CCNet 11/2001 - 24 January 2001

"Japanese scientists have found 3,554 meteorites in Antarctica
during a three-week search -- a collection that could yield clues about
the rest of our solar system, a government official said Tuesday. "Such
a large number of meteorites discovered may include some rare ones that
could help in finding the origin of the solar system, or the possibility of
any traces of life on other planets."
--Shigeru Kure, Japanese Science Ministry, 23 January 2001

"In a nutshell, Pluto likely would not be considered a planet if it
were discovered today."
--Bernie Walp, Extrasolar Planetary Search Team, Berkeley

    Ron Baalke <>

    Andrew Yee <>


    Wired News, 23 January 2001

    Clark Whelton <>

    Silicon Valley News, 23 January 2001

    Der Spiegel, 23 January 2001

    J.A. Larsen et al.


From Ron Baalke <>

From, 23 January 2001

TOKYO (AP) -- Japanese scientists have found 3,554 meteorites in Antarctica
during a three-week search -- a collection that could yield clues about the
rest of our solar system, a government official said Tuesday.

The finds were made around the Yamato mountain range about 185 miles (300
kilometers) from Japan's base on the rim of Antarctica, said Shigeru Kure of
Japan's science ministry.

A meteorite is a meteor that survives the destructive effects of a flight
through the atmosphere and falls to the ground whole or in pieces.

Six members of the Japanese observation team took part in the latest search
conducted between Nov. 19 and Jan. 10, Kure said.

"Such a large number of meteorites discovered may include some rare ones
that could help in finding the origin of the solar system, or the
possibility of any traces of life on other planets,'' Kure said.

In 1998, a total of 4,180 fallen meteors were discovered by the Japanese
team in Antarctica -- the largest number found in a single search, Kure

To date, Japanese observation teams have found about 13,000 meteorites in
Antarctica, about half of all found there.

Copyright 2001,


From Andrew Yee <>

[ ]

Tuesday 23 January 2001

Size makes rock stars dim

Sherlock Holmes once famously solved a mystery by making deductions from an
absence. In the story 'Silver Blaze', a guard dog failed to bark because the
crime was committed by the dog's master at his own house.

Two astronomers have now used the same reasoning to deepen our understanding
of the cloud of icy debris that surrounds the Solar System. Unless this
debris developed in a particular manner, they argue, it would now be filling
the night sky with a silver blaze of its own [1].

Scott Kenyon of the Smithsonian Astrophysical Observatory in Cambridge,
Massachusetts, and Rogier Windhorst of Arizona State University have
revisited the old astronomical conundrum, why is the night sky dark?

Known as Olbers's paradox, after the German astronomer Heinrich Wilhelm
Olbers, the problem is this: the Universe is thought to be so large and so
full of stars that starlight should reach the Earth from every point in the
sky. Rather than a velvety blackness adorned with pinpricks of light, the
night sky should be ablaze. But it isn't, mainly because the Universe is not
old enough for the light from most of the stars in it to have reached us

Kenyon and Windhorst now point out that there is also a 'local' Olbers's
paradox. Beyond the orbit of the planet Neptune, our Solar System is
encircled by rubble. Known collectively as the 'Kuiper belt' (after the
Dutch-American astronomer Gerard Kuiper), this rubble consists of at least
70,000 lumps of rock and ice larger than 100 kilometres across, and
countless smaller ones.

These 'Kuiper belt objects' (KBOs) are thought to be leftovers from the
formation of the planets, which themselves aggregated from such wandering
boulders. Most KBOs are too small and far away to be seen from Earth. But as
many are coated in ice, they reflect sunlight quite strongly.

And herein lies the paradox. Observations of KBOs show that small ones are
more numerous than large ones, just as a shattered brick produces a few
large lumps, lots of small ones, and countless grains of dust. If this
relationship between size and abundance of KBOs held true down to the very
smallest grains, then these would be so numerous that they would reflect
huge amounts of sunlight -- turning the night sky bright.

Clearly, they do not light up the night. Kenyon and Windhorst have used this
'evidence of absence' to deduce how the size relationship must change as
KBOs get smaller. The researchers calculate that a new relationship must
apply to KBOs less than 1 kilometre across if their reflection of sunlight
is not to exceed the measured 'background' brightness of the sky.

This relationship is also constrained by the observed infrared glow from the
night sky, as KBOs also emit infrared radiation because they are warmed by
sunlight. Without a change in the size relationship for small objects, the
sky would be glowing like an electric heater.

The researchers say that this difference between large (over 1 km across)
and small KBOs supports the idea that the visible KBOs grew through the
merging of smaller objects in collisions. Theoretical studies of such a
process show the same kind of change in the relationship between size and
number as the objects get smaller, they point out. This change seems to
happen because bodies smaller than about a kilometre across do not merge
when they collide.

[1] Kenyon, S. I. & Windhorst, R. A. The Kuiper belt and Olbers's paradox.
Astrophysical Journal 547, L5778 (2001).

Macmillan Magazines Ltd 2001 - NATURE NEWS SERVICE


From News, 23 January 2001

The asteroid-orbiting spacecraft is making a couple of final approaches to
Eros before the mission's end next month.

by Vanessa Thomas

This week, the NEAR Shoemaker spacecraft will make two approaches of the
21-mile-long (34-kilometer-long) asteroid Eros. With only three weeks left
in the mission, planetary scientists are taking advantage of every last
data-collecting opportunity.

Throughout January, NEAR Shoemaker has been circling 22 miles (35
kilometers) above Eros. This distance is perfect for the spacecraft's
X-ray/Gamma-Ray Spectrometer (XGRS), which allows scientists to study the
elemental composition above and below the asteroid's surface. Earlier in the
mission, x-ray emissions revealed chemical resemblances between Eros's upper
layers and chondritic meteorites, believed to be the most primitive fossils
of the early solar system. The gamma-ray instrument will examine emissions
produced by cosmic rays and natural radioactivity, disclosing secrets buried
even deeper below the asteroid's gray exterior.

"The gamma-ray spectrometer allows us to see about four inches below the
surface," said XGRS team leader Jack Trombka. "This is helping us determine
if the chemistry we've seen so far is characteristic of the whole asteroid
or just the thin, top layer."

The x-ray observations are also benefiting from the current peak of the
sun's 11-year solar cycle. The x-ray spectrometer can get its best data when
large solar flares emit more x rays that, in turn, produce brighter
reflections off the surface of Eros. But these flares can be dangerous as
well. Exceptionally large solar flares and coronal mass ejections can thrust
high-energy particles at the spacecraft, overloading the XGRS.

"Too much current will fry the detectors - like burning out the filament in
a light bulb," Trombka explained. "Fortunately, the spacecraft senses this
and shuts the instrument down when things get too hot. The on-board computer
can automatically turn XGRS back on when the current returns to safe levels,
or await word from operators on Earth to activate it. The system has worked
like a dream so far and we've had some excellent results."

On Wednesday, January 24, NEAR Shoemaker will drop to an orbit that will
bring it within 3 or 4 miles (5 or 6 kilometers) of the potato-shaped
asteroid's ends. Four days later, the spacecraft will make its closest
approach yet, flying just 1 to 2 miles (2 to 3 kilometers) above Eros. "The
maneuvers are kind of risky, but we want to end the mission getting a lot of
bonus science - with images better than we've ever taken," said NEAR
Shoemaker's mission director, Robert Farquhar.

The observations will end just two days short of Near Shoemaker's one-year
anniversary around Eros. On February 12, the craft will make a controlled
descent to the asteroid's surface, capturing high-resolution images along
the way. Before it touches down onto Eros's "saddle" region, NEAR Shoemaker
could expose details as small as four inches (10 centimeters) across.

Copyright 1996-2001 Kalmbach Publishing Co. 


