Note: Yet another recently retired preeminent scientist has declared themselves a dissenter from the so-called global warming 'consensus.' The ranks of skeptical scientist continue to swell. See Senate report of well over 400 scientists (currently at over 470 and growing) who dissent from man-made global warming fears.See: Minority Senate Report
Today's new skeptic is Atmospheric Scientist Dr. Joanne Simpson, formerly of the NASA Goddard Space Flight Center. Present Position Chief Scientist for Meteorology, Earth Sciences Directorate. Simpson's career also included working with the Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution, and NASA. Former Colorado State Climatologist Roger Pielke Sr. Called Simpson “among the most preeminent scientists of the last 100 years.”Excerpt of Atmospheric Scientist Dr. Joanne Simpson's skeptical comments:
"Since I am no longer affiliated with any organization nor receive any funding, I can speak quite frankly. [...] The main basis of the claim that man's release of greenhouse gases is the cause of the warming is based almost entirely upon climate models. We all know the frailty of models concerning the air-surface system. We only need to watch the weather forecasts. [...] The term “global warming” itself is very vague. Where and what scales of response are measurable? One distinguished scientist has shown that many aspects of climate change are regional, some of the most harmful caused by changes in human land use. No one seems to have properly factored in population growth and land use, particularly in tropical and coastal areas. [...] But as a scientist I remain skeptical. I decided to keep quiet in this controversy until I had a positive contribution to make. […] Both sides (of climate debate) are now hurling personal epithets at each other, a very bad development in Earth sciences. (Full text of Simpson's comments below)
Simpson Bio: Simpson has authored more than 190 studies in refereed literature, on tropical meteorology, tropical cloud systems and modeling, tropical storms and tropical rain measurement from space. more than 30 publications on cumulus modeling since 1988, 12 on rain measurement from space. 14 significant publications on tropical cyclones in 1950's, 1960's and two on their development 1997, 1998. For a complete bio on Simpson, see:
Excerpt: Global warming sceptics are pointing to recent record cold temperatures in parts of North America and Asia and the return of Arctic Sea ice to suggest fears about climate change may be overblown. According to the US National Climatic Data Center (NCDC), the average temperature of the global land surface in January 2008 was below the 20th century mean (-0.02°F/-0.01°C) for the first time since 1982. […]Asked about the Arctic ice cover, Gilles Langis, a senior forecaster with the Canadian Ice Service in Ottawa, told the Post the Arctic winter had been so severe, the ice has not only recovered but was actually 10 to 20 cm thicker in many places than the same time last year. "OK, so one winter does not a climate make. It would be premature to claim an Ice Age is looming just because we have had one of our most brutal winters in decades," writes Lorne Gunter in the National Post.
"But if environmentalists and environment reporters can run around shrieking about the manmade destruction of the natural order every time a robin shows up on Georgian Bay two weeks early, then it is at least fair game to use this winter's weather stories to wonder whether the alarmist are being a tad premature." He also quotes Kenneth Tapping, of Canada's National Research Council, who oversees a giant radio telescope focused on the sun and is convinced the Earth is destined for a long period of severely cold weather if solar activity does not pick up soon. "The last time the sun was this inactive, Earth suffered the Little Ice Age that lasted about five centuries and ended in 1850," Gunter writes. "It's way too early to claim the same is about to happen again, but then it's way too early for the hysteria of the global warmers, too."The Global Warming Heretic: A modest request to those who believe in anthropogenic climate change
Excerpt: some time ago many in the CoGW abandoned the exclusive use of the term "global warming" to describe current climate trends. "Climate change" is the preferred term now, since many weather events in recent years do not appear to fit the perception of what we would see on an unnaturally warming planet. I will continue to use "Anthropogenic Global Warming" (AGW) to describe this ideology. Although atmospheric CO2 concentrations continue to increase, global temperatures have more or less plateaued in the past decade.
Since the plateau occurred at a warm average temperature, we've been treated to innumerable accounts of the fact that recent years have been among the warmest in recent history. So, despite the use of the term "climate change", it's clear that proponents are invested in creating the public perception that the earth is continuing to warm (and that such warming will soon accelerate out of control).Climate change really is a term of art, because it allows CoGW adherents to insist that all weather -- wet or dry, hot or cold -- validates the AGW orthodoxy. Floods in China: check. Drought in China: check. More hurricanes: check. Fewer hurricanes: check. Summer ice melt in the Arctic: check. Winter refreezing of Arctic ice that exceeds that which originally melted: check. Collapse of the West Antarctica Ice Shelf: check. Net increase in Antarctic ice: check. Record warm winter in 2006-2007: check. Record cold winter in 2007-2008: check. And so on.
