Historical records missed one fifth of global warming

Warming-Data
Nasa data has highlighted problems in historical climate records over the past 150 years
By Lee Bell and Victoria Woollaston Friday 22 July 2016

Almost a fifth of the global warming that has happened during the past 150 years has been missed by historical records because of “quirks” in how temperatures have been recorded.

That’s according to a new Nasa-led study which applied these quirks to climate models. The agency then performed the same calculations on both the models and the observations to make the first true “apples-to-apples comparison of warming rates”.

The models and observations were found to largely agree on expected near-term global warming and may explain why projections of future climate, based solely on historical records, have a tendency to lower the rates of warming compared to similar predictions made using climate models.

The study, published in the journal Nature Climate Change, was led by Mark Richardson of Nasa’s Jet Propulsion Laboratory, California. Although scientists have known about these quirks for some time, this is the first study to calculate their impact.

“They’re quite small on their own, but they add up in the same direction,” Richardson said. “We were surprised that they added up to such a big effect.”

…(read more).

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NASA: Climate Change: Vital Signs of the Planet: Historical records miss a fifth of global warming

By Carol Rasmussen,
NASA’s Earth Science News Team

Difficulties in making weather measurements in the Arctic have led to underrepresentation of this rapidly warming area in historic temperature records. Credit: British Columbia Ministry of Transport.

A new NASA-led study finds that almost one-fifth of the global warming that has occurred in the past 150 years has been missed by historical records due to quirks in how global temperatures were recorded. The study explains why projections of future climate based solely on historical records estimate lower rates of warming than predictions from climate models.

The study applied the quirks in the historical records to climate model output and then performed the same calculations on both the models and the observations to make the first true apples-to-apples comparison of warming rates. With this modification, the models and observations largely agree on expected near-term global warming. The results were published in the journal Nature Climate Change. Mark Richardson of NASA’s Jet Propulsion Laboratory, Pasadena, California, is the lead author.

The Arctic is warming faster than the rest of Earth, but there are fewer historic temperature readings from there than from lower latitudes because it is so inaccessible. A data set with fewer Arctic temperature measurements naturally shows less warming than a climate model that fully represents the Arctic.

Because it isn’t possible to add more measurements from the past, the researchers instead set up the climate models to mimic the limited coverage in the historical records.

The new study also accounted for two other issues. First, the historical data mix air and water temperatures, whereas model results refer to air temperatures only. This quirk also skews the historical record toward the cool side, because water warms less than air. The final issue is that there was considerably more Arctic sea ice when temperature records began in the 1860s, and early observers recorded air temperatures over nearby land areas for the sea-ice-covered regions. As the ice melted, later observers switched to water temperatures instead. That also pushed down the reported temperature change.

Scientists have known about these quirks for some time, but this is the first study to calculate their impact. “They’re quite small on their own, but they add up in the same direction,” Richardson said. “We were surprised that they added up to such a big effect.”

These quirks hide around 19 percent of global air-temperature warming since the 1860s. That’s enough that calculations generated from historical records alone were cooler than about 90 percent of the results from the climate models that the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) uses for its authoritative assessment reports. In the apples-to-apples comparison, the historical temperature calculation was close to the middle of the range of calculations from the IPCC’s suite of models.

…(read more).

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Not enough being done to stop potential ‘Canadian Fukushima’ – whistleblowers


RT America

Published on Jul 22, 2016

Whistleblowers are raising concern about the state of Canada’s nuclear power plants. The country has five aging nuclear power plants with apparently very little oversight and improper licensing procedures. This is according to a letter to the Canadian Nuclear Safety Commission, penned by whistleblowers with knowledge of Canada’s nuclear infrastructure. To discuss, RT correspondent Alex Mihailovich joins RT America’s Manila Chan.

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Former Treasury Chiefs Tell SEC to Crack Down on Climate – Scientific American

Three former Treasury secretaries say firms are not giving investors honest information

Federal law requires companies to tell investors about risks that may significantly affect their business. Still, public companies’ financial statements often are vague, and multiple firms are known to use verbatim answers when explaining how a given risk relates to their operations. Credit: Sam Valadi via Flickr

Three former secretaries of the U.S. Treasury yesterday forcefully urged the Securities and Exchange Commission to manage financial disclosures related to climate change.

In a letter to the SEC, the bipartisan trio of secretaries Henry Paulson (R), Robert Rubin (D) and George Shultz (R) applauded the agency for issuing in 2010 a blueprint to help businesses explain how climate change affects them. But, they said, that measure isn’t enough.

“We recommend that the Commission now move to promote and enforce mandatory and meaningful disclosures of the material effects of climate change on issuers,” they wrote.

Paulson, Rubin and Shultz, all members of climate research group the Risky Business Project, said investors deserve to know how the private sector is preparing for climate change hazards.

Federal law requires companies to tell investors about risks that may significantly affect their business. Still, public companies’ financial statements often are vague, and multiple firms are known to use verbatim answers when explaining how a given risk relates to their operations.

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Republicans in Cleveland Deny Climate Change as Arctic Snow Turns Pink

Alleen BrownJuly 21 2016, 1:58 p.m.

