CCNet TERRA 9/2003 -  20 February 2003 2003

"Global warming has to be one of the strangest policy debates the
country has ever seen. Sure there are always two or more competing sides,
pandering, demagoguery and outright dishonesty in every policy debate.
But in the case of global warming the contrasts are so stark and the
political statements so divorced from reality, that informed persons are
left shaking their heads in disbelief. On the one hand, you have
politicians stating categorically: "The science is settled!" On the
other hand, one can dig up a half dozen National Academy of Sciences
reports from the last five years that argue that not only is the science
not settled, but that scientists are operating in almost complete ignorance
on many of the most basic and key assumptions behind the theory."
--Paul Georgia, Tech Central Station, 18 February 2003

    The Christian Science Monitor, 18 February 2003

'GLOBAL WARMING' TREND", 19 February 2003

    Tech Central Station, 18 February 2003

    Andrew Yee <>

    CO2 Science Magazine, 19 February 2003

    CO2 Science Magazine, 19 February 2003

    CO2 Science Magazine, 19 February 2003

    Korea Times, 14 February 2003

    Reuters, 19 February 2003


     The Times, 20 February 2003


>From The Christian Science Monitor, 18 February 2003

By Ron Scherer 

NEW YORK - The winter of '03: soaring heating bills, everything frozen for
weeks, and now, the Presidents' Day Blizzard - a storm so intense that
meteorologists are calling it one of the great snowstorms of the Northeast.

Around the White House, the snow blanket is more than a foot deep. But
that's nothing compared with neighboring Maryland, where some communities
will be digging out for days from some 50 inches of snow. At New York's John
F. Kennedy Airport, the measuring stick showed 20 inches of snow as of
Monday morning, with another foot of blowing, drifting white stuff on the
way. Boston braced itself for the same.

Hey, enough of the big chill.

Actually, despite the snowdrifts and the sight of neighbors dressed up like
Eskimos, meteorologists say this winter has not been "exceptionally cold."
Rather, it has been "persistently cold."

In fact, the mild winters of recent years may have been influenced by some
relatively strong El Nio events - where the waters in the Pacific are
warmer than normal. But this winter, El Nio is fading. This may have
allowed the weather patterns to return to normal - as in cold.

"This is really a reality check from Mother Nature," says Fred Gadomski, a
meteorologist at Penn State at University Park. "The winters in the last
five years have been exceptionally mild with a lack of snow - that was

Indeed, a more normal winter means more snow on the ground. Fresh snow, in
turn, reflects 90 percent of the heat from the sun back into the atmosphere.
This keeps it colder. "That's a piece of the weather quilt," says Mr.

This latest icy chunk of winter arrived when a large mass of cold air
settled over New England. With temperatures in the single digits or even
below zero, meteorologists watched as a series of low-pressure systems
started to suck in moisture from the Gulf of Mexico. Then, Monday, it became
a coastal storm - an old fashioned nor'easter.

As of Monday noon EST, there were at least 16 reported deaths attributed to
the storm.....


>From, 19 February 2003

Marc Morano
Senior Staff Writer

( - The record-breaking blizzard of 2003, which left more than
two feet of snow in some areas of the mid-Atlantic and Northeast, was "very
much in line with the predictions of climate models" that predict
human-caused "global warming," according to an environmentalist in

When asked whether predictions of "global warming" have been altered by the
unusually cold and snowy winter, including the recent blizzard, Melissa
Carey, a climate change policy specialist with the Environmental Defense
Fund, said the climate change models actually predict this type of weather.

"It's very hard to link one event for sure, but certainly, increased extreme
events like this are very, very much in line with the predictions of climate
models, definitely," Carey told

"One thing climate change models predict is more increased precipitation and
more extreme precipitation events like flooding or blizzards," she added.

Carey believes that the earth's climate is changing for the worse.

"Our system is becoming out of balance. That means we may have much, much
hotter summers, and we may have much, much drier winters. We may have an
increased frequency of extreme storms like hurricanes and tornados," she

Carey sees human activity as the cause of climate uncertainty. "It's not all
about warming, it's really about the changes in our climate and our
environment that go along with the increases of the concentration of
greenhouse gasses in the atmosphere," Carey explained.

The world is facing dire consequences if no policy action is taken,
according to Carey.

"The CO2 (carbon dioxide) emissions generated by the very first automobile
that rolled off the assembly line here in the U.S. are still in the
atmosphere. They accumulate over time," Carey said.

