How David Beckham caused global warming: the Manchester United climate model

With the UN Climate Conference underway in Durban, climate “sceptics” have been particularly active in the media and blogs.

Many climate “sceptics” claim that alternate climate models can explain global warming. These models often rely on apparent correlations between climate and other data. “Sceptics” have claimed climate is strongly correlated with the Southern Oscillation Index, the oscillating position of the sun, and the length of solar cycles. Anything will do as long as it is not CO₂…

…To examine the weaknesses of these models, I will introduce a radical new climate “model”.

Global warming is the most significant scientific and political issue of recent decades. Manchester United is the most significant soccer club of recent decades. Could the two be linked?

I examined this one afternoon, by looking at global temperatures and Manchester United’s FA cup appearances since 1881. I averaged the data over 11 years, to mitigate the impact of the solar cycle. The results are remarkable. Each Manchester United FA Cup appearance in an 11-year period raised global temperatures by 0.1º Celsius…

A plot of global temperatures and the Manchester United Climate Model reveals that half of global warming is the result of Manchester United.

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Republican says God will save us from climate change

John Shimkus, an evangelical Christian representing Illinois, quoted the Bible in a congressional hearing last year on a proposed “cap and trade” legislation designed to limit carbon emissions.

Reading from God’s post-Flood promise to Noah in Genesis 8:21, he said: “Never again will I curse the ground because of man, even though all inclinations of his heart are evil from childhood and never again will I destroy all living creatures as I have done.”

Mr Shimkus added: “I believe that’s the infallible word of God, and that’s the way it’s going to be for his creation.

Following the Republicans dramatic success in last week’s midterm elections, every committee in the House will shift from Democratic to Republican leadership in January.

Mr Shimkus, who has served in Congress since 1997, is seeking the leadership of the Energy and Commerce committee, which has a wide-ranging portfolio covering energy policy, environmental initiatives and public health.

Just in case anyone living somewhere outside the United States wondered what sort of political leadership was just given a bump upwards by the United States of Ignorance. This idiot is representative of his peers and the voters who elected him.

Global warming pushes 2010 temperatures

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Global temperatures in the first half of the year were the hottest since records began more than a century ago, according to two of the world’s leading climate research centres.

Scientists have also released what they described as the “best evidence yet” of rising long-term temperatures. The report is the first to collate 11 different indicators – from air and sea temperatures to melting ice – each one based on between three and seven data sets, dating back to between 1850 and the 1970s…

Publishing the newly collated data in London, Peter Stott, the head of climate modelling at the UK Met Office, said despite variations between individual years, the evidence was unequivocal: “When you follow those decade-to-decade trends then you see clearly and unmistakably signs of a warming world”.

“That’s a very remarkable result, that all those data sets agree,” he added. “It’s the clearest evidence in one place from a range of different indices.”

Currently 1998 is the hottest year on record. Two combined land and sea surface temperature records from Nasa’s Goddard Institute for Space Studies (GISS) and the US National Climatic Data Centre (NCDC) both calculate that the first six months of 2010 were the hottest on record. According to GISS, four of the six months also individually showed record highs…

The Met Office said the variations between the figures published by the different organisations are because the Met Office uses only temperature observations, NASA makes estimates for gaps in recorded data such as the polar regions, and the NCDC uses a mixture of the two approaches. The latest figures will give weight to predictions that this year could become the hottest on record.

Despite annual fluctuations, the figures also highlight the clear trend for the 2000s to be hotter than the 1990s, which in turn were clearly warmer than the previous decade, said Stott…

The cause of the warming was “dominated” by greenhouse gases emitted by human activity, said Stott. “It’s possible there’s some [other] process which can amplify other effects, such as radiation from the sun, [but] the evidence is so clear the chance there’s something we haven’t thought of seems to be getting smaller and smaller,” he said.

Not that climate weasels need any unique data to formulate denials.

Climate scientist James Hansen wins Sophie Prize

U.S. climate scientist James Hansen won a $100,000 environmental prize for decades of work trying to alert politicians to what he called an unsolved emergency of global warming.

Hansen, born in 1941, will visit Oslo in June to collect the Sophie Prize, set up in 1997 by Norwegian Jostein Gaarder, the author of the 1991 best-selling novel and teenagers’ guide to philosophy “Sophie’s World.”

“Hansen has played a key role for the development of our understanding of human-induced climate change,” the prize citation said.

Hansen, director of the NASA Goddard Institute for Space Studies since 1981, testified to the U.S. Congress as long ago as 1988 about the risks of global warming from human activities led by the burning of fossil fuels.

“We really have an emergency,” Hansen said in a video link with the prize panel in Oslo about feared climate changes such as a thaw of ice sheets on Greenland or Antarctica or a loss of species of animals and plants in a warming world…

Hansen said that world temperatures were on a rising trend despite what he called a “well orchestrated campaign” in the past year to discredit scientific findings about global warming…

After years focused on science, he said he started speaking out more about risks of global warming in 2004, reckoning his grandchildren would not forgive him if he stayed silent. His latest book is called “Storms of My Grandchildren.”

