CCNet TERRA 13/2002 - 11 December 2002

"Scientists have been warning that the Earth is slowly heating up,
that the recent run of gentle winters in the United States is no fluke, but
the warm-up to the big meltdown. Now, however, comes a chilling prediction
from some of the same experts. Before the climate gets balmier, they say,
it could take a sudden turn toward the frigid - and stay that way for
decades, if not centuries.... Exactly when it might occur, scientists
generally are loath to speculate. "None of us could tell you whether
that event happens next year or 100 years from now," said Raymond W.
Schmitt Jr., senior scientist at the Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution
in Massachusetts, which has taken the lead in studying the freshwater pool.
Researchers find themselves toeing a fine line between informing the public
and setting off a panic, Schmitt added."
--Anthony R. Wood, The Philidelphia Inquirer, 8 December

"In fact, a lot of the scare is about two things that arguably are
not science -- statistics and computer models. Science is about
understanding and statistics do not explain anything. Likewise, computer
models are only as good as the understanding that goes into them. Perhaps
the deepest point made in this book is that we have discovered that we
really do not understand climate; we are running on empty statistics and
false computer models."
--David E. Wojick, National Post, 10 December 2002 

    The Philidelphia Inquirer, 8 December 2002

    Andrew Yee <>

    San Diego Union-Tribune, 10 December 2002

    CO2 Science Magazine, 11 December 2002

    CO2 Science Magazine, 11 December 2002

    CO2 Science Magazine, 11 December 2002

    National Post, 10 December 2002 

    The Heartland Institute, November 2002

    Die Welt, 10 December 2002

(10) CANADA RATIFIES KYOTO, 11 December 2002

     Space Daily, 10 December 2002


>From The Philidelphia Inquirer, 8 December 2002

By Anthony R. Wood
Inquirer Staff Writer


Som say a freshwater crimp in the Gulf Stream could bring a sudden shift to
biting cold.

Scientists have been warning that the Earth is slowly heating up, that the
recent run of gentle winters in the United States is no fluke, but the
warm-up to the big meltdown.

Now, however, comes a chilling prediction from some of the same experts.
Before the climate gets balmier, they say, it could take a sudden turn
toward the frigid - and stay that way for decades, if not centuries.

In the Northeast, subzero temperatures could become standard winter fare,
filling rivers with ice chunks, cutting short the growing season, and
altering bird migrations. The cold and snow of the last week would feel like
spring break.

Behind that brutal scenario is a baffling ocean phenomenon that experts have
watched with rising angst: an expanding mass of freshwater in the usually
salty North Atlantic that has spread alarmingly in the last seven years. It
now reaches south from Greenland to just off the coast of the Carolinas, an
area of 15 million square miles.

If the buildup continues, they say, it could impede the Gulf Stream, a major
climate-maker that transports warm air to northern latitudes in winter. Were
that critical current to be slowed by the freshwater, let alone stopped,
average winter temperatures in the Northeastern United States and in Western
Europe could abruptly plummet 10 degrees - a change not experienced by
anyone alive today. A five-degree drop would be in store for the rest of the

Exactly when it might occur, scientists generally are loath to speculate.

"None of us could tell you whether that event happens next year or 100 years
from now," said Raymond W. Schmitt Jr., senior scientist at the Woods Hole
Oceanographic Institution in Massachusetts, which has taken the lead in
studying the freshwater pool.

Researchers find themselves toeing a fine line between informing the public
and setting off a panic, Schmitt added. The U.N. committee on global warming
has put out the reassuring word that "such a shutdown is unlikely by 2100."
But John Gagosian, head of Woods Hole, had not even cold comfort to offer in
a recent paper.

"In just the past year, we have seen ominous signs that we may be headed
toward a potentially dangerous threshold," Gagosian wrote. "If we cross it,
Earth's climate could switch gears and jump very rapidly - not gradually -
into a completely different mode of operation."

One climate scientist suspects the Gulf Stream already is slowing down. At a
time when other glaciers around the world are in retreat, the Scandinavian
glacier has been growing. Andrew Weaver, of the University of Victoria,
British Columbia, says it may be the result of less warm air reaching that
far corner of the North Atlantic.

The prospect of a deep freeze, whether sooner or later, so concerns the
British government that it is sinking $30 million into figuring out what's
going on in The Pond. For while no one disputes the freshening is real, no
one is sure why it is happening.

Some researchers believe that, ironically, global warming could be to blame,
that melting Greenland glaciers and Arctic sea ice could be diluting the
salt water of the North Atlantic. Others theorize it could be a phase in a
natural cycle, one that ice-core evidence suggests might have happened
several times in the last 100,000 years - and perhaps as recently as
America's colonial era.

Oceans are turbulent, chaotic places, and their circulation is at least as
complex as the atmosphere's.

The Gulf Stream, which originates in the Caribbean, is no exception.
Oceanographers typically describe it as part of a "conveyor belt," because
in order to keep the current moving, the cold, salty water in the North
Atlantic must sink beneath it. That creates a void that is filled by the
rush of more Gulf Stream water. And so it moves north-northeast toward
Iceland at about 5 m.p.h., warming the overlying atmosphere for more than
2,000 miles.