But Chris Horner, a senior fellow at the free-market environmental think
tank Competitive Enterprise Institute, accused Carey of "selling a lie"
about "catastrophic man-made global warming" and the "myth of a stable

Horner believes environmentalists will attribute any adverse weather event
or patterns to man-made climate change in order to further their policy

"It's always getting hotter or colder or wetter or drier. Whatever happens -
and weather always happens - it's clearly evidence of global warming to
them," Horner said.

"Climate is inherently unstable. It is always changing. This supposed
'balance' that man upsets is mythical," Horner explained.

"To insist otherwise is to view the entirety of man's presence not as part
of the environment but as a pollutant," he added.

Horner believes the only consistent belief among environmentalists is that
man is at the center of any weather-related changes.

"First, man caused cooling, then warming. The darned climate kept changing,
but the insistence that man simply must be ruinous didn't," Horner


>From Tech Central Station, 18 February 2003

By Paul Georgia 02/18/2003 
Global warming has to be one of the strangest policy debates the country has
ever seen. Sure there are always two or more competing sides, pandering,
demagoguery and outright dishonesty in every policy debate. But in the case
of global warming the contrasts are so stark and the political statements so
divorced from reality, that informed persons are left shaking their heads in

On the one hand, you have politicians stating categorically: "The science is
settled!" On the other hand, one can dig up a half dozen National Academy of
Sciences reports from the last five years that argue that not only is the
science not settled, but that scientists are operating in almost complete
ignorance on many of the most basic and key assumptions behind the theory.

An NAS report, published in 1998, states: "Without a clear understanding of
how climate has changed naturally in the past, and the mechanisms involved,
our ability to interpret any future change will be significantly confounded
and our ability to predict future change severely curtailed." Another NAS
report published that same year states: "Large gaps in our knowledge of
interannual and decade-to-century natural variability hinder our ability to
provide credible predictive skill or to distinguish the role of human
activities from natural variability." In 2001, the NAS admitted that " ...
the observing system available today is a composite of observations that
neither provide the information nor the continuity in the data needed to
support measurements of climate variables."

Far from being settled, the science is still in its infancy. "Climate
research is only at the beginning of its learning curve, with dramatic
findings appearing at an impressive rate. In this area, even the most
fundamental scientific issues are evolving rapidly," says the NAS.

Dr. David Wojick, who has a Ph.D. in mathematical logic and philosophy of
science and author of a recent review of NAS climate reports, argues that
there has been a quiet revolution in climate science. "It seems that we have
discovered or confirmed a number of natural mechanisms of climate change, at
least 10 in fact. These mechanisms provide alternative, competing
explanations for global warming, alternative to, and competing with, the
theory of human-induced warming. Also alternative to, and competing with,
each other.

"Each of these mechanisms can in theory explain all of the changes in 20th
Century climate. Human greenhouse gas emissions are therefore just one of
many alternative hypotheses. In addition, the evidence for warming due to
greenhouse gas emissions is no greater than for any of the other

As a result of this revolution, increases in our understanding about climate
change have been paralleled by increases in the uncertainty about man's
contribution, if indeed there is one.

At a briefing for congressional staffers and media sponsored by the Cooler
Heads Coalition on Feb. 7, Jesse Ausubel, a researcher at The Rockefeller
University, laid out a framework for thinking about global warming issues.
There are several points at which the issue is being debated. There are the
issues of energy use, emissions and concentrations; climate sensitivity, or
how much the climate may warm due to increases in greenhouse gas
concentrations; the potential impacts on ecosystems and people, and so on.

Ausubel argued that many of these issues are essentially unknowable. Climate
sensitivity, for example, has been estimated at different extremes. The
aggregate results from peer-reviewed scientific studies show a normal
distribution of climate sensitivities. Some suggest that a doubling
atmospheric carbon dioxide concentration will warm the climate by about 4.5
degrees Celsius. Others show low climate sensitivity, which would lead to a
warming of 1.5 degrees C. Still others fall somewhere in the middle. As
Ausubel stated, "The pile of papers keeps getting larger, but the shape of
the pile never changes."

The real debate, according to Ausubel, lies in the trends in energy use.
This is one variable that is known, and as Ausubel has discovered, the world
has experienced a sustained long-running reduction in carbon intensity in
its energy use. Wood, still a major source of fuel in less developed
countries, has a hydrogen-to-carbon ratio of 1 to 10. Coal's H:C ratio is 1
to 2, oil 2 to 1, and methane or natural gas about 4 to 1.

