CCNet TERRA 10/2003 -  27 February 2003

"If global warming has truly been occurring at an unprecedented rate
over the past hundred years, as climate alarmists claim it has, and if
global warming truly produces more extreme hot weather events, as
climate alarmists claim it does, it should be an easy matter to
either verify or refute those claims via a study of extreme hot temperature
trends over the past century. So why doesn't someone perform such a
study? Actually, a pair of climate scientists has recently done just
--CO2 Science Magazine, 26 February 2003

    Reuters, 26 February 2003

    Associated Press, 26 February 2003

    Maryland SunSpot, 27 February 2003

    CO2 Science Magazine, 26 February 2003

    CO2 Science Magazine, 26 February 2003

    Ron Baalke <>

    Andrew Glikson <>

    John Michael Williams <>


>From Reuters, 26 February 2003

JERUSALEM (Reuters) - Snowstorms have shut down Jerusalem for the second
consecutive day and blanketed northern Israel and the West Bank, offering a
welcome respite from 29 months of Israeli-Palestinian fighting.

"There are still couples who will get married today...and we received 40
calls for assistance from women who went into labour to give birth," said
Jerusalem deputy mayor Yigal Ahmedi.

The snowstorms were brought by one of the coldest weather fronts for a
decade, and also affected Lebanon, Jordan and Syria on Tuesday. They poured
fresh rainwater into desert riverbeds in southern Israel and flooded parts
of the Gaza Strip.

The previously water-starved Sea of Galilee in northern Israel has risen an
estimated 16 cm (six inches) in the last few days, cheering water officials
who said this winter's heavy rainfall could help the lake recover from years
of overdrawing.

The golden Dome of the Rock and silver-capped al-Aqsa Mosque, holy to
Muslims, were decked in white, as was the Western Wall below, revered by
Jews as a remnant of their ancient temples.

Many parts of Jordan remained under snow with the capital Amman paralysed
for a second day as businesses and most government offices shut their doors.

Parts of the city were covered with 45-50 cm (about 1-1/2 feet) of snow and
more than 90 cm (three feet) fell in the northern mountainous Ajloun


>From Associated Press, 26 February 2003
LITTLE ROCK, Ark., Feb. 26 -  The third winter storm of the week coated much
of the South with ice Wednesday, contributing to the deaths of 11 motorists,
three immigrants crossing the brush of south Texas and a woman who froze to
death in her home in Oklahoma.

THE HUGE storm, which stretched from Texas into the Northeast, left an
inch-thick layer of ice on top of snow in many places, including Arkansas.
It then plowed into mid-Atlantic states still recovering from the
President's Day weekend blizzard. "Where's spring?" asked Katie Cunniffe,
32, a social worker from Plainsboro, N.J....


>From Maryland SunSpot, 27 February 2003,0,6018974.story?coll=bal%2Dlocal%2Dheadlines

We should be used to this by now. After enduring 51 inches of snow in this
winter without end, we should be old pros at coping with something as minor
as the few flakes that fell yesterday.
But we're not.

With yesterday's snowfall, the winter of 2003 became the second-snowiest on
record in Baltimore....


>From CO2 Science Magazine, 26 February 2003

Hanna, E. and Cappelen, J. 2003. Recent cooling in coastal southern
Greenland and relation with the North Atlantic Oscillation. Geophysical
Research Letters 30: 10.1029/2002GL015797

What was done
The authors determined the air temperature history of coastal southern
Greenland from 1958-2001 based on data from eight Danish Meteorological
Institute stations in coastal and near-coastal southern Greenland, as well
as the concomitant sea surface temperature (SST) history of the ocean off
southwest Greenland centered on 62.5N, 52.5W, i.e., the Labrador Sea,
based on three previously published and subsequently extended SST data sets
(Parker et al., 1995; Rayner et al., 1996; Kalnay et al., 1996).

