----- Original Message -----
From: S. Fred Singer
Sent: Saturday, June 14, 2003 2:16 PM
Subject: The Week That Was. June 14, 2003
THIS NEWSLETTER IS SENT IN PLAIN TEXT. VIEW THE HTML VERSION AT http://www.sepp.org
New on the Web
Kyoto Protocol lacks 'credible science'
Upset with the scientific rationale behind the Kyoto Accord, a group of
international scientists sent Paul Martin this letter
Financial Post (Toronto), June 04, 2003
The Honorable Paul Martin, P.C.
Member of Parliament
House of Commons
Ottawa, Ontario, K1A 0A6
Dear Mr. Martin:
We understand from media reports that you believe that more consultation
with the provinces should have taken place before moving forward with
ratification of the Kyoto Accord. We would like to alert you to the fact
that the current government neglected to conduct comprehensive science
consultations as well. The statements by current Minister of the
Environment David Anderson that Prime Minister Jean Chrétien's decision to
ratify the Kyoto accord was based merely on a "gut feeling," not an
understanding of the issue, clearly illustrates that a more thorough
examination of the science should have taken place before a ratification
decision was made.
If you are to lead the next government, we believe that a high priority
should be placed on correcting this situation and conducting wide ranging
consultations with non-governmental climate scientists as soon as possible
in order to properly consider the range of informed opinion pertaining to
the science of Kyoto.
Many of us made the same suggestion to the Prime Minister in an open letter
on Nov. 25, 2002, in which we alerted Mr. Chrétien to the fact that Kyoto
was not justified from a scientific perspective. That letter called on the
government of Canada "to delay a decision on the ratification of the Kyoto
Accord until after a thorough and comprehensive consultation is conducted
with non-governmental climate specialists." It was explained to the Prime
Minister that, "Many climate science experts from Canada and around the
world, while still strongly supporting environmental protection, equally
strongly disagree with the scientific rationale for the Kyoto Accord."
Unfortunately, the Prime Minister took no action on the issue and proceeded
to ratify the accord without the government and the public having had the
benefit of hearing a proper science debate on an issue that is sure to
affect Canadians for generations to come.
We strongly believe that important environmental policy should be based on
a strong foundation of environmental science. Censoring credible science
out of the debate because it does not conform to a pre-determined political
agenda is clearly not a responsible course of action for any government.
Your openness to re-examining the recent approach to the Kyoto file
encourages us to believe that you may also be open to reconsidering the way
in which the scientific debate was suppressed as well. We certainly hope
so. Although ratification has already taken place, we believe that the
government of Canada needs a far more comprehensive understanding of what
climate science really says if environmental policy is to be developed that
will truly benefit the environment while maintaining the economic
prosperity so essential to social progress.
In the meantime, we would be happy to provide you with more information on
this important topic and, for those of us who are able, we would like to
offer to meet with you personally to discuss the issue further in the near
Above letter signed by:
Dr. Tim Ball, Environmental Consultant, 28 years Professor of Climatology,
University of Winnipeg.
Dr. Madhav Khandekar, Environmental Consultant, former Research Scientist
with Environment Canada. 45-year career in the fields of climatology,
meteorology and oceanography.
Dr. Tad Murty, private sector climate researcher. Previously Senior
Research Scientist for Fisheries and Oceans; conducted official DFO climate
change/sea level review; Former Director of the National Tidal Facility of
Australia; Current editor - "Natural Hazards".
Dr. Chris de Freitas (Canadian), Climate Scientist and Professor - School
of Geography and Environmental Science, The University of Auckland, NZ.
Dr. Vaclav Smil, FRSC, Distinguished Professor of Geography; specialization
in climate and CO2, University of Manitoba.
Dr. I.D. Clarke, Professor, Isotope Hydrogeology and Paleoclimatology,
Department of Earth Sciences (arctic specialist), University of Ottawa.
