Friday, December 28, 2012
Dana Nuccitelli's holiday trick for sobering up quick: put a little less rum in your egg nog
When he argues that a reduction in forcing will cause cooling Dana Nuccitelli is not actually talking about drinking. He is talking about the solar forcing of global temperature, but the drinking analogy is a handy way to understand where his argument goes off the rails.
Mr. Nuccitelli, who blogs for the consensus-approved Skeptical Science website, was writing about Henrik Svensmark's GCR-cloud theory of indirect solar forcing, where Galactic Cosmic Rays are hypothesized to seed cloud formation. If Svensmark is right then a strong solar wind, by deflecting some GCR from reaching the earth, in-effect blows some of the clouds away, letting more sunlight through to warm the planet's surface.
That can't possibly explain late 20th century warming says Nuccitelli, because GCR deflection has been estimated (see the Krivova-Solanki graph above) to have peaked by 1980. The raw data suggests the actual GCR minimum was ten years later, but set that aside. Nuccitelli thinks it is the change in the level of forcing, not the level of forcing, that determines whether the climate system warms or cools:
So, if GCRs really do amplify the solar influence on global temperatures, since 1980 they are amplifying a cooling effect.Cooling begins when a forcing passes its peak? Fail. Daily temperatures don't start falling at noon. They continue rising until mid-afternoon. The hottest time of the year isn't the first day of summer (the summer solstice, after which the days start getting shorter), the hottest time is mid-summer. To think cooling should start when forcing passes its peak is like thinking you can sober up by drinking just a little more slowly.
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Friday, December 21, 2012
Haigh Anxiety: a psycho-comedy of errors
In an interview with NewScientist magazine, Imperial College professor of atmospheric physics Joanna Haigh scoffs at the idea that late 20th century warming could have been caused by the sun:
Haigh points out that the sun actually began dimming slightly in the mid-1980s, if we take an average over its 11-year cycle, so fewer GCRs should have been deflected from Earth and more Earth-cooling clouds should have formed. "If there were some way cosmic rays could be causing global climate change, it should have started getting colder after 1985."What she means is that the 20th century's persistent high level of solar activity peaked in 1985. That is the estimate developed by Mike Lockwood and Claus Fröhlich. The actual peak was later (solar cycle 22, which ended in 1996, was stronger than cycle 21 by almost every measure) but set that aside. Who could possibly think that cooling should commence when forcings are at their peak, just because the very highest peak has been passed?
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Wednesday, December 12, 2012
Exxon called hateful for producing value
How do we know that Solyndra and First Solar and Fisker Automotive and thirty other failed Obama-subsidized green energy ventures are (or were) highly moral enterprises? Because they are all going bankrupt. They all produce less value for consumers than they cost in resources. That's good because producing net value—making money—is the criterion of immorality.
Such, at least, is the message from ExxonHatesYourChildren.com, where an actor pretending to speak for Exxon smugly plays the Grinch:
Here at Exxon we hate your children. We all know the climate crisis will rip their world apart but we don't care, because it's making us rich.Wait a minute. If they are getting rich, doesn't that mean they have to be creating quite a bit of value? Doesn't it mean that people need the gasoline that Exxon is producing and find it's price inexpensive compared to the value they get out of it? Indeed, if gasoline producers stopped producing, wouldn't everyone, including the children, die practically on the spot?
Condemning energy suppliers is just as perverse as condemning food suppliers. Unfortunately we have to take these people seriously because the country just re-elected a president who thinks much the same way, so witness the dripping hatred for mankind, made palatable (to some) by a sugar coating of anti-capitalism and class warfare:
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