What was learned
The Greenland air temperature data showed a cooling of 1.29C over the
period of study, while two of the three SST databases depicted a cooling of
0.44C and one of them a cooling of 0.80C.  Both the land air temperature
and sea surface temperature series followed similar patterns and were
strongly correlated but with no obvious lead/lag either way. Also, it was
determined that the cooling was "significantly inversely correlated with an
increased phase of the North Atlantic Oscillation (NAO) over the past few
decades." The authors say this "NAO-temperature link doesn't explain what
caused the observed cooling in coastal southern Greenland but it does lend
it credibility."

What it means
In referring to what they call "this important regional exception to recent
'global warming'," the authors note that the "recent cooling may have
significantly added to the mass balance of at least the southern half of the
[Greenland] Ice Sheet." Consequently, since this part of the ice sheet is
the portion that would likely be the first to experience melting in a
warming world, it would appear that whatever caused the cooling has not only
protected the Greenland Ice Sheet against warming-induced disintegration but
actually fortified it against that possibility.

Kalnay, E., Kanamitsu, M., Kistler, R., Collins, W., Deaven, D., Gandin, L.,
Iredell, M., Saha, S., White, G., Woollen, J., Zhu, Y., Chelliah, M.,
Ebisuzaki, W., Higgins, W., Janowiak, J., Mo, K.C., Ropelewski, C., Wang,
J., Leetmaa, A., Reynolds, R., Jenne, R. and Joseph, D. 1996.  The NCEP/NCAR
40-year reanalysis project. Bulletin of the American Meteorological Society
77: 437-471.

Parker, D.E., Folland, C.K. and Jackson, M.  1995.  Marine surface
temperature: Observed variations and data requirements.  Climatic Change 31:

Rayner, N.A., Horton, E.B., Parker, D.E., Folland, C.K. and Hackett, R.B.
1996.  Version 2.2 of the global sea-ice and sea surface temperature data
set, 1903-1994.  Climate Research Technical Note 74, Hadley Centre, U.K.
Meteorological Office, Bracknell, Berkshire, UK.
Copyright 2003.  Center for the Study of Carbon Dioxide and Global Change


>From CO2 Science Magazine, 26 February 2003

If global warming has truly been occurring at an unprecedented rate over the
past hundred years, as climate alarmists claim it has, and if global warming
truly produces more extreme hot weather events, as climate alarmists claim
it does, it should be an easy matter to either verify or refute those claims
via a study of extreme hot temperature trends over the past century.  So why
doesn't someone perform such a study? Actually, a pair of climate scientists
has recently done just that, as we describe in the following paragraphs.

DeGaetano and Allen (2002b), working with data from the United States
Historical Climatology Network (USHCN), first created a Daily Historical
Climatology Network for Extreme Temperature (HCN-XT) dataset (DeGaetano and
Allen, 2002a), which they then used to determine how both hot and cold
temperature extremes - defined in terms of the number of exceedences of the
90th, 95th and 99th percentiles of their respective databases - have varied
across the contiguous United States over a number of different time scales.
So what did they find?

Over the period 1960-96, DeGaetano and Allen determined that "a large
majority of stations show increases in warm extreme temperature
exceedences," which would seem to corroborate the claims of the world's
climate alarmists.  They also report that "about 20% of the stations
experience significant [our italics] increases in warm maximum temperature
occurrence," again in seeming vindication of climate-alarmist claims.
Furthermore, they note that "similar increases in the number of >2 and >3
runs of extreme temperatures occur across the country," apparently
substantiating climate-alarmist claims of an increasing frequency of deadly
heat waves. However, when the two scientists extended their analyses further
back in time, some quite different results were obtained.

Adding another 30 years of data onto the front ends of their databases,
DeGaetano and Allen discovered there were "predominantly decreasing [our
italics] warm exceedence trends across the country during the 1930-96
period."  In fact, they found that "in the 1930-96 period 70% of the
stations [our italics] exhibit decreasing high extreme maximum temperature
trends." Hence, to paraphrase the title of our Editorial of 1 July 2000, it
is clear there has been no net increase in extreme hot weather events for
the past 70 years.

