Category: S. Fred Singer

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Peak Oil: A Lesson in False Prophecy



Peak oil gave a boost to the anti-growth movement and to the general feeling that we would soon deplete most of the world's resources.



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The F-35 Stealth Fighter vs Russia's S-300 Anti-Aircraft System


As an avid reader of Aviation Week, I became interested in the F-35, the newest Department of Defense fighter plane. The DOD had sold nine initial units to our ally Israel. I thought it was a wise decision for three reasons:

1. It provided actual testing for the new aircraft under realistic battle conditions. Aviation Week noted that Israel used several of its F-35s to attack more than 50 Iranian military installations in Syria. All these were presumably protected by the Russian-built Anti-Aircraft system S-300. Their latest design with more powerful radars, is being sold worldwide.  Israel had a chance to study an earlier version, sold to Cyprus.

The F-35 attack was completed in less than 90 minutes, a notable achievement in military intelligence, as well as in operational planning and coordination.

Aviation Week didn’t tell us how many F-35s took part in the operation, and whether they returned safely; presumably they all did. Aviation Week did not reveal the tricks Israeli pilots used to evade the S-300 AA system.           

2. A [June 5, 2018] Report of the Government Accountability Office [GAO] is quite critical of the F-35 joint strike fighter-bomber. Many experts doubt the viability of the aircraft to meet the various requirements of all the DOD services. In particular, the Report criticizes the design of the helmet-mounted display that presents the necessary operational data to aid the pilot.

In other words, while the aircraft itself provides propulsion and carries the required air-to-ground and air-to-air missiles, the electronics, associated with the helmet, represents the “brain” of the F-35.

It so happens that Israeli engineers have much experience in this field, following the design of the IAF [Israel Air Force] Lavie fighter [that was never built.] Apparently, the DOD expects that some of the design experience for the display will be carried over to the F-35.

3.  Finally, allowing the F-35 to be sold now lowers the huge procurement cost for the DOD, about 400 billion dollars. The buy-decision is due in October 2019.

In the wake of the successful air strike, what will Russia do now?  Obviously, there will be some redesign and improvement of the Russian S-300 system to make it saleable to “non-captive” customers.

F-35 (photo credit USAF)

But beyond this, Russia is likely to not become involved further in the mess in Syria. This seems to be the outcome also of the recent Helsinki summit between Trump and Putin. The Pan-Arab paper Al-Hayat, published in London, even suggests that Russia may not object to Israel “clipping the wings” of the Iranian Eagle.

Writing in Ha’aretz, former Israeli Defense Minister Moshe Arens, himself chief designer of the Lavie fighter, believes that Russia will not want to tangle with Israel, in view of its demonstrated technological superiority.

After all, Israel could easily destroy the Russian-built plutonium reactor at Arak, Iran, after getting permission to overfly Saudi Arabia. (Plutonium is the second way to build a nuclear weapon; Iran apparently has decided to go the route of the enriched Uranium-235. The U.S. used both methods in WW II.)                    

The Russian naval base at Latakia, Syria, is within easy range. The Russians have deployed a more advanced S-400 system to protect Latakia and other installations, which they claim can take down stealth fighters such as the F-35 at a range of over 150 miles. The S-400 failed to respond to the April 14, 2018 missile strikes by U.S., British, and French forces, leading some observers to conclude that the system was overrated.

I might add that Latakia and the main Russian naval base on the Crimean peninsula outflank Turkey and thus would discourage it from bottling up the Russian Black-Sea fleet.

As an avid reader of Aviation Week, I became interested in the F-35, the newest Department of Defense fighter plane. The DOD had sold nine initial units to our ally Israel. I thought it was a wise decision for three reasons:

1. It provided actual testing for the new aircraft under realistic battle conditions. Aviation Week noted that Israel used several of its F-35s to attack more than 50 Iranian military installations in Syria. All these were presumably protected by the Russian-built Anti-Aircraft system S-300. Their latest design with more powerful radars, is being sold worldwide.  Israel had a chance to study an earlier version, sold to Cyprus.

The F-35 attack was completed in less than 90 minutes, a notable achievement in military intelligence, as well as in operational planning and coordination.

Aviation Week didn’t tell us how many F-35s took part in the operation, and whether they returned safely; presumably they all did. Aviation Week did not reveal the tricks Israeli pilots used to evade the S-300 AA system.           

2. A [June 5, 2018] Report of the Government Accountability Office [GAO] is quite critical of the F-35 joint strike fighter-bomber. Many experts doubt the viability of the aircraft to meet the various requirements of all the DOD services. In particular, the Report criticizes the design of the helmet-mounted display that presents the necessary operational data to aid the pilot.

