In this study, laboratory and numerical modeling of airflow incident to the peninsula are employed to further understand this mechanism. It is shown that the effect of the strengthening westerlies has led to a distinct transition from a “blocked” regime to a “flow-over” regime, that is, confirmation of the proposed warming mechanism. The blocked regime is dominated by flow stagnation upstream (i.e., little vertical deflection) and consequent lateral deflection of flow along the western side of the peninsula. The flow-over regime is dominated by vertical deflection of mid/upper-level air over the peninsula, with strong downslope winds following closely to the leeward slope transporting this air (which warms adiabatically as it descends) to the near-surface of the northeast peninsula. The strong rotation typical of high latitudes considerably increases the flow over the peninsula, particularly strengthening it over the southern side (verified by aircraft measurements), suggesting that the warming trend is not solely confined to the northeast. Globally, flow regime transitions such as this may be responsible for other local climate variations.
 
What are they saying? 
They are saying that the Antarctic Peninsula has experienced warming of 2 degrees C over the last 40 years and that warming rate has been three times warmer than the northwest coast of the main body of the continent. They attribute this to changes in the airflow currents.
Oops! Third time wasn’t a charm! 
Did you even bother reading these papers, or did you just grab the papers to make you look smart? If so, it really didn’t work. Once again, you have shown that Antarctica, and the AP in particular, are warming. How does this help any argument you could make or justify your personal attacks?
Take a look the temperature change of Antarctica:
https://i0.wp.com/www.skepticalscience.com/pics/AntarcticTemperatureChange.png
Source: Skeptical Science from O’Donnel et al. (2010)
This graph clearly show the average temperature in Antarctica has been going up. There is variation from year-to-year, but that is normal and expected. Look at the long-term trend (the dotted line) to show how the average temperature is going up.
And look at this graphic:
https://i0.wp.com/www.skepticalscience.com/pics/AntarcticReconstructions.png
Source: Skeptical Science from O’Donnel et al. (2010)
The O’Donnell et al. paper refuted the Steig et al. paper and showed that warming in Antarctica is mostly concentrated in the peninsula area. There are two major things to take from this. 
First, the peninsula actually projects out beyond the circumpolar currents in the atmosphere and ocean as well as the ozone hole, so it is not in the isolated environment the rest of the continent is.The fact that the part of the continent that is not located within the isolated environment is experiencing the greatest amount of change in the southern hemisphere illustrates the point that the continent is, in fact, isolated and is a special case, not evidence what global warming is not occurring. (See the above temperature plot, anyway.)
The second major point of this paper is that it refutes a paper that the deniers hated, namely the Steig et al. paper that showed more widespread warming than previously claimed. 
So, what basically amounts to a paper supporting the denier side of the argument refutes any claim that it is not getting warmer in Antarctica. It also refutes any claim that the environment of the Antarctica Peninsula is not different than the environment of the main body of the continent.
I am still not sure what your argument is, but you state:
3) Finally the warmth along the peninsula has been repeatedly documented
to be caused when winds inhibited regional sea ice growth and allowed greater ventilation of subsurface heat on the western peninsula in the winter and more foehn storms causing ad iabatic heating on the eastern side in the summer.

All you are saying here is that wind currents have changed and that is what is causing the changing environment on the AP. But, you never address the question – what is causing the wind currents to change? Currents in the ocean and atmosphere don’t just simply change. There must be a cause. You never even address that issue.

Maybe you should have. Read what the British Antarctic Survey has to say about it here.

Here’s one more, just for fun.

Recent Changes in Phytoplankton Communities Associated with Rapid Regional Climate Change Along the Western Antarctic Peninsula

Martin Montes-Hugo, Scott C. Doney, Hugh W. Ducklow, William Fraser, Douglas Martinson, Sharon E. Stammerjohn, Oscar Schofield
Science 13 March 2009:
Vol. 323 no. 5920 pp. 1470-1473
DOI: 10.1126/science.1164533 

Abstract:

The climate of the western shelf of the Antarctic Peninsula (WAP) is undergoing a transition from a cold-dry polar-type climate to a warm-humid sub-Antarctic–type climate. Using three decades of satellite and field data, we document that ocean biological productivity, inferred from chlorophyll a concentration (Chl a), has significantly changed along the WAP shelf. Summertime surface Chl a (summer integrated Chl a ∼63% of annually integrated Chl a) declined by 12% along the WAP over the past 30 years, with the largest decreases equatorward of 63°S and with substantial increases in Chl a occurring farther south. The latitudinal variation in Chl a trends reflects shifting patterns of ice cover, cloud formation, and windiness affecting water-column mixing. Regional changes in phytoplankton coincide with observed changes in krill (Euphausia superba) and penguin populations.

