Heat Waves (4) A Climate Case Study:

By: Dr. Ricky Rood , 6:26 AM GMT on July 19, 2011

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Heat Waves (4) A Climate Case Study:

In the last article I wrote that the extreme events of 2011 were providing us with the opportunity to think about climate and how to cope with a warming world. The U.S. is experiencing an extreme heat event this week (Masters @ WU). This heat wave is the consequence of a strong, stationary high pressure system over the central U.S., and it will move to the east over the next few days. Back on July 14th The Capital Weather Gang did a nice write up on the forecast of the heat wave. At the end of this blog are links to my previous blogs on heat waves and human health.

When thinking about weather, climate, and extreme events an important idea is “persistence.” For example, a heat wave occurs when there are persistent high temperatures. Persistent weather patterns occur when high and low pressure systems get large and stuck; that is, they don’t move. In the Figure below, you need to imagine North America and the United States. There is a high pressure center over the proverbial Heartland. With blue arrows I have drawn the flow of air around the high pressure system, and in this case moist air. There is moisture coming from the Gulf of Mexico and, in fact on the date when this was drawn, from the Pacific. This is common in the summer to see both the Gulf of Mexico and Pacific as sources of continental moisture.



Figure 1: Schematic of a high pressure system over the central United States in July. While generic, this is drawn to represent some of the specifics of 2011. The green-shaded area is where there have been floods in 2011. The brown-shaded area represents sustained drought in the southern part of the nation.

At the center of this high pressure system there is a suppression of rain, because the air is moving downward. This sets up a situation where the surface heats from the Sun’s energy. There is not much mixing and cooling, because of the suppression of the upward motion that produces rain. Hence, if this high pressure system gets stuck, then there is persistent heat. This is a classic summer heat wave.

Let’s think about it some more. There is lot of moisture being drawn around the edge of the high pressure system, and this moisture contributes to the discomfort of people. People – just a short aside about people: if we think about heat and health, then we are concerned about people’s ability to cool themselves. It is more difficult to cool people when it is humid because sweat does not evaporate. Suppose that in addition to this moisture, there is a region where the ground is soaked with water from flooding. Then on top of already moist air coming from the Gulf, there is local evaporation into the air being warmed by the Sun. If on the interior of the high, where the rain is suppressed, there is hot, wet air, then it becomes dangerous heat.

It’s not easy to derive a number that describes dangerous heat. But in much of the eastern U.S. a number that somehow combines temperature and humidity is useful. Meteorologists often use the heat index. It’s the summer time version of “it’s 98 degrees, but it feels like 105.” For moist climates, the heat index is one version of the “it feels like” temperature. Jeff Masters tells me that in Newton, Iowa yesterday, July 17, 2011, the heat index was 126 degrees F. (see here, and 131 F in Knoxville, Iowa on July 18)

Another measure of heat and humidity is the dew point; that is, the temperature at which dew forms, and effectively limits the nighttime low. The dew points in Iowa, South Dakota, Minnesota, and Wisconsin are currently very high and setting records. Here is a map of dew point for July 19, 2011.



Figure 2: Exceptionally high dew points centered on Iowa.


Now if I was a public health official, and I was trying to understand how a warming planet might impact my life, then here is how I would think about it. First, the Gulf of Mexico and the Pacific are going to be warmer, and hence, there will be more humid air. This will mean, with regard to human health for the central U.S., heat waves will become more dangerous, without necessarily becoming hotter. It is also reasonable to expect heat waves will become more frequent and last longer, because those persistent, stuck high pressure systems are, in part, forced by the higher sea surface temperatures. If I am a public health official here is my algorithm – heat waves are already important to my life, and they are likely to get more dangerous, more frequent, and of longer duration. But by how much? Do I need to know by how much before I decide on a plan for action?

If I think about the air being more humid, then I might expect to see trends in the heat index. I might expect to see trends in dew points, and trends in the nighttime minimum temperatures getting higher. (That’s where a greenhouse effect really matters.) I worry about persistent heat, warm nights, and the inability of people and buildings to cool themselves. I worry about their being dangerous heat in places where people and emergency rooms are not used to dangerous heat – not acclimated to heat – not looking for heat-related illness.

Let’s go back to the figure. Rain is suppressed in the middle of the high pressure system, but around the edge of the high pressure system it will rain; there will be storms. (see Figure 3 at the end) The air around the edge of high is warm and very wet. Wet air is energetic air, and it is reasonable to expect local severe storms. (See Severe Storm on Lake Michigan) And if the high pressure is persistent, stuck, then days of extreme weather are possible. If this pattern sets up, then there is increased likelihood of flooding. If I am that public health official, then I am alerted to the possibility of more extreme weather and the dangers thereof. But, again, can the increase of extreme weather be quantified? Do I need to quantify it before I decide on a plan of action?

Still with the figure - what about that region of extended drought and the heat from the high pressure system? Dehydration becomes a more important issue. As a public health official, I start to see the relation of the heat event to other aspects of the weather, the climate. I see the relation to drought. I see the flood, and it’s relation to the winter snow pack and spring rains.

So what I have presented here is to look at the local mechanisms of the weather – what are the basic underlying physics responsible for hot and cold, wet and dry – for moist air? If I stick to these basic physics, and let the climate model frame the more complex regional and global picture, what can I say about the future? Do I have to have a formal prediction to take action? Here in 2011, I see drought and flood and hot weather and warm oceans that interact together to make a period of sustained, dangerous heat. It does not have to “set a record” to convey the reality of the warming earth. It tells me the type of event that is likely to come more often, of longer duration, and of, perhaps, of greater intensity. If I am a public health planner, then I can know this with some certainty. The question becomes, how do I use that information in my planning?

r



Figure 3: Radar loop showing precipitation around the edge of the large high pressure system in the middle of the continent. July 19, 2011.

Previous Blogs on Heat Waves

Hot in Denver: Heat Waves (1)

Heat Waves (2): Heat and Humans

Heat Waves (3): Role of Global Warming




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my thoughts exactly, Ossqss

any study that refutes "predictions" of one side of the argument causes an atmosphere like what you would see on the floor of Congress or Parliment.

To me personally, that is more along the lines of parlimentary procedure...which leads to the great stall in real progress and understanding.



Member Since: Posts: Comments:
1167. Patrap
Its Hot,,and getting hotter,,..phew !
Member Since: July 3, 2005 Posts: 428 Comments: 129844
1166. Ossqss
A little over a year ago a number of climate change activists (including the owner of this site) attended a two week seminar, I believe in Denver. This seminar was to figure out how to better communicate weather extremes and anomolies.

By virtue of metastasis, every event of any sort is now climate change related.

Just look at the headlines, blogs put forth, and the posts from the ideologues on this site and particular blog.

Most ever !

In recorded history !

In the last 1,000 years !


How many times do you hear "Unprecedented" by some and a 30 year record of events under the statement?

I really enjoyed the "worst in 1,000 years" statement with respect to the Russian heat wave which was admittedly caused by a natural blocking pattern.

The embellishment is obvious and ongoing.

You simply can't cover credibility and publicity problems by connecting weather dots with a climate change pen. It's not working.

Hence, the failure of Kyoto is all the evidence you need.
Member Since: June 12, 2005 Posts: 6 Comments: 8188
Drought- man's fault

Too much rain- man's fault

There is no debate. This is a kindergarten argument of repitition..

"why?
"because.
"why?
"because.
"why?
"because.
"why?
"because."
Member Since: Posts: Comments:
Quoting streamtracker:

Why? Maybe you should just read your own links.