“Follow the money” is still a reasonable method of directing attention upon who funds the papier mache skeptics. After all, who profits from maintaining reactionary technology, the ideology of anti-science?

It’s been of parallel interest watching testimony in Congressional hearings about the greedy bastards who caused this Great Recession we’re laboring to overcome. The most frequent criticism was of their short-sighted, short-term view of cause-and-effect relationships. The fossil fuel militia aren’t even that advanced.

Inquiry rules secrecy crippling – but, science remains legitimate

MPs…strongly criticised the University of East Anglia for not tackling a “culture of withholding information” among the climate change scientists whose private emails caused a furore after being leaked online in November.

The parliamentary science and technology select committee was scathing about the “standard practice” among the climate science community of not routinely releasing all its raw data and computer codes – something the committee’s chair, Phil Willis MP, described as “reprehensible”. He added: “That practice needs to change and it needs to change quickly.”

There was no evidence to challenge the “scientific consensus” that global warming is induced by human activities…

• On peer review, “the evidence we have seen does not suggest that Jones was trying to subvert the peer review process” and academics should not be criticised for “informal comments” on papers, MPs said…

Bob Ward, policy and communications director at the Grantham Research Institute on Climate Change and the Environment said the report, “does not really shed any more light on the controversy surrounding the emails … and will not stop the conspiracy theories being spread by so-called ‘sceptics’.

Of course not. Skepticism not founded on reasonable peer-reviewed science is political balderdash, nothing more.

Prof. Jones resigned when this blew up – and the parliamentary committee has recommended he return to the University and resume his research and teaching.

Climate scientist disputes skeptics’ lies about his research

A leading scientist has hit out at misleading newspaper reports that linked his research to claims that the current cold weather undermines the scientific case for manmade global warming.

Mojib Latif, a climate expert at the Leibniz Institute at Kiel University in Germany, said he “cannot understand” reports that used his research to question the scientific consensus on climate change.

He told the Guardian: “It comes as a surprise to me that people would try to use my statements to try to dispute the nature of global warming. I believe in manmade global warming. I have said that if my name was not Mojib Latif it would be global warming.”

He added: “There is no doubt within the scientific community that we are affecting the climate, that the climate is changing and responding to our emissions of greenhouse gases…”

The Mail on Sunday article said that Latif’s research showed that the current cold weather heralds such “a global trend towards cooler weather”…

Not according to Latif. “They are not related at all,” he said. “What we are experiencing now is a weather phenomenon, while we talked about the mean temperature over the next 10 years. You can’t compare the two…”

The recent articles are not the first to misrepresent his research, Latif said. “There are numerous newspapers, radio stations and television channels all trying to get our attention. Some overstate and some want to downplay the problem as a way to get that attention,” he said. “We are trying to discuss in the media a highly complex issue. Nobody would discuss the problem of [Einstein’s theory of] relativity in the media. But because we all experience the weather, we all believe that we can assess the global warming problem.”

There are distinct groupings among the “ideological” skeptics: paid flunkies for the Oil Patch Boys, so-called libertarians who believe human beings individually and collectively needn’t accept responsibility for anything, and the just plain ignorant who hate and fear scientists and students of science who point out the results of their stupid behavior.

‘Copenhagen Diagnosis’ offers a grim update on climate science

The Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change—the world’s foremost body for weighing and assessing climate science—received a kick in the pants today from members who say the climate situation is much worse than the IPCC has so far reported.

Twenty-six climatologists—including 14 IPCC members—have released a startling update to the panel’s work, reporting that sea levels could rise and methane-laden arctic permafrost could melt much sooner than the panel had anticipated.

“The Copenhagen Diagnosis: Updating the World on the Latest Climate Science” is not an official IPCC report; it’s a summary of the hundreds of peer-reviewed research papers that have been published since the IPCC’s last assessment. It was released now to fill the long gap in between official IPCC reports—the last was released in 2007, but the drafting text is more than three years old, and the next isn’t scheduled until 2013. It was also timed to the Copenhagen climate talks, of course.

The essence of the new report is that things are grimmer than the IPCC has reported. And it’s not like the panel has been painting a rosy picture—its 2007 report concluded that the warming-induced melting of the Greenland ice sheet could create significant sea-level rise in this century. IPCC chairman Rajendra Pachauri said at the time, “If there’s no action before 2012, that’s too late. What we do in the next two to three years will determine our future. This is the defining moment.”

RTFA. Conspiracy bloggers and let’s pretend-skeptics all avoid any reading matter that contains the results of peer-reviewed science. They will not have gotten more than 2 paragraphs into this news article, much less the report at root-level.