The heated air moderates the frigid blasts out of Canada before they can
reach London, Paris or Rome. Without the Gulf Stream, London would feel like
Montreal, but gloomier.

Fresher water is a threat to the conveyor because it is lighter and sinks so
slowly that the Gulf Stream could sputter and even stop.

"If you don't sink that [cold] water and move it into the south, there's no
reason for the Gulf Stream to move the warm water to the north," said James
Wright, a Rutgers University paleoceanographer. The current "would turn
toward Portugal and go to the Canary Islands."

Even subtle changes in salinity can have a substantial effect on the rate at
which water sinks, said Weaver, of the University of Victoria. On average, a
gallon of seawater contains 4.7 ounces of salt. Even the freshest water in
the ocean still has about 4.2 ounces per gallon - far from potable, but
fresh enough to potentially affect the Gulf Stream.

Conveyor-belt disruptions and sudden climate changes are nothing new - only
the realization that they have occurred, says Richard B. Alley, a professor
of geosciences at Pennsylvania State University.

Conventional wisdom used to hold that climate change, like aging, happened
gradually. In the last 15 years, however, researchers studying ice cores
dating back 100,000 years have documented sudden shifts.

"Large, abrupt and widespread climate changes occurred repeatedly in the
past across most of the Earth, and many followed closely after freshening of
the North Atlantic," said Alley, who is also chairman of the National
Research Council's Committee on Abrupt Climate Change, which published a
report last spring.

Perhaps the most famous of these was the "Younger Dryas" event, so named for
the Arctic shrub that appeared in temperate European climes during a
dramatic cooldown about 12,000 years ago, 6,000 years after the last Ice
Age. And it happened in a hurry, a matter of just a few years.

Changes in the Gulf Stream also are suspect in the onset of the so-called
Little Ice Age, which began in the 15th century and ended about 1850. That
coincided with Gen. George Washington's encampment at Valley Forge during
the fatally frigid winter of 1777-78; the winter of 1779-80 was even worse.
It also encompassed the era of Washington Irving and frosty images of
skaters on the lower Hudson in December. No one skates there these days.

While abrupt shifts may be nothing new, this one would be unprecedented in
one important respect: Science is trying to get to the bottom of it. But
even as researchers measure the freshwater mass by dropping instrument packs
into the ocean, one thing is certain: They won't be able to stop it.

Any human effort to control the buildup, Weaver said, would be "like one
person standing on a railroad track trying to stop a train."

© 2001 inquirer and wire service sources. All Rights Reserved.


>From Andrew Yee <>

John Bluck
NASA Ames Research Center, Moffett Field, Calif.     Dec. 9, 2002
Phone: 650/604-5026 or 650/604-9000



El Nino is not a new weather phenomenon, according to a recent NASA study
that looks 750 years into the past using tree-ring records.

Utilizing special computer techniques, a NASA scientist has linked tree-ring
widths -- a natural record of local and regional climate conditions -- with
sea surface temperatures (SST) to compile a record that looks back
three-quarters of a millennium, indicating that El Nino caused heavy rain in
some places in South America and droughts in other areas.

"We feed the computer model with past tree-ring data, and this model 'hind
casts' past sea surface temperatures," said Hector D'Antoni, a scientist at
NASA Ames Research Center in California's Silicon Valley. "We can go back in
time and reconstruct some of the factors controlling ecosystems." An
ecosystem is a system composed of living organisms and their environment.

"The hypothesis I had all along was that the El Nino Southern Oscillation
(ENSO) is not a new component of the global climate system, and that ENSO
effects on South America were not new or
negligible," he said. "Sea surface temperatures of both the Atlantic and
Pacific oceans in tropical and subtropical locations have a strong influence
on the temperate forests of South America. Therefore, one can expect to find
some 'signal' of these drivers in the collection of tree rings over a period
of time."

"Precipitation is related to the ocean-atmosphere interface and, in South
America, predominantly dominated by the Atlantic Ocean," he said. "The El
Nino ENSO affects these patterns in four regions with large increases of
precipitation (Ecuador, Argentina), drought (Northern Amazonia) and higher
temperature (Ecuador, eastern Brazil). These changes affect tree growth in
these and other regions of South America."

D'Antoni developed a connection between rate of tree growth and sea surface
temperatures using neural network software models. Using these models, he
estimated past sea surface temperatures based only on tree ring widths.
Wider tree rings indicate more tree growth. Precipitation and temperature
control much of this growth.

Neural network models 'learn' by observing patterns in today's world and
then make precise estimates. D'Antoni obtained tree-ring data produced by
scientists who study the annual growth rings in trees. These researchers
collected data from 25 sites, largely in the sub-Antarctic region of South
America. With computer models, tree-ring width records and sea surface
temperature data, D'Antoni established a pattern for the last few hundred
years. When linked with sea surface temperatures, tree-ring growth patterns are proving to be
exceptional starting points for researchers who are reconstructing past and
predicting future climates.

D'Antoni and co-investigator Ante Mlinarevic of San Jose State University,
San Jose, Calif., reconstructed past sea surface temperatures of the
Atlantic and Pacific oceans for the period 1246 to 1995.