In other words, while the aircraft itself provides propulsion and carries the required air-to-ground and air-to-air missiles, the electronics, associated with the helmet, represents the “brain” of the F-35.

It so happens that Israeli engineers have much experience in this field, following the design of the IAF [Israel Air Force] Lavie fighter [that was never built.] Apparently, the DOD expects that some of the design experience for the display will be carried over to the F-35.

3.  Finally, allowing the F-35 to be sold now lowers the huge procurement cost for the DOD, about 400 billion dollars. The buy-decision is due in October 2019.

In the wake of the successful air strike, what will Russia do now?  Obviously, there will be some redesign and improvement of the Russian S-300 system to make it saleable to “non-captive” customers.

F-35 (photo credit USAF)

But beyond this, Russia is likely to not become involved further in the mess in Syria. This seems to be the outcome also of the recent Helsinki summit between Trump and Putin. The Pan-Arab paper Al-Hayat, published in London, even suggests that Russia may not object to Israel “clipping the wings” of the Iranian Eagle.

Writing in Ha’aretz, former Israeli Defense Minister Moshe Arens, himself chief designer of the Lavie fighter, believes that Russia will not want to tangle with Israel, in view of its demonstrated technological superiority.

After all, Israel could easily destroy the Russian-built plutonium reactor at Arak, Iran, after getting permission to overfly Saudi Arabia. (Plutonium is the second way to build a nuclear weapon; Iran apparently has decided to go the route of the enriched Uranium-235. The U.S. used both methods in WW II.)                    

The Russian naval base at Latakia, Syria, is within easy range. The Russians have deployed a more advanced S-400 system to protect Latakia and other installations, which they claim can take down stealth fighters such as the F-35 at a range of over 150 miles. The S-400 failed to respond to the April 14, 2018 missile strikes by U.S., British, and French forces, leading some observers to conclude that the system was overrated.

I might add that Latakia and the main Russian naval base on the Crimean peninsula outflank Turkey and thus would discourage it from bottling up the Russian Black-Sea fleet.



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Does the Greenhouse Gas CO2 cool the climate?


Most would consider this an odd question and probably ignore it or just delete it. Not so fast, please, my friends! The answer to the question is important in understanding the puzzling ineffectiveness of the greenhouse gas (GHG) carbon dioxide (CO2) in warming the climate — as seen in the 20th century record and as deduced from the existence of the widening gap between the model results based on rising CO2 and observations of atmospheric temperatures by both satellites and radiosondes [Fig. 1]

Fig. 1 –Model results vs. observations[i]

Note the growing “gap.”

“Greenhouse gas” only means that CO2 absorbs some infrared (IR) radiation; it does not guarantee climate warming.

In fact, the outcome depends mostly on atmospheric structure, measured by balloon-borne radiosondes. It is expressed by the so-called atmospheric lapse rate (ALR), defined as change in atmospheric temperature with altitude.[ii] [Note that “lapse rate” has nothing to do with back-sliding alcoholics and smokers.]

Physicists who have examined our counter-intuitive hypothesis, all agree with the science — albeit somewhat reluctantly.  Such is the power of group-think that even experts, with some exception, find the idea that CO2 might cool the climate difficult to accept.

The ALR is generally negative in the troposphere[iii] as much as [minus] -6.5 degree C per km of altitude. [The troposphere is the lowest atmospheric layer, from zero up to about 50,000 foot altitude.]

ALR goes through zero in the tropopause region, the layer that separates the troposphere from the overlying stratosphere. The ALR turns positive in the stratosphere, just above [see schematic nearby.[iv]  [The warming of the stratosphere is produced by absorption of energy by stratospheric ozone.]




STRATOSPHERE

ALR is positive

Temperature increases with altitude

TROPOPAUSE

ALR is zero

Temperature is constant

TROPOSPHERE

ALR is negative

Temperature decreases with altitude

Fig. 2 Schematic of lower atmosphere

The key result 

Adding a tiny increment of CO2 raises slightly the “effective” altitude for emitting Outgoing Long-wave (OLR), the Radiation (IR), going out to space from a CO2 molecule. 

Because of the reversal in the atmospheric temperature structure, OLR is:

1. of lower energy than normal if the effective altitude remains in the troposphere; and

2.  a bit higher than normal if this effective altitude is in the stratosphere.

In case 2., the stratospheric CO2 emission “borrows” some energy from the surface emission — hence “cooling” the surface.

Assumptions

It is incumbent upon the proponent of a controversial hypothesis to find potential weak points — and list crucial assumptions. To be sure, critics will soon enough find many more.

