Articles Tagged "Doug L. Hoffman"
Sunday, March 3rd 2013, 6:10 PM EST
NASA says that something unexpected is happening on the Sun. This year, 2013, is supposed to be the peak of the 11-year sunspot cycle—the year of Solar Max. Yet solar activity is well below the expected level. Out somnolent star refuses to behave according to the predictions of Sun watching scientists, leading some observers to wonder if forecasters missed the mark. The botched solar forecast not only has implication for our understanding of the physical processes inside the Sun, it has possible links to future climate change here on Earth. Scientists admit that no one knows for sure what the Sun will do next.
The 11 year solar cycle—the waxing and waning of activity on the Sun—is well known, if not well understood. The solar cycle is the periodic change in the Sun's activity, including changes in levels of solar radiation and the ejection of solar material. Solar cycles have been observed for hundreds of years by earthbound observers noting changes in the sun's appearance. Generations of scientists have kept detailed records of changes in the number of sunspots, flares, and other visible manifestations. Changes in solar activity affects space weather, which can be important when launching satellites. It can also impact conditions here on Earth, adversely affecting communications, radio broadcasts and power grids. For these reasons, forecasting the solar cycle is not just an idle pursuit for Sun gazing scientists.
Tuesday, December 4th 2012, 2:42 AM EST
A new report says that Glaciers are melting, but not as fast as some say. In fact, Antartica is gaining almost as much ice as it loses.
A new “comprehensive” report about the melting of Antarctic and Greenland ice sheets is being touted by climate alarmists as “grim news” but in fact says no such thing. This latest estimate, published this week in Science, combines data from many sources including 20 years of satellite data and 32 years of ice-sheet simulations to arrive at a mixed conclusion. It estimates that, between 1992 and 2011, the Antarctic and Greenland ice sheets lost 1350 ± 1010 and 2700 ± 930 Gt of ice, respectively. That is equivalent to an increase in global mean sea level of 11.2 ± 3.8 mm, less than 1/2 an inch. Moreover, while some areas were loosing ice mass others were gaining mass from snowfall. The East Antarctic Ice Sheet (EAIS), which occupies over 75% of Antarctica, experienced mass gains during the final years of the study.
Tuesday, March 12th 2013, 8:39 PM EDT
There was much made in the media about a new report that claims modern day temperatures are the highest in 5,000 years. Moreover, the investigators assert that this century's temperature rise is “unprecedented,” echoing the assertions of climate change alarmists over the past 30 years. Various news outlets seized upon this report as final proof that the world is headed for a hot steamy demise because of human greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions. There are, however, a number of problems with that assertion. First among them is the methodology used to generate the global temperature history and the comparison of proxy data with instrument data from recent times. This may be science but it is being used to deceive the public into believing that anthropogenic global warming (AGW) is a crisis on an unprecedented scale.
Appearing the the journal Science—a publication with a notably biased stance regarding the theory of AGW—the report of a new study of historical global temperatures has reignited global warming fever in the news media and blogosphere:
Tuesday, January 29th 2013, 12:34 AM EST
The Met Office says temperatures will remain flat until 2017
A newly released study from the Research Council of Norway has climate change alarmists abuzz. One of the things the alarmists have been pushing for is to halt warming at a 2°C increase at any cost (and they mean that literally). In the Norwegian study, much to the alarmists' dismay, researchers have arrived at an estimate of 1.9°C as the most likely level of future warming. The report also recognizes that temperatures have stabilized at 2000 levels for the past decade even though CO2 levels have continued to rise. Meanwhile, a reconstruction of the Eemian interglacial from the new NEEM ice core, published in the journal Nature, shows that in spite of a climate 8°C warmer than that of the past millennium, the ice in Northern Greenland was only a few hundred meters lower than its present level. This finding casts doubt on the projected melting of ice sheets and resulting sea-level rise.
After rising sharply through the 1990s, Earth’s mean surface temperature has leveled off nearly completely at its 2000 level. Ocean warming also appears to have stabilized, despite the fact that CO2 emissions and other anthropogenic factors claimed to contribute to global warming are still on the rise. Clearly, a number of factors affect climate development, not just the usual suspects cited by the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC).
Wednesday, March 20th 2013, 11:43 AM EDT
Recent comet sightings and the fiery path blazed across Russian skies by a large meteor have people pondering the possibility of a collision between Earth and some other heavenly body. Lost in the discussion is news from NASA that Mars is on schedule for a close encounter of its own in 2014, and the visiting comet may actually strike the red planet. Comet C/2013 A1 (Siding Spring) will be rendezvousing with Mars in October 2014, most likely passing by the planet at roughly the height of an earthly communication satellite. Estimates of the minimum distance between planet and comet range from about 100,000 km and 0, meaning a collision. If the comet does collide with Mars it is estimated the blast will be equivalent to that of a billion megatons of TNT. It would be an event of the same magnitude as the impact that killed off the dinosaurs 65 million years ago.
The recent meteor break-up over Russia, and the close pass of asteroid 2012 DA14, serve to reminded people that all objects in the solar system are subject to the occasional collision. A look at the surface of Earth's Moon, or the surface of Mars, gives ample evidence of collisions past. Lest we think it can't happen to us, Earth's surface also bares the scars of bombardment from space.
For example, the Manicouagan Crater, located in Canada, is one of the oldest known impact craters on Earth (see the image below). It is thought to have been caused by the impact of a 5 km (3 mi) diameter asteroid about 215.5 million years ago, during the Triassic Period. The crater is a multiple-ring structure about 100 km (60 mi) across, with its 70 km (40 mi) diameter inner ring its most prominent feature.
