Prepare for Cooling, not Warming
By Dr. Tim Ball Friday, October 5, 2007
By Dr. Tim Ball and Tom Harris
The world is cooling. Global temperatures have declined since 1998 and a growing number of climate experts expect this trend to continue until at least 2030. This, happening while carbon dioxide (CO2) emissions
continue to rise, is in complete contradiction to the theory of human-induced (anthropogenic) global warming (AGW). The CBC and other die-hard AGW proponents respond by publicizing selected glacial melts and the impact of dramatic but improbable sea level rises, the only warming issues that seem to grab public attention.
campaigners are frightened that, if the lid is lifted off the Pandora’s Box of modern day climate science, the vast uncertainties and contradictions in the field will become apparent and public support for multi-billion dollar climate change schemes will quickly die.”Canadian politicians simply follow along, parroting scientifically unjustified AGW rhetoric while lamenting that “climate change is real!” They either don’t know, or hope the public don’t know, that climate changes all the time no matter what we do.
For most of the world’s plants and animals, humanity included, cooling is a far greater threat than warming. This is especially true for Canada
where energy usage, and consequently pollution levels, will rise as temperatures drop. More importantly, if we prepare for warming and it cools, Canada’s food supply is seriously at risk since we are already at the northern limit to agriculture.
Even a small amount of cooling would necessitate increased genetic engineering of crops and animals to sustain ourselves and further cooling still would end much of today’s farming in Canada.
Yet, if we prepare for cooling and it warms, we simply adopt farming practices used to the south of us. It is the case in most parts of the world that adaptation to warming is far easier than adapting to cooling. Canada’s situation is just that much worse due to our latitude.
Despite this very real threat of continued cooling, our leaders still press for developed nations to dramatically curb CO2 emissions to counter possible warming. That the forces driving this backwards policy have little to do with protecting the environment was revealed last week at the UN high level climate summit in New York City
. Developed nations were chastised for their emissions record in the opening speech by UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon while he had no criticism for developing countries that are responsible for most of the recent growth in worldwide emissions. What is now needed, Ban Ki-moon recommended, is “enhanced leadership by the industrialized countries on emission reductions.” Developing nations are merely to be given “incentives… to act, but without sacrificing economic growth”, he said. China’s foreign minister clearly agreed and advised the forum, “Developed countries should meet their emission reduction targets under the Kyoto Protocol,...and continue to take the lead in reducing emissions after 2012.”
But Canada and other developed nations accepted severe targets in 1997 with the understanding that developing countries would follow after the protocol expires in 2012. Now, this is highly unlikely. The next round of UN negotiations starting in December in Bali, Indonesia will undoubtedly formalize new emission restrictions only for the one fifth of the world’s population who live in the developed world. Is it any wonder Osama Bin Laden promotes a UN climate process that threatens to cripple the West, but no one else?
The UN’s approach to climate hasn’t really been about science or ‘saving the planet’ since their Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) was established in 1988. Its goals were firmly positioned in the political and emotional arena at the Rio Conference in 1992. Canadian politicians assume the public overwhelming accepts the IPCC’s AGW claims even though polls show this is increasingly not the case. For example, a March 2006 Ipsos Reid poll revealed that 39% of Canadians believe recent climate change to be natural.
Nevertheless, global warming remains a massive, taxpayer-funded ‘industry’ in Canada. Most of the money goes to institutes, policy centers and government departments that effectively block proper scientific investigation. Scientists who study the impact of hypothetical warming are given significant support even though their research is based on the faulty assumption that AGW is proven. In a frightening circular argument their research is then listed as ‘proof’ of the hypothesis. Dissenting science is also excluded from government hearings, the most recent being the Commons committee hearings into the Kyoto Implementation Bill and the Clean Air Act
where only AGW-supporting scientists were permitted to testify.
In the late 1980s, the Mulroney government ignored scientists’ advice that fishing quotas should be drastically cut and so implemented policies that led to the depletion of the cod stock with the resultant loss of 40,000 jobs in Newfoundland’s fishing industry. Will today’s Conservative government ignore scientists again and implement unfounded policies that lead to the destruction of Canadian agriculture?
In 2006, sixty-one climate experts asked Prime Minister Harper to order open, unbiased climate science hearings, something that has never happened in Canada. Like Jean Chretien and Paul Martin, Harper ignored their request. He must no longer. It is time to finally lift the lid off the Pandora’s Box of modern day climate science and let the public hear what scientists are really concluding about this complex and immature discipline. With billions of taxpayer dollars and hundreds of thousands of jobs at stake, not to mention the future of our food supply, there is no other ethical choice.
At the time, 1998 was a record high year in both the CRU
and the NASA GISS
analyses. In fact, it blew away the previous record by .2 degrees C. (That previous record went all the way back to 1997, by the way!)
According to NASA
, it was elevated far above the trend line because 1998 was the year of the strongest El Nino of the century. Choosing that year as a starting point is a classic cherry pick
and demonstrates why it is necessary to remove chaotic year-to year-variability (aka: weather) by smoothing out the data. Looking at CRU's graph below, you can see the result of that smoothing in black.
