Tuesday, 24 July 2007

BBC climate change 'mishonesty' knows no bounds

Update 24/7 - Strange happenings indeed. The images in this post all disappeared, except for the one of the road that I'd modified. I've received no notification from Blogger of any complaint. If it happens again then we know that someone is really concerned about being exposed this way.

The BBC is one of the loudest voices in the push to immiserise Europe through its promotion of global warming hysteria. In a section titled
In pictures: How the world is changing they present the following as proof that we're all doomed. I refer to it as 'mishonesty' - the mistaken belief that it's OK to bend the truth because the cause is 'just' - and in the piece they use the old before/after technique to show the damage that mankind is purportedly doing.

BBC comments against each picture below
in blue.

While the effect of human activity on the global climate is hotly debated, physical signs of environmental change are all around us. Some scientists say an increase in the rate of melting of the world's glaciers is evidence of global warming. Argentina's Upsala Glacier was once the biggest in South America, but it is now disappearing at a rate of 200 metres per year. Other scientists say its reduction is due to complicated shifts in glacial dynamics and local geology.

In fact, those 'other scientists' say that the Upsala Glacier is what's referred to as a fast-flowing calving glacier. From its name you can divine that more activity takes place in this glacier than other, slow-flowing ones. From the conclusion of this analysis:
Comparison with velocity measurements obtained by tracking surface features 30 years ago suggests that UWT was subject to strong acceleration after the release of backstress, coincident with a large glacier thinning rate which may in turn be responsible for the drastic recession affecting UWT from 1978 to 1999.
According to NASA this glacier retreated more than 4 km northward between 1968 and 1995, but appears to have stabilized in recent years. The variation between 1944/5 and 1985/6 is just -1.37% (against an overall -3.7% of the Southern Patagonian Ice Fields). Not only that but it's been pointed out recently that the pictures and captions are being wrongly used as evidence of global warming.

Kerplunk and the climate Skeptics: 1
BBC and the Climate Brown Shirts: 0

American photographer Gary Braasch has been documenting images of environmental change since 1999. The image on the left is from an 1859 etching of the Rhone glacier in Valais, Switzerland, and shows ice filling the valley. In 2001, the glacier had shrunk by some 2.5km, and its 'snout' had shifted about 450 metres higher up.

If you want to understand glaciers who should you be talking to? Al Gore? Leonardo Di Caprio? Meteorologists? Greenpeace? How about the people whose job it is to understand this stuff - geoscientists?

From the European Geosciences Union comes a piece, in 2005, called
Evidence for repeated advances and retreats of the Rhône glacier during the last glaciation in lake Geneva, from 2d and 3d seismic imaging. '...repeated advances and retreats of the Rhone glacier...' Oops. That's a bit inconvenient.
There, basement is covered by a thin layer of subglacial till overlain by markedly laminated glaciolacustrine sediments. Within this glaciolacustrine unit another till is present. We interpret these deposits as witnesses of advances and retreats of the Rhone glacier during deglaciation. Along the southern edge of the glacier, a periglacial lake formed where sediments accumulated. When the glacier expanded, the glaciolacustrine body was overridden by ice. As a result, subglacial deposits are observed above glaciolacustrine sediments. The high elevation of this series differentiates it from other glaciolacustrine sediments observed elsewhere in the lake that are associated with proglacial lakes. Sedimentary sequences from on land boreholes located near our seismic lines show striking similarities with our data. According to age dating on plant remains, the glaciolacustrine sequence is older than 32 000 years BP.
As shown, the clear evidence for the Rhone glacier to be repeatedly advancing and retreating is overwhelming. Furthermore, the first picture is from 1859 - right at the end of the Little Ice Age - so you'd expect glaciers to be significantly advanced.

Kerplunk and the climate Skeptics: 2
BBC and the Climate Brown Shirts: 0

Some scientists predict that a warmer climate will trigger more violent storms, which will cause increased rates of coastal erosion. This is a section of shoreline at Cape Hatteras in North Carolina in the USA, pictured in 1999 and 2004. The southern United States and Caribbean region were battered by a series of powerful hurricanes last year. Rising sea levels are also expected to speed up coastal erosion.