From Wired News, 23 January 2001,1282,41328,00.html

by Jeffrey Terraciano

My Very Educated Mother Just Served Us Nine Pizzas. Back in the day, that
was a popular acronym to help children remember the names of the nine
planets in the solar system.

Mercury, Venus, Earth, Mars, Jupiter, Saturn, Uranus, Neptune, Pluto.
That might have to be amended to something like: My Very Educated Mother
Just Served Us Nothing.

Yes, the great and distant Pluto is having its status as a planet called
into question.

Already, the Rose Center for Earth and Space, which is part of the American
Museum of Natural History, appears to have rescinded Pluto's planethood. In
its Hayden Planetarium, the Rose Center displays photos of the other eight
planets but neglects to mention Pluto.

But the International Astronomical Union still thinks Pluto is a planet.
Last February, the union went so far as to issue a press release stating
that, despite rumors to the contrary, it would not change Pluto's status as
a planet.

Meanwhile, many astronomers admit that while they still call Pluto a planet,
they do so only because of historical precedent: It's been part of the
world's consciousness for more than 70 years. The suddenly much-maligned
celestial body -- 3.7 billion miles from the sun -- was discovered in 1930
by the then quite-thrilled Clyde Tombaugh.

With a diameter of 1,430 miles, it is less than half the size of the next
smallest planet in the solar system -- Mercury, at 3,050 miles -- and just a
speck compared to Earth's diameter of about 8,000 miles.

"This is really a question of semantics," said Derek Richardson, an
assistant professor at the University of Maryland.

Like many other astronomers, Richardson said Pluto's planethood is being
questioned because of new discoveries and changing definitions.

"I'm always going to call Pluto a planet," said Richardson. "But I recognize
that it has much in common with Plutinos."

It is these Plutinos that are the focal point of this debate. Plutinos are
objects that orbit the sun beyond the orbit of Neptune. They are thought to
be similar in composition to comets, but their orbital patterns resemble
Pluto's. However, most of them are much smaller than Pluto.

Plutinos are also known in some cases as Trans-Neptunal objects (TNOs) or
Kuiper Belt objects (KBOs). This may help explain the origin of the
definitional hang-ups.

For poor Pluto, though, the bad news is that more and more Plutinos are
popping up.

In 1992, two professors discovered the first of these objects and named it
QB1. Since then, about 100 have been discovered.

Because of the similarities between Pluto and TNOs, some researchers are
suggesting that Pluto is simply the biggest TNO and not, in fact, a planet.
As more TNOs are found, the line between planet and non-planet becomes more
and more obscure.

"In a nutshell, Pluto likely would not be considered a planet if it were
discovered today," said Bernie Walp, an assistant for the Extrasolar
Planetary Search team at Berkeley.

The first issue that many astronomers mention is size. Pluto is not only the
smallest planet in the solar system, but it's smaller than seven of the
moons in the solar system (Earth's moon; Jupiter's Io, Europa, Ganymede and
Callisto; Saturn's Titan; and Neptune's Triton). While size is not all that
matters, it is one factor by which scientists define planets.

This is an argument being fought at the fringes. And it is not just small
planets that are under attack. Famed planet-finder Geoffrey Marcy, an
astronomer at the University of California at Berkeley, recently discovered
an object 17 times as massive as Jupiter.

Marcy is calling the object a planet, but many scientists argue that the
object is in fact a brown dwarf or a failed star. They say it is too large
to be considered a planet.

In much the same way, recent discoveries of larger TNOs call into question
the minimum size of a planet. As Alan Boss, a professor at the Carnegie
Institute of Washington, said, "If Pluto is a planet, then why don't we call
something that is half the size of Pluto, but has all of the same
characteristics, a planet?"

Another issue raised in this debate involves Pluto's orbit. Every other
planet orbits the sun in a common plane, forming a disc that expands out
from the Sun. Pluto's orbit, on the other hand, is tilted at a 17-degree
angle to the disc.

Pluto's orbit is also much more oblong than those of the other planets. The
course of Pluto's orbit suggests that of a comet, cutting across the path of
Neptune much like Halley's Comet crosses the Earth's orbit.

Most importantly, Richardson said, Pluto's orbit seems to be in "resonance"
with Neptune's. Pluto orbits the sun approximately twice for every three
times Neptune does so.

Richardson said that, in itself, this is not such an odd phenomenon.
However, many TNOs orbit at the same rate as Pluto, which suggests that
Pluto is more like TNOs than planets.

Many astronomers postulate that Pluto and TNOs are being held in orbit by
both Neptune and the sun, leaving them in a gray area between being
classified as moons, comets or planets.

Alan Boss compares the Pluto dilemma to that of Ceres, one of the biggest
asteroids in the solar system. Boss said that when scientists first
discovered Ceres -- on the first day of the 19th century, incidentally --
they called it a planet.

However, as more asteroids were discovered, Ceres' classification as a
planet became much less stable. Eventually it was revoked, mostly because
scientists realized that if Ceres were a planet, then many other asteroids
would have to be called planets.

"It's a similar situation with Pluto. We are suddenly discovering bodies out
there beyond Neptune that are similar to Pluto. As we learn more about these
bodies, we try to reclassify what they are and what Pluto is on the fly."

The debate, then, seems to come down to opinion. Because there is no
concrete definition for what constitutes a planet, the argument could go
either way.

"Astronomers cannot come up with a consensus on what a planet is," said
Boss. "As we learn new things, we have to constantly change our definitions.
Historically speaking, Pluto is a planet because it has been called a planet
since it was discovered."

Richardson seems to agree with this assessment.

"This is more of an emotional argument than an intellectual argument," said
Richardson. "The people who discovered Pluto were looking for planets. When
they found it, they were in that mindset and declared it a planet. That
label stuck with Pluto."

Pluto remains the only planet that has not been visited by a probe of some
kind. Rick Sanjour, a lecturer at the California Academy of Sciences, said
that this would clear up a lot of the existing questions.

"If we sent a probe to Pluto and it was discovered that its composition is
similar to that of a comet, then it would probably not be considered a
planet," said Sanjour.

While a NASA project to send a probe to Pluto is in the works -- it's been
dubbed the Pluto-Kuiper Express -- it is still pending the necessary funds
and it would not be able to visit Pluto until 2010 at the earliest.

Until then, Richardson believes that astronomers will continue to find
planet-like objects that will confound all definitions for planets.
University of Hawaii astronomer David Jewitt predicted last year that
astronomers would find a Pluto II, Pluto III and many other objects similar
in size and characteristics to Pluto in the next few years.

"It is almost a certainty that we will find more large objects out there,"
Richardson said.

Copyright 2001, Wired Magazine


From Clark Whelton <>

From the New York Times, 23 January 2001


What goes on in the atmosphere of Venus - above, below and within its clouds
of sulfuric acid - continues to puzzle scientists. Every time they take a
look, they seem to see something different, with phenomena appearing or
disappearing like the smile of the Cheshire Cat.

In their latest looks, they saw no signs of lightning, but did see the faint
glow of excited oxygen atoms on the night side of Venus. Spacecraft visiting
Venus in the 1970's found the exact opposite: signs of lightning, but no
oxygen glow.

That leaves the scientists wondering exactly what is going on.



From Silicon Valley News, 23 January 2001

BAIKONUR, Kazakhstan (Reuters) - A Russian cargo vessel blasts off for the
Mir space station Wednesday on a mission to prevent the accident-prone
orbiter from making a catastrophic crash landing back on Earth.

Russia decided in November to ditch the space station in the Pacific Ocean,
saying corrosion and age had taken the shine off the jewel in its space
crown and made Mir a safety hazard.

But a series of technical glitches have bedeviled preparations for its demise
in early March and sparked fears of an uncontrolled re-entry into the
Earth's atmosphere.

Ground controllers were forced to postpone the current flight last week
after a sudden power failure knocked out Mir's navigation system, making
docking impossible.