You then conclude your rant by saying:

I suggest you spend less time hurling insults and start
reading the scientific literature to get a more well rounded perspective.

So, let’s recap. You never proposed any argument to prove man made global warming is not real. What you did do is provide a series of statements that were either irrelevant, wrong, or even supportive of AGW. You then mixed all of those misstatements in with a long barrage of personal attacks as if that was somehow suppose to make you sound more credible and intelligent (it didn’t).

You did not provide any scientific argument, and you did not provide any scientific evidence, to support any claim that man made global warming is not real.

So, in conclusion I can easily state you did not prove man made global warming is not real. But, don’t despair, you did prove you are an ass.

 

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$30,000 Challenge Submission – Petition Project

Pls consider this article as my submission:

http://www.petitionproject.org/review_article.php

Response:

I refer first to the project’s own FAQ page:

1. Is the Petition Project fulfilling expectations?
The project has fulfilled the expectations of its organizers. In PhD scientist signers alone, the project already includes 15-times more scientists than are seriously involved in the United Nations IPCC process. The very large number of petition signers demonstrates that, if there is a consensus among American scientists, it is in opposition to the human-caused global warming hypothesis rather than in favor of it.
Moreover, the current totals of 31,487 signers, including 9,029 PhDs, are limited only by Petition Project resources. With more funds for printing and postage, these numbers would be much higher.

Now, look at these numbers:

According to figures from the US Department of Education Digest of Education Statistics: 2008, 10.6 million science graduates have gained qualifications consistent with the OISM polling criteria since the 1970-71 school year. 32,000 out of 10 million is not a very compelling figure, but a tiny minority – approximately 0.3 per cent.

Now, let’s keep in mind that 97% of climate scientists agree that man made emissions are causing global warming. In other words, 0.3% of non-climate scientists agree with the petition while 97% of climate scientists agree AGW is real.

The number of climate scientists on the list of signers is very small, approximately 200 out of 32,000. Another issue is the people are not listed with their associations making it impossible to confirm their credentials. Additionally, critics have successfully submitted fake names, including names of characters from M*A*S*H, Star Wars, duplicate names, corporate names, names with no initials and other fictitious names, illustrating how the petition has low accountability of the names submitted.

This quote from their webpage speaks of the qualification of the signers:

Signatories are approved for inclusion in the Petition Project list if they have obtained formal educational degrees at the level of Bachelor of Science or higher in appropriate scientific fields.  

We know that John Coleman signed it and he doesn’t even have a science degree so he is not qualified to be a signatory. We really have to wonder: just how many of those signatures are authentic and are qualified to sign it under their stated requirements?

One last point, a degree in biology does not make someone an expert on climate science, even if that degree is a Ph.D. In fact, a Ph.D. in biology could very well have less knowledge of climate science than the average person on the street. Most researchers have little to no time to study fields of study other than their specialty.

At this point, you would think any rationale person would stop and move on.

Not enough? Well then, how about this one:

3. Who organized the Petition Project?

The Petition Project was organized by a group of physicists and physical chemists who conduct scientific research at several American scientific institutions. The petition statement and the signatures of its 31,487 signers, however, speak for themselves. The primary relevant role of the organizers is that they are among the 9,029 PhD signers of the petition.

So, they won’t reveal who the organizers are and they also won’t reveal their methodologies and sampling procedures. At the same time, deniers scream bloody murder anytime they think they can get away with accusing a climate scientist with lack of transparency. Hmmm. A trend is already appearing. But, it gets worse because Wikipedia identifies the head of the project as Arthur Robinson and there is a very curious statement about Robinson in the Wikipedia entry on him:

Robinson is the president of the Oregon Institute of Science and Medicine (OISM),[3] a 501(c)(3) non-profit organization located in Cave Junction, Oregon.[15] The institute’s mission statement and purpose is, “research, development, and public education on the biochemistry of molecular clocks and the degenerative diseases of aging, elementary science education, the effects of environment on health and welfare, and disaster preparedness”.

What? I don’t see a single item in there that qualifies him as a climate scientist. But, there is something else – he signed the Scientific Dissent from Darwinism, an document that promotes Intelligent Design. So, Robinson is a creationist and has a track record of rejecting science when he doesn’t like it.

A definite pattern is emerging.