There's those unnamed 'some scientists' again, making predictions as wildly inaccurate as the climate models they're based on. If you want to know about storms then ask good old Bill Gray, who knows a thing or two about storm activity. He'll tell you point blank that there's been no discernible change in hurricane activity in the 50 years he's worked in the field. Furthermore, warmer oceans create fewer storms, not more. Here's the NOAA's history of US hurricane activity:

The record is pretty clear. Hurricane activity is lower now than it has been since records began. You can bet your bottom dollar that Climate Brown Shirts will use the recent past as the baseline for future hurricane activity to show that global warming is responsible for an increase. However, the facts are unequivocal - there is no evidence to link storm activity to global warming.

Kerplunk and the climate Skeptics: 3
BBC and the Climate Brown Shirts: 0

Other parts of the world could face even more drastic change. The Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC), a consortium of several thousand independent scientists, predicts that sea levels could rise by between 9 and 88cm in the next century. This would threaten low-lying islands such as Tuvalu in the Pacific. These images, taken this year, show the effects of a higher than usual tide.

The hooha about Tuvalu being affected by rising sea levels has been so profoundly debunked that it's unusual to still find references to it. And how hilarious is the claim that the IPCC is '...a consortium of several thousand independent scientists'? Independent thought has not hitherto been a feature of the IPCC climate brigade.

Let's take a close look at the photos above. The bottom one shows waves crashing over the road, depositing mud and sand in the process.

Now have a close look at the top one:

I've marked the areas showing clearly that the sea deposits mud and sand on the road regularly. Thus, the before and after photos are a set up. Looks like they just waited for the tide to come in to get the more dramatic shot.

Kerplunk and the climate Skeptics: 4
BBC and the Climate Brown Shirts: 0

As the climate warms up, mountainous regions may experience lower levels of snowfall. This image shows Mount Hood in Oregon at the same time in late summer in 1985 and 2002.

Mount Hood is a much more interesting case than the rest presented here. Of course, Climate Brown Shirts pick an extreme year - 1985 - to use as their baseline in order to demonstrate change. 1985/6 was an extreme coastal year with increased snow cover.
The situation for Mount Hood, Oregon in 1985-86 demonstrates extreme coastal climate characteristics. The relatively deep snowpack, and warm and low diurnal ranges of temperatures are evident.
From a paper Glacier Change on Mount Hood, Oregon comes the following:
Since initial measurements in 1940, the glacier has retreated and thinned. The lower (A) profile, which once spanned the glacier, now spans the valley floor (possibly stagnant ice) 350 m down-valley of the terminus. If stagnant ice exists it is covered by > 2 m of debris as we discovered when attempting to dig to the ice surface. Unfortunately, this area was not included in our GPR survey. At the (B) profile, we estimate the 1901 surface elevation from historic photographs (H.F. Reid) at about 2053 m suggesting local ice thickness was ~105 m. The current glacier elevation at (B) is ~2000 m and is remarkably close to that in 1940, suggesting a local ice thickness of 52 m. From 1982 to 2004 the glacier thinned 15-30 m (average rate = 1.0 m yr-1), returning to its 1940 elevation.
So the current glacier cover has simply returned to its pre-global warming 1940 level? Hardly seems much of a cause for concern. While doing research on Mount Hood I came across umpteen articles talking about what a fantastic place it is to ski in summer. No mention in any of them about shortened seasons.

Kerplunk and the climate Skeptics: 5
BBC and the Climate Brown Shirts: 0

Tree-eating wood beetles are likely to benefit from a warmer climate and reproduce in ever-increasing numbers. These images show damage to White Spruce trees in Alaska caused by the pests.

If this is not the most stupid example of the potential impact of anthropogenic global warming then I don't know what is. If tree-eating wood beetles increase in number due to warming then that same warming will cause the growth of more trees for the erstwhile tree-eating beetles to munch on. Furthermore, any species that reproduces in ever-increasing numbers eventually overburdens its environment and numbers stabilise. These people are lunatics.