The glitch bore uncanny echoes of a Dec. 25 power outage that cut all links
between Mir and ground control, the worst communications breakdown in its
15-year history.

Although contact was restored after 24 hours, unnerved space chiefs later
admitted that they feared at one stage they would never regain control of
the 130-tonne craft.

Moscow has already failed to control the reentry of one major space craft.
In 1986, the Soviet Union abandoned its Salyut-7 station after wiring
malfunctions. Its remains fell harmlessly on Argentina and Chile in 1991.

The Progress craft, scheduled to blast off from the Baikonur cosmodrome in
Kazakhstan at 11:28 p.m. EST Tuesday, will ferry fuel to Mir. Space
engineers will be able to use the craft to nudge Mir out of orbit late next
month and launch its descent.


The Progress will also carry extra oxygen supplies in case an emergency crew
has to be dispatched from Earth to prepare the station manually for its
demise, space officials have said.

Russian officials say they will need up to three days to ensure Mir is
facing the right way for Progress to dock, a procedure scheduled for Jan.

If all goes to plan, most of Mir will burn up on reentry , the remainder
falling into the Pacific Ocean some 900-1,200 miles off Australia.

However, Russian space officials concede that returning such a large
structure to Earth is not an exact science, and say some debris might strike

Fragments weighing as much as 1,500 pounds could strike Earth with enough
force to smash through reinforced concrete six feet thick, Russia's space
chief Yury Koptev warned last November.

Mir's space marathon began Feb. 20, 1986, and the craft proceeded to set a
host of endurance records that were the envy of the better-funded U.S. space

But in recent years Mir has experienced a string of mishaps, including an
almost catastrophic collision with a cargo vessel, an on-board fire and a
series of main computer failures.

When a private consortium failed to find enough cash to keep Mir aloft, the
government signed its death warrant, heralding the end of a piece of space

Moscow will now focus its limited financial resources for space exploration
on the $60 billion International Space Station (ISS), a 16-nation venture
which will build on Mir's legacy.

Copyright 2001, Reuters


From Der Spiegel, 23 January 2001,1518,113556,00.html

Von Alexander Stirn

Das Ende war exorbitant: Im November 1999 ist ein Meteor in rund 15
Kilometern Hhe ber Norddeutschland explodiert. Seismologen haben jetzt die
Spuren der Detonation untersucht

FULL STORY at,1518,113556,00.html


Larsen JA, Gleason AE, Danzl NM, Descour AS, McMillan RS, Gehrels T, Jedicke
R, Montani JL, Scotti JV: The spacewatch wide-area survey for bright
Centaurs and trans-Neptunian objects
ASTRONOMICAL JOURNAL 121: (1) 562-579 JAN 2001

We have conducted a large-area search for the brightest members of the
trans-Neptunian and Centaur/scattered-disk asteroid populations by
reprocessing archival scans from the Spacewatch 0.9 m telescope at Kitt
Peak. Our survey encompasses 331 scans taken from 1995 September to 1999
September and has a raw sky coverage of 1483.8 deg(2). We discovered five
trans-Neptunians and five Centaur/scattered-disk objects using an automated
motion detection code. In addition, we serendipitously found four
trans-Neptunians and two Centaur/scattered-disk objects that had been
previously discovered. This survey is unique in that it involves a method
that has a reasonable chance to reacquire its lost objects. In this paper we
develop techniques to aid our understanding of our software efficiency and
survey procedures. We use this understanding to "convolve" our raw sky
coverage with our measured detection efficiency and a model of our scan
coverage to estimate what fraction of survey areas can be considered "new."
Our large sky coverage extends the cumulative luminosity function of the
trans-Neptunians into a region previously constrained only by upper limits,
and it allows a power-law Dt to be attempted to the Centaur cumulative
luminosity function. In objects per square degree brighter than R=21.5, we
find cumulative surface densities of Centaurs to be 0.017 +/-0.011, of
trans-Neptunians to be 0.040+/-0.018, and scattered-disk objects to be
0.007+/-0.004. We extrapolate these values to estimate the number of each
class in the ecliptic brighter than R=21.5 : 100 Centaurs, 400
trans-Neptunians, and 70 scattered-disk objects. Orbit analysis by the Minor
Planet Center suggests that three of our five trans-Neptunians are
resonators : 1998 VG(44) is in the 3 : 2, 1995 SM55 appears to be in the
5:3, and 1998 SN165 appears to be in the 7 : 5 resonance.

Larsen JA, Univ Arizona, Lunar & Planetary Lab, Tucson, AZ 85712 USA.
Univ Arizona, Lunar & Planetary Lab, Tucson, AZ 85712 USA.

Copyright 2001 Institute for Scientific Information

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"The facts are simple. The Little Optimum and Little Ice Age were
real. They were also widespread over the globe. The twentieth century is
not the least bit climatically unusual. So why the recent media
hysteria that the twentieth century is the warmest of the last 1,000
--Sallie Baliunas and Willie Soon, Harvard-Smithsonian
Center for Astrophysics

"In the last month alone, serious scientific studies have undermined
the whole basis of these predictions, with the temperature over the
oceans seen as exaggerated by up to 40% and the very relationship
between carbon dioxide and temperature questioned."
--Philip Stott, University of London

    UniSci, 17 January 2001

    The New York Times, 24 January 2001

    Environmental News Network, 22 January 2001

    BBC News Online, 22 January, 2001

    Environment & Climate News, January 2001

    Andrew Yee <>

    Andrew Yee <>

    CO2 Science, 24 January 2001

    Michael Paine <>

     Yahoo News, 20 January 2001

     S. Fred Singer <>

     W Kenneth Davis (former US Deputy Secretary of Energy)



From UniSci, 17 January 2001

Freshly updated global temperature measurements combined with evidence from
new research continues to show little global-scale warming of the atmosphere
during the past 22 years, a scientist from The University of Alabama in
Huntsville (UAH) reported on Monday.
"In looking at all of the pieces of the puzzle, we see a picture of the past
22 years that we hadn't anticipated -- that the bulk of the atmosphere has
shown very little warming," said Dr. John Christy, a professor of
atmospheric science and director of UAH's Earth System Science Center. "We
see warming over the northern third of the globe both at the surface and in
the five-mile-deep layer of air above.

"For the bulk of the atmosphere, however, we see a general cooling trend
over the remaining two-thirds of the globe, from 20 degrees north latitude
to the South Pole."

Christy's discussion of the data, part of an update related to the United
Nations Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change 2001 Assessment, came on
Tuesday in Albuquerque, NM, at the annual meeting of the American
Meteorological Society. Christy is one of eight "lead authors" of the 2001
report. He serves as a lead author for the chapter on observed climate
variability and change.

"For people living north of 20 degrees north, which includes most of the
world's population, the perception of warming over the past 22 years is
real, both at the surface and in the air above," Christy said. "But that
isnt seen on a global scale for the bulk of the atmosphere."

Recent research provides new pieces to a global climate puzzle that has gone
unsolved since eleven years ago, when Christy and Dr. Roy Spencer, a NASA
space scientist at the National Space Science and Technology Center,
developed a technique to use NOAA satellites to monitor temperatures in the

Satellite measurements of temperatures in the troposphere, the lowest five
miles of the atmosphere, as well as independent measurements from balloons,
show no evidence of significant global-scale warming.

That's at odds with surface temperature records, which show warming during
the same period of time. The apparent disagreement between the two datasets
has been the source of scientific investigation and controversy.

The recent research includes regional comparisons of temperature trends from
both surface readings and satellite data. That analysis found that the
surface and satellite long-term climate trends match for North America,
Europe and Australia -- regions with extensive and reliable networks for
gathering air temperatures.

"However, where a significant fraction of the data is sea surface
temperatures rather than air temperatures, the surface measurements tend to
show significantly more warming than the tropospheric temperatures," Christy

Other research included an analysis of temperature data gathered by buoys
scattered around the tropical Pacific Ocean. Each buoy has thermometers
measuring temperatures of both the sea surface at one meter depth and the
air three meters above the sea surface.