Then there is this:

4. Who pays for the Petition Project?
The Petition Project is financed by non-tax deductible donations to the Petition Project from private individuals, many of whom are signers of the petition. The project has no financing whatever from industrial sources. No funds or resources of the Oregon Institute of Science and Medicine are used for the Petition Project. The Oregon Institute of Science and Medicine has never received funds or resources from energy industries, and none of the scientists at the Institute have any funding whatever from corporations or institutions involved in hydrocarbon technology or energy production. Donations to the project are primarily used for printing and postage. Most of the labor for the project has been provided by scientist volunteers.

I’m sorry, that just isn’t good enough for me. I have seen many times when deniers have been caught fudging the facts and even making outright lies about their funding. Until they reveal who these scientists are and where they get their funding, I will assume they are funded by denier organizations or organizations associated with denier organizations. If they aren’t, then why won’t they reveal details on their funding sources? If some climate scientist tried this deniers would jump all over it.

In particular,  the petition’s founder, Arthur Robinson, has run as a Republican candidate for Congress three times (including this year) on a fundamental Republican platform. I would want to see his list of donors if he is going to claim he is free of any money from the fossil fuel industry or anything associated with the fossil fuel industry. They state “none of the scientists at the Institute have any funding whatever from corporations or institutions involved in hydrocarbon technology or energy production.” Is that true? I doubt it. But, then, if they won’t reveal their funding sources we can’t know for sure, can we? What if they get their funding from the Heartland Institute or Donors Trust, both organizations that specialize in funneling funds from the fossil fuel industry. Would they still claim they receive no funds from the fossil fuel industry? And, how do we know that isn’t the case?

But, wait. The Petition Project was initially co-published with the George C. Marshall Institute, which has received considerable amount of funding from ExxonMobil over the years. So, the Oregon Institute of Science and Medicine teamed up with the Marshall Institute, which receives fossil-fuel funds. This is exactly what I mean when I say deniers have been caught fudging about their funding. The funds might not have come directly to the Oregon Institute, but they knew where the Marshall Institute was getting its funds and they made use of that fossil fuel money for their cause.

Check out this video that discusses the credibility of the project:

So, a pattern has been established – one of deceit.

All right, we have firmly established they do not have any credibility, but what about the science? It gets very bad right from the beginning. Again, from their web site:

ABSTRACT

A review of the research literature concerning the environmental consequences of increased levels of atmospheric carbon dioxide leads to the conclusion that increases during the 20th and early 21st centuries have produced no deleterious effects upon Earth’s weather and climate. Increased carbon dioxide has, however, markedly increased plant growth. Predictions of harmful climatic effects due to future increases in hydrocarbon use and minor greenhouse gases like CO2 do not conform to current experimental knowledge. The environmental effects of rapid expansion of the nuclear and hydrocarbon energy industries are discussed.

A review of the literature leads to the conclusion that increased CO2 levels have had no deleterious effect. This is an incredible statement. Be sure to note what they didn’t say. The did not say they reviewed the literature and didn’t agree with it. They said the literature leads to this conclusion. And that, ladies and gentlemen, is an outright lie. You may or may not agree with the conclusion of the literature, but you would have to be an absolute idiot to say that the scientific literature does not support the conclusion that rising CO2 levels are deleterious. Just look at the IPCC report to see that this is a true statement.

There is more bad science, but I think I have shown enough to say the Petition Project is debunked as any kind of proof that man made global warming is not real. What we have established is that they simply have no credibility to be believed on any issue whatsoever.

You did not prove man made global warming is not real.

More Trouble For Antarctic Ice

I saw an article in Physics Today about the Antarctic ice sheets. It is pretty technical, but really explains the dynamics of ice sheets on land very well. They discuss how recent research indicates portions of the West Antarctic Ice Sheet (WAIS) has reached the point of no return. But, they also discuss how new research indicates portions of the ice sheet of East Antarctica is also at risk of collapsing. Here is a figure illustrating the two areas the article discusses:

image of Untitled
Source: Physics Today

What they found is a large ‘plug’ is holding back the ice in Wilkes Basin. This plug is huge (about a trillion tons of ice), but is small in comparison to the ice in the basin. In comparison, the plug would raise the world sea level by about 80 mm if it all melted. If the basin ice melted, it would raise world sea levels by about 3 m. If the plug melts or breaks apart, then there won’t be anything to stop the Wilkes Basin from dumping its ice into the sea.

So, what are the chances of the plug melting? That is a big unknown. It could happen relatively quickly, or it could take hundreds of years. Right now, we don’t know enough of what is underneath the ice and the dynamics of what is going on to say for sure.

Research continues, so stay tuned.

