Thursday, February 04, 2010

Warming advocates feel the heat.

The beware-of-warming crowd is starting to feel the heat. And it isn’t because of a warming planet either. It almost seems as if everything that could go wrong for them, is going wrong.

Now, I would never be one to claim that weather anomaly is proof that anthropogenic warming is wrong. I know that particular weather disproves climate change. We all know that such things can only prove that warming exists. In the realm of warming activism weather is a one way street. So Katrina was proof of warming. That 1998 was a particularly warm year was proof of warming. That California experiences droughts is all part of warming. Ditto for droughts in the UK, or floods, either will do. But still those nasty cold winters that seem worse than usual are never proof of anything but they do cause the public to wonder.

And this winter has been another very nasty one. Consider the poor people on Hiddensee, an island just off the German mainland. This resort island is completely ice bound. The German military has been flying in to rescue tourists on the island. Resident of the island rely on trade with the mainland for their food supplies and so shelves were getting bare. The military also flew in food. According to Spiegel the sea between Hiddensee and the island of Rügen “is now an ice sheet around 30 centimeters (12 inches) thick. An icebreaker failed to make it through to Hiddensee on Monday forcing the authorities to use helicopters to supply the island and pick up trapped vacationers.” Spiegel says that the ice “is not expected to melt until the end of February” which seems to imply that regular helicopter food deliveries will be required. Some tourists, trapped on the island when ferry service as shut down due to the ice, didn't heed the advice of authorities and walked across the Baltic Sea in order to get home.

Like the awful cold that gripped North American and the UK, this weather front is bringing record snows as well. Roofs have collapsed due to the weight of snow and “hundreds of drivers were forced to spend the night in their cars and truces on the A45 and A5 highways due to heavy snowfall.”

Floridians might also be wondering where the warming went. The L.A. Times reports “January’s bitter cold may have wiped out many of the shallow-water corals in the Florida Keys.” The paper reports that “given the depth and duration of the frigid weather” some damage was expected. But Meaghan Johnson of Nature Conservancy reported widespread, severe damage. “Star and brain corals, large species that can take hundreds of years to grow, were as white and lifeless as bones, frozen to death, she said. Dead sea turtles, eels and parrotfish also littered the bottom.”

The paper says that Florida Fish and Wildlife reported “that a record number of endangered manatees had succumbed to the cold this year—77, according to a preliminary review. The previous record, 56, was set last year.”

Meanwhile the scientists who have led the campaign to convince the world of the dangers of warming are under scrutiny as never before. Major media sources, for the first time in memory, are starting to investigate the InterGOVERNMENTAL Panel on Climate Change and the tiny band of warming advocates who make up the elite in that field. The New Zealand Herald, the largest newspaper in the country, recently editorialized about the need for “facts, not anecdotes” from the IPCC.

The editors at the Herald, previously staunch warmers themselves, noted that they way to discredit a report is to find one mistake. But when it comes to the IPCC: “more than one mistake had been found” and the errors (if unintentional) “are hardly peripheral.” The editors listed claims regarding the Himalayan glaciers as one example and said that the IPCC was “notified of this [error] in 2006 and yet the claim appeared in the 2007 report.” They also lament the IPCC using “a student dissertation and an article in a climbing magazine” as evidence for “disappearing ice in the Andes, the European Alps and Africa.”

The Herald editors then refer to the IPCC claims about “extreme weather” which “turns out to have been based on a paper that had not been peer-reviewed or published at the time.” The paper even “included a caveat that the evidence was insufficient” but the IPCC deleted all such caveats from their report. The Herald, while not yet ready to abandon the comforting fear of warming, says:
The IPCC's reputation is not helped now by the argument of authority its supporters have employed for so long. Criticism was dismissed as conceit in the face of a "scientific consensus" that by implication could not be wrong.

The editors note that “the consensus has been wrong, or at least careless on several points” and that the IPCC “urgently needs new leadership and a return to strict scientific rigour if it hopes to be taken seriously again.”

Even one the staunchest media allies of the warmers, the left-wing Guardian newspaper in the UK, has started investigating claims of the warmers and finds them wanting. They report the scientists at the Climate Research Unit at the University of East Anglia, the home of climategate “’hid’ data flaws.” The report says:
Phil Jones, the beleaguered British climate scientist at the centre of the leaked emails controversy, is facing fresh claims that he sought to hide problems in key temperature data on which some of his work was based.

A Guardian investigation of thousands of emails and documents apparently hacked from the University of East Anglia's climatic research unit has found evidence that a series of measurements from Chinese weather stations were seriously flawed and that documents relating to them could not be produced.

Jones and a collaborator have been accused by a climate change sceptic and researcher of scientific fraud for attempting to suppress data that could cast doubt on a key 1990 study on the effect of cities on warming – a hotly contested issue.

Today the Guardian reveals how Jones withheld the information requested under freedom of information laws. Subsequently a senior colleague told him he feared that Jones's collaborator, Wei- Chyung Wang of the University at Albany, had "screwed up."

The Guardian, of course, is not willing to question warming orthodoxy itself, but they do say their investigation does “call into question the probity of some climate change science.” To be precise it doesn’t call climate change science into question, but climate change theory.

In particular the Guardian investigate the date used to show warming in China and says there were “apparent attempts to cover up problems with data from Chinese weather stations…” The Guardian explains the problem:
The history of where the weather stations were sited was crucial to Jones and Wang's 1990 study, as it concluded the rising temperatures recorded in China were the result of global climate changes rather the warming effects of expanding cities.

The IPCC's 2007 report used the study to justify the claim that "any urban-related trend" in global temperatures was small. Jones was one of two "coordinating lead authors" for the relevant chapter.

The leaked emails from the CRU reveal that the former director of the unit, Tom Wigley, harboured grave doubts about the cover-up of the shortcomings in Jones and Wang's work. Wigley was in charge of CRU when the original paper was published. "Were you taking W-CW [Wang] on trust?" he asked Jones. He continued: "Why, why, why did you and W-CW not simply say this right at the start?"

Already London’s Sunday Times and the Sunday Telegraph have been exposing IPCC errors and distortions fairly regularly. But it isn’t a small feat to have shaken the confidence the editors at the New Zealand Herald had previously shown for the IPCC. And it is a huge step when the very left Guardian starts exposing some of the antics of leading warming advocates.

It’s bad enough that nature is not cooperating with warming theory. But, if more main steam media outlets starting turning a critical eye on the IPCC and its core group of scientist/activists, the whole political agenda at work here could unravel.

Photo: Trapped tourists from Hiddensee ignore official warnings and walk across frozen sections of the Baltic Sea in order to get home.

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