Dr./Cdr. M. R. Morgan, FRMS, Dartmouth, Nova Scotia. Climate Consultant,
Past Meteorology Advisor to the World Meteorological Organization and other
scientific bodies in Marine Meteorology. Recent Research Scientist in
Climatology at University of Exeter, UK.
Dr. Chris Essex, Professor of Applied Mathematics, University of Western
Ontario - focuses on underlying physics/math to complex climate systems.
Dr. Keith D. Hage, climate consultant and Professor Emeritus of
Meteorology, University of Alberta, specialized in micrometeorology,
specifically western prairie weather patterns.
Dr. Kenneth Green, Chief Scientist, Fraser Institute, Vancouver, BC -
expert reviewer for the IPCC 2001 Working Group I science report.
Dr. Petr Chylek, Professor of Physics and Atmospheric Science, Dalhousie
University, Nova Scotia.
Dr. Tim Patterson, Professor, Department of Earth Sciences
(Paleoclimatology), Carleton University, Ottawa, Ontario.
David Nowell, M.Sc. (Meteorology), Fellow of the Royal Meteorological
Society, Canadian member and Past Chairman of the NATO Meteorological
Dr. Fred Michel, Professor, Department of Earth Sciences
(Paleoclimatology), Carleton University, arctic regions specialist, Ottawa.
Dr. Roger Pocklington, Ocean/Climate Consultant, F.C.I.C., Researcher -
Bedford Institute of Oceanography, Nova Scotia.
Rob Scagel, M.Sc., Forest microclimate specialist, Principal Consultant,
Pacific Phytometric Consultants, Surrey, B.C.
Dr. David Wojick, P.E., Climate specialist and President,
Climatechangedebate.org, Sioux Lookout, Ontario/Star Tannery, VA.
Dr. S. Fred Singer, Distinguished Research Professor at George Mason
University and Professor Emeritus of Environmental Science at the
University of Virginia.
Dr. Richard S. Lindzen, Alfred P. Sloan Professor of Meteorology,
Department of Earth, Atmospheric and Planetary Sciences at the
Massachusetts Institute of Technology.
George Taylor, State Climatologist, Oregon Climate Service, Oregon State
University, Past President - American Association of State Climatologists.
Doctorandus Hans Erren, Geophysicist/climate specialist, Sittard, The
Dr. Hans Jelbring - Wind/Climate specialist, Paleogeophysics & Geodynamics
Unit, Stockholm University, Sweden. Currently, Manager Inventex Aqua
Research Institute, Stockholm.
Dr. Theodor Landscheidt, solar/climate specialist, Schroeter Institute for
Research in Cycles of Solar Activity, Waldmuenchen, Germany.
Dr. Zbigniew Jaworowski, Climate expert, Chairman of the scientific council
of CLOR, Central Laboratory for Radiological Protection, Warsaw, Poland.
Dr. Art Robinson, Founder - Oregon Institute of Science and Medicine -
focus on climate change and CO2, Cave Junction, Oregon.
Dr. Craig D. Idso, Chairman, Center for the Study of Carbon Dioxide and
Global Change, Tempe, Arizona.
Dr. Sherwood B. Idso, President, Center for the Study of Carbon Dioxide and
Global Change, Tempe, Arizona.
Dr. Pat Michaels, Professor of Environmental Sciences, University of
Virginia; past president of the American Association of State
Climatologists and a contributing author and reviewer of the IPCC science
Dr. Sonja Boehmer-Christiansen, Reader, Department of Geography, University
of Hull, UK, Editor, Energy & Environment.
Dr. Robert C. Balling, Jr., Director - Office of Climatology, Arizona State
Dr. Fred Seitz, Past President, U.S. National Academy of Sciences,
President Emeritus, Rockefeller University, New York, NY.