"The Atlantic SST appears more stable around 24.5 Celsius (76.1 degrees
Fahrenheit); the Pacific past SST varies in a much larger range around 21
degrees Celsius (69.8 degrees Fahrenheit) and
reflects ENSO episodes in the past that are longer than the instrumentally
recorded ones," D'Antoni said.

One record kept by archeologist Jorge Marcos, Polytechnic School of the
Littoral, Guayaquil, Ecuador, mentions 'albarradas' (archeological and small
historical dams) built by the people of
Ecuador and copied by the European conquerors, D'Antoni said. Albarradas
turned the damaging effect of runoff during ENSO episodes into a way of
replenishing the groundwater table and aiding
agriculture on the dry coast of Ecuador, according to D'Antoni.

The older albarradas are 2,270 years old, according to radiocarbon dating.
These dams were in extensive use 1,000 years ago, and some albarradas are
still being used.
D'Antoni stressed that records such as those of Marcos provide
'circumstantial' evidence of the historical ENSOs. "Our reconstruction
suggests that there were many ENSOs, some very intense ones, in the last 750
years," D'Antoni said. "All of these experiences amount to a stronger
support for prediction of future changes, which is one of NASA's goals."

While his findings eventually could lead to attempts by scientists to make
long-range forecasts of levels of rainfall, humidity and other consequences
of major climate changes, D'Antoni said he is still conducting basic science
and is not ready to attempt climate change predictions. His immediate
objective is simply to learn more about Earth's climate, he said.

Publication size images are available at:

>From San Diego Union-Tribune, 10 December 2002
By Bruce Lieberman

SAN FRANCISCO - Over the past year, melting ice sheets in Greenland and
disintegrating ice shelves in Antartica have increasingly alarmed

Why it is happening, to what extent it may continue, and what impact it may
have on ocean levels remain important questions for climatologists and other
scientists gathered here to discuss the latest research on global warming
and rapid climate change.

A new satellite, called ICESat and scheduled for launch Dec. 19 from
Vandenberg Air Force Base, is expected to help them understand more about
the balance between the winter storms that add to ice sheets and the summer
warming that thins their edges and breaks huge regions apart.

Scientists suspect that global warming, caused by a rise in greenhouse gases
induced in part by human activity, contributes to the melting of land and
sea ice.

But they do not yet know enough about the natural variations in the mass of
ice sheets to determine the extent to which humans may be accelerating the

ICESat, which stands for Ice, Cloud and land Elevation Satellite, will use
lasers to measure tiny changes in the elevation of polar ice sheets on land
and over the ocean.

Scientists at UCSD's Scripps Institution of Oceanography in La Jolla are
involved in the project.

"The time is really right to try to take a comprehensive look," said ICESat
program scientist Waleed Abdalati during a briefing yesterday at the annual
meeting of the American Geophysical Union.

"Big things are going on, and there is a relationship between these and
current changes in the climate," he said.

Observations made last summer revealed unprecedented ice-sheet melting over
the Arctic Ocean. Summer melting typically shrinks ice sheets to a low of
2.4 million square miles. Last summer, that low fell to 2 million square
miles, scientists have reported.

NASA conducts laser surveys of ice sheets using instruments aboard aircraft,
but the new satellite is designed to cover much more terrain more quickly
and accurately.

The $232.1 million satellite, built by Colorado-based Ball Aerospace and
Technologies Corp. under contract with Goddard Space Flight Center, will
orbit Earth 373 miles up.

Using an instrument called Geoscience Laser Altimeter System, or GLAS, the
satellite will shoot short and rapid pulses of light toward the surface of
the Earth.

The reflected laser pulses will enable it to make elevation readings
accurate to 15 centimeters. ICESat will orbit for three to five years.

The satellite's laser instrument will also measure the elevation of clouds
and air pollution - both are important to studies of climate change - and
make topographical measurements of the Earth to study erosion and other
environmental changes.

"It really is cutting edge," said Bernard Minster, a researcher at Scripps
and one of eight members of the science team behind the mission.

Scientists do not expect the huge ice sheets of Greenland and Antarctica to
melt anytime soon. But they hold enough fresh water to raise global sea
levels by 260 feet if they melted completely.

© Copyright 2002 Union-Tribune Publishing Co. 


>From CO2 Science Magazine, 11 December 2002

A long succession of climate models has consistently suggested that
CO2-induced global warming should be amplified in earth's polar regions and
that the first signs of man's predicted impact on the world's weather should
thus be manifest there.  Many people have consequently accepted
recently-reported high temperatures from various parts of the Arctic as
evidence of the validity of contemporary climate model predictions and an
indisputable sign that the dreaded climatic effects of mankind's CO2
emissions have in very fact arrived at the world's doorstep.  Actual
temperature data, however, tell a vastly different story.

