A highlight of recent research supporting the climate realist perspective #5

I have come across two scientific papers published recently, both of which support the climate realist perspective, and thought them of such significance that I should share them here, in my climate realist paper update series of blog posts.

First is The response of clouds and aerosols to cosmic ray decreases (press release here), published in Journal of Geophysical Research – Space Physics. It argues that clouds and aerosols respond strongly to Forbush Decreases, large ejections of radiation and plasma which decrease incoming cosmic ray numbers, and that this response is likely due to the ionizing effect of cosmic rays. In addition, it finds that solar UV radiation’s effect on clouds is negligible. This supports the climate realist notion that there is a real effect of cosmic rays on clouds, and thus temperature. Notable authors on this paper include Drs. Henrik Svensmark and Nir Shaviv, two proponents, in my opinion, of the climate realist perspective or something near it. There is a press release for the paper here.

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The response of diurnal temperature range (as influenced by cloud cover) to Forbush Decreases. From Dragic et al. 2011.

Second is Anthropogenic impact on Antarctic surface mass balance, currently masked by natural variability, to emerge by mid-century (press release here), published in Environmental Research Letters. It argues that an anthropogenic-induced increase in snowfall over Antarctica will have a positive effect on Antarctic ice surface mass balance and offset over 60% of the possible sea level rise from increasing temperatures. This is great news, and it supports the climate realist perspective by helping diminish alarm over sea level rise projections, since Antarctica, which has reportedly gained ice mass recently, is a potentially enormous contributor to coming sea level rise. However, currently the snowfall increase is still masked by natural variability, and the authors expect an anthropogenic signal to emerge by mid-century.

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Another example of PolitiFact’s climate propaganda

Here’s an excellent essay posted at WattsUpWithThat by the editor of the website Fabius Maximus, an excellent blog on geopolitics, though they post on climate often from, a climate realist perspective. The article has a great summary of the supposed 97% consensus on climate change, and I thought it so good that I should share it with you.

Watts Up With That?

By Larry Kummer. From the archives at the Fabius Maximus website.

Summary: This vignette illustrates important aspects of the climate change debate, and why it has failed to gain sufficient support from Americans to pass large-scale public policy measures. For two decades journalists and scientists have cooperated to produce political propaganda, exaggerating and misrepresenting the work of the IPCC. Their failure should inspire us, showing a resistance to manipulation greater than many people expected (it surprises me).

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Attributed to George Orwell. He would have agreed.

My post, which started this kerfuffle

In July I published The 97% consensus of climate scientists is only 47%, which showed the hidden results of an excellent survey of scientists’ agreement with the IPPC’s attribution statements about the role of anthropogenic greenhouse gases in global warming. It was high, but lower than usually described — and below the standard for significance. The question…

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A highlight of recent research supporting the climate realist perspective #4

I have come across a scientific paper published recently, which supports the climate realist perspective, and thought it of such significance that I should share it here, in my new climate realist paper update series.

The paper in question has been published in Environmental Research Letters. It may not seem so at first glance, but this study is highly significant in that it finds that snow cover in the Northern Hemisphere increased during the winter months (November-February) between 1982 as 2013. This is great news, and surprising as well, since snow cover is expected to decrease with global warming and provide a positive feedback by lowering the albedo (level of radiation reflected, or reflectivity) of the ground it previously covered. Though as previously noted, these results are surprising, they are corroborated by the Rutgers University Global Snow Lab’s winter snow cover data (see below):

nhland_season1

One possible explanation of these puzzling results is that warmer temperatures enhance winter precipitation, either directly or indirectly, and thus increase snowfall accumulation and snow cover. A similar effect has been noted in the Arctic, and thus this theory may hold some merit, but this is pure speculation on my part. In addition, a decrease even stronger than the increase occured in summer (May to August) snow cover, so the effects of global warming on snow cover may already be present, but fortunately not apparently yet in Northern Hemisphere winter snow cover.

A highlight of recent research supporting the climate realist perspective #3

I have come across a scientific paper published recently, which supports the climate realist perspective, and thought it of such significance that I should share it here, in my new climate realist paper update series.

The paper in question has been published in Tellus A, a scientific journal published by the International Meteorological Institute in Stockholm, Sweden. It addresses what has been a topic of discussion in the climate debate for quite some time now: global temperature records. Climate skeptics have made some valid arguments criticizing the global surface temperature record (arguing, for example, that the records are contaminated by urbanization and land use-change effects) and supporting the global tropospheric temperature record, while climate alarmists have also made valid points defending the global surface temperature record and criticizing the global tropospheric temperature record.

Before I begin on the content of the paper, though, I shall give some background knowledge about global temperature records. The global surface temperature record is really three global surface temperature datasets, comprised of those produced by the Hadley Center in conjunction with the Climatic Research Unit at the University of East Anglia (HadCRUT4), NASA Goddard Institute for Space Studies (GISTEMP), and NOAA National Centers for Environmental Information (a combination of GHCN-M and ICOADS). Likewise, the global tropospheric temperature record is actually two datasets, comprised of those produced by the University of Alabama-Huntsville (UAH) and Remote Sensing Systems (RSS).

As a last note before I address the paper itself, it may interest the reader that one of the authors, Dr. Lennart Bengtsson, whom I listed as a skeptical scientist, joined the Academic Advisory Council of the Global Warming Policy Foundation (GWPF), widely considered a skeptic organization, in early 2014. However, he soon left because many in the climate science community pressured him to do so. In my opinion, this shows the current terrible dysfunction in this debate: that someone would fear for his health and safety simply because he joined a group that promotes a minority view! It is absolutely despicable, and as Dr. Bengtsson points out, somewhat similar to Senator Joseph McCarthy’s anti-communist reign of terror in the early 1950s.

Anyways, the paper points out that global surface temperatures show a large discrepancy between land and ocean trends, and that global tropospheric temperature datasets do not. In addition, it argues that surface ocean temperature trends are similar to tropospheric trends. This is highly important to realize, as it implies that the satellite (tropospheric) datasets may, in at least some ways, be more reliable than surface temperature datasets. This notion has been criticized vociferously by alarmists because satellite trends are less than that of surface trends, but those doing the criticizing may fail to realize this. The paper later argues this:

It is therefore suggested to use either the more robust tropospheric temperature or ocean surface temperature in studies of climate sensitivity.

This is quite a statement, and one that deserves consideration, certainly more consderation than it currently gets, especially since there is additional evidence to be at least slightly skeptical of the proposed accuracy of surface temperature datasets (see below).

Climate models projected that the troposphere should warm faster than the surface, and yet the opposite has happened. In 2004, climate scientists argued that there was an extremely low chance of temperatures at the surface continuing to warm much faster than in the troposphere, and yet that is what happened. Therefore, something must be contaminating either dataset, and since the above paper (and others; I am planning a similar list of papers in the future) makes a compelling argument for contamination of the surface datasets, the satellite temperature record may be more reliable, at least in some aspects, than the surface temperature record.

(A further implication of this study is that climate sensitivity studies’ estimates of climate sensitivity (the temperature change to a doubling of CO2) may be biased too high. This in turn may mean the alarm over global warming should be at least slightly diminished.)

In conclusion, this new paper (with a familiar author) argues that global land surface temperature trends (and thus global surface temperature trends) may be biased too high, and that global tropospheric and ocean trends (which are lower) are more robust and should be used in climate sensitivity studies.