Dr. Vincent Gray, Climate specialist, expert reviewer for the IPCC and
author of "The Greenhouse Delusion; a Critique of 'Climate Change 2001'",
Dipl.-Ing. Peter Dietze, energy and climate consultant, official scientific
IPCC TAR Reviewer, Langensendelbach, Germany.
Dr. Roy W. Spencer, Principal Research Scientist, Earth System Science
Center, The University of Alabama in Huntsville.
Dr. Hugh W. Ellsaesser, Atmospheric Consultant - four decades experience as
a USAF weather officer and climate consultant at the Lawrence Livermore
National Laboratory, CA.
Dr. Asmunn Moene, Former head of the National Forecasting Center,
Meteorological Institute, Oslo, Norway.
Dr. Freeman J. Dyson, Emeritus Professor of Physics, Institute for Advanced
Studies, Princeton, New Jersey.
Dr. James J. O'Brien, Professor of Meteorology and Oceanography, Center for
Ocean-Atmospheric Prediction Studies, Florida Sate University. Co-chaired
the Regional Climate Change Study for the Southeast USA.
Dr. Douglas V. Hoyt, climate consultant, previously Senior Scientist with
Raytheon/ITSS; Broadly published author of "The Role of the Sun in Climate
Dr. Gary D. Sharp, Scientific Director, Center for Climate/Ocean Resources
Study, Salinas, California.
Prof. Dr. Kirill Ya. Kondratyev, Academician, Counsellor RAS, Research
Centre for Ecological Safety, Russian Academy of Sciences and Nansen
International Environmental and Remote Sensing Centre, St.-Petersburg, Russia.
Dr. Paal Brekke - Solar Physicist, specialist in sun/UV radiation/Sun-Earth
Connection, affiliated with the University of Oslo, Norway.
Dr. Richard S. Courtney, climate consultant, expert IPCC peer reviewer,
Founding Member of the European Science and Environment Forum, UK.
William Kininmonth, Managing Director, Australasian Climate Research.
Formerly head of Australia's National Climate Centre and a member of
Australia's delegations to the Second World Climate Conference and the UN
Intergovernmental Negotiating Committee for a Framework Convention on
Dr. Jarl R. Ahlbeck, Docent in environmental technology/science, Process
Design Laboratory, the Swedish University of Finland, Biskopsgatan, Finland.
Dr. Lee C. Gerhard, Principal Geologist, Kansas Geological Survey; Adjunct
Professor, Colorado School of Mines; Noted author and geological expert on
The Week That Was (June 14, 2003) brought to you by SEPP
THE THEME OF THIS ISSUE OF TWTW IS CLIMATE SCIENCE
1. New on the Web: PAUL MARTIN LETTER. UPSET WITH THE SCIENTIFIC
RATIONALE BEHIND THE KYOTO ACCORD, A GROUP OF 46 INTERNATIONAL SCIENTISTS
SENT PAUL MARTIN THIS LETTER, published in the Financial Post (Toronto) on
June 4, 2003. Martin is expected to become Prime Minister of Canada when
Chretien retires next year. He has expressed reservations over the Kyoto
By a happy coincidence David Anderson, the environment minister and chief
force behind Kyoto in Canada, just had a letter to the editor in the Ottawa
paper claiming the science is settled (according to the IPCC, of course).
Nothing could be further from the truth, nor does the IPCC ever claim such
2. CLIMATE MODELS ARE INADEQUATE IN SIMULATING THE IMPORTANT EFFECTS OF
ATMOSPHERIC AEROSOLS. This throws doubt on claims that models can give
reliable projections of future warming.
3. FORESTS EXPANDING INTO DESERT REGIONS, THANKS TO HIGHER LEVELS OF CO2
4. EARTH HAS BECOME GREENER IN THE PAST TWO DECADES - BY 6%, SATELLITE
5. ATMOSPHERIC TEMPERATURES SHOW LITTLE IF ANY WARMING, A NEW ANALYSIS OF
SATELLITE DATA CONFIRMS. CLIMATE MODELS INADEQUATE.