This leads me to ask a question of those of you who believe that human activity is negatively and catastrophically impacting the earth's climate: Is the anthropogenic climate change hypo-thesis falsifiable? I am asking this within the context of the scientific method. Integrity demands that a scientist, when proposing a hypothesis, list the conditions whereby the hypothesis would fall apart:
We believe that this hypothesis sufficiently describes the reality we are studying, but if anybody can demonstrate any of conditions a, b, c, d or e, our hypothesis is fatally compromised and it's back to the drawing board.So, AGW folks: can you name any condition (series of weather events, temperature trends, etc.) that would make you doubt the current orthodoxy, or are we witnessing the most bulletproof hypothesis ever?Report: 12 month global temperature drop nearly wipes out past 100 years of warming
Excerpt: All four major global temperature tracking outlets (Hadley, NASA's GISS, UAH, RSS) have released updated data. All show that over the past year, global temperatures have dropped precipitously. Meteorologist Anthony Watts compiled the results of all the sources. The total amount of cooling ranges from 0.65C up to 0.75C -- a value large enough to erase nearly all the global warming recorded over the past 100 years. All in one year time. For all sources, it's the single fastest temperature change every recorded, either up or down.Spring Break Moves to Coal Country: Students Protest 'Environmental and Social Degradation'
Excerpt: Instead of partying on the beach this Spring Break, more than 100 college students will spend their vacations in Ohio and Virginia experiencing first-hand "the coal industry's environmental and social degradation," a coalition of energy activists announ-ced on Tuesday. During Mountain Justice Spring Break (MJSB), young adults will spend March 1-9 in southwestern Virginia and March 22-30 in Meigs County, Ohio, locations chosen by the organi-zers because they are "coal-impacted areas" that are ready for "corporate and political action." While in Virginia, students will "help clean up a river dirtied by King Coal" and travel to Wise County - the epicenter of Virginia's current coal fight - "to oppose mountaintop coal removal and a proposed coal plant in the region," the news release announcing the project stated. […] "We want clean and just energy, and we want it now," Kuhnline said.New Peer-Reviewed Study Shows Arctic COOLING Over last 1500 years!
(Study published in Climate Dynamics, and the work was conducted by Håkan Grudd of Stockholm University's Department of Physical Geography and Quaternary Geology
- Published online: 30 January 2008)
Excerpt: “The late-twentieth century is not exceptionally warm in the new Torneträsk record: On decadal-to-century timescales, periods around AD 750, 1000, 1400, and 1750 were all equally warm, or warmer. The warmest summers in this new reconstruction occur in a 200-year period centred on AD 1000. A 'Medieval Warm Period' is supported by other paleoclimate evidence from northern Fennoscandia, although the new tree-ring evidence from Tornetraäsk suggests that this period was much warmer than previously recognised.”
“The new Torneträsk summer temperature reconstruction shows a trend of -0.3°C over the last 1,500 years.” Paper available here:Full Paper (pdf) available here
After being stripped of his title, skeptical Oregon state climatologist steps aside
[Note: This follows a series of attempts to silence skeptical scientists. See also: 1) September 29. 2007: VA State Climatologist skeptical of global warming loses job after clash with Governor: 'I was told that I could not speak in public' (LINK) 2) Skeptical State Climatologist in Delaware silenced by Governor (May 2, 2007)
Excerpt: One day he received a letter from the governor, saying his views do not concur with those of the administration, so if he wants to speak out, it must be as an individual, not as a state climatologist. So essentially, you can have the title of state climatologist unless he`s talking about his views on climate? For more examples of the intimidation skeptics face, see article here.After being stripped of his title, skeptical Oregon state climatologist steps aside
Excerpt: The controversial head of the Oregon Climate Service -- stripped of the "state climatologist" title last year by Gov. Ted Kulongoski -- announced today that he will retire effective May 1. In February 2007, Kulongoski asked the president of Oregon State University to stop George Taylor from calling himself the state climatologist because of Taylor's skeptical stance on global warming. Taylor, who has a master's degree in meteorology and runs the state-funded Oregon Climate Service, has been widely known as Oregon's state climatologist since 1991. Technically, however, the position was discontinued along with federal funding in the late 1980s. The climate service tracks weather and generates maps from its offices at OSU.# # Full Statement of Dr. Joanne Simpson released on February 27, 2008 TRMM (Tropical Rainfall Measuring Mission) Data Set Potential in Climate Controversy, By Joanne Simpson, private citizen Filed under: Guest Weblogs — Roger Pielke Sr. @ 7:00 am
Climatologist Dr. Roger Pielke Intro: I am pleased to be able to post a weblog by Dr. Joanne Simpson who is among the most preeminent scientists of the last 100 years. Her comments were first distributed on a limited mail group, and are reproduced here with her permission.
