Monday, September 3rd 2012, 7:19 AM EDT
As a member of the AMS I find this so-called "Information Statement" highly objectionable. It does not meet the standard of providing "... a trustworthy, objective, and scientifically up-to-date explanation of scientific issues of concern to the public at large" as claimed in its first line. It is full of scientifically unsubstantiated claims which amount to purposeful misleading of the public.
I checked BAMS and find that at no time has the membership been consulted about any of the "factual" statements it promotes. It is clear that a small group now controls the Society and has taken it upon themselves to define what science says about climate. Any information that contradicts their opinion is either suppressed or left out. There are so many distortions, errors and omissions in it that I can't cover them all so I will concentrate upon the more important ones. I will use the same paragraph headings as the report uses.
This statement provides a brief overview of how and why global climate has changed over the past century and will continue to change in the future, or so they say. There are two problems with this. First, their account of how climate has changed over the past century is wrong. Second, the idea that they know the future is laughable. They use climate models that have been proven wrong time and time again. One example:
IPCC AR4 predicted that global warming in the twenty-first century will proceed at the rate of 0.2 degrees per decade. We are now in the second decade of this century and there is no sign of the predicted warming. If a scientific theory makes a prediction and that prediction is demonstrably wrong that theory is also considered to be wrong. The greenhouse theory of warming that made this prediction must therefore be considered wrong. I will have more to say about greenhouse theory below.
How is climate changing?
"Warming of the climate system now is unequivocal..." Let's stop right there. They mean "anthropogenic warming" but deceptively do not want to spell it out. Then they continue: "Observations show increases in globally averaged air and ocean temperatures, as well as widespread melting of snow and ice and rising globally averaged sea level." As observations of nature these are true but most of them cannot be used to support anthropogenic warming. Global air temperature, for instance, is controlled by various natural forces, not even one of them human-caused. I will cover that below. As to the "rising globally averaged sea level" it simply does not belong in this package. We know it for a fact that sea level has been rising linearly for eighty years, at the rate of 2.46 millimeters per year [Chou, Yu & Li, Science 320:212-214
(2008)]. That is 24.6 centimeters per century, not twenty feet as Al Gore says in his Nobel Prize-winning propaganda film. Satellites clock sea level rise today at 3 millimeters per year which corresponds within the statistical error with the eighty year trend. This long term trend is most likely due to the world-wide melting of glaciers that is part of coming out of the Little Ice Age. It has absolutely nothing to do with human influence. Next they claim anthropogenic warming of polar regions: "Arctic sea ice extent and volume have been decreasing for the past several decades. Both the Greenland and Antarctic ice sheets have lost significant amounts of ice. Most of the world’s glaciers are in retreat."
I already explained the glaciers above. They are deceptive also with their Antarctic story because the warming is confined to the West Antarctic, the only part of Antarctica that is not fully inside the Antarctic Circle. The West Antarctic ice sheet in places drops directly into the ocean without any protective ice shelves and can be influenced by oceanic conditions. For example, the shelf facing the Amundsen Sea is melting because warm water from below wells up. What is happening is that prevailing winds blow away the cold water from the coast which is then replaced by that upwelling water from below. Such vagaries of winds and currents have so destabilized the West Antarctic ice sheet that it has a periodic record of collapse.
Thus, sediments in the Ross Sea indicate that melt water has cascaded into the sea 18,000 years ago, again 10,500 years ago, again 5,000 years ago and then again 1,500 years ago. It could easily happen any time now but not because of anything we have done. And then in the north then they want to claim Arctic warming as their own. What they say about the Arctic sea ice extent is certainly true but this again is not due to any anthropogenic influence.
