5 May 2011, 11:18am
Climate and Weather
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Coldest Pacific Northwest April in 36 Years

by Steve Pierce, Vice President, Oregon Chapter of the American Meteorological Society

Disclaimer: The following information is not endorsed by any organization. Permission granted to reuse with courtesy given to author and quoted directly.

Vancouver, Washington (Friday, April 29th 2011) 1:30pm PT — This month will go into the record books as Portland’s coldest April in 36 years as well as third wettest in history (1940-2011) at the Portland Airport. Many other stations across the Pacific Northwest are also challenging long standing April records.

Here is a look at regional April 2011 temperatures and rainfall at several stations around the Pacific Northwest, through 4/28. These numbers are not likely to change much in the final 36 hours of the month. Astoria, Oregon has still not reached 60 degrees this calendar year, smashing the old record of April 19th 1945.

Station / April 2011 Ave Temp / Departure From Normal / April 2011 Rainfall / Departure From Normal

Astoria 44.8 -3.6 7.94 3.27
Hillsboro 45.5 -6.1 3.42 1.10
Salem 47.3 -2.6 3.82 1.22
Seattle 45.4 -4.6 4.34 1.89
Spokane 41.4 -4.8 1.71 0.53
Eugene 46.9 -2.8 3.47 0.01
Redmond, OR. 39.1 -6.7 0.28 -0.29
Medford 48.8 -2.6 2.10 0.87
Troutdale 47.2 -4.6 4.64 1.21
Vancouver, WA. 47.9 -1.9 4.23 1.92
Portland 47.8 -3.2 5.04 2.56
McMinnville 46.0 -4.4 4.13 1.47

Average All Stations 45.7 -4.0 3.76 1.31

With 5.04″ of precipitation, Portland has now moved into the #3 position on the all-time wettest April list (1940-2011) at the Portland International Airport. But with only 36 hours left in the month and showers decreasing, the chances of overtaking the top spot are fading. Here are the top five wettest April’s in Portland Airport history, through 12 noon today (4/29)

YEAR / APR rainfall (inches)

1993 5.26
1996 5.12
2011 5.04
1955 4.72
1988 4.57

Here are the top 5 coldest April’s on record at the Portland International Airport (1940-2011).

YEAR APR
1955 46.5
1964 46.7
1967 46.9
1975 47.3
2011 47.8

2 May 2011, 8:19am
Climate and Weather
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Tornado Folly

A severe weather phenomenon struck Alabama last week, a spate of tornadoes with tragic consequences, and the kooks came out of the woodwork like singing cockroaches blaming global warming.

First off, weather is not climate. More importantly, Midwest tornadoes are caused by cold air, not warm.

As Roy W. Spencer points out [here]

I see the inevitable blame-humanity game has been reinvigorated by the recent tornado swarm. … If there is one weather phenomenon global warming theory does NOT predict more of, it would be severe thunderstorms and tornadoes.

Tornadic thunderstorms do not require tropical-type warmth. In fact, tornadoes are almost unheard of in the tropics, despite frequent thunderstorm activity.

Instead, tornadoes require strong wind shear (wind speed and direction changing rapidly with height in the lower atmosphere), the kind which develops when cold and warm air masses “collide”. Of course, other elements must be present, such as an unstable airmass and sufficient low-level humidity, but wind shear is the key. Strong warm advection (warm air riding up and over the cooler air mass, which is also what causes the strong wind shear) in advance of a low pressure area riding along the boundary between the two air masses is where these storms form.

But contrasting air mass temperatures is the key. Active tornado seasons in the U.S. are almost always due to unusually COOL air persisting over the Midwest and Ohio Valley longer than it normally does as we transition into spring.

Yes, sports fans, tornadoes are more frequent in cold years, and this year has been record cold. April in the PNW was the coldest in 36 years, 3.1°F below average. April followed a record cold March, 1.1°F below average. February was the 8th coldest February on record (1940-2011), 2.8°F below average [here].

A new record was set for the latest “first 60 degree day of the calendar year” on March 31st. The old record was March 27th set in 1955. Snowpacks are 150%+ above average. We have had one (count ‘em one) day above 70°F in 2011. That was yesterday, for about 5 minutes when the temp climbed to a stunning 71°F, before plunging again. It’s cold and clammy today, and we’ll be lucky to hit 50°F.

Two years ago the Pacific Decadal Oscillation shifted negative. Then a La Nina set in. But our temperature downturn is not all that new. Annual average temperature in the Pacific Northwest has been trending downward (-0.42°F per decade) since 1994. Average winter temps have been trending downward even more precipitously (-1.29°F per decade).

Climate At A Glance, Northwest Region. Winter (Dec-Feb) 1994-2011 Trend = -1.29 degF / decade. Graph courtesy National Climatic Data Center [here].

Warmer is better. It would be much preferable if average temperatures would go up instead of down. But down they are going and have been going for 15 years.

The kooks have not noticed that, however. The kooks think temperatures are going up, which they are not. The kooks think colder is better, which it isn’t.

The kooks include the Pervert Elite [here] who rule Oregon. Evidently the kooks in charge are too busy raping children to notice the weather, much less the climate.

But when some really nasty weather hits, like a spate of tornadoes, the kooks come crawling out of their dark hidey holes, where they were doing God knows what, and honk “global warming, global warming” like mindless geese. Except it isn’t warming but cooling that causes tornadoes.

But don’t let the facts get in the way of your hysterical paranoia fit. If you want to think it’s getting warmer when it actually isn’t, that’s your choice. Be insane. It’s not a crime. And your Fearless Leaders will thank you for your loyalty, no matter how contrary to reality it is, in fact the more contrary the better. If they can get you to believe the opposite of the truth, make you deny even to yourself the obvious facts in front of your very eyes, then they have done their sicko job.

Global Warming and Communism

You have to give the Commies points for honesty. They hate capitalism and blame capitalism for everything bad, so naturally glooobal waaarming is a capitalist plot, too.

The latest red eruption comes from noted Communists Jack Trevors [here] and Milton Saier [here], Editor-in-Chief and Associate Editor respectively of Water, Air, & Soil Pollution (WASP), An International (peer-reviewed) Journal of Environmental Pollution.

Although Jack and Milton are nominally (purported to be) microbiologists, they forayed into Marxist economics in their recent joint editorial in WASP [here]. Some excerpts:

These human-designed systems include our financial and economic systems—whether they be capitalistic, socialistic, or communistic, for example. Some societies may be more prone to one of these options than others. Thus, the capitalistic systems of economy follow the one principal rule: the rule of profit making. All else must bow down to this rule. For this reason, a capitalistic system cannot be expected to provide for its citizens without strictly imposed regulations on the capitalistic system itself; the owners of industry yield to their specific selfish interests—usually short term—without thoughts about the greater good of humankind or long-term planetary sustainability.

The current USA is an example of a failed capitalistic state in which essential long-term goals such as prevention of climate change and limitation of human population growth are subjugated to the short-term profit motive and the principle of economic growth.