For each buoy, the long-term climate trend reported by each instrument was
different. For multi-buoy averages, the difference between air and sea
climate trends was as much as 0.15 degrees Celsius per decade over a span of
only four meters.

"A detailed examination of temperatures just above the sea surface and at
the sea surface for the tropical third of the globe shows that the air right
next to the sea surface isn't warming as fast as the water," Christy said.
"The weight of this new research result adds evidence that the satellite and
balloon-based climate records are reliable. They also raise questions about
the viability of sea surface temperatures as a proxy for tracking air
temperature variations over long time periods."

Traditionally, sea water temperatures have been used for tracking climate
changes over the oceans because problems related to sea temperature
measurement by ships were believed to be less troublesome than problems
related to measuring air temperatures on deck.

Air temperature data gathered at sea can experience exposure problems,
including heat contamination from a ships superstructure or the varying
altitude of thermometers from ship to ship. Water temperature data are
subject to vagaries including varying depths at which the water is collected
and different types of measuring systems, from buckets to engine intakes.

Earlier, Christy and others used data gathered using weather balloons to
confirm the accuracy of satellite readings of temperatures in the
troposphere. If the new data shows that the satellite measurements are
accurate over regions where there is reliable surface temperature data, that
implies the satellite sensors are also accurate and reliable over the rest
of the globe, although atmospheric and surface trends may vary for specific

This may improve the scientific community's confidence in the satellite
data, which cover more than 95 percent of the globe, Christy said. The
satellite data coverage includes remote ocean, desert and wilderness regions
for which climate data are either scarce or not available at all.

During the past 22 years, the satellite dataset shows a warming trend of
about 0.22 degrees C (0.4 degrees Fahrenheit) per decade for the northern
third of the globe, Christy said. That covers the area from the North Pole
to 20 degrees north latitude, including all of North America, Cuba and most
of Mexico, all of Europe, the northern half of Saharan Africa and most of

The satellite data show that the atmosphere over the southern two-thirds of
the globe has actually cooled by about 0.04 degrees C per decade over the
past 22 years.

Looked at as a composite, the satellites show a "global" warming trend of
about 0.04 degrees C per decade -- with the bulk of that warming
concentrated in the Northern Hemisphere.

Copyright 1995-2001 UniSci. All rights reserved.

From The New York Times, 24 January 2001

AIROBI, Kenya - Africa may face more natural disasters if the world's main
economic powers do not ratify a key protocol on climate change as soon as
possible, the top United Nations environmentalist said Tuesday.

Klaus Toepfer, executive director of the U.N. Environment Program (UNEP),
was speaking after scientists released a report this week warning that
average global temperatures could rise 5.8 percent in the 21st century.

"It is a very dramatic situation," he told a news conference in the Kenyan
capital Nairobi, where the UNEP is based. "The evidence is absolutely clear
that the speed of global warming is going faster and faster."



From Environmental News Network, 22 January 2001

Statement by Myron Ebell, Director of Global Warming and International
Environmental Policy

From Competitive Enterprise Institute
Monday, January 22, 2001

WASHINGTON, D.C. - Today's release of the "Summary for Policymakers" by the
United Nations Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change has everything to
do with political spin and very little to do with climate science. The
18-page Summary is not a fair or accurate summary of the IPCC's full Third
Assessment Report, which is over one-thousand pages long and which has not
yet been released in final form.

The IPCC's Summary for Policymakers claims that the earth's temperature will
rise much faster than previously forecast and that the twentieth century was
the warmest in the past thousand years. Neither of these claims can be
substantiated from the available data. The totality of proxy records, such
as tree ring data, shows that the past century was not the warmest in the
past millennium. Moreover, proxy records for recent decades are in agreement
with satellite and balloon temperature data that show no significant warming
in the past twenty years.

The Summary's scary predictions of much faster warming are based on
discredited global climate computer models. The climate scientists who wrote
the Third Assessment Report have become so doubtful of these global climate
models that they did not use them to produce a prediction of future global
warming, but instead provided forty possible scenarios. The political
spinners who wrote the Summary for Policymakers simply chose to include the
scariest scenarios in their Summary.

The Clinton-Gore Administration worked for five years to make sure that the
Summary for Policymakers would be politically useful to supporters of the
Kyoto global warming treaty. The Kyoto Protocol would require huge
reductions in energy consumption and much higher energy prices. The Bush
campaign pledged to reverse the Clinton-Gore Administration's disastrous
anti-energy policies of the past eight years and to oppose the Kyoto
Protocol. As part of fulfilling those promises, the new Bush Administration
should now demand that political operatives be taken out of the UN IPCC
process and that scientists should be put in charge of preparing both the
Fourth Assessment Report and its Summary for Policymakers.

CEI, a non-profit, non-partisan public policy group founded in 1984, is
dedicated to the principles of free enterprise and limited government. For
more information, please contact Richard Morrison, associate director of
media relations, at or 202-331-1010, ext. 266.

For more information, contact:
Richard Morrison
Competitive Enterprise Institute
Web site:  ENN Toolbox 

Copyright 2000 Environmental News Network Inc. 


From the BBC News Online, 22 January, 2001

Scientists sceptical about the nature or pace of global warming challenged
the "consensus" being presented on the issue on Monday by researchers
working for the United Nations.

There are huge uncertainties to do with the science that goes into the
computer models that predict the future
Meeting in Shanghai, China, the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change
(IPCC) said the Earth would warm up in the coming 100 years faster than at
any time in the last 10,000 years. And they pointed the finger of blame
squarely at human activities, in particular fossil-fuel burning.

The panel's Working Group One said computer models were predicting
temperature rises of between 1.4 and 5.8 degrees Celsius over the coming
century and sea level rises that could be measured in tens of centimetres.
It said there was now little doubt about what was happening to the planet's
climate and governments should act to curb greenhouse gas emissions.

But several scientists outside the IPCC criticised what they described as
the "arrogance" of the UN body, insisting that the evidence for global
warming was still far from certain.

Climate uncertainties

Sir John Houghton, the former UK Met Office chief who co-chaired the
Shanghai meeting, said that, in his view, there could no longer be any doubt
about the human effect on climate.

Some believe indirect solar activity has a bigger impact than the IPCC will
"The evidence is certainly sufficiently strong for countries to take action
based on what we've said," he told BBC News Online. "I think there are very
few scientists who'd disagree with the IPCC. And most of those who do
disagree have not published much," he added.

However, the prominent global warming sceptic Professor Philip Stott, from
the University of London, was quick to disagree. He said recent research had
damaged the credibility of the IPCC and its climate predictions.

"In the last month alone, serious scientific studies have undermined the
whole basis of these predictions, with the temperature over the oceans seen
as exaggerated by up to 40% and the very relationship between carbon dioxide
and temperature questioned."

Political response

He added: "The IPCC models and correlations are not new; they are re-cycled
'old hat'. It is essentially a political response to the collapse of The
Hague climate talks."

Professor Stott said computer models presented various "stories" or
scenarios and people should not see them as outcomes that were bound to

"There are over 40 such stories; inevitably, of course, the media selects
the very worst storyline," he said.

His concerns were echoed by Professor David Unwin, an environmental
scientist at Birkbeck College, London. He said the IPCC was guilty of
glossing over many of the uncertainties in climate science.

"These uncertainties are never really made explicit," he said. "The IPCC
will give you error bars but there are huge uncertainties to do with the
science that goes into the computer models that predict the future."

He said the models had progressively drawn back from the real doomsday
scenarios of a few years ago as climate processes had become better
understood and incorporated into calculations. "And in my view, and in the
view of many other scientists, this refinement has a long way to go."