6. ANALYSIS OF GREENLAND ICE CORE SHOWS REGULAR ABRUPT TEMPERATURE
CHANGES. But cause is still a puzzle.
7. Al-Gore-like, SENATOR MCCAIN PRESSURES WITNESS ON ABRUPT CLIMATE CHANGE
2. Climate models cannot account for the forcing effects of aerosols
"Anthropogenic aerosol emissions are believed to have counteracted the
global-warming effect of greenhouse gases over the past century. However,
the magnitude of this cooling effect is highly uncertain. In their
Perspective, Anderson et al. argue that the magnitude and uncertainty of
aerosol forcing may be larger than is usually considered in models. This
would have important implications for the total climate forcing by
anthropogenic emissions, and hence for predicting future global warming."
Despite extensive study, it is still highly uncertain just how big a factor
the negative forcing of aerosols is in the overall climate-change picture.
At issue is whether computer and mathematical models that use a variety of
factors to gauge climate change have properly accounted for the uncertainty.
Anderson is lead author of a paper, published in the May 16 edition of
Science, arguing that climate modelers have failed to consider the full
magnitude of potential forcing that has been found in aerosol research.
Instead, the authors say, modelers have used only aerosol-forcing values
that allow their models to reproduce the recorded global temperature
increase, and have ignored values that do not fit the temperature record.
"That's fine as a best-guess scenario, but what if the high-magnitude
negative aerosol forcing values turn out to be correct? That would mean
current interpretations of 20th century warming would be erroneous, and so
projections of future climate change might be in error as well. We need to
at least consider this possibility," Anderson said.
He noted that if all climate forcing from outside factors so far has had a
cumulative negative effect, then climate warming that already has occurred
cannot be from human activity but rather must be the result of natural
climate fluctuation. On the other hand, if the total forcing to date has
been very small but still caused the observed warming, then the Earth's
climate might be much more sensitive to forced change than climate models
Improved knowledge of climate forcing could radically alter the current
understanding of climate change, the authors say. And that improved
knowledge could be available in the near future from a new generation of
aerosol-sensing satellites. A big step comes next year when the National
Aeronautics and Space Administration and the French space agency launch a
satellite called CALIPSO, which will provide detailed maps of the
atmosphere's aerosol content. CALIPSO will fly in formation with other
satellites measuring energy variations and other factors.
Ref: Anderson, Theodore L., Robert J. Charlson, Stephen E. Schwartz, Reto
Knutti, Olivier Boucher, Henning Rodhe, Jost Heintzenberg, 2003. Climate
Forcing by Aerosols--a Hazy Picture. Science (Perspective) Vol 300, pp.
SEPP Comment: Current climate models, with perhaps one exception, use
woefully inadequate aerosol forcing. Even though it is admitted that the
indirect effects that lead to the formation of clouds are much larger than
the direct ones, models don't know how to handle the problem.
3. More on the expansion of forests into desert regions (see also TWTW of
For most plant species, higher CO2 concentrations increase efficiency of
water use and permit afforestation into drier regions. Expanding into
regions of sparse shrubs and C4 grasses could lead to significant carbon
sequestration - providing a negative feedback.
In addition, as the investigators point out (Grunzweig, Yakir et al in
Global Change Biol. 9:791, 2003), low-latitude forests would be out of
phase with the main NH forests at high latitudes and thus be exposed to a
winter concentration of CO2 that is about 10 ppm higher than summer.
4. Earth has become greener in the past two decades - by 6%, satellite
(CNN) -- The Earth has become significantly greener over the past two
decades, the result of climate changes that have furnished plants with more
heat, light, water and carbon dioxide, according to a new Science magazine
The overall plant bulk went up about 6 percent over much of the planet,
with spikes in the tropics and high latitudes of the Northern Hemisphere
accounting for 80 percent of the gains, researchers said.