So why has the USA failed so miserably to act in the interests of the common good? The answer lies at the human root of capitalism. The existence of human-caused Global Warming is an established fact with no evidence to contradict the basis for its occurrence. And the theoretical basis was established over 50 years ago! …

We believe these values can also be cultivated through education. They certainly will not result from the yielding to the greedy interests of profiteers! …

Just lovely. It warms me all over to hear yet another pair of trough sucking government functionaries rail against capitalist profit. How much better off we all would be if we embraced Communist LOSSES in all our endeavors. Personal, corporate, governmental, and pan-national bankruptcy are such wonderful things to aspire to.

Note that the the TSPEC (Trough Sucking Public Employee Class) reacts violently when their taxpayer victims (aka greedy capitalist profiteers) suggest that TSPEC-ers pay some small percentage of their own pensions and benefits out of their own personal capital. Heaven forfend! Time to riot in the streets.

The authors ask, “So why has the USA failed so miserably to act in the interests of the common good?” and answer their own rhetorical question, “The answer lies at the human root of capitalism.”

Capitalism has failed to provide for the common good? It certainly provides for Jack’s and Milton’s, and a few billion other folks, while Communism has succeeded only at murdering a hundred million people or more, and starving an equal number to death. The human roots of mass murder are not particularly sustainable or non-polluting, as the evidence plainly demonstrates. For some reason microbiologists failed to observe all that phenomenal blood-letting, though. They spend too much tine peering through microscopes and not enough time burying victims of Communist excess, evidently.

Obviously the correct response to such deep truths [sarc] from WASP is to SEIZE the capitalist assets of the editor authors. Commandeer their private property. They don’t want it, they recommend against owning it, and so it is fair game to whomever wants it. Jack and Milton and their overly large families can sleep under a bridge, a communist bridge, and forgo the failed comforts of our failed national experiment in failure-prone capitalism.

WASP is a journal that has jumped the shark. Time to seize their capitalist assets, too.

You’ve got to love this illogic: “The existence of human-caused Global Warming is an established fact with no evidence to contradict the basis for its occurrence. And the theoretical basis was established over 50 years ago!”

Except it’s not a fact, no matter how old the theory is, and all the evidence contradicts it. The theoretical basis for communism was established 160 years ago, and the evidence of its failure abounds, and yet the authors still believe in it, too. The adherence to junk theories, whether economic or environmental, seems to be a persistent trait of the TSPEC.

Some folks think Marxism has infiltrated university social sciences only. Nope, the infection has polluted every discipline, including real sciences such as microbiology.

Lysenko lives!!!!

Note: special comrade salute goes to Wm. Briggs [here] for the red tipoff.

Of Coffee and Climate: Anecdote Replaces Science

By Todd Myers, Real Clear Science, March 23, 2023 [here]

So profound is our ignorance, and so high our presumption, that we marvel when we hear of the extinction of an organic being; and as we do not see the cause, we invoke cataclysms to desolate the world, or invent laws on the duration of the forms of life! – Charles Darwin, The Origin of Species

Writing more than 150 years ago, Charles Darwin identified the central problem with humanity’s ability to understand nature’s complex interactions. We believe we are intelligent enough to sort out obscure natural processes, so we invent stories that seem to explain what we are seeing. Darwin recognized, however, that we presume too much, failing to see the real causes of events.

The strength of the modern scientific method is its ability to carefully test those stories. That process, however, is often at odds with the storytelling at the center of environmental journalism. A recent story in The Seattle Times about climate change and Costa Rican coffee is an excellent example of how a compelling story can lead reporters to mistake local anecdotes for global scientific data.

Published on March 5, the story’s headline captures the tone: “Climate change takes toll on coffee growers, drinkers too”. The impact of climate change on coffee, they argue, has been significant. “Yields in Costa Rica have dropped dramatically in the last decade,” the Times wrote, “with farmers and scientists blaming climate change for a significant portion of the troubles.”

But there are factual problems with the story.

(1) According to NASA, Costa Rican temperatures during 2008-09, the years with the largest drop in production, were only 0.6 degrees warmer than the 20th century baseline. The most significant increase occurred in the fall (September-November, 2008), of just over 1 degree F. This was left out of the story.

(2) Average temperatures in 2008-09 were only 0.1 degrees warmer than 1998-2000, when Costa Rican coffee harvests were 68 percent larger. The largest difference occurred in the fall, a difference of only 0.7 degrees.

(3) Temperatures in 2008-09 are actually 0.1 degrees lower than the average annual temperature during the 1991-93 period, which marked the country’s highest coffee production.

Climate scientists also say we are not currently seeing impacts. Dr. Mike Wallace, a climate scientist at the University of Washington told me “the warming of the past 10 years is pretty small, both globally and over Costa Rica. I’m not at all sure that it’s been a factor in the decline of coffee production on this short time scale.” Ironically, Wallace is the very scientist chosen by The Times to answer climate questions in an online chat they hosted about the article.
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16 Mar 2011, 3:19pm
Climate and Weather
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Global Warming Snow Job

Ed Note: It snowed here this morning. Must be all that global warming making things so warm that it snows unseasonably, because as we all know thanks to the Main Stream Propaganda, warmer is colder, and colder is warmer, and up is down, and the government is here to help.

But what’re you going to do? One thing is to go directly to the government records, which (as screwed up as they are) still indicate what we all know to be true in our bones: it’s been getting colder in the U.S. for the last 15 years or so.

by Ken Schlichte

This morning’s snow in the Willamette Valley, and the fact that the last two winters are included in the three winters with the largest recorded Northern Hemisphere seasonal snow cover extent, are consistent with the NOAA National Climatic Data Center figure below indicating that winter temperatures in the contiguous United States have been trending downward at a rate of 3.22 degrees F per decade since 1997.

Courtesy NCDC Climate Services and Monitoring Division [here]

Winter (Dec-Feb) 1997-2011 Data Values:

Winter (Dec-Feb) 2011: 32.29 degF Rank: 3
Winter (Dec-Feb) 2010: 31.14 degF Rank: 1
Winter (Dec-Feb) 2009: 33.68 degF Rank: 6
Winter (Dec-Feb) 2008: 33.30 degF Rank: 4

Winter (Dec-Feb) Temperature, Contiguous United States
1997-2011 Average = 34.50 degF
1997-2011 Trend = -3.22 degF / Decade

Recent Additions to the W.I.S.E. Library

In case you missed it, some papers recently added to our online Library are:

Bjorkman, Anne D. and Mark Vellend (2010) Defining Historical Baselines for Conservation: Ecological Changes Since European Settlement on Vancouver Island, Canada. Conservation Biology, Volume 24, Issue 6, pages 1559–1568, December 2010

Selected excerpts [here]

Some quotes from Bjorkman and Vellend:

… Finally, although frequent fires do not necessarily imply an anthropogenic cause, our results do indicate that the fire regime was influenced by native peoples. The observed patterns are characteristic of landscapes prone to more frequent fires than expected by lightning strikes. Experiments suggest that the unimodal tree size distribution observed on Saltspring Island occurs at a fire interval of <5 years (Fule & Covington 1994; Peterson & Reich 2001). In contrast, a study in the Douglas-fir forests of Vancouver Island estimated a fire cycle of 5700 years, on the basis of the frequency of lightning strikes between 1950 and 1992 (Pew & Larsen 2001). …

… In terms of space, the presence of both forested and open habitats historically suggests considerable spatial variability in the magnitude of human impacts, with prescribed [anthropogenic] fire likely to have maintained at least half of the landscape as open habitat (Table 1). …

… Restoration efforts are often prone to uncertainty about target conditions (Higgs 1997; Hobbs & Cramer 2008), especially in areas with no appropriate reference sites to help define historical conditions. Land managers often follow a do-nothing approach and allow land to return to its “natural” state (Hobbs & Cramer 2008). Nevertheless, our study indicates that the open nature of the endangered savannas on Vancouver Island was likely maintained by fires purposefully set by native peoples.