Weather hazards

Professor Unwin said the IPCC, in becoming "fixated on the control of carbon
dioxide as a measure to tackle global warming", had allowed other issues
such as energy conservation and cleaner air to slip off the agenda.

"And it has made light of all the other levers that society could pull to
aid and adapt its way out of the problem that we may or may not have. All
the social science evidence on weather hazards shows that, by and large,
trying to modify the hazard isn't a strategy that works.

Piers Corbyn of Weather Action, a company that provides long-term forecasts
to UK industry, claimed the IPCC had quite simply got it wrong. Corbyn, like
a large group of solar scientists, believes the UN body has underestimated
some of the indirect effects of the Sun on the Earth's climate.

"Particles and magnetic effects from the Sun are the decisive influence that
controls world temperatures," he said. "The evidence can be seen in the
graphic representation of geomagnetic activity plotted alongside world
temperatures. The two correlate very closely.

"I think there is a political agenda here. There is a lobby which makes
money out of global warming promotion and research, and governments around
the world collect taxes on the back of it all. If governments are serious,
they should support research into solar effects."

Copyright 2001, BBC


From Environment & Climate News, January 2001

by Sallie Baliunas Ph.D. and Willie Soon Ph.D.

Like leaves on trees the race of man is found,
Now green in youth,
now withering on the ground:
Another race the following spring supplies:
They fall successive, and successive rise
  --Homer, Iliad, Book VI, Line 181

Recent news coverage portrays the twentieth century as the meanest, baddest,
hottest century of the last 1,000 years--all because of a human-induced rise
in atmospheric carbon dioxide. But is it so?

By 1965, the great British climatologist Hubert H. Lamb had synthesized
indications of past warm and cold periods spread over the world:

. . . [M]ultifarious evidence of a meteorological nature from
historical records, as well as archaeological, botanical, and
glaciological evidence in various parts of the world from the Arctic
to New Zealand . . . has been found to suggest a warmer epoch lasting
several centuries between about A.D. 900 or 1000 and about 1200 or
1300. . . . Both the "Little Optimum" in the early Middle Ages and the
cold epochs [i.e., "Little Ice Age" --Editors], now known to have
reached its culminating stages between 1550 and 1700, can today be
substantiated by enough data to repay meteorological investigation. . . .

In more than three decades of attentive research Lamb's optimism has
blossomed into facts about the last 1,000 years' climate change. With better
tools and techniques, researchers have gathered comprehensive information
about past climate change from proxies such as tree rings, pollen, coral,
glaciers, boreholes, and sea sediments sampled worldwide.

According to the reconstructed records, people in many parts of the world
experienced a relative warmth early in the millennium, called the Little
Optimum (LO), and a cool period a few centuries later, labeled the Little
Ice Age (LIA).

Examples are geographically widespread and numerous. In central Argentina
during the LO, glaciers retreated and the plains regions turned warm and
humid. During the LIA, glaciers advanced and the plains became cooler and

Study of the cultivation of subtropical citrus trees and herbs shows
Northeast China had a temperature about 1C higher than today between 1100
and 1200 A.D. That same region felt the chill of the LIA between 1550 and
1750 A.D., and that period was the coldest of the last 2000 years, according
to oxygen isotope measurements in peat cellulose.

The temperature in the interior of South Africa was higher by 3C during the
LO and lower by 1C during the LIA compared with today, based on measurements
of carbon and oxygen isotopes in stalagmites.

The surface temperature of the Sargasso Sea in the North Atlantic exhibited
a 1C rise 1,000 years ago and 1C decrease about 400 years ago, as shown by
the level of the oxygen isotope in seafloor sediments.

Borehole measurements into the Greenland ice sheet indicate a temperature 1C
higher around 1000 A.D. and 1C cooler between 1500 and 1850 A.D. Other
borehole measurements made worldwide confirm a warmth during the LO as high
as 0.5 C above present temperatures and as low as 0.7C below current values
during the LIA.

In western Europe, documentary evidence describes the moderation of harsh
winters from 900 to 1300 A.D. relative to those from 1300 to 1900. During
the LO, atypical subtropical plants such as olive trees grew in the Po
valley of Northern Italy, and fig trees near Cologne, Germany.

More information gathered around the world confirms anomalous climate
conditions during the Little Ice Age and Little Optimum. For example, in
northwestern Minnesota, lake sediments reveal dustier, and therefore
probably much windier, conditions during the LIA than today. Other studies
examine such evidence as tree growth ranging from the near Arctic, Siberia,
and Alaska to Chile, New Zealand, and Tasmania; documentary and glacier
evidence worldwide; pollen and phenological indicators in China; and lake
fossils in Africa and the U.S. Great Plains.

The concordance of those diverse climate indicators over the world says that
the twentieth century was not unusually warm compared with earlier times.
Cambridge University researchers write that the medieval warming "was a
global event occurring between about 900 and 1250 A.D., possibly interrupted
by a minor re-advance of ice between about 1050 and 1150 A.D."

Other researchers state, "Extreme [climate] events in the [South African]
record show distinct teleconnections with similar events in other parts of
the world, in both the northern and southern hemispheres."

A scientist from Stockholm University concludes, "The pattern of frequent
and rapid changes in climate throughout the Holocene indicates that the
warming of the last 100 years is not a unique event and is thus not an
indication of human impact on the climate, as is frequently claimed."

The facts are simple. The Little Optimum and Little Ice Age were real. They
were also widespread over the globe. The twentieth century is not the least
bit climatically unusual. So why the recent media hysteria that the
twentieth century is the warmest of the last 1,000 years?

Sallie Baliunas, Ph.D., and Willie Soon, Ph.D., are colleagues at the
Harvard-Smithsonian Center for Astrophysics.



Cioccale, M.A., 1999. Climatic fluctuation in the Central region of
Argentina in the last 1000 years. Quaternary International, 62, 35-47.

Dahl-Jensen, D., et al., 1998. Past temperatures directly from the Greenland
ice sheet. Science, 282, 268-271.

Dean, W.E., and A. Schwalb, 2000. Holocene environmental and climatic change
in the Northern Great Plains as recorded in the geochemistry of sediments in
Pickerel Lake, South Dakota. Quaternary International, 67, 5-20.

Grove, J.M., and R. Switsur, 1994. Glacial geological evidence for the
medieval warm period. Climatic Change, 26, 143-169.

Hong, Y.T., et al., 2000. Response of climate to solar forcing recorded in a
6000-year time-series of Chinese peat cellulose. The Holocene, 10, 1-7.

Huang, S., H.N. Pollack, and P.Y. Shen, 1997. Late quaternary temperature
changes seen in world-wide continental heat flow measurements. Geophysical
Research Letters, 24, 1947-1950.

Karln, W., 1998. Climate variations and the enhanced greenhouse effect.
Ambio, 27, 270-274.

Keigwin, L.D., 1996. The Little Ice Age and Medieval Warm Period in the
Sargasso Sea. Science, 274, 1504-1508.

Lamb, H.H., 1965. The early medieval warm epoch and its sequel.
Palaeogeography, Palaeoclimatology, Palaeoecology, 1, 13-37.

Pfister, C. et al., 1998. Winter air temperature variations in western
Europe during the Early and High Middle Ages (A.D. 7501300). The Holocene,
8, 535-552.

Tyson, P.D., et al., 2000. The Little Ice Age and medieval warming in South
Africa. South African Journal of Science, 96, 121-126.