Outstanding Climate Change Videos

A comment on my blog directed me to one of the videos I have linked below (Thanks, Anonymous #2). I watched that video through and was so impressed I went out and found the rest of the videos this guy has done on climate change. I have been very impressed with what I have seen so far and will, over the next few days, watch all of these videos all the way through. In the meantime, I am providing links to all of the videos. If you are interested in learning more about climate change, this guy explains the pertinent parts in a clear, easy-to-understand manner.

They were produced by Potholer54, the YouTube name of Peter Hadfield, a British journalist, science correspondent and geologist. So, his credentials to report on the subject are genuine.

Hopefully, you’ll watch these videos. I know you will learn a lot if you do.

 

Polar Vortex in July?

We have a refreshing blast of cool air coming down from the Arctic region that will make things a little more comfortable for many of us in the eastern half of the country. Even as far south and west as where I live in Texas will get some relief. It was suppose to be over 100 degrees F this week where I live (that is about normal), but will only be about 90, instead. Believe me, that is relief.

But, it comes with a cost. If cool air is moving down from the Arctic, what is taking its place?  Take a look at this figure from the Climate Reanalyzer:

Source: Climate Reanalyzer

Blue areas are where the air temperature is cooler than the long term average for this date. You can clearly see the big mass of cool air that is coming down as the polar vortex. The red areas are where the temperature is warmer than the long term average for this date. And, you can see how as the cool air moves southward, warm air is moving northward in the western U.S. and Canada to take the place of the cool air.

This illustrates the difference between weather and climate. People in the Midwest can look that the weather and wonder, ‘What happened to global warming?,” while the people out west will look at the weather and say, “This is global warming at work!” Neither is right.

Climate is about the long-term, not the day-to-day. The polar vortex by itself is not any indication of global warming, one way or the other. But, we can look at the mechanics involved and try to determine if there is something here that is indicative of global warming, one way or the other. Is the polar vortex caused by global warming? Would we have these kinds of events if not for the additional energy in the atmosphere? Or, is this an indication of natural cycles and the planet is just going through a natural shift?

These are the kinds of questions scientists ask and try to answer. But, I have a different question.

What does this mean about the Arctic sea ice? The sea ice is in bad shape this year already, even before the blast of warm air. Will this help to lead to a huge collapse, ala 2012? Let’s hope not. Here is a graphic of the sea ice extent from the Polar Portal. White areas have 100% ice. Areas with less than that are shaded grey. The deeper the shade of grey, the less ice there is.

Source: Polar Portal

This shows the sea ice extent is already way below normal, but it also shows an extensive area with considerable melt. If all of that shaded area melts by September it would probably be the lowest minimum extent ever measured. There is a lot of melt season left, so I am not making a forecast. But, I have to think this blast of warm air into the Arctic is not a good thing.

$30,000 Challenge Submission – Clean Air Act

Here is my submission for the Global Warming Skeptic Challenge, which refutes any warming due to CO2 or other greenhouse gasses:

“Man-made” global warming did occur, 1970 – 2000, but it had nothing to do with greenhouse gasses. All of the warming that occurred was simply a side effexct of the Clean Air Acts and similar efforts abroad.

A large volcanic eruption will inject huge amounts of aerosols (primarilly SO2) into the atmosphere, causing temporary global cooling. Temperatures will recover to pre-eruption levels as the pollution settles out, due to increased insolation.

For example, the Mount Pinatubo eruption (according to Self, et al) injected 17 Megatons of SO2 into the atmosphere, causing approx. 0.4 deg C. of global cooling. When the pollution settled out of the atmosphere, temperatures rose 0.4 deg C due to increased insolation.

Thus, the removal of 17 Megatons of SO2 from the atmosphere, for whatever reason, should result in a temperature rise of approx. 0.4 deg C.

According to the EPA (EPA.gov “Air Quality Trends, Table III), b etween the years 1980 – 2000, the atmospheric loading of SO2 was reduced by 10 Megatons. In Europe, 1980 – 1998, atmospheric loading of SO2 was reduced by 33 Megatons, for a total of 43 Megatons. (see “GEO-3: Global Environmental Outlook”, United Nations Environmental Programme and note the graph) This is almost double the 17 Megatons needed for a tekmperature rise of 0.4 deg. C, thus guaranteeing that at least 0.4 deg C of the approx. 0.48 deg C of warming that occurred 1970 – 2000 was due to the reduction of aerosols in the atmosphere

When one consideres tha SO2 reduction was also occuring in the USA and Europe, 1970 – 1980, and in Europe 1998 – 2000, it is clear that ALL of the warming that occurred 1970 – 2000 was entirely due to aerosol removal from the atmosphere. There is simply no “room” for any warming due to greenhouse gasses.

Warming due to aerosol reduction can be considered to be a Law of Nature, since it occurs after every large volcanic eruption. This warming CANNOT be
ignored in any modeling of the climate.