  1. It seems safe to assume that CO2 molecules, excited and de-excited by collisions with more abundant nitrogen and oxygen molecules, emit at the temperature of the surrounding atmosphere.[v]

  2. We may also assume that CO2 is well mixed with altitude, as inter-hemispheric mixing is nearly perfect.

  3. But — can we assume that energy balance is nearly perfect, even on very short time-scales? — i.e. will OLR always exactly equal absorbed solar short-wave radiation? I think the answer is yes. The times involved are too short to permit energy to go into or come out of ice or ocean.

  4. Most important, are CO2 transitions strong enough to penetrate past the tropopause into the stratosphere? We can see evidence for this in the year-by-year increase of the amplitudes [near the center of the 15-micron CO2 absorption band. This increase comes about because the stratospheric ALR is positive. To verify and extend this observation, we may use data from the AIRS satellite instrument. (AIRS is a satellite-borne IR spectrometer with ultra-high resolution in wave length.)

Once confirmed, the hypothesis can furnish additional explanation for the observed absence of CO2 warming in the 20th century,[vi] and perhaps also for the cause of the puzzling observed warming pause (‘hiatus’)[vii] of at least the past two decades [Fig 1].

 A typical reaction

“That’s a very nice theory. And, I think I can follow your argument. But, where is the predicted cooling?”

One can think of three possible answers:

  1. First, the warming and cooling effects are very small; remember that the CO2 effect becomes logarithmicx, once CO2 concentration exceeds roughly 60 ppm (parts per million). [The concentration is now 400 ppm, 0.04%, and growing].

  2. Any cooling would be offset, at least partly, by molecular transitions that remain in the troposphere and cause climate warming in a conventional way.

  3. Finally, there is climate noise that would hide any small warming or cooling. Climate noise is produced both naturally and by human sources. For example, changes in the weather may change global cloudiness and therefore incoming absorbed solar energy.

 Conclusion

A greenhouse gas produces cooling of the climate when its molecular transitions are in a region of positive lapse rate. One example is CO2 and the stratosphere, where temperature increases with altitude. Another example is temperature over the winter poles [Happer – private communication; Flanner et al. GRL 2018].

While the climate cooling is not obvious, it counters [conventional] GH warming. This at- least-partial cancelation might explain the puzzling absence of CO2-based GH warming in the 20th century.[viii] It could also help explain the cause of the [hotly] contested climate ‘pause.’[ix]

Much further work awaits!

Acknowledgements

I am grateful to colleagues for helpful discussions of the assumptions.

This work was supported by SEPP, which solicits only private charitable donations.

—————————————————————————————————

S. Fred Singer is professor emeritus at the University of Virginia and a founding director and now chairman emeritus of the Science & Environmental Policy Project; in 2014, after 25 years, he stepped down as president of SEPP. His specialty is atmospheric and space physics. An expert in remote sensing and satellites, he served as the founding director of the US Weather Satellite Service, now part of NOAA.  More recently, he served as vice chair of the US National Advisory Committee on Oceans & Atmosphere. He is an elected Fellow of several scientific societies, including APS, AGU, AAAS, AIAA, Sigma Xi, and Tau Beta Pi; and a Senior Fellow of the Heartland Institute and the Independent Institute. He co-authored the NY Times best-seller Unstoppable Global Warming: Every 1500 years. In 2007, he founded and has chaired the NIPCC (Nongovernmental International Panel on Climate Change), which has released several scientific reports [See NIPCCreport .org]. For recent writings, see http://www.americanthinker.com/s_fred_singer/ and also Google Scholar.

 

 


[i] J.R. Christy; “Testimony To U. S. Congress”, Feb. 2, 2016

[ii] W. Happer and W. A. van Wijngaarden, “Radiation Transport in Earth’s Atmosphere” 24 Sept 2017.

[iii] W. Happer and W. A. van Wijngaarden, op. cit.

[iv] W. Soon, R. Connolly and M. Connolly, “Some Preliminary Analysis of IGRA Weather Balloons: Lapse Rate” JGR 2016.

[v] W. Happer and W. A. van Wijngaarden, op. cit.

[vi] S. Fred Singer, “A Global Warming Surprise” American Thinker Archives, May 12, 2016.

[vii] S. Fred Singer, “Cause Of The Pause” American Thinker Archives, Dec 29, 2014.

[viii] S. Fred Singer, “A Global Warming Surprise” American Thinker Archives, May 12, 2016.

[ix] S. Fred Singer, “Cause Of The Pause” American Thinker Archives, Dec 29, 2014.

X  G. Myhre et al., GRL 1998.