"Weather conditions caused by Tropical Storm Don may actually have resulted in an underestimate of the size of the low-oxygen area, the news release said, as measuring oxygen in the water level closest to bottom "on a ship rolling in 5 to 6 ft swells presented additiional sampling issues that interfered with precise measurements at some stations."

Other possible reasons for the lower-than-expected size of the hypoxia area were that more southerly and southwesterly winds in the weeks before the cruise may have pushed the low-oxygen water towards the east, and the Mississippi River floodwater flow slowed dramatically during July, the news release said."


At the size of Connecticut, it's still a significant fish-choking event. This type of event impacts the lives of many fishermen and shrimpers. Hardly something to make light about.

Coastal Ocean Dead Zones Increasing at Exponential Rate Worldwide
Make light? Of course not.

The alarming (always), well-publicized prognostication didn't happen. Again. Like usual.

(Aside: I'm all for less pollutants and no dead zone. But I'm more for lower food prices and less hungry people, globally.)
Member Since: Posts: Comments:
Quoting Neapolitan:



The fact is, extreme weather has been happening around the globe with increasing frequency and severity, just as AGWT predicted it would. And, Roy Spencer wishful thinking notwithstanding, it's only going to get worse. Much worse.


Neapol's statement is in agreement with the a growing body of scientific literature. In this case we have models that underestimate the changes in extreme precipitation events.

Here is one example of a recent paper dealing with this issue:

Human contribution to more-intense precipitation extremes. Seung-Ki Min, et al. Nature 470, 378–381 (17 February 2011)

Extremes of weather and climate can have devastating effects on human society and the environment. Understanding past changes in the characteristics of such events, including recent increases in the intensity of heavy precipitation events over a large part of the Northern Hemisphere land area is critical for reliable projections of future changes. Given that atmospheric water-holding capacity is expected to increase roughly exponentially with temperature—and that atmospheric water content is increasing in accord with this theoretical expectation - it has been suggested that human-influenced global warming may be partly responsible for increases in heavy precipitation. Because of the limited availability of daily observations, however, most previous studies have examined only the potential detectability of changes in extreme precipitation through model–model comparisons. Here we show that human-induced increases in greenhouse gases have contributed to the observed intensification of heavy precipitation events found over approximately two-thirds of data-covered parts of Northern Hemisphere land areas. These results are based on a comparison of observed and multi-model simulated changes in extreme precipitation over the latter half of the twentieth century analysed with an optimal fingerprinting technique. Changes in extreme precipitation projected by models, and thus the impacts of future changes in extreme precipitation, may be underestimated because models seem to underestimate the observed increase in heavy precipitation with warming1.
Member Since: October 24, 2005 Posts: 12 Comments: 1731
Quoting atmoaggie:
Remember the expected record-sized (fish choking, unprecedented, [insert-hyprebole-ridiculae-here]) dead zone? Was expected to be large due to the flooding in the Mississippi watershed.

Didn't happen. Is larger than average, but not close to record.

Oxygen levels:


In this article: http://www.nola.com/environment/index.ssf/2011/08 /dead_zone_larger_than_average.html

And they say:
"The major disruptor of the size was Tropical Storm Don that followed the Research Vessel Pelican across the Gulf of Mexico towards Texas and whipped up the winds and waves," Rabalais said in a news release issued overnight.

?
Umm, no, there were no special wind or wave conditions along the LA coast from Don (much less any clouds, for that matter). Tiny little system that just about didn't happen.

So any ideas as to why it really didn't meet the expectations?

Why? Maybe you should just read your own links.

"Weather conditions caused by Tropical Storm Don may actually have resulted in an underestimate of the size of the low-oxygen area, the news release said, as measuring oxygen in the water level closest to bottom "on a ship rolling in 5 to 6 ft swells presented additiional sampling issues that interfered with precise measurements at some stations."

Other possible reasons for the lower-than-expected size of the hypoxia area were that more southerly and southwesterly winds in the weeks before the cruise may have pushed the low-oxygen water towards the east, and the Mississippi River floodwater flow slowed dramatically during July, the news release said."


At the size of Connecticut, it's still a significant fish-choking event. This type of event impacts the lives of many fishermen and shrimpers. Hardly something to make light about.

Coastal Ocean Dead Zones Increasing at Exponential Rate Worldwide
Member Since: October 24, 2005 Posts: 12 Comments: 1731
Remember the expected record-sized (fish choking, unprecedented, [insert-hyprebole-ridiculae-here]) dead zone? Was expected to be large due to the flooding in the Mississippi watershed.

Didn't happen. Is larger than average, but not close to record.

Oxygen levels:


In this article: http://www.nola.com/environment/index.ssf/2011/08 /dead_zone_larger_than_average.html

And they say:
"The major disruptor of the size was Tropical Storm Don that followed the Research Vessel Pelican across the Gulf of Mexico towards Texas and whipped up the winds and waves," Rabalais said in a news release issued overnight.

?
Umm, no, there were no special wind or wave conditions along the LA coast from Don (much less any clouds, for that matter). Tiny little system that just about didn't happen.

So any ideas as to why it really didn't meet the expectations?
Member Since: Posts: Comments:
1160. nymore
Tasmania did have a rainfall record in January. Tasmania is an island and not part of mainland Australia. Since both the daily and monthly records happened in 1 day January 13th 2011 and the next record daily and monthly record is on January 30th 1916 also a 1 day event. No seasonal records were set. I will not put much stake in the climate change part. These rainfall events are extremely rare. BTW All time record low temperature recorded in The United States in 2011
Member Since: July 6, 2011 Posts: 0 Comments: 2260
1159. nymore
Neapolitan please link your sources as I stated Chicago calendar day record not a 24 hour record SOURCE- NATIONAL WEATHER SERVICE. Australia has not set even 1 record for the month of July SOURCE- AUSTRALIAN BUREAU OF METEOROLOGY. Now I would like to see your sources since I did not know the NCDC is the record keeper for Australia. PS- You are accurate and precise hahahahaha that is the line of the day and I must say it will be tough to beat.
Member Since: July 6, 2011 Posts: 0 Comments: 2260
The fact is, extreme weather has been happening around the globe with increasing frequency and severity, just as AGWT predicted it would. And, Roy Spencer wishful thinking notwithstanding, it's only going to get worse. Much worse.


I predict, sometime between now and the end of time in the universe, that it will snow in Miami again.

I predict, sometime between now and the end of time in the universe, the Great Lakes will freeze completely.

I predict, sometime between now and the end of time in the universe, the oceans on Earth will boil.

Member Since: Posts: Comments:
Quoting PurpleDrank:
This all begs the question: just what is it that people aren't seeing? And more to the point: is it simply ideology that's preventing them from seeing it?

Never before seen huge wind storms on Saturn's south pole.

Never before seen asteroids in Earth's blindspots.



Is it simply idealogy that prevents us from excepting the randomness of nature?



I suppose one could look at everything that's been happening and say, "I'm sure it's all just random." But that's a very unscientific approach. When the random and the extreme become commonplace and unavoidable, they're no longer random and extreme: they're the new normal.
Member Since: November 8, 2009 Posts: 4 Comments: 13800
Quoting nymore:
Neapolitan- I am calling BS on your statements and records. Chicago set a calendar day record not a 24 hour record. Your right it has been nothing but wet for a week, the first 3 weeks in Chicago rainfall was .45 inches 3rd driest. The monthly record for Chicago is 17.10 inches as of July 29 Chicago has received 11.15 inches source NWS. Australia daily rainfall record 35.7 inches, monthly record 212 inches, yearly record 490.59 inches. source Australian Bureau of Meteorology. I will check the others when I have some time. This is why you should include sources.