Thus, restoration of these habitats to their pre-European state cannot be accomplished simply by removing human influences. Achieving the goal of maintaining open savannas would almost certainly need to involve active removal of encroaching trees and shrubs, either through burning or alternative strategies (e.g., mowing, tree removal) (MacDougall et al. 2004; Gedalof et al. 2006). …

Rostlund, Erhard (1957) The Myth of a Natural Prairie Belt in Alabama: An Interpretation of Historical Records. Annals of the Association of American Geographers Volume 47, Issue 4, pages 392–411, December 1957.

Review with excerpts [here]

A quote from Rostlund’s classic paper:

[T]he cause was the Indian practice of burning the woods at frequent intervals. … Indian burning has sometimes been both misunderstood and misrepresented; it was not wantonly destructive but rather, as Gordon M. day puts it, a method of maintaining a balance in the forest favorable to their economy. The woods were burned for several reasons, but one of the most common was the belief that occasional light fires helped to increase the food supply for game, and improved conditions for hunting by keeping down the underbrush. That is, burning was primitive management of a food resource. The hunting territory of the Creeks, their “beloved bear ground” in Bullock County, Alabama, was in fact a sort of managed game preserve, and there must have been hundreds of others in the Southeast. In short, the open, parklike appearance of the woodlands, undoubtedly the most common type of forest in the ancient Southeast, was mostly the work of man. …

McGregor, Sandra, Violet Lawson, Peter Christophersen, Rod Kennett, James Boyden, Peter Bayliss, Adam Liedloff, Barbie McKaige, Alan N. Andersen (2010) Indigenous wetland burning: conserving natural and cultural heritage in Australia’s World Heritage-listed Kakadu National Park. Human Ecol (2010) 38:721-729

Selected excerpts [here]

A quote from McGregor et al.:

Driven by concerns about the failure of western science and management to address ecosystem degradation and species loss, people are looking to the deep ecological understandings and management practices that have guided indigenous use of natural resources for millennia for alternative ways of sustainably managing the earth’s natural resources (De Walt 1993; Bart 2006; Berkes and Davidson-Hunt 2006). Equitable partnerships between indigenous and non-indigenous researchers and managers are revealing a way of looking after the world that emphasizes human obligations to natural resource management and promotes holistic thinking about the role and impact of humans in the environment (Ross et al. 2009). This new recognition of traditional knowledge, coupled with greater control by indigenous peoples over their land and sea estates, holds great promise for better management of the world’s natural resources.

Wiese, Chuck (2011) Regarding Thermodynamics and Heat Transfer. Weatherwise Inc. Portland, Oregon.

Selected excerpts [here]

A quote from Wiese:

[Al] Gore told [Bill] O’Reilly that the snowstorms of this winter were part of the pattern of changing climate expected by scientists and result from the warming earth air masses with more moisture were running into a patch of cold air. Gore claimed: “These warmer air masses (which Gore claims result from human carbon emissions that create atmospheric CO2) act like a sponge to moisture and soak it up until they hit a patch of cold air.” Gore then claims that this “extra moisture” contained in the warmer air causes more intense precipitation and thus heavier snowfall, and is all consistent with a warming earth.

These statements by Gore are sheer nonsense. While it is true that warmer air can hold more moisture than cold air, the temperature of the air has nothing to do with how much water vapor will ultimately be evaporated (or as Gore puts it “soaked up”) into it. That is determined solely by what is called the vapor pressure gradient that exists between a sample of air that may overlie a surface of water. …

8 Mar 2011, 2:51pm
Climate and Weather Forestry education
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Alaska Glaciers Cover Former Forests

Climate alarmists frequently claim that it is warmer today than anytime during the Holocene. “NASA: 2010 Meteorological Year Warmest Ever” blares the headline [here]. Because of that, entire species are disappearing [here].

Actually, in reality, that’s not true. Not only was last year not the warmest year ever, it wasn’t even the warmest year in the last 100. That honor goes to 1934. Moreover, the globe has almost always been warmer than today during the last 10,000 years (the Holocene), with the exception of the Little Ice Age (1550 AD to 1850 AD).

Holocene Temperature Variations, courtesy Global Warming Art [here]

Strong circumstantial evidence exists that indicates the Pacific Northwest was much warmer than today during the Hypsithermal period [here] from roughly 9,000 to 2,500 years ago.

An interesting study looked at the carbon-dated age of organic discharge from glacial rivers in the Gulf of Alaska.

Hood, E., Fellman, J., Spencer, R.G.M., Hernes, P.J., Edwards, R., D’Amore, D., Scott, D. 2009. Glaciers as a source of ancient, labile organic matter to the marine environment. Nature 462: 1044-1047

Abstract

Riverine organic matter supports of the order of one-fifth of estuarine metabolism. Coastal ecosystems are therefore sensitive to alteration of both the quantity and lability of terrigenous dissolved organic matter (DOM) delivered by rivers. The lability of DOM is thought to vary with age, with younger, relatively unaltered organic matter being more easily metabolized by aquatic heterotrophs than older, heavily modified material. This view is developed exclusively from work in watersheds where terrestrial plant and soil sources dominate streamwater DOM. Here we characterize streamwater DOM from 11 coastal watersheds on the Gulf of Alaska that vary widely in glacier coverage (0–64 per cent). In contrast to non-glacial rivers, we find that the bioavailability of DOM to marine microorganisms is significantly correlated with increasing 14C age. Moreover, the most heavily glaciated watersheds are the source of the oldest (4kyr 14C age) and most labile (66 per cent bioavailable) DOM. …

… In the most heavily glaciated watershed, Sheridan River, 66% of the riverine DOC [dissolved organic carbon] was readily degraded by marine microbes despite having a D14C value of -386% (3,900 yr D14C age). Heterotrophic microbes in both sub-glacial and pro-glacial environments have been shown to subsist on aged carbon overrun by ice during periods of glacier advance. It is additionally possible that CO2 respired from glacially sequestered carbon may support microbial primary production in glacial ecosystems. Along the GOA [Gulf of Alaska], the last major cycle of glacier retreat and re-advance occurred during the Hypsithermal warm period between 7,000 and 2,500 yr BP. …

What does all that scientific verbiage mean? It means bits of carbon in the rivers flowing out from beneath glaciated watersheds in the Gulf of Alaska were found to be 4,000 years old.

Ergo, 4,000 years ago the watersheds were forested, not glaciated.

The glaciers that are there today formed roughly 2,500 years ago. Before then, going back 7,000 years, there were no glaciers in those watersheds, or only small ones, but there were forests.