Following the recent release of Russian meteorological observations poleward
of 62°N, Polyakov et al. (2002) created an Arctic-wide temperature history
that runs from 1875 to 2001, based on data obtained from 75 land
meteorological stations. Over this 126-year period, their record depicts two
major intervals of warming, each of approximately 15 years duration. When
annual temperatures are expressed as six-year running means, the first of
these warmings starts at about 1922 and the other at about 1985. The initial
warming is by far the more dramatic of the two, with temperatures rising by
nearly 2°C, while temperatures rise by not quite 1°C in the second.  In
addition, the most recent six-year mean temperature is 0.2°C less than the
peak analogous temperature achieved at the end of the first warming. So what
is one to conclude from these observations?

First of all, as we have long claimed for the entire world [see our
Editorial of 1 July 2000: There Has Been No Global Warming for the Past 70
Years], the Arctic - which according to essentially all climate models is
supposed to be the harbinger of things to come for the rest of the world -
is not yet as warm as it was in the late 1930s and early 1940s. In fact,
because temperatures were so high for so long back then, the authors report
that linear regression trends calculated from the 1920s to the present show
a small but statistically significant cooling tendency.

Starting all the way back at beginning of the 20th century, however - at the
time when Mann et al. (1999) claim the great "unprecedented" warming of the
past millennium began - Polyakov et al.'s Arctic temperature data do produce
a subsequent warming. However, for the period 1901 to 1997, they note that
the upward temperature trend of the Arctic calculated from their data is
"statistically indistinguishable" from the upward temperature trend of the
entire Northern Hemisphere calculated from the data of Jones et al. (1999).
Hence, as they most appropriately note, this similarity "does not support
amplified warming in polar regions predicted by models (IPCC, 2001)," and
especially does it not support a polar warming that is amplified by a factor
of two to three, as most models predict.

So why have the world's best climate models erred so egregiously in this
most common of their predictions? Polyakov et al. suggest that the models'
missing of the mark may be due to the insignificance of what their creators
ironically suggest is the cause of the supposed polar warming amplification,
i.e., strong positive feedback induced by the melting of snow and sea ice.
They note, for example, that in addition to analyzing temperature records
they examined long-term records of observations of fast-ice thickness and
ice extent from the Kara, Laptev, East Siberian and Chukchi Seas, finding
that "long-term trends are small and generally statistically insignificant,
while trends for shorter records are not indicative of the long-term
tendencies, in agreement with the trends of air temperature."

In concluding their brief review, Polyakov et al. remark that "if long-term
trends are accepted as a valid measure of climate change" - and, we wonder,
what else could possibly qualify as an alternative? - "then the air
temperature and ice data do not support the proposed polar amplification of
global warming." They also note there are some other independent indications
that "the importance of the ice- and snow-albedo feedbacks may be
exaggerated (Robock, 1983), which may explain why the amplification of
global warming is not found in the Arctic."

Clearly, as Polyakov et al. suggest in summation, "the Arctic poses severe
challenges to generating credible model-based projections of climate
change," and until there are models that can pass its reality check, there
would appear to be little reason to give them any credence.

Sherwood, Keith and Craig Idso  


Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change. 2001. Climate Change 2001, The
Scientific Basis.  Contribution of Working Group 1 to the Third Assessment
Report of the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC), edited by
J.T. Houghton, Y. Ding, D.J. Griggs, M. Noguer, P.J. van der Linden, and D.
Xiaosu.  Cambridge University Press, Cambridge, UK.

Jones, P.D., New, M., Parker, D.E., Martin, S. and Rigor, I.G. 1999. Surface
air temperature and its changes over the past 150 years.  Reviews of
Geophysics 37: 173-199.

Mann, M.E., Bradley, R.S. and Hughes, M.K. 1999. Northern Hemisphere
temperatures during the past millennium: Inferences, uncertainties, and
limitations. Geophysical Research Letters 26: 759-762.

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: 547-548.

Robock, A. 1983. Ice and snow feedbacks and the latitudinal and seasonal
distribution of climate sensitivity. Journal of the Atmospheric Sciences 40:
Copyright © 2002. Center for the Study of Carbon Dioxide and Global Change 


>From CO2 Science Magazine, 11 December 2002

Holloway, G. and Sou, T. 2002. Has Arctic Sea Ice Rapidly Thinned?  Journal
of Climate 15: 1691-1701.

The authors note that "reports based on submarine sonar data [Rothrock et
al., 1999; Wadhams and Davis, 2000] have suggested Arctic sea ice has
thinned nearly by half in recent decades."  They further note that these
reports were widely cited by both the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate
Change (IPCC: Houghton et al., 2001) and by the popular media, who at the
time of the reports' appearance were whipped into a frenzy over the subject
by the climate alarmists' claim that humanity was responsible for the
thinning because it was caused by global warming that was induced by
anthropogenic CO2 emissions.

What was done
In a study designed to rationally evaluate these claims, the authors
explored "how observations, theory, and modeling work together to clarify
perceived changes to Arctic sea ice," incorporating data from "the
atmosphere, rivers, and ocean along with dynamics expressed in an
ocean-ice-snow model."