The years since 1980 included two of the warmest decades on record,
producing changes that have boosted growth ingredients in regions where
they might otherwise have been scarce.
A 9.3 percent increase in the greenhouse gas carbon dioxide, a de facto
fertilizer, was significant, but not enough to produce by itself the kind
of vegetative growth, the study found.
Not everywhere has become more vegetated. About 7 percent of the studied
landmasses experienced drops in plant productivity.
"The biggest winners [becoming more green] seem to be India, Brazil and
Canada," said lead author Ramakrishna Nemani. "Losers are parts of Mexico
and northern Siberia [drying and cooling, respectively]."
The Amazon rain forest alone was responsible for more than 40 percent of
the plant growth, mostly due to reduced cloud cover that let in more sunshine.
"The most surprising result is that of the Amazon," said Nemani, a forestry
professor at the University of Montana in Missoula.
The South American rain forest has suffered from deforestation on the edges
in recent decades, but the interior sections have grown vigorously, he
said.The study, funded by NASA and the Department of Energy, includes
decades worth of satellite and ground data, which the research team studied
for nearly a year and a half to determine plant productivity.
"Productivity [refers to] how much carbon ends up stored in the biomass --
roots, trunks and leaves -- of plants after they tally up carbon gains
through photosynthesis and carbon losses through respiration [the plant
version of an exhalation]," said Rebecca Lindsey, a spokeswoman with NASA's
Earth Observatory in Greenbelt, Maryland.
Whether humans have contributed much to the greening trend remains unknown,
but co-author Ranga Myneni cautions that we should hold off on
congratulating ourselves on our green thumbs. "[Plant] productivity may
have increased 6 percent in the last 18 years, but human population has
increased by over 35 percent over that same time," the Boston University
Ref: R.R. Nemani et al. 2003. Climate-Driven Increeases in Global
Terrestrilal Net Primary Produciton from 1982 to 1999. Science 300, 1560-1563.
SEPP Comments: The drop in NPP in northern Siberia is likely due to a
cooling trend there (throwing doubt on the surface data from IPCC that show
a warming trend there). Also: We find the comment by Myneni strangely
irrelevant. Wouldn't we be worse off if NPP (and agricultural
productivity) had decreased while population grew?
5. Satellite data show climate models inadequate
-- John Christy is professor of atmospheric science and director of the
Earth System Science Center at the University of Alabama at Huntsville.
This commentary is excerpted from his May 13, 2003 testimony to the House
Will increases in CO2 affect the climate significantly? Are significant
changes occurring now? Climate models suggest the answer is yes; real data
Climate models attempt to describe the ocean/atmospheric system with
equations that approximate the processes of nature. No model is perfect
because the natural system is incredibly complex. One modest goal of model
simulations is to describe and predict the evolution of the
ocean/atmospheric system in a way that is useful to discover possible
environmental hazards that lie ahead. The goal is not to achieve a perfect
forecast for every type of weather in every unique geographic region, but
to provide information on changes in large-scale features. If in testing
models one finds conflict with even the observed large-scale features, this
would suggest that at least some fundamental processes, for example heat
transfer, are not adequately described in the models.
A common feature of climate model projections with CO2 increases is a rise
in the global surface temperature as well as an even more rapid rise in the
layer up to 30,000 feet, called the troposphere.
Over the past 24-plus years various analyses of surface temperature indeed
show a rise of about 0.7 °F. This is roughly half of the total rise
observed since the 19th century. In the lower troposphere, however, various
estimates which include the satellite data Dr. Roy Spencer of [University
of Alabama at Huntsville (UAH)] and I produce, show much less warming,
about 0.3 °F -- an amount less than half that observed at the surface. The
real world shows less warming in the atmosphere -- not more, as models
predict. Are these data reliable?