Prior to 7,000 years ago the watersheds contained Ice Age glaciers that dated back 115,000 years (roughly), to the beginning of the Wisconsin Glaciation.

When it was warmer than today, forests grew quite nicely, thank you, in places where they won’t grow today due to accumulated ice. If the existing glaciers were to melt, forests would grow there again. Unfortunately that is very unlikely, since global temperatures have been trending downward for the last 7,000 to 8,000 years.

The “catastrophic” warming of the last 160 years has been 1 to 1.5°F. That warming has driven global temperatures up to where they were in the 1500’s before the Little Ice Age, but nowhere near warm enough to melt Gulf of Alaska glaciers and grow forests there (where they used to grow).

Regarding the extirpation of lodgepole pine: it is interesting to note that lodgepole pine invaded western Canada around 11,000 years ago, after the Wisconsin Glaciation continental ice sheets melted. Before 11,000 years ago, going back ~115,000 years, there were no lodgepole pine in western Canada due to the presence of 2 km thick ice sheets. Pine tree roots need soil; they do not grow on ice.

Lodgepole pine grew quite nicely, however, 8,000 years ago during the height of the Hypsithermal when temperatures were 2 to 3°F warmer than today. So did many other species, including all the tree species extant in the Pacific Northwest today.

Yes, it is true that so-called forest scientists want you to panic into thinking that our forests are going to disappear due to the global warming predicted by computer models. Actually, models of models of models. It’s all very theoretical.

But the reality is that forests grow better on soil, even warm soil, than they do on ice. Much better.

There is nothing to panic about, except perhaps the expenditure of $10’s of millions on useless computer models designed to induce irrational paranoia about something that isn’t going to happen. But don’t panic about that either. Vote the crazy bastards out instead.

27 Feb 2011, 4:04pm
Climate and Weather Useless and Stupid
by admin
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Chill Out at the Oscars

And the Oscar for Most Deluded State goes to… California!

Again!

Yes, sports fans, the illusions of Tinsel Town have been swallowed hook, line, and sinker by the most gullible citizens in human history, Californians. Tonight, while they freeze their buns off, the Beautiful People will weep crocodile tears about glooobal waaarming, something that is manifestly NOT happening in California.

Freeze their buns? Affirmatory — as reported in the La La Times:

A cold Oscar night on tap as frost warnings issued

By Sam Allen, Los Angeles Times, February 27, 2023 [here]

For Oscar Sunday, the rain and snow of the last few days will give way to clear skies, with temperatures remaining cold. Forecasters said those on the red carpet and at the Oscar parties should have temperatures in the 40s.

The cold weather closed the Grapevine due to snow and ice overnight. But Sunday morning, the California Highway Patrol began escorting vehicles along Interstate 5 again.

A frost advisory was in effect in some mountain and high desert areas, with officials warning of temperatures in the 20s this morning — cold enough to kill plants and crops.

On Saturday, Burbank, Glendale and Studio City were some of the areas that saw flakes of soft hail or snow pellets, according to weather reports. The precipitation was part of an unusual weather system that flowed south from Canada and dropped snow and rain across much of the state. [emphases added]

How unusual is the weather system? Not very. In fact, it’s par for the course and likely to show up ever more frequently in the future. That’s because California has been cooling off unsteadily for the last 30 years!

From the National Climatic Data Center, Climate Services and Monitoring Division, Climate At A Glance [here]

Winter (Dec-Feb) Temperatures, California, 1980-2010, with trend line.
Winter (Dec-Feb) 1901 - 2000 Average = 45.60 degF
Winter (Dec-Feb) 1980 - 2010 Trend = -0.41 degF / Decade

That’s right, sports fans. Winter in CA has been getting colder at the rate of -0.41°F for 30 years! That’s an accumulated drop of -1.23°F. And the chill down is expected to cool even more over the next 25 years, driven by the PDO shift.

Brrrrrr!!!!!

Look for blue lips, goosebumps, and faux fur coats on the red carpet tonight!

What is amazing about Hollywoodia is that the denizens are completely blind to their own weather. Despite the FACT that CA has been cooling off for 30 years, the Chic Set are fabulously ALARMED at how much warmer it isn’t.

Proof? The Academy gave Algor an Oscar for his craptastic movie, An Inconvenient Lie. The Congressrodent from Hollywood is Henry “Mouse” Waxman, the author and bottlewasher of the Waxman-Malarkey Glooobal Waaarming Hysteria Bill.

The CA Legislature and Governator Ahnold enacted AB32, the Global Warming Solutions Act of 2006, which sets up a carbon offset market (despite the corruption and subsequent bankruptcies of carbon markets in Chicago and Europe [here, here, here]). California voters had a chance to reject AB32 last November, but Proposition 23 failed 60% to 40%.

Yep sir, sports fans, CA voters suckered under to their own glooobal waaarming Ponzi scheme by 3-to-2, even though California has been cooling for 30 years!!!!! And subject to electricity brown-outs already as the principal target of Enron before it collapsed in the largest bankruptcy in history. But they WANT to huddle in the cold and dark for no rational reason.

Is that delusional or what?

Never underestimate the capacity of Californians to self-delude. They are the champs of hubristic mass insanity in the modern era. If they see it on TV, it must be real, and damn their own lying eyes and frozen buns. Plastic fantastic sparkly phoniness trumps reality in CA every time.

Look for lips stuck to frozen statuettes tonight as the winners kiss their economy good-bye. In CA, if it feels good, do it, even if it’s the nuttiest thing imaginable.

Note: special tip of the faux fur hat to Ken S. for suggesting this post

The Decline and Fall of Forest Science

The failures of the environmental sciences in our day and age are not confined to climatology. Universities and forest research institutions have squandered $billions pursuing the wrong answers to the wrong forest science questions.

The decline and fall of Western forest science can be traced back to the Cultural Revolution of the 1960’s when rigorous application of the Scientific Method was abandoned along with most of the prior advancements of the 20th Century. And after 50 years of substituting mythology and political ideas for scientific ones, the forest science establishment has hit rock bottom.

Nowhere is the incompetence of modern forest science more striking than the current fad of blaming non-existent “global warming” for every forest phenomenon large and small. Case in point:

Researchers cite climate change in forest decline

AP, the Washington Examiner, 02/19/11 [here]

Aspens and white pines in the West will face worsening devastation because climate change will make them more susceptible to diseases and bugs, including an infestation of bark beetles that has already killed some 33,000 square miles of forests, researchers say.

Jim Worrall, a U.S. Forest Service plant pathologist who studies aspen deaths, told a conference Friday that “overwhelming circumstantial evidence” indicates climate change has left aspens stressed and vulnerable. …

White pines, common in Montana and parts of Wyoming, aren’t as resilient and have begun to fall victim to bark beetles because warmer temperatures allowed the bugs to move north, said Diana Six, professor of forest entomology and pathology at the University of Montana.

Previously, they were protected by temperatures too cold for bark beetles, but when temperatures rise, the trees have few defenses, Six said. …

Phillip van Mantgem, a research ecologist with the U.S. Geological Survey, said 87 percent of old growth stands that he and others on a research team are monitoring have shown increasing mortality rates, and that the rate doubled in the past 18 years.