You try so hard, and I give you props for that, but in your haste to disprove me, you've again failed. sigh...

Chicago had the wettest day in its 130-year record. Period. My sources are the NCDC. I know it's a government organization and as such is suspect to most CWMs, but it's a real record regardless.

Parts of Australia have seen by far their rainiest single-day, single-month, and single-season rainfalls ever. Period. My sources are again government organizations and as such are alsosuspect to most CWMs, but they are real records regardless.

The fact is, extreme weather has been happening around the globe with increasing frequency and severity, just as AGWT predicted it would. And, Roy Spencer wishful thinking notwithstanding, it's only going to get worse. Much worse.

I do appreciate your spending so much time double-checking me; I'm sure you'll find as folks always do that I am as accurate and precise as possible.
Member Since: November 8, 2009 Posts: 4 Comments: 13800
This all begs the question: just what is it that people aren't seeing? And more to the point: is it simply ideology that's preventing them from seeing it?

Never before seen huge wind storms on Saturn's south pole.

Never before seen asteroids in Earth's blindspots.



Is it simply idealogy that prevents us from excepting the randomness of nature?


Member Since: Posts: Comments:
1153. nymore
Neapolitan- I am calling BS on your statements and records. Chicago set a calendar day record not a 24 hour record. Your right it has been nothing but wet for a week, the first 3 weeks in Chicago rainfall was .45 inches 3rd driest. The monthly record for Chicago is 17.10 inches as of July 29 Chicago has received 11.15 inches source NWS. Australia daily rainfall record 35.7 inches, monthly record 212 inches, yearly record 490.59 inches. source Australian Bureau of Meteorology. I will check the others when I have some time. This is why you should include sources.
Member Since: July 6, 2011 Posts: 0 Comments: 2260
--19 nations hit all-time record highs in 2010, three more have so far done so this year, and there are likely more to come.

--No nations have hit all-time record lows since at least 2009.

--United States record high and high minimum temperatures have outnumbered record lows and low minimums this year by better than 2-to-1 (33,650 to 16,672). New high maximum records have outnumbered new low minimum records by 10,556 to 4,299, or 2.45-to-1.

--Many areas of the nation just ended their hottest July ever. From the Midwest to the Atlantic Seaboard, it has been nothing but heat. Record highs of all types outnumbered record lows by 8,744 to 1,195, a ratio of 7.3-to-1.

--It's also been nothing but wet, either; several locations--including Chicago--saw all-time record high one-day rainfalls.

--Record high heat indices were set all across the nation, with numerous locations setting all-time record highs in that regard.

--It's not just the US, of course; Korea just last week saw the heaviest rainfalls in its history. So did the Philippines. So did Japan. So did Brazil. So did Australia.

And this, of course, comes on the heels of remarkable tornado records, flood records, snowfall records, drought records, and on and on and on and on. And all this in what was supposed to be a "cool" year. (And if you think this is something, wait until next year.)

This all begs the question: just what is it that people aren't seeing? And more to the point: is it simply ideology that's preventing them from seeing it?
Member Since: November 8, 2009 Posts: 4 Comments: 13800
Quoting cyclonebuster:
I see we are still flirting with disaster.



You're right. It was just a flirtation.

Member Since: Posts: Comments:
Cold Record in the Antarctic
Minus 50.2 degrees Celsius
1:20 PM, Jul 22, 2010

Courtesy of the U.S. government’s National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA), the news media has been full of reports in the last few days about last month being the “hottest June” yet recorded and 2010 being on track likewise to be the hottest year. Such reports concern the “global temperature”: a theoretical value, which has, of course, to be derived from local temperature readings and which consequently depends on the methods employed by researchers in calculating it.
Cold Record in the Antarctic

The Neumayer station on the Antarctic coast.

When, however, actual temperature readings reveal record cold, this apparently is not news. So it was in May, when much of Europe was experiencing unseasonably cold weather. Germany, for instance, was hit with major snowstorms in May. In the middle of the month, the German Weather Service quietly acknowledged that the country was experiencing record cold: some 3-5 degrees Celsius below the long-term averages.

And so it was also last week, when the Georg von Neumayer polar research station on the Antarctic coast recorded the lowest temperature reading since the station was first established in 1981: minus 50.2 degrees Celsius. “This is the first time that we have dipped below the -50 degree mark,” meteorologist Gert König-Langlo said last Thursday, as reported by the German news magazine Focus and the wire service DPA. König-Langlo explained that “the cause is the persistent lack of cloud cover and paucity of wind,” conditions which he described as being “very rare in the region.”

Link
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Quoting nymore:
Neapolitan- Let me sum up every argument you have against the other side. Here we go Rupert Murdoch, Fox News, Big Energy, small market weatherman, bodybuilding meteorologist, Koch brothers, WUWT, Exxon Mobil, stock holders, Joe Bastardi, Anthony Watts, capitalism, Intelligent Design, profits, Republicans, Glen Beck, if I missed any let me know. If this is all the intellectual muscle you can muster up I feel sorry for you


Also Note: Every record cold that occured 2011 in the Southern Hemisphere they refuse to acknowledge. Why?
When Australia was hot a few years back and had brush fires you never heard the of it. Selective Data!

And you forgot anyone who does not agree with
Al Gore, Keith Olbermann, Rachel Maddow, Etc.
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Maybe the last week of August, CycloneBuster.
Member Since: Posts: Comments:
1147. Ossqss
Well, some good misdirection, and slap down attempts today ! Edit - along with some MIA eh?

Gotta love it on a blog :)

Couple questions for this blog.

= How many actual observed deceased bears are at the root of the study that made so much policy noise? Keep in mind they are harvested every year by several countries.

Next>

= How do those climate models handle cloud formation at the most basic level?

So much is missing from the equation........

I, for one, am not willing to accept unsubstantiated opinion as fact.

That is indeed where we are !

BTW, how many studies on Natural Climate variation have ever been funded by the Gov?

L8R>




Member Since: June 12, 2005 Posts: 6 Comments: 8188
Quoting JBastardi:
Want to know why the Arctic Wildlife "Expert" who started the fraud about the drowned polar bears is under investigation? Just read the transcript of his testimony before the IG. This is typical of all global warming "science." Under scrutiny, it all falls apart. I've never read such a conglomeration of nonsense in all my life.

Link


"This is typical of all global warming "science." Under scrutiny, it all falls apart."

Please, provide evidence that this one instance is evidence that this is typical? That's a huge illogical leap and requires lot's of backup on your part. You've cherry-picked one paper and tried to make a comment that covers the works of 1000's of other researchers.
You've made yourself look foolish in the process.

Let's make it easy for you. Here's the logical fallacy you've committed:

A belongs in the group A-Z
A is bad
Therefore A-Z must be bad.

I believe it's called the fallacy of generalization.

The possibility that one small area of research in climate science might contain overstepping in the conclusions of one paper is hardly a condemnation of the 1000's of papers published on climate science. This paper even happens to be a small subset of the papers published on polar bears and climate change. You can't even draw any conclusions on the quality of polar bear climate change research in general.

