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Thursday, May 15, 2014

New Warmist Scare; Last Excuse Was A Lie; Government McCarthyist Pressure

     Jerry Pournelle has used and answered my comments here. I was writing in response to a new "scientific" claim that the West Antarctic ice sheet is collapsing which is "irreversably" going to soon increase sea levels by 10 feet.
Putting "Inevitable" Glacier Disappearance in Perspective 
Remember when, for several years the IPCC continued to proclaim that all the Himalaya glaciers were going to have melted by 2035? They even denounced skeptics who disputed it as doing "voodoo" science. 
"Indian Scientists: Himalayan Glaciers are Not Melting 
Andrew Orlowski, The Register 
Top Indian physicists have concluded Himalayan glaciers show little sign of retreat – in one of the largest studies of its type ever carried out." 
I would be willing to take a bet that this new Antarctic glaciers melting story will also not stand up to scrutiny. And that when it is dropped it will get less media hoo-ha than the initial announcement has.
Neil Craig
I had much the same feeling. The credentials of the framers of the latest report seem to be in order, but how can you tell? The Manmade Climate Change Believers have engaged in many questionable, and some outright fraudulent, practices, and the Scientific Consensus establishment does not seem to have come down on them hard, as they should. I try to keep this a place for rational discussion, and I fully agree to the proposition that one is entitled to one’s own opinion, but there are facts – data – that must be agreed to.

In the case of Climate Change some data are not disputable. It has been getting warmer since early in the 19th Century. This is observed all over the globe, in almanacs, growing seasons, scientific expeditions that recorded both land and sea temperatures, etc.

What cannot be agreed to is the precision of the measured lower temperatures in, say, 1825. Most of those were taken with mercury thermometers, and we have no idea of just how precisely they were calibrated. I know that the old mercury thermometer that we used at our house in the 1930’s purported to give body temperature to 1/10th degree Fahrenheit. I also know it was subject to mechanical manipulation, and it was relatively delicate. The large red liquid thermometer outside the house was marked in 1 degree intervals, but it was large enough to let you estimate another decimal place.

Apparently the climate science community has decided that by 1870 data gathering and recording were good enough to allow establishment of an annual average global temperature accurate to 0.1 degree C. I have my doubts about this, but they are all what you would call “common sense” arguments, not data. Having had to establish temperatures accurate to 0.1 degree C in a laboratory, I know something of the difficulties involved. We only wanted a point skin temperature of an astronaut in a full pressure suit. Actually we wanted the temperature of a small copper disk to which we had soldered a thermocouple. The disk was smeared with a thermal conducting paste and taped to the back of the astronaut’s arm (others were placed at locations about his body); we assumed that the temperature of the disk was closely enough coupled with the actual skin temperature, and since all the disks and thermocouples were as identical as our technicians could make them, and all were taken on a setup that included a reference copper plate/thermocouple in a bowl of ice made from distilled water, this would have to do. After all, it was the relative temperatures taken in different conditions that we needed.

But that experience has made me leery of any temperatures said to be accurate to a tenth of a degree (C or F), and particularly of averages taken over vast areas. I would be hard put to come up with “the” temperature of Los Angeles right now to a tenth of a degree. It’s hot outside my house, hotter in the sun than in the shade. There’s a warm compressively heated wind from the high deserts fighting a cooler wind from the sea. If you then ask me to give you the average temperature in Los Angeles for the day (which would include the night) I’d have to argue that it can’t be done. We can take a series of measurements and average them, but the exposed to the sky temperature will depend on the cloud cover both day and night, while the temperature in the shade will depend entirely on air temperature and thus be more sensitive to which wind, Santana or ocean, prevailed at that location. I could go on listing difficulties, but you get the idea. Anything exposed to the night sky will be colder if there are not clouds. If there are clouds and it is not exposed to that 4 degree Kelvin dark, that changes things. But if it is exposed to the night sky at night it is exposed to the blazing sun by day. Unless there are clouds. At this point I begin to babble.