Most would consider this an odd question and probably ignore it or just delete it. Not so fast, please, my friends! The answer to the question is important in understanding the puzzling ineffectiveness of the greenhouse gas (GHG) carbon dioxide (CO2) in warming the climate — as seen in the 20th century record and as deduced from the existence of the widening gap between the model results based on rising CO2 and observations of atmospheric temperatures by both satellites and radiosondes [Fig. 1]

Fig. 1 –Model results vs. observations[i]

Note the growing “gap.”

“Greenhouse gas” only means that CO2 absorbs some infrared (IR) radiation; it does not guarantee climate warming.

In fact, the outcome depends mostly on atmospheric structure, measured by balloon-borne radiosondes. It is expressed by the so-called atmospheric lapse rate (ALR), defined as change in atmospheric temperature with altitude.[ii] [Note that “lapse rate” has nothing to do with back-sliding alcoholics and smokers.]

Physicists who have examined our counter-intuitive hypothesis, all agree with the science — albeit somewhat reluctantly.  Such is the power of group-think that even experts, with some exception, find the idea that CO2 might cool the climate difficult to accept.

The ALR is generally negative in the troposphere[iii] as much as [minus] -6.5 degree C per km of altitude. [The troposphere is the lowest atmospheric layer, from zero up to about 50,000 foot altitude.]

ALR goes through zero in the tropopause region, the layer that separates the troposphere from the overlying stratosphere. The ALR turns positive in the stratosphere, just above [see schematic nearby.[iv]  [The warming of the stratosphere is produced by absorption of energy by stratospheric ozone.]




STRATOSPHERE

ALR is positive

Temperature increases with altitude

TROPOPAUSE

ALR is zero

Temperature is constant

TROPOSPHERE

ALR is negative

Temperature decreases with altitude

Fig. 2 Schematic of lower atmosphere

The key result 

Adding a tiny increment of CO2 raises slightly the “effective” altitude for emitting Outgoing Long-wave (OLR), the Radiation (IR), going out to space from a CO2 molecule. 

Because of the reversal in the atmospheric temperature structure, OLR is:

1. of lower energy than normal if the effective altitude remains in the troposphere; and

2.  a bit higher than normal if this effective altitude is in the stratosphere.

In case 2., the stratospheric CO2 emission “borrows” some energy from the surface emission — hence “cooling” the surface.

Assumptions

It is incumbent upon the proponent of a controversial hypothesis to find potential weak points — and list crucial assumptions. To be sure, critics will soon enough find many more.

  1. It seems safe to assume that CO2 molecules, excited and de-excited by collisions with more abundant nitrogen and oxygen molecules, emit at the temperature of the surrounding atmosphere.[v]

  2. We may also assume that CO2 is well mixed with altitude, as inter-hemispheric mixing is nearly perfect.

  3. But — can we assume that energy balance is nearly perfect, even on very short time-scales? — i.e. will OLR always exactly equal absorbed solar short-wave radiation? I think the answer is yes. The times involved are too short to permit energy to go into or come out of ice or ocean.

  4. Most important, are CO2 transitions strong enough to penetrate past the tropopause into the stratosphere? We can see evidence for this in the year-by-year increase of the amplitudes [near the center of the 15-micron CO2 absorption band. This increase comes about because the stratospheric ALR is positive. To verify and extend this observation, we may use data from the AIRS satellite instrument. (AIRS is a satellite-borne IR spectrometer with ultra-high resolution in wave length.)

Once confirmed, the hypothesis can furnish additional explanation for the observed absence of CO2 warming in the 20th century,[vi] and perhaps also for the cause of the puzzling observed warming pause (‘hiatus’)[vii] of at least the past two decades [Fig 1].

 A typical reaction

“That’s a very nice theory. And, I think I can follow your argument. But, where is the predicted cooling?”

One can think of three possible answers:

  1. First, the warming and cooling effects are very small; remember that the CO2 effect becomes logarithmicx, once CO2 concentration exceeds roughly 60 ppm (parts per million). [The concentration is now 400 ppm, 0.04%, and growing].

  2. Any cooling would be offset, at least partly, by molecular transitions that remain in the troposphere and cause climate warming in a conventional way.

  3. Finally, there is climate noise that would hide any small warming or cooling. Climate noise is produced both naturally and by human sources. For example, changes in the weather may change global cloudiness and therefore incoming absorbed solar energy.

 Conclusion

A greenhouse gas produces cooling of the climate when its molecular transitions are in a region of positive lapse rate. One example is CO2 and the stratosphere, where temperature increases with altitude. Another example is temperature over the winter poles [Happer – private communication; Flanner et al. GRL 2018].