Monday, October 22nd 2012, 9:52 AM EDT
The AMO drives Europe's climate on a multidecadal time scale.
Climate change alarmists point to the past several decades of European weather to reinforce their claim that global warming has the continent in its grip. A new report shows that this recent warm spell is nothing abnormal or unprecedented—during the 1990s there was simply a return to conditions present during 1931-1960. The reason for the shift is warm ocean temperatures that are, in turn driven by variation in warm ocean currents from the tropics. The instrumental record shows that, relative to the average temperature of the rest of the world’s oceans, the temperature of the North Atlantic Ocean has fluctuated between anomalously warm and anomalously cool phases, each lasting several decades at a time. Palaeoclimate records suggest that similar variations extend much farther back in time. The observed pattern of multidecadal variation in North Atlantic sea surface temperatures (SSTs) has become known as the Atlantic Multidecadal Oscillation (AMO).
Climate change happens in cycles both long and short. The most dramatic long cycle that humans have experienced is the alternating ice age phenomenon of glacial and interglacial periods. Over the past 800,000 years or so, the world freezes for 100,000 years and then suddenly thaws for 15-25,000 years. Among the best known short cycles are the alternating El Niño/La Niña conditions in the Pacific, which gets blamed for bad weather in North America and failed monsoons in Asia. There are, however, a number of intermediate cycles that function on scales of decades to hundreds of years.
Wednesday, January 16th 2013, 5:22 PM EST
Time and again the proponents of catastrophic climate change use the mantra of “settled science” to shout down their critics. This is nothing less than blind faith that science actually knows what is going on in the complex environment that regulates this planet's climate. Imagine a part of that system that is literally only 10km from anywhere on Earth, a component of our environment that science thought it understood quite well. Now imagine the embarrassment when a major review in a noted journal finds that previous datasets associated with this component are wrong and have been wrong for more than a quarter of a century. Yet that is precisely what has happened. The area in question is Earth's stratosphere and the impact of this report is devastating for climate scientists and atmospheric modelers everywhere.
Wednesday, November 14th 2012, 5:40 PM EST
Climate modelers are still trying to create a clockwork climate machine
For half a century, climate scientists have been attempting to simulate the workings of Earth's climate system in computer models. Over that period of time computers have increased in computational power a million fold, allowing models to grow in complexity and, if you accept the word of the modelers themselves, accuracy. Today's models may produce more realistic output but that should not be confused with more accurate output—modern climate models are still unable to accurately predict future fluctuations in Earth's environment. Why this should be so is highlighted in a new paper published in the Journal Of Advances In Modeling Earth Systems (JAMES), a publication of the American Geophysical Union. In it the tuning secrets of those modern-day mystics, climate modelers, are revealed.
Early on, computer modelers were content to capture the rough behavior of isolated parts of the physical world: heat transfer, fluid flow in ocean and atmosphere, and such. These models were created to provide scientists with insight into natural processes where it was impractical to perform real-world experiments. This is a thoroughly reasonable application of computer models. But as computers became larger and more powerful the modelers soon expanded the complexity of their code, aiming eventually to simulate the system of the world. Sadly, the development of these models went hand in hand with the rise of climate change alarmism—the over hyped and unproven theory that human activity was causing a dangerous warming of the global climate.
Saturday, December 29th 2012, 5:29 PM EST
Something happened this year that has become rare in recent times, much of the United States has had a white Christmas. As of December 28th, 64.4% of the US was covered by snow with an average depth of 6.2 inches (15.7 cm). This compares with last month's coverage of only 19.8%. My own town of Conway, Arkansas, received 10 inches on Christmas day and a winter storm advisory is in effect as another storm makes its way eastward. For Arkansas, this has been the snowiest Christmas ever, breaking the old record set in 1926, and the 7th snowiest day overall since 1875. But North America is not alone in feeling winter's bite—record cold continues in Siberia, while a vicious cold snap across Russia and Eastern Europe has claimed nearly 200 lives. What does all this say about global warming?
According to NOAA's National Snow Analyses page, most of the US is under a blanket of snow. Record cold temperatures are being set in the northern tier while tornadoes sweep across the south. Even sunny Florida has had to contend with overnight freezes in the interior that threatened citrus crops. Average low temperatures ranged from the mid-20s, mainly in north Florida, to the mid-40s. Alachua recorded the lowest at 25 degrees and Fort Lauderdale the highest at 46 degrees.
Friday, November 2nd 2012, 6:16 PM EDT
Photo-shopped images helped feed the frenzy.
In a mad rush to prove who can put out the most inane press release, various warm-mongers, news hacks and climate alarmists have gone on a predictable spree, trying to blame Hurricane Sandy and the resulting disaster in the US Northeast on CO2 levels. Who are these clowns? Even the IPCC issued a statement saying that global warming was not to blame. Have none of these empty headed blatherskites noticed that it has been more than seven years since a major hurricane struck the US, the longest such period since the Civil War? Evidently not, since they continue to spew unscientific twaddle and the news media continues to lap it up like a dog eating its own vomit.
Almost falling over each other to put out the most outrageous statement, the world's warmist agitators have filled the air waves, news papers and social media sites with an avalanche of anti-knowledge. Our friend Marc Morano, over at Climate Depot, has a sizable list of comments on both sides of this jerkfest. Here are a few examples:
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