What was learned
Based on a number of different data-fed model runs, the authors report that
for the last half of the past century, "no linear trend [in Arctic sea ice
volume] over 50 years is appropriate," noting that their results indicate
"increasing volume to the mid-1960s, decadal variability without significant
trend from the mid-1960s to the mid-1980s, then a loss of volume from the
mid-1980s to the mid-1990s."  The net effect of this behavior, in their
words, was that "the volume estimated in 2000 is close to the volume
estimated in 1950."

What it means
The authors' analysis suggests that the earlier inferred rapid thinning of
Arctic sea ice was, as they put it, "unlikely," due to problems arising from
"undersampling." They also report that "varying winds that readily
redistribute Arctic ice create a recurring pattern whereby ice shifts
between the central Arctic and peripheral regions, especially in the
Canadian sector," and that the "timing and tracks of the submarine surveys
missed this dominant mode of variability."

Houghton, J.T., Ding, Y., Griggs, D.J., Noguer, M., van der Linden, P.J.,
Xiaosu, D., Maskell, K. and Johnson, C.A. (Eds.). 2001. Climate Change 2001:
The Scientific Basis.  Cambridge University Press, Cambridge, UK.

Rothrock, D.A., Yu, Y. and Maykut, G.A. 1999. Thinning of the Arctic sea ice
cover.  Geophysics Research Letters 26: 3469-3472.

Wadhams, P. and Davis, N.R. 2000. Further evidence of ice thinning in the
Arctic Ocean.  Geophysical Research Letters 27: 3973-3975.
Copyright © 2002.  Center for the Study of Carbon Dioxide and Global Change


>From CO2 Science Magazine, 11 December 2002

How much of an influence the sun exerts on earth's climate has long been a
topic of heated discussion in the area of global climate change (Franks,
2002). The primary reason for differing opinions on the subject derives from
the fact that although numerous studies have demonstrated significant
correlations between certain measures of solar activity and various climatic
phenomena (Reid, 1991, 1997, 1999, 2000), the magnitude of the variable
solar radiative forcing reported in these studies is generally so small it
is difficult to see how it could possibly produce climatic effects of the
magnitude observed. Supporters of solar effects theories counter by
contending that various positive feedback mechanisms may amplify the initial
solar perturbation to the extent that significant changes in climate do
indeed result.  In this summary, we highlight some of the recent scientific
literature that demonstrates the viability of such solar linkages with

Many solar-climate studies utilize tree-ring records of 14C as a measure of
solar activity, because solar activity (including variations in the number
of sunspots and the brightness of the sun) influences the production of
atmospheric 14C, such that periods of higher solar activity yield a lower
production and atmospheric burden of 14C (Perry and Hsu, 2000). This being
the case, it can be appreciated that as trees remove carbon from the air and
sequester it in their tissues, they are recording a history of solar
activity that could be influencing earth's atmosphere-ocean system.  Thus,
the history of 14C contained in tree rings has been examined by a number of
authors as a proxy indicator of solar activity and compared with various
indices of climate.

As a good example of this type of work, Neff et al. (2001) investigated the
relationship between a 14C tree-ring record and a proxy record of monsoon
rainfall intensity recorded in calcite delta18O data obtained from a
stalagmite in northern Oman for the period 9,600-6,100 years ago.  They
reported finding an "extremely strong" relationship between the two data
sets; and the presence of this strong correlation, coupled with the fact
that a spectral analysis yielded similar periodicities in both data sets,
led them to conclude there is "solid evidence" that both the 14C and
delta18O signals are responding to solar forcing.

In another type of tree-ring study, this time from northeastern Mongolia,
Pederson et al. (2001) also report "possible evidence for solar influences."
For the period 1651-1995, they reconstructed annual precipitation and
streamflow histories for this region from tree-ring chronologies.  Then,
they subjected their data to spectral analysis, which revealed significant
periodicities around 12 and 20-24 years that are believed to be

Moving to equatorial east Africa, Verschuren et al. (2000) developed a
decadal-scale history of rainfall and drought for the past thousand years
based on lake-level and salinity fluctuations of a small crater-lake basin
in Kenya, after which they compared this history with an equally long record
of atmospheric 14C production.  The results of their analysis showed that a
relatively wet period from AD 1270 to 1850 was interrupted by three periods
of prolonged dryness: 1390-1420, 1560-1625 and 1760-1840, all three of which
episodes were "broadly coeval with phases of high solar radiation," while
"the intervening periods of increased moisture were coeval with phases of
low solar radiation."

Nearby in Europe, a review of the relationship of extreme weather events to
climate during the Holocene also implicates solar forcing as the factor
responsible for above-average rainfall during the Little Ice Age.  There,
according to Starkel (2002), continuous rains and high-intensity downpours
that coincided with periods of reduced solar activity were major problems
that often led to severe flooding.

Although a realistic physical mechanism for a solar-induced precipitation
effect has been difficult to identify, numerous studies have suggested that
the increased (decreased) cosmic ray flux at the solar minimum (maximum)
causes increased (decreased) ice-nucleation, precipitation and precipitation
efficiency at high geomagnetic latitudes and decreased (increased)
ice-nucleation, precipitation and precipitation efficiency at low
geomagnetic latitudes.  Hence, using cosmic ray data recorded by
ground-based neutron monitors, global precipitation data from the Climate
Predictions Center Merged Analysis of Precipitation (CMAP) project, and
estimates of monthly global moisture from the National Centers for
Environmental Prediction (NCEP) reanalysis project, Kniveton and Todd (2001)
set out to determine whether there is any empirical evidence to support the
hypothesis that solar variability (determined by changes in cosmic ray flux)
is linked to climate change (manifested by changes in precipitation and
precipitation efficiency) over the period 1979-1999.