There are a number of ramifications with respect to the above analysis, most notably that it can be used to explain the 17 year “pause” in global warming.

I look forward to your comments. I am confident tht I can answer any of your objections.

Burl Henry

Response:

Mr. Henry’s claim is that reductions in sulfur emissions (SO2) into the atmosphere caused a cooling and then when we reduced the emissions it led to a subsequent heating. This, in general is a valid thought. It is true that sulfur emissions into the atmosphere result in cooling. It is also true that emission in the U.S. and Europe have gone down. We can put this hypothesis to the test. We can look at sulfur emissions over time, figure out what the expected temperature trend should look like and then compare it to the actual temperature trend.

Yes, SO2 emissions from the U.S. and Europe have dropped. But, what has been going on with emissions from China and India, not to mention the rest of the world? Here is paper about SO2 emissions in China between 2000  and 2006 that illustrates the problem. Emissions went up 53% during that time span, in just China!. Here is a plot of total worldwide sulfur emissions from a report on the subject written for the Pacific Northwest National Laboratory (PNNL) (2004):

Source: PNNL
Mr. Henry quotes sulfur emissions for the specific period of 1980 – 2000. In the plot above, we can see the total emissions steadily increased from 1970 – 1980 (from about 68,000 megatons to 75,000 megatons – an increase of about 10%). Emissions were up and down during the period of 1980 – 1990 (from a peak of about 75,000 megatons to about 70,000 megatons – about a 7% overall decrease). Then, we saw a fairly steady decrease in sulfur emissions from 1990 – 2000 (from about 70,000 megatons to about 62,000 megatons – a decrease of about 11%).

Based on Mr. Henry’s hypotheses and this plot of sulfur emissions, we should see the temperature trend decrease from 1970 – 1980; stay pretty steady (or maybe a small rise) from 1980 – 1990; then have a moderate rise from 1990 – 2000.

Here is the plot of surface temperature over these periods taken from the NASA Goddard Institute for Space Studies (GISS):

Source: GISS

What we can see is that the surface temperature is up and down from year to year, but the average from 1970-1980 was pretty flat. The average from 1980 – 1990 was up a great deal. The average of 1990 – 2000 was up a lot, but not as much as the 1980 – 1990 time span. Mr. Henry’s hypothesis does not hold up for the 1970 – 1980 time span, or the 1980 – 1990 time span, but does pretty well for the 1990 – 2000 time span.

Now, one of the criticisms I keep making of deniers is that they cite the surface temperature as the global temperature while ignoring the oceans, calling it a ‘pause’ while ignoring the biggest part of global warming. So, let’s take a look at the total heat index.  Here is a plot of the total global heat index (also from GISS):

https://i2.wp.com/data.giss.nasa.gov/gistemp/updates/200708_correction_a.gif
Source: GISS

Based on this data, we see the total global heat index stay about even from 1970 – 1980 (with a sudden, noticeable rise at the end of the decade); a large rise from 1980 – 1990; and a equally large rise from 1990 – 2000. 

So, we certainly did not see the decrease in the 1970s that Mr. Henry’s hypothesis calls for; we did not see the steady – moderate increase in temperature we expected from 1980 – 1990; and we did not see the moderate increase from 1990 – 2000 that was expected. These results are not consistent with Mr. Henry’s hypothesis.

However, the story doesn’t end there. Thanks mainly to that large increase from China, worldwide sulfur emissions rose from 2000 to 2010, according to an updated report, also from PNNL. So, we would expect to see temperatures drop again, but that isn’t what happened. According to deniers, the temperature during from 2000 – 2010 stayed steady, but the record shows it actually rose somewhat during that period. There certainly was not a large increase. When we consider the total heat index we see a continued increase in total worldwide heat. These results are not consistent with the hypothesis.

So, I think we can agree that the Clean Air Act (and equivalent actions in other countries) did not lead to global warming. Does that mean Mr. Henry is completely wrong? No, it doesn’t. I refer to the first PNNL report I cited above (Introduction, page 2):

The radiative forcing change wrought by sulfate aerosols may be second only to that caused by carbon dioxide, albeit in the opposite direction…

So, changes in the worldwide emissions of sulfur have an effect on the global climate and that change is in the opposite direction of the effect of CO2, but it does not even negate the CO2 effects, just ameliorates it somewhat.

This was a nice argument and showed how the climate is a complicated system, but did not prove man made global warming is not real.