“The ultimate cause behind it is probably warming,” van Mantgem said. …

Former Vice President Al Gore addressed the conference, defending climate researchers from criticism about their motives, the Aspen Daily News reported.

“I hear from some quarters that the scientists who are presenting this information to us are interested in making money and that they are making stuff up and hyping it in order to get research grants,” he said. “It is an insult to these men and women who were on this stage today.” …

The problem with all those theories are that they are demonstrably false. Winter temperatures in Colorado have been falling for 20 years.

From the National Climatic Data Center, Climate Services and Monitoring Division, Climate At A Glance [here]

Winter (Dec-Feb) Temperatures, Colorado, 1992-2010, with trend line (1901 - 2000 Average = 25.36 degF).

Note that average winter temperatures in Colorado have been below freezing in every year on record since record keeping began in 1895. Over the last 20 years winter temperatures have declined -0.76 degF per decade. In January 2011 (last month) the average temperature was 23.4 degF, one-tenth of a degree below the 1901-2011 January average and 2 degF below the 1901-2011 winter average.

Winter temperatures in Colorado have not changed significantly over the last 115 years, and they have fallen slightly over the last 20 years, the very period that the researchers above cite as so warm as to cause aspen to die off, beetle infestations to irrupt, and old growth stands to experience increased mortality.

Al Gore presents a strawman argument. Some “quarters” allegedly claim that Colorado forest scientists are “making stuff up” for mercenary reasons, according to Al (who, by the way, has made over $100 million on carbon trading and other global warming alarmism scams).

But Colorado forest scientists are not making up aspen decline, beetle epidemics, or old growth mortality increases. Those phenomena are occurring. No one disputes that.

What Colorado forest scientists are fabricating are bogus theories as to why those things are happening. They blame global warming, and specifically increasing winter temperatures in Colorado, but there have been NO increases in said temperatures.

Colorado forest scientists posit a causal link between something that has not occurred (winter temperature increase) and forest decline phenomena. If the causal factor does not exist, it cannot cause anything.

That’s basic science, indeed basic logic, upon which the Scientific Method relies. Colorado forest scientists might as well say that little green men from outer space caused Colorado forests to decline.

Wait, you say, there are no little green men from outer space. You are correct. Likewise there has been no winter temperature increase. The latter is as imaginary as the former.

Science seeks to understand cause-and-effect phenomena based upon measurable factors that exist in the real world, not on imaginary myths and illusions that do not exist.

The real world foundations of science are extremely important. Without them science becomes a fairy tale, an exercise in fiction, a joke, a waste of time, money, and effort.

If science is done by staring at the blank walls of a cubicle in some institution and making up imaginary folk tales without basis in the real world, then it is not science at all.

We pay people to do exactly that, however. We place them in cubicles in institutions and pay them to make stuff up whole cloth, and call it “science”, and to make presentations at conferences in Aspen alongside politicians, and to give off airs as if they were doing real science, and walk around and tell journo-listas that they are scientists, and generally hoax the place up.

Meanwhile forests continue to decline, and the “scientists” have no more of a clue why than your average wino living in a dumpster, who unfortunately does not get paid the big bucks to make up fanciful tales whole cloth. I say unfortunately because your average wino is an expert at delusion, self and otherwise, and would be as good or better at it than your average forest scientist in a cubicle in an institution.

Wait a second, you say, if you’re so smart tell us why forests are declining.

What? For free? On a free blog accessible by anybody (well, perhaps not by the wino in the dumpster)?

For your information, that’s exactly what we have been doing at W.I.S.E. for 3+ years. Maybe you haven’t been paying close attention.

One thing is for sure, we haven’t been offered any paid vacations to Aspen to present non-imaginary facts about forest decline. Which, by the way, has nothing to do with imaginary global warming.

Forest science is not dead. It hangs on in remote locales like W.I.S.E. But it is reeling and gasping for breath in the USFS, the University of Montana, the USGS, and other establishment government institutions.

What those outfits produce is nothing like science. It’s demonstrably false gibberish masquerading as science.

17 Feb 2011, 1:42pm
Climate and Weather
by admin
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What Climate Change?

Just the facts, ma’am. — Sgt. Joe Friday

It’s official. Over the last 110 years the net change in January temperatures in the continental U.S. has been zilch, zero, nada.

From the National Climatic Data Center, Climate Services and Monitoring Division, Climate At A Glance [here]

January Temperatures, Contiguous United States, 1901-2011, with average line (average = 30.99 degF).

Note that January temperatures for the last 4 years have been at or below average. In January 2011 the average temperature was 29.97 degF, one degree below the 1901-2011 average. The range in average temperatures during the last 110 years has been + or - 9 degF.

The Truth About Climate Change Open Letter

Open Letter to the United States Congress

February 8, 2024

To view a pdf file of this letter [click here]

To the Members of the U.S. House of Representatives and the U.S. Senate:

In reply to “The Importance of Science in Addressing Climate Change”

On 28 January 2011, eighteen scientists sent a letter to members of the U.S. House of Representatives and the U.S. Senate urging them to “take a fresh look at climate change.” Their intent, apparently, was to disparage the views of scientists who disagree with their contention that continued business-as-usual increases in carbon dioxide (CO2) emissions produced from the burning of coal, gas, and oil will lead to a host of cataclysmic climate-related problems.

We, the undersigned, totally disagree with them and would like to take this opportunity to briefly state our side of the story.

The eighteen climate alarmists (as we refer to them, not derogatorily, but simply because they view themselves as “sounding the alarm” about so many things climatic) state that the people of the world “need to prepare for massive flooding from the extreme storms of the sort being experienced with increasing frequency,” as well as the “direct health impacts from heat waves” and “climate-sensitive infectious diseases,” among a number of other devastating phenomena. And they say that “no research results have produced any evidence that challenges the overall scientific understanding of what is happening to our planet’s climate,” which is understood to mean their view of what is happening to Earth’s climate.

To these statements, however, we take great exception. It is the eighteen climate alarmists who appear to be unaware of “what is happening to our planet’s climate,” as well as the vast amount of research that has produced that knowledge.

For example, a lengthy review of their claims and others that climate alarmists frequently make can be found on the Web site of the Center for the Study of Carbon Dioxide and Global Change (see Carbon Dioxide and Earth’s Future: Pursuing the Prudent Path [click here]). That report offers a point-by-point rebuttal of all of the claims of the “group of eighteen,” citing in every case peer-reviewed scientific research on the actual effects of climate change during the past several decades.

If the “group of eighteen” pleads ignorance of this information due to its very recent posting, then we call their attention to an even larger and more comprehensive report published in 2009, Climate Change Reconsidered: The 2009 Report of the Nongovernmental International Panel on Climate Change (NIPCC). That document has been posted for more than a year in its entirety [click here].

These are just two recent compilations of scientific research among many we could cite. Do the 678 scientific studies referenced in the CO2 Science document, or the thousands of studies cited in the NIPCC report, provide real-world evidence (as opposed to theoretical climate model predictions) for global warming-induced increases in the worldwide number and severity of floods? No. In the global number and severity of droughts? No. In the number and severity of hurricanes and other storms? No.