While the climate cooling is not obvious, it counters [conventional] GH warming. This at- least-partial cancelation might explain the puzzling absence of CO2-based GH warming in the 20th century.[viii] It could also help explain the cause of the [hotly] contested climate ‘pause.’[ix]

Much further work awaits!

Acknowledgements

I am grateful to colleagues for helpful discussions of the assumptions.

This work was supported by SEPP, which solicits only private charitable donations.

—————————————————————————————————

S. Fred Singer is professor emeritus at the University of Virginia and a founding director and now chairman emeritus of the Science & Environmental Policy Project; in 2014, after 25 years, he stepped down as president of SEPP. His specialty is atmospheric and space physics. An expert in remote sensing and satellites, he served as the founding director of the US Weather Satellite Service, now part of NOAA.  More recently, he served as vice chair of the US National Advisory Committee on Oceans & Atmosphere. He is an elected Fellow of several scientific societies, including APS, AGU, AAAS, AIAA, Sigma Xi, and Tau Beta Pi; and a Senior Fellow of the Heartland Institute and the Independent Institute. He co-authored the NY Times best-seller Unstoppable Global Warming: Every 1500 years. In 2007, he founded and has chaired the NIPCC (Nongovernmental International Panel on Climate Change), which has released several scientific reports [See NIPCCreport .org]. For recent writings, see http://www.americanthinker.com/s_fred_singer/ and also Google Scholar.

 

 


[i] J.R. Christy; “Testimony To U. S. Congress”, Feb. 2, 2016

[ii] W. Happer and W. A. van Wijngaarden, “Radiation Transport in Earth’s Atmosphere” 24 Sept 2017.

[iii] W. Happer and W. A. van Wijngaarden, op. cit.

[iv] W. Soon, R. Connolly and M. Connolly, “Some Preliminary Analysis of IGRA Weather Balloons: Lapse Rate” JGR 2016.

[v] W. Happer and W. A. van Wijngaarden, op. cit.

[vi] S. Fred Singer, “A Global Warming Surprise” American Thinker Archives, May 12, 2016.

[vii] S. Fred Singer, “Cause Of The Pause” American Thinker Archives, Dec 29, 2014.

[viii] S. Fred Singer, “A Global Warming Surprise” American Thinker Archives, May 12, 2016.

[ix] S. Fred Singer, “Cause Of The Pause” American Thinker Archives, Dec 29, 2014.

X  G. Myhre et al., GRL 1998.



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A Global Warming Surprise


2. Their explanation as artifacts arising from the misuse of data. 

3.  Thereby explaining the failure of IPCC to find credible evidence for anthropogenic global warming (AGW).

A misleading graph

In the iconic picture of the global surface temperature of the 20th century [fig 1, top]  one can discern two warming intervals — in the initial decades (1910-42) and in the final decades, 1977 to 2000.

Fig 1  20th century temps;  top—global; bottom– US

 

Although these two trends look similar, they are really  quite different:  the initial warming is genuine, but the later warming is not.   I wouldn’t exactly call it ‘fake,’ but it just does not exist; I try to demonstrate this difference as an artifact of the data-gathering process, by comparing with several independent data sets covering similar time intervals.

The later warming is contradicted by every available dataset, as follows:

**the surface record for the ‘lower 48’ [US] shows a much lower trend; [see fig 1, bottom]; presumably there is better control over the placement of weather-stations and their thermometers;

**the trend of global sea surface temp [SST] is much less; with 1995 temp values nearly equal to those of 1942 [according to Gouretski and Kennedy, as published in Geophysical Research Letters in 2012];

** likewise, the trend of night-time marine air-temperatures [NMAT], measured with thermometers on ship decks, according to data from J Kennedy, Hadley Centre, UK

** atmospheric temperature trends are uniformly much lower and close to zero (during 1979-1997), whether measured with balloon-borne radiosondes or with microwave sounding units [MSU] aboard weather satellites [see fig 8 in ref 2]

** compatible data on solar activity that show nothing unusual happening.  Interestingly, the solar data had been assembled for a quite different purpose – namely, to disprove the connection between cosmic rays and climate change [see here fig 14 of ref 2], assuming that the late-century warming was real.  In the absence of such warming, as I argue here, this attempted critique of the cosmic-ray–climate connection collapses.