$30,000 Challenge Submission – Greenhouse Gases

From: John Newcomb
Sent: Tuesday, June 24, 2014 11:38 PM
Subject: Global warming challenge

Dear Dr. Keating,
Thank you for responding.  I sent another post to your challenge page which explains my question better.  I am a non believer in man being the tipping point of global climate change for many reasons.  I list just a few:
1.  Green house gases:  Scientists seem to agree the biggest heat trapping action comes from water vapor.  The planet is 24% water in surface area so there is not much we can do about that.  Man seems to get the blame for CO2 and Methane.  A record was set recently for modern day CO2 at 400ppm. That is 400 molecules per million molecules.  Most up to date charts show CO2 at .0350%.  My 1979 Funk and Wagnall shows the figure at .031%. Is this what you call run away CO2 growth? Methane is .000017%….that is a decimal and four zeros before the 17.  Also water is listed as 2-4% 
 So Dr. Keating please explain the science of miniscule volumes of elements overwhelming our gigantic atmosphere that is 24,900 miles in circumference and 30-50 miles high?  Explain the science of how you stretch the molecules of CO2 or Methane at less than one half of one per cent by volume to create a heat trapping blanket to retain radiant heat?
2. It appears the real evidence of global warming is before our eyes in the melting of the ice caps and glaciers.  Well sir you and I and all of North America are enjoying the benefits of this melting that has been going on for many thousands of years.  Real science is now proving the melting is occuring at the bottom of glaciers and not at the surface.  Causes are ocean currents, geothermal areas not known until now, etc. Can you explain the science of how man is responsible for geothermal melting of the glaciers?
3.  The fact is man is a puny little ant in a giant eco system and does not posses the ability to effect climate change.  Now man can kill and poison streams, river and oceans and wildlife and plant life but that is not climate change. The most powerful thing man posses is hydrogen bombs.  Between 1947 and 1955 the USA and USSR detonated more than 50 bombs.  You have heard of Bilini Atoll where much of our testing took place? Guess what…it is still there!  How about Las Vegas? Buildings rattled a little but hey…it’s still there.
CO2 was five times greater and the world’s temperature much hotter during the Jurassic period.  Man was not to blame…heck for awhile he wasn’t even around. This period produced the greatest explosion of plant and animal growth in earth’s history.  Not gloom and doom as many current scientists predict.
I await your scientific expertise and answers to these points.
John

Item #1 Please reread your reply.  Are you seriously saying that Nitrogen and Oxygen which make up approx. 95% of the atmosphere has little heat trapping ability but CO2 and Methane at .039% of the atmosphere  is creating the tipping point for global warming?  If you can not see the obvious disparity in that statement then sir you may force me to sit down and quantify the molecular size of a CO2 molecule to see if laid end to end it would even reach around the earth!  Please don’t make me do that!!! LOL

[The parts of the atmosphere that does this are a very small part of it, nitrogen and oxygen play only a small part, if any at all. Most of the heat trapping is done by certain gases we call greenhouse gases – CO2, water vapor, methane, etc. ]
Item#2 Again the ARMCHAIR scientists point to the melting glaciers as their proof of mans reckless venting of CO2.  Now you Dr. should be up on this because it appears the team of FIELD scientists doing real science of monitoring, measuring and studying actual events are from the University of Texas.

Underwater volcanoes, not climate change, reason behind melting of West Antarctic Ice Sheet

By James Maynard, Tech Times | June 10, 10:43 PM
“University of Texas researchers studied how water moves underground in the region. They found liquid water was present in a greater number of sources than previously believed, and it is warmer than estimated in previous studies. “
Item #3 I was totally impressed with your knowledge of Joule energy levels of atomic bombs.  I think this may be closer to your area of scientific expertise than global warming.  Ha Ha.
By the way, I am enjoying our little tit for tat on these issues.  In writing it is hard to discern tone and temperment of the writer.  I assure you I respect what you are doing and your knowledge.  Hopefully this challenge will be fun for everybody and there will be more light than heat.  (no pun intended) Where humour is shown it is as intended and not mean spirited.
  From: John Newcomb
Sent: Tuesday, June 24, 2014 11:38 PM
Subject: Global warming challenge