What the two scientists found was "evidence of a statistically strong
relationship between cosmic ray flux, precipitation and precipitation
efficiency over ocean surfaces at mid to high latitudes," as variations in
both precipitation and precipitation efficiency for mid to high latitudes
showed a close relationship in both phase and magnitude with variations in
cosmic ray flux, varying 7-9% during the solar cycle of the 1980s.  Other
potential factors that might explain the trends in precipitation and
precipitation efficiency were ruled out due to poorer statistical
relationships between them and the precipitation parameters investigated.

The study of Kniveton and Todd thus suggests that small changes in solar
output can indeed produce significant changes in earth's climate.
Consequently, with empirical evidence mounting for a solar-induced effect on
precipitation, and given the fact that the total magnetic flux leaving the
sun has risen by a factor of 1.41 over the period 1964-1996 and by a factor
of 2.3 since 1901 (Lockwood et al., 1999), climate modelers should be paying
more attention to these phenomena and incorporating them into their general
circulation models of the atmosphere; for it could well be that much, if not
all, of the warming of the past century had its origins in solar variability
and not the historical rise in the air's CO2 concentration.  Not
surprisingly, however, the Chambers et al. (1999) review of the climate
models used by the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change to predict
future greenhouse gas-induced global warming revealed such solar-induced
processes to be inadequately represented and even ignored.

Chambers, F.M., Ogle, M.I. and Blackford, J.J. 1999. Palaeoenvironmental
evidence for solar forcing of Holocene climate: linkages to solar science.
Progress in Physical Geography 23: 181-204.

Franks, S.W.  2002. Assessing hydrological change: deterministic general
circulation models or spurious solar correlation? Hydrological Processes 16:

Kniveton, D.R. and Todd, M.C.  2001. On the relationship of cosmic ray flux
and precipitation.  Geophysical Research Letters 28: 1527-1530.

Lockwood, M., Stamper, R. and Wild, M.N. 1999. A doubling of the Sun's
coronal magnetic field during the past 100 years.  Nature 399: 437-439.

Neff, U., Burns, S.J., Mangini, A., Mudelsee, M., Fleitmann, D and Matter,
A. 2001. Strong coherence between solar variability and the monsoon in Oman
between 9 and 6 kyr ago. Nature 411: 290-293.

Pederson, N., Jacoby, G.C., D'Arrigo, R.D., Cook, E.R. and Buckley, B.M.
2001. Hydrometeorological reconstructions for northeastern Mongolia derived
from tree rings: 1651-1995.  Journal of Climate 14: 872-881.

Perry, C.A. and Hsu, K.J. 2000. Geophysical, archaeological, and historical
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Copyright © 2002. Center for the Study of Carbon Dioxide and Global Change 


>From National Post, 10 December 2002{C04D2820-8924-4F99-A9BB-DDDBF66B3775}

David E. Wojick 

by Christopher Essex and Ross McKitrick Key Porter Books 320 pp., $26.95

- - -
Taken By Storm is a wonderful book -- unique, powerful and long overdue in
the climate change debate. With the federal government steamrolling the
Canadian people on the Kyoto Accord, anybody who cares should read this
book. The reader must be warned, however, that this is a book about science,
and the perversion of science. It is not a flashy exposé to be finished in a
single rainy afternoon. Some parts of it are downright deep.

Depth is what makes Taken By Storm an important book. The newspapers are
full of the climate change debate, and many of these stories touch on the
science. They touch and then draw away, until the stock paragraphs become
nauseatingly familiar and glaringly uninformative. This book explains the
scientific issues. It explains them simply, yet accurately, if that is all
you want. But if you really want to understand the issues, it also explains
them in depth, to the point where you will need a textbook to go further.
There is no other book like this.

But it is not a science book, or not just that, because climate science is
indeed troubled. It has become mixed up with the in-crowd of green politics
and policy, especially the Kyoto Accord movement, and this too is explained
in depth. No one should complain about the 300-plus pages, including a
detailed index that makes this a good reference book as well. Climate
science, policy and politics is a vast, unhappy realm.

This is, of course, a climate change skeptic's book. Essex and McKitrick are
leading Canadian skeptics, as well as distinguished scientists. The
global-warming-scare crowd would never do a book like this, because
simple-minded, one-paragraph science is the strength of the scare. It is the
ammunition for shotgun politics and policy.

In fact, a lot of the scare, and so a lot of this book, is about two things
that arguably are not science -- statistics and computer models. Science is
about understanding and statistics do not explain anything. Likewise,
computer models are only as good as the understanding that goes into them.
Perhaps the deepest point made in this book is that we have discovered that
we really do not understand climate; we are running on empty statistics and
false computer models.