A new version of the microwave satellite data has been produced, but not
yet published, by Remote Sensing Systems, or RSS, of California. On June 1,
a paper was published in Science magazine's electronic edition that used a
curious means of testing our UAH version against RSS. The paper cited
climate-model results that agreed more with RSS, because RSS data showed
about 0.4°F more warming than UAH's data for this same layer called the
mid-troposphere. UAH's total warming for this layer was about
0.05°F. (This layer is higher in the atmosphere than the lower troposphere
mentioned earlier with its 0.3°F warming.) The strong implication of the
paper was that since RSS was more consistent with the model output, it was
likely a more accurate dataset than ours.
That same week, with much less fanfare, my latest paper appeared in the
Journal of Atmospheric and Oceanic Technology. Unlike the paper in Science
magazine, I performed several rigorous tests to estimate the potential
error of our UAH satellite data. I used real observations from balloon
datasets created by independent organizations, some with data from as many
as 400 different balloon stations. Our UAH satellite data and the balloon
data corroborated each other with remarkable consistency, showing only a
slow warming of the bulk of the atmosphere. This evidence indicates that
the projected warming of the climate models had little consistency with the
real world. This is important because the quantity examined here, lower
tropospheric temperature, is not a minor aspect of the climate system. This
represents most of the bulk mass of the atmosphere, and hence the climate
system. The inability of climate models to achieve consistency on this
scale is a serious shortcoming and suggests projections from such models be
viewed with great skepticism.
Changes in surface temperature have also been a topic of controversy. The
conclusion in [the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change 2001 report]
that human induced global warming was clearly evident was partly based on a
depiction of the Northern Hemisphere temperature since 1000 A.D. This
depiction showed little change until about 1850, then contains a sharp
upward rise, suggesting that recent warming was dramatic and linked to
human effects. Since IPCC 2001, two important papers have shown something
else. Using a wider range of information from new sources, these studies
now indicate large temperature swings have been common in the past 1000
years and that temperatures warmer than today's were common in 50-year
periods about 1000 years ago. These studies suggest that the climate we see
today is not unusual at all.
6. Analysis of Greenland ice core shows regular abrupt temperature
changes. But cause is still a puzzle.
A reanalysis of temperatures in a Greenland ice core finds 23 consecutive
cases of abrupt [Dansgaard-Oeschger] warming events during the last ice age
with a recurrence period of 1470 years, with a precision of about 12%. It
points to an extraterrestrial cause rather than an internal oscillation as
frequently suggested --e.g. by W. Broecker [Science 300, 1519-1522, 2003].
Ref: Rahmstorf, S., Timing of abrupt climate change: A precise clock,
Geophys. Res. Lett., 30(10), 1510, doi:10.1029/2003GL017115, 2003.
7. Senator McCain pressures witness on abrupt climate change
At the May 7 hearing of his Committee on Commerce, Science and
Transportation, Senator John McCain tried to get witnesses to help him make
the case for significant climate legislation. [He and Lieberman have
modified their proposed Climate Stewardship Act of 2003 (S. 139) into an
amendment to the Senate energy bill.]
He complained about lack of definiteness: " It makes it a little more
difficult for me to make my case and ask colleagues to vote on
cap-and-trade initiatives [for CO2] when they say that scientists aren't
However, witness Richard Alley (Penn State University) told the Committee:
"I am never going to tell you I am certain." Alley, who chaired the NAS
panel that issued "Abrupt Climate Change: Inevitable Surprises" (Feb. 25,
2003), then added that climate change is highly likely, is occurring, and
"highly likely occurring because of human influence." But his NAS report
does not say this anywhere - nor do we know of evidence to support this
claim of human influence.
SEPP Comment: So-was Alley just being polite -- or intimidated
"Al-Gore-like" -- by Chairman McCain? It is ironic to note also (see
above) that climate instabilities were pronounced and large when the
climate was cold, but relatively minor during the present warm interglacial
period. Does this suggest that the climate may become even more stable if
it should warm in the future?