Clearly 1998 is an anomaly and the trend has not reversed. (Even the apparent leveling at the end is not the real smoothing. The smoothed trend in 2005 depends on all of its surrounding years, including a few years still in the future.) By the way, choosing the CRU analysis is also a cherry pick -- NASA has 2005 breaking the 1998 record, though by very little.
Now, this is an excusable mistake for average folks who do not need the rigors of statistical analysis in their day jobs. But any scientist in pretty much any field knows that you cannot extract meaningful information about trends in noisy data from single-year end points. It's hard to hear a scientist make this argument and still believe they speak with integrity in this debate -- seems more like an abuse of the trust placed in them as scientists. Bob Carter
is just such a voice, and was the first to trot out this argument in an article in the Daily Telegraph
. Since then it has echoed far and wide and been used by Richard Lindzen as well as a host of skeptic websites.
Interestingly, Bob Carter seems to know what he is doing. He tries to pre-empt objections in his article by insinuating that any
choice of starting point (say, 1978) will just be a cherry pick with the opposite motive! But cherry picking is about choosing data for the sole purpose of supporting a pre-conceived conclusion. It is not the simple act of choosing at all. One must choose some
starting point. In the case of his example year, 1978, it's often chosen simply because it is the first year that satellite records of tropospheric temperatures
So what choices are there? What are the reasons for those choices? What conclusions we can draw from them?
- As mentioned above, you could choose to examine the last 30 years -- that is when both surface and tropospheric readings have been available. We have experienced warming of approximately .2 degrees C/decade during this time. It would take a couple of decades trending down before we could say the recent warming ended in 1998.
- You could choose 1970 in the NASA GISS analysis -- the start of the late 20th century warming, and as such a significant feature of the temperature record. The surface temperature over this period shows .6 degrees C warming.
- You could choose 1965 in the CRU analysis -- when the recent warming started in their record. It shows around .5 degrees C warming of the smoothed trend line.
- You could choose 1880 in the NASA record -- it shows .8 degrees C warming.
- You could choose 1855 in the CRU record -- it shows .8 degrees C warming. As with the trend above, we can not say it is over without many decades more data indicating cooling.
- You could choose to look at the last 500 years in the bore hole record analysis -- that is its entire length. It puts today about 1 degree C above the first three centuries of that record. In that kind of analysis, today's record will be hidden from view for many decades.
- You could choose to look at the last 1,000 years, because that is as far back as the dendrochronology studies reliably go. Then the conclusion is:
Although each of the temperature reconstructions are different (due to differing calibration methods and data used), they all show some similar patterns of temperature change over the last several centuries. Most striking is the fact that each record reveals that the 20th century is the warmest of the entire record, and that warming was most dramatic after 1920.
- You could choose to look at the entire period of time since the end of the last ice age, around 10,000 years ago. Then the conclusion is that GHG warming has reversed a long and stable period of slight downward trend, and we are now at a global temperature not experienced in the history of human civilization -- the entire Holocene. It will be many centuries until such a long view of today's climate is available. The situation is a bit more urgent than that!
That about covers any period of time relevant to today's society. "It has stopped warming" is only supported by selecting a single year out of context and using a seven-year window to look at multi-decadal trends in climate. That's a classic cherry pick.
Ball and the oil industry
Ball is listed
as a "consultant" of a Calgary-based global warming skeptic organization called the "Friends of Science" (FOS). In a January 28, 2007
article in the Toronto Star, the President of the FOS admitted that about one-third of the funding for the FOS is provided by the oil industry. In an August, '06 Globe and Mail feature
, the FOS was exposed as being funded in part by the oil and gas sector and hiding the fact that they were. According to the Globe and Mail, the oil industry money was funnelled through the Calgary Foundation charity, to the University of Calgary and then put into an education trust for the FOS.
Ball inflates credentials
Ball and organizations he is affiliated
with have repeatedly made the claim that he is the "first Canadian PhD in climatology." Even further, Ball once claimed
he was "one of the first climatology PhD's in the world." As many people have pointed out
, there have been many PhD's in the field prior to Ball.
Ball and the NRSP
Ball is listed
as an "Executive" for a Canadian group called the "Natural Resource Stewardship Project," (NRSP
) a lobby organization that refuses to disclose it's funding sources. The NRSP is led by executive director Tom Harris and Dr. Tim Ball
. An Oct. 16, 2006 CanWest Global news article
on who funds the NRSP, it states that "a confidentiality agreement doesn't allow him [Tom Harris] to say whether energy companies are funding his group."
DeSmog recently uncovered
information that two of the three Directors
on the board of the Natural Resources Stewardship Project are senior executives of the High Park Advocacy Group
, a Toronto based lobby firm that specializes in “energy, environment and ethics.”
Ball's research history
Ball retired from the University of Winnipeg in 1996 and a search of 22,000 academic journals shows that, over the course of his career, Ball has published 4 pieces of original research in a peer-reviewed
journal on the subject of climate change Ball has not published any new research in the last 11 years.
Ball sues researcher and Calgary Herald newspaper
On Sept. 1, Ball, launched a libel suit against Dr. Dan Johnson, a current Professor of Environmental Science at the University of Lethbridge and a Tier 1 Canada Research Chair in Sustainable Grassland Ecosystems. Here
are the original Statements of Claim and Defence.
......should be a interesting case and will further expose how Ball is just a hired hand for the energy sector.