Thursday, January 2, 2014

The Heat Is (Not) On

Down in Sydney, Australia, a few days past the summer solstice, it's hot.  So scientists are saying that the climate is warming faster than feared

I'm up to 14 degrees Fahrenheit during the coldest winter in the last ten years after one of the coolest summers in probably forty years.  I'm not really worried about an ice age -- after all, it's winter, and summer before last was very hot and dry.  The thing is that weather varies a lot, and scientists can get by with making ridiculous statements because people don't pay much attention:

”The net effect of [climate change] is you have less cloud cover.”

Really?  Where I come from, we have a word for this, but I'll substitute "making crap up as they go along."  According to these geniuses, it could be that water vapor which evaporates from large bodies of water -- like oceans -- might rise only a short distance into the atmosphere creating updrafts which, I suppose, would dissipate the clouds.  Because, you know, clouds are really sensitive to wind and water vapor:

The optimistic models did not properly assess the impact of water evaporation, which sometimes rises only a short distance into the atmosphere and causes updraughts that reduce cloud cover, the study found. 
Just in case you think I made that up as I went along.  Somebody might want to tell Science! that clouds are water vapor and tend to form under lower atmospheric pressure, which has little to do with updrafts or downdrafts.  I suspect bank drafts.

Of course, it doesn't matter whether you use optimistic or pessimistic models because both are vastly overestimating the actual observed temperature changes.  The average of multiple models projects an increase of around 0.75 degrees C, while the actual observed increase is closer to 0.2, or half a degree less, and slightly less than the most optimistic of models.  There was a slight rise up in global temperatures during the late '90s, especially as measured by satellite data which came close to the model average at the time of a 0.25 degree increase.  The only time the temperature has exceeded the modeled average was back in the late '70s.  After the '90s, the models all project a rapid increase in global temperature averages to exceed a full degree C by the end of this decade.  It is not going to happen.  

The mean "normal" global temperature is said to be 57 degrees F.  That is rarely the actual average -- as would be expected.  The temperature is usually a little above or a little below that.  Sometimes, as in 1100 BC, it is as much as two or three degrees higher; other times, like 200 BC and the Little Ice Age around 1600 AD, it may be a couple of degrees cooler.  The mean in 1607 AD was down around 54.3 degrees.  

Of course, none of this stuff is exact.  They are all estimates, but the same data is available to everybody.  It's just that some of us (scientists) get more research grant money when global warming is big in the news, and the rest of us get shafted by escalating electrical rates as coal-fueled power plants are shut down and denied permits.  

If the rest of us were caught in such fraud and extortion, we'd probably go to jail.

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