Kerplunk and the climate Skeptics: 6
BBC and the Climate Brown Shirts: 0

Notice that in the examples cited by the BBC the base years used to demonstrate change are 1859, 1928, 1985 and 1999. If anyone on the pro side of the argument was being truly honest then they'd pick data for all of the above from the one year and compare to current conditions. Obviously, this wouldn't support their thesis so they have to cherry-pick the data. It's no different to using 1850 as the base year for the start of man made climate change, as it happens to coincide with the minimum of the Little Ice Age.

When the whole climate change hooey is done and dusted there are going to be a lot of people with a lot of explaining to do. Unfortunately, there'll be fewer people to explain it to, as the misanthropic policies of environmentalists take effect, but that probably suits them just fine.


Anonymous said...

You have picked a few photos whch you say are "fixed" and make some unfounded and unprofessional comments about climatolgists and the IPCC and we should ignore the increase of number and intensity of Pacific typhoons and cyclones, the melting of the Arctic Cap and that last year was the warmest winter in North Amerca that we have recorded. Leave science to the scientsts.

Jack Lacton said...


Unfortunately, you and your ilk are living on a different plant to the rest of us. You're happy to cherrypick data such as last year's NA winter while ignoring the global cold snap that's going on at present, as well as the fact that the global climate has cooled since 1998 at the same time as China has increased significantly its CO2 emissions.

I picked every photo in the BBC's article and responded to them accurately and fairly.

As I've said in another piece - If the science is settled then why does the IPCC need 17 climate models when only one should do? Or, as some else said, why does averaging 17 inaccurate models produce an accurate forecast?

KG said...

"Leave science to the scientsts.(sic)
What a pity the IPCC didn't do just that, eh?
"unfounded and unprofessional" comments? You mean the BBC drones who chose the pics to illustrate their scare propaganda were all qualified climatologists?
If not, then why are they supposed to be immune to criticism for their choice of pics?
Sorry, anonymouse, you'll have to do better than that if you want to defend your new-age religion.

Anonymous said...

Wow you really are a dumb fuck aren't you. Just keep telling yourself the earth is flat and you'll be fine.

Jack Lacton said...

Why is the left so prone to swearing on blogs?

I should write a post about the belief in global warming and its forebear - the belief that the world was flat, which was the consensus opinion among the scientists and population of the day.

KG said...

Well, anonymous (why do foul-mouthed cowards always use the "anonymous" label?) really answered the questions there, didn't he Jack?
Perhaps you should leave debating to the humans, anonymous and go peel a banana in the corner. :-)

Maurice said...

Just out of interest, do you deny that the decreasing albedo of the arctic ocean (as a result of ice melting) will lead to a greater melt year on year, until the arctic is ice-free by about 2030?

I'm not sitting here wringing my hands and saying "it's all our fault" - we're still in an ice age; but given that an ice-free arctic means the end of Bangladesh and Holland, it's perhaps worth paying some attention to the phenomenon.

I'm sure you're immune to such issues in the Southern Hemisphere, with your coriolis-protected climate. How's that tan coming on, by the way? Any melanomas yet?

Maurice said...

Afterthought: given you're so fond of graphs, proofs, &c.; might I suggest that you have a look at your own Hurricane Strike graphic?

Currently it shows a downward trend for Hurricanes thanks to 2001-2004 being an "incomplete decade".

Add the other three fifths to this decade (based on the first two), and we get 15 Cat 1&2's, plus the 3, 4, 5 chart up there with 1941-1950 (@ 22.5 such hurricanes).

Anonymous said...

Let me must point out two of your howlers. The Rhone glacier paper you quote talks about advances and retreats during the deglaciation at the end of the last ice age, not today. And the Upsala glacier paper you quote says that in fact, the thinning of the glacier has been attributed to atmospheric warming, and that the dramatic acceleration in its retreat occurred after it had retreated beyond two islands which were effectively damming it.

If you don't understand the papers, you shouldn't try to quote them. They don't support your assertions.