Science is funny that way. You can go into a problem thinking that you
understand it, then after great, highly creative exertion, determine that
you do not. But now you know what you don't know, and that is the heart of
progress. This is actually typical for smaller problems, and such it is with
climate change as well. After a decade of intensive research we now know
that climate changes in ways, and for reasons, that we do not understand.
There are lots of theories of course, more all the time, and that is
precisely the point. Climate science has blossomed, but any basis for a
policy to prevent climate change has withered and died in the process. This
is a new result, a blockbuster. Essex and McKitrick explain it with clarity,
care and patience.

The consequences of this new view are profound. We used to think that the
climate was naturally stable, so changes had to be forced by human activity.
We now know that natural internal changes can account for everything we
think we see going on. (It also turns out that what we thought we saw going
on may not even be there, which is a far deeper problem.) The computer
models we are acting on are based on this erroneous assumption of natural
stability. It is not just that the models are inaccurate, they are
profoundly false.

Essex and McKitrick put it this way: "The idea of 'forcing' has been forced
onto the system. This language suggests a kind of metaphysical idea about
climate change that has a mechanics reminiscent of the physics of ancient
Greece. The climate state only moves when it is 'forced,' and when the
forcing stops, the change stops too. But climate change is always happening,
and it needs no external causes to keep it going." In other words, human
beings may well have nothing to do with any observed climate change, or with
any future climate change. Of this we are now certain.

Unfortunately, the climate change politics and policy boat set sail at the
same time the science boat did, about a decade ago. It too has made great
progress, but its work has all been based on science that is now known to be
false. Whether we can get it back on course remains to be seen. The wrong
course has become dramatically institutionalized, for reasons the authors
describe in considerable detail. History shows repeatedly that once a
political apparatus gets up a head of steam, the truth may cease be an
issue. Woe to us if this happens again.

Happily, Taken By Storm does a good job of separating this unfortunate
policy picture from the really interesting science stuff, a lot of which is
quite delightful and presented with great humour. One meets the poodle
attractor (a fluffy form of chaos), for example, and also T-Rex and the
Bleeps (not a rock band). Professor Thermos teaches a deep lesson on global
temperature (there isn't any), then T-Rex plays hockey with tree rings, and
so it goes. There is a lot of physics and math, but no equations, and a lot
of economics too. One could read this book just to learn how climate works
and what difference it makes.

In fact, my one criticism of this book is that it may be too jolly. It tends
to make the people who are promoting the Kyoto Accord look like idiots, but
they are not. They are cunning and artful. What is idiotic is the situation.

David Wojick is an independent climate science journalist and policy analyst
who resides in Virginia and Ontario. He runs a listserv
( that debates climate change science. He
may be reached at

© Copyright  2002 National Post


>From The Heartland Institute, November 2002

Book review by Jay Lehr

Why Energy Conservation Fails
by Herbert Inhaber, PhD
Quorum Books, paperback, 237 pages

Why Energy Conservation Fails is, in many ways, the most readable book on
economics you will ever read. It is so innovative and fascinating in its
approach that it is a page-turner.

Dr. Inhaber uses basic economic theory coupled with our well-known human
nature to prove in dozens of ways that no artificial coercive strategy aimed
at conserving anything can ever succeed. Through simple prose, supplemented
with detailed illustrations and ample calculations, he makes his premise as
certain as the law of gravity.

In making his case, Inhaber stands on the shoulders of giants of the past.
These truths have been illustrated and handed down for centuries ... and yet
the folly of coercive conservation runs rampant even today. Sadly, those who
do not study the failures of the past are destined to repeat them, and that
we do again and again.

Over the past two decades, Americans have been subjected to an unprecedented
barrage of government edicts telling them to save energy, water, natural
resources, and many other substances.

If we trade in a large car for a small one, surely we use less gasoline ...
or do we? If cars are smaller and driving is cheaper, families may own two
cars instead of one, and they will drive more miles with their cars. The
counterproductive end result is that people will ultimately use more
gasoline. Simple economic reasoning makes it clear: When the price of a
commodity falls, more of it will be used than if its price had remained

Conservation on a national scale does not and cannot exist. In the case of
gasoline, its use has risen, not fallen, since the imposition of strict
mileage standards in the late 1970s. According to those who advocated those
laws, gasoline use should have declined.

In our homes, when we attempt to save electricity through improved
insulation, our electric bill goes down ... so we tend to use more
electricity in other ways, such as by raising our indoor temperature in the
winter or lowering our indoor temperature in the summer.

Inhaber points out that Karl Marx made a similar mistake when he reasoned
capitalism would fail when production efficiency increased, thereby making
many employees redundant. He failed to see that with increased efficiency
comes a decline in the effective price of a service or commodity and that in
the face of a lower price, increasing demand will require more workers.

The statues of Karl Marx have come down all around the world, but the
conservationists who say that saving a kilowatt hour here and there will
reduce the total amount of energy we use still have a loyal following.
Inhaber feels strongly that their efforts should be-and can be-thwarted by
teaching simple economics to coercive conservationists.

