Daily Archives: December 28, 2011

Climate Science Reaches a Landmark That Chills Global Warming Alarmists

From Forbes.

James Taylor

James Taylor , Contributor

I write about energy and environment issues.

 

As 2011 comes to a close, climate science celebrates an important landmark. It has now been 33 years, or a third of a century, since sensors aboard NASA and NOAA satellites began measuring temperatures throughout the earth’s lower atmosphere.

For 33 years, we have had precise, objective temperature data that do not require guesswork corrections to compensate for uneven thermometer placement and non-climate surface temperature biases such as expanding urban heat islands and land-use changes. The satellite data, moreover, tell us the earth is warming at a more modest, gradual, and reassuring pace than was foretold by United Nations computer models.

The satellite sensors became operational at a time that is very convenient for those who believe humans are causing a global warming crisis. Global temperatures declined from the mid-1940s through the late 1970s. As a result, the sensors coincidentally began measuring global temperatures at the very beginning of our most recent global warming trend. Had the sensors been in place 33 years earlier, during the 1940s, the overall pace of warming shown by the satellite sensors would be less than half what is shown by the post-1978 temperature data.

Even so, the measured temperature trend is quite modest. John Christy, who along with Roy Spencer oversees the NASA satellite sensor program, reports temperatures have warmed at an average pace of 0.14 degrees Celsius per decade since the satellite sensors became operational. This is merely half the pace predicted by computer models utilized by the United Nations Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC).

Christy appears to be making a generous concession regarding the warming that has occurred. The temperature data  seem to show warming closer to 0.3 degrees over the 33 year period, or 0.09 degrees Celsius per decade. But why quibble over the difference? A warming of 0.14 degrees per decade, or 1.4 degrees per century, is still significantly less than predicted by UN climate models and far from an impending global warming crisis.

Importantly, the satellite sensors show less warming in the lower troposphere (approximately 10,000 feet above the earth’s surface) than is reported by surface temperature readings. Global warming theory holds that one of the fingerprints of human-induced global warming is more rapid warming in the lower troposphere than at the surface. The reason for this is carbon dioxide molecules reside in the lower troposphere and have their greatest heat-trapping effect there.

As a result, if global temperatures are rising as a result of human carbon dioxide emissions, the satellite sensors should report more warming in the lower troposphere than is actually occurring at the surface. In essence the satellite sensors should report a warming trend somewhat more severe than is actually occurring at the surface of the earth.

Surface temperature measurements, however, indicate more rapid warming at the surface of the earth than in the lower troposphere. According to James Hansen of NASA’s Goddard Institute, temperatures at the surface of the earth rose twice as fast during the past 33 years as the satellite data show. Surface temperatures compiled by the UK’s University of East Anglia Climate Research Unit reflect a similar warming trend.

With temperature data indicating more warming at the earth’s surface than in the earth’s lower troposphere, one of the following must be true: (1) the surface temperature data is more corrupted by heat biases such as expanding urban heat islands and localized land-use changes than the IPCC admits, (2) the warming of the past 33 years is primarily the result of factors other than greenhouse gas emissions, or (3) longstanding, widely believed assumptions about greenhouse gas theory are wrong.

Regardless of which one or more of the three options are true, the satellite sensors have contributed greatly to our scientific understanding of the earth’s ever-changing climate. Thirty-three years and counting, we rightly celebrate the scientific advances provided by satellite temperature sensors.

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ISRAEL, U.S. DISCUSS TRIGGERS FOR MILITARY STRIKE ON IRAN

The Daily Beast reports that the countries are discussing “red lines” in Iran’s nuclear program, that if crossed would justify a preemptive strike on its nuclear facilities.

Haaretz

Israel and the U.S. are discussing “red lines” in Iran’s nuclear program, that if crossed would justify a preemptive strike on its nuclear facilities, the Daily Beast website reported on Wednesday.

According to the report, Israel’s ambassador to the U.S., Michael Oren, filed an official complaint with the administration following a speech by U.S. Secretary of Defense Leon Panetta a few weeks ago, warning against a military strike on Iran.

The Daily Beast reported that Panetta’s statements infuriated the Israeli government, which ordered ambassador Oren to file the complaint. The White House then relayed a message to Israel saying the administration has its own “red lines” concerning a strike on Iran, and that Israel does not need to act unilaterally. Israel’s protest also resulted in Panetta reversing his stand in an interview with CBS, saying the U.S. will use any means necessary to prevent Iran from developing a nuclear weapon.

Patrick Clawson from the Washington Institute for Near East Policy said in the report that “If Iran were found to be sneaking out or breaking out then the president’s advisers are firmly persuaded he would authorize the use of military force to stop it.” However, he added that “we just don’t know how the president will react.”

The Daily Beast also reported that as part of the strategic dialogue between Israel and the U.S. that took place earlier this month, Israel presented new information about Iran’s efforts to build secret reactors for nuclear fuel production, and showed that these efforts were further along than the U.S. thought. Some of the intelligence was based on soil samples collected near the suspected sites.

Israel and the U.S. disagree about how far along Iran’s uranium enrichment program has developed, making it difficult for the two sides to formulate “red lines” concerning the Islamic Republic’s nuclear program.

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