In addition, increases in polar bear mortality due to a higher incidence of drowning caused by sea-ice retreat is not the only line of evidence that climate change has an impact on bear population dynamics. There are plenty of other papers published on impacts on pup survival and female fecundity that support the connection. Even if this one researchers work is found wanting, it does not logically cast doubt on the link between polar bear declines in areas where sea-ice is retreating. You'd have to demonstrate a problem with the others studies to. Well you'd have to if you thought like a scientist. I have seen no evidence to suggest that you do.
Member Since: October 24, 2005 Posts: 12 Comments: 1731
Quoting PurpleDrank:
I tell you, when one paper makes the left scramble, you know its a heavy hitter. The alarms are sounding. The blogs are active. The checks paid to the big guns that comment are being cut.

climate science has become about saving face, not saving understanding.




The response is it about saving understanding in the face of the misunderstanding the buzz around his pub might cause.

Funny logic on your part. 1000's of papers published on the subject each year and you discount them because there is a perfectly reasonable response to Spencer's "paper".

Just a small sampling of this week's papers.

1) Climate Trends and Global Crop Production Since 1980
David B. Lobell, Wolfram Schlenker, and Justin Costa-Roberts. Science 29 July 2011: 616-620.

2) Carbon loss from an unprecedented Arctic tundra wildfire. Michelle C. Mack, et al. Nature 475, 489–492

3) Recent ecological responses to climate change support predictions of high extinction risk. Ilya M. D. Maclean and Robert J. Wilson. PNAS 2011 108 (30) 12337-12342

4) Aerosol–cloud–precipitation system as a predator-prey problem. Ilan Koren and Graham Feingold. PNAS 2011 108 (30) 12227-12232

Looks like there are lots of scientists increasing understanding. Pity you don't understand that. But it is clear from your posts that you are not about keeping up with the current lit.

Member Since: October 24, 2005 Posts: 12 Comments: 1731
Death Spiral continues.


Member Since: January 2, 2006 Posts: 127 Comments: 20470
1143. Patrap
A excellent post if I may say..thanks for it
Member Since: July 3, 2005 Posts: 428 Comments: 129844
We will have to wait a while for the peer-reviewed rebuttals to Spencer's paper, but for now we can take a look at what Kevin Trenberth's and John Fasullo's, two well respected climate scientists, have to say:

“Misdiagnosis of Surface Temperature Feedback”

Another critique which highlights and has links to critiques by other climate scientists:

http://thinkprogress.org/romm/2011/07/29/282584/c limate-scienists-debunk-latest-bunk-by-denier-roy- spencer/

Let's keep in mind that the climate models would not have done such a good job of modeling changes in surface temperatures if Spencer's over-reaching interpretation of his results were true. His paper just do not jive with the increases in surface temps, oceans heat content, etc. that we have seen so far.

As many scientists have pointed out, peer-review is a necessary and important, but not sufficient part of the scientific process. Papers suffering from methodological flaws or over-reaching conclusions do get published, and their short-comings becomes clear in the light of published responses to a poor paper. Poor papers are more likely to get published in low level journals that except papers outside of the scope of their expertise. That was the case with paper. The journal Remote Sensing does not typically deal with papers on climate change, but rather those dealing with geography. The reviewers attached to such a journal are unlikely to be qualified to give such a paper sufficient peer-review. Had this paper been submitted to a top level journal, it would have been subject to the type of peer-review it will now get post-publication.

Over the last two decades I have watched several papers come out that denialists have touted as the death of AGW. Each time these papers fall by the way-side as countless other empirical and modeling papers contradict their results. Nor do they stand-up to the thousands other paper's that came before them. Or the papers are simply revealed to be full of methodological and logical errors, that render their conclusions mute.

Climate science is not a house of cards subject to easy destruction by one paper, rather it is a mature field of science whose basic tenets are based on multiple lines of independent evidence. Each line of evidence backed by dozens or 1000's of papers. Spencer's latest weak attack will leave no mark on the edifice of climate science. Rather is further weaken his already tarnished scientific reputation.





Member Since: October 24, 2005 Posts: 12 Comments: 1731
I see we are still flirting with disaster.

Member Since: January 2, 2006 Posts: 127 Comments: 20470
Looks like the NW passage is open for business already.

Member Since: January 2, 2006 Posts: 127 Comments: 20470
Quoting JBastardi:


You left out what Trenberth actually said: "In addition, I find the whole discussion to be out of touch with reality. The external radiative forcing of the climate system is mostly well known and comes from the changes in atmospheric composition (greenhouse gases) and the sun spot cycle etc. The part not so well known is the pollution (aerosol), but that is small. Nearly all of the variations in water vapor and clouds, except for those affected by aerosol, are a response to the weather and climate variations; they are NOT a forcing. This is a major error that continues in Spencer%u2019s work."

Oh, yeah, thanks for pointing that out: "I find the whole discussion to be out of touch with reality." I couldn't agree more.
Member Since: November 8, 2009 Posts: 4 Comments: 13800
Quoting Ossqss:
I thought it would also be interesting to read the polar bear interview of Monnett. Again, draw your own conclusions from the 96 pages of "um", you will see. How many actual deceased bears were observed?

Interview of Charles Monnett 2
February 23, 2011




Monnett's bosses say his current suspension has nothing to do with the polar bear study. From a letter:

"We are limited in what we can say about a pending investigation, but I can assure you that the decision had nothing to do with his scientific work, or anything relating to a five-year old journal article, as advocacy groups and the news media have incorrectly speculated."

As always, though, I don't expect we'll see a retraction/correction from Fox, or WUWT, or any of the other thousand denialist outfits that jumped to conclusions about Monnett's suspension; "incorrect speculation" could actually be a mission statement for any one of them. Journalistic ethics and getting the story right are no longer part of their agendas, if they ever were. Sad. :-\
Member Since: November 8, 2009 Posts: 4 Comments: 13800
Quoting Neapolitan:
For any people still fooled by Roy Spencer's debunked anti-scientific paper that made the rounds of the denialosphere this week, the following may be of interest. It's a little long, but I think some may find it enlightening.

Andrew Dessler

To understand [Spencer's] paper, you have to understand the difference, between a “forcing” and a “feedback.” Forcings are imposed changes to, the climate, while feedbacks are processes that respond to changes in, the climate and amplify or ameliorate them. So the addition of carbon dioxide to the atmosphere by humans is a forcing—it is simply an imposition on the climate. Water vapor, on the other hand, is a feedback because the amount of water vapor is set by the surface temperature of the planet. As the planet warms, you get more water vapor in the atmosphere, and since water vapor is itself a greenhouse gas, this leads to additional warming.

The canonical way to think about clouds is that they are a feedback—as the climate warms, clouds will change in response and either amplify, (positive cloud feedback) or ameliorate (negative cloud feedback) the initial change.

What this new paper is arguing is that clouds are forcing the climate, rather than the more traditional way of thinking of them as a feedback. This is not, in fact, a new argument. Spencer’s 2010 JGR, paper as well as the new Lindzen and Choi 2011 paper both make this argument.

Overall, the argument made in all of these papers to support the conjecture that clouds are forcing the climate (rather than a feedback) is extremely weak. What they do is show some data, then they show a very simple model with some free parameters that they tweak until they fit the data. They then conclude that their model is right. However, if the underlying model is wrong, then the agreement between the model and data proves nothing.

I am working on a paper that will show that, if you look carefully at the magnitudes of the individual terms of their model, the model is obviously wrong. In fact, if Spencer were right, then clouds would be a major cause of El Niño cycles—which we know is not correct. Talk to any ENSO expert and tell them that clouds cause ENSO and they’ll laugh, at you.