From Andrew Yee <>

ESA News

19 January 2001

Europe's satellites track climate changes

In June an Ariane-5 launcher will send into orbit Europe's big new
environmental satellite, Envisat. Scientists will expect fresh insights from
its data, into how the world is changing. The 8-tonne spacecraft will
continue and extend the work of ESA's ERS-1 and ERS-2, which since 1991
have established a distinctive role in watching global change, notably in
the world's oceans and ice sheets. An important ozone monitor was added on
ERS-2. One of the new instruments on Envisat will observe the variations in
ocean colour due to the seasonal blooming of life, which plays a big but
poorly understood part in controlling the amount of carbon dioxide in the
atmosphere. Improved instruments for gauging ozone and other trace gases are
also on board.
Yet Envisat is just the flagship of a fleet of satellites being built in
Europe to make better sense of the possibly adverse climate trends on the
planet that is our only home in the desert of space.
While everyone wonders about unusual weather and what it may mean for the
future, spacecraft are the world's chief eyes on current weather and climate
variations. Surface stations are scattered very unevenly around the globe.
They are especially scarce in polar, oceanic and sparsely inhabited land
regions where, some climate forecasters suggest, the greatest changes may be
occurring. Only satellites can observe the weather and associated climatic
and environmental changes comprehensively and objectively, day by day and
decade by decade. So several ESA programmes converge on the issues of
climate change.
On behalf of EUMETSAT, ESA is developing two advanced satellites for routine
weather observations. One is Meteosat Second Generation (MSG) to replace the
Meteosat series that, since 1977, have watched the weather over Europe,
Africa and adjacent regions and ocean from a geostationary vantage point.
Besides its familiar use in daily weather forecasting, Meteosat provides a
huge archive for climate studies, for example in helping to reveal changes
in the Earth's cloud cover from year to year. MSG-1 is scheduled for launch
in 2002. It will generate sharper images twice as often, and with twelve
wavelength channels rather than the three in the current Meteosat. It will
also carry the Geostationary Earth Radiation Budget experiment to monitor
the difference between reflected sunlight and the infrared rays emitted from
the upper atmosphere, which are partially blocked by greenhouse gases.

From 2005 the first Metop satellite will orbit over the poles. In a
cooperative programme between EUMETSAT and ESA, Metop is the space segment
of the EUMETSAT Polar System. This in turn is part of a joint European-US
satellite system coordinated with the US National Oceanic and Atmospheric
Administration. The European and American satellites will share some basic
instruments, including an Advanced Microwave Sounding Unit to measure the
temperature of the air at many levels in the atmosphere. A puzzle about
climate change is that the rising global temperatures inferred from surface
stations are not matched by any long-term warming of the lower atmosphere.
Additional European instruments on Metop will improve atmospheric soundings,
and measure atmospheric ozone and near-surface winds over the ocean.

ESA's Earth Explorer programme aims to advance earth science and the
techniques of observation from space, beyond the present capabilities of
current generation of Earth Observation satellites. The first core mission
of this programme is GOCE (Gravity and Steady-State Ocean Circulation
Mission) due for launch in 2004/5. It will measure regional variations in
the Earth's gravity more accurately than ever before. One of its benefits
will be a better understanding of the ocean currents, which play a major
role in the climate by transporting huge amounts of heat between different
The second Earth Explorer core mission will be ADM (Atmospheric Dynamics
Mission, 2004/5). It aims to fill a big gap in observations of the winds of
the world. The computer models that calculate daily weather forecasts and
make climate predictions, have to diagnose and predict the winds at all
levels in the atmosphere. Observations that might check whether the
reckonings are correct are limited to those relatively few places where
radiosonde weather balloons are flown routinely. Coverage of the oceans and
the Southern Hemisphere is especially sparse. ADM will use an ultraviolet
laser beam to measure wind speeds at 20 levels in the air, by detecting
echoes from molecules and dust particles carried by the winds.

In addition to its core projects, ESA's Earth Explorer programme supports
smaller "opportunity" missions. Cryosat (2003/4) will find out whether the
great ice sheets of Antarctica and Greenland are melting as a result of
global warming. It will also clarify the role of sea ice in climate
variations. ERS-1 and ERS-2 have measured year-by-year variations in the
thickness of the ice sheets with a radar altimeter, but have detected little
change overall. This may be because the radar averages the ice altitudes
across wide areas. To look for significant melting at the edges of the ice
sheets, Cryosat will use twin radars to detect changes across areas just 250
metres wide.

Soil moisture and ocean salinity are the targets for SMOS, the second
"opportunity" project. Life on land relies almost entirely on the thin layer
of moisture in the soil that supplies the roots of plants, and any global or
regional trends due to greater or lesser rainfall would be one of the most
important indicators of climate change. SMOS (2005/6) will use a multi-beam
radio telescope to detect 21-centimetre radiation from the land surface, the
intensity of which is a good indicator of soil moisture. The same radiation
coming from the ocean will reveal the salt content of the sea surface, which
has a major influence on ocean currents and hence on the climate.
The role of the Sun as a natural agent of climate change is investigated by
ESA's Space Science Programme. Intense magnetic activity on the Sun seems
linked to warming effects on the Earth, but the solar mood varies from
decade to decade and century to century. When the ESA-NASA Ulysses
spacecraft first flew over the solar poles in 1994-95, it showed that the
magnetic field far from the Sun is much more uniform that experts expected.
As a result, scientists were able to deduce, from magnetic records on the
Earth, that the interplanetary magnetic field doubled in strength during the
20th Century, probably with related contributions to global warming.

The ESA-NASA SOHO spacecraft, stationed 1.5 million kilometres out on the
sunward side of the Earth, has monitored changes in the Sun since 1996. It
measured an expected increase in the intensity of sunlight while the Sun
approached its present maximum of magnetic activity, as indicated by a
rising count of sunspots. SOHO has also discovered an ever-varying
dynamo deep beneath the surface that seems to be responsible for the Sun's
outward show of magnetism.
When the Sun's role in the Earth's climate changes is better defined,
anticipating its mood will be important for forecasting. Some experts think
that the best predictor of the intensity of solar activity is the strength
of the magnetic field at the Sun's poles, but this is hard to gauge. ESA's
successor to SOHO will be the Solar Orbiter, due for launch around 2010. For
one month in every five, the Solar Orbiter will swoop close to the Sun and
observe its stormy atmosphere in far greater detail than ever before. It
will also use encounters with the planet Venus to slant its orbit and
achieve a better view of the Sun's poles and the magnetism there.
ESA is now examining a selection of five proposals for further core missions
in the Earth Explorer programme. These would investigate atmospheric
chemistry, clouds and aerosols, ecological changes, or water vapour in the
atmosphere. The exuberance of the proposals, backed by dozens of scientists
from ESA's member states and other countries, is a sure sign that many new
possibilities remain for learning more about our planet from space. By 2015,
when the Solar Orbiter will be helping scientists to forecast the Sun's
activity for the following decade, scientific understanding of both manmade
and natural climate change should be far deeper than it is now -- thanks at
least in part to Europe's climate-tracking spacecraft.

Related News

* Scatterometers, sea ice and climate change
* Satellite eyes focus on El Nino

Related Links

* ESA's Envisat homepage
* ERS homepage
* About MSG
* Metop
* CryoSat
* Solar Orbiter
* Earth Explorer homepage
* Earth Observation Homepage


[Iamge 1:]
Averaged global Sea-Surface Temperature (SST) during the month of April 1992
as measured by ATSR on ERS.

[Image 2:]

The first of three MSG spacecraft will be launched late in the year 2000,
allowing Europe to maintain its leading role in gathering global weather
data until at least the year 2012. Benefiting from Meteosat's pedigree of
over 20 years, the MSG satellites represent a significant leap in
technological capability and will provide meteorologists with much improved
imagery and data.

[Image 3:]
Surface winds around Antarctica (strongest in yellow-tinted areas) as seen
by the radar scatterometer on ERS-1.

[Image 4:]
A solar flare, 26-Nov-2000 SOHO/EIT.

[Image 5:]
Solar Orbiter -- a high-resolution mission to the sun and inner heliosphere.


From Andrew Yee <>

University of Newcastle upon Tyne
Newcastle upon Tyne, U.K.