But, of course, this is only the United States of which we speak, right?
Right. But, the United States has one of the best maintained and managed
networks of weather stations in the world, which makes them some of the most
accurate in the world. In addition, DeGaetano and Allen note that "Bonsal et
al. (2001) find little evidence for a consistent change in extreme maximum
temperatures across Canada during the entire or last half of the twentieth
century."  Furthermore, Polyakov et al. (2002), who recently developed a
new-and-improved Arctic-wide temperature history, report that linear
regression trends calculated from the 1920s to the present show a small but
statistically significant cooling tendency. Consequently, from the US-Mexico
border all the way to the North Pole, there is no evidence for any net
increase in either mean temperatures or extreme warm temperatures or heat
waves over the last seven decades of the 20th century, demonstrating that
for the vast majority of North America, all of the net increase in
temperature experienced since the beginning-of-the-end of the Little Ice Age
was essentially complete by the 1930s.

Yet even these findings - as effective as they are in contradicting claims
of impending climatic catastrophe - do not describe the full extent of the
scientific basis for rejecting the erroneous pronouncements of the world's
climate alarmists. Hence, we bring you next the "Paul Harvey half" of
DeGaetano and Allen's results, i.e., the rest of the story, which is a tale
of temperatures improperly adjusted for the burgeoning effects of growing
urban heat islands.

The opening sentence of DeGaetano and Allen's summary states that "trends in
the occurrence of maximum and minimum temperatures greater than the 90th,
95th, and 99th percentile across the United States are strongly influenced
by urbanization." With respect to daily warm minimum temperatures, for
example, the slope of the regression line fit to the data of a plot of the
annual number of 95th percentile exceedences vs. year over the period
1960-96 was found to be +0.09 exceedences per year for rural stations, +0.16
for suburban stations, and +0.26 for urban stations, making the rate of
increase in extreme warm minimum temperatures at urban stations nearly three
times greater than the increase at rural stations less affected by growing
urban heat islands.  Likewise, the rate of increase in the annual number of
daily maximum temperature 95th percentile exceedences per year over the same
time period was found to be 50% greater at urban stations than it was at
rural stations.  Yet in spite of this vast uncorrected-for-bias, when
computed over the much longer 1930-96 period, 70% of all stations in the
HCN-XT data set still exhibited "decreasing high extreme maximum temperature

In conclusion, it is clear that when it comes to extreme warm temperature
events over most of North America, they are no more prevalent currently than
they were in the 1930s. In fact, they may well be even less prevalent
nowadays. Also, there is strong evidence implicating the growing influence
of intensifying urban heat islands as being responsible for the apparent
rapid increase in the mean annual temperatures of many locations over the
last two decades of the 20th century.  Hence, even for the part of the world
that shows little, if any, net warming over the past 70-some years, what
little there may or may not be is likely still too much.

Sherwood, Keith and Craig Idso  

Bonsal, B.R., Zhang, X., Vincent, L.A. and Hogg, W.D.  2001.
Characteristics of daily extreme temperatures over Canada.  Journal of
Climate 14: 1959-1976.

DeGaetano, A.T. and Allen, R.J.  2002a.  A homogenized historical
temperature extreme dataset for the United States.  Journal of Atmospheric
and Oceanic Technology 19: 1267-1284.

DeGaetano, A.T. and Allen, R.J.  2002b.  Trends in twentieth-century
temperature extremes across the United States.  Journal of Climate 15:

Polyakov, I., Akasofu, S-I., Bhatt, U., Colony, R., Ikeda, M., Makshtas, A.,
Swingley, C., Walsh, D. and Walsh, J.  2002.  Trends and variations in
Arctic climate system.  EOS, Transactions, American Geophysical Union 83:
Copyright 2003.  Center for the Study of Carbon Dioxide and Global Change


>From Ron Baalke <>

Fossil Plant and Insect Communities Key to Understanding Global Change

Pennsylvania State University
February 16, 2003

Denver - Insect damage recorded in fossil plants and the types of plants
present in the fossil record are helping researchers to understand how
ecological communities recover from climate change and mass extinction
events, according to a Penn State paleontologist and his colleagues.