Do they provide any real-world evidence of Earth’s seas inundating coastal lowlands around the globe? No. Increased human mortality? No. Plant and animal extinctions? No. Declining vegetative productivity? No. More frequent and deadly coral bleaching? No. Marine life dissolving away in acidified oceans? No.

Quite to the contrary, in fact, these reports provide extensive empirical evidence that these things are not happening. And in many of these areas, the referenced papers report finding just the opposite response to global warming, i.e., biosphere-friendly effects of rising temperatures and rising CO2 levels [click here].

In light of the profusion of actual observations of the workings of the real world showing little or no negative effects of the modest warming of the second half of the twentieth century, and indeed growing evidence of positive effects, we find it incomprehensible that the eighteen climate alarmists could suggest something so far removed from the truth as their claim that no research results have produced any evidence that challenges their view of what is happening to Earth’s climate and weather.

But don’t take our word for it. Read the two reports yourselves. And then make up your own minds about the matter. Don’t be intimidated by false claims of “scientific consensus” or “overwhelming proof.” These are not scientific arguments and they are simply not true.

Like the eighteen climate alarmists, we urge you to take a fresh look at climate change. We believe you will find that it is not the horrendous environmental threat they and others have made it out to be, and that they have consistently exaggerated the negative effects of global warming on the U.S. economy, national security, and public health, when such effects may well be small to negligible.

Signed by [click here]

Three-Needle Pines and the Collective Unconscious

by Mike Dubrasich

My friend Svend writes:

When pine trees grows to dense, the cones on the ground will not receive enough heat from the sun to dry up and spread the seeds… the best way for many types of pine trees is a forest fire. A baby pine tree cannot survive in the darkness. A few species actually need forest fires to reproduce.

In this case mass suicide can help the problem… when the trees decide to secure the next generation of pine trees, they actually die (collectively) and then the bark beetles attack the trees… as a kind of support for the process, to remove all the conifers so the sunlight can reach the soil under the trees. It’s part of the big symbiosis system.

Now it’s just a matter of waiting for a lightning storm to start the fire.

Svend is wrong, mostly, but he inspires this teaching moment.

The preceding mini-myth about pines may hold partially true for boreal 2-needled pines: lodgepole, jack, Scots, and even pinyon. They are basically all the same species. Some (not all) have serotinous cones. They seed in like mad after a fire and grow in dense, even-aged thickets of 1,500-5,000 stems per acre or more. That’s a tree every three feet on center. Two-needled pines were the first trees to invade boreal regions after the ice sheets melted 15,000 years ago.

But then there are the 3-needled pines: ponderosa, Jeffery, Monterey, long leaf, etc.

The 3-needle pines are basically all the same species, too. Pines are epigenetic [here]. Their complex genetic code, developed over hundreds of millions of years, enables individual trees to radically change morphology in response to environmental stressors. Witness Bonsai trees. My friend Mark writes:

The world is rubbery. The governing algorithm is far more elegant and powerful than we realize, genome mapping notwithstanding.

That’s why I (and others) say the 3-needle pines are basically the same species, though different from the 2-needle pines.

The 3-needle pines invaded much of North America about 9,000 years ago, long after the ice melted, and some 6,000 years after humans arrived here. Think about that.

8,800 years later, when the first Euro-American explorers traipsed across North America, they found millions of acres of 3-needle pines. They weren’t in thickets like 2-needle pines. Instead they were in open, park-like, savanna-like forests with 5 to 20 trees per acre. The trees were all ages (uneven-aged). The 3-needle pines dominated, even though other conifers and hardwoods were often present in small numbers, and even though today firs, aspen, liquidamber, and other species dominate those same stands (proving that those species could have grown there and dominated, although they didn’t).

Open, park-like, pine savannas present an anomaly to Svend’s theory. His pine theory just doesn’t fit the real world, across MILLIONS of acres.

For that matter, neither does “forest succession” theory. That one derives from Frederic Clements, who in the 1910’s invented the idea that forests succeed — that they change species as they proceed from early seral stages to climax conditions. Freudian undertones aside, the vast 3-needle pine savannas are anomalies to Clementsian theory, too.

If forest succession is a Law of Nature, then why didn’t MILLIONS of acres of 3-needle pines succeed naturally to shade-tolerant firs and hardwoods?

It is a statement about the human condition that millions of acres of forests don’t fit the theories and yet the theories still are in place, taught in schools, are believed in by so many, including many esteemed forest scientists. The world does not fit the model, yet the model rules.

That’s not Freudian, it’s Jungian. We are a myth-making animal. We prefer myth over reality. We will blind our eyes to reality when it doesn’t comport with our treasured myths. The Collective Unconscious is asleep at the wheel.

In the case of global warming, the myth we treasure is that human beings are capable of destroying the planet, of committing original sin and sullying the Garden, and that the gods must and will punish us for our sins, and bring an End to the World in their wrath at our transgressions.

Those who question the myths of the Collective Unconscious are declared apostates and outcasts, and are stoned to death at the gates of the city.

Back to the pines. So what really happened? How did those 3-needle pine savannas arise? Or as a forest scientist might put it, if he happened to notice the anomalies to the treasured theories, what was the disturbance regime that drove the 3-needle pine forest development pathways? Here’s a corollary conundrum: why are those pine savannas NOT arising today, but instead they are disappearing? Whatever was driving ecosystem dynamics for the last 9,000 years isn’t any longer. Isn’t that curious?

Here’s the answer: anthropogenic fire. Three-needle pines in North America have not grown without human influences on the environment during the entire Holocene. The main influence, i.e. disturbance regime, was Indian burning. Not Indians on fire, but Indians setting fire frequently to the landscape on a continental scale.

Human beings entered North America ~13,500 years ago or even earlier. Their principal tool for survival and obtaining sustenance was fire. Indeed, human beings have utilized landscape fire for at least 40,000 years in Australia. Cooking fires have been utilized for at least 1.6 million years [here], originally by pre-sapiens hominids. The earliest human immigrants to the Americas had a cultural history of fire use dating back a million and a half years!

The effects of anthropogenic (human-set) fire on the environment has been profound worldwide. People have deliberately and expertly burned virtually the entire continent on every continent every year for thousands of years at a minimum. Those human practices induced 3-needle pine savannas from Florida to BC, from California to New England.

I cordially invite you to read about the effects of historical anthropogenic fire on an Oregon watershed [here]:

Dubrasich, Mike. 2010. Stand Reconstruction and 200 Years of Forest Development on Selected Sites in the Upper South Umpqua Watershed. W.I.S.E. White Paper 2010-5. Western Institute for Study of the Environment.

The burning was not just in temperate zones. People burned the tropics, too. And boreal forests. And Europe, Asia, Africa, Australia. People have been burning everywhere for millennia. There are no wilderness areas where the imprint of Man has been absent, because Man has been everywhere and doing stuff, major stuff, like setting the world afire whenever he could. See [here]:

William Denevan. 1992. The Pristine Myth: The Landscape of the Americas in 1492. Annals of the American Association of Geographers v. 82 n. 3 (Sept. 1992), pp. 369-385.

All that burning altered the carbon cycle. Plants grew, fixing carbon, but then people burned that biomass, sooner rather than later, and the carbon was emitted and returned to the atmosphere. There was no (or very little) terrestrial carbon build-up. No new coal beds have formed during the Holocene.