** proxy data also show near-zero trends, whether from tree rings or ice cores, as noted about 20 years ago [see fig 16 in ref 1 and figs 2 and 3 of ref 2; plus those that may have been withheld by Michael Mann].  [If you look carefully at Mann’s original 1998 paper in Nature or subsequent copies, you will note that his proxy temps cease suddenly in 1979 and are replaced by temps from thermometers from CRU-EAU, the Climate Research Unit of East Anglia University. This substitution not only supplies the ‘blade’ of Mann’s hockey-stick but enables the claim of IPCC-AR3 [2001] that the 20th  century was the warmest in the past 1000 years, surpassing even the high temps of the Medieval Warm Period. In Climategate e-mails this substitution was referred to as “Mike’s Nature trick.  I can’t help wondering if Mann’ s original post-1979 proxy data showed no warming at all; perhaps that has some bearing on why Mann has withheld these data; it could have killed the blade and spoiled the IPCC claim.]

On the other hand, the early warming [1910-40] is supported by many proxy data – including temps derived from tree rings, ice cores, etc;  unfortunately, we could not find any temperature data of the upper troposphere.  However, I bet they would have shown an amplified warming trend – a hot spot.

A Digression on Hotspot [HSp] and Hockeystick [HSt]

Hotspot’ refers to an enhanced temp trend in the tropical upper troposphere [UT]; it is produced by convection of latent energy through water vapor [WV] and is the dominant agent for heating the UT.  In IPCC-AR2 [1996], BD Santer mistakenly identified the HSp as the fingerprint for GH [greenhouse] warming, which has led to much confusion in the technical literature, fostering the mistaken claim that the HSp owes its existence to tropospheric CO2.  But according to textbooks, it is merely an amplification of any temp trend at the surface through the ‘moist’ atmospheric lapse rate.   It surely existed during 1910-42 but we lack data to prove it.  Virtual absence of the HSp during 1979-97 [fig 8 of ref 2 ] implies a near-zero surface trend in that interval.  This observation also disproves the AGW hypothesis of IPCC-AR2 [1996] that led to the Kyoto Protocol.

This recital of data should suffice to convince alarmists and climate skeptics alike that the late 20th-century global warming does not exist.  We should note, however, that both IPCC-AR4 [2007] and AR5 [2013]  rely on such (non-existing) warming in trying to prove that its cause is anthropogenic.

Explaining the climate-trend artifact

We suspect we now know what may have caused the fictitious temperature trend in the latter decades of the 20th century:

Ocean data: as seen from fig 2, there was a great shift in the way Sea Surface Temperatures [SSTs] were measured;

Source: JJ kennedy et al. JGR 2011

Fig 2  Sources of SST data:  Note the drastic changes between 1980 and 2000 as global buoys increasingly replaced bucket sampling of SST – with also important geographic changes.

Data from floating buoys increased from zero to 60% between 1980 and 2000.  But such buoys are heated directly by the sun, as indicated in the cartoon of fig 3, showing a floating buoy in the solar-heated top layer and unheated engine inlet water in lower ocean layers;  this combination leads to a spurious rise in SST when the data are mixed together. 

Fig 3    Cartoon showing floating buoy in solar-heated layer and inlet for engine cooling water

In merging them, we must note that buoy data are global, while bucket and inlet temps are perforce confined to [mostly commercial] shipping routes.   Nor do we know the ocean depths that buckets sample; inlet depths depend on ship type and degree of loading.  Disentangling this mess requires data details that are not available.  About all we can demonstrate is a distinct diurnal variation in the buoy temps.

The land data have problems of their own.  During the same decades, quite independently, there was a severe reduction in ‘superfluous’ (mostly) rural stations [fig 12 in ref 2] — unless they were located at airports.   As seen from fig 4, the number of stations decreased drastically in the 1990’s  

Fig 4   Weather stations at airports [Source: NOAA data]

[fig12 of ref 2], but the number at airports declined less sharply, leading to a major rise in the fraction of reporting stations at airports  [according to basic NOAA data]

This led to a huge increase, from 35% to 80%, in the fraction of airport weather stations — producing a spurious temperature increase from all the asphalt — this time on land, and hard to calculate in detail.  About all we can claim is a general increase in air traffic, about 5% per year worldwide [see fig 19 in ref 1].

We have, however, MSU data for the lower atmosphere over both ocean and land; they show little difference; so we can assume that both land data and ocean data contribute about equally to the fictitious surface trend reported for 1977 to 1997.

The absence of a warming trend of 1979-1997 removes all of IPCC’s evidence for AGW.  Both  IPCC-AR4 [2007] and IPCC-AR5 [2013] rely on the  1979-1997 warming trend to demonstrate anthropogenic global warming [see chapters on ‘Attribution’ in their respective final reports].

Obviously, if there is no warming trend, these demonstrations fail – and so do their proofs for AGW.

Ref 1:  Singer,S.F.  Hot Talk, Cold Science.  Independent Institute, Oakland, CA, 1997 and 1999.