The world has been steadily decarbonizing for the last 150 years, from wood
to coal to oil, and now to methane. Ausubel argues, somewhat
controversially, that total decarbonization is in our future and that the
economy will run on hydrogen, powered by nuclear power. That may well be the

One of the major implications of decarbonization is that energy policy may
be irrelevant. As Ausubel has noted elsewhere, neither Queen Victoria nor
Abraham Lincoln decreed a policy of decarbonization. Yet, the system pursued
it." Decarbonization and our path to the hydrogen economy will happen
regardless of government decrees or federal research money.

Ausubel also takes to task the U.N. Intergovernmental Panel on Climate
Change for its assumptions on energy use. When Ausubel extrapolated
decarbonization trends out to the year 2100 and compared it to the IPCC's
1990 "business as usual" (BAU) scenario he found that they bore little
resemblance to one another. The IPCC's BAU scenario was a flat line, which
assumes technical stagnation, or what Ausubel dubs the Brezhnev Scenario.
But properly understood, BAU is a technologically dynamic and progressive
scenario that will eliminate CO2 by 2100. The IPCC's 2001 Third Assessment
Report uses 40 scenarios that show decarbonization and carbonization going
in all different directions with no probabilities attached.

Next time you hear politicians drone on and on about scientific opinion on
global warming and the need to expend hundreds of billions of the taxpayer's
hard earned money on new energy technologies to stop it, keep in mind two
things: the science is becoming less settled each day, and the energy system
may well take us where we want to go long before the politicians have
figured out what is going on.

Copyright 2003, Tech Central Station


>From Andrew Yee <>

The University of Michigan
News Service
412 Maynard
Ann Arbor, MI 48109-1399

Contact: Nancy Ross-Flanigan
Phone: (734) 647-1853

February 17, 2003

Methane and mini-horses: Fossils reveal effects of global warming

DENVER, Colo. -- How will global warming affect life on Earth? Uncertainties
about future climate change and the impact of human activity make it
difficult to predict exactly what lies ahead. But the past offers clues, say
scientists who are studying a period of warming that occurred about 55
million years ago.

In a joint project of the University of Michigan, the University of New
Hampshire and the Smithsonian Institution, researchers have been analyzing
fossils from the badlands of Wyoming found in a distinctive layer of bright
red sedimentary rock that was deposited at the boundary between the
Paleocene and Eocene epochs -- a time of apparent sudden climate change. The
researchers described their findings in a paper presented Feb. 16 at the
annual meeting of the American Association for the Advancement of Science.

"The interval of Earth history that we're studying is marked by a short-term
global warming event thought to have occurred when something triggered the
release of methane from methane clathrate -- a kind of 'methane ice' found
in ocean sediments," said Philip D. Gingerich, professor of geological
sciences at the University of Michigan. Within about 10,000 years of peak
warming, mammals such as primates and the groups that include horses and
deer appeared together for the first time in North America, apparently
having crossed land bridges from other continents.

As the warm spell continued, the animals showed an intriguing response: they
became smaller. For example, "horses from this period that had been the size
of a small dog were reduced to the size of a Siamese cat," Gingerich said.
When the climate returned to normal, the animals became normal size again.
To understand why dwarf versions of the various animals appeared and then
disappeared from the fossil record, Gingerich turned to colleagues at the
University of Michigan Biological Station who are studying the effects of
elevated carbon dioxide levels -- associated with global warming -- on plant

"They find that if you grow plants in a carbon dioxide-rich atmosphere, the
plants love it. They grow fast. It's easy for them." But in the process, the
plants incorporate less protein and more defensive compounds than they
normally would. Insects that eat these plants grow more slowly, and the same
might be true of mammals, Gingerich reasoned.

Furthermore, "the reproductive cycles of mammals that live in seasonal
environments are tuned to seasonal cycles," Gingerich said. "If an animal
has a one- or two-year period in which to grow to maturity and reproduce,
and it's trying to do that on a diet that's difficult to digest and not very
nutritious, it's not surprising that it would evolve to be smaller. And it's
also not surprising that when times are good again and carbon dioxide levels
are lower and plants grow like they normally should, that the animals would
go back to what we think of as their normal size."