Finally, the best way to put Roy’s paper into context it is to recognize how Roy views his job: “I would wager that my job has helped save our economy from the economic ravages of out-of-control environmental extremism. I view my job a little like a legislator, supported by the taxpayer, to protect the interests of the taxpayer and to minimize the role of government.” (he wrote that on his blog).

Thus, his paper is not really intended for other scientists, since they do not take him seriously anymore (he’s been wrong too many times). Rather, he’s writing his papers for Fox News, the editorial board of the Wall St. Journal, Congressional staffers, and the blogs. These are his audience and the people for whom this research is actually useful — in stopping policies to reduce GHG emissions — which is what Roy wants.
Kevin Trenberth / Jon Fusillo

The hype surrounding a new paper by Roy Spencer and Danny Braswell is impressive; unfortunately the paper itself is not. News releases and blogs on climate denier web sites have publicized the claim from the paper’s news release that “Climate models get energy balance wrong, make too hot forecasts of global warming”. The paper has been published in a journal called Remote sensing which is a fine journal for geographers, but it does not deal with atmospheric and climate science, and it is evident that this paper did not get an adequate peer review. It should not have been published.

The paper’s title “On the Misdiagnosis of Surface Temperature Feedbacks from Variations in Earth’s Radiant Energy Balance” is provocative and should have raised red flags with the editors. The basic material in the paper has very basic shortcomings because no statistical significance of results, error bars or uncertainties are given either in the figures or discussed in the text. Moreover the description of methods of what was done is not sufficient to be able to replicate results. As a first step, some quick checks have been made to see whether results can be replicated and we find some points of contention.

The basic observational result seems to be similar to what we can produce but use of slightly different datasets, such as the EBAF CERES dataset, changes the results to be somewhat less in magnitude. And some parts of the results do appear to be significant. So are they replicated in climate models? Spencer and Braswell say no, but this is where attempts to replicate their results require clarification. In contrast, some model results do appear to fall well within the range of uncertainties of the observations. How can that be? For one, the observations cover a 10 year period. The models cover a hundred year period for the 20th century. The latter were detrended by Spencer but for the 20th century that should not be necessary. One could and perhaps should treat the 100 years as 10 sets of 10 years and see whether the observations match any of the ten year periods, but instead what appears to have been done is to use only the one hundred year set by itself.

- - - - -

...the Spencer interpretation has no merit. The interannual global temperature variations were not radiatively forced, as claimed for the 2000s, and therefore cannot be used to say anything about climate sensitivity. Clouds are not a forcing of the climate system (except for the small portion related to human related aerosol effects, which have a small effect on clouds). Clouds mainly occur because of weather systems (e.g., warm air rises and produces convection, and so on); they do not cause the weather systems. Clouds may provide feedbacks on the weather systems. Spencer has made this error of confounding forcing and feedback before and it leads to a misinterpretation of his results.

The bottom line is that there is NO merit whatsoever in this paper...

Intellectually honest people will see Spencer's paper for what it is: anti-scientific swill published on a non-climate periodical. But it's read meat for the frustrated ranks of denialists, so I can only guess it will have an long shelf life.


You left out what Trenberth actually said: "In addition, I find the whole discussion to be out of touch with reality. The external radiative forcing of the climate system is mostly well known and comes from the changes in atmospheric composition (greenhouse gases) and the sun spot cycle etc. The part not so well known is the pollution (aerosol), but that is small. Nearly all of the variations in water vapor and clouds, except for those affected by aerosol, are a response to the weather and climate variations; they are NOT a forcing. This is a major error that continues in Spencer’s work."
Member Since: July 5, 2011 Posts: 0 Comments: 403
1136. Ossqss
I thought I would share some of the casual reading completed this AM.

First the paper on Biodiversity. Is this about biodiversity or Agenda 21?

Ongoing global biodiversity loss and the need
to move beyond protected areas: a review of the
technical and practical shortcomings of protected
areas on land and sea
Camilo Mora1, 3,*, Peter F. Sale2


I thought it would also be interesting to read the polar bear interview of Monnett. Again, draw your own conclusions from the 96 pages of "um", you will see. How many actual deceased bears were observed?

Interview of Charles Monnett 2
February 23, 2011



Member Since: June 12, 2005 Posts: 6 Comments: 8188
Quoting theshepherd:



Right answer ;>)

Say, you have anything to add to the climate discussion, or did you just stop by on this fine morning to show some frustrated solidarity with your fellow CWMs? ;-)
Member Since: November 8, 2009 Posts: 4 Comments: 13800
1114. Ossqss

Clubbing baby seals again, Os ???

I'm sure Ricky or Jeff will soon be forced to address this topic.

Save your ammo for the big dogs and let their groupies rant.

;>)
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Quoting atmoaggie:
Hahahahahaha!



Right answer ;>)
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I posted my idea on Mythbusters forum.

Seems ole Hugh Willoughby made it there somehow.



quote:
Originally posted by Chizzleface:
I had a reply from Dr Willoughby about the discussions Patrick had with him over this device...

quote:
Yes, I have spoken with Patrick, and, yes, a scheme somewhat like the one he describes could weaken hurricanes threatening places like Miami that have strong western-margin currents just offshore. There are, however, numerous qualifications.

The scheme that we discussed involved an array of several rows devices across the Gulfstream. Each device would be a rectangular duct 140 m long and 10 by 14 m in cross section. Normally the devices would be moored horizontally at a depth of 100m with their long axes aligned with the current flow. They would be nearly neutrally buoyant. When a hurricane approached, ballast at the downstream end of the channel would be released, allowing the device to float up to a 45 deg angle. Cold water entering the upstream end would flow up to the surface and mix with the warmer water there. Since the mixture would be negatively buoyant, it would sink. But mixing due to several (3-10) lines of these devices could cool the surface waters of the Gulfstream by 1-2C, enough to weaken an Andrew-like hurricane from category 5 to category 3. A rough calculation indicates that a device every 100 m on each line of moorings (~1000 devices per ~100 km line) and 3-10 lines of moorings would be required. My guess is that it would cost $250K to fabricate and deploy a single device, but there might be economies of scale. One might also be able to optimize the size and spacing of the devices.

Let's say that careful calculation told us that 4 lines of 1000 devices each would do the trick. At $0.25M per device, the cost works out to 4*1000*($0.25M) = $1000M. The actual cost might range from a few hundred million to a small multiple of a (US = 1000M) billion. One would want to do a detailed simulation before defining the scope of the project, but the basic notion is conversion of some of the kinetic energy of the Gulfstream into gravitational potential energy of the mixed water column. Again, I've not done that detailed simulation, only back-of-the-envelope calculations.

Activation of the array would require accurate forecasting since it would take several days for the effect to make its way from south of the Dry Tortugas (optimum location for protecting the maximum amount of shoreline) to the landfall point.

South Florida gets hit by a category 4 or 5 hurricane at every few years, but the really damaging ones like Andrew tend to be once-a-generation events, or less frequent. The array would need to be deployed and maintained for a long time between activations that actually safeguard property, although false alarms would not be particularly costly. Annual maintenance could easily exceed 10% of initial deployment cost. Bear in mind that Key West to Jacksonville is the only stretch of US coastline where this strategy would work. The other vulnerable sites, Houston-Galveston and New Orleans, lack the necessary strong offshore currents. While Georgia and the Carolinas also experience many hurricane landfalls and have the Gulfstream offshore, most of these cyclones are already weakening because of vertical shear of the horizontal wind so that a second installation north of Jacksonville would be much less useful.