Dear Dr. Keating,
Thank you for responding.  I sent another post to your challenge page which explains my question better.  I am a non believer in man being the tipping point of global climate change for many reasons.  I list just a few:
1.  Green house gases:  Scientists seem to agree the biggest heat trapping action comes from water vapor.  The planet is 24% water in surface area so there is not much we can do about that.  Man seems to get the blame for CO2 and Methane.  A record was set recently for modern day CO2 at 400ppm. That is 400 molecules per million molecules.  Most up to date charts show CO2 at .0350%.  My 1979 Funk and Wagnall shows the figure at .031%. Is this what you call run away CO2 growth? Methane is .000017%….that is a decimal and four zeros before the 17.  Also water is listed as 2-4% 
 So Dr. Keating please explain the science of miniscule volumes of elements overwhelming our gigantic atmosphere that is 24,900 miles in circumference and 30-50 miles high?  Explain the science of how you stretch the molecules of CO2 or Methane at less than one half of one per cent by volume to create a heat trapping blanket to retain radiant heat?
2. It appears the real evidence of global warming is before our eyes in the melting of the ice caps and glaciers.  Well sir you and I and all of North America are enjoying the benefits of this melting that has been going on for many thousands of years.  Real science is now proving the melting is occuring at the bottom of glaciers and not at the surface.  Causes are ocean currents, geothermal areas not known until now, etc. Can you explain the science of how man is responsible for geothermal melting of the glaciers?
3.  The fact is man is a puny little ant in a giant eco system and does not posses the ability to effect climate change.  Now man can kill and poison streams, river and oceans and wildlife and plant life but that is not climate change. The most powerful thing man posses is hydrogen bombs.  Between 1947 and 1955 the USA and USSR detonated more than 50 bombs.  You have heard of Bilini Atoll where much of our testing took place? Guess what…it is still there!  How about Las Vegas? Buildings rattled a little but hey…it’s still there.
CO2 was five times greater and the world’s temperature much hotter during the Jurassic period.  Man was not to blame…heck for awhile he wasn’t even around. This period produced the greatest explosion of plant and animal growth in earth’s history.  Not gloom and doom as many current scientists predict.
I await your scientific expertise and answers to these points.
John
Response:
You have bundled a lot of issues into one challenge, but I will address all of them.
Point 1:
The first issue you raise is that the total amount of greenhouse gases are a very small percentage of the atmosphere, so how can they make a difference?
I will start out by pointing a similar situation – pharmaceuticals. I take two Aleve tablets every morning for pain. They are 220 mg each, so that is a total of 440 mg (we will assume all of each tablet is an active ingredient). I have a mass of about 88 kg. That means these two tablets are only .0005% of my body weight and yet, they have a great effect on me. This is true of virtually any kind of drug we use, legal or illegal. The amount of the drug is a very small percentage of our body mass. A 12-oz bottle of beer has only about six-tenths of an ounce of alcohol in it, but can have a great effect.  How is that possible? Because that small amount of chemical interacts very specifically.
The greenhouse gases in our atmosphere also act very specifically and are very efficient at absorbing infrared radiation emitted by the surface of the planet. Sunlight passes through the atmosphere and reaches the surface where it is absorbed, heating the planet. This energy is then emitted as IR radiation and would escape directly into space if something didn’t stop it. This is a good thing because the average planetary temperature would be about -20 degrees C without this greenhouse effect. Too much of good thing is bad, though. 
The total amount of all greenhouse gases we have added to the atmosphere (or caused to be added) has increased the efficiency of the naturally occurring greenhouse effect by about 1%. That may not sound like a lot, but keep in mind how much energy we are talking about. The amount of energy we get from the Sun every day is about 10^25 joules. One percent of this is about 10^23 joules. By increasing the efficiency of the greenhouse effect by only a single percentage point is adding 10^23 joules of energy to our environment every day. How much is that. The entire human population generates about 10^18 joules of energy every year. So, the amount of energy we are adding to the environment every day is equal to the amount of energy the entire population will generate (at current rates) in about 100,000 years. 
So, you are correct, the amount of greenhouse gas in the atmosphere is very small. Good thing, too. With the enormous amount of energy we are talking about, we would be in serious trouble if that percentage was much larger. And, of course, we are doing just that. Take a look at the plot of the Keeling Curve, the measurements of atmospheric CO2 taken on Mauna Loa in Hawaii. As of this writing, the CO2 level at Mauna Loa is 399.91 ppm as opposed to about 315 ppm in the late 1950s.
Point 2:
You next raised the issue of melting ice caps and claimed that most melting is occurring on the bottom due to hydrothermal activity and currents. There is some truth to this, but there are also some real errors. Some melting occurs from volcanic activity and sea ice melts from the oceans, but the majority of ice melts from the top down.