Inhaber explains clearly how conservationists have always assumed that man
would run out of this or that resource, though it never happens. Why?
Because brain-power followed by improved technology leads to better ways to
find and refine everything or to replace it with even better substitute
materials in even greater abundance. Fiberglass, for instance, is formed
from silica dioxide, the most abundant mineral in the Earth's crust.

While many of us try to save energy at home, we may imagine waste occurs
frequently at the industrial level. At home we replace light bulbs when they
burn out. In a factory, bulbs are replaced on a timed schedule to coincide
with the average life of a bulb. Many perfectly good bulbs are discarded in
this way ... but a tremendous amount of labor, and thus cost, is saved.
Waste is in the eye of the beholder. For a manufacturing company, labor is
too valuable to be wasted.

These examples are but a small illustration of the meticulous and
comprehensive manner in which Dr. Inhaber dissembles the ill-fated
do-gooders' desire to conserve a wide variety of resources that never were,
are not now, and never will be in short supply. They overlook at every turn
man's indomitable intellectual creativity, which allows him to expand or
replace every imaginable resource.

Dr. Jay Lehr is Science Director for The Heartland Institute.


Kälterekorde in Deutschland

Hamburg/Offenbach -  In Deutschland jagt ein Kälterekord den nächsten: In
der Nacht sanken die Temperaturen vielerorts auf historische Tiefstände im
Dezember. Mit minus 17,5 Grad war es im Harz besonders eisig. In Harzgerode
und auf dem Fichtelberg wurden minus 15 Grad gemessen. In Hamburg sackte das
Thermometer auf minus 10,5 Grad. Das ist der kälteste 10. Dezember seit 35
Jahren. Mit einer Höchsttemperatur von minus 7,1 Grad war der Montag der
kälteste 9. Dezember in Potsdam seit Beginn der Aufzeichnungen des Deutschen
Wetterdienstes 1893. "Fast überall war es kälter als minus zehn Grad", sagte
Corina Schube vom Deutschen Wetterdienst in Leipzig.


>From, 11 December 2002

So they finally did it. As expected, the Canadian federal parliament voted
195-77 for ratification of the Kyoto Protocol. The opposition parties
opposed the treaty and they now stand to gain electoral support at the
expense of the governing Liberals once the full cost of Kyoto sinks into the
voting public.

Down the political track, some Canadian politicians might attempt to hide
behind the excuse that he/she had not been warned that this would be a
costly exercise in futility for the Canadian taxpayer. There has been
warning aplenty, and now they have to confront something much more difficult
than merely signing a piece of paper.

They now have to come up with the complex technical solutions and enabling
legislation needed to fulfil the demands of the protocol, that Canada reduce
its emissions by 6% on 1990 levels - and do so within the next 10 years.
Canada's emissions are already around 20% above 1990 levels, so a cut of
20-30% on current levels will involve nothing short of a dramatic retraction
of the Canadian economy to see those targets fulfilled.

And the climatic impact will be nil.

Mere media propaganda, so successful in selling the protocol to parliament,
will be of no help in securing practical compliance of the whole of Canadian
industry and society. It's one thing for politicians to sign an
ill-conceived contract - the small print and implications of which they have
shown little understanding of - but it will be quite something else to force
every citizen, every provincial government, every company, every driver of a
car, every home-owner heating their home, every worker worried about their
job, every taxpayer, to comply with the draconian measures which are now
required to fulfil the terms of the Kyoto Protocol. It will take a lot more
than government exhortations, pleadings, or propaganda.

The initial effect of implementing Kyoto measures on business will be for
many of them to close their operations in Canada and move across the border
to the U.S., leaving behind unemployed Canadians.

There is but one comfort for Canada - this contract expires in 10 years.


>From Space Daily, 10 December 2002

PARIS (AFP) Dec 06, 2002

The European Union is falling short of meeting targets for cutting
greenhouse-gas pollution under the Kyoto Protocol, the UN climate pact that
the EU championed last year after it was ditched by Washington, a study
warned on Friday.

"Existing measures will not be sufficient for the EU to reach its Kyoto
target," the report issued by the European Environment Agency (EAA) said

Under the Kyoto Protocol, the 15 EU members are required to cut combined
emissions of carbon dioxide (CO2) and five other heat-trapping gases by
eight percent overall in the years 2008-2012 as compared to their 1990

But the projections run by the Copenhagen-based EU agency show that, on the
basis of existing measures, the 15 are on track for a total cut of only 4.7

Most of that cut is attributable to Britain, Germany and Sweden, which have
made far deeper reductions than they are honoured to make under a
"burden-sharing" agreement whereby the EU members assigned individual
targets among themselves.

They made the reductions because of the closure of inefficient, coal-burning
plants and power stations in the former East Germany and the conversion in
Britain of coal-fired power stations to gas, which releases far less CO2 for
the same output.

"If these three countries merely met their burden-sharing targets instead of
'over-complying', the overall EU emissions decrease by 2010 would be
minimal, at only 0.6 percent," the EAA said.

The worst offenders are Austria, Belgium, Denmark and Spain, which in 2010
will exceed their individual Kyoto targets according to calculations based
on pollution-curbing measures they have implemented so far....

Copyright 2002, Agence France-Presse.

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