There has been a lot of talk about using wave and current energy to cool the ocean ahead of hurricanes. My general conclusion is that while these ideas might be made to work, the proponents underestimate the scope of the required effort, as well as the political will and recurring cost necessary to keep the project going in the long intervals between really damaging hurricanes. Skeptic that I am, I think that wiser land-use policy and more rigorous building standards are much more cost-effective and more politically feasible. A proof-of-concept that might entail deploying a half dozen devices has some appeal, but I think that there are more promising ways to spend disaster-prevention money.

Best regards,

Hugh Willoughby



Link
Member Since: January 2, 2006 Posts: 127 Comments: 20470
Quoting cyclonebuster:
And of course FOX NEWS fell for it hook line and sinker.


I refer to them as: Faux News....
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And of course FOX NEWS fell for it hook line and sinker.
Member Since: January 2, 2006 Posts: 127 Comments: 20470
1129. nymore
The very next post you made included Exxon Mobil this is to easy pwned again
Member Since: July 6, 2011 Posts: 0 Comments: 2260
It doesn't really say how much more heat is being lost to space does it? I would think if we heat the planet more then of course more heat will be lost to space. But then again heat makes more clouds and more GHG's are emitted from exhaust systems to trap more heat. Correct? That's more available heat to flow from warm to cold. No wonder why more Arctic ice is melting since 1979.
Listen how stupid they are, like space and the atmosphere are the only place the heat is going.

"Real-world measurements show far less heat is being trapped in the Earth's atmosphere than the alarmist computer models predict, and far more heat is escaping into space than the alarmist computer models predict," Taylor wrote."

Did it ever occur to these Jack Wagons that the heat in the atmosphere is also flowing to the colder Northern Arctic region to melt more ice both from the now warmer oceans and the now warmer atmosphere we have created? Of course they wouldn't say that would they?





Does NASA Data Show Global Warming Lost in Space?

Published July 29, 2011

Has a central tenant of global warming just collapsed?

Climate change forecasts have for years predicted that carbon dioxide would trap heat on Earth, and increases in the gas would lead to a planetwide rise in temperatures, with devastating consequences for the environment.

But long-term data from NASA satellites seems to contradict the predictions dramatically, according to a new study.

There is a huge discrepancy between the data and the forecasts that is especially big over the oceans,said Dr. Roy Spencer, a research scientist at the University of Alabama in Huntsville and U.S. science team leader for the Advanced Microwave Scanning Radiometer -- basically a big thermometer flying on NASA Aqua satellite.

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The satellite observations suggest there is much more energy lost to space during and after warming than the climate models show, he said. The planet isn't heating up, in other words.

James Taylor, a senior fellow for environment policy at conservative think-tank The Heartland Institute, wrote at Forbes that the meaning of the new research is clear -- and it compromises what he called a "central premise of alarmist global warming theory."

"Real-world measurements show far less heat is being trapped in the Earth's atmosphere than the alarmist computer models predict, and far more heat is escaping into space than the alarmist computer models predict," Taylor wrote.

But with any story on the science of climate change, scientific truths are never so simple.

Andrew Dessler, a professor of atmospheric sciences at Texas A&M University, called Spencer a "controversial figure" within the climate research community. He argued that Spencer's paper is neither new nor correct.

"He's taken an incorrect model, he's tweaked it to match observations, but the conclusions you get from that are not correct," Dessler told LiveScience.com.

Many scientists believe that as the planet warms, more water vapor moves into the atmosphere. This water vapor exists as clouds, which trap more heat, creating a vicious loop.

Spencer sees it differently. He thinks that the whole cycle starts with the clouds. In other words, random increases in cloud cover cause climate warming. The cloud changes are caused by "chaos in the climate system," Spencer told LiveScience.

The truth of climate change remains murky, as always -- something even Spencer notes in his new paper.

"Atmospheric feedback diagnosis of the climate system remains an unsolved problem," he noted.



Link



Member Since: January 2, 2006 Posts: 127 Comments: 20470
Quoting Neapolitan:

Oh, really? Why's that? Some members likes to apply the term "alarmist" in a would-be disparaging way, as if letting people know of an impending--and preventable--catastrophe is a bad thing. I tend to disagree with that assessment.


I just meant I didn't think the comparison was quite appropriate. I'm sorry if it came across as offensive. It was not meant that way.

As I said previously, I haven't taken sides in these debates. I'm trying to stay open-minded. I look at things as dispassionately as I can.

I may not believe as my neighbors do, but that would never prevent me from calling attention to something like a fire in their homes, FWIW.

I hope to continue learning here. Thanks for your time.
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Like the red dot maps this map is almost the same. The red is much more massive than the blue.

The red areas show an earlier than normal start to the melt season, while the blue areas show a later than normal start to the melt season earlier this year. Image courtesy of NSIDC, data from Jeffrey Miller and Thorsten Markus, NASA GSFC.







As you can clearly see, there is a lot more red on that map compared to the blue. There where some areas that experienced sea ice melt anywhere from two weeks to two months ahead of schedule earlier this year.




OUCH!
Member Since: January 2, 2006 Posts: 127 Comments: 20470
Possible Explanation for 1998-2008 Leveling off of Global Temperatures
Jul 25, 2011; 5:16 PM ET

A Boston University professor may have found an explanation for the leveling off of the long term global warming trend that occurred between 1998 and 2008.

Robert Kaufmann, a College of Arts & Sciences professor and chair of the department of geography & environment at Boston University, along with researchers from the University of Turku in Finland and from Harvard have determined that sulfur particles mostly emitted from coal burning power plants in Asia had reflected enough solar energy back to space to almost cancel out global warming for the period from 1998 to 2008.

The team analyzed data that might influence the earth's surface temperature collected between 1998 and 2008, including such things as greenhouse gas emissions, incoming radiation from the sun, sulfur pollution, and El Nino and La Nina warming and cooling patterns. The researchers plugged their data into a computer model, and found that it replicated the actual conditions: even while carbon dioxide increased, the surface temperature remained steady, according to BU Today.

Today, China is now using scrubbers to reduce sulfur emissions which is good for the environment but will likely allow the globe to resume a fairly steady warming, according to the story.