It didn’t take many people to do all that burning. On the right day with the vegetation dry and the wind blowing, one person could easily burn a million acres. That’s an area 40 miles by 40 miles. Set the fire in Salem and let it burn up to and over the Cascade Crest. “Let it burn” is an euphemism. A thousand years ago, without fire crews and equipment, how could you stop it?

So not that many people are required to do one heck of a lot of burning. On the other hand, the best estimates were that 50 million people lived in the Americas on the day Columbus landed. That’s a lot, and they did a lot of burning. Continental-scale is not an exaggeration.

Within 100 years, however, the human population of the Americas crashed 90 to 95%, mainly from smallpox, measles, and other Old World diseases. The burning didn’t cease, but it became much less frequent. The plants still grew, fixing carbon, but they didn’t get torched off so quickly. That sudden change in the status quo reverberated through the carbon cycle. It also increased the Earth’s albedo, from charcoal black to shiny green. Wind-borne soot decreased. The entire planet became shinier. Not only did atmospheric CO2 decrease, but more incoming solar radiation (insolation) was reflected instead of absorbed.

Some folks (more friends of mine) speculate that those changes brought on the Little Ice Age. See [here]:

Robert A. Dull, Richard J. Nevle, William I. Woods, Dennis K. Bird, Shiri Avnery, and William M. Denevan. 2010. The Columbian Encounter and the Little Ice Age: Abrupt Land Use Change, Fire, and Greenhouse Forcing. Annals of the Association of American Geographers, 100(4) 2010, pp. 1–17.

Now, you may not agree with their hypothesis. My friend Anthony Watts doesn’t. He made fun of it, at his Watts Up With That website [here] and the commenters at WUWT were very derisive.

But they are largely ignorant of the reality of human pre-history, and of anthropogenic fire, and have never even noticed the vast 3-needle pine savannas, or thought about them, or considered how anomalous they are.

Like most folks, they are locked into the Euro-American Creation Myth, that God made this Wilderness for the enjoyment of Euro immigrants, until we sullied it and forced the gods to inflict some terrible Apocalypse upon us.

The WUWT commenters are “climate skeptics”, and they think that “skeptics” are very “realistic” because they reject the Catastrophic Anthropogenic Global Warming Myth. Okay, fine, I applaud them for that. But really they still suffer from all that other Medieval Jungian mythology. They are not as skeptical as they think themselves to be.

But you and I have been through that, and this is not our fate. So let us not talk falsely now, the hour is getting late. — Bob Dylan, All Along the Watchtower

The 3-needle pines are a key that will unlock the doors of your mind. Don’t accept theories that discomport with and blind you to reality. Bear witness to the anomalies. Question authority. Be all that you can be.

22 Jan 2011, 1:43pm
Climate and Weather Useless and Stupid
by admin
1 comment

Did Global Warming Impact the Sunrise?

Silly Science Dept.

A goofy alarmist dire report at Huffington Post is making headlines today: Did The Sun Rise 2 Days Early In Greenland? Global Warming May Be Cause [here].

The unnamed HuffPo author(s) claim, “As icecaps melt, the horizon sinks down as well, which makes the sun appear earlier over the horizon.”

As if the Greenland ice cap melted so much last year that the first sunrise of the year above the Arctic Circle is peeking over a lowered horizon.

Sorry, sports fans, but that’s complete bunkum. The HuffPo article cites Live Science’s Strange Claim: The Sun Rose 2 Days Early in Greenland [here]

That article clearly states:

…”In a nutshell, there can’t be a change in the true sunrise, because that would require the Earth-Sun orbital parameters to change,” said John Walsh, a professor of atmospheric science at the University of Alaska Fairbanks.

Fairbanks is located about 1 degree of latitude south of the Arctic Circle, far enough south that it does not completely lose its sun in winter, and this year the sun has followed its typical pattern in Alaska, he said.

“No changes here,” he said. “We would have heard about it.”

Walsh and other scientists agreed there is absolutely no evidence of a shift in the tilt of the Earth’s axis or any other change that might alter the arrival of the seasons around the globe.

An atmospheric illusion?

Other causes can be ruled out, including the effect of the approaching leap year in 2012, since in and around leap years, the sun is slightly lower in the sky in the Northern Hemisphere around Jan. 11, according to Thomas Posch, of Austria’s Institute of Astronomy.

The most likely possibility was the refraction of sunlight at the horizon, he told LiveScience in an e-mail. Most of the other scientists interviewed agreed this was the most likely culprit. …

It is unlikely that the melting of the edge of the ice sheet would change the timing of the first sunrise, because the ice is east of the town, while the sunrise would take place almost due south. …

Get that? The ice cap is in the wrong place. The sun does not rise over the ice cap in the town of Ilulissat. Nor has alleged global warming altered the orbit of the earth around the Sun. The HuffPo dire report is bogosity in the extreme.

What really happened? Dr. S.E.Hendriksen, Greenland resident and scientist explains:

Nothing can surprise a Viking - living North of the polar circle - it’s a well known phenomenon called refraction [here] (the physical optical explanation). When you have a inversion layer of cold air at surface and the air is warmer higher up you can sometimes see a mirage.

Vitus Bering [here] wrote about it in his log-book when he was navigating the North West passage. The sun rise (after the dark winter period) came several days before the almanac predicted.

The best example is from a small settlement north of Umanaq which saw a sunrise 6 days before the almanac prediction.

It happens every day north of the Polar Circle. As a weather observer in Kangerlussuaq, I see it every winter, because of the cold air falling down from the Ice Cap pressing the hot air upwards. When you have cold air in the bottom of the fjord in Kangerlussuaq and the hot air some 1500 feet above, the mountains in the horizon change.

If hot air sits above the cold air it changes the refraction index, and the sun becomes visible, even if it’s below the horizon. If hot air is in the bottom layer (opposite inversion), then the sun will appear to sink below the horizon even if it is above it.

It is NOT a mystery, it’s a physical optical law. Several so-called “experts” don’t have the slightest clue about what is going on.

Well, nothing new about that!

Perpetrating a Fraud: CO2 Offsets

by Bill Turlay

WA residents, you might take note (and mention to your legislature delegation) that RCW 19.29A.090 [here] requires each electric utility to provide to its retail electricity customers a voluntary option to purchase qualified alternative energy sources. Each electric utility must include with its retail customer’s billing statement, at least quarterly, a voluntary option to purchase qualified energy resources. OR residents, the basic premise of this message pertains to you also.

Ladies and gentlemen, the State of Washington is involved with perpetrating a fraud on its citizens. See Climate Swindle: The Mirage of Carbon Offsets by Mr. Todd Wynn of the Cascade Policy Institute [here]. Some selected excerpts:

Carbon offsetting has spread quickly in the past few years, fueled by worries of human induced climate change. Some assert that the combustion of fossil fuels is causing a buildup of greenhouse gases in the atmosphere and consequently increasing global temperatures. Accordingly, many environmental organizations and governments around the globe advocate restricting fossil fuel use and increasing the use of mechanisms that claim to decrease human emitted greenhouse gases. One of these mechanisms is carbon offsets.

