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Saturday, June 04, 2011

Fingerprints of global weirding weirdos found on CO2 "hotspot"

Newsweek's egregious call to Weather Panic (previous post) took the handoff from Katharine Hayhoe, an invoker of "global weirding" from Texas Tech, and ran with it. Hayhoe had called a single incident of freak weather in west Texas "the new normal," prompting Newsweek "science editor" Sharon Begley to suggest that this freak weather would in the future be seen in all places at all times. Eeeehaw!

In addition to citing self-proclaimed global weirdist Katharine Hayhoe, Begley's subtitle refers to "freak storms" and her article is accompanied by a photographic "freak weather gallery." Yup, Newsweek is all aboard the weirdo bandwagon.

So how do the weirdos justify blaming every weird weather event on people? Just ask leading global weirdist Donald Wuebbles, professor of atmospheric sciences at the University of Illinois. He dusted for fingerprints and the culprit was revealed:
Climate does of course vary naturally, but the large changes we have been seeing in recent decades have the fingerprints of human emissions as being the primary driving force.
The IPCC did try to claim that their predicted CO2 warming "fingerprint"—a "hotspot" in the upper troposphere—had been found, but that claim has long since been debunked, as recounted in David Evan's recent piece in the Financial Post. (Evans also has a more formal presentation with citations).

If the CO2 explanation for late 20th century warming were correct, the hotspot would have to be there. The CO2 theory produces a testable hypothesis and the empirical falsification of this hypothesis proves that the theory is wrong. Ditto for the "global weirding" that stands upon it.

Trenberth is a weirdo too

Kevin Trenberth follows the Weirdo Wuebbles model for blaming every extreme weather event on human-caused global warming. We know that global warming is proceeding apace, says Trenberth (despite humanity's failure to cause any 21st century warming), so pitch it in strong:
“Given that global warming is unequivocal,” climate scientist Kevin Trenberth cautioned the American Meteorological Society in January of this year, “the null hypothesis should be that all weather events are affected by global warming rather than the inane statements along the lines of ‘of course we cannot attribute any particular weather event to global warming.’”
Trenberth's call to blame every bad thing on CO2 was used by the leftists at Think Progress to blame this year's killer tornadoes on global warming, just like Begley and Newsweek. It's one big global weirdo convention on the eco-left.

Video of Bastardi discussing the actual correlates of tornado activity

"We've got record breaking snow on the ground in the mountains in the Pacific Northwest. If you look at the tornado statistics, it's either cold or getting colder when this kind of thing goes on. And to see people say... well, because it's warm...

You need a clash in the atmosphere to do this. Do you know, according to the satellites, we've had the greatest drop in temperatures ever recorded between fifteen and twenty-five thousand feet in the middle of the troposphere since last year? And we've never seen something like this.

Now granted, we didn't have the satellites trained on the atmosphere back in the 1970s and 1950s, but there's been a tremendous drop in mid-level temperatures and that comes southeast into warm humid air, and what do you think is going to happen?"
All that is actually getting weirder are the claims of the warming alarmists. Foot soldiers of panic like Sharon Begley are not proceeding just on their own ignorant initiative. They are following the marching orders of unscientific scientists like Wuebbles, Trenberth, and Heyhoe.

I come not to praise Stephen Schneider, but to bury him

It is appropriate that Trenberth presented his sweeping justification for alarmism in a talk dedicated to the late Stephen Schneider, the spiritual grandfather of politicized eco-science.

It was Schneider who in the 1970's tried to blame global cooling since the mid-forties on the human burning of fossil fuels. When the planet started to warm a few years later he smoothly switched to blaming global warming on fossil fuels. It never mattered to him if any of it was true. His objective was to curtail the human burning of fossil fuels and any excuse would do. Honesty was not a requirement, as he explained to Discover Magazine:
To capture the public imagination, we have to offer up some scary scenarios, make simplified dramatic statements and little mention of any doubts one might have. Each of us has to decide the right balance between being effective, and being honest.

If what one wants to be effective at is discovering and advancing truth, there is no such conflict. It is only ulterior motives, like the unplugging of industrial capitalism, that can only be effectively promoted through dishonesty. Bad behavior springs from bad motives. Unfortunately, we've let a lot of bad people gain a lot of power, and it's going to be very difficult to dislodge them.

Addendum: Roy Spencer on the hotspot fingerprint

Roy denies that the absence of an upper troposphere hotspot invalidates the CO2 theory of late 20th century warming, but this conclusion seems to be a non sequitur:
The famous “hot spot” seen in [AR4 figure 9.1] has become a hot topic in recent years since at least two satellite temperature datasets (including our UAH dataset), and most radiosonde data analyses suggest the tropical hotspot does not exist. Some have claimed that this somehow invalidates the hypothesis that anthropogenic greenhouse gas emissions are responsible for global warming.

But the hotspot is not a unique signature of manmade greenhouse gases. It simply reflects anomalous heating of the troposphere — no matter what its source. Anomalous heating gets spread throughout the depth of the troposphere by convection, and greater temperature rise in the upper troposphere than in the lower troposphere is because of latent heat release (rainfall formation) there.

For instance, a natural decrease in cloud cover would have had the same effect. It would lead to increased solar warming of the ocean, followed by warming and humidifying of the global atmosphere and an acceleration of the hydrologic cycle.

Thus, while possibly significant from the standpoint of indicating problems with feedbacks in climate models, the lack of a hotspot no more disproves manmade global warming than the existence of the hotspot would have proved manmade global warming. At most, it would be evidence that the warming influence of increasing GHGs in the models has been exaggerated, probably due to exaggerated positive feedback from water vapor.

Roy’s “thus” at the beginning of the last paragraph refers to his assertion that warming caused by a decrease in clouds (as would result from an increase in solar activity under Henrik Svensmark’s GCR-cloud theory) would create an upper troposphere hotspot, so long as there is a positive water vapor feedback effect. This does demonstrate that the existence of a hotspot would not uniquely implicate the CO2 warming theory, but it does not demonstrate that late 20th century warming could be due to CO2 in the absence of a hotspot. In fact the opposite is known to be true.

CO2 by itself does not trap enough heat to account for 20th century warming. The CO2 warming theory depends on a strong water vapor amplification mechanism, where the initial CO2 temperature forcing evaporates water into atmosphere which traps yet more heat, creating yet more water vapor, etcetera. As Roy notes, it is this “warming and humidifying of the global atmosphere” and the resulting “acceleration of the hydrologic cycle” that creates the upper troposphere hotspot. Ergo, no hotspot means no powerful water vapor amplification mechanism and no CO2-based account of late 20th century warming.

Svensmark’s theory, on the other hand, does not imply that there will be a hotspot. It is merely compatible with a hotspot. In the presence of a powerful water vapor feedback effect, the temperature forcing created by a GCR-cloud mechanism would create an upper troposphere hotspot. If the water vapor feedback effect is weak or negative, temperature forcing from the GCR-cloud mechanism will not cause a hotspot, but it could still account for 20th century warming just by the magnitude of its un-amplified forcing.

ThanksRoy, for all of your great work. Hope you don’t mind this bit of editing help.

Thanks Alec! That Bastardi video is great. Love the line about snowing cheese!
Hi Lester. Thanks for dropping by. Yeah, Bastardi gets on a pretty good roll there.
Thanks for this, the true is that no one cares about what's going on to the planet that's why i think the human race should be eradicated from the planet.
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