It's not clear whether the body size trends represent true evolutionary
change or whether the larger species were simply replaced by smaller sister
species, but Gingerich hopes to answer that question as he continues to work
on the project.

He and his coworkers, William C. Clyde of the University of New Hampshire
and Scott L. Wing and Guy J. Harrington of the Smithsonian Institution, also
hope their work will improve understanding of climate change in general.

"This is a model of an event in the past that involved change and recovery
from change," Gingerich said. "During that 80,000-year period, mammals
didn't go extinct; they adapted through dwarfing. And eventually, the system
worked itself back to the previous state."

But just because Earth and its inhabitants recovered from global warming in
the past don't assume we have nothing to worry about now, Gingerich
cautions. "In today's Earth, additional warming could set off a methane
release that would bump the Earth's temperature up by several degrees --
enough to melt polar ice and raise sea level and cause many other problems
that would be difficult to survive. That's what makes the temperature rises
we're measuring now more worrisome than those that occurred in the past."


>From CO2 Science Magazine, 19 February 2003

Ever ready to evoke visions of climatic catastrophe with respect to
potential consequences of the ongoing rise in the air's CO2 content, Science
magazine says "River Flow Could Derail Crucial Ocean Current" in its 13 Dec
2002 online introduction to the News of the Week item of the same title by
Stokstad (2002), who provides a short commentary on the report of Peterson
et al. (2002) that serves as the basis for the new climate hysteria. As
usual, however, the magazine's hype is without a solid basis in empirical

So what did Peterson et al. do to cause such a flurry of concern and lead
certain folks, who should know oh-so-much-better, to go so far astray in
their intimations about the future?  Very simply, they plotted annual values
of the combined discharge of the six largest Eurasian Arctic rivers
(Yenisey, Lena, Ob', Pechora, Kolyma and Severnaya Dvina) - which drain abut
two-thirds of the Eurasian Arctic landmass - against the globe's mean annual
surface air temperature (SAT), after which they ran a simple linear
regression through the data and determined that the combined discharge of
the six rivers seems to rise by about 212 km3/year in response to a 1C
increase in mean global air temperature.  Then they calculated that for the
high-end global warming predicted by the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate
Change (IPCC) to occur by 2100, i.e., a temperature increase of 5.8C, the
warming-induced increase in freshwater discharge from the six rivers could
rise by as much as 1260 km3/year (we calculate 5.8C x 212 km3/year/C =
1230 km3/year), which represents a 70% increase over the mean discharge rate
of the last several years.

The link between this conclusion and the postulated shutting down of the
thermohaline circulation of the world's oceans resides in the hypothesis
that the delivery of such a large addition of freshwater to the North
Atlantic Ocean (augmented by presumed increased freshwater discharges from
other Arctic rivers and meltwater from Greenland) may slow - or even stop -
that location's production of new deep water, which latter phenomenon
constitutes one of the main driving forces of the great oceanic "conveyor
belt" that redistributes heat around the world and brings considerable
warmth to Europe [see North Atlantic Deep Water in our Subject Index].
Although we, too, are inclined to give a certain amount of credence to this
concept, we are not inclined to accept the tremendous extrapolation that
Peterson et al. make in extending their Arctic freshwater discharge vs.
global surface air temperature (SAT) relationship to the great length that
is implied by the IPCC's predicted high-end warming of 5.8C over the
remainder of the current century.

Consider, for example, that "over the period of the discharge record, global
SAT increased by [only] 0.4C," according to Peterson et al.  Do you think
it's reasonable to extend the relationship they derived across that small
range of temperature variability fourteen and a half times beyond the range
of the independent variable used to derive it?  We surely don't, nor should
any other rational person.

Consider also the Eurasian river discharge anomaly vs. global SAT plot of
Peterson et al. (their Figure 4), which we have replotted in the figure
below.  Enclosing their data with simple straight-line upper and lower
bounds, it can be seen that the upper bound of the data does not change over
the entire range of global SAT variability, suggesting the very real
possibility that the upper bound corresponds to a maximum Eurasian river
discharge rate that cannot be exceeded in the real world under its current
geographic and climatic configuration.  The lower bound, on the other hand,
rises so rapidly with increasing global SAT that the two bounds intersect
less than two-tenths of a degree above the warmest of Peterson et al.'s 63
data points, suggesting that 0.2C beyond the temperature of their warmest
data point is all the further any relationship derived from their data may
validly be extrapolated.