Dr. Joanne Simpson:
“Since I am no longer affiliated with any organization nor receive any funding, I can speak quite frankly. For more than a decade now “global warming” and its impacts has become the primary interface between our science and society. A large group of earth scientists, voiced in an IPCC statement, have reached what they claim is a consensus of nearly all atmospheric scientists that man-released greenhouse gases are causing increasing harm to our planet.
They predict that most icepacks including those in the Polar Regions, also sea ice, will continue melting with disastrous ecological consequences including coastal flooding. There is no doubt that atmospheric greenhouse gases are rising rapidly and little doubt that some warming and bad ecological events are occurring. However, the main basis of the claim that man's release of greenhouse gases is the cause of the warming is based almost entirely upon climate models. We all know the frailty of models concerning the air-surface system. We only need to watch the weather forecasts.
However, a vocal minority of scientists so mistrusts the models and the complex fragmen-tary data, that some claim that global warming is a hoax. They have made public state-ments accusing other scientists of deliberate fraud in aid of their research funding. Both sides are now hurling personal epithets at each other, a very bad development in Earth sciences. The claim that hurricanes are being modified by the impacts of rising greenhouse gases is the most inflammatory frontline of this battle and the aspect that journalists enjoy the most. The situation is so bad that the front page of the Wall Street Journal printed an article in which one distinguished scientist said another distinguished scientist has a fossi-lized brain. He, in turn, refers to his critics as “the Gang of Five”.
Few of these people seem to have any skeptical self-criticism left, although virtually all of the claims are derived from either flawed data sets or imperfect models or both. The term “global warming” itself is very vague. Where and what scales of response are measurable? One distinguished scientist has shown that many aspects of climate change are regional, some of the most harmful caused by changes in human land use. No one seems to have properly factored in population growth and land use, particularly in tropical and coastal areas.
What should we as a nation do? Decisions have to be made on incomplete information. In this case, we must act on the recommendations of Gore and the IPCC because if we do not reduce emissions of greenhouse gases and the climate models are right, the planet as we know it will in this century become unsustainable. But as a scientist I remain skeptical. I decided to keep quiet in this controversy until I had a positive contribution to make. That point is to be celebrated in the TRMM (Tropical Rainfall Measuring Mission) 10 year anniver-sary in a Conference in February, 2008. With a 10-year record the TRMM, users of the data can begin to look for and test for trends. With the TRMM sampling limitations, other data sets, from geosynchronous and other sources are being used now in the group led by Bob Adler. Their products can detect trends in global tropical rain on several scales, including regional.
These patterns can be compared over the past ten years with the patterns predicted ten years ago by the climate models. An example is the Walker circulation, normally with des-cent of air over the eastern Pacific Ocean and ascent of air over the western Pacific. When this cell weakens, perhaps breaking over the middle Pacific, we have an El Niño. The modelers say that higher greenhouse warming produces recognizable changes in the Walker circulation. What better data is there to test such model results than the tropical rain products from TRMM? While the TRMM data set provides no panacea on the volatile hurri-cane front, useful information for the several ocean basins relating the rainfall to claimed and observed storm structure can be made if dedicated work is committed.
I would be most interested to find out how the distribution of hot towers relates to storm intensity and rain production. Examining the data already posted on the TRMM Website shows that such projects are tractable. The major lack for TRMM data use in testing climate theories is latitude limitation. Global warming impacts appear much more severe in polar latitudes than in tropical regions. The best news is that the Global Precipitation Mission (GPM) is on schedule for a 2013 launch. In conclusion I can just pray that GPM scientists and engineers are as smart and as lucky as we TRMM participants have been.”Marc Morano