Link
Member Since: January 2, 2006 Posts: 127 Comments: 20470
Greenland
Cities
Place Alerts Temp. Humidity Pressure Conditions Wind Updated
Aasiaat 55 °F 51% 29.98 in Partly Cloudy West at 9 mph 5:50 PM WGST Save
Angisoq 44 °F 69% 30.11 in SE at 2 mph 4:00 PM WGST Save
Aputiteeq 41 °F 71% 30.07 in West at 5 mph 4:00 PM WGST Save
Cape Harald Moltke Save
Cape Tobin 45 °F 71% 30.01 in Clear SSE at 9 mph 1:50 PM EGST Save
Carey Island 44 °F 75% 29.76 in SE at 2 mph 3:00 PM ADT Save
Daneborg 44 °F 72% 30.01 in ESE at 14 mph 4:00 PM WGST Save
Danmarkshavn 36 °F 85% 29.99 in Mostly Cloudy South at 5 mph 4:00 PM WGST Save
Hall Land Save
Henrik Kroeyer Holme 36 °F 91% 29.97 in South at 6 mph 4:00 PM WGST Save
Ikermiit 40 °F 89% 30.09 in South at 7 mph 4:00 PM WGST Save
Ikermiuarsuk 40 °F 92% 30.10 in SSE at 8 mph 4:00 PM WGST Save
Illoqqortoormiut 55 °F 42% 30.05 in South at 4 mph 6:00 PM EGST Save
Ilulissat 55 °F 51% 29.98 in Partly Cloudy West at 9 mph 5:50 PM WGST Save
Kangerlussuaq 68 °F 19% 29.96 in Clear East at 15 mph 4:00 PM WGST Save
Kangilinnguit Save
Kap Morris Jesup 35 °F 88% 29.92 in North at 5 mph 4:00 PM WGST Save
Kitsissorsuit 47 °F 85% 29.87 in SE at 30 mph 4:00 PM WGST Save
Kitsissut 61 °F 48% 29.98 in N/A Variable at 6 mph 5:50 PM WGST Save
Kulusuk 50 °F 71% 30.12 in Scattered Clouds West at 8 mph 5:50 PM WGST Save
Maniitsoq 57 °F 63% 30.01 in N/A SE at 13 mph 5:50 PM WGST Save
Mittarfik Nuuk 57 °F 67% 30.01 in Partly Cloudy South at 13 mph 5:50 PM WGST Save
Narsarsuaq 64 °F 49% 30.06 in Partly Cloudy West at 9 mph 5:50 PM WGST Save
Navy Operated Save
Nerlerit Inaat 45 °F 71% 30.01 in Clear SSE at 9 mph 1:50 PM EGST Save
Nunarsuit 43 °F 93% 30.09 in SE at 10 mph 4:00 PM WGST Save
Nuuk 57 °F 67% 30.01 in Partly Cloudy South at 13 mph 5:50 PM WGST Save
Nuussuaataa 63 °F 37% 29.95 in Partly Cloudy SE at 24 mph 4:50 PM WGST Save
Paamiut Save
Pituffik 49 °F 63% 29.69 in Light Rain NNE at 25 mph 4:55 PM ADT Save
Prins Christian Sund 55 °F 43% 30.09 in ENE at 1 mph 4:00 PM WGST Save
Qaanaaq Save
Qaarsut 63 °F 37% 29.95 in Partly Cloudy SE at 24 mph 4:50 PM WGST Save
Qaqortoq 64 °F 49% 30.06 in Partly Cloudy West at 9 mph 5:50 PM WGST Save
Sioralik 57 °F 63% 30.01 in N/A SE at 13 mph 5:50 PM WGST Save
Sisimiut 61 °F 48% 29.98 in N/A Variable at 6 mph 5:50 PM WGST Save
Sisimiut Mittarfia 57 °F 37% 29.99 in Partly Cloudy SSE at 2 mph 4:00 PM WGST Save
Station Nord Save
Station Nord 42 °F 77% 29.93 in East at 12 mph 4:00 PM WGST Save
Summit 22 °F 91% in WNW at 15 mph 4:00 PM WGST Save
Tasiilaq 50 °F 71% 30.12 in Scattered Clouds West at 8 mph 5:50 PM WGST Save
Ukiivik Save
Upernavik 57 °F 48% 29.95 in N/A SSE at 20 mph 5:50 PM WGST Save
Member Since: January 2, 2006 Posts: 127 Comments: 20470
Quoting PurpleDrank:
thanks for the link Ossqss

Fallout from Our Paper: The Empire Strikes Back
July 29th, 2011 by Roy W. Spencer, Ph. D.


UPDATE: Due to the many questions I have received over the last 24 hours about the way in which our paper was characterized in the original Forbes article, please see the new discussion that follows the main post, below.

[snip]

Uh-oh, it looks like Spencer got his little feelers hurt. Ah, well. It isn't the first time, and it sure won't be the last.

My favorite part: "...while the title of the Forbes article (New NASA Data Blow Gaping Hole In Global Warming Alarmism) is a little over the top...the body of his article is — upon my re-reading of it — actually pretty good."

"A little over the top"? That headline was like saying, "Man Who Loses Tooth, Puts It Under His Pillow, And Finds Dollar Bill In The Morning Blows Gaping Hole In Anti-Tooth Fairy-ism!!!" But I can see why Spencer is accepting both that headline and the accompanying article: he and Taylor are bedfellows on the ExxonMobil-funded Heartland Institute--and if fellow denialists don't watch each others' backs, who will? ;-)
Member Since: November 8, 2009 Posts: 4 Comments: 13800
1122. Patrap
BIODIVERSITY DEBACLE

Study Shows Diversity Of Species Plummeting Worldwide, Despite Protective Efforts

Despite rapid and substantial growth in the amount of land and sea designated as protected habitat over the last four decades, the diversity of species the world over is plummeting, a new study has found.

Over 100,000 so-called "protected areas" representing some 7 million square miles of land and nearly 1 million square miles of ocean have been established since the 1960's, noted the analysis, published Thursday in the journal Marine Ecology Progress Series.

And yet, according to a widely cited index used to track planetary biodiversity, the wealth of terrestrial and marine species has seen steady decline over roughly the same period, suggesting that simply protecting swaths of land and sea -- a common conservation strategy worldwide -- is inadequate for preventing the steady disappearance of earth's creatures.

"The problem is bigger than one we can realistically solve with protected areas -- even if they work under the best conditions," said Camilo Mora, an assistant professor in the Department of Geography at the University of Hawaii at Manoa and lead author of the study. "The protected area approach is expensive and requires a lot of political and human capital," Dr. Mora continued in an email message to The Huffington Post. "Our suggestion is that we should redirect some of those resources to deal with ultimate solutions."

The steady loss of biodiversity -- defined roughly as the rich variety of living things -- can, in turn, have profound implications for human civilization, which relies on healthy, variegated ecosystems to provide a host of ecological services from water filtration and oxygen generation to food, medicine, clothing and fuel.

The precise value of such services is difficult to quantify, but one economic analysis estimated they were worth as much as $33 trillion globally.
Story continues below

While the study concedes that individual protected areas that are well-designed and well-managed can be successful in preventing the imminent extinction of species and ecosystems, a variety of other forces conspire to further reduce biodiversity overall.

"Protected areas, as usually implemented, can only protect from over-exploitation, and from habitat destruction due to exploitation and other direct human actions within their borders. They are a tool for regulating human access and extraction," said Peter F. Sale, assistant director of the United Nations University Institute for Water, Environment and Health, and the study's co-author. "Biodiversity loss is also caused by pollution, by arrival of invasive species, by decisions to convert habitat to other uses -- farms, villages, cities -- and by various components of climate change," he told HuffPost. "None of these are mitigated by the creation of protected areas except, possibly, the removal of habitat to other uses."

In other words, the researchers, who based their analysis on a broad range of global data and a review of existing literature, suggest that the implementation of habitat protection is unable to keep pace with other stressors contributing to species loss overall.

This is partly due to lack of enforcement. Only about 5.8 percent of terrestrial protected areas and 0.08 percent of marine sanctuaries see reliable and consistent enforcement.

Further, the authors note most research suggests that between 10 percent and 30 percent of the world's ecosystems need to be protected to preserve optimal biodiversity. But despite what appears to be a rapid increase in protected lands, the pace is too slow to achieve those targets anytime soon. On land, the 10 percent target, under the best of circumstances, would not be reached until 2043, the study estimated. The 30 percent target would not be achieved until 2197. The same target percentages for marine sanctuaries would be reached by 2067 and 2092, respectively.