Michael Warwicker, 0191 222 7850,

19 January 2001

Scientists find evidence of global cooling

Researchers examining deep-sea sediments off the coast of Namibia, West
Africa, have found evidence that global cooling of 10 degrees Celsius has
occurred since 3.2 million years ago -- five times greater than was
previously believed.

The discovery, announced in the American journal, Science, adds weight to
the theory that climate change played a significant part in the evolution of
early humans.

Jeremy Marlow, of Newcastle University's Department of Fossil Fuels and
Environmental Geochemistry, who led the team of English, American and German
scientists, said: "There have been arguments for many years about whether
the emergence of our ancestors was linked to climate change. By looking at
the molecular fossils of microscopic marine algae we began to discover
evidence of a 10 degree fall in temperature in the region of Africa where
much of the early human fossil evidence has been discovered.

"We didn't believe it at first but further tests kept producing similar
results until we had to conclude that temperatures really had decreased so
dramatically." The scientists, from the Universities of Newcastle, Durham,
California and Bremen, found that cooling was particularly rapid about 2
million years ago, at the time when the first ancestors of modern humans
emerged in sub-tropical southern Africa.

The research also sheds new light on the mechanisms that may cause climate
change. By examining the rate of sediment deposition and the levels of
organic carbon within the sediments, the researchers obtained evidence of a
well-defined cycle in which a cooling atmosphere causes increased upwelling
of nutrient-rich deep waters in specific parts of the oceans leading to
increased biological uptake of carbon dioxide from the atmosphere, which
then cools further, causing more upwelling and uptake of carbon dioxide.

This mechanism took 100,000s to millions of years to have an effect on
climate but could be reversed far more rapidly through the burning of this
type of locked-up carbon as fossil fuels.

Further information:

University Press Office
Phone: 0191 222 7850

Notes for Editors

This press release is based on an article, "Upwelling Intensification As
Part of the Pliocene-Pleistocene Climate Transition", published in the
American journal, Science (ref 290: 2288-2291.) However, the article in
Science concerns itself with factual findings and does not discuss the
implications for human evolution. No press release has been issued by

Peer reviewed publication and references

Science 290: 2288-2291 (see also Notes for Editors)


From CO2 Science, 24 January 2001

Suckling, P.W. and Mitchell, M.D.  2000.  Variation of the Koppen C/D
climate boundary in the central United States during the 20th century.
Physical Geography 21: 38-45.

What was done
The authors studied the spatial and temporal variation of the C/D Koppen
climate boundary in the central United States over the 100-year period 1900
to 1999. In this climate classification system, the C and D climates are
both considered mid-latitude rainy climates, but with mild and cold winters,
respectively. The data used in the analysis were mean January temperatures
obtained from the U.S. Historical Climatology Network for 67 sites located
between 37 and 41.5N latitude and 90 and 100W longitude, comprising much
of Missouri, eastern and central Kansas, south-central and southeastern
Nebraska, southern Iowa and west-central Illinois.

What was learned
Breaking the hundred-year time period into four equal parts, it was found
that the C/D climate boundary was located slightly farther south during the
last two periods (1950-1974 and 1975-1999) than it was during the first two
periods (1900-1924 and 1925-1949). In the words of the authors, "this
implies that winters were colder or more severe during these latter periods
compared to the two earlier quarter-century periods." They also note that
"cooler conditions for the latter half of the 20th century are further
illustrated by the network-wide mean January temperature values," which were
-3.34C for 1950-1974 and -3.24C for 1975-1999, as compared to -2.67C for
1900-1924 and -2.62C for 1925-1949.

What it means
The results of this study clearly show, contrary to the predictions of some
- such as Butzer (1980), for example - that a northward migration of
climatic zones in central North America does not appear to be occurring. The
authors say that "this suggests a lack of evidence for any systematic
wintertime warming in the central United States that might be anticipated
under a global-warming scenario." They also note that the same holds true
for the summer-sensitive Dfa/Dfb climate boundary (where Dfa climates have
distinctly warmer summers than Dfb climates), as demonstrated by Mitchell
and Kienholz (1997) in a similar study based on July mean temperatures in
the north-central and northeastern United States. These studies thus make an
even stronger case than we make for the non-existence of global warming, as
we only claim it has not warmed since 1930 (see our Editorial of 1 July

Butzer, K.  1980. Adaptation to global environmental change. The
Professional Geographer 32: 269-278.

Mitchell, M. and Kienholz, J. 1997. A climatological analysis of the Koppen
Dfa/Dfb boundary in eastern North America, 1901-1990. Ohio Journal of
Science 97: 53-58.
Copyright 2001. Center for the Study of Carbon Dioxide and Global Change


From Michael Paine <>

Dear Benny,

The SpaceDaily article 'Earth May Have Cooled 10 Degrees Over Past 3 Million
Years' is interesting. It
concerns a paper in Science about analysis of deep sea sediments. The author
of the SpaceDaily article notes that it "...adds weight to the theory that
climate change played a significant part in the evolution of early humans."
but cautions that the Science paper does not discuss the implications for
human evolution. Hopefully someone will also be analysing the cores for
evidence of microplanet impacts.

Michael Paine


From Yahoo News, 20 January 2001

By Daniel Sternoff

NEW YORK (Reuters) - When it rains, it pours. And snow, sleet and one of the
coldest U.S. winters on record are sending bitter shivers through an already
cooling economy, potentially putting a decade-long expansion on ice.

Economists say higher heating bills, shorter work weeks and dampened drive
to hit the malls are all depressing consumer spending this winter. Bad
weather is also sending chill winds through the so-far resilient housing and
construction sectors.

The colder- and wetter-than-usual weather is exaggerating a usual winter
fall off in retail and building activity just as a clutch of prominent Wall
Street analysts are forecasting an abrupt end to record-long economic boom.

And this winter's impact on the economy may be all the more biting as the
cold snap follows a string of the warmest winters in more than a century,
warping government adjustments used to smooth out usual seasonal distortions
in economic data.




From S. Fred Singer <>

In a NY Times op-ed, perennial alarmist Bill McKibben (of "The End of
Nature" fame) bewails the failure of the Clinton/Gore White House to achieve
international agreement on the Kyoto Protocol at last November's climate
conference in The Hague. It collapsed because the US was willing to
give up only 90 percent of its initial position but the Europeans wanted
complete surrender.

Now, of course, they may end up with nothing. President Bush should
certainly re-examine both the scientific rationale and the consequences of a
Kyoto accord. McKibben quotes scary climate projections but fails to mention
that none of these theoretical predictions has as yet been
validated by actual climate observations. Why then should we believe them?

We are on firmer ground when we consider the effects of the cutbacks in
energy use demanded by Kyoto. We need only look at the crisis in California,
where supply has not been allowed to keep up with growing electricity
demand. About 30 million people are affected, 10% of the US
population. As liberal economist Paul Krugman correctly points out (NY
Times, Jan.7), only higher prices or some means of rationing can solve the
crisis through some kind of enforced energy conservation.

Meanwhile, rationing proceeds in California: Stage 3 emergencies and
blackouts as power reserves dwindle to near zero. First, interruptible
customers are cut off. But then, as a sudden shortage of 1000 megawatts
develops, rolling blackouts hit 1.5 million customers, including schools,
traffic lights, crashed computers, stalled elevators, mainly in Northern
California. (There is not enough transmission capacity from Southern Cal to
make up the shortfall.).

But San Francisco strikes back boldly. City attorney Louise Renne sues:
"These companies are playing with marked cards...corporations are taking
advantage of a deregulated market to make a quick buck." Atttaboy, Louise.
How politically correct!