And when I see that the consensus of temperature rise from 1870 to present is measured to 0.1 accuracy (about 0.8 C), I just have to wonder how reliable that is. Surely different techniques and data gathering locations are used now from those employed back then. Yet it is widely reported that the Earth’s temperature rose by 0.8 degree C between 1870 and present

( That makes 0.1 degree fairly significant. And even this rise is disputed by those who find a cycle at work
Meanwhile current reports are that the ice is building up in Antarctica (Antarctic sea ice hit 35-year record high Saturday ).
I suspect you have good reason to doubt the inevitability of Antarctica land ice melting into the sea. All that ice forming down there must surely cool the water at the critical interface?

Bishop Hill has a scoop, (or perhaps just news the MSM refuse to report) which shows our government deliberately lying to promote windmillery. We were told, officially, the recent blackout in eastern Scotland was nothing to do with the variability of windmills. If this newspaper letter from an engineer, is true, which it feels like, we were lied to:

SIR, I was amazed to learn that a Scottish Hydro Electric transmission spokeswoman said “repairs are being carried out on the faulty relay” that allegedly caused the power cut on April 16 (“works to fend off blackouts”, PandJ, May 10).

I have been an electrical engineer for over 40 years and have never heard of anyone “repairing” a hermetically sealed relay switch.

The relay switch operated perfectly on the windy night of April 16 when it detected a sudden surge of voltage and frequency that fell outside acceptable parameters.

A relay switch has two states: on and off. All of these relay switches operated perfectly on the night, independent of the relay switch at Knocknagael Substation which is, itself fed by at least two windfarms, Farr and Moy.

This was what is known as a “rolling blackout”. It is ludicrous to suggest that all lights went out all over the north at 8.30pm exactly. My area went out at 8.43pm when the blast of wind reached Novar windfarm and toggled the relay switch to off to protect its local circuit and so on up the coast.

Grid operators can switch windfarms on and off remotely – if there is a risk of too much wind generating too much “wrong time” low-grade electricity with what is known in the industry as “flicker”. The grid cannot handle more than 10% of flicker contaminated electricity at any given nanosecond and this limit was exceeded on the night.

The operators were caught on the hop. With no electricity, all the windfarms had to be isolated manually.

The spokeswoman goes on to say that they will be making changes to how the protective equipment operates. This is code for shutting down windfarms even earlier in windy conditions so that the operators get more and more constraint payments for not generating when the wind speed is just right.

Andrew H Mackay, Tain

     Meanwhile, also via Bishop Hill, in an example of the totalitarian pressure being put on science by, in particular, the Obama government:

Professor Lennart Bengtsson, 79, a leading academic from the University of Reading, left the high-profile Global Warming Policy Foundation as a result of the threats, which he described as 'virtually unbearable'....
The Swedish climatologist, who has published more than 200 papers, said he received hundreds of emails from colleagues criticising his decision to switch to the organisation.

.... described him as a 'crybaby'. 

However, the main pressure came from the US, where a government employee refused to be a co-author on a paper because of his links to the controversial group.

Prof Bengtsson, who had only been in the position for three weeks, told Mail Online: 'There were quite a lot of people who were upset when I joined GWPF.
'I received emails from colleagues all over the world telling me it was a "questionable" group.

'But what made me the most upset was when a colleague from the US resigned as co-author of a paper, simply because I was involved....

He believes one of the reasons for this is the US Government's expanding role on climate change.

'The public are concerned that recent weather phenomenon have been as a result of climate change. But it is a natural occurrence,' he said.

'Some people like my views, other people don't, that is the way when it comes to science.' ....

'I see no limit and end to what will happen. It is a situation that reminds me about the time of McCarthy.

Lord Lawson, the former Tory Chancellor condemned the behaviour as 'appalling' and said the reference to 'McCarthyism' was 'fully warranted'.

Read more:
    I guess that is how you get a "97% consensus of climate scientists the particular state funded computer modellers they chose to ask

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