Researchers looking at plant communities and insect predation on leaves at
both the Cretaceous-Tertiary boundary 65.51 million years ago and 10 million
years later at the Paleocene-Eocene boundary, can track the changes in
plants and insects through time. The K-T event, which marked the extinction
of the dinosaurs and more than 50 percent of all plant species, was caused
by the impact of an extraterrestrial object, while the P-E interval was a
more gradual change from one climate regime to another caused by a long-term
global warming trend.

"The early Eocene 52 million years ago was the warmest the Earth has been in
the last 100 million years, and that warming lasted for 2 million years,"
says Dr. Peter Wilf, assistant professor of geosciences at Penn State.
"There is strong evidence for high diversity when temperatures were warm,"
Wilf told attendees at the annual meeting of the American Association for
the Advancement of Science Feb. 16 in Denver.

Plants respond to climate change by migrating, evolving and going extinct.
However, Wilf notes that due to human activity, global change is occurring
at breakneck speed today. Because of the geologically rapid pace of
human-induced extinctions, habitat loss and climate changes, land plants
currently face a situation more closely resembling the K-T than the P-E

Both the plant and insect studies used three fossil areas for samples; the
K-T was represented by fossil beds in North Dakota, while the P-E was
represented by two areas in Wyoming. Reporting on the fossil plant
communities were Wilf; Kirk R. Johnson, curator of paleontology, Denver
Museum of Nature & Science; and Scott L. Wing, National Museum of Natural
History, the Smithsonian Institution. In a subsequent paper, Wilf, Johnson
and Conrad C. Labandeira, National Museum of Natural History, the
Smithsonian Institution, discussed the role of insects in teasing out
climate change influences on ecological communities.

Fossilized leaves show a record of insect predation not unlike what is seen
on leaves today. On some leaves, the imprint of piercing and sucking insects
is visible. Others show the ragged margins or holey centers of leaves chewed
by hole feeding and margin feeding insects. Evidence of mining insects is
also preserved, as are galls. The fossil record preserves even the totally
skeletonized leaves that show only veins.

By looking at the damage, the researchers can categorize the types of
insects that infested these forests 65 and 55 million years ago, and trace
the extinction and evolution of species. Labandeira looked at 13.5 thousand
leaves across the K-T and identified 51 types of insect feeding damage. The
researchers found that the K-T impact was associated with a significant and
enduring loss of plant and insect species. Among insects, the most affected
were the specialized feeders, those insects that fed on leaves of only one
type of plant.

Insects died both from the impact and because the trees that they fed on
died. Specialized feeders were less able to adapt and eat off any tree
available and so were more greatly effected.

"At the K-T boundary, we see the largest spike of the last appearance of
species, both for plants and insects that ate them," says Wilf. "Although
climate change was occurring for a long time before the K-T, its effects
could not hold a candle to the extinctions brought on by the impact."

Only 21 percent of species made it across the K-T boundary and only 11
species originate in the Paleocene indicating the recovery was not
immediate. In fact, diverse vegetation does not return in the area studied
until the warm early Eocene 12 million years after the impact.

"The P-E transition was a relatively long, slow change that allowed the
plants and insects to adapt to the shifting environment," says Wilf. "At the
K-T, species could not adapt in time because the change was so rapid. These
rapid changes were much more like what we have today than the gradual ones
that occurred at the P-E. Organisms cannot migrate in response to climate
changes as they did during the Eocene because of because of freeways and
parking lots, and the ongoing loss of habitat imposes severe and
geologically sudden stress on ecosystems."


EDITORS: Dr. Wilf is at 814-865-6721 or at by e-mail.
Dr. Johnson is at 303-370-6448 or at by e-mail. Dr. Wing
is at 202-357-2649 or at by e-mail. Dr. Labandeira is
at 202-357-2971 or by e-mail.