The Arctic is not warming because of any imaginary greenhouse effect but because Atlantic Ocean currents are carrying warm Gulf Stream water into the Arctic Ocean [E&E 22(8):1069-1083 (2012)]. In 2010 the temperature of water reaching the Arctic exceeded any individual values available for the last two thousand years. It all started suddenly at the beginning of the twentieth century after two thousand years of slow, orbitally-driven cooling. We know for sure that there was no parallel increase of carbon dioxide when the warming started and this makes the greenhouse effect impossible. Warming paused in mid-century for thirty years, then resumed, and is still going strong. However, if you still believe in the greenhouse effect you will have to explain how to turn it on and off as is required to produce this mid-century pause in warming.
Why is climate changing?
Here is how they present their case for human-induced warming: "It is clear from extensive scientific evidence that the dominant cause of the rapid change in climate of the past half century is human-induced increases in the amount of atmospheric greenhouse gases, including carbon dioxide (CO2), chlorofluorocarbons, methane, and nitrous oxide. The most important of these over the long term is CO2, whose concentration in the atmosphere is rising principally as a result of fossil-fuel combustion and deforestation." For now, let's forget about the other gases, they are introduced just to confuse the issue, and concentrate on carbon dioxide. Originally Hansen blamed carbon dioxide for global warming when he spoke to the Senate in 1988.
It was a warm day, peak of the 1988 El Nino period, and both Hansen and the cameramen were wiping the sweat off their brows in a non-airconditioned hearing room. Senator Wirth, the committee chairman, had made sure that the air conditioning did not work and went out the previous night to open all the windows in the hearing room. For the hearing itself he had lined up more than ten TV cameras to report Hansen's talk to the nation. It is this media blitz that started the present global warming mania. Hansen showed three versions of his climate models, predicting the amount of global warming through 2020, and advocated emissions reductions. The one marked "business as usual" was scariest and predicted a temperature rise of more than a degree Celsius in thirty years. This prediction has turned out to be way off the mark. The other two of his curves showed what could be done by emission controls.
The climate models used today are all descended from Hansen's but run on expensive supercomputers that Uncle Sam gave them. AMS prescription for stopping dangerous global warming is the same as Hansen's in 1988: emission controls on carbon dioxide, i.e. we must stop burning fossil fuels. This is a trillion dollar demand on us, the peoples of the world. Unfortunately environmentalists have already indoctrinated enough people in power into believing their dubious theories and governments are now spending billions of dollars in public money on these worthless projects. As far as I can tell their faith in carbon dioxide comes from pure theory and is in conflict with actual observations of climate. Let's go over the observed facts on global temperature, starting with the twentieth century, and see how they fit their story of global warming.
The first ten years of the century saw cooling, not warming. This suddenly changed to warming in 1910 which stopped equally suddenly in 1940. There was no parallel increase of carbon dioxide in 1910, and this immediately rules out the greenhouse effect as a cause of warming. Bjørn Lomborg attributes this warming to solar influence and I agree with him. With it, forty percent of the century is over, without any sign of that greenhouse warming. The end of that warming was marked by rapid and severe cooling which lasted through World War II. The Finnish winter war of 1939/40 was fought at minus forty Celsius. There is nothing in any climate model that can either explain or forecast that.
The Gulf of Finland froze over and Estonian volunteers walked across the ice to help defend the Finns against the Russians. Next year when Hitler attacked Russia it was General Frost, not the Red Army, who stopped the Germans at the gates of Moscow. And after the war was over the blizzard of 1947 was still able to immobilize New York City for weeks. There is no global warming theory that can explain how this cooling could happen in the presence of increasing carbon dioxide in the air. By 1950 the worst was over and climate stabilized for the next thirty years. But there was no warming until 1976 when the Great Pacific Climate Change is said to have brought a short step warming of about 0.2 degrees.
By that time the Mauna Kea laboratorty was running and reported a steady increase of carbon dioxide in the fifties, sixties, and seventies. There has never been any satisfactory explanation of why a steady thirty year increase of carbon dioxide did not cause any warming. By now, seventy percent of the twentieth century was history, with still no sign of anthropogenic warming in sight. There was no warming in the eighties and nineties either, just a collection of ENSO peaks and valleys . One of the peaks was the El Nino of 1988 that Hansen thought was a sign of global warming and so testified to the Senate. It was actually one of five El Nino peaks in that time interval, each one followed by a cool La Nina period.