In light of these observations, which are so plain as to be almost
impossible to not understand, there would appear to be absolutely no reason
for making the type of attention-grabbing statement contained in the
headline of Science magazine's News of the Week report on the article of
Peterson et al., especially when it is known that statements of this type
serve as welcome fodder for climate alarmists who typically blow them even
further out of proportion, to where they ultimately bear almost no
relationship to what is really known.  As Stokstad (2002) correctly notes,
"many experts caution that too little is known to make any solid predictions
about such effects [as those discussed in the Peterson et al. article]."  In
fact, he reports, one of those experts - oceanographer Knut Aagaard of the
University of Washington in Seattle - says he would be very careful about
considering any predictions about "the influence of the runoff and changes
in the overturning of the North Atlantic" as being "anything more than very
loose speculation."

We wholeheartedly agree.

Sherwood, Keith and Craig Idso  


Peterson, B.J., Holmes, R.M., McClelland, J.W., Vorosmarty, C.J., Lammers,
R.B., Shiklomanov, A.I., Shiklomanov, I.A. and Rahmstorf, S.  2002.
Increasing river discharge to the Arctic Ocean.  Science 298: 2171-2173.

Stokstad, E.  2002.  River flow could derail crucial ocean current.  Science
298: 2110.
Copyright 2003.  Center for the Study of Carbon Dioxide and Global Change


>From CO2 Science Magazine, 19 February 2003

In their review of the relationship between solar activity and climate
during the Holocene and portions of the last great ice age, Chambers et al.
(1999) say there is "increasing evidence for solar-driven variations in
earth-atmospheric processes, over a range of timescales."  In this summary,
we highlight some of the recent scientific literature in support of a
solar-influence on climate at decadal and multi-decadal time scales.

With a periodicity of 10 to 11 years, the Schwabe (Sunspot) Cycle is one of
the more publicized decadal-scale solar cycles thought to exert a
significant influence on earth's climate, the imprint of which has been
postulated among proxy climate records across the globe (Chambers et al.,
1999). Other solar cycles of multi-decadal timescale include the approximate
22-year double sunspot, or Hale Cycle, and the approximate 78-year (72- to
83-year) Gleissberg Cycle.  Additionally, there may be other decadal cycles
of solar origin of which we are not yet aware.  Dean et al. (2002), for
example, reported finding significant decadal periodicities of 29, 32 and 42
years along with the approximate 10-year oscillation discussed above.

Rigozo et al. (2002) detected an 11-year cycle in tree-ring width data from
Brazil over the period 1837-1996; and Black et al. (1999) reported finding a
12.5- to 13-year signal of climatic variability in the North Atlantic Ocean
over the past 825 years. Additionally, Dean et al. (2002) found an
approximate 10-year cycle in a lake sediment core obtained from Elk Lake,
Minnesota, USA, covering the past 1500 years. Both Rigozo et al. and Dean et
al. implicate the sun as the likely source of the approximately 11-year
periodicity noted in their records.  Black et al. are less enthusiastic
about this possibility, but they feel the sun is responsible for driving
centennial-scale climate oscillations in their record.

In an analysis of tree-ring chronologies from northeastern Mongolia,
Pederson et al. (2001) report "possible evidence for solar influences" on
the regional hydrologic cycle. For the period 1651-1995, they reconstructed
annual precipitation and streamflow histories for this region, which upon
subjection to spectral analysis revealed significant periodicities of 12 and
20-24 years that are believed to be solar-induced.

Nearby in China, Xu et al. (2002) examined plant cellulose 18O variations
in cores retrieved from peat deposits at the northeastern edge of the
Qinghai-Tibetan Plateau (32 46'N, 102 30'E).  Power spectrum analyses of
these data revealed multi-decadal periodicities of 79 and 88 years,
"suggesting," in the words of the authors, "that the main driving force of
Hongyuan climate change is from solar activities."

Neff et al. (2001) also provide evidence for a solar-induced influence on
the hydrologic cycle.  For the period 9,600-6,100 years before present, they
investigated the relationship between a 14C tree-ring record and a proxy
record of monsoon rainfall intensity inferred from calcite 18O data
obtained from a stalagmite in northern Oman. Their investigation revealed an
"extremely strong" correlation between the two data sets; and spectral
analyses revealed statistically significant decadal and multi-decadal
periodicities of 10.4, 26 and 89 years for the 14C tree-ring record, and 87
years for the 18O record.

