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  • 24-Oct-09 What has happened to global warming since 1998
  • 05-Sep-09 Critique of "Recent Warming Reverses Long-Term Arctic Cooling"
  • SEPP Science Editorial #33-2009
    (in TWTW Oct 24, 2009)

    S. Fred Singer, Chairman and President , Science and Environmental Policy Project (SEPP)

    What has happened to global warming since 1998

    Oct 24, 2009

    The respected science journalist Richard Kerr discusses the anxieties of the 'warmistas,' who try to explain away the fact that the climate has not been warming since 1998. They now admit that the data are sound and that indeed there has been a slight cooling trend in the last few years. The only exception is the data compilation by Jim Hansen's GISS which still shows warmer years after 1998 - contrary to the compilations of NOAA-NCDC, and of Hadley-CRU. But GISS is simply contrarian, as can be seen from the satellite data that show no warming either.

    Now as we have pointed out repeatedly, this lack of a warming trend should not be taken as evidence against the existence of AGW; but it clearly indicates that the IPCC discussion is quite incomplete, since it omits any forcing that would counteract, or more than counteract, the warming effects of GH gases. This time around, unlike during the cooling of 1940-75, the warmistas don't blame the cooling on aerosols. Instead, they seem to be about evenly divided between those who attribute the lack of warming to a change in ocean circulation and those who blame the sun [Rind and Lean]. Except that in the latter case, Rind and Lean attempt to explain the data on a change in Total Solar Irradiance [TSI]; they seem to not have heard of the climate effects of cosmic rays, yet they refer to TSI as 'solar activity.'

    What I find interesting is that the modelers have now admitted that GH models can occasionally produce ten-year long periods of no warming; I'm willing to accept this. According to the modelers even 15-year periods can occur, but very rarely. So perhaps in five years we will be able to judge whether the current absence of warming is a stochastic event or due to real climate forcing, be it a change in ocean circulation or solar activity.

    Wouldn't it be prudent therefore to delay long-term commitments to mitigation until we understand more fully the cause of this puzzling absence of warming and its apparent contradiction to greenhouse models?

    Ref: R. Kerr. Science 326. pp. 28-29, Oct 2, 2009

    View The Week That Was in which this editorial appeared.

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    SEPP Science Editorial #28-2009
    (in TWTW Sep 5, 2009)

    S. Fred Singer, Chairman and President , Science and Environmental Policy Project (SEPP)

    Critique of "Recent Warming Reverses Long-Term Arctic Cooling"

    Sep 5, 2009

    Critique of "Recent Warming Reverses Long-Term Arctic Cooling" by D.S. Kaufman, et al, published in Science, 4 September 2009.

    Abstract: The temperature history of the first millennium AD is sparsely documented, especially in the Arctic. Here we present a synthesis of decadally-resolved proxy temperature records from polewards of 60N covering the last 2000 years that highlights a pervasive cooling from the early part of the first millennium through the Middle Ages and into the Little Ice Age. A 2000-year transient climate simulation with the Community Climate System Model shows the same temperature sensitivity to changes in insolation as does our proxy reconstruction, supporting the inference that this long-term trend was caused by the steady orbitally-driven reduction in summer insolation. The cooling trend was reversed during the 20th century, with four of the five warmest decades of our 2000-year-long reconstruction in the last half-century (1950-2000 AD). =============================================================== Based on a quick reading, here are just four problems with this paper (marked in red in the Abstract):

    1. Actual thermometer data (Polyakov et al) - not indirect proxy data -- for the Arctic are available for the 20th century, showing the warmest years around 1935. See also Soon (PhysGeogr 2009). This can also be seen clearly in the CRUTEM data of their Fig 2 (black curve).

    2. The Abstract mentions the [warm] 'Middle Ages' and the [cold] 'Little Ice Age.' Both are well established; for example, Loehle and many other researchers (e.g., Dahl-Jensen) show the Medieval Warm Period with higher temperatures than the past 30 years. But these and other key references, such as the extensive compilation at are never mentioned. Fig 3 of this paper goes back to the discredited hockey stick temp curve of Mann (which even the IPCC no longer uses).

    3. The Abstract tries to relate the temperature changes to insolation changes that are 'orbitally driven.' This is highly unlikely: orbital changes are much slower, and generally measured in multi-millennia, while significant temperature changes occur on a time scale of decades and centuries (Singer and Avery, Unstoppable Global Warming - every 1500 years).

    4. Most important: The implication that warming by GH gases 'reversed the cooling trend' is contradicted by the NIPCC summary report "Nature - Not Human Activity - Rules the Climate"

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