Increased melting of the Antarctic ice sheet is due to a warming ocean. Sea ice forms there every winter and is even reaching record levels this (southern) winter. Many deniers are pointing at this as proof that ice is not melting without bothering to examine the whole situation. Antarctic sea ice forms every winter, but nearly all of it melts in the summer. It is not a permanent ice cover like in the north. However, this is only part of the story for Antarctica because there is also a vast amount of land ice. Glaciers slide off the land and move into the sea. What is being observed in Antarctica is that the flow rate has increased and glaciers are sliding off the land at an increasing rate. The total amount of ice on Antarctica is decreasing
There are certainly some volcanoes under the ice in places and the extent of the results from this is not fully known. Some critics are making the claim that this is the cause of Antarctic ice melt, but just look at the data and you can see for yourself that the extent of ice melt is far greater than what a volcano could account for. It is a false argument to say that because there are reasons other than global warming, that means global warming isn’t occurring. 
The majority of the melting of these glaciers is occurring in the oceans and is increasing. As the front of a glacier moves into the ocean it gets stuck on the ocean bottom (called ‘grounded ice’) and acts as a stopper for the rest of the glacier behind it. What is happening is this front part is melting more quickly because of rising sea temperatures and floating higher because of rising sea levels, so the stopper is less efficient, allowing more ice to move off the land and into the ocean. The area of melting is much too large to be explained by a single volcano and the melting of the West Antarctica Ice Sheet appears to have reached the point where it can’t be stopped
The Greenland Ice Sheet is most certainly melting from the top down. The National Snow and Ice Data Center has a good website to track the conditions on Greenland.
Glaciers are also certainly melting mostly from above and not from geothermal activity. An easy proof of that is that we can now walk on the bare ground that was covered with glaciers just a few years ago. There are no volcanoes there to melt the ice. Is there some melting on the bottom? Of course there is. They are sliding over the ground and friction is going to result in heating and melting, but it is insignificant in comparison to the melting on top.
The ice melt in the Arctic regions is dramatic and is most certainly not caused by underwater volcanoes. If it was, we would see the water getting warmer from the bottom up and we see it getting warmer from the top down. Again, the National Snow and Ice Data Center has a very good web page that shows the progress of Arctic region sea ice throughout the year. The current plot shows that this year is going badly and the sea ice extent is decreasing again, after a modest rebound last year (the 60% rebound last year merely took the ice extent back to the 2009 level, the fourth  lowest level recorded). But, there is still plenty of melt season remaining, so we can hop that it will go well. Here is the plot showing sea ice extent for June every year (the most recent one that includes this year). The ice extent for this year is the last data point on the right. You can clearly see the downward trend.
Source: NSIDC
The summary on the global ice condition is that it is bad and getting worse and the source of the energy melting all of this ice is coming mostly from above, except in Antarctica where it is mostly coming from the warmed-up sea water. The claim that the ice melted in the past is a false argument. Yes, it certainly did melt in the past but that has no bearing on what is going on today. Deniers make this claim, but never show any kind of connection between today’s conditions and the natural cycles of the past. In fact, what we know is that the natural cycles occurring today call for global cooling, not warming. If nature had been left to its own devices, the amount of ice worldwide would be increasing, not decreasing.
Point 3:
To say we are small and cannot affect the world around us the ultimate ego-trip. You want to absolve yourself of all blame for the effects of our actions by saying we can do anything we want and it won’t matter. Of course, this is a 100% false statement.
We know the increase in CO2 in the atmosphere is due to man made emissions.  The fact that our ‘puny little’ activities have changed the make-up of the planetary atmosphere is proof that your statement is not true. Also, just do a little examination of the oceans to see how much has changed due to our activities. The oceans are filled with garbage and entire fish stocks have collapsed due to our activities. We have hunted whales almost to extinction. These are just a couple of examples, there are lots more. Clearly, we are completely able of changing things on a planetary scale.
I addressed that issue, but the fact is that it is not scientific. You claim we cannot make the change merely because we are ‘puny little insects’ without offering any kind of proof of your claim. I showed it was wrong, anyway. 
Yes, there have been times in the past where the CO2 level was higher than today, but not within the last 800,000 years. Take a look at this plot from the Scripps Institute:
https://scripps.ucsd.edu/programs/keelingcurve/wp-content/plugins/sio-bluemoon/graphs/co2_800k.png
Source: Scripps Institute

That huge spike on the right-hand side is today’s level of CO2.  To say that today’s levels are not relevant because there were times in the past with higher levels is a false argument. Those levels in the past occurred because of natural cycles that we understand. Today’s level did not. In other words, things changed in the past because it was the natural thing to happen, but today’s changes are happening because we are causing the change ourselves.

Now, should we worry about this? I believe the evidence is overwhelming that it is critically important we do something about climate change, but that isn’t what this challenge is about. The issue here is for deniers to prove that man made climate change is not occurring. We can have the debate about if it is good or bad after we get everyone to agree that it is happening.

As it stands, you did not prove man made global warming is occurring.