A'ndrea Elyse Messer (814) 865-9481
Vicki Fong (814) 865-9481



>From Andrew Glikson <>

Hi Benny,
I refer to comments by John Michael Williams (CCNet, 12.2.03), stating among
other "Glikson has corrupted his science with religious ideas, apparently,
and his religion with scientific method".
First, one wonders to what extent the writer is acquainted with the writings
of some of the highest scientific authorities, including Albert Einstein,
Niels Bohr, Bronowksii, and more recently Paul Davies, in order to
appreciate the sense of reverence many scientists feel toward the unknown
origin of the precise constants inherent in the laws of physics, the
architecture of the universe, and the phenomenon of life which, far from
random, are governed by as yet little understood laws of quantum information
A few quotations will suffice: Albert Einstein: "The most beautiful
experiences we can have is the mysterious - the fundamental emotion which
stands at the cradle of true art and true science".  Niels Bohr could not
regard the world as made up of lots of separate bits, which he conceived as
a single totality, even if its components are light years apart". Paul
Davies writes "I believe that the reality exposed by modern physics is
fundamentally alien to the human mind and defies all power of direct
visualization" ... "the culmination of these ideas is the so-called
superstring theory, which seeks to unite space, time and matter, and to
build up all of them from the vibrations of submicroscopic loops of
invisible strings inhabiting a ten-dimensional imaginary universe" (see "The
Matter Myth", "God and the New Physics", "The Fifth Miracle" - the latter
concerned with the origin of life.
The above, and much more, result in a sense of admiration students of
natural science commonly develop toward what they regard as the intelligence
inherent in nature.
Second, I am surprised at you Benny that you have allowed such statements as
"Glikson has corrupted his science with religious ideas, apparently, and his
religion with scientific method" on to the pages of CCNet, and am
disappointed you did not draw the line at such personal insult.
Andrew Glikson


>From John Michael Williams <>

Hi Benny.

When someone publishes statements referring to a silly idea such as the worship of "4 billion
years of (whatever)", they should not be surprised at being contradicted. 

If Glikson considers being shown wrong in a published work, an "insult", then nothing I could
say, including an apology, would have any salubratory effect.

None of the Glikson's quotes above suggest any reverential homage for history, or for the average
rate of change of the temperature of the Earth's atmosphere. I won't get into whether Einstein's
own confusions prevented him from advancing from tensors to quantum mechanics; that, however,
would be I think a legitimate scholarly discourse, even if it showed
Einstein to have substituted silliness for understanding in a small fraction of his work.

Presumably, a temperature worshipper (there may be an unregistered cult of
them in Denmark) would be justified in condemning a book (Lomberg's) because
of sacreligious statements, statements contrary to the augeries of the priesthood.

I thought, when I first read Glikson's remarks, that he was trying to
justify such a point of view.

I don't see the relevance of the quotes above to the topic, which was condemnation of a writer
by placing him in a category, applying artificial and unauthorized criteria for category
membership, and then judging him apostate, without advancing a single datum
in support of the judgement. None of the writers quoted by Glikson above, I
think, had any agenda of condemnation of anyone, least of all because he
dared to write a book on a scientific topic.

I do see the relevance to a point of view which superposes religion and
science merely because words allow it. I wished to condemn this point of view in my previous
letter. If Glikson got him self caught up on this point personally, I feel
sorry for him and wish he would clarify what it was he really was trying to

To paraphrase a TRUE religious writer, When rendering publications, "Render
in science the things that are scientific, and to God the things that are God's."

A little less courageously,  "Judge not, lest ye be judged."
                     John Michael Williams

CCNet is a scholarly electronic network. To subscribe/unsubscribe, please
contact the moderator Benny J Peiser < >. Information
circulated on this network is for scholarly and educational use only. The
attached information may not be copied or reproduced for
any other purposes without prior permission of the copyright holders. The
fully indexed archive of the CCNet, from February 1997 on, can be found at DISCLAIMER: The opinions,
beliefs and viewpoints expressed in the articles and texts and in other
CCNet contributions do not necessarily reflect the opinions, beliefs and
viewpoints of the moderator of this network.

CCCMENU CCC for 2002