And these projections are almost certainly too optimistic, the authors note, because the rate of establishment of new protected areas would be expected to slow considerably as conservation efforts runs up against the needs of a rapidly expanding human population.

From the study:

[D]emand on marine fisheries is projected to increase by 43 percent by 2030 to supply ongoing food demands, while projected CO2 emissions by 2050 are expected to severely impact [more than] 80 percent of the world's coral reefs and affect marine fish communities globally, causing local extinctions and facilitating invasions resulting in changes in species composition of up to 60 percent. On land, the growing human population and demand for housing, food and energy are expected to substantially increase the intensity of stressors associated with the conversion of land cover to agriculture and urbanization, e.g. the release of nutrients and other pollutants, climate warming and altered precipitation. In short, the extent of coverage by [protected areas] is still limited and is growing at a slower rate than that at which biodiversity threats are developing.

Global population is expected to pass 7 billion in October, according to new estimates from the population division of the Department of Economic and Social Affairs at the United Nations. That's an increase of 1 billion people in about a dozen years.

Other challenges include the size of protected areas -- which are often too small for larger species to survive -- and the lack of connectivity between protected areas, which is needed for healthy genetic dispersal.

The authors of Thursday's analysis suggest that reversing biodiversity losses will require a vast rethinking of conservation strategy -- one that redirects limited resources toward more holistic solutions. This would include efforts to reduce human population growth -- and its attending consumption patterns -- as well as the deployment of technologies that would increase the productivity of agriculture and aquaculture to meet human needs.

Also needed, the authors wrote: a continued "restructuring of world views to bring them in line with a world of finite resources."

Dr. Sale said, "In the final analysis, we have to recognize that we are pushing up against limits set by the way the biosphere functions. Biodiversity loss is one sign of this."

Member Since: July 3, 2005 Posts: 428 Comments: 129844
thanks for the link Ossqss

Fallout from Our Paper: The Empire Strikes Back
July 29th, 2011 by Roy W. Spencer, Ph. D.


UPDATE: Due to the many questions I have received over the last 24 hours about the way in which our paper was characterized in the original Forbes article, please see the new discussion that follows the main post, below.


LiveScience.com posted an article yesterday where the usual IPCC suspects (Gavin Schmidt, Kevin Trenberth, and Andy Dessler) dissed our recent paper in in the journal Remote Sensing.

Given their comments, I doubt any of them could actually state what the major conclusion of our paper was.

For example, Andy Dessler told LiveScience:

“He’s taken an incorrect model, he’s tweaked it to match observations, but the conclusions you get from that are not correct…”

Well, apparently Andy did not notice that those were OBSERVATIONS that disagreed with the IPCC climate models. And our model can quantitatively explain the disagreement.

Besides, is Andy implying the IPCC models he is so fond of DON’T have THEIR results tweaked to match the observations? Yeah, right.

Kevin Trenberth’s response to our paper, rather predictably, was:

“I cannot believe it got published”

Which when translated from IPCC-speak actually means, “Why didn’t I get the chance to deep-six Spencer’s paper, just like I’ve done with his other papers?”

Finally Gavin Schmidt claims that it’s the paleoclimate record that tells us how sensitive the climate system is, not the current satellite data. Oh, really? Then why have so many papers been published over the years trying to figure out how sensitive today’s climate system is? When scientists appeal to unfalsifiable theories of ancient events which we have virtually do data on, and ignore many years of detailed global satellite observations of today’s climate system, *I* think they are giving science a bad name.

COMMENTS ON THE FORBES ARTICLE BY JAMES TAYLOR
I have received literally dozens of phone calls and e-mails asking basically the same question: did James Taylor’s Forbes article really represent what we published in our Remote Sensing journal article this week?

Several of those people, including AP science reporter Seth Borenstein, actually read our article and said that there seemed to be a disconnect.

The short answer is that, while the title of the Forbes article (New NASA Data Blow Gaping Hole In Global Warming Alarmism) is a little over the top (as are most mainstream media articles about global warming science), the body of his article is — upon my re-reading of it — actually pretty good.

About the only disconnect I can see is we state in our paper that, while the discrepancy between the satellite observations were in the direction of the models producing too much global warming, it is really not possible to say by how much. Taylor’s article makes it sound much more certain that we have shown that the models produce too much warming in the long term. (Which I think is true…we just did not actually ‘prove’ it.)

But how is this any different than the reporting we see on the other side of the issue? Heck, how different is it than the misrepresentation of the certainty of the science in the IPCC’s own summaries for policymakers, versus what the scientists write in the body of those IPCC reports?

I am quite frankly getting tired of the climate ‘alarmists’ demanding that we ’skeptics’ be held a higher standard than they are held to. They claim our results don’t prove their models are wrong in their predictions of strong future warming, yet fail to mention they have no good, independent evidence their models are right.

For example….

…while our detractors correctly point out that the feedbacks we see in short term (year-to-year) climate variability might not indicate what the long-term feedbacks are in response to increasing CO2, the IPCC still uses short-term variability in their models to compare to satellite observations to then support the claimed realism of the long-term behavior of those models.

Well, they can’t have it both ways.

If they are going to validate their models with short term variability as some sort of indication that their models can be believed for long-term global warming, then they are going to HAVE to explain why there is such a huge discrepancy (see Fig. 3 in our paper) between the models and the satellite observations in what is the most fundamental issue: How fast do the models lose excess radiant energy in response to warming?
That is essentially the definition of “feedback”, and feedbacks determine climate sensitivity.

I’m sorry, but if this is the best they can do in the way of rebuttal to our study, they are going to have to become a little more creative.


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Quoting Neapolitan:

Fire with fire, perhaps? If a blog in a business magazine--Forbes--can shout "Eureka!" over an article published by a well-known and frequently-wrong denialist in a non-climate science periodical with low standards for peer-review, I can certainly link to a discussion with a climate scientist published in ThinkProgress. But note that the second article--the Trenberth/Fusillo piece--is from RealClimate.org, which is not a liberal blog, but a commentary site by working climate scientists. Focus only on the first half if you wish, but the second part shouldn't be ignored...


I checked out RealClimate.org

They list the Sun as the cause of warming as a myth.

As if the Sun is some sort of pet fusion dragon of Zeus.

My research of the "featured" climatologists on RealClimate.org is not complete.

That is why I did not criticize that article or its source...yet.

Give me some time..its the weekend ;)
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Quoting nymore:
Neapolitan- Let me sum up every argument you have against the other side. Here we go Rupert Murdoch, Fox News, Big Energy, small market weatherman, bodybuilding meteorologist, Koch brothers, WUWT, Exxon Mobil, stock holders, Joe Bastardi, Anthony Watts, capitalism, Intelligent Design, profits, Republicans, Glen Beck, if I missed any let me know. If this is all the intellectual muscle you can muster up I feel sorry for you

To be honest, I don't actually need to say anything "against the other side", for that "other side" of which you speak is ideologically driven and funded by those who stand to continue making hundreds of billions in profits by doing everything they can to make sure the truth is obfuscated. And if "Rupert Murdoch, Fox News, Big Energy, small market weatherman, bodybuilding meteorologist, Koch brothers, WUWT, Exxon Mobil, stock holders, Joe Bastardi, Anthony Watts, capitalism, Intelligent Design, profits, Republicans, Glen Beck" are all those on the "other side" have to back up their POV, then I feel sorry for us all... :-\
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About RickyRood

I'm a professor at U Michigan and lead a course on climate change problem solving. These articles often come from and contribute to the course.

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