Not far from Oman, Castagnoli et al. (2002) studied a 1400-year 13C record
derived from the remains of the foraminifera Globigerinoides rubber, which
were extracted from a sediment core located in the Gallipoli terrace of the
Gulf of Taranto (3945'53"N, 1753'33"E).  Variations in the 13C of the
symbiontic foraminifera reflect the effects of productivity varying with the
ambient light level; and because the 13C time series can thus provide
information on sea surface illumination at the time of planktonic
foraminifera growth, it can be utilized as a proxy for solar radiation
variability.  Similar to several of the studies referenced above, Castagnoli
et al. found an approximate 11.3-year cycle in this record.  Furthermore,
comparison of their data with historical aurora and sunspot time series
revealed that the three records are "associable in phase" and "disclose a
statistically significant imprint of the solar activity in a climate

Lastly, a possible multi-decadal scale solar influence on climate has been
reported by Domack et al. (2001), who analyzed ocean sediment cores from the
Palmer Deep, located on the inner continental shelf of the western Antarctic
Peninsula, covering the past 13,000 years. Spectral analysis of their data
revealed very significant multi-decadal periodicities of 70 and 85 years,
which they suggest are perhaps driven by solar variability.

In light of these several findings, it is safe to say that as more and more
scientists dig into all parts of the planet to study its climatic history,
they are unearthing more and more evidence for the global reality of a
solar-forced, as opposed to an anthropogenically-forced, climate.


Black, D.E., Peterson, L.C., Overpeck, J.T., Kaplan, A., Evans, M.N. and
Kashgarian, M.  1999.  Eight centuries of North Atlantic Ocean atmosphere
variability.  Science 286: 1709-1713.

Castagnoli, G.C., Bonino, G., Taricco, C. and Bernasconi, S.M.  2002.  Solar
radiation variability in the last 1400 years recorded in the carbon isotope
ratio of a Mediterranean sea core.  Advances in Space Research 29:

Chambers, F.M., Ogle, M.I. and Blackford, J.J.  1999.  Palaeoenvironmental
evidence for solar forcing of Holocene climate: linkages to solar science.
Progress in Physical Geography 23: 181-204.

Dean, W., Anderson, R., Bradbury, J.P. and Anderson, D.  2002.  A 1500-year
record of climatic and environmental change in Elk Lake, Minnesota I: Varve
thickness and gray-scale density.  Journal of Paleolimnology 27: 287-299.

Domack, E., Leventer, A., Dunbar, R., Taylor, F., Brachfeld, S., Sjunneskog,
C. and ODP Leg 178 Scientific Party.  2001.  Chronology of the Palmer Deep
site, Antarctic Peninsula: A Holocene palaeoenvironmental reference for the
circum-Antarctic.  The Holocene 11: 1-9.

Neff, U., Burns, S.J., Mangini, A., Mudelsee, M., Fleitmann, D and Matter,
A.  2001.  Strong coherence between solar variability and the monsoon in
Oman between 9 and 6 kyr ago.  Nature 411: 290-293.

Pederson, N., Jacoby, G.C., D'Arrigo, R.D., Cook, E.R. and Buckley, B.M.
2001.  Hydrometeorological reconstructions for northeastern Mongolia derived
from tree rings: 1651-1995.  Journal of Climate 14: 872-881.

Rigozo, N.R., Nordemann, D.J.R., Echer, E., Zanandrea, A. and Gonzalez, W.D.
2002.  Solar variability effects studied by tree-ring data wavelet analysis.
Advances in Space Research 29: 1985-1988.

Xu, H., Hong, Y., Lin, Q., Hong, B., Jiang, H. and Zhu, Y. 2002. Temperature
variations in the past 6000 years inferred from 18O of peat cellulose from
Hongyuan, China.  Chinese Science Bulletin 47: 1578-1584.
Copyright 2003.  Center for the Study of Carbon Dioxide and Global Change


>From CO2 Science Magazine, 19 February 2003

Kwok, R. and Comiso, J.C.  2002.  Spatial patterns of variability in
Antarctic surface temperature: Connections to the South Hemisphere Annular
Mode and the Southern Oscillation.  Geophysical Research Letters 29:

What was done
The authors review what is known about Antarctic air temperature trends over
the past few decades, as well as (1) trends in the Southern Hemisphere (SH)
Annular Mode (SAM) and the extrapolar Southern Oscillation (SO), (2) the
roles these phenomena may have played in orchestrating the observed air
temperature trends, and (3) what may be the ultimate driver of their own