Donald Trump’s reported top pick for energy secretary, oil and fracking billionaire Harold Hamm, declared on the Republican National Convention stage on Wednesday night, “Every time we can’t drill a well in America, terrorism is being funded.”

One day earlier, NASA had announced that this June was the hottest June on record, and that the same could be said for every month in 2016 — part of a long-term climate trend that has exacerbated geopolitical conflicts.

The convention adopted a platform that rejected the Paris climate agreement, the Kyoto Protocol, and the U.N. Framework Convention on Climate Change. Meanwhile, researchers published a study indicating that climate change worsened a 2003 heat wave enough to kill 570 more people in Paris and London than would have died in an unchanged world.

Rep. Marsha Blackburn from Tennessee, who will take the convention stage Thursday, told a Cleveland panel on Tuesday that “the earth is no longer warming and has not. For about the past 13 years, it has begun to cool.”

Meanwhile, another group of scientists estimated that temperature rises had helped cause 1 trillion tons of Greenland glacial ice to melt between 2011 and 2014.

…(read more).

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Professor: Climate Science Easy Target For ‘Alarmism’ | The Daily Caller

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Chris White – 2:30 PM 07/22/2016

Academics are teaching college students how to be climate and energy advocates, not climate scientists, a noted global warming researcher said Friday.

“What I have observed is that students are increasingly being fed climate change advocacy as a surrogate for becoming climate science literate,” David Legates, a professor of geography at the University of Delaware, wrote in a blog post Friday at global warming skeptic website Wattsupwiththat.

Legates added: “This makes them easy targets for the climate alarmism that pervades America today.”

Studying Earth’s climate is a complicated mess, Legates wrote, mostly because it requires academics and students having a detailed understanding of several natural science fields. Climate research has gained a lot of traction as the fear of so-called man-made global warming continues.

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How meltwater from the ice sheets disturbed the climate 10,000 years ago

by Staff Writers
Bochum, Germany (SPX) Jul 22, 2016

Today, a negative correlation is observed in the amount of rainfall in north-western Africa and north-western Europe. If a humid winter climate prevails in north-western Europe, the climate in north-western Africa is dry. Due to melting ice sheets, this correlation was reversed in the early Holocene period; this resulted in both regions being humid respectively dry at the same time. Radical climate change occurred. The researchers have published their report in the current edition of Nature Geoscience.

Winter climate in north-western Europe and in the Mediterranean region is controlled by the North Atlantic Oscillation (NAO), i.e. the variation in the difference of atmospheric pressure between the Azores high in the south and the Icelandic low in the north. The researchers aimed to find out how the NAO will respond to melting ice sheets and glaciers around the North Atlantic as they are doing now due to climate change.

Climate journal from the cave
To this end, they used speleothems as climate archives: they were able to demonstrate that the ratio of the oxygen isotopes 18O and 16O contained therein is affected by, among other factors, the amount of rainfall. With the aid of speleothems in north-western Morocco and western Germany, they were able to draw conclusions regarding the climate in those regions for the early to late Holocene period from 11,700 to 2,500 years ago.

The researchers show that on multi-decadal to multi-centennial timescales a negative correlation existed between the amount of rainfall in both regions druing during the mid-Holocene from 8,000 to 5,900 years ago and the late Holocene from 4,700 to 2,500 years ago. That means that one region experienced less rainfall when the other experienced a lot, just like today. In the early Holocene, however, a positive correlation existed between both regions. During the transition from the mid to the late Holocene, the correlation reversed.

Climate simulations illustrate how climate reacts to the melting of ice
In order to identify the reasons for this behaviour, the team carried out climate simulations using a coupled atmosphere and ocean model.

“A possible explanation for the negative correlation is the melting of the North American ice sheet in the early Holocene period,” explains Jasper Wassenburg, who conducted the analyses in collaboration with Prof Dr Adrian Immenhauser at the Department of Sediment and Isotope Geology at the Ruhr-Universitat Bochum and is now at the Institute of Geosciences at Johannes Gutenberg University Mainz. During the most recent ice age, this ice sheet covered large areas of Canada. Huge volumes of meltwater flowed into the North Atlantic and changed its circulation pattern.

“Using the simulations of our climate model, we demonstrated that the positive correlation of rainfall in Morocco and Germany is caused by a combination of effects: namely the impact of the North American ice shield on the atmospheric circulation and the impact of its meltwater on the oceanic circulation,” explains Dr Stephan Dietrich, who evaluated the simulations at the Alfred-Wegener-Institut, Helmholtz-Zentrum fur Polar- und Meeresforschung and is now at the Bundesanstalt fur Gewasserkunde in Koblenz.

Ice sheet had a strong cooling effect
Atmospheric circulation patterns such as the NAO are determined by atmospheric pressure patterns that occur as a result of heating and cooling of air. Oceanic currents play an important role, because they affect the distribution of heat and, thus, atmospheric circulation. The North American ice sheet has a strong cooling effect: snow and ice reflect most of the solar radiation; researchers refer to this as the albedo-effect. This was the reason why a stable high-pressure field developed above the ice sheet.

…(read more).

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