What a wonderful object lesson this debacle is for the rest of the country
and even the world. The basic problem is a shortage of generating capacity.
(see: ) California hasn't built
a power plant worth mentioning in over 12 years, because of environmental
opposition to coal, oil, and nuclear. Not enough pipelines and transmission
lines either. However, a lot more wind mills and solar
panels on the roofs of Sacramento. (see: )

The California "deregulation" scheme, enacted to yield lower prices to
consumers, is a sham. Utilities were forced to sell their generating plants
and buy on the spot market, but could not enter into long-term contracts
with out-of-state suppliers. Worst of all, while their wholesale cost was
indeed unregulated, they were forced to sell at regulated low prices "to
protect consumers." It's the ideal recipe for going bankrupt: buying high
and selling low. And that's exactly what's happening. They are defaulting on
bank loans, hurting pension funds, spreading the disaster to the rest of the
nation. Moreover, this doesn't count the price increases sure to
follow, caused by the economic losses experienced by Cal agriculture and
industry. The nation is already experiencing natural gas prices 3 to 4 times
higher than normal, partly because of the increasing demand from gas
turbines that are built to produce electric power at relatively short notice
and much favored by Green groups.

The Independent System Operator, the Cal state agency charged with ensuring
a balance in power supply and deciding about blackouts, estimates that
California needs at least 10,000 megawatts in the next 3 to 4 years. Much of
that will have to come from natural gas- produced electricity -- at very
high cost.

And what is Cal governor Gray Davis doing about this self-inflicted mess?
About what might be expected. He is using taxpayer's money to buy power on
the wholesale market and handing it off to the utilities for distribution.
Even the Washington Post (editorial of Jan 20) admits that his plan "fails
to confront the main cause of the crisis, which is that California's
regulation unsustainably protects consumers from paying market prices for

Consumer groups are already taking steps to keep retail prices from rising:
threatening the ever-popular California ballot initiative. With Green groups
clamoring for higher prices to enforce conservation, the irony of the
situation is both comical and delicious.

Where are all the apostles preaching painless conservation? Where is Amory
Lovins with his "negawatts," now that we need him? Why isn't Paul Ehrlich
telling us again, how good it is to get along with less power? Where is the
drive to put up more windmills? If every Californian were to cover his roof
with solar cells, it would solve the problem. Or so they say.

Nothing demonstrates the bankruptcy of Green ideology like this crisis
---which may soon spread to other states. We are seeing here a preview of
the effects of the Kyoto Protocol.

S. Fred Singer, President
Science & Environmental Policy Project

From The Science & Environmental Policy Project

A think piece by W Kenneth Davis (former US Deputy Secretary of Energy)

Recent events, particularly in California, have made it all too clear that
the U.S. power generating system is short of the reserve capacity needed to
prevent blackouts, and perhaps more importantly, to provide for stable
electricity prices under free market conditions. My estimate is that an
increase in the reserve margin of at least 5 % is needed very badly. With a
total generating capacity of 745 GW, operating with an average capacity
factor of about 57 %, the U.S. system produced 3.7 Trillion KWH last year.

The average rate of growth of US demand for electricity from 1973 to 1999
has been essentially constant at 2.1 % per year. If we assume we should have
745 x 1.05 or 782 GW now, or 37 GW more than we have, the total in another
10 years, by 2009, should be 963 GW (at the rate of growth for the past 26
years and making up for a 5 % additional reserve margin). This would require
adding 218 GW over the next ten years, or about 22 GW per year.

These estimates are concerned with actual plants put into operation and not
the rate of ordering, which must be done at an earlier time, depending on
the type of the plant and the time for licensing. This would involve an
annual investment of about $13 to 40 billion dollars for the plants,
depending on the range of investment costs, from combined cycle gas turbine
plants (CCGT) to nuclear plants. This should not cause any strain, under the
present financial conditions.

Such a growth would require about thirty-six 600 MW CCGT plants per year or
about seventeen 1300 MW nuclear plants (common sizes). Either would be a
challenge for the industry, which has not manufactured nor built power
plants at this rate for many years. However, it would appear feasible,
assuming a high enough priority.

A further concern is with respect to the gas supply for CCGT plants. Taking
the ten-year period as noted above and assuming that the CCGT plants have
capacity factor of 75 % (since the costs would be favorable in the
competitive market) and a 50 % gross thermal efficiency, the added 218 GW of
capacity would require, when completed, 9.3 trillion CF of gas per year, in
addition to the 3.1 TCF used for power production in 1999, giving a total of
12.3 TCF for power generation. With U.S. production remaining at about 18-19
TCF (constant for the last 6 years), imports which were 3.5 TCF in 1999 (94
% from Canada) would have to increase by 9.3 TCF from the 1999 just for
power generation (and more for additional major uses; in 1999 only 15 % of
natural gas was used for power production). The increase for other uses
might be another 4 TCF at a growth rate of 2.1 % per year. In other words,
we might have to import 16-17 TCF per year or about 40 % of our total use in
10 years, mostly from Canada. It is of concern that the proven reserves of
gas in Canada at the end of 1997 were 67.5 TCF as compared with the U.S.
reserves of 168 TCF (per \'93World Oil\'94).

U.S. proven reserves have not changed significantly for 10 years. I am
somewhat skeptical that Canada would export as much as 16 TCF/Yr unless
their reserves have increased dramatically. Even a 10 % increase in U.S.
production, which has been flat for the past 6 years, would only reduce the
imports by 2 TCF/Yr. Canada was using about 2.4 TCF/Yr themselves in 1996.

The fraction of power production from gas would rise from about 15 % in 1999
to about 31 % in 2009 if all of the added capacity was gas-fired CCG\'92s.
Such a situation might be feasible if Canada is willing to make the large
increase in supply available. One question is the cost of the added pipeline
and distribution facilities, another is the price Canada, and other
suppliers would charge. We must remember that the U.S. used just as much gas
in 1973 as we did in 1999. The infrastructure for this, while old and with
various improvements, is handling the present use in the U.S. Additional
capacity for distribution, etc. as well as the cost of the facilities for
importing much more gas from Canada will be expensive. It would be
reasonable for the costs to double under these circumstances, to $ 6 per
thousand CF or significantly more. (The cost was about $ 2.25 for several
years and jumped to from about $ 2.80 in April of this year to $ 4.75 on the
futures market in September. It must be noted that the futures prices are
usually a lot higher than long-term contract prices.)

Under such conditions, nuclear power could be a very strong competitor based
on economics. However, with the long lead times for licensing and
construction (5-6 years), it would seem unlikely for nuclear power plants to
be in operation by 2009 to any significant extent.

It seems important to consider the alternatives, windmills and
photovoltaics, advocated by our Administration, largely Vice President Gore.
If the entire 218 GW derived above was to be photovoltaics, the land area
required would be at least 9 to 13,000 square miles in very favorable
locations and it would be necessary to find a way to store much of the power
generated. If we consider windmills of a typical size of about 300 KW, and
an operating factor of 20 % (in good locations), we would need over 3 1/2
million windmills requiring at least 10 to 12,000 square miles and still
would have an unsolved electricity storage problem. The cost would be on the
order of 1 1/4 to 2 trillion dollars or 125 to 200 billion dollars per year
plus the cost of storing much of the electricity produced in some manner not
yet known and at of unknown cost. Further, the technologies are not ready
and manufacturing facilities do not exist on this scale.

There is no "magic" solution to the emerging electric power problem; in
fact, it will get worse before it gets better, perhaps catastrophically. If
we can stimulate the expedited construction of new plants, gas or/and
nuclear (or coal), we can reasonably expect to get back to a normal supply
and demand situation in 10 years or so. We are going to be in really serious
difficulties if we do not!


Global warming to worsen: report (AFP),4057,1638063^401,00.html

Report warns of disaster from global warming (Ananova)

UK urged to act on 'terrifying' global warming report (Ananova)

Report warns of global warming disaster

Evidence of Rapid Global Warming Accepted by 99 Nations (ENS)

Global warming now 'unstoppable', scientists warn (Independent)

World will be 6C warmer by 2100, scientists forecast (Independent)

Global warming rate rings warning bells (The Age)

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