The Climate Trust, a non-profit carbon offset provider in Oregon, defines carbon offsets as “reduction, removal, or avoidance of greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions from a specific project that is used to compensate for GHG emissions occurring elsewhere. One carbon offset represents one metric ton of carbon dioxide equivalent.” By purchasing a carbon offset, businesses, electric utilities, or individuals pay someone to reduce greenhouse emissions elsewhere, rather than change their own behavior. …

The newfound popularity of carbon offsets warrants a closer examination of their legitimacy. Studies of some carbon offset schemes have revealed examples of fraud and abuse. These examples caution against the use of offsets for regulatory compliance.

This report offers an in-depth look into one of the most prominent carbon offset marketers in the United States, the Bonneville Environmental Foundation (BEF). Because BEF is perceived as one of the nation’s leaders in providing quality offsets, any problems found there would indicate that there are systemic problems within the industry. …

more »

12 Jan 2011, 6:29pm
Climate and Weather
by admin
4 comments

Pacific Northwest Temperatures Have Been Trending Downward For the Last 25 Years, Despite Predictions of Continued Warming

by Ken Schlichte

Reports from Oregon and Washington in recent years have suggested that climate change is resulting in continued temperature increases and pronounced environmental impacts across the Pacific Northwest. These reports also suggest that increases in atmospheric CO2 produced by burning fossil fuels are primarily responsible for these Pacific Northwest temperature increases. The discussion below presents figures and information from the National Climatic Data Center indicating that Pacific Northwest annual temperatures have actually been trending downward at a rate of 0.15°F per decade for the last 25 years and trending downward at a rate of 2.75°F per decade for the last 8 years, even as anthropogenic greenhouse gas emissions and the concentration of atmospheric CO2 were both increasing.

The “Oregon Climate Assessment Report (OCAR) Legislative Summary” [here] released in December 2010 by the Oregon Climate Research Institute, begins with the following statements:

Earth’s climate has changed in the past, though the recent magnitude and pace of changes are unprecedented in human existence. Recent decades have been warmer than at any time in roughly 120,000 years. Most of this warming can be attributed to human activity, primarily burning fossil fuels (coal, oil and natural gas) for energy. Burning fossil fuels releases carbon dioxide and other heat trapping gases, also known as greenhouse gases, into the atmosphere. This warming cannot be ascribed to natural causes (volcanic and solar) alone. It can be said that human activities are primarily responsible for the observed 1.5°F increase in 20th century temperatures in the Pacific Northwest. A warmer climate will affect this state substantially.

Future regional climate changes in Oregon include:

Increases in temperature around 0.2-1°F per decade

Average annual air temperatures will increase through the 21st century. The amount of warming depends partly on the rate of greenhouse gas emissions.

Similar and earlier predictions of Pacific Northwest climate change include “The economic impacts of climate change in Oregon: a preliminary assessment” (Oct. 2005) [here] by the UO Institute for a Sustainable Environment and “Impacts of Climate Change on Washington’s Economy” (Nov. 2006) [here] also by the UO ISE. The first report predicted a regional warming of approximately 1°F per decade over the next several decades, while the second stated that:

Scientists expect the Pacific Northwest climate to warm approximately 0.5ºF every ten years over the next several decades, a rate more than three times faster than the warming experienced during the twentieth century. In Washington, scientists project that average annual temperatures will be 1.9ºF higher by the 2020s when compared with the 1970-1999 average, and 2.9ºF higher by the 2040s.

The Oregon Climate Assessment Report suggested that the “observed” temperatures in the Pacific Northwest increased 1.5°F during the 20th century, but the National Climatic Data Center figure below indicates that Pacific Northwest annual temperatures trended upward at a rate of 0.06°F per decade during the 20th century for a total temperature increase of only 0.60°F.

Annual Temperature
Northwest Region
1900 - 2000

Annual 1900 - 2000 Average = 46.69 degF
Annual 1900 - 2000 Trend = 0.06 degF / Decade

Fig. 1: Pacific Northwest average annual temperatures from 1900 through 2000 with trend line. Data courtesy NCDC.

Despite the statement in “Impacts of Climate Change on Washington’s Economy” that the Pacific Northwest will “continue to warm approximately 0.5°F every ten years over the next several decades”, the NCDC figure below indicates that Pacific Northwest annual temperatures have actually been trending downward at a rate of 0.15°F per decade during the 25 years since 1986.

Annual Temperature
Northwest Region
1986 - 2010

Annual 1986 - 2010 Average = 47.70 degF
Annual 1986 - 2010 Trend = -0.15 degF / Decade

Fig. 2: Pacific Northwest average annual temperatures from 1986 through 2010 with trend line. Data courtesy NCDC.

The NCDC figure below indicates that Pacific Northwest annual temperatures have been trending downward at a rate of 0.76°F per decade during the 13 years since 1998. The NCDC also reports that annual temperatures for the contiguous United States have been trending downward at a rate of 0.94°F per decade during the 13 years since 1998.

Annual Temperature
Northwest Region
1998 - 2010

Annual 1998 - 2010 Average = 47.71 degF
Annual 1998 - 2010 Trend = -0.76 degF / Decade

Fig. 3: Pacific Northwest average annual temperatures from 1998 through 2010 with trend line. Data courtesy NCDC.

The NCDC figure below indicates that Pacific Northwest annual temperatures have been trending downward at a rate of 2.75°F per decade during the 8 years since 2003. The NCDC also reports that annual temperatures for the contiguous United States have been trending downward at a rate of 1.21°F per decade during the 8 years since 2003.

Annual Temperature
Northwest Region
2003 - 2010

Annual 2003 - 2010 Average = 47.72 degF
Annual 2003 - 2010 Trend = -2.75 degF / Decade

Fig. 4: Pacific Northwest average annual temperatures from 2003 through 2010 with trend line. Data courtesy NCDC.

The National Climatic Data Center figures above indicate that Pacific Northwest annual temperatures trended downward slightly at a rate of 0.15°F per decade during the last 25 years, trended downward more rapidly at a rate of 0.76°F per decade during the last 13 years, and trended downward much more rapidly at a rate of 2.75°F per decade during the last 8 years. It is worth noting that these downward annual temperature trends were occurring even as anthropogenic greenhouse gas emissions and the concentration of atmospheric CO2 were both increasing.

The downward Pacific Northwest annual temperature trends over the last 25 years shown in the National Climatic Data Center figures above contrast with the climate change predictions in the “Oregon Climate Assessment Report”, “Impacts of Climate Change on Washington’s Economy”, and “The Economic Impacts of Climate Change” in Oregon that predict continued Pacific Northwest temperature increases of 0.2-1.0°F per decade over the next few decades. These climate change predictions have significantly influenced climate change legislation and the development of environmental policy and energy policy in Oregon and Washington in recent years.

Development of appropriate climate change legislation, environmental policy and energy policy for Oregon and Washington requires the use of accurate climate data such as that presented in the National Climatic Data Center figures above, not questionable climate change predictions.

Author Ken Schlichte is a retired Washington State Department of Natural Resources forest soil scientist and has taught forest management courses at Shoreline Community College and Centralia Community College

 
  
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