Ref 2:  Singer,S.F. Nature, Not Human Activity, Rules the Climate. Heartland Inst, Chicago, 2008 http://climatechangereconsidered.org/wp-content/uploads/2016/12/Nature-Not-Human-Activity-Rules-the-Climate-2008.pdf

S. Fred Singer is professor emeritus at the University of Virginia and a founding director of the Science & Environmental Policy Project; in 2014, after 25 years, he stepped down as president of SEPP.  His specialty is atmospheric and space physics.  An expert in remote sensing and satellites, he served as the founding director of the US Weather Satellite Service and, more recently, as vice chair of the US National Advisory Committee on Oceans & Atmosphere.  He is an elected Fellow of several scientific societies and a Senior Fellow of the Heartland Institute and the Independent Institute.  He co-authored the NY Times best-seller Unstoppable Global Warming: Every 1500 years.  In 2007, he founded and has chaired the NIPCC (Nongovernmental International Panel on Climate Change), which has released several scientific reports [SeeNIPCCreport.org].  For recent writings see http://www.americanthinker.com/s_fred_singer/ and also Google Scholar.

xploring some of the intricacies of GW [Global Warming] science can lead to surprising results that have major consequences.  In a recent invited talk at the Heartland Institute’s ICCC-12 [Twelfth International Conference on Climate Change], I investigated three important topics: 

1. Inconsistencies in the surface temperature record. 

2. Their explanation as artifacts arising from the misuse of data. 

3.  Thereby explaining the failure of IPCC to find credible evidence for anthropogenic global warming (AGW).

A misleading graph

In the iconic picture of the global surface temperature of the 20th century [fig 1, top]  one can discern two warming intervals — in the initial decades (1910-42) and in the final decades, 1977 to 2000.

Fig 1  20th century temps;  top—global; bottom– US

 

Although these two trends look similar, they are really  quite different:  the initial warming is genuine, but the later warming is not.   I wouldn’t exactly call it ‘fake,’ but it just does not exist; I try to demonstrate this difference as an artifact of the data-gathering process, by comparing with several independent data sets covering similar time intervals.

The later warming is contradicted by every available dataset, as follows:

**the surface record for the ‘lower 48’ [US] shows a much lower trend; [see fig 1, bottom]; presumably there is better control over the placement of weather-stations and their thermometers;

**the trend of global sea surface temp [SST] is much less; with 1995 temp values nearly equal to those of 1942 [according to Gouretski and Kennedy, as published in Geophysical Research Letters in 2012];

** likewise, the trend of night-time marine air-temperatures [NMAT], measured with thermometers on ship decks, according to data from J Kennedy, Hadley Centre, UK

** atmospheric temperature trends are uniformly much lower and close to zero (during 1979-1997), whether measured with balloon-borne radiosondes or with microwave sounding units [MSU] aboard weather satellites [see fig 8 in ref 2]

** compatible data on solar activity that show nothing unusual happening.  Interestingly, the solar data had been assembled for a quite different purpose – namely, to disprove the connection between cosmic rays and climate change [see here fig 14 of ref 2], assuming that the late-century warming was real.  In the absence of such warming, as I argue here, this attempted critique of the cosmic-ray–climate connection collapses.

** proxy data also show near-zero trends, whether from tree rings or ice cores, as noted about 20 years ago [see fig 16 in ref 1 and figs 2 and 3 of ref 2; plus those that may have been withheld by Michael Mann].  [If you look carefully at Mann’s original 1998 paper in Nature or subsequent copies, you will note that his proxy temps cease suddenly in 1979 and are replaced by temps from thermometers from CRU-EAU, the Climate Research Unit of East Anglia University. This substitution not only supplies the ‘blade’ of Mann’s hockey-stick but enables the claim of IPCC-AR3 [2001] that the 20th  century was the warmest in the past 1000 years, surpassing even the high temps of the Medieval Warm Period. In Climategate e-mails this substitution was referred to as “Mike’s Nature trick.  I can’t help wondering if Mann’ s original post-1979 proxy data showed no warming at all; perhaps that has some bearing on why Mann has withheld these data; it could have killed the blade and spoiled the IPCC claim.]

On the other hand, the early warming [1910-40] is supported by many proxy data – including temps derived from tree rings, ice cores, etc;  unfortunately, we could not find any temperature data of the upper troposphere.  However, I bet they would have shown an amplified warming trend – a hot spot.