The full report is available over here.

Bill Gates says anti-science ideology threatens fight against hunger

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The fight to end hunger is being hurt by environmentalists who insist that genetically modified crops cannot be used in Africa, says Bill Gates.

Gates said GMO crops, fertilizer and chemicals are important tools — although not the only tools — to help small farms in Africa boost production.

“This global effort to help small farmers is endangered by an ideological wedge that threatens to split the movement in two,” Gates said in his first address on agriculture made during the annual World Food Prize forum.

“Some people insist on an ideal vision of the environment,” Gates said. “They have tried to restrict the spread of biotechnology into sub-Saharan Africa without regard to how much hunger and poverty might be reduced by it.”

The Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation in recent years has turned its focus to helping poor, small-holder farmers grow and sell more crops as a way to reduce hunger and poverty…

“The next Green Revolution has to be greener than the first,” Gates said. “It must be guided by small-holder farmers, adapted to local circumstances, and sustainable for the economy and the environment.”

The Gates Foundation is working with research partners on drought-tolerant maize using both conventional crop-breeding techniques and biotechnology, Gates said, noting he hopes seeds will be available in two or three years.

The impact of those new varieties could help convince skeptics of the benefits of biotechnology, he said.

The technologies will be licensed royalty free to seed distributors so that the new seeds can be sold to African farmers without extra charge,” Gates said.

He’s right, you know.

I’ll take science over religion – or skeptics whose religion is fear of science – any day. I’ve been an activist for science-based ecology for about 40 years, now. The kind of farming and animal husbandry my family has practiced for centuries has always been natural – which also means frugal 🙂 – and absolutely willing to learn from sound science.

Arctic is the warmest it’s been – over a 2000 year scale

Arctic temperatures are now higher than at any time in the last 2,000 years, research reveals. Changes to the Earth’s orbit drove centuries of cooling, but temperatures rose fast in the last 100 years as human greenhouse gas emissions rose…

Writing in the journal Science, they say this confirms that the Arctic is very sensitive both to changes in solar heating and to greenhouse warming.

The 23 sites sampled were good enough to provide a decade-by-decade picture of temperatures across the region…

“The most pervasive signal in the reconstruction, the most prominent trend, is the overall cooling that took place for the first 1,900 years [of the record],” said study leader Darrell Kaufman from Northern Arizona University in Flagstaff, US.

The 20th Century stands out in strong contrast to the cooling that should have continued. The last half-century was the warmest of the 2,000-year temperature record, and the last 10 years have been especially dramatic,” he told BBC News.

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CDC calls for people to quit hoarding, wasting Tamiflu!

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Summer camps should cease handing out Tamiflu to healthy campers to stop camp flu outbreaks, said one leading influenza official at the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

The official, Dr. Anne Schuchat, director of the National Center on Immunization and Respiratory Diseases, said she “strongly recommended” giving the drug only to people already seriously ill, or to their family members who are pregnant, have asthma or have other conditions that could be life-threatening if they caught the flu.

Giving the drug to healthy people wastes the world’s limited supplies of Tamiflu and increases the chances of drug-resistant strains developing, Dr. Schuchat said, and the disease centers are working with camp associations and local health departments to discourage the practice…

The director of Camp Modin, one of the Maine sleep-away camps that offered prophylactic Tamiflu, disagreed with Dr. Schuchat’s recommendation…

“I understand the concerns of the C.D.C.,” Mr. Salzberg added, “but there is a uniqueness to the camp environment, similar to health care centers and nursing homes. We would have had to release campers and staff members, who would have had to travel all over the world to get home, and probably make the situation worse.”

Camp Modin took the advice of Dr. Marc Siegel, a professor at N.Y.U. Langone Medical Center who writes frequently about the fear of epidemics and whose son attended the camp. Dr. Siegel said he respectfully disagreed with the C.D.C., which he said was “relying on an old protocol” for Tamiflu use…

In her weekly swine flu update, Dr. Schuchat also said the disease centers would follow the lead of the World Health Organization and stop releasing counts of confirmed cases and deaths. It will instead track cities where many people are sick and will release case estimates. There have been more than one million cases in the United States thus far, but only 43,771 are laboratory-confirmed, and the 302 laboratory-confirmed deaths are probably lower than the real number.

Dr. Schuchat also said the centers were now “fully recommending” that children as young as 6 months old get a flu shot every year. In the past, the agency had only “encouraged” shots for children.

Of course, the nutball wing of Libertarians, fundamentalist Christians and just plain ignorant and irascible will continue their complaints against [1] “Forced Vaccination” – which doesn’t exist for flu in the U.S.; [2] the “danger” of flu vaccination – which hasn’t been realistic since production regs were changed in 1975 – thirty-four fracking years ago.

In my personal experience, these are the folks most likely to hoard Tamiflu, as well. Except for those who think they’re protected by praying a lot.