According to satellites the mean temperature remained constant during that entire period but this is not what you find on most land-based temperature curves. These feature a "late twentieth century warming" in that time slot that they count as greenhouse warming. It does not exist according to UAH and RSS satellites, NASA GISTEMP, and NCDC, all of which show that global mean temperature did not change from 1979 to 1987 . But this fake version is now so widespread that even Michael Mann and Richard Müller both use it, not knowing that it is a fake.
This temperature rise was manufactured simply by reducing the depth of cool La Nina valleys between El Nino peaks of that period. The nineties ended with the super El Nino of 1998 that finally brought us real warming . In four years, global temperature rose by a third of a degree Celsius and then stopped. There has not been any warming since that time. This step warming cannot be explained by any carbon dioxide greenhouse effect. Its cause very likely was the large amount of warm water the super El Nino carried across the ocean. The super El Nino peak temperature was twice as high as that of any other El Nino peak before it. This is very clear in satellite records but ground-based records do not show its true height.
It is probably unique for at least a century and a half and should be intensively studied instead of being buried by a fictitious late twentieth century warming. With it we have reached the end of our temperature overview and can state that there has not been any anthropogenic greenhouse warming for the last 100 years. To talk of such warming as a fact is irresponsible pseudo-science thrust upon an unsuspecting public.
I will skip over the two climate change paragraphs since the required explanations are already implied by the foregoing.The final section goes on to claim again that "The dominant cause of the warming since the 1950s is human activities..." without giving any evidence whatsoever that such is a case. We have already seen that global temperature change is not among the arguments that can be used for it. But on top of that, we are also asked to believe that "The observed warming will be irreversible for many years into the future, and even larger temperature increases will occur as greenhouse gases continue to accumulate in the atmosphere."
There is no science whatsoever behind this claim. Ferenc Miskolczi, a Hungarian scientist, has studied the absorption of infrared radiation by the atmosphere and come to the conclusion that accumulation of carbon dioxide in the atmosphere is incapable of raising atmospheric temperature. According to his theory, the existence of a stable climate requires that the infrared optical thickness of the atmosphere should have a constant value of 1.87.
He worked out his theory in 2005 and in 2010 he was able to put it to an experimental test [E&E 21(4):243-262 (2010)]. Using NOAA weather balloon database that goes back to 1948 he showed that the infrared optical thickness of the atmosphere had been constant for 61 years. At the same time the amount of carbon dioxide in the air increased by 21.6 percent. This means that the addition of this substantial amount of carbon dioxide to air had no effect whatsoever on the absorption of IR by the atmosphere. And no absorption means no enhanced greenhouse effect, case closed.
This is a purely empirical result, not dependent upon any theory, and it overrules any calculations from theory that do not agree with that. Specifically, it overrules any calculations based on the enhanced greenhouse effect, such as those predicting dangerous global warming to come. Miskolczi theory takes account of not only the greenhouse effect of carbon dioxide but also of the greenhouse effect of water vapor which is the larger of the two. According to Miskolczi the required constant value of the IR optical thickness is maintained by feedback mechanisms among all the greenhouse gases in the atmosphere.
The amount of carbon dioxide cannot be changed but water vapor has an effectively infinite source/sink in the oceans and can change. By suppressing the absorption from the added carbon dioxide it demonstrates the existence of a negative feedback effect of water vapor on the greenhouse effect. This is the exact opposite of what IPCC climate models have been doing by using positive water vapor feedback as an ad hoc device to get more warming out of carbon dioxide in the air.
 Arno Arrak, What Warming? Satellite view of global temperature change (Second Edition, 2010)