A Digression on Hotspot [HSp] and Hockeystick [HSt]

Hotspot’ refers to an enhanced temp trend in the tropical upper troposphere [UT]; it is produced by convection of latent energy through water vapor [WV] and is the dominant agent for heating the UT.  In IPCC-AR2 [1996], BD Santer mistakenly identified the HSp as the fingerprint for GH [greenhouse] warming, which has led to much confusion in the technical literature, fostering the mistaken claim that the HSp owes its existence to tropospheric CO2.  But according to textbooks, it is merely an amplification of any temp trend at the surface through the ‘moist’ atmospheric lapse rate.   It surely existed during 1910-42 but we lack data to prove it.  Virtual absence of the HSp during 1979-97 [fig 8 of ref 2 ] implies a near-zero surface trend in that interval.  This observation also disproves the AGW hypothesis of IPCC-AR2 [1996] that led to the Kyoto Protocol.

This recital of data should suffice to convince alarmists and climate skeptics alike that the late 20th-century global warming does not exist.  We should note, however, that both IPCC-AR4 [2007] and AR5 [2013]  rely on such (non-existing) warming in trying to prove that its cause is anthropogenic.

Explaining the climate-trend artifact

We suspect we now know what may have caused the fictitious temperature trend in the latter decades of the 20th century:

Ocean data: as seen from fig 2, there was a great shift in the way Sea Surface Temperatures [SSTs] were measured;

Source: JJ kennedy et al. JGR 2011

Fig 2  Sources of SST data:  Note the drastic changes between 1980 and 2000 as global buoys increasingly replaced bucket sampling of SST – with also important geographic changes.

Data from floating buoys increased from zero to 60% between 1980 and 2000.  But such buoys are heated directly by the sun, as indicated in the cartoon of fig 3, showing a floating buoy in the solar-heated top layer and unheated engine inlet water in lower ocean layers;  this combination leads to a spurious rise in SST when the data are mixed together. 

Fig 3    Cartoon showing floating buoy in solar-heated layer and inlet for engine cooling water

In merging them, we must note that buoy data are global, while bucket and inlet temps are perforce confined to [mostly commercial] shipping routes.   Nor do we know the ocean depths that buckets sample; inlet depths depend on ship type and degree of loading.  Disentangling this mess requires data details that are not available.  About all we can demonstrate is a distinct diurnal variation in the buoy temps.

The land data have problems of their own.  During the same decades, quite independently, there was a severe reduction in ‘superfluous’ (mostly) rural stations [fig 12 in ref 2] — unless they were located at airports.   As seen from fig 4, the number of stations decreased drastically in the 1990’s  

Fig 4   Weather stations at airports [Source: NOAA data]

[fig12 of ref 2], but the number at airports declined less sharply, leading to a major rise in the fraction of reporting stations at airports  [according to basic NOAA data]

This led to a huge increase, from 35% to 80%, in the fraction of airport weather stations — producing a spurious temperature increase from all the asphalt — this time on land, and hard to calculate in detail.  About all we can claim is a general increase in air traffic, about 5% per year worldwide [see fig 19 in ref 1].

We have, however, MSU data for the lower atmosphere over both ocean and land; they show little difference; so we can assume that both land data and ocean data contribute about equally to the fictitious surface trend reported for 1977 to 1997.

The absence of a warming trend of 1979-1997 removes all of IPCC’s evidence for AGW.  Both  IPCC-AR4 [2007] and IPCC-AR5 [2013] rely on the  1979-1997 warming trend to demonstrate anthropogenic global warming [see chapters on ‘Attribution’ in their respective final reports].

Obviously, if there is no warming trend, these demonstrations fail – and so do their proofs for AGW.

Ref 1:  Singer,S.F.  Hot Talk, Cold Science.  Independent Institute, Oakland, CA, 1997 and 1999.

Ref 2:  Singer,S.F. Nature, Not Human Activity, Rules the Climate. Heartland Inst, Chicago, 2008 http://climatechangereconsidered.org/wp-content/uploads/2016/12/Nature-Not-Human-Activity-Rules-the-Climate-2008.pdf

S. Fred Singer is professor emeritus at the University of Virginia and a founding director of the Science & Environmental Policy Project; in 2014, after 25 years, he stepped down as president of SEPP.  His specialty is atmospheric and space physics.  An expert in remote sensing and satellites, he served as the founding director of the US Weather Satellite Service and, more recently, as vice chair of the US National Advisory Committee on Oceans & Atmosphere.  He is an elected Fellow of several scientific societies and a Senior Fellow of the Heartland Institute and the Independent Institute.  He co-authored the NY Times best-seller Unstoppable Global Warming: Every 1500 years.  In 2007, he founded and has chaired the NIPCC (Nongovernmental International Panel on Climate Change), which has released several scientific reports [SeeNIPCCreport.org].  For recent writings see http://www.americanthinker.com/s_fred_singer/ and also Google Scholar.



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