What was learned
Citing King and Harangozo (1998), the authors report that during the past 20
years, the Antarctic Peninsula has experienced "pronounced warming." They
note, however, that there has been "cooling at a number of weather stations
on the coast and plateau of East and West Antarctica (Comiso, 2000)." In
fact, they say that "the analysis of Doran et al. (2002) suggests a net
cooling of the Antarctic continent between 1966 and 2000," with the largest
cooling centered around the South Pole and the region surrounding Dome C.
Hence, the mean trend in climate for the entire continent over the past
three decades and more has clearly been a cooling.

Over the 17-year period 1982-1998, Kwok and Comiso also report that the SAM
index shifted towards more positive values (0.22/decade), noting that a
positive polarity of the SAM index "is associated with cold anomalies over
most of Antarctica with the center of action over the East Antarctic
plateau." Simultaneously, the SO index shifted in a negative direction,
indicating "a drift toward a spatial pattern with warmer temperatures around
the Antarctic Peninsula, and cooler temperatures over much of the
continent." Together, the authors say the positive trend in the coupled mode
of variability of these two indices (0.3/decade) represents a "significant
bias toward positive polarity" that they describe as "remarkable."

The authors additionally report that "the tropospheric SH annular mode has
been shown to be related to changes in the lower stratosphere (Thompson and
Wallace, 2000)," noting that "the high index polarity of the SH annular mode
is associated with the trend toward a cooling and strengthening of the SH
stratospheric polar vortex during the stratosphere's relatively short active
season in November, and ozone depletion," which is pretty much the same
theory that has been put forth by Thompson and Solomon (2002).

What it means
Antarctica, as a whole, has been cooling for well over the past three
decades, in direct contradiction of climate model projections. This cooling
appears to be the result of a remarkable positive trend in the coupled mode
of variability of the SAM and SO, which appears to be driven by phenomena of
stratospheric origin. This last point is of more than passing interest; for
although atmospheric processes of tropospheric origin are known to have the
ability to perturb the stratosphere, forcings in the opposite direction have
usually been assumed to be negligible in most climate models. As noted by
Hartley et al. (1998), however, this assumption is likely not correct; and
amplified perturbations of various phenomena, including those that are
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Copyright 2003.  Center for the Study of Carbon Dioxide and Global Change


Korea Times, 14 February 2003

Another cold spell is expected to hit the nation today, according to the
Korea Meteorological Administration (KMA) yesterday.

The temperature will drop as low as 15 degrees below zero Celsius today,
with the day's highs expected to be at just 5 degrees in the later hours,
according to the weather bureau.By region, Seoul will have a morning low of
minus 7 degrees with the mercury reaching up to zero degrees in midday. With
a morning chill of minus 7 degrees, the temperature in Taejon will rise to a
high of 2 degrees in the afternoon.


>From Reuters, 19 February 2003

MADRID, Feb 19 (Reuters) - Cold weather in Spain in recent days has sparked
record demand for gas and electricity, utilities said on Wednesday. Many
parts of Spain, even more temperate areas such as the Balearic Islands, were
covered in snow on Tuesday. Gas pipeline operator Enagas (Madrid:ENAG.MC -
News) said demand for natural gas reached a record 1.137 gigawatts on
Tuesday, versus a previous high of 1.111 gigawatts on January 31.

>From, 16 February 2003

Time to get some serious climate predictions untainted by politics. The
world's greatest climate forecaster, Punxatawney Phil, the famous groundhog,
spoke these prophetic words on `Groundhog Day', 2nd February 2003 -

Gov. Rendell joins this joyful throng
of several thousand strong
and he like everyone will thrill
at seeing the magic on this hill
as I make my prognostication
and give my justification:
I see my shadow beside me
and that is that magic you see.
It causes this midwinter revelry,
six more weeks of winter there will be.

Beats a model any day...


>From The Times, 20 February 2003,,59-584143,00.html

>From Mr Jim Cowley
Sir, The threat of war with Iraq. The threat of a terrorist attack in
Britain. Global warming. The split within Nato. Plunging stock market values
and poor pension returns. Just when you think that things couldn't possibly
get any worse - I hear that the Spice Girls may get together again.
Beam me up, Scotty.

Yours faithfully,

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