Friday, February 12, 2010

The Politics of Temperature

Temps nearly flat since late 90s

"""Solomon et al. begin their article stating “Over the past century, global average surface temperatures have warmed by about 0.75°C. Much of the warming occurred in the last half century, over which the average decadal rate of change was about 0.13°C, largely due to anthropogenic increases in well-mixed greenhouse gases. However, the trend in global surface temperatures has been nearly flat since the late 1990s despite continuing increases in the forcing due to the sum of the well-mixed greenhouse gases (CO2, CH4, halocarbons, and N2O), raising questions regarding the understanding of forced climate change, its drivers, the parameters that define natural internal variability, and how fully these terms are represented in climate models.”

Admitting that the trend in global temperatures has been flat over the past decade will not win any awards for this team, so we once again applaud their honesty. The team suggests that part of the reason for the flatness deals with the amount of water high-up in the upper troposphere, the tropopause, and the lower stratosphere. They clearly state “Water vapor is a highly variable gas. Tropospheric water vapor increases in close association with warming and this represents a major climate feedback that is well simulated in global climate models. In sharp contrast, current global models are limited in their representations of key processes that control the distribution and variability of water within the stratosphere”. Furthermore they note “Current global climate models simulate lower stratospheric temperature trends poorly and even up-to-date stratospheric chemistry-climate models do not consistently reproduce tropical tropopause minimum temperatures or recently observed changes in stratospheric water vapor.”

Those who have some doubts about the IPCC/Gore AGW models do not thereby necessarily affirm FoxCo-style climate "denialism". While temperatures did rise slightly over 80s and 90s, the last decade, 2000-2010, reveals a cooling trend. (Dr. Solomon, for one, is rather more qualified to speak on AGW than is Doc Rachel Maddow).

Climate modellers and most AGW researchers are not actual atmospheric physicists. They model certain scenarios, given certain assumptions --e.g. increases in man-made CO2 results in higher temps. The CO2 to warming assumption has little or no empirical/lab support. Some evidence suggests AGW; some doesn't (check online for Dr. Hug's studies). Timelags and "thresholds" complicate the problem, as do other GHGs and water vapor (solar activity another possible factor).

The AGW claim has not been adequately verified. GIGO, however trite, would apply. Researchers have forced large quantities of CO2 (such as 10+ times present conditions) into a simulated earth atmosphere, and have not produced significant increase in temps (any lurkers have a study refuting Hug, and other real chemists? link, or cite, etc.). It's not merely wrong, but obscene to proceed on the basis of a few simulations to spend millions (if not more) to prevent a crisis that may not even exist, or is not nearly as severe as imagined. Besides, worst case scenarios, oceans rise a few feet, and merely wash Malibu condos and chateaus out to sea.

More on the villain water vapor

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